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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 140, 1909

    Sermon/Thoughts on John 15

    Oakland, California

    December 18, 1909

    Previously unpublished.

    John 15:1. They claim to be in Him but they are not there. “Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Now we can understand that every thing depends, with us individually, on whether we are fruit-bearing branches. And every branch that beareth fruit in the vine, then what will He do? Verse 2.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 1

    Now, it is for the advantage of every soul of us that we should stand and work in right relation to God. We cannot afford to do any haphazard work. It is too costly a business for us to make a failure again and again. We must be in a position where we can lay hold upon Jesus Christ, and that we can claim His keeping power, and that we may so live before Him that His name may be glorified by us on the earth. We want to be the branches that can bear fruit.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 2

    I was attempting to write upon this once, not long since, and the whole scene was impressed upon my mind, and I lost consciousness. I did not know where I was, but such a wonderful representation!24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 3

    “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” [Verse 5.] Well, the branches must not bear the same fruit as the root and the vine. Therefore we are to stand in that relation to God where the devil cannot in any way rob us of that grace which we want so much, to bear fruit to the glory of God.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 4

    Well, after a time I aroused, and where was I? I did not know where I was, but the whole advantage had gone before me, and it seemed life and it seemed strength to every soul of us that would take hold of it. And we want now, right down in the very last stage of this earth’s history, to understand our right relation to God.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 5

    Are we bearing fruit? Are we winning souls to Jesus Christ, because ye are laborers together with God? Or are we shutting ourselves up to ourselves, so that we are not working out the true principles of godliness to make a representation in the world?24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 6

    But just see what this text means. Verse 2. Well, now, you may think you are hurt. You are made sad, you are distressed, you feel in some way that you haven’t a right relation to God. Well, then He wants you to have. He wants you to double your efforts that you might be fruit-bearing branches of the living vine.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 7

    “And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it.” Is the purging good? Doesn’t it hurt you when you are purged? When something comes up and you feel that it is not just right, you want to make a fuss about it. Now don’t let us any more, because the Lord Jesus promised that He permits things to come to us that we shall think soberly and righteously, and that we should consider our case minutely, whether we are fruit-bearing branches, for that means very much to us.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 8

    “He purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit.” Verses 3, 4. Now just bear that in mind. Well, all this came before me only a few nights ago, and such a representation! I did not know for a time where I was, I could not think where I was, but then this subject seemed so full, so complete, that if we understood it, we would work to the point to know that we are fruit-bearing branches.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 9

    What are you doing for your neighbors that have not heard of the truth? What are you doing for those with whom you come in contact that are sinners? What are you doing to wake them up? And if you should be purged, perhaps you would understand that they might become branches of the vine as well as you, if they had the opportunity. But keeping yourself within yourself, doing just as you please, carrying no special burden or responsibility of the souls of those that are around you, will result in your losing your own soul.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 10

    You do not appreciate it, and therefore you will lose yourself out of the vine. You cannot afford it. It is life, eternal life; it must be with every mortal of us here today or it is death, death, eternal death when Christ shall come, and you cannot afford that Jesus Christ shall have died for you in vain. Can it be so, that the Son of the living God, came to this world, and there He was crucified? There He was bound in the garden of Gethsemane, and pleading that if it was possible, this cup might pass from Him. Now all this was to save you, to save me, and to save every one of us. And shall He have made it for us in vain? What about this matter?24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 11

    Aren’t we careless of our words? Do you worship God in spirit and in truth? Do you have His praise in your lips when you come into the house of God, that you can praise Him, and that you can do Him honor when you are out of the house? I want to ask you if we have not need of being pruned, that we should bring forth more fruit? God help us that we shall not make any mistake.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 12

    Verses 3, 4. Now, if you are abiding in Christ, you will do the works of Christ. You will not let sinners, your very next neighbor or the friends around you, not know anything about what you believe. You will not act more frequently like sinners than you do like saints. You cannot afford it. You are not bearing fruit within to the true vine.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 13

    Now we want, every one of us, to melt our hearts before God. You want, when you come into the house of God, to worship Him. His praise is on your lips, it is in your heart, and God will be honored by your praising Him. God will be honored to see that you are living branches of the vine, and we ought to praise God a hundredfold more than we do now. How is God glorified by our silence and our dumbness? We want right here in the wicked city of Oakland, and in the wicked city of San Francisco, to have a voice that shall be honoring the Lord God of Israel. We want the truth in our hearts, and we want it expressed upon our lips, and we want that our tongues shall praise God, because He has given us Christ.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 14

