Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers/Humility
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(Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers - series A, NO. 3, 1895, pgs 53-59.)
When he who is a colaborer with Christ presses home the truth to the sinner's heart in humility and love, the voice of love speaks through the human instrumentality. Heavenly intelligences work with a consecrated human agent, and the Spirit operates upon the soul of the unbeliever. Efficiency to believe comes from God to the heart, and the sinner accepts the evidence of God's word. Through the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit he is changed and becomes one with Christ in spirit and purpose. His affection for God increases, he hungers after righteousness and longs to be more like his Master. By beholding Christ, he is changed from glory to glory, from character to character, and becomes more and more like Jesus. He is imbued with love for Christ and filled with a deep, unresting love for perishing souls, and Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
Please read the second and third chapters of Philippians, and the first chapter of Colossians. There are lessons there that we all should study. Paul writes, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name....Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain." "I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
Our workers should use the greatest wisdom, so that nothing shall be said to provoke the armies of Satan and to stir up his united confederacy of evil. Christ did not dare to bring a railing accusation against the prince of evil, and is it proper that we should bring such accusation as will set in operation the agencies of evil, the confederacies of men that are leagued with evil spirits? Christ was the only-begotten Son of the infinite God, He was the Commander in the heavenly courts, yet He refrained from bringing accusation against Satan. Speaking of Him, Isaiah says, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Let those who speak and write concerning the third angel's message consider the fact that the Prince of Peace did not bring a railing accusation against the enemy, and let them learn the lesson they ought to have learned much earlier in their experience. They should wear Christ's yoke, they should practice the humility of Christ. The Great Teacher says, "Learn of Me [I am not boastful, I hide My glory]; for I am meek and lowly in heart." In learning of Me, "ye shall find rest unto your souls." Let such work be done by our missionaries as will lead to that repentance that needs not to be repented of. We need to learn much more of the meekness of Christ in order to be a savor of life unto life.
Let no one open the way for the enemy to do his work. Let no one help him to advance his oppressive powers, for we are not yet prepared to meet them. We need the softening, subduing, refining influence of the Holy Spirit, to mold our characters, and to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that will enable us to overcome, that will lead us to sit at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary, and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart.
We need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit every hour of the day, lest we be ensnared by the enemy and our souls be imperiled. There is constant temptation to exalt self, and we must watch much against this evil. We need to be on guard continually lest we manifest the spirit of overbearing, criticism, and condemnation. We should seek to avoid the very appearance of evil, and not reveal anything like the attributes of Satan that will dishearten and discourage those with whom we come in contact. We are to work as did Christ--to draw, to build up, not to tear down. It is natural for some to be sharp and dictatorial, to lord it over God's heritage; and because of the manifestation of these attributes, precious souls have been lost to the cause. The reason that men have manifested these unpleasant characteristics is because they have not been connected with God.
Dealing With Precious Souls
Those who occupy important positions, who are brought in contact with souls for whom Christ has died, should place upon men the estimate God has placed upon them and regard them as precious. But many have treated the purchase of Christ's blood in a harsh manner, in harmony with the disposition of men instead of according to the mind and spirit of Christ. Of His disciples Christ says, "All ye are brethren." We should ever keep in mind the relation which we bear one to another, and remember that we must meet those with whom we associate here, around the judgment seat of Christ. God will be the Judge, and He will deal justly with every individual.
John says, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Let everyone who professes the name of Christ consider the fact that he must meet every act of injustice, give an account for every harsh word, at the judgment seat of Christ. It will not be pleasant to review the words that have been spoken that have wounded and bruised souls, to review the decisions that have worked against souls for whom Christ died. Every action will come into judgment, and the spirit that prompted it will be made manifest. The fruit of every selfish, arbitrary exaction will be made plain, and men will see the results of their doings even as God sees them. They will see that they have turned precious souls out of the right path by dealing with them in an un-Christlike manner. We are living in the great Day of Atonement, and it is now time that everyone should repent before God, confess his sins, and by living faith rest upon the merit of a crucified and living Saviour.
My brethren and sisters, will you bear in mind that in dealing with God's heritage you are not to act out your natural characteristics? The people of God are Christ's purchased possession, and what a price He has paid for them! Shall any of us be found aiding the enemy of God and man in discouraging and destroying souls? What will be the retribution brought upon us if we do this class of work? Every one of us should weed out of our conversation everything that is harsh and severe. We should not indulge in condemning others, and we will not do so if we are one with Christ. We are to represent Christ in our dealings with our fellowmen. We are to be laborers together with God in helping those who are tempted. We are not to encourage souls to sow seeds of doubt; for they will bear a baleful harvest. We are to learn of Christ, to practice His methods, to reveal His spirit. We are enjoined, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." We should educate ourselves to believe in the word of God which is being so wonderfully and gloriously fulfilled. If we have the full assurance of faith, we will not indulge in doubting our brethren and sisters.
Character of Christ
We are privileged to see Jesus as He is, to know Him as One who is full of compassion, courteousness, and divine politeness. He is good and merciful, and will forgive our sins. Of Him it is written: "Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted."
We should cherish love and gratitude, we should look unto Jesus and become transformed into His image. The result of this will be increased confidence, hope, patience, and courage. We shall be drinking of the water of life of which Christ spoke to the woman of Samaria. He said: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water....Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." This water represents the life of Christ, and every soul must have it by coming into living connection with God. Then blessed, humble, grateful confidence will be an abiding principle in the soul. Unbelieving fear will be swept away before living faith. We shall contemplate the character of Him who first loved us.
By contemplation of God's matchless love, we take upon us His nature. Christ was a representative before men and before angels, of the character of the God of heaven. He demonstrated the fact that when humanity depends wholly upon God, men may keep God's commandments and live, and His law be as the apple of the eye.
Those who inquire after the way of life need not be rich, need not be wise, learned, or honored; yet God will quicken their perceptions so that they may understand what they may do to be saved. The light of heaven is shining upon the earth from the throne of God, and Christ says, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." His gracious invitation is going forth to all mankind, and those who respond to it will find life and salvation. Peter writes, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."