PASSAGES FROM CHRISTIAN SERVICE (E.G. White)
The following passages are taken from the book Christian Service, a book consisting of a compilation of related quotations from many of Ellen White’s books, articles, and communications that she wrote in the last half of the 19th century and early decade of the 20th century. It was published by the General Conference of SDA’s in 1947.
As His representatives among men, God does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took humanity that He might reach humanity. A divine-human Savior was needed to bring salvation to the world. And to men and women has been committed the sacred trust of making known “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (p. 7)
God could have proclaimed His truth through sinless angels, but this is not His plan. He chooses human beings, men compassed with infirmity, as instruments in the working out of His designs. The priceless treasure is placed in earthen vessels. Through men His blessing are to be conveyed to the world. Through them His glory is to shine forth into the darkness of sin. In loving ministry they are to meet the sinful and the needy, and lead them to the cross. And in all their work, they are to ascribe glory, honor, and praise to Him who is above all and over all. (pp. 7 & 8 )
In His wisdom the Lord brings those who are seeking for truth into touch with fellow beings who know the truth. It is the plan of Heaven that those who have received the light* shall impart it to those in darkness. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great Source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart. . . God could have reached His object in saving sinners without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like Christ’s, we must share in His work. In order to enter into His joy,–the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice,–we must participate in His labors for their redemption. . . With almost impatient eagerness the angels wait for our co-operation; for man must be the channel to communicate with man. And when we give ourselves to Christ in whole-hearted devotion, angels rejoice that they may speak through our voices to reveal God’s love. (p. 8 & 9)
*What is light? “It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life.” (p. 21)
Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life. (p. 9)
Men are instruments in the hand of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure of light, adapted to the necessities of his time and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him to do. (p. 11)
To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to stand in our lot and place, saying, “Here I am; send me.” Upon the minister of the word, the missionary nurse, the Christian physician the individual Christian, whether he be merchant or farmer, professional man or mechanic,–the responsibility rests upon all. It is our work to reveal to men the gospel of their salvation. Every enterprise in which we engage should be means to this end. (p. 13)
The HOW of EVANGELISM
Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgements to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christlike life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls. (p. 16)
Through Christ, God has invested man with an influence that makes it impossible for him to live to himself. Individually we are connected with our fellow men, a part of God’s great whole, and we stand under mutual obligations. No man can be independent of his fellow men; for the well-being of each affects others. It is God’s purpose that each shall feel himself necessary to other’s welfare, and seek to promote their happiness. . . It is the purpose of God to glorify Himself in His people before the world. He expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him in thought, word, and deed. Their thoughts are to be pure and their words noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer to the Savior. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. Their every business transaction is to be fragrant with the presence of God. (p. 26)
Other Biblical callings:
Mary, the mother of Jesus
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 7:17
But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
Insights from Dwight L. Moody
Mr. Moody on the Special Gift of the Holy Spirit – Experience of the Apostles – Repeated Anointing – Why we Lack Power – The Great Need of Modern Christians – Are we “Filled with the Spirit,” and Ready to Go Anywhere?
I suppose if I could put the question and ask those who are filled with the Spirit to respond, very few if any would be heard from. And yet we read in Ephesians 5:18 that this is a command: “Be ye filled with the Spirit.” God commands us to be filled with the Spirit; and if we are not filled, it is because we are living beneath our privileges. I think that is the great trouble with Christendom today: we are not living up on the plane where God would have us live. In the 20th chapter of John’s Gospel, and the 22nd verse, are these words: “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Now, those men had already the Holy Ghost dwelling in them. They would never have left their fishing smacks and followed Christ during those three years of humiliation and suffering if it hadn’t been for the Spirit of God working in them. But almost the first thing after the resurrection, when our Lord appeared to His disciples and showed them His pierced hands and His wounded side, He breathed upon them and said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Yet again, after that, as we see in Luke 24:49, He said: “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” If those men needed to be endued with power, do you think we are going to be used without it?
The great trouble with many of us is, that we are working for God without power. We are sons of God – no doubt about that – and daughters of God. We can “read our titles clear to mansions in the skies,” but we are sons and daughters without power. That is the trouble.
Now look at Acts 1:8: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Notice, Christ said that to the Apostles after they had been with Him three years, and after He had breathed upon them and said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” There are two ways in which the Holy Spirit comes to a man. The Spirit dwelling in him is one thing, and the Spirit on him for power is another thing. I think that is where Christian people are misled. The trouble is, they are not looking for the Spirit of God for service. When the disciples were about to begin their great work, our Lord said: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
How many, do you suppose, would have been converted on the day of Pentecost if Peter had gone and preached without this power? Not one. The disciples were commissioned to go and preach, but they were to wait till they were recommissioned and endued with power by the Holy Ghost. “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.” How quickly this whole world would be reached if we were just looking to God for this same Apostolic power!
