Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 17, 1901

Testimony to the Battle Creek Church


February 26, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 71; WM 255; 8MR 302. +Note

Testimony to the Battle Creek Church. Neglected Duties.

The light of truth must shine forth to the world. Those who love God and keep His commandments are called to aggressive warfare, not against one another, but against the armies of the invisible foe. There is to be no such thing as laying off the armor. At no time are those who claim to be Christ’s disciples to feel at ease in their church capacity, content to do nothing to rescue fallen human beings, and bring them back to their loyalty. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 1

Heavenly angels are constantly ascending and descending between heaven and earth, engaged in unselfish service for the building up of the kingdom of Christ. Where are the men and women who will unite with these heavenly messengers? Where are those who will use their abilities in co-operation with divine power? 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 2

Think of what God has done for you. When you were perishing out of Christ, did not the warning message come to you, convincing you of sin and arousing you to repentance? Did not Christ reveal Himself to you as a sin-pardoning Saviour? And in the light and glory of your first love, were you not full of unselfish love to impart to others the grace which gave you newness of life in Christ? 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 3

Do not allow your zeal for Christ to decrease. Now that you have become the helping hand of Christ, you are to work earnestly for those who before your conversion you looked upon with indifference. Remember that they are in as favorable a condition as you were to be brought to repentance, and that their salvation may be of higher value to the church than yours was. Grudge not earnest, tender words and kindly deeds. Draw those around you to the cross of Calvary. Be so greatly in love with the truth that you will daily receive fresh grace to impart. Open the windows of the soul heavenward, that the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness may shine into your hearts. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 4

Truth, precious, essential truth will open before all who will keep their souls in the love of God. Duty and sacrifice will be precious to them, because of their love for the purchase of the blood of Christ. Human beings upon whom they would once scarcely look now assume a preciousness in their eyes. Once they had no interest in them; now they are united with Christ, and they are bound up in love with His heritage. The heart once frozen by icy selfishness is now melted by the influence of the Spirit. They rejoice that these poor souls are accepted in the Beloved. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 5

The time of the end is crowded with successive scenes in process of fulfillment, all working to bring about that great day when Christ shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Every brain and every voice is to be enlisted in this work. The trumpet is to give a certain sound, summoning all to that work in which those who are connected with Christ will engage. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 6

Let the soldiers in Christ’s army remember that while they are under His banner, they can never be conquered; for angels from the heavenly courts are fighting beside them. And remember, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] What are our orders? “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Verses 13-18.] 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 7

This is the work to which you are called. It is not for you to sit and listen to discourse after discourse, feeling content to do nothing, making no use of the Word you hear, and often criticizing the ministers. Close the windows of the soul earthward, and open them heavenward. Go to work, helping on the right hand and on the left. Visit your neighbors in a friendly way, and become acquainted with them. Use every favorable opportunity, in co-operation with the heavenly agencies, to draw them under Christ’s banner. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 8

Those who do not take up this work, those who act with the indifference that some have manifested, will soon lose their first love, and will begin to censure, criticize, and condemn their own brethren. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 9

The Lord has a work for every one to do. Every stone in His building is to be instinct with life. As God’s people act their part with faithfulness, the light will shine forth, extending farther and farther, from neighborhood to neighborhood. In places nigh and afar off there will be revivals and conversions. The light and power of the message will be seen and felt. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 10

The Lord designs that the churches and sanitariums established among us shall unite in His work, strengthening one another. All heaven is waiting for this. The Lord calls for men and women, with hearts softened by the Holy Spirit, to do a work similar to the work done when the medical missionary work was first entered upon. This work was proffered to the church, but they were in the position represented by those who have lost their first love. They have not kept step with the message and work for the present time. Many have lost their first love, and therefore have manifested a spirit of cold indifference. The message of the second chapter of Revelation is applicable to the church as she has stood for years. Read the warning given by Him who is the Alpha and the Omega. Notwithstanding that some have excellent qualifications, He says, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verses 4, 5.] 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 11

