Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 148, 1901

Talk/The Need of Missionary Effort

Battle Creek, Michigan

April 9, 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in GCB 04/10/1901. +Note

I thank the Lord that He is working in our midst. When we come to the Lord in humility of mind, and seek to unify as far and as fast as we can, the God of heaven puts His endorsement upon our work. But when we draw apart, each seeking to bring in something different, so that the work is prolonged and nothing accomplished, we cannot receive the blessing of God. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 1

There seems to be in this meeting an endeavor to press together. This is the word which for the last fifty years I have heard from the angelic hosts—Press together, press together. Let us try to do this. When in the Spirit of Jesus we try to press together, putting ourselves out of sight, we shall find that the Holy Spirit will come in, and the blessing of God will rest upon us. Enough dissension will come in from outside. That which Christ declared would arise in the last day will come. The people of God are to walk in the light of heaven, not in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, nor in the light of the sparks which the enemy will kindle for them. He will make fires enough to lead us astray if we will be led. We must place ourselves in that position where we reach the highest standard of truth and righteousness, equity and judgment. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 2

There is a great work to be done in our world. Last evening the question came up in regard to our Scandinavian brethren. It was asked whether they should divide into different sections, according to their nationalities. I was in 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 3

Europe for two years, and two or three times I visited the various places where our work had been established there. Some such question as this came up before us then, and the light that was given me was that the different nationalities were not to divide up into separate companies, but were to press together just as much as possible. God wants unity to be seen among these different nationalities. Each should try to learn the language of the other so that they can all assemble in conference and understand what is said. Should they divide into different companies, making no effort to unify, there would be little prospect of their being able to meet together at general meetings. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 4

The Lord wants us to help one another. We have largely lost sight of this. He wants us to use the powers He has given us in strengthening and blessing one another, not in condemning and destroying. We are to be a blessing to those whom Christ has purchased with His own blood. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 5

Brethren and sisters, we would be glad of the privilege of having separate seasons of prayer together. But this is such a large meeting that it is impossible. But each one of us has a God. Press close to the bleeding side of the Son of God. He is the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He is the Source of our power, our strength, our efficiency, and if we will keep close to His side, the Holy Spirit will impress our hearts, and we shall work in Christ’s lines. We shall be influenced by the Holy Spirit, and then we cannot draw apart from one another. We shall have one mind, one judgment, and the blessing of God will rest upon His people. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 6

There has been a great burden on my mind in regard to the present situation of the work in Scandinavia. From the light God has given me, in no case is His name to be dishonored by the institutions which have been established there to build up His work, to stand against the customs and practices of the world, being allowed to pass into the hands of unbelievers. I want you to remember this. There is a vast company of people gathered here, and if every one of them will take hold and do what he can, the institutions in Scandinavia will be lifted out of their embarrassment and placed on vantage ground where no reproach will rest upon the cause of God through them. These institutions need not have been in the position in which they are, and they would not have been in this position had our brethren in America done what they should have done years ago. An experienced man of business, with a practical knowledge of bookkeeping, should have been sent to Europe to superintend the keeping of the accounts in our institutions there. And if this work had demanded more than one man, more than one man should have been sent. Thus thousands and thousands of dollars would have been saved. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 7

Such men as this should be employed in our work in America. They should be men who are devoted to God, men who know what the principles of heaven are, men who have learned what it means to walk with God. If such men as this had superintended the financial business of our conferences, there would today be plenty of money in the treasury. A few men in our institutions would not have grasped all they could in wages. Our institutions would now stand as God declared they should stand, helping the work by self-denial and self-sacrifice. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 8

The brethren in Scandinavia should be helped by their brethren in America. If years ago—when money was brought into the treasury because the people had confidence in the leaders, believing that the means would be properly handled—the work had been carried forward in even lines, if the money had been used in foreign fields, the work in Europe would note be where it is today. The institutions in Scandinavia would not be where they are. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 9

In England there is a large field, a field which we have touched only with the tips of our fingers. If the importance of this field had been realized, money would have been sent there, and the work today would have been in a flourishing condition for the field is ripe for the harvest. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 10

