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Manuscript Releases, vol. 11 [Nos. 851-920]

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    MR No. 909—Attending and Acting in Theatrical Performances

    Dear Sister,

    We had some conversation in reference to your accompanying your daughters to the theater. Last night I was commissioned to speak to you, saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). [2 Corinthians 6:14-18 quoted.]11MR 334.1

    My sister, you are to be connected with Jesus Christ. Our Saviour, in His example, has led the way which every sinner who turns from sin must follow. By taking the requisite steps—in conversion, in repentance, in faith, and baptism—he is to fulfill all righteousness. Christ has shown that repentance, faith, and baptism are the steps that all must take if they would follow His example. All who in obedience to Christ's command follow in this ordinance, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, signify that they are dead to the world. They are buried in the likeness of Christ's death, and raised again from the water in the likeness of His resurrection. Says the apostle Paul: [Colossians 3:1-4 quoted].11MR 334.2

    Christ is the light of the world. All who are born into the kingdom of God, Christ adopts into the household of faith. If you have been converted, then the whole tenor of your life is changed. You have been convicted by the Word of God. You have accepted unpopular truth. But now comes your danger. As a mother you have not felt your responsibility to so educate and train your children that they would consider themselves a part of the family firm, to take hold with their mother in their education and become efficient in learning a trade. This is essential for practical life, and this is work that devolves upon the parents. They are to educate and train their children in this probationary time, that they may not remain in disobedience and transgression, standing under the banner of the prince of darkness, and uniting their God-given powers with the enemy of righteousness.11MR 334.3

    My sister, you have decidedly failed in the duties which every mother should do in the fear of God, in training her children to lift with her the burdens that come with every child that is born into the family. You have a work to do even now, and God will help you if you will take up your work in your home life. Your children are God's property, and they should not be left to become estranged from Him. True, you have had large odds to contend with, but you have not maintained the surrender you made of yourself to the Lord. Had you followed on to know the Lord, you would have better understood what it means to give up your way and will to the Lord. But the temptation and snare of the enemy came to your children, and through them to yourself, and as a family you are in constant peril of the loss of your souls.11MR 335.1

    Had you, my sister, followed on to know the Lord, you would during this period of time have had enlightenment from the Sun of Righteousness. Your only safety lay in following in His footsteps. But in not decidedly taking your stand to give no sanction by your presence to the theatrical performance of your children, you have encouraged them in their choice of the use they have made of their talents. Their capabilities and power belong to God, but they are not now being used to gather with Christ. All their talents were lent them to use to the honor and the glory of God, that they might win souls away from everything that pertains to this class of fascinating amusement that absorbs the mind and draws it away from God and from heavenly things. But they have not had an experimental knowledge of what is truth. The principles of truth have never been stamped upon their souls. The deceptive temptation that they can be a blessing to the world while serving as actresses is a delusion and a snare, not only to themselves, but to your own soul. Said Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” Can the Lord Jesus Christ accept these theatrical exhibitions as service done for Him? Can He be glorified thereby? No. All this kind of work is done in the service of another leader.11MR 335.2

    My sister, you cannot have an experimental knowledge of the love of God in the soul, and the joy of true obedience to your Lord, who has bought you and your family with the price of His own blood, while you join yourself to these things. Your family do not understand as do you the reasons of the faith that leads away from all such pursuits. You can never be free in Jesus Christ and yet have a divided heart. My sister, you need now to consider that your influence in accompanying your daughters to the theater is decidedly against Christ. He declares that “he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).11MR 336.1

    The Word of God is free. Under its hallowed power of influence you may with the disciple John say, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus you may cooperate with God in saving many souls to Christ. You may be a savor of life unto life by becoming a living influence in your family to save them from Satan's deceptive snares. But if you are not steadfast, rooted and grounded in the truth, self-delusion will place you where God cannot use you as a vessel unto honor. The light that comes from God is the light which guides the human soul to God, and the Lord calls for every power He has lent the human agent to be exercised strenuously on Christ's side of the question, to rescue the souls deceived and infatuated with just such service as your daughters have entered upon—to amuse and delight the senses and endeavor to supply a necessity in which Christ has no part.11MR 336.2

    You can see, my dear sister, that the blessing which attends the cheerful, consecrated sons and daughters of God cannot be realized by those who work with a divided heart. You do not feel the freedom, the rest, and the joy of believing in Christ because your mind is largely taken up with worthless things. Your work, and the work that God has given your children to do, you are not doing. They have consented to work up a counter-attraction that has no Christ in it.11MR 337.1

    If the truth as it is in Jesus is brought into actual contact with the souls that are ready to perish, it will produce good works. The talents of your daughters should be brought into the home life to make a model home. They should use their God-given powers to reform, to restore, and to bring order and discipline and sound principles into the home life. This would be the beginning of the work represented in the Word of God as bringing to the foundation gold and silver and precious stones, which are imperishable. This work will bring the approval of God. Angels of God in the heavenly courts would rejoice to see such a work done.11MR 337.2

    The “form of sound words” is to be prized, for it leads to right actions. The souls of your children cost the greatest sacrifice our God could make. He gave His Son to die that they might not perish. They have souls that Jesus loves. But if they follow a course of disregard for the truth and the commandments of God, they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. If they accept the only One who can save them from ruin, He will accept them and their service. And angels of God will be their escorts as they use their powers in guiding lost and perishing souls to a haven of rest. The power of the truth will elevate the nature, refine the taste, sanctify the judgment, and give them characters after the divine similitude. They will become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.11MR 337.3

