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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)

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    Ms 6, 1897

    Our Work at This Time

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    January 1, 1897

    This manuscript is published in entirety in HM 11/1897.

    Then the power of the Lord came upon me and I spoke most earnestly upon the parable of the invitation to the royal supper, the refusal of those who were invited, [and] the commission given to call another class of guests; for not one who had been called should taste of his supper. Then the messengers went into the highways and byways, and then still another class was to be called—the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. This is the work for every church to do, for each family to be interestedly engaged in, to give the last message of mercy to the world. This feast is not the period of an hour, but a lifetime; [the invitation] is to go forth from human lips co-operating with God.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 1

    The invitation is to be given to classes that have not heard the constant efforts made to urge ministers and people, so constantly and at great expense, to hear the Word of God and do it. These efforts have not accomplished the work [they] were supposed to do; because the Lord could not sanction this constant effort and expenditure of time and means for weeks, with the idea of helping the ministers to do more perfect work. They were enjoying a rich feast to repletion, and were cloyed, while other souls who had never heard the truth were in a most deplorable need, and that time and that money [should have been] expended to feed the hungry souls starving for the bread of life.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 2

    The invitation is to go to all, without limitation or restriction. Bad, yes, evil men and women, old and young, rich and poor, white and black—all are to be called, but only those will be chosen who truly receive Christ. “To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] Those who truly accept, and in so doing yield themselves up to God, to be and to do as He wills, obeying the commandments of God, to live as He has given them an example in His life, will wear the wedding garment.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 3

    This royal banquet is not a thing of an hour, but lasts through a lifetime, and stretches into eternity. None can endure to be with God if they are not constantly conforming their minds and hearts [to His will] and developing characters after the divine similitude. No one can have forgiveness without having the purity of character exemplified in Christ. No man need to expect happiness without the holiness of God. They cannot partake of this feast without the garment of Christ’s righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven. Privileges [and] opportunities improved will give every soul a fitness to obey the law of His kingdom.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 4

    Imagine, if possible, the nature and the degree of Christ’s suffering. This suffering in humanity was to prevent the outpouring of the wrath of God upon the whole of those for whom Christ died. Yea, for the church this great sacrifice will be efficacious throughout eternity. Can we compute the amount of her transgressions in figures? Impossible! Then who can approach to a conception of what Christ endured when standing in the place of surety for His church, in the solemn hour of atonement, when Christ yielded up His life as a sacrificial offering? Never, never can it be that God again shall [so] manifest His holiness, His spotless purity; the sin that sprung up in heaven and its inconceivably heinous character; His utter hatred of sin, His solemn purpose to punish it, and that in the only One who could bear the strokes in behalf of the sinner, and because of His innocence would not be consumed.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 5

    How did the glory of God magnify itself in glorious perfection on that day when Christ’s life was yielded up as a sacrifice for the world! When he cried out, “It is finished,” there was a mighty earthquake, the rocks rent, the graves flew open, and Christ bowed His head, and died. [John 19:30; Matthew 27:51, 52.] In the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son is demonstrated the awful glory of divine justice and holiness. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.” [Romans 3:25.] In consideration of the great work which God has done to redeem, to uplift, to bring back the moral image of God in man, what is the human agent doing on his part as a worker together with God?12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 6

    The Lord has been speaking through testimonies to Seventh-day Adventists. Who have heeded the light given, that the Lord requires every soul to communicate to others the light God has given them? It has not been done. Those who have had great light have been largely the subjects of labor, and [are] the very ones who could only receive life and vitality through a spiritual connection with God, as co-workers with God in the work of saving the souls ready to die, perishing in ignorance and sin and transgression.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 7

    What an account thousands will have to answer for in their selfish living to please themselves! Their lives ought to be a living sacrifice to God. Those who have received so much labor were not glorifying God; they had a work to do in giving the invitation to the gospel feast, “Come; for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.]12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 8

    Time and money have been consumed unnecessarily when every voice that could speak should not be silent in giving the last message of mercy to the world. O how much the people of God have yet to learn, that it is not those who know the truth who are to be forever favored with the work of the ministers, but let ministers work with their God-given ability in erecting the standard of truth among those who have not heard that there was such a people in the world as Seventh-day Adventists. Thousands are groping in darkness who ought to have had light long ago.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 9

    The religion of Jesus Christ will reveal an earnest working Christian. In working and exercising his talents, he gains other talents also. Every soul that he instructs will have the opportunities that the Lord designed he should have from his brother. The Holy Spirit is given to every earnest worker as a helper, if the human agent will be worked.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 10

    There are human beings of low tendencies, but they have some most excellent traits of character, and they long for help, for strength; and the voice of God through Hi servants who are willing to minister, imparts encouragement and strength [so] that they will venture to lay hold upon the help presented to them. Through the human instrumentality they receive immediate co-operation with divine power. Those who flatter themselves that they are the children of God are yet indifferent to the situation of the perishing souls around them—ignorant, you may say they are; yes, and so you would have been if you had been in their place. But if they are ignorant, they need enlightenment; they need the very information their brethren can impart to them of the way of life. But men who profess to know God are asleep, doing nothing.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 11

