Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346]

64/99

MR No. 324—The Church and Its Mission

War is coming against the remnant because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.... Don't yield your sacred peculiarities which distinguish you from the world, from the nominal church and backslidden Adventists.... The nominal churches are in darkness and corrupt. They have shut out the gifts God has placed in the church.—Letter 7, 1856, pp. 1, 2. (To “Dear Friends in Mansville,” circa, 1856.) 5MR 290.1

You inquire what the faith of Jesus is. I have seen that the brethren and sisters have not understood the faith of Jesus in its true light. They have taught that it is healing the sick, etc. It is not healing the sick, merely, but it is all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” I saw that it was the whole New Testament, which relates to Jesus.—Letter 4, 1857, p. 2. (To Brother Pierce, December 3, 1857.) 5MR 290.2

Your commission has not run out. Your time is not yours. God does not wait in His work for you to study your convenience or wait your time. Angels of God were prepared to trouble hearts, and through the instruments of God's choosing lay the truth before unbelievers. But the instrument was not ready to do his part, to throw his whole energies into the work, and be a mouthpiece for God. The angels in their work wait not for anyone's convenience, but pass on to do their work, fulfill their mission, and move on other hearts.—Letter 2, 1859, p. 1. (To Brother Byington, June 21, 1859.) 5MR 290.3

I saw that the third angel is leading out a people and fitting them for translation. They are to be purified through obeying the truth. I saw that a work must be done in your family before God can be well pleased with you.... When you are baptized with the third angel's message, the soul-purifying truth for this time will make a separation between you and the world that you have never yet experienced.—Letter 13, 1859, pp. 1, 2. (To “Dear Friends,” June 8, 1859.) 5MR 291.1

The design of the truth is to elevate the receiver, to purify him from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. I was shown that we are looked upon as a degraded people. We are a sect everywhere spoken against, and unless we do take an elevated position, we are miserable representatives of the truth and we stand in the way of those who would believe the truth. Our lives, our acts, must be so circumspect and faultless as to commend the truth to unbelievers, especially to those who have any disposition to receive it. The truth is to elevate, to cleanse, to purify, to sanctify, to fit us for translation, prepare us for the company of holy angels, sinless beings in the kingdom of God. 5MR 291.2

Some who have lacked order, cleanliness and elevated feelings, look upon those who have refined taste and neatness and order as being proud. They feel uncomfortable because others do not come down to their level. This is all wrong. The truth does not bring us all down on a level, but brings us all up on a level. You are too careless, too neglectful of your person and apparel. God calls for a reform on your part. You are a hindrance to others embracing the truth. You must begin to work and reform. God cannot approve and bless you, until you can be a better example and better represent the truth. Take a more elevated position. 5MR 291.3

Unbelievers are disgusted with anything in Sabbathkeepers which looks like slackness and uncleanness. Every act, every deed must be studied. All our course must be so that it cannot be censured justly. We must take every appearance [of] evil away from those who are watching us. 5MR 292.1

In the efforts made to get the truth before unbelievers, your low position has hindered the efforts from proving successful. You have not let the truth elevate you. You have not let its influence sanctify you. 5MR 292.2

Now God requires of His people to carry out the truth they profess. There are many of them poor and cannot obtain conveniences, yet He enjoins upon them strict cleanliness and order. God is no less particular now than when He gave directions to the children of Israel to observe cleanliness “lest the Lord pass by and see their uncleanness” and would not go up with their armies to battle against their enemies. These stumbling blocks must be moved out of the way. God requires cleanliness of person, neatness of dress, and order and cleanliness in your houses, or God will not bless you, and you will be a hindrance to the cause of God.—Letter 11, 1861, pp. 1, 2. (To “Dear Friends,” December 1861.) 5MR 292.3

Says the True Witness, “I know thy works.” Angels of God are weighing moral worth. The Lord is reviving the living, pointed testimony which will help develop character and purify the church. If you had suffered the truth to purify you, your labors would have been blessed to the church, but you chose your own course, to follow your own way, and you have not been baptized with the spirit of the third angel's message, and your labors cannot benefit the cause of God.... 5MR 292.4

The truth is designed to elevate the receiver, to refine his taste and sanctify his judgment. There should be a continual aim to imitate the society we expect soon to associate with—angels of God who have never fallen by sin. Our characters should be holy, our manners comely, our words without guile, and we should go on step by step until we are all fitted for translation. There is a work to be done to attain to this. Add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, etc.—Letter 18, 1861, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother H. G. Buck, January 19, 1861.) 5MR 293.1

