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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 142, 1903

    White, J. E.

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    July 12, 1903

    Previously unpublished. +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.

    My dear son Edson,—

    I received your letter yesterday and read it with interest. I look favorably upon the proposition that you make regarding the republication of the sketch of my early experiences. I think I have the book to which you refer. Its republication would help to revive the spirit that went with the message in the early days.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 1

    Now is our time to work. Satan reads the signs of the times. He works with all his energy to weaken the faith of the congregation of Israel in the part that the messengers of God have acted from 1844 down to the present time. Anything that will strengthen the faith of those who have not had an experience in the giving of these messages will be a wise investment. The faith of many is shaken by the position of men who, though occupying important positions in the work of God, are not following Christ, the Leader of the people of God.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 2

    I will leave the matters referred to in your letter, regarding the publication of my books, to Elder Butler and my two sons. Willie will have reached Battle Creek before this time, I suppose. He wrote me a few lines almost every day of his journey, knowing that it would relieve my mind to hear from him.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 3

    Our Work

    I have been impressed to write something regarding the work of the people of God for this time. Just before His ascension Christ said to the disciples, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have said unto you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 4

    “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up fiery serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:15-20.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 5

    These plain directions are given to us as well as to the disciples. They outline our work. To us, as Christ’s witnesses, has been assigned a special work. We are to reveal the character of God to a world lying in sin. How many are doing this work? How many are living Christ before the world? What can our listless church members say in regard to the way in which they have fulfilled the commission given them?18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 6

    Let all church members study the thirteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of John. “And now come I to Thee,” Christ says, “and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 7

    It was Christ’s joy to see souls converted. This joy will fill the hearts of His witnesses as they give themselves to the work for which He gave His life.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 8

    “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] But there are so many who will not consecrate themselves to His work. They are not willing to be husbandmen and carpenters for the Lord. They are not willing to sow the seeds of truth in the human heart, or to teach those newly won to the truth how to build for time and for eternity.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 9

    God calls upon believers to put forth personal efforts for souls, as those who must render an account to God. He says to them, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 10

    How do believers abide in Christ?—By faith, love, and obedience. Christ abides in them, through the Holy Spirit, as the source of spiritual life and power.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 11

    Holding Forth the Word of Life

    Speaking of Christ, Paul says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:9-11.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 12

    If all who believe in Christ would thus honor Him, what an influence would go forth from the church! The members would bear the fruit of good works. They would indeed be lights in the world. The difference between them and worldlings would be so plainly marked that it would be seen by all.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 13

    Paul continues, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Be afraid lest in word or deed you shall misrepresent the name of Christian. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Verses 12, 13.] Be cheerful, but not trifling. In the life of the Christian there is to be no jesting or joking, no irreverence, no selfishness—nothing that would make Jesus ashamed to own him as His follower. Pursue a course that will honor Christ, the One who works with every soul who bears fruit to His glory.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 14

    “Do all things without murmurings or disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Verses 14-16.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 15

    Few realize that upon them rests the responsibility of revealing Christ in every phase of character. Many of those who are church members do not honor Christ. They do not hold forth the Word of life. They do not cherish the pure, holy principles that would constitute them missionaries for Christ. Their defective characters are a hindrance to the advancement of the work of God. Many do not see the sinfulness of murmuring and disputing. While they cherish unchristlike traits of character, they cannot bear anything but diseased, corrupt fruit which will contaminate like the leprosy.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 16

    The faith of those who profess to follow Christ, but who do not obey the principles of the gospel, is of no value. It needs to be changed for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. It is the unsavory words and the untrained, unchristlike characters of the members that make the church so weak in spiritual power. The gospel inculcates humility, kindness, benevolence. Its fruit is palatable and refreshing. Unless those who claim to believe the Bible bring the principles of the Bible into the daily life, they are only drawbacks to those who long to be right and to do right.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 17

    How to Gain Spiritual Strength

    Those who receive and practice the truth will be as lights shining amidst the darkness of the world. Their lives reveal virtues that are a savor of life unto life. This is what Christ means when He says, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father”—He guards them on this point—“save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father.” [John 6:45, 46.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 18

    Christ teaches by His Word, His Spirit, His providences, leading those who are willing to be led to a right comprehension of what is truth, and teaching them to see the importance of obeying the Word of God; for it is truth.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 19

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. ... I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” [Verses 47, 51, 53, 54.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 20

    This is the gift that God has made to the world—the gift of His Son. It is His design that His children shall be partakers of the divine nature. Believing in Christ, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, they reveal Him to the world. They show that Christ’s principles are their principles. They gain spiritual strength because Christ supplied them with nourishment. A living union with Christ supplies the necessities of the soul just as the physical food we eat supplies the necessities of the body.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 21

    “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread that came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever. ... It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verses 57, 58, 63.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 22

    Those who have a living connection with Christ will not be among those who are neither cold nor hot, those who are building characters after the pattern of the world. But many of those who profess to believe in Christ must have an experience altogether different from the experience that they now have, or they will never see the King in His beauty. Their lives show that they are not partakers of the divine nature. Their characters do not represent Christ’s character. Should they gain admittance into heaven, they would not choose to remain. They would not be happy there. They do not on this earth find happiness in communion with Christ.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 23

    The Lord desires all to gain the reward of obedience—eternal life. I plead with those who hear this message to be sure that their practice is in harmony with their profession. He who professes to be a Christian, and yet lives the life of a sinner, must suffer with the transgressors of God’s law.18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 24

    My heart is drawn out in love for every soul. I tremble when I think of how many there are who are doing no service for the Master. Their one thought is to please themselves. How many souls they might have been the means of saving if they had believed in Jesus as their personal Saviour! They know the truth, but they cling to their sins as if they were precious jewels with which they could not part. Unless they turn from their idols, placing the service of Christ before all else, they will lose eternal life. O that they would heed the command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.]18LtMs, Lt 142, 1903, par. 25

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