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Manuscript Releases, vol. 16 [Nos. 1186-1235]

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    MR No. 1234—An Appeal to Evangelize the Iowa Conference

    (Written in 1902 at “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California. It is addressed “To the Iowa Conference: My dear brethren and sisters.”)

    [1 Peter 4:7-11, quoted.]

    The churches in Iowa are in need of far greater spiritual life. When we separate from God, we assert our own independence, and raise the standard of revolt. Men desire to govern their fellow men, to gain jurisdiction over them. But it is impossible for man to exercise authority over his fellow men without making himself liable to collide with their interests, which should be carefully guarded. Every man is to remember that every other man has an identity, which must not be submerged in any human being.16MR 340.1

    Supreme love for God is the great principle that keeps men close to one another in unselfish fellowship. The love of Christ leads man to see the good there is in his fellow beings. But he who is absorbed in correcting his neighbor neglects to give attention to his own defects, and loses God out of his reckoning. He does not appreciate God enough to seek to be like Him, and he loses the power to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. He watches for the defects in his brother, forgetting that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ.16MR 340.2

    For three years the disciples had before them the wonderful example of Christ. Day by day they walked and talked with Him, hearing His words of cheer to the weary and heavy laden, and seeing the manifestations of His power in behalf of the sick and afflicted. When the time came for Him to leave them, He gave them power to work as He had worked. He bestowed on them His grace, saying, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They were to go forth into the world to shed abroad the light of His gospel of love and healing. The work He had done they were to do.16MR 340.3

    And this is the work that we also are to do in the world. In sympathy and compassion we are to minister to those in need of help, seeking with unselfish earnestness to lighten the woe of suffering humanity. As we engage in this work, we shall be greatly blessed. And by it souls will be won to the Redeemer; for its influence is irresistible.16MR 341.1

    The practical carrying out of the Saviour's commission demonstrates the power of the gospel. This work calls for laborious effort, but it pays, for by it perishing souls are saved. Through its influence men and women of talent are to be brought to the cross of Christ.16MR 341.2

    Man has a body as well as a soul to save. Both are to be restored to health by God's simple but efficacious methods, which appeal to men and women of intelligence. As the health of the body is restored, the powers of the mind are put forth to grasp the great truths of the gospel. And through a belief in the truth, souls are awakened to their need of a preparation for life's duties.16MR 341.3

    The denominational churches in our land are doing something in the line of Christian help work. Some are working actively, walking in all the light they have. They would do much more if they understood the truth. And many of those who know the truth, who claim to believe that the last message of mercy is being given to the world, are fast asleep. Many, like the sluggard, are folding their hands in inactivity.16MR 341.4

    The Lord has a work for everyone to do. There are those who suppose that they can be saved by merely assenting to the truth. But this cannot be. True conversion acts like leaven, permeating every part of the being, filling man with a desire to serve Christ. Received into the heart, the truth transforms the entire being, bringing it into conformity with the Spirit of Christ. There is a development of all the powers, for the heart is changed.16MR 342.1

    Man can increase in knowledge without experiencing a change of heart, but this does not bring salvation. Paul declares, “Though I ... understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, ... and have not charity, I am nothing,” “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” It is not position or profession that makes a man of value in God's sight; it is being good and doing good.16MR 342.2

    Christ says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He who has only an emotional religion is controlled by “another spirit,” not the Spirit of Christ. Flighty and sentimental, he is a burden to the church. At times his imagination soars high, but it goes down correspondingly when the cause of excitement is removed.16MR 342.3

    By the death of His only begotten Son, God has made it possible for man to reach the high ideal set before him. We can do God no greater dishonor than to remain in indolence and indifference, caring not to save the souls perishing in sin.16MR 342.4

    Is Christ your personal Saviour? Do you depend on Him for your acceptance with the Father? He says, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” There is power in Christ to enable us to gain the victory over the enemy.16MR 342.5

    I am carrying a burden for the Iowa Conference. The Lord has instructed me that as a conference you are living far beneath your privileges. Although you have been greatly blessed with a knowledge of the truth, many of you have not realized your duty to give this advanced light to others. In the Judgment, God will call you to account for the way in which you have used the light given you.16MR 343.1

