Section XI - Medical Missionary Work
Pages 497 - 558
Medical missionary work is the pioneer work of the gospel, the door through which the truth for this time is to find entrance to many homes. God's people are to be genuine medical missionaries, for they are to learn to minister to the needs of both soul and body. The purest unselfishness is to be shown by our workers as, with the knowledge and experience gained by practical work, they go out to give treatments to the sick. As they go from house to house they will find access to many hearts. Many will be reached who otherwise never would have heard the gospel message. A demonstration of the principles of health reform will do much toward removing prejudice against our evangelical work. The Great Physician, the originator of medical missionary work, will bless all who thus seek to impart the truth for this time.
Physical healing is bound up with the gospel commission. When Christ sent His disciples out on their first missionary journey, He bade them, "As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:7, 8. And when at the close of His earthly ministry He gave them their commission, He said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17, 18.
The Beloved Physician
Of the disciples after Christ's ascension we read, "They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." Mark 16:20. Luke is called the "beloved physician." He labored in connection with Paul in Philippi, and when Paul left that place Luke stayed, doing double service as a physician and a gospel minister. He was indeed a medical missionary, and his medical skill opened the way for the gospel to reach many hearts.
The divine commission needs no reform. Christ's way of presenting truth cannot be improved upon. The Saviour gave the disciples practical lessons, teaching them how to work in such a way as to make souls glad in the truth. He sympathized with the weary, the heavy-laden, the oppressed. He fed the hungry and healed the sick. Constantly He went about doing good. By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the gospel to men.
Brief as was the period of His public ministry, He accomplished the work He came to do. How impressive were the truths He taught! How complete His lifework! What spiritual food He daily imparted as He presented the bread of life to thousands of hungry souls! His life was a living ministry of the word. He promised nothing that He did not perform.
The words of life were presented in such simplicity that a child could understand them. Men, women, and children were so impressed with His manner of explaining the Scriptures that they would catch the very intonation of His voice, place the same emphasis on their words, and imitate His gestures. Youth caught His spirit of ministry and sought to pattern after His gracious ways by seeking to assist those whom they saw needing help.
Just as we trace the pathway of a stream of water by the line of living green it produces, so Christ could be seen in the deeds of mercy that marked His pathway at ever step. Wherever He went, health sprang up and happiness followed wherever He passed. The blind and deaf rejoiced in His presence. His words to the ignorant opened to them a fountain of life. He dispensed His blessings abundantly and continuously. They were the garnered treasures of eternity, given in Christ, the Lord's rich gift to man.
Christ's work in behalf of man is not finished. It continues today. In like manner His ambassadors are to preach the gospel and to reveal His pitying love for lost and perishing souls. By an unselfish interest in those who need help they are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel. Much more than mere sermonizing is included in this work. The evangelization of the world is the work God has given to those who go forth in His name. They are to be colaborers with Christ, revealing to those ready to perish His tender, pitying love. God calls for thousands to work for Him, not by preaching to those who know the truth for this time, but by warning those who have never heard the last message of mercy. Work with a heart filled with an earnest longing for souls. Do medical missionary work. Thus you will gain access to the hearts of people, and the way will be prepared for a more decided proclamation of the truth.
Who are laborers together with Christ in this blessed medical missionary work? Who have learned the lessons of the Master and know how to deal skillfully with souls for whom Christ has died? We need, oh, so much! physicians for the soul who have been educated in the school of Christ and who can work in Christ's lines. Our work is to gain a knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. We are to interest the people in subjects that concern the health of the body as well as the health of the soul. Believers have a decided message to bear to prepare the way for the kingdom of God.
The great questions of Bible truth are to enter into the very heart of society, to convert and reform men and women, bringing them to see the great need of preparing for the mansions that Christ declared He would prepare for all who love Him. When the Holy Spirit shall do its office work, hearts of stone will become hearts of flesh, and Satan will not work through them to counteract the work that Christ came to earth to do.
Henceforth medical missionary work is to be carried forward with greater earnestness. Medical missions should be opened as pioneer agencies for the proclamation of the third angel's message. How great is the need of means to do this line of work! Gospel medical missions cannot be established without financial aid. Every such enterprise calls for our sympathy and for our means, that facilities may be provided to make the work successful.
A special work is to be done in places where people are constantly coming and going. Christ labored in Capernaum much of the time because this was a place through which travelers were constantly passing and where many often tarried.
Christ sought the people where they were and placed before them the great truths in regard to His kingdom. As He went from place to place, He blessed and comforted the suffering and healed the sick. This is our work. Small companies are to go forth to do the work to which Christ appointed His disciples. While laboring as evangelists they can visit the sick, praying with them and, if need be, treating them, not with medicines but with the remedies provided in nature.
There are many places that need gospel medical missionary work, and there small plants should be established. God designs that our sanitariums shall be a means of reaching high and low, rich and poor. They are to be so conducted that by their work attention may be called to the message God has sent to the world.
May the Lord increase our faith and help us to see that He desires us all to become acquainted with His ministry of healing and with the mercy seat. He desires the light of His grace to shine forth from many places. He who understands the necessities of the situation arranges that advantages shall be brought to the workers in various places to enable them more effectually to arouse the attention of the people to the truths that make for deliverance from both physical and spiritual ills.
The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be His follower, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woes must give place to lively interest in the sufferings of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick and dying, will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel--to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved the heart is opened, and you can pour in the heavenly balm. If you are looking to Jesus and drawing from Him knowledge and strength and grace, you can impart His consolation to others, because the Comforter is with you.
You will meet with much prejudice, a great deal of false zeal and miscalled piety; but in both the home and the foreign field you will find more hearts that God has been preparing for the seed of truth than you imagine, and they will hail with joy the divine message when it is presented to them.
Many are suffering from maladies of the soul far more than from diseases of the body, and they will find no relief until they come to Christ, the wellspring of life. The burden of sin, with its unrest and unsatisfied desires, lies at the foundation of a large share of the maladies the sinner suffers. Christ is the Mighty Healer of the sin-sick soul. These poor, afflicted ones need to have a clearer knowledge of Him whom to know aright is life eternal. They need to be patiently and kindly yet earnestly taught how to throw open the windows of the soul and let the sunlight of God's love come in. Complaints of weariness, loneliness, and dissatisfaction will then cease. Satisfying joys will give vigor to the mind and health and vital energy to the body.
Melbourne, Australia, September 16, 1892. I am deeply interested in the subject of medical missionary work and the education of men and women for that work. I could wish that there were one hundred nurses in training where there is one. It ought to be thus. Both men and women can be so much more useful as medical missionaries than as missionaries without the medical education. I am more and more impressed with the fact that a more decided testimony must be borne upon this subject, that more direct efforts must be made to interest the proper persons, setting before them the advantages that every missionary will have in understanding how to treat those who are diseased in body, as well as to minister to sin-sick souls. This double ministration will give the laborer together with God access to homes, and will enable him to reach all classes of society.
An intelligent knowledge of how to treat disease upon hygienic principles will gain the confidence of many who otherwise would not be reached with the truth. In affliction, many are humbled in spirit, and words in favor of the truth spoken to them in tenderness by one who is seeking to alleviate physical sufferings may touch the heart. Prayer--short, weighted with tenderest sympathy, presenting the suffering ones in faith to the Great Physician--will inspire in them a confidence, a rest and trust, that will tend to the health of both soul and body.
I have been surprised at being asked by physicians if I did not think it would be more pleasing to God for them to give up their medical practice and enter the ministry. I am prepared to answer such an inquirer: If you are a Christian and a competent physician, you are qualified to do tenfold more good as a missionary for God than if you were to go forth merely as a preacher of the word. I would advise young men and women to give heed to this matter. Perilous times are before us. The whole world will be involved in perplexity and distress, disease of every kind will be upon the human family, and such ignorance as now prevails concerning the laws of health would result in great suffering and the loss of many lives that might be saved.
While Satan is constantly doing his utmost to take advantage of men's ignorance and to lay the foundation of disease by improper treatment of the body, it is best for those who claim to be sons and daughters of God to avail themselves while they can of the opportunities now presented to gain a knowledge of the human system and how it may be preserved in health. We are to use every faculty of mind which God has given us. The Lord will not work a miracle to preserve anyone in health who will not make an effort to obtain knowledge within his reach concerning this wonderful habitation that God has given. By study of the human organism, we are to learn to correct what may be wrong in our habits and which, if left uncorrected, would bring the sure result, disease and suffering, that make life a burden. The sincerity of our prayers can be proved only by the vigor of our endeavor to obey God's commandments.
