Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 33, 1894

Testimony to Battle Creek

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

August 3, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7BC 961; 8MR 189; 12MR 217.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] The church at Battle Creek needs purifying, and the work needs to begin in the office and to go through our institutions. There is a lack of the love that Jesus manifested toward men, and a hardheartedness, a disposition to tear down and to destroy. This painful fact has been opened before me in such clear lines that I dare not longer hold my peace. Suspicion, jealousy, evil-surmising, unrighteous suggestions, false witness, the catching up of reproaches, or of anything that will give the slightest occasion to treat God’s purchased possession with suspicion, are on the increase. Satanic attributes are increasing their growth in human character and this is separating souls from the love of God and making men instrumentalities through whom Satan is doing his work to discourage, to hurt, and to destroy souls. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 1

I am afraid for you in Battle Creek. The spirit of Christ is the missionary spirit that seeks to save that which was lost. This Spirit makes every one who possesses it a worker together with God. The church is multiplying form and machinery, but more and more losing her first love. The church is responsible for the work of Christ, but the work as a whole which the church is doing will not bear the approval of God. It must bear the image of Christ; and unless the workers are invested with His divine attributes for the performance of that work, it is an offence to God. The human agent should not rest without the divine endowment. There is continual danger of walking in the light of the sparks of human kindling. There is continual danger of ascribing honor to individuals, and of suffering a cloud of suspicion to cover those who are walking in the light of God’s countenance. There is continual danger of having too many hobbies and too little piety. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 2

Faith, love and holiness are essential, and yet how rare are these elements! Sin goes unrebuked, injustice unreproved. Oppressive decisions are suffered to pass in council and committee meetings, simply because it has become the custom to allow men of strong, determined purpose to have a controlling power, although they have not a connection with God. The decisions are not all prompted by the Spirit of the Lord. Human agents do this work irrespective of what suffering may result, or who may be compelled to endure grief in various ways because of unconsecrated hearts and unchristlike dispositions. There are some who do not know what it means to be tenderhearted, pitiful, and courteous in dealing with human hearts. To oppress their fellow men in harmony with the spirit of the great oppressor, is more in keeping with their feelings than to exercise the goodness, mercy and love of God. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 3

God, angels, cherubim, and seraphim are all intensely interested in seeking to bring every sinner into communication with heaven. They know that to as many as receive Christ, to them He gives power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. But between the sinner and salvation there is satanic intervention. There are men who think they are authorized to lay their finite hands in restriction upon everything that they distrust. Their suspicion leads them to accuse, and this spirit of accusation has leavened the churches. Unless someone imbued with the Spirit and power of God shall bear a message and do a work in the name of the Lord to condemn every species of this wickedness, God will turn His face from you, for He will not serve with your sins. These wrongs have been tolerated too long and Satan triumphs thereby. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 4

The Lord says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. ... Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” [Revelation 2:4, 5, 16.] It is time that Satan be cast out. It is time to call things by the right name. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. ... He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:2, 3, 5.] 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 5

The message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time, but has not been heeded as it should have been. When the work of repentance is earnest and deep, the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven. Jesus says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” [Verse 18.] 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 6

Oh, how many behold things in a perverted light, in the light in which Satan would have them see. You may manifest great zeal in missionary effort and yet, because it is corrupted with selfishness, and tastes strongly of self, it is naught in the sight of God, for it is a tainted, corrupted offering. Unless the door of the heart is open to Jesus, unless He occupies the soul temple, unless the heart is imbued with His divine attributes, human actions when weighed in the heavenly balances will be pronounced “Wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] The love of Christ would make you rich, but many do not realize the value of His love. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 7

Many do not realize that the spirit which they cherish is destitute of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, destitute of the love that would constitute them channels of light. Instead of blessing others, they wound and bruise God’s heritage. Instead of healing and binding up the souls of men, they inflict fresh wounds. Some act the part of wolves rather than the part of the tender Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep. Oh, that they might behold “what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” [1 John 3:1.] Will not everyone who claims to be the object of the love of God consider how deep, how broad, how constant, how untiring His love is, and ask the question, Have I this love abiding in my heart? 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 8

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. ... In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. ... Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” [1 John 2:9-11; 3:10, 12-16.] 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 9

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. ... To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. ... Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 21.] 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 10

Many of you have a large record of injustice and oppression toward your fellow men registered against you. Are you willing that this record shall appear just as it now is, in the judgment? Do you want to meet the ones whom you have injured by your injudicious course of action? whose faith you have sought to weaken, whose confidence you have worked to destroy? Some of you have dealt with God’s witnesses as though they were sinners. The love of Jesus for your brethren has been excluded from your heart. You have been far greater sinners in acting under the inspiration of satanic influences in weakening those who needed help, in casting gloom upon those discouraged, when you should have bound up their wounds and linked up with them in the tender spirit of Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 11

Instead of manifesting sympathy for them, you have drawn away from them, and your words have been words of vanity. As a result many souls will be lost, and their blood, saith the Lord, will I require at thine hand. Had you helped them when you saw them halting, had you in brotherly love drawn them into safe paths, had you manifested a spirit of interest, and shown that you did care for their souls, had you prayed with them and for them, you might have saved souls from death and covered a multitude of sins. He who offers up fervent prayers in earnest love for the souls for whom Christ has died, will not only benefit those for whom he prays, but will benefit himself. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 12

