Bible-tube.com Sermons du Pasteir Karl Johnson

they were weak, erring men; but the Lord wrought through them as they gave themselves to His service. Since His ascension, Christ the great Head of the church, has carried forward His work in the world by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men, and ministers to their needs. The position of those who have been called of God to labor in word and doctrine for the upbuilding of His church, is one of grave responsibility. In Christ's stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God; and they can fulfil their mission only as they receive wisdom and power from above. God's ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which He who is the first and the last has under His special care and protection. The sweet influences that 
                            14
are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under God's control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power.
{GW 13.3}

     It is to the honor of Christ that He makes His ministers a greater blessing to the church, through the working of the Holy Spirit, than are the stars to the world. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to His Father, they will do His works. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world. {GW 14.1}

               Spiritual Watchmen

     Christ's ministers are the spiritual guardians of the people entrusted to their care. Their work has been likened to that of watchmen. In ancient times, sentinels were often stationed on the walls of cities, where, from points of vantage, they could overlook important points to be guarded, and give warning of the approach of an enemy. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within. At stated intervals they were required to call to one another, to make sure that all were awake, and that no harm had befallen any. The cry of good cheer or of warning was borne from one to another, each repeating the call till it echoed round the city. {GW 14.2}

     To every minister the Lord declares: "O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O famous prophecies, prophecy seminar, book of revelation online,
                                                                            15
wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, . . . thou hast delivered thy soul." [EZE. 33:7-9.]
{GW 14.3}

     These words of the prophet declare the solemn responsibility resting upon those who are appointed as guardians of the church, stewards of the mysteries of God. They are to stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, to sound the note of alarm at the approach of the enemy. If for any reason their spiritual senses become so benumbed that they are unable to discern danger, and through their failure to give warning the people perish, God will require at their hands the blood of those who are lost. {GW 15.1}

     It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be so susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell sinners of their peril, and point them to the place of safety. Chosen of God, sealed with the blood of consecration, they are to rescue men and women from impending destruction. Faithfully are they to warn their fellow-men of the sure result of transgression, and faithfully are they to safeguard the interest of the church. At no time may they relax their vigilance. Theirs is a work requiring the exercise of every faculty of the being. In trumpet tones their voices are to be lifted, and never should they sound one wavering, uncertain note. Not for wages are they to labor, but because they cannot do otherwise, because they realize that there is a woe upon them if they fail to preach the gospel.
                                                                            16
{GW 15.
2}

             Faithfulness in Service

     The minister who is a co-worker with Christ will have a deep sense of the sacredness of his work, and of the toil and sacrifice required to perform it successfully. He does not study his own ease or convenience. He is forgetful of self. In his search for the lost sheep, he does not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view,--the saving of the lost. {GW 16.1}

     He who serves under the blood-stained banner of Emmanuel often has that to do which calls for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the Stronghold for aid; and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the Word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self-exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it awakens an answering chord in other minds. {GW 16.2}

     The Lord sends His ministers to hold forth the word of life, to preach, not "philosophy and vain deceit," nor "science falsely so called," but the gospel, "the power of God unto salvation." [COL. 2:8; 1 TIM. 6:20; ROM. 1:16.] "I charge thee therefore," Paul wrote to Timothy, "before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure
                                                                            17
sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." [2 TIM. 4:1-5.] In this charge every minister has his work outlined,--a work that he can do only through the fulfilment of the promise that Jesus gave to His disciples, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end." [MATT. 28:20.]
{GW 16.3}

     Ministers of the gospel, God's messengers to their fellow-men, should never lose sight of their mission and their responsibilities. If they lose their connection with heaven, they are in greater danger than others, and can exert a stronger influence for wrong. Satan watches them continually, waiting for some weakness to develop, through which he may make a successful attack upon them. And how he triumphs when he succeeds! for an ambassador for Christ, off his guard, allows the great adversary to secure many souls to himself. {GW 17.1}

     The true minister will do nothing that would belittle his sacred office. He will be circumspect in deportment, and wise in his course of action. He will work as Christ worked; he will do as Christ did. He will use all his powers in carrying the tidings of salvation to those who know it not. A deep hunger for the righteousness of Christ will fill his heart. Feeling his need, he will seek earnestly for the power that must come to him before he can present in simplicity, truthfulness, and humility the truth as it is in Jesus.
                                                                            18
{GW 17.
2}

