Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 87, 1907

Our Duty Toward the Jews


August 16, 1907 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 6MR 323-330. +Note

Before His ascension to heaven, Jesus, with hands outstretched in blessing on His disciples, gave them their commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;” “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20.] Repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in His name among all nations, but the work was to begin at Jerusalem. Before going out into new fields of labor, the disciples of Christ were to give the message to the people living in their own country. Home missions were to receive their first attention. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 1

Wherever the people of God are placed, in the crowded cities, in the villages, or among the country byways, there is a home mission field, for which a responsibility is laid upon them by their Lord’s commission. In every city or settlement where Christians meet to worship God, there are men and women and children to be gathered into the fold. Many have never heard a discourse on God’s Word. God is calling believers to take upon themselves a burden for these souls, learning from the great Teacher that the best way to reach souls is by direct personal appeal. It is the privilege of the Christian worker to bid those who are dead in trespasses and sins to behold their crucified, uplifted Redeemer and live. The Lord designs that men who have great light should so appreciate Jesus Christ, the Truth and the Light, that the sweetness of the breath of the soul will testify that they have eaten of the living Bread. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 2

The work Christ came to do in our world was not to <create> barriers and constantly thrust upon the people the fact that they were wrong. Though He was a Jew, He mingled freely with the Samaritans, setting at naught the Pharisaic customs of His nation. In face of their prejudices He accepted the hospitality of this despised people. He slept with them under their roofs, ate with them at their tables—partaking of the food prepared and served by their hands—taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmost kindness and courtesy. And while He drew their hearts to Him by the tie of human sympathy, His divine grace brought to them the salvation which the Jews rejected. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 3

Paul in his journeys combined home and foreign missions. Now he is preaching to the Jews in their own place of worship. Now he is preaching to the Gentiles before their own temple, and in the very presence of their gods. Nor does Paul proclaim to the Jews a Messiah whose work is to destroy the old dispensation, but a Messiah who came to develop the Jewish economy in accordance with the truth. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 4

Those of the disciples who carried the word of truth the widest were always ready to stand the test of any interview with those who remained close at home. Their foreign experiences were a blessing to the home churches. Christianity obtained decided victories, and the high and elevated stand was taken by the converted Jews that Christianity and salvation were for all nations, tongues, and peoples upon the face of the earth. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 5

There is a mighty work to be done in our world. The Lord has declared that the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and not the Gentiles only, but the Jews. There are among the Jews many who will be converted, and through whom we shall see the salvation of God go forth as a lamp that burneth. There are Jews everywhere, and to them the light of present truth is to be brought. There are among them many who will come to the light, and who will proclaim the immutability of the law of God with wonderful power. The Lord God will work. He will do wonderful things in righteousness. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 6

The Engrafting of the Gentiles

“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them; let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their neck alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid; but rather through the fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness. For I speak to you Gentiles, I magnify mine office; if by any means I might provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might same some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the reviving of them be but life from the dead. For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” [Romans 11:9-16.] 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 7

“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert graft in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou barest not the root, but the root thee. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 8

“Thou wilt say, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.” [Verses 17-20.] 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 9

In this we are plainly taught that we should not despise the Jews; for among them the Lord has mighty men, who will proclaim the truth with power. “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness; if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou also wilt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in; for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 10

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened unto Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall take away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” [Verses 21-29.] 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 11

Is it not a strange thing that there are so few among Seventh-day Adventists who feel a burden to labor for the Jewish people? The slumbering faculties of the Jews are to be aroused. The Old Testament Scriptures, blending with the New in an explanation of God’s purpose, will be to them the dawning of a new creation or as the resurrection of the soul. Faith will be awakened as Christ is seen portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament. As the doors of the Old Testament are unlocked by the key of the New, and it is seen how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, Christ will be recognized as the Saviour of the world. Many of the Jewish people will receive Christ as their Redeemer. To them the words will be fulfilled, “To 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.] They will be changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Being made partakers of the divine nature, the image of divinity will be stamped on the soul. If they will continue to learn of Christ, they will attain to the measure of the fulness of the stature of Christ. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 12

