Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 35, 1900

Our Work for this Time

NP

June 28, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 225.

In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is specified our work for this time. This chapter will be an eye-opener to all who pray from a sincere heart, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 1

This chapter should be studied carefully and prayerfully. God’s messengers are given a direct, forcible message to bear to the sinners in Zion. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression (of God’s law), and the house of Jacob their sins.” It is the professed people of God to whom the message is to be given—church members, those who really suppose they are righteous, who delight in approaching God. “They seek me daily,” God declares, “and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinance of justice; they take delight in approaching God.” [Isaiah 58:1, 2.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 2

But their delight in approaching God is a deception. They do not delight themselves in the truth. If they searched the Scriptures with a heart free from pride and prejudice, their eyes would be opened to see wonderful things in the law of God. But to accept the truth involves a cross, and therefore they are not willing to humble their hearts and search the Scriptures that they may understand what saith the Lord. They suppose themselves to be righteous, but their righteousness is self-righteousness. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 3

They make complaint to God, not discerning that He has a controversy with them. He charges them with false pretense. “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?” And God says, “Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labor. Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.” [Verses 3, 4.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 4

The message of warning must be given to all who are in the position pointed out in this chapter. Notice the work that is to be done, and by whom it is to be done. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundation of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own way, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 12-14.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 5

Those who do the work specified in this chapter do missionary work of the highest order. They keep the way of the Lord, and do aggressive work for Christ. And the Lord says to them, “If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verses 10, 11.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 6

The Lord has a special message for His ambassadors to bear. They are to give the people the warning, calling upon them to repair the breach that has been made by the papacy in the law of God. The Sabbath has been made a nonentity, an unessential requirement, which human authority can set aside. The holy day of the Lord has been changed to a common working day. Men have torn down God’s memorial, placing a false rest day in its stead. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 7

The Lord’s messengers are not to sanction any plan whereby the Sabbath will be trodden under foot. The Sabbath is God’s memorial of creation. He did not make holy and bless the first day of His creation. After he had finished the work of creating the world, He blessed the seventh day, setting it apart for man to honor. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 8

Human authority has taken the first working day and set it apart to be honored. But this act has not one word of sanction from the high and holy One who inhabiteth eternity. Thus God has been greatly dishonored. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 9

God designed every Sabbath to be a day for religious meditation and worship. “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; every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be put off from among his people. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 10

“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 men 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.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 11

The foundation of many generations is to be raised up from being trampled under the feet of men. It is to be exalted and called honorable. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 12

Christ gave His life for sinful human beings. Thus He made it possible for them to win back by obedience what they had lost. He longed to save those who had been led into sin, and He gave His life as a sacrifice, that men and women might have ample opportunity and every incentive to return to their allegiance. Thus he made it possible for them to keep his holy law and to stand on vantage ground before the heavenly universe. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 13

“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever; neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me and was wroth; and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 14

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him, and to his mourners,” (if in contrition they repent of their transgression of the law). “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked” (who continue in transgression) “are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Continually they accuse and falsify those through whom God is working. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” [Isaiah 57:15-21.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 15

A message is to be borne to the churches who are walking in transgression of God’s law. God says, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day,” no longer desecrating it, I will receive you as My children. [Isaiah 58:13.] God has a message for the sinners in Zion. The warning must be given to the churches. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.” [Verse 1.] Be decided and in earnest. Make no concessions with transgressors. Bear the message God has given, that transgressors may be given opportunity to repent and be restored to the favor of God. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 16

This is the work before Seventh-day Adventists. They are to give the warnings to all peoples, nations, and tongues, telling them that God has a law which is as much above man-made laws as the heavens are above the earth. This law is to be proclaimed as the law of God’s kingdom. The truth is not to languish upon our lips. Our words must not be words of peace and safety. Say not to the transgressors, It does not matter what you believe. Bear the testing message for this time. Say to the people as Christ said to Moses, “Six days may work be done; but 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.” [Exodus 31:15.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 17

A message of eternal importance is to be given to those nigh and those afar off. There is to be no smoothing down of the truth to gain the favor or applause of those in the world. We are not to form confederacies with those who, after the light has been given them by God’s faithful servants, refuse to search the Scriptures to see whether these things are so. God’s messengers are not to bind themselves up with unbelievers, feeling that in them is their strength. I present this before those who have had the light, but are fast losing their bearings. Let not God’s ministers become bound up in any way with those who have had the truth presented to them, but have refused to receive it. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 18

Through Christ Jew and Gentile may enter the spiritual fold. God will receive all who hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. These are the only ones with whom He will fulfill the covenant mentioned in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, where God declares that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and His people for a perpetual covenant. [Verses 16, 17.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 19

Everywhere, in all ages of the world, God’s words have proved true. He that fears the Lord and works righteousness is accepted by Him. But when the pastors of the churches are ignorant of the Scriptures, when they are too indolent and self-satisfied to fear in regard to their understanding of the Scriptures, but oppose the truth, and are devoted to selfish interests, the flock of God is not fed. The people are not instructed in regard to present truth. The unfaithfulness of the watchmen is the chief cause of the backsliding of the people. When iniquity abounds in a nation, the watchmen are to be wide awake; for it is when iniquity abounds that the love of many waxes cold. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 20

The message God gives through His servants will be scorned and derided by the unfaithful shepherds, who tread down with their feet the feed of the pastures, giving the flock as food that which they have defiled. “Woe to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pastures,” saith the Lord. [Jeremiah 23:1.] No outward nearness to God, no acceptance of sacred work, will screen from the divine wrath those who trample under feet the law of Jehovah. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 21

God “will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every son of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” [Romans 2:6-13.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 22

On what ground can those who have transgressed the law of God be justified? On the ground of faith in Christ and repentance toward God. “Faith without works is dead, being alone.” [James 2:17, 20.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 23

God will not treat men according to the position they occupy, according to their color, or their poverty, but according to the character they have formed. Thus will be decided the destiny of every one. Those who have had opportunity to know the truth, who have had great light, but who in blindness of mind contend against God’s messengers, contend against God and His truth. They do what they know to be contrary to the truth. Their punishment will be proportionate to the light they have received. God greatly favored them, giving them peculiar advantages and gifts, that they might let their light shine forth to others. But in their perversity they lead others astray. God will judge them for all the good they might have done and did not do. He will call them to account for their misused opportunities. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 24

They turned from God’s way to their own way, and God will judge them according to their work. They became fools in the sight of God by turning the truth <of God> into a lie. By walking contrary to the principles of the truth they greatly dishonored God. As God has distinguished them above all other nations of the earth by His wonderful mercy and grace, so He will make their punishment conspicuous. This He will do that all may see that He is a God of justice, and that His ways are equal. 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 25

The strength and hope and salvation of churches, families, and individuals is in the Lord. He never misleads His flock. He is the great shepherd of the sheep. All power in heaven and in earth has been given to Him. He is the Lord our Righteousness. He only can pardon transgression and sin. He only can justify repenting sinners, restoring in them the moral image of God. He can bind the humble, contrite soul with Himself, at peace with God. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ... As by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (our Redeemer) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” [Romans 5:1, 2, 18, 19.] 15LtMs, Ms 35, 1900, par. 26