Lesson& References Index 

Lesson 6: August 3 – 9

Worship the Creator

(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory Text: Isaiah 58:6, 7

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Read Amos 1 and 2

Sunday – Idolatry and Oppression

Exodus 20:2-6

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visitingthe iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 24:1-13
Israel Affirms the Covenant

1 Now He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2 And Moses alone shall come near the Lord, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him.”

3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lordhas said we will do, and be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

On the Mountain with God

9 Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. 11 But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”

13 So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.

Exodus 32:6

6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Exodus 32:30-34

30 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

33 And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. 34 Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.”

Psalm 115:1-8
The Futility of Idols and the Trustworthiness of God

1 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
2 Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”

3 But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
6 They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
7 They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
8 Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.

Monday - A Reason to Worship

Deuteronomy 10:17-22

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lordyour God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Psalm 101:1
Promised Faithfulness to the Lord
A Psalm of David.

I will sing of mercy and justice;
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.

Psalm 146:5-10

5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.

8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

10 The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Isaiah 5:16

16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

Isaiah 61:11

11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Read Exodus 15
Job 34:12

12 Surely God will never do wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.

Job 34:28

28 So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;
For He hears the cry of the afflicted.

Tuesday – Religious Oppressors

Amos 8:4

4 Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail,

Amos 8:6

6 That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals—
Even sell the bad wheat?”

Isaiah 1:10-17

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the law of our God,
You people of Gomorrah:
11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.

12 “When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
13 Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.

16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.

Amos 5:21-24

21 “I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
24 But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.

Micah 6:6-8

6 With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Read Micah 6

Wednesday – A Way to Worship

Read Isaiah 58
Isaiah 58:6

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:8-12

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

Ellen G. White, Welfare Ministry, p. 121, quoting Ellen G. White, Manuscript 22, 1901.

I thank my heavenly Father that I was greatly blessed and refreshed by being enabled to sleep till half past three this morning. After offering up my thanksgiving to God and my request that His grace and love may abide in my heart today, I commence writing at four o’clock.

I am burdened as a cart beneath sheaves. I read: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” [Isaiah 60:1, 2.]

There is a work to be done in our world, but there is danger of this work being one-sided. It has already become this. The Lord only can work in behalf of His people in America. Many duties are left undone in the Southern field, and a great deal is being done for the outcasts in the large cities. The work must move forward more solidly, occupying higher ground. The Lord will work with and through every one who will give up his own will and way, submitting to the Holy Spirit.

Restitution must be made to the Southern field, not only of the money which was withheld, but of the sympathy which was due to every worker in that most unpromising portion of the Lord’s vineyard. Because of unreasonable, unwarrantable prejudice, the Southern field seems at the present time to be closed, but there is work enough to be done by those who will take hold of the work. It is with deep regret that I think of the way in which this field has been neglected, and of the failure of our brethren to give sympathy and encouragement to the workers whom God accepted by giving them success beyond their expectation. They needed your sympathy, they needed your prayers, they needed the help of your means.

Friday, June 16, 1899

During the past night I have been blessed with sleep. I will bring to the Lord my gratitude offering of praise and thanksgiving for the goodness and love He has shown me. I have much writing to do today.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” [Revelation 14:6-10.]

This is the message of present truth. The first, second, and third angels’ messages are to be proclaimed at this time. These messages are not to be eclipsed by any other fancied specialties. Their force and efficiency are to continue as long as time is given for repentance.

Our Lord is soon to come, and I see so little missionary work being done as unworked fields are laid out before me. All whose eyes are open must see that a work should be done which is not being done. Ministers are devoting time to church members who ought to have root and life in themselves. God’s servants should go into new places to proclaim the message. What answer will the church give to the Lord in that great day when her neglected work stands forth to reproach her for her slothfulness and her silence, when she knew how much was at stake?

The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah contains present truth for the people of God. Here we see how medical missionary work and the gospel ministry are to be bound together as the message is given to the world. Upon those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord is laid the responsibility of doing a work of mercy and benevolence. Medical missionary work is to be bound up with the message and sealed with the seal of God.

The Lord speaks to those who turn away their feet from the Sabbath. This is the Sabbath spoken of in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, which God declares is a sign between Him and His people. By keeping this day holy, we show to the world that we recognize God as the One who created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. Earnestly and untiringly we are to bear the message given us, lest time shall pass and people be left unwarned.

My heart aches almost to breaking as I see so much left undone that ought to be done. God’s ambassadors are to maintain a living connection with Him. They are to enlarge their borders and extend their labors. Their lives are to be made pure, holy, ready for the great day soon to come upon the world. When they are imbued with the Spirit of the Master, they will see all around them souls, for whom Christ gave His life, perishing in sin; and they will make every effort to save those nigh—even in their own households—and those afar off. Earnest, consecrated effort for those who are out of the fold leaves no time for criticism or questioning.

There must be no compromise with selfishness, for selfishness leads to idolatry. Minds that are in the darkness of ignorance in regard to the truth of the Word of God must be enlightened. A breach has been made in the law of God by the transgression of the fourth commandment. The Sabbath command is to be given its rightful position in the law of God, and by those who see and realize its importance, it is to be presented to the world. Those who work unitedly, who act faithfully their part in raising the foundation of many generations with patient, persevering effort will be called Repairers of the breach, Restorers of paths to dwell in.

