Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 139, 1898

Jones, A. T.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 16, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in WM 122; Ev 522; 2MCP 377, 412, 792; 5BC 1108; 2MR 26-27; 4MR 349-350, 365.

Dear Brother:

Yesterday evening we received our American mail. Only three letters came for me, one from Brother Irwin, one from Sister Henry, and one from Dr. Kellogg. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 1

I thank the Lord that I am as well as usual. For over a week I have been up writing at half past two. I am often aroused at eleven, twelve, and one o’clock to write messages to America. I some times write as many as fifteen pages before breakfast. When we are getting off the American mail, all my workers are rallied and every energy is put to task. I am burdened to relieve myself of the weight of responsibilities. The morning the mail leaves Cooranbong for Sydney, we seldom eat our breakfast till the letters are in the satchel ready for posting. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 2

Let me tell you, Brother Jones, that in this house there are no idlers. All have to meet their responsibilities and do their utmost. Such constant work, and taking so many copies, wears out our machines, and, do the best we can, new machines have to be purchased. But there is no let up to my work, no respite for me; and my workers share the burdens I carry. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 3

There is one thing that causes me great sadness—the lack of confidence among brethren. We have had to meet and contend with a spirit of individual independence, a tendency to criticize. This absence of love, this desire to be the greatest, brings great weakness instead of strength. It hurts my soul, because I know it grieves the Spirit of God. We know from the Word of God that we should value human beings as God values them. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 4

The Lord said to Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” [Luke 22:32.] This is the work that should be done and which must be done before God can use the talent of speech. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 5

In the parable of the Good Samaritan Christ shows us how we are to regard our fellow creatures. A man wounded and robbed lay by the roadside. A priest came up, looked at him, and passed by on the other side. A Levite next came but, though knowing the Scriptures, he too passed by on the other side. A Samaritan came that way, and he did the work the other men had refused to do. With gentleness and kindness he ministered to the suffering man, using his money freely to aid him. The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was not any more agreeable for him to do this work than for the priest and Levite, but in spirit and works, he showed himself to be in harmony with God. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 6

Christ would have us realize that the one despised by the self-righteous are the very ones whom God loves. We need the deep, earnest, thorough work of grace done in our hearts. We need to live the law of God, to open the heart to the Lord Jesus. We must overcome the tendency to criticize and demerit others. I would that we had the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this we must have before we can reveal perfection of life and character. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 7

I would that each member of the church would open the heart of Jesus, saying, “Come, heavenly Guest, abide with me.” We must press together, and we shall do this if we love Jesus. If we draw apart, we show that we have not His love in our hearts. We have no time to lose. Every muscle and sinew must be put to the tax in the work of preparing the way of the Lord. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 8

The Relation of the Medical Missionary Work to the Cause of God. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 9

There must be co-operation between the Battle Creek Sanitarium and the church. Medical missionary work should be carried forward by the church in well organized efforts. It should be to the cause of God as the right hand is to the body. But the medical missionary work is not to take on undue importance. It should be done without neglecting other lines of work. God has given His people to follow, and if this were so, there would be no cause for me to speak now. But God is not pleased with the efforts that are being made to exalt the medical missionary work, and to absorb so largely the talent and influence in it, to the neglect of giving the warning message which has not been given in our large cities. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 10

This message must yet go to places to which it should have gone long years ago. The light of truth must shine in the dark places of the earth. The means and influence must not all be absorbed in work for the outcasts. There is a work to be done in presenting the reasons of our faith, and with this the medical missionary work is to be combined. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 11

Camp meetings are not to be held year after year in the same place, where time and money has been expended. Efforts must be made in new places where souls can be brought to the truth. We are not to stand by and criticize, bemoaning what might have been done, but see our work and take it up, proclaiming the last message of mercy to our world. Our faith is a peculiar faith; our people must be a peculiar people. We are not to link up with the world, thinking that if we drop the banner we should ever keep uplifted we should gain more converts. It is a very solemn, serious question that we have to present to those who are deciding their eternal destiny. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 12

