Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 95, 1894

Presenting Truth in New Areas



Formerly Undated Ms 79. Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 227-228; RH 10/14/1902, 10/21/1902.

Christ said to His disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Matthew 10:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 1

Satan’s efforts against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ’s day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time. The people will be led to acts of violence and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been imbued with the animosity of professed Christians against the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 2

And what course shall the advocates of truth pursue? They have the unchangeable, eternal Word of God, and they should reveal the fact that they have the truth as it is in Jesus. Their words must not be rugged and sharp. In their presentation of truth they must manifest the love and meekness and gentleness of Christ. Let the truth do the cutting; the Word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword, and will cut its way to the heart. Those who know that they have the truth should not, by the use of harsh and severe expressions, give Satan one chance to misinterpret their spirit. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 3

As a people we must stand as did the world’s Redeemer. When in controversy with Satan in regard to the body of Moses, Christ durst not bring against him a railing accusation. He had every provocation to do this, and Satan was disappointed because he could not arouse in Christ a spirit of retaliation. Satan was ready to misrepresent everything that was done by Jesus; and the Saviour would give him no occasion, not the semblance of an excuse. He would not turn from His straightforward course of truth in order to follow the wanderings and twistings and turnings, and prevarications, of Satan. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 4

We read in the prophecy of Zechariah that when Satan with all his synagogue stood up to resist the prayers of Joshua the high priest, and to resist Christ, who was about to show decided favor to Joshua, “the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” [Zechariah 3:1, 2.] 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 5

The course of Christ in dealing even with the adversary of souls, should be an example to us in all our intercourse with others, never to bring a railing accusation against any; much less should we employ harshness or severity toward those who may be as anxious to know the right way as we are ourselves. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 6

Those who have been educated in the truth by precept and example should make great allowance for others who have had no knowledge of the Scriptures except through the interpretations given by ministers and church members, and who have received traditions and fables as Bible truth. They are surprised by the presentation of truth; it is as a new revelation to them, and they cannot bear to have all the truth, in its most striking character, presented to them at the outset. All is new and strange, and wholly unlike that which they have hear from their ministers, and they are inclined to believe what the ministers have told them, that Seventh-day Adventists are infidels, and do not believe the Bible. Let the truth be presented as it is in Jesus, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Speak of the love of God in words easy to be understood. Bible truth, presented in the meekness and love of Jesus, will have a telling influence upon many minds. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 7

Many souls are hungering for the Bread of Life. Their cry is, “Give me bread; do not give me a stone. It is bread that I want.” [See Matthew 7:9.] Feed these perishing, starving souls. Let our ministers bear in mind that the strongest meat is not to be given to babes who know not the first principles of the truth as we believe it. In every age the Lord has had a special message for the people of that time; so we have a message for the people in this age. But while we have many things to say, we may be compelled to withhold some of them for a time, because the people are not prepared to received them now. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 8

When a discourse is given, the people may listen with interest, but it is all strange and new to them, and Satan is ready to suggest to their minds many things that are not true. He will seek to pervert and misrepresent the speaker’s words. What shall we do? The discourses presenting the reasons of our faith should be published in little leaflets, and circulated as widely as possible. Thus the falsehoods and misrepresentations which the enemy of truth constantly tries to keep in circulation would be revealed in their true character, [and] the people [would] have an opportunity of knowing just what the minister said. Those who introduce the leaven of truth amid the mass of false theories and doctrines may expect opposition. Satan’s batteries will be opened upon those who advocate the truth, and the standard-bearers must expect to meet many sneers and much reviling that is hard to bear. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 9

The message of warning is to be given in all the highways and byways. The cities are to be worked, not merely preached to; there must be house-to-house labor. After the warning has been given, after the truth has been presented from the Scriptures, many souls will be convicted. Then great carefulness is needed. The human agent cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit, we are only the channels through which the Lord works. Too often a spirit of self-sufficiency comes in, if a measure of success attends the efforts of the worker. But there must be no exaltation of self, nothing should be attributed to self; the work is the Lord’s, and His precious name is to receive all the glory. Let self be hid in Jesus. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 10

There is danger of indulging a controversial spirit. But those who really love the truth, who have received it into the heart as a living principle, will have the greatest desire to reveal in words and actions the sanctifying power of truth upon the life. They will be representatives of the truth, showing its transforming power upon their own character. When opposed, they will not retaliate. Children and youth cannot, unless they are under the direct influence of the Spirit of God, correctly represent the sanctifying power of truth upon mind and character. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 11

