The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 30—ABC—Spiritual Blueprint

Book Depositories Needed—In every important place there should be a depository for publications. And some one who really appreciates the truth should manifest an interest to get these books into the hands of all who will read.—Testimonies for the Church 1:473. PM 323.1

I saw that the work of present truth should engage the interest of all. The publication of truth is God's ordained plan, as a means of warning, comforting, reproving, exhorting, or convicting all to whose notice the silent, voiceless messengers may be brought. Angels of God have a part to act in preparing hearts to be sanctified by the truths published, that they may be prepared for the solemn scenes before them.—Testimonies for the Church 1:590. PM 323.2

Avoid Exclusiveness and Let the Light Shine—Let there be light; let it shine forth in clear, distinct rays. Let there be no question in this matter. It is essential that our works on present truth shall be displayed and that when needed there may be no delay in sending to another locality to obtain them.... PM 323.3

While the tract and missionary society has its work to do, it is not to hold itself “exclusively.” It is not to be a separate kingdom and have a jurisdiction of its own. From the light which God has given me, He desires that His people shall improve every opportunity for disseminating light. They are to sow beside all waters. Our publications should be represented by the office in the city. It should be well supplied with tracts and publications for use at once. Many through curiosity will desire to know what these tracts and pamphlets contain, and if they are right at hand they can be sold and the money used to carry forward the work of God for which the office is to be used. In any case, they should not wait to refer to the International Tract and Missionary Society. [Name given to early Book and Bible Houses or Adventist Book Centers.] PM 323.4

This “exclusiveness” is not to have any place in the work, for it is not the inspiration of God. Wherever we can advance the truth, wherever we can enlighten minds in regard to our literature, we should do so.... PM 324.1

“Exclusiveness” should not restrain this work. The truth of God should not be hampered. There is not half being done that should be done.... PM 324.2

Bear in mind that concerning the advocacy of truth there should be no jealousy. If this spirit is indulged, your plans, if not killed, will grow into selfishness of large proportions.... The night is far spent. But when the day is fully come, you will discern more fully your neglect of the work which the Lord has appointed to be done by His human agencies, because of your “exclusiveness.” PM 324.3

Cut out this exclusiveness wherever it may be. The light God has given is for the world. It is not to be put under a bushel or under a bed.... PM 324.4

The great apostasy is working to a point and will develop into darkness deep as midnight, impenetrable as sackcloth of hair. This is the time to employ any system that can be devised to discover and counteract the leaven of error. Let there be light. There should be one hundred light bearers in our world where there is one today. Darkness will become more dense in human minds after the truth has penetrated and been rejected. But there are some minds where the darkness will be removed. They recognize the light.... PM 324.5

The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knoweth that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn.—Letter 31, 1897. PM 324.6

Book Centers Outside North America—You must go to work here [in Europe] just as we did in America; have your tract societies and other facilities, and although it may seem at times that the publications in some places do not accomplish much, you must go right on. We had just such experiences in America. But we kept to the point in sending out these publications to different classes, and it was some time before we could make any advancement. PM 325.1

I have been shown that there must be a different mold put upon the work here in these kingdoms, and there must be a power from the God of heaven to inspire you to work in a different way; and while Brethren Matteson and Olsen will help you in the work here, I wish to throw this out to you now so that you can begin to think in a different strain. Why, you can do tenfold more than you think you can; but unbelief stands right here to say you cannot do anything in this line, or that, but you can, brethren. PM 325.2

Habits and customs are different here from what they are in America, but human nature is the same here as there, and the brethren who have taken hold of the truth in the heart are willing to work if they are only educated up to the point to know how to work. Why, brethren, I have not slept night after night more than three hours, thinking of the work in Europe, and it seems to me that I can hardly contain myself in the body when I realize these things. PM 325.3

I have seen what God is willing to do for you, but it is just according to your faith what God will do for you. Therefore we want to arouse your faith, and to get your ideas broadened, and may the Lord roll the burden of the work upon every one of you who believe the truth.—Evangelism, 420, 421. PM 325.4

