Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 19, 1899

“Compel Them to Come In.”


March 6, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 286-288. +Note

“Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens, that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he may return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 1

“And if he shall come in the second watch, or come on the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh in an hour when ye think not. ... Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” [Luke 12:32-40, 42, 43.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 2

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:19-24.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 3

“The end of all things is at hand. Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover a multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as with the ability that God giveth: that God in everything may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.” [1 Peter 4:7-11.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 4

“The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability, and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 5

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents, behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 6

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth, lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed; thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away, even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 25:14-30.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 7

We are to work earnestly and vigilantly to prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord. There is much to be done in preparation for that solemn event. Waiting, watching, praying and working—this is what we are to do as servants of God. Personal consecration is necessary, and this cannot be unless heart-holiness is cultivated and cherished. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 8

God requires us to be faithful in His service. There is to be no spiritual declension. The apostle exhorts us to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] All are to strive to increase their capabilities, that they may continually do better work for the Master. He has provided every facility so that His servants can work intelligently. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 9

Christ is our Master. By definite instructions he prepared his followers for their work before leaving them. As soon as he could talk, Christ used the talent of speech, in the family circle, and among friends and acquaintances, in a way that was without fault. Not one impure word escaped his lips. Never did he do a wrong action; for he was the Son of God. Although he possessed a human form, yet he was without a taint of sin. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 10

When invited, as his work commenced, to a dinner or feast, by Pharisee or publican, he accepted the invitation. He was accused by the religious leaders of eating with publicans, and they cast the imputation upon him that he was like them. But on such occasions Christ controlled the table talk, and gave many precious lessons. Those present listened to Him; for had He not healed their sick, comforted their sorrowing, taken their children in His arms and blessed them? Publicans and sinners were drawn to Him, and when He opened His lips to speak, their attention was riveted on him. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 11

Christ taught His disciples how to conduct themselves when in the company of those who were not religious and those who were. He taught them by example that when attending any public gathering, they need not want for something to say. But His conversation differed most decidedly from that which had been listened to at feasts in the past. Every word He uttered was a savor of life unto life to His hearers, and they listened with subdued attention, as though desirous of hearing to a purpose. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 12

The respect shown to Christ at the feasts He attended was in marked contrast to the manner in which the scribes and Pharisees were treated, and this made them envious. Christ gave lessons adapted for the needs of His hearers. It was when He was at a feast that He gave the parable of the great supper, and [showed] the way in which the invitation of the king was treated. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 13

“It came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees, to eat bread on the Sabbath day, that they watched him. ... And he put forth a parable to them which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of thee. And he that bade him and thee come and say to thee, Give this man place, and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” [Luke 14:1, 7-11.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 14

The great Teacher spoke as one having authority. He instructed His disciples in regard to the duties and regulations of true social life, which are the same as the laws of the kingdom of God. Christ spoke His words with great clearness and simplicity, and with no uncertain sound. His words were as apples of gold in pictures of silver. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 15

In His parables Christ held up the mirror of His Father’s mind. Every insult shown by man to his fellow man only made Him more conscious of their need of His divine sympathy. He realized the harm Satan was trying to do through power of position and wealth. He felt in His human nature the need of the ministration of heavenly angels. He felt the need of His Father’s help, as no other human being has ever felt it. He was Himself winning, as a powerful warrior, a victory in behalf of the world that He had created. Under the most trying circumstances, His faith did not fail. He placed Himself in the hands of His Father, and every insult He endured made Him understand better man’s great need. As the Substitute and Surety of the human race, He felt every pang of anguish that man can ever feel. He Himself suffered being tempted. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 16

“He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” [Isaiah 53:3-6.] These words describe the experience of the afflicted Son of God. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 17

In everything Christ sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and that which He did He commands His followers to do. This example He gave to the human race that they might in His strength render to God the obedience He requires, and in the end present themselves perfect before His throne. He was one with the Father. His life was a fulfilling of the law, a continual obedience to God’s commands. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 18

Christ’s humanity made Him very tender toward humanity. The lesson He gave His disciples was in perfect harmony with His announcement of His life work. We read that after being tempted in the wilderness, Christ returned into Galilee, “and he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias, and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:15-19.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 19

Christ opened before His disciples the principles to be maintained. “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends,” He said, “nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: but thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things he said unto them, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” [Luke 14:12-15.] The eating of bread seemed to be the great lesson to him. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 20

Christ in answer gave the parable of the supper. He made the matter of the invitation to be given [the] work for all to do. The class first invited refused to come, and none of them, He declared, would be invited again. This answer shows that the spirit of the man who made himself prominent by saying, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God,” was similar to the spirit manifested by Balaam, when he said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” [Numbers 23:10.] Christ’s answer plainly reveals the spirit of the man who had expressed his seeming piety. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 21

