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Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135] - Contents
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    MR No. 1094—Leaders to be Under the Discipline of God; Christ's Power can Transform Human Nature

    (Written January 2, 1894, from Melbourne, Australia, to Jacob Christiansen, captain of the mission ship Pitcairn.)

    I send you a copy of the letter written to a brother in New Zealand. I have endeavored to press this matter through although there has been much going on in moving from the school building to the campground five miles from there. The camp meeting grounds are six times as large as the grounds upon which we held our meeting in Wellington, and there are more than six times as many campers on the ground. Thus far our meetings have been excellent. There is a good, cheerful spirit manifested. Oh, that the Lord would manifest His power in this meeting!14MR 76.1

    My brother, I did not feel altogether free to let you continue your voyage without writing to you upon some important points in regard to your attitude, and with regard to the feelings you manifested upon the vessel. If you had realized that Jesus Christ was on that vessel as a witness to every word spoken by you, if you had realized that every action was registered in the books of heaven, would you have said and done the things which you have said and done? I am sure you would not. Did you take into consideration that you had on board that vessel the messengers who were to bear a message as God's missionaries to the people who sit in darkness?14MR 76.2

    If the angels of God had not exercised a restraining power upon you, you would have gone to great lengths, because Satan was working with you and manifesting his attributes through you. Notwithstanding your capabilities as captain upon the high seas, and that you hold a responsible position in the vessel under your command, yet it will not be safe to trust the missionaries who have ventured their lives to go to the islands of the sea to be laborers together with God in seeking to save perishing souls, to one who is not fully under the control of the Spirit of God. The enemy is determined to destroy those who will bear the truth to the ignorant and the unenlightened. Missionaries will have enough to bear without having to encounter the spirit of the one who stood as commander of the vessel. You had it in your power to make it very disagreeable for those laborers, but it was your duty to make it as pleasant as possible.14MR 77.1

    My brother, your soul is precious, yet from the light which God has given me I know that however great and perfect may be your knowledge of navigation, yet there are other things you need to learn. You need to listen to the words of Jesus, where He says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest: ... for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”14MR 77.2

    Did you not realize that there was a higher Captain over that vessel? Did you not realize that there was One who was witnessing your words and actions which were certainly an offense to God? Would you count yourself safe in a vessel upon the high seas in charge of a commander that did not exercise self-control, and who would at times act as if insane? Had you carried out that which Satan put into your mind, and executed your threats upon the servants of God, there would have been interference on the part of Heaven; for ministering angels were guarding the men who had taken their lives in their hands in order to cross the broad waters and speak the words of life to those who were ready to perish.14MR 77.3

    My brother, never feel that it is a light matter to change captains and forsake Jesus, your true and safe Commander, and sail under false colors. You must take Jesus on board. If you expect to be respected, you must yourself respect your Commander. You will always be exposed to circumstances that are not pleasant while in this world. Satan will present himself to you in order that you may choose him as your commander.14MR 78.1

    The selection of the crew has been unwise; for it is not fitting that godless men should compose the crew of the Pitcairn, or work in any position of responsibility among the missionaries that are sent on their mission to the islands. These evil men bring evil angels with them, and thus a channel of communication is opened between them and the chief revolter. Satan will use such men to do his bidding. Then he will use them to misrepresent the messengers of truth and to misrepresent the truth of heavenly origin.14MR 78.2

    How entirely inconsistent it is to place Satan's own followers, knowing them to be such, on the Pitcairn. Through arrangements of this kind, evil men are brought to the islands of the sea to work in Satan's lines, and they come in connection with the people who take it for granted that all upon a missionary ship are missionaries; and the evil deeds of these evil men are attributed to the missionary ship, and thus a bad influence is left on the islands because of these followers of Satan. Oh, that our people would be wise!14MR 78.3

    My brother, your influence upon the vessel has been deleterious. The impression upon your mind was not correct, and the impression made upon other minds among the crew was not the right one with regard to the servants of God. You were employed to command the ship, not the men whom the General Conference had selected to go as messengers in the ship. The power that worked upon the imagination was not from heaven.14MR 79.1

    Captain Marsh was one of God's children, dear to His heart. Pray the Lord that your thoughts which were instigated by the powers of darkness, your words which were incited by the adversary, may be forgiven you. Captain Marsh sleeps in Jesus.14MR 79.2

