Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Ms 56, 1904

Talk/Take Heed to Thyself

Berrien Springs, Michigan

May 23, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 157; Ev 398; 2MCP 727. +Note

(Morning talk by Mrs. E. G. White.)

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 1

“Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ... And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-13.] 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 2

We should seek to understand how we can fulfil this scripture. We are not to act like undisciplined, uncontrolled children. We are not to be always out of joint. God wants each one of us to find his place, and when each one is in his place, doing the work that God has given him, there will be perfect unity. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 3

I have been greatly distressed—it has nearly taken my life—to see how little effort is made to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. What is the matter? It is because this one and that one and the other one all want their own way. Perhaps they always had their own way when they were children, and they have never learned to yield. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 4

We need to make it plain to the world that God sent His Son into the world to save sinners. How are we to do this? By putting forth every effort for unity. Each one is to feel that there is need for him to confess his own mistakes and errors, not the mistakes and errors of some one else. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 5

I am instructed that God will greatly bless and sustain the medical missionary work and the gospel ministry if those connected with these branches of work will respect one another. If your way is crossed, if some one thwarts your purposes, you are not to turn away from him in distrust and to take no interest in his welfare. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 6

We must each stand in right relation to God, doing our work in His love and fear. We are to honor Him, and we are to be kind, gentle, and polite to one another. Do not allow the enemy to fill your hearts with irritation. From the instruction that has been given me, I know that some have allowed him to do this and that thus God has been greatly dishonored. His work has been hindered for years because of the perversity of the human mind. We can never enter heaven while this condition of things continues. We must humble ourselves before God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 7

We need to come together as men who are amenable to God. We have been bought with a price. We have only one Judge, the Man Christ Jesus. We have not been given the work of measuring one another’s characters. It is our own characters that we are to measure, by the truth contained in the Scriptures. God can enable us to do this and can impress on our minds what we must do in order to inherit eternal life. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 8

It makes my heart ache to see some to whom I have borne messages of reproof going on just as they have in the past, unheeding the warning. God will never give stronger evidence that He has been speaking to you than He gave at the General Conference held in Battle Creek in 1901. A message was given to you then and with it a warning that if the message were not heeded, the judgments of God would come. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 9

God loves His people, and He wants them to make their peace with Him. He wants every one to stand in that relation to others, that he is willing to make any sacrifice in order to save the souls of his brethren. They may not have done right. But God wants us to work earnestly to help them, that His name will not be dishonored before the world. God does not give us promises because we have always done right, but that His name may be glorified. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 10

Let no one endeavor to cover up his own sins by revealing the mistakes of some one else. God has not given us this work to do. We are to leave others to humble their own hearts, that they may come to the light of the knowledge of God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 11

There are men here who are loaded down with responsibilities of their own creating. God appointed them their work, but they have not chosen His way. They have taken upon themselves a work that God has not laid upon them, and unless they have relief, the consequence will be most serious. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 12

There are those who have been loading themselves down with responsibilities that the Lord has forbidden them to carry. For years light has come to them, but they have not needed it. What shall be done? Shall we leave these men to shrink under the responsibilities that they have chosen to take upon themselves? No; we are to help them out of their difficult position. It rests upon us to do the very best we can to lift the pressure from these burdened souls. We want them to realize the mercy of God. We do not want them to cover up their mistakes and justify themselves. They are humbly to confess that they have not followed the counsel of God, and then ask His pardon. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 13

What we need at this meeting is a clearing of the King’s highway. Many times in the past, at the close of a conference session, instead of going home to work with the life and power of God, we have left the meeting with a burden regarding the shortcomings and errors and mistakes of others, as if this burden were a precious treasure that we could not afford to leave behind. The Lord can not bless us in thus doing. We are to lay our burdens at the feet of the Saviour. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 14

Let each one ask himself the question, How is it with my soul today? And tomorrow let him ask himself the question, How is it with my soul today? Thus, day by day, let him humble his heart before God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 15

To those who have been separating themselves from their brethren, and have walked contrary to the light that God has sent them, I would say, Might you not better return to the Lord, and walk in His way? Will you not now seek to do His will? I beg of you not to brace yourselves against the Spirit of God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 16

My brethren and sisters, if you will let the Spirit of God come into your hearts, we shall have a Pentecostal season. Let confession be made. Let there be a humiliation of soul before God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 17

I have seen the peril of those who stand at the head of our sanitariums. They are in danger of not bringing their work up to the very highest standard. So much of self is revealed, that God cannot work as He desires to work. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 18

*****

When the Lord swept the large sanitarium out of the way at Battle Creek, He did not design that it should ever be built there again. But in their blindness, men went ahead and rebuilt the institution where it now stands. Years ago message after message was given, pointing out that the institutions in Battle Creek were too large, that plants should be made in different places, that memorials for God should be established in many places, so that the light of present truth might shine forth. Had this counsel been heeded, the heavy responsibilities connected with the work of the Battle Creek Sanitarium would not now exist. These responsibilities are a terrible burden. This institution should have been divided into several parts. But the light that had been given regarding this was not followed. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 19

