Manuscript Releases, vol. 1 [Nos. 19-96]
Accounted Rich by Heaven
Worldly success, even when obtained at the loss of spiritual life, is often looked upon as the blessing of providence; but it is disaster, it is death. Better far would be poverty, the cross, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and shattered worldly hopes. Better far would be the world's verdict, “poor,” than be written poor in the books of heaven. To be written in heaven as one who is rich in spiritual graces is of far greater honor than to sit with princes on earth, and forfeit the kingdom of God. Let it be the ambition of those who profess to believe present truth, to be written as men whose lives are hid with Christ in God, men whom gold cannot buy, who though tempted as was Moses, like him, esteemed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. 1MR 97.1
God permits men to pass under the fire of temptation that they may see if there is alloy in their characters; for they cannot inherit their heirship to the eternal crown unless they are tested and proved by the Lord. Take time to watch and pray, to assure yourselves that you have the presence of Jesus, and can counsel with Him in regard to the work He has given into your hands, as did Enoch of old. You who occupy important positions of responsibility, how much you need Jesus, how much you need to watch and pray that you may be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Will you gather business to your soul, and leave Christ out on the plea that you have not time to commune with Him? Why violate conscience? Why put such confidence in your own finite strength? 1MR 97.2
Temptation will come to every soul, and if you accept one temptation, stronger ones will follow, and others will be influenced by your example. Gold is not only a standard in the market, but a standard of character among men. But though the world judges by this standard, let the Christian say, “I am not bound to be rich, but I am under obligation to be righteous and represent my Redeemer. I will not imperil my soul by declaring I must have a certain revenue. I have purposed in my heart that I will not give Satan reason to triumph over me because I endanger my spiritual life and become the servant of sin. I will not cultivate or encourage selfishness and covetousness, for it is the ruin of the world.” Satan was vanquished when he came to Christ, with his specious temptation, offering a vast reward for the tarnishing of the integrity of the Son of God. He now seeks through the avenue of the world to corrupt the integrity of those who would overcome through the grace of Christ; but let every professed follower of Jesus say, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Letter 41, 1890, pp. 1-9, 11-15, 19-22. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, December 24, 1890.) 1MR 97.3
Washington, D. C.,
April 17, 1949.