Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 106, 1898

Chapman, Brother [T. A.]


November 29, 1898

This letter is published in entirety in PC 44-49.

Dear Brother Chapman:

We were pleased to receive word from you this noon. Your letter was read to me by Willie. Every word of it was of interest. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 1

This morning I sent you copies of the things I said to the people when in Rockhampton. I have a very deep interest in the church in that place. Why should I feel an interest in them? Because the Lord has an interest in them, an interest much greater than it is possible for me to have. I am praying that the Lord will teach and lead you. I have spoken to the ear, but the Lord alone can speak to the heart. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 2

The Lord says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Revelation 3:19.] He would have every soul heed His counsel, which is given for their present and eternal good. Again he says, “I know thy works.” [Verse 15.] When those works are not in harmony with the truth, they are against the truth. “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 in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” [Verses 20-22.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 3

The Lord is speaking to the church in Rockhampton. O that they would be doers of His Word. My brethren and sisters, I call upon you in the name of the Lord to hear the Word of God and to practice it. Of the Israelites the apostle says, “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” [Hebrews 4:2.] This opens before us the secret of this matter, the reason why there is so little accomplished by the many discourses that are preached. The words may be indited by the Holy Spirit, but the result lies with the ones who hear. The oft-repeated charge of the Lord in His word is, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” [Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8; 14:35.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 4

It makes every difference whether the word spoken is received into good and honest hearts. The Israelites had the word spoken to them by Jesus Christ from the pillar of cloud, but like many who hear the glad tidings of truth and righteousness in thee last days, they did not hear with consecrated ears, and believe. Selfishness and pride, murmuring and unbelief, compassed them about as with a garment. They aggravated their guilt by not hearing with faith, and practicing the word spoken. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 5

It was faith that men lacked in the days of Noah, and it was this lack of living faith that brought destruction upon them. How different would have been the result had they heeded Noah’s appeals as the voice of God speaking through him. But they were unwilling to hear and to receive the engrafted word which would have saved them. It is faith, an active faith, that will make the gracious promise of any avail. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 6

Again the apostle speaks, “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness, nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. ... For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” [1 Thessalonians 2:4-8, 19, 20.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 7

We know and understand the deep poverty of many who are striving for the crown of life. We are not ignorant in regard to the deep working of Satan, which our brethren will have to encounter. Brethren, you must bear in mind that Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. He moves upon men to make it hard and trying for those who strive for the crown of life. He has come down with great power, working his will, carrying out his plans, that he may keep souls under his control. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 8

I write to the church: Be not unbelieving, but have faith. Receive the message sent to you from God. He has sent you light, not because He would afflict you and cause you pain, but because He loves you and would have you escape from the snares of the enemy which would entangle your souls. Let the good work of purification go forward. Meet the standard the Lord has given you. My brethren in Rockhampton, whom I love in the Lord, I feel an intense desire that Satan shall not triumph over you, but that you should think soberly and righteously and make thorough work for eternity. Read the third chapter of First Thessalonians. The apostle had a great burden for his brethren in Thessalonica. He writes, “For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.” [Verse 5.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 9

When we read the letter from Brother Chapman, we praised the Lord. We felt somewhat as we supposed Paul felt when he wrote, “But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you, therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? ... And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end that he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” [Verses 6-10, 12, 13.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 10

The same spirit which moved the apostle to write to his brethren has moved me to write to the church in Rockhampton. I feel a tender solicitude for you that the Lord may do for you all that the apostle Paul so greatly desired should be done for his brethren in Thessalonica. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 11

The apostle continues, “Furthermore, then, we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more, for ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor. ... For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. But as touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” [1 Thessalonians 4:1-4, 7-12.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 12

We must keep the standard uplifted. God is not slack in the fulfilment of His promises. He is jealous for His name’s glory. A whole heaven of resources are at our command. Seasons of prayer. Read the first chapter of Second Thessalonians. I present this entire chapter as appropriate for your case. I speak to you in love, for my heart is full of tender compassion in your behalf. You will have trials but ever guard your souls, that you may not dishonor your Lord who has bought you with a price. He wills that you should have strong faith and a lively hope. He wants you to improve in order and discipline and courage and fortitude and love for one another, that you may seek to help one another to keep the law of God, and be blessed. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 13

Brother Chapman, be of good courage in the Lord. Have faith. Place yourself in the hands of the great Physician, believing He will restore you to health. Do not doubt for a moment. Did not Christ come to the world as the One testified to in prophecy by Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for the spirit of mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 14

And the very One who gave this prophecy to Isaiah testified to His <own> work in (Luke 4:16-18); therefore we are encouraged to hope largely and received abundantly of His rich grace. We may come in faith. Take the Lord at His word. He is abundantly able and glad to respond to the faith of His believing ones. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 15

Satan is the destroyer, the Lord is the Restorer. The Lord has not worked as a physician in the way that He desires to work, because, He says, Ye will not come unto Me, that I may give you life. [John 5:40.] We look to every source for relief from suffering and death but to the One who proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] Christ came into our world to seek and to save that which was lost. His work as the One who heals all manner of diseases in unequaled. There are those whom the Lord uses as His co-laborers in the medical missionary work. These God is seeking to illuminate, that they may receive light and knowledge to communicate to others, and thus brighten the dark pathway of those who are oppressed by suffering and disease. If the sufferers would only come in faith to the divine Healer, they would see of the salvation of God. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 16