Evil habits and practices are bringing upon men disease of every kind. Let the understanding be convinced by education as to the sinfulness of abusing and degrading the powers that God has given. Let the mind become intelligent, and the will be placed on the Lord's side, and there will be a wonderful improvement in the physical health. But this can never be accomplished in mere human strength. With strenuous efforts through the grace of Christ to renounce all evil practices and associations and to observe temperance in all things, there must be an abiding persuasion that repentance for the past, as well as forgiveness, is to be sought of God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. These things must be brought into daily experience; there must be strict watchfulness and unwearied entreaty that Christ will bring every thought into captivity to Himself; His renovating power must be given to the soul, that as accountable beings we may present to God our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him, which is our reasonable service.
Will those who claim to believe the solemn, sacred truth for this time arouse their sluggish energies and place themselves in the channel where they can gather to their souls every ray of light that shines upon their pathway? God calls upon all who claim to believe advanced truth to exert every power to the uttermost in gaining knowledge. If we would elevate the moral standard in any country where we may be called to go, we must begin by correcting their physical habits. Virtue of character depends upon the right action of the powers of the mind and body.
Guilt rests upon us as a people who have had much light, because we have not appreciated or improved the light given upon health reform. Through misunderstanding and perverted ideas many souls are deceived. Those who teach the truth to others and who should be shepherds of the flock will be held accountable for their willing ignorance and disregard of nature's laws. This is not a matter to be trifled with, to be passed off with a jest. As we approach the close of this earth's history, selfishness and violence and crime prevail as in the days of Noah, when the old world perished in the waters of the Flood. As Bible believers, we need to take our position for righteousness and truth.
As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. And those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth.
The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth. There is need of personal religion, of repentance, of faith and love. I plead that there be a general awakening among us as a people. In the strength that Christ imparts, we should be able to teach others also how to wrestle with those passions which the light of heaven shows them must be mortified. Let there be constant watchfulness and unwearied prayer for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and let us avail ourselves of all the help and light that God has given.
In almost every church there are young men and women who might receive education either as nurses or physicians. They will never have a more favorable opportunity than now. I would urge that this subject be considered prayerfully, that special effort be made to select those youth who give promise of usefulness and moral strength. Let these receive an education . . . to go out as missionaries wherever the Lord may call them to labor. It should ever be kept before them that their work is not only to relieve physical suffering, but to minister to souls that are ready to perish. It is important that everyone who is to act as a medical missionary be skilled in ministering to the soul as well as to the body. He is to be an imitator of Christ, presenting to the sick and suffering the preciousness of pure and undefiled religion. While doing all in his power to relieve physical distress and to preserve this mortal life, he should point to the mercy and the love of Jesus, the Great Physician, who came that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
Workers are needed now. As a people, we are not doing one fiftieth of what we might do as active missionaries. If we were only vitalized by the Holy Spirit, there would be a hundred missionaries where there is now one. But where are the missionaries? Has not the truth for this time power to stir the souls of those who claim to believe it? When there is a call to labor, why should there be so many voices to say, "I pray thee, have me excused"? In this country the standard of truth is to be established and exalted. There is great need of workers, and there are many ways in which they can labor. There is work for those in the higher as well as in the more humble positions. . . . Individually all need a heart work. A good work cannot be done by the human agent alone. For the full development and efficiency of the intellectual as well as the spiritual powers, there is, there must be, a vital connection with God, a communion with the highest source of activity. Then with the soul all aglow with zeal for the Master, we can be a blessing to others. Jesus said, "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." John 4:14. Those who become partakers of the grace of Christ will guide others to the living stream.
Is it not a privilege to be thus copartners with Jesus? Is it not an honor to be connected with the grand work of saving souls, acting the part assigned us by our Saviour? And none can impart a blessing to others without receiving benefit himself. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself." Proverbs 11:25.
Christ's work for the paralytic is an illustration of the way we are to work. Through his friends this man had heard of Jesus and requested to be brought into the presence of the Mighty Healer. The Saviour knew that the paralytic had been tortured by the suggestions of the priests, that because of his sins God had cast him off. Therefore His first work was to give him peace of mind. "Son," He said, "thy sins be forgiven thee." This assurance filled his heart with peace and joy. But some who were present began to murmur, saying in their hearts, "Who can forgive sins but God only?" Then that they might know that the Son of man had power to forgive sins, Christ said to the sick man, "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house." This shows how the Saviour bound together the work of preaching the truth and healing the sick--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6. 234 (1900).
The Breadth of the Work
The breadth of gospel medical missionary work is not understood. The medical missionary work now called for is that outlined in the commission which Christ gave to His disciples just before His ascension. "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth," He said. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:18-20.
These words point out our field and our work. Our field is the world; our work the proclamation of the truths which Christ came to our world to proclaim. Men and women are to have opportunity to gain a knowledge of present truth, an opportunity to know that Christ is their Saviour, that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. . . .
Let those who have fitted themselves to engage in medical missionary work in foreign countries go to the places that they expect to make their field of labor, and begin work right among the people, learning the language as they work. Very soon they will find that they can teach the simple truths of God's word.
There is in this country a great, unworked field. The colored race, numbering thousands upon thousands, appeals to the consideration and sympathy of every true, practical believer in Christ. These people do not live in a foreign country, and they do not bow down to idols of wood and stone. They live among us, and again and again, through the testimonies of His Spirit, God has called our attention to them, telling us that here are human beings neglected.
This broad field lies before us unworked, calling for the light that God has given us in trust.
Let forces be set at work to clear new ground, to establish new, living interests wherever an opening can be found. Let men learn how to make brief, earnest prayers. Let them learn to speak of the world's Redeemer, to lift up the Man of Calvary higher and still higher. Transplant trees out of your thickly planted nursery. God is not glorified in having such immense advantages centered in one place. We need wise nurserymen who will transplant trees to different localities and give them advantages whereby they may grow. It is a positive duty to go into regions beyond. Rally workers who possess true missionary zeal and let them go forth to diffuse light and knowledge far and near. Let them take the living principles of health reform into communities that to a large degree are ignorant of what they should do. Let men and women teach these principles to classes that cannot have the advantages of the large sanitarium at Battle Creek. It is a fact that the truth of heaven has come to the notice of thousands through the influence of the sanitarium; yet there is a work to be done that has been neglected. We are encouraged as we see the work that is being done in Chicago and in a few other places. But the large responsibility that is now centered in Battle Creek should have been distributed years ago.--Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, pages 49, 50 (1895).
Christ Our Example
Christ's earthly life, so full of toil and sacrifice, was cheered by the thought that He would not have all His travail for nought. By giving His life for the life of men, He would win the world back to its loyalty. Although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the sins of the world were to weigh upon His innocent soul, yet for the joy that was set before Him He chose to endure the cross and despised the shame.
Study Christ's definition of a true missionary, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Mark 8:34. Following Christ, as spoken of in these words, is not a pretense, a farce. Jesus expects His disciples to follow closely in His footsteps, enduring what He endured, suffering what He suffered, overcoming as He overcame. He is anxiously waiting to see His professed followers revealing the spirit of self-sacrifice.
Those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour, choosing to be partakers of His suffering, to live His life of self-denial, to endure shame for His sake, will understand what it means to be a genuine medical missionary.
When all our medical missionaries live the new life in Christ, when they take His word as their guide, they will have a much clearer understanding of what constitutes genuine medical missionary work. This work will have a deeper meaning to them when they render implicit obedience to the law engraven on tables of stone by the finger of God, including the Sabbath commandment, concerning which Christ Himself spoke through Moses to the children of Israel, saying:
"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." "The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever." Exodus 31:13, 16, 17.
Let us diligently study God's word, that we may proclaim with power the message that is to be given in these last days. Many of those upon whom the light of the Saviour's self-sacrificing life is shining refuse to live a life in accordance with His will. They are not willing to live a life of sacrifice for the good of others. They desire to exalt themselves. To such ones truth and righteousness have lost their meaning, and their un-Christlike influence leads many to turn away from the Saviour. God calls for true, steadfast workers, whose lives will counteract the influence of those who are working against Him.
