Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 97, 1896

Shannan, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

December 26, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 685. +Note

Brother Shannan:

I am surprised and disappointed in you. I thought you to be a Christian, but I am compelled to ask, What does it mean when a man of your age and experience is led to pursue the course that you have followed? My brother, why should you and your wife express such bitterness against those whom I know to be conscientiously serving the Lord. During the little time that you were in Melbourne, how was it that you were drawn to those who were disaffected and in darkness? Your course has been laid out before me. Your course while you were in Melbourne was not right. You thought yourself able to discern aright, and you gave your opinions upon persons and things with all confidence and assurance, as if you knew that the statements you made were the decisions of a wise man who knew what he was talking about. But you were strengthening that which the Lord was condemning. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 1

You thought that the course of Brother Miller in separating from the office was all right, and pronounced it thus. But the Lord passed an altogether different decision. You did not look beneath the surface. You did not strengthen the things which God approves. You passed your human judgment, and thus sowed seeds which will produce a harvest of wrong. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 2

You heard something of the work of Brother John Bell. But you did not consider what you heard. You did not look into it closely. You did not pray most earnestly to God to enable you to understand that whether this was His Word or merely the words of a human agent. With several others you gave your opinion that it was a good thing. But the Lord said not thus. Brother Bell used much Scripture, but it was misapplied and put in the wrong frame work. His theories would undermine the pillars of our faith, by destroying the proper order of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Your self-confidence led you to sanction that which you did not understand and had not investigated. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 3

Brother Smith was in trial because he was not retained at the office. All respected this brother; but the expenses of the office were more than it could carry, and they must be limited. Temptation came to Brother Smith to misjudge and misconstrue the action of his brethren, and he has opened his heart to this temptation and misjudged his brethren. By thinking and speaking evil of his brethren, who moved according to the best light that they had, he has yielded to the enemy. Feelings have been created which should never have been strengthened by words. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 4

Brother Muckersy also has opened his heart to temptation. Satan is vigilant and awake, ready to seize every opportunity. He has created thoughts and feelings which should never have been entertained, and has tempted Brother Muckersy to withdraw from his brethren. A very busy devil has been at work on this point, creating disaffection and disunion. Brother Shannan, you have acted on the enemy’s side. You have strengthened his work. You did it ignorantly, but such ignorance is lamentable when it is acted out as wisdom. All the busy interested work you have done might better have been left undone. When your eyes are opened, you will wish that you had died rather than have been found working out and maturing the plans of the great adversary. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 5

You came back to Cooranbong all prepared to look with suspicion upon the work, ready to misjudge and to take sides. You passed judgment which has led you to make the move of going to Africa. In this you did not seek wisdom of God, but of yourself. The Lord did not bid you go to Africa. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 6

Under the temptations of the enemy, how could you unite with the family of Brother Hughes and do them harm by complaining to them of your brethren and sisters, whose hearts you cannot read, and who you are liable to misjudge? By this means you instilled evil surmisings into their hearts. If your heart had been right with God, would you, in their state of spiritual weakness, have planted seeds in their hearts that will bear such a harvest? We have been hoping and praying for this family. God loves, and I love, every soul of them; but unless they are converted, they will lose heaven. Will you, then, place stumbling blocks before their feet? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 7

What harm you are doing your brethren. The Lord has opened this matter to me. If you knew what strangely crooked paths you are making for your feet, how many lame you are turning out of the way, you would be distressed and ashamed of your course. Have you thought this the way to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 8

Have you thought of how far you are departing from the plain “Thus saith the Lord” in placing the Hughes family where no one can reach them? You discourage my soul. I have spoken to them in the name of the Lord. I bore a message to them from the Lord, which I have written out. I have been waiting for an opportunity to lay before them the light given me by the Lord. But by your indiscreet conduct you have closed the door of access to them. Did you not see a poor tempted soul, without moral courage to pray in the family, and without moral courage to give up the pipe? What have you done to help him? What have you done to encourage his family to consecrate themselves to God and to find solid foundation for their feet? You must give an account of your work to God. Will you wish to meet these souls in the judgment? Will you wish to hear them charge upon you the wrongs you have done them by fastening them in unbelief, by helping them to think and speak evil of their brethren? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 9

