Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 79, 1900

Kerr, William

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 10, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 28; UL 144; 7BC 922, 967, 978-979; 1MR 113, 145, 388-389. +Note

My Brother: 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 1

I have a deep interest in your souls. The Lord has been calling you and your wife, saying to you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Rest in Jesus—this is what you need. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Your mind is not now at rest or your heart full of joy, because you are not willing to yoke up with Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 2

All that Jesus asks of you is to accept the truth of the gospel just as it reads. Its requirements are plain and right to the point. All God requires of you is to believe His Word, to accept a “thus saith the Lord.” God’s requirements are His communications to His human family. He speaks to them as intelligent, reasoning agencies, who are responsible to render to Him the fruit of righteousness. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 3

In His Word God has defined sin. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away sin; and in him is no sin.” [1 John 3:1-5.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 4

“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. He said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 5

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” [Psalm 19:1.] God’s power and glory, revealed in the works of creation, are so manifest that the Psalmist calls a man a fool for saying in his heart, There is no God. That there is a God needs no proof from man. Men darken counsel by their weak suppositions. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 6

God created Adam and Eve, and placed them in charge of the garden of Eden, where everything was beautiful to look upon and the fruit pleasant to the taste. He said to them, “Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” [Genesis 2:16, 17.] They were forbidden to taste of the fruit of this tree. This seems a small thing, but it was a test of their obedience and of their trust and confidence in God. God told them that if they did eat of it, death would be the result. Their happiness depended on their obedience. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 7

Obedience would not have hurt Adam. It would not have deprived him of any of the necessities of life. But he sinned. The temptation to transgress was presented to him by his wife, who having herself eaten of the forbidden fruit, and realizing no immediate harm, offered Adam the fruit, telling him of the great advantages they were deprived of by not being allowed to eat of the fruit. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 8

Thus sin was brought into the world. Through the successive ages sin has increased, for men and women are continually doing as Adam did. One star of hope illumined the dark and dismal future. God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” [Genesis 3:15.] Thus was given the proclamation of the Redeemer. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 9

Will men curse Adam for transgressing the law of Jehovah, and then continue in sin and disloyalty? Knowing the result of disobedience, will they continue to disobey? Will they give no heed to God’s “Thou shalt,” and, “thou shalt not”? Is He who knows the consequences of sin and yet perpetuates sin less a sinner than was Adam when God closed against him the gate of Paradise, placing an angel with a flaming sword “which turned every way” to guard the tree of life? [Verse 24.] From henceforth man could not touch the life-giving tree; for sin must not be immortalized. Death was the result of sin, and immortality could be found only in Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 10

“My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” [1 John 2:1-5.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 11

Will you take the Word of God just as it reads? Will you, as a responsible agent, seek to realize your accountability to God? God is the Sovereign of the world. He has entrusted human beings with sacred gifts and endowed them with precious faculties. They are responsible to Him for the right use of these endowments. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 12

The gospel is a revelation of mercy and salvation. If men are not sinners, the call does not come to them, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2.] If they are not guilty, they do not need a Saviour. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 13

Christ spoke with the authority of greatness as with a clear, distinct voice He said, “I am the light of the world.” [John 8:12.] “I am the bread of life.” [John 6:35.] “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [John 14:6.] “I am the good shepherd. ... My sheep hear my voice, and they know me, and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” [John 10:14, 27, 28.] “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 14

We have only to come, complying with the invitation, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” [John 7:37; 6:37.] Every human being, as he reads these words, should feel that he is on holy ground. Remember that the life of the only begotten Son of God was offered up for you. As the Holy Spirit impresses Christ’s words on the heart and mind, man must feel that he is in the presence of superior goodness, superseding immeasurably anything that earth can afford. He must feel that he is occupying holy ground, for he is close to the living fountain of mercy and love. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 15

To Moses Jehovah declared, “I AM that I am.” [Exodus 3:14.] Christ declared, “Before Abraham was, I am.” [John 8:58.] By this declaration He laid open the resources of His infinite nature, imparting in His words assurance of pardon for the guilty race. He is the Word, conscious of power that He can take up and lay down His life as He chooses, to secure the salvation of those who have fallen under Satan’s falsehoods and intrigues. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 16

God pities the fallen race. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] With His humanity Christ touches humanity, and with His divinity He firmly grasps divinity. In humanity, prostrated, diseased, and enfeebled, he can breathe the breath of life, making him a partaker of the divine nature, enabling him to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 17

From the Mount of Olives Christ gave a most wonderful sermon, making the place sacred by His presence. His presence was as a crown of glory to the mount. He gave a discourse fitted to the needs of all in the world. The Light and Glory of heaven, He was no less highly regarded in heaven because of His guise of humanity. He imparted His divine benedictions with a copiousness which showed that all power in heaven and earth had been given to Him with which to bless and strengthen humanity. All the treasures of eternity are at His command. There is no binding about of His beneficence. To all, high or low, rich or poor, who receive Him, by faith as the Son of the living God, He is a very present help. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, to reveal God in word and deed. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 18

