Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 119, 1905

Members of the Nashville Church

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 14, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 113; 4MR 26-28. +Note

To the members of the Nashville church

Dear brethren and sisters,—

I ask you, What are you doing as individuals to benefit the colored people? Are you engaged in personal missionary work? As a church, what are you doing to provide a suitable sanitarium for the colored race? 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 1

In the night season, I received counsel from One who never errs. I heard some who spoke in favor of purchasing the dark, unhealthful place now used as a sanitarium, putting in some improvements, and continuing the work in the same place. Decided instruction was given: 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 2

“You are not to carry out the plans you contemplate. The present situation of the colored sanitarium is very objectionable. Let some place be secured where there is plenty of sunlight and where there is land to raise fruit and vegetables. Let the sanitarium be moved to a suitable location and so equipped that the better class of colored people may be accommodated and may be favorably impressed.” 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 3

For some time I have considered that the place which J. E. White left is the proper place for the establishment of a colored sanitarium. I hope that our brethren will see the necessity of making this move; for it is sensible, merciful, and consistent. The present showing of neglect of the colored people must be changed. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 4

The fact that some one of our brethren is located on or near the property is not a sufficient excuse for not securing it for a colored sanitarium. For any one to urge merely a personal consideration against such a move is a sign of selfishness and shows a disregard of the Lord’s plans. Far better would it be to repay what such a one had invested than to permit the enterprise to be blocked by such an excuse. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 5

Will our brethren and sisters in Nashville consider that they are being tested and tried? Some who have neglected to do the work that should have been done long ago are, in heaven, accounted as unfaithful stewards. A more decided interest should be manifested in the work of helping the colored people. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 6

If in the future we are to do nothing more for the colored people than we have done in the past, let us lay aside all pretense that we have entered Nashville for the purpose of helping them. If the interest we have taken in helping those who are laboring in the South is to have no better results, we had better turn our attention to the opening of the work in new fields, until the converting power of God comes upon the church in Nashville and barriers are removed. The Lord is not pleased with the present showing. Let there now be a reformation, and the Lord will work with those who are willing to co-operate with Him. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 7

The men whom God has called to act a part in the work in the Southern field need closely to examine themselves in the light of God’s Word. From the example of Christ they need to learn to manifest kindness and tender sympathy for those who are afflicted, or who are laboring in hard and trying places. Those who are connected with the work of God should be ministers of healing. They should strive to overcome all selfishness. It is time that men who are placed in the position of leaders in the work of God learn that they themselves are to receive their orders from the highest source. They are not to be a law unto themselves, acting as their own impulse may lead them. It would be far better if no one were to take hold of the Lord’s work unless he is willing to be taught of God. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 8

I am instructed to say, “Clear the King’s highway. The Lord Jesus will go before His people. Satan will intrude himself in every place possible. God forbid that men who feel themselves to be self-sufficient should come in with their devisings and place barriers in the way of the Lord’s work. Clear the way.” 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 9

“Behold,” Christ said, “I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” [Luke 10:3.] But you are not to assume the character of wolves, to hurt and to destroy. Do not, by a determination to carry out your own mind and spirit, create dissensions among yourselves. The disposition to make self supreme has been for years a barrier, preventing the work of God from being carried forward solidly in the South. If all our brethren had acted under the direction of Christ, in self-denial and self-sacrifice, the work in the South would be greatly advanced today. Thousands would have been converted to God, and men of ability would have been raised up who could have acted an important part in accomplishing the Lord’s purpose. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 10

How long shall this counter-working continue? There are those whom God holds accountable for the present showing of neglect. Will those who have not a sense of what God requires of them stand out of the way, and let the Lord lead and guide those who will take up the work and carry it intelligently? 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 11

Let those connected with the publishing house crucify self and receive the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The work of our institutions is in vain unless there are connected with them workers who are converted, and who will receive the sanctification of the Spirit of God, to subdue and cleanse away the haughtiness of self. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 12

Let us serve God with pure, unalloyed motives, working with an eye single to His glory. The language of our heart should be, “I have set the Lord ever before me.” [Psalm 16:8.] If this principle regulates our actions, our faith will increase, and we will make the Lord Jesus our Pattern in all things. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 13

