Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

279/339

Ms 52, 1900

The Work to be Done

NP

February 28, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 203, 242-243; Ev 584; 7BC 985. +Note

There is a work to be done for the world, a work that has not been done. The Lord’s warning to His people is: “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:3, 4.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 1

This message is to come to the people: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” The churches that are not obeying the truth are to hear His words. They are a message of life or death to them. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 2

Is every effort being put forth whereby the professed Christian churches may be reached? A special message is to be given. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” See Revelation 3:6-13. Their eternal interest is involved. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 3

Here is a message which we are commanded to bring before the churches that are living in transgression of the law of God. In every church will be found those who are addressed. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” It is not the common sinner, not the class that makes no profession of piety, who are here addressed. The voice is to be heard by the churches. See Revelation 3:14-16. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 4

Here is a people that demand labor, persevering effort, to set before them their true condition. They feel perfectly satisfied. But the world’s Redeemer has weighed them in the balances of the sanctuary, and He pronounces them wanting. In their present condition they are offensive in the sight of God. Their disobedience and transgression makes them so lukewarm, their ways and works develop in them traits of character so objectionable, that Christ cannot take their name upon His lips. With abhorrence He will sprue them out of His mouth as disgusting. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 5

Because they have so great satisfaction in their own human endeavors, “because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold” (faith and love) “tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” [Verses 17, 18.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 6

Here is a message of close, clean-cut warning, like a sharp, twoedged sword. This message is to come to all the churches. Cannot we see the work that is to be done for those who have fallen from their first love, those who have lost their first zeal and interest in spiritual things? The message is to be proclaimed to the churches, to those who claim to be in the highways of Christian experience. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 7

The third chapter of Revelation is appropriate to the time in which we now live. “Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Verses 1, 2.] “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] When carnal security, pride, and contempt of God’s holy law and His service are expressed by those who profess to be God’s people, the Lord declares that unless they repent He will punish them. [Revelation 3:3.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 8

There are true worshippers and there are false worshippers. In the fallen churches of today the Lord God recognizes every soul that is drawing nigh unto Him, but there are many who are indulging a false hope. At the very time when they are loudest in its praise, the commandment goes forth. “Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches.” [Daniel 4:14.] Many claim to be Christians, when their hearts are set on worldly pleasure and worldly gain. A witness is present in all the scenes of mirth and revelry, and in a moment He can change the features of the scene, even as He did on the night of Belshazzar’s sacrilegious feast. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 9

Men must be warned of their danger. Meetings are to be held everywhere. In our large pavilion tents the people can be gathered. They will come in large numbers to hear the new, strange things that they have been told about but never listened to. All classes of people, rich and poor, high and low, white and black, are made welcome. There is a work to be done in connection with the gospel ministry, yes, as a part of it. Careful attention is to be given to helping those who are enslaved by evil habits. They are to bear discourses from the Word of God concerning Christian temperance. We must lead them to the cross of Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 10

Persons who have not entered a church for nearly a score of years have come to such gatherings and have been converted. The result was, they discarded tea and coffee, tobacco, beer, and liquor. Most marvelous changes in character have taken place. While many thus receive the light, others reject it, to their own eternal loss. This work costs time and wearing effort, and it causes much anguish of soul to see so many hear and understand, but, because of the cross, refuse to accept of Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 11

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.” It is true conversion of the whole man that God requires. “Behold,” He says, “I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:19-21.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 12

A special work is to be done for the churches. The commission is given by Christ to His disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] (See also Mark 16:14-18.) 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 13

Here is set forth the work of God’s ministers who give the last message of warning to the world. There is to be a power in the gospel ministry. The three angels’ messages are to be combined, giving their threefold light to the world. In the Revelation, John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. ... And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye partake not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [Revelation 18:1, 2, 4, 5.] This represents the giving of the last and threefold message of warning to the world. (See also Revelation 22:10-17.) 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 14

There are Christian churches that are standing in defense of the principles of temperance. We want them to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. There are many of every nationality who have wealth and intellectual powers. It is the Lord Jesus who has given them their ability and their wealth. These gifts are a trust wherewith the Lord’s vineyard is to be worked. Now the teaching of our workers is to be such as to awaken in these souls a sense of their responsibility to be laborers together with God. We want them as colaborers, and Christ wants them. He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 15

There is a world to be warned, and we have been very delicate about calling upon rich men, either church members or worldlings, to aid us in the work. We would that all professed Christians stood with us. We would that their souls might be drawn out in liberality to aid us in building up the kingdom of God in our world. We should call upon great and good men to help us in our Christian endeavor work. They should be invited to second our efforts in seeking to save that which is lost. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 16

