Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

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

The Review and Herald

June 3, 1902

A Warning to the Workers in God's Cause

Mrs. E. G. White

The Lord reveals the power of his word today as he did to ancient Israel; but how difficult it is for the truth that is not in harmony with men's ideas to make a favorable impression on the mind. If the workers who have seen God's dealing with his people during the rise and progress of the cause will strengthen the faith of the people of God by reviewing past blessings and mercies, they themselves will be blessed, and their work will prove a blessing to those who have not had the experience they have had. As they recount the sacrifices made by those who led out in the work, and tell of the power God manifested to keep his work free from error and extravagance, they will have a molding influence for good.

Those who enter the work at the present time know comparatively little of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of those upon whom the Lord laid the burden of his work at its beginning. The experience of the past should be told them again and again; for they are to carry forward the work with the same humility and self-sacrifice that characterized the true workers in the past. A stern conflict is going on between the Prince of life and the prince of darkness—a conflict that calls for constant vigilance on the part of Christ's soldiers. There must be no sleepy watchmen on the walls of Zion.

God's workers must allow him to choose his own instruments for the work he is doing. If for any cause men refuse to accept the ways of the Lord, if they resist the light sent from heaven, they will at last be found among the workers of iniquity. And when men, after serving on the side of Christ, take a position against him, they exert an influence as much more dangerous than those who have never professed to serve Christ as their light has been greater. The only hope for such ones is to seek the Lord with humility of heart, that they may see the error they have made. Then let them honestly and frankly confess their sin. They have the sure word of God that if they do this, they will find pardon. But if they refuse to acknowledge their mistake, if they refuse to seek pardon, their sin will witness against them in the day of judgment.

Those who have laid stumbling-blocks before the feet of the inexperienced, clouding with doubt the minds of those who have not a personal knowledge of the Lord's dealing with his people in the past, can undo their work only by making their confession as broad as their influence for wrong has been, reaching all to whom, by their resistance of the Holy Spirit, they have brought uncertainty and confusion.

The Only Safe Way

Our God is a jealous God. He will not be trifled with. Those who make straight paths for their feet must confess their sins. Then God's wisdom will overrule their mistakes for their own good and for the good of his people. He will give them the heavenly anointing, and they will see that his hand is leading his people in the right way. They will see how dangerous was the path upon which they entered when they allowed Satan to control them.

It was very humiliating for Saul to learn that all the time he had thought he was doing God service, he had been persecuting Christ, using his power against the truth. The Saviour revealed himself to Saul, and the Pharisee was filled with abhorrence of himself and his work. He was made physically blind by the glory of him whom in the past he had blasphemed, but it was that he might have spiritual sight. During the days and nights of his blindness, he had time for reflection, and he no longer saw himself righteous but sinful, his thoughts, words, and actions, condemned by the law. The thought of his zeal in persecuting God's people filled him with bitter remorse. Hopeless and helpless, he cast himself on Jesus as the only one who could pardon him, and clothe him with righteousness.

My brethren, some of you have been doing as Saul did,—despising the messages God has sent for the salvation of his people. You have used your capabilities to make God's work of none effect. You need to repent and be forgiven. Unless you have this experience, you cannot be saved.

It was a hard struggle for Paul—heretofore able to say of himself, as far as outward acts were concerned, as “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless”—to see himself a transgressor, all his supposed goodness swept away. It was a hard struggle for him to give up his supposed righteousness, and cast himself for salvation on the One he had despised. But he yielded to the convictions of the Spirit. The far-reaching claims of the law of God took hold of his life, reaching to the thoughts and emotions of his sin-corrupted heart. With eyes anointed by the grace of God, he saw the mistakes of his life. From a proud Pharisee, who thought himself justified by his good works, he was changed to a humble suppliant for mercy. The tongue, once so ready to blaspheme the name of Christ, became eloquent in sounding the praises of him who had called him out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Writing later of this, Paul says, “I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” O that the same power that converted Paul might go forth today to soften and subdue hearts! Then wrongs would not be varnished over, but open-hearted confessions would be heard.

No way has been provided by which men can pass lightly over their errors. The only safe way is to send sins beforehand to judgment by coming to Christ with the humility and simplicity of a little child. Men must confess their sins, else they will be left in hardness of heart. Light rejected becomes to the rejecter darkness blacker than the darkness of midnight.

Beware of Prejudice and Unbelief

In the past some have followed a course of action that has been displeasing to God. They have viewed matters in a distorted light. That which might be to them joy and peace in the Holy Ghost appears inconsistent, and they put on the armor of Satan to war against the work of God. The testimony of the Spirit of God is no more to them than the word of men, because in their blindness they cannot distinguish between truth and error.

