Ellen G. White Writings

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Ms 15, 1894

Ms 15, 1894

Sermon/Talk at the Australian Bible School Chapel

Melbourne, Australia

February 23, 1894, 9:00 a.m.

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MCP 724; 10MR 113.

I never felt more dependent upon God than I do at the present moment. I never felt that I must put forth greater earnestness to keep my mind in the right channel. Here is where everyone of us will have to labor to keep the mind in the right channel so that we shall constantly have the mind of God—that the mind of Jesus may be our mind. Why? Because then we open our hearts to the light of the Sun of Righteousness, and it comes in and shines through the whole heart. When our Saviour came to the earth He found that everybody was full of business. They were so full of business, making the world out of a mote and a mote out of the world. That is the way that it is turned right upside down.

There must be more earnest work than many of us have dreamed of. We must bring our heart offerings to God in thanksgiving and praise. All murmuring and repining is sin. We must educate our hearts and tongues so that almost the first thought will be of the goodness of God and of the compassion of Jesus our uplifted Saviour. You cannot look there but by faith.

Self must die in order that we may live the life of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. How is it that when the young are together there is nonsense and frivolity and everything of that kind? What does it mean? It means that they do not know anything about the preciousness of Jesus Christ. They ought to go weighted with the solemnity of their times. The very last sands of this world’s history are running out, and for us to act like the world does not warn them of the light we have received, and our profession of faith. We cannot afford to do this.

It makes us weak and inefficient when we cannot lift up holy hands to God. But when we make Christ our sufficiency, when we hang our helpless souls upon Christ, there is a power that comes to every soul. And the more they have of this power the weaker they feel in themselves alone. It does not swell them up with pomposity. They feel that God is their strength and power and elevation and wisdom, therefore all the glory must be given to Him. Every inch you advance with the light will be like a voice of praise to God.

We want to cleanse our soul temple from every moral defilement. We want that Jesus Christ shall do for us the very work that He longs to do and that the whole heavenly intelligences are waiting to do and ready to do. This is to take you just as you are, to take you and put the divine similitude upon you, to take you and put upon you the image of Jesus Christ to restore it to man. And then as this work goes on, your character will be reshaped. You do not want to go from the school with the same character as the one you came with. That will not answer. We want that your privileges should be appreciated so you will see every ray of light that is shining from the throne of God.

When God sent Moses to Pharaoh, he had light, but Pharaoh resisted and every resistance brought up a heavier stubbornness. Did God put a power upon him that he could not turn to the light? No, it was indifference to evidence. The stubbornness of Pharaoh was because light was shining that he would not receive. Day after day was the mighty hand of power revealed, but “Who is the Lord that I should serve Him?” “Who is He that I should know Him?” [Exodus 5:2.] He is the I AM. Who is the I AM? Jesus Christ, who was in the pillar of cloud. The very I AM is speaking to you. He says that if you hear His words and do them not, your house is built upon the sands; but if you are hearers and doers, your house is riveted upon the eternal Rock, and as well might all heaven be swept away as that one soul perish. [Matthew 7:24-27.] He does not want you to perish. He is giving you light.

We are where the very last test is coming, as it was for the children of Egypt. It was the firstborn that was to be slain. From the king on his throne to the humble worker, they would not hear the word of God. All the firstborn were to be slain. Now God says to the children of Israel, “Gather yourselves into your houses.” Suppose they had been disobedient. Suppose they had said, “God knows that I am not an Egyptian, and so I will not be particular to carry out this work.” They would have been slain with the Egyptians. But God said, “Gather your families into your house and mark the lintel with blood, and thus mark your faith in Jesus Christ as the great antitype of all their offerings.” [See Exodus 12:22, 23.]

How anxious those parents were! How they got their children into the house and counted them to see how many there were, and when one went to the door before the hour of midnight, how quickly they would snatch him away, to take him away lest he might be struck by the destroying angel. Were they any too careful? We want to consider, there they stood with their staves in their hands and their preparations made for the journey, so that when the word should come, they would not hesitate a moment, but start right on their way.