God wants the ministers of the gospel to be saved. These men can have immortality only through faith and obedience to Jesus Christ; we must labor for them earnestly, that they may obtain it. God wants them to have a part in His special work for this time. He wants them to be among the number who are giving to His household meat in due season. Why should they not be united with us in the grand work of seeking to save the lost? 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 17

Every duty that calls for reform involves repentance, faith, and obedience. It means the uplifting of the soul to a new and noble life. If we would help others, the work must begin with ourselves. Then let the prayer ascend with intense earnestness from every soul, “Help me, Saviour, to come after thee, to deny self, to lift the cross. Help me to cherish every virtue, to resist every vice. Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 18

All who love Jesus will desire to be partakers with Him of His self-denial and suffering. If they are partakers of His suffering, they will be partakers of His glory. Every blessing comes to man through Jesus Christ. All are gifts of Christ, entrusted to man for use in the work of God in various lines. Will he by misusing these gifts cause them to prove the loss of his soul? Will he keep back from God His own? Will he allow himself to bury in the earth the talents which God has given him to use in saving perishing souls? Every jot and tittle used for the gratification of pride or for self-indulgence is a hindrance to the soul. It prevents the growth of the soul to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 19

God desires us to be full of spiritual intelligence and discernment, that in all things we may cooperate with Christ. We must be more decidedly in earnest. We must talk the truth in private and in public, presenting every argument, urging every motive of infinite weight to draw men unto the Saviour uplifted on the cruel cross. God desires every man to attain unto eternal life. A character like Christ’s is essential. We need far more of the revival spirit. We need the vital current from the Lifegiver. With all our power we must urge souls to look unto Jesus. It will do no harm to let them know that you expect them to cooperate with you, that you expect them to give joy to the heart of Christ by using every one of His gifts in honoring His name. Mark, if you will, how all through the Word of God there is manifest the spirit of urgency, of imploring men and women to come to Christ, to deny appetites and passions that corrupt the soul. Men are urged to put away covetousness, and to sell that they have, and give alms. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 20

Let there be no defilement in thought, let no impurity enter the secret chambers of the soul. Keep the mind uplifted. Let the will be brought into subjection to Christ. Look steadfastly unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Give prominence to the temperance reform, and call for signers to the temperance pledge. Everywhere call attention to this work, and make it a living issue. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 21

Our camp meetings are one of the most important agencies in our work. At every camp meeting work should be done for the children. Let suitable workers be constantly educating the children. Ask the blessing of the Lord on the seed sown, and the conviction of the Spirit of God will take hold of even the little ones. Through the children, many parents will be reached. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 22

Carry the revival services from the beginning to the end of the meeting. As souls are converted, let them be baptized. Let baptism be administered in an open stream if possible, and give to the occasion all the solemnity and importance that can be brought into it. The angels of God are always present at these services. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 23

After the camp meeting the work should be continued. A number of workers should remain, and a suitable place should be provided for a mission home. Consecrated women should engage in Bible work from house to house. Thus they come close to the people. Finding the sick, they pray with them, and do what they can for their relief from suffering. Thus an interest is awakened, and hearts are won. The work is not left in uncertainty. The workers do not follow impulse. Their work is to arouse the churches to do their duty as Christians. Thus the ensign of truth is to be uplifted. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 24

In every place where no suitable building can be secured, a church should be erected. And those who have received the truth are to be instructed to look after the poor and the orphans. We are commanded to do good to all men, but especially to those that are of the household of faith. It is right that we should expect help from the community where the work is carried on. But it will be necessary for us all to practice economy. The needs of the work are great, and we must all bring to God not only our tithes but gifts and offerings. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 25

Funds are not to be gathered from our people from one end of the earth to the other to sustain a line of work such as is carried forward in Chicago. Such a work for the benefit of the poor the world could be drawn upon to sustain. Let the people be aroused, let the denominational churches be canvassed by men who feel a necessity for something to be done in behalf of the orphans, the widows, and the fatherless. In every church, there is wheat among the tares; there are those who fear God. Let these be appealed to. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 26

The institutions for the poor are not to be sustained by the people to whom God has given a special work in bringing Bible truth before all nations, kindreds tongues and peoples. Those who establish these institutions must have solicitors to present their necessities and raise funds. They must not draw upon the people to whom the Lord has given the most important work ever given to the world; for the Lord’s treasury must have a surplus to sustain the aggressive warfare. The Lord has His representatives in all the churches in the world. These representatives have not had the light of truth presented to them under circumstances that brought convictions to their hearts and minds; therefore they have not severed their connection with God. These are the leaven of influence still remaining in the church that may continue to work in leavening others for good. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 27

