Battle Creek Letters


Re-copied July 15, 1928 K—215—99 V. E. R.

Jan. 12. 1900

Dr. J. H. Kellogg:

I write to you as a mother would to her son. I would go to see you if I could feel it my duty to leave the work here; but I dare not do this. You have built up hopes and nurtured plans without due consideration of how the tower is to be finished and supported. As one who knows, as one who has been permitted to have an insight into the future and the result of the work you have taken upon you, I call upon you to stop and consider. God knows your frame. He knows that you are but dust, even the small dust of the balance. You will certainly need the counsel, not of those who have permitted you to go on in the work that you deemed so important, but the counsel of men who at present time are more level-headed than even J.H. Kellogg. BCL 29.1

I wish to state, Dr. Kellogg, that if you will receive the messages of warning given you, it will save you from great trial and mortification, and will be to the saving of your soul. Cast not behind you as of no consequence the warnings which as yet you do not understand. I tell you plainly that you are carrying forward that which you call missionary work according to misconceived judgment and opinions. The Sanitarium will suffer because you have given yourself up to do a work for which God will call you into account. I have been instructed that you have been doing a work which the Lord never appointed you to do. Means have been drawn from the Sanitarium to erect buildings for the care of people who can never be relied on to fill places in the ministry or on councils. They have not a knowledge of the work of character-building, and they can not be relied on as men of forethought. They have ruined their mental powers and destroyed their spiritual discernment by the indulgence of appetite and passion, and this makes them weak. They are fickle and changeable. BCL 29.2

The Lord has shown me that if the enemy can by any means divert the work into wrong channels, and thus hinder its advancement, he will do so. The place assigned you by the Lord was under Him in the divine Theocracy. You are to learn of Jesus, the great Teacher. You were to be and do after His character and example. BCL 29.3

I have been forced to inquire why several of our canvassers in this field who were canvassing for “Home Hand Book” have left the field having only paid their expenses. Some did not even do this. They stated that when the time came for them to deliver their books, they could not obtain copies to deliver. They were themselves greatly disappointed, and the people who were expecting the books were also disappointed. What shall we do about this? I have talked with the men at the Echo Office about it, and they say that they can not obtain copies of “Home Hand Book”. BCL 29.4

At every camp-meeting we make special efforts to get before the people the light on health reform, as contained in your publications. But while you have been consuming, you have not been producing. Never was there a time in this country when a great interest was shown in regard to questions relating to health. What is it that hinders your books from being supplied to our offices, to be furnished to the canvassers. Shall this delay continue? Shall the people still be disappointed. BCL 30.1

I have been instructed to say that you have drawn your time and strength and money away from enterprises which if they had been advanced, would have done ten fold more good than the enterprises that you have carried forward. Invention after invention has taken your time and means. Your money has been used in a way that has done more harm than good. The setting of men to work in various ways in what is called medical missionary work has consumed much time and money, but has produced next to nothing. The Lord has entrusted capital to you, to be used in advancing His kingdom, and if you misuse this capital you must settle with Him. BCL 30.2

Investments have been made without sitting down and counting the cost, without finding out whether there was enough money to carry forward the work started. A shortsightedness has been shown in your plans. Men have failed to see that the Lord's vineyard embraces the world. There is such a thing as investing money in that which it is hard to say is not a good work, because explanation can not always be made to the one whose brain has been constantly at work to create and invent, but who has not the income to sustain the enterprises started. BCL 30.3

The income of the Sanitariums that have been established must not be drawn upon to sustain the work so-called medical missionary work. The means that has been used to sustain this large and ever increasing work should by the Lord's order, have been used in making plants in other countries, where the light of health reform has not shone. Sanitariums less costly than the large ones erected in America, should have been built. Thus plants would have been made which would have produced fruit, and when strong, would have established plants in other localities. BCL 30.4

The Lord is not partial. But He has been misrepresented. The work that should have been done in the different parts of His vineyard has been hindered because men have failed to see how the work has been overdone. In this way money has been used to enable workers in other parts of the vineyard to move forward without hindrance in the work of elevating the standard of truth. Some portions of the vineyard are not to be robbed in order that the means may be absorbed in one spot. BCL 30.5

