hope that, very soon, we will not be having anymore meetings like
this. I want to get out of this world, do you? And when we get to
heaven, we'll all go to church together every week. I try to imagine
that scene in my mind every Sabbath--what that will be like. We
are here in this world for a little bit of time to prepare for heaven;
that's what our existence is about, that's why we're here. The only
real reason for living is to get prepared and be to ready for eternity.
We have been
studying from John the seventeenth chapter where Jesus prayed for
His disciples that they might have unity and be one with Him as
He is one with the Father. Then He prayed, starting in verse 20,
for all those who would believe in Him on account of His word, that
they might have this same unity and harmony. He says in John 17:26,
"I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that
the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
We saw earlier this week that before we ever have unity with each
other, we must first come into unity with Jesus. When we all come
into unity and harmony with Him, then we also will have unity and
harmony with each other.
We saw that
coming into unity or harmony with Jesus involves several things.
Number one: We must become one spirit with Him, we must have His
Spirit. Number two: We must be one character with Him, we must have
His character. Number three: We must be one with Him in faith. The
saints of God in the last days are described as those that keep
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, so we must be one
with Him in faith. We saw that if we are to be one with Jesus in
character, we must keep the law because Jesus kept the law. So if
we are one with Him in character, we will be keeping His law. We
also saw that anytime there is discord or dissension among God's
people, the reason is because we are not keeping the commandments.
Anytime that we are in dissension or disunity, we will find that
we are not keeping the commandments.
Let me just
read that to you. It is from Selected Messages, vol. 2,
159. It says, "Unity is the strength of the church. Satan knows
this, and he employs his whole force to bring in dissension. He
desires to see a lack of harmony among the members of the church
of God. Greater attention should be given to the subject of unity.
What is the recipe for the cure of the leprosy of strife and dissension?"
That's the question! The next sentence says, "Obedience to
the commandments of God." So what's the cure? Obedience to
the commandments of God. Jesus kept the law. When he said to the
Jews, "Which of you convinces Me of sin?" they had nothing
to say. He was a commandment-keeper. And if I am going to be one
in character with Him, I must be a commandment-keeper also.
And so with
this in mind, I wanted to find out what and where in the law of
God, what is it in the law of God that is going to solve this problem--the
dissension, the strife, the trouble in families, in churches, all
over the world. The place to start is at the beginning. So we have
been studying the first commandment. We will not go over all that
we have studied before about the first commandment, but the first
commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before Me."
I mentioned the other day that this was spoken by Jesus Christ on
Mount Sinai. "You shall have no other gods before Me."
There is a depth of meaning in that statement that I want to understand.
Before we start
studying again this morning, I want to review something that we
studied before to help us all understand the importance of the first
commandment. This is in Signs of (lie Times, August 2,
1899. She says concerning the first commandment, "Upon this
command depends all the rest. This is the substance of all obedience."
the other day that before you break any of the other commandments,
you always break the first one first. So we started to evaluate
and study the first commandment. The first thing you have to study
when you study the first commandment is, if you are to have no other
gods before Him, who and what is God and what does that mean for
Him to be God in my life? What does that mean? Now the Bible describes
the Lord as a great King. It calls Him the King of glory. In Revelation
He's called the "King of kings and Lord of lords." A king
has a throne. And from the throne of a king, judgment is pronounced.
We saw that that's the way it's described in the seventh chapter
of Daniel when it describes the judgment of God--it talks about
the throne. Judgment comes from the throne.
By the way,
if you want to do an interesting study in Revelation, you can study
that out in Revelation. Revelation has a lot to say about the throne
of God and what is spoken from that throne.
But then we
ask the question, where is God enthroned? The first answer is, Well,
His throne is in heaven. The Bible says that. But we read a couple
of texts that show that He wants His throne to be not only in heaven.
Let's read those again.
Turn in your
Bible to Isaiah 66:1,2: "Thus says the Lord: 'Heaven is My
throne, and earth is my footstool. Where is the house that you will
build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things
My hand has made, and all those things exist,' says the Lord. 'But
on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and who trembles at My word.'"
