Testimonies to Southern Africa


Letter E


Cooranbong, N.S.W.

March 8, 1897

If we could only realize that Christ crucified is the great object of our faith. Had Christ lived, He could not have been our Redeemer. Our faith must lay hold of the sacrificial offering of His life as a ransom for the world. His holiness of life, the tender compassion, the sympathy He manifested for all human woe, would not have saved us had it stopped there. It was not until, when dying upon the cross, He cried in agony, “It is finished,” that the work was accomplished. Not until He had descended to the lowest depths of humiliation, until He could go no farther, was the tyranny of Satan broken. It was the death of Christ that satisfied divine justice. This was the price our ransom cost. Nothing is wanting now but for the will of man to bow, self to be crucified, and Christ to live in the heart. The soul temple must be dedicated to Him. TSA 47.3

Every part of man is the Lord's property. Our time, our talents, our influence, must be devoted to Him. Our money is only lent us on trust, to be used in the service of God. It has not been given us in order that we might enhance our own honour, but as faithful stewards we must keep ever in view the honour and glory of God. The Lord requires the whole heart, the undivided affections. We are not to withhold anything from Him, for all are His purchased possession. TSA 48.1

There can be no sinless swerving from the standard of God's Word. The first principles of holiness have yet to be learned by the one to whom God's will is not paramount TSA 48.2

There is no place of safety or repose or justification in the transgression of the law of God. He demands nothing short of absolute surrender to Him TSA 48.3

My heart goes out in yearning of soul for those who are living in the very last scenes of this earth's history, and yet are insensible to what is just before them. A vast reformation would be wrought upon the world if the veil of the future could be lifted, and all could see and understand that very soon there is to be a change in the attitude of God in His dealings with the perversity of man. TSA 48.4

If God had decided in His councils in heaven to visit the transgressor of His positive commands with instant death, there would have resulted a much greater carefulness and restriction of the inclination to do those things that are an offence to God. The very men who seem to be dead to entreaties and warnings sent in mercy by God, those who will not be deterred from their evil course of action, would be prudent to save their lives, even if they have no love for God. TSA 48.5

But the Lord's arrangement, made in council with His only begotten Son, was to leave man a free moral agent to a certain length of probation. His eye would discern all their works, but He would compel no man's service. If the love displayed in His long-suffering and patience would not bring them to repentance and perfect surrender to the laws of His kingdom, then they must be left to choose whom they would serve. Their life must testify of their choice. If they love transgression and choose to disregard His laws after sufficient test and trial, their case is forever decided. God cannot have such as members of His family in heaven. Their punishment will come in accordance with the aggravating character of their defiance and rebellion against God. God's long-suffering will give every opportunity for man to repent and turn to Christ as his only hope. TSA 48.6

Because of the goodness and long-suffering of God, many have been led to consider and appreciate the mercy and lovingkindness of God, and this has led them to repentance, while on the other hand, others have become more careless, and have abused His mercy. To their everlasting loss and shame they have followed the mind and will of Satan irrespective of the future retribution that will surely come upon them for their disobedience and transgression. They will yet learn that God is jealous of His honour and His glory. He will not have His laws trifled with; He will not allow men to treat them with indifference and defiance without punishing them accordingly. TSA 49.1

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” The means which the Lord has employed, in the gracious provision of His mercy, to soften and subdue the objects of His love, has, through the workings of Satan, encouraged the depraved and hardened hearts in perversity, resistance and transgression, that even as far back as the days of David led him to exclaim, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” TSA 49.2

Oh that all might consider before it is everlastingly too late that there are limits to the mercy and forbearance of God! There are those who by their impenitence under the beams of light that have shone upon them, are very near the line where the forbearance of God is exhausted. In mind and heart they are saying, “My Lord delayeth his coming,” and they eat and drink with the drunken. But God declares of such that “sudden destruction cometh upon them,” “and they shall not escape.” TSA 49.3

At this time, when great light is shining forth from the Word of God, making dark mysteries plain as day, is the day of mercy, of hope, of joy and assurance to all who will be benefited thereby, to all who will open their minds and hearts to the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness. But there is an opposite class to this: those who will not come to the Light, who despise the truth because it exposes error and transgression and sin, and as a result, depravity and boldness in transgression is becoming all-pervading. TSA 50.1

There are diligent students of the word of prophecy in all parts of the world, who are obtaining light and still greater light from searching the Scriptures. This is true of all nations, of all tribes, and all peoples. These will come from the grossest error, and will take the place of those who have had opportunities and privileges and have not prized them. These have worked out their own salvation with fear and trembling lest they shall become deficient in doing the ways and will of God, while those who have had great light, have, through the perversity of their own natural hearts, turned away from Christ because displeased with His requirements. But God will not be left without witness. The one-hour labourers will be brought in at the eleventh hour, and will consecrate their ability and all their entrusted means to advance the work. These will receive the reward for their faithfulness, because they are true to principle and shun not their duty to declare the whole counsel of God. When those who have had abundance of light throw off the restraint which the Word of God imposes, and make void His law, others will come in to fill their place, and take their crown. TSA 50.2