To every medical missionary worker I am instructed to say, Follow your Leader. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is your example. Upon all medical missionary workers rests the responsibility of keeping in view Christ's life of unselfish service. They are to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith. He is the source of all light, the fountain of all blessing.
A United Work
Again and again I have been instructed that the medical missionary work is to bear the same relation to the work of the third angel's message that the arm and hand bear to the body. Under the direction of the divine Head they are to work unitedly in preparing the way for the coming of Christ. The right arm of the body of truth is to be constantly active, constantly at work, and God will strengthen it. But it is not to be made the body. At the same time the body is not to say to the arm, "I have no need of thee." The body has need of the arm in order to do active, aggressive work. Both have their appointed work, and each will suffer great loss if worked independently of the other.
The work of preaching the third angel's message has not been regarded by some as God designs it should be. It has been treated as an inferior work, while it should occupy an important place among the human agencies in the salvation of man. The minds of men must be called to the Scriptures as the most effective agency in the salvation of souls, and the ministry of the word is the great educational force to produce this result. Those who disparage the ministry and try to conduct the medical missionary work independently are trying to separate the arm from the body. What would be the result, should they succeed? We should see hands and arms flying about, dispensing means without the direction of the head. The work would become disproportionate and unbalanced. That which God designed should be the hand and arm would take the place of the whole body, and the ministry would be belittled or altogether ignored. This would unsettle minds and bring confusion, and many portions of the Lord's vineyard would be left unworked.
The medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land. Disconnected from the church, it would soon become a strange medley of disorganized atoms. It would consume, but not produce. Instead of acting as God's helping hand to forward His truth, it would sap the life and force from the church and weaken the message. Conducted independently, it would not only consume talent and means needed in other lines, but in the very work of helping the helpless apart from the ministry of the word, it would place men where they would scoff at Bible truth.
The gospel ministry is needed to give permanence and stability to the medical missionary work; and the ministry needs the medical missionary work to demonstrate the practical working of the gospel. Neither part of the work is complete without the other.
The message of the soon coming of the Saviour must be given in all parts of the world, and a solemn dignity should characterize it in every branch. A large vineyard is to be worked, and the wise husbandman will work it so that every part will produce fruit. If in the medical missionary work the living principles of truth are kept pure, uncontaminated by anything that would dim their luster, the Lord will preside over the work. If those who bear the heavy burdens will stand true and steadfast to the principles of truth, the Lord will uphold and sustain them.
The union that should exist between the medical missionary work and the ministry is clearly set forth in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. There is wisdom and blessing for those who will engage in the work as here presented. This chapter is explicit, and there is in it enough to enlighten anyone who wishes to do the will of God. It presents abundant opportunity to minister to suffering humanity, and at the same time to be an instrument in God's hands of bringing the light of truth before a perishing world. If the work of the third angel's message is carried on in right lines, the ministry will not be given an inferior place, nor will the poor and sick be neglected. In His word God has united these two lines of work, and no man should divorce them.
Weakness in Separation
There may be and there is danger of losing sight of the great principles of truth when doing the work for the poor that it is right to do, but we are ever to bear in mind that in carrying forward this work, the spiritual necessities of the soul are to be kept prominent. In our efforts to relieve temporal necessities, we are in danger of separating from the last gospel message its leading and most urgent features. As it has been carried on in some places, the medical missionary work has absorbed talent and means that belong to other lines of the work, and the effort in lines more directly spiritual has been neglected. Because of the ever-increasing opportunities for ministering to the temporal needs of all classes, there is danger that this work will eclipse the message that God has given us to bear in every city--the proclamation of the soon coming of Christ, the necessity of obedience to the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. This message is the burden of our work. It is to be proclaimed with a loud cry and is to go to the whole world. In both home and foreign fields the presentation of health principles must be united with it, but not be independent of it or in any way take its place; neither should this work absorb so much attention as to belittle other branches. The Lord has instructed us to consider the work in all its bearings, that it may have a proportionate, symmetrical, well-balanced development.
The truth for this time embraces the whole gospel. Rightly presented, it will work in man the very changes that will make evident the power of God's grace upon the heart. It will do a complete work and develop a complete man. Then let no line be drawn between the genuine medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. Let these two blend in giving the invitation, "Come, for all things are now ready." Let them be joined in an inseparable union, even as the arm is joined to the body.
The Lord has need of all kinds of skillful workmen. "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13.
Every child of God should have sanctified judgment to consider the cause as a whole and the relation of each part to every other part, that none may lack. The field is large, and there is a great work of reform to be carried forward, not in one or two lines, but in every line. The medical missionary work is a part of this work of reform, but it should never become the means of separating the workers in the ministry from their field of labor. The education of students in medical missionary lines is not complete unless they are trained to work in connection with the church and the ministry, and the usefulness of those who are preparing for the ministry would be greatly increased if they would become intelligent on the great and important subject of health. The influence of the Holy Spirit is needed that the work may be properly balanced, and that it may move forward solidly in every line.
The Lord's work is one, and His people are to be one. He has not directed that any one feature of the message should be carried on independently or become all-absorbing. In all His labors He united the medical missionary work with the ministry of the word. He sent out the twelve apostles, and afterward the Seventy, to preach the gospel to the people, and He gave them power also to heal the sick and to cast out devils in His name. Thus should the Lord's messengers enter His work today. Today the message comes to us: "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." John 20:21, 22.
Satan will invent every possible scheme to separate those whom God is seeking to make one. But we must not be misled by his devices. If the medical missionary work is carried on as a part of the gospel, worldlings will see the good that is being done; they will be convicted of its genuineness, and will give it their support.
We are nearing the end of the earth's history, and God calls upon all to lift the standard bearing the inscription, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." He calls upon His people to work in perfect harmony. He calls upon those engaged in our medical work to unite with the ministry; He calls upon the ministry to co-operate with the medical missionary workers; and He calls upon the church to take up their appointed duty, holding up the standard of true reform in their own territory, leaving the trained and experienced workers to press on into new fields. No word is to be spoken to discourage any, for this grieves the heart of Christ and greatly pleases the adversary. All need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit; all should refrain from censuring and disparaging remarks and draw near to Christ, that they may appreciate the heavy responsibilities which the co-workers with Him are carrying. "Press together; press together," are the words of our divine Instructor. Unity is strength; disunion is weakness and defeat.
In our work for the poor and unfortunate, we shall need to be guarded, lest we gather responsibilities which we shall not be able to carry. Before adopting plans and methods that require a large outlay of means, we are to consider whether they bear the divine signature. God does not sanction the pushing forward of one line of work without regard to other lines. He designs that the medical missionary work shall prepare the way for the presentation of the saving truth for this time--the proclamation of the third angel's message. If this design is met, the message will not be eclipsed nor its progress hindered.
It is not numerous institutions, large buildings, or great display that God requires, but the harmonious action of a peculiar people, a people chosen by God and precious. Every man is to stand in his lot and place, thinking, speaking, and acting in harmony with the Spirit of God. Then, and not till then, will the work be a complete, symmetrical whole.
Melbourne, Australia, February 3, 1898. My dear Brother: Special light has been given me that you are in danger of losing sight of the work for this time. You are erecting barriers to separate your work and those you are educating from the church. This must not be. Those who are receiving instruction in medical missionary lines should be led to realize that their education is to fit them to do better work in connection with the ministers of God. You are to remember, my brother, that the Lord has a people upon the earth whom He respects. But your words, and the way in which they are often spoken, create unbelief in the position that we occupy as a people. You are in danger of failing to hold fast the faith once delivered to the saints, of making shipwreck of your faith. The words were spoken: "A very small leak will sink a ship. One defective link makes a chain worthless."
Remember, my brother, that medical missionary work is not to take men from the ministry, but is to place men in the field, better qualified to minister because of their knowledge of medical missionary work. Young men should receive an education in medical missionary lines and should then go forth to connect with the ministers. They should not be influenced to give themselves exclusively to the work of rescuing the fallen and degraded. That work is found everywhere, and is to be combined with the work of preparing a people to make Bible truth their defense against the sophistries of worldlings and of the fallen church. The third angel is to go forth with great power. Let none ignore this work or treat it as of little importance. The truth is to be proclaimed to the world, that men and women may see the light.
Our Work for Today
What saith the Lord in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah? The whole chapter is of the highest importance. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen?" God asks, "to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am."
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah 58:6-9, 13, 14.
This is our work. The light that we have upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, and will not be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world. The Lord's command to His servants is, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1. A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines.
