Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

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Lt 180, 1902

Kellogg, W. K.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

October, 15 1902

Portions of this letter are published in HP 153.

W. K. Kellogg

My dear brother,—

I cannot sleep past eleven o’clock. I am burdened over your spiritual condition and the spiritual condition of your brother J. H. Kellogg. You both need to feel the deep working of the Spirit of God, that you may know that you are building upon the sure foundation. Your salvation depends on building on this foundation. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 1

My brother, you have a work to do that you have not done. You have bound yourself up with certain societies, and this is a great hindrance to you spiritually. Do you not desire to be among the number who bear the mark of God? Will you not make the Sabbath to you all that it comprehends—the sign of obedience to God’s commands? Will you not come out from the world and be separate? The bonds with which you have bound yourself to secret societies will have to be broken if you are numbered with those who are building on the Rock Christ Jesus. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 2

If you will be guided by the Word of God, my brother, you will realize that you are responsible for the knowledge that you possess, and that your guilt will be proportionate to the light which it is your privilege to have, if you do not walk in this light. The degree of light given is the measure of responsibility. The path to heaven will be made plain to all who are faithful in the use of the knowledge they may obtain in regard to the future life. When has God required any one to do anything without giving him full and plain directions in regard to what He requires him to do. Look at the first act of transgression in the garden of Eden. To Adam and Eve were plainly stated the laws of Paradise, with the penalty for wilful disobedience. They disobeyed, and disobedience brought its sure result. Death entered the world. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 3

Transgression is disobedience to the commands of God. Had these commands always been obeyed, there would have been no sin. The penalty of transgression is always death. Christ averted the immediate execution of the death sentence by giving His life for man. Will men accept the pardon proffered by God, and, by receiving Christ, receive justification? The Saviour is the expounder of the law. Man receives life by receiving Christ. The Saviour’s death as surety for the race opens the way for the sinner to repent and receive pardon. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 4

This is not new light to you, Willie Kellogg. Christ said to the Pharisees, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin, but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” [John 9:41.] And He said again, “This is your condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men choose darkness rather than light.” [John 3:19.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 5

Justice requires that men shall have light, and it also requires that he who refuses to walk in the heaven-given light, the giving of which cost the death of the Son of God, must receive punishment. It is the principle of justice that the guilt of the sinner shall be proportionate to the knowledge given, but not used, or used in a wrong way. God expects human beings to walk in the light, to testify before angels and before men that they acknowledge Christ as the great propitiation for sin, and that they respect His sacrifice as their greatest blessing. To regard this sacrifice indifferently, is to abuse the mercies of the Father. Men are to accept the sacrifice, acknowledging the validity of the offering. They are under obligation to do all in their power for their salvation; for they have been bought with a price. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 6

For time and for eternity, the sacrifice of the Son of God to save the fallen race will have a binding claim on man. If God had failed to act His part, if He had not fully revealed His will, if He had given human beings any reason for neglecting the great salvation, man might plead ignorance as a valid excuse. But He has made the way plain. He would have all men to be saved. To some is given greater light than to others. Each will be judged by the light given him. My brother, you have had great light. You will be judged by the knowledge you have gained, but have for years neglected. Had you received the truth as it is in Jesus, had you followed on to know the Lord, your light would have increased unto the perfect day. God designed that you should cherish as sacred the light given you. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 7

God’s requirements are specific, and they mean all that they say. What God has done for man places on man a responsibility that he can in no wise evade. He holds a claim on every moment of your life; for at an immeasurable cost to heaven He has provided a remedy for sin. Thus He has placed at our command the resources of heaven. He has made it possible for us to have the divine attributes, and He requires that we exercise unquestioning faith in Him, and that we place all our influence on the side of Christ. He requires us to gain a knowledge of His will, that we may impart this knowledge to others. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 8

The parable of the entrusted talents is a lesson of no ordinary importance. We are not our own; we have been bought with a price; and we are to consecrate to God’s service all the powers that He has entrusted to us. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 9

