Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)
Ms 87, 1906
And What Shall This Man Do?
Portions of this manuscript are published in 7MR 153.
In answer to the questions of a brother who is perplexed by the inconsistency of others, I repeat words written in the past. 21LtMs, Ms 87, 1906, par. 1
When Christ left the world, He gave to His disciples the work of carrying the gospel. The professed followers of Christ are held responsible for the warning of the world. How are we doing the solemn work committed to us? We must come before the world speaking the words of God, that the world may know that God has sent us, and that heaven’s mold is upon the work. The enemy will come in and try to draw our minds away from the important work to be done for this time. He will seek to keep us engaged on trivial matters, make us think that it is our province to criticize and condemn others; but our work is to deal faithfully with our own souls. We must search our hearts and see if we are right in the sight of God. Peter said to Christ in regard to John, “Lord, what shall this man do?” But the Lord answered him, “What is that to thee? follow thou Me.” [John 21:21, 22.] We each have a work to do for ourselves; and while we are criticizing others, we are neglecting the most important work of all. 21LtMs, Ms 87, 1906, par. 2
Do not keep your mind fixed on the defective example of professing Christians. You will, of course, see in their lives things that are not right. But if you keep looking at their faults, you will become like them. Instead of looking at the lives of your fellow men, look to Jesus. There you will see no imperfection, but perfection, righteousness, goodness, mercy, and truth. Take the Saviour as your example in all things. In looking to men instead of beholding Christ, you have made a great mistake.—Letter written in 1903. 21LtMs, Ms 87, 1906, par. 3
My dear brother, you should set your face to be a man after God’s own heart. What others may venture to do or say that is not strictly in accordance with the Christian standard should be no excuse for you. You must stand before the Judge of all the earth, not to answer for another, but for yourself. We have an individual responsibility, and no man’s defect of character will be the least excuse for our guilt; for Christ has given us in His character a perfect pattern.—Testimonies for the Church 2:357. 21LtMs, Ms 87, 1906, par. 4
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.” [Zechariah 3:1-10.] 21LtMs, Ms 87, 1906, par. 5