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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 7, 1909

    Sermon/The Need of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives

    Oakland, California

    February 8, 1909

    This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 04/01/1909; 04/08/1909. +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, Oakland, California, Monday, February 8, 1909.

    My mind has been much exercised of late in regard to our need of the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. The promise is given us, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;” and the assurance is repeated, “For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] The thought is enforced upon us that our dependence must be more fully upon God. He is ready and willing to do for us the very things that we need. Let us trust Him as His children.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 1

    Christ instructed His disciples that they should not leave Jerusalem until the power of God should come upon them. The disciples obeyed the command, “continuing in prayer and supplication.” “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” [Acts 1:14; 2:1-4.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 2

    How desirable it is that we be of one accord, of one mind, established in the Word of the living God, and having our feet planted on the platform of eternal truth! Let us take the Bible as our guide and director and seek to fulfil the Word of the Lord. The grace of God will be upon all who will stand upon the platform of the truths of His Word.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 3

    “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed, and marveled saying, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? ... And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 4

    “But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words. For these men are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the heaven beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Verses 5-8, 12-21.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 5

    We are living in the last days, in a time when we may expect much from the Lord. These words should bring us to the throne of grace and claim great things of Him. Here the promise is given that on the men and women, and handmaidens, on our sons and daughters, the Holy Spirit is to come; and “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Verse 21.] This brings to view a wonderful work to be done, for which we need the converting power of God in our hearts every day. It is our privilege to experience this. Heaven is full of blessings, and it is our privilege to claim the rich promises of God for our individual selves. We need to seek the Lord day and night that we may know just what steps to take and just what we ought to do.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 6

    The Lord has a special work to do for us individually. As we see the wickedness of the world brought to light in the courts of justice and published in the daily papers, let us draw near to God, and by living faith lay hold of His promises, that the grace of Christ may be manifest in us. We may have an influence, a powerful influence in the world. If the convicting power of God is with us, we shall be enabled to lead souls that are in sin to conversion.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 7

    Our simplicity will accomplish much in this work. We are not to try to climb up to high positions or to gain the praise of men. Our aim should not be to be the greatest. We are to have an eye single to the glory of God. We are to work with all the intelligence that God has given us, placing ourselves in the channel of light, where the grace of God can come upon us. Heaven is waiting to bestow its richest blessings upon those who will consecrate themselves to do the work of God in these last days of the world’s history. We shall be tested and tried; we may be called to spend wakeful nights; but let such times be spent in earnest prayer to God, that He will give understanding and quicken the mind to discern the privileges that are ours.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 8

    Let us not reveal an untoward religion. Let there be no strife as to who shall be greatest, but let each seek for greatness in humility, for an understanding of the will of the Lord. God wants us to stand as free men and women in these last days of earth’s history. While wickedness of every kind is being practiced by those who do not take God into their counsel, we are to stand as a people who are endued with the Spirit of God, because we seek Him with all the heart.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 9

    The early disciples prayed for the Holy Spirit, and they received it; and then what did they do? They preached the Word. “Ye men of Israel, hear these words,” Peter declared, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man appointed by God among you with miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 10

    “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath unto him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither did His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” [Verses 22-32.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 11

    My brethren and sisters, this is our work. We are to be His witnesses, not merely by word of mouth, not simply by preaching Christ, but by living the truth, by having the living Witness in our hearts. When the great day of God comes, and those who have followed Christ stand clearly revealed with the light of God shining upon them, those who are at that time proved unfaithful will ask themselves the questions: “Why did I not tell the truth as I knew it? why did I not live it? why did I not proclaim the truth with heart and soul and voice?” These will be the thoughts that will come as they consider what they might have done, but did not do. My brethren and sisters, I beseech of you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth that you spend much time in prayer, and in searching the Word, that you may understand the promises that have been held out before you.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 12

    Promise after promise is given, assuring us of the fulness of power that God has; and yet we are so weak in faith that we do not grasp the power. O how much we need a living, earnest faith in the truths of God’s Word. This great need of God’s people is constantly before me. What shall we do, I ask, to impress them with their need? What can we do to arouse them to see that we are living in the very evening of this earth’s history? Heaven is full of the blessings that we need, and yet but a small portion of the Spirit’s power is manifest among us. O we need to awake, we need to be converted anew each day. We need to seek for a faith that will lay hold of the arm of Jehovah.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 13

    When I heard last year that certain of our brethren were moved upon by the Holy Spirit at Fresno, I felt as if I could not close my eyes in sleep. I wanted to praise God from the time I lay down until I should rise again. In the night season I would awaken to find myself exhorting our people with all the powers of my being, telling them of the riches of the grace of God and appealing to them not to close their senses to the blessings which they might have. Night after night there were presented to me precious victories that the people of God were gaining, and I would awaken and kneeling in bed would glorify God for these manifestations of His Spirit. My brethren and sisters, it is the Spirit of God that can arouse men and women from their sleepy spirituality to be a living, working power in the world, revealing wherever they go that they are followers of Jesus Christ. Shall we not arouse and come into right relation to God?24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 14