         Examples of Human Steadfastness

     God's servants receive no honor or recognition from the world. Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and finally put to death, because he was a faithful messenger of God to the Gentiles. The apostle John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." [REV. 1:9.] These examples of human steadfastness in the might of divine power, are a witness to the world of the faithfulness of God's promises, of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. {GW 18.1}

     No hope of glorious immortality lights up the future of the enemies of God. The great military commander conquers nations, and shakes the armies of half the world; but he dies of disappointment, and in exile. The philosopher who ranges in thought through the universe, everywhere tracing the manifestations of God's power and delighting in their harmony, often fails to behold in these marvelous wonders the Hand that formed them all. "Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish." [PS. 49:20.] But God's heroes of faith are heirs to an inheritance of greater value than any earthly riches,--an inheritance that will satisfy the longings of the soul. By the world they may be unknown and unacknowledged, but in the record books above they are enrolled as citizens of heaven, and an exalted greatness, an eternal weight of glory, will be theirs. {GW 18.2}

     The greatest work, the noblest effort, in which men can engage, is to point sinners to the Lamb of God. True ministers are co-laborers with the Lord in the accomplishment of His purposes. God says to them, Go,
                                                                            19
teach and preach Christ. Instruct and educate all who know not of His grace, His goodness, and His mercy. Teach the people. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" [ROM. 10:14.]
{GW 18.3}

     "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!" "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." [ISA. 52:7, 9, 10.]

                                              
-
{GW 19.1}

     Workers for Christ are never to think, much less to speak, of failure in their work. The Lord Jesus is our efficiency in all things; His Spirit is to be our inspiration; and as we place ourselves in His hands, to be channels of light, our means of doing good will never be exhausted. We may draw upon His fulness, and receive of that grace which has no limit.

[20]
{GW 19.
2}

           The Sacredness of the Work

     The minister stands as God's mouthpiece to the people, and in thought, in word, in act, he is to represent his Lord. When Moses was chosen as the messenger of the covenant, the word given him was, "Be thou for the people to Godward." [EX. 18:19.] Today God chooses men as He chose Moses, to be His messengers, and heavy is the woe resting on the one who dishonors his holy calling, or lowers the standard set for him in the life and labors of the Son of God. {GW 20.1}

     The punishment that fell upon Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, shows how God regards those ministers who do that which dishonors their sacred office. These men were consecrated to the priesthood, but they had not learned to control themselves. Habits of self-indulgence, long cherished, had obtained a hold upon them which even the responsibility of their office had not power to break. {GW 20.2}

     At the hour of worship, as the prayers and praise of the people were ascending to God, Nadab and Abihu, partially intoxicated, took each his censer, and burned fragrant incense thereon. But they transgressed God's command by using "strange fire," instead of the sacred fire which God himself had kindled, and which He had commanded should be used for this purpose. For this sin, a fire went out from the Lord, and devoured them in the sight of the people. "Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified." [SEE LEV. 10:1-7.]
                                                                            21
{GW 20.
3}

              Isaiah's Commission

     When God was about to send Isaiah with a message to His people, He first permitted the prophet to look in vision into the holy of holies within the sanctuary. Suddenly the gate and the inner veil of the temple seemed to be uplifted or withdrawn, and he was permitted to gaze within, upon the holy of holies, where even the prophet's feet might not enter. There rose before him a vision of Jehovah sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, while the train of His glory filled the temple. Around the throne were seraphim, as guards about the great King, and they reflected the glory that surrounded them. As their songs of praise resounded in deep notes of adoration, the pillars of the gate trembled, as if shaken by an earthquake. With lips unpolluted by sin, these angels poured forth the praises of God. "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts," they cried; "the whole earth is full of His glory." [SEE ISA. 6:1-8.] {GW 21.1}

