The Second Series of Meetings. --When the arguments for present truth are presented for the first time, it is difficult to fasten the points upon the mind. And although some may see sufficiently to decide, yet for all this, there is need of going all over the very same ground again, and giving another course of lectures.-- Letter 60, 1886.
To Fix the Truth Distinctly. --After the first efforts have been made in a place by giving a course of lectures, there is really greater necessity for a second course than for the first. The truth is new and startling, and the people need to have the same presented the second time, to get the points distinct and the ideas fixed in the mind.-- Letter 48, 1886.
Importance of Repeating Points of Truth. --If those who knew the truth and were established in it were indeed in need of having its importance kept over before them and their minds stirred up by the repetition of it, how important that this work is not neglected for those newly come to the faith. Everything in the interpretation of the Scripture is new and strange to them, and they will be in danger of losing the force of the truth and receiving ideas not
correct. In many efforts that have been made the work has been left incomplete.-- Letter 60, 1886.
Careful Plans for the Follow-up Series. --It may be advisable to change locations and have new congregations, but all the time you are making a second effort, do it just as perfectly as if the first effort had not been made. Let every talent of the workers be put out to the exchangers. Let everyone do his level best and act an energetic part in the work and service of God.
There are different kinds of work to be done. Souls are precious in the sight of God; educate them, teach them, as they embrace the truth, how to bear responsibilities. He who sees the end from the beginning, who can make the seeds sown wholly fruitful, will be with you in your efforts.-- Letter 48, 1886.
An Example of Thorough Follow-up Work. --Our meeting has ended. From the very first day, October 21, up to the present time (November 10), the interest has not abated. At the first meeting the large tent was crowded, and a wall of people stood round the outside.
I spoke six times on Sabbath, Sunday, and Wednesday afternoons to the crowd that assembled, and five times in various lines to our people. We had the best of ministerial labour. . . . The word was spoken in no faltering, hesitating manner, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power. The interest was superior to anything we have seen in any camp meeting in this country. We feel very grateful to the Lord for this opportunity of making known the light of present truth. As in Christ's day, the people listen and are astonished and captivated. They say, "We never heard anything like this. Oh, how I wish I could have heard all these things before. I never
knew such things were in the Bible. I see that the work before me is to search the Scriptures as I have never done before."
The Word of God has indeed been like a sword, quick and powerful. The crowds of people listened interestedly for one and nearly two hours without showing any appearance of weariness. Oh, I am so glad, so thankful. I praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice. . . .
Several workers are keeping up the interest in Stanmore. This interest does not flag. The big tent has been taken down and sent to Melbourne. The forty-foot tent is being spliced in the centre so that it will seat as many as possible, and will be used here. A house has been rented to accommodate the workers. A room has been prepared for me, and if I am able I shall probably go to Sydney this week to join the workers. We must do all we possibly can to make this effort a success. Elder Haskell writes cheeringly in regard to the work there and the unflagging interest.-- Letter 27, 1897.
Building on Interest Created. --The labourers who may come in after an interest has been created, may be men who have even less ability than those who have started the work; but if they are humble men of God, they may present the truth in such a way as to arouse and impress the hearts of some who have hitherto been untouched. The Lord reveals truth to different minds in different aspects, so that through one man's presentation some point of truth is made clearer than through another man's presentation, and for this very reason the Lord does not permit one man alone the work of dealing with human minds. . . .
One man may carry his part of the work as far as he can, and then the Lord will send another of His
workmen to do another part of the work that the first worker did not feel the necessity of doing, and yet it was essential that the work should be done. Therefore let no man feel that it is his duty to begin and carry forward a work entirely himself. If it is possible for Him to have other gifts in other labourers to work for the conversion of souls, let him gladly co-operate with them.-- Manuscript 21, 1894.
New Converts Thoroughly Instructed. --Our efforts are not to cease because public meetings have been discontinued for a time. So long as there are interested ones, we must give them opportunity to learn the truth. And the new converts will need to be instructed by faithful teachers of God's Word, that they may increase in a knowledge and love of the truth, and may grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They must now be surrounded by the influences most favourable to spiritual growth.-- Review and Herald, Feb. 14, 1907.
Develop the Local Talent. --Do the work of an evangelist--water and cultivate the seed already sown. When a new church has been raised up, it should not be left destitute of help. The minister should develop the talent in the church, that meetings may be profitably kept up. Timothy was commanded to go from church to church, as one who should do this kind of work, and build up the churches in the most holy faith. He was to do the work of an evangelist, and this is an even more important work than that of the ministers. He was to preach the Word, but he was not to be settled over one church.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 28, 1897.
Visit New Members Often. --The work should not be left prematurely. See that all are intelligent in the truth, established in the faith, and interested in
every branch of the work, before leaving them for another field. And then, like the apostle Paul, visit them often to see how they do. Oh, the slack work that is done by many who claim to be commissioned of God to preach His Word, makes angels weep.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 256. (1885)
Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept. --It is not preaching alone that must be done. Far less preaching is needed. More time should be devoted to patiently educating others, giving the hearers opportunity to express themselves. It is instruction that many need, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little.
But it is very difficult to impress the minds of our ministering brethren with the idea that sermons alone cannot do the work that is needed for our churches. Personal efforts are wanted; they are essential for the prosperity of individuals and churches.-- Manuscript 7, 1891.
Help in Beginning the New Life. --Wherever such an interest is awakened as that which is now shown in _____, men of the best ability should be chosen to help in the effort. They should enter heartily into the work of visiting and holding Bible readings with those newly come to the faith, and with those who are interested, endeavouring to establish them in the faith. The new believers are to be carefully instructed, that they may have an intelligent knowledge of the various lines of work committed to the church of Christ. One or two men should not be left alone with the burden of such a work.
Much depends upon the work done by the members of the church in connection with the following the tent meetings that shall be held in our cities. During the meeting, many, convicted by the Spirit,
may be filled with a desire to begin the Christian life; but unless there is constant watchfulness on the part of the workers who remain to follow up the interest, the good impressions made on the minds of the people will become indistinct. The enemy, full of subtle reasoning, will take advantage of every failure on the part of God's workers to watch for souls as they that must give an account.-- Review and Herald, March 2, 1905.
Create a Bulwark Around New Believers. --Just after the decisions are made, the forces of the powers of darkness take these minds that have been convicted, and that have resisted the conviction of the Spirit of God. They have a superstition, and Satan works upon those minds until there is an intensity of opposition to the truth and everybody that believes it, and they think they are in God's service, as Christ told us, "Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
Now we can see the intensity of their minds. Where is the intensity on the other side? Unite with the Spirit of the living God to present a bulwark around our people and around our youth, to educate and train them. This must be met, and we must carry right through the truth of God at any cost. We understand something about it, but there are many who do not understand anything about it, therefore we need to lead them along, to instruct them kindly and tenderly, and if the spirit of God is with us, we will know just what to say.-- Manuscript 42, 1894.
Comprehension of God's Over-all Purpose. --The student should learn to view the Word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand, central theme, of God's original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great
controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found.-- Education, p. 190. (1903)
Teaching New Believers How to Meet Enemy. -- It is poor policy to leave a few here and there, unfed and uncared for, for devouring wolves, or to become targets for the enemy to open fire upon. I have been shown that there has been much of such work done among us as a people. Promising fields have been spoiled for future effort by striking in prematurely without counting the cost, and leaving the work half done. Because there has been a course of lectures given, then stop the work, rush into a new field to half do the work there, and these poor souls who have but a slight knowledge of the truth are left without proper measures being taken to confirm and establish them in the faith and educate them like well-drilled soldiers how to meet the enemy's attacks and vanquish him.-- Letter 60, 1886.
