Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Ms 15, 1896

Revelation

NP

April 27, 1896

This manuscript is published in entirety in 13MR 59-73.

The word revelation means all that the definition of the word would signify, and this is the title of the last book of the Bible. A thing revealed is not a thing eclipsed and placed in obscurity and mystery. When a matter is unfolded, the mystery is opened. This book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1-3.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 1

In the book of Revelation we read of a special work that God would have His agents do in these last days. They have a special warning to give to the world. All the institutions that have been established in His providence are to lift up the standard of the third angel’s message. God has blessed these institutions, and given them prosperity, as His chosen agents have acted as co-workers with Jesus Christ, and have communicated the wisdom which He imparted. God has given prosperity to the Sanitarium, and to Dr. Kellogg as God’s instrumentality. Your prosperity, Dr. Kellogg, has been in proportion to the efforts you have made to make the truth stand forth in its purity. Your medical practice has been attended with success because of His blessing, and if you will acknowledge Him in all your ways, He will direct you into paths of complete victory. The earnest zeal which has been manifested by Seventh-day Adventists under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has been acknowledged of God. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 2

The Health Institution has not been brought into favor simply because of the talent, skill, or wisdom of one man. It is because God has had faithful instrumentalities that have consented to be worked by the Holy Spirit, and many influences have been combined in bringing about the prosperity of the Sanitarium. The time that has been spent in communing with God, in seeking His help before undertaking to relieve those who were in a critical condition, has brought angels to the side of the doctor and his assistants. In transacting your business that has been so important, you have succeeded, according as you have trusted in God. He has been by your side just as verily as Christ was by the side of those who were suffering when He walked among them on earth. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 3

It is God who gives power to make men efficient in His service. He will impart power to His workers who have an eye single to His glory. But there is danger that you yourself or your associate physicians may set God aside, and trust in your own wisdom. If any of you entertain the thoughts and cherish the feelings that Nebuchadnezzar cherished, you will be in danger of passing through a trying experience. God had revealed Himself to Nebuchadnezzar in giving him the dream of the great image, and in sending His servant Daniel to explain its meaning. God had made known to the king what should be hereafter, and his kingdom was represented by the head of gold. The king and his counselors were flattered by the idea that the head of gold represented Babylon, and each successive kingdom was represented by a baser metal, signifying that as the nations should separate more and more from God, they would decrease in value. Heathen counselors flattered the king, and caused him to place himself before the people as an object of worship. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 4

God had greatly honored the king in communicating with him; but He allowed him to follow his own inventions. He set up a golden image in the plains of Dura, and commanded men to bow down before it. It was exceedingly costly and magnificent, representing the kingdom of Babylon and magnifying the king who ruled over that kingdom. But the three Hebrew captives who cherished the knowledge of the true God refused to worship the image that the king had set up, and for their loyalty to the God of heaven they were cast into the burning, fiery furnace. But the Lord Jesus was with them, and preserved them from all harm. He manifested Himself unto them even as He has promised to manifest Himself unto us. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 5

Jesus says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.” [John 14:21.] The king saw the form of the Fourth, and was convinced that the God of the three Hebrews was the living God. He acknowledged the wonderful miracle that had been wrought, but because he did not continue to walk in the light he lost the holy impression that had been made upon his mind. But God saw fit to give the king another dream that is recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 6

Dr. Kellogg, please read this chapter prayerfully and carefully, and present it before all your associates. Under another symbol, His power and glory was presented before Nebuchadnezzar. Read this with a heart open to understand its significance. The interpretation was plainly given to the proud king and [was] followed by a message from God. The counsel was given to the king in these words, “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.” For a time Nebuchadnezzar was impressed by the warning and counsel that had been given him, but a heart that is not fully transformed by the grace of God soon loses the impression of the Holy Spirit. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 7

For twelve months the king was placed on trial, but at the end of that time he manifested the spirit that had led him to set up the golden image. At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon. “The king spake and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words of self-glorification were in the mouth of the king, “There fell a voice from heaven saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; the kingdom is departed from thee. And thou shalt be driven from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; thou shalt be made to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee; until thou knowest that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will.” [Verses 30-32.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 8

This message from God was fulfilled. The king of Babylon, because he neglected to heed the testimonies of warning that had been given him, suffered the most humiliating punishments. Warnings had been given him of God; Daniel had appealed to him to change his course of action, to break off his sins by righteousness, in order that this terrible sentence might not be fulfilled. But self-indulgence, inordinate ambition, was not eradicated from his heart, and after a time revealed itself in words of vanity. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 9

