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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)

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    Ms 171, 1905

    Methods of Labor



    Previously unpublished.

    I have been instructed to say to all, Will you learn of the great Teacher? Will you drink of the pure waters of Lebanon, or will you drink of the murky human channel and communicate human theories? Do these satisfy the soul? “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.” [John 6:45.] Then if the human agent will accept this higher education, he will not become subject to the fickle changes of men. Human judgment is not infallible.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 1

    “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” John 6:45-47. How many really and genuinely believe, as little children believe in their earthly parents?20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 2

    “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if a man eat of this bread,” meaning spiritual life of Jesus Christ, “he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” Verses 48-56.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 3

    We ask of those who are teaching the truth, Have you been living this oneness with Christ Jesus? I feel alarmed as I see so many striving to make themselves prominent. In doing this they turn others from Christ to human agencies; and because there is a failure in the human agencies to bring about wonderful things, they would be continually making changes, developing and then retrograding. When you build not on your own mighty agency, but on the Book, there will be, when you assemble, much more praying for divine teaching than crowding in such a great store of human wisdom which does not fulfil the words of Christ.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 4

    “These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” Verses 59, 60. Who can receive it? I am instructed to say there are some Bible teachers who have the same thoughts in their hearts. They have not an abiding Christ. They have theories, but not a living experience; therefore they are in spiritual starvation because they do not eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. “He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” [Verse 56.] There are many who are very active, full of zeal where and when they desire to do something, but are they in Christ and Christ in them? Are they patient in seeking to know the will of Christ and studying His life and His character? He is the light of heaven that has come into our world, and we must be like Christ if we shall ever be so highly favored as to see Him as He is. There is a clear understanding, a clear, sanctified perception of what it means to co-operate with Christ, to be in partnership with the Light of the world, catching the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness and, divested of every selfish motive, becoming one with Christ. Thus work out your own salvation upon sure and never-failing lines, with fear and with trembling, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.]20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 5

    It is not what man of himself can do, but what Christ can do as they work together in partnership. You work out daily that which Christ works in. You are to communicate that which will make you a light-bearer to the world. You become God’s human helping hand in medical missionary work. The true idea is co-operation, which means that the human powers are under subordination to the spirit, the mind, the will, the methods of Christ. As Christ was entirely dependent on the Father, you must be dependent on Christ Jesus and not swell out in your human supposed efficiency. We are all little children in comparison with the Great Teacher, and we are to be apt learners.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 6

    Christ has said that what He saw the Father do He did also in His mission and work. We are here below as learners of Christ, when we accept Christ entirely as our Saviour, submerging our will in Christ’s will, having no will of our own—for our will is altogether untrustworthy. Believe, my brethren and my sisters, believe that He will do this work with power in and through you, if you do not hinder the Lord Jesus by getting in His way and gathering up a whole burden of human theories you consider very wise, but which hinder His pure, correct working out of heavenly principles. Unless you see your mistakes, He cannot work with you; and you are obliged to work alone. And what perplexities you bring into the work! It is not a genuine, stable work, and your supposed helpfulness is a continual working against Christ’s methods. “He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Take time to pray. It pays always to get down off your stilts of self-knowledge and self-righteousness and come as a little child to Christ. Feel and do just as He has invited you: “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.]20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 7

    If you would first learn of Jesus before you attempt to teach others, we should see the good fruit and take courage. Fellowship with Christ means a great deal to us in our religious experience, and I have a word from the Lord Jesus to the churches. “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, ... even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” [1 John 2:27.] This must be the lesson to be learned, to undo all you suppose needs to be undone in order to work successfully. Undo your individual self, every one of you. Open the heart to Christ and crucify self and self-importance, which is closing the door to Jesus. Have you received the Holy Spirit? Have you been under the guidance of Christ Jesus?20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 8

    If you are learning of Christ, you will be imparting constantly that which you receive in much prayer and sure faith at the footstool of the throne of God and the Lamb, from whence flows the life-giving waters. Then give expression to your thanksgiving to God because He has helped you to see that you were a little child. Never, never encourage that ruling authority. That education which leads men to honor men and depend on men dishonors God and enfeebles your whole religious experience. “When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?” John 6:61, 62. He would convey to them that He would receive greater honor than He now claimed as being the bread of life. What will you say when I shall ascend up where I was before? “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Verse 63.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 9

    What is needed in our council meetings, in our church ministry? Mistakes are often made in supposing success means a storm of music and great and wonderful discourses. There is much in such exercises that makes a great showing, but have the workers walked humbly with God? Why do they feel dissatisfied at no special results? Oh, because they have not been coming into the secret chambers of the Most High and confessing their mistakes and errors and weeping out their hard hearts. There has not been much repentance. You may storm at some defect you see in others, when far worse defects abide in your own mind, words and expression of unchristlike character. The emotional element may be stirred, but where is the fruit thereof? Sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning of Christ His will, and feasting upon His words, they become a wellspring of the water of life, refreshing all that they come in connection with.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 10

    The Lord would have us as little children look to Him and trust in His love and have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. You will not be in any way prepared to join the heavenly choir above unless you can sing the precious songs of praise and thanksgiving from the heart. Life in Christ Jesus makes you a true, humble, devoted Christian. How long shall we remain in darkness before the Christian church will learn that its efficiency is in submission and sweet communion with Jesus Christ in God the Father, and that as they go forth from the Father and the Son, having sweet communing with the heavenly agencies, they have a soul full of precious, heavenly blessings to communicate to the church.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 11

