Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 90, 1895

Wessels, Sister

Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia

January 15, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in 4BC 1184; UL 29; RC 266; WM 267.

Dear Sister Wessels:

I would be pleased to see you this morning, for I have something to say to you, my sister. In the night season I seemed to be in an important meeting. Quite a large company were assembled, and you, my sister, were surrounded by your children and your grandchildren and your relatives. There were some others present besides. Many words were spoken in regard to the great work to be done in our world, and the divine Instructor spoke of the necessity of studying the life of Christ, for we have but little time in which to work as faithful stewards. It is not my purpose to write out all the instruction that was given. The Instructor looked around on the people and said, You are in need of coming into closer relationship with Christ. You should seek God most earnestly, in order that you may gain a deeper experience. In this way alone you may be delivered from some strong, overmastering temptation. Unless the converting power of God is upon you every day, you will fall into the snare that the enemy is preparing for your feet. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 1

You have need to cultivate sobriety, to be sober and watch unto prayer. You will come in contact with those who are weary, who are sorrowing and bereaved, who are in an hour of trial, and it will be your privilege to administer consolation. There are those in the company that surrounds you who are heart-sore. To God’s omnipotent eye the whole future is unveiled. He reads every heart history. He knows the struggle and trials of every soul that He has ransomed by His most precious blood. Those for whom Christ has died are dear to the heart of God. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 2

Those that were assembled have love for God in their hearts, but the work of faith must go deeper. You are inclined to indulge in lightness and frivolity, and this is not in harmony with the holy character of truth. God has entrusted His people with the last message of mercy that is to be given to the world. You should seek most earnestly for a deeper experience and piety, and learn to walk circumspectly. “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my special treasure; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” [Malachi 3:16, 17.] 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 3

God does not leave His erring children who are weak in faith, and who make many mistakes. The Lord hearkens and hears their prayer and their testimony. Those who look unto Jesus day by day and hour by hour, who watch unto prayer, are drawing nigh to Jesus. Angels with wings outspread wait to bear their contrite prayers to God, and to register them in the books of heaven. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 4

Do you wish to do the will of your Father who is in heaven? Then you must have a vital connection with God. Have you felt that it was necessary to represent Christ in the home life, and in association one with another? Were this necessity always realized, how many unnecessary dissensions would be avoided, how much alienation and strife among brethren would be put away! How little self-denial, how little self-sacrifice is manifested in many of the homes that are called Christian homes! But true Christians must practice true godliness. They must follow the example of Christ, who declared, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” [John 4:34.] Let the words of your lips be, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.” [John 9:4.] Now is your time to work; soon it will be too late. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 5

You are in no way safe in indulging in levity and carelessness, for He that is to come, will come, and will not tarry. You all have need to drink deeper draughts from the fountain of living water. Christ said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” [John 4:14.] Those upon whom the Spirit of God is working to mold and to fashion them after the elevated character of Christ do not cultivate commonness, cheapness of speech, trifling, jesting and joking. They pattern after Christ, who stands before us all a perfect and correct model. Imitate Christ. Be weighted with the truth of God. Be solemn and serious, for the day of God is right upon us. You will not be able to stand in that day when everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, unless Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Do you bear the name of Christ? Then do not misrepresent Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 6

Much property has been entrusted to your keeping, and much has been spent and lost to you, because you did not invest it in a wise way. The money in your care is the Lord’s money, and if you are to be a wise steward of His means, you will need to become a daily partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Both large sums and small sums are to be looked upon by you as God’s trusted treasure. When you are thinking of expending means, pray over the matter, in order that you may use the Lord’s goods in a way that shall please Him. The Lord would have all who claim to be his followers imitate His example. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Unbelievers are watching those who profess to be the children of God, to see if they are in reality that which they profess to be. Is it consistent for us to talk of Christ’s self-denial, of His self-sacrifice, and yet walk and work contrary to His example? The treasures of the world are the Lord’s. They are all His, both by creation and by redemption. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 7

Why is it that riches are called “unrighteous mammon”? [Luke 16:11.] It is because through riches men are made subject to temptation, to deal unjustly, to use them as they shall please in gratifying their desires, and in fulfilling that which their imagination calls for. Those who are in possession of money are in danger of putting the Lord’s goods to wrong use, and by this means they are led to forget God. The people of Nazareth thought that they loved God until the Lord Jesus opened to them their true condition, and then they made manifest the fact that they were not keeping the commandments. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 8