Dr. Kellogg, it is essential that you read carefully and prayerfully this whole chapter. The Lord has placed you in an important position. He will honor you just as long as you honor Him. The dream given to the king of Babylon is a very striking one. Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest ruler, the most powerful king, of the time, and the prosperity of his kingdom, which had been given him of God for the glory of God, caused the Lord to designate that kingdom as the head of gold. But Nebuchadnezzar turned the warnings of God against himself. Instead of tracing out the end of all earthly things and the setting up of God’s everlasting kingdom, he turned aside to follow the imaginations of his proud heart, thinking that his kingdom should be a more extensive and powerful kingdom than it then was. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 10

The dream given him was very explicit, but the magicians, the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans could not make known to the king his dream or tell the interpretation thereof. Those who do not love and fear God cannot understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. They cannot approach unto the throne of Him who dwelleth in light unapproachable; and the things of God are to them mysteries of mysteries. But the king bears testimony to the fact that the servants of God understand the things of God. Daniel told the dream and the interpretation thereof before the king. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 11

Daniel was esteemed by the king because of his unswerving integrity, for he was faithful in honoring God at all times and in all places. His wisdom was unexcelled, and neither he nor his fellows would make any compromise to secure positions in the court, or even to preserve life itself, when the honor of God was involved. In the early part of his acquaintance with Daniel, the king had found that he was the only one who could give him relief in his perplexity, and now at a later period, when another perplexing vision is given him, he remembers Daniel. Calling him into his presence, he says, “O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretations thereof.” [Verse 9.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 12

Then Nebuchadnezzar related his dream, saying, “I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth. The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: and the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head, upon my bed, and, behold a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven. He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cur off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 13

“Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots 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 in the grass of the earth: let his heart be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given him, and let seven times pass over him.” Now mark what is said by this heavenly messenger as to what is the purpose of the fulfillment of this vision. “The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the Holy One: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men.” [Verses 10-17.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 14

This was the dream that came to Nebuchadnezzar, and he appealed to Daniel to declare the interpretation. Daniel was much troubled as he saw the significance of the dream was, but he told the king what would befall him, saying, “Thou shalt be driven from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and thou shalt be made to eat grass like oxen, and shalt be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” [Verse 25.] Then Daniel exhorted the king, as we have before presented, to break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. But the light from heaven was not accepted, and did not exert a saving influence upon his character. Those who receive light will either change their course of action, or else the Word of the Lord will become less and less palatable, and will finally be set aside. The king did not heed the words of warning, and he greatly perverted his ways. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 15

The statement, “Thou art this head of gold,” flattered his vanity, and his rule became oppressive. [Daniel 2:38.] He exalted himself, and determined that his kingdom should be like an image that was all gold. He cherished jealousy of other kingdoms, and after the light God gave him had been made clear to his mind, he still perverted his course of action, and exalted himself before God. His rule that had been to a great extent just and merciful, because God had imparted wisdom, now manifested the vanity and oppression of the human heart. The reason God had given him was misapplied and misused in glorifying himself, and was finally dethroned. He followed the instincts of the beasts; he ate the food they ate, and acted as they did. For seven years the king was an astonishment to all his subjects. He was an example of what it is to be humbled of God, because he did not honor God, but made himself as God. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 16

The Lord gave him the truth, but he did not practice it. The universe of heaven said to the king of Babylon, “Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” [Matthew 16:23.] The ways of men are opposed to the ways of God. The Lord Jesus gave lessons to His disciples to show to us all that it is through His grace alone that we shall be able to discern spiritual truths. “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [John 14:15-17.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 17

To us who believe have been committed the oracles of God. The books of Daniel and Revelation are full of matter which concerns every one of us. We should study these books, and let the Lord God of Israel communicate truth to us, so that we may be able to communicate the truth to others who live in these last days. The Lord would have His people learn of Jesus. God forbid that those for whom He has wrought shall become highminded and be left to their own way as was the king of Babylon. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 18