    “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,” Peter continued, “that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” [Verse 36.] I hope none here are crucifying Christ by a wrong course of action, but I pray that we may have a clear sense of what God is to us, and of what we may be to Him as His messengers to a people that are ignorant of His will. The message is not only unto “you and your children, but unto all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call.” [Verse 39.] When the people heard these words, they were pricked in their hearts, and said to Peter and the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” [Verses 37-40.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 15

    In the experience that followed we may learn what a right testimony will accomplish when it is borne under the influence of the Holy Spirit. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” [Verses 41-47.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 16

    The gift of the Holy Spirit is promised to all who believe. But we shall find that it makes every difference whether or not we bear a living testimony in character, in mind, in intellect, and serve the Lord with full purpose of heart as we work to bring the light of truth to souls in every place.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 17

    There are places that have never yet been entered with the message of truth. Our camp-meetings in many instances have been held in the same place again and again. The Lord wants us to make a change in this respect. He wants us to work so that the truth will come to all ears and to all hearts, that the world may know what we believe. There are many, many places where such meetings should be held. Perhaps in these places fewer will come out to hear the word, and in some places there may be none; but it is our duty to take the truth to these new places, letting the light of truth shine to every soul possible. When we follow the directions of the Lord, the workings of His Spirit will be seen among us. God will bless the speakers, giving them the words that are essential to the needs of the people, and that will lead them to take hold of the living promises of God and to enjoy an experience similar to that which those enjoyed who were led to accept Christ by the teachings of the disciples on the day of Pentecost.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 18

    The Prince of heaven, He who was one with the Father in the creation of the world, came to our world to labor for the salvation of men. He laid off His royal robes and glorious crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and that divinity might lay hold of the strength of Omnipotence. In this strength He could successfully wrestle with the powers of darkness. Often in His labors, when opposition grew strong and His enemies would have taken Him, He said to His disciples, Let us go to another place; My time has not yet come. By this He meant that the time of His final suffering and the closing of His earthly work had not yet come. So He would leave the city and start out for the fields. There company after company would join Him until thousands were listening to His words.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 19

    We read of one occasion when five thousand men besides women and children were gathered to hear Him. When the day was far spent, the disciples came to the Saviour and urged Him to send the people away. Some were fainting by the way, and they had nothing to eat. To the question of Christ, What food have you? the reply was given, “Five barley loaves and two small fishes.” “Bring them to Me,” said Christ, and there, breaking the loaves into pieces, and handing to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude, the hungry multitude ate of the food provided until all were satisfied. While the food was being passed from hand to hand, the wonderful miracle was wrought that converted that small supply into sufficient to feed so great a multitude. Then said Christ, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments and of the fishes.” [Mark 6:38; Matthew 14:18; John 6:9, 12, 13.]24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 20

    Just such experiences as this in spiritual lines will come to us as we work in faith and obedience to God. As we seek to proclaim the truth for this time, angels of God will be present to minister to the hearts of the people. These heavenly angels are all around us, waiting for opportunities to impress the minds of the people, that they in turn may become instruments in carrying the truth to other souls.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 21

    My brethren and sisters, we need to be converted. We need the power of the living God to come upon us, for many of us are without spiritual strength. Let us begin to put forth earnest efforts to carry the truth to places where it is needed. Let us look for the perishing around us. Christ is a living Christ today. He is waiting to impart His great grace, His salvation and truth, to all who will seek for it with the simplicity of a child. We cannot do anything to help ourselves, for we are poor mortals beset with temptations on the right hand and on the left. But with the help that Christ will give us, we may become established in the doctrines of the Word and give its teachings to others. As we explain the Word of God, heavenly angels will be present to minister grace to the hearers.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 22

    Our hearts need to be softened by the Holy Spirit of God. Our own will and ways, our own inclinations and education will mold and fashion us so that our message to the people will have but little effect. The Lord desires that our hearts shall be subdued by the grace of Christ. He would have us susceptible to the influences of His Holy Spirit.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 23

    The Holy Spirit is an educating power wherever it is found. One and another writes to me, asking, “What is the higher education?” To have the higher education is to have the religion of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit of God. It is to have close friendship with God, to be in that place where we can have communion with Him, and to work under the ministration of His Spirit. The reason why I have been so anxious that we should open our proposed new training school in California is that many youth may be encouraged to seek for this higher education. We want this school to be altogether different from many of the schools that have been established among us. It is to pattern after the schools of the prophets. We want that here the higher education shall be understood and sought for—the education that comes from Christ and is imparted by God to His people.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 24

