Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 75, 1897

The Position God’s People Should Occupy


July 29, 1897

See variant Ms 75a, 1897. Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MR 37-38.

Those who accept Christ will follow on to know the Lord. This acceptance means conversion through the Holy Spirit’s power and efficiency. The working of the Holy Spirit upon the human agent brings to him a conviction of sin, makes him susceptible to truth, [and] enables him to discern and make earnest application of it to his own heart. This power preserves him from falling under temptation, and imparts to him wisdom in winning souls to Christ. And every true believer who will follow on to know the Lord will have this power working in him. He will discern in Christ not only the Alpha of Genesis, but the Omega of Revelation. He will learn by personal experience that Christ is the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star, and that it is through His church, His people in their unity, that He is to shine in undimmed luster to the world. He beholds himself as the work of Christ. Having the mind of Christ, he walks in His footsteps, and his good works and love for others testify to the world that He is Christ, that God has sent His Son to impart His Spirit to His people, and that they may represent Christ in their love for one another. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 1

God’s people dishonor Him when, traveling the narrow path that leads to eternal life, they take the attitude of mourners, when they cover the altar of God with their tears. The service of God is a cheerful service, and should make the church full of the brightness of Christ. God is pleased when divine joy and praise and thanksgiving proceed from the lips of those who have kissed the lips of Christ, not to betray Him, but in love and peace and reconciliation. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 2

But there is a false religion cherished, which is worldly and selfish—one that will contaminate the holy principles of righteousness. God is not pleased to have His people consider that their joy and elevation must come through the channels that parties of pleasure afford. In order to be missionaries, to do God service, we must work in Christ’s lines. “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” [Jude 20, 21.] If we consider heaven desirable, if we would enter the abodes of bliss, we must develop characters after the model that Christ has given us. We must prepare for the companionship of the holy and the pure, for the angelic host, for the presence of God, and our Redeemer whose we are by creation and by redemption. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 3

The converting power of God must come upon church members. Then they will be blessed, and be made a blessing to others. Individual daily conversion will accomplish everything for Christ’s body. It brings them daily into divine relationship with Himself, and their methods and plans, their tact and ability, are cultivated for Christ’s sake to do the will of the Father. Thus by placing themselves with true contrition of soul where they can be worked by the Holy Spirit, they bring the very highest qualifications into the work of God, and the church moves forward in the straight and narrow path. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 4

God calls upon His people to be alive to the importance of preaching Christ as the Root and Offspring of David, the Alpha and the Omega, the Author of our redemption. The words of truth to be voiced by His servants in the church cannot be called a new revelation; but as men come near unto God, the entrance of His word “giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] The simple are the humble and contrite in heart, made so by the opening of their eyes to behold wondrous things out of God’s law. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 5

The Lord designs that in the revelation of truth in all ages the doctrines of grace shall be gradually unfolded to the comprehension of men. If we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know His going forth is prepared as the morning. His truth unfolds as the obscurity of dawn brightens into the radiance of noonday. We have been fully convinced of this fact in these meetings. I have received a blessing in hearing from human lips the presentation of rich truth indited by the Holy Spirit of God, presenting the requirements of God—a holy and perfect obedience; showing that complete satisfaction has been given the Father in His only begotten Son as a Lamb without blemish and without spot; and that through the merits and virtue of Christ’s character, all who will believe in Him may become complete in Him. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 6

The kingdom of heaven, in the sense of celestial truth, is like treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field. He digs over every part of it that he may come into possession of its treasures. So in searching the field and digging for the precious jewels of truth, hidden treasures are discerned. Unexpectedly we find precious ore that is to be gathered and treasured. And the search is to be continued. Hitherto very much of the treasure found has lain near the surface, and was easily obtained. When the search is properly conducted every effort is made to keep a pure understanding and heart. When the mind is kept open and is constantly searching the field of revelation, we shall find rich deposits of truth. Old truths will be revealed in new aspects, and truths will appear which have been overlooked in the search. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 7

