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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 82, 1899

    In the Master’s Service


    May 21, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 4BC 1172; RH 04/17/1900. +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.

    “This is life eternal,” Christ prayed, “that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] There is a greatness in this prayer which no human language can express. Thousands upon thousands long for the knowledge of God. Some have a partial knowledge of Him, but not the fullness of knowledge. Others, filled with unrest, long for something which they have not.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 1

    Christ longed to help and save the perishing, and He expressed His longing in the words, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the hills; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor; other men labored and ye have entered into their labors.” [John 4:35-38.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 2

    To each one is committed his work. Each one is invited to take Christ’s yoke and learn of Him. Thus we may find rest to our souls. The labor for which Christ said there was so much need was harvesting. Harvesters are few. The work of gathering in the grain takes tact and skill, that none be lost. Winnowers of souls are needed in every place where the standard of truth has been uplifted, on which is inscribed, The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 3

    “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.” [Luke 10:2.] When Christ made this statement there were scribes and Pharisees, priests and rulers, in every city and town in the land. The Saviour saw that these religious teachers were wholly unfitted to minister to the spiritual needs of the people. “Ye know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God,” He said to them. “Ye do teach for doctrine the commandments of men.” [Matthew 22:29; 15:9.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 4

    Intensity of soul is needed in the work of seeking to save those who are perishing out of Christ. Those who are laborers together with God will be contrite because they are compassionate. Satan is intense in his efforts to deceive souls and gather them under his banner of apostasy and rebellion, and his laborers are without number. The Lord has a great work to do. He has decisive battles to fight, and He calls upon young men and young women to fight for Him. He calls upon old men to act as counsellors who can teach the young men what to do in cases of emergency. Aged workers are to bear, as did John a living testimony of real experience. And when these faithful workers are laid to rest with the words, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” [Revelation 14:13], there should be found in our schools men and women who can take the standard and raise it in new places.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 5

    The experienced workers, who have in the past anticipated the wants of the cause, do a noble work when in the place of carrying all the burdens themselves, they lay them upon the shoulders of younger men and women, and educate them as Elijah educated Elisha. David offered to God a tribute of gratitude because of the divine teaching and guidance he had received. “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth,” he declared. [Psalm 71:17.] Those who in the message have borne the burden and heat of the day are to remember that the same Lord who taught them in their youth, inviting them, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” [Matthew 11:29], and giving them the light of truth, is just as willing to teach young men and young women today as He was to teach them.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 6

    It is wisdom for the men who have borne heavy loads to come apart and rest awhile. These faithful workers should be appreciated as educators. They should be relieved of every taxing load. The Lord Himself will co-operate with them in their efforts to educate. They should leave the wrestling to those who are younger; the future work must be done by strong young men and women. The work is under the control of the Author and Finisher of our faith. He can and will give fitness to men of opportunity. He will raise up those who can fight His battles. He never leaves His work to chance. His work is a great and solemn work, and it is to go forward. While the aged standard-bearers are in the field, let those who have been benefited by their labors care for and respect them. Do not load them down with burdens. Appreciate their advice, their words of counsel. Respect them as fathers and mothers who have borne the burden of the work.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 7

    God calls upon young men to consecrate themselves to His work. “I have written to you, young men,” John says, “because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. ... Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” [1 John 2:14, 20, 21.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 8

    And the apostle Paul wrote to his brethren, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast plate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of truth. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Ephesians 6:10-17.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 9

    It is not God’s will that the fathers in His cause should use up their remaining vitality in bearing heavy loads. Let the young men shoulder every responsibility that they can, and fight manfully the good fight of faith. The Lord knows better whom to select to do His work than do the wisest men, however interested they may be in His work. It is God who implants His Spirit in the hearts of young men, leading them to fight for Him against great odds. Thus He inspired Paul of Tarsus. He fought with all his entrusted capabilities for heaven’s revealed truth, against apostates who ought to have upheld him. God’s servants today will have the same difficulties to meet that Paul met. This experience some have had who are now raising the truth. These are the men who can stand in defense of the truth. If they continue to be learners God can use them to vindicate His law.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 10

