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    April 16, 1901

    An Appeal to Our Ministers

    Talk to Ministers by Mrs. E. G. White April 15, 1901.


    There is much that must be considered, which can not be touched this morning, and I hardly know what to bring before you, because there is so much to say. The light that has been given me for the past fifteen years has been a representation of the great responsibility which is attached to the work of the ministry. The work of the minister should be regarded in a far higher light. It is the low estimate placed on this work that leaves our Conferences in such a weak, feeble condition. We can not afford this. Those ministers who place a low estimate on the work intrusted to them neither do justice to themselves or to the church. Just as long as our ministers fail to feel a sense of responsibility proportionate to the greatness of their work, there will be a deficiency in our Conferences.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 1

    We can not, as a people, allow things to go on in this way. Those who are placed in charge of Conferences should be men who understand the movements of the Spirit of God upon the human heart, so that when the Spirit is absent they will know that something is wrong. Before they give the word of God to the people, they are to understand what it means to talk with God.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 2

    In many minds principles have become so confused that it is difficult for them to grasp correct principles. So great is the dullness of conception that many know scarcely anything of what it means to be witnesses for Christ in these last days. If they only knew, if they only understood, if they could only see what might be in comparison with what is, there would be such an awakening, such a breaking down before God as we have never seen before.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 3

    There is a great necessity for individual examination. You may very intelligently examine your brother-ministers and very closely judge them, while you yourself are in far more need of closer examination and judging than you bestow on them. Many lay burdens on their brethren, weakening and discouraging them by their criticism, instead of uplifting and strengthening them. God wants us to take ourselves in hand. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith or not. Prove your own selves. Just as soon as you fasten the mind on Jesus Christ, the Saviour who made a complete sacrifice for every one; just as soon as you see that you must be a complete man because he has made a complete sacrifice for you, you will seek earnestly for help from above to overcome your own failings.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 4

    I am not going to specify any one in particular as being in the wrong. There should be a general reformation, a closer examination of self. Ask yourselves the question, “What should I be?” Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.”GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 5

    My heart has been filled with sadness as I have looked over the field and seen the barren places. What does this mean? Who are standing as representatives of Jesus Christ? Who feels a burden for the souls who can not receive the truth till it is brought to them. Our ministers are hovering over the churches, as though the angel of mercy was not making efforts to save souls.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 6

    God holds these ministers responsible for the souls of those who are in darkness. He does not call you to go into fields that need no physician. Establish your churches with the understanding that they need not expect the minister to wait upon them and to be continually feeding them. They have the truth; they know what truth is. They should have root in themselves. These should strike down deeply, that they may reach up higher and still higher. They must be rooted and grounded in the faith.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 7

    Very many will get up some test that is not given in the word of God. We have our test in the Bible,—the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” This is the true test, but many other tests will arise among the people. They will come in in multitudes, springing up from this one and that one. There will be a continual rising up of some foreign thing to call attention from the true test of God.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 8

    These things make it necessary that the minister who meets these tests should have a discerning mind, that he may not give credence to any false doctrine. Voices will be heard, saying, Lo, here is Christ, when there is no Christ there at all. It is some human notion which they wish men to accept and believe.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 9

    But the saddest thing is that principles become perverted. Not that there is no one who tries to carry out principle, but that principle has become so daubed with untempered mortar that it will need the closest investigation from the word of God to see if all is in accordance with the principles of true godliness, founded upon a “Thus saith the Lord.”GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 10

    God wants those who have come to this Conference to wake up, that they may not be sleeping on the walls of Zion. There should be an investigation of self. When you begin this work, you will find that you have your hands full. Too many who have entered the ministry have not had that thorough, cleansing, refining influence upon mind and character that takes away the chaff, enabling them to bring to the foundation Stone only gold and silver and precious stones. Here is the great need, the great lack. God wants us to come to him just as we are, throw our helpless souls upon Jesus Christ, and be born again.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 11

    The fact is, many have entered the ministry with a babyish, childish, pettish, and self-willed spirit, just as their mothers allowed them to grow up. This is why I am speaking so often to fathers and mothers about realizing the great responsibility that rests upon them. Every particle of this childishness must be left behind. You have grown to the full stature of men, therefore the childish things you entertained, the disagreeable traits of character which you know are not after Christ's order, your impetuous words, must be put away.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 12

    Words are a talent, and you have no right to use God's talents in any way but for his glory, for the benefit of every one around you. There must be a thorough conversion of the soul, that there may be a conversion of the tongue and lips. Then the treasure house of the soul will be full of precious truths, because Christ's character is studied. Then you will be blessed as overseers and shepherds. And when you as shepherds, exemplifying the traits of Christ's character, come before the flock, they will see the importance of having practical religion, practical godliness, not merely the accepting of a form or a theory.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 13