Man judges in accordance with his finite judgment. God looks at the character of the fruit borne, and then judges the tree. In the name of the Lord, I call upon all to think of the work we are required to do, and how this work is to be sustained. The world is the Lord's vineyard, and it is to be worked. Suppose in every place where there is a large center, the work which has been done in America should be made the pattern. Where would be our memorials of truth, which are to make a proper impression on the world? BCL 31.1

There are those who are in danger of bringing into the work the objectionable sentiments received in former education. They need to practice the principles laid down in the Word, else the work will be marred and spoiled by their preconceived ideas. When we work with all the sanctified ability God has given us, when we put aside our will for the will of God, when self is crucified day by day, then actual results are seen. We move forward in faith, knowing that our Lord has promised to undertake the work entrusted to Him, and that He will accomplish it, for He never makes a mistake. BCL 31.2

The Lord's servants are merely stewards at work. The Lord's part of the work is to do that which is entrusted to Him when His followers surrender themselves to Him to be worked by the Holy Spirit. When by faith men place themselves in the Lord's hands, saying, “Here am I, send me”, He undertakes this work. He does that which is entrusted to Him. But men must get out of the Lord's way. They must not by their devising hinder His purpose. For years the Lord has had a controversy with His people because they have followed their own judgment, and have not relied on divine wisdom. If the workers get in God's way, hindering the advancement of the work, thinking that their own power is sufficient for the planning and carrying forward of the work, the Lord will correct their error. By His divine Spirit He disciplines and trains every worker. He shapes His own providences to carry forward His work according to His mind and judgment. BCL 31.3

If men would only humble themselves before God, if they would not exalt their judgment as the all-controlling influence, if they would make room for the Lord to plan and work, the Lord would use the qualifications He has given them in a way that would glorify His name. He will purify His workers from all selfishness, trimming down their superfluous plans, cutting off the branches that would entwine around this and that undesirable object, pruning the vine so that it will produce fruit. God is the great Husbandman, He will make everything in the lives of those who are laborers together with Jesus Christ, by making them partakers of the divine nature, to cause them to bear fruit abundantly. He desires His people, through actual experience in the truth of the gospel to become true, solid, trustworthy, experimental missionaries. He would have them show results for higher, holier, and more definite than have been revealed in the last fifteen years. BCL 31.4

The potter takes the clay in his hands, and molds and fashions it according to his own will. He kneads it and works it, and then tears it apart, and then presses it together. He wets it, and then dries it. He lets it lie for a while without touching it. When it is perfectly pliable, he continues the work of making from it a vessel. He forms it into shape, and on the wheel trims and polishes it. He dries it in the sun, and bakes it in the oven, thus it becomes a vessel unto honor, fit for his use. So the great Master desires to mold and fashion us, and as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so we are to be made in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to the molding of the Master-worker. BCL 32.1

It is not a great number of institutions, large buildings, and wonderful display that God requires, but the harmonious actions of a peculiar people, a people chosen by God and precious, one with one another, their life hid with Christ in God. The Lord will never place one man as a controlling power over another man. Every man is to stand in his lot and in his place, exerting a right influence in thought, word, and judgment. When all God's workers do this, and not till then, will the work be a complete, symmetrical whole. Individually we need solid faith, which is in perfect harmony with the first declaration of the first, second, and third angel's messages. The work that the gospel embraces as missionary work is a straight-forward, substantial work, which will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. God does not want the faith of His peculiar people to take on the features or appearance of the work now called medical missionary work. The means and talents of His people are not to be buried in the slums of New York or Chicago. God's work is to be carried on in right lines. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, and the true missionary spirit are to be shown. We are to work as Christ worked, in simplicity and meekness, in lowliness and sanctified moral elevation. Thus we can do a work distinct from all other missionary work in our world. BCL 32.2