The second invitation was given to the poor and needy. “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,” the master said, “and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” [Luke 14:21-24.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 22

The great feast is prepared. The first class honored by the invitation refused to respond. The feast would be abundantly provided with guests, but not one of those who refused would taste of the supper. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 23

“Behold the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 24

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merry hearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the heart ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in.” [Isaiah 24:1-10.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 25

Here is described a class to be labored for. Many of them were once in possession of wealth. Some are highly educated, but the pollutions of the world, strong drink, indulgence in the lusts of the flesh, have brought them to the lowest depths. They are still, thank God, prisoners of hope, for among those sunken in the lowest depths of degradation the Lord sees those who cannot restore themselves. They may hear the call, but their ears are too dull to take in its meaning; their eyes are too blind to see anything good in store for them. They are dead in trespasses and sins. They are to be laid hold of, and compelled to come in. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 26

Medical missionary workers are fulfilling this phase of the work. Poor outcasts are admitted to places prepared for them. They are taken to bathrooms, washed, and dressed in clean clothing. Their hunger is satisfied, and then the gospel is preached to them, simply and earnestly. They are told that Christ, the Son of God, is their Restorer. Thus those who were homeless and hopeless are encouraged to believe in Jesus Christ, and to realize that He will receive them. They are invited to sign the temperance pledge, and the hope is held before them that Christ the Restorer, the great Medical Missionary, will relieve their suffering bodies, and restore to soundness the abused intellect. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 27

Some grasp quickly the hope presented; others not so readily. Let the workers remember that the invitation is to be given to all. Practical work is to be done. “Compel them to come in.” [Luke 14:23.] Active work must be done in laying hold of the poor souls who have scarcely enough sense left to know whether they have souls to be saved. They have lost their sense of eternal realities. Then let the workers act as Christ would were He in their place. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 28

Some say, Where are you going to take me? They realize their great degradation. They say, I am not fit to be helped. Leave me alone. But because of this the workers must not desist. By ministering to publicans and sinners they are co-operating with God. These poor outcasts are to hear the voice of prayer in their behalf. Take them, and lay them at the feet of Christ. Compel them to come by your kindness. You can see clearly the end which you desire them to reach. They cannot see what you see. They cannot hear Christ’s call, but you hear it, and you must act in His stead. Christ’s great love must be your law, impelling or compelling, as the case demands. You must hold fast to those you are trying to help, else victory will never be yours. Only as you can get them to look upon the Saviour hanging on the cross, in His inexpressible love, will they, as they become sane, make the kingdom of heaven their choice. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 29

When they do this, the goal of your endeavor is reached, for Christ’s righteousness goes before you, and they are clothed with the wedding garment. There must be appointed over these outcasts those who watch for souls as they that must give an account. Those who have decided to make an effort to live for Christ must have the weakened willpower carefully guided, closely guarded. Be sure that they have work to do. They have lost their manhood and womanhood, and this they must win back. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 30

Everyone is born into the world with hereditary tendencies that must be closely watched and guarded against. Evil and good, from within and without, keep up a constant struggle for the supremacy. Few know the overmastering power of appetite, and the fury of the collision between habits of self-indulgence and the determination to be temperate in all things. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 31

Let all remember that ministering angels are beside every truehearted son and daughter of God. You do not work alone. Christ is the Restorer. Those who work for the suffering and needy, under the supervision of Christ, will see great results. But all workers must learn constantly in the school of Christ. They must use faithfully the talents God has given them. Thus they will grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 32

Let no selfishness mingle with the service done for fallen humanity. The Lord calls for faithful workers. The fascinating witcheries of evil present themselves in disguise. Each worker must be wide awake to the bewitching power of Satan, as he seeks to rescue men from deadly evils. He must be sure that he is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 33

Let all who work for those sunken low in degradation keep mind and heart in the love of God. Let them stay their minds upon a divine presence, which is always beside them, ever looking on with pitying tenderness. Let them think of a Father’s heart that ever grieves over sin, of a Father’s hand stretched out still, a Father’s voice saying, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] “I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” “I will make a man more precious than gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 27:5; 13:11, 12.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 34

The whole world is to hear the gospel invitation. Those who have fallen through sin to the very lowest depths are not to be excluded. They are to hear the invitation, “Come.” They are to be brought in where the light of truth shines forth. They will think when the invitation is made that they are not fit to be in such company, that their dress is not appropriate. The Lord says, “Compel them to come in.” [Luke 14:23.] Listen to no excuse. Make them come as they are. Take right hold of them. 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 35

“Ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.” [Jude 20-25.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 36

“Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” [Luke 14:23.] What a message for the ministers of Christ! Our Lord now removes the veil and proclaims the supper His own. The time will come when those who refuse the invitation would give all for another opportunity. But He will not allow one of them to taste of His supper. Paul declares, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Ephesians 3:8-11.] 14LtMs, Ms 19, 1899, par. 37