Third Angel's Message
And the Counsel to Laodicea #10
Talks given at the 1993 General Conference Session
by A.T.Jones


Sermon No. 10

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in unto him and will sup with him and he with me." Rev. 3:10-20.

This is the counsel we want to study tonight. I counsel thee. Who is this? [Congregation: "Christ."] What is He called in the 14th verse? [Congregation: "Faithful and True Witness." ] He will make quite a good counselor will He? the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God, comes and counsels you and me. Isn't that a good deal of condescension, considering the place from whence the Counselor comes? That which we have been studying during the several lessons that are past, that which has come before us so constantly and so fully a few days past now, that word sent to the Laodicean church as to what we are and how we do not know it--that has come to us from every point of the compass, hasn't it, the last few days? It has come from every side and from every mouth that has spoken and the Lord with all the rest has spoken direct to us in the word that was read yesterday upon that very thing. Well, I suppose that all now are ready to confess that what He says is so. So I will not repeat any of that tonight.

He has told us that, and now if we confess that that is so, we shall be ready to take His counsel and appreciate it and will profit by His counsel, because it is only those persons whom He counsels. Those who receive His testimony, those who are spoken of just before this, He counsels those who are poor, wretched, miserable, blind and naked and do not know it--those that are lukewarm. That is the people to whom this counsel is given. Well, having been brought to that place by the word and testimony and in every way the Lord has dealt with us these days that are past, in all the lessons that have been given us, then He stoops down and counsels us. Isn't that so? Then, brethren, let us not be so slow to take this counsel as we were the other. Let us not be so slow to come to a place where we can adopt this, as we were to get into a place where we could adopt the other.

Well, then, He comes as a counselor from this time henceforth. Isn't that so? [Congregation: "Yes."] Then when you want to know whether you shall sell out your property I suppose you will go ask your brother what to do? [Congregation: "Ask the Counselor."] When you want to know what to do, you are going to ask some other man what to do, are you? Why, when I want to know what to do, how is any man to tell me, when, if He were in my place He would have to ask the same question as to what He would do? How am I going to get any help from him, when he himself does not know what he would do unless he were in the place where I am, and even then he would have to ask counsel for himself?

Perhaps this is the way I would do: I am only a common member of the church and I must go to the elder of the church or some one of more prominence and ask him what to do. But suppose he wants to know for himself, I suppose he must asks the president of the conference what to do.

Elder Boyd asked: Isn't there safety in the multitude of counselors?

Elder Jones continues: But suppose the president of the conference wanted to know and needed to ask, then he would have to ask the president of the General Conference, I suppose. But suppose the president of the General Conference wants to know--who shall he ask? [Congregation: "Ask the Lord."] Oh, well, you can ask the Lord, can you? So, then, we common people can get our knowledge from the Lord without straining it through half a dozen persons like the other Catholics? Can we? [Congregation: "Yes."] Is that so? [Congregation: "Yes."] In the Catholic church the common people cannot get at the Lord except through the priest and the priest through the bishop and the bishop through the archbishop and the archbishop through the cardinal and the cardinal through the pope? Is that the way the Lord's people are to do? No, sir. That isn't God's method. When you want to know a thing, you ask the Lord. He is your Counselor, and He is my Counselor. And when He is your Counselor, then, Brother Boyd, "in the multitude of counselors there is safety," and not until then either, because then we have counsel of the Master of Assemblies. And when He is the Counselor of each one and then we counsel together and He is in the midst, then there is safety in the multitude of counselors.

You will find a sentence in Gospel Workers, like this:

We are to counsel together and to be subject one to another, but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment." "After you have received counsel from the wise, the judicious, there is yet a Counselor whose wisdom is unerring. Fail not to present your case before Him and entreat His directions. He has promised that if you lack wisdom and ask of Him, He will give it to you liberally and upbraid not. pp. 129, 257.

