Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 109, 1902

The Favor of God of More Value Than Worldly Honor


August 11, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 239-240; MM 157-158; 11MR 186-187.

The Lord desires those connected with the medical missionary work to be true missionaries. In word and action they are to be Christlike. They are not to be merciful only when they feel an impulse to show mercy, nor are they to act selfishly toward the ones who are the most deserving of medical missionary work. The blind, for instance, are to be treated with compassion. Let medical missionaries reflect concerning their actions toward the blind, that they may learn whether as true missionaries for God they could not have done for this unfortunate class of people many things that they have left undone. From what has been presented to me, I know that many, many cases have not received the encouragement that Christ would have given them, were He in the place of our medical missionaries. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 1

The Lord, He is God. He notices these instances of neglect. Every such wrong action is a misrepresentation of His mercy, loving-kindness, and benevolence. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 2

I am instructed to say, Watch carefully, prayerfully, conscientiously, lest the mind become so engrossed with many important business transactions that true godliness is overlooked, and love is quenched from the soul, notwithstanding the great and pitiful need of your being God’s helping hand to the blind and to all others who are unfortunate. The most friendless demand the most attention. Use your time and strength in learning to be “fervent in spirit,” to deal justly, and to love mercy, “serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Remember that Christ says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” [Matthew 25:40.] 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 3

Although having every necessary facility with which to work, the managers of some of our larger sanitariums have desired to make many improvements with money that is not their own, but the Lord’s. Some neglect to perform deeds of mercy for the needy and use for themselves the pittance saved in this way. Many commit act after act of complicated robbery of God in the person of His saints. In their business dealings, those connected with our institutions should always be actuated by noble principles, revealing by their example the pure, holy principles that govern every Christian. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 4

The Lord calls for the close self-examination to be made now that was not made during the last General Conference, when He was waiting to be gracious. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 5

In Malachi we read: “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple. ... Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” [Malachi 3:1-3.] The Lord is constantly cleansing His people from dross, separating them from the “hangers-on” who say, “Good Lord, good devil”—those who with the same lips extol God and praise Satan. Of such He says: “I will come near to you in judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, ... and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Verse 5.] Soon every man will be judged according to his deeds. Wake up, my brethren, before Christ comes to your name in the record books of heaven and passes judgment upon every unchristlike word and action. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 6

God has given us His Word as the standard of duty. His law is to be magnified because it is truth. “I am the Lord your God,” He declares; “walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” [Ezekiel 20:19, 20.] 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 7

The Saviour of mankind was born of humble parentage in a sin-cursed, wicked world. He was brought up in obscurity at Nazareth, a small town of Galilee. He began His work in poverty and without worldly rank. Thus God introduced the gospel in a way altogether different from the way in which many deem it wise to proclaim the same gospel in 1902. At the very beginning of the gospel dispensation He taught His church to rely, not on worldly rank and splendor, but on the power of faith and obedience. The favor of God is above the riches of gold and silver. The power of His Spirit is of inestimable value. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 8

Never are we to rely upon worldly recognition and rank. Never are we, in the establishment of institutions, to try to compete with worldly institutions in size or splendor. The great desire of the managers of our sanitariums should be so to walk in obedience to the Lord, that all the helpers connected with these institutions can by faith walk with God, as did Enoch. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 9

The Lord will guide all who humbly walk with Him. Humble men who trust in Him will be the most successful workers in His cause. We shall gain the victory, not by erecting massive buildings, in rivalry with our enemies, but by cherishing a Christlike spirit of meekness and lowliness. Better far the cross and disappointed hopes, than to live with princes and forfeit heaven. Truth will be bitterly opposed, but never will it lose its vitality. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 10

By a long period of humiliation God prepared His church for the first coming of Christ. Even then only the remnant of the humblest of Israel received the royal Guest. Nearly all the Jews had become proud and self-sufficient. The religious leaders were harsh, unprincipled, scornful. Through pride and hypocritical pretension the Jews vaunted themselves as a nation and rejected their Saviour. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 11

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet.” [Matthew 21:42-46.] 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 12

The same influences that led the Jews to reject the Saviour are at work in our day, just before Christ’s second appearing. The result of Israel’s sin is before us. Will the church of today take warning? 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 13

In giving Christ, God gave all the facilities of heaven. His pledges of help are made to every troubled soul. None need be afraid of defeat, if they walk righteously and gratefully before Him with all humility of mind. Christ has won the victory over the enemy; and in every conflict with the powers of darkness we have the assurance of His pledge, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:18.] The Lord God of heaven “hath put all things under” Christ’s “feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” [Ephesians 1:22, 23.] 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 14

