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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9

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    Chapter 14—Words of Counsel to Ministers

    Sanitarium, California,

    November 3, 1901

    To a Worker of Long Experience in New York City—

    As I have considered the situation in New York, a great burden has come upon my soul. In the night season matters have been presented to me in this light: New York will be worked; openings will be found in parts of the city in which there are no churches, where the truth will find standing room. There is a vast amount of work to be done in proclaiming the truth for this time to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Most startling messages will be borne by men of God's appointment, messages of a character to warn the people, to arouse them. And while some will be provoked by the warning and led to resist light and evidence, we are to see from this that we are giving the testing message for this time.9T 137.1

    Messages will be given out of the usual order. The judgments of God are in the land. While city missions must be established where colporteurs, Bible workers, and practical medical missionaries may be trained to reach certain classes, we must also have, in our cities, consecrated evangelists through whom a message is to be borne so decidedly as to startle the hearers.9T 137.2

    “Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange God among you: therefore ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” Isaiah 43:8-13.9T 137.3

    “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who is blind, but My servant? or deaf, as My messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:16-21.9T 138.1

    The work outlined in these scriptures is the work before us. The terms “My servant,” “Israel,” “the Lord's servant,” mean anyone that the Lord may select and appoint to do a certain work. He makes them ministers of His will, though some who are selected may be as ignorant of His will as was Nebuchadnezzar.9T 138.2

    God will work for those of His people who will submit themselves to the working of the Holy Spirit. He pledges His glory for the success of the Messiah and His kingdom. “Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”9T 138.3

    “Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?” Verses 5-7, 23.9T 139.1

    The people of God who have had light and knowledge have not carried out the high and holy purposes of God. They have not advanced from victory to victory, adding new territory, lifting up the standard in the cities and their suburbs. Great spiritual blindness has been shown by those who have had great light flashed upon them by the Lord, but who have not advanced in the light to greater and still greater light. Church members have not been encouraged to use spiritual nerve and muscle in the work of advancement. They should be made to understand that ministers cannot work out their salvation by hovering over them. It is thus that they are made weaklings when they ought to be strong men.9T 139.2

    In every church young men and young women should be selected to bear responsibilities. Let them make every effort to qualify themselves to help those who know not the truth. God calls for earnest, whole-souled workers. The humble and contrite will learn by personal experience that beside Him there is no savior.9T 139.3

    Bible truth must be preached and practiced. Every ray of light given is to shine forth with clear, distinct brightness. The truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. There are hundreds of God's servants who must respond to this call and take the field as earnest, soul-saving workers, coming up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. God calls for live men, men who are filled with the vivifying influence of His Spirit, men who see God as the Supreme Ruler and receive from Him abundant proof of the fulfillment of His promises, men who are not lukewarm, but hot and fervent with His love.9T 140.1

    Should all the labor that has been expended on the churches during the past twenty years be again expended upon them, it would fail, as it has failed in the past, of making the members self-denying, cross-bearing followers of Christ. Many have been overfed with spiritual food, while in the world thousands are perishing for the bread of life. Church members must work; they must educate themselves, striving to reach the high standard set before them. This the Lord will help them to reach if they will co-operate with Him. If they keep their own souls in the love of the truth they will not hold the ministers back from presenting the truth in new fields.9T 140.2

    The large cities should have been worked just as soon as the churches received the light, but many have carried no burden for souls, and Satan, finding them susceptible to his temptations, has spoiled their experience. God asks His people to repent, to be converted, and to return to their first love, which they have lost by their failure to follow in the footsteps of the self-sacrificing Redeemer.9T 140.3

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