Lessons From the Sending Out of the Seventy

The workers in the cause of God may learn valuable lessons from the instruction Jesus gave to the seventy disciples and from their experiences. These disciples were sent to the cities and villages whither Jesus Himself was to follow, to awaken an interest in the work of Jesus, that the people might be prepared to receive the grand truths that He would impart to them. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 14

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 15

“Carry neither purse nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” [Luke 10:1-9.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 16

This was to be the burden of their message. They were not to lose sight of this message nor to enter into controversy over matters that were unessential or that would close the door to the important truths Jesus had bid them teach. They were to teach from the Old Testament, explaining the prophecies of the mission and work of Christ, and presenting truths that would soften the hearts of the people, that they might be prepared to receive Christ when He should follow. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 17

“But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” [Verses 10, 11.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 18

The messengers of God have a high calling. If, after giving positive evidence of their mission, in preaching the gospel and in healing the sick, their message is not received, they are to go to new fields where they will be received gladly. Those who reject the message of God and His messengers will be called to account. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 19

“Woe unto thee Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell.” [Verses 13-15.] The cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum had received great opportunity through the ministry of Christ and His disciples; and having rejected the truth, their condemnation was greater than that of those who had not received so great light. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 20

The disciples who were sent forth received their authority from Christ. Jesus said to them, “He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” [Verse 16.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 21

The instruction given to the seventy was similar to the instruction given to the twelve disciples who had been sent forth previously. The seventy had not, like the twelve, been constantly with Jesus, yet they had often heard His lessons of instruction. They were sent forth under His direction, to work as He Himself was working. Wherever they went, they were to sound the message, “The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. All may be admitted into His kingdom who will receive His message and His Messenger. This is the day of your visitation.” They were to present the truth of God in such a manner that the people might be led to lay hold upon the blessings placed within their reach. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 22

These disciples constituted at that time the church of Christ, all entrusted with a message from Him to the world, all living and active in His service. They passed through varied experiences, going through trial and meeting opposition. Yet they were blessed in their work. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 23

“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.” [Verse 17.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 24

To Christ they gave all the glory for their success. His name is the power of God unto salvation to every one who will humble himself and become meek and lowly in heart. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 25

“And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents, and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” [Verses 18-20.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 26

The Saviour had followed the disciples in their work. He rejoiced at the success that attended their efforts put forth in faith. The disciples did not complain of the hardship, fatigue, or opposition they had encountered. They rejoiced as they reported to their Master, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.” [Verse 17.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 27

Jesus assured them that He had beheld their success. “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” He said. [Verse 18.] Satan was once an angel of light in the heavenly courts. He was entrusted with an important position. But he coveted more power and sought to be even as God. As a result of his unholy apostasy, he and his followers were cast out of heaven and became angels of darkness. As Satan was cast out of heaven, so also he will be dispossessed of his dominion in the hearts and minds of those who will glorify God. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 28

Through the preaching of the gospel, Satan and his angels are cast out from the minds of men. Through faith in the Word preached, men are enabled to gain the victory, and the devil loses his hold upon them. So he will eventually lose his power over all who continue to believe. His kingdom totters and falls before the presentation of sanctified truth. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 29

Let every one be on guard against selfishness and seeking to grasp advantages that are not his right. The Lord gives to every man his work; but if a man seeks to exalt himself, the Lord will humble him. He must not consider himself self-sufficient and think that his special work is to humble others. Let the work be carried forward by those whose hearts are renewed and purified from all selfishness. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 30

“And He turned Him unto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things which ye see: for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see these things which ye see, and have not seen them: and to hear these things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” [Verses 23, 24.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 31

I have been instructed that men will be raised up to do the work of God, men who are not self-established, but who are humble, willing to learn of Christ, rather than from erring man. The Lord will remove those who are placing their own unconverted selves directly in the way to hinder the work of God from advancing in purity and holy principles. 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 32

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” [James 1:5, 6.] 20LtMs, Lt 119, 1905, par. 33