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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)

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    Ms 102, 1903

    Co-Laborers With Christ

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    November 17, 1902

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 6BC 1087, 1098; 10MR 323-327; 17MR 29. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    God calls upon His people to come into line. Let all, for Christ’s sake, seek to overcome the disposition to draw apart, standing alone or in little companies. We need to cherish love for God and for one another, that there may be seen among us the unity for which Christ prayed just before His crucifixion. Every believer is to seek for sanctification through the truth. He is so to use his talents that he may answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 1

    “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] Those who are converted will, even in this world of selfishness, live well-ordered, unselfish, sanctified lives. They will do all in their power to heal the differences that have arisen among God’s people, saying to those who would draw apart, “Press together. Be one, as Christ was one with the Father. Seek to fulfil the prayer of Him whose we are by creation and by redemption.”18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 2

    To no man has God given the work of ruling over or judging his fellow men. Man is finite, erring, fallible. Every one has a work to do for himself. He is to wear the yoke of Christ, and learn His meekness and lowliness.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 3

    Let a work be done that will reach to the ends of the earth. Let those who have made self their center, and whose circumference has therefore been narrow, make their circumference the universe, by taking the Lord Jesus as their center. What men need now is to be very humble, wearing Christ’s yoke, learning their lessons from Him, and teaching these lessons, not merely in word, but in deed. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.” [Romans 11:33.]18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 4

    The Holy Spirit has been prevented from coming in to mold and fashion heart and mind, because men suppose that they understand best how to form their own characters. And they think that they may safely form their characters after their own model. But there is only one model after which human character is to be formed—the character of Christ. Those who behold the Saviour are changed from glory to greater glory. When men will consent to submit to Christ’s will, to be partakers of the divine nature, their crooked, human peculiarities will disappear. When they decide that they will retain their own peculiarities and disagreeable traits of character, Satan takes them and places his yoke on them, using them to do his service. He uses their talents for selfish purposes, causing them to set an example so disagreeable, so unchristlike, that they become a reproach to the cause of God.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 5

    Some sell themselves to the enemy, accepting his propositions and working directly contrary to the Word and works of God. Satan keeps them very busy, carrying out a multitude of plans that the Lord never thought of bringing to His people. The enemy takes advantage of their zeal and energy, using these to work out his purposes, improving every favorable opportunity to unfold to them plans that will work decidedly against God’s plans.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 6

    The Lord will give due warning; and if this warning is despised, if men are determined that they will not leave their crooked devising for the Lord’s way of working, He will leave them to themselves. They must either serve the Lord wholly or be the servants of sin.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 7

    The Lord is greatly displeased when His people fraternize with the world in its scheming, seeking the counsel of worldly lawyers and following in the footsteps of worldly men. The Holy Spirit cannot work in harmony with the methods of the world. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:24.] “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.]18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 8

    The Holy Spirit’s work is to mold and fashion human agencies, leading them to use their abilities in the work of the Lord in co-operation with Christ. The Word of God urges us to accept the companionship of Christ, that the fragrance of His character may be imparted to us. Through union with Him, we shall be sanctified, enabled to work out our salvation according to Bible principles. The Lord gives us power to become His sons. “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:13.] The power of God working in the heart will remove the evils that have been caused by a misuse of the talents entrusted to man by his Creator. The Lord makes His will and way known to him who becomes a partaker of the divine nature. The discouraging influence that such a one has had over others is changed by the indwelling Spirit—the power by which God works on the heart of man. By imparting to others the grace received, he becomes an instrument in God’s hand for the uplifting of humanity.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 9

    Jesus came to this world to act as the leader in the work of saving souls. The efforts of those who co-operate with Him will receive His sanction.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 10

    Man’s greatest enemy is himself. When he comes under the deceptive power of Satan, he obstinately insists on carrying out his own devisings. Yet the power of Christ is stronger than the power of Satan, and through human beings who are sanctified by His presence, God causes to flow forth to the world the knowledge of His infinite love.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 11

    The Holy Spirit will surely manifest His presence whenever man separates himself from the world and comes into union with God.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 12

