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    Dangers Of A Disproportionate Work

    Note: In presenting the full Spirit of prophecy picture of the objectives of our medical work, the counsels, cautions, and reproofs regarding a disproportionate work must appear. At the turn of the century an unbalance threatened simultaneously in four ways to limit the effectiveness of our medical ministry:POSDAI 39.1

    1. Overbuilding, erecting institutions too large to accomplish an effective work.

    2. A trend to make the work undenominational—a popular Christian work.

    3. A very large work in the slums of great cities to rescue the fallen and outcasts.

    4. A centralization of the work in a few great centers.

    Into this disproportionate work Dr. Kellogg was channelling men and means to bolster a spectacular but in some way an unproductive endeavor. Hence the following testimonies.—A. L. White.POSDAI 39.2

    Never to Eclipse the Third Angel’s Message.—Medical missionary work is in no case to be divorced from the gospel ministry. The Lord has specified that the two shall be as closely connected as the arm is with the body. Without this union neither part of the work is complete. The medical missionary work is the gospel in illustration.POSDAI 39.3

    But God did not design that the medical missionary work should eclipse the work of the third angel’s message. The arm is not to become the body. The third angel’s message is the gospel message for these last days, and in no case is it to be overshadowed by other interests and made to appear an unessential consideration. When in our institutions anything is placed above the third angel’s message, the gospel is not there the great leading power.POSDAI 39.4

    The cross is the center of all religious institutions. These institutions are to be under the control of the Spirit of God.—Testimonies for the Church 6:240, 241. (1900.)POSDAI 39.5

    It would not be right for all the strength of the body to go into the right hand, and neither would it be right for all the strength of the cause of God to be used in medical missionary work. The ministry of the Word must be sustained: and there must be unity, perfect oneness, in God’s work.—Testimonies for the Church 8:166. (1904.)POSDAI 39.6

    The Need of Equalizing the Work.—The whole world is the Lord’s vineyard, and He would have every part of it worked. Those who have been placed as stewards of the Lord’s goods should see that everything is managed in such a way as to bring the Lord the greatest revenue. A wise steward will not select a few portions of the vineyard and absorb in them the means which God has intended for the entire field. He will open the eyes of his understanding to see the necessity of equalizing the work, that beauty and harmony and solidity may be seen in every part.POSDAI 39.7

    “It is the spirit of selfishness,” said the Teacher who was giving us instruction, “which leads men to absorb everything in that work which is under their own supervision, that their portion of the field may be enriched to the neglect of other portions. This is a species of selfishness which many do not discern. Large accumulations are drawn to one section of the world as though that were the only part which the Householder designs to have worked.”POSDAI 39.8

    God designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into His work. Every man’s work is to be done with reference to his fellow laborers; for all have their appointed work. The vineyard must be cultivated, vines must be planted, that crops may be gathered. To every man is not committed the same task, and the work in the different lines must be done in unselfishness. The minds of the workers are first to be moulded by God through His appointed agencies; the Word of the Lord is to be communicated to men, to supply their minds with suggestions and methods for working the field in such a way as to present to God the very best returns from all parts of His vineyard.—Manuscript 109, 1899.POSDAI 40.1

    God’s Vineyard the Whole World. (A Message to Dr. Kellogg.)—I have been shown that there was too much reaching out in medical missionary lines, that this work was swelling to such large proportions, that there was danger of making the General Conference bankrupt, as it almost is now....POSDAI 40.2

    Unwise management has been manifested by those who have erected school buildings and sanitariums, when the General Conference was already involved many thousands of dollars in debt. Had these men possessed sanctified eyesight, they would have seen that the money used in these enterprises was needed in foreign fields. These matters call for careful consideration. There are fields all white to the harvest, and yet the standard of truth has never been lifted in them, although the need has been kept before the people. The vineyard takes in the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. God’s workers must view matters sensibly, and with eyes anointed with heavenly ointment see things afar off in destitute fields as well as in America. When they do this, they will be impressed with the work that is needed to be done....POSDAI 40.3

