Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 107, 1898

Brothers and Sisters in Rockhampton

Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

November 6, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in CG 509; AH 164, 226; 5MR 371.

To the Brethren and Sisters in Rockhampton:

All through the night past I have been exercised by the Spirit of the Lord. I was presenting to the people many things in regard to their high privileges. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 1

The Lord is pleased to see business done on strictly Bible principles. The Word of God is to be lived; it is to be brought into all the life practice. No dishonest, scheming act must appear. Before angels and men every soul must bear a decided testimony that the truth, Bible truth, has been brought into the daily life, that the power of grace is an all-sufficient agency to transform the character. Then purity will mark the words and actions in the home life, for the spirit will be brought into conformity to the meek and lowly spirit of Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 2

The only evidence of true conversion that we can give to the world is a well-ordered life, and a godly conversation. “By their fruit,” said Christ, “ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] We are required to give ourselves to the Lord first, then we are to work earnestly according to His will. What service, I ask, will be most acceptable to God? What enterprise dearest to the heart of Infinite Love? What will meet with the approbation of heaven? Christ has made an infinite sacrifice that the world might be sanctified through the truth. In co-operating with Christ, speaking the truth in love, we may win souls to Him. It was for this cause that Christ gave His life. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 3

My mind has been deeply exercised in regard to all who embrace the truth becoming, as a people, set apart to serve God—a people who bring their religion into everything. When the people in Rockhampton do this, the Lord will be well-pleased with His church there. In the past there has been but little harmony and binding together; there is to be a constant endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace. Love and tenderness are to be cultivated one for the other. With many there is need of a thorough conversion. Christ’s seamless garment is a representation of the unity that should exist in the church. All must see that there must be no rending of the seamless robe. It is not to be rent and torn by divisions until the figure of the garment is lost. Religion must do more than it has done for those who claim to believe Bible doctrines in these last days. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 4

There is too much waste of opportunities and talents. This must cease. Time is valuable. Let no moments be idled away. Rise early in the morning. Collect the family together at a seasonable hour, and send your petitions up to God to guide your family through the day. Offer your petitions with thanksgiving and with a sense of your great need of the watchcare of heavenly angels. Christ draws aside the veil which conceals the glory of God from our view, and reveals Himself, not in a state of silence and idleness, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand of the heavenly host, every one awaiting His orders, waiting to reveal the Lord God of heaven in communication with every part of His kingdom. He is bound up with the interests of the human family. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 5

He listens to every cry of oppression, observes every individual action. He is approving every deed of mercy and benevolence and condemning the act of oppression of man toward his fellow. He set His angels to work to relieve the oppressed, the discouraged and suffering. He sends His message of mercy to the tempted, suffering ones. He gives to man opportunities and privileges that he may acknowledge God, and render to Him the glory due His holy name, that He may teach [men] how to withstand the evils existing in the world and in their own natural and acquired traits of character. These must be sanctified through the truth, or we can have no claim to the name of Christians. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 6

Christ said to His followers, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” [John 16:7-11.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 7

A clear, decided testimony is to be borne in behalf of righteousness and truth. The Holy Spirit breaks out into utterances in Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1. God requires pure and undefiled religion of all. He asks every believer to strive for the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. Let every soul consider himself under bonds to God to appreciate himself. Human beings are of value with God, and He calls upon them to be sanctified through that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 8

What does the Holy Spirit do for the receiver? It gives him the mind of Christ. Study the first chapters of Hebrews and Colossians. It makes him a faithful worker for his Lord. The man who has caught the Spirit of God does not pet his own ideas, and make strong his own natural tendencies. He takes himself in hand, and brings “I” into subjection. He will not go forward in any false way, but represses the evil inclination. He will not excuse his faults, but in faith and much prayer will cut away the evil, whatever may be its character. When the Holy Spirit sees this determined effort, man is not left to struggle alone for the mastery. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 9

