Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 200, 1899

Diary Materials — Faithful Stewardship


Circa 1899

Previously unpublished.

All the property and talents of means in our world is the Lord's. They are a test fund to determine by the use [persons] make of the trust funds, their fitness to be entrusted with heavenly positions of responsibility. It is really only theirs in trust funds. The property holder is bound under the most sacred obligation to [act] with fidelity as a steward. “All the gold and silver is Mine,” saith the Lord, “and the cattle upon a thousand hills. All lands are mine, all the rivers, and all the productions of the earth are Mine.” [See Haggai 2:8; Psalm 50:10-12.] When any of this earthly treasure shall come within the control of human agents to use, let them consider this is not my property to invest and use as my judgment shall dictate. I am not to use even donations as I shall desire, but in connection with the whole vineyard. Because means have come into my hands, I must not suppose that I have a moral right to use this means to please my own inclination. This means must be carefully and strictly used—every dollar—in the very places where suffering humanity will be the most benefitted in understanding the truth, the proclamation of the third angel's message, and where there can be memorials raised to glorify not the name of any man that lives. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 1

It is a very easy matter for any man to be exalted, because thousands of dollars have been invested to create a train of circumstances that affect the whole vineyard of the Lord, either for good or evil, to broaden and deepen and add new territories to the Lord's kingdom. To be wisely used means these thousands of entrusted money are to go just where the Lord's faithful stewards should apportion the same, as a wise master-builder of the work, to produce symmetry in the workmanship of God. The test comes to all and every result is faithfully chronicled with every thread drawn into the fabric and its material, [including the results of] the workmen who are just as earnest and determined to advance the work but they have nothing themselves to make even a beginning. In all these things wise stewardship is called for. There can be [no] guesswork and uncertainty in these lines without results which will tell through time and eternity for good or evil. God requires that His workmen shall not be their own planners as to what investments shall be made. More than one man's brain and one man's mind is required. Men of capability may lack in some important and essential qualification of character, carrying things so heavily and disproportionately that a harmonious and proper presentation before angels and men cannot be revealed. Large means is not to be invested in one place where the selfishness of man shall come in and mix with the appropriation of monies, binding it away from God's missions in foreign fields that are suffering hunger, weariness, famine, and distress. God will hold every board accountable which has not taken in the situation of suffering missions. One-sided men should not be on any board unless they have a burden of the work of missions, to learn how they are being carried. When men get means under their control and are selfish, near-sighted, and cannot see how their fellow-workers are struggling and toiling and lacking of the comforts of life, their minds become confused. They will work on wrong principles and spoil this missionary work. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 2

What do all these things mean? What misery and distress has come to flow out of the idea that because one can use means that he will use it unwisely and so absorb means that God's wrath is kindled against them? Christ is suffering hunger in the persons of His saints. I could say more that would not be wise at this time. There are nations and individuals who are suffering today because of the wrong use of means and property which has come under the control of unsanctified managers. Money has been handled to enrich some places largely, when the places that needed this money the most receive nothing of it. Some who have done this have not known what they were doing. They supposed that all that came into their hands should be used just as they disposed. As God looks upon His suffering missionaries, He says decidedly, “Ye have done it unto Me. I was hungry but ye fed Me not; thirsty, but ye gave Me no drink; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” [Matthew 25:42-45.] The sight which has been presented to me a few months since is terrible, terrible. My heart aches for Africa. What might the sums of money spent in Gospel Wagons and to abundantly supply the lowest class of people have done for those who never have had the privilege of hearing the gospel? They are in foreign countries. I have the word of the Lord. What a shameful neglect has been in our missionary board in being members of that board and refusing to do as the necessities were made known to them. The money spent in that Colorado institution was not a necessity, but there was necessity—deep and full—in foreign missions. Who at the heart of the work has carried that burden for Africa or India, instituting measures to create relief for these destitute regions? The sight is before God, and the test upon men who have not relieved the necessities. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 3


“As It Was in the Days of Noah.” 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 4

It is a dangerous presentation to John that the church has much that is commendable (see Revelation 2:2, 3), “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (v. 4). No outward service should be considered sufficient if the first love is left. It is genuine heart service that Christ requires. Man has left Christ out of this service. This means man is depending largely upon his own capabilities. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 5

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” Devote yourselves earnestly, heartily, to My service as I have instructed you, “else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (v. 5). There is a serious reflection to come in here with the church generally, and those who acted a part in the proclamation of the everlasting gospel (see Revelation 14:6, 7). The attention is called to God, and the sincerity of His worship. Here is a saying that is to be a proclaimed with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 6

Here is our danger, that in every institution established the fear of God and the love of God shall become so enfeebled in this time when the hour of His judgment is come, and the calamities [are seen] that He permits to come upon the earth and the sea. Before the great fire of God's vengeance shall [bring] the final destruction of all things, it shall be as it was in the days of Noah. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 7

