Lt 91, 1900

1900

Lt 91, 1900

Brethren

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

June 24, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in 1BC 1082-1083; CC 20; 4MR 137; 9MR 237. +Note

Dear Brethren:

My mind has been greatly troubled. I could not sleep. Some things passed before me which at first sight seemed small, but which meant much in their working out and in their influence upon the cause of God. Thus it has been with Dr. Kellogg. He entered upon the work of investing means to accomplish a certain end. At the first, this work seemed to be one which God could approve. He receive large donations from the Wessels brothers. He made <himself> terms regarding this money, or <rather> led the Wessels brothers to <make terms to> echo his suggestions, making restrictions regarding the means to be invested and the profits accruing there from. God did not instruct those who made this confederacy and these restrictions. The money was His. He owns the world. He owns men and all that men possess; and not long hence he will call them to account for the use they have made of His goods. Lt91-1900.1

Christ died to release men from Satan’s claims. He offered up His life to save men from utter and complete ruin. The souls of those who have thus been ransomed are valued by God in proportion to the price which has been paid for them. <And His money is to be used in His way, not after the inventions of human minds.> Lt91-1900.2

God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family. <And to every man is given his work to receive the mind of God.> It was God’s purpose to repopulate heaven with the human family, if they would show themselves obedient to His every word. Adam was to be tested, to see whether he would be obedient <as the loyal angels> or disobedient. If he stood the test, his instruction to his children would have been only of loyalty. His mind and thoughts would have been as the mind and thoughts of God. He would have been taught by God as His husbandry and building. His character would have been molded in accordance with the character of God. Lt91-1900.3

But Adam did not endure the test. Satan, the fallen prince, was jealous of God. He determined through subtilty, cunning, and deceit, to defeat God’s purpose. He approached Eve, not in the form of an angel, but as a serpent, subtle, cunning, and deceitful. With a voice which appeared to proceed from the serpent, he spoke to her, and his conversation was of that character which wise and wicked angels use through various agencies today. As Eve listened, the warnings God had given faded from her mind. She yielded to the temptation, and as she tempted Adam, he also forgot God’s warnings. He believed the words of the enemy of God. Lt91-1900.4

In Eden, Satan used the serpent as his instrument. Today he makes use of the members of the human family, striving by means of every species of cunning and deception to hedge up the path of righteousness cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. Lt91-1900.5

What were the words Satan spoke to Eve: “Ye shall not surely die.” Today men think and act the words of the great deceiver, giving the impression that God does not mean what He says. Satan charged God with his own false attributes. “God doth know,” he said, “that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:4, 5.] The “evil” was disobedience to God’s commands. And Adam did indeed go through the experience of knowing evil, with all its fearful consequences. Lt91-1900.6

The lie which Satan told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die” [verse 4], has been sounding through the centuries from generation to generation. Thus Satan tempted our first parents, and thus he tempts us today. He is the author of evil. And from generation to generation men and women have fallen into the snare, notwithstanding Adam’s disobedience and its result. Lt91-1900.7

Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, and an angel with a flaming sword guarded the way to the tree of life, that the disloyal, disobedient pair might not gain access to it and thus immortalize transgression. Lt91-1900.8

Mark this point. The Lord did not place in Adam, fallen and disobedient, the confidence, He placed in Adam loyal and true, living by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Lt91-1900.9

Disobedience to God’s word is never to be looked upon as a merit. The rewards of heaven are not granted to transgressors. In no case are the transgressors of God’s law to receive the attention and confidence of those who are desirous of serving Him. Lt91-1900.10

The eyes of Adam and Eve were indeed opened, but to what? To see their own shame and ruin, to realize that the garments of heavenly light which had been their protection were no longer around them as their safeguard. Their eyes were opened to see that nakedness was the fruit of transgression. As they heard God in the garden, they hid themselves from Him; for they anticipated that which till <their fall> they had not known—the condemnation of God. Lt91-1900.11

The accusation Adam brought against Eve, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat,” had no influence to save him from the result of disobedience. “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” [Verses 12, 17, 18.] Lt91-1900.12

In this case Satan’s instrument, the serpent, was cursed. And all who today allow themselves to be used as Satan’s instruments, to lead others to disregard the commandments of God, are under the curse of God. Man’s safety lies in a wholehearted belief in a “Thus saith the Lord.” This is the declaration of truth. Those who are led away from the truth from any motive, however great may have been their supposed wisdom or exaltation, and venture in a path of their own choosing, are following a false leader, and will be led by him into false paths. And both are guilty before God. Neither the leader nor the one led will be held guiltless. Lt91-1900.13

I wish to say that the influence of the perverted principles acted upon in Battle Creek has been far-reaching. Men have entered upon the work of making efforts to bless themselves by following a course of their own devising, vainly supposing that by so doing they will be elevated. These men, connected with the work of God, have not realized what they were doing. In their various devices for improvement they were following their own way, without asking themselves the question, “Did God bid me do this?” Thus they worked in compliance with the plans of Satan, in opposition to the known will of God, to follow which would have secured their success. At the very heart of the work men made that awful test, to result in knowing good and pursuing evil, by losing sight of the principles of righteousness. Those who do this must suffer the consequence. The whole service of those who choose to have a knowledge of evil is changed from what God wishes it to be. Lt91-1900.14

