Ms 49, 1898

1898

Ms 49, 1898

The Lack of Spirituality in Our Churches

NP

April 9, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in 21MR 27-39.

There is nothing of greater necessity than for each individual to realize his accountability to God as well as his high privileges, and walk, not in murmuring and sorrow, but in the joy of the Lord. We are to serve our heavenly Father in newness of life and gladness every day, knowing that we have access to the throne of grace, and that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Then we shall realize by experience that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Ms49-1898.1

We are not to linger about the tomb, as though Christ were there. We are to remember that Christ is a risen Saviour. We have a living Christ; He is not lying in Joseph’s new tomb. There are those who are always complaining of something in their life or religious service. Full of complaint, their tongues do great mischief. The Lord does not enjoy our sorrow and tears. He would have us walk before Him in obedience, with grateful thanksgiving. Ms49-1898.2

“Then said he unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10.] The Lord would have us realize our high privileges as the people of God. He would have us appreciate the great plan of redemption, dwelling with thanksgiving and praise upon the coming of our Lord. “If I go and prepare a place for you,” He said, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:3.] Should we not rejoice in the blessed hope of the soon appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Should not gratitude well up in our hearts that we have access to the mercy seat, that we may cast all our care upon Him who careth for us? We are the heritage of the Lord, and Christ’s righteousness is the white linen of His saints. Our garments may be pure and white. Talk it, sing it, pray it. Ms49-1898.3

God wants His church to be strong in His strength. There is no such thing as being strong in our own strength. Let our churches keep their souls low in the meekness and lowliness of Christ. When trial comes, do not think that some strange thing has happened unto you, but hear the voice of God saying in your test and trial, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Ms49-1898.4

God desires you to hear His voice amid the cloud. It is a voice of peace and not of war, telling you to look to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith, a Saviour able and willing and longing to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. He declares, I am touched with the feeling of their infirmities. [Hebrews 4:15.] Those who put their trust in Him will never be confounded. The shepherd’s crook, which stops you from turning into strange paths, is not an evil; it is a mercy. Thus God would draw you away from evil to good. The refining fire must purify the gold and silver from all dross, that those who claim to be Christians may offer to God an offering in righteousness. Ms49-1898.5

God is seeking to fit us for everlasting life. He longs that His people shall catch the strains of heavenly music, for He is our crown of rejoicing. He has put a new song in our lips, even thanksgiving unto our God. Penitence mingled with thanksgiving should be our experience every day. “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 6:19, 20.] Study every plan, every method, used in your business, and think whether this business will most glorify God. To every man God has given his work. We should carefully weigh the matters relative to the work we take up. Will this work be a blessing to souls? God has not given us work merely to keep us busy, but for His name’s glory. Many are busily engaged gathering wood, hay, stubble. But this will all be consumed, leaving nothing to prepare souls for that great day when every work is to be tried by fire. Many will find that the work that has occupied their time and attention has perished with the using, and that they themselves have barely been saved, as by fire. Ms49-1898.6

Such a result as this is not after God’s order. By God’s appointment each man has his post of duty. The careful, prayerful inquiry is to be made, What duty is assigned us individually, as men and women under accountability to God? And whether our labor be wholly limited to spiritual things, or whether it is temporal and spiritual combined, we are to faithfully discharge our work. Things secular and things sacred must be combined, but spiritual things are not to be hidden by secular matters. Ms49-1898.7

Christ requires the service of the whole being, the physical, mental, and moral powers combined. These are to be enlisted in God’s service. Man is to remember that God has the ownership of all, and that his pursuits are invested with a sacredness that they did not possess before he enlisted in the army of the Lord. Every action is to be a consecrated action; for it occupies God’s entrusted talent of time. “Holiness unto the Lord” is inscribed on all the actions of such a one, because his whole being is brought under [subjection] to God. Ms49-1898.8

