Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 11a, 1886

Daniels, Brother and Sister E. P.

Basel, Switzerland

August 6, 1886

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 332-335.

Dear Brother and Sister Daniels:

Again my mind is much exercised in regard to you. I dreamed that I was in your home, sitting at your table, but I could not see that the teachings that you have given others on self-denial and health reform were carried out. I groaned in spirit, and said, “Bro. Daniels, you are going into darkness.” The Lord has shown me that you have such traits of character that, should you be prospered financially, you would be in danger of losing your soul. You would not be economical; you would use your means too freely; your wants would increase, and you would not practice self-denial. I was shown that the Lord in mercy has kept you in the school of poverty, that He might save your soul. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 1

Sister Daniels has lessons to learn in economy. I saw that you, Bro. Daniels, had been tested by poverty and that the Lord would test you with prosperity. If your use of His blessings and the advantages He gives you should not be in accordance with your faith and your instructions to others; if you should not appropriate the means God brings in your hands, in accordance to your faith, then He would come closer to you by affliction, disappointment, and privations; for I saw that you do not know yourself. You would be led on by your natural inclinations, building high hopes on future prospects, but God would put His hand against you. He can in a moment remove your wisdom. He can in a moment take from you the power He has entrusted to you, by which you should glorify Him. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 2

If left to yourself, to follow your own will and judgment, you will surely ruin your soul. Both you and your wife need to learn in the school of Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 3

Nebuchadnezzar was warned by God not to pursue a certain course; but his prosperity elevated and deceived him, and in an unguarded moment he exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” [Daniel 4:30.] The instant he uttered these words, the sentence was issued that felled the tree. The blessings God has bestowed upon him were removed, his reason was taken away, and the mighty ruler was driven from men to find his place among the beasts of the field. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 4

There are many ways in which God can punish, and punishment will surely follow wherever pride is indulged. “Pride goeth before destruction.” [Proverbs 16:18.] Let a man be lifted up by a sense of his own ability, and trust in his human strength, and he will surely be overcome by temptation. God will bring him down. He will teach him his utter weakness, that he may feel his need of divine aid. Let any one glory in his wisdom or his talents, or in anything but Christ and Him crucified, and he will learn that the Lord alone is to be exalted. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 5

Now, Eld. Daniels, stop just where you are and consider; bring forth fruits unto righteousness such as you have not brought forth. A great deal was said about the injustice that was manifested when you did not receive credentials desired to labor in the cause and work of God, and could do so much good. Your credentials have been restored, and now God is waiting to see what you will do: whether you will give yourself unreservedly to His work or will please yourself. Will you connect in your work with those who will lead you to meet the world’s standard rather than the standard of Christ? My heart is very sad when I think of the state of things in Healdsburg. I know the church is not in a right condition. I know that your plans and ideas have fashioned some of its members not to their spiritual advantage, but to their injury; and the end is not yet. I was in my dream led into the church, into the college, and into your house. I sat at your table and visited your rooms fitted up for your students, and I was led to see beneath the outward appearance, and I was very sad. I saw the working of things at present and what they would be in the future, which were far from being in God’s order or according to His arrangements. I was shown some things in your family; the dangers that threatened your children of receiving a wrong stamp of character, a mold that will not be easily effaced—vanity, pride, love of dress, self-will, and anything but the meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price. May the Lord open your eyes to see and your heart to feel the necessity of an entire change. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 6

You do not know how to use means, but God is proving you, and will you stand the test? But as I have written to you so fully in my former letter, I will now forbear. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 7

The Lord would have all who act a part in His work bear testimony in their lives to the holy character of the truth. The end is near, and now is the time when Satan will make special efforts to distract the interest and separate it from the all-important subjects that should arrest every mind to concentrated action. An army could do nothing successfully if its different parts did not work in concert. Should each solider act without reference to the others, the army would soon become disorganized. Instead of gathering strength from concentrated action, it would be wasted in desultory, meaningless efforts. Christ prayed that His disciples might be one with Him, as He was one with the Father. A limited number, united under one head, all obeying orders, will accomplish more than ten times the number who are drawing apart, who expend their strength on many things at the same time. Whatever good qualities a man may have, he cannot be a good soldier if he acts independently. Good may occasionally be done, but often the result is of little value, and often the end shows more mischief done than good. Those who act independently make a show of doing something, attract attention, and flash out brightly, and [then] are gone. All must pull in one direction in order to render efficient service to the cause. In Healdsburg some have acted from self-will. They have a high appreciation of their own ability. They put a great estimate on their own plans, and are already to take offense at the doings of others, and they refuse to act in concert. Now these, I saw in my dream, were attracted to you, and God’s blessing cannot attend them, because His Spirit does not rule in their hearts, or control their actions. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 8

God requires concerted action of His soldiers; and in order to have this in the church, self-restraint is essential; self-restraint must be exercised. But some in Healdsburg, as well as in other churches, will have to learn this lesson; they will have to learn to forego their own wishes and preferences for the good of others. We have determined adversaries; we know not their number or their position. Satan works through agencies which we do not always see, through some whom we do not suspect. When we think Satan is routed, he is only preparing to make an attack to discomfit and repulse. When we fancy ourselves secure, we are in the very greatest danger. Watchfulness and prayer combined with persevering effort to keep the rank and file unbroken are more necessary than ever before. The work of the cause of truth in Healdsburg is a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Satan has brought elements into the Healdsburg church that will ever be a source of trial, unless these unconverted members shall see their defects of character as they have never yet seen them and will repent of their evil surmisings, their envy, their faultfinding, their accusing of the brethren, their walking after their own independent judgment. These have made independent assertions, and are bold and forward, not knowing their place, and not realizing the order that must be observed in the church of God. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 9

Such are a greater affliction to the church than any of the influences we meet with from unbelievers. The very worst elements will become instruments in the hands of Satan to obtain sympathizers. For this reason we see the need of using great caution in selecting persons to take responsibility in the school and in the church; for Satan will set these unsanctified ones to work, to clog the wheels, to question, to find fault, to create suspicion, disunion, and a disordered state of things; and all the time they will think they are doing God’s service. These elements are already to work in the church, but their work is not yet fully developed. Much is kept in the dark. An undercurrent is working. Satan lays hold of those who are self-willed, and who move from impulse, and skilfully diverts them into channels where they will be an element of weakness in the church. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 10

Our conflict with Satan and his host must be earnest and determined. The enemy will use these rebellious ones to worry, confuse, and perplex those who would stand as bold, faithful soldiers for Jesus. We wish you to understand your danger, to know what gins and snares Satan has set for you. The warfare is waging now, and will continue to the end. The church must be a unit. I wish, my brother, that you had spiritual discernment, but in this you are deficient. I entreat you in the name of Jesus to seek wisdom from God; for Satan is surely coming to you as an angel of light. It is not easy to meet and withstand foes who wear the same dress as do the soldiers of Christ. But let the Lord come in and work with your efforts. God would have you and your wife consecrated to His service; but you both need divine enlightenment, you need to be careful with whom you connect, to take heed whom you admit into your confidence. The Lord will help you if you feel the need of His help. But He is found only of those who seek Him with faith, in earnest, humble prayer. May the Lord guide and control you, is my prayer. Yours with love. 4LtMs, Lt 11a, 1886, par. 11