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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)

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    Lt 33a, 1888

    [Church, Brother]

    [Fresno, California]

    [March 21, 1888]

    Drawn from Lt 33, 1888. See 20MR 363-372.

    Rejecting the Light

    Dear Brother [Church]:

    The course of your life has been opened before me. It has been one of constant wrestling, and when your course has been questioned or opposed, you have only pushed the harder to make your plans successful. The training received through circumstances has led you to do this, and the element of opposition still exists in you. But it is a dangerous element to be brought into one’s religious life, because it may incline him to push when the Lord is not on his side to push with him. You will do well to make haste slowly. I know that the Lord can use you as His instrument if you will be passive in His hands. He can make you a conqueror if you are willing to walk in the light.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 1

    You are now in the decline of life and will not be able to wrestle as you have done. You need to seek more earnestly for those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; you should now be fitting up for those mansions which Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. Do not, my brother, make a failure here. For you to become connected at this period in your experience with those with whom you cannot harmonize will be not only an injury to them, but a still greater injury to yourself and to the precious cause of God.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 2

    Satan is constantly working to lead men to deny the light. It is but a step from the straightforward path to a diverging one in which Satan leads the way and where light is all darkness, and darkness light.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 3

    On one occasion of an assembly of the Jews at Nazareth, Christ announced Himself as the Anointed One. Under the impression of the Spirit of God, all witnessed to the gracious words which proceeded from His lips. But they began to doubt. It is a dangerous thing to open the heart to unbelief for it drives the Spirit of God away from the heart, and Satan’s suggestions come in. As the doubts were entertained, open unbelief followed; and as the close, pointed remarks of Jesus brought their true spiritual condition before them, they were filled with madness and would have put an end to His life then and there if they had been permitted. These lessons of solemn importance we must take to ourselves and avoid the first admission of doubt and unbelief.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 4

    I have no confidence that _____ is under the influence of the Spirit of God. He has been working under the deceptive influence of another spirit; and if he does not see this and gather up and cherish the rays of light that have flashed upon his pathway, he will surely come into the position of Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses and thus withstood God, who was using Moses as His instrument. In the days of Christ, this class of men was so self-confident and had turned so fully from the ways of the Lord that they believed themselves to be in the right and in favor with God, when they were measuring themselves by their own standard and were putting light for darkness and darkness for light.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 5

    During years of experience in the cause of God, we have seen many persons move in blindness, resisting the work of the Holy Spirit. We have also seen the result, which has been a separation from God and eventually, from the truth.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 6

    The natural heart always despises reproof, and even men of experience will be blind to discern their own individual imperfection of character and sometimes rise up against it. There are those who hate reproof, and, when corrected by the Spirit of God, appeal to others in self-sympathy, putting a wrong construction upon everything, and in so objectionable a light present the matter as to win their sympathy. An impression is thus left on the minds of those who listen to them that there is a grave inconsistency in the reproof given. They have many words with friends and relatives over the matter, all of which tend to make of none effect the counsel and Word of God in correction, reproof, and rebuke of the erring. They lean to their own understanding; they refuse counsel; and instead of working in harmony with the Spirit of God to set things in order, they labor in an entirely opposite direction. They erect a standard of their own by which they measure character. They cherish their own ideas and place their own construction on God’s manner of dealing as though it were only human wisdom. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.]5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 7

    The Lord is not dependent upon any man to accomplish His work, but He graciously gives us the privilege of co-operating with Him, that we may be laborers together with God. We cannot do His work from our own human standpoint. We must not follow our own finite judgment, but we must have an eye single to the glory of God. Blind not your eyesight with your own objectionable traits of character.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 8

    “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts,” “and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” [Haggai 2:8; Psalm 50:10.] His resources are unlimited, and His power can accomplish whatever He will. If any man refuses to co-operate with Him and will not work according to God’s order, then he will be laid aside, and another will be chosen in his place. God accepts the willing and obedient to do His work, which, wrought through Christ in righteousness, will be as enduring as eternity. Such work will be most precious and will be laid upon the foundation, not as wood, hay, or stubble, but as gold, silver, and precious stones, and it will stand in the great conflagration that is to try every man’s work, of what sort it is.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 9

    There has been altogether too much reliance [placed] upon independent, uninspired judgment. Self-sufficiency and self-esteem lie at the foundation of the greatest trials and discords that have ever existed among the people of God. The angel of God has said to me again and again, “Press together! Press together! Be of one mind, of one judgment, that God may be your Leader. Follow His footsteps, and you will walk safely. The clean heart and the right spirit are the gifts of His Son, purchased with infinite cost.”5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 10

