Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]


MR No. 1527—Lessons From the Feeding of the Five Thousand

(Written July 25, 1906, from the campground at Oakland, California, to Brother and Sister O. A. Olsen.)

I would be so much pleased to see you both and have a visit with you, and have a praying season with you. We are now to be on our guard every moment, lest Satan shall obtain victories over us. We need to brace up in the Lord Jesus Christ, and pray and believe, for time is short. Be of good courage. 21MR 138.1

We need to bear in mind what is written in John 6:3-13. Here Christ shows us that He takes advantage of circumstances. He knew well that there would be an opportunity for Him to become a field preacher. The multitude followed Him, and standing sometimes upon a hill, He sat in the chair of state as a teacher to give the Word, which is the bread of life, to the people. He did not give them the Scriptures, but He fed them by enlarging a small substance of temporal food—by a miracle. 21MR 138.2

That occasion would be long remembered. Temporal food supplied to the hungry may so open the way to place Him in the chair of instruction. He did not sit at ease; He sat as One having authority. He condescended to bring His disciples before the large numbers to give them [a] reputation, that many would recognize in their workings that they worked as Christ had. The very deeds of mercy done by our Lord will open a door for His disciples. 21MR 138.3

My brother, my sister, it is a delicate work to address you both. Make the Word your guide, Sister Olsen. The more you get your mind off yourself, and consider the many, many things that need to have sharp, keen thought how to handle difficult problems, [the more] the Lord Jesus will give you the wisdom you ask of Him. The distribution of the grace of God imparted to that multitude in words, as well as a free-will offering of the food enlarged, prepared the way for our Saviour in many places. Now His blessing was on the food. God's blessing will be upon His disciples as they break the bread of life to [meet] the necessities of hungry souls. 21MR 138.4

Now, my dear Sister Olsen, we have One upon whom we can rely to keep you and to help you to be courageous and keep looking unto your Saviour as One who can supply all your necessities. Then in speaking cheerful words yourself, the Great Healer makes those words health to the one who speaks encouragingly to those who need words of helpfulness. Now is our lesson to be learned. Jesus gave thanks and distributed the bread, and lo, the loaves multiplied in their distribution. The fish increased in the hands of those who distributed them, and the fragments were gathered up, after five thousand had been satisfied. 21MR 138.5

“Gather up the fragments.” He who had all the resources of infinity at His command would not waste a fragment! There is to be a gathering of all the words of Christ, and these words as the bread of life are to be given to the multitude. All, however weak they may be, are to consider that Jesus would have them feed the souls who are needy of instruction from the apostles. Speak the truth in love. Let all who comprehend the truth retain the impression made upon their heart which they can be able to repeat to others who did not hear the words. 21MR 139.1

The Lord Jesus never wrought a miracle to exalt His power, but in contrast with this in cases of a miracle He can work intelligently. Christ did not give the example to His disciples to add glory to themselves, but as necessity occurred to satisfy hunger. 21MR 139.2

God would have all His gifts appreciated. All fragments, jots, and titles are to be treasured carefully, and we are carefully to become acquainted with the necessities of others. All that we have of Bible truth is not merely for our benefit, but to impart to other souls, and this is to be impressed upon human minds. Every kindly word spoken [is] to prepare the way to make a channel through which the truth will flow forth in rich currents to other souls. 21MR 139.3

Every working of Christ in miracles was essential, and to reveal to the world that there was a great work to be done on the Sabbath day for the relief of suffering humanity, but common work was not to be done. Pleasure-seeking, ball-playing, swimming was not a necessity, but a sinful neglect of the sacred day sanctified by Jehovah. Christ did not perform miracles to display His power, but always to meet Satan [who was] afflicting suffering humanity. Christ came to our world to meet the needs of the suffering, whom Satan was torturing. 21MR 139.4

And our sanitariums have been erected to supply a great necessity in healing the sick and suffering ones, and thus counterwork the work of Satan. And as in the miracles when Christ was in the world, we His followers are to discard drugs. We are to have faith, living faith, to read the Word, to inspire faith, to pray by the bedside of the sick, to talk faith. And Christ says, “Go ye therefore, and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Thus many are to be converted; the power of living faith is inspired in human hearts. 21MR 139.5

“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.” 21MR 139.6

Keep of good courage, Sister Olsen. Have faith. Look up always to the face of Jesus, and see and sense His love. A great work will be done for you, if you will only believe. Our Lord will lead you if you have faith in the high platform of truth. May the Lord bless and sanctify you both, soul, body, and spirit, is my prayer.—Letter 252, 1906. 21MR 140.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

October 25, 1990.

Entire Letter.