Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]


MR No. 480—Reconversion and Rebaptism

Reconversion and Rebaptism

We must see Christ as He is. By the eye of faith we must discern the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. By failing to cherish the Spirit of Christ, by taking wrong positions in the controversy over the law in Galatians—a question that many have not fully understood before taking a wrong position—the church has sustained a sad loss. The spiritual condition of the church generally, is represented by the words of the True Witness: “Nevertheless,” saith the One who loves the souls for whom He has died, “I have somewhat against Thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The position taken by many during the Minneapolis General Conference testifies to their Christless condition. The admonition to every such an one is: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” 7MR 261.1

Have not many in this ministerial school seen their mistake of not abiding in Christ? Can not they have the privilege of repenting, and of doing their first works? Who shall condemn this work of repentance, of confession, of baptism? If some conscientiously feel that their first duty is to repent of their sins, confess them, and be baptized, is not this the first works that they must do? 7MR 261.2

When precious rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness have shone upon our pathway, some have opened wide the door of the heart, welcoming the heaven-sent light into the chambers of the soul. They receive the words of Christ Jesus gladly. Others have needed the divine anointing to improve their spiritual eyesight, in order that they may distinguish the light of truth from the darkness of error. Because of their blindness, they have lost an experience that would have been more precious to them than silver and gold. Some, I fear, will never recover that which they have lost. 7MR 261.3

When strong-minded men once set their will against God's will, it is not easy for them to admit that they have erred in judgment. It is very difficult for such men to come fully into the light by honestly confessing their sins; for Satan has great power over the minds of many to whom God has granted evidence sufficient to encourage faith and inspire confidence. Many will not be convinced, because they are not inclined to confess. To resist and reject even one ray of light from heaven because of pride and stubbornness of heart, makes it easier to refuse light the second time. Thus men form the habit of rejecting light.—Manuscript 21, 1891, 6, 7. (Diary, February 27, 1891.) 7MR 262.1

I speak to our leading brethren, to our ministers, and especially to our physicians. Just as long as you allow pride to dwell in your hearts, so long will you lack power in your work. For years a wrong spirit has been cherished, a spirit of pride, a desire for preeminence. In this Satan is served, and God is dishonored. The Lord calls for a decided reformation. And when a soul is truly reconverted, let him be rebaptized. Let him renew his covenant with God, and God will renew His covenant with him. My brethren, show true repentance for departure from God. Let angels and men see that there is forgiveness of sin with God. Extraordinary power from God must take hold of Seventh-day Adventist churches. Reconversion must take place among the members, that as God's witnesses they may testify to the authoritative power of the truth that sanctifies the soul. Renewed, purified, sanctified, the church must be, else the wrath of God will fall upon them with much greater power than upon those who have never professed to be saints. 7MR 262.2

Those who are sanctified through the truth will show that the truth has worked a reformation in their lives, that it is preparing them for translation into the heavenly world. But as long as pride and envy and evil-surmising predominate in the life, Christ does not rule in the heart. His love is not in the soul. In the lives of those who are partakers of the divine nature there is a crucifixion of the haughty, self-sufficient spirit that leads to self-exaltation. In its place the Spirit of Christ abides, and in the life the fruits of the Spirit appear. Having the mind of Christ, His followers reveal the graces of His character. 7MR 263.1

Nothing short of this will make men acceptable to God. Nothing short of this will give them the pure, holy character that those must have who are admitted to heaven. As soon as a man puts on Christ, an evidence of the change wrought in him is seen in spirit and word and act. A heavenly atmosphere surrounds his soul; for Christ is abiding within. 7MR 263.2

“Verily, verily I say unto you,” Christ declared, “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” Oh how few there are who reveal in their lives the principles of this life! They profess to believe the most sacred truth ever given to mortals, but in their lives they dishonor God. “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh My blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh My blood dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.” 7MR 263.3

