Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 119, 1898

The Word of God Our Study Book


September 22, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 75; 4MR 97-98. +Note

The psalmist declares: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold: yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. The testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:126-130.] By “the simple” is meant those who do not consider themselves of such exalted understanding that they think they can improve the Scriptures above their present simplicity. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 1

Again he says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes: the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold; yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.” [Psalm 19:7-11.] 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 2

The Word of God is to be our studybook. If the word spoken by Christ from the pillar of cloud had been heeded and observed, there would now exist in our world a state of things that could only exist through obedience to the law of God. The directions were plainly specified to Moses to be given to that vast multitude that God was leading to the promised land. It was His design, if this people should heed the word of the Lord, to establish them in the land of Canaan a pure, happy and healthful people, with not one feeble one in all their tribes. The law of the Lord was to be obeyed. Fathers and mothers were to teach it to their children, and compose the same into song, lest they should forget the word of the Lord. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 3

These holy commandments were good, and God declared that if they obeyed His Word, they would be kept in the favor and love of God, they would be built up in righteousness and truth, and He could safely bless them. But if they departed from their loyalty, and transgressed the laws of His kingdom, their own course of action would react upon themselves. Their course of unrighteousness would produce its sure results, lawlessness, discord, hatred, strife, and violence. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 4

The Word of God has been preserved through the centuries to be our lessonbook in these last days, and this Word is to be studied. The minds that are turned to righteousness will be full of faith and hope and courage. We are to keep before the mind God and His creative work, “for without him was not anything made that was made.” [John 1:3.] He created the world, “and all things that are therein.” [Nehemiah 9:6.] His Book has been preserved by a miracle of God to guide men into right theories, and preserve men from the vague untruthful theories, which, because of human inventions [that] have tried to mold and fashion the Bible, are prevalent in the world today. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 5

This is the very course the Jewish nation pursued. For their course of transgression, because they would not believe and receive the Word of God and accept Christ as the world’s Redeemer, the only provision God had made to save them, they brought upon themselves their own ruin and the destruction of Jerusalem. This is the sure result of a course of disobedience and transgression. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 6

The only safety of the Hebrew nation lay in their obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God. Through obedience they might have brought themselves into a right relation to God, and all the armies of heaven would have fought their battles for them. But they would not listen to the Word of the Lord, and thus save themselves and their children. Had they heeded the words of their unseen Leader, their system of theology would have been of heavenly similitude; God would have protected them from the degradation and superstition of the world. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 7

It was the privilege of the Jewish nation to represent the character of God to the world as it had been revealed to Moses. “Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me: yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast found grace in my sight. Now therefore, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; ... I beseech thee, show me thy glory. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 8

“And he said, I will make all goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of a rock, and I will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.” [Exodus 33:12, 13, 18-22.] “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 9

“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” [Exodus 34:5-7.] But the pride and stubbornness of the Jews constantly misrepresented the character of God. They claimed to believe the Scriptures while they misinterpreted them. They misrepresented the character of God by justifying error and injustice and sin. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 10

If the written Word of the Most High God is obeyed, it will educate the believer to co-operate with God in bringing up to a high level the debased and fallen. Then the ignorant will learn that the enactments of God mean peace and goodness, mercy and love. Satan does not want this presentation to be made of God. He desires selfishness to prevail, the love of money to become the ruling element in the heart. He wants that the money and property which belong to God shall be hoarded up, and robbery, fraud, crime, and injustice prevail in the world. He desires to see the poor made to suffer from hunger, and for want of food and clothing, and the world today become as full of violence as was the world before the flood. Then he can bring about his ends, charging all the misery upon God. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 11

To a large extent Satan has carried out his plans. The Lord’s property is embezzled; God is robbed. The means that has been lent to man, to relieve the necessities of the poor and to uplift and sustain the fallen in righteousness and truth, is used to please and glorify self. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 12

From the beginning to end, the crime of tobacco using, of opium and drug medication, has its origin in perverted knowledge. It is through plucking and eating of poisonous fruit, through the intricacies of names that the common people do not understand, that thousands and ten thousands of lives are lost. This great knowledge, supposed by men to be so wonderful, God did not mean that man should have. They are using the poisonous productions that Satan himself has planted to take the place of the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. Men are dealing in liquors and narcotics that are destroying the human family. Deathly mixtures are used, that make men mad, and murder and violence is prevailing everywhere. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 13

The time is near when all these wicked inventions will come to an end. At the last the passion for obtaining means by fraud will increase. Theft and robbery will become more prevalent. The fruit of the tree of knowledge will be greedily eaten. Satan will come down with great power, working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. Amusements of every kind will increase, and money, God’s money, will be abused and misapplied while thousands are perishing for food in all our cities. The dead will be honored with costly sepulchers and expensive monuments, and attention will be called to these things as something worthy of laudation. The householders will turn away from the real wants of living beings and glorify Satan in embellishing the tombs of the dead. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 14

The cries of humanity from India, from Africa, from China, and from many places are going up to God. Misery and anguish and physical suffering are coming up before Him, and God will soon sweep the earth of its moral corruption—not by a sea of water as in Noah’s day, but by a sea of fire that cannot be quenched by any human devising. Admonitions are given to the inhabitants of the earth who are corrupting their ways before God, who are plucking of the tree of the knowledge of evil to the ruin of human beings. God will avenge His own elect which cry unto Him day and night. Yea, He will avenge them speedily. 13LtMs, Ms 119, 1898, par. 15