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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    FOR our study this morning, we will take up the last division of the chapter, which treats of the work of the ministry. “And you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death.” Colossians 1:21. the same thought is expressed in Ephesians 2:12. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the common-wealth of Israel.” to be alienated is to be without Christ. It is to be an enemy of God, opposed to his government. An alien has no privileges nor rights. He belongs to Satan’s government and is enlisted against God and his truth. In Romans 8:5-7 a similar thought is expressed. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” It is ruled by the desires of the flesh. In Colossians we are shown in what respect they were alienated. It was in their minds. The mind controls the body, and when it is an enemy to God, the whole body is brought into the same condition, “by wicked works.” The Syriac reads, “Enemies in your minds because of your evil deeds.” Evil deeds are the legitimate fruits of a carnal mind, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” And what is in the flesh? “I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. Paul says (1 Corinthians 2:16): “We have the mind of Christ.” Then if we have the mind of Christ, who is leading our mind? Christ. And if he directs the mind, what about the flesh? Here is where we many times fail in the Christian experience. We want to direct the flesh so that we may direct the mind. We pledge ourselves that we will keep the flesh under, but do we succeed? No. If we could only put it the other way, and get the mind of Christ and let it rule in our flesh, then we would realize in some measure the peace and joy that God has for us. Only give the mind up to Christ, think about him, and dwell upon him, and then you may be assured that your life will be what he would have it. By receiving the mind of Christ, we receive Christ and his righteousness. Whoever receives this shall not perish, but receives remission of sins, is justified from all things, belongs to the body, and has everlasting life.GCB February 11, 1895, page 101.5

    Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” As members of the same body we cannot be enemies one to another, and be in union with the head. The whole drift of the first chapter of Colossians is to show what the Lords wants of his people. He does not want them to rise a little, and then loose their hold, and come down. He does not want them to watch what this or that man is doing, and follow his example. We are not to say, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” but we are to say, “I am of Christ.” The word of Christ comes directly from himself to the believer.GCB February 11, 1895, page 101.6

    Suppose a minister teaches something from the Scriptures, and makes it clear to a hundred other minds, but I do not see it. Am I to condemn his position because it is not clear to me? Suppose, on the other hand, God gives me light from the Scriptures, am I to condemn my brethren who do not see it? Shall I spend the precious moments charging my brethren with heresy? “Take heed lest the light that is in thee be turned into darkness” is the admonition of the Saviour. Let me rather live that light out in my life, and then the brethren will begin to see it. If a man gets further than you, come along just as fast as you can. There is not a soul here this morning but can know much more of the word of God. “Walk in the light” should be the counsel of all at this time. If we walk with God, we must walk in the light, for he is light.GCB February 11, 1895, page 101.7

    He cannot look upon sin with any favor, but his mercy is ever extended to the wrong doer. If we have his mind, we will do as he does. If we are of his body, his tender spirit of compassion goes through us to the erring.GCB February 11, 1895, page 101.8

    Let me read you the words of the Saviour in regard to union among his followers:—GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.1

    As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:18-22.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.2

    Christ desires a oneness in his people. He does not want a dividing up. But the trouble in the body is often this: we want a oneness, but want it to be of ourselves. We are willing that everybody should be of one mind, providing that they are of our mind. That is selfishness. The spirit of Jesus Christ is, Let us all have the mind of God. We need to make this a practical thing in our lives. It will do away with any amount of criticism. Unity is strength, and we must have it among us as a people. How can we obtain it? Not by fixing others up, and getting them straight. No, it must come from within. Let us ask ourselves, “Am I like my Master?”GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.3

    Some have thought that the way to get unity in a church is to turn out all the elements that did not seem to agree well. The Lord has not told us to do that, but he has told us that unless we as individuals come up to the high standard that he requires, he is going to shake us out. I do not want to spend my time in doing the shaking either, because God has said that he would do that himself.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.4

