Australasian Union Conference Record

17/86

June 1, 1900

A Perfect Ministry—Its Purpose

EGW

Reading for Monday, June 4

After Christ's ascension to heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit, His disciples called to mind His lessons which they had before been unable to comprehend. The words of Christ found an entrance into their hearts, and they awoke as from a deep sleep. They knew for a certainty that they had been in daily communion with the Majesty of heaven. Scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His words and deeds, they felt that these could never be recorded as they really were. No human language could express their beauty. The disciples must in their lives bear witness to the loveliness of Christ's character. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 1

And this they did. The Saviour by His spirit was abiding in their hearts, and His love, and light, and power shone out through them. Men, beholding, marvelled, and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. And as the disciples witnessed to the mission of Christ, they bore witness also of the Father; for Christ had said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 2

This is the work of God's people today. God designs to manifest through them the principles of His kingdom. Through them the attributes of God are to be unfolded, and the truths of His word, in all their glory and excellence, will be made to appear more vivid. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 3

The great final crisis is just before us, when the destiny of every human being will be forever decided. A great work is to be done in setting before men the saving truths of the Gospel. To present these truths is the work of the third angel's message. The Lord designs that the presentation of this message shall be the highest, greatest work carried on in our world at this time. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 4

All the light of the past, which shines unto the present and reaches forth into the future, as revealed in the word of God, is for every soul who will receive it. But the glory of this light, which is the very glory of the character of Christ, can never be expressed in words. Human language is inadequate to reveal it. It must be made manifest in the life. It is to be manifest in the individual Christian, in the family, in the church, in the ministry of the word, and in every institution established by God's people. All these the Lord designs shall be symbols of what can be done for the world. They are to be types of the saving power of the truths of the Gospel. They are agencies in the fulfilment of God's great purpose for the human race. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 5

Ministry in the Home

As workers for God, our work is to begin with those nearest. It is to begin in our own home. There is no more important missionary field than this. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 6

God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family of heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with His plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 7

In the home the foundation is laid for the prosperity of the church. The influences that rule in the home life are carried into the church life. Church duties are to begin in the house. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 8

Christ died to save the children, and he is ready to do a great work for them if parents will co-operate with Him by training and educating them according to His instruction. While parents should be firm in requiring respect and obedience, they should make the religion of Christ attractive by their cheerfulness, their Christian courtesy, their tender, compassionate sympathy. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 9

Christ was once a little child. For His sake honour the children. Look upon them as a sacred charge, not to be petted and idolized but to be taught to live pure, noble lives. They are God's property. He loves them, and He calls upon you to co-operate with Him in teaching them to form perfect characters. The Lord requires perfection from His redeemed family. He expects from us the perfection which Christ revealed in His humanity. Fathers and mothers especially need to understand the best methods of training children that they may co-operate with God. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 10

Submission and surrender to Christ are the most effective lessons that children and youth can learn. The rules which should regulate the lives of parents and children flow from a heart of infinite love, and God's rich blessing will rest upon those parents who administer His law in their homes, and it will rest upon those children by whom this law is obeyed. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 11

Children should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed, and clothed, and loved, and cared for, and they should respond to their many mercies by bearing their share of the family burdens, and bringing into the home all the happiness possible. By the law of mutual dependence they are to be taught dependence upon the great Head of the Church. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 12

And God calls upon fathers and mothers to become intelligent in regard to the laws which govern physical life. Children must be taught to make a right use of the things of this life, and to avoid the use of everything that would injure the powers of mind or body. They should be taught that every organ of the body and every faculty of the mind is the gift of a good and wise God, and is to be used to His Glory. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 13

In the home the Saviour is to be uplifted, thought of, talked of. When He dwells in the heart, family worship will not be a form of dry, set phrases. The heart will be imbued with love for Jesus. This love will be expressed in prayer and praise. Words of discouragement and hopelessness will not be spoken. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 14

Let the members of every family bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in the families of His children here below. Angels offer the smoke of the fragrant incense for the praying saints. Then in every family let prayer ascend to heaven both at morning and at the cool sunset hour, in our behalf presenting before God the Saviour's merits. Morning and evening the heavenly universe takes notice of every praying household. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 15

Let parents teach their little ones the truth as it is in Jesus. The children in their simplicity will repeat to their associates that which they have learned. In Christ's day the children sang in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” So in these days children's voices will be raised in giving the last warning to a perishing world. By them God's message will be made known, and His saving health to all nations. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 16

