Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 109, 1896

Wessels, Philip

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

July 1896

Previously unpublished. +Note

Mr. Phillip Wessels
Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa

My Dear Brother:

I have a message for you from the Master: “Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” [Isaiah 56:1, 2.] “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourself about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.” [Isaiah 50:10, 11.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 1

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him, and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” [Isaiah 57:15-21.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 2

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” “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. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-9.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 3

You have been estranged from God; yet He looks on you with pitying tenderness, and His declaration to you is, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Isaiah 1:19, 20.] Your heart has not been right with God, and He is saying to you, as He said to Elijah, “What doest thou here, Philip?” [1 Kings 19:9.] You have wasted much time, and lost many opportunities, but you are still in that place where you can hear God speaking to you. “Take heed how ye hear.” [Luke 8:18.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 4

It was in the providence of God that you went to Battle Creek. There were advantages to be gained in that place, but there were also disadvantages to be shunned. If you had kept hold of the hand of Jesus, you would have been safely led through. But at the time of your visit, a heavenly influence did not prevail there. Some who were standing in positions of responsibility were prepared to help you, but others, instead of helping you, only laid stumbling blocks in your path, and filled your mind with that which increased your inclination to criticize. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 5

The selfishness and the desire to be first, which they brought into their work, spoiled their Christian character, and their theories, though delivered with much assurance, were in many respects the result of their own unsanctified imaginings. The instruction you received from them in regard to the royalties received on books <was not truth> [and] did not in any way benefit you. Had you laid to heart the instruction given you which you had a “Thus saith the Lord” for its authority, you would have been able to distinguish between the genuine and the spurious; you would not have been deceived by statements which were the invention of men who were unconsecrated, whose hearts and minds were not in harmony with God. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 6

Brother and Sister Palmer were in no condition to help you; they were not in a position to help anyone; for their own eyes needed the heavenly anointing. They were self-centered, they were not consecrated to God; they needed to go up into the mount and talk with Him. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 7

As you heard the criticisms of those around you, you caught the spiritual malaria. You became so engrossed in finding fault with things in Battle Creek, of which you had no understanding, that you neglected to gather up that which would help you. The precious, soul-saving truth became buried up, and nearly lost. You did not keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, but looked at those things which you thought were wrong in your brethren. Had a commission been given you to fight for the ideas you received, you would have made a valiant soldier. Had you kept your hand in the hand of Christ, you would have been led safely; but you did not eat and drink of Christ <continually,> the bread and water of life, and therefore your spiritual nourishment did not supply you with vital energy. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 8

In this spirit you returned to South Africa. Self rose up. A masterly power took possession of your mind, and you greatly desired to see your own plans and ideas carried out. But God would not permit this, because you did not see things in a right light. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 9

My brother, you can always find imperfections in those around you. But suppose that you cease to think of the imperfections which you saw while in Battle Creek. Do not try to disentangle them. We own that they existed; but the more you dwell upon things of this character, the more confused and criticizing you will become. It is natural for you to criticize; but stop, and look at yourself. Are your ways without a flaw? No, no, no. Your criticism of others has not brought one atom of relief to your own soul, or to any one who has come within the sphere of your influence. By indulging in it, you have scattered away from Christ, rather than gathered with Him. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 10

Turn away from those who would tempt you to eat of the tree of knowledge forbidden by God, for the knowledge gained from that source will fill your mind with evil surmisings, and with sympathy for yourself. You will be led to regard yourself as a <misused> man. You have been misused, for men who were themselves outside of the light have tried to enlighten you with their shadow <of darkness,> and though you did not realize that you were opening your heart to darkness and error, yet your mind has been darkened and poisoned with mischievous suspicions and false theories. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 11

I have grieved over this matter, for I have a great interest in your case; but I have not been able to see how I could break the spell that was upon you. It is the adversary’s special device to use in his service every human agent he can control, in order that he may corrupt the minds of the people of God. But how long is he to keep you by his side? My brother, I entreat you to turn your face heavenward. Look to Jesus, and learn of Him. If you are yoked up with Him, your heart will not be filled with passion because your plans and methods are not made the plans and methods of your brethren. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 12