My brother, you have not as much firmness and assurance as you have had. You have the most critical cases to handle, and at times a dread comes upon you. To perform these difficult duties, you know that rapid work must be done, that no false moves must be made. Again and again you have had to pass swiftly from task to task. Who has been by your side during these critical operations? Who has kept you calm and self-possessed in the crisis, giving you quick, sharp discernment, clear eyesight, steady nerves, and skillful precision? The Lord Jesus has sent His angel to your side, to tell you what to do. A hand has been laid upon your hand. Jesus, not you, has guided the movements of your hand. At times you have realized this, and a wonderful calmness has come over you. You dared not hurry, yet you worked rapidly, knowing that here was not a second to waste. The Lord has greatly blessed you. Others who knew not of the presiding Presence working with you gave you all the glory. Eminent physicians have witnessed your operations, and praised your skill. This has been pleasant to you. You have not always been able to endure the seeing of the invisible by faith. You have been under divine guidance. You have been greatly honored by God, that His name, and not yours, should be magnified. But you had a great desire to distinguish yourself; you have not placed your entire dependence upon God. You have not been willing to heed the counsel of the Lord's servant. With your own brain you have planned many things. The Lord would have you respect the gospel ministry. At the very time you needed discerning eyes, that you might see, not only one side of the work, but all sides, you chose for counsellors men under the reproof of God, as did Elder Olsen. If they would second your propositions, you would link up with them, to start enterprises that the Lord placed no burden on you to start. The Lord has given you a work that you have strangely neglected. BCL 32.3

The Lord gave you your work, not to be done in a rush, but in a calm, considered manner. The Lord never compels hurried, complicated movements. But you have gathered to yourself responsibilities that the Lord, the merciful Father, did not place upon you. Duties He has never ordained, chase each other wildly. Never are His servants to leave one given duty marred or incomplete in order to seize hold of another. He who labors in the calmness of the fear of God does not do work in a haphazard manner, for fear something will hinder an anticipated plan, if he does not rush it through. BCL 33.1

Praying and seeking the Lord, the surrender of the man, J. H. Kellogg, to the guidance of God, would have prevented the creating of many things which have been born, not of the will of God, but of the will of men. You were given your appointed work, but you have neglected things of great importance to take up with your own impulsive spirit, unadvised by the Lord or your brethren, things of minor importance. The brethren could have given you counsel, but you despised any word that interfered with your schemes, which have placed you in an intricate position. Had you done your appointed work, God would have made you a laborer with Him. BCL 33.2

The Lord wants your mind to blend with other minds. His servants have sometimes attempted to differ with you. This was the very thing God required them to do. But you treated their advice in such a way that they remained silent when they should have spoken. God desires those He has placed in positions of trust as stewards not to use your brains, but the talents He has given them personally. They are to do justice and judgment in all wisdom because they see the necessity of your changing your course of action. BCL 33.3

You do not allow men to think and act on their own individual responsibility. You and Brother Haskell and Brother Butler saw the difficulties in Elder James White and the necessity of blending together to remove responsibilities from him. If he needed this, you have come to the place where you need it tenfold more. And yet no one associated with you dares to tell you the truth. BCL 34.1

I bore the testimony given me by the Lord, and you, J. H. Kellogg, declared that it was not true. You took the message in such a way that the effect of it nearly unbalanced your mind. Every word that was written to you was true, and sometime you will see that the message was written to you in mercy, to save you from dishonoring yourself and dishonoring God. If you had received the light, in the place of trying to pick flaws in the words given, the Lord would have blessed you. But your course of action cast a reflection of me; and you are still trying to criticize and to prove, if possible, that the warning was not from God, but was the report of some one who had written to me. You are going over the ground gone over by every other man who has not wanted to be interfered with by counsel or reproof. You are showing that the testimony of warning was not premature, but was sent at the right time. BCL 34.2

If you are determined to carry on the same kind of warfare that you have been carrying on, straining nerve, brain, and muscle to come out ahead, and to prove that the message the Lord sent was not true, you will find that your plans will be counterworked by Him who for years has been giving you warnings. BCL 34.3

The Lord has not laid upon you the burdens you have been carrying. The result of your carrying these burdens is felt all through the vineyard of the Lord. God has not called His people to ignore present truth for these last days, and take up a work that so absorbs workers and means that the Lord is not represented as He would otherwise be. Never would a rival Sanitarium have been through Satan's devising, planted so close to the Lord's institution if you had kept at your work for the class of people whom the Lord desires to become acquainted with present truth, the message God has given to those who follow Him to be communicated to the world. The Sanitarium in Battle Creek was to bring the chosen people of God before men of high standing to represent the ways and works and power of God. It was to be His witness in behalf of truth, elevated, sanctifying truth. The Lord made you, my brother, His honored instrument. He has never required from you one task that would crowd out your work in connection with the institution that was to stand for truth, to do a certain work for God, flashing light upon the pathway of thousands. BCL 34.4

