Manuscript Releases, vol. 1 [Nos. 19-96]


MR No. 70—Sermon Material for Seminary Use

[Release requested for seminary use.]

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it: that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 1MR 311.1

“Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; Even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him” (Isaiah 56:1-8). 1MR 311.2

“And take hold of My covenant.” There is much more in these words than many comprehend at the first reading. When the Lord gave His law to the children of Israel encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, the people with one accord promised, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Exodus 24:7). In return for their loyalty, the Lord promised to bring them safely into the promised land and to prosper them above all nations. “Behold,” He declared, “I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.... If thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary unto thine adversaries.... And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee” (Exodus 23:20-25). 1MR 311.3

During the forty years of wilderness wandering, the Lord was true to the covenant He had made with His people. Those who were obedient to Him received the promised blessings. And this covenant is still in force. Through obedience we can receive heaven's richest blessings. 1MR 312.1

Those who claim to be Christ's followers pledge themselves to obedience at the time of their baptism. When they go down into the water, they pledge themselves in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that they will henceforth be dead unto the world and its temptations, and that they will arise from the watery grave to walk, in newness of life, even a life of obedience to God's requirements. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, reminded them of their baptismal pledge, and wrote: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). How much better it is to seek those things which are above, than to seek the things of this world, and to form our characters after a worldly similitude! 1MR 312.2

Very often I think of the rich promises given us in the Word in regard to God's keeping power. We are kept by His power. How reasonable then it is that we should be careful to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He says, “I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Of those who walk in this light He declares, “Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16). 1MR 312.3

When we mingle with the world and yield to the attraction of its pleasures and amusements, we think much less of God than we would if we were following Jesus in the path of self-denial which He has marked out for us. Let us keep our minds in right relation to God's promises. Then He will keep us, and we shall see of His salvation.—Manuscript 80, 1903, 1-3. (“Whoso Offereth Praise Glorifieth God,” August 1, 1903.) 1MR 313.1