Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 93, 1903

Concerning the Signing of Contracts


August 31, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 257.

The Lord would not have Dr. Kellogg discouraged, but He cannot sanction all his inventions. It is not heaven’s law that sanitariums shall be brought under human restrictions. The Lord does not design that any sanitarium shall be bound by the rules of any other sanitarium that has been established. He designs that every institution shall obtain an experience in God that shall be of the highest value. This work of binding minds to human yokes cannot be done and God be glorified. It is not necessary for every sanitarium to have an experience after the order of the sanitarium at Battle Creek. Because this has been thought essential, many souls have been hurt. All who stand in responsible positions before God are to look to the highest source for their orders; they are to copy the practice of pity, tenderness, compassion, and purity of principle that characterized the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing else is genuine or safe. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 1

For workers to be bound about by pledging themselves to carry on the Lord’s work according to certain restrictions framed by Dr. Kellogg is in no wise the will of God. There is no human being to whom man is to look for his orders to do this or that. No human being is to be conscience to any other human being. All ye are brethren. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 2

Scenes have been presented to me as taking place in America—scenes that the Lord could not justify, but that the doer of the works would justify. The doer would not humble himself to say, “I was wrong; will you forgive me? I now recognize that this principle of dealing with my fellow men is not such as should be acted upon.” Men are not to occupy the place of God. Because a man occupies a position of superiority and power, and is sustained by his associates, is no reason for injustice to be sanctioned in him. This work has been done too long. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 3

Dr. Kellogg’s power of representation is great, but the representation is not always true. He who is chosen of God to act as His helping hand, if he acts with apparent unselfishness, will generally gain the confidence of the people. How essential, then, that his course of action shall always be such as to retain that confidence—that he be unselfish, sincere, not carrying out his own ideas, but manifesting the true spirit of Christ! But if he does not retain a humble and contrite spirit, a spirit of gratitude because Christ has pardoned his many transgressions, and because he has been placed in a position where equity, compassion, and the love of God must predominate, if he forgets that it is God that justifieth, how can he represent Christ? 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 4

No human being can read the weakness and sinfulness of the human heart. Actions determine the character. If one’s associates vindicate a wrong action, they are guilty with the one who has erred and will stand justly condemned as working on Satan’s side. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 5

I see the greatest dangers before the people of God, and I must take my stand and let them know their peril. No man is to exert an overmastering or kingly power. This God forbids; for man is but man. None are perfect. We see the imperfection that has been, and men are now no less subject to temptation and trial than they have been in the past. No man is to judge another, for human judgment is not an infallible criterion. Let no one envy another or set too high an estimate upon his own capabilities; for He who created man is willing to bestow great wisdom and grace upon all. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 6

Every one entrusted with capabilities is made proportionately accountable for all the treasures of wisdom, and if he in any way abuses that power, God will deal with him. In purity and sacred holiness he is to use the talents God has given him, acting the part of a worker together with God in sacred awe lest he shall belittle the work which should always be on a sacred eminence. All his natural and hereditary traits of character are to be kept under strict control, for he is born again to live Christ’s life. His own life is not to be placed on the throne; self is not to have the supremacy. He is to battle with the powers of Satan, that not one thread of selfishness or covetousness shall be drawn into the web. The highest and noblest specimens of charity, love, kindness, meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness are to be brought into the character building. Each worker is to give the one next to him an equal chance with himself to have advantages and encouragement, that the talents of all may be strengthened and developed. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 7

Whatever his position, man is to look not to man, but to Jesus Christ. All our capabilities are gifts of God, and God will give His skill, His understanding, and His knowledge to many. One man is not to underrate another in Christ’s service, because he feels inclined to do this, neither is he to overrate another. Human nature is an uncertain commodity, and when it has its own way, there is a cropping out of the objectionable words and objectionable actions that do great harm. This God condemns, though man may vindicate himself. He who vindicates himself in an action that God condemns can never find a place in heaven. It therefore becomes every man to be afraid of himself, to hide self in Jesus Christ, and to work out Christ’s character by purifying his own soul, repressing and subduing his own natural tendencies. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 8

