Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 195, 1899

Colcord, W. A.; Starr, G. B.; Hickox, A. S.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 29, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 1BC 1102; 4MR 245; 11MR 274. CTr 53. +Note

Dear Brethren Colcord, Starr, and Hickox:

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” [Hebrews 11:6.] When the Lord gives His servants a work to do in His service, they are not to be satisfied with a measure of success. Certain parts of the work may be carried well, while other parts of the work are deficient. The Lord is pleased with the workers in His vineyard when they have a sense of the need of the perfection of all parts of the work. The work of saving souls is the very highest work that can be done in our world. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 1

The fact that man can please God is a wonderful incentive for us to make the most persevering, intense efforts, efforts which are proportionate to the value of the object which we are seeking to gain. “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you, to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Enoch walked with God. He was not satisfied with his own companionship. He walked with God. He pleased God. The Lord is not pleased when those who He has created are sinners. We are ever to walk with God and learn of Jesus Christ, who has overcome every temptation wherewith man is beset. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 2

The Lord draws man close to His side, to walk with Him, to work with Him, to teach him how He overcame every temptation in humanity, and how, therefore, man may overcome through the provision the Lord has made. With every temptation there is a way of escape, by walking humbly with God. Without faith, ever increasing faith, it is impossible to please God. Christ cursed the fig tree because it bore no fruit. Thus He would teach that God is not pleased with His human agencies if in their lives they utterly fail to fulfill the purposes for which they were created. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 3

In his fallen nature man can do the very things God expects him to do, through the help provided for him. He can walk and work and live by faith on the Son of God. God is not pleased with those who are satisfied with a mere animal life. He has formed man after the divine similitude. He designs that he shall possess the character of God by obeying His law, the expression of His divine character. The Lord has given man mind, intellect, affections. These gifts are entrusted to man to be exercised and improved. God has given him a conscience, which must be carefully cherished and appreciated. He has given him knowledge and virtue. These entrusted capabilities are to hold the supremacy which God has assigned to them. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 4

The Lord expects man to exercise the faculty of faith. It is the real, vital essence of Christianity to grasp the unseen by faith, reaching out constantly to lay hold of the spiritual efficiency found in Christ. If man does not constantly improve by exercising the gifts of God, it is not possible that he has that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. To cultivate a few of God’s entrusted talents is not enough. The conscience is to be in touch with the life and character of God. This is spiritual walking with Jesus Christ, partaking of the divine nature, having overcome the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Every entrusted gift is to be cultivated and employed in the Master’s service. Life eternal is attained only by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 5

If all the teachings given by Christ, when enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, had been obeyed, the Jewish nation would have stood forth to glorify God above every nation and people upon the face of the earth. Jerusalem need not have been destroyed. But she disregarded the commandments of God, while professedly regarding them. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 6

I could not sleep tonight after half past one, and am now writing by candlelight. Our Saviour declared for the benefit of all who would serve Him, “This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] The more nearly self is brought into perfect submission to God, the more clearly will we understand the power that God will manifest in behalf of His people. The Lord will fulfill His promise to His people. We have failed because the fruit we have borne has not been proportionate to the light and advantages given. The endowment from heaven is just as much for us as it was for the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 7

Have we faith in God, faith that takes hold of unseen blessings, and trusts in God for greater things? He who has prepared blessings for those who are doing Him service is not satisfied with our present state of spirituality. We must go forward and upward. God has provided us with the faculty of faith, and He expects us to use it. We are to believe every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 8

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith unites the soul to God, and without faith we cannot have eternal life. Our unbelief has led us to much ingratitude. There is a great work to be done in Maitland. But none of you can carry this work to success unless you have faith to understand that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violence take it by force. We cannot rely on worldly rank, on our own human efforts. But we may trust in the power of the Spirit of God, and believe that He will respond to our faith. God would have used His church, His chosen people, to unite with Him in preparing the way for the first advent of Christ to our world. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 9

