Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 46, 1888

Frisbie, Brother

Battle Creek, Michigan

December 30, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 349.

Brother Frisbie

Dear Brother:

I cannot express to you the joy and thankfulness I feel that the Spirit of God is moving upon your heart. Your case has been presented before me, and I have felt very anxious for you. I was about to make a personal effort in your behalf when the movement made yesterday brought you to the vestry and led you to make confession. Satan has been watching you closely. Only a little farther on his ground and the Spirit of God would have been driven forever from your heart, the Lord would have left you, and Satan, cruel in his power, would have cut you off in your sins. But I thank the Lord that His Spirit has been striving with you. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 1

Man has fallen through sin; he can of himself do nothing. His faculties have become weakened and incapacitated for moral achievement; but let him turn to the Lord and cease to harbor pride and conceit; let him come all helpless and sick of sin and cast himself unreservedly upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and he will thus connect himself with a power that will save him to the uttermost. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 2

Never can we comprehend the depths to which sin has brought men until we shall appreciate the length of the chain that God has provided to draw men up from that abyss. The completeness of his ruin can only be ascertained by [the] true understanding of the forces that are at work for his moral restoration. Had this restoration been within the power of man himself to accomplish, the Son of God would never have suffered death. But because man could not save himself, Jesus came to our world to fight his battles for him. The Son of the Highest had strength to overcome the prince of darkness, and it is through Him alone that any of us can have hope. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 3

Neither of you, my brother and sister, has been in a position to gather with Christ. You have both had your affections centered in self. Your religious life has been dwarfed, and your example and influence have been leading away from God and heaven. Your belief in the truth has been only a nominal faith, and you have virtually lived without God and without hope in the world. Unless there is a transformation in your characters, you will never see the kingdom of God. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 4

A practical exhibition of the transforming power of the truth in your own life is of greater value in bringing others to Christ than are sermons or professions of faith. Would it please you to have those who know of your profession say of you, “Their religion makes them no better than we are; they are just as worldly and self-indulgent as we; he drives just as close bargains and will speculate as we would hardly dare to do.” Can you not see that you are bringing discredit to the Master? You are rearing barriers that will turn from the way of salvation those very souls whom you might win to the truth if your hearts were right with God. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 5

Your heavenly Father requires you both, if you would be His children, to be living embodiments of the grace of Jesus Christ, seen and felt of all who associate with you. Let them see that you are governed by the divine law which is God’s rule of righteousness, full of wisdom, mercy, and love. “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” [Matthew 7:12.] You are not children of God unless you do this; but by keeping the commandments of God, you convince all who come within the sphere of your influence that religion is with you a genuine thing and that you have the experience of a true believer. You will then be able to correctly represent Jesus Christ to the world. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 6

The apostle wrote to the Philippians, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Philippians 2:12-16.] It is Satan’s constant effort to lead souls away from God where he can pervert their ideas in regard to eternal things, just as he has been leading you. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 7

Sister Frisbie has never had that deep heart-work and that experience that would make her influence of value to others. The Lord says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] What kind of works are registered in your favor in the books of heaven, my sister? You have an unruly tongue. Your conversation is not upon those things that will give strength to the soul. Your influence constantly tends to scatter, not to gather with Christ. The mold of the world is upon you. You are not in a condition to receive the seal of the living God. You are not Christlike in your character, serving God with your heart subdued by His love. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 8

My brother, the success which has attended you in business has nearly ruined your soul. You have lost nearly [all] spiritual discernment, and your ideas of righteousness and unrighteousness have become confused. Look closely to your business career and ask yourself how far you have brought into your character the principles of the last six commandments—“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Matthew 22:39, 40.] Inquire, Am I a Christian? Do I reveal to the world a Christlike disposition and character? 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 9

The world is watching with keenness and criticising with severity your management of temporal affairs. They judge you by your fruits. You have been no help to the church. It is your privilege to demonstrate to the world that Christianity produces industry, frugality, and Christlike economy, while it purges from the soul all avarice, overreaching, and every kind of dishonesty. Reveal to the world the truth as it is in Jesus; show to all with whom you associate the kindness, humbleness of mind, forbearance, and generosity that the gospel of Christ demands of you, and then will you render service to God. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 10