There is no excuse for those who have the light of present truth, and yet fail to impart this light to others. God calls for workers. We have a great work to do in co-operating with Him as His helping hand and helping voice. Satan is casting his hellish shadow across the pathway of every soul, seeking to eclipse the testing truths for these last days. We are to sound the message of warning to a guilty race. We are to present to men the binding claims of God’s law, so that when Christ comes they will not be found in disloyalty, on the side of the Apostate. We must now prepare the way of the Lord. We must make plain in the desert a highway for our God.

God calls not only for the voice, but for helping human hands. He calls upon His people to bring zeal into His work, using the faculties He has given them in an effort to place the standard of truth in every place. Much more honor must be given to the Sabbath than is now revealed, if God’s people wish the experience spoken of in Isaiah brought into their lives as a reality.

“The Lord spake unto Moses, 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. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you; every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore 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; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Verses 12-17.]

Thursday –  Mercy and Faithfulness

Matthew 9:13

13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Hosea 6:6

6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Mark 12:38-40
Beware of the Scribes

38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

Read Matthew 23
Matthew 23:13

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves,nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Matthew 23:23

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier mattersof the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Friday – Further Thought

Read Ellen G. White, “Isaiah 58—A Divine Prescription,” Welfare Ministry, pp. 29–34.

Read Ellen G. White, “Woes on the Pharisees,” The Desire of Ages, pp. 610–620.

Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 325-329.

The God whom we serve is long-suffering; “His compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22. Throughout the period of probationary time His Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11. It is Satan’s special device to lead man into sin and then leave him there, helpless and hopeless, fearing to seek for pardon. But God invites, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5. In Christ every provision has been made, every encouragement offered.

In the days of apostasy in Judah and Israel, many were inquiring: “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?” The answer is plain and positive: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:6-8.

In urging the value of practical godliness, the prophet was only repeating the counsel given Israel centuries before Through Moses, as they were about to enter the Promised Land, the word of the Lord had been: “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” Deuteronomy 10:12, 13. From age to age these counsels were repeated by the servants of Jehovah to those who were in danger of falling into habits of formalism and of forgetting to show mercy. When Christ Himself, during His earthly ministry, was approached by a lawyer with the question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.

These plain utterances of the prophets and of the Master Himself, should be received by us as the voice of God to every soul. We should lose no opportunity of performing deeds of mercy, of tender forethought and Christian courtesy, for the burdened and the oppressed. If we can do no more, we may speak words of courage and hope to those who are unacquainted with God, and who can be approached most easily by the avenue of sympathy and love.

Rich and abundant are the promises made to those who are watchful of opportunities to bring joy and blessing into the lives of others. “If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:10, 11.

The idolatrous course of Ahaz, in the face of the earnest appeals of the prophets, could have but one result. “The wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He ... delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing.” 2 Chronicles 29:8. The kingdom suffered a rapid decline, and its very existence was soon imperiled by invading armies. “Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz.” 2 Kings 16:5.

Had Ahaz and the chief men of his realm been true servants of the Most High, they would have had no fear of so unnatural an alliance as had been formed against them. But repeated transgression had shorn them of strength. Stricken with a nameless dread of the retributive judgments of an offended God, the heart of the king “was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.” Isaiah 7:2. In this crisis the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, bidding him meet the trembling king and say:

“Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted .... Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it: ... thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.” The prophet declared that the kingdom of Israel, and Syria as well, would soon come to an end. “If ye will not believe,” he concluded, “surely ye shall not be established.” Verses 4-7, 9.

Well would it have been for the kingdom of Judah had Ahaz received this message as from heaven. But choosing to lean on the arm of flesh, he sought help from the heathen. In desperation he sent word to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria: “I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.” 2 Kings 16:7. The request was accompanied by a rich present from the king’s treasure and from the temple storehouse.

The help asked for was sent, and King Ahaz was given temporary relief, but at what a cost to Judah! The tribute offered aroused the cupidity of Assyria, and that treacherous nation soon threatened to overflow and spoil Judah. Ahaz and his unhappy subjects were now harassed by the fear of falling completely into the hands of the cruel Assyrians.

Ellen G. White, Welfare Ministry, p. 29, quoting Ellen G. White, Manuscript 7, February 24, 1908.
Enter the Cities

Again and again I am instructed to present to our churches the work that should be done in our large cities. There is a great work to be done, not only where we have churches already established, but also in places where the truth has never been fully presented. Right in our midst there are heathen as verily as in far off lands. The way must be opened to reach these with the truth for this time; and these openings should be made at once. Mission work should be done in all our large cities. There is special talent among us for this line of labor, and this talent should be educated and trained.

The ministers who hover over the churches are accomplishing little good for church members unless they encourage and teach the people to do practical missionary work. Every minister should now feel that there is a greater work for him to do than to repeat again and again the same sermons to the people. Unless earnest effort is combined with diligent study of the Scriptures in the experience of church members, lasting results will not be accomplished.

