Lt 183, 1899

1899

Lt 183, 1899

Hyatt, W. S.

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 9, 1899

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1693-1705.

Dear Brother Hyatt:

I have some things to say to you which must be said. The first difficulties with Brother Philip Wessels were created by the confusion that came into Battle Creek from the Minneapolis meeting. Two years of opposition were brought in, and a spirit prevailed among some of our leading men at two General Conferences which was not inspired by God. Here were Brother Philip Wessels and his brothers, who afterward came into the possession of much property. Had the influence of the leading men of Battle Creek been pure and holy, what an influence would have gone forth from them to help and strengthen and settle the Wessels family! But disunion and rejection of light were the prevailing sins of those who had been long in the faith. They stood in stubborn defiance of truth and light and evidence, and the crooked paths made by them had an influence to unsettle the confidence of the Wessels brothers. Lt183-1899.1

Better had it been for these brethren if they had never seen Battle Creek, for their minds were only confused and led astray by the pride and outlay of means they saw in the carrying on of the work in our schools. And the errors of Battle Creek would be seen in all they undertook in South Africa. Their experience might have been of an entirely different character had the work in Battle Creek been carried forward in simplicity, each worker learning Christ’s methods of labor and His meekness and lowliness of heart. But money was misappropriated. Ambition and outward display were brought in, and things were not as God had specified they should be. He designed that the work should be carried forward in integrity and strict economy, for the vineyard of the Lord, which is the whole world, was to be worked. Lt183-1899.2

Every institution we establish, every sanitarium and publishing house and church, should bear the inscription, “To Him who hath loved us, and died for us, we dedicate this building, whose foundation and topstone were laid in His precious name.” Everything that is done in the furnishing of these buildings should be done with reference to economy. Tasteful, appropriate structures should be erected to give character to the work, but there should be no unnecessary outlay of means. God designs that the work of the ministry shall be regarded as sacred. It is not to be in any way demerited. Lt183-1899.3

It is God’s plan to work through His instrumentalities, His chosen earthen vessels, and men are honored when He places them as His appointed messengers. The work of preaching the Word, presenting Christ crucified as the world’s Redeemer, bears the divine credentials, and proof of its sacred character is given in the conversion of souls. It is not the large buildings erected for show that give character to the work, but the winning of souls to Christ. This seals the teacher as a living oracle, as Christ’s apostle. This will demonstrate that the work we are doing is of God. “By their fruits,” Christ said, “ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] Lt183-1899.4

I will say to my brethren in South Africa: There has not been that wisdom and keen foresight used in dealing with the Wessels family that there should have been. These brothers have invested their means in buildings and in various ways to sustain the work, and what use have you tried to make of them? True, they have not been free from mistakes and errors, but others, who have had much greater light, have revealed that they also erred. Have you given these brethren encouragement and wise, judicious help, or have you closed every avenue whereby they might be helped to be laborers together with God? Have you left them to drift whichever way they would, while their money was tied up in your buildings? Have you not, by your course of action, testified that you did not appreciate the work that has been done with their money? Have you not crowded out their influence, that they might have no part or lot with you? Much more might have been done than has been done to bind them up with the work. Lt183-1899.5

The brethren in the ministry need every day the converting power of God upon them, else they will reveal how true are the words of Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Lines of work could have been entered into that would have called the young men of the Wessels family to act a part in God’s cause. Then they would not have drifted away into the world to invest their money in worldly enterprises, but would have been obtaining an experience of value. Were you in their place, how would you feel? The Lord does not approve of the course of action pursued by the church. Ministers need daily the melting grace of God in the heart. They need the love of Christ shed abroad in the soul. They need to censure less, and give far more encouragement. Let us be faithful with one another. Church members should understand that they are not all converted. There are many who need to have the soul temple refined and cleansed and purified, to open the windows of the soul heavenward and close the doors earthward. Lt183-1899.6

There is need of an advance movement on the part of God’s professed people. We need to draw nigh to God, and see if there are not jealousies and evil-surmisings that are keeping the Saviour away. Selfishness and self-sufficiency close the door of the heart against Jesus, saying, “I want not Thy way but my way.” Humble yourselves under the hand of God, and He will lift you up. Your simple, heartfelt confessions of hardheartedness, worldliness, and love of display and pleasure will be heard by God, and these sins will be seen as they appear in the sight of a holy God. Lt183-1899.7

The simple prayer of faith is music in the ears of the Lord. But you cannot have faith unless you talk faith and live faith. Then you may expect large things. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and convert you, soul, body, and spirit, and you will show to all around you that your face is turned heavenward. You will be moved to holy endeavor. There is need of heart searching and seeking after God. Then God will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a tender heart, which He can impress. May the Lord help and teach and lead and guide us by His Spirit, that in life and character we may be fashioned after the divine pattern. Lt183-1899.8

I address every church member. Open the door of the heart and let Christ into the soul. I address every laborer: Put on Christ. In this will lie your greatest triumph. Every minister, every worker in any line, needs to put on Christ and have the mind which dwelt in Christ. There is revealed too little deep insight into the situation and real necessities of the Lord’s blood-bought heritage. Souls have cost too much for us to be careless and indifferent in regard to them. Lt183-1899.9

