Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 76, 1898

Wessels, Philip

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 2, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Brother Philip Wessels:

I have a message for you. You have been overcome with temptation. The Lord had a far greater work for Philip to do had he withstood temptation, but money has become a snare to him. The enemy has overcome him, but still there is hope. Had he consecrated himself to God, he could have accomplished a work which, if done in humility, would have been for the salvation of his own soul, and for the salvation of others, and which would bring him a reward in the kingdom of God. Had he traded as a wise steward upon the Lord’s entrusted goods, he could have advanced the kingdom of God in the world. But unless he is converted, unless he comes back to his allegiance to God, he will be like the unfaithful steward represented by the Saviour, who hid his talents in the earth, and did not lay up for himself treasure in heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 1

One soul is worth more than the whole world. Said Christ, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] You have undertaken a business which will absorb means, but which will not increase your earthly or your heavenly treasure. It will prove a loss, for the endorsement of the Lord is not upon it. Is it not for your present and eternal interest to come back to God? In the past you have done something in the line of giving donations to the cause of God, but you have now grasped your means to bury it in the earth, and my testimony to you is that it will disappoint you. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 2

It is your privilege now to come home to your Father’s house, and to determine to be strictly honest with God. Every dollar in your hands is the Lord’s money, and must be accounted for. Bear in mind that the truth is the truth still. It is invincible, and will triumph gloriously. The third angel’s message will advance to the victory. I would that you would be converted, transformed in character, and triumph with this message, which is to fill the whole earth with its glory. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 3

Philip, Philip, you are not at rest. You have not the peace of Christ. You are losing time, losing money. You may lose your life in following your course of rebellion against God, and you cannot afford to meet the results of your example in the judgment. What excuse can you make to God for the influence you have exerted on the wrong side? 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 4

Every provision has been made whereby we may perfect a Christian character, and be complete in Christ. Philip, I am deeply concerned for your present good, and for your future eternal interest. You need now, without one moment’s delay, to return to your heavenly Father who is inviting you to come. Heed the messages He sends you. Let not your business stand in the way for another day. Do not presume on the mercy of God by breaking another Sabbath. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 5

The only reason why the pardoning mercy and love of God are not received and appreciated and longed for above earthly wealth, position and honor, is that men become accustomed to disobey God and to presume upon His mercy. But though the Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, He will not at all acquit the wicked. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 6

The long-suffering of God is wonderful. His ways are past finding out. He puts constraint upon His own attributes. Omnipotence is exerted over the Omnipotent One. You are indebted to divine forbearance for life itself. Your life has been several times imperilled, and today you would not stand among the living had not the angels of God been commissioned to interpose, had God not refused to allow Satan to do his will to destroy you. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 7

Read Zechariah 3:1-7. The Lord has held in check the powers of darkness that Satan’s power should not be permitted to destroy you. Is not this a brand plucked out of the burning? Satan uses his arguments why the Lord should allow him to have his will, because you are standing under his banner, disloyal to God, making yourself a stranger to the covenant of promise. It is only through the patience and long forbearance of God that your life has been preserved, and that you still stand with the opportunities and possibilities of forgiveness and acceptance before you. But there is a great tendency with you to presume on the long forbearance of God by continuing in self-indulgence and sin. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 8

We feel deeply burdened, as we are obliged to write, that there should be so great an inclination to venture to abuse the long-suffering of God, that men should presume on His forbearance and continue in disobedience when they know that the Word of God requires perfect obedience. Every commandment rests upon the immutable promise. Would that men could place an estimate upon the riches and glory that the Lord has prepared for every soul that loves and serves Him. He declares, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither hath it entered [into] the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 9

If there were a sudden change in God’s dealings, and disrespect and disobedience of God, the abuse of His mercies, selfishness, robbery toward God, of talents, of means, of the time which He has sanctified and blessed (Exodus 31:12-17), if all transgression of God’s holy law should be immediately followed by death, marked offenses would be shunned with greatest carefulness, and it would seem to human minds perfectly reasonable, when appeals, exhortations, warnings, [and] threatenings, could not deter Satan from working to counterwork a “Thus saith the Lord.” But the Lord draws the children of men by the cords of His love. He wants no unwilling service in His ranks. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 10

