Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 124, 1900

Caro, Sister [E. R.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 19, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in 7ABC 457. +Note

Dear Sister Caro:

I have a message for you from the Lord. How much owest thou unto my Lord? My sister, I am instructed to say that you have a work before you to do for the Master. You are not serving the Lord Jesus. He gave His precious life for you, that you might not perish, but have everlasting life. God calls upon you to no longer make an idol of yourself, for it is at the cost of life, eternal life in the kingdom of God that you are doing this. You need the converting power of God upon your heart, expelling from it your selfish pride and supplying its place with the fragrance of the love of Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 1

You need now to face the situation. Heart obedience to the law of God is required from you, for your present as well as your eternal good. You have a place to fill in the world, a work to do, which you should have done, but which for years you have left undone, because you did not feel inclined to waken from your spiritual lethargy. You did not desire a spiritual resurrection. O how very little you have rendered to God who has given you life, and given Jesus to die as your sacrifice, making it possible for you to become a vessel unto honor in His service! Have you a sense of your accountability to God for your time, for your strength, which is small because you have failed to give your physical and spiritual powers useful exercise? 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 2

What do you render to God for all His benefits to you in preserving your life? “Ye are not your own.” [1 Corinthians 6:19.] Will you bear this in mind? You are bought with a price; and what a price! Shall Christ have died for you in vain? 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 3

I am instructed to say to you, Obedience to God is the height of human wisdom. Those who are content to remain in the situation in which you now are pervert both physical and mental powers. There is much work you could do if you could overcome the spiritual apathy upon you. I am instructed to repeat to you the invitation, “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 (in thus doing) ye shall find rest unto your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 4

Those who disregard the commandments of God are guilty of the greatest folly; yet this is the class that interests you, and whose society is the most agreeable to you. By withholding yourself from consecration to God you not only injure yourself for time and eternity; but your example has a marked impression upon others. Your influence upon your husband, religiously, is not good. You do not fill the place you might fill if you would. Your influence and example are not right. Nothing but the transformation of the Holy Spirit of God can make you a useful wife, a wise, efficient mother, and the blessing you might be to others. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 5

Remember that I am not with pen and ink tracing lines to one who is the owner of herself. I am writing to one whom Christ has purchased with an infinite price. Your mind, your heart, your time, your influence, all has been bought with a price. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 6

“Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] If you consult your own inclination you will succeed in making yourself more and more inefficient as long as life shall last. The Lord has made an infinite sacrifice for you, giving Jesus Christ up to a shameful death that you might be saved, eternally saved in His kingdom. Then how does the heavenly universe regard your present position toward Christ and the truth of heavenly origin? “Know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” [James 4:4.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 7

You love the world, its friendship, its practices, its display. But will you sell yourself to the enemy to please him, and lose your soul at last? “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] This question is asked you, my sister. I cannot endure the thought that Christ shall have died for you in vain, that you will not only throw away your own soul, but injure the souls of others. You turn from, as unworthy of your notice, the sanctified influence God has made it possible for you to obtain from Him. Can you think more of the opinion of those who have no connection with truth and righteousness than you do of pleasing and glorifying God? 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 8

God’s object in the revelation of Himself to our world is to inspire every blood-bought soul with a desire to unite earnestly with Christ in drawing souls away from the love of the things of the world to seek for the heavenly treasure. O if you had been willing years ago to receive an education after the heavenly similitude, how different you would be! God’s demand upon you is that, you change your course of life, that you give Him your heart’s best and holiest affections, that you fulfil as you should the duties you can do, if you will, in connection with your husband. You can be a great blessing to him. If you both yoke up with Christ and strengthen one another in the faith, you will learn of Jesus. He says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Then you can both communicate, in a solid, rational religious experience, that which will be of value in the estimation of your owner, Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 9

The Majesty of heaven laid aside the royal robe and kingly crown, gave up His position as Commander in the heavenly courts, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold upon the throne of the eternal. Christ was faithful over His household as a servant, for this was His appointment. He became a partaker of humanity that He might bear the infirmities of humanity. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in all things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, for in that he himself suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” [Hebrews 2:16-18.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 10

When we read the Word of God with the purpose of understanding it and responding to His righteous claims, we will not think it is for our good as probationers to make it our ambition to be esteemed as wise by the world. We will not study appearances, that we may be considered something superior. We have no claim or right to greatness only as Christ shall give value to our influence. The estimate He will give will be of proper significance. All true greatness comes through connection with Jesus Christ. The esteem and opinions of those who are not guided by God, who are not living in obedience to the law of His kingdom, are perfectly worthless, and cannot add or diminish from the true worth and elevation of character. The wisdom of the world with all its sham and pretense will come to nothingness, for it is foolishness with God. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 11

