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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 5, 1909

    Sermon/Two Kinds of Service

    Oakland, California

    February 6, 1909

    This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 03/18/1909; 03/25/1909. +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.

    Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White, Sabbath, February 6, 1909, in Oakland, California.

    “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me the ordinance of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” [Isaiah 58:1-3.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 1

    There is a great deal of profession in our world, plenty of self-justification, but the evidences of the deep work of grace in hearts is not so apparent. There is a very earnest question before us. The time has come when every soul should understand that he has a soul to save or a soul to lose, a heaven to win and a hell to shun. We need to understand what we shall do to be saved.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 2

    There is something wanting in the experience of this class brought to view by the prophet. And self is brought into their service. “Behold,” he says, “in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?” [Verses 3-5.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 3

    “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” [Verse 6.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 4

    In the experience of God’s people there have been yokes bound upon the churches that God never ordained, yokes that have greatly marred the experience and have offended the Lord God of Israel. Because a man carries responsibilities in the church, he is not given liberty to rule the mind and judgment of others with whom the Lord is working. The Lord wants every soul in His service to understand what is the kind of work required of them. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen,” He says, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thy self from thine own flesh?” [Verses 6, 7.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 5

    His office in the church does not place the worker where he is unapproachable, but should lead him to earnest prayer, that he may have a conscience void of offense. Then God will give him power to speak words of consolation and advice and counsel to his brethren. The position he is to occupy is one of meekness and lowliness of mind. Then when one who is in trouble comes to him for help, he will be able to say, Let us pray, and kneeling down with that soul will make himself one with him.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 6

    God has sent the instruction to break every yoke. We are one, one in Christ Jesus. Position does not make the man; position does not give liberty to exercise power arbitrarily over others. It is counsel that is needed, righteousness in deportment that is to be made manifest with meekness and humbleness of mind, and a spirit to seek the Lord until He is found.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 7

    The Reward of True Service

    The prophet continues: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” [Verse 8.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 8

    Here we have the promise of health, and our health is worth very much to us. It is our privilege to reflect light wherever we go; we can speak words of comfort and encouragement and uplifting; but let us bind no yoke upon another. Then “thy righteousness”—your rightdoing, your righteous actions—“shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” [Verse 8.] These are wonderful, wonderful words. Let us seek to take them in. We are nearing the judgment, nearing the time when decisions for eternity will be made. Let us counsel together in meekness and lowliness of heart.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 9

    “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” [Verses 9, 10.] Praise God with heart and voice for this possibility. Praise God that we can bring this promise to the Lord for fulfilment when we comply with the conditions. When we do not know which way to turn, light direct from God will come to us, if we will follow His directions. “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verse 11.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 10

    We need to understand these words, for a great work is before us—the closing work of this earth’s history. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places.” There are many of these. “Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations: and thou shalt be called, The repairers of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Verse 12.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 11

    What is the breach here mentioned? It is the breach in the law of God, made by the observance of the first day of the week for the Sabbath of the Lord. It is something in which all the world is taking part; but God declares, “if thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 13, 14.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 12

    We are not half awake to our privileges today. We do not understand as we should the work that is before us, or our obligation to place ourselves in right relation to God, that He may send His angels to help us in accomplishing the work. Our little selves cannot do much; but when heaven is united with our efforts; when our work is blessed of God, righteousness will be revealed. There is a world to be saved; there are districts and cities to be worked that have not yet been labored for. We are thankful that we have publications that can be distributed. We are thankful for those that are being published in other languages. Let us each now place ourselves in right relation to God, saying, All that I have comes from Thee; all that I have I am willing to use to help in any place. I will do what I can. If I have much I will give much; if I have but little, I will give that little to bring the truth to those who have it not.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 13

    Let us each bring ourselves into submission to the Lord God of Israel. You may have your peculiar way; I may have my peculiar way, and some others their peculiar way; but under God that way will be agreeable. If we are not under the control of God, led by the inspiration of His Spirit, our way will not be agreeable. What we need is to stand in right relation to the great I AM. When we stand in right relation to Him, we can do as Christ has commissioned. Christ gave the word, Go to all nations, and He will be with those who go. “Lo,” He declares, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 14


    Higher Education in Preparation for Service

    As men and women who profess to believe the truth for this time, we have no right to place ourselves in any wrong relation to God or His cause. We have a work to do for the Master, a work to do for the rising generation. We cannot afford to send our children to the public schools. This has been presented to me for years. For years we have been establishing schools, but they are not perfected yet. There are some who think that we must pattern after the schools of the world if we would give our youth a complete education. What we need to give them is a complete education in that Book which assures us of that life that measures with the life of God. If we will obey His commandments, we shall live. This is the book of books. It is to be the great study book for all who profess the name of Christ.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 15

