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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 196, 1901

    Boeker, Brother

    “Elmshaven,” Sanitarium, California

    September 18, 1901

    Portions of this letter are published in UL 270; 9MR 176.

    Dear brother Boeker,—

    I am troubled in the night season. I cannot sleep. I arise at one o’clock to write out the instruction given me for you.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 1

    My brother, you have many lessons to learn. You cannot have the approval of God unless you learn these lessons. A man standing at the head of a company of workers is in a position of great responsibility. He should be a representative of true religion. He should be a truly converted man, knowing how to treat the Lord’s children in a Christlike manner. He is Christ’s representative, and he is to let his light shine forth in good works. He is to labor in the uplifting assurance that he is under Christ’s direction and supervision. He is to be righteous in speech, remembering that speech is a God-given talent. He is to keep ever before him the dignity of being a child of God. In all that he says or does, he is to show that he realizes what it means to be a Christian.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 2

    My brother, you have a large responsibility resting on you. You are to bind yourself up closely with Jesus Christ. We should talk with God more than we do. You need to hold communion with Him before talking with those connected with you in the work. When you know what it means to have a daily conversion of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit, you will have the presence of Christ with you to help you in your work.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 3

    In conducting the business of the food factory, you will be placed where you are in special need of the keeping power of God. Watch unto prayer. You must not in any way dishonor the Lord in your service. You must in no case allow the sharpness of selfishness to come into your business dealing. God hates sharp, worldly schemes. He will not endorse any such schemes.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 4

    You must not overtax yourself so that your nerves are worn, for then you are inclined to speak in a rash, overbearing manner to employees and to those with whom you are connected in business. Remember that all heaven hears our words and marks the spirit expressed in the tones of our voice.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 5

    All who are connected with the business lines of our work are to remember that they are a part of God’s cause. They are to represent aright the principles that He requires His followers to maintain. Our sanitariums and food factories are to be training schools for those employed in them. All that is done is to be done with the strictest integrity. Those employed are to be treated with noble fairness. Nothing is to be brought into the working of these interests that would be of a nature to turn souls from the truth. Never is a manager to do anything that would hinder the unbelievers that may be connected with the work from accepting the truth.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 6

    Sometimes those who are officiating as overseers need themselves to be under an overseer. A decided reformation is needed in the work of some who fill positions as managers. How much the helpers in the various lines of God’s work might be helped if the managers were themselves managed by the Spirit of God.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 7

    You are in danger. It is necessary for me to say that by the sharp words that you speak you dishonor Christ. You should never speak harsh words to old or young. They destroy respect for you as a Christian gentleman. Those in the employ of the food factory should be respected if they are faithful workers. If they are unfaithful, they should be discharged. But no one should be dealt with in a harsh, domineering manner. You may think that this way of acting and speaking will reform wrongs, but you will find that it will increase wrongs.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 8

    “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Can you imagine Christ showing the spirit that you have at times shown? Why do you allow yourself to show such a spirit? Unless you are constantly on the watch, you will degenerate instead of becoming more Christlike, more kind, pitiful, noble, and generous. If you cannot handle your work in a way that does justice to every one, I beseech you not to ruin your religious experience and your influence by remaining where you are. If the task is too large for you to do, and at the same time control your spirit and your words, for Christ’s sake make some decided change. Do not attempt to manage your own way. Thus you hurt and humiliate yourself and those that God desires to see advancing as His servants. God wants you to reveal an altogether different character. A true-hearted Christian, in the position that you occupy, would be a most powerful argument in favor of the gospel. Unless you can manifest more kindness, unless you can be considerate of the feelings of those who are working in the food factory, it will be better for you and for those connected with you for you to change your position. You can speak kindly; but you do not. You can be as true as steel to principle in every business transaction; but you are not. Let not your record be, “Weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.]16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 9

    The Lord requires of men that they do to others as they wish others to do to them. My brother, one in your position needs to exercise continual watchfulness. You are to act as a representative man, remembering that others as well as yourself have a conscience. Your influence should be such as to recommend you as a man wise and kindly in your words and in your manner of directing fellow workers. Remember that they are the Lord’s blood-bought heritage. In whatever business you are engaged, in dealing with those over whom you have charge, try to put yourself in their place, and do to them as you would wish them to do to you.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 10

    The Lord and your brethren desire to see you properly fill your position of trust. But you will greatly dishonor God unless you change in your manner of working. Study the invitation of the Saviour: “Come unto me, all ye that labour 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.] Christ is the only One who can relieve the oppressed, weary soul. No human power can accomplish this. His yoke is a yoke of restraint and obedience. In wearing it, we realize that rest is found in service.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 11

    In our work there is to be no lording it over those with whom we are connected. No sharp, dictatorial words are to be spoken. These are entirely uncalled for. Do not treat the workers as if you could not trust them. Never treat those with whom you work as unfaithful unless you have unmistakable evidence that they are unfaithful. And even when a worker’s unfaithfulness is clearly proved, you are not to deal with him in a manner that will give him excuse for saying, “You were harsh.” You are to do nothing that will provoke the erring to anger. Do not bear down on believers or unbelievers in a way that arouses the worst feelings of the heart. Do not make charges that may be cruelly unjust. By such a course, you may drive souls to perdition.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 12

    The Lord has a work for you to do. You are to give full proof that you are living out the principles of the gospel. Do not misrepresent Jesus Christ. You may be brought in contact with those who do not please you, but do not spoil your reputation by giving way to anger or by acting unjustly, even though wrongs may exist. There is too much of this kind of work done, and the Lord does not want any more of it, for it is dishonoring to Him. Talk and act pleasantly, representing the goodness, mercy, and love of Christ.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 13