The rich young ruler thought that he loved God until Jesus revealed his idol to him, and showed him that he was making a god of his possessions. He had come to Christ asking, “What lack I yet?” [Matthew 19:20.] The answer was, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Did he do this? “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” [Luke 18:22, 23.] There is much in the example of Christ which a man who loves the world will not admire. Many have a partial love for Christ, but when the condition of discipleship is made bare, and they see that if they continue to follow Christ they must deny self, take up the cross and follow Jesus, they draw back. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 9

Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Unless we have love for the entire character of Christ, we shall never be complete in Christ Jesus. The glory of Christ is His holiness. No one who is not truly converted, who does not see that he must strive to be an overcomer, who does not see his own sinfulness, will discern the matchless charms of the Saviour. Christ loved His enemies. Are we incorporating the love of Christ into our characters? When we are convinced of our own sinfulness, and look unto Jesus, we appreciate the love that dwells in the heart of Christ. Christ is condescending, patient, benevolent and long-suffering. Are you thus? He manifested unspeakable goodness, unbounded mercy, inexhaustible love. The lower we lie in humility, the further we shall be able to see, and the more distinctly shall we be able to behold the manifest love of God. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 10

Your riches are a snare to you. You have spent them unwisely. It is true that you have appropriated large amounts to missionary enterprises, not only because you longed to bestow the money where it would do good, but because you could make large contributions and not feel it. At other times, you have bestowed larger sums than was wise, because strong pressure was brought to bear upon you by one and another. New fields are to be opened in many places, and it is needful for you to have the heavenly unction in order that you may give wisely. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 11

There were others in the company who are following the example of the slothful servant, and are binding up their Lord’s goods, and burying them in the world; but where their treasure is, there will their heart be also. Those who have the Lord’s talents of means are placed under a heavy responsibility. They are not to invest money merely for the gratification of selfish desires, for whatever is spent in this way is just that much kept from the Lord’s treasury. Through the sovereign goodness of God, the Holy Spirit works through the human agent and causes him to make smaller or larger investments in the cause of God, to make them redound to the glory of God. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 12

Whenever you think of using the Lord’s money for your own selfish gratification, remember that there are many who are in deep poverty, who cannot purchase either food or clothing, and they are God’s heritage. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. If those who have abundant means are God’s agents in dealing in truth, they will use their treasures wisely, so that none of the household of faith need to go hungry or naked. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 13

The reason there is such accumulated misery in our world is because those who have been entrusted with money expend it to gratify unsanctified desires, in purchasing needless ornaments of gold and precious stones, and in procuring fancy articles for adornment’s sake. But at the same time those who have been purchased by the blood of Christ are starving for food, and their cry entereth into the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and are registered against those who could relieve them if they had not so many imaginary wants, if they did not bury the Lord’s goods in business enterprises. In thus expending means, the money God has entrusted to those who should be His agents is bound away from His cause, when it should have been invested to lift up the standard of truth in regions beyond. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 14

In every place where the truth is to go, those who are to be co-laborers with God have a work to do. They are to help to build meeting houses, to advance means for the erection of simple, plain school houses. But to form large plans, to expend much means in building largely in certain localities is unwise, because it leaves other places to suffer for the want of the facilities that are needed. Some of you have felt that you would do all you possibly could and have made large investments in missionary operations. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 15

Then the temptation has come to you that you did more than you were justified in doing, that you were over-urged, and moved without due consideration, and then you have worried over the matter. Now do not worry. You tried to do that which you were counseled to do, so let the matter rest. But bear in mind that it is not the amount which you give that is of value with God, it is the spirit in which the gift is made that makes your offering valuable. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 16

The Instructor said to Sister Wessels, You make mistakes in giving so liberally to your friends and relatives, and in responding to calls for large sums of money to be invested in one locality, when greater good might be accomplished in meeting the necessities of other destitute fields. You and some of your sons have had a great desire to do all that you possibly could and to meet the expectations of those who look to you for help; but you need to move more fully in the counsel of God. Be careful that you do not become confused. By looking unto Jesus, by trusting Him and relying upon Him, you will walk safely. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 17

I have some things to say in reference to the experience which you have told me concerning your life since engaging in the service of Jesus. I will not write this at present; but will send you a letter when you reach Battle Creek. Sister Wessels, you should place yourself in the most favorable circumstances in order to preserve your health and strength, which is so necessary for you to have in order to be of service to the Master. You overtax yourself. You are compassed with infirmities; but have faith in God. Believe in Him; for He is the Great Physician, and bears the balm of Gilead. You must have an eye single to the glory of God. Do not overtax yourself with servile labor, but preserve your strength. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 18

