Testimonies, Vol. 8

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It is God’s purpose that His people shall be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all around them. It is His purpose that, by exemplifying the truth in their lives, they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God’s people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can He make them a praise in the earth. Only as they use their God-given capabilities in His service will they enjoy the fullness and power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand. If those who profess to believe in Christ as their Saviour reach only the low standard of worldly measurement, the church fails to bear the rich harvest that God expects. "Found wanting" is written upon her record.

The commission that Christ gave to His disciples just before His ascension is the great missionary charter of His kingdom. In giving it to the disciples, the Saviour made them His ambassadors and gave them their credentials. If, afterward, they should be challenged and asked by what authority they, unlearned fishermen, went forth as teachers and healers, they could reply: "He whom the Jews crucified, but who rose from the dead, appointed us to the ministry of His word, declaring, ’All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.’"

Christ gave this commission to His disciples as His chief ministers, the architects who were to lay the foundation of His church. He laid upon them, and upon all who should succeed them as His ministers, the charge of handing His gospel down from generation to generation, from age to age.

 The disciples were not to wait for the people to come to them. They were to go to the people, hunting for sinners as a shepherd hunts for lost sheep. Christ opened the world before them as their field of labor. They were to go "into all the 

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world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. It was of the Saviour that they were to preach, of His life of unselfish service, His death of shame, His unparalleled, unchanging love. His name was to be their watchword, their band of union. In His name they were to subdue the strongholds of sin. Faith in His name was to mark them as Christians.

Giving the disciples further directions, Christ said: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." "But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49.

In obedience to the word of their Master the disciples assembled in Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Here they spent ten days, days of deep heart searching. They put away all differences and drew close together in Christian fellowship.

At the end of ten days the Lord fulfilled His promise by a wonderful outpouring of His Spirit. "Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." "And the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 2:2-4, 41.

"And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." Mark 16:20. Notwithstanding the fierce opposition that the disciples met, in a short time the gospel of the kingdom had been sounded to all the inhabited parts of the earth.

 The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. [16] Today, as then, a crucified and risen Saviour is to be uplifted before those who are without God and without hope in the world. The Lord calls for pastors, teachers, and evangelists. From door to door His servants are to proclaim the message of salvation. To every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the tidings of pardon through Christ are to be carried.

Not with tame, lifeless utterance is the message to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring utterances. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their lives. The world needs to see in Christians an evidence of the power of Christianity. Not merely in a few places, but throughout the world, messengers of mercy are needed. From every country is heard the cry: "Come over, . . . and help us." Rich and poor, high and low, are calling for light. Men and women are hungering for the truth as it is in Jesus. When they hear the gospel preached with power from on high, they will know that the banquet is spread for them, and they will respond to the call: "Come; for all things are now ready." Luke 14:17.

The words "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) are spoken to each one of Christ’s followers. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. The same longing of soul that He felt for the saving of the lost is to be manifest in them. Not all can fill the same place, but for all there is a place and a work. All upon whom God’s blessings have been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom.