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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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    Lt 46, 1900

    Steed, D. E.

    Geelong, Victoria, Australia

    March 22, 1900

    Portions of this letter are published in TDG 90.

    Dear Brother Steed:

    I have an interest in you and for you. I greatly desire that you shall make your life that which Christ has provided every means that it shall be, through the grace of God which is amply provided for every human being. By His grace we shall make a success in perfecting Christian character in accordance with the divine pattern. Every faculty, every attribute of the human agent, is to be kept under perfect control.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 1

    All the varied capabilities that men possess, soul, body, and spirit, are given them of God to be so educated and trained that they may reach the highest possible degree of excellence. The human agency must cooperate with the divine purpose, and in so doing man is pronounced a laborer together with God. Every faculty, every attribute with which God has endowed us is to be used to His name’s glory. Man must cooperate with Christ to restore the moral image of God in man, and it is in wearing the yoke of Christ, and learning daily Christ’s meekness and lowliness, that Christ can use him to be a blessing to his fellow men.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 2

    Taught first by Christ, and then guarding his own mind and soul, he shall serve a holy purpose in lifting his own thought to that which is pure and elevating, and through words and example awaken in the soul of his fellow men devotion and gratitude to God. In thus doing he is a laborer together with God. He is not to employ one entrusted gift to exalt self, to seek praise of men, but to exalt God, to inspire minds—not to think of what glory he may bring to himself, but how he can prove himself a blessing to his fellow men and become the most successful agency to draw souls to contemplate heavenly things.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 3

    He must teach others in words and deeds to walk in Christ’s footsteps. Then his own mind will become well-balanced, and his endowments will be appreciated as the gift of God to be employed in God’s great plan to help in every way possible. By harmonious action with God in His great plan, he will fill his appointed place. He will bring himself back, through the grace of God given him to the perfection of Christ’s character. Uplifted himself, through the grace of God, he is prepared to uplift by his own transformation of character his fellow men both by precept and example.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 4

    All the gifts of God are to be exercised to produce as well as to consume. In no case can this work become a self-centered work, or exclusive of his fellow workmen. The character of God whose likeness we are all to receive, was revealed to Moses on the mount. “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.” [Exodus 34:6, 7.]15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 5

    This is the representation given to every human being who loves and serves God. This pattern is the standard of character. This probationary life is given to bring man back to this perfection which is to be the character of all who shall be saved. The law of God is a reflection of His character. The two great principles are to love God supremely, and our neighbor as we love ourselves.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 6

    The keeping of the first four and the last six commandments is the whole duty of man. Says the Psalmist: “All thy commandments are righteousness,” and “through thy precepts I get understanding.” [Psalm 119:172, 104.]15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 7

    “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. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” [Psalm 19:7-14.]15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 8

    This instruction, my brother, is the Word of the Lord to you. You must not only preach the truth to others, but practice the truth in your home life and in your ministering to others. The Word of the Lord is to be lived as well as preached. You are afflicting your soul, my brother, to your great hurt and spoiling your life by allowing your mind to entertain thoughts of your ministerial brethren that are not true. Bind about your thoughts. Hold not yourself aloof from your brethren. Take hold of the work the Lord has given you to do, not in your own strength and spirit, but in the spirit of Christ. Do your service to the Master. Look unto Him, and believe in the Lord.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 9

    Why do you make yourself so unhappy and miserable? The trouble with you, my brother, is your supreme confidence in yourself. You see something in your brethren that you interpret that is not giving you that deference and respect that you think you should have. You brood over these things, and, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” [See Proverbs 23:7.] These things you ponder over are realities to you, and yet are untrue. You place your fellow laborers in a vary unfavorable position. Anything that may happen to occur that you can interpret unfavorably, you place the worst construction upon it, and then brood over it.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 10

    This envy, this jealousy, is as cruel as the grave to those who associate with you. And have you not, my brother, considered that you place yourself in that attitude toward your brethren, that should anything take place at any time with your brethren, you construe it into disaffection and neglect.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 11