Home Missions! Everywhere I want to raise the cry. To teachers in our schools, to ministers and physicians and nurses, I would say, If you will, you can succeed in revealing the truths of the third angel’s message. This will not be done merely by preaching the Word, but by deeds of loving ministry. It is the Spirit of the Word that we so greatly need. Those who have the Spirit of Christ will work His works.

I have been instructed to refer our people to the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Read this chapter carefully, and understand the kind of ministry that will bring life into the churches. The work of the gospel is to be carried by means of our liberality as well as by our labors. When you meet suffering souls who need help, give it them. When you find those who are hungry, feed them. In doing this you will be working in lines of Christ’s ministry. The Master’s holy work was a benevolent work. Let our people everywhere by encouraged to have a part in it.

It is not the duty of conference officers to lay restraining hands on the work being done in our cities. By the strange forbiddings that have been exercised in some places, Satan has been seeking to hedge up the way of the truth. The people need no encouragement to inactivity. They have already delayed many years to do the work that God has given them. Again and again have the needs of our large cities been presented to our people. Yet little has been done. The message now comes, Clear the King’s highway. God calls for missionaries to enter the cities without delay. Looking to Him for counsel and direction, workers are to go forth in a spirit of faith and prayer.

Every conference, whether large of small, is responsible for earnest, solemn work in preparing a people for the coming of Christ. Those churches in the conference that are willing to work, and are in need of help in order to know how to do effective work, should have the needed assistance. Let every conference worker become wide-awake to make his conference an intensely active agency for the upbuilding of the work of God. Let every church member become a working member, to build up spiritual interests. In holy love, by humble prayer and earnest work, let the ministers act their part. These, our last efforts for the work of God in the earth, must bear <decidedly> the impress of the divine.

A very different class of education from that which has prevailed in the past needs to be given to our youth; and this work should begin in the home life. There are many parents who need to awake and be converted. Both parents and children have a special work to do for their home church; but before we can have a model church, we must have model homes. Let every family mark on the doorposts that the blood of Jesus Christ is their safeguard. When lives of consecration and obedience are lived in the homes of our people, the results will be seen in a perfect church.

There are many who seem to feel a great zeal for work far away, but who neglect the duties and opportunities right at hand. These should be led to see that missionary work begins at home. Let every member of the family, and especially the older members, work diligently and patiently and kindly to pick up the dropped stitches in the family weaving. Let each seek the Lord with full purpose of heart, as servants of the Lord, learning the servant’s duty to control the words and actions.

The lessons of God’s Word are to be patiently learned. Those who succeed in the work of overcoming will begin with self. Think what kind of heaven we would have if all who now reveal unsubdued wills and speak harsh and hasty words were permitted to associate together in the heavenly courts. But this will never be. Now is our time, now is our opportunity to form characters that will fit us for association with the heavenly family. We must each learn, right here in this life, that the highest aim of the Christian should be to possess the beauty of a Christlike character. Just what we are in disposition when Christ comes, we will remain.

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” was the command of Christ to His disciples. [Mark 16:15.] What are our churches doing to fulfil this commission? The heathen are dying without the gospel, and the unconverted are right among us, in our towns and cities. Preach the gospel to these. Live it before them, carry it into their homes. Into every household “the gospel of the kingdom” is to be carried. [Matthew 4:23.] And many of these souls must be taught as you would teach little children.

God expects us to help the work of missions in foreign countries more and more; and while we do this, we are not to neglect the work that lies nearest. Just as verily as there is work to be done in heathen lands, there is also a work to be carried forward in our own cities. I call upon our people not to allow themselves to lose sight of their home duties. Moreover, our work in foreign fields will not suffer because we take up our neglected duties at home, but it will receive fresh life through the revival of the home churches.

Many of our church members need to be reconverted. They need to divest themselves of selfishness. When this change is experienced, the money now expended unnecessarily for ornaments and trimmings will be devoted to the work of God. Let our church members seek for this genuine conversion.

My brethren, enter the cities while you can. In the cities that have been already entered, there are many who have never heard the message of truth. Some who have heard have been converted, and some have died in the faith. There are many others who, if they were given an opportunity, might hear and accept the message of salvation.

Often we have been told that our cities are to hear the message, but how slow we are to heed the instruction. I saw One standing on a high platform with arms extended. He turned and pointed in every direction, saying, “A world perishing in ignorance of God’s holy law, and Seventh-day Adventists are asleep.” The Lord is pleading for laborers; for there is a great work to be done. There are conversions to be made that will add to the church such as shall be saved. Men and women in the highways and byways are to be reached. We read of Christ’s labors: “Jesus went through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” [Matthew 9:35.] Just such a work as this is to be done in our cities and villages, in the highways and hedges. The gospel of the third angel’s <message> is to be carried to all classes.

We are far behind in following the light God has given regarding the working of our large cities. The time is coming when laws will be framed that will close doors now open to the message.

We need to arouse to earnest effort now, while the angels of God are waiting to give their wonderful aid to all who will labor to arouse the consciences of men and women regarding righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.

Matthew 23:23

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier mattersof the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Matthew 23:24

24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!