    “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Let each bear the other’s burden. Let each treat the other as he himself would wish to be treated in his place. Let the one who is tempted to speak harsh words ask himself, “How should I like to have such words spoken to me?”16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 14

    To give way to passion, to pour forth a storm of harsh words, is setting a most objectionable example before the other workers. Such a course will spoil your influence and your religious experience. You will gain the name of not knowing how to deal with minds. There is a proper way to correct evils. Take the one apart that you have good reason to think needs words of caution, and speak to him quietly and calmly, as a Christian ought to speak to a fellow being. Never speak in a way that will stir the worst feelings of the heart. Thus you may place it forever beyond your power to help him spiritually. Thus you may lead him to lose confidence in those from whom he should receive light and help.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 15

    As a people we are jealously to guard our reputation. Never are we to mar God’s cause and bear witness against Christ by speaking sharp, harsh words, or by doing unjust, unkind actions.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 16

    “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” [Galatians 6:1-4.]16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 17

    Read the seventeenth chapter of John. This shows us plainly what Christ’s will is concerning us. Let us learn the lesson. For His disciples and for us, Christ prayed, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. ... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [Verses 15-21.]16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 18

    Do you really believe, my brother, that should your life suddenly be cut off, your record in the books of heaven would be such that you would not be ashamed to look upon it?16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 19

    We are building characters for eternity. Remember that every unjust action we do bears testimony against us. You are to be faithful in the guardianship of the old and young who are working in the food factory. You are to see that all the work is done with order and wisdom, that every move is made solidly, that there is no unfaithfulness or censoriousness in speech or action, for this will spoil your reputation as a Christian. If you will abide in Christ, if you will manifest the forbearance that His Word enjoins, an entirely different spirit will be seen in the food factory.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 20

    Some among the workers may not be converted. They may never have had any religious education. How carefully they should be dealt with! What care should be exercised to do nothing that will turn them from the truth! By Christlike lives, the believers with whom they associate are to draw them to the Saviour.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 21

    As Christians we are to be all that the name signifies, Christlike in word and deed. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] Brain, bone, and muscle belong to God. The tongue is to be consecrated to His service. No hasty words are to be spoken. He who takes the name of Christian pledges himself to do as Christ would do in his place.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 22

    In your work you are to reveal the sympathy of Christ. Your words are to be an expression of His sympathy. You are to speak the language of Canaan. You are no more of the world. You have come out from the world, and you are to be separate from its methods and practices. In word and action you are to reveal God’s purposes of love. You are always to treat your fellow workers with respect, remembering that they are formed in the image of God.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 23

    He who is serving in Christ’s stead is only doing his duty when he manifests to all connected with him the graces of the Spirit of God. Not a word of scolding or anger is to be heard, because such words dishonor Christ and reproach the name of Christian. It is a part of the duty of the one who is in service as a director to learn how to control himself.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 24

    The Lord Jesus has chosen human beings as His instruments. They are to carry out His purposes. His death on the cross of Calvary was the climax of His humiliation. His work as a redeemer is beyond finite conception. Only those who have died to self, whose lives are hid with Christ in God, can have any conception of the completeness of the offering made to save the fallen race.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 25

    In the daily life we are to follow Christ’s example. Then into the religious life will come the peace that passes understanding. We are not to engage in any employment or enterprise to gain the praise or honor of men. We are not to speak one word or do one action that will lower in the minds of others the ideal they have of the One who died a death of shame on the cross that He might purchase the privilege of saving His enemies.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 26

    It is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, but in order to be this, we must watch vigilantly against sin. Appearance is nothing, pretense is nothing, in God’s sight. He marks with pleasure the sincerity of real reformation, shown in a life of purity and righteousness. Nothing short of such a life will He accept from His workers. Whatever our position, we are to strive earnestly to live the Christ-life. The truth must dwell in the heart, ennobling and sanctifying the life. Christ was without guile, and His human workers must be as He was. They must be closely united to Him, that they may work to the glory of God. Then their record in the books of heaven will be, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.]16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 27

    In order to achieve this, the highest of all attainments, we must daily receive the grace of God, else we shall fail of reaching the goal of success. Christ’s sacrifice is our assurance of victory. Every striving soul may overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of His testimony.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 28

    Brother Boeker, strive by the power of God to be an overcomer, perfect in spirit, in speech, in action. Then the Lord will honor you with leadership, because you have been learning in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly. Sincerity will be seen in your words, your spirit, your management. You will be in Christ’s hands as a tried and tested instrument, to be used to His name’s glory.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 29

    To learn this lesson requires humility. It requires you to manifest true Christian courtesy to all with whom you are connected, that they, by seeing your good works, may follow your example, and realize the benefit of your experience in the divine leading. Thus you will glorify God. In performing the duties connected with your business, you will remember that Christ is your Companion, and you will do nothing that will make Him ashamed to own you as a representative of His. We are living in a time when trial will surely come, imperiling our success unless we do the will of our Master willingly and cheerfully, acknowledging Him in all our ways, that with joy He may acknowledge us before the Father and before His angels.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 30

    Let the multiplicity of cares drive you to the throne of God. Plead with Him to make you a worker of whom He will not be ashamed. Do faithful work for Him in every place where duty calls you.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 31

    Ask the Lord Jesus Christ for strength and grace, that you may not make a disagreeable impression on the minds of the workers connected with you. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Ask Him for grace to enable you to practice mercy and righteousness. Then Christ’s mold will be seen on you and on all that you set your hand unto. I have an earnest desire that you will be kept faultless and be an honor to God in your position of trust. I want you, my brother, to be and do all that will represent Christ in the best and truest sense.16LtMs, Lt 196, 1901, par. 32

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