    There is an abundance of theatrical performances in our world, but in its highest order it is without God. We need now to point souls to the uplifted Saviour. Deceptions, impositions, and every evil work are in our world. Satan, the wily foe in angel's garments, is working to deceive and destroy. The object of the death of Christ was to declare His righteousness, and no man, woman or child can do this in his own strength, or by his own words.11MR 338.1

    Paul declared: [Ephesians 3:8-11 quoted]. To make known “unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places ... the manifold wisdom of God.” Righteousness is made known in that manifold wisdom, for nothing that is unrighteous can be wise. The wisdom of God and the power of God are waiting every human agency. God desires that we shall put to the tax every spiritual nerve and muscle, that we shall strive for an entrance into that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. All who win eternal life will arm themselves for the conflict against every influence that would obstruct the way. They must bring their minds up to noble and elevated thoughts. While they offer humble prayer to God, they are to search to know what is truth.11MR 338.2

    Does my sister place herself in a position where the Lord can come close to her to manifest His presence? What do the angels see in your house on the Sabbath day? All who become members of the heavenly family will have a philosophy and faith that is founded on a true faith in Jesus Christ. His life alone is to be our guide. His life, His attributes, are to become woven into all our life and all our works. God speaks from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him.”11MR 338.3

    Christ did not come into the world to disparage education, for He Himself was the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. Christ came to call the minds of His redeemed people to learn of Him. He will sanctify the human talents that are employed for His glory. He came to make human learning strong and pure and ennobling, and of such a character that He could commend. He came to give it a foundation upon which to stand—a knowledge of Himself. Christ declared, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). He came to give every specification of the law a depth and meaning which the Pharisees had never seen nor understood. Christ is the originator of all the deep thoughts of true philosophy, of every line of that education that will be retained through sanctification of the spirit. True education is that which will not be left behind when He shall come to be admired in all them that believe.11MR 339.1

    Every member of your family is deciding his own destiny. Those who will be rewarded with the gift of eternal life in the kingdom of God will be those who are learning here of the great Teacher. You do not have peace and joy because you have not consecrated yourself to God. To you the voice of your children is above the voice of Jesus Christ, and in not taking your stand firmly you are being led away from God and His holy requirements. In becoming their escort and companion to go where they choose, you are making yourself one with them. You endorse the ambitious enterprise that is perverting their talents so that God cannot sanctify them. And the food you thus give to your soul, in seeing and hearing, is making its impression upon the mind. Should the heavenly intelligences offer you the bread of heaven, you would have no relish for it.11MR 339.2

    Just that which you give your soul to feed upon will determine the character of your experience. If you place yourself in objectionable positions where the Lord is not honored or glorified, you disqualify yourself for enjoying wholesome, heavenly instruction that would make you wise unto salvation. You are bought with a price. The plan of salvation is so vast that it brings into action the attributes of the divine nature.11MR 340.1

    If we will let Him, the Lord by His Holy Spirit will put every part of our entrusted capabilities into His service. He will cause us to feel our deep need of the grace of Christ, that we may feel His love constraining us to declare that, could we multiply our powers a thousandfold, they should all be invested in the work and cause of God. Our testimony would be, “Of Thine own we give Thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14). When we have a soul hunger for Christ, we shall be filled with His fullness.11MR 340.2

    My sister, I have an intense interest that you shall have the rich manna of heaven upon which to feed. Read the sixth chapter of John. You are choosing whom you will serve. If you keep before your eyes and in your ears the transactions of the theater, you will find in your heart no soul hunger for God. It is a question of life or death with you. The Lord has appointed means whereby you may gain spiritual strength and comfort. But if you close the door of your heart to the rays of light from the throne of God and give your mind to the performances of the stage, you can have no peace, no joy, no hope. Gradually you have been losing the spirit of assurance. Your love for Bible religion is dying out. You cannot serve God with a divided heart.11MR 340.3

    I have a message for your daughters: You are not feeding upon the bread which came down from heaven, but upon husks. All the praise and glory you receive from human beings is of no value. Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Christ, the Sent of God, gave His life a sacrifice that the world might have a second probation in which to return to their loyalty to God. When Christ was threatened by His foes, He said, “My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). It is not My mission to recognize caste and human theories, or to establish political interests. My kingdom is not to be set up by the power of human armies or the sword. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My soldiers fight. No human power can weaken or overthrow My kingdom through the enemies of God.”11MR 341.1

    Who are the subjects of the kingdom of heaven? Daniel tells the world the name by which they shall be called. “The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:18). And Paul writes to the Philippians: [Philippians 1:1, 9-11; Ephesians 2:18-22 quoted].11MR 341.2

    All who are enrolled as citizens of the heavenly country are required that their behavior shall be such as the gospel of Christ can approve. And it is our privilege to claim the rights and privileges of subjects of the kingdom of heaven. But to everyone who accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, He says, “Come out from among them [the world] and be ye separate.” We are to conform to the Lord's requirements, and not disgrace our citizenship before the angels of heaven or before men. We are to render to God cheerful service. Christ does not speak to those who are no more to wrestle with temptation; who are not in any danger of being drawn away from Christ and overcome by the wiles of Satan, when He says: “Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ.... Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; ... For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:27, 29). There is to be no strife or vainglory, no selfishness or murmuring, no disputing, nothing impure or dishonest found in the characters of the followers of Christ.—Letter 58a, 1898, pp. 1-11. (To Mrs. Gorick, July, 1898. Copied July 19, 1898.)11MR 341.3

    White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    December 10, 1981.

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