Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 74, 1900

Kellogg, J. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 20, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in CG 489.

Dear Brother:

Your case has been set before me repeatedly. Warnings of your danger have been given, with the strongest encouragement. The injunction, “Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope,” is for you. [Zechariah 9:12.] There is a foe upon your track. You are far from safety in trusting to yourself and refusing the admonitions which the Lord sends. God wants you to make a different showing. Remember that you cannot be in harmony with God while you are not in harmony with your brethren. You think that your brethren must adopt your ideas and be as intensely interested as you are in the work you have taken up. But to suppose that you must counsel with your brethren looks to you like an absurdity. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 1

Your danger has been presented before me. There is a departure from the strictest integrity and justice. Wrongs have been committed which I may not be able to make you see. But if you will cling to the present truth, there is hope for you. Underlying all the warnings and reproofs, there is much for you to be thankful for. You are in danger, but there is a way of escape for you. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 2

I have been entrusted with the responsibility of stating your case as God views it. He is too wise to err. On every occasion He is present with you. He knows every imagination of your heart. You have been in peril for a long time, and the cry has been raised, “Flee ye to the stronghold.” You are not in a safe path. Your soul is in peril. The divine Word lifts up the signal of warning, for there is something which you are to shun. Do not think to become wise by consulting J. H. Kellogg. Fear the Lord, and walk humbly before Him. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 3

Those in responsible places in the work of the Lord are represented as watchmen on the walls of Zion. God calls upon them to sound an alarm among the people. Let it be heard in all the plain. The day of woe, of wasting, and destruction is upon all who do unrighteousness. Especially will the Lord’s hand fall upon the watchmen who have failed to place before the people in clear lines their obligation to God, who by creation and by redemption is their Owner. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 4

My brother, flee to the stronghold. You know not your peril and the peril that awaits those connected with you if they walk in the light of the sparks of your kindling. Your soul is precious; you have had great light; but if the Lord should now appear in the clouds of heaven, could you enter the abode of the righteous? Your soul temple needs to be cleansed from all moral injustice. You have no time to lose if you [are to] save your soul. Your spiritual perceptions are diseased. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 5

The Lord calls upon you to closely examine your heart. He calls upon you to adorn the truth in all your life practice, in all your dealing with your brethren. Christ requires of you a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. It is dangerous to trifle with the sacred demands of conscience, dangerous to be by your practice leading young men and young women in the wrong direction. Many things you do are good and right, but self is mingled with them. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 6

If you should carry out your threat to sever all connection with your brethren, what will this, with all it includes, mean? Your brethren should have such firm rectitude and determination that they will not be made afraid by your threatenings regarding separation from the conference. Better that this separation should take place than that they should consent to your terms. The propositions you make are dishonoring to you. May the Lord God of heaven call you to your senses. Will you go on, year after year, in the face of all warnings, to do according to your mind and your judgment, refusing to hear the voice of the Lord? If you do, your course will become like that of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. The Lord warns you to keep off this ground. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 7

Your principles of faith are defective, and the truth for this time no longer seems of importance to you. It has lost its sanctifying influence upon your soul. Clear light has come to you, but you were so ambitious to do some great thing that you closed your eyes to everything but your own plans and methods. But could you see the result of the work which you have done in Chicago, which you think should be done in every city, you would lose your enthusiasm. This work resembles the tower which the builder began to build without counting the cost. You do not reason from cause to effect. May the Lord open your eyes to see and understand that His people must be a unit. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 8

The third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels, is the message for our time. We are to lift the banner on which is inscribed, The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The world is soon to meet the great Lawgiver over His broken law. This is not the time to put out of sight the great issues before us. The work to be done is solemn and important. But you have lost the realization of the importance of His work. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 9

You are not a safe educator. Bible truth, which calls attention to the signs of the times, is not now a specialty with you. You need the heavenly anointing, for the truth has not the highest place in your mind. You need to be converted, or you will surely wander further and further from the principles of truth, and your practice will not be characterized by safe, holy principles. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 10

I call upon you in the name of the Lord to prepare for the crisis. If you continue to be indifferent, as you now certainly are, to your true standing before God, you will imbue others with the same spirit. As you say in your heart, My Lord delayeth His coming, others will catch your spirit and act with the same indifference. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 11

You have become an accuser of your brethren. God wants you to come into harmony with them. They can help you, but not by endorsing your principles. Let me tell you something, John. If a man does not fall in with your suggestions and immediately receive them, you are at once suspicious of him. If he has the courage to differ with you, you think he is your enemy and cannot be trusted. When the Spirit of God abides in your heart, you will view matters differently. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 12

