Some of the folks wondered last Friday night whether I was not making things rather strong; but I think after what Brother Porter read from the Testimonies just now all will agree that it was just straight. I do not want you to think, brethren, that I am making up things to say here just because it is you. If I had been preaching since last Monday night to a people who never heard of a Seventh-day Adventist, nor the third angel's message, I would preach to them just exactly what I have to you, because I do not know what else to give now than the third angel's message. I do not know what else to do to people wherever I do preach than to bring them face to face with their need of the power of God. So I am not saying anything to you yet that I would not have said to anybody. It might come after a while that I shall say something to you that I would not to other people, because maybe some of us have been doing things that other people would not do, but that is the only reason.
Now let us glance again at a summary of the lessons we have had. We have found that there is nothing that will hold us up in this time but the power of God. We have found that nothing will satisfy us, nothing will do for us, but the character of God. We have found in the matter of means and business affairs so far as this world is concerned, that we cannot depend upon any of these any more, but only upon the things that God gives. We have found that as to life itself, we cannot count on that anymore; the only thing that will satisfy, the only thing that we can depend upon, the only thing that will meet our demand--the demand of the people who will now stand for the Lord--is that life that is better than this one--the life that is eternal, the life of God.
Well, then, first, nothing will support us but the power of God. And where do we find the power of God? In Jesus Christ. "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God"; that is what He is. Where do we find the character of God? In Christ. Where do we find all things, the great things of God? In Christ. Where do we find a better life than this? The life of God, in Christ.
Well, then, what in the world have we to preach to the world, but Christ? What have we to depend upon but Christ? Then what is the third angel's message but Christ? Christ the power of God; Christ the unsearchable riches of God; Christ the righteousness of God; Christ the life of God; Christ is God! That is the message that now we are to give to the world. Is it not? Then what does the world need? Christ. Do they need anything else? No. is there anything else? No. "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him."
As I said a while ago, if I had been preaching to a people that had never heard anything about the third angel's message, if I had been preaching to them since Monday night, I would preach just as I have, and bring them face to face with Jesus Christ just as we have. And by the way, there is a whole congregation of infidels that are just in that place, waiting now to give me an invitation sometime to come and speak the next time, and that is what I am to tell them. A whole congregation--profess to be nothing but infidels--have given me the opportunity to speak to them three times already, and I have spoken on these things just as they are right before men's faces; and they have already asked, "What are we to do?" And one of them said, "Well, he has told us all these things, and it is all plain, but he has not told us what to do." "Well," said I, "I did not have time to tell you what to do tonight. Give me a chance, and I will tell you what to do." They said, "All right" and I will do it.
When that time comes I propose to tell them just what to do. I propose to set before them just what I have set before you, that if they are going to oppose this Church and State movement, they have got to set aside all ideas of earthly dependence, they have got to set aside all thoughts of riches or possessions or anything of that kind and all ideas or thoughts of life. And they can see it. And then I shall tell them they cannot afford to do that unless they get something better, and the thing better is Jesus Christ, and they must have Him or else they cannot stand at all. Why, brethren, the world is ready to hear the message, when we get the message. The world is ready to hear it, and they will hear it.
Well, then, Christ the power of God; Christ the wisdom of God; Christ the unsearchable riches of God, and Christ the life of God. That is what we are to preach. Well, what is that all summed up in one thing? What expresses it? The Gospel. What is it to preach the gospel?
It is to preach the mystery of God, which is Christ in men the hope of glory. What has God given to us to give to the world but "the everlasting gospel to preach unto every kindred and nation and tongue and people"? Rev. 14:6. Is not that what the message starts with? And then, when men will not receive the everlasting gospel nor worship him who made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters--whom did they worship? The beast and his image. "Babylon is fallen, is fallen"; and then the third angel's message says they will worship the beast and his image. So that now, men worship the beast and his image, or else they will worship God. That is settled. According to the message as it is, and the time in which we are, the only thing that people in this world can worship is Him that made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water, or else the beast and his image;; there is no half-way place. the three messages are simply one three-fold message. In the special testimonies, is one that is addressed, "To Brethren in Responsible Positions," we read on page 15:
So that the opening thing, and the one thing of all, that which covers all of these messages, is the everlasting gospel.
