Ms 47, 1896

1896

Ms 47, 1896

The Lack of Unity a Cause of Failure

NP

1896

Drawn from Lt 103, 1896. This manuscript is published in entirety in 14MR 289-300.

To those who were working in _____.

Dear Brethren:

The question has often presented itself to my mind, Why has the labor put forth in _____ at such large expense brought such limited results? There is an answer to this question. The Lord has been pleased to reveal to me that the same efforts put forth in another place, by the same persons and in the same spirit, would have brought the same results. The Lord could not give victory while those who taught the truth to unbelievers did not themselves practice that Word. The Spirit of God was not cherished, and that union which should exist among God’s workmen was not seen. Disaffection was working, and criticism was heard. The workers got in each others’ way. Some earnestly desired to tell what “I did” and how “I labored,” but said nothing which would show what their fellow workmen had done. Ms47-1896.1

By standing apart and yielding to suspicions of evil, by cherishing envy and jealousy, the workers have opened a door through which Satan entered. God’s holy name was greatly dishonored, and the work that needed to be done for the people could not go forward because of the spirit manifested. Ms47-1896.2

Those who are engaged in the sacred work of opening the Word of God to others, must be sure that they themselves are eating and digesting that Word. They must watch over themselves, weeding from heart and character the fungus growth which causes deformity and weakness. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” [1 Peter 2:1, 2.] Have you done this, or have you thought that you had no battles to fight with self, and so allowed your unsanctified impulses to control mind and judgment? Ms47-1896.3

All that is enumerated in this verse—the products of the carnal mind and unsanctified heart—have influenced the workers more or less, and the effort which cost so much money, so much weary anxiety, so much hard work, has been made of little effect, because the workers did not eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man. Self was mingled with nearly everything, and the wrong influence of this has been far-reaching. This spirit of rivalry is not from God, but from beneath. Ms47-1896.4

We are fellow pilgrims, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. God will never say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:23], at the end of our journey, if we now cherish a spirit which craves to crowd out and supplant others. Malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking are things which God abhors, and no one who reveals those fruits in his life will enter the kingdom of heaven. Ms47-1896.5

In the hearts of all who desire to follow Christ, there is natural depravity which must be uprooted, lest the representation of Christ be marred. Even at our camp meetings and special gatherings, selfishness is manifested by those in attendance. Covetousness, vanity, hastiness of temper, are cherished. An inclination to pick at straws, to think and speak evil of others, is too plainly manifested. This is a work which is in direct opposition to the work of God. Sister _____, you know not the harm you have done by following this course of action. Ms47-1896.6

Those who make fault finding their work, may appear to be constantly anxious and interested in regard to the welfare of others. They may seem to be actively engaged in good work. But their work does harm, and by the Lord it is not regarded as of value. “They say,” is whispered here and there; by blind suggestions other minds are filled with suspicion and distrust; uneasiness is created. Those who have listened to the “They say,” call to mind something they have observed in their brethren, which might have been wrong, and much is made of that which is worthy of but little notice. These apparently innocent words strike long, fibrous roots into the minds of those that hear them, and untold harm is done. Seeds of bitterness are planted; evil suggestions rankle in human hearts, and the seed springs up to bear an abundant harvest. Ms47-1896.7

The enemy of all righteousness sets in operation objectionable missionary work of this kind. One who is professedly working for Christ is tempted by him to probe the minds of others, and ask their opinions of words which have been spoken. In this way suspicion and envy are planted in many breasts. If those who carry on this missionary work could see it as it is regarded by the Lord of heaven, if for one day they could trace the course of their work and see its baleful results, they would repent. To do good to all, to faithfully perform our home duties, to devote our time to comparing our lives with the life of Christ, praying for a humble, sanctified mind—this is the missionary work which the Lord requires us to do. Angels of heaven cannot work with the human agent who sows the seeds of dissension and strife, but evil angels attend him wherever he goes. Ms47-1896.8

“I say unto you, through the grace given unto me,” writes Paul, “to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every men the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:3.] “Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” There is need for all to learn lessons of humility and thoughtfulness in the school of Christ. If this is neglected, harshness and roughness, which misrepresent Christ, will be revealed. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9, 10. This whole chapter should be an eye opener to all who accept the statement, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Ms47-1896.9

Had the workers in _____ heeded this Word, and brought these principles into their daily experience; had they, by their unity, given evidence that God had sent His Son into the world, God would have given them special victories, but did you in honor prefer one another? Has your love been without dissimulation? These injunctions have been disobeyed, and had God blessed you while you were manifestly disregarding His Word, it would have been to His own dishonor, and it would have ruined the workers. See 1 Peter 1:13-19. Ms47-1896.10

The forms of unbelief are varied, for Satan watches every opportunity to crowd in some of his attributes. There is in the natural heart a tendency to be exalted or puffed up if success attends the efforts put forth. But self-exaltation can find no place in the work of God. Whatever your intelligence, however earnestly and zealously you may labor, unless you put away your own tendencies to pride, and submit to be guided by the Spirit of God, you will be on losing ground. Spiritual death in the soul is evidence by spiritual pride and a crippled experience; those who have such an experience seldom make straight paths for their feet. If pride is nourished, the very qualities of the mind which grace, if received, would make a blessing, become contaminated. The very victories which would have been a savor of life unto life, if the glory had been given to God, become tarnished by self-glory. These may seem to be little things, unworthy of notice, but the seed thus scattered brings forth a sure harvest. It is these little sins, so common that they are often unnoticed, that Satan uses in his service. Ms47-1896.11

Men will never be prepared to do the work of God acceptably unless they take themselves in hand and endeavor, firmly and constantly, to correct their own errors. No one is to take the position that his own way is perfect, that he had no need to reach a higher standard. “Seeing that ye have purified your hearts in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” [Verse 22.] This work is too often left undone. Many are working in an entirely different manner from that which is given to them as a standard of perfect service. Ms47-1896.12

If you would engage in the work of saving souls, the knowledge of God and of His Word must circulate in your heart, as the vital currant of life circulates through your body. Jesus Christ must be studied; His Spirit must pervade your work. Self must die. Otherwise you might better choose some other work, for your service will not honor God. Ms47-1896.13

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; have your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” For “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:11, 12, 9.] Ms47-1896.14