No Change in God's Cause
There is to be no change in the general features of God's cause. It is to stand out as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. My brother, if you stand in the way to hinder the advancement of the work on the lines that God has appointed, you will greatly displease Him. The warning message is to be given, and after you have faithfully accomplished your part of the work, you are not to hinder others of the Lord's servants from going forth to do the work that they should do. Laboring for the degraded and fallen is not to be made the principal and all-important line. This work is to be combined with the work of instructing the churches. Our people are to be taught how to help the needy and the outcast.
No line of our faith that has made us what we are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firm in defense of our principles, in full view of the world. With hearts filled with interest and solicitude, we are to give the invitation to those in the highways and the byways. Medical missionary work is to be done. But this is only one part of the work that is to be accomplished, and it is not to be made all and in all. It is to be to the work of God as the hand is to the body. There may be unworthy ones connected with the ministry, yet no one can ignore the ministry without ignoring God.
My brother, you are represented to me as in danger of standing apart from our people, feeling that you are a complete whole. But if you bind yourself up with those of your own mind, apart from the church, which is Christ's body, you will make a confederacy that will be broken to pieces, for no union can stand but that which God has framed. Those who are receiving an education in medical lines her insinuations from time to time that disparage the church and the ministry. These insinuations are seeds that will spring up and bear fruit. The students might better be educated to realize that the church of Christ on earth is to be respected. They need a clear knowledge of the reasons of our faith. This knowledge they must have in order to serve God acceptably. Line upon line, precept upon precept, they must receive the Bible evidence of the truth as it is in Jesus.
Do not, I beg of you, instill into the minds of the students ideas that will cause them to lose confidence in God's appointed ministers. But this you are most certainly doing, whether you are aware of it or not. In His providence the Lord has placed you in a position where you may do a good work for Him in connection with the gospel ministry, bringing the truth before many who otherwise would not become acquainted with it. Temptations will come to you to think that in order to carry forward the medical missionary work you must stand aloof from church organization or church discipline. To stand thus would place you on an unsound footing. The work done for those who come to you for instruction is not complete unless they are educated to work in connection with the church.
The medical missionary work is not to be made all and in all. In this point you are carrying things to extremes. There is a large work to be done. Publications teaching the truth are to be circulated everywhere. Medical students should not be encouraged to circulate only the books treating on health reform. Be careful that you are not found working out your own plans, to the disregard of God's plans.
There has been a war in the hearts of some ever since the health reform was first introduced. They have felt the same rebellion as did the children of Israel when their appetites were restricted on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Professed followers of Christ who have all their lives consulted their own pleasure and their own interests, their own ease, and their own appetites are not prepared to change their course of action and live for the glory of God, imitating the self-sacrificing life of their unerring Pattern. A perfect example has been given for Christians to imitate. The words and works of Christ's followers are the channel through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. His followers are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.-- Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 394 (1870).
Not a Separate Work
In the work of the gospel the Lord uses different instrumentalities, and nothing is to be allowed to separate these instrumentalities. Never should a sanitarium be established as an enterprise independent of the church. Our physicians are to unite with the work of the ministers of the gospel. Through their labors souls are to be saved, that the name of God may be magnified.
Medical missionary work is in no case to be divorced from the gospel ministry. The Lord has specified that the two shall be as closely connected as the arm is with the body. Without this union neither part of the work is complete. The medical missionary work is the gospel in illustration.
But God did not design that the medical missionary work should eclipse the work of the third angel's message. The arm is not to become the body. The third angel's message is the gospel message for these last days, and in no case is it to be overshadowed by other interests and made to appear an unessential consideration. When in our institutions anything is placed above the third angel's message, the gospel is not there the great leading power.
The cross is the center of all religious institutions. These institutions are to be under the control of the Spirit of God; in no institution is any one man to be the sole head. The divine mind has men for every place.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit every work of God's appointment is to be elevated and ennobled and made to witness for the Lord. Man must place himself under the control of the eternal mind, whose dictates he is to obey in every particular.
Let us seek to understand our privilege of walking and working with God. The gospel, though it contains God's expressed will, is of no value to men, high or low, rich or poor, unless they place themselves in subjection to God. He who bears to his fellow men the remedy for sin must himself first be moved by the Spirit of God. He must not ply the oars unless he is under divine direction. He cannot work effectually, he cannot carry out the will of God in harmony with the divine mind, unless he finds out, not from human sources, but from infinite wisdom, that God is pleased with his plans.
God's benevolent design embraces every branch of His work. The law of reciprocal dependence and influence is to be recognized and obeyed. "None of us liveth to himself." The enemy has used the chain of dependence to draw men together. They have united to destroy God's image in man, to counterwork the gospel by perverting its principles. They are represented in God's word as being bound in bundles to be burned. Satan is uniting his forces for perdition. The unity of God's chosen people has been terribly shaken. God presents a remedy. This remedy is not one influence among many influences, and on the same level with them; it is an influence above all influences upon the face of the earth, corrective, uplifting, and ennobling. Those who work in the gospel should be elevated and sanctified; for they are dealing with God's great principles. Yoked up with Christ, they are laborers together with God. Thus the Lord desires to bind His followers together, that they may be a power for good, each acting his part, yet all cherishing the sacred principle of dependence of the Head.
The Medical Missionary's Example
In the days of Christ there were no sanitariums in the Holy Land. But wherever the Great Physician went, He carried with Him the healing efficacy that was a cure for every disease, spiritual and physical. This He imparted to those who were under the afflicting power of the enemy. In every city, every town, every village through which He passed, with the solicitude of a loving father He laid His hands upon the afflicted ones, making them whole and speaking words of tenderest sympathy and compassion. How precious to them were His words! From Him flowed a stream of healing power which made the sick whole. He healed men and women with unhesitating willingness and with hearty joyfulness, for He was glad to be able to restore suffering ones to health.
The Mighty Healer worked so incessantly, so intensely,--and often without food,--that some of His friends feared He could not much longer endure the constant strain. His brothers heard of this, and also of the charge brought by the Pharisees that He cast out devils through the power of Satan. They felt keenly the reproach that came upon them through their relation to Jesus. They decided that He must be persuaded or constrained to cease His manner of labor, and they induced Mary to unite with them, thinking that through His love for her they might prevail upon Him to be more prudent.
Jesus was teaching the people when His disciples brought the message that His mother and His brothers were without and desired to see Him. He knew what was in their hearts, and "He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother? and who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:48-50.
The enmity kindled in the human heart against the gospel was keenly felt by the Son of God, and it was most painful to Him in His home; for His own heart was full of kindness and love, and He appreciated tender regard in the family relation. But with their short measuring line His brothers could not fathom the mission that He came to fulfill and therefore could not sympathize with Him in His trials.
Some of those whom Christ healed He charged to tell no man. He knew that the more the Pharisees and Sadducees and rulers heard of His miracles, the more they would try to hedge up His way. But notwithstanding His precautions, "so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities." Luke 5:15. Again and again He was followed by the priests, who expressed their violent sentiments against Him in order to stir up the enmity of the people. But when He could no longer safely remain in one place He went to another.
In doing medical missionary work we shall meet the same opposition that Christ met. He declares: "Ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." Matthew 10:22, 23.
The life of Christ and His ministry to the afflicted are inseparably connected. From the light that has been given me, I know that an intimate relationship should ever exist between the medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. They are bound together in sacred union as one work, and are never to be divorced. The principles of heaven are to be adopted and practiced by those who claim to walk in the Saviour's footsteps. By His example He has shown us that medical missionary work is not to take the place of the preaching of the gospel, but is to be bound up with it. Christ gave a perfect representation of true godliness by combining the work of a physician and a minister, ministering to the needs of both body and soul, healing physical disease, and then speaking words that brought peace to the troubled heart. . . .
We should ever remember that the efficiency of the medical missionary work is in pointing sin-sick men and women to the Man of Calvary, who taketh away the sin of the world. By beholding Him they will be changed into His likeness. Our object in establishing sanitariums is to encourage the sick and suffering to look to Jesus and live. Let the workers in our medical institutions keep Christ, the Great Physician, constantly before those to whom disease of body and soul has brought discouragement. Point them to the One who can heal both physical and spiritual diseases. Tell them of the One who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities. Encourage them to place themselves in the care of Him who gave His life to make it possible for them to have life eternal. Keep their minds fixed upon the One altogether lovely, the chiefest among ten thousand. Talk of His love; tell of His power to save.
