Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

125/469

Lt 121, 1902

German Brethren and Sisters in America

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

August 7, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 292, 413-414; PM 367; 6MR 415-416.

To my German brethren and sisters in America,—

I felt impressed when at the last General Conference to assure Brother Conradi that he should have our prayers and co-operation in working that which we know to be a hard field, a field walled in by many difficulties. We are far away from Brother Conradi and the brethren who are associated with him in pressing forward the work in new territory. His field of labor is not within the range of our natural vision, but it should not be beyond the eyesight of the mind. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 1

We know what it means to have a great work before us and to be bound about for want of means, while at the same time the word of the Lord is coming to us, saying, “Annex new territory; lift up My standard of truth in new fields.” In Australia we did not have the facilities we should have had to carry forward the work that the Lord directed us to do. Although some help came to us from America, an abundance of means was expended in the home field, while we were striving, studying, and praying, but bound about, unable to advance for want of the money we might have had, but which, instead of being sent to us, was used in America. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 2

We should all feel that we are the ones whom Christ addressed when He said to His disciples, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.” [John 4:35-37.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 3

After sowing the seed, the husbandman is compelled to wait for months for it to germinate and develop into grain ready to be harvested. But in sowing it he is encouraged by the expectation of fruit in the future. His labor is lightened with the hope of good returns in the time of reaping. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 4

Not so with the seeds of truth sown by Christ in the mind of the Samaritan woman during His conversation with her at the well. The harvest of His seed-sowing was not remote, but immediate. Scarcely were His words spoken, before the seed thus sown sprang up and produced fruit, awakening her understanding, and enabling her to know that she had been conversing with the Lord Jesus Christ. She let the words of divine light shine into her heart. Forgetting her water-pitcher, she hastened away to communicate the good news to her Samaritan brethren. “Come,” she said, “see a man, which told me all things that ever I did.” [Verse 29.] And they came out at once to see Him. It was then that He likened the souls of these Samaritans to a field of grain. “Lift up your eyes,” He said to His disciples, “and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” [Verse 35.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 5

“So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.” And what busy days these were! What is the record of the result? “And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” [Verses 40-42.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 6

Christ, in opening to the minds of the Samaritans the Word of life, sowed many seeds of truth and showed the people how they too could sow seeds of truth in the minds of others. How much more good might be accomplished if all who know the truth would labor for sinners—for those who need so much to know and understand Bible truth and who would respond to it as readily as the Samaritans responded to the words of Christ! 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 7

*****

An Opportunity to Sow Seeds of Truth

My German brethren and sisters in America, this message is given to me for you: God has His faithful ones in Germany and in all the other countries where Germans have scattered. Consider how much good you might do, how many people you might help, by selling the German edition of Christ’s Object Lessons, doing all you can by your labor and by your means to share in the expense of establishing and carrying forward the school work in Germany. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 8

In engaging in this work of self-denial, first give yourselves unreservedly to the Lord, hiding your lives with Christ in God. With Paul, be able to say, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” [Galatians 2:20.] Believe that you are His helping hand in America, and that it is your privilege to reach out as far as possible, even across the broad waters, to the “regions beyond” [2 Corinthians 10:16], to share with others the advantages that you enjoy. And be not backward in other lines of work. Make yourselves useful by helping others engaged in the work where you are, as well as by assisting your brethren in Germany. Christ now needs laborers in America, your present home, as well as in your former home in the Old Country. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 9

While doing aggressive work in America, remember how much more difficult it is to labor in foreign fields, where our brethren are deprived of many of the advantages that are enjoyed by those laboring in America. The carrying forward of the work in Germany or in any other foreign country demands the sharing of our advantages more freely with them because of the disadvantages in those fields. Remember that charity—love—is true blessedness. Whether in the Old Country or in America, how can our brethren give a better illustration of the fruit of the tree of life than by sharing their advantages with others in more difficult places? Our spiritual blessings will be proportionate to our self-denying works. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 10

Remember that although the Lord has not called you to labor personally in foreign fields, He requires you to do all you possibly can to help others who are working in these fields. In planning and working to build up the schools by the proceeds of your sales of Object Lessons, include your brethren across the Atlantic Ocean. In thus co-operating with them, you will be co-operating with Christ in the person of His saints. And He who gave His life to save perishing souls will give you His presence, His grace. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 11

Let all engage in this effort from pure, unselfish motives, co-operating with Elder Conradi and his companions in labor, working not because of personal ambition or for the praise of men, but because they long to act a part with Christ in the work of saving perishing souls. In Christ’s service, everything depends upon the motives prompting believers to action. Those who labor for the love of souls will advance His work in our world. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 12