Integrating New Believers into the Church
To Be Guided as Children. --"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of
them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
By "little ones" Christ does not mean babies. Those to whom He refers are "little ones which believe in Me"--those who have not gained an experience in following Him, those who need to be led like children, as it were, in seeking the things of the kingdom of heaven.-- Manuscript 60, 1904.
Counsel to Those New in the Faith. --I would address you who have come to a knowledge of the truth in _____. You are young in the faith, and there is great need of your walking humbly with God, and of learning daily in the school of Christ by dwelling particularly in meditation and conversation upon the lessons which He gave to His disciples. Walk in all humility of mind, distrustful of self, seeking wisdom from the God of wisdom, that all your ways and methods may be in firm and close connection with the ways and the will of God, that there may be no confusion. . . .
We must never forget how hard it is to remove long-cherished errors from the minds of men, which have been taught from childhood. We must bear in mind that earth is not heaven, and that there will be discouragements to meet and to overcome, but forbearance and tenderness and pity should be exercised toward all who are in darkness. If we bring them
to see the light, it will not be solely by arguments, it must be by the work of the grace of Christ on your own hearts, revealed in your own characters with firmness, yet with the meekness and simplicity of Christ. Through much prayer you must labour for souls, for this is the only method by which you can reach hearts. It is not your work, but the work of Christ who is by your side, that impresses hearts. . . .
Be determined that you will not be at variance among yourselves, but will have the peace of Christ in your own hearts, and then it will be an easy work to have it brought into your own families. But when the garden of the heart is neglected, poisonous weeds of pride, self-esteem, self-sufficiency, obtain a rank growth. We individually must watch unto prayer. The characters we form will speak in the home life. If there is sweet accord in the home circle, the angels of God may minister in the home. If there is wise management at home, kindness, meekness, forbearance, combined with firm principles, then be assured that the husband is a house band; he binds the family together with holy cords and presents them to God, binding himself with them upon the altar of God. What a light shines forth from such a family!
That family, properly conducted, is a favourable argument to the truth, and the head of such a family will carry out the very same kind of work in the church as is revealed in the family. Wherever severity, harshness, and want of affection and love are exhibited in the sacred circle of the home, there will most assuredly be a failure in the plans and management in the church. Unity in the home, unity in the church, reveals Christ's manner and grace more than sermons and arguments.... Is the truth, the advanced truth we have received, producing in our own hearts the fruits of patience, faith, hope, charity, and thus leaving
its saving influence upon human minds, revealing that we are branches of the true Vine because we bear rich clusters of fruit?-- Letter 6b, 1890.
To Have Root in Themselves. --It is not in God's purpose that the church shall be sustained by life drawn from the minister. They are to have root in themselves. The gospel news, the message of warnings, the third angel's message, is to be voiced by church members.-- Manuscript 83, 1897.
Everyone who claims to be a Christian is to bear the responsibility of keeping himself in harmony with the guidance of the Word of God. God holds each soul accountable for following, for himself, the pattern given in the life of Christ and for having a character that is cleansed and sanctified.-- Manuscript 63, 1907.
Not to Put Ministers in Place of God. --While the new converts should be taught to ask counsel from those more experienced in the work, they should also be taught not to put the minister in the place of God. Ministers are but human beings, men compassed with infirmities. Christ is the One to whom we are to look for guidance.-- Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 20. (1904)
Points on Which to Establish the New Believers. -- Ministers frequently neglect these important branches of the work--health reform, spiritual gifts, systematic benevolence, and the great branches of the missionary work. Under their labours large numbers may embrace the theory of the truth, but in time it is found that there are many who will not bear the proving of God. . . .
How much better it would be for the cause, if the messenger of truth had faithfully and thoroughly educated these converts in regard to all these essential matters, even if there were less whom he could number as being added to the church under his labours.
Ministers must impress upon those for whom they labour the importance of their bearing burdens in connection with the work of God. They should be instructed that every department of the work of God should enlist their support and engage their interest. The great missionary field is open to men, and the subject must be agitated, agitated, again and again. The people must understand that it is not the hearers of the Word but the doers of the Word that will have eternal life. Not one is exempted from this work of beneficence. God requires of all men to whom He imparts the gifts of His grace to communicate, not only of their substance to meet the demands for the time in successfully advancing His truth, but to give themselves to God without reserve. . . .
It is not a trait of the natural heart to be beneficent; men must be taught, giving them line upon line and precept upon precept, how to work and how to give after God's order.-- Review and Herald, Dec. 12, 1878.
Developing New Attitudes for God's Work. --How much means are spent for things that are mere idols, things that engross the thoughts and affections, little ornaments that require attention to be kept free from dust and placed in order. The moments spent in arranging these little idols might be spent in speaking a word in season to some soul, awakening an interest to inquire, "What shall I do to be saved?" These little things take the time that should be devoted to prayer, seeking the Lord, and grasping by faith the promises. . . .
When I see how much might be done in such countries as I am now in, my heart burns within me to show to those who profess to be the children of God how much money they are wasting on dress, on expensive furniture, or selfish pleasures, in excursions merely
for selfish gratifications. All this is embezzling the Lord's goods, using to please self that means that is wholly His and which should be devoted to His service. -- Letter 42a, 1893.
Serviceable Christians. --The work of the ambassadors for Christ is far greater and more responsible than many dream of. They should not be at all satisfied with their success until they can, by their earnest labours and the blessing of God, present to Him serviceable Christians, who have a true sense of their responsibility, and will do their appointed work. The proper labour and instruction will result in bringing into working order those men and women whose characters are strong, and their convictions so firm that nothing of a selfish character is permitted to hinder them in their work, to lessen their faith, or to deter them from duty.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 398, 399. (1880)
Looking After New Believers. --When men and women accept the truth, we are not to go away and leave them and have no further burden for them. They are to be looked after. They are to be carried as a burden upon the soul, and we must watch over them as stewards who must render an account. Then as you speak to the people, give to every man his portion of meat in due season, but you want to be in that position where you can give this food.-- Manuscript 13, 1888.
Feed My Lambs. --The Lord Jesus said to Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren"; and after His resurrection, just before His ascension, He said to His disciple, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest
thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs."
This was a work in which Peter had but little experience; but he could not be complete in Christian life unless he learned to feed the lambs, those who are young in the faith. It would require great care, much patience and perseverance, to give those who are ignorant the suitable teachings, opening up the Scriptures and educating them for usefulness and duty. This is the work that must be done in the church at this day, or the advocates of truth will have a dwarfed experience and will be exposed to temptation and deception. The charge given to Peter should come home to nearly every minister. Again and again the voice of Christ is heard repeating the charge to His undershepherds, "Feed My lambs," "Feed My sheep." In the words addressed to Peter the responsibilities of the gospel minister who has charge of the flock of God are laid before him.-- Letter 3, 1892.
Feeding the Flock. --My brethren in the gospel ministry, let us feed the flock of God. Let us bring encouragement and cheerfulness to every heart. Let us turn the eyes of our brethren and sisters away from the unlovely traits of character possessed by nearly everyone, and teach them to behold Christ, the One altogether lovely, the Chiefest among ten thousand.... God has entrusted to mortals precious treasures of truth. These treasures may be likened to beautiful fruit, which is to be presented to the people in vessels that are clean and pure and holy, so that they will accept this fruit and enjoy it, to the glory of God.-- Manuscript 127, 1902.
