Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 34, 1900

Faithful Stewardship

NP

June 26, 1900 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in KC 108-120. +Note

Unity Among Believers

I speak to those who are acting as stewards in the cause of God. In your work for the advancement of the cause, act in such a way that the truth will be properly represented in all its lines. The ministry is not to be given an interior position. Those who disparage the gospel ministry give sure evidence that they have lost their spiritual discernment. They need a better understanding of the claims of God. The Lord’s servants are to be given ample room to do their appointed work. As teachers of men, women, and children, they are to see and understand the work for this time. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 1

We are all workers for the Master. The instruction given in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew shows how His work is to be done. Self is to be kept under the control of the great Teacher. Study your Bibles. I have been charged to tell you all to study your Bibles with an intense interest! Practice its teachings. When this is done, less human wisdom will be seen and more of the wisdom of God. A large amount of time and strength will be saved. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 2

The world by wisdom knows not God. The men and women of the world do not realize that they are daily deciding their own destiny, and that it becomes them, <as believers in His Word,> to walk very softly before God. Immortality—a life that measures with the life of God—is not obtained through human beings, but through Christ, “who will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, and honor, eternal life.” [Romans 2:6, 7.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 3

Christians will discern Christ in their fellow men. They will not pull apart. Strife for the supremacy is after the working of Satan. Satan was the most beautiful angel in the heavenly courts, the most highly gifted, the most richly endowed. But he fell through jealousy and selfish ambition. Why, I ask, are men not afraid of themselves? Why are they so anxious to do something wonderful, something that will lead people to say, This is the work of a great man? This is all vanity. Of ourselves we are weak and helpless. If the Lord has entrusted us with capabilities, let us remember that our gifts come from God. They are lent to us by Him, that by this He may test and try us. Let those who desire to win God’s approval walk humbly before Him. Remember that you are only one among the Lord’s agents. There are others whom He recognizes and whose work He endorses. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 4

Our institutions will be safely conducted only when those who are carrying the responsibilities in them fear their own weakness. Let them not feel highly exalted because they receive praise from men who do not see the truth in the living oracles of God. Those who know the truth should show these commandment breakers that they regard the law of God as a savor of life unto life. All who know the truth are to honor the truth. God says, Them that honor Me I will honor. [1 Samuel 2:30.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 5

We are to respect God’s faithful servants, who preach His Word, and who seek to win souls to the truth. Let us not link up with unbelievers, giving them honor because we suppose that they have great wisdom. Let us not cherish their words of praise in our hearts, while at the same time we show disrespect for the Lord’s chosen instruments, regarding their counsel as unworthy of our notice. Association with those who believe not the truth will prove in time of temptation a savor of death unto death. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 6

Those who claim to believe the truth should obey the Word of God just as it reads, practicing its instruction. Remember that those who love not their brethren deny the faith. Many because their brethren do not follow their leading, manifest toward them a spirit of hatred. <Is this leading right? Is it wrong?> God has never bidden us follow the leading of any man, and He has said, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” [1 John 2:9-11.] Can we not see from this what it means to be at variance? 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 7

Christ declares, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] This light is all contained in the great commandment of love. “A new commandment I give unto you,” Christ said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 8

The union between Christ and His people is to be living, true, and unfailing, resembling the union that exists between the Father and the Son. This union is the fruit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. All true children of God will reveal to the world their union with Christ and with their brethren. Those in whose hearts Christ abides will bear the fruit of brotherly love. They will realize that as members of God’s family they are pledged to cultivate, cherish, and perpetuate Christian love and fellowship—in spirit, words, and action. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 9

To be children of God, members of the royal family, means more than many suppose. Those who are accounted by God as His children will reveal Christlike love for one another. They will live and work for one object—the proper representation of Christ to the world. By their love and unity they will show to the world that they bear the divine credentials. By the nobility of love and self-denial, they will show those around them that they are true followers of the Saviour. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [Verse 35.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 10

In the Old Testament are recorded the laws which God gave for the guidance of His people. He would have His people today study these laws. “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy. ... When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vintage, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger; I am the Lord. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. ... Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him; the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 11

“Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear the Lord thy God; I am the Lord. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shall thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor; I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:1, 2, 9-11, 13-18.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 12

