Greetings to you who is reading this. Jesus said that the fields are ripe but the reapers are few [Matthew 9:37, Luke 10:2] yet though the statement be true, we wonder why little is accomplished. In this short treatise, I have put together quotes that can help us work effectively and accomplish much. This can be used as a teaching guide for evangelism. Be blessed as you go through.

 

And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make but little impression upon the consciences or the lives of men. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for something which they have not. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. Many who once knew the power of God’s word have dwelt where there is no recognition of God, and they long for the divine presence.  {MH 143.1}

 

The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago–a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental, and spiritual, can be accomplished.  {MH 143.2}

 

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”  {MH 143.3}

 

There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.  {MH 143.4}

 

 

Gem Thought

Sin has extinguished the love that God placed in man’s heart. The work of the church is to rekindle this love. The church is to cooperate with God by uprooting selfishness from the human heart, placing in its stead the benevolence that was in man’s heart in his original state of perfection. –Letter 134, 1902.

Foreword

In the Bool Welfare Ministry, the spirit of prophecy presents instruction in the delicate work of reaching hearts and winning souls through neighborly kindness. This is a type of soul-winning ministry with which many Seventh-day Adventists are but casually acquainted—yet a work ordained of God as the most appropriate means of bringing Christ and Christianity to the attention of the peoples of the world. It is a work that promises rich rewards.

 

Not only by concise, well-worded precept has the author set before us this type of ministry, but through the years, although busy with her home duties and her responsibilities as the messenger of the Lord, she often unwittingly set an example as her heart was drawn out to the needy about her. The autobiographical record of the unselfish ministry of Ellen G. White as a welfare worker, drawn from her diary and letters, as found in the appendix Welfare Ministry, will be perused with eager interest and well might be read before the counsels found in the body of the text are studied. Be that as it may, the reader will soon observe that the welfare ministry to which the church is summoned is not merely a community service but a kind of loving ministry and soul-winning endeavor—the highest type of welfare evangelism.

 

In the assembling of Spirit of Prophecy counsels relating to this important field of endeavor, excerpts have been drawn from the vast reservoir of precious instruction penned through seven decades. They have been gathered not only from currently available published books but also from the thousands of E. G. White articles which were prepared for the journals of the denomination, the special testimonies issued in pamphlet form, and the E. G. White manuscript files. Selected as they are from these various sources written at different times, they inevitably bring the reader over the same path he has traversed before, to emphasize some important point vital to a full development of the subject. Such repetition, though reduced to a minimum, cannot be avoided entirely in such a compilation as this, for the compilers are limited in their work to the selecting of the subject matter and the arranging of it in its logical sequence, supplying only the headings.

 

It has been difficult and well-nigh impossible to bring within the covers of one book the vast amount of instruction Ellen G. White has given concerning this particular kind of work, and which might rightly appear in a volume bearing the title Welfare Ministry. It is not a simple matter to select the material and draw the line between the neighborly visit and the missionary call, nor to separate the work of noble Seventh-day Adventist women in its broader aspects from the more well-defined task undertaken with solely missionary objectives. To the child of God these blends together in the varied activities of daily life.

 

Attention is here called to certain terms occurring frequently in this volume such as “medical missionary work” and “Christian help work.” It should be noted that a careful study of the Ellen G. White writings reveals that the phrase “medical missionary work” is employed by the author to include professional services of consecrated doctors and nurses, and that its significance also reaches far beyond these bounds to include all acts of mercy and disinterested kindness. “Christian help work” is also a term more commonly employed by Seventh-day Adventists in their earlier years than now and refers to the type of work described in this volume.

 

It is urged that the reader study the instruction in its proper setting, to discover the basic principles involved in each case. For instance, a study of the counsels regarding “Church suppers” will reveal that although we are warned against utilizing the appeal to indulged appetite and love of pleasure as a means of raising church funds, yet it is the privilege of Church groups to engage in the preparation and sale of healthful food if the work is properly conducted and done in an appropriate place.

 

Gem Thought

The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” There never was a time when there was greater need for the exercise of mercy than today. The poor are all around us, the distressed, the afflicted, the sorrowing, and those who are ready to perish. Those who have acquired riches have acquired them through the exercise of the talents that were given them of God, but these talents for the acquiring of property were given to them that they might relieve those who are in poverty. These gifts were bestowed upon men by Him who maketh His sun to shine and His rain to fall upon the just and the unjust, that by the fruitfulness of the earth men might have abundant supplies for all their need. The fields have been blessed of God, and “of His goodness He hath prepared for the poor.”—The Signs of the Times, June 13, 1892.

Reasons Behind the Prevailing Poverty

The reason why God has permitted some of the human family to be so rich and some so poor will remain a mystery to men till eternity, unless they enter into right relations with God and carry out His plans instead of acting on their own selfish ideas. —Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 280.

 

In the providence of God events have been so ordered that the poor are always with us, in order that there may be a constant exercise in the human heart of the attributes of mercy and love. Man is to cultivate the tenderness and compassion of Christ; he is not to separate himself from the sorrowing, the afflicted, the needy, and the distressed. —The Signs of the Times, June 13, 1892.

 

While the world needs sympathy, while it needs the prayers and assistance of God’s people, while it needs to see Christ in the lives of His followers, the people of God are equally in need of opportunities that draw out their sympathies, give efficiency to their prayers, and develop in them a character like that of the divine pattern. It is to provide these opportunities that God has placed among us the poor, the unfortunate, the sick, and the suffering. They are Christ’s legacy to His church, and they are to be cared for as He would care for them. In this way God takes away the dross and purifies the gold, giving us that culture of heart and character which we need. The Lord could carry forward His work without our cooperation. He is not dependent on us for our money, our time, or our labor. But the church is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock, and He longs to see it without spot or blemish or any such thing. He yearns after it with unspeakable love. This is why He has given us opportunities to work for Him, and He accepts our labors as tokens of our love and loyalty. —Testimonies for the Church 6:261.

 

The poor man as well as the rich man is the object of God’s special care and attention. Take away poverty, and we should have no way of understanding the mercy and love of God, no way of knowing the compassionate and sympathetic heavenly Father. —Letter 83, 1902.

 

God imparts His blessing to us that we may impart to others. When we ask Him for our daily bread, He looks into our hearts to see if we will share the same with those needier than ourselves. When we pray “God be merciful to me a sinner,” He watches to see if we will manifest compassion toward those with whom we associate. This is the evidence of our connection with God, that we are merciful even as our Father in heaven is merciful. —Testimonies for the Church 6:283, 284.

 

Nothing saps spirituality from the soul more quickly than to enclose it in selfishness and self-caring. Those who indulge self and neglect to care for the souls and bodies of those for whom Christ has given His life, are not eating of the bread of life or drinking of the water of the well of salvation. They are dry and sapless, like a tree that bears no fruit. They are spiritual dwarfs, who consume their means on self; but “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”—The Review and Herald, January 15, 1895.

 

The rich man is a steward of God, and if he walks in Christ’s footsteps, maintaining a humble, godly life, he becomes, through the transformation of character, meek and lowly in heart. He realizes that his possessions are only lent treasures, and he feels that a sacred trust has been committed to him to help the needy and suffering, in Christ’s stead. This work will bring its reward in talents and treasures laid up beside the throne of God. Thus, the rich man may make a spiritual success of life, as a faithful steward of his Lord’s goods. —Manuscript 22, 1898.

 

The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace. The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realized. —Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 10, 11.

 

The Lord will work through every soul that will give himself up to be worked, not only to preach but to minister to the despairing and to inspire hope in the hearts of the hopeless. We are to act our part in relieving and softening the miseries of this life. The miseries and mysteries of this life are as dark and cloudy as they were thousands of years ago. There is something for us to do: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” There are needy close by us; the suffering are in our very borders. We must try to help them. By the grace of Christ, the sealed fountains of earnest, Christlike work are to be unsealed. In the strength of Him who has all strength we are to work as we have never worked before. —Manuscript 65b, 1898.

 

Will the church arouse? Will its members come into sympathy with Christ, so they will have His tenderness for all the sheep and lambs of His fold? For their sake the Majesty of heaven made Himself of no reputation; for them He came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, He toiled day and night to instruct, to elevate, and to bring everlasting joy to a thankless, disobedient people. For their sake He became poor, that they through His poverty might be rich. For them He denied Himself; for them He endured privation, scorn, contempt, suffering, and death. For them He took the form of a servant. This is our pattern; will we copy it? Will we have a care for God’s heritage? Will we cherish tender compassion for the erring, the tempted, and the tried? —Letter 45, 1894.

 

The gospel still possesses the same power, and why should we not today witness the same results? Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power. —The Desire of Ages, 823, 824.

 

Christ took a position which was on a level with the poor, that through His poverty we might become rich in beauty of character, and be, as He was, a savor of life unto life. By becoming poor He could sympathize with the poor. His humanity could touch their humanity and help them to gain the perfection of right habits and a noble character. He could teach them how to lay up for themselves in heaven imperishable treasures. The commander in the heavenly courts, He became one with humanity, a partaker of their sufferings and afflictions, that through the representation of His character in its unsullied purity they might become partakers of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. And Christ was a joy to the rich, for He could teach them how to sacrifice their earthly possessions to help to save the souls perishing in the darkness of error. —Letter 150, 1899.

 

It is not the abundance of your meetings that God accepts. It is not the numerous prayers, but the rightdoing, doing the right thing and at the right time. It is to be less self-caring and more benevolent. Our souls must expand. Then God will make them like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. —Testimonies for the Church 2:35, 36.

 

The Chapter That Defines Our Work

The whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is to be regarded as a message for this time, to be given over and over again. —Special Testimonies, Series B 2:5.

 

What saith the Lord in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah? The whole chapter is of the highest importance. —Testimonies for the Church 8:159.

 

I have no fears of workers who are engaged in the work represented in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter is explicit, and is enough to enlighten anyone who wishes to do the will of God. There is plenty of opportunity for everyone to be a blessing to humanity. The third angel’s message is not to be given a second place in this work, but is to be one with it. There may be, and there is, a danger of burying up the great principles of truth when doing the work that is right to do. This work is to be to the message what the hand is to the body. The spiritual necessities of the soul are to be kept prominent. —Letter 24, 1898.

 

Those who should have been the light of the world have shed forth but feeble and sickly beams. What is light? It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life. The gospel is dependent on the personal piety of its believers for its aggressive power, and God has made provision through the death of His beloved Son, that every soul may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. —The Review and Herald, March 24, 1891.

 

True sympathy between man and his fellow man is to be the sign distinguishing those who love and fear God from those who are unmindful of His law. How great the sympathy that Christ expressed in coming to this world to give His life a sacrifice for a dying world! His religion led to the doing of genuine medical missionary work. The reader should bear in mind that the term “medical missionary work” as often employed by Mrs. White stretched far beyond the bounds of professional medical service to embody all acts of mercy and disinterested kindness. He was a healing power. “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,” He said. This is the test that the great Author of truth used to distinguish between true religion and false. — To become a toiler, to continue patiently in well-doing which calls for self-denying labor, is a glorious work, which Heaven smiles upon. Faithful work is more acceptable to God than the most zealous and thought-to-be holiest worship. It is working together with Christ that is true worship. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree. —Testimonies for the Church 2:24.

 

Who Is My Neighbor? —

Among the Jews the question, “Who is my neighbor?” caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation, and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, and elder, regard as neighbor? They spent their lives in the round of ceremonies to make themselves pure. Contact with the ignorant and careless multitude, they taught, would cause defilement that would require wearisome effort to remove. Were they to regard the “unclean” as neighbors? This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is everyone who is the property of God. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 376.

 

We are to care for every case of suffering and to look upon ourselves as God’s agents to relieve the needy to the very uttermost of our ability. We are to be laborers together with God. There are some who manifest great affection for their relatives, for their friends and favorites, who yet fail to be kind and considerate to those who need tender sympathy, who need kindness and love. With earnest hearts let us inquire, who is my neighbor? Our neighbors are not merely our associates and special friends; they are not simply those who belong to our church, or who think as we do. Our neighbors are the whole human family. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are to give to the world an exhibition of what it means to carry out the law of God. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. —The Review and Herald, January 1, 1895.

 

This is a question that all our churches need to understand. Had the priest and the Levite read understandingly the Hebrew code, their treatment of the wounded man would have been far different. —Manuscript 117, 1903.

 

Conditions of Inheriting Eternal Life

The conditions of inheriting eternal life are plainly stated by our Saviour in the simplest manner. The man who was wounded and robbed represents those who are subjects of our interest, sympathy, and charity. If we neglect the cases of the needy and the unfortunate that are brought under our notice, no matter who they may be, we have no assurance of eternal life; for we do not answer the claims that God has upon us. We are not compassionate and pitiful to humanity, because they may not be kith or kin to us. You have been found transgressors of the second great commandment, upon which the last six commandments depend. Whosoever offendeth in one point is guilty of all. Those who do not open their hearts to the wants and sufferings of humanity will not open their hearts to the claims of God as stated in the first four precepts of the Decalogue. Idols claim the heart and affections, and God is not honored and does not reign supreme. —Testimonies for the Church 3:524.

 

Never knew in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the man who was wounded was a Levite yet a fellow Levite came near him, saw him better but passed! Is there a possibility this parable relates to ministers who don’t care for each other today!?!

 

“The Levite was of the same tribe as was the wounded, bruised sufferer. All Heaven watched as the Levite passed down the road, to see if his heart would be touched with human woe. As he beheld the man he was convicted of what he ought to do; but as it was not an agreeable duty, he wished he had not come that way, so that he need not have seen the man who was wounded and bruised, naked and perishing, and in want of help from his fellow men. He passed on his way, persuading himself that it was none of his business, and that he had no need to trouble himself over the case. Claiming to be an expositor of the law, to be a minister in sacred things, he yet passed by on the other side. WM 47.1″

 

Gem Thought

Christ’s followers have been redeemed for service. Our Lord teaches that the true object of life is ministry. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the law of service—service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they had ever known. By living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men. To His servants Christ commits “His goods,”—something to be put to use for Him. He gives “to every man his work.” Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in cooperation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 326, 327.

 

Even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Mark 10:45.

 

The Model We Should Copy—

The true missionary spirit is the spirit of Christ. The world’s Redeemer was the great model missionary. Many of His followers have labored earnestly and unselfishly in the cause of human salvation; but no man’s labor can bear comparison with the self-denial, the sacrifice, the benevolence, of our Exemplar. Do you, my brethren and sisters, inquire: What model shall we copy? I do not point you to great and good men, but to the world’s Redeemer. If we would have the true missionary spirit, we must be imbued with the love of Christ; we must look to the Author and Finisher of our faith, study His character, cultivate His spirit of meekness and humility, and walk in His footsteps.

 

Many suppose that the missionary spirit, the qualification for missionary work, is a special gift or endowment bestowed upon the ministers and a few members of the church and that all others are to be mere spectators. Never was there a greater mistake. Every true Christian will possess a missionary spirit, for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. No man liveth to himself, and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Everyone who has tasted of the powers of the world to come, whether he be young or old, learned or unlearned, will be stirred with the spirit which actuated Christ. The very first impulse of the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Those who do not possess this desire give evidence that they have lost their first love; they should closely examine their own hearts in the light of God’s Word, and earnestly seek a fresh baptism of the Spirit of Christ; they should pray for a deeper comprehension of that wondrous love which Jesus manifested for us in leaving the realms of glory and coming to a fallen world to save the perishing. —Testimonies for the Church 5:385, 386.

 

The divine commission needs no reform. Christ’s way of presenting truth cannot be improved upon. The Saviour gave the disciples practical lessons, teaching them how to work in such a way as to make souls glad in the truth. He sympathized with the weary, the heavy laden, the oppressed. He fed the hungry and healed the sick. Constantly He went about doing good. By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the gospel to men. God calls for thousands to work for Him, not by preaching to those who know the truth for this time, but by warning those who have never heard the last message of mercy. Work with a heart filled with an earnest longing for souls. Do medical missionary work. Thus, you will gain access to the hearts of people, and the way will be prepared for a more decided proclamation of the truth. Who are laborers together with Christ in this blessed medical missionary work? Who have learned the lessons of the Master and know how to deal skillfully with souls for whom Christ has died? We need, oh, so much, physicians for the soul who have been educated in the school of Christ and who can work in Christ’s lines. —The Review and Herald, December 17, 1914.

 

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”—The Ministry of Healing, 143.

 

This was the way the Christian Church was established. Christ first selected a few persons and bade them follow Him. They then went in search of their relatives and acquaintances, and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others. —The Review and Herald, December 8, 1885.

 

It is not preaching that is the most important; it is house-to-house work, reasoning from the Word, explaining the Word. It is those workers who follow the methods that Christ followed who will win souls for their hire. —Gospel Workers, 468.

 

The Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought home to every soul. To a great degree this must be accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. Through that one soul the message was often extended to thousands. Christ’s Object Lessons, 229.

 

On this first tour the disciples were to go only where Jesus had been before them and had made friends…. Nothing must be allowed to divert their minds from their great work or in any way excite opposition and close the door for further labor. They were not to adopt the dress of the religious teachers, nor use any guise in apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor…. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, “Peace be to this house.” That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. —The Desire of Ages, 351, 352.

 

Calling the twelve about Him, Jesus bade them go out two and two through the towns and villages. None were sent forth alone, but brother was associated with brother, friend with friend. Thus, they could help and encourage each other, counseling and praying together, each one’s strength supplementing the other’s weakness. In the same manner He afterward sent forth the seventy. It was the Saviour’s purpose that the messengers of the gospel should be associated in this way. In our own time evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed. —The Desire of Ages, 350.

 

During the long period of his ministry in Ephesus, where for three years he carried forward an aggressive evangelistic effort throughout that region, Paul again worked at his trade…. There were some who objected to Paul’s toiling with his hands, declaring that it was inconsistent with the work of a gospel minister. Why should Paul, a minister of the highest rank, thus connect mechanical work with the preaching of the Word? Was not the laborer worthy of his hire? Why should he spend in making tents time that to all appearance could be put to better account WM 62.3

 

Paul sometimes worked night and day, not only for his own support, but that he might assist his fellow laborers. He shared his earnings with Luke, and he helped Timothy. He even suffered hunger at times, that he might relieve the necessities of others. His was an unselfish life. —The Acts of the Apostles, 351, 352.

 

Paul set an example against the sentiment, then gaining influence in the church, that the gospel could be proclaimed successfully only by those who were wholly freed from the necessity of physical toil. He illustrated in a practical way what might be done by consecrated laymen in many places where the people were unacquainted with the truths of the gospel. His course inspired many humble toilers with a desire to do what they could to advance the cause of God, while at the same time they supported themselves in daily labor.

 

There is a large field open before the self-supporting gospel worker. Many may gain valuable experiences in ministry while toiling a portion of the time at some form of manual labor, and by this method strong workers may be developed for important service in needy fields. —The Acts of the Apostles, 355.

 

Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray with them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the Word of God to their darkened minds. Keep watching as he who must render an account for the souls of men, and make the most of the privileges that God gives you of laboring with Him in His moral vineyard. Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you “by all means may save some.” We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house, pleading with tears and teaching “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.

 

The more closely the New Testament plan is followed in missionary labor, the more successful will be the efforts put forth. We should work as did our divine Teacher, sowing the seeds of truth with care, anxiety, and self-denial. We must have the mind of Christ if we would not become weary in well-doing. His was a life of continual sacrifice for others’ good. We must follow His example. —Testimonies for the Church 3:210.

 

Wherever a church is established, all the members should engage actively in a missionary work. They should visit every family in the neighborhood and know their spiritual condition. If professed Christians had engaged in this work from the time when their names were first placed on the church books, there would not now be such widespread unbelief, such depths of iniquity, such unparalleled wickedness, as is seen in the world at the present time. If every church member had sought to enlighten others, thousands upon thousands would today stand with God’s commandment-keeping people.

 

It is now high time that we repent. All the people of God should interest themselves in the work of doing good. They should unite heart and soul in earnest endeavor to uplift and enlighten their fellow men. —Testimonies for the Church 6:296, 297.

 

Several years ago, during a former visit to the South, while out on long drives, I sometimes asked who occupied the homes we passed, and I learned that in many of the larger Southern houses were men who bear important responsibilities in the care of great estates. Upon further inquiry, I learned that no one had sought to bring before these men the Word of Life. None had gone to them, with Bible in hand, and said, “We have something precious for you, and we want that you should hear it.” Now it has been presented before me repeatedly that this is a line of work that must be done. We are to go out into the highways and into the hedges and carry to the people the message of truth that Christ has given us. We are to compel many to come in.—Manuscript 15, 1909.

 

By personal labor reach the people where they are. Become acquainted with them. This work cannot be done by proxy. Money loaned or given cannot accomplish it. Sermons from the pulpit cannot do it. —Gospel Workers, 188.

 

There is power in the ministry of song. Students who have learned to sing sweet gospel songs with melody and distinctness can do much good as singing evangelists. They will find many opportunities to use the talent that God has given them in carrying melody and sunshine into many lonely places darkened by sorrow and affliction, singing to those who seldom have church privileges.

 

Students, go out into the highways and hedges. Endeavor to reach the higher as well as the lower classes. Enter the homes of the rich as well as the poor, and as you have opportunity, ask, “Would you be pleased to have us sing some gospel hymns?” Then as hearts are softened, the way may open for you to offer a few words of prayer for the blessing of God. Not many will refuse to listen. Such ministry is genuine missionary work. —Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 547, 548.

 

Using Our Holidays to Run Errands for the Lord—

There are other lines of work. Some are capable of reading the Scriptures and communicating to others that which we believe. These may be channels of light and a precious comfort to some poor discouraged souls who seem to be unable to grasp hope and exercise faith. Others should search and study how they can be doing errands for the Lord. If those whose employment takes the most of their time, excepting Sundays or holidays, instead of spending this time in their own pleasure, use it in blessing others, they will be of service in the cause of God. Your example will help others to do something that will tell to the glory of God. Heed the words of the inspired apostle, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Thus, a living principle will be brought into your daily active life, of being good and doing good….

 

It will not be possible for all to give their whole time to the work, because of the labor they must do to earn their daily living. Yet these have their holidays and times that they can devote to Christian work, and do good in this way if they cannot give much of their means. —Letter 12, 1892.

 

The hours so often spent in amusement that refreshes neither body nor soul should be spent in visiting the poor, the sick, and the suffering, or in seeking to help someone who is in need. —Testimonies for the Church 6:276.

 

Welfare Ministry on the Sabbath—

According to the fourth commandment the Sabbath was dedicated to rest and religious worship. All secular employment was to be suspended, but works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited to time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God’s holy day. —Redemption: or the Teachings of Christ, 4:46.

 

We are not to wait for souls to come to us; we must seek them out where they are. When the Word has been preached in the pulpit, the work has but just began. There are multitudes who will never be reached by the gospel unless it is carried to them. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 229.

 

Go to the homes of those even who manifest no interest. While mercy’s sweet voice invites the sinner, work with every energy of heart and brain, as did Paul, “who ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” In the day of God how many will confront us and say, “I am lost! I am lost! And you never warned me; you never entreated me to come to Jesus. Had I believed as you did, I would have followed every Judgment-bound soul within my reach with prayers and tears and warnings.”—The Review and Herald, June 24, 1884.

 

Rekindle the Spirit of Evangelism of 1844

This, Ellen G. White’s last message to the General Conference in session in 1913, was read to the Conference by the president, A. G. Daniells, Tuesday morning, May 27. —

 

Recently in the night season my mind was impressed by the holy spirit with the thought that if the Lord is coming as soon as we believe he is, we ought to be even more active than we have been in years past in getting the truth before the people. In this connection my mind reverted to the activity of the Advent believers in 1843 and 1844. At that time there was much house-to-house visitation, and untiring efforts were made to warn the people of the things that are spoken in God’s Word. We should be putting forth even greater effort than was put forth by those who proclaimed the first angel’s message so faithfully. We are rapidly approaching the end of this earth’s history; and as we realize that Jesus is indeed coming soon, we shall be aroused to labor as never before. We are bidden to sound an alarm to the people. —The General Conference Bulletin, May 27, 1913, p. 164.

 

Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance. Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 384, 385.

 

Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathetic, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say a word to encourage and inspire hope. —Testimonies for the Church 5:613.

 

In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless. —The Ministry of Healing, 62.

 

It is always humiliating to have one’s errors pointed out. None should make the experience more bitter by needless censure. No one was ever reclaimed by reproach; but many have thus been repelled, and have been led to steel their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. —The Ministry of Healing, 166.

 

The spirit of the good Samaritan has not been largely represented in our churches. Many in need of help have been passed by, as the priest and Levite passed by the wounded and bruised stranger who had been left to die by the wayside. The very ones who needed the power of the divine Healer to cure their wounds have been left uncared for and unnoticed. Many have acted as if it were enough to know that Satan had his trap all set for a soul, and they could go home and care not for the lost sheep. It is evident that those who manifest such a spirit have not been partakers of the divine nature, but of the attributes of the enemy of God. —Testimonies for the Church 6:294, 295.

 

Those who claim to believe in Christ are to represent Christ in deeds of kindness and mercy. Such will never know until the day of judgment what good they have done in seeking to follow the example of the Saviour. —Letter 140, 1908.

 

If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. —Testimonies for the Church 9:189.

 

First meet the temporal necessities of the needy and relieve their physical wants and sufferings, and you will then find an open avenue to the heart, where you may plant the good seeds of virtue and religion. —Testimonies for the Church 4:227.

 

Maintain Proper Attitude Toward People—It is a delicate matter to deal with minds. Only He who reads the heart knows how to bring men to repentance. Only His wisdom can give us success in reaching the lost. You may stand up stiffly, feeling, “I am holier than thou,” and it matters not how correct your reasoning or how true your words; they will never touch hearts. The love of Christ, manifested in word and act, will win its way to the soul, when the reiteration of precept or argument would accomplish nothing. —The Ministry of Healing, 163, 164.

 

We need more of Christlike sympathy; not merely sympathy for those who appear to us to be faultless, but sympathy for poor, suffering, struggling souls, who are often overtaken in fault, sinning and repenting, tempted and discouraged. We are to go to our fellow men, touched, like our merciful High Priest, with the feeling of their infirmities. —The Ministry of Healing, 164.

 

My brethren and sisters, visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness seek to reach their hearts. Be sure to work in a way that will remove prejudice instead of creating it. And remember that those who know the truth for this time and yet confine their efforts to their own churches, refusing to work for their unconverted neighbors, will be called to account for unfulfilled duties. —Testimonies for the Church 9:34, 35.

 

Now, when we go into the house we should not begin to talk of frivolous things, but come right to the point and say, I want you to love Jesus, for He has first loved you…. Take along the publications and ask them to read. When they see that you are sincere they will not despise any of your efforts. There is a way to reach the hardest hearts. Approach in the simplicity, and sincerity, and humility that will help us to reach the souls of them for whom Christ died. —Manuscript 10, 1888.

 

Those who have the gift of song are needed. Song is one of the most effective means of impressing spiritual truth upon the heart. Often by the words of sacred song the springs of penitence and faith have been unsealed. Church members, young and old, should be educated to go forth to proclaim this last message to the world. If they go in humility, angels of God will go with them, teaching them how to lift up the voice in prayer, how to raise the voice in song, and how to proclaim the gospel message for this time. —The Review and Herald, June 6, 1912.

 

Learn to sing the simplest of songs. These will help you in house-to-house labor, and hearts will be touched by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Christ was often heard singing hymns of praise; and yet I have heard persons say, “Christ never smiled.” How mistaken their ideas in regard to the Saviour! There was joy in His heart. We learn from the Word that there is joy among the heavenly angels over one repentant sinner, and that the Lord Himself rejoices over His church with singing. —The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902.

 

My ministering brethren, do not think that the only work you can do, the only way you can labor for souls, is to give discourses. The best work you can do is to teach, to educate. Whenever you can find an opportunity to do so, sit down with some family, and let them ask questions. Then answer them patiently, humbly. Continue this work in connection with your more public efforts. Preach less, and educate more, by holding Bible readings and by praying with families and little companies. —Gospel Workers, 193.

 

If They Shut the Door in Your Face, What Then? —”But,” says one, “suppose we cannot gain admittance to the homes of the people; and if we do suppose they rise up against the truths that we present. Shall we not feel excused from making further efforts for them?” By no means. Even if they shut the door in your face, do not hasten away in indignation, and make no further effort to save them. Ask God in faith to give you access to those very souls. Cease not your efforts, but study and plan until you find some other means of reaching them. If you do not succeed by personal visits, try sending them the silent messenger of truth. There is so much pride of opinion in the human heart that our publications often gain admittance where the living messenger cannot. —Historical Sketches, 150.

 

All who engage in this personal labor should be just as careful not to become mechanical in their manner of working as should the minister who preaches the Word. They should be constantly learning. —Gospel Workers, 193.

 

How can the great work of the third angel’s message be accomplished? It must be largely accomplished by persevering, individual effort, by visiting the people in their homes. —Historical Sketches, 150.

 

The reason so many fail to have success is that they trust in themselves altogether too much, and do not feel the positive necessity of abiding in Christ, as they go forth to seek and save that which is lost. Until they have the mind of Christ and teach the truth as it is in Jesus, they will not accomplish much…. WM 99.2

 

God will soon do great things for us if we lie humble and believing at His feet…. More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications. —The Review and Herald, November 10, 1885.

 

The true missionary spirit is the spirit of Christ. The world’s Redeemer was the great model missionary. Many of His followers have labored earnestly and unselfishly in the cause of human salvation; but no man’s labor can bear comparison with the self-denial, the sacrifice, the benevolence, of our Exemplar. WM 55.1

 

Do you, my brethren and sisters, inquire: What model shall we copy? I do not point you to great and good men, but to the world’s Redeemer. If we would have the true missionary spirit, we must be imbued with the love of Christ; we must look to the Author and Finisher of our faith, study His character, cultivate His spirit of meekness and humility, and walk in His footsteps. WM 55.3

 

Many suppose that the missionary spirit, the qualification for missionary work, is a special gift or endowment bestowed upon the ministers and a few members of the church and that all others are to be mere spectators. Never was there a greater mistake. Every true Christian will possess a missionary spirit, for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. No man liveth to himself, and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Everyone who has tasted of the powers of the world to come, whether he be young or old, learned or unlearned, will be stirred with the spirit which actuated Christ. The very first impulse of the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Those who do not possess this desire give evidence that they have lost their first love; they should closely examine their own hearts in the light of God’s Word, and earnestly seek a fresh baptism of the Spirit of Christ; they should pray for a deeper comprehension of that wondrous love which Jesus manifested for us in leaving the realms of glory and coming to a fallen world to save the perishing. —Testimonies for the Church 5:385, 386.

 

Christ’s work in behalf of man is not finished. It continues today. In like manner His ambassadors are to preach the gospel and to reveal His pitying love for lost and perishing souls. By an unselfish interest in those who need help they are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel. Much more than mere sermonizing is included in this work. The evangelization of the world is the work God has given to those who go forth in His name. They are to be co-laborers with Christ, revealing to those ready to perish His tender, pitying love. God calls for thousands to work for Him, not by preaching to those who know the truth for this time, but by warning those who have never heard the last message of mercy. Work with a heart filled with an earnest longing for souls. Do medical missionary work. Thus, you will gain access to the hearts of people, and the way will be prepared for a more decided proclamation of the truth. Who are laborers together with Christ in this blessed medical missionary work? Who have learned the lessons of the Master and know how to deal skillfully with souls for whom Christ has died? We need, oh, so much, physicians for the soul who have been educated in the school of Christ and who can work in Christ’s lines. —The Review and Herald, December 17, 1914.

 

This was the way the Christian Church was established. Christ first selected a few persons and bade them follow Him. They then went in search of their relatives and acquaintances, and brought them to Christ. This is the way we are to labor. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others. —The Review and Herald, December 8, 1885.

 

It is not preaching that is the most important; it is house-to-house work, reasoning from the Word, explaining the Word. It is those workers who follow the methods that Christ followed who will win souls for their hire. —Gospel Workers, 468.

 

The Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought home to every soul. To a great degree this must be accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. Through that one soul the message was often extended to thousands. Christ’s Object Lessons, 229.

 

On this first tour the disciples were to go only where Jesus had been before them and had made friends…. Nothing must be allowed to divert their minds from their great work or in any way excite opposition and close the door for further labor. They were not to adopt the dress of the religious teachers, nor use any guise in apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor…. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, “Peace be to this house.” That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. —The Desire of Ages, 351, 352.

 

Calling the twelve about Him, Jesus bade them go out two and two through the towns and villages. None were sent forth alone, but brother was associated with brother, friend with friend. Thus, they could help and encourage each other, counseling and praying together, each one’s strength supplementing the other’s weakness. In the same manner He afterward sent forth the seventy. It was the Saviour’s purpose that the messengers of the gospel should be associated in this way. In our own time evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed. —The Desire of Ages, 350.

 

Paul, as well as laboring publicly, went from house to house preaching repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He met with men at their homes and besought them with tears, declaring unto them the whole counsel of God. —The Review and Herald, April 24, 1888.

 

Paul sometimes worked night and day, not only for his own support, but that he might assist his fellow laborers. He shared his earnings with Luke, and he helped Timothy. He even suffered hunger at times, that he might relieve the necessities of others. His was an unselfish life. —The Acts of the Apostles, 351, 352.

 

Aquila and Priscilla were not called to give their whole time to the ministry of the gospel, yet these humble laborers were used by God to show Apollos the way of truth more perfectly. The Lord employs various instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose; and while some with special talents are chosen to devote all their energies to the work of teaching and preaching the gospel, many others, upon whom human hands have never been laid in ordination, are called to act an important part in soulsaving. WM 63.4

 

There is a large field open before the self-supporting gospel worker. Many may gain valuable experiences in ministry while toiling a portion of the time at some form of manual labor, and by this method strong workers may be developed for important service in needy fields. —The Acts of the Apostles, 355.

 

Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you “by all means may save some.” We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house, pleading with tears and teaching “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.

 

The first works of the church were seen when the believers sought out friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and with hearts overflowing with love, told the story of what Jesus was to them. —Special Testimonies, Series A 2a:17.

 

The more closely the New Testament plan is followed in missionary labor, the more successful will be the efforts put forth. We should work as did our divine Teacher, sowing the seeds of truth with care, anxiety, and self-denial. We must have the mind of Christ if we would not become weary in well-doing. His was a life of continual sacrifice for others’ good. We must follow His example. —Testimonies for the Church 3:210.

 

Talk, Pharisaism, and self-praise are abundant; but these will never win souls to Christ. Pure, sanctified love, such love as was expressed in Christ’s lifework, is as a sacred perfume. Like Mary’s broken box of ointment, it fills the whole house with fragrance. Eloquence, knowledge of truth, rare talents, mingled with love, are all precious endowments. But ability alone, the choicest talents alone, cannot take the place of love. —Testimonies for the Church 6:83, 84.

 

Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance. It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good. Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 384, 385.

 

Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathetic, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say a word to encourage and inspire hope. —Testimonies for the Church 5:613.

 

In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless. —The Ministry of Healing, 62.

 

It is always humiliating to have one’s errors pointed out. None should make the experience more bitter by needless censure. No one was ever reclaimed by reproach; but many have thus been repelled, and have been led to steel their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. —The Ministry of Healing, 166.

 

The spirit of the good Samaritan has not been largely represented in our churches. Many in need of help have been passed by, as the priest and Levite passed by the wounded and bruised stranger who had been left to die by the wayside. The very ones who needed the power of the divine Healer to cure their wounds have been left uncared for and unnoticed. Many have acted as if it were enough to know that Satan had his trap all set for a soul, and they could go home and care not for the lost sheep. It is evident that those who manifest such a spirit have not been partakers of the divine nature, but of the attributes of the enemy of God. —Testimonies for the Church 6:294, 295.

 

If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. —Testimonies for the Church 9:189.

 

My brethren and sisters, visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness seek to reach their hearts. Be sure to work in a way that will remove prejudice instead of creating it. And remember that those who know the truth for this time and yet confine their efforts to their own churches, refusing to work for their unconverted neighbors, will be called to account for unfulfilled duties. —Testimonies for the Church 9:34, 35.

 

Present Jesus because you know Him as your personal Saviour. Let His melting love, His rich grace, flow forth from human lips. You need not present doctrinal points unless questioned. But take the Word, and with tender, yearning love for souls, show them the precious righteousness of Christ, to whom you and they must come to be saved. —Manuscript 27, 1895.

 

Christ was often heard singing hymns of praise; and yet I have heard persons say, “Christ never smiled.” How mistaken their ideas in regard to the Saviour! There was joy in His heart. We learn from the Word that there is joy among the heavenly angels over one repentant sinner, and that the Lord Himself rejoices over His church with singing. —The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902.

 

“But,” says one, “suppose we cannot gain admittance to the homes of the people; and if we do suppose they rise up against the truths that we present. Shall we not feel excused from making further efforts for them?” By no means. Even if they shut the door in your face, do not hasten away in indignation, and make no further effort to save them. Ask God in faith to give you access to those very souls. Cease not your efforts, but study and plan until you find some other means of reaching them. If you do not succeed by personal visits, try sending them the silent messenger of truth. There is so much pride of opinion in the human heart that our publications often gain admittance where the living messenger cannot. —Historical Sketches, 150.

 

The suffering and destitute of all classes are our neighbors, and when their wants are brought to our knowledge it is our duty to relieve them as far as possible. A principle is brought out in this parable of the good Samaritan that it would be well for the followers of Christ to adopt. First meet the temporal necessities of the needy and relieve their physical wants and sufferings, and you will then find an open avenue to the heart, where you may plant the good seeds of virtue and religion. —Testimonies for the Church 4:226, 227.

 

Medical missionary work brings to humanity the gospel of release from suffering. It is the pioneer work of the gospel. It is the gospel practiced; the compassion of Christ revealed. Of this work there is great need, and the world is open for it. God grant that the importance of medical missionary work shall be understood and that new fields may be immediately entered. —Manuscript 55, 1901.

 

All can do something. In an effort to excuse themselves, some say: “My home duties, my children, claim my time and my means.” Parents, your children should be your helping hand, increasing your power and ability to work for the Master. Children are the younger members of the Lord’s family. They should be led to consecrate themselves to God, whose they are by creation and by redemption. They should be taught that all their powers of body, mind, and soul are His. They should be trained to help in various lines of unselfish service. —Testimonies for the Church 7:62, 63.

 

The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah contains present truth for the people of God. Here we see how medical missionary work and the gospel ministry are to be bound together as the message is given to the world. Upon those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord is laid the responsibility of doing a work of mercy and benevolence. Medical missionary work is to be bound up with the message, and sealed with the seal of God. —Manuscript 22, 1901.

 

North, South, East, and West—Why has it not been understood from the Word of God that the work being done in medical missionary lines is a fulfillment of the scripture, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be full.” WM 121.4

 

To my ministering brethren I would say, Prosecute this work with tact and ability. Set to work the young men and the young women in our churches. Combine the medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel’s message. Make regular, organized efforts to lift the churches out of the dead level into which they have fallen, and have remained for years. Send into the church workers who will set the principles of health reform in their connection with the third angel’s message before every family and individual. Encourage all to take a part in work for their fellow men, and see if the breath of life will not quickly return to these churches. —Letter 54, 1898.

 

Medical Missionary and Gospel Workers Fanaticism

Teach the people that it is better to know how to keep well than to know how to cure disease. We should be wise educators, warning all against self-indulgence. As we see the wretchedness, deformity, and disease that have come into the world as a result of ignorance, how can we refrain from doing our part to enlighten the ignorant and relieve the suffering? —The Review and Herald, June 6, 1912.

 

Many of the views held by Seventh-day Adventists differ widely from those held by the world in general. Those who advocate an unpopular truth should, above all others, seek to be consistent in their own life. They should not try to see how different they can be from others, but how near they can come to those whom they wish to influence, that they may help them to the positions they themselves so highly prize. Such a course will commend the truths they hold. WM 128.4

 

When those who advocate hygienic reform carry the matter to extremes, people are not to blame if they become disgusted. Too often our religious faith is thus brought into disrepute, and in many cases those who witness such exhibitions of inconsistency can never afterward be brought to think that there is anything good in the reform. These extremists do more harm in a few months than they can undo in a lifetime. They are engaged in a work which Satan loves to see go on…. Narrow ideas and overstraining of small points have been a great injury to the cause of hygiene. —Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 55-57.

 

Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbors. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill-health, and their efforts to force their views upon others give many a false idea of dietetic reform and lead them to reject it altogether. WM 129.3

 

Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle will shun the extremes both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good. WM 129.4

 

There is a real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own. It is impossible to make an unvarying rule to regulate everyone’s habits, and no one should think himself a criterion for all. Not all can eat the same things. Foods that are palatable and wholesome to one person may be distasteful, and even harmful, to another. Some cannot use milk, while others thrive on it. Some persons cannot digest peas and beans; others find them wholesome. For some the coarser grain preparations are good food, while others cannot use them. —The Ministry of Healing, 318-320.

