Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 99, 1901

The Southern California Conference


September 25, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 13MR 408-410. +Note

We hope that because the California Conference has been divided, the brethren in the Southern Conference will not think that they need not harmonize with their brethren in the northern part of the state. Here is their danger. Let them not erect barriers of division by working according to their independent judgment, without reference to those in the Northern Conference. I have a caution to give in regard to this. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 1

The division of the California Conference was not made to cut those in the southern part of the state adrift, but that the work there might move forward with new vigor, that under the guidance of the divine Head, and imbued with fresh zeal, the workers might press into new territory. The movement to divide the conference means unity, not divorce. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 2

The work will soon be closed up. The Lord has instructed His people to be united and earnest in their prayers and in their work as they proclaim to the world the message of present truth. Thus they give evidence that they are sanctified by the Spirit, and their work is a success. The Holy Spirit always draws believers closer together, increasing their unity and happiness. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 3

There are those who have an excellent understanding of the Word, but who are always criticizing the work of others. Let us pray that we may be of one mind and one judgment. Let no one think that it is a virtue to stand on the side of the criticizer, unable to see the great work to be done nigh and afar off. We know that there will be some who will put into the minds of their brethren thoughts and suggestions that should be repressed. The sowing of this seed causes dissension and strife to spring up. May God convert the jealous and suspicious ones who see a yoke of bondage in uniting with their brethren in counsel and prayer regarding important movements. The Lord says, “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 4

God needs the strength of the united action of the Northern and Southern California Conference. The workers in the new conference are to be faithful in all they do. They are not to move independently, without any reference to the counsel of their brethren in the North. Those in one part of the vineyard should consider it a favor to have the counsel of their brethren in another part. Thus they guard against mistakes. One man’s mind is not to become a controlling power. Narrowness is not to be revealed in the plans laid. The cause is one. The aims of the workers should be one. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 5

In order for the work in Southern California to move onward and upward with the march of God’s providence, men of keen insight will be needed to stand at its head. These men must unite in counsel with their brethren in the Northern Conference. Those who are working for God should obtain all the advice they can from experienced workers. God grant that all may work in such a way that the great I AM may imprint His name on the work done. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 6

There is an important work to be done in Southern California. The medical missionary work will demand talents and divine wisdom. The command of the Saviour is that the work done in one part of the field is to be done with reference to the work in other parts of the field. In Southern California the workers are to enter upon aggressive missionary work, remembering the command which opens to their view a world to be warned. They are to duly consider the progress of the work in all parts of the world, showing a heavenborn interest in every plan that is laid for the advancement of God’s cause. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 7

The wisdom, skill, and tact shown in the management of the work will tell their own story. If the condition of the work shows that it does not bear the inscription of heaven, the cause is to be searched out. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 8

In the Bible is shown the imperative importance of God’s workers being controlled by the Holy Spirit. The work is to be carried forward on Scriptural lines. The workers are to deepen and broaden their religious experience by a careful examination of the Word of God, which is their textbook and guidebook. Following the direction of this Word makes men wise unto salvation. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 9

The same divine authority that guides the minds of men in one conference will guide the minds of their brethren in other conferences. Therefore the workers in the different conferences should compare experiences, that the influence of the divine authority may be shed abroad. As men relate their varied experiences, the influence of God’s power is collected and multiplied. The power that has made the work a success in the past is to exert its influence in the present and the future. As the workers review the history of the past and see how Christian influence has prompted men and women to action, their missionary zeal will increase. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 10

The workers should not hurry the work forward without giving due consideration to the means they have in hand. The enterprises established for the advancement of God’s work are not to be trammelled with debt. Take into consideration all the difficulties, and then work like brave, wise men. Consecrated zeal is much more powerful than mere activity. Consecration in thought, word, and action is necessary for success in God’s service. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 11

“Go Ye Into All the World.” 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 12

A true sense of equity, judgment, and the love of God is to be brought into our devising and planning. Those who bear responsibilities are to set an example that will give church members confidence that they are wise men, who are not influenced by selfishness or pride. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 13

God brings His people together in church fellowship that they may better impart to the world the blessings of light which they receive from Him. There is no need of an education in criticism. All should strive to be true missionaries, encouraging and sustaining one another by speaking words of encouragement and hope, lifting up the hands which hang down and strengthening the feeble knees. Each is to work according to his ability. But even after they have done their best, God’s people will not feel a sense of self-congratulation. The true worker always feels a sense of abasement, of dissatisfaction with self. Humility is the fruit borne on the Christian tree. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 14

Christ said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20.] This commission comes from the lips of One who loves the world, not a few human beings. When the church ignores the Word, “Go ye into all the world,” she makes the promise of none effect. She places herself where she cannot see the realization of the words, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 15

Let not the church, by binding up her interests in a few places, refuse to obey the command of Christ. Thus she draws away from Him who gave His life for the life of the world. The Saviour desires His cause to make proportionate advancement in the various openings made by the proclamation of the truth. He does not direct men to make extravagant expenditures in a few spots, multiplying the advantages there, while other places remain barren and unworked. By such misappropriation of means, the work in foreign fields is hindered. The way is not prepared for Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 16

For our publishing houses to add continually to their conveniences is not according to God’s plan. Constant investment in new machinery means that commercial work must be brought in to keep the new presses running. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 17

God calls for a higher devotion on the part of His people. There is need of a revival of the Holy Spirit in every place. A reformation is needed. The expense is to be carefully guarded, lest too much money shall be expended in a few places. Human planning has been seen in the erection of costly buildings involving a large expenditure, when less expensive buildings would have been sufficient for the needs of the work. All the buildings erected should be neat and tasteful, but unnecessary expense should be avoided. These buildings are to represent our faith. They are not to be put up at such an expense that the debt on them will deny our faith. It is the integrity of the workers, not the costliness of the building, that exalts an institution before men and angels. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 18

Success in any field means support for that field. Success brings with it increased responsibilities. It means that the work must widen, that the church must put forth every effort to properly sustain the advancing work. It means that new territory must be annexed, that the standard must be planted in towns and cities that have not heard the Word of truth. 16LtMs, Ms 99, 1901, par. 19