Larger font
Smaller font
Manuscript Releases, vol. 13 [Nos. 1000-1080] - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    MR No. 1044—Deficiencies and Mistakes of Gospel Workers not to be Publicized

    I received your present of the book entitled Life in Christ [Life Only in Christ], and thank you for the gift. I have been so overloaded with cares and responsibilities, having had so much writing and speaking to do, that I have not yet had time to read the book. Since coming to Granville, we have had to take a circuit, dividing up our labors among different churches, and going from one to another from week to week, in order to do our duty to all. I have been worn, and sometimes much prostrated with overwork. At these times the Lord is my only trust. I can look to Him, and to Him alone, to help and strengthen me, and I know He does strengthen me.13MR 269.1

    Large fields are opening before us. We no sooner begin to lift the standard of truth in one of the highways or byways than new fields open up in regions beyond, but the messengers whom God has sent to proclaim the last message of mercy to our world are continually confronted with obstacles. Satan and evil men are combined together, to work disaster, deception, and ruin.13MR 269.2

    I have had an experience for some weeks which has been very trying to me. I have been passing through scene after scene in connection with the people of God, and twice in the night season I have been in meetings where our people were assembled and the power of God was upon me. I was compelled to speak with decision and power the substance of the things which I have written. Some were expressing sentiments that were not of a character to lead the people of God from light to increased light, but were of a character to confuse minds, and to weave about them a net of perplexity and discouragement. They were in danger of sowing seeds of unbelief in the minds of the people that when under temptation might germinate and spring up into roots of bitterness, whereby many may be defiled.13MR 269.3

    It is possible to relate that which has happened in connection with the past experience of the people of God, and so relate it as to make their experience assume a ludicrous and objectionable appearance. It is not fair to take certain features of the work and set them apart from the great whole. A mixture of truth and error may be presented in so doing, which our enemies would handle greatly to the disadvantage of the truth and to the hindrance of the work and cause of God.13MR 270.1

    Those who speak and write concerning the truths of God must have the endowment of the Holy Spirit or they will make great mistakes. Jesus said to His disciples concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you” [John 16:7]. What is the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart and conscience of the human agent? “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on Me (that is, in a practical way); of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” [verses 8-11].13MR 270.2

    Many things are registered as sins in the book of heaven which men do not call sin. Selfishness and covetousness are at the foundation of all sins, and yet many are not convicted of the sin of selfishness, because it is a part of their nature, and they do not listen to the reprovings of the Holy Spirit. They judge their brethren, thinking to remove a mote from their brother's eye, when they have a beam in their own eye which must be removed before they can see clearly to extract the mote from their brother's eye. The work of correcting our fellow men, and especially of correcting our brethren in the faith, is a work that requires wisdom from God. It requires a growing experience in spiritual things in order that spiritual things may be called by their right name. The Lord has not placed any man on the judgment seat to judge his brother and to define the character of his sin.13MR 270.3

    My respected brother, the Lord bids me to tell you that you have erred in wisdom in presenting in our church paper the articles which you have written on “The Danger of Taking Extreme Views” [The Review and Herald, April 3, 10, 1894]. You have not had discernment, or you would not have expressed the sentiment that you have, or presented the subject matter of your articles in the light in which you have presented it. Our enemies will regard the examples which you have given as extreme, and the sentiments which you have expressed as rich morsels to feed upon, as weapons to destroy faith in the work which God is doing through His agents at this time. Let none of our brethren imagine that they are doing God's service in presenting the deficiencies of men who have done good, grand, acceptable work, in laboring to unfold the message of mercy to fallen men, for the salvation of perishing souls. Suppose that these brethren have weak traits of character which they have inherited from their deficient ancestors, shall these deficiencies be hunted up and made prominent?13MR 271.1

    Shall men whom God has chosen to carry out the reformation against the papacy and idolatry be represented in an objectionable light? The banner of the ruler of the synagogue of Satan was lifted high, and error apparently marched in triumph, and the reformers through the grace given them of God, waged a successful warfare against the host of darkness. Events in the history of the reformers have been presented before me. I know that the Lord Jesus and His angels have with intense interest watched the battle against the power of Satan, who combined his hosts with evil men for the purpose of extinguishing the divine light, the fire of God's kingdom. They suffered for Christ's sake scorn, derision, and the hatred of men who knew not God. They were maligned and persecuted even unto death, because they would not renounce their faith. If anyone presumes to take these men in hand, to lay before the world their errors and mistakes, let him remember that he is dealing with Christ in the person of His saints.13MR 271.2

    Elder Littlejohn, you have undertaken to point out the defects of reformers and pioneers in the cause of God. No one should trace the lines which you have done. You have made public the errors and defects of the people of God, and in so doing you have dishonored God and Jesus Christ. I would not for my right arm have given to the world that which you have written. You have not been conscious of what would be the influence of your work.13MR 272.1

