Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

460/469

Ms 233, 1902

Diary/Corruption of the Cities and Unfaithful Shepherds

NP

September 2, [1902?]

Previously unpublished.

The Lord has been working with my mind and soul during the night of August 31 and the first day and night of September. And this morning, September 2, [I am] reviewing scenes that have been presented to me for some time past as to the state of things in our cities. After conversing with Bro. ______ in regard to building in Chicago, I did partially reason that it might be best, but I dare not now encourage, by word or in any way, the building in any of our large cities. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 1

Just before the flood took place, God directed [that] an ark be built. This building called the people from every direction to see that immense boat being built on dry land. And the wickedness notwithstanding, the warnings went steadily forward. Genesis 6:5-7; Luke 17:26-30. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 2

The wrath of God will come upon all cities, upon dwellings, upon large buildings, so suddenly that they who have the slightest intimation have no safety in dallying at all. They are to flee at once. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 3

We are living amid the perils of the last days. The wrath of God is preparing to come upon all the cities—not all at once but one after another. And if the terrible punishment in one city does not cause the inhabitants of other cities to be afraid and seek repentance, their time will come. When the Lord ariseth to shake terribly the earth, He will not cease until His work in punishment is done. The destruction will begin in certain places, and the destruction of life will be sudden and but few will escape. There is not to be given an encouraging thought that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be accepted by the large majority of men prior to His coming again the second time with power and great glory. I am instructed by revelation to say that most solemn and overwhelming judgments are determined upon all people who have the light before them in the Word of God, [but who do not follow it]. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 4

The Old and New Testament Scriptures are not one contradictory of the other. Christ was the originator, the foundation, of all the Jewish ceremonies. Moses was the administrator of the law of God, and the True Leader was Christ Jesus, enshrouded in the pillowy cloud. Types and shadows were to exist in the religious world and were to be carried out in religious worship. When Christ was given to the world and the world was tested, as a whole they rejected Christ and put Him to death. The death penalty was taken hold of by Jesus Christ. He said, “I will make it possible for human nature to endure because I suffered all that could be necessary to save the world.” Type met antitype in the death of Jesus Christ. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 5

True religion under the former dispensation was just as essential and thorough and full in its requirements as under the gospel dispensation when Christ Himself became the minister of the better covenant. “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward of the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” [Romans 2:28, 29.] “For in every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him.” [Acts 10:35.] 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 6

The work of God is pressing on in its fulfillment, and the Lord is preparing to deal with His rebellious subjects. Position in office, at any of our institutions, is of no virtue in itself to save the soul of any man. Does the man obey the law of God from the heart? Is he a doer of the Word? Is Christ expressed in all his doings? It is only a little while until every case will be decided: Who is walking humbly with God? The truth of God is being set aside by the traditions of men. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 7

The soon coming of Christ to our world will find, even now, the same condition of violence and crime in our cities and extending to all places from the cities. The time is come that the warning must be made for removal from the cities in contemplation not of what you will see and hear in the future, but of what you now see and what is developing now—right now—and is increasing in a higher and more determined degree of sin and transgression , [resulting in] such a state of things that the mountainous regions will be sought for. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 8

And yet, notwithstanding the evidence God has given in our cities, as in Chicago, of how quickly by one touch of God that city, and New York City as well, would become unsightly ruins, those who know the truth are preparing to do some great thing, while souls are perishing and go beyond their reach. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 9

The warnings and repeated judgments come, but the pleasure lovers take no heed. Notwithstanding the warnings given in the Word of God, the Word has no influence to limit their intense desire for games, for horse racing, for ball playing. All wickedness is mimicked at pugilistics, educating their God-given muscles to fight [other] human beings, making themselves as wicked and mischievous and devilish as possible by maiming and bruising and marring the image of God in man. Large crowds watch the exhibition as amusement , watching all this satanic performance and lawlessness and cruelty and judging the combatants by a law of their own creating. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 10

The murders without one sign of provocation, and the divorces and the miserable marriages—we can understand what Christ meant when He said, “Married and given in marriage,” which He specified as signs of the last days. [Luke 17:27.] The sacred marriage relation is a farce with those who disregard laws human and divine. Mark said about it: “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] The life that is to be given to the just is an eternal life of bliss in the heavenly courts. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 11