    What about that? John 3:16. Now speak of Christ, the death struggle that He had before He was treated so shamefully. They spit in His face, they beat Him with thongs, and who was He? He was suffering that you might have an experience that would conform to His teachings, that you might win souls in His person. He made the infinite sacrifice in our behalf. While He was bowed there in agony, He arose and He staggered to where the disciples were, to see if they might speak a word to Him, but they were asleep. He aroused them up; He said, Could ye not watch with Me one hour? He said, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 15

    Now that cup was trembling in His hand, when He was in that condition, just a little while after He had said, “I am the true vine, and ye are the branches.” [John 15:1, 5.] And here He says, in view of that cup that was trembling in His hands, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, indeed, not My will, but Thine be done. And there He was, fainting as it were, dying on the field of battle, when a mighty angel from heaven came down, and lifted His head and put it upon His bosom, and there He drank that cup, He consented to drink that cup of suffering, that was right before Him. And we know how He bore it all the way through, “Not My will,” He said, “but Thine be done.” [Luke 22:42.]24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 16

    It was that you and I might have the privilege of being a branch in the true vine; it was that we might study His life and his character, and that we might follow on to know that Lord, that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Now Christ bore this. Christ suffered all the abuse that would be heaped upon Him, and who was He? The Son of the infinite God. He permitted all this to be poured out in our behalf, that we might be partakers of the divine nature, even Jesus Christ. O that God would help us!24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 17

    [John 15] Verses 3, 4. Now, unless we are abiding in Christ, how do we know we are abiding in Him? Because we are working the works of Christ, we are working in the same line. We are having compassion on those on whom Christ would have compassion, and we are in every way seeking to save the perishing souls.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 18

    How much have you done for your neighbors? How many efforts have you made to open the Scriptures before your neighbors? I asked you in the name of the Lord, what are you doing? And here we are on the very remnant, the last remnant of time, of this earth’s history, when the gospel can be carried from place to place. In some places, now even, it is closed up, but there are places where we are to work as laborers together. Christ is working for the salvation of souls. He has done His part, and He is still working through His followers, that they shall act their part, and He will give them the power of the Holy Spirit to impress human minds. This the real work to be done in cities, and wherever we may go, there is a work to be done.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 19

    We are to place ourselves in right relation to God, that we may work in harmony with the true vine. “I am the true vine,” He says, “and my Father is the husbandman.” [Verse 1.] Study your Bible. Study it; teach your children to study it. You are either preparing them for the future, immortal life, or you are allowing them to drift right down in the enemy’s lines. You cannot afford it. You want to co-operate with God. You want to know that Christ has borne the great burden on your account, and that you are to be where every time you come into this house you will praise God that you are alive, that you can work the works of God. And God help every one of us to come in right relation to God.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 20

    As I consider this subject, it seems to me it is large and broad and deep and full and eternal in its result of fruit-bearing. Verse 3. “through the word.” if they obey the Word. Verses 4, 5. Now that is just what He expects of us. This is His last lessons that He was giving to His disciples, before He suffered the crucifixion.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 21

    Verse 5. How many souls have you labored for? How many will tell you when the judgment shall fall upon the earth, “Why didn’t you warn me?” Let us take hold. I beseech of you, Seek the Lord with all your heart, that you may find Him. “Without me ye can do nothing.”24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 22

    Verses 6, 7. Well, why shouldn’t His words abide in us? Why shouldn’t we work out the salvation of God? Why shouldn’t we co-operate with God? For He so loved the world, etc. How many will come in the day of judgment, and say, If you hadn’t have warned me, I should not be prepared for this occasion. And when in the city of God the crowns are brought and placed upon the heads of the overcomers, they remember what words this one spoke to them, and that one spoke to them in their faithfulness, and they cast their crowns at the feet of Jesus, and clasp their arms around their neck and say, Your words saved me. I should have lost all this if you had not helped me. Now what we want is to be wide awake. We cannot afford to be anything else. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.” Now just see, “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Now that is assurance. “Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.”24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 23

    Verses 8-10. Now you see He places Himself right in the link with us. Verse 11. Why shouldn’t we be thankful, why shouldn’t we be grateful? Why shouldn’t we express it? Why shouldn’t we gather our children around us, and tell them Christ died for them? Why shouldn’t you do it, and why shouldn’t you see that they were deciding on the right side to be Christians?24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 24

