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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 21, 1903

    Talk/A Call to Repentance


    April 4, 1903

    This manuscript is published in entirety in GCB 04/06/1903. +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.

    Talk by Mrs. E. G. White at General Conference, Sabbath, April 4, 190318LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 1

    “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.” [Revelation 3:1.] These are the words that Christ gave to John for us. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things that 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. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Verses 2, 3.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 2

    In view of this instruction, how important it is that we do not devote our time to faultfinding or criticizing, but that we receive the divine truth into our hearts, that they may break before God. The broken heart and the contrite spirit God will receive. We must not base our salvation upon supposition; we must know of a surety that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. We must know for ourselves that the Spirit of God is abiding in our hearts and that we can hold communion with God. Then if He should come to us quickly, if by any chance our life should suddenly be ended, we should be ready to meet our God. Now, while it is called today, let us set our house in order. “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation.” [Hebrews 3:7, 8.] Because of their unbelief of God’s word, the children of Israel who left Egypt perished in the wilderness. God grant that we may not through unbelief fail of entering into the promised land. Let us keep step with Christ.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 3

    “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard.” [Revelation 3:3.] You have received something; you have heard something. Do not forget the dealings of God and the light that He has sent you.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 4

    “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.” [Verse 4.] Thank God, He can keep His people in a place where they shall not defile their garments. If we submit to Christ, we shall be kept unspotted from the world. “Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord, that His goings forth are prepared as the morning.” [Hosea 6:3.] We are to follow on. We are not to rest content with the capabilities and the knowledge of today. All the inhabitants of the universe are watching, as, in these last days, God is preparing a people to stand in the judgment. Let us ask God to clothe us with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, that we may be prepared for the coming of the Son of man.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 5

    Of those who have not defiled their garments, Christ says, “They shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:4.] Through the infinite sacrifice made in our behalf, we may have an abundance of grace. God has a whole heaven full for us. All He asks is that by living faith we receive His promises, saying, “I do believe. I do accept the blessings which Thou hast for those who love Thee.”18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 6

    A Precious Assurance

    “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not”—O how precious is that “not”—“I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Verse 5.] When the gates of the city of God swing back on their glittering hinges, and the nations who have kept the truth shall enter in, Christ will be there to welcome us, to call us the blessed of the Father, because we have overcome. He will welcome us before the Father and before His angels. As we enter the kingdom of God, there to spend eternity, the trials and the difficulties and the perplexities that we have had here will sink into insignificance. Our life will measure with the life of God.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 7

    There is before me a large congregation. How many of you are confessing Christ before the world? He will confess before His Father and before the holy angels the names of those who confess Him here. Then confess Him in your words. Do not find fault with one another. God has not put the work of judgment into your hands.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 8

    Who is ready?

    Suppose that today Christ should appear in the clouds of heaven! Who of this congregation would be ready to meet Him? Suppose that we should be translated into the kingdom of heaven just as we are! Would we be prepared to unite with the saints of God, to live in harmony with the royal family, the children of the heavenly King? What preparation have you made for the judgment? Have you made your peace with God? Are you laboring together with God? Are you seeking to help those around you, those who are ready to die, those in your home, in your neighborhood, that are not keeping the commandments of God? “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] Then let us receive it into our lives, giving it a willing obedience. Let us honor God by obeying its precepts. But remember that profession is worthless without a practice that enters into the daily life. God knows whether we are keeping His law in truth. He knows just what we are doing, just what we are thinking and saying. Are we getting ready to meet the King? When He comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, will you be able to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us”? [Isaiah 25:9.] To those who can say this Christ will say, “Come up higher. Upon this earth, you have loved Me. You have loved to do My will. You can now enter the holy city, and receive the crown of everlasting life.”18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 9

    If it were possible for us to be admitted into heaven as we are, how many of us would be able to look upon God? How many of us have on the wedding garment? How many of us are without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? How many of us are worthy to receive the crown of life?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 10