Danger of Being Too Mechanical—Our brethren should be guarded lest they become stereotyped in their plans and labors. They may spend time and money in preparing an exact channel, that the work must be done in just such a way or it is not done right. There is danger of being too particular. There should be greater care to avoid expense in transporting books and persons. The influence is bad upon the cause of God. Brethren, you should move cautiously, economically, and judiciously. A great work is to be done, and our offices are embarrassed. There are men who work faithfully in the office at Battle Creek who do not receive an equivalent for their labor. Justice is not done these men. In other work they could earn double the amount received here, but they conscientiously keep to their business because they feel that God's cause needs their help. PM 325.5

There is a great work to be done in the day of God's preparation in devising and executing plans for the advancement of His cause. Our publications should have a wide circulation, for they are doing a great work. There is much missionary work to be done. But I have been shown that there is danger of having this work to mechanical, so intricate and complicated that less will be accomplished than if it were more simple, direct, plain, and decided. We have neither time nor means to keep all parts of this machinery in harmonious action.—Testimonies for the Church 4:600, 601. PM 326.1

God Wants Heartwork—Our brethren who bear responsibilities in devising plans for carrying forward this part of the work must keep in mind that while a certain amount of education and training is essential in order to work intelligently, there is danger of making this too great a matter. By obtaining a most thorough education in all the minutiae, and leaving vital principles out of the question, we become dry and formal workers. The hearts that God has made willing by the operations of His grace are fitted for the work. PM 326.2

God wants heartwork. The unselfish purpose, the pure, elevated principle, the high and holy motive, He will accept. His grace and power will work with these efforts. All who realize that it is the work of God to prepare a people for His coming will find in their disinterested efforts opportunities where they can do tract and missionary labor. But there may be too much means expended and too much time occupied in making matters so exact and minute that the heartwork is neglected and a dry form preserved. PM 326.3

I tell you frankly that Jesus and the power of His grace are being left out of the question. Results will show that mechanical working has taken the place of piety, humility, and holiness of heart and life. The more spiritual, devoted, and humble workers find no place where they can take hold, and therefore they stand back. The young and inexperienced learn the form and do their work mechanically; but true love, the burden for souls, is not felt. Less dwelling upon set forms, less of the mechanical, and more of the power of godliness are essential in this solemn, fearful day of responsibilities.—Testimonies for the Church 4:601. PM 327.1

Spiritual Before Mechanical—There is order in heaven; and there should be system and order upon the earth, that the work may move forward without confusion and fanaticism. Our brethren have been working to this end; but while some of our ministers continually bear the burden of souls, and ever seek to bring the people up in spiritual attainments, those who are not so conscientious, and who have not carried the cross of Christ nor felt the value of souls as reflected from Calvary, will, in teaching and educating others in the mechanical working, become formal and powerless themselves, and bring no Saviour to the people. PM 327.2

Satan is ever working to have the service of God degenerate into dull form and become powerless to save souls. While the energy, earnestness, and efficiency of the workers become deadened by the efforts to have everything so systematic, the taxing labor that must be done by our ministers to keep this complicated machinery in motion engrosses so much time that the spiritual work is neglected. And with so many things to run, this work requires so large an amount of means that other branches of the work will wither and die for want of due attention. PM 327.3

While the silent messengers of truth should be scattered like the leaves of autumn, our ministers should not make this work a form and leave devotion and true piety out of the question. Ten truly converted, willing-minded, unselfish workers can do more in the missionary field than one hundred who confine their efforts to set forms and preserve mechanical rules, working without deep love for souls.—Testimonies for the Church 4:601, 602. PM 327.4

Rising Above the Novice Status—Vigilant missionary work [The name of the first organization for lay missionary witnesses was the Vigilant Missionary Society, with headquarters in South Lancaster, Massachusetts.] must in no case be neglected. It has done much for the salvation of souls. The success of God's work depends very much upon this; but those who do this work are to be those who are spiritual, whose letters will breathe the light and love of Jesus, and who feel the burden of the work. They should be men and women who can pray, who have a close connection with God. The ready mind, the sanctified will, and sound judgment are needed. They will have learned of the heavenly Teacher the most successful manner of appealing to souls. They will have learned their lessons in the school of Christ. They will do their work with an eye single to the glory of God. PM 328.1

