Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 98, 1893

Vickers, George T.

Gisborne, New Zealand

October 21, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 452.

Pastor George T. Vickers
Covington, Louisiana, U. S. A.

Dear Brother,

I am awakened this morning at three o’clock with deep feelings, and impressed by the Spirit of the Lord to arise and write words to you from the Lord. “Look and live.” [Numbers 21:8.] “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:14-16. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 1

“And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” Numbers 21:4-6. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 2

“And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.” [Verse 4.] The Lord does not remove all difficulties and trials and hardships from the people. He would have them put their trust in Him, the unseen, the invisible God, who is their helper. They had become so accustomed to the pillar of cloud by day to cover them as a canopy, and the pillar of fire by night, that this was treated as a common thing. They did not consider that the only begotten Son of God, One equal with God, was accompanying them, and He had done wondrous things for them in their journeyings, notwithstanding their perversity, and rebellion and murmuring. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 3

“Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off. ... And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Exodus 23:20-25. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 4

Here was the promise of God and the one great object of His care and guardianship, which was this church in the wilderness. He had given Egypt for them, laid the land desolate with plagues that it became a wasted land, to deliver them and make them His own heritage. The people did not appreciate the goodness and mercy and love of God toward them. The Lord, their Redeemer, their Guide and Leader, they did not appreciate; and when brought into straight places, they were discouraged because of the way. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 5

“And the people spake against God, and against Moses, wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.” Numbers 21:5. The Lord had fed them with bread from heaven, even with angels’ food, but they appreciated it not. The Lord had hitherto held in check by His own power the reptiles and beasts, that they had not hurt them; but He removed His restraining hand and let these poisonous serpents do as they would have done all the way if the Lord had not restrained them. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 6

“And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” [Verse 6.] This had the influence to call them to their senses, and awaken their paralyzed thoughts to their course of action. “Therefore the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said unto Moses, Make me a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21:7-9. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 7

Who was it that gave the directions to Moses? It was Jesus Christ speaking to them from the pillowy cloud. There were the suffering, dying ones under the deadly sting of the serpent, wounded and bruised, and the promise was that whosoever looked upon that serpent should instantly be healed. And all who did look the promise was verified to them. But if any said, What good will it do for me to look, I shall certainly die under the serpent’s deadly sting and continue to talk of their dreadful wounds and declared their own case hopeless, they would have died. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 8

This simple act of obedience was life and salvation to them, and every one who looked lived. Now Christ says, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [John 3:14, 15.] Look upon Jesus who was lifted upon the cross for you and you shall live. Christ is speaking to you as certainly as He spoke to the children of Israel through Moses. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 9

Will you look unto Jesus who is the great healer of soul and body? “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Just as long as you look at your sins, talk and bemoan your deplorable condition, your wounds and putrefying sores will remain. But take your eyes away from yourself, and fasten them on the uplifted Saviour. This is your only hope. The Lord Jesus speaks to you through His Word, through His humble instrument, and bids you look and live. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 10

“He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth the Spirit not by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things unto his hand.” John 3:33-35. Now hear these words from the lips of Jesus Christ, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 11

The Word of Jesus Christ is everything to the one who believes it. “Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. This is the Word of the Lord, will you accept it? Will you believe His Word? If not, how will you believe any words I may speak to you with my pen, the only medium of communication? 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 12

Here again are the blessed words of one who was oft afflicted with the sting of the serpent, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:1-2. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 13

Now transgressions are forgiven, sins are covered. “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great water they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:3-7. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 14

“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. ... The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.” Psalm 34:18-22. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4. You will find only accumulated pain and distress as you look to your condition, talk and mourn over your wretchedness. I will seek the Lord on your behalf. In His name I rebuke the enemy, the adversary of your soul. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 15

Arise in the strength of Jesus, for you have no strength, and be free. Has the Lord Jesus spoken truth to you from the Word, or falsehood? Your feelings have not to do with this matter. Have you faith? Look and live. Where, you may say, shall I look? Away from your miserableness, away from the serpent’s sting, to an uplifted Saviour who declares, They “that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37.] Behold Jesus. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. No longer make your feelings your ideal, and bow your soul and entire will and all your powers to serve your feelings, and worship your feelings as God. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 16

“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10. Christ has borne your sins, for God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. You are under shelter of the sure refuge, under shelter of the atoning sacrifice. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 17

Said Christ in response to the accusation of the Scribes and Pharisees, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” “I am come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:11, 13. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 18

If you feel yourself to be the greatest sinner, Christ is just what you need, the greatest Saviour. Lift up your head and look way from yourself, away from your sin, to the uplifted Saviour; away from the poisonous venomous bite of the serpent to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. What will it avail all your groaning, shrieking in your agony, torturing your soul. You may study and entertain your ideas, what will condemn, and what will save. Put your thoughts away. God’s thoughts, God’s words, amount to much. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 19

“For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:7-8. Why will you carry your burden of sins when Christ has become your burdenbearer. Roll your sins at the foot of the cross, unload, unload. “He taketh away the sins of the world.” [John 1:29.] Listen and hear what this voice saith. “I even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember they sins.” Isaiah 43:25. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 20