The willing and obedient, after being tested and proved, God declares, “shall eat of the good of the land.” [Isaiah 1:19.] “Let the wicked forsake his way,” He says, “and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:7.] Why does He bear so long with the perversity of those who are stubborn and rebellious, and whose influence is exercised to lead others to sin? “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” He says, “neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Verses 8, 9.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 11

The Lord is long suffering, and full of compassion and love; but when the boundary lines is passed because the rebellion and obstinacy of man continues, punishment will follow the transgressor. [Deuteronomy 11:13-22; 7:6-15.] “Because sentence against an evil is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] The Lord is soon to come. Wickedness and rebellion and defiance of God, violence and crime are working with a deeper, broader power, until, like the wickedness of the old world, it reaches unto heaven. The cry of the suffering and the oppressed comes up to God for justice. “How long,” says the God of Israel, “will the people provoke me? how long will it be ere they believe me?” [Numbers 14:11.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 12

In the place of being softened by the patience and forbearance of God, the hearts of many of the disobedient are encouraged in their stubborn rebellion. The times in which we live are times of marked depravity. Religious restraint is thrown off, and men reject the law of God as unworthy of their attention. A more than common contempt is placed upon that law. David in his time saw the wickedness of the last days. He saw the law of God’s kingdom trampled upon by unholy feet, and in holy indignation, he exclaimed, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” [Psalm 119:126.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 13

Men are now passing the boundary line. The Lord permits Satan to do his will. We hear of floods, of earthquakes, of storms by sea and by land, blotting out multitudes of lives in a moment of time; and the end is not yet. The tread of the Lord will be upon the water and upon the land. For His own honor’s sake He is now about [to] repress iniquity. God will soon, very soon, vindicate the honor of His law. When the four angels shall loose the four winds, then men will be punished for their transgressions. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 14

And while this contempt is expressed for God’s law, what [effect] will the broadcast prevalence of iniquity have upon the children of God? Will those who have honored God by keeping His commandments be carried away by the fierce current of evil? Will the universal contempt and scorn which they see thrown upon the law of God intimidate them? No, no; that law becomes more precious in the eyes of those who have honored it. The sentiment of every obedient heart will be, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Verses 126, 127.] Those who are true and loyal to God will stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; and the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 15

Philip, the Lord calls you. The sweet voice of mercy is still pleading for you. Will you hear the voice and repent? “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God; and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] Nothing is wanting in the provision God has made to enlighten the human race as to how they may obtain the crown of life and enter into the joy of their Lord. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 16

“If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things; but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” [Philippians 2:1-10.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 17

Come, Philip, do not neglect to heed this appeal I make you. Eternal life is worth striving for, and erring human beings are encouraged to draw nigh to God, to make use of every means of grace provided for them. Christ says, “Let him take hold of my strength and make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] This means that you are to come to the Lord, confessing that you have dishonored Him, transgressed His holy commandments, and pray for forgiveness; and He will pardon your transgressions, He will forgive your sins. Come to the Lord just as you are, and ask Him to help you to the light. As a child in want, come to your heavenly Father. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 18

Do not think that in this you are taking a step that is humiliating and degrading. No, no; it is a prodigal son returning to his Father. You cannot take one step toward Him in repentance, but He will hasten to meet you and enfold you in His arms of infinite love, and cover you with the robe of His righteousness. Will you now make a decided effort? Will you turn your face to the Sun of Righteousness? Will you now seek Him in prayer, trusting to the merits of Christ? Will you sense to break the Sabbath, and come to the Lord in sorrow and contrition? Our God is gracious and merciful. He will not turn away one soul that comes to Him in contrition of heart. All your sins that you have committed in your disregard and defiance of the law of God, He will scatter. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 19

You may suppose that your calculations will be successful, but you will be disappointed. Your time, your strength, your labor, will be spent for naught; for thus saith the Lord. But if you come to the Lord with a real desire to return, He will receive you as the father received the prodigal son. His mercies are pledged in behalf of every soul who will ask in faith. Every good and perfect gift cometh from above, from the Father of lights, in whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning: who by His own will begat us by the word of His truth. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 20