There are many grown-up persons who need to enter the school of Christ and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart, else they will venture to do that which Michael the Archangel dared not do. The railing accusations will be at their tongues’ end. There are many fathers and mothers who would today engage in the work of God if encouraged, but who, in their own home life, prove themselves unfit to handle sacred responsibilities. They are only grown-up children. There are very few parents who represent the character of Jesus in the home. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 12

Christ represented His Father; He knew how the Father would do under any and every circumstance, and He did just as the Father would do. He made manifest in His work the ways of God. The living God was working through His Son. Jesus, when He was found in fashion as a man, had a realizing sense of the world’s needs, and He employed His human, God-given powers for the benefits of men, while in every act of mercy and healing He drew upon the divine power, even the power that made the worlds. The Lord Jesus is all ready to impart the very same aid to all who will consecrate their powers to His service, who feel the need of the impartation of His grace. To all who desire to be recipients of His Spirit, the virtue flows out from Christ. And it is in this way that the character of God, the perfection of Christ and the Father, is brought before the world. The human agent is complete in Christ. Learning in the school of Christ, daily studying His life, we become one with Him, and reflect the virtues of His character. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 13

He who is daily a learner in the school of Christ can say, “As the Father gave me commandment, so I do.” [John 14:31.] Thus did the Son of God in His human life leave us an example of perfect obedience, prefacing every deed with such words as these: That which the Son seeth the Father do, he doeth also. “This commandment have I received of my Father.” [John 10:18.] The history of Christ’s human life in our world is the record of His purpose toward us for the manifestation of His divine perfection. He was the light shining in darkness, and what is the record? “And the darkness comprehended it not.” [John 1:5.] The standard is high, for Christ is our Standard, and He could justly claim perfection in all His works. But how few, in their practice, will follow the Lamb of God whithersoever He goeth. Following Jesus, imbued with His Spirit moment by moment, the human agent would represent Christ, as Christ represented the Father. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 14

Jesus has revealed to men that while the hatred of God against sin is strong as death, His love to the sinner is stronger than death. Christ, in His life and His death, has forever settled the deep and comprehensive question whether there is self-denial with God, and whether God is light and love. This was the question agitated in the heavens above, which was the beginning of Satan’s alienation from God. The change or abolition of the laws of His government in the heavenly courts was demanded as the evidence of the love of God. We see that the controversy has been kept up, Satan creating enmity against God because of His holy law. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 15

The satanic agencies are constantly at work, sowing and watering the seeds of rebellion against the law of God, and Satan is gathering souls under his black banner of revolt. He forms a confederacy with human beings to contend against purity and holiness. He has worked diligently, perseveringly, increasing the number who will confederate with him. By his representations he seeks to widen the distance between heaven and earth, and he grows into the conviction that he can wear out the patience of God, extinguish His love for man, and bring condemnation upon the whole human family. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 16

God has given all heaven in the gift of Christ to our world; but the great gift is so interpreted as to work in behalf of Satan’s scheme to annul the law of God, the very work that Satan began in heaven. God has given Christ to take the penalty of transgression, and die to ransom the world. This, His heaven-sent reconciliation, is to be proclaimed, and the conditions of eternal life, that men obey the laws of the divine government. But when this message of mercy is proclaimed, Satan inspired men to scowl back in defiance, and exclaim, “Depart from us; we desire not the knowledge of thy ways, O God.” [Job 21:14.] Nevertheless God sends his delegated messengers to entreat attention. But too often their message is not respected. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 17

The hatred against the law of God has continued to increase in intensity. Men have beaten one of the messengers of God, and killed another, and stoned another. New methods are constantly devised to turn them away from the truth. The materials for the last great warfare are collecting; already the conflict has reached large proportions. And as iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. As the occasion requires, the Lord giveth more grace to His chosen, tempted, tried ones. Jesus knows the strength of Satan’s temptations, and with every temptation He makes a way of escape. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 18

Just prior to the crucifixion of Christ, the whole universe of heaven was with intense interest watching every move of Satan and his evil confederacy. They were watching to see what move would next be made against Jesus, and what would be His action under the circumstances. He had carried the human nature triumphantly through every period of test and trial, assailed by the whole confederacy of fallen angels leagued with evil men. He finished His mission by committing His work to the human agents who were to carry it forward in His name. The message of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ was to be given to a fallen world. Beginning at Jerusalem, it was to go to all nations, tongues, and peoples. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 19

