Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

97/345

Ms 7, 1891

Christian Service in the Living Church

Petoskey, Michigan

June 10, 1891

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4BC 1159; Ev 338; TDG 170; 6MR 65-66; 9MR 158, 375. +Note

What are God’s plans and purposes concerning us? Christ, the world’s Redeemer, was God in human flesh. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He was the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate for others, He represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God. And as Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. When we rise above this earthly atmosphere, and look into the face of Jesus Christ, we see God revealed in His character. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 1

Christ was meek and lowly. When He was reviled, He reviled not again. But He was very severe when sin and deception and hypocrisy were manifested by the scribes and Pharisees. From His lips came the most terrible denunciations against the pretended piety with which they covered up their hypocrisy, their unjust dealing, and their inhumanity to their fellow men. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 2

The meek and lowly One read the sentiments of every heart. He is a perfect Saviour. On special occasions, when He saw the deceptions which, by Satan’s suggestions, were leading men from light and truth into darkness, when He saw men under Satan’s dictation, fighting against Omnipotence, divinity flashed through humanity, and as a judge, He pronounced the condemnation of the wrong-doers. The light of His divinity flashed about Him, and many of the people who heard His words, believed. There was no guile on His lips, and the words He spoke came to pass in the terrible judgments which fell upon the Jewish nation. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 3

“Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood. Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he that settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity, therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.” [Jeremiah 48:10-12.] “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. ... The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.” [Zephaniah 1:12-14.] “Curse ye Meroz, saith the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” [Judges 5:23.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 4

This description of Moab represents the churches that have become like Moab. They have not stood at their post of duty as faithful sentinels. They have not co-operated with the heavenly intelligences by exercising their God-given ability to do the will of God, pressing back the powers of darkness and using every power God has given them to advance truth and righteousness in our world. They have a knowledge of the truth, but they have not practiced what they know. The pastors and elders have not advanced in zeal, and the churches are dead spiritually. They are as salt without the virtue, the saving properties, which salt is supposed to have. This cold and lifeless state is contagious. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 5

The officers of the churches, the presidents of conferences, are in need of being converted. O how much a revival is needed in the churches. Variance exists; many hearts are filled with envy, evil surmisings, and evil thinking. Evil speaking is heard. The Lord is ashamed to call the members of such churches brethren. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 6

The churches that have not life in themselves, that have lost their spiritual discernment, call for ministers to come to their help, to bring them the breath of life. But the ministers have other work to do. They must carry the message of truth to those who know it not. Those ministers who hover about the churches, who have not a clear cut message, which, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts both ways, will do the churches harm. They will not work for the salvation of souls that are in great peril because they know not the truth, and they will die spiritually themselves and trouble and discourage those who try to help them. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 7

The churches are to be taught to have root in themselves. They are not to depend, like helpless children, upon some one else as a prop; they are to stand in God, obtaining an experience for themselves by exercising their God-given ability. Unless they strive earnestly to co-operate with God, they will make shipwreck of the faith. Carry the truth to your neighbors, to those within your reach. Feel a burden for souls. God will bless self-denying, self-sacrificing workers. But the churches which are helpless, which show no spiritual growth, need to be dealt with severely, as indolent, slothful servants. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 8

There is to be no contention in the church of God. Contention kills spiritual life; all strife dishonors the faith and misrepresents Christ. By their unconsecrated course of action, many put Christ to an open shame before His enemies. Let the members of the churches where contention is heard be converted, and then they will do well to move to churches where they will be more inclined to respect authority. When the individual members of a church study the Bible, and humble their stubborn hearts before God, seeking most earnestly to know and obey the voice of God which speaks to them through His Word, there will be much less gossiping and far more silence, far more earnest praying to God. There will be more self-examination. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 9

“Examine yourselves,” writes the apostle, “whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] This self-examination is not exercised as it ought to be. Now is our golden opportunity of probation. We are living in the presence of the heavenly angels, in the presence of God, and whatever may be the circumstances surrounding us, we are not to murmur or complain, or to swear. You may start back at this statement, but much swearing is done in the hearts of men and women who dare not utter words of cursing. This swearing is expressed by their actions just as verily as it could be by words. Because something arises to cross their track, they are violent in spirit, and seem to think that their own way is not to be interfered with. There is need to guard well our thoughts and actions; for every person is forming a character, either after the pattern Christ Jesus, or after the pattern of Satan. Every person is fitting either for the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare, or for the wrath of God, which will surely come upon all the children of disobedience. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 10

