- Evangelism -
Letter 27, May 29, 1892
Letter 81a, December 20, 1897
Letter 35, January 1, 1898
Manuscript 48, March 29, 1899
Letter 165, October 22, 1899
Letter 103, June 3, 1903
Manuscript 53, May 11, 1905
Letter 230, July 5, 1906
Our life here is a short period at best, and what and who are we living and working for? And what will be the outcome of it all?...Whatever we are at heart will be revealed in character and will have an influence on those with whom we associate. Our words, our actions are a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. And in the judgment we shall be brought face to face with those whom we might have helped in right, safe paths by choice of words, by counsel, if we had connected with God daily and had a living, abiding interest in the saving of their souls.
I wish to say to you that I am sadly disappointed in the cuts prepared for such a book as the Life of Christ (Desire of Ages). I consider that if Brother A accepts such figures that his eye and taste has lost its cunning. You cannot expect me to be pleased with such productions. Look at these figures critically, and you must see that they are either made from Catholic designs of Catholic artists. The picture of Mary has a man's face, the representations of Christ with the two fingers prominent, while the others are closed, is wholly a Catholic sign and I object to this. I see but very little beauty in any of the faces, or persons. There is the scenery of nature, landscape scenery, that is not as objectionable, but I could never rest my eyes upon the face pictures without pain.
I would much prefer to have no pictures than representations that are not representations, but disfigurements of the true. This is my opinion. Where is the discerning eye? Better pay double price, or treble, and have pictures, if pictures must be had, that will not pervert facts. I wish there had not been an attempt to make one representation, but send out the book and let it make a place for itself. I call these faces in the pictures and scenes so poorly represented that it is a perversion of the facts.
If this is A's work, I cannot accept him as a designer, and if he can accept such pictures I cannot respect or honor his judgment. Do not spoil my book by disfigurements which lower the facts and the matters they represent. Brother A needs the sanctification of the senses to understand the spirituality of truth. He may study European artistic skill, but there will be seen in nearly all designs the Catholic features.
If those who know the truth, the present truth for this time, would individually realize that a responsibility rests upon them to communicate to those who know not the truth, the light the Lord has graciously given them, they would more nearly meet the mind of Christ. They would be His light, penetrating the darkness of error which covers the religious world, and which is as dense as the darkness that enveloped the Jewish nation in the days of Christ.
Shall Seventh-day Adventists walk in the same path as did the Jewish nation? Shall the message to the Laodicean church be applicable to this people? Shall these who have seen great light, who have had large opportunities and many privileges, cease to do service as witnesses for Christ? Those who know the truth, but who feel no special burden to reveal corresponding works, will be like that servant who knew his master's will, but did it not.
The Lord has appointed every converted soul to witness for him. The light that has been given to the individual members of his church is to shine forth, not merely in much talk, but in good works. Every talent entrusted to every soul is to be traded upon. The talents that might have been put out to the exchangers by those who have done nothing in the service of God will be required again, with the improvements that the Lord required his stewards to make. Every jet of light, of ability, of influence, is to be used, not for self-pleasing, but for the Lord. We are to be yoked up with Christ in perfect obedience to the Law of God, which is holy, just, and good. Thus God's people may develop characters of increasing consecration, efficiency, and tact, and act their part as laborers together with God.
Why are so many so slow in recognizing the work they ought to do in seeking to save that which is lost. Consider prayerfully what is to be done. Kill indolence. Lay hold of personal labor. Too much labor is done by those who minister in word and doctrine in behalf of churches that should be set to work themselves. The church members should carry a weight of responsibility. They should keep their own souls in the love of God by exercising all the powers they have. By precept and example they should bear witness of the power of the truth and grace of Christ upon human hearts. This will commend the truth that the Seventh Day Sabbath is a sign between them and their God. Obedience in the observance of the Sabbath testifies of the sanctification received through its observance.
In many of our organized churches the banner of truth is trailing in the dust because the members are not doing service to God, but are serving their own pleasure. They work through the influences that surround the soul. By precept and example, in self-indulgence, in their worldly habits of dress, in their words and actions, they testify against the truth, against selfdenial, against the meekness of Christ. They are cold spiritually, and far separated from Christ. If they followed in the foot steps of Christ, they would be partakers of his self-denial, of his self-sacrifice, that they might lift up and save the souls that are ready to perish.
The talents entrusted to men may be used in an unconsecrated manner, by doing the good action from impulse, in a haphazard way, refusing to see opportunities that are close by, and that should claim the attention. Many practice self-denial and self-sacrifice by fits and starts. They need to seek the wisdom that comes from God alone. They need to consult their Leader They need to do much praying, much trusting in Jesus Christ, that his Holy Spirit may work in them, revealing a straight forward course of service, which God will approve, and which will be a benefit and blessing to many souls. The consecration of all our words and actions to God makes us his witnesses. It develops a character that is the result of cherishing the truth in all its principles. Truth is not a cheap commodity; it is a precious gold, tried in the fire....
