Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 32a, 1896

Prepare to Meet the Lord



This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 57-64.

A crisis has arrived in the government of God on earth. The enmity to God has struck it roots deep in human hearts. It has become widespread, both in the world and in the professed churches of Christ. The world and the professed people of God are united by the all-pervading principle of aversion to God’s government. Their opposition to the law of God is sufficient to bind them together, to bear together the burden of their accumulated guilt. Any indication of returning to loyalty and obedience to God is denounced as treachery against the confederacy of disloyalty. A wakeful impiety is quickened into an instinctive vigilance, and rouses to demonstration of hatred against the testing truth for this time. Wherever the truth shall be proclaimed, it will be opposed in a decided manner, for men possess the attributes which Jesus charged upon the Jews when He said, “Ye are of your father the devil,” and “ye do the deeds of your father.” [John 8:44, 41.] 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 1

Everything has been moving on just as the Lord has revealed in prophecy that it would. Something great and decisive is soon to take place, else no flesh would be saved. The character of God will not be compromised. Under the wrath of God, universal desolation will soon reach all parts of the known world. There have been lightnings and earthquakes, fires and floods, calamities by sea and by land; but who reads these warnings? What impression is made upon the world? What change in their attitude is seen? No more than was seen in the inhabitants of the Noachic world. The people are just as ardent today in their games, in the horse racing, in their love of amusement, as were the antediluvians, who “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” [Matthew 24:39.] They had heaven-sent warnings, but refused to listen. By their attitude they declared, We want not thy way, O God; we want our own way, our own will. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 2

Today the world is made, and insanity is upon them, which is hurrying them on to eternal ruin. Every species of indulgence prevails, and men become so infatuated with vice that they will not listen to warnings or appeals. The Lord declares, to the people of the earth, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” [Joshua 24:15.] All are now deciding their eternal destiny. Men need to be aroused to realize the solemnity of the time, and the nearness of the day when human probation shall be ended. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 3

God gives no man a message that it will be five or ten or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close. If it were forty or one hundred years, the Lord would not authorize men to proclaim it. He would not give any living being an excuse for delaying the preparation for His appearing. He would have no one say, as did the unfaithful servant, “My Lord delayeth his coming” [Matthew 24:48] for this leads to reckless neglect of opportunities and privileges to prepare for that great day. Every soul who claims to be a servant of God is called to do His service as if every day might be the last. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 4

Let all who would cooperate with God unite in proclaiming the present truth, the message of the third angel: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whose receiveth the mark of his name.” Then the eyes of John rest upon God’s people, and he exclaims, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:9-12.] 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 5

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” [Verses 13-15.] Read the following verses, 16-20; also chapter 15. Let all these things be the subject of mediation. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 6

The words of Christ have a direct application to this time, “Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is that faithful and wise servant, ... whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing? Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” [Matthew 24:42-47.] 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 7

Let everyone to whom the Lord has given light from His Word be sure that he makes a right use of that light. Let him be guarded that he does not presume to feed the flock of God with food that is not appropriate for the time. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 8

“Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] Talk of the speedy appearing of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Put not off that day. God has given no man light to say, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” [Matthew 24:48.] Let the inquiry be made, Shall I stand at the right hand or at the left hand of the Judge at that day? “Seeing all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” [2 Peter 3:11.] 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 9

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow servants”—how? by his words, by expressing suspicion, by his evil thinking and evil speaking. It is thus that confidence is changed to doubt and unbelief—“and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 24:48-51.] 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 10

It is essential that all shall know what atmosphere surrounds their own souls, whether they are in co-partnership with the enemy of righteousness, and unconsciously doing his work, or whether they are linked up with Christ, doing his work, and seeking to establish souls more firmly in the truth. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 11

Satan would be pleased to have any one and every one become his allies to weaken the confidence of brother in brother, and to sow discord among those who profess to believe the truth. Satan can accomplish his purposes most successfully through professed friends of Christ who are not walking and working in Christ’s lines. Those who in mind and heart are turning away from the Lord’s special work for this time, those who do not co-operate with Him in establishing souls in the faith by leading them to heed His words of warning, are doing the work of the enemy of Christ. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 12

It is a most serious matter to go from house to house, and under pretense of doing missionary work, cast in the seed of mistrust and suspicion. Each one speedily germinates, and there is created a distrust of God’s servants who have His message to bear to the people. When God speaks through His servants, the seed sown [of mistrust and suspicion] has developed into a root of bitterness. The word falls upon hearts that will not hear, on hearts that will not respond. No earthly or heavenly power can find access to the soul. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 13

