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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 255, 1903

    Medical Missionaries

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    October 30, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in 8T 206-212. +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.

    Christ Our Example in Medical Missionary Work, No. 2

    To medical missionaries,—

    That which is most needed by medical missionary workers is the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord. Those who labor as Christ, the great Medical Missionary, labored must be spiritually minded. But not all who are doing medical missionary work are exalting God and His truth. Not all are submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some are bringing to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble—material that will not bear the test of fire.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 1

    I pray that I may have wisdom and power from God to present to you that which constitutes gospel medical missionary work. This is a great and important branch of our denominational work. But many have lost sight of the pure, ennobling principles underlying acceptable medical missionary work.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 2

    In my diary I find the following, written one year ago:18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 3

    October 29, 1902

    This morning I woke early. After praying most earnestly for wisdom and clearness of mind, that I might properly express the matters urged upon my attention, I wrote out about ten pages of instruction. I know that the Lord helped me to trace on paper the important matter that should come before His people.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 4

    When writing thus, I feel intensely, but after the instruction has been recorded, relief comes to my mind; for I know then that the subject matter presented to me will not be lost, even though the subject may pass from my mind.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 5

    Those only who realize that the cross is the center of hope for the human family can understand the gospel that Christ taught. He came to this world for no other purpose than to place men on vantage ground before the world and the heavenly universe. He came to bear testimony that fallen human beings, through faith in His power and efficacy as the Son of God, may become partakers of the divine nature. He alone could make an atonement for sinners and open the gates of Paradise to the fallen race. He took on Himself, not the nature of angels, but the nature of man and in this world lived a life untainted by sin. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:14, 12.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 6

    By His life and death Christ taught that only in obedience to God’s commandments can man find safety and true greatness. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] God’s law is a transcript of His character. It was given to man in the beginning as the standard of obedience. In succeeding ages this law was lost sight of. Hundreds of years after the flood, Abraham was called, and to him was given the promise that his descendants should exalt God’s law. In course of time the Israelites went into Egypt, where for many years they suffered grievous oppression at the hands of the Egyptians. After they had been in slavery for nearly four hundred years, God delivered them by a wonderful manifestation of His power. He revealed Himself to the Egyptians as the Ruler of the universe, one greater than all heathen deities.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 7

    At Sinai the law was given a second time. In awful grandeur the Lord spoke His precepts and with His own finger engraved the decalogue upon tables of stone.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 8

    Passing down through the centuries, we find that there came a time when God’s law must once more be unmistakably revealed as the standard of obedience. Christ came to vindicate the sacred claims of the law. He came to live a life of obedience to its requirements and thus prove the falsity of the charge made by Satan that it is impossible for man to keep the law of God. As a man He met temptation and overcame in the strength given Him from God. As He went about doing good, healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 9

    Never did Christ deviate from loyalty to the principles of God’s law. Never did He do anything contrary to the will of His Father. Before angels, men, and demons He could speak words that from any other lips would have been blasphemy: “I do always the things that please Him.” [John 8:29.] Day by day for three years His enemies followed Him, trying to find some stain in His character. Satan, with all his confederacy of evil, sought to overcome Him; but they found nothing in Him by which to gain advantage. Even the devils were forced to confess, “Thou art the holy One of God.” [Mark 1:24.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 10


    What language could so forcibly express God’s love for the human family as it is expressed by the gift of His only begotten Son for our redemption? The Innocent bore the chastisement of the guilty. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:16-18.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 11

    Christ gave Himself, an atoning sacrifice, for the saving of a lost world. He was treated as we deserve, in order that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 12

    Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, by the one who once stood in loyalty by His side in the heavenly courts. Behold the Son of God in the wilderness of temptation, in the time of greatest weakness assailed by the fiercest temptation. See Him during the years of His ministry, attacked on every side by the forces of evil. See Him in His agony on the cross. All this He suffered for us.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 13

    Christ’s earthly life, so full of toil and sacrifice, was cheered by the thought that He would not have all His travail for nought. By giving His life for the life of men, He would win the world back to its loyalty. Although the baptism of blood must first be received; although the sins of the world were to weigh upon His innocent soul; yet for the joy that was set before Him, He chose to endure the cross and despised the shame.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 14

    Study Christ’s definition of a true missionary: “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] Following Christ as spoken of in these words is not a pretense, a farce. Jesus expects His disciples to follow closely in His footsteps, enduring what He endured, suffering what He suffered, overcoming as He overcame. He is anxiously waiting to see His professed followers revealing the spirit of self-sacrifice.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 15

    Those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour, choosing to be partakers of His suffering, to live His life of self-denial, to endure shame for His sake, will understand what it means to be a genuine medical missionary.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 16