In acquiring the things of this world, you have lost many spiritual blessings which you must strive diligently to win back through the merits of Jesus Christ. Satan presents before you much that you can gain of this world’s goods and suggests that in gaining these you must not be over-scrupulous or have too fine ideals of principle and honesty. He prompts you to look out sharply for your own interests and not to let your generosity or benevolence hinder you from making money. Yes, Satan proffers to every man as he did to Christ the kingdom of this world if he will worship him. You have been giving him your service and sacrificing spiritual and eternal interests for worldly and temporal things. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 11

There is a heaven to win, a hell to shun. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” [Galatians 6:7.] “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hand. Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” [Psalm 128:1, 2.] “A son honors his faither, and a servant his master. If then I be a father, where is mine honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lord of hosts. ... If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now to thy governor; will he be pleased with thee or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts. ... Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught? Neither do you kindle fire on mine altar for naught? I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hands.” [Malachi 1:6-10.] 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 12

Please read carefully and prayerfully Malachi 3:7-11. “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God?” The question is put as if such a thing could not be possible. “Ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” Will you consider this and meditate upon it? It is for your eternal interest. It is a terrible sin to be robbing God. Make this matter right, if it takes all that you possess. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 13

“Bring ye all the tithes into the store-house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruits before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.” Will you consider this—that all we possess is only lent us in trust? If your robbery of God is continued, His curse will be upon you. The less one gives to God in tithes and offerings, the less will he have to give, for God will scatter faster than he can gather. Will you fear and tremble before God? He claims a tenth of all He has lent you to be returned to Him as His rightful interest. Will you rob Him of this, His own portion? Will you withhold one jot or tittle from God? 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 14

There is a watcher who has followed you all your life, who has seen every business transaction, every occurrence in your home, and is with you wherever you are, in whatever you are engaged, and his record is made in the books of heaven just as it took place. This record you must meet in the judgment. What is the record these books contain of your practical life? Will you not now make decided work in repentance and in restitution? Will you not, before this old year shall pass into eternity, settle up your accounts with God, dealing honestly with your Creator? Will you let your robbery stand registered against you the coming year? Oh, no! You cannot afford to do this, and you cannot afford to practice any dishonesty with the God of heaven, for that which you sow you will also reap. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 15

Those who are fully resolved to be rich, regardless of the claims that God has upon them, “fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” [1 Timothy 6:9, 10.] This represents your case to the letter. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 16

“For this ye know that no ... covetous man, who is an idolater, hath an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” [Ephesians 5:5.] “The wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.” [Psalm 10:3.] Paul classes covetous men with idolaters, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners, none of whom, he says, “shall inherit the kingdom of God.” [1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.] 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 17

You cannot, my brother and sister, afford to be with this class. You must be converted. “Let your conversation,” your disposition, and your habits of life, “be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 18

Will you now turn to the Lord fully? Will you press your case to the throne of grace? Will you bring to the Lord an honest tithe and the offerings He claims from you? Bring to God a trespass offering and a thank offering because He has not allowed the enemy of souls to do with you as he has done with some who have had light and truth, but did not walk therein. He did not, after a time, “rebuke the devourer” [Malachi 3:11], but let him do his will with those who have thus placed themselves on his ground, and they were cut off by disease or instant death, without any time for repentance. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 19

I fear for you both. I tremble before God for your souls. Will you make thorough work and return fully unto the Lord? For if you do, He will have mercy upon you and will abundantly pardon. You have both been like the unfruitful fig tree, producing only leaves. Let not the work be delayed until God shall say, “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” [Luke 13:7.] 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 20

I write plainly, for I dare not withhold these warnings and reproofs. I leave your case now with God. Go to Him, plead with Him, surrender soul and body to Him, and He will tell you what you ought to do to come into favor with Him. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 21

Now I invite you to make a freewill offering of yourselves, soul, body, and spirit, at the opening of this new year. Will you devote your tact and ingenuity to the work of saving souls? Will you seek to obtain experience and knowledge in the things of God that your entire future life may be an expression of the sanctifying influence of the truth upon your soul and character and that God may accept your work? 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 22

Let your conversation, as you hold intercourse with men, show the results of communion with God. Superior talents and learning are not essential in obtaining due acquaintance with the Scriptures. The Bible is intelligible to every capacity and is adapted to every class and station in life. Jesus is knocking at the door of your hearts. Will you let Him in? Will you meet the requirements of God’s Word that He may “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”? [Malachi 3:10.] God bless you is my prayer. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1888, par. 23