Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 75, 1898

“Come Out From Among Them, and Be Ye Separate.”


June 16, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 449; 5MR 418; 9MR 129-131. +Note

Christ is the Saviour of the body as verily as He is the Saviour of the soul. His first sermon at Nazareth shows this. The roll of the Hebrew Scriptures was handed to Him, and while His friends and acquaintances, some with pleasure and surprise, fixed their eyes on Him, He read from the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” These words fully outlined His mission. “This day,” He said, “is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” [Luke 4:18, 19, 21.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 1

Mark Christ’s words. The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to preach the gospel to the poor. God had anointed His only begotten Son to do this work. “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives.” [Verse 18.] Men were bound in the slavery of sin by a relentless foe, which the Sent of God only could overcome, and deliver those taken captive by him at his will. Satan is the destroyer. Christ is the Restorer. The Prince of heaven came to meet the prince of darkness in this world, which Satan claimed as his kingdom. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 2

“And recovering of sight to the blind.” [Verse 18.] The Jewish nation were spiritually blind. By their wicked works they had separated themselves from God. They were great sticklers for the law, but they were continually transgressing the law, and teaching maxims, traditions, and doctrines of men for the commandments of God, thus misleading the people. [As] the religionists of that day, they claimed the oracles of God as their authority. Christ exposed their blindness, declaring to them, “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] They kept neither of the great principles of the law: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Upon these two great principles hang all the law and the prophets. “This do,” said Christ, “and ye shall live.” Deuteronomy 6:4, 5; Luke 10:26-28. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 3

“These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou walkest by the way, and when the liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:6-9.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 4

The Jews did this literally. What God designed to be spiritual work, inwrought on mind and character, they made an outward exhibition. They lost sight of genuine religion, and did not regard the principles of God’s law. To make up for this, they gave much attention to pretentious piety. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 5

Had the Jews done as Christ commanded them, the principles of His law would have been woven into life and character, becoming a part of the very being. He charged them to beware lest they forgot Him. “Ye shall not go after other gods of the gods of the people which are round about you; (for the Lord thy God is a jealous god among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.” [Verses 14, 15.] This command is just as valid today as when God gave it to Moses to give to the children of Israel. The sins against which ancient Israel were warned have led modern Israel into bye and forbidden paths. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 6

The professed people of God have made those who are trampling underfoot His commandments their counsellors. They have weakened their hold on God by uniting in politics with unbelievers. By parading their political belief before the world, just as worldings do, they have created division, strife, and jealousy among themselves. The influence of this course of action is a great offense to God, and He cannot and will not prosper those who follow it. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 7

“It shall be our righteousness if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” [Verse 25.] “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people. ... Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.” [Deuteronomy 7:7, 9, 10.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 8

We are to work distinctly in God’s lines, refusing to follow worldly practices. The exhibitions made in Battle Creek regarding political questions have not raised any soul who has acted a part in them in God’s estimation. Thus God’s people have given evidence to the world that they had not the love of God in their hearts, whatever might be their profession. Those who have distinguished themselves in politics, who have paraded their political differences, were looked upon, not only by human spectators, but by the Lord Jesus, who gave His life to save a perishing world. The heavenly universe watched their course with disapproval, and Satan and his synagogue watched also. They were a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 9

By this course of action, you have convinced many that you are not what you claim to be. In spirit and action you are no more true to God than are those watching you. The spirit which has led you to link up with the world in political matters has so dimmed your spiritual discernment, that you would lay yourselves open to the world as some of you have done, hiding the fact that you have God as a leader and guide. You have carried to worldlings matters which concern only our own people, called out from the world to be a peculiar people, who are to look for guidance and direction to heavenly agencies. Of those who have acted thus, after having great light and great opportunities, God says, “Ye know not what spirit ye are of.” [Luke 9:55.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 10

As the children of Israel stood before the mount, hearing the voice of God speaking to them from the midst of the fire, they felt that they could not endure it and live. Speaking to them afterward of this, Moses said, “Ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have heard it, and lived? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 11

“Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it. And the Lord heard the voice of your words when ye spake unto me, and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever.” [Deuteronomy 5:24-29.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 12

These are the conditions of life and prosperity. But many of those who claim to be commandment keepers are transgressors of the law, unthankful and unholy. They may flatter themselves that they are Christians, but in reality they are employing their entrusted talents to counterwork the work of God. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 13

There is no light in them. Their light is darkness. Their influence is not unto sanctification or holiness. Jesus yearns after His sons and daughters who are acting as the prodigal son. He longs to do them the good He would delight to do, but which He cannot do because of the perversity of their characters. The true Christian worker seeks to influence souls through sanctification of the truth. If this talent is not used for the purpose for which it was given, if those who possess it become conformed to the spirit and principles of worldlings, and exert their influence on Satan’s side of the question, they will one day be called to give an account before God. They may retain the form of godliness, but in their practice they deny the power thereof, and from such we are commanded to turn away. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 14

Men who have been given responsible positions in the cause of God are to work wholly for their Leader. When they turn aside to connect with unbelievers, who use their tact and capabilities against the people of God, they separate themselves from the highest authority, and greatly dishonor God. They separate from One of whom the prophet Isaiah declares, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 15

Are we serving under the banner of Prince Emmanuel? Are we servants of the Most High God? Have we a connection with heaven? “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation, in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. ... Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:7-9, 12-14.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 16

Will you turn from your Leader to enter the ranks of those who have no connection with God? Will you receive their counsel against your own brethren? This is the fruit borne on an evil tree. When you receive counsel that is not of God, you bring in advice that you do not need and will never need. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 17

“Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom these people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” [Verses 9-16.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 18

Thus the Lord will deal with all wrong practices, which you may deem to be right, but which are a deception and a snare. “When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God, for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Verses 19, 20.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 19

“And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace: and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way: ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 20

“Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaining the covenant of our fathers? ... Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” [Malachi 2:4-10, 17.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 21

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If ye then have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers? Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” [1 Corinthians 6:1-8.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 22

How can men to whom have been committed the living oracles of God appeal to lawyers who are disloyal to God, to settle matters relating to the cause of God? Can we be surprised that more souls are not convinced of the truth when pride, self-love, and self-exaltation make those who claim to believe the truth more like men who have lost their first love than like the children of God? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 23

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars, and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” Christ approves where He can, and then He says, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:1-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 24

My brethren, will you not love the Lord Jesus with the whole heart? Sinners are dying in their sins, while some of those who claim to have the most solemn truth ever committed to mortals are counterworking the prayer offered by Christ just before He gave His life for the world. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” He said. [John 17:14.] Can this be said of those who connect themselves with the contention and strife of politics, and who show to the world their differences and disunion? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 25

As the sons and daughters of God, we are to have nothing to do with political strife. Those who engage in these contests make Satan glad, for he knows that they will exhibit the natural attributes of unregenerate hearts. A power from beneath inspires the nations of the earth to engage in strife and contention, and those who, while claiming to believe the truth, manifest a spirit of variance and strife, are controlled by the same power. They do not heed God’s voice. They are not obeying His commands. Satan says to his synagogue, Can you not see how I prevail against them? Can you not see that I have been working to make them weak through contention and strife, that in this most important period of time they may carry out my plans? Behold how those brethren hate each other. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 26

I call upon you to listen to Christ’s words, spoken just before His agony in the garden of Gethsemane. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [Verses 17-23.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 27

What kind of an impression are you making upon the world by your unadvised movements? Christ has commanded you to love one another. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He declared, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, That ye love one another.” [John 15:16, 17.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 28

What evidence are you giving to the world of your love for each other? Has the Lord made a mistake? Are you His chosen vessels? Are you walking in the light as His dear children? Why do you do that which shows to the world that you have lost the love of God out of the heart, and that in consequence you have no love for your brethren? Why do you bear such fruit? Why will you make Christ ashamed to call you brethren. Why are you at variance and strife? Have you not enough to make you feel humble before God? Have you not walked long enough in your own wisdom? The Lord says to you, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have at mine hand: ye shall lie down in sorrow.” [Isaiah 50:10, 11.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 29

