Special Testimony to Our Ministers—No. 2

Further Comments and Extracts

We must realize that we are placed under great responsibilities to God and to his cause by such earnest and solemn admonitions as the foregoing. There can be no excuse for us for continuing in a wrong way. The reason of our lack of success and our lack of power with God is pointed out, so that we are not left in the dark. Our sins and our wrong ways have been faithfully set before us, but we are not left without hope; for the remedy has also been pointed out. Now it is our privilege to repent of sin, and to know the power of God's saving grace. The holy spirit awaits our demand and reception. What more can the Lord do for us than that which he has already done? But our danger is that we will not make application of these admonitions to our individual selves. I would intreat you in the name of the master to give heed to this blessed instruction. God give us true, godly sorrow, should be our prayer. (See 2 Corinthians 7:10, 11). SpTA02a 25.2

We have been plainly told that the standard of the Ministry must be raised, and also that if we do not come where we will meet the mind of God, we will be severed from the work. These are very solemn words to me, and I desire that they shall have their full effect on my own heart. Nothing can be more certain than that if we do not take heed to the counsel from the Lord, we shall be left to go into still greater darkness. SpTA02a 25.3

From a letter from Sister White, dated September 1, 1892, I quote the following:— SpTA02a 26.1

“‘Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These thing saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ SpTA02a 26.2

“He who was seen by John in the vision, in the midst of the golden candlesticks, represents himself as walking among them, going about from church to church, from congregation to congregation, and from soul to soul. Here is unwearied vigilance. While the under-shepherds may be asleep, or engrossed with matters of small importance, he that keepeth Israel doth not slumber nor sleep. He is the true watchman. The presence and sustaining grace of Christ are the secret of all light and life. We are kept by the power of God through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. SpTA02a 26.3

“The Lord Jesus gave the message to John to be written, to come down through the ages to the end of the world. Words of commendation are spoken to the church of Ephesus; the ‘Well done’ is pronounced on the good and faithful servant; but the message does not close here. The Saviour says: ‘Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.’ This has been brought in clear lines before me again and again, and I have presented it to the people with pen and voice. Does this striking message mean nothing to us? Is it in no sense applicable? Why are not such solemn warnings contemplated? Why do not all, with watchfulness and humility and confession, manifest that repentance that needeth not to be repented of? Why do so many pass on without taking heed? Is love abiding in the church? Is it not almost extinct? With many their first love for Jesus has cooled. Brethren do not love brethren. The love of many has waxed cold. The True Witness represents all who have left their first love as fallen. Did he not know their peril? Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ SpTA02a 26.4

“Shall these heart-searching truths continue to be passed by with indifference by the churches? The loss of the first love has opened the door to a great amount of selfishness, evil surmising, evil speaking, envy, jealousy, hard-heartedness. This is the fruit borne when the fervor of the first love has grown cold. There has been but little restraint upon the tongue, for prayer has been neglected. A Pharisaical righteousness has been cherished; there is deadness of spirituality, and a lack of spiritual eye-sight is the result. SpTA02a 27.1

“The only hope for our churches of today is to repent and do their first work. The name of Jesus does not kindle the heart with love. A mechanical, formal orthodoxy has taken the place of deep, fervent charity and tenderness to one another. Will any give heed to the solemn monition, ‘Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die? Fall upon the Rock, and be broken; then let the Lord Jesus prepare you, mould and fashion you, as a vessel unto honor. Well may the people fear and tremble under these words: ‘Except thou repent, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place? What then? ‘If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” SpTA02a 27.2

The above needs no comment. It is a most solemn and heart-searching message. God help us to take heed lest our light go out in that great darkness! SpTA02a 27.3

Here follows another extract from the same letter, which is full of meaning indeed: SpTA02a 27.4

“One matter burdens my soul: The great lack of the love of God, which has been lost through continued resistance of light and truth, and the influence of those who have been engaged in active labor, who in the face of evidence piled upon evidence, have exerted an influence to counteract the message God has sent. I point them to the Jewish nation and ask, Must we leave our brethren to pass over the same path of blind resistance, till the very end of probation? If ever a people needed true and faithful watchmen, who will not hold their peace, who will cry day and night, sounding the warning God has given, it is the Seventh-day Adventists. Those who have had great light, blessed opportunities, who like Capernaum have been exalted to heaven in point of privileges, shall they, by non-improvement, be left to darkness corresponding to the greatness of the light given?” SpTA02a 28.1

Truly these are earnest words, and may God forbid that one of us should fail to take heed to this faithful counsel. SpTA02a 28.2

The week of prayer is now near at hand, and we have every reason to expect a gracious outpouring of the spirit of God. Many are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and the promise of the Lord is that they shall be filled. Never were we more needy of God's blessing than now, and never was God more willing to bestow his blessing. As ministers we should properly lead out in the work. May this be so indeed at this time. The spirit of God is awaiting our demand and reception. Just as surely as we seek the Lord with all the heart, so surely he will be found of us. SpTA02a 28.3

