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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 139, 1902

    Words of Counsel

    Los Angeles, California

    September 15, 1902

    This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 168-173. +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.

    Renunciation of Self

    I thank the Lord this morning for His keeping power. I awake very early, unable to sleep. During the past night, my mind has been greatly burdened. I am bidden to bear to those who minister in word and doctrine the message that they need to be converted; for they do not understand the philosophy of the genuine missionary work that should be done by those who are acquainted with present truth. In the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John, God’s will is plainly outlined before them. It is their privilege to believe that God means just what He says. God desires them to believe every verse in these chapters and to live them out before their brother ministers.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 1

    To every one God has given his work. All have not the same work, but all are to be workers together with God, laboring in perfect unity with one another, bearing fruit to the glory of God. God’s servants are branches of the true vine, and they should produce the best quality of fruit. They are distinct branches, but they draw their sustenance from one source—the parent stock, Christ Jesus.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 2

    Those who work for God are daily to empty the heart of self, that they may be cleansed of their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. They are to depend wholly upon Him who taught as never man taught. Unless the soul temple is daily emptied of self and prepared for the reception of the Holy Spirit, self will rule the entire being. The words and acts will be tarnished with selfishness. Christ will not appear in the life. There will be seen a self-confidence that is wholly inappropriate.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 3

    In order to be a co-laborer with Christ, man must put away his supposed wisdom. Then he will be humble enough to wear Christ’s yoke and to receive His Spirit, the gift that brings to the soul rest and peace. Christ’s invitation is, “‘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 11:29, 30.] In learning the lessons I teach, in cherishing the grace of patience and forbearance, in striving to control the thoughts and words, in revealing Christlike love for one another, you will learn to be meek and lowly, and you will find the peace and rest that is more precious than gold.”17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 4

    How to Deal With Temptation

    As God’s chosen ministers assemble for council, those who have been living tried and tempted lives will be tempted to give expression to their feelings. They have been severely tried; difficulties have arisen before them as [they] try to advance. But if they keep Christ enthroned in the heart, ever looking to Him, they will not give expression to sentiments that would leave upon the minds of their brethren a disagreeable impression. They will follow Christ’s way of managing difficulties, remembering that He is the Finisher as well as the Author of their faith. They will remember that if they wear Christ’s yoke, they must do as He did. They will leave in God’s hands the things to be done and the things to be suffered, remembering that they are not under the control of self, but that they have given themselves up to be laborers together with Christ, and that they are to learn from Him the way to overcome evil with good in all that they are called upon to suffer.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 5

    The words spoken by our Instructor impressed me deeply. Of those who lead tried and tempted lives the question was asked, “How do you deal with your difficulties? Do you harness yourself for an encounter with trial and temptation? And then do you lay hold on these temptations, as you suppose you must, while your spirit is hot within you, and wrestle with them, quite sure that this is what you ought to do? As you battle with your covetousness and uncharitableness on their own ground, do you come out victor? No; you come out discouraged, bruised, and wounded, bound and enfeebled spiritually.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 6

    “What should you do? Simply put your whole trust in the One who understands your temptations and trails, the One who alone can master temptation. If you had not been premature in your efforts, you need not have fought so terrible a battle; for the Captain of your salvation was at work for you, ready to do for you that which you cannot do for yourself, and to leave you free to do that which He has told you to do—learn of Him His meekness and lowliness. He has been tempted in all points ‘like as we are,’ and He knows how to succor those that are tempted. Had you first talked with God in prayer, by faith grasping His promises, you would have received strength for the conflict.”17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 7

    When we believe the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” [Matthew 28:20], we shall be strong to endure. We need a constant sense of the abiding presence of Christ. He is our righteousness.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 8

    Laborers Together With God.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 9

    The Lord has given me these words to speak and write over and over again, until a decided adherence to the principles of truth shows that men have been called to repentance. A grand side of the work of God is revealed by the words “medical missionary.” To be a medical missionary means to be a laborer together with God. Medical missionary work, a work that is to be a great help and strength to the cause, is to be carried forward in all carefulness and wisdom. Into this work not one thread is to be drawn that will spoil the beautiful pattern that God designs shall be worked out.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 10

    The medical missionary work is God’s own work, and it is to be controlled by no human power. Human agencies are to act as the Lord’s helping hand, guided and controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not one act is to be done that will dishonor the work.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 11

    Mistakes will be made. But let men be very careful how they bear down upon those who have made mistakes. Sometimes the one who treats the erring with little mercy has made mistakes far more grievous in the sight of God than those made by the one whom he so unsparingly condemns.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 12

    Under the Lord’s special guidance, some things have been done that are contrary to the specified directions laid down by men. Unseen agencies were guiding in another way than that marked out by human wisdom. Then let men be careful how they call their brethren to account, as though they were in God’s place.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 13

    The Lord has heard the humiliating censure that has been given to those who had not rebellion in their hearts, who thought they were doing just what they were told to do. The Lord saw that His work would be marred if the directions given by men were followed, and He guided the minds of the workers to do the work in the very way that He wished it done. The workers did not follow the plan laid out by men, because God had a better plan for them. The divine guiding produced the right result.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 14

    If the Lord is the great, unseen medical missionary, and men are laborers together with Him, who are you condemning in blaming His sincere workers? Against whom are your sarcastic words spoken? The Lord Jesus would have His work done according to His way. If men could see Him guiding and controlling His servants, helping them to do His work in His way, with far better results than if they followed the directions given in human wisdom, how ashamed they would be of the condemnation they give these workers!17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 15

    I am instructed to say to our ministers and medical missionary workers, Be careful what spirit you manifest to one another. Men are having their own way in many places, and if there is not a change, they will soon see that human wisdom has placed them where they cannot do the work in such a way as to make the most advancement. For man to control means that the work of God will not rise to the high elevation that God designs it to reach.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 16

    God’s ways are not men’s ways, nor are His thoughts men’s thoughts. The Lord has seen best to permit men to have their own way, but it will be to the sadness of their own souls and the souls of those whom they control. God’s name will not be honored as it should be.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 17

    The Source of Power

    To His servants who shall be assembled in council at any time and in any place, the Lord says, Remember that prayer is the source of power. Remember that it is through dependence upon God, by looking to Him in faith, that you gain the victory. He never disappoints His people.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 18

    We are all in danger of getting above the simplicity of pure Christlikeness. We need to receive and act upon the prayer that Christ offered to His Father just before His crucifixion. In this prayer He said:17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 19

    “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their words; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in One; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou has given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:18-26.]17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 20

    God loves us even as He loves His Son, and Christ has given us the assurance, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” [John 14:18.] Let us have many, many love feasts over this assurance, knowing that Christ is ever beside us, to strengthen and to bless.17LtMs, Ms 139, 1902, par. 21

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