Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 12, 1895

Sermon/Thoughts on 1 Peter Chapter 1

Williamstown, Australia

May 19, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 154, 184-185; AH 32; CG 172, 567-568. +Note

1 Peter 1:1-5. “In the last time.” [Verse 5.] Are we there? Are we not living in the very last days, and is not the Son of man soon to be revealed in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory? Are we ready for the reward that he is to give to the obedient? ready to be revealed in the last time, in the very close of this earth’s history? We read that the earth shall be lightened with the glory of that angel which shall come from heaven, which follows the proclamation of the third angel, which proclamation is the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 1

Well, there is something more to this. “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” [Verses 5, 6.] How is it with us? Have any of us realized anything in regard to these manifold temptations? Have we realized that every step we advance on our way heavenward the evil angels, cooperating with evil men, oppose our advance? Do we realize that not a trial shall come upon a saint, <but that> [he] <will> have power to stand under the trial, which has not sprung out of the earth or come casually, but is in the providence of that God who wants to work out for us individually an experience that is of the highest value for us to stand in this last time? It is of the highest consequence to us that we are prepared for the manifold temptations which shall come upon us; and how shall we be prepared for them? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 2

It says, “We are in heaviness, if need be, through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [Verses 6, 7.] Then why should we seek to find the easy places? Why should we seek to follow the majority? If we follow on to know the Lord, follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, we have to meet the powers of darkness as He met them. We have to endure temptations that He endured; and if we are partakers with Him of His sufferings, we shall be partakers with Him of His glory. Trial is of more value to us than gold, although that gold is purified in the fire. “That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 3

John says, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be.” He calls our attention to the love of God. “Behold what manner of love hath the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not.” [1 John 3:1.] They do not understand the source of our strength. They do not know God nor Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. They do not understand that there is a sufficiency for us in the source of our strength, but they know us not. “Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” [Verse 2.] That is what we are waiting for. We have not presented to any of you any cunningly devised fables. We have presented to you the truth of heavenly origin. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 4

When the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, when it shall be removed as a cottage, when the great men and the proud men, and those that have made the world their god shall cast their idols of gold and silver to the moles and the bats, and shall go into the caves and the dens of the earth, then there will be those who will cry for rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of him that sitteth on the throne and from the Lamb. He goeth out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 5

Now, we are trying to find a refuge, and we have found it, and there is no mistake that we need to make about this matter. We have found the refuge, and that refuge is Jesus Christ. And as we look upon the cross of Calvary, [we] behold the Man who left the royal courts, He was the Majesty of heaven there; He was the King of glory there, and yet as He looked upon the fallen race, why, His heart went out with great longing for fallen humanity. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 6

He saw the power, the deceptive power, of Satan upon human minds, and He engaged to come to this earth. He lays aside the robes of His royalty, He lays off His royal crown, He lays off His high command, He steps down from the throne of His glory as High Commander in all heaven, and clothes His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. That is what He came here for. He came right [down to] our earth to take upon Himself the nature of man, to pass through all the trials, all the afflictions and temptations wherewith man should be beset, and here He wrestled with these temptations, passing over the ground where Adam fell, that He might redeem the disgraceful failure and fall of Adam. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 7

In human nature, as our substitute, as our surety, He laid hold upon the very hope that it is our privilege to take hold of, and that is infinite power. Through this, our Saviour overcame the temptations of the enemy and obtained the victory. For whom? Why, in our behalf. Why? That not one of the members of the human family need to stumble in the road that leads to everlasting life. Because He has travelled it before us, He knows every obstruction, He knows every difficulty that every soul upon the face of the earth must meet. He knows this, and therefore at His baptism, when He offered up His petition to heaven, that prayer cleaved directly through the hellish shadow of Satan that is thrown on your path, that is thrown on my path, and faith entered “into that within the veil.” [Hebrews 6:19.] 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 8

And what was the result of that prayer <such> as angels and seraphim and cherubim had never listened to before. It was their Commander in human nature, that was putting up the cry in behalf of human nature, that God Himself would give the strength that man must have in order to be conqueror. And what was the result? The heaven was opened before him, the glory of God in the form of a dove of burnished gold encircled the Son of man, while the infinite Father speaks. Hear His voice: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16, 17.] Well what does that say to you and me? It tells us that we may, everyone, obtain the victory over every temptation, however severe, however trying, through the merits of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 9