God would have every man look unto Jesus who is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. As Christians, we must in words and actions exercise the noble traits of character that dwelt in Jesus Christ, as the very highest gift that can be conferred upon the soul of man. Will every one who names the name of Christ depart from all iniquity? The word used here does not always mean the grosser forms of sin; it means every action we would not be pleased to meet in heaven. From all such actions we are to depart; we are not to practice them in this life, either in the family or in the church. All who enter heaven where Jesus is will have in this life the characteristics that will make a heaven here below. Blessed and beneficent are the rays of light from the Sun of righteousness who is now pouring His enlightening, healing beams upon every one who will open the windows of the soul heavenward. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 9

There are many who, though they profess to be Christians, would spoil heaven should they be translated with a spirit and character such as they now have. Their lives are full of earthliness; their tempers are unsanctified; they harbor prejudices that ought never to exist; they are wholly human. An atmosphere so unlike the character of Christ has surrounded the soul, so that they could not enjoy the change from earth to heaven. This earth is our school where we are to be proved and tried to see if we will become stewards of the grace of Christ. The power of the grace of Christ is to work in the children of disobedience until Christ Himself is formed within, the hope of glory. We must reveal that we are converted, born again, before we can see heaven. Shall we begin now to labor as humble learners of Jesus Christ? O how infinite is His love and grace! How utterly beyond price is His love expressed for fallen men! Christ, because He loves us, holds the standard high, and He will take our disposition and make it like His own. Pride, self-esteem, self-exaltation are blind and cannot see afar off. Thus it is with the natural man. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 10

Bear in mind that Battle Creek is a place where you can easily become spiritually careless and indifferent. Here, many things that would not be wise for you to copy will be seen and done by professed believers. I cannot express in suitable language to the churches the things which the Lord has presented before me. I need not try. You have the Word of the living God. Study this for yourselves most earnestly. The Lord has His instrumentalities here upon earth; hear ye them. But these are not able to impart one thing that they have not first received from the Lord. Through faith all may receive much, if they will open the windows of the soul heavenward to let the Sun of righteousness shine in and close the windows of the soul earthwards to the fogs and miasma of the earthly atmosphere. Who is it we are waiting for? Who are watching for the glory, not of men and their achievements, but the glory of God expressed through men? We are to accept the ways and works of God through whomsoever He shall send them. We are to follow humbly in the way of the Lord. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 11

The way to evidence to the world that we are Christ’s followers is to manifest unselfish love for one another, not seeking the supremacy. “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 might also be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, 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 know that Thou hast sent Me.” [John 17:17-21.] 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 12

Read the second chapter of First Corinthians and see that none of us, men or women, are reproved for our unsanctified preferences. How much is expressed in verses 1-10! Wonderful words! and so large with possibilities and hope! Will we by faith grasp these statements that are for our benefit? “And I, brethren, when I came before you, I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling.” [Verses 1-3.] There was a sanctified humility in the labors of Paul. There was a continual fear lest at any time he should prove unfaithful and manifest imperfections that would not reveal the real power of the Word, and thus the truth be dishonored and the Holy Spirit grieved. Rightly to divide the words of truth requires the science of salvation in the righteousness of Christ. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 13

Paul’s fear and trembling is thus interpreted: “And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” [Verses 4, 5.] Paul was not deficient in eloquence, and oft he repressed the inclination to impress the people with his eloquence. The illumination of the soul needed the life of the Spirit of God. “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world that come to naught; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed it unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” [Verses 6-10.] 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 14

