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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 185, 1903

    The Gospel Invitation and the Great Commission



    Previously unpublished.

    Comments on Matthew 22:1-14; 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-1818LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 1

    “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:1-14.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 2

    There are to be most earnest invitations. All church members are to understand that they are to do the work God has given them to do. The message of Bible truth is to be given to all to whom they can find access. Christ is the Bridegroom, the church is the bride. The gospel is to go forth to all nations.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 3

    “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:16-20.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 4

    Christ at this time delivered to His disciples the great charter of His kingdom in the world. He commissioned them as His ambassadors and gave them their credentials. Our Lord Jesus Himself received the commission from His Father. If challenged as to the authority by which these humble men—some fishermen by trade—should occupy the position of teachers and medical missionaries, and who gave them this authority, [they could answer,] He whom ye have crucified, just before His ascension, hath appointed us to be ministers of the Word.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 5

    Christ declared, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” [Verse 18.] Here was the Majesty of heaven, with the marks of the crucifixion in His hands and feet and the marks of a spear-thrust in His side. He is leaving the world, in sight of His disciples. He asserts His power, His universal dominion, and His work as Mediator, which was the great foundation of the Christian church.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 6

    He assumes no power. “All power is given Me.” [Verse 18.] He was legally entitled to this power, invested with it from the Father, the Fountain of all truth and power. Jehovah God inaugurated and enthroned Him as the One whom He proclaimed His Son at His baptism and when He broke the fetters of the tomb. Christ proclaimed over the rent sepulcher, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] He was God’s only begotten Son. He was acknowledged as One equal with the Father. He was the Redeemer of all mankind, of all the human family. Because He humbled Himself, therefore, when He could reach no lower depth in His humiliation, God exalted Him, giving Him power over all flesh that He might give eternal life to as many as would receive Him, even to them that believe on His name. “To them gave He power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.]18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 7

    The commission, “Go ye,” is given to the apostles, the chief ministers whom He had educated in their work, the architects who were to lay the foundation of the church. It is not only a word of command, as to the servants, “Go, work today in My vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] The “day” means a life period. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you,” and the encouragement is given, “lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.]18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 8

    Christ leaves this commission with the disciples and with all who should hear them and become sincere, true believers, who would be successors to the ministers of the gospel. This gospel of the kingdom was to be transmitted from generation to generation, from age to age. They were not to wait for the people to come to them, but to go to the people, to hunt them as lost sheep are hunted. In like manner we are to bring the gospel message from door to door. With a pleasing address, let us become acquainted with the people in every place. Let the gospel message be carried to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 9

    All nations are to have the truth, carefully prepared in the most simple language for different nationalities. Christ would have His message to them stir them up. They are not to settle down and colonize, but penetrate into new places, constantly receiving light, constantly making new converts by presentation of the gospel message. A crucified, risen Saviour is to be lifted up in the home field and before the people afar off. Christ specifies not only apostles, but pastors, teachers, evangelists. He calls for wise teachers to take up this work.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 10

    While Christ’s hands were outspread and His benediction was upon His disciples, He was gently, bodily rising, and the cloud of angels received Him out of their sight.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 11

    Mark’s testimony is, “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. There is a home missionary work to do, to set the truth in clear lines before those who are not impressed. We are to be interested in “every creature.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils: They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Verses 16-18.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 12

    God’s miracle-working power has been revealed in many places. The power of truth, gospel truth, has expelled the dark workings of Satan on human minds, and many bodies have been healed. And it is impossible for us to know how many deadly things the believing people of God have received in eating and drinking that God has caused should not hurt nor destroy.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 13

    “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” [Verse 18.] God will hear the prayers offered in behalf of all who would give back the glory to Him. Oh, there might be hundreds of prayers offered for the sick in every place, and they would be healed if the hearts of the sick were humbled and meek, so they would not be spoiled by this great manifestation of the goodness and love of God. If the Lord saw that if healed by the immediate power of God, the ones thus blessed would remain humble and would use the gift given them and not become exalted, many would be healed of bodily suffering. Thus let all learn that Christ has invited them to learn of Him His meekness, His lowliness of heart, that the Lord may work by His Holy Spirit upon their bodies and thus show the immediate power of God through living faith.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 14