He came to elevate humanity. He took humanity, and His human arm encircles the race, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite, and here He brings to man the moral power. We could never overcome; in our weakness and inefficiency we should certainly fail. But He lays right hold of that which He has a right to as One equal with God. He takes hold of divinity in behalf of you, in behalf of me, and He elevates humanity in the scale of moral value with God, because He has humbled Himself to humanity; and here He glorifies humanity. How? Through a character that will withstand every temptation. Humanity is honored; humanity is glorified, and not one of us need to perish. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 10

If you stumble, it is because of the inherent darkness and unwillingness of your own minds and your own hearts to be obedient to the commandments of God. You wrestle yourself right away from the One who can help you. You take yourself right out of the hands of infinite power. Jesus has come to reveal to the whole universe of heaven, to the worlds unfallen which God has created, and to the world fallen, that humanity can keep the commandments of God. And how? Through the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ; through the power that is imparted to man. Jesus came to our earth and died [as] our sacrifice; in that gift that God made to our world, He gave all heaven. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 11

The whole universe of heaven, the angelic hosts that are waiting for the co-operation of human agents that they may work for the salvation of the fallen world, could not say that God could do more for the fallen race than He has done. He would leave His offer without a competition. He exhausted His resources. The whole [of] heaven, and all the powers that Jesus could obtain and grasp, were at His command and at His control. For whom? For you and me, for the world fallen. Sin is polluting our earth like the pall of death. They [men] do not know Jesus, and they do not know God. We are so sorry, and we will do everything in our power <to win souls to Jesus Christ.> 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 12

We have enlisted under His banner, the banner of Jesus Christ, and we are going to work with Him. And do [you] think that Satan will not oppose our way? Do you think he will not meet us with his hellish army. Why he will work with all the forces that are beneath. Shall we stop because we see the whole world has chosen to be under His banner? No. We have decided that the Captain of our salvation who took down the walls of Jericho without the touch of a human hand, can be with His people. He will arm them with sufficiency; He will arm them with power; He will give them grace that they can walk through the fiery trials that the enemy has prepared wherewith to tempt every soul upon the face of the earth. Now, if you are waiting for the time to come when there will be no temptations, you will wait too long, you will say, The summer is past, the harvest is ended, and my soul is unsaved. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 13

God never sends you a trial but what He suffers it. That [same] God that balanced the everlasting mountains, that placed the hills in position, that [same] God that brings forth the stars by their number, and marshals them in the heavens, has the control of every mind that will give Him that mind. But if they will refuse to give Him that mind, then the enemy takes that mind, and he controls it, [and] they fight under his banner; but for those that come under the subjection of the Prince of Life, every provision is made, and I rejoice that we can be partakers with Christ in His suffering. [When] He took humanity upon Him, it was to bless humanity, and that He might come close to humanity, that He might encircle them in His everlasting arms. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 14

I want to read a little farther. Here is the trial. It is work for the one that will endure that trial to the praise and the honor and the glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. We cannot see what a few souls that have learned to lift the cross will be, but when He shall appear we shall be like Him, and we shall see Him as He is. Now the 8th verse says, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing ....” What? Do we complain all the way to Mount Zion? Do we tell all the trials we have? And do we put on a sad countenance? Do we put sackcloth on us, and complain of all the hardness of the way? Is that the way we are to do? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 15

“Whom having not seen we love; yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” [Verse 8.] Now thank God for that! Thank God for the possibility and the provision that has been made for every one of us that we should represent Christ to our world in our words, in our attitude, in our very countenance that we shall express the love of God, that we should never sow one seed of doubt, complaint, or criticism, nor one seed to bear fruit to our own distrust and the distrust of those that are around us. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 16

We have better work to do. What shall we do? We should walk to the cross of Calvary, and not walk in the shadow of the cross, but we should walk in the light, in the glory that that cross testifies. It is in our behalf that our sins should be taken away, and in the place of our sins, that the righteousness of Christ should be imputed. Therefore, if we have trials, we have a source of rejoicing in it all, because Christ died and lives again, that we may have life in Him, and joy in Him. He is not a Saviour in Joseph’s new tomb. We need not go there to weep and to mourn. No, He is a risen Saviour; He is an exalted Saviour. He rent the tomb of Joseph, and He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life” [John 11:25]; therefore there is not any excuse for a soul of us to continue in sin. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 17