Do you believe these wonderful statements? Do you receive the words of Christ? I tell you that when in truth you receive them, you will practice the truth in accordance with the teachings of Christ. But as surely as you do not avail yourselves of the privileges presented in these words, so surely will you mis-represent Christ by a half-hearted religious life. So surely you will set before the youth you are educating an example that will not be safe for them to follow, and you will bear the condemnation of their unchristlikeness. 7MR 264.1

My soul is burdened day and night; for I fear that I have not been as explicit as I should have been. In the night season I pray, “Lord, help me; Lord, teach me. Have compassion on the sheep and the lambs of thy pasture. Abandon not the unsanctified, unholy professing Christians in Thy church to their own perverted, corrupt way.” 7MR 264.2

A few nights since, I dreamed that I was praying in a meeting. Oh how earnestly my heart was drawn out in supplication! “Lord,” I pleaded, “Let not this people claiming to believe so sacred a truth follow on in their mistaken ideas until their names are blotted out of the book of life and recorded among the names of the unjust. Help them to see that by their unlikeness to Christ they are greatly dishonoring the Lord.” 7MR 264.3

I call upon the people of God to awake to a realization that their condition is plainly marked out in the message to the Laodicean church. Those who are striving to overcome will while on this earth be pursued by Satanic agencies. The enemy will tempt them to corrupt the principles that they must maintain if they would reach the high standard that God has set before them. We can overcome only in the way in which Christ overcame, by whole hearted obedience to God. Real virtue of character cannot, will not, act by halves. The Christian graces, all cherished, form a beautiful, symmetrical character. True religion is obedience to all the commandments of God. Obedience brings salvation, disobedience, ruin. 7MR 264.4

It pays to examine the whole conduct of the life. What manifestation do we give our fellow men, as God's medical missionaries, teachers of the gospel? What evidence do we give that we are Christ's medical missionaries, imbued by His spirit? Do we show that we are preparing for a life that measures with the life of God? With the opportunities and privileges that we have had, we should be in advance of any people in the world. But what spirit are we bringing into our work? Are we bearing witness to the world to the blessedness of bringing the life of Christ into our individual lives? Do we fear lest, after a promise being left us of entering into God's rest, some of us should seem to come short, because we do not love him? 7MR 265.1

The lives of medical missionaries should be in harmony with the name they bear. Their words and acts should be an interpretation of all that the name embraces. The world has a right to expect from those who claim to be medical missionaries a course of conduct corresponding to all that the name signifies. In this present life God's servants are to give to the world an example of the preparation that those must make who obtain eternal life. But many of those claiming to have advanced knowledge of the word of God have given to the world a sample of character that He cannot approve. 7MR 265.2

It behooves us to live in the fear and love of God. God is supreme, and He cooperates with those who represent Christ in life and character, those who are kind, thoughtful, self-denying, and self-sacrificing. Christ says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” 7MR 265.3

Make your life preparation for eternity. You have not a moment to lose. Do you keep God's commandments? Do you fear to offend Him? Do you feel your dependence on Christ? Do you realize that you must be kept every moment by His power? Is your life filled each day with submission, contentment, and gratitude?—Letter 63, 1903, pp. 1-3. (To “Our Brethren at the Medical Missionary Council,” April 19, 1903.) 7MR 266.1

To those who are so free to exercise their human authority, I am charged to say, Go no further until you know how to deal with the purchase of the blood of Christ. There is need of the converting power of God in every family. Were this power present, there would not be seen a lack of sympathy; instead, there would be seen a most earnest receiving of the grace of Christ to impart to others. 7MR 266.2

Let every root of bitterness be weeded out of the heart. Let most thorough work be done with self. Let the men who are in office keep their hearts under the control of the Holy Spirit. Let them not treat men as though they were hardly a sack of oats; men who have minds with whom God has been and is working. Let them be careful of their actions. They cannot with God's approval pull down, uproot, and transplant men who understand what it means to be taught and moved by the Spirit of God. 7MR 266.3

So much coarseness, such a lack of Christian politeness, has come into the lives of men who stand in official positions that my heart is sick and sore, and I can but weep to see how little of the tenderness of Christ they bring into their dealing with the children of God, the purchase of the blood of His only begotten Son.... 7MR 266.4