No business is to be undertaken, even in ordinary life, if it is corrupting in its influence upon the senses. We are in the Lord’s training school, and He has His own appointed means whereby we may be brought into His service, so that His name may be glorified by the work we do in this world. Many are troubled because they are not working directly for the advancement of God’s kingdom. But the humblest work must not be ignored. If it is honest work, it is a blessing, and may lead to the higher parts of the work. Those who do this work need not accuse themselves of uselessness in the great household of God. This is not necessary, for theirs is a work that some one must do. Ms49-1898.9

The publishing house has its work and its position in the cause of God. Those connected with this institution are to remember that their time and talents are not to be occupied merely in the busy activities of this life. If they devote their abilities to a cheap, common business, they are bringing to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble. This kind of education will not improve the mind or manners of the workers. It will not do anything toward strengthening their faith or enriching their experience, but it will lead to the idea that the Echo office is a common workshop, in which men and women engage in business from a financial standpoint. Ms49-1898.10

The Lord would educate the leading men to reason from cause to effect. Weak men are not to be put in places where physical strength is required, neither are men with small intellectual capacity to be entrusted with work that requires tact, intellect, and sharp discrimination. Men qualified for their appointed work, who have excellent judgment and experience, who are able to do a precious work for the advancement for the cause of truth, should be selected for these positions. It would be a very poor policy to place such men in positions where they would be gathering wood, hay, and stubble, carrying it to and fro through the earth, for the capabilities are brought to the level of the work in hand. They would not improve in wisdom and knowledge by doing such work. How much assistance those handling wood, hay, and stubble get from God and the angels? Their work takes them out of the channel of light and knowledge. They do not increase in capacity. They are not strengthened to do the work of God intelligently. Ms49-1898.11

There is in the Echo office work enough to keep all very busy. This is made an excuse for the workers to think that they have no time to ask the Lord to aid in all the work being accomplished. An angel was represented to me as passing through the office, examining every part of the machinery and the quality of the work being done there. The words were spoken, Have you thought what this hurry and anxiety amounts to? What is the end and object of much that you are doing? What will be the harvest of this kind of seed sowing? The young men and women apprentices in the office require diligent culture. The faculties of mind and body which develop by exercise require that kind of teaching that will lead the workers to be co-laborers with God, to do His work. Ms49-1898.12

It takes a great deal of education to produce a man with capabilities sufficient for the work of God. Divine and human energies must be combined to make an experienced, capable worker of growth and education. God provides all that is necessary for the physical and mental growth of men and women. It is a great thing to become a man in God’s sight, to be thus written in the books of heaven. This is an honor the meaning of which few realize. He who is a man in God’s sight obeys the words, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.” “Acknowledge him in all thy ways, and he will direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:5, 6.] Man must walk with God in perfect harmony. How can two walk together except they be agreed? Ms49-1898.13

Brethren an sisters, do we believe the Word of God, or not? Do we not see the signs fulfilling all around us? Do we realize that we are standing on the very verge of eternity, that we have no time to make crooked paths and blundering movements involving the worth of the soul? When the last call shall be made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye forth to meet him, shall we represent the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their vessels with their lamps? Whatever our line of work, let us remember that we cannot carry it ourselves. Let us be sure that we are making every possible effort to save souls. Self and self-serving have no place now and never had in a true religious experience. Everything we do must be done to the glory of God. Work and pray, and God will co-operate with your efforts. Ms49-1898.14

The Lord God has work for women as well as men to do. They can do a work in families that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Therefore their labor is needed. We must have it. We who love God in truth are all working for a kingdom. There is not time to waste upon a class of work that has no Christ in it, or upon that work that woman, who is man’s equal, can do if her heart is imbued with the love of Christ our Saviour. Ms49-1898.15

There is a religion that is worthless to the possessor. Those who possess it come to the house of God with those that claim to believe the truth. They hear, and return to their homes to drink their tea and stimulate themselves by this beverage. Then they think that they can talk. But as they are not spiritually minded, as the love of Christ is not in their hearts, they have nothing profitable to bring from the treasure house. Evil thinking and evil speaking is a part of their religion. They let their light “so shine” that they criticize the speaker and the words spoken by the servant of God. [See Matthew 5:16.] They sow seeds of evil in the minds of those who hear them, and their sentiments are reproduced by other minds. Ms49-1898.16

