Ms 8b, 1891

Ms 8b, 1891

Sermon/Talk to the Teachers

Harbor Heights, Michigan

July 27, 1891

This manuscript is published in entirety in 9MR 65-71 with 4MR 46-47.

Jeremiah 9:23-24. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 1

[The reporter was unavoidably delayed from being at the first part of this meeting.] 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 2

[The students] received an education from the great fountain of wisdom and knowledge. What for? That they might impart wisdom and knowledge to others. That they might be in the presence of God and devote their capabilities and powers to God, not give them as a contribution to the devil. But this has been done in certain cases, and in case after case that has been presented before me. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 3

I have been reading, since I spoke here last, the warnings given to some who went to receive a medical education. They might receive that education without losing their spirituality if they were every day under the converting influence of the Spirit of God. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 4

What does conversion mean? Some think, when I say that they must be converted, “Why, don’t you think that I must know something about religion?” As if, because they knew something about religion, they did not need to be converted daily. But we ought every day, every one of us, to be converted. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 5

I may take a vessel every morning, and convert it to a certain use. I may convert it to holding a certain article of food that I wish to put in it. And just so the Lord takes every Christian and converts him every day as He wills to do His work for that day. We have but one day at a time in which to be converted to the Master’s use. And during that one day we want to spend our abilities and our capabilities to the glory of God, that He may make us vessels of honor. We are not to act as though we had many years of life and that there is no need to be so very much in earnest about what one does. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 6

It would be perfectly safe for our youth to enter the colleges of our land, if they were converted every day; but if they feel at liberty to be off guard one day, that very day Satan is ready with his snares, and they are overcome and led to walk in false paths—forbidden paths—paths that the Lord has not cast up. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 7

Now shall professed Christians refuse to associate with the unconverted and seek to have no communication with them? No, they are to be with them in the world and not of the world. They are not to partake of their spirit and practice the ways of the worldling. They are to mold and not be molded. They are to have their hearts open to their customs and practices. Their associations are to be for the purpose of drawing others to Christ. This makes them workers together with God. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 8

Here is the danger of our youth. The attractions in these institutions are such, and their teaching so intermixed with error and sophistry, that they cannot discern the poison of sentiment mingled with the useful and precious. There is such an undercurrent, and it works in such a manner that many do not perceive it. But it is constantly at work. Certain ideas are constantly advanced by the professors, and repeated over and over, and at last the mind begins to assimilate and conform to these ideas. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 9

Just so when infidel authors are studied. These men have sharp intellects, and their sharp ideas are presented, and the mind of the student is influenced by them. They are pleased with their brilliance. But where did those men obtain their powers of intellect? Where did they get their sharpness? From the fountain of all knowledge. But they have prostituted their powers; they have given them as a contribution to the devil. And don’t you think the devil is smart? Many are traveling in the devil’s tracks by reading infidel authors. Satan is a sharp being and they fall in love with his learning and smartness. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 10

When I was coming from California, there was an infidel Jew on the same car. He was engaging in conversation with those present on the subject of the Bible and Christianity. He would talk to one and then to another. He would present Christ and the Christian religion in such a manner, in such a ridiculous light, as to create a laugh; and those present could not withstand his ridicule, and they would begin to retreat. Then he would have a triumph, and he was triumphing all over the car. Finally he came and sat down by me. He saw I had a Bible in my hand; and he began to talk about the Bible and religion and said religion was like jugglery business; it was like sorcery. I did not say a word, but let him talk on. The people were listening intently to see what I would say, and he talked, and talked and talked, until I thought he had about exhausted himself. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 11

Then I said to him, “This is eternal life, that ye might know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.” [John 17:3.] Then I spoke to him of my own experience. Said I, “You call religion sorcery, jugglery, and all these things; but we have ‘a sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well to take heed.’ [2 Peter 1:19.]” 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 12

I could make them all hear in the car, and so I did. He then put in some remark, but an answer came to my mind. He said, “Have you ever studied such and such an author?” Said I, “I have not.” Said he, “There! there! you don’t know!” I said, “I don’t want to know. I have no time to read such trash. I want to carry the knowledge I get from these authors over to the other side; but as for your authors, where did they get their power to think? Where did they get anything of sharpness worthy of retaining? They got it from the God of heaven. But they have prostituted their powers. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 13