God is not just
in heaven on a throne, He wants to be enthroned in your heart and
my heart. And friend, until He is enthroned in your heart, you can't
keep the first commandment or any of the rest of them. Let's read
that from the Spirit of Prophecy: "Unless God is enthroned
in the heart, the commandments are violated; for we have other gods
before the Lord of hosts." Review and Herald, June
2, 1891. So where is God's throne? Not just in heaven! God is looking
for a people that will enthrone Him in their hearts. And unless
God is enthroned in my heart, the commandments are violated, because
I have other gods before the Lord.
Look at what
it says here in Isaiah 57:15. "For thus says the High and Lofty
One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high
and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to
revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the
Now let's think
that through for just a little bit. God is to be enthroned, not
just in heaven, but in my heart. And what is my heart? The heart
is the center of my emotions and my feelings-- love proceeds from
the heart. Let's think this through. I cannot have God enthroned
in my heart unless I love Him. Does that make sense? It's impossible
for me to have God enthroned in my heart unless I love Him with
all my heart? I mentioned the other day that that's the problem
with Laodicea. Maybe I should read that statement again.
self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged
under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither
cold nor hot" Our High Calling, 348. What's the problem
with Laodicea? The problem with Babylon is that they don't even
keep the law of God or even claim to. Laodicea claims to keep the
law of God, but they love themselves more than they love the Lord,
and so they're not really keeping it. They claim to keep it, they
profess to keep it; but self is enthroned in the heart instead of
the Lord. She says that this is what constitutes the Laodicean condition.
to feel our obligation to the higher Power. That presence is ever
with us, asserting supreme authority, and taking account of the
service that we render or withhold. There is altogether too lithe
reverence and sincere love for God, and altogether too much
self-seeking. 'Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.' This command
must be sacredly observed if we would fulfill the purpose of God
for us in our creation and redemption. We must rise heavenward,
making God first and last and best in everything. He is our sole,
supreme, and everlasting good. Before we are ready to enter His
kingdom, self must be crucified. When self is made first, God is
put aside, and the sweet sense of His presence and love is lost."
Review and Herald, November 24, 1910.
So if I am going
to keep the first commandment, the first commandment encapsulates
the entire gospel. I was surprised when I found that out. I had
thought all my life that the law and the gospel were two separate
things, but the first commandment encapsulates the entire gospel.
You cannot keep the first commandment without the gospel, because
to keep the first commandment, self must be crucified, self must
die, self must be totally surrendered to God and the vacuum must
be filled up with the Holy Spirit. God must be enthroned in the
heart. That's what conversion's all about, that's what the new birth
is all about, that's what the new heart is all about.
Read the book
Steps to Christ, read the book of Romans. What is one of the
major thrusts of the entire book of Romans? Well you read it in
chapters 6--8, and actually you read it all the way through the
rest of the book, but especially in chapters 6--8. Doesn't Paul
talk over and over again about dying to self so that the Lord can
live inside? Isn't that what Paul talks about? He devotes whole
chapters to a discussion of that, because until that happens, you
can't keep the first commandment.
that before we are ready to enter His kingdom, self must be crucified.
When self is made first, God is put aside and the sweet sense of
His presence and love is lost. I want to tell you that when you
start studying this, when you start delving into it like I mentioned
the other day, if you had any self-confidence before, it will leave
you, it will be gone.
Ask the question,
Is self totally dead? Is Christ enthroned in my heart? Can I really
say that my heart is not divided and Jesus is enthroned in my heart?
This is so important. What we're talking about is so important that
Ellen White made the statement once that it is all that God requires.
Now that might sound surprising to you; some people think that God
has all manner of requirements. But if you meet this one requirement,
you're going to have all the rest.
