Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 317a, 1905

Brethren in the Ministry and Medical Missionary Work

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 10, 1905

Variant of Lt 317, 1905. Portions of this letter are published in TDG 109. +Note

Dear Brethren in the Ministry and the Medical Missionary Work,—

I have a message to bear to you. God calls upon you to come into line. The deceiving power of the enemy has long been at work to tear away the foundations of our faith. Some of Satan’s agencies work in one way and some in another. I am directed to speak to all our people nigh and afar off the words that have been given me. God has a controversy with those who have been walking in the light of the sparks that have been kindled, but not by the Lord. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 1

“Is it because there is not a God in Israel that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub, the God of Ekron?” [2 Kings 1:3.] “Dare any of you, having a matter against another go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the saints shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that ye shall judge angels? how much more the things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things that pertain to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived. ... Thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” [1 Corinthians 6:1-10.] 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 2

This is the message borne by the apostle Paul, who was oft instructed by revelations from God. Those who for years have been leaning on the arm of the law have done much that a worldling would never do. For years unbelievers have been their stay and support. Such ones should long ago have been relieved of responsibilities in connection with the work of God. Had this been done, the cause of the Lord would have made greater advancement, and the message of warning for this time would have been carried to a greater number of people. There are many whose eyes are now blinded, who might, had they heeded the warnings given, not only saved those who have never heard the truth, but those who have been led astray by the enemy. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 3

But wrongs have been left uncorrected and sins unconfessed and unrepented of. Men have passed along, to become the subjects of Satan’s temptations, and have been duped by those who were not practicing the virtues of Christ. How does the Saviour look upon the perversity of the men who are in high positions of responsibility in connection with His cause, and yet are uncontrolled by the Word of God, unchanged by the warnings that He has sent? They press on in their own way, manufacturing their own burdens instead of bearing the burden of the work that God has given them. They do not keep their minds free from the perplexing matters of commercial enterprises. They do not keep their hearts and lives free from the least taint of oppression, the slightest exhibition of selfishness or dishonesty. They do not shun the first approach to underhand dealing. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 4

Had they done this, God could have spoken to them when they were in danger, and they would properly have represented Him in every business transaction. But out of their place, assuming responsibilities that God never meant them to carry, entering the paths of human ambition, filling the mind with thoughts of buying and selling and getting gain, they lost their Christian experience. They had beside them the teacher who is by the side of every man who does not do his appointed work, who does not strive day by day to preserve the sacredness of that work, and to improve the talents lent them, that they might bring them back to God doubled, because their highest aim had been to follow the divine pattern. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 5

My brethren, read as for your lives the instruction contained in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, and take heed to yourselves. Let no man blind you by his human sophistries or his mocking burlesque, which is as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 6

And as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stone and buildings are these. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Seest thou these buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 7

The whole chapter is a warning. Who shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ acquitted, without spot or stain upon his character? 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 8

Christ in His teaching contemplates the future destiny of the beings for whom He gave His life. Those who are saved must form characters that are without fault in the sight of God and of Christ. God has given to every man his work, and Christ will co-operate with every human being who will co-operate with Him, wearing His yoke, not a yoke of human manufacture, and learning of Him His meekness and lowliness. Such ones will angels welcome, and to such will they minister in every phase of the life history. Christ will teach those who will follow Him, giving them daily an experience in the meaning of the divine beatitudes. When the judgment shall sit and the books are opened, every man will be judged according to the things written in the books. All will receive sentence according to their deeds. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 9

It was with a voice filled with tears of regret that Christ uttered His woes against the oppression, the dishonesty in trade that He saw on every hand. By word and deed He strove to relieve the oppression caused by injustice. His heart was filled with compassion for the suffering ones. He saw the misery brought about by the unsanctified course, and with wonderful clearness He showed the consequence of the least injustice. With stern denunciations He condemned all oppression and all unfair dealing. He urged that compassion be ever shown. He identified Himself with those who suffer through wrongdoing, placing Himself as the victim of injustice. He declared that He suffered in the person of every one who was wronged. He declared that He Himself was injured, robbed, insulted, as those for whom He gave His life were made to suffer these things. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 10

