Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

Australasian Union Conference Record

June 1, 1900

The Love of God. How Manifested

Sabbath, P.M., June 2.

True love is not merely a sentiment or an emotion. It is a living principle, a principle that is manifest in action. True love, wherever it exists, will control the life. Thus it is with the love of God. “God is love;” and in all His works, in all His dealings with mankind, His character is revealed.

God manifested His love in the work of creation. When the earth was created, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it “very good.” Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God.

The things of nature, upon which we look today, give us but a faint conception of Eden's beauty and glory; yet the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the love of God. Even now “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” It still reveals the working of the great Master-Artist. It declares that One omnipotent in power, great in goodness and mercy, has created all things.

The green fields, the lofty trees, the glad sunshine, the clouds, the dew, the solemn silence of the night, the glory of the starry heavens, and the moon in its beauty, all bear witness to His wonder-working power. Not a drop of rain falls, not a ray of light is shed upon our unthankful world, but it testifies to God's long forbearance and His great love.

Through tempting man to sin, Satan hoped to counteract the tide of divine love flowing to the human race; but, instead of this, his work resulted in calling forth new and deeper manifestations of God's mercy and His goodness.

In redemption God has revealed His love in sacrifice, a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

When Adam's sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have cut Himself loose from fallen beings. He might have treated them as sinners deserve to be treated. He might have commanded the angels of heaven to pour out upon our world the vials of His wrath. He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” Christ by His human relationship to men drew them close to God. He clothed His divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, how much God loves the children of men.

The gift of God to man is beyond computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more, or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven.

The Highest, who was with the Father before the world was, submitted to humiliation that He might uplift humanity. Prophecy withdraws the veil, that we may behold the throne of heaven, that we may see upon that throne, high and lifted up, One who in human form came to our world to suffer, to be lacerated with stripes, and bruised for our iniquities. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Before the heavenly universe the Lord of Glory suffered in human form that sin might be pardoned, and sinners redeemed. He died that the love of God, as a mighty helper, might flow to all suffering human beings.

Through yielding to sin, man placed his will under the control of Satan. He became a helpless captive in the tempter's power. God sent His Son into our world to break the power of Satan, and to emancipate the will of man. He sent Him to proclaim liberty to the captives, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. When man places himself under the control of God, the will becomes firm and strong to do right, the heart is cleansed from selfishness and filled with Christ-like love. The mind yields to the authority of the law of love, and every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The powers, hitherto “members of unrighteousness,” and “servants of sin,” are consecrated to the service of the God of love.

That this redemption might be ours, God withheld not even the sacrifice of Himself. He gave Himself in His Son. The Father suffered with Christ in all His humiliation and agony. He suffered as He saw the Son of His love despised and rejected by those whom He came to elevate, ennoble, and save. He saw Him hanging upon the cross, mocked and jeered by the passers-by, and He hid as it were His face from Him. He saw Christ bearing the sin of the world, and dying in the sinner's stead. The human heart knows the love of a parent for his child. We know what a mother's love will do and suffer for her beloved one. But never can the heart of man fathom the depths of God's self-sacrifice.

O, the cross, the cross! It is set up that we may know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Only the cross can measure the length and breadth, the depth and height, of infinite love, the greatness of the Father's sacrifice for lost humanity.

And the Lord Jehovah did not deem the plan of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, Christ's office-work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters.

Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. There is an inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from His obedience. In heaven His merits, His self-denial and self-sacrifice, are treasured as incense to be offered up with the prayers of His people. As the sinner's sincere, humble prayers ascend to the throne of God, Christ mingles with them the merits of His own life of perfect obedience. Our prayers are made fragrant by this incense. Christ has pledged Himself to intercede in our behalf, and the Father always hears His Son.

This is the mystery of godliness. That Christ should take human nature, and by a life of humiliation elevate man in the scale of moral worth with God; that He should carry His adopted nature to the throne of God, and there present His children to the Father, to have conferred upon them an honour exceeding that conferred upon the angels,—this is the marvel of the heavenly universe, the mystery into which angels desire to look. This is love that melts the sinner's heart.

And God has manifested His love in ministry. In Him all unselfish ministry has its origin. Our Father in heaven is constantly engaged in upholding the things which He has created. Every leaf grows, every flower blooms, every fruit develops, by the power of God. In Him “we live, and move, and have our being.” Each heart-beat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life,—the inspiration of the ever-present God, the great I AM. The great and infinite God lives not unto Himself, but for the benefit and blessing of every being and every object of His creation.

