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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    A Call for Gospel Medical Missionaries

    When Jesus sent forth the Twelve on their first mission of mercy, He commissioned them “to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2. “As ye go,” He said, “preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7, 8. And as they “went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere” (Luke 9:6), the blessing of heaven accompanied their labors. The fulfillment of the Saviour's commission by the disciples made their message the power of God unto salvation, and through their efforts many were brought to a knowledge of the Messiah.CT 465.1

    The Seventy who were sent out a little later were also commissioned to “heal the sick” (Luke 10:9) as well as to announce the advent of the promised Redeemer. In their work of teaching and healing, the disciples followed the example of the Master Teacher, who ministered to both soul and body. The gospel which He taught was a message of spiritual life and physical restoration. Deliverance from sin and the healing of disease were linked together.CT 465.2

    And at the close of His earthly ministry, when He charged His disciples with a solemn commission to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” He declared that their ministry would receive confirmation through the restoration of the sick to health. Ye “shall lay hands on the sick,” He said, “and they shall recover.” Mark 16:15, 18. By healing in His name the diseases of the body, they would testify to His power for the healing of the soul.CT 466.1

    The Saviour's commission to the disciples includes all believers to the end of time. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ.CT 466.2

    “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” This world is a vast lazar house; but Christ came to heal the sick, to proclaim deliverance to the captives of Satan. He was in Himself health and strength. He imparted His life to the sick, the afflicted, those possessed of demons. He knew that many of those who petitioned Him for help had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them. And when virtue from Christ entered into these poor souls, they were convicted of sin, and many were healed of their spiritual disease as well as of their physical maladies.CT 466.3

    To many of the afflicted ones who received healing, Christ said, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” John 5:14. Thus He taught that disease is the result of violating God's laws, both natural and spiritual. The great misery in the world would not exist had men from the beginning lived in harmony with the Creator's plan. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.CT 466.4

    And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.CT 467.1

    Never has the world's need for teaching and healing been greater than it is today. The world is full of those who need to be ministered unto—the weak, the helpless, the ignorant, the degraded. The continual transgression of man for nearly six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruit. Multitudes are perishing for lack of knowledge.CT 467.2

    As God's ministers behold the awful results of long-continued sin, their hearts are touched with the world's woe, and they are endeavoring to labor as the Master Workman and His disciples labored. Connected with the divine Healer, they are going forth in the power of His might to teach and to heal. They realize that the gospel is the only antidote for sin, and that as Christ's witnesses they are to bear testimony to its power. As they point the afflicted ones to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, His transforming grace and miracle-working power are causing many to accept the message of truth that is borne. His healing power, united with the gospel message, is bringing success in emergencies. The Holy Spirit is working upon hearts, and the salvation of God is being revealed.CT 467.3

    But the world's need today cannot be met fully by the ministry of God's servants who have been called to preach the everlasting gospel to every creature. While it is well, so far as possible, for evangelical workers to learn how to minister to the necessities of the body as well as of the soul, thus following the example of Christ, yet they cannot spend all their time and strength in relieving those in need of help. The Lord has ordained that with those who preach the word shall be associated His medical missionary workers—Christian physicians and nurses who have received special training in the healing of disease and in soul winning.CT 468.1

    Medical missionaries and workers in the gospel ministry are to be bound together by indissoluble ties. Their work is to be done with freshness and power. By their combined efforts the world is to be prepared for the second advent of Christ. Through their united labors the Sun of Righteousness is to rise, with healing in His wings, to lighten the benighted regions of the earth, where the people have long lived in gross darkness. Many who are now dwelling in the shadow of sin and death, as they see in God's faithful servants a reflection of the Light of the world, will realize that they have a hope of salvation, and they will open their hearts to receive the healing beams, and will in turn become light bearers to others yet in darkness.CT 468.2

    So great are the world's needs, that not all who are called to be medical missionary evangelists can afford to spend years in preparation before beginning to do actual field work. Soon doors now open to the gospel messenger will be forever closed. God calls upon many who are prepared to do acceptable service, to carry the message now, not waiting for further preparation; for while some delay, the enemy may take possession of fields now open.CT 469.1

    I have been instructed that little companies who have received a suitable training in evangelical and medical missionary lines should go forth to do the work to which Christ appointed His disciples. Let them labor as evangelists, scattering our publications, talking of the truth to those they meet, praying for the sick, and, if need be, treating them, not with drugs, but with nature's remedies, ever realizing their dependence on God. As they unite in the work of teaching and healing they will reap a rich harvest of souls.CT 469.2

