The Review and Herald


February 16, 1886

Christ's Representatives


The disciples of Christ are his representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities, “a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men.” If they obey the teachings of Christ in his sermon on the mount, they will be seeking continually for perfection of Christian character, and will be truly the light of the world—channels through which God will communicate his divine will, the truth of heavenly origin, to those who sit in darkness, and who have no knowledge of the way of life and salvation. RH February 16, 1886, par. 1

God cannot display the knowledge of his will, and the wonders of his grace, among the unbelieving world, unless he has witnesses scattered all over the earth. This is God's plan: that men and women who are partakers of this great salvation through Jesus Christ, should be his missionaries, bodies of light throughout the world, to be as signs to the people—living epistles, known and read of all men, their faith and their works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour, and that they have not received the grace of God in vain. The people must be warned to prepare for the coming Judgment. To those who have been listening only to fables, God will give an opportunity to hear the sure word of prophecy, whereunto they do well that they take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. God will present the sure word of truth to the understanding of all who will take heed, that they may contrast truth with the fables which have been presented to them by men who claim to understand the word of God, and profess to be qualified to instruct those in darkness. RH February 16, 1886, par. 2

Every follower of Jesus has his or her work to do as a missionary of Christ, in their families, in their neighborhoods, and in the towns and cities where they live. If they are consecrated to God, they are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate the light of truth, the riches of his grace, to others. Unbelievers may appear indifferent and careless; yet God is impressing and convicting their hearts that there is a reality in the truth. But when men leave the field, give up the contest, and allow the cause of God to languish before God says, “Let them alone,” they will only be a burden to any church where they may move. Those they have left, who were convicted, have frequently quieted their consciences with thinking that, after all, they were needlessly anxious; they decide that there is no reality in the profession made by Seventh-day Adventists. RH February 16, 1886, par. 3

Satan triumphs to see the vine of God's planting either entirely uprooted or left to languish. It is not the purpose of God that his people should cluster together and concentrate their influence in a special locality. RH February 16, 1886, par. 4

God designs that his people shall be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. The plan of gathering together in large numbers, to compose a large church, has contracted their influence, and narrowed their sphere of usefulness, and is literally putting their light under a bushel. It is God's design that the knowledge of the truth should come to all, that none may be left ignorant of its principles, and so remain in darkness; and that every one should be tested upon it, and decide for or against it, that all may be warned, and left without excuse. The plan of colonizing, or moving from different localities where there is but little strength or influence, and concentrating the influence of many in one locality, is removing the light away from place where God would have it shine. RH February 16, 1886, par. 5

The followers of Jesus Christ, scattered throughout the world, do not have a high sense of their responsibility, and the obligation resting upon them to let their light shine forth to others. If there are but one or two in a place, they can, although few in number, so conduct themselves before the world as to have an influence which will impress the unbeliever with the sincerity of their faith. The followers of Jesus are not meeting the mind and will of God if they are content to remain in ignorance of his word. All should become Bible students. Christ commanded his followers, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Peter exhorts us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” RH February 16, 1886, par. 6

Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days, will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial; not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have done so, and they take it for granted it must be so. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe. Many have allowed their minds to be filled with things of minor importance, and their eternal interest is made secondary. Their own souls are dwarfed and crippled in spiritual growth. Others are not enlightened or edified by their experience and the knowledge it was their privilege and duty to obtain. Strength and stability lie with true-hearted professors. Christ and him crucified should become the theme of our thoughts, and stir the deepest emotions of our souls. The true followers of Christ will appreciate the great salvation he has wrought for them; and wherever he leads the way, they will follow. They will consider it a privilege to bear whatever burdens Christ may lay upon them. It is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth of the human soul. RH February 16, 1886, par. 7

Such is the value of men for whom Christ died that the Father is satisfied with the infinite price which he pays for the salvation of man in yielding up his own Son to die for their redemption. What wisdom, and mercy, and love, in its fullness, are here manifested! The worth of man is only known by going to Calvary. In the mystery of the cross of Christ, we can place an estimate upon man. RH February 16, 1886, par. 8

What a responsible position, to unite with the Redeemer of the world in the salvation of men! This work calls for self-denial, sacrifice, and benevolence; for perseverance, courage and faith. Why there are so little results seen of those who minister in word and doctrine, is, they have not the fruit of the grace of God in their hearts and lives. They have not faith. Many who profess to be ministers of Jesus Christ, manifest a wonderful submission in seeing the unconverted all around them going to perdition. A minister of Christ has no right to be at ease, and sit down submissively to the fact that the truth is powerless, and souls are not stirred by its presentation. They should resort to prayer, and should work and pray without ceasing. Those who submit to remain destitute of spiritual blessings, without an earnest wrestling for those blessings, consent to have Satan triumph. Persistent, prevailing faith is necessary. God's ministers must come into closer companionship with Christ, and follow his example in all things,—in purity of life, in self-denial, in benevolence, in diligence, in perseverance. They should remember that a record will one day appear in evidence against them for the least omission of duty. RH February 16, 1886, par. 9

In order for laborers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, they must have a varied experience, which will be best acquired in extended labor in new fields, in different localities, coming in contact with all classes of people, and with all varieties of minds, calling into exercise various kinds of labor to meet the wants of many and varied minds. This drives the true laborer to God and the Bible for light, and strength, and knowledge, in order to be fully qualified to meet the wants of the people. They should heed the exhortation given to Timothy: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” “Who, then, is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” Wisdom is needed to discern the most appropriate subject for the occasion. Paul exhorted Timothy, “Be thou an example to the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” RH February 16, 1886, par. 10