In this way the leaven of evil has been introduced into the Echo office, to injure the influence of the workers. Let every man and woman remember that God has declared, “I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:36, 37.] Idle words are not thought to be swearing, but they are not of a character to help or bless any one. They confuse the senses, and cause doubt to spring up in regard to believing the words spoken by the Lord’s ambassadors. Ms49-1898.17

Are those who speak these words converted, and from what? Are their tongues converted, their appetites converted? Can it be said of them, Ye are laborers together with God? They do not realize what it means to wear Christ’s yoke or to lift His burden. Their children may be members of the church, or they may be impenitent still, for they have never lived in an atmosphere of faith and love, and therefore they do not know what real service to God means. When the overflowing scourge shall come, it will not pass them by. God has a love for their souls, but they have ceased to have any love for themselves. Ms49-1898.18

If ever Satan had faithful workers, it is among the members of our churches in the suburbs of Melbourne. Those who live in spiritual darkness cannot diffuse light. Those who have not kindled their tapers from the divine altar are cold and dead at heart. They have no overflowing and subduing influence for good to pour out upon the lost. They grumble like the Pharisees, because so much time is devoted to hunting up the lost sheep. This is a terrible representation to the heavenly universe. These churches have had every spiritual advantage. They have been given the most solemn truths for this time, and yet they do not trim their lamps that they may shine. Ms49-1898.19

Whatever may be their numbers, such churches are weak. The worst of all is that they do not feel the least burden or the least love or sympathy for the souls for whom Christ has given His life. They complain of those who do carry this burden, who watch and hunt for souls. They seem to think that they should have all the attention, that the breath of life may be kept in their souls. They expect to be nursed like sick babies, not like babes who long for the sincere mild of the Word. Ms49-1898.20

When after the camp meeting in Adelaide, I stood in the new church at North Fitzroy before the few who came out to hear me, I had a message for them. I was told to give them this message in the name of the Lord, whether they would hear or whether they would forbear. At that time some drank of the water of life, but there were others who refused to drink. Disaffection filled their minds. They ought to have been ashamed of their course of action. They might have been healed, but they have never recovered from the influence they there exerted. Ms49-1898.21

Since coming this time to Melbourne, I have had no burden to labor for the North Fitzroy church. I have had perfect freedom in speaking to those who had not the knowledge of the truth. Poor souls; amid difficulties and temptations they were seeking for the truth as for hidden treasure. But a church that has not lived the truth, whose members are not doers of the Word, becomes hardened as was Pharaoh. They have eyes, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not. It has been opened before me that the men who have thought they were doing something to help are not doing this. They are selfish. They think that all the labor of the ministers should be given to the churches. But the only way that the church can live and advance is to keep the way of the Lord, and then go to work interestedly for those who are now convicted and longing for the converting power of God. A sleeping church does not realize how many are hungering for the truth. Ms49-1898.22

When the gospel net draws, it gathers both good and bad. God sees the distinction, and those who have discernment will see it also. The members of God’s church may be poor, illiterate, obscure, and unknown, but if they love Jesus, if they pray earnestly, their prayers are heard, although they have no wealth or much education. They may not know from one week to another where they will obtain their bread, but if they walk reverently before God, seeking by humble prayer to know and do His will, the hiding of God’s power is with them. Their influence is saving, and will be felt throughout eternity. Their light does not flicker a little, and then go out. They reveal the similitude of Christ by watching to see how they can be a blessing to others. Wherever they go, their light shines. By them Christ is glorified, and His kingdom advanced. Ms49-1898.23

