Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 207, 1904

Sperry, Byron

Nashville, Tennessee

June 28, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 188.

My dear brother Byron Sperry,—

I plead with God, as your true and faithful mother and father would wish me to do, that He will save you from making shipwreck of the faith. Tempted and perplexed by Satan, you have lost much of great value out of your life experience that you might have retained and developed. Had you cultivated for wise and good purposes the talents God has given you, you would now be a power in the proclamation of the truth for this time. But you have not given your heart and mind unreservedly to the service of the Master. You have not obeyed the words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] But there is yet time for you to give yourself wholly to the work of the Lord. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 1

I saw an angel of God standing by your side, pointing you upward. This angel ministered to your father and mother and has offered you his protection, but you have often turned from him and have been seeking to follow your own way. Thus you have become estranged from God. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 2

You need constantly a heavenly guide. You needed this in your youth, and you need it now. Age is beginning to tell upon you, and more than ever you need the help of the divine Counsellor. You are living amidst the perils of the last days. Now, just now, you need the converting power of the Spirit of God. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 3

Happy is the man who has discovered for himself that the Word of God is a light to his feet and a lamp to his path—a light shining in a dark place. It is heaven’s directory for men. But there are many, O so many, who have no guide besides the opinions of finite men, prejudice, passion, or their own changeable feelings. Their minds are in a state of irritation and uncertainty. They suffer continually from mental fever. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 4

Were you following Christ, the Word of God would be to you as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. But you have not made the honor of God the first object of your lifework. You have the Bible. Study it for yourself. The teachings of the divine directory are not to be ignored or perverted. The divine mind will guide those who desire to be led. Truth is truth, and it will enlighten all who seek for it with humble hearts. Error is error, and no amount of worldly philosophizing can make it truth. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 5

“Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] What does the Lord require of His blood-bought heritage? The sanctification of the whole being—purity like the purity of Christ, perfect conformity to the will of the Lord. What is it that constitutes the beauty of the soul?—The presence of the grace of Him who gave His life to redeem men and women from eternal death. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 6

Sin is a hateful thing. It marred the moral beauty of a large number of angels. It entered our world and well-nigh obliterated the image of God in man. But in His great love God provided a way whereby man might regain the position from which he fell in yielding to the tempter. Christ came to stand at the head of humanity, to work out in our behalf a perfect character. Those who receive Him are born again. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.] 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 7

Christ saw humanity, through the working of the mighty growth of sin, demoniacally possessed by the prince of the power of the air and putting forth gigantic strength in exploits of evil. But He saw also that a mightier power was to meet and conquer Satan. “Now is the judgment of this world,” He said; “now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” [John 12:31.] He saw that if human beings believed on Him, they would be given power against the host of fallen angels, whose name is legion. Christ strengthened his soul by the thought that by the wonderful sacrifice which He was about the make, the prince of this world was to be cast out, and men and women placed where, through the grace of God, they could regain what they had lost. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 8

No entreaties are so tender, no lessons so plain, no commands so powerful and so protecting, no promises so full, as those which point the sinner to the fountain that has been opened to wash away the guilt of the human soul. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 9

Many who profess to be children of God have been placing themselves under the banner of rebellion. My brother, have you been doing this? I entreat you to beware. Those who use their influence to make difficult the labors of the men who are carrying heavy burdens in the Lord’s work are dishonoring their Redeemer. Those who oppose the weary efforts of the men who are laboring in portions of the vineyard, that for many years have been left unworked, will have a heavy account to settle with God unless they make a change and co-operate with His appointed messengers. I greatly fear for those in Battle Creek who are allowing themselves to be led to endeavor to block the way of the work of God by their human devising. I am writing to them, hoping that they will heed the words of entreaty and counsel given me for them. I pray that they will obey the warning to be careful what course they pursue. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 10

I pray that those in Battle Creek, who for years have resisted the admonitions of God, will discover their dangers before it is forever too late. There is hope for all who will see how perilous it is to deceive one’s own soul. There is hope for all who will confess the folly of standing on the side of the first great traitor, of uniting with the satanic agencies who, clothed with garments of light, are contending against Omnipotence. Can men and women cherish thoughts and do deeds that are opposed to the will of God, and yet expect peace of mind? Can they be happy while they walk in the path that God has forbidden them to follow? 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 11

The Lord will not be trifled with. We cannot afford to expose ourselves to the wrath of the Lamb by disregarding the commandments of Jehovah. Those who follow on to know the Lord will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Those who are willing to learn the lessons that Christ teaches, and to submit to His will, will know how wonderful, how free, how complete is the forgiveness provided by Him who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 12

We hear of young people in Battle Creek being converted, and for this we praise the Lord. But how my soul has yearned to receive word that those who have left their first love had realized their condition and had turned to God in repentance. The message comes to them, “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” [Revelation 3:17, 18.] 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 13

It is holiness that is the honor of a man. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Without this wisdom, any supposed knowledge or quickness that a man may have is worthless. The highest talents cannot give beauty to the soul unless they are consecrated to God. The unsanctified man may think that his knowledge of affairs and of men gives him power. But unless the truth is established in the heart, causing the life to reveal holiness to God, the talents are perverted, and the enemy uses his talents and abilities to lead him on to ruin. 19LtMs, Lt 207, 1904, par. 14