God has declared that man’s only means of safety is entire obedience to all His words. We are not to make the experiment of testing the evil course, with all its results. This will bring weakness <through disobedience.> God’s plan was to give man clearsightedness in all his work. This was planned for Adam by his heavenly Father. There as to be co-operation between man and God. But this plan was greatly interfered with by Adam’s transgression. Satan led him to sin, and the Lord would not communicate with him after he had sinned as He did when he was without sin. Lt91-1900.15

After the fall Christ became Adam’s instructor. He acted in God’s stead toward humanity, saving the race from immediate death. He took upon Him the office of mediator. Adam and Eve were given a probation in which to return to their allegiance, and in this plan all their posterity were embraced. Lt91-1900.16

In the fulness of time Christ was to be revealed in human form. He was to assume the position of head of humanity by taking the nature, but not the sinfulness of man. In heaven was heard the voice, “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression ..., saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 59:20.] “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called, Trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3.] Lt91-1900.17

It is God’s purpose that His name shall be exalted among all the nations. “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” [Isaiah 62:1-3.] Lt91-1900.18

This is to be the experience of those who hold fast the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. The whole of the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah is a representation of the work Christ will do through those who follow His example. “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” [Verses 10-12.] Lt91-1900.19

How similar this language is to that found in Revelation: “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. ... I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the church. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:12-14, 16, 17.] Lt91-1900.20

God corrects His people to save them from destroying themselves. He warns them against following the course pointed out by their finite judgment. He desires them to lift up, not their own standard, but His standard of truth. Lt91-1900.21

It would be well for all to review God’s dealing with His people. Notice that while they carried His banner, He exalted them before their enemies. But when they brought self-exaltation, waywardness, and inconsistency into His sacred work, He could not give them prosperity. The work is not to be carried forward with the view of glorifying man, but to glorify God. His power is to be revealed in the <special work through chosen human agencies for the> conversion of those who leave the ranks of the enemy to stand under the banner of Christ, and in the decided witness which they bear for the truth. Satan’s armies are many, and God’s people must spread over all the world, planting the standard of truth in the dark places of the earth and doing their utmost to destroy Satan’s kingdom. Churches are to be built and sanitariums established <in many places.> To our health institutions are to come those who otherwise would never hear the truth. Lt91-1900.22

The messages are not to be sunk out of sight and the means in the treasury exhausted by a work for the most abandoned classes. These are not to be repulsed; they are to be encouraged to reform and be converted. But all the time and talent and means are not to be devoted to work such as that which has been started in Chicago, which has absorbed so much of the Lord’s money. God has said that churches are to be established all over the world. Every effort is to be made to turn souls from error to truth. But work for the destitute is not to be taken up and managed as has been in Chicago. Lt91-1900.23

The same time and means, used where it was very much needed, would have done much to proclaim the truth which must be given to our world. Men and women would have been called out from the world to witness to Christ’s words, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:14-18.] Lt91-1900.24

People are to be converted from error to truth. These are to show by their works that they are true followers of Jesus Christ. They are to co-operate with God. “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew; and beat upon that house; and it fell and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7:24-27.] Lt91-1900.25

Those who sincerely believe the third angel’s message will reveal in their lives <all that message comprehends.> The fruits of that message <are grace and righteousness.> Converted men and women are to engage in God’s service as His witnesses. Every deliverance from Satan’s power is a manifestation of God’s power to save, and a demonstration <in this our day> that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and His obedient ones, that they may know that He is the Lord which sanctifieth them. This is a practical witness to the truth that God is the strength and defense of His people, and will exert unlimited power to make His truth and righteousness triumphant. Lt91-1900.26

Those who receive a “Thus saith the Lord,” who obey the truth as it is in Jesus, will bear the sign of God’s commandment-keeping people. To see and acknowledge our vileness and emptiness and weakness is an indispensable preparation for seeking the Lord in penitence and receiving, yes, manifestly receiving, the righteousness of Christ, which is if God by faith, and which brings eternal life. All who seek the Lord with the whole heart will find Him. They will plead to a purpose and with sure success if they feel their entire dependence upon God and surrender self to Him, accepting Christ as a personal Saviour. <Here is his wisdom and righteousness and sanctification.> This they must do, maintaining a spirit of repentance, humiliation, and meekness, showing their appreciation of God’s great gift by undivided obedience to His commandments. Lt91-1900.27

Those who work in the lines God has marked out will not be unchristlike Christians, [and] are never at war with truth and righteousness. The Lord has a work for His people to do, a work which means everything to them and to those whom they are to lead to God by the Christlikeness of their character. Greatness in the sight of men differs largely from greatness in the sight of God. Those who desire to receive the approval which purity and holiness brings wins from God must give up seeking the approval of men. Lt91-1900.28