Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 4, 1898



February 20, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 336-337; 1BC 1095; 8MR 352.

My Brethren:

Our work is to watch and wait and pray. Search the Scriptures. Christ has given you warning not to mingle with the world. We are to come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing; “and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you; and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] Whatever the opinions you may entertain in regard to casting your vote in political questions, you are not to proclaim it by pen or voice. Our people need to be silent upon questions which have no relation to the third angel’s message. If ever a people needed to draw nigh to God, it is Seventh-day Adventists. There have been wonderful devices and plans made. A burning desire has taken hold of men or women to proclaim something, or bind up with something; they do not know what. But the silence of Christ upon many subjects was true eloquence. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 1

My brethren, I have a message for you. The Lord would have you put your trust in Him, and every day, from sunrise until sunset, consider your individual responsibility. The responsibility resting upon every individual, if at all realized, makes his life a very solemn one. Consider what is truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. ... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:17, 19.] I set myself apart to the entire service of God, that I may leave others an example that they may safely follow. The perfection of Christ’s character is what we should struggle for earnestly. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 2

You may ask, as did Cain, Am I my brother’s keeper? I answer, “No man liveth to himself.” [Romans 14:7.] Remember that every move you make is in the full sight of the heavenly universe. Impulsive movements may be made, which will make a wrong impression on human hearts. Thus seeds of evil, which will bear their harvest, are sown. After ministers or those in responsible positions make remarks, they cannot gather up the thoughts they have planted in human minds. Under Satan’s temptations they have expressed that which has set in operation a train of circumstances that lead to results they never thought would occur. An act, a thought, a word, when cast into the minds of the great concourse of humanity, if it bears the heavenly endorsement, will yield a harvest of precious fruit. Then with what watchful care should we guard every talent of influence, and study and practice the life of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 3

In every movement made, prayerfully ask, “Is this the way of the Lord?” because you may start many persons in the right way, and encourage them by your example. You are in the service of God, to do His will and His way. In all that you do, you are influencing others, and eternity alone will reveal the results. Let us devote more time to prayerfully studying from cause to effect. “Lift up the hands that hang down,” either in discouragement or through yielding to temptation to engage in wrong actions. “And the feeble knees.” [Hebrews 12:12.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 4

There are many souls looking to those whom they suppose have light and faith. These persons are responsible for their influence, for many are weak in moral courage. They are by no means firm, steadfast, courageous Calebs, but they are inclined to walk away from right into false paths. What is our individual duty, we, who have been long in the truth, who have had a large experience? “Make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. But rather let it be healed.” [Verse 13.] This is the work of all who have been placed in positions of responsibility. If you have the mind of Christ, you are your brother’s keeper. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 5

Christ has taught us by precept and example to walk in all lowliness of mind, striving to reach all who need help, and seeking to restore them. All self-exaltation must die. Only beneath the cross is found the precious grace that is to be cultivated and nurtured. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 6

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, (wholeness for God) without which no man shall see the Lord.” Consider these words, “Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness, springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” [Verses 14-16.] What was the matter with Esau? He had no respect for sacred things. He sacrificed spiritual things for the gratification of appetite, for the love of selfish indulgence, pleasure and gain. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 7

Christ has brought within reach, and secured for every man, high and temporal and spiritual blessings. This is the birthright of every soul born into the world. Esau represents those who have not tasted of the privileges which are theirs, purchased for them at infinite cost, but have sold their birthright for some gratification of appetite, or for the love of gain. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 8

Esau cherished a reckless spirit. How many, although professing to be Christians, are doing the same thing, selling their souls for the gratification of selfish indulgence? A heavy burden has rested upon my soul in regard to the demonstrations made by those who should have been close to the cross of Christ, and leading others there. An enthusiasm is shown which God’s Spirit has not inspired. How did the heavenly universe look upon the demonstrations made by Seventh-Day Adventists, as others of the same faith zealously advocated an opposite worldly policy? What impression was left on the minds of unbelievers? Were they favorably impressed in regard to our faith and the testing proof of God for these last days? 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 9

My brethren, will you not remember that none of you have any burden laid upon you by the Lord to publish your political preferences in our papers, or to speak of them in the congregation, when the people assemble to hear the word of the Lord? 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 10

“Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. ... But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and unto an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 11

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth, but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” [Verses 15, 22-29.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 12

Let the words in this chapter have some weight upon your course of action. Those who move heedlessly forward may start a train of circumstances leading to evils that they cannot control. They have thrown into the mass of humanity a grain of thought which Satan will take care shall live and do its work by causing the root of bitterness, which means any kind of evil, to spring up, whereby many will be defiled. Then shall ministers and the stewards of God’s grace in any line of His service mingle the common with the sacred? If they do this, many are defiled, and the result is charged to them. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 13