My brethren, God does not require you to purchase His favors with costly adornment or with gifts. He asks you only to crucify self, to break your stoutheartedness, and to humble yourselves before Him, accepting with thankfulness the peace and salvation that He has provided for you through Christ. Only a pure, fragrant, merciful spirit is acceptable to Him. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 15

In proclaiming the message, God’s servants must wrestle with perplexities. Obstacles must be removed. Work is to be done in all parts of the vineyard. In the early days of the message a right beginning was made, but the work has not developed as God desired it to develop. Too much has been centered in Battle Creek, Oakland, and a few other places. In many fields very little has been done to establish memorials for God. This is wrong. Years ago very many of our workers and people had the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Success attended their efforts. The Lord has signified that His work should be carried forward in the same spirit in which it was begun. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 16

Thus saith the Lord: “Buildings will give character to My work only when those who erect them follow My instruction in regard to the establishment of institutions. Had those who have managed and sustained the work in the past always been controlled by pure, unselfish principles, the selfish gathering of a large share of My means to one or two places, regardless of the requirements of other places equally needy, would never have been. Institutions would have been established in many places. Seeds of truth, sown in many more fields, would have sprung up and borne fruit to My glory in the conversion of souls. Many places would have had advantages similar to the advantages now found in only a few places. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 17

“The plants in Battle Creek have been unduly increased, when centers of influence should have been made in many other cities. There should have been more of an equalizing of facilities. The institutions in one place are not to embrace the whole land, swallowing up the means required for other places. The places that have never had the advantages that a few places have had are now to receive attention. My people are to do a sharp, quick work. Those who with purity of purpose fully consecrate themselves to Me, body, mind, and spirit, shall work in My way and in My name. Every one shall stand in his lot, looking to Me, his Guide and Counselor. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 18

“My name has been greatly dishonored. Let no one erect large, costly buildings, even in Battle Creek; for the managers of the work there have been reproved for doing this in the past. God does not make such plans, and He cannot endorse them. He has reproved and rebuked many for errors that they have made. Many wrongs have been corrected, but an earnest, thorough work is still to be done. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 19

“I will instruct the ignorant, and anoint with heavenly eyesalve the eyes of many who are now in spiritual blindness. I will raise up agents who will carry out My will to prepare a people to stand before Me in the time of the end. In many places that ought to have been provided before with sanitariums and schools, I will establish My institutions, and these institutions will become educational centers for the training of workers.” 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 20

The Lord will work upon human minds in unexpected quarters. Some who apparently are enemies of the truth will in God’s providence invest their means to develop properties and erect buildings. In time, these properties will be offered for sale at a price far below their cost. Our people will recognize the hand of Providence in these offers and will secure valuable properties for use in institutional work. They will plan and manage with humility, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. Thus men of means are unconsciously preparing auxiliaries that will enable the Lord’s people to advance His work rapidly. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 21

In various places, properties are to be purchased to be used for sanitarium purposes. Our brethren should never have built so largely in one place as they have in Battle Creek. Means should not be raised to erect large sanitarium buildings there or in any other portion of the globe. When opportunity offers, our people should purchase properties away from the cities, on which are buildings already erected and fruit orchards already in bearing. Land is a valuable possession. Connected with our sanitariums there should be lands, small portions of which can be used for the homes of the helpers and others who are receiving a training in medical missionary lines. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 22

Sometimes the work will go hard at the beginning, as it did when we were establishing institutions in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Oakland, California. In Cooranbong, Australia, we began in a very crude way, pitching our tents in the woods, felling trees, and clearing the ground, preparatory to the erection of buildings. What conflicts we had! What victories we gained! Unconsecrated workers and false friends have at times been connected with our institutions in that country; but the Lord has set things in order. By the power of His Spirit a reformation has been brought about. All can see the stately steppings of the Lord God of Israel. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 23

The world is to be warned. Field after field is still unworked. Shall we as a people, by our actions, our business arrangements, our attitude toward a world unsaved, bear a testimony altogether different from the testimony borne by us twenty or thirty years ago? Shall we give evidence of spiritual disease and a lack of wise planning? Upon us has shone great light in regard to the last days of this earth’s history. The sight of the souls perishing in sin should arouse us to give the light of present truth to those now in darkness. God’s messengers must be clothed with power. They must have a reverence for the truth that they do not now possess. The Lord’s solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed not merely in our churches, but in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities—in every place where the light of the third angel’s message has not yet dawned. Every one is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 17LtMs, Ms 109, 1902, par. 24