Testimonies to the Church Regarding Individual Responsibility and Christian Unity


Chapter 1—Awake! Awake! Awake!

Sanitarium, Cal.,

January 24, 1907.

I have a message from the Lord to all our churches. Divine truth is to be received and communicated; its saving principles are to enlighten the world. Those who are truly converted must become more and more intelligent in their understanding of the Scriptures, that they may be able to speak words of light and salvation to those who are in darkness, and perishing in their sins. SpTB09 3.1

“God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” By His life of sacrifice, Christ has made it possible for man to become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed His royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven and the homage of the angels, and, laying aside His divinity, came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon Him. As workers together with Him, we are to expect special blessings and definite results as we strive to save souls from the snares of Satan that they may become children of light. SpTB09 3.2

My brethren and sisters, when a camp-meeting is held, take pains to become acquainted with those who attend the meeting. Take a personal interest in their souls’ salvation. If in no other way, you can give the truth to the people by handing them papers and pamphlets. And not only during the camp-meeting, but afterward in the neighborhood where you live, seek to gain access to souls. Get acquainted with your neighbors. O, how many have never opened their lips to inquire of neighbors and friends if they would be willing to hear something of the truths for the time in which we are living! My brethren and sisters, study your plans. Grasp every opportunity of speaking to your neighbors and associates, or of reading something to them from books that contain present truth. Show that you regard as of first importance the salvation of the souls for whom Christ has made so great a sacrifice. SpTB09 3.3

Ministers, preach the truths that will lead to personal labor for those who are out of Christ. Encourage personal effort in every possible way. Remember that a minister's work does not consist merely in preaching. He is to visit families at their homes, to pray with them, and to open to them the Scriptures. He who does faithful work outside of the pulpit will accomplish tenfold more than he who confines his labors to the desk. Let our ministers carry their load of responsibility with fear and trembling, looking to the Lord for wisdom, and asking constantly for His grace. Let them make Jesus their pattern, diligently studying His life, and bringing into the daily practise the principles that actuated Him in His service while upon the earth. SpTB09 4.1

The end of this earth's history is near. The world is seeking for those things that perish with the using; its diligence and activity are not exerted to obtain the salvation gained through the imparted righteousness of Christ. At such a time as this, should professing Christians be indifferent to the needs of those who are perishing in their sins? SpTB09 4.2

Church-members, the world is your field, and it is white unto the harvest. “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest.” Christ said to His disciples: “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor.” SpTB09 4.3

Christ referred to the sending forth of His disciples, first the twelve, and later the seventy, who were to go out into the towns and villages and preach the kingdom of God. “I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor,” He said; “other-men labored, and ye are entered into their labors.” SpTB09 5.1

The times in which we live have a peculiar importance. Countries hitherto closed to the gospel are opening their doors, and are pleading for the word of God to be explained to them. Kings and princes will open their long-closed gates, inviting the heralds of the cross to enter. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. Can the Christian, who has the world for his field, fold his hands in idleness, and leave the sheaves ungathered? Eternity alone will reveal the results of well-directed efforts put forth now. Let every family who claims to believe the third angel's message put forth earnest, untiring efforts to proclaim the truth. SpTB09 5.2

My sisters, do not spend your money needlessly for dress, but dress plainly. Fathers and mothers, educate your children to dress inexpensively; teach them to save their pennies for missionary work. Let every member of the family practise self-denial. Christ is our example. He was the Prince of glory, but He had such an interest in our world that He left His riches, and came to this earth to live a life that should be an example to rich and poor alike. He taught that all should come together in love and unity, to work as He worked, to sacrifice as He sacrificed, to love as the children of God. SpTB09 5.3

My brethren and sisters, you must be willing to be converted yourselves, in order to practise the self-denial of Christ. Dress plainly, but neatly. Spend as little as possible upon yourselves. Keep in your homes a self-denial box, into which you can put the money saved by little acts of self-denial. Day by day gain a clearer understanding of the word of God, and improve every opportunity to impart the knowledge you have gained. Do not become weary in well-doing; for God is constantly imparting to you the great blessing of His gift to the world. Cooperate with the Lord Jesus, and He will teach you the priceless lessons of His love. Time is short; in due season, when time shall be no longer, you will receive your reward. SpTB09 6.1

In working for the perishing souls, you have the companionship of angels. Thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand angels are waiting to cooperate with members of our churches in communicating the light that God has generously given, that a people may be prepared for the coming of Christ. SpTB09 6.2

“Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Let every family seek the Lord in earnest prayer for help to do the work of God. Let them overcome the habit of hasty speech and a desire to blame others. Let them study to be kind and courteous in the home, to form habits of thoughtfulness and care. SpTB09 6.3

To those who love God sincerely and have means, I am bidden to say, Now is the time for you to invest your means in sustaining the work of the Lord. Now is the time to hold up the hands of the ministers in their self-denying efforts to save perishing souls. When you meet in the heavenly courts the souls you have helped to save, will you not have a glorious reward? SpTB09 6.4

From many places calls are coming for ministers, for teachers, for physicians to carry on the work in sanitariums; but we have not the trained workers to send. We have sanitariums, but we need more of these institutions in various places. We need schools that will be self-supporting; and this can be, if teachers and students will be helpful, industrious, and economical. There is no need for debts to accumulate on our schools. And the old debts should be cleared away. SpTB09 7.1

Sacrifices must be made on every hand; we must devise and plan, and labor to the utmost to be thrifty and economical. SpTB09 7.2

Those who have helped with their means in the purchase and operation of our sanitariums have placed their money where it is accomplishing much good. These should rejoice that they have been able to put their Lord's money in the hands of the exchangers, that at His coming He may receive His own with usury. SpTB09 7.3

Let none withhold their mites; and let those who have much rejoice that they can lay up in heaven a treasure that faileth not. The money that we refuse to invest in the work of the Lord will perish. On it no interest will accumulate in the bank of heaven. SpTB09 7.4

In the following words the apostle Paul describes those who withhold from God His own: “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” SpTB09 7.5

Those who have had advantages for knowing the Word are to communicate the truth to others. God has placed upon us the solemn obligation of bearing fruit unto righteousness. In harmony with Christ we are to work for the salvation of souls. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” SpTB09 8.1

Ellen G. White