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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 114, 1903

    Talk/Duties and Privileges of the Christian

    Calistoga, California

    June 14, 1903

    Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 98, 246, 499; AH 197, 536; UL 179.

    “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 1

    It is worth everything to us to be the children of God. To His children He communicates His will.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 2

    We are to give to the world an evidence of our sonship. Let Christ live and abide in you. Then man will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus; that you have learned lessons from the great Teacher. Guard carefully words and actions, striving to form characters like the character of Christ. Reveal His love and tenderness, His patience and forbearance. Thus you will show to the world that you are children of God.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 3

    Christ said to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Only by letting our lights shine forth in good works can we gain true happiness. We cannot be happy unless we strive earnestly to do that which is right. When we obey God we not only gain happiness ourselves, but we become a source of happiness and strength to others.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 4

    We are to bring the sweetness of Christ’s presence into the home. We are to carry the principles of Christianity into all that we do. He who is engaged in a business into which he cannot bring religion, let him seek another business.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 5

    “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” [John 15:7.] When you pray, present this promise. It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers. They are of no avail if we walk contrary to them. I have seen a father who, after reading a portion of Scripture and offering prayer, would often, almost as soon as he had risen from his knees, begin to scold his children. How could God answer the prayer he had offered? And if after scolding his children a father offers prayer, does that prayer benefit the children? No; not unless it is a prayer of confession to God.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 6

    “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you”—that you may be unbelieving, sad, and unhappy? No—“that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verses 8-11.] God wants us to be joyful. He is not pleased when we murmur and complain.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 7

    “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” [Verses 12-16.] Does Christ here refer to ministers only? No. God has ordained all who believe in His name—ordained them to be His children, to communicate His grace to those with whom they associate. He will help and strengthen those who seek to represent Christ to the world.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 8

    “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” [Verse 16.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 9

    “These things I command you that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” [Verses 17, 18.] If you are the children of God, and work the works of God, you must expect to be hated by the world. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” [Verses 19-21.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 10

    Home Influence

    Every day there are battles to be fought. Parents, in the home fight the good fight of faith. Help your children to gain victories. Talk with them about heaven. Tell them that you want them to be there. Surround them with an atmosphere of love. Thus you can subdue their stubborn dispositions. Christ will co-operate with you in your efforts to win your children to Him.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 11

    Show respect for your children, and do not allow them to speak one disrespectful word to you. Teach them that they are a part of the family firm, and that they are to help in bearing its burdens. Let them help you; thus you are helping them. And as you teach them to work diligently, with neatness and order, you yourselves will learn valuable lessons.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 12

    Remember that as your children go to school, they carry with them the influence that prevails in the home. If a spirit of kindness and helpfulness prevails in the home, your children will go from it to speak kind words and to perform unselfish acts.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 13

    Do not allow your children to have their own way in everything. Thus you do them untold harm. Teach them to give up their own wishes for the sake of others. Teach them lessons of self-control and submission. But in order to do this, you need not scold and fret. Harsh, angry words are not of heavenly origin. Scolding and fretting never help. Instead, they stir up the worst feelings of the human heart. When your children do wrong and are filled with rebellion, and you are tempted to speak and act harshly, wait before you correct them. Give them an opportunity to think, and allow your temper to cool.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 14

    As you deal kindly and tenderly with your children, they and you will receive the blessing of the Lord. And think you that in the day of God’s judgment, any one will regret that he has been patient and kind with his children?18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 15

    Abraham’s household numbered no less than a thousand souls, and God said of him, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” [Genesis 18:19.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 16

    In your work for your children, take hold of the mighty power of God. Commit your children to the Lord in prayer. Work earnestly and untiringly for them. God will hear your prayers and will draw them to Himself. Then, at the last great day, you can bring them to God, saying, Here am I and the children whom Thou hast given me.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 17

    How to Meet Opposition

    As you endeavor to do what is right, you will meet opposition. Take your stand firmly for Christ. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:10-12.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 18

    Christians will meet opposition. But those who wear constantly the armor that God has provided will never be defeated.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 19

    “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Verses 13-17.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 20

    Preparing for Eternal Life

    Angels of God will co-operate with us as we seek to bring to the foundation traits of character represented by gold, and silver, and precious stones, material that will bear the test of the purifying fires of the last day. There are many who are bringing to the foundation that which is represented by wood, hay, and stubble. Those who do this, whose service is unprofitable to God, yet who at last repent, are represented as being saved as by fire. As they realize their danger, and return to the Lord, He forgives them and accepts them, notwithstanding their many years of unfaithfulness. But all such will testify to the loss they have suffered in failing to improve the opportunities granted them.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 21

    God’s Word, studied and obeyed, gives eternal life. “Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood,” Christ said, “hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. ... It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:54, 63.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 22

    Those who bear the name of Christian are to reach the high standard of godliness set before them in the Word of God. Ever they are to bear about with them the evidence that God is imparting to them strength that enables them to live Christlike lives.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 23

    Life is uncertain. When I stand before a congregation, I wonder whether I shall ever speak to them again. I am afflicted with heart trouble, and at times it seems that at any moment my breath may cease. I want to be ready should death call me suddenly. And I want you all to live in readiness to die, that when Christ comes He may place on your brows a crown of gold. In the kingdom of God above, I want to hear these little children singing praises to their Saviour.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 24

    A Message From Revelation

    In the third chapter of Revelation we find our duty plainly marked out: “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” [Verse 1.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 25