    When Satan puts his spirit upon you, and you act as you have done upon the vessel, you work under his orders, and instead of carrying with you the savor of heaven in your deeds and words, you carry with you a satanic influence. I ask you to consider these matters in a different light than you have done heretofore.14MR 79.3

    If you think that your course of action was the result of the course taken by the ministers who sailed on the vessel, you make a mistake. Some things were not as they should have been. Some words were spoken, some things were done, which were not justifiable under the circumstances, but your mind was wrought upon by the prince of the power of darkness in order that he might accomplish his purpose through you.14MR 79.4

    Your sufferings were not created by the messengers of God, but by the spirit you indulged, by the temper that you permitted to be easily excited, by the jealousy that you cherished. This was the cause of your trouble and the great trouble of others. You allow your mind to get excited and wrought up to a high pitch. Your suppositions in regard to Captain Marsh were unjust and entirely false. Satan excited your imagination to such a degree that matters which have no real foundation became a reality to you.14MR 80.1

    As the matter is presented to me, it is a terrible thing to have a ship's crew under a commander who cannot command himself, who allows Satan to take possession of his thoughts, to control his words, to mold his mind, and to work through him his own evil purposes. The difficulties that have beset your path have been largely created by yourself because you have viewed matters in a wrong light. You thought a certain condition of things existed in reference to the attitude of the messengers of God toward you, which was altogether false. You worked under this false impression, and your reason was unbalanced. Your jealousy was aroused, and you imagined the men on board the vessel were not favorable to you. In order to please you, some of the crew who should have known better helped on the matter by apparently sustaining you. You sustained them in their error, but you were not right in so doing.14MR 80.2

    Your uncontrollable spirit must be overcome, and you must be transformed in character and give evidence that you see your mistakes and are correcting them, else it will be unsafe for you to be placed in this position of grave responsibility. There is too much involved in this to have matters continue as they are. A man is not fit to be a commander unless he himself is under the discipline of God.14MR 81.1

    Behold the perfection of Christ, who possessed all the attributes of the Godhead and all the perfections and excellencies of humanity. He is our example. You must learn Christ's way, for it is the only way that will qualify you to carry on the work that Christ left His disciples to do. Christ has an intense affection for His purchased possession, and He has manifested it in dying for the world.14MR 81.2

    The love of Christ to God was always glowing, and His love for the world is beyond any computation. He lived not to please Himself, but He prepared Himself to endure without complaint self-denial, self-sacrifice, scorn, and hatred, in order that He might represent the Father's love for man, and remove the impression that Satan had given that God was severe and required more of men than they were capable of giving.14MR 81.3

    Jesus lived the character of God. He was willing to be, or to do, or to suffer anything in order to save men from eternal death. He condemned sin that He might not be compelled finally to condemn the sinner. Jesus bore the penalty of death in order that the sinner might not suffer this terrible consequence, and made an atonement for us.14MR 81.4

    There is no excuse for envy, fault-finding, jealousy, sin, and iniquity, for Christ has made every provision that he who believes in Him as his personal Saviour shall be saved from sin. Christ was manifested to take away our sins, and to give His grace in ample abundance to His followers in order that they may not sin. We are not to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Oh, what marvelous condescension on the part of God, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God made Christ the great sin offering to save fallen man. Every man and every woman who gives himself or herself to Jesus to use his entrusted ability to be a laborer together with God is sacred to the heart of Jesus Christ. He identified His interest with them in a special manner. He says to all, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”14MR 82.1

    Those who cannot comprehend the work of the men who are to bear the message of mercy to those in heathen lands should not be placed in connection with the missionaries of God. Oh, that everyone who has a knowledge of the truth would cherish that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Christ came to our world to identify His interest with that of suffering humanity.14MR 82.2

    The sinful nature of man was weak, and he was prone to the transgression of God's commandments. Man had not the power to do the words of God; that is why Christ came to our world, that He might give him moral power. There was no power in heaven or in earth but the power of Christ that could deliver from the [sentence illegible in original]. He came to meet the difficulty and to remove it. His own arm brought salvation. God sent forth His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh that He might condemn sin in the flesh and reveal the fact to heaven, to the worlds unfallen and also the fallen world, that through the power of divine grace, through partaking of the divine nature, man need no longer stand under the curse of the law or remain in transgression.14MR 82.3

