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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898) - Contents
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    Ms 150, 1898

    How Shall We Use Our Lord’s Goods?


    October 27, 1898

    Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 17.

    From the pillar of cloud that enshrouded Him, the Lord gave directions to Moses to be given to the children of Israel. He commanded that the statutes and commandments of God and the promise of special blessings for obedience be composed into songs of praise and thanksgiving. These songs were to be taught their children and sung, accompanied with musical instruments as they traveled through the wilderness. All the commandments of God were to be treated as special blessings, and they would be safeguards for the people.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 1

    “Now therefore,” He said, “write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and brake my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.” [Deuteronomy 31:19-22.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 2

    These songs were learned by the children of Israel, and as they marched in the wilderness, they were educated to sing, and keep step with their songs.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 3

    “And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 4

    “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father and he will show thee: thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her next, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock.” [Deuteronomy 31:30; 32:1-13.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 5

    The Lord was pleased to see His people cheerful, and cheering their journey with songs of praise and rejoicing rather than murmuring and repining. This singing and music relieved the monotony of the lives of the pilgrim travellers; and the lessons were not only entertaining, but profitable and instructive. They were not only encouraging to the youth, but to the entire families of Israel. Read Deuteronomy 33. This chapter also was put into verse, to be sung by the children of Israel.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 6

    “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee: and shall say, destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone. The fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency!” [Verses 26-29.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 7

    How does the Lord look upon the men of the world who are perverting their powers to selfish pleasures, corrupting their entire being, and losing eternity out of their reckoning? How much money is expended for selfish indulgences, on education which God’s Word does not sanction. Men are plucking and eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Intoxicating liquors are used by priests and people. In the coming holidays, Christmas and New years, money will flow freely from the hands of the men who have not the fear of God before them. Liquor drinking and tobacco using will be indulged in. These are twin sisters and they join hands in a fast covenant. Profanity, the foulest words, will come forth from the defiled temple. The evil man out of the evil treasures of his heart will bring forth that which is evil. The lower estimate men place upon their body, the less they desire to keep it pure and holy, the more reckless will they be in the indulgence of perverted appetite.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 8

    How are we to testify of our love and gratitude to Christ? By thorough consecration of ourselves to Him. When we were bankrupt and without hope, and helpless to supply our great need, Christ came to our relief and revealed himself to us as a sin pardoning Saviour. And now His voice is heard saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, 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 souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Has he called you to be his children? “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 9

    The Lord had Moses in training, that the dangers which threatened him of becoming self-sufficient in spirit, and proud as general of the Egyptian armies, and his education in the Egyptian school, might not pervert his sense of the evil of transgression. Through association of evil, there was danger of his standard being after the standard of the world. This would pervert the true moral standard. Egotism and pride must not come into his heart and life, for these things would be difficult to conquer.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 10

    “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” [Hebrews 11:24-27.] “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from which they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” [Verses 13-16.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 11

    All who love God and fear Him will be blessed indeed. Christ gave His life for the fallen race, that all who should come to Him might receive power to become the sons of God. All who become members of the royal family are of heavenly birth. They are the children of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. These will unite in demonstrating their love for God by cheerfully bringing their Lord’s money into the treasury.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 12

    Beneficence is the sure fruit borne on the Christian tree. There are many kinds of fruit to be borne, that not only the family of which we are a part, but also our neighbors and acquaintances may be blessed by our labors and prayers. We are to follow the example of Him who went about doing good. Selfishness, and self-indulgence are to be cut away from our religious experience. We are to cleanse from our words all that is offensive. The apostle says, “Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt.” [Colossians 4:6.] Whatever is cheap and common and unholy in us we are charged by the Word that it is not to be so much as named among us.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 13

    The Lord has specified most distinctly that which He would have us do: “Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him which created him: ... put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 14

    “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” [Colossians 3:8-10, 12-16.] It is the privilege of all who believe in Christ to cultivate home and church religion.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 15

    The work to which Christ calls us is a progressive conquest over evils that are in ourselves. Not one soul passes through the heavenly gates but goes within to be welcomed as a conqueror. Natural and cultivated tendencies, if not overcome, will strengthen until they become habit. Wrong influences are at work to obtain the ascendancy. A truly converted soul will understand clearly the evil nature that strives for the supremacy. The body is to be kept in subjection. The higher powers of the body are to rule; the lower passions are to be brought into subjection. This is self-denial, this is lifting the cross against every passion which strives for the victory. “I keep my body under,” said Paul. [1 Corinthians 9:27.] The evils in the spirit are to be guarded and conquered. We are to be careful not to imitate the world. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. We are commanded, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him.” [1 John 2:15.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 16

    A line is to be drawn between believers and unbelievers. There is little faith manifested in the Word of God. But few are conversant with the Scriptures. How few there are who have fervent love for God. The church is not converting the world, but the world the church. Christ and Satan have two rival kingdoms in this world. Satan was an exalted angel in the heavenly courts. He is acquainted with the refinement and courtesy and beauty of the character of those who do the requirements of God, and he is not content to accept the coarse and vulgar men. He is searching for masters.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 17