Notwithstanding the [opposition to the] preaching of Noah, some were awakened and employed as carpenters to build the ark during the one hundred and twenty years of probation. [But] they did not perfect the reformation of character that would have prepared them to fear and worship God, coming out as believers of the message, showing that they were witnesses for the truth of the message Noah had brought to them. They made changes but half and half, uniting with those who were righteous, but sinning all the time until they apostatized, and many of the believers in the message died. Noah and his family were all that were left called righteous. If the carpenters who worked on the ark under the supervision of God had feared God and loved God, they would have distinguished themselves as did Abraham and his family, but in the passion to become distinguished as men possessing great ability they glorified themselves and dishonored God. Indeed, all might have been truly great and marked men in seeking to advance the knowledge of God, in representing the attributes of God. Selfish gratification and the love of being distinguished eclipsed the knowledge of God and His ways so that they brought in their own plans and devisings in building the ark. [But this] could not be. All the building of this important boat and every particular must be according to the divine instruction. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 8

[After the flood] some decided it would be a wise thing to build a tower reaching unto heaven. Certainly there was wonderful talent displayed in the devising, but the Lord brought confusion of tongues to quench their ambitious project and let them understand they gain nothing in such movements but confusion. They decided they would not trust to any boat like that which had been built, but would prepare a tower to reach unto heaven. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 9

Had all heeded the warning they would have been saved. To walk with God is the highest duty, the greatest honor, and will bring the greatest rewards. Although Noah proclaimed the message God had given and tried to bring men to repentance that they might be saved, those even that were Noah's carpenters were talking their unbelief, and that it was simply an impossibility that the world would be destroyed by water. By rejecting the light the inhabitants were fastening themselves in deception. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 10

There were good men alive during that one hundred and twenty years and all had an understanding of the case of Enoch who ascended to heaven without seeing death, giving assurance that the righteous would be saved and enter heaven. All the works of God were to reform the inhabitants of the old world. Enoch walked with God three hundred years. In fearing to offend God he studied His will in all his work that he might show his love and highest reverence for God. He did not see his highest and most dignified Friend by his side, only with the eye of faith. He walked with God in reconciled companionship. He had faith in the message [that would later be] given by Noah and worked in harmonious spiritual action with [the warnings that would be given by] Noah. Noah, in harmony with Enoch, was righteous, and in all his works he feared God. Enoch and Noah were representative men among a wicked and degenerate nation. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 11

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4). All who have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, may have just as pure a faith as had Abel. There is a true experience, a safe knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ which is unto salvation. God testifies to His gifts and His servants. Is not this of more value than any of us seeking our own advantage and to glorify self? Not one of us needs to be careless, slack, and half serious in the service of God. By being neither wholly for God nor wholly of the Devil, they are of no use in God's service, for they are only misleading. The God-given talent entrusted to be used to His glory is perverted to selfish purposes to aggrandize himself, to be recognized as a superior man. Enoch was a man perfect with God. All these cases will condemn in the judgment those who have great light and evidence and yet are far from being a perfect man in Christ Jesus. They all having a defective character, and when God has favored them with great trusts and lent talents they should be as righteous as Enoch in his day. He perfected such a character that the world took knowledge of him. They had a correct sample in Enoch of what a man could be in a Christlike character, for Christ often manifested Himself unto Enoch. The statement is, Enoch walked with God at a period of time when it was no more favorable for the perfection of Christlikeness than it is in our day. The world was so wicked in Enoch's day that the Lord said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continuously.” “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. ... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:3, 5, 8, 9. To walk with God is the highest duty, the greatest honor, blessedness, and excellence of man. Many men were at first receivers of the message that faithful preacher of righteousness bore. Noah's carpenters were receiving instruction from his lips and they could not be in the companionship of such a man without receiving in large measure an influence by his words. But there were mockers in those days and everything serious was mocked and derided by a certain class whose minds and works were evil and that continually. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 12

The sons of God were thus called because they were the visible worshipers. The openly wicked were descendants of Cain. Enoch did not take up his abiding place among them because the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears were dangerous to his family. He lived away in country places, retired, and at set times he visited the wicked inhabitants to bear his testimony in harmony with [the message that would be borne by] Noah and other sons of God. So the work of warning was constantly going on. But what of Noah's carpenters? Some died, some returned to their own sinful practices, notwithstanding the warnings and enunciations of God was upon them. They strengthened themselves in their unbelief. Thus it is in our day as Christ has predicted: As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man is revealed. Parents who feared God worked continually to keep their children in a pure atmosphere. This is the precaution all parents should take if they wish to save their children for life eternal, and in this life to become the children of God, being governed by the will of God and the Spirit of God. 14LtMs, Ms 200, 1899, par. 13