Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 64a, 1895

Olsen, Brother and Sister [O. A.]

Avondale, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 1, 1895, 2:30 a.m.

Portions of this letter are published in TM 230-238; SpTA #4 11-12. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Olsen:

Through constant labor in speaking and writing, my brain has become so weary that it refused to work longer, and for rest and change I came to this place. I have been enjoying tent life for four weeks. Brother Prescott and Willie made us a call, staying nearly three days. I had a short visit with Brother Prescott while riding in my carriage. I told him somewhat of the burden on my mind, of which Willie had not before heard from my lips; for what could he do with the things I could open before him? Simply nothing. He is called here and there, into this council and that council, and the amount of writing that he has to do is very great. It would not be wise for me to open matters to him which he has no power to change or relieve. His work is an important one, and I feel it no duty to crowd in matters which he has neither time to consider nor power to help. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 1

Brother Prescott laid out before me the plans for meetings to be held for weeks in different places among those who know the truth. Doubtless some who have newly come to the faith would be benefited, but I know you are not on the right track. Some of those called together will no doubt have their faith strengthened and confirmed; but this work is not bearing the message of warning to those who are still in darkness and error, who know not the truth. Time is passing, the perils of the last days are upon us, and how many will say to us in the last great day, when every man shall receive according to his works, “Why have you not warned us? You have not told us those things that we should have known.” 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 2

Christ says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] Let our ministers go forth weighted with the solemn message of warning. When men have had every advantage to obtain a knowledge of the truth how shall plans be laid to keep our laborers from the work of saving souls in the darkness of error? The time is short. Let the message of warning be given, clear and distinct. The Lord is coming to execute judgment upon all who obey not the gospel. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 3

Enoch in his day sounded the proclamation of the coming of Christ, and the execution of judgment upon the unrighteous; and we now see the fulfillment of Enoch’s prophecy concerning the great wickedness that should abound. But those who have the light are the very ones commissioned of God to make constant, aggressive warfare. As the inquiry shall be made, “Watchman, what of the night?” The faithful message is to be heard in response, “The morning cometh, and also the night.” [Isaiah 21:11, 12.] The influence of truth is too much restricted. Let men who know the truth be urged to communicate truth to those in darkness. Many are satisfied with a view of truth, but they have not yet stepped into their place to communicate that which they have received. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 4

God has let men feel the power of truth, but they are not all doing their appointed work in seeking to save that which was lost. Everyone is to have the armor on, prepared to win others to obedience of the law of God. I see so much given to those who already have. These wonderful meetings for those who wish to get more strength are depriving the world of the very work that should be done. Our ministers should now be working for the saving of the lost. The weeks spent in gatherings to fit men for work might better, far better, be spent in going to the highways and the hedges with the proclamation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 5

To those who obey the light they have, illumination will come from on high, for the heavenly messengers are waiting to co-operate with men in warning a deceived, sinful world. When the people of God engage in this work with real travail of soul, there will be manifest a decided change in cities and villages. This hovering about churches to keep them propped up makes them more dependent on human effort. They learn to lean on the experience of their fellow men, and do not make God their dependence and their efficiency. It is time that cities and villages everywhere were hearing the solemn note of warning, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” [Revelation 1:7.] Get ready, that you may be found of Him in peace. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 6

I entreat you whom God has favored with a knowledge of the truth, Go to work; there is work to do everywhere. The fields are all white unto the harvest. Sowers and reapers are needed just now. The time you devote to imparting constantly to those who understand the message of warning will not give one tithe of the strength which they would receive in taking hold of the work to communicate light to save perishing souls. Angels are waiting to bless the consecrated workers. The parable of the lost sheep should be a lesson to every soul who has been rescued from the snare of Satan. We are not to hover over the ninety and nine, but to go forth to save the lost, hunting them up in the wilderness of the large cities and towns. In this work the laborers will be led to feel their weakness, and they will flee to the stronghold. The divine presence will be with them to give strength and courage and faith and hope. The truehearted workers will be laborers together with God. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 7

The warnings that Christ gave to Jerusalem were not to end with them. The judgments upon Jerusalem were a symbol of the events of Christ’s coming to judgment in the last day, when before Him shall be gathered all nations. “He shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect, from one end of heaven to the other.” [Matthew 24:31.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 8