The Lord desires every worker to do his best. Those who have not had special training in one of our medical institutions may think that they can do very little; but, my dear fellow workers, remember that in the parable of the talents, Christ did not represent all the servants as receiving the same number. To one servant was given five talents; to another, two; and to still another, one. If you have but one talent, use it wisely, increasing it by putting it out to the exchangers. Some cannot do as much as others, but everyone is to do all he can to roll back the wave of disease and distress that is sweeping over our world. Come up to the help of the Lord, against the mighty powers of darkness. God desires every one of His children to have intelligence and knowledge, so that with unmistakable clearness and power His glory shall be revealed in our world. . . .
Christ has empowered His church to do the same work that He did during His ministry. Today He is the same compassionate physician that He was while on this earth. We should let the afflicted understand that in Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity.
The Gospel in Practice
When health reform was first brought to our notice, about thirty-five years ago, the light presented to me was contained in this scripture: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations." Isaiah 61:1-4.
In the light given me so long ago, I was shown that our own people, those who claimed to believe the present truth, should do this work. How were they to do it? In accordance with the directions Christ gave His twelve disciples when He called them together and sent them forth to preach the gospel.
"When He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." "These Twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:1, 5-8.
Reforms Called For
In the light given me so long ago, I was shown that intemperance would prevail in the world to an alarming extent and that every one of the people of God must take an elevated stand in regard to reformation in habits and practices. At that time I was eating meat two or three times a day, and I was fainting away two or three times a day. The Lord presented a general plan before me. I was shown that God would give to His commandment-keeping people a reform diet, and that as they received this, their disease and suffering would be greatly lessened. I was shown that this work would progress.
Then, in after years, the light was given that we should have a sanitarium, a health institution, which was to be established right among us. This was the means God was to use in bringing His people to a right understanding in regard to health reform. It was also to be the means by which we were to gain access to those not of our faith. We were to have an institution where the sick could be relieved of suffering, and that without drug medication. God declared that He Himself would go before His people in this work.
Well, the work has been steadily increasing. The way was opened for our churches to take hold of it. I proclaimed health reform everywhere I went. At our camp meetings I spoke on Sunday afternoons, and I proclaimed the message of temperance in eating, drinking, and dressing. This was the message I bore for years before I left for Australia.
But there were those who did not come up to the light God had given. There were those in attendance at our camp meetings who ate and drank improperly. Their diet was not in harmony with the light God had given, and it was impossible for them to appreciate the truth in its sacred, holy bearing.
So the light has been gradually coming in. Over and over again instruction was given that our health institutions were to reach all classes of people. The gospel of Jesus Christ includes the work of helping the sick. When I heard that Dr. Kellogg had taken up the medical missionary work, I encouraged him with heart and soul, because I knew that only by this work can the prejudice which exists in the world against our faith be broken down.
In Australia we have tried to do all we could in this line. We located in Cooranbong, and there, where the people have to send twenty-five miles for a doctor, and pay him twenty-five dollars a visit, we helped the sick and suffering all we could. Seeing that we understood something of disease, the people brought their sick to us, and we cared for them. Thus we entirely broke down the prejudice in that place. . . .
Medical missionary work is the pioneer work. It is to be connected with the gospel ministry. It is the gospel in practice, the gospel practically carried out. I have been made so sorry to see that our people have not taken hold of this work as they should. . . .
All heaven is interested in the work of relieving suffering humanity. Satan is exerting all his powers to obtain control over the souls and bodies of men. He is trying to bind them to the wheels of his chariot. My heart is made sad as I look at our churches, which ought to be connected in heart and soul and practice with the medical missionary work. . . .
Ministers to Work on the Gospel Plan
I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. The work of a minister is to minister. Our ministers are to work on the gospel plan of ministering. . . .
You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness, that it be not said of you, "Curse ye Meroz, . . . curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord." Judges 5:23. . . .
It is because of the directions I have received from the Lord that I have the courage to stand among you and speak as I do, notwithstanding the way in which you may look at the medical missionary work. I wish to say that the medical missionary work is God's work. The Lord wants every one of His ministers to come into line. Take hold of the medical missionary work, and it will give you access to the people. Their hearts will be touched as you minister to their necessities. As you relieve their sufferings, you will find opportunity to speak to them of the love of Jesus. . . .
God will help those who love the truth, who give themselves, heart and mind and strength, to Him. God will work mightily with His ministers when their hearts are filled with love for the poor lost sheep of the house of Israel. Hunt up the backsliders, those who once knew what religion was, and give them the message of mercy.
The story of Christ's love will touch a chord in their hearts. Christ draws human beings to Himself with the cord which God has let down from heaven to save the race. The love of Christ can be measured only when this cord is measured. . . .
Medical missionary work, ministering to the sick and suffering, cannot be separated from the gospel. God help those whose attention has been aroused on this subject to have the mind of Christ, the sympathy of Christ. God help you to remember that Christ was a worker, that He went from place to place healing the sick. If we were as closely connected with Christ as were His disciples, God could work through us to heal many who are suffering.
The gospel of Christ is to be lived, practiced in the daily life. The servants of God are to be cleansed from all coldness, all selfishness. Simplicity, meekness, lowliness, are of great value in the work of God. Try to unite the workers in confidence and love. If you cannot do this, be right yourselves, and leave the rest with God. Labor in faith and prayer. Select Christian youth and train them to be, not workers with hearts like iron, but workers who are willing to harmonize.
I pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those who, unless they receive more grace, will enter into temptation. I pray that He will soften and subdue every heart. We need to live in close fellowship with God, that we may love one another as Christ has loved us. It is by this that the world is to know that we are His disciples.-- Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 218, 219 (1909).
To Gain an Entrance
I am intensely interested in the education of medical students as missionaries. This is the very means of introducing the truth where otherwise it would not find an entrance.
I can see in the Lord's providence that the medical missionary work is to be a great entering wedge, whereby the diseased soul may be reached.
Oh, what a field of usefulness is opened before the medical missionary! Jesus Christ was in every sense of the word a missionary of the highest type, and combined with His missionary work that of the Great Physician, healing all manner of diseases. Many in Christ's day refused to be convinced of their lost condition. When Christ was in their midst as a mighty healer of bodily woe as well as the maladies of the sin-sick soul, some would not come unto Him that they might have life. They refused to be illuminated. So it will be in our day. Some will not be healed of their soul diseases.
Every physician can and ought to be a Christian, and if so, he bears with him a cure for the soul as well as the body. He is doing the work of an apostle as well as of a physician. How much need there is of the preciousness of pure and undefiled religion, that the spiritual teacher may be administering to the soul necessities while relieving the distress of the body! How refreshing it is to the suffering, tempest-tossed soul to hear the words of hope, words from God spoken to the suffering one, to hear the prayers offered in his behalf! How essential that the living missionary should understand the diseases which afflict the human body, to combine the physician, educated to care for diseased bodies, with the faithful, conscientious shepherd of the flock, to give sacredness and double efficiency to the service!
The Lord, in His great goodness and matchless love, has been urging upon His human instrumentalities that missionaries are not really complete in their education unless they have a knowledge of how to treat the sick and suffering. If this had been felt as an important branch of education in the missionary line of labor, many who have lost their lives might have lived. Had they understood how to treat the ailments of the body, and how to study from cause to effect, they could, through their intelligent knowledge of the human body and how to treat its maladies, have reached many darkened minds that otherwise they could not approach.
The great Physician in Chief is at the side of every true, earnest, God-fearing practitioner who works with his acquired knowledge to relieve the sufferings of the human body. He, the Chief of physicians, is ready to dispense the balm of Gilead. He will hear the prayers offered by the physician and the missionary, if His name will be glorified thereby; and the life of the suffering patient will be prolonged. God is over all. He is the true Head of the missionary of the medical profession, and blessed indeed shall be that physician who has connected himself with the Chief Physician, who has learned from Him not only to treat the suffering bodies, but to watch for souls, to understand how to apply the prescription, and as an undershepherd use the balm of Gilead to heal the bruises that sin has made upon the souls as well as upon the bodies of suffering humanity under the serpent's sting. Oh, how essential that the physician be one divested of selfishness, one who has a correct knowledge of the atonement made by Jesus Christ, so that he can uplift Jesus to the despairing soul, one who holds communion with God! What a treasure he possesses in his knowledge of the treatment of the diseases of the body, and also the knowledge of the plan of salvation. Resting in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he can lead others to hopefulness, to saving faith, to rest and peace, and a new life in Jesus Christ. . . .
