The Kress Collection


Lessons From the Past

As Noah's descendants increased in number, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator, and to cast off the restraint of His law, decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower reaching unto heaven—so high that no flood could rise to the top, so massive that nothing could sweep it away. Thus they hoped to make themselves independent of God. KC 1.1

But among the men of Babel there were living some God-fearing men who had been deceived by the pretensions of the ungodly, and drawn into their wicked schemes. These men would not join this confederacy to thwart the purposes of God. They refused to be deceived by the wonderful representations and the grand outlook. For the sake of these faithful ones, the Lord delayed His judgments, and gave the people time to reveal their true character. They heeded not the counsel of the Lord, but carried out their own purposes. The great majority were fully united in their heaven-daring undertaking. Had they been permitted to go on unchecked, they would have demoralized the world by their wonderful plans. KC 1.2

This confederacy was born of rebellion against God. The dwellers on the plains of Shinar established their kingdom for self-exaltation, and not for the glory of God. Had they succeeded, a mighty power would have borne away, banishing righteousness, and inaugurating a new religion. The mixture of certain religious ideas with a mass of erroneous theories would have resulted in closing the door of peace, happiness, and security. These suppositions, erroneous theories, carried out and perfected, would have banished a knowledge of the law of Jehovah from the minds of men, who would not think it necessary to obey the divine statutes. These statutes, which are holy, just, and good, would have been ignored. Determined men, inspired by the first great rebel, would have urged on by him, and would have permitted nothing to interfere with their plans, or to stop them in their evil course. In the place of the divine precepts they would have substituted laws framed in accordance with the desires of their selfish hearts in order that they might carry out their purposes. KC 1.3

But God never leaves the world without witnesses for Him. Those who loved and feared Him at the time of the first great apostasy after the flood, humbled themselves, and cried unto him. “Oh God,” they pleaded, “interpose thyself between thy cause and the plans and methods of men “and the Lord came down to see the city and the tower (the great idol-building), which the children of men builded.” He defeated the purpose of the tower builders, and over-threw the memorial of their rebellion. God bears long with the perversity of men, giving them ample opportunity for repentance; but He marks all their devices to resist the authority of His just and holy law. As an evidence of His displeasure over the building of the tower, He confounded the language of the builders, so that none could understand the words of his fellow-worker.
KC 1.4

The Lord has not ordered some of the arrangements that have been made in Battle Creek. He has declared that other places have been robbed of the light and advantages that have been centered and multiplied in Battle Creek. Through a circular letter sent out to the leading men and the church elders of our conferences, a call has been made for the names of young men and young women of capability, in order that they may be corresponded with and invited to come to Battle Creek to receive a training for missionary work. KC 1.5

Through the light given in the Testimonies, the Lord has indicated that He does not desire students to be educated in Battle Creek. He instructed us to remove the College from this place. This was done, but the institutions that remained failed of doing what they should have done in sharing with other places the advantage still centered in Battle Creek. The Lord signified His displeasure over this matter by destroying two of the principal institutions remaining there. KC 2.1

Notwithstanding the plain evidences of the Lord's providence in these destructive fires, men in council meetings have not hesitated to stand before their brethren and make light of the statement that these buildings were burned because men had been swaying things in directions the Lord could not approve. KC 2.2

Principles have been perverted. Men have been departing from right principles, for the promulgation of which these institutions were established. They have failed in doing the very work that God ordained should be done to prepare a people to “build the old waste places” and to stand in the breach, as is represented in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. In this scripture the work we are to do is clearly defined as being medical missionary work. This work is to be done in all places. God has a vineyard; and He desires that this vineyard shall be worked unselfishly. No parts are to be neglected. The most neglected portion needs the most wide awake missionaries to do the work portrayed in the fifty-seventh chapter of Isaiah. KC 2.3

“Thou are wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not. There is no hope; thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved. And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? Have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not? I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.” KC 2.4

“When thou criest, let they companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them, and shall inherit my holy mountain: and shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people for thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him, I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” KC 2.5

For their spirit should fail before me, saith the Lord, if I were to deal with my people in accordance with their perversity they could not endure my displeasure and my wrath. I have seen the perverse ways of every sinner. He who repents and does the works of righteousness I will convert and heal, and restore unto him my favour. KC 3.1

I am instructed to say that in his judgments the Lord will remember mercy. For His own name's sake He will not permit the froward and independent to carry out their unsanctified plans. He will visit them for their perversity of action. “There is no peace, saith my God to the wicked.” KC 3.2

Concerning those who have been deceived and led astray by unconsecrated men, the Lord says: “Their course of action has not been in accordance with my will; yet for the righteousness of my own cause, for the truth's sake, for the sake of those who have preserved their fear and love of God, I, who create the fruit of the lips, will put my message in the lips of those who will not be perverted. Although some may be deceived and blinded in their ideas of men and the purposes of men, I will heal every one who honors my name. All the penitent of Israel shall see my salvation. I, the Lord do rule, and I will fill with praise and thanksgiving the hearts of all who are nigh and afar off even all the penitent of Israel who have kept my way.” KC 3.3

When iniquity abounds among the nations; when presentations are as marked as they have been during the past few years in America; when the Lord's money is freely circulated by those who do not take the Word of God as their guide, when multitudes are honored, and great festivities are held, when all are interested in making everything possible of men, and are seeking their own pleasure (and we see all these things taking place now), then we may know that the condition of things is similar to the condition that existed in the days of Noah, when the Lord caused the inhabitants of the earth to drink the waters of the flood. KC 3.4