Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 54a, 1901

Go, Work Today in My Vineyard


July 1, 1901

Variant of Ms 54, 1901. +Note

A Wise Distribution of Means.

The perplexing question of means has troubled many. Again and again, by his deceitful, alluring projects, Satan has blocked the way against advance. The church has not stood in dependence upon God, but, yielding to the temptations of the enemy, has tried to carry out plans which called for means exceeding her revenue. Much money has been invested in a few places. This has deprived missionary fields of the help they should have received. In building up the work in their part of the field, men have followed sharp practices, and have drawn means from the Lord’s treasury without remembering that all the revenue is the Lord’s, and that other parts of the vineyard must be supplied. For reasons they will not be pleased to meet in the judgment, they closed their eyes to the needs of their fellow workers. Thus destitute fields have been left unworked. By rushing on to create large buildings without counting the cost, without taking into consideration how much would be needed to build the tower, men have brought debt, discouragement, and confusion upon the cause. The way of progress in new fields has been hedged up. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 1

A kind of frenzy has taken hold of the minds of men, leading them to do that which would absorb means without any prospect of afterward producing peace. Had this money been used in the way God signified it should be, workers would have been raised up and prepared to do the work that must be done before the coming of the Lord. The misappropriation of means shows me the need of the Lord’s warning that His work must not be bound about by human projects, that it must be done in a way that will strengthen His cause. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 2

By working on wrong plans, men have brought debt upon the cause. Let not this be repeated. Let those at the head of the work move cautiously, refusing to bury the cause of God in debt. Let no one move recklessly, heedlessly, thinking, without knowing that all will be well. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 3

Undue excitement and interest in the work in one place contributes nothing to the advancement of the work as a whole. When plans are laid to erect a building in one place, give careful consideration to the other places that are in just as great need of money for the erection of needful buildings. Time is short, and while buildings must be erected, let this be done with due consideration for the other parts of the Lord’s vineyard. Let the one who has charge of the building be a man of sound, sanctified mind, not one who, in his anxiety to erect a fine piece of architecture, will bring perplexity upon the work by expensive investment. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 4

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Let those who desire to advance His kingdom make haste slowly and build intelligently. Let no one rush on with a stumbling supposition that means must be invested to make a display. Thus saith the Lord, “it must not be so expanded; for it is at the expense of souls.” 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 5

The result of selfish management stands before us today as a representation of the wisdom of men whose minds and hearts needed the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has many ways of trying and proving those who claim to be Christians. With unmistakable accuracy He has traced the effects of human wisdom, showing those who have thought that they were doing great things, that they need to review the past, and see that they were not actuated by the Holy Spirit, that in many things they refused the counsel of the Lord. Had they taken up this self-examination at the beginning of their work, as the Lord directed them to do, years of God-dishonoring service would have been changed into a service of love. Every heart in every household needs to take up the work of self-examination, else they will find, as did Saul, that they are appointed to destruction. Especially is this applicable to men in positions of responsibility. Saith the Lord, I will not serve with any selfish devising. Every one needs now to seek the Lord. God’s people will not endure the test unless there is a revival and a reformation. The Lord will not admit into the mansions He is preparing for the righteous, one soul who is self-sufficient. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 6

The members of the church of God are not all converted, but they may be if they will humble their hearts before God. God is not willing that any should perish. He is glorified when men and women accept Him as their Leader. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 7

What shall be the future showing in the church? The Lord calls for decided action among those who claim to be His people. There are many ways of promulgating the truth. The Lord is well pleased when those who go forth as missionaries are more anxious for the salvation of souls than they are regarding the wages they shall receive for their work. When Christ’s witnesses work under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, when they are stripped of all selfishness, souls are converted by their earnest, patient, persevering efforts. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 8

Let two or more persons start out together in evangelistic work. They may not get any particular encouragement from those at the head of the work that they will be sustained, but nevertheless, let them go forward, praying, singing, teaching, living the truth. They may take up the important work of canvassing, and in this way introduce the truth into many families. As they move forward in their work, they gain a blessed experience. They are humbled by a sense of their poverty and helplessness, but the Lord manifestly goes before them. Among the wealthy and the poor they find favor and help. They come close in friendship to those for whom they work, the one imparting the treasures of the Word, the other imparting temporal sustenance. And both are blessed. Even the poverty of the workers is a means of finding access to the people. As these humble missionaries pass on their way, they are helped in many ways by those to whom they bring spiritual food. Many isolated ones are brought to a knowledge of the truth who, but for these humble teachers, would never have been won to Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 9

Self-supporting missionaries are often very successful. Beginning in a small, humble way, their work enlarges under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Many will be called to work in this way. Let no man lay his hand upon them, saying, “Why do you thus?” The weakest will be enabled to do the work of the learned. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 10

All who receive the truth into their hearts can work for God. Providence opens the way for workers to go to isolated places, and as they bear the message God gives them, their efforts will be crowned with success. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 11

God calls for men to enter the whitening harvest field. Shall His workmen wait because the treasury is exhausted, because there is scarcely enough to sustain the workers now in the field? Go forth in faith, and God will be with you. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” [Psalm 126:6.] Nothing is so successful as success. Let this be secured, and the work will move forward. New fields will be opened. Many souls will be won to the truth. What is needed is increased faith in God. 16LtMs, Ms 54a, 1901, par. 12