Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 33, 1899

Work in Christ’s Lines


March 20, 1899

Previously unpublished. +Note

The Lord accepts those who will accept and honor Him. He will work through those who are willing to be directed by Him. He sees in our cities many who have been blessed with a large share of mental and physical capabilities swept into the whirlpool of temptation. They must be reached. This is where health reform has been made the entering wedge. By this work may have been reached that would not otherwise have been reached. Men and women of strong, noble sentiments and deep sympathies have been aroused to do something, while priest and Levite have passed by on the other side. Medical missionary workers have made strong efforts to introduce the leaven of truth, to let light shine amid the moral darkness. But some in Battle Creek have been so deeply absorbed in work which God has not given them that they have passed by their bruised and wounded brethren. Have not the colored race been robbed, bruised, beaten, and left for dead? 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 1

When God’s people are thoroughly converted, additions will be made to the workers in the Southern Field of men and women who will carry the work forward from high, pure principles. God will go with them, and many souls will come forth from their degradation converted, every whit. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 2

By expending so much on ministerial institutes, men have failed to accomplish the work the Lord would have done. They have gone over and over the same ground. The institutes that have been held have taken time that ought to have been spent in seeking to save sinners. Had ministers worked in these lines, their labor would have received God’s endorsement. Many now perishing in their sins would have received a knowledge of the truth. But when those to whom God has entrusted sacred trusts have been reaching out their arms for more than they could hold or carry, the work that ought to have been done has not been done. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 3

The Lord has seen that His people were not prepared to change the old order of things. He is turning away from those who have opposed the work He designed should commence in Battle Creek, and extend to Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and many other cities. He will pass by those who have been given the opportunity of working with Him, but who have been stubborn and indifferent. Nothing can bring such discouragement to the work of teaching others as indifference to moral obligations. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 4

What good does it do for the conference to send ministers into the field without furnishing them with means and facilities with which to work? The way in which The Gospel Primer was taken out of Edson White’s hands deprived him of the means he needed in the Southern Field. Those who conducted this transaction did not move in the counsel of God. Every dollar of the profits from The Gospel Primer should have been used in the Southern Field. This money was needed there. Men cannot work in that field handicapped. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 5

There is a work to be done in the cities of America that is very different from the work that has been done. Send out your seventy, as did Christ, with a special message, that they may open the way to those who are in darkness. Not only are those who are in respectable grades of society to be worked for, [but] the fallen and degraded are to be gathered in. It is in the highways and hedges that souls will be found who need to be saved. Many are mentally blind, mentally wounded. There are those who have had educational privileges, who have valuable, receptive faculties, who have yielded to temptation. These are to be sought out. Some are in possession of more than ordinary talents, but they are dead in trespasses and sins, and they must be labored for. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 6

The different denominational churches are being converted to the world. The members have not the power to hold the minds and reform the hearts of tempted ones. And I have been shown that our people are not half awake. Ministers and people are asleep—not all, thank God, not all—but many who have been given precious opportunities and privileges have not gained enough of their Lord’s goods to enable them to trade acceptably. If they had striven to do God service by working in the cities, He would have co-operated with them. He will hold those accountable who have been given great light, and yet are devoting their time and means to self-service, while thousands are perishing for want of help. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 7

The work done in medical missionary lines is disproportionate to the work being done in the conference. Let none permit feelings to rise against Dr. Kellogg because there are so many pressing their way into the medical missionary work. Let them remember that he has given young men and young women encouragement to work. But while you have been busily laying your plans to acquire more power, many of the souls you might have used your time to save have passed forever beyond your influence. There are scores of young men who would have been glad to have given themselves to the work of the ministry had they received encouragement, but they were not properly treated or appreciated. Therefore they pressed their way into the medical missionary work. They are not lost to the cause of God; for some are becoming fitted to do a work which will have a convincing power upon souls. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 8

When will our people receive the Word of the Lord and work in Christ’s lines? There is no help for those who refuse to listen to the divine voice pointing out their duty. Such have fallen prey to a fatal disease, for which no human skill can provide a remedy. So long have they neglected to respect and obey the voice of God through His servants that their hearts have become hardened. The Lord has sent warnings, He has marked out the way; but strong-minded, self-willed men have separated from God. Their voices have not been raised as was Caleb’s in defense of the right. A chieftain in Israel, Caleb was one of those selected to spy out the land of Canaan. When they returned from this work the voices of his companions was raised in complaint. They acknowledged the goodness of the land, but “the people be strong that dwell in the land,” they said, “and the cities are walled and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.” [Numbers 13:28.] 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 9

Caleb saw the difficulties just as plainly as the other spies, but he stood plainly to the post God had assigned him. He never shirked any disagreeable responsibility, and now, in the face of his cowardly companions, who had raised stones to throw at him, he cried with a ringing voice, “Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” [Verse 30.] We need Calebs in our work today. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 10

God will not endorse any work that is done on wrong principles. But wrong positions have been taken and held for years, notwithstanding the cautions and warnings that have been given. Sanctions has been given to the decisions of men whose hearts were not baptized with the Holy Spirit. They know not what to say, for they have not the wisdom of God. Their power and vitality have gone, and they do not know it. They have been ready to bind about the work that should have gone forward and not backward. The Lord has blessed the sanitarium and given it signal success, while those who have separated from Him have expended their energy in contending for unscriptural plans. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 11

The Spirit of God is needed in the work, that the workers in all lines may co-operate harmoniously to remove the reproach and stigma against Sabbathkeepers. The Lord is about to pass by those who refuse to take up the work they should have done. Of those who refuse to deny self and lift the cross the Lord says, “They shall not taste of my supper.” [Luke 14:24.] He declares, “I will take illiterate men, obscure men, and move upon them by my Spirit to carry out My purposes in the work of saving souls. The last message of mercy will be given to the world, but not by the counsels of the supposed sages, who received My commission, but did not My work. This work will be done, but not by pretentious buildings, not by the eloquence of the learned, but by a people who love and fear Me. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.’” [Zechariah 4:6.] 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 12

Thus it is that the whole body, fitly framed together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 13

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things unto God, and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God.” [Ephesians 5:14-21.] 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 14

“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.” [Ephesians 4:29-32.] “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor ... For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” [Ephesians 5:1, 2, 8.] 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 15

None need to dishonor God and the truth; for God will help all who call upon him in faith. Those who do the commandments of God are distinct in faith and practice from those who are regardless of His precepts. Those who claim to believe the truth and yet do not practice it walk in the way of folly. There are some the Scriptures call fools who never become wise; they never redeem the time. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 16

Every hour of life is to be filled with good deeds, with a diligent cultivation of the entrusted talents. We all need to cultivate tenderness and love for each other, and when we are converted we shall do this. All who enter the kingdom of God must strive most earnestly to be commandment keepers. They must be brought into harmony with the law of God. “Work while it is called today.” [See John 9:4; Hebrews 3:13.] This is the lesson each must learn. We must constantly watch and strive, fighting manfully the good fight of faith, never ceasing in our efforts to run the race with patience, that we may receive the prize. It is only by earnest endeavor that we can win eternal life. 14LtMs, Ms 33, 1899, par. 17