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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 51, 1902

    Franke, E. E.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    March 20, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in Ev 127, 203, 250, 509, 558-560, 658; 3MR 277. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear Brother Franke,—

    I greatly desire that you shall be under the constant guidance and control of the grace of God. You have given much study to the matter of how to make the truth interesting, and the charts you have made are in perfect accord with the work to be carried forward. These charts are object lessons to the people. You have put intensity of thought into the work of getting out these striking illustrations. And they have a marked effect as they are presented to the people in vindication of truth. The Lord uses them to impress minds. Instruction has been given me clearly and distinctly that charts should be used in the presentation of truth. And these illustrations should be made still more impressive by words showing the importance of obedience.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 1

    But, my brother, you are inclined to bring into your work, for display, other things which are represented to me as common fire, and these cause the solemn conviction of truth to lose its force.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 2

    I have a message to bear to you. Cut down the expense of advertising your meetings, and if a large amount of money is given in the collections made at the meeting, use this money to carry on your efforts in new places.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 3

    Do not hire worldly musicians if this can possibly be avoided. Gather together singers who will sing with the spirit and with the understanding also. The extra display which you sometimes make entails unnecessary expense, which the brethren should not be asked to meet; and you will find that, after a time, unbelievers will not be willing to give money to meet these expenses.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 4

    It is part of your work to teach those whom you bring into the truth to bring the tithe into the storehouse as an acknowledgment of their dependence on God. They should be fully enlightened as to their duty to return to the Lord His own. The command to pay tithe is so plain that there is no semblance of excuse for disregarding it. If you neglect to give the new converts instruction on this point, you leave undone a most important part of your work.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 5

    There are many who are not fully enlightened in regard to the obligation resting on them to observe the Sabbath and to pay tithe, yet who are living up to all the light they have. There are many represented by Cornelius, of whom we read, “There was a certain man of Caesarea, called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God, with all his house, which gave much alms to the people and prayed to God alway.” [Acts 10:1, 2.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 6

    Here was a man in a high position of trust in the Roman army, who was serving the Lord to the best of his ability and knowledge. His household followed his example of integrity. This man was living up to all the light he had, and heavenly angels were commissioned to bring him in connection with the apostle Peter, that he might receive additional light. “He saw in a vision, evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of the Lord coming unto 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 sea side! he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” [Verses 3-6.] The Lord does not withhold words of encouragement from those who do well.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 7

    The Lord’s dealing with Cornelius should encourage us to do our best according to the knowledge we have. The Lord takes special notice of those who serve Him, who by their prayers and their deeds of charity show that they are walking in the light. The Lord keeps a watch over the work to be accomplished. His children in this world are connected with the angels in heaven.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 8

    Read this chapter (the tenth of Acts), and mark the way in which the Lord deals with human minds. A larger work was to be done for the Gentiles, many of whom were living in closer accordance with the principles of the Old Testament Scriptures than were the Jewish leaders. By His own methods, the Lord would bring them to a belief in His Son. By bringing Peter into connection with Cornelius, God brought the gospel to those who had been strangers and foreigners, making them fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 9

    Paul writes, “Ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ... which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” [Ephesians 3:2, 3, 5, 6.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 10

    How large a work there is to be accomplished! We are to work for the conversion of men like Cornelius, who are to act a prominent part in God’s cause.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 11

    After Cornelius had related his experience to Peter, the apostle said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” [Acts 10:34, 35.] Yes, this is true. There needs to be a waking up among God’s people, that His work may be carried forward with power. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that God will add to the ranks of His people men of ability and influence, who are to act their part in warning the world. All in the world are not lawless and sinful. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men in the fallen churches. If this were not so, we should not be given the message to bear, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. ... Come out of her, my people.” [Revelation 18:2, 4.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 12