    When all our medical missionaries live the new life in Christ, when they take His Word as their guide, they will have a much clearer understanding of what constitutes genuine medical missionary work. This work will have a deeper meaning to them when they obey the law engraven on tables of stone by the finger of God, including the Sabbath commandment, concerning which Christ Himself spoke through Moses to the children of Israel, saying:18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 17

    “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily, My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. ... The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” [Exodus 31:13, 16, 17.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 18

    Let us diligently study God’s Word, that we may proclaim with power the message that is to be given in these last days. Many of those upon whom the light of the Saviour’s self-sacrificing life is shining refuse to live in accordance with His will. They are not willing to live a life of sacrifice for the good of others. They desire to exalt themselves. To such ones truth and righteousness have lost their meaning, and their unchristlike influence leads many to turn away form the Saviour. God calls for true, steadfast workers, whose lives will counteract the influence of those who are working against Him.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 19

    To every medical missionary worker I am instructed to say, Follow your Leader. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is your example. Upon all medical missionary workers rests the responsibility of keeping in view Christ’s life of unselfish service. They are to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. He is the source of all light, the fountain of all blessing.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 20

    A Firm Stand for the Right

    God calls upon His workers, in this age of diseased piety and perverted principle, to reveal a healthy, influential spirituality. My brethren and sisters, this God requires of you. Every jot of your influence is to be used on the side of Christ. You are now to call things by their right name, and stand firm in defense of the truth as it is in Jesus.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 21

    It behooves every soul whose life is hid with Christ in God to come to the front now and to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Truth must be defended and the kingdom of God advanced as they would be were Christ in person on this earth. If He were here, He would be drawn out to rebuke many who, though professing to be medical missionaries, have not chosen to learn of the great Medical Missionary His meekness and lowliness. In the lives of some occupying high positions in the medical missionary work, self has been exalted. Until such ones rid themselves of every desire to uplift self, they cannot clearly discern the character of Christ, nor can they do the work that He did.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 22

    When the Holy Spirit controls the minds of our church members, there will be seen in our churches a much higher standard in speech, in ministry, in spirituality than is now seen. The church members will be refreshed by the water of life, and the laborers, working under one Head, even Christ, will reveal their Master in spirit, in word, in deed, and will encourage one another to press forward in the grand, closing work in which we are engaged. There will be a healthy increase of unity and love, which will bear testimony to the world that God sent His Son to die for the redemption of sinners. Divine truth will be exalted; and as it shines forth as a lamp that burneth, we shall understand it more and still more clearly.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 23

    The testing truth for this time is not the fabrication of any human mind. It is from God. It is genuine philosophy to those who appropriate it. Christ became incarnate in order that we, through belief of the truth, might be sanctified and redeemed. Let those who hold the truth in righteousness arouse and go forth, shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, to proclaim the truth to those who know it not. Let them make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 24

    We are now to unify and by true medical missionary work prepare the way for our coming King. But let us remember that Christian unity does not mean that the identity of one person is to be submerged in that of another; nor does it mean that the mind of one is to be led and controlled by the mind of another. God has not given to any man the power that some, by word and act, seek to claim. God requires every man to stand free and to follow the directions of the Word.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 25

    In every movement Christ’s followers are to reveal their regard for Christian principles—loving God supremely and their neighbor as themselves; reflecting light and blessing on the pathway of those who are in darkness; comforting those who are cast down; sweetening the bitter waters in the place of giving their fellow pilgrims gall to drink.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 26

    Let us increase in a knowledge of the truth, giving all praise and glory to Him who is one with the Father. Let us seek most earnestly for the heavenly anointing, the Holy Spirit. Let us have a pure, growing Christianity, that in the heavenly courts we may at last be pronounced complete in Christ.18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 27

    “Behold the Bridegroom cometh! Go ye out to meet Him!” [Matthew 25:6.] Lose no time now in rising and trimming your lamps. Lose no time in seeking perfect unity with one another. We must expect difficulties. Trials will come. Christ, the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering. His followers will encounter the enemy many times and will be severely tried; but they need not despair. Christ says to them, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33.]18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 28

    The following lines seem to portray the Christian warfare:18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 29

    I thought that the course of the Christian to heaven
    Would be bright as the summer and glad as the morn.
    Thou show’dst me the path; It was dark and rough,
    All rugged with rock, all tangled with thorn;
    I dreamed of celestial rewards and renown;
    I asked for the palm branch, the robe, and the crown;
    I asked, and Thou show’dst me a cross and a grave.
    18LtMs, Lt 255, 1903, par. 30

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