“Now,” said I, “Jesus Christ saw the condition of the Jewish nation, and He came that He might unearth the hidden treasures; there we can sink the shaft and bring up the rich ore, the jewels of truth; and, it is all rich. And those things you get from your authors that are worth anything, you get from Him. It is not anything new. Christ gave it to the patriarchs and prophets, and it is these precious gems of truth, and this gospel, which you abhor and detest, that was preached to Adam in Eden.” He finally hemmed and hawed and spat, and turned himself in his seat; but he didn’t say a word. And then there was a greater uproar in the car than before. The people were laughing at him, and saying that he was put down by a woman, but he did not say a word. He just got up and went out. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 14

Now, I want to say right here, you may go to these infidel authors to get bright thoughts, but I don’t want to go there; I would rather go to the snow of Lebanon. Let me go to any other place than to infidel authors. Why? Because mingled with it all is a serious malady. The cunning of Satan is there. Was he not the covering cherub in the Eden of God? And was he not cast out of heaven because, as it was said of him, “thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness?” [Ezekiel 28:17.] Then cannot he mingle some of his sophistry with truth so as to fascinate and captivate the human mind? Of course he can. He is a smart general, and, therefore, no man can handle him. And for that very reason, God sent His Son into the world to stand here on the field of battle and present the great original truths, to take men from the bands of error, to rescue them, to reform them. Christ presented these principles of truth, arranged in the order of the gospel, that they might serve the very purpose for which they were given to man. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 15

We do not want to drink of the turbid streams of the valley. We do not want the corrupted sophistry of infidelity. Because many are so ready to give in to doubt and questioning, infidels are made bold. God help us that we may drink of the pure streams that flow from beneath the throne of God. We can drink, and continue to drink. And, if you thirst for knowledge, there is plenty of it here. Jesus Christ came into our world in simplicity, to meet men where they are. He gave them the most precious truths that were ever given to mortals. If you study them with sincerity, the angels of God are around you as you study, to minister to you, to give to your understanding the precious truths of God. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 16

Many think themselves wonderfully wise in understanding the sentiments of infidel writers, but they will find that they are building upon a sandy foundation. They are not building upon the solid Rock. The storm of persecution, the storm of trial, comes and sweeps that foundation away; and they have nothing upon which to stand. What we want is to rivet our souls to the Eternal Rock. We don’t want our students to feel themselves so smart that they think they know everything worth knowing. We have not yet begun to know the Bible. You have your mind upon this, that, and the other, and it is filled with so much that is of no importance that the very truth that will make you wise unto salvation you know scarcely anything about. What we want is to become strong men and women. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 17

Brother Hutchins was at one time riding in Vermont, and he met a lawyer. “Well,” said the lawyer, “I understand that you are a Seventh-day Adventist.” “Yes.” “Well,” said he, “you are nothing but little men.” “Yes, we know that,” said Brother Hutchins, “but we are handling mighty subjects. It is by the study of these mighty subjects that we are trying to get truth before the people.” This is what we want—the mighty subjects that will make men wise unto salvation. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 18

Just as soon as you begin to think you are big men, and that you are so large that you can comprehend and pick out all that is precious in infidel authors, and leave out all that is vile, then you are wise above that which is written. You cannot do this. The devil is right by your side, and the evil angels are there. The devil is a great deal smarter than you are, and you cannot see what he is driving at. He will so cunningly interweave his sentiments with the thoughts of these writers, so that it will be impossible to distinguish the error which they contain. He regards this circumstance as his opportunity. These very things may insinuate themselves into your mind and character, and God pronounces you a fool. That is just how it is. If you want to be counted a fool in God’s sight, it is very easy for you to do it; but if you want to be counted a wise man in God’s eyes, come right to the cross of Calvary and get the inspiration that comes from it, and your name will be written as a wise man who built his house upon the rock, and the storms came and the winds blew upon that house, and it fell not, because it was founded upon a rock. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 19