There is need of decided measures being taken on this point. The development of selfishness, pride, ambition, and strife, among the chosen twelve, called forth an impressive lesson <from> Jesus. The strife among them sprang from the fact that they did not comprehend the nature of Christ’s kingdom. By removing this ignorance, by telling them the nature of the kingdom of Christ, their strife might have been quelled; but even after they had received the fullest knowledge, <the strife> might have sprung up again from sources which would bring disaster to the church after Christ had departed. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 11

For this reason Christ gave instruction of solemn import, full and impressive. After calling the twelve, and asking them what they had disputed about by the way, He said to them, If, through selfish, ambitious motives, any man seeks to be first or greatest, he shall be last. The very spirit that created the ambition to desire the highest place, reveals in his character these attributes which will make him the lowest. If any man will be first in My kingdom, first in goodness, in usefulness, in honor, let him esteem others better than himself; let him be willing to be the servant of all, prepared to take any place and to make any sacrifice, any self-denial in order to be a strength and a blessing to others. Christ called a little child, and set him in their midst, and said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:2, 3.] You are striving about places and position and self-exaltation. Remember that pride and selfishness and selfish ambition will grieve the Holy Spirit, and leave the soul strengthless. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 12

“Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of the Lord leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardened and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God.” [Romans 2:4-11.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 13

Many love to preach, but they have very little experience in ministering. Search the Scriptures with the families you visit. Christ’s work was to put believers in possession of every essential truth, that by searching, they might discover other precious gems. We need to search in the lessons of Christ for the true meaning of His words; for it remains to be discovered. As we do this, the new aspect of some truths will be seen; we shall see the far-reaching compass of others, and the connection of some with others. Thus we shall find a harmonious whole. We must put our minds to the task of searching, with humble, holy, determined purpose, and with much prayer. The diligent seeker will receive his reward. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 14

It is not preaching alone that must be done. Far less preaching is needed. More time should be devoted to patiently educating others, giving the hearers opportunity to express themselves. It is instruction that many need, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 15

But it is very difficult to impress the minds of our ministering brethren with the idea that sermons alone cannot do the work that is needed for our churches. Personal efforts are wanted; they are essential for the prosperity of individuals and churches. In speaking, we must act intelligently, remembering that the minds of our hearers cannot retain or appropriate one-half of the discourses that are given. Few minds can take in so much matter. Yet without giving the minds of the people time to digest that which they have heard, too often plans are laid for another discourse to follow closely upon the one already given. What time have the people to digest the preceding discourse? If they grasp the ideas of the latter discourse, but a small portion of the former is retained. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 16

I have been shown that we lose a large share of the discourses given, because so many are crowded in one after the other. The object for which our camp meetings are appointed is that they may be a spiritual benefit to the people. When a discourse is given, precious seed is sown. But if personal efforts are not made to prepare the soil for that seed, it does not take root in the heart. Unless the heart is softened and subdued by the Spirit of God, much of the discourse is lost. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 17

Sufficient wisdom has not been exercised in making our camp meetings seasons of real, spiritual blessing to all the believers and unbelievers who may attend. Many come to the meeting with hearts full of murmuring and complaining! Those who indulge in this murmuring must be led to see, through the work of the Holy Spirit, that it is an offence in the sight of God. They must be led to feel self-reproach because they have allowed the enemy to have power over their mind and judgment. Complaining must be turned to repentance, uncertainty and despondency to the earnest inquiry, “How shall I become true in faith?” Thus they become doers of the Word of God. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 18

Every discourse of any real value needs to be followed by a class meeting (shall I call it?) or a Bible reading. Here the points which have been presented should be applied; questions should be asked, and right ideas inculcated. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 19