Christ is deeply grieved when His professed followers, His disciples, neglect to cultivate Christian love, when they act in a way that causes pain to the hearts of their brethren in the faith. They injure their religious experience, laying stumbling blocks in their own way and in the way of others. They dishonor the truth they claim to believe. By their passionate words and overbearing actions in dealing with their brethren, they show that they are controlled by the spirit of the enemy of all righteousness. They use common fire in the place of the sacred. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 13

The most powerful evidence a man can give that he has been born again and is a new man in Christ Jesus is the manifestation of love for his brethren, the doing <for them> of Christlike deeds. This is the most powerful witness that can be borne in favor of Christianity, and will win souls to the truth. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 14

In His prayer for His disciples Christ said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; and that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [John 17:20, 21.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 15

Christ brings all true believers into complete oneness with Himself, even the oneness which exists between Him and His Father. The true children of God are bound up with one another and with their Saviour. They are one with Christ in God. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 16

“And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me, for thou lovedest me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not know thee, but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [Verses 22-26.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 17

These are indeed wonderful words. They need to be thought of, studied, and brought into the practical life. They are to be lived out in the daily experience. Only thus can the result for which Christ prayed be produced. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 18

The Spirit of Christ never leads those of the same faith to separate into distinct, independent parties. When such a separation takes place, an impression exactly opposite from that which Christ prayed, is given to the world. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 19

Why do those who profess to believe in Christ, who profess to keep the commandments, make such feeble efforts to answer the Saviour’s prayer? Why do they seek to have their own way, instead of choosing the way and will of the Spirit of God? Those who do this will one day see the harm they have done to the cause of God by pulling apart. Instead of cooperating with Christ, instead of laboring together with God, many who occupy positions of trust are working in opposition to Christ. The Lord has presented this to me in a most decided manner to present to His people. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 20

If God’s followers would seek <in their religious life> to answer Christ’s prayer, revealing by the transformation in their lives the power of the truth, what a wonderful testimony would be borne to the world. How powerfully the character and work of Christ would be made known, and the glory of God made revealed. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 21

It is our God-given duty to love one another as Christ has loved us. The performance of this duty brings with it the blessedness of peace and quietude in the Lord and the ennobling and uplifting of the whole being. Those who neglect this duty can never reach perfection <of Christlike character.> Those who love as Christ loved are born of God, and are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” [1 Peter 1:5.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 22

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrites, and envies, and all evil-speakings, as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be that ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming as unto a living stones, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. ... Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:1-5, 9.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 23

I am instructed to say to our people, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” There are many who are unprepared to meet Christ. “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” [James 1:22-25.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 24

A sacred relationship exists between Christ our Saviour and the believer. He says, “I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord.” [Hosea 2:19, 20.] “Thou shalt know.” Is not this the desire of the soul? There are many who ridicule the idea of there being any certainty in religious experience. Some cannot bear to hear sanctification and the higher attainments spoken about. But the Word says, “Thou shalt know the Lord,” and this means holiness and sanctification. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 25

How may we know God? By doing His Word. We have the assurance of this. Read the first chapter of Second Peter. The entire chapter is an assurance to the true believer. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity.” [Verses 2-7.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 26

We must work upon the plan of addition, adding to our character the graces here mentioned. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 27

“If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, but hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verses 8-11.] This is our life insurance policy. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 28

“That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [Verse 4.] The lust here mentioned does not only mean a perverse, base passion. It includes an unholy desire for riches, for praise, for the possession of power. To fear God and obey His Word is the only way to gain true exaltation. But forgetting this, man presumptiously craves more and still more worldly power and honor. He divises and plans in every way to accomplish certain results, losing sight of justice and equity and love of God and his brethren. With a perversity that is blind to results, he sacrifices his peace of mind, his assurance of knowing God and Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 29

“When Ephraim spoke tremblingly, he exalted himself in Israel, and when he offended in Baal, he died. And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of craftsmen; ... Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney. Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt; and thou shalt know no god but me; for there is no saviour beside me.” [Hosea 13:1-4.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 30