There is not an excuse for one of us to keep on in our disobedience. No, we are to be thankful; we are to praise God every moment; we are to consider that after He has suffered, as He has, the self-denial, the self-sacrifice, after He has suffered all this to work out for us our redemption from the slavery of sin, that we are [not] to continue in it any longer. No, we are to lay right hold upon the merits of the blood of our crucified and risen Saviour, and rejoice, in our trials, that there is One [who] that has wrought out the victory for us, and that we shall never fall under the temptations of the power of the evil one, nor any of his deceptive wiles—they do not have the victory over us. In the eighth verse: “Whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 18

We have a living Saviour. Oh, He is worth everything to me; He is worth everything to you. He is precious above gold and silver and precious stones. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.” [Verses 9, 10.] Who told about it? Jesus Christ inspired those prophets to look down from age to age, from century to century, and there to see every trial that should come upon every one of the human beings whom God has created. “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” [Verse 11.] Why doesn’t Jesus stop and complain to think that He has gone through all this suffering and trial, and yet sp many will take their bitterest foe, and will file under that banner? You cannot afford it. There is not a soul here who can afford to sin. And what is sin? The only testimony in the Bible is [that] it is the transgression of the law. And God has granted unto us this precious probation that we may have an opportunity to come back to our allegiance to God. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 19

Adam lost Eden by disobedience, and now we read right in the words of Christ, right in the last chapter of the New Testament, we read here something that is of the greatest value to us. “And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:12-14.] 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 20

How did Adam lose the tree of life? By disobeying the commandments of God. The Lord is giving us a precious provision to prove and test us whether we will accept Jesus Christ, the offering, and come back to our allegiance to God. And He has something for us to do in this matter. There is not one of us that has seen the truth of heavenly origin that can afford to be careless and indifferent. There are souls to save. There are children in your houses to save. Why, we have a wonderful work to do, and what is it? “Ye are labourers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We are to study how Christ labored. We are to work in Christ’s lines. We are to receive that which is left us; and what is it? He said, “If I go away, I will send you the Comforter.” [John 16:7.] And what is the Comforter? It is the Holy Spirit of God. What is it? It is the representative of Jesus Christ, which comes to every individual of the human family to impress them with the truth. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 21

They can close their ears, and when the invitation, and the bid, comes, “Come for all things are now ready,” why, one begins to make excuse, and says, Why, my merchandise; I cannot come. And another says, I have bought some oxen, and I cannot come. Another, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. They bring in these trivial excuses. And Jesus says, Not one that was bidden and refused shall taste of my supper. Now, we want to be careful about refusing. We want to be careful to accept the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” And He says, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come, that my house may be filled. [Luke 14:17-24.] Compel them. Shall they compel the intellect? The compelling power is the Holy Spirit of God, working with the human agent. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 22

You have opened your heart to Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God has come in to take possession of the human agent. Therefore we can overcome, because Christ is an abiding power in our hearts. He says, I am at your right hand to help you; and He is giving us power every moment that we shall control and not be controlled; we shall sway and not be swayed. And what shall sway us? The Holy Spirit of God. And what will He do? He will bring all things to your remembrance, just when you need it. But if you have made up your mind that you are going to pattern the attributes of the arch deceiver, if you have made up your mind that you are going to follow the world, and that you are going to be on the world’s side, then there will be no compelling. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 23

But [for] everyone that shall behold the cross of Calvary, everyone that shall see Jesus Christ, our righteousness, in His death, and in His sacrifice, there is a compelling power in that. No more can they look at that cross than they can [help but] bow in allegiance to Jesus Christ. What we want is Christ, and not self. We want the controlling power of His Spirit, and we have decided that we cannot afford to lose heaven. It is too precious a treasure; and we cannot afford to lose that life which measures with the life of God. Now what is our work? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 24