    This spirit you have always had, and will always have until you are able to see it as the disagreeable thing it is. Your sin of selfishness keeps yourself in view, and you lose sight of Christ. Do your work with an eye single to the glory of God. The more you keep brooding over yourself, the more miserable you will become. And when you blame your brethren for these things that you suppose they do, and you suppose they feel, you do them a moral wrong. Your suppositions proceed from the mind of Satan.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 12

    Had I been well at Cooranbong when you were there, these things I should have told you. I had some things I had made general on the sin of evil surmising, thinking evil, and then trying to make your thoughts true. Would you, my dear brother, place yourself in a position where your brethren must keep their minds always on you, for fear you will take some exceptions because you think they do not show you preference? What if you are not always made first? If you set your mind to be on the watch to see where you are neglected, or where you are not honored, the tempter will give you plenty to do. You will become a weak man. Here are the very sins you are to overcome, which will prove a stumbling block to you just as long as your mind is considering yourself as neglected, slighted, and misused.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 13

    You do not understand that in cherishing these feelings you are acting as one who has forgotten that he has grown to manhood, and you minister childish things. God calls upon you to clear the chambers of the mind, and cleanse the soul temple. You are defiling both with these thoughts and words, and with this spirit and these works. How does the Lord regard such things? You misuse your brethren who will not retaliate upon you, but who stand before God perfectly innocent, although misjudged, and their words and actions misinterpreted.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 14

    We are living in the most solemn period of time of this world’s history. Put on the whole armor of God, and stand in the power of His might.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 15

    You should not be warring against your brethren, and showing your attitude that you have not confidence in them. Your prayers are hindered. Not that your brethren have done any evil to you or against you; but you yourself have put up the bars that shut them out, and God’s love cannot prevail. Is this the way Christians are to do in these last days of this earth’s history?15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 16

    When you see a brother minister whom God has given a special gift to exercise in preaching the truth to the people, then you are assailed by the enemy that your gift is not recognized and appreciated. God has given to every man his gift according to his several ability. Will you complain of God because your brethren stand in their lot and place of appointment? I must tell you that this road you are traveling is a road that will become very bitter to you. You do not understand what manner of spirit takes possession of you. Why should the matter be so wondrously grievous to you if you are not exalted as first? If your life is hid with Christ in God, and Christ appears, is not that as it should be? Man is not to take any credit or praise to himself. But it is presented to me that you exalt yourself to large proportions. You need to stop right where you are, and consider prayerfully, and read the Word prayerfully.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 17

    Do not murmur at God, but change your attitude and say: “As for God His way is perfect. The Word of the Lord is tried. He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a Rock save our God?” [Psalm 18:30, 31.] Change your present attitude else you will make great sorrow for yourself. Every man drawing his life and spirit and knowledge from God is sure to increase in efficiency. He may learn from his brethren and receive help from them, and not feel that he is humiliating himself to improve in every way possible.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 18

    Our bodies and souls belong to God, and when we do our work in humility in God’s appointed way, we are not to worry or fret, but seek for a solid, religious experience. We must do our appointed work steadily and understandingly as a servant looking unto Jesus, and seeing what he could do, and following in His footsteps. He is our pattern. He wants everyone to do his best, and if one sees that his ways and his ministry is acceptable to the people, then let him walk humbly with God, but never become exalted, and never pursue a course as though he were wrestling to become first.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 19

    The Lord wants every man to have a symmetrical character, one that will reflect the character of Christ. If he finds fault because the people do not show as much pleasure in his ministry, and apparently have preference for some other man, let him not blame his brethren. This you have done, my brother, to the injury of your own soul. You cannot hide your feelings, and wherever you go you will be feeling around for sympathy, and will cast reflections on your fellow laborers, when there is not one jot or tittle of censure to be placed upon your brethren.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 20