“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help.” [Verse 9.] “Return unto the Lord thy God, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn unto the Lord; say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously. ... I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. ... Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” [Hosea 14:1, 2, 4, 5, 9.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 31

The Lord is infinitely merciful and gracious. He is waiting for us to repent and turn to Him with humble confession, saying, We will take Thy way, O Lord; we will no longer walk in the way of our own counsels. Have mercy on us and save us and those who have erred in following a path not cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 32

The time has come for the renunciation of all self-confidence. The time has come to follow the Lord’s way. He has given instruction for all who will be guided by Him, who have faith in His Word and courage to go forward. God calls upon those who have walked in paths of their own choosing to return to Him. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 33

“Be Ye Therefore Perfect”

The Lord estimates as of supreme value the holiness of His people, and He permits reverses to come upon individuals, upon families, and upon churches, that His people may see their danger and humble their hearts before Him in repentance. He will treat His backslidden ones with tenderness. He will speak pardon to them, and clothe them with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. He will honor them with His presence. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 34

In this, the great day of atonement, it is our duty to confess our sins and acknowledge God’s mercy and love in pardoning our transgressions. Let us thank the Lord for the warnings He has given to save us from our perverse ways. Let us witness to His goodness by revealing a change in our lives. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 35

If those to whom the Lord has sent reproof, warning them that they are not walking in His way, will repent and with humility and contrition of heart make confession, the Lord will surely receive them again into favor. If they will honor God by obeying His commandments, they will be exalted by Him. He will teach them what constitutes true honor and strength and victory. Those who despise the Word of the Lord, who, although they have the oracles of God to reprove wrong and encourage righteousness, continue to walk in their own way, indulging their desire for self-exaltation and leading those who have confidence in them into wrong paths will, unless utterly forsaken by God, become weary of themselves. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 36

God chastens His people, with the hope of saving their souls. The defections among God’s people are keenly felt by Him who died to ransom them from Satan’s power. The church is burdened and saddened. A cloud hangs over her. Let every soul seek God, inquiring, “Lord, is it I who have brought this discouragement upon Thy people? Is it because of my perversity that Zion is burdened? Have I given occasion for our enemies to triumph? If so, Lord, have mercy upon Thy sinful child, and save me for Thy mercy’s sake.” 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 37

Let there be a close examination of self. Do not seek to hide yourself under your citizen’s dress, saying that you are doing as others do, and therefore you cannot be far out of the way. Yes, you may do as many apostates who live today have done. Some are even now travelling over this ground. But is the picture a pleasant one? If with the experience of others before us we walk contrary to the way of the Lord and are punished, whom have we to blame but ourselves? 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 38

O that a deep realization of the importance of these things may come to the people of God! O that all departure from the narrow path of obedience and holiness may be seen as it is! O that men and women may seek the Lord as they have never done before! 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 39

A season of great trial is before us. It becomes us now to use all our capabilities and gifts in advancing the work of God. The powers the Lord has given us are to be used to build up, not to discourage and tear down. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 40

Those who are ignorantly deceived are not to remain in this condition. The Lord says to His messengers, Go to them, and declare unto them what I have said, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. “Thou shalt speak my words unto them,” God said to the prophet, “Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are a most rebellious house. But thou, O son of man, hear what I say unto thee: Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house.” [Ezekiel 2:7, 8.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 41

There are those claiming to be children of God whose course of action the Lord does not justify. Faithful work is to be done in giving reproof, as well as in giving encouragement. The cross is not to be shunned. No unchristlike course of action <to your brethren> is to be justified. The time is right upon us when persecution will come to those who proclaim the truth. Those who teach the truth, opening the Word of God to others, must surrender self entirely to God. To them the truth will bring its own reward, filling the soul with joy. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 42

Will the people of God now humble their hearts before God, confessing and forsaking their sins, that they may receive the forgiveness and favor of God, and come into complete harmony with Him? It is not because of a lack of evidence that sinners perish, but because of their unwillingness to appropriate the means whereby God designs they shall learn His will. The ignorance of many is voluntary and inexcusable. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 43