The time has come when the Jews are to be given the light of the last gospel message. The Lord wants us to sustain and encourage men who will labor in right lines for this people: for there are to be a multitude convinced of the truth who will take their position for God. The Jews are to become a power to labor for the Jews, and we are to see the salvation of God. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 13

Heavenly intelligences are waiting to co-operate with human instrumentalities, that they may reveal to the world what human beings may become, and what, through union with Divine, may be accomplished for the saving of souls that are ready to perish. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. All who consecrate soul, body, and spirit, to His service, will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind. Through the grace given us we may achieve victories that, because of our own erroneous and preconceived opinions, our defects of character, our smallness of faith, have seemed impossible. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 14

To Every Man His Work

Many lines of labor are calling for the efforts of God’s servants. All cannot engage in the same kind of labor, but each has a work to perform. The wonderful sacrifice of Christ has made it possible for every man to do a special work. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 15

Why do we need a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, a John, a Paul, and all these other writers who have borne their testimony in regard to the life of the Saviour during His earthly ministry? Why could not one of the disciples have written a complete record, and thus have given us a connected account of Christ’s life and work? The gospels differ, yet in them the record blends in one harmonious whole. One writer brings in points that another does not bring in. If these points are essential, why did not all the writers mention them? It is because the minds of men differ and do not comprehend things in exactly the same way. Some truths appeal much more strongly to the minds of one class of persons than to others; some points appear to be much more important to some than to others. The same principle applies to speakers. Some speakers dwell at considerable lengths on points that others would pass by quickly or would not mention at all. Thus the truth is presented more clearly by several than by one. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 16

From the case of Cornelius, we may learn a lesson that we would do well to understand. The God of heaven sent His messengers to the earth to set in operation a train of circumstances that would bring Peter into connection with Cornelius, that Cornelius might learn the truth. It was with reluctance at every step that Peter undertook the duty laid upon him by divine command. When relating his experience, he does not defend his action on general principles, but as an exception, done because of divine revelation. And the result was a surprise to him. When Cornelius had related to him his experience and the words of the angel, who had appeared to him in vision, Peter declared, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” [Acts 10:34, 35.] The conversion of Cornelius and his household was only the first fruits of a harvest to be gathered in from the world. From this home a widespread work of grace was carried on in a heathen city. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 17

In every age God works through His servants in various ways. He brings the honest hearted into connection with those of His people who can best reach the individual needs of the case. Some of His children, having special knowledge in certain lines, are adapted to give the greatest help to one class of inquirers; others, trained in a different way, are best fitted to help another class. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 18

Broader Plans

We are altogether too narrow in our plans. We need to be broader minded. God wants us to carry out in our work for Him the principles of truth and righteousness. His work is to go forward in cities and towns and villages. What we need is a deeper understanding of the Word of God. We need to keep the principles of that Word in mind, that we may proclaim them in their purity. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 19

There ought to be thousands of laborers at work in the cities laboring intelligently. Not all these workers should look to the conference for support. They should seek to make their work self-supporting. A great many can do self-supporting work, but some cannot. Let not those who have not engaged in personal evangelistic work feel that everyone should look at things as they do. Let them keep their hands off those whom God is using to do a special work in the cities, and let God work in His own way. He has men of special talents and gifts, whom He will use to proclaim the truth in the cities. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 20

We must get away from our smallness and make larger plans. There must be a wider reaching forth to work for those who are nigh and those who are afar off. 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 21

<The ministry of Elder Gilbert is accepted of God, and he needs encouragement by words and means to continue the work. Let there be special efforts made for the enlightenment of the Jews. Every soul converted causes joy in the heavenly courts.> 22LtMs, Ms 87, 1907, par. 22