    We are to teach the youth how to learn of God, how to overcome their unhappy temperaments, how to cling to the Mighty One, that when the gates of the city of God are thrown back on their glittering hinges, and the nations that have kept the truth shall enter in, they will find an entrance there and join in the song of triumph in the kingdom of glory. My brethren, we need the converting power of God upon us if we would pass safely through the perils of the last days. I want to see the King in His beauty, and I want, by the message I shall give, to help in preparing a people to lay hold of the might and power of God. To obtain a fitness for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven should be considered of more importance than anything else. We need to have heaven brought into our souls and Christ manifested in our lives. We need to be willing to deny self and to sacrifice our own will and ways to the will and way of God. It is our privilege to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We may follow on to know the Lord and know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 25

    It is our privilege to have a living experience and to sustain that relation to heaven, that the truth will go forth from us as a lamp that burneth. Those who have a living experience in the things of God will long to see the truth go to places where it has not been. Christ says to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Let us take the lamp from under the bushel, that it may give light to all that are in the house. Many of us are asleep, and the end of all things is at hand. Everything testifies to the fact that we are living in the closing days of the earth’s history. We should be able at this time to bear a living testimony of a living experience. When we ourselves are converted, we shall be able to strengthen others.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 26

    I would say to you, husband your means, that when any call comes to help in extending the knowledge of the truth, you may be able to respond. Let the truth go forth from place to place, that hearts may be converted. We need to make known to the world a new religion. We need to reveal in words and actions what higher education is. I have felt so deeply at times about this matter that I have lain upon my bed and cried to God. Lord, I have said, The case seems hopeless. What can we do to arouse the people? What can we say to make them see that the common experience that many are having will never give them an entrance into the kingdom of God? God’s people are to learn what it means to be taught of God, what it means to deny self, to sacrifice self. Heaven is full of power, and this power would come to us did we but feel the need of it. But many of us are satisfied with a common, cheap experience and do not arise to the emergency. God help us to arise to the emergency.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 27

    I will not hold you any longer, but I would say that I greatly desire that the glory of God shall be revealed in His people. Shall we not right here make a covenant with God by sacrifice? Shall we not come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness? Who will pledge themselves today to seek the Lord while He may be found? You cannot convert others until you find God for yourselves. Only when you have found Him yourselves can you make Him known to others. Will you not open your hearts and minds to the influence of the Spirit of God, so that the testimony borne will be lasting in its results? The servants of God may wear out their lives in service for you without result unless you co-operate with them. Unless you make determined efforts for yourselves, the Holy Spirit will not come upon you, and the results seen after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost will not be seen among you. Who now, I ask, will make a determined effort to obtain the higher education? Those who will, make it manifest by rising to your feet. (The congregation rose.) Here is the whole congregation. May God help you to keep your pledge. Let us pray.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 28

    (Praying) Heavenly Father, I come to Thee at this time, just as I am, poor, weak, unworthy, and I ask Thee to impress the hearts of this people gathered here today. I have spoken to them Thy words, but O Lord, Thou alone canst make the word effective.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 29

    I ask Thee to forgive those who have failed in serving Thee. Reveal Thyself to them. Impress their minds. Let the converting power of God come upon them. Present before them in clear gospel light their privilege to reflect the character of Christ in words, in actions. Teach them that in order to be partakers in the strife, in order to obtain victories, spiritual victories, they must be partakers of the divine nature.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 30

    We beseech Thee, for Christ’s sake, to sweep away this awful darkness that would hide from view the religion of Christ. We cannot do this, for we are mortal; but we can ask Thee, Thou God of heaven. Impress the minds of this people as Thou hast never done before. Reveal it to them that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Grant them the presence of Thine angels in every home. These who have pledged themselves to seek the Lord, help them to be in earnest; help them to understand that they are to be living lights, bringing to others the convicting power of the Spirit of God.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 31

    We want our school to be established. Lord, Thou knowest all about this. We know that we have looked to Thee in this matter, that we have cried to Thee in the night seasons, asking Thee to take charge here. O I pray Thee, that Thou wilt make it such a school as has never yet been established among us. Let angels of God take charge of the work and carry it through to Thine own name’s glory. Let the Spirit of God be present to enlighten the minds and touch the hearts of the students as the teachers give instruction that ought to be given. Let the glory of God come in, and let hearts and minds grasp the truths of the Word of God as they have never before done.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 32

    Lord, prepare Thy people to meet Thee in peace. We need the Holy Spirit of God in every heart. Let Thy converting power come upon us as it came upon thy people on the day of Pentecost. O God, reveal Thyself to us.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 33

    Let Thy blessing rest upon us, dear Saviour. Let light shine into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple, that we may see light in Thy light, and joy in Thy joy, as we see sinners turning to God with the whole heart. We have no power but in Thee. We ask Thee to mold and fashion us and give us an experience after the divine similitude.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 34

    O God, I beseech of Thee to work. Thou didst send one equal with Thyself to live in the world a life of poverty and toil. Traveling on foot from place to place, He endured hardness and hunger. My Father, we are ashamed of the presentation we have made. Wilt Thou not baptize us, Lord? Let Thy converting power come upon this people. Help them to make a determined effort to resist the enemy, and that he may flee from them; and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory.24LtMs, Ms 7, 1909, par. 35

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