Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 29, 1895

Converted Men Needed In All Departments of the Work



Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 58-59; 3MR 37-38; MRmnt 123. +Note

None should be employed in any branch of the cause who have not a living connection with God. It is only in the humble, contrite heart that Christ abides. When men reveal that they have not, and do not see the necessity of having, a pure, clean heart, do not place them on any council, whatever their calling, influence, or position may be. Better choose humble men who honor God and keep His commandments than those who have long been connected with the work, but who by their practice have brought it down on a level with common business transactions. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 1

Converted men, who love and honor God, will fear to move in their own counsel. They will realize that their efforts can prove successful only as recognized by Him without whose blessing there is no prosperity. Apart from God, nothing is wise, nothing is holy; but His blessing, the one who practices unrighteousness cannot receive. It is a most terrible thing to place common and sacred things on a level. For years this has been becoming prevalent and is separating the human agents from God. To handle sacred things as common matters is an offense to God. That which God has recognized and set apart to do Him service in giving light to our world is holy, and when men undertake to pronounce judgment upon it, they are attempting a work which God has not given them. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 2

In the publishing house the machinery of the manufacturing department may be run by men who understand and are skillful in its management. But how easy it would be to leave one little screw, one little part of the machinery out of order, because the memory was not as faithful as it should be. How disastrous might be the result. A great loss might be sustained, and lives be sacrificed. Who has prevented casualties? The angels of God have supervision of the work. If the eyes of those who run the machinery could be opened, they would discern the heavenly guardianship over all the work. A divine intelligence moves upon the human mind and keeps the memory active. In every room in the publishing house where work is done, there is a witness taking note of the spirit in which the labor is performed, and making the fidelity and unselfishness revealed. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 3

Many have failed to realize the sacredness of the work in which they are engaged. Its exalted character should be kept before the workers, both by precept and example. Let all read the directions given by Christ to Moses, requiring every man to be in his place, and to do the part of the work to which he was appointed and set apart. If, in putting up or taking down the tabernacle, any man was found out of his place, or ventured upon any officious action in handling the sacred ark or bearing it, that man was put to death. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 4

Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, were not careful to cherish a high sense of the sacredness of the sanctuary service. They “took either of them his censor, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fires from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” Mark the following words: “Then Moses said to Aaron, This is that the Lord spake saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” [Leviticus 10:1-3.] Will we consider this? Special directions were given that none should show signs of mourning. There was to be no uncovering of the head, no rending of the garments. Not a semblance of reflection should be cast upon God, whose judgment had fallen upon these desecraters of holy things. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 5

The special charge was given to Aaron, “Do not drink wine or strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.” Mark the reasons given: “That ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” [Verses 9-11.] Read the whole of the tenth chapter of Leviticus. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 6

The Lord gave special directions in regard to everything connected with His work. He is jealous for His honor. He says, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” [Verse 3.] The proclamation of His truth, that is to shine amid the moral darkness of the world, is a work over which God and the heavenly angels have supervision. And those who have any connection with that work are to walk, not in the vanity of their own spirit and wisdom, but in the wisdom of God. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 7

Where are the special monuments of God’s workings among men, if not in our institutions, which are His instrumentalities to preserve the knowledge of His honor and glory, that His name should be feared? The publishing house has been solemnly dedicated to God. It should be looked upon as the Lord’s, a place where His work is being done, and where men are to walk uprightly, being divested of selfishness and covetousness, which is idolatry. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 8

If, after a sufficient period of trial, it is found that any of the workers have not a conscientious regard for sacred things; if they slight the messengers whom God sends; if they turn their hearts away from the message and show no interest in the special work for this time, they should be separated from the work, and others should be chosen to engage in it who will receive the light God sends to His people, and will walk in the light. Whenever men think themselves at liberty to reject or accept the Word of God by His servants as they please, those in charge of the work should take action in their case. It is not safe to retain them in the work, for they are rejecting the only means by which they could be reproved or corrected. The enemy will work through such ones to carry out his own devices, and those who retain them in any position of trust, after their refusal to receive admonition, are dishonoring God. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 9

This work should have been faithfully done years ago. Every year that it has been neglected has confirmed men in their resistance and defiance. Let any man become elated with the idea that he is a necessity, that the work cannot go on without him, and the whole work will bear the impress of his presumption and his disregard of sacred things. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 10

Whatever the position we are called to fill, our only safety is in walking humbly with God. The man who glories in his supposed capabilities, in his property, in his position of power, in his wisdom, or in anything else than Christ, will be taken in Satan’s net. Not a ray of glory is to be diverted to any human agent. He who fails to walk humbly before God will find a spirit rising up with him, prompting the desire to rule others connected with him, and causing him to oppress those who are human and erring like himself. He appropriates to himself the honor, which belongs to God, of jurisdiction and control over other men. This is not to be tolerated. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 11

The worst thing that can be done is to uphold those who have little respect for God’s authority or for His manner of working in giving the truth to the world. To keep such men in high office, the very highest and holiest positions that mortals can have, where they are called upon to make decisions that affect the prosperity of the work of God, is to assume a fearful responsibility. They may be honored as counsellors, but God is not honored or glorified by them as chosen representatives of His work. They do not recognize God in the work He has given His messengers to do. It is not possible for men to have a living connection with God while they refuse to receive the message He sends. They may lay plans which may be thought to be wise, but without God as a counsellor, their plans will prove to be a snare. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 12

