Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 263, 1903

Physicians and Nurses

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 12, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 325; 1MR 116. +Note

To physicians and nurses,—

Be Not Deceived

Not all of those called medical missionaries appreciate the sacredness of the work in which they are engaged or deserve the name they bear. Many have failed to realize that they must stand before God in their own individuality. No human being is to be their wisdom. In the past they have depended on a man for guidance and have followed his leading. Our medical missionary workers should learn to stand in their lot and place, realizing their personal responsibility. I wish they could learn what this means, “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 1

My brethren and sisters in the medical missionary work, when you depend on the wisdom of men, instead of on the wisdom of Christ, you are leaning on a broken reed. “Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of.” [Isaiah 2:22.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 2

During the General Conference recently held at Oakland, it was plainly revealed that two powers were at work there. But the eyes of many of the medical men at the Conference were blinded. Their spiritual perceptions were clouded, and they accepted the artifices of the enemy as the outworking of righteous plans. Had not the plans of leading medical men been hindered, the Seventh-day Adventist people would today be accepting theories which would gradually have led them to discard the experience of the past fifty years and to leave the platform on which the Lord placed their feet for the insecure platform built by those who are following the impulses of an unsanctified heart. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 3

The truth must now stand forth as it is. God will not have His people misled. If the leaders in the medical missionary work are determined to accept the fallacies presented in Living Temple, I shall proclaim the message, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” [Galatians 6:7.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 4

Religion, pure and undefiled, is a mystery of godliness. The learned men of the world, who are wise in their own human wisdom, are ignorant of the mysteries of God and of Christ and of divine truth. Many spend time and strength disputing and reasoning in regard to theories that are but the seductive falsehoods of the enemy. Had they used their powers of mind and body in running the race of eternal life, they would have seen that practical holiness means wholeness in the service of God. Sanctified science will be better understood when the Holy Spirit makes its powerful influence felt in the world. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 5

O how much the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is needed! My brethren and sisters, you cannot afford to draw into the web the beautiful, silky threads of the theories expressed in modern philosophical theology. You must become acquainted with the living God. You cannot afford to accept a semblance of Him. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 6

God sees the struggle that is to take place in our world, the whole progress and outcome of which has been traced in the pages of His Word. He sees also the diseased, defective spiritual eyesight of His people, which prevents them from discerning their own deficiencies and from taking an earnest interest in the things of eternity. Christ calls upon the members of His church to cherish the true, genuine hope of the gospel. He points them upward, distinctly assuring them that the riches that endure are above, not below. Their hope is in heaven, not on the earth. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” He says, “and all these things”—all that is essential for your good—“will be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 7

With many, the things of this world obscure the glorious view of the eternal weight of glory that awaits the saints of the Most High. Worldly-minded, spiritually diseased, the eyes of their understanding are blinded. They cannot distinguish the true, the real, the enduring substance from the false, the counterfeit, the passing shadow. Christ urges them to remove from before their eyes that which is obscuring their view of eternal realities. He insists upon the removal of that which causes them to mistake phantoms for realities and realities for phantoms. Learned men, supposed great men, are practicing upon themselves a fearful deception. They are working in partnership with the deceiver who, by an endless succession of delusions, is trying to cheat them out of eternal life. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 8

I wish you could hear, as I have heard, the urgency of the message to sweep away the fanciful for the genuine. God entreats His people to give the strength of body, mind, and soul to the service that He expects them to perform. He calls upon them to be able to say for themselves that the gains and advantages of this life are not worthy to be compared with the riches that are reserved for the diligent, rational seeker for eternal life. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 9

In urging us to lay up treasure in heaven, Christ consults our best good. He does not leave us in ignorance of what is before us. He shows us the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against us. He tells us plainly that we are battling against a mighty foe. But He assures us that we shall not be left to fight alone. Angels are in the ranks of God’s soldiers. And One more powerful than angels is there. The Captain of our salvation leads the way, saying, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 10

Never was there greater need than there is now for us to look away from men to God. Those who look to men and make flesh their arm will surely fall into the snare of Satan. God declares, “I will turn and overturn,” until men shall realize that they are but finite erring creatures, in need of humbling their hearts before God. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 11

Our Work

I have been instructed to direct the minds of our people to the fifty-sixth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter contains important lessons for those who are fighting on the Lord’s side in the conflict between good and evil. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 12