Visit Every Family. --As the shepherd of the flock he [the minister] should care for the sheep and the
lambs, searching out the lost and straying, and bringing them back to the fold. He should visit every family, not merely as a guest to enjoy their hospitality, but to inquire into the spiritual condition of every member of the household. His own soul must be imbued with the love of God; then by kindly courtesy he may win his way to the hearts of all, and labour successfully for parents and children, entreating, warning, encouraging, as the case demands.-- Signs of the Times, Jan. 28, 1886.
Come Close to Hearts. --Come close to your brethren; seek for them, help them; come close to their hearts as one touched with the feelings of their infirmities. Thus we may achieve victories that our small faith has not grasped. The members of these families should be given some labour to perform for the good of souls. Mutual love and confidence will give them moral force to be labourers together with God.-- Manuscript 42, 1898.
Thorns Must Be Uprooted and Cast Out. --Many who profess to be Christians are so engrossed with earthly cares that they have no time for the cultivation of piety. They do not regard true religion as of the first importance. A man may seem to receive the truth, but if he does not overcome his un-Christlike traits of character, these thorns grow and strengthen, killing the precious graces of the Spirit. The thorns in the heart must be uprooted and cast out, for good and evil cannot grow in the heart at the same time. Unsanctified human inclinations and desires must be cut away from the life as hindrances to Christian growth.-- Letter 13, 1902.
Reprove and Exhort. --There is pastoral work to do, and this means to reprove and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine; that is, he should present the
Word of God, to show wherein there is a deficiency. If there is anything in the character of the professed followers of Christ, the burden should certainly be felt by the minister, and not that he should lord it over God's heritage. To deal with human minds is the nicest job that was ever committed to mortal man. -- Manuscript 13, 1888.
Often Make Sabbath Meeting a Bible Class. --It has often been presented to me that there should be less sermonizing by ministers acting merely as local pastors of churches, and that greater personal efforts should be put forth. Our people should not be made to think that they need to listen to a sermon every Sabbath. Many who listen frequently to sermons, even though the truth be presented in clear lines, learn but little. Often it would be more profitable if the Sabbath meetings were of the nature of a Bible class study. Bible truth should be presented in such a simple, interesting manner that all can easily understand and grasp the principles of salvation.-- Letter 192, 1906.
More Than Sermons Needed. --A minister is one who ministers. If you confine your work to sermonizing, the flock of God will suffer; for they need personal effort. Let your discourses be short. Long sermons wear out both you and the people. If ministers would make their sermons only half as long, they would do more good and would have strength left for personal work. Visit families, pray with them, converse with them, search the Scriptures with them, and you will do them good. Give them evidence that you seek their prosperity, and want them to be healthy Christians.-- Manuscript 8a, 1888.
Bearing the Censer of Fragrant Love. --The Lord's workers need the melting love of Jesus in their hearts.
Let every minister live as a man among men. Let him, in well-regulated methods, go from house to house, bearing ever the censer of heaven's fragrant atmosphere of love. Anticipate the sorrows, the difficulties, the troubles of others. Enter into the joys and cares of both high and low, rich and poor.-- Letter 50, 1897.
Preaching for Children. --At every suitable opportunity let the story of Jesus' love be repeated to the children. In every sermon let a little corner be left for their benefit. The servant of Christ may make lasting friends of these little ones. Then let him lose no opportunity of helping them to become more intelligent in a knowledge of the Scriptures. This will do more than we realise to bar the way against Satan's devices. If children early become familiar with the truths of God's Word, a barrier against ungodliness will be erected, and they will be able to meet the foe with the words, "It is written."-- Gospel Workers, p. 208. (1915)
Dedicating Children. --Let the minister not forget to encourage the precious lambs of the flock. Christ, the majesty of heaven, said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." Jesus does not send the children to the rabbis; He does not send them to the Pharisees; for He knows that these men would teach them to reject their best friend. The mothers that brought their children to Jesus, did well. Remember the text, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." Let mothers now lead their children to Christ. Let ministers of the gospel take the little children in their arms, and bless them in the name of Jesus. Let words of tenderest love be spoken to the little ones;
for Jesus took the lambs of the flock in His arms, and blessed them.-- Review and Herald, March 24, 1896.
Sabbath Sermons for Visitors. --When learned men, statesmen, and so-called honourable men are present in a place of worship, the minister thinks he must give them an intellectual treat; but in attempting to do this he loses a precious opportunity of teaching the very lessons that were presented by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. All the congregations in our land need to learn more of Christ and Him crucified. A religious experience that is not founded in Christ and Him alone is worthless. These men of intellectual powers need a clear, Scriptural presentation of the plan of salvation. Let the truth, in its simplicity and power, be presented to them. If this does not hold the attention and arouse the interest, they never can be interested in heavenly and divine things. In every congregation there are souls who are unsatisfied. Every Sabbath they want to hear something definite explaining how they can be saved, how they are to become Christians. The important thing for them to know is, How can a sinner be presented before God? Let the way of salvation be presented before them in simplicity, just as plainly as you would speak to a little child. Lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope.-- Manuscript 4, 1893.
Neglecting the Work for Reading and Study. --The duties of a pastor are often shamelessly neglected because the minister lacks strength to sacrifice his personal inclinations for seclusion and study. The pastor should visit from house to house among his flock, teaching, conversing, and praying with each family, and looking out for the welfare of their souls. Those who have manifested a desire to become acquainted with the principles of our faith should not be
neglected, but thoroughly instructed in the truth.-- Gospel Workers, p. 337. (1915)
Responsibility of Spiritual Laymen to New Converts
Church Patiently to Help New Converts. --Those who have newly come to the faith should be patiently and tenderly dealt with, and it is the duty of the older members of the church to devise ways and means to provide help and sympathy and instruction for those who have conscientiously withdrawn from other churches for the truth's sake, and thus cut themselves off from the pastoral labour to which they have been accustomed. The church has a special responsibility laid upon her to attend to these souls who have followed the first rays of light they have received; and if the members of the church neglect this duty, they will be unfaithful to the trust that God has given them.-- Review and Herald, April 28, 1896.
Watchful Attention and Encouragement. --After individuals have been converted to the truth, they need to be looked after. The zeal of many ministers seems to fail as soon as a measure of success attends their efforts. They do not realise that these newly converted ones need nursing,--watchful attention, help, and encouragement. These should not be left alone, a prey to Satan's most powerful temptations; they need to be educated in regard to their duties, to be kindly dealt with, to be led along, and to be visited and prayed with. These souls need the meat apportioned to every man in due season.
No wonder that some become discouraged, linger by the way, and are left for wolves to devour. Satan is upon the track of all. He sends his agents forth to
gather back to his ranks the souls he has lost. There should be more fathers and mothers to take these babes in the truth to their hearts, and to encourage them and pray for them, that their faith be not confused.
Preaching is a small part of the work to be done for the salvation of souls. God's Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires His church to nurse those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak unto them words that are "like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
We all need to study character and manner that we may know how to deal judiciously with different minds, that we may use our best endeavours to help them to a correct understanding of the Word of God, and to a true Christian life. We should read the Bible with them, and draw their minds away from temporal things to their eternal interests. It is the duty of God's children to be missionaries for Him, to become acquainted with those who need help. If one is staggering under temptation, his case should be taken up carefully and managed wisely; for his eternal interest is at stake, and the words and acts of those labouring for him may be a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 68, 69. (1876)
The Guardianship Plan. --In Christ we are all members of one family. God is our Father, and He expects us to take an interest in the members of His household, not a casual interest, but a decided, continual interest. As branches of the parent vine, we derive
nourishment from the same source, and by willing obedience, we become one with Christ.
