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    Sermon, Gisborne,
    October, 1893
    EA 107.2

    (506) “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives; they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”EA 107.3

    (507) The temperance question is of tremendous importance to each one of us. It is a far-reaching question. I have spoken upon this subject twenty-one times in succession, and still have only touched it. This afternoon I will deal with just a few phases of the subject. There is no sin in eating and drinking to sustain physical life; this it is right to do; but when men lose eternity out of their reckoning, and carry these necessary things to excess, they sin. We know that intemperance exists in our world. On every side we see iniquity and crime. Is it not time that we begin to study the question for ourselves? We have souls to save or to lose. The tempter is on every side. For every “Thou shalt” of God, he has ready a “Thou shalt not.” Men listen to the voice of the tempter, and instead of the blessings that he promises for obedience to him, men reap misery and woe.EA 107.4

    God created our first parents and placed them in the garden of Eden. They had all that their wants required. Nothing was lacking to make them happy. God placed only one restriction upon them. Of the fruit of the tree which was in (508) the midst of the garden, He said, “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” If they would not regard this restriction, they would forfeit their life.EA 107.5

    Adam and Eve, with everything that their wants required, listened to the tempter and disobeyed God. When God came to inquire of Adam, he laid the blame upon Eve. Eve, in turn cast the blame upon the serpent. To the serpent God said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between they seed and her seed; thou shalt bruise His heel, and he shall bruise thy head.” In this enmity which the God of heaven puts against the serpent, the enemy cannot touch the mind, unless man consents. No enmity was placed between those who serve the God of heaven and the hosts of darkness. This first gospel sermon was a star of hope to illumine the dark and dismal future. O, Satan heard it, that man fallen by sin might be recovered, that the pair in Eden with their posterity should not be left to hopeless ruin.EA 107.6

    (509) When Christ came into our world as a babe in Bethlehem, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to men. To the watching shepherds the angel said, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.”EA 107.7

    Satan with all his synagogue determined that Christ should not carry out the councils of heaven.EA 107.8

    After Jesus was baptized he bowed on the banks of the Jordan, and prayed. Never before had heaven listened to such a prayer as came from his divine lips. That prayer cleaved right through the darkness and entered where God is. The glory of God in the form of a dove of burnished gold, rested upon him, and from the infinite glory was heard the words, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” To each of us this means that heaven is opened for us. The human race is encircled by the human arm of Christ, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite One. The gates are ajar. The glory is imparted to the Son of God is for all who believe in His name. (510) Our petitions will be heard in heaven and answered, as surely as God answered the petition of His Son, our Substitute and Surety.EA 107.9

    Christ entered the wilderness with the Spirit of God upon Him, to be tempted of the devil. “And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted forty days of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing; and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. And Jesus answered Him saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”EA 108.1

    Satan came to the Son of God as an angel of light, and tempted Him on the point of appetite. Christ was hungry, and in need of food. Why did He not work this miracle?—It was not in God’s plan. Christ was to work no miracle on His own account. He was passing that his wants required. Fierce hunger was upon Christ, and what he wanted was food. But Christ resisted the temptation with the words, It is written.”EA 108.2

    (511) Satan, foiled in this temptation, “taketh Him into the holy city, and sitteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Why did Satan leave out that part of the scripture which says, “in all ways”? While Christ was in the ways of God, no harm could come to him.EA 108.3

    This temptation of Satan was a challenge. “If thou be the Son of God, he said. What would have been gained if Christ had done as Satan asked? Nothing to Christ; everything to Satan. But at the end of the trial, Jesus could say, of Satan, “He found nothing in me.” Again he met the tempter with the words, “It is written.”EA 108.4

    Finding that he could not defeat Christ on the ground of appetite or presumption, the devil “taketh him into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship (512) me.” Then divinity flashed through humanity. “Get thee hence,” Satan, He said, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Satan left the field a conquered foe. Christ had passed over the ground where Adam fell, and was victorious.EA 108.5

    The battle ended, Christ fell fainting on the field. There was no human bosom on which to pillow his head, no human hand to press his brow. “Then angels came and ministered unto Him.” Just such help we may claim in temptation.EA 108.6

    In this experience we see the importance of overcoming temptation to indulge appetite. Christ overcame, and we may obtain victory as He did, Christ saw that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own behalf; therefore He came to bring moral power to man. What has Christ not done for the human family. He has elevated man in the scale of moral worth. We may become conquerors through our sufficiency. In Christ there is hope for the most hopeless. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Come now and let us reason together, (513) saith the Lord; though your skins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Christ came to represent the Father, to bring eternal life, to break every band of sin. When God gave his Son, he gave all heaven. He could give no more.EA 108.7

    “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Christ was the only one who had power to do this work. In Him was paid the great price for souls sunk in sin. In taking human nature Christ showing that he placed a high value on every soul. “What,” He says through the apostle Paul, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in our spirit, which are God’s.” This is the value God places on man, and He says again, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” But (514) God will do nothing without the cooperation of the human agent.EA 109.1

    “Nadab and Abihu took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord. And there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto me, and before all the people I will be glorified, And Aaron held his peace. And the Lord spake unto Aaron saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, and that ye may put a difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” Nadab’s and Abihu’s minds were beclouded because of intemperance, and instead of taking the fire that God had commanded, they took common fire, in this they went directly contrary to God’s requirements, and God destroyed them. If they had kept themselves free from wine they would have distinguished between the sacred and the common.EA 109.2

    (515) We read of steamboat disasters and railroad accidents, and in many, many cases the cause can be traced to intemperance; some mind has been beclouded by intoxicating drink and lost the sense of responsibility resting upon it. Many, many lives were lost because one person got drunk. These lives will be charged to the man who put the bottle to his neighbor’s lips.EA 109.3

