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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 5, 1899

    The Need for Consecrated Workers


    January 26, 1899

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 98. +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.

    Every soul is now to stand in his lot to do his appointed work. He is to be prepared to hear Christ’s voice, and respond to His call, “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 5, 1899, par. 1

    “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees, therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast unto the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than me, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:5-12.]14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 2

    This is the message that is to be given to the world, for the One upon whom our salvation, our eternal life, depends is coming in answer to the prophetic declaration, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever.” [Isaiah 40:3-8.]14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 3

    This message is a decided one. Before an eastern monarch travels to foreign countries, a herald is sent to appoint workmen to prepare the way, to remove the objections, build bridges over gulches, level the hills, and make as clear and unobstructed a path as possible for the king to pass over.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 4

    This figure was given to Isaiah to show what must be done to prepare a people for the first advent of our Lord. He was to call upon the disobedient to see their transgression, and to humble themselves before God. Their self-exaltation, their feeling of superiority, their pharisaical pride as a nation, must be seen in a true light. The people must see that their natural advantages were of no value to them without true purity, true obedience to all of God’s commandments. The call was, Repent ye, for the kingdom of God is at hand.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 5

    A more marked, decided work than has been done must be done prior to the second appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The gospel is to be given to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Read the whole of the forty-first chapter of Isaiah. A work is to be done in these last days to prepare the way for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord gave men minds in order that He might control them. But Satan has come in with a determination to control the minds of men. Through his devising he has led men into intemperance of every description, into pleasure-loving, into liquor-drinking, into the use of the narcotic tobacco, of opium, and all other drugs which weaken the hold of the human family upon life. These are the great and most common causes of intemperance.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 6

    Through the love of pleasure, horse racing, cardplaying, cricket and football matches, the intellect is enfeebled. Is this the way in which Christ would have those formed in His image devote their time? God has given man faculties to cultivate, improve, expand, elevate and ennoble. But too often these faculties are laid as a freewill offering upon Satan’s altar. Thus men make it impossible to prepare for the future immortal life. The very duties and work given them to do in their various spheres of action is not done.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 7

    Man is to be a partaker of the divine nature. He was created to stand in a position of holy trust as God’s steward. He is in possession of most sacred and holy responsibilities. His mind, brought into harmony with the mind of God has a rich and unexhausted field in which to work. For the proper use of his faculties, he is responsible to Him who has entrusted them to him. He is to guard every avenue of the soul, lest Satan remove the fortifications and obtain the victory.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 8

    Man is God’s property, and he is to strive to reach the highest point of excellence by using all the means within his reach. He will receive much if he is faithful over little things, and so closely follows the Lord’s plan that he knows nothing of defeat or failure.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 9

    He may present to the Lord the portion of his vineyard over which he has been given charge, well-cultivated and beautiful. He is to faithfully plant and sow, ever extending his domains by working new lands. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Therefore if a man will keep his mind free from the rubbish Satan would pile into it, and lay it open to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, he will be able to see God. His intellect is well-cultivated, and his character well disciplined. The work done will be like the work described in the forty-third chapter of Isaiah.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 10

    The members of the church must arouse. Each member must have an individual living experience. Each must receive a message from God, and work in co-operation with God, doing the very things the Lord would have him do. His highest interest is at stake, for to every man has been given his work. He is to make use of every advantage God has provided. His eternal welfare depends upon the faithful discharge of every duty, be it large or small. He is to conscientiously to strive for Christ’s righteousness of character. He will find that in doing his appointed work, he will learn continuously from the great Teacher in regard to heavenly things. He is to make everything according to the pattern shown him in the mount. He does not work for a hard taskmaster, who calls him to reap where he has not strawed. He works for One who has devised liberal things.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 11

    Satan works constantly to lead men to weave selfishness into their religious experience and work. God calls upon every man to crucify self. Those who respond increase in their ability to impart. The more they learn from Christ, the more will they seek to establish every branch of the work of God by imparting their blessings to others. The more truly enlightened they are, the more deep and earnest will be their desire to enlighten others, and the wider will be their sympathy for every phase of the work that builds up the kingdom of God.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 12

    The more he talks with God, the less he will live to himself. He does not practice selfishness, for he knows that it has no redeeming qualities. The more abundant the privileges, opportunities, and facilities he is able to secure, the more he will feel under obligation as God’s steward to impart, because it is God’s kingdom that is to be built up.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 13

    It is a sin in God’s sight to withhold from needy fields the facilities abundant in another field. By wise and judicious planning, the efficiency of God’s workmen, sent to work in new fields, would be doubled and trebled. The workers could establish institutions that would give character to the work. In every part of the Lord’s vineyard the truth would be represented. The work would not be confined to one part of the world, but everywhere there would be witnesses who could tell the story of the love of God.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 14

    After Christ had talked with the Samaritan woman at the well, she was so convinced by His words that she forgot all about her errand and, leaving her waterpot, went into the city to tell the wonderful things she had heard. “Come,” she said to the people, “see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.” [John 4:29, 30.]14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 15

    While the woman was away telling her story, the disciples came to Christ, and said, “Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” [Verses 31-34.]14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 16