Satan's principle is self-serving. This principle he attributed to God, misrepresenting His character to the world. And he led man to accept the principle of selfishness. He caused him to believe that in serving himself he would find happiness. By the Son of God this principle was to be demonstrated as false. By Him the Father was to be rightly represented. The ideal of true ministry God committed to His Son, and bade Him work it out in humanity.

That His people might not be misled by the selfishness which dwells in the natural heart, and which strengthens by self-serving, Christ Himself set an example of true service. His whole life on earth was spent in ministering to others.

In all the afflictions of humanity He was afflicted. He saw the work of Satan revealed in all their woe, and He made every case of need and sorrow His own. With a power that never quailed, He cast out the evil spirits that possessed both mind and body. The power of love was in all His healing, and of the suffering multitudes that were brought to Him, it was said, “He healed them all.”

The Saviour saw a still greater need than bodily suffering. He saw symptoms of a deeper illness. The sufferings of the body excited His pity, but He was moved to still greater pity by the need of the soul.

With a love that never faltered, Christ spoke to men the words of eternal life. The word of God, which the teachers of Israel had obscured with their traditions and man-made commandments, Christ opened to the people in its purity and divine beauty. Men marvelled at His teaching, and said, “Never man spake like this man.” To the weary and sin-burdened He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He invited them, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Before men and angels, by His life of obedience and ministry, Christ represented the character of God. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”

In His work on earth, Christ lifts the veil that conceals the invisible world from our view, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. The same ministry which He performed on earth was continued after His ascension to heaven. Through His representative, the Holy Spirit, God in Christ still ministers to the children of men.

Before He ascended to heaven, Christ gave His disciples the promise, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever: even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him. But ye know Him: for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you.”

To those who in faith claimed this promise it was speedily fulfilled. After Christ's ascension the disciples were gathered together of one accord in one place. Ten days they spent in heart-searching and self-examination, each taking his own case in hand; for it had to be an individual work. As the disciples made humble supplication to God, their differences were swept away. They became of one mind. Then the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul-temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit, whose influence came with copiousness and power, as if it had been held in restraint for ages. What was the result? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit seemed new-edged with power, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the church of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth His praise.

The church became a vitalizing power. Believers, themselves re-converted, were a living power for God and for His kingdom. A new song was put into their mouth, even praise to our God. Every one converted saw in his brethren and sisters the faces of angels. One interest prevailed, one subject of emulation swallowed up all others,—to be like Christ, to do the works of Christ. The earnest zeal felt was expressed in kindly helpfulness, in kindly looks, and brotherly love. All strove to see who could do the most for the enlargement of Christ's kingdom.

This ministry is the great need of the church today. And in Christ's promise we are included. To us is offered the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with the Spirit. When God's people will believe, when they will turn their attention to that which is true, and living, and real, the Holy Spirit, in strong, heavenly currents, will be poured upon the church.

All the principalities and powers of the heavenly world are enlisted in the work of ministering for fallen man. Angels are actively engaged in executing God's plans to bring man back from rebellion to reconciliation with God. With intense earnestness they are co-operating with God to bring to man moral efficiency, that in Christ he may be more than conqueror.

Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength,—“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,”—stand at His right hand, “all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”

God has manifested His love to men by making them partners with Himself in the work of salvation. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the Gospel. “We are labourers together with God,” called to represent Him as ambassadors of love. We are to co-operate with the work of the delegates of heaven. And to us is committed a work which even the angels cannot do. Man must be the channel to communicate with man.

Through the ministration of angels God sends light to His people, and through His people the light is to be given to the world. Man is to be connected with his fellow-men, and as God's instrumentality work in their behalf.

To us, in a sense that angels cannot know, it is given to unite with God in His travail for the salvation of humanity. To us it is given to swell the tide of His joy, and to bring honour and praise to His exalted name.

In creation and in redemption, by gift and sacrifice and service, God has manifested His love to us. And He invites us to show our love for Him.

He says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.” He desires us to appreciate the great plan of redemption, to realize our high privilege as the people of God, and to walk before Him in obedience, with grateful thanksgiving. He desires us to serve Him in newness of life, with gladness every day. He longs to see gratitude welling up in our hearts because we have access to the mercy-seat, the throne of grace, because our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, because we may cast all our care on Him who cares for us. He bids us rejoice because we are the heritage of the Lord, because the righteousness of Christ is the white robe of His saints, because we have the blessed hope of the soon-coming of our Saviour.

