The Review and Herald

1494/1902

July 18, 1907

A Message to the Churches

EGW

I have a message to speak to the churches. If we are to make known the story of the cross in all parts of the world, our missionary efforts must not be allowed to weaken. They must be kept vigorous and strong. The efforts we put forth to dispel the darkness of error will always be proportionate to our faith in God, manifested in our obedience to his commandments. With faith and courage and hope we are to extend the knowledge of present truth. We have not always met as we should the obligations in missionary effort that our knowledge of present truth places upon us. RH July 18, 1907, par. 1

The manifold wisdom of God has been displayed in the organization of his church in the earth for the representation of the truth in the world. In their zeal for the cause of righteousness, his servants are to reveal a faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every slothful habit, a zeal that reveals itself in watchfulness unto prayer, humble heart-searching, a readiness to examine self, that they may detect their own defects of character, and avoid the evils of self-exaltation. This faith and zeal are essential, or our labors for the perishing will weaken, and Christ will be disappointed in his church. RH July 18, 1907, par. 2

The three powers of the Godhead have pledged their might to carry out the purpose that God had in mind when he gave to the world the unspeakable gift of his Son. Every act of self-denial, every earnest surrender to God, is an element in God's design for the increase of the piety and zeal and earnest faith of his people. The Holy Spirit unites with the powers of grace that God has provided to turn souls to Christ. We are to labor as Christ labored for the salvation of dying souls. And as we work, our hearts are to be encouraged by the thought that every soul converted through our efforts will become another instrumentality in the work of recovering the lost. Guided by the same Spirit that led some one to work for him, he will take up the work and labor in the spirit of the Master. RH July 18, 1907, par. 3

God has given me this message to bear to those who are out of line: “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 4

In these last days, there are arising strange fallacies and man-made theories which God declares shall be broken in pieces. The spirit of covetousness has led men to seek worldly advantage, and by extravagance and display they have tried to hide their wicked deeds which they have done in order to reach their object. Men occupying high positions of trust have revealed this unlawful desire for gain; they have practised extortion and robbery, and have gratified the evil passions of their hearts, until our cities are corrupted through their wickedness. God has declared that he will uncover these works of deceit and robbery by their own working. In some cases the judgments of God have already fallen heavily on these cities. RH July 18, 1907, par. 5

“The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not. A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 6

In this representation of the prophet, we see that Satan is at work not only with worldlings, who have not the fear and love of God before them, but also with those who profess faith in Christ. Here are plainly represented two distinct parties, formed from a company that was once united. The members of one of these parties are in resistance to the will of God. They have taken themselves from the side of the loyal and true, and are now resisting the warnings of the Spirit of God. To the obedient the Lord will be “for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 7

Every professed believer in Christ will be tempted by Satan. “And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared [mark that word], and be taken.” Notwithstanding all their knowledge of the Word of God, all their light, and their position as expositors of Bible truth, many shall “stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” The ruin of this class is certain. Then the charge is given, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 8

“And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him, Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion. RH July 18, 1907, par. 9

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter: shall not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 10

This warning is given for the days in which we are now living. Read carefully the third chapter of Second Timothy. This chapter refers to the “many” spoken of by Isaiah who have departed from the faith. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,” the apostle says to Timothy, “deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast heard and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. RH July 18, 1907, par. 11

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 12

A wealth of moral influence has been brought to us in the last half century. Through his Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the spirit of prophecy. Repeatedly the word has come, Write the things that I have given you to confirm the faith of my people in the position they have taken. Time and trial have not made void the instruction given, but through years of suffering and self-sacrifice have established the truth of the testimony given. The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken. If we study carefully the second chapter of Hebrews we shall learn how important it is that we hold steadfastly to every principle of truth that has been given. RH July 18, 1907, par. 13

“I am now ready to be offered,” the apostle Paul declared as his warfare drew to a close; “the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. RH July 18, 1907, par. 14

“Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia; Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 15

“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 16

This letter was written to Timotheus, the first bishop of the church at Ephesus, after Paul had been brought before Nero the second time to witness with his life to the faith he held. In placing on record this account of his trials through men who turned from the faith, Paul speaks words which should encourage our hearts as we pass over the same ground. We are having trials to encounter similar to those that Paul met. There are some who once were with us as teachers, but who are now denying the faith, and are working against the truth they once advocated. In this experience we need not lose our faith and confidence in God. It is the privilege of each to be able to say, “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” RH July 18, 1907, par. 17