Lt 100, 1895

1895

Lt 100, 1895

Haskell, S. N.

Granville, Australia

October 11, 1895

Recopied and edited (in 1899) from Lt 26, 1895. Portions of this letter are published in TMK 79; OHC 114; 6MR 1.

Dear Brother Haskell:

I have not been well for many weeks. By constant labor I have overtaxed my strength, and exhaustion has come upon me. Great weakness has been my portion. But at times I have had strength to write, and as I write quite rapidly, I get off considerable matter. Lt100-1895.1

My mind is deeply stirred over many things. Light from heaven flashes upon me and brings many things to my remembrance. I think I sent you matter in regard to the colored people. I have had precious light on the subject of their having a proper education. Lt100-1895.2

I thank you for the money you sent, and think I shall be able to pay you any time you may call for it. The demand for money for the school grounds and building, the building of a meeting house in Ashfield, and the carrying forward of the work in new localities, has been very strong. Before this money came, we hardly knew what to do, and it was appropriated at once as a Godsend. Lt100-1895.3

On Sabbath I have an appointment for a meeting in the hall where the Sydney church assembles, and on Sunday I am to give an address at the dedication of the church at Ashfield. Since the camp meeting, over one hundred persons in Ashfield and the suburbs of Sydney have embraced the truth and been baptized. Six more are to go forward in this ordinance next Sunday. Lt100-1895.4

I am glad, Brother Haskell, that you are still in Africa, and that you have no excuse for feeling lonely or discouraged. You would be welcome here in Australia. We would be glad to see you, but we fear that the element of suspicion and distrust of your brethren would be brought into your work here as it has been in America and Africa, and in every place where there has been the least question of your opinions and ideas. This weakness in your character causes you to lose confidence in your brethren and makes you very unhappy. It throws a gloom over your soul. You reveal that you do not understand yourself or take correct views of your brethren. Lt100-1895.5

My brother, let me say some plain things to you. You need faith in your brethren and faith in God. I tremble as I see that you will be brought into places where you will know what genuine trials are, that you may learn that the warnings and reproofs you have received have only quelled this spirit for the time being. Your sin comes under the head of evil surmising, and these falsehoods of the devil will spring into life at any moment. You have never yet discarded the devil’s lies, and for this reason you will be a weak man when you ought to be strong. Lt100-1895.6

Man never knows his own position among men and his own experience as genuine until he is sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. This you are not; your thoughts reveal that you are not a new man in Christ Jesus. At times you sit in gloom and darkness because the windows of your soul are open to earth-pictures; and you feel injured if anyone tries to close these windows and turn your thoughts heavenward. When you see what Jesus is doing for His heritage, when your life is one with God, you will have an altogether different experience. When you know yourself as you are, you will know your needs and the remedies you must have for your sin-sick soul. When you link yourself up with your brethren, as a living member of the Christian brotherhood, you will have a peace that passes all understanding. Lt100-1895.7

You have deeper lessons to learn in the school of Christ. You will have to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. He will be with you in every real trouble to deliver, and in every unreal trouble to convert the soul from self to God. Tell the dear Saviour about this sin, this besetting sin, and ask for the converting power of God, else these temptations will always overcome you. He who curbed the lions in their den, and walked with His faithful witnesses amid the fiery flames, will just as surely work in your behalf to overcome this evil in your character. Lt100-1895.8

Brother Haskell, you need never feel that you are alone. Angels of God are your companions. The Holy Spirit is your Comforter. Christ is inviting you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Lt100-1895.9

Christ says to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Then let your light shine forth in clear, steady rays. Do not wrap about you this cloud of darkness. Cease your constant suspicion of others, and let your good works represent the character of Christ. You are not the only man on the face of the earth who has had to overcome these attributes of character. Christ’s sufferings on this point were a reality. When you begin to despond, look to Jesus, talk to Him. Your Elder Brother will never make a mistake. He will judge righteously. Lt100-1895.10

Even in heaven we are to continually improve. Then is it not essential that we cultivate our characters in this life? You must be prepared for a place in the family of God. When you are complete in Christ, you will not give yourself up to such entirely needless experiences as you have had. You will then see that those who you thought must have a radical change were not half as much in need of change as your individual self. You have a knowledge of the truth, Brother Haskell. You teach the Bible. Now go farther and practice it. Be a doer of the Word. Lt100-1895.11

How much there is to study in the great lesson book given us by our heavenly Father, and yet how slow we are to learn His lessons. The lessons that came from the lips of Christ were not oft-repeated maxims; He inculcated new ideas, new truths. His words in the temple on the great day of the feast possess a wonderful meaning and power. “If any man thirst,” He said, “let him come unto me and drink.” [John 7:37.] Man is not to be driven. He has a part to act. He must come of his own choice. The precious promises and abundant blessings given us in Christ must be laid hold of by faith before they can be appropriated. Lt100-1895.12

In Christ our hope of eternal life is centered. Speaking of this hope Paul declares, “God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered.” [Hebrews 6:17-20.] Lt100-1895.13