Every true follower of Christ has a work to do. God has given to every man his work. A few are now pointing to the roll of fast fulfilling prophecy, and proclaiming, Get ready, show your obedience to God by keeping His commandments. This is no time for the messengers of God to stop to prop up those who know the truth, and who have every advantage. Let them go on to lift the standard and give the warning, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! go ye out to meet him.” [Matthew 25:6.] Many who hear the message—by far the greatest number—will not credit the solemn warning. Many will be found disloyal to the commandments of God, which are a test of character. The Lord’s servants will be called enthusiasts. Ministers will warn the people not to listen to them. Noah received the same treatment while the Spirit of God was urging him to give the message, whether men would hear, or whether they would forbear. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 9

Come when it may, the advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers, who are saying, Peace and safety; all things continue as they were from the beginning. Thus saith the Word of inspiration, “Sudden destruction cometh upon them.” [1 Thessalonians 5:3.] The day of God shall come as a snare upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. It comes to them as a prowling thief. “If the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” [Matthew 24:43.] Habitual watching is our only safety. We must be ever ready, that that day may not overtake us as a thief. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 10

Let everyone who loves God consider that now, while it is day, is the time to work, not among the sheep already in the fold, but to go out in search of the lost and perishing ones. These need to have special help to bring them back to the fold. Now is the time for the careless to arouse from their slumber. Now is the time to entreat that souls shall not only hear the Word of God, but without delay secure oil in their vessels with their lamps. That oil is the righteousness of Christ. It represents character, and character is not transferable. No man can secure it for another. Each must obtain for himself a character purified from every stain of sin. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 11

The Lord is coming in power and great glory. It will then be His work to make a complete separation between the righteous and the wicked. But the oil cannot then be transferred to the vessels of those who have it not. Then shall be fulfilled the words of Christ, “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” [Luke 17:35, 36.] The righteous and the wicked are to associate together in the work of life. But the Lord reads the character, He discerns who are obedient children, who respect and love His commandments. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 12

The looker-on may discern no difference, but there is One who said that the tares were not to be plucked up by human hands, lest the wheat be rooted up also. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” [Malachi 3:17.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 13

Those who have been obedient to God’s commandments will unite with the company of the saints in light; they shall enter in through the gates into the city, and have right to the tree of life. The one shall be taken. His name shall stand in the book of life, while those with whom he associated shall have the mark of eternal separation from God. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 14

The tares and wheat are now commingled, but then the one hand that alone can separate them will give to everyone his true position. Those who have had the light of truth and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper,—farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night—all who have refused obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein. Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. Men choose to stand with the first rebel, who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden to disobey God. The tares multiply themselves, for they sow tares, and they have their part with the root of all sin—the devil. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 15

Upon those who keep the commandments of God the benediction is pronounced, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] They are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;” that they should show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. [1 Peter 2:9.] The obedient are called the just; they are drawn to the holy Magnet, Jesus Christ! The holy attracts the holy. He that is unjust will be unjust still. Character cannot then be made or transformed. The oil of grace cannot be lent by one to another, neither have the foolish virgins time to buy oil for themselves. The righteous are those who keep the commandments of God, and they will be forever separated from the disobedient and unrighteous, who trample under foot the law of God. The pure ore and the dross will no longer commingle. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 16

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household?” [Matthew 24:45.] Can we answer? Am I the steward, faithful to the sacred trust which is committed to me? To every man is given an individual responsibility. The watchmen have their specific work, to discern the approach of danger and sound the note of warning. The soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ are to have ears keen to hear. In their position of responsibility they are to give the trumpet a certain sound, that everyone may gird on the armor for action. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 17

What work are we individually doing for the Master? Who are unfolding the truth to those who are in the darkness of error? Who are holding forth the words of life? The enemies of Christ are many, who, while they claim to be righteous, have not the righteousness of Christ. They disguise themselves as angels of light, but they are ministers of sin. This fact should be sufficient to stir every soul to action. Who are faithful stewards of the grace of Christ? Who are making wise division of labor, calling into active service every soul that has an intelligent knowledge of the truth, and giving to all a work to do? 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 18

