July 10, 1900
This letter is published in entirety in KC 146-153. +Note
I write to you at this time to set before you our great necessity. The Lord has intrusted to you the talent of means to use and improve to His name’s glory. There is a great work to be done. The last message of mercy is being given to the world. Everything in the political world is being stirred with agitation. There are wars and rumors of wars. The nations are angry, and the time of the dead has come that they should be judged.
A most solemn and important work is to be done in our world by God’s people. This work is represented by the third angel flying in the midst of heaven. The third angel’s message is preceded by the messages of the first and second angels. The first angel’s message proclaims the hour of God’s judgment. The second declares the fall of Babylon.
John writes, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14:6-10.
These messages must go to all the inhabitants of the world. The Lord is soon to come, and He calls upon all to whom He has entrusted His capital <of means> to invest it in His work as it demands help. His money is not to be shut up in banks and buildings and lands when there is such a great work to be accomplished. The Lord will not send His judgments for disobedience and transgression upon the world until He has sent His watchmen to give the message of warning.
The Lord has been pleased to give His people the third angel’s message as a testing message to bear to the world. John beholds a people distinct and separate from the world, who refuse to worship the beast or his image, who bear God’s sign, keeping holy His Sabbath, <the seventh day, to be kept holy as a memorial of the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth.> Of them the apostle writes, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12.
“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:1-5.
What is sin? “The transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. God denounces Babylon, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8. This means that she has disregarded the only commandment which points out the true God, and has torn down the Sabbath, God’s memorial of creation.
God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, sanctifying this day, and setting it apart from all others as holy to Himself, to be observed by His people throughout their generations.
But the man of sin, exalting himself above God, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself to be God, thought to change times and laws. This power, thinking to prove that it was not only equal to God, but above God, changed the rest day, placing the first day of the week where the seventh should be. And the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy to be regarded as sacred. This is called in the Word of God her fornication.
God has a controversy with the churches of today. They are fulfilling the prophecy of John. “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 18:3. They have divorced themselves from God by refusing to receive His sign. They have not the spirit of God’s true commandment-keeping people. And the people of the world, in giving their sanction to a false Sabbath, and in trampling under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
God set the seventh day apart as the day of His rest. But the man of sin has set up a false sabbath, which the kings and merchants of the earth have accepted <and exalted above the Sabbath of the Bible.> In doing this, they have chosen a religion like that of Cain, who slew his brother Abel. Cain and Abel both offered sacrifice to God. Abel’s offering was accepted because he complied with God’s requirements. Cain’s was rejected because he followed his own <human inventions.> Because of this he became so angry that he would not listen to Abel’s entreaties or to God’s warnings and reproofs, but slew his brother.
By accepting a spurious rest day the churches have dishonored God. The people of the world accept the falsehood, and are angry because God’s commandment-keeping people do not respect and reverence Sunday. <The Lord sanctified and blessed the seventh day.> God says, “Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her; for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord who judgeth her.” Verses 5-8.
God declares, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” God will punish those who attempt to compel their fellow men to keep the first day of the week. They <tempt them to> deny their allegiance to God. They accept the fruit of the forbidden tree, and try to force others to eat it. They will try to compel their fellow men to work on the seventh day of the week and rest on the first. God says of them, “They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” Revelation 14:9, 10.
“Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep,” the Lord says, “for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13. Some will seek to place obstacles in the way of Sabbath observance, saying, You do not know what day is the Sabbath. But they seem to understand when Sunday comes, and have manifested great zeal in making laws for <compelling> its observance, as though they could control the consciences of men.
God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them, as a test of their loyalty. Those who, after the light regarding God’s law comes to them, continue to disobey <and exalt human laws above the law of God in the great crisis before us, will> receive the mark of the beast.
The prosperity of God’s people is dependent on their obedience. The Lord declares, “It shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments, which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.” Deuteronomy 11:13-17.
God’s curse for disobedience is upon man and beast and the fruit of the earth. Why do not those who claim to obey God study His Word, and learn there why the earth does not produce as it once did? Why are the cattle <all> so full of disease?
“Behold I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; and a curse if ye will not obey the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” Verses 26-28.
“Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he hath sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” Deuteronomy 7:6-11.
These words should be as distinctly stamped upon every soul as though written with a pen of iron. Obedience brings its reward; disobedience its retribution.
“Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know, that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth (not of man, but) of God. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” Deuteronomy 8:2-6.
God has given His people positive instruction and has laid upon them positive restrictions, that by obtaining a perfect experience in His service they may be qualified to stand before the heavenly universe and before the fallen world as overcomers. They are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Those who fall short of making the preparation essential will be numbered with the unthankful and the unholy.
The Lord brings His people by ways which they know not, that He may test and try them. This world is our place of proving. Here we decide what our eternal destiny will be. God never exalts His people. He humbles them, that His will may be wrought in them. Thus God dealt with the children of Israel as He led them through the wilderness. He told them what their fate would have been had He not laid His restraining hand upon that which have hurt them. He speaks to them. Hear what He says. It is a revelation of the ministration of angels. “Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
“But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto the fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, to walk after other gods, to serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.” Verses 15-20.
“At that time the Lord said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you out of the mount, out of the midst of the fire, in the day of the assembly; and the Lord gave them unto me.
“And I turned myself, and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.” Deuteronomy 10:1-5. Yes; there they were to be hidden and preserved, to justify the obedient and condemn the disobedient. Those who choose to disobey will surely receive sentence according to their works.
I present these things before you that ye may know and understand. Our present course of action is deciding our destiny for eternity. This is indeed a solemn thought. Those who know the truth are to practice the truth, realizing that the fear of the Lord is of more value than gold or silver. The world is the Lord’s vineyard. He says, “Go work today in my vineyard.” Matthew 21:28. As I have cared for you and blessed you, so you are to care for My honor and My name’s glory.
In His dealing with ancient Israel God has given us an illustration of the result that will follow an unrighteous, disobedient course. He will punish all who make His glory to be reproached, even as He punished the children of Israel. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, even as Jerusalem, by her own course of action, was humiliated and brought low. Her people chose Barabbas, and God left them to their choice. They would not submit to God’s way, and He permitted them to have their own way, and to carry out the purposes of their unsanctified hearts.
Christ warned the Jews of their danger, and entreated them to return to God, but they were too proud to accept His overtures of mercy. They persisted in a course of rebellion, and as a result the protection of God’s heavenly intelligences was withdrawn from them.
When Christ predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, He predicted also the destruction of the world; for He saw that till the end of this earth’s history men would continue to refuse God’s mercy.
By love of money, desire for the supremacy, dishonesty, we not only rob God of the fruit of His vineyard, but we practice selfishness toward our brethren and toward those who are weighing and measuring the influence exerted by the one who claims to love God and obey the truth. God has placed men and women in positions of trust that they may represent Him. He has given them talents that they may work in His service. But in their selfishness men misuse these talents. The talent of means is the most dangerous and the most deceptive when put to a wrong use. God’s Word declares that the love of money is the root of all evil. 15LtMs 1.1900009800 – 15LtMs, Lt 98, 1900, par. 34