Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 69, 1904

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 8, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 451. +Note

Dear children Edson and Emma,—

I am looking for a letter from you. I shall be glad to receive encouraging intelligence; for the instruction given me is that the cloud of darkness is lifting. But the progress of the cause of God depends on whether those who profess to be children of God walk and work with an eye single to His glory. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 1

God has instructed me to say to His people, ministers and lay members: “Take your stand on higher ground. Move steadily onward and upward, in the path that Jesus trod. Do not trust in your own opinions. Sanctification through the truth is your only safety.” 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 2

The Lord God of Israel would have His people stand in His strength, and in His might, and in His grace, receiving to impart. He will uphold and sustain those who serve Him with mind and heart and strength. We must now understand what it means to put on Christ; what it means to have an experimental knowledge of the grace of Christ and a continually increasing faith. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 3

Making Known the Wisdom of God

Speaking of the mystery “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,” Paul says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery; ... to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God.” [Ephesians 3:8-10.] Not only to those living in this world, but to the principalities and powers in heavenly places is the church on this earth to reveal the glory of God. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 4

A Royal Name

God chose from among the Gentiles a people for Himself and gave to them the name of Christian. This is a royal name given to those who join themselves to Christ. It is of this name that James is speaking when he says, “Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do they not blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?” [James 2:6, 7.] And Peter says, “if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this behalf.” “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part He is evil spoken of; but on your part He is glorified.” [1 Peter 4:16, 13, 14.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 5

O that God’s people would take Him at His word, and lay hold of the wonderful treasure of knowledge opened to them. O that they could realize the simplicity of the faith and love that mean so much to them. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 6

Words of Instruction

“The elders which are among you,” Peter continues, “I exhort, who also am an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory which shall be revealed.” [1 Peter 5:1.] He who is chosen to fill the office of elder is not, because of this, to become self-exalted. Let him remember that the office does not make the man, but that before angels and before men he is to honor his office. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 7

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” [Verses 2, 3.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 8

The teachers of the Word of God are first to learn of Christ, that in spirit and word and act they may represent Him. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 9

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” [Verse 4.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 10

“Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” [Verses 5, 6.] You will sometimes feel that you are wronged, abused, misjudged, but looking to Jesus, remember the words, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 11

Our Example and Our Rule

Over and over again the representation is given me that it is for our peace to learn of Christ and to practice His meekness and lowliness. Hiding self in Christ, constantly beholding Him, we shall become like Him. By a meek and quiet spirit, by Christlike words and deeds, we are to draw others to Him. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 12

We have before us the highest, holiest example—the example of Christ. In thought, word, and deed Jesus was sinless. Perfection marked all that He did. He points us to the path that He trod, saying, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 13

We have a perfect rule—the Word of the living God. This Word He has given us as our guide and counselor. The psalmist says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” [Psalm 119:11.] And in Timothy we read, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 14

Christians, those who are to represent God in the world, are not to seek for doctrines that are new and strange. They are not to pry into the mysteries of the future life. Their part is to make their life in this world such as God can approve. They are to practice the lessons God has given. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 15

Different Instrumentalities and Different Gifts

God has not given to any one man all the knowledge and wisdom. He entrusts to His servants the gifts they need for the accomplishment of the work He has placed in their hands. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 16

When God gave Moses instruction regarding the building of the tabernacle, He said: 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 17

“See, I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God; in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. ... And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.” [Exodus 31:2, 3, 6.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 18

A Revelation of God’s Glory

I have heard many praying for the Lord to reveal Himself to them. Such ones do not understand what they ask. After the law had been given from Sinai, God called Moses into the mount to give him additional precepts; for the minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery, were not able to comprehend the law as it had been given. When these precepts had been given, God said to Moses, “Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, and Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship ye afar off.” [Exodus 24:1.] God could not reveal Himself fully to them. Moses only was to come near to the Lord. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 19

Descending from the mountain, “Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments, and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” [Verse 3.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 20

Then followed the ratification of the covenant, and then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders went up into the mount. The seventy elders were to assist Moses in the government of Israel, and God put upon them His Spirit and honored them with a view of His power and greatness. “And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” [Verse 10.] They did not behold the Deity; for He dwells in the light “which no man can approach unto;” but they saw the glory of His presence. [1 Timothy 6:16.] Before this they could not have endured such a scene; but the exhibition of God’s power had awed them to repentance; they had been contemplating His glory, purity, and mercy, until they could approach nearer to Him who was the subject of their meditation. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 21

“And upon the nobles of Israel He laid not His hand,” to destroy them in their humanity. “Also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” [Exodus 24:11.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 22

Moses was chosen to come into still closer touch with God. The Lord said to him: 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 23

“Come up to Me into the mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua; and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said to the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you; and, behold, Aaron and Hur with you; if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.” [Verses 12-14.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 24

To Aaron and Hur, assisted by the elders who had been granted a revelation of God’s glory, was given the charge of the people in the absence of Moses. Aaron had long stood side by side with Moses, and Hur was a man who had been entrusted with weighty responsibilities. How carefully these men should have guarded the church in the wilderness while Moses was in the mount with God. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 25

Apostasy

For forty days Moses was in the mount. While there he received directions for the building of a sanctuary in which the divine presence would be specially manifested. For the third time the observance of the Sabbath was enjoined. “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever,” God declared, “that ye may know that I am Jehovah that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. ... Whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” [Exodus 31:17, 13, 14.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 26

The absence of Moses in the mount was a time of waiting and suspense to the people. They waited eagerly for his return. Day after day, week after week passed, and he did not come. Notwithstanding the cloud was still in view, it seemed to many in the camp that their leader had deserted them, or that he had been consumed by the devouring fire. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 27

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.” [Exodus 32:1.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 28

Such a crisis demanded a man of firmness, decision, and unflinching courage; one who held the honor of God above personal favor, personal safety, or life itself. But the present leader of Israel was not of this character. Aaron feebly remonstrated with the people, but his wavering and timidity at the critical moment only rendered them the more determined. The tumult increased. A blind, unreasoning frenzy seemed to take possession of the multitude. There were some who remained true to their covenant with God; but the greater part of the people joined in the apostasy. A few who ventured to denounce the proposed image-making as idolatry were set upon and roughly treated, and in the confusion and excitement they finally lost their life. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 29

Aaron feared for his own safety, and instead of nobly standing for the honor of God, he yielded to the demands of the multitude. “Break off the golden earrings,” he said, “which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf; and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast for the Lord. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” [Verses 2-6.] 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 30

Only a few days had passed since the Hebrews had made a solemn covenant with God to obey His voice. They had stood trembling with terror before the mount, listening to the words of the Lord, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” [Exodus 20:3.] The glory of God still hovered above Sinai in the sight of the congregation; but they turned away and asked for other gods. “They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox.” [Psalm 106:19, 20.] How could greater ingratitude have been shown, or a more daring insult offered, to Him who had revealed Himself to them as a tender Father and an all-powerful King. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 31

Today as then, men of determination are needed—men who will stand stiffly for the truth at all times and under all circumstances, men who, when they see that others are becoming untrue to principle, will lift their voice in warning against the danger of apostasy. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 32

Later

I will write further on this matter soon. I have overtaxed my brain power and will have to do but little until I have an increase of physical and mental strength. I am improving, though somewhat slowly. 19LtMs, Lt 69, 1904, par. 33