Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 22, 1897

“Go Ye Into all the World, and Preach the Gospel to Every Creature.”


March 5, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1137; SpTA #10 33-39.

All who name the name of Christ should work for Him with heart and mind and soul and strength; and they will work if they believe the great gospel of truth. The heartiness of their zeal for Christ’s sake will testify to the measure of their faith. Self will be swallowed in Christ if they are truly united with Him. “I live,” said the great apostle, “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 1

The light given over and over again by the Spirit of God is, Do not colonize. Enter the large cities, and create an interest among the high and the low. Make it your work to preach the gospel to the poor, but do not stop there. Seek to reach the higher classes also. Study your location with a view to letting your light shine forth to others. This work should have been done long since. Do not make the Sabbath question your first specialty. You must reach the people with practical subjects, upon which all can agree. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 2

But the work that should have been done, in accordance with the light given by the great Teacher, has not been done. Your councils and board meetings have been composed of men who have not reached the highest standard, who do not wholly love and fear God. For a long time self has been interwoven with every line of the work; and God is dishonored. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 3

God’s people have a work to do which is not being done. The last message of mercy must be given to a world perishing in their sins. Those who are connected with our institutions have every facility and opportunity to work for the poor sinners that are out of Christ; but they are dumb. If our churches would only practice the truth, and show that they believe that Christ came to our world to save sinners, the power of God would attend their labors. But they must keep in touch with the Source of all light and efficiency, and in touch with the world, not to imbibe the spirit of the world, but that they may do the work God has appointed them to do. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 4

Camp Meetings

Light has been given that camp meetings are to be held in large cities. These meetings are not to be held in the same locality again and again. The place of meetings should be changed, that others may have opportunity to know the truth. But narrow ideas have been favored by some. In some cases men have reasoned that the lumber was on the ground, and that to save expense, the meeting ought to be held in the same place. This has often been of sufficient force to lead our brethren to decide to hold their camp meetings over and over again in the same location. But this has been a mistake. All such reasoning brings weakness and loss. In our camp meetings much may be done to bring the light of truth before the people. But “O ye of little faith” is applicable to many that should have much faith. [Matthew 8:26.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 5

A company of laborers should be selected to labor in every place where a camp meeting is to be held. These should work among the lonely, the poor, the oppressed, creating an interest in our work. Medical missionaries are the best qualified for this work, but others should be connected with them, who, although they have not been educated in this line, may learn from their fellow workers the best manner of labor. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 6

Interest all that you can, high or low, rich or poor, in the meetings. In these meetings, sermons are needed, but the discourses should be short, clear, conclusive, and right to the point. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 7

God’s workers must manifest love. Love shown for God, and for those for whom Christ died, will do a work we can hardly comprehend. But those who do not cherish and cultivate this love cannot be successful missionaries. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 8

Those who are divested of selfishness will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. “He that loveth not, knoweth not God.” [1 John 4:8.] It was love for God that made Christ say, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” [Psalm 40:8.] “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” [John 4:34.] Talk, Pharisaism, and self-praise is abundant; but this will never win souls to Christ. Pure, sanctified love, expressed by Christ’s lifework, is as sacred perfume. Like an opened bottle of perfume, it fills the whole house with fragrance. Eloquence, an extended knowledge of the truth, outward devotion, rare talents, if mingled with sacred, humble love, will become as fragrant as the opened box of ointment. But gifts alone, ability alone, the choicest endowments alone, cannot take the place of love. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 9

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,” writes Paul, “and have not charity (love), I am nothing. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” [1 Corinthians 13:1, 2.] The gift of utterance may make the one who has it vain-glorious. Love seeks not glory, but is kind; “seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” [Verse 5.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 10

Ministerial Institutes

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” is Christ’s command to His workers. [Mark 16:15.] But this plain declaration has been disregarded. Even though the light has been given again and again, men are called from the fields ..., where they should have continued working in the love and fear of God, seeking to save the lost, to spend weeks in attending a ministerial institute. There was a time when this work was made necessary because our own people opposed the work of God by refusing the light of truth on the righteousness of Christ by faith. This they should have received and re-echoed with heart and voice and pen, for it is their only efficiency. They should have labored under the Holy Spirit’s dictation to give the light to others. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 11

