Australasian Union Conference Record

81/86

1912

April 15, 1912

A Spiritual Awakening

EGW

Reading for Sabbath, April 27

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of most solemn import,—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel's messages. There is no other work of so great importance. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 1

Great is the need that all who have a knowledge of the truth for this time should labour earnestly for the salvation of souls. All around us are people who are unwarned of the nearness of the end, places in which no effort has been made to bring men and women to the light of the truth. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 2

Thousands are living in ignorance of the solemn events that are just in the future. Many are passing off the stage of action unprepared to meet the decisions of the judgment. And time is rapidly passing into eternity. To those who know the truth these facts should appeal strongly, arousing their zeal and leading them to engage with earnestness in proclaiming the message of warning to the world. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 3

The message of the third angel is a world-wide message. It is to go to foreign lands; it is to be preached in the home field. Into cities and towns and villages, into the highways and hedges, the light of truth is to be carried. In all these places there are those whose minds are receptive, and whose hearts are ready to respond to the appeals of the Spirit of God. These will welcome the truth if they have opportunity to hear. God is waiting for His people to bear to them the message of Him who died—the just for the unjust. He desires to work through men and women who, losing sight of self in Christ, are content to say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 4

Wonderfully has the Lord wrought for the advancement of the cause of truth. By constant manifestations of His interest and power, and by the pleadings of His Spirit, He is calling for the co-operation of the church in finishing His work in the earth. But His people do not respond as they should to His call. By indifference and selfishness they are placing limitations to the advancement of the message. Content with the degree of light and blessing they have received, many act as if there were no need for further effort. Thus the years pass by, bringing to them no gain in spiritually, and no blessing to those who through their efforts might be won to Christ. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 5

“These things saith the faithful and true witness, ... I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 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 eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 6

The Laodicean message has its application in conditions that exist in the church of God today. Many of God's people have strengthened themselves in their own way, followed the impulses of their own minds, and have grown indifferent to the admonitions of the Lord. Many who were once firm believers in the truth have become careless in regard to their spiritual welfare, and are yielding without opposition to Satan's well-laid plots. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 7

As the people of God approach the perils of the last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his angels as to the most successful plans of overthrowing their faith. He sees that the popular churches are lulled to sleep by his deceptive power. By pleasing sophistry and lying wonders he can continue to hold them under his control. Therefore he directs his angels to lay their snares especially for those who are looking for the second advent of Christ, and endeavouring to keep all the commandments of Jesus. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 8

Says the deceiver: “We must exert all our wisdom and subtlety to deceive and ensnare those who honour the true Sabbath. We can separate many from Christ by worldliness, lust, and pride. They may think themselves safe because they believe the truth, but indulgence of appetite and the lower passions, which confuse judgment and destroy discrimination, will cause them to fall. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 9

“Through those who have a form of godliness, but know not the power, we may gain many. Those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God will be our most effective helpers. Those of this class who are apt and intelligent will draw others into their snares. Many will not fear their influence, because they profess the same faith. We will lead them to conclude that the requirements of God are less strict than they once believed, and that by conforming to the world they will exert a greater influence with worldlings. Thus they will separate from Christ. Then they will have no strength to resist our power; and ere long they will be ready to ridicule their former zeal and devotion. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 10

“We must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticize, to judge and accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. For these sins God banished us from His presence, and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 11

“Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk with the cares of this life. Present the world before them in its most attractive light, that they may lay up their treasure here, and fix their affections on earthly things. We must do our utmost to prevent those who labour in God's cause from obtaining means to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks. The more means they obtain, the more they will injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects. Make them care more for money than for the building up of Christ's kingdom and the spread of the truths we hate, and we need not fear their influence; for we know that every selfish, covetous person will fall under our power, and will be separated finally from God's people.” AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 12

So subtle and untiring are the efforts of the enemy of souls, that God's people need to be very watchful, and to labour earnestly and unceasingly to counterwork evil in the church and in the world. Satan and his agencies are laying out special lines of labour for those who are controlled by his power. Deceptions of every kind and degree are arising, so that if possible he would deceive the very elect. With the same subtle power that he plotted for the rebellion of holy beings in heaven before the fall, Satan is working today to operate through human beings for the fulfilment of his purposes of evil. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 13

There are being laid and presented commercial plans which, if accepted, will lead to the deception and confusion of the church. These plans are presented as something that will prove a great blessing to the work; but in them is a deception that threatens to ensnare souls. Even now many are in danger. There are few who realize the evil that is working; yet these plans are surely the temptations of the enemy, and will prove ruinous to the spiritual experience of those who accept and follow them. Their purpose is to divert the minds of men and women from present and essential duties. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 14

