Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 21, 1901

Franke, E. E.

St. Helena, California

October 5, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in HP 286; ML 74; TDG 287; OHC 117; 1MCP 324; 2MCP 792; 3MR 277-278; 4MR 350. +Note

Elder E. E. Franke

My dear brother,—

Teachers, ministers, leaders, all who are in responsible places in God’s work are to be His light-bearers <to the world>. They are to receive and impart light. Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] Christians have been redeemed from Satan’s bondage, and they are to stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, working with unselfishness and fidelity for the One who owns them. Ever they are to remember the words, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] They are under obligation to devote the powers of body, soul, and spirit to His service. By doing this they show to angels and to men that they are worthy of the sacred trust conferred upon them, that they have been born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit, that they no more live to self, but to God, whose they are and whom they serve. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 1

Paul says, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Philippians 2:14-16.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 2

Those who take the name of Christian pledge themselves to be true to God. They are bound up with Him and the heavenly angels in family relation because Jesus has delivered them from a tyrant’s oppression. Their actions in every respect are to be such as become saints. All that is unbecoming is to be discarded. They are to live a new and holy life, for they are no longer their own property. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 3

My brother, like a brave soldier you are to obey your Captain’s orders, even if in so doing you sacrifice your life, for you have made a most sacred pledge to rule yourself well, to overcome everything that would hinder you from fulfilling your high and holy resolves. Mind and body are now to be treated with the greatest respect; for they are Christ’s. Day by day they are to be improved, that to the earnest gaze of the heavenly angels they may reveal that Christ has not died for you in vain. When you took the name of Christian you promised in this life to prepare for the higher life in the kingdom of God. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 4

To be a Christian means to be Christlike. Not a Satanic feature is to remain on mind or body, which are to reveal comeliness, purity, integrity, and dignity. Take the Christlife as your pattern. Keep eternity before your view. Then you will in some degree approach Christ’s appreciations of the heritage which cost Him so much. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 5

Let those who work for Christ keep their principles pure. Let the life be untainted by any polluting practice. All heaven is interested in the restoration of the moral image of God in man. All heaven is working to this end. God and the holy angels have an intense desire that human beings shall reach the standard of perfection which Christ died to make it possible for them to reach. It is His desire that we shall be one with Christ, <complete in Christ,> that we shall be heirs of heaven; but we are left free to choose. God calls upon us to make our choice on the right side, to connect with heavenly agencies, to adopt principles which have a reviving, restoring influence, which will restore in us the <moral> image lost through disobedience. As by faith we adopt the principles which characterize the life of Christ, they are in the soul as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. The soul overflows with the riches of the grace of Christ, and this overflow refreshes other souls. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 6

Thus may the human agent by his good works show that he is improving the talents God has given him. Thus may he work in partnership with Christ, uniting with Him in ministry. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 7

Righteous principles of action are ever to be reverenced and obeyed; for they are an expression of the holy character of Christ. By living out these principles, we represent Christ, showing to the world what it means to be a Christian. Thus we become bright lights, shining amid the moral darkness of the world. By our good works we present the truth in contrast with Satan’s principles. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 8

Let every Christian be determined that he will not, in word or action, dishonor the law of God. This law is an expression of the character of God, an expression of what every minister of the gospel, every teacher, every man, woman, and child is to become. The Christian will become excellent in wisdom if he will surrender himself to the guidance of the principles of God’s law. This is not to be an influence among many influences. The heaven-born principles of the law of God are designed by Him to sanctify and purify in all the walks of life, to be the all-powerful influence in the lives of His children. They produce the atmosphere of heaven. It is God’s purpose that they shall be followed in our homes, our institutions, our churches. Those who, because the Lord has blessed them with success, tamper with the attributes of Satan, cut themselves away from God. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 9

As a people we have holy, heavenly light shining upon our pathway. Shall we not walk in this light? Shall we not turn away from the practices which will certainly separate us from God? Shall we not stand committed to the right; for only the right will bear God’s scrutiny in the last great day. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 10

No one can remain neutral. Let us not, who have received the light of sacred trust, be timeservers. Profession is not of the least value to save any soul. Are we honest believers? Then let us show that we are living according to principles of heavenly origin, principles which never outgrow their value, never need to be changed or modified. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 11

Each soul has an individuality. Each soul must live in hourly communion with Christ; for He says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] His principles are to be our principles; for these principles are the everlasting truth, proclaimed in righteousness, goodness, mercy, and love. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 12

Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another, these are the two great arms upon which hang all the law and the prophets. A good tree produces good fruit. The evidence of love for Christ is the manifestation of love for one another. Unselfish love for those around us is placed among the brightest evidences of true religion. By it a daily witness in Christ’s favor is borne to the world. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 13

The appetites and passions must be subdued and controlled, that the nerves may be steady and the brain able to see duty clearly. This can be done through divine grace. The gospel of Christ is the voice of duty and the voice of God. What is meant by a failure to obey it is seen in the history of Satan, who for his disobedience was cast out of heaven. The greatest talents and the highest gifts that could be bestowed on a created being were given to Lucifer, the covering cherub. Before his fall he was a glorious being, occupying a position next to Christ. But he sought to be equal with God, and brought upon himself irretrievable ruin. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 14

