Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 113, 1903

Brethren in the Medical Missionary Work

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

May, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in 2MCP 559; Ev 23-24; HFM 71; 2BC 1033. +Note

To My Brethren in the Medical Missionary Work,—

When I heard that unity had come into the recent council held at Battle Creek, I rejoiced. But I have been shown that a thorough work has not yet been done. The fallow ground of the heart has not been broken up. Only the surface has been stirred. The apparent unity of heart was but the beginning of a work that was to deepen and widen until carried forward to perfection. We must not rest satisfied with what has been accomplished. The work has but just begun. The true reformation has scarcely been entered upon. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 1

We are living in the close of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. Soon Christ will come in power and great glory. We have no time to lose. Let no one say in his heart or by his works, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” [Matthew 24:48.] Let the message of His soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. They have souls to save or to lose. The Lord calls for workers who are filled with an earnest, decided purpose. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 2

We are not only to watch; we are to pray and work and wait. The note of warning must be given. The truth must not languish upon our lips. We must arouse men and women to immediate preparation; for we little know what is before us. We are living in the last remnant of time. Every teacher of truth is to present an open door before all who will come to Jesus confessing their sins. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 3

As a people, we should be doing the work of God with an eye single to His glory. But we are far from the position that we should occupy in this matter. Many things have come in that are hindering the progress of the work that should be moving solidly and rapidly forward. Upon many of the plans devised, the Lord cannot place His approval. Men have departed from the plans that God has laid for the proclamation of the message for this time. Their minds have become so engrossed with their own plans and inventions that they have lost their spirituality and devotion. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 4

I am charged with a message to those who have been compromising with worldly principles. Eternal interests are at stake. God calls upon you to repent. The presentation that some have made of our work before worldlings is an offense to God, which He will surely punish. He will not sanction any effort to serve both God and Baal. Some who have long been connected with our institutions in Battle Creek have by their arguments placed our institutions there on a level with worldly institutions, calling them undenominational, cutting them away from the true foundation on which all our institutions were established. Thus they have made our work much harder than it would otherwise have been. Such representations destroy the sacredness of our work in the minds of unbelievers. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 5

Some who profess to be loyal to God’s law have departed from the faith and have humiliated His people in the dust, representing them to be one with worldlings. God has seen and marked this. The time has come when, at any cost, we are to take the position that God has assigned to us. Seventh-day Adventists are now to stand forth separate and distinct, a people denominated by the Lord as His own. Until they do this, He cannot be glorified in them. Truth and error cannot stand in co-partnership. Let us now place ourselves where God has said that we should stand. Let us do all in our power to recover ourselves from the terrible humiliation to which we have been subjected. We are to strive for unity, but not on the low level of conformity to worldly policy and union with the popular churches. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 6

Strange things have been introduced into the medical missionary department of our work. Methods have been followed that misrepresent the character of the work for these last days. There must be a decided reformation. I call upon the leaders of the medical missionary work to come boldly to the front and clearly define their position. When those engaged in this work show that they are in harmony with the divine will and that they are willing to bear the yoke of Christ; when they learn from Him His meekness and lowliness, instead of looking to men for support and counsel, then the medical missionary work will stand in its proper place in the work of God for this time. Upon its banner will be the inscription, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 7

A Word of Caution

The Lord has plainly instructed me that our young people should not be encouraged to devote so much of their time and strength to medical missionary work as it has been carried forward of late. The instruction they receive regarding Bible doctrines is not such as to fit them to perform properly the work that God has entrusted to His people. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 8

The talents of God’s people are to be employed in giving the last message of mercy to the world. The Lord calls upon those connected with our sanitariums, publishing houses, and other institutions to teach the youth to do evangelistic work. Our time must not be so largely employed in establishing sanitariums, food factories, food stores, and restaurants, that other lines of work shall be neglected. Young men and young women who should be engaged in the ministry, in Bible work, and in the canvassing work should not be bound down to mechanical employment. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 9

The youth are to be encouraged to attend our schools, which should become more and more like the schools of the prophets. Our schools have been established by the Lord, and if they are conducted in harmony with His purpose, the youth sent to them will quickly be prepared to engage in various lines of missionary work. Some will be trained to enter the field as missionary nurses, some as canvassers, some as evangelists, some as teachers, and some as gospel ministers. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 10

