I am deeply concerned for our people in Battle Creek who are exalted to heaven in point of privileges, as was Capernaum in the days of Christ. While receiving from many sources great light, what must be their accountability before God to make the right use of the light given, to shine as lights in the world! How few are receiving educational advantages with a purpose before them to use the knowledge they obtain for the glory of God, to educate and enlighten others. The truth will triumph, but who of those that have had such great advantages to know the truth will triumph with it?
My heart burns within me as I see, as the Lord has shown me, what even one person may do who has given himself to God to be molded, to be fashioned, and to have the superscription of Christ upon him. Come out from the world and be separate and stand as God's peculiar people, in the world, but not of the world, pilgrims and strangers, seeking a better country, even an heavenly.
I want to say to the church in Battle Creek, there is much work to be done in missionary fields. This work men and women can engage in, bringing all their capabilities and all their education with them to do honor to God. Every ray of light, every important truth, is to be imparted to others; for not one child of God will live to himself. All the light God has given is to be diffused.
Why are there so few who feel any burden for the salvation of others? Because the professed Christians have not connected themselves with God. They have not walked in the light. They have not been doers of the words of Christ. There is pride of dress, pride of spirit, self-esteem, self-importance, that exclude them from the missionary field. It is a sad thing that where the most
light is given, as in Battle Creek, there should be marked departure from Bible simplicity in dress. Why is it? Should the missionaries go to foreign fields with all the objectionable features in dress, in want of piety, how would the religion of Christ appear?
There needs to be a thorough reformation in our churches. The converting power of God upon the heart would mold the life and would make a wonderful transformation in the line of dress. Oh, that every believer in the truth would have the mold and superscription of Christ. Oh, that all would represent the character of Christ in meekness and lowliness of heart. If indeed they have the truth abiding in the heart how can they be silent and not tell that which they know of the love of Jesus? The trouble is that many do not have Christ abiding in their hearts; they have not a saving faith, therefore light does not shine forth from them.
With such solemn truths as we are handling, with the signs fulfilling everywhere in our world to show that the end is near, the great crisis right upon us, the stupor, the lethargy, the pride and conformity to the world in dress and in spirit, is most astonishing. Famines, pestilences, earthquakes, storms by land and sea, are putting out the life of thousands, and this is only the beginning of that which is to come. How important that every church becomes a working force; especially should this be the case in Battle Creek at the great heart of the work. Here there should be maintained an example in modern, simple apparel.
All that go forth as missionaries should have the principle firmly established to keep clean off idolatry of dress; for dress is an idol; dress has established its sway over sensible human minds, and held its power so that it separates the soul from God. All these things are reasons why we do not have
more devoted, converted missionaries in our churches. They have suffered the world to set up its hellish banner between them and Jesus, so that it is impossible for them to represent Christ in self-denial.
Why do not those who claim to believe the truth show by their actions that they are sanctified through the truth, and not conformed to the world? Why do they not come out from the world and be separate? The time for us to represent the self-denial, the purity, and holiness of our religion is today. The time will soon pass when we can individually deny self daily, and take up the cross and follow Jesus.
Oh, when I think what the church in Battle Creek might be if they were only Christians, what good influences they might exert if they only followed the Lord Jesus fully, I am bowed to the earth with a weight of sorrow I cannot express, because I know that the large number who expend all their earnings in dress, in attending concerts, in administering to their own pleasure, are not Christians. They have not the mark of God's people. They have not the meekness and lowliness of Christ, thus cannot shine as lights in the world. They conform to the world, and their influence is of the same character as that of the world.
Whenever persons are truly converted, their moral taste is changed. In all the expenditures they will have a single purpose--to keep the glory of God in view, to have a right influence in the church, and in all their actions to testify to worldlings that they are children of God, that through faith they have been made partakers of Christ's self-denial, of His great love for perishing souls. They will constantly be afraid that they will lift a worldly standard in the place of the banner of Jesus Christ.
What an account will those in Battle Creek have to give who have the Bible to guide them as to the spirit and action they must have in order to lead souls
out of darkness to the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in! How much money is expended in order to follow the promptings and desires of a carnal heart, to please and glorify self! How much means might flow into the Lord's treasury that is employed upon self! And in the judgment those poor, tempted souls who have lived to please themselves will see these things as God has estimated them. They will see how they might have saved and helped if they had not been so absorbed with self.
Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth has a work to do to come into sympathy with Christ. "Ye are laborers together with God." The salvation of the soul is above every other interest; how much higher than every other enterprise is measured by the cross of Calvary. Christ's servants will work the works of Christ.
Now missionaries are wanted, and if the many in the church at Battle Creek had expended less money and less time in the outward adorning, and in many trivial things, their minds might have been enriched with the grace of Christ, and they, growing up into Christ, could have enriched others. The truth would burn like holy fire upon the altar of the heart, a light to shine amid the darkness. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
The Satanic agencies are a living, persevering power, at work to bar the way so that the kingdom of Christ may not come and the will of God be done in the earth. The church is asleep while Satan is sowing his tares. While so many of the church members refuse to shine, how shall the world be lightened? There is work given of God for every one to do; there are to be no idle ones. Not one is to be selfish and self-centered. It is very easy to become thus, and Satan
is constantly working that this selfish spirit shall be manifested by professed Christians.
I wish I could make the church understand how terrible a thing it is to profess to be Christians while, in the place of leading heavenward, their thoughts, their actions, are of a character that suits the plans of Satan, for he can use them as decoys to lead others away from true piety and earnest Christian work. Salt that has lost its savor can never benefit the world. It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
Professed believers who see no work to call them from thinking and planning and working for themselves will not have the rich treasures of truth opened to them, and the truth will not be a savor of life unto them or to others through their influence. Who wears the armor of Jesus Christ? Who are marshalled under the banner to work as faithful, well-disciplined soldiers? God has made us stewards, and it is expected of a steward that he be found faithful.
Let those who have long professed to believe the truth consider carefully what ground they occupy. Are they trying to serve God and mammon? It will not pay to do this. God requires the whole heart.
Suppose a call should be made in Battle Creek for missionaries to go forth to establish themselves in cities and in villages, and even to go to foreign countries to do all that they possibly can in the name of Jesus. How many would respond? How many of those who should respond would have their character so molded by Jesus Christ that they would be chosen as those who could be trusted? How many who have listened to the appeals made in regard to the plainness of dress have heeded the appeals and admonitions of God, conforming to the light given of God? Should those who profess to believe the truth go into places
where the truth has never been represented, would their outward appearance plainly contradict the truth? Those who have not been brought into harmony with the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ Jesus are not the ones to attempt this work, for they are not ready to labor for the salvation of others.
We want missionaries, but where shall we find them? Those who have had every spiritual advantage, who should have been increasing their talents that they may have more talents to use, that they may return to the Lord His own with usury, have dwarfed intellects and sacrificed their spirituality on the altar of lust. Their discernment is perverted; they know not that they are without a genuine conversion. But what will these have to say in the day of God? Let them consider before it shall be forever too late.--Ms 10, 1892. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D.C. Dec. 17, 1987. Entire Ms.