A beginning has been made in proclaiming the third angel’s message in the city of Washington and in other cities of the South and the East; but in order to meet the mind of the Lord, we shall have to plan for the carrying forward of a far-reaching and systematic work. We must enter into this work with a perseverance that will not allow of any slackening of our efforts until we shall see of the salvation of God.
In Portland, Maine; in Boston and the towns round about; in New York and the populous cities close by; in Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington, the Lord desires us to proclaim the third angel’s message with power. We cannot exercise this power ourselves, but we can choose men of capability and urge them to go into these avenues of opportunity and there proclaim the message in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must plan to place in these cities capable men who can present the third angel’s message in a manner so forcible that it will strike home to the heart. Men who can do this work we cannot afford to gather into one place to do a work that others might do.
As these workers talk the truth and live the truth, and pray for the advancement of the truth, God will move upon hearts. As they work with all the strength that God grants them, and in humility of heart put their entire trust in Him, their labors will not be without fruit. Their determined efforts to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth for this time will be seconded by holy angels, and many souls will be saved.
Liberality in Missionary Effort
The Southern States are to have the light of present truth. Do not say: “Our printing offices and our churches need more help. We need all the means that we can get to carry on the work in hand.” One after another has shut the door to certain lines of missionary effort for fear that this work would consume means which they desired for other enterprises. My brethren, you need more of the Spirit of Christ. Let your standard be raised higher; then those who are newly converted to the truth will understand that they have a work to do. In this way the means for the carrying on of the work will be always increasing.
Can we expect the inhabitants of the cities to come to us and say: “If you will come to us and preach, we will help you to do thus and so”? What do they know of our message? Let us do our part in warning these people who are ready to perish unwarned and unsaved. The Lord desires us to let our light so shine before men that His Holy Spirit can communicate the truth to the honest in heart who are seeking after Him.
As we do this work we shall find that means will flow into our treasuries, and we shall have funds with which to carry on a still broader and more far-reaching work. Souls who have wealth will be brought into the truth and will give of their means to advance the work of God. I have been instructed that there is much means in the cities that are unworked. God has interested people there. Go to them; teach them as Christ taught; give them the truth. They will accept it. And as surely as honest souls will be converted, their means will be consecrated to the Lord’s service, and we shall see an increase of resources.
Oh, that we might see the needs of these cities as God sees them! At such a time as this every hand is to be employed. The Lord is coming; the end is near, yea, it hasteth greatly! In a little while we shall be unable to work with the freedom that we now enjoy. Terrible scenes are before us, and what we do we must do quickly.
A Motive For Service
Recently in the night season I was awakened from sleep and given a view of the sufferings of Christ for men. His sacrifice, the mockery and derision He received at the hands of wicked men, His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal and crucifixion—all were vividly portrayed before me.
I saw Christ in the midst of a large company of people. He was seeking to impress their minds with His teachings. But He was despised and rejected by them. Men were heaping upon Him abuse and shame. My distress was very great as I looked upon the scene. I pleaded with God: “What is to be done with this congregation? Will none give up their exalted opinions of self and seek the Lord as little children? Will none break their hearts before God in repentance and confession?”
There was presented to me Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the mysterious cup trembled in the Redeemer’s hand. Father, if it be possible,” He prayed, “let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39. As He pleaded with the Father, great drops of blood fell from His face to the ground. The elements of darkness were gathered about the Saviour to discourage His soul.
Rising from the ground, Christ went to the place where He had left His disciples, bidding them watch and pray with Him lest they be overcome with temptation. He would see if they understood His agony; He needed their human sympathy. But He found them sleeping. Three times He went thus to them, and each time they were asleep.
Three times the Saviour prayed: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” It was here that the destiny of a lost world trembled in the balance. Should He refuse to drink the cup, the result would be eternal ruin to the human race. But an angel from heaven strengthened the Son of God to accept the cup and drink its bitter woe.
How few there are who realize that all this was borne for them individually! How few who say: “It was for me, that I might form a character for the future immortal life.”
As these things were presented to me so vividly, I thought, I shall never be able to present this subject before the people as it is;” and I have given you only a faint representation of what was shown me. As I have thought of that cup trembling in the hands of Christ; as I have realized that He might have refused to drink, and left the world to perish in its sin, I have pledged that every energy of my life should be devoted to the work of winning souls to Him.
Christ came to the earth to suffer and die, that, through the exercise of faith in Him and the appropriation of His merits, we might become laborers together with God. It was the Saviour’s purpose that after He ascended to heaven to become man’s intercessor, His followers should carry on the work that He had begun. Shall the human agent show no special interest in giving the light of the gospel message to those who sit in darkness? There are some who are willing to go to the ends of the earth in order to carry the light of truth to men, but God demands that every soul who knows the truth shall seek to win others to the love of the truth. If we are not willing to make special sacrifices in order to save souls that are ready to perish, how can we be counted worthy to enter into the city of God?
There is an individual work to be done for each one of us. I know there are many who are placing themselves in right relation to Christ, whose one thought is to bring the message of present truth before the people of the world. They stand continually ready to offer their services. But my heart aches when I see so many who are satisfied with a cheap experience, an experience that costs them but little. Their lives say that for them Christ has died in vain.
If you do not feel that it is an honor to be a partaker of the sufferings of Christ; if you feel no burden of soul for those who are ready to perish; if you are unwilling to sacrifice that you may save means for the work that is to be done, there will be no room for you in the kingdom of God. We need to be partakers with Christ of His sufferings and self-denial at every step. We need to have the Spirit of God resting upon us, leading us to constant self-sacrifice.
