Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 7, 1895

Bollman, C. P.

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W., Australia

October 20, 1895 [typed]

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 101-107. +Note

Dear Brother:

I have again read the letter which was sent to you, and I cannot find in it anything that needs to perplex you. We are not to be dependent on the world in a manner to compromise the truth; we are not to be bribed or to attain the world’s favor by bowing to the laws of men and setting aside the law of God; we are not to be brought in bondage to the world; and yet we are in the world to live as long as God shall permit, and the Lord has given us a special work to do to save the world. He says, “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 7, 1895, par. 1

We may present pure doctrines, yet if our work is mingled with self, it depreciates the truth, so that our offering is pronounced by God “strange fire.” [Leviticus 10:1.] It strengthens the prejudice of those who know not the truth, for they judge of our doctrines by the words and works of those who advocate them. If these are not such as to represent its sacredness and value, unbelievers are often led to turn from light and evidence. They may receive altogether wrong ideas, and misrepresent the truth to others because of the impressions that have been given them. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 2

God has given us His holy Word, and His Word is to be presented in the grace of His Holy Spirit. When men permit their peculiar traits of character and their own unpurified spirit to misrepresent the pure and holy truths which God has committed to them, they cause the loss of many souls who might have been saved if the human agents had been meek, humble, and contrite of heart. It is only as one has learned of Jesus the precious lesson of preserving the fragrance of His character that the Spirit and Word are a savor of life unto life. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 3

Jesus said in His last prayer for His disciples, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [John 17:18.] We are to study and cherish the meekness of Christ; we are not to condemn the world, but to save the world by being the means of winning souls to Christ. The Saviour continues, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. ... For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” [Verses 15-17, 19, 20.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 4

Those who believe on Christ will bear testimony of the fact to the world. They will seek as Christ did, to save every human being, and not repulse any. They are to sanctify themselves through belief of the truth. They have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from every spot and stain of sin. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 5

The world is watching to see what manner of spirit is revealed by the men and women who claim to believe such strange doctrines. This message of truth must be so proclaimed by human lips, so represented by human character, that many by seeing our good works will glorify our Father in heaven. Your harsh speeches will not convince any soul. Christ has called us to sound the invitation, “Whosoever will, let him come.” [See Revelation 22:17.] It depends very much upon how you give the invitation whether you are successful. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 6

Will those who claim to believe the truth practice the principles of the truth which sanctifies the soul? In this, the closing period of the earth’s history, let not men be careless in words or acts, let them not indulge a masterful spirit, and provoke the wrath of their enemies. Let not any soul who claims to believe the truth give others occasion to conclude that he is not a Christian, because he talks and acts like a sinner. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 7

There are many who have never had the light. They are deceived by their teachers, and they have not received the mark of the beast. The Lord is working with them; he has not left them to their own ways. Until they shall be convicted of the truth, and trample upon the evidence given to enlighten them, the Lord will not withdraw His grace from them. Let all that hold the truth, hold it in righteousness. Let them, in words and actions, reveal what the truth is doing for these natural branches that are grafted into the olive tree. Let them at all times give evidence that they are partaking of the nourishment from the parent stock, and bear fruit exactly like that of the stock. The Spirit of Christ is our great need. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 8

Let none who have received the truth cherish the spirit of the Pharisees, and make it appear prominent that they want nothing from the powers that be. God does not give any such burden. We may make a very hard time for ourselves, and bring reproach upon the cause of God, if we feel that we are doing God’s service in following our own human impulse. We are not to put on the armor and battle to arouse the combative spirit of our enemies, and to provoke them to fight and to destroy. Our influence is to be of such a character that we shall not unnecessarily stir up angry feelings and arouse the enmity of those who do not believe as we do. We are bidden to be a savor of life unto life. Humanity costs too much to be treated as worthless. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 9

We are not to withdraw from association with others; we cannot do this and be laborers together with God. The Lord does not desire any man to wrap himself up in Pharisaical robes, and say, “Stand apart from me: I want no favors from you.” Christ says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 10

The inhumanity of man toward man is our greatest sin. God is yet present in our world to work through the children of men, and He would not have His people imitate the practices of the Jewish nation. They would not then be a wholesome, saving element in the world. Jesus says, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” [Verse 13.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 11

“Without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Now the condition, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” [John 15:5-12.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 12

This is the principle that needs to be cultivated. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [Verses 13, 14.] In submission to the principles of the law of God is our only safety. The world is in great need of salt, which Christian precept and practice can introduce into it. The world is following in the steps of the inhabitants of the Noachian world and of the Sodomites. Of the days of Noah it is written, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” [Genesis 6:5.] And Jude says, “Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” [Verse 7.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 13

Here is presented to us a state of things which has been, and history will be repeated. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” [Verses 14, 15.] Then Jude speaks, “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. ... But ye, beloved, building up yourselves,” not with boastful words, and a masterful human spirit, but “on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 14

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” [Verses 17, 18, 20-23.] Let those who claim to have great light and spiritual knowledge be careful that their garments are not defiled. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” [Verses 24, 25.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 15

Let this chapter be prayerfully and carefully considered. It is plain that aggressive warfare is to be maintained. “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Then, lest men should put on zeal of their own creating, born of their hereditary and cultivated traits of character, and count it true zeal for God, permitting Satan to get advantage of them in so doing, Jude presents the example of Christ. He says, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” [Verse 9.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 16

These instructions are not at all contradictory, but are in perfect harmony. They enable us to see the truth, not on one side merely, but on all sides, as perfectly and harmoniously developed. All the intrusted qualifications of the human agent are to be yielded to divine influences, all are to be brought in subjection to Christ. Self is to be hid in Christ, and Christ in God. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 17

The instruction given by Jude from verse twenty to the close of the chapter will make our work a complete whole, teaching us how to conduct the warfare in the service of Christ. No one-sided extravagance is to be revealed, no indolence or shiftlessness is to be indulged. We are not to ignore any man’s individuality, nor in any way to justify cold-hearted criticism or selfish practice. This Scripture brings to view the fact that there is most earnest work to be done, and we need divine intuition that we may know how to work for souls ready to perish. There are souls to be plucked out of the fire; there are souls who are to be treated with the tenderest compassion. Workers are needed who have learned in the school of Christ His method of saving souls, and He has given us His way. 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 18

There is a wealth of instruction for us in Matthew 18. And let us give heed to the words of Paul to the Philippian brethren: “Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel: and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” [Philippians 1:27-29.] 10LtMs, Lt 7, 1895, par. 19