Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 87, 1898

Go, Work Today in My Vineyard


July 7, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 232-235, 243, 254-255; 6MR 25. +Note

To know the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is everything to us individually. We must wear the yoke of Christ. Only in submission and consecration is rest found. God in Christ is full of mercy, love, goodness, and truth. His compassion cannot be measured. Look at the cross of Calvary. Behold God’s precious gift. We should set a high estimate upon the Gospel, building our hopes on the sure Rock, Christ Jesus. The time has come, and this will be seen more and more plainly, when a faithful standard bearer for God, who ministers in word and doctrine, is far more secure than those who possess gold and silver. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 1

At this time uncertainty and irreligion prevails. There is a famine in the world for the true Word. How few there are who preach the Gospel undiluted by human tradition. Said the apostle Paul, “My speech and my wisdom [preaching] are not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” [1 Corinthians 2:4.] Today the simple truths of the Word of God are preached by very few. Let us search and try our hearts, to see if we are in travail of soul for those who know not the truth. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 2

The Lord of life and glory humbled Himself to partake of human nature, that in and through Him the fallen sons and daughters of Adam may become united with God. Never could an earthly father feel as great and deep a pity and sympathy for his sons and daughters as our heavenly Father feels for His sons and daughters. Never can love be shown like the love our Father in heaven has shown for the human family. “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.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 3

This is the truth that is to be proclaimed everywhere. If we only had the leaven of truth in our hearts, we would have for one another the love that Christ had for us. All who know this love are privileged above anything that language can express. To understand it means to understand what Paul meant when he said, “That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (through the leaven of truth); “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God.” [Ephesians 3:16-19.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 4

If we are laborers together with God, the deep interest we have in those for whom Christ died, will lead is to use His precious gifts to the very best advantage in rescuing the souls who are dying in their sins. As we use the power we have in God’s lines, we shall be encouraged to exercise faith. We shall be shown what we can do in connection with Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 5

There are many souls to be saved. Begin your work by feeding the hungry, by ministering to their bodily necessities. This will give you an opportunity to minister to the necessities of the soul. By ministering to the temporal necessities of the neglected, the way is prepared for the uplifting of Christ. With those who do this work because the Lord has given it to them to do, hunting for the lost sheep, speaking words in season and out of season, helping the needy, telling them of the wonderful love that Jesus has for them, the Saviour is always present, impressing the hearts of those who are poor, miserable, and wretched with their need. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 6

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen?” God asks, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” [Isaiah 58:6, 7.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 7

This is the recipe Christ has prescribed for faint-hearted, doubting, trembling saints. Let the sorrowful ones, who walk mournfully before the Lord, arise and help some one that needs help. In His Word Christ has provided something definite and solid for diseased souls to grasp and lean upon. The leaven of truth in the soul will lead you to do the very work that Christ did when He was on this earth. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 8

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” [Verse 8.] Christ is our righteousness; He goes before us in this work, and the glory of the Lord follows. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 9

Human beings are precious in the sight of the Lord. He has pointed out our work definitely, for He Himself, the Son of the living God, stooped to uplift the fallen. By pledges and words of assurance He sought to win to Himself the poor, lost, perishing sheep. Is it not a very strange thing that those for whom Christ has died are so lightly regarded, that we put so little of ourselves into the work of doing what we can to rescue those who are suffering from poverty, sickness, and heartache! Who need to know that Christ will forgive their sins and pardon their transgressions? 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 10

This work is to be done for the love of Christ and for the love of the beings that the Lord loved so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for them. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 11

Satan has prepared every kind of temptation to ensnare the youth, and not the youth only, but those of all ages. For rich and for poor he has spread his net, that he may ruin God’s workmanship. And the church, which should be a living power, is asleep. Men of discernment, of vital piety, are needed, who will look with horror upon the thousand and thousands of public houses which are sustained by law, and which make drunkards. But many give their influence to the great destroyer, aiding him by voice and vote to destroy the moral image of God in man, not thinking of the families that are degraded by a perverted appetite for liquor. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 12

Many a man has not the moral power to pass a saloon, with its attractions and its invitations. He enters, and the glass is put to his lips. The intoxicating draught takes away his reason, and throws him into the control of a spirit that leads him to do violence and murder. He ruins his health and destroys his power of distinguishing between right and wrong, between the sacred and the common. His wife and children are beggared, and all because Satan’s temptations were not resisted. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 13

