“Faithfulness in Social Meeting
“The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.
“We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, believing that He gives them to us, even while we ask; and then our faith will grow, all will be edified, the weak will be strengthened, and the discouraged and desponding made to look up and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him.
Some hold back in meeting because they have nothing new to say and must repeat the same story if they speak. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this, that God and angels witnessed the testimonies of the saints and were well pleased and glorified by their being repeated weekly. The Lord loves simplicity and humility, but He is displeased and angels are grieved when professed heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus suffer precious time to run to waste in their meetings.
If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary’s cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving His only beloved Son to die a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and of the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace, but with thankfulness and gratitude would talk of His glory and tell of His power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing. Even if the same story were repeated, God would be glorified. The angel showed me those who ceased not day nor night to cry, “Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” “Continued repetition,” said the angel, “yet God is glorified by it.” Although we may tell the same story over and over, it honors God, and shows that we are not unmindful of His goodness and mercies to us.
I saw that the nominal churches have fallen; that coldness and death reign in their midst. If they would follow the Word of God, it would humble them. But they get above the work of the Lord. It is too humiliating for them to repeat the same simple story of God’s goodness when they meet together, and they study to get something new, something great, and to have their words exact to the ear and pleasing to man, and God’s Spirit leaves them. When we follow the humble Bible way, we shall have the movings of the Spirit of God. All will be in sweet harmony if we follow the humble channel of truth, depending wholly upon God, and there will be no danger of being affected by the evil angels. It is when souls get above the Spirit of God, moving in their own strength, that the angels cease watching over them, and they are left to the buffetings of Satan” (EW 114-116).
“The Majesty of heaven identifies his interests with those of the believers. However humble may be their circumstances, and wherever they are privileged to meet together, it is appropriate that they speak often one to another, giving utterance to the gratitude and love that result from thinking upon the name of the Lord. Thus shall God be glorified as he hearkens and hears, and the testimony meeting will be regarded the most precious of all meetings; for the words spoken are recorded in the book of remembrance” (RH, September 10, 1895 par. 9).
“In the afternoon, I spoke from the fourth chapter of John, dwelling upon the conversation of Christ with the woman of Samaria, in which he said, “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.” A testimony meeting followed, in which praise and glory were given to God for his unspeakable goodness and matchless love to fallen man in giving Jesus, his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All seemed to have a desire to lift up Jesus higher and still higher. Some outsiders took part, one minister testifying that the blessing of God was in the meeting, and that it was good to be there. We felt much pleased to see so large an attendance, and were impressed with the fact that more than half were persons we had never met in general meeting before” (RH, January 7, 1896 par. 8).
“Sunday morning I attended the early meeting. There were about one hundred present. We realized that the Spirit of the Lord was present, as we made intercession for the people and the ministers, and especially for those in feeble health. In the testimony meeting which followed, we felt the subduing influence of the Lord. Nearly all were weeping. I spoke briefly, showing the necessity of each one seeking the Lord for himself” (RH, March 28, 1899 par. 6).