Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23

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Ms 81, 1908

Words of Exhortation and Warning

NP

June 26, 1908

This manuscript is published in entirety in Educational Messenger 09/04/1908, 09/11/1908.

This message has been given me for our teachers gathered in institutes, and for the young men and women who shall assemble at our colleges and training schools: 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 1

You need to understand the significance of the teachings of the apostle Peter as recorded in the first chapter of his first epistle: “Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 2

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” [Verses 1-9.] Why should we not study this chapter frequently? Here are presented to us, through the inspiration of the Spirit of God, most precious promises, the foundation for large expectations, if we will act upon the instruction given. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 3

If we would escape from the sickly experience we now have, we must begin in earnest to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. There are many who give no decided evidence that they are true to their baptismal vows. Their zeal is chilled by formality, worldly ambition, pride, and love of self. Occasionally their feelings are stirred, but they do not fall on the Rock Christ Jesus. They do not come to God with hearts that are broken in repentance and confession. Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. O that those who have so little spiritual life would realize that eternal life can be granted only to those who become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 4

The Lord foresaw the unbelief that would prevail in our world at the present time, and through His servants He sent messages of comfort and assurance that would confirm the faith of His children who should live in the end of time. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 5

When the disciple John was banished from those he loved in the faith to the lonely isle of Patmos, the Lord met with His faithful witness and there revealed to him the future of His church as He had not revealed it through any other. We read the opening words of that wonderful book: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show His servants things which must shortly come to pass: and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John, who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” [Revelation 1:1, 2.] 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 6

There are weighty reasons why we should study the revelation that God gave to John. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Verse 3.] With such testimony as this, and seeing as we do the fulfilment of this prophecy, we are without excuse if we remain in ignorance of those things which must “shortly come to pass.” [Verse 1.] 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 7

A solemn responsibility rests upon those who know the truth, that their works shall correspond with their faith, and that their characters shall be refined and sanctified, and they prepared for the work that must rapidly be done in these closing days of the message. The words should come to us now with impelling earnestness, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” [Acts 3:19.] There are many among us who are deficient in spirituality, and who, unless they are converted, will certainly be lost. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 8

A Message to Parents

Let our ministers and teachers bear this message to parents: We need religion in the home. Fathers and mothers, are you satisfied with the advancement you are making in the divine life? Do you testify in words and acts that you have experienced the new birth? Do you earnestly ask yourselves the question, Can I in my present condition be called an overcomer? Begin, O begin now, to make a change. Throw off the lethargy that is upon you. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 9

Pride and weakness of faith are depriving many of the rich blessings of God. There are many who unless they humble their hearts before the Lord, and arouse to their solemn responsibilities, will be surprised and disappointed when the cry is heard, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! They have the theory of the truth, but they have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Our faith at this time must not stop with belief in the theory of the third angel’s message. We must have the oil of the grace of Christ that will feed the lamp and cause the light of life to shine forth, showing the way to those who are in darkness. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 10

Missionary Activity

Urge every Seventh-day Adventist family to awaken and to become the Lord’s missionaries. Consider the books that the Lord has placed in your possession for the relief of our schools and sanitariums. Many opportunities have been given you to show that you appreciate the truths revealed in these books. If these precious volumes are appreciated as they should be, self-denying efforts will be made to bring them to the notice of the people. Let brethren and sisters encourage one another to become acquainted with their neighbors. Tell them the story of the gift of these books for the support of our institutions, and tell of your own interest in seeking to place them in the hands of acquaintances and friends. Tell the story to the wealthy. Men, women, and children can engage in this work. We have yet to learn of persons who after reading the books have expressed unfavorable opinions regarding them. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 11

Golden opportunities for missionary labor are offered to those who will take hold of this work, and rich blessings will come to the people who purchase the books and study their teachings. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 12

The sale of the book Ministry of Healing will bring in means for the help of our health institutions, and for the aid of those sick ones who could not unaided get the benefits of sanitarium treatments. Now let those of our people who wish to help our schools and sanitariums unite in the work of circulating these books as far and as fast as possible. As the Lord’s missionaries, we may take a special interest in this work and help to get the precious light before the people. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 13

