Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 48, 1902

Franke, Brother and Sister [E. E.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 19, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 148, 169; 1NL 113-115. +Note

Dear brother and sister Franke,—

I have written you some important things that the Lord has given me to write for you. The Lord loves you, and He will draw near to you if you will draw near to Him. Remember that your safety is in praying constantly for the molding of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word plainly declares the manner of Christ’s work. As Christ is our example in all things, let us study His plans and His ways, and not try to study out methods different from His. The more straightforward you are in practicing the Word of God, in truth and righteousness, the more acceptable will the truth appear to those you are trying to help. It is not your work to call the attention of the people to yourself. It is your work to proclaim the most solemn truth ever given to mortals. We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and in the closing scenes of these days we have a part to act. The Lord desires you to learn of Him, to love and fear Him. Not in the art of display, but in lifting up Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer, will you find success in winning souls. As you work for God in humility and lowliness of heart, He will manifest Himself to you. But when you exalt yourself and your family before the people, you interpose between Christ and those for whom He died. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 1

Walk and work humbly with God. If you heed the cautions given you, you will place yourself where the Lord can work with you. But if you make yourself the central figures, the force of your message will be greatly weakened. God’s servants have been given the most solemn truth to present, and their actions and methods and plans must correspond to the importance of the truth they advocate. If your way of presenting the truth is God’s way, your audience will be deeply impressed with the truth you present. The conviction will come to them that it is the Word of the living God, and you will accomplish the will of God in power. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 2

Let not your efforts be to follow the world’s way, but to follow God’s way. Outward display will not do the work the Lord desires to have done to arouse the higher classes to a conviction that they have heard the truth. Do not divest the truth of its dignity and impressiveness by preliminaries that are more after the order of the world than after the order of heaven. Let your hearers understand that you do not hold Sunday evening meetings to charm their senses with music and other things, but to preach the truth in all its solemnity, that it may come to them as a warning, arousing them from their death-like sleep of self-indulgence. It is the naked truth that, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts both ways. It is this that will arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sins. The preaching of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, made a decided impression on the minds of his hearers, because he gave a message startling in its plainness, a message that cut to their hearts. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 3

I have a message for you. A change is needed in your manner of working. Cease to be so prodigal in your use of means. I have seen that the Lord does not approve your extravagant display. This is not the way in which the truth is to be proclaimed. I desire your work to bear the unmistakable impress of the divine Worker. He who gave His life to save men and women from idolatry and self-indulgence left an example to be followed by all who should take up the work of presenting the truth that those who are saved must bring into the practical life. Your manner of laboring is to illustrate true economy. Do your work in a humble, Christ-like way, remembering that there are many cities to be worked. The Lord will bless and favor with His love those who reveal humility in their work for Him. But He abhors the proud and self-indulgent. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 4

Those who in their work for God depend on worldly plans for gaining success will make a failure. The Lord calls for a change in your manner of labor. He desires you to practice the lessons taught in the life of Christ. Then the mold of Christ will be seen on all the meetings that you hold. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 5

There are no difficulties in the way which leads to the city of God that those who trust in Him may not overcome. There are no dangers that they may not escape. Jehovah is our stronghold. He has infinite fulness, and from this fulness He can replenish with grace and wisdom the minds and hearts of all who follow Christ. His righteousness will go before them, enabling them to shine as lights in the world. He will make them channels through which are poured rich blessings for the refreshing of others. If you allow the grace of God to flow through you to others, you will not only bring refreshing to them, but you yourself will be refreshed. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 6

You need the peace of God in your heart and in your home. The Lord desires you to let His peace rule in your heart. You are in great danger of taking upon yourself cares and responsibilities that do not give strength, but weakness. What is the chaff to the wheat? In trying to interest the people, you should not employ [methods] that call for such tremendous effort and for such a large outlay of means. I just wish to say that the Lord does not require you to bear this extra burden. At times the thought of where you are to find the money to meet the cost of your efforts sends you almost distracted. And the result of these efforts does not meet your expectations. Your work would be better without some of these efforts. They call the attention of the people to human productions, and their minds are directed to the study of these productions, so that Christ is scarcely thought of. The power of His grace is intercepted by human devising. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 7

The Lord calls upon you to take heed, to save your mental and physical powers from decay. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 8

Let everything be done to the glory of God. Tell your audience that you are going to correct your expensive methods of labor, that you must labor more economically, because there is much to be done to seek and save those who are perishing in sin. Tell them that you need their help in inviting others to the meetings. Tell them that you have a message from the Word of the Lord. Show them what the words of Isaiah mean: “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] Though heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, His chosen temple is the soul of the humble and contrite one. His blessed presence fills the heart with peace and light and strength. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 9

God will richly bless those who are humble and sincere, those who are kind and benevolent, who relieve the wants of the widow and the fatherless. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 10

This is an age of extravagance and display. Men think that it is necessary to make a display in order to gain success. But this is not so. Take up your work in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and show the fallacy of expending means needlessly for effect. Preach and practice economy. Labor with simplicity, humility, and graceful dignity, and your work will make a lasting impression. Trustful dependence on God, earnest prayer to Him for help, obedience to His Word—these are as gold and silver and precious stones brought to the foundation. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 11

