Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 92, 1900

Kellogg, J. H.

NP

July 2, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 192; 2MR 189; 4MR 136-137.

Dr. Kellogg:

I am sorry that, notwithstanding the warnings that for years God has been giving you, you should act in the oppressive way that worldlings act. Do you know that angels of God were in that gathering in which you magnified yourself to such large proportions? Did you realize that by your actions you were giving joy to satanic agencies? O John, John, can it be that you consider this the medical missionary work that is to be done? The less we have of the class of work represented in that meeting, the better it will be for the actors and for the cause of God. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 1

The Lord was not glorified by your transactions, and He says of those who justified you in them, “Neither will I be with you any more unless you put away from your midst everything of this unholy character.” The messenger from heaven addressed the ministers present, saying, “How could you be intimidated by any human agencies? How could you be led by them to endorse by your assent any such actions? This is not the way in which the Lord works.” 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 2

I must express myself decidedly. Such actions as those done in that meeting are entirely wrong. You have been warned not to do as Nebuchadnezzar did. You are exalting the work you have been creating as the all and in all work for this time. For years you have been discrediting the ministry, ridiculing God’s ordained means for carrying out His designs. You created a great many responsibilities, but after this was done, your tower was unfinished. You devised plans by which your tower should be built, but God was not in your devising. He did not put that work into your hands. He gave you the responsibilities He designed you to bear, and He knew what was best for you to do. He has not given you the work you are now doing. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 3

You must not think, my brother, that you are indispensable to the cause and work of God. I am instructed to say that what you and your associates are negotiating is not in harmony with the Scriptures. God desires us to guard strictly the principles of truth, that we may represent His character and government. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 4

The course pursued in the meeting which I have mentioned showed that spiritually some were suffering from “la grippe.” A skillful physician is needed to do medical missionary work in their behalf, to expel that which will poison and destroy the principles which should control in the Lord’s institutions. When in small as well as in large responsibilities you cleave to Christian principles, you will be prepared at all times and in all places to act as a Christian gentleman. You will set a right example to your associates, and you will be in harmony with heaven. But you are not now acting as an agent of God should act. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 5

I have had a counsel with Dr. Caro and Brother Sharp, the business manager of the Sydney Sanitarium. I sought to present before them the principles upon which they should act. I told them that representations were given me of transactions in America and some in Africa. And contracts would be made to lead those in this country to bind themselves to certain things which would restrict their religious liberty and their liberty in business lines. A hand was placed upon the hand of Dr. Caro, and again upon the hand of his business manager, and a voice said, No, put not your pen to any such agreement. This is a transaction that is born entirely of selfishness and a feeling of superiority, which must not be encouraged among Seventh-day Adventists. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 6

In the first chapter of Second Peter we are given instruction as to how the Christian should act. He is to live and work upon the plan of addition, obtaining a deep experience in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 7

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” [Verses 1, 2.] 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 8

Those who gain the experience represented in this chapter will not become estranged from God, because they have lived on the plan of addition. “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [Verse 9.] Purity and godliness make up the new life of faith. The blood of Christ justifies, sanctifies, and saves the soul. The promises in this chapter include every one who is a true laborer together with God, the saving influence of whose example is seen and felt among his associates in the work. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [Verses 3, 4.] 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 9

That faith in Christ, which works by love and purifies the soul from all defilement, leads God’s people to an advance stage of Christian experience. Partakers of the divine nature, they reveal the attributes of Christ. Their lives represent the life of Christ. In all their actions God is glorified. His mercy, His tenderness, His forbearance, His benevolence, is represented. God’s Word, believed and practiced, will always lead to good works, to love for those who love God, to sympathy and tenderness for them, to a desire to help them in their work, that all may carry out God’s plan, doing His work in the Spirit of the Master. Thus God’s people show that under all circumstances they are trying to do as Christ would do in their place. One of the most efficient ways of representing Christ to the world is to love as brethren, to be pitiful and courteous. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 10

My brother, be exceedingly cautious lest in your zeal you close the door against your brethren having any advantages unless they subscribe to your plans. As God’s medical missionaries, our work is to lead all into the path of hope and courage and helpfulness. Thus we are to make our words and actions Christlike. We are to be actuated by the unselfish motives that lead men to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame shall be turned out of the way. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 11