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it, that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” [Verses 1, 2.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 13

It is the doing of the will of God that is to be our strength and influence. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 14

“Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. Thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; even to them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters. And I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called a house of prayer.” [Verses 3-7.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 15

The message contained in this Scripture is to be received by our people as a message for today. The glad tidings of salvation are to be taken to those who have not yet heard them. Satan is determined to place God’s people in a false light before the world. He is pleased when their lives reveal defects, when they cherish objectionable traits of character. These traits of character he uses in his service. He tries to keep God’s people in a continual state of uncertainty by bringing in false theories and false science. He seeks to deceive them as he deceived Adam and Eve. He would lead them to depart from God, their true counselor, and accept his spiritualistic sophistries. With these sophistries clothed in the garments of light, he seeks to deceive if possible the very elect. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 16

Many yield to his temptations, and the time and influence of God’s servants, which should be used in making known to unbelievers the truth for this time, are used in efforts to recover professing believers from Satan’s snares. Thus the way of the advancement of the truth is blocked. It is no easy matter to clear the King’s highway while men trust in themselves and make flesh their arm. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 17

“And taketh hold of My covenant.” [Verse 6.] This is the covenant spoken of in the following Scripture: 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 18

“Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say unto the house of Jacob, and all the children of Israel: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed”—in truth, earnestness, and sincerity—“and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me; for all the earth is Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 19

“And Moses came, and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” [Exodus 19:3-8.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 20

This is the pledge that God’s people are to make in these last days. Their acceptance with God depends on a faithful fulfilment of the terms of their agreement with Him. God included in His covenant all who will obey Him. To all who will do justice and judgment, keeping their hand from doing any evil, the promise is, “Even to them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” [Isaiah 56:5.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 21

Among the people of God there is to be no colonizing. The word of the Lord to them is, “Thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left.” [Isaiah 54:3.] They are to make plants in all places. Everywhere the truth for this time is to be proclaimed. Those into whose hearts the light has shone are to remember that they are God’s workmen, His witnesses. To serve and honor Him is to be their science. They are to call upon others to keep His commandments, and live. Obedience to the law of God is the question that is to test the world. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 22

“The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him.” [Isaiah 56:8.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 23

These words outline our work. To all peoples and nations and kindreds and tongues the truth is to be proclaimed. The time has come for much aggressive work to be done in the cities and in all neglected, unworked fields. This the enemy knows, and he tries to keep the minds of those to whom this work has been committed occupied with the sophistries of men. Thus he tries to make them neglect the precious opportunities that come to them to present the truth to those who know it not. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 24

Shall those who know the truth, and who ought to be filled with zeal for its advancement, give heed to seducing spirits and misleading doctrines in the very last days of this earth’s history? Shall they allow Satan to fill their minds with his fables, turning their thoughts from the great truth that has been given them to give to others? If the enemy can fill with his sophistry the minds of those who ought to be proclaiming the truth for this time, he will have gained here the victory that he could not gain in heaven. This he is trying to do. In a masterly manner, with entrancing pictures, he is presenting his temptations to those who know the truth. Some are yielding to him and under his influence are becoming filled with thoughts of their own importance. God abhors their course, but His hand is stretched out still in mercy. He will pardon them if they will humble their hearts before Him. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 25

A Warning of Present Danger

To some who are attempting to teach others, God says, Wait until you have learned of the One who can forgive transgression and sin, the One who has a controversy with all who have set themselves to study the science of Satan’s inventions. You need to learn the first principles of truth and righteousness. Then you will not accept the suggestions that Satan presents to you. Study the simple truths that are a savor of life unto life to those who receive and practice them. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 26

A sad and alarming chapter in our experience has for years been opening before us, and much of its record needs to be blotted out with the blood of redeeming love. There are some who are betraying the truth and betraying their Saviour. Let them dismiss from their minds the theories of the great deceiver. Let them humble their hearts before God. Let them fix their minds on the science of truth contained in His Word. In the books of Daniel and the Revelation they will find truths to understand which will tax the mind to the utmost. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 27