The gift of Christ to our world meant hope, revival, and conversion for the Jewish nation. Co-operation with God by receiving John’s message would have prepared the way for the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. But it was not the priests and rulers who knew in regard to the Saviour’s birth. It was not the priests and rulers who received Him. Only the remnant of Israel, who had kept the faith and were humble before God, who were Israelites indeed in whom was no guile, received Christ and became His true followers. Because of pride, a backsliding people rejected the Saviour, and thus the advantages proffered to the Jewish nation passed from them to the Gentiles. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 10

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting (from the days of eternity, Margin). Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.” [Micah 5:2-4.] 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 11

The gift of Christ is the highest possible pledge of help in all our trouble and victory in all our conflicts. In Christ is the strength of His people; for all power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth. Let us as a people who have had great light remember that Christ sits among His people as a refiner and purifier of silver. He is continually cleansing the hearts of those who engage in His service as workers together with God. He will work through every soul. He is continually cleansing the hearts of those who are willing to be cleansed, separating the pure from the impure. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 12

In proportion as the church advances in holiness, she advances in strength also. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall fail and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” [Isaiah 40:28-31.] 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 13

The Lord has signified to me that He has a people in Newcastle and Maitland. And among those who have expressed themselves as dissatisfied with the spirituality of their churches, I have recognized the faces presented to me. God has also shown me that the set time for our enlargement has come, the time when light is to shine forth upon the people in Maitland. Those who show contempt for God’s law and refuse to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so will lose rich blessings. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 14

God provides men and means for the accomplishment of His work, and if those who are engaged in His work will have faith, they will remove mountains of difficulties. Those who hold the truth in righteousness will see that God’s Word accomplishes the thing whereunto He sends it. Let every worker bear in mind that we have a covenant-keeping God, who knows all our necessities, a God who unites with His majesty all the gentleness and tenderness of a shepherd. Let those who engage in work for Christ have faith in God, for God’s honor is at stake. He will fulfill His promises to His people. Absolute power is His, and no obstacle can stand before Him. His understanding is infinite. He cannot err. He is never in perplexity in regard to the means He shall employ. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 15

God honors man by inviting him to be a laborer together with Him. He asks that man’s ability shall be consecrated to Him, purified from all selfishness. He says, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; they that strive with thee shall perish.” “Thou shalt seek them, and shall not find them, even them that contended with thee; they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of naught. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee.” [Isaiah 41:10-13.] 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 16

If you do not see the success in your work that you hope for, have faith in God. Do not talk unbelief. His goodness and truth are eternal, and He will not alter the covenant that has gone out of His lips. In the darkest hour, when the hellish shadow of Satan lies directly across your pathway, let faith pierce the cloud; for Christ is behind, and He doeth all things well. The plans of men may be many, but God can make them of none effect. He has power to establish, and He has power to overthrow the ones who interfere with His work of enlightening men and showing them their peril if they continue in disobedience to His commandments. The fifth chapter of Matthew reveals the truth concerning the laws of God’s government. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 17

Despondency in the service of God is unreasonable and sinful, for the Lord is ready to bestow upon His servants all the grace and wisdom which their case demands. The message of God is to go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. It is to come to our churches through the instrumentality God uses. He invites the investigation of all who minister His Word to the people, and through His servants He invites men to a full investigation of His claims, as revealed in His Word. If increased light is given, ministers are accountable to God to search the Scriptures, and see if these things are so. It is a dangerous business for them to turn away the flock of God from the truth. The Lord has much light for His people. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 18

We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and the Lord sends His messages to His people, warning them not to be found among the transgressors of His law, lest they have to meet God over His broken law. Error hates the light and will not come to the light, lest his deeds shall be reproved. The cause of truth challenges every man who holds a position as teacher of the truth to search the Scriptures. 14LtMs, Lt 195, 1899, par. 19