The Review and Herald

524/1902

April 15, 1890

“I Will Keep Thee From the Hour of Temptation”

[Sermon at Battle Creek, Mich.]

EGW

Text: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” RH April 15, 1890, par. 1

These words are important and solemn, and it would be profitable to us should we take them home with us, and search the Scriptures in reference to their true meaning. The hour of temptation is to come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth; and although we do not wish to make a time of trouble for ourselves, nor do we wish to groan over trials in the future, still we should be so closely connected with God that we shall not fall under the temptation when it does come. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” RH April 15, 1890, par. 2

The Lord will raise up a standard for us against the enemy. We should believe that we have a helper in God, that we shall not be afraid, we shall not be filled with wonder and amazement; for we know that the God of Israel has been with his people from the very first—from the very infancy of this world God has been with his obedient children. We must show that we have confidence in God, and make it manifest to the world that we can trust him because we believe in him. His word is pledged that there shall no temptation come upon us, but that help shall be provided to sustain us. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” RH April 15, 1890, par. 3

We should be watching unto prayer. Just as surely as we do watch and pray, we shall know who is our helper. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” He is ready to strengthen us; and may the Lord give you grace day by day, that you may be able to withstand the storm that is coming, for it will try your spiritual hope to the very uttermost. If your hope is in man, you are lost; if in Jesus, who is the Rock of Ages, your salvation is sure. He has said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues: and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my name's sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” We ought to be thankful that these words are left on record. Every child of God that is brought into difficulty and trial because of his faithfulness to Jesus, may claim the promise, and will receive sufficient grace for every emergency. RH April 15, 1890, par. 4

We are only selfishly wise when we plan for the future, and make resolutions and bring them in, and we ourselves arrange matters, as we think in all wisdom; for in so doing we are in danger of getting in the way of the Lord. Stand out of the way with your many resolutions, and when the time comes for God to bring his people into trying places to test and prove them, he will help them, and he will not fail or be discouraged, but will be a present help in trouble. RH April 15, 1890, par. 5

We read in the Scriptures, “But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues: and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my name's sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.” Kings, governors, and councils are to have a knowledge of the truth through your testimony. This is the only way in which the testimony of light and truth can reach men of high authority. “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of the Father that speaketh in you.” Christ stood by the side of Luther, and by the side of all the Reformers whom he commissioned to go forth and make aggressive moves to advance the message of God in our world. He did not send them forth alone. Jesus has promised to be at your right hand. What a gracious promise is this, and it will be fulfilled; for he is faithful that hath promised. Jesus is yours, and all things in heaven and earth are his, and yours because you believe in him. RH April 15, 1890, par. 6

We should become acquainted with the Bible. We are required to become diligent Bible students, lest we be found adopting error for truth. We want the truth as it is in Jesus. He says, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of the Father that speaketh in you.” You need not be surprised that God will flash the knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures, into your memory at the very time when it is needed. But if you let the precious moments of probationary time pass, and neglect to fill your minds and the minds of your children with the gems of truth, if you are not acquainted with the words of Christ, if you have never tested the power of his grace in trial, you cannot expect that the Holy Spirit will bring Christ's words to your remembrance. We are to serve God daily with our undivided affection, and then trust him. RH April 15, 1890, par. 7

We read, “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” You must carry Christ with you to the very close of probationary time, and let no man take your crown; keep an eye single to the glory of God, and stand as did Paul, believing that God has power to keep that which has been committed to his trust against that day. In believing that God will keep that which has been committed to his trust, we show confidence in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But we desire you to understand what you are to do at the present time. You are to keep your eye single to the glory of God. There is too much talk and too little prayer. A great deal more is spoken of things that we think we know and understand, than should be spoken, because our knowledge is only superficial. There should be more humble trust and confidence in our Saviour. We should have the simplicity of Christ; we want to be like him, having our lives hid with Christ in God, that “when Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” RH April 15, 1890, par. 8

We expect trials to come in these last days; we are not looking for anything else; but may God give us grace that we may endure the trials when they do come, and not faint under persecution. We do not desire to be in a position where we shall have no strength at that time. Then let us become acquainted with God now. Many in this congregation are ignorant of God's grace and power and matchless love, because they have allowed the enemy to do just what he designed to do—to intercept himself between them and their God. RH April 15, 1890, par. 9

