Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

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Ms 27, 1900

Obedience or Disobedience

NP

May 6, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 140; 1MCP 321. +Note

Those who are carrying forward the work of God must stand firm and steadfast, as faithful sentinels in the Lord’s army. They must stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. The truth for the present time is to be made known. The last message of mercy is to be proclaimed. Men and women are to be aroused to prepare for the great issues before them. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 1

At the time of Christ’s first advent to our world, the ambitious projects of men had combined with the cruel inventions of Satan to array the world under the banner of rebellion. Eternal realities were hidden by the things of this earth. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 2

In the face of every species of error and delusion, Christ stood forth, proclaiming, “I am the light of the world.” [John 8:12.] When His ministry commenced, His followers numbered only a few illiterate fishermen. But though the world ignored these humble men, they were connected with the God of heaven. Christ was their Instructor. Drawing their power from the Source of all power, these men were to bear a testimony that would shake the world. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 3

To John the Baptist was given the work of preparing the way for Christ’s coming. By startling messages of warning he was to waken men from worldly dreaming. Through Him God called backslidden Israel to repentance. By His presentation of truth He exposed popular delusions. In contrast with the false teachings of the rabbis, truth stood revealed as an eternal certainty. “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John cried. [Matthew 3:2.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 4

“And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting.” [John 2:13, 14.] Priests and rulers were in altercation with the people. The dealers were extorting money from those who had come from afar to attend the Passover, saying as they sold them sheep and oxen for the sacrifices, “It is naught, It is naught.” 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 5

Christ looked upon the distraction which had been introduced into the temple courts. Standing before the desecrators, He said in a clear, authoritative voice, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, ... and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.” [Verses 16, 15.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 6

By expelling those who were profaning the temple of God, Christ taught that a mere profession of religion is nothing in the sight of God. It is a pure, holy character, maintained with the strictest integrity, that is of value in His sight. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 7

In the work of Christ we see our work. In the errors and delusions which flood the world today we see something of what He had to meet. Christ came to give the message of preparation for His kingdom. He calls upon those who live in this age to bear a clear, decided testimony. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 8

Talking with Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, Christ insisted that he must be born again, or else he would never see the kingdom of heaven. He did not attach the slightest value to worldly position or wealth. In talking with the Samaritan women, He showed how worthless are the hopes of this world, and how necessary the water of life. “If thou knewest the gift of God,” He said to the woman, “and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 9

“The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever shall drink of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4:10-14.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 10

Thus Christ declared that earthly blessings, however great or numerous, can never satisfy the mind or cleanse the soul. But every want is satisfied by the water of life which is imparted to the truly penitent, who receive the Word of God as thirsty men receive water. The truth of God is in them as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. As bread is to the hungry and water to the thirsty, so is the Word of God to those who love Him. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 11

“If ye love me,” Christ says, “keep my commandments.” [John 14:15.] “He that willeth to do his will shall know of the doctrine.” [John 7:17.] He shall indeed know, not uncertainly, but with a knowledge that makes the soul brave and courageous, anxious to sow the seed of truth and reap the harvest. This work is the source of elevated, holy, and constantly refreshing joy. “The water that I shall give him,” Christ declares, “shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4:14.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 12

The reason why men and women today to do believe the truth is because it condemns their life-practices. They see that the truth calls for a reform, and they fight it because they hate the work involved in sanctification. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 13

Today the Lord is speaking to His people, saying, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2.] “Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” [Isaiah 1:16, 17.] When men and women are thoroughly awakened to the need of a reformation, they will believe and do the words of the great Teacher, “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light; lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” [John 12:35.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 14

We have a message to bear, not only to worldlings, but to church members. Christ bore a message to the Jewish nation; and light is to shine forth from God’s people to church members as well as to worldlings. As we present the Word of God just as it reads, the ministers will say that we are doing an unjust thing, for we are stealing members from their churches. But God has a people in their churches, a people who have been bought with a price. He has given us a message to proclaim to them. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 15

We are not permitted to enter the churches to present the testing truths for this time; therefore we must hold camp meetings, planting in the sight of all the standard which has been trampled down. We are to lift the voice in warning. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 16

God gave Noah a warning message to present in his day. The earth was to be destroyed by a flood, and God gave Noah directions to prepare an ark, into which all might enter who desired to be saved. This immense boat, standing on dry ground, was an evidence of Noah’s faith. For one hundred and twenty years he warned the people of the coming flood, but they laughed him to scorn. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 17

Christ says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, when the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” [Luke 17:26-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 18

Of the Jews it is written, “Though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him; that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they would not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John 12:37-40.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 19

Christ presented truths which if received would have purified the soul. But the Jews rejected the truth, and in the place of light came darkness. Those who cling to falsehood and error must, as the result, be surrounded by darkness. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 20

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” [Verses 42, 43.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 21

In His intense desire that men should receive the truth, and live, Jesus cried, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” [Verses 44-50.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 22

