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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)

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    Lt 16a, 1892

    Jones, Brother and Sister [C. H.]

    Preston, Victoria, Australia

    July 4, 1892

    Portions of this letter are published in CTr 11.

    Dear Brother and Sister C. H. Jones:

    I have not written you much since coming to Australia; nevertheless, I have not forgotten you. I am hoping and praying that you will have strength and courage in the Lord. “Without me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] You should have a full sense of the fact that Jesus is by your side constantly. By faith you may have converse with Jesus. You may take Him as your counsellor. You may have Jesus as your refuge, to whom you can run and be safe. We need to understand that we are living in a time of great peril, and we should “watch and pray lest we enter into temptation.” [Mark 14:38.] I know unless we do this, Satan will overcome us.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 1

    We must know that a cunning and powerful foe is upon our track, trying to surround our path with darkness, that he may lead us into his snares. He watches our going out and our coming in, and by every means in his power he intends to hurt and destroy us. He works undercover. He works successfully in secrecy; and if he can keep us ignorant of his devices, he is the more likely to deceive us. I have thought much of how easily we may be led to take false positions.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 2

    In regard to Dr. Maxson and his wife going into the Health Retreat, it is well. I have been surprised that notwithstanding all the light which the Lord has been pleased to give to His people, there were so many well pleased with the idea of erecting a new sanitarium and dropping the old. Those who were so willing to do this, do not look on all sides of the matter. Some places strike the mind as favorable, and they give sanction to propositions which should not receive strength from their voice or pen.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 3

    The branch institutions in Oakland and in Healdsburg will do well if there is sufficient working force to provide helpers for both the branch and the main institution. If there is only enough to manage one institution, then how can these side interests be carried on? It ought to be done. There should be a good strong force of help laborers. But I felt to tremble for our people in Oakland and in California when I saw how readily they are worked upon and influenced by new projects which call for that which we have not, an outlay of means. Our influence must be steady, strong, and healthful. We attempt to do too much in ourselves. We must let the Lord work, and give the heavenly intelligences some room to work.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 4

    Brother Jones, you must not think that you can carry the load. You cannot do this. You should make the Lord your only dependence. I was alarmed as I saw how easily our brethren in Oakland could be swayed because propositions were made which would convenience them. Here is our danger. Self comes in at every point and bears sway, and self tangles up the work of the Lord sadly. In some things we need to make haste slowly. Then again, when the providence of God moves to clear the way before us, we need to have the clearest discernment to seize the precious golden chance and make the most of it. The Lord alone can guide. The Lord alone can be our wisdom in planning now. Let every one of us seek the Lord, and abase ourselves in the dust before Him.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 5

    You, Charles and Josie, have seemed almost like my children. My heart is drawn out in great tenderness and love for you both. I long so much that you shall prosper, both physically and spiritually. Whatever shall come, quietly, firmly put your trust in God. You have had to drink of the bitter cup again and again. But have you not always had the cup of consolation presented to you by the One who loves you, who gave His precious life for you? During my painful, wakeful nights I have done much thinking, and I see as never before that I must trust the Lord in the darkness and without a murmur walk with Him wherever He leads the way. I know that Jesus loves you both, and He will teach you, and will guide you in judgment, if you will put your trust in Him. But never withdraw your hand from that of Jesus.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 6

    As you have advanced from one line of the work to another, temptations have laid wait for you; Satan has desired your souls, that he might sift you as wheat. But Jesus declares, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” [Luke 22:32.] Be of good courage. Do what you can do well, but do not gather responsibilities upon you which you are not able to bear. Cares and responsibilities will come upon us, but if we keep in mind that Jesus is close by our side, we shall not fear though a host should encamp against us.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 7

    Precious, precious Jesus! O, how the enemy has tried to assail me during my suffering, wakeful hours in the night season. But always as I have prayed, hope and brightness from Jesus have dispelled every shadow. My heart is filled with His love. I will offer to Him my tribute of praise. We are nearing the judgment, when every case is to be decided according to the deeds done in the body. Let us make Jesus our all and in all. Our work is to form character for the future immortal life.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 8

