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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 143, 1899

    Co-workers with Christ


    October 4, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in ChL 7-8, 26; 4MR 365-367; 6MR 105-106. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    When the disciples were disputing together as to which should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Christ called a little child to him, and set him in the midst of them and said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which shall believe in me, it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe unto that may be whom the offense cometh!” [Matthew 18:2-7.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 1

    It would be well if those occupying positions of trust in our institutions would remember that they are to be representatives of Jesus. True goodness, holiness, love, compassion for tempted souls must be revealed in their lives. Christ gave Himself to the world, that He might save those who would believe in Him. Shall not we, partakers of this great salvation, value the souls for whom He gave His life? Let us labor with a perseverance and energy proportionate to the value Christ places upon His blood-bought heritage. Human souls have cost too much to be trifled with, or treated with harshness or indifference.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 2

    A defective life is a dishonor to God. Co-workers with Christ will manifest no harshness, no self-sufficiency. These elements must be purified from the soul, and the gentleness of Christ take possession. Never be unkind to my soul, for by the grace of God that soul may become an heir of God and joint heir with Christ. Do not bruise the hearts of Christ’s purchased ones, for in doing this you bruise the heart of Christ. Ever remember that we must all meet again around the great white throne, there to receive the approval or the disapproval of God. A soul hurt is often a soul destroyed. Let those who have light and privileges remember that their very position of trust makes them responsible for soul. They will have to meet again those whom they have driven from Christ, bruised and wounded to death.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 3

    The human agent is a savor of life unto life, or he is a savor of death unto death. He either draws with Christ, or he draws away from Christ. Many have interposed their unconverted souls between Christ and the souls who are of value in His sight, and they will have a serious account to settle by and by with the Owner of souls. John writes: “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of these things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:12.] What an account these men will have to settle in the day of final retribution. The unsanctified spirit that prompted their works will be seen in its true character. Their selfish, arbitrary exactions they will see as they appear in the sight of a holy God. Will my brethren and sisters bear in mind that they are dealing with God’s heritage, His purchased possession?14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 4

    We are living in the day of atonement, when all the high-minded, all the self-sufficient, need to afflict their souls before God and repent of their sins, lest they are weighed in the balances and found wanting. Who among those who claim to believe the truth are being sanctified through the truth? Christ is the Truth. Who have put on Christ, and partaken of His love and tenderness and compassion? God gives us the Word, that through it we may be sanctified to His service. “This is the will of God concerning you,” the apostle writes, “even your sanctification.” [1 Thessalonians 4:3.] The application of the Word to our souls is represented by John as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. And this is eternal life to men. Receiving the truth as it is in Jesus, we become partakers of the divine nature.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 5

    “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones,” Christ said, “for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father. ... How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, He rejoiceth more over that sheep than over the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” [Matthew 18:10, 12-14.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 6

    Christ came to this world, all seared and marred with the curse, that He might meet humanity and work for humanity, uplifting the degraded and fallen and outcast. Let us study this eighteenth chapter of Matthew, that we may learn how to practice this lesson of Christ, for it we do not bring it into our practical lives we shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven. It is the masterly spirit to lord it over God’s heritage that is closing the gates of heaven to men.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 7

    It is our privilege to see Jesus as He is, full of compassion, amiable, courteous, merciful, forgiving. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” [Hebrews 2:17, 18.] Beholding Jesus, we shall be changed into the same image. Confidence, faith, hope, and love will spring up in our hearts.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 8

    Christ said to the woman of Samaria, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. ... Whoso drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4:10, 14.] This water represents the life of Christ, and every soul may partake of it. When we have a living connection with God, humble confidence becomes an abiding principle in the soul. Unbelieving fears are swept away before loving trusting faith. We can say truthfully, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded their eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” [2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 9

    God speaks to those who stand in the position of leaders, who lord it over God’s heritage, and hurt and destroy souls: “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame”—weak in experience and moral power—“be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Hebrews 12:12-15.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 10