What are we to do in regard to this institution? We do not want to tear things to pieces. We must make the best of the situation. And the best thing for every one to do is to humble his soul before God. Let those who had no part in this movement unite with those who did act a part in it in seeking the Lord’s guidance. To those who took the responsibility on their own shoulders, we want to say: “God in His mercy, for the sake of His cause, for His name’s glory, will pardon your transgressions and your mistakes, if you will be converted, if you will humble your hearts before Him.” But to their associates, who stand ready to plaster up the breach that has been made, by daubing it with untempered mortar, we say, Get out of the way; let God work upon your hearts; strive with all your might to bring the light of heaven upon your own souls. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 20

*****

There is a great work to be done, and we have only a little while in which to do it. There are cities in the South—New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis—in which but little has been done, and there are others that have not been entered. In these places the standard of truth is to be uplifted. With might and power we are to carry the truth to the people. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 21

It is not the Lord’s purpose that His people shall forever be discouraged by dissension and strife. Let all go to work for perishing souls, and as a result a work of grace will be done for their own souls. This year we desire to do the work which should have been done in years past, but which has been neglected. We desire to see the truth proclaimed this year in places where as yet no real effort has been made to save those who are ignorant of the truth for this time. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 22

Our eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, which Christ bids us buy of Him. We need the riches that He offers us. “I counsel thee,” He says, “to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” [Revelation 3:18.] Our inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil are to be taken away. Our characters are to be molded and fashioned anew. We are to be clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. We are to put on the whole armor of God and wrestle with the powers of darkness. We are to stand with our loins girded about and our lamps burning, ready at any time to meet the enemy. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 23

Those who think that they can receive the blessing of God at this meeting without humiliation of self will go away just as they came. They will have as much perplexity as they had before. But brethren and sisters, we cannot afford this. Let us humble our hearts before God. Let us allow Christ to anoint our eyes with the heavenly eyesalve, that we may see. We do not want to be blind; we want to see everything distinctly. We do not want to be marching one day toward Canaan, and the next day back to Egypt, and the next day toward Canaan, and then back to Egypt again. Day by day we are to march steadily forward. It makes my heart ache, it fills me with the keenest sorrow, to think of the precious blessings we are losing because we are so far behind the light. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 24

The Lord calls upon us to come into line. He calls upon us to have the fulness, the completeness of His character. There are those who think, “I want to be first. I do not want any one to get ahead of me.” Let such ones remember the words of Christ: “He that will be first among you, let him be servant of all.” [Mark 10:44.] He bids those take the lowest seat who are striving to be first. God has sent cautions and warnings from which men have turned away. Brethren and sisters, if God sends you a word of hope, if He bids you take hold of His strong arm, He wants you to appreciate and obey His words, that His glory may be revealed in you. He wants to press forward to the mark of the prize of your high calling in Christ. Oh, how much we might accomplish if we loved the truth and carried out its principles in our lives. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 25

Brethren and sisters, the first thing you need to do is to seek God until you find Him. You do not know yet what God is to you and what He will be to you. We are to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. We are to place ourselves where we shall constantly receive evidence from the Holy Spirit that we are God’s children and that He loves us. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 26

God has given men messages to lead them to the light. He calls upon them to take up their neglected work. But they have been gathering to themselves burdens that will crush them to death unless they make a change and place themselves in right relation to God. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 27

I know that I must meet at the bar of God every soul here today. In that day I want to be able to say, “I have given them the message that God has given me.” There are those here today who are unready to meet the Lord. He desires His name to be glorified in them. He wants the light of heaven to fill their souls. He asks them, “Will you not come to Me, that you may have life?” [See John 5:40.] 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 28

I ask you again to help one another to the light. Do not magnify the faults of others, in order to vindicate yourself. Last night I seemed to be in a meeting. Words were spoken during the meeting that caused the angels of God to weep. These angels were ready to bestow a blessing, ready to bring the light of heaven, but there were those who presented their own ideas, and thus the blessing that might have come was hindered. 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 29

Shall we be converted while at this meeting, or shall we go away just as we came? This is a question that each one must answer for himself. I have told you that the Lord is waiting to reveal Himself. I told you this at the General Conference of 1901. Had the right course been followed at that meeting, the power and glory of God would have been revealed in a remarkable manner, and thousands of souls would have been converted. But there has been criticism, faultfinding, and a drawing apart from one another. Brethren, you must unify. You must come together. There must be among us unity in diversity. God is ready to help us, if we will only clear the King’s highway. Clear the rubbish out of your hearts, and open the door to the heavenly guest. Christ says, “If any man will open the door, I will come in, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” [Revelation 3:20.] 19LtMs, Ms 56, 1904, par. 30