Ms 139, 1898

1898

Ms 139, 1898

An Appeal for Missions

NP

October 21, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in PH004. +Note

To Our Churches in America:

There is a burden upon my soul in regard to the destitute mission fields. There is aggressive work to be done in the missions near you, in the Southern Field, which has been sadly neglected. There is great need of funds to advance the work in foreign fields. Our foreign missions are languishing. The missionaries are not sustained as God requires they should be. For want of funds, workers are not able to enter new fields. Ms139-1898.1

All around us souls are perishing in their sins. But how few are really burdened over the matter. The world is perishing in its misery; but this hardly moves even those who claim to believe the highest and most far-reaching truth ever given to mortals. There is a lack of that love which led Christ to leave His heavenly home and take man’s nature, that humanity might touch humanity, and draw humanity to divinity. There is a stupor, a paralysis, upon the people of God, which keeps them from understanding what is needed for this time. Ms139-1898.2

God’s people are on trial before the heavenly universe; but the scantiness of their gifts and offerings, and the feebleness of their efforts in God’s service, mark them as unfaithful stewards. If what they are doing were the best they could do, condemnation would not come upon them; but with their resources they could do much more. The world knows, and they know, that they have, to a great degree, lost the spirit of self-denial and cross-bearing. Ms139-1898.3

God calls for men to give the message of warning to the world that is asleep, dead in trespasses and sins. He calls for freewill offerings from those whose hearts are in the work, who have a burden for souls, that they shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Satan is playing the game of life for the souls of men. He is seeking to secure means, that he may bind it up so that it shall not be used to advance the missionary enterprises abroad. Shall we be ignorant of his devices? Shall we allow him to stupefy our senses, so that we shall not discern the needs of this time? Ms139-1898.4

I appeal to our brethren everywhere to awake, to consecrate themselves to God, and to seek wisdom from Him. I appeal to the officers of our conferences to make earnest efforts in our churches to arouse them to give of their means for sustaining foreign missions. The Foreign Mission Board needs to carry a continual responsibility in this line. Unless your hearts are touched as you see the situation in foreign fields, the last message of mercy to be given to the world will be restricted, and the work which God would have done will be left undone. Ms139-1898.5

The last years of probation are passing into eternity. The great day of the Lord is soon to open upon us. We should now use every ability we possess to arouse our people. Ms139-1898.6

Let the words of the Lord by the prophet Malachi be brought home to every soul: “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not devour the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 3:7-12.] Ms139-1898.7

It is time for us to give heed to the teaching of the Word of God. All His injunctions are given to do us good, to convert the soul from a life of sin to a life of righteousness. Everyone who is converted to the truth should be instructed in regard to the Lord’s requirements for tithes and offerings. As churches are raised up, this work must be taken hold of decidedly. Ms139-1898.8

All that men enjoy they receive from the Lord’s great firm, and He is pleased to have His heritage enjoy His goods; but with all who stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel He has made a special contract that they show their dependence upon God and their accountability to Him by returning to the treasury a certain portion as His own. This is to be invested in supporting the missionary work which must be done to fulfill the commission given by the Son of God just before He left His disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15.] Ms139-1898.9

Those who are truly converted are called to do a work which requires money and consecration. The obligations which bind us to place our names on the church roll hold us responsible to work to the utmost of our ability for God. He calls for undivided service, for the entire devotion of heart, soul, mind, and strength. Christ has brought us into church capacity, that He may engage and engross all our capabilities in devoted service for the salvation of others. Anything short of this is opposition to the work. There are only two places in the universe where we can deposit our treasures—in God’s storehouse or in Satan’s and all that is not devoted to God’s service is counted on Satan’s side, and goes to strengthen his cause. Ms139-1898.10

The Lord designs that the means entrusted to us shall be used in building up His kingdom. His goods are committed to His stewards, that they may be carefully traded upon, and bring back a revenue to Him in the saving of souls unto eternal life. And these souls in their turn will become stewards of truth, to cooperate with the great firm in the interests of the kingdom of God. Ms139-1898.11

Wherever there is life in the subjects of God’s kingdom, there will be increase and growth; there is a constant interchange, taking and giving out, receiving and returning to the Lord His own. God works with every true believer, and the light and blessing received is given out again in the work which the believer does. As he thus gives of that which he has received, his capacity for receiving is increased. As he imparts of the heavenly gifts, he makes room for fresh currents of grace and truth to flow into the soul from the living fountain. Greater light, increased knowledge and blessing, are his. In this work, which devolves upon every church member, is the life and growth of the church. He whose life consists in ever receiving and never giving soon loses the blessing. If truth does not flow forth from him to others, he loses his capacity to receive. We must impart the goods of heaven if we would have fresh blessings. Ms139-1898.12

This is as true of temporal as of spiritual blessings. The Lord does not propose to come to this world and lay down gold and silver to advance His work. He supplies men with resources, that they may by their gifts and offerings keep His work advancing. The one purpose above all others for which God’s gifts should be used is the sustaining of workers in the great harvest field. And if men will become channels through which God’s blessing can flow to others, the Lord will keep the channel supplied. It is not returning to God His entrusted gifts that makes men poor; withholding them tends to poverty. Ms139-1898.13

The work of imparting to others that which he has received will constitute every member of the church a laborer together with God. Of yourselves you can do nothing; but Christ is the great Worker. It is the privilege of every human being who receives Christ to be a worker with Him. Ms139-1898.14