    Let not your unkindness, your coldness of heart turn souls from the path that leads to refuge in Jesus, who will save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. There are souls who need your words of encouragement, and they cannot be helped by your unfeeling decisions, your words and looks of contempt. God is on your tract. He marks every word and look and gesture which stirs up the evil attributes and places these souls on Satan’s battlefield, for him to complete the work of ruin.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 11

    When God gives men one ray of light, and they refuse to follow it, the next ray of light may make no impression. Let us heed the words of inspiration: “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, how much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. ... Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” [Verses 25, 28, 29.] “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” [Hebrews 13:15, 16.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 12

    Our moral perceptions are not dependent upon riches, earthly wisdom, and learning. The true light is shining into hearts from the throne of God. The Spirit of Christ is drawing all men unto Himself. His invitation reaches to every soul: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.” [Matthew 11:28-30.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 13

    The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent is salvation to all who will receive it. Peter writes, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:2-4.] It is the privilege of every soul to seek God and to find Him, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 14

    When the laborer together with God presses home the truth to the heart of the sinner, it is the voice of God speaking through the human instrumentality. Heavenly intelligences co-operate with the consecrated worker. Let us not encourage questioning and doubt, by sowing these baleful seeds. As children of God we are to become diligent learners in the school of Christ, and then reveal His spirit and practice His methods. “Let this mind be in you,” says the apostle, “which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] Doubts will vanish before the workings of the Holy Spirit. This influence operates divinely upon the soul, and power to believe comes direct from God. There is an increased love for Christ, a soul hunger for His righteousness. In contemplating Christ’s character, a transformation takes place in man’s character. He is “changed from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 15

    God the Dependence of His People

    After the ascension of Christ, the Lord said, “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” [Psalm 2:8.] God is doing this in His own way. The territories nigh and afar off are His; and although usurpers have come in to take possession of His property, He will work to make a way for the truth, if man will keep his hand off the ark.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 16

    In the name of the Lord I say to the unfaithful watchmen, Stand out of the way, and let the Lord’s voice be heard. He waits not for your voice to be heard from Battle Creek before He works by His might and power. The message of the third angel will be proclaimed, and those men who have not advanced with it in knowledge and consecration will be left behind. The work will move forward without them, and advance to glorious victory.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 17

    Every country has its own peculiarities, and these cannot be changed by the best and wisest men. Their necessities must be met and handled with all wisdom. The workers must be dependent not on Battle Creek, but on God. How precarious would be the condition of man if he were forced to depend on the fitful, changeable nature of finite beings.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 18

    O that men would see the necessity of looking to God for their orders! Those who work in far distant lands must look in humble dependence to the Captain of their salvation. The Holy Spirit will descend and take up His abode in the heart of the sincere suppliant as he comes to the footstool of mercy. We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, believing that that God hears and answers prayer. We have a great High Priest who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 19

    His promise to the children of men is, “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” [John 14:16.] His dwelling place is in every locality where men are seeking with honest hearts to do His work. “The glory that thou gavest me, I have given them,” Christ prayed, “that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me: that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:22, 23.] The eternal Father is waiting for us to take our eyes off finite men, and place our dependence in God.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 20

    The sixth chapter of Isaiah has a deep and important lesson for every one of God’s workmen. Study it with humility and earnest prayer. The first and second chapters of Ezekiel should also be carefully studied. The wheels within wheels represented in this symbol was confusion to the finite eye. But a hand of infinite wisdom was revealed amid the wheels. Perfect order is brought out of the confusion. Every wheel works in its right place, in perfect harmony with every other part of the machinery.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 21

    I have been shown that human beings desire too much power. They desire to control, and the Lord God, the mighty Worker is left out of their workings. The workmen feel qualified to hold the highest place. Let no man attempt to manage that work which should be left in the hands of the great I AM, and who is in His own way is planning how the work shall be done. Know that God is the Instructor of His servants, and He will work through whom He will.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 22