To sacrifice one jot or one tittle of our faith to meet the world will separate our souls from God. Thus did Israel when they desired a king, that they might be like the nations around them. God was their King. He gave them His support; He settled their difficulties. But they asked for a king, and God gave them one. Then neither they nor their king thought it necessary to follow God’s commands implicitly. They trusted to their own wisdom, and when they dishonored God He trusted them no longer. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 13

So it is with all whom God has placed in positions of responsibility. When they depart from God, He leaves them, and the people that sustain them, to their own human wisdom. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 14

We have the truth; it is of heavenly origin. The first, second, and third angels’ messages are to be combined in God’s work for this time. Where there is one minister in the field, twenty are to be added, and these twenty, if the Spirit of God controls them, will so present the truth that twenty more will be added. The workers in the ministry are not to be lessened, but greatly multiplied. The message should have gone forth to all the cities in America as a lamp that burneth; but the lights have been diminishing and going out. We must now kindle our tapers anew at the divine altar, and go forth. The message is being given in the by-ways, but it has not yet been proclaimed in the highways, where God designed that the first call should be heard. Our work is unsymmetrical. It is out of proportion. God calls upon His people to arise and shine, to go to work in His vineyard. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 15

Those who have attended the medical missionary school should not all give themselves up to work for the outcast. The last message of mercy must be given to the world, and the men who give themselves unreservedly to this work, and go forth weeping and praying, bearing the precious seed, will doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 16

The seventy who were sent by Christ on a missionary tour returned with joy to give an account of their work to their teacher. “Lord,” they said, “even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven. Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 17

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes that see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” [Luke 10:17-24.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 18

In Christ’s work preaching the gospel and healing the sick were bound together. Thus we are to work today. Those who obtain a knowledge of medical missionary work need to connect this work with the proclamation of the last message of mercy. The ministry must be sustained. Christ declared, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] The worker is to obtain a deep and earnest religious experience. He is to seek the Lord by faith. Then by healing the sick and casting out devils the Holy Spirit will show that there is a power in the gospel commission. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 19

The Lord desires all to prepare to become intelligent teachers. None, young or old, are to pledge themselves to engage in any special line of work without special light from God. They are to go where the Lord sends them. But all need to obtain a knowledge of how to treat the body. But while you are supposed to be learning how to preserve the health, do not for Christ’s sake be reckless. Do not crowd in so many studies that you feel you have no time to learn from the greatest Teacher, the greatest Missionary the world has ever known. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 20

If you see that your health is not sufficient to stand the pressure of study, heed the admonition of nature, and lighten the load, however unwilling you may be to do this. In your work, do not let the principles of your faith be lost. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 21

Truth and righteousness are to be maintained, whatever may be your surroundings. Never forget that Christ has said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 22

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; ... that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4:11, 12, 14-16.] This is the work that must be done; and the Lord will surely take men, now looked upon as common, and put His words of warning into their lips. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 23

The truth is to be proclaimed to the largest possible number. The first, second and third angels’ messages are to be given to the world. This will have an important part in deciding the destiny of souls. There is great danger of working in a haphazard way. This must be avoided. The Lord would have His work move forward solidly and firmly. He would have His people work in the order that He Himself works. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 24

The medical missionary work is to be closely connected with the work of preaching. Men should be appointed to do this work who have shown themselves trustworthy, who are true to principle. In every conference one man should be set apart to have the oversight. He should be a man who gives evidence that he is conscientious, that he is straightforward when dealing with worldlings and those of our faith. He should be free from covetousness and selfishness. It was selfishness that brought the rebuke of God upon those handling sacred things in connection with the Review and Herald Office. It is this evil that has turned away God’s blessing from the great center of the work. Had those to whom messages were sent received the warning and corrected their ways, God would have blessed them; but they refused to hear. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 25

There are those who should make their wills in favor of God’s work. And even while living they should render to God a portion of their property, to sustain his cause in our world, to build up the work by extending it. Men were appointed to become acquainted with such as these, and to point out to them their duty. But these men were untrue and unfaithful. They were serving the enemy, not God. Those who have means and who love the cause of God, but who are in feeble health, should be shown that they can serve God by making a will leaving their property to His cause, so that their money can be used in planting the standard of truth in new places. But those who were given this work have acted as traitors and apostates, as men who will betray the cause of God to unbelievers because the love of the truth is not in them. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 26

