Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

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Lt 77, 1899

Wessels, Brother and Sister John

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 1, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 7BC 969; MM 11-12; 3MR 367.

Dear Brother and Sister John Wessels:

I received your letter dated March 26, and will answer it so as to reach the boat which leaves Thursday. I do not want to urge anything upon you that seems unreasonable, but I have said that which I felt it my duty to say. A letter to Brother Lindsay should have gone to him in the last boat, but was overlooked until too late for it to be copied. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 1

My brother, I want you and your wife to be perfectly convinced in your own minds in regard to your duty. The experience of the past should have an influence upon your mind. What the future may unfold before us in Australia, we know not; but we do know that the present is our time to work in Australia. This time we must improve to the very best of our ability, and we are seeking counsel of the Lord to know just how we shall move. We will not, cannot move hastily. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 2

To every one God has given his work. He will give light and conviction in regard to duty. This He has done in your case. My brother and sister in the Lord, I must leave you with the Lord, to understand your duty for yourselves. Seek the Lord, and whatsoever He bids you, that do. I think you understand the matter. You can come yourself, with your wife and family. Then after seeing the situation, you will better know how [to] take hold. As the Lord leads the way, you will receive impressions from the Holy Spirit as to how to advance. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 3

From the first knowledge I have had from the Lord of your situation, I have known that the Wessels family would do much better in every way if they were not situated and connected as they are. They have reason to praise the Lord that they have used their means to advance His work. This is all known by the One who has entrusted them as a family with means. And if you see that the influences surrounding you are of a character to hinder spiritual advancement, God has given you reasoning faculties to inquire into the matter and find out, by searching investigation and most earnest supplication, the reason of all these hindrances. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 4

The Lord not only has made you a family stewards of means, but He has also made you individually responsible for every capability—mental, physical, and moral—which you have. The Master wants the whole man, and all there is of him. If His purchased possession is, through association or influences temporal or spiritual, placed where he is trammelled or misdirected, where his powers are weakened, the Lord would have him look to Him, and He will give impressions and convictions which, if heeded, will place him where he can use all there is of him to gather with Christ, and not scatter abroad. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 5

Every soul in our world is the Lord’s property, by creation and by redemption. Each individual soul is on trial for his life. Has he given to God that which belongs to Him? Has he surrendered to God all that is His as His purchased possession? All who cherish the Lord as their portion in this life will be under His control, and will receive the sign, the mark of God, which shows them to be God’s special possession. Christ’s righteousness will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The Lord protects every human being who bears His sign. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 6

“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily, my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you; everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among the people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death; wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-17.] 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 7

This recognition of God is of the highest value to every human being. All who love and serve Him are very precious in His sight. He would have them stand where they are worthy representatives of the truth as it is in Jesus. The whole of the Wessels family have been bought with a price, a gift of as much greater value and magnitude than gold, silver, and precious stones as it is possible for us to conceive. Yet as a family, gold and silver have an influence over them, an influence which has hindered their spiritual advancement. God says to every member of that family, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate (from the world), and touch not the unclean thing; and 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.] 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 8

Here is the covenant which God would make with every member of the Wessels family. He says to you, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] God is an all-sufficient Saviour. It was God who gave His life a ransom for the human race. Be assured He will set His mark upon every man or woman who will accept His righteousness. If they see no beauty in Him, that they should desire Him, it is because they have not taken pains to “behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Satan has more charms for them than Jesus Christ. And therefore the Redeemer declares, they will not come unto me, that they might have life. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 9

God’s healing power runs all through nature. If a human being cuts his flesh or breaks a bone, nature at once begins to heal the injury, and thus preserve the man’s life. But man can place himself in a position where nature is trammelled so that she cannot do her work. Physicians in sanitariums have borne the testimony that if the narcotic tobacco is used, the body becomes saturated with the poison, and when accident occurs to a tobacco-user, he is difficult to cure, for the healing power of nature is weakened to a greater or less extent, so that life is endangered. When intoxicating liquor is used, the system is not able to resist disease in its original, God-given power as a healer. It is God who has made the provision that nature shall work to restore the exhausted powers. The power is of God. He is the great Healer. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 10