Close application should be given to the work of bringing the church into working order. The members should plan and counsel together among themselves, believing that God will teach them as well as the president of the General Conference. They are to tax their own minds, instead of calling overburdened men from distant <parts of the field> to help them out of their difficulties. Seek God. Christ has invited you to ask wisdom of Him, not from human minds. The difficulties in the churches can be settled by the members if they will practice the Word of God. If they refuse to do this, all the ministers in the world cannot help them. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 20

To those who claim to be Christians, I would say, Go to work, and set things in order according to the principles of the Word of God. Yield up your stubborn will, your own ideas. Come into union with Christ. Those who have been entrusted with responsibilities in connection with the church are the very ones who need to set an example of humility. Humbleness of mind will have a wonderful effect in melting hearts. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 21

The converting power of God must come into the churches. Those who are self-willed must die to self and seek, with the love of God in their hearts, to remove the evils they have created. They need to show that they hear the voice of God speaking to them. When they make the Scriptures their study, with a determination to practice right principles, their hearts will be subdued. They will receive the reproof and warnings of the Word of God and will seek to correct their own wrong traits of character. When this work is done, the burdens carried by the president of the General Conference will be greatly lessened. Healthy, growing churches will be seen. Every church will possess order. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 22

It is the duty of every one who is a worker in the cause <of God,> by the wisdom given of God, to maintain order in the churches, <be they> large or small. The members are to be fruit-bearing branches of the living Vine, laborers together with God. With joy the heavenly angels will behold their good order, and the Lord will hear the prayers that ascend to His throne. These prayers will be as sharp sickles, going forth with the men who proclaim the truth in the harvest field. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 23

The success of these faithful, working, growing churches may provoke the hostility of the world; but the highest intelligences, even holy angels, will preside in their councils and in their assemblies. These angels are full of activity; they work to set things in order in the churches, that the light of truth may shine <from [them]> to their world. The churches are the light of the world, and they are to work with the church in heaven, both co-operating to hold up Christ as the only hope of the world. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 24

The words of Malachi are applicable to a large number of our churches, not only in Michigan, but in other states. They are certainly robbing God by their lax service. The question is asked, “Will a man rob God?” But as though such a thing could not be possible, they say, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” God answers, “In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:8-10.] Here the Lord challenges us to test and prove Him by a faithful discharge of the duty we owe to Him. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 25

Michigan has a standing account against her in the books of heaven, and the other states are equally delinquent. One and another are becoming dissatisfied, and saying, I will not longer pay my tithe, for I have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work. But will you rob God because you think the management of the work is not right? Make your complaint, plainly and openly, in the right spirit, to the proper ones. Send in your petition for things to be adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the work of God and prove unfaithful because others are not doing right. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 26

We need more and more of God’s Holy Spirit, that when men in responsible positions do not manifest heavenly wisdom, we may realize that there is the more need for our decided help. And those who have entered into other men’s labors, and who need experience, should call to their aid men who have had a decided interest in building up our institutions with their means and their influence. Always, in every enterprise, Elder James White called in such men for counsel. He never went ahead to devise and plan without laying before these men, such as Brn. Root, Weeks, Fargo, Howe, Day, Palmer, and others, what he purposed to do. He wanted their judgment. None that could be reached were left out of their counsels, and the voice of all these men was as one, and their acting as one. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 27

Those who have withheld their tithes and offerings are robbing God. If every one would come up to their duty and fulfil God’s claim, the treasury would not be empty. It is not men to whom you present your gifts and offerings. These belong to God, and He calls upon you to present them to Him. Will my brethren be faithful in this matter, and give back to the Lord His own? 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 28

In robbing God, you rob yourselves of the rich blessings God is waiting to bestow upon you. If the churches in the Michigan Conference, and in every other conference, would closely connect with God through Jesus Christ, they would be the light <bearers> of the earth, even the light of the world. The spirit of self-denial, of a willingness to lift the cross and bear it after the Master, would be manifested. There would be a divine vitality felt in every state where churches are established; and all who attended these churches would breathe the breath of life, the truth and the love of the atmosphere of heaven. All coldness, barrenness, and drought, would be removed; vitality and the fragrance of love and true godliness, which is like the verdure in the garden of God, would be seen and felt. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 29

