Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 19—Medical Missionary Work and the Gospel Ministry

Manuscript 62, 1900

[Talk given by Mrs. E. G. White in the Sanitarium Chapel, St. Helena, California, November 13, 1900.]

I wish to speak about the relation existing between the medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. It has been presented to me that every department of the work is to be united in one great whole. The work of God is to prepare a people to stand before the Son of man at His coming, and this work should be a unit. The work that is to fit a people to stand firm in the last great day must not be a divided work. 2SAT 140.1

The ministry of the gospel is to present the truth which must be received in order for people to be sanctified and made ready for the coming of the Lord. And this work is to embrace all that was embraced in Christ's ministry. Gospel workers are to minister on the right hand and on the left, doing their work intelligently and solidly. 2SAT 140.2

There is to be no division between the ministry and the medical work. The physician should labor equally with the minister for the salvation of the soul and with as much earnestness and thoroughness. 2SAT 140.3

The question has been asked many times. Should the physician feel it his duty to open the truth to his patients? That depends on circumstances. In many cases all that should be done is to point to Christ as a personal Saviour. There are those who would only be injured should any new doctrine not in accordance with their previous views be brought before them. 2SAT 140.4

God must guide in this work. He can prepare minds to receive the word of truth. It is just as much a physician's duty to prepare the souls before him for what is to take place as to minister to their physical needs. Let them know their danger. Be a faithful steward for God. Do not let anyone be launched into eternity without a word of warning or caution. You cannot neglect this and be a faithful steward. God requires you to be true to Him wherever you are. There is a great work to be done. Take hold of it and do it intelligently. God will help everyone who does this. 2SAT 140.5

The medical missionary work has never been presented to me in any other way than as bearing the same relation to the work as a whole as the arm does to the body. The gospel ministry is an organization for the proclamation of the truth and the carrying forward of the work for sick and well. This is the body, the medical missionary work is the arm, and Christ is the head over all. Thus the matter has always been presented to me. 2SAT 140.6

It has been urged that because the medical missionary work is the arm of the body, there should be a oneness of respect shown. This is so. The medical missionary work is the arm of the body, and God wants us to take a decided interest in this work. 2SAT 141.1

Christ was bound up in all branches of the work. He did not make any division. He did not feel that He was infringing on physicians when He healed the sick. He proclaimed the truth, and when the sick came to him for healing, He asked them if they believed that He could make them whole. He was just as ready to lay His hands in healing on the sick and afflicted as He was to preach the gospel. He was just as much at home in this work as in proclaiming the truth, for healing the sick is a part of the gospel. 2SAT 141.2

To take people right where they are, whatever their position, whatever their condition, and help them in every way possible, this is ministry. It may be necessary for ministers to go into the homes of the sick, and say, I am ready to help you and I will do the best I can. I am not a physician, but I am a minister, and I like to minister to the sick and afflicted. Those who are sick in body are nearly always sick in soul, and when the soul is sick, the body is made sick. 2SAT 141.3

Christ's work for the paralytic is an illustration of the way in which we are to work. This man had been told by his friends of the mighty healer, and he had faith to believe that he could be healed. His friends carried him to the house where Jesus was teaching, but the crowd was so great that they could not find entrance. Then the sick man suggested that they remove part of the roof, and let him down into the room. This they did, and when Jesus saw the sufferer lying before him, what was His first work? It was to give him peace of mind. The Saviour knew that the paralytic had been tortured by the suggestions of the priests that God had cast him off for his sins. 2SAT 141.4

“Son, thy sins be forgiven thee,” were Christ's first words. This was what the sick man needed. Peace and joy filled his heart. Some present began to murmur, saying in their hearts, Who can forgive sins but God only? Then, that they might know that the Son of man had power to forgive sins, Christ said to the sick man, “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way unto thine house.” 2SAT 141.5

Thus the Saviour has bound together the work of preaching the truth and healing the sick, and we are never to divorce them. Christ blended ministry and healing, and there is to be no more separation in our work than there was in His. 2SAT 141.6

There is to be no division between the medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. Medical missionary work is to be to the third angel's message as the right arm to the body. Both are to work in harmony. Then the salvation of the Lord will be revealed. 2SAT 141.7

God not only desires His servants to have faith in the work of His institutions, He desires them to go further than this. They should realize that God wishes them to be living examples of what it means to be well, physically and spiritually. He wants them to show that the truth has accomplished a great work for them. 2SAT 142.1

Those who assemble in our conferences are not always in a fit state to judge righteously. Many suffer from congestion of the brain. Those who assemble in such meetings should first do all in their power to place themselves in right relation to God and to health. If the head is congested, let them find out what is wrong. The brain is disturbed because there is something the matter with the stomach. Let them find out what is wrong about their diet. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and if we fail to do all we can to place the body in the very best condition of health, we are robbing God of the honor due to Him from the beings He has created. 2SAT 142.2

