Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 44, 1905

An Appeal for Faithful Stewardship


March 29, 1905

Portions of this manuscript are published in CS 96; 8MR 310; MR760 5-7.

I plead with the members of every church to do their best in carrying forward the work that is so urgent. We are living in a special time, and a special work is now being done in the city of Washington, the capital of our nation. Appropriate buildings are to be erected there, that the work and cause of God may be properly represented in that important place. I pray that the Lord will impress the minds of His people to give liberally of the means that He has entrusted to them, that the work in Washington may speedily be established, and that the truth may go forth from there as a lamp that burneth. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 1

Men and means are necessary to the carrying forward of the work of proclaiming the gospel message. Let every family restrict its wants, that all may have means with which to help the work of God. Let all take hold in accomplishing the work that must be done. Now is an opportune time to reach the people in our great cities. Let us bring to the Lord our tithes and our gifts and offerings. He keeps a record of all that is brought to Him. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 2

I am grieved to know that there is a falling off in the tithe among our people in this country. The tithe is the Lord’s, reserved by Him for the work of the gospel. Without it how can the work in this country and in foreign fields be carried on? The workers near at hand and afar off are writing urgent letters of appeal to Elder Daniells, telling him of their need of help, as if he could send them means when there is but little in the treasury to send. Elder Daniells is president of the General Conference, but he cannot create money. When there is no means in the treasury, the Lord’s work cannot advance. Every church member should pay a faithful tithe, that the workers who are sent to foreign fields may be supported, and that other workers may be sent out. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 3

Upon every believer rests the responsibility of giving back to the Lord His own gifts and offerings and in a faithful tithe. My brethren and sisters, do not fall short in these matters. Fulfil the requirements of the Lord. If it is impossible for you to do this at present, tell the proper persons why your tithe is not forthcoming, and tell them that as soon as possible, your debt will be paid. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 4

Our talents are lent to us; they belong to God. Let those who have become careless and indifferent, and are withholding their tithes and offerings, remember that they are blocking the way so that the truth cannot go forth to the regions beyond. I am bidden to call upon the people of God to redeem their honor by rendering to God a faithful tithe and by sending in their offerings, that the Washington Fund may be closed at the time of the next General Conference. Brethren and sisters, send in your gifts without delay. Use your entrusted talents for the advancement of the Lord’s work. By doing your utmost to make up the sum that is required for the erection of the buildings in Washington, you will show your appreciation of the Lord’s lent treasures. God’s people are to use their talents to bring advantages to His cause in the important work being done in Washington, that facilities may be furnished for the operation of the work in a still larger sphere. The Lord expects every one whom He has blessed with means to help in this work. He calls upon every believer to give of his means for the accomplishment of the work to be done all over our world. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 5

In no place is money to be used in making a great display. This is not the plan of God. In none of our institutions is money to be spent needlessly. Let those in charge of every institution say, We are not at liberty to invest money in rivalling the display made by the world. Every dollar that comes into our hands is the Lord’s and is to be used in His way in the great, grand work of saving souls. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 6

The dedication of our houses of worship, our school buildings, and our sanitariums should be made special seasons of rejoicing; but in these services no money is to be used for needless display. God’s work is to be carried forward wisely and justly. There is to be equality in the expenditure of means. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 7

There are institutions to be established in many places, and this will require means. Large sums of money are not to be spent in one place, for this would deprive other places of that which is positively necessary in order to establish the work of fitting up buildings to do that which the Lord has declared must be done in educating people in all lines of Christian efficiency. Sanitariums are to be established, that people may be taught the value of health-reform principles, and that they may be shown how to separate from the habits that destroy the powers of body and mind. It would be setting a wrong example to establish in one place an institution rivalling in size and splendor the institutions of the world. This is not the plan of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 8

As a people we cannot spend money to make a display, because this is contrary to the example of Christ. He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant. He might have called to His side the highest of the heavenly angels and bidden him show the importance of His position as Commander of the heavenly hosts. But He did not do this. He came to this work in lowliness and humility. He was born of lowly parentage, and during His sojourn on this earth, He lived the life of a poor man. In a world of His own creating, He had no place that He could call His home. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” [Luke 9:58.] 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 9

I ask you, my brethren and sisters, to heed the appeals that have recently appeared in the Review and Herald for the work in Washington. Let every one be interested in helping; for this is our day of opportunity. There is being carried on in Washington the very work that should have been done years ago. And there are taking place at the present time the very scenes that I was shown years ago would take place in the efforts made to bring in Sunday legislation. As these scenes are taking place, and as petitions are being sent in for religious instruction in the public schools, there must be men there to hold the fort. When our people act in harmony on the great foundation that God has laid, heavenly angels will work with power through consecrated human agencies. The men who acted a part in laying the foundation of truth now have an opportunity to act a part in presenting the principles by which the people are to stand. Elder A. T. Jones and Elder E. J. Waggoner are to put forth most earnest efforts, bringing to the foundation not hay, wood, and stubble, but gold, silver, and precious stones. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 10

