Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 53, 1911

“What Is the Chaff to the Wheat?”


November 21, 1911 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 277; ML 89; 6MR 287-289.

In this age there is a fearfully high pressure upon minds. The instruction given me is that great harm is done to the minds of children and youth by cheap, trashy reading. By the reading of magazines and novels, impressions are made on the mind that spoil it for the reception of Bible truth, which alone can supply the necessities of the soul. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 1

It is a great evil to bring these trashy magazines into the family, and yet many parents are asleep to this peril. They do not know what kind of food is being supplied to the minds of their children. The food that is given to the mind should be pure and wholesome. God calls upon His people to turn away from the brackish streams of the valley and drink from the pure streams of Lebanon. A study of God’s Word, which is eternal life to the receiver, would invigorate and strengthen the mind; but too often the grace of Christ finds the right of way obstructed by the mass of rubbish which has been allowed to accumulate in the mind. The mind is not kept hungry for the blessed Word, which must be eaten in order for the thoughts to be pure and holy. The Holy Spirit is not given a place in the life. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 2

What can I say to break the spell that now endangers not only the youth, but men and women of maturity? What can I say to impress upon their minds a realization of this danger? To those who are tempted to indulge in trashy reading, I would say, Read your Bible. “Search the Scriptures,” Christ commanded; “for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me.” [John 5:39.] Obedience to the Word of God is our only safety. It is through study and a belief of the Word that we obtain a knowledge of the means by which holiness is attained. And as the principles of truth are believed, they become obligatory upon the conscience. Wonderful victories may be gained by studying the Word of God and obeying from the heart the requirements of that Word. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 3

The death of Christ in behalf of the human race should call forth from us grateful thanksgiving. The grace by which we overcome is in the word of promise. It is the act of faith to draw it forth to enrich the soul. Faith takes hold of the Word and applies it (eats it); and God delights to satisfy the expectant soul with His blessing. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 4

This matter has been most clearly presented to me. I have been instructed that the money expended for worthless literature should be spent for the books and papers containing the light of present truth. Let these be sent to those who have not yet heard the truth for this time. As they read these publications, light from the throne of God will shine into the soul-temple. Jot by jot, here a little and there a little, the truth will appear to the mind, and the soul will be fed with provender thoroughly winnowed from the chaff. Pamphlets and leaflets dealing with the truth for this time should be scattered everywhere like the leaves of autumn. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 5

God has given to His people the choicest reading matter. Let the Word of God find a place in every room in the house. Keep the Bible, the bread of life, in plain sight. Let the money spent for magazines be spent instead for publications containing present truth, and let them be given a prominent place in the home. With all safety these may be placed before the children and youth. Novels should not find a place in the homes of those who believe in Christ. Do not keep before the youth that which is represented as wood, hay, and stubble, for it will poison the appetite for that which is represented as gold, silver, and precious stones. The inclination for light, trashy reading is to be strictly denied. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 6

Keep choice, elevating literature ever before the members of the family. Read our books and papers. Study them. Become familiar with the truths they contain. As you do this, you will feel the influence of the Holy Spirit. Every moment of life is precious and should be spent in preparing for the future immortal life. Let the mind be stored with the elevating, ennobling themes of the Word of God, that you may be ready to speak a word in season to those who come within the sphere of your influence. The reading of our publications will not make us mental dyspeptics. None of us will receive the bread of life to our injury; but as these books are read, the mind will be furnished with that which will establish the heart in the truth. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 7

“The words that I speak unto you,” Christ said, “they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:63.] The work of sanctification is carried on through the instrumentality of truth. By the respect we show to His Word, faith sanctifies every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. This is what is meant by eating the living word that comes down from heaven. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 8

The laws of God are to be regarded as sacred and are to be respected and obeyed. It is only by obedience to the truth that sanctification is attained. It is only by knowing and believing the truth that we can know the meaning of intelligent conformity to the will of God. Only as we study His Word shall we give eternal realities their proper place in our lives. Christ is set forth in His Word; faith sanctifies that Word to the believing soul. 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 9

The Word of God must have a much larger place than it now has in the lives of those who claim to be Christians. The lessons that are contained in this Word are to be eaten as the bread of heaven. “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life,” Christ says. “The flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verses 54, 63.] 25LtMs, Ms 53, 1911, par. 10