"Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth"




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"Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth"


[Sermon at Sydney, Australia, December 12, 1891.]


"Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." This was the prayer of Christ in behalf of his disciples just prior to his crucifixion on Mount Calvary, and his words refer not only to those who heard him at that time, but they have reference also to us who believe on his name; for he said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." This is what we are seeking to do, striving to be followers of our Lord Jesus, doers of his commands. If we would be sanctified through the truth, we must believe his message, and receive his messengers; for his word comes down along the lines to us from patriarchs andprophets, from one generation to another, that we may know the truth of God. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 1}


But in these days of peril we are not to accept everything that men bring to us as truth. As professed teachers from God come to us declaring that they have a message from God, it is proper to inquire carefully, How do we know that this is truth? Jesus has told us that "false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many." But we need not be deceived; for the word of God gives us a test whereby we may know what is truth. The prophet says, "To the law andto the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." {RH February 23, 1892, par. 2}


From this statement it is evident that it becomes us to be diligent Bible students, that we may know what is according to the law and the testimony. We are safe in no other course of action. Jesus says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Then how very important it is that we sanctify ourselves through the grace given us by Christ, that we may exert a sanctifying influence upon all those with whom we associate. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 3}


The work of sanctification begins in the heart, and we must come into such a relation with God, that Jesus can put his divine mold upon us. We must be emptied of self in order to give room to Jesus, but how many have their hearts so filled with idols that they have no room for the Redeemer of the world. The world holds the hearts of men in captivity. They center their thoughts and affections upon their business, their position, their family. They hold to their opinions and ways, andcherish them as idols in the soul; but we cannot afford to yield ourselves to the service of self, holding to our own waysand ideas, and excluding the truth of God. We must be emptied of self. But this is not all that is required; for when we haverenounced our idols, the vacuum must be supplied. If the heart is left desolate, andthe vacuum not supplied, it will be in the condition of him whose house was "empty, swept, and garnished," but without a guest to occupy it. The evil spirit took unto himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they entered in and dwelt there; and the last state of that man was worse than the first. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 4}


As you empty the heart of self, you must accept the righteousness of Christ. Lay hold of it by faith; for you must have the mindand spirit of Christ, that you may work the works of Christ. If you open the door of the heart, Jesus will supply the vacuum by the gift of his Spirit, and then you can be a living preacher in your home, in the church,and in the world. You can diffuse light, because the bright beams of the sun of righteousness are shining upon you. Your humble life, your holy conversation, your uprightness and integrity, will tell to all around that you are a child of God, an heir of heaven, that you are not making the world your dwelling-place, but that you are a pilgrim and a stranger here, looking for a better country, even a heavenly, living with an eye single to the glory of God. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 5}


When Jesus came to this world, he found that the things of time had taken possession of the human heart, andoccupied men's minds to the exclusion of an appreciation of eternal realities. Jesus does not despise the world, for he made the world; but he does not design that his children shall center their hopes andaffections on earthly things that will pass away. He places the world in subordination to the things pertaining to the future, immortal life. When Christ came to earth, the world was covered with the darkness of error and superstition, and men had lost sight of eternal interests, and Jesus parted the darkness with the white beams of his righteousness, and eternity was brought to view, that men might not drop from their reckoning the interests of the life that measures with the life of God, that temporal things might not be permitted to outweigh the exceeding and eternal weight of glory.{RH February 23, 1892, par. 6}


In order to keep the world in its proper subordination, it is necessary to havemore than a mere casual, nominal faith in Christ. Many might give assent to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, and yet fail to have saving faith. Jesus must be all in all to the soul. You must believe in him as your personal and complete Saviour; for unless you take him for all that he is,—a complete Saviour,—you will not represent him to the world as he is. Everywhere throughout the churches of Christendom there is a dearth of spirituality, a lack of vital godliness, and those who profess religion are many of them like dry bones. They need the breathing of the Spirit of God upon them, that they may live. It is because the aid of the Holy Spirit is not united with the efforts of men, that there is not more true piety in the church; for the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness,and of judgment to come. But even in the church sin is suffered in our brethren. Men are not faithful to rebuke evil in the professed servants of Christ. One does not go to another in the spirit of love andmeekness, seeking to restore such as are erring from the faith. They do not go to the erring one, and say, "My brother, you are not representing the character of Christ. You do not manifest his self-denial andself-sacrifice. You need tenderness of heart, Christian politeness, that you may manifest the courtesy that Jesus has enjoined upon us in his word." But instead of going to your brethren when you see defects of character, you go to others to talk over their imperfections. This is not fulfilling the commands of Christ. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 7}


While we are to deal kindly and lovingly with our brethren, we are only to follow them so far as they follow Christ. We are to pattern our lives after the divine Model. We cannot afford to imitate others. We cannot afford to measure ourselves by human standards. The standards of men are as various as the men who make them. One has one standard, and another has another. You may copy some one whose standard you regard as perfect, but fall below his example; and some one else may imitate you, and fall below the mark;and so human imperfections are passed along, and measuring yourselves among yourselves, proves that you are not wise. The sacredness has been lost from our labors, and we do not appreciate divine realities as we should, because we havelost sight of Jesus, and fastened our eyes upon humanity. We must awake from our sleep, that Christ may give us life; for we cannot afford to live in a state of stupidity. We must become representatives of our divine Master. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 8}


