Lifestyle and Activities of the Remnant
A Spirit of Service and Self-Sacrifice
Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so
that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the
church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in
fulfilment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned, and the Lord
Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.--AA 111 (1911).
Everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of organisations for individual
effort. Human wisdom tends to consolidation, to centralisation, to the building up of
great churches and institutions. Multitudes leave to institutions and organisations the
work of benevolence; they excuse themselves from contact with the world, and their hearts
grow cold. They become self-absorbed and unimpressible. Love for God and man dies out of
Christ commits to His followers an individual work--a work that cannot be done by
proxy. Ministry to the sick and the poor, the giving of the gospel to the lost, is not to
be left to committees or organised charities. Individual responsibility, individual
effort, personal sacrifice, is the requirement of the gospel.--MH 147 (1905).
"Occupy Till I Come"
Christ says, "Occupy till I come" [Luke 19:13]. It may be but a few years
until our life's history shall close, but we must occupy till then.--RH April 21, 1896.
Christ would have everyone educate himself to calmly contemplate His second appearing.
All are to search the Word of God daily, but not neglect present duties.--Letter 28, 1897.
Christ declared that when He comes some of His waiting people will be engaged in
business transactions. Some will be sowing in the field, others reaping and gathering in
the harvest, and others grinding at the mill. It is not God's will that His elect shall
abandon life's duties and responsibilities and give themselves up to idle contemplation,
living in a religious dream.--Ms 18a, 1901.
Crowd all the good works you possibly can into this life.--5T 488 (1889).
As If Each Day Might Be Our Last
We should watch and work and pray as though this were the last day that would be
granted us.--5T 200 (1882).
Our only safety is in doing our work for each day as it comes, working, watching,
waiting, every moment relying on the strength of Him who was dead and who is alive again,
who lives forevermore.--Letter 66, 1894.
Each morning consecrate yourselves and your children to God for that day. Make no
calculation for months or years; these are not yours. One brief day is given you. As if it
were your last on earth, work during its hours for the Master. Lay all your plans before
God, to be carried out or given up, as His providence shall indicate.--7T 44 (1902).
Conscientious Sabbath Observance
[1. SEE "THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH," IN TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH , VOL.
6, PP. 349-368.]
Our heavenly Father desires through the observance of the Sabbath to preserve among men
a knowledge of Himself. He desires that the Sabbath shall direct our minds to Him as the
true and living God, and that through knowing Him we may have life and peace.--6T 349
All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to
keep it according to the commandment. We are not merely to observe the
Sabbath as a legal matter. We are to understand its spiritual bearing upon all the
transactions of life. . . . When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will
not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days
will be left for the Sabbath.--6T 353, 354 (1900).
The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of
the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve
suffering on the Sabbath. God's holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy
are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an
hour's pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.--DA 207 (1898).
Faithful in Tithes and Offerings
The tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself. It is to be brought into His treasury
to be used to sustain the gospel labourers in their work. . . . Read carefully the third
chapter of Malachi and see what God says about the tithe.--9T 249 (1909).
The New Testament does not re-enact the law of the tithe, as it does not that of the
Sabbath; for the validity of both is assumed, and their deep spiritual import
explained.--CS 66 (1882).
The Lord now calls upon Seventh-day Adventists in every locality to consecrate
themselves to Him and to do their very best, according to their circumstances, to
assist in His work. By their liberality in making gifts and offerings, He desires
them to reveal their appreciation of His blessings and their gratitude for His mercy.--9T
Dying charity is a poor substitute for living benevolence.--5T 155 (1882).
The wants of the cause will continually increase as we near the close of time.--5T 156
We are placed on trial in this world, to determine our fitness for the future life.
None can enter heaven whose characters are defiled by the foul blot of selfishness.
Therefore, God tests us here, by committing to us temporal possessions, that our use
of these may show whether we can be entrusted with eternal riches.--CS 22 (1893).
Establish New Institutions
Some may say, "If the Lord is coming soon, what need is there to establish
schools, sanitariums, and food factories? What need is there for our young people to learn
It is the Lord's design that we shall constantly improve the talents He has given us.
We cannot do this unless we use them. The prospect of Christ's soon coming should not lead
us to idleness. Instead, it should lead us to do all we possibly can to bless and benefit
humanity.--MM 268 (1902).