 

Do Not Wait—Workers—gospel medical missionaries—are needed now. You cannot afford to spend years in preparation. Soon doors now open to the truth will be forever closed. Carry the message now. Do not wait, allowing the enemy to take possession of the fields now open before you. Let little companies go forth to do the work to which Christ appointed His disciples. Let them labor as evangelists, scattering our publications, and talking of the truth to those they meet. Let them pray for the sick, ministering to their necessities, not with drugs, but with nature’s remedies, and teaching them how to regain health and avoid disease. —Testimonies for the Church 9:172. WM 133.1

 

In every large city there should be a corps of organized, well-disciplined workers; not merely one or two, but scores should be set to work. —Letter 34, 1892.

 

A Part of the Work of Every Church—Medical missionary work should have its representative in every place in connection with the establishment of our churches. —Manuscript 88, 1902.

 

In every city where we have a church there is need of a place where treatments can be given. Among the homes of our church members there are few that afford room and facilities for the proper care of the sick. A place should be provided where treatment may be given for common ailments. The building might be inelegant and even rude, but it should be furnished with facilities for giving simple treatments. —Testimonies for the Church 6:113.

 

The medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land. Disconnected from the church it would soon become a strange medley of disorganized atoms. It would consume, but not produce. Instead of acting as God’s helping hand to forward His truth, it would sap the life and force from the church and weaken the message. Conducted independently, it would not only consume talent and means needed in other lines, but in the very work of helping the helpless apart from the ministry of the word, it would place men where they would scoff at Bible truth. —Testimonies for the Church 6:289.

 

You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness, that it be not said of you, “Curse ye Meroz, … curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord.” Judges 5:23. —The General Conference Bulletin, April 12, 1901.

 

Gospel Order never complete without Medical Missionary

In every large city there should be a corps of organized, well-disciplined workers; not merely one or two, but scores should be set to work. —Letter 34, 1892.

 

A Part of the Work of Every Church—Medical missionary work should have its representative in every place in connection with the establishment of our churches. —Manuscript 88, 1902.

 

In every city where we have a church there is need of a place where treatments can be given. Among the homes of our church members there are few that afford room and facilities for the proper care of the sick. A place should be provided where treatment may be given for common ailments. The building might be inelegant and even rude, but it should be furnished with facilities for giving simple treatments. —Testimonies for the Church 6:113.

 

The medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land. Disconnected from the church it would soon become a strange medley of disorganized atoms. It would consume, but not produce. Instead of acting as God’s helping hand to forward His truth, it would sap the life and force from the church and weaken the message. Conducted independently, it would not only consume talent and means needed in other lines, but in the very work of helping the helpless apart from the ministry of the word, it would place men where they would scoff at Bible truth. —Testimonies for the Church 6:289.

 

You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness, that it be not said of you, “Curse ye Meroz, … curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord.” Judges 5:23. —The General Conference Bulletin, April 12, 1901.

 

Work of Women in the Movement

There certainly should be a larger number of women engaged in the work of ministering to suffering humanity, uplifting, educating them how to believe—simply to believe, in Jesus Christ our Saviour. And as souls give themselves to the Lord Jesus, making an entire surrender, they will understand the doctrine…. I am pained because our sisters in America are not more of them doing the work, they might do for the Lord Jesus. Abiding in Christ, they would receive courage and strength and faith for the work. Many women love to talk. Why can’t they talk the words of Christ to perishing souls? The more closely we are related to Christ, the heart learns the wretchedness of souls that do not know God, and who do not feel the dishonor they are doing to Christ who has bought them with a price. When the believing women shall feel the burden of souls, and burden of sins not their own, they will be working as Christ worked. They will consider no sacrifice too great to make to win souls to Christ. And everyone who has this love for souls, is born of God; they are ready to follow in His footsteps, and their words and voice would be talents employed in the Master’s service; the very nourishment coming from the parent stock to their own souls would flow out in distinct channels of love to souls who are withered and dried up. In this work is a constant education. The desire to be a blessing discovers the weakness and inefficiency of the worker. This drives the soul to God in prayer, and the Lord Jesus gives light and His Holy Spirit, and they understand that it is Christ who does the melting and breaking of the hard hearts. —Letter 133, 1898.

 

The Value of Organization—The work you Addressed to a woman of broad public experience who had joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. are doing to help our sisters feel their individual accountability to God is a good and necessary work. Long has it been neglected. But when this work is laid out in clear, simple, definite lines, we may expect that home duties, instead of being neglected, will be done much more intelligently. The Lord would have us ever to urge the worth of the human soul upon those who do not understand its value. If we can arrange to have regular, organized companies instructed intelligently in regard to the part they should act as servants of the Master, our churches will have a life and vitality that they have long needed. The excellency of the soul Christ has saved will be appreciated. Our sisters generally have a hard time with their increasing families and their unappreciated trials. I have so longed for women who could be educated to help our sisters rise from their discouragement and feel that they could do a work for the Lord. This is bringing rays of sunshine into their own lives, which are reflected into the hearts of others. God will bless you and all who unite with you in this grand work. —Letter 54, 1899.

 

The Lord Has a Work for Women—The Lord has a work for women as well as for men. They may take their places in His work at this crisis, and He will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they will have just the self-possession required for this time. The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and will give them a power that exceeds that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is needed. —The Review and Herald, August 26, 1902.

 

Women Have a High Destiny—Sisters, we may do a noble work for God if we will. Woman does not know her power. God did not intend that her capabilities should be all absorbed in questioning: What shall I eat? what shall I drink? and wherewithal shall I be clothed? There is a higher purpose for woman, a grander destiny. She should develop and cultivate her powers, for God can employ them in the great work of saving souls from eternal ruin. —Testimonies for the Church 4:642.

 

We may safely say that the dignity and importance of woman’s mission and distinctive duties are of a more sacred and holy character than the duties of man…. Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and, in the strength and fear of God, take up her mission. —Testimonies for the Church 3:565.

 

If we can impress upon the minds of our sisters the good which it is in their power to do through the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall see a large work accomplished. —Letter 119, 1898.

 

Women Called to Be Messengers of Mercy—We greatly need consecrated women who, as messengers of mercy, will visit the mothers and the children in their homes and help them in the everyday household duties, if need be, before beginning to talk to them regarding the truth for this time. You will find that by this method you will have souls as the result of your ministry. —The Review and Herald, July 12, 1906.

 

Why Stand Ye Idle? —The Lord of the vineyard is saying to many women who are now doing nothing, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” They may be instruments of righteousness, rendering holy service. It was Mary who first preached a risen Jesus; and the refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth now. If there were twenty women where now there is one who would make the saving of souls their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth. Zealous and continued diligence in the cause of God would be wholly successful, and would astonish them with its results. The work must be accomplished through patience and perseverance, and in this is manifested the real devotion to God. He calls for deeds, and not words only. The work of God is worthy of our best efforts…. Often, we are so wrapped up in our selfish interests that our hearts are not allowed to take in the needs and wants of humanity; we are lacking in deeds of sympathy and benevolence, in sacred and social ministering to the needy, the oppressed, and the suffering. —The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1886.

 

The Work to Be Done—Inaction and delicate idleness is weakening the life forces of young women. There are those who spend hours of precious time in bed, which is not blessing them with increase of strength or relieving others from burdens, but is bringing upon them debility and confirming them in wrong habits. These hours idled away needlessly in bed can never be regained. The sin of time thus lost is marked in the book of records. There is enough to do in this busy world of ours. There are enough in God’s great family who need sympathy and aid. If our own work does not demand our time, there are sick to be visited, the poor to be helped and encouraged. —The Health Reformer, June, 1873.

 

A Unique Place for Women in the Work—There is a wide field in which our sisters may do good service for the Master in the various branches of the work connected with His cause. Through missionary labor they can reach a class that our ministers cannot…. There is work neglected or done imperfectly that could be thoroughly accomplished by the help that sisters can give. There are so many kinds of work too laborious for women, which our brethren are called to engage in, that many branches of missionary work are neglected. Many things connected with different churches are left undone that women, if properly instructed, could attend to. Our sisters might serve as church clerks, and the church business would not be so sadly neglected. There are many other offices connected with the cause of God which our sisters are better qualified to fill than our brethren, and in which they might do efficient service. —The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878.

 

Missionary Correspondence—Women can do good work in the missionary field, by writing to friends, and learning their true feelings in relation to the cause of God. Very valuable items are brought to light through this means. The workers should not seek for self-exaltation, but to present the truth in its simplicity wherever they shall have an opportunity. —The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1886.

 

God’s Claim Upon Our Time and Money—We have no right, my Christian sisters, to waste our time, and give example to others who are less able than we to waste their time and energies upon needless ornaments, upon dress or furniture, or to indulge in superfluities in food. We have religious duties to perform, and if we neglect these duties, and give our time to needless things, we will dwarf the intellect and separate the affections from God. The Author of our existence has claims upon our time and our money. He has poor and suffering ones all around us that money may relieve, and cheering, encouraging words bless. Christ identifies Himself with the wants of suffering humanity. As you neglected to visit the widow and orphans tried in the furnace of affliction, suffering want and privation, you did not realize that Christ would mark the circumstances against you in the book of records, as though you had neglected Him. —The Health Reformer, June, 1873.

 

Engage in Personal Evangelism—A direct necessity is being met by the work of women who have given themselves to the Lord and are reaching out to help a needy, sin-stricken people. Personal evangelistic work is to be done. The women who take up this work carry the gospel to the homes of the people in the highways and the byways. They read and explain the word to families, praying with them, caring for the sick, relieving their temporal necessities. —Testimonies for the Church 6:118. WM 147.2 – WM 148.2

 

Sacred call of a woman

  • Who can have so deep a love for the souls of men and women for whom Christ has died, as those who are partakers of his grace? Who can represent the truth and the example of Christ better than Christian women who are practicing the truth in their earnest efforts to bring souls to the light? Who are so well adapted to be teachers in the Sabbath-school? With a heart imbued with the love of Christ, teaching the children of her class, praying with them and for them, she may see souls converted. The true mother is adapted to be the teacher of children. I do not recommend that woman should become a voter or an office-holder; but as a missionary, teaching the truth by epistolary correspondence, distributing tracts and soliciting subscribers for periodicals containing the solemn truth for this time, she may do very much. In conversing with families, in praying with the mother and children, she will be a blessing. Women can be instruments of righteousness, rendering holy service to God. It was Mary who first preached a risen Saviour. {GW92 383.2}

 

God calls for earnest women workers, workers who are prudent, warmhearted, tender, and true to principle. He calls for persevering women who will take their minds from self and their personal convenience, and will center them on Christ…. Will our sisters arise to the emergency? Will they work for the Master? —Testimonies for the Church 6:118.

 

Many a home is made very unhappy by the useless repining of its mistress, who turns with distaste from the simple, homely tasks of her unpretending domestic life. She looks upon the cares and duties of her lot as hardships, and that which through cheerfulness might be made not only pleasant and interesting but profitable, becomes the merest drudgery. She looks upon the slavery of her life with repugnance, and imagines herself a martyr. WM 151.3

 

The wife and mother who nobly overcomes difficulties under which others sink for want of patience and fortitude to persevere, not only becomes strong herself in doing her duty, but her experience in overcoming temptations and obstacles qualifies her to be an efficient help to others, both by words and example. Many who do well under favorable circumstances seem to undergo a transformation of character under adversity and trial; they deteriorate in proportion to their troubles. God never designed that we should be the sport of circumstances. —The Health Reformer, August, 1877.

 

When unkind, discouraging words are spoken to you, do not retaliate. Do not reply unless you can return a pleasant answer. Say to yourself, “I will not disappoint my Saviour.” The Christian woman is a gentlewoman. On her lips is ever the law of kindness. She utters no hasty words. To speak gentle words when you are irritated will bring sunshine into your hearts and make your path more smooth. A schoolgirl, when asked for a definition of meekness, said, “Meek people are those who give soft answers to rough questions.” Christ says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” They will be fit subjects for the kingdom of heaven, for they are willing to be taught. —The Review and Herald, April 7, 1904.

 

Do not treat life as a romance but as a reality. Perform your smallest duty in the fear and love of God, with faithfulness and cheerfulness. God declares, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” My brethren and sisters, do not pass by the little things to look for larger work. You might do successfully the small work but fail utterly in attempting a larger work, and fall into discouragement. Take hold wherever you see that there is a work to be done. It is by doing with your might what your hands find to do that you will develop talent and aptitude for large work. It is by slighting the daily opportunities, neglecting the little things, that so many become fruitless and withered. —The Review and Herald, August 26, 1902. WM 153.4

 

Every woman should develop a well-balanced mind and a pure character, reflecting only the true, the good, and the beautiful. The wife and mother may bind her husband and children to her heart by unvarying love, shown in gentle words and courteous deportment. Politeness is cheap, but it has power to soften natures which would grow hard and rough without it. Christian politeness should reign in every household. The cultivation of a uniform courtesy, a willingness to do by others as we would like them to do by us, would banish half the ills of life. —The Signs of the Times, August 15, 1906.

 

Let our sisters inquire, how shall I meet in the Judgment these souls with whom I have or should have become acquainted? Have I studied over their individual cases? Have I so acquainted myself with my Bible that I could open the Scriptures to them? … WM 155.2 – WM 155.3

 

Is it the work God has appointed you as His hired servants, to study the intricate, delicate patterns of embroidery and the many obscure points in this class of work for the purpose of mastering what someone else has done or to show what you can do? Is this the kind of labor that God will commend you in doing, which so absorbs your interest, your God-given time and talents, that you have no taste or education or aptitude for missionary labor? All this kind of work is hay, wood, and stubble, which the fires of the last day will consume. But where are your offerings to God? Where is your patient labor, your earnest zeal, that brings you into connection with Christ, bearing His yoke, lifting His burdens? Where are the gold, the silver, and the precious stones which you have laid upon the foundation stone, which the fires of the last day cannot consume, because they are imperishable? —The Review and Herald, May 31, 1887.

 

A truly converted woman will exert a powerful transforming influence for good. Connected with her husband, she may aid him in his work and become the means of encouragement and blessing to him. When the will and way are brought into subjection to the Spirit of God, there is no limit to the good that can be accomplished. —Manuscript 91, 1908.

 

It is woman’s right to look after the interest of her husband, to have a care for his wardrobe, and to seek to make him happy. It is her right to improve her mind and manners, to be social, cheerful, and happy, shedding sunshine in her family and making it a little heaven. And she may have an interest for more than “me and mine.” She should consider that society has claims upon her. —The Health Reformer, June, 1873.

 

Men and women are not fulfilling the design of God when they simply express affection for their own family circle, for their rich relatives and friends, while they exclude those from their love whom they could comfort and bless by relieving their necessities…. WM 159.1

 

Woman, if she wisely improves her time and her faculties, relying upon God for wisdom and strength, may stand on an equality with her husband as adviser, counselor, companion, and co-worker, and yet lose none of her womanly grace or modesty. She may elevate her own character, and just as she does this she is elevating and ennobling the characters of her family and exerting a powerful though unconscious influence upon others around her. —Good Health, June, 1880.

 

Women can learn what needs to be done to reach other women. There are women who are especially adapted for the work of giving Bible readings, and they are very successful in presenting the Word of God in its simplicity to others. They become a great blessing in reaching mothers and their daughters. This is a sacred work, and those engaged in it should receive encouragement. —Letter 108, 1910.

 

The sisters can do much to reach the heart and make it tender. Wherever you are, my sisters, work in simplicity. If you are in a home where there are children, show an interest in them. Let them see that you love them. If one is sick, offer to give him treatment; help the careworn, anxious mother to relieve her suffering child. —The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902.

 

Wives and mothers should in no case neglect their husbands and their children, but they can do much without neglecting home duties, and all have not these responsibilities. WM 164.2

 

Who can better represent the religion of Christ than Christian women, women who are earnestly laboring to bring souls to the light of truth? Who else is so well adapted to the work of the Sabbath school? The true mother is the true teacher of children. If with a heart imbued with the love of Christ, she teaches the children of her class, praying with them and for them, she may see souls converted and gathered into the fold of Christ. I do not recommend that woman should seek to become a voter or officeholder; but as a missionary, teaching the truth by epistolary correspondence, distributing reading matter, conversing with families and praying with the mother and children, she may do much and be a blessing. —The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1886.

 

Women should not feel that they are excused because of their domestic cares. They should become intelligent as to how they can work most successfully and methodically in bringing souls to Christ. If all would realize the importance of doing to the utmost of their ability in the work of God, having a deep love for souls, feeling the burden of the work upon them, hundreds would be engaged as active workers who have hitherto been dull and uninterested, accomplishing nothing, or at most but very little. WM 165.1

 

One may say, “I have no opportunity to obtain money, but I will set apart myself. I will educate and train myself that no opportunity shall be allowed to pass unimproved. I have always kept myself busy, but after all I have not felt a satisfaction in the way my time has been occupied. I see now as never before that very much of my time has been employed in doing nothing but those things that pleased myself. Now I desire to please God, and I will give a portion of my time in doing real service for the Master. I will visit the sick, I will train myself to have an interest and sympathy for the suffering ones, and I will add if possible, some favors to make them more comfortable. Through this means I can reach their hearts and speak a word as the servant of Jesus Christ. Thus, I can cultivate the art of ministering, and may win souls to Jesus.” Can you not see that Jesus will say, “Well done” to this line of ministry? —Letter 12, 1892.

 

Following Instructions in Working for the Poor

Two Classes to Care For—There are two classes of poor whom we have always within our borders—those who ruin themselves by their own independent course of action and continue in their transgression, and those who for the truth’s sake have been brought into straitened circumstances. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and then toward both these classes we shall do the right thing under the guidance and counsel of sound wisdom. There is no question in regard to the Lord’s poor. They are to be helped in every case where it will be for their benefit. God wants His people to reveal to a sinful world that He has not left them to perish. Special pains should be taken to help those who for the truth’s sake are cast out from their homes and are obliged to suffer. More and more there will be need of large, open, generous hearts, those who will deny self and will take hold of the cases of these very ones whom the Lord loves. The poor among God’s people must not be left without provision for their wants. Some way must be found whereby they may obtain a livelihood. Some will need to be taught to work. Others who work hard, and are taxed to the utmost of their ability to support their families, will need special assistance. We should take an interest in these cases and help them to secure employment. There should be a fund to aid such worthy poor families who love God and keep His commandments. WM 178.5 – WM 179.1

 

Care must be taken that the means needed for this work shall not be diverted into other channels. It makes a difference whether we help the poor who through keeping God’s commandments are reduced to want and suffering, or whether we neglect these in order to help blasphemers who tread underfoot the commandments of God. And God regards the difference. Sabbathkeepers should not pass by the Lord’s suffering, needy ones to take upon themselves the burden of supporting those who continue in transgression of God’s law, those who are educated to look for help to anyone who will sustain them. This is not the right kind of missionary work. It is not in harmony with the Lord’s plan. WM 179.2

 

Wherever a church is established its members are to do a faithful work for the needy believers. But they are not to stop here. They are also to aid others, irrespective of their faith. As the result of such effort some of these will receive the special truths for this time. WM 180.1

 

Through circumstances some who love and obey God become poor. Some are not careful; they do not know how to manage. Others are poor through sickness and misfortune. Whatever the cause they are in need, and to help them is an important line of missionary work. —Testimonies for the Church 6:269-271.

 

It has not always been regarded as a mark of inefficiency when through adverse circumstances pinching want has made it necessity for a brother to incur debts or suffer for food and clothing even though he was unable to lift these debts, struggle as hard as he might. A helping hand has been reached out to such ones, to place them upon their feet, free from embarrassment, that they might do their work in the vineyard of the Lord and not be oppressed with the thought that a cloud of debt was hanging over them. —Manuscript 34, 1894.

 

The Church to Bear the Burden—The churches that have the poor among them should not neglect their stewardship and throw the burden of the poor and sick upon the sanitarium. All the members of the several churches are responsible before God for their afflicted ones. They should bear their own burdens. If they have sick persons among them, whom they wish to be benefited by treatment, they should, if able, send them to the sanitarium. In doing this they will not only be patronizing the institution which God has established but will be helping those who need help, caring for the poor as God requires us to do. —Testimonies for the Church 4:551.

 

Search Out the Needs—Your good wishes we will thank you for, but the poor cannot keep comfortable on good wishes alone. They must have tangible proofs of your kindness in food and clothing. God does not mean that any of His followers should beg for bread. He has given you an abundance that you may supply those of their necessities which by industry and economy they are not able to supply. Do not wait for them to call your attention to their needs. Act as did Job. The thing that he knew not he searched out. Go on an inspecting tour and learn what is needed and how it can be best supplied. —Testimonies for the Church 5:151.

 

Help for New Converts out of Employment—In our benevolent work special help should be given to those who, through the presentation of the truth, are convicted and converted. We must have a care for those who have the moral courage to accept the truth, who lose their situations in consequence, and are refused work by which to support their families. Provision should be made to aid the worthy poor and to furnish employment for those who love God and keep His commandments. They should not be left without help, to feel that they are forced to work on the Sabbath or starve. Those who take their position on the Lord’s side are to see in Seventh-day Adventists a warmhearted, self-denying, self-sacrificing people, who cheerfully and gladly minister to their brethren in need. It is of this class especially that the Lord speaks when He says: “Bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.” Isaiah 58:7. —Testimonies for the Church 6:85.

 

Also ground must be purchased, that families that cannot obtain work in the cities because of the observance of the Sabbath may buy small farms and make their own living. This is a positive necessity in this country. Education must be given in regard to tilling the soil, and we must expect that the Lord will bless this effort. —Manuscript 23, 1894.

 

God does not require our brethren to take charge of every poor family that shall embrace this message. If they should do this, the ministers must cease to enter new fields, for the funds would be exhausted. Many are poor from their own lack of diligence and economy; they know not how to use means aright. If they should be helped, it would hurt them. Some will always be poor. If they should have the very best advantages, their cases would not be helped. They have not good calculation, and would use all the means they could obtain, were it much or little. The instructions given in the Word of God in regard to helping the poor do not touch such cases, but are for the unfortunate and afflicted. God in His providence has afflicted individuals to test and prove others. Widows and invalids are in the church to prove a blessing to the church. They are a part of the means which God has chosen to develop the true character of Christ’s professed followers and to call into exercise the precious traits of character manifested by our compassionate Redeemer. Many who can but barely live when they are single choose to marry and raise a family when they know they have nothing with which to support them. And worse than this, they have no family government. Their whole course in their family is marked with their loose, slack habits. They have but little control over themselves, and are passionate, impatient, and fretful. When such embrace the message, they feel that they are entitled to assistance from their more wealthy brethren; and if their expectations are not met, they complain of the church and accuse them of not living out their faith. Who must be the sufferers in this case? Must the cause of God be sapped, and the treasury in different places exhausted, to take care of these large families of poor? No. The parents must be the sufferers. They will not, as a general thing, suffer any greater lack after they embrace the Sabbath than they did before. WM 185.2 – WM 186.2

 

The more able should ever act a noble, generous part in their deal with their poorer brethren, and should also give them good advice, and then leave them to fight life’s battles through. But I was shown that a most solemn duty rests upon the church to have an especial care for the destitute widows, orphans, and invalids. —Testimonies for the Church 1:272-274.

 

Counsel Regarding a Balanced Work—Christ has not bidden us bestow all our labor and all our gifts upon the poor. We have a work to do in behalf of those who are fulfilling His commission, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The increase of the ministry will require an increase of means…. When you expend money consider, “Am I encouraging prodigality?” When you give to the poor and wretched consider, “Am I helping them, or hurting them?” …Think of the necessities of our mission fields throughout the world…. The present time is burdened with eternal interests. We are to unfurl the standard of truth before a world perishing in error. God calls for men to rally under Christ’s blood-stained banner, give the Bible to the people, multiply camp meetings in different localities, warn the cities, and send the warning far and near in the highways and byways of the world. —Manuscript 4, 1899.

 

By our churches there is a work to be done of which many have little idea, a work as yet almost untouched. “I was an hungred,” Christ says, “and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” Matthew 25:35, 36. Some think that if they give money to this work, it is all they are required to do, but this is an error. Donations of money cannot take the place of personal ministry. It is right to give our means, and many more should do this; but according to their strength and opportunities, personal service is required of all. WM 189.1

 

The work of gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute, is the very work which every church that believes the truth for this time should long since have been doing. We are to show the tender sympathy of the Samaritan in supplying physical necessities, feeding the hungry, bringing the poor that are cast out to our homes, gathering from God every day grace and strength that will enable us to reach to the very depths of human misery and help those who cannot possibly help themselves. In doing this work we have a favorable opportunity to set forth Christ the crucified One. —Testimonies for the Church 6:274-276.

 

In trying to help the poor, the despised, the forsaken, do not work for them mounted on the stilts of your dignity and superiority, for in this way you will accomplish nothing. Become truly converted, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart. We must set the Lord always before us. As servants of Christ keep saying, lest you forget it, “I am bought with a price.” WM 190.3

 

God calls not only for your benevolence but for your cheerful countenance, your hopeful words, the grasp of your hand. As you visit the Lord’s afflicted ones you will find some from whom hope has departed; bring back the sunshine to them. There are those who need the bread of life; read to them from the Word of God. Upon others there is a soul sickness that no earthly balm can reach or physician heal; pray for these, and bring them to Jesus. WM 190.4

 

Give the Right Kind of Help—Methods of helping the needy should be carefully and prayerfully considered. We are to seek God for wisdom, for He knows better than shortsighted mortals how to care for the creatures He has made. There are some who give indiscriminately to everyone who solicits their aid. In this they err. In trying to help the needy we should be careful to give them the right kind of help. There are those who when helped will continue to make themselves special objects of need. They will be dependent as long as they see anything on which to depend. By giving undue time and attention to these we may encourage idleness, helplessness, extravagance, and intemperance. WM 191.2

 

When we give to the poor we should consider, “Am I encouraging prodigality? Am I helping or injuring them?” No man who can earn his own livelihood has a right to depend on others. WM 191.3

 

The proverb, “The world owes me a living,” has in it the essence of falsehood, fraud, and robbery. The world owes no man a living who is able to work and gain a living for himself. But if one comes to our door and asks for food, we should not turn him away hungry. His poverty may be the result of misfortune. WM 192.1

 

We should help those who with large families to support have constantly to battle with feebleness and poverty. Many a widowed mother with her fatherless children is working far beyond her strength in order to keep her little ones with her and provide them with food and clothing. Many such mothers have died from overexertion. Every widow needs the comfort of hopeful, encouraging words, and there are very many who should have substantial aid. —Testimonies for the Church 6:227, 228.

 

Many not of our faith are longing for the very help that Christians are in duty bound to give. If God’s people would show a genuine interest in their neighbors, many would be reached by the special truths for this time. Nothing will or ever can give character to the work like helping the people just where they are. Thousands might today be rejoicing in the message if those who claim to love God and keep His commandments would work as Christ worked. —Testimonies for the Church 6:279, 280.

 

Men and women of God, persons of discernment and wisdom, should be appointed to look after the poor and needy, the household of faith first. These should report to the church and counsel as to what should be done. WM 194.1

 

Instead of encouraging the poor to think that they can have their eating and drinking provided free, or nearly so, we should place them where they can help themselves. We should endeavor to provide them with work, and if necessary, teach them how to work. Let the members of poor households be taught how to cook, how to make and mend their own clothing, how to care properly for the home. Let boys and girls be thoroughly taught some useful trade or occupation. We are to educate the poor to become self-reliant. This will be true help, for it will not only make them self-sustaining but will enable them to help others. —Testimonies for the Church 6:278, 279.

 

In Israel industrial training was regarded as a duty. Every father was required to teach his sons some useful trade. The greatest men in Israel were trained to industrial pursuits. A knowledge of the duties pertaining to housewifery was considered essential for every woman. And skill in these duties was regarded as an honor to women of the highest station. Various industries were taught in the schools of the prophets, and many of the students sustained themselves by manual labor…. The plan of life that God gave to Israel was intended as an object lesson for all mankind. If these principles were carried out today, what a different place this world would be! —The Ministry of Healing, 183-188.

 

Christian farmers can do real missionary work in helping the poor to find homes on the land and in teaching them how to till the soil and make it productive. Teach them how to use the implements of agriculture, how to cultivate various crops, how to plant and care for orchards. WM 197.5

 

Even the poorest can improve their surroundings by rising early and working diligently…. It is by diligent labor, by putting to the wisest use every capability, by learning to waste no time, that they will become successful in improving their premises and cultivating their land. —Testimonies for the Church 6:188, 189.

 

Missionary families are needed to settle in the waste places. Let farmers, financiers, builders, and those who are skilled in various arts and crafts go to neglected fields to improve the land, to establish industries, to prepare humble homes for themselves, and to help their neighbors. —The Ministry of Healing, 194.

 

We may err in making gifts to the poor which are not a blessing to them, leading them to feel that they need not exert themselves and practice economy, for others will not permit them to suffer. We should not give countenance to indolence or encourage habits of self-gratification by affording means for indulgence. —Historical Sketches, 293.

 

You may give to the poor, and injure them, because you teach them to be dependent. Instead, teach them to support themselves. This will be true help. The needy must be placed in positions where they can help themselves. —Manuscript 46, 1898.

 

The Word of God teaches that if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. The Lord does not require the hard-working man to support those who are not diligent. There is a waste of time, a lack of effort, which brings to poverty and want. If these faults are not seen and corrected by those who indulge them, all that might be done in their behalf is like putting treasure into a basket with holes. But there is an unavoidable poverty, and we are to manifest tenderness and compassion toward those who are unfortunate. —The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899.

 

If these poor brethren would take a humble course and be willing to be advised and counseled by their brethren, and then are brought into straitened places, their brethren should feel it their duty to cheerfully help them out of difficulty. But if they choose their own course and rely upon their judgment, they should be left to feel the full consequences of their unwise course, and learn by dear experience that “in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” God’s people should be subject one to another. They should counsel with each other, that the lack of one be supplied by the sufficiency of the other. —The Review and Herald, April 18, 1871.

 

Observe the Golden Rule—God often raises up someone who will shield the poor from being placed in positions that will be loss to them, even if it be given to their disadvantage. This is the duty of man toward his fellow man. To take advantage of a man’s ignorance because he cannot discern the outcome of a course of action is not right. It is the duty of his brother to personally set the matter plainly and faithfully before him, in all its bearings, lest he shall act blindly, and cripple the resources justly his. When men observe the golden rule, do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you, many difficulties now existing would be quickly adjusted. —Letter 85, 1896.

 

It’s the medical missionary work of Isaiah 58 that opened the way for the latter rain in 1888. The reason why it has been withheld is because the right arm of the third angel’s message is cut off and selfishness and ignorance of highest order exists in the religious world

 

Years ago, I was shown that God’s people would be tested upon this point of making homes for the homeless; that there would be many without homes in consequence of their believing the truth. Opposition and persecution would deprive believers of their homes, and it was the duty of those who had homes to open a wide door to those who had not. I have been shown more recently that God would specially test His professed people in reference to this matter. WM 211.1

 

I have heard many excuse themselves from inviting to their homes and hearts the saints of God. “Why, I have nothing prepared, I have nothing cooked; they must go to some other place.” And at that place there may be some other excuse invented for not receiving those who need hospitality, and the feelings of the visitors are deeply grieved, and they leave with unpleasant impressions in regard to the hospitality of these professed brethren and sisters. If you have no bread, sister, imitate the case brought to view in the Bible. Go to your neighbor and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.” We have not an example of this lack of bread ever being made an excuse to refuse entrance to an applicant. When Elijah came to the widow of Sarepta, she shared her morsel with the prophet of God, and he wrought a miracle, and caused that in that act of making a home for his servant, and sharing her morsel with him, she herself was sustained, and her life and that of her son preserved. Thus, will it prove in the case of many, if they do this cheerfully, for the glory of God. —Testimonies for the Church 2:27-29.

 

There may be great interest taken in the wholesale business of feeding the wretched class who are in poverty. All this I have no objection to, but it is a misdirected zeal if we pass by the cases of these who are of the household of faith and let their cry of distress come up to God because of suffering which we might alleviate, and in thus doing represent Jesus Christ in sympathy and love. The Lord has a controversy with us for this neglect. He cannot say to any man or woman, “Well done,” unless they have done well in representing the attributes of Christ—goodness, compassion, and love—to their fellow men. —Manuscript 34, 1894.

 

If you knew the circumstances of this brother, and did not make earnest efforts to relieve him, and change his oppression to freedom, you are not working the works of Christ, and are guilty before God. I write plainly, for, from the light given me of God, there is a class of work that is neglected. WM 210.3

 

If a selfish and unsympathizing spirit is allowed to exist in any of its members toward the unfortunate, the widow, the orphan, the blind, the lame, or those who are sick in body or mind, He will hide His face from His people until they do their duty and remove the wrong from among them. If any professing the name of Christ so far misrepresent their Saviour as to be unmindful of their duty to the afflicted, or if they in any way seek to advantage themselves to the injury of the unfortunate, and thus rob them of means, the Lord holds the church accountable for the sin of its members until they have done all they can to remedy the existing evil. He will not hearken to the prayer of His people while the orphan, the fatherless, the lame, the blind, and the sick are neglected among them. —Testimonies for the Church 3:517, 518.

 

Sin is not only what you do, but also what you don’t do

Christians are not excusable for permitting the widow’s cries and the orphan’s prayers to ascend to Heaven because of their suffering want while a liberal Providence has placed in the hands of these Christians abundance to supply their need. Let not the cries of the widow and fatherless call down the vengeance of Heaven upon us as a people. In the professed Christian world, there is enough expended in extravagant display, for jewels and ornaments, to supply the wants of all the hungry and clothe the naked in our towns and cities; and yet these professed followers of the meek and lowly Jesus need not deprive themselves of suitable food or comfortable clothing. What will these church members say when confronted in the day of God by the worthy poor, the afflicted, the widows and fatherless, who have known pinching want for the meager necessities of life, while there was expended by these professed followers of Christ, for superfluous clothing and needless ornaments expressly forbidden in the Word of God, enough to supply all their wants? —The Review and Herald, November 21, 1878.

 

Judged by What They Did Not Do—There are orphans that should be cared for; but some will not venture to undertake this, for it would bring them more work than they care to do, leaving them but little time to please themselves. But when the King shall make investigation these do-nothing, illiberal, selfish souls will learn that heaven is for those who have been workers, those who have denied themselves for Christ’s sake. No provisions have been made for those who have ever taken such special care in loving and looking out for themselves. The terrible punishment the King threatened those on His left hand, in this case, is not because of their great crimes. They are not condemned for the things which they did do, but for that which they did not do. You did not do those things Heaven assigned you to do. You pleased yourself, and can take your portion with self-pleasers. —Testimonies for the Church 2:27.

 

Many who have no children of their own could do a good work in caring for the children of others. Instead of giving attention to pets, lavishing affection upon dumb animals, let them give their attention to little children, whose characters they may fashion after the divine similitude. Place your love upon the homeless members of the human family. See how many of these children you can bring up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Many would thus be greatly benefited themselves. —The Ministry of Healing, 203, 204.

 

When fathers and mothers die and leave their children unprovided for, the orphans should be cared for by the church. Open your hearts, you that have the love of God, and take them into your homes. —Manuscript 105, 1899.

 

To care for these needy ones is a good work; yet in this age of the world the Lord does not give us as a people directions to establish large and expensive institutions for this purpose. If, however, there are among us individuals who feel called of God to establish institutions for the care of orphan children, let them follow out their convictions of duty. But in caring for the world’s poor, they should appeal to the world for support. They are not to draw upon the people to whom the Lord has given the most important work ever given to men, the work of bringing the last message of mercy before all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. The Lord’s treasury must have a surplus to sustain the work of the gospel in “regions beyond.” WM 229.3

 

Let those who feel the burden of establishing these institutions have wise solicitors to present their necessities and raise funds. Let the people of the world be aroused, let the denominational churches be canvassed by men who feel the necessity that something be done in behalf of the poor and orphans. In every church there are those who fear God. Let these be appealed to, for to them God has given this work…. WM 230.1

 

The design of an orphans’ home should be not merely to provide the children with food and clothing but to place them under the care of Christian teachers, who will educate them in the knowledge of God and His Son. Those who work in this line should be men and women who are largehearted and inspired with enthusiasm at the cross of Calvary. They should be men and women who are cultured and self-sacrificing, who will work as Christ worked for the cause of God and the cause of humanity. —Testimonies for the Church 6:286, 287.

 

Such institutions, to be most effective, should be modeled as closely as possible after the plan of a Christian home. Instead of large establishments, bringing great numbers together, let there be small institutions in different places. Instead of being in or near some town or large city, they should be in the country, where land can be secured for cultivation and the children can be brought into contact with nature and can have the benefits of industrial training. WM 230.3

 

Any Seventh-day Adventist who supposes that in himself he is a complete whole, and that he can at all times safely follow his own mind and judgment, is not to be trusted; for he is not walking in the light as Christ is in the light. There will be many who have not a correct sense of what they are doing. Men need clear ideas, deep spirituality. In His service God desires every man to move sensibly, weighing the motives prompting his movements. —Manuscript 26, 1902.

 

Heavenly intelligences are looking on, and when, imbued with zeal for Christ’s honor, we place ourselves in the channel of God’s providence, these heavenly messengers will impart to us a new spiritual power, so that we shall be able to combat difficulties and triumph over obstacles. —Testimonies for the Church 6:284, 285.

 

KJV James 4:17

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

Special Work for the Children

There is a special work to be done for the children more advanced in years. Let families of our faith who in the churches can do so, adopt these little ones, and they will receive a blessing in so doing. —Letter 205, 1899.

 

There are persons who have no little ones of their own, who may do good by adopting children. Those who have not the sacred responsibility of proclaiming the Word and laboring directly for the salvation of souls, have duties in other lines of work. If they are consecrated to God, and are qualified to mold and fashion human minds, the Lord will bless them in caring for the children of others. WM 232.2

 

But let the children of believers have our first consideration. There are among Sabbathkeepers very many large families of children that are not properly cared for. Many parents give evidence that they have not learned of Christ the lessons that would make them safe guardians of children. Their children do not receive proper training. And there are among us many children whom death has deprived of the parents’ care. There are those who might take some of these children and seek to mold and fashion their characters according to Bible principles. —Manuscript 35, 1896.

 

Counsel to a Childless Couple—You have not felt that it was required of you to be interested in others, to make their cases your own, and to manifest an unselfish interest for the very ones who stand most in need of help. You have not reached out to help the most needy, the most helpless. Had you children of your own to call into exercise care, affection, and love, you would not be so much shut up to yourselves and to your own interests. If those who have no children, and whom God has made stewards of means, would expand their hearts to care for children who need love, care, and affection, and assistance with this world’s goods, they would be far happier than they are today. So long as youth who have not a father’s pitying care nor a mother’s tender love are exposed to the corrupting influences of these last days, it is somebody’s duty to supply the place of father and mother to some of them. Learn to give them love, affection, and sympathy. WM 233.1 – WM 233.2

 

All who profess to have a Father in heaven, who they hope will care for them, and finally take them to the home He has prepared for them, ought to feel a solemn obligation resting upon them to be friends to the friendless and fathers to the orphans, to aid the widows and be of some practical use in this world by benefiting humanity. Many have not viewed these things in a right light. If they live merely for themselves, they will have no greater strength than this calls for. —Testimonies for the Church 2:328, 329.

 

The question of adopting a child, especially an infant, involves most serious responsibility. It should not be lightly regarded…. The question for each to settle is, In doing this shall I be merely gratifying my own wishes, or is it a duty the Lord has appointed for me? Is this His way, or a way of my own choosing? All are to be workers for God. Not one is excused. Your talents are not your own, to employ as you shall fancy. Inquire, What would the Lord have me do with His entrusted talents? —Manuscript 35, 1896.

 

Examine the Motives—We need carefully to search our hearts and study our motives. Selfishness may prompt the desire to do what appears to be an unselfish and praiseworthy act. The reason that many urge for desiring to adopt a child, the longing for something on which to center their affection, reveals the fact that their heart is not centered upon Christ; it is not absorbed in His work. —Manuscript 35, 1896.

 

Shall Ministers Adopt Children—The question has been asked whether a minister’s wife should adopt infant children. I answer: If she has no inclination or fitness to engage in missionary work outside her home, and feels it her duty to take orphan children and care for them, she may do a good work. But let the choice of children be first made from among those who have been left orphans by Sabbathkeeping parents. God will bless men and women as they with willing hearts share their homes with these homeless ones. But if the minister’s wife can herself act a part in the work of educating others, she should consecrate her powers to God as a Christian worker. She should be a true helper to her husband, assisting him in his work, improving her intellect, and helping to give the message. The way is open for humble, consecrated women, dignified by the grace of Christ, to visit those in need of help and shed light into discouraged souls. They can lift up the bowed down by praying with them and pointing them to Christ. Such should not devote their time and strength to one helpless little mortal that requires constant care and attention. They should not thus voluntarily tie their hands. —Testimonies for the Church 6:285.

 

Perhaps God Has Withheld This Blessing—A well-ordered, well-disciplined family will have a powerful influence for good. But if you have no children of your own, it may be that the Lord has a wise purpose in withholding from you this blessing. It should not be taken as evidence that it is your duty to adopt a child. In some cases this might be advisable. If the Lord bids you take an infant to bring up, then the duty is too plain to be misunderstood. But as a rule it would not be wise for a minister’s wife to encumber herself with such a responsibility…. WM 235.1

 

If the companion of a minister is united with her husband in the work of saving souls, it is the highest work she can do. But the care of a little child would absorb her attention, so that she could not attend meetings and labor successfully in visiting and personal effort. Even if she accompanies her husband, the child is too often the burden of thought and conversation, and the visit is made of no effect. Those whom God has called to be colaborers with Him are to have no idols to absorb thought and affection that He would have directed in other lines. —Manuscript 35, 1896.

