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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 47, 1903

    Gilbert, F. C.

    Oakland, California

    March 28, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 152-155.

    My dear brother,—

    I read your letter this morning. It is full of rich things, which encourage and bless.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 1

    We came to Oakland last Monday to attend the General Conference. The Conference proper does not open until Friday, but the preliminary councils had already begun when we arrived. In this meeting there will be many important questions to consider. We shall require the wisdom that God alone can give. We have been praying that the Lord will richly bestow His grace upon us. We need His leadership at every step. We must follow closely in the footprints of Jesus. He says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] I have been deeply impressed that there must be much less talk, much less criticism, and much more earnest soul-hunger for the words of Bible truth.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 2

    Our clearest conceptions cannot reach to a full understanding of the things of God. But I know that there is much more knowledge for us if we will only seek for it by faith, believing the promises. We are too easily satisfied with a little. If we overcome in the battle with the powers of darkness, we must daily receive light and grace from on high. Before we can fulfil the requirements of God, we must receive power from the Source of all power.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 3

    We are not merely to enjoy selfishly the contemplation of heavenly things. We are to grasp much that, to those who are weak in faith, we may speak words that will encourage them to press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. We must gather divine instruction from the teachings of our Lord, that we may flash light upon the pathway of those who are struggling against what seem to them to be insurmountable difficulties. We must reach out for refined, elevated, ennobling language with which to express spiritual ideas.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 4

    Christ is to be our Example in all things. He clothed His divinity with humanity and came to this earth to be afflicted in all points on which human beings are afflicted. He has passed through the experience through which we are called to pass. But there is one experience through which He has never passed—the experience of sinning. It is because, though tempted in all points like as we are, He was yet without sin, that He is able to succor those that are tempted. The divine-human Sin-bearer—He can take away our sins.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 5

    The thought is too great for our comprehension. O how honored we are in having a Saviour who can save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. “Unto the uttermost”—these words comprehend and include all. [Hebrews 7:25.]18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 6

    The Lord Jesus can communicate to us spiritual truths that no words of ours can adequately express. The brightness of the celestial world, the splendor and joy of the Christian’s hope, which make our hearts glow within us, we can but feebly portray.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 7

    The apostle Paul was taken to the third heaven, and while there was given a view of celestial things. When he returned to a consciousness of earthly things, he found that it was impossible for him to describe the enrapturing scenes that had passed before him. But he kept in his soul the wonderful picture of what he had seen.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 8

    So long as God gives me power to speak to our people, I shall continue to call upon parents to leave the cities and get homes in the country where they can cultivate the soil and learn from the book of nature the lessons of purity and simplicity. The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers given to us to teach us spiritual truths. They speak to us of the love of God and declare the wisdom of the great Master-artist.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 9

    I love the beautiful flowers. They are memories of Eden pointing to the blessed country into which, if faithful, we shall soon enter. The Lord is leading my mind to the health-giving properties of the flowers and trees.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 10

    How wonderful the lesson taught by the water lily which, growing amidst debris and driftwood, strikes its channeled stem and roots downward to the sand beneath and upon the bosom of the lake opens its flowers of spotless purity and loveliness.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 11

    The heavens declare the glory of God. The stars speak of Him. The sun, the ruler of the day and the moon, with its softer light, declare His glory.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 12

    We are to look through nature to nature’s God. Let us open our hearts to understand the lessons of these teachers. To those who are in touch with God, the works of His hands speak of the kingdom that is eternal in the heavens. Let us enter by faith the holy of holies, and hold communion with our heavenly Father and with our Redeemer, the Saviour of sinners, who will wash us and make us white in His blood.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 13

    As the things of nature show their appreciation of the Master-worker by doing their best to beautify the earth and to represent God’s perfection, so human beings should strive in their sphere to represent God’s perfection, allowing Him to work out through them His purposes of justice, mercy, and goodness.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 14

    This world is our school—a school of discipline and training. We are placed here to form characters like the character of Christ and to acquire the habits and the language of the higher life. Influences opposed to good abound on every side. The developments of sin are becoming so full, so deep, so abhorrent to God, that soon He will arise in majesty to shake terribly the earth. So artful are the plans of the enemy, so specious the complications that he brings about, that those who are weak in the faith cannot discern his deceptions. They fall into the snares prepared by Satan, who works through human instrumentalities to deceive if possible the very elect. Only those who are closely connected with God will be able to discern the falsehoods and the intrigues of the enemy.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 15

    There are in this world only two classes, those who serve God, and those who stand under the black banner of the prince of darkness. Those who enter the gates of the city of God must in this world live in union with Christ.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 16

    The principles of God’s government—the only principles that will endure from everlasting to everlasting—are to be followed by those who are seeking for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The line of demarcation between those who serve God and those who serve Him not is to be kept clear and distinct.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 17

    Think of the glory awaiting those who overcome! They will see the face of Him in whose presence there is fulness of joy and at whose right hand there are pleasures for ever more.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 18

    Let us allow God to control our minds. Let us not say or do anything that will turn a fellow being from the right way.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 19

    I feel very sad as I think of how few there are who show that they have tasted the deep blessedness of communion with a risen, ascended Saviour. Men of the world are striving for the supremacy. God’s followers are to keep Christ ever in view, inquiring, Is this the way of the Lord? A holy desire to live the life of Christ is to fill our hearts. In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 20

    O that our people could realize what advantages would be theirs if they would look constantly to Jesus! “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] He is our Alpha and our Omega. Pressing close to His side and holding communion with Him, we become like Him. Through the transforming power of the Spirit of Christ, we are changed in heart and life. His words are engraven on the tablets of the soul, and we are His witnesses representing Him in the daily life.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 21

    Such a life is the only true religious life. It is only by living this life that we can form Christlike characters.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 22

    Many claim to be religious. But it is quite another thing to be a true Christian. Paul was a religious man before his conversion. Afterward, he was a Christian. The Saviour revealed Himself to Paul, and Paul was converted. Ever after, Christ was to him the chiefest among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 23

    I am much encouraged by your letter. It has been a strange thing to me that there were so few who felt a burden to labor for the Jewish people, who are scattered throughout so many lands. Christ will be with you as you strive to strengthen your perceptive faculties, that you may more clearly behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. The slumbering faculties of the Jewish people are to be aroused. The Old Testament Scriptures, blending with the New, will be to them as the dawning of a new creation, or as the resurrection of the soul. Memory will be awakened as Christ is seen portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament. Souls will be saved from the Jewish nation as the doors of the New Testament are unlocked with the key of the Old Testament. Christ will be recognized as the Saviour of the world, as it is seen how clearly the New Testament explains the Old. Many of the Jewish people will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer. To them the words will be fulfilled, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.] They will be changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. They will be made partakers of the divine nature. The image of divinity will be stamped on their souls. If they will continue to learn of Christ, they will attain to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 24

    O that many of the Jewish people may open the chambers of the mind, and let the light of heaven shine in to irradiate the whole being.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 25

    I am glad that you are so successful in your work. I pray that God will work with all of us. Let us gain strength by exercising increased faith, moving onward and upward step by step, from victory to victory.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 26

    Be of good courage in the Lord. May He continue to bless you, as He has blessed you in the past, is my prayer.18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 27

    Your sister in the faith and in the love of the truth18LtMs, Lt 47, 1903, par. 28

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