    By transgression man severed himself from his God. That separation was wide and deep. But the wonderful provision God has made for men has bridged the gulf, and re-established that union, that His tabernacle may be with men, and that man may be one with God. In man’s holy innocence, the sacred temple was the human heart in which burned the sacred fire of holy love; and the incense of praise flowed forth from his lips and ascended to heaven, there to unite with the songs of the holy angels. The Father and Son communicated with Adam and Eve.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 18

    God is testing every soul that claims to believe in Him. All are entrusted with talents. The Lord has given men His goods upon which to trade. He has made them His stewards, and has placed in their possession money, houses and lands. All this is to be treated as the Lord’s goods, and used to advance His work, to build up His kingdom in the world. In trading with our Lord’s goods, we are to seek Him in prayer for wisdom that we may not use His sacred trust to glorify ourselves, to indulge our impulse. The amount entrusted varies from one pound to five pounds, but those who have the smallest gifts must not feel that because they are small, they can do nothing with them.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 19

    How many, during the coming holidays, will seek to understand their obligations to God. He that is faithful in that which is least will be faithful also in much. Those who have accumulated debts, and make this an excuse why they invest all their profits and earnings, including their tithe, to help cancel these debts, before they give back to God His own, are making a breach in the contract God has made with them. They have taken God’s portion, the tithes and offerings which the Lord has specified should come into His treasury. And put it to a selfish use. In this they have committed a breach of trust. He that is unjust in that which is least will be unjust also in much.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 20

    The man who has been unfortunate, and finds himself in debt, should not take the Lord’s reserved portion to cancel his debts to his fellow men. He should consider that in these transactions he is being tested, and that in reserving the Lord’s portion for his own use he is robbing the Giver of all. He is debtor to God for all that he has, but he makes himself a double debtor when he takes the Lord’s reserved fund to settle his debt. “Unfaithfulness to God” is written against his name in the books of heaven. He has an account to settle with God for appropriating the Lord’s means to his own convenience, thus tying up God’s money. The man who does this proves unfaithful to God, and the want of principle shown in his misappropriation of God’s means will be revealed in his management of other matters. He will reveal a want of principle in all matters connected with his business. The man who will rob God reveals traits of character that will cut him off from admittance into the family of God in the mansions of heaven.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 21

    We shall not be inactive in heaven. There will be sacred business conducted in the world above. “If therefore ye have [not] been faithful in the unrighteous mammon,” if you cannot use my entrusted goods as my stewards to carry out My specified will, “who will commit to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” [Luke 16:11, 12.] Who will give you opportunities and blessings in your own? Who will give you opportunities and blessings in your transactions in business lines. When you rob the Lord of His portion, who will commit to your trust true riches?13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 22

    Riches are only entrusted to man that they may be appropriated for the Lord’s service. They are not to be used for our own special gratification, for needless display in the invention of palaces, pictures, grounds, and extravagance of any kind. If he does this while he knows the suffering and wants of human beings, he makes himself an unfaithful steward. While their fellow men are in the darkness and they know not God, those who have God’s money lent them in trust, place that money in things that are not necessary. Through the lust of riches, the lust of extravagance and indulgence, the work and cause of God is hindered.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 23

    Souls are perishing in their sins, and men are unconcerned. They buy and sell and get gain, and the work of God cannot be established in new fields. The kingdom of God is not strengthened and established because they divert to wrong channels the means God has entrusted to them. These will be charged with being unfaithful stewards. When the Owner of all shall come, He will make faithful investigation of His goods which He has placed in their possession for a little while to test their fidelity. All who stand the test and trial will receive the reward, the riches, the honor and the glory which God has for them.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 24

    When riches become master of the man, he serves mammon, and Satan gains the supremacy. This probationary time is the time when every character will be tested. If the Owner sees that His goods are becoming the means of deceiving the souls of those to whom He has entrusted them, He calls it the deceitfulness of riches, and if this is allowed to conquer, it is to the loss of the soul. The entrusted goods of God are a constant test to the character. It behooves us all to watch and to pray, and to keep the heart with all diligence.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 25

    The man who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself will work righteousness. He will know the value of money. When the temptation comes to him to use this means to further his own purposes, to indulge self, and leave God out of his council, and he refuses to take the Lord as his counsellor, his front guard and rearward, he will not bear the test. The love of money becomes to him the root of all evil.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 26

    The Lord is soon to come to judge all men, and to give to every man according as his works have been. How careful, then, should every man who claims to be a Christian be that he shall not bring into his life work principles that will misrepresent Christ. If he is not a doer of the Work, he establishes false theories and these taint and corrupt the soul. Those who practice the principles of Satan cause the enemy to triumph, and confuse minds concerning truth and righteousness. The Lord calls upon every soul to reach a higher, holier standard than that of the world. The Lord is soon to come, and every man should make his calling and election sure.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 27