    The medical missionary work is just as much a necessity in this part of the world as it is in America. If we had one quarter of the money here [Australia] that you have had to handle in Battle Creek, we could place those who have received an education in medical lines where they could work to good advantage. The General Conference, at the solicitations of Dr. Kellogg and A. R. Henry, established an institution in_____, which cost eighty thousand dollars. Twenty thousand dollars would have erected a sanitarium here, and the brethren in this field would have given to the extent of their ability to furnish the building. This would have placed us several years in advance of where we now stand. God sees all this.POSDAI 40.4

    The Lord does not work with partiality. There is a work to be done in Australia which you have neglected in order to multiply your advantage in America. God says to you in America, Bind about your spreading interests. Share your facilities with those who need your help in establishing the work in the needy portions of the vineyard. This is the message God gives me for you who are pushing the work so heavily in one line to the neglect of other fields which stand ready to be worked. There are not funds enough among Seventh-day Adventists to sustain so large a work. The workers in other portions of the world need the means that they may prepare to work still in other parts.POSDAI 40.5

    It is God’s design that those fields which have abundant facilities shall share their advantages with more needy fields. This is the principle ever to be observed in all our institutions. God requires that there shall be less planning and devising for buildings in America and in Battle Creek, and that the means shall flow into fields where there is nothing to rely upon, where the work is carried on under great disadvantages for want of facilities. But the spirit of selfishness has been manifested in centralizing so much. Into the fields where there is already an abundance of facilities, the workers have gathered from every possible resource. Again I would say to those who have influence, Do the work that has been neglected.—Letter 149, 1899.POSDAI 41.1

    Reproof for an Unbalanced Work.—If the mammoth sanitarium at Battle Creek was divided and subdivided, and its strength put in different parts of the vineyard, where there is nothing to represent the truth, the Lord would be much better pleased. He does not endorse the sentiment and methods that have withheld means from a country so greatly in need of help as Australia is. There are able men, men of experience, on the ground, but they cannot accomplish one half of what they could accomplish if the sanitarium were erected and ready for patients.POSDAI 41.2

    A work that takes much money to keep it in operation has been allowed to consume the means that God designed should be used in opening new fields and planting the standard in new territory, in the unworked parts of His vineyard. Dr. Kellogg, you have been pouring so much money into one channel, that the work in new fields has been hindered. The Lord did not tell you to take upon you the burden that you have taken,—a burden that has prevented your doing a work that needed your attention. The determination to do a work that has been neglected,—a work that all the church should have united in doing, led you at first to take this burden. But you have gone too far. You have made this work the whole body, instead of only the arm and hand of the body, and misapplied your forces.POSDAI 41.3

    For the last fifty years the Lord has given me instruction as to how His work should be carried forward. Camp meetings and tent meetings are to be held, and meeting houses are to be erected. Special efforts are to be made to reach the higher classes. Not all our means and talent are to be spent in the effort to reach those in the lowest depths of degradation. The enemy would be pleased with this class of work, because the representation would in no case be favorable to the truth. God does not design that His work should be thus carried forward. Money and talent are thus consumed with so little being produced. One twentieth part of the means thus consumed, used where it should have been, would have set men and women at work in God’s appointed way, and the truth would have reached people in the darkness of error who are calling and praying for light, people who are hungering and thirsting for the bread of life and the water of salvation.POSDAI 41.4

    Shall these people be left out of our plans? Shall all our means and all our efforts be expended for a class from which very few will be brought into the truth? We cannot depend on converts from this class to represent the people of God as a wise, noble people. Very few of them will become light-bearers to the world. God does not choose them as men of dependence. Some of them will become sons and daughters of God, but the number saved will be small in comparison with the efforts put forth.POSDAI 41.5

    Unless care is taken, the work of God will be bound up just as Satan will be pleased to have it bound up. Were all our means spent in labor for the lawless, depraved, corrupted class, where would be the work that should be done to bring into the truth a class of people who would properly represent the truth for this time? How could we show that we are a chosen, God-fearing people, who are loyal to God’s commandments?POSDAI 42.1

    The Lord has a work to be done for rich and poor. There are honest souls to be reached who have not so corrupted body, soul, and spirit, that there is no soundness in them.POSDAI 42.2

    In Revelation the messages that are to be given to the world are plainly stated. When the Lord’s servants fail, as they will, to gain admission to the churches, they are to reach the people by holding camp meetings and by distributing our literature. The truth for this time is to shine forth in clear, steady rays.POSDAI 42.3