The Lord sanctions the efforts of the consecrated worker, the true shepherd. He may have little time to preach discourses, but he can act sermons which will be far more powerful. The truth expressed in living, unselfish deeds is the strongest argument for Christianity. The relieving of the sick, the helping of the distressed, is working in Christ's lines and demonstrates most powerful gospel truths representing Christ's mission and work upon earth. The knowledge of the art of relieving suffering humanity is the opening of doors without number, where the truth can find a lodgment in the heart, and souls be saved unto life--eternal life. Even the most hardhearted and apparently sin-encased souls may be approached in this way and understand something of the mystery of godliness and become so charmed that they will not rest until they have a knowledge of Jesus Christ and His saving grace. . . .
Let there be a company formed somewhat after the order of the Christian Endeavor Society, and see what can be done by each accountable human agent in watching and improving opportunities to do work for the Master. He has a vineyard in which everyone can perform good work. Suffering humanity needs help everywhere.
Young men who have a practical knowledge of how to treat the sick are now to be sent out to do gospel medical missionary work, in connection with more experienced gospel workers. If these young men will give themselves to the study of the word, they will become successful evangelists. The ministers with whom these young men labor are to give them the same opportunity to learn that Elijah gave Elisha. They are to show them how to teach the truth to others. Where it is possible, these young men should visit the hospitals, and in some cases they may connect with them for a while, laboring disinterestedly.
The purest example of unselfishness is now to be shown by our medical missionary workers. With the knowledge and experience gained by practical work, they are to go out to give treatments to the sick. As they go from house to house, they will find access to many hearts. Many will be reached who otherwise would never have heard the gospel message.
Much good can be done by those who do not hold diplomas as fully accredited physicians. Some are to be prepared to work as competent physicians. Many, working under the direction of such ones, can do acceptable work without spending so long a time in study as it has been thought necessary to spend in the past.
Many will go out to labor for the Master who have not been able to take a regular course of study in school. God will help these workers. They will obtain knowledge from the higher school and will be fitted to take their position in the rank and file of workers as nurses. The great Medical Missionary sees every effort that is made to find access to souls by presenting the principles of health reform.
Decided changes are taking place in our world. The Lord has declared that He will turn and overturn. Humble men, who hitherto have been in obscurity, must now be given opportunity to become workers.
To those who go out to do medical missionary work, I would say, Serve the Lord Jesus Christ with sanctified understanding, in connection with the ministers of the gospel and the Great Teacher. He who has given you your commission will give you skill and understanding as you consecrate yourselves to His service, engaging diligently in labor and study, doing your best to bring relief to the sick and suffering.
To those who are tired of a life of sinfulness, but who know not where to turn to obtain relief, present the compassionate Saviour, full of love and tenderness, longing to receive those who come to Him with broken hearts and contrite spirits. Take them by the hand, lift them up, speak to them words of hope and courage. Help them to grasp the hand of Him who has said, "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." Isaiah 27:5.
"Behold," Christ declares, "I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." God calls upon us to voice the words, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." God will do much more for His people if they will have faith in Him.
Methods and Plans
In all our sanitariums the work done should be of such a character as to win souls to Jesus Christ. We have a wide missionary field in our health institutions, for here people of all countries come to regain their health. The best helpers to have connected with our sanitariums are those men who desire to make the Bible their guide, those who will put forth their mental and moral powers to advance the work in correct ways.
Let the workers in the sanitariums remember that the object of the establishment of these institutions is not alone the relief of suffering and the healing of disease, but also the salvation of souls. Let the spiritual atmosphere of these institutions be such that men and women who are brought to the sanitariums to receive treatment for their bodily ills, shall learn the lesson that their diseased souls need healing.
To preach the gospel means much more than many realize. It is a broad, far-reaching work. Our sanitariums have been presented to me as most efficient means for the promotion of the gospel message.
The work of the true medical missionary is largely a spiritual work. It includes prayer and the laying on of hands; he therefore should be as sacredly set apart for his work as is the minister of the gospel. Those who are selected to act the part of missionary physicians are to be set apart as such. This will strengthen them against the temptations to withdraw from the sanitarium work to engage in private practice. No selfish motives should be allowed to draw the worker from his post of duty. The medical work done in connection with the giving of the third angel's message, is to accomplish wonderful results. It is to be a sanctifying, unifying work, corresponding to the work which the great Head of the church sent forth the first disciples to do.
Calling these disciples together, Christ gave them their commission: . . . "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:7, 8, 16.
It is well for us to read this chapter and let its instruction prepare us for our labors. The early disciples were going forth on Christ's errands, under His commission. His spirit was to prepare the way before them. They were to feel that with such a message to give, such blessings to impart, they should receive a welcome in the homes of the people. . . .
Through the first disciples a divine gift was proffered to Israel: the faithful evangelist today will do a similar work in every city where our missionaries enter. It is a work which to some extent we have tried to do in connection with some of our sanitariums, but a much wider experience in these lines is to be gained.
Cannot our conference presidents open the way for the students in our schools to engage in this line of labor? Again and again it has been presented to me that "there should be companies organized and educated most thoroughly to work as nurses, as evangelists, as ministers, as canvassers, as gospel students, to perfect a character after the divine similitude." There is a grand work to be done in relieving suffering humanity, and through the labors of students who are receiving an education and training to become efficient medical missionaries the people living in many cities may become acquainted with the truths of the third angel's message. Consecrated leaders and teachers of experience should go out with these young workers at first, giving them instruction how to labor. When favors of food are offered by those who fear and honor God, these favors may be accepted. Thus opportunity will be found for conversation, for explaining the Scriptures, for singing Bible songs and praying with the family. There are many to whom such labor as this would prove a blessing.
And each worker, as he goes forth to this labor, should realize that he is as truly sent of God as were the first disciples. God's eye follows them; His Spirit goes with them. . . .
I am thankful when I think of the advantages enjoyed by the schools that are established near our sanitariums, so that the work of the two educational institutions can blend. The students in these schools, while gaining an education in the knowledge of present truth, can also learn how to be ministers of healing to those whom they go forth to serve.
If ever there was a time when our work should be done under the special direction of the Spirit of God, it is now. Let those who are living at their ease, arouse. Let our sanitariums become what they should be--homes where healing is ministered to sin-sick souls. And this will be done when the workers have a living connection with the Great Healer.
Physicians and Evangelists
Encouraging Words to a Physician
The work you have been doing in the cities is meeting Heaven's approval. What you have done demonstrates that if our physicians and our ministers can work together in the presentation of truth to the people, more can be reached than could be influenced by the minister laboring alone. I trust that your example in this respect may be followed by other physicians.
You need not feel that the Lord has separated you from the sanitarium because you have made more direct efforts to reach the souls in our cities, who need to be converted. You have a burden for this work of presenting the message to the people. Present Christ as the healer of the sin-sick soul. In your work in the field you will gain a broader and more extended influence than if you were confined to an institution.
The acquaintances you make as you attend meetings and present the truth from the physician's standpoint will help to give you an influence, and this line of work will be the means of bringing to our sanitariums a class of people who can be greatly benefited. Arrange your plans so that you can engage in this line of work with freedom, and so that your absence will not hurt the work of the institution.
Present before the people the need of resisting the temptation of indulge appetite. This is where many are failing. Explain how closely body and mind are related and show the need of keeping both in the very best condition. The health talks which you give in the meetings will be one of the best ways of advertising our sanitariums.
Christ has given us an example. He taught from the Scriptures the gospel truths, and He also healed the afflicted ones who came to Him for relief. He was the greatest physician the world ever knew, and yet He combined with His healing work the imparting of soul-saving truth.
And thus should our physicians labor. They are doing the Lord's work when they labor as evangelists, giving instruction as to how the soul may be healed by the Lord Jesus. Every physician should know how to pray in faith for the sick, as well as to administer the proper treatment. At the same time he should labor as one of God's ministers, to teach repentance and conversion and the salvation of soul and body. Such a combination of labor will broaden his experience and greatly enlarge his influence.
