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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 262, 1903

    Ministers and Other Workers in the South

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    November 24, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in MM 102-103; 6BC 1067; SpTB #18 9; 5MR 164. +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.

    To our ministers and other workers in the Southern states,—

    I wish you all to know that I am in full sympathy with you in urging our churches in the North and the South, the East and the West, to immediate action in supplying the present needs of the work in the South. Let all now take up in earnest the work of helping to relieve the pressing necessities of the work at Nashville.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 1

    Nashville has been presented to me as the most favorable center from which to do a general work for all classes in the Southern states. In and near Nashville there are established institutions of learning, which should be respected by our people. Their influence has helped to make it possible for us to carry forward successfully many lines of work from that center.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 2

    How to Meet Trials

    Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was given to our world to save perishing souls from eternal death. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] The life of Christ, His humiliation, His untiring missionary efforts are recorded that we may follow His example. In His mission to this earth, He set before us the lessons that we need.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 3

    Christ humbled Himself, bearing the trials and inconveniences that men are called upon to bear. He was the Majesty of heaven, yet He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 4

    In time of trial, be patient. Patience is a precious jewel. It will bring help to mind and heart. “Wait on the Lord,” until He sees that you are ready to receive and appreciate the blessings for which you ask. [Psalm 27:14.] Exercise faith, even though the trial be severe. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] Of faith, hope is born.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 5

    To accept disappointment meekly and cheerfully requires great self-control. But Jesus understands our need. Every prayer offered to God in sincerity and faith will be answered. In disappointment and trial, let us remember Jesus our Mediator, tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Talk with Him. He knows whether that for which you ask would be to you a blessing or a curse.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 6

    Let us be always cheerful. Let the language of the soul be, “Jesus knows best. He will fulfil His promises in a way that will not hurt my soul. I will seek to use wisely the blessings that He daily bestows upon me. I will pray and hope, believing that I shall receive the very things that will be for my best good. I will seek to impart to others the blessings that I receive. That which God gives, I will use in His service, asking Him to keep me from becoming elated and self-sufficient. I will be humble and thankful.”18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 7

    Having done your best, refuse to give way to discouragement and despair. The perfection of the Redeemer is your strength. When hedged about with apparently insurmountable difficulties, then is the time above all others to trust in the Lord. We are not to walk in our own strength, but in the strength of the Lord God of Israel. It is folly to trust in man or to make flesh our arm. We must trust in Jehovah; for in Him is everlasting strength.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 8

    Last-Day Delusions

    I pray that our people may not fall victims to the snares that Satan has laid to entrap unwary souls. But even now many are bewildered. All need to be independent Bible students. I am writing words of warning, that no one need be deceived by the enemy, to lead others into crooked paths. I have carried a heavy burden because of the publication of Living Temple. I think that the Lord has permitted this matter to develop in order to arouse our people to understand and value aright the fundamental truths that, as a people, we have received from the Word of God. We must know that we have not followed cunningly devised fables. Our Father bids us call to mind the former days, after which, when we were illumined, we endured a great fight of affliction. I have received most precious assurances that our early experiences were of God. I wish that every one of our people might know, as I know, of the sure and certain way in which the Lord led us in times past.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 9

    Brother Amadon knows something of our early experiences. I am sure that he remembers many of the strait places through which we passed. I am glad that Brother Amadon is now engaged in the Southern work. You may strengthen one another in the most holy faith. Each one is to stand in his lot and place.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 10

    It causes me great sorrow of heart to see that there are among our workers those who do not realize the dangerous character of the doctrines that some are entertaining regarding God. I know how dangerous these sentiments are. Before I was seventeen years old, I had to bear testimony against them before large companies. In New Hampshire there were men who were active in disseminating false ideas regarding God. Light was given me that these men were making the truth of no effect by their ideas, some of which led to freelovism. I was shown that these men were seducing souls by presenting speculative theories regarding God.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 11

    I went to the place where they were working and opened before them what they were doing. The Lord gave me strength to lay before them plainly the danger of their course. Among other things, they held that those once sanctified could not sin, and this they were presenting as gospel food. Their false theories, with their burden of deceptive influence, were working great harm to themselves and to others. They were gaining a spiritualistic power over those who could not see the evil of these beautifully clothed theories. Great evil had already resulted. The doctrine that all were holy had led to the belief that the affections of the sanctified were never in danger of leading astray. The result of this belief was the fulfilment of the evil desires of hearts which, though professedly sanctified, were far from purity of thought and action.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 12

    This is only one of the instances in which I was called upon to rebuke those who were presenting the doctrine of an impersonal God, diffused through nature, and the doctrine of holy flesh.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 13

    Now, when I am seventy-six years old, history is being repeated; and day after day, from morning till night, I use my pen in meeting the same dangerous sophistries and fables that we were called to meet so many years ago. In His providence, God has spared me to meet these issues. The Lord has let His Holy Spirit rest upon me, and I am still strengthened and sustained.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 14