Let great care be exercised. The work of our schools, sanitariums, and publishing houses should be so arranged that men who are selfish and covetous, who move under Satan’s generalship, cannot take advantage of circumstances to make all the trouble possible. In the past Satan has used men acting a part in the work of God. At any time he chose he has played his human instrument, causing notes of discord to be heard, to bring confusion and perplexity into the cause of God. Too much power has been given to unworthy men. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 27

Those under Satan’s dictation become very zealous in their work. They magnify self and work at cross purposes with God. Therefore, too much caution cannot be shown by men who are chosen of God and faithful to see that in every institution God has established, every part of the work is firmly bound about, that the cause shall not be hindered by the counsels of those inspired from beneath, that Satan shall not intrude through unconverted, unconsecrated men. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 28

The school in Battle Creek should be made secure from ruthless hands and unconsecrated minds, from men who work to bring in elements that are in no way qualified to strengthen, purify, or ennoble the institution. Let men be chosen from responsible positions who give evidence that God is using them as represented in the words, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] When God by His Holy Spirit works upon the character, the building is designed by no human architect, erected by no human skill. It is a building designed and fashioned by the great master Builder. It is garrisoned by heavenly intelligences, and its foundation can never be moved. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 29

In His prayer to the Father Christ said, “This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] Man may possess a character that God can use in His service. He may daily be formed in the divine image. To man God gives skill and tack and ability that he may work in His kingdom in a sure and solid manner. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 30

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” [1 Corinthians 6:19.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 31

The question is asked by David in sacred song, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” The answer comes with powerful melody, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth 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 reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” [Psalm 15:1-5.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 32

This is the character we all must possess who would dwell in the mansions Christ has gone to prepare. These traits of character cannot be bought or sold. Pure and uncorrupted principles, if cherished, will ensure our faithfulness, and keep us, as Daniel was kept, riveted to the eternal Rock. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 33

In his epistle to the Corinthians Paul declares, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” “Known 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 3:16, 17; 6:15-17.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 34

These statements are plain and distinct, yet too often this fornication reaches all through the years that husband and wife are united, and not only this, but often the evil propensities that are indulged spoil the purity of other homes. It becomes a thing so common to allow the mind and body to be governed by baser passion that self-control and moral power is lost. Many are debased beyond remedy. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 35

“What,” Paul asks, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and your spirit, which are God’s.” [Verses 19, 20.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 36

The question is sometimes asked, “Why, if we have the truth, do we not see a greater manifestation of the Spirit of God?” God cannot reveal Himself till those who profess to be Christians are doers of His Word in their private lives, till there is oneness with Christ, a sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. Then they will be fit temples for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 37

“I beseech you therefore, brethren,” Paul is speaking to those who know the truth, “by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 38

Our bodies are not brought into subjection to the Spirit of God. This is the answer to the question, Why are not the manifestations of the Spirit of God seen in the church? More misery is caused by indulgence in lustful practices than is dreamed of. The mind is debased. The brain loses its vigor. The vital forces, unconsecrated to God, are laid upon the altar of lust. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 39

Physically and mentally men and women are not what God would have them. When in the fear of God they treat their bodies as His property, and present themselves as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto Him, they will prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 40

Sanctification—how many understand its full meaning? The mind is befogged by sensual malaria. The thoughts need purifying. What might not men and women have been had they realized that the treatment of the body has everything to do with the vigor and purity of mind and heart? The true Christian obtains an experience which brings holiness. He is without a spot of guilt upon the conscience, or a taint of corruption upon the soul. The spirituality of the law of God, with its limiting principles, is brought into [his] life. The light of truth irradiates his understanding. A glow of perfect love for the Redeemer clears away the miasma which has interposed between his soul and God. The will of God has become his will, pure, elevated, refined, and sanctified. His countenance reveals the light of heaven. His body is a fit temple for the Holy Spirit. Holiness adorns his character. God can commune with him, for soul and body are in harmony with God. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 41