By devoting year after year to ministerial institutes, fields have been neglected that are white already to harvest. Even the workers have been weakened instead of being strengthened. This has been a mistake. God calls upon His servants to communicate, not to be ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 12

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The great object of the advent of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified by Christ. “When he is come,” He said, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” [John 16:8.] This light has been kept before our people for years. The power of the Holy Spirit has been largely manifested at Battle Creek, the great heart of the work, to be communicated to those in the highways and hedges, that the mass of human beings under Satan’s sway of sin and death might be reformed and renovated by the Spirit’s power. But when light has come to those at the center of the work, they have not known how to treat it. The testimonies God has given His people are in harmony with His Word. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 13

When Christ spoke these words, He was standing in the shadow of the shameful cross, the symbol of the guilt which made the sacrifice of Christ necessary, in order to save the world from complete ruin. Christ looked forward to the time when the Holy Spirit, as His representative, should come to do a wonderful work in and through His merits; and He felt privileged to communicate His relief to His disciples. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 14

The Son of God Himself descended from heaven in the garb of humanity that He might give power to man, enabling him to be a partaker of the divine nature, and to escape the corruption which is in the world through lust. His long human arm encircled the race, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite. By living, not to please Himself, but to please His heavenly Father, by spending His life in work for others, by doing good, and seeking to save suffering humanity, Christ gave practical lessons of self-denial and self-sacrifice. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 15

But Satan, working through disobedient elements, was counterworking the work of God. By one desperate act he determined to cut off every ray of light that was shining amid the moral darkness of the world, and thus cut off the communication coming from the throne of God. He determined to defy God the Father, who sent His Son into the world. This is the heir, said the wicked husbandman; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they crucified the Lord of life and glory. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 16

Before He offered Himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon the world, which would act in His place, and bring the boundless resources of grace within the reach of His followers. “I will pray the Father,” He said, “and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [John 14:16, 17.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 17

The striking feature of divine operations is the accomplishment of the greatest work that can be done in our world by very simple means. It is God’s plan that every part of His government shall depend on every other part, the whole as a wheel within a wheel, working with entire harmony. He moves upon human forces, causing His Spirit to touch invisible cords, and the vibration rings to the extremity of the universe. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 18

The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 19

The Need of a Connection with God

God has been pointing out a work which is to be done. The world must be warned. He has given men and women the privilege of being co-partners with Him in this great work. If they would use only the facilities provided by God, placing the sacred fire upon their censers, with the fragrant incense, a firm connection would be made between the might of divine power, and the human agent. But if men think that they are sufficient of themselves, they become vain-glorious, and the spirit of corruption spreads through the entire being. God cannot use them. Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 20

Those who have not a living connection with God have not an appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, and do not distinguish between the sacred and the common. They do not obey God’s voice, because, as the Jewish nation, they know not the time of their visitation. There is no help for man, woman, or child, who will not hear and obey the voice of duty, for the voice of duty is the voice of God. The eyes, the ears, and the heart will become unimpressible if men and women refuse to give heed to the divine counsel, and choose the way that is best pleasing to themselves. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 21

O how much better it would be if all who do this were connected with some other work than the sacred institutions appointed by God as His great centers. They are supposed to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; but this is a mistake. They do not do the work of God faithfully; they do not give evidence that they realize its sacred character. Their influence misleads others, causing them to regard lightly God’s instrumentalities ordained for the saving of souls, and leading them to think that they may bring in their own ideas and common thoughts and plans. Thus a low, cheap level is reached, and God is greatly dishonored. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 22

God would have all who have such an experience engrained in their religious life choose occupation elsewhere, in laborious, narrow spheres, where eternal interests will not be cheapened by their unconsecrated lives, where there is less room to encounter temptation. Strenuous flesh-wearing toil may counteract and subdue their evil propensities, and others will not be leavened by their harmful tendencies and traits of character. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 23

Those who have any connection with God’s work in any of our institutions must have a connection with God, and must be committed to do right under all circumstances, that they may know where they will be found in the day of trial. No one connected with the sacred work of God can remain on neutral ground. If a man is divided, undecided, unsettled, until he is sure that he will lose nothing, he shows that he is a man God cannot use. But many are working in this line. They have not been appointed by God, or else they have decidedly failed to be worked by the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 24