The desire to obtain money is a snare of Satan, and one that is most popular in these last days. The selfishness which the desire for gain begets, removes the favour of God from the church, and deadens spirituality. To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire for benefit for self's sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. Wherefore He says “Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 15

God has made men channels through which His gifts are to flow to sustain the work that He would have carried in the world. He has given them property to be wisely used, not selfishly hoarded, or extravagantly expended. He has entrusted them with means with which to support His servants in their labours as missionaries, and to sustain the institutions He has established among us. Those who rejoice in the pure light of truth should feel an intense desire to send this truth everywhere. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 16

I am instructed to write to our churches, laying before them the importance of consecrated individual effort. The burden of giving to the world the truth for this time is not to rest upon a few men and women. Upon every church member in every place rests the responsibility of acting a part in the closing work of this earth's history. Believers everywhere are to pray earnestly and work diligently for the advancement of the third angel's message in the earth. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 17

We are living in the time of the end, when the judgments of God are in the land. Signs on every hand show that the agencies of evil are strengthening. Lucifer and his servants are working with unceasing activity. In this time of peril the people who keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are to be awake to the situation, prepared to resist the attacks of the enemy. While wickedness abounds on every hand, God's people are to be fully controlled by the Holy Spirit. Greater solemnity and earnestness should be brought into the work. All light and trifling words should be left unspoken. Believers should speak and act as a people who realize the solemn meaning of the events taking place. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 18

Precious light, clear evidence regarding the testing truths for this time, is to go forth from those to whom the Lord has given a knowledge of the third angel's message. Every church should awake to its responsibilities, and work wisely in co-operation with heavenly agencies, for the extension of Christ's kingdom in the earth. There is no time to lose. Let them pray constantly for increased talents and greater ability with which to serve. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 19

My brethren and sisters, draw near to God, and work intelligently for the advancement of His cause. Use with faithfulness the talents entrusted to you. The truths of the divine Word are best appreciated by those who are walking in the path of obedience to every known duty. Through His providences, and through the agency of divine instrumentality God will open ways before His people that they may ever be gaining a deeper knowledge of His will, and increased usefulness in His cause. All who study His Word with a sincere desire to know His will, will receive the higher education. To those who are meek and lowly in heart, and who are willing to be taught of God, He will reveal more and more fully the mysteries of redemption. The Lord is keeping before His people a definite, individual work to be done in receiving the truth, and practicing its principles. I ask you to study the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, that you may understand the spirit that must take possession of every follower of Christ. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 20

If men and women would consecrate themselves to the work of the Master, every hand would be engaged in service. Every one would be standing at his post of duty, working with heart and soul as a missionary of the cross of Christ. The spirit of the Redeemer would abide in the hearts of the labourers, and works of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into their service the prayers and sympathy of an awakened church. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 21

My brethren and sisters, study your plans. Grasp every opportunity of speaking of the truth to your neighbours and associates, or of reading something to them from books that contain present truth. Show that you regard as of first importance the salvation of the souls for whom Christ has made so great a sacrifice. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 22

In working for perishing souls, you have the companionship of angels. Thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand angels are waiting to co-operate with members of our churches in communicating the light that God has graciously given, that a people may be prepared for the coming of Christ. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Let every family seek the Lord in earnest prayer for help to do the work of God. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 23

Who among this people will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and seek to walk in holy zeal before the Lord? The Lord bids us, Cry aloud. My brethren and sisters, lift up your voices to warn the people of the solemn events of the future. Bring forth the evidence that the coming of the Lord is near. God will impress hearts with the importance of the message if the workers will labour in dependence on Him. The lives of those who are true to the faith will carry a power of conviction that nothing else can; God works through these lives to carry out His eternal purpose. AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 24

If our people realized how soon the inhabitants of the world are to be arraigned before the judgment seat of God, to answer for the deeds done in the body, how earnestly they would work together with God to present the truth! How untiringly they would labour to advance God's cause in the world, proclaiming in word and deed, “The end of all things is at hand!” My brethren and sisters, arouse your sleeping energies to take hold of the work that is waiting to be done. Let your testimony bear with it the incense of correct representation. To many the truths of the third angel's message have become a dry theory. The message comes, Wake up the watchmen. “O Jerusalem that bringest good tidings: lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up; be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God.” AUCR April 15, 1912, par. 25

Mrs. E. G. White