Christ says, “I am with you to help you in every true purpose. I will never leave you, I will never forsake you in the battle you have with the enemy.” When man places himself on the Lord’s side, he finds an unfailing refuge in Christ. Christ invites all, “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 10

The Lord calls upon every one who names His name to depart from all iniquity. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” [James 4:8.] You cannot be the servant of Jesus Christ and of the world at the same time. There are men who have talents and capabilities, who can do very much better than they have done. The truth received in the heart will never make the possessor coarse and rough and uncourteous. It refines his taste, sanctifies his judgment, makes him kind, patient, long-suffering, merciful, of tender compassion. Truth is always refining and ennobling in its influence. A transformation takes place in the character; ignorance is seen as a sin. The hasty temper, which often leads to a course of action which makes Christ ashamed to call them brethren will be overcome by persevering effort. Human depravity, which has had its stamp upon him, will be mastered, because he is a student in the school of Christ. “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” [James 1:19, 20.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 11

When those who profess to know the truth remain careless, uncleansed, they reveal that they are building on the sand. While they profess to know the truth, they are not doers of the truth. Some have let themselves down to a cheap common level of conversation. The truth is not brought into contact with the heart, the seat of the affections. The truth of God's Word has been assented to, but it has been left in the outer courts, as too precious a matter to become a part of the being. The question now is, Will men and women be sober minded, or will they keep Christ out of the heart? If the heart feels the power of His love, there will be a conformity to His likeness. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 12

Sanctified love never degrades. It elevates, ennobles, purifies, and brings sacred joy to the soul. The consciousness that we are in the sight of a holy God, that His presence is with us always, will keep us from all unholy impulses and lustful passions. The truth as it is in Jesus leads to complete surrender of heart, mind, soul, and strength to the service of God. “Whatsoever ye do,” Christ says, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 13

As a people who have had great light, we are to be uplifting in our habits, in our words, in our domestic life and association. Give the Word its honored position as a guide in the home. Let it be regarded as the Counsellor in every difficulty, the standard of every practice. Will my brethren and sisters be convinced that there can never be true prosperity to any soul in the family circle unless the truth of God, the wisdom of righteousness, presides? Every effort should be made by fathers and mothers to bring their own minds up from the lazy habit of regarding the service of God as a burden. The power of the truth must be a sanctifying agency in the home. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 14

There is talent in the church at _____, but it has been exercised too much in impulsive movements. Will every man that is so fortunate as to have a house of his own keep that house neat and cleanly and orderly? Do not let the poultry and cattle come into the premises adjoining the house, for such things cause unpleasant sights for the beholders, and such things go a long way to influence others unfavorably. Seeing such things, strangers will say, “That man’s faith has not done much for him, and I will not try it. I am not favorably impressed with his ideas of neatness and order.” They do not see the divine touch upon outward things. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 15

If you should rise early in the morning, and work a short time every day, you could set things in order and keep them so, even in the deepest poverty. If each member of the family is educated to consider himself a part of the family of God, everything will be sweet and clean and inviting to the sight. Let the universe of heaven see that you believe yourself to be in the presence of God, that in allying yourself with Jesus Christ you have yoked up with Him, and are raised from all former degradation. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 16

It is the privilege of all to give to the world, in their family government, in their customs and practices and order, an evidence of what the truth can do for those who obey it. You are not to allow yourselves to come down to a low, cheap level in words or works. The truth of God brought into the sanctuary of the soul, is the grand remedy for all physical, mental, and spiritual disorders. What ever the Word says is to be taken home. It is to be partaken of as the bread of heaven, as the flesh and blood of the Son of God. Fallen man must daily derive his vitalizing power from Him who has said, “I am the Light of the world.” “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [John 8:12; 14:6.] Apart from Him, everything is worthless. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 17

