Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

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Lt 17, 1902

Haskell, Brother and Sister

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 6, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 95, 130-131, 136-139; 1MCP 46, 49; 7MR 398. +Note

Dear brother and sister Haskell,—

Your letters are received. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing. I was not favorably impressed with the startling notices of your meetings. They savor of fanaticism. I know that at present the great work to be done in New York City will be best carried forward without the startling things that will have to come into the message further on. Now is not the time to bring in the startling things that can be said. Our work is to educate and train the believers to build on the true foundation, to plant their feet on a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” We need now to hold every influence with a calm, “It is written.” Let not the people become confused with excitement. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 1

In 1844 we had to meet fanaticism on every hand, but always the word came to me: A great wave of excitement is an injury to the work. Keep your feet in the footprints of Christ. I was given a message to meet every phase of fanaticism. I was instructed to show the people that under a wave of excitement a strange work is done. There are those who improve the opportunity to bring in superstitions. Thus the door is closed to the promulgation of sound doctrine. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 2

Now do not issue notices so worded as to create an alarm. When the Lord is ready for the advanced denunciation of wicked cities, He will let His people know. But this will be after these wicked cities have had an opportunity to hear the Word and to receive the Word that is unto life eternal. Our work now is to enlighten and educate minds as to the sayings of the Scripture. Doors are now opened for the entrance of truth. Avail yourselves of the opportunity to reach those who have never heard the truth. Explain the truth, as did Christ, in many ways, by figures and parables. And Elder Franke’s striking presentation of the truth by the means of charts may be followed to advantage. Let these things speak to the senses of the people. Do not encourage anything like a fanatical movement. Satan works in this line, seeking to draw away disciples after him by representations that, if it were possible, will deceive the very elect. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 3

There are persons that are ready to catch at something strange, which they can bring as a surprise upon the people to awaken their fears, and begin a strange work that will spoil the good work that has been begun right. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 4

The people must have time to search the Word of God for themselves. Pastors, teachers, Bible instructors, must point them to the strong fortress, into which the righteous may run and be safe. Those who are handling the great, grand, ennobling truths of the Word must ever reveal a spirit of deep, earnest, fervent, but calm, and full of sound sense, that the mouths of gainsayers may be stopped. Encourage not a wave of fanaticism that will spoil a work begun as it should be, and carried on with the Word of God in your hands. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 5

Continue to educate the people in medical missionary lines. Present this subject without a shade of levity, with a solemn sense that you are teaching the very truths Christ taught. Then you will bring into your labor convincing arguments, which will do a great work. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 6

This is the higher education, fitted for every occasion, and to be given in every place. Give the people opportunity to hear the higher class of instruction given by those who know and practice the truth. Use the language of Scripture. Let them eat and thoroughly digest the bread of life, the statements of Revelation. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 7

Those engaged in the work in New York are not to suppose that some strange thing must be brought in and mingled with their labor, as evidence of the supernatural character of the work, setting on it the seal that it is of God. Their work is to speak to the people in humble, trustful faith, asking counsel of God, not following their own ideas, not trusting to the bringing out of fanciful things to arouse the senses of those who are dead in trespasses and sins. The system of truth found in the Word of God is capable of making impressions such as the great Teacher desires to have made upon the intellect. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 8

Ever bear in mind that a Paul plants, an Apollos waters, but God gives the increase. The people need to be educated to understand the Word of God. Help every soul to build on a sure foundation. The Word of God to be their counsellor. Our ministers, physicians, and evangelists are to understand that they are to be shepherds of the flock of God. “Feed my sheep;” “feed my lambs,” was the word of God to Peter. [John 21:15-17.] “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” [Luke 22:32.] The instruction the Lord of glory gave to His disciples when He was on this earth is a type and pattern of the instruction His servants are to give to the people who in this our day are seeking for truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His last words to His disciples, just before the cloud of angels received Him out of their sight, were, “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.] 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 9

“So then after the Lord has spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:19, 20.] 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 10