If you are called upon to attend a council meeting, ask yourself whether your perceptive faculties are in a proper condition to weigh evidence. If you are not in a proper condition, if your brain is confused, you have no right to take part in the meeting. Are you fractious? Is your temper sweet and fragrant, or is it so disturbed and disagreeable that you will be led to make hasty decisions? Do you feel as though you would like to fight someone? Then do not go to the meeting, for if you go you will surely dishonor God. Take an axe and chop wood or engage in some physical exercise until your spirit is mild and easy to be entreated. Just as surely as your stomach is creating a disturbance in your brain, your words will create a disturbance in the assembly. More trouble is caused by disturbed digestive organs than many realize. 2SAT 142.3

We ought always to eat the most simple food. Often twice as much food as the system needs is eaten. Then nature has to work hard to get rid of the surplus. Treat your stomach properly, and it will do its best. 2SAT 142.4

Do not sit in a meeting with cold feet. If the feet are cold, wash them in cold water, and then dry them thoroughly. You will find that the blood will thus be called from the head to the limbs. 2SAT 142.5

Those whose minds are clear can understand the truth a hundredfold better than those whose minds are beclouded. And if our brains are not clear, we may know that we have been transgressing some of nature's laws. When my brain is confused, I know that I have been making some mistake in my diet. 2SAT 142.6

Whether they acknowledge it or not, God lays upon all human beings the duty of taking care of the soul-temple. The body is to be kept clean and pure. The soul is to be sanctified and ennobled. Then, God says, I will come unto him and take up My abode with him. We are responsible for our own salvation, and God holds us accountable for the influence we exert on those connected with us. We should stand in such a position, physically and spiritually, that we can recommend the religion of Christ. We are to dedicate our bodies to God. 2SAT 143.1

God desires His ministers to stand in a high and holy position. Those who open the Word of God to others should ask themselves, before they enter the pulpit, whether they have been self-denying, whether their food has been simple, such as the stomach can digest without beclouding the brain. Please read the first chapter of Second Corinthians. This entire chapter is a lesson for all believers. 2SAT 143.2

Ministers should understand how to keep their bodies in the best condition of health, so that they can recommend the truth to those for whom they labor, and so that when they are called to assemble together, they may know that they are prepared to go. They have no right to go if they are in such a condition of health that they will speak hastily and view matters in a wrong light. They should place themselves where they can judge righteously, where they can voice the words of God. They can thus advance the work more than by all the word-preaching they could do. Practical godliness is of great value. 2SAT 143.3

God's servants should remember that in every assembly Christ is present. Angels are ascending and descending the heavenly ladder. A living connection has been made between earth and heaven, and God's glory shines upon the congregation. God requires the men who stand before the people as His mouthpieces to have clear discernment. He requires them to speak under the influence of His Spirit. There is no need for their brains to be beclouded by indigestion. They should guard the door of the lips, allowing nothing to enter that will make a disturbance. 2SAT 143.4

It has been said, We want Sister White to attend the conference, and we want the conference held in Battle Creek. But I dare not go. Not that I would [not] like to go, but I dare not, because mid-winter is not the proper time to hold a conference. Those who attend are obliged to sit in rooms heated by steam or stoves. Then perhaps, after sitting in these hot rooms, they sleep in cold rooms, and shiver all night, as I have done again and again, and it has nearly cost me my life. This heating of rooms so highly is an evil. It would be better for us to put on more clothes and have less heated air. If those who attend our meetings would do this, they would be in a more favorable condition to make right decisions. 2SAT 143.5

From the light given me, when we hold a conference it should be held where we can breathe the pure air of heaven, in the sight of the beauties of nature. When those in attendance at a conference drink in God's pure air, you will find that their decisions will be more surcharged with the Holy Spirit and one hundredfold more valuable than the decisions made by those whose brains are congested by heated air. 2SAT 144.1

God has a great work to do in the world. This work is not yet closed. Who is going to help Him? Satan has come down with great power to oppose the work of God, knowing that he has but a short time. The whole synagogue of Satan opposes the truth. The enemy is trying to counterwork every line of work which God sets in operation. Are we going to act as though there were no enemy to oppose? For Christ's sake put yourselves in right relation to God. Place yourselves physically where you will be able to work. Christ says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” [Philippians 2:12]. 2SAT 144.2

God and the human agent must cooperate. Those who place a proper value on themselves will take proper care of the body. They will work in harmony with the words, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” [1 Corinthians 6:20]. 2SAT 144.3

Angels of God are present in every council. They long to see every member of the council standing before God clad with the righteousness provided for them by Christ. This righteousness everyone may have who will place himself in right relation to God. This is an individual work. 2SAT 144.4

“Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Remember the estimate that God has placed upon you. This is of consequence to you and to all with whom you are associated. Your position affects others. God help us to do right because it is right.—Ms. 62, 1900. 2SAT 144.5