Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 136, 1902

The Message of Revelation


October 22, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7BC 956; MM 37-38, 189-190.

Christ came in person to the Isle of Patmos, to show John the things that were to be. He commanded John to write these things, telling him that they were of vast importance to His people. Of this we read: 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 1

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of the things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy; and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1-3.] 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 2

More than half a century had passed since John had leaned his head upon the bosom of his Lord, whom he loved with all the power of his being, and whom he delighted to honor. It was because of John’s fidelity to his Saviour that he had been banished to the Isle of Patmos, and there he beheld the glorified person of his Lord. There Christ opened to him the future of the church and of the world. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 3

Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the one who is soon to ride forth conquering and to conquer. John describes the impression made upon him by the vision of his Lord: 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 4

“I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks. And in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” [Verses 12-19.] 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 5

The messages to the seven churches were given to John by Him who holds in His right hand the seven stars. The people of God are under His special care and protection. He will ever treat them as the representatives of His character, if they are sanctified through the Word. In the message to the church at Ephesus, God declares, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” [Revelation 2:2, 3.] 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 6

Yet the reproof comes, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly (unexpectedly), and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verses 4, 5.] 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 7

This message is an example of the way in which the ministers of God are to give reproof today. Following the commendation for earnest labor comes the reproof for losing the talent of love, which is a most sacred trust. It was the love of God that saved the fallen race from eternal death. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 8

He who surrenders himself wholly to God, body, soul, and spirit, finds peace, assurance, and rest. He is an instrument in the divine hand, used by God to carry out His purposes. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 9

Christ is present every time that His people assemble to worship Him. He knows what condition they are in spiritually. His powers of investigation are unerring. He knows when those in His service do that which dishonors their profession of Christianity. When His followers grow careless in their words and harsh and domineering in their manner, they misrepresent Him. If in their dealings with their brethren they are not patient and forbearing, if they are not kind and winning in manner, how can they represent Christ? 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 10

We are to be laborers together with God. He is our ruler. We are in His service. Then let not those to whom sacred responsibilities have been committed, and who should be united in labor and in interest, give place to the spirit of division that Satan strives to bring in among them. Let them not show their distrust of one another by striving to place a yoke on their brethren. Christ has commanded us to break every yoke and to let the oppressed go free. God works to restore. Christ came to bring life and immortality to light through the gospel. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 11

But so long have men traveled in the path of oppression that they have become confused and have forgotten that the grace and compassion of Christ are to rule in their lives. True Christians respect their fellow workers. They do not try to repress them, but endeavor to develop their best traits of character by acting toward them as Christ would act, revealing His love, His patience. There are those who are strongly tempted, who need special encouragement, lest they fall away from the truth. As we are brought in contact with such as these, we are to show forth in our lives Christ’s love for souls. Especially do those in positions of responsibility need to cherish this love. But many who occupy such positions feel no desire to aid those who have fallen into the snare of the enemy because of the wrong course followed by some of their brethren. They pass by those whom they themselves have led into temptation, leaving them to struggle out as best they can or to perish. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 12

It is attention, prayer, and earnest, self-sacrificing labor that these souls need. Christ is greatly dishonored when men standing at the head of a company of workers act selfishly and harshly, forgetting that those over whom they have charge have been bought with a price, even the life-blood of the Son of God. The Lord sees every effort that is made to oppress His heritage. He will not acknowledge the service of any one who does not strive to reveal Christ, who does not receive and impart His grace. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 13

Especially are our physicians to seek for Christlikeness. They are medical missionaries, and God desires them to do evangelistic medical work. Those upon whom the burden of this work is laid are not to bind themselves up in worldly business. They are to consecrate their physical, mental, and spiritual powers to God’s service. God’s gifts are not to be tarnished by selfishness. Those who have in their hands the work of ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of men and women should free themselves from the burdens that prevent them from doing the Master’s work acceptably. Our physicians need to unload from many self-imposed burdens. They need to remember that they can gain true success in their work only as they strive to follow the example of the Master Physician, ministering in love and compassion to those in need of help. They are to remember that they have been given a commission to win souls to Christ. They are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Only thus can they be true medical missionaries. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 14

In all our sanitariums, God is to be acknowledged as the Master-workman. By becoming familiar with His life, the physicians and helpers are to learn how to work as He worked. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. But, clothed with the garb of humanity, He took His place at the head of the fallen race. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He assumed human nature to make it possible for man to be a partaker of the divine nature. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 15

The physician who strives to represent Christ will not assume prerogatives that the Master has not given him. He will not seek to rule over his fellow men. He will remember that he is a laborer together with God. In spirit and word and act he will represent the unseen One. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 16

Our physicians are in need of many reforms. Some have not yet been converted to the truth that works by love and purifies the soul. Let them not forget the words, “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” [Isaiah 52:11.] The Lord will work through physicians who carry the burdens of Christ, and learn daily of Him, that in His power they may point souls to heaven. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 17

The Redeemer expects our physicians to make the saving of souls their first work. If they will walk and work with God, in His love and fear, they will receive leaves from the tree of life to give to the suffering. His peace will go with them, making them messengers of peace. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 18

It is not enough for us to read the Scriptures merely. We are to ask the Lord to fill our wayward hearts with His Spirit, that we may understand the meaning of His words. In order to be benefited by the reading of the words of Christ, we must make a right application of them to our individual cases. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 19

We have been given a message exceeding in importance any other message ever entrusted to mortals. This message Christ came in person to the Isle of Patmos to present to John. He told him to write down what he saw and heard during his vision, that the churches might know what was to come upon the earth. Do our medical workers realize the importance of the message of Revelation? 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 20

Small sanitariums are to be established in many places. These institutions are to be conducted by men and women who are under divine direction, men and women who refuse to accept human opinions as their guide. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 21

The word, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,” is applicable to many living in this time. [Revelation 2:4.] God calls for immediate repentance and reformation. It is time for a great change to take place among the people who are looking for the second appearing of their Lord. Soon strange things will take place. God will hold us responsible for the way in which we treat the truth. Our purity of faith and action will decide our future. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 22

God is in earnest with us. To every man He has given his work. Every one is to do his part. A clear, decided testimony is to be borne; for a people is to be prepared to meet a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 23

Will the people of God comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God? Their future happiness depends on their obedience. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God; for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 24

Knowledge comes through experiment. The people of God gain a rational faith as they put His Word to the test and prove the faithfulness of its promises. 17LtMs, Ms 136, 1902, par. 25