There should be connected with you men who are not afraid to differ with you when they see that you are in the wrong. Such men would be your best and truest friends. But when your brethren differ with you, you can, if you feel like it, meet their suggestions as few can, with words of sarcasm and wit, humiliating them by words which are no credit to you. You can cover up a suggestion in an unfavorable manner, making a good point seem ridiculous. But you ought to see that you are not always to be master of the situation. You should not appear with these weapons. They are not the fruit of the spirit of kindness and generosity, but the fruit of the spirit of selfishness, which hurts your religious experience and hurts the souls of those who differ from you, though many times they are in the right and you are in error. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 13

Christians should carry with them the sweet fragrance of Christ’s righteousness, showing that they have taken His yoke upon them, complying with the invitation, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Are you learning daily in the school of Christ, learning how to dismiss your doubts and evil-surmisings, learning how to be fair and noble at all times in your dealings with your brethren, for your own sake and for Christ’s sake? You have often taken selfish advantage of them. When you wish to, you can show great sharpness in your dealing. This tarnishes your soul. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 14

These things are searing your conscience. By practice, evil actions grow into habits. Every wrong action done is a thread drawn into the web, which deforms the pattern of Christian character. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 15

Do not depend on or connect with the world. Do not learn your lessons from it. While you put your trust in God and loved your brethren, you stood firm against enticement. You need the prayers and counsels of men who believe the truth, who fear and love God. But because your brethren do not sanction all your suggestions and enter into all your plans and arrangements, you have become offended with them, and have looked upon them as enemies. But if they had, as ministers of the gospel, sunk their work into the work you have been doing, how would the truth be sent to all nations of the world? What kind of representation would be given to the world of the great, grand Bible truths for this time? Where would be the churches God directed should be organized in all places, composed of all classes of society, rich, poor, depraved, and helpless? 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 16

The Work for This Time

Present truth, which works by love and purifies the soul, leads upward and onward, gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute. All [who] will come are to be brought into the fold, and a reformation is to take place in them that will constitute them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. By hearing the truth men and women are to receive the Sabbath, and by baptism unite with the church. They are to bear God’s sign by observing the Sabbath of creation. They are to know for themselves that obedience to God’s commandments means eternal life. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 17

Money and earnest labor may be safely invested in such work as this, for it is a work which will endure. Thus those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are brought into fellowship with the saints and are made to sit in heavenly places with Christ. Their feet are placed on a sure foundation. They are helped to reach a high standard, even the loftiest heights of faith, because Christians make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame shall be turned out of the way. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 18

It is safe to encourage every soul to let go his grasp of the world, and place his hand in the hand of Christ. “Without me,” the Saviour declares, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 19

Every church should labor for the perishing within its own borders, and for those outside its borders. The members are to shine as living stones in the temple of God, emitting heavenly light. No random, haphazard, desultory work is to be done. To get fast hold of souls ready to perish means more than praying for a drunkard, and then because he weeps and confesses the pollution of his soul, declaring him saved. Over and over again the battle must be fought. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 20

The families of the poor souls that need to be reformed may require help to recover from the effects of debauchery. They may need food and raiment. But God has not given this work to His people to take the place of the gospel ministry. Money may be poured into this channel indiscriminately, as has been done, when if this money were used in connection with the churches God has raised up, much more would have been done in the saving of souls ready to perish. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 21

Let the members of every church, after the truth has been presented to them, feel it their duty to labor for those living in their neighborhood. Let each one claiming to stand under the banner of Christ feel that he has entered into covenant relation with God to do the work of the Master in His stead. Let not those who do this work become weary in well-doing. There is a world to be saved. When the redeemed stand before the throne of God to answer to their names, there will be precious souls there who will respond because of the faithful, patient efforts made in their behalf, the entreaties and urgent persuasion to flee to the stronghold. Thus those who are laborers together with God will receive their reward. “Be not weary in well doing.” [2 Thessalonians 3:13.] This should be the motto of those who work to win souls for Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 22

To invest all the means in the erection of buildings in one locality binds about the work which God would have done in the erection of buildings in countries where the people have had no opportunity to become acquainted with the reasons of our faith. It is the Lord’s purpose that the talent of money shall be invested where it will be the means of bringing His work for these last days before the people. He declares that there shall be a true revealing of His character through His own appointed agencies. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 23