 

Great consideration must be exercised in the work that we undertake. We are not to assume large burdens in the care of infant children. This work is being done by others. We have a special work in caring for and educating the children more advanced in years. Let families who can do so adopt the little ones, and they will receive a blessing in so doing. —Testimonies for the Church 6:246, 247.

 

The Care for the Aged

The matter of caring for our aged brethren and sisters who have no homes is constantly being urged. What can be done for them? The light which the Lord has given me has been repeated: It is not best to establish institutions for the care of the aged, that they may be in a company together. Nor should they be sent away from home to receive care. Let the members of every family minister to their own relatives. When this is not possible the work belongs to the church, and it should be accepted both as a duty and as a privilege. All who have Christ’s spirit will regard the feeble and aged with special respect and tenderness. —Testimonies for the Church 6:272.

 

So far as possible let those whose whitening heads and failing steps show that they are drawing near to the grave remain among friends and familiar associations. Let them worship among those whom they have known and loved. Let them be cared for by loving and tender hands…. WM 237.3

 

Men should not be employed to give their time and talents to the work of bringing the aged or the orphans together into a company to be fed and clothed. This is not the best way to manage these cases…. Nor is it best to erect buildings for old men and old women, that they may be in a company together. Let them be helped in the very places where they can be helped. Let relations take care of their own poor relations, and let the church take care of its own needy members. This is the very work God would have the church do, and they will obtain a blessing in doing it. —Manuscript 44, 1900. WM 238.2 – WM 238.3

 

It is dangerous to set young men and young women at work among the abandoned classes. They are placed where they come in contact with every form of impurity, and Satan uses this opportunity to compass their ruin. Thus far more is lost than these workers save. Many of the efforts made for the abandoned result in the loss of the purity of the workers. Those who are engaged in visiting the houses of prostitution place themselves in terrible temptation. This work is always dangerous. It is a scheme of the devil to lead souls into temptation and lustful practices. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.”

The farther young men and young women keep away from the corrupted and corrupting elements in this world, the better and safer will be their future experience. Medical missionary workers should be cleansed, refined, purified, and elevated. They should stand upon the platform of eternal truth. But I have been instructed that the truth has not been made to appear in its true bearing. The result that is worked out tends to corrupt minds; the sacred is not distinguished from the common. —Letter 162, 1900.

 

Guard the Work Sacredly—Many things have been presented to me. I was shown that there is a work to be done for the most depraved class, but that this matter must be most carefully guarded, so that the labor put forth shall not be in vain. Young men and young women should not be exposed, as many have been, in meeting the abandoned classes. Decided restraints are to be made, for there are positive dangers to be met. There is need of sacredly guarding the work. In the work for the lower class the strongest precautions should be observed. There are many who should not go into the large cities to work for the most depraved. —Manuscript 17, 1901.

 

I must speak plainly in regard to some things which must be guarded. We should not enter into the work of maintaining homes for abandoned women or for infants. This responsibility might better be borne by families, who should care for those who need help in these lines. —Letter 11, 1900.

 

The Lord does not give us direction to erect buildings for the care of babies, although this is a good work, but it is not the work for the present time. Let the world do all it will in this line. Our time and means must be invested in a different line of work. We are to carry the last message of mercy in the very best way to reach those in the churches who are hungering and praying for light. —Letter 232, 1899.

 

Turn to Fields Ready to Harvest—This work is being made the all-absorbing work, but this is not in God’s order. It is a never-ending work, and if it is carried on as it has been in the past, all the power of God’s people will be required to counterbalance it, and the work of preparing a people to stand amid the perils of the last days will never be done.

Our work is to put on the armor and make aggressive warfare. Laborers are not to be encouraged to work in the slums and filth of the cities, where they will only secure converts who need watching, and that continually. There are fields all ripe for harvest, and all the time and money is not to be devoted to gathering in those who through indulgence of appetite have trained themselves in pollution. Some of these may be saved. And there are those who can labor in the lowest places of the earth without becoming deteriorated in character. But it is not safe to give young men and young women this class of work to do. The experiment would be a dear one. Thus those who could work in the highways would be disqualified for work of any kind….Men’s feelings may become deeply moved as they see human beings suffering as the result of their own course of action. There are those who are specially impressed to come into direct contact with this class, and the Lord gives them a commission to work in the worst places of the earth, doing what they can to redeem outcasts and place them where they will be under the care of the church. But the Lord has not called Seventh-day Adventists to make this work a specialty. He would not have them in this work engross many workers or exhaust the treasury. —Manuscript 16, 1900.

 

Constant work is to be done for the outcasts, but this work is not to be made all-absorbing…. No one should now visit our churches and in the present pressure obtain from them means to sustain the work of rescuing outcasts. The means to sustain that work should come, and will come, largely from those not of our faith. Let the churches take up their appointed work of presenting truth from the oracles of God in the highways. —Letter 138, 1898.

 

The Lord does not lay upon His people all the burden of laboring for a class so hardened by sin that many of them will neither be benefited themselves nor benefit others. If there are men who can take up the work for the most degraded, if God lays upon them a burden to labor for the masses in various ways, let these go forth and gather from the world the means required for doing this work. Let them not depend on the means which God intends shall sustain the work of the third angel’s message. —Testimonies for the Church 6:246.

 

Nations Waiting for the Light—To those who suppose that the Lord has given them the work of caring for the promiscuous mass of outcasts, who have ruined themselves, many of whom will continue to do as they have done in the past, at the same time subsisting on means given them by Seventh-day Adventists, the Lord says, Who gave you this work? There are peoples and nations yet to receive the light of truth for this time. The gospel message is to be exalted and is to become far reaching. In every place where the message is proclaimed, missionary workers are to go forth with their Bibles in their hands. Souls are to be converted and established in the truth. A meetinghouse is to be built. Light is to shine forth from the believers, who are to be as a city set on a hill. The church is to be in that place a witness to what the truth can do. —Letter 41, 1900.

 

In the place of shifting your responsibility upon someone whom you think more richly endowed than you are, work according to your ability. —The Desire of Ages, 370.

 

The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ, the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life. —The Desire of Ages, 369, 371.

 

There is a fearfulness to venture out and to run risks in this great work, fearing that the expenditure of means would not bring returns. What if means are used, and yet we cannot see that souls have been saved by it? What if there is a dead loss of a portion of our means? Better work and keep at work than to do nothing. You know not which shall prosper, this or that. Men will invest in patent rights and meet with heavy losses, and it is taken as a matter of course. But in the work and cause of God, men are afraid to venture. Money seems to them to be a dead loss that does not bring immediate returns when invested in the work of saving souls. The very means that is now so sparingly invested in the cause of God, and that is selfishly retained, will, in a little while, be cast with all idols to the moles and to the bats. Money will soon depreciate in value very suddenly when the reality of eternal scenes opens to the senses of man. WM 266.1

 

God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God. There must be workers now who will push ahead in the dark as well as in the light, and who will hold up bravely under discouragements and disappointed hopes, and yet work on with faith, with tears and patient hope, sowing beside all waters, trusting the Lord to bring the increase. God calls for men of nerve, of hope, faith, and endurance, to work to the point. —The True Missionary, January, 1874.

 

The Lord God of heaven calls upon men to put away their idols, to cut off every extravagant desire, to indulge in nothing that is simply for display and parade, and to study economy in purchasing garments and furniture. Do not expend one dollar of God’s money in purchasing needless articles. Your money means the salvation of souls. Then let it not be spent for gems, for gold, or precious stones…. WM 267.1

 

You may give thousands of dollars to the cause, and yet that extra dollar, that extra pound, is called for. Every pound is needed, every shilling can be put to use, and invested in such a way as to bring you imperishable treasure. My dear friends, who love God and would serve Him with wholeheartedness, I entreat of you that you ask yourselves when you are spending money in purchasing goods, “Am I glorifying God, or am I simply gratifying a human desire? Shall I invest this money which I hold in my hand to please myself, to make gifts to my children, or to my friends, or shall I be a co-worker with Christ, a pattern to all who are studying to glorify God?” The rule is given us, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”—Letter 90, 1895.

 

A Thank Offering for the Poor—In every church there should be established a treasury for the poor. Then let each member present a thank offering to God once a week or once a month, as is most convenient. This offering will express our gratitude for the gifts of health, of food, and of comfortable clothing. And according as God has blessed us with these comforts will we lay by for the poor, the suffering, and the distressed. I would call the attention of our brethren specially to this point. Remember the poor. Forgo some of your luxuries, yea, even comforts, and help those who can obtain only the most meager food and clothing. In doing for them you are doing for Jesus in the person of His saints. He identifies Himself with suffering humanity. Do not wait until your imaginary wants are all satisfied. Do not trust to your feelings and give when you feel like it and withhold when you do not feel like it. Give regularly, either ten, twenty, or fifty cents a week, as you would like to see upon the heavenly record in the day of God. —Testimonies for the Church 5:150, 151.

 

A Self-denial Box at Home—Let everyone have a self-denial box in his home, and when he would spend pennies and shillings in self-gratification let him remember the needy and starving in Africa and India and those close by his own door. There are poor among us. Practice economy, and in every line present your case to God. Ask Him to give you the spirit of Christ, that you may be in every sense of the word Christ’s disciples and receive His blessing. As you turn from the worship of self and try to relieve suffering humanity, pray that God will give you a true missionary work to do for souls. Then those who come to worship in the house of God will see a people clothed in modest apparel in harmony with the faith and Word of God. It is these things that steal away the love and trust and confidence of God’s people in Him, that mar the religious experience and develop a selfishness that God cannot look upon. —Manuscript 52, 1898.

 

The Second Tithe—To promote the assembling of the people for religious service, as well as to provide for the poor, a second tithe of all the increase was required. Concerning the first tithe, the Lord had declared, “I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel,” But in regard to the second He commanded, “Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.” This tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the place where the sanctuary was established. After presenting a thank offering to God and a specified portion to the priest, the offerers were to use the remainder for a religious feast, in which the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow should participate….Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, “That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.” This tithe would provide a fund for the uses of charity and hospitality. —Patriarchs and Prophets, 530.

 

Aided From Special Contributions, Not Regular Church Income—In the sixth chapter of Acts we are shown how when men were to be selected to fill positions in the church, the matter was brought before the Lord, and most earnest prayer was offered for guidance. The widows and fatherless were to be supported by contributions from the church. Their wants were not to be relieved by the church but by special donations. The tithe was to be consecrated to the Lord, and was always to be used for the support of the ministry. Men must be chosen to oversee the work of caring for the poor, to look after the proper distribution of the means in hand, that none among the believers should suffer for the necessaries of life. —Letter 9, 1899.

 

Although God had promised greatly to bless His people, it was not His design that poverty should be wholly unknown among them. He declared that the poor should never cease out of the land. There would ever be those among His people who would call into exercise their sympathy, tenderness, and benevolence. Then, as now, persons were subject to misfortune, sickness, and loss of property; yet so long as they followed the instruction given by God, there were no beggars among them, neither any who suffered for food. —Patriarchs and Prophets, 530, 531.

 

Seeking financial aid for sanitarium from unbelievers

To Receive from Outside Sources—God will open the way for us from sources outside our own people. I cannot see how anyone can take exceptions to the receiving of gifts from those not of our faith. They can only do so by taking extreme views and by creating issues which they are not authorized to do. —Special Testimonies, Series A 3:43

 

God Moves Upon Unbelievers to Help—You inquire with respect to the propriety of receiving gifts from Gentiles or the heathen. The question is not strange; but I would ask you, Who is that owns our world? Who are the real owners of houses and lands? Is it not God? He has an abundance in our world which He has placed in the hands of men, by which the hungry might be supplied with food, the naked with clothing, the homeless with homes. The Lord would move upon worldly men, even idolaters, to give of their abundance for the support of the work, if we would approach them wisely and give them an opportunity of doing those things which it is their privilege to do. What they would give we should be privileged to receive. We should become acquainted with men in high places, and by exercising the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove we might obtain advantage from them, for God would move upon their minds to do many things in behalf of His people. If proper persons would set before those who have means and influence, the needs of the work of God in a proper light, these men might do much to advance the cause of God in our world. We have put away from us privileges and advantages that we might have had the benefit of, because we chose to stand independent of the world. But we need not sacrifice one principle of truth while taking advantage of every opportunity to advance the cause of God. —Special Testimonies, Series A 3:29, 30

 

Call Upon Great and Good Men to Help Us—There is a world to be warned, and we have been very delicate about calling upon rich men, either church members or worldlings, to aid us in the work. We would that all professed Christians stood with us. We would that their souls might be drawn out in liberality in aiding us in building up the kingdom of God in our world. We should call upon great and good men to help us in our Christian endeavor work. They should be invited to second our efforts in seeking to save that which is lost. —The Origin and Development of the Thanksgiving Plan, 5.

 

Such Gifts Not to Be Refused—When we show to the world, to angels, and to men that the prosperity of the cause of God is our first consideration, God will bless us. Sometimes He works through unbelievers, and unexpected relief comes. The Lord puts it into the hearts of men to help. The means coming in this way is not to be refused. When means comes from unbelievers it is to be used by the human agent to honor God. Every spiritually-minded, wholehearted giver will rightly apply every God-entrusted talent. WM 277.4 – WM 279.2

 

There are stored up in the earth large treasures of gold and silver. Men’s riches have accumulated. Go to these men with a heart filled with love for Christ and suffering humanity and ask them to help you in the work you are trying to do for the Master. As they see that you reveal the sentiments of God’s benevolence, a chord will be touched in their hearts. They will realize that they can be Christ’s helping hand by doing medical missionary work. They will be led to cooperate with God, to provide the facilities necessary to set in operation the work that needs to be done. —Manuscript 40, 1901. WM 280.2

 

The Lord calls upon those who are in positions of trust, those to whom He has entrusted His precious gifts, to use their talents of intellect and means in His service. Our workers should present before these men a plain statement of our plan of labor, telling them what we need in order to help the poor and needy and to establish this work on a firm basis. Some of these will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to invest the Lord’s means in a way that will advance His cause. They will fulfill His purpose by helping to create centers of influence in the large cities. —Testimonies for the Church 7:112.

 

Why not ask the Gentiles for assistance? I have received instruction that there are men and women in the world who have sympathetic hearts, and who will be touched with compassion as the needs of suffering humanity are presented before them….The matter has been presented to me in this light. Our work is to be aggressive. The money is the Lord’s, and if the wealthy are approached in the right way, the Lord will touch their hearts and impress them to give of their means. God’s money is in the hands of these men, and some of them will heed the request for help. Talk this over, and do all in your power to secure gifts. We are not to feel that it would not be the thing to ask men of the world for means, for it is just the thing to do. This plan was opened before me as a way of coming in touch with wealthy men of the world. Through this means not a few will become interested, and may hear and believe the truth for this time. —Stewardship Series, no. 1, 15, 16.

 

How to appeal to unbelievers to aid in medical missionary work

Persons of this class are often the most difficult of access, but Christ will open ways whereby they may be reached. Let the wisest, the most trustful, the most hopeful laborers seek for these souls. With the wisdom and tact born of divine love, with the refinement and courtesy that result alone from the presence of Christ in the soul, let them work for those who, dazzled by the glitter of earthly riches, see not the glory of the heavenly treasure. Let the workers study the Bible with them, pressing sacred truth home to their hearts. Read to them the words of God: “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 9:23, 24; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 4:19. Such an appeal, made in the spirit of Christ, will not be thought impertinent. It will impress the minds of many in the higher classes. WM 282.3 – WM 283.1

 

By efforts put forth in wisdom and love, many a rich man may be awakened to a sense of his responsibility and his accountability to God. When it is made plain that the Lord expects them as His representatives to relieve suffering humanity, many will respond and will give of their means and their sympathy for the benefit of the poor. When their minds are thus drawn away from their own selfish interests, many will be led to surrender themselves to Christ. With their talents of influence and means they will gladly unite in the work of beneficence with the humble missionary who was God’s agent in their conversion. By a right use of their earthly treasure they will lay up “a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” They will secure for themselves the treasure that wisdom offers, even “durable riches and righteousness.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:256-258.

 

Peril of Making Financial Gain in Sale of Food the Primary Objective—

Light was also given that in the cities there would be opportunity to do a work similar to that which we did on the Battle Creek fair grounds. In harmony with this light, hygienic restaurants have been established. But there is grave danger that our restaurant workers will become so imbued with the spirit of commercialism that they will fail to impart the light which the people need. Our restaurants bring us in contact with many people, but if we allow our minds to be engrossed with the thought of financial profit, we shall fail to fulfill the purpose of God. He would have us take advantage of every opportunity to present the truth that is to save men and women from eternal death. —Manuscript 27, 1906.

 

Opportunities in Large Gatherings—I was given instruction that as we approach the end there will be large gatherings in our cities, as there has recently been in St. Louis, and that preparations must be made to present the truth at these gatherings. When Christ was upon this earth He took advantage of such opportunities. Wherever a large number of people were gathered for any purpose, His voice was heard, clear and distinct, giving His message. And as a result, after His crucifixion and ascension, thousands were converted in a day. The seed sown by Christ sank deep into hearts, and germinated, and when the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the harvest was gathered in….At every large gathering some of our ministers should be in attendance. They should work wisely to obtain a hearing and to get the light of the truth before as many as possible….We should improve every such opportunity as that presented by the St. Louis Fair. At all similar gatherings there should be present men whom God can use. Leaflets containing the light of present truth should be scattered among the people like the leaves of autumn. To many who attend these gatherings these leaflets would be as the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations. —Letter 296, 1904.

 

Evil ways of raising and using money in our churches

Lust of Appetite and Love of Pleasure the Wrong Money-raising Appeal—We see the churches of our day encouraging feasting, gluttony, and dissipation, by the suppers, fairs, dances, and festivals gotten up for the purpose of gathering means into the church treasury. Here is a method invented by carnal minds to secure means without sacrificing. Such an example makes an impression upon the minds of youth. They notice that lotteries and fairs and games are sanctioned by the church, and they think there is something fascinating in this way of obtaining means.…Let us stand clear of all these church corruptions, dissipations, and festivals, which have a demoralizing influence upon young and old. We have no right to throw over them the cloak of sanctity because the means is to be used for church purposes. Such offerings are lame and diseased and bear the curse of God. They are the price of souls. The pulpit may defend festivals, dancing, lotteries, fairs, and luxurious feasts, to obtain means for church purposes, but let us participate in none of these things; for if we do, God’s displeasure will be upon us. We do not propose to appeal to the lust of appetite or resort to carnal amusements as an inducement to Christ’s professed followers to give of the means which God has entrusted to them. If they do not give willingly, for the love of Christ, the offering will in no case be acceptable to God. —The Review and Herald, November 21, 1878.

 

The Church Is Desecrated—When money is raised for religious purposes, to what means do many churches resort? To bazaars, suppers, fancy fairs, even to lotteries and like devices. Often the place set apart for God’s worship is desecrated by feasting and drinking, buying, selling, and merrymaking. Respect for the house of God and reverence for His worship are lessened in the minds of the youth. The barriers of self-restraint are weakened. Selfishness, appetite, the love of display, are appealed to, and they strengthen as they are indulged. —Testimonies for the Church 9:91.

 

How Are Unbelievers Impressed? —And what impression is made upon the minds of unbelievers? The holy standard of the Word of God is lowered into the dust. Contempt is cast upon God and upon the Christian name. The most corrupt principles are strengthened by this un-Scriptural way of raising means. And this is as Satan would have it. Men are repeating the sin of Nadab and Abihu. They are using common instead of sacred fire in the service of God. The Lord accepts no such offerings. All these methods for bringing money into His treasury are an abomination to Him. It is a spurious devotion that prompts all such devising. O what blindness, what infatuation, is upon many who claim to be Christians! Church members are doing as did the inhabitants of the world in the days of Noah, when the imagination of their hearts was only evil continually. All who fear God will abhor such practices as a misrepresentation of the religion of Jesus Christ. —The Review and Herald, December 8, 1896.

 

Giving for Selfish Considerations—In professedly Christian gatherings Satan throws a religious garment over delusive pleasures and unholy revelings to give them the appearance of sanctity, and the consciences of many are quieted because means are raised to defray church expenses. Men refuse to give for the love of God, but for the love of pleasure and the indulgence of appetite for selfish considerations they will part with their money. WM 290.4

 

Is it because there is not power in the lessons of Christ upon benevolence, and in His example, and the grace of God upon the heart to lead men to glorify God with their substance, that such a course must be resorted to in order to sustain the church? The injury sustained to the physical, mental, and moral health in these scenes of amusement and gluttony is not small. And the day of final reckoning will show souls lost through the influence of these scenes of gaiety and folly. WM 291.1

 

The plan of Moses in the wilderness to raise means was highly successful. There was no compulsion necessary. Moses made no grand feast. He did not invite the people to scenes of gaiety, dancing, and general amusement. Neither did he institute lotteries or anything of this profane order to obtain means to erect the tabernacle of God in the wilderness. God commanded Moses to invite the children of Israel to bring the offerings. Moses was to accept gifts of every man that gave willingly from his heart. These freewill offerings came in so great abundance that Moses proclaimed it was enough. They must cease their presents, for they had given abundantly, more than they could use. WM 291.3

 

How does God look upon churches that are sustained by such means? Christ cannot accept these offerings, because they were not given through their love and devotion to Him but through their idolatry of self. But what many would not do for the love of Christ they will do for the love of delicate luxuries to gratify the appetite and for love of worldly amusements to please the carnal heart. —The Review and Herald, October 13, 1874.

 

How to tone our blood and Remedy all diseases without money

How Welfare Work Induces Health—The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health. —Testimonies for the Church 4:56. WM 303.1

 

The sympathy which exists between the mind and the body is very great. When one is affected the other responds. The condition of the mind has much to do with the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, under a consciousness of rightdoing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it will create a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood and a toning up of the entire body. The blessing of God is a healer, and those who are abundant in benefiting others will realize that wondrous blessing in their hearts and lives. —Testimonies for the Church 4:60.

 

A Remedy for Disease—Some plead their poor health—they would love to do if they had strength. Such have so long shut themselves up to themselves and thought so much of their own poor feelings and talked so much of their sufferings, trials, and afflictions that it is their present truth. They can think of no one but self, however much others may be in need of sympathy and assistance. You who are suffering with poor health, there is a remedy for you. If thou clothe the naked, and bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, and deal thy bread to the hungry, “then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Doing good is an excellent remedy for disease. Those who engage in the work are invited to call upon God, and He has pledged Himself to answer them. Their soul shall be satisfied in drought, and they shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. —Testimonies for the Church 2:29.

 

This is the recipe that Christ has prescribed for the fainthearted, doubting, trembling soul. Let the sorrowful ones, who walk mournfully before the Lord, arise and help someone who needs help.—Testimonies for the Church 6:266.

 

In Saving His Neighbor He Saved Himself—A working church is a growing church. The members find a stimulus and a tonic in helping others. I have read of a man who, journeying on a winter’s day through deep drifts of snow, became benumbed by the cold, which was almost imperceptibly freezing his vital powers. He was nearly chilled to death and was about to give up the struggle for life, when he heard the moans of a fellow traveler who was also perishing with cold. His sympathy was aroused, and he determined to rescue him. He chafed the ice-cold limbs of the unfortunate man, and after considerable effort raised him to his feet. As the sufferer could not stand, he bore him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never get through alone. When he had carried his fellow traveler to a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he had also saved himself. His earnest efforts to help another had quickened the blood that was freezing in his own veins and sent a healthy warmth to the extremities of his body. WM 305.2 – WM 305.3

 

The Church Is Blessed—Let church members during the week act their part faithfully, and on the Sabbath tell their experiences. The meeting will then be as meat in due season, bringing to all present new life and fresh vigor. When God’s people see the great need of working as Christ worked for the conversion of sinners, the testimonies borne by them in the Sabbath services will be filled with power. With joy they will bear witness to the preciousness of the experience they have gained in working for others. —Gospel Workers, 199.

 

Our Destiny Involved—It is the work that we do or do not do that tells with tremendous power upon our lives and destinies. God requires us to improve every opportunity for usefulness that is offered us. Neglect to do this is perilous to our spiritual growth. —Testimonies for the Church 3:540.

 

He Who Lives to Please Himself Is Not a Christian—”Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thine house? When thou seest the naked that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” How much of this hiding has been done! How many have closed the eyes and locked the door of the heart, lest a softening influence should prompt them to works of kindness and charity! The work of Christ never ceases. His tender love and goodness are inexhaustible; His mercy is over all the children of men. The Lord Jesus means that you shall be blessed in imparting to His needy, suffering ones. He has made men His copartners. “We are labourers together with God.” Has not Christ, by both precept and example, plainly taught us what we should do? We are to work, imbued with His Spirit, as we look to the cross, ready if He bids us, to leave all for His sake. He who lives to please himself is not a Christian. He has not been created anew in Christ Jesus. WM 309.1

 

Contentment Here and Eternal Reward Hereafter—In order to be happy, we must strive to attain to that character which Christ exhibited. One marked peculiarity of Christ was His self-denial and benevolence. He came not to seek His own. He went about doing good, and this was His meat and drink. We may, by following the example of the Saviour, be in holy communion with Him; and by daily seeking to imitate His character and follow His example we shall be a blessing to the world and shall secure for ourselves contentment here and an eternal reward hereafter. —Testimonies for the Church 4:227.

 

When the nations are gathered before Him there will be but two classes, and their eternal destiny will be determined by what they have done or have neglected to do for Him in the person of the poor and the suffering. In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents the faithful work they have done for Him. WM 318.1

 

Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God. How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval. —The Desire of Ages, 637, 638.

 

Men who are not half converted, who are self-confident and self-sufficient in character, preach the truth to others. But God does not work with them, for they are not holy in heart and life. They do not walk humbly with God. We must have a converted ministry, and then we shall see the light of God, and his power aiding all our efforts. GW92 21.1

 

I was shown the churches in different States that profess to be keeping the commandments of God, and looking for the second coming of Christ. There is an alarming amount of indifference, pride, love of the world, and cold formality existing among them. And these are the people who are fast coming to resemble ancient Israel, so far as the want of piety is concerned. Many make high claims to godliness, and yet are destitute of self-control. Appetite and passion bear sway; self is made prominent. Many are arbitrary, dictatorial, overbearing, boastful, proud, and unconsecrated. Yet some of these persons are ministers, handling sacred truths. Unless they repent, their candlestick will be removed out of its place. The Saviour’s curse pronounced upon the fruitless fig-tree is a sermon to all formalists and boasting hypocrites who stand forth to the world in pretentious leaves, but are devoid of fruit. What a rebuke to those who have a form of godliness, while in their unchristian lives they deny the power thereof! He who treated with tenderness the very chief of sinners, he who never spurned true meekness and penitence, however great the guilt, came down with scathing denunciations upon those who made high professions of godliness, but in works denied their faith.—Testimonies for the Church 4:403. GW92 22.2

 

No man is qualified to stand in the sacred desk unless he has felt the transforming influence of the truth of God upon his own soul. Then, and not till then, can he by precept and example rightly represent the life of Christ. But many, in their labors, exalt themselves rather than their Master; and the people are converted to the minister instead of to Christ. GW92 27.2

 

We must have a converted ministry. The efficiency and power attending a truly converted minister would make the hypocrites in Zion tremble, and sinners afraid. The standard of truth and holiness is trailing in the dust. If those who sound the solemn notes of warning for this time could realize their accountability to God, they would see the necessity for fervent prayer. When the cities were hushed in midnight slumber, when every man had gone to his own house, Christ, our example, would repair to the Mount of Olives, and there, amid the overshadowing trees, would spend the entire night in prayer. He who was himself without the taint of sin,—a treasure-house of blessing; whose voice was heard in the fourth watch of the night by the terrified disciples upon the stormy sea, in heavenly benediction; and whose word could summon the dead from their graves,—he it was who made supplication with strong crying and tears. He prayed not for himself, but for those whom he came to save. As he became a suppliant, seeking at the hand of his Father fresh supplies of strength, and coming forth refreshed and invigorated as man’s substitute, he identified himself with suffering humanity, and gave them an example of the necessity of prayer. GW92 28.3

 

When all human support fails, then Jesus comes to our aid, and his presence scatters the darkness and lifts the cloud of gloom. GW92 30.3

 

Aaron and Hur stayed up the hands of Moses, until victory, full and complete, turned upon the side of Israel, and their enemies were driven from the field. GW92 31.3

 

The unveiled glory of God no man could look upon and live; but Moses is assured that he shall behold as much of the divine glory as he can bear in his present, mortal state. That hand that made the world, that holds the mountains in their places, takes this man of dust,—this man of mighty faith,—and mercifully covers him in a cleft of the rock, while the glory of God and all his goodness pass before him. Can we marvel that the “excellent glory” reflected from Omnipotence shone in the face of Moses with such brightness that the people could not look upon it? The impress of God was upon him, making him appear as one of the shining angels from the throne. GW92 34.2

 

When some who lack the Spirit and power of God enter a new field, they begin to denounce other denominations, thinking that they can convince the people of the truth by presenting the inconsistencies of the popular churches. It may seem necessary on some occasions to speak of these things, but in general it only creates prejudice against our work, and closes the ears of many who might otherwise have listened to the truth. If these teachers were connected closely with Christ, they would have divine wisdom to know how to approach the people. They would not so soon forget the darkness and error, the passion and prejudice, which kept themselves from the truth. GW92 37.2

 

While in the midst of a religious interest, some neglect the most important part of the work. They fail to visit and become acquainted with those who have shown an interest to present themselves night after night to listen to the explanation of the Scriptures. Conversation upon religious subjects, and earnest prayer with such at the right time, might balance many souls in the right direction. Ministers who neglect their duty in this respect are not true shepherds of the flock. At the very time when they should be most active in visiting, conversing, and praying with these interested ones, some are employed in writing unnecessarily long letters to persons at a distance. O, what are we doing for the Master! When probation shall end, how many will see the opportunities they have neglected to render service to their dear Lord who died for them. And even those who were accounted most faithful will see much more that they might have done, had not their minds been diverted by worldly surroundings. GW92 38.2

 

We need a converted ministry; otherwise the churches raised up through their labors, having no root in themselves, will not be able to stand alone. The faithful minister of Christ will take the burden upon his soul. He will not hunger after popularity. The Christian minister should never enter the desk until he has first sought God in his closet, and has come into close connection with him. He may, with humility, lift his thirsty soul to God, and be refreshed with the dew of grace before he shall speak to the people. With an unction of the Holy Spirit upon him, giving him a burden for souls, he will not dismiss a congregation without presenting before them Jesus Christ, the sinner’s only refuge, making earnest appeals that will reach their hearts. He should feel that he may never meet these hearers again until the great day of God. GW92 41.2

 

Many are converted to the minister, and are not really converted to Christ. We marvel at the stupor that benumbs the spiritual senses. There is a lack of vital power. Lifeless prayers are offered, and testimonies are borne which fail to edify or strengthen the hearers. It becomes every minister of Christ to inquire the cause of this. GW92 42.1

 

Ministers who labor in towns and cities to present the truth should not feel content, nor that their work is ended, until those who have accepted the theory of the truth realize indeed the effect of its sanctifying power, and are truly converted to God. God would be better pleased to have six truly converted to the truth as the result of their labors, than to have sixty make a nominal profession, and yet not be thoroughly converted. These ministers should devote less time to preaching sermons, and reserve a portion of their strength to visit and pray with those who are interested, giving them godly instruction, to the end that they may “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:28. GW92 43.1

 

God would not have men go forth as teachers who have not studiously learned their lessons, and who will not continue to study that they may present every point of present truth in an intelligent, acceptable manner. With a knowledge of the theory, they should continually be obtaining a more thorough knowledge of Christ. Rules and studies are necessary; but with them the minister should combine earnest prayer that he may be faithful, not building upon the foundation wood, hay, or stubble, which will be consumed by the fires of the last day. Prayer and study should go hand in hand. GW92 44.1

 

The minister should not do all the work himself, but he should unite with him those who have taken hold of the truth. He will thus teach others to work after he shall leave. A working church will ever be a growing church. They will ever find a stimulus and a tonic in trying to help others, and in doing it they will be strengthened and encouraged. GW92 45.3

 

Let the desponding ones, those disposed to think the way to life is very trying and difficult, go to work and seek to help others. In such efforts, mingled with prayer for divine light, their own hearts will throb with the quickening influence of the grace of God; their own affections will glow with more divine fervor, and their whole Christian life will be more of a reality, more earnest, more prayerful. GW92 46.2

 

The minister of Christ should be a man of prayer, a man of piety; cheerful, but never coarse and rough, jesting or frivolous. A spirit of frivolity may be in keeping with the profession of clowns and theatrical performers, but it is altogether beneath the dignity of a man who is chosen to stand between the living and the dead, and to be mouth-piece for God. GW92 46.3

 

Moral and intellectual powers are needed in order to discharge with fidelity the important duties devolving upon you; but these may be possessed, and yet there may be a great lack of godliness. The endowment of the Holy Spirit is indispensably essential to success in your great work. Said Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. But through Christ strengthening you, you can do all things. —Testimonies for the Church 4:313. GW92 47.2

 

Those who think that they have a work to do for the Master should not begin their efforts among the churches; they should go out into new fields, and prove their gifts. In this way they can test themselves, and settle the matter to their own satisfaction, whether God has indeed chosen them for this work. They will feel the necessity of studying the word of God, and praying earnestly for heavenly wisdom and divine aid. By meeting with opponents who bring up objections to the important points of our faith, they will be brought where they will obtain a most valuable experience. They will feel their weakness, and be driven to the word of God and to prayer. In this exercise of their gifts, they will be learning and improving, and gaining confidence, courage, and faith, and will eventually have a valuable experience. GW92 48.2

 

Young men should be qualifying themselves by becoming familiar with other languages, that God may use them as mediums to communicate his saving truth to those of other nations. These young men may obtain a knowledge of other languages even while engaged in laboring for sinners. If they are economical of their time, they can be improving their minds, and qualifying themselves for more extended usefulness. If young women who have borne but little responsibility would devote themselves to God, they could qualify themselves for usefulness by studying and becoming familiar with other languages. They could devote themselves to the work of translating. GW92 49.2

 

The reason why there has been so little accomplished by those who preach the truth, is not wholly that the truth they bear is unpopular, but that the men who bear the message are not sanctified by the truths they preach. The Saviour withdraws his smiles, and the inspiration of his Spirit is not upon them. The presence and power of God to convict the sinner and cleanse from all unrighteousness, is not manifest. Sudden destruction is right upon the people, and yet they are not fearfully alarmed. Unconsecrated ministers make the work very hard for those who follow after them, and who have the burden and spirit of the work upon them…. GW92 51.1

 

Every opportunity should be improved to extend the truth to other nations. This will be attended with considerable expense, but expense should in no case hinder the performance of this work. Money is of value only as it is used to advance the interest of the kingdom of God. The Lord has lent men means for this very purpose, to use in sending the truth to their fellow-men. There is a great amount of surplus means in the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists; and the selfish withholding of it from the cause of God, is blinding their eyes to the importance of the work of God, making it impossible for them to discern the solemnity of the times in which we live, or the value of eternal riches. They do not view Calvary in the right light, and therefore cannot appreciate the worth of the soul for which Christ paid an infinite price. GW92 51.2

 

Men will invest means in that which they value the most, and which they think will bring them the greatest profits. When men will run great risks and invest much in worldly enterprises, but are unwilling to venture or invest much in the cause of God to send the truth to their fellow-men, they give evidence that they value their earthly treasure just as much more highly than the heavenly as their works show…. GW92 51.3

 

Young men who are engaged in this work should not trust too much to their own abilities. They are inexperienced, and should seek to learn wisdom from those who have had long experience in the work, and who have had opportunities to study character. GW92 52.2

 

Instead of laboring among the churches, God designs that our ministers should spread abroad, and our missionary labor be extended over as much ground as we can possibly occupy to advantage, going in every direction to raise up new companies. We should ever leave upon the minds of new disciples an impression of the importance of our mission. As able men are converted to the truth, they should not require laborers to keep their flagging faith alive; but these men should be impressed with the necessity of laboring in the vineyard. As long as churches rely upon laborers from abroad to strengthen and encourage their faith, they will not become strong in themselves. They should be instructed that their strength will increase in proportion to their personal efforts. The more closely the New Testament plan is followed in missionary labor, the more successful will be the efforts put forth. GW92 52.3

 

God’s servants must go out free. They must know in whom they trust. There is power in Christ and his salvation to make them free men; and unless they are free in him, they cannot build up his church and gather in souls. Will God send out a man to rescue souls from the snare of Satan, when his own feet are entangled in the net? God’s servants must not be wavering. If their feet are sliding, how can they say to those of a fearful heart, “Be strong”? God would have his servants hold up the feeble hands and strengthen the wavering. Those who are not prepared to do this, would better first labor for themselves, and pray until they are endowed with power from on high. GW92 55.2

 

God is displeased with the lack of self-denial in some of his servants. They have not the burden of the work upon them. They seem to be in a death-like stupor. Angels of God stand amazed, and ashamed of this lack of self-denial and perseverance. While the Author of our salvation was laboring and suffering for us, he denied himself, and his whole life was one continued scene of toil and privation. He could have passed his days on earth in ease and plenty, and appropriated to himself the pleasures of this life; but he considered not his own convenience. He lived to do others good. He suffered to save others from suffering. He endured to the end, and finished the work which was given him to do. All this was to save us from ruin. And now, can it be that we, the unworthy objects of so great love, will seek a better position in this life than was given to our Lord? Every moment of our lives we have been partakers of the blessings of his great love, and for this very reason we cannot fully realize the depths of ignorance and misery from which we have been saved. Can we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced, and not be willing to drink with him the bitter cup of humiliation and sorrow? Can we look upon Christ crucified, and wish to enter his kingdom in any other way than through much tribulation? GW92 55.3

 

The preachers are not all given up to the work of God, as he requires them to be. Some have felt that the lot of a preacher was hard, because they had to be separated from their families. They forget that once it was harder laboring than it is now. Once there were but few friends of the cause. They forget those upon whom God laid the burden of the work in the past. There were but a few then who received the truth as the result of much labor. God’s chosen servants wept and prayed for a clear understanding of truth, and suffered privation and much self-denial, in order to carry it to others. Step by step they followed as God’s opening providence led the way. They did not study their own convenience, or shrink at hardships. Through these men, God prepared the way, and made the truth plain to the understanding of every honest mind. Everything has been made ready to the hands of ministers who have since embraced the truth, yet some of them have failed to take upon them the burden of the work. They seek for an easier lot, a less self-denying position. This earth is not the resting-place of Christians, much less for the chosen ministers of God. They forget that Christ left his riches and glory in heaven, and came to earth to die, and that he has commanded us to love one another even as he has loved us. They forget those of whom the world was not worthy, who wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, and were afflicted and tormented. GW92 56.1

 

I was shown the Waldenses, and what they suffered for their religion. They conscientiously studied the word of God, and lived up to the light which shone upon them. They were persecuted, and driven from their homes; their possessions, gained by hard labor, were taken from them, and their houses burned. They fled to the mountains, and there suffered incredible hardships. They endured hunger, fatigue, cold, and nakedness. The only clothing which many of them could obtain was the skins of animals. And yet the scattered and homeless ones would assemble to unite their voices in singing and praising God that they were accounted worthy to suffer for Christ’s name. They encouraged and cheered one another, and were grateful for even their miserable retreat. Many of their children sickened and died from cold and hunger; yet the parents did not for a moment think of yielding their religion. They prized the love and favor of God far above earthly ease or worldly riches. They received consolation from God, and with pleasing anticipations looked forward to the recompense of reward. GW92 57.1

 

Ministers who are preaching present truth were held up to me in contrast with the leading men of the Reformation; especially was Luther’s devoted, zealous life placed beside the lives of some of our preachers. He proved his undying love for the truth by his courage, his calm firmness, his self-denial. He encountered trials and sacrifices, and at times suffered the deepest anguish of soul, while standing in defense of the truth; yet he murmured not. He was hunted like a wild beast of prey, yet for Christ’s sake he endured all cheerfully. GW92 61.2

 

Not all who are preaching the truth realize that their testimony and example are deciding the destiny of souls. If they are unfaithful in their mission, and become careless in their work, souls will be lost as the result. If they are self-sacrificing and faithful in the work which the Master has given them to do, they will be instrumental in the salvation of many. Some permit trifles to divert them from the work. Bad roads, rainy weather, or little matters at home, are sufficient excuses for them to leave the work of laboring for souls. And frequently this is done at the most important time in the work. When an interest has been raised, and the minds of the people are agitated, the interest is left to die out because the minister chooses a more pleasant and easy field. Those who pursue this course show plainly that they do not have the burden of the work upon them. They wish to be carried by the people. They are not willing to endure the privations and hardships which are ever the lot of a true shepherd. GW92 63.1

 

Some go from their homes to labor in the gospel field, but do not act as though the truths which they speak were a reality to them. Their actions show that they have not experienced the saving power of the truth themselves. When out of the desk, they appear to have no burden for the truth. They labor sometimes apparently to profit, but more frequently to no profit. Such feel as much entitled to the wages they receive as though they had earned them; notwithstanding their unconsecration has cost more labor, anxiety, and pain of heart to those laborers who have the burden of the work upon them than all their efforts have done good. Such are not profitable workmen. But they will have to bear this responsibility themselves. GW92 63.3

 

We feel pained beyond measure to see some of our ministers hovering about the churches, apparently putting forth some little effort, but having next to nothing to show for their labors. The field is the world. Let them go out into the unbelieving world, and labor to convert souls to the truth. We refer our brethren and sisters to the example of Abraham going up to Mount Moriah to offer his only son at the command of God. Here was obedience and sacrifice. Moses was in kingly courts, and a prospective crown was before him. But he turned away from the tempting bribe, and “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” Hebrews 11:24-26.