The Holy Ghost is the Author of the Scriptures and of the spirit of prophecy. These are not to be twisted and turned to mean what man may want them to mean, to carry out man’s ideas and sentiments, to carry forward man’s schemes at all hazards. “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 unfeigned words make merchandise of you.” [2 Peter 2:2, 3.] We must stand as vigilant soldiers, guarding against the entrance of one wrong principle. Not one thread of selfishness is to be drawn into the web, for this would spoil the pattern. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 12

No man is to be relied upon who works away from the plan of God. When the truth is received in simplicity, when the heart follows Christ as a perfect Saviour, when the desire of the soul is to be wholly and altogether the Lord’s, it is because the instruction contained in the sixth chapter of John is carried out to the letter. Those who have the attributes of Christ will reveal these attributes in word and action. In His providence the Lord allows things to take place to test and prove His people, to lead them to show their characters to themselves and to others. The words and deeds are the measurement of the man. We either reveal the attributes of Christ, because we are doers of the Word, or we reveal the attributes of Satan. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 13

By our dealing with our brethren, we show what power is prevailing in the soul temple. Those around us need to see us living lives of virtue and rectitude. Those who eat the bread of life reveal an abiding Christ. They are channels through which the living water can flow. They can be trusted. Every action of the life is to be tried. What saith the Scriptures? How readest thou? “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.] Thus the decision is to be made in the great day of judgment. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 14

My brother, you are not carrying the work the Lord has given you; and I am so sorry. Now is the time when you need, as you have never done before, to move understandingly and intelligently. You need to be developing a well-rounded, symmetrical Christian character, as firm as it is kind, and as tender as it is strong. There are those who in certain lines of work excel their fellows, and they conscientiously suppose that they are in the way of the Lord, when they are coming to think that they are as gods and that in their work there is no error. One precious thought in God’s Word is that one grace is not exalted above another. When by the Lord special capabilities are bestowed upon a man, let him walk softly before the Lord, remembering that the enemy of God and of man was not always what he now is—a fallen apostate. He fell because he aspired to be as God. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 15

Any man who concludes that he can control his fellow men by his restrictions, that he can make certain conditions which they must follow, is not walking in the way of the Lord. The Lord Jesus has instructed me that all such actions reveal defective, erroneous principles, which shall not stand. The Lord says, “I am God; and none else shall take My prerogative of saying what this man or that man shall do with his powers and capabilities. Men are not empowered by God to control their fellow men. In the work of God, let man keep himself, mind and soul, under the direction of God, who is the supreme Ruler. When man takes the place of God, supposing that it is his privilege to control, he has entirely mistaken his calling. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 16

The Lord has given me a word of warning to give to my brethren in the faith. Religious liberty is to be freely exercised. You are not to confederate together, agreeing that you will or will not do certain things in connection with the medical missionary work. The light I have to give to all our people is: This is not to be, whatever may be the consequences. The Lord has not made any mortal man your ruler. God has you in His keeping. He speaks to you in a way altogether different from the way in which man is allowed to speak. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 17

The instruction given me is what the Lord will say and is now saying, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils.” [Isaiah 2:22.] Who gave man his life? Who gave him his reason? Did not God? Let not the Christian, who is dependent on God for every breath he draws, feel exalted above his brethren. He should not dictate terms to them, as though he has given them life and intelligence, and therefore they were responsible to him. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 18

There is coming in among us a spirit which God will not suffer to rule. Never should Christians feel that they are lords over God’s heritage. There should not be among Christians a spirit which makes some patrons and some proteges. The commandments of God forbid this. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] No man is to think that he is the owner of the minds and capabilities of his brethren. He is not to think that others must submit to his dictation. He is liable to err, liable to make mistakes, as every man is. He is not to try to control matters in accordance with his ideas. He who yields to this spirit of self-exaltation places himself under the control of the enemy. If ministers of the gospel cannot harmonize with all his ideas and imaginings, he turns from them and speaks against them, pouring out the sarcasm and bitterness in his heart upon ministers and ministry. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 19