Then I ask again from this night henceforth, Is He your counselor? Is He individually our counselor? [Congregation: "Yes."] And the word that we heard from Brother Underwood on this same subject, especially in the selling of property, "if there were more of this seeking the Lord for His guidance, there would be more of His direction." We would have more of Him in our work and in our counsels. What in the world did He make Himself our Counselor for, if He did not expect we should have His counsel? Then let us have it.

What is His name? {Congregation: "Wonderful Counselor."] The way it is printed is, "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." That is the name whereby He shall be called. What is the first part of His name? [Congregation: "Wonderful."] The second part? [Congregation: "Counselor."] What the next part? [Congregation: "Mighty God."] Next part? [Congregation: Everlasting Father."] And the last? [Congregation: "Prince of Peace."] He is "Wonderful" and Counselor"; then isn't He a wonderful counselor? [Congregation: "Yes."] I should say so. You will also remember that other passage, "wonderful in counsel." And what else? "Excellent in working." Don't forget that when He comes as a counselor He is there as a worker, too, and the counsel which He gives is as a worker and as an excellent worker, who will perform the work, ""for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

So now we have this counselor, the faithful and true witness, the wonderful counselor, wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. Then when we have sought this counsel and obtained it, He is to go right with us in the execution of the counsel as well as be there to give it at first. Isn't that so? If we have not learned that, there is no use for us to go any further at all, unless we do depend fully upon His power, His character, His righteousness and His life. Because if there be any other consideration and any other way which we are to take, we might just as well give up right now and stop. That being so, we could not go any further without Him. Very good then, He is the Wonderful Counselor; wonderful in counsel and excellent in working, and He says, I am with you to counsel; I am with you to execute.

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire." Other scriptures besides this passage show that nothing will satisfy us but that gold which will stand the test of the fire. You will remember 1 Peter 1:4,5, speaking of the living hope unto which God has begotten us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and how we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. How are we kept? [Congregation: "By the power of God."] Through what? [Congregation: "Faith."] Unto what? [Congregation: "Salvation."] When? [Congregation: "Ready to be revealed at the last time."] We might now read, "Ready to be revealed," and could stop right there, and it would be so, for we have come to the "last time." But this hope. How are we kept? [Congregation: "By the power of God."] Through what? [Congregation: "Through faith."] Wherein ye--do what? [Congregation: "Greatly rejoice."] Do you now? I want to know now, is that so? [Congregation: "Yes, yes."] "Wherein ye greatly rejoice." Do you? Then why do you go moping around with your face drawn down? The time has come for us to believe the Scriptures. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. The Lord said it, and he greatly rejoiced that it was so. Is that so tonight, that we greatly rejoice? [Congregation: "Yes."]

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice though now for a season if need be we are in heaviness through manifold temptations." what is manifold? [Congregation: "Many fold."] We are in many fold temptations and greatly rejoice all that time. How can that be? It can be because God says so. And it is so, is it? That is the only way I know it can be, because He says it is so. Now what is this for? "That the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire" What is tried? [Congregation: "Faith."] Are you to expect your faith to be tried as with fire? Are you to expect your faith to endure that test as gold passing through fire? [Congregation: "Yes."]

We will study this further. What care men take in this world of the gold that perisheth! Many hoard a great deal of gold, and great buildings are erected--safe deposits, then they have a little box, and lock it, put it in a bigger box, and lock that, and put it in a great safe with lots of boxes, and that is locked again, and then a great steel gate shuts up the whole thing, and that is locked, and a guard walks around it all night to see that it is safe. Hundreds of people in these large cities are thus caring for the gold that perisheth. Let me say to you, my brethren and sisters, the trial of your faith, I care not how weak it may be, is more precious in the sight of our Wonderful Counselor, is more precious in the sight of God, than all the gold and jewels in all the safe deposit vaults that are on earth.

