Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

118/457

Lt 98a, 1897

McCullagh, S.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 8, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 348-349; 7MR 174; 10MR 166-172. +Note

Brother McCullagh: 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 1

What can I do for you? Can I do anything to relieve your mind? Can I make any explanation of the matters that trouble you? A man that throws away his religious experience without obtaining a reality must indeed be under a deception, and this I know you to be under. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. He was foolish; for he could not buy it back again, though he sought it carefully and with tears. I do hope that this is not your case. It is a serious matter to sell the soul for any price. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 2

I have not slept since twelve o’clock this night. It is now two o’clock a.m. I am praying for you, and I believe that God will hear prayer. Jesus our Redeemer prayed for Peter that his faith fail not. Peter denied his Lord thrice. He declared, “I know not the man,” and tried to emphasize his denial by cursing and swearing. [Matthew 26:74.] What have you been done to the Lord’s delegated messenger? Think it all over and consider. What reason have you had for taking the position you have against me? What I have said or done in thought, word, or deed lies open before God, and I am not ashamed to meet it in the judgment. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 3

You have no reason now, any more than you had years ago, to turn away from the Christian unity which should exist between those who know the truth. Do you not know that you are fighting against the pricks? I have given you no occasion in my words, my deportment, or in anything whatever, to act as you have done. Who then has turned you from the faith once delivered to the saints? If you thought me in error, did you at the same time conclude me to be a hypocrite? Is this why you made no effort to sit down by my side, and for my soul’s sake show me my dangerous error? I do not speak now in reference to myself personally, but in reference to the mission, the work God has given me to do in His name. And I pray for the grace of Christ that I may be a faithful steward of His grace. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 4

Will you, my dear brother, write out every point in my case that troubles you. I will try to answer you candidly, and if it is possible, relieve your mind. But have you not spoken words of me that you know are not just and true? You do not, you cannot, believe the statements you have made against me, when you stop to consider them. They are not true. I have laid the truth plainly before you, as the Lord has presented it to me. Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 5

I plead before God most earnestly, “Save him, for thy mercy’s sake, save him. Let him not become an apostate from the faith. Restore him, and pardon his transgression.” I cannot let you go. I remember Peter, and I do not consider your case hopeless. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 6

I enquire, Who hath bewitched you, that you should not believe the truth? You have made reports in reference to me being rich. How did you know I was? For about ten years I have been working on borrowed property. Should I sell all that I have in my possession, I would not have sufficient to pay my outstanding debts. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 7

Where have I invested this money? You well know where. I have been the bank from which to draw to carry forward the work in this country. Coming to this country has put me to a loss of five thousand dollars worth of property. But this does not worry me, because I put my trust in the Lord. The Lord knows all about this loan. It came through no mismanagement of mine; it was the result of living in this country. My business in America has to be carried on without me being there to see to it. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 8

I have borrowed money to do the work which must be done. Not one shilling of the donations sent me, from the least sum to larger amounts, has been used for myself. Our good Sister Wessels made me a present of a silk dress, and made me promise I would not sell it. But I thought that had she placed in my hands the amount the dress was worth, it would have been used in the cause of God. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 9

I see debts on our meetinghouses and it hurts my soul. I cannot but feel distress over the matter. I have invested money in the Parramatta church, in the Prospect church, in the Napier church, in the Ormondville church, in the Gisborne church, and in the education of students. I have sent persons to America that they might be fitted to return and do work in this country. If this is the way to become rich, I think it would be well for others to try it. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 10

All the royalty on my foreign books sold in America is sacredly dedicated to God for the education of students, that they may be fitted for the ministry. Thousands of dollars have been thus expended. Is this the way to accumulate money? The old story that Canright and others have circulated, that I was worth thirty thousand dollars, is all fiction. It has increased to thirty thousand pounds, by report, since I came to Australia. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 11

I do not know where it is. I am using up my means, just as fast as it comes in, to carry forward the work in this country. If I had thirty thousand pounds, I would not have sent to Africa for the loan of one thousand pounds on which I am paying interest. If I could, I would get a loan of another thousand pounds, so that we might be able to put up the main school building. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 12

