The Review and Herald

1552/1902

July 16, 1908

Conflict and Victory

[Sermon at the Workers’ Institute, Oakland, Cal., March 7, 1908.]

(Concluded.)

EGW

The Lord desires us to pray much, and to maintain a firm hold in his divine power. His blessings are to be sought, not merely for our own benefit, but for the benefit of our fellow men. In view of the power of our influence for good or for ill, we can not afford to deviate from the right way; for if we do wrong, we may lead some one else astray. “Make straight paths for your feet,” writes the apostle Paul, “lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” If with clear, sanctified vision, we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, and walk by faith, we shall not stumble and fall. By beholding, we shall become changed into the likeness of the divine. RH July 16, 1908, par. 1

Our Saviour laid aside his royal robe and kingly crown, and left the glories of heaven to come to this world. He clothed his divinity with humanity. He designed that the fallen humanity might touch his humanity, and receive from him power to be partakers of the divine nature, and to overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. He is our pattern, and I beseech of you, my brethren, to lay hold of the power that is ours through the union of the divine and the human in Christ. He overcame for us, and we may claim his merits. We may plead his power, his virtue. And as we co-operate with him, and live in harmony with his law, he will cleanse our natures from sin, and impart to us his righteousness. RH July 16, 1908, par. 2

The world is to be warned of the impending judgments of God that precede the second coming of Christ. Those who know the truth should be taught to labor earnestly for their neighbors and friends. Special efforts must be put forth in behalf of those who do not know the truth. As we ourselves learn more and more how to overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of our testimony, we shall labor to help those who are weak, and who have been unable to overcome. RH July 16, 1908, par. 3

There are many who have never heard from the Word the reasons for our faith; and yet some of our ministers feel a burden to hover over little companies of believers in an effort to hold them together. The best way to hold them together is to induce them to maintain a living connection with God, and to exert their influence in seeking to draw others to him. It is our work to help others to place their feet upon the right foundation, and to understand their duty through a prayerful study of the Scriptures. RH July 16, 1908, par. 4

Satan knows that his time is short, and he is putting forth every effort in his power to destroy our faith in God and in his Word. His agencies are following us constantly, seeking to induce us to follow his plans, and to take a wrong course in word and deed. But if we will grasp the power that Christ offers, seeking the Lord diligently, and watching unto prayer, we shall have all power and wisdom to meet the attacks of the enemy. RH July 16, 1908, par. 5

Many of our people do not seem to realize that the time has come for every one to take his stand positively on the side of Jesus Christ and the heavenly angels. By their indifference, by carelessness in word and act, they leave themselves open to the molding influences of the enemy. They seem asleep as regards the issues that are now before the world. RH July 16, 1908, par. 6

A View of the Conflict

I wish to read to you the description of a scene that passed before me not many years ago. This is published in Testimonies for the Church 8:41-43: RH July 16, 1908, par. 7

“In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world's insignia; the other was led by the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust, as company after company of the Lord's army joined the foe, and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God. An angel flying in the midst of heaven put the standard of Emmanuel into many hands, while a mighty general cried out with a loud voice: ‘Come into line. Let those that are loyal to the commandments of God and the testimony of Christ now take their position. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters. Let all who will come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.’ RH July 16, 1908, par. 8

“The battle raged. Victory alternated from side to side. Now the soldiers of the cross gave way, ‘as when a standard-bearer fainteth.’ Isaiah 10:18. But their apparent retreat was but to gain a more advantageous position. Shouts of joy were heard. A song of praise to God went up, and angels voices united in the song, as Christ's soldiers planted his banner on the walls of fortresses till then held by the enemy. The Captain of our salvation was ordering the battle, and sending support to his soldiers. His power was mightily displayed, encouraging them to press the battle to the gates. He taught them terrible things in righteousness, as he led them to step by step, conquering and to conquer. RH July 16, 1908, par. 9

“At last the victory was gained. The army following the banner with the inscription, ‘The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,’ was gloriously triumphant. The soldiers of Christ were close beside the gates of the city, and with joy the city received her King. The kingdom of peace and joy and everlasting righteousness was established. RH July 16, 1908, par. 10

“Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family; clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving,—the robe of Christ's righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will shout in proclaiming, ‘There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.’ RH July 16, 1908, par. 11

“This is the scene that is presented to me. But the church must and will fight against seen and unseen foes. Satan's agencies in human form are on the ground. Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave his place of intercession before the mercy-seat, and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is not time for the people of God to be weaklings. We can not afford to be off our guard for one moment. RH July 16, 1908, par. 12

“‘Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’” RH July 16, 1908, par. 13