    How sorry I feel for Dr. Burke, that instead of being an overcomer, in warring against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, he is overcome. Why? Because he did not make the Lord Jehovah His strength. The Lord has sent him many warnings and reproofs, which he would not receive because the light given did not coincide with his ideas and plans. He followed the imagination of his own heart, as did the inhabitants of the world before the flood. O that he would repent and be converted, that his sins might be blotted out!7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 9

    Anciently the Lord sent to His people prophets, rising early and sending them, that the people might not destroy themselves; but they beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. How solemnly has Jesus warned and graciously invited the erring, presenting eternal rewards for a life of obedience. For the children of men He has toiled and travelled and interceded, enduring privation, and laboring with self-consuming zeal to relieve the wants and woes of the fallen race. For their sake He made Himself of no reputation; but He utters the mournful cry, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.]7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 10

    We shall meet with something of this experience as we seek to work the works of God. But shall we falter, shall our steps slide now? God forbid! The word of command comes from our Captain: “Go forward,” though the Red Sea is before us and insurmountable mountains [are] on either side. [Exodus 14:15.] Shall we stop to confer with flesh and blood now, or shall we move forward in faith? We read in the Living Oracles that some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. [1 Timothy 4:1.] Now, there will be those who will deceive, who will appear to be righteous, but when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, the actions of all will then appear just as they are.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 11

    Let me tell you from that which I know, I would not be in Dr. Burke’s position today for all the gold of California. But try to save the man; do all that you can with the matter that I have furnished you. Put forth labor to this end; and if he will not heed this labor, then try to present the matter so that he shall not deceive those that are ignorant. Prepare the matter in some kind of shape to use when necessary. He is not a man of truth. He makes crooked statements, voluntarily stating that which he knows is not true. This seems to be a trait of his character. He will say many things about me and my work which he knows are not true; he does it in order to influence others against me, to hurt my influence and justify himself. But the Lord will take care of that. I hope that our people will not be deceived by appearance. This is the second time he has proved traitor. Dr. Burke has kept his connection with the world unsevered, and he has gone to those who will extol him as a fine fellow.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 12

    Those of our people who understand the matter as it is, and will then vindicate him, are chargeable with the result of his influence. They are alike guilty with him. There is to be some very decidedly plain work in California to set things right in order. “Wherefore the Lord hath said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men, therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work, and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?” [Isaiah 29:13-15.]7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 13

    This is the work of the confederacy of evil. It has been going on in a decided manner, and many of those who claim to believe the truth are in the dark, because they have not purified their souls in obeying the truth. And while the enemies of the truth are working in secrecy, and through concealed channels make void the law of God, the work does not end here. The very same principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness are at work with those who are pretentiously “near God with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Him, but have removed their heart far from Him.”7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 14

    These words present what is taking place in our very borders. Nothing pleases the enemy more than to find agents for his use, those who will accept his plans, among the people who claim to honor God by keeping His commandments. Satan has a multitude of plans to ruin and destroy souls.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 15

    This movement of Dr. Burke’s is one of the enemy’s masterly efforts to deceive souls and lead them on step by step to their ruin. Those who cannot discern the plotting of Satan in this very matter that is enacted before them will not have spiritual eyesight to see his workings in other lines. They give their assent and influence to the working of principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 16

    Those who have had warnings and reproofs from the Lord, but have not accepted them, turning from their evil ways, will in heart and spirit unite with the confederacy of evil. They will profess to believe the truth, but their hearts are afar removed from the Lord. They do not love Him, they do not tremble at His Word, but walk in the imaginations of their own thoughts, in the sparks of their own kindling.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 17