It is possible for man, by yielding to Satan in the associations of the world, to lose his power to exercise his will in resisting temptation. The wiles of the enemy are constantly pressing in upon mind and soul to bind man a captive to the force of habit. The evil finds entrance, and he does not resist it, but deliberately chooses the evil in place of the good. The spiritual kingdom is regarded as of little consequence. He does not appreciate its pure, elevating, ennobling principles; and therefore he is not made pure and holy by them. A great injury is done to mind and soul by the indulgence of appetite. Men and women who allow themselves to be governed by appetite cannot appreciate God in Christ as the great Physician. Self and self-indulgence becomes a power which counterworks the work of God. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 11

Do you want to be healed from your sins? Heed the invitation of Christ. Come to Him of your own free will, and put yourself under the care of this mighty Healer. Then Christ can say to you as He did to the poor paralytic, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” [Mark 2:5, 9.] We must understand this soul-healing. Then we shall not inquire, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” [Jeremiah 8:22.] There is One who is longing to be your Healer, One who has all power. But you must place yourself under His care, to do His will and take His prescriptions. He may say to the man whose physical and spiritual health is in danger, You must have a change of climate. You must no longer breathe a malarious atmosphere. You will be helped in every way by this change. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 12

In every place there needs to be close attention given to this matter, so that the best results may be secured from our labors. The Lord has given to every man his measure of usefulness and power; but He does not ask any to live in an atmosphere which means spiritual death to them. Every worker is to arouse and put forth his God-given ability to place himself where he can walk and work in a manner acceptable to God. He is to be as a light that burneth. None of us live to ourselves. Therefore each has a solemn sacred duty to perform in preserving every jot of spiritual and physical power, even if in order to do so, he has to leave his country and associations. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 13

Let the ministers, the shepherds of the flock, contemplate these things, and be explicit with the members of their churches, counselling them, if they are in danger, to change their associations, lest they sleep the sleep of spiritual death. They must instruct line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, if by any means some who are now in constant danger may change their attitude and place of labor, and the truth of God be carried through the heart and conscience to the hand and life. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 14

Great deception will come to the minds of men. They will acquiesce in the theory of the truth, but they do not apply the truth to the life. Therefore they do not become one with Christ. It is not enough to assent to a faultless creed while leading a godless life. Let none perpetuate the reign of sin under the control of the powers of darkness. He whom Christ makes free is free indeed. Let us think and act intelligently. Progression in spiritual lines, growth in grace, will make the human agent strong and aggressive. Each will realize that he has a mission from God, and that he is bound to fulfill his high calling in Christ Jesus. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 15

Our day is signalized by an intensity of action on the part of the powers of darkness, for the enemy sees that he has but a short time to work. Shall those who are entrusted with the greatest truth the world has known be half asleep? The Lord would have us wide awake, and gathering with Christ, preparing His truth to go from nation to nation, until it belts the world. The intensity of Satan is setting in operation every evil work, to counteract the efforts made by the heavenly universe. God’s people are to co-operate with Him, and no longer retard the final completion of His eternal plan. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 16

Truth is being planted in foreign countries, and if the churches would lay hold of the light God has graciously given them, and work in accordance with the command to let their light shine, what would be accomplished? Truth is extending. The knowledge of it is spreading over the world. God calls upon the churches to arise and shine, for their light is come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. They are not to sit down in self-complacency and talk of the good sermons they have heard, doing nothing to communicate to others the precious light they have received. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 17

You may ask, What is our work? Every believer is to be a messenger. It is not great light that we need, but an earnest zeal to let the light we have shine forth to others. We are no longer to work with antagonism but in harmony, co-operating with one another in one great brotherhood. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 18

I now leave this matter with you. I can say no more than I have already said. You must decide for yourselves. The Lord help you, is my prayer. 14LtMs, Lt 77, 1899, par. 19