Those who are regarded as wise men, who are exalted to positions of trust, may be tempted to take a course like that of the king of Babylon, but rather let them be taught by the Lord’s dealings with this king and understand that all human glory will certainly be stained. God will leave men to their own exalted ideas, and prove that the wisdom of men is foolishness. God would have men learn through the experience of others that human imaginations are not current with God. The Lord sets His seal upon those who build their characters according to the Pattern shown them in the mount. We are safe only as we follow Jesus, and drink from the fountain of wisdom which is pure and undefiled. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 19

The lesson that the Lord would have all humanity learn from the history of the king of Babylon is that all those who walk in pride and self-exaltation, He is able to abase. The chastening that came upon the king of Babylon wrought reformation in the heart of the king and transformed him in character. Before his humiliation he was tyrannical in his dealings with others, but now the overbearing, fierce monarch is changed into a wise and compassionate ruler. Before his humiliation he defied and blasphemed the God of heaven, but now he acknowledges His power and seeks earnestly to promote the happiness of his subjects. At last the king had received his lesson. “Come all ye that fear God, and I will make known to you what he hath done for my soul.” [Psalm 66:16.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 20

The Lord designed that the greatest kingdom in the world should show forth His praise. Nebuchadnezzar says, “At the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever and ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and 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?” [Daniel 4:34, 35.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 21

In the experience of Nebuchadnezzar is contained a lesson to which we should give heed, lest we fall into temptation. The perils of the last days are upon us, and we should watch and pray, read and heed the lessons that are given us in the books of Daniel and Revelation. In mercy the Lord has wrought in behalf of the Sanitarium, the college and the Review and Herald office. Just as long as those in connection with these institutions walk humbly with God, heavenly intelligences will co-operate with them; but let all bear in mind the fact that God has said, “Them that honor me I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] The Lord manifested Himself to the four Hebrew youth in the courts of Babylon. They were surrounded with temptations on every hand, yet God set a hedge about them in order that they should not be corrupted, because they preserved their simplicity of faith. There is a lesson in this for us. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 22

When the Lord specified that there should be a health and temperance institution at Battle Creek, He also specified what should be its object. It was not to be fashioned after the character of any other institution in the world. It was to stand as a Seventh-day Adventist institution that would give character to His cause in the world. It was also to be an asylum for those who should accept the truth, to which they could resort when sick. It was to be a place where the truth should be made to shine out, not where it should be placed under a bushel. The truth should be the all important thing in the institution. The Lord designed that it should be a place where He would be honored in word and deed, where His law should be magnified, where the true faith of the Bible should ever be made prominent before its patrons. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 23

In these last days it is our duty to ascertain the full meaning of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. All our transactions should be in accordance with the Word of God. The first, second, and third angels’ messages are all united, and are revealed in the 14th chapter of Revelation from the sixth verse to the close. The whole gospel is to be proclaimed throughout the world. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 24

The advice given to students to the effect that it is essential for them to go to Ann Arbor in order to obtain a finished education is a mistake. They will obtain an erroneous education in which errors and infidel sentiments will be mingled with truth. Many thus advised become unsusceptible to the truth, and a season spent at Ann Arbor will serve to mold their characters after a false standard. Is the soon coming of Christ a reality to us? Let every student seek to reach the highest point of education and be fitted for an inheritance with the saints in light. If he is educated in such a way as to reach this, he will learn that which will continue through eternal ages. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 25

The banner of the third angel has inscribed upon it, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Verse 12.] Our institutions have taken a name which sets forth the character of our faith, and of this name we are never to be ashamed. I have been shown that this name means much, and in adopting it we have followed the light given us from heaven. Let us hear what the Lord saith, “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death: wherefore whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. ... It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-14, 17.] 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 26

The Sabbath is God’s memorial to His creative work, and it is a sign that is to be kept before the world. There is to be no compromise with those who are worshiping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 27

A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly, for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God’s memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and [the] disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 28

The land that has been abundantly blessed of God is fast filling up the cup of its iniquity. The figures on the side of iniquity are rapidly reaching the sum of corruption which was reached by the Amorites, and by the Jewish nation, once the elect people of God. In the days of Christ they made void the law of God, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, and this led them to reject the Son of God. When the people accept and exalt a spurious sabbath, and turn souls away from obedience and loyalty to God, they will reach the point that was reached by the people in the days of Christ. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 29