The Lord’s human agents are to do just as the Saviour commanded them. Faithfully they are to discharge the commission, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” [Matthew 28:20.] “All things.” This comprehends much. Christ has authority over all, and power to direct and govern all. We are to put our trust in Him whose we are by creation and by redemption. Constantly exercising faith, putting full confidence in His power, following His example, as we strive to save souls we shall see the fruit of our labor. Christ has given us the assurance that He will work with us. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 11

In this work a variety of gifts will be used. Some will labor in one way, some in another. The Lord desires the cities to be worked by the united efforts of laborers of different capabilities. All are to look to Jesus for direction, not depending on man for wisdom, lest they shall be led astray. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 12

He to whom the Lord has given a commission is not to submerge his identity in any human being. God declares, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that given to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:5-8.] 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 13

These words point out distinctly the source of our strength. Your faith must reach the point where you believe these words without questioning. You have asked; now believe that you will receive the things you asked for; and you shall have them. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 14

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you: let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” [James 3:11-13.] All boasting is out of place. The words spoken to exalt self bring weakness, and not strength. “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work, But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [Verses 14-18.] 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 15

The truth is to be taught line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The knowledge of God’s Word, and the best manner of communicating it, is to be regarded of first importance. All our teaching in spiritual lines is to be after the manner of Christ’s teaching. Crowd into your teaching all the affirmative truths you possibly can. Pastors, teachers, evangelists, are to be workers together with God. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] One is not to depend upon another; every one is to become acquainted with God. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 16

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] This instruction is for us. We are not to cultivate an appetite for the sensational. We are to continue in the work of drawing souls to Jesus Christ. It is not safe for a man to take the position that he must always follow the dictates of his own conscience. Paul followed the dictates of his conscience when with great zeal he persecuted the saints of God, causing them to be cast into prison and put to death. The revelation of Christ changed Paul’s character and his conscience, and revealed the work he had been doing against Christ. The view given him of his wicked course was a terrible revelation to Paul. The Lord’s glory struck him with blindness in order to teach him that his conscience must be enlightened before he could correctly discern spiritual things. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 17

We are not to encourage a spirit of enthusiasm that brings zeal for a while, but soon fades away, leaving discouragement and depression. We need the bread of life that comes down from heaven to give life to the soul. Study the Word of God. Do not be controlled by feeling. All who labor in the vineyard of the Lord must learn that feeling is not faith. To be always in a state of elevation is not required. But it is required that we have firm faith in the Word of God as the flesh and blood of Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 18

Those who do the work of the Lord in our cities must close and bolt the doors firmly against excitement and fanaticism. The Word of God is our sanctification and righteousness, because it is spiritual food. To study it is to eat the leaves of the tree of life. Nothing is more uplifting to God’s servants than to teach the Scriptures just as Christ taught them. The Word of God contains divine nourishment, which satisfies the appetite for spiritual food. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 19

The people are to be educated in Bible lines, that they may know the will of God as expressed in His Word. All are to understand that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 20

Well-planned efforts are to made at the Mission School. The workers are to reach out into families and neighborhoods, doing house-to-house work. And in the public assemblies also the Word of God is to be proclaimed. God desires every worker to labor calmly, trustfully, and in faith, looking unto Him who is the author and finisher of their faith. The Lord God is to be their dependence. Then He can make His impression on mind and character. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 21

And I must urge that the workers shall have their work so planned that they will not become wearied out by overwork. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 22

I thank the Lord that I am improving in health. Tuesday night I could not sleep after eleven o’clock p.m. At twelve o’clock I was up writing. I sent off many letters to Australia. Last night I went to bed at eight, and slept until four this morning. My appetite is good, and I am gaining in strength. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 23

I have hastily written you these few pages this morning. I assure you that we are praying for you and for the work in New York City. But please do withdraw those startling notices of your meetings. If a fanatical wave should strike New York now, Satan would work upon human minds, setting in operation a work that none of you is prepared to handle. It is not excitement that we need at this time, but calm, steady, devoted effort for the education of the people. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 24

I am very glad to hear that you are having success in your work. And I am glad that you write me in regard to the encouraging features of this work. It is never best to look on the dark side. We need to train our spiritual powers to cheerfulness and faith. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 25

I must close now. I shall finish this letter at another time. May the Lord bless you. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 26

With love to you all. 17LtMs, Lt 17, 1902, par. 27