Maybe I should
read that to you. You can find this in Mind, Character, and
Personality, or if you have the Bible Commentaries,
it's in volume 6, 1100,1101. It says, "When self is submerged
in Christ, true love springs forth spontaneously. It is not an emotion
or an impulse, but a decision of a sanctified will. It consists
not in feeling, but in the transformation of the whole heart, soul,
and character, which is dead to self and alive unto God. Our Lord
and Saviour asks us to give ourselves to Him. Surrendering self
to God is all He requires." That's it! That's all God asks
for. If you surrender self to Him and Christ is enthroned within,
then you're keeping the first commandment. When you keep the first
commandment you'll be able to keep the rest of the commandments.
Before you break the rest of the commandments, you'll break the
first one first.
self to God is all He requires, giving ourselves to Him to be employed
as He sees fit. Until we come to this point of surrender, we shall
not work happily, usefully, or successfully anywhere." Oh friend,
is what we're studying important? It's so important Ellen White
says this is all that God requires. If you are keeping the first
commandment, if Christ is enthroned in your heart, you're going
to be saved.
Now to His disciples,
Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the
life." If Jesus is enthroned in my heart, will I obey and follow
the truth? He is the way, the truth, and the life. When you turn
away from the truth, you turn away from Him, you're taking Him out
of the way, you're setting something else up in the throne of your
occupies the citadel of the soul, Christ is enthroned in the heart,
and the human agent can then say, 'I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave Himself for me.'" Review and Herald,
October 9, 1894. Self must die, self must be crucified so that
Jesus can be enthroned in my heart that I might love Him with all
my heart, soul, and mind.
Jesus said in
Matthew 22:37 that the first and great commandment is, "You
shall love the Lord with all your heart." Let me ask you something:
If I love the Lord with all my heart, how much of my heart is left
to love me? It's something worth thinking through. See our problem
is this: the devil's problem and the great counterfeit is to set
ourselves up in the throne of our heart instead of the Lord. That's
the Laodicean condition. Self must die, self must be crucified and
we want to know how that happens.
die, and Christ must be enthroned in the heart as all and in all.
The thoughts must be stayed on Him." Upward Look, 200.
And then she says that when that happens you're going to receive
divine power and you'll be able to resist the devil. How can my
self be crucified? How can my self die so that Jesus can occupy
the throne in my heart?
Then I am open
and in a position to have unalloyed joy and happiness and eternal
life, because Jesus, if He is on the throne of my heart, will cover
me with His righteousness. Receiving Jesus is to receive the truth
and to receive righteousness. Before you can receive righteousness
you must be convicted of sin and self must be crucified. Then Jesus
is received into the vacuum of the heart. That's what Jesus was
talking about in Matthew the twelfth chapter--the man who had the
unclean spirit and then when the unclean spirit went out the unclean
spirit went seeking rest and found none and then he said, "I
will return to the man from whence I came out," and he returned.
But the vacuum had not been occupied by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus
was not enthroned on the throne of the heart. The Holy Spirit was
not in control of that man's life and so the evil spirit went back
in. Nobody lives in a vacuum; there's a great controversy going
We think perhaps
that when our self is enthroned inside of our heart that we're in
control, but we're not. We think we are, but we're not. You can
read it in Testimonies to Ministers, 79, among other places,
where she says that everyone who is not a servant of Christ is a
servant of who? Satan. We think we're in control , but we're not.
The devil's in control. By the way, that's what's wrong with hypnotism.
People think that they're in control of somebody else's mind, but
behind them there's somebody else really in control and it's not
Self must die.
What I want to know is how can this happen for me? Don't think,
friends, that somebody that's been a Christian a long time, or a
pastor, or evangelist doesn't need to study this. As I was studying
it I found out that Ellen White wrote to the president of the General
Conference and told him that this was his problem. He'd been president
of the General Conference a long time, too. He was a successful
enough Seventh-day Adventist minister that all the brethren thought
that he ought to be the leader of our worldwide work. I believe
that, from my little study of his later life, that he accepted her
counsel, and I have every desire of meeting him in the kingdom.
But if the president
of the General Conference, if our leading ministers need help on
this point, what about me? Is there any possibility that I could
need help? When I first studied that I thought to myself, How is
it that Ellen White talks to all of our leading ministers like they're
not even converted? But the more I thought about it, the more scary
it got. If they weren't even converted, how about me?
