Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 64, 1898

The Danger of Rejecting Light


May 19, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in 20MR 315-322. +Note

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” [2 Timothy 2:1-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 1

Much work has been done in Battle Creek in various lines, by those who have entrusted ability but not sanctified zeal. These have for so long violated conscience that they do not come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. They are moving in accordance with erroneous opinions. They are not striving lawfully, and Satan comes in and inspires them to counterwork the work of God. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 2

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, (though he be ever so active,) except he strive lawfully.” [Verse 5.] These words are appropriate. Young men are presented before me who have been serving as teachers in our schools, but who have not walked humbly with God. They did not first become learners. They did not take a humble position before God, to learn before attempting to teach. They needed an experience different from what they received. “The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits.” [Verse 6.] They had not been partakers of the fruit, the grace of God, which is the essential element in all service, and they are not placed in positions of trust because they have not given evidence, by the quality of the fruit borne, that the tree is good. Had they been teachable, had they walked, not boasting, but humbly before God, they would first have been partakers of the fruit of their well-advised, judicious efforts put forth to make them successful in their positions of trust. But their ideas were not a success; they were not partakers of the fruit of their labors. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 3

Paul said to Timothy, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” [Verse 7.] This is the understanding we all need. Timothy was to walk in the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. Those who work under God’s direction, and in harmony with Him, will gratefully acknowledge His power, and He will let fruits follow them. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 4

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scriptures, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is become the head of the corner and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” [1 Peter 2:6-8.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 5

There is a great deficiency in some of our ministers in Michigan who have had the clearest light on health reform. They have not used this light in their labors among the people. Many of them are far behind, for when they neglect to receive the light which God has permitted to shine upon their pathway, they are not partakers of the fruit which would be seen if they gave that light to others. If as laborers they could show by a correct religious experience that they are partakers of the fruit, they could bear a message of great value to those who are in need of just such a testimony. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 6

Our ministers need to practice right principles and live healthfully, that they may be partakers of the fruit of their own labors. There is a neglect shown in this line of work. There is light which our ministers have never taken up and thoroughly practiced. Therefore they cannot harmonize with the work that is being done in these lines, and they make this work a stumbling block to themselves. They watch with eager eyes for some inconsistencies which they can comment upon. But they might better overcome their prejudice, and as husbandmen [of] the garden of the Lord, His church, being first partakers of the fruit they bear the message, “I beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 7

What is the condition of the world at the present time? Christ has described it. “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. ... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” [Luke 17:26, 27, 30.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 8

Another class is described by Peter. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be that ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. ... Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:1-5, 11, 12.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 9

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace which is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear; forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” [1 Peter 1:13-19.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 10

There is a message regarding health reform to be borne in every church. There is a work to be done in the schools that have been established. Neither principal nor teachers should be entrusted with the education of the youth until they themselves as husbandmen cultivate the garden of the heart and are partakers of the fruit. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 11

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” [2 Timothy 2:14.] There are to be no schisms in the church of Christ. God designs that a people shall stand forth before the world, sound in principle, and he would have all heed the words, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ... But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” [Verses 15, 23-26.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 12

There have been those who have felt it their duty to criticize and question and find fault with things they know nothing about experimentally in regard to health reform. They should stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, with those who are working in right lines. There must be men who shall proclaim the truth in the churches, giving to the people the reasons of our faith. The light in regard to health reform is to be given to the world and to our churches. Our people in Michigan should be deeply stirred, for many of them are behind in this work. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 13

The presidents of our conferences in America need to realize that it is high time that they were gathering up the precious rays of light God has given on the subject of health reform, and place themselves on the right side of this question. Those who are ministers and teachers are to go forth to give to others the light they have received. Their work in every line is needed. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 14

How long will those who claim to believe the truth, ministers and people, work away from the light which the Lord has imparted for His people in these last days? How long will those who minister in word and doctrine stand apart from each other as independent branches, as though they were not all grafted into the same parent stock. The Lord will work if you prepare the way for Him by heeding the light He has given us. Ministers who are working in Battle Creek, for Christ’s sake advance with the light, also the light that you already have will become darkness. We have no time to lose in counter working the men whom God has appointed to do a certain work. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 15