You have backslidden from God. When you first accepted the truth, and felt the power of the love of God, you could talk of what Christ had done for you, because the candle of the Lord shone about you. But you no longer speak for Christ as you once did. If you are in worldly society, you talk of worldly things. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by departing from your Leader. You have had precious opportunities to obtain a knowledge of the truth. Do not dishonor God by burying your talents in the earth. “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 13

I have a message for you this morning. Christ is waiting patiently for your return to Him. Make no delay to seek the Lord while He may be found; “call ye upon him while he is near.” [Isaiah 55:6.] No longer grieve the Holy Spirit by remaining in darkness. You need to feel the power of Bible Religion—a work wrought in the heart by the power of the Spirit of God. Satan is spreading a net for your feet, and your only safety is in keeping close to the side of Christ. You cannot build up a character fit for the kingdom of heaven on your past experience. You must come out of yourself, and receive the righteousness of Christ. Self must be crucified, and when self is dead, you will be alive unto God. Unless man looks away from himself to Christ, sin will give him no relief; but Christ is the divine physician, the soul-restorer. By yielding yourself to His control, you will have no desire to be harsh or over-bearing. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 14

The Lord has not left you to yourself. He is looking upon you with tender compassion. His Spirit still strives for the mastery over the powers of darkness. If you will come to Christ, hungry and thirsty for the bread and water of life, the power of an abiding Christ will break down that harsh, cold, selfishness, which is the opposite of sympathy. Your hasty temper will be subdued, your pride will be expelled, and in the place of looking for injuries done to yourself, at which you may be provoked, you will look at the perfection of the Lord Jesus. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 15

Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, asking for admittance. Shall He knock in vain? Will you refuse Him entrance, or will you welcome Him as an honored guest? Do not refuse to admit Him, for the love of Jesus is of more value <to you> than the whole world. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 16

Its length, its depth, its height, its breadth cannot be estimated. It opens and expands the heart, giving it a new capacity for loving God. The calls and invitations made in the Bible mean all that the strongest language can express. The Lord is anxious for you to return to Him. He knows that you need Him, and He needs you, for He says, “Ye are my witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] You do yourself a serious wrong when you turn your face from the living God. Fear not to make a full and decided consecration of yourself. Cast yourself without reserve on the grace of Jesus Christ; you will find that there is no compassion like that of infinite purity. Under His control, you will appreciate the goodness, longsuffering, and self-sacrificing love of God, and will reveal it to the world. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 17

You may think that no one really understands your case, but there is One who is acquainted with every circumstance of it. He knows that you have no strength or wisdom of your own, that you do not even understand your own necessities; and He has promised to keep you from falling, and in this promise you may rely. At times you may feel like weeping because you have lost your joy and hope in the Lord; but Christ says to you, Open the door of your heart and let me in. He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and to Him you may tell every trial, every sorrow, every need. He will teach you many things above price of gold or silver, and give you peace and joy. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 18

Christ longs to strengthen and help you. He wants you to advance with the third angel’s message, and to triumph with it at last. God has given you much precious light, for your own benefit, and for the benefit of every member of your mother’s family. This light it is your duty to impart to all who may come within the sphere of your influence. If you faithfully perform this duty, whatever may come to you, life or death, prosperity or poverty, you may know that you have a treasure in the heavens, laid up by the throne of God. And if you hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end, this treasure will be given you in that day when all are rewarded according to their works. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 19

God requires you to set before your mother’s family an example that will help them. You need to cultivate the love of the truth as precious treasure, valued above gold or silver or precious stones, that your influence may help to weed life of its vanities, its indulgence, its gratifications. O, if you could only arouse your world-loving brothers, that they might be united in bearing rich clusters of fruit for the heavenly garner! A masterly manner, love for supremacy, a desire to rule or dictate—these should never be seen in your life. By precept and example you should seek to teach others what it means to learn of Jesus and follow Him. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 20