It is a sad fact that not all the men who have come from America as workers have been a help and blessing in South Africa. They were not living in connection with God. This has cost South Africa much. There are those who have not exercised wisdom in dealing with human minds, who have been too indifferent to reach out a hand warm with sympathy and earnest, intelligent love to help the ones Satan has tried to secure for his service. Circumstances consign every man, whatever his position, to a practical test; and the actual results of this test are offered to the world for inspection. “By their fruits,” Christ said, “ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] Lt183-1899.10

Differences of opinion will always exist, for every mind is not constituted to run in the same channel. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies have to be guarded, lest they create controversies over minor matters. Christ’s workers must draw together in tender sympathy and love. Let not any one think it a virtue to maintain his own notions and suppose he is the only one to whom the Lord has given discernment and intuition. Christian charity covers a multitude of that which one may regard as a defect in another. There is need of much love and far less criticism. When the Holy Spirit is manifestly working in the hearts of ministers and helpers, they will reveal the tenderness and love of Christ. Lt183-1899.11

Many things which have reference to outward forms are not all defined in the Scriptures, but are left unsettled; and personal preferences have often been urged too strongly over these matters. When every item is not in accordance with the practice of some other of the body of believers, let not little variances swell into grievances and cause disunion. The methods and measures by which we reach certain ends are not always precisely the same. We are required to use reason and judgment as to how we shall move. Experience will show what is the fittest course to pursue under existing circumstances. Let not controversy arise over trifles. The spirit of love and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will bind heart to heart if each will open the windows of the heart heavenward and close them earthward. Lt183-1899.12

The sins marked out in the Word of God must not be allowed to enter the life, as of little consequences. If we would faithfully walk in the light of God’s Word and will, we must be determined that we will not dishonor God by a lax, loose course of action. It is often the case that the customs and climate of a country make a condition of things that would not be tolerated in another country. Changes for the better must be made, but it is not best to be too abrupt. The truth received into the heart sanctifies the receiver. Lt183-1899.13

The power of the grace of God will do more for the soul than controversy will do in a lifetime. By the power of the truth how many things might be adjusted, and controversies hoary with age find quietude in the admission of better ways. The great, grand principle, “Peace on earth and good will to men” [Luke 2:14], will be far better practiced when those who believe in Christ are laborers together with God. Then all the little things which some are ever harping upon, which are not authoritatively settled by the Word of God, will not be magnified into important matters. Lt183-1899.14

The great want in South Africa in religious lines is a clearer sense of the presence of God in every agency and in every enterprise. The purity and holiness of God is the great subject which must awaken the senses to the necessity of true conversion. While on one hand danger lurks in a narrow philosophy and a hard, cold rule of orthodoxy, on the other hand, there is great danger in a careless, impure liberalism. Lt183-1899.15

The great theme ever to be kept before people is the indwelling and co-working of divinity, expressed by Christ in the words, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” “Love your enemies, ... do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” [Matthew 5:48, 44, 45.] Lt183-1899.16

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.” [Ephesians 5:1-4.] Lt183-1899.17

Let this entire chapter be studied by those who claim to believe the truth for this time. Open the heart to the grace of Christ. While we lament deplorable errors, let us receive the precious lessons of instruction the Lord Jesus has given us. God requires every heart to be filled with pure, clean, sanctified, Christlike love. The love of Christ must not be lost out of our humanity. We are laborers together with God. Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building. Christ declares, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Then open the door of the heart and let Jesus in. He is the great Worker as well as the Lawgiver. Lt183-1899.18

The members of our churches need to awake to the realization that they must have none of self and all of Jesus. We must co-operate with the Lord Jesus. The soul is to be awakened to cry aloud with every aspiration for the living God. Let your swelling, struggling heart break for the longing it has for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Let every one who has had an experience in their life in Christ show an earnest faith in God as the true worker. Show that you realize that you are only a channel through which God works. Appreciate the fact that God is our efficiency. We do not remember this, and therefore we lose much in religious experience. We work ourselves in place of being worked by the Holy Spirit’s power. We forget to regard ourselves as merely agents. Lt183-1899.19

We are to contemplate Christ. We are to do our God-given work in our respective places, and by our own example call out the energies of the church to a strenuous co-operation with heavenly agencies, for it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. God will honor His own name if we will clear the way by confessing our sins and removing every stumbling block out of the path of those who would be Christians were it not for the imperfect course of action pursued by those who claim to be followers of Christ. Lt183-1899.20

Constantly we fall into the error of imputing to the human agent that which should be ascribed to God. This is one great reason why the Lord cannot glorify His name as He longs to do. If He did, the human agent would become self-sufficient, self-exalted. Men would ascribe to themselves and to their human energies the honor that should be given to God alone. We need to walk humbly with God. As teachers, we should be very careful to make straight paths for our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. In union with divine agencies, we shall have hope and assurance of success, but not a jot of the glory is to be ascribed to man. Lt183-1899.21