To praise God in fulness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. We are to show to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity, and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fulness. Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service will be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children.

Such a testimony will have an influence upon others. No more effective means can we employ for winning souls to Christ.

And our love is to be shown, not only in words, but in deeds, in personal ministry and sacrifice. Christ says, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” In His prayer to His father He said of His disciples, “As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” In the commission which He gave to His disciples He included all who should believe in Him to the end of time. “Go ye into all the world,” He said, “and preach the Gospel to every creature.” “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

And by the Holy Spirit, through the apostle Peter, we are admonished, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Thus it is that God desires to fulfil for us His purpose of grace. By the power of His love, through obedience, fallen man, a worm of the dust, is to be transformed, fitted to be a member of the heavenly family, a companion, through eternal ages, of God and Christ and the holy angels. Heaven will triumph; for the vacancies made by the fall of Satan and his host will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord.

E. G. White.

June 1, 1900

The Medical Missionary Work and the Gospel Ministry

Reading for Sunday, P.M., June 3

In preparing a people for the Lord's second coming a great work is to be done through the promulgation of health principles. We are to relieve suffering by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided. We should teach the people how to prevent sickness by obedience to the laws of life, and while we work for the healing of the body we should seize every opportunity to work for the healing of the soul.

This was Christ's method. He worked to restore both the physical and moral image of God in man. Both physical and moral health is to be communicated from the mighty Healer.

The medical missionary work God has set in operation as a practical illustration of the Gospel. He has signified that this work shall be closely united with the ministry of the Word.

Every physician, nurse, and medical missionary may through faith in Christ, have in his possession a cure of the highest value,—a remedy for the sin-sick soul. Countless are the opportunities of the physician and his helpers for warning the impenitent, cheering the disconsolate and hopeless, and prescribing for the health of mind and body. Thus they are acting their part in the great work of making ready a people prepared for the Lord. Many who, through their care and teaching, regain health, will be led to accept the special truths for this time. And in their turn they will aid in spreading the light.

Every duty that calls for reform involves repentance, faith, and obedience. It means the uplifting of the soul to a newer and nobler life. Thus every true reform has its place in the work of the third angel's message. It demands our attention and support. Especially should prominence be given to temperance reform. We should call attention to this work, and make it a living issue. We should present to the people the principles of true temperance, and call for signers to the temperance pledge.

In other churches there are Christians who are standing in defence of the principles of temperance. We should seek to come near to these workers, and make a way for them to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. We should call upon great good men to aid us in our Christian Endeavour work. They should be invited to second our efforts in seeking to save that which is lost.

But in coming in contact with those not of our faith, none should feel that they must conceal the peculiar characteristics which sanctification through the truth gives them. Those who unite with the work of God are to co-operate with God as His appointed instrumentalities; they are to give all their power and efficiency to magnifying the work of His commandment-keeping people. Those who, in their human wisdom, try to conceal the peculiar characteristics that distinguish God's people from the world, will lose their spiritual life, and will no longer be upheld by His power.

Never let the idea be entertained that it is essential to make an appearance of being wealthy. Let none suppose that expensive buildings, dress, or furniture, is needed to give character to the work. We are to give character to the work not by display, but by being ourselves living stones in God's building. All the beauty of art cannot bear comparison with the beauty of temper and character that is to be revealed in those who have to do with sacred things. It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savour of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work.

The Lord requires that those who are engaged in His service shall keep their minds ever directed to Him. We are to put to the stretch every faculty in order to bring saving truth to the attention of perishing human beings. This work must be carried on in connection with the ministry to the sick. Then the work will stand before the world in the strength which God designed it to have.

Many who appear wholly indifferent to religious things are in heart longing for rest and peace. Although they may have sunken to the very depths of sin there is a possibility of saving them. Many can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. Their physical wants must first be cared for. They must be fed, cleansed, and decently clothed. As they see the evidence of our unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ.

This is a work which concerns all our churches. It is not to be done by expensive institutions. We are not called to centre all our interest and all our means in working in the slums of great cities. The last message of warning must be given to the whole world, and ministry to the poor and neglected is but one part of the great work. This we are to do individually, working for individuals as God gives us opportunity. He who created all cares for all. Those who have fallen the lowest are not beyond the reach of His love and pity.

God delights to take apparently hopeless material, those through whom Satan has worked, and make them subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from the wrath which is to fall upon the disobedient.

John Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and reveling; John Newton from slave-dealing, to proclaim an uplifted Saviour. A Bunyan and a Newton may be redeemed from among men today. There are those who have had very meagre opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to whom beams of light will come. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of those who have had privileges and opportunities but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His Kingdom they will stand next His throne.

E. G. White.

June 1, 1900

A Perfect Ministry—Its Purpose

Reading for Monday, June 4

After Christ's ascension to heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit, His disciples called to mind His lessons which they had before been unable to comprehend. The words of Christ found an entrance into their hearts, and they awoke as from a deep sleep. They knew for a certainty that they had been in daily communion with the Majesty of heaven. Scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His words and deeds, they felt that these could never be recorded as they really were. No human language could express their beauty. The disciples must in their lives bear witness to the loveliness of Christ's character.

And this they did. The Saviour by His spirit was abiding in their hearts, and His love, and light, and power shone out through them. Men, beholding, marvelled, and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. And as the disciples witnessed to the mission of Christ, they bore witness also of the Father; for Christ had said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

This is the work of God's people today. God designs to manifest through them the principles of His kingdom. Through them the attributes of God are to be unfolded, and the truths of His word, in all their glory and excellence, will be made to appear more vivid.

The great final crisis is just before us, when the destiny of every human being will be forever decided. A great work is to be done in setting before men the saving truths of the Gospel. To present these truths is the work of the third angel's message. The Lord designs that the presentation of this message shall be the highest, greatest work carried on in our world at this time.

All the light of the past, which shines unto the present and reaches forth into the future, as revealed in the word of God, is for every soul who will receive it. But the glory of this light, which is the very glory of the character of Christ, can never be expressed in words. Human language is inadequate to reveal it. It must be made manifest in the life. It is to be manifest in the individual Christian, in the family, in the church, in the ministry of the word, and in every institution established by God's people. All these the Lord designs shall be symbols of what can be done for the world. They are to be types of the saving power of the truths of the Gospel. They are agencies in the fulfilment of God's great purpose for the human race.

Ministry in the Home

As workers for God, our work is to begin with those nearest. It is to begin in our own home. There is no more important missionary field than this.

God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family of heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with His plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character.

In the home the foundation is laid for the prosperity of the church. The influences that rule in the home life are carried into the church life. Church duties are to begin in the house.

Christ died to save the children, and he is ready to do a great work for them if parents will co-operate with Him by training and educating them according to His instruction. While parents should be firm in requiring respect and obedience, they should make the religion of Christ attractive by their cheerfulness, their Christian courtesy, their tender, compassionate sympathy.

Christ was once a little child. For His sake honour the children. Look upon them as a sacred charge, not to be petted and idolized but to be taught to live pure, noble lives. They are God's property. He loves them, and He calls upon you to co-operate with Him in teaching them to form perfect characters. The Lord requires perfection from His redeemed family. He expects from us the perfection which Christ revealed in His humanity. Fathers and mothers especially need to understand the best methods of training children that they may co-operate with God.

Submission and surrender to Christ are the most effective lessons that children and youth can learn. The rules which should regulate the lives of parents and children flow from a heart of infinite love, and God's rich blessing will rest upon those parents who administer His law in their homes, and it will rest upon those children by whom this law is obeyed.

Children should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed, and clothed, and loved, and cared for, and they should respond to their many mercies by bearing their share of the family burdens, and bringing into the home all the happiness possible. By the law of mutual dependence they are to be taught dependence upon the great Head of the Church.

And God calls upon fathers and mothers to become intelligent in regard to the laws which govern physical life. Children must be taught to make a right use of the things of this life, and to avoid the use of everything that would injure the powers of mind or body. They should be taught that every organ of the body and every faculty of the mind is the gift of a good and wise God, and is to be used to His Glory.

In the home the Saviour is to be uplifted, thought of, talked of. When He dwells in the heart, family worship will not be a form of dry, set phrases. The heart will be imbued with love for Jesus. This love will be expressed in prayer and praise. Words of discouragement and hopelessness will not be spoken.

Let the members of every family bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in the families of His children here below. Angels offer the smoke of the fragrant incense for the praying saints. Then in every family let prayer ascend to heaven both at morning and at the cool sunset hour, in our behalf presenting before God the Saviour's merits. Morning and evening the heavenly universe takes notice of every praying household.

Let parents teach their little ones the truth as it is in Jesus. The children in their simplicity will repeat to their associates that which they have learned. In Christ's day the children sang in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” So in these days children's voices will be raised in giving the last warning to a perishing world. By them God's message will be made known, and His saving health to all nations.