The Lord God of heaven gave His only begotten Son to live a life of shame, humiliation, and reproach in order that man should have a probation in which his character might be molded after the divine model, that the heavenly universe shall say of him, “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 12

I am appointed by the Lord to call your attention to matters that are of consequence to you to consider. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus Christ; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:1-6.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 13

What have you done for the Lord Jesus? Have you been striving to win the crown of life that is imperishable, immortal? “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:11-14.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 14

Here your duty is plainly laid out before you, young and old, rich and poor have only one path to travel, one Saviour to serve, love, honor, and obey. The Lord has presented before you, my sister, the standard of true Christianity, a blameless character. It is for the interest of you and me and every human being to carefully study, not merely read, but study and practice the Word. This will give a blameless character, soundness in the faith, and ever increasing ability to defend and maintain the truth. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 15

Every physician should be so filled with the influence of the Spirit of God, that he shall be able not only among those who believe, but among those who daily practice the truth. If the physician keeps the standard of worldlings before him, he is, by beholding, becoming changed into the same image, conforming his life, his work, his aspirations, his motives, his practice, to the worldly standard, and is weaving threads of selfishness into the web which composes the life picture. It is in no sense fitting him to become a member of the family of God. You have done much to bring in the spirit of worldliness. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 16

Your carrying out of that which you term high-toned ideas has not accomplished the purpose you supposed it would. If, in your life work, you had both considered the words of Christ, how different would have been your character building. The web of every man and woman’s life who tries to make an appearance of worldly show in order to gain influence is of the most sleazy substance. You both made a mistake in your youth by trying to make an appearance rather than to build characters which God could approve. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 17

God has given you in His Word the assurance that you can both be physicians of souls as well as bodies. You should have stood unitedly in the work, heart to heart, shoulder to shoulder, trusting in God, not looking to the world’s customs or the world’s criterion for that which makes a man, but “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith” [Hebrews 12:2], that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. You will both disappoint our Saviour unless you now change your attitude and begin to build your house on solid rock, that is, on Jesus Christ. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] God has given you this guiding direction. Will you disregard it in order to follow your own hereditary and cultivated tendencies? You are both indeed in need of a stronger spiritual religious phase of character. Do not for your souls’ sake, strive to be that which will please the worldlings, supposing this to be the sure road to success. Hear the word of the Lord. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 18

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth.” [Isaiah 55:6-11.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 19

Has not the Lord waited long for you to do His will and be conformed to the character of Jesus Christ? The Lord’s love for His purchased possession is infinite. His gift to our world is without a parallel. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, (as his personal Saviour) should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 20

God has given us with Christ all opportunities, all privileges, and the very richest promises on conditions, to enable us to serve God with our undivided affections. We are violating the conditions when we keep the eye of the mind upon the world, when we gage our course of action by its customs, its ideas, its practices. Self is the idol we worship when we do this. Self interposes between the soul and its highest interests. We make self a god to worship and love, that we may please ourselves and uphold our supposed importance. The Lord takes no stock in this kind of service. Solid gold of character, represented as the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, is in the sight of God of great price. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 21

Time and money have been wasted in aspiring to meet the approval of the world. Is not God your Creator and Owner? He desires you both to be converted every day, to serve Him, and not bow at the idol self. Every day, let self be hid with Christ in God. Then the positive promise is given, “When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:4.] All your religious ideas need to be refined, sanctified, elevated above all sordid ambition. You need thorough purification of character. The truth must work with power upon the human soul. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 22

God requires us to use our physical, mental, and moral powers in the enlargement and final triumph of the church. But the Lord has no opportunity to work with men, who are constantly studying how to obtain recognition, who strain every sinew and muscle to obtain self-exaltation. He cannot co-operate with such men. He desires both of you to be humble in heart, and then He will send His angels to give character to the work, which will be accomplished according to His will. You both need a depth of experience in the understanding of truth, that you may work intelligently with a sanctified spirit as true physicians of soul and body. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 23

Sister Caro, truth is truth, and if truth is withheld from you, and you shall fail of gaining eternal life, you will have made a failure of your life through your perverted ideas of what constitutes the true, saving principles that must come into the life of every one who shall be pronounced worthy of the kingdom of heaven. The heart, the head, the whole human machinery, is to be used to advance the holy sentiments of righteousness and truth. Will you choose the world, after knowing, through the light that has been shining upon your pathway, the way to life, to holiness, to the faithful service required from every soul who desires to gain the life which measures with the life of God? Those who choose the world will crucify to themselves the Lord of glory, and will by their example turn souls from the power of righteousness and truth. They desire the favor of the world. They desire to be recognized and esteemed by the world. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 24

