The Review and Herald

618/1902

May 3, 1892

Christ's Instruction to His Followers

[Sermon at North Fitzroy, Australia, January 9, 1892.]

(Concluded.)

EGW

Text.—“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” RH May 3, 1892, par. 1

Brethren and sisters,

Have you the power to endure? Young men and women, are you growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ, so that when the crisis comes, you cannot be separated from the Source of your strength? If we would stand during the time of test, we must now, in the time of peace, be gaining a living experience in the things of God. We must now learn to understand what are the deep movings of the Spirit of God. Christ must be our all and in all, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. RH May 3, 1892, par. 2

We should have a realizing sense of the presence of Christ; if our trust is in him, and our lives in harmony with his will, he will be at our right hand, that we shall not be moved. But let the transgressor understand that Christ is a witness to all deeds of evil. He knows every act of dishonesty, every prevarication, every unrighteous thought and imagination. The psalmist exclaims, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” The Lord is acquainted with us, and how glad should we be that this is so; for we need his watchful eye upon us. “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” We all should take our troubles to Jesus, and tell him all our difficulties, that he may pour in the balm of Gilead, and give us the oil of joy for the spirit of mourning. We may present all our wants to him, and ask him for strength of body as well as for clearness of mind and peace of soul. RH May 3, 1892, par. 3

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.” Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart. The Lord said: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The carnal heart is in harmony with the prince of evil, and it will lead you to the indulgence of self, not to suffering for Christ's sake. You must continually deny self, for self-indulgence will rob you of your nourishment in Christ Jesus. You are to abide in him. Jesus says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” If we are to stand through the time of trial, we should now be learning what it is to draw from the Fountain of life. RH May 3, 1892, par. 4

“And when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” You are not to expose yourselves when it is not necessary for the glory of God, and have your life cut short when there is no occasion. When you are endangered because of the spirit of persecution, seek another refuge. This is what Jesus did, and there are other places beside the one in which you are, where God will manifest his power through your efforts for the salvation of souls. The follower of Christ is called upon to practice self-denial for Christ's sake, and to be partaker of his humiliation and sufferings. He bore reproach for us, will we bear shame for him? He gave himself for us; what will we give for him? What are we doing for the Master? “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” RH May 3, 1892, par. 5

“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” Does not Christ give you messages when you enter into your closet to commune with him? He knows whether your prayers ascend from a polluted heart or whether they are prompted by love to him, whether you desire some selfish gratification, or whether in humility you come to him for grace and power to glorify the Master. If you come to Christ in sincerity and humility, the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the precious words of Christ, and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. As Christ sheds his light upon your pathway, you are to reflect its bright rays to others. RH May 3, 1892, par. 6

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” We are not to think that we can have an easy time. But “what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” We shall have respect unto the recompense of the reward, and esteem the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of this world. The fear of God should ever be before our eyes, in all our business transactions, in all the concerns of life. We cannot engage in unnecessary traffic with unbelievers without becoming like them in spirit; for by beholding, we become changed. As followers of Christ, we cannot afford to grasp for the wealth of the world. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Those who would have earthly riches at the expense of heavenly riches, sell themselves at a cheap market. A business man said to my husband, “Elder White, with such powers of mind as you possess, you should not be engaged in the work you are now doing, burying your talents in the service of the Adventists. You should occupy a position where your talent would be recognized and rewarded. I will pay you a large remuneration for your services, if you will engage yourself to me.” But my husband said: “If you would heap gold upon this table as high as the ceiling, it would be no temptation to me. I am living for the immortal inheritance, for the eternal substance, for the life that measures with the life of God.” If we love Jesus, we shall hold him and his service supreme, and shall desire his approval more than the applause of the whole world. We will not deny our Lord by selling ourselves to the world for any price. “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price,” even the precious blood of the Son of God. RH May 3, 1892, par. 7

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” Think of it, not one of these little brown sparrows that are caroling forth their praises to God will fall to the ground without the notice of the heavenly Father. Not one of these little brown sparrows that the boys so ruthlessly kill, drops to the ground but his eye marks its fall. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” If God cares for a sparrow that has no soul, how will he care for the purchase of the blood of Christ? One soul is worth more than all the world. For one soul Jesus would have passed through the agony of Calvary that that one might be saved in his kingdom. “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” RH May 3, 1892, par. 8

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” We have a different confession to make from that which we have made; and we shall have to make it under different circumstances. The three Hebrews were called upon to confess Christ in the face of the burning fiery furnace. They had been commanded by the king to fall down and worship the golden image which he had set up, and threatened that if they would not, they should be cast alive into the fiery furnace, but they answered, “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” It cost them something to confess Christ, for their lives were at stake. Then the king commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than it is was wont to be heated, and the faithful children of God were cast into the furnace. “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” RH May 3, 1892, par. 9

How did Nebuchadnezzar know that the form of the fourth was like the Son of God? He had heard of the Son of God from the Hebrew captives that were in his kingdom. They had brought the knowledge of the living God who ruleth all things. Then Nebuchadnezzar called forth the servants of God, and they had not so much as the smell of fire upon them. If you are called to go through the fiery furnace for Christ's sake, Jesus will be at your side. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walketh through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” RH May 3, 1892, par. 10

A confession of Christ means something more than bearing testimony in social meeting. Daniel is an example to believers as to what it means to confess Christ. He held the responsible position of prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon, and there were those who were envious of Daniel among the great men of the court, and they wanted to find something against him that they might bring an accusation against him to the king. But he was a faithful statesman, and they could find no flaw in his character or life. “Then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” So they agreed together to ask the king to make a decree that no one should ask any petition of any God or man for thirty days save of the king, and if any disobeyed this decree, he was to be cast into the den of lions. But did Daniel cease to pray because this decree was to go into force!—No, that was just the time when he needed to pray. “When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and, his window being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Daniel did not seek to hide his loyalty to God. He did not pray in his heart, but with his voice, aloud, with his window open toward Jerusalem, he offered up his petition to heaven. Then his enemies made their complaint to the king, and Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. But the Son of God was there. The angel of the Lord encamped round about the servant of the Lord, and when the king came in the morning, and called, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.” No harm had come to him, and he magnified the Lord God of heaven. RH May 3, 1892, par. 11

We may know that if our life is hid with Christ in God, when we are brought into trial because of our faith, Jesus will be with us. When we are brought before rulers and dignitaries to answer for our faith, the Spirit of the Lord will illuminate our understanding, and we shall be able to bear a testimony to the glory of God. And if we are called to suffer for Christ's sake, we shall be able to go to prison trusting in him as a little child trusts in its parents. Now is the time to cultivate faith in God. RH May 3, 1892, par. 12