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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 264, 1903

    Wessels, John

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    December 7, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 87-92. +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 John Wessels,—

    I have recently sent several letters to different members of your family and had one written to you that I thought had been copied. But I find I did not give it to my workers. I will now write you again.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 1

    At Battle Creek there are a large number of our people assembled, and many think that a great work is being done there. I am hoping that all will humble themselves before God and confess their sins, so that the Lord can impress upon their hearts the truth for this time. I greatly desire to see those to whom the Lord has sent repeated warnings take heed to His word.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 2

    “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” [2 Corinthians 1:3-6.]18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 3

    My brother, I am pleased to see by your letters that you are obtaining a valuable experience. May the Lord lead you step by step forward and upward. If, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you obtain an experience for yourself in the Christian life, that experience will be of more value to you than gold or silver or precious stones; for such an experience will be to you an education which you may take with you into the future life.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 4

    In heaven the redeemed will enter the higher school to continue their education. Think what it will mean to study through the eternal ages under the personal instruction of Christ! Amidst the present conflicts and temptations, in this our day of probation, we are to form characters that will prepare us to obtain a life that measures with the life of God.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 5

    Our Saviour came to this world to endure in human nature all the temptations wherewith man is beset. In His life He measured the power of the wily foe to deceive, to allure, and to destroy. As the Redeemer of the race, He warns humanity against seeking after those things that will lead away from the narrow path. He has cast up a glorious highway for those who are traveling toward the heavenly mansions that He has gone to prepare for all who will prepare themselves to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 6

    With His life Christ has purchased every human being. He died a cruel death to save human beings from eternal death. He gave His sinless life to obtain for the sinner a life that measures with the life of God. Through His death, He provided a way whereby man may break with Satan, return to his allegiance to God, and through faith in the Redeemer obtain pardon. O how wicked, how ungrateful are those who refuse to accept the mercy that at such infinite cost is offered them!18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 7

    He who has all power in heaven and earth will restore every repenting, believing soul. To as many as receive Him He gives power to become the sons of God. He has a deep interest in every soul, for He paid the price of His own life that no one should be eternally lost. He wishes every son and daughter of Adam to return to his allegiance to God.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 8

    Christ, the Light and the Life

    John says of Christ, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. ... But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:10, 12-14.]18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 9

    “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” [Verse 4.] The words of John show that all spiritual light is also spiritual life. The Word is the light and the life of men. And since all light and life come from Christ, should we not realize our dependence upon Him?18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 10

    Those who do not receive and walk in the light are dead in trespasses and sins. As their Substitute and Surety, He makes them alive to God. He suffered the penalty of sin that He might enlighten and give life to the sinner. The gifts of light and life come to us together.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 11

    “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” [Verse 5.] What sadness this brings to the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ! He sheds His bright rays among the spiritually ignorant and depraved, the debased and the wretched, and they comprehend it not! They do not understand that the greatest blessing possible is offered to them.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 12

    Some thought that John was the Light, and he said of himself, “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” [Verse 8.] He would not receive the glory that did not belong to him.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 13

    Christ referred to John in the following words: “There is another that beareth witness of Me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of Me is truth. ... But I receive not testimony from men: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” [John 5:32, 34, 35.]18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 14

    All the light that John received came from that Word which was made flesh and dwelt among men. Christ alone is the true Light, and He is the only source of light and life to sinful men. By creation and by redemption we belong to Him. He came to His own, and they received Him not. The nation that He had chosen to be His peculiar people did not believe in Him. They rejected and crucified Him.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 15

    But those who receive Him and believe in Him become the spiritual children of God. They are adopted into the royal family, and as they seek to do the will of God, they become conformed into His image.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 16

    What condescension is seen in the sacrifice of Christ for fallen man! Why do so many choose to live in sin, taking pleasure in unrighteousness and sinful indulgence, carrying with it as a sure result present wretchedness and unhappiness and the loss of eternal life?18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 17

    Lay up Treasures in Heaven

    How precious is the knowledge that we have a faithful Friend, One who will impart to us a noble, elevated character, which will fit us for the companionship of the heavenly angels in the courts above! His guardianship is over all His children. They have a peace that the world can neither give nor take away. The loss of earthly treasures does not make them hopeless or homeless. Just before He left His disciples, to tread the painful, humiliating path of sorrow, He said to them:18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 18

    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.]18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 19

    Christ beholds the world, full of activity in seeking for earthly treasures. He sees many eagerly trying first one thing and then another in their efforts to obtain the coveted earthly treasure which they think will satisfy their selfish greed, while in their eager pursuit they pass by the only path that leads to the true riches.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 20

    As One having authority Christ speaks to such ones, inviting them to follow Him. He offers to lead them to the riches that are as enduring as eternity. He points them to the narrow path of self-denial and sacrifice. Those who press on in this path, surmounting every obstacle, will reach the land of glory. In lifting the cross they find that the cross lifts them, and they will at last gain the imperishable treasure.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 21