    The nature of Christ was a combination of the divine and the human. Having all the attributes of God, He also represented the excellencies of humanity and showed that all who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour will perfect a character after Christ's likeness, and be qualified to become laborers together with God. By precept and example He uplifts those who are depraved, for through the virtues of Jesus Christ he has become the son of God. His life is like Christ's life, his work is like Christ's work, and he will not fail nor be discouraged, because he is vitalized by the Spirit and power of Jesus Christ.14MR 83.1

    Christ is the Son of God in deed and in truth and in love, and is the representative of the Father as well as the representative of the human race. His arm brought salvation. He took humanity, was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and submitted to all the temptations wherewith man would be beset. He showed in the great controversy with Satan that He was fully able to remove the stigma and discount the degradation of sin which Satan has placed upon the human family. By taking humanity and combining it with divinity, He was able to meet every demand of the law of God, to overcome every objection which Satan had made prominent as standing in the way of man's obedience to God's commandments.14MR 83.2

    Satan placed before the world that the only hope of salvation was in getting rid of the law of God. But Christ came to make it plain that it was sin, the transgression of the law, that was to be abolished, in order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.14MR 84.1

    Jesus, the Spotless and Pure, was treated as a sinner when He was found in the likeness of sinful flesh, in order that the believing and repentant sinner might be treated as righteous. As the light of truth should come to the soul, revealing the sacred, holy, immutable character of the law, the believer was to place his feet in the path of obedience. Thus was he to be justified and sanctified.14MR 84.2

    The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him. The Lord has provided that we should always be under the teaching and influence of the Holy Spirit. We shall then discover that the law of God is holy, just, and good, and we would learn to delight in the law of God. We love the requirements of the law, and from our hearts render obedience to its requirements.14MR 84.3

    Through the influence of the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, and this comprehends the whole duty of man. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, for to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself is the fulfilling of the law. When all malice, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness are cleansed from the soul temple, the vacuum is supplied with kindness, patience, longsuffering, benevolence, and love. The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us.14MR 84.4

    Christ came to our world to elevate humanity, to renew in man the image of God, that man might become the partaker of the divine nature. Jesus gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith causes us to become as a branch grafted into the true Vine. The Majesty of heaven gave His life to make us individually His own by bringing back the transgressor to his loyalty to God's law, by turning away the sinner from his iniquity. Oh, that men would love and fear God!14MR 85.1

    Jesus says: [John 17:20-23, quoted]. How Jesus leads our minds out to take more and more extensive views of the privileges and advantages that have been provided for man in coming in close relationship with Christ! The believer may bear the testimony in his life and character that God loves the human agent who obeys His commands as He loves His Son. How amazing is this statement—almost beyond the comprehension of the finite mind! Jesus says further, “I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” [Verse 26].14MR 85.2

    Can we read these words and not discern the value which Christ has placed upon the human agent who has entirely surrendered to Him? He has made provision that “we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life” [Luke 1:74, 75]. Always “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” we are delivered from the devices of evil men and evil angels, and we seek to break the bonds of sin and Satan. [1 Peter 1:1-12, quoted.]14MR 85.3

    God has given to the world and to angels the evidence of the changeless character of His love. He would part with His only begotten Son, send Him into the world, clothed in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and to die upon Calvary's cross to make it manifest to men that there is provision in the counsels of heaven for those who believe in Christ, to keep the commandments of God. Aside from Christ, man cannot in spirit and in truth keep one of the commandments of God, but in Christ Jesus the claims of the law are met, because He transforms the nature of man by His grace, creates in the heart a new spiritual life, implants a holy nature, and men become Christlike in character.14MR 86.1

    I have written this out definitely and simply in order that my words may not be misunderstood. May the Lord apply the truth to your heart, and may it work to purify your character, that with the mind you may serve the Lord God and be loved by the Father as He loves His obedient Son, is the prayer of Ellen G. White14MR 86.2

    [P.S.] Brother Christiansen, in the night season I was talking with you. The Lord has given me a message for you. I had been writing to a brother whose case had been presented to me, and after writing to him, I was informed by my guide that your case was similar to his, and that I was to bear a message to you also. Words were spoken to me which were to be impressed upon your mind. You were to be informed of the fact that the grace of God was provided in ample measure for you to obtain victories over all sin, that you might have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. I commit to you this message in the name of Jesus who has given me this work to do in saving perishing souls.—Letter 11a, 1894.14MR 86.3

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    September 27, 1984.

    Entire Letter.

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