Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 69, 1897

Hardy, Brother



Portions of this letter are published in 4BC 1146; 5BC 1103; 3SM 134-136; 8MR 447; 9MR 213-214.

Dear Brother Hardy:

Self will show itself just as it is. But the work of overcoming this evil as Christ overcame has been sadly neglected. In our behalf Christ assumed humanity. He was in all points tempted like as we are. His life was a life of constant trial, for Satan was working to overcome Him. But he did not succeed. Christ resisted the devil. O, that all our brethren who have rough, selfish, impulsive, passionate tempers, would study the life of Christ, and become like Him. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 1

Sorrow and trial must come to all, and is beautiful only as it works to polish, to sanctify, and refine the soul as a fit instrument to do service for the Lord. On several occasions the Lord has said to me, The bitterness of grief and humiliation are better than the indulgences of sin. Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. Disappointments and sorrows would be unbearable if it were not that there is a God of right, of truth, and of love who watches over all His children. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 2

“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” [1 Corinthians 14:20.] “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for greater is he that prophesieth then he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except that I shall speak to you by revelation or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, concept they give a distinction in so the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?” [Verses 4-7.] “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15:1, 2.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 3

Will you read these words with a spirit to believe and receive them? It is altogether too late in this world’s history to believe in vain, or do anything in vain. What shall we say of having believed in vain? What a terrible calamity it would be to stake not only time but eternity, stake the welfare of the soul, upon a deception. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 4

Paul was approaching the end, when his work was to be rounded off, when these words were spoken. The church to which they were addressed was composed of strange characteristics, which the Lord saw must have sharp treatment. We cannot possibly have a changing religion. The gospel is to be proclaimed and personally received. A general as sent is not enough. There must be an intelligent heart reception of the truth wherein the receiver must stand and perseveringly communicate to others the knowledge received. The truth must be practiced in every respect, holding fast the Word of life, “by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” [Verse 2.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 5

There is a declaration of the faith that is so diluted by man’s natural traits of character that it has lost its saving virtue by losing its distinctive characteristic of Christlikeness. Although saying you are rich, you will find yourself in the end wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. When there is a haphazard belief and practice that is not after the lessons of Christ, then you have a faith that is vain. Your heart must either contain the treasures of goodness or the treasures of that which is evil. Out of the good treasure of the heart the receiver of truth brings forth good things. The one who claims to believe, and does not practice, brings forth evil things which wound, discourage, and destroy. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 6

I ask you, my brother, not to act like a child in understanding. Act like a child who is practicing the Word of God. Christ says, “Why call ye me Master and Lord, and do not the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46.] The consistency of our conduct in words, in patience, in meekness, will reveal the Christ in the heart. Take yourself seriously in hand, my brother, and move steadily onward step by step to be an overcomer. That which I have written to you are the facts of the past. It was written at the same time that the other testimony was written. At that time I had not had a word [of] conversation with your wife. Whatever you have written to me I cannot speak in reference to, for I know nothing of it. You are a very impulsive, passionate man. I have told you the truth just as it is. I want you to be saved. Sin is a disease, a cancer that is eating away all your prospect of a future holy, happy, sinless life in the heavenly family above. I have spoken plainly to you in letter lest you should not make that repentance that needeth not to be repented of. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 7

The soul is of value with God. He gave His life that He might bring moral courage to every man to run to race for the immortal crown that fadeth not away. You are to die to self and behold the Lamb of God that taketh away your sin. Then His own righteousness supplies the vacuums and works in man to fulfill his original destiny. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 8

The Lord did not make man to be redeemed, but to bear His image. But through sin man lost the image of God. It is only by man’s redemption that God can accomplish His design for him in making him a son of God. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 9

“As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:12-14, 16.] Because of the ransom paid for him, man, by his own choice, by obedience, may accomplish the design of God, and through the grace given of God bear the image that was first impressed upon him, and afterwards lost through the fall. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 10

Sin is not to be perpetuated by practice by the one who is born of God. He must become just what God designed he should be—a free soul in Christ Jesus; not free to continue in sin, but free to practice virtue and holiness. “Ye are free.” Therefore use your liberty not to oppress or to speak bitterness, but as the servants of God, as under the rule of Christ. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 11

Wherever the man is who is a child of God, he must live no idle life. He is not in a region where peace is an abounding element; where no heart throbs, no passion urges itself for demonstration. Satan lives; Satan works. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him was no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 12

“Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. ... In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” [1 John 3:3-7, 10-12.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 13

Read this entire chapter, Brother Hardy. Study attentively the epistles of John, and see what you can learn from them to put into practice. You are to manifest the character of Christ. He exhorts you to “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another; in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:12-17.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 14

Every man that is saved will have lived a Christian life, doing God service. It will be by putting His Word into the daily life. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whose hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” [1 John 3:16-18.] In pure well-being, and actual well-doing, you may become a new man, wiser, happier, and blessed in Christ Jesus. You may show your life to be transformed into a pure life. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” [Philippians 2:15.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 15

O, how little do professed Christians live under the influence and reflect the light of the truth to all that are around them. Christ has said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; but it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16.] This is one of the primary truths of the teachings of Christ. This is the service God requires of us. As Christians we are to glorify Him in our words and in our works. Profession does not count anything with God if the life is not flavored with the grace of the Saviour unto eternal life. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” He declares, to preserve it. [Verse 13.] “Ye are the light of the world.” Then reflect the light of heaven. Illuminate the moral darkness around you. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 16