Do not be afraid that He is going to forget it. What does He call it? More precious than gold that perisheth. Who is it that says that? The Wonderful Counselor, the Lord Himself. Let us then thank Him that He regards our weak, trembling faith like that. Well then, brethren, haven't we right there one of the greatest possible encouragements that the Lord can offer? Why people bewail their weak faith, I do not know. Sometimes you say, "I haven't any faith." Well, the Lord says you have, and I say, Thank Him for what you have. I do not care how little you have, though it be like the mustard seed, thank Him that you have it and thank Him that it is more precious to Him than all the gold and wealth of this earth. That is the way the Lord regards your faith.

You are not to question whether you have faith or not. God says you have it, and it is so.

Let us read Romans 10:6-8: "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach."

Then it is right to bewail and wonder whether we have faith or not? Not so. God has planted faith in every heart that is born into this world, by that Light which lighteth every man which cometh into the world. God will cause that faith to grow exceedingly and He will reveal His righteousness unto us as it grows, "from faith to faith." Where does faith come from, anyway? God gave it to us. Who is the Author of faith? Christ, and that light which lighteth every man which cometh into the world is Jesus Christ. This is the faith that is in every man's heart. If each one uses the faith which he has, he will never have any lack of faith, but if he will not use the faith that he has, how in the world is he going to get any more?

Then we have faith, have we not? And the trial of your faith is "more precious" than all the gold that ever was on this earth. Mark you, it is more precious in the sight of God. Not that gold is precious in His sight--that is not the thought at all. It is more precious in the sight of God than all the gold would be in the sight of a man. How precious would all the gold be if a man had it all? Would not he think himself rich? would not he pride himself upon it wonderfully? Then do not forget that the trial of that faith which you have--no matter how small it may be--is more precious in the sight of God than all the gold of this world would be in the sight of a man. So then "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire," is precious in the sight of God. Who is the most interested in that process? [Congregation: "The Lord."] Assuredly! For I cannot express how precious it is in His sight. My idea of how precious it is in His sight is just as far from the reality of it as my thoughts are from His thoughts. Consequently He is the most interested person in all the universe in the trial of our faith, in the working of our faith, and all the process of it. Isn't it a gift from Him? Isn't it to His interest? This is the true light, in which we should view this matter.

Then we read further: "Though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love." Do we not? He says we do, and it is so. "In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Is not that so? Assuredly it is. But, brethren, I often think of that verse "Whom having not seen, ye love," and believing it is so, I wonder what in the world it will be when we see Him? And the blessedness of it is, we will not have to wait long for that now. [Congregation: "Praise the Lord."]

There is another passage I will refer to, found in the 12th verse of the 4th chapter of 1 Peter: "Beloved." Who? "Beloved." Is that so? Why, brethren, how can we be anything else than the gladdest people on the earth, when God talks to us like that? He comes and makes Himself the Wonderful Counselor and wants to counsel and talk with us and the first word He says is, "Beloved." Now we have thought many a time that when the angel came to Daniel directly, and said, "O man greatly beloved," that that was quite a personal statement. It can be no more personal than this is to you and me. He comes Himself and says, "Beloved."

Then, "think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." The word to us now, brethren, is, "beloved." Let us use the word in that way. Beloved, we are to treat the fiery trials as strangers henceforth? There is nothing strange about it. Then it will not surprise us when we meet them. You know a great many people are somewhat diffident and bashful and when they meet a stranger suddenly face to face they are quite out of countenance. Now if you and I are going to be diffident and bashful about the trials--we are going to come face to face with some of them one of these days, a brawny one--and then if we are diffident and bashful at all, we will be put out of countenance. But just as certainly as anybody is put out of countenance by a trial, just so certainly the enemy has got the victory there. That is the way he wants to catch us off our guard, so that we will be startled and put out of countenance for even a moment, and he will get in his fiery darts and wound us.