The liquor seller knows the effect of liquor drinking, for it is acted out at his own door in scenes of quarreling and fighting. What an account that liquor dealer will have to render to his God! What an account, too, will the poor inebriate have to render to God! He has brought children into the world with the same desires that control him. His sinful inclinations will be perpetuated in his children and his children’s children. One man becomes defiled by a wrong course of action, and he defiles many others. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 14

If men, and women as well, are to be thus beguiled, will not the Lord work through His church, impressing His people to do their duty to these deceived victims? By many, liquor has been regarded as the only solace in trouble. This need not be if God’s people seized the opportunities offered them. If their eyes were not blinded by selfishness, they would see the work waiting to be done. They would be sent by God to do the work He would have had them do in the beginning of their experience, when their souls were filled with joy and gladness because their sins had been pardoned. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 15

All who strive in the name of the Lord Jesus to counteract the evil of self-indulgence are doing the very work Jesus of Nazareth came to our world to do. Make every effort to save all you possibly can. Do not argue that the evil is so deep and so widespread, and is increasing so rapidly that your efforts will not avail. Christians, do not reason in this way. Rally round the standard of Christ. See in the degraded specimens of humanity men and women whom Christ came to save. Although they may have sunk to the very lowest depths of sin, there is a possibility of saving them. Feed the hungry, clothe and naked, presenting at the same time the love of the great Physician, who came to seek and to save that which was lost. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” He said. [Mark 2:17.] It is sinners that the church of God is called upon to seek and to save. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 16

Remember that every soul you succeed in saving will have that life that measures with the life of God. Those you are trying to help will be continually tempted to evil; but because of this, do not cease your efforts. Remember the helplessness of these poor, tempted human beings. Their fellow men are yoked up with Satan, to present his bribes. Let all who name the name of Christ arouse, and make determined efforts, knowing that Jesus, the great Physician of the soul and of the body is our efficiency. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 17

Among the wealthy there is mirth, liquor drinking, revelling, dissipation. There is no dirth of balls, games, theaters. All these tempt men and women from their allegiance. There are those like the maiden who danced before Herod, so infatuating the besotted king that Satan gained control of his mind, and led him by a rash movement to sacrifice the life of one of the greatest of the prophets. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 18

But notwithstanding all this, work, work, for Christ’s sake, work. Souls should not be left to perish. Lift before them the crucified Saviour. Point them to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Some will be led to look upon the dishonored Saviour. Christ will inspire them with faith to look and live. Others will not persevere in the work of overcoming, but will fall back, as did some in the days of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 19

Today the Lord Jesus is working His miracles. The hardened dead hear His voice and live. “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” [Ephesians 2:1.] In the remarkable conversions that take place in this age of the world, we may trace the finger of God. Shall we then fold our hands and do nothing? We are under obligation to God to show an interest in those around us. Your neighbor may be yielding to the temptation to destroy himself by liquor drinking and tobacco using. He may be burning up his vital organs by fiery stimulant. He is pursuing this course to the ruination of himself and his wife and children, who have no success in trying to stay the feet that are travelling the road to perdition. God calls upon you to work in His vineyard, to do all in your power to save your fellow creatures. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 20

It is the special work of Christians to help those who have fallen under Satan’s temptations. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] If we had the mind of Christ, we would work in the same lines that Christ worked. If you see a man who has by yielding to temptation weakened his moral power, do all that you can to help him. Let him that is strong support the weak. Help him by speaking words that encourage faith. By your influence seek to strengthen every good trait in his character. Remember that you are not dealing with a sane man, but with one who is, for the time being, under the power of a demon. Remember that in the past Satan has controlled his mind and directed his actions. When he comes to his senses, when he is no longer drunk, do all a human being can do to show him that you are his friend. Do not blame him, for very likely he curses himself; but help him to rise. Without some one to help him, he will go over the same ground again and again. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 21

If poor helpless beings are to be rescued, it will be by arousing in them the sense that it is not too late for them to be men. Let those who would act the part of the priest and Levite pass by on the other side, saying, It is time lost to work for a man who is so weak in moral power. But Christ died for that soul. Shall the heavy ransom paid for him be of no account? Let every one who believes himself to be a Christian strive with all his power to do the work that Christ did. The Lord will use as his instrumentalities those who faithfully act their part. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 22

