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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)

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    Ms 192, 1905

    Sermon/Thoughts on Isaiah 58

    Los Angeles, California

    August 13, 1905

    Previously unpublished.

    Isaiah 58:1-3. Now the answer. You see they are accusing God unjustly. “Behold in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors.” Now, you can see there are two sides to the question. They say one side, God shows them the other side.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 1

    Verse 4. ... “wickedness.” We had better not do that any more. We had better make a change in all these things. We had better not be accusers, but we had better take care of individual self, to see that we are walking in the footsteps of the Lord. Shall we not have the strife and debating put away, and come straight to a “Thus saith the Lord”? We are under control of God. We are not amenable to the opinion of men, but what is the opinion of God concerning us individually.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 2

    Verses 4, 5, 6. Now turn over the picture. That is God’s plan. Verse 7. When you see the necessities of those who need help, relieve them. Do not hide away. Do not go away where you do not come in contact with them, fearing that your conscience would rebuke you.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 3

    Verse 8. ... “as the morning.” Is not that a wonderful thing? Verse 8. Thy rearward is the glory of God, when you acknowledge your brotherhood, when you are not so selfish as to bring yourself up with your own ideas and your own plans. This is a recipe for sickness, for despondency. It is a recipe for evil surmisings. It is a recipe for all that are inclined to speak works that will impress their neighbor of their friend. Shall we take it?20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 4

    Verse 9. Shall we not hear Him? I am ready to hear you. Seek, said Christ,—it is just in harmony with what Christ said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] There are no ifs or ands about it, “Ye shall receive.” Do you do it? Or do you go and tell your neighbor of all your troubles and all your difficulties? Can they help you? You want to be educated that you have got a promise from the Lord God of hosts, and you are going to take that promise and you are going to depend upon it, and you are going to ask, for He has said, “Ye shall receive.” He still goes on to give us the promise threefold. “Seek, and ye shall find ... opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 5

    Then I ask you, Why are you in such a poverty-stricken spiritual condition in the church? I ask you why you do not come right to the help of the Master in taking Him at His word and be co-laborers together—together. You forget the together, don’t you? You forget, when you have your burdens to bear, that there is a together. “Laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 6

    What we want is to stir up the gift of faith that is within us. We want to take God at His Word, and we want to rely upon Him as a little child. He calls you His little children, and we want to depend upon Him. We do not need to be barren and unfruitful, mourning and grieving, and sitting in dust and ashes. God did not tell us to do that. He has told some that they had better be sitting in dust and ashes to repent of their hard-heartedness and of their sins. Now, if we will put that away, we do not need to sit in sackcloth nor ashes, for God wants His people to come up on vantage ground. He wants them to stand as the light of the world. And that is what He wants of us. Gathers the divine rays of light, and scatter them in the pathway of others.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 7

    [Isaiah 58] Verses 6, 7. Let us work on the right side. Verse 8. There is health in working in that way. As you try to help others, the blessing of God comes upon you. The health springs forth speedily.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 8

    Then He tells you to call, and He will answer. “If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke.” [Verse 9.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 9

    Verse 10. Will you try the recipe? Verse 11. What, I ask you could not our churches do if they would come into this position. They would be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. What is the matter with the church? They are shut in with themselves, and they do not get out of self. “And they that be of thee.” (Verse 12)—“waste places.”20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 10

    What is that? Every one of you will see the light that there is in the law of God. Every one who wants the light and will come right to the Bible will see that the Sabbath—it is the Sabbath of the Lord—that He made for every one of us to be observe. It is the man of sin that has put his false day where God’s law should be. It is the man of sin that instituted the Sunday; it is not God.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 11

    Verse 12. You read the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, beginning with the twelfth verse and you will see what it means to be a restorer of paths to dwell in. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath ....” [Isaiah 58] Verses 13, 14.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 12

    Is that not plain enough? Let us think of these things. We do not want to come up to the judgment keeping a day of man’s invention, when God has given a day for us to perpetuate until He comes to take us to Himself, and then even in the new earth, He says, From Sabbath to Sabbath ye shall come up before the Lord. You will keep the Sabbath there. We do not leave it behind; we keep it in the new earth, the day that He created for man and all that was upon the earth.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 13

    Isaiah 59:1. Why then do you act as though it was? Why do we act so faithless? Why do we not take right hold? The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save. We have the right; He has told us to go forth in His name. He has told us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and to preach His gospel.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 14