    In the Iowa Conference there are many precious souls who would make good workers. These need to be awakened to the necessity of taking hold of the Lord's work and doing something for Him. They should be educated and trained, that they may go forth to labor for others. Let them gain an experimental knowledge in seeking to save those who are perishing around them.16MR 343.2

    God has appointed to every man his work. While so many men and women in the towns and cities round about us are perishing for lack of knowledge, how can God's people sleep on in indifference? If those who know the truth realized fully the fearful peril of their fellow men, they would be aroused to work for the Master. Going out into new fields they would, by the power of a godly example, lead others to unite with them.16MR 343.3

    Let married men and women who know the truth go forth to the neglected fields to enlighten others. Follow the example of those who have done pioneer work in new fields. Wisely work in places where you can best labor. Learn the principles of health reform, in order that you may be able to teach them to others. By reading and studying the various books and periodicals on the subject of health, learn to give treatment to the sick, and thus to do better work for the Master. Many who now rest in their graves would today be alive had they been careful to improve precious moments in seeking to obtain a knowledge of the light upon health reform that God has given for their benefit. Wilfully ignorant of the laws of their being, they have died for lack of knowledge.16MR 343.4

    Let every member of the churches in Iowa carefully study the instruction given in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah and in the third and fourth chapters of Malachi. Will my brethren consider these scriptures? In the fifty-eighth of Isaiah there is light for those who rejoice in the hope of the soon-coming morning. The Lord desires to send us the reviving, healing beams of His sunshine. “The fashion of this world passeth away,” but the fashion of the world to come will endure forever. With that infinite bliss will the righteous be rewarded! What boundless joy will be theirs!16MR 344.1

    Christ has gone to prepare mansions for those who are faithful. To the immortal inheritance those who love God and keep His commandments have a clear title—a title that will never be questioned. Those who by faith take God at His word have an everlasting life-insurance policy. Those who now by faith enter the kingdom of God and hold fast their profession of faith, will possess the kingdom forever and ever.16MR 344.2

    To the brethren and sisters of Iowa, those who claim to believe in Jesus as a personal Saviour, I would say: Remember that you are not your own; you are “bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” I beseech you to consider your individual responsibility. In view of all that you are to receive and enjoy in the world to come, why, oh why, do you not rise above the sordid influences of this world, putting away all earthliness?16MR 344.3

    [1 John 2:1-7, quoted.]

    The church is the bride, the Lamb's wife. She should keep herself pure, sanctified, holy. Never should she indulge in any foolishness, for she is the bride of a King. Yet she does not realize her exalted position. If she understood this, she would be all-glorious within.16MR 345.1

    The world does not acknowledge that, at an infinite cost, Christ has purchased the human race. They do not acknowledge that by creation and by redemption He holds a just claim to every human being. But as the Redeemer of the fallen race, He has been given the deed of possession, which entitles Him to claim them as His property. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But 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 1:10-12].16MR 345.2

    The Lord is ready to do a great work for every church in the Iowa Conference. In order that the world may be left without excuse, He desires His representatives properly to bear witness of Him. Will those who have named the name of Christ be as clay in the hands of the potter? Will they submit to be molded and fashioned into vessels unto honor? Thus they may be qualified to stand in their lot and in their place. By their unselfish lives they may give to the world an illustration of practical Christianity.16MR 345.3

    The churches in this conference have a work to do. Plans should be made to advance the Lord's cause. The Master is calling for men who will do His work with humility of heart. He works through those who have a contrite spirit. The clear light of truth should shine forth from the churches. Every church should be as a city set upon a hill, the light of which cannot be hid.16MR 345.4

    The psalmist says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” In these days of test and trial, we should take the Bible as our counselor and our guide, that we may make straight paths for our feet. The beautiful, glorious light of heaven is shining from the precepts of the law, clearly lighting up the pathway leading to the gates of the New Jerusalem. Those who walk in this light will never go astray.16MR 346.1

    The Lord's people should often come together to engage in earnest supplication for divine blessing, that they may better understand where and how to work. Let no selfishness or jealousy be manifested. Let the laborers knit their souls with Christ and with their brethren. Let them unitedly use their powers in doing genuine advance work, bearing to others the light of present truth.16MR 346.2

    In Iowa there are many places to be worked. As a general rule, the conference laborers should go out from the churches into new fields, using their God-given ability to a purpose in seeking and saving the lost.16MR 346.3

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