     The seraphim around the throne are so filled with reverential awe as they behold the glory of God, that they do not for an instant look upon themselves with admiration. Their praise is for the Lord of hosts. As they look into the future, when the whole earth shall be filled with His glory, the triumphant song is echoed from one to another in melodious chant, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." They are fully satisfied to glorify God; abiding in His presence, beneath His smile of approbation, they wish for nothing more. In bearing His image, in doing His bidding, in worshiping Him, their highest ambition is reached. {GW 21.2}

     As the prophet listened, the glory, the power, and the majesty of the Lord was opened to his vision; and
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in the light of this revelation his own inward defilement appeared with startling clearness. His very words seemed vile to  him. In deep humiliation he cried, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips: . . . for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
{GW 21.3}

     Isaiah's humiliation was genuine. As the contrast between humanity and the divine character was made plain to him, he felt altogether inefficient and unworthy. How could he speak to the people the holy requirements of Jehovah? {GW 22.1}

     "Then flew one of the seraphim unto me," he writes, "having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." {GW 22.2}

     Then Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" and strengthened by the thought of the divine touch, he answered, "Here am I; send me." {GW 22.3}

     As God's ministers look by faith into the holy of holies, and see the work of our great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, they realize that they are men of unclean lips, men whose tongues have often spoken vanity. Well may they despair as they contrast their own unworthiness with the perfection of Christ. With contrition of heart, feeling wholly unworthy and unfit for their great work, they cry,"I am undone." But if, like Isaiah, they humble their hearts before God, the work done for the prophet will be performed for them. Their lips will be touched with a live coal from off the altar, and they will lose sight of self in a sense of
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the greatness and power of God and His readiness to help them. They will realize the sacredness of the work entrusted to them, and will be led to abhor everything that would cause them to dishonor Him who has sent them forth with His message.
{GW 22.4}

     The live coal is symbolical of purification, and it also represents the potency of the efforts of God's true servants. To those who make so full a consecration that the Lord can place His touch upon their lips, the word is spoken, Go forth into the harvest-field. I will co-operate with you. {GW 23.1}

     The minister who has received this preparation will be a power for good in the world. His words will be right words, pure and true, fraught with sympathy and love; his actions will be right actions, a help and a blessing to the weak. Christ will be to him an abiding presence, controlling thought, word, and deed. He has pledged himself to overcome pride, covetousness, selfishness. As he seeks to fulfil this pledge, he gains spiritual strength. By daily communion with God he becomes mighty in a knowledge of the Scriptures. His fellowship is with the Father and the Son; and as he constantly obeys the divine will, he becomes daily better fitted to speak words that will guide wandering souls to the fold of Christ.

[24]
{GW 23.
2}

              The Field is the World

     "Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him." [MATT. 4:18-22.] {GW 24.1}

     The prompt, unquestioning obedience of these men, with no promise of wages, seems remarkable; but the words of Christ were an invitation that carried with it an impelling power. Christ would make these humble fishermen, in connection with Himself, the means of taking men out of the service of Satan, and placing them in the service of God. In this work they would become his witnesses, bearing to the world His truth unmingled with the traditions and sophistries of men. By practicing His virtues, by walking and working with Him, they were to be qualified to be fishers of men. {GW 24.2}

     Thus were the first disciples appointed to the work of the gospel ministry. For three years they labored in connection with the Saviour, and by His teaching, His works of healing, His example, they were prepared to carry on the work that He began. By the simplicity of faith, by pure, humble service, the disciples were taught to carry responsibilities in God's cause.
                                                                            25
{GW 24.3}

     There are lessons for us to learn from the experience of the apostles. These men were as true as steel to principle. They were men who would not fail nor be discouraged. They were full of reverence and zeal for God, full of noble purposes and aspirations. They were by nature as weak and helpless as any of those now engaged in the work, but they put their whole trust in the Lord. Wealth they had, but it consisted of mind and soul culture; and this every one may have who will make God first and last and best in everything. They toiled long to learn the lessons given them in the school of Christ, and they did not toil in vain. They bound themselves up with the mightiest of all powers, and were ever longing for a deeper, higher, broader comprehension of eternal realities, that they might successfully present the treasures of truth to a needy world. {GW 25.1}