While many have reduced the Word, the Truth, the holy law of Jehovah to a dead letter, and by their example testify that the law of Jehovah is a hard, rigorous burden, while they say, We will lay off this yoke; we will be free; we will no longer remain in covenant relation with God; we will do as we please, there will be men who have had very meagre opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew not any other or better way, to whom beams of light will come. As the word from Christ came to Zacchaeus, “I must abide at thy house,” so the word will come to them. And the one supposed to be a hardened sinner will be found to have a heart as tender as a child, because Christ has deigned to notice him. TSA 50.3

Great is the work of the Lord. Men are choosing sides. Even those supposed to be heathen will choose the side of Christ, while those who become offended, as did the disciples, will go away and walk no more with Him. And others will come in and occupy the place they have left vacant. The time is very near when man shall have reached the prescribed limits. He has now almost exceeded the bounds of the long-suffering of God, the limits of His grace, the limits of His mercy. The record of their works in the books of heaven is, “Weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” The Lord will interfere to vindicate His own honour, to repress the swellings of unrighteousness and bold transgression. TSA 51.1

What effect will the attempt of men to make void the law of God have upon the righteous? Will they be intimidated because of the universal scorn that is put upon the holy law of God? Will the true believers in the “Thus saith the Lord” become wavering and ashamed because the whole world seems to despise His righteous law? Will they be carried away by the prevalence of evil? No; to those who have consecrated themselves to God to serve Him, the law of God becomes more precious when the contrast is shown between the obedient and the transgressor. In proportion as the attributes of Satan are developed in the despisers and transgressors of the law of God, to the faithful adherent the holy precept will become more dear and valuable. He will declare, “They have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” It is the ones who have been faithful stewards of the grace of God whose love of God's commandments grows with the contempt which all around them would put upon them. TSA 51.2

Wicked men and the church harmonize in this hatred of the law of God, and then the crisis comes. Then we see the class specified in Malachi 3:13-15: “Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” Here are a company of disaffected professed Christians, whose chief business is to murmur and complain and accuse God by accusing the children of God. They see nothing defective in themselves, but very much to displease in others. TSA 51.3

But while they are murmuring and complaining and falsely accusing, and doing Satan's work most zealously, another class is brought to our notice: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” TSA 52.1

This subject is urging itself upon my mind. I want you to consider it, for it is a matter of vast importance. With which of these two classes shall we identify our interest? We are now making our choice, and we shall soon discern between him that serveth God, and him that serveth Him not. Read the fourth chapter of Malachi, and think about it seriously. The day of God is right upon us. The world has converted the church. Both are in harmony, and are acting on a short-sighted policy. Protestants will work upon the rulers of the land to make laws to restore the lost ascendancy of the man of sin, who sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. The Roman Catholic principles will be taken under the care and protection of the state. This national apostasy will speedily be followed by national ruin. The protest of Bible truth will be no longer tolerated by those who have not made the law of God their rule of action. Then will the voice be heard from the graves of martyrs, represented by the souls which John saw slain for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ which they held; then the prayer will ascend from every true child of God, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy law.” TSA 52.2

When our first parents fell from their high estate through transgression, God's law was made void. Then Christ entered upon His work as a Redeemer, and probation was granted to the inhabitants of the world. In Noah's day men disregarded the law of God until almost all remembrance of Him had passed away from the earth. Their wickedness reached so great a height, violence, crime and every kind of sin became so intensely active, that the Lord brought a flood of water upon the world and swept away the wicked inhabitants thereof. But mercy was mingled with judgment. Noah and his family were saved. In the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we see that the Lord will interfere; fire came down from heaven and destroyed these wicked cities. TSA 52.3

From time to time the Lord has made known the manner of His working. He is mindful of what is passing upon the earth. And when a crisis has come, He has revealed Himself, and has interposed to hinder the working out of Satan's plans. He has often permitted matters with nations, with families, and with individuals to come to a crisis, that His interference might become marked. Then He has let the fact be known that there is a God in Israel who would sustain and vindicate His people. TSA 53.1

When the defiance of the law of Jehovah shall be almost universal, when His people shall be pressed in affliction by their fellow-men, God will interpose. The fervent prayers of His people will be answered, for He loves to have His people seek Him with all their heart, and depend upon Him as their Deliverer. He will be sought unto to do these things for His people, and He will arise as the protector and avenger of His people. The promise is, The Lord will avenge His own elect, which cry unto him day and night. TSA 53.2

The Protestant government will reach a strange pass. They will be converted to the world. They will also, in their separation from God, work to make falsehood and apostasy from God the law of the nation. In the place of those who have the light of truth allowing jealousy and evil surmisings to come in and weaken their love and union one with another, their united prayers should ascend to heaven for the Lord to arise and put an end to the violence and abuse which are practised in our world. More prayer and less talk is what God desires, and this would make His people a tower of strength.—Letter 123, 1897. TSA 53.3