The children can take a part in medical missionary work. They can do many things to help the sick and suffering, and by their offerings they can aid in carrying forward the work. By the efforts of children and youth many souls will be won to the truth. And the children themselves will be forming characters after Christ's similitude, in preparation to dwell forever in His presence. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 17

The Ministry of the Word

The third angel's message is to be given with power. In the Revelation John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.... And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 18

The whole of the Gospel is embraced in the third angel's message, and in all our work the truth is to be presented as it is in Jesus. In the preaching of the word the first and most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting the Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. We are to keep before the people the cross of Calvary. We should teach them that Christ's death was caused by the transgression of the law of God; that Christ died to give men an opportunity of becoming loyal subjects of His kingdom. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 19

But we should be careful not to lessen the force of the warning which God has given for this time. We are in danger of giving the message in so indefinite a manner that it does not impress the people. So many other interests are brought in, that the very message which should be proclaimed with power becomes tame and voiceless. While the churches profess to believe in Christ, they are violating the law which Christ Himself proclaimed from Sinai. The Lord bids us, “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Lift up the standard, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Make this the important theme. Then by your strong arguments wall it in, and make it of still greater force. Dwell more on the Revelation. Read, explain, and enforce its teaching. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 20

Our warfare is aggressive. Tremendous issues are before us, yea, and right upon us. Our prayers should ascend to God that the four angels may be commissioned to hold the four winds, that they may not blow to injure or destroy until the last warning has been given to the world. Then let us work in harmony with our prayers. Let nothing lessen the force of the truth for this time. The third angel's message must do its work of separating from the churches a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 21

Our message is a life and death message, and we must let it appear as it is, the great power of God. We are to present it in all its telling force. Then the Lord will make it effectual. It is our privilege to expect large things, even the demonstration of the Spirit of God. This is the power that will convict and convert the soul. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 22

Personal Effort

Public effort alone will not suffice for the work that is to be done. By personal, house to-house labor, we should seek to reach the people where they are. Laborers for God should visit the families of the church, coming close to their hearts as one touched with the feeling of their infirmities. Give each one some work to do for others. Show them that as receivers of the grace of God all are under obligation to work for Him. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 23

All should be taught how to work. Especially should those who are newly come to the faith be educated to become labourers together with God. If this duty is neglected, the work of the minister is incomplete. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 24

But God does not want His people to hang their weight upon the ministers. As a steward of the grace of God, every church member should feel an individual responsibility to have life and root in himself. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow-men. He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself, cannot rest content with doing nothing. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 25

Did the professed believers in the truth live the truth, they would today all be missionaries. Some would be working in the islands of the sea, some in the different countries of the world. Some would be serving Christ as home missionaries. Not all are called upon to go abroad. Some may be successful in business lines, and in this work they may represent Christ. They may show to the world that business may be conducted on righteous principles, in strict fidelity to the truth. There may be Christian lawyers, Christian physicians, Christian merchants. Christ may be represented in all lawful callings. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 26

Though you are not called to public labour for Christ, you may still do a most precious work by giving of your means to sustain His work. The following incident has a good suggestion for those who cannot go in person to foreign missionary fields: AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 27

An American business man who was an earnest Christian, being in conversation with a fellow-believer, remarked that he himself worked for Christ twenty-four hours of the day. “In all my business relations,” he said,” I try to represent my Master. I am working for Christ all day. And at night, while I sleep, I have a man working for Him in China.” AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 28

In explanation he added, “In my youth I determined to go as a missionary to the heathen. But on the death of my father I had to take up his business in order to provide for the family. Now, instead of going myself, I support a missionary. In such a town of such a province in China, my worker is stationed, and so, even while I sleep, I am, through my representative, still working for Christ.” AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 29

Are there no Seventh-day Adventists who will do likewise? If you cannot yourself go as a missionary to foreign fields, select some earnest, promising youth, and educate him for the work. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 30

Upon our churches rests a solemn responsibility in this line. The youth who wish to become workers for God should be given an opportunity to obtain a knowledge of Bible truth. Many workers are needed in home missions as well as in foreign fields. They are needed as Bible workers, as canvassers, nurses, teachers in church schools, and in many other lines. Will you not aid them in gaining a preparation for the work? Through the teacher your money has prepared for the field, souls may be saved from ruin, to shine as stars in the Redeemer's crown. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 31

In the Highways and Hedges

The command of Christ to His people is, “Go out in to the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 32

The call to the Gospel feast is first to be given “in the highways.”—to those who have an active part in the world's work, to the teachers and leaders of the people. Those who bear heavy responsibilities in public life, who act as ministers, lawyers, and judges, should be given a clear, distinct message. “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 33

