Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 6, 1900

Words of Instruction Regarding the Medical Missionary Work

NP

January 12, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 289-290, 581-582; 4MR 416. +Note

It is God’s design that the resources He has given man for the furtherance of His work shall be used proportionately and advantageously, that every part of His great vineyard may be cared for. To no man has God given the right to sway the work as it has been swayed. This is not the generalship which God accepts. By giving all to the most promising part of the field, that one part is made a consumer instead of a producer. And fields are robbed which, if faithfully worked, would send forth laborers to work in other fields. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 1

The worker often feels that he must gather to his part of the field every possible advantage, he must erect building after building, that he may show to the world what large things he is devising and planning. But if he uses his talents in creating plants that are non-producing, he reveals that his wisdom is not from above. The money which is created in one field is the Lord’s, and it is not to be selfishly used for that locality alone. Whatever the talent or ability of the worker, he has no right to draw disproportionately upon the Lord’s treasury without coming to a correct firm understanding of the relation the interest under his supervision has to other portions of the field. The whole world is to have this message, the last message of warning, in which is comprehended the message of the first, second, and third angels. One small portion is not to sap the treasury of its resources when it has not the facilities with which to produce more resources. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 2

A work is to be done which has not yet been done; a people are to be raised up who will stand before the world as a commandment-keeping people. The believers in present truth must take counsel with God and with their brethren. “All ye are brethren,” Christ declared. [Matthew 23:8.] The very best talents, the very ability, that God has given to men, is to be brought into the work of raising up churches to do their appointed work. When a converting element is brought in, the work will not be carried on in the way in which it has been carried in the past. Men will not use thousands and thousands of dollars in erecting buildings for a class of work which brings neither talent, money, nor sanctified ability into the cause of God. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 3

The work that has been done in the past has revealed a lack of divine wisdom that is surprising. The mismanagement of men in positions of trust, the men in whose integrity the people have confidence, spoiled their reputation, and brought about a condition of things which meant bankruptcy to the cause of God. Those who should have been true as steel to principle, who should have had clear spiritual eyesight, were blinded and confused by men who had lost their hold on God, because they had not guarded with clean, sanctified, righteous principles the sacred work of God. Thousands of dollars were sacrificed. And what was more deplorable, the worker put no difference between the sacred and the common. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 4

Those who were set to act out correct principles in connection with the cause of God, who were to be an example to all who were under them, by their misrepresentations made it appear that those bearing responsibilities were superior to their brethren because of their knowledge and capabilities. And because of their selfishness, their wisdom was removed from them, and the work became confused. The heavenly Watcher had declared that He would remove the wisdom of the wise men, and reveal that without the wisdom of God the plans of men are foolishness. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 5

Selfishness was manifested in accepting such large wages for the work done. Then came in the payment of large wages to ministers. In some cases these wages were inappropriate, but it was fully as just for them to receive large wages as for those in our institutions; for in their labors, as they enter new fields, they do their work under a burden of intense anxiety. The presidents of our conferences who are laborers together with God, and with their fellow workers as leaders and organizers, are compelled to travel from place to place where their talents will best serve the cause of God. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 6

These men who have been fitted by toil and trial to labor for the Master’s glory, to make His name a praise in the earth, shall they specify the amount they shall receive for their labors? No; money cannot pay them. But there is an auditing committee—some of which are ignorant of the nature and consequence of their decisions—and the sum which each shall receive is placed down. Men are allowed to choose and suggest in a haphazard way, and often those who need a liberal amount to support them in their aggressive work are cut down to a small salary, while for relatives, friends, and favorites is suggested a sum which is not earned by hard, honest labor, and which their needs do not demand. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 7

This uneven, one-sided work is not a businesslike way of dealing with the workers, and many seeing this have decided to go into other lines of work. This has created a dearth of laborers, and the work has not been carried into new territories. There are not producers enough to warrant to consumers in carrying forward the different branches of the work. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 8

