Ellen G. White Writings

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Ms 95, 1908

Ms 95, 1908

Sermon/Lessons From Christ’s Labors


September 5, 1908

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 01/21/1909. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

September 5, 1908

Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White, Sabbath morning

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

“Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall, give His angels charge concerning Thee, and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” [Matthew 3:13-17; 4:1-6.]

Satan knows the Scriptures well; but when he quoted this Scripture to the Saviour, he did not quote it all. He left out the words, “In all Thy ways,” meaning, in all the ways that God had appointed. [Psalm 91:11.]

Christ was not appointed to come into connection with Satan to oppose him by controversy. It was His work to take the affirmative of the Word of God. He said to the tempter, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” [Matthew 4:7.]

“Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then Jesus saith unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.

“Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold angels came, and ministered unto Him.” [Verses 8-11.] Christ was fainting under the pressure of temptation; but when it would seem that He was dying on the field of battle, angels came to His aid to strengthen Him. Thus Christ was sustained in the sufferings He endured.

“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled that was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people that sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” [Verses 12-16.]

At the time of Christ’s first advent, the world was in a terrible condition. Men were being controlled by satanic agencies. The Majesty of heaven looked in pity on the human race. He saw that Satan was gaining the control of the bodies and minds of men and knew that He alone could break his power. It was because of this that He laid off His kingly crown and royal robe, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to our world to meet the powers of darkness and to hold in check the forces of Satan. This was His work. A counterworking influence, coming from the highest authority, was to hold the enemy in check and resist his power.

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me; and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.” [Verses 17-20.]

Here were some whose minds were under the influence of Christ. At His call they came right to His side. “And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” [Verses 21, 22.]

Just such a work as this is to be carried on in our time. Those who will work in harmony with Christ, God will use to accomplish a good work. If those who claim to be children of God will make an entire consecration of themselves to Christ, the mighty influence of the power of God will be with them.

The Saviour saw a great work to be accomplished, and He clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might impart His healing power to mankind. He was the great Physician. As those who have consecrated themselves to the work of God go into foreign countries to labor, they will meet the sick and suffering. Know that the best way to reach the hearts of such is to come close to them, kneel down and pray with them and for them. The time has come when we must carry in our lives the influence that the Saviour carried in His life. We are to instruct and educate the suffering ones how to resist disease, by teaching them how to eat and drink and live healthfully, and how to love and fear God. By reading and studying the Word of God, those who in their hearts desire to serve God will learn to discard those habits that are ruining the health of body and soul.

The light has come that there are to be sanitariums provided for the sick, and we have been trying to provide these institutions for the carrying on of the work of God. As a result of our sanitarium work we have seen wonderful conversions. The salvation of God has been revealed. Through this instrumentality souls have become intelligent in regard to the faith, and many have been converted to the present truth. The work is extending, and we have had to establish sanitariums in many places.

Our schools and sanitariums should be in close co-operation, that our youth may be educated in a knowledge of the truth and at the same time be enlightened in regard to the care of the sick. Wherever there is a school, there, if possible, should be a sanitarium. The students are to be educated in right habits of living. It means a great deal to establish a school and conduct it in such a way that it will meet with God’s approval.

We are to understand the importance of this work and to reason from cause to effect. We are to work as Christ worked. We are to learn to talk to the people intelligently and with power. Then they will call upon Christ, recognizing in Him the One who came to our world to do the work of healing for soul and body. Those who are suffering with disease will be aroused to take hold of the light of health reform. They will leave off their wrong habits and will stand in a position where they can reach others.

The disciples who were called from their nets to follow Christ did not have a college education. Christ did not have it. He lived his life in simplicity, living and preaching the truth. The light of the gospel was shining upon the pathway of those who heard Him. We are to teach our children and youth the importance of simplicity. The straining that is often done to reach a wonderful height of learning—let it not be encouraged. I have seen many a youth destroyed before his education was completed because of this desire for knowledge.

If we would keep well, we must let reason guide us in our manner of living. If we will place ourselves in right relation to God, our beings will respond to His instruction. God would have us connected at all times with the great Physician; then His salvation will be revealed to us, and we shall know that there is a God in Israel.

Temptations are growing stronger and stronger to divorce the mind from God. The power of disease in the world is growing more and more afflicting and discouraging, but we must seek to combat the evil at every possible point. We tried to do this in our labors in Australia. We were there in a time of great financial depression. The banks had failed, and poverty and distress were on every hand. We found those who were hungry; we searched out the sick and afflicted, and this work gave us the confidence of the people. By and by the truth found a place in their hearts. We would go to places where no one had been with the message and preach the truth to the people. And God gave us victory at every point.

We were very thankful when we could establish our sanitarium at Paradise Valley near San Diego. For fifteen years that building had been waiting for us. Our first patient came before we had any accommodation for patients. We did not wish to take her in under such circumstances, and told her that if she stayed it would be at great inconvenience to herself. She replied, “I like it here, and I am going to stay.” That woman left the sanitarium a grateful woman, with her affliction removed. She embraced the third angel’s message. “O,” she said, “how thankful I am that you did not send me away. I know my duty now, and I shall tell my family and my neighbors of the things I have learned.”

We have a living Healer today. We do not depend upon drugs, but upon the great Physician. If every sanitarium in our land were in living connection with God, the truth would go forth from our institutions as a lamp that burneth. They would carry mercy and light and compassion to the people, until men and women would realize that this is the religion of Christ and that it reaches to suffering humanity.