    And while God is calling upon young men and women who have already gained a practical knowledge of how to treat the sick, to labor as gospel medical missionaries in connection with experienced evangelical workers, He is also calling for many recruits to enter our medical missionary training schools to gain a speedy and thorough preparation for service. Some need not spend so long a time in these schools as do others. It is not in harmony with God's purpose that all should plan to spend exactly the same length of time, whether three, four, or five years, in preparation, before beginning to engage in active field work. Some, after studying for a time, can develop more rapidly by working along practical lines in different places, under the supervision of experienced leaders, than they could by remaining in an institution. As they advance in knowledge and ability, some of these will find it much to their advantage to return to one of our sanitarium training schools for more instruction. Thus they will become efficient medical missionaries, prepared for trying emergencies.CT 469.3

    Much may be learned by visiting the hospitals. In these hospitals not a few of our consecrated young people should be learning to be successful medical missionaries. Observation, and the practice of that which has been learned, will enable our youth to become efficient nurses, with superior skill, fitted to stand upon the highest eminence. Every physician, every nurse, every helper, who has anything to do in God's service, must aim at perfection. Nothing short of this standard is pleasing to Him who has called us to be colaborers with Him. And especially should those who are in training to act as His medical missionaries turn resolutely from every temptation to be satisfied with a superficial knowledge of their profession. Let them rather reach upward to perfection. Theirs is a most exacting calling, and their preparation must be painstaking and thorough.CT 470.1

    The cause of God today would have been far in advance of what it is, had we in former years been more active in the training of nurses who, in addition to their acquirement of more than ordinary skill in the care of the sick, had also learned to labor as evangelists in soul-winning service.CT 471.1

    It is for the training of such workers, as well as for the training of physicians, that the school at Loma Linda has been founded. In this school many workers are to be qualified with the ability of physicians, to labor, not in professional lines as physicians, but as medical missionary evangelists. This training is to be in harmony with the principles underlying true higher education. The cause is in need of hundreds of workers who have received a practical and thorough education in medical lines, and who are also prepared to labor from house to house as teachers, Bible workers, and colporteurs. Such students should come out of the school without having sacrificed the principles of health reform or their love for God and righteousness.CT 471.2

    Those who take advanced training in nursing, and go forth into all parts of the world as medical missionary evangelists, cannot expect to receive from the world the honor and rewards that often come to fully accredited physicians. Yet as they go about their work of teaching and healing, and link up closely with God's servants who have been called to the ministry of His word, His blessing will rest upon their labors, and marvelous transformations will be wrought. In a special sense they will be His helping hand.CT 471.3

    The duties of the physician are arduous. Few realize the mental and physical strain to which he is subjected. Every energy and capability must be enlisted with the most intense anxiety in the battle with disease and death. Often he knows that one unskilled movement of the hand, even but a hairbreadth in the wrong direction, may send a soul unprepared into eternity. How much the faithful physician needs the sympathy and prayers of the people of God! His claims in this direction are not inferior to those of the most devoted minister or missionary worker. Deprived, as he often is, of sufficient rest and sleep, he needs a double portion of grace, a fresh supply daily, or he will lose his hold on God and will be in danger of sinking deeper in spiritual darkness than men of other callings. And yet often he is made to bear unmerited reproaches and is left to stand alone, the subject of Satan's fiercest temptations, feeling himself misunderstood, betrayed by his friends.CT 472.1

    Many, knowing how trying are the duties of the physician and how few opportunities physicians have for release from care, even upon the Sabbath, will not choose this for their lifework. But the great enemy is constantly seeking to destroy the workmanship of God's hands, and men of culture and intelligence are called for to combat his cruel power. More of the right kind of men are needed to devote themselves to this profession. Painstaking effort should be made to induce suitable men to qualify themselves for this work. They should be men whose characters are based upon the broad principles of the word of God—men who possess a natural energy, force, and perseverance that will enable them to reach a high standard of excellence.CT 472.2

    It is not everyone who can make a successful physician. Many have entered upon the duties of this profession in every way unprepared. They have not the requisite knowledge; neither have they the skill and tact, the carefulness and intelligence, necessary to ensure success. A physician can do much better if he has physical strength. If he is feeble, he cannot endure the wearing labor incident to his calling. A man who has a weak constitution, who is a dyspeptic, or who is lacking in self-control cannot become qualified to deal with all classes of disease. Great care should be taken not to encourage persons who might be useful in some less responsible position, to study medicine at a great outlay of time and means, when there is no reasonable hope that they will succeed.CT 473.1

    I have been instructed that in view of the trying nature of medical missionary work, those who desire to take up this line should first be thoroughly examined by competent physicians to ascertain whether or not they have the strength necessary to endure the course of study through which they must pass in the training school.CT 473.2

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    We have a work to do in securing the best talent and in placing these workers in positions where they can educate other workers. Then when our sanitariums and mission fields call for physicians, we shall have young men who, through their experience gained by practical work, have become fitted to bear responsibilities.CT 473.3

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