Thus it is with the teachings of Christ. But that which is of the greatest value and consequence to the Bible student is the truth in regard to the Holy Spirit. This occupies a vast tract in the teachings of Christ, presenting truths by which all minds become enriched. As they follow on to know the Lord, their minds become more susceptible of the truth, and they are enriched by the application to themselves. But the promise of the Holy Spirit is not appreciated because not discerned. Christians often stop short of the first approach to the acceptance of this gift. This subject needs to be brought home. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 8

Many have so long been satisfied with meager enlightenment, they have so long been content to sip a few drops of the heavenly grace, that they are disqualified for the great things of God. They do not know what it means to live, both temporally and spiritually, by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. But it is only those who live thus who will know the satisfaction of Christ as a personal Saviour. This promise is for all who believe in Jesus Christ, and is offered in largest measure. Its capacity is limited only as the human agent is incapacitated to receive it. There are souls to be rescued from customs and traditions, and errors hoary with age. They are starving and thirsty, while there is an abundance of the bread and wine of heaven in the influence of the Holy Spirit. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 9

The spiritual blindness of the Jews in Christ’s day had not become so dense all at once; it was a gradual process. They rejected the invitations of Christ, the Light of the world; they closed the windows of the soul that light might not shine into the chambers of the mind. For generations blindness had been gathering like a funeral pall around the rejecters of light. They had themselves forged the fetters that held them in midnight darkness never to be lifted or dispersed. “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John 12:40.] 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 10

The Jews could not discern spiritual things. They were not susceptible to the influences of the Spirit of God. Their continual resistance of the light that was shining clear and distinct upon them caused the light to pass from them. The very ones who were supposed to be the least religiously inclined, felt and responded to the message from Jesus Christ. Among the chief rulers many believed on Him. But they did not become witnesses for Christ; their belief was hidden; their light did not shine amid the darkness that was gathering closer and thicker around them. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 11

These men in high positions of trust did not acknowledge Christ for fear of being turned out of the synagogue. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Thus they lost this precious opportunity of standing on the side of God by confessing Jesus Christ. They did not find that strength which they might have received in fellowship with God, wearing the yoke of Christ, sharing His cross, and bearing His burdens. Said Christ, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me; and he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” [Verses 44, 45.] To close the eyes and senses to Christ is to eclipse God from the mind. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 12

Often the Holy Spirit is not desired by men because it reproves of sin, of righteousness neglected, of a judgment which they have tried to forget; and as a result, when the selfish, pleasure-loving souls are brought where the truth of God is spoken, if they are not dead to all the impressions of the Spirit of God, they are like a train of mourners in a cemetery. They feel like calling upon others for a fast, a solemn assembly. They prostrate themselves before God as representatives of a church gasping for the breath of life, ready to die. Most pitiful prayers are made for God’s mercy. But the real cause of their departure into such darkness is not discerned. They do not realize that it is their false ideas of what constitutes the life of a Christian. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 13

The remedy for all such is found in the first chapter of Second Peter. There the Apostle says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things by in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Verses 2-8.] By living upon the plan of addition every day, living the character of Christ, adding to our spiritual strength by spiritual watchfulness, we become partakers of the divine nature, overcoming the pollutions of the world through lust. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 14

God has commanded His people to come out from the world and be separate. But after they suppose they have sufficiently humbled themselves, they pursue the same course as before until conscience is again partially aroused. This is the picture that has been presented before me. They go from a state of mourning and humiliation of soul, deploring and gloom and spiritual strengthlessness to think for a while of the full price that has been paid for them. Then, under the temptations that surround them, they go on as fast and careless as before in the service of self, leaving eternity out of their reckoning. May the Lord open the eyes of our sleepy and dying churches to see that now is the time to get the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps that they may not be classed among the foolish virgins. 12LtMs, Ms 75, 1897, par. 15