    Now when they rise up out of the water, they represent Christ rising up out of the sepulcher to proclaim over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] Thank God! Thank His holy name! We will praise Him that there is a resurrection, and as we are raised up out of the water, what do we profess? We are dead unto the world. “If ye then be risen with Christ ... hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] And you can bring light, and you can give Him power, and you can bring holiness and purity and love, if you will only do just as God tells you to do.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 15

    There is so much misery in our world because the commandments of God are trampled upon. It is high time that we take our position more steadfastly in favor of God and His righteousness. The Lord will help every one that will come to Him as learners, as His little children. And if you come as little children, He can give you His wisdom so that He can entrust with you the highest kinds of talent, that you can trade on those talents and increase these talents to the glory of God to the salvation of souls that are ready to perish.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 16

    Our life will be filled with light and power, and we shall not be destroying ourselves in any way with the use of tobacco to benumb our brain sensibilities. We do not have one particle of brain to spare. We want every power of our brain organ, that we may use it to be wise in judgment, to teach transgressors the way of life, and to help them in every way to plant their feet on the commandments. Do you think if this world were obedient to the commandments of God that they would be in the condition of strife and adultery and thieving and robbery and every kind of evil influence? It is the result of the transgression of the law of Jehovah. If they had obeyed the law of God, they would have ridden upon the high places of the earth, and they would have been fed with the heritage of Jacob our father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 17

    Isaiah 59:1. What is the matter? You do not ask Him? You carry you own will to the Lord and you make a few words of prayer, and instead of saying, Lord, I have asked Thee and now believe Thou wilt give me judgment and wisdom and correctness of ideas, and that I shall not listen to the devil’s sophistry, which is just now coming in. And mark my words, it will come in a hundredfold more than you have ever thought of, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Now the elect had better be sure, in the place of thinking they are the elect, to know that they are the elect, because they keep the commandments of God.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 18

    Then you cannot afford to sell your brain into the liquor saloon. You cannot afford to take a glass of liquor, and then you go reeling around. Who are you? Are you the light of the world? No, you are a nuisance in the sight of God when you are in that condition. You have taken the vitality out of your limbs and out of your brain, and that sets your limbs staggering about, and how do you look before men? You do not care. You have the appetite, and you mean to keep it, many of you.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 19

    Now, consider there is a world to be saved, and the money, that is God’s that you have put into the liquor. You will see it one day just as it is, and that day is fast approaching upon us, when it is said, let him alone. He is joined to his idols; let him alone.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 20

    But we do not want to let anyone alone. We want now to let the light of truth come into your mind, that you may see, that you may be saved, that you can take right hold of the name of Jesus Christ, because His “hand ... face from you.” verses 2, 3, 4. We cannot afford to give the least countenance by keeping open the liquor saloons, and giving license by law for them to deal in liquor, when they know what it does. Anciently God says, If a man keeps an animal that he knows pushes with his horns and he is not restrained but kills a man, that man’s life is something before God. Christ bought that with an infinite price, and that life is not to be thrown away. He gave His own life that every one of us might have that life which measures with the life of God.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 21

    Now, the Lord said, speaking right from the holy mount, if it is known that this animal pushes with its horns, is vicious, and kills a man, that man shall lose his life, and the beast too. Now think of it.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 22

    Lawyers, senators, judges, if they are here today, I want you to think of it when you give a vote that the liquor shall be sold, and you are guilty with the liquor seller of all the consequences that grow from the disposing of that liquor to human beings. And for what they do under that liquor you will have to give an account to God in the judgment. It will not pay.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 23

    What we want now in this world in the little time we have is to make it just as near heaven as we can, and we are to put away every vicious habit. We have none too much brain that we would stupefy it with tobacco or with liquor. We want all the brain nerve power we have, to glorify the Lord God of heaven. We want to learn the best way to reform those that are in sin and iniquity. We want to find out what we can do in the redemption line.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 24

    The Lord God of Israel has a tender regard for us, and He gave His precious life, you will read in John 3:12. How did Jesus treat that?20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 25

    Christ went through the baptism, although He was not a sinner at all. He never committed sin. It was on our behalf, to set an example to every man living to come under the ordinance of baptism. He left us the example. There He goes on and reasons with Nicodemus, and then He tells him that “God so loved ....” [Verse 16.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 26

    Now we have come here in this part of the country, and we have come here to seek in every way, that we may establish sanitariums, to obtain money for ourselves? No, not that. It is to educate those that are sick how to get well. Not to take drug medication; that only leaves the poison in your system, but it is to use the very methods that God wants you to use.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 27

