Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 175, 1904

Ministers and Teachers

Berrien Springs, Michigan

May 21, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 623-624; 2MCP 718; 12MR 61-62.

To ministers and teachers

Dear Brethren,—

I am instructed to say to you that it is not best to dwell upon the spiritualistic sentiments, the strange, misleading theories which have for years been coming in among us. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 1

It is not best to preach on the subject of pantheism, or to read quotations from authors who write on this subject, and the specious, deceptive errors that lead to it. The statements made in Testimony Volume 8 are sufficient to warn our people to avoid these errors. These statements will do more to enlighten minds than all the explanations or theories that our ministers and teachers may put forth concerning these matters. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 2

If you try to handle these subjects, you will be led to repeat the sophistries of Satan, and thus you will help Satan to present his false theories to the people. Resolve never, never to repeat error, but always to teach the truth. Fill hearts and minds with the solemn, sacred truth for this time. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 3

Dwell on present truth, on Christ’s second coming. The Lord is coming very soon. We have only a little while in which to present the truth for this time—the truth that is to convert souls. This truth is to be presented in the utmost simplicity, even as Christ presented it, so that the people can understand what is truth. Truth will dispel the clouds of error. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 4

Give the people present truth. Talk the truth. Fill their minds with truth. Build up the strongholds of truth. And do not bring Satan’s theories to minds that should not hear in regard to them. What the people need is not a representation of the seductive arts of Satan, but a presentation of the truth as it is in Jesus. Remember that the devil can be served by a repetition of his lies. The less we handle these objectionable subjects, the purer, cleaner, and less tainted will be our minds and our principles. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 5

Years ago I was instructed to tell some of our most able ministers that in repeating the arguments and sophistries of the opponents, they were putting into the minds of their hearers arguments that some would use against the truth; for as objections to the truth are presented, Satan’s angels make impressions on the minds of some who hear. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 6

And I have been shown that we are not to enter into controversy over these spiritualistic theories, because such controversy will only confuse minds. These things are not to be brought into our meetings. We are not to labor to refute them. If our ministers and teachers give themselves to the study of these erroneous theories, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. It is not the work of the gospel minister to voice Satan’s theories. Go steadily forward, building up the old waste places, and restoring the foundations of many generations. Present the truth, sacred, sanctifying truth, and let the seducing theories of the enemy alone. Give him no ground on which to plant the seeds of these theories. I was warned to enter into no controversy over these matters. Let not our ministers or teachers or students give their lips to the repeating of the enemy’s sophistry. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 7

The Lord has given our ministers a message to bear. Let them magnify the truth. The Lord has not given us the commission to unravel Satan’s theories by entering into controversy regarding them. Hold up the truth; magnify the truth; say, “It is written.” Our people do not appreciate as they should the saving power of the atonement. They do not understand as they should the meaning of the words, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” [1 Corinthians 5:7.] 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 8

Let each one now inquire, How can I best live the truth as it is in Jesus. Heed His words, “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Seek in some humble way to do service for the Master by helping others to obtain a clearer view of Him. Not all can make large offerings. Not all can do great works, magnificent deeds; but all can learn of Him His meekness and lowliness. All can control the desire to be first and can be filled with apostolic zeal. The meekness and lowliness of Christ, revealed in your life, will bring you into places where you can do service for Christ. The unselfish act, the warmth of a kindly spirit will do its work, resting agitated souls and bringing assurance and peace and hope. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 9

The Lord needs laborers who can minister in kindness. Some can bring pounds to the Lord’s treasury; others can bring only mites; but every gift brought in sincerity is accepted by the Lord. He loves a cheerful giver. To every man is given his work. Some have a lowly service; others can speak with power on Bible subjects. But let no one despise the lowly service. Every one who keeps in touch with Christ can speak a word in season. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 10

What are our church members doing to draw souls to Christ? Are they honoring the Lord with their substance? We have a work to do to prepare the highways and hedges for our God. We are to improve every opportunity to speak a word for Jesus, to comfort tried, tempted souls with the promises of His Word. Those who do this are doing a good and precious work. They are bringing others to the light. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 11

Remember that we are the Lord’s heralds, His ambassadors. It is Christ who stands beside His messengers. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations,” He said to His disciples, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 12

The more we dwell upon the lessons Christ has given us in His Word, the better prepared we shall be to see and understand the ministry required of us in presenting the truth. God employs human instrumentalities to speak His words. They are ever to speak His words, not the words of the enemy. We are to teach the things that Christ has commanded. We are to work for high and low, rich and poor. Never deem any one beyond the saving power of Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 13

We are never to go on a warfare on our own charges. In sending forth His disciples on their first missionary journey, Christ said to them, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Matthew 10:5, 6.] Why were these directions given? Jewish prejudice against the Gentiles was so strong that had the disciples gone then to the Gentiles, their work would have been greatly hindered. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 14

“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” [Verses 7, 8.] 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 15

We thank God that there is something for all to do. If each will do his appointed work, learning of Christ in all humility, fruit will be borne to the Master’s glory. All who place themselves in right relation to God, as members of His family doing His service, as the result of the light given them and their acquaintance with the truth, will be richly blessed. It is those who reveal their faith by their works who accomplish good. They have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 16

God is testing us by blessings bestowed and blessings removed. Shall we learn the lessons He would teach us? Will we bear His test and proving? God has worked for His people by His Holy Spirit. By the bestowal of wonderful blessings, He has striven to awaken in them a desire to impart the light entrusted to them. “I have come to you in love,” He says, “I have come to you in mercy and judgment; yet you would not learn the lesson I sought to teach. Ye would none of My counsel, ye despised all My reproofs. My Spirit has been grieved by your failure to respond to My love.” To those who claim to be His servants and yet depart from His way, He says, “If thou art destroyed, thou thyself art responsible. Ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life.” [See Proverbs 1:30; John 5:40.] 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 17

Who will at this time make most earnest decisions to be wholly for the Lord God of Israel? 19LtMs, Lt 175, 1904, par. 18