Fathers and mothers, are you teaching the commandments of God as He told you to do from the pillar of cloud, as He commanded Moses to teach Israel—when they go out, and when they come in, and when they rise up, and when they sit down. Do you think that the world would be in the condition of crime and criminality it is, if it was not sounded in their ears all through the pulpits of our land that God has not any commandments? Do you think we would see the robberies, the thefts, the adulteries, and every conceivable evil, if the right instruction had been given in our households, if generations back had taught their children the commandments of God? No, no, God cannot work with the efforts of those that are trampling underfoot His law and making it of no account, making it void in our world; but He calls upon us to be missionaries—missionaries for God in your homes. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 25

Take your children, that you have brought into the world without voice or consent of themselves, and place them in the channel of light, instruct them every morning, and teach them to pray, bring them to Jesus Christ as the mothers in the days of Christ brought theirs to Him. Now, these are very simple truths I am telling you, but they are weighty with eternity, and I want you to have ears to hear and minds to understand that the love of God is without a parallel. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 26

Those mothers thought, in the days of Christ, that if they could bring their children to Him, and He could put His hand upon them and bless them, that their burden would be greatly lightened. See that mother starting in the dusty way with her heart burdened because of her children? She sees that the example of wicked men and sinners are on every side. But here is another family. Where are you going? I am going with my little ones to bring them to Christ. And with quivering lips, she tells them the story of her cares and responsibilities, and her tears begin to fall, and she says, My little flock, my children, I want them to keep the commandments of God and live. I want them to be precious in the sight of the Lord. Well, that family joins her and then another and another. When they come to Jesus, there is quite a little army of children, [and] parents, with their little ones in their arms. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 27

Well, the disciples see the little flock coming, and they are very much displeased about it, and they say, What right have they to come here and trouble Christ when He is giving these important lessons? And they forbid them to come to the presence of Christ. He caught that sound; He followed those mothers all the way. He knew all their hearts and purposes, and He was very much displeased with the disciples; and He said, Suffer little children to come to me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven [Matthew 19:14]—just such simplicity as those children have; and those children would be representatives of Jesus Christ. He knew their history, and as He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them, as He encircles the little ones, they fall sweet into His arms, and yet He reaches for those who are around Him. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 28

And as He blesses the children, He looks to the mothers, and gives them a word of consolation. Mothers, the example is for you to follow. Fathers, it is for you to educate your children to be Christians, to be missionaries. Place them where the light and love of Jesus can be in their hearts, and then let them become acquainted with the fact that their little offerings can be presented to Jesus Christ. They can be a little army of missionaries, raised up to forward the work. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 29

I have thought I would like to have seen the influence of these many years of offerings that have been brought in from Sabbath to Sabbath by the Christian endeavor efforts of the little rivulets, to donate for the work in foreign countries. Now they have acted a part in this, thank God. Now we want the children and the youth to be a large army. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 30

We want our homes to be garrisoned, that no temptation of intemperance shall be there. No using of tobacco, no using of wine, no using of liquor of any kind, that there the children shall stand in moral integrity for the right, because it is right. And thus we can keep their minds pure, and the understanding that they can be educated, they can be trained, they can be developed, that they should be workmen for Jesus Christ. That is our business in this world. It is not to study fashion plates; it is not to see how much of treasures and riches we can gather to ourselves, but it is to see what virtues we can teach our children and our families to possess, that they shall have an influence upon other families, and thus we can be an educating power, although we never enter into the desk. A well ordered, a well disciplined family in the sight of God is more precious than fine gold, even than the golden wedge of Ophir. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 31

Now, I could speak to you for hours on these points, and it seems to me I could not be exhausted, for I see its importance. We want the truth as it is in Jesus. We want it for our homes. We do not want a noise, we do not want an idea, but we want the precious truth of heavenly origin. “Sanctify them through thy truth,” Christ prays His Father. “Thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] Now, we want the Word, we want to know what it says, we want to obey it, we want the eternal weight of glory. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 32

We want you to train up your children in the most holy faith, and you want a perfect trust in God. Why should we not trust in Him? Why, He has given everything for us. He left the royal courts for our sakes, and became poor. Now what kind of gratitude do we express to God for all His heavenly gifts? We should not turn everything into ourselves. Shall we consider that we are capable of fashioning our lives and characters to enter into the portals of glory? We cannot do it. We are dependent every moment upon the Spirit of God operating upon us and upon our children. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 33