These men, who have thought that their wisdom should be so highly appreciated, in their lack of divine wisdom have done the very work Satan would have them do, so diminishing the funds that there was nothing with which to advance. This bears witness to the value of human wisdom when it is not worked by the Holy Spirit. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 9

In the early church there was need of organization, and each man was given his work. “In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.” The believers were all servers, but some would be left unprovided for if the work were not equally divided. Those who carried the sacred work of the gospel were not to be expected to minister to the temporal necessities of the widows. “Wherefore, brethren,” the disciples said, “look ye out from among you seven men of honest report, full of Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 10

“And the saying pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicholas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly.” [Acts 6:3-7.] 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 11

There is to be no confusion in the work of God today. To every man is given his work. That work is his special work, and for that work he is given special ability. He is not to leave that work that he may gather to himself another class of burdens. He is not to scheme and place to enlarge his work. The Lord gives to His workers knowledge in certain lines of work, and for the work to which they are appointed He gives them special ability, which they must cultivate and increase. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 12

The instruction of Jethro to Moses is right on this point. When Moses sat to judge the people, “the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did unto the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest unto the people? Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from the morning unto the evening? And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God. When they have a matter they come unto me: and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses’ father-in-law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.” [Exodus 18:13-17.] 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 13

Jethro plainly states his reason, and this reason the Lord would have His people consider today. “Thou shalt surely wear away,” Jethro declared, “both thou and this people that is with thee.” [Verse 18.] If overtaxed and overwearied, Moses could not give to Israel the word of the Lord, or see that the elders of Israel performed their work in communicating the word from his mouth to the people. “This thing is too heavy for thee,” Jethro continued; “thou are not able to perform it thyself, alone. Hearken now to my voice; I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God, and thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they shall walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: and let them judge the people at all seasons; and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 14

“If thou shalt do this thing, and God commend thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people also shall go to their place in peace. So Moses harkened unto the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.” [Verses 18-26.] 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 15

When the Lord sees fit to qualify a man to do a special work, He designs that work shall receive his special attention. The chief physician in any of our institutions has a responsible position to fill under the divine theocracy. He is to shoulder, not a hundred responsibilities, but the responsibility which has been appointed him in behalf of suffering humanity. The sanitarium in Battle Creek was ordained by God to do a special work, to give character to the third angel’s message by making an impression upon the world. But the presentation of the medical missionary work, the appeal made to the people assembled in camp meetings, has put almost out of work the great solemn testing work to be done for this time. The living oracles have been made little of by those engaged in the so-called medical missionary work. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 16

The Lord took Dr. Kellogg in hand to do a special work, but it was not the work he has been doing. God did not give him a work to do that would wear away his physical, mental, and spiritual efficiency, and He says to him, Who hath required this at your hands? You have engaged in a work which has bound up both money and laborers. This work is not according to My appointment. My cause all over the world is suffering for need of the money that has been under your control. A large amount of means has been unnecessarily expended, and My servants who have entered new and untried fields have been robbed in various ways of the means that would have relieved their difficulties. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 17

In the multitude of your achievements you have left undone the work which God appointed you. You have encouraged the ways and methods which you have approved as if the whole field were yours, to be controlled by a theocracy of your own. Stop now and consider, and act toward the ministry as toward God’s appointed agency. Counsel together. The Sanitarium which God has managed may contribute to many of your devisings, but many of these enterprises are not in the line of progressive movement that God has marked out to impress itself on the community as the special work He appointed you to do. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 18

You may give much money from your own store, but this is all the Lord’s, and it should be used to do His work—not after your mind, not after your judgment, but after God’s mind. The Sanitarium must be all that God purposed it should be through your instrumentality in fitting men and women for the work, through your continual trust in God and in the wisdom which He will impart. Your personal influence must not be used to exalt and glorify J. H. Kellogg. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 19

