Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 128, 1897

Wessels, Brother and Sister [John]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 25, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 153-156.

My dear Brother and Sister John Wessels:

I received your letter stating your connection with the sanitarium in South Africa. If you are a necessity where you are, then I would not in any way make duties for you. If the time has not yet arrived for you to leave your present situation, then continue where you are till you see your duty in this matter. The Lord has promised to give us wisdom on condition that we accept Him as our Guide and Counsellor, and ask of Him with unwavering faith. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 1

If any man lack wisdom, let him ask—of his brethren, thousands of miles away, who have no more wisdom than he himself, who are finite, and who make mistakes and errors in judgment? Thank the Lord, He has not directed us to any source so uncertain for counsel and direction. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5.] Will you not bring your plans to God, and lay them all before Him? 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 2

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind, and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [Verses 6-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 3

Here the inspired apostle has given us the only safe course to follow in our life experience if we would develop the attributes of a true Christian. There is to be no uncertainty in these matters. The Lord would have every one who receives Him by faith perfect a Christian character during probationary time. The work of the Spirit of God in a man is not a work that unfits him for the common duties of ordinary life. There is not to be one religion for business and another religion for the church. The work of the Spirit of God embraces the whole man, soul, body, and spirit. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 4

If the Word of God is cherished as an abiding principle in the heart, and held fast under all and every circumstance, man is brought, with his entrusted capabilities, [into subjection] to the Lord Jesus Christ. His undivided powers, even his thoughts, are brought into captivity to Christ. This is true sanctification. All the parts of the experience blend in complete harmony. He is “wanting in nothing.” He does not keep part to himself, to do with just as he pleases. He is bought with a price, and he knows it, because the Word of God declares it; and therefore he glorifies God in his body and spirit, which are Christ’s. [1 Corinthians 6:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 5

It is important that all who are striving for perfection of character shall strive lawfully. “The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light.” [Matthew 6:22.] This says, “thine eye,” not some other person’s eye. The rich experience that it is our privilege to have, we lose when we expect some one else to do our seeing for us, and guide us in our spiritual experience as if we were blind. We must have a single eye to God’s glory, a single and persistent purpose to leave self and the preferences of others out of the question, not asking, “If I take this course, shall I increase my personal possessions, or shall I decrease them?” 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 6

Great simplicity must be cherished by him who seeks wisdom of God. Then his feet will not slide. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look straight on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” [Proverbs 4:18-26.] 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 7

He who truly loves and fears God, striving with a singleness of purpose to do his will, will place his body, his mind, his heart, his soul, his strength, under service to God. Thus it was with Enoch. He walked with God. His mind was not defiled by an impure, defective eyesight. Those who are determined to make the will of God their own must serve and please God in everything. Then the character will be harmonious and well-balanced, consistent, cheerful, and true. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 8

“But if thine eye be evil,” if you study selfish purposes, and work only to that end, the whole character is defective, the whole body is full of darkness. [Matthew 6:23.] Such do not look to Jesus. They do not behold His character, and they are not changed into His image. The spiritual vision is defective, and the way from earth to heaven is darkened by the hellish shadow of Satan. So Satan is pleased to have it, for he can lead that person blindfolded to ruin. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 9

“If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” [Verse 23.] The conscience is the regulative faculty, and if a man allows his conscience to become perverted, he cannot serve God aright. His object in life shows to the world whether he is a Christian or in rebellion against God. His whole life is a failure. It is distorted and double, and all the faculties are misdirected. The profession may be all right, but the faith is perverted, and this is revealed by the practice, which misleads others. “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Verse 24.] 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 10

I have given you the definition of the Word of God as presented to me in James 1:2-8 and Matthew 6. Please read both these chapters; for we need to study carefully and prayerfully the special directions there given. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 11

I am making this letter longer than I designed. I learn that it will be a day or two before the steamer leaves Sydney. I shall mail this matter today. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 12

I have a deep interest in your spiritual welfare, and in that of your whole family. You are each living your probationary time day by day, obtaining your experience as the days pass; but you can go over the ground only once. Then let every precious moment be employed as you will wish it has been when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened. Our Lord will judge us according to the opportunities and privileges that we have had. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 13

Speaking of faithful men of the past, Paul says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.” [Hebrews 11:13-16.] The great hope which the patriarchs and prophets had constantly in view—a city which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God—came down to the disciples. They described and foretold in prophecy a better country, even a heavenly, in seeking which they were willing to be pilgrims and strangers upon this earth, with no desire to return to the associations they once had in the world. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 14

Christ brought the same attraction to view, saying, “In my Father’s house are many mansions (permanent abiding places). I go to prepare a place for you.” [John 14:2.] Let us prepare to move to that better country, even the heavenly. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 15

In much love. 12LtMs, Lt 128, 1897, par. 16