    I speak to my brethren and sisters who know the truth. Will you not seek to blend in Christian fellowship? Will you not strengthen one another, in God’s way? In your work of character building, be sure that Christ is your director. It makes a great difference whether you are laborers together with God or whether you are laborers together against God, whether it is your highest ambition to magnify God or to magnify yourself and your plans. Christ declares, “Without Me ye can do nothing”—nothing that will be approved by God. [John 15:5.] Study your motives carefully, and make sure that you are not working in your own wisdom, apart from Christ.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 13

    Satan seeks to keep himself and his work in disguise. He does not wish to be known as the one who in heaven sought to be equal with God and brought on a war amongst the angels.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 14

    In these last days men will arise who in self-sufficiency will do some wonderful work, following worldly plans and drawing away many disciples after them. These leaders are seeking their own interests, rather than the glory of God and the well-being of His people. Beware of such. You cannot depend on them. Unless you are sure that men are wholly consecrated to the service of God, beware how you accept their plans. Unless a man reveals that his message and his works are inspired by God, beware of his working. In many cases the character is such that the man exerts his influence on the side of Satan. When God controls the mind of a man, He imparts new and higher impulses to him.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 15

    God has promised to strengthen the humble and contrite ones who seek Him on the highway of holiness. His followers shall not walk in darkness. They will understand what the perfect will of God is. But they will be favored thus only as they present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Him.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 16

    Be careful how you receive the propositions of men who see no objection to linking up with those who do not obey the truth. Are those who do this holding the truth in righteousness? Are they holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end?18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 17

    To those who are conscious that they are not fully doing the will of the Lord, I would say, Do not delay to make your peace with Him. If you accept the representations of Satan, he will gladly lead you in false paths, away from God. The heart must be kept pure and holy, free from every vestige of selfishness. Satan will come to you as he came to Jesus and will beset you with various forms of temptation. Unless you are kept by the power of God, you will fall under the enemy’s temptation. If he once obtains a foothold in your mind, he will work upon it with all his deceptive power.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 18

    Sin is drawing the world on to ruin. God’s people are to come out from the world and its evil practices and be separate. Each one is to make a sincere, thorough examination of self. Each one is to ask, What is my faith? What is my calling? Is my spiritual eyesight clear? Each one is to make Christ his pattern. Those who do this will exert a Christlike influence. Our deeds, our words, our purposes are to be sanctified to one great end—a preparation for eternal life.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 19

    Christ became one with the human family—bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He came to this world and dwelt among men. He came in human form, yet possessing all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, to proclaim the principles of heaven, and to enable men and women to walk in divine wisdom. He came to reveal to the universe the infinite love of God for fallen human beings.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 20

    It was that He might draw humanity into one family that Christ came to this world. He came to lead men and women away from all sin. He lived before them a life of unparalleled self-denial. In every act, in every word, He made His Father’s glory His first consideration. In order that He might know how to deliver His people from temptation, He met in conflict the fallen host, with Lucifer at their head. He pledged Himself to endure all the temptations that man must endure, that He might know how to succor those who are tempted.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 21

    We are to learn the lessons that God has given in His Word. So long as God spares my life, I will refuse to sanction the underhand, disguised working that shows evidence of unsanctified minds. Our work is to proclaim the message for this time. Christ is competent to empower His church with His own earnestness, and yet keep them free from every phase of fanaticism.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 22

    The Family an Educational Agency

    In His wisdom the Lord has decreed that the family shall be the greatest of all educational agencies. The education of the child is to begin in the home. There it is to learn the lessons that are to guide it throughout life. From its infancy it is to be taught to obey and honor its parents. Never should it be allowed to show them disrespect. Self-will, hasty words are never to be allowed to go unrebuked.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 23

    Parents should realize the sacredness of family discipline. The children are to be taught to respect themselves, because they are the Lord’s property, bought with an infinite price.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 24

    Parents have been entrusted with a most important stewardship, a sacred charge. They are to make their family a symbol of the family in heaven, of which they hope to become members when their day of test and trial here below shall have ended.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 25