My brother, take heed to the exhortation given: “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.] Here is where you have stumbled. Self-control when provoked would have placed you on vantage ground, but in giving way to your passions you have brought great harm to yourselves; and until you learn of Christ His meekness, His lowliness, His patience, His forbearance, and His love, you will continue to do so. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 21

“Who is a wise man, and endued with wisdom among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness and wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” [James 3:13-16.] This warning is given that we may understand and heed it, that we may be sanctified through the belief and practice of the truth. Truth never makes the receiver rough and coarse and selfish, but it refines, and ennobles and uplifts, restoring in man the lost image of God’s character. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [Verses 17, 18.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 22

My brother, I speak to you these words, because by your unsanctified temperament you have lost your hold of God. Your own passions rule you. The Lord knows all about this. The tempter has rejoiced in your downfall, and with his evil angels he is singing in triumph. But the Lord is looking with pitying tenderness upon you, Philip Wessels. He calls you, Philip, “Turn ye, turn ye, ... for why will ye die?” [Ezekiel 33:11.] “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The angels of God are awaiting your co-operation. What is it? “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. ... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.” [James 4:7, 8, 10.] “So shall they fear the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” [Isaiah 59:19.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 23

The Lord Jesus gave His life for you. He says, “Return unto me, and I will return unto thee, and heal all thy backsliding.” [Malachi 3:7; Jeremiah 3:22.] “Behold the Lord’s arm is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but your sins have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” [Isaiah 59:1, 2.] But the Lord calls to you, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy, and to our God; for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:7.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 24

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void: but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.” [Verses 8-11.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 25

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed them with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Isaiah 56:1, 2; 58:13, 14.] “In that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save thee; he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” [Zephaniah 3:16, 17.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 26

You can see that the greatest interest upon this earth are the people of the Lord, His church. Your only dependence is in the Lord. That which others have done or may do you have not to answer for. You are only answerable for that which Philip Wessels may do. The word of the Lord in Zephaniah is positive. He delights to hear and answer the prayer that comes from the contrite heart. His word is given to us as His pledge: “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, (before the longing desire of the soul is put into the form of a petition), I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” [Isaiah 65:24.] The Lord declares by His prophet that he is to publish to the world the readiness of God’s acceptance of His servant’s desire, before the petition is placed in words. The moment he steadfastly purposes to offer the prayer, the yearning of his soul is respected. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 27

The psalmist said, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found; surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” [Psalm 32:5-8.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 28

Take courage, Philip. Press your way through every obstacle. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him; upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints; for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” [Psalm 33:18-20; 34:4-10, 18.] 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 29

With His own blood Jesus appears in the presence of God as an Intercessor for all who call upon His name. He is the Advocate in behalf of the guilty. His blood cleanses from all sin those who accept Him as their personal Saviour. The memorial of His sufferings and death upon the cross, the penalty due to the transgressor, is efficacious for all who believe that this propitiation in the presence of God is a perpetual offering. Christ claims that the provision made entitles Him to make the assurance to all who seek Him. For His sake the prayers of the penitent who come to Him acknowledging Christ as their Saviour should be accepted as yea and amen, their sins blotted out, and the holy oil bestowed upon them. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 30

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again and said unto him, What be those two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:11-14.] Here the messengers of God are represented by the olive branches, which through the golden pipe empty the golden oil out of themselves. This is the heavenly, vital communication from God to every soul who is emptied of self. The heavenly oil communicated to the human agent is to be given to those who are consecrated channels, to flow forth from them to others. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 31

My brother, God lays open the way whereby you may come out from the world and be separate. Touch not the unclean thing, and He has given you His pledged word: “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.] What greater exaltation can you desire than to become a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King, and heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ to an everlasting inheritance? Will you come? Will you respond to the invitation of Christ? You have much pride of heart. The Lord help you to cut away this pride. The holy oil from the heavenly messengers will communicate to you the richest blessings that heaven can bestow. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 32

These words addressed to you may be applied to other members of the Wessels family. And now I will leave them with you. May the Lord grant you His grace, that you may receive them and act upon them without delay is the prayer of [your sister in Christ]. 13LtMs, Lt 76, 1898, par. 33