With this lesson before us, let us hide ourselves in Christ. He is the source of all wisdom, all intelligence, all power. Behold in the cross of Christ the only guarantee for our salvation. Behold the Saviour giving His life for us, that we might be Christians. Those who strive to live the life of a Christian are battling against the devil’s lie. Can we doubt the result of this conflict? God lives, God reigns, and daily He is working His miracles. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” [Galatians 5:24.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 15

Before the world and the heavenly universe they give evidence that they are trying to live out the words, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, ... think on these things.” [Philippians 4:8.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 16

“Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Galatians 5:22, 23.] These are the fruits of the Christian tree. The tree which bears only leaves, the life which has only profession, must be withered by the curse of God, even as the fruitless tree which flaunted its abundant foliage in the face of the Saviour. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 17

My brother, I feel deeply grieved that you have misrepresented Christ in character. You need to give a different representation of Christ in the family circle. The church needs an altogether different example from that which you and your family have set in spirit and deportment. You have been acting more and more like a man bereft of reason. God cannot serve with any one who manifests such a masterful, overbearing, dictatorial spirit. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 18

On one occasion John, in company with the other disciples, solicited the hospitality of the Samaritans who, however, refused to entertain them. This so aroused the indignation of the disciples that John said, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and devour them, even as Elias did? But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” [Luke 9:54-56.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 19

You are dishonoring God. If you do not change, He will not be with you, but will leave you to be controlled by your harsh, perverse, unchristlike spirit. You glorify the enemy by your denunciatory actions. Your spirit needs to be rebuked in the name of the Lord. Your wilful, unchristlike course is a great injury to souls. They cannot harmonize your works with your profession <and the solemn sacred truth which you give to the people>. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 20

God gives to no minister, to no man in any of our institutions, authority to show the arbitrary spirit you have shown. When you manifest this spirit, you are controlled by Satan. The religion of Jesus Christ leads men to act rationally, not as though they were insane. It leads them to be kind, tender, <long-suffering,> benevolent. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 21

Oh, if your wife would only sit at the feet of Christ as did Mary of old, and learn of Jesus, the spirit which she now commends in you as right and proper she would seek to pacify, not to arouse. If you continue to act as you have been acting in the past, your influence will become intolerable. God has not made you a ruler over His heritage. You are manifesting the same spirit that Satan manifests. He is a tyrant. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 22

“These things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” [1 John 2:1-6.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 23

An experimental knowledge of Christ and communion with Him as a redeemer and friend leads to true obedience and fervent love for God and for human beings. Satan controls when in the place of meekness and lowliness, there is seen a harsh, dictatorial spirit. Those who are controlled by such a spirit bring wicked charges against Christ in the person of His saints. God endorses no such treatment of His blood-bought heritage. The harsh, ungentlemanly words you speak to your brethren are no evidence of the presence of Christ. They are instead an evidence of the presence of the fallen foe. By your actions you show that you are not yoked up with Christ, that you are not learning in the school of the Master, but in the school where Adam learned his lesson of disobedience. Who has taught you to reveal such unlovely traits of character? They show a spirit <entirely> out of harmony with God. The love of God always produces the fruits of His Spirit. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 24

I am instructed to say to you both, You are not walking in the path of truth and righteousness. A tree is known by its fruits. Christ cannot be glorified by your service. You are teaching others, but you need that some one should teach you the first principles of the love of God. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” [Verse 6.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 25

If the sanctifying Spirit of Christ were dwelling in your soul, you could not use the expressions toward your brethren which now you use so freely if they do not please you. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 26

The talent of speech is a precious talent. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” [Proverbs 25:11.] Your passionate words are a dishonor to God, a disgrace to yourself, and a savor of death to those who hear them. Supposing that while you were speaking words like many you have spoken in the past, God should say, Cut him down. What would be your future? You could not find a place in heaven; for were you admitted there, you would create a rebellion if you were not made supreme ruler. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 27

Your exhibition of unholy temper, even in assemblies of God’s people, is endangering to your mind and life. Ask yourself, Will it pay for me to go on as I have been going, in strife and contention? 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 28

“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” [1 John 2:7-10.] How true this is. Selfishness is seen in the words and works of him who hates. But the love of God abides in the heart of the one who reveals love for his brethren. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 29

In him there is “none occasion of stumbling.” [Verse 10.] His soul is at peace and rest. His obedience to God’s Word shows that he has a saving knowledge of the Saviour. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 30

Christ has expressly enjoined His followers to love and respect their brethren. Those who take the position of teacher, yet fail to manifest a tender regard for their brethren, might better cease their labors until the converting power of God teaches them the lessons they must learn in order to work successfully for God. Unless the one who claims to be converted is converted in spirit, word, and deportment, he will exert a deleterious influence in the church. He who really desires to be a clean vessel, fit for the Master’s use, must submit to the molding and polishing process carried on by the wheel of God’s instrumentalities, until all the unshapeliness and roughness have vanished. Only thus can he become a vessel unto honor. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 31

