Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 37, 1903

Directions for Work

Oakland, California

May 1, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 135.

I cannot sleep past two o’clock. My mind is drawn out in most earnest prayer. I feel an intense desire that those who are present at this Conference shall see the need of humbling their hearts before God, that they may be closely connected with their great Teacher. In all our dealings with one another we are to reveal Christ. Thus we shall show that we have a genuine connection with the Saviour. God is to receive all honor, all glory. When Christ shall appear, those who are united with Him by living faith will be acknowledged by Him. He will not be ashamed to call them brethren. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 1

What can be done to prevent men from thinking, as soon as they are placed in positions of responsibility, that they must begin to exercise authority? Those who think thus sin against God. They may do many excellent things, but He cannot accept their services unless they are converted. Position does not make the man. But a man may honor his position by a faithful performance of the duties resting upon him, ever remembering that he is finite. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 2

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” [Ephesians 6:14, 15.] 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 3

Will our brethren consider these words and walk softly before God, treading in the footprints of Jesus? 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 4

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called; with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.” [Ephesians 4:1-8.] 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 5

“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” [Verses 11-14.] 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 6

The Lord, He is God, and beside Him there is none else. When Satan can bring his craftiness to bear on human minds, deceptive influences are received [as coming] from heaven. If his deceptions are allowed to enter, many souls will be ensnared by them before it is seen that they are not from God, but from the enemy of all righteousness. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 7

I assure [you] that it will be one of our perplexities to distinguish the genuine from the spurious. Deception steals in unawares, just as it stole into the heavenly courts. Satan sought to undermine the confidence of the angels in God’s government. He desired the place occupied by Christ, having it in his mind, if he gained this position, to make an effort to take the place of God. Adroitly he presented his suggestions to the angels, and many of them received these suggestions. He left his insinuations in their minds to develop. They, not as cautious as their leader, began to communicate their new theories. Satan was the originator of the doubts that they expressed, but he presented them as the opinions of a large number of the angels, and as such, something that should be considered. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 8

Today Satan works with deceptive guile to captivate human beings by his deceptive theories. The warning to beware of allowing him to enter comes sounding down along the line to our time. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 9

Let none suppose, because they have been used as the Lord’s instrumentalities, that they are all sufficient. The Lord uses men and honors them by giving them His wisdom, as long as they are true to Him and do not gather glory to themselves. Those who take themselves out of the Lord’s hands, and think themselves capable of managing the work, are not led by His Spirit, but by “another spirit.” [2 Corinthians 11:4.] Satan steps in, and they change leaders. Then comes the crookedness and subtlety of the serpent’s guile. 18LtMs, Ms 37, 1903, par. 10