Turn to the second chapter of Acts and see how the promise was “Our Gospel that we are preaching is a supernatural Gospel, and we have got to have supernatural power to preach it.” They tarried as they were bidden, waiting and praying for the Holy Ghost, when suddenly the power came, and they were ready for work. And there was more work done in one day than in all the three years while they were with Christ. The Lord had said: “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” When the power came upon the Apostles, they did greater things than the Master ever did.
There was a time when I thought the raising of Lazarus was the greatest work ever done on this earth. But I think the conversion of those 3,000 Jews on the day of Pentecost was more wonderful still. Those hard-hearted Jews were full of hatred and unbelief; many, no doubt, were the same men who murdered Christ. And yet they were swept down by the mighty power of the Spirit.
We have got the same obstacles to contend with as the Apostles had. Our Gospel that we are preaching is a supernatural Gospel, and we have got to have supernatural power to preach it. There is a class of people who say: “Yes; I know the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, but He came in miraculous power; and we are not warranted in looking for anything like that today.” If you turn to the fourth chapter of Acts you will find that this wonderful work went right on after the day of Pentecost. Peter and John were cast into prison, and brought before the Sanhedrim. The Council didn’t dare to stone them to death because there were so many young converts. So they gave them this order: “Now, you can preach in the Temple or wherever you like, but upon one condition – don’t you preach any more in this man’s name.” The Apostles went forth from the Sanhedrim to the other disciples, and they had a little prayer meeting. What was the result? “The place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” In the second of Acts it says that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,” and here, in the fourth of Acts, it says again, “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” They had either lost their power or had got greater capacity – I don’t know which.
There are a great many men who had power five years ago that haven’t got it now. They are like Samson robbed of his strength, or like fishermen working with old, broken nets. Notice, again, that about ten years after, Peter went out to Caesarea and told Cornelius the words whereby he and his house were saved. While he was speaking, what happened? “The Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word.” That was about ten years after the day of Pentecost, and yet they received the special gift of the Holy Ghost. I firmly believe that if we had this building filled with men and women expecting the Pentecostal power, we would get it. I believe if this building was filled with men and women hungry for the Spirit of God, we would have this place shaken, and there would be an influence felt not only in this land, but in foreign lands. It wouldn’t take long to reach the whole world. Talk about twenty years. It needn’t take twenty years if the Church of God is baptized and quickened.
“Notice that those who are filled with the Holy Ghost immediately begin to testify of Jesus Christ.” Notice that those who are filled with the Holy Ghost immediately begin to testify of Jesus Christ. Elisabeth, when visited by the Virgin, was “filled with the Holy Ghost,” and spoke of the coming Lord. Zacharias also was “filled with the Holy Ghost,” and quoted Scripture in reference to the Messiah. Stephen was “filled with the Spirit,” and received such unction that the men of the synagogue “were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” He was able to stand before the whole Sanhedrim, and the power of God was on him in a wonderful degree while he testified of Christ. When Peter was “filled with the Spirit” he went out to preach Christ – he couldn’t help it. All through the New Testament we are told that the Apostles were again and again filled with the Spirit. And as they preached “much people were added to the church.” That always follows.
There will be conversions breaking out in all the churches if we are filled with the Spirit. Let us pray that we may receive power for service. Let us not be satisfied with only the power by which we are “sealed unto the day of redemption;” but let us pray that we may be baptized with that power from on high by which we can do great things for the Master.
It is important to know whether the work we are doing is the work God would have us do. . . Let every one ask, “Am I in the right place? Am I where God wants me to be?” If we would do that, it might break up a good many pastorates. Are you ready – ready to cut the tie? . . . Let us be ready to go anywhere – to go wherever the Master calls.
If you want this power for service God will give it to you. Just say: “Here I am, Lord. Send me where you please – only give me souls. Give me power to win souls for Jesus Christ.” When that is the uppermost thought in our hearts He won’t disappoint us. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” If He gave us His Son, will He withhold the Spirit? “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” Are you toiling all night and catching nothing? Cast the net on the right side. Come, my friend, are you ready to go anywhere? Can you say: “Lord, send me to whom you will – only send me. Let that power come upon me, that I may win souls for Jesus Christ?” May we have no will but God’s sweet will. Oh, that our wills may be swallowed up in God’s will. . . I want to pray: “Father, not my will, but Thine.” May we all be ready to run if He wants us to run, or to stand still if He wants us to stand still. May we say: “Here we are, Lord; take us – take us – fill us – use us.” I think, if I know my own heart, I would rather die at once and be buried right off than to live without power. . . Let us pray that we may be filled with this power from on high; and that we may be always ready – ready for anything.