Other cases were presented before me. They needed to have a thorough reformation. Some are so untidy in their houses that God will not enter their dwelling, for they are unclean in His sight. Their clothing and persons are filthy. God notices these things, and such untidy, slack persons are not Christians, however high may be their profession. Without a reform they will be left to one side, for they cannot go on with God's people. They let their children do as they please and leave them uncontrolled.—Letter 22, 1861, p. 3. (To “Dear Friends in Caledonia,” January 22, 1861.) 5MR 293.2

A father is bound to his family by sacred, holy ties. Every member of the family centers in the father; his name is houseband, the true definition of husband. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing sterner virtues, energy, integrity, honesty, and practical usefulness. 5MR 293.3

The father in one sense is the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, the wife and children uniting in prayer and praise. With such a household Jesus will tarry and through His quickening influence your joyful exclamations shall yet be heard here, and amid higher and more lofty scenes, “Behold I and the children whom Thou hast given me.” Saved, saved, eternally saved, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, heirs now of immortality! Oh, how few fathers realize the responsibility resting upon them! How few have learned the art of governing their children, perfect self-control. When this is attained, it is easy to control, to educate the children to self-control.—Letter 27, 1870, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother Alchin, circa 1870.) 5MR 294.1

A minister should not introduce the truth in a place unless he can accomplish the labor he has begun, for if he just introduces the truth and does not remove prejudice and objections from minds, it is ten times worse than if he had never struck a blow. God will acknowledge only thorough workmen as laborers in His cause.—Letter 28, 1870, p. 3. (To ministers in Minnesota.) 5MR 294.2

In the last vision given me, which was on December 10, 1871, I was shown the condition of God's people. They are not awake and showing their faith by their works. I was pointed to ancient Israel. They had great light and exalted privileges, yet they did not live up to the light or appreciate their privileges, and their light became darkness, and they walked in the light of their own eyes instead of the counsel of God. The people of God in these last days are following the example of ancient Israel.—Letter 1a, 1872, p. 1. (To Brother Lay, January 11, 1872.) 5MR 294.3

Conference opened well. Brother Matteson is speaking upon the incidents connected with souls embracing the truth. Speaks of a man in Denmark on the point of embracing the truth.—Manuscript 13, 1873, 4. (Diary, November 14, 1874.) 5MR 295.1

We are now a sect everywhere spoken against, and we are by some accounted the offscouring of all things. Many unbelievers say it is only the weak-minded and the poor, low class of society who believe these singular doctrines. And the inconsistent course of some professed Sabbathkeepers gives them occasion to say such things. 5MR 295.2

“We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (1 Corinthians 4:9). It is of the highest importance that Sabbathkeepers live out their faith in every particular. They should be prompt and neat, and keep their business matters all straight. If they believe the truth from the heart they will do this. The truth will, if carried out, reform their lives.—Manuscript 3, 1861, 13, 14. (“Testimony for Mill Grove Church,” circa 1861.) 5MR 295.3

His influence as far as the Sabbath is concerned is the same as that of the Seventh Day Baptists. Separate the Sabbath from the message, and it loses its force and power, but the Sabbath connected with the message of the third angel and the testimony of Jesus—the whole taken together—cannot be overthrown. They have a power and force which affects and convicts the unbeliever and infidel and brings them out with some strength to stand and live and grow and flourish.—Manuscript 3, 1862, 4, 5. (“The Cause in Wisconsin,” circa 1862.) 5MR 295.4

Organization is to bring into agreement and union individuals who will pledge themselves to have a care for each other, to advise with and counsel each other. Elders, local and traveling, are appointed by the church and by the Lord to oversee the church, to reprove, exhort, and rebuke the unruly and to comfort the feebleminded. There is no higher tribunal upon earth than the church of God. And if the members of the church will not submit to the decision of the church, and will not be counseled and advised by it, they cannot be helped. If one and then another think they know best and choose their own judgment instead of the judgment of the church, what kind of a church would we have? What would be the use of a church if each one is permitted to choose his own course of action? Everything would be in the greatest confusion; there would be no harmony, no union. 5MR 296.1

I was referred to Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.” Matthew 18:15-18: “Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 5MR 296.2

God has bestowed power on the church and the ministers of the church, and it is not a light matter to resist the authority and despise the judgment of God's ministers.... You should have submitted to the judgment of the church. If they decided wrong, God could take hold of this matter in His own time and vindicate the right. He does not lay upon you the responsibility of keeping the church in order.—Letter 5, 1863, pp. 1-3. (To Brother and Sister Scott, July 6, 1863.) 5MR 297.1