“I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing in his kingdom, Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season: reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” [2 Timothy 4:1-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 16

These words are spoken to every minister in the Michigan Conference. Please read the third chapter of Second Timothy. Every word is applicable at this time to all our churches throughout the world. Had not our brethren in America better wake out of their lethargic slumbers? Had they not better trim their lamps with the grace of God, and let them shine forth in clear, bright rays to a world that is in darkness? There is a great work to do; there is a message to be borne in regard to the fitting up of a people to stand in the day of the Lord. God is the strongest being in the universe, and He demands of you to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 17

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying alway with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:10-18.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 18

Please read and study the fifth chapter of Ephesians. I am instructed to present these Scriptures to you as men who do not practice the Word. Can you expect the Lord to bless you, and co-operate with your efforts? Is it any virtue for ministers or church members to stand on the side of the world instead of on the side of Christ? You need to clear your cobwebbed mind from your selfish indulgences in eating, drinking, and dressing. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 19

You are responsible to God to educate, train, and discipline in right habits and practices, the children that you have brought into the world. Will you who have neglected your families not now give to the world and the church an example of a well-disciplined family, where the children are under the control of the father and mother, and the father and mother under the control of God? Will you, whose ministers of God’s churches disobey His word by failing to require obedience and order in your households? If you neglect this work, you will neglect to set the church in order. It is the neglect of home duties that is eclipsing the light, so that it cannot shine forth in a correct example in eating, in dressing, in working in right lines. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 20

Please read the first seven verses of the third chapter of First Timothy. We are here given a positive declaration of God, and those who refuse to see the necessity for this work in the home will be so blinded that they will not see the necessity of obeying the work in other lines. The command extends to deacons. See verses eight to thirteen of the same chapter. Had we not better give heed to the work of God? Paul charged Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine: continue in them; for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] The man who has accepted the work of a minister is not only to preach the Word, but is to give it power by practicing the Word. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 21

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” [John 6:51, 54-57.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 22

Grace sufficient, if accepted and improved, is given for the duties and trials of each day. But in order to learn how to do those things that please God, we are to remain as students in the school of Christ. We are not in the world to amuse and please ourselves. We are making history. The church is making history. Every day is a battle and a march. On every side we are beset by invisible foes, and we either conquer through the grace given us by God, or we are conquered. I urge that those who are taking a neutral position in regard to health reform be converted. They need to practice the light coming to them in clear lines. This light is precious, and the Lord gives me the message to urge that all who bear responsibilities in any line in the work of God take heed that the truth is in the ascendancy in the heart. Only thus can we meet the temptations we are sure to encounter in the world. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 23

Just as long as ministers and church members sail with the current of the world, they need neither canvas nor oar. It is when they turn square about to stem the current that their work begins. It is the duty of every soul that is on Christ’s side be a witness for Him and to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. What is seen by the world in the present disunion and want of harmony among those who claim to believe the truth? That this people cannot be of God; for they are working against each other. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 24

If we would be one with Christ, we must first be one with each other. Those who are not yoked up with Christ always pull the wrong way. There are elements that belong wholly to man’s natural temperament, and passion is wide awake to meet passion. Then there is a collision, and Satan uses these elements to bring in confusion. The loud voice is heard in committee meetings, in board meetings, in the public assembly, opposing the will and ways of reform, of purity. When these elements are fully developed, those who have been deceived by them may return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 25

At the eleventh hour the Lord will gather a company out of the world, to serve Him. There will be a converted ministry. Those who have had privileges and opportunities to become intelligent in regard to the truth, and yet who continue to counterwork the work God would have accomplished, will be purged out, for God accepts the service of no man whose interest is divided. He accepts the whole heart, or none. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 26