    Verses 11, 12. Now, do you suppose you could love one another as Christ loves us, and yet not say anything to warn your neighbors nor your friends nor unbelievers that are around you?24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 25

    I was afraid I might never have a chance to speak this to you again. I had another subject I was to bring, but I thought I would give you this, this time, and I want you to work upon it with all your might, and redeem the time that you have lost. You might have had many souls that you could have brought to the knowledge of the truth if you had only realized the force of the words that I have read to you.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 26

    Verse 12. Do you do it? Or if you see some little thing you can find fault with, you will keep thinking of that little thing. Why, we are the purchase of the blood of Christ; He gave His life for you, and He wants every one of you to be re-converted. He wants the re-converting power of God to go through your midst. I am afraid if you let things go on as they are, you will perish with the wicked, for you have neglected the most solemn obligations that Christ has laid upon you. Now, let us every one see and understand what this Scripture means.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 27

    Verses 13, 14. Now here is the application. You know whether you obey it or not. Verse 15. Thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice. Verses 16, 17. Now, if you do, you cannot be silent as you are, men and women. You cannot do as little as you do on the side of the Master.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 28

    Verses 17, 18, 19. There is such a vast difference, he represents, between the world and obedience to Christ. Now, if you maintain that sacredness of character that belongs to the Christian, you will reveal it in your love for souls.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 29

    Verses 19, 20, 21. I tell you this today that you may know that you have something to do, everyone of you, if you keep in the living vine.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 30

    Verses 23-26. Now, we can be with Christ in this from the beginning, by taking the chapters that are lessons, that He has given us, not only this chapter, but on through His teachings, and follow it out to the letter. We might have a religion that would bring us in close connection as fruit-bearing branches. We might have a religion that would make an impression upon the world, and we want to be branches of the true vine, that we may bear the fruit of the true vine, and that we may bear the purging of the true vine.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 31

    I beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to come up on a higher level. I was afraid I could not speak today, but God has given me strength of voice. Therefore I will speak to you as the children that He wants to have come in right relation to Himself, so that you shall not be pruned away, but that you shall be pruned to bring forth more fruit, that every one of us shall come in right relation to God. That is my earnest and anxious desire. And I ask of you, Will you make an effort, wherever you live, either in San Francisco or in Oakland, or Berkeley, or what place you come from, I ask you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to listen to the words of Christ, to read it over and over and over again until they get into your heart, until your heart burns with the love of Christ that has expressed such interest in every branch in the vine. That which would disturb us, that which would make it so impossible that we can do only a little, He taketh it away, and that which will work in harmony with Christ, He lets it remain, and pruneth it that it may bring forth more fruit to the glory of God.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 32

    We want to be Christians. I expect to meet the testimony, that I give you here today, in the day of judgment. I expect to meet it, and therefore I feel an intense interest that there should be a decided expression here this very day. Every one who will carry out to the very best of his ability these words, not of Sister White, but these words of the Bible, of Jesus Christ, that you will carry them out to the letter, and that you will get in these souls redeemed by the grace of God, I ask you to rise to your feet.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 33

    (Congregation rises.) Thank the Lord. (Praying:) Thou seest the pledge of this people. I beseech of Thee, for Christ’s sake, that this pledge may be so impressed upon them that they will begin to work for their neighbors, that they will work for souls that are ready to perish, that they will open the Scriptures to them, and then their experience will grow, because Christ has taught them to do that very work.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 34

    I ask Thee, Lord, to let Thy blessing rest upon this congregation. O, my Father, my Father, for Christ’s sake make the impression. I cannot make it, but I want Thee to make it, that there shall be a beginning of an altogether different experience. Instead of finding fault, instead of complaining, instead of being untrue to Christ who gave His life to save our souls, may we every one of us stand in right relation to Thee from this hour.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 35

    We want Thee, Lord. We open our hearts to Thee. We want to remain a branch of the true vine, and we want to teach others what it means to be a branch of the true vine. Bless this congregation that right here stands before Thee. O, make the impression. I cannot make the impression, but the Holy Spirit of God can make it, and I ask Thee that they may study this chapter, and that they may bear fruit to the glory of God, and that at last we may meet in the city of God, where parents and children shall be united, because the parents have done their duty to their children.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 36

    O, my Father, my Father, I ask Thee for Christ’s sake to make the impression that Thou alone canst make, and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory.24LtMs, Ms 140, 1909, par. 37

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