How can this
happen in my life? One of the ways that the Lord helps us to die
to self is by letting us go through trials-- letting us go through
trials. First of all, we don't believe, as Christians, in any manner
or creature worship, that's forbidden in the second commandment.
We don't put our trust in being able to crucify ourselves. Have
you ever seen or heard of anybody crucifying themselves? Just think
it through: you can't crucify yourself. It's very interesting to
me, as I thought this through, that when you talk about dying to
self, the apostle Paul talks about it as the crucifixion of self
and you can't crucify yourself. Just think through what crucifixion
is. You can't do it to yourself. You can do it to somebody else,
but you can't do it to yourself. You're going to have to have help.
Where is the help going to come from?
the help is going to come from: "Christ came to our world because
He saw that men had lost the image and nature of God. He saw that
they had wandered far from the path of peace and purity, and that,
if left to themselves, they would never find their way back. He
came with a full and complete salvation, to change our stony hearts
to hearts of flesh, to change our sinful natures into His similitude,
that, by being partakers of the divine nature, we might be fitted
for the heavenly courts. He is about to do for us 'exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think.' Look only to Him; for He is your
righteousness, your all-sufficient sacrifice." Youth's
Instructor, September 9, 1897.
Did you get
that sentence--what it said to do? What did it say to do? It said
to look! "Oh," somebody says, "Pastor John, it couldn't
be that simple." But it is that simple.
Do you remember
when the children of Israel were dying because of those serpents
that had bitten them in the wilderness? God gave them an illustration
of the gospel and how it works. He had Moses set up a serpent on
a pole and Jesus used that to explain the gospel to Nicodemus. And
Moses told the children of Israel, "If you're bitten by the
serpent. . ." How many of us have been bitten by the Serpent?
All. Moses said, "If you've been bitten by the serpent"
do what? Look! Now you can read in Patriarchs and Prophets,
there's some people that wouldn't look. They died, too.
We studied this
before, we must go over it again. Do you understand why Ellen White
says in Desire of Ages, 83, 84 that it would be well for
us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life
of Christ? We should take it point by point and let the imagination
dwell. Then she says that we should dwell especially upon the closing
scenes. Are you looking? Have you spent any time today looking?
Has a study and meditation of the life of Christ become a top priority
in your life? Look.
faith you accept His mercy, you will be cleansed and purified. As
you believe on Him,--the One who brings life to the soul,--you will
rise to a new life, a life which finds its highest joy in service
for the Master. Self will be cast out, and Christ will be enthroned
in your heart." Youth's Instructor, September 9, 1897.
What's the result of looking? You're going to believe and you're
going to rise up. You're going to receive spiritual life just like
when they looked at that serpent When they looked, when they fastened
their attention in that direction, something happened--a miracle
happened inside. Friend, I don't know about you, but I need a miracle
You cannot crucify
yourself, you cannot cast yourself out of your heart. Jesus said,
"Look to Me all ye at the ends of the earth and be saved."
Where are you looking?
Are you asking? You can't crucify yourself, but Jesus said that
if you ask, you're going to receive. Are you asking? Everyday are
you saying to the Lord, "Lord, I want myself to die. I want
myself to be crucified. I want Jesus to be enthroned in my heart."
Is the kingdom of God enthroned in your heart by Christ's presence
abiding there, or is self still a controlling power within?
This is Manuscript
Releases, vol. 2, 33: "Whose subjects are you? If a selfish
spirit continues to keep you out of Christ's service, pray, 'Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.' Pray,
oh, pray most earnestly, 'Put Thy Spirit, Lord, Thy Holy Spirit,
within my heart, that I may be sincere in keeping my baptismal vow.
. .' Pray that unbelief shall no longer lead you to claim to be
in God's service, while in life-practice, because of a perverted
will, you reveal that you are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
Pray for the power to demonstrate to the world that you are dead
to sin, and that your life is indeed hid with Christ in God."