Spiritual death marks the course of those who feel no burden to bear the messages which, if received, will restore the moral image of God in man. An unconverted ministry means spiritual death to the churches. When the ministers are converted, spiritual life and spiritual death come into conflict ere the truth gains access to the heart. It must fight every inch of the way. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 27

The world and unconverted church members are in sympathy. Some, when God reproves them for wanting their own way make, the world their confidence, and bring church matters before the world for decision. Then there is collision and strife, and Christ is crucified afresh and put to open shame. Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts! 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 28

This action of appealing to human courts, never before entered into by Seventh-day Adventists, has now been done. God has permitted this that you who have been deceived may understand what power is controlling those who have had entrusted to them great responsibilities. Where are God’s sentinels? Where are the men who will stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, with the truth, present truth for this time, in possession of the heart? 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 29

“To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach, they have no delight in it. ... For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.” “Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not make a full end with you.” [Jeremiah 6:10, 13-17; 5:18.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 30

There is hope for all who will hear the truth, and repent of their evil works. When from unfeigned lips the earnest prayer goes up, “Create in me a clean heart, O God,” the answer comes in the promise, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” [Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:25-27.] 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 31

These are the words of the Lord, and if the blindness of those who have betrayed the cause of God into the hands of our enemies is ever removed, they will understand this Scripture. If those addressed would respond to the invitation of Christ, and take His yoke upon them, an altogether different atmosphere would surround their souls. Shall those who hold in trust the most sacred truth ever committed to mortals deliver themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to the control of the enemy, strengthening evildoers in their evil ways? 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 32

God calls for His watchmen to awake and be faithful sentinels. Begin anew to yoke up with Christ and with all who have a knowledge of the truth. Arouse from your deathlike slumbers, and learn the simple lessons that lie at the foundation of true godliness. Whether superiors, inferiors, or equals, your work is to begin with your own heart. Humble yourself before God. Come into right connection with Him by yielding to the creating power of the Holy Spirit. Then will be seen in the church the unity that is of value in God’s sight. There will be sweet harmony, and all the building, fitly framed together, will grow up into an holy temple in the Lord. The church will have that faith that shows that it is genuine because it works by love and purifies the soul. A hand to hand and heart to heart interest will be shown in building up the old waste places. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 33

The Lord and all heaven rejoice to see this work being done in medical missionary lines. The churches are to blend with this work, that they may be kept in a healthy condition, guarding the Lord’s purchased possession as faithful sentinels. This is due to your heavenly Father, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 34

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity and came to our world that He might touch humanity. He came to win man back to His allegiance to God, to teach him to respect himself for the sake of the One who paid an infinite price for his redemption. He has enlisted man in His service to cooperate with Him in the saving of souls. This man may be by being obedient to God’s requirements. By precept and example he may win souls to Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 35

When God’s people have faith in Christ, they will work as they have never worked before. There are great possibilities and probabilities before those for whom Christ has given His life. God would have men and women arise to the present emergency. He calls upon men of intellectual power to co-operate with Him by using in His service every talent entrusted to them. The life of the successful worker in God’s service is a reflection of Christ’s life. God would have us watch for souls as they that must give an account. He bids us to go forward, not backward to Egypt in unbelief. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 36

Mere intellectual knowledge, apart from moral and spiritual elevation, is as nothingness. The greatest of this world’s great men, who think that they have reached wonderful heights in science, cannot compare with the great apostle Paul or with John the beloved. But when a human being combines his intellectual powers with his moral and spiritual powers, he is a worker with Christ, and heaven registers him as a man. Such an one reaches the highest standard that can be reached. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 37

All Christ’s followers are to be partakers with Him in His sufferings. God would have us estimate the value placed on us by the price paid for us. Christ died to save us from everlasting ruin. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] Then should we not value ourselves when we were made to be sons of God, yes, sons of God? Obedience to Christ, holiness of soul, body, and spirit, gained by the indwelling of the grace of Christ, and cherished and matured by looking to Jesus, will make us living epistles, known and read of all men. 13LtMs, Ms 64, 1898, par. 38