    Sardis was a very wicked city. To this city the apostles had carried truth, but the inhabitants had refused to walk in the light. As men refuse to walk in the light that comes to them, their hearts become hardened, and God’s judgments are permitted to come upon them. Can it be said of any of us that we bear the name of Christians, but are spiritually dead? If so, the word comes to us:18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 26

    “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” [Verses 2, 3.] There can be no genuine repentance without sincere prayer. At your daily work, at your place of business, wherever you are, pray for the keeping power of God, and He will keep you from falling.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 27

    “If therefore thou wilt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Verse 3.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 28

    “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Verses 4, 5.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 29

    There are many whose names, when they first accepted Christ, were written in the book of life, but who have since become careless, indifferent, and prayerless. Their names will not always remain in the book of life. Those who would have their names retained in that book must be Christians every day, every hour, every minute.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 30

    “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth. I know thy works: behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.” [Verses 6-8.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 31

    That which Christ opens, no human power can close; that which He closes no opposing force can open. Then let Him open the windows of your soul heavenward and close them earthward, that your heart may be illuminated by rays from the throne of God. When Christ closes the door of your heart against the enemy, no power can open that door to Satan. But if, because you will not repent, the door of your heart is closed to the Saviour, your prayers, your good works, and all the praise of men will be of no avail.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 32

    “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” [Verse 9.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 33

    “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” [Verse 10.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 34

    Those who follow Christ must walk by faith. “If any man will come after Me,” He said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” [Luke 9:23.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 35

    “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Revelation 3:11.] Crowns are being prepared for us, but unless we strive, we shall not receive them. Let us seek to win the crowns of everlasting life.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 36

    “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name.” [Verse 12.] This does not mean that we shall be stationary as a pillar. But we shall bear responsibilities.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 37

    Christ was once asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” In answer He called a little child to Him, and said to those who asked the question, “Verily I say unto you. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 38

    “Take My yoke,” said Christ, “and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] The rest that Christ gives brings the peace that passes all understanding. This peace we may have in our hearts by complying with Christ’s conditions for finding rest. “I will write upon him My new name.” [Revelation 3:12.] We may not now fully understand what some of these things mean. Let us leave with the Lord that which He has not revealed. When we see the King in His beauty, we shall understand many things that now we do not understand.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 39

    “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verse 13.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 40

    “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” [Verses 14-16.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 41

    Professing Christians who live cold-hearted, selfish lives are nauseating to Christ. Let us not be lukewarm Christians, heartless in our treatment of others. Let us surround ourselves with an atmosphere of courage and hope. Let us speak pleasant, encouraging words to those around us.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 42

    Those who do not follow the teaching of the Word of God are ignorant of their true condition. God says to them:18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 43

    “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” [Verses 17-21.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 44

    Let us cherish the truth of God. Unless we are successful in obtaining eternal life, it were better for us that we had never been born. Let us not refuse to avail ourselves of the privileges that are ours through the sacrifice of Christ. Although equal with God, He came to this world to give His life for us. On the cross of Calvary, He died a death of shame, that He might make an atonement for the sins of those who receive Him as their Saviour. To those who receive Him, and believe on Him, He promises to give power to become the sons of God.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 45

    Jesus loves you. He has purchased you with His blood. Had He not loved you, He would not have died for you. His heart of love is grieved when you work contrary to Him, because you are thwarting His plan for your salvation. God cannot bless those who oppose Him, those who refuse to accept the words of comfort and peace that would bring light and love to their souls.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 46

    To every man is given his work. Those who are connected with God will reveal their connection by working with Him. They are co-partners with God and with Christ. They are joint-heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 47

    If in this world we do our best, following our divine Example, overcoming in the strength that He gives, we shall be granted an abundant entrance into the courts above. There Christ will lead us by rivers of living water and teach us the meaning of the providences that in this world we did not understand. Then we shall be able to discern the love of God in what now seem to us adversities. We shall see that trials were permitted to come to us to remove our unchristlike traits of character and to strengthen our weak points.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 48

    God is calling upon you to surrender to Him. Will you not come? Will you not give Him your heart’s best and holiest affections? Will you not receive from Him gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich, and white raiment that you may be clothed? Will you not allow Him to anoint your eyes with His heavenly eyesalve, that you may see clearly? Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. He will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. As in the power of Christ you gain victory after victory, you will be filled with the spirit of praise. In the home and in the church you will praise God. He in whose heart the mighty power of God is working cannot be silent.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 49

    Let those in this church lift the standard higher, and still higher. Live close to Christ, that you may exert a saving influence on those with whom you come in contact. Seek earnestly for the conversion of souls. All around are men and women who will gladly receive the message of salvation. Take your Bible, and show them the beauty of the truth. If you say nothing to them about the love of God, if you allow them to continue unwarned, the time will come when you will bitterly regret your wasted opportunities. Doors for service are open everywhere. Unless God sends us, we need not go to India or China. All around us are those who need our help. Let us do our best. I often wish I could go back to the time when I was about twenty-five years old, that I might live my life over again. I long to bring souls to Christ.18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 50

    The Lord is coming soon. We have but little time in which to prepare for His coming. Every day, the record of our life for that day is recorded in the books of heaven. At the judgment, may those books say of every one here, “Ye are complete in Him.” [Colossians 2:10.]18LtMs, Ms 114, 1903, par. 51

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