Ellen G. White Writings

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Australasian Union Conference Record

January 1, 1900

An Appeal

To our brethren and sisters throughout Australasia:

The records of our work for 1899 are almost completed. Our work for the new year will soon begin. The work of our Conferences and institutions has advanced rapidly, and the field of operations is still broadening. This is a time for all to inquire, “What can I do to advance the cause of present truth?”

I appeal to all who believe the truth, to all who can assist us in any line. Give us your help to advance the work just now. We need workers, and we need money; for there is a close relation between money and missions. You know something of what has already been accomplished in the different lines of our work. We have moved out by faith and have made large advancement, because we saw what needed to be done, what God was calling upon us to do, and we dared not hesitate. But we have not done the half of that which should be done. We are not yet on vantage-ground. There is a great work before us. All about us are souls longing for light and truth, and how are they to be reached?

God works through heavenly instrumentalities that those who know the truth may be brought in connection with souls who need light and knowledge. Read the tenth chapter of Acts. The God of Heaven beheld the devotion and piety of Cornelius. He witnessed his prayers and his almsgiving, and marked the power of his influence. He desired to give him light in regard to Christ's mission and to connect him with His work. The Lord sent His angel to signify this to Cornelius, and to place him in connection with the Apostle Peter. The angel told Cornelius just where Peter lived, and assured him, “He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Then an angel was sent to Peter to remove his doubt as to the propriety of working for the Gentiles. “What God has cleansed, that call not thou common.” While Peter was pondering in regard to the mysterious revelation that had been given him, the Spirit said unto him, “Behold, three men seek thee. Arise, therefore, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”

What a history is this to show that Heaven is in close connection with our world. On the ladder that Jacob saw, angels of God are ascending and descending. God is above the ladder, and beams of light and glory are shining the whole length from heaven to earth. This line of communication is still open.

And what was the outcome of God's dealing with Cornelius? Read the precious history, and learn, and praise God; for its lesson is for us. Finding Cornelius and his friends gathered to hear the word of God, “Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, speaking peace by Jesus Christ. (He is Lord of all); that word, I say, ye know: ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And ye are witnesses of all things which He did.” And God “commanded us to preach unto the people, and testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.”

As Peter spoke these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon the assembly, and they were baptised in the name of the Lord. Thus in Caesarea a company of Christian believers was established to hold up the light of truth.

This is the work to be done today. We have a message to give to the people, “The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Christ declares, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and he that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”

My brethren and sisters in Australasia, there is in every city and every suburb a work to be done in presenting the last message of mercy to a fallen world. And while we are trying to work these destitute fields, the cry comes from far-off lands, “Come over and help us.” These are not so easily reached, and perhaps not so ready for the harvest as the fields within our sight, but they must not be neglected. We want to push the triumphs of the Cross. Our watchword is to be, Onward, ever onward. Our burden for the “regions beyond” can never be laid down until the whole earth shall be lightened with the glory of the Lord.

But what can we do? We sit down and consider, we pray, and plan how to begin the work in the places all around us. Where are the faithful missionaries who will carry it forward? And how shall they be sustained?

Above all, how shall missionaries be trained? How shall workers be prepared to enter the opening fields? Here is now our greatest burden. Therefore, our special anxiety is for our school in Avondale. We must here provide suitable facilities for educating workers in different lines. We see young men possessing qualifications that, if they can be rightly educated, will enable them to become labourers together with God. We must give them the opportunity. Some are placing students in our school, and are assisting them in defraying their expenses, that they may become workers in some part of the Lord's vineyard. Much more should be done in this line, and special efforts should be made in behalf of those whom our workers shall send from the islands to be trained as missionaries.

In the future, more than in the past, our school must be an active missionary agency, as the Lord has specified. Men and women of different nationalities must be brought in. There will be no “color line” here. All may come who can be educated for any line of missionary work. Workers we must have, and in twenty-fold greater numbers, to supply the need in both the home and the foreign field. Therefore, the Avondale School must not be restricted in its facilities.

We must open to our students the Book of all books, the living oracles of God. Here true wisdom is to be found. In all matters that pertain to our present duty to God, and to our future, eternal interests, we may here receive divine instruction. And we are to learn from nature. We thank the Lord that we are located just where we are. The land we are cultivating as the school farm is testifying to all that false witness has been borne against it. We are making this land an educating book for the students. From it they are to learn the meaning of the words, “We are labourers together with God; ye are God's husbandry; ye are God's building.”

There are other interests in Avondale closely associated with our school. Indeed, they are really a part of our educational work, and they also require help. The healthfood business is in need of means and of the active co-operation of our people, that it may accomplish the work it ought to do. Its purpose is to supply the people with food which will take the place of flesh-meat, and also milk and butter, which, on account of the diseases of cattle, are becoming more and more objectionable.

Our Health Retreat, which is ready for use, has a debt on the building already erected, and we need means to properly furnish it for the reception of patients. And not only these enterprises in Avondale, but the Helping Hand Mission in Melbourne and the Christchurch Health Home, need financial assistance.

