The Review and Herald


April 8, 1909

The Need of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives

[Sermon preached at Oakland, Cal., Monday, February 8.]



The gift of the Holy Spirit is promised to all who believe. But we shall find that it makes every difference whether or not we bear a living testimony in character, in mind, in intellect, and serve the Lord with full purpose of heart as we work to bring the light of truth to souls in every place. RH April 8, 1909, par. 1

There are places that have never yet been entered with the message of truth. Our camp-meetings in many instances have been held in the same place again and again. The Lord wants us to make a change in this respect. He wants us to work so that the truth will come to all ears and to all hearts, that the world may know what we believe. There are many, many places where such meetings should be held. Perhaps in these places fewer will come out to hear the word, but it is our duty to take the truth to these new places, letting the light of truth shine to every soul possible. When we follow the directions of the Lord, the workings of his Spirit will be seen among us. God will bless the speakers, giving them the words that are essential to the needs of the people, and that will lead them to take hold of the living promises of God, and to enjoy an experience similar to that which those enjoyed who were led to accept Christ by the teachings of the disciples on the day of Pentecost. RH April 8, 1909, par. 2

The Prince of heaven, he who was one with the Father in the creation of the world, came to our world to labor for the salvation of men. He laid off his royal robes and glorious crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and that divinity might lay hold of the strength of Omnipotence. In this strength he could successfully wrestle with the powers of darkness. Often in his labors, when opposition grew strong, and his enemies would have taken him, he said to his disciples, “Let us go to another place; my time has not yet come.” By this he meant that the time of his final suffering and the closing of his earthly work had not yet come. So he would leave the city, and start out for the fields. There company after company would join him until thousands were listening to his words. RH April 8, 1909, par. 3

We read of one occasion when five thousand men besides women and children were gathered to hear him. When the day was far spent, the disciples came to the Saviour, and urged him to send the people away. Some were fainting by the way, and they had nothing to eat. To the question of Christ, “What food have you?” the reply was given, “Five barley loaves, and two small fishes.” “Bring them hither to me,” said Christ, and then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he handed to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. The hungry multitude ate of the food provided, until all were satisfied. While the food was being passed from hand to hand, the wonderful miracle was wrought that converted that small supply into sufficient to feed so great a multitude. Then said Christ, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” “And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.” RH April 8, 1909, par. 4

Just such experiences as this in spiritual lines will come to us as we work in faith and obedience to God. As we seek to proclaim the truth for this time, angels of God will be present to minister to the hearts of the people. These heavenly angels are all around us, waiting for opportunities to impress the minds of the people, that they in turn may become instruments in carrying the truth to other souls. RH April 8, 1909, par. 5

My brethren and sisters, we need to be converted. We need the power of the living God to come upon us, for many of us are without spiritual strength. Let us begin to put forth earnest efforts to carry the truth to places where it is needed. Let us seek for the souls that are perishing around us. Christ is a living Christ today. He is waiting to impart his great grace, his salvation and truth, to all who will seek for it with the simplicity of a child. We can not do anything to help ourselves, for we are poor mortals beset with temptations on the right hand and on the left. But with the help that Christ will give us, we may become established in the doctrines of the Word, and give its teachings to others. As we explain the Word of God, heavenly angels will be present to minister grace to the speaker and to the hearers. RH April 8, 1909, par. 6

Our hearts need to be softened by the Holy Spirit of God. Our own will and ways, our own inclinations and education, will mold and fashion us so that our message to the people will have but little effect. The Lord desires that our hearts shall be subdued by the grace of Christ. He would have us susceptible to the influences of his Holy Spirit. RH April 8, 1909, par. 7

The Holy Spirit is an educating power wherever it is found. To have the higher education is to have the religion of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit of God. It is to have close friendship with God, to be in that place where we can have communion with him, and work under the ministration of his Spirit. The reason why I have been so anxious that we should open our proposed new training-school in California is that many youth may be encouraged to seek for this higher education. We want this school to be altogether different from many of the schools that have been established among us. It is to pattern after the schools of the prophets. We want that here the higher education shall be understood and sought for,—the education that comes from Christ and is imparted by God to his people. RH April 8, 1909, par. 8

We are to teach the youth how to learn of God, how to overcome their unhappy temperaments, how to cling to the Mighty One, that when the gates of the city of God are thrown back on their glittering hinges, and the nation that has kept the truth shall enter in, they will find an entrance there, and join in the song of triumph in the kingdom of glory. My brethren, we need the converting power of God upon us if we would pass safely through the perils of the last days. I want to see the King in his beauty, and I want, by the message I shall give, to help in preparing a people to lay hold of the might and power of God. To obtain a fitness for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven should be considered of more importance than anything else. We need to have heaven brought into our souls, and Christ manifested in our lives. We need to be willing to deny self, and to sacrifice our own wills and ways to the will and way of God. It is our privilege to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We may follow on to know the Lord, and know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. RH April 8, 1909, par. 9