    God is teaching, leading, and guiding His people that they may teach, lead, and guide others. There will be, among the remnant of these last days, as there were with ancient Israel, those who wish to move independently, who are not willing to submit to the teachings of the Spirit of God and who will not listen to advice or counsel. Let such ever bear in mind that God has a church upon the earth to which He has delegated power. Men will want to follow their own independent judgment, despising counsel and reproof; but just as surely as they do this, they will depart from the faith and disaster and the ruin of souls will follow. Those who rally now to support and build up the truth of God are ranging themselves on one side, standing united in heart, mind, and voice in defense of the truth, while those who do not labor in harmony of purpose and action, who choose their own unsanctified judgment as perfection of action, are ranging themselves on the side of Satan and are defending his cause. Satan will become their leader, and they will join him in his constant endeavors to tear down that which God is building up.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 11

    None of these discordant elements will be able eventually to thwart the purposes of God in the preparation of a people to stand in the great day and in the final completion of the plan of salvation. But the works of all are to bear the test of the great Judge. Angels of God are watching the development of character; angels of God are weighing moral worth in the balances of the sanctuary; and the record of every man’s work is being made daily in the books of heaven. And each will receive a reward according to his works.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 12

    There are those in our ranks who feel annoyed because honor and praise are not given to their supposed superior judgment as if they were doing some wonderful thing for God. They feel fully capable of grasping larger responsibilities and of moving independent of any control while they have failed to bear the test of smaller responsibilities. But they do not keep the way of the Lord. They are ranged on the wrong side, ready to say, “Has not God spoken by us? Ye take too much upon you.” God will set His own seal upon His work and will enlist men to co-operate with Him. He has given to every man his measure of power, and He expects that each will put it forth in that branch of the work where he can labor most intelligently and effectively.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 13

    It is a delusion of the enemy for anyone to feel that he can disconnect from agencies which God has appointed and work on an independent line of his own, in his own supposed wisdom, and yet be successful. Although he may flatter himself that he is doing God’s work, he will not prosper in the end. We are one body, and every member is to be united to the body, each person working in his respective capacity. Men must be like-minded with God—pure, holy, sincere. Not one is to be shut up to himself, to live for himself. God gives sufficient light to guide every man so that he may perform right actions. But unless this light is appreciated and obeyed, he will be left in the condition of Chorazin and Bethsaida of old. It is not enough to believe the truth; its sanctifying power must be seen in the life and character.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 14

    God requires of us more than we are willing to give Him. We must individually be honest with Him and in no case rob Him in tithes or in offerings. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. ... Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:8-10.]5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 15

    Truth is advancing. Missionary fields are constantly opening, and those who use means which God has intrusted to them as His stewards in spreading the knowledge of the truth from heaven are truly missionaries of God and co-laborers with Christ. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.]5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 16

    You have a special work before you. If you will live in harmony with the Holy Spirit, the Lord will bless you and work with your efforts. There is only one safe course for you, and that is to “make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” [Hebrews 12:13.]5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 17

    Sound doctrine must be brought into the life that it may produce sound practice. Do not, my brother, neglect a plain duty, revealed to you by the oracles of God. The books of heaven reveal at this present time your past and present standing in the sight of God.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 18

    Be strictly honest with your Maker in tithes and offerings. If you have been moved by the Spirit of God and under that influence have made pledges, then while you have means in your hands make your account straight with God. God notices all these transactions that are related to His cause.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 19

    I entreat you, my brother, to make thorough work for time and for eternity. Do not rob God in the least measure. Take the truth of God in your hand and in your heart; take it with you to your place of business; carry out its principles in every transaction with your fellow men. God will be near to help you in every earnest, determined effort to apply the simple but searching maxims which come from heaven to guide men through all the highways and byways of life to eternal glory.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 20

    You are often troubled by the dishonesty and perversity of others. Their crooked ways are an offense to you. Their disregard of their word and the forfeiture of their promises tempt and discourage you, and Satan is pleased to have it so. But on the other hand, how are you treating the Lord? Are you not disappointing His expectations? Are you faithful and exact in fulfilling your promises? And do you pay your vows to God? Do you not withhold from the Lord the portion which He has reserved for Himself? You need expect but little of men, except through the prevailing power of truth, which alone is able to elevate their nature to its true dignity. The only means of purifying man from the defilement of sin is to make him like-minded with God.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 21

    Your soul is of more value than gold and silver because it was purchased by the agony and the blood of the Son of God. Will you look carefully to all these things? Will you not fully unite with God’s people, closing every door through which Satan can enter to cause strife and alienation? Will you not stand shoulder to shoulder with them in His work? Put on the yoke of Christ and lift just where He can lift with you. We want your help in the work which is being done in these last days. We want you to be ripening up for the future life.5LtMs, Lt 33a, 1888, par. 22

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