Why should you feel such bitterness? Why should you labor with all your entrusted capability to advocate that which the Lord has told you not to do? Have you thought that this was the way to secure the salvation of your soul? What have your brethren done to you that you should lose all love for them? Why should you hate them in your heart? You have conversed with those who have not a vital connection with God, and have accepted their version of matters, as if they were walking in the light. You have united with disaffected elements, and have done your best to plant in their hearts the seeds of hatred for the men who are seeking to stand in their positions as stewards for the Master. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 10

Your words have not been right words. You have done a work which is not a savor of life unto life, but of death unto death. It may be that this work has placed the Hughes family where we cannot reach them, where no human help can arrest their downward course. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 11

How will you answer to God for this cruel work? The brethren toward whom you feel so bitterly are God’s children. Their Master has said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] These brethren feel that they have a duty to do by standing in their positions as faithful stewards. They are not working in their own interests. Had they stepped on one side, and given everything into your hands, these wicked, unchristian sentiments would not have come. But because your track has been crossed, you have acted in a way which shows that if your will and opinion is crossed in any way, you will depart from Bible principles, and your heart [will] be filled with hatred against those who have given no real cause for such feelings. You have not revealed a heart subdued and softened by the grace of Christ. With such a spirit as you have manifested, would it be safe for you to enter the family of God? Not as you are could you enter there. Unless you are converted, soul, body, and spirit, you will not compose part of the family of God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 12

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there by any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterwards, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” [Hebrews 12:12-17.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 13

Consider these words, my brother and sister. Satan is an accuser of the brethren; Jesus Christ is a Restorer. Your influence, which has been so freely used against your brethren, is condemned by the Word of God. The Lord has shown pitying tenderness toward Brother Hughes. If he had obeyed the plain, simple Word of God, he would now have ranked under the bloodstained banner of Christ. His God-entrusted capabilities could have been exercised in behalf of the truth. Brother Hughes does not keep the commandments of God, and yet you have given him to understand that because he was willing to help and accommodate any one, he was nearer the kingdom than those brethren who were seeking to obey God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 14

Brother and Sister Shannan, you have been the human instrumentalities that Satan has effectually used to instill into the minds of this family sentiments which have confirmed them in their sinful course of action. You have been earnest co-workers with the adversary of God and the truth. Your words have stirred up the very worst feelings of the soul. This course of action does not reveal true love for these precious souls. Are they any happier since your connection with them? What have you done to restore in them the moral image of God? What have you done to draw them to Christ? What have you done to reveal in them the Christlikeness? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 15

While you can appear to see and recognize all that is praise-worthy in those who will not obey God instead of their inclinations, so some one must reprove and exhort these erring ones, who greatly dishonor God by their unchristian example. “I charge thee therefore,” wrote Paul to Timothy, “before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the word.” You are not to follow your own impulse. To every soul that lives and is in danger of losing eternal life by not giving his heart in obedience to Jesus Christ, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” [2 Timothy 4:1, 2.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 16

Have you faithfully done your duty in this line, or have you failed to speak plainly of the errors and faults of those whom you pretended to respect? Apparently your course of action shows that you have more confidence in him than in your brethren; but do you tell him his faults, his dangers? Have you warned him that unless he changes his course, he cannot, will not, have the favor of God? Let me tell you, you have been, and are still, a deceived, deluded man in regard to a genuine Christian experience, and in regard to the performance of your duty without partiality and without hypocrisy. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 17

You are prepared to yoke up with any one who will unite with you in your disaffection, to wound those who have not pleased you. What have your brethren done? They have tried to do their duty, and this is their offense. If you think that the course you have pursued is the course of a sincere Christian, if you think that you have loved God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as your self, you think wrongly. You have not demonstrated this love. You must yourself be converted and learn from Christ His meekness, His forbearance, His patience, and His love. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 18

The Lord’s people have always had trouble with different individuals. Many have brought with them into the church their own strong traits of character. They have not seen the necessity of subduing self, of overcoming their own strong passions. These persons cause much difficulty. Their own spirit wrestles for the preeminence. The enemy comes in and uses these elements to make trouble in the church and in the hearts of the people of God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 19

