Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)



Ms 1, 1865

Rebellion Within the Ranks



Formerly Undated Ms 108. Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 297; CTr 115.

I was shown December 25 some things in regard to the recent rebellion in Iowa. I saw that B. F. Snook was humble when he first embraced the truth; then he was teachable and had he remained humble, the truth would have accomplished its purifying work and he would have been sanctified thereby. Had he remained humble and devoted to God, he would have been converted from Campbellistic views. But he has been preparing for his present apostasy by his erroneous views in regard to the Spirit of God. His former views were, many of them, erroneous and in the way of his having correct views of all the points of present truth. He was not steadfast in the truth. He could not unite his former experience with the third angel’s message, for Campbellism can not be united with the work of the third angel. Campbellism prepares the way for a head religion, for a form of godliness, and blinds the eyes to the necessity of the Spirit of God upon the heart and life in order to obtain a correct religious experience, and in their life to exemplify the life of Christ. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 1

B. F. Snook loved debate, and this was a snare to him. His success in debating lifted him up, and he thought himself a great acquisition to the cause of truth. He became restless, and means looked larger to him than the cause of God. He began to work in his own behalf for a home, and when his brethren and sisters contributed liberally to raise him from his poverty and provide him a home, they did not seek counsel of God. They thought that they were doing their duty. But I saw that ministers who have embraced the truth should not be injured with praise or flattery or an abundance of means. If they have always been in poverty, it may be just the position God would have them remain in order to save them. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 2

A sympathetic people took Bro. Snook in their arms from want and poverty, and lifted him at the same time from a state of humility. They injured him and placed obstacles in his way of attaining everlasting life. He would have been in a much more favorable condition in his poverty to obtain an experience in the truth than after his donation of a valuable home. He bore a blunted conscience. He lacked principle, frankness, and strict integrity. He was not always just and truthful. He had not earned a reputation in this cause by self-denial, by sacrifice of ease, by going forth weeping, sowing precious seed, and returning again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. He had not been proved and tried. He had not given sufficient evidence of being settled, rooted and grounded, and built up in the truth, that his brethren could safely repose confidence in him as one of older experience. The more he received help, the less efficient were his labors. The spirit of humility was not with him. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 3

The Lord left B. F. Snook to go on in his own wisdom. He felt no especial support from God, and often went in his own strength and labored in his own spirit. He had but little power of endurance, and small obstacles were sufficient to deter him from previous engagements. He possessed a childish spirit. Home had greater attractions for him than the souls of his fellow men. His labors for quite a length of time have been a living curse to the cause of God. His brethren paid a heavy price for him, and he has returned their liberality by biting and devouring the flock, corrupting the faith and destroying all that he can. Those who have taken him in their arms and carried him as a father would a son, he has been the most embittered against, and with a Satanic, wicked, misrepresenting spirit has tried to injure the most. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 4

I saw that God had especially sent us to Iowa to give the true-hearted and humble an opportunity to see the spirit of rebellion. God’s Spirit attended our labors, and all who wished to see had an opportunity to see the influence of error, and the spirit of darkness. All are at liberty to choose and take their position with the rebellious or take their stand with those who are on the side of God and the truth, who have labored earnestly, faithfully, and unselfishly in this great cause, who have endured trial, reproach, and fought with courage the battles of the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 5

Settled rebellion is incurable. It first originated in heaven with the angel next highest in order to Jesus Christ. This exalted angel had sympathizers who joined him in his rebellion. He, Satan, the great rebel, was turned out of heaven, and all his rebel sympathizers shared his fate. Since then it has been his special work to excite to rebellion all he can gain control over. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 6

Said the angel, “Rebellion will occur up to the time of the closing up of the work of the third angel’s message. Marvel not, neither be discouraged. He who conquered the leader in rebellion stands at the head of this great work. Although Satan may exult and seem for a time to triumph, the first great Conqueror has His eyes upon him, and he can go no farther than He permits. He is permitted to have power for a time to reveal the true-hearted, to prove the faithful, to develop the spurious and separate them from the pure in heart. Rebels will be purged out from among the loyal and true in due time, for the truth has gathered of every kind.” 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 7

I was then shown the travels of the children of Israel. Rebellion was common among ancient Israel. Moses was gone from them only forty days, but the time was long enough for there to be enacted one of the greatest apostasies from God, who had shown to them such special favors and whose voice they had recently heard from Mount Sinai, as in awful grandeur He spoke the ten commandments in the hearing of the people, which led them to exceedingly fear and tremble and plead with Moses that the great Jehovah should not speak to them any more, but that he should receive the words and speak to them. They wrought out a calf and turned from God to the lowest idolatry, that of worshipping the work of their own hands. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 8

Upon another occasion Dathan and Abiram became exalted and made themselves believe that Moses was seeking to advantage himself in leading them from Egypt, taking too much upon himself, declaring that all the people were holy, that God had chosen them as His people, and Moses was no more reliable for the special work of conducting the children of Israel than themselves, that he had no more special work than they themselves had. Two hundred and fifty princes, men of renown, joined this rebellion. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 9

God destroyed the leaders in this rebellion, and those who joined them. The people were so blinded, so deceived by the pious pretentions of these persons, that the earth had scarcely closed over those whom God had destroyed by a signal miracle of His power, that the people came to Moses and with loud complaints charged him, saying, Ye have killed the people of God. What blind presumption and Satanic fanaticism possess those who depart from God and turn from the mighty evidences He has given them of His power. 1LtMs, Ms 1, 1865, par. 10