There will be an effort made to unsettle the faith of every believer in present truth. Since Satan fell from heaven, he has been trampling underfoot the word of God, and putting something of his own devising in its place. His work has been accepted as the work of God. When the legislature frames laws which exalt the first day of the week, and put it in the place of the seventh day, the device of Satan will be perfected. RH April 15, 1890, par. 10

If man had always kept the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, there never would have been an atheist or an infidel in the world. Through the fourth commandment, the attention of men is called to the power of the infinite hand that placed the stars in the firmament. If they had obeyed this commandment, they would have worshiped God, as they looked at the sun that rules the day, and the moon which rules the night. Everything in nature,—the tints and coloring that he has given to every opening bud and every blooming flower, the lofty tree, the grass that clothes the earth in its green mantle, would have spoken to the soul, bidding us to remember God and the commandment in which he says that he created all these in six days and rested on the seventh day, and hallowed the Sabbath day which he had made. He blessed man, and gave the Sabbath to him to be observed as a memorial of his creative power. But Satan has come in, and shown himself the decided enemy of man, and he seeks to make of none effect the work of God, and get in every conceivable thing of human origination, to hide God and his glory from our sight. The man of sin, it is declared in Daniel, “shall think to change times and laws,” And is not this very work done now? Is he not seeking to change times and laws? RH April 15, 1890, par. 11

He cannot do this, because God's holy law is as unchangeable as his throne, and is from everlasting to everlasting. Christ has said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” But the question of Sabbath and Sunday observance is to be agitated everywhere, and the deceptions of Satan will flood the world. The man of sin has instituted a spurious sabbath, and the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy and cradled and nurtured it. Satan means to make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of the fornication of Babylon. Men are binding themselves together in bonds of union to show their disloyalty to the God of heaven. The first day of the week is to be exalted and presented to all for observance. Shall we be partakers of this cup of abomination? Shall we bow to the authorities of earth and despise God? The powers of darkness have been gathering their forces to bring this crisis about in the world, so that the man of sin may exalt himself above God. God does not force the conscience of any man, but the powers of darkness have been trying to compel the consciences of men ever since Abel fell under the murderous blow from the hand of pitiless Cain because Abel's works were righteous and his own were sinful. God had respect unto the offering of Abel, but he had no respect for Cain's offering, and this made Cain very angry, and the Lord said, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” God was not at fault that Cain's offering was not respected. It was valueless because it was destitute of the thing that gave it virtue, and that was the blood that was to be shed for the sins of the world,—the blood of Jesus Christ. RH April 15, 1890, par. 12

Satan is ever seeking to bring about a state of things in which righteousness may be termed unrighteousness, and unrighteousness righteousness. What are we to do?—We are to keep in living connection with the God of heaven, ranking in his army and under his banner, and we cannot afford to be in such gross blindness that we cannot discern truth from error. We want to know what is truth. Many say, “The whole world is keeping the first day of the week, and do you think that all the great and good men are in error?” God is going to bring around a condition of things where the good men and the men in authority will have an opportunity to know what is truth indeed. And because a people will not bow the knee to the image, and receive the mark of the beast in the hand or the forehead, but will stand to the truth because it is truth, there will be oppression, and an attempt to compel the conscience; but those who have known the truth will be afraid to yield to the powers of darkness. God has a people who will not receive the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead. God has a place for his people to fill in this world, to reflect light. You are God's sentinels. Christ says of his people, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” We are to stand the trial and test of persecution because of allegiance to the truth. Not a move has been made in exalting the idol sabbath, in bringing around Sunday observance through legislation, but Satan has been behind it, and has been the chief worker; but the conscience should not be compelled even for the observance of the genuine Sabbath, for God will accept only willing service. The question is asked, Shall we not obey the powers that be?—Yes, when they are in harmony with the higher powers that be. God made his law for all the universe. He created man, he gives the bounteous provisions of nature, holds our breath and life in his hand. He is to be recognized, his law honored, before all the great men and the highest earthly powers. RH April 15, 1890, par. 13