Imagine them. One child says, and she was the oldest daughter and an invalid, “Father, have you marked the door?” “I have given my servant direction that he shall do it, so do not worry any more.” But the word comes again, “Father, Father, are you sure the door is marked?” He tells her that it is. But it comes again, “Father, take me in your arms and carry me to the door.” He took her there, and lo, the door was not marked. With paling face the father gets the blood, and with his own hands puts the mark upon the door.

It is important for every individual student to mark the door of their heart with the virtue of the blood of the slain Lamb. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] That is what we want to do individually. We have no time to devote to trifling; we have no time to devote to supposing. We must make our calling and election sure. Here are the most precious opportunities that we have ever had.

One inquired one day should they have in mind the Medical Missionary work. But there is another work to be done. Seek God with all your heart that you may find Him, and when you have surrendered all, soul, body and spirit to God, and when you mark the door of your heart with the blood of Jesus, you may know that God will find you something to do. He gives every faithful servant something to do. What you want is to walk with contrition before God. We want to develop a character that Heaven will approve. We want you to feel that you must elevate the standard. Your very ideas of Christianity must be reshaped.

Although you may not see God right by your side, yet He is there if you are seeking to honor and glorify Him; but if you stand alone, somebody else is there. If you stand aside from God, Satan is there. It is your privilege to have Christ formed within you, the hope of glory. It is your privilege to triumph in God every hour. But can you if you do not feel it? What have your feelings to do with it? Here is the promise of the living God. If you do thus, the God of heaven will fulfill His promise, but if you think that the work of your salvation is to be carried on without any interested effort on your part, you will make a terrible mistake like Pharaoh made.

Those that have the responsibility here, if they do not feel a burden for your case when they know that you are walking contrary to God, I would lift up both hands for them to be relieved, and I would lift up both hands for them to be dismissed, and we would try one after another till we knew we had those who felt the weight of the responsibility.

Do not get impatient and fretful because you cannot have your way. “But can I never have my own way?” Never, never, while time lasts and you are in harmony with the will of God. It is God’s way you are to walk in, and you are to inquire in every enterprise you start if it is the way of God. Shall I walk after the mind of God, or shall I in any way dishonor God by my course of action? Shall I dishonor Him in conversation and in spirit, in the hotels and the theaters; shall I dishonor Him in my course of action? These are the inquiries you want to make to your own soul, to your own intelligent reason in the light of the Word of the Infinite God.

I carry a burden for the souls that are here. The question is, Am I helping with my means for individuals to be here to have their own way and carry out their own plans, that will help at last to swell the army of Satan? Or, am I using the means which God has made me steward of, that these youth may have an opportunity of hearing precious truth which is like jewels of gold and a mine of precious ore?

You do not want your mind all cobwebbed with courtship and familiarity. We are here to fit up to do a work, and if we connect with God, we will stand through the ceaseless ages of eternity. This is why I felt that I could do anything to help on the work. I stand here in this country away from friends and nearly every relation, and if I could do anything to start the truth in the right direction, I would be repaid. I call upon every student in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to stand by my side. I call upon [you] not to press burden upon my soul so that wherever I am, in New Zealand or here, I am roused up in the night standing before you talking as I am now and urging you to make it a business to serve God; to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. You cannot plan anything until you do this. You will surely be liable to mistake without God.

You want the soul temple cleansed of every defilement by coming to the fount that is open for you to wash in, that you may be clean, with a virtuous character and with the mind of God. He will bring to you the attractions of heaven, but if you have your mind upon unimportant things, let me tell you, you will go lower and lower, for you, are responsible for every ray of light that is shining, that you do not appropriate to your own individual self. We want you to meet the high expectations of Jesus when He died upon the cross of Calvary. Do not meet a low standard.

