Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 54, 1908

Message for Elder Knox

St. Helena, California

January 21, 1908

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 397; OHC 317.

The Lord has given me a message for Elder Knox: The Lord would have a change in the men who are bearing responsibilities in the California Conference; a different spiritual atmosphere is needed. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 1

Much light has been given regarding the changes that the Lord would have brought about in the conference. The testimonies I have borne under the influence of the Holy Spirit in Oakland, in the place where our meetings were held, if diligently heeded, would have wrought the necessary changes. Now God bids me say, At the beginning of this year the administration should change. There is too much at stake in this great and important work to allow the message sent by the Lord to go unheeded. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 2

Instruction was given to me that when a message is sent by God, and a change is made in accordance with that message, it is because the Spirit of the Lord impels men to act. Mercy and righteousness have their foundation in the Word of God, and this Word forbids that any arbitrary power be exercised by man over his fellow man. Those who seek counsel of God in meekness of heart, presenting their petitions in the name of their Mediator, will receive grace and guidance. “The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.” [Psalm 25:9.] But the unbelieving and rebellious can have no share in the blessings that the humble receiver will receive. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 3

Not in numbers, not in bodily strength, lies the security of the believer, but in faith in Jesus Christ. We have come to a point in our experience when everything that savors of a domineering power is to be put away from among us. In the name of the Lord, I call upon our ministers to prepare the way of the Lord and to make His paths straight. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 4

“O Lord, Thou art my God,” the prophet Isaiah exclaimed; “I will exalt Thee; I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For Thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify Thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear Thee. For Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in His distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 5

“And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 6

“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord: we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under Him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And He shall spread forth His hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and He shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall He bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.” [Isaiah 25:1-12.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 7

All God’s counsels to His covenant people are faithfulness and truth. Mercy and righteousness have their foundation in an understanding and obedience to the will of the Lord. There is a great work to be done in California; but there must be a change in the administration. The Lord has not accepted in all its features the work that has been done in the last few years. Only the strictest obedience to the requirements of God will the Lord accept from men who stand in the places of highest responsibility in our conferences. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 8

Message after message has been borne to some of the churches in California during the past two years. It is the design of God that these messages shall stand firm to the accomplishment of the work that He has declared in them shall be done. If the teachers of truth had stood firm to the counsels of the Lord, great victories for the truth would have been gained. It would have been made manifest through the churches that God was working through the people who claim to keep His commandments. Their united representation of the will of God would have been an assurance to unbelievers that here was a people who vindicated the Word of the Lord in every respect. The signs of their connection with heaven would have been clearly displayed, and hundreds would have been brought to a knowledge of the truth. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 9

God appointed that His people should be bound together in the bonds of sacred union. But a man-ruling power came gradually into our ranks. Men were appointed to be rulers over their fellow men—men whose ways were not the ways of the Lord and whose works were not His works. God has never decreed that man should thus be made amenable to his fellow man, or that one brother should dictate to another concerning individual duty. He has never bidden any man accept the words and experience of a fellow worker and to follow the judgment of a man-ruling power. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 10

One of the ways in which the Lord has punished nations in the past for perversity and disobedience to His commands has been to place them in subjection to other nations and powers, making them dependent on human agencies instead of upon the arm of the Lord. The result has been feebleness and often discord and confusion. Similar will be the results in the Christian experience of those who make flesh their arm and depart from the strength of God. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 11

I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time. Satan has taken advantage of the inclination of the human mind, to cause a dominating power to be exercised, so that those who would cannot follow the leadings of the Lord without being brought to task by men. But God wants us to learn that His Spirit is to be the chief counselor of His people. I am instructed to say in the name of the God of Israel, Everything that savors of a domineering power is to be set aside. The Lord of hosts is to be the ruler of the people He has chosen. Those who believe the truth are to have the privilege of counseling with their brethren in the faith, of praying with them when difficulties and trials and sorrows come. As fellow workers they are to be a help one to another. But I have been instructed to oppose the spirit that would lead men to exercise authority over their fellow men in their spiritual experiences. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 12

