Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 37, 1899

The Need of Consecrated Workers


March 21, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 287-288; 10MR 319.

To the question Christ put to the twelve, “Will ye also go away?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” [John 6:67-69.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 1

When the leaders and teachers in our institutions and schools bring these words into their practical life, the Holy Spirit will be present to do its office work upon the hearts and minds of the students. The principles revealed in the daily life of Daniel and his companions are to be brought into our institutions. We are to know no other Leader but Christ, whose we are by creation and by redemption. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 2

Many who profess to be followers of Christ make but slight acknowledgement of His claims upon them, and a sickly, dwarfed religious experience is the result. Such acknowledgments as these cannot be productive of spiritual health and growth. Our workers must have a firm vital piety which they do not now possess. Spirituality will be seen in the lives of all who are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 3

“The corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:4.] This does not apply merely to the sin of licentiousness. Selfishness, self-gratification, pride of dress, of appearance, of talents, of knowledge, love of amusement, evil-surmising, evil-speaking, impatience, corrupt thoughts, impure conversation, covetousness—all these, if indulged, become warring lusts which fight against the Spirit of God. The work of the Holy Spirit is to reprove of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. This reproof—coming from the agents whom God may use—if rejected, leaves the soul in the same darkness which surrounded the Jews when they refused the light sent them through God’s beloved Son. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 4

The spiritual blindness of the Jews did not come to them all at once. God spoke to those who stood as teachers in Israel, and they refused to hear. He impressed them by His Holy Spirit, but they refused to yield to His working. They had abundance of evidence, but still they called for more. They made of none effect the commandments of God. While feigning to honor the Sabbath, they utterly failed to comprehend its true import, and the very day which God had given as a memorial of His created work, the day which He gave as a rest for man, they made a day of vigorous bondage. False standards of duty were erected; the outward and ceremonial was made to eclipse the spiritual requirements of God. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 5

Christ warned these men, saying, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the Master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, and he shall answer and say unto you, I know ye not whence ye are: then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold, there are last which shall be first, and the first which shall be last.” [Luke 13:24-30.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 6

These words amazed the scribes and Pharisees. God had given them every facility. In His providence He had bestowed upon them great light, and they had been regarded as the first, the only pious people on the face of the earth. At these words of Christ, they determined to get rid of Him, and sought to accomplish the work by intimidating Him. “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out and depart hence; for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.” [Verses 31-33.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 7

This people had closed their eyes that they should not see and their ears that they should not hear. They themselves had loaded the cloud of vengeance which burst upon them to their destruction. “Ye will not come unto me,” Christ said, “that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] The sure fate of Jerusalem, the harrowing scenes of her destruction as the result of their course of action, stood clearly revealed to Him, and He broke forth into the mournful lamentation, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” [Matthew 23:37-39.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 8

Who were the most guilty, the leaders in Israel or those who came to them for instruction? It was the teachers, the educators of the youth and of the people. Ezekiel calls them the ancients before the gates. These ancients, it must be understood, were not called so because of their age. They were the ones chosen to be counsellors, wise men who sat in the gate, and to whom the people came for advice and counsel. But the hearts of these men were not right in the sight of God. They were false teachers. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 9

We are to learn a lesson from the sin of Israel. The men who accept the position of educators should be men who are in communion with God. If they dared to assume these responsibilities, while they do not keep a connection with the Source of all wisdom, while they trust to their own human judgment, they incur guilt upon their souls; for they bring unsanctified maxims and customs and devisings into the most sacred work ever committed to mortals. These men lead astray those who depend upon them and trust in them. If those who learn lessons from them are not ruined body and soul, it is not because of any saving virtue in these ancients. It is because the people themselves are alarmed by the developments in themselves and their teachers. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 10

Let the teachers in our schools, from the highest to the lowest, come under the instruction of the divine Teacher, learning his meekness and lowliness of heart. Their own souls and the souls under their care will be in peril as long as they remain in their present position. Let every man and woman arouse to a sense of their God-given responsibility. Let not the ancients close the gates, so that the Lord can find no entrance into their families and their hearts. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 11

If the youth come to school determined to obtain instruction that will fit them for the higher grade, ministering angels will attend them at every step. The still, small voice is speaking to them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it” [Isaiah 30:21], and they must so conduct themselves that they will be susceptible to the influences of the Holy Spirit. Angels in the appearance of men will walk by the side of the student who will submit his will to God’s will. 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 12

Heavenly messengers are sent to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation, and these would converse with the teachers if they were not so well satisfied with old customs and maxims and the well-trodden path of tradition, if they were not so fearful of getting away from a certain line that keeps them under the shadow of the world. Men and women labor to obtain a class of food which is not calculated to strengthen spirituality, to give that wisdom, that knowledge, that higher education which comes from God, and which alone can give spiritual vigor and moral strength. Christ says, “Labor not for that meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of God shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” [John 6:27.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 13

The teacher should strive to have his knowledge of the Word and spiritual truth continually increase. But he cannot do this by wedding himself to certain authors. If he would have his powers and capabilities daily improve, he must study the Word of God, and work in Christ’s lines. This is represented as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. This is that meat which endureth unto everlasting life. The soul that is nourished by the bread of life will have every faculty vitalized by the Spirit of God. Paul exhorts us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] 14LtMs, Ms 37, 1899, par. 14