Let no one cherish a zeal that is not according to knowledge. Impulse is good when it is controlled by the Holy Spirit of God; but he who does not cherish sanctified principles will practice dishonesty in order to make a wonderful display, that others may see “what I can do.” By “I,” selfishness is wrought out. “I” disregards greater need elsewhere, grasps too much, and selfishly builds up his own work. Such a course of action is a sad spectacle to angels and to men. None are to circumscribe their influence, their God-given talent of means, in order to make a display which God will have to destroy in order to bring them to their senses. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 13

Who has elevated man and given him power? Who upholds and sustains him, increasing his efficiency to do good? Is this done in order that man may glorify himself? No true disciple of Christ can be self-centered. Personal ambition will strive for the mastery with our German brethren in America, as it has been and still is striving with our English-speaking brethren. But, my brethren, watch unto prayer, lest ye enter into temptation. Be neither selfish in withholding means, nor selfish in devising and carrying out unsanctified, ambitious projects that will absorb the means that should be used in other places. Realize that as Christ’s disciples you are in duty bound to give the truth to the world. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 14

I hope that all will understand the value of the opportunity offered them to sell the German edition of Christ’s Object Lessons for the benefit of the school work in Germany. It is the privilege of our German brethren and sisters in America to help their fellow workers in the Old Country in this way. Let your hearts be drawn out to aid them in establishing the work in many places, where it will be a continual memorial of the power of Bible truth. Now is your time to come to the help of the missionaries already doing their utmost in foreign countries. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 15

“To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” [Hebrews 13:16.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 16

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” [1 Timothy 6:17-19.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 17

May the Lord help us now to give foreign fields the attention that they ought to have, so that the workers in these fields will not be bound about, unable to leave memorials for God in many places. Let us not continue to neglect our duty. Let us gain a better understanding of the situation and redeem the past. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 18

It may be that in lifting up your eyes to see afar off the fields white unto the harvest you will receive into your own hearts the abundant grace of God. You who through unbelief have been spiritually poor will through personal labor become rich in good works. You will no longer starve your souls in the midst of plenty, but will appropriate the good things God has in store for you. When you begin to realize how destitute of means the laborers are to carry forward the work in foreign fields, you will do what you can to help, and your souls will begin to revive, your spiritual appetite will become healthful, and your mind will be refreshed with the Word of God, which is a leaf from the tree of life for the healing of the nations. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 19

My German brethren and sisters in America, if you work with self-denial, doing what you can to further the advancement of the cause in new fields, the Lord will help and strengthen and bless you. Trust in the assurance of His presence which sustains you and which is light and life. Do all for love of Jesus and the precious souls for whom He has died. Work with a pure, divinely inwrought purpose to glorify God. The Lord sees and understands, and He will use you, despite your weakness, if you offer your talent as a consecrated gift to His service; for in active, disinterested service the weak become strong and enjoy His precious commendation. The joy of the Lord is an element of strength. If you are faithful, the peace that passeth all understanding will be your reward in this life, and in the future life you will enter into the joy of your Lord. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 20

*****

“Ye are the Light of the World”

Once a race of slaves amid a nation of idolaters, the Israelites were delivered from bondage and became a light in the desert, showing the Egyptians the way. If God’s people who lived in the Old Testament dispensation were to shine out brightly upon a world of idolaters, His people who live in this age, having so many more privileges and so much greater light, should shine forth still more brightly, diffusing light everywhere. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 21

Wherever you find a Christian, you find a shining light. In word and action he reveals the Light of Life. His perceptions are not crusted with selfishness. Not having followed his own inclinations, he has not become unyielding in his convictions. He perceives the truth, and is blessed by its sacred influence; he sees the verity of God’s Word and its infinite superiority to everything selfish; he sees the foolishness of following human inventions when God’s plans and ways are to be followed. His ability to see these things is from God and qualifies him to be a representative of God, to bear with authority the Word of truth to others. He has been converted; he loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself. With unfeigned lips he prays to the Father, “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.” [Matthew 6:9-13.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 22

A truly converted man is one whose pen and purse and voice and influence are consecrated to Christ; one whose affections are rich with tenderness and unselfish interest; one who desires to see the light of truth shed abroad, enlightening the whole world. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 23

My brethren, the precious light of Bible truth, like a lamp that burneth, is to beam forth from you in word and work. Strive to gain an intelligent knowledge of God’s Word. Stand ready to improve every possible opportunity to do good in behalf of the souls still in the darkness of error. Act your part heartily as unto the Lord in leading the sinful to see a sin-pardoning Saviour and to lay their burden of sin at the foot of the cross. When you see them happy in the possession of a heart cleansed from sin and renewed by the Holy Spirit, your joy in the Lord will increase, and you will know that you have not lived in vain. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 24

