Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 120a, 1901

The Debt on the Healdsburg Church


November 29, 1901

Previously unpublished.

While attending the Oakland camp-meeting, a proposition was made that the Conference be requested to help in paying the debt on the Healdsburg church, and that they put in good repair the church building. During the meeting, I was instructed that the debt on the church should have been paid long ago, and would have been paid, if the church members had truly realized their responsibility. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 1

If all would now come into right relation to God, there would be a searching of heart, a deep conviction of sin, and a true repentance for the selfishness and covetousness that have been shown in withholding the means that should have been given years ago. And the brethren and sisters would bear witness to the genuineness of their repentance and reformation by bringing to the Lord’s treasury liberal trespass offerings and sin offerings. Bible restitution should be made for taking unlawful advantage. But let every one consider for himself how he desires to appear before the Judge who reads every motive, every intent and purpose of the heart, and then decide what he should do to make clear his own case in the heavenly court. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 2

Dishonor has been brought upon the name of Christ and upon His church, because many who claim to follow Him have been unchristlike in words, in spirit, and in business dealings. Reproach has been brought upon the truth of God by the inconsistent course of those who claim to believe His Word and to make it their rule of action. While pretending to be saints, many have acted like the worst sinners. Using the name of Christian as a cloak under which to hide their evil deeds, they have encouraged others to go astray. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 3

The Lord is fully acquainted with every perversion of the talent of speech, and with every deception practiced by those who claim to accept the truth on the terms that He proffers. He witnesses the uncontrolled temper and the wickedness of those who claim to be His children, but who in practice are like the Sodomites. He deals with individuals. How will those who have robbed God for years meet the Judge of all the earth in the judgment? 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 4

The question is asked, “Will a man rob God?” [Malachi 3:8.] In more ways than one it is possible to rob Him. Those who claim to be Christians have covenanted with Him to make an unreserved consecration of themselves—heart, soul, mind, and strength—to His service. But many have not kept their solemn vow. Their names are on the church book, showing that they have pledged themselves to do the whole will of God; yet in their business life they are making a record before the world just like the record of avowed sinners. They behave as do the children of the wicked one. All such persons are crucifying Christ afresh, putting Him to open shame. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 5

How many there are who would sell their Lord, as did Judas! How many there are who are betraying their Lord to gain financial advantages! They may not know that they are doing this. Judas thought he would take revenge upon Christ, because the Master had not endorsed all his movements. At this very time Judas was acting directly contrary to the law of God, by taking advantage of his position as treasurer to appropriate for his personal use that which was the property of another. He carried the bag containing the means contributed for the expenses of the church, and from it took money for himself. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 6

When Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, he thought that his Master would not suffer Himself to be taken, but would deliver Himself from His enemies. Judas reasoned that, this being so, the money he received for the betrayal would result in Christ’s being placed on trial for His life. Judas thought he was making a shrewd deal. His satanic cupidity cost him his life. Seeing the result of his wicked scheming, he hated the coveted price. “He cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matthew 27:5. His terrible end is recorded as a warning to all succeeding ages, and till the close of time will remain as a warning against covetousness. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 7

Brethren and sisters of the Healdsburg church, to you I am instructed to say, Beware how you deal with your present opportunities. Let not this time pass without falling on the Rock and being broken. In the church are men and women who need a reconversion. I call upon everyone to arouse from your indifference and to discern your destitution of true grace. Thank God that it is not yet too late for wrongs to be righted. Be thankful that the Lord has not said of you, “Cut down the unfruitful tree, and let another that will bear fruit take its place.” [See Luke 13:7.] 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 8

In every family thorough work should be done. Fathers and mothers, what example have you given to your children? There needs to be close examination in regard to this matter, for the work of purification must begin in the home. Let parents and children seek God together. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 9

Let every member of the church begin to search his heart before God, not stopping short of finishing the work begun in his heart. Seek to know your own sinfulness in the sight of heaven, that you may repent before it is everlastingly too late. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 10

Today I cannot write all that might be written, for my heart has been so deeply pained that I cannot find relief. 16LtMs, Ms 120a, 1901, par. 11