 

The apostles counted not their lives dear unto themselves, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ. Paul and Silas suffered the loss of all things. They suffered scourging, and were in no gentle manner thrown upon the cold floor of a dungeon in a most painful position, their feet elevated and fastened in the stocks. Did repinings and complaints then reach the ear of the jailer? O, no! From the inner prison, voices broke the silence of midnight with songs of joy and praise to God. These disciples were cheered by a deep and earnest love for the cause of their Redeemer, for which they suffered.

 

As the truth of God fills our hearts, absorbs our affections, and controls our lives, we also will count it joy to suffer for the truth’s sake. No prison walls, no martyr’s stake, can then daunt or hinder us in the great work. GW92 68.2 – GW92 69.1

 

We are living in a most solemn time. All have a work to do requiring diligence. Especially is this true of the pastor, who is to care for and feed the flock of God. The one whose special work it is to lead the people into the path of truth, should be an able expositor of the word, capable of adapting his teachings to the wants of the people. He should be so closely connected with Heaven as to become a living channel of light, a mouth-piece for God.

 

A pastor should have a correct understanding of the word and also of the human character. Our faith is unpopular. The people are unwilling to be convinced that they are so deeply in error; a great work is to be done, and at present there are but few to do it. One man usually performs the labor which should be shared by two; for the work of the evangelist is necessarily combined with that of the pastor, bringing a double burden upon the worker in the field. GW92 70.1 – GW92 70.2

 

In order to be a truly successful minister, one must wholly consecrate himself to the work of saving souls. It is highly essential that he should be closely united with Christ, seeking continual counsel from him, and depending upon his aid. Some fail of success because they trust to the strength of argument alone, and do not cry earnestly to God for his wisdom to direct them and his grace to sanctify their efforts. Long discourses and tedious prayers are positively injurious to a religious interest, and fail to carry conviction to the consciences of the people. This propensity for speech-making frequently dampens a religious interest that might have produced great results. GW92 71.1

 

Ministers should be careful not to expect too much from persons who are still groping in the darkness of error. They should do their work well, relying upon God to impart to inquiring souls the mysterious, quickening influence of his Holy Spirit, knowing that without this their labors will be unsuccessful. They should be patient and wise in dealing with minds, remembering how manifold are the circumstances that have developed such different traits in individuals. They should strictly guard themselves also, lest self should get the supremacy, and Jesus should be left out of the question. GW92 72.2

 

Some ministers fail of success because they do not give their undivided interest to the work when very much depends upon persistent, well-directed labor. Many are not laborers; they do not pursue their work outside of the pulpit. They shirk the duty of going from house to house and laboring wisely in the home circle. They need to cultivate that rare Christian courtesy which would render them kind and considerate toward the souls under their care, working for them with true earnestness and faith, teaching them the way of life.

 

Ministers can do much toward molding the characters of those with whom they are associated. If they are sharp, critical, and exacting, they will be sure to meet these unhappy elements in the people upon whom their influence is strongest; though the result is not, perhaps, of the nature which they desire, yet it is none the less the effect of their own example. GW92 72.3 – GW92 73.1

 

It requires much forethought and wisdom from God to labor successfully for the salvation of sinners. If the soul of the laborer is filled with the grace of God, his teaching will not irritate his hearers, but melt its way to their hearts, and open them for the reception of the truth. GW92 73.3

 

The workers in the field should not allow themselves to be discouraged; but whatever their surroundings, they should exercise hope and faith. The minister’s work is but just begun when he has presented the truth from the pulpit. He is then to become acquainted with his hearers. Many a laborer greatly fails in not coming in close sympathy with those who most need his help. With the Bible in his hand, he should seek in a courteous manner to learn the objections which exist in the minds of those who are beginning to inquire, “What is truth?” GW92 73.4

 

It is necessary, in order to pursue this great and arduous work, that the ministers of Christ should possess physical health. To attain this end, they must become regular in their habits, and adopt a healthful system of living. Many are continually complaining and suffering from various indispositions. This is almost always because they do not labor wisely, nor observe the laws of health. They frequently remain too much in-doors, occupying heated rooms filled with impure air. Here they apply themselves closely to study or writing, taking little physical exercise, and having little change of employment. As a consequence, the blood becomes sluggish, and the powers of the mind are enfeebled. GW92 75.1

 

The whole system needs the invigorating influence of exercise in the open air. A few hours of manual labor each day would tend to renew the bodily vigor, and rest and relax the mind. In this way the general health would be promoted, and a greater amount of pastoral labor could be performed. GW92 75.2

 

Ministers frequently report that they left the best of interest at one point to enter a new field. This is wrong; they should have finished the work they began; for in leaving it incomplete, they do more harm than good by spoiling the field for the next laborer. No field is so unpromising as that which has been cultivated just enough to give the weeds a more luxuriant growth. GW92 76.1

 

When the temptation comes to seclude themselves, and indulge in reading and writing at a time when other duties claim their immediate attention, they should be strong enough to deny self, and devote themselves to the work that lies directly before them. This is undoubtedly one of the most trying tests that a studious mind is called to undergo. GW92 76.3

 

People are easily reached through the avenues of the social circle. But many ministers dread the task of visiting; they have not cultivated social qualities, have not acquired that genial spirit that wins its way to the hearts of the people. It is highly important that a pastor should mingle much with his people, that he may become acquainted with the different phases of human nature, readily understand the workings of the mind, adapt his teachings to the intellect of his people, and learn that grand charity possessed only by those who closely study the nature and needs of men. GW92 77.2

 

Those who seclude themselves from the people are in no condition to help them. A skillful physician must understand the nature of various diseases, and must have a thorough knowledge of the human structure. He must be prompt in attending to the patients. He knows that delays are dangerous. When his experienced hand is laid upon the pulse of the sufferer, and he carefully notes the peculiar indication of the malady, his previous knowledge enables him to determine concerning the nature of the disease and the treatment necessary to arrest its progress. As the physician deals with physical disease, so does the pastor minister to the sin-sick soul. And his work is as much more important than that of the former as eternal life is more valuable than temporal existence. The pastor meets with an endless variety of temperaments; and it is his duty to become acquainted with the members of families that listen to his teachings, in order to determine what means will best influence them in the right direction. GW92 77.3

 

Our ministers who have reached the age of forty or fifty years should not feel that their labor is less efficient than formerly. Men of years and experience are just the ones to put forth strong and well-directed efforts. They are specially needed at this time; the churches cannot afford to part with them. Such ones should not talk of physical and mental feebleness, nor feel that their day of usefulness is over. GW92 80.1

 

The old-fashioned pastor, who traveled on horseback, and spent much time in visiting his flock, enjoyed much better health, notwithstanding his hardships and exposures, than our ministers of today, who avoid all physical exertion as far as possible, and confine themselves to their books. GW92 80.3

 

Men are needed for this time who are not afraid to lift their voices for the right, whoever may oppose them. They should be of strong integrity and tried courage. The church calls for them, and God will work with their efforts to uphold all branches of the gospel ministry.—Testimonies for the Church 4.260. GW92 81.1

 

The incessant reading and writing of many ministers unfits them for pastoral work. They consume valuable time in abstract study, which should be expended in helping the needy at the right moment. Some ministers have given themselves to the work of writing during a period of decided religious interest, and it has frequently been the case that their writings have had no special connection with the work in hand. This is a glaring error; for at such times it is the duty of the minister to use his entire strength in pushing forward the cause of God. His mind should be clear and centered upon the one object of saving souls. Should his thoughts be preoccupied with other subjects, many might be lost to the cause who could have been saved by timely instruction. Some ministers are easily diverted from their work. They become discouraged, or are attracted to their homes, and leave a growing interest to die for want of attention. The harm done to the cause in this way can scarcely be estimated. When an effort to promulgate the truth is started, the minister in charge should feel responsible to carry it through successfully. If his labors appear to be without result, he should seek by earnest prayer to discover if they are what they should be. He should humble his soul before God in self-examination, and by faith cling to the divine promises, humbly continuing his efforts till he is satisfied that he has faithfully discharged his duty, and done everything in his power to gain the desired result. GW92 75.3

 

Dealing with sin amongst Ministers

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” [Galatians 6:1.] Here is a special direction to deal tenderly with those overtaken in a fault. This word “overtaken” must have its full significance. It describes something different from deliberate sin; it applies to one who is led into sin unawares through want of watchfulness and prayer, not discerning the temptation of Satan, and so falling into his snare. There is a difference to be made in the case of one who deliberately enters into temptation, who marks out an evil course, covering his sins skillfully, that he may not be detected. More decisive measures are needed to check the premeditated sin; but the apostle directs the treatment to be given to those who are “overtaken” or surprised, or overcome by temptation. “Ye which are spiritual,” you who have a connection with God, “restore such a one in the spirit of meekness,” —do not crush all hope and courage out of the soul, but restore him in meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Faithful reproofs will be needed, and kindly counsel and supplications to God to bring him to see his sin and danger.

 

  • The original word translated “restore,” means to set in joint, as a dislocated bone. Efforts should be made to bring him to himself, by convincing him of his sin and error, that he may not, like a limb hopelessly diseased, be severed from the body. He is to be loved, because Christ loved us in our weakness and errors. There should be no triumphing in a brother’s fall; but in meekness, in the fear of God, in love for his soul, we should seek to save him from ruin.

 

Jesus pities them [the erring]; he loves them, and bears with their infirmities even as he does with yours. You do wrong to exalt yourself above those who are not so strong as you are. You do wrong to shut yourself up in a self-righteous spirit, thanking God that you are not like other men, but that your faith and zeal exceed those of the poor, feeble ones striving to do right under discouragements and darkness.

 

Angels from a pure and holy Heaven come to this polluted world to sympathize with the weakest, the most helpless and needy, while Christ himself descended from his throne to help just such as these. You have no right to hold yourself aloof from these faltering ones, nor to assert your marked superiority over them. Come more in unison with Christ, pity the erring, lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees, and bid the fearful hearts be strong. Pity and help them, even as Christ has pitied you. . . . You may feel that your work in this direction is not rightly appreciated; but remember that our Saviour’s work was also lightly considered by those whom he benefited. He came to save those who were lost; but the very ones whom he sought to rescue, refused his help, and finally put him to death.

 

If you fail ninety-nine times in a hundred, but succeed in saving the one soul from ruin, you have done a noble deed for the Master’s cause. But to be a co-worker with Jesus, you should have all patience with those for whom you labor, not scorning the simplicity of the work, but looking to the blessed result. When those for whom you labor do not exactly meet your mind, you often say in your heart “Let them go; they are not worth saving.” What if Christ had treated poor outcasts in a similar manner? He died to save miserable sinners, and if you work in the same spirit and in the same manner indicated by the example of Him whom you follow, leaving the results with God, you can never in this life measure the amount of good you have accomplished. —Vol. 4, p. 131.

 

  • Mild measures, soft answers, and pleasant words are much better fitted to reform and save, than severity and harshness. A little too much unkindness may place persons beyond your reach, while a conciliatory spirit would be the means of binding them to you, and you might then establish them in the right way. You should be actuated by a forgiving spirit also, and give due credit to every good purpose and action of those around you.

 

Do not reproach the Christian religion by jealousy and intolerance toward others. This will but poorly recommend your belief to them. No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from the truth, and have steeled their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle and winning deportment, may save the erring, and hide a multitude of sins. God requires us to have that charity that “suffereth long, and is kind.” [1 Corinthians 13:4.]

 

The religion of Christ does not require us to lose our identity of character, but merely to adapt ourselves, in some measure, to the feelings and ways of others. Many people may be brought together in a unity of religious faith whose opinions, habits, and tastes in temporal matters are not in harmony; but if they have the love of Christ glowing in their hearts, and are looking forward to the same heaven as their eternal home, they may have the sweetest and most intelligent communion together, and a unity the most wonderful. There are scarcely two whose experience is alike in every particular. The trials of one may not be the trials of another, and our hearts should ever be open to kindly sympathy, and all aglow with the love that Jesus had for all his brethren.

 

  • Christ sometimes reproved with severity, and in some cases it may be necessary for us to do so; but we should consider that while Christ knew the exact condition of the ones he rebuked, and just the amount of reproof they could bear, and what was necessary to correct their course of wrong, he also knew just how to pity the erring, comfort the unfortunate, and encourage the weak. He knew just how to keep souls from despondency and to inspire them with hope, because he was acquainted with the exact motives and peculiar trials of every mind. He could not make a mistake.

 

But we may misjudge motives; we may be deceived by appearances; we may think we are doing right to reprove wrong, and go too far, censure too severely, and wound where we wished to heal; or we may exercise sympathy unwisely, and counteract, in our ignorance, reproof that is merited and timely. Our judgment may be wrong; but Jesus was too wise to err. He reproved with pity, and loved with a divine love those whom he rebuked.—Vol. 4 p. 65

 

Peter denied the Man of sorrows in his acquaintance with grief in the hour of his humiliation. But he afterward repented and was reconverted. He had true contrition of soul, and gave himself afresh to his Saviour. With blinding tears he makes his way to the solitudes of the garden of Gethsemane, and there prostrates himself where he saw his Saviour’s prostrate form, when the bloody sweat was forced from his pores by his great agony. Peter remembers with remorse that he was asleep when Jesus prayed during those fearful hours. His proud heart breaks, and penitential tears moisten the sods so recently stained with the bloody sweat-drops of God’s dear Son. He left that garden a converted man. He was ready then to pity the tempted. He was humbled, and could sympathize with the weak and erring. He could caution and warn the presumptuous, and was fully fitted to strengthen his brethren. —Vol. 3, p. 416.

 

  • Do not be exclusive. Do not seek out a few with whom you delight to associate, and leave others to take care of themselves. Suppose you do see weakness in one and folly in another; do not stand aloof from them, and associate with those only who, you think, are about perfect. The very souls you despise need your love and sympathy. Do not leave a weak soul to struggle alone, to wrestle with the passions of his own heart without your help and prayers, but consider yourself, lest you also be tempted. If you do this, God will not leave you to your own weakness. You may have sins greater in his sight than the sins of those you condemn. Do not stand off, and say, “I am holier than thou.” Christ has thrown his divine arm around the human race. He has brought his divine power to man that he might encourage the poor, sin-sick, discouraged soul to reach up for a higher life. O, we need more of Christ’s spirit, and much less of self! We need the converting power of God upon our hearts daily. We need the mellowing spirit of Christ to subdue and soften our souls. The only way for those to do who feel that they are whole, is to fall upon the Rock and be broken. Christ can change you into his likeness, if you will submit yourself to him.

 

The world is indeed full of hurry, and of pride, selfishness, avarice, and violence; and it may seem to us that it is a waste of time and breath to be ever in season and out of season, and on all occasions to hold ourselves in readiness to speak words that are gentle, pure, elevating, chaste, and holy, in the face of the whirlwind of confusion, bustle, and strife. And yet, words fitly spoken, coming from sanctified hearts and lips, and sustained by a godly, consistent Christian deportment, will be as apples of gold in pictures of silver.

 

You are not to wait for great occasions, or to expect extraordinary abilities, before you work in earnest for God. You need not have a thought of what the world will think of you. If your intercourse with them, and your godly conversation, are a living testimony to them of the purity and sincerity of your faith, and they are convinced that you desire to benefit them, your words will not be wholly lost upon them, but will be productive of good.

 

A servant of Christ, in any department of the Christian service, will, by precept and example, have a saving influence upon others. The good seed sown may lie some time in a cold, worldly, selfish heart, without evidencing that it has taken root; but frequently the Spirit of God operates upon that heart, and waters it with the dew of heaven, and the long-hidden seed springs up and finally bears fruit to the glory of God. We know not in our life-work which shall prosper, this or that. These are not questions for us poor mortals to settle. We are to do our work, leaving the result with God.—Vol. 3, p. 247.

 

  • I saw that many have taken advantage of what God has shown in regard to the sins and wrongs of others. They have taken the extreme meaning of what has been shown in vision, and then have pressed it until it has had a tendency to weaken the faith of many in what God has shown, and also to discourage and dishearten the church. With tender compassion should brother deal with brother. Delicately should he deal with feelings. It is the nicest and most important work that ever yet was done to touch the wrongs of another. With the deepest humility should a brother do this, considering his own weakness, lest he also should be tempted. I have seen the great sacrifice which Jesus made to redeem man. He did not consider His own life too dear to sacrifice. Said Jesus: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Do you feel, when a brother errs, that you could give your life to save him? If you feel thus, you can approach him and affect his heart; you are just the one to visit that brother. But it is a lamentable fact that many who profess to be brethren, are not willing to sacrifice any of their opinions or their judgment to save a brother. There is but little love for one another. A selfish spirit is manifested. {1T 166.1, 2}

 

Frequently the truth and facts are to be plainly spoken to the erring, to make them see and feel their error that they may reform. But this should ever be done with pitying tenderness, not with harshness or severity, but considering one’s own weakness, lest he also be tempted. When the one at fault sees and acknowledges his error, then, instead of grieving him, and seeking to make him feel more deeply, comfort should be given. In the sermon of Christ upon the mount He said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Our Saviour reproved for rash judgment. “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; . . . and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” It is frequently the case that while one is quick to discern the errors of his brethren, he may be in greater faults himself, but be blind to them.  {3T 93.1}

 

God will not place his benediction upon those who are negligent, selfish, and ease-loving, who will not lift burdens in his cause. The “Well done” will be pronounced upon those only who have done well. Every man is to be rewarded “according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. We want an active ministry, —men of prayer, who will wrestle with God as did Jacob, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26. If we obtain the victor’s crown, we must stretch every nerve, and exercise every power. We can never be saved in inactivity. To be an idler in the Lord’s vineyard is to relinquish all title to the reward of the righteous.—Testimonies for the Church 4:523. GW92 39.1

 

God does not desire wooden men to guard the interests of his institutions and the church, but he wants living, working men,—men who have ability and quick perception, men who have eyes, and open them that they may see, and hearts that are susceptible to the influences of his Spirit. He holds men to a strict accountability in guarding the interests of his cause…. GW92 81.2

 

Ministers should be faithful watchmen, seeing the evil and warning the people. Their dangers must be set before them continually, and pressed home upon them. The exhortation given to Timothy was, “Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2. … GW92 82.1

 

When existing evils are not met and checked, because men have too little courage to reprove wrong, or because they have too little interest or are too indolent to tax their own powers in putting forth earnest efforts to purify the family or the church of God, they are accountable for the evil which may result in consequence of neglect to do their duty. We are just as accountable for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves. GW92 83.2

 

God’s honor must be sacredly preserved, even if it separates us from the nearest relative. One defect in a man otherwise talented may destroy his usefulness in this life, and cause him to hear in the day of God the unwelcome words, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:23. GW92 83.3

 

Private members and even preachers have sympathized with disaffected ones who have been reproved for their wrongs, and division of feeling has been the result. The one who has ventured out and discharged his disagreeable duty by faithfully meeting error and wrong, is grieved and wounded that he receives not the fullest sympathy of his preaching brethren. He becomes discouraged in discharging these painful duties, lays down the cross, and withholds the pointed testimony. His soul is shut up in darkness, and the church suffers for the lack of the very testimony which God designed should live among his people. Satan’s object is gained when the faithful testimony is suppressed. Those who so readily sympathize with the wrong, consider it a virtue; but they realize not that they are exerting a scattering influence, and that they themselves help to carry out Satan’s plans. GW92 84.1

 

False sympathizers have worked in direct opposition to the mind of Christ and ministering angels. GW92 85.1

 

Ministers of Christ should arise and engage in the work of God with all their energies. God’s servants are not excused if they shun pointed testimony. They should reprove and rebuke wrong, and not suffer sin upon a brother.—Testimonies for the Church 1:212. GW92 85.2

 

The close work of the Spirit of God is needed now as never before. Stupidity must be shaken off. We must arouse from the lethargy that will prove our destruction unless we resist it. Satan has a powerful, controlling influence upon minds. Preachers and people are in danger of being found upon the side of the powers of darkness. There is no such thing now as a neutral position. We are all decidedly for the right, or decidedly with the wrong. Christ said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. GW92 85.3

 

Those who seek to cloak sin, and make it appear less aggravated to the mind of the offender, are doing the work of the false prophets, and may expect the retributive wrath of God to follow such a course. The Lord will never accommodate his ways to the wishes of corrupt men. GW92 87.1

 

God has no sympathy with the evil-doer. He gives no one liberty to gloss over the sins of his people, nor to cry, “Peace! peace!” when he has declared that there shall be no peace for the wicked. Those who stir up rebellion against the servants whom God sends to deliver his messages, are rebelling against the word of the Lord.—Testimonies for the Church 4:185. GW92 87.2

 

Those who have been thrust out to bear a plain, pointed testimony, in the fear of God to reprove wrong, to labor with all their energies to build up God’s people, and to establish them upon important points of present truth, have too often received censure instead of sympathy and help, while those who, like yourself, From a Personal Testimony have taken a non-committal position, are thought to be devoted, and to have a mild spirit. God does not thus regard them. GW92 89.4

 

In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God’s faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was borne by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as his shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them.—Testimonies for the Church 1:321. GW92 90.1

 

The great moral powers of the soul are faith, hope, and love. If these are inactive, a minister may be ever so earnest and zealous, but his labor will not be accepted by God, and cannot be productive of good to the church. A minister of Christ who bears the solemn message from God to the people, should ever deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. The spirit of Christ in the heart will incline every power of the soul to nourish and protect the sheep of his pasture, like a faithful, true shepherd. Love is the golden chain which binds believing hearts to one another in willing bonds of friendship, tenderness, and faithful constancy; and which binds the soul to God. There is a decided lack of love, compassion, and pitying tenderness among brethren. The ministers of Christ are too cold and heartless. Their hearts are not all aglow with tender compassion and earnest love. The purest and most elevated devotion to God is that which is manifested in the most earnest desires and efforts to win souls to Christ. The reason ministers who preach present truth are not more successful is, they are deficient, greatly deficient, in faith, hope, and love. There are toils and conflicts, self-denials and secret heart-trials, for us all to meet and bear. There will be sorrow and tears for our sins; there will be constant struggles and watchings, mingled with remorse and shame because of our deficiencies. GW92 91.2

 

Frequently there is necessity for plainly rebuking sin and reproving wrong. But ministers who are working for the salvation of their fellow-men, should not be pitiless toward the errors of one another, nor make prominent the defects in their organizations. They should not expose or reprove their weaknesses. They should inquire if such a course, pursued by another toward themselves, would bring about the desired effect; would it increase their love for, and confidence in, the one who thus made prominent their mistakes? Especially should the mistakes of ministers who are engaged in the work of God be kept within as small a circle as possible; for there are many weak ones who will take advantage if they are aware that those who minister in word and doctrine have weaknesses like other men. And it is a most cruel thing for the faults of a minister to be exposed to unbelievers, if that minister is counted worthy to labor in the future for the salvation of souls. No good can come of this exposure, but only harm. The Lord frowns upon this course, for it is undermining the confidence of the people in those whom he accepts to carry forward his work. The character of every laborer should be jealously guarded by brother ministers. God says, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” 1 Chronicles 16:22. Love and confidence should be cherished. A lack of this love and confidence in one minister for another does not increase the happiness of the one thus deficient, but as he makes his brother unhappy, he is unhappy himself. There is greater power in love than was ever found in censure. Love will melt its way through barriers, while censure will close up every avenue of the soul…. GW92 94.2

 

In the prayer that Christ taught his disciples was the request, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We cannot repeat this prayer from the heart, and dare to be unforgiving; for we ask the Lord to forgive our trespasses against him in the same manner as we forgive those who trespass against us. But few realize the true import of this prayer. If those who are unforgiving did comprehend the depth of its meaning, they would not dare to repeat it, and ask God to deal with them as they deal with their fellow-mortals. And yet this spirit of hardness and lack of forgiveness exists, even among brethren, to a fearful extent. Brother is exacting with brother.—Testimonies for the Church 3:92.

 

The minister is not to rule imperiously over the flock intrusted to his care, but to be their ensample, and to show them the way to heaven. Following the example of Christ, he should intercede with God for the people of his care till he sees that his prayers are answered. Jesus exercised human and divine sympathy toward man. He is our example in all things. God is our father and governor, and the Christian minister is the representative of his Son on earth. The principles that rule in heaven should rule upon earth; the same love that animates the angels, the same purity and holiness that reign in heaven, should, as far as possible, be reproduced upon earth. God holds the minister responsible for the power he exercises, but does not justify his servants in perverting that power into despotism over the flock of their care. GW92 78.2

 

The churches need education more than censure. Instead of blaming them too severely for their want of spirituality and neglect of duty, the minister should, by precept and example, teach them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. GW92 79.3

 

Independent men of earnest endeavor are needed, not men as impressible as putty. Those who want their work made ready to their hand, who desire a fixed amount to do and a fixed salary, and who wish to prove an exact fit without the trouble of adaptation or training, are not the men whom God calls to work in his cause. A man who cannot adapt his abilities to almost any place if necessity requires, is not the man for this time. Men whom God will connect with his work are not limp and fiberless, without muscle or moral force of character. It is only by continued and persevering labor that men can be disciplined to bear a part in the work of God. These men should not become discouraged if circumstances and surroundings are the most unfavorable. They should not give up their purpose as a complete failure until they are convinced beyond a doubt that they cannot do much for the honor of God and the good of souls. GW92 96.1

 

There are men who flatter themselves that they might do something great and good if they were only circumstanced differently, while they make no use of the faculties they already have by working in the positions where providence has placed them. Man can make his circumstances, but circumstances should never make the man. Man should seize circumstances as his instruments with which to work. He should master circumstances, but should never allow circumstances to master him. Individual independence and individual power are the qualities now needed. Individual character need not be sacrificed, but it should be modulated, refined, elevated…. GW92 96.2

 

The cause of God demands men who can see quickly and act instantaneously at the right time and with power. If you wait to measure every difficulty and balance every perplexity you meet, you will do but little. You will have obstacles and difficulties to encounter at every turn, and you must with firm purpose decide to conquer them, or they will conquer you. GW92 97.1

 

Long delays tire the angels. It is even more excusable to make a wrong decision sometimes than to be continually in a wavering position; to be hesitating, sometimes inclined in one direction, then in another. More perplexity and wretchedness result from thus hesitating and doubting than from sometimes moving too hastily. I have been shown that the most signal victories and the most fearful defeats have been on the turn of minutes. God requires promptness of action. Delays, doubtings, hesitation, and indecision frequently give the enemy every advantage…. GW92 97.2 – GW92 97.3

 

God wants men connected with his work in Battle Creek whose judgment is at hand, whose minds, when it is necessary, will act like the lightning. The greatest promptness is positively necessary in the hour of peril and danger. Every plan may be well laid to accomplish certain results, and yet a delay of a very short time may leave things to assume an entirely different shape, and the great objects which might have been gained are lost through lack of quick foresight and prompt dispatch. Much may be done in training the mind to overcome indolence. There are times when caution and great deliberation are necessary; rashness would be folly. But even here, much has been lost by too great hesitancy. Caution, up to a certain point, is required; but hesitancy and policy on particular occasions have been more disastrous than would have been a failure through rashness.—Testimonies for the Church 3:496. GW92 97.5

 

The Appointing and Qualifying of the Gospel Ministers

A solemn responsibility rests upon the ministers of Christ to do their work with thoroughness. Many have left some portion of the work undone because it was not agreeable, expecting the next coming minister to finish it up for them. They would better not engage in the work unless they can bind it off thoroughly, so that it may not ravel out. They should lead the young disciples along wisely and judiciously, step by step, onward and upward, until every essential point has been brought before them. GW92 98.1

 

A mere assent to the truth is not enough. There must be prayerful labor with those who embrace the truth, until they shall be convicted of their sins and shall seek God and be converted. Then they should be instructed in regard to the claims of God upon them in tithes and offerings. They must learn that the tithing system is binding upon God’s people in these last days as truly as it was upon ancient Israel. The tract and missionary work should be presented before them. Nothing should be kept back. But all points of truth should not be given abruptly in the first few lectures; gradually, cautiously, with his own heart imbued with the spirit of the work of God, the teacher should give meat in due season. GW92 98.2

 

When a second minister follows the first, and in the fear of God presents the practical duties, the claims of God upon his people, some draw back, saying, “The minister who brought us the truth did not mention these things. We have been deceived. These things were kept back.” And they become offended because of the word. Some will not accept the tithing system; they turn away, and no longer walk with those who believe and love the truth. When the tract and missionary field is opened before them, inviting them to work in it, they answer, “It was not so taught us,” and they hesitate to engage in the work. How much better it would be for the cause if the messenger of truth had faithfully and thoroughly educated these converts in regard to all these essential matters, even if there were fewer whom he could number as having been added to the church under his labors. GW92 99.2

 

The minister should not feel that it is his duty to do all the talking and all the laboring and all the praying; but he should educate workers in every church. Let different ones take turns in leading the meetings, and in giving Bible readings, and in so doing you will be calling into use the talents which God has given you, and at the same time educating workers. GW92 101.1

 

Some, through inexperience, will make mistakes, but should be kindly shown how they can do their work better. And thus you can be educating, until you have men and women of experience in the cause of God, who can bear responsibilities, and who will be prepared for the good work that is suffering so much for the want of laborers. We need men who can take responsibilities; and the best way for them to gain the experience they need, is to engage with heart and mind in the work.—MS. GW92 102.2

 

Angels ministered to Jesus, yet their presence did not make his life one of ease and freedom from severe conflict and fierce temptations. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. If ministers, while engaged in the work which the Master has appointed them to do, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged, when they know that there is One who has endured all these before them? Should they cast away their confidence because they do not realize all that they expect from their labors? Christ labored earnestly for his own nation; but his efforts were despised by the very ones he came to save, and they put to death Him who came to give them life. GW92 108.2

 

Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to his Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that he might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following his example in frequent, earnest prayer. If the ministers of Christ will imitate this pattern, they will be imbued with his spirit, and angels will minister unto them. GW92 108.1

 

We are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the ample provisions made for us that we might be wanting in nothing. Shrinking from hardships, complaining under tribulation, makes the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens. GW92 108.3

 

All who stand unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle must feel the special warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the Stronghold. They feel their need of special strength from God, and they labor in his strength; therefore the victories they gain do not exalt them, but lead them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and they are joyful in the tribulation which they experience while pressed by the enemy. These willing servants are gaining an experience and forming a character which will do honor to the cause of God. GW92 109.1

 

The approval of the Master is not given because of the greatness of the work performed, because many things have been gained, but because of the fidelity in even a few things. It is not the great results we attain, but the motives from which we act, that weigh with God. He prizes goodness and faithfulness more than the greatness of the work accomplished. GW92 109.2

 

I have been shown that many are in the greatest danger of failing to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls. Some who have preached to others will themselves be cast away, because they have not perfected a Christian character. In their labor they do not save souls, and fail even to save their own. They do not see the importance of self-knowledge and self-control. They do not watch and pray, lest they enter into temptation. If they would watch, they would become acquainted with their weak points, where they are most likely to be assailed by temptation. With watchfulness and prayer, their weakest points can be so guarded as to become their strongest points, and they can encounter temptation without being overcome. Every follower of Christ should daily examine himself, that he may become perfectly acquainted with his own conduct. There is with nearly all a neglect of self-examination. This neglect is positively dangerous in one who professes to be a mouth-piece for God, occupying the fearful, responsible position of receiving the words from God to give to his people. The daily conduct of such a person has great influence upon others. If he has any success in labor, he brings his converts to his own low standard, and it is seldom that they rise higher. Their minister’s ways, his words, his gestures and manners, his faith, and his piety are considered a sample of those of all Sabbath-keeping Adventists; and if they pattern after him who has taught them the truth, they think they are doing all their duty. GW92 109.3

 

The Duties of a Gospel Worker

There is much in the conduct of a minister that he can improve. Many see and feel their lack, yet they seem to be ignorant of the influence they exert. They are conscious of their actions as they perform them, but suffer them to pass from their memory, and therefore do not reform. If ministers would make the actions of each day a subject of careful thought and deliberate review, with the object to become acquainted with their own habits of life, they would better know themselves. By a close scrutiny of their daily life under all circumstances, they would know their own motives, the principles which actuate them. This daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to arrive at the perfection of Christian character. Many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of benevolence, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by wrong motives. Many receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. The Searcher of hearts inspects motives, and often the deeds which are highly applauded by men are recorded by him as springing from selfish motives and base hypocrisy. Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the motives which prompted it. GW92 110.1

 

Weak men not needed now

I saw that every prayer which is sent up in faith from an honest heart, will be heard of God and answered; and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of a true saint is lost if sent up in faith, from an honest heart.—Testimonies for the Church 1:120. GW92 114.1

 

Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes, and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position, where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do his work; for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom he has called to do his work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow his directions will never meet with defeat. GW92 116.1

 

Some have given a willing ear to the tempter, and have talked out their unbelief, and wounded the cause. Satan has claims upon them, for they have not recovered themselves from his snare. They have conducted themselves like children who were wholly unacquainted with the wiles of the tempter. They have had sufficient experience, and should have understood his workings. He has suggested doubts to their minds, and instead of repelling them at once, they have reasoned and parleyed with the archdeceiver, and listened to his reasonings, as though charmed by the old serpent. A few texts which were not perfectly explainable to the satisfaction of their own minds, have been sufficient to shake the whole structure of truth, and to obscure the plainest facts of the word of God. These men are erring mortals. They have not perfect wisdom and knowledge in all the Scriptures. Some passages are placed beyond the reach of human minds, until such time as God chooses, in his own wisdom, to open them. Satan has been leading some on a trail which ends in certain infidelity. They have suffered their unbelief to becloud the harmonious, glorious chain of truth, and have acted as though it was their business to explain every difficult passage of Scripture, and if our faith did not enable them to do this, it was faulty. GW92 118.1

 

I saw that ministers, as well as people, have a warfare before them to resist Satan. The professed minister of Christ is in a fearful position when serving the purposes of the tempter, by listening to his whisperings, and letting him captivate the mind and guide the thoughts. The minister’s most grievous sin in the sight of God is talking about his unbelief, and drawing other minds into the same dark channel, thus suffering Satan to carry out a twofold purpose in tempting him. He unsettles the mind of the one whose course has encouraged his temptations, and then leads that one to unsettle the minds of many. GW92 120.1

 

Some ministers, as well as people, need converting. They need to be torn to pieces, and made over new. Their work among the churches is worse than lost, and in their present weak, tottering condition, it would be more pleasing to God for them to cease their efforts to help others, and labor with their hands until they are converted. Then they could strengthen their brethren. GW92 120.2

 

Ministers must arouse. They profess to be generals in the army of the great King, and at the same time are sympathizers with the great rebel leader and his host. Some have exposed the cause of God and the sacred truths of his word to the reproaches of the rebel host. They have removed a portion of their armor, and Satan has hurled in his poisoned arrows. They have strengthened the hands of the rebel leaders, and weakened themselves, and caused Satan and his hellish clan to rear their heads in triumph, and exult on account of the victory they have let him gain. O, what a lack of wisdom! What blindness! What foolish generalship, to open their weakest points to their deadliest foes! How unlike the course pursued by Martin Luther! He was willing to sacrifice his life, if need be, but the truth, never! His words are, “Let us only take care that the gospel be not exposed to the insults of the ungodly, and let us shed our blood in its defense, rather than allow them to triumph. Who will say whether my life or my death would contribute most to the salvation of my brethren?”—Testimonies for the Church 1:377.

 

This instance was to be a lesson to all Israel to the close of time, that God is the strength of his people. When Israel triumphed, Moses was reaching his hands toward heaven, and interceding in their behalf; so when all the Israel of God prevail, it is because the Mighty One undertakes their case, and fights their battles for them. Moses did not ask or believe that God would overcome their foes while Israel remained inactive. He marshaled all his forces and sent them out as well prepared as their facilities could make them, and then he took the whole matter to God in prayer. Moses on the mount was pleading with the Lord, while Joshua, with his brave followers, was below, doing his best to meet and repulse the enemies of Israel and of God. GW92 32.1

 

Even some ministers who are advocating the law of God have but little knowledge of themselves. They do not meditate, and investigate their motives. They do not see their errors and sins, because they do not, in sincerity and earnestness, take a view of their life, their acts, and their character, separate and as a whole, and compare them with the sacred, holy law of God. The claims of God’s law are not really understood by them, and they are daily living in transgression of the spirit of that law which they profess to revere. “By the law,” Paul says, “is the knowledge of sin.” “I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 3:20; 7:7. Some who labor in word and doctrine have not a practical understanding of the law of God and its holy claims, or of the atonement of Christ. They themselves need to be converted before they can convert sinners. GW92 111.1

 

Decided perseverance in a course of righteousness, disciplining the mind by religious exercises to love, devotion, and heavenly things, will bring the greatest amount of happiness. GW92 106.2

 

Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to his Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that he might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following his example in frequent, earnest prayer. If the ministers of Christ will imitate this pattern, they will be imbued with his spirit, and angels will minister unto them. GW92 108.1

 

Ministers to become Bible Students

  • The perusal of works upon our faith, the reading of arguments from the pen of others, while an excellent and important practice, is not that which will give the mind the greatest strength. The Bible is the best book in the world for intellectual culture. The subjects treated upon in the word of God, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the grand themes which it presents to the mind, tend to develop in man faculties which cannot otherwise be developed. The student will come from a contemplation of these elevating themes, from associations with these lofty thoughts, more pure and elevated in mind than if he had been occupied in the contemplation of any subject of a merely human origin. {GW92 386.2}

 

Ministers should become Bible students. Are the truths which they handle mighty? Then they should seek to handle them skillfully. Their ideas should be clear and strong, and their spirits fervent, or they will weaken the force of the truth which they handle. By tamely presenting the truth, merely repeating the theory without being stirred by it themselves, they can never convert men. If they should live as long as did Noah, their efforts would be without effect. Their love for souls must be intense, and their zeal fervent. A listless, unfeeling manner of presenting the truth will never arouse men and women from their deathlike slumber. They must show by their manners, by their acts and words, and by their preaching and praying, that they believe that Christ is at the door. Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and preachers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping ministers preaching to a sleeping people! GW92 121.2

 

A great work must be accomplished for ministers, in order for them to make the preaching of the truth a success. The word of God should be thoroughly studied. All other reading is inferior to this. A careful study of the Bible will not necessarily exclude all other reading of a religious nature; but if the word of God is studied prayerfully, all reading which will have a tendency to divert the mind from it will be excluded. If we study the word of God with interest, and pray to understand it, new beauties will be seen in every line. God will reveal precious truth so clearly that the mind will derive sincere pleasure, and have a continual feast as its comforting and sublime truths are unfolded…. GW92 122.1

 

Some who are teaching present truth are not acquainted with their Bibles. They are so deficient in Bible knowledge that it is difficult for them to quote a text of Scripture correctly from memory. By blundering along in the awkward manner they do, they sin against God. They mangle the Scripture, and make the Bible say things that are not written therein. GW92 122.2

 

Ministers who teach unpopular truth will be beset by men who are urged on by Satan, and who, like their master, can quote Scripture readily; and shall the servants of God be unequal to the servants of Satan in handling the words of inspiration? They should, like Christ, meet scripture with scripture. O that those who minister in holy things would awake, and, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures daily! Brethren in the ministry, I entreat you to study the Scriptures with humble prayer for an understanding heart, that you may teach the way of life more perfectly. Your counsel, prayers, and example must be a savor of life unto life, or you are unqualified to point out the way of life to others. GW92 124.1

 

Some have feared that if in even a single point they acknowledge themselves in error, other minds would be led to doubt the whole theory of truth. Therefore they have felt that investigation should not be permitted; that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God’s word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error. We cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances, to be relinquished. There is but one who is infallible,—He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. GW92 125.2

 

Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it True,—in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas, that they will not examine the Scripture evidence, with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices. GW92 125.3

 

The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true. We are not to accept the opinion of commentators as the voice of God; they were erring mortals like ourselves. God has given reasoning powers to us as well as to them. We should make the Bible its own expositor. GW92 126.2

 

But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men, and accept the decisions they make, and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to his people, if these leading brethren do not accept them. GW92 126.4

 

When persons meet together for the investigation of points of faith concerning which there is a difference of opinion, the spirit which controls them will be manifested. Those who are standing in defense of truth should be calm and self-possessed. If they have the mind of Christ, they will be kind and courteous. They will not be betrayed into the use of harsh language. They will not regard themselves as infallible, nor look with contempt upon those who differ with them. They will not regard them as enemies, nor meet them with ridicule or jesting.  {GW92 389.2}

 

No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God’s people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said, “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:8. Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time. GW92 126.5

 

If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Phariseeism cherished among us. GW92 127.1

 

There are some who indulge in levity, sarcasm, and even mockery toward those who differ with them. Others present an array of objections to any new view; and when these objections are plainly answered by the words of Scripture, they do not acknowledge the evidence presented, nor allow themselves to be convinced. Their questioning is not for the purpose of arriving at truth, but was intended merely to confuse the minds of others. GW92 128.1

 

Some have thought it an evidence of intellectual keenness and superiority to perplex minds in regard to what is truth. They resort to subtlety of argument, to playing upon words; they take unjust advantage in asking questions. When their questions have been fairly answered, they will turn the subject, bring up another point, to avoid acknowledging the truth. We should beware of indulging the spirit which controlled the Jews. They would not learn of Christ, because his explanation of the Scriptures did not agree with their ideas; therefore they became spies upon his track, “laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” Luke 11:54, 52. Let us not bring upon ourselves the fearful denunciation of the Saviour’s words, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Luke 11:54, 52. GW92 128.2

 

It does not require much learning or ability to ask questions that are difficult to answer. A child may ask questions over which the wisest men may be puzzled. Let us not engage in a contest of this kind. The very same unbelief exists in our time as prevailed in the days of Christ. Now as then the desire for preferment and the praise of men leads people away from the simplicity of true godliness. There is no pride so dangerous as spiritual pride. GW92 128.3

 

Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is sufficient for those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it from them as authority. The Jews perished as a nation because they were drawn from the truth of the Bible by their rulers, priests, and elders. Had they heeded the lessons of Jesus, and searched the Scriptures for themselves, they would not have perished. GW92 128.4

 

Young men in our ranks are watching to see in what spirit the ministers come to the investigation of the Scriptures; whether they have a teachable spirit, and are humble enough to accept evidence, and receive light from the messengers whom God chooses to send. GW92 129.1

 

We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. GW92 129.2

 

When a point of doctrine that you do not understand comes to your attention, go to God on your knees, that you may understand what is truth, and not be found as were the Jews, fighting against God. While warning men to beware of accepting anything unless it is truth, we should also warn them not to imperil their souls by rejecting messages of light, but to press out of the darkness by earnest study of the word of God. GW92 129.3

 

If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need to know it. The Sabbath-school teacher needs to know it, and every Sabbath-school scholar ought to understand it. We are all under obligation to God to understand what he sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,—”To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. But if it is according to this test, do not be so full of prejudice that you cannot acknowledge a point simply because it does not agree with your ideas. GW92 130.1

 

Dear brethren, pray as you never before prayed, for beams from the Sun of Righteousness to shine upon the word, that you may be able to understand its true meaning. Jesus pleaded that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth,—the word of God. Then how earnestly should we pray that He who “searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,” 1 Corinthians 2:10. He whose office it is to bring all things to the remembrance of God’s people, and to guide them into all truth, may be with us in the investigation of his holy word.— GW92 130.3

 

Ministers of God should be of good repute, capable of discreetly managing an interest after they have aroused it. We stand in great need of competent men who will bring honor instead of disgrace upon the cause which they represent. Ministers should be examined especially to see if they have an intelligent understanding of the truth for this time, so that they can give a connected discourse upon the prophecies or upon practical subjects. If they cannot clearly present Bible subjects, they need to be hearers and learners still. They should earnestly and prayerfully search the Scriptures, and become conversant with them, in order to be teachers of Bible truth to others. All these things should be carefully and prayerfully considered before men are hurried into the field of labor.—Testimonies for the Church 4:406.