Oh, if the world could only know this perilous fact, and turn away from the course which they are pursuing! How short-sighted is the policy that is being brought in by the rulers in the land to restore to the man of sin his lost ascendancy! They are manifesting wonderful zeal in taking this spurious sabbath under the care and protection of their legislatures, but they know not what they are doing. They are placing upon a false sabbath divine honors, and when this is fully done, persecution will break forth upon those who observe the Sabbath that God gave in Eden as a memorial of His creative power. Then the commandments of men will be clothed with sacred garments, and will be pronounced holy. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 30

Shall anyone then choose to hide his banner, to relax his devotion? Shall the people whom God has honored and blessed and prospered refuse to bear testimony in behalf of God’s memorial at the very time when such a testimony should be borne? Shall not the commandments of God be more highly esteemed when men pour contempt upon the law of God? 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 31

Medical missionaries must be sent into all parts of the world to carry relief to suffering humanity. The president of our General Conference asks, Shall we build or shall we not build? Shall we provide a building to accommodate our students who are being educated for medical missionary work? We answer, There will be no need of building in a short time. If our people will heed the light that God has given them, and will move out of Battle Creek, ample room will be provided for our students who are connected with the Sanitarium. Too many responsibilities now center in Battle Creek. A shaking will take place there, and people will not crowd so constantly and so persistently into Battle Creek as they have done in the past irrespective of the warnings of God. We have not the men to fill positions of trust who will carry forward the work successfully; but let those who remain in Battle Creek be faithful sentinels in carrying the light to other towns and cities. They could do a work for the Master by letting their light shine forth. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 32

When the law of God is being made void, when His name is dishonored, when it is considered disloyal to the laws of the land to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath, when wolves in sheep’s clothing, through blindness of mind and hardness of heart, are seeking to compel the conscience, shall we give up our loyalty to God? No, no. The wrongdoer is filled with a satanic hatred against those who are loyal to the commandments of God, but the value of God’s law as a rule of conduct must be made manifest. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 33

The zeal of those who obey the Lord will be increased as the world and the church unite in making void the law. They will say with the Psalmist, “As for me I love thy commandments above gold, yea; above fine gold.” [Psalm 119:127.] This is what will be sure to occur when the law of God is made void by a national act. When Sunday is exalted and sustained by law, then the principle that actuates the people of God will be made manifest, as the principle of the three Hebrews was made manifest when Nebuchadnezzar commanded them to worship the golden image in the plain of Dura. We can see what our duty is when the truth is overborne by falsehood. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 34

The law of God cannot be made void by the law of a nation. When the law is trampled in the dust, the sacredness of the commandments of God will be vindicated by those who are loyal to Him. We are to make no railing accusation against the nations, for this would close our way so that we could not set the light before the people. Every objection raised against the commandments of God will make a way for the advancement of truth, and enable its advocates to present its value before men. There is a beauty and force in the truth that nothing can make so apparent as opposition and persecution. When this is revealed, many will be converted to the truth. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 35

Many who profess the truth do not know its preciousness, nor realize the richness of the assurances God has given. And they will not understand this until they are pressed into places of difficulty. But then they will understand what the Saviour means when He says, “I will manifest myself unto them.” [John 14:21.] When surrounded by those who have not the love of God, the Christian will realize how precious it is to have communion with God, and to obtain views of eternal redemption. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 36

Day by day we are to learn by searching the Scriptures that God does not exalt one man for the purpose of controlling the minds and the practices of another. Everything that is done to direct people to follow the sayings and observe the customs of men, in opposition to what the Lord has said, is wrong. Those who dare to take the guidance of men, should understand that these very men need to be guided by that voice which has said that there is to be no lording it over God’s heritage. We have need of broadminded, deep-thinking men; but we do not need men who, because they are in positions of trust, will think that they should put the yoke upon their fellow men. Those who think that their position gives them this authority had better become Bible students. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 37

The end [purpose] of all government was beautifully set forth by the Lord in the symbol of a tree that gave shelter to the beasts of the field and to the birds of the air. Nebuchadnezzar was at one time a superior ruler, a man more compassionate toward his subjects than was the ruler of any other heathen nation, and his rule was symbolized by a lofty tree. But the man who thinks it is his prerogative to command his fellow men, and says, You shall, and, You shall not, is entirely out of his place. He takes upon him that which was never given him, and lords it over God’s purchased possession. Every man is accountable to God for his actions. The man in a position of trust who is guided by the Spirit of God will always protect the weak, relieve the needy, and look after the widow and the fatherless. 11LtMs, Ms 15, 1896, par. 38