    The church ought to have taken up this work in every conference. And [if] the powers of thought which have been so fully occupied in devising plans which cannot succeed, [and] which have not the endorsement of Heaven, had put the talent of thought into the devising of plans to carry out the very work the Lord has been calling them to do in reaching the people where they are, the work would have been borne by the many instead of by the few. This work is the work the churches have left undone, and they cannot prosper until they have taken hold of this work in the cities, in byways and hedges. Then there would be angels of God co-operating with human instrumentalities, and a religious system would be inaugurated to relieve the necessities of the suffering human beings who are in physical, mental, and moral need.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 12

    The moral apathy that is prevailing in our churches today would be largely corrected if they would consider that they are under service to God to do the very work Christ did when He was upon the earth [and] went about doing good. The very work that Dr. Kellogg has been managing is the very kind of work the whole of our churches are bound to do under covenant relation to God. They are to love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. They are to realize that “all ye are brethren,” that there are no favorites with God. [Matthew 23:8.]12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 13

    [There are] those who withhold themselves from their fellow men, and enclose themselves within themselves. The gospel of Jesus Christ is by them made void by their practice. Their words go as far as expressions of warmth, but the poor are not clothed, nor fed, nor warmed, nor taught and given personal labor. These indolent, slothful servants are abundant, but they say, and do not. [They] themselves are destitute of hope and faith and love, and are not helped by the gospel because they are not doing the Word. Something of moral expressions are made, and some frozen exhibitions are shown, but the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness do not penetrate the heart and brighten their experience and give life and vitality to their religious maxims of life. Service, unselfish service to God—they do not know what it means. Many consider that it will sometime be [their duty]; but it cannot be now. They contemplate it afar off, as something we are [not] ready for, when it should have been brought into their life [at] the very beginning of their religious service.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 14

    The moral attitude of these believers is at variance with correct reason and [with] the Bible instruction which points out the whole duty of man, which is to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Just in proportion as this is done, there is a doing of the Word, and the convictions from the Holy Spirit of God are in proportion to their unselfish service to God. A work—a great work—in the Lord’s moral vineyard has been waiting to be done. What has hindered this work? The [want of] co-operation of the human agent to become a channel through which the Lord can communicate to those who are in moral darkness. It seems that Satan has lulled them to sleep.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 15

    The Word of God is to be acted, it is to be lived, it is to be practiced. How long shall the Lord wait for the churches to take up the work appointed them? If they had done the part appointed them of God, Dr. Kellogg would have borne only his proportionate part; but those who ought to have acted largely in this line are content to watch and criticize and conjecture and speechify. Far better would it have been for their spiritual and eternal good had they learned what true, unselfish service to God means. Have those who have professed to be servants of Jesus Christ forgotten [the words of Inspiration], “Ye are laborers together with God” [1 Corinthians 3:9], to break up, by every means in your power, [the] infatuation that is holding the world away from faith in God?12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 16

    Man is a being with strong passions which need to be brought under [the] control [of] God. Who will become partners with Jesus Christ in this great work? Satan is working vigilantly; he is determined to battle till the last for supremacy. The Christian must exert an influence that will, united with Jesus Christ, be a positive power to counter-work the deceiving power of Satan over human souls. The Lord calls for faithful workers who shall give direct personal labor to reach men and women where they are, and educate and train the trembling sinner to look to Jesus and live. Bear in mind that no one becomes virtuous or pure or holy without seeking most earnestly and continually to be thus.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 17

    Help is needed. There are many minds that, with proper labor bestowed upon them in faith, would develop fine specimens of redeemed humanity for God’s glory, and [would become] true workers to win other souls to Christ. They would know the better the needs of those in moral darkness, without God, without hope in the world.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 18

    The courage of the soldier rises as he puts on his uniform. We all need to put on Christ in order to reveal Christ. It is a working church that is a living church.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 19

    My brethren in America, in the place of questioning and criticizing Dr. Kellogg because he is doing the class of work he is, when you do your God-given service, you will be heart and soul engaged in doing the same kind of work, which will be of far more account in the sight of God than so many clustering in Battle Creek where they become religious dwarfs because they do not do the work God has appointed them. Had the testimonies God has given been heeded, we would have had today churches full of zeal, earnest to save souls who have not had any personal efforts made in their behalf.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 20

    [In] this work [of] reaching after the most hopeless, you reach after many who have once held high positions—physicians, ministers, mechanics, merchants, men of [every] degree, high and low. The Lord has appointed that these should have a chance, and one soul that has been forgiven much because he received Jesus Christ, will be prepared to give the same kind of labor to other perishing souls. This will give character to the work far more than your imposing buildings. God will put His signature upon such work. Churches in America should have seen [that] this kind of work needed to be done, and it needs to be done here if we had any means that we could use to set in operation such a work.12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 21

    The blessed Jesus, our Redeemer, received His appointed work, His priestly office, by the Lord’s setting Him apart. He did not live to glorify himself, but to serve His fellow men. If those in Battle Creek would take up this appointed work to do for suffering humanity what must be done, there would be less indifference, less coldness, less thinking evil, speaking evil, and criticizing, and Dr. Kellogg would not be pressed out of measure by our inconsistencies and ... [Remainder missing.]12LtMs, Ms 6, 1897, par. 22

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