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Experiences in Australia

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    “Add to Your Faith Virtue.”

    Sermon, Sabbath, No. 3, ‘94
    Campground, Ashfield.
    EA 208.1

    (804) “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of Christ God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.EA 208.2

    (805) And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly-kindness; and to brotherly-kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”EA 208.3

    I am thankful that we have these great and abundant promises; but every one of these promises is given us on condition. If we neglect to follow the conditions, we must not expect God to let his rich grace and abundant power come to us. The reason why God wants us to be so particular in following the directions is that this is the only right road, the only way to peace and happiness. God wants us to be His sons and daughters. During (806) the hours of probation left to us he wants us to be gaining these graces, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things. Through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue, nothing is withheld from us that pertains to life and godliness. We have the precious promise that we shall be partakers of the divine nature.EA 208.4

    In Christ everything that pertains to godliness and the salvation of the human soul is placed within our reach. There is no excuse why one of us should falter and fail in the world of overcoming. Christ came to earth to open the way whereby man could be united to God and have the strength that comes from God in the work of overcoming. To open this way Christ had to take upon himself humanity; for if he had not laid aside his glory, we could not have endured his presence. Daniel, the man whom God calls greatly beloved, could not endure the presence of angels. Daniel prayed to the Lord, and in answer to his prayer, an angel was sent to open before him the great events of the future. As soon as Daniel caught sight of the glory, he fell helpless to the earth. The angel touched him to give him strength. Again (807)Daniel looked at the angels, and his strength left him. A second time the angel strengthened him to hear his words, but he could not impart the instruction he came to give until he took the form of a man.EA 208.5

    Christ received baptism at the hands of John, and then on the banks of the Jordan he bowed in prayer. That prayer, cleaving its way through the hellish shadow of Satan reached the Father in heaven. In response, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God in the form of a dove of burnished gold rested upon the Son of God, while the voice of the Father was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This prayer opened heaven to every son and daughter of Adam. That voice from heaven to every son and daughter of Adam. That voice from heaven says to them, “You are accepted in the beloved; your faith shall be respected; your prayers shall enter in through the gates ajar, and your Advocate who pleads for you before the Father, will present your petitions. While Christ is pleading in heaven for us, the Holy Spirit pleads within, and the petition ascends to God with power.EA 208.6

    Had we not better pray more? Is it not important that we (808) send our petitions to God so that Christ can mingle with these petitions the fragrant incense of his own righteousness. Heaven is open to us. You may have the strength given to you that will enable you to lay hold of divine power.EA 209.1

    “I am fallen,” you say. “I pray, but the Lord does not seem to hear.” How do you know that the Lord does not hear? Is your knowledge of the matter greater than the promise of the infinite of God, who says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” You can rely upon the promise, or you can remain in such unbelief, that if God should bless you however much, you would not recognize the blessing as coming from Him. Would it not be best for you to take God at his word? The promises of God are rich and full and broad as the universe. You are to come to God and present these promises, saying, “Thou hast promised, Lord. Thou hast told me if I asked, I should receive. I take thee at thy word.EA 209.2

    Another says, “I cannot carry my little interests to God.” To whom then will you carry them? What God have you besides the Lord to whom you can tell your heart difficulties and you (809) little trials. These small trials lead to greater ones; then what will you do with these? Take everything to God, the small as well as the great; lay them before Him, and tell him what you feel. If you have heart burnings against one for whom Christ has died, cut that out of your life, and ask God that He will supply the grace that is essential in order to be victors. Then precious victory, full and abundant, will be yours.EA 209.3

    Peter declares that grace is given to us through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. How can you know God unless there is open communion between yourself and Him. Satan and all his synagogue of evil angels have engaged to cast their shadow between your soul and God that not one ray of light may come to you. If your prayers seem to be unanswered, do not hastily decide that God has not heard you. It may be that Satan is seeking to could your mind and heart with the darkness that covers the earth and the people. You cannot afford to leave the fountain of living waters, the cool streams of Lebanon, to drink of the turbid waters of the valley.EA 209.4

    It makes my heart ache when I read the letters that come to me across the Pacific—the pitiful appeals of poor souls: “The Lord does not hear my prayer,” I am afraid the Lord has forsaken me.” These souls have an adviser right beside them, but they (810) do not recognize Him. “I am at your right hand,” Christ says, “to help you.”EA 209.5

    You need not study to have eloquence in your prayers, or to frame them in beautiful language. You can come with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, shall not your Father which is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.” Is not this promise of God good for anything to you? God wants us to show that we trust Him. He wants us to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” When you seek Me with the whole heart, He says, you shall find me. Cannot youEA 209.6

    believe it? Oh, if I did not believe it, I would not be in Australia today. I walked out on the promise of God, and though I was in a great feebleness, He gave me strength to cross the broad waters. There is no respect of persons with God. God regards his humble servants wherever they are. They are the purchase of the Son of God, bought with an infinite price. It is His delight to bring them so near to Him that they will recognize their leader, and listen to His orders. The captain of our salvation will make known to us everything that (811) that it is essential for us to know.EA 210.1

