The Review and Herald


December 13, 1906

The Work in Oakland and San Francisco—No. 3


Sabbath afternoon, October 20, I felt impelled by the Spirit of God to appeal once more to our brethren and sisters living in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and San Francisco, to rise nobly to their high privileges, and fulfil the purpose that God desires to work through them. I spoke in the Oakland church, as follows: RH December 13, 1906, par. 1

In the fifteenth of Romans the apostle Paul declares: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” RH December 13, 1906, par. 2

Mark especially the words, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” O, that these words might sink deep into the heart of every one who thinks he is doing God's service while finding fault with others! This is the weakness, the besetting sin, of many in this congregation, and our great desire is that you shall get rid of this evil before the Lord gets rid of you. The reproaches with which we reproach the servants of the Lord, fall upon Christ himself. RH December 13, 1906, par. 3

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” RH December 13, 1906, par. 4

We are to be Bible Christians. We are to study the Word, and to carry out this Word in every particular. Then we shall know that Christ Jesus is our efficiency, our healer, our strength, our front-guard and our rearward. Then we shall have the help and the power that God alone can give. RH December 13, 1906, par. 5

God desires that his commandment-keeping people shall stand on vantage-ground. He desires that they shall stand before him without fault. In order to do this, they must perfect holy characters through the merits of Christ. They must look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. As they become changed into his image, the salvation of God will be revealed through them, and unbelievers will be converted. Unbelievers will see and understand that God's Word means something to those who claim to believe it. RH December 13, 1906, par. 6

“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.” Why? That we shall be of a great variety of minds?—O, no! The apostle exhorts you to be “likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” RH December 13, 1906, par. 7

What does this injunction entail?—It places us under obligation to God. It leaves us where we must understand that we are amenable to him alone. It leads us to realize that when the Holy Spirit is abiding in our hearts and working through us, we shall love one another, in the place of manifesting animosity toward one another. RH December 13, 1906, par. 8

My dear brethren and sisters, God is not pleased with a spirit of criticism and faultfinding. We must humble our hearts daily before God, and seek for a new conversion, that we may be brought into right relationship with Christ Jesus. Those who are striving to keep the commandments of God, ought to be in harmony, and to show a spirit of humility and love. God is not in any of the differences that are so apparent. He does not inspire words of faultfinding. He is now calling upon us to humble ourselves under the hand of the Almighty, in order that he may lift us up. RH December 13, 1906, par. 9

The apostle continues: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.” RH December 13, 1906, par. 10

God's people are to stand as lights in the world. They are to realize that upon them rests the solemn responsibility of reflecting rays of light upon the pathway of those who are not keeping the commandments of God. Christ himself has declared, “Ye are the light of the world.” We are to seek to be light-bearers. And when the light of divine truth shines forth with distinctness from the words and works of God's children, will there be seen any quarreling, any backbiting, among the light-bearers? The world will see no dissension in the lives of those from whom the light of heaven is shed abroad. Brethren and sisters, as you let your light shine before men, they will “see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As the result of these good works, an influence will go forth that will bring salvation to those who behold it. God desires us to keep our light constantly shining. RH December 13, 1906, par. 11

In the night season God has revealed to me the spiritual condition of the church-members living in Oakland and the near-by cities. A large standard was uplifted at a time when many were complaining and finding fault and speaking to the detriment of one another; and this standard was turned around until it appeared before them as a great looking-glass, from the face of which every one who looked saw reflected himself with all his faults and sins. The whole erring company, convicted of the sinfulness of their course, prostrated themselves before God, and immediately began to confess their own wrong-doing; and, O, what a scene of repentance and confession there was! A most wonderful cleansing of the camp followed, and the mighty power of God was revealed. RH December 13, 1906, par. 12