    Let not the aged workers think that they must carry all the responsibilities, all the loads. New fields of labor are constantly opening before us. Let the young men unite with experienced laborers who understand the Scriptures, who have long been doers of the Word, who have brought the truth into the practical life, relying upon Christ day by day, who seek the Lord as Daniel did.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 11

    Three times a day Daniel offered his petitions to God. He knew that in One mighty in counsel was the source of wisdom and power. The truth as it is in Jesus—the sword of the Spirit, which cuts both ways—was his weapon of warfare. In word, in spirit, in principle, the men who have made God their trust are an example to the youth connected with them. These faithful servants of God are to link up with young men. They draw them to them with the cords of love, because they themselves are drawn to them by the cords of love.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 12

    “For a Perpetual Covenant”

    A powerful foe, who puts on a very inviting appearance, is ever soliciting the youth for their companionship. Glowing advantages are presented to them, which they are told will be theirs if they will follow his advice. Thus thousands upon thousands are drawn into the broad road which leads to destruction. As he tempted Eve, so the enemy tempts the youth by promising that in disobedience and transgression they will find liberty and freedom that will make them as gods. He who has endeavored to change God’s law by instituting a spurious sabbath uses every device to induce men and women to unite with him in his apostasy, and under his leadership the Christian world has chosen another mark than that of God.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 13

    I will copy a few lines from an item I have read, called “The Changed Signpost”:14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 14

    “Some years ago, when [the world was] more boisterous than it is at present, (a questionable assertion), it was thought a good joke to turn round a signpost erected at a junction where two roads met. Of course the perplexity and misery which this often caused was great. Once a signpost was erected by God for those who journeyed through this world. The road to happiness was as clearly defined as was the road to the city of refuge under the Jewish dispensation. One finger of the signpost pointed out loving obedience to the Creator as the road to felicity, while its other arm indicated disobedience, or sin, as the path to misery. In an evil hour for our race, the great enemy turned the signpost round, so that ever since, multitudes have mistaken the true road to happiness.”14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 15

    No one who has the Word of God need make a mistake in regard to the true Sabbath. “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations: that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 16

    “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” [Exodus 31:12-18.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 17

    In these words the Lord has clearly defined the road to the city of God; but the man of sin, who is working at cross-purposes with God, has changed the signpost, setting up a false one—a spurious sabbath. Thus he leads men and women in an opposite direction to the city of refuge, and by the multitudes who follow him, it is demonstrated that Adam and Eve are not the only ones who have accepted the words of the wily foe.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 18

    The Lord has stated expressly that truth and life are to be found in the path of obedience. Obedience is the waymark all must follow. God has declared that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. He has exalted this day as a memorial of His work of creation, plainly stating that it is to be a sign between Him and His people throughout their generations. Twice this is repeated in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, and the speaker is Jesus Christ.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 19

    But the great apostate says, “I will work at cross-purposes with God. I will empower my delegate, the man of sin, to take down God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus I will show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day bearing not the credentials of God, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead the people who accept this day to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day. Through my vicegerent I will exalt myself. The first day will be extolled, and the Protestant world will receive this spurious sabbath as genuine.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 20

    “Through the non-observance of the Sabbath God instituted, I will bring His law into contempt. The words, ‘A sign between me and you throughout your generations’ [verse 13], I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath. Thus the world will become mine. I will be ruler of the earth, prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God’s Sabbath will be an object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws will be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law; and the earth will be wholly under my dominion.”14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 21

    The man of sin has created a false sabbath, and the professed Christian world has adopted this child of the papacy, refusing to obey God. The enemy of all good has turned the signboard round, so that it points to the path of disobedience. He has insulted Jehovah by refusing to obey a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” He has thought to change times and laws, but has he done this? The words of the thirty-first chapter of Exodus are the answer. With His own finger the Lord wrote the commandments upon the tables of stone.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 22