The Lord comes and counsels us like this: "Think it not strange." So then when we meet these fiery trials we are not going to meet a stranger. Do you see? We will be acquainted. We will know them. I do not care how bashful or diffident a person is, when he meets an acquaintance he is not astonished at any sudden meeting. He will not be put out of countenance, but he is glad to meet his acquaintance. Then the Lord wants us to be so well acquainted with fiery trials that, no matter how suddenly we meet them, we can say, "All right, glad to meet you, sir. I know you, come along." Then when he tells us this, let us not think it strange concerning the fiery trials "as though some strange thing happened" unto us. We are not to meet them and deal with them as strangers, but as acquaintances. Not only that, but we are to meet them as helpers on to Zion.

James told us long ago, "My brethren, count it all joy" when we fall into divers temptations. What did he call us there? "My brethren." James 1:2. He calls us "My brethren" here, and other places we are called "Beloved." What does "divers" mean? Different. What does Peter call it? "Manifold." Then, my brethren, count it all joy when we all into "divers," diverse, different, and various kinds of temptations. So we see by these different definitions that the thought it, count it all joy when we fall into all kinds of temptations, and we will count none of them strange, because we are to regard them all as acquaintances.

We read further: "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye"--shall be partakers? Oh no, but "rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." That is the point. In James he says, "My brethren." Now let us read a text that will connect both of them. Heb. 2:10-12:

"For it became him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."

This is why he calls us brethren, and why we are to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations; for He has been there. He has met every one of them. He has met each temptation to its fullest extent. He has passed through all these things for us. Then He comes back and says to us, I will pass through them with you. He passed through them alone for us first; now He passes through them with us. "I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me." But thank the Lord, God was with Him, for "the Father hath not left me alone." Thank the Lord that He had the royal courage to do it alone, trusting only the father to be with Him. And oh, how good He is, not to ask us to try it alone. No. He comes and says, I will go with you through all these trials. My brethren, He will go with you. So then this is why we are not to count them strange. He calls us His brethren, and He has passed through every one of these trials and is well acquainted with them, and therefore we are not to count them strangers.

Is Christ a stranger to trials? No. How many trials did He meet? All. How many trials that you will ever meet, did He meet? Every one of them. To what extent did He bear the contest upon each one of the temptations? To the fullest extent on each point. With whom was He contending on these things? Satan. Satan knows more tricks and trials and temptations than any man would ever be obliged to meet alone, doesn't he? And he tried every one of them on "my Brother," did he not? He tried every temptation on Jesus. To what extent of his effort did he have to try each of them on Jesus? To the fullest extent. Did he not have to exert all the power he knows on each single point in the temptations and trials of Jesus? He did. Did not Satan try everything that he knows in every way that he could possibly invent, on him? And did not he try it to the fullest possible extent that he could try it? Yes. Well, then, has not all his reservoir of trickery, of temptation, and trial, been exhausted on Christ? And has he not exhausted all the power that he has to use in any of these trials and temptations? Yes. Well, then, when I am in Jesus, and when He is in me, how much power has Satan left to affect me with? [Congregation: "None."] How many remaining tricks does he know to play on me? There are none. Do you not see, then, that when we are in Christ we have the victory; we have it now. Victory is not the only word; we have the triumph, and we have it now.

Now 2 Cor. 2:14: "Now thanks be unto God." When? Now. "Which always causeth us to triumph." When? Always. Is that so [Audience: "Yes."] "Always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge." How? By us. Is that so? And maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us." Where? [Audience: "In every place."] Think of it. When is it? Now and always, that is when. How? By us. Where? Everywhere. Then I would like to know what in the world is the reason we have not the victory in Christ. I would like to know what in the world is the reason we are not conquerors now. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Is it? Yes, that is the victory. Christ is our victory. His victory is my victory, isn't it? Yes. Well, then, when we are in Him we are perfectly safe, are we not? Are we safe as long as we are in Him? Yes.