    Our enemies cannot controvert the truth, and therefore they are eager to catch at anything they can get, by which, through their falsehoods and their perversions, they can make of no effect the truth of God in those foreign fields where the people are unacquainted with Seventh-day Adventists. You have given them a chapter wherein it will be easy for them to find that which they can magnify and distort in such a way as to create mountains out of molehills. The Lord did not call upon you to present these things to the public as a correct history of our people. Your work will make it necessary for us to put forth labor to show why these brethren took the extreme position that they did, and call up the circumstances that vindicate those upon whom your articles have laid suspicion and reproach.13MR 272.2

    You were not in the early experience of the people of whom you have written, and who have been laid to rest from their labors. You have given but a partial view, for you have not presented the fact that the power of God worked in connection with their labors even though they made some mistakes. You have made prominent before the world the errors of the brethren but have not represented the fact that God worked to correct those errors and to set the objectionable matters right. Opposers will be glad to multiply the matter which has been furnished to their hand by our people. You have arrayed the errors of the early apostles, the errors of those who were precious in the eyes of the Lord in the days of Christ.13MR 273.1

    In presenting the extreme positions that have been taken by the messengers of God, do you think that confidence will be inspired in the work of God for this time? Let God by inspiration trace the errors of His people for their instruction and admonition, but let not finite lips or pens dwell upon those features of the experience of God's people that will have a tendency to confuse and cloud the mind. Let no one call attention to the errors of those whose general work has been accepted of God. The articles you have presented are not of a character to leave a true and fair impression upon the minds of those who read them concerning our work and our workers. What need was there for you to give sanction to the statements of the haters of truth, and to justify them in their representations of the errors of God's people? Could you see the harm that these articles may do, you would, I should hope, have sincere repentance before God.13MR 273.2

    We are living in perilous times. There is need of all the strength, support, and grace that our faith can grasp, in order that everyone may make straight paths for his feet, lest the weak be turned out of the way. I see dangers on the right and on the left. Satan is stirring his agents with intense power from beneath, urging those who cooperate with the powers of darkness to make as difficult as possible the path of all who believe the truth for this time. As finite agents, it behooves us to consider carefully the way of our paths, lest our feet shall stumble on the dark mountains of unbelief.13MR 274.1

    Our safety lies not only in professing the truth but in living the truth out. Daily, hourly, momentarily, we need that genuine faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Unless as individuals we are imbued with the Holy Spirit of God, we shall surely be led astray by some of Satan's specious devices. Our only course of safety is to walk humbly with God, to watch most earnestly lest selfishness, lest some sin we do not discern, shall have the mastery of our minds and be developed in our character, and thus our feet be caused to stumble, and we fall into Satan's net before we know that we are entangled. The Lord would not have us ignorant of Satan's devices. I consider that you are in need of watching unto prayer in order that not one hereditary or acquired habit shall be cherished that will lead you away from following Jesus, and from copying the great Pattern.13MR 274.2

    We are greatly honored in being permitted to be co-laborers together with God, in being permitted to speak the truth in love and with all boldness. He who witnesses for the truth for this time is engaged in a most sacred work. We should feel thankful that the grace of Christ has been given to us in order that we may walk in all humility of mind, not trusting in ourselves but trusting wholly and entirely in the merits of Him who is without spot or stain in character. Christ was accepted of God in our behalf, and God accepts of us to defend His truth.13MR 274.3

    But, my brother, I would address words of caution to you as well as to others, and advise you to be careful with what manner of spirit you do your work. The spirit and character of the work should make manifest to the world, to angels, and to men that there is an elevating, ennobling, sanctifying power in the truth of God, which imbues the human heart and transforms the character after the divine similitude.13MR 275.1

    The Lord will test and prove every soul. He says: [Malachi 3:1-4, quoted]. The first chapter of First Peter should be carefully considered, and its teachings should be faithfully heeded. The apostle says: [1 Peter 1:7-9, quoted].13MR 275.2

    The silver and gold of earth are purified and tested by fire, and the faith of God's people, which is of more value than silver and gold, will be tested, in order that its worth may be made apparent. The Lord says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir” [Isaiah 13:12].13MR 275.3

    God's children are very precious in His sight, and those who by pen or voice weaken the influence of even the least of those who believe in Jesus Christ, are registered in heaven as injurers of the Lord Himself. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” [Matthew 25:40]. We need to remember that we should guard carefully our thoughts, our feelings, our words, our actions, lest we wound and bruise the Saviour in the person of His saints; for He has told us plainly that He identifies Himself with suffering humanity. Not one of God's faithful ones will receive the honor of a crown of life in the kingdom of glory, who has not passed through severe conflicts and trials. Everyone who wins in running the race for the immortal crown will have striven lawfully.13MR 275.4

    We are to direct the weapons of our warfare against our foes, but never to turn them toward those who are under marching orders from the King of kings, who are fighting manfully the battles of the Lord of lords. Let no one aim at a soldier whom God recognizes, whom God has sent forth to bear a special message to the world and to do a special work. The soldiers of Christ may not always reveal perfection in their step, but their mistakes should call out from their fellow comrades not words that will weaken, but words that will strengthen and will help them to recover their lost ground. They should not turn the glory of God into dishonor, and give an advantage to the bitterest foes of their King.13MR 276.1