A much larger company should be gathered for the Lord from the different countries of Europe. Brother Conradi has stood in that field with very few to help him. I thank God that His blessing has accompanied the efforts of those who have been working for Him in foreign fields. We see that the salvation of souls does not depend on the number carrying the message. God Himself works with His faithful laborers, be they many or few. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 11

The principles of heaven must be maintained. There is no reason why those in the institutions which are established here in Battle Creek should feel it their privilege to rise up and declare what they will work for, and what they will not work for. This spirit quenches the Spirit of God in our institutions. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 12

Just as soon as God sees that men will handle means in His fear, realizing that it is His money, that it comes from His people, He will co-operate with their efforts. Some of those from whom this money comes are poor. They have just enough to live on, but they bring their tithes and offerings to the Lord, longing to see His work advancing. When a few men, steeped in selfishness, work from selfish purposes, the whole cause is swayed in selfish lines. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 13

We need to return to God’s plan, to the place where the Spirit of God can dwell among us. I believe we are reaching the right platform, and I thank God with all my heart. God wants to teach us a lesson. He wants us to hang our helpless souls upon Christ, not upon humanity. He wants His servants to stand where they will maintain the righteous principles of heaven, whatever may be the consequences. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 14

The debt must be lifted from our institutions in Scandinavia. If all who are here this morning will do something, you will never feel it, only as you receive the blessing of God, and I think that is something you will all welcome. Do something. Let our institutions in Scandinavia stand in freedom. As you read the eighth and ninth chapters of second Corinthians, you will find out how to assist. May God enable you to fill up the gap, to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 15

God lives, and I am so glad of it. Our Saviour is not in Joseph’s tomb. He has risen, and has proclaimed over the rent sepulcher, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] Let us show by our actions that we are living by faith in Him. We can call upon Him for assistance. He is at our right hand to help us. Each one of you may know for yourself that you have a living Saviour, that He is your helper and your God. You need not stand where you say, “I do not know whether I am saved.” Do you believe in Christ as your personal Saviour? If you do, then rejoice. We do not rejoice half as much as we should. This entire congregation should be filled with rejoicing because of the way in which God has been revealing Himself in this meeting. God’s power has been seen, and His salvation is still to be revealed to His people. I see in Jesus a wonderful power and strength, and I want you to see this. Then your hearts will be as humble as the heart of a little child. Then you will not quarrel over who shall have the highest place or the highest wages. Your question will be, “How can I best serve my Lord?” 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 16

I thank God that the work in the South has been started. There is a great deal to be done in that field, and I thank God that a beginning has been made. In the present arrangements I can see that there is room for Christ to enter and manifest His power in that poor, neglected, suffering field. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 17

And there is New York, that great and wicked city. Who has carried the burden for that field? Who has felt the necessity of denying self that the work in that city may be carried forward? It is indeed a wicked city, but God had a Lot in Sodom, and He has a people in New York who, as the hart panteth after the water brooks, are panting after the pure waters of Lebanon. New York is ready to be worked. When I was last there, just before leaving this country for Australia, the Lord showed me that His work should be established in New York. He showed me what could be done there if every one would come up to His help. The power of God is to carry the truth in this city. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 18

There is not a dearth of means among our people any more than there has been in the past. There is certainly not a dearth of means among our people in California. But in spite of this, the great field of New York is left untouched, while week after week a large congregation meets here in the tabernacle. The people ought to feel that the rebuke of God rests upon them because they are not working for Him in places which know not the truth. If they had the spirit of the pilgrim fathers they would go forth to work for God in the waste places of the earth. The pilgrim fathers started out in their poverty. Some died on their voyage over from England, and others died when they reached America. But they accomplished what they had purposed. God wants His people today to feel the same spirit of self-denial. He wants them to put on every piece of the armor and go forth to let the light of heaven shine into the hearts of those who are in darkness. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 19

My dear brethren and sisters, do not spend in selfishness one dollar of the Lord’s money. You have no money but His. All you have is the Lord’s. You have been bought with a price, therefore you are bound to enter the service of your Redeemer. You must give an account to God of all that you have. At the last great day, God will ask, “What did you do with the money I entrusted to you?” 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 20

Look at the unworked fields. Is there not enough to call for self-denial and self-sacrifice? I do not know what will stir your hearts if they are not stirred as you look at the fields which have hardly been touched. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 21