    The gospel is to be proclaimed in our cities. Men of learning and influence are to hear the message. Not only white men, but colored men of ability are to accept the faith. These are to work for their own people, and they are to be supported in doing the work the Lord desires to have done.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 13

    Much more prayer, much more Christlikeness, much more conformity to God’s will, is to be brought into God’s work. Outward show, an extravagant outlay of means, will not accomplish the work to be done. Many are gasping for a breath of life from heaven. They will recognize the gospel when it is brought to them in the way that God designs it to be brought.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 14

    Into the busy world, filled with the din of commerce, and the altercation of trade, where men were trying selfishly to get all they could for self, Christ same; and above the confusion, His voice, like the trump of God, was heard: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 15

    Christ points men to the nobler world, which they have lost out of their reckoning, and declares that the only city that will endure is the city whose builder and maker is God. He shows them the threshold of heaven, flushed with God’s living glory, and assures them that the heavenly treasures are for those who overcome. He calls upon them to strive with sanctified ambition to secure the immortal inheritance. He urges them to lay up their treasure beside the throne of God. Then, instead of taxing themselves almost beyond endurance to gain earthly riches, they will work with all the powers of body and mind for Christ. By using their talent of means to win souls to Him, they will be doing a work of more importance than any other work in the world.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 16

    There are among the monied men of the world those who will heed the message of warning: “Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” [1 Timothy 6:17-19.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 17

    Your danger, my dear brother, is in making the grave mistake of supposing that success depends on drawing a large congregation by outward display. To bring anything of a theatrical nature into the preaching of the Word of God is to use common fire instead of the sacred fire of God’s kindling. The Lord is not glorified by this manner of working. Not by startling notices and expensive display is His work to be carried to completion. Take up your work with greater humility, and carry it forward by Christlike methods. Let the truth have the field. For Christ’s sake do not hinder its progress by your own inventions. Save your own soul and the souls of those who hear you.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 18

    I beg of you not to continue to follow such expensive methods of labor. I must tell you that the Lord does not endorse these methods. And they do not accomplish what you suppose they do. In following these methods, you become wrought up to so high a tension that you are overtaxed. You get nervous and then speak words that hurt your influence. You do not gather with Christ as it is your privilege to do. I speak decidedly; for the Lord has given me this message for you.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 19

    “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear; forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing that ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” [1 Peter 1:13-23.]17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 20

    We have the assurance that if we obey God, we shall have the aid of divine influence. But we must remember that it is one thing to read the Bible and claim to believe its teaching, and another thing to have a deep experience in the truth that the Holy Spirit is seeking to impress on the heart of every one. He who has true faith carries with him the evidence that he has become a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King, that he has fellowship with the Father, and with His Son, because he does the things that are pleasing in His sight. As Seventh-day Adventists, we need a vital element in our experience. Then the slumbering church will awake to new vigor, and will realize the importance of her responsibility. May the Lord send these things home to our hearts.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 21

    You need a deeper experience in the things of God, else you will make shipwreck of your faith. You must sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. Your Sunday night meetings are a heavy strain on you; for you allow yourself to become wrought up to a high tension. Then, afterward, a corresponding reaction comes, and as a result, your association with the church does not bring peace and righteousness. It would be better for you to remain away from the church rather than bring into it a spirit that creates confusion and discord and strife.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 22

    Again and again this has been presented to me. Your labor must be after Christ’s order. The tremendous efforts you make in preparing for your meetings do not accomplish the work that is most needed. You may be praised and exalted by men, but this is no evidence that your work exerts the right influence.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 23

    Thus saith the Lord, “You must guard against becoming wrought up to a high tension in preparing to speak to the people.”17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 24

    Camp-meeting season is approaching, and we want you to be ready to take part in camp-meeting work. Thousands of people will attend these meetings, and you can do a good work in presenting the truth to them.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 25

    I leave these words with you, my brother. May the Lord help and strengthen you to work in all humility of mind.17LtMs, Lt 51, 1902, par. 26

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