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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 169, 1903

    Words of Warning Against Present Dangers


    October 12, 1903 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 299.

    Satan works in every way he can to ensnare souls into his service. As I consider the state of things in Battle Creek, I tremble for our youth who go there. Shall we abet the efforts of the enemy to ensnare our promising young men and young women by advising them to go to Battle Creek to obtain their training for service—to a place where attendance at entertainments and festivals, indulgence in worldly dress, and many other evils will tempt them to go astray?18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 1

    The Lord has revealed to me some of the dangers that our youth will meet by evil associations. Many of the wealthy, worldly men and women who patronize the Battle Creek Sanitarium will be a source of temptation to the helpers in this institution. Some will become the favorites of worldlings and will be offered alluring inducements to enter their employ. Through the silent influence of the worldly display of some of the patrons who have stopped there for a time, the enemy has already been able to sow tares in the hearts of many of our young men and young women. This is the way in which Satan is working.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 2

    To fathers and to mothers I would say, Place not your children under the seductive influences and the subtle temptations that they would have to meet, were they to go to Battle Creek on account of the inducements offered by the Sanitarium for a training in medical lines. Legions of evil angels are at work in the midst of the large company gathered together in the Battle Creek Sanitarium; and these emissaries of the evil one are endeavoring to corrupt and destroy many souls. There are many grave perils awaiting the young men who have been brought up in places of comparative seclusion, and who go to this crowded center, supposing that they will have superior advantages for securing a training in medical missionary work, and that they will also be able to obtain degrees and come out full-fledged physicians. Therefore, One who sees, One who knows about these temptations has portrayed these dangers before me, that I may warn our people. The inducements offered to those who go to Battle Creek are represented to me as a snare prepared by the great apostate, by which to gain possession of human minds.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 3

    We desire that our youth shall be so trained that they will exert a saving influence in our churches, by working for greater unity and deeper piety.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 4

    The Training Received by John the Baptist and by Christ

    John the Baptist, the cousin of Christ, received his early training from his parents. The greater portion of his life was spent in the wilderness, that he might not be influenced by beholding the lax piety of the priests and the rabbis, or by learning their maxims and traditions, through which right principles were perverted or belittled. The teachers of that day had become so blind spiritually that they could scarcely recognize the virtues of a heavenly character. So long had they cherished feelings of pride, envy, and jealousy, that they interpreted the Old Testament Scriptures in such a manner as to do away with the true meaning of God’s Word, which stood in the way of personal preferment and of exalted self-righteousness.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 5

    Christ, during the earliest years of His life on this earth, was taught by His mother. In accordance with the Jewish custom, He next learned a trade. He mastered the carpenter’s trade. And in His work at the carpenter’s bench He was more of an educator than a learner.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 6

    He who raised a widow’s son as friends were carrying the young man to his burial; He who healed a paralytic and forgave him his sins, sending him to his own house well—He it was who lived the life of a genuine medical missionary; and He has left us His example. He desires us to study His life diligently, that we may learn to labor as He labored.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 7

    The Importance of Strict Obedience to God’s Word

    Christ was crucified by the Hebrew people, the fathers of whom He led for so many years through the wilderness. There He taught them His will through His faithful servant, Moses, a man whom God honored greatly. Yet even Moses made a mistake. Some would regard his sin as one that should be lightly passed over; but God sees not as man sees.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 8

    When within sight of the hills of Canaan, the Israelites murmured because the stream that had flowed wherever they encamped ceased. The cries of the people were directed against Moses and Aaron, whom they accused of bringing them into the wilderness to perish. The leaders went to the door of the tabernacle and fell on their faces. Again “the glory of the Lord appeared,” and Moses was directed, “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock.” [Numbers 20:6-8.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 9

