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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 109, 1899

    The Need of Equalizing the Work


    August 3, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MR 229-231; 3MR 324. +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.

    The whole world is the Lord’s vineyard, and he would have every part of it worked. Those who have been placed as stewards of the Lord’s goods should see that everything is managed in such a way as to bring the Lord the greatest revenue. A wise steward will not select a few portions of the vineyard and absorb in them the means which God has intended for the entire field. He will open the eyes of his understanding to see the necessity of equalizing the work, that beauty and harmony and solidarity may be seen in every part.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 1

    “It is the spirit of selfishness,” said the Teacher who was giving us instruction, “which leads men to absorb everything in that work which is under their own supervision, that their portion of the field may be enriched to the neglect of other portions. This is a species of selfishness which many do not discern. Large accumulations are drawn to one section of the world as though that were the only part which the Householder designs to have worked.”14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 2

    God designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into His work. Every man’s work is to be done with reference to his fellow laborers, for all have their appointed work. The vineyard must be cultivated, vines must be planted, that crops may be gathered. To every man is not committed the same task, and the work in the different lines must be done in unselfishness. The minds of the workers are first to be molded by God through His appointed agencies. The Word of the Lord is to be communicated to men, to supply their minds with suggestions and methods for working the field in such a way as to present to God the very best returns from all parts of His vineyard.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 3

    The worker is to feel an interest in every line of work, and if God has given him foresight and capability and knowledge that will help in any of these lines, he is to feel it is his duty to communicate that which he has received. All the workers, in their various occupations, are to train their minds to do the very highest service. The exactitude, skill, tact, wisdom, and perfection, which God required in the building of the earthly tabernacle, He would have brought into every work that shall be done in His service. Workers are to desire mental strength, that they may do everything according to the pattern shown to Moses in the mount. God requires perfection in every line of work that has to do with His service, and the workers must understand this. Read the thirty-first, thirty-fifth, and thirty-sixth chapters of Exodus.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 4

    The experience of Nadab and Abihu should be a lesson to all who bear any responsibilities in the service of God. An example of unrighteousness greatly dishonors God, and He will not tolerate it. The tenth chapter of Leviticus records the sin of Aaron’s sons and their punishment. The sacred fire which God commanded should be used in the service of the sanctuary represented God. This fire never went out day nor night, and this was to be used in all their service. But “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censor and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” [Verses 1-3.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 5

    It is not man who is to be praised and honored, but God. Of all who engage in His service He demands strict obedience to every word that proceedeth out of His mouth. All the refined and elevated and worthy ideas of our mind we need to place in connection with God that He may co-operate with them. He would have us reason from cause to effect in every undertaking which has reference to His work. The sacredness of His work is to be preserved fully as much now as in the days of ancient Israel. Then the workers will obtain, not a selfish tact, but high and sacred developments which will reflect back all the glory to God.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 6

    The Old Testament Scriptures Our Study

    The lessons of the Old Testament Scriptures had far better be studied than human productions and theories. Let a plain “Thus saith the Lord” become the study of teachers and students. We need to do solid work now.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 7

    The Lord has given to each a special work, and we are not to ignore the work of our fellow laborer, because he is not doing the same work as ourselves. God can only acknowledge our work as it shall blend with the gospel ministry. The Bible places us in possession of grand and sacred truths. It is the Word of the Most High. Those who are forming their religious faith need to be educated that they may not be turned against the ministers whom the Lord has set to give the gospel to all nations and kindreds and tongues and peoples. This Word is the great teacher. It alone can enlighten us in regard to the voice of God in nature, and lead us, step by step, through nature to nature’s God. The voice of God is revealed in nature to lead us to higher contemplation. In the government of God is revealed the benevolence, justice, steadfast integrity, mercy and truth, and His subjects are to become acquainted with these elements.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 8

    The Old Testament Scriptures reveal Christ, and bring to us a knowledge of His prerogatives and high authority as Captain of the Lord’s host. What manifestations of His glory are revealed that we may obtain a knowledge of His character! He was an example of truth and purity; enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, He gave His gospel to the children of Israel as verily as He gave it from the mount of beatitudes. And when He became flesh and dwelt among men, and they beheld Him full of grace and truth, His standard of purity, righteousness, and love gave to the human race the perfect standard of their practice. And with this standard He gave them the bright prospect of immortal life in the paradise of God.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 9

    Lest self rise to great proportions, and the credit and glory which belongs to the great I AM be given to man, there must be a mental growth in sanctified lines of study. The highest knowledge it is possible to gain is found in the instruction which fell from the lips of Christ both before His incarnation and after He appeared in human form. If a worker accepts the position of teacher to students who are to be fitted to do all kinds of missionary work, he should read his Bible with greater care, realizing that all that is sacred and elevated should be connected with the instruction he gives.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 10

