As ministers preach Christ crucified,
what topics should they focus on?
Illustration © Review and Herald Publ. Assoc.
The Lord has often given me a view of the situation and wants of the scattered jewels who have not yet come to the light of the present truth, and has shown that the messengers should speed their way to them as fast as possible, to give them the light. Many all around us only need to have their prejudices removed and the evidences of our present position spread out before them from the Word, and they will joyfully receive the present truth. The messengers should watch for souls as they that must give account. Theirs must be a life of toil and anguish of spirit, while the weight of the precious but often-wounded cause of Christ rests upon them. They will have to lay aside worldly interests and comforts and make it their first object to do all in their power to advance the cause of present truth and save perishing souls.
They will also have a rich reward. In their crowns of rejoicing those who are rescued by them and finally saved will shine as stars forever and ever. And to all eternity they will enjoy the satisfaction of having done what they could in presenting the truth in its purity and beauty, so that souls fell in love with it, were sanctified through it, and availed themselves of the inestimable privilege of being made rich, and being washed in the blood of the Lamb and redeemed unto God.
I saw that the shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, before they advocate new points of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then the shepherds will be perfectly united and the  union of the shepherds will be felt by the church. Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided and the sheep scattered without a shepherd.
I also saw that God had messengers that He would use in His cause, but they were not ready. They were too light and trifling to exert a good influence over the flock and did not feel the weight of the cause and the worth of souls as God's messengers must feel in order to effect good. Said the angel, "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." They can accomplish but little good unless they are wholly given up to God and feel the importance and solemnity of the last message of mercy that is now being given to the scattered flock. Some who are not called of God are very willing to go with the message. But if they felt the weight of the cause and the responsibilities of such a station, they would feel to shrink back and say with the apostle, "Who is sufficient for these things?" One reason why they are so willing to go is that God has not laid upon them the weight of the cause. Not all who proclaimed the first and the second angel's message are to give the third, even after they fully embrace it, for some have been in so many errors and delusions that they can but just save their own souls, and if they undertake to guide others, they will be the means of overthrowing them. But I saw that some who have formerly run deep into fanaticism would be the first now to run before God sends them, before they are purified from their past errors; having error mixed with the truth, they would feed the flock of God with it, and if they were suffered to go on, the flock would become sickly, and distraction and death would follow. I saw that they would have to be sifted and sifted, until they were freed from all their  errors, or they could never enter the kingdom. The messengers could not have that confidence in the judgment and discernment of those who have been in errors and fanaticism that they could have in those who have been in the truth and not in extravagant errors. Many, also, are too apt to urge out into the field some who have but just professed the present truth, who have much to learn and much to do before they can be right in the sight of God themselves, much less point out the way to others.
I saw the necessity of the messengers, especially, watching and checking all fanaticism wherever they might see it rise. Satan is pressing in on every side, and unless we watch for him, and have our eyes open to his devices and snares, and have on the whole armor of God, the fiery darts of the wicked will hit us. There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is "present truth" that the flock needs now. I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.
But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.
If the chosen messengers of the Lord should wait for every obstacle to be moved out of their way, many never would go to search for the scattered sheep. Satan will present many objections in order to keep them from duty. But they will have to go out by faith, trusting  in Him who has called them to His work, and He will open the way before them, as far as it will be for their good and His glory. Jesus, the great teacher and pattern, had not where to lay His head. His life was one of toil, sorrow, and suffering; He then gave Himself for us. Those who, in Christ's stead, beseech souls to be reconciled to God, and who hope to reign with Christ in glory, must expect to be partakers of His sufferings here. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126:5, 6.