Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)



Personal Experience

God's Willingness to Save

God is very pitiful, for he understands our weakness and our temptations; and when we come to him with broken hearts and contrite spirits, he accepts our repentance, and promises that, as we take hold of his strength to make peace with him, we shall make peace with him. O what gratitude, what joy, should we feel that God is merciful!—Testimonies for the Church 3:239. GW92 362.1


We may expect great things of God. It is not as though we were making the sacrifice for men, and Jesus was reluctant to save. The cross of Calvary expresses his estimate of the worth of the soul, and his love for the fallen race. He is bending over the purchase of his blood, asking with inexpressible tenderness, pity, and love, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He invites, “Come unto me, and be ye saved. I have borne thy iniquities; by the stripes laid on me, thou mayest be healed.” He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask than parents are to give good gifts to their children. But we must yield ourselves wholly to him. He cannot reveal himself to us as a sin-pardoning Saviour until we feel that without him we are hopelessly lost, that to live in sin, is misery, despair, and death. GW92 362.2

Jesus, precious Redeemer! You cannot trust him too fully or too soon. Wait no longer for better opportunities or holier dispositions, lest you wait too long, and Satan fasten his delusions upon you. Our necessities touch the Saviour's heart of love. The argument that we may plead now and ever is our great need, our utterly hopeless state, that makes him and his redeeming power a necessity. When we confidingly take his proffered hand, and walk where he leads the way, he will lead us into the light; he will guide us into all truth, and will clothe our lives with the beauty of holiness. But the holiness he is prepared to give us is not an exaltation of self, a Pharisaical self-righteousness; it is a principle in the heart that leads to a life of loving, trusting obedience. GW92 363.1

The Life of Faith

True piety begins when all compromise with sin is at an end. When the soul has surrendered itself to do the will of God, there is no feeling of self-security. And if we live under the guidance of the Spirit of God, day by day, and hour by hour, we shall not fail nor be discouraged. GW92 363.2


The command, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” [Matthew 5:48.] would never have been given if every provision had not been made whereby we could obey the requirement,—be as perfect in our sphere as God is in his. GW92 363.3


I beseech you to keep reaching out after God, to keep drinking of the fountain of living water. You may be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, whose leaf does not wither. You may be full of moisture, and be able to refresh others, and to give them grace and comfort. GW92 363.4

As the palm-tree, drawing nourishment from fountains of living water, is green and flourishing in the midst of the desert, so the Christian may draw rich supplies of grace from the fountain of God's love, and may guide weary souls, that are full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to those waters of which they may drink and live. He is ever pointing his fellow-men to Jesus, who invites, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37.] This fountain never fails us; we may draw, and draw again. GW92 364.1


The Holy Spirit operates the same the world over. When it is received into the heart, the whole character is changed. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Corinthians 5:17.] Old habits and customs and national pride and prejudice are broken down. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Galatians 5:22, 23.] When these are abiding in the soul, there will be unity of thought and action. GW92 364.2


Jesus says, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world;” [John 16:33.] therefore the world shall not overcome you while you abide in me. It is a world which I have conquered, over which I have the mastery; because I have overcome, you also shall overcome if you believe in me. GW92 364.3


The precious pearls of truth contained in the Scriptures can be discerned only by the eye of faith. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8.] GW92 364.4

The very best work you can do is to come as close to the people as possible, and reveal in life and character the work wrought upon your own souls by the Spirit of God. GW92 365.1


I saw that the strength of the children of God is in their humility. When they are little in their own eyes, Jesus will be to them their strength and their righteousness, and God will prosper their labors.—Testimonies for the Church 3:307. GW92 365.2


It is painful to learn lessons of humility, yet nothing is more beneficial in the end. The pain attendant upon learning lessons of humility is in consequence of our being elated by a false estimate of ourselves, so that we are unable to see our great need.—Testimonies for the Church 4:378. GW92 365.3


He who loses sight of his entire dependence upon God, is sure to fall. We are contending with those who are stronger than we. Satan and his hosts are constantly watching to assail us with temptations, and in our own strength and wisdom it is impossible for us to withstand them. Hence, whenever we permit our hearts to be drawn away from God, whenever we indulge self-exaltation or self-dependence, we are sure to be overthrown. GW92 365.4