The Lord will use educated men if their supposed knowledge does not lead them to desire to work the Holy Spirit, and to seek to teach the Lord that human policy is better than divine plans, because it accords better with popular opinion. Every one in God’s service is under bonds to stand forth boldly and meet prejudice, opposition, and human passion. They must ever remember that they are God’s servants, and in His service. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 25

Personal Labor

Is it not time for us to prepare for the great day of the Lord? God has sent testimonies to Battle Creek, calling upon those who have received light and knowledge to move away from Battle Creek, and let their light shine where the people are in darkness. But earnest, well-organized efforts have not been made in this line. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 26

The Lord will not accept those who labor selfishly among those who have had light and knowledge, and who will not work for the Master by making unselfish efforts to communicate the light they have received. His people should settle in other neighborhoods, nigh or afar off, and seek to win souls to Christ. Do not think that if you devote a little of your time to God’s service, that you must be paid for it. Work for the Master while you are laboring with your hands at your daily toil. Show your true colors. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 27

Do not engage in controversy. Live the truth. Show your hospitality by opening your doors to any who may come, and then open your Bible, and show them the beauty of the heavenly treasure. But make your seasons of prayer and your Scripture exercises short. Long drawn-out expositions of the Word will only weary the listeners. Some may think they are interesting, but they are tiresome to most. Devote a short time to this exercise, and have life in yourself, showing that you understand the value of the truth. And when you pray, ask the Lord for the very things you need. Do not tell Him a long story, as if informing Him of something; do not preach Him a sermon; but ask earnestly for the Bread of life, and for wisdom. Such an experience will be of the greatest value to the one who does this work. But be sure that your own spirit is vivified by the Holy Spirit. Show that you are in earnest. Let the light of heaven flash forth in distinct rays. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 28

Thousands might be working in this line. They will do better work if educated, but take heed lest too much stress is placed on an education in our schools as a necessity. If the human agent will place himself under the guidance of Christ, using all the opportunities he has to gain knowledge, he will be taught of God. If he has a burning desire to seek, and to save the souls that are ready to perish, the Holy Spirit will be his efficiency. He will catch the meaning of the words of Christ, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. ... By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 29

Great activity has been shown in holding meetings, and all have seemed to be busy enough; but if there were less sermonizing, if one-half the time were devoted to earnest prayer, much more work would be done. The Holy Spirit has been sent to be the efficiency and power of all who ask for its guidance; and never was there more need of the Holy Spirit’s guidance than at the present time. Let earnest prayer ascend to God that the light of His Spirit may shine upon the Word, and enable us to understand what we read. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 30

Our Saviour’s words, “Search the Scriptures,” mean more than many suppose. [John 5:39.] The Scriptures must be searched with humble hearts. Gather the divine rays of light from the sacred pages. Study one verse at a time, that you may take in its full significance and true meaning. As you do this, light will shine upon other portions of the Word; the truth long obscured and hidden will be plainly revealed. The golden rays of light will be found all through the field of revelation, and gathered together will form the precious gospel which is to be communicated to others. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 31

Impressions have been entertained that Dr. Kellogg is carrying the medical missionary work too far. Why did not those who thus tremble strive to act a noble, earnest, zealous part by being doers of the Word? Had the churches in Michigan received and appropriated the light that the Lord has graciously given them, letting it shine forth in good works, they would have received much blessing. Why did you not labor for those who are not converted? Why have your efforts been so largely devoted to those who know the truth, and who ought to be making earnest, whole-souled efforts to rescue those that are out of the fold? There are those that might do this if they would work. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 32

For many years the Lord has specified what should be done. God has given to every man his work, according to his several ability. The carpenter, the merchant, the lawyer, the farmer, all have their different lines of work; but is this all? Are temporal matters to absorb the whole man? While he is working, he can pray, he can draw nigh to God, he can refresh his spirit in the Lord, he can look for object lessons in all his hands handle. Thus he will be prepared to work for the Master. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,” is a command given to every Christian. [Romans 12:11.] 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 33

While engaged in laboring with your hands, remember that you are doing service for God. When opening your doors for social meetings, inviting your neighbors, feeling an intense desire to make these meetings pleasant and agreeable to those who are not of our faith, you are working in Christ’s lines. God will give spiritual growth to the one who does this work, and will touch the hearts of those for whom he labors. God demands the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole mind, and the whole strength. No one is to hold back from doing God’s service until he is paid a stipulated price for his work. 12LtMs, Ms 22, 1897, par. 34