Make it stand out with the greatest clearness that all created things are dependent on and under the control of Jehovah, and that as He sees best, He uses them as His instruments for the salvation of those who believe and as instruments for the destruction of those who harden their hearts in impenitence. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 12

There are thousands to be reached by the truth. There are thousands who are to receive Christ as a personal Saviour. Greater New York must be worked on an altogether more economical plan than the plan on which you have been working. Christ says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Talk the truth, live the truth. Walk before God in all humility of mind and in all simplicity of action. Let the angels see that you love God, and that you practice the humility of Christ. This all must do who enter the courts of the Lord. In this life they must walk in the new and precious way that Christ has provided for His followers. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 13

My brother, I write you at this time because I want you to be prepared to engage in camp-meeting work, prepared to speak to thousands, making plain by word and illustration the truths that must be presented. Suffer me to say the things that must be said to you. Hasty decisions, formed under the influence of strong feeling, without time for deliberation or for asking counsel from God, are generally wrong and are often exceedingly unjust. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 14

I have the word of the Lord for you. You need to cultivate the gentleness of Christ. Communion with God will give you increased influence for good. Bring humility into your business life and into your religious life. Watch, watch, watch! For the sake of your children, watch! Unite with your brethren in counsel. Do not, I beg of you, stand apart as a separate whole. Unify, unify. Exercise care to avoid discord and strife. Do not speak words such as I heard you speak when in the night season I was in a council meeting at which you were present. Speak the words that Christ would speak were He in your place. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 15

The Lord is your only safeguard. Fear Him, and tremble at His word. He will manifest Himself to His people as He does not to the world. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 16

Those who claim to believe the truth are to guard carefully the powers of body and mind, so that God and His cause will not be in any way dishonored by their words or actions. The habits and practices are to be brought into subjection to the will of God. We are to give careful attention to our diet. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 17

It has been clearly presented to me that God’s people are to take a firm stand against meat-eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meat the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened. Such men as you, who are engaged in the most solemn and important work ever entrusted to human beings, need to give special heed to what they eat. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 18

Remember that when you eat flesh meat, you are but eating grains and vegetables secondhand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that makes it grow and prepares it for market. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the animal, and becomes part of its life, and then human beings eat the animal. Why are they so willing to eat their food secondhand? 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 19

In the beginning, fruit was pronounced by God as “good for food.” [Genesis 2:9.] The permission to eat flesh meat was a consequence of the fall. Not till after the flood was man given permission to eat the flesh of animals. Why then need we eat flesh meat? Few who eat this know how full it is of disease. Flesh meat never was the best food, and now it is cursed by disease. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 20

The thought of killing animals to be eaten is in itself revolting. If man’s natural sense had not been perverted by this indulgence of appetite, human beings would not think of eating the flesh of animals. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 21

We have been given the work of advancing health reform. The Lord desires His people to be in harmony with one another. As you must know, we shall not leave the position in which, for the last thirty-five years, the Lord has been bidding us stand. Beware how you place yourself in opposition to the work of health reform. It will go forward; for it is the Lord’s means of lessening the suffering in our world, and of purifying His people. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 22

Be careful what attitude you assume, lest you be found causing division. My brother, even while you fail to bring into your life and into your family the blessing that comes from following the principles of health reform, do not harm others by opposing the light God has given on this subject. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 23

While we do not make the use of flesh meat a test, while we do not want to force any one to give up its use, yet it is our duty to request that no minister of the Conference shall make light of or oppose the message of reform on this point. If, in the face of the light God has given concerning the effect of meat-eating on the system, you will still continue to eat meat, you must bear the consequences. But do not take a position before the people that will permit them to think that it is not necessary to call for a reform in regard to meat-eating, because the Lord is calling for reform. The Lord has given us the work of proclaiming the message of health reform, and if you cannot step forward in the ranks of those who are giving this message, you are not to make this prominent. In counter-working the efforts of your fellow laborers who are teaching health reform, you are out of order, working on the wrong side. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 24

Christ is our Example. He was <one with> God in the heavenly courts. But He came to this earth to live among men. “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:1-11.] 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 25

Please study this Scripture and grasp its true meaning. We are to put on Christ. Everything good in man is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work. Our own righteousness is worthless. Man cannot of himself do one good thing. But when he gives himself unreservedly to God, the Lord by His Holy Spirit begins in his heart the work of grace, teaching him how to practice self-denial, how to take up the cross and follow Christ. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. To love God supremely and to love our neighbor as ourselves are the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. When these principles are obeyed, man, through perfect obedience, is bound up with God. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 26

We may expect that God will give fulness of grace to carry forward every good work in the home and in the church, till His people come “in unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,” unto perfect men and women, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:13.] 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 27

My dear brother and sister Franke, I write these things to you because I have an intense desire that you shall in no wise be overcome by the power of the enemy, but that with clear discernment you may see his craft and subtlety, and resist him. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. He will lift up for you a standard against the enemy. 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 28

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” [Philippians 1:3-6; 2:12-15.] 17LtMs, Lt 48, 1902, par. 29