Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 83, 1900

Irwin, G. A.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 5, 1900

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Irwin:

I cannot write much in this mail, for I am not well. I think the Lord will strengthen me again. I have been wakeful at night, unable to sleep past eleven, twelve, and one o’clock. I have carried a very heavy burden upon my soul. I have labored in Maitland, Hamilton, Mount Vincent, and Parramatta, speaking twice each week. The last journey to Maitland tired me. They are so poverty-stricken in the mission that beds are a torture to me. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 1

I slept but little while there, yet I continued writing and speaking, putting all my power into labor for the people, for I felt that I had a message from the Lord. Souls were deciding for and against the truth, and O what yearning I felt for these poor souls. By relating falsehood, the ministers have and are still closing every door possible where Bible readings have been given. They represent Sabbathkeepers to be a bad and dangerous people. But the Lord will overrule these things, and will give poor, deceived souls a chance to hear the truth. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 2

Had it not been for the ministers, many souls would have taken their stand. But the people are so perplexed that they do not know what to do next. They are strictly forbidden to have Bible readings held in their homes, to go to any of the meetings held by Seventh-day Adventists, or to receive any publications from the hands of Seventh-day Adventists. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 3

But the Lord knows how to deliver His flock out of the hand of unfaithful pastors, whom He will punish for their pride and selfishness. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. ... And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David, and he shall be their shepherd.” [Ezekiel 34:11, 12, 23.] 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 4

O that all would remember that they themselves have in their possession the living oracles of God! The words of ministers are to be respected when they harmonize with a “Thus saith the Lord.” But they are not to be believed when they speak falsehoods, following the guidance of the one who was once an exalted angel in the heavenly courts, but who fell through self-exaltation. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 5

The hope and strength and salvation of the church is in Jesus Christ, “The great shepherd of the sheep,” whom the Lord, according to His promise raised up to be the Saviour of the church. [Hebrews 13:20.] When Christ broke the fetters of the tomb, He made over the rent sepulcher of Joseph the victorious proclamation, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 6

False teachers are afraid to let the people hear the Word of God and search the Scriptures for themselves. The messages God has given His people in His Word are clear and comprehensive, but confusing explanations are given by the pastors who do not and will not understand the Scriptures. They seek to pervert and explain away the real truth until its meaning is misconstrued and misstated. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 7

In (Exodus 31:12-18) the Lord declares the observance of the Sabbath to be a sign between Him and His people throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant. The Sabbath is a memorial of creation. As each week we rest upon the Lord’s rest day, we acknowledge before the churches and the world that God is the Creator, that He created the world in six days and rested upon the seventh, blessing and sanctifying this day. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 8

The observance of the Sabbath is a weekly celebration that distinguishes Sabbathkeepers from all who disregard God’s holy day. God gave the seventh day to man as a blessing. But the man of sin, under Satan’s inspiration, has taken a day which has no sanctity, and made it a festival day. He has displaced God’s memorial by his own invention. He has exalted a common working day above the day God has sanctified and blessed. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 9

Even though all the churches have accepted the institution of the papacy, even though the world is bound to give influence to this spurious invention, does this give one tinge of sanctity to the day? Nay verily. The numbers observing it do not make it sacred. God gave the seventh day to His people to be kept holy throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. All the changes God’s opponent may attempt to make in the holy law do not convert Sunday into a sanctified day, or place on it heaven’s seal. The honor which comes from man is nothing. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 10

It is a soul-periling sin to desecrate that which God has made holy. Satan has managed by his subtlety so to manage the matter that God’s memorial is made a thing of naught. The invention of the papacy has become supreme. He has worked to make the churches and the world a unit in transgression. Sunday observance is made an oppressive power in the hands of those who are under the control of the enemy; for when Satan gets control of men’s minds, it means oppression and compulsion. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 11

Traditions handed down by word of mouth are treated as of more importance to men than the Word of God. The Lord has given all sanctity to the Sabbath, and He has given men a probation, in which they are to be tested to see if they will be obedient to His commandments. To those who obey all His commandments a most precious reward is given. Those who trample upon the Sabbath of Jehovah choose the side of disobedience, and will lose a heaven of bliss. 15LtMs, Lt 83, 1900, par. 12