None of this work bears the signature of heaven. Christians should reveal the tenderness of Christ, and this they will do if Christ abides in the heart. They will recognize Christ in their brethren. They will take sweet counsel together. If the dark chapters of human history were traced out according to the truth, how much would be flattering to those who exercise so much authority, who feel competent to say that others shall do as they dictate? 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 20

Jesus has given us an example in His life of purity and perfect holiness. The most exalted being in heaven, He was the most ready to serve. The most honored, He humbled Himself to minister to those who a short time before had been disputing as to who should be the greatest in His kingdom. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 21

Seeking our own preference at the expense of others is a dear experience to gain. The time will come when those who do this will not care to see the scenes of their life traced out by a pen which never deviates from truth. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 22

God calls for decided reformation in the Sanitarium in Battle Creek. A vital current of the grace of God needs to flow into the heart of Dr. Kellogg and his associate physicians, and all who are engaged in the work there, for they have certainly lost their reckoning. They do not understand themselves. The Lord calls upon them to change their principles. You have been educating yourselves to belittle the gospel ministry. You have spoken against the ministers for not taking up the class of work which you are doing, which the Lord has not commissioned you to do. By doing this work you have limited the resources of the ministry. I shall have to make this appear as it is to you and to others. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 23

Your action in your treatment of the business connected with the Lincoln College is a matter about which God has a controversy with you. I beg of you to place matters just as they were before you commenced your opposition, or else the Lord will surely reckon with you in this matter. I was astonished that men who claimed to be Christians should work as you did to cripple and limit the resources of an institution to gratify your own ideas. It made me feel as if the pangs of death had come upon me. I was as cold as marble, and no clothing could warm me. For a while I lay thus, terribly ill. At the time, I was away from home. I returned home, and for three or four weeks did not attend meeting or take up the least responsibility. Why do you, for whom God has done so much, do these things? It is best for you to seek the Lord in all humility of mind. Go no further in that kind of medical missionary work. How you could act toward your brethren in the truth as you did is beyond my comprehension. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 24

The sorrow that I felt while at Summer Hill was very great. Dr. Caro came to counsel with me, and I said, I must give you the word of the Lord. I am so weak that I scarcely know what to do, but it may be that I shall have strength given me to speak the things I wish to speak. I thought during the night that I might die before morning. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 25

I warned them, Brother Sharp and Dr. Caro, not to concede to conditions which I knew would be asked of them; for this was a principle which should never see the light of day, and of which those claiming to be Christians should be ashamed. One is your Master, even Christ. The work must go forward under God’s guidance, not under the restrictions of Dr. Kellogg. Into our institutions in America or Australia nothing must be allowed to enter which would exalt medical missionary work as a body, making of no account the gospel ministry. The ministers of the Word are to be respected; they are to be treated as Christ’s ambassadors. No under-shepherd can do for His flock what Christ, the great Shepherd, has done, who gave His life for the sheep. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 26

Those who bear the last testing message to the world will need to guard the flock of God, for the most powerful opposition will come from those who are treading underfoot the law of God. It is easier to tear in pieces and rend the flock of God than it is to heal the evil that has been done, to reunite the members of Christ’s body. Medical missionaries, so-called, need a deep work done in their souls, that the evils which have been injuring them and others may be healed. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 27

O the evil of the desire to gain personal ends! God would not have this principle prevail in the churches. “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” [Matthew 7:12.] Obey this Word, and men will soon be convinced that the religion of Seventh-day Adventists is genuine. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 28

Your feelings against the ministers of the gospel are contrary to the religion of Christ, contrary to the practice of Christ. The Saviour’s work was to teach the people. Multitudes followed Him to listen to His words. He not only preached to the people in the synagogues; He spoke the Word of life to them on the mountainside and by the sea. It was on these occasions that the sick were brought to Him to be healed. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 29

God’s servants must accomplish the very work He has given them to do. A Paul may plant and an Apollos water, but God only giveth the increase. He has faithful messengers, whom He will honor by making them laborers together with Him. The Lord’s laws of cause and effect must be faithfully and earnestly obeyed. The soil of the heart must be prepared, and then must be sown the seed, the living Word of God. The Lord’s delegated messengers, to whom He has given talents, must co-operate with Him. When they do just what He has told them to, He will fulfil His word to them. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 30

“Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:45-47.] This is the seed sowing. This is the sacred trust that has to be given to men. Woe be to any man that seeks to retard the work. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 31

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” [Verses 49-53.] 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 32

There is a work to be done here in Australia in the lines which Christ has marked out, and in accordance with the principles which should ever characterize the work of the gospel ministry for this time. The truth of God is not to be hindered or bound about. It is to be left free. The servants of God are not to subscribe to any terms stating how God’s money and God’s talents shall be used. The workers may counsel together. They may consult one another in brotherly love, with a deep interest regarding the best way in which to carry the work of God to all parts of the world and work the fields all ready for the harvest. The truth is to be proclaimed. A stirring, testing message is to be given to those who are nigh and those who are afar off. God has given us His commission. It is the business of each one to do the work the Lord has said shall be done among all the nations. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 33

It is the will of Christ that His gospel, the words of Bible truth, shall be preached to all men. As they hear the message of truth, they are to receive and believe the Word spoken. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 34

God calls for those who are true and faithful in this perverse generation to bind up the law among His disciples. This is the contract which is of heavenly endorsement. All this perversity, this threatening on the part of men to become independent of the body, to follow their own plans, is not inspired by the Lord. God may permit them to try this course until they have independence to their heart’s content, until they reap the results coming from human wisdom and lie down in sorrow. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 35

God calls for a decided change in the program. Christ has prayed for the unity of His people. In their unity is their strength. God desires all to be laborers together with Him. The Saviour says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Man cannot, by any efforts he may make, thwart the purpose of God. Let there be a consideration of these things. Let men come to their senses. Let them not work at cross-purposes with God. “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” [Proverbs 16:9.] There are many devisings in a man’s heart, nevertheless the counsel of God, that shall stand. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 36

I know that God would not have His money absorbed in Chicago as it now is. The money invested in this way consumes much time and labor. This is pleasing to Satan, for he knows that it will close the door against the support of missionaries in their work, and then the work of the gospel ministry will be held up to ridicule in comparison with the large work done in medical missionary lines. A large amount of money has been used in a way which has accomplished very little. Much has been spent on a class of people who will never be fitted to receive and impart, unless the Holy Spirit shall make them entirely new, heart, mind, and body. The work done for this class has been disproportionately large in comparison with the work that has been done in fields that are waiting and longing for the truth. How many more years will the ways of man counterwork that which God would have done. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 37

The Scriptures are to be explained to the people. The last message of mercy is to be given in clear, simple lines. The message of truth, lifting up the downtrodden Sabbath, is to be translated into different languages. In no one place is all the time and money and talent to be abundantly and exhaustively absorbed. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 38

Dr. Kellogg complains that the ministers are at fault in not harmonizing with him. He wished them to exalt his line of work, to absorb time and strength and talents in a way that he would devise. But God does not want any such exhaustive devising. He wants all His servants to voice the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Thus the churches are to be prepared for the coming of another angel from heaven to lighten the earth with his glory. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 39

I have many things to say, but I cannot say more now; for my heart becomes so sad, so distressed as I think of how the Lord desired you to keep yourself from all this extra creating of responsibilities. He desired you to carry nobly the work He gave you, without becoming crushed as a cart beneath sheaves. But you have begun the tower, and you are determined to press it through. You will use means and methods that will oppress your brethren. You will make requirements that the Lord bids me tell you not to make; for He will not accept any such work. Our means, our talents, our capabilities, are lent to us on trust, and when men begin to look upon them as their own property, the Lord will take them away. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 40

You have not the least right to do as you are doing. God calls upon you to change your course of action. You have felt dissatisfied because all the resources were not at your command. But those who have established our institutions by donations are not to be left out of the question. They have a right to know whether their money is being used in a way that will best serve the Master and do the most for His cause. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 41

I call upon you, in the name of the Lord, to come into unity with your brethren, for God forbids them to consent to meet your ideas and your devising. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 42

I leave this now with you. I have much more written, which when I am stronger I shall complete. 15LtMs, Lt 92, 1900, par. 43