    There are times when it is not best for you to fill the position as speaker; but should that cause you to be envious and jealous? The state of the work and meeting may demand something that you cannot give them which they need; but it is not to your detriment, and you are to feel that the Lord understands how His work should be carried. To every man He has given his work. All have not the same gifts, or the same manner of treating a subject.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 21

    Some ministers can take some subjects and carry them more clearly and powerfully than another man; and shall one feel offended that a choice is made of the very one who has been enabled to present some subjects with a power that others could not use? To every man God has given his work. It is not the work of any man to exhibit himself. He should reveal Christ as best he can, and in faith say, “It is God that girdeth me with strength and maketh my way perfect.” [Verse 32.] “Let not man glory in men.” [1 Corinthians 3:21.] Nothing is so absurd and offensive to God, as for any man to feel and do as you have done. Your will must be given up to God. Walk in all humility of mind, and let God do all the exalting. Man may praise, not himself, but the Lord. “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me that they did not slide.” [Psalm 18:35, 36.]15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 22

    One thing you must guard, your unbounded self-esteem. This is so great that it is impossible for you to conduct yourself with that humility that becomes a servant of God toward your brethren. This spirit of self-exaltation, if permitted to live and flourish, will create such attributes in you that it will prove the ruin of your soul. I want you to be an overcomer, and I want you to feel that you are at one with your brethren. But the course you have taken in cherishing jealousies and evil surmisings, in not manifesting the spirit of Christ, cannot possibly give your brethren confidence that you are a man to be depended upon. Your erratic feelings lead you to act like a man who is insane. This does not increase your ability or efficiency as a minister, but reveals great weakness.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 23

    The cause of God must not be marred by your temper of mind. You are so wrapped up in yourself that you do not think rationally. You are wounded and bruised by your imaginings, and then become self-deceived and represent yourself as badly used, when there is no ground for your thoughts or feelings, only in your own imagination. If this imagination is not controlled it will control you as it has done all through your experience. It is yourself that keeps you in unhappiness. Never will you let the peace of God rule your heart till self is crucified, and you know not what this means.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 24

    True death to self means true life through Jesus Christ. You carry a live human self within you, and until you shall see what it means to hide self in Jesus Christ, you cannot do acceptable service for God. There is great need of your receiving Christ by opening the door of the heart to Him. Christ is revealed as abiding in the heart by faith which works—not your English methods, which greatly need the sanctification of the Spirit of God—but Christ’s methods. You have clung to your English education and training and sentiments as though they were as precious as gold. God calls upon you to be converted from these things to His methods, to His training. The character of Christ revealed in the man in little things will also be revealed in larger things. In faithfulness, in words, in manifesting a spirit striving for unity as co-workers with Christ, one man cannot exercise dominion or authority over any of his brethren to order and dictate his fellow workers. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Counsel together, pray together, and let christ be the leader in all things.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 25

    A contrite, meek, and lowly spirit is of greater value than the gold of Ophir. God wants men to yield self to His control, not hold self in such esteem that the inherited and cultivated tendencies shall be tenaciously guarded as precious acquisitions that must be held just as the identity of the man. If we get out of self into Christ, then the Christ will appear. The self-esteem that the human agent has carefully carried with him, as though in all connection with his brethren he must hold fast to himself lest he should lose his hold and not maintain his identity, is one of the greatest burdens a man can undertake to carry, because his companion laborers cannot be of the same mind in reference to that precious self and they cannot help him carry the burden. They cannot study and plan that the precious threads of self shall be drawn into the fabric as threads to compose the pattern. They would, in their plans and councils, be liable to break some of these precious, supposed to be golden threads of self, in order to follow God’s Word and His revealed counsels in all movements made in His cause and work.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 26

    We are thankful that we have a Father infinite in pity and He can see and measure the man; but the man will make a great mistake to continue to place his value of merit upon his individual ministerial services. It is a matter for the greatest pity in connection with the work of God that man will so estimate himself that he is always injured because others do not see the merits he sees, and encourage all the ambition and ideas that he considers valuable as gold.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 27