 

The ministry is corrupted by unsanctified ministers. Unless there shall be altogether a higher and more spiritual standard for the ministry, the truth of the gospel will become more and more powerless. GW92 134.1

 

Young men who have never made a success in the temporal duties of life will be equally unprepared to engage in the higher duties. A religious experience is attained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer. Living faith must grasp the promises unflinchingly, and then many may come from close communion with God with shining faces, saying, as did Jacob, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:30. GW92 136.1

 

The world is to be warned of its coming doom. The slumbers of those who are lying in sin and error are so deep, so deathlike, that the voice of God through a wide-awake minister is needed to awaken them. Unless the ministers are converted, the people will not be. GW92 137.1

 

In this age of moral darkness it will take something more than dry theory to move souls. Ministers must have a living connection with God. They must preach as though they believed what they said. Living truths, falling from the lips of the man of God, will cause sinners to tremble, and the convicted to cry out, “Jehovah is the God; I am resolved to be wholly on the Lord’s side.” GW92 139.1

 

There are but few preachers among us. And because the cause of God seemed to need help so much, some have been led to think that almost any one claiming to be a minister would be acceptable. Some have thought that because persons could pray and exhort with a degree of freedom in meeting, they were qualified to go forth as laborers. And before they were proved, or could show any good fruit of their labors, men whom God has not sent have been encouraged and flattered by some brethren lacking experience. But their work shows the character of the workman. They scatter and confuse, but do not gather in and build up. A few may receive the truth as the fruit of their labors; but these generally rise no higher than those from whom they learned the truth. The same lack which marked their own course is seen in their converts. GW92 141.1

 

The success of this cause does not depend upon our having a large number of ministers; but it is of the highest importance that those who do labor in connection with the cause of God should be men who really feel the burden and sacredness of the work to which he has called them. A few self-sacrificing, godly men, small in their own estimation, can do a greater amount of good than a much larger number, if a part of these are unqualified for the work, yet self-confident and boastful of their own talents. GW92 141.2

 

Brethren who have the cause of God at heart are so anxious to see the truth advance that they are in danger of doing too much for ministers who have not been proved, by helping them liberally to means, and giving them influence. Those who enter the gospel field should be left to earn themselves a reputation, even if it must be through trials and privations. They should first give full proof of their ministry. GW92 141.2

 

Young men who think that they have a duty to do in connection with the work should not take the responsibility of teaching the truth, until they have availed themselves of the privilege of being under the influence of some experienced preacher who is systematic in his work; they should learn of him as a pupil at school would learn of his teacher. They should not go hither and thither, with no definite object or matured plans to carry out in their labor. GW92 142.1

 

Some who have but little experience, and are least qualified to teach the truth, are the last to ask counsel of their experienced brethren. They put on the minister, and place themselves on a level with those of long and tried experience, and are not satisfied unless they can lead, thinking that because they are ministers, they know all that is worth knowing. Such preachers certainly lack a true knowledge of themselves. They do not possess becoming modesty, and have altogether too high an opinion of their own abilities. Ministers of experience, who realize the sacredness of the work, and feel the weight of the cause upon them, are jealous of themselves. They consider it a privilege to advise with their brethren, and are not offended if improvements are suggested in their plans of labor, or in their manner of speaking. GW92 143.1

 

Those ministers who have come out from the different denominations to embrace the third angel’s message often wish to teach when they should be learners. Some have a great share of their former teaching to unlearn before they can fully learn the principles of present truth. Ministers will injure the cause of God by going forth to labor for others when there is as great a work to be done for them to fit them for their labors, as they may wish to do for unbelievers. If they are unqualified for the work, it will require the labor of two or three faithful ministers to follow after and correct their wrong influence. In the end it would be cheaper for the cause of God to give such ministers a good support to remain at home and do no injury in the field. GW92 143.2

 

The minister should not be off his guard for a single moment. He is laboring to elevate others by bringing them up upon the platform of truth. Let him show to others that the truth has done something for him. He should see the evil of these careless, rough, vulgar expressions, and should put away and despise everything of this character. Unless he does this, his converts will pattern after him. And when faithful ministers shall follow after, and labor with these converts to correct their wrongs, they will excuse themselves by referring to the minister. If you condemn his course, they will turn to you and ask, “Why do you uphold and give influence to men by sending them out to preach to sinners, while they are sinners themselves?” GW92 144.1

 

Men who think that they have a duty to preach, should not be sustained in throwing themselves and their families at once upon the brethren for support. They are not entitled to this until they can show good fruits of their labor. There is danger now of injuring young preachers, and those who have but little experience, by flattery, and by relieving them of burdens in life. When not preaching, they should be doing what they can for their own support. This is the best way to test the nature of their call to preach. If they desire to preach only that they may be supported as ministers, and the church pursue a judicious course, they will soon lose their burden, and leave preaching for a more profitable business. GW92 145.2

 

We fail many times because we do not realize that, by his Spirit, Christ is with us as truly as when, in the days of his humiliation, he moved visibly upon the earth. The lapse of time has wrought no change in his parting promise to his apostles as he was taken up from them into heaven, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He has ordained that there should be a succession of men who derive authority from the first teachers of the faith for the continual preaching of Christ and him crucified. The great Teacher has delegated power to his servants, who “have this treasure in earthen vessels.” 2 Corinthians 4:7. Christ will superintend the work of his ambassadors, if they wait for his instruction and guidance. GW92 29.2

 

It is often the case that ministers are inclined to visit almost entirely among the churches, devoting their time and strength where their labor will do no good. Frequently the churches are in advance of the ministers who labor among them, and would be in a more prosperous condition if those ministers would keep out of their way, and give them an opportunity to work. The efforts of such ministers to build up the churches only tear them down. The theory of the truth is presented over and over again, but it is not accompanied by the vitalizing power of God. They manifest a listless indifference; the spirit is contagious, and the churches lose their interest and burden for the salvation of others. Thus by their preaching and example, the ministers lull the people to carnal security. If they would leave the churches, go out into new fields, and labor to raise up churches, they would understand their ability, and what it costs to bring souls out to take their position upon the truth. And they would then realize how careful they should be that their example and influence might never discourage or weaken those whom it had required so much hard, prayerful labor to convert to the truth. “Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Galatians 6:4. GW92 64.1

 

The churches give of their means to sustain the ministers in their labors. What have they to encourage them in their liberality? Some ministers labor from month to month, and accomplish so little that the churches become disheartened; they cannot see that anything is being done to convert souls to the truth, nor to make those who are church-members more spiritual or fervent in their love to God and his truth. Those who are handling sacred things should be wholly consecrated to the work. They should possess an unselfish interest in it, and a fervent love for perishing souls. If they do not have this, they have mistaken their mission, and should cease their labor of teaching others; for they do more harm than they can possibly do good. Some ministers display themselves, but do not feed the flock that are perishing for meat in due season. GW92 65.1

 

There is a disposition with some to shrink from opposition. They fear to go into new places, because of the darkness and the conflicts they expect to meet. This is cowardice. The people must be met where they are. They need stirring appeals, and practical as well as doctrinal discourses. Precept backed up by example will have a powerful influence. A faithful shepherd will not study his own ease and convenience, but will labor for the interest of the sheep. In this great work he will forget self; in his search for the lost sheep he will not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view; to save the lost and wandering sheep, at whatever expense it may be to himself. His wages will not influence him in his labor, nor turn him from his duty. He has received his commission from the Majesty of heaven, and he expects his reward when the work intrusted to him is done. For the paragraph on Bible Study, omitted in this article, see “The Importance of Bible Study,” P. 121

 

Ministers must be endued with power from on high. When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, condemning its exciting pleasures and corrupting charms, it will then be plainly seen that there is no concord between Christ and Belial. The natural heart cannot discern the things of the Spirit of God. An unconsecrated minister, presenting the truth in an unimpassioned manner, his own soul unmoved by the truths he speaks to others, will do only harm. Every effort he makes only lowers the standard. GW92 66.3

 

Selfish interest must be swallowed up in deep anxiety for the salvation of souls. Some ministers have labored, not because they dared not do otherwise, not because the woe was upon them, but having in view the wages they were to receive. Said the angel, “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for naught. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” Malachi 1:10. GW92 67.1

 

Knowing how to present a sermon and praying

Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves great injury by their defective manner of speaking. While teaching the people their duty to obey God’s moral law, they should not be found violating his physical laws. Ministers should stand erect, and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession. The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking. Instead of becoming consumptives by speaking, our ministers may, by care, overcome all tendency to consumption. I would say to my ministering brethren, unless you educate yourselves to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice life, and many will mourn the loss of “those martyrs to the cause of truth,” when the facts in the case are, that by indulging in wrong habits you did injustice to yourselves and to the truth which you represented, and robbed God and the world of the service you might have rendered. God would have been pleased to have you live, but you slowly committed suicide. GW92 147.1 – GW92 147.2

 

The manner in which the truth is presented, often has much to do in determining whether it will be accepted or rejected. All who labor in the great cause of reform should study to become efficient workmen, that they may accomplish the greatest possible amount of good, and not detract from the force of the truth by their own deficiencies. Ministers and teachers should discipline themselves to clear and distinct articulation, giving the full sound to every word. Those who talk rapidly, from the throat, jumbling the words together and raising their voices to an unnaturally high pitch, soon become hoarse, and the words spoken lose half the force which they would have if spoken slowly, distinctly, and not so loud. The sympathies of the hearers are awakened for the speaker; for they know that he is doing violence to himself, and they fear that he will break down at any moment. It is no evidence that a man has zeal for God because he works himself up into a frenzy of excitement and gesticulation. “Bodily exercise,” says the apostle, “profiteth little.” 1 Timothy 4:8. GW92 147.3 – GW92 148.1

 

From the light I have had, the ministry is a sacred and exalted office, and those who accept this position should have Christ in their hearts, and manifest an earnest desire to represent him worthily before the people, in all their acts, in their dress, in their speaking, and even in their manner of speaking. They should speak with reverence. Some destroy the solemn impression they may have made upon the people, by raising their voices to a very high pitch, and hallooing and screaming out the truth. When presented in this manner, truth loses much of its sweetness, its force and solemnity. But if the voice is toned right, if it has solemnity, and is so modulated as to be even pathetic, it will produce a much better impression. This was the tone in which Christ taught his disciples. He impressed them with solemnity; he spoke in a pathetic manner. But this loud hallooing—what does it do? It does not give the people any more exalted views of the truth, and does not impress them any more deeply. It only causes a disagreeable sensation to the hearers, and wears out the vocal organs of the speaker. The tones of the voice have much to do in affecting the hearts of those that hear. GW92 149.1

 

Many who might be useful men, are using up their vital force, and destroying their lungs and vocal organs, by their manner of speaking. Some ministers have acquired a habit of hurriedly rattling off what they have to say, as though they had a lesson to repeat, and were hastening through it as fast as possible. This is not the best manner of speaking. By using proper care, every minister can educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively, not to hurriedly crowd the words together, without taking time to breathe. He should speak in a moderate manner, that the people may get the ideas fixed in their minds as he passes along. But when the matter is rushed through so rapidly, the people cannot get the points in their minds, and they do not have the time to receive the impression that it is important for them to have; nor is there time for the truth to affect them as it otherwise would. GW92 149.2

 

Speaking from the throat, all the time fretting and irritating the vocal organs, is not the best way to improve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration, and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel; do not depend upon them to do the work. If you let your words come from deep down, exercising the abdominal muscles, you can speak to thousands with just as much ease as you can speak to ten. GW92 150.1

 

Some of our preachers are killing themselves by long, tedious praying and loud speaking, when a lower tone would make a better impression, and save their own strength. Now, while you go on regardless of the laws of life and health, and follow the impulse of the moment, do not charge it upon God if you break down. Many of you waste time and strength in long preliminaries and excuses as you begin to speak. Instead of apologizing because you are about to address the people, you should begin your labor as though God had something for you to say to them. Some use up nearly half an hour in making apologies; thus the time is frittered away, and when they get to their subject, where they are desirous of fastening the points of truth, the people are wearied out, and cannot see their force or be impressed with them. You should make the essential points of present truth as distinct as mile-posts, so that the people will understand them. They will then see the arguments you want to present, and the positions you want to sustain. GW92 150.2

 

There is another class that address the people in a whining tone. Their hearts are not softened by the Spirit of God, and they think they must make an impression by the appearance of humility. Such a course does not exalt the gospel ministry, but brings it down, degrades it. Ministers should present the truth warm from glory. They should speak in such a manner as rightly to represent Christ, and preserve the dignity becoming his ministers. GW92 150.3

 

The long prayers made by some ministers have been a great failure. Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. They injure the throat and vocal organs, and then they talk of breaking down by their hard labor. They injure themselves when it is not called for. Many feel that praying injures their vocal organs more than talking. This is in consequence of the unnatural position of the body, and the manner of holding the head. They can stand and talk, and not feel injured. The position in prayer should be perfectly natural. Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even a quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes’ time is long enough to bring your case before God, and tell him what you want; and you can take the people with you, and not weary them out, and lessen their interest in devotion and prayer. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted…. GW92 151.1

 

I never realized more than I do today the exalted character of the work, its sacredness and holiness, and the importance of our being fitted for it. I see the need in myself. I must have a new fitting up, a holy unction, or I cannot go any farther to instruct others. I must know that I am walking with God. I must know that I understand the mystery of godliness. I must know that the grace of God is in my own heart, that my own life is in accordance with his will, that I am walking in his footsteps. Then my words will be true, and my actions right.—Testimonies for the Church 2:615. GW92 152.1

 

The Lord has been pleased to present before me many things in regard to the calling and labor of our ministers, especially those who have been appointed as presidents of Conferences. Great care should be exercised in the selection of men for these positions of trust. There should be earnest prayer for divine enlightenment. Those who are thus appointed as overseers of the flock should be men of good repute, men who give evidence that they have not only a knowledge of the Scriptures, but an experience in faith, in patience, that in meekness they may instruct those who oppose the truth. They should be men of thorough integrity; not novices, but intelligent students of the word, able to teach others also, bringing from the treasure-house things new and old, — men who in character, in words, in deportment, will be an honor to the cause of Christ, teaching the truth, living the truth, growing up to the full stature in Christ Jesus. This means the development and strengthening of every faculty by exercise, that the workers may become qualified to bear larger responsibilities as the work increases.  {GW92 232.1}

 

Brethren, when perplexities arise in your Conference, when emergencies are to be met, do not let these dark clouds drift into the General Conference if you can possibly avoid it. The president of the General Conference should not be burdened with the affairs of the State Conferences as has been the case in the past. If you, with your associates in the work, cannot adjust the troubles and difficulties that arise in your Conference, how do you think that one man can do this work for all the Conferences? Why should you pour all your perplexities and discouragements into the burdened mind and heart of the president of the General Conference? He cannot understand the situation as well as you do who are on the ground. If you shirk responsibility and crosses and burden-bearing, hard thinking and earnest praying, and look to the president of the General Conference to do your work, and help you out of your difficulties, cannot you see that you lay upon him burdens that will imperil his life? Have you not mind and ability as well as he? You should not neglect any part of the work because it calls for earnest, cross-bearing effort. I repeat, Do not throw your burdens upon the president of the General Conference. Do not expect him to take up your dropped stitches and bind off your work. Resolve that you will bear your own burdens through Christ who strengtheneth you. GW92 234.4

 

The presidents of the State Conferences have the same God that the president of the General Conference has, and they can go to the Source of wisdom for themselves, instead of depending upon one man, who has to obtain his light from the same source. GW92 237.2

 

I saw that God had laid upon his chosen ministers the duty of deciding who was fit for the holy work of the ministry; and in union with the church and the manifest tokens of the Holy Spirit, they were to decide who should go, and who were unfit to go. I saw that if it should be left to a few individuals here and there to decide who was sufficient for this great work, confusion and distraction everywhere would be the fruit. God has repeatedly shown that persons should not be encouraged into the field without unmistakable evidence that he has called them. The Lord will not intrust the burden for his flock to unqualified individuals. Those whom God calls must be men of deep experience, tried and proved, men of sound judgment, men who will dare to reprove sin in the spirit of meekness, men who understand how to feed the flock. God knows the heart, and he knows whom to select.—Testimonies for the Church 1:209.

 

There has been too little done in examining ministers, and for this very reason churches have had the labors of unconverted, inefficient men, who have lulled the members to sleep, instead of awakening them to greater zeal and earnestness in the cause of God. There are ministers who come to the prayer-meeting, and pray the same old, lifeless prayers over and over; they preach the same dry discourses from week to week and from month to month. They have nothing new and inspiring to present to their congregations, and it is evident that they are not partakers of the divine nature; Christ is not abiding in the heart by faith. Those who claim to keep and teach the holy law of God, and yet are continually transgressing that law, are stumbling-blocks both to sinners and to believers in the truth. The loose, lax way in which many regard the law of Jehovah and the gift of his Son, is an insult to God. The only way in which we can correct this wide-spread evil, is to examine closely every one who would become a teacher of the word. Those upon whom this responsibility rests, should acquaint themselves with his history since he has professed to believe the truth. His Christian experience and his knowledge of the Scriptures, the way in which he holds the present truth, should all be understood. No one should be accepted as a laborer in the cause of God, until he makes it manifest that he has a real, living experience in the things of God.—GW92 131.3

 

Those who are about to enter upon the sacred work of teaching Bible truth to the world, should be carefully examined by faithful, experienced persons. After they have had some experience, there is still another work to be done for them; they should be presented before the Lord in earnest prayer that he would indicate by his Holy Spirit if they are acceptable to him. The apostle says, “Lay hands suddenly on no man.” 1 Timothy 5:22. In the days of the apostles, the ministers of God did not dare to rely upon their own judgment in selecting or accepting men to take the solemn and sacred position of mouth-piece for God. They selected the men whom their judgment would accept, and then they placed them before the Lord to see if he would accept them to go forth as his representatives. No less than this should be done now. In many places we meet men who have been hurried into responsible positions as elders of the church, when they are not qualified for such a position. They have not proper government over themselves. Their influence is not good. The church is in trouble continually in consequence of the defective character of the leader. Hands have been laid too suddenly upon these men. GW92 132.1 – GW92 132.2

 

Ministers of God should be of good repute, capable of discreetly managing an interest after they have aroused it. We stand in great need of competent men who will bring honor instead of disgrace upon the cause which they represent. Ministers should be examined especially to see if they have an intelligent understanding of the truth for this time, so that they can give a connected discourse upon the prophecies or upon practical subjects. If they cannot clearly present Bible subjects, they need to be hearers and learners still. They should earnestly and prayerfully search the Scriptures, and become conversant with them, in order to be teachers of Bible truth to others. All these things should be carefully and prayerfully considered before men are hurried into the field of labor.—Testimonies for the Church 4:406.

 

I saw that some of our ministers do not understand how to preserve their strength so as to be able to perform the greatest amount of labor without exhaustion. Ministers should not pray so loud and long as to exhaust their strength. It is not necessary to weary the throat and lungs in prayer. God’s ear is ever open to hear the heart-felt petitions of his humble servants, and he does not require them to wear out the organs of speech in addressing him. It is the perfect trust, the firm reliance, the steady claiming of the promises of God, the simple faith that he is, and that he is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him, that prevails with God. Ministers should discipline themselves, and learn how to perform the greatest amount of labor in the brief period allotted them, and yet preserve a good degree of strength, so that if an extra effort should be required, they may have a reserve of vital force sufficient for the occasion, which they can employ without injuring themselves. Sometimes all the strength they have is needed in order to put forth effort at a given point; and if they have previously exhausted their fund of strength, and cannot command the power to make this effort, all they have done is lost. At times all the mental and physical energies may be drawn upon to make the very strongest stand, to array evidences in the clearest light, and set them before the people in the most pointed manner, and urge them home by the strongest appeals. As souls are on the point of leaving the enemy’s ranks and coming upon the Lord’s side, the contest is most severe and close. Satan and his angels are unwilling that any who have served under the banner of darkness should take their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. GW92 152.2 – GW92 152.3

 

I was shown opposing armies who had endured a painful struggle in battle. The victory was gained by neither, and at length the loyal realize that their strength and force are wearing away, and that they will be unable to silence their enemies unless they make a charge upon them, and obtain their instruments of warfare. It is then, at the risk of their lives, that they summon all their powers, and rush upon the foe. It is a fearful struggle; but victory is gained, the strongholds are taken. If at the critical period the army is so weak through exhaustion that it is impossible to make the last charge, and batter down the enemy’s fortifications, the whole struggle of days, weeks, and even months, is lost; many lives are sacrificed, and nothing gained. A similar work is before us. Many are convinced that we have the truth, and yet they are held as with iron bands; they dare not risk the consequences of taking their position on the side of truth. Many are in the valley of decision, where special, close, and pointed appeals are necessary to move them to lay down their weapons of warfare, and take their position on the Lord’s side. Just at this critical period, Satan throws the strongest bands around these souls. If the servants of God are all exhausted, having expended their fund of physical and mental strength, they think they can do no more, and frequently leave the field entirely, to begin operations elsewhere. And all, or nearly all, the time, means, and labor have been spent for naught. Yes, it is worse than if they had never begun the work in that place; for after the people have been deeply convicted by the Spirit of God, and brought to the point of decision, and are left to lose their interest, and decide against these evidences, they cannot as easily be brought where their minds will again be agitated upon the subject. They have in many cases made their final decision. GW92 153.1 – GW92 153.2

 

If ministers would preserve a reserve force, and at the very point where everything seems to move the hardest, then make the most earnest efforts, the strongest appeals, the closest applications, and, like valiant soldiers, at the critical moment make the charge upon the enemy, they would gain the victory. Souls would have strength to break the bands of Satan, and make their decisions for everlasting life. Well-directed labor at the right time will make a long-tried effort successful, when to leave the labor, even for a few days, will in many cases cause an entire failure. Ministers must give themselves as missionaries to the work, and learn how to make their efforts count to the very best advantage. —Testimonies for the Church 1:645.

 

Decorum of Gospel Ministers

God requires that those who occupy responsible positions should be consecrated to the work; for if they move wrong, the people feel at liberty to follow in their footsteps. If the people are wrong, and the leaders lift not their voice against the wrong, they sanction the same, and the sin is charged upon them as well as the offenders. Those who occupy responsible positions should be men of piety, who continually feel the burden of the work resting upon them. {2T 37.2}

 

If men placed at the head of a mission have not firmness of principle that will preserve them from every vestige of commonness, and unbecoming familiarity with young girls and women, after the light which has been so plainly given, LET THEM BE DISCHARGED WITHOUT A SECOND TRIAL. GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 6, 7

 

A second trial would be of no avail to those whose moral sense is so perverted that they cannot see their danger. If after they have long held the truth, its sanctifying power has not established the character in piety, virtue and purity, let them be disconnected with the missions without delay: for through these Satan will insinuate the same lax sentiments in the minds of those who ought to have an example of virtue and moral dignity. Anything that approaches lovesick sentimentalism, any intimation of commonness, should be decidedly rebuked. One who is guilty of encouraging this improper familiarity should not only be relieved of responsibilities which he was unworthy to bear, but should be placed under censure of the church, and that censure should remain upon him, until he give evidence in spirit and deportment, that he sees his sinfulness and heart corruption, and repents, like any other guilty sinner, and is converted. Then God for Christ’s sake will heal him of his transgression. “Even though the men and women at the head of our missions are in character as pure as fine gold, they need constant connection with God in order to keep themselves pure and to know how to manage the youth discreetly, so that all shall keep their thoughts untainted, uncorrupted. Let the lessons be of an elevated, ennobling character, that the mind may be filled with pure and noble thoughts. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (God) is pure.” As God is pure in his sphere, so man is to be pure in his. And he will be pure if Christ is formed within, the hope of glory; for he will imitate Christ’s life and reflect his character. “When a Conference selects young men and women, and aids them in obtaining an education for the canvassing field or any other branch of the work, there should be an understanding as to what they propose to do,—whether they design to engage in courtship and marriage, or to labor for the advancement of the cause of truth. 👉It is no use to spend time and money in the education of workers who will fall in love before they complete this education, and who cannot resist the first temptation in the form of an invitation to marriage. 👈 👉 In most cases the labor spent on such persons is wholly lost. When they enter the marriage relation, their usefulness in the work of God is at an end. 👈They increase their family, they are dwarfed and crippled in every way, and cannot use the knowledge they have obtained. GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 7 – 10

 

Before persons are admitted to our mission training schools, let there be a written agreement that after receiving their education they will give themselves to the work for a specified time. This is the only way that our missions can be made what they should be. Let those who connect themselves with the missions be straightforward, and take hold of the work in a business-like manner. Those who are controlled by a sense of duty, who daily seek wisdom and help from God, will act intelligently, not from selfish motives, but from the love of Christ and the truth. Such will not hesitate to give themselves unreservedly, soul, body, and spirit, to the work. They will study, work, and pray for its advancement. I repeat, do not enter into a marriage engagement, unless there are good and sufficient reasons for this step, —unless the work of God can be better advanced thereby. For Christ’s sake deny inclination, lift the cross, and do the work for which you are educating yourselves. GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 10, 11

 

There are men and women throughout the country who would have been accepted as laborers together with God if Satan had not laid his snares to entangle their minds and hearts in courtship and marriage. Did the Lord urge them to obtain the advantages of our schools and missions, that they might sink everything in courtship and marriage, binding themselves by a human band for a lifetime? GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 12

 

“Let none who dedicate themselves to the work of God be discouraged at the outlook, but let them strive to be faithful in the work committed to them. Live wholly for God; put your life, your energies, your soul, into your work, not knowing which shall prosper, this, or that. Go forth to your canvassing work, or other lines of labor, knowing that there is a witness, an angel, by your side. If you are careless and inattentive, reckless of your words, reckless in spirit, your character is thus portrayed by the recording angel. As the polished plate of the artist produces your features, so will the books of records reflect your words, your works, your character. If you cease to do evil, if you learn to do well, through the grace given for you, the golden harvest of infinite blessedness is growing, and as a laborer together with God you are preparing to be a reaper. Yield not to indolence, give not up to discouragement, be not weary in well doing, for you will reap, if you faint not. GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 12 – GCDB February 6, 1893, par. 13

 

The first appearance of irregularity in conduct should be repressed, and the young should be taught to be frank, yet modest and dignified in all their associations. They should be taught to respect just rules of authority. If they refuse to do this, let them be dismissed, whatever position they occupy, or they will demoralize others. SpTB16 3.1

 

Young girls who have not been properly educated at home, and who are wanting in reserve, modesty, and decorum, come to the institution to receive treatment… They have practiced evasion and deception and will continue the same course at the institute if they can do so without being discovered. They are ready to flirt with young men; and some who are bearing responsibilities, who should have set them a better example, because of their long Christian experience, engage in the same folly. Some of the young ladies belonging to the health institute accept the attentions of strangers who are of as little worth as themselves—men who are corrupted. This familiarity will be carried on, if allowed, until the influence of the institution is injured. Even if the parties go from the place a secret correspondence is often kept up between them, while the parents of the girl are in ignorance of the matter. The guardians of the institution must maintain a high standard, and watch carefully the young entrusted to them by their parents, whether as patients, as helpers in the various departments, or as learners. When young men and women work together, a sympathy is created among them which frequently grows into sentimentalism. If the guardians are indifferent to these matters, lasting injury will be done to these souls, and the high moral tone of the institution will be compromised. If any, patients or helpers, continue their deception after having judicious instruction, they should not be retained in the institution, for their influence will affect those who are innocent and unsuspecting; young girls will lose their maiden modesty, and will be led to act deceptively because their affections have become entangled…. SpTB16 2.3

 

Those who have had the evidence of truth, but who for days, weeks, months, and years, have had about them a subtle influence that gives a distorted representation, a false coloring, to the truth of God, are not fit for teachers for our youth. Where falsehoods regarding the word and work of God are reported as truth is no place for students who are preparing for the future, immortal life. We are seeking heaven, wherein can enter none who have changed the truth of God into a lie. Truth has a spiritual influence. It enters the mind, direct and uncorrupted, from One who is truth. The reception of truth in the inward parts is charged with the greatest results. Truth is to be received into the heart, and developed and expressed in the character. PC 74.3 – PC 74.4

 

We have labored hard to keep in check everything in the school like favoritism, attachments, and courting. We have told the students that we would not allow the first thread of this to be interwoven with their school work. On this point we were as firm as a rock. I told them that they must dismiss all idea of forming attachments while at school. The young ladies must keep themselves to themselves, and the young gentlemen must do the same. The school was established at a great expense, both of time and labor, to enable students to obtain an all-round education, that they might gain knowledge of agriculture, a knowledge of the common branches of education, and above all, a knowledge of the word of God. Those whom the Lord has presented to me as not being properly trained in the home life, who have not thought it necessary to use the powers of their mind and their physical strength and ingenuity as members of the home firm, will always look upon order and discipline as needless restraint and severity. Again and again the Lord has presented this matter before me in clear lines. The teachers must be carefully picked. No haphazard work must be done in the appointment of teachers. Those who have devoted years to study, and yet have not gained the education essential to fit them to teach others, in the lines the Lord has marked out, should not be connected with our schools as educators. They need to be taught the first principles of true, all-around education. We are living in solemn times, and the reason why there are so many failures in our schools is because teachers neglect to keep the way of the Lord. Some teachers feel the burden and carry the load of responsibility. Others do surface work. They fail to see that the woeful influence of this deficiency is seen in the words and deportment of their students. This influence counter-works the influence that God-fearing teachers, who aim to meet the high standard of Christian education, seek. I would that the teachers in our schools could be of God’s selection and appointment. Souls will be lost because of the careless work of professedly Christian teachers, who need to be taught of God day by day, else they are unfit for the position of trust. Teachers are needed who will strive to weed out their inherited and cultivated tendencies to wrong, who will come into line, wearing themselves the yoke of obedience, and thus giving an example to the students. The sense of duty to their God, and to their fellow-beings, with whom they associate, will lead such teachers to become doers of the word, and to heed counsel as to how they should conduct themselves. PC 88 – PC 88.4

 

Ministers and Business Matters

I have been instructed in regard to the importance of our MINISTERS’ KEEPING FREE FROM RESPONSIBILITIES THAT SHOULD BE LARGELY BORNE BY BUSINESS MEN. In the night season I was in an assembly consisting of a number of our BRETHREN WHO BEAR THE BURDEN OF THE WORK. THEY WERE DEEPLY PERPLEXED OVER FINANCIAL AFFAIRS, AND WERE CONSULTING AS TO HOW THE WORK COULD BE MANAGED MOST SUCCESSFULLY. Some thought that the number of workers might be limited, and yet all the results essential be realized. One of the brethren occupying a position of responsibility was explaining his plans, and stating what he desired to see accomplished. Several others presented matters for consideration. Then One of dignity and authority arose, and proceeded to state principles for our guidance. To several ministers the Speaker said:  {GW 422.1}

 

“Your work is not the management of financial matters. It is not wise for you to undertake this. God has burdens for you to bear, but if you carry lines of work for which you are not adapted, YOUR EFFORTS IN PRESENTING THE WORD WILL PROVE UNSUCCESSFUL. This will bring upon you discouragement that WILL DISQUALIFY YOU FOR THE VERY WORK YOU SHOULD DO,–a work requiring careful discrimination and sound, unselfish judgment.”  {GW 422.2}

 

THOSE WHO ARE EMPLOYED TO WRITE AND TO SPEAK THE WORD SHOULD ATTEND FEWER COMMITTEE MEETINGS. THEY SHOULD ENTRUST MANY MINOR MATTERS TO MEN OF BUSINESS ABILITY, AND THUS AVOID BEING KEPT ON A CONSTANT STRAIN THAT ROBS THE MIND OF ITS NATURAL VIGOR. They should give far more attention to the preservation of physical health; for vigor of mind depends largely upon vigor of body. Proper periods of sleep and rest and an abundance of physical exercise are essential to health of body and mind. To rob nature of her hours for rest and recuperation, by allowing one man to do the work of four, or of three, or even of two, will result in irreparable loss.  {GW 422.3}

 

Education in Business Lines

Those who think that a man’s fitness for a certain position qualifies him to FILL SEVERAL OTHER POSITIONS, ARE LIABLE TO MAKE MISTAKES WHEN PLANNING FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE WORK. They are liable to place upon one the cares and burdens that should be divided among several.  {GW 423.1}

 

Experience is of great value. The Lord desires to have men of intelligence connected with His work, men qualified for various positions of trust in our conferences and institutions. ESPECIALLY ARE CONSECRATED BUSINESS MEN NEEDED, MEN WHO WILL CARRY THE PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH INTO EVERY BUSINESS TRANSACTION. THOSE PLACED IN CHARGE OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS SHOULD NOT ASSUME OTHER BURDENS, BURDENS THAT THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF BEARING; NOR IS THE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TO BE ENTRUSTED TO INCOMPETENT MEN. Those in charge of the work have erred sometimes in permitting the appointment of men devoid of tact and ability to manage important financial interests.  {GW 423.2}

 

Men of promise in business lines should develop and perfect their talents by most thorough study and training. They should be encouraged to place themselves where, as students, they can rapidly gain a knowledge of right business principles and methods. NOT ONE BUSINESS MAN NOW CONNECTED WITH THE CAUSE NEEDS TO BE A NOVICE. If men in any line of work ought to improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient, it is those who are using their ability in the work of building up the kingdom of God in our world. In view of the fact that we are living so near the close of this earth’s history, there should be greater thoroughness in labor, more vigilant waiting, watching, praying, and working. The human agent should strive to attain perfection, that he may be an ideal Christian, complete in Christ Jesus.  {GW 423.3}

 

Right Principles Essential

Those who labor in business lines should take every precaution against falling into error through wrong principles or methods. Their record may be like that of Daniel in the courts of Babylon. WHEN ALL HIS BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS WERE SUBJECTED TO THE CLOSEST SCRUTINY, NOT ONE FAULTY ITEM COULD BE FOUND. The record of his business life, incomplete though it is, contains lessons worthy of study. It reveals the fact that a business man is not necessarily a scheming, policy man. He may be a man instructed of God at every step. Daniel, while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. His life is an illustration of what every Christian business man may be.   {GW 424.1}

 

[Work of Administrator]

AT THIS TIME GOD’S CAUSE IS IN NEED OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO POSSESS RARE QUALIFICATIONS AND GOOD ADMINISTRATIVE POWERS; MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILL MAKE PATIENT, THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE NEEDS OF THE WORK IN VARIOUS FIELDS; THOSE WHO HAVE A LARGE CAPACITY FOR WORK; THOSE WHO POSSESS WARM, KIND HEARTS, COOL HEADS, SOUND SENSE, AND UNBIASED JUDGMENT; THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND CAN FEARLESSLY SAY NO, OR YEA AND AMEN, TO PROPOSITIONS; THOSE WHO HAVE STRONG CONVICTIONS, CLEAR UNDERSTANDING, AND PURE, SYMPATHETIC HEARTS; THOSE WHO PRACTICE THE WORDS, “All ye are brethren;” [Matthew 23:8.] those who strive to uplift and restore fallen humanity.–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. VII, pages 246-249. {GW 424.2}

 

[Work of Ministers]

NOT A FEW MINISTERS ARE NEGLECTING THE VERY WORK THAT THEY HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO DO. WHY ARE THOSE WHO ARE SET APART FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY PLACED ON COMMITTEES AND BOARDS? WHY ARE THEY CALLED UPON TO ATTEND SO MANY BUSINESS MEETINGS, MANY TIMES AT GREAT DISTANCE FROM THEIR FIELDS OF LABOR? WHY ARE NOT BUSINESS MATTERS PLACED IN THE HANDS OF BUSINESS MEN? THE MINISTERS HAVE NOT BEEN SET APART TO DO THIS WORK. THE FINANCES OF THE CAUSE ARE TO BE MANAGED BY MEN OF ABILITY; BUT MINISTERS ARE SET APART FOR ANOTHER LINE OF WORK. . . .  {GW 425.1}

 

MINISTERS ARE NOT TO BE CALLED HITHER AND THITHER TO ATTEND BOARD MEETINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DECIDING COMMON BUSINESS QUESTIONS. MANY OF OUR MINISTERS HAVE DONE THIS WORK IN THE PAST, BUT IT IS NOT THE WORK IN WHICH THE LORD WISHES THEM TO ENGAGE. TOO MANY FINANCIAL BURDENS HAVE BEEN PLACED ON THEM. WHEN THEY TRY TO CARRY THESE BURDENS, THEY NEGLECT TO FULFIL THE GOSPEL COMMISSION. GOD LOOKS UPON THIS AS A DISHONOR TO HIS NAME.–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. VII, pages 254, 255. [426]  {GW 425.2}

 

Care for Workers

Some provision should be made for the care of ministers and others of God’s faithful servants who through exposure or overwork in His cause have become ill and need rest and restoration, or who through age or loss of health are no longer able to bear the burden and heat of the day. Ministers are often appointed to a field of labor that they know will be detrimental to their health; but, unwilling to shun trying places, they venture, hoping to be a help and blessing to the people. After a time they find their health failing. A change of climate and of work is tried, without bringing relief; and then what are they to do?  {GW 426.1}

 

These faithful laborers, who for Christ’s sake have given up worldly prospects, choosing poverty rather than pleasure or riches; who, forgetful of self, have labored earnestly to win souls to Christ; who have given liberally to advance various enterprises in the cause of God, and HAVE THEN SUNK DOWN IN THE BATTLE, WEARIED AND ILL, AND WITH NO MEANS OF SUPPORT, MUST NOT BE LEFT TO STRUGGLE ON IN POVERTY AND SUFFERING, OR TO FEEL THAT THEY ARE PAUPERS. WHEN SICKNESS OR INFIRMITY COMES UPON THEM, LET NOT OUR WORKERS BE BURDENED WITH THE ANXIOUS QUERY, “WHAT WILL BECOME OF MY WIFE AND LITTLE ONES, NOW THAT I CAN NO LONGER LABOR AND SUPPLY THEIR NECESSITIES?” IT IS BUT JUST THAT PROVISION BE MADE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THESE FAITHFUL LABORERS, AND THE NEEDS OF THOSE WHO ARE DEPENDENT ON THEM.  {GW 426.2}

 