The outlook is not flattering, but notwithstanding this, let us not give up our efforts to save those <who have had an experience but are> ready to perish, for whose ransom the Prince of heaven offered up His precious life. When one means fails, try another way. Our efforts must not be dead and lifeless. As long as life is spared, let us work for God. In all ages of the church God’s appointed messengers have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth’s sake. But wherever God’s people may be forced to go, even though, like the beloved disciple, they are banished to desert islands, Christ will know where they are, and will strengthen and bless them, filling them with peace and joy. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 44

Soon there is to be trouble all over the world. It becomes every one to seek to know God. We have no time to delay. With earnestness and fervor the message must be given: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” [Isaiah 55:1.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 45

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it, that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant: Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” [Isaiah 56:1-5.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 46

God’s love for His church is infinite. His care over His heritage is unceasing. He suffers no affliction to come upon the church but such as is essential for her purification, her present and eternal good. He will purify His church even as He purified the temple at the beginning and close of His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon the church in test and trial comes that His people may gain deeper piety and more strength to carry the triumphs of the cross to all parts of the world. He has a work for all to do. There must be constant enlargement and progress. The work must extend from city to city, from country to country, and from nation to nation, moving continually onward and upward, established, strengthened, and settled. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 47

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] The inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit is priceless. In the life of the true Christian, the outward adorning is always in harmony with the inward peace and holiness. Thus in the righteousness of the members shall the church be established. God’s people are to show a faith—<orderly,> steadfast, and immovable. The Bible is their standard. Rich currents of grace from heaven will produce light in them, which they are to impart to others. In all its power the truth is to be proclaimed. Those who faithfully do this work, keeping the commandments of God in deed and in truth will be acknowledged as laborers together with God. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 48

“The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” [Isaiah 32:17.] From the beginning to the end of the history of the church, Christ will be to His people all that these words express if they will heed the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, ... and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 49

Christ is to His people life and strength, efficiency and power, wisdom and holiness. When we realize this as we should, the prayer will go forth from unfeigned lips, “The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high; he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and righteousness shall be the stability of thy times and strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is his treasure. ... The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 50

“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hand from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his water shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” [Isaiah 33:5, 6, 14-17.] 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 51

The Regions Beyond

Our world is a field of missionary toil. We are to present before the people the love of God, not only as the motive of effort, but as the model of all our plans. We must work in the way Christ worked. His example is to be our pattern. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 52

The Lord has given men and women capabilities and tact and skill, to be used to His name’s glory. When sincere, earnest efforts are put forth to win souls to God, we shall see of the salvation of God. Those who claim to be Christians should make an unreserved surrender of all they have to the Lord. Their time, their substance, and their influence <as a savor of life unto life> are required of them by Him who willingly gave Himself to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. Those who claim to be children of God should throw the whole weight of their influence on the side of Christ, for His sake practicing <His> self-denial and self-sacrifice. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 53

There is need of close communion with God and entire conformity to His will. This is the secret of gaining the power that will convict and convert sinners. The church has failed because she has not come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty influences of the satanic force. Church members have not, as they should, pressed back the powers of darkness. This is the reason of the deficiency in the church today. The quickening power of God is needed. Men and women who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves are needed, men and women who crave the power of God, that they may bear witness to the love of Jesus. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 54

Church members are to be God’s instruments in seeking to save those ready to perish. Be they many or few, they are to confer together, laying before one another their designs and plans, and obtaining the benefit of one another’s perception and foresight as to the best plans for securing success in the work. There are to be found no separate parties who shall supply themselves with all the facilities for ensuring success, at the same time leaving those who should have equal encouragement and means with which to carry on the work with nothing with which to do the work—which means the adding of new territory to the Lord’s kingdom. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 55

The many fields in the Lord’s vineyard which have not been touched call upon the places in which institutions are already established to understand the situation. Let men curtail their ambition to branch out in a field which by God’s appointment has already been worked. Let there not be on the part of churches, families, or individuals any withholding of the means needed to furnish God’s servants with facilities for doing the work in regions beyond. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 56

Let not those in the fields where the work is established think of the great things they can do, and continue to expand self to large proportions, while other portions of the Lord’s vineyard are destitute of the advantages by which the work might be properly done. This is a religion of selfishness, and is offensive to God. It is a selfish ambition which leads men to call for more facilities in a field already possessing ample facilities, while missionary fields are in need of the advantages which these worked fields have in abundance. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 57