    The day before yesterday, I felt as if I had reached the end of my labor. I was unable to write. It seemed that an unseen agency was pressing the life from me. I was shut in with a depression that I cannot describe. But yesterday deliverance came, and I wrote during the whole day.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 15

    A class of men will arise who will do the work outlined in the words:18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 16

    “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse; because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imagination, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and to fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” [Romans 1:18-23.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 17

    False science is one of the agencies that Satan used in the heavenly courts, and it is used by him today. The false assertions that he made to the angels, his subtle, scientific theories, led many of them from their loyalty. Having lost their place in heaven, they prepared temptations for our first parents. Adam and Eve yielded to the enemy, and by their disobedience humanity was estranged from God, and the earth was separated from heaven.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 18

    Christ pledged Himself to bridge the gulf that sin had made, to reunite that which had been separated. Thus He became the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He shows us the path that leads to heaven and promises to impart His efficiency to every one who believes on Him. He came to our world to reveal, not a mixture of truth and error, but the pure truth of God. All error is misleading, even though clothed with garments of heavenly beauty.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 19

    Christ says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 14:6; 8:12.] He who accepts Christ enters upon a pathway illuminated by the splendor of the Son of the true and living God. The truth that he believes sheds light on every step of the way. God’s chosen ones will advance from strength to strength, from grace to grace.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 20

    We need not seek to know, by scientific methods, what God is. “Who by searching can find out God?” [Job 11:7.] As we follow in the footsteps of Christ our Saviour, we shall learn from Him all that we need to know of God. By the revelation of His life and teaching, He leads men from the lowest depths of sin to the highest place in the heavenly courts, even to a seat upon His throne. In Him all may be made complete.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 21

    New, false interpretations are being given to the truths of the Word, in order that deluded minds may be pleased. Error is made to appear as truth. I am instructed to bear a decided testimony against these misleading theories. I am charged with a message opposed to the heresies and sophistries that are being propagated by Satan. The life and teachings of our Lord give no place to these cunningly devised fables. The loss of eternal life is the price that must be paid for continuing to honor superstition and falsehood above the Word of God, making His teaching of no effect.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 22

    The character and power of God are revealed by the works of His hands. In the natural world are to be seen evidences of God’s love and goodness. These tokens are given to call attention from nature to nature’s God, that His “eternal power and Godhead” may be understood. [Romans 1:20.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 23

    Pantheistic theories are not sustained by the Word of God. The light of His truth shows them to be soul-destroying agencies. Darkness is their element; sensuality their sphere. They gratify the natural heart and give leeway to inclination. Separation from God is the result of accepting them.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 24

    A World-Wide Work

    The words of Paul in the closing chapter of Acts seem to outline our present situation:18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 25

    “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias, the prophet, unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive; for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known unto you, therefore, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” [Acts 28:25-28.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 26

    “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” [Verses 29-31.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 27

    Our work is not to be confined to believers. In many important outposts, evangelistic and medical missionary work is to be done. A special work is to be done in Nashville and in Washington. I am heavily burdened in regard to the neglected fields, which have waited so long for the message. I think of the number of believers collected in the places where our largest churches are. Many of those living in these places ought to be out in the field, doing evangelical work. When many interests are kept in a few places, the work in many places cannot be carried forward as it should be.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 28

    Paul thus commands the church at Rome: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” [Romans 1:8.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 29

    These words might today be spoken of Seventh-day Adventists, if they would abide in Christ. If they would make the Saviour’s words a part of their lives, bringing them into the daily experience, they would reveal the virtues of His character. They would be united in the bonds of Christian fellowship. When the people of God are thus united to Christ and to one another, evidence will be borne to the world that God sent His Son to save men from sin.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 30

    Paul continues:18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 31

    “I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written. The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” [Verses 14-18.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 32

    In what sense was Paul debtor both to the Jew and to the Greek? To him had been given the commission, as it is given to every disciple of Christ, “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 28:19, 20.] In accepting Christ, Paul accepted this commission. He realized that upon him rested the obligation of laboring for all classes of men—for Jew and Gentile, learned and unlearned, for those occupying high positions and for those in the most lowly walks of life.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 33

    An Assurance of Success

    The seventy disciples sent out by Christ on a missionary tour returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” [Luke 10:17-19.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 34

    Should we not find encouragement in this assurance? But Jesus wishes to draw our minds higher than the contemplation of earthly blessings. “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not,” He said, “that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” [Verse 20.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 35

    “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me of My Father; and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 36

    “And He turned Him unto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes that see the things that ye see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” [Verses 21-24.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 37

    Those who today work for God must be sanctified through the truth. The Lord calls for men upon whom He can depend, men who will not lead His people into strange paths. Those who do not take Christ as their Leader will surely fail. In His power alone can we gain success. “Without Me,” He declares, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.]18LtMs, Lt 262, 1903, par. 38

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