    This lesson was not given only for Christ’s disciples but for all who should afterwards unite in His service. Yet let all know that if they yoke up with Christ, they are to ask at every step when tempted to be selfish, What would Jesus do were He in my place? This is the principle which is to control every action. Not a thread of self is to be woven into the fabric.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 17

    As Christ spoke these words to His disciples, He was thinking of the way in which the Samaritan woman received His message. He had told her great truths; she had received them joyfully, and going into the city, she told her story and brought to Him those who listened to her report. Jesus used this occurrence as an opportunity to impressing truth upon the minds of His disciples. At that time the fields bore no appearance of harvest; the seed was only just sown. Christ said, “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 fields, for they are white already for harvest.” [Verse 35.] There was no appearance of harvest in the natural world.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 18

    Between the sowing and the reaping there must be a time of waiting. But the seed that had been sown in the mind of the Samaritan woman had already borne fruit. She received the word spoken, and immediately began to impart to others the knowledge of eternal life. Jesus knew what the result would be. He knew that the Samaritans would come to Him to hear for themselves the things of the kingdom of God, and would believe on Him, “because of the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all things that ever I did.” [Verse 39.] Those who first heard of Christ from the woman listened to many more truths from His own lips. These were precious to them; they received Jesus as the Christ of God.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 19

    The readiness of the Samaritans to receive the truth was to be a lesson to the disciples which they would never forget. The speedy harvest was to increase their faith and to encourage their hearts. The Samaritans were interested to hear, and astonished at the great light shining upon them from the Scriptures.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 20

    This experience was an illustration of the success the disciples might expect in their labor. Souls were hungry for the bread of life, perishing for a knowledge of the truth. There was a work, a heart work going on among both Jews and Gentiles. Many would receive the Word and rejoice in the truth. A great field of labor lay open before them. They needed to pray for laborers to go out into the harvest field, put in the sickle, and gather in the sheaves, for the harvest was ripe. Other men had labored before them to prepare minds to receive the gospel. Prophets and teachers had been working. John the Baptist’s voice had been lifted up in the wilderness to prepare for this very result. The disciples were to enter into other men’s labors: Others had done the sowing; they were to do the reaping. The fields were white for the harvest.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 21

    [This] may all be said of every new field today. The need of workers is as great as it ever has been. The need of self-denial is as manifest now as ever it was. The men to whom have been given abundant facilities need to look on the fields that are ready for the sickle, and see what they can do.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 22

    This parable has been strikingly fulfilled in the last camp meetings in Sydney. We have seen the working of the Spirit of God in Brisbane. The fields in Queensland are all white unto the harvest. Sheaves have been and still are being gathered in. In our camp meeting in Newcastle an interest was aroused exceeding anything that we have ever seen hitherto, or have had faith to anticipate. The whole community is stirred, all the way from Cooranbong to Newcastle, and from Newcastle to Brisbane, Queensland. We were astonished to see the eager listeners who gathered to hear the words of life.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 23

    In the two camp meetings held this season, we know that the angels of God enshrouded in the pillar of cloud went before us. While on my way to the camp meeting in Brisbane, I saw in the vision of the night two white clouds. Word came to me that clouds filled with angels announced the coming of Christ to our world. The word came to me, “Look ye.” Raising the curtain of the car window, I saw two clouds of purest white. This sent a glad and happy thrill to my heart. I watched these two clouds. They did not change their form. One would come close to the other and touch, and I thought I heard the angels sing. Then the clouds would move apart, but again they would come together. I was sure that angels were in these clouds.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 24

    When we changed cars at noon I looked for the clouds again, but did not see them after that.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 25

    The Brisbane and Newcastle camp meetings were the most precious meetings I have ever attended. At the last meeting I realized this more especially, and so did all who had any acquaintance with God. Those not of our faith acted [as] if they were on holy ground. The people did not seem to come to the meetings from curiosity. They came to hear the Word of life, and they heard it. Newcastle has been thoroughly canvassed for our books, especially Patriarchs and Prophets, Great Controversy, and Steps to Christ. The angels of God were upon the encampment.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 26

    A new tent has been purchased, and it was pitched last Thursday. I am told that this is in every way the best tent we have ever erected. The interest now is not so large as it was during holidays, for men living at a distance have to attend to their business. But the tent is well filled in the evenings and on Sabbaths and Sundays. Every effort is made to get close to the hearts of the people, and a number have taken their stand for the truth.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 27

    These meetings in Brisbane and in Newcastle have been the most earnest, solemn meetings we have ever seen. The people seem to be attracted and charmed as the treasures of the Word of life are opened to them. We have had earnest laborers. God is working upon hearts. During the camp meeting Dr. Caro gave health talks, and the people took him into their hearts at once. He is a clear speaker, full of earnestness and faith.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 28

    Before these meetings were held, there were presented to me in the night season small and large companies stretching out their hands, and saying with eager interest, “Come and help us: we want the truth, the pure gospel. We are starving for the bread of life.” The fields are all ripe for the sickle, and now is the time when we need devoted, earnest workers who are themselves worked by the Spirit of God.14LtMs, Ms 5, 1899, par. 29

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