    Remember that just as you are in your family, so will you be in the church. Just as you treat your children, so will you treat Christ. If you cherish an unchristlike spirit, you are dishonoring God, no matter how high your position, whether you are ministers or presidents of conferences. Position does not make the man. It is Christ formed within that makes a man worthy of receiving the crown of life, that fadeth not away. When you are tempted to speak cross words, pray for grace to resist the temptation. Remember that your children will speak as they hear you speaking. By your example you are educating them. Remember that if you speak cross words to fellow church members, you would speak the same kinds of words in heaven, were you permitted to enter there. But you never will unless you change.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 11

    Now is the Time

    This is our washing and ironing time—the time when we are to cleanse our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. John says, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] I thank Thee, my heavenly Father. I praise Thee that Thou hast given us Jesus to take away our sins. Shall we not let Him take them away? Shall we not let our sins go?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 12

    Christ says to us, as He said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] It is here in this world of test and trial, not in heaven, that the new birth is to take place.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 13

    I entreat you, brethren and sisters, to labor earnestly to secure the crown of everlasting life. The reward will be worth the conflict, worth the effort. Paul compares those in the Christian warfare to the runners in a race. In the races which he uses as an illustration, only one could receive the prize. In the race in which we are running, every one may receive the reward offered—a crown of everlasting life. I want this crown; I mean, by God’s help, to have it. I mean to hold fast to the truth, that I may see the King in His beauty.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 14

    “He that hath an ear to hear, 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.” [Revelation 3:6, 7.] Since our Saviour is so powerful, why do you lean so heavily upon human beings? Why do you go to them for help and strength, pouring your troubles into their ears? Take your minds off human beings. They are finite, erring. We are all but little children, in comparison with God. From Him, as little children, we must learn our lessons. He wants us to humble our hearts before Him, in submission and contrition. He wants us to speak kind, tender, compassionate words to one another. Educate yourselves to speak such words. Be polite to God and to one another. Remember that He wants you to have the best of manners, that you may glorify Him before the world. He desires you to live in unity with one another and to love one another. Remember that if you love one another here, you will live with the redeemed through the ceaseless ages of eternity. O think of these things! May God stir your hearts today as they never have been stirred before. May He lead you to heed the words, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 15

    A Ruler, Yet Understood Not

    Nicodemus, to whom these words were spoken, was a ruler of the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin, a man highly honored in the nation. Yet he could not understand the meaning of the Saviour’s words: “And Christ said unto him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?” [Verse 10.] Ministers, presidents of conferences—no matter who you are or what you are—you are under the eye of Jehovah, and it becomes you to find out whether your ways please the Lord. Are you getting ready, preparing for the last change?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 16

    “He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” [Revelation 3:7.] The work is in the hands of God. Let us be sure that our own souls are receiving the refining of which the Lord speaks when He says, “I will try them as gold is tried. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Zechariah 13:9; Isaiah 13:12.] Since God can thus refine us, let us place ourselves in His hands. Let us stand where we are working for Him, against anything that may come to hinder, and He will give us strength and grace and power, and we shall see the salvation of God. His grace will be given to us, and God will help us to impart it to those around us, in pleasant words and kindly deeds.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 17

    Duties of Parents

    Parents, work for the church in your home. Remember that there the education of your children begins. The father is to be the priest of the household and the mother the teacher. She is to train and educate her children, helping them to form characters that will gain for them admittance into the kingdom of God. Parents, study your children, that you may understand their different dispositions. If you speak to them harshly and cruelly, you will develop in them a harsh and cruel spirit. As you deal with your children, remember that you are dealing with Christ in the person of His little ones.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 18

    After the family, then comes the church. The influence of the family is to be such that it will be a help and a blessing in the church. Never speak a word of complaint or faultfinding. There are churches in which the spirituality has been almost killed, because the spirit of backbiting has been allowed to enter. Why do we speak words of blame and censure? To be silent is the strongest rebuke that you can give to one who is speaking harsh, discourteous words to you. Keep perfectly silent. Often silence is eloquence. My brethren, you will never enter heaven with such a spirit. I ask you to get rid of this spirit before you leave this meeting. Do not take it back with you to your home churches.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 19

    “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. 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.” [Revelation 3:9, 10.] God has told us of the trials that are coming upon us, and He has told us that He will keep us by His power. Shall we not accept His promise?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 20