The ministers of the popular churches will not allow the truth to be presented before the people from their pulpits. The enemy works through the ministers, leading them to resist the truth with bitterness and malice. Falsehoods are manufactured. Christ’s experience with the Jewish rulers is repeated. Satan strives to eclipse every ray of light shining from God to His people. He works through the ministers as he worked through the priests and rulers in Christ’s day. Will those who know the truth join his party, to hinder, embarrass, and turn aside those who are trying to work in God’s appointed way to advance His [cause and] plant the standard of loyalty in the regions of darkness? 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 24

Medical missionary work means much more than those who use the term understand. Jude writes, “Jude the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called; Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” [Jude 1-3.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 25

The work before Christians is to bring men back from transgression of the commandments of God. This is the burden of the message to be borne in the special work to be done for this time. With earnestness and zeal the gospel of Christ is to be proclaimed. This is the light which is to shine upon commandment-breakers, arousing men and women to prepare to meet their God. The standard to be raised is the truth delivered to the saints. Sin is the transgression of the law. This law is being trampled under the feet of the disloyal in our world. God calls upon His people to magnify the law and make it honorable. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 26

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, the Sabbath was given to the world, that man might ever remember that in six days God created the world. He rested upon the seventh day, blessing it as the day of His rest. Then He gave it to His created intelligences, that they might remember Him as the true and living God. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 27

By His mighty power, notwithstanding the opposition of Pharaoh, God delivered His people from Egypt, that they might keep His law. By the observance of the Sabbath, they were to be distinguished from all other nations. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever,” God declared; “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested and was refreshed. ... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.” [Exodus 31:17, 16.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 28

When the Lord called His people out of Egypt, He brought them to Sinai to hear the proclamation of the law which had been given in Eden. By proclaiming the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel with His own voice, God demonstrated their fundamental importance. In awful grandeur He made known His majesty and authority as Ruler of the world. This He did to impress upon the people the sacredness of His law and the importance of rendering obedience to it. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 29

The force and power with which the law was delivered reveals its importance. It is the faith once delivered to the saints by Christ our Redeemer speaking from Sinai. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 30

From the pillar of cloud Christ made the declaration regarding the Sabbath, “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 sanctify you.” [Verse 13.] The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they are His obedient subjects, that they keep holy His law. This is the means ordained by God of preserving a right knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing His loyal subjects from the transgressors of His law. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 31

This is the faith “once delivered unto the saints.” Who are standing in moral power before the people to maintain this faith? Jude writes again, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” [Jude 3, 5.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 32

Opposition we shall have as we voice the message of the third angel. Satan will bring up every device he possibly can to make of none effect the truth once delivered to the saints. “Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment now for a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” [2 Peter 2:2, 3.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 33

But in spite of opposition, all are to hear the words of truth. God told Moses to say to the children of Israel, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” [Deuteronomy 6:5-8.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 34

The law of God is to be the means of education in the family. Parents are under a most solemn obligation to walk in all the commandments of God, setting their children an example of the strictest integrity. Men in responsible positions, whose influence is wide, are to guard well their ways and works, keeping the fear of the Lord ever before them. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] Those who hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord and cheerfully keep His commandments will be among the number who see God. “The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” [Deuteronomy 6:24, 25.] 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 35

The law of God is the foundation of all enduring reformation. We are to present to the world in clear, distinct lines the need of obedience to His law. The great reformative movement must begin in the home. Obedience to God’s law is the great incentive to industry, economy, truthfulness, and just dealing between man and man. The law requires temperance in all things. Its observance is conducive to health and happiness. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 36

Our work as believers in the truth is to present before the world the immutability of the law of God. Ministers and teachers and those who stand in positions of responsibility are bound by covenant with God to present the importance of doing His law. We are to be distinguished as a people who keep the commandments. The Lord has stated explicitly that He has a work to be done for the world. How shall it be done? Let us seek to find the best way, and then perform the will of the Lord. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 37

Camp meetings should be held in different places at proper times. The workers are to remember that at these meetings their message is the harmony of the law and the gospel. Perfect love will lead to perfect obedience. The people need the truth. The ministers need the truth regarding the precepts of God’s law, that they may tell the people of its binding claims upon every soul. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 38

Let us present the lesson given to the lawyer when he asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Christ asked. “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.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said: “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] Those who reject the law reject the conditions of their salvation. 15LtMs, Lt 74, 1900, par. 39