We have an individuality of our own, and the wife’s individuality is never to be sunk into that of her husband. God is our Creator. We are His by creation, and we are His by redemption. We want to see how much we can render back to God, because He gives us the moral power, He gives us the efficiency, He gives us the intellect; and He wants us to make the most of these precious gifts to His name’s glory. Shall we do it? How shall we do it? Think of the interest that heaven has for the inhabitants of the world for whom Christ has given His precious life. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 34

Angels of God are walking all around in our midst. They are here today. Christ is here today, and He is not the only one. Satan is here, and his angels are here, to take away every particle of influence or effect that the truth shall have. This is his business, this is his work, but shall we allow him to do it? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 35

Let your prayer dart up to heaven right while you are here. You need not bow upon your knees, but you can let the prayer go up to God, “Teach me thy will; give me a submissive heart. Let the melting, subduing power of God come into my heart, cold heart, and break it in pieces, O God, and make me a little child, that I shall be trustful, that I shall believe God means just what He says, that I shall believe He loves me with a whole heaven of love, because He gave a whole heaven for me, and that He will never forsake one who puts their trust in Him.” 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 36

Shall we venture to take Him at His word? Shall we endure the test and trial of our faith? Shall we take our children, and bring them to Jesus Christ in full faith, in full confidence, in full trust, that He will work with their efforts, and with your efforts? But the Lord will not take your children and work a miracle every day against your influence exerted in your homes. He wants your co-operation. He wants you to unite with Him. They are His vineyard. He will ask, What have you done with my flock, my beautiful flock? What have you done with them? Have you educated and trained them for heaven? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 37

Oh, have you opened to them the gates of heaven, mothers? Mothers, the gates are ajar, and I beg of you to gather the light that’s shed from the throne of God, and I beg of you to bring it into your home. It is for you to believe that angels are there. Never let a word be spoken in your home that would make angels weep for your hard-heartedness and wickedness of soul. Never let a word fall that your children shall gather it up, and that they shall carry out the very example and the very principles that you give them in your home. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 38

Had we not better talk of Jesus? Had we not better talk of His redeeming sacrifice, and that they are Christ’s—body, soul, and spirit—that He has bought them at an infinite price? Had we not better tell them what Jesus suffered in order to save them, that He wants them in the very dew of their youth? He wants them to come to Him just as they are, and He will take them, He will wash away their sins, and they shall shine in the courts of the Lord above. Will you do this? Don’t let a day pass over your heads unless you repent of your negligence, unless you tell your children, “I have neglected your salvation. Will you forgive me? Will you help me to save your souls? Will you be submissive? And I will try to overcome my own neglect, my own sins, my own errors, that when I shall enter the gates of the city of God, I shall say, ‘Here am I and the children which thou hast given me.’” 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 39

And what do we see then? Oh, we see a retinue of angels on either side of the gate, and as we pass in, Jesus speaks, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that is prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Matthew 25:34.] Here He tells you to be a partaker of His joy, and what is that? It is the joy of seeing of the travail of your soul, fathers. It is the joy of seeing that your efforts, mothers, are rewarded. Here are your children; the crown of life is upon their heads, and the angels of God immortalize the name of the mothers whose efforts have won their children to Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 40

Here you have the right to perpetuate the memory of Christ, to perpetuate the name of Christ, that the glory of God may be advanced by human lips in praise and glory and thankfulness. God help us to do home missionary work, then we are preparing an army to go forth and work in foreign fields. We are preparing our children that they shall glorify God by putting their arms around the needy, and the oppressed, and the suffering, breaking every yoke, of lifting up the bowed down, of seeking in every way possible to restore the moral image of God in man. Satan is the destroyer, but the human being, under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, is reshaping the character of men, that they shall express the image of God, and at last see Him in His beauty. 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 41

I love Jesus. I see in Him matchless charms. I want everybody to love Him, I want that you should love Him. May God help us to stand at our appointed post of duty. God help us to work, not only for time, but for eternity. Eternity will tell of the work you have done in this life to fashion characters after the divine model, and the “well done” will be your reward. [Verse 21.] God bless you. How many shall we meet around the throne of God? How many here will see the King in His beauty? How many will work and say, Come, and he that heareth say, Come and partake of the waters of life freely? 10LtMs, Ms 12, 1895, par. 42