Said the angel, “Rebellion will occur up to the time of the closing up of the work of the third angel's message. Marvel not, neither be discouraged. He who conquered the leader in rebellion stands at the head of this great work. Although Satan may exult and seem for a time to triumph, the first great Conqueror has His eyes upon him, and he can go no further than He permits. He is permitted to have power for a time to reveal the truehearted, to prove the faithful, to develop the spurious and separate them from the pure in heart. Rebels will be purged out from among the loyal and true in due time, for the truth has gathered of every kind.”—Manuscript 1, 1865, 3. (“Rebellion Within the Ranks,” circa 1865.) 5MR 297.2

I was shown that the work was not left in the hands of James or any other one upon earth. Angels of God have charge of the work, and they counsel and direct the people through chosen agents and thus the work moves forward.... God will choose simple instruments to carry forward this great work, but they only carry out the mind and will of the great Master at the head of the work.—Manuscript 4, 1866, 2. (“Regarding James White as a Laborer,” circa 1866.) 5MR 297.3

I saw that Brother Morrell was a nervous dyspeptic. Should he adopt the health reform, his health would improve. Everything of a stimulating nature as tea, coffee, or flesh meats, he should avoid. These are all too stimulating, too great a tax to the nervous system. They do not impart strength as he supposes to the nerves, but take the strength from the nerves and use his reserve force, vital force. They have an exhilarating influence at first, but in the end [leave] him just as much below the medium, as through their influence he was raised above the medium. These things are an injury, and he should by degrees leave all stimulating, irritating causes and eat food that will not simulate and draw upon the strength of the nerves, thus having an influence to debilitate the nervous system. He will for a time feel the need of these hurtful brain- and nerve-weakening indulgences, but in time he will recover as much by their disuse as he has lost through their use. Then can the brain think more calmly, sleep will not be so uncertain.... 5MR 298.1

You will have a healthy mind if you are temperate in eating and drinking and in labor. Temperance in all things is required. Make a decided move. God requires it of you. Adopt strict temperance in all your habits. Leave off stimulating, hurtful indulgences.”—Letter 20, 1867, pp. 2, 3, 5. (To Brother Morrell, December 28, 1867.) 5MR 298.2

All who profess to be children of God should be missionaries. You ought to be working in the Master's vineyard. To one is committed five talents, to another two, and to another one. And every one is accountable to God for these gifts. 5MR 299.1

Your talents are committed to you to be improved, and unless you trade upon these talents, unless you are faithful to your trust, your fate will be similar to that of the man who hid his Lord's money in the earth. “I knew that thou wast an austere man,” said the unprofitable servant, “reaping where thou hast not sowed, and gathering where thou hast not strawed, and I was afraid, and hid thy money in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.” The sentence passed upon him was “Take ye the unprofitable servant, and bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This will be the portion of many professing Christians at the present day, unless they arouse, and work mightily to redeem the time. 5MR 299.2

God calls upon you to put all your strength into the work. You will have to render an account for the good you might have done had you been standing in a right position, but which you have failed to do. Oh, that you might see that it is time you were co-workers with Christ and the heavenly angels. Will you awake? There are souls in your midst who are in need of help. Have you felt a burden of soul to bring them to the cross? Bear in mind that just that degree of love you have for God you will reveal for your brethren, and for sinners who are lost and undone and out of Christ.—Manuscript 1, 1869, 14, 15. (“Diligence in the Work of Preparation,” March 26, 1869.) 5MR 299.3

I saw that it was a much harder work to convert souls to the truth from the French than from the Americans.—Letter 25, 1870, p. 2. (“Testimony Regarding D. T. Bourdeau and Wife,” circa 1870.) 5MR 300.1

The angels of God are moving upon hearts. They are actively engaged in clearing the way that the truth may be brought before the people. The end of all things is at hand. Satan is availing himself of every means to thwart the purposes of God and to make the truth of God of none effect. While Satan is pouring in his darkness, angels of God are diligently at work forcing back the gross darkness, that there may be a place for the truth. If the ministers of God will move forward in humble faith, relying fully upon God to work with their efforts, they will not pray in vain. Angels are waiting, ready to help, longing to help with our efforts. 5MR 300.2

The message of solemn warning must be given to all nations, tongues, and people. The message will convict and convert the hearers or condemn them. All will be left without excuse. 5MR 300.3