    Let not fellow soldiers be severe, unreasonable, judges of their comrades, and make the most of every defect. Let them not manifest satanic attributes in becoming accusers of the brethren. We shall find ourselves misrepresented and falsified by the world while we are maintaining the truth and vindicating God's downtrodden law; but let no one dishonor the cause of God by making public some mistake that the soldiers of Christ may make, when that mistake is seen and corrected by the ones who have taken some false position.13MR 276.2

    When a brother who has made a mistake sees his error and corrects it, is it not an indication that he may be trusted not to take a similar false step? Shall his brethren lay open his blunder, and make it appear in as grave a light as possible before his comrades and before his warring enemy? God will charge those who unwisely expose the mistakes of their brethren with sin of far greater magnitude than He will charge the one who makes a misstep. Criticism and condemnation of the brethren are counted as criticism and condemnation of Christ.13MR 276.3

    I would that the curtain might be rolled back and that every man, woman, and youth could see himself or herself just as they appear to God. Those who see themselves in their true light have nothing of which to boast. Could those who accuse others see themselves as they really are, they would understand what were the feelings of the Pharisees who brought in one who was verily guilty, and declared that she was worthy of a most cruel death. Christ heard all their vehement accusations, but instead of justifying their condemnation He stooped down and traced words in the sand as though He heard them not. One after another they drew near to Him, urging Him to give them an answer, and they caught sight of the words He had written, and they comprehended their meaning. First one and then another with confusion of face turned to leave the crowd.13MR 277.1

    Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” [John 8:7]. Then He continued to trace the peculiar secret sins of the individual accusers. One after another discerned the fact that Jesus knew the sin that the sinner had thought was hidden so deep that it would not be discovered. Conscious of guilt, they left the trembling woman alone with Jesus. Jesus turned and looked upon the woman and inquired, “Hath no man condemned thee?” She answered, “No man, Lord. Then Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” [verses 10, 11]. Let those who name the name of Jesus take heed to the new commandment which Jesus has given to His disciples. He says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another” [John 13:34, 35]. Let the teachings of Jesus have the weight that they deserve. Let us not be simply hearers of the Word, but doers also.13MR 277.2

    Were God to deal with us as we deserve, we should certainly perish. Were He to reward us according to our individual mistakes and errors, we could not hope for salvation. But through the infinite mercy and justice of God, which meet in Jesus Christ, our faults, errors, and transgressions are forgiven, and instead of punishing us, instead of visiting our transgressions with His wrath, He writes pardon against our name.13MR 278.1

    Since the Lord Jesus employs every means to convert the sinner and save the soul rather than to ruin or destroy, would it not be well for those who claim to have light and knowledge to follow the example of Christ? Are we in partnership with Jesus? Our course of action will determine whether we are following in Christ's lines or following the imagination of our own heart. What are we before God? We are those who have received the grace of Christ, and by His grace we are what we are. Then let us glorify God in our weakness, having a sense of our inefficiency.13MR 278.2

    We are to maintain the honor of God's cause. We are not to expose one of the children of God to the darts of the enemy, or give the enemies of our faith reason by which they may take advantage of their mistakes. Rather, let us glorify God that if any man sin “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world” [1 John 2:1, 2].13MR 278.3

    Let us glorify God that we have a Saviour to make intercession for us, to speak in our behalf before the Father, and present His merit as a propitiation for our sins. Let us glorify God that although we are defective He honors us by permitting us to advocate truth and to maintain His cause. But although we make many mistakes in that which we do, although we fail of doing it in the best way, although we neglect and leave many things undone because self is not surrendered to God, although we are creatures full of vanity and selfishness and self-esteem (and all this God despises), yet notwithstanding our many imperfections He continues to teach us, and commissions us to act a part in His cause. When tried and tempted, many have virtually cast reflections upon God, yet the Lord has not cast them off forever. He has borne long with them and has given them another trial, and provided new opportunities, and has put forth every effort to draw them nigh unto Himself, in order that they might behold Jesus and become changed into His image in spirit and character.13MR 279.1

    Every individual must fight the good fight of faith for himself, in order to attain to the perfection of Christian character that will fit him for the society of the saints in light. In ancient times there were many who placed themselves under a process of training, when every physical power was exercised and developed in order that they might be successful in running the race and obtaining a perishable crown. To achieve this victory they spared themselves no toil, but bravely endured the training process, in order that they might be in the best condition to run the race before them, so that peradventure they might win a perishable token of honor. They entered the list and ran the race at the risk of losing their lives, not knowing whether they should gain or lose the perishable laurel that should be awarded to the winner of the race.13MR 279.2

    But God sets before us a much more encouraging prospect, and deals with us in a more noble, benevolent manner. He does not intend that we shall practice self-denial and endure strict discipline in spiritual things, at the hazard of losing the race at last and missing the victor's crown.13MR 280.1

    We do not run on an uncertainty. We do not fight as one who beateth the air. But looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are changed from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.13MR 280.2

    “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.... Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” [Revelation 3:5, 11].—Letter 48, 1894. (Written June 3, 1894, from Granville, N. S. W., Australia, to W. H. Littlejohn, Battle Creek, Michigan.)13MR 280.3

    White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    February 2, 1984.

    Larger font
    Smaller font