The Lord’s work in new territories is to be carried forward to a successful accomplishment. In this work God’s plan is to be followed, not the inclinations of those who would gather into the section over which they have supervision every possible advantage, to give, as they say, character to the work, while the utter destitution of other parts of the Lord’s vineyard is forgotten. Every work will be tested by God. Every thread of selfishness drawn in will be drawn out. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 58

After nine years of struggling, we begin to see some signs of success in this country. But the advancement has been made under the most trying circumstances. In order to advance the work we have been obliged to borrow thousands of dollars. I tell you in the name of the Lord that this need not have been. If our institutions, our sanitariums and publishing houses, had bound about their desire for more facilities, and had shown an unselfish interest in the work so constantly set before them, the cause in foreign fields would certainly have made much more advancement, and marked success would have attended the business of which they were stewards. The selfish desire which some have shown to use all the means to enrich one portion of the Lord’s vineyard reveals unfaithful stewardship; and I am charged to make this appeal to God’s people. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 59

The great Head of the church has given talents to the company of believers. He has given His Word to mold the character and His Spirit to bring all things to their remembrance. He desires His people to bring into their work the true <abiding> principles of missionary effort. Many of the Lord’s servants are numbered with those of whom John wrote, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.] Those who are left to plant the standard in new places are to have a keen, sanctified interest in every plan which is related, directly or indirectly, to the great work of warning the world. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 60

Those who have stood in positions of trust, faithful men who have been led and guided by God, are to thank him for his molding, fashioning power. They are to carry His work onward and upward to perfect accomplishment. They are to move with careful, prayerful consideration, lest they mar the influence of the work by changing the order which the Lord has said should be followed. As they advance step by step they are to mind the same things, to advance in the same lines, that the truth may never be dishonored or lose its sacred, holy influence in the sight of the world. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 61

As those who took up the work at the beginning of the message have advanced by self-denial and self-sacrifice, God has given them His blessing. They have had much to learn, they have made mistakes, they have needed continual guidance and counsel; but they have had reason for constant gratitude, because the work has gone forward in spite of poverty and a lack of facilities. They strained every nerve ever to make the work a success, to establish those buildings which were necessary for the proper development of the work; and under all circumstances the Lord guided them. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 62

Those who enter the work later, to find things ready to their hand should at least attempt to pay the debt they owe the Lord, and the workers who went before them, by carrying the truth into new territories, until it has gone to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In every country men and women are to be raised up to carry forward the very work begun by those who have been laid away to rest. The memory of these pioneer workers is to be guarded, and from their treasure of experience the workers of today are to learn to pass from one line of advanced work to another, following the methods declared by the Holy Spirit to be in the order of God, asserting the principles enjoined in the Word, carrying the aggressive warfare into new fields. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 63

Home and foreign missions are to share equally of God’s trust money. In planning for the work, the difficulties to be met in foreign fields are to be considered. Let not those who have every advantage be niggardly in appropriating means for the advancement of the work in mission fields. For Christ’s sake willing support is to be given to the work of the gospel, which is to be carried to all parts of the world. And by the work of the press the work is to be established and confirmed. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 64

Christ should never again be dishonored and His cause put to shame by a lack of the true missionary spirit. A great mistake has been made. In their selfishness men have grasped means and advantages for their own field, though knowing the need of help in new fields. They have not supplied that which was necessary for the progress of the work. They have not helped their brethren fight the battle which once had to be fought in the fields they now occupy. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 65

The work all over the world is to receive consideration. New fields are to be entered. Let those at the heart of the work remember that much means and much hard labor is required to accomplish the work in new fields. Let them be faithful stewards of the Lord’s goods. Let them not feel that they are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, but let them practice true, Bible religion, which enjoins self-sacrifice at every step. They are to closely examine the needs of the work, reviewing the needs of all the fields, for they are God’s agents <to do this. They are> set for the extension of the truth in all parts of the world. They are not excusable if they remain in blindness and ignorance regarding the needs of the work. They are to know the advantages and defects of each field, and then with a true spirit of unselfish interest they are to work for the accomplishment of the work as a whole. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 66

