Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 244, 1908

Those Recently Assembled at the Oakwood School

Los Angeles, California

August 23, 1908

Portions of this letter are published in 2MR 81-82. +Note

To those recently assembled at the Oakwood School, Huntsville, Alabama:

I cannot rest because of the many representations made to me, showing that our people are in danger of losing precious opportunities of working earnestly and wisely for the proclamation of the third angel’s message. Satan, with all his agencies, is working to hold God’s people back from giving all their powers to His service. But as a people we are to be active and decidedly in earnest, improving every opportunity to increase our usefulness in religious lines. We are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Possessing true godliness and a knowledge of the Word of God, every church member may become a working agency, laboring with dignity and confidence, yet with humble dependence, remembering the words of Christ to His first disciples, “I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Luke 10:3; Matthew 10:16.] We need to exercise wisdom in all our ways if we would work in the name and fear of God. Unfeigned faith is what we need; for faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 1

I have visited the Huntsville School, and I believe that it has many advantages for the carrying on of the work of an all-round education. It is the privilege of those who labor there to make it a blessed place of preparation for usefulness in the work of God. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 2

I am praying that every soul of you will fill the place that the Lord designs for you. He will work for each one according to his faith. There is a picture representing a bullock standing between a plough and an altar, and with the picture is the inscription, “Ready for either.” Thus we should be, ready to tread the weary furrow, or to bleed on the altar of sacrifice. This singleness of purpose, this devotion to duty, is to be expressed in the life of every child of God. This was the position our Saviour occupied while upon the earth; it is the position that every follower of His will occupy. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 3

The salvation made sure to the human race through the sacrifice of Christ was intended alike for all races and nationalities. There are some of all nationalities who are never inclined to draw in even cords with their fellow men. <They want to be a ruling power.> And unless the power of God is recognized and appreciated, and believers work intelligently for the accomplishment of God’s purpose for all mankind, God will leave them to their own ways and will use other instruments through which to accomplish His plans. And those who refuse to do the work laid upon them will finally be found on the enemy’s side, warring against order and discipline. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 4

Cultivating Home Religion

The Lord would have us cultivate home religion, causing the fear of God to circulate through the family. When parents neglect their duty to their children, failing to govern them according to right principles, the enemy is given opportunity to gain control of their lives, and children who are allowed to disregard parental authority are never happy. In the early years of life is the time for all to prepare to become members of the royal family. Parents and youth should thank the Lord in prayer and praise for the privilege of becoming children of God and citizens of His kingdom. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 5

Abraham is a noble example of a faithful householder, and he has given us an example of the unquestioning obedience that all should render. He who blesses the righteous said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him.” [Genesis 18:19.] They will keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. He will not speak words of hypocrisy or deception. There will be no betraying of sacred trusts. Abraham will keep the law of God as one who is answerable to the Lawgiver. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 6

Just as surely as we labor together with God as Abraham did, we will receive the commendation of heaven. Abraham was to walk in the way of the Lord, governing his household by the combined influences of authority and affection. The Holy One has given us rules to obey, from which there can be no sinless swerving. We are bought with a price. Faith and works are to make us complete in Christ. Thus we shall keep the way of the Lord. When the heart is meek and lowly, God can impress the soul. The Word of God is our counselor. Let us obey its teachings. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 7

In all our work we need to keep the glory of God in view. The Word of God is our guide; let this testimony go forth as the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Let us talk faith and walk by faith. O what a work is ours, what a privilege, so to speak, and so to act as to fasten conviction upon the hearts and consciences of men. The Holy Spirit grants us His guidance in this work, and success comes when we have a strict regard for the fear of God. He is the Searcher of hearts, and He gives us the encouragement that if we will become intelligent in our service for God, and will walk humbly in the light He has graciously given, we will not be left to labor in human strength. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 8

The Dangers of Discontent and Self-Pity

Christ came to this world, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, to bear trial and to become acquainted with disappointment, that He might teach men and women to become like God. It is Satan’s purpose to make us like himself, and he seeks to fill the mind with feelings of discontent and self-pity. My fellow workers, let not these feelings have a place in your minds. Undue sympathy for self will lead to neglect of duty and to a low estimate of those who labor with you to build up the work and cause of God. Our thoughts must be guarded. We are to “love as brethren,” to be kind and courteous. [1 Peter 3:8.] 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 9

Preaching is one of Christ’s appointed means of instruction in the gospel. There may be a feeling of dissatisfaction toward those appointed to preach the Word; their words may not be pleasing to the natural heart; but let not this lead to differences and criticism and faultfinding. Feed upon the heavenly manna. There is much precious work to be done. Let none feel that it is their place to criticism, but let each stand in his lot and place. There must be responsible men, there must be counselors. It is not wisdom to praise certain ones, while others who need words of cheer are left in discouragement. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.] 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 10

My brethren, do not fail nor be discouraged. It is Satan’s desire to cut off communication between God and His people, that he may have opportunity to work the human mind. But pray, my brethren and sisters, pray and believe. Speak judiciously. The Holy Spirit will help those who seek the Lord in order to know how to do His work. A lifetime of prayer and research will yet leave much unlearned; but what we fail of learning here will be explained to us hereafter. The work of instruction begun on earth will be continued throughout eternity. There the Lamb of God will lead the host of the redeemed to the fountains of living water. He will impart rich stores of knowledge. He will unravel mysteries in the providences of God which in this life we are unable to understand. 23LtMs, Lt 244, 1908, par. 11