It is this baptism of the Holy Spirit that the churches need today. There are backslidden church members and backslidden ministers who need re-converting, who need the softening, subduing influence of the baptism of the Spirit, that they may rise in newness of life and make thorough work for eternity. I have seen the irreligion and the self-sufficiency cherished, and I have heard the words spoken, “Except ye repent and be converted, ye shall never see the kingdom of heaven.” There are many who will need rebaptizing, but let them never go down into the water until they are dead to sin, cured of selfishness and self-exaltation; until they can come up out of the water to live a new life unto God. Faith and repentance are conditions essential to the forgiveness of sin.—Letter 60, 1906, pp. 4-6. (To S. N. Haskell, February 8, 1906.) 7MR 267.1

Here is where the work of the Holy Ghost comes in, after your baptism. You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life—to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you stand under the sanction and the power of the three holiest beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling. You are to reveal that you are dead to sin; your life is hid with Christ in God. Hidden “with Christ in God,”—wonderful transformation. This is a most precious promise. When I feel oppressed, and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just call upon the three great Worthies, and say; You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character. 7MR 267.2

And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer.... 7MR 268.1

We want all the powers that God has given us cleansed and sanctified. We want to clear the path for every working agency, in order that they may not be impeded as they try to advance. We want to come into working order, and into perfect unity with one another. Let us, in tenderness, “admonish one another,” and seek to help one another. Let us pray with one another, and put away everything that would keep us from entering into and following that narrow path that leads upward to heaven.... 7MR 268.2

“Whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ.” This is the manner in which we may glory. And as transformation of character takes place, through repentance and confession and reconversion and rebaptism, you will glory through Jesus Christ, “in those things which pertain to God,”—not in the things that pertain to your own personal selfish interests.... 7MR 268.3

In order to prepare for entrance into this beautiful city, we must now be clothed with the wedding garment—with the robe of Christ's righteousness. We must stand before Him without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. You have not been appointed to talk about others’ faults. While probation still lingers, every soul ought to be washing his own robe of character, and preparing for translation. 7MR 268.4

It is our privilege now, in this world, to be workers together with God. But first of all, we must be reconverted.... I want that you should clear the King's highway. And do not be afraid of the converting power of God. Be not afraid of His truth coming into the formation of your own individual character. If this work should tear your character to pieces, it can bring it together in a wholeness that is sanctified. We greatly need to humble the soul before God and before Christ Jesus, and so relate ourselves toward our Maker and toward one another, that we shall be brought into unity of action.... 7MR 269.1

As Paul goes to Judea to bear the message of the gospel of Christ to those who were opposing the idea of Jesus’ being the Saviour of the world, he wanted the Christian Gentiles to strive together with him in their prayers to God. How much better is this than to talk about the faults of one another! Brethren and sisters, when you are talking with one another, and someone begins to speak about the sins of some one else, listen not. Tell him that you must refuse to hear; for this is not your line of work. Instead of entering into a conversation that tends to tear down, try to speak a word of encouragement. Your talent of speech is to be sanctified unto God; it is to be cleansed from everything like faultfinding. Let us strive together with God's appointed workers in prayer to the Lord that He shall protect them and bless them, and that they may be delivered from them that do not believe.” Thus the way will be opened for the reception of the gospel. 7MR 269.2

“That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” 7MR 269.3

These words that I have been reading to you this afternoon, are the words of the Bible in regard to your duty and my own duty. And I greatly desire that you shall learn to guard the door of your lips, lest you speak unadvisedly. I used to say to my children, as they were leaving home in the morning: “Now, children, you are going out for the day's work. Remember that you are to guard your tongues. Speak not one word that will provoke a wrong act. If you fail, then when we meet at family worship during the evening hour, we shall talk the matter over, and make it right with God. You see, children, kind words never cause you any pain and sorrow. Speak kindly, tenderly to one another, and see what a refreshing, what a blessing, come to your own heart. But if you begin to contend one with another, then passions arise, and you have to strive with all your might to retain control over yourself. Be brave, be true.” 7MR 270.1