If one member of Christ's household falls into temptation, the other members are to look after him with kindly interest, seeking to arrest the feet that are straying into false paths, and win him to a pure, holy life. This service God requires from every member of His church. . . . The members of the Lord's family are to be wise and watchful, doing all in their power to save their weaker brethren from Satan's concealed nets.
This is home missionary work, and it is as helpful to those who do it as to those for whom it is done. The kindly interest we manifest in the home circle, the words of sympathy we speak to our brothers and sisters, fit us to work for the members of the Lord's household, with whom, if we remain loyal to Christ, we shall live through eternal ages. "Be thou faithful unto death," Christ says, "and I will give thee a crown of life." Then how carefully should the members of the Lord's family guard their brethren and sisters! Make yourself their friend. If they are poor and in need of food and clothing, minister to their temporal as well as their spiritual wants. Thus you will be a double blessing to them.-- Manuscript 63, 1898.
Helping New Believers to Win Souls
Minister to Educate New Believers in Soul Winning. --Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up. Those who take their stand for the truth are to be organised into churches, and then the minister is to pass on to other equally important fields.
Just as soon as a church is organised, let the
minister set the members at work. They will need to be taught how to labour successfully. . . .
The power of the gospel is to come upon the companies raised up, fitting them for service. Some of the new converts will be so filled with the power of God that they will at once enter the work. They will labour so diligently that they will have neither time nor disposition to weaken the hands of their brethren by unkind criticism. Their one desire will be able to carry the truth to the regions beyond.-- Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 20. (1902)
Stress Personal Responsibility to God. --Personal responsibility, personal activity in seeking the salvation of others, must be the education given to all newly come to the faith. . . . Personal faith is to be acted and practised, personal holiness is to be cultivated, and the meekness and lowliness of Christ is to become a part of our practical life. The work is to be thorough and deep in the heart of every human agent.
Those who profess to receive and believe the truth are to be shown the deadly influence of selfishness and its tainting, corrupting power. The Holy Spirit must work upon the human agent, else another power will control mind and judgement. Spiritual knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent is the only hope of the soul. Each soul is to be taught of God, line upon line, precept upon precept; he must feel his individual accountability to God to engage in service for his Master, whose he is, and whom he is required to serve in the work of saving souls from death.-- Manuscript 25, 1899.
Baptismal Vows-Pledge to Win Souls. --God's people are to feel a noble, generous sympathy for every line of work carried on in the great harvest field. By their baptismal vows they are pledged to make
earnest, self-denying efforts to promote, in the hardest parts of the field, the work of soul-saving. God has placed on every believer the responsibility of striving to rescue the helpless and the oppressed.-- Australasian Union Conference Record, June 1, 1903.
Truly Converted Will Work for Others. --Divine grace in the newly converted soul is progressive. It gives an increase of grace, which is received, not to be hidden under a bushel, but to be imparted, that others may be benefited. He who is truly converted will work to save others who are in darkness. One truly converted soul will reach out in faith to save another and still another. Those who do this are God's agencies, His sons and daughters. They are a part of His great firm, and their work is to help to repair the breach which Satan and his agencies have made in the law of God by trampling underfoot the genuine Sabbath, and putting in its place a spurious rest day.-- Letter 29, 1900.
Why Some New Believers Do Not Advance. --Humble, simple-hearted, trusting souls may do a work which will cause rejoicing in heaven among the angels of God. Their work at home, in their neighbourhood, and in the church will be in its results as far-reaching as eternity. It is because this work is not done that the experience of young converts never reaches beyond the ABC in divine things. They are always babes, always needing to be fed upon milk, and never able to partake of true gospel meat.-- Letter 61, 1895.
Confirmed in the Faith by Service. --When souls are converted, set them to work at once. And as they labour according to their ability, they will grow stronger. It is by meeting opposing influences that we become confirmed in the faith. As the light shines
into their hearts, let them diffuse its rays. Teach the newly converted that they are to enter into fellowship with Christ, to be His witnesses, and to make Him known unto the world.
None should be forward to enter into controversy, but they should tell the simple story of the love of Jesus. All should constantly search the Scriptures for the reason of their faith, so that, if asked, they may give "a reason of the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear."
The best medicine you can give the church is not preaching or sermonizing, but planning work for them. If set to work, the despondent would soon forget their despondency, the weak would become strong, the ignorant intelligent, and all would be prepared to present the truth as it is in Jesus. They would find an unfailing helper in Him who has promised to save all who come unto Him.-- Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.
Relation of Activity to Spirituality. --Those who are most actively employed in doing with interested fidelity their work to win souls to Jesus Christ, are the best developed in spirituality and devotion. Their very active working formed the means of their spirituality. There is danger of religion losing in depth that which it gains in breadth. This need not be, if, in the place of long sermons, there is wise education given to those newly come to the faith. Teach them by giving them something to do, in some line of spiritual work, that their first love will not die but increase in fervour. Let them feel that they are not to be carried and to lean for support on the church; but they are to have root in themselves. They can be in many lines, according to their several abilities, useful in helping the church to come nearer to God, and
working in various ways to act upon the elements outside the church which will be a means of acting beneficially upon the church. The wisdom and prosperity of the church casts a telling influence upon her favour. The psalmist prayed for the prosperity of the church, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. . . . That Thy way may be known upon the earth, Thy saving health among all nations."-- Letter 44, 1892.
Christian Growth Will Be Evident. --Nothing saps spirituality from the soul more quickly than to enclose it in selfishness and self-caring. Those who indulge self and neglect to care for the souls and bodies of those for whom Christ has given His life, are not eating of the bread of life, nor drinking of the water of the well of salvation. They are dry and sapless, like a tree that bears no fruit. They are spiritual dwarfs, who consume their means on self; but "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Christian principles will always be made visible. In a thousand ways the inward principles will be made manifest. Christ abiding in the soul is as a well that never runs dry.-- Review and Herald, Jan. 15, 1895.
To Keep the Church Alive by Service. --Let him seek to keep the church alive by teaching its members how to labour with him for the conversion of sinners. This is good generalship; and the result will be found far better than if he should seek to perform the work alone.-- Review and Herald, April 23, 1908.
Guarding New Members Against Error And Fanaticism
Satan Annoys and Distracts New Believers. -- Wherever there is a little company raised up, Satan is
constantly trying to annoy and distract them. When one of the people turns away from his sins, do you suppose that he will let him alone? No, indeed. We want you to look well to the foundation of your hope. We want you to let your life and your actions testify of you that you are the children of God.-- Manuscript 5, 1885.
No Lack of Isms to Delude New Converts. --Satan is constantly seeking to lead men into error. He is the God of all dissension, and he has no lack of isms to bring forward to delude. New sects are constantly arising to lead from the truth; and instead of being fed with the bread of life, the people are served with a dish of fables. The Scriptures are wrested and, taken from their true connection, are quoted to give falsehood the appearance of truth. The garments of truth are stolen to hide the features of heresy.
Paul planted the pure truths of the gospel in Galatia. He preached the doctrine of righteousness by faith, and his work was rewarded in seeing the Galatian church converted to the gospel. Then Satan began to work through false teachers to confuse the minds of some of the believers. The boasting of these teachers, and the setting forth of their wonder-working powers, blinded the spiritual eyesight of many of the new converts, and they were led into error....
For a time Paul lost his hold on the minds of those who had been deceived; but relying on the word and power of God, and refusing the interpretations of the apostate teachers, he was able to lead the converts to see that they had been deceived, and thus defeat the purposes of Satan. The new converts came back to the faith, prepared to take their position intelligently for the truth.-- Manuscript 43, 1907.