Esau did not look upon it as so momentous a matter to sell his birthright. But afterwards, “when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” [Verse 17.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 14

“Let brotherly love continue.” [Hebrews 13:1.] Let it. If the human brotherhood in Christ Jesus will contemplate their Saviour, they will not only receive Christ, but will receive from Him power and grace that will cause them to be recognized in heaven as the sons of God. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” [Verse 2.] Here is a truth I wish to present before you. Angels in person have been guests in the dwellings of humanity. Apostate angels have also come in person into families. Where they were entertained, they have dropped seeds of doubt and unbelief which have started a fatal train of circumstances. Parents and children have accepted the temptations of Satan to their ruin. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 15

“Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Hebrews 12:15.] Read and consider these words. A man claiming to be a Christian may entertain one temptation from the devil. That temptation leads him to work in the same lines, because he has entertained and nourished the dangerous root. And many are defiled. And how much larger number have that “many” poisoned. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 16

The Lord says through Paul, You are to look diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God. If he does fail, he leads many others, by precept and example, to fail of fixing their eyes on the Lord Jesus. I beseech you as men in responsible positions, to keep your eyes upon your leader, the Lamb of God. Then you will learn of him. You will not only profess to believe the truth, but you will practice the Word of God most diligently. You will have neither time nor disposition to come in touch with the champions of evil, which will be abundant in these last days. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 17

The work God would have us individually do is to voice His mission and do His works, keeping Christ as the living center before all minds. Just as soon as those who claim to believe present truth feel at liberty because of the example given them by ministers and men who are supposed to be stewards of sacred trusts to mingle with the world and take part in its politics, they have awakened a spirit of strife and a burning enthusiasm that quenches the Spirit of God in the human heart, and opens the door wide for the enemy of all righteousness to take possession. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 18

Controversies will spring into life. The third angel’s message, where is it, and what part does it act in the experience of those who do not give evidence that they are the people of God? They are not compassionate, they are not amiable or gentle. And those who were once witnesses for Christ will lose their hold on Christ. They will climb out of the cleft of the rock, and in process of time will reveal the class of education they have been receiving, which has made them hardened sinners. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 19

“If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” [2 Corinthians 4:3.] The god of this world has blinded their minds, obscured their fine perceptions of righteousness and true holiness. They may boast of riches in the knowledge of the Scriptures, but they are poor and wretched, miserable, blind, and naked. They have need of inward purity. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 20

The Lord Jesus is dealing with us individually. I raise my voice in warning my brethren in the ministry and the lay members of the church. Seek the Lord in the most earnest, heartfelt, thorough manner. We must have an experimental knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Inquire in the light of the Word of God, Am I a friend of God, or am I an enemy of God? Am I gathering with Christ, or am I scattering from Christ? The soul is too precious, of altogether too much value for its salvation to be risked on supposition. The Lord Jesus leaves no soul without light sufficient to test him, and to prove whether he is obedient or disobedient. The true light will shine into all hearts directly from God. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 21

A response from the heart to the gospel message means life and hope and restfulness and peace. He who is imbued with the love of Christ is one with Him. He is drawn out in communion with Jesus. He abides in Christ, and Christ abides in him. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 22

I urge upon all who open the Scriptures to others to read carefully and with a heart to understand the words found in the second epistle of Timothy, chapter two, verses four to eight. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. ... No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for the mastery, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruit. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. ... Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” [Verses 2, 4-7, 14.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 23

This is a terrible responsibility. In the place of being a savor of life unto life, many are a savor of death unto death. They subvert their hearers and ruin their faith by inculcating ideas and principles which are received from the councils of Satan, and which turn their hearers away from the truth. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 24

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [Verse 15.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 25

“But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to the more ungodliness.” [Verse 16.] Please read to the close of this chapter. If the men selected to stand in positions of truth do not seek wisdom from God, if they open their hearts to the temptations of the enemy at a time when right actions mean so much to the kingdom of God, and if they set in operation through careless counsel plans that cause the ruin of souls, are they not responsible for the result of their course of action? If human laws do not condemn them, they will be held responsible by the divine law of God. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 26

I again repeat, Come out from among them, and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. There are forces at work in our world that will not be checked or stayed. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” [1 Corinthians 6:15-17.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 27

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-18.] Please read the entire chapter. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 28

“Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] The office of the ministry is a sacred office. “We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ... Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.” [2 Corinthians 6:1, 3.] Read this Scripture carefully and may the Spirit of God reveal to you the necessity of meeting a higher standard. We need to watch and pray and purify our hearts through the grace given us by Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 29

My brethren who believe the truth. I tell you that division will constantly arise. Unholy principles will be brought to the front. All classes will be called upon to take their stand on one side or the other. Christ says of one class, Let them alone. Men who have so long trampled upon the rights of God, who have accepted the idol Sabbath will accept very strong and unreasonable beliefs. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 30

The Lord is not in the alliances that are being formed with political movements. They are bound to bring confusion and great entanglement. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing.” [Verse 17.] 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 31

The Word of the Lord is to be studied. It contains lessons for nations, for churches, for individuals. Warnings are given us in this Word, that we may learn clearly the way of safety for the soul. The greatest thing each human agent is to study is, How shall I save my soul? God has given to every man his work. Do you stand under God’s colors, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ? Those who would be overcomers are to make it their first work to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And all other things shall be added unto them. We are not as a people to become mixed up with political questions. All would do well to take heed to the Word of God, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers in political strife, nor bind with them in their attachments. There is no safe ground on which they can stand, and work together. The loyal and the disloyal have no equal ground on which to meet. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 32

He who breaks one precept of the commandments of God is a transgressor of the whole law. Keep your voting to yourself. Do not feel it your duty to urge every one to do as you do. That one rotten plank is in every platform. Men trample under their feet the holy law of Jehovah. “What communion hath light with darkness? ... Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” [Verses 14, 15.] I tell you in the name of the Lord, You cannot bind up Christ with Belial. The elements will never mingle. The Lord tells His people the conditions of their prosperity and the continuance of His favors and blessings. There must be no intercourse with idolaters. It was a violation of this contract on the part of the Jewish nation that led to their overthrow. No man can possibly serve two masters. He cannot enter into partnership with Christ and with Belial. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 33

The Lord Jesus is desirous to find persons who are trustworthy, those who will wear His yoke and lift His burdens. He has been crucified afresh and put to open shame by those who should have proved Calebs in His cause. Those who will so quickly go out of the way to bind up their influence with those who are at enmity with God know not what they are doing. They are making a record that they will be ashamed to meet in that great day when the Judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, and every case will be decided according to the things written in the books. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 34

We have no more strength and grace given us than we can wisely appropriate. If God has a work for any of His commandment-keeping people to do in regard to politics, reach the position and do the work with your arm linked in the arm of Christ. The salvation of your souls should be your greatest study. All for whom Christ has died are to become familiar with His life. What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Satan has many subjects of interest and these he lays before the minds of those who need to know more of Christ. If a man should gain the whole world and yet build upon the foundation hay, wood, and stubble, all will be consumed by the fires of the last day. But the man who has committed the keeping of his soul to God can repose in faith, assured that He is faithful who has promised. It is life, eternal life, to be true and loyal to Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 35

Brethren at the heart of the work, enter not into Sodom. Be willing to suffer inconvenience, if you can remain far from Sodom. The idols of gold and silver will very soon be cast to the moles and to the bats. Be content to live where you can have the bread of life, that living bread that came down from heaven. Keep holy the Sabbath day. We need to be much more particular than we are in regard to the Lord’s institution. Bind about the edges of the Sabbath. Let us study the prospect. Let us all allow our workers, if possible, the hours from noon on Friday until the beginning of the Sabbath. Relieve them, that they may prepare to meet the Lord’s day with quietude of mind. Let all the work of preparation, cleansing the body, blacking the boots, be finished early, and the family assemble early to read the Word, to sing and pray before the Sabbath shall begin. You will be no losers temporally. Let us study this, for we have all been remiss. We need to confess to God and to one another, and begin anew to make special arrangements, that every member of the family may be prepared to greet the Sabbath, with every preparation made, to honor the Lord’s day, that He has sanctified and blessed. 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 36

Let us study this subject. I know that the Lord has been greatly dishonored by those who have claimed to be Sabbathkeepers, but who have not kept the Sabbath in spirit or in precept. Please read carefully the fifty-eighth of Isaiah. This Scripture may be studied with profit by our people. God calls upon us all, ministers and people, to be re-converted in regard to [the] observance of the Sabbath day. The whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah will bear more attention and closer study. Shall we not take these things to heart? Shall we be remiss in our duty? Shall we not confess our neglect, the want of reverence we have shown for the Sabbath, by bringing in our own work, our own words, and our own unsanctified thoughts? 13LtMs, Lt 4, 1898, par. 37