    The world will become acquainted with the works you do, not by the profession you make. When will every individual member of the church become the helping hand of God in all missionary endeavors? Our whole body of believing Seventh-day Adventists wants to be turned squarely around, to be “looking unto Jesus” [Hebrews 12:2], and by beholding becoming changed into His image. It is not feeling a good emotion that will last and bear the strains of difficulties and disappointment of suffering and pain. What influence have these had upon my life?20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 12

    The preaching of the gospel by the most earnest expositor of the truth of the Word must be received into good and honest hearts and heard with a receptive spirit. Have you received the leaves plucked for you and brought to you for the healing of your soul maladies? Have you taken the Word, digested the Word, and have you received new ideas by the impression of the Holy Spirit upon the heart? Do you see Christ our Saviour full of compassion and love for all needy perishing souls? Do you see that you have a part to act with Christ to express that same divine sympathy and tenderness for souls that you long to reach? Upon your knees before God, plead with all the earnestness that it is possible for you to gather, that you can bear some fruit in winning souls to Jesus Christ.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 13

    If the church does no better than the world in soul-saving and in the work of overcoming, then they are in no way better than the world. They have not life in themselves. Their light is going out or gone out if they ever had any. Where there is a demonstration of religious zeal, there will be life and earnestness. Expression of character in words is a power of talent all may acquire if they will feel their need of working in companionship with the great Medical Missionary. You need not exalt self. You need not act the commander. But love and fear God, and you will see fruit to the glory of God. Thus will you advance by obtaining a rich experience in expression of character in your efforts to use your God-given ability in the very meekest way and to act wholeheartedly in love and devotion to God.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 14

    How many are ready to die, and you do not help them to live through, saying, “Behold”—not me, but—“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Without any climbing up into places of authority, you can by actions demonstrate your faithful service. If the Corneliuses that are outside the church do the work Christ demands, then their religious life is recommended of God as ones who should have advancement, and God will take such ones into covenant relation with Himself.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 15

    Let all church members consider: Are you increasing in Christian development? Do you learn of One who is meek and lowly of heart, or are you provoked that you do not have such success in fruit-bearing as some souls who have far less ability, but who are deeply grateful that they have a chance to improve their talents? There can be no growth of power without using the faculties of the soul. Christ comes right with you, and says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.]20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 16

    Christian benevolence grows with the exercise of the gift of giving. The Lord said to His disciples just before He left them, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall see Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” John 13:33. The Lord sees all the danger, and how tenderly He uttered the words “little children.” They may safely put their trust in Him as little children, imitating the example of Christ, especially His humility, condescension, and kindness; and in believing in His merits, in His love toward them, and in His declarations to them; and in obeying His Word and keeping His commandments. Christ does not want any who claim to believe in Him to injure their influence to speech or action, for they dishonor Him and put Him to shame and bring reproach upon His name. Love for Christ is evidenced in love for those who believe in Jesus Christ, especially when leading men become exalted and would advocate a ruling, dominating power over others. Leading men will in their wisdom, which is foolishness, reveal they are in no condition to command or to be honored; for they have dishonored themselves in their supposed superiority. Their wisdom stands forth as foolishness.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 17

    Christ is speaking to those who have had evidence of His Messiahship. “For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I shall lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:38-40.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 18

    Here is faith. Then comes in the natural man, the unconverted man. “The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven?” Verses 41, 42. In our day we see the same darkness that existed when Christ in person came into our world at His appointed time. “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Verses 43, 44.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 19

    Read this chapter and then believe humbly as a little child. If you will humble yourselves to learn and receive instruction as little children, each seeing to help each other to understand, what a flood of light would burst in upon us! But those who ought to be learning suppose they may be teaching and are persistent that others shall learn of them in the place of going to the great Teacher and letting the Word He has spoken be studied and appreciated.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 20

    The Lord would have the history of Peter’s conversion read and reread. Peter goes up on the housetop to pray, and the angel puts Peter in a way to receive the truth himself concerning the purpose of God to the Gentiles and to take away the barriers between Jew and Gentile. There was to be more than one man converted in this transaction. Peter was to be appointed to become the human instrument in the hands of the heavenly agencies. This puts great honor upon the gospel. Heaven and earth are united in accomplishing the work. Although Cornelius has been accepted of God in his devout piety, although commended, still he has an advance in faith and a new experience to obtain in order to do his work intelligently through Jesus Christ. He that had believed the Word of God promising a Messiah must now have opportunity to receive the fulfilment of the promise. Neither prayer nor almsgiving can take the place of Christ Jesus, for in Him all fulness dwells. He must send forth men to Joppa. All the particulars are given. Acts 10. This is the commandment that Jews and Gentiles are by faith to be joined to Jesus Christ. Prayers and alms are acceptable as far as their knowledge goes, but all can only be complete in Him. Cornelius is not to receive the communication of the gospel from the angel, but Cornelius and Peter must become acquainted in the gospel missionary work; and this man of influence could, in connection with the believers in Jesus Christ, accomplish a great work.20LtMs, Ms 171, 1905, par. 21

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