Erroneous Doctrines by Professed Believers. --We shall all be severely tested. Persons who pretend to believe the truth will come to us and urge upon us erroneous doctrines, which will unsettle our faith in present truth if we pay heed to them. True religion alone will stand the test of the judgement.-- Review and Herald, Dec. 2, 1884.
Satan's Efforts to Divide God's People. --Christ foretold that the going forth of deceivers would be accompanied with more danger to His disciples than would persecution.
This warning is repeated several times. Seducers, with their scientific problems, were to be guarded against more carefully than any other peril that they would meet; for the entrance of these seductive spirits meant the entrance of the specious errors that Satan has ingeniously prepared to dim the spiritual perceptions of those who have had but little experience in the workings of the Holy Spirit, and of those who remain satisfied with a very limited spiritual knowledge. The effort of seducers has been to undermine confidence in the truth of God and to make it impossible to distinguish truth from error. Wonderfully pleasing, fanciful, scientific problems are introduced and urged upon the attention of the unwary; and unless believers are on their guard, the enemy, disguised as an angel of light, will lead them into false paths....
Satan can skilfully play the game of life with many souls, and he acts in a most underhanded, deceptive manner to spoil the faith of the people of God and to discourage them. . . . He works today as he worked in heaven, to divide the people of God in the very last stage of this earth's history. He seeks to create dissension, and to arouse contention and discussion, and to remove if possible the old landmarks of truth
committed to God's people. He tries to make it appear as if the Lord contradicts Himself.
It is when Satan appears as an angel of light that he takes souls in his snare, deceiving them. Men who pretend to have been taught of God, will adopt fallacious theories, and in their teaching will so adorn these fallacies as to bring in Satanic delusions. Thus Satan will be introduced as an angel of light and will have opportunity to present his pleasing fables. These false prophets will have to be met. They will make an effort to deceive many, by leading them to accept false theories. Many scriptures will be misapplied in such a way that deceptive theories will apparently be based upon the words that God has spoken. Precious truth will be appropriated to substantiate and establish error.
These false prophets, who claim to be taught of God, will take beautiful scriptures that have been given to adorn the truth, and will use them as a robe of righteousness to cover false and dangerous theories. And even some of those who, in times past, the Lord has honoured, will depart so far from the truth as to advocate misleading theories regarding many phases of truth, including the sanctuary question.-- Manuscript 11, 1906.
The Church to Be Sifted. --It is always difficult to hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, and the difficulty increases when there are hidden influences constantly at work to bring in another spirit, a counterworking element, on Satan's side of the question.
In the absence of the persecution there have drifted into our ranks men who appear sound and their Christianity unquestionable, but who, if persecution should arise, would go out from us. In the crisis they would see force in specious reasons that have had an
influence on their minds. Satan has prepared various snares to meet varied minds.
When the law of God is made void, the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Instead of being strengthened when brought into strait places, many prove that they are not living branches of the true Vine, they bear no fruit, and the husbandman taketh them away. -- Letter 3, 1890.
To Keep a Firm Hold on Bible Truth. --The Christian is to be "rooted and grounded" in the truth, that he may stand firm against the temptations of the enemy. He must have a continual renewal of strength, and he must hold firmly to Bible truth. Fables of every kind will be brought in to seduce the believer from his allegiance to God, but he is to look up, believe in God, and stand firmly rooted and grounded in the truth.
Keep a firm hold upon the Lord Jesus, and never let go. Have firm convictions as to what you believe. Let the truths of God's Word lead you to devote heart, mind, soul, and strength to the doing of His will. Lay hold resolutely upon a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Let your only argument be, "It is written." Thus we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. That faith has not lost any of its sacred, holy character, however objectionable its opposers may think it to be.
Those who follow their own mind and walk in their own way will form crooked characters. Vain doctrines and subtle sentiments will be introduced with plausible presentations, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Are church members building upon the Rock? The storm is coming, the storm that will try every man's
faith, of what sort it is. Believers must now be firmly rooted in Christ, or else they will be led astray by some phase of error. Let your faith be substantiated by the Word of God. Grasp firmly the living testimony of truth. Have faith in Christ as a personal Saviour. He has been and ever will be our Rock of Ages. The testimony of the Spirit of God is true. Change not your faith for any phase of doctrine, however pleasing it may appear, that will seduce the soul.
The fallacies of Satan are now being multiplied, and those who swerve from the path of truth will lose their bearings. Having nothing to which to anchor, they will drift from one delusion to another, blown about by the winds of strange doctrines. Satan has come down with great power. Many will be deceived by his miracles. . . .
I entreat everyone to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality.-- Review and Herald, Aug. 31, 1905.
Drifting Away From Bible Landmarks. --Many know so little about their Bibles that they are unsettled in the faith. They remove the old landmarks, and fallacies and winds of doctrine blow them hither and thither. Science, falsely so-called, is wearing away the foundation of Christian principle; and those who once were in the faith drift away from the Bible landmarks, and divorce themselves from God, while still claiming to be His children.-- Review and Herald, Dec. 29, 1896.
New Parties of Professed Believers. --The church needs to awake to an understanding of the subtle
powers of satanic agencies that must be met. If they will keep on the whole armour, they will be able to conquer all the foes they meet, some of which are not yet developed.
Confederacies will increase in number and power as we draw nearer to the end of time. These confederacies will create opposing influences to the truth, forming new parties of professed believers who will act out their own delusive theories. The apostasy will increase. "Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Men and women have confederated to oppose the Lord God of heaven, and the church is only half awake to the situation. There needs to be much more prayer, much more of earnest effort, among professed believers. -- Review and Herald, Aug. 5, 1909.
Danger in Ignorance of Our Past History. --All genuine experience in religious doctrines will bear the impress of Jehovah. All should see the necessity of understanding the truth for themselves individually. We must understand the doctrines that have been studied out carefully and prayerfully. It has been revealed to me that there is among our people a great lack of knowledge in regard to the rise and progress of the third angel's message. There is great need to search the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, and learn the texts thoroughly, that we may know what is written. The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Lord desires that every soul who claims to believe the truth shall have an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. False prophets will arise and will deceive many. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. Then does it not become
everyone to understand the reasons for our faith? In place of having so many sermons, there should be a more close searching of the Word of God, opening the Scriptures text by text, and searching for the strong evidences that sustain the fundamental doctrines that have brought us where we now are, upon the platform of eternal truth.
My soul is made very sad to see how quickly some who have had light and truth will accept the deceptions of Satan, and be charmed with a spurious holiness. When men turn away from the landmarks the Lord has established that we may understand our position as marked out in prophecy, they are going they know not whither.-- Undated Manuscript 148.
Errors Attractively Taught. --Spurious doctrines, spurious piety, spurious faith, much that is fair in appearance, abound all around us. Teachers will come clothed as angels of light; and if possible, they will deceive the very elect. The youth need to learn all they can of the truth if they would not be deceived by the tissue of falsehood that Satan will invent. They need to live in the sunlight of Christ's righteousness. They need to be rooted and grounded in the truth, that they may impart to others the light they receive.-- The Youth's Instructor, April 22, 1897.
Dangers of Sensational Religion. --There is no safety, much less benefit, for our people in attending these popular holiness meetings; let us rather search the Scriptures with much carefulness and earnest prayer, that we may understand the ground of our faith. Then we shall not be tempted to mingle with those who, while making high claims, are in opposition to the law of God.
