Ms 22, 1903

1903

Ms 22, 1903

Talk/The Work Before Us

NP

April 5, 1903

This manuscript is published in entirety in GCB 04/07/1903. +Note

Talk by Mrs. E. G. White at General Conference, Sunday morning, April 5, 1903. Ms22-1903.1

I have been carrying a very heavy burden. For the last three nights I have slept very little. Many scenes are presented to me. I feel an intense interest in the advancement of the work of God, and I say to our leading brethren, As you consider the questions that shall come before you, you are to look beneath the surface. You are to give careful consideration to every question discussed. Ms22-1903.2

There is need of means in foreign missionary work and in missionary work in America. It is a painful fact that although we have had a special message for the world for so many years, there are many, many cities in which we have done nothing to proclaim this message. In the calamities that have befallen our institutions in Battle Creek, we have had an admonition from God. Let us not pass this admonition carelessly by, without trying to understand its meaning. There are those who will say, “Of course the Review office must be rebuilt in Battle Creek.” Why did the Lord permit Jerusalem to be destroyed by fire the first time? Why did He permit His people to be overcome by their enemies and carried into heathen lands? It was because they had failed to be His missionaries and had built walls of division between themselves and the people round them. The Lord scattered them, that the knowledge of His truth might be carried to the world. Ms22-1903.3

If they were loyal and true and submissive, God would bring them again into their own land. Ms22-1903.4

We have a great work before us. The needs of the field demand that there shall be liberality on the part of the people of God. I point you to the city of New York. One hundred workers might be laboring there where now there is but one. How many of you have taken a practical interest in the work in this city? We have scarcely touched this field with the tips of our fingers. A few faithful workers have been trying to do something in this great, wicked city. But their work has been difficult, because they have had so few facilities. Elder Haskell and his wife have labored faithfully. But who has felt the burden of sustaining them in their labors? Who among our leading men have visited them, to learn the needs of the work, and have then gone forth to raise means for its advancement? Ms22-1903.5

Who has visited the Southern field to do something to build up the work there? Who has gone there to study its needs. Some have allowed their minds to be leavened by prejudice and distrust. Some have tried to put blocks before the wheels of progress, though again and again our brethren have been warned against doing this. Ms22-1903.6

A proposition has been made that our people purchase Sanitarium bonds. But light has been given me that means is not to be thus drawn from our people. Last night, place after place that is still unworked was presented before me. These places are all ripe for the harvest. They are calling for workers, and the means of our people is not to be tied up so that it cannot be used in this work. Ms22-1903.7

If all our people paid a faithful tithe, there would be more means in the treasury to support the laborers already in the field, and to send forth still more laborers into the fields that are ripe for the harvest. One of authority, who pointed out these fields to me, asked the question, Who will go forth to proclaim the message in these places? Christ’s commission is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” [Mark 16:15.] Ms22-1903.8

There is a great and solemn work to be done for Seventh-day Adventists, if they will only be converted. The great trouble is the lack of unity among them. This is a sin in the sight of God—a sin which, unless God’s people repent, will withhold from them His blessing. There are those who are ready to die, those who are without God and without hope in the world. These need to be sought out and labored for. We may endeavor to be faithful in our own little compass, but this is not sufficient. We are to have a faithfulness that goes outside our little compass to the needy fields beyond. Ms22-1903.9

God is not pleased with the present showing. Our means is not to be bound up for years where it is not available for missionary work. This God forbids. He sees the great work to be done in various places throughout the world. He sees the cities in which memorials for Him are to be established to proclaim the truth for this time. Ms22-1903.10

Regarding investment in bonds, I am instructed to say further that if no voice were raised against this arrangement, if our people should tie up their money in such investment, when it became necessary to call for means for aggressive missionary work, it would be found that there was a greater dearth of means among us than there is now. Plans may be started that at the beginning seem very promising, but often the foresight would be much more pleasant than the aftersight, were these plans carried out. I have been commissioned to instruct our people to be economical and always ready to give of their means to the Lord’s work. If you have a thousand dollars to spare, God wants it; it belongs to Him. If you have twenty dollars to spare, God wants it. His vineyard is waiting to be worked. Ms22-1903.11

The light God has given me is that there are proper ways that the Conference shall devise to help the Sanitarium in Battle Creek. I wish that a portion of the work of this institution had been taken elsewhere. But the Sanitarium has been erected in Battle Creek, and it must be helped. God will institute ways and means by which it can be helped. But He does not wish His people to invest their money in bonds. Ms22-1903.12

There is a great field to be worked. God wants us to labor intelligently. We are not to grasp every advantage that we can for the part of the field in which we are laboring. We are to do for those working in hard, needy fields just what we would like our brethren to do for us were we placed in similar circumstances. There are small sanitariums to be established in various places. Medical missionary work is the helping hand of God. This work must be done. It is needed in new fields and in fields where the work was started years ago. Since this work is the helping hand of God and the entering wedge of the gospel, we want you to understand that you are to have a part in it. It is not to be divorced from the gospel. Every soul before me this morning should be filled with the true medical missionary spirit. Ms22-1903.13