In this work all the churches which have been established are to act a part, according to their several ability. If difficulties come up in missionary fields, let <interested> investigation be made without delay, lest the path of duty be hid or made obscure. As these questions come up before those who are wise in God’s wisdom, examination will be united with the exercise of prudence. By using the knowledge God has given them men will gain a clear, sharp experience. By exercising their God-given ability in helping to plant the standard of truth in new territory, they will, receive great blessing. After they have unselfishly tried to gain a right understanding of the situation, they are to approach the mercy seat, asking for clear intuition and an unselfish purpose, that they may see the necessities of far-off fields. As they ask the Lord to help them to advance the work in regions beyond, they will receive grace from on high. Never will they seek the Lord in vain. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 67

But when men close the eyes of their understanding, lest they shall see and the sympathies of their hearts be awakened, lest [they] feel and be obliged to act, they become hardened and selfish, unfitted to serve God in any capacity. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 68

America was long the field of missionary conflict. God has prospered the work in that country. If those there had cherished the spirit of self-sacrificing missionary effort, fewer unnecessary buildings would have been erected, and the kingdom of Christ would have been extended to many regions. There would have been shown a missionary zeal which has not yet been developed by those whose duty it is to carry the needs of the work on their souls. Much more would have been done to plant the standard in other places besides America. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 69

But selfishness, so abhorrent to God, came in. The work was neglected, when there was plenty of means to send missionaries abroad to preach the gospel, raise up churches, and erect meetinghouses. If men had worked actively on the Lord’s plan, laboring earnestly and unselfishly to impart what God had given them, churches would have been established in many places. The standard would have been planted in new fields. Witness would have been borne to the truth in many more cities. God’s memorial of creation, the seventh day Sabbath, would have been honored. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 70

The great Head of the church permitted a parable to be enacted in your midst at the last General Conference. You were led to expect, from one claiming to be converted, a large donation pledged to different branches of the work. Apparently the one who was to have made this donation was as sincere as any man in the conference, but he disappeared, and all came to nothing. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 71

Just in this way has God been disappointed in his people, whom he has enriched abundantly with all good things, but who have failed to fulfill his expectations. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 72

A straightforward plan is to be followed in dealing with believers in home and foreign fields. An unselfish equality is to be maintained among the working forces. Money is to be provided to support missionaries. And agent should be appointed to investigate the situation in foreign countries and to report. Those in the places where the work has been established should bind about their supposed wants, that the work in foreign fields may go forward. In the institutions which have been established there will be a desire to grasp more and still more advantages <to make a larger plant. Let them work economically, till they themselves succeed in doing this.> But the Lord declares that this should not be. The means in His treasury is to be used in building up the work in the places where there are no conveniences. The workers in foreign fields should not be left to beg. The condition of every new mission field should be examined, that there may be equality in the distribution of means which come in to our conference and benevolent institutions. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 73

*****

Such high wages should not be paid to the men in our publishing institutions. The payment of such high wages has been a mistake. The extra money paid to a few should have been paid to missionaries in new fields, who were at a loss to know where the means to advance the work was coming from. The extra amount drawn from the treasury for men who did not need it should have been appropriated for the benefit of fields which had no resources, for the support of laborers whose work it was to sow the world with truth. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 74

The workers God sends into His field will, if they have the true missionary spirit, be more anxious to do the work than to get the wages. But because of this, they should not be neglected. The work of those in missionary fields calls for more self-denial than the work of those employed in our institutions who are not obliged to travel from place to place. Many calls are made upon those who begin work in a new field, and these workers are to be supported in accordance with their work. There should be more equality between the wages of those in our institutions and those who <are> in missionary fields <where there are no resources to draw from,> [and who] are wrestling with difficulty, doing the hardest and most laborious work. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 75

God is not pleased with the way in which these things have been managed. He has a controversy with those who have shown no practical interest in the work of foreign missions, even though they knew what was required to make a beginning in a new field. The discernment of some at the heart of the work has been clouded. Their hands have been opened to grasp all the means they could possibly get, while in other parts of the Lord’s vineyard the workers have been obliged to do with poor food and poor clothing, while at the same time some were told, You must sustain yourselves. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 76