At the very time, Brother Shannan, when you should have stood shoulder to shoulder with your brethren, you and Brother Lawrence cherished your grievances and talked them over, meditating upon them and pouring over them. This is the very attitude you have placed yourselves in, tempting the devil to tempt you, that in your turn you might tempt others by thinking and speaking evil of their brethren. And while Brother Lawrence has been cherishing the root of bitterness, whereby many have been defiled, he has been losing the love of God out of his heart. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 20

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” [Hebrews 12:12.] Have you been doing this in the family of Brother Hughes? Have you given courage to these souls? Your principal missionary work has been to sympathize most unrighteously with yourself against those who were trying to do their duty in their position of trust. God does not accept such missionaries. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 21

“And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Verses 13-15.] Wherein were you diligent? Wherein were you watching unto prayer? You were full of fury because you thought you were not preferred before your brethren. This selfishness is abhorrent to God. You have made it hard as possible for those who were trying to do their work as well as they know how. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 22

Brother Lawrence well knows, and Brother Shannan is not at all ignorant, of my mission and work in this country, my mission and work in Cooranbong, my efforts to help wherever I could. Both of you should have known that I was carrying a heavy load and was weighted down as a cart beneath sheaves. But in the place of trying to stand shoulder to shoulder as men of long experience in years and profession of godliness, bringing every entrusted talent to help in the work, self was your main center. You thought that you must be the ones specially favored. How does the Lord look upon you, who by your spirit and actions are scattering away from Christ instead of gathering with Him? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 23

“Let your conversation be without covetousness,” the Word of God exhorts, “and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee; so that we may boldly say, The Lord is our helper. I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” [Hebrews 13:5, 6.] “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify his people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing the reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good, and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifice God is well pleased.” [Verses 12-16.] “Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight.” [Verses 20, 21.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 24

We had no surplus of means for the work here. Again and again I have been brought into strait places, where I could not pay my workers. For three months at a time we could not pay our store bills. Debts were accumulating. I hired a £1,000 at 5% interest that the work on the school ground might be kept moving. The workers received low wages, for all had to help to reduce expenses. May the Lord have compassion on those who at such a time, instead of doing what they could do, instead of looking unto Jesus, faithfully employing their time in the service of God, did nothing but talk over their supposed grievances, salting them down for food which could be given to others who should be tempted to think themselves hardly used. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 25

If these men had looked away from self, and stopped thinking of self, if they had gone to work like men, putting heart and soul into the work, their temptations would have been scattered to the four winds. But when human beings set themselves as the judgment seat and pronounce sentence against their brethren, speaking evil of them, and working counter to them, thus laying stumbling blocks in the way of others whose hands hang down and whose knees are feeble, they do not the work of restoring, but of killing. They destroy in those who are feeble the only chance for their recovery from the snare of the enemy, and the blood of these souls will be upon their garments. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 26

Brother Lawrence, you know not what manner of spirit ye are of. You have spoken of your grievances to each other. Your words have been full of bitterness, and the Lord has written these words in His book, with all their results, the suspicion they will create, the distrust they will strengthen, the bitter, fibrous roots they will plant in the hearts of others, which will poison the faith and defile the souls of many. This is the way the matter in regard to your course of action has been presented to me. You have strengthened a spirit of evil speaking, of watching for evil, of creating unjust suspicion, of setting the thoughts and tongue on fire over trifling matters that will occur in any place where people are associated together. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 27

The Lord designed to test and prove you. He designed to see whether you would make manifest that your hearts were drawing sap and nourishment from the True Vine, Jesus Christ, whether you would bear the genuine fruit of the parent stock, or the fruit of the natural, selfish heart. He watched to see whether you could be entrusted with the precious responsibilities which require men of sound, true, faith, men who can help those weak in the faith and strengthen those that are tempted, by making straight paths for their feet. The Lord will unite with His work only those who are willing to be crucified with Christ, who will make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. He would not entrust you with a position in His sacred work unless you were a daily converted man, under His special guidance. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 28