In the fifteenth chapter of John the false and the real membership of the church is represented. Many who have united with the church have never joined themselves heart and soul to Jesus Christ. In the striking symbol of the vine and the branches, the Lord Jesus gives the characteristics of the true and the false child of God. [The] true branch, grafted into the living vine, imbibes nourishment from the parent stalk, and bears rich clusters of genuine fruit. “It is my Father’s good pleasure,” said Christ, “that ye bear much fruit.” [Verse 8.] This is the evidence to the world that you are not only hearers, but doers of the Word. The branch proves that it is a part of the vine by the nature and abundance of the fruit it produces. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 30

Christ presented the branch which bears no fruit. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” [Verses 4-6.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 31

The want of genuine faith, the want of fruit-bearing properties, is the ruin of many. Having no real, vital connection with the vine, not receiving the sap and nourishment which circulates through the parent stalk, they are fruitless. A profession of the truth brings together many names as members of the church, but this does not constitute them children of God. There is a union with the church which avails nothing with God. The branch which does not draw its sustenance from Christ is represented as being unable to bear fruit. So the members of the church may be known as faithless, hearers and not doers, because the right quality of fruit is not seen in their lives. Their future is mapped out in this symbol—a final separation from Christ, a ruin as complete as that represented by the dead branch of the vine which is cast into the fire. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 32

This symbol is to be presented, with all the weight of its instruction, in our churches. Not only is the sad portion of the symbol to be presented, but the advantages and necessity of a vital union with Christ must be dwelt on with power, and with the Spirit of God. This union means entire dependence by living faith upon Jesus Christ, and what symbol, so simple, and yet so striking, could be used to show the necessity of constant dependence upon Jesus Christ, as the connection of the branch with the vine. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 33

The vine stalk draws its nourishment from the root, and communicates it to the branch. Such is the relation of the true believer to Jesus Christ. By His Holy Spirit, Christ calls forth faith in Him as a personal Saviour. The result of this faith is seen in the fruit which is borne, revealing that the soul is in constant communion with Jesus Christ. On our part there must be a faith which holds fast to Christ. In this way we constantly receive of His grace and in our turn impart it to others. The whole universe of heaven acknowledges this connection, and our petitions are accepted through Jesus Christ. His grace is given us in large measure; our sins are placed to His account as our substitute and surety. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 34

As the sap and nourishment of the vine is carried to every truly united branch, so Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. “He was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” [2 Corinthians 5:21.] We become one with Christ as He is one with the Father, and to all intents and purposes we are accepted in the Beloved. Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 35

Notice the fruit of such a vital union. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If we shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” [John 14:12, 13, 21, 23.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 36

If any one in the church is jealous and faultfinding, a tale bearer or a gossip, by his words and by his course of action he sows seeds of dissension which reveal decidedly that he is not a branch of the true vine. In his work he is manifesting the attributes of Satan. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” [Matthew 7:20, 16-19.] There are members of churches who are distressingly active, but their interest is of such a character as to stir up strife. They are not peacemakers, but busybodies, meddling with other men’s matters. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 37

“The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descended not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” [James 3:8-17.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 38

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” [James 4:1-4.] “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of God, and he shall lift you up.” [Verses 7-10.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 39

You are not to think that you can lift up and build up yourselves by tearing down your brethren, making them appear the worst you can, while you set forth your own virtues in contrast with him. You may think that your indignation against some supposed wrong in your brother will lead others to appreciate your virtues; but the Word of God declares, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren.” [Verse 11.] These words of inspiration have <had> too little weight with many whose names stand registered on the church books. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 40

As agents for Jesus Christ, men are to be laborers together with God. Why then are so many acting as did Meroz—doing nothing—while those sitting in darkness receive no light, no help from those who claim to be children of God? How much do such idlers resemble the angel who is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Christ is saying to these idlers in the market place, “Go work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] Angels who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation are saying to every true saint, There is work for you to do. “Go, stand and speak ... to the people the words of this life.” [Acts 5:20.] If those addressed would obey this injunction, the Lord would prepare the way before them, putting them in possession of means whereby they could go. If they did no more, they could diffuse the knowledge which they already have, and present Jesus as the only mediator. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 41

