Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 24, 1905

A Call to Reach a Higher Standard


February 22, 1905 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

During the past night and the night before, I did not sleep much. My mind and heart are so burdened that I cannot sleep healthfully. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 1

God sends to His people the message, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4.] The love of God has gone out of human hearts. Where His love should reign, tender and warm and true, there is accusing and coldness and distrust. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 2

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. ... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the mist of the paradise of God.” [Verses 5, 7.] 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 3

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 4

These words describe the condition of the church at the present time. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4.] This is a spiritual fall. Religiously, those addressed are in a strange position. They have forgotten the words of warning sent them. I beg those who profess to believe present truth to read and understand these words and to search their own hearts. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 5

“Unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Revelation 3:14-19.] 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 6

This scripture is presented to me as highly appropriate for our churches to consider at the present time. Now, just now, when men professing godliness are ceasing to be faithful to their God, let us humble our hearts before Him in sincere devotion. Thus victories will be gained. Let the self-centered, boastful, accusing spirit be put away altogether. There are many standing in positions of responsibility whose names Christ cannot present to His Father unless they repent before God, and put away their accusing and faultfinding, and humble themselves before God. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 7

I am bidden to say that the time has come for a thorough work to be done among Seventh-day Adventists as a people. Come together. Unify. Let all your differences disappear. Let those in every institution seek the Lord while He may be found. God has long borne with and spared those who have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, but the time is coming when mercy will no longer be granted. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 8

“God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He has loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:4-10.] Not outside of them, seeking spot and stain in some one else, in order to vindicate one’s own superiority. Those who do this are in need of genuine conversion. They are accusers of the brethren, and unless they are converted, they will never help any one. They have lost their first love; and unless they repent, their candlestick will be moved out of its place. Let them work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, remembering that it is God who works in them, to will and to do of His good pleasure. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 9

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ... Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed. In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in affliction, in necessities, in distresses.” We shall not always have an easy time. If we obey the truth we shall have the favor of God, but we shall suffer the opposition of the enemy. “In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” [2 Corinthians 6:1, 3-10.] 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 10

Here the way is marked out. I entreat the members of our churches to represent Christ in character. I entreat them to put the powers of the whole being into the effort to answer the prayer of Christ as recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. If the words of this prayer are lived, we shall be so kind, so tender, so loving, so Christlike, that the world will see that God has indeed sent His Son to save sinners. My brethren and sisters, take yourselves in hand. Correct your thoughts, words, and acts. This God requires of you, that others may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. If you are doing wrong yourselves, how can you set a right example before others. May God help His people to read and practice His Word and to take self sternly in hand. 20LtMs, Ms 24, 1905, par. 11