    Some think that they must be so wonderfully orthodox, but they are not orthodox at all after Christ's order. They catch some little point and dwell upon it, magnifying it above all else. Of those who do not see as they do they say, “We do not want this man to preach because he does not see this point,” and, “We do not want that man to preach because he does not see that point.” But they do not know what they are about. Leave that man with God.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 14

    It is not for you to dissect the ideas of this one and that one. We served our time at this at Minneapolis. Let there be no more of it in the work of God. God wants us to realize that judgment is right upon us. Let us beware lest before we are aware of it, the thief comes upon us with stealthy tread. Let us stand where we look not at the defects and errors of others, but at Jesus, saying, “I have an individual case pending in the heavenly courts. It means everything to me whether I shall be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found complete in him, or whether I shall be found wanting.”GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 15

    Provision has been made for every one of us to be saved. Those who do not accept the provision made by the shedding of the blood of the Son of the infinite God place their minds on little items, to the neglect of the great truths essential for salvation. They are diverted from the great Pattern, diverted from the study of the character of Christ. Failing to see him, they are not changed from glory to glory, from character to character.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 16

    God wants us to look to Jesus. But we are not Bible-keepers. We do not obey the commandments of God. A lawyer came to Christ with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Knowing what was in the mind of the lawyer, Christ placed upon him the burden of the answer. “What is written in the law?” he asked. “How readest thou?” I wonder whether you do not need your attention called to this. “How readest thou?”GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 17

    The question asked by the lawyer is a decided one, and with the answer comes sounding down along the line to our time. The lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” This includes the whole man. The powers of the body as well as of the mind are to be used in the work of God. The whole being is to be consecrated to the service of the Master.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 18

    There are many things I wish to say which I shall touch at another time. I want now to say to you, Look unto Jesus, and see in him what you should be. In order to have eternal life we must love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. On these two great arms hang all the law and the prophets. These principles take in the entire Bible. We may have faith, hope, and confidence; but these will do us no good unless we have the love of Christ in the soul. The love that the Saviour has expressed for us we are to express for our brethren. This love will exert a vivifying influence upon the life and a reformative influence upon the character. This is what God wants to see.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 19

    As I have seen the fields ripe unto the harvest, and as I have seen the lack of interest manifested in them, I have wondered how you could do as you have done. I can not understand it. If you are connected with him who gave his life to save the world, how can you see the purchase of his blood perishing in their sins without making any efforts to save them? Christ says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” We are not to give the call to those who have received the truth and understand it, to whom it has been repeated over and over again till some one thinks he must bring in something original. He brings in little fables which are not worth a straw. These he brings forward as tests God has given, when Satan has originated them to divert minds from the true tests God has given. Thou shalt love supremely the God of heaven. This is your first work. And when you do this, you will love your neighbor as yourself. You will treat human beings as souls Christ died to save. Put away all pettishness and fretfulness. All these things are to be purged from the heart. You are to be purified through belief in the truth. God wants us to have the sanctification of the Spirit.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 20

    The truth is to be borne to those who know it not. Labor for souls as they who must give account to God. Every one of you will be called to account for what you ought to have done and did not do. God wants you to be faithful stewards. He wants you to seek for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he wants you to be hunters and fishers for souls. He wants to see manifested in you the living faith which knows how to labor for souls. He will use men who will seek earnestly for sinners, who will get down on their knees and pray with them. God wants you to make more earnest efforts than ever before to go into the regions beyond, then when the next Conference is held, it will be found that churches have been established in many places. Angels of God are waiting for an opportunity to work with you.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 21

    Christ came to save that which was lost, and he calls you to go forth to labor for those who know not the truth, instead of only sermonizing and doing a little work for the churches. You would then do fifty times as much in encouraging the churches and setting them a right example. God wants you to know how to wrestle, to know what it is to labor for souls, and to carry the burden of souls on your heart. When you are educating them, Christ is educating you. When you are giving them lessons, Christ is giving you his lessons, and these are of the greatest value. To those who have placed stumbling-blocks in the way of their brethren, who have felt it their solemn duty to hold back men who have the truth, and who could give the trumpet a certain sound, I would say, Take your hands off quickly. Feel that you have a work to do for your own souls, and that it is best for you to be about it, lest you lose the chance of so growing up into Christ and be complete in him.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 22

    This is all I feel it my duty to say this morning. This is all you can work upon at present. I have other things to say later on. I will only add, Let us seek the Lord, and let us confess our sins.GCB April 16, 1901, Art. A, par. 23

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