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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 38, 1902

    Franke, E. E.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    March 2, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 277.

    Dear Brother Franke,—

    I have received and read your letter. Thank you for writing. As you have invited me to be free in writing to you, I shall write freely. I have a great interest in you. But the presentation given me in the night season of you and your work is not flattering to you. Your spirit is not like Christ’s Spirit. I would say to you, Come apart, and rest awhile. Take time to talk with God. The spirit that has often come upon you in your connection with the church is a spirit that creates division and contention. You exert an influence that tends to fasten minds to yourself. This is a sort of mesmeric influence. Evil angels work through you to fill minds with your ideas. I must tell you that this power is of Satan. But you do not recognize it as such. I speak decidedly, because you are imparting your objectionable traits of character to those for whom you work. There are those who will accept anything you may say or do as law and gospel, when in reality it is neither law nor gospel.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 1

    In the night season I was present in an assembly in which the members of the different Seventh-day Adventist churches in New York were in contention and strife. It was your words that were causing the dissension. You were not controlled by the Spirit of Christ, but by another spirit. Several times before I went to New York, such a meeting was presented to me. Your words were ill-advised. They were not leaves for the healing of diseased, irritable minds. Those who were shown me as united in church capacity needed not your words to provoke their easily irritated spirit. A leaf from the tree of life—the words of Christ—would have soothed and allayed their irritation. But hasty, unguarded words stir up a hasty, passionate spirit of dissension and strife.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 2

    Does Christ recognize this gendering of strife as something to be commended in one who is a delegated minister of the gospel? No, indeed. Can He accept one who stirs up strife and dissension? Will He declare of such an one, “I acknowledge him as My representative”? I answer decidedly, No, no! My brother, I plead with you to open the door of your heart to Jesus. Draw with Christ. Drawing apart from Him, you cause disaffection and disorder. You need to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him His meekness and lowliness. Unless you are controlled by a different spirit, a condition of things will be brought in that will be a great dishonor to the truth and a great hindrance to its advancement.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 3

    I cannot say to you, Move to another place, and thus remedy the difficulty; for you would carry with you the traits of character that make your work defective where you now are.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 4

    You present most forcible Bible truth, and then, when souls accept the truth, and are united in church capacity, you bind them to yourself as your property, as if no one else but yourself had any right to influence them. This is the reason the word was given that you could not properly educate the believers accepting the truth under your labors. Your peculiar traits of character must not come in as a domineering influence to control them. The work of educating and training believers is a gift, a talent, that you do not possess.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 5

    When ministers allow themselves to be annoyed because their ideas are not accepted and their plans are not carried out, when they feel that they should be made first, they are in great danger. You need to guard this point.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 6

    I write you this because I want you to be altogether the man the Lord desires you to be. Then Christ will recognize and commend the spirit you possess, seeing in you His own mind, His own will.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 7

    In spirit, in word, in action, you are to confess Christ. By revealing His meekness and lowliness, you bear witness to the power of His grace. By carefully guarding your spirit, you will place yourself under the influence of the sweet Spirit of Christ, to be guided by Him. Close the door against the selfish, wicked spirit of variance, so baleful in its influence. This spirit is easily aroused in souls who are not truly converted, who have merely made a profession.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 8

    If you have not qualifications that enable you, by words of wisdom and love, to cement in Christian unity hearts naturally inclined to variance, do not, I beseech you, feel that it is your prerogative to rule in the church, to exercise a kingship over the church. You cannot afford to sow one seed of dissension and variance.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 9

    Never do anything that will scatter the sheep of Christ’s pasture. Christ says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” [John 10:27.] He loves His children, and says, I will confess them before My Father and before His angels.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 10

    Christ is watching every professed believer in Him, marking the influence that he exerts. I say to you, my brother, Please use your capabilities in some other work than in working with the church. You have not the tact or ability necessary for this work. Many times you speak rashly and unadvisedly. You sow the seeds of strife. Instead of drawing souls to Christ, you scatter them from Him. Leave church work for those who can pour into the hearts of the ones, for whom they work, the oil of grace and love.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 11

    “Whosoever therefore will confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 10:32.] Study these words. The Lord Jesus has many times been dishonored by your rash, passionate speeches. Will you not cease to utter such speeches. This you must do if you [are] ever [to] exert in the church an influence that is Christlike. Will you ask yourself the question, Am I confessing Christ, whose I am by creation and by redemption.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 12

    When Christ utters His decision, basing what He says on the acts of the past, what, oh, what will He say of some of your speeches and their truth-dishonoring results? What will He say of your spirit of self-exaltation? This is a solemn question. Will you not change in your manner of working? Will you not cultivate patience. Remember that Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but that it is God alone who gives the increase.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 13

    I am intensely desirous that as the Lord’s appointed agency you shall stand in your lot and in your place, awakening unbelievers to a realization of their peril. But this work you can do successfully only as you depend on the Lord. Say in sincerity, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” [Psalm 19:14.]17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 14

