Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Lt 119, 1904

Wessels, J. J.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 1, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 54-55. +Note

Mr. J. J. Wessels

My dear Brother,—

I received your letter some time ago. It found me so brain-weary that I could not write without overtaxing my head. I will now try to answer your letter. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 1

My brother, I pray that the Lord may help you to help your mother’s family. Do not allow your interest in them to lessen. When you are perplexed and troubled, remember that the way through which to receive help is always open. Take your troubles to the Lord in prayer. Daily receive light and grace from Him who knows all about the temptations that beset human beings. Let the light that shines upon you shine forth from you to all with whom you associate. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 2

You are not to be blended with the world, molded after its similitude. You can so rest your soul on the Saviour, in complete submission, that you will grow in grace and the love of God to the full stature of a man in Christ. Do not allow yourself to be drawn away from Jesus into temptation. Learn constantly of Him—this is your safeguard, your assurance, your happiness. He came to this world that you might have peace and joy in Him, that you might rest in the realization of His power to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 3

Christ declares, “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” [John 15:5, 6.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 4

Abiding in Christ, then, is the condition of fruit-bearing. Only as we are united with Him can we accomplish any good work. Without Him, separate from Him, we can do nothing good. In order to have success in the Christian life, it is essential that we realize our continual dependence on the vital current that comes from Christ. We are habitually to adhere to Him and daily to derive from Him the nourishment that will give us spiritual life. It is our privilege to abide in Him, giving diligent heed to His words. These words are spirit and light and life. They make the children of God joyful in Him. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 5

Mark the following words; for they mean much to you and to those with whom you associate: 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 6

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” [Verse 7.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 7

Is not this a positive promise, upon which you may rely? Bring these words into your daily experience, and your faith in Jesus will be a living reality. There is no reason why you should not receive, hour by hour, the fulfilment of this promise. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 8

“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” [Verse 8.] Neither you nor your mother and brothers and sisters need misunderstand these words. Let your hearts practice them in the daily life, and you will enjoy the blessing that always comes from obedience to them. Hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. Then, day by day, you will realize the fulfilment of the promises made by the great Teacher. Hear, and receive, and obey. Let the words of Christ enter into the intents and purposes of your hearts. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 9

“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” [Verses 9, 10.] Who could misunderstand the terms of salvation here given. Where could you find simpler, clearer, more valuable knowledge than is here revealed? My brother, these precious words are spoken to you and to the other members of the Wessels family. You need not fail of comprehending them. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 10

“These things have I spoken unto you that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verse 11.] The joy that comes from any other source than Christ is valueless. It is a pretense, an emotion that brings no abiding satisfaction. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 11

“This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” [Verses 12-16.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 12

We are to trust in the virtue of Christ’s merits. He has purchased us with His sinless life, and we are to appreciate the gift that the Father has bestowed on us in giving us His only begotten Son. We are to claim His promises and rest by faith in the knowledge of His sacrifice in our behalf. We must surrender unreservedly to Him; for His merits alone are of sufficient value to save the soul of the repenting, believing sinner. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 13

Christ’s will is to become our will. Then the fruit that we bear in words and deeds will glorify God. We shall give evidence of our discipleship. The proof that we are children of God will be clearly seen. We shall be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine similitude. But unless we place ourselves wholly under Christ’s control, we cannot bear evidence of a change of character. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 14

As Christ’s disciples we are to be lights in the world, that men, by seeing our good works, may glorify our heavenly Father. As worldlings see the change from a life of sin to a life of holiness, they will be led to acknowledge the power of Christ’s grace. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 15

Union with Christ is a noble principle, productive of all good through constant growth in grace. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 16

Let church members bear in mind that the fact that their names are registered on the church books will not save them. They must show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not be ashamed. Day by day they are to build their characters in accordance with Christ’s directions. They are to abide in Him, constantly exercising faith in Him. Thus they will grow up to the full stature of wholesome, cheerful, grateful Christians led by God step by step into clearer and still clearer light. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 17

I have a message for the members of the Wessels family. Our God is watching over the broad field of the world, and He calls upon the Wessels family to do their heaven-appointed work without delay. If they do not, they will be among the multitude whose voices will soon be raised in the bitter lamentation: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved. Why did I not flee to the stronghold for refuge! Why have I trifled with my soul’s salvation, and done despite to the spirit of grace!” [See Jeremiah 8:20; Hebrews 10:29.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 18

Those who have bowed to the idols of the world will gain no comfort from them in that great day when every one is rewarded or punished according to his works. But Omnipotence will deal justly. Those who have made Christ their refuge will find that He lives and that He is conqueror. He will be their defense. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 19

God calls upon all to take a decided stand for the right. The Spirit of God is striving with the members of the Wessels family, encouraging those who will listen to His voice to work in an opposite direction from that in which they have been working. But conformity to the world is placing some of them where, unless they change, they will receive a heavier condemnation than if they had never received the message of present truth. I call upon them to awake and turn from worldly ambition and selfish indulgence. The Saviour is still inviting them: “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest and peace and light.” Will they heed His voice, or will they dally, and at last perish with the wicked? I entreat them to come out from the world and be separate. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 20

“Behold, I come quickly,” Christ says, “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 churches. 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.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 21

My brethren, will you not act like sensible men who realize what is soon to come on the world? Do not say, “Lord, what shall this man do?” [John 21:21.] Let every one seek the Lord for himself. Eternity is before us. You cannot afford to let another day pass without taking your position on the Lord’s side. Will you not act the part that God has appointed you to act in the closing scenes of this earth’s history? 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 22

It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who will be alive on the earth when past woes and celestial glory will be blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By the means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles; for Satan would counterfeit any miracle that might be worked. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:13-18. They are to take their stand on the living Word—“It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without hope and without God in the world. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 23

The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment—since this is the sign of His creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the contest, all Christendom will be divided into two great classes—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God will not receive it. [Revelation 13:16.] The prophet of Patmos beholds “them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God,” and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. [Revelation 15:2, 3.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 24

Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming—a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation—God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his angels cannot destroy them; for angels that excel in strength will protect them. 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 25

“After this, I beheld,” John writes, “and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” [Revelation 7:9, 10.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 26

“And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes; and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Verses 13-17.] 19LtMs, Lt 119, 1904, par. 27