Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22

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Lt 50, 1907

Belden, F. E.

St. Helena, California

February 6, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 271-272. +Note

F. E. Belden

My dear nephew:

I feel deeply burdened because of the position that you occupy. I have hoped that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes, that you might discern what manner of spirit you are of, and that you would turn unto the Lord. Had you always walked humbly before God, you might now be standing in the light. Today you are being tested and tried. I know your spiritual condition, and my soul is so bowed with grief that it is almost impossible for me to write. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 1

For years I have had presented before me your reckless words and actions. O that the Lord would lay upon you the desire to see yourself as you really are before God. The end of all things is right upon us, but you seem to be as one blinded. Wake up; for your soul’s sake, wake up, and remove the stumbling blocks. You are as a ship at sea, without a pilot. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 2

You are quick to blame others when you are brought into difficulty. But will you consider whether you are not to blame for some of the very conditions that you think oppress you? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Will you not now, even before another day goes by, seek the Lord? When you are indeed converted; when you have fallen on the Rock to be broken, then you will find a comfort and a peace of mind that you do not now experience. You have chosen your own way. You and others who have been associated with you have manifested a spirit of hatred against those who might have been a help to you. Before you go further in the manifestation of a spirit of desperation, will you not seek to die to self? Will you not give to God what remains of your life? I have felt so sad as I have seen you turning away from the warnings that God has sent you. So long have you sought to justify yourself in a wrong course of action, that your power of clear discernment is impaired. You will never find peace of mind unless you give up your pride and your self-esteem. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 3

I am writing to you the things that are presented to me by the Lord. I tremble when I think of the lengths to which you have gone in a course contrary to the Word of God. I urge you to delay no longer; for the judgments of God are beginning to fall upon the earth, and upon those who despise the law of God. You need to seek the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. O that you would repent and be converted. Your strong spirit leads you to actions that God cannot approve. You can never be free from this spell of the enemy until self is broken and you acknowledge the supremacy of God. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 4

You have chosen yourself as your own master; and when not under the control of the Holy Spirit, you become tyrannical. Your masterly, overbearing spirit is working in you a character that is far from being like Christ’s. Remember that a Christian is one who is Christlike. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 5

In the tenth chapter of John we read: “I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” [Verses 14-16.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 6

Your severe criticism of some whom the Lord is using, and your affiliation with some whom the Lord reproves, is an evidence that you are standing on the wrong side. Every day, as you continue to open your heart to unbelief and to falsehood, you are being led further into the darkness. But you will be held accountable for the great light from heaven that you have received. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 7

O how you have for many years spoiled your record, as you have followed your own unsanctified will. You have had the utmost confidence in your own judgment, and this has sometimes led you to work counter to the will of God. Will you bear in mind that you are not your own, that you have been bought with a price? Christ, our Redeemer, the Prince of heaven, condescended to come to this world and to live an exemplary life. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 8

“Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” [Ephesians 4:30.] What an assurance! What an inducement to put forth earnest efforts to practice the virtues of Christ! 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 9

You need to watch unto prayer. Seek to restrain your speech, which sometimes reveals a spirit of evil surmising and an uncontrolled temper. When you are tempted to speak words of accusation against any of your brethren, pause, and think seriously. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 10

“Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 11

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.” [Ephesians 4:31, 32; 5:1-4.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 12

Will you not now make a determined effort to die to self? You need to humble your heart before God, and confess to Him your mistake in following your own ideas, as though they were the wisdom of God. Your wisdom lies in patterning after the Saviour. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 13

Every one who is rightly related to Christ will treat his fellow men thoughtfully and kindly. He will be prayerful, consecrating himself to the work of God, subduing the idea that he can guide himself. He will heed the words of Christ’s invitation: 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 14

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 15

The daily prayer of those who follow Christ’s teaching will be: “Lord, what can I do to bless others?” Thus they reveal that they are learning Christ’s way, instead of selfishly walking in paths of their own choosing. Those who follow on to know the Lord will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 16

In the visions of the night I have been speaking to you. You were represented to me as one discouraged, disappointed in your efforts to follow human plans, instead of a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” You had not opened your heart to love. But a divine voice said to you, “Follow Me, and you will walk in safety. If you wear My yoke, you will manifest a sanctified tenderness and a love for those with whom you are connected.” 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 17

In all your associations with others, be kind and courteous. If you humble yourself as a child of God, His way will be exalted in your eyes. With heart imbued with the love of God, there will be no impatience, no rough or harsh words. Will you ask the Lord to cleanse and sanctify your spirit, that you may realize the softening influence of the grace of Christ? When love is made uppermost in your life, when you cease to act on the impulses that have carried you further and further away from the divine Leader, then you will cease to fret and to censure and to blame others, because of your supposed injuries. When from the heart you can say, My wisdom has been foolishness, and now I desire my mind to be sanctified; when you make an unconditional surrender to the Lord, you will reveal a change in spirit, in words, and in actions. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 18

There has been formed in you a spirit of controversy, and you will never attain true success until you learn to distrust your own judgment. Faith and works must be combined, in perfect submission to the Great Teacher, who desires to be to you “Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption.” [1 Corinthians 1:30.] Nothing less than a faith that works by love and purifies the soul will avail. Many who are not sanctified through the fear of God, and through obedience to His Word, are ignorant of the spirit that actuates them. 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 19

In the day of judgment it will be revealed that in many cases it would have been much better if men of the world had never met those who profess godliness, but who are not converted to Bible practice. A true Christian is one who is a partaker of the divine nature and has escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. He bears the marks of true kindness; the gentleness of Christ characterizes his speech. He does not make great pretensions as to his own ability. He heeds well the warning: “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:37.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 20

You are in danger of overestimating your own value. So long have you followed plans of the enemy’s devising, that you seem powerless to break the spell or to resist evil influences. In the name of the Lord I ask you to seek the Lord with all the power at your command. Repent, and be rebaptized, that you may act a part in union with Christ as a laborer together with God. Just as long as you seek to have your own way, trying to serve God and mammon, you will continue your record of mistakes and failures. You have now an opportunity to redeem the past, but nothing will avail you short of a complete surrender to God. Do not continue to make war against those whom you suppose ought to help you and favor you. Those who cherish a spirit of warfare against those who might help them will never find their way out of perplexities, or be free from the deception of Satan. Why should you continue in an evil way, even though others may have treated you unjustly? 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 21

As you accept the counsel of God, it is your privilege to trust your temporal interests with Him who has said: “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:31-33.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 22

You, and others to whom the Lord has sent messages of warning, are being tested. Soon the mercy and forbearance of God in behalf of the rebellious heart will cease. Messages have come to them to lead them to consider the error of their ways, and to turn unto the Lord; but they have acted as though they were being injured and have even spurned the thought that the Lord had a message for them. They have worked earnestly to increase the spirit of unbelief in the messages that God has given. They have rejected all the efforts of the Lord to save them, and of them it must be said: 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 23

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of My counsel; they despised all My reproof: therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso harkeneth unto Me, shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” [Proverbs 1:24-33.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 24

Many have received all the evidences of truth that God will ever give them. They have permitted and encouraged false sentiments; and they have practiced deception to cover up their apostasy. I am instructed to say to those who desire to return to God, “Cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts. Break loose from the spell of the enemy. Lay aside the garments of self-righteousness. Humble your hearts before God, and come into line.” 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 25

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” [Hosea 6:1-3.] 22LtMs, Lt 50, 1907, par. 26