    At one place where we were laboring in America, we made an effort for the youth in the college. As the result of the effort proud young men and women were converted to God. One evening I missed the youth from the meetings, and inquired for them. Soon a whole class of them came in and took their seats. Afterwards in their testimony they told how they had confessed their wrongs that they had done to one another. One said, “I wanted to come to this meeting knowing that I had taken up the last stumbling block from my own feet and the feet of others.” The glory of God came into that meeting. It did not come to just a few; like a tidal wave it seemed to sweep through the whole congregation. There were no wild demonstrations; for the praise of God does not lead to that. God appeals to the senses and reason of men and women. The Spirit of God has an influence upon the heart that shows itself in the countenance, and the shining of the face reveals Jesus within. It was a miracle of God’s mercy that transformed the characters of the students in that school, and sent them out later as missionaries. Two of the teachers who were in that meeting are now missionaries (812) in Tahiti.EA 210.2

    You who are listening to my words today may think that in your religious experience you do not feel as you would like to feel. In that very meeting there was one who thought he had received the love of God has he had never received it before. The next morning he came to the meetings, and rose to testify. I knew in a moment that something was the matter, for the light had gone out of his countenance. Said he, “Somehow, I don’t feel as I did last night. I don’t feel a nearness to God. I have lost the blessing.”EA 210.3

    “Where did you lose it, Brother Robinson,” I asked.
    “I cannot tell.”
    EA 210.4

    “You slept through the night, and God guarded you. Why do you not realize his blessing this morning?” “I will tell you what is the matter. You have not educated yourself to believe in God whatever your feelings may be. Feeling is not to be your God. You must not offer your sacrifices on the altar of feeling. Feeling and faith are as distinct from each other as earth is from heaven, and as far removed as the east is from the west. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (813) of things not seen. Faith walks the narrow plank, and walk till it comes to the end, and then steps off on to nothing, as it were. Faith is a mighty upholder. When you cannot see how to take another step, plead to God with your whole heart. Do not consult your feelings. Feeling has nothing to do with it. I believe that God is my God, and that His promises will be verified to me. I do not consider my feelings in the matter. I know my duty from the expressed will of God, and it is for me to do that will, and do it intelligently. At the times when I have felt unable to speak to the people, then have been the times when God has helped me. Sometimes I go out to meet my appointments feeling so weak, and it seems I could not utter a word; but as I stand before the people God uses the frail instrument. The blessing of God never fails me. I take no credit to myself; it is a power from above that gives me the message.”EA 210.5

    God does not tell you, dear friends that if you believe in Him you will have no trials and difficulties. On the contrary, He says, If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; of they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also. He further speaks of a time when “He that killeth you, will think (814) that he doeth God service.” He shows you the plan of battle, and tells you what you may expect to meet. “We struggle 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.” Nor does he leave you in your own strength to fight the battles of life. Put on the whole armor of God,” he says, “that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” You are to fight as in the sight of the universe of heaven. More than human beings compose the army of God; angels that excel in strength are warriors in it. The captain of the Lord’s host, he is there. These powers will gain the victory for you, if you will place yourself by their side. The power of God will come to everyone who will endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. We could not in our own strength meet the evil angels and overcome them. It is by divine power that we obtain.EA 210.6

    The work of Christ was to resist temptation in man’s behalf. How much victory could we obtain in this life had not Christ overcome for us in the wilderness of temptation. Here the (815) enemy met with the three greatest temptation with which man is beset. Christ knew what it was to be hungry. His long fast of nearly six weeks left the Saviour in a condition of weakness. Then the enemy came to Him, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Would Christ overcome, or would he be overcome? The salvation of the human race hinged upon his defeat or victory.EA 211.1

    “If thou be the Son of God.” Had not Christ himself framed the plan whereby he was to bear, with humanity upon him, this very temptation. He was not to work a miracle to save himself suffering, but was to stand the test on every point that would be brought upon the human family. And so Christ said to Satan, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Had Adam depended upon the word of God instead of the words of a stranger, he would not have transgressed the law of Jehovah. Temptation will come to every one of us as it came to Christ; but though sore pressed, we may overcome, because Christ overcame. Christ has brought moral power within the reach of everyone. The only way that Christ could overcome was be (816) by presenting the word of God. “It is written,” He said, and the enemy had no power over him. When Satan comes to us, we may present the same weapon. “To him that overcometh,” God says, “Will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and set down with my Father in His throne.”EA 211.2

    We are living in probationary time. Now there is mercy for all—for him who has the crimson stain, and the scarlet sin. “Though your sins be as scarlet,” he says, “I will make them like snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” We must lay hold of the promises of God, not with a casual faith, but as a personal blessing given by a personal Saviour. We are to surrender ourselves to Him, to have the mold and fashion of God put upon us, that we may be like him in character. God cannot have in heaven any who do not represent his character; therefore we must represent him here. The law of Jehovah is the transcript of his character. Just as soon will his throne and his glory be abolished as His law; for that is His character. It reveals to man the only standard that will measure character in the last great day. Satan seeks to occupy our minds so that we shall not become acquainted with what is coming upon the (817) earth, that we shall not realize that we are living in the great day of God’s preparation. We need to arouse ourselves, and see what characters we are forming. There will be no second preparation for anyone. Soon the angel of mercy will fold her golden wings and step down from the throne; then mercy will be forever gone.EA 211.3