Having brought into the world the great treasures of heaven, owned and created by the eternal God, Christ can give to all eternal life. To all who believe on Him as their personal Saviour, He will give an eternal weight of glory. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 19

To us the invitation is given, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... 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 God Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] Thus God has declared His covenant of obedience. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 20

On one occasion, turning to His disciples, who were to suffer for His sake, He pledged His word to them, saying, “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.] He has declared Himself the helper of all who join His army, to co-operate with Him in fighting His battles against visible and invisible foes. He has promised that they shall be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, that they will reign as kings and priests with God. What a covenant is this! Those who accept Christ, those who are willing to share His humiliation before the world, shall become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Those who choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, shall be partakers with Christ in His glory. He will give them the dignity of His name. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 21

Christ came to bring life and immortality to light. Who is He that carries such a weight of responsibility? <Isaiah answers,> “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord: and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of the eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” [Isaiah 11:1-5.] “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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon the throne of his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” [Isaiah 9:6, 7.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 22

To enlarge our views of God’s goodness, Christ calls upon us to behold the works of His hands. “Behold the fowls of the air,” He says, “they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 23

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take ye no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:26-33.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 24

Though men and women have sinned grievously, they are not forsaken. The hand that upholds the world, upholds and strengthens His weakest child. The great Master Artist, whose skill is infinitely beyond the skill of any human being, who gives to the lily of the field its delicate and beautiful tints, cares for the little sparrow. Not one falls to the ground without His notice. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 25

Christ calls the attention of His disciples to the fact that the blessings and care bestowed on any given object is proportionate to the place this object occupies in the scale of creation. If the flower is given a beauty that out vies the glory of Solomon, what can be the measurement of the estimate God places on His purchased heritage? Christ points us to the care bestowed on the things that wither in a day, to show us how much love God must have for the beings created in His own image. He desires every mind to grasp the precious truth. He opens before us the volume of providence, and bids us behold the names written therein. In this volume every human being has a page, on which is written the events of his life history. And from the mind of God these names are never absent for a moment. Wonderful indeed is God’s love and care for the beings He has created. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 26

John calls our attention to the love God has bestowed on us. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” [1 John 3:1.] Can we comprehend this love? Even if we expanded the mind to its utmost limit, could we take in its measurement or give the gift of love the appreciation it deserves? 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 27

Although for ages sin has been accumulating, although through falsehood and artifice Satan has cast the black shadow of his interpretation upon the Word of God, yet the Father’s mercy and love have not ceased to flow earthward in rich currents. If human beings would open the windows of the soul heavenward, in appreciation of the divine gifts, a flood of healing virtues would pour in, leading men to exclaim, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1 John 4:10.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 28

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] That He might save the souls of perishing human beings, He made a gift of such magnitude that it can never be said that God could have made His gift, His donation to the human family, greater. His gift defies computation. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 29

All this God did that man might become impregnated with the divine love and benevolence. Thus He would assure sinners that sins of the greatest magnitude can be forgiven if the transgressor seeks for pardon, surrendering himself, body, soul, and spirit, to be transformed by the grace of God, and changed into His likeness. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 30

In behalf of man God has poured out the whole treasury of heaven, and in return He expects and claims our entire affections. For us He gave His only begotten Son up to a life of abuse, insult, mockery, and rejection. We can never endure what Christ endured, never suffer what He suffered. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 31

Christ is coming the second time, with power unto salvation. To prepare human beings for this event, He has sent the first, second, and third angel’s message. These angels represent those who receive the truth, and with power open the gospel to the world. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 32

As invisible agencies, angels are working through human beings to proclaim the commandments of God. Angels have far more to do with the human family than many suppose. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14.] Holy angels will join in the song of the redeemed. Though they cannot sing from experimental knowledge, “He hath washed us in his own blood, and redeemed us unto God” [See Revelation 1:5; 5:9], yet they understand the great peril from which the people of God have been saved. Were they not sent to lift up for them a standard against the enemy? They can fully sympathize with the glowing ecstasy of those who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 33

John writes, “I beheld, and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne.” [Verse 11.] Angels were united in the work of Him who had broken the seals and taken the book. Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict; but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed, there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented. Vessels, with their living cargo, will be entombed in the great deep. All who have not the spirit of truth will unite under the leadership of satanic agencies. But they are to be kept under control till the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 34

Angels are belting the world, refusing Satan his claim to supremacy, made because of the vast multitude of his adherents. We hear not the voices, we see not with the natural sight the work of these angels, but their hands are linked about the world, and with sleepless vigilance they are keeping the armies of Satan at bay till the sealing of God’s people shall be accomplished. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 35

The ministers of Jehovah, angels have skill and power and great strength, being commissioned to go forth from heaven to earth to minister to His people. They are given the work of keeping back the raging power of him who has come down like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The Lord is a refuge for all who put their trust in Him. He bids them hide in Him for a little moment, until the indignation shall be overpast. He is soon to come out of His place to punish the world for its iniquity. Then the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain. 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 36

In his dying charge to Timothy Paul said, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot and unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen or can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting.” [1 Timothy 6:12-16.] 15LtMs, Lt 79, 1900, par. 37