Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22

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Lt 32, 1907

Members of our Churches in Melbourne

St. Helena, California

February 5, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in 19MR 233-238. +Note

To the members of our churches in and about Melbourne:

The Lord desires you to receive the gospel and to practice it in your lives. He calls upon you to become humble seekers after Him, to receive the truth into good and honest hearts, and to reveal it in a decided change of character. Let every believer turn his attention toward seeking the Lord, that the church as a body may stand before God in true humility, the souls of the members cleansed from the defilement of sin. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 1

My brethren and sisters, take hold of the work of perfecting Christian character. We are to live for the glory of God. There needs to be deep searching of heart. There is a great work to be done in cleansing the life by the truth of God’s Word. When this truth is received as it should be, the life will become a power for the glory of God. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 2

Brethren and sisters, wake up, wake up! Proclaim the gospel in its simplicity. Listen as for your life to “what saith the Scriptures.” [Romans 4:3.] It is of supreme importance that you hear aright, that you purify your hearts from selfishness; for your eternal welfare is at stake. Are you seeking for the pearl of great price? Are you guarding yourselves against the deceptions of Satan, or do you stand ready to receive the suggestions of those who have departed from the faith and given heed to seducing spirits? Your salvation depends on your hearing aright and receiving with meekness the engrafted word. Will you be reconciled to God, and obey His commandments, that you may be sanctified—body, soul, and spirit? You have been bought with a price, by the death of the only begotten Son of God. Your heart beats on. On that pulsation depends your life. Its beating is independent of your will. You eat and sleep in careless indifference. But God’s guardian care over you is unceasing. He controls the ebb and flow of the vital current. Where is the gratitude that should rise from human lips for His preserving care? Where is the recognition of His unceasing watchfulness? Why does not thankfulness flow forth from the life in gratitude-offerings? Why do not springs of joy well up in the heart? Why are there not made pledges of most sacred consecration to do the will and way of the Lord? Where are the sensible thoughts that should fill each mind? Thorough conversion from selfishness should now be seen. We should put away all the plans which do not directly tend to advance the Lord’s plans, and which, if carried out, would retard the work that should be done for perishing souls. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 3

If Satan can lull us to sleep at this time, when we have reached the crisis in this earth’s history, his end will be gained. The Lord calls upon our churches in Australia to make decided efforts for the right, lest the members fall into some deceptive snare of the enemy. Wake up, wake up! Put away your pride, and forsake your noncommittal position. Your testing time has come, and you must take sides with Christ or against Him. On which side are you standing, with the world or with Christ? Are you receiving the truth and preparing to speak a word in season to arrest the attention of the careless and the indifferent? God demands decided changes in your attitude. The truth you possess is the Word of the living God. What are you doing to meet the claims of the gospel? Is it your highest desire to learn the will of Him who gave Himself for you in self-denial and sacrifice, that you might become sons and daughters of God? Are you seeking to arouse souls to take an interest in eternal realities? 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 4

Now is your time to learn how to work earnestly and intelligently for the salvation of those ready to perish. Make no compromise with the powers of darkness. Learn the claims of the law of God, and obey them heartily. Then your life will shine forth brightly amidst the spiritual darkness of the world. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 5

Those who have been baptized and have taken their stand on the Lord’s side, separating from the enemy, have pledged themselves to the service of God. When you went down into the water, and were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these three great powers of heaven pledged themselves to give you power and grace to resist every temptation to dishonor God. When you rose from the water, you represented the resurrection of Christ. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 6

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 7

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affections, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience; in which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, evil communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” [Colossians 3:1-10.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 8

Great responsibility comes to those who have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Strive to understand the meaning of the words, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Verse 3.] In the new life upon which you have entered, you are pledged to represent the life of Christ. Having put on the new man, “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him,” “put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” [Verses 10, 12-15.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 9

The old sinful life is dead; the new life entered into with Christ by the pledge of baptism. Practice the virtues of the Saviour’s character. Let His wisdom “dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” [Verses 16, 17.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 10

These things are to be presented in the churches. Love, compassion, and tenderness are to be revealed amongst us. Put on, as the elect of God, mercy and kindness. The sins that were practiced before conversion are to be put off with the old man. With the new man Christ Jesus are to be put on “kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” [Verse 12.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 11

Those who have risen with Christ to walk in newness of life are the elect of God. They are holy unto the Lord and are acknowledged by Him as His beloved. As such, they are under solemn covenant to distinguish themselves by showing humility of mind. They are to clothe themselves in garments of righteousness. They are separate from the world, from its spirit, its practices; and they are to reveal that they are learning of Him who says, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] If they realize that they have died with Christ, if they keep their baptismal vow, the world will have no power to draw them aside to deny Christ. If they live the life of Christ in this world, they are partakers of the divine nature. Then, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, they also will appear with Him in glory. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 12

The people of God are to love as brethren and sisters. They are to be kind and courteous. They are to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven them. They are to follow His example in all things; for their life is hid with Him in God. My brethren and sisters, consider the possibilities of such a life. Christian unity is a grand and wonderful thing. Strive for it. “As He which that called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. ... Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth, unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently, being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” [1 Peter 1:15, 16, 22, 23.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 13

My brethren and sisters, will you not heed this appeal? As it is read to the members of the several churches by the one who shall stand in my stead, because I cannot be with you personally, let the believers respond. Bow before God, and make confession of your backsliding. In humility accept the words of Christ, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 14

We need to work unitedly and with Christ, that we may not be drawn away from the faith. In the night season I was speaking these words to the churches of Melbourne, impressing upon them the need of preparing for the coming of Christ. We need to be very earnest now; for much time has been lost because our lives have not been hidden with Christ in God. As I presented these things, the deep movings of the Spirit of God were felt, and light came into the meeting. Humble confessions were made. Some who at first had seemed to be indifferent broke down and confessed their sins, and a reformation was begun. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 15

I write these things to you because I believe it will be the means of helping you out of darkness into the light. 22LtMs, Lt 32, 1907, par. 16