In the teaching of Christ He placed Himself in the great thoroughfares where was the stream of travel from all parts of the world. He was to sow broadcast the gospel seeds. He illustrated the great truths. He preached by the sower casting his seed upon all kinds of soil. Some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up, and some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth and immediately it sprang up. When the sun was up it was scorched and withered away. Some fell among thorns and yielded no fruit. Other fell on good ground and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some one hundredfold. 5MR 300.4

Just so will be the experience of every gospel laborer.—Manuscript 1a, 1874, pp. 1, 2. (“The Work in California,” 1874.) 5MR 301.1

When the Sabbath is brought to us we should from its commencement place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words lest we rob God by appropriating that time which is strictly the Lord's to our use. 5MR 301.2

We should not do ourselves or suffer our children to do any manner of our own work for a livelihood or for gain or that could have been done in six days. Friday is the day of preparation. It should be devoted to thinking and doing and conversing upon things necessary, preparatory to the Sabbath, that nothing should be left unsaid or undone to be said and done upon the Sabbath which will in the sight of heaven be regarded as a violation of the sacredness of the Sabbath. God requires not only refraining from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but the mind must be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The fourth commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things, business transactions, and light and trifling conversation. Talking upon everything or anything which may come into the mind is speaking their own words. Every deviation from the right brings into bondage and condemnation. 5MR 301.3

Brother_____, you must discipline yourself to discern the sacred high and elevated character of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and labor to raise the standard in your family and among God's people where you have by precept and example lowered it. Counteract the influence you have exerted in this respect, by a change of words and acts. You have too often forgotten and spoken your own words upon God's sanctified day. You have failed to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. 5MR 301.4

You have been unguarded and frequently joined with the unconsecrated in conversation upon common topics of the day—in regard to losses and gains, stock and provisions, crops, etc. This is all wrong and injures your influence. Your example is wrong. In this respect you should reform. Those who are not thoroughly converted to the truth frequently refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath while their minds are left free to run upon worldly business and their tongues speak out what is in their hearts—cattle, crops, losses, gains, etc. All this is Sabbathbreaking. If the mind is running upon worldly business, the tongue will reveal it, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 5MR 302.1

The example of ministers, especially in this respect, should be circumspect, and they [should] anxiously restrict their conversation upon the Sabbath to religious themes, dwelling upon present truth, present duty, the Christian's hopes and trials, conflicts and afflictions, and overcoming at last and the reward gained. 5MR 302.2

Ministers of Jesus Christ should stand as reprovers to those who fail to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. When in a family or company composed mostly of Sabbathkeepers, if conversation is introduced, calculated to lead to conversation upon worldly things, it should be kindly rebuked. A spirit of devotion to God should be encouraged upon His sanctified, holy day. We should not feel as much at liberty to occupy God's holy sanctified time in an unprofitable, useless manner than we should any of the days of the week given to us. It is not pleasing to God to sleep off a greater portion of sanctified, holy, honorable time. While doing this, we are not honoring our Creator. By this example we testify the six working days are too precious for me to stop and rest. I must make money. I must not take even the allowance of sleep my physical wants require, I will make it up on the Sabbath, for that day is given to me as a rest day. I will not tax myself by attending meeting, but will rest, for I need rest. 5MR 302.3

Such make a wrong use of the sanctified rest day. They should upon that day especially interest their family in its observance and should gather with the few or many as the case may be and devote the time and energies in spiritual exercises, that the divine influence and sanctification resting upon the Sabbath may attend them through the week until another holy Sabbath comes around. Of all the days in the week none are as favorable for devotional thoughts and feelings as the Sabbath. 5MR 303.1

All heaven was represented to me as upon the Sabbath beholding and watching those who acknowledged the claims of the fourth commandment upon them and were observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and their high sense of, the divine institution of God's appointment. 5MR 303.2

Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strict devotional frame of mind and sought to improve the sacred hours in helping, to the best of their ability, others to serve and honor God and to call the Sabbath a delight were placing blessings upon those faithful ones. Special light and help and special strength were given to them, while on the other hand angels were turning from those who failed to appreciate the sacredness of God's sanctified day, removing their light and strength. I saw them overshadowed with a cloud, desponding, frequently sad. They felt a lack of the Spirit of God.—Manuscript 5, 1867, pp. 9, 11. (“The Case of Brother Howard,” circa 1867.) 5MR 303.3

Released May 9, 1973.