Do you not remember way back in olden times they had cities of refuge and when some accident happened, as when an ax flew off the handle and struck a man and killed him, and there was another man present as a friend standing by, who perhaps might not take time to think deliberately but would fly into a passion and would go about to take revenge in that matter right off. What was the man to do? He was just to strike out with all his might for the city of refuge and perhaps the other man after him with all his might. But if he got in there, then what? He was safe and the other man could not touch him, and he was perfectly free. Suppose he went out of town? Just as certain as he went out and that other man found him, his blood was upon his own head. He was responsible. But he was safe there as long as he stayed in the refuge. And he was to stay there until the high priest died. When the high priest died, the man was perfectly free, and he could go out anywhere and the other man could not touch him at all, no matter how much he wanted to.

Speaking of Abraham, it is said, "By two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge." We have done mischief. We have sinned. What are the wages of sin? Death? Death. Then who is after us? Death. Who had the power of death? Satan. Then who is after us? Satan. And we fled for refuge to lay hold on that hope set before us. Where is that hope? [Ans: "In Christ."] Who is our refuge? [Ans.: "In Christ."] Who is our city of refuge? [Ans.: "Christ."] Who is our enemy? [Ans.: "Satan," "death."] Now then, when we are in Christ, our refuge, can Satan touch us? He cannot. How do you know? It says so. Suppose we go out before the priesthood closes, what then? Satan can, and he will smite us, and our blood will be on our head. If we go out before the priesthood closes, we have no protection and he will take us. If that man would remain in the city ten or fifteen years he would have grown strong enough to meet his enemy, wouldn't he? He would have got experience there, and therefore he could say, "I am strong enough now I am not afraid of any enemy; now I can go out. I can go out now, I am all right. That other fellow has gone away now and forgotten all about this." But he is not able to meet the enemy, is he? Where is he able alone to meet the enemy? In the city. And in the city he does not have to meet him at all, does he? [Voice: "The city meets him."] The walls of the city meet the enemy. That shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked--that shield of faith which is Jesus Christ, is the walls of our city of refuge, and the fiery darts of the enemy cannot get past it at all.

Well then our strength and our safety forever, is only inside of our refuge, isn't it? And then when the priesthood closes, we can go everywhere in this universe--but not outside of Christ. Then we can go everywhere, and can the enemy do us any damage? No, sir. Let us stay in the City, brethren; let us stay in the refuge to which we have fled, where our safety is. And when we are there haven't we the victory? Yes, sir. In Him we have the victory. We can meet the temptation then with joy. Why, we have the victory before we meet temptation, haven't we? Then cannot we be glad? Wouldn't you rather have a battle when you know you have a victory before you start in, than to have no battle at all? Then let us do some of that kind of fighting. Come on, what is the use of being afraid? The victory is ours.

Of course if we go in, calculating to be whipped, we had better not fight. The one who goes in expecting to be whipped had better run before he begins. The Lord does not want us to make such a fight as that. Our Brother did not make such a fight as that. No, sir. And He doesn't propose that we shall. He wants us to know our victory. He wants us to know our confidence. He wants us to know our strength; He wants us to know the power that is ours and He wants us to know our duty. And then, when the contest comes, we will know how to meet it. We meet it in Him. We meet it by Him. We meet it with the shield of faith and the fiery darts of the enemy are quenched, and there is no question about it. Then it is in suffering, where we meet the power, the victory, and the elevating presence of Christ. When the trials come we stand with Him and we know that we cannot stand without Him. "Count it all joy"; let us do it. Think it not strange when the fiery trials come as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice. "Rejoice forasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering, that when His glory shall be revealed in you, ye shall be glad also with exceeding joy."

Then we need gold tried in the fire, to meet these trials, do we not? We need something that will stand the tests that will come, and this is what we have learned before. "Those who bear every test have heeded the testimony of the True Witness, and will receive the latter rain that they may be translated." Brethren, is there not a lot of good cheer in the thought that it is for that, that the latter rain is to prepare for translation? No, where is the latter rain to fall, and when does it? Now is the time for the latter rain: and when is the time for the loud cry? [Voice: "Now."] What is it to prepare us for? [Voice: "For translation."] It brings good cheer to me that the tests that the Lord is giving us now, are to fit us for translation. And when He comes and speaks to you and me, it is because He wants to translate us, but He cannot translate sin, can He? Then the only purpose that He has in showing us the depth and breadth of sin is that He may save us from it and translate us. Then, shall we become discouraged when He shows us our sins? No. Let us thank Him that He wants to translate us and He wants to do this so much that He wishes to get our sins out of the way as soon as possible. Brethren, let us believe the Lord right along, all the time.