Without this education all the teachings received from your instructors in regard to forms and rules, however thorough the lessons may be, will leave you still novices in the work. You must learn of Christ. You should deny self for Christ. You should put your neck under the yoke of Christ. You must carry the burden of Christ. You must feel that you are not your own, but servants of Christ, doing a work that He has enjoined upon you, not for any praise or honor or glory that you shall receive, but for His own dear sake. Into all your work you should weave His grace, His love, His devotion, His zeal, His untiring perseverance, His indomitable energy, that will tell for time and for eternity. PM 328.2

The tract and missionary work is a good work. It is God's work. It should be in no way belittled, but there is continual danger of perverting it from its true object.—Testimonies for the Church 4:602, 603. PM 328.3

Tract and Missionary Work Reduced to a Form—I fear greatly that there has not been a full understanding of the true state of the tract and missionary work. I tell you from what God has shown me, it had become worked up so minutely that it became intricate.... You should see it as it is, and as it has been overdone and [has] swallowed up other important interests.... You should see it as it was presented to me, that time, labor, and money have been spent in the mechanical working that reduces it to a system and form almost destitute of true godliness. I speak the things I know, that while time has been devoted to this work, it has been at the neglect of other work just as important.... PM 328.4

Your study, your planning to such an extent [as] to make the tract and missionary work successful, has deprived the people of the very help they should have from you.—Letter 1, 1881. PM 329.1

Scheming, Self-interest Mars the Work—Brother G: In my last vision your case was shown me. I saw that you love the truth which you profess, but you are not sanctified through it. Your affections have been divided between the service of God and of mammon. This division of affection stands as a barrier in the way of your being a missionary for God. While professedly serving the cause of God, self-interest has marred your work and greatly injured your influence. God could not work with you, because your heart was not right with Him. PM 329.2

So far as words go, you have been deeply interested in the truth; but when it comes to showing your faith by works, there has been a great lack. You have not correctly represented our faith. You have injured the cause of God by your manifest love of gain; and your love to trade and bicker has not been for your good, nor for the spiritual health of those with whom you are brought in contact. You are a sharp man in trade, and you often overreach. You have peculiar tact for looking out for the best end of the bargain, watching for your own good rather than that of others. If a man would cheat himself, and you were to be advantaged thereby, you have let him do it. This is not following the golden rule, doing unto others as you would wish them to do by you. PM 329.3

While engaged in the missionary work, you have at the same time manifested your scheming propensities in buying and selling. This makes a poor combination. You should be one thing or the other. “If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” God will not accept your labors in the tract and missionary work while you are scheming to advantage yourself. You are in danger of counting gain as godliness. The tempter will present flattering inducements before you to fascinate you and allure you on to indulge a spirit of scheming which will kill your spirituality. PM 330.1

The world, angels, and men look upon you as a sharper, as a man who is studying his own interest and securing advantages to himself without looking carefully and conscientiously after the interest of those with whom he deals. In your business life there is a vein of dishonesty that tarnishes the soul and dwarfs religious experience and growth in grace. You are watching with keen business eye the best chance to secure a bargain. This scheming propensity has become second nature with you, and you do not see and realize the evil of encouraging it. PM 330.2

Business which you may engage in fairly and squarely, advantaging others as well as yourself, would be all right so far as dealing honorably is concerned; but the Lord would have accepted your service and used your powers, your keen perceptions, in securing the salvation of souls, had you been sanctified through the truth. The desire of the eye in the love of gain has warred against the Spirit. The habits and culture of years have left their deforming impress upon your character, and have been disqualifying you for God's work. You have a constant, longing desire to traffic. If sanctified to the service of God, this would make you an earnest, persevering laborer for the Master; but, abused as it has been, it has endangered your own soul, and others also are in danger of being lost through your influence.—Testimonies for the Church 4:350, 351. PM 330.3