You have been without charity. You have not tried to turn the thoughts of those with whom you talked into channels where they would feed upon the Word of God, which is Spirit and life, and which will cleanse their souls from all unjust suspicions. Have you entertained the idea that your course of action was perfect? As you caught at a supposed evil, talked it over, and fed upon it, rolling it, as a sweet morsel, under the tongue, presenting every act of your brethren in a distorted, perverted light, you were the enemy’s very best agents. He is an accuser of the brethren. He accuses them day and night, and he has found allies in those who suppose themselves to be aggrieved. If these had been missionaries for God instead of being missionaries for Satan, creating differences and alienation, they would have done a work for God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 29

The One who was presenting these things before me, said to you, Read the seventh chapter of Matthew. Read the entire chapter solemnly. “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, and considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 30

This is the work that some who claim to be Christians have been doing. They have been helping Satan in his work of alienating brother from brother. In their hearts they have [been] cherishing roots of bitterness, whereby many have been defiled. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 31

He who was presenting these things spoke with great solemnity: You have hindered the work which God desires to have accomplished in this locality. Your minds and hearts have been enlisted only so as to bring profit to your own individual selves. The Lord accepts no such service. Watch unto prayer. The Master has given you work in His service. He desires you to build up His kingdom by seeking to save perishing souls. But you have taken upon yourself a work which retards, which places God’s own servants in the worst possible light. You have placed yourselves where you have advanced the work of the enemy. For this work, with all its consequences and results, God will bring you into judgment. God judges you, not by what you once were, but by what you are now. Had you heeded the Word of God, how different would have been your record. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 32

Read carefully the first chapter of James. Do not turn away, saying, This has no reference to me, for it has special reference to you. Read (verses 1-16) slowly and prayerfully. Then read verses 16-19. Then spend a few minutes in silent prayer, asking the Lord to search your hearts as with a lighted candle, and reveal to you yourselves, for your words and actions testify against you before the whole heavenly universe. Read the verses one by one to the close of the chapter, and then pray earnestly for the spiritual eye salve, that the heavenly anointing may cleanse you from the perverted ideas which are born of selfishness. Read the third chapter of James. This entire chapter should be read and studied. God help you to see. Let the words of chapter four be eaten. By practicing these words, create a different atmosphere about your souls. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” [James 1:19.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 33

I have a message for Brother Shannan and Brother Lawrence. You have both revealed a spirit that God will not approve. The Lord will not bless you while you work counter to His Holy Spirit. Men of grey hairs should walk circumspectly and should give the young men, who are seeking to grow, every opportunity to come to the front. The older men should not feel it any dishonor to them for younger men, who must use their capabilities and who must fill their individual places and become men to be relied on, to come to the front. Those who are older should encourage the young to develop their talents. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 34

We need men who will take hold of the work as if they meant it. The younger men must be given opportunities to develop. This settlement has been made in Cooranbong that talent may be recognized and developed. We have labored and prayed that the Lord would give us means that we might carry out His revealed plans; but because of unbelief we are behind. We feel keenly the necessity of workers who can be relied upon. But we have not means enough to pay workers unless they are willing to sacrifice. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 35

I ventured to send to Africa for £1,000 that a start might be made on our buildings. If all are willing to engage in the work in faith, and will try to do their best with little means, saving every jot and tittle, in order that the money may go as far as possible to advance the work which God has said should be done, if the older men will work in harmony with the younger men, who need to have men of experience connected with them, all will move forward as the Lord would have the work move. The Lord knows every stroke that is made to advance His work. He is true, and will never disappoint those who put their trust in Him, and who are willing to be led and guided by Him. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 36

It is the duty of God’s servants to work constantly with an eye single to His honor and glory. No man’s person is to be respected or looked upon with admiration if his heart and soul is not enlisted in the work of God, unless he seeks to carry forward that work with self-sacrificing efforts. There are those who think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. They speak evil of their brethren because after a thing is done, they can look back and tell how differently they would have done it. But their forethought would not have been any better than that of their brethren had they been in their place. God sees that faults and imperfections have characterized the lives of the very ones who speak evil of their brethren. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 37

Keep yourselves off the judgment seat. All judgment is committed unto the Son of God. Your words and your works will not be judged according to the light in which you view them, but according to God’s unerring standard. By uniting and talking with those who have grievances, by emptying your heart of all the hard feelings and wounds and bruises you have sustained, you have made great blunders. God will hold you accountable for every seed of that kind which you have sown in human hearts. Satan will water the seed, and will inspire you with all bitterness and evil speaking and wrath and malice. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 38