    When God gave us Christ, he gave all heaven; he would not have it said of Him that he could do more than he had done. Christ died in order to link man with the infinite God, to connect earth again with heaven, from which it had been separated by sin, by making it loyal to the commandments of God. With his human arm he encircled the race; with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the universe. Jesus hated sin, but he loved the sinner—how much he has shown in the cross of Calvary. He came to reshape the deformed character of man; if was a very crooked character. In Him we are placed on vantage ground with God, where we can be partakers of the divine nature, and overcome in our own account. By taking hold of divine power as Christ took hold of it, we may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.EA 212.1

    (818) Many who profess the religion of Christ do not live it. What is the profession of such good for? They might as well trace their names in the sand, and expect them to remain. The religion of Christ, taken into the heart and life, will make us better men and women. It will transform our youth. It is not enough for you to sit in your parlor to entertain and be entertained. There is earnest work for every one of us. There are our children to train and educate by precept and example. You are our children to train and educate by precept and example. You are not to educate them, as we are taught from the pulpits today, that the laws of God are not binding. God does not place a people on the earth without a standard of righteousness. Nor will he take man to heaven in his disobedience and transgression. There is a world to save. Our children are to be taught how to help prevent the wickedness that is existing in our world. We want eternal life; and we must get it in Christ’s way. We want eternal life; and we must get it in Christ’s way. We need to keep the way of the Lord as Abraham kept it. He taught his children and his household to do justice and judgment. When we do this, God can cooperate with us. God help us to elevate the standard in our homes, lest the standard of Satan be established there. You want a family for God, a household for God. (819) You want to take them with you to the gates of the city, and say, “Here am I, Lord, and the children which thou hast given me.” They may be grown to manhood and womanhood, but they are your children still. Your training, your patience, your prayers, your watchfulness, has been blessed of God till they stand with you as overcomers. And this does not include those only who are your children by birth. Every soul that has been brought to a knowledge of the truth by you, and has been born again, stand before the Lord, as your children. “They that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”EA 212.2

    “Ye are laborers together with God, ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” It is God who is building character. The Spirit of God, the mighty cleaver of truth, has cut you out of the quarry of the world. How you are to be hewn and squared and fitted for the heavenly building. Each one will find a place in the workshop of God to be squared and polished, and fitted for his place. Everyone will be a living stone in that temple, emitting light. While such a work is going on for us, we will not mingle with the pleasures and worldliness of the (820) world. We will not be found in the dance hall, at the horse race, or taking part in lotteries. We will not be found anywhere where the name of God is forgotten.EA 212.3

    “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jess our Lord.” As you work on the plan of addition, grace is given you for grace. You work in Christ’s lines to gather knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Father. As you bring one grace into our soul, the way is prepared for an additional grace. Thus one by one you gain the graces of the Spirit, until you have them all. There is no caste with God; whatever our color or nationality, however weak or rich or poor we may be, one God is our Father, and we can come to him and ask him for the things that we need. And according as his divine power hath given unto us all things, he will grant our petitions. We have no strength of ourselves to take one step toward God unless His grace is working upon our hearts and drawing us to Him. But as soon as we take the first step toward His mercy, He advances toward us with His pardon and grace. He takes away the sins of the world, and imparts to us His righteousness.EA 213.1

    (821) “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” Faith is of value only as it works by love and purifies the soul. Every faculty and power should be cultivated to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent; for we need a personal knowledge of God. We may think we understand something of the truth; but the revelation of truth is beyond anything that our finite minds can understand. We do not walk fast enough. We take too many back steps.—a step heavenward, and then a step back into the world and its gratifications. Therefore the light that would come to us in glorious rays is held back; we are not prepared to receive it. “If we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know his goings forth are prepared as the morning.” You know how the morning light first breaks upon us dimly, then increases gradually until the king of the day marches forth in the heavens in all his glory and beauty. It is thus, if we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know his goings forth are prepared as the morning. We will learn more and more of God and heaven, become better acquainted with the precious truth, and receive the richest blessings that God can bestow. The divine nature of which we have partaken (822) as we follow on to know the Lord, works out the corruption that is in our nature; we hold Christ and talk of him, and are changed into the same image.EA 213.2

    God grant that those who are within the hearing of my voice today will begin to climb the ladder round by round. The base is resting upon the earth; the topmost round reaches to heaven; God stands above it, and the glory of God in its brightest rays is shed upon every round. The ladder is Christ Jesus who is bridging the gulf that separates earth from heaven. Hold fast to Christ; never let go your hold. Look constantly heavenward as you climb. When you finally step off the last round you will find that “an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”EA 213.3

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