Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 107a, 1900

Braucht, F. E.

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

March 21, 1900

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Braucht:

I have words to speak to you. Be very careful how you move. Do not let any man deceive you. Brother _____ is not walking in the counsel of God. He has been in that condition of spiritual blindness that he thinks the ministers from America are setting themselves up above the colonials and he appeals to others for sympathy. Brother Braucht, we met this element when we first came to Australia, and we had it from the Lord the true situation presented to us, that the workers were all at variance because there was such a strife for the supremacy. I was obliged to meet this element in the very first conference held in Melbourne. When the ministers came in I called them together in the Echo office and there in the name of the Lord I laid the true state of things before the ministers. I told them they were in the full view of the armies of heaven whose work was connected with the earth, to minister unto those who should be heirs of salvation. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 1

I then set the situation before them of dissension, of self-esteem, and self-exaltation, and the strife to be highly esteemed by men. I poured out upon them the Word of the Lord, “It is written” (Matthew 18) [in] plain, decided, clear-cut words. There was not any daubing with untempered mortar. Will you please to read the Word of the Lord to any one who shall begin their criticism and faultfinding, and tell them that is expressly the work of the devil. He began that work in the heavenly courts and obtained sympathy that he could do most wonderful things if he was not hampered by the law of Jehovah. He would suggest things, present it to the heavenly angels, and then they, supposing he was in harmony with God and the Prince of heaven, would express assent to the words spoken: that a change might be made in the government of God which would work for the great advantage of the heavenly family. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 2

He, Satan, secured his ends by deceiving. He thus went to one and to another and placed in their minds his thoughts, and then he went to the highest Authority and repeated the suggestions [he] himself loved and [had] put into the minds of the angels. He was greatly admired by all the family of heaven for his beauty and exalted loveliness, and after presenting the sentiments of his own originating, presented the sentiments of disaffection from the members of the royal family, and thus commenced the strife. Satan had covered his tracks so that he could not be the one who would be detected. The work of suspicion and distrust of God and the distrust of one another had come in without anyone being able to define how. The time came that rebellion must be taken hold of with a decision God alone could exercise. And the Lord did enter into the matter. For the good of the loyal and true, the disloyal were expelled from heaven with the instigator of evil. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 3

Read and search the Word of God and, after reading (Matthew 18), trace out the cause of disaffection and its evil consequences. I now state before you that not one word of the state of things in New Zealand has Brother Farnsworth mentioned to me. A letter was received from Brother Baker making statements of the difficulties that were coming up in New Zealand. Then I knew because the light had been given me in reference to these things. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 4

[At] that first conference in Melbourne, the Lord opened things before me that first night of the existing evils. After the brethren came I laid these difficulties open to them, and there was a great movement made, for I told them God would not work with them unless they humbled their hearts before God and confessed their sins of envy, of evil thinking, of evil speaking, and creating a harvest of evils from the seeds sown. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 5

God did not send them as missionaries to this country to find fault, or for the people to find fault and speak against them. Unless they should put away their watching and evil surmising they had better pass in their credentials and take up another work, for they would only close the field if they attempted to work in such a spirit as they manifested, such a spirit [of] striving for the supremacy and demeriting others to build themselves up. There was a great working of the originator of evil to carry out his spirit of striving for the highest place. Every church needs to be carefully disciplined in the use of their imaginative faculties and the use of their tongues as if not a word had been given them in warning on these points. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 6

Now, my brother, let me tell you the whole company in the office at Melbourne broke down and confessed their wrong course. There was much weeping, but the confessions that ought to have been carried into the meeting hall did not appear. If the words spoken below had been spoken above, in the hall, I believe we should have had a great victory. After the burden of that meeting, I was taken sick and was afflicted and nearly helpless for eleven months. W. C. White and Brother Starr went to New Zealand. When I was improved in the worst features of my case, I wrote out a tract to ministers in reference to their responsibilities, straight and decided. The second conference in Melbourne was an improvement over the first. The Lord gave Brother Faulkhead and several others decided victories. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 7

When W. C. White went to New Zealand the Lord stirred me up to write in regard to the difficulties in New Zealand. It was the misuse of the tongue, and envy and jealousy and evil surmisings and evil speakings were current, because those who professed the truth did not practice the words of Christ. The sin-sick soul needed the healing balm of Gilead. When they had this, they would have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Without the cleansing of the soul temple from the rubbish of selfishness and self-love and self-esteem and self-exaltation Satan had his abode in the soul. He needs to be cast out. I spent one year in New Zealand and I had some very close work to do but cannot enter into all this. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 8