    At the taking of Jericho the mighty General of armies planned the battle in such simplicity that no human being could take glory to himself. No human hand must take down the walls of the city, lest man shall take to himself the glory of the victory. So today no human being is to take to himself glory for the work he accomplishes. The Lord alone is to be magnified.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 23

    The Lord will be our Instructor. He has need of every agency that holds the truth in righteousness. The soul that is imbued with the Spirit of Christ becomes one with Christ in His deep unresting love for perishing souls. Christ is formed within the hope of glory, and He works through the human instrument. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] This is the privilege of God’s people in every place.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 24

    Those who bear the message of mercy to perishing souls must themselves be under discipline to God. The Lord is waiting to qualify men to carry the message to those who are afar off and to those that are night. God speaks to His people, warning them not to corrupt their simplicity and trust in the Lord by sinking their individuality in any living person. The Lord will teach all who will seek Him for wisdom, whatever their calling or profession. “Obey them that have the rule over you,” He says, “and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief.” [Hebrews 13:17.] Those who give evidence in the fruit they bear that they are chosen of God, will fulfill these specifications. They will watch for souls, not to hurt and bruise and discourage, but as a faithful shepherd watches over his flock.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 25

    We want more of the Infinite workings, and far less of the wisdom of man. Our work is to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. Our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, and our encouragement to the believer is “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] We are to strike a key note which will vibrate to the believer’s soul and bring joy to the heavenly intelligences. Presenting the cross of Calvary we are to cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] When men shall cease to trust in man and make God their efficiency, we shall see the earth filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 26

    The Temple of God must be Holy

    If the truth were comprehended and practiced, licentiousness would not be allowed to destroy the physical and mental powers. The apostle Paul writes, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them: and I will be their God and they shall be my people.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 27

    “Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-18.] “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 28

    There is no mystery in these words. If the human agent is a doer of the Word he will be a laborer together with God in keeping his body free from defilement. If he loves God with all his heart and mind and soul strength, he cannot defile his body, which is the temple of God.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 29

    Abuse of the temple of God has brought upon men and women suffering and misery which no human tongue can describe. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” [Romans 13:12-14.] Those who will open their understanding to comprehend these things will make wonderful reforms in their lives. The apostle writes, “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Those who are perfecting Christian characters will make decided changes in their lives, that they may present themselves to God holy and blameless, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 30

    Words to Parents

    Our talents are lent us in trust, to use and increase by their use. O if parents would only realize that the families on earth may be symbols of the family in heaven! If they would realize their accountability to keep their homes free from every taint of moral evil. God designs that we shall have far more of heaven in our families than we now enjoy.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 31

    From their earliest years the children are learners, and if pleasant scenes are kept before them in the home, they will become familiar with Christian courtesy, kindness, and love. Their minds are built up by what they see and hear, and parents are sowing the seed which will reap a harvest either for weal or woe. If Parents are Christians in name only, if they are not doers of the Word, they are placing their own superscription on their children, and not the superscription of God. Children long for something to impress the mind. For Christ’s sake, parents, give their hungering, thirsting souls something upon which to feed.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 32

    Children are naturally active, and if parents do not furnish them with employment, Satan will invent something to keep them busy in an evil work. Therefore, train your children to useful work. You can clothe all work with a dignity which will make it profitable and elevating.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 33

    Do not feel it your duty to make the lives of your children unpleasant. The unpleasantness will come fast enough. Bring all the pleasure possible into your exercises as teacher and educator of your children. Encourage them to make a companion of you. Sinful impulses, sinful inclinations, and objectionable habits you will surely find in your children; but if you encourage them to seek your society, you can give a right mold to their tastes and feelings, and banish discontent, repining, and rebellion. Overcome their pride by living before them an example of meekness and lowliness of heart.14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 34

    We need to weed out from our conversation everything that is harsh and condemnatory. When we have put on Christ in meekness and lowliness of heart, we shall represent Christ in all our dealings with our children. To all who labor in Christ’s lines for the salvation of souls, the Saviour says, “Ye are laborers together with God. Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [Verse 9.]14LtMs, Ms 143, 1899, par. 35

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