    But there is One who knows it all. Then let no man tell his personal grievances to his brethren because he longs for sympathy. It would be misplaced if he had it. That self which has been tended as a sick child needs to pass through the death struggle. It should be buried and never have a resurrection again. Then the Holy Spirit can take the man and do its work upon the heart after it has done its work as a reprover that resulted in death to self. Let Christ come into the soul and occupy the place He should have always had.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 28

    Now, this terrible self is the greatest tyrant over the man it rules, and it is so inconsistent in its demands that the man is worked into terrible spasms because of his infatuation for self. He acts the martyr, suffering crucifixion to maintain himself. Now let the Lord Jesus have this self, and the human agent say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” [Galatians 2:20.] Then a victory is gained. The mind and soul and whole being is dispossessed of the demon self, and Christ abides in the man. He can speak to Christ as his companion, and there is a hush and silence in the soul.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 29

    Christ is the Master, and He opens the windows of the soul heavenward. The man can feel the warmth of the Sun of Righteousness. The chambers of the mind are filled with the sweet, pure, untainted perfume of the heavenly atmosphere. When the servant of Christ places himself in the hands of Christ, there is a preciousness of communion with the heavenly guest that is past all conception. There is a pitifulness and tenderness [that] takes hold of the human agent. All the fierceness and disagreeable dominating spirit is gone. A great change takes place, in death to self and a resurrection of Christ the living Saviour.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 30

    Now, the Lord is very pitiful and of tender compassion. He invites all who have been carrying the burden of a wounded self to “Come unto me, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your soul; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] He invites you, my brother, without delay to come; to take your burdens and all your trials to His sympathies, your sorrows to His love, your wounds to His healing, your weakness to His strength, your emptiness to His fullness. Never has He disappointed a soul that has surrendered to Him. They looked unto Him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 31

    As you make Christ your daily companion you will not feel the need of so great a guard over your self lest it should be hurt in some way. You will feel that you stand in open view of the unseen world of heavenly intelligences, and that nothing is hidden from their sight. They know just how to take care of you without your suggestions, and they will give the very remedy you need. It will never be flattery. It will never be human exaltation. You have carried a heavy stock of this commodity, and God can do nothing for you until you make a grave and bury it out of sight.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 32

    “Thy Father that seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” [Matthew 6:4.] By looking away from yourself to Jesus, you will become assimilated to His image. By beholding you will become changed. Your characteristics will become changed, become softened, refined, ennobled having the fragrance, the perfume of lilies and pinks, and you will be prepared for the heavenly kingdom.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 33

    If you do not change your course the Lord will leave you to your own ways to be filled with the fruit of your doings. If you could only see yourself as you are, in another man, performing as you do, you would say that man is losing the balance of his mind. You do not know yourself. You are diseased in mind. You have perverted views of others. You would not tolerate in them the traits of character you largely represent in yourself. Will you be wise? Will you call upon your brethren to ask God in your behalf to give you a sound mind?15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 34

    Inwardly you have been saying, “I thank God I am not as other men. I have a far keener perception than they. My ideas are far in advance of theirs in the management of the work.” You feel your own richness. When you feel your great need of linking up with your brethren, and become willing to receive counsel from God through His appointed agencies, then you are more safe. You need to have a sense of your spiritual poverty. You should take your eyes off yourself and look unto Jesus. In beholding Him your self-righteous ideas and your high estimate of your abilities and your great value would be wonderfully diminished. In the presence of Christ you would say, “Lord, I am a sinful man. Take away my sin.”15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 35

    You are in a dangerous condition spiritually. As you are you cannot be trusted, for you feel that you are in need of nothing, while you regard your brethren as so inferior to you that you can scarcely tolerate them. You would, if you carried out your own elevated ideas, sweep them from the field and take the generalship yourself. Your complaints of your brethren from America getting in your way is all wrong. Your wife extols you too highly, but she has another, a better spirit. Her influence is more safe, beneficial, and fragrant than the spirit you possess.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 36

