Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 162, 1903

Written for Our Admonition

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

June 29, 1903

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 233; 5MR 83.

This morning my soul is drawn out in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. My plea is, “Sanctify me through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] There is only one power that can guide the heart into the path of righteousness and peace. We are to bring the love of Christ into the daily experience, and we are to reveal righteousness in word and act, showing that we hate sin and love righteousness. We are to become more and more familiar with Christ’s divine-human life. In thought, word, and deed, from the manger to the cross, Christ lived a perfect life, and this, too, while tempted in all points like as we are. He possessed all the susceptibilities and properties of a human being. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 1

God has given us the ten commandments for our instruction in righteousness. These commandments are a transcript of God’s character, and in the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy we are told that it is our life to obey them. We have no excuse for transgression. Christ came to our world to represent the Father in character, and He is our example in all things. Those who claim to be the children of God, and yet misrepresent the Lord Jesus by disorderly behaviour, as a child determined to have his own way, will find that such a life is a very hard one. He sets up his own will as a standard for others to follow, and the plans that he makes to carry out his own preconceived ideas and opinions frequently bring him into opposition to the will of Christ and into transgression of the law of Jehovah. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 2

“Now therefore, hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor; for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord your God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you unto this day.” [Verses 1-4.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 3

The Lord commanded Moses to repeat to the children of Israel the facts regarding their departure from the Lord’s commandments. These facts were to be repeated from time to time, lest they should be forgotten. The people had placed themselves on a level with idolatrous nations and experienced the sure results of their own choice of action. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 4

“Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 5

“And, behold, one of the children of Israel came, and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he want after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel, and those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” [Numbers 25:3-9.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 6

How did God regard this matter? “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for My sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy. Wherefore, say, Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace; and he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.” [Verses 10-13.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 7

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:11-13.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 8

“Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” [Deuteronomy 4:5, 6.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 9

God was particular to give Israel definite commandments, so that He could demonstrate before all nations that every good tree is know by its fruit. He would have a people distinguished from all other people upon the earth. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 10

Go into an orchard, and pluck an apple. If it is sweet and juicy, you know that the tree from which you took it is a good apple tree. If you should pluck an apple from another tree, and find it to be a sour crab apple, you would take no delight in it; and you would know the tree to be worthless. A tree is known by its fruit. Can apples or pears be gathered from thorn bushes? This is a parable. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 11

All who are in our world are bearing fruit of some kind. Our Lord Jesus has made it possible for fallen human beings to bear most precious fruit. In order to do this, they must obey the commandments of God. The actions represent the quality of the fruit borne in the life. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 12

The world is God’s family. Because of the disobedience of men and women to His law, a way had to be provided whereby the demands of the law could be met. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] This is the sacrifice that God made in behalf of those who had fallen through disobedience. He gave up His only begotten Son to bear the penalty of the sins of the whole world, and in this gift He gave man all heaven’s facilities. He will pardon all who confess and forsake their sins. Their iniquities will be forgiven, and they will have the aid of heavenly angels to guard them from satanic delusions. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 13

A good tree brings forth good fruit. We are to give to the world a manifestation of the pure, noble, holy principles that are to distinguish the people of God from the world. Instead of the people of God becoming less and less definitely distinguished from those who do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath, they are to make the observance of the Sabbath so prominent that the world cannot fail to recognize them as Seventh-day Adventists. 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 14

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh He rested and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:16, 17.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 15

With these plain words before us, who of those who know the truth will dare to make less prominent the distinguishing features of our faith? It is an established fact, to be made prominent before all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, that the Lord God made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh day. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.” [Genesis 2:1, 2.] 18LtMs, Ms 162, 1903, par. 16