Generous provision is made for veterans who have fought for their country. These men bear the scars and life-long infirmities that tell of their perilous conflicts, their forced marches, their exposure to storms, their suffering in prison. All these evidences of their loyalty and self-sacrifice give them a just claim upon the nation they have helped to save,–a claim that is recognized and honored. BUT WHAT PROVISION HAVE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS MADE FOR THE SOLDIERS OF CHRIST?  {GW 427.1}

 

Our people have not felt as they should the necessity of this matter, and it has therefore been neglected. The churches have been thoughtless, and though the light of the word of God has been shining upon their pathway, they have neglected this most sacred duty. THE LORD IS GREATLY DISPLEASED WITH THIS NEGLECT OF HIS FAITHFUL SERVANTS. OUR PEOPLE SHOULD BE AS WILLING TO ASSIST THESE PERSONS WHEN IN ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES AS THEY HAVE BEEN TO ACCEPT THEIR MEANS AND SERVICES WHEN IN HEALTH.  {GW 427.2}

 

God has laid upon us the obligation of giving special attention to the poor among us. But these ministers and workers are not to be ranked with the poor. They have laid up for themselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. They have served the conference in its necessity, and now the conference is to serve them.  {GW 427.3}

 

When cases of this kind come before us, we are not to pass by on the other side. We are not to say, “Be ye warmed and filled,” [James 2:16.] and then take no active measures to supply their necessities. This has been done in the past, and thus in some cases Seventh-day Adventists have dishonored their profession of faith, and have given the world opportunity to reproach the cause of God.  {GW 427.4}

 

IT IS NOW THE DUTY OF GOD’S PEOPLE TO ROLL BACK THIS REPROACH BY PROVIDING THESE SERVANTS OF GOD WITH COMFORTABLE HOMES, WITH A FEW ACRES OF LAND, ON WHICH THEY CAN RAISE THEIR OWN PRODUCE, AND FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON THE CHARITIES OF THEIR BRETHREN. WITH WHAT PLEASURE AND PEACE WOULD THESE WORN LABORERS LOOK TO A QUIET LITTLE HOME WHERE THEIR JUST CLAIMS TO ITS REST WOULD BE RECOGNIZED! . . .  {GW 428.1}

 

Gospel Order and Discipline in Numbers Chapter 2

When Israel were encamped in the Wilderness, strict order was instructed so that no men left his camp to go to another camp without permission. Workers too should not be crisscrossing to other workers territories without consultation and prayers. In, fact Paul says:

 

Romans 15:20 Yea, SO HAVE I STRIVED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, NOT WHERE CHRIST WAS NAMED, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

 

If these instructions are followed, confusion shall be averted and many saved for work in regions which are not yet entered. This is the very reason we need a thorough Gospel Order and Discipline. The Messenger writes:

 

MINISTERS SHOULD LOVE ORDER, AND SHOULD DISCIPLINE THEMSELVES, AND THEN THEY CAN SUCCESSFULLY DISCIPLINE THE CHURCH OF GOD AND TEACH THEM TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY, LIKE A WELL-DRILLED COMPANY OF SOLDIERS. If discipline and order are necessary for successful action on the battle-field, the same are as much more needful in the warfare in which we are engaged as the object to be gained is of greater value and more elevated in character than those for which opposing forces contend upon the field of battle. IN THE CONFLICT IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED, ETERNAL INTERESTS ARE AT STAKE. {GW92 156.1}

 

Angels work harmoniously. PERFECT ORDER CHARACTERIZES ALL THEIR MOVEMENTS. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, THE MORE SUCCESSFUL will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, CANNOT WORK FOR US SUCCESSFULLY. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the co-operation of the heavenly messengers, must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high, will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can co-operate with them. But never, never, will these heavenly messengers place their indorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder. ALL THESE EVILS ARE THE RESULT OF SATAN’S EFFORTS TO WEAKEN OUR FORCES, TO DESTROY COURAGE, AND PREVENT SUCCESSFUL ACTION. {GW92 156.2}

 

Satan well knows that success can only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. It is his studied effort to lead professed Christians just as far from heaven’s arrangement as he can; therefore he deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that ORDER AND DISCIPLINE ARE ENEMIES TO SPIRITUALITY; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course, and to remain especially distinct from bodies of Christians who are united, and are laboring to establish discipline and harmony of action. All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, A RESTRICTION OF RIGHTFUL LIBERTY, AND HENCE ARE FEARED AS POPERY. These deceived souls consider it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They will not take any man’s say-so. They are amenable to no man. I was shown that it is Satan’s special work to lead men to feel that it is God’s order for them to strike out for themselves, and choose their own course, independent of their brethren. {GW92 157.1}

 

I WAS POINTED BACK TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. VERY SOON AFTER LEAVING EGYPT THEY WERE ORGANIZED AND MOST THOROUGHLY DISCIPLINED. God had in his special providence qualified Moses to stand at the head of the armies of Israel. He had been a mighty warrior to lead the armies of the Egyptians, and in generalship he could not be surpassed by any man. The Lord did not leave his holy tabernacle to be borne indiscriminately by any tribe that might choose. He was so particular as to specify the order he would have observed in bearing the sacred ark, and to designate a special family of the tribe of the Levites to bear it. When it was for the good of the people and for the glory of God that they should pitch their tents in a certain place, God signified his will to them by causing the pillar of cloud to rest directly over the tabernacle, where it remained until he would have them journey again. IN ALL THEIR JOURNEYING THEY WERE REQUIRED TO OBSERVE PERFECT ORDER. Every tribe carried a standard bearing the sign which distinguished that tribe, AND EACH TRIBE WAS REQUIRED TO PITCH UNDER ITS OWN STANDARD. When the ark moved, the armies journeyed, the different tribes marching in order, under THEIR OWN STANDARDS. The Levites were designated by the Lord as the tribe in the midst of whom the sacred ark was to be borne, Moses and Aaron marching just in front of the ark, and the sons of Aaron following near them, each bearing a trumpet. They were to receive directions from Moses, which they were to signify to the people by speaking through the trumpets. THESE TRUMPETS GAVE SPECIAL SOUNDS, WHICH THE PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD, AND THEY DIRECTED THEIR MOVEMENTS ACCORDINGLY. {GW92 158.1}

 

A SPECIAL SIGNAL WAS FIRST GIVEN BY THE TRUMPETERS TO CALL THE ATTENTION OF THE PEOPLE; THEN ALL WERE TO BE ATTENTIVE, AND OBEY THE CERTAIN SOUND OF THE TRUMPETS. THERE WAS NO CONFUSION OF SOUND IN THE VOICES OF THE TRUMPETS, THEREFORE THERE WAS NO EXCUSE FOR CONFUSION IN MOVEMENTS. THE HEAD OFFICER OF EACH COMPANY GAVE DEFINITE DIRECTIONS IN REGARD TO THE MOVEMENTS THEY WERE REQUIRED TO MAKE, AND NONE WHO GAVE ATTENTION WERE LEFT IN IGNORANCE OF WHAT THEY WERE TO DO. IF ANY FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS GIVEN BY THE LORD TO MOSES, AND BY MOSES TO THE PEOPLE, THEY WERE PUNISHED WITH DEATH. IT WOULD BE NO EXCUSE TO PLEAD THAT THEY KNEW NOT THE NATURE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS; FOR THEY WOULD ONLY PROVE THEMSELVES WILLINGLY IGNORANT, AND WOULD RECEIVE THE JUST PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR TRANSGRESSION. If they did not know the will of God concerning them, it was their own fault. They had the same opportunities to obtain the knowledge imparted as others of the people had, therefore their sin of not knowing, not understanding, was as great in the sight of God as if they had heard and then transgressed. {GW92 158.2}

 

The travels of the children of Israel are faithfully described; the deliverance which the Lord wrought for them, THEIR PERFECT ORGANIZATION AND SPECIAL ORDER, their sin in murmuring against Moses and thus against God, their transgressions, their rebellions, their punishments, their carcasses strewn in the wilderness because of their unwillingness to submit to God’s wise arrangements,—THIS FAITHFUL PICTURE IS HUNG UP BEFORE US AS A WARNING LEST WE FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE OF DISOBEDIENCE, AND FALL LIKE THEM. {GW92 159.2}

 

“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. … NOW ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED UNTO THEM FOR ENSAMPLES: AND THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:5-12.] HAS GOD CHANGED FROM A GOD OF ORDER? —No; he is the same in the present dispensation as in the former. Paul says, “GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE.” [1 Corinthians 14:33.] He is as particular now as then. And he designs that WE SHOULD LEARN LESSONS OF ORDER AND ORGANIZATION FROM THE PERFECT ORDER INSTITUTED IN THE DAYS OF MOSES, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. —Vol. I, p. 647. {GW92 160.1}

 

The habit of workers moving into other districts where there are other workers of like-mind and same work without consulting them and the very needs of such district is lack of order and discipline in the highest sense. It is selfishness too and cannot be claimed as sin of ignorance. Workers should counsel together and move in concert as an army. Without organization, our work shall be spasmodic at best and the result will be kicking at each other and that is the masterplan that the devil has put in place and enjoys at such time as this when the work should be finished yet retarded and stagnant. Hence:

 

I am thankful that there is to be a time when the MISTS WILL BE CLEARED AWAY. I hope that this time has begun here. We want the mists here to be cleared away. I want to say that from the light given to me by God, there should have been years AGO ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS ARE NOW PROPOSED. When we first met in Conference, it was thought that the General Conference should extend over the whole world. But this is not in God’s order. CONFERENCES MUST BE ORGANIZED IN DIFFERENT LOCALITIES, AND IT WILL BE FOR THE HEALTH OF THE DIFFERENT CONFERENCES TO HAVE IT THUS. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE ARE TO CUT OURSELVES APART FROM ONE ANOTHER, AND BE AS SEPARATE ATOMS. EVERY CONFERENCE IS TO TOUCH EVERY OTHER CONFERENCE, AND BE IN HARMONY WITH EVERY OTHER CONFERENCE. GOD WANTS US TO TALK FOR THIS, AND HE WANTS US TO ACT FOR THIS. We are the people of God, who are to be separate from the world. We are to stand as representatives of sacred truth. {GCB, April 5, 1901 par. 3}

 

Order and Discipline in Regard to Dress

The God of heaven, whose arm moves the world, who sustains us and gives us life and health, has given us evidence that he may be honored or dishonored by the apparel of those who officiate before him. He gave special directions to Moses in regard to everything connected with his service. He gave instruction even in regard to the arrangement of their houses, and specified the dress which those should wear who were to minister in his service. They were to maintain order in everything, and especially to preserve cleanliness. GW92 161.1

 

And why was this? What was the object of all this carefulness? Was it merely to recommend the people to God? Was it merely to gain his approbation? The reason that was given me was this, that a right impression might be made upon the people. If those who ministered in sacred office should fail to manifest care and reverence for God, in their apparel and their deportment, the people would lose their awe and their reverence for God and his sacred service. If the priests showed great reverence for God by being very careful and very particular as they came into his presence, it gave the people an exalted idea of God and his requirements. It showed them that God was holy, that his work was sacred, and that everything in connection with his work must be holy; that it must be free from everything like impurity and uncleanness; and that all defilement must be put away from those who approach nigh to God. GW92 161.3

 

Anciently the priests were required to have their garments in a particular style to do service in the holy place, and minister in the priest’s office. They were to have garments in accordance with their work, and God distinctly specified what these should be. The laver was placed between the altar and the congregation, that before they came into the presence of God, in the sight of the congregation, they might wash their hands and their feet. What impression was this to make upon the people? It was to show them that every particle of dust must be put away before they could go into the presence of God; for he was so high and holy that unless they did comply with these conditions, death would follow…. GW92 162.2

 

The Lord requires his ministers to be pure and holy, rightly to represent the principles of truth in their own lives, and by their example to bring others up upon a high level. God requires all who profess to be his chosen people, though they are not teachers of the truth, to be careful to preserve personal cleanliness and purity, also cleanliness and order in their houses and upon their premises. We are examples to the world, living epistles known and read of all men. God requires all who profess godliness, and especially those who teach the truth to others, to abstain from all appearance of evil.—Testimonies for the Church 2:610.

 

Care of the health

Men of business can be truly successful only by having regular hours for rising, for prayer, for meals, and for retirement. If order and regularity are essential in worldly business, how much more so in doing work for God! GW92 168.1

 

Man does not know himself. Our responsibilities are exactly proportioned to our light, opportunities, and privileges. We are responsible for the good we might have done, but failed to do because we were too indolent to use the means for our improvement which were placed within our reach. GW92 170.2

 

The true honor and glory of the servant of Christ consists, not in the number of sermons preached, nor in the amount of writing accomplished, but in the work of faithfully ministering to the wants of the people. If he neglects this part of his work, he has no right to the name of minister. GW92 171.1

 

The harmonious, healthy action of all the powers of the body and mind results in happiness; and the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness. An aimless life is a living death. The powers of the mind should be exercised upon themes relating to our eternal interests. This will be conducive to health of body and mind. There are many, even among our preachers, who want to rise in the world without effort. They are ambitious to do some great work of usefulness, while they disregard the little every-day duties which would render them helpful, and make them ministers after Christ’s order. They wish to do the work that others are doing, but have no relish for the discipline necessary to fit them for it. This yearning desire by both men and women to do something far in advance of their present capabilities, is simply causing them to make decided failures at the outset. They indignantly refuse to climb the ladder, wishing to be elevated by a less laborious process.—Testimonies for the Church 4:409. GW92 171.3

 

Some of our ministers feel that they must every day perform some labor that they can report to the Conference. And as the result of trying to do this, their efforts are too often weak and inefficient. They should have periods of rest, of entire freedom from taxing labor. But these cannot take the place of daily physical exercise. Brethren, when you take time to cultivate your garden, thus gaining the exercise needed to keep the system in good working order, you are just as much doing the work of God as in holding meetings. God is our Father, he loves us, and he does not require any of his servants to abuse their bodies. GW92 173.3 – GW92 174.1

 

Health is an inestimable blessing, and one which is more closely related to conscience and religion than many realize. It has a great deal to do with one’s capability. Every minister should feel that as he would be a faithful guardian of the flock, he must preserve all his powers in condition for the best possible service. We are all deficient in practical knowledge concerning this matter. The wonderful mechanism of the human body does not receive half the care that is often given to a mere lifeless machine. Men give years of study in preparation for this ministry, and yet so weaken their powers during this preparatory work, that they die prematurely. Our workers should use their knowledge of the laws of life and health. They should study from cause to effect. Read the best authors on these subjects, and obey religiously that which your reason tells you is truth.— GW92 175.2 – GW92 175.4

 

Debating

We have no right to neglect any one of the powers that God has given us. All over the country we see monomaniacs. Frequently they are sane upon every subject but one. The reason of this is that one organ of the mind was specially exercised, while others were permitted to lie dormant. The one that was in constant use became worn and diseased, and the man became a wreck. God was not glorified by this course. Had he exercised all the organs equally, all would have had a healthy development; all the labor would not have been thrown upon one, therefore no one would have broken down. GW92 176.3

 

In this age, when pleasing fables are drifting upon the surface and attracting the mind, it is better to present truth in an easy style, backed up with a few strong proofs, than to search and bring forth an overwhelming array of evidence; for the point does not then stand so distinct in many minds as before the objections and evidences were brought before them. With many, assertions will go farther than long arguments. They take many things for granted. Proof does not help the case in the minds of such…. GW92 179.1

 

Time and strength can be better employed than in dwelling at length upon the quibbles of our opponents who deal in slander and misrepresentations. While precious time is employed in following the crooks and turns of dishonest opponents, the people who are open to conviction are dying for want of knowledge. A train of senseless quibbles of Satan’s own invention, is brought before minds, while the people are crying for food—for meat in due season. GW92 179.2

 

It takes those who have trained their minds to war against the truth, to manufacture quibbles. And we are not wise to take them from their hands, and pass them out to thousands who would never have thought of them had we not published them to the world…. The plan of Christ’s teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met. It is not the best policy to be so very explicit, and say all upon a point that can be said, when a few arguments will cover the ground, and be sufficient for all practical purposes to convince or silence opponents. You may remove every prop today, and close the mouths of objectors so that they can say nothing, and tomorrow they will go over the same ground again. Thus it will be, over and over, because they do not love the light, and will not come to the light, lest their darkness and error should be removed from them. It is a better plan to keep a reserve of arguments than to pour out a depth of knowledge upon a subject which would be taken for granted without labored argument. Christ’s ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days, there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge. GW92 179.3

 

 

If men who are engaged in presenting and defending the truth of the Bible, undertake to investigate and show the fallacy and inconsistency of men who dishonestly turn the truth of God into a lie, Satan will stir up opponents enough to keep their pens constantly employed, while other branches of the work will be left to suffer. We must have more of the spirit of those men who were engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem. We are doing a great work, and cannot come down. If Satan can keep men answering the objections of opponents, and thus keep their voices silent, and hinder them from doing the most important work for the present time, his object is accomplished…. GW92 180.1 – GW92 180.2

 

Young preachers should avoid discussions; for they do not increase spirituality or humbleness of mind. In some cases it may be necessary to meet a proud boaster against the truth of God in open debate; but generally these discussions, either oral or written, result in more harm than good. After a discussion, the greater responsibility rests upon the minister to keep up the interest. He should beware of the reaction which is liable to take place after a religious excitement, and not yield to discouragement himself. GW92 181.2

 

Some ministers who have been long in the work of preaching present truth, have made great failures in their labors. They have educated themselves as combatants. They have studied out argumentative subjects for the object of discussion, and these subjects which they have prepared, they love to use. GW92 183.2

 

Some of our ministers have made discussion their principal business. When in the midst of the excitement raised by discussion, they seem nerved up, and feel strong and talk strong; and in the excitement many things pass with the people as all right, which in themselves are decidedly wrong, and a shame to him who was guilty of uttering words so unbecoming a Christian minister. GW92 184.1

 

Generally, the influence of discussions upon our ministers is to make them self-sufficient, exalted in their own estimation. This is not all. Those who love to debate are unfitted for being pastors to the flock. They have trained their minds to meet opponents, and to say sarcastic things; and they cannot come down to meet hearts that are sorrowing, and need to be comforted. They have also dwelt so much upon the argumentative that they have neglected the practical subjects that the flock of God need. They have but little knowledge of the sermons of Christ, which enter into the every-day life of the Christian, and they have but little disposition to study them. They have risen above the simplicity of the work. When they were little in their own eyes, God helped them; angels of God ministered unto them, and made their labors highly successful in convincing men and women of the truth. But in the training of their minds for discussion, they frequently become coarse and rough. They lose the interest and tender sympathy which should ever attend the efforts of a shepherd of Christ. GW92 184.2

 

Debating ministers are the most unreliable among us, because they cannot be depended upon when the work goes hard. Bring them into a place where there is but little interest, and they manifest a want of courage, zeal, and real interest. They depend as much upon being enlivened and invigorated by the excitement created by debate or opposition, as does the inebriate upon his dram. These ministers need to be converted anew. They need to drink deep of the unceasing streams which proceed from the eternal Rock. GW92 186.1

 

In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls, and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not defy ministers of other denominations, and seek to provoke a debate. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but Goliath made his proud boasts against God and his people. The defying, the boasting, and the railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath; but none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world. GW92 187.1

 

Discussions cannot always be avoided. In some cases, the circumstances are such that of the two evils the choice must be made of the least, which is discussion.

 

People who love to see opponents combat, may clamor for discussion. Others, who have a desire to hear the evidence on both sides, may urge discussion in all honesty of motive; but whenever discussions can be avoided, they should be; for the result is seldom honoring to God. They generally strengthen combativeness, and weaken that pure love and sacred sympathy which should ever exist in the hearts of Christians, although they may differ in opinions. GW92 189.3 – GW92 190.1

 

Angels weep to see the precious truth of heavenly origin cast before swine, to be seized by them and trampled with the mire and dirt. Cast not “your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6. These are the words of the world’s Redeemer. GW92 191.2

 

God’s ministers should not count the opportunity of engaging in discussion a great privilege. All points of our faith are not to be borne to the front and presented before the prejudiced crowds. Jesus spoke before the Pharisees and Sadducees in parables, hiding the clearness of truth under symbols and figures, because they would make a wrong use of the truths he presented before them; but to his disciples he spoke plainly. We should learn from Christ’s method of teaching, and be careful not to close the ears of the people by presenting truths which, not being fully explained, they are in no way prepared to receive. GW92 191.3

 

It has been very indiscreet for our ministers to publish to the world the wily sophistry of error, furnished by designing men to cover up and make of none effect the solemn, sacred truth of Jehovah. These crafty men who lie in wait to deceive the unwary, give their strength of intellect to perverting the word of God. The inexperienced and unsuspecting are deceived to their ruin. It has been a great error to publish to all the arguments wherewith opponents battle the truth of God; for in so doing minds of every class are furnished with arguments which many of them had never thought of. Some one must render an account for this unwise generalship. GW92 193.1

 

Whenever it is necessary for the advancement of the cause of truth and the glory of God, that an opponent be met, how carefully, and with what humility should they the advocates of truth go into the conflict. With heart-searching, confession of sin, and earnest prayer, and often fasting for a time, they should entreat that God would especially help them, and give his saving, precious truth a glorious victory, that error might appear in its true deformity, and its advocates be completely discomfited….

 

Never should you enter upon a discussion, where so much is at stake, relying upon your aptness to handle strong arguments. If it cannot be well avoided, enter the conflict, but enter upon it with firm trust in God, and in the spirit of humility, in the spirit of Jesus, who has bidden you learn of him who is meek and lowly in heart.—Testimonies for the Church 1:624. GW92 195.1 – GW92 195.2

 

What should a minister teach when he gets to a place?

The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken. If he can control minds so that doubt and unbelief and darkness shall compose the experience of those who claim to be the children of God, he can overcome them with temptation. That simple faith that takes God at his word should be encouraged. God’s people must have that faith which will lay hold of divine power; “for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8. Those who believe that God for Christ’s sake has forgiven their sins should not, through temptation, fail to press on to fight the good fight of faith. Their faith should grow stronger until their Christian life, as well as their words, shall declare, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” GW92 103.2

 

If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel’s message, we must present the law and the gospel together, for they go hand in hand. As a power from beneath is stirring up the children of disobedience to make void the law of God, and to trample upon the faith of Christ as our righteousness, a power from above is moving upon the hearts of those who are loyal, to exalt the law, and to lift up Jesus as a complete Saviour. Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and his righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life. Such will not have a daily, living experience of the love of God in the heart; and if they do not zealously repent, they will be among those who are represented by the Laodiceans, who will be spewed out of the mouth of God. GW92 103.3

 

Ministers busy with earthly business

We cannot afford to use the few enfeebled, crippled energies which we possess, in serving tables, or mingling merchandise with the work God has committed to us. Every faculty of mind and body is now needed. The work of God requires this, and no separate business can be engaged in aside from this great work, without taking time, and strength of mind and body, and thus lessening the vigor and force of our labor in the cause of God. Ministers who do this will not have all that time for meditation and prayer, and all that strength and clearness of mind which they should have to understand the cases of those who need help, and to be prepared to “be instant in season, out of season.” 2 Timothy 4:2. GW92 196.1

 

In Christ’s commission to his disciples, he tells them, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18. If this is the fearfully responsible work of God’s ministers, how important that they give themselves wholly to it, and watch for souls as they that must give an account! Should any separate or selfish interest come in here and divide the heart from the work? Some ministers linger about their homes, and run out on the Sabbath, and then return, and exhaust their energies in farming or in attending to home matters. They labor for themselves through the week, and then spend the remnant of their exhausted energies in laboring for God. But such feeble efforts are not acceptable to him. They have no mental or physical strength to spare. At best their efforts are feeble enough. But after they have been engrossed and entangled all through the laboring days of the week, with the cares and perplexities of this life, they are wholly unfitted for the high, the sacred, the important work of God. The destiny of souls hangs upon the course they pursue and the decisions they make. How important, then, that they should be temperate in all things, not only in their eating, but in their labor, that their strength may be unabated and devoted to their sacred calling…. GW92 196.2

 

Ministers cannot carry the burden of the work while at the same time they are carrying the burden of farms or other business enterprises, having their hearts on their earthly treasures. Their spiritual discernment is dimmed. They cannot appreciate the wants of the cause of God, and therefore cannot put forth well-directed efforts to meet its emergencies and to advance its interests. They constantly seek to shape the work in accordance with their circumstances, in place of shaping circumstances to meet the demands of the cause of God. The want of a full consecration to the work on the part of the minister is soon felt all through the field where he labors. If his own standard is low, he will not bring others to accept a higher one.— GW92 197.2

 

The Lord cannot glorify his name through ministers who attempt to serve God and mammon. We are not to urge men to invest in mining stock, or in city lots, holding out the inducement that the money invested will be doubled in a short time. Our message for this time is, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:33, 34. GW92 199.2

 

There are young men whom God would accept as workers together with him, but they have BECOME ABSORBED IN THIS REAL-ESTATE CRAZE, and have sold their interest in the truth for the prospect of worldly advantage. There are many who hold themselves away from the service of God, because they desire worldly gain, and Satan uses those who claim to believe the truth, to seduce souls. The tempter comes to men as he came to Jesus, presenting the glory of the world; and when a measure of success attends the ventures of men, THEY BECOME GREEDY FOR MORE GAIN, AND THEIR SPIRITUALITY DIES; THEY LOSE THEIR LOVE FOR THE TRUTH. The immortal inheritance, the love of Jesus, is eclipsed to their vision by the fleeting prospects of the world. — GW92 199.3

 

Men who now go forth to preach the truth, have things made ready to their hand. They cannot now experience such privations as the laborers in present truth have endured before them. The truth has been brought out, link after link, till it forms a clear, connected chain. To bring the truth out in such clearness and harmony has required careful research. Opposition, the most bitter and determined, drove the servants of God to the Lord and to their Bibles. Precious indeed to them was the light which came from God. GW92 206.2

 

As faithful husbandmen in God’s great field, we must sow with tears, and be patient and hopeful. We must meet troubles and sorrows. Temptations and wearisome toil will afflict the soul, but we must patiently wait in faith to reap with joy. In the final victory, God will have no use for those persons who are nowhere to be found in time of peril and danger, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are required to make a charge upon the enemy. Those who stand like faithful soldiers to battle against wrong, and to vindicate the right, warring against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, will each receive the commendation from the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant, … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:23. —Testimonies for the Church 3:320.

 

The Laborer is worth his pay but are full-time Missionaries exempted from Manual Labor to sustain their families and fellow-laborers?

We are living in the last days and the fast-fulling prophecies show that Christ second coming is near. If there was a time for having an upper room experience and putting our efforts and means together as the disciples did during the time of early rain is now. The purpose of this document is to spur us to another height of benevolence and to know our duties as ministers and congregants. Not only do we have to be laborers expecting help or working for the motive of rewards but we should be spending and expending ourselves for the purpose of reaching to a people living where light has not shone hence:

 

Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God. Some think that only a portion of their means is the Lord’s. When they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own, to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. All we possess is the Lord’s, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny, it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God’s children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. . . . But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ.  {FLB 160.6}

 

A Liberal Church

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul gave the believers instruction regarding the general principles underlying the support of God’s work in the earth. Writing of his apostolic labors in their behalf, he inquired:  {AA 335.1}

 

Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? or saith He it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.  {AA 335.2} 

 

“If we have sown unto you spiritual things,” the apostle further inquired, “is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:7-14.  {AA 335.3} 

 

The apostle here referred to the Lord’s plan for the maintenance of the priests who ministered in the temple. Those who were set apart to this holy office were supported by their brethren, to whom they ministered spiritual blessings. “Verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law.” Hebrews 7:5. The tribe of Levi was chosen by the Lord for the sacred offices pertaining to the temple and the priesthood. Of the priest it was said, “The Lord thy God hath chosen him . . . to stand to minister in the name of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:5.) One tenth of all the increase was claimed by the Lord as His own, and to withhold the tithe was regarded by Him as robbery.  {AA 336.1}

 

It was to this plan for the support of the ministry that Paul referred when he said, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” And later, in writing to Timothy, the apostle said, “The laborer is worthy of his reward.” 1 Timothy 5:18.  {AA 336.2} 

 

The payment of the tithe was but a part of God’s plan for the support of His service. Numerous gifts and offerings were divinely specified. Under the Jewish system the people were taught to cherish a spirit of liberality both in sustaining the cause of God and in supplying the wants of the needy. For special occasions there were freewill offerings. At the harvest and the vintage, the first fruits of the field–corn, wine, and oil–were consecrated as an offering to the Lord. The gleanings and the corners of the field were reserved for the poor. The first fruits of the wool when the sheep were shorn, of the grain when the wheat was threshed, were set apart for God. So also were the first-born of all animals, and a redemption price was paid for the first-born son. The first fruits were to be presented before the Lord at the sanctuary and were then devoted to the use of the priests.  {AA 336.3}

 

By this system of benevolence the Lord sought to teach Israel that in everything He must be first. Thus they were reminded that God was the proprietor of their fields, their flocks, and their herds; that it was He who sent them the sunshine and the rain that developed and ripened the harvest. Everything that they possessed was His; they were but the stewards of His goods.  {AA 337.1}

 

It is not God’s purpose that Christians, whose privileges far exceed those of the Jewish nation, shall give less freely than they gave. “Unto whomsoever much is given,” the Saviour declared, “of him shall be much required.” Luke 12:48. The liberality required of the Hebrews was largely to benefit their own nation; today the work of God extends over all the earth. In the hands of His followers, Christ has placed the treasures of the gospel, and upon them He has laid the responsibility of giving the glad tidings of salvation to the world. Surely our obligations are much greater than were those of ancient Israel.  {AA 337.2}

 

As God’s work extends, calls for help will come more and more frequently. That these calls may be answered, Christians should heed the command, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house.” Malachi 3:10. If professing Christians would faithfully bring to God their tithes and offerings, His treasury would be full. There would then be no occasion to resort to fairs, lotteries, or parties of pleasure to secure funds for the support of the gospel.  {AA 338.1}

 

Men are tempted to use their means in self-indulgence, in the gratification of appetite, in personal adornment, or in the embellishment of their homes. For these objects many church members do not hesitate to spend freely and even extravagantly. But when asked to give to the Lord’s treasury, to carry forward His work in the earth, they demur. Perhaps, feeling that they cannot well do otherwise, they dole out a sum far smaller than they often spend for needless indulgence. They manifest no real love for Christ’s service, no earnest interest in the salvation of souls. What marvel that the Christian life of such ones is but a dwarfed, sickly existence!  {AA 338.2}

 

He whose heart is aglow with the love of Christ will regard it as not only a duty, but a pleasure, to aid in the advancement of the highest, holiest work committed to man–the work of presenting to the world the riches of goodness, mercy, and truth.  {AA 338.3}

 

It is the spirit of covetousness which leads men to keep for gratification of self means that rightfully belong to God, and this spirit is as abhorrent to Him now as when through His prophet He sternly rebuked His people, saying, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.” Malachi 3:8, 9.  {AA 339.1}

 

The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. This spirit finds its highest manifestation in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In our behalf the Father gave His only-begotten Son; and Christ, having given up all that He had, then gave Himself, that man might be saved. The cross of Calvary should appeal to the benevolence of every follower of the Saviour. The principle there illustrated is to give, give. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6.  {AA 339.2}

 

On the other hand, the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. The principle illustrated in the lives of worldlings is to get, get. Thus they hope to secure happiness and ease, but the fruit of their sowing is misery and death.  {AA 339.3}

 

Not until God ceases to bless His children will they cease to be under bonds to return to Him the portion that He claims. Not only should they render the Lord the portion that belongs to Him, but they should bring also to His treasury, as a gratitude offering, a liberal tribute. With joyful hearts they should dedicate to the Creator the first fruits of their bounties–their choicest possessions, their best and holiest service. Thus they will gain rich blessings. God Himself will make their souls like a watered garden whose waters fail not. And when the last great harvest is gathered in, the sheaves that they are enabled to bring to the Master will be the recompense of their unselfish use of the talents lent them.  {AA 339.4}

 

God’s chosen messengers, who are engaged in aggressive labor, should never be compelled to go a warfare at their own charges, unaided by the sympathetic and hearty support of their brethren. It is the part of church members to deal liberally with those who lay aside their secular employment that they may give themselves to the ministry. When God’s ministers are encouraged, His cause is greatly advanced. But when, through the selfishness of men, their rightful support is withheld, their hands are weakened, and often their usefulness is seriously crippled.  {AA 340.1}

 

The displeasure of God is kindled against those who claim to be His followers, yet allow consecrated workers to suffer for the necessities of life while engaged in active ministry. These selfish ones will be called to render an account, not only for the misuse of their Lord’s money, but for the depression and heartache which their course has brought upon His faithful servants. Those who are called to the work of the ministry, and at the call of duty give up all to engage in God’s service, should receive for their self-sacrificing efforts wages sufficient to support themselves and their families.  {AA 340.2} 

 

In the various departments of secular labor, mental and physical, faithful workmen can earn good wages. Is not the work of disseminating truth, and leading souls to Christ, of more importance than any ordinary business? And are not those who faithfully engage in this work justly entitled to ample remuneration? By our estimate of the relative value of labor for moral and for physical good, we show our appreciation of the heavenly in contrast with the earthly.  {AA 341.1}

 

That there may be funds in the treasury for the support of the ministry, and to meet the calls for assistance in missionary enterprises, it is necessary that the people of God give cheerfully and liberally. A solemn responsibility rests upon ministers to keep before the churches the needs of the cause of God and to educate them to be liberal. When this is neglected, and the churches fail to give for the necessities of others, not only does the work of the Lord suffer, but the blessing that should come to believers is withheld.  {AA 341.2}

 

Even the very poor should bring their offerings to God. They are to be sharers of the grace of Christ by denying self to help those whose need is more pressing than their own. The poor man’s gift, the fruit of self-denial, comes up before God as fragrant incense. And every act of self-sacrifice strengthens the spirit of beneficence in the giver’s heart, allying him more closely to the One who was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.  {AA 341.3} 

 

The act of the widow who cast two mites–all that she had–into the treasury, is placed on record for the encouragement of those who, struggling with poverty, still desire by their gifts to aid the cause of God. Christ called the attention of the disciples to this woman, who had given “all her living.” Mark 12:44. He esteemed her gift of more value than the large offerings of those whose alms did not call for self-denial. From their abundance they had given a small portion. To make her offering, the widow had deprived herself of even the necessities of life, trusting God to supply her needs for the morrow. Of her the Saviour declared, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury.” Verse 43. Thus He taught that the value of the gift is estimated not by the amount, but by the proportion that is given and the motive that actuates the giver.  {AA 342.1}

 

The apostle Paul in his ministry among the churches was untiring in his efforts to inspire in the hearts of the new converts a desire to do large things for the cause of God. Often he exhorted them to the exercise of liberality. In speaking to the elders of Ephesus of his former labors among them, he said, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” “He which soweth sparingly,” he wrote to the Corinthians, “shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7.  {AA 342.2}

 

Nearly all the Macedonian believers were poor in this world’s goods, but their hearts were overflowing with love for God and His truth, and they gladly gave for the support of the gospel. When general collections were taken up in the Gentile churches for the relief of the Jewish believers, the liberality of the converts in Macedonia was held up as an example to other churches. Writing to the Corinthian believers, the apostle called their attention to “the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, . . . yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-4.  {AA 343.1}

 

The willingness to sacrifice on the part of the Macedonian believers came as a result of wholehearted consecration. Moved by the Spirit of God, they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5), then they were willing to give freely of their means for the support of the gospel. It was not necessary to urge them to give; rather, they rejoiced in the privilege of denying themselves even of necessary things in order to supply the needs of others. When the apostle would have restrained them, they importuned him to accept their offering. In their simplicity and integrity, and in their love for the brethren, they gladly denied self, and thus abounded in the fruit of benevolence.  {AA 343.2}

 

When Paul sent Titus to Corinth to strengthen the believers there, he instructed him to build up that church in the grace of giving, and in a personal letter to the believers he also added his own appeal. “As ye abound in everything,” he pleaded, “in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also,” “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: . . . being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 8:7, 11, 12; 9:8-11.  {AA 344.1}

 

Unselfish liberality threw the early church into a transport of joy; for the believers knew that their efforts were helping to send the gospel message to those in darkness. Their benevolence testified that they had not received the grace of God in vain. What could produce such liberality but the sanctification of the Spirit? In the eyes of believers and unbelievers it was a miracle of grace.  {AA 344.2} 

 

Spiritual prosperity is closely bound up with Christian liberality. The followers of Christ should rejoice in the privilege of revealing in their lives the beneficence of their Redeemer. As they give to the Lord they have the assurance that their treasure is going before them to the heavenly courts. Would men make their property secure? Let them place it in the hands that bear the marks of the crucifixion. Would they enjoy their substance? Let them use it to bless the needy and suffering. Would they increase their possessions? Let them heed the divine injunction, “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9, 10. Let them seek to retain their possessions for selfish purposes, and it will be to their eternal loss. But let their treasure be given to God, and from that moment it bears His inscription. It is sealed with His immutability.  {AA 344.3}

 

God declares, “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.” Isaiah 32:20. A continual imparting of God’s gifts wherever the cause of God or the needs of humanity demand our aid, does not tend to poverty. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24. The sower multiplies his seed by casting it away. So it is with those who are faithful in distributing God’s gifts. By imparting they increase their blessings. “Give, and it shall be given unto you,” God has promised; “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Luke 6:38.  {AA 345.1}

 

Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within–when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance.  {COL 384.2}

 

Ministers have stood directly in the way of the work of God in Ohio. They should stand out of the way, that God may reach His people. They step in between God and His people, and turn aside His purposes. Brother J has exerted an influence in Ohio which he must labor to counteract. I saw that there were those in Ohio who would take the right position with right instructions. They have been willing to sustain the cause of present truth, but have seen so little accomplished that they have become discouraged. Their hands are feeble, and need staying up. I saw that the cause of God is not to be carried forward by pressed offerings. God does not accept such offerings. This matter is to be left wholly to the people. They are not to bring a yearly gift merely, but should also freely present a weekly and monthly offering before the Lord. This work is left to the people, for it is to be to them a weekly, monthly, living test. This tithing system, I saw, would develop character, and manifest the true state of the heart. If the brethren in Ohio have this matter presented before them in its true bearing, and are left to decide for themselves, they will see wisdom and order in the tithing system.  Ministers should not be severe, and draw upon any one man, and press means from him. If he does not give just as much as another thinks he should, they are not to denounce him, and throw him overboard. They should be as patient and forbearing as the angels are. They should work in union with Jesus. Christ and angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. The Lord bears long with His erring people. The truth will be brought to bear closer and closer, and will cut off one idol after another, until God reigns supreme in the hearts of His consecrated people. I saw that God’s people must bring to Him a freewill offering; and the responsibility should be left wholly upon the individual, whether he will give much or little.  It will be faithfully recorded. Give the people of God time to develop character.  {1T 237.2}

 

Those who would gain the blessing of sanctification must first learn the meaning of self-sacrifice. The cross of Christ is the central pillar on which hangs the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” “If any man will come after Me,” Christ says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” 2 Corinthians 4:17; Matthew 16:24. It is the fragrance of our love for our fellow men that reveals our love for God. It is patience in service that brings rest to the soul. It is through humble, diligent, faithful toil that the welfare of Israel is promoted. God upholds and strengthens the one who is willing to follow in Christ’s way.  {AA 560.2} 

 

In the days of Israel the tithe and freewill offerings were needed to maintain the ordinances of divine service. Should the people of God give less in this age? The principle laid down by Christ is that our offerings to God should be in proportion to the light and privileges enjoyed. “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Luke 12:48. Said the Saviour to His disciples as He sent them forth, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8. As our blessings and privileges are increased–above all, as we have before us the unparalleled sacrifice of the glorious Son of God–should not our gratitude find expression in more abundant gifts to extend to others the message of salvation? The work of the gospel, as it widens, requires greater provision to sustain it than was called for anciently; and this makes the law of tithes and offerings of even more urgent necessity now than under the Hebrew economy. If His people were liberally to sustain His cause by their voluntary gifts, instead of resorting to unchristian and unhallowed methods to fill the treasury, God would be honored, and many more souls would be won to Christ.  {PP 528.4} 

 

The plan of Moses to raise means for the building of the tabernacle was highly successful. No urging was necessary. Nor did he employ any of the devices to which churches in our day so often resort. He made no grand feast. He did not invite the people to scenes of gaiety, dancing, and general amusement; neither did he institute lotteries, nor anything of this profane order, to obtain means to erect the tabernacle for God. The Lord directed Moses to invite the children of Israel to bring their offerings. He was to accept gifts from everyone that gave willingly, from his heart. And the offerings came in so great abundance that Moses bade the people cease bringing, for they had supplied more than could be used.  {PP 529.1} 

 

God has made men His stewards. The property which He has placed in their hands is the means that He has provided for the spread of the gospel. To those who prove themselves faithful stewards He will commit greater trusts. Saith the Lord, “Them that honor Me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30. “God loveth a cheerful giver,” and when His people, with grateful hearts, bring their gifts and offerings to Him, “not grudgingly, or of necessity,” His blessing will attend them, as He has promised. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10.  {PP 529.2}

 

God calls for talents of influence and of means. Shall we refuse to obey? Our heavenly Father bestows gifts and solicits a portion back, that He may test us whether we are worthy to have the gift of everlasting life. {3T 408.3}

 

I was shown that there have been unhappy results from making urgent calls for means at our camp meetings. This matter has been pressed too hard. Many men of means would not have done anything had not their hearts been softened and melted under the influence of the testimonies borne to them. But the poor have been deeply affected and, in the sincerity of their souls, have pledged means which they had a heart to give, but which they were unable to pay. In most instances urgent calls for means have left a wrong impression upon some minds. Some have thought that money was the burden of our message. Many have gone to their homes blessed because they had donated to the cause of God. But there are better methods of raising means, by freewill offerings, than by urgent calls at our large gatherings. If all come up to the plan of systematic benevolence, and if our tract and missionary workers are faithful in their department of the work, the treasury will be well supplied without these urgent calls at our large gatherings.  {3T 510.1}

 

The laborer is worth his pay

“Are We All Awake in Ohio? The work in this State is begun. The tent-meeting held last season in Gilboa, has been the means of spreading the truth far and wide, and the efforts of the messengers since have been attended with a blessing. But shall the work stop here? Shall not the loud cry still ring in the ears of this people, until all are warned of the impending storm? Certainly, says every saint. Amen. Let all hear.