The hope set before us—what is it? It is eternal life. Nothing short of this will satisfy our Redeemer, and it is our part to lay hold of this hope by living faith in Him who has promised. If we are partakers with Him of His sufferings, we shall be partakers with Him of the glory which will be His, for His merits have purchased forgiveness and immortality for every sinful, perishing soul. “This hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast.” [Verse 19.] By this we are to understand that our constant expectation of God’s favor in the heavenly world, which has been purchased for us by the atonement and intercession of Jesus Christ, is to keep us steadfast and unmovable in every hour of conflict. With such a hope as this before us, shall we allow Satan to cast his hellish shadow across our pathway, and eclipse our views of the future reward? Lt100-1895.14

We are not to think to find salvation in our individual selves. We gain heaven, not through our own merits, but through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. And yet how hard poor mortals strive to be sin-bearers for themselves and for others. The only Sin-bearer is Christ. He alone can be our substitute and surety. He is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Shall we turn from our sins? Shall we give them up to the Sin-bearer? If we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall live. Lt100-1895.15

Christ values His human agents with a value that is beyond any human computation. We are to encourage hope. Take your eyes off from yourself. Our faith and hope are not to be centered in self. They are to enter into that within the veil, whither our Forerunner is for us entered. Talk of the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are exposed to great moral danger, and if we trust in self, look no higher than self, we shall make shipwreck of faith. Do not fail nor be discouraged. Our hope is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast when it entereth into that within the veil, for the tempest-tossed soul becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is anchored in Christ. Amid the raging elements of temptation, he will not be driven upon the rocks or drawn into the whirlpool. His ship will outride the storm. Lt100-1895.16

The Lord would have the tempted soul stand fast and unmovable always, abounding in the work of the Lord. To the sinking Peter Christ said, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” [Matthew 14:31.] Often we, like Peter, dishonor God by our faithless unbelief. The mightiest power is vouchsafed to us to enable us to stand. As we search the Scriptures, what lessons we find, what help, what sufficiency, what assurance. Looking unto Jesus it is our privilege to say, boldly and yet humbly, The Lord is my helper; I shall not be moved from my steadfastness. My life is bound up with the life of Christ. Because he lives I shall live also. Lt100-1895.17

Brother Haskell, if you only knew how you hurt yourself and grieve the Spirit of Christ by falling so readily into the habit of imagining evil and in your heart accusing your brethren of trying to hurt you, you would put it away. You think wrong thoughts, which appear to you as truth, when they are falsehoods against your brethren. This is becoming a trait in your character which, if you do not put it away, will ruin your soul. In making so much of what you think your brethren say and do against you, you show great weakness. I beg of you to close the door of your heart to distrust, and throw it open to the heavenly Guest. Put away your fretting and complaining, for this is the snare of the devil. Lt100-1895.18

Let us pledge ourselves before God and the angels of heaven that we will not dishonor our Maker by cherishing darkness and unbelief, by speaking one word of discouragement or mistrust. Let every word we utter, every line we write, be fraught with encouragement and unwavering faith. If we talk faith, we shall live faith, and shall be confirmed in the faith. Think not that Jesus is our brother’s Saviour only. He is your personal Saviour. If you entertain this precious thought, you will beat back the clouds of despondency and gloom, and make melody to God in your soul. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. It is our privilege to triumph in God, acknowledging that our everlasting portion, our heavenly treasure, is dependent upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is our privilege to lead others to see that their only help is in God, and to flee to Him for refuge, laying hold of the hope set before us in the gospel. Lt100-1895.19

There are among our workers some who feel that a great object would be gained if their feet could tread the soil of old Jerusalem. But God’s cause and work will never be advanced by His workers wandering about to find where Jesus traveled and wrought His miracles. Would you trace the footsteps of Christ? Behold Him in that hovel, ministering to the poor. See Him at that sickbed, comforting the suffering ones and speaking hope and courage to the desponding soul. If God’s workers would walk in the footsteps of Jesus, they will do as He did. “He that will come after me,” He said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Lt100-1895.20

The city of Jerusalem is no longer a sacred place. The curse of God is upon it because of the rejection of Christ, the crucifixion of the only begotten Son of God. The darkest blot of guilt is upon Jerusalem, and never again will it be a sacred place until it has been cleansed by the purifying fires of heaven. When this sin-cursed earth is purified from every stain of sin, Christ will again stand upon the Mount of Olives; and as His feet shall rest upon it, it will part asunder and become a great plain, prepared for the city of God. Lt100-1895.21

The disciple John writes, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people; and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” [Revelation 21:1-7.] Lt100-1895.22

Christ’s humiliation in clothing His divinity with humanity is worthy of our consideration. Had this subject been studied as carefully as it should have been, there would be far less of “I” heard and far more of Christ. It is self-esteem that stands between the human agent and his God and impedes the vital current that flows from Christ to enrich every human being. When we follow Jesus in the path of self-denial and the cross, we shall find that we do not have to strive for humility. As we walk in Christ’s footsteps, we shall learn His meekness and lowliness of heart. Very few thoughts should be devoted to self, for we can never make ourselves great. It is Christ’s gentleness that makes us great. Lt100-1895.23