    Many think to find security in earthly riches. But Christ seeks to remove from their eye the mote that obscures the vision, and thus enable them to behold the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. They are mistaking phantoms for realities and have lost sight of the glories of the eternal world. Christ calls upon them to extend their view beyond the present and add eternity to their vision.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 22

    The lives of the inhabitants of this world bear evidence to the character of their worship. The religion of the churches is mingled with worldly greed. Men practice murder, violence, and wickedness of every kind in order to obtain advantage over one another. Could those who compose this vast army see who is their leader, they would refuse to advance under his leadership. Satan now knows that his time has come. He has deceived the world until his image and superscription are stamped upon all their ambitious projects. Whatever their object for wishing to gain the supremacy, men are willing to sell their souls to Satan in order to obtain the highest place.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 23

    Christ sees the termination of the conflict. The battle is waging more and more fiercely. Soon He will come whose right it is and will take possession of all earthly things. All the confusion in our world, all the violence and crime, are a fulfilment of the words of Christ. They are signs of the nearness of His coming.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 24

    In that day of His coming, Christ will preserve those who have followed Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He has pledged Himself to be their sanctuary. He says to them, Enter thou into a safe retreat for a little moment, and hide thee until I shall cleanse the earth from her iniquity.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 25

    Those who have lavished their affection on earthly treasures without regard to the heavenly riches will soon receive their reward. They will lose the earthly treasures to obtain which they have sold their souls to Satan. They are without God and without hope in the world. By following the desires of their unconsecrated, unconverted natures, they have robbed themselves of an eternity of bliss. They have united with Satan, who has played the game of life for their souls.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 26

    Will those who have not yet fully yielded themselves to the great rebel now come over to the Lord’s side?18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 27

    Will they, before it is everlastingly too late, leave the works of wickedness and stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel?18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 28

    A Call to Self-denial

    Brother Wessels, God is calling upon His people to deny self. We appeal to men, women, and children to deny themselves every indulgence and use in God’s service the money thus saved through self-denial. Let every one pray earnestly to God for complete victory over self-indulgence and self-worship. If Christ, the Majesty of heaven, gave up so much for us, shall we withhold our lives from Him and tread a path of selfish indulgence and gratification?18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 29

    I repeat the words of our Lord: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 30

    “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:19-24.]18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 31

    This is plain truth and we need make no mistake as to the meaning of these words. There is no place on earth where treasure is secure from loss. But there is a city that has foundations, whose builder and whose maker is God. Christ seeks to draw the attention away from unwise investments in perishable riches, warning men to lay up their treasures in heaven.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 32

    Day by day, the Lord cares for mankind, giving them sunshine, rain, and dew, increasing the vegetation, bringing forth the variety of fruits each in its season, all as a continual blessing to mankind. Should not those who receive so bountifully from the hand of God become producers as well as consumers? Should they not return to Him His own in tithes and offerings? By putting their talents out to a wise use, men increase their blessings. By putting their money to use in the Lord’s work of soul-saving, they may lay up treasure in the heavens. Our Redeemer seeks to strengthen the desire of every one to seek the heavenly, the eternal treasure. And He is not unmindful of our peace and comfort in this world.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 33

    By employing their time in useful ways, all may have something to lay upon the altar of God to be used in advancing the knowledge of Him in the earth. All may become laborers together with God by denying themselves of every injurious indulgence and returning to God the pennies, the shillings, and the pounds that would otherwise be spent for alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, flesh meats, or other indulgences which destroy the powers that should be used to the glory of God. Thus the higher powers will be brought into healthful action, and temperance in all things will be practiced. By example as well as by precept men may lead others to practice self-denial. Thus they do a work for themselves and gain a preparation to work for others.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 34

    Let not precious time be spent merely in selfish pleasure. Those who spend their time wisely will receive the true happiness. Those who use their means wisely for God will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are agents in the hands of God to do His work, and that they are placing their means where it will not be lost.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 35

    By wise calculation you may always have a reserve of strength and of means to impart as a willing offering to the Lord’s work in destitute fields, to help to build meeting houses, schools, and health institutions. Thus you may lay up treasure beside the throne of God. You will put in operation agencies, the results of whose work will reach beyond the present and will be seen in souls saved in the kingdom of God.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 36

    Will you not, wherever you go, act as my agent in missionary work for the Lord? I send you with this some letters from Nashville, outlining a plan for family collections. Will you please see how many families you can induce to take these boxes. We think that these little messengers will be the means of gathering means for the advancement of the cause of God. Let us take hold earnestly to set in action an agency that may bring in much means to the Lord’s treasury.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 37

    We have great need of means just now for the work in Washington. We desire to establish a sanitarium in that place. May the Lord bless you and your brothers and sisters and help you to take hold of His work. Invite both believers and unbelievers to separate from injurious habits, and give the money thus saved to the work in Washington and in Nashville.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 38

    My brother, make it your business to serve the Lord. Resolve that you will spend some time each day in helping and blessing others. I know that the Lord has led me to write these things to you.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 39

    In much love.18LtMs, Lt 264, 1903, par. 40

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