I have not thirty thousand pounds. I only wish I had a million dollars. I would do as I did in Sydney. I would put men in the field to labor, defraying their expenses from my own funds. We need one hundred men where we now have one in the field. But the treasury is nearly empty, and I have not money to spare for the publication of books and for the many calls that demand means. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 13

I am making a true statement to you. Why did you venture to make statements concerning this matter when you did not know the facts in the case? I have not a surplus of means. I wish I had. I am praying for it to my heavenly Father. I believe that His stewards have means, if they would invest them in His work. When Elder Haskell came from Africa, Brother Wessels sent me fifty pounds. Other friends sent donations. This I have invested in different lines of the cause. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 14

I believe the truth with all my heart. I have not a shadow of doubt. I know what I have seen and what is being fulfilled. I have not only seen, but read the Scriptures, and I have read them with a glad, prayerful heart, for they have explained many things which the Lord has been pleased to reveal to me. I can never express my gratitude for the treasures found in the Word of God, which have enabled me to understand that which I have been shown by God. I know by experience that the entrance of God’s Word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I see marvelous light in the Word of God. It shines into my mind, and my soul temple kindles with its beams, which I try to flash in their radiant spiritual beauty upon the path way of others. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 15

In regard to the building of my cottage, I had not the slightest idea that it would cost so much to build a plain, unadorned building. I could not be here. I left the work in the hands of Brother Shannon when I went to the camp meetings in Armadale and Hobart. Had we been on the ground, we might have lessened the expense considerably. But it costs twice as much to build a house here as it does in America. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 16

I now ask you again, What have I done that has changed your attitude toward me? I have always spoken freely to you of my financial situation. I keep nothing secret. That you should feel it your privilege to make the assertions that you have made is not the inspiration of the Spirit of God. His Spirit is truth, all truth; it never falsifies, never betrays sacred trusts. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 17

I have ever borne a straightforward testimony, because I feel the deepest interest in souls. I want you to be saved. I know that if you had heeded the testimonies of warning and encouragement sent you, you would not be where you are today. But with these testimonies before you, you have gone on and on, doing the very things that you were warned not to do. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 18

I feel a deep longing that you should break the spell that is upon you and return to the Lord with your whole heart. He will receive you. I have a very high sense of the value of the human soul. O if we could all know, as did our Lord Jesus Christ, the preciousness of the souls he came to our world and died to redeem! Why then should any one be careless of his soul? That soul has the privilege of gaining immortality, for immortality is God’s free gift to all who receive and believe in Christ. O, if we could only see how God regards our souls, we would not treat our eternal interests in such a careless, indifferent manner. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 19

The Lord Jesus, who made an infinite sacrifice to save His people from their sins, knows all about the higher life to which He is trying to raise them. He is the only one who can understandingly say, “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36.] To Him let us commit our souls as unto a faithful Creator, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. Souls, my brother, are precious. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 20

By looking constantly to Jesus, from morn till eve, with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. They feed upon His Word; for it is spirit and life. This Word kills the natural, earthly nature, and a new life in Christ Jesus is created. The Holy Spirit comes as a Comforter to them. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the mold of the divine similitude. The image of Christ is reproduced in the human agent, and by the transforming efficacy of the grace of Christ he becomes a new creature. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] This is the new birth. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 21

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [Verses 14, 16.] The yearning after entire conformity to the will of God, after His holiness and peace, opens the eyes of the understanding to see the doctrines of the Word. Thus God’s children are strengthened and established; they are “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 15:58.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 22

The Lord is soon to appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to take those who have received Him to the mansions He has gone to prepare for them. We are anxiously awaiting His coming. We need to keep the armor on. We need to be all that the name Christian signifies. We need to live in habitual communion with God our Saviour, abiding in Him. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 23

Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. It is a conflict, a battle, a march, day after day. All who reach the standard must learn the lesson that it is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. If we sit with Christ on His throne, we must be partakers with Him of His suffering. Individually we will experience that which was spoken of Christ, “It became him ... in bringing many souls unto glory to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” [Hebrews 2:10.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 24

“Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” [Hebrews 5:8.] Shall we then be timid and cowardly because of the trials we meet as we advance? Shall we not meet them without repining and complaints? “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” [John 15:20.] “In this world ye shall have tribulation;” but the Lord Jesus will give us all that we ask and believe that He will bestow. [John 16:33.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 25

