Lt 97, 1902

1902

Lt 97, 1902

Waggoner, E. J.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 7, 1902

This letter is published in entirety in 12MR 212-216. +Note

Dear brother Waggoner,—

To every man is given his work. No one mind can give a complete presentation of truth. The Lord has many servants whom He is leading and teaching, giving them wisdom and knowledge. Those who would be successful teachers of the gospel must be learners with those whom they teach. Lt97-1902.1

Our teachers of wide experience must remember that their brethren and sisters cannot be expected to see at once all that they see of Bible truth. They must guard against the inclination to give them too large mouthfuls of spiritual food. Some have keen, perceptive faculties and can quickly grasp the subjects presented. Others need more time. They must meditate, consider, pray, and compare Scripture with Scripture. Lt97-1902.2

Our lesson for the present time is, How may we most clearly comprehend and present the gospel that Christ came in person to present to John on the Isle of Patmos—the gospel that is termed, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”? [Revelation 1:1.] We are to present to our people a clear explanation of Revelation. We are to give them the Word of God just as it is, with as few <of our own> explanations as possible. No one mind can do this work alone. Although we have in trust the grandest and most important truth ever presented to the world, we are only babes as far as understanding truth in all its bearings is concerned. Christ is the great Teacher, and that which He revealed to John we are to tax our minds to understand and clearly to define. We are facing the most important issues that men have ever been called upon to meet. The theme of greatest importance is the third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels. All should understand the truths contained in these messages, <and demonstrate them in daily life;> for this is essential to salvation. We shall have to study earnestly, <prayerfully,> in order to understand these <grand> truths; and our power to learn and comprehend will be taxed to the utmost. Lt97-1902.3

As to the Bible’s being the textbook in our schools, we know that it is to be so. But we are not to approach people abruptly with the bare assertion. Nothing will so successfully demonstrate the truth of the statement that the Bible is to be our textbook as success in using it as such. Lt97-1902.4

We are the Lord’s family, His children, and by Him we are to be instructed in regard to what is and what will be in the future. Vigilant waiting and earnest looking are required in the preparation for the solemn events soon to take place. The perfect man in Christ does not spend all his time in waiting, in meditation and contemplation. While we should have quiet, prayerful hours of meditation, when we leave the busy bustle and excitement to commune with God, to learn from Him His will concerning us, we are not to forget that we have a positive message of warning to bear to the world. Enoch walked with God, and he bore a message of warning to the inhabitants of the old world. His words and actions, his example of piety, were a continual witness in favor of the truth. In an age no more favorable to the development of a pure, holy character than is the present age, he lived a life of obedience. So filled had the earth become with impurity that the Lord washed it by a flood. He turned the world upside down, as it were, to empty it of its corruption. Lt97-1902.5

Enoch was holy because he walked with God in God’s way. In him the world had an example of what those will be who, when Christ comes, are caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air. As Enoch was, so are we to be. Personal piety is to be blended with the most earnest and energetic warnings and appeals. We are to point to what is, with what is to be following fast after. We are instructed to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] We are to be earnest in our efforts to clear the King’s highway, to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. Fervency of spirit must be brought into our service for the Lord. The lamps of the soul must be kept filled and burning. Lt97-1902.6

Service for God demands the whole being—heart, mind, soul, and strength. Without reservation, we are to give ourselves to God, that we may bear the image of the heavenly instead of the image of the earthly. There must be a quickening of the sensibilities, that the mind may be fully awake to the work to be done for all classes, high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant. We are to reveal the tenderness shown by the great Shepherd as He gathers the lambs in His arms and carefully guards His flock from harm, leading it in safe paths. Christ’s followers are to show His tenderness and sympathy, and they must also show His intensity of desire to impart the truths which mean eternal life to the receiver. Lt97-1902.7

To be good and to do good—this is our part. The heart must be right with God. The affections must be devoted to Him. To the world, to angels, and to men we are to show the blessed results of being in God’s service, of conforming to His will, and bearing His sign, shown by observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. The reverence that we show to this day is the sign that we accept Jehovah as our God. Lt97-1902.8

The keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath is to be the great test in these last days. Thus is to be drawn the line of demarcation between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. By keeping this day holy, we acknowledge before the universe that we worship Him who, by His power, created the world. We acknowledge also that life is found in obedience. Lt97-1902.9

Spiritual life means full obedience to God. He who has this life possesses a knowledge of heavenly things, and with this knowledge there comes continual sanctification to God. The whole being is conformed to His will. There is a capacity to receive more and still more. There is a greater and still greater desire to obtain the knowledge that is from God. Intellectual attainments will surely be the result. As we gain Bible knowledge, it is as if we were eating of the leaves of the tree of life. Duties and privileges are perceived with the keenest relish. There comes an experimental knowledge of the pardoning love of God. There is peace and purity, conflict and victory. The heart is filled with love to God and man. Lt97-1902.10

The knowledge of God comes from the doing of the things required in God’s law. The experience thus gained will be proportionate to the development of the life, proportionate to the capacity to receive, and to the faithfulness with which the capabilities are used to the glory of God. There is no half-way work about this. <Profession and assertion are nothing.> Our knowledge will surely be proportionate to our Christlikeness of character. The gaining of this knowledge will be to the receiver eternal life. No other knowledge can take the place of this. We may have all the knowledge on secular subjects that is within mental reach, but this knowledge does not communicate the mysteries of the higher life. The heavenly calling demands larger, broader, higher capacities. Words can never impart this knowledge. It comes from God. Having gained it, we have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life, knowing Him who is our life, our sanctification, our righteousness. Lt97-1902.11

Those who have gained this knowledge value aright the privilege of communion with Him who is their life, Him in whom they believe, who declares that to all who receive Him, He will give power to become the sons of God. To Him they have committed the keeping of the soul. Their knowledge of God and of Christ, their Redeemer, is genuine. They know that were their earthly tabernacle dissolved, they have a home not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Lt97-1902.12

This is the rest that we may have in Christ. The effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever. Lt97-1902.13

We must now do more than make attempts to serve God. We must show an earnestness that will convince unbelievers that we have the truth. We must show certainty of faith and action, making known what is and what is to be. Lt97-1902.14

To every one of us is spoken the words of Paul to Timothy: “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] Self must first be brought into close connection with Christ. We are to work for Him with vigilance and solicitude, with strong, persevering effort, with self-denial and self-sacrifice, determined in word and deed to represent Him who works through human beings to achieve glorious results. As we labor thus, divine power will be revealed in our efforts. God will work through us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Divine love will be revealed in thought, word, and action. Lt97-1902.15