And at eventide, when the children would gather together before going to bed, we would talk over the happenings of the day. Possibly during the day one of the children had said, “Mother, someone has done thus and so to me.” I had replied that when we all came together in the evening, we could talk it over. When evening came, they had all had time for reflection, and they did not feel inclined to bring charges against one another. They would say, “Mother, I have done thus and so,” and the tears would start from their eyes, as they would add, “I feel as though I would like to have you ask the Lord to forgive me. I believe He will.” And then we would bow in prayer, and confess the sins of the day, and pray for forgiveness. After confessing their wrong doings, these little fellows would soon fall asleep. 7MR 270.2

But when a child hears an older person constantly talking about the faults of someone else, he in turn is imbued with the same spirit of fault-finding and criticism. The seeds of contention are being sown. Oh, how can professed Christians indulge in such a work! ... 7MR 271.1

I feel an intense interest regarding every faultfinder; for I know that a quarrelsome disposition will never find entrance into the city of God. Quarrel with yourself, but with no one else; and then be converted. Confess your sins right here where you are, before you return to your homes. With words of confession, humble your hearts before God. 7MR 271.2

When you are tempted to speak unadvisedly, be on guard. If some one else approaches you with words of criticism regarding one of God's children, turn a deaf ear to every such word. If you are spoken to harshly, never retaliate. Utter not a word. When under provocation, remember that “silence is eloquence.” Silence is the greatest rebuke that you can possibly give a faultfinder or one whose temper is irritated. Keep your eye fixed on Jesus. Keep your eye on the One who never finds fault with you, only to lay before you perils from which He would deliver you.—Manuscript 95, 1906, 8-12, 14-17. (“Lesson from Romans 15,” October 20, 1906.) 7MR 271.3

You are in danger of overestimating your own value. So long have you followed plans of the enemy's devising, that you seem powerless to break the spell, or to resist evil influences. In the name of the Lord I ask to seek the Lord with all the power at your command. Repent, and be rebaptized, that you may act a part in union with Christ as a laborer together with God. Just as long as you seek to have your own way, trying to serve God and mammon, you will continue your record of mistakes and failures. You have now an opportunity to redeem the past, but nothing will avail you short of a complete surrender to God. Do not continue to make war against those whom you suppose ought to help you and favor you. Those who cherish a spirit of warfare against those who might help them will never find their way out of perplexities, or be free from the deception of Satan. Why should you continue in an evil way, even though others may have treated you unjustly? ... 7MR 271.4

Many have received all the evidences of truth that God will ever give them. They have permitted and encouraged false sentiments; and they have practiced deception to cover up their apostasy. I am instructed to say to those who desire to return to God, “Cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts. Break loose from the spell of the enemy. Lay aside the garments of self-righteousness. Humble your hearts before God, and come into line.”—Letter 50, 1907, pp. 6-8. (To F. E. Belden, February 6, 1907.) 7MR 272.1

Many are not patterning after Christ, but are acting like men and women of the world. 7MR 272.2

After a time I slept, and in my dreams I seemed to be listening to One who was bearing testimony before our brethren in responsible positions. The words He spoke were so decided and straight, that it seemed to some present as if His representations could not be true of all present. Some were deeply moved, while others were deeply mortified that their course of action should be presented as it was. This latter class had not a right comprehension of true religion. They had not been drinking deep draughts from the fountain of Christ's sympathy and tenderness and love. They had a low estimate of what the Christian life should be, and they were hurt and offended at the word spoken. 7MR 272.3

I saw that the workers in the cause need now to be wide awake. Many need to be converted anew and rebaptized. When they learn to drink of the Spiritual Rock which followed the army of Israel in the wilderness, when they partake daily of the heavenly manna, how their experience will change! What the food we eat is to our physical needs, Christ is to our spiritual necessities. He is the Bread of life. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood,” Christ declared, “ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth His flesh and drinketh His blood, hath eternal life. When Christ is formed within the soul, His presence will be as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.—Letter 332, 1907, pp. 1, 2. (To the Workers in Nashville, October 9, 1907.) 7MR 273.1

Released March 16, 1976.