The Signs of the Times


April 4, 1892

The Christian a Guardian of Sacred Trusts

[From a sermon at Oakland, Cal., November 7, 1891.]


God wants every member of the church to stand faithfully at his post of duty, to realize his responsibility, and create a heavenly atmosphere about his soul by continually gathering the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness to shed upon the pathway of those about him. When you do this, you will be holy in all manner of conversation. You will not indulge in jesting and joking and in trifling conversation, because Christ will then abide in your hearts by faith, and you will have a realizing sense of his sacred presence. ST April 4, 1892, par. 1

We are to be representatives of Christ, as Christ was a representative of the Father. We want to be able to attract souls to Jesus, to point them to the Lamb of Calvary, who taketh away the sin of the world. Christ does not clothe sin with his righteousness, but he removes the sin, and in its place he imputes his own righteousness. When your sin is cleansed, the righteousness of Christ goes before you, and the glory of the Lord is your reward. Your influence will then be decidedly on the side of Christ; for instead of making self a center, you will make Christ a center, and will feel that you are a guardian of sacred trusts. ST April 4, 1892, par. 2

When you remember that Christ has paid the price of his own blood for your redemption and for the redemption of others, you will be moved to catch the bright rays of his righteousness, that you may shed them upon the pathway of those around you. You are not to look to the future, thinking that at some distant day you are to be made holy; it is now that you are to be sanctified through the truth. The prophet exhorts: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” And Jesus says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me ... unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We are to receive the Holy Ghost. We have had an idea that this gift of God was not for such as we are, that the gift of the Holy Spirit was too sacred, too holy for us; but the Holy Spirit is the Comforter that Christ promised to his disciples to bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever he had said unto them. Then let us cease to look to ourselves, but look to him from whom all virtue comes. No one can make himself better, but we are to come to Jesus as we are, earnestly desiring to be cleansed from every spot and stain of sin, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are not to doubt his mercy, and say, “I do not know whether I shall be saved or not.” By living faith we must lay hold of his promise, for he has said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” ST April 4, 1892, par. 3

We are to be witnesses for Christ, reflecting upon others the light which the Lord permits to shine upon us. We are to be as faithful soldiers marching under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. There is to be no indifference, no stupidity among the followers of Christ; for they are to reflect Christ to the world, to serve God with the whole heart, to be watching, waiting, and praying, and not to be ignorant of Satan's devices. The Captain of our salvation knows the plan of the battle, and we shall come off more than conquerors through him. ST April 4, 1892, par. 4

Do not continue to talk of your weakness; for Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, that we might advance step by step in the heavenward way. Let your faith lay hold on the promise of God, and if clouds have encompassed your path, the mists will begin to roll back. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the angels of God are ready to help us in every emergency. What could we do if we were left to battle with the powers of darkness unaided? But God has not left us as a prey to the mighty, for he has provided that his grace shall be our support. ST April 4, 1892, par. 5

To every one of us is committed some sacred responsibility; for we are to show by both precept and example that the Lord is our strength and our Redeemer. By our lives we are to make confession of Christ; but you cannot do this unless you are crucified to self and to the world. The carnal affections and lusts must be denied, or you will never be able to endure the struggle and obtain the victory. You must be able to give the right testimony, and say, “We are abundantly able to go up and possess the goodly land.” What is your condition? Are you putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and making no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof? Or are you settling down into hopeless lethargy and death? ST April 4, 1892, par. 6

The enemy is working with an increasing intensity, and the powers of darkness are uniting with evil men to form a confederacy against the people of God. Shall we be able to meet every assault of the enemy with the sword of the Spirit? Can we follow the example of our Lord at every step, and when tempted to disloyalty to God, say, “It is written.” Our adversary is acquainted with the Bible, and he knows that if you are to stand his fierce assaults of temptation, you will have to wear the armor of Christ's righteousness. We are not safe in placing ourselves on the ground of the enemy, we must keep our feet in the way that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, that we may not be as false lights along the shore. The Saviour has commanded, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” You should never rest until you know how to win souls to Christ, and give all the praise and honor and glory to God for your success. ST April 4, 1892, par. 7

Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may lift us up. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. We must have the Holy Spirit, or we shall not be able to represent Christ to the world. The Lord has said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” ST April 4, 1892, par. 8

Let those engaged in the office of publication remember that they are handling sacred things. Let them remember that the angels of God are round about them. Let them plead that the light of God's Holy Spirit may shine into the chambers of their heart and mind. Through the power of Christ they may be victorious over every besetment. Jesus says: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” ST April 4, 1892, par. 9

How strange it seems that with all the assurances of God's love, with all the manifestation of his power in our behalf, many are cold and indifferent, even among those who profess to believe the truth for this time. They do not bear a ringing, living testimony to the praise of God, for their faith and love have diminished to a feeble flame. Oh, that we all might be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Oh, that we might be as vessels unto the Lord. We want to see all the folly weeded out of the hearts of those who profess to be followers of the Lord, that the joy of the Lord may come in. Jesus has said: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” I desire that you shall be saved with an everlasting salvation. I want you to be around the great white throne triumphant conquerors, to sing, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” and lives again. I want you to be with Jesus, in whose presence there is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures forevermore. There, there will be no sin, no sorrow, no sickness, no death, no burial train, no sound of mourning. Oh, I want to see the King in his beauty. I want to praise him with an immortal tongue. I want to give glory to God, who has provided for us the richest blessings of heaven; for when he gave his Son, he gave all. Heaven's resources were exhausted in Christ, and all the treasures of eternity are at our command through the infinite merit of our Redeemer. ST April 4, 1892, par. 10