We must not have a sensational religion, which has no root in truth. Solid instruction must be given to
the people upon the reasons of our faith. They must be educated to a far greater extent than they have been in the doctrines of the Bible, and especially in the practical lessons that Jesus gave to His disciples. The believers must be impressed with their great need of Bible knowledge. There must be painstaking effort to fasten in the minds of all, the solid arguments of the truth; for everyone will be tested, and those who are rooted and grounded in the work of God will be unmoved by the heresies that will arise on all sides; but if any neglect to obtain the necessary preparation, they will be swept away by errors that have the appearance of truth.-- Gospel Workers, pp. 228, 229. (1892)
Confusions of Babylon and Antichrist. --It is our individual duty to walk humbly with God. We are not to seek any strange, new message. We are not to think that the chosen ones of God who are trying to walk in the light, compose Babylon. The fallen denominational churches are Babylon. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God's holy, sanctified day. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches. . . .
Fallen angels upon earth form confederations with evil men. In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan, clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt
him to the place of God, and deify him.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 12, 1893.
Believers to Continue Searching the Scriptures. -- It is not enough to merely read, but the Word of God must enter into our hearts and our understanding, in order that we may be established in the blessed truth. If we should neglect to search the Scriptures for ourselves, that we may know what is truth, then if we are led astray, we are accountable for it. We must search the Scriptures carefully, so that we will know every condition that the Lord has given us; and if we have minds of limited capacity, by diligently searching the Word of God we may become mighty in the Scriptures, and may explain them to others.-- Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.
Our Books Helpful in Establishing New Believers. -- Many will depart from the faith and give heed to seducing spirits. Patriarchs and Prophets and Great Controversy are books that are especially adapted to those who have newly come to the faith, that they may be established in the truth. The dangers are pointed out that should be avoided by the churches. Those who become thoroughly acquainted with the lessons in these books will see the dangers before them, and will be able to discern the plain, straight path marked out for them. They will be kept from strange paths. They will make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way.
In Desire of Ages, Patriarchs and Prophets, Great Controversy, and Daniel and the Revelation, there is precious instruction. These books must be regarded as of special importance, and every effort should be made to get them before the people.-- Letter 229, 1903.
Good Judgement in Dealing With New Members. -- Hasty and inconsiderate actions result from a lack of
judgement, and lead to wrongdoing. But that which is most to be lamented is that the young converts will be hurt by this influence, and their confidence in the cause of God shaken. Let us pray that when the time shall come to act we may be ready.-- Letter 16, 1907. Reclaiming Backsliders
Guard Against Apostasy. --Care should be exercised to educate the young converts. They are not to be left to themselves, to be led away by false presentations, to walk in a false way. Let the watchmen be constantly on guard, lest souls shall be beguiled by soft words and fair speech and sophistry. Teach faithfully all that Christ has commanded. Everyone who receives Christ is to be trained to act some part in the great work to be accomplished in our world.-- Letter 279, 1905.
Cause for Backsliding by New Members. --Upon all new converts should be impressed the truth that abiding knowledge can be gained only by earnest labour and persevering study. As a rule, those who are converted to the truth we preach have not previously been diligent students of the Scriptures; for in the popular churches there is little real study of the Word of God. The people look to the ministers to search the Scriptures for them and to explain what they teach.
Many accept the truth without digging down deep to understand its foundation principles; and when it is opposed, they forget the arguments and evidences that sustain it. They have been led to believe the truth, but have not been fully instructed as to what truth is, or carried forward from point to point in the knowledge of Christ. Too often their piety
degenerates into a form, and when the appeals that first aroused them are no longer heard, they become spiritually dead.-- Gospel Workers, p. 368. (1915)
Dealing With Backsliders. --Those who are sent by God to do a special work will be called to rebuke heresies and errors. They should exercise Bible charity toward all men, presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. Some will be most earnest and zealous in their resistance to the truth; but while their faults must be exposed unflinchingly and their evil practices condemned, long-suffering, patience, and forbearance must be exercised toward them. "And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the flesh."
The church may be called upon to dismiss from their fellowship those who will not be corrected. It is a painful duty that has to be done. Sad indeed is such a step, and it should not be taken until every other means of correcting and saving the one in error has failed.
Christ never made peace by anything like compromise. The hearts of God's servants will overflow with love and sympathy for the erring, as represented by the parable of the lost sheep; but they will have no soft words for sin. They show the truest friendship who reprove error and sin without partiality and without hypocrisy. Jesus lived in the midst of a sinful and perverse generation. He could not be at peace with the world unless He left them unwarned, unreproved, and this would not be in accordance with the plan of salvation.-- Letter 12, 1890.
Dealing With Wrongs in God's Way. --God is not pleased with the slothful work done in the churches. He expects His stewards to be true and faithful in
giving reproof and correction. They are to expel wrong after the rule God has given in His Word, not according to their own ideas and impulses. No harsh means must be used, no unfair, hasty, impulsive work done. The efforts made to cleanse the church from moral uncleanness must be made in God's way. There must be no partiality, no hypocrisy. There must be no favourites, whose sins are regarded as less sinful than those of others. Oh, how much we all need the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Then we shall always work with the mind of Christ, with kindness, compassion, and sympathy, showing love for the sinner while hating sin with a perfect hatred.-- Manuscript 8a, 1888.
How Paul Corrected Wrongs. --Contentions in the body of believers are not after the order of God. They result from the manifestation of the attributes of the natural heart. To all who bring in disorder and disunion, the words of Paul are applicable: "I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." Paul here addressed a people whose advancement was not proportionate to their privileges and opportunities. They ought to have been able to bear the hearing of the plain Word of God, but they were in the position in which the disciples were when Christ said to them, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." They ought to have been far advanced in spiritual knowledge, able to comprehend and practice the higher truths of the Word; but they were unsanctified. They had forgotten that they must be purged from their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, and that they must not cherish carnal attributes.
It was impossible for the apostle to reprove wrongdoing without some who claimed to believe the truth becoming offended. The inspired testimony could do these no good; for they had lost their spiritual discernment. Jealousy, evil surmising, and accusing closed the door to the working of the Holy Spirit. Paul would gladly have dwelt upon higher and more difficult truths, truths which were rich in nourishment, but his instruction would have cut directly across their tendencies to jealousy, and would not have been received. The divine mysteries of godliness, which would have enabled them to grasp the truths necessary for that time, could not be spoken. The apostle must select lessons, which, like milk, could be taken without irritating the digestive organs. Truths of the deepest interest could not be spoken, because the hearers would misapply and misappropriate them, presenting them to young converts who needed only the more simple truths of the Word. . . .
Holiness to God through Christ is required of Christians. If there are wrongs in the church, they should receive immediate attention. Some may have to be sharply rebuked. This is not doing the erring one any wrong. The faithful physician of the soul cuts deep, that no pestilent matter may be left to burst forth again. After the reproof has been given, then comes repentance and confession, and God will freely pardon and heal. He always pardons when confession is made.-- Review and Herald, Dec. 11, 1900.
Troublers of Zion. --There are in our churches those who profess the truth who are only hindrances to the work of reform. They are clogs to the wheels of the car of salvation. This class are frequently in trial. Doubts, jealousies, and suspicion are the fruits of selfishness, and seem to be interwoven with their
very natures. I shall name this class chronic church grumblers. They do more harm in a church than two ministers can undo. They are a tax to the church and a great weight to the ministers of Christ. They live in an atmosphere of doubts, jealousies, and surmisings. Much time and labour of the ambassadors of Christ are required to undo their work of evil, and restore harmony and union in the church. This takes from the courage and strength of God's servants and unfits them for the work He has for them to do in saving perishing souls from ruin. God will reward these troublers of Zion according to their works.