I have freely used my own means to meet some of the many necessities of the work. Of all that has come into my hands, which I can call my own, I have withheld nothing. It is all the Lord's, and is freely spent in His service. And when we have come to a crisis, after using all we had in hand, I have borrowed money, to the amount of several hundred pounds, at a low rate of interest. We have also received several hundred pounds from our people without interest. When the necessity arises, I feel no hesitation about receiving these loans, either with or without interest.

Some may ask, Are you not afraid that you will be unable to meet these obligations? No, I am not afraid. Money is a talent which the Lord desires to have put to use in His service. I see the necessities of the work, and I am determined to do all in my power, that the last merciful message of warning to our world may not be hindered. One soul is of such value that in comparison with it, the whole world sinks into insignificance.

Now we call upon all who will, to help us in the work. Of what use is it to lay up worldly treasure? Read the words of the apostle James, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your misery which shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” We certainly do not want to be of the class who have heaped together treasure for the last days, to eat our flesh as it were fire. In that fearful time all men will understand their misuse of God's money. Those who have squandered His gifts will see how their means has been buried up in banks and stocks and mines and other enterprises where it could be of no benefit to the cause of God. They will see how their money might have been used to advance the cause of God and win souls for Him, and how through their misapplication of God's talent they have suffered eternal loss.

In all financial dealings with our fellow-men we feel under obligation to observe strict integrity. We must be faithful in paying all that we owe. But, my brethren, are you dealing honestly with God? Do you consider that all the means you possess and your own selves also belong to Him? How are you meeting His claims?

Do you profess to be looking for the soon coming of Christ in the clouds of Heaven? Do you profess to believe that the last warning is now being given to the world? Do you pray that God's kingdom may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven? The sincerity of your profession of faith and of your prayers will be shown by your works.

We want your prayers for the advancement of the work. We need them. But we ask that with you as with Cornelius, prayer and giving may be united. Let your prayers and your alms come up for a memorial before God.

You ask God to bring souls into the truth; then do you labour with all your God-given ability in harmony with your prayers? Do you bring every trait of your character into subordination to God, to be used according to the laws of His own kingdom, that you may be labourers together with Him? Are you, with faith and diligence and wideawake earnestness, working to advance God's kingdom in the world? Bear in mind that faith without works is dead, and that without faith it is impossible to please God. While we pray, we are to give all that is possible, both of our labour and our means, for the fulfilment of our prayers.

When we pray for God to make the missionary work successful, we are not to bind up our means in worldly enterprises, and let the work for which we pray become a failure.

If we act out our faith, we shall not be forgotten by God. He marks every deed of love and self-denial. He will open ways whereby we may show our faith by our works.

Let us carefully consider the solemn, prophetic warnings, let us receive the encouragement of God's rich promises. Let us work determinedly, with heart willingness, with gladness of soul, in the spirit of humble obedience rendering back to God His own. We can pray with faith for God's power to unite with our efforts when we can come before Him saying, “Of thine own we freely give thee.”

When the heart is made a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, no man will imperil his own temporal or spiritual prosperity by robbing God's treasury, withholding the means that should be at hand for His work.

The Lord desires us to be living channels of light. He has made it our privilege to co-operate with Him as partners in His great firm, to act our part in promoting the prosperity of His cause.

We have been doing all in our power to advance the work, and we have rejoiced to see it go forward. Its demands are now beyond our ability to supply. We are in debt, and yet there is special need of pushing the work just now. We are not discouraged at the outlook. The word of God strengthens and sustains us. But we must have financial help to do that which is essential to be done. We appeal to you, our brethren and sisters in Australasia, to come to our assistance.

The fields are white for the harvest. Shall we not have means for gathering in the precious grain? Will those who know the truth see what they can do to help us just now? Will everyone cut off all needless expenditures. See what you can do in self-denial. Dispense with all that is not positively necessary. Come up to the measure of your God-given duty.

Our brethren may say: We are being drawn upon continually for means. Will there be no end of these calls? We hope not, so long as there are in our world souls perishing for the bread of life. Until all has been done that you can do to save the lost, we ask you not to become weary of our repeated calls. Many have not yet done that which they might do, that which God will enable them to do if they will consecrate themselves unreservedly to Him.

Our General, who never makes a mistake, says to us, Advance. Enter new territory. Lift up the standard, establish memorials in every place. Let it be known that God has a people upon the earth who have not forgotten that He has a law, binding upon all human intelligences. In all the churches, there are souls who know not that the seventh and not the first day of the week is the Sabbath, and that it is to be observed because God Himself has given the command.

Brethren and sisters, this work demands your help. Will you give it? To those who have means which they are not putting to use for God we appeal in Christ's name. Let no talent be hidden in the earth. Undo your napkin, and put your treasure into active service for God.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them which are of the household of faith.”

E. G. White.

December 17, 1899.

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