Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 117, 1897

Wessels, Peter

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 26, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in ML 25, 263.

Dear Brother Peter Wessels:

Lie low at the feet of Jesus. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 1

Christ’s last prayer for His disciples, recorded in (John 17), followed the instruction given in John 16:24-33. This prayer was not fully appreciated by the disciples till after the resurrection of their Lord, and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Then it was understood and fully appreciated. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. As thou hast given him power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 2

“I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” [John 17:1-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 3

These words I was reading to you in the vision of my head upon my bed. I said to you, You are not free in spirit, and never can be free as long as you struggle to maintain your own individual superiority, and keep yourself in your own hands. When you yield yourself to God, as a poor, weak child, who has not walked in His footsteps but has followed paths leading away from Him, you will find help and courage, and will be strengthened to return to the Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 4

You are not following Christ today; you are following Peter Wessels. If you would cast your helpless soul on God, and no longer seek to carry yourself, the Lord would help you into the right way. But He will never justify you in a wrong course of action. Never! Never! Never! You may inaugurate special interests of your own, but they will never prosper. The Lord is a sin-pardoner, but He is not a sin-justifier. Sin must be cut out of the life of the servant of God. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 5

“The disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child to him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” [Matthew 18:1-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 6

Study what this means with reference to your individual experience. The enemy works through the world to offend. He strives to lead God’s people to do that which will imperil their spiritual purity and the healthfulness of their thoughts. You have yielded to him, and you are not cleansed from these things. Your spirit is not clean before God. Your heart goes out after your idols. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 7

Think how in this work you have corrupted the imagination and the soul. I entreat you, for Christ’s sake, to take heed, lest you perish. Do not, I beg of you, sell your soul for a mess of pottage. You are not in that state of mind that a man should be who receives from the conference credentials as a shepherd of the flock of God. You know you are not. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 8

You have been presented to me, not as a man who is contrite in heart, but as a man who is struggling to wrestle himself into a higher position. The Spirit that prompts to this course of action is not inspired by God, but is of the enemy. The human agent should not desire to be first; his greatest anxiety should be to understand what it means to be, in thought and spirit and practice, a pure, clean, consecrated agent for God. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 9

Please read the thirteenth chapter of John. I am writing on this chapter for The Life of Christ, and I would have you study it with the greatest carefulness and much prayer, for you are in constant weakness because you have made yourself weak. Humble repentance and contrition of soul, and entire dependence upon God through Jesus Christ, is your only hope. Do not, I beg of you, do anything rash. Do not, for Christ’s sake, act the part of Judas, and betray your Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 10

Your peril is greater than you realize. But while your thoughts are constantly intruded upon by the subtle, specious devising of the enemy, you can go before God, and say in truth, “Thou hast searched me, and known me; thou art acquainted with all my ways; thou knowest my thoughts afar off.” [See Psalm 139:1-3.] The Lord knows all about it; He has a thorough understanding of the character of your mind. By Him all thoughts are estimated, all actions weighed. He sees every unlawful thought upon which the mind feeds; He knows every impulse of the sinful heart. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 11

A man that has money has power. Money has influence, and it gains for him the confidence of poor, ignorant human beings. Over these he has an influence for good or for evil. When such a man uses his influence wrongly, and educates the ignorant in practices of iniquity, in practices which he would not have his relatives or the church know of because he is ashamed of them, what think you of that man being sustained in the ministry? 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 12

The men chosen by God to do His work will fear and tremble before Him, and will cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things?” [2 Corinthians 2:16.] You think it would be a terrible thing for your relatives to know of your past course of action. You would not want the church or the world to know the secret actions of your life. But God knows all about it, and the heavenly universe knows it. He whose eyes are too pure to behold iniquity sees it all. If you could see it as He sees it, if you could know what a hatred He has of such sin, how you would despise yourself. I will send again to you the testimony I sent before. Do not disregard it. Read it. Be convinced that the Holy Spirit has sent it to you; and put away your sin. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 13

“Men of low degree,” says the psalmist, “are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; they are altogether lighter than vanity.” [Psalm 62:9.] If the thoughts or motives of a king or of a beggar are employed in any dishonest way, even though it be but to covet a penny, the Lord knows it. There is a right way, and a wrong way. The actions done upon this earth determine the destiny of the actors. God weighs every man in the scales of the sanctuary. You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 14

My brother, ask yourself the question, Is God near me, or is He afar off? Must I ascend to heaven, and bring Him down to this world? Must I descend into the deep to bring Him up? No; the Lord and all the heavenly intelligences are very near this world. Let not the spirit of reverence place God so far above this world that He seems to be beyond the reach of the humble seeker after Him. The beings that He has created need Him, and they can have Him. His church is to Him the dearest object in the world. He is not far away from any one of us. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 15

“In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” [Acts 17:28.] If we climb up into heaven, he is there; if we go down into the deep, he is there; if we take the wings of the morning, and fly into the uttermost parts of the earth, even there shall his hand find us, and his right hand guide us. If you humble your soul before God, and seek Him with all your heart, you will not seek in vain. When you feel the necessity of drawing nigh to God, God will draw nigh to you. Your soul will be kindled with a holy fire, which will burn upward because kindled by God. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 16