    In olden times when a man had a vicious animal he paid for all the evil it wrought. In Ex. 21:23 we read, “If an ox gore a man or a woman that they die; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with the horn in times past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he have killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and his owner shall also be put to death.” The principle of the law which the God of heaven gave to regulate what to do with vicious animals we wish to apply to those who brew and sell the deadly poison of alcohol. I ask you who have reasoning powers to think on these things. The man who is intoxicated is robbed of his reason. Satan comes in and takes (516) possession of him and imbues him with his spirit; and his first desire is to hurt or kill some of his loved ones. What has the drunkard gained? Nothing but a madman’s brain. And men will allow this thing to go on that makes men lower than the beasts. The laws are such that temptation to drink are continually before them. That liquor sells will have to answer for all the sins of the drunkard, and the drunkard will also have to give account for his deeds. The curse of God is upon the one who puts the bottle to his neighbor’s lips.EA 109.4

    No drunkard’s name will be written in the books of heaven. God calls upon those who are tempted to resist temptation like a man, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to lay hold upon divine power. Christ will work in behalf of everyone. There only hope is to lay their souls upon a crucified and risen Saviour. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”EA 110.1

    The tobacco habit, which has no foundation in nature, is undermining the constitutions of many. I know of some of these tobacco devotees who were cursed with this vile habit. My husband (517) and I founded a health institute in America. The testimony of those nurses who treated tobacco patients was alarming. They told of the effluvia on the treatment sheets and in the baths. Yet these victims of habit were brought to stand on solid Rock. Many who said that they could never overcome the habit were brought safely out.EA 110.2

    Men who sit in legislative councils should not drink wine r strong drink. They need unclouded brains, that they may have sharp, clear reasoning powers. The destiny of human life is in their power, on their decision depends the death penalty or other mods of punishment. And yet we have known of a drunken carousal in the courts of justice. Had these men a clear brain and an eye single to the glory of God? Nature is defaced in man whom Christ came to elevate. Taste not, touch not, should be your motto. You should be temperate in eating; but liquor, let it alone, touch it not; there can be no temperance in its use.EA 110.3

    Parents, you need to arouse to your God-given duty. Teach your children obedience. Many have lost respect for father and mother. They will have just as much respect for God as they have for their earthly parents. Teach your children daily the lessons (518) of self-control and temperance. Give them their first lessons when they are babies in your arms. Angels will be around you as you do this. When those weary mothers in the time of Christ knew not what to do with their children, they thought they would bring them to Jesus. As one mother started saying, I want Jesus to bless my children, one and another joined her until, when they reached Jesus there was quite a little company to receive his blessing. Jesus saw those mothers when they first left their homes. As they came to the place where He was, He heard the sound of their coming. And as they presented their little ones to Him, He said, “Suffer the little ones to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.EA 110.4

    Parents, take hold of the power of God. The gates are ajar. You need to make your homes like that of Abraham. He commanded his household after him, teaching his children to obey the commandments of God. These are the lessons, mothers, that you are patiently to teach to your little ones. There is One who knows all about the troubles that the little hands give. Every day, mothers, fulfil your duties in His fear, and the word “conquerors through Jesus Christ” will be written opposite your (519) names. Make your home so attractive that your sons will not want to go to the saloon. Put back the draperies, and let the sunlight, heaven’s doctor in. Take them out among the works of nature. Point them to the flowers and trees; teach them that God made every spire of grass, every beautiful tint in the flower. Tell them that here is an expression of God’s love for them, that these beautiful things of nature is God’s voice telling them that he loves his children. Let peace and quiet reign in your home. Do not threaten your children with the wrath of God if they do wrong; but lead them by your prayers to Christ.EA 110.5

    You may say, We are in the minority. Is not God a majority? If we are on the side of the God who made the heavens and the earth, are we not in the majority? Angels that excel in strength are on our side. Human passions are destroying human beings. Our youth are being tempted, their minds are being taken up with gambling and horse racing. May God help us to arouse. Your children are God’s property; they are making character today. Young men, young women, you are determining today your lot in the future. Let Christ come in. He will keep you in temptation.EA 111.1

    (520) Mothers, you cannot afford to spend time in studying the fashions of the day. Away with the fashions of this degenerate age, in following them you are abusing the bodies which God has given you. What does it mean, young women, - this girding of the waist which does not allow your lungs to expand naturally? Your future posterity will testify against you if you follow this custom. How could I speak as I have spoken had I girded myself as some of you are doing. Mothers should place a proper value on all such customs. The habits and propensities of the mother are transmitted to the child. Many a mother who indulges in habits to gratify appetite is taking underpinning from her own home.EA 111.2

    When the wife of Manoah was about to bear a son, the Lord instructed her that she must be strictly temperate in her habits. “And the angels of the Lord appeared to the woman, and said unto her, Behold, thou art barren, and barest not; but thou shalt conceive and bear a son. Now therefore beware I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.”EA 111.3

    (521) The angel who appeared to Zacharias and Elizabeth said, Thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth; for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.”EA 111.4

    We want heaven at the loss of all things, and Jesus Christ means that we shall have it if we will cooperate with Him. Satan is playing the game of life for every soul; but we may have a record as clear as Daniel’s if we wish. We want to stand clear and pure from the degradations of this world. “He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels.” Christ overcame in our behalf; we may overcame in His name. As the redeemed enter in through the gates into the city, Christ welcomes all. With harps of gold in their hands, and wearing robes woven in the loom of heaven with not one thread of humanity in them, they sing the praises of Jesus Christ.EA 111.5

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