We want every mouth to say that the yoke of Christ is easy and His burden is light, because you have submitted your neck to the yoke, and Christ bears one end of it for you. Christ lifts the burden with you. The cross of Christ is to you, as you lift it, the pledge of immortality, the pledge of the crown of glory that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, for the overcomer. Will you have it? Will you carry the yoke that you may have it? We want you to carry a power with you where you go that it may be seen and felt that angels are ministering unto you. You may leave them behind you by giving your mind a train of thought that angels cannot work with.

God help us that we may sanctify soul and body and spirit that we may be fitted for the heavenly courts, that when the finishing touch of immortality is put upon us, we will be ready to sing, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb slain from the foundations of the earth.” [Revelation 5:12; 13:8.] You carry this song with you every day and when you lay hold of the might of Christ, you are powerful in His strength. Try it. You will find in the meekness and lowliness of Jesus Christ that you love to think of heaven. You will run in the way of His commandments and will say, “Open thou mine eyes that I may see glorious things in thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] The Lord will be liberty, life and salvation to you. God grant that we may see souls here praising God with heart and soul and mind. God give every one of you power that you may have the victory and not dishonor God. You will never, never be sorry that you took a high standard when you enter the kingdom of God.

God is bringing you right to the threshold of eternity and if you do not see it, it is because the world and your own inclinations of evil blind your eyes. He will show you the courts of glory filled with immortal light. The gates are ajar and the light is shining through. If you do not see it, it is because your eyes are blinded by sin. God grant that you [may have spiritual eyesight].

That is just our condition, brethren and sisters, before God, but I am afraid that we sometimes close our eyes to our sins. We may not see them, and our brethren and sisters may not see them, but the eyes of the Lord are open to the inmost recesses of the heart. How does God manifest His love to us? “For we have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” [Hebrews 4:15.] He has all sympathy for us in all our sufferings. What did Christ undertake to do? He took our place in this life that He might learn to bear our sufferings [so] that when He should ascend on high He might still bear our infirmities, and He suffers more keenly than we suffer.

We are saved when we unite ourselves with God. He feels all our sorrows, and He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] He feels the ministry as if it were done unto Him. Come before Him as children of God and offer Him praise. Christ takes that praise and offers it to God for us, and mingles it with incense. It was so hard for me to see how our weak praise could glorify God, [until] I got a view of this, that Christ takes that praise and offers it to the Father Himself, [and] then it is acceptable.

Where are you standing, brethren and sisters? Do you take hold of the death of Christ by faith and make it your salvation? Then we have made a new beginning and all our past life is as though it had not been. It is God’s life we are to live. God wants us to keep walking right along with Him. When we receive Him we are made free and sin no more. Why do we sin? We do not understand God’s sufficiency. He will reveal Himself in our hearts. We have had in our Sabbath school lessons that when we confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, we are to confess that He has come in our flesh. We have laid aside our own sins and we are living to the glory of God.

We need a new heart. Paul says, “I die daily,” and when these things come up, we must crucify the flesh. [1 Corinthians 15:31.] Every time we fall we crucify the Son of God afresh. When we come to Him and confess those sins and offer Him praise, He takes our praises and offers it to the Father. I want you to see that this is so. Some people say, “I do not see how my praises can affect God. The Bible does not say so.” But you must read your Bible prayerfully and carefully and then it will be transformed into our very flesh and blood just as the bread and fruit that we eat is transformed into flesh and blood. Christ was the representative of God here on earth.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the altar which was before the throne.” [Revelation 8:3.] Paul says, “The Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know <not> what things we should pray for as we ought.” “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” [Romans 8:26, 27.]

If we come to God and pray for things that are not in accordance with the will of God, then what? Then He that searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of men, translates that prayer into the very things that we need to ask God to give us. I loathe myself. I would clothe myself in sackcloth and ashes and cry, “Unclean, unclean.” [Leviticus 13:45.] The only cleanness that I can have is that which is in Jesus Christ. He takes my prayer and offers it to God, and if I make a mistake, and ask for the things that are not best, my prayer is translated into the very things that I should have and want.

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