God has a work for you to do for your children and your relatives. Keep in living touch with God, in order that you may give them right counsel. The Lord has set His love upon you, and your children should respect your advice and counsel. Keep in mind the words which were spoken to the Apostle Peter, “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28.] “Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29, 30.] These promises are rich and full, and we should appreciate them, and have respect unto the recompense of the reward. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 19

January 17

Last night my mind was again exercised upon the subject upon which I have been writing to you. I was praying before the Lord, and asking him to open ways for us whereby the truth could go into Sydney. The voice came to me, “Bear the message I have given to you.” The Holy Spirit is upon me as I write you this morning. The Lord loves you, and as a family you must love one another, not unwisely, but with a sanctified love. Love one another in such a way that you will not encourage each other in any wrong course of action; but by seeking to be firm, straightforward, unselfish, and economical in the outlay of means. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 20

The Lord owns you all. The Lord has chosen Daniel to be his own child, to be used in the work and cause of God for the glory of the Master. I speak to you, Daniel: Give your heart to the Lord. Take your stand for Jesus. Heaven is worth everything to you. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] I call upon the Brethren Wessels to help one another in working along Christ’s lines. I entreat of you to work in such a way as to build up one another. Do not let variance come in, but work in harmony in glorifying God. The Lord desires that you give yourselves wholly to Him. When you are discouraged, go to Him, and pray to Him. Do not hide your talents by burying them in worldly enterprises. The day of the Lord is fast hastening, and the exhortation to us is, “Work while the day lasts; for lo, the night cometh, in which no man can work.” [See John 9:4.] Precious time is being wasted, and the money which belongs to God is kept from his treasury by binding it up in worldly enterprises. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 21

The end of all things is at hand, and God calls for men to come into active service and do their duty because He desires it, and the world needs their help. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, men will become discreet in the outlay of means, and will expend it according to the greatness and importance of the work which is to be done in planting the banner of truth in our city and in all parts of the world. They will distribute their talents for the saving of souls who are in midnight darkness, who are under the deceptive power of satanic agencies, and united in association with those who are evil in the world. Earnest work must be done, not only by a few ministers, but by the whole membership of the church. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 22

The Lord God of heaven calls upon men to put away their idols, to cut off every extravagant desire, to indulge in nothing that is simply for display and parade, and to study economy in purchasing garments and furniture. Do not expend one dollar of God’s money in purchasing needless articles. Your money means the salvation of souls. Then let it not be spent for gems, for gold, or precious stones. Souls for whom Christ died are perishing in their sins, and we are continually bound about because of want of means wherewith to advance the cause of God. Would you not rather have gems in the crown which Jesus shall place upon your head than expend your money for precious stones to please the fancy here in this world? 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 23

You may give thousands of dollars to the cause, and yet that extra dollar, that extra pound, is called for. Every pound is needed, every shilling can be put to use, and invested in such a way as to bring you imperishable treasure. My dear friends who love God and would serve Him with whole-heartedness, I entreat of you that you ask yourselves when you are spending money in purchasing goods, Am I glorifying God, or am I simply gratifying a human desire? Shall I invest this money which I hold in my hand to please myself, to make gifts to my children, or to my friends, or shall I be a co-worker with Christ, a pattern to all who are studying to glorify God? The rule is given us, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 24

Last Sunday one of our workers visited me, and presented before me a plan whereby he thought he could acquire means to sustain himself and family and also prepare himself for the work of the ministry. He said, “I do not know what to do. There is no money in the conference to support us while doing the work that so much needs to be done. I would be willing to economize in every way, and work in the cause of God. I know it is my privilege and duty to do so; but I must engage in something to earn a little money so that I can continue in the work.” I showed this good brother that he could not consistently engage in the enterprise in which he desired to engage; for it was not of a character that would bear the approval of God. After explaining the matter to him he saw the enterprise in its true light and decided to give it up. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 25

But I will tell you what the Holy Spirit suggested to my mind as I looked upon this brother who was about to leave the work because of the lack of means in the Lord’s treasury. I saw the little bit of precious stones laid out in the open hand of Daniel, and I thought how much the price that had been paid for these trifling things would have done to sustain workers in the fields. The money paid for these trifles would accomplish much if laid upon the altar of God to pay men for their labor, and to give them means to sustain their families. At the same time they could give their time and ability in laboring for the salvation of souls. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 26