The Lord has instituted a means to arrest the attention of worldly men and of the denominational churches. It is the large camp meeting. In many places where there is a church of Seventh-day Adventists, they have been spoken against by those who have not become acquainted with them. They have been called fanatics who were ignorantly keeping Saturday for Sunday. The reasons of their faith are not understood by the people. At a camp meeting many come from curiosity, to hear what these people do believe. They find that we have the Word of God, and are more familiar with a “Thus saith the Lord” than is the minister who has warned them not to go to the tent to hear the people who keep Saturday for Sunday. Often hundreds and thousands attend these meetings. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 28

Those who wish to understand the truth as proved by God’s Word say that the Bible has become a new book to them. They are convicted. Then the conflict begins. The ministers come with their subtle reasoning and misinterpret the Word. All the false statements that were made concerning Christ, the greatest Teacher in our world, will be repeated concerning His followers who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God by receiving the Word of God. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 29

God sends His messengers to enlighten the world that they are not keeping the Ten Commandments given in Eden, and again given to the people whom the Lord delivered from bondage in Egypt. The Lord God stood upon Mount Sinai and in awful grandeur proclaimed His ten holy precepts, that men might understand and obey the commandments of God. In (Exodus 31:12-18) the special requirement of God is presented. The ministers see the force of the truth, but because obedience involves a cross, they will not open their eyes to behold wondrous things out of God’s law. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 30

The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is plain and decided, and the shepherds of the flock who claim to be watching for souls as they that must given an account will not be vindicated by God in rejecting His claim. They turn from a plain “Thus saith the Lord” to repeat fables—a thus saith the papacy. The authorities of the Roman Catholic Church have taken upon themselves the responsibility of thinking to change times and laws; they have acted as if it were their prerogative to change the law of God, and the world wondered after the papal authority. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 31

Through Satan’s special working the people have been turned from the observance of the true Sabbath to that of the spurious. Human authorities have accepted this child of the papacy and have presented it to the Protestant world as the true Sabbath. This is why Seventh-day Adventists are not as a general thing permitted to preach in the churches of those who observe the first day of the week. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 32

This is why we erect our cotton cities in which to worship God, and here is where we may present the work that needs to be done in our churches in missionary lines. But we are not to draw upon the treasury of Seventh-day Adventists in order to erect orphans’ homes or institutions for the poor. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 33

The people of the world have had the use of the Lord’s vineyard, and have brought in little in return. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 34

Messengers should be appointed who can present the Word of God from city to city upon the subject of temperance. These men can draw as largely as they please in behalf of the poor. This is a work that needs to be done in our world where intemperance has become so widespread. The church members have not all lost their generous impulses. Let it be set before them that the Lord expects them as His representatives to relieve suffering humanity. The grace of God will move upon the hearts of those who desire to obey God, and there are those, both high and low, who will contribute to the funds for the benefit of the poor. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 35

But the Lord has a special work for His delegated messengers. They are to give the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] This invitation is to be given to those who have not taken their position to obey the fourth commandment. These will rejoice that they have not been cut down as cumberers of the ground while living in disobedience to the commandments of God. When they become enlightened, there is a vast reformation wrought in the whole religious life. They can say as did the blind man whom Jesus healed, “Whereas I was once blind, now I see.” [John 9:25.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 36

The work of presenting the warning message to our world is a great and solemn work. The world has a right to know why we believe as we do. The camp meetings afford opportunity for giving the information they desire. This work is plainly foretold in Isaiah. See chapters 41, 42, 43, 49, [and] 55-58. This is the work to be done. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 37

This presentation of truth requires money. The establishment of sanitariums in different parts of the world is essential. These will be an educating power to reform the people and restore in them the moral image of God. Through the knowledge of the Word of God, men will become converted and they in turn will use their means and ability in extending a knowledge of the truth. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 38

There is a work as essential to be done in the camp meetings to be held in various places. The workers are to arouse the slumbering senses of the people to see how far they have departed from the Lord’s ordinances by adopting worldly policy and conforming to worldly principles. These have brought them into transgression against the law of God. The Lord bids His servants, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 39