The Lord would not have His servants unjustly charged by their fellow laborers with the guilt of many sins. Those who do this do much harm by creating a sentiment which will cut off the influence of those against whom they speak. False impressions will be made. Every effort should be made to present the facts as they exist. It is essential for the one who has borne false witness to see that he [has] been guilty of a great wrong in causing dissension in the church and in creating false sympathy, thus leading others into the same error and endangering their souls. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 26

The great apostle to the Gentiles was testified against falsely. At Philippi, unsustained by law and justice, he showed his enemies that they had treated him and his brethren shamefully. “They have beaten us openly and uncondemned, being Romans; and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay verily, but let them come themselves and fetch us.” [Acts 16:37.] And yet this same man writes, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” [1 Timothy 1:15.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 27

This is the attitude every man should take toward God. He has no plea to make, no legal right or legal claim to urge, in the presence of God, regarding the gifts of God as something due to himself. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 28

When man assails his fellow men, and presents in a ridiculous light those whom God has appointed to do work for Him, we would not be doing justice to the accusers, or to those who are misled by their accusations, should we keep silent, leaving the people to think that their brethren and sisters, in whom they have had confidence, are no longer worthy of their love and fellowship. This work, arising in our very midst, and resembling the work of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, is an offense to God, and should be met. And on every point the accusers should be called upon to bring their proof. Every charge should be carefully investigated; it should not be left in any uncertain way. The people should not be left to think that it may be or it may not be. The accusers should do all in their power to lift every sign of reproach that cannot be substantiated. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 29

This should be done in the case of every church. And when there is a servant of God whom He has appointed to do a certain work, and who for half a century has been an accepted worker, laboring for the people of our faith and before God’s workers, as one whom the Lord has appointed; when for some reason one of the brethren falls under temptation, and because of the messages of warning given him becomes offended, as did the disciples of Christ, and walks no more with Christ; when he begins to work against the truth and make his disaffection public, declaring things untrue which are true, these things must be met. The people must not be left to believe a lie. They must be undeceived. The filthy garments with which the servant of God has been clothed must be removed. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 30

If those who have done this work take shelter in the statement that they are led by the Holy Spirit, it is as Satan clothing himself with the heavenly garments of purity, while still working out his own attributes. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 31

I feel deeply over the spirit which is being manifest, because it works like evil leaven. Those who are led by it do not first go to the one they witness against and lay every charge before them. They do not give them an opportunity to clear themselves. But Christ declares, “I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say unto his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there the gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” [Matthew 5:22-24.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 32

Every effort should be made to clear the guiltless from evil surmisings, evil-speaking, and false accusations. Every true child of God should be willing to view the case of his brother or sister correctly, and look at all the facts as they are, for the Lord would have unity jealously preserved. Christ prayed that His disciples might be one with Him, as He was one with the Father. [John 17:22.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 33

When any man or woman listens to a charge against a brother or sister, this sin is defined as backbiting. “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle, who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil with his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor, in whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honored them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh a reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” [Psalm 15:1-5.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 34

Here, not only is one who bears the false witness condemned, but also the one who listens to the report. When charges are borne against God’s servants, they are borne against Christ in the person of his saints. Those who hear and accept these reports, who act as though the reports were true, create dissatisfaction. They are traitors, because they did not bring the charge to the one against whom it was made. By thus tattling about things, men evidence that they know little of Christ. They show that the food upon which their minds feed is scandal. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 35

The Lord gave me my appointment in my youth. It was a mystery to me. After a severe struggle, I accepted the work, and in my experience I have proved that the Lord had unmistakable, far-reaching, wonderful plans in it all. Out of my weakness I was made strong. Many a time in the ever-recurring necessities, I was made strong in his strength. I was helpless, and ready to die, but he renewed me, and lifted me up, and I abide unto this time. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 36

Nothing has been made more distinct and plain than that the Lord has chosen me to do His work, His great work. I was taken from among the young, in the deepest affliction, and the conflict and experience has been growing from year to year until I no more doubt that this frail thread of humanity has helped to compose the web that God is weaving in the loom of heaven. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 37

