Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 27, 1908

Truth to Be Maintained


May 5, 1908 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MR 96.

I have warnings to give to our people. There must be greater spiritual life and character given to our exposition of the Scriptures. In every church there should be held solemn seasons of earnest prayer to heaven for special revelations of the grace of God. Let every teacher humble his own heart, subdue his own excitable temper. There is to be a more direct unveiling of truth. He who presents the truth of the prophecies in the right way will use Scripture to explain Scripture. He will make the Bible its own expositor. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 1

The enemy is wise in the work of leading men into false paths. The twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah brings to view conditions the workers will have to meet as they carry forward the work of the third angel’s message. The prophet declares: 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 2

“Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath He covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 3

“Wherefore the Lord saith, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay; for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not, or shall the things framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Is it not a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?” [Verses 9-17.] 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 4

Here are represented some of the very things that have been taking place in Battle Creek in the introduction of strange suppositions. The Lord has marked how some of the men who acted a prominent part in the leading out of the work have gradually allowed themselves to be led by Satan’s devisings. “Is it not a very little while,” the prophet asks, “and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?” [Verse 17.] 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 5

In these words is outlined the true condition that exists among many of our people. There has come into the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists false sentiments, an inclination on the part of some ministers and physicians to abolish the light that God has been sending. Some of our leading men have been denying the faith and giving heed to fanciful and erratic teachings. This is a scheme of Satan to call the mind away from the truth and lead men to give time and thought to the study of theories that confuse the mind and leave an indistinct understanding of the way of the Lord. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 6

I am instructed to say, Repeat not these errors or false teachings, but write the truth, speak the truth. Let the Word of God speak in every place, vindicating the truth for this time. The truth will triumph. When objectionable sentiments are introduced, repeat them not in your discourses, but hold to the affirmative. The message I am instructed to give at this time is one that I have been charged again and again for many years to give. It is this: Advance the truth. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 7

Satan has been well pleased with the work of those men and women who have used their influence to undermine the confidence of our people in the messages the Lord is sending through the Spirit of prophecy. I have been instructed that those who have engaged in such a work should not be chosen to occupy positions as leaders; for the influence they exert, and their misstatements concerning this agency in which they have no faith, will result in making unbelief popular in our churches. Let no man or woman be entrusted with responsibility in the church who will use the advantages such a position would give them to advocate sentiments of unbelief, thus sowing the tares of heresy among believers. And it has sometimes been the case that when men have been reproved for this kind of work, they have begun a warfare against the messages sent, by making light of the warnings and reproofs. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 8

What can be done to make these men with strong traits of character realize that they need to be reconverted? Unless this experience comes to them, they will never become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They are wrapping themselves up in a garment of self-confidence. The messages that the Lord sends them, that they may understand how much they need to be taught of Him, they cast aside as idle tales, thus placing themselves where they will accept their own suppositions as divine revelations. With their deficient experience, they are unfitted to understand the dealings of the Lord with His people. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 9

Great and wonderful changes are taking place in the world. Wonderful changes are also taking place among God’s professing people; and these changes God foresaw. The minds of men who once were led by the wisdom of the Word of truth are passing through dark experiences. They have followed the imagination of unsanctified wills, and that which was once accounted as precious they no longer value. They have lost their bearings. The suppositions of the great deceiver have been greedily received, because they were in accordance with their own hearts and judgment. The judgment of those who have thus allowed themselves to be deceived is no longer reliable. The fruitful field has become a forest. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 10

“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off; that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth at the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” [Verses 18-24.] 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 11

Our brethren in positions of responsibility need to experience daily the converting power of God upon heart and mind and soul, before they can hope to advise and labor unselfishly. The kind of planning that would make one man a center and pattern cannot be carried out. This is not the way in which the Lord works. He works through different individual minds to accomplish His purposes, and in the simplest ways, that they may reflect the great outshining of His love. When one man thinks that his mind is to outline the large moves in the work of God, that his abilities are to accomplish the greatest work, he limits the power of God to fulfil His purposes in the earth. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 12

God would have the truths of the third angel’s message firmly established in the hearts of His people. Not one pin or pillar of the faith He has so graciously given is to be moved. The wily foe will bring in specious arguments to substantiate the theories he desires to have take the place of truth in the minds of the people. Assertions will be made that have no foundation in truth. The words of Scripture interwoven with a mass of error will be brought forward to confuse the mind. But we might be held in controversy as long as time should last if we were to listen to all the applications of Scripture that might be made to substantiate erroneous theories. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 13

God has not given the Scriptures that they may be used to uphold a false position that would unsettle minds regarding light that He has clearly given. If men depart from the faith they have once held, and use the Word, which once they used in confirming their faith, now to support error, they do so to their own destruction. We are forbidden by God to repeat their arguments. Yet I have been shown that this has been done by some who have accepted the false teachings of those who have departed from the faith. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 14

For the past few years the work in some of our conferences has been diverted from its true object, and if permitted to go on in the same lines, the cause of truth would be greatly dishonored. The Lord would have all the workers now come into line to advance the truth as it is proved by the Word of God, and by the providence of God in His continual vindication of it. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 15

I am instructed to warn our people against placing in high positions of trust those men and women who seem to be adrift on any points of the faith and who, if our writings did not stand as faithful witness as to what constitutes truth, would lead away from the faith. Those who know of the grand and holy work done in the past, of the experience of the past fifty years in the cause of present truth, must witness to the revelations of the Spirit of God. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 16

I am thankful that Elder Haskell can connect with the California Conference and help to conduct the work on right lines. I have felt that he should be left free to a large extent to work in ministerial lines, leaving the business burdens of the conference for businessmen to handle. Strong, consecrated men should stand as his helpers. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 17

As far as possible, I have endeavored to write out from time to time the experiences in connection with the work of the third angel’s message, that it may be seen what was the work God gave me to do from the beginning. Elder Haskell, Elder Loughborough, Elder Butler—there are but few of the old pioneer workers still living who saw the wonderful works that God did to confirm the truth—these old standard-bearers are to be respected. When new and strange theories are introduced, it is time to call a halt and to revive the past workings of the Lord’s grace and power among us as a people. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 18

As I have seen the old standard-bearers fall one by one, I have longed, O so much, that some might be spared as was the disciple John, to declare the great works of the Lord. The enemies of John, when they were not suffered to kill the aged servant of God, banished him to the isle of Patmos. I urge you to study the epistles of John. “That which was from the beginning,” the apostle wrote, “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of Life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us), that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” [1 John 1:1-3.] 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 19

We are ever to seek to keep the evidences of the past before us. We must not give heed to the voice of those who would lessen the force of the testimony which God has given to His servants to communicate to men. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 20

To the younger men and women I would say: If the truth of God is stamped on heart and mind and soul, you will regard the old waymarks; you will never lose sight of the grand truths that have made us what we are. Let the light shine forth in distinct rays to the world. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 21

The Lord calls for thoroughly converted men who are students of the Word and who will give the truth to the people in pure doctrine. The missionary spirit needs to be revived in all our churches. Every church member should feel the burden of a special work, a special commission from the One who gave Himself a living sacrifice for the salvation of the world. The Son of God has pledged Himself to be the efficiency of every one who will unite with Him in the work of saving souls. 23LtMs, Ms 27, 1908, par. 22