Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 129, 1903

Arthur, Judge Jesse

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 2, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in CH 316-318; Ev 54, 307-308. +Note

Judge Jesse Arthur

My dear brother,—

I have read your letter to Willie, and I must tell you that you do not view matters in a correct light. I have greatly desired that you should obtain an experience in the service of Him who gave His life for you. I have greatly desired that you should become acquainted with the precious Saviour and stand in line as one of His true helpers. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 1

At one time you made the suggestion that if the managers of our institutions offered higher wages, they would secure a higher class of workmen and thus a higher grade of work. My brother, such reasoning is not in harmony with the Lord’s plans. We are all His servants. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price, and we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His. This is a lesson that we need to learn. We need the discipline so essential to the development and completeness of Christian character. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 2

Our institutions are to be entirely under the supervision of God. They were established in sacrifice, and only in sacrifice can their work be successfully carried forward. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 3

Upon all who are engaged in the Lord’s work rests the responsibility of fulfilling the commission: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 4

Christ Himself has given us an example of how we are to work. Read the fourth chapter of Matthew, and learn what methods Christ, the Prince of life, followed in His teaching. “Leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nepthalim; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nepthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” [Verses 13-16.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 5

“And Jesus, walking by the sea, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, He saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed Him.” [Verses 18-22.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 6

These humble fishermen were Christ’s first disciples. He did not say that they were to receive a certain sum for their services. They were to share with Him His self-denial and sacrifices. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 7

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitude, He went up into a mountain; and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him; and He opened His mouth, and taught them.” [Matthew 4:23-5:2.] He gave what is known as the sermon on the mount—a discourse full of precious instruction for all who claim to be His disciples. His deeds of sympathy in restoring the sick to health had aroused a deep interest in His work and had prepared the people to listen to His words. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 8

In every sense of the word Christ was a medical missionary. He came to this world to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. He came as a healer of the bodies as well as the souls of human beings. His message was that obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God would bring men and women health and prosperity. “Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” was the word that He bore. [Matthew 4:17.] His kingdom of grace was now to be recognized as surpassing in glory all the kingdoms of the earth. The gospel is the charter of this kingdom. It contains the king’s coronation oath, by which He pledges Himself to pardon all who believe in Him, and who come to Him confessing their sins. He pledges Himself to protect and save the loyal subjects of His kingdom. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 9

As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. This vow is their oath of allegiance. They are baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thus they are united with the three great powers of heaven. They pledge themselves to renounce the world and to observe the laws of the kingdom of God. Henceforth they are to walk in newness of life. No longer are they to follow the traditions of men. No longer are they to follow dishonest methods. They are to obey the statutes of the kingdom of heaven. They are to seek God’s honor. If they will be true to their vow, they will be furnished with grace and power that will enable them to fulfil all righteousness. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 10

Christ “went about all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues, and healing the sick.” He preached in the synagogues because thus He could reach the many who gathered there. Then He went out and taught by the seaside and in the great thoroughfares of travel. The precious truths that He had to proclaim were not to be confined to synagogues. “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn ye at My reproof; behold, I will pour out My Spirit upon you, I will make known My words unto you.” [Proverbs 1:20-23.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 11

Christ might have occupied the highest place among the highest teachers of the Jewish nation. But He chose rather to take the gospel to the poor. He went from place to place, that those in the highways and byways might catch the words of the gospel of truth. He labored in the way in which He desires His workers to labor today. By the sea, on the mountainside, in the streets of the city, His voice was heard, explaining the Old Testament Scriptures. So unlike the explanations of the scribes and Pharisees was His explanation that the attention of the people was arrested. He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. With clearness and power He proclaimed the gospel message. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 12

Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the Covenant, brought the tidings of salvation. How the people flocked to Him! From far and near they came for healing, and He healed them all. His fame as the great Healer spread throughout Palestine, from Jerusalem to Syria. The sick came to the places through which they thought He would pass, that they might call on Him for help and be healed of their diseases. Hither, too, came the rich, anxious to hear His words and to receive a touch of His hand. Thus He went from city to city, from town to town, preaching the gospel and healing the sick—the King of glory in the lowly garb of humanity. “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” [2 Corinthians 8:9.] 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 13

Christ reached out for all to whom He could open the treasures of heavenly wisdom. His ministers are to follow His example. “Whosoever will come after Me,” He says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] God’s workers are to be instant in season and out of season. They are not to depend on regularly appointed meetings as the only means of working for souls. At all times and in all places they are to seek for those ready to perish. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 14

Christ’s miracles were wrought in such a way that it could plainly be seen that they were the result of the working of a supernatural power. They were the seal that God placed on the commission given to His Son. Not by nature, but by the God of nature, were these miracles wrought. The testimonies borne by them to the divinity of Christ’s mission could not be controverted. But the Pharisees, determined not to yield to evidence, said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” [Matthew 12:24.] They would give Satan the glory that belonged to Christ. God gave them every opportunity to believe in Christ as the Messiah, but so long had they walked contrary to God that their hearts were not susceptible to His touch. They closed the door of the heart against the evidence that He sent, because this evidence condemned them as transgressors of His law. 18LtMs, Lt 129, 1903, par. 15