Now we have referred a time or two to the Jewish Church, as an illustration of the situation in which we are. We found there that that church turned its back upon God and joined itself to Caesar in order to put Christ out of the way and to execute their mind concerning him. Then the Lord called out of that church and nation all who would obey Him, all who would serve Him, before the nation was destroyed and He did that work by those few disciples that believed in Jesus when He ascended to heaven. They had been with Jesus three years and a half; they had preached. They had even performed miracles in His name. He had sent them to preach, saying "The kingdom of heaven is at hand"; and so important was their message that if the place did not receive them, they were to shake the dust off from their feet before they left.
Yet before they could preach the gospel which He gave them to preach, when He ascended to heaven He said, "Tarry ye at Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high." Would not we have thought that their being with Christ three years and a half, hearing Him, loving Him, studying Him and with Him, having been taught by Him this length of time, and having even preached---it would naturally be supposed that they were fitted to carry the gospel to the world? But no, said He. "Tarry ye at Jerusalem." "Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye at Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49.
How much power was there enlisted against them and the message they were to preach? All the power of the world. For the church of God, the professed church of God, that whole nation, had joined itself to Caesar, whose power filled the world. All the power of the world was allied against them. The professed church and nation of God had allied themselves to power and had arrayed it against God and the name of Christ. And yet this Christ whom they had crucified and whom they had done their best to take away from the world and the minds of men--His disciples were to go and preach that very name and that very person, and that faith only in Him could save them. And they had to preach this in the face of all the power that the world then knew.
Well, not very long before that, only about twelve days or two weeks before Jesus told them this, Peter got scared at a girl and denied that he knew Christ. There was a girl that began to say, "I saw you with that Galilean." "No, you did not; no. I don't know Him." He came closer to the fire and she got a better look at Him, and she said, "You are one of them." No, I am not. No. I never knew Him." And then to prove it, he cursed and swore. Was he prepared to face all the power in the world? No. He needed to be acquainted with a kind of life and have hold of something that a girl could not scare him out of before he could face the world. Did he not? and Jesus has told them all, "You will all forsake me and flee this night." "No, we will not," they all said, and Peter said, "Though they all forsake you, I will not." Jesus said, "Before the cock crow you will deny me three times, Peter." "Though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee." "And so likewise said they all." But they did forsake him, didn't they? Matt. 26:31-35.
Well, then, we see that so far as themselves and their work was concerned and so far as the power that was opposed their work was concerned, we stand exactly in the situation in which they stood at that time when Jesus ascended to heaven. We stand exactly in that place where all the power of this earth is allied against the message which we are to give to the world, and therefore we need, just as they, to be endued with power from on high. So it is a literal fact that we stand exactly where they did when Jesus ascended to heaven and told theme to tarry until they got that power.
So when He ascended, He said, as recorded in Acts 1:8: "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Then what were they to tarry for? For the Holy Ghost. What was He to bring to them? The power. What was to endure them with power? The Holy Ghost. Now I do not need to read the references from the little special testimonies and from Gospel Workers that Brother Prescott read here, which are on the same things; how that the words of the Lord tell us that just as the disciples were doing that, so we now should be doing the same thing. How we should be gathered in companies praying for the Holy Spirit, and how it required ten days of seeking God to bring them into the place where they could offer effectual prayer and receive that which they asked because they asked in that abiding faith that would receive what was asked.
Nor do I need to read again those passages that I read from Testimonies in manuscript, that when the people of God individually seek for His Holy Spirit with all the heart, there will be heard from human lips the testimony that fulfills that word, "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory," and "Prayers are ascending daily for the fulfillment of this promise" of being endued with power.["] Then we have the word of the Lord that prayers are ascending daily. Are yours amongst them? Are mine amongst them? Now the day is going to come when the last prayer that will be necessary to bring that blessing will have ascended. Then what? It will come. The flood will burst, and out will pour the Holy Spirit, the day of Pentecost. Now, notice, the word is, as "Prayers are ascending to God daily" for this promise, "not one of those prayers put up in faith is lost." There is the blessedness of that promise, you see. Yes, when God tells us to pray for a thing, why, that opens the door wide for us to pray for that thing with the most perfect confidence that we shall receive it. When He tells us to pray for a thing, that throws open the door wide, and there is not a single thing to hinder that prayer from finding a lodgment there. What is His word to us? That not one of those prayers put up in faith is lost.