Christ calls upon you personally no longer to hide your talents in any business cares or transactions. Your brothers in the flesh need your example on this point. Take Christ as your partner; co-operate with Him by seeking to extend the knowledge of the truth; by earnest, personal efforts endeavor to save the souls of your fellow men. You must not separate yourself from Christ or from your brethren. The Lord desires you to be in unity with Him and with all who love Him and keep His commandments. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 21

You have a work to do for the Master, and if you will come to Him as a learner, He will strengthen you for this work. When you see the necessity of engaging in this work, your reluctance to take it up will be overcome. Obey God; endeavor faithfully to do His will; He will give you knowledge and wisdom and a retentive memory, that you may do your work acceptably. But you must yield yourself entirely to Him. No longer delay to do this; for but a few more years at the longest will be yours to work for the Master, and then the voice which you cannot refuse to answer, will be heard, saying to you, “Give an account of thy stewardship.” [Luke 16:2.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 22

Remember how brief is the period of life allotted to you. You know not how soon your probation may close. Say not presumptuously, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.” God may have different calculations for you. You have no lease of life in which to carry out your plans. Life is but a vapor, “that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” [James 4:13, 14.] You know not how soon your hand may lose its cunning, your step its firmness. There is peril even in a moment’s delay. Cast your care upon the Lord, and on no account divorce religion from the business you engage in, whatever it may be. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” [Philippians 4:6.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 23

You cannot afford to have a controversy with God, for you must stand before His judgment seat, to answer for the deeds done in the body. What calculation are you making for your future? How will you stand in the day of judgment? How are you using the influence you exert over those with whom you come in contact? Are you doing the work the Lord requires of you? If not, you will be called upon to answer for the good you might have done had you heeded the warnings so graciously given, and the reproofs and encouragement so often bestowed. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 24

I know, my brother, that you do not understand yourself. You might have been a great blessing to your brothers, but you have been a hindrance and a stumbling block. I am very sorry that you are not doing the work which the Lord has given you to do. Your time is used in serving yourself. All the excuses you now make for doing this will vanish away in that great day when the inquiry is made, “What profits have you brought me from the talents which I lent you?” The world’s Redeemer gave His precious life for you. What are you giving Him in return for this? Do not, I beseech you, grieve the heart of <infinite> love by making a record that will not stand the test of the judgment. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 25

Jesus calls upon you to behold that nobler world that has become almost hidden from your view; He brings it within the range of your vision, and lays open before you the momentous claims and duration of the eternity which you are approaching. He would have you subordinate every earthly consideration to your eternal interests, living every moment of life with reference to eternal results. <Christ asks,> “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 26

You need to put on the whole armor of God, and, as a valiant soldier, fight manfully the battles of the Lord. There is in the minds of men a fatal propensity to serve the world, subordinating eternal interests to business cares, as if earthly things were superior to those of heaven. Jesus understood the danger of the love of riches, for He said, “How hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God.” [Mark 10:24.] He looked with pity upon the enthusiasm that men were showing for the things that perish, and lifting the curtain that veiled eternity from their view, He declared, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” [Matthew 6:33.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 27

God would have you come into close relation with Him. He rejoices more over one sinner that repenteth than over the ninety-and-nine that never went astray. The heart of infinite love rejoices when one lost sheep returns to the fold. Christ desires that you shall be a diligent learner in His school, and in a voice full of love and tenderness, He calls, “Come unto me, ... and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] Drop the yoke others have manufactured for you; break in pieces the yoke you have invented for yourself. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your soul.” [Verse 29.] 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 28

Are you the man that has been found by the Lord, and have you no story to tell of your restoration and healing? Come, Brother Philip, come; open the door of your heart, and let the Saviour in. A new song will then be upon your lips; a divine mission will be entrusted to you; you will know how to tell others of the power of redeeming love. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 29

I will leave you now with the words I have written. With much love to yourself and family, I remain, 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 30

Your sister in Jesus Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 109, 1896, par. 31