The light given me of the Lord is, Break every yoke. There must now be brought into the conference workers who have a sound spiritual experience, workers who, when the question is asked, “Watchman, what of the night?” will respond, “The morning cometh; and also the night.” The morning comes to the people of God who rely upon His Word and follow His counsels: but the night comes to those who walk and work in human wisdom. “If ye will inquire, inquire, return, come.” [Isaiah 21:11, 12.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 13

Decided changes should be made in the spiritual conditions of the California Conference. I now advise that Elder Haskell and his wife, who have had a wide experience in our cause, be chosen to serve the work in this field, and that they be provided with helpers who will assist them in carrying the work in right lines. Special efforts must now be made to drive away the spiritual fog, and to bring in a clearer and purer atmosphere; and this must be done by the working of the Holy Spirit. The fog of unbelief and uncertainty has hid the Sun of righteousness from many of His people. The seeds of doubt that have been sown in minds have taken so deep root that some may never again clearly discern the truth as it is in Jesus. We would do great wrong to allow the work to be carried on in the same manner in the future. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 14

I am instructed to advise that Elder Haskell come in and unite with reliable men in carrying the responsibilities of the California Conference. Let every vestige of man-ruling power, which has engendered unbelief and strife, be now removed; and let many prayers ascend to heaven that the pillar of cloud shall lead this people. Let the truth be magnified. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 15

There should be among us many more true-hearted men who appreciate the truth in its loveliness and who, because they appropriate the sanctifying grace of Christ, and walk humbly with God, have clear spiritual eyesight—men who will become educators of the people, gathering the divine rays of light to reflect on the pathway which we travel. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 16

In the place of hovering over the churches, our ministers should carry a burden for souls unwarned by the messages of Revelation fourteen. Every tongue should be sanctified to teach the truth of the Bible. The apostle Paul’s instruction to Titus was, “Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in the faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things: that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. ... 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 17

“For the grace of God which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” [Titus 2:1-5, 11-15.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 18

Those who put on the garments of authority, and not the garments of righteousness, know not what is the nature of Christ’s authority. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 19

For Brother and Sister Haskell, I have this message: The Lord will surely sustain you as you speak in demonstration of the Spirit. Look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith. May the Lord greatly bless you and help you to be a blessing to Elder Knox, to Elder Corliss, and to all your fellow laborers in the ministry. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 20

To our brethren and sisters throughout the conference, I would say, Be a help and comfort to those who are bearing the burdens of the work. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 21

To those who have long been in forbidden paths, I would say, “Take heed, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” [Hebrews 3:12, 13.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 22

I desire to see you learning the lessons of obedience and humility as God’s little children. Do not think that we desire to hurt you, for we do not; we pray for the salvation of your souls. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 23

“So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, today have I begotten Thee. As He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” [Hebrews 5:5-9.] Here are stated the only conditions. True obedience will soften and subdue the hearts of all who will be saved in God’s appointed way. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 24

Now, my brethren, I have written this to you that you might understand that the Lord cannot accept your labors unless you work the works of God. He desires you to become His little children, willing to learn every lesson He has for you to learn. The Lord cannot save you if you entertain the idea that you can lift up or cast down as you please. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 25

“Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, as a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their hearts; and they have not known My ways.” [Hebrews 3:5-10.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 26

It is only the narrowness of our vision that prevents us from discerning God’s loving-kindness in the discipline to which He subjects His church, as well as in the great blessings which He provides. In all times of distress and confusion, God is a sure refuge to His people. In the shadow of His protection they may safely keep His way. In the affliction designed to purify them, the power of the gospel is to be their consolation. In His sure Word they have a fortress. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 27

“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth, may enter in. ... 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 28

“Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength; for He bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, He layeth it low, even to the ground; He bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee. 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 29

“With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness. Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” [Isaiah 26:1, 2, 4-10.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 30

Sometimes God leaves His people for a season, that they may learn the lesson of dependence upon Him. Oh, what lessons the church has had for its enlightenment! 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 31

“Hear, ye that are afar off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrite. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” [Isaiah 33:13-17.] 23LtMs, Lt 54, 1908, par. 32