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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 32, 1903

    Found Wanting


    April 21, 1903

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 8T 247-251.

    Our position in the world is not what it should be. We are far from what we would have been had our Christian experience been in harmony with the light and the opportunities given us, had we from the beginning constantly pressed onward and upward. Had we walked in the light that has been given us, had we followed on to know the Lord, our path would have grown brighter and brighter. But many of those who have had special light are so conformed to the world that they can scarcely be distinguished from worldlings. They do not stand forth as God’s peculiar people, chosen and precious. It is difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 1

    In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church must be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at an infinite cost, has bestowed on her; if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, “found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 2

    God has prepared joy, peace, love, and glorious triumph for all who serve Him in spirit and in truth. His commandment-keeping people are called and chosen to be in readiness every moment, to receive increased grace and power and increased knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s working. Many are not now able to receive the precious gifts of the Spirit, which God is waiting to communicate to them. They are not reaching higher and still higher for power from on high, that, through the gifts bestowed, they may be recognized as God’s peculiar people, zealous of good works.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 3

    It is God’s design that His people shall be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all around them. It is His design that by exemplifying the truth in their lives, they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God’s people remember that only as they believe and work out the grand principles of the gospel of Christ can He make them a praise in the earth. Only as they use their God-given capabilities in His service will they enjoy the fulness and power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand. If those who claim to believe in Christ as their Saviour reach only the low standard of worldly measurement, the church fails to bear the rich harvest that God expects. “Found wanting,” is written upon her record. [Verse 27.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 4

    Solemn admonitions of warning, manifest in the destruction of dearly cherished facilities for service, say to us, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”—be converted and reformed, even as new converts are. [Revelation 2:5.] Why is there so dim a perception of the true spiritual condition of the church? Are there not standing on the walls of Zion blind watchmen who do not perceive? Are not many unconcerned and well satisfied, as if the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night rested upon the sanctuary? Are there not those in positions of leadership, claiming to know God, who in life and character deny Him? Are there not many who count themselves as His chosen, peculiar people, yet are satisfied to live without the evidence that of a truth God is among them, to save them from Satan’s snares and attacks? Would we not now have much greater light if in the past we had received His admonitions, walked in the light as Christ is in the light, acknowledged His presence, and turned away from all dishonest practices? Then the light of heaven would have shone into the soul-temple, enabling us to comprehend the truth and to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. O how Christ is dishonored by those who, professing to be Christians, disgrace the name they bear by failing to make their lives correspond with their profession, by failing to treat one another with the love and respect that God expects them to reveal in kind words and courteous actions.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 5

    The powers from beneath are stirred with deep intensity. War and bloodshed are the result. The moral atmosphere is poisoned with cruelty and horrible satanic doings. The spirit of strife is spreading; it abounds in every place. Many souls are being taken possession of by the spirit of fraud, of underhand dealing. Many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They do not discern what spirit has taken possession of them.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 6

    One who sees beneath the surface, who reads the hearts of all men, says of those who have had great light, “They are not afflicted and astonished because of their moral and spiritual condition.” The prophet says, “Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them.” [Isaiah 66:3, 4.] “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,” “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” “but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:11, 10, 12.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 7

    The heavenly Teacher inquired, “What stronger delusion can beguile the mind, than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation, and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things on a worldly policy, and, regardless of the Bible standard, are sinning against the law of Jehovah, which guards the interests of every being for whom Christ has given His life? O, it is a great deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possession of minds when men who have once known the truth mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof; when they suppose that they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, when they are poor and in need of everything.”18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 8

    God has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments spotless. But many are crying, “Peace and safety,” while sudden destruction is coming upon them. [1 Thessalonians 5:3.] Unless there is thorough repentance, unless men humble their hearts by confession, and receive the truth as it is in Jesus, they will never enter heaven. When purification shall take place in our ranks, we shall no longer rest at ease and boast of being rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 9

    Who can truthfully say, “Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted from the world”? [See Revelation 3:18; James 1:27.] I saw our great Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the spotted, defiled garments beneath. The corruption was unbearable. Then He said to me, “Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character?” “How is the faithful city become an harlot!” [Isaiah 1:21.] “My Father’s house” made “an house of merchandise,” a place whence the divine Presence and glory have departed! [John 2:16.] For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 10

    Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, repents and is converted, she will eat the fruit of her own doings, until she shall abhor herself. When she refuses the evil and chooses the good; when she seeks God with all humility of mind and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. Then she will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements and showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then the men and women composing the church will be the chosen of God, His pleasant portion, His representatives, precious in His sight.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 11

    The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, a spirit of prayer will actuate every member of the church; and this spirit of intercession will cleanse from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Members who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another. One member working in right lines will lead other members to unite with him in making intercession for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all the members will be in harmony with the mind of the Holy Spirit, which imbues the whole being and impresses the mind to pray in accordance with the will of God.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 12

    All barriers separating mind from mind will be broken down, and God’s servants will speak the same things. This unity is a gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that belongs to God’s children. The Lord will co-operate with His servants. All will pray understandingly the prayer that Christ taught His disciples: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10.] The groanings and the longings of the Spirit are the expression of the intercession of Christ in behalf of His people, according to the will of God. They come from God and are returned to Him in silent and in audible prayer.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 13

    The Power of Prayer

    Moses said, “I beseech Thee, Show me Thy glory.” “And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. ...18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 14

    “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” [Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6-8.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 15

    Those who through the enlightenment of God’s Spirit receive a correct idea of their sinfulness will feel a deep abasement and humility of soul. They will not vindicate their course, nor will they strive to belittle the wrongs they have done, making light of their departure from right principles by evasion or by falsehood. So long as a man has no sense of God’s presence, so long he will seek to excuse and vindicate his course. But the moment that a man sees God as He is, that moment, in the reflected light, he sees himself as he is. In the light of God’s presence the erring and sinful see their peril and their sin. Realizing the fulness of God’s love, they humble themselves and accept mercy and pardon through Christ Jesus.18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 16

    Listen to Daniel’s confession. The Lord had spoken of him as a man greatly beloved of God; and yet what does Daniel say?—“I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” [Daniel 9:3-6.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 17

    The Lord heard this prayer. Its intensity and earnestness drew Daniel nearer and still nearer to God. The assurance came to him that God would answer his prayer. The simple petitions of a child of God may be uttered in broken sentences, as in the fulness of his heart, he unloads his burdened mind, casting his helpless soul upon the Burden-bearer. To every such a one Christ says, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 18

    “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 32, 1903, par. 19

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