Are you praying?
Are you praying everyday and saying, "Lord, please, I have
a tiger in my heart, I can't crucify myself. Lord, I'm looking to
you. I pray that self may be crucified and die and that Jesus may
come in and occupy the throne of my heart that He may be enthroned
in my heart."
must look, we must ask and we must choose. Do you remember that
the apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, he said, "To will
is present with me?" He says, "I don't know how to do
it, but I can make a choice. See, I cannot crucify myself; I am
dependent upon Divine Power, but I can make a choice." God
honors the choices of free moral agents. God does not work contrary
or in opposition to the choice, so it is very important to make
This is from
the book Healthful Living, 304, 305: "Your energies
are required to co-operate with God. Without this, if it were possible
to force upon you a hundredfold greater intensity the influences
of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a Christian, a fit subject
for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be broken. There must
be the willing and the doing on the part of the receiver. There
must be an action, represented as coming out from the world and
being separate. There must be a doing of the words of Christ. The
soul must be emptied of self, that Christ may pour His Spirit into
the vacuum. Christ must be chosen as the heavenly guest" Have
you made the choice? We must look, we should spend time looking
everyday, we must ask, but we must also choose. The Bible says,
"Choose you this day whom you will.
must be chosen as the heavenly guest The will must be placed on
the side of God's will." That's a choice. By the way, you do
not have to feel like doing it to do it. Always remember that: you
do not have to feel like it. You choose whether you feel like it
or not. God will honor your choice. When I am in a bakery or some
other place, there are many things that I feel like buying that
I do not--I make a choice. "Then there is a new heart, and
new, holy resolves. It is Jesus enthroned in the soul that makes
every action easy in His service." Healthful living, 305.
Remember when Jesus was here, He said to the people, "Come
to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke
When is the
yoke easy? When you lay aside the worldly yoke-- that's the death
to self. Jesus is enthroned in your heart--that means that you love
Him with all of your heart. That's what it means to have Him enthroned
in your heart, because the heart is the center of your affections
and your emotions. When you love Him with all of your heart and
your soul and your mind, then His service, the Christian life, is
easy. She says it makes every action easy in his service.
Oh my young
friend, does the Christian life seem like just a bunch of uphill
business where you're just struggling, struggling, struggling and
all you ever do is struggle? There's no joy, no happiness, just
self-denial and trouble and that's all you can see of Christianity?
You know why that is? That's because self is still alive; self isn't
crucified; Jesus has not been enthroned in your heart. When Jesus
is enthroned in your heart, then, and only then, does serving Him
We could give
many illustrations from human experience but I must hurry along.
But there is one other point that we must cover. We're not going
to cover everything. There is one other point that we must cover
in studying about the crucifixion of self and that is this: The
crucifixion of self involves confession. Here's what Ellen White
said about this in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1,
698: "Whatever the character of your sin, confess it. If it
is against God only, confess only to him. If you have wronged or
offended others, confess also to them and a blessing of the Lord
will rest upon you. In this way you die to self and Christ is formed
Oh friend, are
you making everything right? Our main subject is not about confession,
but over and over again Ellen White emphasized that if we're going
to receive the latter rain, we must be repenting and confessing our
sins. Somebody says, "How could that be? I've been a Christian
for twenty years." Well, I don't know about you, but I've been
a Christian for over forty years and I still have to write letters
of apology and confession. Now maybe you're way beyond me in your
Christian experience, I don't know, but dying to self involves confession.
Even if we haven't sinned against somebody, if we find out that
we have said or done something and they believe that we have offended
them, we have some obligations. Read Matthew 5:23, 24. I find myself
writing many letters of that kind.
But now I want
to come to something else. This is a big subject, but we will hurry.
We cannot read each others hearts, and in fact, Ellen White has
told us that we know very little of our own heart. So if we know
so little about ourselves as inspiration tells us that we do, the
Bible says that "the heart is deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked, who can know it." If we know so little
about ourselves, how can we tell if we're having this experience
day by day? Are we really crucified to self? Are we dead to self?