O, how could you suppose that you could be in harmony with Christ and do as you have done? You are departing from the Word of God, disregarding that Word, failing to act out the lessons of Jesus Christ. Talking with a solemn earnestness, the Counselor said, There are many who, when their own ideas and wills are crossed reveal a bitterness of spirit. They cherish the same feelings as an unconverted man. They watch for an opportunity to complain, and thus set a wrong example for others. “In that day,” declares the Word of God, “shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one that is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.” [Isaiah 29:18-21.] 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 39

Here is one man professing to be a Bible Christian. But if everything does not harmonize with his ideas, he looks upon himself as abused. He feels justified in making a great fire out of a spark. Another brother in connection with the work of God thinks that he has been treated unjustly. What if they have? Does not the Lord know all about that? It would not be surprising if the human agent did not know himself, for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 40

A condition of things has been coming into existence that is not after the order of Christ. Those who look for evil, who are ready to charge with evil those who do not meet all their expectations by accommodating them and carrying out their ideas, who feel at liberty to judge their brethren and misconstrue their motives, are not Christians. Those who encourage and sustain persons who are not walking in the ways of the Lord are aiding Satan by doing his work. They are not feeding on Christ, the bread from heaven. They have ever lived for self. Self has been their center. As long as they can be first, all goes well. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 41

I wish my brethren who shall read the words I am placing on paper to carefully consider that which I present before them. No man liveth to himself. Whatever course of action the human agent may pursue, others are influenced. God alone knows the extent of this individual responsibility. Apparent influence may be deceiving; real influence requires all that there is of a man. Whatever the position of surroundings of old or young, they carry with them an influence. Their responsibility is great. No one can be lax, self-indulgent, self-serving, and be counted worthy of eternal life. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 42

God has given to each man his work, according to his several ability. All are to work to the same end. All have the same account to render to God. The general commander is over others. This position does not make him trustworthy, able to be depended on. His principles testify to the value of his services. If he is united by a vital connection with God, then he can be trusted, because he knows how to obey God in all things, and therefore will feel the necessity of giving discreet and Christlike orders. The general is in a position where his influence is of the highest consequence; but the private soldier may be and should be just as careful as the commander of armies. The responsibility of each is great. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 43

God requires that each one shall do his best, trading diligently and carefully on the talents given him. Because one is not in the highest place, it is not for him to say, My responsibility is small. I may be lax and self-indulgent. Some act in this way. They never increase in knowledge, but plod alone in an inferior line all their days, not because the Lord willed it thus; the Lord has not willed it thus, for He has said, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] The defection of individual workers may be overcome if they have a will to grow out of childhood into youth and manhood. The mind is to be taxed and strengthened by a determination to know how to use all capabilities to the best advantage. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 44

Never let your tongue and voice be employed in discovering and dilating upon the defects of your brethren, for the record of heaven identifies Christ’s interests with those whom He has purchased with His own blood. “Inasmuch much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,” he says, “ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] We are to learn to be loyal to one another, to be true as steel in the defense of our brethren. Look to your own defects. You had better discover one of your own faults then ten of your brother’s. Remember that Christ has prayed, for these, His brethren, that they all might be one as He is one with the Father. Seek to the uttermost of your capabilities to be in harmony with your brethren to the extent of Christ’s measurement—as He is one with the Father. Then your evil thinking and evil speaking will cease. You will not become bitter and hard against them because they do not make enough of your merits and show special partiality to you. Those who are missionaries for the Master will have the spirit of truth and righteousness. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 45

“Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] True moral worth does not seek to make a place for itself by evil thinking and evil speaking, by demeriting others. All envy, all jealousy, all evil speaking, with all unbelief, must be put away from God’s children. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 46

Satan works zealously to cause men to offend on this point. Those whose tongues are so free to utter words of criticism, the adroit questioner, who draws out expressions and opinions, which have been put into the minds by sowing seeds of alienation, are his missionaries. They may repeat the expressions they draw from others as originating with the ones they so slyly led on to forbidden ground. These persons seem always to see something to criticize and to condemn. They treasure up everything of a disagreeable nature, and then leaven others. Their tongues are ready to exaggerate everything evil. What a great matter a little fire kindleth! They scatter their fire brands, putting doubts and mistrust into other minds, falsifying because they view everything in a false light. Thus neighborhoods and churches are leavened. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 47