     Workers of this character are needed now, men who will consecrate themselves without reserve to the work of representing the kingdom of God to a world lying in wickedness. The world needs men of thought, men of principle, men who are constantly growing in understanding and discernment. There is great need of men who can use the press to the best advantage, that the truth may be given wings to speed it to every nation, and tongue, and people. {GW 25.2}

             The Gospel to all Countries

    
Everywhere the light of truth is to shine forth, that hearts may be awakened and converted. In all countries the gospel is to be proclaimed. God's servants are to labor in places nigh and afar off, enlarging the cultivated portions of the vineyard, and going to the
                                                                            26
regions beyond. They are to work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, in which no man can work. Sinners are to be pointed to a Saviour uplifted on the cross, and from many voices is to be heard the invitation, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." [JOHN 1:29.] Churches are to be organized, and plans laid for work to be done by the members of the newly organized churches. As workers go forth filled with zeal, and with the love of God, the churches at home will be revived; for the success of the workers will be regarded as a subject of deep personal concern by every member of the church.
{GW 25.3}

     Earnest, self-sacrificing men and women are needed, who will go to God and with strong crying and tears plead for the souls that are on the brink of ruin. There can be no harvest without seed-sowing, no result without effort. Abraham was called to go forth from his home, a light-bearer to the heathen. And without questioning, he obeyed. "He went out, not knowing whither he went." [HEB. 11:8.] So today God's servants are to go where He calls, trusting Him to guide them and to give them success in their work. {GW 26.1}

     The terrible condition of the world would seem to indicate that the death of Christ has been almost in vain, and that Satan has triumphed. The great majority of this earth's inhabitants have given their allegiance to the enemy. But we have not been deceived. Notwithstanding the apparent triumph of Satan, Christ is carrying forward His work in the heavenly sanctuary and on the earth. The word of God portrays the wickedness and corruption that would exist in the last days. As we see the fulfilment of prophecy, our faith in the final triumph of Christ's kingdom should
                                                                            27
strengthen; and we should go forth with renewed courage to do our appointed work.
{GW 26.2}

     The solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities, in every place where the light of the great threefold gospel message has not yet dawned. Everyone is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb. From town to town, from city to city, from country to country, the message of present truth is to be proclaimed, not with outward display, but in the power of the Spirit. As the divine principles that our Saviour came to this world to set forth in word and life, are presented in the simplicity of the gospel, the power of the message will make itself felt. In this age, a new life, coming from the Source of all life, is to take possession of every laborer. O, how little do we comprehend the breadth of our mission! We need a faith that is earnest and determined, and a courage that is unshaken. Our time for work is short, and we are to labor with unflagging zeal. {GW 27.1}

     "The field is the world." [MATT. 13:38.] We understand better what this saving comprehends than did the apostles who received the commission to preach the gospel. The whole world is a vast missionary field, and we who have long known the gospel message should be encouraged by the thought that fields which were once difficult of access are now easily entered. Countries hitherto closed to the gospel are opening their doors, and are pleading for the word of God to be explained to them. Kings and princes are opening their long-closed gates, inviting the heralds of the cross to enter. The harvest truly is great. Eternity alone will reveal the results of well-directed efforts put forth now.
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Providence is going before us, and Infinite Power is working with human effort. Blind indeed must be the eyes that do not see the working of the Lord, and deaf the ears that do not hear the call of the True Shepherd to His sheep.
{GW 27.2}

     Christ longs to extend His sway over every human mind. He longs to stamp His image and character upon every soul. When He was on this earth, He hungered for sympathy and co-operation, that His kingdom might extend and embrace the whole world. This earth is His purchased possession, and He would have men free and pure and holy. "For the joy that was set before Him," He "endured the cross, despising the shame." [HEB. 12:2.] His earthly pilgrimage was cheered by the thought that He would not have all this travail for naught, but would win man back to loyalty to God. And there are triumphs yet to be accomplished through the blood shed for the world, that will bring everlasting glory to God and to the Lamb. The heathen will be given for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Christ will see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. [SEE ISA. 53:11.] {GW 28.1}

     "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the
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abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee." "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." [ISA. 60:1-5; 61:11.]

                                              
-
{GW 28.2}

     The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. 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 utterances 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, messages of mercy are needed.