    The two brothers went on before the multitude, Moses with the rod of God in his hand. They were now aged men. Long had they borne with the rebellion and obstinacy of Israel; but now, at last, even the patience of Moses gave way. “Hear now, ye rebels,” he cried; “must we fetch you water out of this rock?” [Verse 10.] And instead of speaking to the rock, as God had commanded him, he smote it twice with the rod.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 10

    The water gushed forth in abundance to satisfy the host. But a great wrong had been done. Moses had spoken from irritated feeling; his words were an expression of human passion rather than of holy indignation because God had been dishonored.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 11

    Moses manifested distrust of God. “Shall we bring water?” he questioned, as if the Lord would not do what He promised. [Verse 10.] “Ye believed Me not,” the Lord declared to the two brothers, “to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel.” [Verse 12.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 12

    More than this, Moses and Aaron had assumed power that belongs only to God. The necessity for divine interposition made the occasion one of great solemnity, and the leaders of Israel should have improved it to impress the people with reverence for God and to strengthen their faith in His power and goodness. When they angrily cried, “Must we fetch you water out of this rock?” they put themselves in God’s place, as if the power lay in themselves. [Verse 10.] By these words they greatly dishonored Christ, their invisible Leader. God, not man, should have been glorified. The Lord reproved these leaders and declared that they should not enter the promised land. Before the Hebrew host He demonstrated that the sin of the leader was greater than the sin of those who were led.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 13

    Sabbath Observance a Sign of Obedience

    The great test that will distinguish those who keep the commandments of God from those who transgress His law is Sabbath observance. In the thirty-first of Exodus we read:18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 14

    “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 15

    “And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communicating with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” [Verses 12-18.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 16

    This Scripture clearly outlines the definite requirements of God, respecting the observance of His day of rest. The keeping of the Sabbath holy is the sign between God and His people throughout their generations.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 17

    The Origin of the Battle Creek Sanitarium

    Many years ago, before the Battle Creek Sanitarium was in existence, the Lord instructed me that we were to have sanitariums among our own people—institutions in which the Sabbath commandment would be respected and obeyed, and in which true medical missionary work would be done for the suffering poor as well as the wealthy. God has a special care for the poor. I was further instructed that our sanitarium work should not be conducted on so elaborate a plan that it would call for a large expenditure of means; and, also, that at the beginning, one sanitarium was all that we could manage.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 18

    Our brethren and sisters throughout the field were called upon to manifest their liberality by raising a fund sufficient to provide a building and facilities for the first institution. The Health Institute, as it was then known, was to be a direct, powerful agency for honoring and making prominent God’s law. The light of present truth was not to be hidden under a bushel or under a bed, but was to be placed where it would give light to all that were in the house. No precept of the divine law was to be relegated to a position of minor importance. The Sabbath truth was to be made especially plain, because in the fourth commandment is designated the One whose name is to magnified—the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who made the world and all that is therein in six days, and rested on the seventh day.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 19

    The Need of Heart-Reformation.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 20

    To the multitude of Jews and Gentiles, and to the disciples that always occupied the inner circle, the great Teacher and Medical Missionary Worker said, in His sermon on the mount:18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 21

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” [Matthew 5:3-12.] Looking unto His disciples, Christ declared: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 22

    Salt that had lost its savor well represented the condition of the Pharisees and the effect of their religion upon society. Today, it represents the life of every soul from whom the power of the grace of God has departed, and who has become cold and listless. Whatever may be his profession, such a one is looked upon by men and angels as insipid and disagreeable. Profession of godliness is of little worth in itself. Until the whole heart, and soul, and strength, and mind are under discipline to God, we have not obeyed the first great commandment.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 23

    The law of God is to be written on the heart, else, profess what we may, in reality we never obey it. We might as well suppose that the ten commandments could guide the Hebrew host while these precepts were merely written on tables of stone in the midst of the clouds of Sinai, as that the truth of God could profit or illuminate the soul while it only floats in the understanding or memory without being inscribed on the fleshly tablets of the heart. Truth was never stamped upon the soul. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:10.] Only those upon whose hearts are written the divine precepts can, as the salt of the earth, exercise a preservative influence.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 24