    “Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall no more go 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 from My God; and I will write upon him My new name.” [Verses 11, 12.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 21

    When you are tempted to criticize and to make difficulty, let your mind dwell on this Scripture. The melting mercy of God will come into your heart, and you will know how to work for God’s little children. As you work for those around you, setting them an example of righteousness, you will receive the commendation of the Master. But many of us act like quarrelsome children. May God help you to put this spirit away. Do not keep up your quarrelling until you lose out of your lives the Holy Spirit. God wants us to be Christians, and it is time that we were. Let us bring the fragrance of His Spirit into our lives.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 22

    Neither Cold nor Hot

    “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto 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 13-16.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 23

    When the mercy and love of God are cherished in our hearts, we shall not manifest a cold, hard spirit in the home and in the church toward those who do not agree with us in every idea that we hold. We all believe that the Word of God is true. Then let us, by a careful study of His Word, find out how to remove the differences existing among us. God will speak to us through His Word and will reveal His salvation to us. May God help us not to be a disturbance in His church. He has never commanded us to carry on a disturbing work. Brethren, I beseech you not to leave Oakland to go to your home churches until you can leave behind all your hardheartedness, all your complaining, all your criticism. These act as the leaven of evil. One man in an institution with an unamiable spirit causes contention that leavens the whole institution with the same spirit. It is God’s desire that in all our institutions there shall be perfect harmony and agreement, that from them the light of heaven may be reflected. Open the windows of the soul heavenward and close them earthward, that the bright rays of the glory of God may shine into your hearts.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 24

    When Jesus was on earth, and saw a scene of contention and strife, He would raise His voice in the notes of a melodious song, praising God. The presence of God would be felt; the hearts of those who have been contending would respond to the influences of the Spirit; and they would unite in the song. When some one comes to you with an evil report of some one else, do not take up the reproach and talk it over, either in the family or in the church. Do not add your complaints to those of others.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 25

    When I see the work that lies before us, and when I see how poorly we comprehend what God requires of us, I am in an agony of distress. Here is the Word of God. Will you take it? Or will you be rejected by the Lord because, though professing much, your spirit and words and actions are void of the warmth of His Spirit? A lifeless profession is nauseating to God. Christ cannot present before the Father those who are lukewarm. He declares, “So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. 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”—are you going to live so that when Christ comes you will be among the number of whom He says, “And knowest not that thou art wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked”? [Verses 16, 17.] May God awaken us and break our hearts of stone, is my prayer. We need to feel His converting power. His praise should fill our hearts and lips. The fragrance of Christ’s life is to be brought into our life. Then we can represent the great I AM. The Lord wants to work with us. He wants us to know just where we are standing.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 26

    “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 down with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verses 18-22.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 27

    Make a Covenant With God

    My brethren and sisters, you who have heard the heard the words that I have spoken to you today, and who desire to hear the commendation of Christ, will you make a covenant with God, consecrating your lips and your tongue to Him and asking Him to sanctify them? Speech is a precious talent. God wants you to use it in His service. He desires to train your lips so that you can speak to His praise. Then your words and actions will be of that character that by them witness will be borne to the world that God sent His Son to save sinners.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 28

    I call upon you, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, to stop the work that has placed our churches where they do not know where they are. There has been much talking against one another. Talk about yourselves before God. Tell Him how wicked you are. Tell Him how you are tempted to hurt and wound your brother and to tear him down because you fear that he will have more influence than you have. Who is there here today that will make a covenant before God, that from this time they will seek Him with all the heart, that they may overcome the inclination to think and speak evil and to err on other points, so that they will not leaven the church by a wrong influence?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 29

    “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Do you fear lest by your spirit and your words you shall offend God? “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The sanctuary, built by the church in the wilderness, according to the directions given to Moses in the mount, was an object lesson of what their characters should be in simplicity, in beauty, in harmony. Part fitted perfectly to part.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 30

    When the congregation moved from one place to another, the tabernacle was taken apart and carried with them, and when they encamped, it was erected again. In this work, different tasks were assigned to different ones. Each one had a specified task. There was no discord; for each one had his work.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 31