Satan is earnestly striving to lead souls away from right principles. Multitudes who profess to belong to God’s true church are falling under the enemy’s deceptions. They are being led to swerve from their allegiance to the blessed and only Potentate. Plans which should be recognized as wrong are accepted by many because these plans are clothed with saintly garments and appear to be righteous. Some things designed to be blessings have become snares because those who have them in charge have allowed selfishness and ambition to control their minds. Thus precious things that God has given us as a blessing, to glorify His name, have become a hindrance to spirituality. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 11

The Power of Influence

How closely related are all who are engaged in the Master’s service! Every one is dependent upon his fellow man. Then how important that each shall guard carefully his words and acts, lest from him shall go forth an evil influence, far-reaching in its results. By a careless sneer, a turn of the head, or words of scorn and derision, a wrongdoer may set in motion an influence freighted with evil. An evil insinuation, once started, will spread rapidly, carried from mind to mind. It was by the expression of such thoughts that Satan placed in the minds of the angels that rebellion spread among them. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 12

Many today live for self. Thus they cut themselves away from the source of divine help. Selfishness is the law by which they are governed. They place themselves on the side of rebellion, and God allows them to become the prey of their own increasing depravity until to them sin appears to be righteousness and righteousness sin. They do not realize that they do themselves untold injury every time they yield to selfish desires. Every time they do that which is against their convictions of right, they sink deeper into the deceptions of Satan and more vigorously oppose those who are doing right. From them come evil suggestions glossed over with the appearance of religion. They work against God and tempt others to do the same things. Then, strengthened by the sympathy of their associates, they strive to counteract right principles. Should any one endeavour to counteract their evil plans, they cherish a feeling of hatred for him. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 13

Men today are in danger of manifesting the same spirit that Jeroboam manifested, and of doing a work similar in character to the work that he did. His plans, put into operation, led the children of Israel away from God into idolatry, and they performed and permitted terrible evils. The Judge of all the earth will lay to the charge of Jeroboam the awful results of his course. And to the charge of those who follow his example will be laid the results of their wrong course. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 14

A Stern Rebuke

In the days of Christ the temple service had become perverted. In the hands of unprincipled men it was the means of extortion and robbery. Many who came there from afar to attend the Passover went home after the feast bruised and wounded in spirit by the overbearing tyranny of the priests and rulers. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 15

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus came up to Jerusalem to the Passover. As He entered the temple, He took in the whole scene. He saw the unfair transactions. He saw the distress of the poor, who thought that without shedding of blood there would be no forgiveness for their sins. He saw the outer courts of His temple converted into a place of unholy traffic. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 16

As Christ beheld the scene, indignation, authority, and power were expressed in His countenance. He spoke, and His clear, ringing voice—the same that upon Mount Sinai proclaimed the law that priests and rulers were then transgressing—could be heard echoing through the arches of the temple: “Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise.” [John 2:16.] 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 17

Slowly descending the stairs, and raising the scourge of cords gathered upon entering the enclosure, Jesus bade the bargaining company depart from the precincts of the temple. With a zeal and severity He had never before manifested, He overthrew the tables of the moneychangers. None presumed to question His authority. None stopped to gather up their ill-gotten gain. Jesus did not smite them with the whip of cords, but in His hand that simple scourge seemed terrible as a flaming sword. Officers of the temple, speculating priests, brokers, and cattle traders, with their sheep and oxen, rushed from the place with the one thought of escaping from the condemnation of His presence. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 18

At the close of His mission, Christ came again to the temple and found it desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before. The dignitaries of the temple were themselves engaged in buying and selling and the exchange of money. So completely were they controlled by greed that in the sight of God they were no better than thieves. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 19

Again the piercing look of Christ swept over the desecrated court of the temple; and He spoke with a power that swayed the people like a mighty tempest: “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [Matthew 21:13.] His voice sounded like a trumpet through the temple. The displeasure of His countenance seemed like consuming fire. With authority He commanded, “Take these things hence.” [John 2:16.] 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 20

This history may be repeated. The Lord will not today sanction sharp dealing and selfish grasping for power to take advantage of others. Commercialism has been so interwoven with the work of God that for some it is difficult to distinguish between the sacred and the common. The Lord will soon show that He is Lord of lords and King of kings. To Him sin is sin, and righteousness is righteousness. A crisis has come in His work. God has a controversy with those who have followed their own will and their own way. Now is the time to repent and turn to Him with full purpose of heart. 18LtMs, Lt 113, 1903, par. 21