Christ said, "I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified." We are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Angels and men are taking note of us to see what manner of spirit we are of, to see whether we are meeting the approval of heaven. You may feel that you cannot meet the approval of heaven. You may say, "I was born with a natural tendency toward this evil,and I cannot overcome." But every provision has been made by our heavenly Father whereby you may be able to overcome every unholy tendency. You are to overcome even as Christ overcame in your behalf. He says, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down withmy Father in his throne." It was sin that imperiled the human family; and before man was created the provision was made that if man failed to bear the test, Jesus would become his sacrifice and surety, that through faith in him, man might be reconciled to God, for Christ was the lamb "slain from the foundation of the world." Christ died on Calvary that man mighthave power to overcome his natural tendencies to sin. But one says, "Can I not have my own way, and act myself?—No, you cannot have your way, and enter the kingdom of heaven. No "my way" will be there. No human ways will find place in the kingdom of heaven. Our ways must be lost in God's ways. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 9}


Abraham was a man who kept the wayof the Lord, and he is called the father of the faithful, the friend of God. God said of Abraham, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him,and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." Do fathers and mothers follow the example of Abraham, or do they indulge their children in evil ways, andsuffer wickedness in their households? Do they pass over sin in their children, andforget that they are younger members of the Lord's family? {RH February 23, 1892, par. 10}


Mothers, you should begin to discipline your child when it is a babe in your arms. Through childhood to youth, through youth to manhood, you should train your children for the family above. God does not desire you to take up your time in adorning your garments and decorating your homes, to the neglect of the education of your children. You should take your children out into the gardens, and show them the beautiful flowers that God has made. God is the great master artist, and the pictures which are painted by human artists and admired by the world, are only feeble imitations of the works of God. God daily works miracles before us in the unfolding of the blossoms; for no human hand can paint such delicate hues, or fashion such graceful plants. All this speaks of the work of the divine Artist,and each flower is an expression of the love of God to us. God has designed to make us happy. He has covered the earth with the beautiful green verdure; for he knew that this color would be grateful to our senses. Each beautiful thing in nature is a token of God's love and care. So take your children out into the open air beneath the canopy of the heavens, under the noble trees, into the gardens, and point them through nature up to nature's God. Carry their minds up to contemplate the works of God in nature that they may learn to love him in their childhood and youth. Do not weary them with long prayers and tedious exhortations, but teach them to be obedient to the law of God. Teach them to be kindand courteous, tell them that if they are rude and unlovely in disposition, they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven where all is peace and love. We are here to be trained for the family above. {RH February 23, 1892, par. 11}


Do you teach your children that Jesus is soon coming? Do you read to them the promise, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would havetold you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also"? I began to teach my children about the love of Jesus when they were mere babes. I could not leave the work of training mychildren to the hands of servants. They weremy first considerations. When visitors came, I told them that they must excuse me until I had set my children their little task, or provided some suitable amusement for them. It is the duty of every parent to do as did Abraham; for he did not betray his sacred trust. If you allow your children to grow up in rebellion against your authority, they will be receiving a training that will cause them to rebel against the authority of God. Their religious experience will be molded by their training in childhood, andthey will not be controlled by the rules of the church. The influence of neglect in the home training is seen on every side; for this is the reason that so few of the youth are impressed by the Spirit of God. Christian fathers and mothers, are you seeking to train your children so that they will be as lights in the world? A well-ordered family is one of the best testimonies we can present to the world of the value of our religion. This living testimony has more weight than sermons and professions. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 1}

Then tell your children what God expects of them. Let Jesus put his mold upon them. Teach them moral independence. Teach them to look neither to the right nor to the left to engage in evil, but to do justice andjudgment, and keep the way of the Lord. Give them the invitation of Jesus to come to him and find rest unto their souls. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 2}


Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, andlearn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." We are to wear the yoke of Christ,and then he bears the burden for us. When I was a little girl, I saw them yoking up the oxen, and I asked my mother why they put that heavy yoke on the oxen. She replied, "It makes the load easier to draw, andlightens the burden." This is why Christ invites us to wear his yoke. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden." What has made them heavy laden?—It is because they have manufactured yokes of their own. They have not had the meekness and lowliness of Christ which lifts the soul above the heavy burdens, andmakes the yoke easy. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 3}


Christians are to be laborers together with God. They are to lift up Jesus. He says, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." We are to talk of his love, of the mansions he has gone to prepare for those that love him; we are to talk of his mercy, and magnify his righteousness. Why is it that we have so little freedom in speaking of the love of Jesus?—It is because we have not educated the tongue to talk of his goodnessand tell of his power. Why is it that wehave so little freedom in prayer?—It is because we have not educated ourselves in the exercises of devotion. If we prayed three times a day, as did Daniel, we should be able to say, "I place my hand in the hand of Jesus, and I will not gratify the enemy by talking doubt. I will not dishonormy Redeemer." {RH March 1, 1892, par. 4}