There is a most solemn work to be done for the world and for the churches. The message is to be given to them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. We are to work for God in a world where the wickedness of the inhabitants has almost filled the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it. He will not then interpose to save, to lift up a standard against the enemy. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 23

The churches may unite with the world in a corrupt confederacy to reject the light sent from heaven. Yet that light will not be put out. The counsels of heaven will not be thwarted. The efforts made to hinder the advancement of truth will be of no avail. God will overcome for His own name’s glory. The Holy Spirit comes to all, to convince of sin. From those who refuse the truth it passes away. In the onward march of truth, some are left and others are taken. Whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, God will vindicate the work done by His faithful servants. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 24

Receiving the truth means eternal life; rejecting it means eternal death. All are giving opportunity to obtain spiritual knowledge. We should be filled with gratitude to God for letting the light shine upon His Word, giving us spiritual understanding and a correct interpretation of His precepts. Christ declared, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 25

It is not enough for man to follow the dictates of his own conscience, for his conscience may not be in harmony with the Word. His mind must be enlightened. If a man wills to do the will of God, he will know of the doctrine. The will of man must be under the control of the Holy Spirit. If it is under the control of a spirit that leads him to disregard and disobey the expressed will of God, he cannot serve God. He refuses to obey the divine will, because obedience involves a cross, because in order to obey he would have to separate from the world in faith and practice. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 26

He, who after hearing the truth turns from it because to accept it would retard his success in business lines, turns from God and the light. He sells his soul in a cheap market. His conscience will ever be unreliable. He has made a bargain with Satan, violating his conscience which, if kept pure and upright, would have been of more value to him than the whole world. He who refuses light partakes of the fruit of disobedience, as did Adam and Eve in Eden. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 27

Shall we continue in transgression or shall we so value our peace of mind that we shall cease to transgress, and break off our confederacy with the great apostate? Shall we dare to trifle with our eternal destiny? Shall we not turn away from the companionship of the enemy? “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 28

He whose conscience is a sure guide will not stop to reason when light shines upon him out of God’s Word. He will not be guided by human counsel. He will not allow worldly business to stand in the way of obedience. He will lay every selfish interest at the door of investigation, and will approach the Word of God as one whose eternal interest is hanging in the balance. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 29

There is a right side—the side of Him who declared, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” [John 15:10.] “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 30

There is a wrong side,—the side of the one who in heaven rebelled against God. With his sympathizers he was expelled from the heavenly courts, and from his action we may understand that no matter how high a position a man may occupy in the church or in the world, if he is disloyal to God, if he accepts human laws instead of the laws of Jehovah, he can never enter heaven; for he is living in direct opposition to God. He will receive punishment in accordance with the power of influence which instead of being placed on the side of God was placed on the side of Satan. The greater the talents and influence given him, the greater will be his punishment. God will require at his hands the souls he has turned aside from truth to falsehood. Instead of leading them to God, he led them away from God, and their blood will be charged to him. He will be punished as a seducer from the truth of heavenly origin, which God has commanded all to obey. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 31

Under Satan’s direction men have set up an image to be worshiped, even as Nebuchadnezzar set up an image on the plains of Dura and commanded all men to fall down and worship it. They have exalted the first day of the week, putting it in the place of the Sabbath of the Lord. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 32

“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak ye 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. Everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 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 me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth; and on the seventh he rested and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-17.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 33

Those who read these words and obey them now will not be obliged to read them with self-condemnation in the day when the books are opened, and every one is judged out of the things written therein. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 34

John writes, “I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:11-15.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 35

What a terrible day that will be for those who have refused God’s sign, who have exalted a spurious rest day, and have claimed authority over the consciences of their fellow men! They have disregarded the law of Jehovah, and Satan has deceived them, to their ruin. They have received the falsehoods framed by him to make of none effect God’s commands. As they stand before the bar of God, they will see the great sacrifice the Father made in giving His only begotten Son to the world, that men and women might hear the message of salvation, and live. Christ was the light of the world, but when He came to His own, they received him not. Inspired with the spirit of Satan, the Jewish leaders killed the Saviour because He condemned their practices. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 36

In the day of judgment, those who have refused the light and have led others to honor the false Sabbath will see the course Satan has pursued in causing men to transgress the law of God. They will see and fully comprehend the virtue of God’s sign. They will understand that they might have been saved had they accepted God’s message of mercy to a fallen world. But they turned from the truth and rejected the sign of God. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 37

John writes again, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with a sword of him that sat upon the horse.” [Revelation 19:19-21.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 38

Then will be seen the persecutions Christians have endured at the hands of those under the control of the apostate. Nothing will be overlooked or forgotten by God, for seeking to compel men to do evil is a most heinous sin in His sight. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 39

Read the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, and be afraid, all ye would insult your God by enforcing upon men the worship of the beast. Read the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, and see whether those who walk in the light of God’s commands are the ones who are to be maligned and persecuted. 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 40

God’s people have a serious, solemn work to do. He bids them, “Lift up thy voice like trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Verse 1.] 15LtMs, Ms 27, 1900, par. 41