    The influence exerted in the home must be Christlike. This is the most effective ministration in the character building of the child. The words spoken are to be pleasant. No boisterous, arbitrary, masterful spirit is to be allowed to come into the family. Every member is to be taught that he is to prepare to be a member of the royal family.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 26

    The father and the mother are to place themselves decidedly on the Lord’s side. It is their part to bring light and peace and joy into the home circle. They are to exert an influence which shows that they are guided and controlled by the principles of heaven. They are to draw in even cords. Their every act is to be in harmony with heaven.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 27

    The parents in the home and the teacher in the school are to co-operate. The instruction given the child in the home is to be such as will help the teacher. In the home the child is to be taught the importance of neatness, order, and thoroughness, and these lessons are to be repeated in the school.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 28

    Our schools are to be built up. They are to be as the schools of the prophets. We are to expect that angels of God will be the helpers of the teachers in all the service that is done to the glory of God.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 29

    But remember that the child’s first school is the home. There it is to learn its most important lessons. Parents, remember that your home is a training school in which your children are to be prepared for the home above. Deny them anything rather than the education that they should receive in their earliest years. Allow no word of pettishness. Teach your children to be kind and patient. Teach them to be thoughtful of others. Thus you are preparing them for higher ministry in religious things.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 30

    The history of every one is written in the books of heaven, that all may know that their reward or punishment is according to their works—their service in this life. Let parents remember that every day makes part of their history, and that no neglect must be permitted in the home, because they never know how soon sickness and death may come to them or their children.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 31

    In the church, in the home, children are to learn to pray and to trust in God. They are to learn that they are to prepare to become members of the family of heaven, and that therefore they must be kind and dutiful to their parents, respecting their wishes.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 32

    The father and mother should work together, in full sympathy with each other. They should make themselves companions to their children.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 33

    Do not give the children playthings that are easily broken and thus teach them lessons of destructiveness. The influence thus made upon their minds is not the most helpful to them. Let them have few playthings, and let these be strong and durable. Such things, small though they may seem, mean much in the education of a child. When children reach a suitable age, they should be provided with tools. Both boys and girls should learn to use these tools. You will find them apt pupils.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 34

    If the father is a carpenter, he should give his boys lessons in house building, ever bringing into his instruction lessons from the Bible, the words of Scripture in which the Lord compares human beings to His building.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 35

    If possible, let your home be out of the city, that your children may have ground to cultivate. Let them each have a piece of ground as their own; and as you teach them how to make a garden, how to prepare the soil for the seed, and the importance of keeping all the weeds pulled out, teach them how important it is to keep unsightly, injurious practices out of the life. Teach them to keep down wrong habits as they keep down the weeds in their gardens. It will take time to teach these lessons, but it will pay, yes, greatly pay.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 36

    God demands of parents a faithful study of His Word and a determined effort to make a success of the church in the home. Then parents with their converted children—the result of their obedience with God—can carry into the church their self-denial and sacrifice and their spiritual strength.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 37

    Our First Parents

    The Lord created man out of the dust of the earth. He made Adam a partaker of His life, His nature. There was breathed into him the breath of the Almighty, and he became a living soul. Adam was perfect in form—strong, comely, pure, bearing the image of his Maker. God gave him a companion, a wife, to share with him the beauties of nature. In order for this holy pair to continue to be happy, God gave them something to do. The fact that they were holy did not debar them from working. God is never idle. To every one of the angelic host is given an appointed task. Adam and Eve were given the garden of Eden to care for. They were “to dress it and to keep it.” [Genesis 2:15.] They were happy in their work. Mind, heart, and will acted in perfect harmony. In their labor they found no weariness, no toil. Their hours were filled with useful work and communion with each other. Their occupation was pleasant. God and Christ visited them and talked with them. They were given perfect freedom. Only one restriction was placed on them. “Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat,” God said; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” [Verses 16, 17.]18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 38

    This was the test of their obedience. God was the owner of their Eden home. They held it under Him.18LtMs, Ms 102, 1903, par. 39

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