Lt 63, 1903

1903

Lt 63, 1903

Brethren at the Medical Missionary Council

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 19, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 262-266; MM 129-130. +Note

To our brethren at the Medical Missionary Council,—

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 pre-eminence. 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. Lt63-1903.1

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 so 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. Lt63-1903.2

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. Lt63-1903.3

“Verily, verily I say unto you,” Christ declared, “he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” [John 6:47.] O 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.” [Verses 54-57.] Lt63-1903.4

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 misrepresent 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. Lt63-1903.5

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.” Lt63-1903.6

A few nights since, I dreamed that I was praying in a meeting. O 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.” Lt63-1903.7

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. Lt63-1903.8

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? Lt63-1903.9

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. Lt63-1903.10

It behooves us to live in the fear and love of God. God is supreme, and He co-operates 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.” [Matthew 16:24.] Lt63-1903.11

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? Lt63-1903.12

Medical missionary workers are acknowledged by Christ, not because they bear the name they do, but because they are under the guardianship of the Chief Missionary, who left heaven to give His life for the life of the world. He says, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments. ... He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and manifest Myself to him.” [John 14:15, 21.] Lt63-1903.13

Then, as witnesses for God, give proof that you are under the discipline and training of the great Medical Missionary; that you have placed yourselves in His hands, to manifest His Spirit, to shew to the world the sacred character of His great work, and to reveal to unbelievers the advantage of being under His guardianship. A medical missionary is not of value to the cause of God unless all the principles embraced in the name that he bears are developed in his life. The gospel of Christ is to be brought into the daily life. We are to make our life in this world an example, as far as we possibly can, of what the life in heaven will be. This Christ expects of all who claim to be medical missionaries. They are not to cherish one principle that bears a taint of selfishness. They are to stand before the world as followers of Christ, partaking of His self-denial and humiliation, and heralding His coming. Lt63-1903.14

Christ might have astonished the world by a display of His glorious divinity. But He concealed this, to place Himself at the head of humanity. He was tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to succor those who are tempted. He requires His followers to submit to no inconvenience and self-sacrifice to which He did not submit. He might have come escorted by ten thousand times ten thousand of the heavenly host; but no! He clothed Himself in the habiliments of humanity. He made Himself of no reputation. He humbled Himself at every step. “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] Lt63-1903.15

It is possible for us to represent Him. We need not by wilful, unsanctified lives continually deny Him and by unprincipled actions put Him to open shame, while claiming to be medical missionaries. May God have mercy upon us, bestowing repentance and healing; for if we continue to dishonor His great and holy name, refusing to humble our hearts, refusing to heed His admonitions, and bracing our souls in pride and self-sufficiency, His judgments upon us will be repeated. Lt63-1903.16

Monday, April 20, 1903

This morning between twelve and one o’clock, I awoke from sleep calling upon the Lord in prayer, both in my own behalf and in the behalf of my brethren. I felt a wonderful nearness to God. These words were sounding in my ears: “Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.” [Luke 18:37.] “If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole.” [See Matthew 8:2.] In my hand and arm there was a feeling which I did not at first understand, a feeling of freedom and power for service. I continued the prayer that I had been offering in my sleep and then arose and dressed. The exhaustion from which I had been suffering since the Conference in Oakland was gone; my head was rested and my mind was clear. The day before, I had felt deeply burdened, and in the afternoon I wrote thirteen pages in my large diary. As fast as my pen could trace the words I wrote the first part of this, and other things to our brethren in the medical work, who have been holding responsible positions in our institutions. I thank the Lord for healing, and for strength necessary to the performance of the work He has given me to do. Lt63-1903.17

In our institutions there has been a departure from pure, holy, sanctified principles in business management, and the Lord has come near to His people in rebuke and judgment. He sends to them the messages: Lt63-1903.18

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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.” [Revelation 2:1-5.] Lt63-1903.19

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Revelation 3:1-5.] Lt63-1903.20

Keeping daily guard over ourselves, over thought and word and act, facing God’s law as we face a mirror, seeing if we are true to God’s requirements—this is the part we are to act. And when we discover an inconsistency in our life, we are to repent before God and correct the wrong, else our whole experience will be leavened with evil. We are not to forget the revelation of the divine mirror. We are to remember that nothing that the Lord declares impure or false can help to make our lives more fit for the kingdom of God. We are not our own, and we are to search the Word of God diligently, that we may know what are the duties enjoined by that word. That which God expects of His children here below is plainly outlined and urged upon us in the Word. His instruction is sustained by promises scattered all through the Word, from the beginning to the end. The Lord knows how to deal justly and truly with the members of His family. Lt63-1903.21

In all your councils and labors, remember that nothing is to be done through strife or vainglory. God will surely call to account any one who treats a member of His family in an arbitrary or unkind manner. Lt63-1903.22

The words of the Psalmist are strikingly definite: “Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.” You may not have originated the reproach, but even taking it up brings condemnation upon you. “In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” [Psalm 15:1-5.] Lt63-1903.23

Those who violate the principles of heavenly origin, and disregard the plain injunctions of God; those who do not respect the rules of God’s family government, who in this world of test and trial do the opposite of what He has told them to do, determined to follow on in an evil course, could not be received as members of His heavenly family. They would create the same disturbance in the heavenly courts that they have created here below. They would stir up a second rebellion. So the Lord gives human beings their trial in the lower apartment. Those who will see His face, those who will be admitted to the glorious courts above, must here live the Christ life. Lt63-1903.24

“If ye forgive men their trespasses,” said our Saviour to His disciples, “your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.” [Matthew 6:14, 15.] The Lord’s requirements are plainly stated, and they are without a flaw. At the day of judgment, no one will have any excuse for saying, “I did not understand.” The duty of dedicating all to God is clearly enjoined in His Word. Lt63-1903.25

“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.” [Romans 12:1.] Our all is the measure of the consecration that God accepts. He claims the service of those whom He has redeemed, whether they give themselves to Him or to the enemy. But He does not force them to obey His call. Each one must choose for himself whether he will receive or reject the Saviour, whether he will have eternal life or eternal death. Lt63-1903.26