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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 81, 1901

    Brethren and Sisters in the Faith

    St. Helena, California

    July 13, 1901

    Previously unpublished.

    To my brethren and sisters in the faith nigh and afar off,—

    We have a most solemn message to bear to the world. But there are those who are forever seeking to engage in controversy. This is the sum of their religion. Their education leads them to desire to produce something new and strange. They dwell upon matters of the smallest consequence, exercising upon these their sharp, controversial talents.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 1

    Satan knows that if he can get the mind absorbed in trifling details, greater questions will be left unheeded. He will furnish plenty of material for the attention of those who are willing to think upon trifling, unimportant subjects. The minds of the Pharisees were absorbed with things of no moment. They passed by the precious truths of God’s Word to discuss the traditionary lore handed down from generation to generation, which in no way concerned their salvation. And so today, while precious moments are passing into eternity, the great questions of salvation are overlooked for some idle tale.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 2

    Let the mind dwell upon the subjects which are of eternal moment. Preach the gospel, for it brings salvation to those who accept it. Those who leave the great truths of God’s Word to speak of minor matters, such as the killing of insects, are not preaching the gospel. They are dealing in idle sophistry, which the enemy has brought forward to divert minds from the truths which concern their eternal welfare. They have not one word from Christ to vindicate their suppositions. God has not given any man a message regarding the killing of insects which torment human beings.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 3

    Do not spend your time in the discussion of such matters. If you have any question as to what you should teach, any question as to the subjects upon which you should dwell, go right to the discourses of the great Teacher and follow His instructions. Do not allow anything to draw your attention from the question, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” [Mark 10:17.] This is a life-and-death question, which we must each settle for eternity. Let the mind be weighted with the importance of the solemn truth which we possess. Those who allow the mind to wander in search of cheap, unimportant matters need to be converted.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 4

    Let us seek to understand the commission which Christ gave to His disciples. “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 5

    Heaven is worth everything to us. If we lose heaven, we shall lose everything. The keeping of God’s commandments is to be the theme of our conversation and the highest aim of our lives.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 6

    “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” The lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said, “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 7

    The lawyer felt annoyed by the Saviour’s reply for he knew that he had not fulfilled the requirements of the law; and he asked, “And who is my neighbor?” In answer, the Saviour related, in the form of a parable, an incident which had lately taken place. He spoke of a man who, going from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among thieves who robbed and wounded him, leaving him to die by the wayside. “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.” [Verses 29-32.] They knew the precious lessons of mercy and compassion which Christ from the pillar of cloud had given to Moses to give to the children of Israel; but in entire disregard, they refused to help their suffering brother.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 8

    “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” [Verses 33-35.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 9

    Then Christ asked the lawyer, “Which of these two [three], thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?” So interested had the audience become in the narrative that many voices united with the lawyer’s in saying, “He that showed mercy on him.” Then said Jesus, “Go thou and do likewise.” [Verses 36, 37.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 10

    The sixth chapter of John is full of elevating, ennobling instruction. “Labor not for the meat which perisheth,” Christ said, “but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. ... I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. ... It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verses 27-29, 32, 33, 51, 53-57, 63.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 11

    Read and study these words, instead of engaging in controversy regarding the killing of insects. Let the people of God dig deep into the mines of truth that they may secure the treasures of righteousness. Christ has the richest gifts of wisdom to bestow on those who believe in Him. He has been entrusted with the greatest of all gifts,—the gift of eternal life.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 12

    In our search for the gifts of heaven we are directed to do one thing, and this includes all else. We are to believe on Him whom God has sent as His commissioner to reconcile man to God. As through Christ man returns to his loyalty and draws nigh to God, rest and peace and security come to him.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 13

    To believe in Christ, we must come to Christ and follow Him. Repentance toward God means the confession and forsaking of all sin. It means laying hold of Christ as a personal Saviour, and continuing to hold fast to Him as the chief Good. He is our Prince, our Saviour. Only through Him can we approach the Father.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 14

    Loving Him day by day and hour by hour, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, taking Him as the man of our counsel, living by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth,—only thus can we win heaven.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 15

    “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.]16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 16

    This is the instruction which the people need. As we go to Christ in our helplessness, studying His Word, applying it to our own experience, asking, “What saith the Master?” His Word is made to us life and strength, comfort and joy, hope and assurance. This is feeding on Christ.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 17

    Christ offers Himself for the life of the world. He stands before the Father, bearing the sins which man commits. He is the Sin-bearer. To Him every believing soul may transfer his burden. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Innocent of all sin, He bears the guilt of the sinner, that to the sinner may be imputed the merits of His righteousness.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 18

    How important are these lessons! Yet how few seek to understand them. Many stoop down to gather up small trivialities, which are not of the least importance. The life of Christ, His ministry and teachings,—this is the theme upon which we are to dwell. Christ is our pattern. By beholding Him we are to be changed into His image, from glory to glory, from character to character. This is our work. God help us to rightly represent the Saviour to the world.16LtMs, Lt 81, 1901, par. 19

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