Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8

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Chapter 14—An Appeal to the Brethren in Battle Creek

Cooranbong, N. S. W.,

1898

Why is it, brethren, that you continue to keep so many interests bound up in Battle Creek? Why do you not listen to the counsels and the warnings that have been given you regarding this matter? Why do you not take decisive steps to establish centers of influence in many of the large cities? Why do you not encourage the Michigan Tract Society and the International Tract Society to establish their offices in cities where there is much missionary work to do, and where their secretaries and other workers may engage personally in missionary work, acting as leaders in important enterprises? Move out, brethren, move out, and educate your workers to labor for those outside the camp. Why do you hide your light by continuing to remain in Battle Creek? Go out, brethren, go out into the regions beyond. 8T 76.1

There is much work to be done, and our experienced workers should strive to place themselves where they will come in direct contact with those needing help. They can do comparatively little in Battle Creek. Is it right, brethren, for you to keep your light hid under a bushel or under a bed? Is it not better that you do that which the Lord has plainly indicated you should do? Resolve now that you will give up your preference, your way, and that you will obey His voice. Seek the Lord most earnestly, with humble, fervent prayer for wisdom and for success in this endeavor. Then take the light from under the bushel, away from the place that seems most favorable for your financial interests, and from under the bed, away from the place most convenient for your comfort, and put it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. 8T 76.2

A crisis in missionary effort is upon us. There is a great work to be done, and if this work is earnestly done in Battle Creek, if it is faithfully done throughout the churches in Michigan, if it is vigorously prosecuted in all our older churches and strongholds of influence, we may hope that its influence will leaven the churches throughout all the conferences, many of whom are now standing as if paralyzed. 8T 76.3

The institutions which God has established as centers of influence for the dissemination of light are not blending their interests and working together as God would have them. The managers of these institutions should know that their very first work is to harmonize with their fellow workers. Our ministers must awake to understand the situation. The gospel is the sanctifying influence in our world. Its influence upon hearts will bring harmony. The standard of truth is to be uplifted and the atonement of Christ presented as the grand, central theme for consideration. 8T 77.1

The medical missionary work is to be to the work of the church as the right arm to the body. The third angel goes forth proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The medical missionary work is the gospel in practice. All lines of work are to be harmoniously blended in giving the invitation: “Come; for all things are now ready.” 8T 77.2

To those in Battle Creek has been given the message that many should move into places where they may engage in this very work in connection with their temporal business. Had they moved out by faith, willing to endure wearing labor and privation for the work's sake, they would have obtained a rich experience in the things of God. But they thought that they would find things a little more convenient in Battle Creek, that the work there would be less taxing than elsewhere, and therefore they remained. Many who crowd into Battle Creek get no good there because they do not make use of the knowledge they receive. They do no good in Battle Creek, but are swelling the number who need conversion. They have not the spirit of sacrifice. They have much of self and a little of Christ, a little faith and a few good works. They think that they have religion, but it all amounts to nothing. 8T 77.3

God speaks to you in His word, saying: “Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” 8T 78.1

“In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:13, 14, 18, 19. 8T 78.2

My brethren, the Lord has called upon you to do a certain work, but you have not done it; and in the place where you are there is discord and contention and strife. But this need not be. God does not design that His workmen shall stand apart as separate atoms. All have a great and solemn work to do, and it is to be done under God's supervision. 8T 78.3

God will do great things for His people if they will co-operate with Him. He will work upon the minds of men, so that there will be seen in their lives, even in this world, a fulfillment of the promise of the future state: 8T 78.4

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing;
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
The excellency of Carmel and Sharon:
They shall see the glory of Jehovah,
The excellency of our God.
Strengthen ye the weak hands, And confirm the feeble knees.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not:
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as a hart,
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing;
For in the wilderness shall waters break out,
And streams in the desert.
And the glowing sand shall become a pool,
And the thirsty ground springs of water:
In the habitation of jackals, where they lay,
Shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall be there, and a way,
And it shall be called The way of holiness;
The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for the redeemed:
The wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon;
They shall not be found there;
But the redeemed shall walk there:
And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return,
And come with singing unto Zion;
And everlasting joy shall be upon their heads:
They shall obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
8T 78.5

Isaiah 35, A. R. V. 8T 79

The wilderness itself has neither glory nor excellence, and to the Lord is to be ascribed all the honor for the transformation wrought. This great work is of God. Therefore magnify not the men who are under the special working of His power. Glorify God, and He will continue to work. 8T 79.1

The Lord has a special work for His people to do at this time. He says: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” This is the very work that the apostle Paul charges the churches to do. “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,” he says, “and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:12-15. 8T 79.2

I pray that now as never before both ministers and church members may come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Study prayerfully the seventeenth chapter of John. This chapter is not only to be read again and again; its truths are to be eaten and assimilated. “For their sakes,” Christ prayed: “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:19-23. 8T 80.1

Are these words, of such wonderful import to us, to be always neglected? God calls upon those who profess to be His children to study these words, to eat them, to live them. He calls upon them to seek for unity and love, else the candlestick will be moved out of its place. 8T 80.2