Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

408/447

Ms 156b, 1901

Unheeded Warnings II.

South Lancaster, Massachusetts

November 27, 1901

Variant of Ms 156, 1901. Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 177. +Note

The Signing of Agreements

To the managers of our sanitariums, and to our physicians, nurses, and medical missionary workers throughout the world, I am instructed to say that it is our duty highly to respect Dr. J. H. Kellogg and his associates in the medical missionary work at Battle Creek. We should feel profoundly thankful for what God has wrought through the labors of His faithful servants in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and especially for Dr. Kellogg’s steadfast adherence to and advocacy of the principles of hygienic reform. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 1

The Lord has placed Dr. Kellogg in an important position, and his brethren are to honor and respect him and to hold up his hands for the carrying forward of his God-given work. His influence will be a blessing as he works in connection with his brethren and in accordance with the plans of the great Master-worker. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 2

But while Dr. Kellogg is to be respected and honored, while we are to recognize the fact that God uses him as a channel through which to communicate light to His people, we are in no case to place him where God should be, as our Wisdom, our Instructor, our infallible Guide. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 3

The Lord has reproved those who claim to believe present truth for failing to co-operate with Dr. Kellogg and his faithful co-workers in walking in the light of health reform. Dr. Kellogg is to stand as God’s physician and is to do an exalted work. But if he is left to follow his own judgment in all things, he will make mistakes. He is laboring beyond his strength. He is doing three times as much as he should do. This is not God’s will. By thus overworking, he is shortening his life. He is God’s property, and he should keep himself hidden with Christ in God. Dr. Kellogg must not embrace so much as he has done in the past. And in some things, his planning must be different. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 4

To the leaders in the medical missionary work I must say that no one is to claim kingly power over God’s heritage. God’s people are to be under Him, and Him alone. There is one Shepherd, and He has one flock. The Lord knows the future. He is the One to be looked to and trusted in to guide and guard and direct in the future development of the various branches of His work. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 5

For several years I have been warned that there is danger, constant danger, of men’s looking to men for permission to do this or that, instead of looking to God for themselves. Thus they become weaklings, bound about with human ties that God has not ordained. The Lord can impress minds and consciences to do His work under bonds to Him, and in a brotherly fraternity that will be in accordance with His law. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 6

The Lord has not given wisdom regarding the medical missionary work only to the men associated in this work at Battle Creek. Humanity is not divinity. The most talented men in our ranks are not infallible. Not all their methods are inspired of God. They make mistakes, and they will continue to make mistakes if they do not walk in humble faith before God. The greatest temptations come to the men who bear the greatest responsibilities. Our only safety is in humbling the heart daily before God and watching diligently lest any threads of selfishness are woven into the work. Let us so labor that it will be plainly seen that self is dead, and that our work bears the signature of heaven. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 7

To every medical worker in connection with the cause of God are addressed the words spoken by Paul to Timothy, “Take heed to thyself, and to the doctrine.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] We need to examine ourselves closely, and to renounce every plan or principle that will lead us to misrepresent the Lord. The past experience is to be closely reviewed. Every motive is to be critically examined. Every ambitious project that is contrary to the Word of God is to be put aside. We are to stand in preparedness before God. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 8

The word given to me to speak to you is, “I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Revelation 3:2.] The Lord will not accept the most splendid service that means the putting of the least yoke upon His people. We are to frame no yokes for our fellow men. God’s Word to us is that we are to break every yoke. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 9

A copy of the proposed agreement between the Medical Association and those establishing branch sanitariums was read to me by Sister Druillard. A few days afterward, as I was praying, a scene passed before me, representing the unfavorable results of the transactions that would follow the signing of this agreement. Other scenes also passed before me, similar to those presented to me when I was at Summer Hill, a few weeks before our return to America. At that time, representations of movements in America passed before me. I saw agreements drawn up for presentation to our people. In these agreements there were terms and conditions that should not be accepted. On no account should our brethren bind themselves by agreeing to such propositions. I was instructed that we know but little of what is before us, and that God forbids us to bind ourselves by contracts in order to secure means. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 10

I was instructed to tell Brethren Caro and Sharp that propositions would come to them containing conditions that they were not to accept or endorse. I saw a paper unrolled before these brethren, and One of dignity arose, and said, “Put not your name to any writing that binds you to do or to refrain from doing certain things in business lines. It is not God’s plan that you should sign such agreements. This document is of man’s production. That which will take place in the future, you know not. God says, ‘I will turn and overturn.’ 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 11

“For you to sign an agreement saying what you will do and what you will not do in the future, is not in God’s order. He who knows the end from the beginning understands what is in man’s heart, and what are the dangers of the men to whom God has entrusted great responsibilities. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 12

“Man is not to assume more than God has given him. If he walks humbly with God, the good hand of the Lord will be with him. If he yields to his ambition to carry out a work of his own, according to his own plans, a work in which he is benevolent where he chooses to be benevolent, and selfish where he chooses to be selfish, a condition of things will be brought in that will dishonor God and His truth. Oppression will come in. Human power will be exercised in accordance with the terms of the agreements made and signed in the past, agreements deemed essential to protect the interests of the health food business and to give the sanitarium work financial security and support.” 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 13

I have been instructed that rules and regulations are being brought in that God does not approve. The Lord forbids the signing of the agreements that have been prepared for our sanitariums in America and in other countries. It is not His will that every sanitarium and bath house established by our people shall be brought under one control. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 14

