The Review and Herald

842/1902

September 8, 1896

The Need of Consecrated Workers

EGW

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” And the special charge was given to Aaron: “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” RH September 8, 1896, par. 1

The Lord gave special directions to Moses in regard to everything connected with his work; for he was jealous for his honor. He said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Today his work is as sacred as in the time of the children of Israel. The proclamation of his truth, that is to shine amid the moral darkness of the world, is a work over which God and the heavenly angels have supervision; and none should be engaged in this work but those that are sanctified by a living connection with God. Converted men are needed,—men who will love and honor God, fearing to move in their own wisdom, and realizing that their efforts can prove successful only as recognized by him without whose blessing there is no prosperity. Every moment divine power must be combined with human effort, else strange fire will be offered instead of the sacred. RH September 8, 1896, par. 2

Many fail to recognize the sacredness of the work in which they are engaged. But in order to work successfully, they should keep its exalted character ever before them. Let all read the directions given by Christ to Moses, requiring every man to be in his place, and do that part of the work to which he was appointed and set apart. If, in putting up or taking down the tabernacle, any man was found out of place, or ventured upon any officious action, that man was put to death. RH September 8, 1896, par. 3

To handle sacred things as we would common matters is an offense to God; for that which God has set apart to do his service in giving light to this world is holy. Those who have any connection with the work of God are not to walk in the vanity of their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of God, or they will be in danger of placing sacred and common things on the same level, and thus separate themselves from God. And just in proportion to man's consecration to God in this life, will be his advancement in the future life. It is impossible for men to refuse to walk in the light God has given them and still have a living connection with him. They may lay plans which are looked upon as wise, but without God for their counselor, these plans will prove to be a snare. The enemy will work through such ones to carry out his own devices; for they reject the means by which God would teach and direct them. RH September 8, 1896, par. 4

The last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, and the experience of the king in connection with it, contain lessons of vital importance to all those who are connected with the work of God. The king was troubled with his dream; for it was evidently a prediction of adversity, and none of his wise men would attempt to interpret it. The faithful Daniel stood before the king, not to flatter, not to misinterpret in order to secure favor. A solemn duty rested upon him to tell the king of Babylon the truth. He said: “My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: it is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king: that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. RH September 8, 1896, par. 5

But Nebuchadnezzar did not heed the heaven-sent message. One year after he had been thus warned, as he walked in his palace, he said within himself, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” The God of heaven read the heart of the king, and heard its whisperings of self-congratulation. “While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar. RH September 8, 1896, par. 6

Today there is a Watchman taking cognizance of the children of men, and in a special sense of those who are to represent God by receiving his sacred truth into the heart and revealing it to the world. That Watcher is guarding the interests of all. Every individual is before him. There is not a thought of the heart that is unnoted. Nothing can be hidden from him. His ear hears the secret whisperings, and every secret thing is to be brought into judgment. All need to learn that the heavenly Watcher is acquainted with the children of men. If men forget this, there is danger of a spirit of selfishness and self exaltation entering their work. These principles practised are not only detrimental to all within the sphere of their action, but will lead to a development of character so objectionable that its possessor cannot find a place among the redeemed. He that sitteth in the heavens requires that a different spirit shall control his workers. RH September 8, 1896, par. 7

Whatever the position we are called to fill, our only safety is in walking humbly with God. The man who glories in his supposed capabilities, in his position of power, in his wisdom, in his property, or in anything else than Christ, will be taken in the net of the enemy. He who fails to walk humbly before God will find a spirit rising up within him, prompting the desire to rule others connected with him, and causing him to oppress others who are human and erring like himself. He appropriates to himself jurisdiction and control over other men,—an honor which belongs alone to God. RH September 8, 1896, par. 8

Under the rebuke of God the proud heart of Nebuchadnezzar was humbled. He acknowledged Jehovah as the living God. “At the end of the days,” the record reads. “I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:....he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?... I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.” Thus the king of Babylon became a witness for God. He presented himself as a living epistle, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent, from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace and righteousness and peace of the divine nature. RH September 8, 1896, par. 9

O that all who have had great light shining round them in rich abundance might become humble and faithful agents for God, and, like the king of Babylon, raise their voices in recognition of God! Then they might be made, in truth, guardians of sacred trusts. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” RH September 8, 1896, par. 10