    We are to labor in perfect unity with God and with one another. “Ye are God’s building.” [Verse 9.] Christ is the foundation upon which we are to build. What are we bringing to the foundation? Are we bringing that which is represented in the Word of God as wood, hay, and stubble—a careless deportment, unchristlike words and actions—or that which is represented as gold, silver, and precious stones—a Christian character, words and acts that God can approve?18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 32

    Need to Come to the Saviour

    You cannot afford to speak hasty words or to cherish a harsh, unforgiving spirit. From the light given me of God, you need to come to the Saviour and ask for forgiveness of sin. He will cleanse you and purify you; for He is a loving, compassionate Saviour. He says, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] He will accept you. He will lift you up. But if we refuse to come to Him, if we refuse to see that we have defects of character, He cannot help us.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 33

    I ask you—those who realize that they have erred; those who realize what they must be in order to see the King in His beauty, in order to behold the face of God; those who are willing to lay hold of the help that the Lord has given in His Word, and together to wrestle to overcome—to rise to your feet.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 34

    (The whole congregation then rose, and while they were standing, Sister White said:)18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 35

    We have made a covenant with God. And now I want to offer a word of prayer. As I pray, will you send up your petitions to God. I feel an intense desire that you shall begin to work as you never have worked before to bring to the foundation gold, silver, and precious stones. If you will do this, we shall see the salvation of God revealed in all the churches among us.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 36

    The Prayer

    My heavenly Father, we come to Thee at this time as children dependent upon Thee. We are weakness itself. In us there is no strength, no comeliness. But we come to Thee as Thy little children. We want special help from Thee at this time. Thou hast promised in Thy Word that Thou wilt sanctify those who keep Thy Sabbath. We want the sanctification of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, upon our characters. O my Father, for Christ’s sake, wilt Thou pardon our transgressions and our sins. Wilt Thou give us clear, spiritual eyesight, that we may discern what we should be and what we must be if we are granted entrance into the kingdom of God, if we hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21.]18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 37

    Thou hast given us much encouragement, but we have been so earthly, so careless in our words and deportment, that we have become blind to the riches of the glory of God. O my Father, I ask Thee to rebuke every one here who would stand in stubbornness. Let Thy melting mercy fall upon Thy sons and daughters here today. Encircle us with the arms of Thy mercy. Let Thy grace be upon us, and may we see Thy salvation in this Conference. May angels of God walk through our assemblies. Manifest Thy power unto us, as Thou dost not unto the world. Commune with Thy people. Let their hearts break here today, and let them see how they grieve the Spirit of God.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 38

    I ask Thee that Thou wilt keep in the minds of this people the covenant they have made with Thee to put away the sins that have closed the door of the heart against the Spirit of God. In the lips that have uttered words of criticism and faultfinding, I ask Thee to put songs of thanksgiving and rejoicing. Help this people to see that until they put away every sin, they will not be ready for Christ’s coming. O my Father, there are here those who are desponding, those who are in trial, who hardly know what to say or do. Deliver them this very hour, I pray Thee. Break the bondage that is upon them, and let the grace of God come into their hearts, that they themselves may realize that a holy hand has been upon them, to sanctify them and prepare them for the courts above.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 39

    My Saviour, we open the door of the heart, and we say, Come in and take full possession. Help every one here who is bearing heavy responsibilities. We pray that Thy blessing may be upon Brother Prescott, and upon Brother Daniells, and upon Dr. Kellogg, and upon all the ministering brethren here. Thou knowest the burdens that Dr. Kellogg has borne nearly all his life. We bring him to Thee in the arms of our faith. We ask Thee, O Lord, that Thou wouldest give him the comfort of Thy Holy Spirit today, that Thou wouldest break every yoke of bondage, that he may see that God has an interest in him. God wants him to see the King in His beauty. God wants him to have a crown of everlasting life.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 40

    Take us just as we are. Wash us in Thy blood, and put upon us the robe of Thy righteousness. Help the sick and the afflicted ones. Take us all into Thy compassionate arms, and speak pardon to us today. Be with us and help us, and Thy name shall have all the glory.18LtMs, Ms 21, 1903, par. 41

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