Jesus said to His disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” [Matthew 16:6.] His voice comes sounding down the lines to our time, “Beware of that misrepresenting tongue, which is not content unless leagued with the disaffected, with those who are tempted to think that they have been misused.” Self, self, self, is their theme. They have become envious and jealous, and Satan has helped them, putting his magnifying glass before their eyes, until a mote looks to them like a mountain, and they think themselves the most abused persons in the world. With a beam in their own eye, they are very much interested in pulling the mote out of their brother’s eye. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 48

It is satanic to be an accuser of the brethren, to delight to tell of the imperfections and wrongs of others. Those who suppose themselves to be God’s missionaries, and yet work upon the minds of those who are weak and inexperienced in the faith, may see the time, if they are converted, when they will wish to counteract their past work. But it is not an easy matter to do this. Eternity alone will reveal on whose side everyone has been working, and the good or ill they have wrought. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 49

Shall the attributes of the enemy be revealed in the life-practice of professed Christians? Shall men who put on the armor, and stand as faithful sentinels for God, refusing to favor any man, and seeking to do the work God has given them to do with humble faith and sincerity, be despised by men who know not that they have given themselves to do the work of Satan? O, how much better it would be if those who thus judge others would themselves feed on the flesh and blood of the Son of God, studying and practicing the Word of God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 50

God works through those who see and understand the scarcity of means, and who seek to bind about every unnecessary expenditure by practicing the strictest economy, in order that the means shall go as far as possible. But there are those who seek their own advantage, who keep themselves foremost, who serve themselves always. These cannot understand the earnest efforts made by others to economize and advance the work. But the work done here on the school ground must be done by those who can do the work faithfully and with the least money, be they believers or unbelievers. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 51

If those who claim to be believers in the truth for this time will not open or shut the doors for nought, if they have not the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice, if they regard self as their center, looking upon themselves as of such value that every little of their entrusted ability must command the highest wages or they will do nothing, not caring whether the work shall advance and strengthen or languish, God cannot be with them. They will do nothing unless they can say how it shall be done. If they are not accepted on their own terms, they make it as hard as possible for those who are trying to do their best. They take their talents and bury them in the world. They should give all their capabilities to the Lord, even though they may not receive the highest honor and remuneration, knowing that the reward for fidelity is not received in this life, but in the future immortal life. Then every man will be rewarded according to his work. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 52

Men who have a large opinion of themselves are frequently in error, but they will not confess this. Envy and jealousy are diseases which disorder all the faculties of the being. They originated with Satan in Paradise. After he had started on the track of apostasy, he could see many things that were objectionable. After he fell, he envied Adam and Eve in their innocency. He tempted them to sin and to become like himself, disloyal to God. Those who accept of his attributes will demerit others, misrepresent and falsify in order to build up themselves. These persons generally are incurable, and as nothing that defileth can enter into heaven, they will not be there. They would criticize the angels. They would covet another’s crown. They would not know what to do, or what subjects to converse upon, unless they could be finding some errors, some imperfections, in others. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 53

O that such ones would become changed by following Christ! O that they would become meek and lowly of heart by learning in the school of Christ! Then they would go forth, not as missionaries for Satan, to cause disunion or alienation, but as missionaries for Christ, to be peacemakers, to work with Christ in restoring, not to bruise and wound and mangle character. Let the Holy Spirit of God come in and expel this unholy passion, which cannot in the slightest degree survive in heaven. Let it die. Let it be crucified. Open the heart to the attributes of Christ, who was pure, holy, undefiled, without guilt. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 54

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23.] The Word of God tells us that the heart is to be kept as a temple holy unto God. The unconverted heart is represented as a habitation for the evil one, who brings in a whole brood of unholy thoughts, and stirs up the natural passions. But the Spirit of God must cleanse the soul from its defilement. Every room must be purified. The conscience must be quickened by the Holy Spirit. Truth must take hold of the thoughts and the actions. Holy vigilance must keep guard, to spy out the approach of the enemy. Woe unto that man who falls asleep and lets the enemy take possession of his house. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 55

