Christ desires by the fullness of His power so to strengthen His people that through them the whole world shall be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. When His people shall make a wholehearted surrender of them selves to God, this purpose will be accomplished. The word of the Lord to those connected with His institutions is: "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." Isaiah 52:11. In all our institutions let self-seeking give place to unselfish love and labour for souls nigh and afar off. Then the holy oil will be emptied from the two olive branches into the golden pipes, which will empty them selves into the vessels prepared to receive it. Then the lives of Christ's workers will indeed be an exposition of the truths of His word.
His holiness, will circulate through every institution. An atmosphere of love and peace will pervade every department. Every word spoken, every work performed, will have an influence that corresponds to the influence of heaven. Christ will abide in humanity, and humanity will abide in Christ. In all the work will appear, not the character of finite man, but the character of the infinite God. The divine influence imparted by holy angels will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers; from these workers a fragrant influence will go forth.
When called to enter new fields, workers thus trained will go forth as representatives of the Saviour, fitted for usefulness in His service, capable of imparting to others, by precept and example, a knowledge of the truth for this time. The goodly fabric of character wrought out through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness pointing to the throne of the living God.
Then the work will move forward with solidity and redoubled strength. To the workers in every line will be imparted a new efficiency. The publications sent forth as God's messengers will bear the signet of the Eternal. Rays of light from the sanctuary above will attend the precious truths they bear. As never before, they will have power to awaken in souls a conviction of sin, to create a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, to beget a lively solicitude for the things that will never pass away. Men will learn of the reconciliation for iniquity and of the everlasting righteousness which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice. Many will be brought to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and will stand with God's people to welcome the soon coming, in power and glory, of our Lord and Saviour.
The power and efficiency of our work depend largely on the character of the literature that comes from our presses. Therefore great care should be exercised in the choice and preparation of the matter that is to go to the world. The greatest caution and discrimination are needed. Our energies should be devoted to the publication of literature of the purest quality and the most elevating character. Our periodicals must go forth laden with truth that has a vital, spiritual interest for the people.
God has placed in our hands a banner upon which is inscribed: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. This is a distinct, separating message, a message that is to give no uncertain sound. It is to lead the people away from the broken cisterns that contain no water, to the unfailing Fountain of the water of life.
Our publications have a most sacred work to do in making clear, simple, and plain the spiritual basis of our faith. Everywhere the people are taking sides; all are ranging themselves either under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy. At this time God's message to the world is to be given with such prominence and power that the people will be brought face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart, with truth. They must be brought to see its superiority over the multitudinous errors that are pushing their way into
notice, to supplant, if possible, the word of God for this solemn time.
The great object of our publications is to exalt God, to call men's attention to the living truths of His word. God calls upon us to lift up, not our own standard, not the standard of this world, but His standard of truth.
It is only as we do this that His prospering hand can be with us. Consider God's dealings with His people in the past. Notice how, while they carried His banner, He exalted them before their enemies. But when in self-exaltation they departed from their allegiance, when they exalted a power and a principle that were opposed to Him, they were left to bring upon themselves disaster and defeat.
Consider the experience of Daniel. When called to stand before King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel did not hesitate to acknowledge the source of his wisdom. Did that faithful recognition of God detract from Daniel's influence in the king's court? By no means; it was the secret of his power; it secured for him favour in the eyes of the ruler of Babylon. In God's name Daniel made known to the king the heaven-sent messages of instruction, warning, and rebuke, and he was not repulsed. Let God's workers of today read the firm, bold testimony of Daniel and follow his example.
Never does man show greater folly than when he seeks to secure acceptance and recognition in the world by sacrificing in any degree the allegiance and honour due to God. When we place ourselves where God cannot cooperate with us, our strength will be found weakness. All that is ever done toward restoring the image of God in man is done because God is the efficiency of the worker. It is His power alone that can restore the
body, energise the mind, or renew the soul. In our publishing work, as in every other line of effort or Christian living, will be demonstrated the truth of Christ's words: "Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
God has given to men immortal principles, to which every human power will one day bow. He calls upon us to give to the world, by precept and by example, a demonstration of these principles. To those who honour Him by a faithful adherence to His word, the result will be glorious. It means much to stand by principles that will live through the eternal ages.
The editors of our periodicals, the teachers in our schools, the presidents of our conferences, all need to drink of the pure streams of the river of the water of life. All need to understand more fully the words spoken by our Lord to the Samaritan woman: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. . . . Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:10-14.
The Lord's work needs to be distinguished from the common affairs of life. He says: "I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgement, and her converts with righteousness." Isaiah 1:25-27. These
words are full of importance. They have a lesson for all who occupy the editorial chair.
The words of Moses possess deep meaning. "Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified." Leviticus 10:1-3. This has a lesson for all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our publishing institutions. Sacred things are not to be mingled with the common. The papers that have so wide a circulation should contain more precious instruction than appears in the ordinary publications of the day. "What is the chaff to the wheat?" Jeremiah 23:28. We want pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed.
"The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. . . . Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples. . . . To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:11-20.
I call the attention of all our workers to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. Read the experience of God's prophet when he saw "the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. . . . Then
said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:1-8.
This is the experience needed by those who labour in all our institutions. There is danger that they will fail of maintaining a vital connection with God, of being sanctified through the truth. It is thus that they lose a sense of the power of the truth, lose the ability to discriminate between the sacred and the common.
My brethren in responsible positions, may the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your hearts the holy oil that from the two olive branches flows through the golden pipes into the golden bowl which feeds the lamps of the sanctuary. May He "give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, . . . and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19.
As faithful householders, give meat in due season to the household of God. Present truth to the people. Work as if in full view of the whole universe of heaven. We have no time to lose--not a moment. Important issues must soon be met, and we need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus and be quickened by His Holy Spirit.