    We have a message to bear to the world, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.” [Revelation 14:7.] We are very near the close of this earth’s history, and the work of every true Christian is to prepare himself, heart, soul, and life to meet his record with joy and not with grief. I entreat every soul, Be not deceived; God is not mocked. He sees beneath the surface, and sees the secret purposes of the soul. Let not the lamp of your path be extinguished. Let not the Word of God be set aside even in the smallest transaction of life.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 28

    Our only safety lies in obeying the Word of God. The Bible is our Guidebook. It is to be laid up in the heart and studied with earnest prayer. This Word will make men right, and keep them right. The truth of God must control the heart of man, that his character and influence may not be contaminated by prevailing theories and unsanctified influences, that he may not misconstrue the plain Word, which is the voice of God.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 29

    It is a rare thing to see systematic benevolence practiced by professed Christians. Self and its demands interpose between the soul and God. But God lives, God reigns. He is our Ruler. He has His law, and He sees as He looks upon the lawless character of the beings He has created, that they are unworthy of becoming members of [the] royal family, children of the heavenly King. The law of God does not change to meet man in his disloyalty, but by many the Word of God is wrested from its true meaning. It is misapplied to meet the ideas of the perverted minds of those who talk the Word but do not practice it. Thus the truth of God is adulterated and made to sustain error and falsehood. “Shall I not judge for these things saith the Lord?” [Jeremiah 5:9.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 30

    The Lord God of heaven will judge every man by His Word. He will demonstrate before the universe of heaven, before every human being who has lived upon the earth, that there is one thing fixed and that is the Word of God. Like Himself, it is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. It will vindicate the righteous, and the evil will be detected, unmasked.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 31

    The Lord has entrusted His goods to men that they may advance the truth as it is in Jesus. But many turn aside the purposes of God by withholding that entrusted capital. Those who will not use their means to elevate the standard of holiness and make known the laws of the kingdom of God in all parts of the world, the Lord will call to account as disloyal subjects.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 32

    The only power that keeps the heart with all diligence is Bible truth enthroned in the heart. Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to turn lawyers, judges and juries to unrighteous action. Because of wine and strong drink, they do not distinguish between the sacred and the common. Their minds are blinded by appetite and passion. In parliament and legislative councils there are men of whom we should be afraid—men who sustain disloyalty because they do not know the great thing they should know. God is our lawyer, God is our Judge, and He will deal righteously.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 33

    There are many ministers who are blind leaders of the blind. They are clouds without water, carried out of winds. They are trees whose fruit withereth, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. We need to be alarmed. The time has come when the words of Isaiah should be considered, “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] Read the entire chapter. Here is enjoined upon every soul the necessity of receiving truth in the heart. Your own individual souls are at stake. The times in which we now live ask, What is truth? Eternal realities ask it. Pure and undefiled religion asks it.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 34

    In every period of this earth’s history, God has had His faithful witnesses. Men who have feared God and wrought righteousness have been in our world, and God has said to them, Ye are my witnesses to bear aloft the banner of truth and establish it in this moral desert. Truth must be borne everywhere now. While the angels are holding the four winds, while open disregard of truth and righteousness is seen everywhere, while the Lord’s goods are being turned aside from the heavenly treasury to serve self and gratify appetite, God’s testimony of truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. The world is wrapped in oblivion to God’s claims, and men in high places wield the scepter of power and control the minds of human beings to carry out their own purposes in defiance of God and His law. All this is written in the books of heaven, and the blood of souls will have to be accounted for by men in high office.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 35

    There are men in every age who have proved loyal to God. In every age God has had His men of opportunity. There are devout men who have gathered up the rays of light as fast as they have flashed upon their pathway, and they have adorned the principles set forth in the living oracles of God. It will be demonstrated that among the learned and accomplished there are those who have not forgotten God. All have not become disloyal in the investigation of those laws which God governs the worlds which reveal His majesty and the might of His power.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 36

    Cornelius advanced as fast as the light shone upon his pathway. He was “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” This history is a bright light shining amid the moral darkness of the world. And Cornelius “saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of the Lord coming to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” [Acts 10:2-6.]13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 37

    If we will read this chapter carefully, we will learn that God lives and reigns, and that He understand all the transactions of the children of men, both of the good and of the evil. He was a man whom God recognized; his prayers and his alms were well known in the heavenly courts. Communication is established between heaven and earth, and in every place God has His faithful witnesses to testify to His power and His grace. They may appear among men in humble garb, but in the sight of the heavenly universe they stand in the sunshine of God’s favor. Not one soul, high or low, who knows God and recognizes His claims, will be overlooked. Each is of value with God. God communicates with them. Christ Himself is their Alpha and Omega. The Lord knoweth them that bear His name.13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 38

    We find millions upon millions who cling to false theories and false gods. We must carry the illuminating truth to those who are in darkness. What are we doing individually? What will you do for the Master in the coming holidays? Will you celebrate Christ’s birth by presenting unto Him gifts of gold and silver, and thus make manifest the gifts of heaven in the provisions made to supply your temporal necessities?13LtMs, Ms 150, 1898, par. 39

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