The Review and Herald

1259/1902

May 12, 1903

The Ministry Is Ordained of God

EGW

Every watchman on the walls of Zion is under sacred obligation to watch for souls as he that must give an account. Through God's grace he can do a work that heaven shall approve, in laboring to keep the church in unity and peace. Let him remember that he is to publish peace, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” RH May 12, 1903, par. 1

The church should respect the gospel ministry; for it is God's appointed means of communicating his messages to his people. The work of his ministers is to open to men and women the living oracles of truth. Let church-members sustain the ministers by their prayers and their co-operation. Let no one venture to make a tirade on a minister; for in so doing he would be making a tirade on Christ in the person of one of his saints. RH May 12, 1903, par. 2

Christ is represented by those whom he sends forth to work for him; therefore those who oppose his ministers are opposing him. This is just as verily the case when those who claim to have an experience in the things of God pursue a course that hinders and afflicts one of God's servants, by misstatements and false charges, setting themselves up as judges of his course of action, which they claim to understand, but which has been misrepresented to them, and which, therefore, they do not understand. RH May 12, 1903, par. 3

Let our people remember that the way in which they treat the Lord's workers means much to them. Let every one attend to his own work, and not regard himself as appointed by the Lord to watch for something to criticize in the work that his brother does. If a worker sees that a fellow laborer is in danger of doing wrong, let him go to him, and point out his danger, listening kindly and patiently to any explanation that may be offered. He dishonors the Saviour when, instead of doing this, he tells others of the mistakes that he thinks his fellow worker is making. RH May 12, 1903, par. 4

My brother, my sister, you are forbidden to make the mistakes of a fellow worker the subject of conversation. By speaking evil of another, you sow the seeds of criticism and denunciation. You can not afford to do this. Go to the one who you think is in the wrong, and tell him his fault “between thee and him alone.” If he will hear you, and can explain the matter to you, how glad you will be that you did not take up a reproach against him, but followed instead the Saviour's directions. RH May 12, 1903, par. 5

Let us refuse to bear evil reports concerning our fellow laborers. The reputation of men and women is held of high value by him who gave his life to save souls. He has told us how those in fault should be dealt with. No one is sufficiently wise to improve on God's plan. RH May 12, 1903, par. 6

Parents should teach their children to speak ill of no man. Insinuations, words that hurt the reputation of one who is doing the Lord's work, grieve and dishonor the Saviour. And God's Word declares, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” To those who have educated themselves to speak unadvisedly, I am instructed to say, Unless you cease encouraging evil-speaking, unless you guard as Christians should the reputation of your fellow workers, you will endanger your own soul and the souls of many others. No longer talk about the wrong that someone is doing. Never, never repeat a scandal. Go to the one assailed, and ask him in regard to the matter. God has not appointed any man to be the judge of another man's motives and work. He who feels at liberty to dissect the character of another, he who intentionally detracts from the influence of a fellow worker, is as verily breaking God's law as if he openly disregarded the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. RH May 12, 1903, par. 7

Unity of Action Essential

The great enemy of the church is determined to introduce among God's people that which will result in disunion and variance. Schism and division are not the fruit of righteousness; they are of the evil one. The great hindrance to our advancement is the selfishness that prevents believers from having true fellowship with one another. RH May 12, 1903, par. 8

The last prayer that Christ offered for his disciples before his trial was that they might be one in him. Satan is determined that this oneness shall not be; for it is the strongest witness that can be borne that God gave his Son to reconcile the world to heaven. But the union for which Christ prayed must exist among God's people before he can bestow on the church the enlargement and power that he longs to bestow on it. RH May 12, 1903, par. 9

Unity should be recognized as the element of preservation in the church. Those who are united in church capacity have entered into a solemn covenant with God to obey his word, and to unite in an effort to strengthen the faith of one another. They are to be one in him, even though they are scattered the world over. This is God's purpose concerning them, and the heart of the Saviour is set upon his followers fulfilling this purpose. But God can not make them one with Christ and with one another unless they are willing to give up their way for his way. RH May 12, 1903, par. 10

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Thus is portrayed the happiness and grace that will be revealed when unity and love abide in the church. RH May 12, 1903, par. 11

Christ's Attitude Toward Judas

Among the chosen disciples of Christ there was a representative of Satan. At heart Judas was not a disciple. Often he led the other disciples to form opinions contrary to the teachings of the Master. He criticised Christ's words, and asked questions that led the minds of the disciples away from the subjects that the Saviour brought before them. It was because of the influence that Judas exerted to deceive the disciples that Christ had to repeat so many of his lessons. Judas did not come out boldly in opposition to Christ; and therefore he was the better able to deceive the eleven. RH May 12, 1903, par. 12

Christ knew, when he permitted Judas to connect with him as one of the twelve, that Judas was possessed of the demon of selfishness. He knew that this professed disciple would betray him, and yet he did not separate him from the other disciples, and send him away. He was preparing the minds of these men for his death and ascension, and he foresaw that should he dismiss Judas, Satan would use him to spread reports that would be difficult to meet and explain. The leaders of the Jewish nation were watching and searching for something that they could use to make of no effect the words of Christ. The Saviour knew that Judas, if dismissed, could so misconstrue and mystify his statements that the Jews would accept a false version of his words, using this version to bring terrible harm to the disciples, and to leave on the minds of Christ's enemies the impression that the Jews were justified in taking the attitude that they did toward Jesus and his disciples. RH May 12, 1903, par. 13

Christ did not, therefore, send Judas from his presence, but kept him by his side, where he could counteract the influence that he might exert against his work. RH May 12, 1903, par. 14

All the way along in the history of the third angel's message there have been found among the believers men who have done much harm to God's cause. These men are spots in our feasts of charity; tares among the wheat; wolves among the sheep, ready to bite and devour. Delighting to bear false witness, they cruelly injure the reputation of others. Every such one will be rewarded “according to his works.” God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world.” Then will be made the separation between the wheat and the tares. In that day it will be clearly revealed that those who seek to destroy the reputation of God's servants are hypocrites. By their own lips will be borne the testimony that will clear from suspicion those against whom they have reported evil. RH May 12, 1903, par. 15

Had not Christ borne with Judas as he did, his followers would have been in great peril after his resurrection and ascension. But when men thought of the fate of the betrayer of innocent blood, they were afraid to lay hands on the disciples. They could not but remember the final confession of the traitor, and his terrible death. “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood,” he exclaimed, when he had cast at the feet of the high priest the pieces of silver that had been the price of his Lord's betrayal. Then in despair he went and hanged himself. That same day, as the wicked throng who were leading Jesus to the place of crucifixion passed a retired spot, they saw at the foot of a lifeless tree the body of Judas. His weight had broken the cord by which he had hanged himself, and in falling, his body had been horribly mangled. His remains were immediately buried out of sight; but there was less mockery among the throng; and many a pale face revealed the thoughts within. RH May 12, 1903, par. 16

The death of Judas, and the resurrection and ascension of Christ, placed the disciples on vantage ground, and gave them courage. But if Christ had not borne with Judas until the end, the results of the betrayer's course would not have been sufficiently impressive to stay the hands of the persecutors, and after Christ's ascension the most terrible scenes would have been witnessed. But God worked by his Spirit, and five thousand were converted in a day. Let God be true, and every man a liar. Christ Jesus is at the helm. “Lo” he declares, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH May 12, 1903, par. 17