    Christian growth consists in becoming more like Christ, day by day. But it is so natural for us to want to put our hand to the work, and try to care for it. We may learn a valuable lesson from the experience of Uzzah. The Lord is leading us as a people. His hand may not always be seen during the storm, but his hand is at the helm. We may become impatient because we do not see things move as we want them to, yet we should remember that the Lord can take care of his cause. This does not mean disorganization. Organization will grow more and more complete as we approach the end, but it will be divine organization working through human instruments.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.5

    “To present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight.” Colossians 1:22. This is the high position which God would see his church occupy. and how may it be attained? It is by heart purity. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The heart is the principal thing in believing; for into it Christ is received, and in it he dwells by faith. The vital union between Christ and the believer is manifested and made known in the heart, and therein it is cemented and established. Christ gives himself freely to his body, the believers, and they in turn give themselves up in faith to their head. He purifies his body that he may present it as a bride to his Father.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.6

    “If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which was under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” The Syriac reads, “The hope of the gospel, of which ye have heard, that is proclaimed in all the creation beneath heaven.” Some have taken this text in Colossians to prove that at the time he wrote, Paul and his fellow-laborers in the gospel had carried it to all the world. I do not think that the text necessarily teaches that. The gospel embraces the work for fallen man as far back as the fall of man. In Galatians 3:8 we read that the gospel was preached unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” In its very nature the gospel is a blessing to all creation. It is the word of God, and by that word all things are upheld. If his word which promises salvation to those who will take it, should fail in one point, it would become worthless and would cease to uphold the creation of God. therefore a failure in the gospel would involve the fate of the universe. It is no wonder that all created beings are interested in the plan of salvation. Think, then, of the responsibility resting upon you who are ministers of this word. Your work is not a local one, confined to your own conferences. Remember you occupy the position of ambassadors of Jesus Christ before the universe.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.7

    Now we are ready to take up the 25th verse: “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God. So ministers are made. Brethren, I long to see the time when more ministers will be made by the Lord. Such a minister does not only interest a congregation, but he presents the gospel so that it will take hold of men’s hearts. “Whom we preach.” Whom? Christ. is a minister called upon to preach anything else? But will he not then leave out some part of the message? No. “Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Notice that it is “warning every man, teaching every man, that we may present every man.” The apostle here describes a work with men, not simply with congregations.GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.8

    it is so natural for us in our work to lead people to ourselves. The best way to avoid it is to be filled with the gospel, and to make it our only study to bring it to others, — to reconcile them to christ. Read the charge that you each had given you when you were ordained to the ministry. “Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”GCB February 11, 1895, page 102.9

    But I do not desire to instruct you in regard to preaching, and can do no better this morning than to read you a few extracts from “Gospel Workers,” which will be more helpful than anything I could say.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.1

    I was shown that ministers of Christ should discipline themselves for the warfare. Greater wisdom is required in generalship in the work of God than is required of the generals engaged in national battles. Ministers of God’s choosing are engaged in a great work. They are warring not merely against men, but against Satan and his angels. Wise generalship is required here. They must become Bible students, and give themselves wholly to the work. p.155.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.2

    From past experience we know that when laboring in a certain place we have brought the people to a certain point, and desire to push them along into all parts of the truth, often our lack of wise generalship and of consecration, have been a hindrance to us. What shall we do? Let us seek God to get rid of these defects. Let us be strong where we are weak for there is divine strength in store for us. I will read further.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.3

    When they begin to labor in a place, they should be able to give the reasons of our faith, not in a boisterous manner, not with a perfect storm, but with meekness and fear. The power which will convince, is strong arguments presented in meekness and in the fear of God. Able ministers of Christ are required for the work in these last days of peril, — able in word and doctrine, acquainted with the Scriptures, and understanding the reasons of our faith p.155.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.4