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father and with the holy angels.” [Verse 38.] Warnings will be given, [with] counsel and entreaties, nevertheless with some there will be just the same spirit. It would not be received if a prophet from heaven would come as a man sent of God to unfold the moral character of many rulers, many “first men in power” thus called. Nothing is [more evidence] of immoral character existing in our day than the majority of worldly kings, nobles, rulers, and legislators. The sport of indulging perverted animal passions is all open to the God of heaven. The violence, the crime, the most horrible sensuality, the corruption far below the dumb animal creation, is the history of today. [There are] those who know, or who have had plenty of light that they ought to know, that the cities are reeking with all kinds of crimes, that there is no justice, no equity. “He who departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” [Isaiah 59:15.] Yet there are so many men who seem to be wedded to the city life. The rulers are men that need to be converted or they will be no better than the cases brought to [them] to handle and punish. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 12

The question is asked, How shall we reach the people? As Enoch reached them. He did not live with them in close companionship lest he should become like them by hearing their godless words and their ambitions projects. He had his retired place to commune with God, to walk with God. And when he came to the cities, he had a message to bear. Jude says a few words: “And Enoch also the seventh from Adam prophesied.” Jude 14-25. From his retired place, Enoch came to cities, bore his testimony of warning and reproof, and [then] separated from the wicked to preserve his soul in righteousness, for he had warnings to give of reproof and messages of warning. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 13

The prophet Daniel, acting in behalf of the Most High, instructed the man who sent for him to interpret his dreams. He interpreted the vision in regard to the great tree which he had seen hewn down. Daniel 4:23. He made the interpretation, bearing direct reference to the ruling of the monarch himself. The Lord's messenger must not in any case depart from the plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Before the Lord strikes, He warns and impresses their understanding. Daniel, the minister of God, was brought before Nebuchadnezzar, and was informed by the king of the dream. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 14

Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, explained to the king the intent and meaning of the dream. “My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 15

“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” Daniel 4:19-27. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 16

After he had heard the interpretation and undergone the sentence of degradation, then king Nebuchadnezzar concludes his history: “All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men.” [Verses 28-33.] (See verses 33-37.) 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 17

King Nebuchadnezzar is changed—he is a changed man. The closing epistle addressed by the king to his subjects reveals the spirit that pleases God. This punishment was not in vain. His words evidence that a true conversion has taken place. There is not that pomp, that lifting up the soul unto vanity, but a transformation of his character, a true and actual conversion to God. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 18

The Lord had wrought upon His subject. The pride and self-sufficiency that God would not tolerate provoked punishment. He did not excuse himself in his course of action as though a king, a great king, need not repent and humble his heart before God. There was a sense now, as he had never had before, that position does not form character after the correct similitude, unless the subject upon whom God works is willing that God should work the human clay to make a vessel unto honor. Some who are reproved will not humble themselves to confess this, as did the king of Babylon, because the people would then suppose that they were not perfect men. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 19

As he who bears mighty responsibilities does not humble his heart, there are many who will follow his example. Wrong-doing will show [if] the Lord vindicated the errors and wrongs in one in authority, while He condemns the same works in others not carrying so weighty responsibility. Leaders had better lead in steps toward consecration and sanctification of the whole man so that words, spirit, and influence shall represent truth, equity, and righteousness. God requires of all those to whom He has manifested much wisdom, [that they] understand who gives wisdom and knowledge and understanding; and unless they are teachable and humble and acknowledge God in all their ways, they lead others to disregard God and look to men, to disregard truth that works by love and sanctifies the soul. Men who love and fear God at every point of His commandments will exert an influence that is a savor of life unto life. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 20

We are required to make every effort, by watching unto prayer and painstaking thoughtfulness, to purify the sentiments that mould the minds of those in office, at every point of influence, working to do justice and judgement. God is greatly dishonored if He sees that truth is not working by love to purify and cleanse the entire man, for he is not making straight paths for his feet lest the lame be turned out of the way. It is a terrible thing for leaders to endorse that which the Lord condemns. Not one oppressive action will be overlooked, not one action that will retard the work of God because some other way is chosen and blocked out by human devising. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 21

