Burdens that the Lord has not Given
The Lord gave you your work, not to be done in a rush, but in a calm, considerate manner. The Lord never compels hurried, complicated movements. But you have gathered to yourself responsibilities that the Lord, the merciful Father, does not place upon you. Duties He never ordained that you should perform chase one another wildly. Never are His servants to leave one duty marred or incomplete in order to seize hold of another. He who labors in the calmness of the fear of God will not work in a haphazard manner, for fear that something will hinder an anticipated plan.
Not all the burdens that you have been carrying have been laid upon you by the Lord. The result of your carrying these extra burdens is felt all through the field. If you had kept at your appointed work, laboring for the class of people whom the Lord desired, by means of the sanitarium, to reach with present truth, with the message that God has given His people to give to the world, much more would have been accomplished to bring the chosen people of God before men of high standing. Much more would have been accomplished to show forth the ways and works and power of God. The sanitarium was to be His witness in behalf of truth—elevated, sanctifying truth. The Lord made you, my brother, His honored instrument. He never required from you one task that would crowd out your work in connection with the institution that was to stand for the truth, to do a certain work for God, flashing light upon the pathway of thousands.
You have a great and sacred work to do. If you hold faithfully to the part assigned you, through the skill given you you will be enabled to work swiftly, though never appearing to be in a hurry. When your eyes are opened, you will see the deep poverty of the mission fields. You will see that the workers there are hampered at every step, while the Lord’s money is being used to sustain home enterprises and institutions, so that the message which should be given to the world is lost sight of.
God impresses different men to be laborers together with Him. One man is not authorized to gather too many responsibilities upon himself. The Lord would have the physician upon whom so much depends so closely connected with Him that his spirit will not be irritated by little things. The Lord desires you to be one of the most efficient workers in the medical profession, slighting nothing, marring nothing, knowing that you have a Counselor close by your side, to sustain and strengthen you, to impart quietness and calm to your soul. Feverishness of mind and uncertainty of spirit will make the hand unskillful. The touch of Christ upon the physician’s hand brings vitality, restfulness, confidence, and power.
I write to you as a mother would write to her son. I would help you if I could. I would go to see you if I could feel it my duty to leave the work here in Australia, but I dare not do this. You have built up hopes and nurtured plans without due consideration of how the tower is to be completed. As one who knows, as one who has been permitted to see the results of the work that you have taken upon you, I call upon you to stop and consider. God knows your frame. He knows that you are but dust. You will certainly need the counsel, not only of those who have encouraged you to go on in the work which you deem so important, but the counsel of men who, at the present time, are able to see more clearly than you do the results that will follow certain undertakings.
Cast not behind you as of no consequence the warnings that as yet you do not understand. If you receive the messages of warning sent you, you will be saved from great trial.
Extract from a letter written in 1899 from Wellington, New Zealand—We are not to allow our perplexities and disappointments to eat into our souls and make us fretful and impatient. Let there be no strife, no evil thinking or evil-speaking, lest we offend God. My brother, if you open your heart to envy and evil surmising, the Holy Spirit cannot abide with you. Seek for the fullness that is in Christ. Labor in His lines. Let every thought and word and deed reveal Him. You need a daily baptism of the love that in the days of the apostles made them all of one accord. This love will bring health to body, mind, and soul. Surround your soul with an atmosphere that will strengthen spiritual life. Cultivate faith, hope, courage, and love. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. Then you will be enabled to discharge your responsibilities. The Holy Spirit will impart a divine efficiency, a calm, subdued dignity, to all your efforts to relieve suffering. You will testify that you have been with Jesus.
Chapter 31—The Value of the Word of God
June 13, 1901
To a Physician and His Wife:
Dear Brother and Sister,
Our homeward journey was a prosperous one. I attended meetings in many places. At Indianapolis I was surprised to meet so large a number of believers. I spoke twice there. The Lord gave me a message for the people similar to the one given in Battle Creek in regard to the errors which have crept in among us. The people were ready to hear and receive the word.
When errors come into our ranks, we are not to enter into controversy over them. We are faithfully to give the message of reproof, and then we are to lead the minds of the people away from fanciful, erroneous ideas, presenting the truth in contrast with error. The presentation of heavenly themes will open up to the mind principles that rest upon a foundation as enduring as eternity.
Those believers whose Christian convictions are consistent and firm, whose characters are of solid worth, are of great service to the Master. Nothing can move them from the faith. Truth is to them a precious treasure.
The truth of God is found in His word. Those who feel that they must seek elsewhere for present truth need to be converted anew. They have wrong habits to mend, evil ways to be abandoned. They need to seek anew the truth as it is in Jesus, that their character building may be in harmony with the lessons of Christ. As they abandon their human ideas and take up their God-given duties, beholding Christ and becoming conformed to His likeness, they say: “Nearer, my God, to Thee; nearer to Thee.”
With the word of God in hand we may draw nearer, step by step, in consecrated love to Jesus. As the Spirit of God becomes better known, the Bible will be accepted as the only foundation of faith. God’s people will receive the word as the leaves of the tree of life, more precious than fine gold purified in the fire, and more powerful to sanctify than any other agency.