    Deny yourselves. Do not indulge in gluttony or in liquor drinking. You do not need it. Here is an education to be obtained—how to keep your bodies in the right condition of health. They take persons just on the borders of the grave, and do their best to save them. They put them under a close diet. These persons will recover, and they will thank God for their recovery, and what they have learned. We want to be health reformers and we want to be temperate in all things, that we may keep a level brain, and that we may know that when we see evil, we will not call evil good and good evil. We want to call righteousness righteousness, and we want to call evil just what it is.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 28

    The Lord would have every one of us come under control to the Holy Spirit of God. And if you will do that, the money that you spend in liquor, millions and millions of dollars, you could feed the suffering, you could save that money and could help the poor. We read, and we have notices sent to us, of the sufferings of those that are in foreign countries starving to death. We try to help them all we can. But America and the Southern field demand our attention, and yet we have sent missionaries to other countries, to help them.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 29

    I sent to one that was in Africa, a family that had a large amount of property, and they had the light of truth. I sent to them. Now, said I, you young people, I talk to you by letter, the money that you spend in indulgence in wine or any of these pleasure resorts, how much you might accomplish for the cause of God. I asked this son, ten or twelve years ago, I begged of them for Christ’s sake to come right out of Africa—the mother was a widow—to come with her children, grown up men and women, physicians among them, and see if it would not break the spell over the young members that were heirs to the large property.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 30

    I told the young man, I will make you my agent. I want you, whenever you want to spend any money in liquor, to put it right into a box, a denial box that we have all through the South in every house, that when you want self-indulgence to remember there are souls to save, that we can carry on the missionary work among the colored people. I want you to consider this. Now I will make you my agent. I will ask you to save your soul in doing this thing. You are drinking and you are playing cards, and you are doing this and that and the other. He always claimed to be a friend of Mrs. E. G. White, and I dwelt upon that. You said if I would write to you, you would heed what I told you. Now, I tell you this: I wrote three times, and then I received no answer from him.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 31

    About three weeks ago, I received a letter from him. O, he says, Mother White, if I had heeded what you said to me! I have lost nearly all my property, and now what will you say about my coming now? I wrote him a letter; said I, Come, come, it is not too late. If you have lost your money, perhaps you can save your soul. Your mother, yourself, your brothers, Come, said I, we will try to encourage you, to place you on vantage ground.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 32

    Now what if he had taken that money and put it where it would have been of use in the place of encouraging other men? But he knew the truth. He repents of it now, and I hope that we shall see him in this country before long.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 33

    I want to see those who are throwing away, and worse than throwing away their money for these indulgences—What are you doing? God has given you talents, every one of you, and now what are you doing with those talents? Are you using the talent of means and the talent of influence to lead others down to ruin? You cannot afford it.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 34

    I want to say there had ought to be a temperance pledge circulated at every meeting that is held on the grounds where there is a camp-meeting or where there is a tent meeting, that they shall place their name on record to be temperate in eating and to be temperate in drinking, and give God His own means, and this temperance will preserve the health, and this temperance will preserve the mind.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 35

    God gives to every man according to his several ability. Then if you have the ability, it is for you to exercise that ability to the honor and glory of God. We have a God, and we want to acknowledge Him. We want to do His will. We want to glorify His name. We want that every soul that shall come to the knowledge of the truth should become strictly temperate in all things.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 36

    O how many times I have been called up to go and see a poor tobacco devotee. “Will you,” he said, “pray for me?” “Certainly,” said I, “I will.” I knelt down and prayed with him. The Spirit of God came in, and he was set free.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 37

    In two weeks he sent again. “I have fallen again to the indulgence of appetite. Will you come and pray for me?” Said I, “Yes, I will.” Said he, “This is the last time.” It was the last.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 38

    I saw, as I was standing in a congregation in Michigan, a man with a little soldier’s coat around him and all wizened up, and his wife by his side, and he had children. Someway the Spirit of God impressed me to speak to that man right in the congregation. “Now,” said I, “my friend with the soldier’s coat”—I could distinguish him. “I want to know if you will let alone that tobacco. If you don’t, you will go to liquor drinking very soon. You have gotten about to the point now. Will you let it alone? In the name of the Lord, will you let it alone?”20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 39

    Well, he stood up before the congregation, and he said, “That is a hard question. I will take it up. I may fall, said he, but I will take it up.” I did not see that man there again. The next I heard he was a Sabbath school superintendent, and he was considered one that was doing an excellent work.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 40

    One morning he came into my house at Battle Creek, Michigan, and walked up with the tears running down his face, and stretched out his hand to me. Said he, “Sister White.” “Why, I do not know you; you have the advantage of me.” “You do not know that man with the little drawn-up coat on? You do not know him, do you?” “No, I do not,” said I. “You are another man. Thank the Lord, you are born again, and you are another man.” “I am,” said he. He was dressed nicely, and it seemed as though he was a head taller than he was before.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 41