As I see representations of the terrible conflict that is now waging, and realize that those who are victorious will be with their Lord forevermore, I feel as if I can not spare myself. I must do all I can to help others win the victory and the crown of life. I am now in my eighty-first year, and yet I can not lay down the burden. My pen is in my hand almost constantly, except when I am in attendance at some meeting. I am always glad when I can have the privilege of speaking to a company of people, in the hope that the words I speak will be received, and will exert an influence for good upon life and character. RH July 16, 1908, par. 14

Since my return from Australia, I have felt a great burden for the work in Oakland. Frequently the Lord has revealed to me, as an indication of unfaithfulness on the part of his people, the little that is being done in our large cities. In the camp-meetings and tent-meetings that have been held in Oakland, I have stood before our own people, and with most earnest entreaties have labored to persuade them to give the truth to those who know it not. But many in our churches say, “We want your labors; we want you to preach to us.” Let those who believe the truth, go out and preach it. Let them practise it before their neighbors. The Lord calls upon you, my brethren, to gain a deep, living experience in the things of God. There are sacrifices that we must make. Shall we let the multitudes who know nothing of the truth, perish in their sins, unwarned? Satan is planning to hold these souls fast. He is seeking to hedge up our opportunities for reaching them. But the God of heaven is also at work in their behalf. As you seek to labor for them, his angels will go before you to prepare their hearts, and the same heavenly agencies will go with you as you visit them, to tell them of the sin-pardoning Saviour. RH July 16, 1908, par. 15

Who will now carry this burden? In view of the great needs all about us, who can be content to hover over our own churches, neither gaining nor imparting strength? Let those who have a living connection with God, go out and labor for unbelievers. We do not call for those who are half asleep to go in their present condition, but we beseech them to awake, to lay hold of the arm of infinite strength, and then go forth speaking the words of life. RH July 16, 1908, par. 16

Let us now seek God with all the heart, that we may find him. For your soul's sake, I ask you to resist the devil. The promise is that he will flee from you. Put on the whole armor of righteousness, and press the battle to the gates. Heavenly angels will be with you to minister to your needs. You can speak the words of truth, and they will make an impression upon the heart. RH July 16, 1908, par. 17

How many of those present will now take a position on the Lord's side, enlisting to fight the good warfare? Ask the Saviour to anoint your eyes with the heavenly eyesalve, that you may have spiritual discernment. Break with the enemy, and come into line with the soldiers of Jesus Christ, and with heavenly angels. Here is a world perishing in sin. I beg of you, for Christ's sake, to work along right lines. RH July 16, 1908, par. 18

Are there those who will pledge themselves to live a life of prayer, ceasing to find fault, ceasing to criticize their brethren, and striving henceforth to be colaborers with Christ Jesus? There are souls to be saved, and we can not afford to lay stumbling-blocks in one another's way. Now we ask you to seek the Lord with all thy heart. Will those who are determined to cut loose from every temptation of the enemy, and to seek for heaven above, signify such determination by rising to their feet. [Nearly all of the congregation present responded.] RH July 16, 1908, par. 19

We desire that every one of you shall be saved. We desire that for you the gates of the city of God shall swing back on their glittering hinges, and that you, with all the nations who have kept the truth, may enter in. There we shall give praise and thanksgiving and glory to Christ and to the Father evermore, even forever and ever. May God help us to be faithful in his service during the conflict, and overcome at last, and win the crown of life eternal. RH July 16, 1908, par. 20

[Praying] My Heavenly Father, I come to thee at this time, just as I am, poor and needy, and dependent upon thee. I ask thee to give me and give this people the grace that perfects Christian character. Wilt thou have compassion upon this people? Let thy light shine into the chambers of the mind, and into the soul-temple. My Saviour, thou hast given thy life to purchase thine inheritance, that, as overcomers, they may enter the kingdom of God, where they shall go no more out forever. Bless those who have signified their desire to serve thee. Put thy Spirit upon them. RH July 16, 1908, par. 21

I ask thee, Heavenly Father, to let thy Holy Spirit come to this people. May thy salvation be revealed. Touch their hearts, and make them very tender. Soften them by thy Holy Spirit, and help them to see the work to be done for their neighbors, and for souls that are perishing all around them. O awaken them to their responsibilities! May they wash their robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Wilt thou encircle them in the arms of thy mercy? Plead with them through the impressions of thy Holy Spirit, that they may try to let their light shine to those that have not known the truth. Put thy church in order, O Lord, that they may labor for souls. RH July 16, 1908, par. 22

My Saviour, reveal thyself to this people. Let thy love be expressed—O let it be revealed! Hold thy people, that Satan may not have his will and way with them. Help them to press through all opposition, that at last they may lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus in the city of God; and thy name shall have all the glory. Amen. RH July 16, 1908, par. 23