Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 39, 1902

Franke, E. E.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 12, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in UL 85; Ev 331; 7BC 985-986. +Note

Dear brother Franke,—

I wish to say to you that you need to make the Lord Jesus your efficiency. You are presented to me as one who is not the best qualified to exert a saving influence on those who are convicted by the presentation of Bible truth. Remember that it is not you who converts souls; the converting power comes from the Lord Jesus. You can but point souls to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 1

You are not the best qualified to work in church organization. You have become acquainted with the science that deals with the control of one mind by another mind. This you may call hypnotism. I call it mesmerism. I lift the danger signal before you. Never seek to draw men’s minds to yourself. This you have done, and you will continue to do it more or less, unless you yield to the power of God, but it is dangerous work for any one. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 2

I must tell you, my brother, that you are exerting an undue influence on minds, an influence that has not its origin in Jesus Christ. In working for those who are converted under your labors, you would be highly pleased if they were called Elder Franke’s church. You would like to manipulate their minds in such a way that they would be guided by sentiments of your choosing. But God forbid! In fastening minds to yourself, you lead them to disconnect from the Source of their wisdom and efficiency. Their dependence must be wholly in God. Only thus can they grow in grace. They are dependent on Him for success, for usefulness, for power to be laborers together with God. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 3

However large may be a man’s claim to knowledge, to wisdom, unless he is under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he is exceedingly ignorant of spiritual things. He may handle truth in such a way that little understanding is imparted to his inner heart-life. You need to realize your danger and your inefficiency. Place your entire dependence on the One who is able to keep the souls committed to His trust, able to imbue them with His Spirit, able to fill them with unselfish love for one another, thus enabling them to bear witness that He has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 4

In plain language, the Holy Spirit has communicated to us the clearest, deepest, most sanctifying truths. In all your stewardship, my brother, it is safe for you to rely on the Word of the living God. This Word is as a light shining in a dark place. When the Word of God is received into the mind, into the soul-temple, the result is a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The truth makes its influence felt. There is seen consecration, devotion, and sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. Converts to the truth blend together with Christ in God. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 5

Ministers of God may have different gifts, but these gifts are never to be used in a way that will separate believers from one another. This is where your work needs reformation. You are not to think that you can be conscience for other men. You are not to think that you can gain an experience for other men. God’s truth is not to be promulgated in such a way that those who accept the truth will form into separate parties under different heads. When contention comes in, when a party spirit is manifested, it is time to make investigation and call things by their right names. All dissension is born of the narrow conceptions of unsanctified minds. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 6

Man is not sinless, and you have repeatedly shown by your hot, scathing speeches and your harsh denunciations of God’s sons and daughters, whom He loves, that you need a knowledge of God, that you need to understand that it is your duty to guard your words and your spirit, so that you will not make intemperate speeches. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 7

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] When this injunction is obeyed, those who accept the truth will not be led in false paths, even though those who enlightened them in regard to the truth choose the wide gate and the broad road. You are in positive danger of refusing to deny self. At times, when you are under the special influence of the Spirit of God, you feel that you could die for the Saviour. But you allow counterworking influences to control you. You allow human appetites and passions to bear sway. The root of all true self-sacrifice is an affection for the Lord Jesus so strong that it makes the wearing of His yoke easy and pleasant, and leads men to choose to learn His meekness and lowliness. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 8

He who pursues a course that confuses souls, causing his brother to err, is working on Satan’s side of the question. This is one of your dangers. I speak plainly, because you are under deceptions that are blinding your spiritual discernment. Your work must not bear the defects that it will develop if you are left alone to follow your own judgment. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 9

God’s servants have one common work. Their aim is to convert people to the pure truth of the Word of God. They are not to attach men to themselves, so that they will echo what they say and carry out the suggestions they may make. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 10

Christ is the foundation of every true church. All who are brought to a new faith are to be established on Him. The plain, simple truths of the gospel are to be kept before minds. Christ crucified as the atonement for sin is the great central truth of the gospel, round which all truths cluster. To this great truth all other truths are tributary. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 11

All truths, rightly understood, derive their value and importance from their connection with this truth. The apostle Paul makes this fact stand out in royal dignity. He calls the minds of all teachers of the Word to the importance of pointing souls to Christ as the only means of salvation. “God forbid that I should glory,” he says, “save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” [Galatians 6:14.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 12

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” [1 Corinthians 3:5-13.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 13