Those who seek to bind up the work in distant fields with the work at Battle Creek, by means of these agreements, are assuming too much responsibility. They must not take to themselves power that God has not given them. They must not place themselves where the people will look to them instead of looking to God. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 15

Christ did not follow any human model. He says to His servants, “Break every yoke that men may seek to bind upon you. Do not accept any yoke that will hinder your present or future movements in My service. Stand free. Take only My yoke. When you are yoked up with Me, My words will make their impress upon your characters.” 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 16

All the plans formulated for our people will need to be thoroughly and carefully examined. No threads of human devising are to be drawn into the web. Unless we watch and pray diligently, the enemy will come in to spoil the pattern. Human ambition must not lead us to embrace too much in our plans. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 17

Too much power is invested in humanity when matters are so arranged that one man, or a small group of men, have it in their power to rule or to ruin the work of their fellow laborers. In the erection of medical institutions and the development of their work, there is not to be a ruling, kingly power as there has been in the past. The kingly power formerly exhibited in the General Conference is not to be perpetuated. The publishing work is not to be a kingdom of itself. It is essential that the principles that govern in General Conference affairs shall be maintained in the management of the publishing work and the sanitarium work. No one is to think that the branch of work with which he is connected is of vastly more importance than other branches. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 18

The division of the General Conference into district union conferences was God’s arrangement. In the work of the Lord for these last days there are to be no Jerusalem centers, no kingly power. And the work in the different countries is not to be tied up by contracts to the work centering in Battle Creek, for this is not God’s plan. Brethren are to counsel together, for we are just as much under the control of God in one part of His vineyard as in another. Brethren are to be one in heart and soul, even as Christ and the Father are one. Teach this, practice this, that we may be one with Christ in God, all working to build up one another. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 19

Educational work must be faithfully done in every sanitarium that is established. There is necessity for the managers of every institution to become more and more intelligent regarding their work. They need not depend on the managers of another institution for guidance, but looking to God as their Instructor, they are to go forward in faithful, intelligent service, constantly developing greater talents and capabilities. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 20

God calls upon men and women to look to Him, that they may receive light and power and knowledge. He will not be glorified in our subscribing to rules and agreements and contracts binding one institution to follow the guidance of another institution thousands of miles away. It ought to have been foreseen that if we desire God to guide minds, these minds must not be bound by human regulations. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 21

There is need of loyalty to principle. But a pledge, from one whodoes not feel the need of obeying the Word of the Lord, is valueless. The placing of signatures to documents will not ensure honesty, neither will it ensure the exercise of justice, mercy, and the love of God. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 22

The Lord would have the restraints broken that keep His work bound about by the wisdom of men. Those who unite with Christ are not to accept yokes which will prove a hindrance to them in their work for Him. He says, “Come unto me, ... and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 23

The true and living God is to be exalted. All nations are to hear the proclamation of the gospel message. Many, convicted and converted, will bow in humility before the Lord, making an unreserved consecration of themselves to Him. The message is to go to all parts of the world. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” [Isaiah 45:22, 23.] The words inscribed on the Lord’s temple harmonize with His unlimited invitation of mercy, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” [Isaiah 56:7.] It shall proclaim that I, the living God, sit upon My throne as Ruler, giving audience to the world. And what is the response? “Let all the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee; and let the whole earth be filled with thy glory.” [See Psalm 67:3; 72:19.] 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 24

The future is before us, and unforeseen events will surely take place, changing the present aspect of things in the world. Lust and greed are striving for the supremacy. Oppression and hatred will be exercised to destroy. Inspired by a power from beneath, Satan’s instrumentalities will work with intensity to carry out his will. “The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] Every truly converted soul will put on the whole armor of God, and will bravely face the unseen foe. God’s servants will realize the necessity of partaking of the divine nature. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 25

I have been instructed to tell our people to read carefully the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel, and to guard against being deceived and led to act the part of unfaithful shepherds. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 26

With great solemnity the words were repeated: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:10-18.] 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 27

Now is our time of peril. Our only safety is in walking in the footsteps of Christ, and wearing His yoke. Troublous times are before us. In many instances, friends will become alienated. Without cause, men will become our enemies. The motives of the people of God will be misinterpreted, not only by the world, but by their own brethren. The Lord’s servants will be put in hard places. A mountain will be made out of a molehill to justify men in pursuing a selfish, unrighteous course. The work that men have done faithfully will be disparaged and underrated, because apparent prosperity does not attend their efforts. By misrepresentation, these men will be clothed in the dark vestments of dishonesty, because circumstances beyond their control made their work perplexing. They will be pointed to as men that cannot be trusted. And this will be done by the members of the church. God’s servants must arm themselves with the mind of Christ. They must not expect to escape insult and misjudgment. They will be called enthusiasts and fanatics. But let them not become discouraged. God’s hand is on the wheel of His providence, guiding His work to the glory of His name. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 28

God calls upon His people to be bright lights in the world, shining amid the darkness of sin. Living the life of the Life-giver brings its reward. He went about doing good. This every true follower of His will do, filled with a sacred sense of his loyalty to God and his duty to his fellow beings. Through the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, Christians are to grow in grace, constantly drawing nearer perfection of character. 16LtMs, Ms 156b, 1901, par. 29