Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 79, 1897

Jones, Mr.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 14, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in SD 241. +Note

Mr. Jones:

I have an interest for your soul, and I must speak to you the message of truth. The mere name of “Christian” is of no manner of use to any soul. Unless he is such in heart and purpose, he will prove a ready victim to the snares and entanglements of Satan, to do his will and purposes. If the truth which you have been hearing is not rooted in the heart, you cannot stand against the corruptions of this degenerate age. There is only one power that can make us steadfast and keep us so—the grace of God in truth. The human agent who confides in aught else will be disappointed. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 1

I was sorry indeed for you as your case was presented before me, because you have had just that experience which will make you the sport of Satan’s temptations. But if you will now turn square about—no half way work, but with your whole mind placed on the Lord’s side—the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. Wisdom from above will be your guide; and while in God’s strength you hold your convictions of the truth of God firmly, you will not be left a prey to the baseless delusions that flood the world. Educate your mind in an opposite direction. If you are studying to obtain a better knowledge of a Saviour’s love, you have the sure promise of being kept by the power of God. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 2

We have great fears in your case that you will trust in a nominal religion; but a nominal Christianity is worthless. This class is the most difficult to reach. Those who have had opportunities to obtain a knowledge of the truth, yet are not in the truth or the truth in them, will always be misleading. Every soul is to stand for his individual self. In the day of test and trial none can buy or borrow oil of his neighbor. He must have the oil of grace in his vessel with his lamp. This is solid experience, and this experience should grow into knowledge, and this knowledge obtained by most earnest prayer will be fed by the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 3

I entreat of you to heed the warnings given you, and seek the Lord with all your heart. If you do this, you will find Him. Turn your attention particularly to yourself, and let nothing from any source engage your mind or heart. Then you may obtain spiritual perception. You will have a hand to hand, and foot to foot, battle with Satan, for he supposes that he has you fast. But Christ has died for you, and He will save you if you will seek Him with all your heart. This is your only hope. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 4

A miserable evil spirit is upon you. You do not have any sense of how offensive your words <and conduct> are to God, and of what an influence you are exerting over others. But if you will seek Him, the Lord will help you out of this long cultivated habit of frivolity and disregard of order and discipline in Christ’s lines. His voice in His Word has called to you, He has pleaded with you. It is that voice that has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 5

The Lord speaks to the poor, Satan-bound, deceived souls who allow their capabilities and power of influence to be worked by satanic agencies. They produce no fruit to the glory of God. Their religion is one of convenience. While they profess to believe in Jesus, their works give as unmistakable evidence to the contrary as if they said, “I know not the Man.” [Matthew 26:74.] “If thou knewest the gift of God,” said Christ, “and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [John 4:10.] Mark the words, “If thou knewest the gift of God.” Who is that gift of God? All things come to us from God through His abundant mercy and goodness; but One is the gift of God, the greatest of all gifts, and which brings all others in its train. Of this gift Paul speaks when he says, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” [2 Corinthians 9:15.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 6

Every blooming flower, with its delicate, beautiful tints and sweet fragrance, is given for our enjoyment and happiness through that One Gift. The sun and the moon were made by Him; there is not a star that beautifies the heavens which He did not make. There is not an article of food upon our tables that He has not provided for our sustenance. The stamp and superscription of God is upon it all. Everything is included and abundantly supplied to man through the one unspeakable Gift, the only begotten Son of God. He was nailed to the cross that all these bounties might flow to God’s workmanship. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 7

“If thou knewest the gift of God, ... thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [John 4:10.] Prayer must be preceded by an intelligent knowledge. If thou knewest the gift of God, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 8

Christ called the attention of the woman of Samaria from the inferior gifts that supply the temporal necessities, to the eternal. “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst,” He says. This draught is furnished from a reservoir that never fails. The knowledge of God and obedience to Him make fallen man one with Jesus Christ. Everlasting life is revealed in the gospel. Here alone is sufficient provision to satisfy all hunger and all thirst. “He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him,” says Christ, “shall never thirst;” for the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up with its refreshing, revivifying strengthening streams unto everlasting life. [Verse 14.] Through it the weary, exhausted, burdened soul finds rest. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 9

I would say to you, young man, that now is the time for you to be converted. All this frivolity is as natural to you as your breath. It is a family inheritance which will work for you all as a most powerful hindrance to your entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It is your stumbling block, and you know not at what you stumble. All the Jacob’s wells in the world will fail to satisfy your thirst. You are fallen through sin. You have never been converted to the truth. Your heart is not in the service of God. We wish that it were; but do not deceive yourself, for it is not. Your religion is not worth a straw. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 10

If the Holy Watcher should say to you, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee,” could Christ trace off against your name, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? [Luke 12:20; Matthew 25:23.] No; for you have not yet taken your position on the Lord’s side. You are in spirit and practice as one who has not received the truth in the love of it. You are drifting, drifting, drifting, without God and without hope in the world. You have a pretense of being a Christian, but you are not one. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 11