God says to Dr. Kellogg: “I placed you in the Sanitarium. I gave you tact and skill and wisdom. My hand guided your hand, and I permitted you to stand at the head of the work, that you might call men and women from the churches to the work of reform that they might be lights to shine to all parts of the world. But you have greatly retarded the work by your personal influence, and by your words when appealing for help for charitable institutions and other enterprises. You are to stand in perfect harmony with the gospel ministry, which is to give the last note of warning to the world. There is a work to be done. The sanitariums that have been created are not the only instrumentalities to be used in accomplishing the work essential for this time. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 20

Not alone through Dr. Kellogg is the light to shine. Through My delegated ministers, men of skill and tact and knowledge, will be made known My purpose. They may not be men of learning or wealth, but through My Spirit working upon them, they will communicate My will to men. They will not close their ears to My counsel. The work to be done for this time will make an impression, not by its display, or by the great things accomplished, but through the personal influence of the men and women who will not lift up their souls unto vanity. These will not be so self-exalted that they will be unable to learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ, and they will make upon the world the impression which the Lord would have made. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 21

It is not by wealth, eloquence, scholarships, or position that the worker will press home the truths of God’s Word. The humble worker, who has hold of divine power, will do a far greater work. Unity with Christ makes these consecrated ones singular, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. The gentleness of Christ is expressed in their lives. Their personal influence tells that they are partakers of the divine nature. The influence of the humble, teachable soul, like the fragrance of a flower, reaches far beyond himself. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 22

It is like a light shining in the darkness. There is something about him that does not consist in display. It is a spiritual power which he receives from the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This oil, the Holy Spirit of God, coming from God to the instrumentality He employs, flows forth into other lives, and makes others laborers together with God. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 23

What is the matter with the world? Mankind is uncourteous and proud and lifted up. Shall we not present before them a people whom God is handling, a people who are not pulling apart to foster their own ideas, but who understand the work of God in every line? In these last days there is a passion to seek out many inventions, and unless Dr. Kellogg heeds the cautions given him, he will not long carry his heavy load. The Lord wants the work to be carried by men who have a solid experience. Dr. Kellogg may continue to absorb all the men and all the means in the work in which he is interested, but if he does this, he will hinder the work which the Lord would have go forward according to the gospel plan. That plan embraces the medical missionary work, but this branch is to be rightly related to the work of the gospel. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 24

A wonderful work is before us, but while so much time and energy is devoted to the lowest classes, we shall not see the best results for our work. It has been presented to me as the hand of a man without the head to guide it. “Christ liveth in me” [Galatians 2:20], cannot be said of many of the workers. The Lord is not inspiring this so-called missionary work. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 25

The Lord does not design that the medical missionary work shall absorb the revenue of men. But the enemy has worked in this matter, and his purpose is being carried out. Censure and criticism have been given to the board of foreign missions, because it would not conscientiously heed the call to sustain the medical missionary work and at the same time advance the work in other countries. A pitiful cry comes from new fields among our English-speaking people, and from foreign countries. To all these places the sound of the gospel must go. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 26

Church members should not be educated to throw off their burdens, or even to lighten them. The help given them in this line will do them more harm than good. If in connection with the gospel ministry we can put new life into the hearts of discouraged men and women by presenting to them a merciful, sin-pardoning Saviour, if we can teach them how to look and live, we will do the best medical missionary work in soul saving that mortals can accomplish. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 27

We need a tender, compassionate, wise love, or we shall carry to extremes the work for those who have never felt the current of purity flowing through heart and brain. To spend all the means available for this class of persons is not wise, for it would take all the mental, physical and spiritual force of our workers. We are not required to do this for those whom we must watch as closely as we would watch a prisoner who seeks to escape. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 28

There is a more important work to be done in reaching, by well organized effort, those whom we cannot reach by presenting the truth in the churches. Tents must be procured, laborers must be raised up, that the truth may be preached to the thousands of honest souls who do not understand what Seventh-day Adventists believe, who do not understand the Bible as it reads. Every conceivable stigma has been brought upon Seventh-day Adventists. The most direct lies have been charged against them in regard to their faith. Wherever camp meetings are held, these lies must be refuted. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 29