But the Lord is sorely displeased with the attitude of some in our churches. They reveal exactly the same spirit that the elder brother revealed, because his father rejoiced over the returned prodigal. Will not the members of our churches remember that those who have had labor bestowed on them, should have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom he has sent? If Christ is formed within the hope of glory, they will seek to save those that are lost. A living church will not be a gossiping church, planting doubt, questioning, evil surmising, and jealousy in the hearts and minds of others. It will be an earnest, working church. The members will be the Lord’s chosen vessels to carry the message of salvation to others. They will be His light bearers. Ms49-1898.24

The right discipline is not given to our churches by encouraging them to expect to be constantly fed with sermons from the ministers who ought to be giving the truth to those who know it not. The members of these churches ought to be taught to reflect the light of truth to all with whom they come in contact. A working church is ever delivering, by precept and example, an effective testimony to the world. By their burden for souls, by the prayers they offer in sincerity for their fellow creatures, the members are stretching out their hands all the day long. Theories and arguments do not interest them. They strive to bring the truth close to hearts. They hunt for souls. But let a church be given food constantly, while the members do not do righteousness in their own homes or in the church, and it is a curse instead of a blessing. Ms49-1898.25

The Lord is much displeased by the attitude of some who have thought they were building up the church by murmuring because constant ministerial efforts were not made for the church. They have acted selfishly, as did the elder brother. They have not the Spirit of Christ, who left the ninety and nine in the fold, and went to seek the lost sheep. Instead of using their strength and talents in the work of helping the minister to carry the burden, instead of wearing the yoke of Christ, they have expressed unjust sentiments, speaking as though the church had been robbed of labor it should have had. God has heard their words and has seen their attitude. Ms49-1898.26

Those who love the truth will strive to make the labors of the ministers a perfect success. Their zeal and fervor will constantly increase. This is the work God requires of every converted soul. Those who love Christ will love those for whom Christ has died. They will not feel it their work to hold up the church while neglecting the perishing souls around them. Ms49-1898.27

Had proper efforts been put forth by the church to save souls, had the members been earnest in co-operating with the servants of Christ, who need every jot of their help and talent to war against the forces of the powers of darkness, which are ever exercised against good, more than one hundred souls might have been added to the church of such as should be saved, since the Balaclava camp meeting. And it would have been recorded of these laborers in the books of heaven, Ye are laborers together with God. But the spirit that some have cherished has been a great hindrance instead of being a help. Notwithstanding the light shining from the Word, showing that it is the duty of all who love God to seek for perishing souls, a hindering influence has been exerted. Ms49-1898.28

Those who are light-bearers need to be educated in regard to health reform. As this is the very work to be done for this time the Lord has given light upon it. This subject has been presented in the churches, but the light has not been received. The selfish, health-destroying indulgences of men and women have counteracted the influence of the message that is to prepare a people for the great day of God. If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth God has given them. Ms49-1898.29

If the members of our churches show that they care not for the light on health reform, but continue to walk in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, they will lie down in sorrow. And the painful part of the history is that the influence of these older church-members will leaven those newly come to the faith. The Lord could not now bring many souls into the truth because of the church members that have never been converted and those who were once converted, but who have backslidden. What good would these unconsecrated members do the new converts? They would make of none effect the message God has given His people to bear. Ms49-1898.30

Every church should be staunch and true to the light God has given. Some justify their use of tea and of meat by saying that they have been in the habit of eating meat and drinking tea. But this is a great evil. He who thus tries to justify wrong is not walking in the light. Some try to live the truth, but their habits are not brought into conformity with the will of God. Their appetites and passions bear away the victory, and the safeguards are broken down. How then will the church be prepared to help those newly come to the faith? They are far behind in the principles of health reform, and lead others in the same line. Ms49-1898.31

Shall we have to say of our churches in Melbourne, and especially of the oldest church, the North Fitzroy church, It is dark itself, and cannot diffuse light; it is cold at heart, and has not overflowing and subduing influence to pour out upon the lost? With all its members, that church is weak, and for the service of Christ, worthless. It is a dark church, that cannot shine. Have its members done despite to the Spirit of God? I fear greatly that were Christ on earth today, He would say, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been dine in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” [Matthew 11:21.] Ms49-1898.32

