Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 123, 1897

Christ’s Commission


November 17, 1897 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 330. +Note

The Lord has given His church a special work of personal service to do. God could have sent angels to work for the reformation of man, but He did not do this. Humanity must touch humanity. The church is the Lord’s instrumentality. He works through those that are willing to be worked. If the church had cherished a sense of her accountability, fervent, earnest messengers would have carried the truth to countries far and near. God’s living Word would have been preached in every corner of the earth. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 1

What was Christ’s last commission to His disciples before He left them? Lifting up His hands, He blessed them, and said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” [Mark 16:15.] This command has not been fully obeyed by the professed followers of Christ our salvation depends on our obedience. It is left with each one to say whether he will qualify himself to do the work God has appointed him to do, or whether he will bury his talent in the earth. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 2

Christ’s commission is to be received and acted upon. We are to go forth in faith, with earnest prayer for the presence of One who has said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] With the promise of such companionship, we are guilty of great unbelief and disobedience if we refuse to take up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 3

The words, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” are spoken to every individual. [Mark 16:15.] We may be adapted for different branches of the work, but while we do our part unselfishly, we are obeying the command. Do we search the precious Word of God interestedly, that we may say, “The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple” [Psalm 119:130]—not men and women of weak intellect, but to those who cherish simplicity of heart and mind, who are willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit, that they may know how to open the Word of life to others? As we communicate the light that has found entrance to our souls, the Holy Spirit gives increased light, and our hearts are filled with the precious joy of the Lord. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 4

Christ did not go to heaven directly after His death. It is claimed by some that when He died, although His body was laid in the grave, His spirit went to heaven. But after His resurrection He said <to Mary,> “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and you Father, to my God and your God.” [John 20:17.] If after He bowed His head and died, He directly went to heaven, certainly He did ascend to His Father. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 5

Christ remained in the grave the allotted period of time, and then He took up His life again. In the hearing of the people He had said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again,” referring to His body. [John 2:19.] He came forth from the grave a conqueror, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 6

We have a crucified, risen Saviour to present to the people. All who have come to Jesus for pardon have found Him ever ready to take their sins, and to impute His righteousness to them. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 7

He who has come to Christ and has been truly converted will have a longing to save the souls that are out of Christ. He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself cannot rest content with doing nothing. He goes forth proclaiming, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] As he comes to Christ himself, his whole soul breathes out for Christ. He receives the light and knowledge that the Lord gives to every true seeker to impart to others. After the Holy Spirit has molded the heart of the true believer, the light that enters heart and mind cannot be shut in. It must shine forth <outwardly> to others. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 8

God will use humble men as His instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church, a church that does not use her talents in the work of co-operating with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all, our friends, our acquaintances, those that are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much and for us, and we must say, “Come.” 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 9

God has entrusted the knowledge of the truth of redemption to every converted soul. This knowledge they are to give to others. With a tender, sympathetic heart tell them of the great truth of redemption. If we are in earnest, we can and will so speak <the truth> that all will see that we have the love of the truth in our hearts. The frivolity and love of amusement that we encounter may chill our soul, but it will not silence the message we bear as Christ’s witnesses. And each soul saved will save other souls, for those who are truly converted will realize that they are the depositaries of sacred trusts. What rich blessings will follow pure, consecrated effort, the worker depending on God to give the increase. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 10

It is a most fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends <alone> on ordained ministers. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of the souls of their fellow men. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] It is by the Spirit’s power that souls that are dead in trespasses and sins are quickened to hear the words of life. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 11

There are heathen at our doors; there is infidelity in the church that palsies the working element with unbelief. The command to work unselfishly and earnestly, wearing Christ’s yoke and bearing His burdens, rests upon every soul. Wherever his work, whatever his business, his first interest is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and by precept and example, in word, spirit, and action, show his earnest zeal for Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 123, 1897, par. 12