    Christ continued: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father (God) which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 25

    Every soul into whose heart the truth has found access must wage a warfare against the powers of darkness and fight inch by inch as he advances in the Christian pathway. The converted one may live in a family where he, like the other members, was once worldly and selfish, robbing God of the talents entrusted to all for service; but as soon as he is convicted and converted, he begins to use his talents in behalf of righteousness; and he is filled with the breath of life, the Spirit of God. Collision and strife often result.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 26

    Perhaps the other members of the family have also heard the truth, but although they have been impressed and convicted, they refuse to yield. As enemies of righteousness, they resent the intrusion of a strong spiritual influence into their family. The converted member of the family, loving God and keeping His commandments, will be purified through obedience to the truth; but he will meet with bitter, determined opposition. Truth has entered his soul-temple, and the false peace that formerly reigned is stirred and broken up.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 27

    If the truth be permitted to hold its place, it will take possession of the heart and the mind, the will and the affections. Love will fill the heart. The converted one will sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Although he may have enemies even in his own household, he will rely wholly upon a power higher than any earthly power. The freely imparted Spirit of the living God will give victory in every contest.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 28

    True reformation must begin in the heart, out of which flow the issues of life. One of the most earnest prayers in the Bible is: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. ... Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.” [Psalm 51:10, 11, 13.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 29

    During His sermon on the mount, Jesus was closely watched by spies, and as He unfolded the principles of righteousness, the Pharisees caused it to be whispered about that his teaching was in opposition to the precepts that God had given from Sinai. There was a general spirit of murmuring rising up in the hearts of priests and rulers. Practical reformation of the life was not in accordance with their desires. These resisters of the truth were startled to hear their inmost thoughts referred to, as if they had been expressed. In unmistakable language Christ revealed His attitude toward the divine statutes:18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 30

    “Think not,” He said, “that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:17, 18.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 31

    Every specification of the prophetic Word was to be fulfilled. The religious leaders had repeated over and over again the commandments of men and with vehemence had urged the necessity of observing them; but they lightly passed over some of God’s requirements that they did not wish to observe. Concerning this evil Christ declared:18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 32

    “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 19.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 33

    Heaven’s decision will be that such a teacher is working against God, the Law-giver, who gave the law with great solemnity from mount Sinai.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 34

    “But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 19.] This will also be the decision of the heavenly intelligences.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 35

    “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 20.]18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 36

    From this declaration we learn that the transgressors of God’s law, be they priests or rulers, scribes or Pharisees, must reach a standard of righteousness much higher than that which they have hitherto reached. They need the illumination of the true Light, which reveals to men what they are. They need the faith that works by love to God and love to their neighbors.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 37

    The Jewish leaders chose to pass by their neighbors, because they desired to serve God in their own selfish way. They failed to realize that the least disobedience against one of the Lord’s precepts would bring them under condemnation. In their human wisdom they so arranged the “least commandments” that through them they taught false doctrines. [Verse 19.] Setting aside some of the teachings of the Word as nonessential, unimportant, they put human laws in the place of the divine.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 38

    Such work as this is being done in the ranks of the believers in the remnant church. This brings in grave dangers; for many among us lack spiritual discernment. Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Their righteousness consisted in externals—in formal obedience; the righteousness that God requires of us must spring from the heart and extend throughout the being, within and without, bringing heart and life into conformity with His revealed will.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 39

    Oh, how much is lost through men who pervert the teachings of the Word, misquoting the Scriptures and wresting their meaning! Religion in the heart means everything to the receiver. A meek, obedient, teachable spirit is more acceptable to God than any amount of outward service—service that is often performed in a selfish, inconsiderate, presumptuous manner.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 40

    We all need to be earnestly guarding ourselves, lest we lose ground spiritually; lest we lose a clear perception of God and His righteousness.18LtMs, Ms 169, 1903, par. 41

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