Man is too often placed where God should be; man is praised and exalted until he loses sight of his dependence upon divine power; and in order to save him from ruin, God is compelled to let him see his own weakness, by withdrawing, in a great measure, the Holy Spirit from him. GW92 365.5


O how many are being deluded by their own supposed goodness! When Peter said he would follow Christ to prison and to death, he meant it, every word of it; but he was not conscious that slumbering in his soul were elements which circumstances would fan into life, and which would prove his eternal ruin, unless he was made conscious of his danger. His compassionate Saviour saw in him a self-love, self-assurance that would overbear even his love for Christ; and unless he could be brought to see this, he would be lost. GW92 365.6


Do not seek to exalt self, but learn in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart. You know what Peter's character was, how strikingly his peculiar traits were developed. Before his great fall he was always dictatorial and forward, speaking unadvisedly, from the impulse of the moment. He was always ready to correct others, and to express his mind before he had a clear comprehension of himself or of what he had to say. But Peter was converted, and the converted Peter was very different from the rash, impetuous Peter. He retained his former fervor, but now the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. Instead of being impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, he was calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ's flock.—Testimonies for the Church 5:334. GW92 366.1


The world will never know the work secretly going on between the soul and God, nor the inward bitterness of spirit, the self-loathing, and the constant efforts to control self; but many of the world will be able to appreciate the result of these efforts.—Testimonies for the Church 4:376. GW92 366.2


Christ will not undertake to teach the self-righteous, self-conceited, and self-willed. If such come to him with the inquiry, “What is truth?” he gives them no answer. It is only the meek that he will guide in judgment; the meek will he teach his way. Solomon was naturally endowed with good judgment and large reasoning powers; but he acknowledged himself before God as a little child. He sought for wisdom from God with humility, and he sought not in vain.—Testimonies for the Church 3:449. GW92 366.3


Those who have the deepest experience in the things of God, are the farthest removed from pride or self-exaltation. It is when men have the most exalted conceptions of the glory and excellence of Christ, that self is abased, and they feel that the lowest place in his service is too honorable for them. GW92 367.1


The reason why you fail to appreciate that which comes to you in warnings and reproofs from the word of God, is chiefly owing to your own self. You are inclined to self-importance, and your pride is wounded frequently, because you have not the meekness of character to bow at the foot of the cross. If you call to mind the Author and Finisher of your faith, and realize what he has suffered,—that he went without the camp, bearing reproach that you might be saved,—then you will think that you are suffering nothing. What you want is the spirit of Jesus. You need to cherish it continually; and then when difficulties shall arise, you will be hid in Christ, and will manifest his spirit. You should not encourage a feeling of sympathy and pity for yourself. Self should be hid in Jesus, and then you will feel such sincere sorrow and pity for the souls who do not know what is for their best good, that you will forget all about your being misused. GW92 367.2

We must bear in mind continually this fact: the hand of Jesus reaches over every one of his sincere followers, and every blow that is aimed to injure you, wounds the hand of Jesus that covers you. GW92 367.3

We should learn to honor those whom God honors. Those who have toiled long and unselfishly for his cause should ever be treated with respect and tenderness, even though it may be evident that they cannot perform the work which they once could, or that they sometimes err in judgment. Notwithstanding their imperfections, these very men may be far more useful in the work of God, than those who would criticise and reject them. GW92 368.1

Let the younger men keep a warm place in their hearts, and room in their councils, for those whose heads have grown gray in the service of Christ. GW92 368.2

Unconsecrated Workers

Young men are arising to engage in the work of God, some of whom have scarcely any sense of the sacredness and responsibility of the work. They have but little experience in exercising faith, and in earnest soul-hunger for the Spirit of God, which ever brings returns. Some men of good capabilities, who might fill important positions, do not know what spirit they are of. They run in a jovial mood as naturally as water flows down hill. They talk nonsense, and sport with young girls, while almost daily listening to the most solemn, soul-stirring truths. These men have a religion of the head, but their hearts are not sanctified by the truths they hear. Such can never lead others to the Fountain of living waters until they have drunk of the stream themselves. GW92 368.3