The outposts are to be kept guarded. There are to be men to hold the fort, while the advancing forces are engaged in active warfare. To every man is given his work. We are not to echo the words of those in error, but to inculcate ideas of truth. Our work is to benefit our fellow men. We are not to travel over the track of opponents to the truth, but to sound the message of the third angel who is flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming the note of warning, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 19

Those who are do-nothings now will have the superscription upon them, “Weighed in the balance, and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] They knew their Master’s will, but did it not. They had the light of truth, they had every advantage, but chose their own selfish interests, and they will be left with those whom they did not try to save. “But, and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 24:48-51.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 20

Let there be an earnest consideration of these words. Let none say, “That does not mean me: I am a Christian.” Who says this? yourself, or He who reads the heart? The unfaithful servant had solemn responsibilities entrusted to him; before the world he appeared as a servant of Christ, but O, how deplorable for himself, and for all connected with him, he is an evil servant. He is imperiling his Lord’s goods. He is teaching souls to trample upon the holy law of God. He calls Christ, My Lord. But he says, “My lord delayeth his coming.” [Verse 48.] He does not say that Christ will not come; he does not scoff at the idea of His second coming; but he tells the people that His coming is delayed. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 21

He is removing from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. Thus they are off their watch, and they echo the words of the unfaithful watcher; still others catch them up, and the evil spreads, and men are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Their course is downward, not upward; they are not looking for and hasting unto the day of God. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 22

The evil servant smites his fellow servants who are striving to do the will of his Lord. He eats and drinks with the drunken, those who are carnally minded, notwithstanding their profession of Christianity. They are opposed to Christ and the work He came to our world to do, which was to live the law of God in humanity, to be an example to all humanity. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 23

Christ was surrounded by His disciples, and a vast congregation was listening to His words when He said, “Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you unawares.” “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” [Luke 21:34; 1 Corinthians 10:12.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 24

Dear Brother Olsen, I have received from Dr. Kellogg a letter of inquiry in reference to the building of a chapel for the sanitarium. I have written him that this proposition appears to me consistent; years ago I was shown that such a building should be erected. The teaching in the Tabernacle is often too strong for babes. It is such advanced truth as is appropriate for those who have progressed step by step, but is not suited to those who have not a knowledge of the truth. The doctrinal discourses are not of a character to melt and subdue the heart. These souls need to be taught of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, of the sanctification of soul, body, and spirit, of the amazing love of God. In the simplicity and meekness and lowliness of Christ let the Word be spoken. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 25

The seekers after truth will inquire to know the reasons of our faith; they will desire that lessons be given upon the Sabbath question, and then the truth can be unfolded to them gradually as they are able to bear it. All who have a knowledge of the truth should realize their responsibility, and be exceedingly careful to make straight paths for their own feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 26

The very fact of having a church in connection with the sanitarium will give character to our work. It will be a testimony that we are seeking the eternal good of all who are brought within the sphere of our influence. The sanitarium presents a vineyard to be worked, it is God’s vineyard, and it needs consecrated ability. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 27

Let not Pharisaism prevail. There are plenty of subjects to dwell upon to win hearts, and wisdom should be exercised by every teacher. All should remember that they are addressing people who have no knowledge of the third angel’s message. It is Greek to them. Let those who have any part in connection with the sanitarium speak and act circumspectly. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 28

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal prayer also for us, that God will open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” [Colossians 4:2-6.] 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 29

Precious, precious words! Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, which has preserving qualities. Let the believers be sober, and watch unto prayer, and in everything represent Christ, that in the judgment they may meet the souls with whom they have been associated, and say, I have done for these souls all that I could do. The love of Christ dwelling in the heart will be revealed in the spirit and temper. The heavenly, sanctifying power can be indeed a savor of life unto life, quelling every tumultuous passion, and winning souls to Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 30

O that love, the love of Jesus, might well up in the soul like a stream in the desert, refreshing all, and winning many to the cross of Calvary! “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Isaiah 58:11.] Let those who make the outlay of means to build a house for God have proportionate zeal in winning souls to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 31

Brother Olsen, we should give much more labor to the souls that are not of Christ, the souls that have not the truth. Can we not consider that all who are disloyal to God and who are transgressing His holy laws shall have no place in the paradise of God? How earnest should be the human agent that the truth in all its purity shall be proclaimed in cities, in villages, from the rivers to the ends of the earth. God help His people to awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound. 10LtMs, Lt 64a, 1895, par. 32