“I have planted.” It was Paul who first preached the gospel to the Corinthians and gathered the church together. This was the work the Lord assigned him. “I have planted, Apollos watered.” The Lord directed that other workers should be brought in to stand in their lot and place. The seed sown must be watered, and this work Apollos was to do. He followed Paul in his work, to give further instruction, to help the seed sown to develop. “But God giveth the increase.” [Verse 6.] His was the power that gave success to the efforts of the laborers. Those that plant and those that water are not the cause of the growth of the seed. They work under God. They are His helping hand, co-operating with Him in His work. They are instruments in the hands of the unseen Master Worker. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 14

The Lord has commissioned men to do a certain work, to make known the gospel to all nations. They are so to work that the truth shall be seen and accepted, leading to the exercise of faith, and to a belief in God as the Author of all true wisdom. Is man to be glorified? No, indeed. It is not the power of man’s will that leads men to accept the truth. They are convicted and converted because a tender, holy Spirit from God has found its way to the soul, and heart unites with heart in a loving, sensible, explainable union. The work is of the Holy Spirit, and there is in it no fitful, passionate, spasmodic effort. Man is not set up as an idol. He is hid with Christ in God, and Christ appears as the chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely. Above all, he is the Authority. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 15

Who is Christ? Ask Isaiah, a worker prominent in the carrying out of God’s purpose. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” [Isaiah 9:6, 7.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 16

Our Saviour is one with us in humanity; for He was born of a woman; yet He is one with God. It was God’s plan that the human race should be saved by the sacrifice of the life of His Son. The only way in which human beings could be redeemed was by the union of man’s humanity with the divinity of the One whom God has made the head over all things. Every line of business, every church, every human being, is embraced in God’s merciful provision. This is the pledge that “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” [Verse 7.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 17

The Lord’s covenant of peace embraces all who will receive Him and believe in Him, all who will exercise the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. God is faithfulness and truth. It is the narrowness of man’s comprehension that limits his discernment, so that he is not able to realize the length and breadth and depth of God’s loving-kindness. God subjects His church to discipline, that He may test and prove them. Those who are willing to be disciplined, willing to wear Christ’s yoke and bear His burdens, will increase in the knowledge of God. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 18

“Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Those who obey this word know by experience what it means to find rest. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 19

The Lord has in store great enlargement for His church, great exhibitions of His power. “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” [Isaiah 26:1-4.] True faith in God always brings assurance and peace to the humble and contrite in heart. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 20

Let not man seek to fasten minds to himself. God Himself is the Founder of His church, and we have His unalterable promise that His presence and protection will be given to His faithful ones, who walk in His counsel. To the end of time, Christ is to be first. He is the source of life and strength and righteousness and holiness. All this He is to those who wear His yoke, and learn of Him how to be meek and lowly. He will not tolerate self-exaltation. Extravagance and prodigality are a sin in His sight. His people are to practice His lessons of economy. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 21

“Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites! Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes; that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” [Isaiah 33:13-17.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 22

Brother Franke, remember that God is the husband of His church. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Every true believer is a part of the body of Christ. Christ regards unfaithfulness shown to Him by His people as the unfaithfulness of a wife to her husband. We are to remember that we are members of Christ’s body. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 23

Every messenger for the Lord is to blend with his fellow messenger. In loving sympathy and confidence God’s workers are to unite with one another. He who says or does anything that tends to separate the members of Christ’s church is counterworking the Lord’s purpose. Wrangling and dissension in the church, the encouragement of suspicion and unbelief, the yielding to worldly indulgences, are dishonoring to Christ. He will judge for these things. Self-denial is ever to be practiced. Self-indulgence is to be put aside. In love and unity we are to labor for the Master. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 24

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” [Romans 15:1-7.] 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 25

My brother, will you work for unity? Will you work for health reform? Or will you plead for liberty to eat and drink as you please? If you yield to appetite, your nerves and muscles will suffer, and you will pay the penalty in a disturbed, fractious, restless spirit, a spirit that finds relief in creating dissension. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 26

I entreat you to be soundly converted. Eat wholesome food, and guard the door of the lips against unwholesome words. Render to God the fruit of your lips, glorifying Him by offering Him praise and thanksgiving. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 27

Let it be your endeavor to assist your brethren to preserve unity in the church. God desires His servants to cultivate Christian affection for one another. True religion unites hearts not only with Christ but with one another, in a most tender union. When you know what it means to be thus united with Christ and with your brethren, a fragrant influence will attend your work wherever you go. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 28

I have many things to say, but I am so weary that I cannot go further now. I leave this with you, beseeching you to keep your feet from straying out of the right way. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” [Hebrews 12:13.] May the Lord help you and strengthen and bless you, is my prayer. 17LtMs, Lt 39, 1902, par. 29