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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)

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    Lt 86, 1908

    Knox, W. T.

    St. Helena, California

    February 7, 1908

    Previously unpublished.

    Elder W. T. Knox
    Mountain View, California

    Dear Brother:

    I am instructed to say to you, You are not to fail nor to be discouraged. We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and the end of the world is right upon us. The health of our churches has been enfeebled, and God demands that there be faithful, consecrated men placed in office, to do the solemn work of preparing a people to stand in the trying times that are just before us, when “the weak should be as David,” and David “as the angel of the Lord.” [Zechariah 12:8.]23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 1

    I have been shown that you are not prepared yourself to do the work that is most needed among the churches. You have a decided work to do for your individual self in learning the way of the Lord. I would that you might see how you have dishonored God and bound about the work by the restrictions that you have sometimes laid upon God’s servants. I have opposed from its first uprising the spirit that would forbid the Lord’s servants from going when and where the Lord may direct. Little real good could result from the plan that the Lord’s servants must not go to any place unless they first consult with the officials of the conference. This is a manmade invention, which leads men to trust in human beings instead of seeking the counsel of God. He will teach His children what they shall do and where they shall go.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 2

    I trust that the warning here given may not be lightly regarded. Let not men who have been so manifestly led astray as to seek to control God’s heritage justify their course of action. Our people have had the warnings; I leave it now with them. In places where few have shown the zeal of true workers together with God, because the liberty of the workers was controlled by men in office, I am commanded to say, Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free. The Lord by His messages is breaking this yoke from off the necks of His people. Let the missionary spirit now be freely exercised for the accomplishment of the great work to be done in preparing a people to meet wisely every issue that arises to oppose the work of God’s commandment-keeping people.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 3

    To willing workers we should say, God has laid the powers of every converted soul under tribute to advance, not retard, His work. Practice self-denial, and may the Lord give you grace and efficiency for this work. Never allow any man to take the place that God should occupy in your experience.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 4

    Those who have deemed it necessary to form plans for independent action must change their views. A policy has been adopted in the conference in financial matters that has resulted in the saving of the means gathered into the conference; but the Lord has revealed to His servant that He does not accept all the plans and labors that have been put forth for the accumulation of funds, for as a result the conference has come out deficient in spiritual efficiency, in nobility of effort and purity of Christian experience.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 5

    A reformation is to take place in the life of the one for whom this message is sent. There must be no evasion of truth and righteousness. A decided change must take place in your experience. Christ expects a thorough reconversion, and He will accept nothing less. The life you have as a minister of the gospel pledged to God is to be used in working out the only plan whereby men must be saved. With God there are no plans for independent action. All should have in view the same life—a life that measures with the life of God. And the highest earthly aim of all must be that the whole earth may be filled with His glory. Having participated in the disappointments, and the joys and successes of the overcomer here, we shall share the reward of the faithful in the great hereafter.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 6

    Study the conflicts and victories of Christ and the character of His teaching as found in Matthew four and five:23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 7

    “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 8

    “Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God.” [Matthew 4:1-7.] Satan in quoting this Scripture left out the words, “And shall keep Thee in all Thy ways.” [Psalm 91:11.] He was tempting the Son of God to walk in ways that were not appointed by the Father.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 9

    “Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” [Matthew 4:8-11.]23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 10

    “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: and He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 11

    “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:1-16.]23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 12

    The spirit of rulership that has been exercised has retarded the work of conversion of souls because it has restricted the religious liberty that God has given to His children. It has operated to hinder the work that should have followed all our camp-meetings and tent-meetings; and because of this the Lord has instructed me that He could no longer accept Elder Knox as a man fitted to deal with the sacred, spiritual interests of the California Conference. It is now much harder for you to bring your heart and mind into conformity to the mind of Christ than it would have been had you followed the light given you at the close of the San Jose meeting. This you did not do, but you braced yourself against the message, and this your deportment since that time has declared louder than any words could have done.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 13

    Brother Knox, for years you have held positions of great responsibility, but you have not had a true understanding of the spiritual privileges and duties that were yours. Much light has been given you through the years of your administration; but you have not heeded or cherished the light. You have not done your part in giving clear, spiritual instruction to the flock of Christ. The youth should have been faithfully watched and cared for, lest they wander into by and forbidden paths.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 14

    Instruction has been given us that the camp-meetings should be made occasions for the education of our people, teaching them how to work for the salvation of men; but these lines of effort have been neglected because they have not been pleasing to you, because they are contrary to your inclinations.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 15

    The matter of increasing the tithe has been one of your special burdens; and this has been treated as though the accumulation of means was one of the great objects to be attained by the conference. But it is a worldly policy that leads men to gather up and save means, that they may have a good financial showing. The accumulation of funds is not the design of the work of the third angel’s message. The fruit of righteousness is to be seen in the disposition of the means brought in.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 16

    I have been instructed that the appropriation of some of the means has not been just and righteous in the Lord’s sight. Those who have had every advantage have not felt a burden for the souls perishing in their sins in foreign countries and in our own country.23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 17

    The Lord now calls you to make your experience more decidedly spiritual. The salvation of your soul depends upon your changing some of your ideas regarding what is truth. Every truly converted worker will meet the demands of the Lord through His servant Malachi: “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto My name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. ... And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 2:1, 2, 4-7.]23LtMs, Lt 86, 1908, par. 18

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