The talent given to the unprofitable servant, which he wrapped in a napkin and buried in the earth, was the Lord's own, entrusted to the servant for use. It was to be so used that it would gain other talents. Our life is to be a life of earnest, thoughtful service to God. Those who feel no real obligation to represent the truth in life and character, who do not testify to the power of the grace of Christ by revealing the reformation it has wrought in them, fail to exalt the law of God before those whose characters are demonstrated in making that law void by their wrong principles. The true commandment keeping people of God show to the world a character of unspotted integrity, testifying by their own course of action that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Thus the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, through His obedience to the law of God, exalted and made that law honorable. God will surely condemn every member of every church claiming to be Seventh-day Adventist, who is not doing him service, but through pride, selfishness, and worldliness, is showing that the truth of heavenly origin has not worked a reformation in his character.
Please read carefully Revelation 3:15-18. The voice of Jesus Christ is heard. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.
Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they notwithstanding that most solemn message of truth, in the third angel's message, is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin? This is the last message of mercy, the last message of warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth, and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep his commandments.
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him" [1 John 2:4]. This includes all who claim to have a knowledge of God, and to keep his commandments, but who do not manifest this by good works. They will receive according to their deeds. "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him" [1 John 3:6]. This is addressed to all church members, including the members of the Seventh-day Adventist churches. "Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the work of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" [Verses 7-10].
All who claim to be Sabbath-keeping Adventists and yet continue in sin, are liars in God's sight. Their sinful course is counter-working the work of God. They are leading others into sin. The word comes from God to every member of our churches, "And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person among you, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully and with tears" [Hebrews 12:13-17].
This is applicable to many who claim to believe the truth. Rather than give up their lustful practices, they venture on in a wrong line of education, under Satan's deceiving sophistry. Sin is not discerned as sinful. Their very consciences are defiled, their hearts are corrupted, even the thoughts are continually corrupt. Satan uses them as decoys, to lure souls to unclean practices, which defile the whole being. "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of who much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongest unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge his people. It is fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" [Hebrews 10:28-31].
The work of the minister is incomplete if he does not educate the souls newly come to the faith to be laborers together with God, visiting and praying with families, showing to the world what Jesus has done for them. God's word declares, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" [James 1:27]. These words are addressed not only the minister, but to every follower of Christ.
There are sluggards all through our church, who frame excuses for their idleness. God calls not only on the minister, but on every soul connected with Him, to be a worker in His vineyard....If you do not work as faithful missionaries, you are untrue to your trust, and you disappoint your Saviour....
Your work, my work, will not cease with this life. For a little while we may rest in the grave, but when the call comes, we shall take up our work in the kingdom of God to advance the glory of Christ. But this holy work must begin upon earth.
There is a variety of talent used in the Lord's work. God uses whoever is converted and sanctified to His service--the ignorant outcast, the heathen, the European, the slave. They are Christ's by creation and redemption, no matter who they are. There is no caste in heaven. All who believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, whatever their position, whether they be high or low, rich or poor, black or white, are Christ's, bought with a price. If converted from sin to holiness, they are members of the royal family, children of the Heavenly King, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, his well beloved brethren who will walk with Him in white because they are worthy.
Peter and James and John left their nets to follow Christ. And today, men and women will leave their vocations to proclaim the message of the gospel. Multitudes are to be gathered into the fold. Many who have known the truth have corrupted their way before the Lord and departed from the faith. The broken ranks will be filled up by those represented by Christ as coming in at the eleventh hour. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of God's destructive judgments is a time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time.
The Lord calls upon every believer to consecrate himself wholly to his service. All are to work for him, according to their several abilities.
Strengthened by unquestioning faith in Christ, even the illiterate disciple will be able to withstand the doubts and questions that infidelity can produce, and put to blush the sophistries of scorners. The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue and wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome Satanic delusions, will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under this testimony.
Why should the illiterate man have this power, which the learned man has not? The illiterate one, through faith in Christ, has come into the atmosphere of pure, clear Truth, while the learned man has turned away from the truth. The poor man is Christ's witness. He cannot appeal to histories or to so-called "high science," but he gathers from the Word of God powerful evidence. The truth that he speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit, is so pure and remarkable and carries with it a power so indisputable, that his testimony cannot be gainsaid. His faith in Christ is his anchor, holding him to the Rock of Ages. He can say, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" [2 Timothy 1:12].
In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plow and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will become educated in connection with men who have had experience--men who understand the truth. Through most wonderful workings of God, mountains of difficulty will be removed and cast into the sea....
There is to be, at this period, a series of events which will reveal that God is the master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear unmistakable language. Those who preach the truth will strive to demonstrate the truth by a well-ordered life and godly conversation. And, as they do this, they will become powerful in advocating the truth, and in giving it the sure application that God has given it....
In the name of the Lord do not permit yourselves to be held when the spiritual atmosphere is poisoned with skepticism and falsehood....Where falsehood regarding the word and work of God are reported as truth is no place for [those] 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....
No lie is of the truth. On every occasion possible Satan is on hand to introduce the leaven of his deceptive fallacies. Listen not a moment to the interpretations that would loosen one pin, remove one pillar, from the platform of truth.
Human interpretations, the reception of fables, will spoil your faith, confuse your understanding, and make of none effect your faith in Jesus Christ...."Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent..." [Revelation 3:3]. Why repent? Because there have come in faults in the form of theories so subtle that by the influence of mind upon mind--through the agency of those who have departed from the faith--the wily foe will cause you imperceptibly to be imbued with the spirit that will draw you away from the faith.