Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 26, 1905

A Great Work Before Us

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 27, 1905

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 686-687; 7BC 960-961; CM 88-89.

Frequently I receive letters speaking of some large city and asking if the Lord has not some souls in it to be saved, and why a greater effort has not been put forth to proclaim the truth in these places. I reply, There are many souls in our large cities who are living up to the very best light they have. But those who know the truth are not awake to their duties and responsibilities, and needy fields have been neglected. But little work has yet been done in the Lord’s great vineyard. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 1

Faultfinding and differences between brethren are robbing many of God’s people of spiritual life and of faith. Harsh judgment and criticism provoke retaliation. Those who are most active in finding fault with others have grave faults of their own which they do not discern. They should examine their own hearts. Those who are most blind to their spiritual condition are the very ones who, instead of studying the life and example of Jesus Christ that they may be like Him, are the most ready to discern and condemn the faults of their brethren. Let each one search his own heart as with a lighted candle. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 2

Eat and drink the Word of God. It is spirit and it is life. It will bring comfort and encouragement to every soul who seeks for truth as for hid treasure. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 3

He who is renewed by the Holy Spirit pants after God and His righteousness and is filled with a desire to become a partaker of the divine nature, that he may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. To practice the virtues of Christ is his highest aim. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 4

Those who receive in their hearts the grace of Christ become laborers together with Him for the salvation of souls. In this work every true follower of Christ will engage, following His example. Those who bring into their efforts the love expressed in the life and labors of Christ will have success in winning souls to Christ; for the Holy Spirit will co-operate with them. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 5

To those whom He calls to the work of the ministry, the Lord will give tact and skill and understanding. If after laboring for twelve months in evangelistic work, a man has not fruit to show for his efforts, if the people for whom he has labored are not benefited, if he has not lifted the standard in new places, and no souls are converted by his labors, that man should humble his heart before God and endeavor to know if he has not mistaken his calling. The wages paid by the conference should be given to those who show fruit for their labor. The work of the one who recognizes God as his efficiency, who has a true conception of the value of souls, whose heart is filled with the love of Christ will be fruitful. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 6

Many express regret that they are not qualified to work for the Master. God has something for every one to do. My brother, my sister, for the sake or your own soul find out what you are fitted to do. To the idlers in the Lord’s vineyard the Laodicean message is sent. Let not your thoughts and your plans rest forever in unfruitful musings. You have some place to fill in the Lord’s work. Seek for that wisdom which God alone can give. There are needy souls in every place. They may not come to you or be brought to your attention. But you are to search for these souls as the true shepherd searches for lost sheep. Be more diligent in studying the Scriptures. Read the Bible with a desire to understand it for yourself. Bible truth is simple, but it is very important that we conform to its teachings by walking carefully and humbly before God. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 7

There are many who have never had their attention called to our publications. House-to-house labor with our literature and the giving of Bible readings in the family are some of the best methods of giving instruction. Such work has been done by Elder Haskell and his fellow laborers in New York City and in Nashville, but there should be many companies trained for this work. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 8

One of the simplest yet most effective methods of labor is that of the canvasser evangelist. By courteous behavior and kindness such a worker may open the door of many homes. When he is entertained by strangers he should show himself thoughtful and helpful. Never should he make himself a burden, requiring to be waited upon by those upon whom rest the cares of the household. Should there be sickness in the home while he is there, let him do all he can to help. Sometimes he will find men who say they are too busy to listen to a canvass or a Bible reading. Often he may gain their attention by helping them in their work. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 9

The Covenant with Abraham

With Abraham God made a covenant of promise. “The Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him.” [Genesis 12:1-4.] 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 10

No one can measure the test and trial that this call to leave his home was to Abraham. Nevertheless through the test God was revealing Himself unto Abraham. He had chosen Abraham as a witness to bear a message to many people. Abraham was to be God’s chosen representative, to reveal His righteousness. Yet during his lifetime Abraham did not receive the possessions promised to him. He died in faith, looking for a better country, that is, an heavenly. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 11

In our day God will call men of His appointment to go to people who know not God and to reveal in life and character the necessity of obedience to the laws of God. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 12

“He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] The Lord Jesus will be with those who follow Him in self-denial and self-sacrificing effort. He will give strength and success to those who do His work in His own appointed way. Like Abraham, they will be blessed, that they may be a blessing to the world. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 13

A Call to Repentance and Steadfastness

We are to heed the messages that God has given in the Revelation. This book is the revelation of Jesus Christ given to John and written out by him. It behooves every one to become familiar with the Word of the Spirit given to John and penned by him in the Isle of Patmos. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 14

“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Revelation 3:11.] There is something to which we must hold with all the tenacity of our being. “Hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” “For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:6, 14.] Let us hold firmly to the faith, in conformity to the will of God. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 15

“Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:2, 3.] 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 16

This exhortation is of the utmost importance. Do not treat it carelessly. It concerns your salvation and is given by Him who died to make possible the salvation of the human family. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 17

There is to be no disregard of the truths we have received and heard. By every device the enemy will seek to draw away your mind from soul-saving truth unto fables. Under his influence, many will lose their spiritual perception and hew out for themselves cisterns, “broken cisterns that can hold no water.” [Jeremiah 2:13.] In his work of deception Satan uses those whose faith he has been able to shake. As in the garden of Eden he spoke through the serpent, so he will speak through men who have not held firmly to the words given by One of undisputed authority. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 18

“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:3.] This is no time to be reckless. We have a character to form after the divine similitude. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 19

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Verses 4, 5.] 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 20

This is the reward to be given to those who have obtained a pure and spotless character, who before the world have held fast to the faith. Jesus Christ will confess their names before the Father and before His angels. They have been true and loyal and faithful. Through evil report as well as good report they have practiced and taught the truth. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 21

Workers for Difficult Fields

There are difficult and unpromising fields where faithful cross-bearing is necessary. Some one must take hold and lift in these places, or the work will not be done. The true worker for Christ will be ready to go wherever God may call him. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 22

The workers in these difficult fields must be Bible students. They should be found often in prayer. If, before they go to converse with others, they will seek help from God, they may be assured that angels of God will be with them. At times they will yearn for human sympathy, but they may find comfort and encouragement in their loneliness through communion with God. Let them be cheered by the words of Christ, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] From their divine Companion, they will receive instruction in the science of soul-saving. 20LtMs, Ms 26, 1905, par. 23