Why are the churches so indolent? Why have they no burden for the souls for whom Christ died? And how does heaven regard their inefficiency? The angels are constantly earnest and active, seeking to bring every child of God to work in the vineyard of the Lord. O how <they> rejoiced when they saw that through the work of Christ the world was brought back into favor and position with God and again connected with heaven, to be benefited with all the treasures of light and knowledge emanating therefrom; and they sorrow when they see that those for whom so much has been done have no interest to win souls for Christ. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 42

Christ’s church on earth is to be an agent for Him. Its members are to be devoted to the work to which God has appointed them, taking their places according to God’s order, and doing the work He has assigned them. The tidings of every successful effort on their part to dispel the darkness, and to diffuse the light and the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, is borne upward. The act is presented before all the heavenly intelligences, and thrills through all the principalities and powers, enlisting the sympathy of all heavenly beings. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 43

The Lord Jesus expects more of you than you give; yes, a great deal more. He has called and chosen you. Every man, according to his several ability, has been given his work. You are to occupy a place as a laborer together with God, and as His agent you are to gather other agencies and unite them with those already in the work, that the instrumentalities for winning souls to look to Christ may be as many as possible. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 44

Angels of God are soliciting you to work in fellowship with them, doing the will of God on earth as verily and unitedly and devotedly as they do the work appointed them in heaven and earth. These angels are surveying the ground occupied by the individual members of the church. They see the advantage gained by Satan when men and women neglect their God-appointed work. They see this work neglected or done in a bungling manner by those who claim to be Christians, and they sorrow over the souls that are lost in consequence of this neglect. They cannot take your place or discharge your duty. Could they do this, they would do it gladly, for they know that your eternal welfare depends upon the use you make of your entrusted talents, your intellect, your reason. They cannot do your work, but they stand ready to cooperate with human agencies as they work to draw souls to Jesus Christ, striving to recover them through the infinite gift made for their redemption. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 45

It is the duty of every one who claims to believe on Jesus Christ to become a worker for God. Entire consecration and unity are demanded in the work which must be done to bring the grand results. I inquire, How can any one be silent when they know what the Lord Jesus expects from every human being? I implore you that name the name of Christ to no longer be selfishly and wickedly indifferent to your duty. Live unto Christ, who died for you and rose again. Each angel has his own mission and is at his post, ready to co-operate with you and by combining divine power with human effort make of none effect the opposition of foes. They will make a place for you to walk, even among principalities and powers, beating back spiritual wickedness in high places. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 46

The Lord calls for the churches in Michigan to arouse and go to work. If you would take up your assigned work with true piety and devotion, you would be agents for Christ, active and zealous in doing His work. But if you do not put all your energies into this work, through inaction you will become weak and spiritless, the sport of Satan’s temptations. The time that you neglect or refuse to give to God, you will use to criticize and pick flaws, and to create disturbances in the church. You will be a coworker with Satan. You will refuse the chastening and reproofs of the Lord, the pruning of the husbandman that you may bring forth much fruit, and taking your case in your own hands, you will work after your own wisdom. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 47

When this course is pursued, the cloud of heavenly witnesses look upon you with grieved amazement and register your work in the books of heaven: Clouds without water; cisterns which hold no water; dead branches, which must be removed and bound up in bundles ready to be burned. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 48

God calls upon you through His humble ambassador to obey the words of Christ, and to be all that God has purposed you shall be. He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Through the mediation of faithful workers, by their right course of action, a practical influence is reflected, and in this work all the holy influences of heaven, and the sanctified influences of earth are to be combined. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 49

There is a great work to be done in Michigan, and there are but few to undertake the work, because God’s people are at ease in Zion. Some do not wish to be disturbed. Unconsecrated and unholy, they know not the time of their visitation. They do not want to see or sense the necessities for this time. Michigan is far behind what she might be and is neglecting her work for the Master. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 50

The meaning of the words, “I am made a minister,” is too little comprehended. [Colossians 1:25.] Those who preach the Word of life to others should be weighted with the Spirit of Christ, as was Paul. If the minister goes to his work light-loaded, if he carries no burden for the people, he shows that he has mistaken his calling. He has not that spirit of intercession and consecration to God that would enable him to receive light from God. Those who work for God must feed upon Christ, for spiritually they are built up from what they eat. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, they have wisdom from God, not only to eat of Christ, but to feed the flock of God in due season, giving to every man his portion. By such, the flock of God will be fed from the Word of God, which is Spirit and Life. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 51

