Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

102/469

Lt 98, 1902

Churches and Companies in Greater New York

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 8, 1902

This letter is published in entirety in 7MR 93-102.

To the churches and companies in Greater New York

Dear Brethren and Sisters,—

I am deeply interested in the work to be advanced in many places. Especially am I interested in the progress of the cause in Greater New York. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 1

In the night season it seemed as if I were speaking to our brethren and sisters in Greater New York. I was carrying a heavy burden on my heart. I shall not attempt to describe the expressions which I saw on the countenances of those in the congregation; for they were varied. Before me were some who have much tact and superior ability to reach souls—men and women, who, if consecrated, could awaken many who are careless, indifferent, godless. But these church members had lost their hold on the Lord Jesus. They desired to command, not to serve. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 2

While I was speaking, One of authority came forward and repeated the following Scriptures: “‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.’” [Hebrews 11:1, 2.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 3

“‘By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us; for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. ... Having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’” [Hebrews 10:14-17, 21-25.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 4

The heavenly Messenger continued speaking. He said: “Christ gave Himself for you, and is now standing in the presence of God as your High Priest. Not only through Him may you enter the true tabernacle not made with hands, but with Him you may enter this hallowed temple. He is your Head, and you are His beloved household. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 5

“Have you forgotten the scenes of Gethsemane? Christ passed through His last terrible trial in order that you might not perish, but have eternal life. ‘Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.’ [1 John 3:16.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 6

“By your failure to work in harmony, you are greatly dishonoring God. The enemy of your souls delights to see you working at cross purposes with one another. You need to cultivate brotherly love and tenderness of heart. If you could draw aside the curtain veiling the future, and see the result of your present course of action, you would surely be led to repent. By repentance you can save yourselves much sorrow. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 7

“Would it not be well for you to seek the Lord as the disciples sought Him before the day of Pentecost? After Christ’s ascension, His disciples—men of varied talents and capabilities—assembled in an upper chamber to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this room ‘all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.’ [Acts 1:14.] They made thorough work of repentance by confessing their own sins. Upon them was laid no burden to confess one another’s sins. Settling all differences and alienations, they were of one accord, and prayed with unity of purpose for ten days, at the end of which time ‘they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ [Acts 2:4.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 8

“The Holy Spirit cannot be revealed to the church members in Greater New York while dissension and strife exist. Would it not be well for you to lay aside ‘all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,’ and ‘as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby’? [1 Peter 2:1, 2.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 9

“If you would unitedly put away your peculiar hereditary and cultivated traits of character, and work together, the Lord could work through you. But souls will not be convicted and converted until you come into unity and Christian fellowship. Lose sight of self. Keep your eyes fixed upon the Redeemer. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 10

“The representation that you make before believers and unbelievers in one of variance and strife. Clear away this rubbish. Press together. Let not the workers think of going elsewhere before a thorough work of humiliation and repentance takes place. Work as for your lives to overcome every evil trait of character. You are not placed in this field of labor to create dissension and alienation. Sweep away the evils that have crept in. ‘Consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.’ [Hebrews 10:24.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 11

“The Lord designs that all His children shall blend in unity. Do you not expect to live together in unity in the same heaven? Is Christ divided against Himself? Will He give success in this field before all the rubbish of evil-surmising and discord is swept away; before the laborers, with unity of purpose, devote heart, soul, mind, and strength to the work so holy in God’s sight? ‘As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.’ [1 Peter 1:15.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 12

“In Christ’s prayer for His disciples He petitioned His Father: ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.’ Who is being sanctified through the truth? ‘Neither pray I for these alone,’ He continued, ‘but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved Me.’ [John 17:15-23.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 13

“The prayer of Christ is not yet answered. There is a work to be done that still remains undone. Although proclaiming the gospel message, yet ministers and lay-members are envious, full of strife, destitute of the love that should be in their hearts. Those who claim to be Christians, but who reveal the characteristics of worldlings, are dishonoring the name of Jesus. Will you consider the representation that you are making before unbelievers? Will you seek for the blessing of the Holy Spirit, that you may answer the prayer of Christ? Would it not be well for you to pray that you shall not disappoint the Lord Jesus by failing to be His instrumentalities? When in word and deed you answer His prayer, putting away all variance, His Spirit will bear witness that you are His instrumentalities, and the world will take knowledge of you, that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 14

“The Lord calls upon those now working in Greater New York to repent and be converted. Both ministers and lay members are standing in their own light and are wasting many precious opportunities. There is great need of coming together with deep humiliation and sincere repentance because of the lack of unity and brotherly love that have been manifested. In the Word, Christians are instructed not to neglect the assembling of themselves together. If need be, come together with fasting. Make most diligent search for the cause of your soul-sickness, which must be healed. Until in every sense of the word you are Christians in your associations with one another, until you love as brethren, how can your efforts for unbelievers be acceptable to God? Your first work is to be converted yourselves.” 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 15

The heavenly Messenger spoke other words, but I think it best not to present them before you; for in your present spiritual condition you cannot bear them. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 16

Those who are of the household of faith should never neglect the assembling of themselves together; for this is God’s appointed means of leading His children into unity, in order that in Christian love and fellowship they may help, strengthen, and encourage one another. My brethren and sisters in Greater New york, if you would come together for prayer meetings; if, after confession of sin and humiliation of soul, you would have a love-feast—every heart filled with true love for his brethren—you would see the salvation of God. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 17

As brethren of our Lord, we are called with a holy calling to a holy, happy life. Having entered the narrow path of obedience, let us refresh our minds with communion with one another and with God. As we see the day of God approaching, let us meet often to study His Word and to exhort one another to be faithful to the end. These earthly assemblies are God’s appointed means by which we have opportunity to speak with one another and to gather all the help possible to prepare, in the right way, to receive in the heavenly assemblies the fulfilment of the pledges of our inheritance. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 18