Instruction was given me that every church should be wide-awake to co-operate with Dr. Kellogg upon health reform. But there has been little co-operation with Dr. Kellogg. Many have been as indifferent regarding the important question of diet as though no message had come to them. But thank the Lord, some have been true and faithful. Those who have been so unwilling to receive the light upon health reform have displeased the Lord. Their untrue, unchristian influence is the cause of so great a lack of spiritual discernment. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 12

Cautions and warnings have been given on the right hand and on the left. Instruction was given that a work was to be done by the church in medical missionary lines in accordance with the Lord’s plans. But there has been so large a number who have not been a help, but a hindrance, to the doctor, that he has had no confidence that they would take hold in earnest to do anything. Dr. Kellogg is human, and he has felt deeply and keenly his disappointment in his ministering brethren. Certainly some advancement has been made, but instead of one or two places receiving all the labor, the work should have been established in many places. Throughout all her borders the church should have done the work given her by the Lord. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 13

Many things have been presented to me. I was shown that there is a work to be done for the most depraved class, but that this matter must be most carefully guarded, so that the labor put forth shall not be in vain. Young men and young women should not be exposed, as many have been, in meeting the abandoned classes. Decided restraints are to be made, for there are positive dangers to be met. There is need of sacredly guarding the work. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 14

In the work for the lower class, the strongest precautions should be observed. There are many who should not go into the large cities to work for the most depraved. There is a work to be done not after the order of the work which has been done. Medical missionary work will become diseased if left to run to such lengths as it has been carried in some places. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 15

And work for the outcasts is not the only work that is to be done. It is not the Lord’s will that the greatest amount of labor shall be put forth for those who all their lives have been abusing their physical, mental, and moral powers, till they have injured themselves almost beyond recovery. They have been piling upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, which will all be consumed; and if they themselves are saved, it will be as by fire. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 16

In many places, too little work is being done for a class that the work of God needs, who will stand right royally for the truth. The Lord will not approve of passing carelessly over His vineyard, leaving unharvested the most promising crops. There are fields all ripe for the harvest. Camp-meetings are to be held in different localities. In this way people are to be reached who will give influence to the work for this time. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 17

The Lord has presented things to me which I can interpret, and which those who have the mind of Christ can understand. Education is essential—that kind of education which is not perverted. There are strong traits of character which under the control of the Spirit of God bear good fruit. But when self is considered, when appetite is indulged, when the inclination to evil is not restrained by moral and religious principles—which lead men to look beyond present, transitory gratification and momentary indulgence to the future—the battle is lost. Wood, hay, and stubble are brought to the foundation. And although at times there may be flashes of goodness, they pass away quickly like the morning dew. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 18

The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver. It never makes him coarse or rough or uncourteous. It leads him to prepare for the heaven he is trying to win, which, if he is faithful, will be his dwelling place. In word and deed he tries to represent his Redeemer. As he receives the wisdom of God, he is enabled to advance onward and upward. The heart beats with new hopes and with heavenly warmth. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 19

Those who receive the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ become as humble as a little child. They are softened and subdued. Heavenly love and benevolence expand heart and mind. Those who are truly converted are eager to communicate the knowledge of God. They feel the strength of the cords which connect humanity with humanity, and bind men and women to Christ in loving, faithful service. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 20

There should now be no indifference, for we are living amid the perils of the last day. Each must act his part in extending and enlarging the knowledge of God. Every effort made by the human agent to co-operate with the Holy Spirit prepares him to accomplish the work God has been fitting him through His grace to do. God desires His people to use all their talents in His service. He wants them with humble minds to do all-round work for Him. He wants them to seek for and labor for those in the churches. Christ wants them to improve their capabilities, that they may become wise unto salvation, and by contemplating their duty to Him and to their fellow men, learn how to help others. Workers are to be raised up who will, in their turn, help and educate others. Thus will the good work be extended, and whole communities will be blessed. Men and women will be brought into the fold at the eleventh hour, and if they are in earnest, the Lord will accept them and work through them. As they put on Christ, their minds are enlarged by the higher education. They give to others the treasures of heavenly truth, to be given to still others. And in the parable they are represented as being paid as much as those who first entered the field. 16LtMs, Ms 17, 1901, par. 21