Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Ms 112, 1904

“Watchman, What of the Night?”

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

October 25, 1904

Previously unpublished.

A most trying time is before us; and until the close of this earth’s history, the perils thickening around us will continue to increase. And still, notwithstanding the importance of the present hour, Seventh-day Adventists are as the church spoken of [in] the last part of the third chapter of Revelation. The whole of this chapter is a lesson of warning to us, to which we shall do well to take heed; for the time is at hand. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 1

The political condition of the world makes it necessary for us to be on guard every moment, lest Satan take an advantage of us and we be drawn into some fascinating, deceptive delusion, which he has prepared as a snare for our souls. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 2

The religious and the political world is filled with great unrest. Many things will arise to disturb the minds of men and to cause them to live in an atmosphere of uncertainty. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 3

Warnings come from God to His watchmen, telling them of the necessity of keeping a close, earnest, watchful guard. Satan, with all his host, is on the field of battle. He will employ every stratagem possible to obtain advantages over God’s people. Let the watchmen of the Lord search the Scriptures closely. Let them put all their powers to use in the Lord’s service. Let them not think that the present is a time when they can afford to be at ease; for the thief cometh to steal and to destroy, if possible, the sheep of God’s pasture. I am instructed to bear to our people the message that Satan is working with all his misappropriated power to overcome them. He works by whisperings, by surmisings, by causing bitterness among believers, so that threatened dangers can scarcely be mentioned, because some will say, “It is a thrust to do injury to souls.” Let those who say this get out of the path of evil, and they will not think that the sword that is cutting against evil workers is turned against them. The two-edged sword of truth cuts both ways, right and left; for the Word of God must reach the people. The attention of men and women must be aroused. Let those who are continually complaining keep out of the way, and let the sword of the Spirit do its work. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 4

Read the thirty-third and the thirty-fourth chapters of Ezekiel, and make straight paths for your feet, let the lame be turned out of the way. The instruction contained in these chapters is not a pleasing fable, but the truth of God. Read and study this instruction, and put the power of your understanding to the utmost stretch to understand what it means to those living in these last days. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 5

There is great need now of men who understand what it means to live for God in a world where idolatry and all other kinds of iniquity prevail. Men and women have been blindfolded by the theories and the skepticism of Satan. Because iniquity shall abound, many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. If it were possible, Satan will deceive the very elect. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 6

Heavy responsibility rests upon those who stand in positions of trust in the cause of God. The work of proclaiming the third angel’s message should be carried forward in the power of the Spirit. The present is a time of fearful peril, and those who stand in positions of responsibility are not to keep silent. Of what use are sleepy watchmen, who cannot see the threatening danger and who do not warn the people. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 7

If evil is constantly being done in the church, we may know that the enemy of righteousness is at work. Those who do these evil works are faithfully to be labored for. The harm that they are doing is to be clearly pointed out. They are to be dealt with according to the directions that Christ has given in His Word. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 8

“If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” [Matthew 5:23, 24.] 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 9

These are the rules laid down by our Saviour, and we are to respect and obey them. But there are many who follow their own perverse ideas. They cherish enmity in their hearts and do not try to carry out the directions Christ has given them. The church is the school in which God’s children are to be prepared for entrance into the school above. Those who hold office in the church have important duties to perform. Many neglect these duties, because they fear that the performance of them might not be pleasant. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 10

Ministers are to be faithful pastors of the church. They are to be true medical missionaries. If they suffer wrong to go unreproved, if they neglect to present faithfully before the erring their mistakes and their dangers, God will hold them accountable for the results of their neglect. When they see a brother doing wrong, they should faithfully, in kindness and love, tell him of his mistakes and point out the way to the right. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 11

There are many in the church who have not a true knowledge of the practical working of truth. Sin is constantly being practiced, and the result is a terribly neglected garden. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 12

We are charged to watch for souls as they that must give an account. We cannot pass over sins and at the same time faithfully discharge our duty. A sinful man, if he does not come to a realization of his wrongdoing, will perish in his sin. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 13

Read the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. The whole chapter is to be carefully studied. There is faultfinding that should not exist. Then again there are faults that must be corrected that should not be left to corrupt the church. Go to the one who is in the wrong, and tell him of his danger, not in a self-important way, but in a way that will show him your desire to save him from being ruined by his faults. 19LtMs, Ms 112, 1904, par. 14