Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 97, 1907

In Humility and Faith


September 19, 1907 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in PC 281-285.

Special instruction has been given me for God’s people, for perilous times are upon us. In the world, destruction and violence are increasing. In the church, manpower is gaining the ascendancy; those who have been chosen to occupy positions of trust think it their prerogative to rule. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 1

Men whom the Lord calls to important positions in His work are to cultivate a humble dependence upon Him. They are not to seek to embrace too much authority; for God has not called them to a work of ruling, but to plan and counsel with their fellow laborers. Every worker alike is to hold himself amenable to the requirements and instructions of God. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 2

To our brethren in Southern California I bear this message: The president of your conference has the lesson to learn that he is not to endeavor to rule his fellow laborers who have occupied positions of trust under God in the work; neither is he to consider himself capable of carrying all things after his own ideas. He has thought that it was his right to rule in every branch of the conference work, and this has led him to judge and criticize fellow laborers who were better able than he to do the work. He must first rule himself before he can hope to rule others wisely, or to plan wisely for the advancement of the work. Position will not give to any an all-round education. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 3

Because of the importance of the work in Southern California, and the perplexities which now surround it, there should be selected no less than five men of wisdom and experience to consult with the presidents of the local and union conferences regarding general plans and policies. The Lord is not pleased with the disposition some have manifested to rule those of more experience than themselves. By this course of action, some have revealed that they are not qualified to fill the important positions which they occupy. Any human being who spreads himself out to large proportions, and who seeks to have the control of his fellows, proves himself to be a dangerous man to be entrusted with religious responsibilities. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 4

Upon the union conference president should rest the greater responsibilities, and I am instructed that he needs other helpers to advise him in his work. He should not cling to the idea that unless money is in hand no move should be made that calls for the investment of means. If in our past experience we had always followed this method, we would often have lost special advantages, such as we gained in the purchase of the Fernando school property and in the purchase of the sanitarium properties at Paradise Valley, Glendale, and Loma Linda. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 5

To make no move that calls for the investment of means unless we have the money in hand to complete the contemplated work should not always be considered the wisest plan. In the upbuilding of His work, the Lord does not always make everything plain before His servants. He sometimes tries the confidence of His people by having them move forward in faith. Often He brings them into straight and trying places, bidding them go forward when their feet seem to be touching the waters of the Red Sea. It is at such times, when the prayers of His servants ascend to Him in earnest faith, that He opens the way before them and brings them out into a large place. The Lord wants His people in these days to believe that He will do as great things for them as He did for the children of Israel in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. We are to have an educated faith that will not hesitate to follow His instructions in the most difficult experiences. “Go forward,” is the command of God to His people. [Exodus 14:15.] 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 6

Faith and cheerful obedience are needed to bring the Lord’s designs to pass. When He points out the necessity of establishing the work in places where it will have influence, the people are to walk and work by faith. By their godly conversation, their humility, their prayers and earnest efforts, they should strive to bring the people to appreciate the good work that the Lord has established among them. It was the Lord’s purpose that the Loma Linda Sanitarium should become the property of our people, and He brought it about at a time when the rivers of difficulty were full and overflowing their banks. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 7

The working of private interests for the gaining of personal ends is one thing. In this men may follow their own judgment. But the carrying forward of the Lord’s work in the earth is entirely another matter. When He designates that a certain property should be secured for the advancement of His cause and the building up of His work, whether it be for sanitarium or school work, or for any other branch, He will make the doing of that work possible, if those who have experience will show their faith and trust in His purposes and will move forward promptly to secure the advantages He points out. While we are not to seek to wrest property from any man, yet when advantages are offered, we should be wide-awake to see the advantage, that we may make plans for the upbuilding of the work. And when we have done this, we should exert every energy yo secure the freewill offerings of God’s people for the support of these new plants. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 8

Often the Lord sees that His workers are in doubt as to what they should do. At such time, if they will put their confidence in Him, He will reveal to them His will. God’s work is now to advance rapidly; and if His people will respond to His call, He will make the possessors of property willing to donate of their means and thus make it possible for His work to be accomplished in the earth. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] Faith in the Word of God will place His people in the possession of property which will enable them to work the large cities that are waiting for the message of truth. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 9

The cold, formal, unbelieving way in which some of the laborers do their work is a deep offense to the Spirit of God. The apostle Paul says, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. Yea, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.” [Philippians 2:14-17.] 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 10

We are to encourage in one another that living faith that Christ has made it possible for every believer to have. The work is to be carried forward as the Lord prepares the way. When He brings His people into strait places, then it is their privilege to assemble together for prayer, remembering that all things come of God. Those who have not yet shared in the trying experiences that attend the work in these last days will soon have to pass through scenes that will severely test their confidence in God. It is at the time when His people see no way to advance, when the Red Sea is before them, and the pursuing army behind, that God bids them “go forward.” [Exodus 14:15.] Thus He is working to test their faith. When such experiences come to you, go forward, trusting in Christ. Walk step by step in the path He marks out. Trials will come, but go forward. This will give you an experience that will strengthen your faith in God and fit you for truest service. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 11

A deeper and wider experience in religious things is to come to God’s people. Christ is our example. If through living faith and sanctified obedience to God’s Word we reveal the love and grace of Christ, if we show that we have a true conception of God’s guiding providences in the work, we shall carry to the world a convincing power. A high position does not give us value in the sight of God. Man is measured by his consecration and faithfulness in working out the will of God. If the remnant people of God will walk before Him in humility and faith, He will carry out through them His eternal purpose, enabling them to work harmoniously in giving to the world the truth as it is in Jesus. He will use all, men, women, and children, in making the light shine forth to the world and calling out a people that will be true to His commandments. Through the faith that His people exercise in Him, God will make known to the world that He is the true God, the God of Israel. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 12

“Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ,” the apostle Paul exhorts, “that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries; which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” [Philippians 1:27-29.] 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 13

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 14

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant; and was made in the likeness of man: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God that worketh in you, to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:1-13.] 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 15

I have been instructed to present these words to our people in Southern California. They are needed in every place where a church is established; for a strange experience has been coming into our ranks. It is time now for men to humble their hearts before God and to learn to work in His ways. Let those who have sought to rule their fellow workers study to know what manner of spirit they are of. They should seek the Lord by fasting and prayer, and in humility of soul. Christ in His earthly life gave an example that all can safely follow. He appreciates His flock, and He wants no power set over them that will restrict their freedom in His service. He has never placed man as a ruler over His heritage. True Bible religion will lead to self-control, not to control of one another. As a people we need a larger measure of the Holy Spirit, that we may bear the solemn message that God has given us without exaltation. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 16

Brethren, keep your words of censure for your individual selves. Teach the flock of God to look to Christ, not to erring man. Every soul who becomes a teacher of the truth must bear in his own life the fruit of holiness. Looking to Christ and following Him, he will present to the souls under his charge an example of what a living, learning Christian will be. Let God teach you His way. Inquire of Him daily to know His way. Inquire of Him daily to know His will. He will give unerring counsel to all who seek Him with a sincere heart. Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, praising God in your daily conversation as well as in your prayers. Thus, holding forth the Word of life, you will constrain other souls to become followers of Christ. 22LtMs, Ms 97, 1907, par. 17