God calls sternly for an adjustment of these matters, for His name is reproached. He marks every move made by His missionary workers in improving his vineyard. He sees the unfair way in which these workers have been treated. There is need of a recognition of the rights of the missionaries sent by God to carry the gospel message to all parts of the world. These men and women take their lives into their hands, and for Christ’s sake endure trial and hardships. Let men realize that God is a God of justice. His actual presence follows His missionaries from place to place as they try to do His will, devoting all their time and energy to His service. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 77

Let those who have every convenience at hand for the work they are doing ask themselves, How is it with those who are breaking new fields? Can I not help those who are working in new fields, where the standard of truth has not been lifted? God requires those in our institutions to have their conception sharpened, their minds enlarged. He <will be pleased to have> foreign missionary work to become a burden that will weigh so heavily upon their minds that they will know the difference between the work of those in places where the work has been established and the work of those who engage in aggressive warfare. Let the true spirit of self-denial be learned out of the Word and brought into the practical life. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 78

*****

A work has been started in some cities which has absorbed much means, but which will bring small returns, for it has been done for a class who are not producers but consumers. The money invested in this work should have been used largely in <other channels,> supplying the regions beyond with facilities for the work of the Lord. In lines of work which God has not appointed much liberality has been shown, while His work in foreign fields has been left to languish. In a short time, if this management is continued, how will the cause of God <in the third angel’s message> stand before the world? 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 79

Into foreign fields the Lord has sent experienced workers, who are capable for leading out in enterprises for the advancement of the work. But enough consideration has not been given by those at the heart of the work to foreign mission fields. Unless a decided change is made, we shall stand before the world humiliated, crippled, and disordered, because Christ’s principles have not been carried into the work. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 80

Among the people of God there is to be cooperation but not confederacy. The work is not to be bound about by bonds, limitations, or restrictions. Christian unity is not Free Masonry. The love of Christ is the golden chain which is to bind us to one another and to God. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 81

Our offerings are not to be entrusted to any one person. We are to make no one man our steward. The third angel’s message is to go to all parts of the world, and we are not to help in the creation of any interests which will absorb God’s money in a work which has in it much which belongs not to the work for this time. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 82

There is a power in the truth. When allowed to operate under favorable conditions, the gospel will gather a harvest of souls. Every truly converted man, firmly established in the truth, is a light-bearer to the world, for Christ shines through him. He shines in a world shrouded in moral darkness. A few truly converted souls are of infinitely more value than a large number who are unconverted, dead in trespasses and sins. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 83

A work is to be done in the Lord’s vineyard which will testify to the genuineness and value of the truth, and will glorify God. We are to labor for those who when converted will be a help in the work, producers not consumers. But the work done for the lowest class of outcasts is a very uncertain matter. Those who spend their time and strength in work for those who will never do anything but hang upon them for help, disqualify themselves for the position God would have them fill in His army. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 84

Workers are greatly needed to labor for those who rightly handled will come to a knowledge of the truth, and will then do valuable service in the cause. But those who after being prayed with, say, I am saved, have no real understanding of what it means to receive Christ. No man can say, I am saved, until he has endured test and trial, until he has shown that he can overcome temptation. Those who fail to do the work which God has said should be done soon lose the right perception of spiritual things, and become blinded as to the character of truth. They are unfitted to do the work which would make them complete in Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 85

The churches must arouse. The members must awake out of sleep and begin to inquire, How is the money which we put into the treasury being used? The Lord desires that a close search be made. Are all satisfied with the history of the work for the past fifteen years? Where is the evidence of the co-working of God? Where has been heard throughout the churches the prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit? Dissatisfied and disheartened, we turn away from the scene. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 86

Our churches and institutions must return to where they were before the backsliding commenced, when they began trusting in man and making flesh their arm. Have we not seen enough of human wisdom? Shall we not now seek God in earnestness and simplicity, and serve Him with heart and mind and strength? 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 87

The children of Israel beheld the awful semblance of God’s presence in the mount; but before Moses has been forty days away from them, they substituted a golden calf for Jehovah. Things similar to this have been done among us as a people. Let us now return to God in penitence and contrition. Let us trust in Him, not in man. 15LtMs, Ms 34, 1900, par. 88