Lt 204, 1899

1899

Lt 204, 1899

Kellogg, J. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 12, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in BCL 28.

Dear Brother:

I would help you if I could, but I do not know how to help you. The dangers of your plan of operations in connection with the conference held in South Lancaster were presented before me. I saw that you could not plan and devise as you had been doing, or carry out your ideas, without injury to yourself and to the cause of God. I was instructed by the Lord that your temptation would be to make your medical missionary work stand <above every other work,> independent of the conference. But this plan was not right. You were tempted by the enemy, and I hasten to write to you. I sent a copy of the letter to Elder Irwin, for it was necessary that some one besides yourself should know your danger, that efforts might be made to save you from the course of action you had premeditated. Lt204-1899.1

You needed the counsel of others then your colleagues. Fresh, new ideas were needed in your councils, for all your ideas did not bear the divine credentials. You had been swaying the minds of those connected with the medical missionary work, until you that others were becoming like men lost in a fog of uncertainty. Lt204-1899.2

You had your work, to which God appointed you. You were to be a faithful physician of the souls as well as of the bodies of those under your charge. Had you fulfilled this responsibility with all the keen talent God gave you in trust, you would not have worked alone. One who never makes a mistake was presiding. Only the Holy Spirit’s power can keep your spirit sweet and fragrant, soft and subdued, ever trusting in God, ever speaking the right words at the right time. Lt204-1899.3

The Lord Jesus has said, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Christ’s words made an impression on the minds of His hearers. Many of them, though not clearly comprehending His instruction, were moved by deep conviction to say decidedly, “Never man spake like this man.” [John 7:46.] The disciples did not always understand the lessons Christ wished to convey by parables, and when the multitude had gone away, they would ask Him to explain His words. He was ever ready to lead them to a perfect understanding of His word and His will; for from them, in clear, distinct lines, truth was to go forth to the world. Lt204-1899.4

At times Christ reproached the disciples with the slowness of their comprehension. He placed in their possession truths of which they little suspected the value. He had been with them a long time, giving them lessons in clear lines, but their previous religious education, the erroneous interpretation which they had heard the Jewish teachers place on the Scriptures, kept their minds clouded. Christ promised them that He would send His Spirit, who would recall His words to their minds as forgotten truths. “He shall teach you all things,” Christ said, “and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [John 14:26.] Lt204-1899.5

The way in which the Jewish teachers explained the Scriptures, their endless repetition of maxims and fictions, called forth from Christ the words, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” [Matthew 15:8.] They performed in the temple courts their round of service. They offered sacrifices typifying the great Sacrifice, saying by their ceremonies, “Come, my Saviour.” Yet Christ, the One whom all these ceremonies represented, was among them, and they would not recognize or receive Him. The Saviour declared, “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” [Mark 7:7.] Lt204-1899.6

In Colossians we read, “The body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” [Colossians 2:17-19.] The gospel ministry is to demonstrate the influence of the cross. The work of God in the plan of salvation is not to be done in any disjointed way; it is not to operate at random. The plan which provided the influence of the cross provided also the method of its diffusion. This method is simple in its principles and comprehensive in its plain, distinct lines. Part is connected with part in perfect order and relation. Lt204-1899.7

God has brought His people together in church capacity in order that they may reveal to the world the wisdom of Him who formed this organization. God knew what plans to outline for the efficiency and success of His people. Adherence to these plans will enable them to testify of the divine authorship of God’s great plan for the restoration of the world. Lt204-1899.8

Those who, through an intelligent understanding of the Scriptures, view the cross aright, those who truly believe in Jesus, have a sure foundation for their faith. They have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from all its hereditary and cultivated imperfections. Lt204-1899.9

God has united believers in church capacity in order that one may strengthen the other in good and righteous endeavor. The church on earth would indeed be a symbol of the church in heaven if the members were of one mind and one faith. It is those who are not worked by the Holy Spirit who mar God’s plan. Another spirit takes possession of them, and they help to strengthen the forces of darkness. Those who are sanctified by the precious blood of Christ will not become the means of counterworking the great plan God Himself has devised. They will not bring human depravity into things small or great. They will not do anything to perpetuate division in the church. But because there are always tares among the wheat, because in the body of Sabbathkeepers evils are seen, shall we demerit the church? Shall not the managers of every institution, the leaders of every church, take up the work of purification in such a way that the transformation in the church will not be a secret, a say-so, but a bright light in a dark place? Lt204-1899.10

What may not one believer do in the exercise of pure, heavenly principles, if he refuses to be contaminated, if he will stand as firm as a rock to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Angels of God will come to his help, preparing the way before him. Lt204-1899.11

Paul wrote to the Romans, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] This entire chapter is a lesson which I entreat all who claim to be members of the body of Christ to study. Lt204-1899.12

Paul writes also, “If the firstfruits be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the fruit be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God, on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” [Romans 11:16-22.] There is to be no demeriting of the agencies God has placed in the church. Lt204-1899.13

The fourth chapter of Ephesians contains lessons given us by God. In this chapter one speaks under the inspiration of God, one who in holy vision has been instructed by God. Here we are shown that one man cannot manage everything. God never designed that one man should shoulder so many responsibilities that his mind and body would become worn out. And it is for me to say, Dr. Kellogg, that you have not kept to your appointed work. You can serve the Lord best by giving the Sanitarium the benefits of the talents He had given you. He desires you to co-operate with Him in making this institution a lessonbook to the world. All are to see that it is under the management of God. Lt204-1899.14