Then we need something that will bear as severe a test when tried, as gold is required to bear in purifying it in the fire. What does the Counselor tell us to get? What does He tell us to buy? [Voice: "Gold tried in the fire."] That very thing is needed right now in order to meet the trials that are coming. No, the trials that are here. We do not care for what is coming, we need that now. We need that to meet the trials that are here, and that is the very thing that the Counselor says: "Buy of me, I have a supply." He has a supply, for He has manufactured it. He has the thing that will bear the test, for it has already borne the test. It has borne every test that will ever be required of anybody again. The test was born in His sufferings. Through sufferings the gold is purified, made white, tried and perfected and proven to be the genuine article. We have the definition of that by the Spirit of the Lord. Gold tried in the fire is love, it is "faith and love." Read Gal. 5:6: "for in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love." In other places it is expressed "faith and obedience." What is obedience? [Voice: "The expression of love."] In Steps to Christ, p. 64: "Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love." Then, when the testimony speaks of faith and obedience, it is simply "faith which works by love." The expressions in the testimony of "faith and obedience" and "faith and love" mean the same thing as the expression of the Scripture "faith which worketh by love." They are simply different modes of expressing genuine, spiritual faith, for in Christ nothing availeth but "faith which works by love."

Obedience is the service of love, and Jesus tells us to buy of Him gold tried in the fire, which is faith and love, the faith which works by love, the genuine article of faith. What is it that is to be tried with severe fiery trials? Your faith which is more precious than gold, though it be tried in the fire. Then, you see, as every man's faith is to be so tried, he needs the faith that has stood the trial. Then we have the testimony: "Here are they which keep the commandments of God and"--have faith in Jesus? No. The "have" is not in there. They keep the commandments of God and [keep] the faith of Jesus. That is the genuine article; that is the faith which, in Him, endured the test. That is the faith which met every fiery trial that Satan knows, and all the power that Satan could rally, that faith endured the test. So then, He comes and says to us, "You buy of me that faith that has endured the test, "gold tried in the fire." So, in the expression "buy of me that faith that has endured," is not that the same line of thought that we have learned in "Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus"?

When that mind is in me that was in Him, will not that mind do in me precisely what it did in Him? How is it that we serve the law of God, anyhow? "With the mind I serve the law of God." Rom. 7:25. Christ in this world, every moment served the law of God. How did He do it? With the mind. By what process of the mind did He do it? By faith. Then, does He not tell you and me to buy of Him the faith of Jesus? Did not the faith of Jesus keep the commandments of God perfectly, all the time? And is not that the faith that works by love? Love is the fulfilling of the law. Then is not that the third angel's message, when He says, "Come and buy of me gold tried in the fire, (love and faith) and white raiment (righteousness of Christ) that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear"? So, we see how it is now that the mind that was in Christ will stand all of the trials that this world can bring. Is not the mind of Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever? Will the mind of Christ in Him do differently from the mind of Christ in me or in any other man? No. The mind of Christ was whose mind? [Voice: "The mind of God."] God was in Him in the flesh.

How shall we buy? Read Isa. 55:1: "Ho, everyone that thirsteth." Brethren, have we not become pretty thirsty by all that the Lord has said in the last few days? I know brethren who have come to me and talked and they were just about perishing of thirst, they were almost ready to drop of thirst. Then these words are to you and me. "Ho!" Just think, he wants to call the people's attention, so He calls loudly: "Ho! Everyone that thirsteth! Come ye to the waters." "Come."

