Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


Come Out from Worldly Influences

Those who are partakers of the divine nature are to come out from worldly influences, from empty festivities, and sit down with Christ, in heart communion with their Redeemer. Cease your unbelieving worry. When the anxious disciples saw the hungry multitudes beside the sea, impossibilities arose in their minds, and they questioned, Shall we go to the villages and buy, to give them to eat? Just so in the several conferences many now ask, Shall we send to Battle Creek for someone to come and hold meetings with us and revive us and feed us? What said Christ? No. He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass in companies of fifty and one hundred. They obeyed orders, seating themselves in long lines on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes out of the hands of the lad, and, looking up to His Father, He asked His blessing upon the meager supply. Then He put into the hands of His disciples the food to be distributed. The scanty provision grew under the hand of Christ, and He had constantly a fresh supply for His servants to distribute to the hungry multitude, until all had a sufficiency. Then the word came, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” There was a surplus of food gathered up. TM 344.2

This is a lesson to all in their spiritual experience. What an amount of worry would be saved if men would only trust in God. The bread of life is to be given to needy souls. And what a work is often made of the matter. There are long councils for devising plans, inventing new methods. There is a constant effort to get up entertainments to draw people to the church or the Sabbath school. Like the disciples, the workers raise the question, Shall we go to the villages and buy? What is the work to be done? Come unto Jesus. Humble faith and prayer will accomplish very much more than your long councils. Listen to the Saviour's invitation. Put your neck under His yoke. Accept His burdens. Receive that which He bestows. He says, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” TM 345.1

This anticipation of terrible difficulties need not be. We must eat and drink the word of life, which is represented as eating and drinking of the flesh and blood of Christ. Those who know the truth must be educated to receive it from their own shepherds, and pray over it, and practice it. Then souls will grow in faith and in intelligent knowledge. They would receive the bread of life and digest it. The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The truth needs to enter into heart and mind. More, much more praying, and less long sermonizing will be for the health of the body and soul. TM 345.2

Money has been expended in sending men to Jerusalem, to see the place where Jesus traveled and taught, when we have the precious Saviour nigh us, His presence with us, and we may have a Jerusalem in our own houses and in the churches. We can discern His fresh footsteps, we can eat His words and have eternal life. We need more study, more earnest meditation and communion with Christ. We need to listen for the still small voice, and to rest by faith in the love of Christ. We should have a much more healthful experience, and become much more vigorous Christians. TM 345.3

We have a superabundance of sermons, but we need to learn to receive the word. All the help from abroad cannot supply this deficiency. The home missionary work must be entered into by home missionaries. God is not pleased with the selfish devisings to give so many advantages to those who know the truth, who had opportunities to understand far more of the truth than they practice. Thousands upon thousands are in ignorance, perishing out of Christ. Yet money and time and labor are devoted to the class who are ever learning, yet never able to come to the experimental knowledge of the truth because they will not practice the truth. TM 346.1

Those who are ready to do service are those who feed most on Christ. Read and study His word, drink in the inspiration of His Spirit, and receive of His grace, not to hoard, but to give to others. In order to instruct others, the teachers must first be learners of Christ. There are Marthas in every church. They are intensely busy in religious activities, and they do much good; but we need also Mary's side of character. The most zealous workers need to learn at the feet of Jesus. TM 346.2

[For further study: Gospel Workers, 271, 272, 446-448; Testimonies for the Church 5:370-381; 7:91-93.]