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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 105, 1899

    Words of Instruction to Responsible Men


    July 30, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 123, 228-229. +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.

    Altogether too many buildings have been erected in Battle Creek and other localities, and they are eating up the resources which should be used in doing thorough, substantial work in other countries. It is high time for a decided reform in those who are standing in responsible positions. Men are needed who have sound judgment, men who in every enterprise will consider the words of Christ.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 1

    The man who designs to erect a building should have calculating talent, that he may count the cost, lest he begin to build and is not able to finish. Wise judgment will lead to wise calculations. He is not to invest the Lord’s entrusted talent of means where it will be continually absorbed in sustaining the enterprise. Men of sound judgment are needed, who will not be so ambitious to create, but will study how to preserve the vitality of the institution after the building has been erected.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 2

    There has been too much enthusiasm to rush buildings into existence, without consulting the mind and judgment of the people. These buildings have been represented as a positive necessity. They have been erected irrespective of the necessities in other portions of the Lord’s vineyard. Necessities have been created in buildings, and these must be fed with money and facilities in order to be carried forward healthfully and prosperously. And where are the funds? This is not as God would have it, and He calls for a decided change in the manner of working. These methods and plans, which are carried on in a few localities, rob the other portions of the great field.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 3

    All need to counsel together in regard to the so-called medical missionary work and the way in which it shall be conducted, for there is danger by our own course of action of our closing against ourselves the fields which need to be worked. My Guide presented before me many things which need our close, critical attention. He represented the case as it really is, and not in as favorable a light as it has been represented, in which the objectionable features have not appeared, while the more favorable ones are brought out in large proportions. No line of work should be carried forward in such a way as to divert the minds of the workers from the work which God has given His people to do for these times. In order to advance the cause of God in a few localities, men have taken from the Lord’s treasury as fast as the means have come in; in order to build debts have been incurred, while the work in foreign countries has been neglected.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 4

    The Lord does not encourage one thread of selfishness in the workers in His service; but herein has been the fault. All that is needed to confirm the truth of this is the showing of the work today which does not bear the divine credentials. It is not after God’s order. No longer must the workers become absorbed in a class of work which demands a constant supply of means and facilities to sustain it, while other portions of the field are left untouched. God wants a different showing from this. He is not glorified. The ministerial work must be revived. The medical missionary work is not to be separated from the work of the ministry. This is and will continue to be the temptation. The work must be properly balanced, that it may move forward solidly in every line. The work of the Holy Spirit is needed. God calls for perfect unity in all who labor in word and doctrine. They must carry with them the Spirit of Christ to every congregation.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 5

    In every large assembly there should be men who will give the trumpet a certain sound. Persons are not to be encouraged to take the stand as teachers who have all their life been sunk in the depths of pollution, intemperance, and sin. Such men are not to be exalted as speakers, for they will cast reproach on the work of the gospel ministry. The chosen messengers of God are to stand in their God-given rights to carry the warning to the world, and in every place where they exalt the Lord’s memorial, there a church will be raised up. This will require much labor. They will need to reason from the Scriptures, giving the truth in clear lines, both by precept and example.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 6

    The call is to sound forth now, just now, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [Revelation 18:2-5.]14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 7

    “And I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory, and he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” [Verses 1, 2.] The Lord would have each soul work in harmony with the first, second, and third angels, who bear His messages to the world in no whispered tones, showing the people where they stand. Nothing must be allowed to rise to dim the light of the third angel’s message. The work of this angel is to lighten the world with his glory.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 8

    Satan will employ every means in his power to prevent God’s people from doing their work for this time, but the Lord calls upon His people to present to the world the gospel message, whatever the consequence to themselves. Buildings are now standing which have cost large sums of money, [and] which might better never have been erected. Such movements should not be made without serious, painstaking calculation to find out how much was required to build and equip it. In every city and town the gospel message is to be borne by means of camp meetings and tent meetings, followed by house to house labor. Let nothing divert the strength and power of the ministry from the work which God designs it should do in arousing the people and bringing them to repentance.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 9

    The medical missionary work ought always to have existed in the work of reform. But it is never to become the means of separating the workers in the ministry from their work. Christ united these two branches in all His labors. The medical missionary work is a part of the great whole, as the arm is a part of the body. But the arm is not to say to the head, I have no need of thee. The body has need of the head and the arms in order to do active, aggressive work. The body is not to become the arm. Each member has its appointed work to perform. The so-called medical missionary work will result in great harm if it is made the body in the place of the arm.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 10

    In every church genuine medical missionary work is to be done. In the place of erecting more buildings to call the people from the smaller churches, let each company in these churches be instructed to do its appointed work. Let the minister educate the families, and he will strengthen the church to care for its own sick and poor. Set at work the God-given faculties and a great blessing will come into the church. If one church becomes over worked in this line, let the sister churches help with them. The money invested so largely in buildings might better be spent in caring for the needy saints, who after practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice for the good of others, have not sufficient to care for their own sick and afflicted.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 11