We talk and write much of the neglected poor; should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Thousands of rich men are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church; for they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Are we to make no personal effort in their behalf? AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 34

Some will ask, “Can we not reach them with publications?” No; there are many who cannot be reached in this way. It is personal effort that they need. Are they to perish without any special warning? It was not so in ancient times. God's servants were sent to tell those in high places that they could find peace and rest only in the Lord Jesus Christ. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 35

From the light given me I know that a plain, “Thus saith the Lord” should now be spoken to men who have influence and authority in the world. If they will repent and be converted. God will use them in His cause. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 36

We have a work to do for the ministers of other churches. Our ministers should seek to come near to them. Pray for and with these men for whom Christ is interceding. A solemn responsibility is theirs. As Christ's messengers we should manifest a deep, earnest interest in these shepherds of the flock. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 37

God calls for earnest, humble workers who will carry the truth to the higher classes. Are there not among us those who will take the burden of this work, and will qualify themselves to labour successfully for these classes? AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 38

God will bless the workers who faithfully do this work. The righteousness of Christ will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The greatest men of the earth are not beyond the power of a wonder-working God. He will convert men who occupy responsible places, men of intellect and influence, if those who are workers together with Him will be men of opportunity, doing their duty bravely and faithfully. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 39

Christs instructs His messengers to go also to those in the byways and hedges, to the poor and lowly of the earth. Many of these do not understand what they must do to be saved. Many are sunken in sin. Many are in distress. Disease of every type afflicts them, both in body and in soul. They long to find a solace for their troubles, and Satan tempts them to seek it in lusts and pleasures that lead to ruin and death. They are spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labour for that which satisfieth not. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 40

The Lord will do wondrous things for the truth's sake, and that His name may be glorified. When God's people give themselves to Him, and work in His lines, they will see of His salvation. The truth will be magnified. It will go forth as a lamp that burneth. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 41

In obedience to the commands of God, we shall receive the best of everything. His richest blessings will be received when heart and mind and soul are consecrated to His service. Only thus can our service for Him be complete,—a perfect ministry. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 42

This is an individual work. The labourer together with God must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Let us individually draw nigh to the mount, that we may understand what the Lord commands, and then obey. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 43

The purpose which God seeks to accomplish through His people today is the same that He desired to accomplish through Israel when He brought them forth out of Egypt. By beholding the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God revealed in the Church, the world is to have a representation of His character. And when the law of God is thus exemplified in the life, even the world will recognize the superiority of those who love and serve God above every other people on the face of the earth. The Lord has His eye upon every one of His people, He has His plans concerning each. It is His purpose that those who practice His holy precepts shall be a distinguished people. To the people of God today, as well as to ancient Israel, belong the words written by Moses through the Spirit of inspiration in Deuteronomy 7:6, and 4:5-8. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 44

Even these words fail of reaching the greatness and the glory of God's purpose to be accomplished through His people. Not to this world only, but to the universe are we to make manifest the principles of His kingdom. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 45

The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit says: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be (made) known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Ephesians 3:8-10. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 46

All to be Channels

God's people are to be channels for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe. In Zechariah's vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the bowl of the sanctuary. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed, that they may give a continuous bright and shining light. So from the anointed ones that stand in God's presence the fulness of divine light, and love, and power, is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others life and joy and refreshing. They are to become channels through which divine and human instrumentalities co-operate in communicating to the world the tide of God's love. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 47

When the grace of God reigns in the heart, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the completeness, the fulness of the Gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. When self is submerged in Christ, true love springs forth spontaneously. The impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. Toil for others’ good is not regarded as drudgery. It is a cheerful work, done with a glad heart. Sympathy with Christ, participation in His joy, sweetens all toil. It braces the will. It nerves the spirit for whatever may befall. The soul is surrounded with an atmosphere of faith and courage and Christ-like love, an atmosphere invigorating to the spiritual life of all who inhale it. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 48

As the light of Christ is received into the soul, the spirit is softened. The gentleness of Christ is expressed in the life. The personal influence of the humble, consecrated soul, like the fragrance of a flower, extends far beyond himself. There is something about him that does not consist in display. It is a spiritual power which he receives from the two anointed ones that stand before the Lord of the whole earth. The Holy Spirit, coming from God to the instrumentality He employs, flows forth into other lives, making others labourers together with God. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 49

Did this spiritual power pervade the lives of all who profess to be Christians, what a work might be accomplished! Thousands who now reject the message of salvation would accept Christ if they could see reflected in His followers the beauty of His character. AUCR June 1, 1900, Art. C, par. 50

E. G. White.