After our return to Melbourne, we had a camp meeting at Brighton. Then again my burden of labor was for the ministers. I could not sleep. We met in [the] tent for morning meeting; again I set before them [that] now was their time to clear the King’s highway. Brother Steed and others were united with him upon questions in regard to the action of ministers to their brother ministers. I had a decided testimony in regard to these matters. When I had the position of the brethren set before me, I told them they were wrong. The Bible inculcated no such ideas as they suggested; but it was not readily yielded. Brother Steed, with a determination worthy of a better cause, insisted that he could not change his ideas. I think he conceded something prior to this ministers’ meeting, but here again was set before them how great an offense it was to God to have men in the ministry who felt under no obligation to show respect to the ministers who should come into a church, while they were holding meetings, and not ask them to come into the stand or unite with them, but the ones who began the series of meetings should only themselves labor, and have no other ministers to unite with them in the work. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 9

The president of the conference and W. C. White came into their meeting and there was no more attention or respect shown to them, and these brethren maintained that was the right thing to do. But the reproof was given to them that it was done to the Lord Jesus in the person of His saints, their own fellow laborers. And all such sentiments had not the approval of God. The light given me was that these brethren were not humble men, that God could not work with them and through them unless they were converted. The churches that were formed under this kind of labor would be the most unmanageable of any churches established. I had a most determined testimony. It [i.e., the copy] is at Cooranbong. In that meeting on that ground those brethren came nearer the point; confessions were made and after that the Lord came into the meeting. But Brother Steed obtained no special benefit at the meeting. He was criticizing and complaining of the ministers and of everything that he could see any chance to criticize. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 10

Now, from the light given me, this seems to be his stock in trade, and he seems to have no perception how to treat his ministering brethren. The quarrel is in his disposition and heart. He needs to be converted and unless his sentiments change it is best, under the circumstances, not to sustain him in the ministry, for he is a stirrer up of strife and dissensions. This work he has done so long that he cannot be trusted. He feels himself fully competent to set in operation a great work in any place on his own responsibility. And wherever his influence is in any church, his dealing with the ministry [is] in demeriting this one and that one, and advancing just as fast in that line as he can get any sympathizer. Now, the Lord does not need those men to be paid to build up obstructions that the truth shall mean nothing to the receiver. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 11

Those who practice the truth will be walking in the footsteps of Christ and not away from Christ into bye and forbidden paths. If there is the spirit in Brother Steed to do as he has been doing, the very best course is for him to stop preaching and go into some kind of business. When his course of action, in the place of refining and elevating and strengthening and purifying the church, shall be introducing a spirit of envy, [and] faultfinding, that will be sowing seeds to weaken and discourage and destroy the moral image of God in the church members. All the messages God has given in His Word have not corrected or set this man in order. He has the same love of self, the same high esteem of himself that he will leave his mark upon the church where he shall labor. His work will be incomplete. This was the course Brother M pursued that led to his apostasy and fall. We thank God that he has recovered himself out of the snare of Satan. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 12

I now have this to say to Brother Braucht. You are in need of exercising moderation. You are in need of caution and of not rushing when it is best to let your moderation be made known. Be careful how you link up with men, and be very careful in this country how you shall proceed. In all things ask counsel of men who are to be trusted. Move in the fear of God and not hastily or without forethought and without seeking counsel. The Lord will work with you if you will only put your trust in Him. Brother Baker is a safe man. He moves cautiously and is thorough and true as steel to principle. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 13

My brother, I do not want you should link up with Brother Steed because he will not be your helper. You are a man that launches into things without [giving them] all [the] due consideration that you should. You just link up with Brother Brandstater and each seek to work for perfect harmony, one in Christ Jesus. I am very much perplexed about things in New Zealand. Now [that] Brother Farnsworth is away, you stand by the side of Brother Baker and work with him and advise with him. He is true as steel to principle. And now I must close up this epistle. I send all this to Brother Baker for him to copy and send me a copy of all. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 14

In Christian sympathy. 15LtMs, Lt 107a, 1900, par. 15