    This is the education to be given. Every church needs strength and money, that it may keep its own poor without using the tithe money. Erect fewer buildings, and you will need less means. These large institutions become largely dependent upon the Conference, and by drawing from this source, you cripple its power to sustain the work in nigh and afar off fields. When a call comes for help, it is forced to say, We have no funds. Thus its poverty is revealed, and God’s people stand in a questionable light before the world.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 12

    There are still other plans being devised for the erection of buildings, but before you erect these buildings, I would say to you, Before you begin to build, sit down and count the cost. See if you are able to finish. Do justice to the cause of God. The ministry of the gospel in word and doctrine must be sustained. The money which in the past has been expended for the erection of buildings would do a large work through God’s appointed agencies in establishing small churches in new fields in far off lands, where God’s people have no place in which to worship Him.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 13

    Sound principles have been laid down for every Christian in the world, principles which will develop the characters of those who profess godliness. Those who possess true godliness will bear the sign. They will love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. The devisings of men are removing from the churches the blessings they should have. God has placed in our care the poor and the suffering, and these are to be cared for as Christ cared for them. The Lord would have this work done in the different churches, rather than that they should depend so largely upon institutions, for this will take out of the hands of the churches the very work God has appointed them to do. When fathers and mothers die, and leave their children unprovided for, the orphans should be cared for by the church. Open your hearts, you that have the love of God, and take them into your homes.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 14

    This is the lesson God would teach us through His servant when he says, “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 15

    “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” [Isaiah 58:5-7.] (See Malachi 3.) You are not to do this work by proxy. You are to give evidence to the world that you are Christlike. You are to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice. Then a light will shine in every Christian home, which will reveal itself in behalf of the ignorant, leading them to the source of all knowledge.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 16

    Full and complete redemption may be taught from the Word of God to enlighten those who are in darkness. Christ gave His life that men might have salvation. But by their indifference the churches of today are losing the most precious opportunities which it is their privilege to have. The burdens which they should bear they are placing upon some institution. If they would take up their God-given work, they would receive a knowledge of what practical godliness means.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 17

    Christ is revealed in every place where the standard of truth is uplifted. He is revealed to your neighbors when the truth which you believe leads you to the performance of good works. They see that your faith means something. They realize that your belief is not cunningly devised fables or idle speculations. They will see that it is not your own imaginings inspired by enthusiasm. People are watching and weighing those who claim to believe the seventh-day Sabbath. They watch to see wherein your dress, your life and conduct, represent Christ. And your influence will tell in every town and city where the truth has found a place for itself.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 18

    The churches are chilled to death because they do not take up their appointed work right where they are. If they would do this, God’s richest blessing would rest upon them. All the attributes of Christ are awaiting our reception as we work in His lines. Heaven’s blessings are guaranteed to us.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 19

    “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” [Isaiah 58:8-10.]14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 20

    Should not this instruction from the Lord be valued by every church member? Shall we not take heed to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God? Shall not we who claim to be children of God begin right where we are to make manifest our personal interest in these blessings? They are for every family, for every soul in every family. As we individually appropriate these blessings, we will impart to others. This is the sure result of genuine faith. Faith without works is dead, being alone. In our lives we must reveal that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from selfishness. All that heaven contains is waiting the draft of every laborer with God. We must have true sympathy with Christ, and then will come the fellowship of the Spirit.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 21

    Christ’s joy and peace arise from a belief in the Word of God. Christ’s work of reform is to be carried on in every place by the members of the church. They are not to disregard the work of the Holy Spirit. For what saith the Scriptures? “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints,” indited by the will of God. [Romans 8:26, 27.]14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 22

    “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And 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.” [Isaiah 58:11, 12.] We are not left to human conclusions in reference to where this instructions applies, and the time of its marked fulfillment.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 23

    “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, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 13, 14.]14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 24

    The genuine medical missionary work is bound up with the third angel’s message. It cannot be divorced from it. This work is a reform which needs all parts combined to make it solid and efficient. “They that be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations.” [Verse 12.] God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath, the sign of His work in creating the world, has been displaced. Who has displaced it? The man of sin. God’s people have a special work to do in repairing the breach which has been made in the law of God. All who love God will show that they bear His sign by keeping all His commandments. They are the restorers of paths to dwell in. Their work is specified.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 25

    “If thou turn away thy foot form the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, ... then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth.” [Verses 13, 14.] The work for this time is to make prominent the truths presented in Exodus 31:12-18. And medical missionary work is bound up solidly and inseparably with all God’s commandments, of which the Sabbath is mentioned especially, for it is the great memorial of God’s creation work. Its observance is bound up with the work of restoring the moral image of God in man. This is the ministry God’s people are to carry forward.14LtMs, Ms 105, 1899, par. 26

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