Who is accountable for these souls? Who shall eradicate that poisonous root of bitterness that has prevented them from receiving the word of the Lord? A good sister or a brother planted the evil seed, but how can that one restore the soul thus imperiled? The tongue that should have been used to the glory of God in speaking words of hope and faith and confidence in God’s workmen has turned away a soul from Jesus Christ. Those who themselves despised the words of Christ, and refused to hear His voice and to be converted, have leavened other minds with the leaven of evil surmisings and evil speaking. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 14

This is the day of the Lord’s preparation. We have no time now to talk unbelief and to gossip, no time now to do the devil’s work. Let every one beware of unsettling the faith of others by sowing seeds of envy, jealousy, disunion; for God hears the words, and judges, not by assertions, which are yea and nay, but by the fruit one’s course of action produces. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] The seed sown will determine the character of the harvest. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 15

So long as the people of God are in this world they will have to meet conflict and trouble and deception, because men choose the attributes of Satan instead of the attributes of God. There is a conscience that is not good. There are those whose words are “yea” and “nay” in regard to the same thing. [See 2 Corinthians 1:18, 19.] How are we to deal with those who make these false statements? We should not try to deal with them. The Lord God of Israel will deal with minds according to His knowledge, for He reads the heart. The less we have to do with untruthful elements, the better it will be for the church. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 16

Bear in mind always that the human brotherhood are not sin-bearers. Jesus alone can bear the sins of the transgressor. We are to leave them with Him. The conscience needs to be converted. The heart that is not true needs to be renewed, but we cannot do this work. We must leave the sinner with God. He has borne long with the false tongue. He does not force men to forsake evil, and we must let men falsify if they will. The Lord is our only trust. We are to rest in Him, and be still. We may feel that the Lord’s work is in jeopardy through the deceptions of those who deal falsely, but we should not feel thus. We are not to think that the issue of the conflict is in our hands. There will be a glorious victory. Our duty is to walk by faith. In His own time God will deal with the deceiver, and He will reward every man according to his work. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 17

Jesus says, “Behold, I come as a thief; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” [Revelation 16:15.] Here is the great burden to be carried away by every individual. Are my sins forgiven? Has Christ the Burden-bearer, taken away my guilt? Have I a clean heart, the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith? Woe be to any soul who is not seeking a refuge in Christ, and conforming the character to the character of Christ. Woe be [to] all who shall in agnosia divert the mind from this work, and cause any soul to be less vigilant now. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 18

The Lord wants all to understand His providential dealings now, just now, in the time in which we live. There must be no long discussions presenting new theories in regard to prophecies which God has already made plain. Now the great work from which the mind should not be diverted is the consideration of our personal safety in the sight of God. Are our feet on the Rock of ages? Are we hiding ourselves in the only Refuge? The storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it? Are we one with Christ as He is one with the Father? Are we heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ? Are we working in co-partnership with Christ? 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 19

Already kingdom is rising against kingdom. There is not now a determined engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of our God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle. How carefully should we improve the little remaining period of our probation. How earnestly should we examine ourselves. How [earnestly] should we consider and cherish faith before God. How [earnestly] should we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, that is, carefully study the Word, eat it, digest it, make it a part of our being. We are to live the Word, not keep it apart from our lives. The character of Christ is to be our individual character. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our hearts. Here is our only safety. Nothing can prevail to separate a living Christian from God. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 20

It is discipline of spirit, cleanness of heart and thought that is wanted. This is of more value than brilliant talent, than tact or knowledge. An ordinary mind, trained to obey a “Thus saith the Lord,” is better qualified for the Lord’s work in all circumstances than are those who have capabilities and do not employ them rightly. Christ is truth. He is the truth of ancient types. He is the truth because He is the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 21

Men may suppose that they shall be saved, and yet they perish. They may take pride in great knowledge in worldly things, but if they have not a knowledge of the true God, of Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life, they are deplorably ignorant, and their acquired knowledge will perish with them. Secular knowledge is power; but the knowledge of the Word, which has a transforming power upon the human mind, is imperishable; it is knowledge sanctified. It is life and peace and joy forever. The deeper knowledge men may have, sanctified wholly unto God, the more they will appreciate the value of Jesus Christ. 11LtMs, Ms 32a, 1896, par. 22