No man is to take up the work of a minister of Jesus Christ until he has complied with the invitation, “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.” [Matthew 11:29.] God’s ministers are to show forth in their lives the unselfish love which Christ constantly taught and perfectly exemplified. Thus is to be shown the marked distinction between those who love God and keep His commandments and those who are standing under the black banner of Satan. God’s people are ever to reveal the works of righteousness. They are to show that they are guided by pure, elevated motives; that they realize that they are bound by heavenly obligations to represent Christ by standing steadfastly under the bloodstained banner. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 32

None is too young to enter the service of God, to form a character after the divine similitude. Let all remember the words, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Those who claim to be serving Christ are to co-operate with the Master Builder in their character-building. Only thus can they build up a structure which by its symmetry and loveliness represents divinity. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 33

No one whose mind is so filled with his own schemes and devisings that he has not <sufficient> time to study the Word of God, and by looking into the divine mirror find out what kind of a character he is forming, should hold forth the Word of life to others. Perhaps one catches a glimpse of the mistakes he is making. He sees that his building is unlike the design given him, but he is so absorbed in ruling and correcting others, that he has no time to remedy his own defects, and so continues to present before the heavenly universe a miserable representation of Christ. Angels turn away their faces in sorrow. The world sees that he is not what he professes to be, and they turn from him as a counterfeit. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 34

Those ministers who are too full of business to take time to seek the Lord and study His Word, that they may understand what they must do to inherit eternal life, should not act as shepherds of the flock of God; for they know not what it means to feel the power of His saving grace. They are too full of the things of the world to perform the religious duties which fall upon all who love God. They are too busy to act like Christians, too busy to give expression by courteous words and kindly deeds to Christlike love. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 35

The instructions contained in the prayer offered by Christ just before His crucifixion are to be followed by all Christians. The greatest of all gifts, all talents, is true Christlike love. The Lord calls upon all our churches, all our institutions, to manifest this love. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Thus was the answer the lawyer gave when Christ asked, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” And before priests and Pharisees Christ replied, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” Thus the great question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” has been forever settled. [Luke 10:25-28.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 36

The gospel fits all periods and all relations of life. No man can separate fellowship with God from a life of holiness. Sanctification takes in the whole being. Many in this our day claim fellowship with God while by their lives they deny their claim. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” [1 John 1:6, 7.] To walk in the light is to know and obey the truth. To have fellowship with one another is to treat one another as children of God. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 37

The command to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves is not obeyed. It is disregarded by those who desire to do selfishly, who are not willing to do to others as they would they should do unto them. Unjust weights and measures are used. Selfishness is shown in the use of God’s money. Extravagance is seen where economy should be practiced in order that the work of the cause of God may be advanced. One man ventures to use for self-indulgence means which should be used <to advance the work of> the Lord. This is entirely contrary to the lessons Christ has given. It is impossible to harmonize selfish use of the Lord’s money with the principles of Christ’s life. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 38

The Saviour said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Let those who claim to be teaching the gospel of truth reveal by their lives that they have accepted the yoke of Christ, that they have complied with the invitation, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 39

My brother, you have a work of self-examination to do. Your soul is in peril. You are neither physically nor spiritually strong. Your mind is unbalanced by self-exaltation. Will you not, my dear brother, for the sake of your soul, test your character by the Word of God? You claim to be a Christian, that is, to be Christlike; but you do not represent Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 40

The acceptance of Christ’s atonement is the groundwork of true faith. To those who repent and confess their sins, the Holy Spirit, the author of all sanctification, will give grace to speak kind, tender, respectful words. Those who will look long enough into the divine mirror to see and despise their sins, their unlikeness to the meek and lowly Jesus, will have strength to overcome. All who truly believe will confess and forsake their sins. They will co-operate with Christ in the work of bringing their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong under the control of the divine will, so that sin shall not have dominion over them. Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith, they will be changed into His likeness. They will grow up into the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 41

Do not venture to think that if you do not overcome your sins in this life, you will be given another probation in which to secure the eternal reward. No, no, no! This present time is the only probation we shall have. And the three Powers, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have pledged themselves that if we walk in the light as Christ is in the light, we shall have fellowship with one another and be cleansed from all sin in the blood of Jesus. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” [1 John 1:9; 2:5.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 42

Those who truly believe, who confess and forsake their sins, will grow more and more like Christ until of them it can in heaven be said, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.] 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 43

By heeding the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, we shall reveal the love of God. It is not enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates of his conscience. Many a man who claims to be strictly conscientious is working entirely contrary to his brethren, in whom he should have confidence because they have stood the test of temptation. The question to be settled is, Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God? If not, it cannot safely be followed; for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be stablished, strengthened, and settled. There is to be no drawing apart brother from brother. Unity and love for one another are to increase more and more. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 44

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [Verses 20-23.] Let every church and every institution study and digest these words. 16LtMs, Lt 21, 1901, par. 45