Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 103, 1894

Jones, A. T.

No. 3 George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

March 15, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 85-88; 7ABC 466-467; 4MR 119-120; 4Bio 128.

Dear Brother:

I know that we are living very near the close of this earth’s history; startling events are preparing for development. I am fully in harmony with you in your work when you present the Bible, and the Bible alone, as the foundation of our faith. Satan is an artful foe, and he will work where he is by many least expected. I have a message for you. Did you suppose that God had commissioned you to take the burden of presenting the visions of Anna Phillips, reading them in public, and uniting them with the testimonies the Lord has been pleased to give me? No, the Lord has not laid upon you this burden. He has not given you this work to do. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 1

You have a solemn, sacred message to bear to the people. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” [2 Timothy 4:1, 2.] But my brother, these grand and elevated truths are to be brought into the practical life. Soul, body, and spirit are to be transformed, and the influence of truth will be brought into immediate contact with all the little things of life and will supply the grand, powerful incentives to holiness and the broad principles that are the foundation of Christianity. I feel a deep interest that you shall not make any mistake. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 2

My dear brother, you have been entrusted with a grand and solemn work. Do not, I entreat of you, become exalted; walk humbly with God. Do not belittle the work by mingling with it productions that you have no positive evidence are from the Lord of life and glory. You will be brought into straight places, but Christ will surely be at your side with His angels in every emergency if you walk humbly with God. The bitterest opposition is to be met, and it can be met successfully only with the weapons of truth as it is in Jesus. Truth alone will triumph in this great conflict. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 3

The Lord has entrusted you with a special work. You should therefore be careful in every move that you make. Do you think that Satan is to let you alone? I have been made to tremble for some things that have been urged upon me by the Spirit of God in regard to your work. Yes, I have apprehensions for you. Satan is at work, weaving his snares for your feet. But you are safe, every day safe, if you make God your trust and live the truth that you present before the people. But now is the most dangerous part of your life. Our people generally do not hold you in suspicion; on the contrary, they accept anything you present before them as truth. Be careful to consider that Christ has given us warning that in these last days the false will take the field with the true, the spurious with the genuine. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 4

All these decided awakenings in Battle Creek and in many other places show us that God is at work; but wherever God works we must not be ignorant of the fact that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers; against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Ephesians 6:12, 13.] To men whom he desires to delude and ruin, Satan does not come as the outcast, apostate spirit, but he comes personating an angel of light and truth. Thus he came to Christ with his temptations to deceive our Substitute and Surety. Thus he comes to deceive every human being whom Christ has purchased. But our Saviour, in His assumed human nature, endured every test, and in resisting the seducing wiles of Satan has made it possible for man to overcome. Through being a partaker of the divine nature, we may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 5

When the truth is brought home to the human heart, the Holy Spirit is convicting the mind and judgment of sin. Christ said, “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” [John 16:8.] When Christ works upon the human heart, Satan and his synagogue are sure to be present. Satan will make the best use possible of his agents—apostate angels and fallen men. They become one through apostasy, uniting in a desperate companionship to oppose the law of God. Satan comes in at every crevice that he can enter, to introduce, unsuspected, his ideas, the seeds of doubt and questioning, throwing the mind into confusion. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 6

We shall not be able to present truth as it is in Jesus without having to guard every outpost. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 7

In every meeting where the saints are assembled to worship God, we have the promise from our Saviour, “There am I in the midst” [Matthew 18:20], and Satan and his apostate angels are there, seeking to affect minds and hearts by means of the atmosphere that surrounds the souls of the unconsecrated. Satan is working that men shall not hear with sanctified ears, or understand with sanctified minds, or speak the truth with sanctified lips. We must understand the warfare, and we must give no place to the devil. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 8

Immortality has been purchased for every son and daughter of Adam who will have a living, working faith in Jesus Christ. Satan has stolen the livery of heaven in order to deceive the very elect. As he seduced Adam, he is seducing men to unite with him in rebellion against the law of God. When the Stronger than Satan drew nigh, when He saw that there was no one to deliver, His own arm brought salvation. Measuring weapons with Satan in the wilderness and in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Christ received His death wound, which was the trophy of His victory, and the victory of all who believe in Him. These wounds annihilated the power of Satan over every loyal believing subject in Jesus Christ. By the suffering and death of Christ, human intelligences, fallen because of the sin of Adam, are through their acceptance of Christ and faith in Him, elevated to become heirs of immortality and an eternal weight of glory. The gates of the heavenly Paradise are thrown open to the inhabitants of this fallen world. Through faith in the righteousness of Christ, rebels against the law of God may lay hold upon the Infinite, and become partakers of everlasting life. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 9

Now the end is near. The last great conflict is just before us. Never was Satan so fiercely stirred as now. As never before he will inspire every one who has apostatized from obedience to God’s law. He will work to create rebellion at the very time when the proclamation of the third angel’s message, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus is going to the world. He will inspire members of his synagogue to make most desperate efforts to clothe in defiled garments all who take an active part in this message. Not a stone will be left unturned, not a plan or devise but will be set in operation to deceive, to hold in error and strong delusions every mind that he can control. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 10