One thing I know: the greatest work of our physicians is to get access to the people of the world in the right way. There is a world perishing in sin, and who will take up the work in our cities? The greatest physician is the one who walks in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
There is a work to be done in all our cities, and those who still work and walk humbly with God, striving daily to be overcomers, will gain precious victories day by day. The work that is done in humility will bear the divine credentials. Let us hide in God. That which I see most clearly is the necessity of men and women's being united in doing the work that needs to be done in our cities. . . . The Lord bears long with men, and He calls earnestly for everyone to repent. Will the ministers, will the physicians, take up this work that has scarcely been touched? May God help us to be faithful and to do the very work that is now most essential.
Now is our time to make decided efforts to awaken the people who have never yet been warned. Much thought and labor is given to the printed page. This is well, but if more efforts were given to sending forth the living missionary to preach the truth, many more souls would be aroused and won to the truth. While Jesus ministers in the true sanctuary above, He is through His Holy Spirit working through His earthly messengers. These agencies will accomplish more than the printed page, if they will go forth in the Spirit and power of Christ. Christ will work through His chosen ministers, filling them with His Spirit, and thus fulfilling to them the assurance, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20.
It is well, in presenting the truth to unbelievers, first to present some subjects upon which they will agree with us. The principles of health and temperance will appeal to their judgment, and we can from these subjects lead them on to understand the binding claims of the fourth commandment. This work our physicians can help in doing. When the people see the value of instruction given regarding healthful living, it gives them confidence to believe that the teachers of these principles have the truth in other lines.
It is the Lord's plan that physicians well versed in Bible truth shall unite with ministers laboring in the cities and aid in giving as a whole the harmonious message of warning that should be given to the world. Some of the very best-qualified men in our institutions should be chosen for this work.
To some it may seem unwise to take men qualified for the position of head physicians and put them to labor in the cities, even though chosen men fill their places in the institutions. But we need to take a broader view of the work and to consider that the Lord is calling for a special line of work to be done in the cities, a work which requires the efforts of men of clear perception, and who, in the power of the Holy Spirit, can present before large congregations the principles of health reform.
The presenting of Bible principles by an intelligent physician will have great weight with many people. There is efficiency and power with one who can combine in his influence the work of a physician and of a gospel minister. His work commends itself to the good judgment of the people.
I am concerned because so many things engage the minds of our physicians which keep them from the work that God would have them do as evangelists. From the light that God has given me, I know that the living preacher who is consecrated and devoted, and knows how to put his trust in God, is greatly needed. We need one hundred workers where now we have one. There is a great work to be done before satanic opposition shall close up the way, and our present opportunities for labor shall be lost. Time is rapidly passing. Our publications are numerous, but the Lord calls for men and women in our churches who have the light to engage in genuine missionary work. Let them in all humility exercise their God-given talents in proclaiming the message that should come to the world at this time.
I hope you will exercise all your capabilities in this work. Present the importance of present truth from the physician's standpoint. The educated physician will find entrance in our cities where other men cannot. Teach the message of health reform. This will have an influence with the people.
The Lord will assuredly guide you if you will seek to do His will, even though it should interfere with some of your desires and plans. As you walk and work in the counsel of God, doors will be opened before you of opportunities for uniting the work of the ministry and that of a physician.
If in the city of Boston and other cities of the East, you and your wife will unite in medical evangelistic work, your usefulness will increase, and there will open before you clear views of duty. In these cities the message of the first angel went with great power in 1842 and 1843, and now the time has come when the message of the third angel is to be proclaimed extensively in the East. There is a grand work before our Eastern sanitariums. The message is to go with power as the work closes up.
Let your words be of a character to exalt the word of God. Live and teach the principles of health reform. Emphasize your belief in the great truths upon which Christian people generally will agree with you. As you advocate the truth of God, you are in every respect to be an example to the believers.
The importance of making our way in the great cities is still kept before me. For many years the Lord has been urging upon us this duty, and yet we see but comparatively little accomplished in our great centers of population. If we do not take up this work in a determined manner, Satan will multiply difficulties which will not be easy to surmount. We are far behind in doing the work that should have been done in these long-neglected cities. The work will now be more difficult than it would have been a few years ago. But if we take up the work in the name of the Lord, barriers will be broken down and decided victories will be ours.
In this work physicians and gospel ministers are needed. We must press our petitions to the Lord and do our best, pressing forward with all the energy possible to make an opening in the large cities. Had we in the past worked after the Lord's plans, many lights would be shining brightly that are going out.
In connection with the presentation of spiritual truths, we should also present what the word of God says upon the questions of health and temperance. In every way possible we must seek to bring souls under the convicting and converting power of God. The believers in our churches need to be aroused to act their part. Let seasons of prayer be appointed, and let us earnestly seek the Lord for an increase of faith and courage. Let ministers and other church members labor for souls as never before. We are not to spend our time merely in repeating over and over the same things to the churches where the truth is well known. Let the church members labor unitedly in their several lines to create an interest. The disciples of Christ are to unite in labor for perishing souls. Let the laborers invite others to unite with them in their efforts, that many may be fired with zeal to work for the Master.
I entreat the church members in every city that they lay hold upon the Lord with determined effort for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Be assured that Satan is not asleep. Every obstacle possible he will place in the way of those who would advance in this work. Too often these obstacles are regarded as insurmountable. Let everyone now be soundly and truly converted, and then lay hold of the work intelligently and with faith.
Work in the Cities
San Francisco, California, December 12, 1900. There is a work to be done in California--a work that has been strangely neglected. Let this work be delayed no longer. As doors open for the presentation of truth, let us be ready to enter. Some work has been done in the large city of San Francisco, but as we study the field we see plainly that only a beginning has been made. As soon as possible, well-organized efforts should be put forth in different sections of this city, and also in Oakland. The wickedness of San Francisco is not realized. Our work in this city must broaden and deepen. God sees in it many souls to be saved.
In San Francisco a hygienic restaurant has been opened, also a food store, and treatment rooms. These are doing a good work, but their influence should be greatly extended. Other restaurants similar to the one on Market Street should be opened in San Francisco and in Oakland. Concerning the effort that is now being made in these lines, we can say, Amen and amen. And soon other lines of work that will be a blessing to the people will be established. Medical missionary evangelistic work should be carried forward in a most prudent and thorough manner. The solemn, sacred work of saving souls is to advance in a way that is modest and yet ever elevated.
Where are the working forces? Men and women who are thoroughly converted, men and women of discernment and keen foresight, should act as directors. Good judgment must be exercised in employing persons to do this special work--persons who love God and who walk before Him in all humility, persons who will be effective agencies in God's hand for the accomplishment of the object He has in view--the uplifting and saving of human beings.
Medical missionary evangelists will be able to do excellent pioneer work. The work of the minister should blend fully with that of the medical missionary evangelist. The Christian physician should regard his work as exalted as that of the ministry. He bears a double responsibility, for in him are combined the qualifications of both physician and gospel minister. His is a grand, a sacred, and a very necessary work.
The physician and the minister should realize that they are engaged in the same work. They should labor in perfect harmony. They should counsel together. By their unity they will bear witness that God has sent His only-begotten Son into the world to save all who will believe in Him as their personal Saviour.
Physicians whose professional abilities are above those of the ordinary doctor should engage in the service of God in the large cities. They should seek to reach the higher classes. Something is being done in this line in San Francisco, but much more should be done. Let there be no misconception of the nature and the importance of these enterprises. San Francisco is a large field, and an important portion of the Lord's vineyard.
Medical missionaries who labor in evangelistic lines are doing a work of as high an order as are their ministerial fellow workers. The efforts put forth by these workers are not to be limited to the poorer classes. The higher classes have been strangely neglected. In the higher walks of life will be found many who will respond to the truth, because it is consistent, because it bears the stamp of the high character of the gospel. Not a few of the men of ability thus won to the cause will enter energetically into the Lord's work.
Men of Wealth Will Help
The Lord calls upon those who are in positions of trust, those to whom He has entrusted His precious gifts, to use their talents of intellect and means in His service. Our workers should present before these men a plain statement of our plan of labor, telling them what we need in order to help the poor and needy and to establish this work on a firm basis. Some of these will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to invest the Lord's means in a way that will advance His cause. They will fulfill His purpose by helping to create centers of influence in the large cities. Interested workers will be led to offer themselves for various lines of missionary effort. Hygienic restaurants will be established. But with what carefulness should this work be done!