Here is the work to be done. How can we perform it? Some of the messengers of God should, as faithful sentinels be present in religious gatherings in other churches and take part in them. Jesus, when 12 years old, went into the temple and asked questions of the dignitaries. In the temple schools, studies were conducted daily, somewhat as we conduct Bible studies. Jesus asked questions as a learner, but every word was a lesson for those learned priests and teachers to think upon. The very same kind of work might be done today. Wise young men should be appointed to attend the meetings of the Young Men’s Christian Association, not for the sake of contention, but in order to become acquainted with the members, search the Scriptures with them, and suggest helpful questions. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 40

There are many ways in which the truth might find access to those who desire light and are searching the Scriptures as did the Ethiopian eunuch. The Lord was acquainted with this case, and He commanded Philip to go where he would find him and be invited into his chariot. Thus the man received light. There are many ways of reaching those who are interested and inquiring. How did this Ethiopian become interested but by hearing Christ’s sermons to the people? 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 41

Camp meetings must be held. The dearth of means makes it difficult to provide the tents needed and to meet the other necessary expenses. But this method of presenting the truth is through the devising of our God. Thus He designs that through His people shall be communicated to others the truth essential for their present enlightenment and their eternal salvation. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 42

No one can afford to miss these opportunities, for God and angels are walking through the encampment, beholding the order and arrangement in every tent. Every family should feel that as a family they are representative of the truth of heavenly origin. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 43

The ministers are to keep their own souls in the love of God, and the meeting should be furnished with workers who are earnest, prudent, full of the Spirit and the love of God. (See Ephesians 4:11-13.) 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 44

This Scripture presents a large circumference of work that may appropriately be brought into our camp meetings. All these religious gifts are to be in exercise. All the most faithful workers, those fitted for this kind of labor are to minister for the end presented, the perfecting of the saints. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 45

This is the very work to be done in every sanitarium and in every publishing house. There is to be just this work done in our schools and colleges. The work is to be carried on as an educating school. Let no class say, “We have no time for prayer and religious conversation.” In all our institutions more time is lost in desultory movements. Let the workers be taught that these institutions are ordained of God, and that their work is to be done after the divine similitude. Thus the missionary work will be carried on and will make room for the cooperation of heavenly messengers. Human beings would become laborers together with God. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 46

In these institutions there are many difficulties to be met and adjusted. If the divine administration were recognized, acknowledged, and respected by the directors and responsible men, there would be far less jangling and unfaithful service; much more work would be accomplished. Those who think they cannot take time to honor God, to invite His presence and His administration, will find it a difficult matter to maintain order and good management. All our institutions were established to be a blessing to the employees as well as to others. The managers need first to know that they themselves are under the management of God to do this very class of work. Then with God to work for them, everything becomes easy. If more praying were done in the institutions, and greater care were exercised by the managers to conduct themselves so as to be safe examples, what a heavenly atmosphere would pervade the institution! The windows looking heavenward would be open as wide as possible; the windows looking earthward would be closed. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 47

What changes would be wrought in the youthful apprentices! However parents and guardians may be respected, a good character is not transferred as a father’s estate descends to his heirs. The children must by their own merit win respect. So the managers can obtain respect and confidence only as their own conduct is in accordance with Bible principles. A good character cannot be bought or sold. It can be obtained only through Jesus Christ, by patient continuance in well-doing. It is obtained by persevering industry and faithful toil. This alone will procure that which is worthy and pure and exalted. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 48

The Lord desires every working force to be under the special influence of His grace. (See Ephesians 4:11-16.) There are various gifts brought in to accomplish the great end—completeness in Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 49

When every institution is under the divine direction, this fact will be revealed in all our institutions and in all our camp meetings. The Lord works through all who serve Him, all who have made their record by avoiding evil practices, corrupting associations, and vicious examples. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 50

We have reason to be thankful for every admonition, every reproof, every warning, and every encouragement that will aid in laying the foundation for virtuous habits. It should ever be kept before the mind that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In the name of the Lord I admonish teachers not to be grown-up children with all the ill habits indulged before they became men. If we are workers together with God, we shall exert the very best influence for time and for eternity. The spotless wreath of honor that shall rest upon all who prove true to sacred service will testify to victories gained, worthy and far-reaching in influence. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 51

The Lord means that our camp meetings shall be the most holy convocations in His special service. Here the standard is to be raised, the ensign of our faith and practice inscribed. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] None are to take advantage of these occasions for reaching the greatest number of people in order to introduce special interests, or to raise means for sustaining the various benevolent objects that are becoming so numerous. The work of God in the ministry of the Word, the promulgation of the truth in the regions beyond, the work to be done in new fields in behalf of the great interests of education, and the establishment of sanitariums in connection with the work of the gospel ministry—these are objects that should be presented to the people in our camp meetings. 15LtMs, Ms 52, 1900, par. 52