It requires considerable effort to climb hills, to get upon the rock. And so we find that it will require the exercise of all our abilities, of every spiritual nerve and muscle, to get upon the Living Rock, the Saviour of mankind. It will require all our mental and spiritual powers to understand the Word of God, to understand the incarnation of Christ, to understand the great plan of redemption. The mind may faint beneath the effort, and yet there is an infinity beyond. You have only then touched the surface. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 20

What we want is the Bible. We want to know the truth on every point. There are many who think they know it who do not know anything about it, because they do not practice it. A man may stand upon the shore and see another swim, and he may think he knows exactly how to make the motions, but let him try it and he finds that he does not know. Just so it is in the spiritual life. You may think you know all about it, but you don’t know anything unless you have a living experience in the things of God, because God has not spoken to your soul. You are not furnished unto all good works. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 21

You are not half as wise as you thought you were. You have not half the knowledge that you thought you had. There is a knowledge that we do not want, a knowledge you cannot take with you to the other side. What we want is a knowledge that will strengthen the intellect, and make us better men and women—knowledge that will build us up in Jesus Christ, our living Head. We are to be members of the living body of Christ—He our Head, and we growing in grace. There is where our Prince comes in. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 22

Paul went to Athens, and there he met eloquence with eloquence, logic with logic, oratory with oratory. There he showed his ability and smartness. And what was the effect? Afterwards he said, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” [1 Corinthians 2:2.] There is no time for anything else but that during our short lifetime. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 23

When you are in the battle, who is with you in the army?—all the heavenly intelligences. Who else is with you?—the Captain of your salvation. Who else is with you?—Him that said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 24

Christ was the greatest teacher that the world ever knew. I am willing to be in His school. I am willing to learn from His lips. I am willing to learn from Him that lesson which will make me great in the eyes of the Lord. And what is that? “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Now Jesus, I submit myself to Thy teaching. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 25

I am willing to be taught by Him who created the heavens and the earth, who made the lofty trees, the spears of grass, and every shrub. I am willing to be taught of Him that set the stars in their order in the heavens, and appointed the sun and the moon to do their work. I can drink at that fountain. I do not need to go to infidel authors, but to God. I want to know God and the power of His grace. I will make no boast of knowledge. Those who know not God, even while they look upon His works, say there is no God. The fool hath said that in his heart. Shall we go to such men for knowledge from whom Christ is hidden, when the very things they ought to know, they do not know? God help us that while we shall have to communicate more or less with those who have no knowledge of the truth, we may be so grounded and rooted in the truth that nothing can move us. We are to bear rich clusters every day. Why? Because we are converted every day. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 26

Just as surely as you are converted every day, you will be fruitbearing branches—branches full of rich clusters of fruit. And what kind of fruit? The fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, meekness, faith, temperance, and godliness. These are the clusters which grow on that tree. If every one of us is converted, if we remain in connection with the Vine stock every day, we shall bear the fruits of His character. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 27

What we need is, not to boast of our smartness, for this is what keeps us from humbling the heart before God and seeking Him as little children. It is this that brings us into a position where we cannot put ourselves under God and in subjection to His laws. May God help us that we may have a conversion every day of our lives. Those who do this will find that the intellect is strengthened by Him who created it. The mind will grow in the right channel and will be fitting up for heaven. God is trying you now, here, to see how much you think of Him, to see how much you think of His government, to see how much you think of His purposes. God is trying you to see how much you think of the sacrifices He has made in order that souls might be won to Jesus Christ and placed under His blood-stained banner. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 28

I have tested the promises of God. I have proved them. I have proved them in circumstances of trial and peril and persecution. This is what the Lord will do with us if we will but let Him work. We want the simplicity of true godliness. Read again Jeremiah 9:23-24. May God help us to come right into that position where no gem of light need come to us from impure channels, mingled with the remains of evil and heresies and those things that lead in paths which God has not cast up. Rather, we may have the light that comes direct from the throne of God, which will lead us in paths of righteousness, of holiness, of purity and godliness. 7LtMs, Ms 8b, 1891, par. 29