“Behold, I come quickly,” Christ declares; “and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. The Lord at His coming will scrutinize every talent; He will demand interest on the capital He has entrusted. By His own humiliation and agony, by His life of toil and His death of shame, Christ has paid for the service of all who have taken His name and profess to be His servants. All are under deepest obligation to improve every capability for the work of winning souls to Him. “Ye are not your own,” He says; “for ye are bought with a price;” therefore glorify God by a life of service that will win men and women from sin to righteousness. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. We are bought with the price of Christ’s own life, bought that we may return to God His own in faithful service.
We have no time now to give our energies and talents to worldly enterprises. Shall we become absorbed in serving the world, serving ourselves, and lose eternal life and the everlasting bliss of heaven? Oh, we cannot afford to do this! Let every talent be employed in the work of God. Those who receive the truth are, by their efforts, to increase the number of men and women who shall be laborers together with God. Souls are to be enlightened and taught to serve God intelligently; they are to be continually increasing in the knowledge of righteousness.
All heaven is interested in the carrying forward of the work that Christ came to the world to do. Heavenly agencies are opening ways for the light of truth to shine to the dark places of the earth. Angels are waiting to communicate to those who will take hold of the work that has been pointed out to us for years. Shall we not manifest an interest to set in operation ways and means for the opening up of city work? Many opportunities have been lost through neglecting to do this work at once, through failing to go forward in faith. The Lord says: “Had you exercised faith in the messages I have sent, there would not be such a lack of workers and of means for their support.”
The coming of Christ is near and hasteth greatly. The time in which to labor is short, and men and women are perishing. Said the angel: “Should not the men who have had great light co-operate with Him who sent His Son to the world to give light and salvation to men?” Shall men who have received the knowledge of the truth line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, show but little appreciation of Him who came to the earth that His divine power might be the heritage of every believing soul? It was thus that the divinity of Christ was to become effectual in the salvation of the race, and the intercession of our great High Priest avail before the throne of God. The plan was devised in heaven. Shall those who have been bought with such a price fail of appreciating the great salvation?
The Lord cannot commend the people who, professing godliness, professing to believe in the soon coming of Christ, leave the cities unwarned of the judgments that are soon to fall on the land. Those who do this will be judged for their neglect. Christ gave His precious life to save the souls that are perishing in their sins. Shall we refuse to do the work assigned us, refuse to co-operate with God and heavenly agencies? There are thousands who are doing this, who are failing of becoming one with Christ, failing of letting the great sacrifice of Christ shine forth in the life, in saving grace that reveals the truth in works of righteousness. Yet this is the work given to men by the sacrifice of the Son of God. Knowing this, can we remain indifferent? I appeal to our brethren to wake up. The spiritual faculties will grow weak and die if they are not exercised in winning souls to Christ. What excuse can be offered for the neglect of the great, grand work that Christ gave His life to accomplish?
We cannot afford in the few days we have here on earth to spend our time in trifling and nothingness. We need to humble our souls before God, that every heart may drink in the truth, and let it work in the life a reformation that will convince the world that this is indeed the truth of God. Let the life be hid with Christ in God. Only when we seek the Lord as little children, when we cease picking flaws in our brethren and sisters, and in those who are seeking to carry faithfully the responsibilities of the work, and seek to get our own hearts right with God, can He use us to the glory of His name.
We all need to come into a self-sacrificing position before God if our work is to be accepted by Him. Let us remember that profession is nothing unless we have the truth in the heart. We need the converting power of God to take hold of us, that we may understand the needs of a perishing world. The burden of my message to you is: Get ready, get ready to meet the Lord. Trim your lamps, and let the light of truth shine forth into the byways and the hedges. There is a world to be warned of the near approach of the end of all things.
My brethren and sisters, seek the Lord while He may be found. There is a time coming when those who have wasted their time and opportunities will wish they had sought Him. God has given you reasoning faculties. He wants you to keep in the line of reason and in the line of labor. He wants you to go forth to our churches to labor earnestly for Him. He wants you to institute meetings for those outside the churches, that the people may learn the truths of this last message of warning. There are places where you will be gladly received, where souls will thank you for coming to their help. May the Lord help you to take hold of this work as you have never yet taken hold of it.
Let us begin to work for those who have not had the light. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” the Saviour declares, “and, lo, I am with you alway.” Matthew 28:18, 20. What we need is a living faith, faith to proclaim over the rent sepulcher of Joseph that we have a living Saviour, one who will go before us and who will work with us. God will do the work if we will furnish Him the instruments. There needs to be among us a great deal more of prayer and much less of unbelief. We need to lift up the standard higher and still higher before the people. We need to remember that Christ is always at our right hand as we proclaim liberty to the captives and deal the bread of life to hungry souls. When we keep before our minds the urgency and importance of our work, the salvation of God will be revealed in a remarkable manner.
God help us to put on the armor and to act as if we were in earnest, as if the souls of men and women were worth saving. Let us seek a new conversion. We need the presence of the Holy Spirit of God with us, that our hearts may be softened and that we may not bring a harsh spirit into the work. I pray that the Holy Spirit may take full possession of our hearts. Let us act like children of God who are looking to Him for counsel, ready to work out His plans wherever presented. God will be glorified by such a people, and those who witness our zeal will say: Amen and amen.
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy City…. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.
Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52:1-10.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9 pp. 99-108