Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists


The Book of Life

“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.” Revelation 3:5. HS 138.4

If we would be overcomers, we must search our hearts to be sure that we are not cherishing anything that is offensive to God. If we are, we cannot wear the white raiment that is here promised. If we would stand before God in the white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints, we must now do the work of overcoming. HS 138.5

Christ says of the overcomer, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” The names of all those who have once given themselves to God are written in the book of life, and their characters are now passing in review before him. Angels of God are weighing moral worth. They are watching the development of character in those now living, to see if their names can be retained in the book of life. A probation is granted us in which to wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Who is doing this work? Who is separating from himself sin and selfishness? “Ye are dead,” says the apostle Paul of the true followers of Christ, “and your life is hid with Christ in God.” When we are alive to God, we are dead to self. May God help us to die to self. Whose names will not be blotted out of the book of life? Only the names of those who have loved God with all the powers of their being, and their neighbors as themselves. HS 138.6

There is a great work to be done for many of us. Our minds and characters must become as the mind and character of Christ. Selfishness is inwrought in our very being. It has come to us as an inheritance, and has been cherished by many as a precious treasure. No special work for God can be accomplished until self and selfishness are overcome. To many everything connected with themselves is of great importance. Self is a center, around which everything seems to revolve. Were Christ on the earth now, he would say to such, “Launch out into the deep.” Be not so self-caring. There are thousands whose lives are just as precious as yours. Then why do you wrap your coat about you, and hug the shore? Awake to duty and to usefulness! If you will launch out into the deep and let down your nets, the Master will gather in the fishes, and you will see of the mighty working of God. HS 138.7

Do not, my ministering brethren, allow yourselves to be kept at home to serve tables; and do not hover around the churches, preaching to those who are already fully established in the faith. Teach the people to have light in themselves, and not to depend upon the ministers. They should have Christ as their helper, and should educate themselves to help one another, so that the minister can be free to enter new fields. An important work is to be done in the world. New fields are to be opened; and the zeal and the missionary spirit that Christ manifested are greatly needed. Oh that the power of God would set the truth home to every heart! Oh that all might see the necessity of having a living connection with God, and of knowing and doing his will from day to day! HS 139.1

The names of some will be blotted out of the book of life. Whose shall it be? Let us each examine ourselves carefully to see if we are in the faith; let us be diligent to make sure work for eternity. Jesus says that he will confess the name of the overcomer before his Father, and before the holy angels. If we would have our names honored before the heavenly host in the day of God, we must obtain the white raiment now. We must clothe ourselves with humility as with a garment. Every step heavenward must be a step of humility. HS 139.2

The True Witness has said, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when he has made ample provision for all to receive his blessing. HS 139.3

Oh that the power of God may rest upon us before we separate for our homes and fields of labor! Oh that we may consider the importance of improving every day that we may have a good record in heaven! Christ has said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” My heart has been made to ache as I have seen some of my brethren considering so seriously whether or not they would make a little sacrifice for Christ's sake. It seems such a great thing in their eyes to deny inclination. HS 139.4

If we look back over history, we shall find that those missionaries who have gone to labor among the savages did not feel that they had made one-half so great a sacrifice as many do now who go forth to labor in a field all prepared for them. Many show that they know little of the sufferings of Christ. They have not drank of the cup of his sufferings, nor been baptized with his baptism. The Spirit and power of God has not taken hold of their understanding; the refining fire has not softened and purified their hearts; and the saving message of truth that they are to carry to those in darkness is not shut up in their hearts as fire within their bones. Instead of cheerfully going without the camp to bear the reproach, some choose to linger around their homes, and thus fail to obtain a most precious experience in the things of God. HS 139.5

When our hearts are all aglow with love for Jesus and the souls for whom he died, success will attend our labors. My heart cries out after the living God. I want a closer connection with him. I want to realize his strengthening power, that I may do more effective work in his cause; and I want my brethren and sisters who are here to be blessed spiritually and physically. I entreat you to be men and women of prayer. Do not seek your own pleasure and convenience, but seek to know and do the will of God. Let each one inquire, Can I not point some soul to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world? Can I not comfort some desponding one? Can I not be the means of saving some soul in the kingdom of God? We want the deep movings of the Spirit of God in our hearts, that we may not only be able to secure for ourselves the white raiment, but that we may so influence others that their names may be entered in the book of life, never to be blotted out. HS 140.1

Friday morning, September 25.