Try it, brethren, try it. Put your heart into the Lord’s work. Let those who feel weak heartily take up missionary work, and let light shine nigh and afar off into the desert of darkness. As members of Christ’s church on the earth, individually consecrate yourselves to Him, planning unselfishly to help not only your brethren who are nigh, but especially those who are afar off. Open the heart more fully, in order that through you, light may shine to souls in darkness. Of all the church members who do this work, Christ says, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 25

God’s church, the depositary of His truth, is represented not only as the light of the world, but as the salt of the earth. It has the preserving quality of salt that has not lost its savor. The Word of the living God is the salt of the earth. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 26

As Christ’s representatives, we are all required to be bright and shining lights. The light of truth is to shine to the ends of the world. Greater and still greater light is beaming with celestial brightness from our Redeemer’s face, to be diffused amid the darkness of a benighted world. As laborers together with Him, we should pray for the sanctification of His Holy Spirit, in order that we may shine more and more unto the prefect day. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 27

No one will be left in uncertainty in regard to the truth. God’s lamps are so arranged that with unmistakable clearness the light of truth will be revealed to the world. His lamps are to be placed in many centers to give light to all His house. Any man who by his course of action strives to prevent these lamps from illuminating the world—yes, all the dark places of the earth—has lost his bearings, and is not a bright and shining light. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 28

God has qualified His people to enlighten the world. He has entrusted men with faculties that adapt them to extend and accomplish a work that will belt the world. Sanitariums, schools, printing offices, and kindred facilities are to be established in all parts of the earth. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 29

But this work has not yet been done. In foreign countries many enterprises that require means must yet be begun and carried forward. The opening of hygienic restaurants, the establishment of sanitariums for the care of the sick and suffering is just as necessary in Germany as in America. Let all do their best, making their boast in the Lord, and blessing others by their good works. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 30

Christ co-operates with those who engage in medical missionary work. Men and women who unselfishly do what they can to establish sanitariums and treatment rooms in many lands will be richly rewarded. Those who visit these institutions will be benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually. The weary will be refreshed, the sick will be restored to health, and the sin-burdened will be relieved. In far-off countries thanksgiving will be heard from the lips of those whose hearts are turned from the service of sin unto righteousness. By their songs of grateful praise a testimony is borne that will win other souls to the truth. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 31

The conversion of souls to God is the greatest work, the highest work, in which human beings can have a part. In the conversion of souls, God’s forbearance, His unbounded love, His holiness, His power are revealed. Every true conversion glorifies Him and causes the angels to break forth into singing. “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” [Psalm 85:10.] Upon every truly converted soul—every one who believes in Christ as the world’s Redeemer—God has laid the obligation of co-operating with Him who gave His life for a perishing world. To every one who is at ease in Zion, He says, Arise, and put your shoulder to the wheel. Bear spiritual burdens. Clear the atmosphere of your soul in order that the Sun of Righteousness may shine forth through you to the people of other tongues, revealing to them a living, testing truth. Let your light so shine that those who are perishing in their sins may learn of God’s goodness, mercy, and love. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 32

The light of the truth for this time is now shining upon the cabinets of kings. Their attention is being called to the Bible—the Statute-book of the nations, and they re comparing their national laws with its statutes. As representatives of Christ, we have no time to lose. Our efforts are not to be confined to a few places where most extravagant additions after additions have been made to the already ample facilities, where the light has become so abundant that it is not appreciated. There are many peoples and tongues and nations who are to have the light of truth. The books containing present truth are to be translated into every language. In those countries where religious liberty is restricted, God’s light is to shine forth by a faithful exposition of the Scriptures, exercising its reformative, sanctifying power on institutions, customs, and literature, both in public and in social life. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 33

We are a spectacle to worlds unfallen, to angels, and to men. “Ye are my witnesses,” said Christ. [Isaiah 43:10.] We should know individually and be able to tell others that every promise of God is true. It is by bearing a straightforward testimony in word and work that we are counted as true, faithful witnesses for Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 34

My German brethren and sisters, God now calls upon you to consecrate yourselves to Him in willing obedience. He calls upon you to proclaim His law with bold fidelity, and in the dignified, intelligent manner in which those whose hearts are sanctified by the truth ever reveal this truth to others. His people have the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 35

The third angel’s message is now to be proclaimed not only in America, but in every other land. The message is to be borne to English-speaking peoples and to the peoples of every other language. Let the believers, as active recipients of God’s blessings, diffuse the light of His truth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people in obedience to the commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] We are not half awake to the importance of this commission. May God place the burden of the proclamation of the message upon His people now, just now, is my prayer. 17LtMs, Lt 121, 1902, par. 36