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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1583—Ministers Should Cooperate and Preach Practical Truths

    (Written September 10, 1899, from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W., to “Dear Brother.”)

    I am sorry to learn from your letter that some things which are not pure provender are being given to the church of God as food. No one can feed the church of God aright unless he studies the pure, sanctifying principles of the truth. Non-essential subjects are not to occupy our minds. Our conversation should be pure, uplifting, ennobling.21MR 398.1

    You will find men who talk of a second probation, comforting themselves with the thought that if they are not overcomers in this probationary time, they will in a future probation secure a preparation for heaven. But the Lord has no future probation for any soul that lives. Those who do not appreciate this present probation will have no second trial. Those who in this life pursue a course which will close against them the gates of the city of God, need not flatter themselves that the Lord will give them another opportunity to prepare to meet Him. No, no, no!21MR 398.2

    I present to you some important matters to present to the people as practical present truth. There is no need to dwell upon subjects that are not light and truth. We are to think of those things that will give spiritual nourishment.21MR 398.3

    Those who have a knowledge of the truth should never seek for something new and strange to present to the people. Let not the ministers of God enter into contention and strife. Their influence is greatly hurt when they are self-exalted and dictatorial. Let all be exceedingly careful on this point. Each day we need to learn more of Jesus Christ.21MR 398.4

    Let no one live to please himself. We are laborers together with God. We are to work in union with His Holy Spirit. God is the great first cause, the source of all power and grace and efficiency. Human agencies are to yoke up with Christ. “Ye are God's husbandry.” You are to work out that which God works in. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Your heart is to be cultivated by the Holy Spirit that it may bear fruit unto righteousness.21MR 398.5

    “Ye are God's building.” You cannot build your character yourself. You must unite with the divine Builder. Said Paul, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Let no man suppose that he is appointed to be a foundation upon which other human beings are to build. Every human being is to erect his building upon the sure foundation, Jesus Christ. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is” [1 Corinthians 3:12, 13].21MR 398.6

    I am instructed to say that sufficient carefulness has not been shown in regard to the material which has been brought to the foundation-stone. “If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Who does not desire then to be faithful in cooperating with Christ? “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” [verse 15]. If he sees his wrong and sincerely repents, he will save himself, but his lifework is a failure.21MR 399.1

    “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” [verses 16, 17].21MR 399.2

    To those who lift themselves up in exaltation, supposing that anything they may choose to do is right, the caution comes, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” [verse 18]. Let not his soul be puffed up with self-conceit, for he is but a man. He is not God. He is not to suppose that he is a foundation upon which other men are to build. There is danger here, and I am instructed to say, Take heed. All ye are brethren. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” [verse 19].21MR 399.3

    Just as surely as men weave the threads of selfishness into the pattern, their work will be revealed. For “the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours.” The Lord gives wisdom to those who will make the best use of this wisdom. Christ declares, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” God knows who is prepared to act as His helping hand in the closing scenes of this earth's history.21MR 399.4

    “All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.” God sees where His wisdom is most needed and where it will accomplish the most good. He will strengthen the minds of His servants. He will help them to devise and plan and execute for the greatest advantage of His work.21MR 399.5

    No one, however responsible the position he occupies, is to take glory to himself. If he loves God with all the heart and his neighbor as himself, he will follow the example of Jesus Christ. As God's workmen bear responsibilities and carry burdens in the great harvest field let them remember that true success comes from God alone, and that every particle of the praise and glory belongs to Him. We are God's husbandry, God's building. We are to understand that power and efficiency come only from our heavenly Father. Under the generalship of Christ we are to do the work allotted to us. Each member of the church must have a living connection with its great Head.21MR 400.1

    Let those who are laboring in the ministry or in the medical missionary work wear the yoke of Christ, walking in humility of mind before God, and using their varied gifts to bless humanity. Then God will use them as His helping hand. All are to be united in one body under Christ. All parts of the work are to be controlled and guided by the wisdom which God gives. There is to be harmony in every action. There is to be no jealousy of Paul or Apollos or Cephas. All are to draw in even cords, without a sign of friction.21MR 400.2

    Ministers must learn to give room to their fellow laborers. They are not to measure their brethren by their own ideas. He is whose heart Christ abides will not quarrel with his brother. All are to stand under the standard of Christ Jesus, united by the desire to strengthen His work in every line. Human devising is not to be followed. Let no one fasten his soul to a human leader. Christ is our Leader. He was sent by the Father to redeem the fallen race. Men are to follow His directions in the work of restoring the moral image of God in the human race. In this great work they are to act in His name and for the glory of God.21MR 400.3

    Let those who by God's appointment are connected with His cause cherish no low estimate of the work He expects them to do. They are to be faithful stewards, dying to self and living to Christ.21MR 400.4

    The words that Christ spoke were weighty and full of dignity, but at the same time He exalted the natural things of nature, pointing to them as expositors of divine truth. Elevating, ennobling truths were taught from the simplicity of nature's lesson book, and they were presented so clearly and plainly that even those dull of comprehension could not fail to understand them.21MR 400.5

    There was no excitement in Christ's manner of teaching. He made truth stand forth in the light of heaven. He inculcated the principles that are ever to be honored. God has wisdom to impart to His servants. The precious, precious treasures of wisdom that have been concealed in nature will be unlocked and brought forth. Here wonderful resources will be given to God's people for use in His work.21MR 401.1

    Some have looked upon the medical missionary work with suspicion because of its constantly increasing success. Unless these are baptized with the Holy Spirit they will continue to entertain their jealous feelings, whatever power God may reveal in advancing the truth. They will lose the spiritual blessings they might have had and will bring the divine judgments upon themselves. The truth which is a savor of life unto life, if received, becomes, when rejected, a means of hardening the heart.—Letter 233, 1899.21MR 401.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    May 9, 1991.

    Entire Letter.

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