My brother, God has given you talents to improve. You cannot teach the will of God in your family, because you have not accepted Christ as a personal Saviour. You are depriving your family of the service that, as priest of the household, you should give them. Yours is the privilege and duty of showing them how to work for the saving of their souls, that they may be as lights in the world, shining amidst the moral darkness. Do you realize that you are setting an example for your children and many others to follow. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 10

God holds you responsible for the talents entrusted to you and for the light bestowed. He holds you responsible to let your light shine forth in the home and in the church. He calls upon you to sever every tie that binds you to worldly societies. The influence that a connection with these societies gives you is an influence for wrong. He who binds himself up with secret societies, places himself where he cannot obey God. The claims of these societies are opposed to God’s claim, and he cannot yield obedience to both. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 11

Men are held responsible for the knowledge that they possess. They are placed where they have opportunity to know God’s will, if they choose, and God stands ready to give them power to practice it. If they choose, they can be witnesses for Christ. He who ignores his duty, who does not make the wisest use of his talents, must bear the consequence of his neglect. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 12

God communicates a knowledge of His will in various ways, that we may each say, “I know what He desires me to do.” He who knew His Lord’s will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. He who had not so many opportunities to become intelligent regarding the truth, will be beaten with few stripes. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 13

Mark the woe pronounced upon those who, having been given great light, refused to walk in God’s way. Speaking of the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, Christ said: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.” [Matthew 11:21-24.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 14

To those busy towns about the Sea of Galilee, heaven’s richest blessings had been freely offered. Day after day, the Prince of life had gone in and out among them. The glory of God, which prophets and kings had longed to see, had shone upon the multitudes that thronged the Saviour’s steps. Yet they had refused the heavenly gift. And as they rejected the Son of God, so God rejected them. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 15

My brother, God expects you to gain every day a clearer understanding of His will. This you must do if you sit with Him at last upon His throne. You are to improve your talents to the fullest extent, in accordance with the light given you. The improvement of these talents is to be carried on under the oversight of the One who has paid an infinite price for your service. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 16

God asks for the improvement of your talents. He asks for your service and for the service of your children. He calls, “My son, give Me thine heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] How can you refuse to give Him what He asks? “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.] If you refuse to do this, you will be accounted unthankful and disobedient. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 17

The grace of God always attends the faith which, working by love, purifies the soul from all defilement. To those who receive Him, Christ gives power to become the sons of God. He exercises a miracle-working power, which transforms character, proving the efficacy of His blood, showing that He is the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 18

“Thy mercy, O God, is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep. O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasure. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light we shall see light.” [Psalm 36:5-9.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 19

God has prepared mercies and blessings for all who put their trust in Him. To bind up with worldlings in secret societies is a manifest distrust of God. It is like inquiring of and depending on the gods of Ekron. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 20

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of Him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” [Psalm 37:3-7.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 21

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.” “The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” [Psalm 25:14, 9, 10.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 22

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:5, 6.] “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” [Isaiah 48:17, 18.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 23

“I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God beside Me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.” [Isaiah 45:5, 6.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 24

Willie Kellogg, the message I have for you is, The Lord calls upon you to make an unreserved surrender to Him whose you are by creation and by redemption. He is calling to you, saying, “Follow Me.” For your soul’s sake, exert your influence as strongly as possible on the Lord’s side. By a godly example guide your children aright. This the Lord requires of you. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 25

My whole heart is drawn out after you with a desire to see you separate from the societies with which you have connected yourself. By uniting with these societies you bind yourself up in the same bundle with all kinds of characters. The Lord is mercifully inviting you to turn from these associations and to become acquainted with Him. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 26

Obedience to this call will not lead you to step in uncertainty. It is Christ that speaks. Having a knowledge of the way, you can help not only your children, guiding their feet, but you can help others—even those of the feeblest intellect whose purpose is sincere and pure—to be lifted up where they will know and understand the way of the Lord. Will you now try to make the surrender, so that you can walk securely? 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 27