    “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested and was refreshed.” [Verses 17, 16.] “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” The Creator has plainly stated that after making the world in six days, He rested on the seventh [day], sanctifying and blessing this day as a memorial of creation, and giving it to His people as a rest day, “that ye may know,” He says, “that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” [Verse 13.] Thus He desires to test their obedience.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 23

    Shall we set aside the command of Christ, given in such positive language, and follow the path of the transgressor? Who will venture to change the signpost, so that it points in the wrong way, vindicating the man of sin? It is a terrible thing to place a human institution, the papal sabbath, where the Lord’s great memorial should be. It is a terrible thing for men to arrogate to themselves the power to set aside the day which God has sanctified and blessed, declaring it to be His holy day, and put in its place a common working day; to try to compel men to respect and reverence this day, while those who thus try to compel their fellow men are trampling under their feet God’s great memorial.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 24

    Human theories are exalted, honored, and placed where God and His law should be. But God has not altered the thing which has gone out of His lips. His Word will stand fast forever, as unalterable as His throne. When every case is decided in the courts of heaven, this covenant will be brought forth, plainly written with the finger of God. The world will be arraigned before the bar of Infinite Justice to receive sentence—a life measuring with the life of God for obedience, and death for transgression.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 25

    The Lord’s Word is verity and truth. It is so plain that we cannot mistake its meaning. It is not evidence that people need, for this they have. But they do not desire to walk in the way of the [Lord’s] commandments. The world is walking contrary to the divine will; but God has a people on the earth, and between Him and them His Sabbath is a sign, whereby they know that He is the Lord that sanctifies them. Upon them His mark is placed.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 26

    “They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father.” [Isaiah 58:12-14.] Here is presented a people who turn aside their feet from trampling on the fourth commandment. Please read this Scripture in connection with the words found in Exodus 31:12-18.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 27

    It is obedience to the Word of the living God that brings men into close relationship with Christ. Today He is saying as He said to the Jewish people, “O that thou hadst known, even thou in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace!” And soon will be heard the irrevocable sentence, “But now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] He said again as He wept over the devoted city, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” [Matthew 23:37.] It was not that the Jewish people could not receive Christ; they would not. Thus it will be with many in our day.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 28

    What does the Lord require of us? The observance of His Sabbath, “as a perpetual covenant.” [Exodus 31:16.] God wants every family to bear this sign. Thus we may show that we are loyal and true to His commandments. Look at our world, full of disregard for God, in open rebellion against Him who in a moment could extinguish every soul that breathes the breath of life. What has made the world so full of violence? A disregard of God’s law. This was what filled the earth with rebellion and corruption in the days before the flood. See the regard shown today for the spurious Sabbath.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 29

    And those who make laws to guard this false rest day make laws also which legalize the liquor traffic, a curse which is brutalizing the beings made in the image of God, taking away their reason, and placing them under the enemy’s control. Knowing full well the sure result, man takes the wages of his fellow man, giving him in return poison which destroys his reason, and sends him from the saloon full of false ideas. He has sold his reason for liquor, and is led into all kinds of violence. Satan presents before his mind things which, though unreal, seem real to him. He is filled with a determination to kill the one who, he supposes, stands in his way. Terrible crime and sometimes murder is often the result. Yet notwithstanding its fearful effects, the liquor curse is protected by law.14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 30

    Why do not those who make laws abolish this debasing traffic? Because they do not bear God’s sign. They do not keep His commandments. Therefore they tolerate that which is making the world a second Sodom. As it was in the days of Noah, when the wickedness of men was so great that God swept from the face of the earth every living thing save those which found refuge in the ark, so also shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. “They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away. Thus shall it be when the Son of man shall be revealed.” [Matthew 24:37-39.]14LtMs, Ms 82, 1899, par. 31

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