Men and women have been bought with a price, and what a price! Even the life of the Son of God. What a terrible thing it is for them to place themselves in a position where their physical, mental, and moral power are corrupted, where they lose their vigor and purity. Such men and women cannot offer an acceptable sacrifice to God. Through the perversion of appetites and passions, man has lost the power of God, and become the instrument of unrighteousness. The whole being is diseased, body, soul and spirit. But a remedy has been provided for the sanctification of humanity. The unholy mind and body may be purified. A wonderful provision has been made whereby we may receive pardon and salvation. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 42

Christ is the Restorer. A pure, spotless Saviour has borne the sins of every human being upon the cross. The dark cloud of human transgression came between the Father and the Son. The interruption of the communion between God and His Son caused a condition of things in the heavenly courts which cannot be described by human language. Nature could not witness such a scene as Christ dying in agony while bearing the penalty of man’s transgression. God and the angels clothed themselves with darkness, and hid the Saviour from the gaze of the curious multitude while He drank the last dregs of the cup of God’s wrath. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 43

Christ our Redeemer gave Himself for us, that He might deliver us from the curse of sin. Sin is defined as “the transgression of the law.” We read, “Whoso committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And we know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him: neither known him.” [1 John 3:4-6.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 44

God calls upon us to keep the higher, nobler world in view, and live for eternity. He gave His life to restore the moral image of God in man. Will man praise God for the possibility of mental, physical, and spiritual restoration? Will he co-operate with God? In this very work we are to be laborers together with God. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 45

The human family needs a thorough work of grace done upon mind and heart. When men co-operate with God for the restoration of the powers that have been sacrificed to intemperance and lustful practices, God’s Spirit will be poured out from on high. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 46

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, with his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:1-8.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 47

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom we also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Verses 19-22.] This is the provision God has made for man. But in the divine plan the co-operation of divine energy and human endeavor is required. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 48

The human organism is the handiwork of God. The organs employed in all the different functions of the body were made by Him. The Lord gives us food and drink that the wants of the human body may be supplied. He has given the earth different properties adapted to the growth of food fit for His children. He gives the sunshine and the showers, the early and the latter rain. He forms the clouds and sends the dew. All are His gifts. He has bestowed His blessings upon us liberally, but all these blessings will not restore the [image] of God unless man co-operates with God making pains-taking effort to know himself, to understand how to care for the delicate human machinery. He must diligently help to keep himself in harmony with nature’s laws. He who co-operates with God to keep this wonderful machinery in order, who consecrates all his powers to God, seeking intelligently to obey the laws of nature, stands in his God-given manhood, and is recorded in the books of heaven as a man. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 49

“We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] God has given man land to be cultivated. But in order to reap the harvest, there must be harmonious action between divine and human agencies. The plough and other implements of labor must be used at the right time. The seed must be sown in its season. Man is not to fail of doing his part. If he is careless and negligent, his unfaithfulness testifies against him. The harvest is proportionate to the energy he has expended. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 50

So it is in spiritual things. “We are laborers together with God.” [Verse 9.] Man is to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure. God gives man physical and mental powers. None are heedless. Not one is to be misused or abused. The lower propensities are to be kept under control of the higher powers. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 51

By the light of truth God has revealed the path that leads to Paradise. He has given opportunities and privileges and His Holy Spirit to aid in reaching the highest standard of Christian character. But man must work in Christ’s lines. He must be a laborer together with God. He must submit to God’s training, that he may be complete in Christ. In the Scriptures we are shown how to co-operate with God. Peter writes “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 52

“And beside this, giving all diligence add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall.” [2 Peter 1:1-10.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 53

Let us follow this plainly specified plan. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man. He must draw right from God. He must be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Those who obtain this experience have a knowledge of God that constitutes them lights in the world. By faith they endure as did Moses seeing Him who was invisible. 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 54

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” [Hebrews 10:35-39.] 13LtMs, Lt 139, 1898, par. 55