You can be honored by coming out fully on the Lord’s side, and by seeking to understand what His will is concerning you. This knowledge is not confined to learned commentators on the written Word, or to men well versed in the history of divine providences, or to men of large Christian experience. Others, also, can become God’s helping hand—the human agencies through whom He can work. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 28

You have acted a responsible part in connection with the Sanitarium; but your work cannot bear the endorsement of God until you begin to understand more clearly your need of the Lord’s grace and power—until you follow your Saviour fully and lead your own family in the right way, that they, with you, may drink of the water of life. If you take hold of this matter earnestly, the Lord will enable you to become a man of enlarged experience. You are to use your God-given talents to bless others and to lead them in the right way. If you choose to be led, the Lord can and will lead you from self to an advanced, higher grade. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 29

Through the words that I am writing to you, God invites you to come to Him. Fully consecrate yourself to the Lord; be wise unto the salvation of your soul. Would you then be free from all trails? No, you would not, but through trials you would be purified, made white, and tried. Trials would fit you the better to help others and to guide them in the way of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Not until after the ascension of Christ did His disciples understand the meaning of trials, of discipline, of sanctification through the truth. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 30

You are invited to be a laborer together with God. It is your privilege to understand much more fully the nature of Christ’s atonement in your behalf and of His kingdom after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, precious thoughts will come to you. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 31

O how far short we come of understanding God! The so-called greatest and most highly cultured men and women in this world are comparatively nothing more than little children, receiving paternal instruction from the Lord God of heaven. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 32

Read the fifty-first, the fifty-second, and the fifty-third chapters of Isaiah. God has furnished to fallen, sinful man a life-giving Saviour. In these Scriptures, especially in the fifty-third chapter, is revealed our only Hope of a life that measures with the life of God. Read also verses thirteen to twenty-one of the fifty-seventh chapter. Verse fifteen is a most wonderful statement. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 33

In comparison with our heavenly Father, human beings would never have been anything but mere infants, if the Lord Jesus had not given Himself to stand at the head of humanity, to enable men and women to become sons and daughters of God. Clothing His divinity with humanity, He came to this earth and with His long human arm encircled the human race, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite. He has placed man on vantage ground with God, the Infinite Father. His faculties are higher than those of any human being that lives. If Christ had not become a Mediator between God and man, the highest in intelligence, the most learned, could never be anything else but mere infants. The psalmist inquires, “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” [Psalm 8:4.] 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 34

The greatest of great men are but mere babes in their development. All the members of the human family are God’s little children. They should ever remember their deficiency and learn of Him. God has taken in hand the members of His family in this fallen world. At infinite cost, even by the gift of His Son, He has redeemed them. Let every member of this family, who has not been born again, read carefully the third chapter of John and then humble himself under the hand of God. Those who have light should walk in the light, as Christ is in the light. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 35

My brother, I promised your Mother to take an interest in you; and in accordance with this promise I must tell you how I look at your case. In order to work the works of God, you have something to do. Your first step is to acknowledge your faith in God’s truth for this time. I feel a great desire that you should accept Christ as your own Saviour. I ask you, Will you choose to be saved in God’s appointed way? Firmly take your stand wholly on the Lord’s side. You can reveal the excellency of our God. Hang your helpless soul on Jesus Christ. He loves you. He desires to save you. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 36

Willie Kellogg, I earnestly entreat you to give yourself without reserve to Jesus. Whatever course your Brother John may choose to take, his choice will not excuse your non-committal position. The Saviour gave Himself as a complete sacrifice for your salvation, and He requires you to give yourself without one reservation to Him. I want you to be free, and free indeed, from Satan’s mighty power, and to lean your whole weight upon Christ Jesus. 17LtMs, Lt 180, 1902, par. 37