The Saviour said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] For the joy of seeing souls rescued from the hand of the destroyer, Christ endured the cross. He became the living Sacrifice for a fallen world. Into that act of self-sacrifice was put the heart of Christ, the love of God, and through this sacrifice the mighty influence of the Holy Spirit was given to the world. It is through sacrifice that the work must be carried forward. Self-sacrifice is required of every child of God. Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] Christ gives a new character to all who believe. This character, through His infinite sacrifice, is to be the re-production of His own. Ms139-1898.15

The Author of truth will be the Finisher of the work. One truth, received into the heart, will make room for still another truth. And the truth, wherever received, quickens into activity the powers of the receiver. When our church members are truly lovers of God’s Word, they will reveal the best and strongest qualities, and the nobler they are, the more childlike in spirit will they be, believing the Word of God against all selfishness. Ms139-1898.16

God calls upon His people to awake to their responsibilities. A flood of light is shining from the Word of God, and there must be an awakening to neglected obligations. When these are met, by giving back to God His own in tithes and offerings, the way will be opened for the world to hear the message the Lord designs it shall hear. If God’s people had the love of Christ in the heart, if every church member were thoroughly imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, if all manifested thorough earnestness, there would be no lack of funds for home and foreign missions; our resources would be multiplied; a thousand doors of usefulness would be opened, and we should be invited to enter. Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving the message of mercy to the world, Christ would have come to the earth, and the saints would ere this have received their welcome into the City of God. Ms139-1898.17

If there was ever a time when sacrifice was to be made, it is now. Those who have means should understand that now is the time to use it for God. Let not means be absorbed in multiplying facilities where the work has already been established. Do not add building to building where many interests are now centered. Use the means to establish centers in new fields. Think of our missions in foreign countries. Some of them are struggling to gain even a foothold; they are destitute of even the most meager facilities. Instead of adding to facilities already abundant, build up the work in these destitute fields. Again and again the Lord has spoken in regard to this. His blessing cannot attend His people in disregarding His instruction. Ms139-1898.18

Practice economy in your homes. By many, idols are cherished and worshiped. Put away your idols. Give up your selfish pleasures. Do not, I beg of you, absorb means in embellishing your houses, for it is God’s money, and it will be required of you again. Parents, for Christ’s sake do not use the Lord’s money to please the fancies of your children. Do not teach them to seek after style and ostentation in order to obtain an influence in the world. Will this incline them to save the souls for whom Christ died? No; it will not do this. It will create in the heart envy, jealousy, evil surmising. They will be led to compete with the show and extravagance of the world, and to expend the Lord’s money for that which is not essential to health and happiness. Ms139-1898.19

Do not educate your children to think that your love for them must be expressed by indulging their pride, their extravagance, their love of display. There is no time now to invent ways for using up money. Your inventive faculties are to be put to the stretch to see how you can economize. Instead of gratifying selfish inclination, spending money for those things which destroy the reasoning faculties, study how to deny self, that you may have something to invest in lifting the standard of truth in new fields. The intellect is a talent; use it in studying how your means can best be employed for the salvation of souls. Ms139-1898.20

Teach your children that God has a claim upon all they possess, and that nothing can ever cancel this claim; all they have is theirs only in trust, to prove whether they will be obedient. Money is a needed treasure; let it not be lavished upon those who do not need it. Some one needs your willing gifts. Those who have had means to use freely have not taken into consideration the fact that there are many in the world who are hungry, starving. They may say, I cannot feed them all. But by practicing the lessons of Christ on economy, you can feed one. It may be that you can feed many who are hungering for temporal food. And you can feed their souls with the bread of life. “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost.” [John 6:12.] These words were spoken by Him whose power wrought a miracle to supply the needs of five thousand men besides women and children. Ms139-1898.21

Practice economy in the use of your time. This is the Lord’s. Your strength is the Lord’s. If you have extravagant habits, cut them away from your life as soon as possible. Unless you do this, you will be bankrupt for eternity. And habits of economy, industry, and sobriety are, even in this world, a better portion for you and your children than a rich dowry. Ms139-1898.22

We are travellers, pilgrims and strangers on earth. Let us not spend our means in gratifying desires that God would have us repress. Let us rather set a right example before those with whom we associate. Let us fitly represent our faith to others by restricting our wants. Let the churches arise as one man, and work earnestly as those who are walking in the full light of truth for these last days. Ms139-1898.23

If in the providence of God you have been given riches, do not settle down with the thought that there is no need for you to exert yourself, that you have enough to draw upon, and that you can eat, drink, and be merry. Do not stand idle while others are using their capabilities in an effort to obtain means for the cause. Invest your means in the Lord’s work. If you are doing less than you should do in giving light to the souls perishing around you, be sure that you are incurring guilt by your indolence. Ms139-1898.24

It is God who gives men power to get wealth, and He has ordained that this ability shall be regarded, not as a means of gratifying self, but as a means of returning to God His own. With this object, it is no sin to use our capabilities in acquiring means. Money is to be earned by labor. Every youth should be educated in habits of industry. The Bible condemns no man for being rich if he has acquired his riches honestly. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Wealth will prove a great blessing to its possessor if he realizes that it is not his own, but the Lord’s, to be received with thankfulness, and with thankfulness returned to the Giver. Ms139-1898.25

But of what value is untold wealth, if it is hoarded up in expensive mansions or in bank stock? What do these weigh in the scale in comparison with the salvation of one soul, for whom Christ, the Son of the Infinite God, has died? Ms139-1898.26

To those who have heaped together treasure for the last days the Lord declares, “Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.” [James 5:2, 3.] Ms139-1898.27

The Lord bids us: “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not; where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for your lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” [Luke 12:33-40.] Ms139-1898.28