Our churches in Melbourne do not possess discernment. They are not walking in the light of truth. Many know the truth, but do it not. Their practice is not in accordance with the truth. Self-indulgence in eating, drinking, and dressing is idolatry. How few live a life of humility and meekness, seeking the Lord in earnestness. How few realize that as fathers and mothers they are educating their children to show as little respect for sacred things as they themselves have shown. The atmosphere surrounding the souls of fathers and mothers fills the whole house, and is felt in every department of the home. Ms49-1898.33

If Christ does not abide in the hearts of the parents, the children will be filled [with] selfishness, and the door of their hearts will ever be opened to evil things. The conversation at the family board is calculated to leave anything but a fragrant influence on the minds of the children. The parents walk directly contrary [to the counsels] of God, brought to His people by men whom He has chosen. Even when quite young, children notice, and if the parents show that the Word of God is not their guide and counsellor, if they disregard the messages brought to them, the same reckless spirit of, “I don’t care; I will have my own way,” will be shown by the children. Ms49-1898.34

Many parents have never yet been converted. Therefore their old self-indulgent habits have been brought with them into the church. They were not dead to self when they observe the ordinance of baptism. They were buried alive, and they have remained full of murmuring, full of fault-finding, hating the messages that come to them through the Lord’s servants, because of the wickedness of their hearts. They are at enmity with God, and their children breathe in the same atmosphere. They may have good instruction in Sabbath school, they may listen to the most solemn appeals, but they care for none of these things. When in the house of worship, they have little sense that the Lord is giving them instruction through his messengers. Some children sit and read a book or a paper while the words of truth are being presented from the oracles of God. In their present spiritual deadness, the parents feel no special burden, and never will until God shall send His judgments upon them. Ms49-1898.35

When the ministers go forth to lift Christ among those who must hear the message of mercy, the class who appreciate the gospel so little, who are not doers of the truth, is the first to feel aggrieved, because the Word of truth is carried to those who have not had the privilege of hearing it. These hearers, who listen to the most solemn message, but have closed the door of the heart against it, have no burden for the perishing souls around them, and are themselves dead in trespasses and sins. They think that they ought to be entertained by preaching, but the Word spoken does not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that hear it. Ms49-1898.36

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Those who believe in a crucified Redeemer, who receive Him as their personal Saviour, have eternal life. Christ drank the bitter cup in their behalf. He took upon Himself the guilt of every sinner then in the world, and every sinner that should afterward be born. As He bowed His soul to receive the load of guilt, He cried, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” [Matthew 26:39.] He made a voluntary sacrifice. He contemplated the burden of sin. He alone could measure its magnitude. Ms49-1898.37

He knew every step of self-sacrifice that must be trodden, of the humiliation that He must meet. He saw Himself in the hands of men moved by demons. He saw Himself betrayed by one of His professed disciples. Before him passed the scene of rejection. He felt the agony of hearing Peter say, I know not the man; and that man his Lord and Saviour; and the cruel injustice of Pilate’s course, when he said, “I find no fault in this man” [Luke 23:14], and yet gave him up to be mocked and scourged, to endure the contradiction of sinners against Himself. Ms49-1898.38

The basest of human beings spit in Christ’s face. Priests and rulers, full of satanic triumph because they had nailed Him to the cross and lifted Him up in the sight of the mocking multitude, said, “We have him secure now. He said he was the Son of God. Let God deliver him if he will have him.” Hanging on the cross, Christ endured this degradation till nature spread her merciful covering over Him, her dying Author. Ms49-1898.39

The Saviour knew that this was to come, and He cried, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” [Matthew 26:39.] But had this cup passed from Him, as He prayed, the plan of redemption must have been frustrated. There rose before Him the picture of a lost world, and He added, “Not my will, but thine be done. For this cause came I into the world.” [Luke 22:42; John 18:37.] Ms49-1898.40

Hanging upon the cross, Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” [John 1:29.] Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men’s minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the Word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ. Ms49-1898.41