Christ humbled Himself as a man, that upon Him might come the wrath of God, the penalty of sin. He stood thus that life and immortality might be brought to light in behalf of man. Through the transgression of Adam the floodgates of woe were opened upon our world. As our substitute and surety Christ humbled Himself to take human nature, to suffer in man’s stead, and to die the death of every man. He died, was buried in Joseph’s tomb, and rose from the dead, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, I am the resurrection and the life. He ascended on high to the city of God, escorted by the angelic throng, and took His place as our Advocate in the heavenly courts. Therefore He is above to give to all who believe in Him an entrance into the city whither He has gone. Lt100-1895.24

Christ did not die because He was compelled to. By His own will He suffered the death penalty, that all who believe in Him may come up from their graves, and heaven be peopled with the redeemed. By this act Satan’s purpose to exterminate the race that God had created was defeated, for Christ gave to man the power to become a partaker of the divine nature, a worker together with Christ, a laborer together with God in saving perishing souls. The love of Christ flows into his heart, and flows forth again in rich currents of sympathy, tenderness, and love to the human family, his brethren. Lt100-1895.25

“Laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] How few understand the full import of these words. We cannot work ourselves. God works, and we work. Study the words of inspiration, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The great Architect wants to form us into a holy temple for Himself. Only those who are partakers of the divine nature can understand this. Those who walk as Christ walked, who are patient, kind, gentle, meek and lowly in heart, those who yoke up with Christ and lift His burdens, who yearn for souls as He did—these will enter into the joy of their Lord. They will see with Christ the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. Heaven will triumph. The vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and the angels who sympathized with him will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord. Lt100-1895.26

Satan has worked with all his power to abolish the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and place a common working day in its stead. But the Lord has sent men light on this point, so that none need be in ignorance. Those who have not received the light and have died, regarding the first day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord, will not be held accountable for their mistake. Although the Lord has invested the seventh day with the sanctity of His blessing, he compels none to observe it. All who know the holy commandments and refuse to obey decide their destiny for eternity. Those who appreciate the great sacrifice made for them will not bow down to an idol sabbath, but will render obedience to the holy day which God has sanctified and blessed as the day of His rest. Lt100-1895.27

The transgression of God’s commandment by Adam was considered small, but its results have been by no means small. That one act of disobedience opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. So today the fourth commandment, which was given to man to be reverenced as a memorial of creation, is set aside by men as of no particular consequence. They say, “It does not matter which day you keep as long as you rest one day in the week. God is not particular about the day.” Thus they trample under their feet the fourth commandment, showing no respect for a “Thus saith the Lord.” Like Nadab and Abihu they present to the Lord common fire, instead of the fire of God’s own kindling. They take a day which has not the blessing of the Lord upon it, and honor it as the Sabbath. Lt100-1895.28

The laws of states and nations exalt that day, and clothe it with importance. They make laws that every soul shall worship this idol. That which is false is sanctioned by human laws, and disobedience to those laws is regarded as an offence punishable with the stocks, fines, imprisonment, and death. Thus men are forced to obey men, while the guardians of nations refuse to obey the laws of Jehovah. Thus they fulfill the prophecy concerning the man of sin, who sitting in the temple of God, shows himself to be God. Lt100-1895.29

This is the supreme delusion of these last days. Satan has done this work in no halfway manner. That Sabbath which God declares is the sign and seal of the loyalty of His people, by which they are to know Him as the only true God, the maker of heaven and earth, the day He has sanctified and blessed, is made the busiest day of the week. This cunning device of Satan has been brought in to ensnare the commandment-keeping people of God. Through successive steps he has led men to regard Sunday, first as a holiday which all must observe, and then as God’s holy day. But God no more accepts this false sabbath than He accepted the strange fire offered by Nadab and Abihu. Lt100-1895.30

When that which is false and impure is made to take the place of the pure and the true, God is dishonored. When pure rites and ordinances are perverted by the wickedness of men, the greatest injury is done to the world. The greatest evidence of a false religion is its opposition to the way and will of God. It bears the marks of oppression, even to the taking of human life. This has been Satan’s manner of working since the fall of Adam. Lt100-1895.31

Cain slew his brother because he chose to obey God. He reasoned with Abel in this matter; he argued that it made no difference whether he presented the firstfruits of the ground or offered a lamb as a sacrifice to God. But Abel’s decision was made to obey God, and the Lord gave evidence of His acceptance of the offering by sending fire from heaven to consume it. Cain made his offering according to his own human ideas, just as men today honor a day of their own inventing rather than the one which God has blessed. But God will never accept the spurious for the true. Cain’s offering was rejected, and provoked because he could not triumph over his brother, he took his life. In this way Satan has worked upon human minds ever since. With deceiving power he has wrought upon the hearts of men, causing them to disregard a “Thus saith the Lord.” Lt100-1895.32