Your character is pronounced a sinful one, then accept the remedy. God has provided for you a sin-pardoning Saviour. What if the children of Israel kept looking at the poisonous serpent’s sting, exclaiming, “I am undone,” shrieking and groaning in their terror over their inflamed wounds. “How inconsistent,” you would exclaim. “Truly there was the brazen serpent uplifted. Why did they not look at that symbol of Christ, the world’s Saviour and live? How strange that he should not do so simple an act when it would save his life.” I address myself to you, Seek no longer your own feelings. Listen to the invitation, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 21

Why should he forsake his thoughts? Because they are not correct and true. He is tempted of the enemy to believe God has, because of his sins, given him up to the will of the enemy, that God will not pardon so great a sinner. All these thoughts are dishonoring to God, whose he is by creation and redemption. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 22

You are one of the “whosoever,” and your unbelief of God is the cherishing of thoughts that lie at the foundation of feeling that your case is hopeless. God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goeth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:8-13. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 23

“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] My poor discouraged, doubting brother, I address you as one of the world for whom God gave His Son. He loves you. He will save you if you will receive His gift, even His only begotten Son. God revealed His glory, which was His character to Moses, in answer to his earnest prayer. “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty,” who continue in sin and defy God by continual transgression of His law. Exodus 34:6-7. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 24

These words are addressed to you, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon His God.” [Isaiah 50:10.] God is love. Repeat it under every temptation. Repeat it. God is also [as] just as He is merciful; as true as He is gracious and will by no means clear the guilty. Just as you are will God accept you, for there is not the least hope of your being better until you come to Jesus for pardon and sanctification. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 25

You mourn your life away in unbelief and bitterness of soul, but the sin-pardoning, sin-cleansing Redeemer is fully able to save the vilest sinner from his sins. God has given Jesus to you as your Saviour. Will you receive the priceless gift? God does not ask you to feel Him your Saviour, but to believe He died for you, that His blood cleanseth you from all sin. You are bitten by the serpent, and Christ is lifted up as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Here is the simplicity of saving faith. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 26

You must cry no more. You must hang down your head no more as a bulrush. You must look to an uplifted Saviour and believe He saves you, be your sins ever so grievous. All the drugs, all the medicine, manufactured in the world could not save one poor soul bitten by the venemous serpent. God has a remedy for the sinner. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Christ the world’s Redeemer said of the scribes and Pharisees: “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 27

O, how he longed to save them! Will you now believe? While we were yet sinners, not waiting to make ourselves good, Christ died for us. Will you believe in God? I have authority from God to command you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to believe He saves you now. Feeling has not to do with the matter. Christ says “Look and Live.” [Numbers 21:8.] Now break with the enemy who has kept you under his hellish shadow so long and so firmly. Whatever you feel is not to control you. Believe God loves you, for He hath declared it. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 28

Come and cast your burden of sin and guilt just where Jesus wants you to place it—at the foot of the cross. Then be free. The Sin-bearer has taken your burden. When Satan tries to fasten the burden upon you again, take your Bible and read, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Satan is answered. You would not, could not, repulse him by relating your fearful doubts, your unbelief, your terrible horror that you are lost; all this is music in his ears. He wants to make you as miserable as himself; but when you look away from yourself to the Lamb of God, and proclaim, “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” [John 1:29], the controversy for that time is ended. He was wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of my peace was upon Him, and with His stripes I am healed. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 29

Trust not one moment longer to your feelings, but to the immutable word of God. Will you receive the gift of God, which is life, eternal life? All the legacies, all the sorrow and woe you bring with you and compass your soul with, will not give you one moment of relief. What does your estimate of sin avail? You must accept God’s estimate. It is heavy indeed, and the guilt if you bore it would crush you, but a sinless One takes your place, all undeserving bears your guilt, and accepting the provision God has made, you the sinner are free standing before God in the merits and virtue of your substitute. You then have a sense of sin, and godly sorrow takes the place of hopeless discouragement and grief. You turn from in with hatred and grief, and with true scriptural repentance go to God for help. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 30

Jesus says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Do not, O, do not think any human being is of more tender compassion, and more loving than He who has died for you. Do not turn from Jesus the divine, to the finite. I cannot remove one stain of sin, but I can bid you hope, for God’s Word bids you hope. I can tell you to tell your heavenly Father all your troubles, as a child would tell his parent. Tell the Lord just what you will do, because He has given you Jesus. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 31

Present to the Lord His word, For God so loved the world, etc., saying, I believe Thy word, I accept that love. Tell Him, O God, thou hast laid all my sins upon thine only begotten Son. Tell Him you cannot take these sins upon yourself, for you have been trying to do this and they are crushing your soul. And now you will believe that your iniquity is laid upon One who can bear them. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 32

Repeat in full confidence, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:7-11. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13. 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 33

Now, take the word of Jesus Christ as more sure and valuable than any word that can come from a human agent. Thank God with your whole heart and soul and voice that you are barricaded with the rich promises of His infallible Word, that the wicked one shall not touch you. The Lord is your God. He will reveal Himself unto you for His own name’s sake. It is the very simplicity of the truth in the rich promises of God which is not comprehended. The assurance of the Holy Spirit to every needy soul seems too good to be true. Nothing that God can given you will be withheld, for He has given you all heaven in the richest gift, Jesus Christ. Will you receive Him? 8LtMs, Lt 98, 1893, par. 34