 

How shall it be done? Funds are indispensable. Men must eat, drink and wear. Who will bear the burden? Shall eight, or ten, or twenty persons have all the burden to bear? A tent should be well manned: three or four preachers, and at least two good able-bodied and devoted men with the exclusive care of the tent; and these men should be well supplied with needful aid, and their families comfortably provided for at home, so that all anxiety on that score may be removed from their minds; then they can labor gladly and cheerfully. How must a man feel fifty miles from home, with a letter in his pocket from his wife stating that the meal box is empty, and the children’s shoes worn out, as he rises to preach and thinks of the bleeding cause of his Master, the impending storm that awaits a heartless world? And then as his mind wanders to the hungry, scant-clad dear ones at home, (for he loves his family,) what an effort of his faith to present the truth.

 

How his mind wanders from the subject. But says one, (a rich one, too,) an elder must be willing to endure hardness. Let an elder trust in God and go out and God will take care of him. So he will, dear man, when you, and the like of you, wail and lament. Yes, God will take care of those faithful ones who endure for his sake, when the vials of his wrath fall upon the rich men.

 

Now is the time for rich men to become poor, if it is not already too late. Now, now sell some of those acres, some of those colts, those fine cattle, now that extra farm. Soon it will be too late, soon you will throw the silver and gold in the streets. Perhaps there is yet time to lay it up in heaven. Perhaps mercy will linger a little longer.

 

Let us make the case our own. How would a farmer feel with only a week’s provision in his house, only fifty pounds of hay in the barn, only one suit of clothes, etc.?

 

One of the pioneers in the present truth has traveled three hundred miles on four cents, has slept in barns, and beneath his buggy, while publishing the truth. Who is accountable for this? Certainly those whom God has made stewards of his treasure, those who are heaping up treasure for the last days.

 

But says A., I must reserve land for my son. Stop, dear brother: think a moment. The 2300 days have closed. The angel upon sea and land has sworn to the close of time. Mercy lingers a moment. O how precious these moments. Seize the golden opportunity. Make the heart of Christ glad with your offerings. Make the angels smile with your sacrifices, while plenty and peace fill the hearts and homes of his chosen messengers. J. CLARKE.

 

“A peaceful conscience and a contented mind are the principal elements of happiness; the cross of Christ, and the promises of God, are designed to produce these, and no Christian should rest short of them.” ARSH March 11, 1858, page 129 – ARSH March 11, 1858, page 129.16

 

When a man leaves home for the missionary field and his work is not appreciated and the wife and children are left hungry and with worn-out shoes, the family takes preaching as a curse.

 

Qualifications

How does a person become qualified for tithe paid ministry work?  Men and women in local churches are to go out and work for the Lord as this is the duty of every Christian, but some will be especially called of God to consecrate themselves to his ministry full-time. As they go out and prove themselves by the fruit of their labors, word should be sent from the local church to the Conference concerning those who are doing a good work for the Lord and the Conference should investigate to see if the person or persons are truly qualified for tithe paid full time work. It is up to the Conference to examine the evidence and character of each candidate and to determine whether or not to hire a person under the tithe payroll. The exact details on what qualifies a person may have to be learned by Conference leadership but a thorough interview with the person, those who have been impacted by the person’s ministry and those whom know his character best should be sought for. The better the qualifying process, the more success per tithe dollar should be seen. I believe we should highly encourage qualifying ministers based on the quality of church members they produce rather than the quantity but quantity shouldn’t be entirely excluded. One church member reached by a minister who faithfully pays tithe and offering and is trained to do missionary work bringing in more souls is of far more quality then 10 lay people who remain stagnant in their growth.

 

“In order for a man to be a successful minister, something more than book knowledge is essential. The laborer for souls needs consecration, integrity, intelligence, industry, energy, and tact. Possessing these qualifications, no man can be inferior; instead, he will have a commanding influence for good. {GW 111.1} 

 

Also:

“Men who are chosen of God to labor in this cause, will give proof of their high calling, and will regard it as their highest duty to grow and improve until they shall become able workmen. Then, as they manifest an earnestness to improve upon the talent which God has intrusted to them, they should be helped judiciously. But the encouragement given them should not savor of flattery, for Satan himself will do enough of that kind of work. Men who think that they have a duty to preach, should not be sustained in throwing themselves and their families at once upon the brethren for support. They are not entitled to this until they can show good fruits of their labor. There is danger now of injuring young preachers, and those who have but little experience, by flattery, and by relieving them of burdens in life. When not preaching, they should be doing what they can for their own support. This is the best way to test the nature of their call to preach. If they desire to preach only that they may be supported as ministers, and the church pursue a judicious course, they will soon lose their burden, and leave preaching for a more profitable business. Paul, a most eloquent preacher, miraculously converted by God to do a special work, was not above labor. He says, “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.” “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.” [1 Corinthians 4:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.]  {GW92 145.2}”

 

Continued:

“The Lord has shown that gospel order has been too much feared and neglected. Formality should be shunned; but, in so doing, order should not be neglected. There is order in heaven. There was order in the church when Christ was upon the earth, and after His departure order was strictly observed among His apostles. And now in these last days, while God is bringing His children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before; for, as God unites His children, Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it. Therefore men are hurried into the field who lack wisdom and judgment, perhaps not ruling well their own house, and not having order or government over the few that God has given them charge of at home; yet they feel capable of having charge of the flock. They make many wrong moves, and those unacquainted with our faith judge all the messengers to be like these self-sent men. Thus the cause of God is reproached, and the truth shunned by many unbelievers who would otherwise be candid and anxiously inquire, Are these things so?  {EW 97.1}”

 

Laboring Under Difficulties

While Paul was careful to set before his converts the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the proper support of the work of God, and while he claimed for himself as a minister of the gospel the “power to forbear working” (1 Corinthians 9:6) at secular employment as a means of self-support, yet at various times during his ministry in the great centers of civilization he wrought at a handicraft for his own maintenance.  {AA 346.1} 

 

Among the Jews physical toil was not thought strange or degrading. Through Moses the Hebrews had been instructed to train their children to industrious habits, and it was regarded as a sin to allow the youth to grow up in ignorance of physical labor. Even though a child was to be educated for holy office, a knowledge of practical life was thought essential. Every youth, whether his parents were rich or poor, was taught some trade. Those parents who neglected to provide such a training for their children were looked upon as departing from the instruction of the Lord. In accordance with this custom, Paul had early learned the trade of tentmaking.  {AA 346.2}

 

Before he became a disciple of Christ, Paul had occupied a high position and was not dependent upon manual labor for support. But afterward, when he had used all his means in furthering the cause of Christ, he resorted at times to his trade to gain a livelihood. Especially was this the case when he labored in places where his motives might have been misunderstood.  {AA 347.1} 

 

It is at Thessalonica that we first read of Paul’s working with his hands in self-supporting labor while preaching the word. Writing to the church of believers there, he reminded them that he “might have been burdensome” to them, and added: “Ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:6, 9. And again, in his second epistle to them, he declared that he and his fellow laborer while with them had not eaten “any man’s bread for nought.” Night and day we worked, he wrote, “that we might not be chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 9.  {AA 347.2}

 

At Thessalonica Paul had met those who refused to work with their hands. It was of this class that he afterward wrote: “There are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” While laboring in Thessalonica, Paul had been careful to set before such ones a right example. “Even when we were with you,” he wrote, “this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Verses 11, 12, 10.  {AA 347.3}

 

In every age Satan has sought to impair the efforts of God’s servants by introducing into the church a spirit of fanaticism. Thus it was in Paul’s day, and thus it was in later centuries during the time of the Reformation. Wycliffe, Luther, and many others who blessed the world by their influence and their faith, encountered the wiles by which the enemy seeks to lead into fanaticism overzealous, unbalanced, and unsanctified minds. Misguided souls have taught that the attainment of true holiness carries the mind above all earthly thoughts and leads men to refrain wholly from labor. Others, taking extreme views of certain texts of Scripture, have taught that it is a sin to work–that Christians should take no thought concerning the temporal welfare of themselves or their families, but should devote their lives wholly to spiritual things. The teaching and example of the apostle Paul are a rebuke to such extreme views.  {AA 348.1}

 

Paul was not wholly dependent upon the labor of his hands for support while at Thessalonica. Referring later to his experiences in that city, he wrote to the Philippian believers in acknowledgment of the gifts he had received from them while there, saying, “Even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.” Philippians 4:16. Notwithstanding the fact that he received this help he was careful to set before the Thessalonians an example of diligence, so that none could rightfully accuse him of covetousness, and also that those who held fanatical views regarding manual labor might be given a practical rebuke.  {AA 348.2}

 

When Paul first visited Corinth, he found himself among a people who were suspicious of the motives of strangers. The Greeks on the seacoast were keen traders. So long had they trained themselves in sharp business practices, that they had come to believe that gain was godliness, and that to make money, whether by fair means or foul, was commendable. Paul was acquainted with their characteristics, and he would give them no occasion for saying that he preached the gospel in order to enrich himself. He might justly have claimed support from his Corinthian hearers; but this right he was willing to forgo, lest his usefulness and success as a minister should be injured by the unjust suspicion that he was preaching the gospel for gain. He would seek to remove all occasion for misrepresentation, that the force of his message might not be lost.  {AA 349.1}

 

Soon after his arrival at Corinth, Paul found “a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla.” These were “of the same craft” with himself. Banished by the decree of Claudius, which commanded all Jews to leave Rome, Aquila and Priscilla had come to Corinth, where they established a business as manufacturers of tents. Paul made inquiry concerning them, and learning that they feared God and were seeking to avoid the contaminating influences with which they were surrounded, “he abode with them, and wrought. . . . And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:2-4.  {AA 349.2}

 

Later, Silas and Timothy joined Paul at Corinth. These brethren brought with them funds from the churches in Macedonia, for the support of the work.  {AA 350.1}

 

In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, written after he had raised up a strong church there, Paul reviewed his manner of life among them. “Have I committed an offense,” he asked, “in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.” 2 Corinthians 11:7-10.  {AA 350.2}

 

Paul tells why he had followed this course in Corinth. It was that he might give no cause for reproach to “them which desire occasion.” 2 Corinthians 11:12. While he had worked at tentmaking he had also labored faithfully in the proclamation of the gospel. He himself declares of his labors, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” And he adds, “For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong. Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you. . . . And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:12-15.  {AA 350.3}

 

During the long period of his ministry in Ephesus, where for three years he carried forward an aggressive evangelistic effort throughout that region, Paul again worked at his trade. In Ephesus, as in Corinth, the apostle was cheered by the presence of Aquila and Priscilla, who had accompanied him on his return to Asia at the close of his second missionary journey.  {AA 351.1}

 

There were some who objected to Paul’s toiling with his hands, declaring that it was inconsistent with the work of a gospel minister. Why should Paul, a minister of the highest rank, thus connect mechanical work with the preaching of the word? Was not the laborer worthy of his hire? Why should he spend in making tents time that to all appearance could be put to better account?  {AA 351.2} 

 

But Paul did not regard as lost the time thus spent. As he worked with Aquila he kept in touch with the Great Teacher, losing no opportunity of witnessing for the Saviour, and of helping those who needed help. His mind was ever reaching out for spiritual knowledge. He gave his fellow workers instruction in spiritual things, and he also set an example of industry and thoroughness. He was a quick, skillful worker, diligent in business, “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11. As he worked at his trade, the apostle had access to a class of people that he could not otherwise have reached. He showed his associates that skill in the common arts is a gift from God, who provides both the gift and the wisdom to use it aright. He taught that even in everyday toil God is to be honored. His toil-hardened hands detracted nothing from the force of his pathetic appeals as a Christian minister.  {AA 351.3} 

 

Paul sometimes worked night and day, not only for his own support, but that he might assist his fellow laborers. He shared his earnings with Luke, and he helped Timothy. He even suffered hunger at times, that he might relieve the necessities of others. His was an unselfish life. Toward the close of his ministry, on the occasion of his farewell talk to the elders of Ephesus, at Miletus, he could lift up before them his toilworn hands, and say, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:33-35.  {AA 352.1} 

 

If ministers feel that they are suffering hardship and privation in the cause of Christ, let them in imagination visit the workshop where Paul labored. Let them bear in mind that while this chosen man of God is fashioning the canvas, he is working for bread which he has justly earned by his labors as an apostle.  {AA 352.2}

 

Work is a blessing, not a curse. A spirit of indolence destroys godliness and grieves the Spirit of God. A stagnant pool is offensive, but a pure, flowing stream spreads health and gladness over the land. Paul knew that those who neglect physical work soon become enfeebled. He desired to teach young ministers that by working with their hands, by bringing into exercise their muscles and sinews, they would become strong to endure the toils and privations that awaited them in the gospel field. And he realized that his own teachings would lack vitality and force if he did not keep all parts of the system properly exercised.  {AA 352.3}

 

The indolent forfeit the invaluable experience gained by a faithful performance of the common duties of life. Not a few, but thousands of human beings exist only to consume the benefits which God in His mercy bestows upon them. They forget to bring to the Lord gratitude offerings for the riches He has entrusted to them. They forget that by trading wisely on the talents lent them they are to be producers as well as consumers. If they comprehended the work that the Lord desires them to do as His helping hand they would not shun responsibility.  {AA 353.1}

 

The usefulness of young men who feel that they are called by God to preach, depends much upon the manner in which they enter upon their labors. Those who are chosen of God for the work of the ministry will give proof of their high calling and by every possible means will seek to develop into able workmen. They will endeavor to gain an experience that will fit them to plan, organize, and execute. Appreciating the sacredness of their calling, they will, by self-discipline, become more and still more like their Master, revealing His goodness, love, and truth. And as they manifest earnestness in improving the talents entrusted to them, the church should help them judiciously.  {AA 353.2}

 

Not all who feel that they have been called to preach, should be encouraged to throw themselves and their families at once upon the church for continuous financial support. There is danger that some of limited experience may be spoiled by flattery, and by unwise encouragement to expect full support independent of any serious effort on their part. The means dedicated to the extension of the work of God should not be consumed by men who desire to preach only that they may receive support and thus gratify a selfish ambition for an easy life.  {AA 354.1} 

 

Young men who desire to exercise their gifts in the work of the ministry, will find a helpful lesson in the example of Paul at Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, and other places. Although an eloquent speaker, and chosen by God to do a special work, he was never above labor, nor did he ever weary of sacrificing for the cause he loved. “Even unto this present hour,” he wrote to the Corinthians, “we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.” 1 Corinthians 4:11, 12.  {AA 354.2}

 

One of the greatest of human teachers, Paul cheerfully performed the lowliest as well as the highest duties. When in his service for the Master circumstances seemed to require it, he willingly labored at his trade. Nevertheless, he ever held himself ready to lay aside his secular work, in order to meet the opposition of the enemies of the gospel, or to improve a special opportunity to win souls to Jesus. His zeal and industry are a rebuke to indolence and desire for ease.  {AA 354.3}

 

Paul set an example against the sentiment, then gaining influence in the church, that the gospel could be proclaimed successfully only by those who were wholly freed from the necessity of physical toil. He illustrated in a practical way what might be done by consecrated laymen in many places where the people were unacquainted with the truths of the gospel. His course inspired many humble toilers with a desire to do what they could to advance the cause of God, while at the same time they supported themselves in daily labor. Aquila and Priscilla were not called to give their whole time to the ministry of the gospel, yet these humble laborers were used by God to show Apollos the way of truth more perfectly. The Lord employs various instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose, and while some with special talents are chosen to devote all their energies to the work of teaching and preaching the gospel, many others, upon whom human hands have never been laid in ordination, are called to act an important part in soulsaving.  {AA 355.1}

 

There is a large field open before the self-supporting gospel worker. Many may gain valuable experiences in ministry while toiling a portion of the time at some form of manual labor, and by this method strong workers may be developed for important service in needy fields.  {AA 355.2}

 

The self-sacrificing servant of God who labors untiringly in word and doctrine, carries on his heart a heavy burden. He does not measure his work by hours. His wages do not influence him in his labor, nor is he turned from his duty because of unfavorable conditions. From heaven he received his commission, and to heaven he looks for his recompense when the work entrusted to him is done.  {AA 355.3}

 

It is God’s design that such workers shall be freed from unnecessary anxiety, that they may have full opportunity to obey the injunction of Paul to Timothy, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them.” 1 Timothy 4:15. While they should be careful to exercise sufficiently to keep mind and body vigorous, yet it is not God’s plan that they should be compelled to spend a large part of their time at secular employment.  {AA 356.1}

 

These faithful workers, though willing to spend and be spent for the gospel, are not exempt from temptation. When hampered and burdened with anxiety because of a failure on the part of the church to give them proper financial support, some are fiercely beset by the tempter. When they see their labors so lightly prized, they become depressed. True, they look forward to the time of the judgment for their just award, and this buoys them up; but meanwhile their families must have food and clothing. If they could feel that they were released from their divine commission they would willingly labor with their hands. But they realize that their time belongs to God, notwithstanding the shortsightedness of those who should provide them with sufficient funds. They rise above the temptation to enter into pursuits by which they could soon place themselves beyond the reach of want, and they continue to labor for the advancement of the cause that is dearer to them than life itself. In order to do this, they may, however, be forced to follow the example of Paul and engage for a time in manual labor while continuing to carry forward their ministerial work. This they do to advance not their own interests, but the interests of God’s cause in the earth.  {AA 356.2} 

 

There are times when it seems to the servant of God impossible to do the work necessary to be done, because of the lack of means to carry on a strong, solid work. Some are fearful that with the facilities at their command they cannot do all that they feel it their duty to do. But if they advance in faith, the salvation of God will be revealed, and prosperity will attend their efforts. He who has bidden His followers go into all parts of the world will sustain every laborer who in obedience to His command seeks to proclaim His message.  {AA 357.1}

 

In the upbuilding of His work the Lord does not always make everything plain before His servants. He sometimes tries the confidence of His people by bringing about circumstances which compel them to move forward in faith. Often He brings them into strait and trying places, and bids them advance when their feet seem to be touching the waters of Jordan. It is at such times, when the prayers of His servants ascend to Him in earnest faith, that God opens the way before them and brings them out into a large place.  {AA 357.2}

 

When God’s messengers recognize their responsibilities toward the needy portions of the Lord’s vineyard, and in the spirit of the Master Worker labor untiringly for the conversion of souls, the angels of God will prepare the way before them, and the means necessary for the carrying forward of the work will be provided. Those who are enlightened will give freely to support the work done in their behalf. They will respond liberally to every call for help, and the Spirit of God will move upon their hearts to sustain the Lord’s cause not only in the home fields, but in the regions beyond. Thus strength will come to the working forces in other places, and the work of the Lord will advance in His own appointed way.  {AA 357.3}

 

What is the motivation?

Workers are needed who are not moved by wages and yet there are others who are receiving and demanding wages yet not laboring for souls:

 

To Captain C. Eldridge

My brother, in your letter you speak of leaving the Review Office. I am sorry that you can be willing to separate from the work for the reasons you mention. They reveal that you have a much deeper experience to gain than you now have. Your faith is very weak. Other families, much larger than yours, sustain themselves, without one word of complaint, on half the wages you have. We have been over the ground, and I know what I am talking about. It is evident that whether you remain in the Review Office or separate from it you have lessons to learn that will be of the highest interest to you. I do not feel at liberty to urge you to remain; for unless you drink deeper of the Fountain of living waters, your service will not be acceptable to God. {1888 1105.1} {Lt20a-1893}

 

Herein lies a most important lesson for God’s people today,–a lesson that many are slow to learn. The spirit of covetousness, of seeking for the highest position and the highest wage, is rife in the world. The old-time spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice is too seldom met with. But this is the only spirit that can actuate a true follower of Jesus. Our divine Master has given us an example of how we are to work. And to those whom he bade, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” he offered no stated sum as a reward for their services. They were to share with him his self-denial and sacrifice. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 10}

 

Those who claim to be followers of the Master Worker, and who engage in his service as colaborers with God, are to bring into their work the exactitude and skill, the tact and wisdom, that the God of perfection required in the building of the earthly tabernacle. And now, as in that time and as in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry, devotion to God and a spirit of sacrifice should be regarded as the first requisites of acceptable service. God designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into his work. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 11}

 

Great care should be taken in regard to the spirit pervading the Lord’s institutions. These institutions were founded in self-sacrifice, and have been built up by the self-denying gifts of God’s people and the unselfish labor of his servants. Everything connected with institutional service should bear the signature of heaven. A sense of the sacredness of God’s institution should be encouraged and cultivated. The workers are to humble their hearts before the Lord, acknowledging his sovereignty. All are to live in accordance with principles of self-denial. As the true, self-sacrificing laborer, with his spiritual lamp trimmed and burning, strives unselfishly to advance the interests of the institution in which he is working, he will have a precious experience, and will be able to say, “The Lord indeed is in this place.” He will feel that he is highly privileged in being permitted to give to the Lord’s institution his ability, his service, and his unwearying vigilance. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 12}

 

In the early days of the third angel’s message those who established our institutions, and those who labored in them, were actuated by high motives of unselfishness. For their arduous labors they received no more than a mere pittance–barely enough for a meager support. But their hearts were baptized with the ministry of love. The reward of whole-souled liberality was apparent in their close fellowship with the Spirit of the Master Worker. They practised the closest economy, in order that as many other laborers as possible might be planting the standard of truth in new places. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 13}

 

But in time a change came. The spirit of sacrifice was not so manifest. In some of our institutions the wages of a few workers was increased beyond reason. Those who received these wages claimed that they deserved a greater sum than others, because of their superior talents. But who gave them their talents, their ability? With the increase of wages came a steady increase of covetousness, which is idolatry, and a steady decline of spirituality. Gross evils crept in, and God was dishonored. The minds of many who witnessed this grasping after higher and still higher wages, were leavened with doubt and unbelief. Strange principles, like evil leaven, permeated nearly the entire body of believers. Many ceased to deny self, and not a few withheld their tithes and offerings. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 14}

 

God in his providence called for a reform in his sacred work, which should begin at the heart, and work outwardly. Some who blindly continued to place a high estimate upon their services, were removed. Others received the message given to them, turned to God with full purpose of heart, and learned to abhor their covetous spirit. So far as possible, they endeavored to set a right example before the people by voluntarily reducing their wages. They realized that nothing less than complete transformation in mind and heart would save them from being swept off their feet by some masterly temptation. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 15}

 

The work of God in all its wide extent is one, and the same principles should control, the same spirit be revealed, in all its branches. It must bear the stamp of missionary work. Every department of the cause is related to all parts of the gospel field, and the spirit that controls one department will be felt throughout the entire field. If a portion of the workers receive large wages, there are others, in different branches of the work, who will call for higher wages, and the spirit of self-sacrifice will gradually be lost sight of. Other institutions and conferences will catch the same spirit, and the Lord’s favor will be removed from them; for he can never sanction selfishness. Thus our aggressive work would come to an end. Only by constant sacrifice can it be carried forward. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 16}

 

God will test the faith of every soul. Christ has purchased us at an infinite sacrifice. Although he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might come into possession of eternal riches. All that we possess of ability and intellect has been lent us in trust by the Lord, to use for him. It is our privilege to be partakers with Christ in his sacrifice. {RH, January 4, 1906 par. 17}

 

The sharp contrast between the spirit and motives of the people building the wilderness tabernacle, and of those engaged in erecting Solomon’s temple, has a lesson of deep significance. The self-seeking that characterized the workers on the temple finds its counterpart today in the selfishness that rules in the world. The spirit of covetousness, of seeking for the highest position and the highest wage, is rife. The willing service and joyous self-denial of the tabernacle workers is seldom met with. But this is the only spirit that should actuate the followers of Jesus. Our divine Master has given an example of how His disciples are to work. To those whom He bade, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), He offered no stated sum as a reward for their services. They were to share with Him in self-denial and sacrifice. {PK 64.3}

 

Not for the wages we receive are we to labor. The motive that prompts us to work for God should have in it nothing akin to self-serving. Unselfish devotion and a spirit of sacrifice have always been and always will be the first requisite of acceptable service. Our Lord and Master designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into His work. Into our efforts we are to bring the tact and skill, the exactitude and wisdom, that the God of perfection required of the builders of the earthly tabernacle; yet in all our labors we are to remember that the greatest talents or the most splendid services are acceptable only when self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. {PK 65.1}

 

Wages without Souls

There is need of a great reformation in our ranks. The ministers who are drawing pay from the conference need to ask themselves the question, Am I a faithful worker? Am I a spiritual help to the church? There are those who demand high wages for their labors, but who bring few souls into the truth to stand steadfast and true to its principles. It is time for our ministers to humble their hearts before the Lord, and bear a straight, convincing testimony to the people. It is time for them to labor earnestly to increase the membership of the churches, leading all to a thorough understanding of the truth, for this time. The Lord wants living members in his church, men and women who will encourage one another in faithful service. (Signed) Ellen G. White. {SpM 437.3}

 

We need to branch out more in our methods of labor; not a hand should be bound; not a soul discouraged; not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labor privately or publicly to help forward the work. Place the burden upon men and women of the church that they may grow by reason of exercise, and thus become efficient agencies in the hand of the Lord for the enlightenment of those who sit in darkness. {SpM 438.1}

 

There has been so much preaching to our churches that they have almost ceased to appreciate the gospel ministry. The time has come when this order of things should be changed. Let the minister call out the individual church members to help him by house-to-house work, to carry the truth into regions beyond. Mrs. E. G. White. {SpM 438.2}

 

God’s servants must not be idlers, but must work diligently to win souls. One soul saved is of more consequence than all the riches of the world. Let our church members ask themselves the question, Do I improve my opportunities? What fruit am I bearing to the glory of God? {SpM 439.1}

 

We see determined efforts being made to establish the first day of the week as the Sabbath for all the world, in place of the Sabbath of the Lord. And while this is being done, a work is going forward in the councils of heaven to bring advantages to the people who believe and obey the word of the Lord. {SpM 440.2}

 

All parts of our country are to be warned of the time in which we live. As schools are established in new localities, many will become acquainted with the reasons of our faith. In planning our school work, we are to work to benefit both believers and unbelievers, that the truth may come to the homes of many who are now in ignorance of it. {SpM 440.4}

 

Let the work of dividing be carefully and prayerfully considered. Properties will be offered for sale in the rural districts at a price below the real cost, because the owners desire city advantages, and it is these rural locations that we desire to obtain for our schools, that the students may be away from the temptations of city life. If in these places there is land to be worked and buildings to be erected, this work will be of great benefit to the students. When driven from the cities, or when sent to other countries, the trades learned in our school may be made an influence in favor of the truth. {SpM 440.5} As we divide our schools, we should seek to make them more and more like the schools of the prophets. More and more we are to make the Bible the great lesson book. Wherever our schools are established now, the students are to become most thorough students of the Bible. If they will become doers of the Word, if they will dig deep, laying their foundations sure to obedience to all the requirements of God, they will be preparing to graduate to the higher school. Ellen G. White. {SpM 440.6}

 

Thus it will ever be when the Spirit of God takes possession of the life. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ, will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence–all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel. Thus it was in the early church; and when in the church of today it is seen that by the power of the Spirit the members have taken their affections from the things of the world, and that they are willing to make sacrifices in order that their fellow men may hear the gospel, the truths proclaimed will have a powerful influence upon the hearers.  {AA 71.1}

 

The cause of God in the earth today is in need of living representatives of Bible truth. The ordained ministers alone are not equal to the task of warning the great cities. God is calling not only upon ministers, but also upon physicians, nurses, colporteurs, Bible workers, and other consecrated laymen of varied talent who have a knowledge of the word of God and who know the power of His grace, to consider the needs of the unwarned cities. Time is rapidly passing, and there is much to be done. Every agency must be set in operation, that present opportunities may be wisely improved.  {AA 158.3}

 

May God give us a very different spirit and motive why we enter the field of work. May we not be moved by impulse or love for money and in-turn turn into busybodies that are burdens to the church of God.

 

“Instead of bringing the expense of the work down to a low figure, it is your duty to bring the minds of the people to understand that the ‘laborer is worthy of his hire.’ Luke 10:7.” “The churches need to be impressed with the fact that it is their duty to deal honestly with the cause of God, not allowing the guilt to the worst kind of robbery to rest upon them, that of robbing God in tithes and offerings. When settlements are made with the laborers in his cause, they should not be forced to accept small remuneration because there is a lack of money in the treasury. Many have been defrauded of their just dues in this way, and it is just as criminal in the sight of God as for one to keep back the wages of those who are employed in any other regular business.

 

There are men of ability who would like to go out and labor in our several Conferences; but they have no courage, for they must have means to support their families. It is the worst kind of generalship to allow a Conference to stand still, or to fail to settle its honest debts. There is a great deal of this done; and whenever it is done, God is displeased”. GW92 200.1 – GW92 200.2

 

“Ministers have failed greatly in their duty to so labor with the churches. There is important work to be done aside from that of preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it should be, there would have been many more laborers in the field than there now are. And had the ministers done their duty in educating every member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has prospered him, there would be a full treasury from which to pay the honest debts to the workers, and this would greatly advance missionary work in all their borders. God has shown me that many souls are in danger of eternal ruin through selfishness and worldliness; and the watchmen are guilty, for they have neglected their duty. This is a state of things that Satan exults to see.” GW92 200.3

 

“The spiritual dearth in our churches is frequently the result of an alarming prevalence of selfishness. Selfish, worldly pursuits and schemes interpose between the soul and God. Men cling to the world, seeming to fear that should they let go their hold upon it, God would not care for them. And so they attempt to take care of themselves; they are anxious, troubled, distressed, holding on to their large farms, and adding to their possessions.

 

The word of God speaks of the ‘hire of the laborers, … which is of you kept back by fraud.’ James 5:4. This is generally understood to apply to wealthy men who employ servants and do not pay them for their labor; but it has a broader meaning than this. It applies with great force to those who have been enlightened by the Spirit of God, and yet in any degree work upon the same principle that these men do hiring servants; grinding them down to the lowest price.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:375. GW92 201.1 – GW92 201.2

 

Education for the Missionary Work

[FIRST PUBLISHED IN “HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE S. D. A. FOREIGN MISSIONS,” 1886]

 

“We are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.]  {GW92 282.1}

 

The work of the Christian laborer is not light or unimportant. He has a high vocation, from which his whole future life must take its mould and coloring. He who gives himself to so sacred a work should bend all his energies to its accomplishment. He should aim high; he will never reach a higher standard than that which he aims to attain. He cannot diffuse light until he has first received it. He must be a learner before he can have sufficient experience and wisdom to become a teacher, able to open the Scriptures to those who are in darkness. If God has called men to be laborers together with him, it is equally certain that he has called them to make the best possible preparation to rightly represent the sacred, elevating truths of his word.  {GW92 282.2}

 

  • Those who desire to give themselves to the work of God, should receive an education and training for the work, that they may be prepared to engage in it intelligently. No one should feel that he can step at once upon the upper rounds of the ladder; those who would succeed must begin at the first round, and climb upward step by step. Opportunities and privileges are granted them for improvement, and they should make every effort in their power to learn how they may do the work of God acceptably. {GW92 282.3}

 

Wherever our ministers shall labor, in Europe or in America, they should seek to arouse the youth to prepare for active service in God’s great field of battle. All who claim to be the servants of Christ have a work to do for him. The very name of servant conveys the idea of hire, work, responsibility. God has intrusted to every one, powers to be employed in his service. He has given to each his work, and he requires that every faculty shall be improved to his glory.  {GW92 283.1}

 

Just in front of our printing office in Basel, Switzerland, is a large park of many acres, reserved by the government for military drill. Here day after day, at certain seasons of the year, we see the soldiers training. They are drilled in all the duties of the army, so that in case of war they may be ready at the call of the government to engage in actual service. One day a fine tent was brought upon the ground. Then came the discipline of pitching it and taking it down; instruction was given as to setting it up in proper order, every man having his specific work. Several times the tent was erected and taken down. By another company, many small cannon were brought upon the ground, and lessons were given by the officers in the matter of moving these quickly from place to place, in taking apart the cannon wagon, and setting the gun ready for use, and in quickly attaching again the fore wheels so as to be ready at the call to set them in motion in an instant. Ambulances were brought to the ground, and the sanitary corps were taught to take care of the wounded. Men were laid upon stretchers, and their heads and limbs were bandaged as are those of the wounded on the field of battle. Then they were laid in the ambulances and drawn from the ground. For hours, soldiers are drilled to disencumber themselves of their knapsacks, and place them quickly in position again upon the person. They are taught how to stack their arms, and how to seize them quickly. They are drilled in making a charge as against the enemy, and are trained in all kinds of maneuvers.  {GW92 283.2}

 

  • Thus the drill goes on, preparing men for any emergency. And should those who are fighting the battle for Prince Immanuel be less earnest and painstaking in their preparation for the spiritual warfare? Those who engage in this great work must take part in the drill. They must educate themselves to obey, before they are fitted to command. {GW92 284.1}

 

Even at this eleventh hour, there should be decided advancement made in the matter of a special preparatory work. In all our Conferences there should be well-organized plans for the instruction and training of those who desire to give themselves to the cause of God. Our city missions afford favorable opportunities for education in missionary labor; but these are not enough. There ought to be connected with our schools the best possible facilities for the preparation of laborers for both home and foreign fields. There should also be in our larger churches special training schools for young men and women, to fit them to become workers for God. And far more attention should be given by our ministers to the matter of assisting and educating younger laborers.  {GW92 284.2}

 

When an effort is made to introduce the truth in an important place, our ministers should give special attention to the instruction and training of those who are to co-operate with them. Colporteurs and canvassers are needed, and those who are fitted to give Bible readings in families, so that while the ministers are laboring in word and doctrine, these can also be calling minds to the truth. Our ministers who have gone to important places to hold tent-meetings have often made a serious mistake in devoting all their time to sermonizing. There should be less preaching and more teaching,—teaching the people, and also teaching young men how to labor successfully. Ministers should become efficient in teaching others how to study the Bible, and in training the minds and manners of those who would become workers in the cause of God. And they should be ready to counsel and instruct those who have newly come to the faith, and who give promise of possessing ability to work for the Master.  {GW92 284.3}

 

Those who are connected with tent labor should avail themselves of all the advantages thus offered them. They should not be wandering listlessly about while discourses are being given, as though there was nothing in the sermon that they needed. They are not to regard the speaker as merely one who is delivering an oration, but as God’s messenger, bearing a message from heaven to men. Personal preferences and prejudices must not come in to influence the hearer. All should imitate the example of Cornelius and his friends, who said, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” [Acts 10:33.] If the hearers thus listen in faith, expecting a message from God through his delegated messenger, they will receive it and be profited.  {GW92 285.1}

 

The youth who aim to labor in the Master’s vineyard must be as apprentices who are to learn the trade. They must learn to be useful in the work by first doing errands for the Lord, improving opportunities for doing missionary labor anywhere and in any capacity. Thus they may give evidence that they possess tact and qualifications for the greatest work ever intrusted to men. They should be constantly improving in mind, in manners, in speech, learning how to become successful laborers. They should cultivate tact and courtesy, and manifest the spirit of Christ. Let them never cease to learn. Onward and upward should be their constant endeavor.  {GW92 285.2}

 

Both the youth and those of mature age, should, as they continue to labor, be constantly becoming more efficient. To engage successfully in a new branch of the work, the mental powers must be disciplined. The mind must not be permitted to drift with circumstances and follow impulse, but must be resolutely held to the object of the labor.  {GW92 285.3}

 

All who would become efficient workers must give much time to prayer. The communication between God and the soul must be kept open, that the workers may recognize the voice of their Captain. The Bible should be diligently studied. The truth of God, like gold, is not always lying right on the surface; it is to be obtained only by earnest thought and study. This study will not only store the mind with the most valuable knowledge, but it will strengthen and expand the mental powers, and it will give a true estimate of eternal things. Let the divine precepts be brought into the daily life; let the life be fashioned after God’s great standard of righteousness, and the whole character will be strengthened and ennobled.  {GW92 286.1}

 

  • He who is seeking to qualify himself for the sacred work of God should be careful not to place himself on the enemy’s ground, but should choose the society of those who will help him to obtain divine knowledge. God suffered John, the beloved disciple, to be exiled to Patmos, where he was separated from the world’s bustle and strife, shut away from every outside influence, and even from the work that he loved. Then the Lord could commune with him, opening before him the closing scenes in this world’s history. John the Baptist made his home in the wilderness, there to receive of God the message he was to bear to prepare the way for the Coming One. So far as consistent, we should shun every influence which would tend to divert the mind from the work of God. And those especially who are young in faith and experience should beware that they do not in self-confidence place themselves in the way of temptation. {GW92 286.2}

 

Those who take hold of the work aright will feel the necessity of having Jesus with them at every step, and they will feel that the cultivation of the mind and the manners is a duty due to themselves and required of God,—a duty which is essential to the success of the work. Some who contemplate becoming missionary workers may think themselves so far advanced that they do not need all this particular drill, but those who feel thus are the very ones who stand in the greatest need of thorough training. When they know much more in regard to the truth and the importance of the work, they will realize their ignorance and inefficiency. When they closely examine their own hearts, they will see themselves in such contrast to the pure character of Christ that they will cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things?” [2 Corinthians 2:16.] Then they will in deep humility strive daily to place themselves in close connection with Christ. While overcoming the selfish inclinations of the natural heart, they are placing their feet in the path where Christ leads the way. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] But those who have a high estimate of their own ability and acquisitions, are so full of self-importance that there is no opportunity for the entrance of the word of God, to instruct and enlighten them.  {GW92 287.1}

 

Many feel that they are fitted for a work that they know scarcely anything about, and if they start in to labor in a self-important manner, they will fail to receive that knowledge which they must obtain in Christ’s school. These will be doomed to struggle with many difficulties, for which they are wholly unprepared. They will ever lack experience and wisdom until they learn their great inefficiency.  {GW92 287.2}

 

Very much has been lost to the cause by the defective labors of men who possess ability, but who have not had proper training. They have engaged in a work which they knew not how to manage, and as the result, have accomplished but little. They have not done a tithe of what they could have done had they received the right discipline at the start. They seized upon a few ideas, managed to get a runway of a few discourses, and here their progress ended. They felt competent to be teachers, when they had scarcely mastered their A B C’s in the knowledge of the truth. They have been stumbling along ever since, not doing justice to themselves or to the work. They do not seem to have sufficient interest to arouse their dormant energies, and task their powers to become efficient workers. They have not taken the pains to form thorough and well-devised plans, and their work shows a deficiency in every part. Some have given up in discouragement, and have engaged in other employment. Had these patiently and humbly placed their feet on the lowest round of the ladder, and then with persevering energy climbed step by step, diligently improving the privileges and opportunities within their reach, they might have become able, useful workmen, who could give full proof of their ministry, and of whom the Master would not be ashamed.  {GW92 287.3}

 

  • If those who propose to work for the salvation of souls depend on their own finite wisdom, they will certainly fail. If they entertain humble views of self, and rely fully upon the promises of God, he will never fail them. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:5, 6.] We have the privilege of being directed by a wise Counselor. {GW92 288.1}

 

God can make humble men mighty in his service. Those who obediently respond to the call of duty, improving their abilities to the very utmost, may be sure of receiving divine assistance. Angels will come as messengers of light to the help of those who will do all that they can do on their part, and then trust in God to work with their efforts.  {GW92 288.2}

 

It should be impressed on all who have decided to become workers for God, that they must give evidence that they are converted men. A young man without a sound, virtuous character will be no honor to the truth. Every worker should be pure in heart; in his mouth should be found no guile. He should bear in mind that in order to be successful he must have Christ by his side, and that every sinful practice, however secret, is open to the view of Him with whom we have to do. Sin has marred the divine image in man, but through Christ this may be restored. But it is only through earnest prayer and the conquest of self that we can become partakers of the divine nature. Many do not rise high enough to meet the standard. Their faith is weak, they expect but little from God, and they receive according to their faith. They need far more faith in God, and far less confidence in self. When they have this, they will be more successful in attaining perfection of character.  {GW92 289.1}

 

  • The true toilers in the Lord’s vineyard will be men of prayer, of faith, of self-denial,—men who hold in restraint the natural appetites and passions. These will in their lives give evidence of the power of the truth which they present to others; and their labors will not be without effect. {GW92 289.2}