Genuine conversion is needed, not once in years, but daily. This conversion brings a man into new relation to God. Old things, his natural temper, natural passions, and hereditary traits of character pass away, and the man is renewed, converted, sanctified. But this work needs to be continued, or else the heart will become estranged from God, for just as long as Satan lives, he will make an effort to carry out his will. The human agent will constantly encounter a strong undercurrent. His heart needs to be barricaded by faithful watchfulness and unceasing prayer, else the embankment will give way, and like a mill stream, the undercurrent of natural and cultivated tendencies will sweep away the safeguard. Then the old objectionable traits of character will assert their sway. No renewed heart can keep in a condition of sweetness and grace without the application of the salt of the Word. Divine grace must be applied daily, else no man will stay converted. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 56

It is the sufferings of our Redeemer in His life and death that makes it possible for fallen man [to] become refined and elevated. As the divine Substitute and Surety, He elevates the fallen race in character, and brings their minds into healthful sympathy with the divine mind. Those who are partakers of the divine nature see that true greatness means continual humiliation, self-denial, self-sacrifice. Those who have spiritual eyesight will discern that God does not honor those who are honored by the world, but those who are true to principle. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 57

Ability and talents are God’s entrusted gifts. They are to be given back to Him. They are to be improved to such a degree that they will not only bless the one who possesses these qualifications, but all within the reach of his influence. This position of responsibility it is not in his power to control. His influence is of value with God just according as he exercises his heaven-entrusted capabilities in the service of God, doing good at every turn, as if the whole heavenly universe were looking with interested eyes upon him, and deciding the quality of his course. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 58

Well-doing is the only title to office. It is the living principles of the character of God revealed in the life that make men of value in God’s sight. Those only should be retained in office, in places of authority, whose characters and influence show them to have an adaptation to the whole interests of the work. The person is nothing to be accounted of if he is not true as steel to maintaining in his own life the principles of the character of God. That experience which builds man up, and glorifies him as sufficient to shine the highest, places him in the decisions of the heavenly councils as the lowest in the ranks. Self intercepts between the true education man must receive from the Great Teacher. We must learn Christ’s lowliness and meekness in order to understand the requirements of God, in order to know what loyalty to God means, in order to represent God in character. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 59

A man that has not a high and elevated idea of the sacred claims of God upon the human agent will always be in danger. If convenient, he will serve himself, betraying sacred trusts to do this. By education and practice, he will do this without compunction. His feet have stepped away from the straightforward path of principle and loyalty to God. That which is done once to serve self will be easier to do again. All the time, the one who serves self will become less and less susceptible to the Holy influence of the Spirit of God. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 60

The principles of righteousness need to be cherished and cultivated. The redeemed are called, “The Order of the King of Righteousness.” What is righteousness? The doing of the commandments of God, under all circumstances. Principles are everything in God’s sight. Christ redeemed the fallen race, which was under forfeiture. He paid the ransom for men, and they are granted a probation, a test, to see if they will become loyal. Christ has purchased all the race. If they will not represent the character of God, if they choose to follow the impulse of their natural hearts, they will be treated the same as was Satan, because they have practiced his attributes. They have linked themselves with their own defective natures, and have followed the dictates of their unconverted hearts. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 61

Through faith, that faith that works by love (to Jesus Christ,) and purifies the soul of its moral defilement, all have the privilege of being overcomers over every sinful trait of [character]. Through the provision that has been made for them, they may represent the character of Christ. All who are converted in mind and heart can do this through Christ Jesus. They are identified with the divine Son of God, one with Him as He is one with the Father. God would have all understand that persons are nothing without principle. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 62

Principles after the divine similitude are everything, all and in all. Individually we are deciding our eternal destiny, whether we shall enjoy the highest honor, even an eternal weight of glory, or be ranked with Satan by possessing his character and dishonoring God by professing to be Christians when we are misrepresenting Christ. Those who choose to reveal the character of the arch deceiver identify themselves with the prince of darkness beyond the possibility of a change, because they choose not to see themselves as being wrong. This is the course Satan pursued. 11LtMs, Lt 97, 1896, par. 63