A great work must be done all through the world, and let no one conclude that because
the end is near there is no need of special effort to build up the various institutions as
the cause shall demand. . . . When the Lord shall bid us make no further effort to
build meetinghouses and establish schools, sanitariums, and publishing institutions,
it will be time for us to fold our hands and let the Lord close up the work, but now is
our opportunity to show our zeal for God and our love for humanity.--6T 440 (1900).
Medical Missionary Work
As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for
freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavourable 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 labour 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.--CH 506 (1892).
I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but
medical missionary work.--CH 533 (1901).
God's People Value Their Health
The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel's message and is just as
with it as are the arm and hand with the human body.--1T 486 (1867).
Tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences. We cannot
place on the same ground, meat, eggs, butter, cheese, and such articles placed upon the
table. These are not to be borne in front, as the burden of our work. The former--tea,
coffee, tobacco, beer, wine, and all spirituous liquors--are not to be taken moderately,
but discarded.--3SM 287 (1881).
True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use
judiciously that which is healthful.--PP 562 (1890).
Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water,
trust in divine power--these are the true remedies.--MH 127 (1905).
Whatever injures the health not only lessens physical vigour but tends to weaken the
mental and moral powers. Indulgence in any unhealthful practice makes it more difficult
for one to discriminate between right and wrong and hence more difficult to resist
evil.--MH 128 (1905).
Return to the Original Diet
God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design--that man should
subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the
coming of the Lord meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a
of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view and endeavour to work steadily
toward it.--CH 450 (1890).
Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon
appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet
done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat eating who are still
eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God's
people, to walk no more with them.--RH May 27, 1902.
Time for Fasting and Prayer
Now and onward till the close of time the people of God should be more earnest, more
wide-awake, not trusting in their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of their Leader. They
should set aside days for fasting and prayer. Entire abstinence from food may not be
required, but they should eat sparingly of the most simple food.--CD 188, 189 (1904).
The true fasting which should be recommended to all is abstinence from every
stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has
provided in abundance. Men need to think less of what they shall eat and drink of temporal
food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to
the whole religious experience.--MM 283 (1896).
The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger
and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the
light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more
especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing
after the manner of the world.--5T 209, 210 (1882).
Entire Trust in God
Because of unconsecrated workers, things will sometimes go wrong. You may weep over the
result of the wrong course of others, but do not worry. The work is under the supervision
of the blessed Master. All He asks is that the workers shall come to Him for their orders,
and obey His directions. All parts of the work--our churches, missions, Sabbath schools,
institutions--are carried upon His heart. Why worry? The intense longing to see the church
imbued with life must be tempered with entire trust in God. . . .
Let no one overtax his God-given powers in an effort to advance the Lord's work more
rapidly. The power of man cannot hasten the work; with this must be united the power of
heavenly intelligences. . . . Though all the workmen now bearing the heaviest burdens
should be laid aside, God's work would be carried forward.--7T 298 (1902).
Evening and morning join with your children in God's worship, reading His Word and
singing His praise. Teach
them to repeat God's law.--Ev 499 (1904).
Let the seasons of family worship be short and spirited. Do not let your children or
any member of your family dread them because of their tediousness or lack of interest.
When a long chapter is read and explained and a long prayer offered, this precious service
becomes wearisome, and it is a relief when it is over. . . .
Let the father select a portion of Scripture that is interesting and easily understood;
a few verses will be sufficient to furnish a lesson which may be studied and practised
through the day. Questions may be asked, a few earnest, interesting remarks made, or [an]
incident, short and to the point, may be brought in by way of illustration. At least a few
verses of spirited song may be sung, and the prayer offered should be short and pointed.
The one who leads in prayer should not pray about everything, but should express his needs
in simple words, and praise God with thanksgiving.--CG 521, 522 (1884).
Guard Association With the World
[Rev. 18:1-3, quoted.] While this message is sounding, while the proclamation of truth
is doing its separating work, we as faithful sentinels of God are to discern what our real
position is. We are not to confederate with worldlings, lest we become imbued with their
spirit, lest our spiritual discernment become confused and we view those who have the
truth and bear the message of the Lord from the standpoint
of the professed Christian churches. At the same time we are not to be like the
Pharisees and hold ourselves aloof from them.--EGW'88 1161 (1893).
Those who are watching and waiting for the appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven
will not be mingling with the world in pleasure societies and gatherings merely for their
own amusement.--Ms 4, 1898.