You are not deceived here, for had you read the Bible to any purpose, you would know this without my telling you. That Word declares, “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.] This power comes only to those who believe on His name. Every genuine believer in Christ in the first place obtains a knowledge of Christ, and that knowledge is of a character to generate confidence through heart obedience to His Word. Then comes that confidence that sustained Paul. He believed that Jesus, in whom he had believed and trusted, was able to keep that which he had committed unto Him against that day when He should be glorified in His saints, and be admired of all them that believe. This committal is first committed to the believing one in His name, and the believing one becomes a son of God. The gift of God which is life and truth and righteousness, gives him confidence to commit all to his Redeemer who has honored him with His name and His character. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 12

If your mind will become rational in regard to your soul’s eternal welfare, you will make a decided change in your behavior. All your sprees and selfish indulgences will become abhorrent to you. You will see and sense that your whole life has been a system of robbery of God. “Ye are bought with a price,” God says, “therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] No single talent entrusted to any man appears of little consequence, but the Lord has appointed a place for that talent that it may be used in blessing others. It makes every difference not only to your future, eternal interest how you use the Lord’s talents, whether small or great; it makes every difference in this life whether your course of action is approved or disapproved of God. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 13

Those who are really Christians will realize that this life is not to be one long holiday, to see how much pleasure they can get out of it. Christ lived not to please Himself. And it is Christ who gave His life for the saving of your soul, that you might appreciate the gift and come unto Him, that you might have power to overcome your natural temperament, co-operate with Him in cutting loose from the companionship of Satan, and become wise in Jesus Christ. You must consent to wear Christ’s yoke, the yoke of restraint; and to lift Christ’s burdens of perfect, entire obedience. You have His testimony, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:30.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 14

You are under responsibility to God during every moment of your probationary time. You may ignore your responsibility; you may refuse to yoke up with Christ; you may allow Satan to put his yoke upon your neck and make you the slave of sin—for you will wear either the yoke of Christ or the yoke of Satan—but there is no getting rid of the words of Christ, “He that is not for me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 15

Your talents should be cherished as of value. Christ has lent them [to] you to improve in the service of God. But you will never know to what you are appointed until you come to your senses, and awake to the duties that lie close to you, and which you have neglected, even the ordinary duties of life. Your talents should be employed in making the home life that which will be most acceptable to God, to be all that He requires of you. But unless you are yourself converted, heart and soul, you will fill no appointment of God in any place. Your choice is before you. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 16

You have excused yourself for spending your life in positively dishonoring God by saying that God does not expect us to be too strict in little things. But you or any man who has adopted such ideas are under a delusion. You have despised the counsels of the Word of God and followed where Satan has led the way. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 17

Will you lay your soul a manacled victim upon the altar of your lust? Jesus gave His own life to ransom you. What have you given Him in return in faithful service? I do not want you to forget that there is an account to be rendered to God for the work you might have done in blessing humanity and glorifying His holy name. Every talent is His, and entrusted to you for a purpose. Nothing that He has given you will be left out of His reckoning though you have left them out of your reckoning largely. How much owest thou unto thy Lord? Your unused talents are making you a man of opportunity that the devil can handle, and you do not perceive how your words testify against you. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 18

Bear in mind that day by day, hour by hour, you are laying up the material that will decide your destiny for eternity. Your whole work is passing in review before God, and is being bound up action by action, and word by word, until the second advent of Christ to the world. You are in possession of entrusted talents. Now is the time to trade with your Lord’s goods. At His return He will reckon with His servants, to know what every man has accumulated by trading. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 19

This is to be an individual work. The talents returned are to be proportionate to the talents received. And bear in mind that the rewards of the future kingdom will be proportionate to the work done in the hours of probation. “Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 20

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:1-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 21

The actual reward given will depend upon how earnestly we do our appointed work here. Each day you live you are making your mark for eternity. Then I entreat of you to make diligent work. God will accept no half-hearted service. Be careful; do not devote your time to self-pleasing. You cannot afford it. Do not consider it the privilege of yourself or any other to form attachments at the school. Keep the one idea in your mind that you are here for a purpose—to obtain a knowledge of truth, and to learn that your life has been wasted in unimportant things. Life is a talent committed to our care. Get this firmly fixed in your mind. It is mysterious and sacred. It is the manifestation of God Himself, the source of all life. Next to the angelic beings, the human family, formed in the image of God, are the highest and noblest of his created works. Therefore it is a solemn thing to live. When once lost, if it is not hid with Christ in God, the life is gone forever. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 22

I entreat of you to ponder the words I have written to you, for I am desirous that in this school term you shall have a personal experience in religious things, and do God service. A religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. 12LtMs, Lt 79, 1897, par. 23