The ministers of Christ should take their position, and not be hindered in their work by these agents of Satan. There will be enough of these to question, and quibble, and criticise, to keep the ministers of God constantly busy, if they will allow themselves to be detained from the great work of giving the last saving message of warning to the world. If the church has no strength to stand against the unsanctified, rebellious feelings of church grumblers, it is better to let church and grumblers go overboard together than lose the opportunity of saving hundreds who would make better churches, and have the elements existing within themselves of strength and union and power.
The very best way for ministers and churches is to let this faultfinding, crooked class fall back into their own element, and pull away from the shore, launch out into the deep, and cast out the gospel net again for fish that may pay for the labour bestowed upon them. Satan exults when men and women embrace the truth who are naturally faultfinding and who will throw all the darkness and hindrance they can against the advancement of the work of God. Ministers cannot now in this important period of the work be detained to prop up men and women who see and have
felt once the force of the truth. They should fasten believing Christians on Christ, who is able to hold them up and preserve them blameless unto His appearing, while they go forth to new fields of labour.-- The True Missionary, February, 1874.
When the Former Baptism Does Not Satisfy. -- There are many at the present day who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. "Sin is the transgression of the law" and "he that shall offend on one point is guilty of all."
The honest seeker after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light was within his reach. God's Word is plain, and Christ has bidden him search the Scriptures. He reveres God's law as holy, just, and good, and he repents of his transgression. By faith he pleads the atoning blood of Christ, and grasps the promise of pardon. His former baptism does not satisfy him now. He has seen himself a sinner, condemned by the law of God. He has experienced anew a death to sin, and he desires again to be buried with Christ by baptism, that he may rise to walk in newness of life. Such a course is in harmony with the example of Paul in baptizing the Jewish converts. That incident was recorded by the Holy Spirit as an instructive lesson for the church.-- Sketches From the Life of Paul, p. 133. (1883)
Now to Be Made a Testing Question for New Believers. --The subject of rebaptism should be handled
with the greatest care. After the truth is presented upon the Sabbath question and other important points of our faith, and souls manifest the moral courage to take their position upon the truth, they will see this question in the Bible light if they are fully converted. But by some these questions have been handled unwisely, and God has sent reproof many times on this point. Those who place the subject of rebaptism in the front, making it of as much importance as the Sabbath question, are not leaving the right impression upon the minds and correctly representing the subject. It requires great discrimination to bring in kindred truths with the Sabbath, rightly dividing the Word, giving to each his portion of meat in due season.
Those who lift the cross of the Sabbath have a tremendous battle to fight with self and with selfish interests which would interpose between their souls and God. Then when they have taken this great step and their feet have been planted upon the platform of eternal truth, they must have time to become accustomed to their new position, and not be hurried on the question of rebaptism. No one should become a conscience for another or urge and press rebaptism.
This is a subject which each individual must conscientiously take his position upon in the fear of God. This subject should be carefully presented in the spirit of tenderness and love. Then the duty of urging belongs to no one but God; give God a chance to work with His Holy Spirit upon the minds, so that the individual will be perfectly convinced and satisfied in regard to this advanced step. A spirit of controversy and contention should never be allowed to come in and prevail on this subject. Do not take the Lord's work out of His hands into your own hands. Those who have conscientiously taken their position upon
the commandments of God, will, if rightly dealt with, accept all essential truth. But it needs wisdom to deal with human minds. Some will be longer in seeing and understanding some kindred truths than others, especially will this be the case in regard to the subject of rebaptism, but there is a divine hand that is leading them--a divine spirit impressing their hearts, and they will know what they ought to do and do it.
Let none of our zealous brethren overdo this matter. They will be in danger of getting before the Lord and making tests for others which the Lord has not bidden them to make. It is not the work of any of our teachers to urge rebaptism upon anyone. It is their business to lay down the great principles of Bible truths, especially is this the case in regard to rebaptism. Then let God do the work of convicting the mind and heart. . . .
Every honest soul who accepts the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will see and understand his duty in time. But it will take time for some. It is not a subject to be driven and forced upon those newly come to the truth, but this subject will work like leaven; the process will be slow and quiet, but it will do its work, if our ministering brethren will not be too fast and defeat the purpose of God.
Those who have long looked upon this subject see it quite clearly and think all others should see it just as they do. They do not consider that with some newly come to the faith this matter looks like denying all their former religious experience. But in time they will come to regard the matter differently. As the truth is constantly unfolding to their minds, they will see advanced steps to be taken; new light will flash upon their pathway; God's Spirit will work upon their minds, if men will not interfere and seek to drive them to the positions which they think are truth.
Now let it be distinctly understood, from time to time all through our experience, God has given me testimonies of caution to our brethren in regard to handling the subject of rebaptism. Our good Brother _____ and several others of our ministers I was shown were making a mistake at some point in their experience in putting in the front and making a test question of rebaptism. This is not the way that the subject should be treated. It is a matter to be treated as a great privilege and blessing, and all who are rebaptised, if they have the right ideas upon this subject, will thus consider it. These good brethren were not bringing those newly come to the faith along step by step, cautiously and guardedly, and the result was that some were turned from the truth, when a little time and tender, careful dealing with them would have prevented all such sad results.-- Letter 56, 1886.
Reconversion and Rebaptism of Seventh-day Adventists. --The Lord calls for a decided reformation. And when a soul is truly reconverted, let him be rebaptised. Let him renew his covenant with God, and God will renew His covenant with him. . . . Reconversion must take place among the members, that as God's witnesses they may testify to the authoritative power of the truth that sanctifies the soul.-- Letter 63, 1903.
Providing Church Buildings
Memorials for the Truth. --When an interest is aroused in any town or city, that interest should be followed up. The place should be thoroughly worked, until a humble house of worship stands as a sign, a memorial of God's Sabbath, a light amid the moral
darkness. These memorials are to stand in many places as witnesses to the truth. God in His mercy has provided that the messengers of the gospel shall go to all countries, tongues, and peoples, until the standard of truth shall be established in all parts of the inhabited world.-- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 100. (1900)
It Assures a Stable Work. --Wherever a company of believers is raised up, a house of worship should be built. Let not the workers leave the place without accomplishing this.
In many places where the message has been preached and souls have accepted it, they are in limited circumstances, and can do but little toward securing advantages that would give character to the work. Often this renders it difficult to extend the work. As persons become interested in the truth, they are told by the ministers of other churches,--and these words are echoed by the church members,--"These people have no church, and you have no place of worship. You are a small company, poor and unlearned. In a short time the ministers will go away, and then the interest will die down. Then you will give up all these new ideas which you have received."
Can we suppose that this will not bring strong temptation to those who see the reasons of our faith and are convicted by the Spirit of God in regard to present truth? It has to be often repeated, that from a small beginning large interests may grow. If wisdom and sanctified judgement and skilful generalship are manifested by us in building up the interests of our Redeemer's kingdom, we shall do all in our power to assure the people of the stability of our work. Humble sanctuaries will be erected where those who accept the truth may find a place to worship God according
to the dictates of their own conscience.-- Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 100, 101. (1900)
Securing City Properties. --In every city where the truth is proclaimed, churches are to be raised up. In some large cities there must be churches in various parts of the city. In some places, meetinghouses will be offered for sale at reasonable rates, which can be purchased advantageously.-- Letter 168, 1909.