    Those who are of the household of faith come first, not the depraved, polluted men, who have destroyed themselves, filling soul and body with iniquity, as did the antediluvians and as did the inhabitants of Sodom. Yet for these Dr. Kellogg has labored, while those with whom he should have linked up in perfect harmony he has treated as offensive.POSDAI 42.4

    My brother, over and over again I have written you this. Why, my dear brother, have you refused to receive or hear the word of the Lord? Why have you pressed on in the face of the warnings that God has given? You have blanketed the third angel’s message, until to many it has lost its significance.—Letter 177, 1900.POSDAI 42.5

    Time to Define Medical Missionary Work.—The Lord sees that things are swaying heavily in medical missionary lines, while the work in other branches is calculated to give wrong impressions which will not easily be effaced from the mind....POSDAI 42.6

    The so-called medical missionary work gathers into the net both good and bad; and the larger proportion of these will not stand as overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. It is very necessary that we keep before the degraded the law of God, as the standard of righteousness. “Holiness unto the Lord” must be our standard, else the work of rescuing this class will lower their ideas of what God requires in practical character building. There can be no such thing as a cheap class of Christians who like Moab, keep their scent in themselves, because they have not changed from vessel to vessel—from character to character.POSDAI 42.7

    The time has come for us to have a decided understanding of what shall be comprehended in medical missionary work, what shall go forth by pen or voice to be discredited, and what to be exalted. As the train of human reasoning is heard, it will be made apparent that the character must be determined by the inward work of grace upon the heart. If the law of God is written in the heart men will prove the excellence of their resolutions. Their conduct will be after the divine similitude....POSDAI 42.8

    No advice or sanction is given in the Word of God to those who believe the third angel’s message to lead them to suppose that they can draw apart. This you may settle with yourselves forever. It is the devisings of unsanctified minds that would encourage a state of disunion. The sophistry of men may appear right in their own eyes, but it is not truth and righteousness....The children of God constitute one united whole in Christ, who presents His cross as the center of attraction. All who believe are one in Him. Human feelings will lead men to take the work into their own hands and the building thus becomes disproportionate. The Lord therefore employs a variety of gifts to make the building symmetrical. Not one feature of the truth is to be hidden or made of little account. God cannot be glorified unless the building, “fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.” A great subject is here comprehended, and those who understand the truth for this time must take heed how they hear and how they build and educate others to practice.—Manuscript 109, 1899.POSDAI 42.9

    Diverging from True Medical Missionary Work. (A Message to Dr. Kellogg.)—I must caution you to restrain the influence you may exert in a wrong direction, under the name of the medical missionary work. Be careful lest this work become the body, rather than the arm of the body. Your conclusions must be guarded. Your plans in any one line must not become all-absorbing. Your large plans for rescuing the unfortunate will gather to you responsibilities which you will be unable to carry. You make desperate efforts to push forward a line of work which will make—which is already making, I may say—the medical missionary work the all of the gospel. The men in the ministry are demerited, while medical missionary enterprises are extolled. The Lord has instructed me to tell you that we must consider the work in all its bearings, that it may be proportionate, and not one-sided. Many men are being drawn into the medical missionary work who should be engaged in the ministry....POSDAI 43.1

    My brother, you need to call a halt. God has given you a work to do. He has honored you by placing you in the position which you now hold, and uniting with you men who will cooperate with you in the interests of that line of work for which the sanitarium was brought into existence. This institution has a work to perform as the Lord’s appointed agency, and God is working with and through you. When you make Him your Guide and Counsellor, He designs that this work of health reform shall be an entering wedge, to prepare the way for the saving truth for this time, the proclamation of the third angel’s message; but it is not to eclipse that message, or hinder its designed success, for then you work against truth. This message is the last warning to be given to a fallen world. The medical missionary work is to occupy its rightful place, as it ever should have done, in every church in our land....POSDAI 43.2

    The sanitarium was brought into existence to call men to a knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, to educate as Christ Himself was directed, teaching them the laws of the kingdom of God. This is, and always will be, the only true higher education....POSDAI 43.3