Let the truth of the gospel be in the heart and upon the lips of the teacher; let men practice the truth, and not a lie, and there will be an integrity that will bind heart to heart and soul to soul. Then written documents binding men to be true to principle will not be essential. We are in a most solemn period of this earth’s history. We are preparing for eternal life. The simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus will break down Satan’s strongholds. Worldliness, pride, self-sufficiency, self-exaltation, and lukewarmness which now prevail in the world have come into our own churches. We have a most solemn work to do. I am to give the warning that our sanitariums cannot be made amenable to Battle Creek or bound to pledges that fetter them in any way. Not a bond, not a contract is to be signed by those engaged in the work of God. They are to be under the jurisdiction of Jesus Christ. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My Yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 15

Workers in our institutions are to be left perfectly free as laborers together with God. Should some of those now living close up their earthly accounts and others take their places, there are in these contracts expressions and terms that Satan, taking possession of minds and hearts, would use to bring about the most bitter consequences similar to those in the College View experience, only more oppressive. These documents are not of heavenly birth—they are a specimen of men’s wisdom. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 16

Let every church member and every individual in God’s service cut himself free from secret societies—these are all a snare. Those who cannot see the evils of secret confederacies are blind and can not see afar off; their discernment is clouded. The Lord has warnings for His people—Beware of worldly policies. Let none encourage any one to bind up with secret orders for the sake of financial gain. For their souls’ sake, let all make a surrender to God. Let every blood-bought soul be up and doing. If Dr. Kellogg will humble himself before God, there is hope for his future; if not, he will go on in double self-confidence. Loyalty to Christ means loyalty to Him in every service in which we are engaged. We need now, just now, to make no provision for our own selfish plans and indulgences. All churches are now on trial in their individual and collective capacity. Let the guiding light from the beacons of the past, given in testimonies of reproof, warning, and encouragement, become the mandatory word of the present. If nothing further were to come in warnings and in testimonies, the light already given and published would, if heeded, be sufficient that not one soul need be lost. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 17

Let every one be impressed with the thought: God’s eye is upon me; it is like a flame of fire. He readeth the secret of the soul. All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. That eye is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. No deed of darkness can be screened from His view, no sin meditated by human minds can be unknown to Him. If the Lord should mark iniquities, who could stand? We have now a Mediator, one who will plead in our behalf. Let us now humble our hearts before God and repent, that we may know that all our sins are laid upon the Sin-bearer. The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to those who have light and privileges, who have their Bibles, who have the ministry of the Word, who have the testimonies with their appeals and instruction. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 18

There is danger that Dr. Kellogg will become so commingled with the world as to be leavened by its spirit of ambitious devisings so that warnings given him in regard to Nebuchadnezzar will not be heeded, but he will go forward in his own spirit to do after his own mind and his own will. There is danger that he will disregard all the warnings that have been sent to him from the Lord and multiply in Battle Creek. The Lord has said that plants should be made in many places, that the work must not be disproportionately large in Battle Creek. Too much, altogether too much, is centered in Battle Creek, and this is not in the order of the Lord; it is all because men do not desire to walk in the Lord’s ways, but follow their own ideas and ambitious plans. The Lord would have memorials in many places where as yet there is nothing to represent Him. 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 19

This morning, I am unable to sleep. I am deeply moved as things are constantly presented to me. So many are seeking for the highest position. The best place for each one of us is the place where we are best fitted to do service to God. If we occupy positions of responsibility it will be because we have learned to wrestle with difficulties. We have only a little time to form a character perfectly free from every vestige of selfishness. Christ lived not to please Himself. He was in a world of His own creating, yet He had not where to lay His head. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:32.] 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 20

What words shall I use that will arouse individual members of the church to become one with Christ? Prepare, prepare, every church member and every youth, prepare to meet thy God! The great Head of the church, the living Presence of a living Being announced Himself to John as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. Under the proclamation of the third angel, great power is to come to the church. This is represented in the description given by John in Revelation 18. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lighted with his glory.” [Verse 1.] This is the last call to Babylon, the fallen churches; it is the loud cry to be given at the closing up of the last message of mercy to a fallen world. Who can bear these wondrous themes of contemplation! O that God would so impress His people that they may behold His glory, and exclaim, I have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! 18LtMs, Ms 93, 1903, par. 21