Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22

294/354

Ms 125, 1907

Lessons From the Visions of Ezekiel

St. Helena, California

July 4, 1906

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 384-390.

Part One—Exhortation to Faithfulness

In visions of the night I seemed to be speaking with great earnestness before an assembly of people. A heavy burden was upon my soul. I was presenting before those gathered together the message of the prophet Ezekiel regarding the duties of the Lord’s watchmen. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 1

“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon the land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman; if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning: his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 2

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou speak not to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” [Ezekiel 33:1-9.] 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 3

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel: Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” [Verses 10, 11.] 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 4

The prophet had by the command of God ceased from prophesying to the Jews just at the time when the news came that Jerusalem was invaded and siege laid to her. In the twenty-fourth chapter Ezekiel records the representation that was given to him of the punishment that would come upon all who would refuse the word of the Lord. The people were removed from Jerusalem and punished by death and captivity. No lot was to fall upon it to determine who should be saved and who destroyed. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 5

“Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it. For her blood is in the midst of her. ... Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. ... She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back; neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy doings shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 6

“Also the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke; yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry; make no mourning for the dead. ... So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died: and I did in the morning as I was commanded. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 7

“And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so? Then I answered them, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord God; Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done; ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet; ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do; and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord God.” [Verses 6, 7, 9, 10, 12-24.] 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 8

I am instructed to present these words before those who have had light and evidence, but who have walked directly contrary to the light. The Lord will make the punishment of those who will not receive His admonitions and warnings as broad as the wrong has been. The purposes of those who have tried to cover their wrong, while they have secretly worked against the purposes of God, will be fully revealed. Truth will be vindicated. God will make manifest that He is God. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 9

There is a spirit of wickedness at work in the church that is striving at every opportunity to make void the law of God. While the Lord may not punish unto death those who have carried their rebellion to great lengths, the light will never again shine with such convincing power upon the stubborn opposers of truth. Sufficient evidence is given to every soul regarding what is truth and what is error. But the deceptive power of evil upon some is so great that they will not receive the evidence and respond to it by repentance. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 10

A long-continued resistance of truth will harden the most impressionable heart. Those who reject the Spirit of truth place themselves under the control of a spirit that is opposed to the Word and work of God. For a time they may continue to teach some phases of the truth; but their refusal to accept all the light God sends will after a time place them where they will do the work of a false watchman. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 11

The interests of the cause of present truth demand that those who profess to stand on the Lord’s side shall bring into exercise all their powers to vindicate the advent message, the most important message that will ever come to the world. For those who stand as representatives of present truth, to use time and energy now in attempting to answer the questions of the doubting ones, will be an unwise use of their time. It will not remove the doubts. The burden of our work now is not to labor for those who, although they have had abundant light and evidence, still continue on the unbelieving side. God bids us give our time and strength to the work of preaching of the people the messages that stirred men and women in 1843 and 1844. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 12

We are now to labor unceasingly to get the truth before Jew and Gentile. Instead of going over and over the same ground to establish the faith of those who should never have accepted a doubt regarding the third angel’s message, let our efforts be given to making known the truth to those who have never heard it. God calls upon us to make known to all men the truths that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 13

God is speaking to His people today as he spoke to Israel through Moses, saying, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” [Exodus 32:26.] My brethren, take your position where God bids you. Leave alone those who, after light has been repeatedly given them, have taken a stand on the opposite side. You are not to spend precious time in repeating to them what they already know, and thus lose your opportunities of entering new fields with the message of present truth. Take up the work which has been given us. With the Word of God as your message, stand on the platform of truth and proclaim the soon coming of Christ. Truth, eternal truth, will prevail. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 14

For more than half a century the different points of present truth have been questioned and opposed. New theories have been advanced as truth, which were not truth, and the Spirit of God revealed their error. As the great pillars of our faith have been presented, the Holy Spirit has borne witness to them, and especially is this so regarding the truths of the sanctuary question. Over and over again the Holy Spirit has in a marked manner endorsed the preaching of this doctrine. But today, as in the past, some will be led to form new theories and to deny the truths upon which the Spirit of God has placed His approval. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 15