Through His own representatives the Lord has laid down general principles for the directions of His people, but the plainest statements in His word are passed over indifferently, as though they meant nothing. Those who choose to be Christians only after a worldly style, and in a way that suits themselves, may be satisfied with this way, but it is not God’s way. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 25

The apostles say plain things to counterwork the sophistries of Satan. They present the same principles that Christ presented, repeating the directions he gave to Moses in the mount, when enshrouded in the veil of cloud, that his glory might not extinguish the human instrument that was to voice his words to the people. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 26

The Lord constantly laid down the principles of His government in His sovereign generalship over the vast multitude He had brought out from slavery and exalted as His people. The truth was plainly specified, to be cherished in all the relations of life. By it the people were to form characters which would enable them to compose the family of God in the heavenly courts. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 27

Those who are pure in heart, in mind, in life, will discern the truth as it is in Jesus. The people of God’s choice are to represent Christ in all their works, in all their practice, in all their teaching. They are to be untouched by the perverse, lax sentiments prevailing in the world. Those who have any connection with the service of God are to come out from the world of corrupting influences and sentiments, and be separate from them. In work and character they are to be a representation of the principles Jesus Christ gave while guiding the children of Israel by His unseen power in their travels through the wilderness. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 28

It was God’s design to establish the children of Israel in Canaan as His nation, to be a sample of all nations which should live in the earth. It was God’s purpose that the children of Israel should populate the world, but they became filled with a desire to be like other nations, to have earthly rulers and earthly kings. God told them, through Samuel, what the result of their choice would be; and His word was verified. They made their choice; and today professing Christians are making their choice, patterning after the world for the sake of gain, that they may be estimated as men and women the world can acknowledge and praise, because they are not too strait-laced to favor their sinful practices. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 29

God has not changed. The pure in heart are those who keep the principles of His commandments as their life and their prosperity, whose hearts and lives are controlled by the holy principles of love to God and love to their fellow men. [They] realize that their highest responsibility is to stand under God’s rule and sustain His great memorial, the creation Sabbath; which defines who is the true and living God, who they are to recognize and serve, regardless of the inconvenience and trial that will have to be borne in doing this. Our faith and obedience are to be just as firm as Adam’s faith and obedience were weak. By his disobedience Adam gave to the world the sin that Satan introduced. This opened the floodgates of woe upon our world, and cursed the earth with moral defilement. It resulted in the destruction of the inhabitants of the old world, with the exception of one family, by a flood. God sent this judgment because of the wide-spread violence and prevailing iniquity. The flood bore its testimony to all who shall live upon the earth as to the result of sin and transgression. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 30

In all our daily labors, in all our business transactions, in all our dealing with suffering humanity as physicians, as gospel ministers, as teachers, we need feel no fear of defilement while we are doing our appointed work in strict accordance with the principles of God’s law. Christ is the rightful governor and owner of the whole human family, but some of the members of this family are doing just as men did before the flood. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 31

They go directly contrary to the laws which govern God’s kingdom. There are those who acknowledge that by the great cleaver of truth they have been cut out of and separated from the quarry of the world, and brought into the workshop of the Lord, to be prepared for His temple. The ax and the hammer and the chisel are to be employed to prepare the rough, misshapen stones for the polishing and refining process, that they may fill their exact place in God’s building. Thus the temple is to grow a living temple unto the Lord. Every stone in this temple is to be a living stone, emitting light to the world. By this representation God’s people show that they are preparing for their future inheritance in the kingdom of God. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 32

What does God require from His blood-bought heritage? The homage of the whole life. Every part of the human organism is to be cultivated as the Lord’s property. By their obedience men and women testify that they are members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing; for ... we shall reap if we faint not.” [Galatians 6:7-9.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 33

This instruction is of great consequence to all who hope by faith in Jesus Christ to compose the family of God. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith.” [Verse 10.] All who belong to the household of faith will obey the law of God. They will love one another as Christ loves them. Let all, by carefully studying the Word of God, prove their own work, put it to the test, and see what its measurement is and what its object. If this Word is our guide, the evidence will be plain that we are right, because the heart will be fully conformed to the expressed will of God. The conduct will reveal oneness with God. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 34

All this fancied superiority in disregarding the directions given in the Word of God is a delusion of Satan. Men please Satan by conforming to his course of action rather than to the life of Christ. The most spiritual Christians are those who will not be satisfied with a surface work. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 35