Men who occupy positions of trust give themselves little concern over the souls who are perishing. They think they are doing a great work, carrying on a great business; but in their bustle the spirit of Jehu is represented, who rode furiously. When the work bears the approval of God it will be when Jesus is revealed in it. The work is not approved of God when it is inspired by that zeal that has in it neither discretion nor patience; for this makes manifest the fact that men are becoming successful agents of Satan in discouraging souls for whom Christ gave His precious life. These they should seek to win and encourage, to inspire with hope and faith, to save and not to destroy. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 13

Christ identifies His interest with that of humanity. The work that bears the divine credentials is that which manifests the Spirit of Jesus, which reveals His love, His carefulness, His tenderness in dealing with the minds of men. What revelations would come to man if the curtain should be rolled back, and you could see the result of your work in dealing with the erring who have needed most judicious treatment lest they should be turned out of the way. “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” [Hebrews 12:12, 13.] 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 14

We shall always have tried and tempted ones to deal with, and it is essential that we be converted to God every day and be vessels that can be used unto His name’s honor and glory. The true value of the soul can be estimated only by the cross of Calvary. “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.] Those who are unconverted, who are unsanctified, will make manifest what manner of spirit they are of. They will show by their likes and dislikes that their natural feelings are not under the control of a sanctified will. The religion of Jesus Christ is one that will revolutionize the entire man. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 15

The truth of God has power to transform the character. We are to have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. A faith that does not result in this is of no value. The fruit of the branch will show what is the character of the parent stock. He who is planted in Christ will be elevated. In place of acting rashly, in place of cutting off, with your severity and harshness, the erring from faith and hope, the true Christian will teach the ignorant, reform the sinful, comfort those who mourn, restrain oppression and injustice, and work after a Christlike plan even in all business transactions. Instead of stirring up strife, he will bring about peace and harmony. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 16

A hard, unjust, critical spirit has been indulged among those who have held positions of trust in the work of God. Unless those who have indulged this spirit are converted, they must be relieved of the responsibility of acting a part in committees of council, or even in the transaction of business. Unless they are converted, their voices must not be heard in the council, for the aggregate result is more injurious than beneficial. Wrong prevails; man is made an offender for a word; and suspicion, distrust, jealousy, evil surmising, evil speaking, and injustice reproduce themselves even in connection with the cause of God. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 17

A false zeal passes for jealousy for the cause of God; but the miserable, filthy garment of self must be destroyed, and in its place men must accept the righteousness of Christ. The persecution that is carried on among church members is a most terrible thing. It is true that some have committed errors and made mistakes but it is equally true that these errors and mistakes are not nearly as grievous in the sight of God as is the harsh and unforgiving spirit of those who are criticizers and censors. Many of those who are free to pass judgment upon others are committing errors which, although not made manifest, are tainted with deadly evil that is corrupting their spiritual life. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 18

God would open the eyes of His professed people in order that they may see that they must love God supremely, and their neighbors as themselves, if they would be saved in His kingdom. Many are making manifest that they are not controlled by the Spirit of Christ, but by another spirit. The attributes they display are as unlike the attributes of Christ as are the characteristics of Satan. It is high time that believers should stand shoulder to shoulder, and strive together for eternal life, in place of holding themselves aloof, and expressing by word and action, “I am holier than thou.” [Isaiah 65:5.] Those who would exert all their powers for the salvation of perishing souls must come heart to heart, and be bound together in cords of sympathy and love. The hearts of brethren should manifest the same spirit as that manifested by our merciful and faithful High Priest who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. We may inspire fainting, hopeless ones with new life. We may achieve victories which our own erroneous and misconceived opinion, our own defects of character, our own smallness of faith, have made seem impossible. Faith! We scarcely know what the article is. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 19

The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is soon coming. Already His judgments are abroad in our land. We are not only to talk of Christ’s coming, but in every action we are to reveal the fact that He is soon to be manifested in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Have we the wedding garment on? Have we personal piety? Have we given wholehearted, unreserved cooperation with divine agencies, in weaving into our life’s practices the divine principles of God’s holy law? It is one thing to talk the law, and it is another thing entirely to practice the law. It is the doers of the law that shall be justified before God, for those who do the law represent the character of God, and lie not against the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 20

The Lord is coming. Oh the time is so short, and who in the Bible view are laborers together with God? Shall we not be filled with fear and awe lest we are still in our own natural tempers, lest we are unconverted, and unholy, and seeking to pass off a counterfeit experience for a genuine one? Awake, brethren, awake, before it shall be forever too late. There are many who are laborers together with God whom we do not discern; the hands of ministers have never been laid upon them in ordination for the work; but nevertheless they are wearing the yoke of Christ, and exert a saving influence in working in different lines to win souls to Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 21

The success of our work depends upon our love to God, and our love to our fellow men. When there is harmonious action among the individual members of the church, when there is love and confidence manifested by brother to brother, there will be proportionate force and power in our work for the salvation of men. Oh how greatly we need a moral renovation! Without the faith that works by love you can do nothing. May the Lord give you hearts to receive this testimony. 9LtMs, Ms 33, 1894, par. 22