As the sinner sees Jesus as He is, an all compassionate Saviour, hope and assurance take possession of his soul. The helpless soul is cast without any reservation upon jesus Christ. None can bear away from the vision of Christ crucified a lingering doubt. Unbelief is gone. Ms49-1898.42

I present this before you to whom these lines are applicable, and I ask you, Do you know anything about self-denial and self-sacrifice for Christ’s sake? Have you with the eye of faith contemplated the scenes of His sufferings? Or have you allowed your own selfishness to overshadow the sense of that Christ has endured for you. Oh my brethren and sisters, I lift up Christ, who has been crucified among you as your eternal center. Ms49-1898.43

But I must tell you that the church in her present state is represented by the ten virgins, five of whom were wise, and five foolish. The foolish had lamps, but had no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Those represented by this class will die greater sinners than they were before they professed to believe the truth, because when they knew God, they worshipped Him not as God. Self, self, self, in all its perverted attributes, hardened the heart and closed the door against Jesus Christ, that He should not enter and abide with them. Ms49-1898.44

Many are unconverted. They have hard hearts and unappreciative minds. Their eyes are blinded by self-indulgence. “If our gospel be hid,” Paul declares, “it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath bonded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Corinthians 4:3-6.] Ms49-1898.45

Brethren, we are far behind. The things which the church should do, to be a living church, are not done. The Lord has sent you light upon health reform, but who receives it and believes it? Many indulge their own appetites, and place themselves in such a condition of health through the indulgence of a hurtful appetite, that there is a constant warring against the soul’s highest interests. The truth, though presented in clear lines, is not accepted. It cuts at the idols of the church members, but they refuse to put them away. Ms49-1898.46

The holy law itself rejoiced in Christ’s righteousness. The living representation of the law, Christ could look around on a nation of witnesses, and say, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” [John 8:46.] Truth never languished on His lips, never suffered in His hands for want of perfect obedience to its requirements. “To this end was I born,” Christ declared, “and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” [John 18:37.] And the mighty principles of truth fell from His lips with the freshness of a new revelation. The truth was spoken by Him with an earnestness proportionate to its infinite importance and to the momentous results depending on its success. Ms49-1898.47

“We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.” [2 Corinthians 6:1.] “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. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world: holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Philippians 2:12-16.] Ms49-1898.48

Those who leave their work in the service of God for some others to do, freeing themselves from religious responsibility, will not experience the latter part of the assurance, “For it is God which worketh in you.” [Verse 13.] I wish to set this matter before every member of our churches. The religious life requires the harmonious action of mind and heart with the divine forces. No man can of himself work out his own salvation, and God cannot do this work for him without his co-operation. But when man works earnestly, God works with him, giving him power to become the son of God. Man is utterly dependent on God for his spiritual health. He must work intelligently to cut away from his life practice every perverted appetite. He is not to say, Tea does not hurt me, tobacco does me no harm, wine and liquor does not hurt me. These are the very things that hurt the brain power and injure the digestive organs. Ms49-1898.49

Stimulating drink of every kind, even that mild cup of tea, will leave an after effect. Brethren and sisters, when you go to meeting where your indulgences are not ready at your hand, you miss the stimulus, and a headache is the result. You are obliged to make the humiliating acknowledgement that you must have your cup of tea in order to whip up your nerves to do their work. You carry with you the testimony that you are a slave to the habit of tea drinking. This is the lust that wars against the soul, stupefying the perceptive faculties. Ms49-1898.50

How little people understand that they are destroying themselves. Paul, the great apostle of God wrote, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] What does God accomplish, and what does He demand of us individually in the work of saving ourselves? God works in us by the light of His truth, which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world. The Scriptures refer to the works of God, as they are revealed in our world, as so many teachers whose voices have gone out through the whole earth, proclaiming the attributes of God. The mind must see the truth, and the will bend to its claims, when it is presented to us based upon Scriptural evidence. Ms49-1898.51