Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 14, 1899

To Every Man His Work


February 28, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 68; 6MR 384-385. +Note

Where is the strength of God’s people? It is in their union with Him through His only begotten Son, and their union with each other. There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the same groove. But in diversity there may be unity. Christ is our Root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore. They will reveal the fragrance of His character in the talent of speech, in the cultivation of kindness, of hospitality, of Christian courtesy, and true heavenly politeness. We are not all fitted to do the same kind of work, but each man’s work is designed by God to help make up His plan. Look at the flowers in a carpet, and notice the different colored threads. All are not pink, all are not green, all are not blue. A variety of colors are woven together to perfect a design. So it is in the plan of God. He has a purpose in placing us where we must learn to live as individuals. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 1

When the Lord commanded the children of Israel to build the tabernacle, and gave them the plan for its furniture, its curtains and everything pertaining to it, every man was not given the same work. The Lord chose His workers, and then fitted them for their work by giving them skill and imparting to them His wisdom. To each worker was apportioned work according to his ability. No man was to lay hold of one portion of the work and place himself in the way of his fellow laborer. Each was to do his appointed work with the strictest fidelity. The plan of the great Deviser was followed, and the tabernacle came forth from the hands of the workers complete, each part in harmony with the other. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 2

Industry in a God-appointed work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion. We are not to think that in any of the work essential in the building of the different parts of the tabernacle, one part was menial and the other not. Every part of God’s work means service. He declares of His people, Ye are laborers together with God. Whatever is essential to be done in this world must be done in a lawful manner, and we are to do nothing that would violate one principle of the law of God. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 3

Angels of God are appointed to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. But human beings, although professing to be followers of Christ, do not place themselves in a position where they can understand this ministry, and they make it very hard for the heavenly messengers to work. It would be far pleasanter for the heavenly angels to remain in the courts above, and do their work in a pure and holy atmosphere. But a work must be done in bringing this heavenly atmosphere to the souls who are tempted and tried, that Satan may not disqualify them for the place the Lord would have them fill in the heavenly courts. Principalities and powers in heavenly places combine with these angels in their ministration for those who shall be heirs of salvation. The truth of God is brought to bear upon the hearts of men. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 4

The Lord desires to bring them as material from the quarry of the world, that He may work them. They are in need of the axe, the hammer, of planing and polishing; for if this work is not done, the stones will retain their roughness and will not become symmetrical. They will not be fitted to fill the place for every one who will enter the kingdom of God. Those, who under the education of Jesus Christ make it possible to reach the highest attainments, will take every divine improvement with them to the heavenly mansions Christ is preparing. Those who are unwilling to have the great work of fitting up a character after the divine similitude go on in them make the angels sad, for by clinging to their own sinful habits and practices, they spoil the design of God. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 5

We are to bear in mind that this is the Lord’s workshop. We are to bear the image of God, and every soul who is saved through the sacrifice of the Son of God must in this life have the work done for him that will make him complete in Christ. There is much to do in order to fit us for the courts of the Lord. The roughness of spirit must be overcome, the coarseness of speech, the cheapness of character, must be put away, or we can never wear the wedding garment woven in the heavenly loom—the righteousness of Christ. The work of the ministering angels is to prepare the inhabitants of this world to become children of God, pure, holy, undefiled. But how sad for these angels to see the coarseness, the roughness of men and women who are so desirous of securing their own ends, of gratifying their own wishes, that they lose sight of the Word of God, which should be their instructor and their guide. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 6

Let us learn from the experience of individuals the wonderful wisdom of God in His requirements of every soul. Let us study the results of following human wisdom and human judgment. If men would follow implicitly the way and will of God, which is their discipline in this life, they would secure for themselves the life which is to come. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 7