    In infinite mercy God has given us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We are to form characters like the character of Christ. Now is our time of test and trial. Now is our sowing time. Each must decide for himself what his harvest shall be. Now is the time for us to lay up in store for ourselves “a good foundation, against the time to come,” that we may lay hold on eternal life. [1 Timothy 6:19.] Our inheritance in the glories of the future world will be proportioned to the degree in which in this life we receive into our hearts the knowledge of Christ, and conform our lives to His character.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 15

    My brother, we have a God-given message on health reform to proclaim. No one will be more decidedly benefited than yourself by taking up this work with earnest purpose. You need a wholesome diet. The Lord will give you much of His Holy Spirit if you will not counterwork His purposes by eating as you please, thus creating such a condition of things in the stomach that the machinery of the body is hindered in its work. I beseech you, my brother, to be careful of what you put into your stomach. In order for the blood to be pure and the body to be in good working order, the food eaten must be wholesome and nutritious. How can sinful mortals most acceptably worship God? is the question we should ask ourselves.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 16

    Place yourself in right relation to God. It pleases and honors Him for us to expect great things at His hands. The promise is to us and to our children.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 17

    Brother Franke, I feel the most earnest interest in you and your family. I have a deep longing of soul for the salvation of your eldest son. God grant that he may not be lost. It is his privilege to be saved. I want you to take a course that will bind your children up with Christ. The Lord will be your helper in this work.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 18

    I ask you to remember that you are not doing the will of your heavenly Father in withholding from Him the tithe. We should all pay tithe. Why? Because it is required of us by the Lord Himself, and in the plainest terms. It is the plan of heaven to teach us that we are subjects of Christ’s kingdom.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 19

    The need and importance of paying tithe is plainly pointed out in the third chapter of Malachi. God says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Verse 10.]17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 20

    Carefully read the whole of this chapter, and follow its instruction, for your own good as well as for the sake of others, who will be helped by your example. After reading this chapter, will you venture to disregard God’s plain requirement? Those who, after their attention has been called to this subject, refuse to comply with the Lord’s claims, venturing to disregard them as non-essential, will be dealt with in the manner described in this chapter.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 21

    If you lead the church to disregard this requirement of the Lord, will you not be leading them in crooked paths, and will not the Lord hold you accountable for their neglect of duty? If you neglect so plain a “Thus saith the Lord,” I greatly fear that you will make of little account many other of His requirements, choosing to do as you please, and to risk the consequences. Temptations to make of none effect the requirements of God are abundant. Yield not to them. Come up square and true to the very line God has laid down. Satan tempts us to withhold from the Lord His own. Can we doubt what the result of yielding to this temptation will be when we read the words, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” [Verses 8, 9.]17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 22

    We may well be afraid of a man in any position, high or low, minister or layman, who, in the face of such statements, ventures to set aside God’s requirement as something that does not concern him.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 23

    We are in no case to allow one statement of Scripture to obscure another statement of Scripture. God’s Word in regard to paying tithe is plain and decided. Sad indeed will be the consequences to those who disobey. Blessings are given for obedience and curses for disobedience. To those who disobey, God says, “Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me.” To those who obey, He says, “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Verses 9, 11, 12.]17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 24

    By strict obedience to God’s command to return to Him His own, parents should impress their children with its importance. Let children be educated to deny self and pay their tithe. All that can be done should be done to lead them to realize their accountability to return to the Lord His own. They should be taught that they are to follow His directions in the use they make of the talent of means. They should be taught that they are to deny themselves of worldly pleasures, in order that they may be able to help to advance the Lord’s work. The Lord has made plans and built up safeguards purposely to help parents and children to be workers together with Him, to practice self-denial for the good of others. Let children be taught to bring their offerings to the Lord, however small these offerings may be. Thus they become fruitful in good works, bearing fruit to the glory of God. By deeds of self-denial they sow seed that will spring up and bear fruit unto eternal life.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 25

    In the third chapter of Malachi the danger signal is uplifted. In this chapter the Lord cautions His people against every species of self-indulgence. He who yields to selfishness, withholding from the Lord the portion He claims as His own, is making a record that he will not care to meet. He is leaving undone that which the Lord requires him to do.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 26

    Parents should work diligently in the family to cut out the roots of self-indulgence and selfishness. They are to teach their children to work the works of God.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 27

    “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] In these words Christ reminded His disciples of the work that had been committed to them. They were to spread throughout the world the tidings of truth. The light shining on them from the Saviour, they were to reflect to others. And to us also this work is given. By words of warning and entreaty, by missionary work in every line, by the printed page, the light of truth is to be reflected to the world. Thus Christians are to show forth their good works, that men may be led to glorify their heavenly Father.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 28

    My brother, I send these lines to you in the hope that you may be benefited by them. I greatly desire that your work shall be wrought in God. I greatly desire that you shall educate yourself and those over whom you have an influence to bring the tithe money to the Lord, to be used in the work of the gospel ministry.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 29

    I am weary now, and must close. In looking over my diary today, I found a letter written to you last September, which had not been copied. I shall have it copied and sent to you.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 30

    In much love.17LtMs, Lt 38, 1902, par. 31

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