Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 108, 1896

Wessels, Philip

Adelaide, South Australia

October 14, 1896

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 385-392.

Brother Philip Wessels:

It is only one o’clock, but I cannot sleep. I feel a burden for you, for you have forsaken the Lord. But the Lord has not forsaken Philip Wessels. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 1

For several mornings before I left Cooranbong I was passing through interesting scenes with you. Again and again had your case been urged upon my mind. The parable scene found in (Matthew 25:14-23) was presented before me. This is the last of the many parables in His public teachings given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Early in the morning He had crossed the Mount. He gave them the warning in regard to His second appearing in the clouds of heaven. Chapter 24:36. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, but the angels not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” “But this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” [Verse 14.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 2

Satan is working with untiring energy to bring in every conceivable error, and to engross the minds of men and women so that they shall not give heed to the warnings of God. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” [Verses 37-41.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 3

Why did the inhabitants of the Noachic world know not the day of their visitation? Because they did not have warnings? No, but because they did not heed the message God sent them through Noah (Genesis 6:5-7, 11-13). God gave directions to Noah to build an ark on dry land, and to warn the people. Noah gave the message of the Lord to the large population upon the earth—he gave it by voice, and then showed his faith by his works in building the ark. God gave him exact directions for building this ark. “And 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. But the Lord gave men [a period of] probation of one hundred and twenty years. During this probation, Noah and his employed carpenters worked upon the ark, but the inhabitants regarded the message of Noah as an idle tale, and [their attitude toward] the building of the ark [was] as one that mocked. They would not believe the message. They charged Noah with being deluded, and they kept planting and building and marrying and giving in marriage, utterly regardless of the solemn message sent them of God. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 4

Day by day they were stirred with an intensity of activity by the power of Satan to contradict by precept and example the solemn message proclaimed in their ears, as though their unbelief and settled rejection of the message would make it of no account. But time passed. They were more full of their idolatrous business transactions and vileness and crime than ever before; they forgot God, [and] put Him out of their thoughts to make of none effect His solemn warnings. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 5

Noah’s faith and works were united. The building of the ark went on amid the jeers and the ridicule and the scoffing of old and young. When they saw the last sign given—the provisions for man and beast taken into the ark—then mirth and revelry and mocking increased. When they saw the beasts come from the forests to the door of the ark, and Noah take them in, they had so long resisted, so long denied the message that God had given them, that they had educated themselves to resist; reason was perverted by gratification of appetite and lo, carnal amusements; they denied the Lord God that bought them, and conscience had become unimpressible. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 6

They saw the heavens darkened, and they had to wonder what it meant. The air was filled with birds of all kinds presenting themselves by sevens to be taken into the ark. The animal creation was obedient to the drawing of God, while man, possessing reasoning power, was closing every avenue of the soul so that the Spirit of God might not be entertained and break up their life or carnal pleasures—their eating and drinking, and their practicing of all kinds of iniquity in order to testify to their unbelief and to their determination to carry out their ambitious projects. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 7

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. ... And Noah did as the Lord commanded him ... And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. ... And the Lord shut him in.” “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month ... were all the great fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” [Genesis 7:1, 5, 7, 16, 11, 12.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 8

The water prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days, and the wicked inhabitants of the earth all perished in the flood. They “knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:39. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 9

The warning message is to be given to the world in these last days, and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many waxeth cold. The question is asked, When the Lord cometh, will he find faith on the earth? The warning is given, “Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” [Verses 42-45.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 10

They must have truth, present truth, appropriate for the times in which they are living. The message of warning must be given to the world, as Noah gave the message of warning to the antediluvians. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing”—giving his household “meat in due season.” “Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants (who is watching and giving meat in due season), and to eat and to drink with the drunken (to absorb his mind and time in this world’s enterprises and turn away from the service of God); 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 shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:46-51. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 11

“Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded his porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:33-37. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 12

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” Matthew 25:14. (Please read verses 15-36.) It is plainly revealed here that more is embraced than merely earthly, temporal employments. It is more than worldly goods which the Lord has committed to our keeping. Bear in mind eternity: do not cast this out of your reckoning. Make no mistakes here where eternal interests are involved. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 13

To you and your brother Peter have been committed talents to be used to the glory of God, not to be buried up in worldly enterprises. Let not yourself, my brother, take satisfaction that you are possessed with talents to accumulate worldly goods, unless you turn these talents to account for him who bestowed them. Let not Satan longer fasten delusion upon you. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 14

Christ has paid the wages of His own blood, of His own sufferings, to secure your servitude and entire obedience. Do you feel your responsibilities in these matters regarding the committed trust? Have you forgotten that you have a loan from the Master to invest in work for Him, to advance His glory? Do you not consider that He made you a steward of His grace, [and has] given you endowments for a sacred, higher trust? He can make the humblest service become a consecrated gift if exercised and employed in doing the Master’s bidding and promoting His glory. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 15

Ye are called to be God’s workmen. You have had zeal for the Master, but things did not move in some directions as you thought they should, and you became fault-finding, censorious, impatient, passionate. You could never represent your Saviour in that way, and you finally became discouraged. The Lord knows all about it. You must not stand where you are, for you are in great peril of losing your soul. Satan will devise every way but cutting off your life to secure you to himself. Christ says, I have prayed for Philip Wessels; I am waiting for him to seek My face. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 16

You loved your Bible, and you loved to study it; it was precious to you, better than a collection of syllables and words. The Spirit of God is drawing you, and He will pardon your transgressing His commandments, which is a terrible dishonor to God and terrible against yourself. Turn ye, turn ye for why will ye die? “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 17

“With long life will I satisfy” you, saith the Lord. [Psalm 91:16.] “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] God has been true to you, but it is you that has forsaken God. You cannot extinguish your lamp so that it shall not be a light to the world and yet walk in the light. He who shall choose to walk in the light of the fire of his own kindling shall lie down in sorrow. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 18

I am deeply concerned about you and your prosperity. No man’s prosperity can be built up upon the ruins of truth. I entreat you for your soul’s sake, no longer to dishonor God. Your heart is not satisfied. He who loveth silver shall not be satisfied with it. He who says to the pure gold, Be thou my confident, may for a time appear to prosper, but he will sooner or later find that he has pierced himself through with many sorrows. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 19

Whenever the will of God is violated by nations or by individuals, a day of retribution comes, as surely as rivers that burst their banks carry devastation before them. “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance, with increase.” [Ecclesiastes 5:10.] God has spoken. Will you hear His voice? “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 20

It is a very sad thing for you to have departed from God’s commandments. The Lord loves your mother, and she needs the help which you could give her; she needs the help which Peter can give her. These elder brothers should stand firm as a rock to principle, and be counsellors to the younger members of the family. You are both needed, and you should do all in you power to relieve your mother of unnecessary burdens. Her life has been one of storm and wrestling, sorrow and keen anguish. You cannot appreciate this as I can, for I have seen it. Honor your mother and sustain her influence, for God is with her. Refuse not to be illuminated with the light which irradiates all who will walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Grovel not amid material things, neglecting the spiritual and heavenly. Do not lose sight of eternity. The end is near, make no delay. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 21

Jesus says, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] No longer grieve the heart of Christ. God calls for you to come! Take your position under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. Enthrone the Bible in your heart, and live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. 11LtMs, Lt 108, 1896, par. 22