    There have been those in California who have been preparing to form a confederacy against the truth. They will do this. All who do not repent and turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart will find themselves in bundles with the workers of evil. Such men as E. P. Daniels and those who accept of Dr. Burke in his present position, will, unless they repent, be led on step by step until they will engage in any kind of work that Satan will place in their hands to do.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 18

    This class, that have been gradually departing from God, will become bold as they reject the invitations of mercy, the calls to repentance. In their spiritual blindness they will take positions that will reveal the wisdom of God in graciously giving man probationary time, placing him under various circumstances, proving him, that his character may be fully developed before the heavenly intelligences and the record made that will decide the case of every individual by the principles they manifest in the world.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 19

    Lucifer was once in heaven. He sinned, and drew away many angels into his rebellion. There came a change in Lucifer. God said of him, “Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” [Ezekiel 28:17.] The sin of Lucifer is unexplainable. He was disloyal to God. His mourning and complaining aroused sympathy among the angelic hosts, and many took the same position as did Satan. How did the Lord break the force of these accusations?7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 20

    Because of Satan’s accusing power, it was not the plan of God to deal with him as he deserved. The tempter would throw all the blame of his course upon others who were below him. He would make it appear that if he could have moved according to his own judgment all this demonstration of rebellion would have been avoided.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 21

    The condemning power of Satan would lead him to institute a theory of justice inconsistent with mercy. He claims to be officiating as the voice and power of God, claims that his decisions are justice, are pure, and without fault. Thus he takes his position on the judgment seat, and declares that his counsels are infallible. Here his merciless justice comes in, a counterfeit of justice, abhorrent to God.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 22

    But how shall the universe know that Lucifer is not a safe and just leader? To their eyes he appears right. They cannot see, as God sees, beneath the outward covering. They cannot know as God knows. Then to work to unmask him and make plain to the angelic host that his judgment is not God’s judgment, that he has made a standard of his own and exposed himself to the righteous indignation of God, would create a state of things which must be avoided.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 23

    It was on account of Satan’s deceiving power that many angels became disloyal to God. God was true and right; Satan was wrong, and he was convinced that he was wrong. He must now choose, either by submission to place himself on the Lord’s side, or by lying to sustain himself. By sophistry and fraud he appeared to gain an advantage, but it was only for a short time. God cannot lie; He moves in a direct line. Lucifer could speak the truth when it served his purpose best, but he could move in a crooked course to avoid humiliation and defeat.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 24

    Lucifer and the angels who united with him were warned of the terrible consequences of deception, but this was set aside by unbelief in the message. Satan triumphed in a supposed superiority; he had concealed his real character and purpose by deception. Satan could not be presented to the universe at once in his real character. His crooked course must be allowed to continue until he should reveal himself as an accuser, a deceiver, a liar, and a murderer. In the latter act, Satan uprooted himself from the affection of the loyal universe. In the death of the Son of God the deceiver was unmasked.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 25

    We shall see just such workings of the arch-deceiver through his human agents. Satan has not been converted; he is Satan still, and he has come down in great power just prior to the close of this earth’s history to work through deceiving human agencies in order to secure every soul on his side that he can. As Satan worked in heaven, so he works on earth. We must be blinded indeed if we cannot discern his devices.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 26

    “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.” [Ephesians 6:10, 11.] Where do we see his wiles? They are certainly in this world. Where are they? Is it not best for us to be wide awake, to discern the Lord’s side of the question? “Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” [Ephesians 5:6.] We shall have just such a class among us to try our faith.7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 27

    Now the warning: “Be not ye therefore partakers with them, for ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” “For the fruit of the Spirit is in”—smooth words and fair speeches?—“all goodness and righteousness and truth: proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame to speak of those things that are done of them in secret. But all things are reproved and made manifest by the light, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” [Verses 7-14.]7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 28

    Just such an awakening is essential at this time in California. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” [Verses 15-17.] Had you not better now, in California, draw nigh to God, and obtain spiritual eyesight to discern Satan’s snares? “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.” [Ephesians 6:12.]7LtMs, Lt 16a, 1892, par. 29

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