                                              
-
{GW 29.1}

     He who beholds the Saviour's matchless love will be elevated in thought, purified in heart, transformed in character. He will go forth to be a light to the world, to reflect in some degree this mysterious love. The more we contemplate the cross of Christ, the more fully shall we adopt the language of the apostle when he said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. [GAL. 6:14.]


     [30] {GW 29.
2}

         The Minister's Responsibility

     "I charge thee therefore," Paul wrote to Timothy, "before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." [2 TIM. 4:1, 2.] {GW 30.1}

     This solemn charge to one so zealous and faithful as was Timothy, is a strong testimony to the importance and responsibility of the work of the gospel minister. Summoning Timothy before the bar of God, Paul bids him preach the word, not the sayings and customs of men; to be ready to witness for God whenever opportunity should present itself,--before large congregations and private circles, by the way and at the fireside, to friends and to enemies, whether in safety or exposed to hardship and peril, reproach and loss. {GW 30.2}

     Fearing that Timothy's mild, yielding disposition might lead him to shun an essential part of his work, Paul exhorted him to be faithful in reproving sin, and even to rebuke with sharpness those who were guilty of gross evils. Yet he was to do this "with all long-suffering and doctrine." He was to reveal the patience and love of Christ, explaining and enforcing his reproofs by the truths of the Word. {GW 30.3}

     To hate and reprove sin, and at the same time to show pity and tenderness for the sinner, is a difficult achievement. The more earnest our own efforts to attain to holiness of heart and life, the more acute will be our perception of sin, and the more decided our
                                                                            31
disapproval of it. We must guard against undue severity toward the wrong-doer; but we must also be careful not to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. There is need of showing Christlike patience and love for the erring one, but there is also danger of showing so great toleration for his error that he will look upon himself as undeserving of reproof, and will reject it as uncalled for and unjust.
{GW 30.
4}

                 A Burden for Souls

     God's ministers must come into close companionship with Christ, and follow His example in all things --in purity of life, in self-denial, in benevolence, in diligence, in perseverance. To win souls to the kingdom of God must be their first consideration. With sorrow for sin and with patient love, they must work as Christ worked, putting forth determined, unceasing effort. {GW 31.1}

     John Welch, a minister of the gospel, felt so great a burden for souls that he often rose in the night to send up to God his supplication for their salvation. On one occasion his wife pleaded with him to regard his health, and not venture on such exposure. His answer was, "O woman, I have the souls of three thousand to answer for, and I know not how it is with them." {GW 31.2}

     In a town in New England a well was being dug. When the work was nearly finished, while one man was still at the bottom, the earth caved in and buried him. Instantly the alarm was sent out, and mechanics, farmers, merchants, lawyers, hurried breathlessly to the rescue. Ropes, ladders, spades, and shovels were brought by eager, willing hands. "Save him, O save him!" was the cry.
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{GW 31.3}

     Men worked with desperate energy, till the sweat stood in beads upon their brows and their arms trembled with the exertion. At length a pipe was thrust down, through which they shouted to the man to answer if he were still alive. The response came, "Alive, but make haste. It is fearful in here." With a shout of joy they renewed their efforts, and at last he was reached and saved, and the cheer that went up seemed to pierce the very heavens. "He is saved!" echoed through every street in the town. {GW 32.1}

     Was this too great zeal and interest, too great enthusiasm, to save one man? It surely was not; but what is the loss of temporal life in comparison with the loss of a soul? If the threatened loss of a life will arouse in human hearts a feeling so intense, should not the loss of a soul arouse even deeper solicitude in men who claim to realize the danger of those apart from Christ? Shall not the servants of God show as great zeal in laboring for the salvation of souls as was shown for the life of that one man buried in a well? {GW 32.2}

        Starving for the Bread of Life

    
A godly woman once made the remark, "O that we could hear the pure gospel as it used to be preached from the pulpit! Our minister is a good man, but he does not realize the spiritual needs of the people. He clothes the cross of Calvary with beautiful flowers, which hide all the shame, conceal all the reproach. My soul is starving for the bread of life. How refreshing it would be to hundreds of poor souls like me, to listen to something simple, plain, and scriptural, that would nourish our hearts!"
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{GW 32.3}