I have learned to trust in God and not to expect any one but Him to understand the work He has given me to do. Others, with the knowledge of the way God has led me, may be unappreciative and unsympathetic; they may have no more idea of the work given me than a child. I have had experience after experience with my supposed-to-be unchangeable friends, whom I have found to be as trustworthy as a reed shaken by the wind, unable to read and understand my life struggle. They have given themselves up to evil surmisings, to watching for evil, to duplicity and falsehood. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 38

I have met with this ignorance of spiritual things until I have learned to say with Paul, “None of these things move me.” [Acts 20:24.] They may say, “She hath a devil,” or “She doeth these things by the power of the devil.” They may say anything their hearts lead them to say. I know myself of the hardships, the disappointments, the anguish of spirit, that I have been compelled to know, when I have realized that I am alone. I stand in God, with heart and mind open to the heaven-revealed truth. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 39

I stand against men of low degree and against men of high degree, conscious that the truth revealed to me nearly fifty three years ago was from God. No human being has been able to wrest it from me. At times I have had to face nearly the whole church in defense and vindication of the heaven-sent light. Yet God has upheld me, and these many years an unchangeable testimony has been borne. Looking over more than half a century of experience, I can say with confidence, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth up. Hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works, and will declare them.” [Psalm 71:17.] The puny arm of man has been powerless to hinder. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 40

Though my heart is pained when I see how little the work given me by God is comprehended, yet I am neither discouraged nor disposed to yield up the work God has given me. I know that God has laid this work upon me. Any course that my brethren may take will not alter my mission or my work. Again and again I have been obliged to stand against those who cry, “Lo, here is Christ,” and “Lo, there is Christ. Lo, this is new truth.” [Matthew 24:23.] The crusade against the work of God has been firm and determined, yet those engaged in it have not accomplished their purpose. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 41

Had I not known that God was my teacher and my stronghold, I must have been discouraged when so many started up, and cut themselves loose from the work God had given them to do, bringing in new theories, new impressions, and new principles. But the word has come, Heed them not; go straightforward. I am thy Teacher; I am at thy right hand, and will uphold thee. I know that the Lord will help me work my vein of gold and silver, and bring out my precious ore after many think that no more is to be had. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 42

With every departure of our institutions from straight lines, with every new departure from right principles, strange methods and principles are brought in. But abuses come with them, and follow one after another in endless succession. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 43

Those who will keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, will see an abundance of work to do in every field. But souls can be saved only by those who have themselves drank deeply of the water of life. As their work increases in importance, and souls are won from the world, they are not to look upon this as an evidence that there is less to do. It should reveal a new portion of God’s moral vineyard to be worked. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 44

When men after enjoying the truth and accepting the messages sent from God yield to temptation in a crisis, and become offended, when they turn their thoughts in other channels and advocate that which is entirely opposite to their work in the third angel’s message, they show that unless they are thoroughly converted, they will follow in the footsteps of Canright. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 45

God is calling for volunteers, for men who will not turn away from the truth they have strenuously advocated for years to advocate erroneous doctrines. Because some have not been diligent students, because they do not understand the true reasons of the genuine faith, there will be no less power or fewer laborers. Others will take the places in the ranks made vacant, who will be receptive and who will appreciate the sacred character of truth. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 46

At the eleventh hour, when the work grows harder and the people are more hardened, there will be a variety of talent brought in. These workers will prove faithful and receive their penny. Sacrificing men will step into the places made vacant by those who would not be fitted for a place in the heavenly temple. These resources will continue to come in. The Lord will provide openings and facilities. He will call upon the youth to fill up the places made vacant by deaths and apostasies. He will give young men and women, as well as those who are older, the co-operation of the heavenly intelligences. They will have converted characters, converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues. Their lips will be touched with a living coal from the divine altar. If they will learn the lesson of walking humbly before God, if they will not seek to invent new plans, but will do that which the Lord has appointed them to do, they will be enabled to carry God’s plan onward and upward without narrowing it. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 47

The school is being opened, that young men and women may have opportunity to become better acquainted with the reasons of the truth. Many of these reasons have past into history, but they must also be presented as living truth, which must be exalted and magnified till the close of time. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 48

All who join the ranks of Sabbathkeepers should become diligent Bible students, that they may know the pillars and ground work of the truth. They should study prophetic history, which has brought us down point by point to where we are at the present time. This is God’s plan for our school. Young men should attend who desire to become educated for any line of work, who have capabilities and see the necessity of learning more and still more where we stand today in prophetic history, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, even from Genesis to Revelation. Christ is the Alpha, the first link, and the Omega, the last link, of the gospel chain, which is welded in Revelation. These young men will not have fixed habits of wrong, or defects in disposition and character that will make them inflexible. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 49