It is time that we were putting on the armor of light. It is time that we were comprehending our duty to the world at this stage of its history. O such wickedness exists in our cities, and yet many of the people are asleep. Professing Christians are asleep. They do not understand that there is a work for them to do. They need to put on the gospel armor.

The Saviour’s work of ministering to suffering <humanity> was always combined with His ministry of the Word. He preached the gospel and He healed infirmities both by the same mighty power. He will do the same today; but we must do our part by bringing the sick in touch with the mighty Healer. The Saviour left the courts of glory and came to our world to bear temptation and resist evil, that man might have power to take hold of His strength. The soul that comes to Christ by living faith receives His power and is healed of his disease.

Today we are combining the work of ministry and of healing as we have never done before. We are working to educate our people how to treat the body in sickness, how to regain health, and how to keep well when health is restored. Do we not know that the liquor sold in the saloons of our land is drugged with the most poisonous substances? We read of one and another who has taken life while under the influence of liquor—liquor that has robbed them of their reason. The temperance cause needs to be revived as it has not yet been. We need to preach the gospel, that men and women may understand how to obey the Word of God. It is the Word of the living God that will bring men and women into right relation to Him; it will make impressions on heart and mind and character. Let everyone of us be aroused to do the work that is waiting to be done—the work that Christ did when He was in the world. By beholding the works of Christ, humanity will take hold upon divinity. There the appeal to souls is made, and He never turns one away. Whatever may be the position in life, whatever the past may have been, He will still receive.

Christ would not take a position in life where He could not associate closely with the people. During the days of His ministry all classes of people flocked about Him to hear His words. We read of one occasion when five thousand men, besides women and children, formed the company about Him. The time came when the people should have something to eat, but where was food to supply so many? In reply to His question, “Where shall we obtain bread that these may eat?” One of the disciples replied, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” And Jesus said, “Make the men sit down.” [John 6:5, 9, 10.] Then Christ imparted the food by His miraculous power to the hungry multitude.

When all had had sufficient, He commanded, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.” [Verses 12, 13.]

We stop short of exercising faith. We need that simplicity of godliness that will take hold of the work and come right down to Christlike practices with a spirit willing to help where help is needed. The majesty of heaven, the King of glory came to our world to preach the gospel of salvation. He invites you to listen to His words. He was so filled with His mission to men that His own mother could not draw Him from His work. The sick and suffering were before Him, and He must labor for them.

This is the work we are trying to do. It has been hard work sometimes, but the need of this kind of labor has been presented to me in clear lines, and we are determined to do this wherever it is possible. We have sought to labor in every place where we could preach the Word of God.

Wherever we have a school, there we should also have a sanitarium. We must work the works of God in these institutions. The youth are to be instructed regarding what God requires of them in the work of leading souls to the light. The blessing of God will come upon every true worker.

Letters come to us from many parts of the world, telling what the truth is doing in other lands. I am so thankful that we can have a part in this work, that we can be laborers together with Christ in the upbuilding of the kingdom of God in the earth. I am so thankful that the light of truth is shining. The light is to continue to shine. Do not let it go out. Do not shut it up, but let it shine to all that are in the house.

Study how you can speak the truth to those with whom you are brought in contact. Take hold of God by living faith. Do your duty simply day by day, and you will constantly advance until you are qualified to hold a position of trust in the work. We need to carry pure religion into our lives. Let us show an interest in the sick. Christ gave His life for these souls. It is our privilege to bring them to Him and teach them how to take hold of His divine nature. Then the afflictions with which Satan has beset them will be overcome.

We need helpers. Workers should be coming in to take the places made vacant by those who are sent to labor in foreign fields. They are going all the time, and the blessing of God is coming upon His people. Some are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits, but let us not weaken our efforts. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, let us lay hold of divine power. God will work with us mightily if we will do this.

My brethren and sisters, we need the truth as it is in Jesus. We need to teach the people how they may become partakers of the divine nature, that they may escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. We need the manifestation of true godliness in every line of service.

I feel that I ought to stop here, and yet I have but just begun. Let us follow all the light. Let us resist temptation as Christ resisted it. In the day when every case will be forever decided, there will be many who will wish that they had studied their Bibles more, and more fully met its requirements. Will you not lay aside the story magazines and study the Word of God. At such times angels of heaven are right around you to strengthen your understanding. We need to have God come into our families; we want our children to be saved. Our schools that are established should be giving an education in the things of God. The students should be learning how to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Victory is before the faithful worker. I cannot lay down the armor. I shall go to Nashville and take part in the meetings that are held there. One says to me, You are not going, are you? Yes; they have waited for me for years, and I am going. I trust in the Lord to be my strength.

My brethren and sisters, I want you to reach up to God by living faith. Christ wants you to be living workers, communicating light to the souls that are perishing around you. Keep your eyes on God until you reach the kingdom of heaven. Then the pearly gates will be thrown open for you, and you will receive the welcome given to those who have been laborers together with God.

I want to see Jesus. I want you to see Him. I want to see the One who endured temptation in my behalf and who wore the crown of thorns for sinners. Then He will be crowned with glory, and we shall see Him as He is. We will fall at His feet in worship. He will place the harp in our hands, and our voices will be raised in such music as we have never heard on earth.

I am so thankful for the privilege of saying these words to you. I invite each one of you to take hold by living faith of the divinity of Christ. This is the gift that Christ came to the world to bestow. In Him humanity may take hold of divinity and share in the joy of the Lord.

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