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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 4, 1902

    Diary/Neglected Duties and Privileges

    Oakland, California

    June 20, 1901

    Previously unpublished. +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.

    I attended the afternoon meeting and bore a straight testimony to our people. I told them that in various council meetings the condition of the conference had been laid open before me. I told them that there was need of the converting power of God in the conference. The Lord is looking upon His people with disapproval, for many have lost their first love.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 1

    We are now reorganizing, and we need much of the help of the Lord. Those in responsible positions must stand where God can use them. Brother A. T. Jones, let all that you do in your official position, your every word and action, be after Christ’s order. In writing against the mystery of iniquity, trace the plainest truths with a pen dipped in the holy oil which flows from the two olive branches. Of this oil we read, “I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches, which through the golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? ... Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:12, 14.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 2

    In these words we see the connection between heaven and earth. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to others. Each consecrated vessel will daily have the holy oil emptied into it, to be emptied out into other vessels. On this earth we are to do God’s work, and into this work we are to bring the order of heaven. All that is done is to be after the divine similitude. Self is to be put out of sight. All we have and are is to be consecrated to Christ. Then will the Lord Jesus be glorified. Then will His prayer for His followers be answered. They will be one with Him and with one another, and the world will see that God did indeed send His Son into the world.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 3

    “Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat and when ye did drink, did ye not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain? ... Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother; and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his Spirit by the former prophets; therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts; but I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not.” [Zechariah 7:4-7, 9-14.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 4

    These words outline the experience of the people of God for the last twenty years. God has a controversy with them. They have followed perverted principles. He cannot give them His blessing. The managers in our institutions are not converted daily. They do not live the law of God. In spirit and in letter they have violated the law. Unseen witnesses behold many transactions that the actors would not like their fellow men to see. By bringing in worldly, selfish methods, Satan has cast his dark shadow over God’s work. How ashamed would be those who have yielded to his temptations, could they see their actions as God sees them!17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 5

    Divine agencies are constantly working to counteract human purposes and plans that are not in harmony with the purposes and plans of Jehovah. It is God’s design that His work shall be done by men who realize the broadness of His law and of His love, men who jealously guard their words and actions, lest they shall fail of doing His work precisely in His way. When men become careless, the history of the past is repeated, greatly to the disadvantage of the work the Lord desires to accomplish. If those handling sacred things in connection with God’s cause are not more spiritually minded, more sensitive to God’s claims, more determined to carry out His plans in harmony with His high standard, regardless of human policy, He will turn and overturn till every human agency is converted in principle and practice. After test and trial He will remove those who are not spiritualized, whose words and works do not harmonize with His will.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 6

    God is to be brought into every pursuit of life. With every human enterprise He is concerned. But He is especially interested in the branches of His work, in the institutions consecrated to the advancement of His truth. The offices of publication, by means of which the truth is to be published to the world, are sacred to His service. The sanitariums are His helping hand. The restoration of the sick to health, and the relief of the suffering, is the work for this time. Our school, where children and youth are to be trained for Him, is a very important part of His great plan.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 7

    God’s work is to be carried forward without division. There are to be no walls of partition between the different lines of work. No worldly policy is to be brought in. In God’s cause there are to be no territorial lines, no caste distinction. Our schools are to be regarded as a part of His great plan. Our sanitariums are also to be thus regarded. Medical missionary work is to be sacredly cherished and carefully conducted. It is as the right hand of the body and is to open doors for the entrance of truth. No line of work is to be pushed forward to the hindering of another line. In some ways our sanitariums have more advantages than our schools. This is to be considered in the plans laid for the work. Every effort is to be made to place the schools where they will be self-supporting. Their interests are to be guarded carefully. They are to be placed on a high spiritual plane. Nothing is to be done to rob them of the advantages they should have. This is selfishness and will never bear the Lord’s endorsement.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 8

    Our publishing houses are to make more of an effort to help our schools than they have done in the past. The Lord will not excuse any movement to cripple the school work. The educational work is second to none in importance. It is God’s desire that this line of work shall be given the advantage of every facility that can be used for its advancement.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 9

    God is no respecter of persons. Those that honor Him, He will honor. Of those who obey His commandments it is written, “Ye are complete in Him.” [Colossians 2:10.] They co-operate with Him in the work of soul-saving. God says to them, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” [Jude 20-25.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 10

    All the work done in connection with our institutions is to bear the impress of heaven. The policy followed by the workers in the Lord’s cause is to be in marked contrast with the policy followed by worldlings. All who are brought in contact with our institutions are to see distinctly the difference between the righteousness of Bible principles and the ungodliness of worldly principles. All that God’s servants do is to advance the work of soul-saving.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 11

    Remember that in God’s service divine and human agencies are to co-operate. We can gain no success without the Lord’s co-operation. The efforts of human labor, human science, are worthless without His aid. All true knowledge comes from Him. When man accomplishes anything, it is because he has co-operated with his Maker. The human instrumentality is God’s helping hand. Let no one disparage human capabilities. God expects every one to work for Him to the limit of his ability. Each one is to strive to accomplish his God-given work. No one is at liberty to turn from conformity to the will of God in order that he may have room for the exercise of his natural temperament. Even the thoughts are to be brought into obedience to Christ. Not that man can, in his own strength, conform his life to the mind of God. But he is to place himself where God’s Spirit can control and guide him. In thought, word, and deed he is to serve God. He has been bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God. All that he has belongs to God. He is to use it in the Master’s service, placing himself under the most spiritual influence, that he may learn the way of the Lord.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 12