The children can take a part in medical missionary work. They can do many things to help the sick and suffering, and by their offerings they can aid in carrying forward the work. By the efforts of children and youth many souls will be won to the truth. And the children themselves will be forming characters after Christ's similitude, in preparation to dwell forever in His presence.

The Ministry of the Word

The third angel's message is to be given with power. In the Revelation John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.... And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

The whole of the Gospel is embraced in the third angel's message, and in all our work the truth is to be presented as it is in Jesus. In the preaching of the word the first and most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting the Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. We are to keep before the people the cross of Calvary. We should teach them that Christ's death was caused by the transgression of the law of God; that Christ died to give men an opportunity of becoming loyal subjects of His kingdom. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

But we should be careful not to lessen the force of the warning which God has given for this time. We are in danger of giving the message in so indefinite a manner that it does not impress the people. So many other interests are brought in, that the very message which should be proclaimed with power becomes tame and voiceless. While the churches profess to believe in Christ, they are violating the law which Christ Himself proclaimed from Sinai. The Lord bids us, “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Lift up the standard, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Make this the important theme. Then by your strong arguments wall it in, and make it of still greater force. Dwell more on the Revelation. Read, explain, and enforce its teaching.

Our warfare is aggressive. Tremendous issues are before us, yea, and right upon us. Our prayers should ascend to God that the four angels may be commissioned to hold the four winds, that they may not blow to injure or destroy until the last warning has been given to the world. Then let us work in harmony with our prayers. Let nothing lessen the force of the truth for this time. The third angel's message must do its work of separating from the churches a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth.

Our message is a life and death message, and we must let it appear as it is, the great power of God. We are to present it in all its telling force. Then the Lord will make it effectual. It is our privilege to expect large things, even the demonstration of the Spirit of God. This is the power that will convict and convert the soul.

Personal Effort

Public effort alone will not suffice for the work that is to be done. By personal, house to-house labor, we should seek to reach the people where they are. Laborers for God should visit the families of the church, coming close to their hearts as one touched with the feeling of their infirmities. Give each one some work to do for others. Show them that as receivers of the grace of God all are under obligation to work for Him.

All should be taught how to work. Especially should those who are newly come to the faith be educated to become labourers together with God. If this duty is neglected, the work of the minister is incomplete.

But God does not want His people to hang their weight upon the ministers. As a steward of the grace of God, every church member should feel an individual responsibility to have life and root in himself. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow-men. He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself, cannot rest content with doing nothing.

Did the professed believers in the truth live the truth, they would today all be missionaries. Some would be working in the islands of the sea, some in the different countries of the world. Some would be serving Christ as home missionaries. Not all are called upon to go abroad. Some may be successful in business lines, and in this work they may represent Christ. They may show to the world that business may be conducted on righteous principles, in strict fidelity to the truth. There may be Christian lawyers, Christian physicians, Christian merchants. Christ may be represented in all lawful callings.

Though you are not called to public labour for Christ, you may still do a most precious work by giving of your means to sustain His work. The following incident has a good suggestion for those who cannot go in person to foreign missionary fields:

An American business man who was an earnest Christian, being in conversation with a fellow-believer, remarked that he himself worked for Christ twenty-four hours of the day. “In all my business relations,” he said,” I try to represent my Master. I am working for Christ all day. And at night, while I sleep, I have a man working for Him in China.”

In explanation he added, “In my youth I determined to go as a missionary to the heathen. But on the death of my father I had to take up his business in order to provide for the family. Now, instead of going myself, I support a missionary. In such a town of such a province in China, my worker is stationed, and so, even while I sleep, I am, through my representative, still working for Christ.”

Are there no Seventh-day Adventists who will do likewise? If you cannot yourself go as a missionary to foreign fields, select some earnest, promising youth, and educate him for the work.

Upon our churches rests a solemn responsibility in this line. The youth who wish to become workers for God should be given an opportunity to obtain a knowledge of Bible truth. Many workers are needed in home missions as well as in foreign fields. They are needed as Bible workers, as canvassers, nurses, teachers in church schools, and in many other lines. Will you not aid them in gaining a preparation for the work? Through the teacher your money has prepared for the field, souls may be saved from ruin, to shine as stars in the Redeemer's crown.

In the Highways and Hedges

The command of Christ to His people is, “Go out in to the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

The call to the Gospel feast is first to be given “in the highways.”—to those who have an active part in the world's work, to the teachers and leaders of the people. Those who bear heavy responsibilities in public life, who act as ministers, lawyers, and judges, should be given a clear, distinct message. “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

We talk and write much of the neglected poor; should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Thousands of rich men are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church; for they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Are we to make no personal effort in their behalf?