The last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, and the experience of the king in connection with it, have lessons of vital importance to all who are connected with the work of God. The king was troubled by his dream. It was evidently a prediction of adversity, and none of his wise men would attempt to interpret it. The servant of God was summoned. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 13

The faithful Daniel stood before the king, not to flatter, not to misinterpret in order to secure favor. A solemn duty rested upon him, to tell the king of Babylon the truth. He said, “My Lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth, whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation, it is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion unto the ends of the earth. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 14

“And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king: that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee till thou know that the Most High ruleth the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots, thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” [Daniel 4:19-27.] 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 15

Do we regard the kingdom of Babylon as of more importance in the estimation of God than are the instrumentalities and responsibilities He has entrusted to His chosen people, upon whom the ends of the world are come? We have here the workings of the great I AM to change even the heart of an heathen king. There is a Watcher just as really taking cognizance of all the works of the children of men, but in a special sense of those who are to represent God by receiving His sacred truth into the heart and revealing it to the world. The workers in our institutions are far more accountable than was the king of Babylon, for his course of action is laid out before us, and we may learn therefrom the lesson God desires to teach us. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 16

There are those who need to learn that the heavenly universe is acquainted with all the works of the children of men. I pray that the Lord God of Israel may impress it upon our responsible men that if they turn from His word to their human ideas and plans, they are without excuse. A spirit has been coming in that God abominates—a spirit of selfishness, self-exaltation, pomposity. It is time that there was a change in the program. He that sitteth in the heavens requires that a different spirit shall control the proceedings of councils and committees. The principles practiced are not only detrimental to all within the sphere of their action, but they will lead to development of character so objectionable that its possessor cannot find a place among the redeemed. In all your assemblies there is present a Watcher who will not long bear with the perversity of men that have had so great light and so great opportunities. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 17

In the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, the true object of government is beautifully represented by the great tree “whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation.” [Verse 21.] Now, if God had called a man, or any set of men at Battle Creek to rule in any sense, that representation of the tree shows the only kind of ruling acceptable to Him—a government that protects, restores, relieves, but never savors of oppression. The poor, especially, are to be kindly treated. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Aid is to be given to the oppressed, and not one soul that bears the image of God is to be placed at the footstool of a human being. The greatest possible kindness and freedom are to be granted to the purchase of the blood of Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 18

As king Nebuchadnezzar walked in his palace, he said within himself, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” [Daniel 4:30.] 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 19

The God of heaven read the heart of the king and heard its whisperings of self gratulation. “While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon king Nebuchadnezzar.” [Verses 31-33.] 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 20

That Watcher who is guarding the interests of all men, sees all that has been done in Battle Creek. Every individual is before Him. There is not a thought of the heart that is unnoted. There is not a plan or imagination but the Lord sees. Nothing can be hid from Him. His ear can hear the secret whispering, and every secret thing is to be brought into judgment. Let those who suppose that the Lord has given them a measuring line, wherewith to measure character, and who climb upon the judgment seat to pass sentence upon others, remember that in all the secret councils as well as the open councils, there is a Watcher. God’s eye is reading men, measuring men. Unless they humble their hearts before Him, those who have responsibilities to bear will make grievous mistakes. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 21

What was the sin of king Nebuchadnezzar? Pride; he placed himself where God should be. What was the retribution? Degradation; his reason was taken from him. The Lord will chastise His people. Those who are true at heart will see that His purpose is not merely to separate the sin from the sinner, but by His own light to reveal the sin which led the soul away from God, and which would be its ruin unless corrected. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 22

From the history of characters described in the Word of God, we learn that prosperity is dangerous to spiritual life. It is not those who have lost their property that are most likely to forget God; it is those who have a measure of prosperity or who have been successful in their plans. The cup that is most difficult to carry, is not the one that is empty, but the one that is full to the brim. This must be balanced with nice precision. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 23

To be restricted for want of means is, as I can testify, a great inconvenience; but prosperity too often leads to self-exaltation. Men feel that they are masters, and that others are dependent on them. Here is deception, delusion, and presumption, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity. These deceived ones turn away their fellow men from their rights. Every man in a position of trust is to respect and treat kindly every other man. Let none feel that they are too great and too wise to follow the example of Christ. When a little power is placed in their hands, let them not do as did the king of Babylon in his self-approbation. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 24

“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” [Malachi 4:1, 2.] 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 25

When in the synagogue at Nazareth Christ read to the people from the roll of the prophet Isaiah, He stood as the divine Interpreter of the Scripture which He Himself had inspired holy men to write. He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel unto the poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] How terrible the blindness of the men of Nazareth that after their hearts had responded to the Holy Spirit’s power, they became so enraged as to try to take the life of the Son of God. That history should be kept before you as an exhibition of the result of hardening the heart in unbelief and pride. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 26

How different the course of king Nebuchadnezzar. Under the rebuke of God, his proud heart was humbled. He acknowledged Jehovah as the living God: Come, all ye that fear God, and I will make known what he hath done for my soul. I have seen the greatness, I have tasted the goodness of God. It is now my wish that all the people of my realm shall learn what I have learned, that the God that they should worship is no golden image, but He who made the heavens and the earth. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 27

“At the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes to heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the king of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.” [Daniel 4:34-37.] 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 28

Thus the king upon the Babylonian throne became a witness for God. He presents himself as a living epistle, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent from a grateful heart, that was partaking of the mercy and grace and righteousness and peace of the divine nature. 10LtMs, Ms 29, 1895, par. 29