The angels who do always behold the face of the Father in heaven would prefer to remain close by the side of God. But the Lord gives to every angel his work for this fallen world. Divine help is provided for men. They have the opportunity of co-operating with heavenly intelligences, of being laborers together with God. The possibilities of gaining a fitness for the presence of God, of being enabled to see His face, are placed before them. Heavenly angels are working to bring the human family into a close brotherhood, a oneness described by Christ as like to that existing between the Father and the Son. How can men so highly honored by God fail to appreciate their opportunities and privileges. How can they refuse to accept the divine help proffered. How much it is possible for human beings to gain if they will keep eternity in view. “What is a man profited,” Christ asks, “if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:26.] 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 8

Satanic agencies are ever warring for the mastery over human minds. But the angels of God are constantly at work, strengthening the weak hands and confirming the feeble knees of all who call upon God for help. The promise to every child of God is, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. Then ask; believe what God has said. He will surely fulfil His Word. Say from the heart, “My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” [Psalm 73:26.] The victory must be gained day by day. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 9

As followers of Christ we are to stand on vantage ground before the world as Christ’s representatives. Let us then engage in this part of the Christian warfare, determinedly overcoming every weakness of character. The path to destruction is broad, the gate wide; and many go in thereat. Strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 10

The Lord has had truehearted men and women, those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice. They have not swerved from their integrity; they have kept themselves unspotted from the world. These have been led by the light of life to defeat the purposes of the wily foe. Will human beings now act their part in resisting the devil? If they will do this, he will surely flee from them. Angels who will do for you the things you cannot do for yourselves are waiting for your co-operation. They are waiting for you to respond to the drawing of Christ. Draw nigh to God and then you will draw nigh to one another. By desire, by silent prayer, by resistance of satanic agencies, put your will on the side of God’s will. While you have one desire to resist the devil, and sincerely pray, Deliver me from temptation, you will have strength for your day. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 11

It is the work of the heavenly angels to come close to the tried, the suffering, the tempted ones. They labor long and untiringly to save the souls for whom Christ has died; and when souls appreciate their advantages, appreciate the heavenly assistance sent them, the Holy Spirit’s working in their behalf, when they put their will on the side of Christ’s will, angels bear the tidings heavenward. Returning to the heavenly courts they report their success for the souls for whom they have ministered, and there is rejoicing among the heavenly host. “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” [Luke 15:7.] 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 12

The angels of God have seen a condition of things in the church that has grieved them and grieved the Spirit of God. It is a lack of unity, the lack of love the members have shown for one another. The apostle exhorts us, “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 sweetsmelling savor.” [Ephesians 5:1, 2.] Shall we not work on this principle? 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 13

Again the apostle says, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let everyone of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another, according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Romans 15:1-6.] 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 14

Please read the twelfth chapter of Romans. Here we are enjoined, “Let love be without dissimulation, abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer, distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality.” [Verses 9-13.] 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 15

This admonition has been strangely neglected. “Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality.” [Verse 13.] What a change has been brought about in Battle Creek, that those who have entertained their brethren should receive pay for this work! This plan has been devised that the loving attentions shown by hospitality and visiting, a work which should bind heart to heart, is cut off. What does this mean? All may live on simple food, which does not require much preparation; but if the entertaining is done with simplicity, it will bind the hearts of brethren and sisters together. The spirit of covetousness, O let it die! Let not methods and plans be invented which will give no opportunity for brotherly love to live. Our heavenly Father gives us of His bounty freely, and for His sake who gave His life for us, we should entertain our brethren and sisters. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 16

The Lord designs that we shall care for the interests of our brethren and sisters. The apostle Paul gives us an illustration of this. Addressing the church at Rome he says, “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succorer of many, and of myself also. Greet Aquila and Priscilla my helpers in Christ Jesus.” [Romans 16:1-3.] Read also the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians. 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 17

Christ’s admonition to His disciples is to be heeded by us. Almost His last words before He gave His life for the world were, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” How much, Lord? “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] “This is my commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you; and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he may give it you.” [John 15:12-16.] 14LtMs, Ms 14, 1899, par. 18