Well, one of these days the last prayer needed will be lodged there, and out the blessing will be poured. And who will receive it? Those whose prayers have ascended to God for it. I do not care whether that man is in the center of Africa and that outpouring is here in Battle Creek; he will receive it, because by our prayers for it, the channel is opened between us and the source of the blessing and just as certainly as we keep that channel open by our prayers, when the Spirit is poured out it will reach the place where the prayers start from just as sure as can be, because the channel is open.
Then brethren, could we possibly have more encouragement for the prayers which we see by everything around us, we must offer? Could there possibly be more encouragement for us to offer those prayers with all the heart and with perfect confidence?
There is a word in Gospel Workers that I want to read, which speaks plainly upon this question, page 370, 371. Speaking about the apostles, it says:
Now the thought I am after is this: "They had no speculations, no curious theories to advance as to how the promised blessing was to come." That means us now. We are to have no curious theories as to just how it is going to come. If any one begins to say, "O it is coming as on the day of Pentecost. The sound of it as the rushing mighty wind will be just so and so. The tongues of fire will look just so, etc., etc.["] And so settle it thus and say, "That is the way it is going to come the next time, and thus I shall know when it comes." The one who measures up this matter is any such way, will never receive it. What they needed was to get their hearts right before God, and it was none of their business how the Lord would fulfill His promise. He does not propose to have us dictate to Him and say, "The Holy Spirit must come in such a way or else it will not be the Holy Spirit." Then if you have had any theory about it, just annihilate that theory tonight, and let your theories always stay annihilated. We have no right to fix up in our minds the way the Lord is going to do things. That was their situation; that is our situation. and, brethren, just as certainly as the promise was fulfilled to them, so certainly it will be fulfilled now to those who are praying for the same thing. We do not know how long it will take.
Another thing--They were to preach. What? The gospel. And Paul defines the gospel over and over to be the mystery of God which had been hid from ages and generations, now made manifest to His saints. They preached that gospel, that mystery of God, and what is that? "Christ in you the hope of glory"; "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God"; "The unsearchable riches of God." "Christ and him crucified." That is what it was; nothing but that.
And Paul defined it in the 6th chapter of 2 Cor., you remember, "as having nothing and yet possessing all things." Verse 10. Don't you see the poor, poverty-stricken condition of the man that holds to what he has in his hands in this world? Don't you see the poor, poverty-stricken condition of that Seventh-day Adventist that will now hold to what he has in this world? He must have more than that or he will never get through the time of trouble. But when we let everything go and count ourselves as having nothing, then what? Then what will we have? "All things." Then they cannot take anything away from us. The people who are in that condition, nothing can be taken from them. Now is that so? [Congregation: "Yes."] Of course, it is. They cannot take power from us, can they? They cannot take the character from us. Then they cannot take our riches from us. And they cannot take our life from us, for Christ is our life, and they cannot take Him from us. So when we are in this position we have the victory over the world and all its power, to start with.
Now another phrase in that same connection, "Having nothing and yet possessing all things; as poor yet making many rich." That is our work in the world, to make people rich. As Jesus became poor that we might be made rich, so we become poor that many others may become rich. And so when we have Christ, Christ only, nothing but the unsearchable riches of Christ, we can make everybody rich who will take the free gift of the riches.
They preached the mystery of God--"Christ in you the hope of glory." But there arose another mystery. It began to appear while they were preaching. This mystery that they were to preach "had been hid from ages and generations"; now it was manifested as never before in the world. But while they were preaching that mystery, there appeared the working of another mystery, and that mystery of iniquity arose and hid again the mystery of God--after the apostles died that mystery of iniquity arose and spread over the world and hid again the mystery of God from ages and from generations. Didn't it? But when we come to the 10th chapter of Revelation an angel is there represented as standing with one foot on the sea and the other on the land, and crying with a strong voice, "and sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished."