The Lord has laid upon me the burden of directing the people to the pure words of life. Christ says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:51, 63.] Read the sixth chapter of John. Study the lessons that it teaches. Receive His words, obey them, and you will have eternal life. Many of you, by your scientific study, have placed yourselves in the snare of Satan. The truth that he is tempting you to discard for his deceptive theories means eternal life to you if it is accepted. Exercise faith in the Son of God. Avail yourselves of the efficacy of His blood. Thus only can you be kept from Satan’s power. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 28

Through self-sufficiency and pride, Satan fell from his high position as covering cherub; and as he fell, so those today will fall who follow the same course that he followed. His sophistry tells us that this is a time of peace and safety. Christ tells us that sudden destruction is coming, but He declares that the righteous will be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 29

I lift my voice in warning. Teachers of Israel, get out of self. Place yourselves, I beseech you, on Christ’s side, that in the day of trial just before us you may be found accepted of Him. There are many who do not see any need of the danger signal. They see nothing to be alarmed about. A great obstacle has arisen between them and their eternal interests, but they cannot see it. So long have they been absorbed in self that they cannot see that the danger signal needs to be lifted. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 30

God is about to rise out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. Then the earth will disclose her blood and no more cover her slain. We cannot afford to show an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. “Woe unto them that go down into Egypt for help; and stay on horses and trust in chariots, for they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yea He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words; but will arise against the home of the evildoers.” [Isaiah 31:1, 2.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 31

Those who in trouble honor God with the full conscience of their souls will receive from Him according to their faith. Their hearts will be filled with peace, because they have repented, and the Lord has forgiven their sins. But for those who refuse to give God their confidence, who refuse to surrender their souls to His keeping, the enemy has temptations prepared, and their destruction will surely come. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 32

The Lord has not left our medical workers unwarned. He has desired to keep every one. His word has followed them in faithful admonitions. God has called long for repentance and confession and for works meet for repentance, that He might grant forgiveness and show favor. If they had faithfully heeded the instruction, the Lord would have brought them out into a wide place. Repentance and fruit meet for repentance would have saved them from falling into the snare prepared by the enemy. But the gospel of Christ has not been respected. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 33

God’s favor is worth everything to us. He deals with His people as a God. We are to appreciate the favors that He grants us. He will deal with us in a way that will prevent all self-exaltation. He desires to show us the vanity of all earthly resources. His power is omnipotent, immutable, infallible. When men learn to place their confidence in Him, He sends them His salvation. From the beginning to the end of time, Christ is the science of salvation. He is the source of strength and life and wisdom and salvation. From Him alone are the leaders in Israel to be daily supplied with grace. Thus supplied, they will give evidence that they are taught of God, who ruleth in the heavens. The work given them, they will do in wisdom and righteousness, to the glory of God. By Him they will be strengthened and sustained as they proclaim the most sacred truth ever entrusted to mortals. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 34

God’s people are to keep ever before them the need of having the affections of the heart purified by the blood of Christ. The heart must be pure; then it will be peaceable. Those whose hearts are purified by the presence of Christ will have wisdom to repudiate the errors that are prevalent at this time. They will gain a knowledge of God that will lead them to regard Him with reverence and fear and love. They will correctly estimate the sophistry that would bring God down to nothingness. But when men give themselves up to reasoning that is opposed to God’s commandments, they are open to the delusions and fancies of the enemy. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 35

The gospel, preached in its simplicity, will lead men to judge correctly of moral principles. By Christlike actions they will reveal that they are guided by principles of heavenly extraction. But principles framed by men, according to their own human wisdom, are worthless and misleading. They are as far from the principles framed in the heavenly courts as the heavens are higher than the earth. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 36

Is it not time for men to become wise in regard to their future? Is it not time for them to repent and be converted, and no longer lead others in strange paths? To those professing to be medical missionaries, I am instructed to say, Look well to the principles by which you are guided, lest they should be formed to meet your own convenience. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 37

Remember that God reads beneath the surface. He sees the motives that prompt to action. Follow true principles—principles that are in accordance with the law of God. Thus only can you see the glory of God. “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” [Isaiah 35:3.] Do the work that Christ has commissioned His followers to do. God will soon execute His judgments on those who cause the weak to stumble. 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 38

“Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read.” “In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” [Isaiah 34:16; 11:10-12.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 39

“In that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee; though Thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doing among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” [Isaiah 12:1-6.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 40

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel, both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. And I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:9-12.] 18LtMs, Lt 263, 1903, par. 41