When He said to Peter: "Come," could Peter come? Yes. What, come on the water? [Voice: "On the word, Come."] Yes, by that word Peter walked on the water. Then, when he forgot the word and thought he was about to sink, he said, "Lord, save me." He could not get him, could He? He started, but forgot the power of the word, the faith slipped, and he thought He could not get to him, and he cried, "Lord, save me." and the Lord put forth His hand. He did not wait for Peter to get to Him, but put forth His hand and lifted Him up. My brother or my sister, if you have mustered up courage to start on the word, "Come," and have forgot the power of it, and your faith has slipped because of the storm that was about you, you can say, "Lord, save me," and He reaches out His hand, and will save.

"Come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come." He tells us to buy, and whoever has no money, He will attend to the buying, He will see that we get the article. And that is also what He said to those who thought they had money, and did not know they had none. But that means us; that means you and me. And He comes with those words, "beloved" and "brethren." "Without money, buy and eat; come buy wine and milk without money and without price." The same thing is in Isa. 52:3, "For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought, and ye shall be redeemed without money." How in the world can we get back when we have sold ourselves? What did we get? Nothing. Now if He should ask anything for us to get back, how in the world can we do it? We sold ourselves for nothing, and if it costs us anything to get back, that means everlasting ruin, does it not? So then, we must settle down on that one thing that it does not cost anything for us to get back. "Ye have sold yourselves for nothing, and ye shall be redeemed for nothing." It cost the Lord something, however. It cost Him everything. But all this He gives us, so that it costs us nothing. The price was paid, but not by us.

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ears and come unto me. Hear and your soul shall live." What is it that you are to do that your soul shall live? [Voice: "Hear"] Do you hear, brethren? Have you heard the invitation? Do you live? You have heard of the creative power and the wonder-working power of Jesus Christ; having heard it, do you live by it? Do you live in Him and by Him and to Him?

Back there in the wilderness Moses lifted up a serpent, and what were they to do? "Look and live." And as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, and they were to live, so the Son of Man was lifted up that whosoever should look to Him should live. But here it is stated, Hear, and ye shall live. God had the plan fixed that we should speak and live, but Moses spoiled it.

In the 20th of Numbers we read that the Lord told Moses there when the people were murmuring for water, to go and "speak to the rock," and it should bring forth water. Moses went up and said, "Hear, now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" And he smote the rock twice. It was then that he spoiled God's splendid figure, that He would have set up, that all we were to do was to speak. For the rock had been smitten when they entered the desert.

The record says, when the people were thirsty the Lord told Moses to go up to Horeb and that He would stand before him on the rock. He told him to smite the rock with the rod that was in his hand, that the people might drink. He did that, and the water flowed out. What was that rock? [Voice: "Christ."]

Then why did he smite the rock the second time? Christ is not to die the second time for you and me. The Lord wanted to show us this in that splendid figure that He was about to set up, but Moses forgot His word. He did not believe Him, and thought that He was to do as he did before. He forgot that the Lord said, Go and speak to the rock, so he smote it, and spoiled the figure. Then God said unto him, "Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them." Brethren, the Lord Himself cannot keep us from sinning when we do not believe Him. Do not forget that. The Lord did not intend that Moses should do as he did, but Moses did not believe the Lord. Why did not the Lord keep him from sinning? He could not, when Moses did not believe Him. Then it becomes you and me, whenever God speaks to us, to take Him just as He says. Then He will keep us from sinning.

Christ told His disciples that night that they would all forsake Him and flee. They said, No, we will not. No, sir. You are mistaken. Peter said, Though all forsake thee, I will not. Before the cock crew, he denied Him three times, although he had said, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." Who was right? Christ. And they all said the same thing, but they all fled, because of their unbelief. If they had believed what He had said, would they have fled? Wouldn't He have saved the flock? Brethren, what we want to do is to believe the Lord. Undoubtedly Moses thought when the Lord told him to speak to the rock, that he meant to say as he did before--to go and smite it. He should have listened to what the Lord said. That is for you and me. "Consider what I say and the Lord give you understanding of all things." So then, what we are to do is to look and live; hear and live; speak and live; let us do it. The rock has been smitten; speak, and He will give forth the water of life. Brethren, that is from our Counselor. "Hear and your souls shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."