    The Work of the Ministry

    Those who have any work to do in lines of God’s appointment need to study the manner in which the work is to be done. The plan of the work is not to be brought down to the low level of human minds. It is to stand on a high and holy platform. Souls in the depths of iniquity must be rescued; their intellect must be restored and elevated and their hearts cleansed from the leprosy of sin. But they are not to be treated as wiser than the saints of God who minister in word and doctrine. God’s ministers are to be respected. And if one man fails at the work of the ministry, help him to his restoration, manifesting for him the same pity you show for the corrupted and polluted and unholy.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 11

    The Lord commanded Moses for Israel, “And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.” [Exodus 28:36, 37.] So great a departure has there been from purity and holiness in the service of the ministry that but little respect is revealed in those who should above all others maintain ennobling ideas and give an elevating representation of the Lord’s appointed agencies.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 12

    The Medical Missionary Work

    The Lord sees that things are swaying heavily in medical missionary lines, while the work in other branches is calculated to give wrong impressions which will not easily be effaced from the mind. Ideas which should be strictly guarded in any service God has appointed have been perverted, and impressions have been made, displeasing to God. One man’s mind and judgment is not to become a controlling power. God forbid that this should be. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 13

    The so-called medical missionary work gathers into the net both good and bad; and the larger proportion of these will not stand as overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. It is very necessary that we keep before the degraded the law of God, as the standard of righteousness. “Holiness unto the Lord” must be our standard, else the work of rescuing this class will lower their ideas of what God requires in practical character building. There can be no such thing as a cheap class of Christians who, like Moab, keep their scent in themselves, because they have not changed from vessel to vessel—from character to character.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 14

    The time has come for us to have a decided understanding of what shall be comprehended in medical missionary work—what shall go forth by pen or voice to be discredited, and what to be exalted. As the train of human reasoning is heard, it will be made apparent that the character must be determined by the inward work of grace upon the heart. If the law of God is written in the heart, men will prove the excellence of their resolutions. Their conduct will be after the divine similitude. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes, the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors?” [Psalm 19:7-12.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 15

    This is a serious question indeed, and from every soul the prayer should go forth, “Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” [Verses 12-14.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 16

    “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed that transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimony.” [Psalm 25:1-10.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 17

    “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil, for evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” [Psalm 37:7-9.] While we desire to know the way of the Lord, let us examine ourselves critically and see wherein we refuse to walk in the light when our ideas and plans are thwarted. Do we behave like foolish, disobedient children because the Lord, seeing the peril that threatens the prosperity of His cause, deprives us of some seeming good? Is not the Lord He who searcheth the heart? Will He not reveal the mistakes made in planning and handling His own work? Will He allow the work that is not being carried forward symmetrically to remain imperfect?14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 18

    High intellectual culture and refinement of sentiments and manners follow a transformation of character after the divine similitude. Worldly culture and artifice are of little consequence. The Holy Spirit will remove from every one who makes Christ his personal Saviour the hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. Beholding Christ, he will become like Him. Listen to the words of Paul to the church in Colosse, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:1-4.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 19

    Again he says: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. ... For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:1-6, 8-10.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 20

    “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit.” [Verses 16-22.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 21

    Let us heed the teachings of Paul which were given to him in visions and revelations by God. All that this chapter contains it would be well for us to understand more fully.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 22

    “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 23

    “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:1-9.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 24

    No advice or sanction is given in the Word of God to those who believe the third angel’s message to lead them to suppose that they can draw apart. This you may settle with yourselves forever. It is the devisings of unsanctified minds that would encourage a state of disunion. The sophistry of men may appear right in their own eyes, but it is not truth and righteousness. “In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; ... that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross.” Christ is the uniting link in the golden chain which binds believers together in God. There must be no separating in this great testing time. The people of God are, “fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” [Ephesians 2:13, 14, 16, 19-21.]14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 25

    The children of God constitute one united whole in Christ, who presents His cross as the center of attraction. All who believe are one in Him. Human feelings will lead men to take the work into their own hands and the building thus becomes disproportionate. The Lord therefore employs a variety of gifts to make the building symmetrical. Not one feature of the truth is to be hidden or made of little account. God cannot be glorified unless the building, “fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.” [Verse 21.] A great subject is here comprehended, and those who understand the truth for this time must take heed how they hear and build and how they educate others to practice.14LtMs, Ms 109, 1899, par. 26

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