To bind ourselves up by contracts or in partnerships or business associations with
those not of our faith is not in the order of God.--RH Aug. 4, 1904.
We should unite with other people just as far as we can and not sacrifice principle.
This does not mean that we should join their lodges and societies, but that we should let
them know that we are most heartily in sympathy with the temperance question.--Te 220
Recreation That Christ Approves
It is the privilege and duty of Christians to seek to refresh their spirits and
invigorate their bodies by innocent recreation, with the purpose of using their physical
and mental powers to the glory of God.--MYP 364 (1871).
Christians have many sources of happiness at their command, and they may tell with
unerring accuracy what pleasures are lawful and right. They may enjoy such recreations as
will not dissipate the mind or debase the soul, such as will not disappoint and leave a
sad after-influence to destroy self-respect or bar the way to usefulness.
If they can take Jesus with them and maintain a prayerful spirit they are perfectly
safe.--MYP 38 (1884).
Our gatherings should be so conducted, and we should so conduct ourselves, that when we
return to our homes we can have a conscience void of offence toward God and man, a
consciousness that we have not wounded or injured in any manner those with whom we have
been associated or had an injurious influence over them. . . .
Any amusement in which you can engage, asking the blessing of God upon it in faith,
will not be dangerous. But any amusement which disqualifies you for secret prayer, for
devotion at the altar of prayer, or for taking part in the prayer meeting, is not safe,
but dangerous.--MYP 386 (1913).
Music That Elevates
As the children of Israel journeying through the wilderness cheered their way by the
music of sacred song, so God bids His children today gladden their pilgrim life. There are
few means more effective for fixing His words in the memory than repeating them in song.
And such song has wonderful power. It has power to subdue rude and uncultivated natures,
power to quicken thought and to awaken sympathy, to promote harmony of action, and to
banish the gloom and foreboding that destroy courage and weaken effort.--Ed 167, 168
Music forms a part of God's worship in the courts above, and we should endeavour in our
songs of praise
to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. . . . Singing,
as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer.--PP 594 (1890).
The use of musical instruments is not at all objectionable. These were used in
religious services in ancient times. The worshipers praised God upon the harp and cymbal,
and music should have its place in our services.--Ev 500, 501 (1898).
Television and the Theatre
Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theatre. Instead of being a school
of morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality.
Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these
entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the
imagination and debase the morals.
Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle.
There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy
religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober
realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with
every indulgence, as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use.--4T 652,
The blessing of God would not be invoked upon the hour spent at the theatre or in the
dance. No Christian
would wish to meet death in such a place. No one would wish to be found there when
Christ shall come.--MYP 398 (1882).
The only safe amusements are such as will not banish serious and religious thoughts.
The only safe places of resort are those to which we can take Jesus with us.--OHC 284
Dress and Adornments
There is no need to make the dress question the main point of your religion. There is
something richer to speak of. Talk of Christ, and when the heart is converted everything
that is out of harmony with the Word of God will drop off.--Ev 272 (1889).
If we are Christians, we shall follow Christ, even though the path in which we are to
walk cuts right across our natural inclinations. There is no use in telling you that you
must not wear this or that, for if the love of these vain things is in your heart your
laying off your adornments will only be like cutting the foliage off a tree. The
inclinations of the natural heart would again assert themselves. You must have a
conscience of your own.--CG 429, 430 (1892).
I beg of our people to walk carefully and circumspectly before God. Follow the customs
in dress so far as they conform to health principles. Let our sisters dress plainly, as
many do, having the dress of good, durable material, appropriate for this age, and let not
the dress question fill the mind. Our sisters should dress with simplicity. They should
clothe themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. Give to the world a
living illustration of the inward adorning of the grace of God.--3SM 242 (1897).
The outside appearance is an index to the heart.--1T 136 (1856).
The Need for Publications
Publications should be issued, written in the plainest, simplest language, explaining
the subjects of vital interest, and making known the things that are to come upon the
world.--HM Feb. 1, 1890.
The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the
proclamation of the third, but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. . . .
These messages we are to give to the world in publications, in discourses, showing in the
line of prophetic history the things that have been and the things that will be.--CW 26,
Unvarnished truth must be spoken in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered
like the leaves of autumn.--9T 230 (1897).