     There is need of men of faith, who will not only preach, but will minister to the people. Men are needed who walk daily with God, who have a living connection with heaven, whose words have power to bring conviction to hearts. Not that they may make a display of their talents and intelligence, are ministers to labor, but that the truth may cut its way to the soul as an arrow from the Almighty. {GW 33.1}

     A minister, after preaching a Bible discourse which brought deep conviction to one of his hearers, was accosted with the question, "Do you really believe what you have preached?" {GW 33.2}

     "Certainly," he answered. {GW 33.3}

     "But is it really so?" asked the anxious questioner. {GW 33.4}

     "Certainly," said the minister, as he reached for his Bible. {GW 33.5}

     Then the man broke out, "O, if this is the truth, what shall we do?" {GW 33.6}

     "What shall we do?" thought the minister-- "we"? What could the man mean? But the question forced its way to his soul. He went away to plead with God to tell him what to do. And as he prayed, there came to him with overwhelming force the thought that he had the solemn realities of eternity to present to a dying world. For three weeks his place in the desk was vacant. He was seeking an answer to the question, "What shall we do?" {GW 33.7}

     The minister returned to his charge with an unction from the Holy One. He realized that his past preaching had made little impression on his hearers. Now he felt upon him the terrible weight of souls. As he came to his desk, he was not alone. There was a great work to be done, but he knew that God would
                                                                            34
not fail him. Before his hearers he exalted the Saviour and His matchless love. There was a revelation of the Son of God, and a revival began that spread through the churches of the surrounding districts.
{GW 33.
8}

         The Urgency of Christ's Work

     If our ministers realized how soon the inhabitants of the world are to be arraigned before the judgment-seat of God, they would work more earnestly to lead men and women to Christ. Soon the last test is to come to all. Only a little longer will the voice of mercy be heard; only a little longer can the gracious invitation be given, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." [JOHN 7:37.] God sends the gospel invitation to people everywhere. Let the messengers He sends work so harmoniously, so untiringly, that all will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus, and learned of Him. {GW 34.1}

     Of Aaron, the high priest of Israel, it is written, He "shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually." [EX. 28:29.] What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love of Christ for His church! Our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart. And should not His earthly ministers share His love and sympathy and solicitude? {GW 34.2}

     Divine power alone will melt the sinner's heart and bring him, a penitent, to Christ. No great reformer or teacher, not Luther, Melanchthon, Wesley, or Whitefield, could of himself have gained access to hearts, or
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have accomplished the results that these men achieved. But God spoke through them. Men felt the influence of a superior power, and involuntarily yielded to it. Today those who forget self and rely on God for success in the work of soul-saving, will have the divine co-operation, and their efforts will tell gloriously in the salvation of souls.
{GW 34.3}

     I feel constrained to say that the labors of many of our ministers lack power. God is waiting to bestow His grace upon them, but they pass on from day to day, possessing only a cold, nominal faith, presenting the theory of the truth, but presenting it without that vital force which comes from a connection with heaven, and which sends the spoken words home to the hearts of men. They are half asleep, while all around them are souls perishing in darkness and error. {GW 35.1}

     Ministers of God, with hearts aglow with love for Christ and your fellow-men, seek to arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Let your earnest entreaties and warnings pierce their consciences. Let your fervent prayers melt their hearts, and lead them in penitence to the Saviour. You are ambassadors for Christ, to proclaim His message of salvation. Remember that a lack of consecration and wisdom in you may turn the balance for a soul, and send it to eternal death. You cannot afford to be careless and indifferent. You need power, and this power God is willing to give you without stint. He asks only a humble, contrite heart, that is willing to believe and receive His promises. You have only to use the means that God has placed within your reach, and you will obtain the blessing.