    Now, that is what the reformation did for him, and we know that reformations can take place. But you must not let your appetite make you a slave.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 42

    There is money enough here among those in this congregation that will support ministers in the field, and there are those that offer themselves for the ministry, but we give them all that we can, and that is all we can do.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 43

    We are building sanitariums, and we are trying to bring these poor people, trying to break them off from these habits, and, thank God, we meet with success.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 44

    But I am taking more time than I ought to. But I want to say, How much money can be devoted to the missionary work, to try and convert the poor souls that are now under the ban of Satan, and impossible to break away? Now, if we go right to them, and pray with them and for them, and they are converted, we shall see them and meet them in the kingdom of glory. These souls will cast their glittering crowns, if they are saved, at the feet of Christ. Then they will glorify Him, that have been washed in His blood, that they have been saved with the everlasting salvation, and they touch the golden harp, and fill all heaven with rich music and with songs to the Lamb.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 45

    And there is nothing that enters into heaven that defileth. There is not a branch on the tree of life that bears tobacco, and hadn’t you better leave it off right here, because a perverted appetite can never enter the kingdom of heaven.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 46

    We want you to have a place there. We want you to see the King in His beauty. We want you to behold His matchless charms. And we beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to be reconciled to God.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 47

    Teach your children self-denial. Sabbath school teachers, or Sunday school teachers that have a pipe in their mouth or use tobacco, it is so disgusting with some of the children. I have known them to come home and vomit, because it had spoiled their stomach and sickened them. Now, these teachers, why not come right up to the help of the Lord to crush this demon appetite? God wants you in His kingdom. Christ paid the price for every soul there is here, and He wants you to be converted from all these sinful ways.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 48

    And the money that you have used for tobacco, put it in the self-denial box, and send it to us at Nashville, where we are trying to educate the colored people, and send a little line that you have reformed. It would be worth more than twenty or forty or a hundred dollars a week if one soul was converted from these wrong habits. Talk it, and pray it, and seek to bring this reform right into your homes, and let your children know you are converted. And if it will not be the means of converting them, then it will be a new chapter in my experience.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 49

    God wants you to come to the gates of the city of God with all your children, your little children, and He swings back the gates of the holy city. There He bids you welcome in through the gates, and He says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:21.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 50

    Then who do these persons seek? They seek the very ones that gave them the straightest testimony upon rum and tobacco and all these selfish indulgences, and they clasp their arms right around their necks, and there with face all aglow they praise God for the testimony that they bore them.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 51

    Let us wake up. Let us awake out of sleep. Said Christ, “Ye are the light of the world. A city .... Let your light ....” [Matthew 5:14, 16.]20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 52

    If you are lost, it is because you have ruined yourselves. God has done all He could. He has given you His Son, His only beloved Son, to die a most cruel death. What for? To pay the price for your souls. Now He wants every one to repent, to search the Scriptures. Put away your novels. Put away your romance. Put away all frivolity of conduct. There is a heaven to win, and a hell to shun. And we want to stand right by your side, that you may win heaven.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 53

    We want you to save your means that you devote to ruining yourselves, and send it where we can labor for the colored people in America, for they are a legacy to every person that is in America. And means are needed to establish schools to educate and train the colored people to work for the colored people. It is to train the people that we must walk in all humility before God, and to stand in your God-given humanity, and say, I have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of His testimony.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 54

    What a work is to be done for us! Will you take hold of it? Will you help one another, and help in every way possible that you may have a right to the tree of life? Christ will give you the leaves of the tree of life for the healing of the nations right here. What do you mean? I mean the Bible. I mean the words of promise. He will give you the leaves of the tree of life that will heal you from every false habit, and He will open a way where the peace and glory of God shall be revealed in you.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 55

    Now let every one of us see what we can do in standing up in noble dignity to glorify the God of heaven that has given us power—“to as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] The Lord help every one of us. My very heart knows not how to let go of you. My very heart yearns after you, and I pray that the Lord will open your understanding to keep as far away from the liquor saloons as possible, and put that money into the treasury, and let me tell you, those that are with you here will let you know just where to put it, so that it will have a converting power to spread the gospel all through our world. We want to send it to the foreign missions. I have been sending to these foreign missions all the royalty on my books that are sold in the foreign countries, thousands and thousands of dollars, and send them the means of these royalties in America that are sold in order to translate into different languages the many books that God has given me to witness before the world of what is truth.20LtMs, Ms 192, 1905, par. 56

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