The Reward of a Faithful Study of the Word
Christ and His word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed, they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. If the people of God would appreciate His word, we should have a heaven in the church here below. Christians would be eager, hungry, to search the word. They would be anxious for time to compare scripture with scripture and to meditate upon the word. They would be more eager for the light of the word than for the morning paper, magazines, or novels. Their greatest desire would be to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. And as a result their lives would be conformed to the principles and promises of the word. Its instruction would be to them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all toil and weariness. They would be strengthened and encouraged by the words of inspiration.
Ministers would be inspired with divine faith. Their prayers would be characterized by earnestness, filled with the divine assurance of truth. Weariness would be forgotten in the sunlight of heaven. Truth would be interwoven with their lives, and its heavenly principles would be as a fresh, running stream, constantly satisfying the soul.
The Lord’s philosophy is the rule of the Christian’s life. The entire being is imbued with the life-giving principles of heaven. The busy nothings which consume the time of so many shrink into their proper position before a healthy, sanctifying Bible piety.
The Bible, and the Bible alone, can produce this good result. It is the wisdom of God and the power of God, and it works with all power in the receptive heart. Oh, what heights we might reach if we would conform our wills to the will of God! It is the power of God that we need, wherever we are. The frivolity that cumbers the church makes it weak and indifferent. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are seeking and longing for channels through which to communicate to the world the divine principles of truth.
Artificial lights may appear, claiming to come from heaven, but they cannot shine forth as the star of holiness, the star of heavenly brightness, to guide the feet of the pilgrim and stranger into the city of God. False lights will take the place of the true, and many souls will be for a time deceived. God forbid that it should be so with us. The true light now shineth, and will light up the souls in which the windows are opened heavenward.
Chapter 32—The Work for this Time
St. Helena, California,
June 25, 1903
To Our Sanitarium Physicians:
My Dear Brethren,
Those who stand in responsible positions in the work of the Lord are represented as watchmen on the walls of Zion. God calls upon them to sound an alarm among the people. Let it be heard in all the plain. The day of woe, of wasting and destruction, is upon all who do unrighteousness. With special severity will the Lord’s hand fall upon the watchmen who have failed to place before the people in clear lines their obligation to Him who by creation and by redemption is their owner.
My brethren, the Lord calls upon you to examine the heart closely. He calls upon you to adorn the truth in your daily practice and in all your dealings with one another. He requires of you a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. It is dangerous for you to trifle with the sacred demands of conscience, dangerous for you to set an example that leads others in a wrong direction.
Christians should carry with them, wherever they go, the sweet fragrance of Christ’s righteousness, showing that they are complying with the invitation: “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29. Are you learning daily in the school of Christ—learning how to dismiss doubt and evil surmisings, learning how to be fair and noble in your dealings with your brethren, for your own sake, and for Christ’s sake?
Present truth leads onward and upward, gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute. All that will come are to be brought into the fold. In their lives there is to take place a reformation that will constitute them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. By hearing the message of truth, men and women are led to accept the Sabbath and to unite with the church by baptism. They are to bear God’s sign by observing the Sabbath of creation. They are to know for themselves that obedience to God’s commandments means eternal life.
Means and earnest labor may be safely invested in such a work as this, for it is a work that will endure. Thus those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are brought into fellowship with the saints and are made to sit in heavenly places with Christ. Their feet are placed on a sure foundation. They are enabled to reach a high standard, even the loftiest heights of faith, because Christians make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way.
Every church should labor for the perishing within its own borders and for those outside its borders. The members are to shine as living stones in the temple of God, reflecting heavenly light. No random, haphazard, desultory work is to be done. To get fast hold of souls ready to perish means more than praying for a drunkard and then, because he weeps and confesses the pollution of his soul, declaring him saved. Over and over again the battle must be fought.
Let the members of every church feel it their special duty to labor for those in their neighborhood. Let each one who claims to stand under the banner of Christ feel that he has entered into covenant relation with God, to do the work of the Saviour. Let not those who take up this work become weary in well-doing. When the redeemed stand before God, precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of the faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties and earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward.
The ministers of the popular churches will not allow the truth to be presented to the people from their pulpits. The enemy leads them to resist the truth with bitterness and malice. Falsehoods are manufactured. Christ’s experience with the Jewish rulers is repeated. Satan strives to eclipse every ray of light shining from God to His people. He works through the ministers as he worked through the priests and rulers in the days of Christ. Will those who know the truth join his party, to hinder, embarrass, and turn aside those who are trying to work in God’s appointed way to advance His work, to plant the standard of truth in the regions of darkness?
The third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels, is the message for this time. We are to raise aloft the banner on which is inscribed: “The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The world is soon to meet the great Lawgiver over His broken law. This is not the time to put out of sight the great issues before us. God calls upon His people to magnify the law and make it honorable.
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, the Sabbath was given to the world, that man might ever remember that in six days God created the world. He rested upon the seventh day, blessing it as the day of His rest, and gave it to the beings He had created, that they might remember Him as the true and living God. By His mighty power, notwithstanding the opposition of Pharaoh, God delivered His people from Egypt, that they might keep the law which had been given in Eden. He brought them to Sinai to hear the proclamation of this law.
By proclaiming the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel with His own voice, God demonstrated their importance. In awful grandeur He made known His majesty and authority as Ruler of the world. This He did to impress the people with the sacredness of His law and the importance of obeying it. The power and glory with which the law was given reveal its importance. It is the faith once delivered to the saints by Christ our Redeemer speaking from Sinai.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8 pp. 189-198