The offense of the cross has not ceased, and never will cease while sin and Satan exist. Opposition to truth is not limited to any age or any country. Those who have the truth, who uphold the principles of truth found in the word of God, are the objects of Satan’s wrath and enmity. He will stir up the minds of the disobedient and rebellious; and all apostates will unite in a firm and desperate companionship against the law of God, to war against the government of God. The followers of Jesus Christ must have the eyes of their understanding anointed with the eyesalve, else their spiritual discernment will be defective. Satan has thousands of satanic battles to open upon the soldiers of Jesus Christ; we will not undertake the task of enumerating them. The followers of Christ must count upon meeting Satan in the person of the rejectors of light and Bible truth. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 11

As we proclaim the binding claims of the law of God upon every human being, those who will not be convinced, who turn away their ears from hearing the truth, and are turned unto fables, choosing to feed upon a dish of maxims, customs, and commandments of men, will use the best weapons they have in warring against the truth. They will bear false witness, manufacture lies to blacken the reputation of those who have proclaimed the message of truth for half a century. All who come out from the world and are separated must count on meeting ridicule, sneers, and reviling. They must expect that their life and mission will be misrepresented. This was what our Saviour bore for us; shall we complain of the suffering we must endure for His sake? God forbid! Men that are in harmony with the great lawbreaker may laugh now; they may clothe in blackest garments those who present the Bible and the Bible alone as the authority for their faith. We will bear in mind that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” and all who sneer at truth and ridicule those who are proclaiming truth will weep and pray, “Lord open unto us.” He will answer, “I know you not.” [2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 25:11, 12.] 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 12

Alarmed that their prey is escaping from their grasp, Satan and his synagogue will make most desperate efforts to retain every soul on his side. He will present every possible objection and device to turn aside those who would walk in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. A train of circumstances will be secretly set in operation by the serpent to deceive, to allure the sinner, to wrench from him his convictions that he must return to his allegiance to God. But heavenly agents will be upon the battlefield. The Bible is our strength, study its pages. All who believe in the words of Christ and are doers of His Word, are His elect, His children. Through faith they are adopted into the sacred family of God, and notwithstanding the battle presses stronger and stronger, they will come off more than conquerors through Him who hath loved them. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 13

The conflict will be long and painful. At times there may appear to be a partial defeat; but bear in mind that you counted the cost when Christ showed you the plan of the battle. You are not the leaders in this conflict, for Christ is there; the armies of heaven are enlisted in the warfare. Jesus would have every individual understand that the confederacy of evil is strong, artful in planning, and will use every dishonest measure in order to obtain the victory. Yet not one follower of Christ is to look at his own weakness and become discouraged. “Looking unto Jesus” [Hebrews 12:2] we shall receive His inspiration, we shall know that we are fighting in full view of God, of loyal, holy intelligences, with all the children of light as companions. More than angels are in the ranks in every conflict; at the head is the Great General of armies, who says, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.] Jesus will surround His faithful ones with a heavenly, holy atmosphere, their armor is invincible, their Leader never met with a defeat, and they are to advance to victory. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 14

The Christian believers who are lifting up God’s downtrodden law are not alone the ones concerned; God’s law must be vindicated, and it will be vindicated by God Himself. It will be magnified, for it is the revelation of the character of Jehovah. That is why Satan is so bitter against this law. Give the people the truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, and error will flee. Let the sunshine of Christ’s righteousness roll back the mists and clouds of false doctrines, and let truth bear away the victory. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 15

My dear brother, I wish to present before you some things concerning the dangers that threaten the work at the present time. The work of Anna Phillips does not bear the signature of heaven. I know what I am talking about. In our first experience in the infancy of this cause we had to meet similar manifestations. Many such revelations were given, and we had a most disagreeable work in meeting this element and giving it no place. Some things stated in these revelations were fulfilled, and this led some to accept them as genuine. Young, unmarried women would have a message for married men, and in no delicate words would tell them to their face of their abuse of the marriage privileges. Purity was the burden of the messages given, and for a while everything appeared to be reaching a high state of purity and holiness. But the inwardness of these matters was opened to me; I was shown what would be the outcome of this teaching. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 16

Those who were engaged in this work were not a superficial, immoral class, but persons who had been the most devoted workers. Satan saw an opportunity to take advantage of the state of things, and to disgrace the cause of God. Those who thought themselves able to bear any test without exciting their carnal propensities were overcome, and several unmarried men and women were compelled to be married. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 17

