The Review and Herald

1236/1902

1903

January 6, 1903

The Ministry is Ordained of God

EGW

The Lord will work with humble men who reveal that they are ever learning, ever under the control of the Holy Spirit. Such men are not of the class represented as “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” True learners of Christ Jesus learn to a purpose, becoming more and more Christlike in word and action. RH January 6, 1903, par. 1

The great enemy of the church is determined to introduce among God's people things that will create disunion and variance. The prayer for unity that Christ offered to his Father just before his suffering and death is given to impress every heart. Jesus will work with those who by earnest watchfulness and prayer are daily converted. God will surely hear the prayers of his people. He will not permit one of his praying children to be overcome by the enemy. RH January 6, 1903, par. 2

“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for naught? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. RH January 6, 1903, par. 3

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” These words portray the happiness and overcoming grace revealed in families where unity and peace and love abide. The Lord is honored by these peaceful homes—symbols of the purity of our heavenly home. RH January 6, 1903, par. 4

When professing Christians are united as one,—one with Christ in God,—they are representatives of the church of the Firstborn. Unity should ever be the element of preservation in the Christian church. Men and women are united in church capacity by a most solemn covenant with God to obey his Word, and to unite in an effort to strengthen the faith of one another. RH January 6, 1903, par. 5

God deals with man in accordance with his faith. Those who, having united with the church, still feel at liberty to find fault with their brethren by passing on to others some evil injury. Every time they work in this way, they place themselves on Satan's side of the controversy, becoming channels through which he communicates darkness, creating doubt and suspicion among God's children. Satan has many, many men and women of opportunity. If they are members of God's church, the enemy is better served than if they made no profession of Christianity. They may go through the outward form of worship, but in word and deed they reveal the spirit of Satan, and, unless converted, will by his devices be led on and on to final ruin. RH January 6, 1903, par. 6

Unconverted church members may do the same things that Christians do, with altogether a different spirit and different motives. The words and acts of a Christian are a savor of life unto life; the words and acts of a hypocritical church member are a savor of death unto death. RH January 6, 1903, par. 7

Contention in the church is always attended with a dearth of spirituality. The Lord cannot be glorified by a contentious church. “All ye are brethren.” Cultivate the grace of God. Lift up your hearts in prayer to him for his keeping power. Avoid all contention among yourselves. Use every means within your reach to restrain the unsanctified words that are ever upon the tongue,—words that would cast a reflection upon others. Be true to one another. We are bought with a price; therefore in word and act we should glorify God. RH January 6, 1903, par. 8

When the members of God's church see eye to eye, they will constantly guard the tongue, in order that they may not misuse the talent of speech. This talent is a precious gift. Let us study our words with care, and be a blessing to mankind by refusing to bring reproach upon one of our brethren by passing on to others some evil report that we may hear. If we speak evil of another, reproach will lie at our door. When we all love our neighbor as ourselves, idle, mischievous whisperings will cease. May the Lord by his converting power sanctify our talent of speech, that we may use it to his glory, and in no wise to the injury of souls. RH January 6, 1903, par. 9

Every watchman on the walls of Zion is under sacred obligation to watch for souls as one who must give an account. Through God's grace he can do a work that heaven shall approve, in laboring to keep the church in unity and peace. The work of a gospel teacher is to proclaim the truth. Let him remember that he is to publish peace, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” RH January 6, 1903, par. 10

The church should respect the gospel ministry; for it is God's appointed means of communicating his messages to the people. Let the church members sustain the ministers in their work as ambassadors for Christ. God's ministers open to men and women the living oracles of truth. Let no one venture to make a tirade on any minister; for it would be a tirade against Christ in the person of his messenger. RH January 6, 1903, par. 11

When Jesus sent forth the twelve, he “commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” RH January 6, 1903, par. 12

Christ instructed the disciples plainly not to go “into the way of the Gentiles” until they had first borne their testimony to the Jews. If the Jews refused to hear them, they were to go into new territory. The work before them was an important one. The time had come for the light of truth to be carried to the Jewish nation and to the whole world. But if those sent forth had at first worked among the Samaritans and the Gentiles, the doors of entrance to the Jews would have been closed. Afterward, the disciples were commissioned to go into all the world, and teach all nations. RH January 6, 1903, par. 13

Christ himself, in all his ministry, gave the Jewish nation the first opportunity to receive him as the Saviour. Upon the Jews was bestowed the honor of first hearing from the lips of Christ his message of salvation. The Lord Jesus gave a special and very wonderful gospel to the Jews. He regarded them as lost sheep, which he, as their Shepherd, came to seek and to save, gathering them out from the bypaths and the highways of sin and error, and bringing them back to his fold. RH January 6, 1903, par. 14

The work that the apostles were to do was clearly defined: “As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” RH January 6, 1903, par. 15