Remember that in every assembly you meet with Christ, the Master of assemblies. Encourage a personal interest in one another; for it is not enough simply to know men. We must know men in Christ Jesus. We are enjoined to “consider one another.” This is the keynote of the gospel. The keynote of the world is self. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 19

Christ declares to His disciples: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. ... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Christians are to reveal to the world that they are wearing the yoke of the great Teacher and learning of Him His meekness and lowliness. As obedient sons and daughters of God, they are to fulfil their obligations to Him, giving to the world a proper representation of His character. Thus they become lights in the world. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 20

The Christian pilgrim is not left to walk in darkness. Jesus leads the way. Those who follow Him walk in the sunshine of His presence. The path that the pilgrim treads is clear and well defined. Christ’s righteousness goes before him—the righteousness that makes possible the good works characterizing the life of every true Christian. God is his rearward. He walks in the light as Christ is in the light. As he travels onward in the Christian journey, he combines faith with earnest endeavor to win others to accompany him. Constantly receiving the light of Christ’s presence, he reflects this light to others in words of encouragement and deeds of self-denial. He bears the sign of obedience to God’s law, which distinguishes him from those who are not following the pathway that leads to life eternal. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 21

The Christian pilgrim cannot be sour, gloomy, depressed. It is a misrepresentation of the Christian faith to be surly, unreasonable, or sour in spirit. My brethren and sisters, no longer cherish such a spirit. Heed the apostle’s admonition to provoke one another unto love and good works. How can you do this? By conscientious, consistent behaviour. Occasionally pause to sum up the results of such a course, to ascertain whether it is the wisest course to pursue. You will find that careful regard for one another’s needs, kindly words of sympathy, and thoughtful assistance in helping others in their work, encourage not only them, but yourselves as well, because you thus become laborers together with God. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 22

Brethren and sisters, will you realize that there is much at stake? Will you conduct the work in so healthful and wholesome a manner that all the threads now tangled and knotted will be straightened out? Study the tenth chapter of Hebrews. Forget not to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” [Verse 24.] If all the church members in Greater New York will now draw nigh to God, those who are in serious perplexity because of their self-confidence will confess that they have manifested a fitful, hasty spirit and will turn to Christ, placing their confidence in Him. Realizing their own weakness, they will wear Christ’s yoke and learn of Him. Receiving His strength, they will become the sons of God. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 23

Every Christian is under obligation to act well his part. For every worker now in Greater New York, there should be one hundred workers. Many more of the lay members, if consecrated to God’s service, could use their abilities in giving the warning message of mercy to the multitudes of unbelievers in this field. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 24

Those who are working in this city should be a help, a strength, and a blessing to one another. Each laborer should encourage his fellow laborer to work to the utmost of his God-given ability. Never should one laborer weaken the hands of another whom God has appointed to work for Him. Satan discourages; God encourages. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 25

Unconsciously every true worker will say, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? and am I not working at the close of the day? I must walk in the light as one of the children of light. I must lay aside ‘every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset,’ and run with patience the race that is set before me. [Hebrews 12:1.] I am striving for a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 26

“Walk in the light.” [1 John 1:7.] To walk in the light means to resolve, to exercise thought, to exert will power, in an earnest endeavor to represent Christ in sweetness of character. It means to put away all gloom. You are not to rest satisfied simply in saying, “I am a child of God.” Are you beholding Jesus, and, by beholding, becoming chanced into His likeness? To walk in the light means advancement and progress in spiritual attainments. Paul declared, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; ... but forgetting those things which are behind,” constantly beholding the Pattern, I reach “forth unto those things which are before.” [Philippians 3:12, 13.] To walk in the light means to “walk uprightly,” to walk “in the way of the Lord,” to “walk by faith,” to “walk in the Spirit,” to “walk in the truth,” to “walk in love,” to “walk in newness of life.” [Psalm 84:11; 2 Kings 21:22; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 5:16; 3 John 4; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 6:4.] It is “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 27

What a terrible thing it is to darken the pathway of others by bringing shadow and gloom upon ourselves. Let each one take heed to himself. Charge not upon others your defections of character. My brethren in the gospel ministry, talk light; walk in the light. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:5.] Study not how to please self. Lose sight of self, and behold the multitudes in Greater New York who are perishing in their sins. Gather to your souls the courage that can come only from the Light of the world. Forgetting self, help the many who are within reach around you. Do not overwork; for you must keep the vital energies awake. Realize that a work of restoration in your behalf will glorify God. Determine that whatever others may do, you will appropriate God’s promises to yourselves, weaving them into the fabric of your daily experience. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 28

Talk faith, and your faith will increase. Cease lamenting. Work in Christ’s lines. With loving endeavor strive to please Him. His excellence will help you to be Christlike. Ever stand ready to lift up the hands that hang down and to strengthen the feeble knees. Shine as lights in the world, attracting others by the brightness of Christ’s glory revealed through your good works. 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 29

Let the members of the churches in Greater New York hold fast their profession of the faith once delivered to the saints. As you walk in the light, pray, simply trusting in Jesus, your Redeemer. He desires every one having faith in Him to be a true helper. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He says, “that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” [John 13:34.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 30

I address this letter to the several churches and companies of believers in Greater New York. God help you to walk in the light. Walk so that you life will reflect rays of light to others. If you work as God designs you should, many of such as shall be saved will be added to your numbers. Confide in the love of Jesus, and you will have grace to save perishing souls. Your path will be as the path of the just—“a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” [Proverbs 4:18.] 17LtMs, Lt 98, 1902, par. 31