Many young men who have had the right kind of education at home are to be trained for service and encouraged to lift the standard of truth in new places by well-planned and faithful work. By associating with our ministers and experienced workers in city work, they will gain the best kind of training. Acting under divine guidance and sustained by the prayers of their more experienced fellow workers, they may do a good and blessed work. As they unite their labors with those of the older workers, using their youthful energies to the very best account, they will have the companionship of heavenly angels; and as workers together with God, it is their privilege to sing and pray and believe, and work with courage and freedom. The confidence and trust that the presence of heavenly agencies will bring to them and to their fellow workers will lead to prayer and praise and the simplicity of true faith.
There should be no delay in this well-planned effort to educate the church members. Persons should be chosen to labor in the large cities who are fully consecrated and who understand the sacredness and importance of the work. Do not send those who are not qualified in these respects. Men are needed who will push the triumphs of the cross, who will persevere under discouragements and privations, who will have the zeal and resolution and faith that are indispensable to the missionary field. And to those who do not engage personally in the work I would say: Do not hinder those who are willing to work, but give them encouragement and support.
All this work of training should be accompanied with earnest seeking of the Lord for His Holy Spirit. Let this be urged home upon those who are willing to give themselves to the Master’s service. Our conduct is watched by the world. Every act is scrutinized and commented upon. There must be diligent cultivation of the Christian graces, that those who profess the truth may be able to teach it to others as it is in Jesus, that they themselves may be ensamples, and that our enemies may be able to say no evil of them truthfully. God calls for greater piety, for holiness of life and purity of conduct, in accordance with the elevating, sanctifying principles that we profess. The lives of the workers for Christ should be such that unbelievers, seeing their godly walk and circumspect conversation, may be charmed by the faith that produces such results.
Personal Effort in Connection With Camp Meetings
The work at our camp meetings should be conducted, not according to man’s devising, but after the manner of Christ’s working. The church members should be drawn out to labor. Angels of God will direct in the opening of fields nigh and afar off, that the work of warning the world may be quickly accomplished. God calls upon believers to obtain an experience in missionary work by branching out into new territory and working intelligently for the people in the byways. To those who will do this, openings for labor will come.
In following up the interests after a camp meeting, helpers are needed in various lines, and these occasions should be as training schools for workers. Let young men work in connection with experienced laborers who will pray with them and patiently instruct them. Consecrated women should engage in Bible work from house to house. Some of the workers should act as colporteurs, selling our literature and giving judiciously to those who cannot buy.
Those who are truly converted must become more and more intelligent in their understanding of the Scriptures, that they may be able to speak words of light and salvation to those who are in darkness and perishing in their sins. As workers together with Him we are to expect special blessings and definite results as we strive to save souls from the snares of Satan that they may become the children of light.
Tourist Centers and Centers of Commerce
Those who in response to the call of the hour have entered the service of the Master Workman may well study His methods of labor. During His earthly ministry the Saviour took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. It was at Capernaum that Jesus dwelt at the intervals of His journeys to and fro, and it came to be known as “His own city.” This city was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour’s work. Being on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was a great thoroughfare of travel. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest on their journeyings to and fro. Here Jesus could meet all nations and all ranks, the rich and great, as well as the poor and lowly; and His lessons would be carried to other countries and into many households. Investigation of the prophecies would thus be excited; attention would be directed to the Saviour, and His mission would be brought before the world.
In these days of travel the opportunities for coming in contact with men and women of all classes and of many nationalities are much greater than in the days of Israel. The thoroughfares of travel have multiplied a thousandfold. God has wonderfully prepared the way. The agency of the printing press, with its manifold facilities, is at our command. Bibles, and publications in many languages, setting forth the truth for this time, are at our hand and can be swiftly carried to every part of the world.
Christians who are living in the great centers of commerce and travel have special opportunities. Believers in these cities can work for God in the neighborhood of their homes.
In the world-renowned health resorts and centers of tourist traffic, crowded with many thousands of seekers after health and pleasure, there should be stationed ministers and canvassers capable of arresting the attention of the multitudes. Let these workers watch their chance for presenting the message for this time, and hold meetings as they have opportunity. Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to the people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and it will be accepted by not a few and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the world.
With Unflagging Zeal
We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls. Let literature be distributed judiciously, on the trains, in the street, on the great ships that ply the sea, and through the mails.
A great work is to be done, and those who know the truth should make mighty intercession for help. The love of Christ must fill their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. As they consecrate themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others. We must no longer sleep on Satan’s enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, availing ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed before “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings,” and the promise is given, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Revelation 10:11; Matthew 28:20.
I am instructed to point our ministers to the unworked cities and to urge them by every possible means to open the way for the presentation of the truth. In some of the cities where the message of the second coming of the Lord was first given, we are compelled to take up the work as if it were a new field. How much longer will these barren fields, these unworked cities, be passed by? Without delay the sowing of the seed should begin in many, many places.
The Lord demands that in His servants shall be found a spirit that is quick to feel the value of souls, quick to discern the duties to be done, quick to respond to the obligations that the Lord lays upon them. There must be a devotion that will regard no earthly interest of sufficient value to take the place of the work to be done in winning souls to a knowledge of the truth.