Christ has demonstrated that through His grace humanity can keep the law of God. He has demonstrated to the universe of heaven, and to the fallen world, that by the invitation of our gracious Sovereign, all who will believe on Him may receive pardon, and may be restored to the favor of God. He would take those whose course had been the most offensive to God, impart to them His divine power, place them in the highest positions of trust, and send them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His grace and offer a full pardon to all who will turn from sin unto God. “Ye have not chosen me,” He says; “but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” [John 15:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 20

Some of the very ones that were brought into closest connection with the work of Christ had not only felt, but said, “Come, let us kill him,” [Matthew 21:38] and had thought that in this act they were doing God service. Our Saviour redeemed them, loaded them with divine favor, and sent them forth as changed as lambs in the midst of wolves. He made them one with Himself, and declared that those who refused to accept them and to hear the heaven-sent message, rejected the Lord Jesus Himself. “If the world hate you,” He said, “ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord; if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” [John 15:18-21.] 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 21

But let every one bear in mind that we are in no case to invite persecution. We are not to use words that are harsh and cutting. Keep them out of every article written, drop them out of every address given. Let the Word of God do the cutting, the rebuking; let finite men hide and abide in Jesus Christ. Let the Spirit of Christ appear. Let all be guarded in their words, lest they place those not of our faith in deadly opposition against us, and give Satan an opportunity to use the unadvised words to hedge up our way. Do nothing before the time. When God gives a close, cutting message it will be His work, not prompted by the impulse of finite beings. Man’s cutting and slashing with the two-edged sword will hedge up our way, so that we shall find doors closed and locked against us. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 22

We all need more of the deep love of Jesus in the soul, and far less of the natural impetuosity. We are in danger of closing up our own path by arousing the determined spirit of opposition in men in authority, before the people are really enlightened in regard to the message God would have us bear. God is not pleased when by our own course of action we bar the way so that the truth is prevented from coming to the people. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 23

We should not by our example encourage the inexperienced to be rash in words or deportment. Our American laborers in Australia should remember that they are in a country differing widely from America. The education and training of the people has been very different from that of the people in America. The message of truth is new and startling to the people of this country. The Bible doctrines presented are as a new revelation, and they really look upon the sentiments advanced as infidelity. In presenting the Sunday question, or the union of church and state, handle it carefully. It will not answer to present the strong positions that have been and will of necessity be presented in America. These subjects must be broached guardedly. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 24

We have not as yet obtained standing place in this country. The enemy of all righteousness has been and still is working by every device he can invent to hinder the work that ought to be done in enlightening and educating the people; his forces are increasing. Delays have been giving Satan advantage of the situation, and these delays have caused the loss of many souls. The Lord is not pleased with the retarding of the work. Every delay renders more difficult the work that must be done, because advantage is given for Satan to preoccupy the field, and prepare for determined resistance. The tardy movements of our people in raising the standard in our large cities are not in harmony with the light given of God. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 25

A glimmering of light has been shining in the cities, but just enough to make the false shepherds feel that it is time for them to be actively at work in presenting fables and falsehoods to turn the people away from the message of truth. Some little effort has been made, but men and money are not furnished to do the work. Satan has worked and will work with his lying wonders, and strong delusions will be accepted where the banner of truth should have been uplifted. Now the fact that God’s people that know the truth have failed to do their duty according to the light given in the Word of God makes it necessary for us to be more guarded, lest we offend unbelievers before they have heard the reasons of our faith in regard to the Sabbath and Sunday. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 26

It is our own people who have not felt the responsibility and lifted the burdens and done the work appointed them to do. Love of self, want of love for God and the truth, have kept them silent. Their light has not been shining to the world in clear, steady rays, and we are far behind because the truth is not sanctifying the souls of those who profess to believe it. Not diffusing light, they do not receive increased light, and when darkness and error come in all their deceptive forms, some will accept error, and yield up the truth. The true, earnest worker is obtaining an education and training, learning how to work successfully under varied circumstances. When Satan shall make his assaults these souls will have gained an experience, so that they will understand his manner of warfare, and can guard the little flock against his devices. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 27

There is need now to give to the people patient, kind instruction; the education of a lifetime is not to be readily counteracted; great tact and patient effort are needed by those who shall present the truth in any manner. 9LtMs, Ms 95, 1894, par. 28