Having through faith, living, unwearied, persevering faith, secured the cooperation of an all-powerful agency, man must not make the mistake—now the reason of the great feebleness seen in the churches—that it is their goodness and their merits that have done this great work. When this feeling is cherished, self-exaltation comes in and dishonors God. Self appropriates to itself the glory that God should have. Lt183-1899.22

As God’s human agents we are to work with unremitting diligence, straining our spiritual sinews and muscles to lay hold of a power out of and above ourselves. Only thus can we accomplish our work. The Lord Jesus is beside us, ready to grasp the hand that is outstretched to Him who is Omnipotent. When our hopes are fulfilled, self is hid with Christ in God, and all glory is given to the Captain of our salvation, who has anointed us with the oil of gladness by His divine efficiency. Then we go forth, working like inspired laborers together with God. Lt183-1899.23

There will always be conditions in God’s work. Every man is called upon to dedicate himself unreservedly to God, soul, body, and spirit. Amid self-denial and trial, discouragement and suffering, with the devotion of a martyr and the courage of a hero, he is to hold fast to that hand that never lets go, saying, I will not fail nor be discouraged. Lt183-1899.24

How much might have been accomplished in South Africa if the men sent to that field had been devoted Christians. But self was not hid with Christ in God, and therefore they exhibited self in large proportions. It grieves my heart to think of what might have been if all those who entered that missionary field had been humble, devoted, consecrated workers. Those who enter any portion of the Lord’s vast vineyard should understand that their supposed acquired abilities will not give them success in their work. A too great recognition of self will place one where he will be alone, terribly alone, without the cooperation of his brethren, and without the cooperation of heavenly agencies. Lt183-1899.25

Some of the workers sent from America to Africa have been hindrances and not helps. The day of God will reveal the results of their work. They made confusion because they were not converted. Self was working without the power of the pure, true agency. Had these workers been sanctified, purified, and cleansed from all selfishness and self-superiority, had they had a genuine experience in the things of God, had their example and influence been right, Africa would not be what it is today. The grand, far-spreading influence of the truth would have embraced other territories. But some were selfishly afraid that the means in Africa would be used to open new fields. Lt183-1899.26

A grand and noble work might have been in adding new territory to the kingdom of God with money that has been invested in America. I have felt intensely for the Wessels family, who have invested means here and there in the work in Africa, and then have been disappointed in the workers. They saw that the work did not advance and grow. Was there not a cause? Unconsecrated persons, who at home show that they are unfit to be missionaries, should never be sent into distant fields to work. Let those only enter missionary fields whose senses are sanctified, who move no faster in the investment of means than they have ability to perfect the work. Lt183-1899.27

If in Africa there had been consecrated workers to push their way into unworked fields, with the full cooperation of the men who are bearing responsibilities, the influence of this work would have added large numbers to the Lord’s kingdom. But the same error has been committed in Africa that was committed in Battle Creek—a center was made in one place at a large outlay of means, while other portions of the Lord’s vineyard which should have been worked were neglected. God will use in His work humble men who do not think themselves so useful that they trust to their own judgment and efficiency. In Africa there were those who because of their humility were supposed to be unable to do much. Christ worked with these men. God gave them wisdom. But supposedly wiser men bound about the work, and gave little encouragement for it to advance. Lt183-1899.28

The very means that was needed to enter and establish the truth in new territories was placed in America, where it would not do the greatest amount of good. God has seen all this, and has presented it to me. There was need of that means in new and unworked fields in the Lord’s vineyard that the standard of truth might be uplifted. Had the work been done that needed to be done, men of talent would have come to a knowledge of the truth, men who could have translated our books into different languages. Every dollar expended in America in adding building to building was needed in the fields that might have been entered but were not because many of the workers sent to South Africa were not sanctified. They were unable to take in the situation. They were not willing to deny self, lift the cross, and follow where Jesus led the way. Lt183-1899.29

I am in sore distress as I see and understand what might have been done, yet was not done in a field that needed money and workers. Light was given to me to call to the Wessels family for money needed in the opening of new fields, in the carrying of the message into new territory, where the truth should shine forth in the dark regions of heathenism. These fields needed the money that has been absorbed in America. The Wessels family has invested some money in the work in Australia. Thus they have helped us to educate missionaries to go into unworked fields. Lt183-1899.30

The greatest praise men can bring to God to exalt His sovereignty is to make themselves consecrated channels through which He can work. The Lord’s work is to be done, and He calls upon the members of His firm to act their part as obedient servants. If they have been fitted for service by the grace they have received, they are laborers together with God, but if they have not received this grace, they will be only hindrances. Through all the ages men have worked contrary to God, as did Balaam, because they have brought selfishness and covetousness into the work, leaving God out of their hearts and plans. The angelic agencies are represented as eager and longing to bring divine resources to human agencies for the conversion of souls that the Lord may be glorified. But there are many men and women who are not daily converted to God. They weave self and their own plans into the sacred work, and they are hindrances. God could bless consecrated human instrumentalities who are willing to let the divine influence use them to belt the world, yet heaven waits while men get in the way of His work with their own plans and methods. God says, Take up the stumbling blocks; make room for Me to work; prepare the way of the Lord and make His paths straight. Lt183-1899.31