What does Christ require of thee? Thorough cleansing of the soul-temple, that it may be fitted for His abiding presence. O that your soul may have a spiritual hunger for the personal knowledge of God. O that it may be touched with the love of Christ. Christ is to be your all and in all. Self is our enemy, and must be suppressed. Live your short period of probation close to God. Jesus Christ is your Helper. “God forbid that I should glory,” writes Paul, “save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” [Galatians 6:14; 2:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 17

Cry unto God in your soul, longing after the righteousness of Christ, and your thoughts will be turned to the love of Christ; you will no longer desire the highest place; your soul will cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” [Luke 18:13.] The response will come, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” [1 John 1:7.] Stand only in God, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. I entreat you to look to Jesus. Let the Lord be your fear and your dread. Fear to offend Him. Hide self in Christ, and then you will be as humble as a child. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 18

Have you purified your soul? Have you washed your garments of character, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb? Are they purified and made white? Remember the promise to the overcomer, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:5.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 19

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which will come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.” [Verses 10-12.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 20

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 21

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.” [Verses 14-21.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 22

“Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God!” [Matthew 5:8.] In the estimation of God, a pure heart is more precious than the gold of Ophir. A pure heart is the temple where God dwells, the sanctuary where Christ takes up His abode. A pure heart is above everything that is cheap and low; it is a shining light, a treasure house from which come uplifting, sanctified worlds. It is a place where the imagery of God is recognized, and where the highest delight is to behold His image. It is a heart that finds its whole and only pleasure and satisfaction in God, and whose thoughts and intents and purposes are alive with godliness. Such a heart is a sacred place; it is a treasury of all virtue. He who possesses such a heart is an example for old and young. This perfect temple wants no guest, relishes no company that does not perfectly harmonize with God. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 23

The very thoughts of those whose hearts are pure are brought into captivity to Christ. They are occupied with thinking how they can best glorify God. No unworthy imagery is introduced and cherished in the mind. O my brother, you need the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, that your thoughts and example may be such as heaven can acknowledge. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 24

I present this from God to you. God will work only with those whose hearts are willing to come into harmony with Him. When this is done, the soul is fitted to bring forth the highest purposes of God, according to His will. Then the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into the soul, and are communicated to others. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 25

Will you be patient? Do not hurry to get into a responsible place, but walk carefully and softly before God, and follow on to know the Lord. Thus you may perfect a Christian character. This work requires simplicity, and much prayerful thought, and a daily self-surrender to God. The true brightness of life and of character is that which comes from God. It is by reflecting heavenly light that we increase in brightness and efficiency. Lift up your soul in its brokenness and inefficiency, and the Lord will give you an experience that will be a blessing to you. But do not walk apart from God, thinking that of yourself you can grow spiritually, for it is impossible to do this. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 26

You and your brother Philip ought to stand in the light of heaven’s radiance, reflecting light to all in your home. The families with which you are connected should be blessed by your influence. This was the Lord’s purpose; this was your appointed work. But as Satan succeeds in keeping you discontented and at variance with your brothers, his object will be gained. By neglecting your appointed work, you will cause the ruin of some connected with you. The very ones you might help, if you had a living connection with God, will be lost unless you change, for if you fail, they will surely fail, through your influence. Because of your complaints, your mother will misjudge the brethren in whom she should have confidence. Unless God helps you, you are not ready for Christ’s appearing. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 27

When Christ was upon this earth, He gave lesson upon lesson regarding the pure character of His kingdom. The principles He laid down contrasted sharply with the ideas the disciples had previously received from the teaching of the rabbis. Christ taught that a moral fitness alone would secure an entrance into His kingdom, and He showed that whatever the disciples had received from the rabbis that was contrary to this was false. God requires the homage of a consecrated soul, which has prepared itself, by exercising that faith that works by love, to serve God. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 28

The highest ideal of perfection is held up by God. The soul must be perfect, that it may become a habitation for the Lord God of hosts. All that he has man has received from God. He cannot give God anything that will enrich Him; for all is God’s. But God is willing to give power to those that surrender themselves to Him. John writes, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] The child of sinful practices may be purified and cleansed from every defilement if he sees that sin is sin. This you have not yet seen in such a light that you would die rather than sin. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 29

My brother, will you have faith in God? In every age truth has been given for that age. The Christian evidence that we need, is found not in the experience of men but in our Bibles. The Word of God is the man of our counsel, for it brings us down from age to age, bearing its testimony to the unchangeableness of the truth. Not one of the ancient defenses of the word of God, appropriate for special times, has become worn out. No part of the Bible has died from old age. All the past history of the people of God is to be studied by us today, that we may benefit by the experiences recorded. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 30

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under a cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 31

“Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them also committed and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened into them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:1-12.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 32

I know you are in great peril, but Jesus died for you. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” [Hebrews 10:35-38.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 33

“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:7-14.] 12LtMs, Lt 117, 1897, par. 34