    My brethren and sisters, do not neglect your children. Teach them that they have souls to save or to lose. Teach them to come into right relation to God. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It was because of such a training as this that Daniel and his fellows, when they were taken as captives to Babylon, were able to stand the test. They had received the education that God gives, and He was able to make right impressions on their minds.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 16

    Do not fold your hands and find fault with God, as did the class of worshipers the prophet Isaiah brings to view. They said, “Wherefore have we fasted, ... and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” [Isaiah 58:3.] This class of professors makes no sacrifice for God, although for them He has made the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, sending Him to our world that they might be sanctified and made holy, and that by learning to represent the character of Christ, they might bear a living testimony to all with whom they associated. We must take a higher standard than this.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 17

    I read in books that come to me how we must attain to a higher education, but these writings do not interpret what is meant by “higher education.” What is higher education? It is coming into unity with Jesus Christ. It is being made one with God. It is bringing God into mind and heart. Unless we have Christ in the life we cannot reveal Him. To learn to humble self, to subdue self—this is the higher education. Higher education, and the education which we should have, is that which proceeds from God and imparts a knowledge of what saith the Lord. It is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to preach as He preached, to work as He worked.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 18

    “Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold of it.” [Isaiah 56:1, 2.] This is Bible sanctification; this is the higher education. When we make the Bible our book for study, and give to our students a knowledge of the Word of God, there will be no need to ask the question, Have they the higher education? What we need is an acquaintance with God who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 19

    We do not half serve God. We do not honor Him as we should. We have a name to live, but O so many of us are dead. We need to study the Word and see if we are preparing to meet our Lord when He shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. I want to stand in right relation to God. I have been in His work now since I was sixteen years old. I do not want to fail now.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 20

    Everywhere there is missionary work to be done, and every soul of us should have an active part in it. It is astonishing to see how fields are opening everywhere. Workers are calling for means to carry on the work. Many students from our schools are going out and educating themselves in the languages, and opening the Scriptures to peoples of other tongues. This is an excellent work, just the work the Lord would have them do.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 21

    We need to become students of prophecy. We need to labor for everyone that possibly can be helped. Now while there is opportunity, let us get the light before the people. There will never be a more favorable time for work that this, for the judgments of God are coming upon the earth more and more. We need Christians at this time, and to be a Christian means to be Christlike.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 22

    Speaking of those who have joined themselves to the Lord to serve Him, God says, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted upon Mine altar, for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” [Isaiah 56:7.] This is what we want. The Lord receives too little glory from the lips of any of us, but much of complaint. Shall we not change in this respect and begin to offer praise and thanksgiving to God? Let us begin to do the works here brought to view. Let us bring the poor that are cast out to our house. Let us lay no yokes or burdens upon the people. Let us come to God with humble, lowly hearts, with tongues sanctified and brain powers sanctified. If we will do this, there will be praises to God offered in every congregation. The songs of thanksgiving and joyful praise will be heard coming from happy hearts, and men will know that we enjoy the true religion of Jesus Christ. There are just two classes of people brought to view in the Word of God. With which class are you standing? If all were brought together in heaven with their different temperaments unsanctified, what kind of heaven, think you, would we have? Do we not want to be transferred from this school below to the higher school above? There Christ will walk and talk with His people and open to them the Scriptures they do not understand. There we shall pluck the fruits of the tree of life. We shall see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms. There will be no contention there; then let us not have it on earth. We are to begin here to obtain the higher education. We are to learn here to guard the lips, to govern the words. Christ gave His life for us, and He wants us to give our lives to Him—lives that are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. Shall we not let our righteousness, as Isaiah has said, “go before” us? [Isaiah 58:8.] Then the glory of the Lord will be our rereward.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 23

    How few there are who praise God! But this is part of our higher education. In this life we are to learn to honor Him by offering our praises and thanksgiving to Him. It is only those who on earth have learned to glorify God that will be given a place in the courts of glory. If we are translated, we shall be translated just as we are. We are to be made perfect in this life; in this life our tongues are to be sanctified, our thoughts purified. Then let us take up this work of education now. Let us do those things that we shall wish we had done when the time comes that our work is finished.24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 24

    I long to hear the voice of thanksgiving to God. I long to hear praises offered to Him. I long to see happy Christians. Let us seek the Lord while He may be found. Let us bring Christ into our family circles. Let us invite the joy of the Lord into our homes and into our hearts. How much glory we could bring to God if we would consider that Christ died on the cross to make it possible for us to come into right relation to Him in this respect. He worked out a perfect life amid the fiercest opposition that could be instituted against Him. Then shall we not make earnest endeavors to be Christians? Should we not, when we meet to worship God, offer praise from hearts filled with thanksgiving? We have everything to praise God for. He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.]24LtMs, Ms 5, 1909, par. 25

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