Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 101, 1893

Brethren of the Napier Church



Formerly Undated Ms 8. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren of the Napier Church,

I write to the church in Napier: But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer. Please read Titus 2:5-15. Resist the enemy. Do not be seduced by his flattering presentation. This is the work of the human agent—to “Be strong.” In his own finite strength? No! “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” [Ephesians 6:10, 11.] This is the work man is called to do, to be constantly on guard as a sleepless sentinel, strong in God and in the power of His might. Christ said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 1

All the resolutions made in your finite strength are as ropes of straw; but if you pray in sincerity, and surrender soul, body, and spirit unto God, you put on His armor, and you open the soul to the righteousness of Christ; and this alone, Christ’s imputed righteousness, makes you able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Then the work of every soul: resist the enemy in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His might, and he will flee from you. But your soul is in great peril. Be assured that you comply with the first part of the text, “Draw nigh to God.” [James 4:8.] How? In secret earnest examination of your own heart and then, with heartfelt, humble, childlike dependence, making known to Jesus all your weakness, confessing all your sins (this is your only hope). “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.” 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 2

But let us read the remaining part of the lesson given for our instruction, that more fully defines what this drawing comprehends, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” [Verse 8.] Here is an essential work to be done by the human agent, and because this work is not agreeable to the inclination of the human heart, the heart is not in a prepared condition to appreciate the purity and perfection of Christ’s character, and the offensive character of sin is not discerned. Purify your hearts, ye double minded. While professedly a Christian, you have the mold of the world, and the affections are not wrapped up in God—double minded. Making an attempt to serve God and mammon, which the world’s Redeemer declares they cannot do. A double-minded man (trying to serve two masters) is unstable in all his ways. He cannot be depended on; when he is from outward appearance serving God, the heart is yielding to ... [A page is missing here.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 3

Is that genuine faith that says, “I know that I am commiting sins, but Jesus Christ hath pardoned my sins,” and when they are tempted they do not resist the temptation, but sin just the same as before? Is there any virtue in that man’s religion? “He that hath this hope in him”—abiding principle in the soul—“purifieth himself even as He is pure. ... Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.” [1 John 3:3, 6.] Here is the power of God to keep the soul in Christ under temptation, “Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither know him.” [Verse 6.] That is, every human agent that claims to believe the truth, if the truth is in his heart, it sanctifies the life and character. 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 4

“Little children let no man deceive you: He that doeth (not professeth) righteousness, even he is righteous.” “Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.” Now mark the distinction, “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” [Verses 7, 9, 10, 18.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 5

All the profession made of being children of God is valueless unless you are abiding in Christ. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [Verse 3.] Our youth in every clime, in every nation, can cooperate with God. The only means of purifying man is to make him like-minded with God. How can he know God? By studying His Word. “And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.” [John 17:3.] Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of man, every effort made to purify and uplift him will be vain. To elevate man without belief and knowledge of God is impossible. The outward gloss may be put on, as Jesus described the Pharisees as whited sepulchers, but within are dead men’s bones. There may be outward polish, but inward corruption. All is deformity in the eyes of God. 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 6

Sin covered, sin cherished, but God sees beneath the surface and He judgeth righteously. Unless the truth is planted in the heart it cannot control the life. The cleaning the outside of the cup will never make the soul pure. The nominal acceptance of truth, the ability to give a reason of their faith, is good as far as it goes, but will never save the soul. The heart must be purified from sin and moral defilement. “I know also, my God, thou tryest the heart and hath pleasure in uprightness.” [1 Chronicles 29:17.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 7

They reveal that they do not feed on the Word; they may have a certain knowledge or theory, but have not a sense of the necessity of practicing every word that cometh out of the mouth of God. They live to please self, to enjoy their own way, to indulge their own habits and costumes, to seek pleasure in holidays. If they have earned a little means, [they] use it up to gratify their inclinations to visit or to get some articles of dress to gratify their pride. They study self, they glorify self. They seek to be in the society of young girls, and girls are just as forward to be in the society of young men. Their names are, many of them, on the church books but not in the Lamb’s book of life. Now these youthful professed Christians are not living for Christ; they are not bringing their will in subjection to Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 8

The young get together, not studying how they shall best glorify the Master in their association. Their talk is cheap, commonplace lightness, trifling, the giddy laugh, the profitless talk, the cheap nonsense is the highest aim many have; in association with youth in this way, they will never grow in grace, they will never perfect Christian character. They are not educating and training themselves to become missionaries for God. If they ever enter heaven they must obtain altogether a different experience. 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 9

You must compare your character with the great moral standard of righteousness, God’s holy law. If the character will not bear the comparison to that law now, how will it stand the test of the judgment? “And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.” “And whosoever were not found written in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:12, 15.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 10

We rejoice that any souls have turned their face Zionward. Have you abandoned the service of Satan? Have you ceased to sin? Have you come out from your wicked associates? Have you received Jesus Christ with soul, body and spirit? The lawyer came to Christ and asked, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself; and he said unto him, Thou hast answered right. This do and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 11

Have you this wholeheartedness for God? You need the converting power of God upon soul and upon character. It is a great privilege to be sons and daughters of God, to be refined, ennobled, elevated, to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. 8LtMs, Lt 101, 1893, par. 12