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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 163, 1903

    Josiah’s Mistake


    May 15, 1903

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1039-1040. +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.

    I am carrying a heavy burden upon my soul. My sleepless nights are spent in prayer. We are living in a very solemn time. We cannot with any security remain indifferent now. The whole trend of a world living in transgression and sin declares the cruelty of those who give themselves up to transgression of God’s law. The world is standing under the black banner of rebellion. Who can question who is leading the forces of rebellion? It is the one who was once the highest, most exalted angel in the heavenly universe. His position was that of covering cherub. But with him sin originated among the family of holy beings. Lucifer had the confidence of all. His former experience was of so unquestionable a character that his disaffection and deceptive representations drew large numbers of the angels to his side. “And there was war in heaven,” and Satan and the disloyal angels were cast out. [Revelation 12:7-9.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 1

    How sad the history! Satan knows full well the result of his work. But he decides that he will carry out his purposes to the bitter end, creating apostasy, disaffection, and rebellion. Some today are going over the same ground. Some are doing this unwittingly. Some are so deceived that though they are wretched and poor and miserable and blind and naked, they know it not. Satan keeps them sustained with their own heresies and sophistries. To such ones comes the Word:18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 2

    “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Revelation 3:17-19.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 3

    May 24

    This morning I praise the Lord for His goodness and love. I will not be discouraged; for then I should discourage others. The Lord would have His people shine as lights in the world. Many letters come to me from these in trouble, asking what to do when placed in trying positions. I try to point them to the blessed Word of God and to keep their minds as much as possible upon the instruction contained in the Scriptures. They can read the Word. They can ask God to give them an understanding of the Word and to keep them from making errors of judgment.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 4

    What saith the Scriptures: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:5-8.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 5

    “It is expedient for you that I go away,” Christ said; “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine; therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” [John 16:7, 13-15.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 6

    Those who will not take God’s Word as assurance need not hope that human wisdom can help them; for human wisdom, aside from God, is like the waves of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. The Word of Christ is, “He shall guide you into all truth.” [Verse 13.] Reject not the light given.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 7

    Read the history of Josiah. He had done a good work. During his reign idolatry was put down, and apparently successfully uprooted. The temple was re-opened and the sacrificial offerings re-established. His work was done well.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 8

    But at the last he died in battle. Why?—Because he did not heed the warnings given.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 9

    “As for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard: Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humblest thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me; I have heard thee also, saith the Lord. Behold, I will gather to thy fathers, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 10

    “Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small; and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant, that was found in the house of the Lord.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 11

    “And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 12

    “And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.” [2 Chronicles 34:26-33.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 13

    “After this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war; for God commanded me to make haste; forbear thee from meddling with God, that He destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, and that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 14

    “And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that they had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.” [2 Chronicles 35:20-24.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 15

    Because Josiah died in battle, who will charge God with denying His word that Josiah should go to his grave in peace? They did not give orders for Josiah to make war on the king of Egypt. When the Lord gave the king of Egypt orders that the time had come to serve Him by warfare, and the ambassadors told Josiah not to make war on Necho, no doubt Josiah congratulated himself that no word from the Lord had come directly to him. To turn back with his army would have been humiliating, so he went on. And because of this, he was killed in battle, a battle that he should not have had anything to do with. The man who had been so greatly honored by the Lord did not honor the word of God. The Lord had spoken in his favor, predicting good things for him; and Josiah became self-confident and failed to heed the warning. He went against the word of God, choosing to follow his own way, and God could not shield him from the consequences of his act.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 16

    In this our day men choose to follow their own desires and their own will. Can we be surprised that there is so much spiritual blindness?18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 17

    The prayer that Christ taught His disciples to pray, it is safe for us to offer at all times and in all places: “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:9, 10.]18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 18

    Had this been your prayer, my brother, you would today stand on vantage ground. God has given you chance after chance; encouragement after encouragement. I still have a message for you, that if you will thoroughly repent, and turn to the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, and humble yourself before Him, you will find Him, even though by your perversity you have grieved the Holy Spirit. If you will renounce the enemy, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Lord will pardon you. He will be gracious if you will put away the seductive theories that you have learned from the first great rebel.18LtMs, Ms 163, 1903, par. 19

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