It is no time now for lightness, vanity, or trifling. The scenes of this earth's history are soon to close. Minds that have been left to loose thought, need change. The apostle Peter says, “Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16.] GW92 368.4

Loose thoughts must be gathered up and centered on God. The very thoughts should be in obedience to the will of God. Praise should not be given or expected; for this will have a tendency to foster self-confidence rather than to increase humility, to corrupt rather than to purify. Men who are really qualified, and who feel that they have a part to act in connection with the work of God, will feel pressed beneath a sense of the sacredness of the work, as a cart beneath sheaves. Now is the time to make the most earnest efforts to overcome the natural feelings of the carnal heart.—Testimonies for the Church 3:473. GW92 369.1


Brethren, we must have less of self, and more of God. We are not to trust for success to what we can do, but to what Christ can do through our efforts. The efficiency of our labor depends upon our hold on God. GW92 369.2

The Holy Spirit is grieved and driven away by the self-sufficiency, the unchristlike spirit, that is cherished. You have no time to spend in contention. Draw near to God, and go to work for Christ and the souls he died to save. If mistakes are made, as they will be, do not fall back, content to make no further effort, but try again. With agony of desire, in humility, with wrestling faith, come to One who is too wise to err, and who will make no mistake in your case; one who knows your every weakness, and who will hear your heart-felt prayers. May God make his servants wise through the divine illumination, that the impress of man may not be seen on any of the great and important enterprises before us. GW92 369.3

The Lord wants us to come up into the mount,—more directly into his presence. We are coming to a crisis which, more than any previous time since the world began, will demand the entire consecration of every one who has named the name of Christ. GW92 369.4

A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. We must have the holy unction from God, the baptism of his Spirit; for this is the only efficient agent in the promulgation of sacred truth. It is the Spirit of God that quickens the lifeless faculties of the soul to appreciate heavenly things, and attracts the affections toward God and the truth. GW92 370.1

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

It is our privilege to take God at his word. As Jesus was about to leave his disciples, to ascend into heaven, he commissioned them to bear the gospel message to all nations, tongues, and peoples. He told them to tarry in Jerusalem till they were endued with power from on high. This was essential to their success. The holy unction must come upon the servants of God. All who were fully identified as disciples of Christ and associated with the apostles as evangelists, assembled together at Jerusalem. They put away all differences. They continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, that they might receive the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit; for they were to preach the gospel in the demonstration of the Spirit and in the power of God. It was a time of great danger to the followers of Christ. They were as sheep in the midst of wolves, yet they were of good courage, because Christ had risen from the dead, and had revealed himself to them, and had promised them a special blessing which would qualify them to go forth to preach his gospel to the world. They were waiting in expectation of the fulfillment of his promise, and were praying with special fervency. GW92 370.2

This is the very course that should be pursued by those who act a part in the work of proclaiming the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven; for a people are to be prepared to stand in the great day of God. Although Christ had given the promise to his disciples that they should receive the Holy Spirit, this did not remove the necessity of prayer. They prayed all the more earnestly; they continued in prayer with one accord. Those who are now engaged in the solemn work of preparing a people for the coming of the Lord, should also continue in prayer. The early disciples were of one accord. They had no speculations, no curious theory to advance as to how the promised blessing was to come. They were one in faith and spirit. They were agreed. GW92 370.3

Put away all doubt. Dismiss your fears, obtain the experience that Paul had when he exclaimed, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20.] Surrender everything to Christ, and let your life be hid with Christ in God. Then you will be a power for good. One shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. GW92 371.1

Venturing into Temptation

He who understands well his own character, who is acquainted with the sin that most easily besets him and the temptations that will be most likely to overcome him, should not expose himself needlessly, and invite temptation by placing himself upon the enemy's ground. If duty calls him where circumstances are not favorable, he will have special help from God, and can thus go fully girded for a conflict with the enemy. Self-knowledge will save many from falling into grievous temptations, and prevent many an inglorious defeat. In order to become acquainted with ourselves, it is essential that we faithfully investigate the motives and principles of our conduct, comparing our actions with the standard of duty revealed in God's word.—Testimonies for the Church 2:517. GW92 371.2