We read the words of the king of Babylon with deepest interest. How we wish every soul who carries the responsibilities of designs and of leadership [understood] that when God works men shall acknowledge it is God and gladly humble their human, natural, unconverted principles and cleanse any and everything that has provoked the Lord, because souls are imperiled. “Nebuchadnezzar the king unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” [Verses 1-3.] 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 22

There he gives his history, his exaltation of self. And in the very action of lifting himself up the Lord God casts him down to the lowest depths, removing the mind, which is the gift of God, and leaving him a lunatic. God removes wisdom; God can give wisdom. The man whom God has lifted up to cooperate with Himself is to understand that he is not to depart from the way of the Lord but to do justice and judgment, and to take heed to himself lest self shall seek for supremacy and become a power in the wrong way. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 23

The mighty men in the highest positions of the world are exalting themselves above God, and the Lord is taking them away. They who would make laws opposed to God's law will find themselves being dealt with as He dealt with Nebuchadnezzar. They are not above God's law reaching them. Human laws and just enactments are not being modeled after the laws of God who rules the world. Human councils are showing to us how little they bear the signature and seal of God. But the Lord will give evidence, as shall be to His own name's glory, that He will show His supreme authority and entire control over the minds and souls of beings whom He has created, to carry forward His purposes even in human affairs. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 24

In no case are we as a people to link up and form a confederacy with men who do not walk in the light of God's commandments. Truth is to be not only talked just as it is in the Word of God, but it is to be demonstrated in every place on all occasions. Truth is to be a separating power from those who do not respect and honor the truth. Men in high places are to understand that the truth sanctifies the receiver of truth, that the obedient and disobedient cannot yoke up in a confederacy. All who are acquainted with His Word will reveal the clearness and purity of their knowledge of “It is Written.” God calls for His minutemen who are watchmen to declare the truth, the whole counsel of God at this period of this earth's history. This will not please a class who are not at all disposed to obey God's law, but to withhold the truth (which God requires we should obey according to His Word) through fear of incurring their displeasure and giving offense. Men's opinions, however educated, whatever position they may be in, are not to be depended on. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 25

What will the unfaithful shepherds say in that great day when every man is judged and they receive according to their works, whether they are obedient to the law of His kingdom or transgressing to the last? Many will turn to these men who were supposed to know the truth and say, “You knew all these things and made no personal effort to save my soul. Had you used your persuasive influence to show me this was a life or death question with me, had you shown that, as it is now revealed, it makes every difference whether a man keeps His commandments just as it is written, what a change there would have been in my life when I was within the reach of forgiveness. But you treated the matter as a subject every man was at liberty to regard as he pleased, and there was no denominational bounds in the matter. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 26

“We have been deceived and you have not treated us as if you were in earnest. You have not laid right hold of us in intense earnestness, exalting righteousness and truth as a life and death principle. You have acted to us a lie so that you could link up with us, and we supposed it would not make any difference, because you felt [not] as you ought to have felt, understanding our peril in this matter.” Much more was presented to me, which I cannot write at this time, concerning this tame manner of treating testing truth. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 27

Of all men God requires one rule: To be prepared to declare the counsel of God, in season and out of season, which means so much to every soul who lives on the earth. To fear God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. It means everything to every man to declare the whole counsel of God with meekness of wisdom. The divine purposes do not interfere with human freedom and responsibility. Correct views of matters of such weighty importance that concern the eternal well-being of our fellow men will impel us with most earnest, persuasive arguments to urge men in high places of duty to obey the Word of God as it reads and to repent of their sins and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out from the books of heaven, and their names stand recorded in the lamb's book of life. This is a work neglected. 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 28

All pride in human agencies is a direct affront to God. All exaltation of self is displeasing to God. Men claim to themselves the honor of wisdom which honor belongs wholly to God and came from God. Man originates nothing. God will abase all who rob Him of His glory. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better is it to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. ... The wise ... lips increaseth learning.” “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” [Proverbs 16:18, 19, 21, 23, 24.] “The Lord He is God.” [Deuteronomy 4:35.] 17LtMs, Ms 233, 1902, par. 29