I am afraid of those who feel so great a burden to labor in this direction. Satan works upon the imagination, so that impurity is the result, instead of purity. Now, Anna Phillips’ messages to Brother and Sister Rice and others pertaining to this subject, the Lord has never inspired her to give. This pointing out of the imperfections and wrongs of individuals is of exactly the same character as in the false messages not only in Maine but in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachussetts. Married men and women were following after the sins of the inhabitants of the world before the flood, and of the Sodomites. I know what I am talking about, for most solemn messages were given me to correct this evil that was growing to large proportions among those who had so great a burden to set people right in regard to purity. The state of things was terrible. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 18

God has not called Anna Phillips to follow on after the testimonies He has given to His people, and repeat their purport. Such her work is and has been. Persons did exactly the same thing in the first experience in this cause. We had every phase of these false revelations to meet. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 19

How is it, my brother, that you have taken up these communications, and presented them before the people, weaving them in with the testimonies God has given Sister White? Where is your evidence that these are of God? You cannot be too careful how you hear, how you receive, how you believe. You cannot be too careful how you talk of the gift of prophesying, and state that I have said this and that in reference to this matter. Such statements, I well know, encourage men, women, and children to imagine that they have special light in revelations from God, when they have not received such light. This, I have been shown, would be one of Satan’s masterpieces of deception. You are giving to the work a mold which it will take precious time and wearing soul labor to correct, to save the cause of God from another spasm of fanaticism. These unadvised movements tend to a demoralized state of things which will give unbelievers an opportunity to reproach the precious cause of God. May God in His infinite mercy give you clear spiritual eyesight, that you may see distinctly the dangers which threaten us as a people. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 20

Our only safe course is to move correctly upon every question, and healthfully in all our works that concern the interest of the little flock which is God’s heritage. Your action in bringing before the public Anna Phillip’s revelations is not the fruit of wisdom from heaven, you are moving ignorantly. We want not to encourage any one in self-deception. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 21

Do you not think I know something about these matters? All along our pathway to the heavenly Canaan we see many souls that have made shipwreck of faith, and in their false movements have led others astray through the supposition that they were led of God in special revelations. I have had to write many, many pages to correct these errors. I have been burdened and oppressed night after night, unable to sleep because of the agony of my soul for God’s heritage, His people, who are in danger of being misled. Many things in these visions and dreams seem to be all straight, a repetition of that which has been in the field for many years; but soon they introduce a jot here, a tittle of error there, just a little seed which takes root and flourishes, and many are defiled therewith. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 22

O, I wish that we had far greater wisdom in all things than we now have! One thing every worker in the vineyard of the Lord must learn, that is, their decision to practice the prayer of Christ, to move as one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one, as He is one with the Father. [John 17:21.] The enemy is at work, to divide, to scatter. Now as never before he will make determined efforts to scatter our forces. Above every other period it is unsafe now for us to move out in lines of our own. The truth for this time is broad in its outlines, far reaching, embracing many doctrines; but these doctrines are not detached items, which mean little; they are united by golden threads, forming a complete whole, with Christ as the living center. The truths we present from the Bible are as firm and immovable as the throne of God. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 23

My brother, why should Elder Rice and yourself pursue the course you have taken in regard to Anna Phillips without a great certainty that the Lord has chosen her as His mouthpiece to the people, His channel through which to communicate light? If you accept everything of this order that shall come up purporting to be a revelation from God, if you continue to encourage these supposed prophets as you have done, giving the influence of your testimony to sustain their work, you will not be a safe keeper of the Lord’s heritage. The warnings Christ has given mean something to us. See Matthew 24:21-23. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 24

Satan will work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to personate Jesus Christ. If it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Now if the counterfeit bears so close a resemblance to the genuine, is it not essential to be on your guard, that no man deceive you? Christ enforces His warnings, saying, “Behold, I have told you before.” [Verse 25.] Brethren, preach the Word, call not the people to rest their faith upon uncertain things or to place confidence in the human agent. I have the word from the Lord. I was shown Elder Rice before a number of persons reading from the professed revelations of Anna Phillips. A noble, dignified Person was present, and with a grieved expression upon His countenance He removed the written document, placed in Brother Rice’s hand the Bible, and said, “Take the Word of God as your text book. ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works’” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 25

Those who search the Scriptures will find explicit instruction as to what God requires of them on points of practical religious life. You are making a mistake in calling the attention of the flock of God from the Word, the unerring word of prophecy. Take heed what you hear, and be cautious what you receive. There is need of caution lest the minds of the little flock shall be found accrediting that which is not the genuine work of the Holy Spirit. There is very great danger here. Satan is ever seeking to introduce spurious material into the work, in order that he may mar the testimony, and bring discredit upon the truth. He would mingle with it an element that would be a stumbling block in the pathway of God’s people. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus is the message we have to bear to the world. The Word of God is not one-sided, it is truth to be practiced. It is light extending on every side like the rays of the sun. It is light to lighten every man who will read and understand and practice its teachings. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) “Search the Word.” See 2 Peter 1:19-20. 9LtMs, Lt 103, 1894, par. 26