A decided influence in favor of the truth is to go forth from the city of Washington. There is a great work to be done in Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, and other large cities of the South. The present issue is not over; Sunday legislation will again be brought to the front. The people must be aroused and the Word of God magnified. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 11

There is to be vigilant watching and earnest working on the part of the people of God, for we are nearing the most solemn event in the history of this world. Christian character is developed, not by a life of meditative abstraction, but by a life of earnest, unselfish effort. The time in which we are living calls for solid work—for work that is right to the point. We must meet the foe on the right hand and on the left. The lives of the combatants for the truth are not to be filled with bustle and excitement and display to the neglect of personal piety. Vigilant watching is to be combined with earnest working. Every Christian grace is to be incorporated into the character. We are to be “diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 12

The call to the gospel supper is to be given with decided earnestness. God’s people are to come into oneness in the proclamation of the essential truths that are to be the test of character in these last days. Christians are to work under one divine head. Jesus Christ is our leader. Every one who bears the seal of God will do as his Leader did. He will go about doing good, forgetting self in the effort to help others. The example of the great head of the church is to be followed in every respect. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 13

All who would gain heaven must follow the example of Him who gave His life to save an apostate race, to ransom men and women from eternal death. If the medical missionary workers will unite on the platform of truth with those who are carrying responsibilities in the cause of God, they will be gladly welcomed. But on no other platform than that which the Lord has laid can we unite with them. Never could we combine on any other basis. The foundation has been laid; and all who will take their stand upon this platform, uniting wholeheartedly with the Lord’s people, will be made welcome with rejoicing. But we cannot unite with those who choose to take their stand upon another foundation. There is no use in talking of harmony while they continue to do this; for harmony could never exist. God forbids it. There is to be a decided change in those who have kept up their warfare against the principles delivered to us by the Lord. Truth is truth, and righteousness is righteousness. To those who have separated in principle from true believers, choosing their own course, the word is spoken, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” [Verse 2.] There is to be unity, but it is to be on the right basis. The testimonies that God has given cannot be disannulled. They stand fast in conformity to the Word of the living God. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 14

Those who unite on the basis of eternal truth will be prospered. But there can be no union between God’s people and those who choose to follow the same course of action that some have been following during the past few years. The Lord demands a different showing. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 15

Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. I have been shown the way in which these spirits work, and I have been commissioned to say to those who are departing from the faith that they are acting out the same spiritual deception that we have had to meet at various times during our experience. We cannot harmonize with those who cherish the spirit and sentiments of the enemy of God. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 16

No science of human invention can find out God. On this subject, silence is eloquence. Those who attempt to study human science apart from the Word of God will be taught by him who, in the garden of Eden, caused the fall of our first parents. O how many there are who fall victims to human science and in their turn become deceivers. Such ones will have the blood of souls upon their garments. Upon those who have worked out the philosophy of antagonism and apostasy will be pronounced sentence according to their deeds. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 17

Christ took human nature upon Him and came to our world to represent and establish the truth. Those who depart from the path, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord, will fall under the deceptive reasoning of Satan. He becomes their leader, and under his direction they search for scientific problems and erroneous sentiments. I am instructed to say, Woe be to those who give place to the deceptive, insinuating sentiments of the enemy. They are no longer safe leaders, and they do not realize where they are being led. There is no danger so great as for a man to refuse to confess his errors and to seek to climb to heaven through his study of science. Such a man is not being led by God, but by Satan, who is using deceptive theories to ruin his soul. He who stubbornly refuses to see the light will be given up to his own sophistry and will lose the power to distinguish between truth and error. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 18

I am instructed to bear a testimony to those who are entertaining erroneous sentiments and to tell them plainly of their danger. But we are in no case to link up with them or to argue with them. Truth is truth, and we are to stand on the affirmative side, presenting the truth and refusing to be drawn into controversy. When Christ was tempted, His weapon was, “It is written.” He refused to argue with Satan. “And again the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” The time has come for Christ to bear a positive message. “Get thee hence, Satan,” He said; “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” [Matthew 4:8-11.] 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 19

I am instructed to say that strong temptations will come to every one, but we are to refuse to listen to them. When men expel God from their thoughts, the realm of the mind is taken by Satan. They enshroud themselves in an atmosphere of Satan’s creating. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 20

For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Word—especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary and the message of heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are are to be preserved, and they will be preserved as God has signified through His Word and through the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. 20LtMs, Ms 44, 1905, par. 21