    True medical missionary work will exalt every agency that God has set in the church to preach the gospel, for this was the work of Him who made man, and lent him talents to use, an intellect to originate, a heart to be the seat of His throne, affections to flow out in blessing all with whom he shall come in contact, a conscience to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, because he is worked by the Holy Spirit of God....POSDAI 43.4

    My brother, I tell you in the name of the Lord that the medical missionary work is to be the arm, and not the body. The idolatrous world must have the message. I have been shown that many who are now being educated in medical lines should be giving the last warning to the world. God will be the instructor of His workers.—Letter 86, 1899.POSDAI 43.5

    Medical Missionary work not to Become All-absorbing.—The church of Christ is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock. He places His people in church capacity, and makes them responsible for the medical missionary work which should be done. They are to minister to the sick and the needy.POSDAI 43.6

    Many have chosen to work in medical missionary lines to the neglect of other work. Appeals have been made for medical missionary workers, and they have considered this a call from God, and have thought that it would be wicked for them to refuse to go. But God does not design that this work shall become all-absorbing. There is a great work to be accomplished in our camp meetings, where all, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, are to hear the message of warning. 3Note: At this time SDA camp meetings were largely evangelistic, drawing a large non-Adventist attendance.—A. L. White Every child of God should have sanctified judgment to consider the work as a whole and the relation of each part to the other....POSDAI 44.1

    We are not to build the tower without first considering what it will cost, and what effect the expenditure will have on other portions of the field. This large planning is closing the way for the erection of necessary buildings in other places....It is not as though we as a people had hoarded up wealth; for we have been constantly drawn upon, and must continue to impart. The immense buildings which have been reared by the people in Battle Creek and other places bear witness against them; for while they have every facility, other portions of the Lord’s vineyard lie barren and desolate. Some places must be centers, in which workers can be prepared for the different fields. We must have centers for the education of the youth. This will require more facilities than may be needed in other places. But in every undertaking let us count the cost.POSDAI 44.2

    I have been called to behold things nigh and afar off, and at the sight my head is dizzy and my heart sick. God has not ordered things as they now stand. Are we not too fond of doing, when God would have us stand as minute men, watching and praying, prepared to do what He commanded through consecrated agencies? Men who want to do something for God say, “We will do this or that”: and so a line is marked out for all to follow. Thus selfishness is growing all the time. Man is grasping all the advantages possible, bringing in all the material he can obtain for the work he wants to do, while he deprives his fellow workers of that which they need. Let not the men in responsible positions grow selfish and ambitious to accumulate buildings in one locality. The command is given, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” If men would work in Christ’s lines, they must yoke up with Him in meekness and lowliness of heart, pleading earnestly, “Lord, teach me Thy way. What is Thy purpose and will?” and asking at every step, “Am I trying to live for God or for myself?”POSDAI 44.3

    Work we must, and work cheerfully. We often neglect to work at the very time when our help is most needed and when a prompt attendance to duty would bring glory to God. Men interpose self between God and the work He could have done. My brethren, cut away from your large plans for any one place, and give a portion of your facilities to the more destitute fields. Consider that the lord is impartial in all His work. If you will place your mind where God can come in and control, if you will prepare Him a place and give Him an opportunity to work, currents of life and truth will flow to all the barren places of the earth.POSDAI 44.4

    Men bring upon themselves great and unceasing responsibility, and tax both brain and body, in seeking to carry the many plans they have devised. This is one of the greatest disadvantages we have to meet, and one the solving of which will wear out the human energies. Activity is needed in God’s cause, but let not this talent be misdirected. When men learn to be servants of Jesus Christ, they will understand that in every church workers are to be set to work to take the oversight of things. Pastors and teachers are to work intelligently in their lines, instructing church members how to work in medical missionary lines. When the professed followers of Christ have an indwelling Saviour they will be found doing as Christ did. They will have no opportunity to rust through inaction. They will have enough to do. And the work which they do under the auspices of the church will be their greatest means of communicating light. The man who is working according to God’s plan will pray, “Let it be known this day in my work for suffering humanity that there is a God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant. Let it be seen that I am working not according to my own impulse and wisdom, but according to Thy Word.” When man places himself in this attitude, and realizes that he is working out God’s plan, and that God is working out His plan through him, he is in possession of divine power, which knows nothing of defeat. All the power of counter-agencies is of no more account than the chaff of the threshing floor.POSDAI 44.5