The third chapter of Ephesians also contains most important lessons for every one of our institutions. Paul writes, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” [Verses 8-10.] Sanctified ministry calls for self-denial. The cross must be uplifted, and its place in the gospel work shown. Human influence is to draw its efficacy from the One who is able to save and keep saved all who recognize their dependence on Him. By the union of church members with Christ and with each other the transforming power of the gospel is to be diffused throughout the world. Lt204-1899.15

Never, never should a sanitarium be established to become an interest independent of the church. Genuine medical missionary work is in no case to become divorced from the gospel ministry. The cross is the center of all religious institutions. These institutions are to be under the control of the Spirit of God, and no one man is to be the sole head in these institutions. The divine mind has men for every place. Lt204-1899.16

Those who take part in God’s work are to be led and guided by God. Every human ambition is to be submerged in Jesus Christ, who is the head over all the institutions God has established. He knows how to set in operation and keep in operation His own agencies. He knows that the cross must occupy the central place, because it is the means of man’s atonement, and because of the influence it exerts on every part of divine government. The Lord Jesus, who has been through all the history of our world, understands the methods that should be invested with a power over human minds. He knows the importance of every agency, and understands how the varied agencies should be related to one another. Lt204-1899.17

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, every work of God’s appointment is to be elevated and ennobled, and made to witness for the Lord. The human mind needs to be uplifted. Man must place himself under the eternal Mind, whose dictates he is to obey in every particular. Let us seek to understand our privilege of walking and working with God. The gospel, though it contains God’s expressed will, is of no value to men, high or low, rich or poor, unless they place themselves in subjection to the divine will. He who bears to his fellow men the remedy for sin must first be worked himself by the Spirit of God. He must not ply the oar unless he is under divine direction. He cannot work effectually, he cannot carry out the will of God in harmony with the divine mind, unless he finds out, not from human sources, but from infinite wisdom, that God approves of his plan, of his investment of means. Lt204-1899.18

Christ stood forth in our world, and speaking with the authority which belongs solely to Him, said, “No man liveth to himself.” [Romans 14:7.] After Adam fell, men broke away from the heaven-ordained center. Who could bring in the principles ordained by God in His rule and government to counterwork the plans of Satan, to bring the world back to its loyalty? God said, I will send My Son. He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] This is the remedy for sin. Christ alone could stand in this world of selfishness, where men would destroy a friend or a brother in order to accomplish a scheme put into their minds by Satan. Lt204-1899.19

Christ came to our world, clothing His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity and divinity grasp divinity. Amid the din of selfishness, He could say to men, Return to your center—God. He Himself made it possible for man to do this by carrying out in this world the principles of heaven. In humanity He lived the law of God. To men in every nation, every country, every clime, He will give heaven’s choicest gifts if they will accept God as their Creator and Christ as their Redeemer. Lt204-1899.20

Christ alone can do this. His gospel, in the hearts and hands of His followers, is the power which is to accomplish this great work. “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” [Romans 11:33.] Christ made it possible for the work of redemption to be accomplished by Himself becoming subject to Satan’s misrepresentations. Thus was Satan to show himself to be the cause of disloyalty in God’s universe. Thus was to be forever settled the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Lt204-1899.21

Satan strengthens the destructive tendencies of man’s nature. He brings in envy, jealousy, selfishness, covetousness, calculation, and strife for the highest place. Evil agencies act their part through the devising of Satan. Thus the enemy’s plans, with their destructive tendencies, have been brought into the church. Christ comes with His own redeeming influence, proposing through the agency of His Spirit to impart His efficiency to men, and employ them as His instrumentalities, as laborers together with Him, united with Him in seeking to draw the world back to its loyalty. Lt204-1899.22

Men are bound in mutual fellowship, in mutual dependence, to one another. They are to be bound by the golden links of the chain of love fast to the throne of God. This can only be done by Christ imparting to finite man the attributes which man would ever have possessed had he remained loyal and true to God. Lt204-1899.23

Through Christ God works to bring man back to his first relation to his Creator, and to correct the disorganizing influences brought in by Satan. Christ says, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] He saw that a demon was the central power in the world. Where God’s throne should have been, Satan had placed his throne. The world was laying its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy. Christ says, “There shall stand the cross. Satan shall be cast out, and I will be lifted up to draw all men unto Me. I will become the center of the redeemed world. Those now controlled by human ambition, human passions, shall be workers of Me. The Lord God shall be exalted. No compulsion shall be exercised. I will set every heavenly agency at work. My army shall meet in conflict with the satanic force. Lt204-1899.24

“I will engage every sanctified human agency in the universe. Evil influences have conspired to counterwork all good. They have confederated to make men think it righteous to oppose the law of Jehovah. But My Spirit will combine with every heavenly agency to oppose them. I have a work for all who love Me. I have employment for every soul who will work under My direction. The activity of Satan’s army, the dangers that surround the human soul, call for all the energies of every worker. None of My agencies are to be absent. Man’s depravity is to be met by the love, the patience, the long-suffering of God. My work is to save those under Satan’s rule.” Lt204-1899.25