Every hygienic restaurant should be a school. The workers connected with it should be constantly studying and experimenting, that they may make improvement in the preparation of healthful foods. In the cities this work of instruction may be carried forward on a much larger scale than in smaller places. But in every place where there is a church, instruction should be given in regard to the preparation of simple, healthful foods for the use of those who wish to live in accordance with the principles of health reform. And the church members should impart to the people of their neighborhood the light they receive on this subject.
The students in our schools should be taught how to cook. Let tact and skill be brought into this branch of education. With all deceivableness of unrighteousness, Satan is working to turn the feet of the youth into paths of temptation that lead to ruin. We must strengthen and help them to withstand the temptations that are to be met on every side regarding the indulgence of appetite. To teach them the science of healthful living is to do missionary work for the Master.
Cooking Schools in Many Places
Cooking schools are to be established in many places. This work may begin in a humble way, but as intelligent cooks do their best to enlighten others the Lord will give them skill and understanding. The word of the Lord is, "Forbid them not, for I will reveal Myself to them as their Instructor." He will work with those who carry out His plans, teaching the people how to bring about a reformation in their diet by the preparation of healthful, inexpensive foods. Thus the poor will be encouraged to adopt the principles of health reform; they will be helped to become industrious and self-reliant.
It has been presented to me that men and women of capability were being taught of God how to prepare wholesome, palatable foods, in an acceptable manner. Many of these were young, and there were also those of mature age. I have been instructed to encourage the conducting of cooking schools in all places where medical missionary work is being done. Every inducement to lead the people to reform must be held out before them. Let as much light as possible shine upon them. Teach them to make every improvement that they can in the preparation of food, and encourage them to impart to others that which they learn.
Shall we not do all in our power to advance the work in all of our large cities? Thousands upon thousands who live near us need help in various ways. Let the ministers of the gospel remember that the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" Matthew 5:14, 13.
The Lord Working With Them
The Lord Jesus will work miracles for His people. In the sixteenth of Mark we read: "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirmed the word with signs following." Verses 19, 20. Here we are assured that the Lord was qualifying His chosen servants to take up medical missionary work after His ascension.
From the record of the Lord's miracles in providing wine at the wedding feast and in feeding the multitude, we may learn a lesson of the highest importance. The health-food business is one of the Lord's own instrumentalities to supply a necessity. The heavenly Provider of all foods will not leave His people in ignorance in regard to the preparation of the best foods for all times and occasions.
Those who have long known the truth need to seek the Lord most earnestly, that their hearts may be filled with a determination to work for their neighbors. My brethren and sisters, visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness seek to reach their hearts. Be sure to work in a way that will remove prejudice instead of creating it. --Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 34 (1909).
Sanitariums as City Outposts
Like Melrose, one of the chief advantages of the situation at Loma Linda is the pleasing variety of charming scenery. We believe that both places have come into our possession to be used to the very best advantage possible for sanitarium purposes.
But more important than magnificent scenery and beautiful buildings and spacious grounds is the close proximity of these institutions to densely populated districts, and the opportunity thus afforded of communicating to many, many people a knowledge of the third angel's message. We are to have clear spiritual discernment, else we shall fail of understanding the opening providences of God that are preparing the way for us to enlighten the world. The great crisis is just before us. Now is the time for us to sound the warning message, by the agencies that God has given us for this purpose. Let us remember that one most important agency is our medical missionary work. Never are we to lose sight of the great object for which our sanitariums are established--the advancement of God's closing work in the earth.
Loma Linda is in the midst of a very rich district, including three important cities--Redlands, Riverside, and San Bernardino. This field must be worked from Loma Linda, as Boston must be worked from Melrose.
When the New England Sanitarium was removed from South Lancaster to Melrose, the Lord instructed me that this was in the order of His opening providence. The buildings and grounds at Melrose are of a character to recommend our medical missionary work, which is to be carried forward not only in Boston, but in many other unworked cities in New England. The Melrose property is such that conveniences can be provided that will draw to that sanitarium persons not of our faith. The aristocratic as well as the common people will visit that institution to avail themselves of the advantages offered for restoration of health.
Aggressive Work in Boston
Boston has been pointed out to me repeatedly as a place that must be faithfully worked. The light must shine in the outskirts and in the inmost parts. The Melrose Sanitarium is one of the greatest agencies that can be employed to reach Boston with the truth. The city and its suburbs must hear the last message of mercy to be given to our world. Tent meetings must be held in many places. The workers must put to the very best use the abilities God has given them. The gifts of grace will increase by wide use. But there must be no self-exaltation. No precise lines are to be laid down. Let the Holy Spirit direct the workers. They are to keep looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith. The work for this great city will be signalized by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, if all will walk humbly with God. . . .
We hope that those in charge of the work in New England will co-operate with the Melrose Sanitarium managers in taking aggressive steps to do the work that should be done in Boston. A hundred workers could be laboring to advantage in different portions of the city, in varied lines of service.
The terrible disasters that are befalling great cities ought to arouse us to intense activity in giving the warning message to the people in these congested centers of population while we still have an opportunity. The most favorable time for the presentation of our message in the cities, has passed by. Sin and wickedness are rapidly increasing; and now we shall have to redeem the time by laboring all the more earnestly.
The medical missionary work is a door through which the truth is to find entrance to many homes in the cities. In every city will be found those who will appreciate the truths of the third angel's message. The judgments of God are impending. Why do we not awaken to the peril threatening the men and women living in the great cities of America? Our people do not realize as keenly as they should the responsibility resting upon them to proclaim the truth to the millions dwelling in these unwarned cities.
There are many souls to be saved. Our own souls are to be firmly grounded in a knowledge of the truth, that we may win others from error to the truth. We need now to search the Scriptures diligently, and as we become acquainted with unbelievers, we are to hold up Christ as the anointed, the crucified, the risen Saviour, witnessed to by prophets, testified of by believers, and through whose name we receive the forgiveness of our sins.
We need now a firm belief in the truth. Let us understand what is truth. Time is very short. Whole cities are being swept away. Are we doing our part to give the message that will prepare a people for the coming of their Lord? May God help us to improve the opportunities that are ours.
The Ministry and Medical Work
Both home and foreign missions should be conducted in connection with the ministry of the word. The medical missionary work is not to be carried forward as something apart from the work of the gospel ministry. The Lord's people are to be one. There is to be no separation in His work. Time and means are being absorbed in a work which is carried forward too earnestly in one direction. The Lord has not appointed this. He sent out His twelve apostles and afterward the Seventy to preach the word to the people, and He gave them power to heal the sick and to cast out devils in His name. The two lines of work must not be separated. Satan will invent every possible scheme to separate those whom God is seeking to make one. We must not be misled by his devices. The medical missionary work is to be connected with the third angel's message as the hand is connected with the body; and the education of students in medical missionary lines is not complete unless they are trained to work in connection with the church and the ministry.
There are in the ministry men of faith and experience, men who can say: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." 1 John 1:1-3. These men are to instruct others. . . .
The medical missionary work is not to take men from the ministry, but to place them in the field. Wherever camp meetings are held, young men who have received an education in medical missionary lines should feel it their duty to act a part. They should be encouraged to speak, not only on these special lines, but also upon the points of present truth, giving the reasons why we are Seventh-day Adventists. These young men, given an opportunity to work with older ministers, will receive much help and blessing. . . .
There must be no belittling of the gospel ministry. No enterprise should be so conducted as to cause the ministry of the word to be looked upon as an inferior matter. It is not so. Those who ignore the ministry, are ignoring Christ. The highest of all work is the ministry in its various lines, and it should be kept before the youth that there is no work more blessed of God than that of the gospel minister.
Let not our young men be deterred from entering the ministry. There is danger that through glowing representations some will be drawn out of the path where God bids them walk. Some have been encouraged to take a course of study in medical lines who ought to be preparing themselves to enter the ministry. The Lord calls for more men to labor in His vineyard. The words were spoken, "Strengthen the outposts: have faithful sentinels in every part of the world." God calls for you, young men. He calls for whole armies of young men who are large-hearted and large-minded, and who have a deep love for Christ and the truth. . . .
It is not great and learned men that the ministry needs, it is not eloquent sermonizers. God calls for men who will give themselves to Him to be imbued with His Spirit. The cause of Christ and humanity demands sanctified, self-sacrificing men, those who can go forth without the camp, bearing the reproach. Let them be strong, valiant men, fit for worthy enterprises, and let them make a covenant with God by sacrifice.