Those who are determined to carry out the true principles of Christ’s teaching in all things, increasing in spiritual knowledge, piety, and discernment, will wear under circumstances of trial. All who are connected with the service of God must be true to Him at whatever cost to themselves, else they will surely show the unmistakable signs of a divided heart. Then God cannot use them to His name’s glory. They are weak in discerning their own failings. God calls for perfection of character in those who claim to be His children. He will not leave them to be destroyed if they will trust in Him and follow every ray of light He permits to shine upon their pathway. The character of those who claim to be Christians will be revealed, for the more a man or woman looks to Jesus and beholds His loveliness of character, the more sensitive will they become to their own disposition and development of character. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 36

The humble, meek, and lowly servants of Jesus Christ will show the Christlikeness in all their dealing with one another. They will be watchful of self, not to exalt themselves as superior to others, but watchful lest self shall be made prominent and desire the highest place. All are to watch unto prayer. Self is never to be exalted. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 37

Both of you have lessons to learn which, if learned, will lead you to repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You need to understand that you cannot possibly be saved and have eternal life except by a full, entire transformation of your ideas and principles concerning perfect obedience to all the precepts of Jehovah. You have so long conformed to a standard of worldly policy that a great change must take place in you both, if you are saved through sanctification of the truth. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 38

O, what great need there is for both of you to receive an education of an altogether different character from the education you have received. You are both conforming to worldly influences; you are both ashamed to stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. When you think righteously and sensibly about the facts of higher education, you will be ashamed of your human ideas of what constitutes true elevation of character. True elevation comes from the attributes of character revealed in the life of Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 39

Neither cherub nor seraph are slow to recognize and welcome those who are loyal to that law which after the fall could only be obeyed by man through the Son of the infinite God giving His sacred life, which was bound up with God. This He did that man might be placed on vantage ground with God. He clothed his divinity with humanity and stood before the Father as the head of humanity, to give men and women His grace, that they might become partakers of His divine nature. Christ assumed human nature and came to our world; and neither cherub nor seraph is ashamed to call His redeemed people their brethren. They are not ashamed to love those of fallen humanity whom God loves. “For 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.] 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 40

One equal with God condescended to accept humanity, to bear all the affections and temptations of humanity, that he might connect with humanity and die for humanity, taking upon Him the guilt of their sin, that they might, by coming back to their loyalty and obedience to God’s commandments, receive pardon and be loved of God. Then the Sinbearer takes away their sins and imputes unto them his righteousness. They are washed and cleansed from sin and overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 41

This is the only true elevation. This is the highest attainment to which the human family can possibly reach. This is distinction which no angelic rank can ever eclipse. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 42

After the fall, Christ became a propitiation for our sins. The will of the transgressor must be placed in harmony with the divine will. Human nature must be united to God by receiving and believing in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, their Redeemer. One with Christ, men are perfected by the value of His sinless purity. Human character is perfected only through the merits of a sinless being, the Son of the living God. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 43

The only way man can become elevated is by receiving the righteousness of Christ. We are individually perfected by the beholding of Christ’s image. By beholding we become changed to the same likeness from glory to glory (from character to character). We become sons and daughters of God, equal to the angels. It is our privilege to be complete in Him who is our power, our purity. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 44

You both cherish inferior ideas in regard to what is truth. You do not see or realize the value of truth. That cross of Christ which you have both shunned more or less in your Christian experience will, if you are saved, have to be lifted and borne by you both in every phase of your religious life; for it is the central pillar on which hangs the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory which is for those who accept that cross. Under and around the cross of Christ, that immortal pillar, sin shall never revive, nor error obtain control. Life, love, joy, and peace all hang upon the cross which neither of you appreciate. Christ says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] In lifting that cross, it lifts you. In bearing that cross, it becomes to you the crown of glory. Life, love, joy, and holiness become a part of the religious experience. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 45

The question is now before you. The Word of the Lord is given to you. What will you do? Brother and Sister Caro, you need a through conversion before you can take hold of the service due to God in positions of responsibility. With you the Christian life has been a divided, half-and-half life. The temptations that will constantly arise will change your experience into a worldly, selfish desire to acquire means for display, unless you take heed. Had you, my brother and sister, commenced your married life in a humble way, had you thought less of display, less of making a show, as if this were to compose a part of your educational and religious experience, to qualify you for positions of usefulness and of service, you would have received more of the blessing of God. Christ is your example. 15LtMs, Lt 124, 1900, par. 46