But in the place of co-operating with the mighty Healer, by using the very means He has provided, by educating themselves to use water and fresh air, and to avoid all uncleanness of person and premises, they turn to physicians who are in no way connected with the Lord Jesus, and take their prescriptions of drug medication, which leave their poisonous trail behind, implanting in the system seeds of suffering and death. Oh, why do they not inquire of God? Why do they not seek help from the One who so loved them that he gave his only begotten Son to save all who would believe on Him. Is He not just as well able not to battle with the powers of darkness on the point of disease, as when he walked in humanity upon the earth? Where is our faith when we turn to every conceivable resource but to the One who declares that He came to the world to do a special work in healing the sick? Whey are not all who accept Christ so illuminated that they can irradiate others, and lift them from grovelling in intemperance of all kinds, leading them to let drugs alone? 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 17

Christ met one poor soul who had spent all her living in order that she might be cured of a physical malady. The statement is that she had spent all she had on many physicians, and was nothing better, but rather made worse. But one touch of Christ by faith took away the infirmity of long years. This suffering woman came behind Christ, and touched His garment by faith in the person whom the garment covered, and instantly she was made whole. “Who touched me?” said Christ. Peter was astonished. He answered, “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?” [Luke 8:45; Mark 5:31.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 18

Christ desired to give a lesson which all present would never forget. He would show the difference between the touch of living faith and a casual touch. He said, “Somebody hath touched me; for I perceive that virtue hath gone out of me.” When the woman saw that she could not be hid, she came forward trembling, and throwing herself at his feet, told her pitiful story. Christ comforted her. “Daughter,” he said, “thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace and be whole of thy plague.” [Luke 8:46-48.] 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 19

Why do we not come to Jesus in faith? Many give Him a casual touch, coming in contact only with His person. The woman did more than this. She put forth her hand in faith, and was healed instantly. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 20

The Lord will heal those who believe, but He has given natural blessings for the benefit of the afflicted, and He would have these used. God could have healed Hezekiah with a word. But He head Hezekiah’s prayer, and gave directions that a bunch of figs should be placed upon the diseased parts. This was done, and Hezekiah recovered. But his recovery was not instantaneous. He had not the same faith that the afflicted woman had. We need to exercise faith. To practice the use of drug medication does not harmonize with faith. Appealing to worldly physicians is a dishonor to God. Those who come to God in faith must co-operate with Him in accepting and using His heaven-sent remedies,—water, sunlight, and plenty of air. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 21

It is of no use to have seasons of prayer for sick persons, while they refuse to use the simple remedies which God has provided, and which are close by them. If there is an unsanitary condition of things in the house and about the premises, the very first thing that is to be done is to take up the work that has been neglected, and cleanse and purify the house and premises, making everything sweet, that the atmosphere may not be tainted by the least offensives smell. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 22

The Lord gave certain directions to the children of Israel. They were to gather at the base of Mount Sinai, to hear the voice of God speaking the Ten Commandments. But first they were to wash their clothes. Again He commanded that no uncleanliness should be tolerated in the encampment, lest the Lord should pass by and see their uncleanness, and because of this not go up with their armies to battle. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 23

Some people ask God to preserve their families from all sickness and disease, while uncleanliness and untidiness are seen in the home, with the very things that create disease. Can God glorify His name by working a miracle to prevent the plague coming nigh the dwelling of those who do not care to act their part to prevent malaria and fevers? The Lord does not work in this way. The human agent must act his part intelligently, keeping his body and his clothing clean and every room in the house in order. Then the Lord can approach his dwelling. I will be honored, saith the Lord, by them that approach unto Me. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 24

All who claim to love and serve God have a duty to perform. They are to keep themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. It is the failure to do these things that makes the religion of those who profess to be Christians vain. Our God is too pure and holy to tolerate any disorder, any uncleanness. The individual who poisons his breathe with the narcotic, tobacco, is defiling the temple of God, and him will God destroy. The will of God must be done on earth. Ignorance in regard to these things is sin. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 25

The friends of the truth will honor Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. Christ will prove Himself a physician in restoring the body as well as the soul. The workers together with God will yoke up with Christ, and place themselves, soul, body, and spirit, in right relation to God. Individuals and households will reveal the character of their faith by their dress, by their purity of speech, by their diligence in educating themselves and their children to be clean in the house, allowing no impurity in the house, no uncleanness on the premises, lest the Lord pass by and see their uncleanness. The Lord would have all things sweet about the house, that angels of God from the heavenly courts may be welcomed guests, and not kept away by dirt and uncleanness. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 26

The will of men, women, and children must be trained to cooperate with God. When they uplift themselves <to be pure and holy,> the Lord will set them in desirable places. Then, by precept and example, they can exert a refining, elevating influence upon their neighbors. The melody of spiritual joy, and spiritual as well as physical health, will be revealed, and will promote that blessedness which the Lord Jesus came to our world to impart to every individual who will believe. All may not be preachers, but all can minister, showing others how to be tidy and hopeful. This is like medicine to body and soul. Thus we may add grace to grace, and be all the time fitting ourselves for heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 27

In much love. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 28

P.S. I send you this that you may read it to the church. May the Lord bless you abundantly. We are praying the Lord to lead and guide you. 13LtMs, Lt 106, 1898, par. 29