The Lord would have kept the Sanitarium pure and true, to represent the truth for these last days. But the very ones who should have helped you do this work, you have despised, and turned from as unworthy of your notice. God sees that His work is being lowered into the slums, as Satan wants it to be; that the elevated sanctification of the truth will become so mingled with tares that its peculiar, holy character will sink out of sight. The Lord saw how this would be, and He sent you warnings. Yet your study is to go right on in your own way, and pick flaws in the message, just as others have done before you. I dare not trust the messages in your hands. You read that portion which sustains you, but the portions which warn and caution and give the note of alarm, you do not bring before those who should hear them. BCL 35.1

You have had a great and sacred work to do. If you hold faithfully to the work God has assigned you, through the skill given you, you will be enabled to work swiftly, though never appearing to be in haste. When your eyes are opened you will see the deep poverty of the mission fields. You will see that the workers there are hampered at every step, while the Lord's money is being used to sustain other inventions and institutions, so that the message which should be given to the world, the first, second, and third angel's messages, are lost sight of. BCL 35.2

Faith and works are closely united. Men must be taught, not only by words, but in practice, that they are not to defer in everything to you. Elder Butler thought that everybody must yield to him. He came to think that he must command everything. This destroyed his brain power. He was only a finite instrument. He could not impart what he has not received. BCL 35.3

God impresses different men to be laborers together with Him. One man is not authorized to gather too many responsibilities upon himself. The Lord would have the physician, upon whom so much depends, so closely connected with Him that his spirit will not be stirred by little items which common sense would teach people how to deal with. The Lord desires Dr. Kellogg to be one of the most efficient workers in the medical profession, slighting nothing, knowing that he has a Counsellor close by his side to sustain to strengthen, to impart a quietness a calm to the soul. Feverishness of spirit and uncertainty will make the hand unskillful. The touch of Christ upon the physician's hand brings vitality, steadiness, restfulness, and confidence, and power. BCL 35.4

God desires His institutions and His chosen and adopted children to do Him honor by representing the attributes of Christian character. Those who are supposed to be rescued from the pit into which they have fallen cannot be relied upon as counsellors, as those who can be trusted to engage in the sacred work done in these last days. The enemy is determined to mix error with truth. To do this he uses the opportunity given him by the debased class for whom so much money is expended, whose appetites have been perverted through indulgence, whose souls have been abused, whose characters are misshapen and deformed, whose habits and desires are grovelling, who think habitually upon evil. Such ones can be transformed in character; but few ever are. Many make a superficial change in their habits and practices, and then suppose that they are Christians. They are received into church fellowship; but they are a great trouble and a great care. Through them Satan tries to sow in the church the seeds of jealousy, dishonesty, criticism, and accusing. Thus he tried to corrupt the other members of the church. The same disposition that mastered the man, led him to break away from all restraint and brought him into the place where he was found. He is reported to be rescued. But time shows that the work done for him did not make him a submissive child of God. Resentful feelings rise at every supposed slight. He cherishes bitterness, wrath, malice. By his words and spirit, he shows that he has not been born again. His tendencies are downward, tending to sensuality. He is untrustworthy, unthankful, unholy. Thus it is with all the debased who have not been soundly converted. Everyone of these marred characters, untransformed, become an efficient worker for Satan, creating dissension and strife. BCL 35.5

The Lord has marked out His way of working. As a people we are not to imitate and fall in with the Salvation Army methods. This is not the work the Lord has given us to do. Neither is it our work to condemn them and speak harsh words against them. There are precious, self-sacrificing souls in the Salvation Army. We are to treat them kindly. There are in the Army honest souls, sincerely serving the Lord, who will see greater light, and will advance to the acceptance of all truth. Those in the Salvation Army are trying to save the neglected downtrodden ones. Discourage them not. Let them do that class of work by their own methods and in their own way. The Lord has plainly stated what the Seventh-day Adventists are to do. Camp-meetings are to be appointed, and a series of tent-meetings held. There should be no hesitancy in presenting the truth applicable for this time. A decided testimony is to be borne. The discourses given should be so simple that children can understand them. BCL 36.1