     [36] {GW 35.
2}

                   The Outlook

     We are nearing the close of this earth's history. We have before us a great work,--the closing work of giving the last warning message to a sinful world. There are men who will be taken from the plow, from the vineyard, from various other branches of work, and sent forth by the Lord to give this message to the world. {GW 36.1}

     The world is out of joint. As we look at the picture, the outlook seems discouraging. But Christ greets with hopeful assurance the very men and women who cause us discouragement. In them He sees qualifications that will enable them to take a place in His vineyard. If they will constantly be learners, through His providence He will make them men and women fitted to do a work that is not beyond their capabilities; through the impartation of the Holy Spirit, He will give them power of utterance. {GW 36.2}

     Many of the barren, unworked fields must be entered by beginners. The brightness of the Saviour's view of the world will inspire confidence in many workers, who, if they begin in humility and put their hearts into the work, will be found to be the right men for the time and place. Christ sees all the misery and despair of the world, the sight of which would bow down some of our workers of large capabilities with a weight of discouragement so great that they would not know how even to begin the work of leading men and women to the first round of the ladder. Their precise methods are of little value. They would stand above the lower
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rounds of the ladder, saying, "Come up where we are." But the poor souls do not know where to put their feet.
{GW 36.3}

     Christ's heart is cheered by the sight of those who are poor in every sense of the term; cheered by His view of the ill-used ones who are meek; cheered by the seemingly unsatisfied hungering after righteousness, by the inability of many to begin. He welcomes, as it were, the very condition of things that would discourage many ministers. He corrects our erring piety, giving the burden of the work for the poor and needy in the rough places of the earth, to men and women who have hearts that can feel for the ignorant and for those that are out of the way. {GW 37.1}

     The Lord teaches these workers how to meet those whom He wishes them to help. They will be encouraged as they see doors opening for them to enter places where they can do medical missionary work. Having little self-confidence, they give God all the glory. Their hands may be rough and unskilled, but their hearts are susceptible to pity; they are filled with an earnest desire to do something to relieve the woe so abundant; and Christ is present to help them. He works through those who discern mercy in misery, gain in the loss of all things. When the Light of the world passes by, privileges appear in all hardships, order in confusion, the success and wisdom of God in that which has seemed to be failure. {GW 37.2}

     My brethren and sisters, in your ministry come close to the people. Uplift those who are cast down. Treat of calamities as disguised blessings, of woes as mercies. Work in a way that will cause hope to spring up in the place of despair.
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{GW 37.3}

     The common people are to take their place as workers. Sharing the sorrows of their fellow-men as the Saviour shared the sorrows of humanity, they will by faith see Him working with them. {GW 38.1}

     "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly." [ZEPH. 1:14.] To every worker I would say: Go forth in humble faith, and the Lord will go with you. But watch unto prayer. This is the science of your labor. The power is of God. Work in dependence upon Him, remembering that you are laborers together with Him. He is your Helper. Your strength is from Him. He will be your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, your redemption. Wear the yoke of Christ, daily learning of Him His meekness and lowliness. He will be your comfort, your rest.--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. VII, pages 270-272.

                                              
-
{GW 38.2}

     The Saviour knows the depths of the world's misery and despair, knows by what means to bring relief. He sees on every hand souls in darkness, bowed down with sin and sorrow and pain. But He sees also their possibilities. He sees the height to which they may attain. Although human beings have abused their mercies, wasted their talents, and lost the dignity of godlike manhood, the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption.

                                              
-
{GW 38.3}

     Christ rejoiced that He could do more for His followers than they could ask or think. He knew that the truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and
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that the blood-stained banner would wave triumphantly over His followers. He knew that the life of His trusting disciples would be like His,--a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter.
{GW 38.4}

     "These things I have spoken unto you," He said, "that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." [JOHN 16:33,] Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged; and His followers are to manifest a faith of the same enduring nature. They are to live as He lived, and work as He worked, because they depend on Him as the great Master-worker. {GW 39.1}

     Courage, energy, and perseverance they must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love, Christ had bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the Source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame. {GW 39.   7th day adventist theology, 7th day adventist theology, 7th day adventist theology, university seventh day adventist church, adventist website, online bible study degree, biblical studies online, online biblical studies, biblical studies, bible studies online, onlinebible, bible videos, the bible online, the end is near, 7th day adventist theology, university seventh day adventist church, adventist website, online bible study degree, biblical studies online, online biblical studies, biblical studies, bible studies online, onlinebible, bible videos, the bible online, the end is near