Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

94/469

Lt 90, 1902

Johnson, Brother

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

May 23, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 152; 10MR 220.

Dear brother Johnson,—

I wish to write you a few lines. The Spirit of the Lord is striving with you, and I entreat you not to resist this striving. I am intensely desirous that you shall be a whole-hearted, complete Christian. The half-hearted follower of the Saviour receives but little real strength and therefore makes little advancement. I long to see you a consecrated believer. You need to be purified, refined, and sanctified by the truth, that you may have the consolation of the Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 1

The outlook in our world is indeed alarming. God is withdrawing His Spirit from the wicked cities, which have become as the cities of the antediluvian world, and as Sodom and Gomorrah. The inhabitants of these cities have been tested and tried. We have reached a time when God is about to punish the presumptuous wrong-doers, who refuse to keep His commandments and disregard His messages of warning. He who bears long with evil-doers gives every one an opportunity to seek Him and humble the heart before Him. Every one has opportunity to come to Christ and be converted, that He may heal them. But there will come a time when mercy will be no longer offered. Costly mansions, marvels of architectural skill, will be destroyed without a moment’s notice when the Lord sees that the owners have passed the boundaries of forgiveness. The destruction by fire of the stately buildings supposed to be fireproof is an illustration of how in a short time the earth’s architecture will lie in ruins. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 2

“And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be, when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near; go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not terrified; for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.” [Luke 21:5-12.] 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 3

Many of these judgments came upon Jerusalem. But it was not alone of Jerusalem that Christ spoke. He looked down the ages past the destruction of Jerusalem to the time when at the end of this earth’s history the great and final visitation of God’s wrath will be seen. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 4

The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew gives an outline of what is to come upon the world. We are living amid the perils of the last days. Those who are perishing in sin must be warned. The Lord calls upon every one to whom He has entrusted the talent of means to act as His helping hand by giving their money for the advancement of His work. Our money is a treasure lent us by the Lord, and it is to be invested in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy. My brother, you can act a part in this work. You can help to sustain the Lord’s work in New York City. Remember that those who spend in self-gratification the money that should be used to open doors for gospel work suffer an eternal loss. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 5

He who looks at earthly things as the chief good, he who spend his life in an effort to gain worldly riches, is indeed making a poor investment. Too late he will see that in which he has trusted crumbling into dust. It is only through self-denial, through the sacrifice of earthly riches, that the eternal riches can be obtained. It is through much tribulation that the Christian enters the kingdom of heaven. Constantly he is to war the good warfare, not laying down his weapons until Christ bids him rest. Only by giving all to Christ can he secure the inheritance that will endure through all eternity. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 6

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” [Verses 32-35.] 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 7

“Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him in sunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Verses 42-51.] 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 8

We are to do all in our power to proclaim the message of warning. From every Christian, light is to shine forth to those in darkness. In New York, God’s servants, who minister in word and doctrine, are striving to build up His kingdom. Those who receive the truth should hold up the hands of these faithful men and women by giving of their means to help them in their work. Cannot you do something to help? Will you not invest in the work of saving perishing souls some of the means God has entrusted to you? This you must do if you would gain eternal life. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 9

You are in need of special help. This help you must have if you are an overcomer. You are in need of clear, spiritual discernment. Study the words, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” [James 1:5.] Let the softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit control you. Be not harsh in your judgment of others. You cannot know how much you may do to help others, in the home life and in business life, by Christlike words and deeds. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 10

Watch and pray and walk humbly with God. Keep a strict guard over yourself. Keep yourself under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is time for you to make a full surrender to God. When you do this, you will be taught of the Lord. You need the wisdom that you can obtain only from God, and that only by earnest seeking. Commit the keeping of your soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. 17LtMs, Lt 90, 1902, par. 11