Is Jesus enthroned within?
writings we're given a few barometer readings. Do you know what
a barometer reading is? You may not be able to feel at all, but
the barometer can tell you something about what the weather's going
to do if you know how to interpret it. In the same way we're given
some barometer readings in the inspired writings so that I can check
them myself and see if lam really dead to self or not.
I want to go
over several of these barometer readings with you, and friends,
this is painful. When we go over the barometer readings that inspiration
has given us, we find that in Adventism we're not dead to self.
We may think we are but we're still in Laodicea. The barometer readings
prove it. First of all, Faith and Works, 61, "Have
we not been passing judgment on our brethren, criticizing their
words and actions? Then the love of God has not been enthroned in
If I am criticizing
my brethren, what does that tell me? That tells me that God's love
is not enthroned within. We read John 17:26. If Jesus is enthroned
within, His love will be enthroned within. That's a barometer reading.
If I'm criticizing my brothers and sisters, self is not dead, it
is not crucified. "Oh," somebody says, "they're wrong."
Well, maybe they are. What shall we do when the other guy's wrong?
Of course we're never wrong.
Messages, vol. 3, 166: "There are some differences of
views on some subjects." Have you noticed that? Differences
of views. "But is this a reason for sharp, hard feelings? Shall
envy and evil surmisings and imaginings, evil suspicion, hatred,
and jealousies become enthroned in the heart? All these things are
evil and only evil." Oh friend, what's in your heart? What's
in my heart? I can't read your heart, you can't read my heart and
we know very little of our own hearts. But we have some barometer
readings from inspiration. If we've got these sharp hard feelings--envy,
evil surmisings, imaginings, evil suspicions, hatred, jealousies--if
we've got any of those, self is not dead, Christ is not enthroned
within. That's a barometer reading. If we're on the judgment seat
with our brethren, Christ is not formed within.
Let's look at
the happy side. If Christ is enthroned in your heart and if Christ
is enthroned in my heart, would we get in a fight? Would we? We
may not think the same on all points of faith or doctrine, but would
we get in a fight? No!
one: If there is strife and self-esteem, then Christ is not enthroned
in the heart That's also in Sermon and Talks, vol. 1, 271,272.
If there is strife and self-esteem, Christ is not enthroned in the
heart. When we come together to investigate doctrine and we don't
see everything just the same, when Christ is enthroned in the heart,
the spirit and love of Jesus will be revealed in the investigation
of all points of doctrine. In fact, if Christ is enthroned in the
heart, all the fullness of the Godhead will be in us. That's what
Colossians 2 teaches. All the fullness of the Godhead-- His mercy,
His goodness, His grace--we will have it all.
Do you have
anybody that's insulting you? speaking against you? criticizing
you? This is Testimonies to the Church, vol. 2, 567: "When
we possess true meekness and lowliness we are so lost in Christ
that we do not take neglect or slights to heart; we are deaf to
reproach and blind to scorn and insult." Remember what we studied
about the other day: if your feelings are hurt, that's a sign that
self is not dead. When self is dead we're blind and deaf to all
that sort of thing. It doesn't bother us anymore. Christ is enthroned
within. Ellen White says every blow that is directed at the believer
falls on Christ. It hits Him instead.
more that we could study about this--what it means to be converted.
Ellen White said the time to do it is now. She told us over and
over again, Don't wait for this experience that we're talking about.
She says, Don't wait, do it right now. The time of trouble will
be too late. I read you a statement that if we die to self day by
day, then when the time of trouble comes you won't have anything
to worry about. The angels of God will be a wall of fire all around.
The facts are
that we have serious trouble in Adventism today. I'm not judging
anybody's heart, but it's all right for me to look at the fruit
on the tree. It's all right for me to look at the barometer reading.
And the barometer reading shows that we have serious trouble. It
is high time for us to fast and pray and ask the Lord that we may
crucify self, that we may be dead to self and that we may have Christ
enthroned within so we can start keeping the first commandment.
I want to read
something to you in closing. I wish this didn't describe our condition.