But if the man who claims to have a burden to preach has not been sanctified through the truth he preaches, he will not help those for whom he labors. The question, whether his past course is censurable, or whether he has made crooked paths for his feet, should be brought home to his soul. If he has fallen under temptation, if he has dissembled, if he has engaged with the thief, or committed robbery in business deal, let him seek the Lord with all humility of mind, <and make restoration.> 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 52

We form a part of the great web of humanity, and a mutual influence passes from one to another, not only in the church, but the family in heaven and the family on earth blend, in order that Christ may become a power in the world. All the jewels of truth given to patriarchs and prophets which have been accumulating from age to age, and from generation to generation, are to be gathered up as hereditary trusts. The sacred influences of present and past generations make a strong and powerful agency for God, able to stand, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. God’s people of today have all the privileges and opportunities of former generations <and increased light> to make them more powerful in the work of God than the people of preceding generations have been. These advantages demand corresponding returns. In harmony with our heavenly treasures are to be our efforts to open the way before others. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 53

The Lord is at hand. Heavenly intelligences united with sanctified influences of earth are to proclaim the third angel’s message and <sound> the warning, The end of all things is at hand. “For yet a little while, and he that will come shall come, and will not tarry.” [Hebrews 10:37.] A people are to be prepared to stand in the day of the Lord, and having done all, to stand. Those who crowd together in cities and villages are making a serious mistake. Those who thus neglect to extend their influence by circulating wider and wider, reaching to the uttermost parts of the world, are neglecting to stand at their post of duty. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 54

Every soul who claims to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent should seek to do his utmost for the enlargement of His kingdom, praying, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;” “for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen,” and working in harmony with their prayer. [Matthew 6:10, 13.] Faith works by love and purifies the soul. We read of the early disciples, “The whole multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one mind.” [Acts 4:32.] The Spirit of Christ pervaded the whole as a vitalizing current. “And God which knoweth the heart bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us.” [Acts 15:8.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 55

In His prayer for His disciples shortly before His ascension, Christ said, “Neither pray I for these alone; but for them also that 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.” [John 17:20, 21.] O that these blessed words may be written by the finger of God upon every heart. It is positively essential that every individual labor earnestly for the fulfilment of this prayer. Christ’s words plainly specify the importance of this oneness and how much is involved in the matter of their unity, “That the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Satan will make masterly efforts to cast his hellish shadow between Christ and our souls; and are not Christ’s words of sufficient force to make us realize that the members of the church should put from them, as brethren, everything that would have the least tendency to disunion and discord and strife? It is Satan’s own planned scheme to make the Christian world dishonor Christ instead of honoring Him. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 56

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 43:10.] “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14.] God has given His people great light, and He expects them to walk in the light, to move under the direct influence of the light, and to repeat over and over, as did Paul, God’s miraculous leadings in the past. The prophets have prophesied of this time in which we live. They spoke of future events, and we have the benefit of their enlightenment. “Not unto themselves, but unto us did they minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which things the angels desire to look into.” [1 Peter 1:12.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 57

The light of truth is not given us to hide. Our experience in the faith is to be communicated to those who are in darkness. Our work is to magnify Christ <and not ourselves> and to represent His character to the world. As we do this work, we shall become charged with a fresh power direct from God. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in all these things I delight, saith the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23, 24.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 58

When there is an entire surrender to God in every church, there will be new conversions daily. Every Christian will see in his brother the image of Christ. The members of the churches will read in each others countenances benevolence, and brotherly love. One interest will predominant—to be as Christ was one with the Father; one subject of emulation will swallow up everything else—who will the most closely resemble Christ and present to perishing souls the truth as it is in Jesus? Then the church will wear the credentials of Christ. 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 59

“I will be as the dew unto Israel: and he shall grow up as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” [Hosea 14:5-9.] “Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. ... The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.” [Psalm 128:1-5.] 7LtMs, Ms 7, 1891, par. 60