God calls for workmen. He wants those who have gained an experience in the cause to enter the work in America. He wants them to take up the work in New York and in other cities where iniquity prevails. He wants them to start the work in His fear. Just as soon as possible let schools be established and workers educated to do medical missionary work. This work is the right hand of the body. It is bound up with the ministry of the gospel. God lives and reigns, and He desires those who have opposed health reform, who have worked against it by their influence, by their actions, by their sarcastic remarks, to make a thorough change. Do not longer divorce yourselves from the medical missionary work. Dr. Kellogg has been driven almost to despair as he has sought for some way in which he could bring the truth more prominently before the world. Let every minister of the gospel heed the words of Paul, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Corinthians 9:27.] God wants you to observe the strictest principles of temperance. He wants you to stand in a position of sacred nearness to Him, where you can ask and He will hear, where you know that He will be with you wherever you go. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 22

We have been becoming as salt which has lost its savor. Many are in this position because they have resisted light. Christ says to us, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” [Matthew 5:14, 15.] What is the house? It is God’s vineyard, the world. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 23

The most selfish thing mortals can do is to establish centers, neglecting to plant the seeds of truth in the destitute portions of the vineyard. There are in our work today congested centers, while the field stands before us a barren waste. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 24

God is going to help us to change this order of things. This is what we are trying to do here. We have a work to do in the cities of America where, had the light of heaven been followed, there would now be monuments erected for the Lord from which light would radiate to the regions around. Thus it would have been in the Southern field, had the will of the Lord been done. The work would have been established before the animosity now aroused had been kindled. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 25

God wants those who have been working against the seventh-day Sabbath to receive His truth. He wants His people to let the light of heaven shine forth to them. Many of those who in the past have placed themselves on the side of the one who instituted a spurious rest-day will accept the truth. We need to be very careful of what we say and what we do. We need to stand where we represent Christ by our meekness and lowliness. No one among God’s people is to try to gain the highest place. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 26

If the counsel of God had been followed, the waving fields all around us would have been harvested. Monuments to the Creator would have been raised in many places. Let us from this time follow the divine guidance. Let not one word of contention be spoken. Let us unify in the work of serving God, feeling our need of the wisdom that comes from above. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 27

When the word comes from God that a work is to be accomplished, have means ready for the workers. Yesterday I had an interview with an Indian chief who had accepted the truth. He is trying to place the truth before his people and is endeavoring to build a little meeting house. We must help him. Do not spend one dollar needlessly. Do you not want to see souls clothed with the righteousness of Christ? Do you not want to see a people standing in such living connection with God that they will give the trumpet a certain sound? I am glad that God has brought this brother into connection with His truth. Let us encourage him in his work. It is much more important to use means in this way than to use it in this place. We have a standing here. When a man is raised up to give the trumpet a certain sound, as I believe this Indian brother has been, I beg of you to help him. Bring your tithes and offerings into the treasury of the Lord, that the blessing and not the curse of heaven may rest upon you. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 28

God calls upon us to take hold of His work intelligently, and I hope that a beginning is to be made at this meeting. Remember that Battle Creek is not the whole world. No, indeed! We have a world to save, and upon every one of us rests a most solemn responsibility. Let us stand in the counsel of God, in our lot and place, ready to help wherever help is needed. Your money is the Lord’s. Use it to build up, not to tear down. When under the direction of God men say, “I wish to open the work in that field,” do not say, “We have no means to help.” That is a terrible thing for the angels to hear you say. God wants you to get to work. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 29

What does it mean that so many of our large cities are unworked? Have you been learning at the footstool of Jesus? Have the workers in our institutions been doing their duty? Have they been trying to advance the work of the Lord? 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 30

I will tell you of a place where the workers labor on economical lines, where they may be even too economical. This is at the Sanitarium. The workers there work very hard, and for very low wages. Again and again the need of self-denial has been presented to them, and they have worked to the utmost of their ability, cheerfully accepting low wages. Let there be more equality. Let those in the Sanitarium receive higher wages, and let those who occupy high positions in the work show more of a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Let us see if matters cannot be evened up. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 31

I might say more, but I will stop now. I thank the Lord that He has given me strength to speak to you this morning, and I thank you for your respectful attention. 16LtMs, Ms 148, 1901, par. 32