Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 346, 1907

Ministers and Teachers

St. Helena, California

October 12, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in NPU Gleaner 12/18/1907. +Note

To ministers and teachers:

Those who teach the Word need not feel that they must search up some new and intricate subject to present to the churches. The most profitable subjects that can be presented are those that Christ dwelt upon when teaching His disciples and the multitudes that daily followed Him. His lessons seemed always new and interesting. The common people heard Him gladly. 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 1

When our ministers seek to present something that is new and strange to the common people, they are not following the custom of Christ. Sometimes the things that they endeavor to present they do not themselves understand, and they lead minds away from the path of truth and righteousness. Self, self! When will self die, and when will we learn what it means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus! 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 2

Let us as ministers and teachers study the sermons of Christ and by prayerful effort learn to comprehend the very spirit of these discourses. They are to be presented so that the common people can understand them. Let us study over and over again the fourteenth to the seventeenth chapters of John. The last sermons of Christ and His last prayer for His disciples contain precious instruction, the treasures of which, study as we will, we can never exhaust. 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 3

The work to be done in our churches should begin with the leaders. When they humble their souls before God, when they confess their sins and become truly converted, their lives will reveal the transformation within. Selfishness will be emptied from their hearts, self-confidence will die, the disposition to dominate and control will disappear. 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 4

“Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh.” This is a representation of the man who does not humble his heart before the Lord and give up his will to the will of God. This man has lost his discernment and cannot be trusted. And because he has rejected the warnings of God, he has greatly hindered the work of the Lord. He shall “inhabit the parched places of the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” [Jeremiah 17:5, 6.] 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 5

Another class is represented in the next words of the prophet: “Blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. He shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh; but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” [Verses 7, 8.] 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 6

The prophet continues: “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Thee, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise. 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 7

“Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now. As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow Thee; neither have I desired the woeful day; Thou knowest; that which came out of my lips was right before Thee. Be not a terror unto me: Thou art my hope in the day of evil. Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let me not be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the days of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.” [Verses 13-18.] 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 8

We need to understand these Old Testament figures and representations. Let us give them earnest consideration. We are slow to realize that these things foretold by the Lord’s servants have been fulfilled, and are being fulfilled in our present history. 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 9

God has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. He means that sufficient facilities shall be provided for the working out of His plans. I bid you seek counsel from God. Seek Him with the whole heart, and “whatsoever He saith unto you, do.” [John 2:5.] 22LtMs, Lt 346, 1907, par. 10