Christ died that human beings might have the life that measures with the life of God. But He will not save those who practice the arts of the great deceiver, unless they repent, and are kind, compassionate, and Christlike, putting away all proud striving for the supremacy. He sees every act of injustice that is done, and as the Redeemer of mankind, He becomes partaker in the suffering thus caused. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 11

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thine whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body is full of darkness.” [Luke 11:33, 34.] 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 12

“Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give light.” Luke 11:35, 36. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 13

He who purchased the human family with His own blood charges as done to Himself any insult offered to a child of His. His law is to extend the shield of divine protection over every soul. Christ’s denunciations, the woes that He pronounced, were followed by exclamations of the deepest sorrow. He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. Verily, I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He which cometh in the name of the Lord.” [Luke 13:34, 35.] He wept over those whom He knew were deserving of His rebuke. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 14

Just before His crucifixion, He beheld the city and wept over it, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace”—then He paused. [Luke 19:42.] They had come to the crest of Olivet, and the disciples, catching sight of Jerusalem, were about to burst forth unto exclamations of praise. But they saw that their Teacher, in the place of being joyful, was in an agony of tears. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 15

Christ was approaching the end of His mission, and He knew that when that time should come, Jerusalem’s day of probation would have ended. But He was reluctant to pronounce the words of doom. For three years He had come, seeking fruit and finding none. During these years one object was ever upon His soul—to present before His thankless, disobedient people the solemn warnings and gracious invitations of heaven. He greatly desired that the people should receive His words. How graciously He had invited them. How anxiously He had labored to awaken in their hearts the comprehension that He was the only hope of Israel, the promised Messiah. In their behalf He had clothed His divinity with humanity. The Prince of heaven, He had humbled Himself to take the form of a servant. His lifework was to convince His disobedient people that He was their only hope. He carried them on His heart. He did all that He could do to save them. But at the end of His work in this world He was forced to say, “Ye would not come unto Me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 16

The cloud of divine wrath was gathering over Jerusalem. Christ saw the city beleaguered. He saw it lost. In a voice full of tears He exclaimed, “If thou hadst known, even thou at least in this thy day the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 17

I present this feeble representation of this picture to those who are today going over the same ground, refusing the messages of the grace of God. The ground trodden by the Jewish leaders is being trodden today by those who have made light of warnings with looks, with words, with gesticulations. I have heard the ridicule of the words of God, and I know that the same spirit that existed in the days of Christ exists today. The blessings that the Saviour longs to bestow He is forced to withhold because of the contempt manifested by the men who give proof in their lives that they reject all warnings, all entreaties, all efforts for their salvation. They know not the day of their visitation. They despise the evidence of God’s working, and history is being repeated. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 18

At the feet of Christ Satan laid all the kingdoms of the world, promising to give them to Him if He would acknowledge him as supreme. Christ turned from him with the words, “Get thee hence, Satan. It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Matthew 4:10.] Christ could have opened before the tempter mysteries of past, present, and future, which would have destroyed the power of Satan; but no, His work was to teach the highest of all science—the knowledge of how to gain the salvation of the soul. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 19

Christ always hears the voice of penitence, imploring forgiveness and pardon. Salvation through the merits of the Saviour—this is the only hope of those who have despised light and hated knowledge, the only hope of those whose transactions have been dishonest and wicked. God’s power is always on the side of justice and the strictest honesty. One more move in the path of transgression, and the future of more than one soul will be decided. Christ will give to the world distinct proof of the power of truth, but for some it will be forever too late. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 20

I plead with those who have stood in the way, retarding the work of God, to clear the King’s highway while there is still opportunity for wrongs to be righted. Let those who have not confessed their sins now humble their souls before God and with prayer and humiliation show their true colors. Let them lift the cross and go forward, bearing the banner of Christ’s triumph. 20LtMs, Lt 317a, 1905, par. 21