And we have it further, "Buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed." And you remember the description that we have already had of that raiment. The figure is, it is, "that garment that is woven in the loom of heaven, in which there is not a single thread of human making." Brethren, that garment was woven in a human body. The human body--the flesh of Christ--was the loom, was it not? That garment was woven in Jesus; in the same flesh that you and I have, for He took part of the same flesh and blood that we have. That flesh that is yours and mine, that Christ bore in this world--that was the loom in which God wove that garment for you and me to wear in the flesh, and He wants us to wear it now, as well as when the flesh is made immortal in the end!

What was the loom? Christ in His human flesh. What was it that was made there? [Voice: The garment of righteousness."] And it is for all of us. The righteousness of Christ--the life that He lived--for you and for me that we are considering tonight, that is the garment. God the Father--God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. "His name shall be called Immanuel"--that is, "God with us." Now then, He wants that garment to be ours, but does not want us to forget who is the weaver. It is not ourselves, but it is He who is with us. It was God in Christ. Christ is to be in us, just as God was in Him, and His character is to be in us, just as God was in Him, and His character is to be woven and transformed into us through these sufferings and temptations and trials which we meet. And God is the weaver, but not without us. It is the cooperation of the divine and the human--the mystery of God in you and me--the same mystery that was in the gospel and that is the third angel's message. This is the word of the Wonderful Counselor.

[Voice: "Was not the character woven without us?"]

Elder Jones: Yes, but it will not become ours without us. So we are led through these fiery trials and temptations to be partakers of the character of Christ, and these trials and temptations that we meet reveal to us our characters and the importance of having His, so that through these same temptations that He passed through, we become partakers of His character, bearing about in the body the righteousness of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Of course the garment was woven without us, and the beauty of it comes in that we are to have that garment as complete as He is. We are to grow up into Christ, until we all come in the unity of the faith. It is the same message still, until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

How tall are we to be in character before we leave this world? As tall as Christ. What is to be our stature? That of Christ. We are to be perfect men reaching "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Who is the weaver? [Voice: "God."] In whose eye is the pattern? God's. Many times, brethren, the threads seem all tangled when we look at them. The meshes seem all out of shape, and there is no symmetry at all to the figure; there is no beauty at all to the pattern as we see it. But the pattern is not of our making. We are not the weaver. Although the threads become tangled and the shuttle as it goes through gets all clogged and we do know how it is all coming out, who is sending the shuttle? God sends the shuttle, and it will go through. You need never mind, if the threads get tangled and you can see nothing beautiful in it. God is the weaver; can He untangle the threads? Assuredly He will untangle them.

When we look for the symmetry of the pattern and see it all awry and the colors intermingled and the threads drawn through this way and that and the figure seems spoiled, who is making the figure anyhow? God, of course. Whose loom contains the pattern of the figure in its completeness? And who is the pattern? Christ is the pattern, and do not forget, "no man knoweth the Son but the Father." You and I cannot shape our lives on the pattern. We do not know Him. We cannot see clearly enough to discern the One who shapes the pattern or to know how to shape it right even if we were doing the weaving. Brethren, God is doing the weaving. He will carry that process on. God sees the pattern in its completeness before it is done. It is in His eye perfected, when to our eye it all seems tangled and awry.

Brethren, let Him weave away. Let Him carry on His blessed plan of weaving through all our life and experience the precious pattern of Jesus Christ. The day is coming and is not far off when the last shuttle will be shot through, the last thread will be laid on, the last point in the figure will be met completely and sealed with the seal of the living God. There we shall wait only for Him that we may be like Him because we shall see Him as he is.

Brethren, is He not a wonderful Counselor? Oh, let us take His counsel tonight. Let us take the blessed faith that has been tried and all that he tells us, for it is all our own. God has given it. It is mine. It is yours. Let us thank Him and be glad