Patriarchs and Prophets, Daniel and the Revelation , and The Great Controversy are
needed now as never before. They should be widely circulated because the truths they
emphasise will open many blind eyes.--CM 123 (1905).
As long as probation continues there will be opportunity for the canvasser to work.--6T
No Sharp Thrusts in Our Papers
Let not those who write for our papers make unkind thrusts and allusions that will
certainly do harm and that will hedge up the way and hinder us from doing the work that we
should do in order to reach all classes, the Catholics included. It is our work to speak
the truth in love and not to mix in with the truth the unsanctified elements of the
natural heart and speak things that savour of the same spirit possessed by our enemies. .
We are not to use harsh and cutting words. Keep them out of every article written, drop
them out of every address given. Let the Word of God do the cutting, the rebuking; let
finite men hide and abide in Jesus Christ.--9T 240, 241, 244 (1909).
We should weed out each expression in our writings, our utterances, that, if taken by
itself, could be misinterpreted so as to make it seem antagonistic to law and order.
Everything should be carefully considered lest we place ourselves on record as uttering
things that will make us appear disloyal to our country and its laws.--Letter 36, 1895.
Christianity is not manifested in pugilistic accusations and condemnations.--6T 397
Beware of Side Issues
God has not passed His people by and chosen one
solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His
truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body.
In every reform men have arisen making this claim. . . . Let none be self-confident, as
though God had given them special light above their brethren. . . .
One accepts some new and original idea which does not seem to conflict with the truth.
He . . . dwells upon it until it seems to him to be clothed with beauty and importance,
for Satan has power to give this false appearance. At last it becomes the all-absorbing
theme, the one great point around which everything centres, and the truth is uprooted from
the heart. . . .
I warn you to beware of these side issues, whose tendency is to divert the mind from
the truth. Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and
dissension.--5T 291, 292 (1885).
Emphasise Unity, Not Differences
There are a thousand temptations in disguise prepared for those who have the light of
truth, and the only safety for any of us is in receiving no new doctrine, no new
interpretation of the Scriptures, without first submitting it to brethren of experience.
Lay it before them in a humble, teachable spirit, with earnest prayer, and if they see no
light in it, yield to their judgement, for "in the multitude of counsellors there is
safety." . . .
Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation whose
tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will
not bear the test of God's Word, yet souls will be deceived. False reports will be
circulated, and some will be taken in this snare. . . . We cannot be too watchful against
every form of error, for Satan is constantly seeking to draw men from the truth.--5T 293,
295, 296 (1885).
We must make it appear essential to be united, not that we are to require others to
come to our ideas, but if all are seeking the meekness and lowliness of Christ they will
have the mind of Christ. Then there will be unity of spirit.--Letter 15, 1892.
I urge those who claim to believe the truth to walk in unity with their brethren. Do
not seek to give to the world occasion to say that we are extremists, that we are
disunited, that one teaches one thing, and one another. Avoid dissension.--TM 57 (1893).
How to Meet Critics
Those who have departed from the faith will come to our congregations to divert our
attention from the work that God would have done. You cannot afford to turn your ears from
the truth to fables. Do not stop to try to convert the one who is speaking words of
reproach against your work, but let it be seen that you are inspired by the Spirit of
Jesus Christ, and angels of God will put into your lips words that will reach the hearts
of the opposers. If these men persist in pressing their way in, those who are of a
sensible mind in the congregation will understand that yours is the higher
standard. So speak that it will be known that Jesus Christ is speaking through you.--9T
148, 149 (1909).
Exalt the Word of God
If we work to create an excitement of feeling, we shall have all we want, and more than
we can possibly know how to manage. Calmly and clearly "Preach the Word." We
must not regard it as our work to create an excitement. The Holy Spirit of God alone can
create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the human agent walk softly before Him,
watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the
precious Spirit, which is light and life.--2SM 16, 17 (1894).
We must go to the people with the solid Word of God, and when they receive that Word,
the Holy Spirit may come, but it always comes, as I have stated before, in a way that
commends itself to the judgement of the people. In our speaking, our singing, and in all
our spiritual exercises, we are to reveal that calmness and dignity and godly fear that
actuates every true child of God.--2SM 43 (1908).
It is through the Word --not feeling, not excitement--that we want to influence the
people to obey the truth. On the platform of God's Word we can stand with safety.--3SM 375