Brethren, sisters, God expects more of you than you have given Him. He calls upon you to be transformed in character. You are not in your present position because you have not had talents lent you, but because you have not exercised these talents diligently, and improved in habits of thought and action as fully as God requires you to do. You have not grown up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. You are spiritually dwarfed, because you have been too well satisfied with a haphazard experience. The Lord calls for much more from you, and this you can give Him through the strength which Christ will give you. Begin in your own homes. Let not lust be your master in the place of your servant. You have and always will occupy a low level until your lustful passions cease to rule you. You must overcome the lower passions, cut away the baser propensities, before you can know what it means to be worked by the Holy Spirit. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 18

I tell you in the name of the Lord that you need cleansing, you need purifying by the washing of the Word. Be diligent with your talent of time. Cheapness in talking, jesting, joking, eclipses the light, and Christ is not discerned. Be not slothful in business. Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. I bear you a testimony from God. God-fearing efforts must be made to serve the Master. Bring your children to Him. Nearly all are neglectful in their management in the home. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 19

Fathers and mothers, when you know that you are deficient in a knowledge of how to train your children for the Master, why do you not learn your lessons? Why do you continue to bring children into the world to swell the numbers in Satan’s ranks? Is God pleased with this showing? When you see that a large family will severely tax your resources, when you see that it is giving the mother her hands full of children, and that she has not time intervening between their births to do the work every mother needs to do, why do you not consider the sure result? Every child draws upon the vitality of the mother, and when fathers and mothers do not use their reason in this matter, what chance is given to parents or children to be properly disciplined? 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 20

The Lord calls upon parents to consider this matter in the light of future eternal realities. In our life here as probationers, we are to do no haphazard work. The peevishness of the parents’ disposition must be overcome. Husbands, give your wives a chance for their spiritual life. Be careful not to bind upon your own necks a yoke that God has not given you to carry but which you have manufactured for yourselves. By many, the disposition to fret is encouraged until they become like grown up children. They do not leave this portion of their child life behind them. They cherish these feelings until they cramp and dwarf the whole life by their querulous complaints. And not only their own lives but the lives of others also. They carry with them the spirit of Ishmael, whose hand was against everybody, and everybody’s hand against him. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 21

We have an abundance of difficulties to grapple with, without creating others by a defective disposition and a deformed character. Stern realities must be met and mastered in the name of the Lord. Let these dyspeptic Christians go to work, and lose sight of their manufactured difficulties in doing something good and noble. By doing this, self would die a natural death. Take up the great cause of truth and help some one to reclaim himself from himself. Thus you may give back to God the talents lent you. The man who has allowed himself to become a grown up baby should stop and consider. The Word of God, brought into the practical life and obeyed, will have an elevating influence. It will raise him above the cheap and common which would spoil his character and unfit him for heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 22

Christ has purchased men with His own blood, that they might take hold upon His nature, that through faith they might become partakers of His divine character, that they might become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. How many undervalue the love that presents Calvary before us, the love that stands revealed in an uplifted Saviour. Let us draw nigh to Christ and open our hearts to receive Him. He opens His heart to us and invites us to become one with Him, to be a partaker of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let us by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life. “Unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,” cometh “indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish; ... but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” [Romans 2:8-10.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 23

Progression is the law of the universe. God Himself is constantly at work to meet darkness with light, and ignorance with knowledge. If the wicked refuse to become righteous, their selfishness and defilement will remain in them. They do not want God’s ways and will. They will not come unto unity of spirit with Christ. Daniel describes the two classes that will be found on the earth in the last days: “The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 24

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, that great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be fund written in the book. And many of them which sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” [Verses 1-3.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 25

The prophet describes those who refuse to receive the truth: “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they sware falsely. O Lord, art not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 26

“Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.” “Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.” [Jeremiah 5:1-4; 6:17-19.] 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 27

The Lord calls for a reformation among those who claim to understand their Bibles, but who are not doers of the Word. There must be a thorough change wrought in those who claim to be children of God. 13LtMs, Lt 107, 1898, par. 28