Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 47a, 1898

Our Relation to Commercial Work


May 16, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 40.

To the Workers in the Publishing House:

The connection of every soul with God is essential. “Let a man so account of us as unto ministers of Christ and stewards of the mystery of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things off darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every man (if found true and faithful) have praise of God.” “But he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.” “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord; for not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” [1 Corinthians 4:1, 2, 5; Romans 2:29; 2 Corinthians 10:17, 18.] 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 1

In the night season I was in a council meeting, where the message was given to the responsible and interested workers in the Echo office. The necessity was presented of making decided changes in the work; and some began to question and to require exact specifications as to what must be done. Then One represented as our Counsellor stepped forth and thus presented matters before us: 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 2

“It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” [1 Timothy 1:15.] His followers are to make the salvation of sinners their first work. His ministers are grievously mistaking their calling and misunderstanding their Master’s work when they permit themselves to be diverted to any matters that have an influence to cheapen their minds or their characters. Daniel in Babylon was placed in a most critical and trying position, but while he did the work assigned to him as a statesmen, he plainly refused to handle any work that would militate against God. This course provoked discussion, and thus the Lord, through His providence, which is always at work in human affairs, brought Daniel into reasoning relation with the king of Babylon. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 3

God had light for Nebuchadnezzar, and through Daniel was presented to the king things foretold in the prophecies against Babylon and other kingdoms. By the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Jehovah was exalted as more powerful than earthly kings. It is for a purpose that the Lord thus comes in close contact with human minds, even with the minds of idolaters. But Nebuchadnezzar perverted the light given. He read the interpretation of the dream in accordance with his own idolatrous mind, and this led to the setting up of a golden image, which represented the glory of himself and his kingdom. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 4

When the fiery trial came upon those who would not bow the knee to that idolatrous image, Christ Himself walked in the fiery furnace with His three faithful servants. Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was so moved upon by this wonderful miracle that he acknowledged God, and His superior power. The king was instructed by Daniel that all men, whether king or subjects, were not to read the Scriptures and God’s providences in the light of their dreams and fancies, but were to read their dreams in the light of the living oracles. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had been interpreted by Daniel in the light of the Scriptures, but Nebuchadnezzar had so brought it into harmony with his own understanding and ambitions, that he made this wonderful display of idolatry with the hope of converting all nations to the worship of his image, which represented the excellency of Babylon. But the fall of Babylon came in an hour of feasting and revelry. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 5

So will it be in the end of the world. The period in which we are now living is one of peculiar and momentous importance. The students of God’s Word, in these last days, will work away from the customs and appointments of the world’s great counsellors. They will not say, “My Lord delayeth his coming,” but like the wise virgins will be prepared, with oil in their vessels with their lamps, to go forth to meet the Bridegroom. [Matthew 24:48; 25:6-10.] 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 6

The Lord communicates light and wisdom to His people if they are walking in the light. It is not the plan of God to specify regarding all the questions which are agitated in regard to your future work. It is much easier to ask as did the lawyer, “Who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:29] than to do the work of righteousness that opens before you in the providences of God. Commence to work with the light which God has given you, and as you shall set your inquisitive minds at work to examine yourselves, whether you have the love of God in your hearts, you will find knowledge regarding His will. “The wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 7

There are minds among you which are being educated to confuse judgment by words. This is Satan’s studied plan. There is no possibility of defining in every particular the work that should be accepted or rejected as displeasing and dishonoring to God; but there is no danger of being misled if the heart is susceptible to the influences of the Spirit of God. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 8

Your first and essential work is to give the message of mercy and warning to the world. Give it quickly to those who will hear. No wall of seclusion is to be built up between believers and unbelievers, for those who know not the truth are to be warned and enlightened. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Christ came to encircle the world with an atmosphere of grace, and we are to be co-workers with Him. There are many in high places who will receive the light of truth, if those who claim to believe the truth have that faith that works with love, that faith that will recommend their doctrines to those who know not the truth. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 9

Let an atmosphere of love and peace and unity circulate through every department of the office. Angels will be commissioned to impart divine influences that will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers, and a fragrant influence will go forth from the workers to all who choose to inhale it. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 10

That the mercies, favors, and bounties of God are granted to all the world, is a lesson to all classes. God’s blessings—the sunshine and the showers, the heat and the cold, and every natural blessing—are given both to the just and to the unjust. This is a lesson of special force to those who carry the message of truth. Exclusiveness is not to be maintained by any people. Our light is to be set on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are within the house. Light is a blessing, a universal blessing, pouring forth its treasures on a world unthankful, unholy, demoralized. “I am the Light of the world,” Christ said. [John 8:12.] He came to break down every wall of exclusion, to throw open every door in the temple where God presides, that every ear may hear, that every eye may see, and that every thirsty soul may drink of the water of life freely. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 11

The character of God must be represented by those who believe. As soon as believers honor God, He will honor them by His presence. As we advance, the Holy Spirit will communicate the knowledge that it is essential for them to have. The human mind must be sanctified and made pure from all selfishness and greed, then God can use us as living channels of light. God will breathe His Spirit on the sincere, contrite, penitent, believing disciples, but the self-sufficient receive not the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 12

If a ray of light shines into the soul, it comes from God. A melting, subduing spirit of sympathy needs to be cultivated through love to God and love for one another. Christ would have all who are connected with His work give evidence that they are a pure, peculiar people, zealous of good works. 13LtMs, Ms 47a, 1898, par. 13