Some will ask, “Can we not reach them with publications?” No; there are many who cannot be reached in this way. It is personal effort that they need. Are they to perish without any special warning? It was not so in ancient times. God's servants were sent to tell those in high places that they could find peace and rest only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

From the light given me I know that a plain, “Thus saith the Lord” should now be spoken to men who have influence and authority in the world. If they will repent and be converted. God will use them in His cause.

We have a work to do for the ministers of other churches. Our ministers should seek to come near to them. Pray for and with these men for whom Christ is interceding. A solemn responsibility is theirs. As Christ's messengers we should manifest a deep, earnest interest in these shepherds of the flock.

God calls for earnest, humble workers who will carry the truth to the higher classes. Are there not among us those who will take the burden of this work, and will qualify themselves to labour successfully for these classes?

God will bless the workers who faithfully do this work. The righteousness of Christ will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The greatest men of the earth are not beyond the power of a wonder-working God. He will convert men who occupy responsible places, men of intellect and influence, if those who are workers together with Him will be men of opportunity, doing their duty bravely and faithfully.

Christs instructs His messengers to go also to those in the byways and hedges, to the poor and lowly of the earth. Many of these do not understand what they must do to be saved. Many are sunken in sin. Many are in distress. Disease of every type afflicts them, both in body and in soul. They long to find a solace for their troubles, and Satan tempts them to seek it in lusts and pleasures that lead to ruin and death. They are spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labour for that which satisfieth not.

The Lord will do wondrous things for the truth's sake, and that His name may be glorified. When God's people give themselves to Him, and work in His lines, they will see of His salvation. The truth will be magnified. It will go forth as a lamp that burneth.

In obedience to the commands of God, we shall receive the best of everything. His richest blessings will be received when heart and mind and soul are consecrated to His service. Only thus can our service for Him be complete,—a perfect ministry.

This is an individual work. The labourer together with God must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Let us individually draw nigh to the mount, that we may understand what the Lord commands, and then obey.

The purpose which God seeks to accomplish through His people today is the same that He desired to accomplish through Israel when He brought them forth out of Egypt. By beholding the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God revealed in the Church, the world is to have a representation of His character. And when the law of God is thus exemplified in the life, even the world will recognize the superiority of those who love and serve God above every other people on the face of the earth. The Lord has His eye upon every one of His people, He has His plans concerning each. It is His purpose that those who practice His holy precepts shall be a distinguished people. To the people of God today, as well as to ancient Israel, belong the words written by Moses through the Spirit of inspiration in Deuteronomy 7:6, and 4:5-8.

Even these words fail of reaching the greatness and the glory of God's purpose to be accomplished through His people. Not to this world only, but to the universe are we to make manifest the principles of His kingdom.

The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit says: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be (made) known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Ephesians 3:8-10.

All to be Channels

God's people are to be channels for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe. In Zechariah's vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the bowl of the sanctuary. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed, that they may give a continuous bright and shining light. So from the anointed ones that stand in God's presence the fulness of divine light, and love, and power, is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others life and joy and refreshing. They are to become channels through which divine and human instrumentalities co-operate in communicating to the world the tide of God's love.

When the grace of God reigns in the heart, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the completeness, the fulness of the Gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. When self is submerged in Christ, true love springs forth spontaneously. The impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. Toil for others’ good is not regarded as drudgery. It is a cheerful work, done with a glad heart. Sympathy with Christ, participation in His joy, sweetens all toil. It braces the will. It nerves the spirit for whatever may befall. The soul is surrounded with an atmosphere of faith and courage and Christ-like love, an atmosphere invigorating to the spiritual life of all who inhale it.

As the light of Christ is received into the soul, the spirit is softened. The gentleness of Christ is expressed in the life. The personal influence of the humble, consecrated soul, like the fragrance of a flower, extends far beyond himself. There is something about him that does not consist in display. It is a spiritual power which he receives from the two anointed ones that stand before the Lord of the whole earth. The Holy Spirit, coming from God to the instrumentality He employs, flows forth into other lives, making others labourers together with God.

Did this spiritual power pervade the lives of all who profess to be Christians, what a work might be accomplished! Thousands who now reject the message of salvation would accept Christ if they could see reflected in His followers the beauty of His character.

E. G. White.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»