Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 239-248 Day 362

God has united believers in church capacity in order that one may strengthen another in good and righteous endeavor. The church on earth would indeed be a symbol of the church in heaven if the members were of one mind and of one faith. It is those who are not moved by the Holy Spirit that mar God’s plan. Another spirit takes possession of them, and they help to strengthen the forces of darkness. Those who are sanctified by the precious blood of Christ will not become the means of counterworking the great plan which God has devised. They will not bring human depravity into things small or great. They will do nothing to perpetuate division in the church.

It is true there are tares among the wheat; in the body of Sabbathkeepers evils are seen; but because of this shall we disparage the church? Shall not the managers of every institution, the leaders of every church, take up the work of purification in such a way that the transformation in the church shall make it a bright light in a dark place?

What may not even one believer do in the exercise of pure, heavenly principles if he refuses to be contaminated, if he will stand as firm as a rock to a “Thus saith the Lord”? Angels of God will come to his help, preparing the way before him.

Paul wrote to the Romans: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2. This entire chapter is a lesson which I entreat all who claim to be members of the body of Christ to study. Again Paul wrote: “If the first fruit be holy, the lump is also

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holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Romans 11:16-22. Very plainly these words show that there is to be no disparaging of the agencies which God has placed in the church.

Sanctified ministry calls for self-denial. The cross must be uplifted and its place in the gospel work shown. Human influence is to draw its efficacy from the One who is able to save and to keep saved all who recognize their dependence on Him. By the union of church members with Christ and with one another the transforming power of the gospel is to be diffused throughout the world.

In the work of the gospel the Lord uses different instrumentalities, and nothing is to be allowed to separate these instrumentalities. Never should a sanitarium be established as an enterprise independent of the church. Our physicians are to unite with the work of the ministers of the gospel. Through their labors souls are to be saved, that the name of God may be magnified.

Medical missionary work is in no case to be divorced from the gospel ministry. The Lord has specified that

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the two shall be as closely connected as the arm is with the body. Without this union neither part of the work is complete. The medical missionary work is the gospel in illustration.

But God did not design that the medical missionary work should eclipse the work of the third angel’s message. The arm is not to become the body. The third angel’s message is the gospel message for these last days, and in no case is it to be overshadowed by other interests and made to appear an unessential consideration. When in our institutions anything is placed above the third angel’s message, the gospel is not there the great leading power.

The cross is the center of all religious institutions. These institutions are to be under the control of the Spirit of God; in no institution is any one man to be the sole head. The divine mind has men for every place.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, every work of God’s appointment is to be elevated and ennobled, and made to witness for the Lord. Man must place himself under the control of the eternal mind, whose dictates he is to obey in every particular.

Let us seek to understand our privilege of walking and working with God. The gospel, though it contains God’s expressed will, is of no value to men, high or low, rich or poor, unless they place themselves in subjection to God. He who bears to his fellow men the remedy for sin must himself first be moved by the Spirit of God. He must not ply the oars unless he is under divine direction. He cannot work effectually, he cannot carry out the will of God in harmony with the divine mind, unless he finds out, not from human sources, but from infinite wisdom, that God is pleased with his plans.

God’s benevolent design embraces every branch of His

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work. The law of reciprocal dependence and influence is to be recognized and obeyed. “None of us liveth to himself.” The enemy has used the chain of dependence to draw men together. They have united to destroy God’s image in man, to counterwork the gospel by perverting its principles. They are represented in God’s word as being bound in bundles to be burned. Satan is uniting his forces for perdition. The unity of God’s chosen people has been terribly shaken. God presents a remedy. This remedy is not one influence among many influences and on the same level with them; it is an influence above all influences upon the face of the earth, corrective, uplifting, and ennobling. Those who work in the gospel should be elevated and sanctified, for they are dealing with God’s great principles. Yoked up with Christ, they are laborers together with God. Thus the Lord desires to bind His followers together, that they may be a power for good, each acting his part, yet all cherishing the sacred principle of dependence on the Head.

Christ was bound up in all branches of the work of God. He made no division. He did not feel that He was infringing on the work of the physician when He healed the sick. He proclaimed the truth, and when the sick came to Him to be healed, He was just as ready to lay His hands on them as He was to preach the gospel. He was just as much at home in this work as in proclaiming the truth.

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Responsibilities of Medical Workers

The fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians contains lessons given us by God. In this chapter one speaks under the inspiration of God, one to whom in holy vision God had given instruction. He describes the distribution of God’s gifts to His workers, saying: “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13. Here we are shown that God gives to every man his work, and in doing this work man is fulfilling his part of God’s great plan.

This lesson should be carefully considered by our physicians and medical missionaries. God established His instrumentalities among a people who recognize the laws of the divine government. The sick are to be healed through the combined effort of the human and the divine. Every gift, every power, that Christ promised His disciples He bestows upon those who will serve Him faithfully. And He who gives mental capabilities, and who entrusts talents to the men and women who are His by creation and redemption, expects that these talents and capabilities will be increased by use. Every talent must be employed in blessing others and thus bringing honor to God. But physicians have been led to suppose that their capabilities were their individual property. The powers given them for God’s work they have used in branching out into lines of work to which God has not appointed them.

Satan works every moment to find an opportunity for

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stealing in. He tells the physician that his talents are too valuable to be bound up among Seventh-day Adventists, that if he were free he could do a very large work. The physician is tempted to feel that he has methods which he can carry independent of the people for whom God has wrought that He might place them above every other people on the face of the earth. But let not the physician feel that his influence would increase if he should separate himself from this work. Should he attempt to carry out his plans he would not meet with success.