Oh, how little have the words of the Lord been regarded. Pride, self-sufficiency, evil thinking, evil speaking, and planning without the Lord’s help, have been seen. The Lord gave His disciples the ordinance of feet washing to teach them a lesson of humility, and to bring them together in unity, to assimilate their hearts in oneness with Him. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 30

I am pained and surprised beyond measure as I see contention and strife among those who should be one in Christ. The Lord is knocking at the door of your hearts, asking for entrance, but you are so full of scheming, faultfinding, criticizing, that you do not hear His voice. Even now, if you open the door, He will come in, and just as soon as you yield your hearts to Him, He will awaken and renew and sanctify your energies, that you may do good work for your brethren, in place of an evil work. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 31

Are you giving the last great warning to the world? You are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Have you not made it your boast that the Word of God is your guide. Why then do you depart from the Scriptures? Christ says to you, Love one another; and you claim to be fulfilling His Word, but your disunion testifies against you. Wherein do you manifest the love of God? Is the softening, subduing influence of the grace of God working upon you? Have you hearts that can feel, eyes that can see, ears that can hear? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 32

Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been made concerning the nations of the earth? They are under condemnation, preparing for the plagues and judgments of God; and in this day, which is big with eternal results, the people chosen to be the depositaries of momentous truth ought to be abiding in Christ. Are you giving evidence that you are letting your light shine, to illumine the nations that are perishing in their sins? Do you realize that you are set to stand in defense of God’s commandments before those who are treading them under their feet? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 33

Have we lost all sense of our position as the Lord’s chosen people, who are to represent Christ and proclaim to the world the last message of mercy? “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul: having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas, they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:9-12.] 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 34

What are you doing in Battle Creek? Why are you colonized there? Why are you not going forth in the spirit and power of Elijah? Over and over again the Lord has sent the command, Go out of Battle Creek, and lift the standard of truth in other localities. Make a center and plant the standard in every city. Why is the reason that you do not see what must be done to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 35

Oh, if we had the travail of soul for the salvation of men that our Saviour had, there would be a scattering from Battle Creek, a moving into places where the standard of truth has not yet been lifted. But to save a few dollars, camp meetings are held over and over again in the same place. Men, and not the Lord of hosts, have had the management of the work. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 36

There is yet time for wrong to be righted. Wake up, wake up, before it is everlastingly too late! Put away contention from among you. Be converted, and show this by your works. Take hold of the Lord. Humble your hearts before Him. You may well fast now, but without contrition of heart all the fasting will do no good to your souls. You must humble your hearts before the Lord, and crucify self. When you put away your differences, when you feel that by appealing to outside parties to decide questions for you, you have deserved the displeasure of God, the Lord will be able to help you. You have reached a place where the Lord asks you, Is it because there is not a God in Israel that ye have gone to the god of Ekron to inquire? Where are you drifting, brethren, where are you drifting? 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 37

Could the curtain be rolled back, could you discern the purposes and the judgments of God which are about to all upon a doomed world, could you see your own attitude, there would be a calling of a solemn assembly at the heart of the work. Earnest prayers of heart rending anguish would go up to heaven, because you know not the time of your visitation. You would weep between the porch and the altar, confessing your spiritual blindness and backsliding. You would cry, Spare thy people, Lord, and give not thine heritage to the reproach of the heathen because of the perversity seen in Israel. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 38

Oh, pray for yourselves, for you are bringing a reproach upon the cause of God. You need to pray with a different spirit than you have prayed in the past. You need to pray with a broken and contrite heart, that the Lord may not visit his people with judgments because of their forsaking him and trusting to an arm of flesh that cannot save. Oh that you could see afar off, and understand the great truth of what Christianity means. You have lost your first love. You need now to learn the science of faith. You need to seek the Lord while He may be found. Ministers need to weep between the porch and the altar, for, as yet, many who might be faithful watchmen are wrapped up in their own finite ideas, and only partially believe the Word of God, the testing message for this time. 13LtMs, Ms 75, 1898, par. 39