Special Testimony to Our Ministers—No. 2

Special Testimony to Our Ministers.—No. 2

Reasons for Inefficiency, and the Remedy

I would address those who preach the word: “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” All the advantages and privileges that may be multiplied for your benefit, that you should be educated and trained, rooted and grounded in the truth, will be no real help to you personally unless the mind and heart is opened so that truth shall find entrance, and you make a conscientious surrender of every habit and practice, and every sin, that has closed the door against Jesus. Let the light from Christ search every dark corner of the soul; with earnest determination adopt a right course of action. If you hold onto a wrong course, as many of you are now doing; if the truth does not work in you with transforming power, so that you obey it from the heart, because you love its pure principles, be sure that for you the truth will lose its vitalizing power, and sin will strengthen. This is why many are not efficient agents for the Master. They are constantly making provision to please and glorify themselves, or they cherish lust in the heart. True, they assent to the law of ten commandments, and many teach the law in theory; but they do not cherish its principles. They do not obey the command of God to be pure, to love God supremely, and their neighbor as themselves. While constantly living a lie, can such have strength? Can they have confidence? Will such become efficient workers for God? SpTA02a 9.1

The Saviour prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” But if the receiver of Bible knowledge makes no change in his habits or practices to correspond to the light of truth, what then? The spirit is warring against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit; and one of these must conquer. If the truth sanctifies the soul, sin is hated and shunned, because Christ is accepted as an honored guest. But Christ cannot share a divided heart; sin and Jesus are never in co-partnership. He who accepts the truth in sincerity, who eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, has eternal life. “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit and they are life.” When the receiver of truth co-operates with the Holy Spirit, he will go weighted with the burden of the message to souls; he will never be merely a sermonizer. He will enter heart and soul into the great work of seeking and saving that which is lost. Practicing the religion of Christ, he will accomplish a good work in winning souls. SpTA02a 9.2

Every believer is under bonds to God to be spiritually minded, keeping himself in the channel of light, that he may let his light shine to the world. When all those who are engaged in the sacred work of the ministry shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, they will hate sin and all selfishness. A moral renovation is constantly going on; as they continue looking to Jesus, they become conformed to his image, and are found complete in him, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. SpTA02a 10.1

The great advantage of the ministerial institutes are not half appreciated. They are rich in opportunities, but do not accomplish half what they should, because those who attend them do not practice the truth which is presented before them in clear lines. Many who are explaining the Scriptures to others have not conscientiously and entirely surrendered mind and heart and life to the control of the Holy Spirit. They love sin, and cling to it. I have been shown that impure practices, pride, selfishness, self-glorying, have closed the door of the heart, even of those who teach the truth to others, so that the frown of God is upon them. Cannot some renovating power take hold of them? Have they fallen a prey to a moral disease which is incurable because they themselves refuse to be cured? O that every one who labors in word and doctrine would heed the words of Paul, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” SpTA02a 10.2

How my heart goes out in rejoicing for those who walk in humility of mind, who love and fear God. They possess a power far more valuable than learning or eloquence. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;” and his love and fear are like a thread of gold uniting the human agent to the divine. Thus all the movements of life are simplified. When the children of God are struggling with temptation, battling against the passions of the natural heart, faith connects the soul with the only One who can give help, and they are overcomers. SpTA02a 11.1

May the Lord work upon the hearts of those who have received great light, that they may depart from all iniquity. Behold the cross of Calvary. There is Jesus, who gave his life, not that men might continue in sin, not that they may have license to break the law of God, but that through this infinite sacrifice they may be saved from all sin. Said Christ, “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified,” by the perfection of his example. Will those who preach the truth to others be sanctified by the truth themselves? Will they love the Lord with heart and mind and soul, and their neighbor as themselves? Will they meet the highest standard of Christian character? Are their tastes elevated, their appetites controlled? Are they cherishing only noble sentiments, strong, deep sympathy, and pure purposes, that they may indeed be laborers together with God? We must have the Holy Spirit to sustain us in the conflict; for “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” SpTA02a 11.2

Ellen G. White

Melbourne, Australia,

July 3, 1892.