I have wondered lately whether that is not intentional that it is put in that way, that the mystery of God should be finished, instead of shall be finished. It should have been finished long ago. The Testimonies have told us that. But by our dilatoriness, our slackness, our slowness to believe God, it is not finished. Yet he said it should be finished. Now, thank the Lord it is to be finished indeed. If he would speak now he would say, it "shall be," of course. But the point is, that when the voice of the seventh angel shall begin to sound, the mystery of God stands forth to the world. What is that? "Christ in you the hope of glory." That is the everlasting gospel. That is the third angel's message. Then don't you see how it is that God has settled it that the third angel's message, the mystery of God, shall triumph over the mystery of iniquity, and that as certainly as the mystery of iniquity has held the attention of the world and has attracted the gaze of the nations, and the wonder of men, just so certainly the mystery of God will attract the attention of nations and the wonder of men? It will do it.
Now let us turn to the book of Joel and read that second chapter again. There are some things that we want to study. The first part of it you remember, up to the twelfth verse, not including the twelfth, is a picture of the coming of the Lord. If you turn to that Testimony (Vol. 1, p. 180) that tells about "The Shaking," you will find this chapter there given by the Spirit of the Lord as the reference on which is based that idea. It applies to the time of the shaking, and the shaking prepares for the loud cry.
(1)"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;The parallel is Rev. 19:11-18.
(2) a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
(3) A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
(4) The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
(5) Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
(6) Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
(7) They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks;
(8)neither shall one push the another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
(9) They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
(10) The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
(11) and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
Continuing with Joel the 2nd chapter:
(12)"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning:Who here knows that when a person seeks the Lord with all the heart, whether or not the Lord will return and leave a blessing behind him? If we know He will, then let us go at it. There is all the encouragement in the world; just as certainly as we know He will do that, there is nothing to hinder us from seeking Him with all the heart, because we know He will give the blessing. Let us have it.
(13)and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
(14)Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him: even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?"
I think I have a word here that I had better read on that, perhaps. On page 17 of the testimony entitled, "To Brethren in Responsible Positions," I read these words: "The false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law. Satan and his angels are wide awake and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating the knowledge of God."
What is the Sabbath a sign of? That He is the Lord our God, and the Lord that sanctifies His people. Well, then, when that sign by which He is known to the people, is taken out of the way, they take Him away from the knowledge of the people. That is what they are after. And that thing is now done. I read before, "God's memorial has been torn down, and in its place a false sabbath stands before the world." All the power of the earth is now enlisted in that business. So they propose to blot out the knowledge of God from the world. Therefore we need to seek the Lord with all the heart, that the heathen shall not rule over us. Now let us see what He is going to do:
But to whom will He send it? When will He send it? When the people are gathered and the congregation assembled and the children and the babies, the elders, the bridegrooms and the brides, and the ministers--when we are gathered together as the testimony says, "in companies" seeking God with all the heart--then it is, that He will do what He says. Let us go at it as never before. It is a wonderful thing when the Lord promises that we shall be satisfied with what He is going to give. It is not according to our measure. How much is God satisfied that we should be satisfied with? Nothing short of everything He has, for He gave just that in Jesus Christ, and He does not want us to stop short of everything He has. Just as Brother Haskell read in that blessed testimony this morning--you remember what wonderful thing that was--that when we come as beggars, having no deserts of our own, then all is ours in one everlasting gift.
The margin of this verse says, "He hath magnified to do great things." Who is it that "has magnified to do great things"? Who has all the power of the world in his hands? Satan. It is he who thinks he is going to do great things. Now let us see what the Lord will do just then.
(22) "Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
(23) Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God!"
But there is going to be a double portion at this time. If that was moderate, what do you suppose this is going to be? We can't imagine what that was. Let me read you a word in Vol. IV, p. 611:
Brethren, I am awfully glad of these things. I am just as glad as I can be of what the Lord says in that chapter, because it is all present truth you see. Every verse is right now, and tells such wondrous things. He is going to do such wondrous things; and all He asks of us is to seek Him with all the heart that we may have it all. If we seek Him with half the heart we cannot have it all. We want to seek Him with all the heart to get all He has. Let us do what the Lord says, and "Be glad and rejoice, ye children of Zion"; for "the Lord will do great things" and ye shall never be ashamed" and there is deliverance "in the remnant" that the devil is warring against with all his might.
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