    We must recognize God’s absolute ownership of us. Our mind, our talents, our skill and money, are to be put to the best use to advance His work, that His character may be revealed in clear lines in every part of the world. God has given to every man his work, and He does not excuse those in high positions who get out of their place, and through some neglect get their work into a tangle. Let each man stand at his post of duty, and keep in right relation to God. There is important work to be done, and no man is to neglect his work in order to take hold of the work which belongs to another. God is not honored by such a course. There are some workers who feel superior in wisdom. They feel that they do not need to seek counsel from God. Nor do they consider whether their fellow workers have facilities with which to work. God needs all-sided men, men who will keep the windows of their soul heavenward, and let His light shine into the chambers of the mind. The Lord has a large interest in His servants, and especially in those Who are lowly in heart....POSDAI 45.1

    God expects every man to be faithful in his stewardship. Self is not to be glorified. The man who is faithful to his trust will not stop to consider if he is going to be honored by any course of action, but will ask, Will God be honored? His soul will be filled with a holy desire to see God magnified. When something tries his patience, he will pray, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”POSDAI 45.2

    We are very eager to have our work present a good appearance, and if our plans and methods receive approbation, we are satisfied. If they languish, we groan in spirit. We cannot see afar off. The water must run freely in our pools, if other pools have to go dry as the hills of Gilboa. It is not easy for us to remember that the great fountain is from God....POSDAI 45.3

    God will show us many ways in which we can work. Sometimes matters will so shape themselves that we cannot doubt they are of God. At others they will run contrary to our ideas and feelings. The Lord surprises us sometimes by revealing our duty in lines altogether different from what we have planned for, and we declare, It is not so. This is untrue. But nevertheless, it is true to the letter; and the message will not come to men again until they can discern the work of God. When they are ready to see and comprehend, the Lord will speak to them again. If we would have divine supplies, if we would keep step with the divine plan, we must move under divine guidance. The Lord wants us to yield to His moulding, to be emptied of self and surrendered to God, that Christ may pervade the soul. The fire can only burn when we purify the altar according to the Word of God.—Manuscript 115, 1899.POSDAI 45.4

    The Work God Has Assigned.—Seventh-day Adventists have a special work to do in building sanitariums in our world as necessity demands. These buildings are to be small or large, as is appropriate to the situation and the surrounding circumstances. Our work is to be aggressive, and is to belt the world....POSDAI 46.1

    The work of the people of God is to enlighten the world, in accordance with the directions given in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Here is presented the plan of work which is to be carried on in every place where the truth takes hold of minds and hearts. In connection with the proclamation of the message is to be done the work of relieving families who are in distress. Those who take their position on the Lord’s side are to see in Seventh-day Adventists a warm-hearted, self-denying, self-sacrificing people, who cheerfully and gladly minister to the needy. Especially are those who suffer because they have had moral courage to accept the truth, to be helped. Those who are cast out are to receive attention.POSDAI 46.2

    But the work of providing for all the depraved, all the drunkards, and all the prostitutes, has not and never will be given by the Lord to Seventh-day Adventists.—Letter 41, 1900.POSDAI 46.3

    A Balanced Relationship as Arm to Body.—The medical missionary work has never been presented to me in any other way than as bearing the same relation to the work as a whole as the arm does to the body. The gospel ministry is an organization for the proclamation of the truth and the carrying forward of the work for sick and well. This is the body, the medical missionary work is the arm, and Christ is the Head over all. Thus the matter has been presented to me.—Medical Ministry, 237. (1900.)POSDAI 46.4

    It would not be sensible or right that all the strength of the body should go into a hand. Neither would it be right for all the strength of the working agencies in the cause of the Lord to be used in the medical missionary work. The ministry of the Word must be sustained, and there must be unity in the movements of the whole body, all parts united in carrying out God’s plan for the advancement of His work. All the members of the body are to be the Lord’s working agencies, every part joined harmoniously with every other part.—Letter 50, 1908.POSDAI 46.5

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