“The poor ye have always with you,” Christ said. [Matthew 26:11.] Shall we then devote all our God-given powers, all our talents, all our money on the poor? There are many who, if we would take it upon ourselves to help them at every step, would always remain in degrading poverty. We may help the poor by teaching them how to help themselves. Let the poor have the gospel preached to them; but when there are so many who are willing to be helped, yes, who are waiting to be helped, shall we pass them by and devote all our time and energy to those who are corrupt in soul and body? 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 30

We will not follow the plan of the Lord if we commit ourselves so abundantly to this class of work when the field is all white unto the harvest, when intelligent men and women, if we will work with them and for them, will respond to the gospel call. As we create an interest in the hearts of the unconverted, and by personal labor teach them the requirements of the Word of God, and take them in the arms of our faith to Jesus, we shall do true, missionary, restorative work, the work which every true Christian should and will engage in. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 31

The third angel is flying in the midst of heaven and bears on his banner the inscription, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] In every place where the tent is pitched, earnest efforts should be made from the first to preach the gospel to the poor and to heal the sick. The work of giving spiritual sight to the blind has added many souls to our number of such as shall be saved. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 32

Meetings for the children should be held, not merely to educate and entertain them, but that they may be converted. And this will come to pass. If we exercise faith in God, we shall be enabled to point them to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. All who attend our large gatherings are to be labored for. The high and the low, the rich and the poor, are to be reached by this class of labor. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 33

We are to seek to reach hearts, to praying with and for the helpless beings who have not strength of will to overcome the appetites which passions have degraded. This is true medical missionary work. Earnest persevering efforts must be made for the salvation of the souls of those in whose hearts an interest is created. And let those who make their decision on the side of Christ be set to work to labor for those who are dead, as they were, in trespasses and sins. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 34

These words may arouse discussion, but nevertheless I tell you the truth. I long to have our people move solidly. They have been more or less harnessing themselves to a work which has no relation to the grand work for this time. I have carried this burden in agony of soul. A great burden was laid upon me to speak to J. H. Kellogg. I wrote to him, but did not place this matter strongly before him. That has yet to be done. Warnings and cautions have been given to him for many years to save him from making blunders. I could not endure the thought that he should isolate the medical missionary work from the work of the gospel. These large enterprises he has put in operation may have to be closely investigated, to see what the future of the work is to be. God forbid that the purposes Dr. Kellogg has in mind should be carried out. Our work is not to be a divided work. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 35

A certain work must be accomplished to secure certain results. The work for the degraded is not to put on such dimensions as to lessen the means and facilities for the work in fields that will produce workers and means. The standard of truth is to be elevated higher and still higher, and made to appear holier and still holier, until as a people we are delivered from the power of sin and are made perfect in every good work to do the will of God. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are to be changed into the same image from glory to glory, from character to character, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Transformed by the renewing of our minds, we shall prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 36

A genuine work is to be wrought in every believer. Evil habits are to be overcome; wrong traits of character, inherited and cultivated, are to be conquered; besetting sins are to be abandoned; wrong feelings are to be purged away. Transformation of character is to be the testimony to the world of the indwelling love of Christ. When faith works by love and purifies the soul, a transformation will take place. No human being can do this great and important work for himself, nor can he do it for another. This is the work of Christ for all who will put themselves unreservedly into the hands of God. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 37

The conversion of the human soul is of no little consequence. It is the greatest miracle performed by divine power. Actual results are to be reached through a belief in Christ as a personal Saviour. Purified by obedience to the law of God, sanctified by a perfect observance of His holy Sabbath, trusting, believing, patiently waiting, and earnestly working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, we shall learn that it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. 15LtMs, Ms 6, 1900, par. 38