Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 53, 1905

Unto Seventy Times Seven

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 11, 1905

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 297; UL 145; 8MR 187-188. +Note

During the past night representations have been made to me that this Conference means much to all who are assembled. The time is very precious. The enemy delights to see those who claim to be walking in the light, thinking that they see very distinctly faults in others. He delights to see them not backward to make these faults a subject of conversation contrary to the special directions given by Christ Himself. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 1

The disciples came to Christ with the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” [Matthew 18:1-7.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 2

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” [Verses 15-17.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 3

“Then came Peter to Him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.” [Verse 21.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 4

Here is our instruction, given by Christ the great Teacher. The grace of God will be decidedly revealed in this Conference if men and women will humble their own hearts before God. If you would reflect the image of Christ, then confess your sins, repent before God, and do not investigate your brother’s faults. You have not been told to do this. God would have you deal with your own personal defects and errors, your own mistakes. He would have you repent and be converted, putting away your unchristlike traits of character. True repentance will always bring confession. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 5

No one can afford to continue sinning and agreeing with the tempter, allowing Satan to make him a channel through whom to work out his scientific problems. I heard the heavenly Messenger saying with decided earnestness, “Confess your sins with sorrow of heart. Clear the rubbish from your souls, that your thoughts and the powers of mind and heart and strength may be sacredly consecrated to the honor and glory of God.” 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 6

Our Divine Example

In describing His earthly mission, Jesus declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 7

Are we so closely assimilated to Christ that we can represent His work and follow His example? His work gave character to His mission, showing that it was of divine appointment. In His every word and act were revealed tender compassion, love, and mercy. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach Him. He always noticed the little children, and they were attracted to Him. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 8

Our Saviour’s words were plain and decided. He did not suppress one word of truth, but spoke the truth with convincing earnestness. And as He spoke, the desponding drew nearer and were filled with hope and courage. He was the Prince of heaven. He never spoke a word to give needless pain to any trembling, sensitive soul. He looked with sorrow upon those who rejected Him and made light of His words, and said, “Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 9

Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His life on this earth was one of self-denial. He comforted and encouraged every one who came to Him for relief; for they were all precious in His eyes. He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, yet He bowed Himself with tender regard to every member of the Lord’s family. He came to stand at the head of humanity, to give to all who believe on Him power to become the sons and daughters of God. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 10

Such is the example we are to follow. If it were followed, the enemy would not receive so large a share of attention and honor as he now receives from those who profess to be followers of Christ, but who in reality are following satanic wiles. God sent His Son into the world that those who believe on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. His followers are to show the strictest honesty, justice, and integrity in their every transaction. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 11

Let the work begin sincerely through reconversion and transformation of character. God forbid that the truth should lose its sacred influence upon minds, and that believers should see among Seventh-day Adventists a representation of infidel sentiments. God forbid that the dishonest, scheming practices which have been crowding in among those who should stand as true as steel to principle should continue to be followed. If they are, Christ will certainly be ignored where He should be manifested in compassion, in truth, in righteousness. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 12

The Situation at Battle Creek

As a people, we are greatly humbled as we behold the situation at Battle Creek. Notwithstanding all the light that God has been pleased to give in testimonies, Dr. Kellogg has not confessed his sins and mistakes. He has not placed himself on vantage ground, and I am instructed to say to our brethren: If you encourage and sustain and trust him, it will be at his peril and at your own peril. He told me that he had surrendered. I have been waiting to see what he meant by these words. We dare not have him connect with the work in Washington, because the light given me by the Lord is that an altogether different condition of things should exist in Washington. Infidelity, a disbelief in the Word of God, has come in through satanic agencies’ working on the doctor’s heart. He acts as if it were not possible for him to break the force of evil with which he has joined himself. He has become so deceived that he cannot discern between truth and the falsehoods of the enemy. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 13

As a witness for God, I am to declare that faith is a grand, sacred, holy element which works by love and purifies the soul. I do not hesitate to say that Dr. Kellogg’s position is not in harmony with the Bible. He has run his course so strongly that without a reconversion, the new birth of which Christ spoke to Nicodemus, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 14

The New Birth

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof; but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the Spirit. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 15

“Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” [John 3:1-12.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 16

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be made manifest. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” [Verses 14-21.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 17

“He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth; He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” [Verses 31-36.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 18

Dr. Kellogg, every verse of this chapter means much to you. I am instructed to say that if ever a man needed to understand the Bible just as it reads, it is you. You have taken your case out of the hands of Christ into your own supervision, and your words and acts are of such a character that I am forbidden to trust you. The enemy has free access to your mind, and you are not led or taught of God. Those you have beguiled in turn beguile you. What can break the spell? You can come into line if you will repent, believe, and be reconverted. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 19

The Power of Genuine Faith

A real, genuine faith will be followed by experience. Those who truly believe Christ will know Him in whom they believe. Were you walking in the light, following on to know more and more of Christ, your experience would be different from what it is. Your past years of searching into science have left you with such an indistinct sense of the power and preciousness and fellowship of Christ that you have lost faith in Him. Those who have genuine faith in Christ will become mighty through the mysterious principles which unite finite human beings to the Infinite One. Those who seek for a knowledge of true science, distinct from the false science of satanic agencies, will be fully qualified, through the grace given, to be master of themselves. Faith is the mighty principle that makes man, through the grace of Christ, a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Such a man sees that the Lord is gracious, and he strives with all his power to reveal in his life the character of Christ. He works with an eye single to the glory of God. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 20

