Lt 35, 1895

1895

Lt 35, 1895

Jones, A. T.

Campground, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

November 21, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in RH 4/13/1911 with SpTA #7 59-64 and 11MR 33. +Note

Dear Brother:

Yesterday extracts were read from letters from your pen in reference to our brethren in the Southern field. This subject is a very delicate one to handle, and I would not have anything to say upon it if I did not feel that I dare not withhold light that has been given me. My brother, I was made sad to hear the extracts from your letter. This is not the advice that Jesus gave in his sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:38-41. The principles that you present to others, you should first know are faultless, because sustained by a “Thus saith the Lord.” Lt35-1895.1

How careful we should be in giving advice lest our counsel should result in great evil and suffering. How much better for the families to go out into some other cities or some other country, but never encourage the spirit of defiance and resistance, <even if they are placed in the chain gang.> The bigotry that exists, the prejudice against truth to sustain religious error is firm, for the human agent is stirred with hellish power from beneath. The Lord sees, the Lord knows all about the sufferings of His people for the truth’s sake. Pray, our Saviour says, for those who entreat you evil, and resist not evil. Lt35-1895.2

There is a matter which I have written in regard to the introduction of the truth among the colored people. This cannot be done in any haphazard way, neither can advice be given to the believers and to those who teach the truth to be presumptuous. When the period comes in the Southern States to do as did the three worthies, who refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, that time will present decisions for or against the commandments of God. There is no need of closing up our own way <entirely.> It will be made more difficult to work the many fields that have not yet been touched. Lt35-1895.3

Our policy is, Do not make prominent the objectionable features of our faith, which strike most decidedly against the customs and practices of the people, until the Lord shall give the people a fair chance to know that we are believers in Christ, that we do believe in the divinity of Christ, and in His pre-existence. Let the testimony of the world’s Redeemer be dwelt upon. “I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify of these things unto the churches.” [Revelation 22:16.] There is need of strictly guarding the word that the pen traces upon paper. The Lord help us to learn in the school of Christ His meekness and His lowliness. Lt35-1895.4

If the Majesty of heaven guarded His every word lest He should stir up the spirit of Satan and the fallen angels, how much more careful should we be in all things <in connection with His work.> Lt35-1895.5

I think it would be very becoming to all who claim to follow Christ to be indeed learning of Christ, His methods, and His meekness and lowliness of heart. We have a decided message to bear. In (Jude 1-8) we have the description of the pollution of the world, and the working agencies of Satan to corrupt the world, yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke thee.” [Verse 9.] Lt35-1895.6

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Zechariah 3:1. These things are written for our benefit, and we are to study the Word in all these things now, for they concern us, particularly. There is to be such a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation. Our work is to study to weed out of all our discourses everything that savors of retaliation and defiance and making a drive against churches and individuals, because this is not Christ’s way and method. He did not pronounce scathing rebukes against those who knew not the truth, but against those whom God had made the depositaries of sacred responsibilities, a people chosen and favored with every temporal and spiritual advantage, and yet bearing no fruit. Lt35-1895.7

The most solemn responsibility for the Jewish nation was when Jesus was in their midst. It was that generation, the generation who rejected him, that was the guilty one. Jesus, speaking sometimes by warning, by judgments, by blessing given and withdrawn, said, “Ye would none of my counsel, ye despised all my reproofs.” [Proverbs 1:25.] If thou art destroyed, it is thyself alone who are responsible. “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] Warning, expostulation, forbearance, and patience are about to close. Lt35-1895.8

Mark the cursing of the fig tree, representing the Jewish nation, covered with leaves of profession, but no fruit to be found thereon. The curses pronounced upon that fig tree, which represents the moral, thinking, living agent, cursed of God, living as were the Jews for forty years after this event, yet dead. Mark [that] the trees representing the Gentiles, were not covered. They were leafless, making no pretension to having the knowledge of God. Their time of fruit-bearing was not yet. Lt35-1895.9