It is our privilege to have a living experience, and to sustain that relation to heaven that the truth will go forth from us as a lamp that burneth. Those who have a living experience in the things of God, will long to see the truth go to places where it has not been. Christ says to his followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” Let us take the lamp from under the bushel, that it may give light to all that are in the house. Many of us are asleep, and the end of all things is at hand. Everything testifies to the fact that we are living in the closing days of the earth's history. We should be able at this time to bear a living testimony of a living experience. When we ourselves are converted, we shall be able to strengthen others. RH April 8, 1909, par. 10

I would say to you, husband your means, that when any call comes to help in extending the knowledge of the truth, you may be able to respond. Let the truth go forth from place to place, that hearts may be converted. We need to make known to the world a new religion. We need to reveal in words and actions what higher education is. At times I have felt so deeply about this matter that I have lain upon my bed and cried to God. “Lord,” I have said, “the case seems hopeless. What can we do to arouse the people? What can we say to make them see that the common experience that many are having will never give them an entrance into the kingdom of God?” God's people are to learn what it means to be taught of God, what it means to deny self, to sacrifice self. Heaven is full of power, and this power would come to us did we but feel the need of it. But many of us are satisfied with a common, cheap experience, and do not arise to the emergency. God help us to arise to the emergency. RH April 8, 1909, par. 11

I will not hold you any longer, but I would say that I greatly desire that the glory of God shall be revealed in his people. Shall we not, right here, make a covenant with God by sacrifice? Shall we not come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness? Who will pledge themselves today to seek the Lord while he may be found? You can not convert others until you find God for yourselves. Only when you have found him yourselves can you make him known to others. Will you not open your hearts and minds to the influence of the Spirit of God, so that the testimony borne will be lasting in its results? The servants of God may wear out their lives in service for you without result unless you co-operate with them. Unless you make determined efforts for yourselves, the Holy Spirit will not come upon you, and the results seen after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost will not be seen among you. Who now, I ask, will make a determined effort to obtain the higher education? Those who will, make it manifest by rising to your feet. [The congregation rose.] Here is the whole congregation. May God help you to keep your pledge. Let us pray. RH April 8, 1909, par. 12

[Praying]. Heavenly Father, I come to thee at this time, just as I am, poor, weak, unworthy, and I ask thee to impress the hearts of this people gathered here today. I have spoken to them thy words, but, O Lord, thou alone canst make the word effective. I ask thee to forgive those who have failed in serving thee. Reveal thyself to them. Impress their minds. Let the converting power of God come upon them. Present before them in clear gospel light their privilege to reflect the character of Christ in words, in actions. Teach them that in order to be partakers in the strife, in order to obtain victories, spiritual victories, they must be partakers of the divine nature. RH April 8, 1909, par. 13

We beseech thee, for Christ's sake, to sweep away this awful darkness that would hide from view the religion of Christ. We can not do this, for we are mortal; but we can ask thee, thou God of heaven. Impress the minds of this people as thou hast never done before. Reveal it to them that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Grant them the presence of thine angels in every home. These who have pledged themselves to seek the Lord,—help them to be in earnest, help them to understand that they are to be living lights bringing to others the convicting power of the Spirit of God. RH April 8, 1909, par. 14

We want our school to be established. Lord, thou knowest all about this. We know that we have looked to thee in this matter, that we have cried to thee in the night seasons, asking thee to take charge here. O, I pray thee that thou wilt make it such a school as has never yet been established among us! Let angels of God take charge of the work, and carry it through to thine own name's glory. Let the Spirit of God be present to enlighten the minds and touch the hearts of the students as the teachers give instruction that ought to be given. Let the glory of God come in, and let hearts and minds grasp the truths of the Word of God as they have never before grasped them. RH April 8, 1909, par. 15

Lord, prepare thy people to meet thee in peace. We need the Holy Spirit of God in every heart. Let thy converting power come upon us as it came upon thy people on the day of Pentecost. O God, reveal thyself to us! RH April 8, 1909, par. 16

Let thy blessing rest upon us, dear Saviour. Let light shine into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple, that we may see light in thy light, and joy in thy joy, as we see sinners turning to God with the whole heart. We have no power but in thee. We ask thee to mold and fashion us, and give us an experience after the divine similitude. RH April 8, 1909, par. 17

O God, I beseech of thee to work! Thou didst send one equal with thyself to live in the world a life of poverty and toil. Traveling on foot from place to place, he endured hardness and hunger. My Father, we are ashamed of the presentation we have made. Wilt thou not baptize us, Lord? Let thy converting power come upon this people. Help them to make a determined effort to resist the enemy, that he may flee from them; and thy blessed name shall have all the glory. RH April 8, 1909, par. 18