Thousands might have been saved if those who have acted as the priest and Levite had acted the part of the good Samaritan. Who will now awake to their God-given responsibilities? One soul rescued is a soul saved from Satan’s grasp. The great Physician stands by the side of the faithful worker, saying to the repentant, discouraged soul, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” [Mark 2:5.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 23

Christ is waiting to exercise His power in behalf of the broken down victims of intemperance; but few, very few of those who claim to be His children have co-operated with Him by speaking hopeful words to these discouraged souls, and taking to them if necessary the gifts of simple food, unstimulating drink, and clean clothing. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 24

The wretched victim of intemperance may refuse to seize the opportunity of regaining his manliness by breaking with Satan. Is it any less your duty to strive to awaken the soul dead in trespasses and sins by doing all that human effort can do? Jesus will work wonderful miracles if men will but do their God-given part. In his own strength man can never recover souls from Satan’s grasp. A union with Christ only can accomplish this restoration. Man must work, he must pray, he must uplift the discouraged and hopeless by his human endeavor, while he grasps the arm of the Mighty One, and wrestles as did Jacob for the victory. His cry must be, I cannot, I will not let thee go unless Thou bless me. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 25

The world has utterly failed to restore the moral image of God in man. We see a multitude who have been allured to sell their reason for a glass of rum. The man who tempts his brother to do this is Satan’s agent, and is working to ruin his fellow man. The world looks on without the power to counteract the satanic evil. Shall the priests and Levites see the ruin Satan is working, without making an effort, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, to lift up a standard against the enemy? Shall those who claim to be sons and daughters of God feel perfectly at liberty to enjoy the good things of this life, as did Dives, making no right use of that which God gave to use in carrying out His purposes? Shall the pitying tenderness of the Saviour for wretched, fallen, hopeless beings be in vain for the want of human channels through which He can communicate His treasures of food and clothing and words fitly spoken? 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 26

What was Bunyan before his conversion? Who wrought in him the great change? His life reveals the power of the divine Physician. He was dead in trespasses and sins, but Christ re-created him. He took his mind under His control, and showed him wonderful things, enabling him to place them in such a form as to be the means of enlightening many in regard to the Christian warfare. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 27

Man is dead, without God and without hope in the world. But over the rent sepulcher of Joseph Christ proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] Not only will all who are in their graves hear His voice and come forth; He is today the restorer of those who are dead in trespasses and sins. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 28

Just as wonderful miracles will be wrought upon human minds in the future as have been wrought in the past. Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and revelling, Newton from slave-dealing, to proclaim the uplifted Saviour. Do not forget that a Bunyan and a Newton may be redeemed from among men today just as in the past. These cases reveal God’s love to us. They show us that the God of nature is above nature in His deep and inexpressible love to man. By His power He causes the dead in trespasses and sins to hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 29

There is work for everyone to do. When God’s people open the door of their hearts to the love of God, the light of His glory will be revealed in their work, as we have not yet seen it. All around you, in our cities, towns, and villages there are those who are tired, worn, depressed, whom Satan is tempting to indulge in amusements that pave the broad road that leads to ruin and death. He is offering them the apples of Sodom, which when they are eaten, will be as ashes. Who will take upon themselves the burden of these souls? By judicious effort many can be reached who are now infatuated by pleasures that drive Christ from the soul. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 30

There are many in poverty who are being driven to ruin. If the large sums of money now devoted to erecting monuments to the dead were used to help the hungry, starving, dying millions that throng our world, God would be much better pleased. Is He not a God of the living? In the judgment a strict account will be required for every misused talent. Those who now engage in horseracing, cricket matches, gambling, are spending money for that which is not bread. Can they receive the benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? [Matthew 25:23.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 31

The cities and villages of today are leavened with the principles that prevailed in the time of Christ. “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, when the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” [Luke 17:26-30.] 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 32

We must proclaim the truth now. We are guilty of a fearful sin if we neglect to co-operate with God in His work of salvation. There are fearful conflicts in our world, with war and bloodshed. In this, are men patterning after Christ, who declared that He came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them? “He that taketh the sword shall perish with the sword,” He said. [Matthew 26:52.] Let us press to the mercy seat, and in the name of Christ claim the power that has been promised to co-workers with Him. 13LtMs, Ms 87, 1898, par. 33