Jesus knows everything in your life andcharacter. He knows your down-sitting andyour uprising, and your words are all registered in the books of heaven. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of your heavenly Father, and the very hairs of your head are all numbered. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 5}


There are many who do not have vital faith. They do not realize that Jesus knows all about them. They do not have the faith of the poor woman who was compassed with infirmity, and who said, "If I might but touch the hem of his garment, I should be whole.". Jesus knew all about her desire,and her faith in him, and as he was on hisway to heal the ruler's daughter, he passed by the place where this poor woman was, going out of his way that she might have a chance to act out her faith.And as Jesus came near, the crowds thronged about him, and the woman pressed her way toward the Master. Step by step she gets near to him. She pressed her way until by reaching her hand through those who stood nearest him, she touched his garment, and immediately she knew that she was healed. Then Jesus turned,and said, "Who touched me?" His disciples were astonished that he should ask such a question, and Peter spoke up in surprise, saying, "Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately." She told him the whole story; and did Jesus rebuke her? Did he turn coldly from her?—No, he comforted her. He said, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." O, I would rather haveone word of comfort from Jesus than all the wealth and all the mansions in Sydney. I would rather have one smile of approval from Jesus than all the gold of the world. I love him, I love him. I praise him for his wonderful mercy and goodness to the children of men. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 6}


It is our privilege to have an experience more precious than gold. We are to come in living faith to Jesus. We need not be among those who have only a casual faith, who get no answers of peace when they pray. We may have a living experience in the things of God; but we must take time to pray. We must take time to search the Scriptures, digging for truth as for hidden treasures. When Jesus came to the world, Satan had obscured the truth under the rubbish of men's opinions, and Jesus commanded his disciples to search the Scriptures, saying, "They are they which testify of me." {RH March 1, 1892, par. 7}


We are to be sanctified through the truth, but Jesus declares, "Thy word is truth." We can be sanctified only through a knowledge of the word of God, and that word is to become a part of our life. God has given you a Bible, and when your will is submitted to God's will, you will know what is truth. The law of God is the standard to which we are to come. It is the mirror which reveals to us our defects of character. But while it reveals our defects, there is no power in the mirror to cleanse us from the stains of sin. In looking into the law of God, we see our short-comings and failures, but there is no power in law to redeem the transgressor of law. A remedy has been provided for the sinner. A fountain has been opened for uncleanness, where Judah andJerusalem may wash and be made clean. We must have repentance toward God. Why?—Because we have broken his law. We must have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, because he is the sacrifice for sin.And where do we get repentance?—It is the Holy Spirit that imparts repentance to us. Jesus draws us to himself through the agency of his divine Spirit; and through faith in his blood we are cleansed from sin; "for the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." But suppose that we sin after we have been forgiven, after wehave become the children of God, then need we despair?—No; for John writes, "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, wehave an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Jesus is in the heavenly courts pleading with the Father in our behalf. He presents our prayers, mingling with them the precious incense of his own merit, that our prayers may be acceptable to the Father. He puts the fragrance into our prayers, and the Father hears us because we ask for the very things which we need, and we become to others a savor of life unto life. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 8}


Jesus came to suffer in our behalf, that he might impart to us his righteousness. There is but one way of escape for us,and that is found only in becoming partakers of the divine nature. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 9}


But many say that Jesus was not like us, that he was not as we are in the world, that he was divine, and that we cannot overcome as he overcame. But Paul writes. "Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful andfaithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." "For wehave not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Jesus says, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down withmy Father in his throne." {RH March 1, 1892, par. 10}


Jesus encircled the race with his humanity, and united divinity with humanity; thus moral power is brought to man through the merits of Jesus. Those who profess his name through his grace are to sanctify themselves that they may exert a sanctifying influence on all with whom they associate. Jesus says of his disciples, "Ye are the light of the world." We are to be representatives of Christ, becoming sanctified through the truth. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 11}


There are rich treasures for us in the mine of God's word, and we must dig deep for the precious jewels of truth. The rubbish of human opinion must be swept aside, that the clear jewels of truth may be brought to light; for we want the truth on every point, that we may be sanctified through the truth. The Bible is the garden of God, and here we must learn to gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks of God's promises. We must hang them as precious pictures upon the wall of memory,and have our eyes fixed upon the glorious things of God, so that we shall be able to go through the world and not dwell upon its corruptions, or be polluted by its wickedness. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 12}


Fasten your faith to the eternal throne,and all the promises of God are at your command. When God gave his Son, he gave us all in that precious gift. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" How glad would our Lord be to see our faces lighted up with the light of his Holy Spirit. He wants us tohave love and joy and peace. He says, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Then let us talk of the power of Jesus; for help has been laid upon One that is mighty. Isaiah says that "his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." So let us elevate our souls through faith in Christ above the lowlands of earth, andbreathe the atmosphere of heaven. {RH March 1, 1892, par. 13}