Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 166, 1905

Aggressive Work to Be Done


December 3, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 373.

Last night I could not sleep past twelve o’clock. There is a heavy burden resting on my soul. After I awoke, I kept asking the Lord to impress the hearts of His people with the solemnity of the time in which they are living and with the necessity of making straight paths for their feet. Some who have long known the truth are confused by leaders who have been walking in false paths. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 1

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Christ declares. “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” [John 14:6.] Those who have a living connection with Christ will reveal it by their works. “Faith without works is dead, being alone.” [James 2:17, 20.] 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 2

We have reached an important chapter in our experience. We have advance movements to make. Straightforward work must be done. Faith without works is dead, unproductive of good. Faith works by love and purifies the soul; faith must be revealed and substantiated by works. There is a spurious faith, which does not work to the point, because the heart is decidedly opposed to the truth. Some may take comfort in the thought that God will number them with His people because they make a profession. We may have a measure of faith, a knowledge of the theory of truth, but unless self dies, unless we live Christ’s life of obedience, our profession is worthless. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 3

Nothing can take the place of obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Knowledge that does not lead to a practice of self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ, but to self-exaltation and self-sufficiency, is opposed to practical godliness. God calls for obedience. Self-sufficiency in a family or an institution means great injury to the work of God and to those who cherish it. True faith leads away from the selfish plans and self-pleasing that is contrary to God. Obedience, in order to be acceptable to God, must be the obedience that Christ ever offered to the Father. In response to the question, Who shall enter the kingdom of heaven? Christ says, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21.] What must we do to inherit eternal life? The answer is, Keep the commandments. To the question, Who are the blessed? Christ answers, “Blessed are they who hear the word and do it.” [Luke 11:28.] “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” “Without are dogs and sorcerers ... and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” [Revelation 22:14, 15.] 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 4

The theories that lead to unbelief in the Word of God, and to a lack of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, are theories of the enemy. They may be very pleasing, and very attractive, but they develop into strange doctrines, which unsettle faith in the past experience and take away the foundation pillars. These theories have come in amongst us and have been a seductive power, robbing some of the faith that enables human beings to see where they are living in the history of the world. They are false theories, leading away from the truth into subtle errors. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 5

“I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Verses 16, 17.] 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 6

The giving of this message is our work in the world. Those of our people who are living in large centers such as Battle Creek would gain a precious experience if, with their Bibles in their hands and their hearts open to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, they would go forth to the highways and byways of the world with the message they have received. There is aggressive work to be done. Evangelistic work, opening the Scriptures to others, warning men and women of what is coming upon the world, is to occupy the time of God’s servants. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 7

“I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things”—to lessen the force of their meaning—“God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” [Verse 18.] Many will make the words of the Revelation a spiritualistic mystery, robbing them of their solemn import. God declares that His judgments shall fall with increased dreadfulness upon any one who shall try to change the solemn words written in this book, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those sayings that are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:3.] “If any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” [Revelation 22:19, 20.] 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 8

“Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?” [Romans 6:16.] Study these words. Study the instruction found in Matthew 25:14-46. Compare this instruction with your life record. Let every man put away his boasting. Self-sufficiency is a fearfully dangerous thing for any one to entertain. It leads men to make of no effect the words of Christ. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 9

Let us walk in the footsteps of Christ, in all the humility of true faith. Let us put away all self-trust, committing ourselves, day by day and hour by hour, to the Saviour, constantly receiving and imparting His grace. I beg those who profess to believe in Christ to walk humbly before God. Pride and self-exaltation are an offense to Him. “If any man will come after Me,” Christ declares, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Those only who obey this word will He recognize as His believing ones. “As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 10

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” [Verse 14.] O wonderful condescension. The Prince of heaven, the Commander of the heavenly hosts stepped down from His high position, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might become the divine teacher of all classes of men and live before human beings a life free from all selfishness and sin, setting them an example of what, through His grace, they may become. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 11

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [Verse 14.] Praise God for this wonderful statement. The possibilities that it presents seem almost too great for us to grasp and put to shame our weakness and our unbelief. I praise God that I can see my Saviour by faith. My soul grasps the great gift. Our only hope in this life is to reach forth the hand of faith and grasp the hand outstretched to save. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [Verse 29.] If we would look away from self to Jesus, making Him our guide, the world would see in our churches a power that it does not now see. 20LtMs, Ms 166, 1905, par. 12