Selfishness introduced in any degree into ministerial or medical work is an infraction of the law of God. When men glory in their capabilities and cause the praise of men to flow to finite beings, they dishonor God, and He will remove that in which they glory. The physicians connected with our sanitariums and medical missionary work have by God’s providence been bound to this people, whom He has commanded to be a light in the world. Their work is to give all that the Lord has given them to give, not as one influence among many, but as the influence through God to make effective the truth for this time.

God has committed to us a special work, a work that no other people can do. He has promised us the aid of His Holy Spirit. The heavenly current is flowing earthward for the accomplishment of the very work appointed us. Let not this heavenly current be turned aside by our deviations from the straightforward path marked out by Christ.

Physicians are not to suppose that they can compass the world by their plans and efforts. God has not set them to embrace so much with their own labors merely. The man who invests his powers in many lines of work cannot take in hand the management of a health institution and do it justice.

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If the Lord’s workers take up lines of labor which crowd out that which should be done by them in communicating light to the world, God does not receive through their labors the glory that should accrue to His holy name. When God calls a man to do a certain work in His cause, He does not also lay upon him burdens that other men can and should bear. These may be essential, but according to His own wisdom God apportions to every man his work. He does not want the minds of His responsible men strained to the utmost point of endurance by taking up many lines of labor. If the worker does not take up his appointed task, that which the Lord sees is the very thing he is fitted to do, he is neglecting duties which, if properly executed, would result in the promulgation of the truth and would prepare men for the great crisis before us.

God cannot give in greatest measure either physical or mental power to those who gather to themselves burdens which He has not appointed. When men take upon themselves such responsibilities, however good the work maybe, their physical strength is overtaxed, and their minds become confused, and they cannot attain the highest success.

Physicians in our institutions should not engage in numerous enterprises and thus allow their work to flag when it should stand upon right principles and exert a worldwide influence. God has not set His colaborers to embrace so many things, to make such large plans, that they fail in their allotted place of accomplishing the great good He expects them to do in diffusing light to the world, in drawing men and women as He is leading by His supreme wisdom.

The enemy has determined to counterwork the designs of God to benefit humanity in revealing to them what constitutes true medical missionary work. So many

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interests have been brought in that the workers cannot do all things according to the pattern shown in the mount. I have been instructed that the work appointed to the physicians in our institutions is enough for them to do, and what the Lord requires of them is to link up closely with the gospel missionaries and do their work with faithfulness. He has not asked our physicians to embrace so large and varied a work as some have undertaken. He has not made it the special work of our physicians to labor for those in the dens of iniquity in our large cities. The Lord does not require impossibilities of His servants. The work which He gave to our physicians was to symbolize to the world the ministry of the gospel in medical missionary work.

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.

Our sanitariums need the power of brain and heart of which they are being robbed by another line of work. Everything that Satan can do he will do to multiply the responsibilities of our physicians, for he knows that this means weakness instead of strength to the institutions with which they are connected.

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

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receive a blessing in so doing. But there is a higher and more special work to engage the attention of our physicians in educating those who have grown up with deformed characters. The principles of health reform must be brought before parents. They must be converted, that they may act as missionaries in their own homes. This work our physicians have done, and can still do, if they will not sacrifice themselves by carrying so many and varied responsibilities.

The head physician in any institution holds a difficult position, and he should keep himself free from minor responsibilities; for these will give him no time for rest. He should have sufficient trustworthy help, for he has trying work to perform. He must bow in prayer with the suffering ones and lead his patients to the Great Physician. If as a humble suppliant he seeks God for wisdom to deal with each case, his strength and influence will be greatly increased.

Of himself, what can man accomplish in the great work set forth by the infinite God? Christ says: “Without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. He came to our world to show men how to do the work given them by God, and He says to us: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. Why is Christ’s yoke easy and His burden light? Because He bore the weight of it upon the cross of Calvary.

Personal religion is essential for every physician if he is to be successful in caring for the sick. He needs a power greater than his own intuition and skill. God desires physicians to link up with Him and know that every soul is precious in His sight. He who depends upon

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God, realizing that He alone who made man knows how to direct, will not fail in his appointed work as a healer of bodily infirmities or as a physician of the souls for whom Christ died.

One who bears the heavy responsibilities of the physician needs the prayers of the gospel minister, and he should be linked, soul, mind, and body, with the truth of God. Then he can speak a word in season to the afflicted. He can watch for souls as one who must give an account. He can present Christ as the way, the truth, and the life. The Scriptures come clearly to his mind, and he speaks as one who knows the value of the souls with whom he is dealing.

Conformity to the World

The Lord Jesus has said: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23. Christ’s words made an impression on the minds of His hearers. Many of them, though not clearly comprehending His instruction, were moved by deep conviction to say decidedly: “Never man spake like this Man.” John 7:46. The disciples did not always understand the lessons which Christ wished to convey by parables, and when the multitude had gone away, they would ask Him to explain His words. He was ever ready to lead them to a perfect understanding of His word and His will; for from them, in clear, distinct lines, truth was to go forth to the world.

At times Christ reproached His disciples with the slowness of their comprehension. He placed in their possession truths of which they little suspected the value. He had been with them a long time, giving them lessons in divine truth; but their previous religious education, the erroneous interpretation which they had heard the Jewish teachers place on the Scriptures, kept their minds

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clouded.

Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6 pp. 239-248

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