Dr. Kellogg, even you, through the transformation of character, through following an entirely different policy, may become so humble, that believing, you will taste and see that the Lord is good. With your powers refined and purified, you may become a co-laborers with Christ. But you have not been humble. Your associates have not been men who would tell [you] the plain Bible truth. God calls them unfaithful stewards. When they see things as they are, as I hope they will before it is everlastingly too late, they will see their own need of thorough conversion. Then, standing in a repentant attitude, they will not consent to be bound up with fallacies and suppositions. They will not search diligently for that which in their blinded understanding they will present as contradictions in the testimonies God has given. They will not strive to make of no effect the warnings that they have refused to hear and obey. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 21

God’s eye has been upon all their working. When there is an actual fellowship between them and their Mediator, they will discern that thy were unfitted for any official position in the great, grand work before us. Those who have chosen to follow their own course of action have met with great loss; nevertheless, they can still stand on vantage ground if they will repent and be converted. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 22

There is soon to be a tremendous crisis. It is making its way with mighty strides, while the men who ought to be catching the life-giving message from the Word of life and sounding the last warning to a fallen world have put out their spiritual eyesight. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 23

“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:1-4.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 24

The whole of the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of Revelation will surely be fulfilled. The Bible, the precious Bible, has become to some a cunningly devised fable. There are those who have so long resisted the counsel of God that the Lord will soon give them up to cunningly devised fables. They will proclaim these fables with all their fraudulent influences. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 25

Powerful Witnesses

The truth that we are to proclaim is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This truth is to be developed in the closing scenes of this earth’s history—that the Crucified One, though unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the supposedly wise men foolishness, is nevertheless the power of God and the wisdom of God. Those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour will stand the test of trial in these last days. Strengthened by unquestioning faith in Christ, even the illiterate disciple will be able to withstand the doubts and questions that infidelity can produce and put to blush the sophistries of scorners. The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue and wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome satanic delusions will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 26

Why should the illiterate man have this power, which the learned man has not? The illiterate one, through faith in Christ, has come into the atmosphere of pure, clear truth, while the learned man has turned away from the truth. The poor man is Christ’s witness. He cannot appeal to histories or to so-called science, but he gathers from the Word of God powerful evidence. The truth that he speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit is so pure and remarkable, and carries with it a power so indisputable, that his testimony cannot be gainsaid. His faith in Christ is his anchor, holding him to the Rock of Ages. He can say, “I know in whom I have believed; and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” [2 Timothy 1:12.] Yes, Jesus is able to keep that which is committed to Him against the day when He will be glorified and admired in all who believe. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 27

The Captain of our salvation strengthens His followers, not with scientific falsehoods, but with genuine faith in the Word of a personal God. This Word is repeated over and over and over again with deeper affirmative power. Satan brings all his powers to the assault in close conflict, and the endurance of the follower of Christ is taxed to the utmost. At times it seems that he must yield. But a word of prayer to the Lord Jesus goes like an arrow to the throne of God, and angels of God are sent to the field of battle. The tide is turned. The wondrous light that shines in the face of Jesus Christ has stopped the mouth of the cavilling opponents. Under the power of the spell that is upon them, their lips are closed, and the oppressed are delivered. The believing, harassed souls are borne up as on eagles’ wings, and the victory is gained. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 28

God calls upon His people to prepare themselves for scenes of severe conflict. Take up your duties in a meek and lowly spirit. Ever face your enemies in the strength of Jesus. Discharge with faithfulness every duty. Realize that you must now obtain, by daily conversion and humility, an unquestioning trust in the One who has all power and who will not leave you to be destroyed. You may know Christ by personal experience. The working of the Holy Spirit upon mind and heart and character brings the sanctification of the Spirit. In the trials of these last days, Christ will be made unto His people wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Christ is to be formed in His people, the hope of glory. They are to develop an experience that will be a convincing power in the world. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 29

Wickedness is filling the world as it did in the days of Noah. Men are using they physical, mental, and spiritual powers to counterwork God and make of no effect His holy law. The Lord’s commandment-keeping people are not to be passive, doing nothing. They are to be wide-awake and are to stand clothed with the whole armor as workers together with God. The witness who has a daily living experience in the things of God will have a decided message to bear. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 30

I am instructed that the soil of the heart must be prepared to receive the instruction given by God. Every man is engaged in a warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil. He must combat Satan, not in his own strength, but in the strength and grace of the Redeemer. Christ never failed a true Christian in his hour of conflict and trial. If any one is overthrown, it is because he has not stood faithfully on guard. He has not kept his soul in strict integrity, but in his business transactions he has carried out his own plans and schemes. He has left Christ out of his business, and for a time the deceiver gives him apparent success. Thus many poor souls are deluded. 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 31

Let us meet difficulties without murmuring or complaining, bearing in mind that there is a connection between experience and knowledge. If we take everything to God in prayer and faith, we shall master our difficulties in the strength coming from Jesus. Kneel before Him who has said, “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. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 32

What wonderful lessons we shall learn as the result of depending constantly on the sufficiency of Christ. He who is learning these lessons need not depend on another’s experience. He has the witness in himself, and his experience is the actual knowledge that Christ is all-sufficient, faithful, and powerful. He has the realization of the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” [2 Corinthians 12:9.] “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” [1 Corinthians 10:13.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 33

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Hebrews 12:12-15.] 20LtMs, Ms 53, 1905, par. 34