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in times past were not a people, but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” [1 Peter 2:9-11.] “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 the Father in my name, he may give it you. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 17

“These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, 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 saying, 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 15:16-21.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 18

“As thou hast sent me, even so have I sent them into the world.” [John 17:18.] Has there not been a selfish and manifest neglect in disregarding such plain directions as are here given us of God? We are exhorted by the apostle to be living epistles, known and read of all men. And yet how many fail to glorify God in serving and praising Him. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 19

The Lord has given to you the privilege of receiving Him by a living, earnest, working faith. Then you may promote the glory of God. You need the new birth of soul. Then your words, your passionate impulses would not be a dark denial of Him. “By grace are ye saved.” [Ephesians 2:8.] This is what the Lord is hungry to do for us poor, defective human beings. He has shown how much He values man in that He gave Jesus to our world to a life of poverty, of sorrow and of death. Our faith in Jesus Christ will work by love and purify the soul. He offers His Spirit day by day to be our sufficiency. We are not only to burn as a dim taper, we are to shine so that others may be led to glorify God. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 20

I send you this epistle because I know that you have need of all that I have written to you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work you, and produce in you a character that the books of heaven may reveal as “complete in Him.” [Colossians 2:10.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 21

We are struggling along the best we can. As God has appointed, you can help us if you will. And the Lord will bless you in doing Him service. But I am so sorry that men will yoke up with the enemy, and do His will in the place of working with Jesus Christ. But they might never know their own selfish hearts if there were not something to develop the objectionable traits of character. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 22

The Garden of Eden with its disobedience and the garden of Gethsemane with its obedience are presented before us. What a costly work was that in Eden! How much was involved in the fatal eating of the forbidden tree! But many are following in the very same footprints, in disobedience, in breaking away from the law of God. When men selfishly enter a course of disobedience to God they go on imperceptibly. They do not calculate what the sure result will be when they enter the path of temptation, and make but feeble efforts to resist, and some make none at all. But when the scroll is unrolled, and God looks over it, He will find that He has been denied in that place, dishonored in another place; and as the roll is opened more and more, the results of unchristlike actions are revealed. The Word of God was not fed upon, therefore their actions were not the result of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 23

The law that God had given to bind man to obedience to Him was the law of love. He commanded that they should love Him with all the heart and soul and strength, and their neighbor as themselves. That law obeyed would have been a hedge about them, to keep them from entering evil paths. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 24

But the greatest evil was when man became a law unto himself; when he raised up and followed his own human standard that was in direct opposition to the Lord’s standard. When man fell, the standard of self was uplifted, and it was of just such a character as pleased the carnal mind. The will and way of man became his law. This class harmonize. But the doers of the law of God will not turn to the right hand or to the left, so there is strife. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 25

The great Teacher came into our world, not only to atone for sin but to be a Teacher both by precept and example. He came to show man how to keep the law in humanity, so that man might have no excuse for following his own defective judgment. We see Christ’s obedience. His life was without sin. His lifelong obedience is a reproach to disobedient humanity. The obedience of Christ is not to be put aside as altogether different to the obedience He requires of us individually. Christ has shown us that it is possible for all humanity to obey the laws of God. He served as a Son with the Father. Just so we must every one serve with God, not in our own improvised plans. Serving is a living service when self is not made supreme. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 26

The serving of the Son of God with the Father has ennobled all service. “I delight to do thy will, O my God:” He said, “yea, thy law is within my heart.” [Psalm 40:8.] David’s heart was enlarged, and he ran in the way of the Lord’s commandments. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 27

The work of Christ was not a divided heart service. Christ came not to do His own will but the will of Him that sent Him. Jesus says, Step in the footprints of my Sonship in all obedience. I obey as in partnership with the great firm. You are to obey as in co-partnership with the Son of God. Often you will not see the path clearly; then ask of God, and He will give you wisdom and courage and faith to move forward, leaving all issues with Him. We want to comprehend so far as possible the truly human nature of our Lord. The divine and human were linked in Christ, and both were complete. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 28

Our Saviour took up the true relationship of a human being as the Son of God. We are sons and daughters of God. In order to know how to behave ourselves circumspectly, we must follow where Christ leads the way. For thirty years He lived the life of a perfect man, meeting the highest standard of perfection. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 29

Then let man, however imperfect, hope in God, saying not, “If I were of a different disposition I would serve God,” but bring himself to Him in true service. Christ has invited you to do this. He says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you (convert your entrusted capabilities to God), and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For,” He declares, “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] That nature has been redeemed by Me. “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.] You are not degraded, but raised, ennobled, refined by Me. You can find refuge in Me. You can obtain victory and be more than conquerors in My name. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 30

Brethren who have now gone from New South Wales to South Africa, I entreat of you, If you cannot do anything to help us, for your soul’s sake and for Christ’s sake, lay nothing in the way of the faith of others. We have heard many say, I have no confidence in those who are bearing the responsibilities in this work. It was hard for us to bear; but we said, I will not fail nor be discouraged. If we had believed it was a work inaugurated by men, we would have dropped it quickly. But we know the work will go, for God is behind it and our trust is in Him. This earth is and always will be our battlefield. This is not our work, nor the work of any one person. It is God’s work, and every one who engages in this work must contend for the mastery. 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 31

We must have firm, earnest purpose, not only to fight, but to press through every obstruction, determined to conquer and lay hold of eternal life. “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 and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:10-12.] 12LtMs, Lt 69, 1897, par. 32