Any man who seeks to present theories which would lead us from the light that has come to us on the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary should not be accepted as a teacher. A true understanding of the sanctuary question means much to us as a people. When we were earnestly seeking the Lord for light on that question, light came. In vision I was given such a view of the heavenly sanctuary, and the ministration connected with the holy place, that for many days I could not speak of it. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 16

I know from the light that God has given me that there should be a revival of the messages that have been given in the past, because men will seek to bring in new theories and will try to prove that these theories are Scriptural, whereas they are error, which, if allowed a place, will undermine faith in the truth. We are not to accept these suppositions and pass them along as truth. No, no; we must not move from the platform of truth on which we have been established. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 17

There will always be those who are seeking for something new and who stretch and strain the Word of God to make it support their ideas and theories. Let us, brethren, take the things that God has given us, and which His Spirit has taught us is truth, and believe them, leaving alone those theories which His Spirit has not endorsed. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 18

Part Two—Warning Against Rebellion

Ezekiel again writes: 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 19

“The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, Say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee; with thy wisdom, and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and thou hast gotten gold and silver unto thy treasures: by thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches; therefore thus said the Lord God; because thou has set thine heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers unto thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before Him that slayeth thee, I am God? But thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of Him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 20

“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardium, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold; the workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire; thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy way by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee from among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 21

“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee, and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence, and blood in her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the Lord. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 22

“And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of any that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God; when I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the midst of the heathen, then shall they dwell in the land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all these that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” [Ezekiel 28:1-26.] 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 23

The first sinner was one whom God had greatly exalted. He is represented under the figure of the prince of Tyrus, flourishing in might and magnificence. Little by little Satan came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” [Verse 17.] “Thou hast said in thine heart ... I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; ... I will be like the Most High.” [Isaiah 14:13, 14.] Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father has invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 24

To the very close of the controversy in heaven, the great usurper continued to justify himself. When it was announced that with all his sympathizers he must be expelled from the abodes of bliss, then the rebel leader boldly avowed his contempt for the Creator’s law. He denounced the divine statutes as a restriction of their liberty and declared that it was his purpose to secure the abolition of law. With one accord, Satan and his host threw the blame of their rebellion wholly upon Christ, declaring that if they had not been reproved, they would never have rebelled. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 25

Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and His law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin and suffering its punishment. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 26

At any moment God can withdraw from the impenitent the tokens of His wonderful mercy and love. Oh, that human agencies might consider what will be the sure result of their ingratitude to Him and of their disregard of the infinite gift of Christ to our world! If they continue to love transgression more than obedience, the present blessings and the great mercy of God that they now enjoy, but do not appreciate, will finally become the occasion of their eternal ruin. When it is too late for them to see and to understand that which they have slighted as a thing of naught, they will know what it means to be without God, without hope. Then they will realize what they have lost by choosing to be disloyal to God and to stand in rebellion to His commandments. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 27

In His great mercy, God has spoken words of encouragement to the children of men. To all who repent and turn to Him, He offers abundant pardon. Repentance for sin is the firstfruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects. In Christ all fulness dwells. He teaches us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This knowledge is the highest science that any man can reach. It is the sum of all true science. “This is life eternal,” Christ declared, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 28

The time has come when the righteous should understand that God’s judgments are to fall on all who transgress His law, and that those who walk humbly with Him will triumph with holy gladness. As Jehovah is holy, He requires His people to be holy, pure, undefiled; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Those who worship Him in sincerity and truth will be accepted by Him. If church members will put away all self-worship, and will receive in their hearts the love for God and for one another that filled Christ’s heart, our heavenly Father will constantly manifest His power through them. Let His people be drawn together with the cords of divine love. Then the world will recognize the miracle-working power of God and will acknowledge that He is the Strength and the Helper of His commandment-keeping people. 22LtMs, Ms 125, 1907, par. 29