With what care should every one come to the study of the Scriptures! With what a determination to know all that it is possible for him to know of the reasons of every point of the faith; especially the Sanctuary question, and the first, second, and third angels’ messages, should he study. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 50

Men who have become established in the truth will not be soon moved away from it to plunge into an abyss of uncertainty. The Lord would have all those who take their position on the truth know that they do know where their feet stand, whether it is on slipping sand or the unmovable rock. How attentive should they be to every sermon, to every Bible study. How carefully should they listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit that leads into all truth. Those who proclaim the truth to others should open their hearts to receive every principle that the truth embraces, and then they should bring these principles into their practical life. Doing this, they eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit witnesses to the message coming to the people coming from the messenger who is holding forth the Word of life. How attentive should they be to suggestions and thoughts, to the divine impressions that the Spirit of God writes in the memory and stamps upon the soul. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 51

Every one who lives for God should pray most earnestly and take heed how they hear. God will speak to them with the still, small voice. He will not shout in their ears, but will speak to the soul. In the name of the Lord we must call and prepare the young for the battle. They must understand God’s plan for work in every stage of their upward march. They need to know for themselves the reasons of our faith, and make it their experience. David cannot put on Saul’s armor; it is too large for him. But every piece of God’s prepared armor must come from heaven’s armory. The youth must obtain their teaching through their work. The divine Word must be eaten and brought into the current that circulates through mind, heart, and soul. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 52

Let the youth obtain a knowledge of the Bible in our schools. Then let them work on that which they are persuaded is the truth. Those who come to our schools will also be taught that God will hold them responsible for their reason, and the way they use it; for their time, and how they spend it; for their speech, and how they employ it. These are God’s precious talents. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 53

The youth should keep advancing in knowledge during the school term. Then they should make use of the knowledge they have obtained, for the benefit of others. They are to pray to God constantly, when they are by themselves; and at the family altar and when they walk in the streets, they are to uplift their hearts to God, praying to be kept from temptation. God will give such youth more than natural judgment and intuition. If they will give themselves to him, he will give them skill and adaptability. They will have mistakes to correct and victories to gain, and gradually they will grow into stronger, wiser men and women in Christ Jesus. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 54

Success will come when the youth are educated in this way. It will not come from natural ability, but from the molding of the heart by Christ. By beholding Christ, they become changed from glory to glory, from character to character. Righteousness and truth are in the inward parts, work outward in the expressions, and from the tenor of the character. Students must constantly be taught from the word of God. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 55

All are to work for unity and harmony of purpose. Everything that is done in connection with the work of God must be divinely done. Truth is something that must be passed on to others. There are souls to be saved, souls who must have the truth for this time from the word of God, to prepare them for that which is opening before us. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 56

Satan is moving with intensity from beneath, and is bringing all his forces to bear to unsettle those who have once been established in the truth. These are the very ones who by yielding up the truth which they have once advocated, can do the greatest harm to the cause of God. Quite a large number will enter this path, because the truth they once believed had not been brought into their life-practice. But those who depart from the faith and refuse to give the last message of warning to the world will walk in paths in which the Lord does not lead. Satan goes before them, clothed as an angel of light. They will follow on in false paths until they shall discern what is comprehended in the wrath of the Lamb. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 57

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. ... And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves. And he answered me, and said, Knowest thou not what these be. And I said, No, my lord. Then said, he, These are the two anointed ones, which stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:6, 12-14.] 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 58

This oil the wise virgins had in their vessels with their lamps. This oil is the Holy Spirit, which the foolish virgins did not have. Character is not transferable. When as in the case of the foolish virgins, they find their lamps going or gone out, faith and love and knowledge of God and the truth have left them, as water leaves a leaky vessel. We may have this holy oil; we must have it. It must be emptied from the holy olive trees, the two anointed ones, that are commissioned to empty the oil from themselves, and communicate it to the churches. But those who choose to follow the impulses of their own natural temperament, will find themselves without the holy oil. 12LtMs, Lt 98a, 1897, par. 59