We may expend God’s money, God’s entrusted capital, in purchasing this little or that little thing, in buying that which will neither feed nor clothe ourselves or our friends, but will simply serve the purpose of pleasing their fancy and gratifying their pride. But how vain and purposeless is this! It only encourages pride in those whose hearts need to be continually subdued, in order that they may be true imitators of the Pattern Christ Jesus, who for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. Will these gifts which are of no real value to the possessors make them more spiritual minded? Will they glorify God? Will you be co-operating with God, as laborers together with Him, in teaching lessons which Christ taught of self-denial for His dear sake? 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 27

Listen to the words of Christ, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] When bestowing gifts let us consider the matter, and see what will be the result. Let us ask ourselves, Will this gift tend to strengthen pride? Will it give a lesson in self-gratification, and work contrary to the lessons of Christ? Will it be the means of leading my friends to indulge in self-pleasing, and not to consider that it is sinful to buy unnecessary ornaments? Shall I foster that which Christ has given lessons to repress? Christ lived not to please Himself. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 28

In the night season I was looking upon the open hand which held the delicate stones, and was listening to a voice that was saying, “Strengthen not vanity by your example. Do not furnish means to indulge desires that Christ will see needful to be denied. Practice economy in the use of money. Let your hearts be fully consecrated to God, so that you shall perform your duty according to His Word and will. Do those things which the universe of heaven will approve, which will give the greater satisfaction to the heart of Christ.” 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 29

Christ is your Redeemer. He has purchased you at an infinite cost in order that you may engage in His service, and do His will. Is it not His will to save the lost sheep, to invest all the means possible in the cause of God for the sending forth of willing laborers into the highways and hedges? Is it not to send forth laborers who can search for the sheep who are lost in the wilderness, whose restoration to the fold will cause rejoicing to God, and to Christ who has paid the ransom money of His own blood? The whole universe of heaven rejoices at the return of the lost sheep. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 30

The Instructor said, Bear in mind the fact that in the sight of God you are not the owner of your possessions. You are God’s trustee, His steward, and by and by you will have to render an account for the administration of your trust. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 31

Religion in the heart will lead us to respect those to whom God has entrusted His goods; but in no case will it lead us to evade speaking one syllable of truth in order to obtain their favor. Those who are in most need of counsel from wise men are those who have talents of means. While the servants of God do not covet one pound of the possessions of the rich for themselves, yet it is proper that they make appeals for the cause of God to the persons who have been entrusted with the goods of heaven. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 32

The steward of means has an accountability to God that is rarely estimated or seriously considered. The fact that men are in possession of one talent, two talents, or five talents, does not make them excusable in squandering needlessly a single farthing. No robbery is to be practiced toward God; it will only end in agony of soul. The principal is the Lord’s, and the increase is the Lord’s. The goods the Lord has entrusted to His human agent are stamped with His own image and superscription. Beware how you trifle with the Lord’s goods. Over the door where abide the stewards of God is written by God’s own finger, “Not thine, but mine.” Words were spoken by the Instructor that I wish could be written in letters of gold, and inscribed upon the door of every house. “You are acting as God’s almoner, you are stewards of an impartial, omnipresent, just God. There is a great work to be done in our world.” 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 33

There is another brother besides the one I have spoken of who possesses ability of no ordinary character, and who is now doing work for the Master, but it is a question as to whether he will be able to continue in the work, or whether it will be necessary for him to engage in some enterprise by which he may obtain a support for his family. For some time I have paid his board and his wages myself, because of the poverty of the Lord’s treasury. I have agreed to do this until some way should open whereby the conference can afford to pay the wages of such workers. I see so many ways in which means could be invested. I know not what to do in all these cases without help. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 34

Oh how my heart aches when I see means invested in little items that are wholly unessential, when the great things that are essential must go along in a crippled condition, when the work has to be cut down here and there, and men have to be driven from the field of labor. We have had special seasons of prayer in petitioning the Lord to raise up laborers to work in His harvest field, and He has answered our prayers in raising up worthy men who can do good. But now are they not to be employed because there is no means with which to pay them for their labor? Christ gave His own life to save perishing souls, and how can He look upon those who use the means He has entrusted to them as His stewards for needless selfish gratification, when the cause of God is in great need of that very means which has been inconsiderately expended? 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 35

My dear fellow laborers, will you help me to help you and others who need the words I have written to you? I love you, God loves you, and I desire that you shall lay up your treasures above. This is the only method which God’s Word reveals by which selfishness and self-pleasing can be counteracted. I will now commit you to God. “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.] 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 36

With much love to all. 10LtMs, Lt 90, 1895, par. 37