I present this matter before you that you may understand that our people are not to be encouraged to tie up their money for years by the purchase of bonds. I have nothing to say in regard to the sale of these bonds to the people of the world. It is in regard to our people’s tying up their money that I speak particularly. It is said that only a few of our people would take the bonds. But how long would it be before the few would increase to many. No; God wants His people to look upon the world as their great harvest field and to use their resources in working this field. Ms22-1903.14

More must be done to sustain the work in the Southern field. There are ministers there who are not properly paid, who are suffering for the comforts of life. I know this to be so. The Lord has kept the needs of this field before me all these years. He has shown me what should be done, and I dare not hold my peace. Do not all who have heard the truth belong to God? Did He not purchase all with the blood of His only begotten Son? Did not Christ die for all? Would you wish to come into judgment having done no more than you have for the colored people? Ever since their release from slavery, God has been appealing to you to help them. Yet how little has been done for them! Ms22-1903.15

Earnest efforts must be put forth to raise means to sustain our workers. God does not approve of sending men to the most difficult fields and then not giving them enough to sustain them. God calls for equality. The workers in our institutions have no right to grasp for high wages, while there are those laboring in the field who are suffering because there is not sufficient money in the treasury to sustain them. Ms22-1903.16

The question has been asked, “Would it not be well to pay men of ability wages that are in accordance with their experience and ability, so as to secure the very best talent?” The most valuable workers that can be secured for service in the cause of God are those who understand and obey the Word, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Justice, mercy, and the love of God are to be brought more decidedly into our work. Ms22-1903.17

God bids me say to this people, “You have left your first love. You have left many fields unworked, and yet you appear to feel perfectly at ease.” Will you heed the instruction that God is sending you, and will you work upon it? God desires His work to be carried forward on solid lines. He does not want one part of His vineyard to be left destitute of facilities, while to another part many facilities are gathered. Ms22-1903.18

All that is done is to be carefully done. The standing of the Sanitarium is to be carefully examined. God’s people are to understand just how it is to be conducted. It is to be managed by men whose feet are firmly planted on the platform of eternal truth, so that the helpers connected with the Sanitarium shall be taught how to present the gospel to people in their words and deportment. Ms22-1903.19

If the workers believe the truth and are in living connection with the God of heaven, Christ will appear in their lives, and souls will be won to Him. Ms22-1903.20

We need to understand what our conferences are held for, whether to talk over a few preliminaries or to set our souls in order before God, that when we return to the work, we may carry right principles into our churches and institutions. When we remember constantly that God has taken us into covenant relation with Himself, our work in connection with His churches and institutions will be of such a character that He can say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] Do we not all want to hear these words? Ms22-1903.21

We are not to tie up our means so that it cannot be used in missionary enterprises. We are to help the fields in which the people know nothing of the truth. Those who go to these fields are to be missionaries in every sense of the word. No one man is to carry the work by himself. The different workers with their varied gifts are to be linked together. Let none say, We cannot do anything, because a certain brother is determined to do a special work. We are not all to take hold of the same lever. There are many different levers to be worked. Ms22-1903.22

God wants us to receive the holy oil from the two anointed ones, “which through the two golden branches empty the golden oil out of themselves.” [Zechariah 4:12.] And as we receive the holy oil, we are to go forth for the saving of those who are ready to die. But let us not forget that different methods are to be employed to save different ones. “Of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” [Jude 22, 23.] Ms22-1903.23

When the work is done that should be done in our cities, we shall not have to present the needs of this work before every conference that assembles. You will have a wonderful testimony to bear regarding the way the Lord has blessed you as you have tried to follow His instructions. Ms22-1903.24

These things are before me day and night. I pray that our conference presidents shall be very careful how they sanction this move or that move until they are sure that it is according to the will of the Lord. If you are not sure whether by sanctioning these moves you are helping or hindering the work of God, I beg of you to fall on your knees before God in prayer, and seek Him until you find out. Ms22-1903.25

Do not cut off any man’s hands. I once read of a drowning man who was making desperate efforts to get into a boat close beside him. But the boat was full, and as he grasped the side, those in the boat cut off his hand. Then he grasped the boat with the other hand, and that hand was cut off. Then he grasped it with his teeth, and those inside had mercy on him, and lifted him in. But how much better it would have been if they had taken him in before they had cut off his hands. Ms22-1903.26

My brethren, do not cut a man to pieces before you do anything to help him. God wants us to have hearts of pity. He wants us to have reason and judgment and the sanctification of His Spirit. He is in earnest with us. We are but His little children, and we should ever be learning of Him. Do not stand in the way of others. Do not lose your first love. You may have much knowledge and much intelligence, but if the love of God is lacking, you are not prepared to enter heaven. Ms22-1903.27

I have given you the instruction that has been presented to me. I felt constrained to speak those words this morning. I beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to remember the words, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Alone, you can do no good thing. Let the Spirit of God guide and control you, and you will be rich in thoughts and suggestions. You will know how to plan and work intelligently. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [Verse 9.] Then act as if you were. Ms22-1903.28

These are the words that last night I was speaking to the people. May God give us a fresh baptism of His Holy Spirit. Ms22-1903.29