The time for the Next General Conference is also close at hand. This will be a very important meeting. Every movement shows that we are living in the very close of time. The work calls for enlarged plans to meet the demands of God at this time. The message is for the world, for every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. These plans will call for large sums of money to carry them into effect. Will the money come? It must come. The message will go with power, and the earth is to be lightened with its glory. The time has now come when we should heed the following: SpTA02a 28.4

“We ought now to be heeding the injunction of our Saviour, ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not.’ It is now that our brethren should be cutting down their possessions, instead of increasing them. We are about to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Then let us not be dwellers upon the earth, but be getting things into as compact a compass as possible.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:122. SpTA02a 29.1

These things should be set before our people in a proper way. Much means that ought to go into the cause of God is wasted, and it is satan's studied plan that it should be so. SpTA02a 29.2

We must look largely to you, brethren, to interest yourselves in these things. The results of the week of prayer, both as to the degree of the spiritual blessing and also the amount of money that will be contributed, will depend largely on your faithfulness. SpTA02a 29.3

The following quotation from Early Writings, 48-50, is of much significance at this time, and our people must have these things set before them in no uncertain way. But this I am fully aware of, that that which will lead our people to contribute liberally as God has blessed them, is the love of Christ in the heart; therefore spiritual revival is the matter of first importance: SpTA02a 29.4

“I saw that some of the people of God are stupid and dormant, and but half awake; they do not realize the time we are now living in.... I begged of Jesus to save them, to spare them a little longer, and let them see their awful danger, that they might get ready before it should be forever too late. The angel said, ‘Destruction is coming like a mighty whirlwind.’ I begged of the angel to pity and to save those who loved this world, who were attached to their possessions, and were not willing to cut loose from them, and sacrifice to speed the messengers on their way to feed the hungry sheep who were perishing for want of spiritual food. SpTA02a 29.5

“As I viewed poor souls dying for want of the present truth, and some who professed to believe the truth were letting them die, by withholding the necessary means to carry forward the work of God, the sight was too painful, and I begged of the angel to remove it from me. I saw that when the cause of God called for some of their property, like the young man who came to Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22), they went away sorrowful; and that soon the overflowing scourge would pass over and sweep their possessions all away, and then it would be too late to sacrifice earthly goods, and lay up a treasure in heaven. SpTA02a 30.1

“I then saw the glorious Redeemer, beautiful and lovely; that he left the realms of glory, and came to this dark and lonely world, to give his precious life and die, the just for the unjust. He bore the cruel mocking and scourging, wore the platted crown of thorns, and sweat great drops of blood in the garden, while the burden of the sins of the whole world was upon him. The angel asked, ‘What for?’ O! I saw and knew that it was for us; for our sins he suffered all this, that by his precious blood he might redeem us unto God. SpTA02a 30.2

“Then again was held up before me those who were not willing to dispose of this world's goods to save perishing souls by sending them the truth while Jesus stands before the Father pleading his blood, his sufferings, and his death for them, and while God's messengers are waiting, ready to carry them the saving truth that they may be sealed with the seal of the living God. It is hard for some who profess to believe the present truth, to even do so little as to hand the messengers God's own money, that he has lent them to be stewards over. SpTA02a 30.3

“The suffering Jesus, his love so deep as to lead him to give his life for man, was again held up before me; also the lives of those who professed to be his followers, who had this world's goods, but considered it so great a thing to help the cause of salvation. The angel said, ‘Can such enter heaven?’ Another angel answered, “No, never, never, never. Those who are not interested in the cause of God on earth, can never sing the song of redeeming love above.’ I saw that the quick work that God was doing on earth would soon be cut short in righteousness, and that the messengers must speed swiftly on their way to search out the scattered flock. An angel said, ‘Are all messengers?’ Another answered, ‘No, no; God's messengers have a message. SpTA02a 30.4

“The mighty shaking has commenced, and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth, and to sacrifice for God and his cause. The angel said, ‘Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice? No, no. It must be a free-will offering. It will take all to buy the field.’ I cried to God to spare his people, some of whom were fainting and dying. Then I saw that judgments of the Almighty were speedily coming, and I begged of the angel to speak in his language to the people. Said he, ‘All the thunders and lightnings of Mount Sinai would not move those who will not be moved by the plain truths of the word of God, neither would an angel's message awake them.’” SpTA02a 31.1

In closing we earnestly pray that God will bless the solemn admonition he has sent us for our good. By God's grace I will take them to my heart. Heaven is full of light, and that light is for us. I am fully assured of this, that if we do not heed these faithful counsels, it will go ill with us. But I have great confidence in God, and believe we shall see of his salvation among his people, and the message will go with a power not known heretofore. Commending you to God's love, I am your brother and fellow-laborer in Christ. SpTA02a 31.2

O. A. Olsen