I wish it did not. I hope the time comes very soon, by the grace
of God, when this does not describe our condition. But I'm very
afraid that this is an accurate description of our situation at
this present time. This is a dream that Ellen White had in 1880.
You can find it recorded in Manuscript Release, vol. 12,
10, 11. Here's what it says:
a dream [there are three people mentioned in this dream. The name
of one is given ask the name of the second is B; the name of the
third is CI. I saw Ain close conversation with men and with ministers.
He adroitly would make statements born of suspicion and imagination
to draw them out, and then would gain expression from them. I saw
him clap his hands over something very eagerly. I felt a pang of
anguish at heart as I saw this going on. I saw in my dream yourself
and B in conversation with him. You made statements to him which
he seemed to grasp with avidity, and close his hand over something.
I then saw him go to his room, and there upon the floor was a pile
of stones systematically laid up, stone upon stone. He placed the
additional stones on the pile and counted them up. Every stone had
a name--some report gathered up--and every stone was numbered.
man who often instructs me came and looked upon the pile of stones
with grief and indignation, and inquired [of A] what he had and
what he proposed to do with them. A looked up with a sharp, gratified
laugh. 'These are mistakes of C. I am going to stone him with them,
stone him to death.' The young man said, 'You are bringing back
the stoning system, are you? You are worse than the ancient Pharisees.
Who gave you this work to do? The Lord raised you up, the Lord entrusted
you with a special work. The Lord has sustained you in a most remarkable
manner, but it was not for you to degrade you powers for this kind
of work. Satan is an accuser of the brethren.'
A seemed very defiant and determined. Said he, 'C is trying to tear
us to pieces. He is working against us, and to save our reputation
and life, we must work against him. I shall use every stone to the
last pebble here upon this floor to kill him. This is only self-defense,
a disagreeable necessity.'
said the young man solemnly, 'What have you gained? Have you in
the act righted your wrongs? Have you opened your heart to Jesus
Christ, and does he sit there enthroned?' [he wasn't keeping the
first commandment] 'Who occupies the citadel of the soul under this
administration of the stoning system?
a higher calling, a more important work. Leave all such work of
gathering stones for the enemies of God's law. You brethren must
love one another, or you are not children of the day, but of the
saw C engaged in a similar work, gathering stones, making a pile,
and ready to begin the stoning system. Similar words were repeated
to him with additional injunctions, and I awoke."
Oh friend, are
we ever going to get beyond the Old Covenant? You know the stoning
system was in the old covenant. Are we ever going to get beyond
it? Is Jesus going to be enthroned in the heart so that I'm deaf
and blind to insult and all the other awful things that people do
to me? I have my eyes fixed on Jesus; in everything that happens
to me in life I respond the way He would respond. The blow that's
aimed at me hits Him. I don't have to worry about it Oh friend,
we need a new experience! I tell you friend, there's not going to
be anybody taken inside the pearly gates that doesn't keep the first
commandment. You know that? We Adventists have been teaching for
over a hundred years that the people of God in the last days are
going to keep the commandments. The first commandment is the first
commandment You can't keep any of the rest without keeping the first.
time--it's high time--for us to experience a deeper conversion.
What is going on is proof that we are not keeping the first commandment.
I'm not judging anybody's heart; I'm just looking at the barometer
readings that inspiration gives us. Friends, if we are going to
go to heaven, we must come out of our Laodicean condition and self
must die. Christ must be enthroned within; I must love Him with
all my heart, soul, and mind; I must begin to keep the first commandment.
I want this
experience in my life. As I've studied it, I realize 1 need a much
deeper experience. I'm not telling you about something that I have
and you don't have. I need it just as much as you need it. But friends,
we're all going to have to have it if we're going to heaven, and
I want it I want self to die, to be crucified so that the angels
of heaven can see and testify that I am not serving God with a divided
heart. There is no self left-- it's crucified. Jesus alone is enthroned
within. Do you want that experience? If you do, let's kneel down
and pray that the Lord will give it to us.