 

The apostle Paul, in his dying charge to Timothy, says: “The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” [2 Timothy 2:2.] The instruction given to Timothy contains lessons to be learned by all the servants of Christ. Every one who anticipates engaging in the solemn work of the ministry, should give heed to the apostle’s charge to his son in the gospel, as the latter was entering upon his work; “Let no man despise thy youth.” Timothy might pursue so wise a course that he would gain the confidence of all with whom he should be associated. The ground of this confidence the apostle specifies: “But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” The work of a student was enjoined upon him. “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”  {GW92 289.3}

 

These lessons are important, not only to ministers, but to all the workers in the cause of God. Each should give them careful study. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [2 Timothy 4:12-16.]  {GW92 290.1}

 

The third angel is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, showing that the message is to go forth throughout the length and breadth of the earth. It is the most solemn message ever given to mortals, and all who propose to connect themselves with the work should first feel their need of an education and the most thorough training. Plans should be made and efforts put forth for the improvement of all who anticipate entering any branch of the work. Ministerial labor should not be entrusted to boys, neither should the work of giving Bible readings be entrusted to young girls because they offer their services, and are willing to take responsible positions, while they are wanting in religious experience, and lack a thorough education and training. They must be proved; and unless they develop a firm, conscientious principle to be all that God would have them to be, they would not correctly represent his cause. All who are engaged in the work, in every mission, should have a depth of experience. Those who are young in the work should have the help of such as have had an experience, and understand the manner of working. The missionary operations are constantly embarrassed for the want of workers of the right class of mind,—workers who have devotion and piety that will correctly represent our faith.  {GW92 290.2}

 

  • There are many who ought to become missionaries, but who never enter the field, because those who are united with them in church capacity or in our colleges do not feel the burden to labor with them, to open before them the claims of God upon all their powers, and do not pray with and for them; the eventful period which decides the course of life passes, their convictions are stifled, other influences and inducements attract them, and temptations to seek positions that will, they think, bring them financial gain, take them into the worldly current. These youth might have been saved to the cause. If our churches do their duty, God will work with their efforts by his Spirit, and will supply faithful laborers for the ministry and the missionary work. {GW92 291.1}

 

Our schools are to be training-schools; and if men and women come forth from them, fitted in any sense for the missionary field, they must be led to realize the greatness of the work; practical godliness must be brought into their daily experience, if they would be fitted for any place of usefulness in the cause of God.  {GW92 291.2}

 

The missions established in our cities, if conducted by men who have ability to manage them, will be steady lights, shining amid the moral darkness. The opening of the Scriptures by means of Bible readings is an essential part of the work connected with these missions; but persons cannot take hold of this work successfully until they are prepared for it. Many need to be trained in school before they even know how study, how to bring the thoughts under the control of the will, how to use wisely their mental powers. There is much to be learned by us before we are qualified [FOR AN ADDITIONAL ARTICLE ON THE EDUCATION OF WORKERS, SEE TEST. 33, P. 108.] for the great work of preparing a people to stand in the day of the Lord.  {GW92 291.3}

 

Young Men as Missionaries

Young men who desire to enter the field as ministers, colporteurs, or canvassers, should first receive a suitable degree of mental training, as well as a special preparation for their calling. Those who are uneducated, untrained, and unrefined are not prepared to enter a field in which the powerful influences of talent and education combat the truths of God’s word. Neither can they successfully meet the strange forms of error, religious and philosophical combined, to expose which requires a knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural truth.  {GW92 292.1}

 

Those especially who have the ministry in view, should feel the importance of the Scriptural method of ministerial training. They should enter heartily into the work, and while they study in the schools, they should learn of the Great Teacher the meekness and humility of Christ. A covenant-keeping God has promised that in answer to prayer his Spirit shall be poured out upon these learners in the school of Christ, that they may become ministers of righteousness.  {GW92 292.2}

 

There is hard work to be done in dislodging error and false doctrine from the head, that Bible truth and Bible religion may find a place in the heart. It was as a means ordained of God to educate young men and women for the various departments of missionary labor, that colleges were established among us. It is God’s will that they send forth not merely a few, but many laborers. But Satan, determined to overthrow this purpose, has often secured the very ones whom God would qualify for places of usefulness in his work. There are many who would work if urged into service, and who would save their souls by thus working. The church should feel her great responsibility in shutting up the light of truth, and restraining the grace of God within her own narrow limits, when money and influence should be freely employed in bringing competent persons into the missionary field.  {GW92 292.3}

 

Hundreds of young men should have been preparing to act a part in the work of scattering the seeds of truth beside all waters. We want men who will push the triumphs of the cross; men who will persevere under discouragements and privations; who will have the zeal and resolution and faith that are indispensable in the missionary field. . . .  {GW92 293.1}

 

There should be more laborers in the foreign missionary field. There are among us those who, without the toil and delay of learning a foreign language, might qualify themselves to proclaim the truth to other nations. In the primitive church, missionaries were miraculously endowed with a knowledge of the languages in which they were called to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. And if God was willing thus to help his servants then, can we doubt that his blessing will rest upon our efforts to qualify those who naturally possess a knowledge of foreign tongues, and who with proper encouragement would bear to their own countrymen the message of truth? We might have had more laborers in foreign missionary fields, had those who entered these fields availed themselves of every talent within their reach. But some have had a disposition to refuse help if it did not come just according to their ideas and plans. And what is the result? If our missionaries were to be removed by sickness or death from their fields of labor, where are the men whom they have educated to fill their places?  {GW92 293.2}

 

Not one of our missionaries has secured the cooperation of every available talent. Much time has thus been lost. We rejoice in the good work which has been done in foreign lands; but had different plans of labor been adopted, tenfold, yes, twentyfold more might have been accomplished; an acceptable offering would have been presented to Jesus, in many souls rescued from the bondage of error.  {GW92 294.1}

 

Every one who receives the light of truth should be taught to bear the light to others. Our missionaries in foreign lands should gratefully accept every help, every facility, offered them. They must be willing to run some risk, to venture something. It is not pleasing to God that we defer present opportunities for doing good, in hope of accomplishing a greater work in the future. Each should follow the leadings of Providence, not consulting self-interest, and not trusting wholly to his own judgment. Some may be so constituted as to see failure where God intends success; they may see only giants and walled cities, where others, with clearer vision, see also God and angels, ready to give victory to his truth.  {GW92 294.2}

 

It may in some cases be necessary that young men learn foreign languages. This they can do with most success by associating with the people, at the same time devoting a portion of each day to studying the language. This should be done, however, only as a necessary step preparatory to educating such as are found in the missionary fields themselves, and who with proper training can become workers. It is essential that those be urged into the service who can speak in their mother tongue to the people of different nations. It is a great undertaking for a man of middle age to learn a foreign language; and with all his efforts it will be next to impossible for him to speak it so readily and correctly as to render him an efficient laborer.  {GW92 294.3}

 

  • We cannot afford to deprive our home missions of the influence of middle-aged and aged ministers, to send them into distant fields to engage in a work for which they are not qualified, and to which no amount of training will enable them to adapt themselves. The men thus sent out leave vacancies which inexperienced laborers cannot supply. {GW92 295.1}

 

But the church may inquire whether young men can be trusted with the grave responsibilities involved in establishing and superintending a foreign mission. I answer, God designed that they should be so trained in our colleges and by association in labor with men of experience, that they would be prepared for departments of usefulness in this cause. We must manifest confidence in our young men. They should be pioneers in every enterprise involving toil and sacrifice, while the overtaxed servants of Christ should be cherished as counselors, to encourage and bless those who strike the heaviest blows for God. Providence thrust these experienced fathers into trying, responsible positions at an early age, when neither physical nor intellectual powers were fully developed. The magnitude of the trust committed to them aroused their energies, and their active labor in the work aided both mental and physical development.  {GW92 295.2}

 

  • Young men are wanted. God calls them to missionary fields. Being comparatively free from care and responsibilities, they are more favorably situated to engage in the work than are those who must provide for the training and support of a large family. Furthermore, young men can more readily adapt themselves to new climates and new society, and can better endure inconveniences and By tact and perseverance, they can reach the people where they are.  {GW92 295.3}

 

Strength comes by exercise. All who put to use the ability which God has given them, will have increased ability to devote to his service. Those who do nothing in the cause of God, will fail to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. A man who would lie down and refuse to exercise his limbs, would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers, not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength which he already had; he becomes a spiritual paralytic. It is those who, with love for God and their fellow men, are striving to help others, that become stablished, strengthened, settled, in the truth. The true Christian works for God, not from impulse, but from principle; not for a day or a month, but during the entire period of life. . . .  {GW92 295.4}

 

  • The Master calls for gospel workers. Who will respond? All who enter the army are not to be generals, captains, sergeants, or even corporals. All have not the care and responsibility of leaders. There is hard work of other kinds to be done. Some must dig trenches and build fortifications; some are to stand as sentinels, some to carry messages. While there are but few officers, it requires many soldiers to form the rank and file of the army; and yet its success depends upon the fidelity of every soldier. One man’s cowardice or treachery may bring disaster upon the entire army. . . . {GW92 296.1}

 

He who has appointed “to every man his work,” according to his ability, will never let the faithful performance of duty go unrewarded. Every act of loyalty and faith will be crowned with special tokens of God’s favor and approbation. To every worker is given the promise, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” [Psalm 126:6.]—Test. 32, p. 146.  {GW92 296.2}

 

Methods of Labor

Jesus never suppressed one word of the truth; but he uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in his intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in his voice as he uttered his scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city he loved, that refused to receive him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected him, the Saviour; but  he regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke his heart. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. He never made truth cruel, but manifested a wonderful tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in his eyes. He always bore himself with divine dignity; yet he bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, fallen souls whom it was his mission to save.

 

O, how many fail through acting out their own peculiar temperament! They arouse in others a spirit of antagonism, and the worst feelings of opposition and enmity. As workers for Christ, we want sanctified tact. Study to be skillful when there are no rules to meet the case. Win hearts, not repulse them. In this kind of work more than in any other that can be undertaken, you need wisdom from above. Many souls have been turned in the wrong direction, and thus lost to the cause of God, by want of skill and wisdom in the worker. Tact, wisdom, and good judgment in the laborer in the cause of God increase his usefulness a hundredfold. If he can only speak the right words at the right time, and manifest the right spirit, it will exert a melting power on the heart of the needy one.

 

The world’s Redeemer did not come with outward display, or a show of worldly wisdom. Men could not see beneath the guise of humility, the glory of the Son of God. He was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” [Isaiah 53:3.] He was to them as a root out of dry ground, with no form or comeliness that they should desire him. But he declared, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” [Isaiah 61:1.]

 

Christ reached the people where they were. He presented the plain truth to their minds in the most forcible and simple language. The humble poor, the most unlearned, could comprehend, through faith in him, the most exalted truths of God. No one needed to consult the learned doctors as to his meaning. He did not perplex the ignorant with mysterious inferences, or use unaccustomed and learned words, of which they had no knowledge. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known, was the most definite, simple, and practical in his instruction.

 

Jesus labored constantly for one object; all his powers were employed for the salvation of men, and every act of his life tended to that end. He traveled on foot, teaching his followers as he went. His garments were dusty and travel-stained, and his appearance was uninviting. But the simple, pointed truths which fell from his divine lips soon caused his hearers to forget his appearance, and to be charmed, not with the man, but with the doctrine he taught.— Vol. 4, p. 373.

 

When thrown into the society of unbelievers, whether walking, working, riding, trading, or visiting, we should, as we have opportunity, introduce the subject of religion, and speak of the things which concern their eternal interest. We should not do this abruptly, but with tact. This was the way in which our Saviour taught concerning the kingdom of God. Everything in nature, and the incidents passing under their notice, were to him texts for impressive sermons. He thus bound up his sacred lessons with the flowers, with the recurring seasons, with the rocks, the hills, and the mountains, and with the every-day occurrences of life. Thus it is the duty of every follower of Jesus to sow beside all waters.

 

God employs men to carry on his work, but there is constant danger that they will place their own impress upon it. Too often the messenger that God has used, come to be depended upon, and to be placed were God should be, by the people. Therefore from time to time the Lord calls others to aid in carrying forward the message. The work must not become circumscribed by the influence of man; the truth should not be crippled and dwarfed by the imperfect experience of the workers. God does not set the earlier laborers aside, for their capabilities are all needed for the perfection of the work; and if they submit themselves to God, they may still aid in its upbuilding; but if they become jealous, and imagine evil, they will stand directly in the way of its advancement.

 

  • The Lord does not apportion to any one man some special territory in which he alone is to labor. This is contrary to his plan. He designs that in every place where the truth is introduced, different minds, different gifts, shall be brought in to exert an influence upon the work. No one man has sufficient wisdom to manage an interest without helpers, and no one should think himself competent to do so. The fact that a person has ability in one direction, is no evidence that his judgment on all other subjects is perfect, and that the wisdom of some other mind does not need to be united with his.

 

Those who do labor together should seek to be in perfect harmony. And yet no one should feel that he cannot labor with those who do not see just as he sees, and who do not in their labors follow just his plans. If all manifest a humble, teachable spirit, there need be no difficulty. God has set in the church different gifts. These are precious in their proper places, and all may act a part in the work of preparing a people for Christ’s soon coming. God wants minute-men. He will have men who, when important decisions are to be made, are as true as the needle to the pole; men whose special and personal interests are swallowed up, as were our Saviour’s, in the one great general interest for the salvation of souls. Satan plays upon the human mind wherever a chance has been left for him to do so; and he seizes upon the very time and place where he can do the most service to himself, and the greatest injury to the cause of God. A neglect to do what we might do, and what God requires us to do in his cause, is a sin which cannot be palliated with excuses of circumstances or conditions; for Jesus has made provision for all in every emergency. —Vol. 3, p. 505.

 

All who labor in the cause of God in any capacity, should be whole-hearted in the work. There is a lesson for us in the experience of Gideon’s army. Those whose hearts were in the work were so earnest that they would not stop to kneel by the brook to drink, but dipped up the water in their hands as they hurried on to the battle, and these are the ones whom God used; while those who made deliberate preparations to drink, and took their time for it, were sent back to their homes. The Lord God of Israel is watching every worker, to see whether he is in earnest, whether he carries upon his heart the burden of souls. God sees whether his servants touch these living interests with the ends of their fingers, or whether they grasp them with all their might. If all had the interest that Knox felt when he cried, “Give me Scotland, or I die!”—a wrestling with God that will not be denied,—the Lord would work with their efforts, and would give them souls for their hire. They would not be lifted up because of their success, nor would they for a moment fear that some one else would receive the credit due to them; but they would be so grateful to God for the souls saved that his praise would be in their hearts and on their lips day and night. It is such workers that God will make mighty in his cause.  {GW92 297.1}

 

We are altogether too faithless, and too narrow in our views. Gideon’s army prevailed, not because of their numbers, but because in living faith they followed the special directions of God. If we make narrow plans, we shall see very little accomplished.  {GW92 297.2}

 

Many efforts, though made at great expense, have been in a large measure unsuccessful because they did not meet the wants of the time or the place. For years we have sought to impress upon our people the necessity of working more intelligently. God would have us realize constantly that those around us are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and that it depends very much upon our deportment and manner of labor whether these souls are saved or lost.  {GW92 297.3}

 

  • Many of our ministers will have to be sharpened and polished before they can explain the Scriptures acceptably before those who are educated. The mind will reveal its own deficiencies. But if it is accustomed to dig for the truth as for hid treasures, it will soon become a treasure-house of knowledge; and more than this, the very diligence of the laborer in searching the Scriptures will develop his mind proportionately in the understanding of the word. {GW92 298.1}

 

While we are to preach the gospel to the poor and unlearned, we should not neglect to present it, in its most attractive light, to those who have ability and talent. But in order to do this, our workers must be men of intelligence. They cannot sink down to a low level, feeling that it does not matter much how they labor, or what they say. We must cherish living faith, and the Spirit of Christ must be in us, to direct our labors. Then our efforts will meet the mind of God. It is because of lack of faith and real courage in the Lord that greater efforts for the more intelligent classes have not been made before. It is not the most wealthy that I refer to; too often they have made this world their god, and it is very difficult for them to see the force of truths that would separate them from the world. Nevertheless, there are men of wealth who will accept the last message, if the right kind of labor is put forth. The Lord has made men his stewards, and has intrusted to them the means to carry forward his work. When the poor have done all they can to advance the cause, the Lord will bring in men of means to carry on the work.  {GW92 298.2}

 

  • It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves friendly and sociable, and do not act as though they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will. Our laborers should be very careful not to give the impression that they are wolves stealing in to get the sheep, but should let the ministers understand their position and the object of their mission,—to call the attention of the people to the precious truths of God’s word. There are many of these which are dear to all Christians. Here is common ground, upon which we can meet people of other denominations; and in becoming acquainted with them, we should dwell mostly upon topics in which all feel an interest, and which will not lead directly and pointedly to the subjects of disagreement. {GW92 299.1}

 

On entering a new place to labor, we should be careful not to create prejudice in the minds of the Catholics, or do anything to lead them to think us their enemies. The Lord has shown to me that there are many among them who will be saved. God will just as surely test this people as he is testing us; and according to their willingness to accept the light he gives them, will be their standing before him. We should sow the seed beside all waters; for it is God that gives the increase.—MS.  {GW92 299.2}

 

The apostle Paul, in describing his manner of labor, says: “Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” [1 Corinthians 9:19-22.]  {GW92 299.3}

 

  • Paul did not approach the Jews in a way to excite their prejudices. He did not run the risk of making them his enemies by telling them the first thing that they must believe on Jesus of Nazareth; but he dwelt on the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament Scriptures, which testify of the Messiah, of his mission and his work. He led them on step by step, showing them the importance of honoring the law of God. He also gave due honor to the ceremonial law, showing that Christ was the one who instituted the whole system of sacrificial service. After dwelling upon these things, evincing that he had a clear understanding of them himself, he brought his hearers down to the first advent of Christ, and proved that in the crucified Jesus the specifications of the ceremonial law had been fulfilled. He showed them plainly how the light from the cross of Calvary gave significance and glory to the whole Jewish economy. He approached the Gentiles, not by exalting the law at first, but by exalting Christ, and then showing the binding claims of the law. Thus he varied his manner of labor, always shaping his message to the circumstances under which he was placed; and yet, though after patient labor he was successful to a large degree, many would not be convinced. There are some who will not be convinced by any method of presenting the special truths for this time. The laborer for God should, nevertheless, study carefully the best methods, in order that he may not needlessly arouse prejudice or stir up combativeness in his hearers. {GW92 300.1}

 

Christ said to his disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” [John 16:12.] As the result of their early education, their ideas upon many points were incorrect, and they were not then prepared to understand and receive some things which he would otherwise have taught them. His instructions would have confused their minds, and raised questioning and unbelief that would have been difficult to remove.  {GW92 301.1}

 

Christ drew the hearts of his hearers to him by the manifestation of his love, and then, little by little, as they were able to bear it, he unfolded to them the great truths of the kingdom. We also must learn to adapt our labors to the condition of the people, —to meet men where they are. While the claims of the law of God are to be presented to the world, we should never forget that love—the love of Christ— is the only power that can soften the heart, and lead to obedience. All the great truths of the Scriptures center in Christ; rightly understood, all lead to him. Let Christ be presented as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of the great plan of redemption. Present to the people such subjects as will strengthen their confidence in God and in his word, and lead them to investigate its teachings for themselves. And as they go forward, step by step, in the study of the Bible, they will be better prepared to appreciate the beauty and harmony of its precious truths.  {GW92 301.2}

 

God’s workmen must have breadth of character. They must not be men of one idea, stereotyped in their manner of working. They must be able to vary their efforts, to meet the needs of the people under different circumstances and conditions. God would have his servants, old and young, continually improving, learning better how to minister to the wants of all. They should not settle down contented, thinking that their ways are perfect, and that others must work just as they do.  {GW92 301.3}

 

Those who are appointed to open the work in new fields should be careful that their defects are not exalted as virtues, thus retarding the work of God. It is testing truths that we are bringing before the people, and in every effort these truths should be presented in their real beauty. The laborer should not throw about the truth the peculiarities of his own character, or manner. Keep self in the background; let it be lost sight of in Jesus. Let the work of God bear the impress of the divine.  {GW92 302.1}

 

Much has been lost by our people through the following such narrow plans that the most intelligent, better-educated classes are not reached. Too often the work has been so conducted as to impress unbelievers that it is of very little consequence,—some stray off-shoot of religious enthusiasm, entirely beneath their notice. Much has been lost for want of wise methods of labor. Every effort should be made to give character and dignity to the work. It requires much wisdom to reach ministers and men of influence. But why should they be neglected as they have been by our people? These men are responsible to God just in proportion to the talents intrusted to them. Where much is given, much will be required. Should there not be deeper study and much more prayer for wisdom, that we may learn how to reach these classes? Should not wisdom and tact be used to gain these souls, who, if truly converted, will be polished instruments in the hands of God to reach others?  {GW92 302.2}

 

We would not be actuated by mere worldly policy; but from love to God, and to souls for whom Christ died, we should seek to reach those who in their turn will labor for others. If we can win to Christ and the truth souls to whom God has intrusted large capabilities, our influence will through them be constantly extending, and will become a far-reaching power for good.  {GW92 302.3}

 

  • God has a work to be done which the workers have not yet fully comprehended. Ministers and the world’s wise men are to be tested by the light of present truth. The third angel’s message is to be set before them judiciously, in its true dignity. There must be most earnest seeking of God, most thorough study; for the mental powers will be taxed to the utmost in laying plans which will place the work of God on a more elevated platform. That is where it should always have stood, but men’s narrow ideas and restricted plans have limited and lowered it. {GW92 303.1}

 

After most earnest effort has been made to bring the truth before those whom God has intrusted with large responsibilities, be not discouraged if they reject it. Truth was rejected in the days of Christ.  {GW92 303.2}

 

When the importance of laboring to reach the higher classes is urged, let none receive the idea that the poor and unlearned are to be neglected. Right methods of labor will not in any sense exclude these. It was one of the evidences of Christ’s Messiahship that the poor had the gospel preached to them. We should study to give all classes an opportunity to understand the special truths for this time. When our labors are so conducted as to reach only the lower classes, we may fail in benefiting even these. They may be brought to see the truth, but they are, as it were, in the bondage of poverty, and can see before them only starvation should they accept the truth. If our efforts are so conducted as to include the upper classes, we shall be more successful in reaching the lower also.  {GW92 303.3}

 

Be sure to maintain the dignity of the work by a well-ordered life and godly conversation. Never be afraid of raising your standard too high. The families who engage in the missionary work should come close to hearts. The spirit of Jesus should pervade the soul of the worker; it is the pleasant, sympathetic words, the manifestation of disinterested love for their souls, that will break down the barriers of pride and selfishness, and show to unbelievers that we have the love of Christ, and then the truth will find its way to the heart. This is our work, and the fulfilling of God’s plan. All coarseness and roughness must be put away from us. Courtesy, refinement, Christian politeness, must be cherished. Guard against being abrupt and blunt. Do not regard such peculiarities as virtues, for God does not so regard them. Endeavor not to offend any unnecessarily.  {GW92 303.4}

 

  • There is great danger that young men who are associated with older workers in the cause, will copy even the defects of the older ministers. This should be guarded against by both old and young. All should seek to have the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God, Christlike tenderness, and love for souls. Those who are sent out to labor together, should put self away, lay aside their own peculiarities, and seek to unite, heart and soul, in carrying out God’s will. In order to work to advantage, they must work in harmony. {GW92 304.1}

 

We want more, much more, of the spirit of Christ, and less, much less, of self and the peculiarities of character which keep us apart from our fellow-men. We can do much to break down these barriers by revealing the grace of Christ in our own lives. Jesus has intrusted his goods to the church, age after age. One generation after another for over eighteen hundred years has been gathering up this hereditary trust, until the increasing responsibilities have descended to the people of our time. Do we now realize our responsibility? Do we feel that we are stewards of God’s grace? Do we believe that the lowest, humblest service will be accepted, if it is only directed to doing, not our own, but our Master’s will, to promote his glory? We must be clothed, not with our own garments, but with the robe of Christ’s righteousness.—MS. [FROM A LETTER TO THE WORKERS IN A FOREIGN MISSION.]  {GW92 304.2}

 

When laborers are associated together who decidedly vary, both in natural disposition and character, and in their manner of labor, each will need to keep a careful watch over his own strong traits of character, and to exercise the meekness of Christ, or he will be in danger of drawing apart from the others. Such a separation would retard the work and dishonor God. Brethren, you should make no move independently or in opposition to one another. Pray together; counsel together in humility, willing to be instructed. This will bring you where God will be your counselor. By indulging a stubborn, self-confident spirit, workers can easily place themselves where divine wisdom and power cannot aid them in their labors, where they cannot have help in counsel, in difficulties, and trials.  {GW92 305.1}

 

As laborers together with God, you should come close to one another. Precious lessons of love, confidence, respect for one another, must be given, both in and out of the desk. You must live that which you teach. Remember that the new converts look to you for an example.  {GW92 305.2}

 

Some for whom you labor will wish to have the work done in their own way, thinking that their way is best; but if you have the spirit, the meekness of Christ, if you show respect and love for one another, God will enable you to perfect the work in a manner that will please him. Work for your own souls until self is subdued, until Christ recognizes his image in you. The most impressive lesson that you can give to those whom you educate, will be that of a Christ-like character.  {GW92 305.3}

 

In foreign fields especially, the work cannot be accomplished, except by well-considered plans. While you should endeavor to labor in harmony with the instructions of those at the head of the work, many unforeseen circumstances will arise for which they could make no provision. There must be something ventured, some risks run, by those on the field of battle. There will be crises in which prompt action is necessary. The workers should not in every movement feel that they should wait to receive directions from head-quarters, but after counseling together, with earnest prayer, they should do the best they can under the circumstances. Wherever in the work of reform we can unite with others, in the countries to which we go, it is advisable to do this; but there are some things we shall have to carry forward by ourselves. While we should adapt ourselves to others wherever this is practicable and consistent, there are many things in which the laborers must work in their own way. Hence the greater necessity for union among themselves.  {GW92 305.4}

 

When missions are opened in foreign fields, it is of especial importance that the work be started right. The laborers should be careful that they do not restrict it by narrow plans. While the state of the treasury demands that economy should be exercised, there is danger of an economy which results in loss rather than gain. This has actually been the case in some of our missions, where the workers have bent their powers almost wholly to planning how to get along in the least expensive manner. With different management, far more might have been accomplished; and on the whole less means would have been taken from the treasury.  {GW92 306.1}

 

In new fields our growth has been slow, because the special truths which we present are not popular with the world. The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is a heavy cross for every one who accepts the truth. Many who can see that our doctrines are sustained by the Scriptures, shrink from accepting them, because they do not wish to be peculiar, or because by obedience to the truth they would be cut off from their means of support. Because of these things much wisdom is needed in planning how to bring the truth before the people. In some places the work must begin in a small way, and advance slowly. This is all that the laborers can do. But in many cases a wider and more decided effort might be made at the outset, with good results. The work in England might now be much farther advanced than it is if our brethren, at the beginning of the work there, had not tried to work in so cheap a way. If they had hired good halls, and carried forward the work as though we had great truths, which would surely be victorious, they would have had greater success. God would have the work started in such a way that the first impressions given shall be, as far as they go, the very best that can be made.  {GW92 306.2}

 

Be careful to maintain the elevated character of the missionary work. Let all, both men and women connected with the missions, be constantly inquiring, “What am I? and what ought I to be and to do?” Let all consider that they cannot give to others what they do not possess themselves; therefore they should not settle down content with their natural ways and habits, seeking to make no change for the better. Paul says he had not attained, but, “I press toward the mark.” [Philippians 3:14.] There must be constant reformation, unceasing advancement, if we would perfect a symmetrical character.  {GW92 307.1}

 

There are none of our workers whose manners and habits do not need much improvement; and unless this is made, unless the workers are constantly seeking for higher attainments, they will greatly hinder one another in the work. Changes will be constantly occurring, new duties will arise, new fields of labor will open, and united, thoroughly organized effort alone can bring success.  {GW92 307.2}

 

In our work heretofore there has been too much of a disposition to put the light under a bushel, or under a bed, rather than on a candlestick, where it might give light to all that are in the house. Let no especial effort be made to exalt the men, but seek to magnify the work. Bring your minds up to appreciate its greatness. Let not your own narrow plans and limited ideas be allowed to shape your methods of working in God’s cause.  {GW92 307.3}

 

Do not show a spirit of littleness in deal. If one stops to haggle over a small sum, those with whom he deals will pronounce him a sharper, and will be on their guard, thinking that he means to cheat them. But if a trifle is yielded in favor of another, he will be likely to work on the same plan. Littleness begets littleness. Those who pursue this course do not see how contemptible it appears to others, and the precious cause of truth bears the stamp of their defect. We are not to imitate the world’s manner of dealing, but to reveal the generous, unselfish spirit of Christ.  {GW92 308.1}

 

My heart aches as I see those who profess to be looking for Christ’s coming, devoting their time and talents to circulating books that contain nothing concerning the special truths for our time,— books of narrative, books of biography, books of men’s theories and speculations. The world is full of such books; they can be had anywhere; but can the followers of Christ engage in so common a work when there is crying need for God’s truth on every hand? It is not our mission to circulate such works. There are thousands of others to do this, who have as yet no knowledge of anything better. We have a definite mission, and we ought not to turn from it to side issues, employing men and means to bring to the attention of the people books that have no bearing upon the present truth.—  {GW92 354.1}

 

No canvasser should exalt the book for which he is working, above others that set forth the truth for this time. Should our canvassers drop all but one book, and concentrate their energies on that, the work would not be carried on as God would have it. It is necessary that a variety of books should be in the field, as minds are not constituted alike, and what would be food to one might fail to interest another. Some classes would be more benefited by papers and tracts than by books, and it will be necessary for the canvasser to make a wise selection of his books. Let no one doing the work of God become one-sided and short-sighted. The Lord has many instrumentalities through which he designs to work. When one book is exalted above another, there is danger that the very work best adapted to give light to the people will be crowded out. There is no need of contrasting different books, and judging as to which will do most good, and then pushing to the wall the one deemed weakest, for the advancement of another. God has a place for all the voices and all the pens that he has inspired to utterance for him. It will be difficult for some minds to fathom our most profound works, and a simpler way of putting the truth will reach them more readily. Let the leading workers encourage the weaker ones, and show an equal interest in every one of the instrumentalities set in operation to prepare a people for the day of the Lord. I think I have discerned in some, a feeling of contempt in regard to obtaining subscriptions for the Signs of the Times. Be careful, brethren; has not God spoken in regard to this journal? Has he not repeatedly shown that this is his instrumentality, that is to do an important work in these last days? Has he not shown that it is to be a pioneer to go forth to the people, laden with the precious treasures of truth? Papers and pamphlets and tracts all need attention in the canvassing work, for they are as little wedges that open the way for larger works. [FROM AN ADDRESS TO THE GENERAL CONFERENCE IN 1883.] — {GW92 353.1}

 

Economy in Mission Work

We are all laborers under God; and we must work with intelligence, frugality, and humility. There are those who undertake too much, and by so doing accomplish little. Our efforts must be more concentrated. Every stroke must tell. The work in Europe, as in America, has had to begin small; but even there it can be managed so as to be largely self-sustaining. One great means by which this can be accomplished will be by the well-directed efforts of those already in the truth to bring in others who will be a strength and support to the work. A few souls brought out and fully established on the truth, will, like the first disciples, be laborers for others.  {GW92 355.1}

 

The laborers should counsel together. No one is to strike out on his independent judgment, and work according to his own mind, regardless of the counsel of those connected with him. If we think ourselves sufficient to manage the work of God, and depend for success on our own wisdom to plan and execute, we may expect defeats and losses; for they will surely come. It has been shown me that the planning of the work must not be trusted to inexperienced men. Those who have not had full breadth of experience are not the ones to take large responsibilities, although they may think themselves qualified to do so. Their brethren may see defects where they see only perfection. Too much is at stake now to allow any great risks to be run in investing means from the Lord’s treasury. If any one wishes to try experiments which his brethren do not sanction, let him sustain himself from his own funds, so that if losses occur, he alone will be the loser. The workers are not many; the means are not abundant; and the work must be fashioned accordingly. It is not God’s plan that large draughts should be made upon the treasury to support workers who labor in such a way that no special results can be seen.  {GW92 355.3}

 

The mind must be active to discern the best ways and means of reaching the people next us. We often let opportunities within our reach slip away, in order to do a work at a distance from us which is less hopeful, and thus our time and means may be lost in both places. At this point in the history of our work we may spread over a great deal of territory, scatter our efforts, use up our time and money, and yet have little fruit to show for our labors,—few souls who will help to sustain the work by their efforts and their means.  {GW92 356.1}

 

Our missionary workers must learn to economize. The largest reservoir, though fed by abundant and living springs, will fail to supply the demand if there are leakages which drain off the supply. It must not be left for one man to decide whether a certain field will warrant large efforts. If the workers in one field so fashion the work as to incur large expenses, they are barring the way so that other important fields—fields which perhaps would better warrant the outlay—cannot be entered. Our younger laborers must be content to work their way among the people slowly and surely, under the advice of those who have had more experience. The ideas of many are too high. A more humble manner of working would show good results. It is encouraging to see the young enter the missionary field, enlisting all their ardor and zeal in the work; but they must not be left to manage for themselves, and keep the cause of God weighed down with debt. All should strive by wise management and earnest labor to gather enough to pay their own expenses. They should labor to make the cause self-sustaining, and should teach the people to rely upon themselves.  {GW92 356.2}

 

  • Our ministers should not feel at liberty to pay large sums for halls in which to hold meetings, when they do not feel the burden of following up the interest by personal labor. The results are too uncertain to warrant the using up of means so rapidly. If churches and halls are opened to any of the laborers, and there is a desire to hear, they should embrace the opportunity and do the best they can; but it is not wisdom for a single individual to strike out as though he had some great talent, as though he were a Moody or a Sankey, and make a lavish outlay of means. {GW92 357.1}

 

In sending missionaries to foreign countries, we should select those who know how to economize, who have not large families, and who, realizing the shortness of time and the great work to be accomplished, will keep themselves as free as possible from everything that would divert their minds from their one great work. The wife, if devoted, and left free to do so, can, by standing by the side of her husband, accomplish as much as he. We want missionaries who are missionaries in the fullest sense of the word; who will put aside selfish considerations, and let the cause of God come first; and who, working with an eye single to his glory, will keep themselves as minutemen, to go where he shall bid, and to work in any capacity to spread the knowledge of the truth. Men who have wives that love and fear God, and that can help them in the work, are needed in the missionary field.  {GW92 357.2}

 

Our laborers must learn to exercise economy, not only in their efforts to advance the cause of truth, but in their own home expenses. They should locate their families where they can be cared for at as little expense as possible. Donations and bequests do not come to our people as they do to other denominations; and those who have not educated themselves to live within their means, will surely have to do this now, or engage in some other employment. Habits of self-indulgence, or a want of tact and skill on the part of the wife and mother, may be a constant drain upon the treasury; and yet that mother may think she is doing her best, because she has never been taught to restrict her wants or the wants of her children, and has never acquired skill and tact in household matters. Hence one family may require for its support twice the amount that would suffice for another family of the same size.  {GW92 358.1}

 

Those who have not habits of economy should learn the lesson at once. All should learn how to keep accounts. Some neglect this work as nonessential; but this is wrong. All expenses should be accurately stated. This is something that many of our laborers will have to learn.  {GW92 358.2}

 

We should not become loose and dilatory in our habits while we are engaged in God’s work. All should be prompt, wide-awake business men in his cause. The Lord is not pleased with the present lack of order and accuracy among those who do business in connection with his work. Even in the business meetings of the Conference much time could be saved, and many mistakes avoided, by a little more study and punctuality. Everything that bears any relation to the work of God should be as near perfect as human brains and hands can make it. — MS.  {GW92 358.3}

 

A Dream

In a dream given me September 29, 1886, I was walking with a large company who were looking for berries. There were many young men and women in the company who were to help in gathering the fruit. We seemed to be in a city, for there was very little vacant ground; but around the city there were open fields, beautiful groves, and cultivated gardens. A large wagon laden with provisions for our company went before us.

 

Soon the wagon halted, and the party scattered in every direction to look for fruit. All around the wagon were both high and low bushes, bearing large, beautiful whortleberries; but the company were all looking too far away to see them. I began to gather the fruit near by, but very carefully, for fear of picking the green berries, which were so mingled with the ripe fruit that I could pick only one or two berries from a cluster.

 

Some of the nice large berries had fallen to the ground, and were half consumed by worms and insects. “O!” thought I, “if this field had only been entered before, all this precious fruit might have been saved. But it is too late now. I will, however, pick these from the ground, and see if there is any good in them. Even if the whole berry is spoiled, I can at least show the brethren what they might have found if they had not been too late.

 

Just then two or three of the party came sauntering around where I was. They were chatting, and seemed to be much occupied with each other’s company. Seeing me, they said, “We have looked everywhere, and can find no fruit.” They looked with astonishment at the quantity I had. I said, “There are more to be gathered from these bushes.” They began picking, but soon stopped, saying, “It is not fair for us to pick here; you found this spot, and the fruit is yours.” But I replied, “That makes no difference. Gather wherever you can find anything. This is God’s field, and these are his berries; it is your privilege to pick them.” GW92 328 – GW92 329.1

 

But soon I seemed to be alone again. Every little while I heard talking and laughing at the wagon. I called out to those who were there, “What are you doing?” They answered, “We could not find any berries, and as we were tired and hungry, we thought we would come to the wagon and take a lunch. After we have rested awhile, we will go out again.” “But,” said I, “you have brought in nothing as yet. You are eating up all our supplies, without giving us any more. I cannot eat now; there is too much fruit to be picked. You did not find it, because you did not look close enough. It does not hang on the outside of the bushes; you must search for it. True, you cannot pick it by handfuls; but by looking carefully among the green berries, you will find very choice fruit.” My small pail was soon full of berries, and I took them to the wagon. Said I, “This is the nicest fruit that I ever picked, and I gathered it near by, while you have wearied yourselves by searching at a distance without success.” Then all came to see my fruit. They said, “These are high-bush berries, firm and good. We did not think we could find anything on the high bushes, so we hunted for low-bush berries only, and found but few of these.” I then said, “Will you take care of these berries, and then go with me to look for more fruit on the high bushes?” But they had made no preparation to care for the fruit. There were dishes and sacks in abundance, but they had been used to hold food. I became tired of waiting, and finally asked, “Did you not come to gather fruit? Then why are you not prepared to take care of it?” One responded, “Sister White, we did not really expect to find any fruit where there were so many houses, and so much going on; but as you seemed so anxious to gather fruit, we decided to come with you. We thought we would bring enough to eat, and would enjoy the recreation, if we did not gather any fruit.” I answered, “I cannot understand this kind of work. I shall go to the bushes again at once. The day is already far spent, soon the night will be here, in which we can gather no fruit.” Some went with me, but others remained by the wagon to eat. GW92 329.2

 

In one place a little company had collected, and were busily talking about something in which they seemed much interested. I drew near and found that a little child in a woman’s arms had attracted their attention. I said, “You have but a little time, and might better work while you can.” The attention of many was attracted by a young man and a young woman who were running a race to the wagon. On reaching it they were so tired that they had to sit down and rest. Others also had thrown themselves down on the grass to rest. Thus the day wore on, and very little was accomplished. At last I said, “Brethren, you call this an unsuccessful expedition. If this is the way you work, I do not wonder at your lack of success. Your success or failure depends upon the way you take hold of the work. There are berries here; for I have found them. Some of you have been searching the low bushes in vain, others have found a few berries; but the high bushes have been passed by, simply because you did not expect to find fruit on them. You see that the fruit which I have gathered is large and ripe. In a little while other berries will ripen, and we can go over the bushes again. This is the way in which I was taught to gather fruit. If you had searched near the wagon, you might have found fruit as well as I.

 

“The lesson that you have this day given to those who are just learning how to do this kind of work, will be copied by them. The Lord has placed these fruit-bearing bushes right in the midst of these thickly settled places, and he expects you to find them. But you have been altogether too much engaged in eating, and amusing yourselves. You did not come to the field with an earnest determination to find fruit. You must hereafter work with more zeal and earnestness, and with an altogether different object in view, or your labors will never be successful. By working in the right way, you will teach the younger workers that such matters as eating and recreation are of minor importance. It has been hard work to bring the wagon of supplies to the ground, but you have thought more of the supplies than of the fruit you ought to carry home as the result of your labors. You should be diligent, first to pick the berries nearest you, and then to search for those farther away; after that you can return and work near by again, and thus you will be successful.”— GW92 330.1 – GW92 331.1

 

  • I tell you frankly that Jesus and the power of his grace are being left out of the question. Result will show that mechanical working has taken the place of piety, humility, and holiness of heart and life. The more spiritual, devoted, and humble workers find no place where they can take hold, and therefore they stand back. The young and inexperienced learn the form, and do their work mechanically; but true love, the burden for souls, is not felt. Less dwelling upon set forms, less of the mechanical and more of the power of godliness, are essential in this solemn, fearful day of responsibilities. GW92 332.4

For pdf click on the title below

A Guide for Training Evangelists

God bless you as you embark on this noble work of implementing the true Evangelism spirit

 

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