    Let those who desire salvation receive and believe the plain statements of the Word of God on this subject.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 13

    “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] By the partnership of God and man, the work of warning the world is to be carried forward to completion. With fear and trembling every man is to work out his own salvation, knowing that God is working in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is God’s good pleasure, not man’s; for man is easily turned to the corrupted standard of the world. In order to be successful in the service of God, man must be guided by the Holy Spirit. Christ declares, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] And the one who refuses to unite with Christ, the one who exchanges the pure principles of heaven for the corrupting principles of the world, thus searing his conscience, would better be separated from the work that is to represent in this world God’s justice, mercy, truth, and holiness. I am instructed to say: Unless our ministers and directors believe and practice the Word of God, they will never see the King in His beauty. God’s law is the standard of character. He has no other standard for any one. Obedience to this law is the condition of salvation. Upon obedience depends our present and future happiness. Godliness is profitable for all things. It is the fruit of a repentance that needs not to be repented of. The evidence of its worth is in itself and is demonstrated by good works.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 14

    “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father above, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” [James 1:16-20.] Often silence is eloquence. It gives opportunity for thought, and thoughtfulness checks the hasty word.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 15

    “Wherefore lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in the glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh in the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [Verses 21-27.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 16

    Will men and women claim to be Christians, and yet lose out of their lives the tenderness and love of Christ? Shall those who have a knowledge of the truth for this time allow themselves to act harshly, to speak raspingly? Will they treat their brethren as if they were unworthy of notice?17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 17

    When you see a fellow being striving to climb the hill, will you, standing securely at the top, reproach him because he is not there also? Or will you descend the hill, and linking his arm in yours, guide his trembling feet in the upward path, soothing and encouraging him, till he stands at the summit, filled with hope and courage?17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 18

    When you see one sad and discouraged, sore-beset with temptation, speak lovingly and hopefully to him. Place him where he can recover himself from disappointment and failure.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 19

    Have you not seen a fellow worker pale and worn, bearing on his face the premonitions of death? How did you deal with him? Was your heart touched, your sympathy aroused? Did you reach out to him the hand of fellowship? Did you do all in your power to help him? Or did you act selfishly, seeking gain for yourself at his expense—you on vantage ground, he in sickness, sorrow, and want? Did you think it would please God for you to destroy your fellow worker’s faith, his hope, his confidence in human brotherhood? And after you had acted thus, did you congratulate yourself on your gain?17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 20

    How did the pitying Redeemer look upon your course of action? Think you that He placed on it the seal of divine approval?17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 21

    These words bring to view a course that heaven will not endorse. Our work is to restore, not to destroy; to lift up, not to cast down; “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bound.” [Luke 4:18.] We are commanded to remember them that are bound as bound with them. And in Isaiah we read: “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?” [Isaiah 58:6.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 22

    Study your Bibles, my brethren. I call upon you to work the works of Christ. True reform will bear the fruit of the Spirit. He who loves God is a friend to those for whom the Son of God died.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 23

    “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] At an immense cost a probation has been granted to human beings. At the day of judgment there will come to the lost a full realization of the sacrifice made on Calvary. They will see what they have lost by refusing to be loyal to God. They will think of the high, pure association it was their privilege to gain. But it is too late. The last call has been made. The wail is heard, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” [Jeremiah 8:20.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 24

    “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of 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. ... Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him; where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” [Colossians 3:1-4, 8-14.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 25

    “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. ... Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your heart, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:1, 2, 13-18.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 26

    Let the young men and young women who are qualifying themselves for service read and study the third chapter of Colossians, and the first chapter of second Peter, and also the following Scriptures: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight. But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.” “In all things it behoved 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 4:12-16; 2:17, 18.]17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 27

    The church is the channel through which the Lord works to save those who are perishing in sin. His mercy, goodness, and power are to be made known by the members of the church. What a wonderful work God has committed to us! All heaven is waiting for channels through which to communicate the grace of heaven. But selfishness is hiding the Saviour from His people. Thorough conversion is what the church needs. God calls for men imbued with the love of Christ to go forth into the world to work for sinners. He needs men of sound minds, clear heads, and tender hearts.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 28

    Neglected duties confront us. But instead of doing this work, we have been watching for defects in others. We have not worked faithfully. There are in our institutions untrained men and women. Jesus needs their service. With yearning tenderness He is inviting them to come to Him, that He may use them as channels for the communication of His grace. But those whom He has appointed to co-operate with Him in the work of fitting these souls for service are picking at straws. How can the Lord bless them? Not only do they themselves fail of following Jesus, but they keep others from His side. Let us break the crust of selfishness that surrounds us. Let not those who claim to be children of God descend to bickering and strife, criticizing and condemning one another. Christ is ashamed to call those who do this His brethren.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 29

    A great work is to be done, and it is to be done on a much higher plane than the Lord’s work has been done in the past. Brethren, this matter has been so forcibly presented to me that I cannot hold my peace. Into the church there has come a hardhearted spirit, and with it principles of selfishness. These principles have been followed in our institutions. But selfishness does not become a grace by being woven into a sacred work.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 30

    Do we believe that the Lord’s institutions are the channels through which He desires to communicate His grace? Then let us speedily come into line and cleanse ourselves from all evil. Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Let those who believe the truth arise and shine; for their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them.17LtMs, Ms 4, 1902, par. 31

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