The Review and Herald

1066/1902

May 8, 1900

The Call to the Feast

EGW

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 1

The king sent his messengers first to those who were called his chosen people. But these, wholly intent on securing worldly gain, sent in their refusal, saying, “I pray thee, have me excused.” They did not have sufficient respect for the master of the feast to accept his invitation. They are represented in the words, “Them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.” Thinking their own wisdom sufficient, these have much to say, as if they were oracles of wisdom. The Lord declares, “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 2

When the class that were first called refused the invitation, the king sent his messengers into the highways, where were found those who were not so deeply absorbed in the work of buying and selling, planting and building. “The wedding is ready,” the king said, “but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. RH May 8, 1900, par. 3

“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 4

There are those who come in to enjoy the privileges of the banquet of truth who have not eaten the flesh and drunk the blood of the Son of God. They claim to believe and teach the word to others, but they work the works of unrighteousness. “But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 5

Those first called, who refused the invitation, represent God's chosen people. The Lord declares, “Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: yet they hearkened not unto me.” Had they heeded the call which meant so much to them, they could have united with the messengers in giving the invitation. But with one consent they began to make excuse. Still the blessing of truth must be set before them, to give them an opportunity to heed the message. RH May 8, 1900, par. 6

The invitation neglected by those who had first been bidden, was sent to another class. It was given to the Gentile world. And it was first to be proclaimed, “in the highways,”—to those who had an active part in the world's work, to the leaders and teachers among men. Let the Lord's messengers bear this in mind. It comes to the shepherds of the flock, the teachers divinely appointed, as a word to be heeded. Those belonging to the higher ranks of society are to be sought out with tender affection and brotherly regard. This class has been too much neglected. It is the Lord's will that men to whom he has entrusted many talents shall hear the truth in a manner different from the way in which they have heard it in the past. Men in business, in positions of trust, men with large inventive faculties, and scientific insight, men of genius, are to be among the first to hear the gospel call. RH May 8, 1900, par. 7

There are men of the world who have God-given powers of organization, which are needed in the carrying forward of the work for these last days. All are not preachers; but men are needed who can take the management of the institutions where industrial work is carried on, men who in our conferences can act as leaders and educators. God needs men who can look ahead, and see what needs to be done, men who can act as faithful financiers, men who will stand as solid as a rock to principle in the present crisis and in the future perils that may arise. RH May 8, 1900, par. 8

We need and have needed talent that it was the Lord's purpose we should have. But so much selfishness has been woven into our institutions that the Lord has not wrought to connect with the work those who should be connected with it because he has seen that they would not be recognized or appreciated. RH May 8, 1900, par. 9

There are conscientious men who have not yet seen the light of truth who need to be taught. Those who have labored in the temperance cause, and who in their work have had the Lord behind them, should have had far more labor put forth in their behalf. We need to feel our responsibility in this work. Do not go to those in the higher ranks of life and call them in such a disrespectful manner that they will not listen. RH May 8, 1900, par. 10

The teachers, the leading men among the people, must be called. To them the invitation must be given. They must be dealt with personally and earnestly; for if one teacher is won to the truth, he will be able to communicate to many others the light received. More work should have been done for those in high places. Those who give the last message of mercy to a fallen world are not to pass by the ministers. God's servants are to approach them as those who have a deep interest in their welfare, and then plead for them in prayer. If they refuse to accept the invitation, tell the Master about it, and then your duty is done. RH May 8, 1900, par. 11

Lest we should think only of great and gifted men, to the neglect of the poorer classes, those who are in humble circumstances, Christ in the parable of the great supper instructs his messengers to go also to those in the byways and hedges, to the poor and lowly of this earth. Go to those in gross darkness, and as many as you shall find, bid to the feast. This is the work we are to do. Labor is to be put forth for all classes. RH May 8, 1900, par. 12

The humblest men and women have their appointed work. The most lowly, if they will receive the truth, will be accepted by Christ to do his work. The Lord will do a great work through humble men in reaching humble men. God will accept the talents of the greatest men, but if these refuse to return to him their intrusted gifts, he uses humbler workers. It is God who has given men all the power they possess. Those who refuse to use their gifts in his appointed way will be left to their own finite wisdom, to lose their all. God will accept the patient, loving service of lowly people. Through the skill of a multitude of humble workers he will carry on his work. RH May 8, 1900, par. 13

From the arrangements made for the building of the tabernacle we see from whence man gets his strength, skill, and education. “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel, ... the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber.... And in the hearts of all that are wisehearted I have put wisdom, that they make all that I have commanded thee.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 14

Those in the byways and hedges came in response to the call of the messenger. The servants gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good, and the wedding was furnished with guests. So those who come to the gospel feast are a mixed company. Some are true believers; others have not on the wedding garment. Some will accept the invitation, and apparently take their stand as believers, who have never put on Christ. But the work of separation is not given to any human being. Yet there is laid upon the church the work of carrying out the Bible rule in regard to disorderly members. RH May 8, 1900, par. 15

Those who came to the feast had no fitness for it in their common dress; and therefore fitting apparel was provided for them. So before we are ready for the banquet Christ has prepared, we must put on the garment he has provided, the robe of his righteousness. RH May 8, 1900, par. 16

The man who came in to the feast without the wedding garment, represents those who violate God's law. Christ gave his life to make it possible for God to pardon sin. Violation of the law caused Adam to lose Eden. The disobedient can never enter in through the gates of the holy city. They can never have a right to the tree of life. The Lord has made every provision that no soul need in any way dishonor him. He has provided the wedding garment, and it is essential for each to be clothed in this garment. Those who think they are complete without Christ's righteousness will find in the end that they have lost their souls. Faith is made perfect by works. Those who make no change in character, though claiming the privilege of being called Christians, have not on the wedding garment. They think that in themselves they are good enough, virtuous enough. Without faith in Christ, they rest upon their own merits. True repentance for sin they have never felt. Therefore when Christ comes in to examine the guests, the command goes forth, “Bind him hand and foot, ... and cast him into outer darkness.” RH May 8, 1900, par. 17

“Many are called, but few are chosen.” This is a true statement of the final outcome. Man is very dear to the heart of God, and all are invited to this feast. But many come not having on the wedding garment. They do not accept Christ's righteousness. They have not repented and made peace with God. They have not received his free gift. RH May 8, 1900, par. 18

Christ must be all and in all to every soul. Those who try in their own strength to solve the mystery of the creation of man, the mystery of redemption, the mystery of eternity, will be baffled. But those who put on the garment provided for them at an infinite cost, find an abundant entrance to the rich feast of spiritual blessings. By receiving this garment they acknowledge that in bestowing it God confers on them a great favor. And as they receive the righteousness of the Saviour, God places his stamp on them. RH May 8, 1900, par. 19

Only one can bestow this priceless gift, but all may receive it, and thus become entitled to a place at the feast. The call to this feast is a call to partake of the richest spiritual provision. All who respond to this call will find awaiting them an abundant supply of grace, and the more grace they receive, the more they desire. Those who partake of this feast may turn to their heavenly Father, saying, Thou has kept the best wine until now. RH May 8, 1900, par. 20