I shall never be satisfied until just such an experience comes into the church here. We want to see the salvation of our God. We want the truth to go forth with mighty power; and why, O why, do we continue to stand in the way? Why do we grieve the Holy Spirit of God? Why do we put him to open shame, by carrying with us our selfish, unconverted dispositions, and yet all the while claiming to be Christians? God grant that every one of us may have clear eyesight to discern what we can do, by looking unto Jesus and by realizing how our course must appear in his sight, and how he must regard envy and strife. God help us to put away our individual defects of character. We want to see the power of God revealed in this community. If it were not for this, I should not leave my home and come down here to speak to you so often. But night after night I can not sleep more than a few hours; and often, in the hours of the night I find myself sitting up in bed, praying to God in behalf of those who do not realize their spiritual condition; and then I arise and walk the room, and say, O Lord, set thy people in order, before it shall be everlastingly too late! RH December 13, 1906, par. 13

At times during these seasons of intercession, when the burden rests heavily, my heart is drawn out with great longing, and the tears start from my eyes, and I wring my hands before God, because I know there are souls in peril in the churches at Oakland and near-by places,—souls who, in their condition of mind, know no more regarding how they stand before God than they would know had they never professed religion. RH December 13, 1906, par. 14

God desires that every one of us shall be susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit, by which we shall be fashioned into the likeness of the Divine. There remains now only a little while in which we can work to save our own souls and the souls of others; and all that God has given us should be cleansed and sanctified to his service. We should clear the King's highway, in order that God's messengers shall not be impeded as they try to advance. We should come into working order, and into perfect unity with one another. Let us, in tenderness, “admonish one another,” and seek to help one another. Let us pray with one another, and put away everything that would keep us from entering into and following that narrow path which leads to life everlasting. RH December 13, 1906, par. 15

O, that every soul would prostrate himself before God, yielding himself unreservedly to him, and solemnly vowing that with Heaven's help he will henceforth keep his lips from all guile; that he will keep the life sanctified; that in every word and act he will honor and glorify the Lord! If thorough work were done, what a missionary company we should have with which to work these cities! O, what numbers we could have to send into places where the people have never heard the third angel's message! RH December 13, 1906, par. 16

As you engage heartily in this work, the converting power of God will be revealed. Your own hearts will be softened and subdued under the influence of the Holy Spirit. RH December 13, 1906, par. 17

There is a great work to be done, and many are unready to engage in sacred service. The judgments of God are soon coming upon all our cities, and I desire that we shall all be prepared. I greatly desire that we shall confess our sins, and be converted. If any of you desire to have your hearts softened and broken before God, it is best for you to clear the King's highway this afternoon, without delay. Prepare the heart for the reception of the Holy Spirit, that it may have free course in the entire being. Open the door of the soul-temple, and let the Saviour in. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock,” he says. “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” RH December 13, 1906, par. 18

We ought to long with all the heart for a thorough reconversion, that the truth may be enthroned in heart and mind, and that, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, we may be prepared to present the third angel's message before others who need it so much. Now is our opportunity. May God help us, that we may be converted. RH December 13, 1906, par. 19

Dear brethren and sisters, if there are any of you who desire to say anything this afternoon, be free to speak. Are you ready to rededicate yourselves to God? Christ is ready; he is waiting, watching, longing. Angels are in this room. Wicked angels are here, and holy angels are here. Which side shall gain the victory over your heart here today, my brother, my sister? These are the hours of the Sabbath; you can not spend them any better than by clearing the King's highway. Remove the root of bitterness from your heart. Do not break off the top of it. Root it out, lest springing up again, many shall be defiled. You can not afford to be content with half-hearted work. Dig it out by the roots; and then God will help you to be reconverted. RH December 13, 1906, par. 20

As I spoke these and many like words to the brethren and sisters assembled, I felt the power of God thrilling me through and through. My talk was followed by a social meeting, and before the service closed, I offered a prayer to God for his converting power to rest upon those who are not yet prepared to co-operate with God and their brethren, in the special efforts now being put forth. RH December 13, 1906, par. 21

As we arose from prayer, the whole congregation united in singing one of my favorite hymns, “Jesus, Lover of my soul.” A deep solemnity seemed to pervade the entire assembly as the people separated to return to their homes. We hope for better days as the result of this meeting. RH December 13, 1906, par. 22