The messengers God has seen fit to send have not been infallible. They have been weak, erring human beings; but the Lord wrought through them as they gave themselves up to his service. The word spoken was adapted to the necessities of God's people; the evidence of truth was clearly and distinctly presented. The reason the word did not have the desired effect on the hearers was not that there was a lack of evidence; for link after link was produced until the chain was complete; but the minds of the hearers were filled with prejudice. They were not willing to accept evidence, and tried to make the Bible sustain their ideas, instead of changing their ideas to meet the Bible.

The Jews watched Christ, hoping to catch from his lips some word at which they might take offense. Is not this done today? Men refuse to give up their own ideas. They are not humble enough to acknowledge the divine origin of that which is not in harmony with their opinions.

The Lord knows the honest in heart. He hears their prayers, and sends them divine light. The Holy Spirit sends the truth home with power to the hearts of all who are not hardened by unbelief. Christ rejoiced when the evidence rejected by the men who thought themselves wise, was accepted by those who in comparison might be called babes in knowledge. He who feels secure in his own wisdom must become as a little child, else he will never wear the crown of eternal life. He must be willing to learn the lessons Christ has for him to learn, willing to say with John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

What words can I trace to arouse my ministering brethren to a sense of the responsibility resting on them? How fearful their position if, while professing to be watchmen on the walls of Zion, they lay stumbling-blocks in the way of their less experienced brethren, leading them to question the precious messages God sends! Christ promised success to his disciples if they would place themselves under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. They were not authorized to preach a single discourse except under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They had strict orders to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Do the workers today regard the possession of the Holy Spirit essential to the success of their work? We have had sermonizing and theorizing until the churches are ready to die. The Holy Spirit must come upon God's people. Then the truth will go forth with mighty power.

June 3, 1902

Results of the Work

Through the work for the relief of our schools a fourfold blessing will be realized,—a blessing to the schools, to the world, to the church, and to the workers.

While funds are gathered for the relief of the schools, the best reading matter is being placed in the hands of a large number of people, who, if this effort had not been made, would never have seen “Christ's Object Lessons.” There are souls in desolate places who will be reached by this effort. The lessons drawn from the parables of our Saviour will be to very many as the leaves of the tree of life.

It is the Lord's design that “Christ's Object Lessons,” with its precious instruction, shall unify the believers. The self-sacrificing efforts put forth by the members of our churches will prove a means of uniting them, that they may be sanctified, body, soul, and spirit, as vessels unto honor, prepared to receive the Holy Spirit. Those who seek to do God's will, investing every talent to the best advantage, will become wise in working for his kingdom. They will learn lessons of the greatest value, and they will feel the highest satisfaction of a rational mind. Peace and grace and power of intellect will be given them.

As they carry this book to those who need the instruction it contains, the workers will gain a precious experience. This work is a means of education. Those who will do their best as the Lord's helping hand to circulate “Christ's Object Lessons,” will obtain an experience that will enable them to be successful laborers for God. Very many, through the training received in this work, will learn how to canvass for our larger books, which the people need so much.

All who engage in the work aright, cheerfully and hopefully, will find it a very great blessing. The Lord does not force any to engage in his work, but to those who place themselves decidedly on his side he will give a willing mind. He will bless all who work out the spirit which he works in. To such workers he will give favor and success. As field after field is entered, new methods and new plans will spring from new circumstances. New thoughts will come with the new workers who give themselves to the work. As they seek the Lord for help, he will communicate with them. They will receive plans devised by the Lord himself. Souls will be converted, and money will come in. The workers will find waste places of the Lord's vineyard lying close beside fields that have been worked. Every field shows new places to win. All that is done brings to light how much more still remains to be done.

As we work in connection with the Great Teacher, the mental faculties are developed. The conscience is under divine guidance. Christ takes the entire being under his control.

No one can be truly united with Christ, practicing his lessons, submitting to his yoke of restraint, without realizing that which he can never express in words. New, rich thoughts come to him. Light is given to the intellect, determination to the will, sensitiveness to the conscience, purity to the imagination. The heart becomes more tender, the thoughts more spiritual, the service more Christlike. In the life there is seen that which no words can express,—true, faithful, loving devotion of heart, mind, soul, and strength to the work of the Master.

After we have, by sanctified energy and prayer, done all that we can do in the work for our schools, we shall see the glory of God. When the trial has been fully made, there will be a blessed result.

If it is made in a free, willing spirit, God will make the movement for the help of our schools a success. He will enable us to roll back the reproach that has come upon our educational institutions. If all will take hold of the work in the spirit of self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the truth, it will not be long before the jubilee song of freedom can be sung throughout our borders.

Mrs. E. G. White

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