    We are in need of great humility of heart; the Lord dare not entrust His blessing to many, because self-glorification would be the result. Christ upbraided the unbelief in His disciples, because they would not believe the evidence presented before them. Unbelief always hardens the heart. If it is cherished, the heart reaches a state where it is unresponsive. In the case of the disciples, it [Christ’s resurrection] was to some such good news they dared not believe it true lest there would be a possible disappointment. There is often sufficient evidence on which to encourage faith, but the mind seizes everything that would create darkness and the Lord lets them remain in their unbelief, in their great afflictions.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 15

    What a subject we have to study over and learn from the commission given to the disciples to prepare the way for the setting up of the kingdom of God in our world through the preaching of the gospel—the glad tidings of reconciliation of men to God through a Mediator! To whom were they to preach the gospel? Hitherto they had been restricted from preaching the gospel to Gentiles. They were to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The time had not yet come to labor distinctly for the Gentiles; they were forbidden to go into any cities of the Samaritans.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 16

    But now the commission is enlarged. They have the world open before them as their field of labor. They are authorized to go into all the world, to the people nigh and afar off, and to preach the gospel to the inhabited world. “Preach the gospel to every creature” that has reasoning faculties to understand it. [Verse 15.] Christ is to be preached—His history, His life of condescension, His sufferings, and His love that is without a parallel. We dwell too little upon this subject.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 17

    The eleven could not do this work. The eleven and the other seventy were to work intelligently, dispersing themselves; and as they preached after the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon, them and five thousand were converted in a day. This is what the people need in every sanitarium that shall be established, in every church, and in every locality. Christ must be lifted up before the people.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 18

    As converts are made to the gospel message, they must not hesitate for long years of education, but take their Bibles and study them diligently and explain the truth as the truth has been explained to them. There must be the persuasive message to all classes, as is represented in the call to the marriage supper of the Lamb.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 19

    The invitation is given to those in the highways. The conversions from the men of high standing will not be a few, but in large numbers. Those will help with their means and with their talent of influence. Invite the highway hearers to come and listen to the message of invitation to the marriage supper. These men of worldly reputation who will receive the truth will give character to the work, and they will work for others with whom they are associated. They will find access to many souls whom ordinary ministers would not be able to reach, but they must try in the simplicity of Christ’s righteousness to break through the barriers. These highway listeners will, if the ministers are humble men, if they carry the gospel in its sanctifying power, open ways by which the message shall be carried. I am so glad that we who are gospel missionary workers have been hunters and fishers of men. It must be the business of our lives to preach the Word.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 20

    “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:19, 20.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 21

    Now we are to be laborers together with God. We are not to spend time in preaching discourses to those who know the truth, but we are to become so spiritual, through sanctification of the truth, that the presentations will be made in a marked manner, the direct opposite of the influence of the pride-bound churches, and entirely different from the genius of the world. Thousands are thirsting for the truth as it is in Jesus, but they do not know what makes them so spiritually sickly and dwarfed. They want the Bread of Life from heaven, which is Christ. And when they hear the gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, their longing souls will know that the banquet is spread for them; and [the] call is given to them, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.]18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 22

    Notwithstanding the abundance of opposition and the small amount of means that they had—means that came from the poor believers in tithes and in offerings—within a short period of time the industrious laborers had sounded the message of the gospel of Christ to all the habitable parts of the earth. They preached to the people assembled in companies, oft in the open air, or anywhere that they could be reached. The medical gospel ministers were successful because the Holy Spirit was with the workers, confirming the Word by the signs following. As souls were healed of their sinful maladies, their bodies also came to be partakers of the efficacy of the healing balm in Gilead. The operation of the Spirit of God on human hearts will communicate its healing power to the bodies of suffering humanity. The reformation begun was a sign everywhere that these converted ones talked and acted as did Christ when He was in the world.18LtMs, Ms 185, 1903, par. 23

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