Those who engage in this work should first give themselves unreservedly to God. They should place themselves where they can learn of Christ and follow His example. Angels are commissioned to go forth with those who take up this work in true humility. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 14

Beware of Ambition and Self-Exaltation

Satan is the leader of every species of rebellion today as he was the originator of rebellion in the courts of heaven. Standing next to Christ in power and honor, yet he coveted the glory that belonged to the Son. He desired to be equal with God. To carry out his purpose, he concealed his true designs from the angels and worked deceptively to secure their allegiance and honor to himself. By sly insinuations, by which he made it appear that Christ had assumed the place that belonged to himself, Lucifer sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of many of the angels; and when he had won their support, he carried the matter before God, declaring that it was the sentiment of many of the heavenly beings that he should have the preference to Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 15

We will not at this time follow the immediate results of Satan’s rebellion and his expulsion from heaven, but let us consider how his deceptive work is being continued today among those who profess to be the loyal people of God. In the hearts of many church members, there is being carried on today the same work of rebellion and disaffection; and the result is injury and weakness to the church. They are Sabbath-keepers who have been counted true and loyal, who are giving loose rein to their ambitions and desires, and are uniting with the work of the archdeceiver, and imperiling the prosperity of the cause of God. The artful foe has found a place in many hearts that should have no room for the selfish, ambitious principles that are being promulgated. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 16

Satan is Christ’s personal enemy. He is the originator of every contention that is manifesting itself in Battle Creek, and he is seeking to imbue with his spirit every church in our ranks. He knows that the time is short, and he seeks to gain every victory possible. Long has he deceived mankind, and great is his power over the human family; and his rage against the people of God increases as he finds that the knowledge of God’s requirements is extending to all parts of the world, and that the light of present truth is shining to those who have long sat in darkness. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 17

There are those among us who claim to believe the truth, yet who refuse to be sanctified through the truth. When reproved for a wrong course, self immediately rises up, and they stubbornly follow the devisings of the enemy. Through their long opposition to the testimonies of the Spirit of God, they are working out a species of the rebellion that has hindered the advancement of the kingdom of God in the earth throughout the ages. There are those who are ever seeking to have their own way, and to follow the leadings of their own disposition. The result of all this is weakness and confusion, evil surmisings and evil devisings. Those who continually work on Satan’s side of the question will carry out the plans of the deceiver until they find themselves wholly departed from the faith. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 18

We receive many letters from our brethren and sisters, asking for advice on a great variety of subjects. If they would study the published testimonies for themselves, they would find the enlightenment they need. Let us urge our people to study these books and circulate them. Let their teachings strengthen our faith. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 19

Let us study more diligently the Word of God. The Bible is so plain and clear that all who will may understand. Let us thank the Lord for His precious Word, and for the messages of His Spirit that give so much light. I am instructed that the more we study the Old and New Testaments, the more we shall have impressed on our mind the fact that each sustains a very close relation to the other, and the more evidence we shall receive of their divine inspiration. We shall see clearly that they have but one Author. The study of these precious volumes will teach us how to form characters that will reveal the attributes of Christ. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 20

It is fully time that every responsible worker should take his stand firmly on the Word of God. This Word is to be our defense when Satan works with such lying wonders that if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. It is then that those who have not stood firmly for the truth will unite with the unbelieving who love and make a lie. When these wonders are performed, when the sick are healed and other marvels are wrought, they will be deceived. Are we prepared for the perilous times that are right upon us? or are we standing where we will fall an easy prey to the wiles of the devil? 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 21

I am instructed to speak plainly concerning these deceptions that are arising. The Word of God points out our peril: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” [1 Timothy 4:1, 2.] 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 22

“They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 23

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 24

“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in His times He shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 25

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and gain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred from the faith.” [1 Timothy 6:9-21.] 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 26

“If ye then be risen with Christ,” the apostle exhorts, “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, and 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. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 27

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, 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 therefore put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 28

“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; where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but Christ is all, and in all. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 29

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 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. 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 30

“Let the word of God 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.” [Colossians 3:1-17.] 23LtMs, Ms 81, 1908, par. 31