Ministers, preach the truths that will lead to personal labor for those who are out of Christ. Encourage personal effort in every possible way. Remember that a minister’s work does not consist merely in preaching. He is to visit families in their homes, to pray with them, and to open to them the Scriptures. He who does faithful work outside of the pulpit will accomplish tenfold more than he who confines his labors to the desk. Let our ministers carry their load of responsibility with fear and trembling, looking to the Lord for wisdom and asking constantly for His grace. Let them make Jesus their pattern, diligently studying His life and bringing into the daily practice the principles that actuated Him in His service while upon the earth.
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” This is a prescription for the healing of all mental and physical and spiritual ills. It is Christ’s gift to those who seek Him in sincerity and in truth. He is the Mighty Healer. Then comes another invitation: “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. Wearing Christ’s yoke and learning of Him the lesson of meekness and lowliness, we find rest in faith, and confidence and trust. We find that Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden light.
Chapter 13—An Appeal to Laymen
When a special effort is put forth by laborers of experience in a community where our own people live, there rests upon the believers in that field a most solemn obligation to do all in their power to open the way for the Lord to work. They should search their hearts prayerfully, and clear the King’s highway by putting away every sin that would hinder them from co-operating with God and with their brethren.
This has not always been fully understood. Satan has often brought in a spirit that has made it impossible for church members to discern opportunities for service. Believers have not infrequently allowed the enemy to work through them at the very time when they should have been wholly consecrated to God and to the advancement of His work. Unconsciously they have wandered far from the way of righteousness. Cherishing a spirit of criticism and faultfinding, of pharisaical piety and pride, they have grieved away the Spirit of God and have greatly retarded the work of God’s messengers.
This evil has been pointed out many times and in many places. Sometimes those who have indulged in a censorious, condemnatory spirit have repented and been converted. Then God has been able to use them to His name’s honor and glory.
We are living in a special period of this earth’s history. A great work must be done in a very short time, and every Christian is to act a part in sustaining this work. God is calling for men who will consecrate themselves to the work of soulsaving. When we begin to comprehend what a sacrifice Christ made in order to save a perishing world, there will be seen a mighty wrestling to save souls. Oh, that all our churches might see and realize the infinite sacrifice of Christ!
A Reformatory Movement
In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God. I heard voices of thanksgiving and praise, and there seemed to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844.
Yet some refused to be converted. They were not willing to walk in God’s way, and when, in order that the work of God might be advanced, calls were made for freewill offerings, some clung selfishly to their earthly possessions. These covetous ones became separated from the company of believers.
Laboring While Probation Lingers
The judgments of God are in the earth, and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we must give the message of warning that He has entrusted to us. We must give this message quickly, line upon line, precept upon precept. Men will soon be forced to great decisions, and it is our duty to see that they are given an opportunity to understand the truth, that they may take their stand intelligently on the right side. The Lord calls upon His people to labor—labor earnestly and wisely—while probation lingers.
The Importance of Personal Labor
Among the members of our churches there should be more house-to-house labor in giving Bible readings and distributing literature. A Christian character can be symmetrically and completely formed only when the human agent regards it as a privilege to work disinterestedly in the proclamation of the truth and to sustain the cause of God with means. We must sow beside all waters, keeping our souls in the love of God, working while it is day, and using the means the Lord has given us to do whatever duty comes next. Whatever our hands find to do, we are to do it with faithfulness; whatever sacrifice we are called upon to make, we are to make it cheerfully. As we sow beside all waters we shall realize that “he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6.
Christ’s example must be followed by those who claim to be His children. Relieve the physical necessities of your fellow men, and their gratitude will break down the barriers and enable you to reach their hearts. Consider this matter earnestly. As churches you have had opportunity to work as laborers together with God. Had you obeyed the word of God, had you entered upon this work, you would have been blessed and encouraged, and would have obtained a rich experience. You would have found yourselves, as the human agencies of God, earnestly advocating a scheme of saving, of restoration, of salvation. This scheme would not be fixed, but progressive, moving on from grace to grace and from strength to strength.
The Lord has presented before me the work that is to be done in our cities. The believers in these cities are to work for God in the neighborhood of their homes. They are to labor quietly and in humility, carrying with them wherever they go the atmosphere of heaven. If they keep self out of sight, pointing always to Christ, the power of their influence will be felt.
It is not the Lord’s purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to labor for their Master according to their several ability. As a worker gives himself unreservedly to the service of the Lord, he gains an experience that enables him to work more and more successfully for the Master. The influence that drew him to Christ helps him to draw others to Christ. The work of a public speaker may never be laid upon him, but he is nonetheless a minister for God, and his work testifies that he is born of God.
Women as well as men can engage in the work of hiding the truth where it can work out and be made manifest. They can take their place in the work at this crisis, and the Lord will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Spirit of God, 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 this will give them a power that will exceed 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 work is needed. Discreet and humble women can do a good work in explaining the truth to the people in their homes. The word of God thus explained will do its leavening work, and through its influence whole families will be converted.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9 pp. 119-128