    What is the matter with you? Why do you not study your Bible with a purpose to practice its teachings? That which I fear in your case is that you have pursued this course so long [that] your diseased imagination will separate you from the work. You turn with scorn from your brethren, if you obtain the idea that they do not appreciate you as a superior in every respect. Now the Lord would not have them do this because it is not true. God will not lie. Now it is best for you to come to your senses.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 37

    The man who feels whole does not feel the need of the Great Physician. Pride, self exaltation, close the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He has to give. There is no room in such a heart for Jesus. You feel full, and at the same time you are destitute of the very precious revealings of the Saviour to all who are meek and lowly in heart. The sin-sick souls who feel their need of help else they will surely perish; those who feel that they cannot save themselves or of themselves do any righteous thing unless worked by the Holy Spirit; such are the ones who will appreciate the help that Christ alone can bestow. These are the poor in spirit whom the Lord declares are blessed. All whom Christ pardons He first makes penitent. The office of the Holy Spirit is first to convince of sin. Those whose hearts have been moved by the convicting Spirit of God sense that there is nothing good in themselves.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 38

    Much self has been mingled with your work and service that has cheapened it. You will surely put a wrong mould upon the work. You cannot do your work in the spirit of the Master. You want now to humble yourself before God, and then as you become partaker of the divine nature, you can link up with your brethren and not feel that you are a complete whole. Christ is pleading before God in your behalf that your diseased mind and soul shall be cleansed from the least taint of self-sufficiency, and that you shall behold His character. Talk of His loveliness, and by beholding become changed into His likeness. You are humility on stilts now, but just throw your stilts away and walk in the foot steps of Jesus Christ, and He will do the lifting up.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 39

    You need not feel the burden of carrying yourself, fearing the people will not behold you. There is nothing very remarkable in you to look upon. But if you shall be able to say, “I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me” [Galatians 2:20], you will then be able in your humility to represent the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. You will then love your brethren. You will need to make room for your brethren to connect with you and supply your deficiencies as God has given them ability.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 40

    The Lord loves those who serve Him in all lowliness of mind, and who cherish a humble spirit. “For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place with him also what is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the hearts of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15. “Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house ye will build unto me, and where is the place of my rest? For all these things hath mine hand made, and all those things hath been, saith the Lord. But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” [Isaiah 66:1, 2.]15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 41

    Will my brother walk humbly with God? Will he choose his own society, his own company, and separate if possible from anyone who will not put away their ideas and plans and accept His? Have you read Philippians 2:1-16? Will you practice the Word of God? This Word of God Paul gives to his brethren, and you need it just as much. The fourth verse including the fifth is appropriate to you, and should be seen in your practice. [Read] Colossians 3:12-17. Practice the truth in words, in spirit, in action. [Read] Ephesians 4:1-6, and 5:1, 2.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 42

    The sure result of our fellowship with our Lord here in this world will increase our piety, promote our love and companionship with our fellow men who love God and keep His commandments. You will in prayer have earnestness and fervor that lays hold of the divine promises. We are in such an experience having a divine education for the higher school above.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 43

    This light given me has been in jots and tittles for years. I have brought it together now, and yet not all of it. There are three other communications yet [that are] not with me. Will you, Brother Steed, be saved in God’s appointed way? God wants none of our ceremonial compliments, but the surrendered soul, the heart broken and contrite. In such a heart He can dwell and work. Will you be worked? Will you unite with your brethren, not as one who knows all that is worth knowing, and what you do not know is not worth knowing? You have the matter laid before you. If you will yoke up with your brethren in cheerfulness, love, and contentment, then you may be of value in the work; but the Lord calls upon you to lose your care and love of self, and let Him mold and fashion that self. Thus you can be a laborer together with God.15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 44

    I leave this matter with you. Will you heed it?15LtMs, Lt 46, 1900, par. 45

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