    A pompous minister, all dignity, is not needed for this good work. But decorum is necessary in the desk. A minister of the gospel should not be regardless of his attitude. If he is the representative of Christ, his deportment, his attitude, his gestures, should be of such a character as will not strike the beholder with disgust. Ministers should possess refinement. they should discard all uncouth manners, attitudes, and gestures, and should encourage in themselves humble dignity of bearing. They should be clothed in a manner befitting the dignity of their position. Their speech should be in every respect solemn and well-chosen. I was shown that it is wrong to make coarse, irreverent expressions, to relate anecdotes to amuse, or present comic illustrations to create a laugh. Sarcasm and playing upon the words of an opponent are all out of God’s order. Ministers should not feel that they can make no improvement in voice or manners; much can be done. The voice can be cultivated so that quite lengthy speaking will not injure the vocal organs.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.5

    Let us make the word that we preach just as important to us as we expect it to be to others. Let us not be slack and untidy. by our conduct and appearance we can preach the gospel as powerfully as in words.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.6

    (Continued from page 81.)GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.7

    An earnest season of prayer was followed by testimonies from various brethren, of which we give a brief epitome:—GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.8

    W. W. Prescott: One word expresses the cause and source of all our trouble, and one word expresses the remedy. The trouble is self, the remedy is Christ. A. T. Jones: When we see eye to eye, God will bring again Zion. We have reached a most critical time; and whatever may come I desire most of all to stand where God wants me. J. N. Loughborough: I have thought much of the time when there were but six laborers in the cause besides Sister White. I am the only one of the six left by death. It is a great thing to stand where God can speak to us. I thank God that it is still my privilege to have some humble part in the work and to stand where he can speak to me. N. W. Allee: The Lord at this time wants loyalty. The kingdom of heaven is like leaven and so is evil. Our experiences must be individual. J. J. Devereaux: I am so glad that God has thoughts of mercy to his people; and not only so but he things on me. C. L. Boyd: I most earnestly desire a living connection with Christ where I can know — not by other’s telling me but by experience — of my acceptance with him. S. H. Lane: The difficulty has been pointed out, also the remedy. do not let us be discouraged at the difficulty, but apply the remedy. H. W. Mitchell: I want to stand on the Lord’s side, ready to hear his word. C. N. Sanders: I am encouraged by the knowledge that God loves me. This is true, else he would not reveal himself to me. H. E. Robinson: The instructions of this meeting have been and are of great encouragement to me, and I see the truth more and more clearly. D. C. Babcock: To say that I am enjoying these meetings but faintly expresses the fact. D. A. Robinson: Jacob exclaimed, “Surely, the Lord was in this place.” he was there because Jacob was there; and to know that fact was eternal life. to be able to recognize the presence and hear the word of God is life eternal to us. F. M. Wilcox: I thank God that when he wounds the heart he is ready to heal. G. B. Tripp: I am of good courage. We are facing a mighty crisis; but we may look to the source of strength and thus be kept. N. P. Nelson: The question often comes to me, Why am I intrusted with such an important work? I am unworthy and can only look to Christ. W. S. Hyatt: The searching testimony comes close to me. “It is I.” But I look to Christ. J. W. Watt: I have been led to feel my own unworthiness, but have been encouraged by marked evidences that the Lord was with me, and so I trust in Him. C. A.GCB February 11, 1895, page 103.9

    Washburn: For many years I have given my service to God. I renew the consecration to-day. While the old soldiers are one by one dropping away, I am spared, and God shall have my remaining days. N. W. Kauble: While I see the application of the close testimony to my case, by faith I apply the remedy for sin. R. M. Kilgore: I have never felt so confident that God is at the helm as now. As the message comes to us, “Come out of Babylon,” my heart responds. Luther Warren: I rejoice in the rise of the message and work of God and that it is our privilege to rise and finally to triumph with it. J. M. Rees: We know we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. The Lord is blessing me as never before. R. C. Porter: I have felt the need of drawing nearer to God. My experience with him is deepening and broadening. For the past two years I have enjoyed the peace of God.GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.1

    A few others bore testimonies whose remarks are not noted, but these extracts will give the trend of the meeting, though they cannot convey the deep, tender spirit which pervaded it.GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.2

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