Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers—No. 10

Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers—No. 10

Lines of Mission Work

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N. S. W.,

March, 1897.

To my brethren in America:

“Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” SpTA10 2.1

I wish to say that the work that is being done by Dr. Kellogg is not to be regarded as a strange work; for it is the very work that every church that believes the truth for this time, should long since have been doing. But our position as depositaries of sacred truth has been but dimly realized. If the world had before them the example that God demands those who believe in him to set, they would work the works of Christ. If Jesus were set forth, crucified among us, if we viewed the cross of Calvary in the light of God's word, we would be one with Christ as he was one with the Father. Our faith would be altogether different from the faith now shown. It would be a faith that works by love to God and to our fellow men, and purifies the soul. If this faith were shown by God's people, many more would believe on Christ. A hallowed influence would be exerted by the benevolent actions of God's servants, and they would shine as lights in the world. SpTA10 2.2

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.... And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” SpTA10 3.1

The work specified in these words is the work God requires his people to do. It is a work of God's own appointment. With the work of advocating the commandments of God, and repairing the breach that has been made in the law of God, we are to mingle compassion for suffering humanity. We are to show supreme love to God; we are to exalt his memorial, which has been trodden down by unholy feet; and with this, we are to manifest mercy, benevolence, and the tenderest pity for the fallen race. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” As a people we must take hold of this work. Love revealed for suffering humanity gives significance and power to the truth. SpTA10 3.2

When the Holy Spirit works through the human agents, exercising its consecrating influence, they will not seek to evade his obligations in regard to the souls perishing around them. Sin and iniquity will not go unrebuked, however important the personage may be who ventures to sin. Benevolence will be more common. There will be no limit to its plans for the salvation of souls. SpTA10 4.1

Souls in our world today are in need of a Saviour. The Lord has given his church the opportunity to work for him; he has invited them to come to the gospel feast, and to invite others to come with them. Again and again opportunities have been given for God's people to go out into the highways and hedges, and compel those there to come in, that God's house may be full. In the providence of God, Dr. Kellogg has entered upon a work whereby he can organize workers to carry forward the work of bringing the truth before thousands that are now in vice and iniquity, that they may be redeemed from a life of dissipation and sin. All the people of God should be interested in this work. But a love of ease and selfish indulgence has been shown by many. We are sorry to say that some who have had every privilege of knowing Bible truth have not brought it into the inner sanctuary of the soul. God holds all these accountable for their misused talents, which were entrusted to them to be improved, but which they have not returned to him in honest, faithful service. SpTA10 4.2

All such are represented as coming to the wedding supper without having on the wedding garment, the righteousness of Christ. They have nominally accepted the truth, but they do not practise it. They feel at liberty to come to the supper, but refuse to put on the robe of Christ's righteousness. Professedly circumcised, they are among the uncircumcised in practise, and will be destroyed with the uncircumcised. They have walked with the uncircumcised in their covetousness, and the Lord will not spare them any more than he will the veriest sinner. SpTA10 5.1

Those who are united heart and soul in the work of God will put on the wedding garment that Christ has provided. Then they will be prepared to work in Christ's lines. They will not receive the grace of God in vain. With humble, devoted reverence, they will labor on the right hand and on the left, thoughtfully conforming their entire service and all their capabilities to God. With singing and praise and thanksgiving, they rejoice with God and the heavenly angels as they see sin-sick souls uplifted and helped, as they see the deluded and the insane sitting clothed and in their right mind at the feet of Jesus, learning of him. SpTA10 5.2

The work that Dr. Kellogg has been doing is a work that every Sabbath-keeping Adventist should heartily sympathize with and endorse, and take hold of earnestly. The Lord will accept the services of any one who will work in Christ's lines and scatter his invitation of mercy broadcast throughout the world. SpTA10 5.3

The money expended to prepare ministers for work was essential at the time when there was so much opposition to the light that God was giving in regard to justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ, which is abundantly imputed to all who hunger and thirst for it. But the Lord has set before you another work,—the work of extending the truth by establishing centers of interest in cities, and sending workers into the highways and hedges. But this work has not been done. Money has been absorbed in other lines. Altogether too much work has been done among those who know the truth. It is religion, Bible religion, that God's ministers need. SpTA10 5.4

Satan will furnish an abundance of speculative projects, that are not after God's order, but are inspired by man's ambitious devising. Thousands of dollars may be spent in traveling. In this way money is consumed, but it accomplishes little. The only right way is to stop devising wonderful plans that absorb means and create inventions that God does not inspire, and devote the Lord's means, and your God-given faculties, to setting in operation a work that will reach the neglected ones, the oppressed, those that cannot rise of themselves. SpTA10 6.1

Dr. Kellogg is doing a work which, if the churches shall be converted, they can undertake in a limited degree. It gives opportunity for many to minister for God. There are families within the shadow of your own doors in whom you have not shown sufficient interest to lead them to think that you cared for their souls. I entreat of you to read the third and fourth chapters of Zechariah. If these chapters are understood, if they are received, a work will be done for those that are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, a work that will be an advance work, a work that means, Go forward and upward. SpTA10 6.2

“Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” There are two parties in this world. The angels of heaven co-operate with every unselfish worker; but the angels of Satan will confuse judgment by using elements that put stumbling-blocks in the way of those whom God would bring to an understanding of the truth. SpTA10 7.1

If God's workers will be controlled by the Holy Spirit, if they will keep the preparation necessary for time and for eternity ever before them, the Lord will enable them to do a work that will advance his truth. SpTA10 7.2

Let every one who believes the truth empty himself of his selfishness and self-sufficiency, and his ambitious devising. Let the heavenly messengers empty themselves of the golden oil into the golden tubes, that it may flow into the golden bowls. Every church needs this golden oil; for their lamps are going out, when they should be bright and clear, sending forth to the world a shining light, that will penetrate the moral darkness which has covered the world like a funeral pall. If ever the anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth were needed, they are needed now. SpTA10 7.3

The Lord has presented to the church in Battle Creek opportunities to work for him. There are families there that are no help where they are. They should locate in other churches, and communicate to others the knowledge of the truth which God has given them. But let those who make this move first seek God. The spiritual life-blood from Christ is not circulating through their veins of experience because they do not do his service. Growth is impossible. They must be born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. Backsliders know not the virtue of an incorrupted experience. Their counsels are so mingled, the common fire with the sacred, that their decisions are worthless. They are doing harm and misleading others.... SpTA10 7.4

As surely as the Lord lives and reigns, the words spoken to Nicodemus are spoken to the men who have been handling sacred responsibilities. God says to them, “Ye must be born again.” A conversion, represented by a new birth, must take place. Then the men who have worked according to their supposed wisdom, will become as little children, seeking the Lord as did the children of Israel on the day of atonement, confessing their sins, and purifying themselves from every moral defilement. When they come to the Lord with a sense of their own weakness, the Lord will hear them, and will answer, “Here am I.” The Holy Spirit will strip them of their self-righteousness, pharisaism, and hardness of heart, and will give them a heart of flesh, made soft and tender by its indwelling presence. Self will die, and the life of Christ will be revealed in their lives. The life they now live, they will live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved them and gave himself for them. SpTA10 8.1

I tell you in the name of the Lord, that those who have had great light, are today in the state described by Christ in his message to the Laodicean church. They think that they are rich, and increased in goods, and feel that they have need of nothing. Christ speaks to you. Hear, O hear, if you have any regard for your souls, the words of the great Counselor, and act upon them: “I counsel thee to 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: and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” SpTA10 8.2

Practical truth must be brought into the life, and the word, like a sharp two-edged sword must cut away the surplus of self that there is in our characters. “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” SpTA10 9.1

The Lord has given me messages of warning for his people, which I have, with much burden and pain of soul, communicated to you. I have been awakened at midnight, and in the small hours of the morning, to write you things which your blind eyes could not discern. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” The message God has given has affected some zealously, but not all well. You do not see, you do not realize, the necessity of seeking the Lord earnestly, and fervently, and perseveringly, until you know that Christ is formed within you, the hope of glory. SpTA10 9.2

When you have a knowledge of God's will, you will follow Christ in all things, and he will hide you in a cleft of the rock, and cover you with his hand, that you may lose sight of self, and behold his glory. Moses said to the Lord, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant is goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” This is a representation of the passing by of God. It is a true description of the after- influence of all his working in the path where he goes. SpTA10 9.3

Those who become careless and reckless and self-indulgent, do not stop to think of the consequences of their actions. Thus it was with Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron. The word of God had given specific direction that sacred fire only was to be used in the service of God. But the senses of Nadab and Abihu were beclouded with wine, and they offered strange fire before God. They placed themselves in a position where they could not distinguish between the sacred and the common. They used common fire, which God had commanded them not to use, and they died before the Lord. After they were slain, Moses said to Aaron. “This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me.” SpTA10 10.1

How often the actions of these men have been repeated! In a careless manner, the sacred work of God has been mingled with common ideas. This has cheapened the truth. Human opinions have been brought to the front, and unsanctified propositions, born wholly of self, have been acted upon. If those who have done this could see the result of their work, if they could know what it means to turn things upside down, they would tremble before God. SpTA10 10.2

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power: when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.” Selfish characteristics do not reveal the glory of God, and cannot be practised by those who are truly united to Christ. There is to be straightforward action in all things. When the people of God begin to walk apart from him, their actions testify that they are not eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, that they are not one in spirit with Christ. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” There is among us a leaven of disregard for spiritual and holy practices. SpTA10 10.3

“I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” This is practical godliness. But it has been discarded, and strange fire, which the Lord has condemned, has been used. SpTA10 11.1

The Lord would have his institutions cleansed and uplifted to a high, holy standard. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” SpTA10 11.2