No Less Humble Than Our Homes. --There have been times when it seemed necessary to worship God in very humble places; but the Lord did not withhold His Spirit nor refuse His presence because of this. It was the best His people could do at the time, and if they worshipped Him in spirit and in truth, He never reproved or condemned their efforts. But He has blessed us with means, and we expend that means in making our houses attractive, in planning and executing to please, to honour, and to glorify ourselves; if we are content to thus leave the Lord out of our plans and to worship Him in a much poorer and more inconvenient place than we are willing to live in ourselves; if, I say, our selfish purposes are thus made supreme and God and His worship secondary, He will not bestow upon us His blessing.-- Manuscript 23, 1886.
Plain, Neat, and Perfect in Design. --We have no command from God to erect a building which will compare for richness and splendour with the temple. But we are to build a humble house of worship, plain and simple, neat and perfect in its design.
Then let those who have means look to it that they are as liberal and tasteful in erecting a temple wherein we may worship God as they have been in locating and building and furnishing their own houses. Let them manifest a willingness and a desire to show
greater honour to God than to themselves. Let them build with nicety but not with extravagance. Let the house be built conveniently and thoroughly so that when it is presented to God He can accept it and let His Spirit rest upon the worshippers who have an eye single to His glory. Nothing must interfere between God's glory and us; no selfish plans, no selfish schemes, no selfish purposes. There must be an agreement.-- Manuscript 23, 1886.
Substantial Buildings. --Some may ask, Why does Sister White always use the words, "plain, neat, and substantial," when speaking of buildings? It is because I wish our buildings to represent the perfection God requires from His people.
"But," some say, "if the Lord is so soon to come, why do you urge our builders to put the best material into the buildings they erect?" Would we dare to dedicate to God a house made of cheap material, and put together so faultily as to be almost lifted from its foundation when struck by a strong wind? We would be ashamed to put worthless material into a building for the Lord. And I would not advise anyone to put worthless material into a house. It does not pay. The floors of our houses should be made of well-seasoned wood. This will cost a little more, but will in the end save a great deal of vexation. The frame of a building should be well matched and well put together. Christ is our example in all things. He worked at the carpenter's trade with His father Joseph, and every article He made was well made, the different parts fitting exactly, the whole able to bear test.
Whatever you do, let it be done as well as upright principles and your strength and skill can do it. Let your work be like the pattern shown you in the mount.
The buildings erected will soon be severely tried.-- Manuscript 127, 1901.
Members to Help Build. --When a church is raised up, the members are to arise and build. Let the newly converted ones, under the direction of a minister who is guided by the advice of his fellow ministers, work with their own hands, saying, We need a church and we must have a church and we will each do our best in helping in the building. . . .
Let us reveal Christ by making advancement. God calls upon those who claim to follow Jesus to make cheerful, united efforts in His cause. Let this be done and soon will be heard the voice of thanksgiving, "See what the Lord hath wrought."-- Letter 65, 1900.
Financial Help From the Outside. --We all need to be wide awake, that, as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the instruction to enter these cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. We are to continue working until a church is organised, and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many persons not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the great cities of America, help will be given by such persons.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 30, 1902.
Different Styles of Architecture. --Churches are built in many places, but they need not all be built in precisely the same style. Different styles of building may be appropriate to different locations.
In the breastplate of the high priest there were many stones, but each stone had its special light, adding to the beauty of the whole. Every stone had its special significance, bearing its important message from
God. There were many stones, but one breastplate. So there are many minds, but one Mind. In the church there are many members, each having his peculiar characteristics, but they form one family.-- Letter 53, 1900.
Ventilation Given Consideration. --Sabbath afternoon the beautiful and commodious meetinghouse in _____ was crowded to its utmost capacity. The day was warm, and abundant ventilation was needed. But the beautiful coloured windows were not built to open. As a result, the congregation suffered intensely, and the speaker was so poisoned that she experienced great suffering for a week, and was barely able to fill one of her three appointments in New York City. Why will a people having abundance of information on health, sanitation, and ventilation, allow wrongly built meetinghouses to stand year after year as closed reservoirs for poison air?-- Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1909.
Provide for the Church School. --Workers in new territory should not feel free to leave their field of labour till the needed facilities have been provided for the churches under their care. Not only should a humble house of worship be erected, but all necessary arrangements should be made for the permanent establishment of the church school.
This matter has been plainly presented before me. I saw in different places new companies of believers being raised up, and meetinghouses being erected. Those newly come to the faith were helping with willing hands, and those who had means were assisting with their means. In the basement of the church, above ground, I was shown a room provided for a school where the children could be educated in the truths of God's Word. Consecrated teachers were
selected to go to these places. The numbers in the school were not large, but it was a happy beginning. -- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 108. (1900)
Go Forward. --When we open up the work in one field, and gather out a company, we consecrate them to God and then draw them to unite with us in building a humble house of worship. Then when the church is finished, and dedicated to the Master, we pass on to other fields. Distinct and plain the word has come to us, "Go forward," and just as soon as the warning message has been given in one place, and men and women raised up to continue the work there, we pass to the unworked parts of the Lord's vineyard. -- Letter 154, 1899.
On to New Fields
Church Members Taught to Stand Alone. --As I travelled through the South on my way to the conference, I saw city after city that was unworked. What is the matter? The ministers are hovering over churches which know the truth while thousands are perishing out of Christ.
If the proper instruction were given, if the proper methods were followed, every church member would do his work as a member of the body. He would do Christian missionary work. But the churches are dying, and they want a minister to preach to them.
They should be taught to bring a faithful tithe to God, that He may strengthen and bless them. They should be brought into working order, that the breath of God may come to them. They should be taught that unless they can stand alone, without a minister, they need to be converted anew, and baptized anew. They need to be born again.-- Manuscript 150, 1901.
Go Work for Souls. --Instead of keeping the ministers at work for the churches that already know the truth, let the members of the churches say to these labourers: "Go work for souls that are perishing in darkness. We ourselves will carry forward the services of the church. We will keep up the meetings, and, by abiding in Christ, will maintain spiritual life. We will work for souls that are about us, and we will send our prayers and our gifts to sustain the labourers in more needy and destitute fields."-- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 30. (1900)
Conference Workers Called to New Fields. --As a general rule, the conference labourers should go out from the churches into new fields, using their God-given ability to a purpose in seeking and saving the lost.-- Letter 136, 1902.
Aggressive Work Called For. --Our ministers should plan wisely, as faithful stewards. They should feel that it is not their duty to hover over the churches already raised up, but that they should be doing aggressive evangelistic work, preaching the Word and doing house-to-house work in places that have not yet heard the truth. . . . They will find that nothing is so encouraging as doing evangelistic work in new fields. -- Letter 169, 1904.
If the ministers would get out of the way, if they would go forth into new fields, the members would be obliged to bear responsibilities, and their capabilities would increase by use.-- Letter 56, 1901.
Ministerial Forces Exhausted on Established Churches. --Our people have had great light, and yet much of our ministerial force is exhausted on the churches, in teaching those who should be teachers; enlightening those who should be "the light of the world"; watering those from whom should flow
springs of living water; enriching those who might be veritable mines of precious truth; repeating the gospel invitation to such as should be scattered to the uttermost parts of the earth, communicating the message of Heaven to many who have not had the privileges which they have enjoyed; feeding those who should be in the byways and highways heralding the invitation, "Come; for all things are now ready." Come to the gospel feast; come to the supper of the Lamb; "for all things are now ready."
Now is the time for earnest wrestling with God. Our voices should join with the Saviour's in that wonderful prayer: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Many may ask, "Who is sufficient for these things?" The responsibility rests upon every individual. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God."-- Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.