Let not any hard reproaches be made against those who know not the truth. Even the churches are in darkness. Those to whom God has entrusted the treasures of His grace are to be made the living, responsible agents, but what is their position? They have lamps—a knowledge of the truth—but how few have communicated the precious light God has given them, how few have borne fruit to the glory of God. They do not improve the light and privileges given. They do not “Arise shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon them.” [Isaiah 60:1.] They have no fruit, and the condemnation of God is upon them. The Lord will not work a miracle to open the eyes that refuse to see. The moistening showers, the sunshine God has given to quicken into life, continues, but they remain fruitless. Shall those for whom the Lord has done so much, have the form of godliness, and stop there? [Read] 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Lt35-1895.10

The Lord pities the world, His vineyard, which has not been worked. In wrath He remembers mercy. He is sparing the world to let increased light come to it. In the midst of wrath He remembers mercy. His heart of divine mercy is full of love and compassion for the thousands who are in ignorance of the truth. There has been everything done for those who have a knowledge of the truth, to keep them in the truth; but those who know not the truth have not received one tithe of the advantages that they should have had. And thus it continues to be. God help the people to whom He has given every advantage, as He did the Jewish nation, to receive and impart to those who are in ignorance of the light of truth, instead of rejecting the light and blessing. Lt35-1895.11

I do not know that you understand this. May the Lord help you to discern. It is not the place of those who have had from Jesus light, precious light, to condemn those to whom this light has never come, and to write or to speak things which will close the ears and door of the heart and hedge up the way, so that Satan’s power shall take possession of human minds, to give the imagination a false viewing that will, through any course that we shall pursue, bring on a state of things that will prevent us from reaching the world. This the Jewish nation did. They made themselves obnoxious to the world. Lt35-1895.12

How shall correct impressions of what we really do believe be given to our world? By studying methods not of contention and condemnation, for there are thousands living up to the best light they have, and every means should be used to get the knowledge of the truth before the thousands who will discern evidence, who will appreciate the likeness of Christ in His people, if they can have an opportunity to see it. There are those among us who, if they should take time to consider, would regard their do-nothing position as a sinful neglect to use the talents which God has given them. Lt35-1895.13

God has given His messengers the truth to proclaim. Then the churches are to voice the truth from the lips of the messengers, and use their talents in every way possible to make the ministry a power to communicate truth by their catching the first rays of light and diffusing the same. Here is our great sin. We are years behind. The ministers have been seeking the hidden treasures, and have been opening up the casket, and letting the jewels of truth shine forth, but there [has] not one hundredth part been done or [is] being done by members of the church that God requires of them. They will in that great day be self-convicted and self-condemned for their slothfulness. May the Lord lead them to self-penitence, and to now see themselves and exclaim, “Lord, I am that fruitless fig tree.” Lt35-1895.14

May the Lord forgive His people who are not doing the work in His vineyard that He has given them to do. “I, Jesus, have sent mine angel, to testify these things in the churches.” “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” [Revelation 22:16.] Study this subject; read the next verse. We see that this is the very message that has been going forth to the people of God. The large halls in our cities should be secured [so] that the third angel’s message may be proclaimed by human lips. Thousands will appreciate the message. While so much time and money has been absorbed in ministerial institutes for those who have the truth and do not appreciate it, thousands are in ignorance of the truth. They know not what is the faith of Seventh-day Adventists. Lt35-1895.15

Why do not the church members communicate that which they have received? Why this negligence? Why this selfish neglect, when the value of souls is at stake? Why is there not now something being done in a larger measure than has been done. Why are camp meetings kept year after year in the same locality? Why are they not taken to cities that know nothing of our faith? The plea is, There will be a saving of money and labor. Let the saving be done in other lines. But when souls are to be labored for, and the truth is to come before those who know it not, let us not talk of limiting on this line. Lt35-1895.16

A world is to be warned. Watch, wait, pray, work, and let nothing be done through strife and vainglory. Let nothing be done to increase prejudice, but everything possible to make prejudice less, by letting in light—the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness amid the moral darkness. There is a great work to be done yet, and every effort possible must be made to reveal Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour, Christ as the Sin-bearer, Christ as the bright and morning star, and the Lord will give us favor before the world until our work is done. Lt35-1895.17

Dear brother, I am your friend, and I would stand in perfect harmony with you. I do not want those who have closed the door of their hearts to light, to have any occasion to feel that they are right in criticizing you and Brother Waggoner and Brother Prescott. I have a great desire that you shall show Christlike wisdom in every movement. Lt35-1895.18

With Christian love. Lt35-1895