The work of pruning and purifying to fit us for heaven, is a great work, and will cost us much suffering and trial, because our will is not subjected to the will of Christ. We must go through the furnace till the fires have consumed the dross, and we are purified, and reflect the divine image. Those who follow their inclinations and are governed by appearances, are not good judges of what God is doing. They are filled with discontent. They see failure where there is indeed triumph, a great loss where there is gain; and, like Jacob, they are ready to exclaim, “All these things are against me,” [Genesis 42:36.] when the very things whereof they complain are all working together for their good. GW92 372.1

No cross, no crown! How can one be strong in the Lord without trials? To have strength, we must have exercise. To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be tried. The apostle Paul, just before his martyrdom, exhorted Timothy, “Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” [2 Timothy 1:8.] It is through much tribulation that we are to enter the kingdom. Our Saviour was tried in every possible way, and yet he triumphed in God continually. It is our privilege to be strong in the strength of God under all circumstances, and to glory in the cross of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 3:67. GW92 372.2


The very trials that test our faith most severely, and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are designed to lead us nearer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at his feet, and receive the peace he will give us in exchange.... When you surrender yourself entirely to God, when you fall all broken upon Jesus, you will be rewarded by a victory the joy of which you have never yet realized. As you review the past with a clear vision, you will see that at the very time when life seemed to you only a perplexity and a burden, Jesus himself was near you, seeking to lead you into the light. Your Father was by your side, bending over you with unutterable love, afflicting you for your good, as the refiner purifies the precious ore. When you have thought yourself forsaken, he has been near you to comfort and sustain. We seldom view Jesus as he is, and are never so ready to receive his help as he is to help us. GW92 372.3

What a victory you will gain when you learn to follow the opening providences of God with a grateful heart, and a determination to live with an eye single to his glory, in sickness or health, in abundance or want. Self is alive, and quivering at every touch. Self must be crucified before you can overcome in the name of Jesus, and receive the reward of the faithful.—Testimonies for the Church 4:220. GW92 373.1

Christians Character

To have fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, is to be ennobled and elevated, and made a partaker of joys unspeakable and full of glory. Food, clothing, station, and wealth may have their value, but to have a connection with God and to be a partaker of his divine nature, is of priceless value. Our life should be hid with Christ in God; and although it “doth not yet appear what we shall be,” “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear,” “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” [1 John 3:2; Colossians 3:4.] The princely dignity of the Christian character will shine forth as the sun, and the beams of light from the face of Christ will be shed upon those who have purified themselves even as he is pure. The privilege of becoming sons of God is cheaply purchased, even at the sacrifice of everything we possess, be it life itself.—Testimonies for the Church 4:357. GW92 373.2


The most persistent attacks of the enemy of souls are made upon the truth we profess; and any deviation from the right reflects dishonor upon it. Our chief danger is in having the mind diverted from Christ. The name of Jesus has power to drive back the temptations of Satan, and lift up for us a standard against him. So long as the soul rests with unshaken confidence in the virtue and power of the atonement, it will stand firm as a rock to principle, and all the power of Satan and his angels cannot sway it from its integrity. The truth as it is in Jesus is a wall of fire around the soul that clings to him. Temptations will pour in upon us; for by them we are to be tried during our probation upon earth. This is the proving of God, a revelation of our own hearts. There is no sin in having temptations; but sin comes in when temptation is yielded to.—Testimonies for the Church 4:357. GW92 374.1

Our Unfailing Helper

Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference to get ready. Things that are eternal crowd upon my vision day and night; the things that are temporal fade from my sight. We are not now to cast away our confidence, but to have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, and he will help us to the end. We will look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done, to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. We want to have fresh in our memory every tear the Lord has wiped from our eyes, every pain he has soothed, every anxiety removed, every fear dispelled, every want supplied, every mercy bestowed, and thus strengthen ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. We cannot but look onward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may look on what is past as well as what is to come, and say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” [Deuteronomy 33:25.] The trial will not exceed the strength which shall be given us to bear it. Then let us take up our work just where we find it, believing that nothing can come but that strength will come proportionate to the trial. GW92 374.2