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Fellow workers with him

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How to be a fellow worker with God.

How to be a fellow worker with God.

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  • 1. FELLOW WORKERS WITH HIM Study given by W. D. Frazee - May 2, 1969 The purpose of religion isn't just to keep us out of jail. It isn't just to make us good citizens and give us happy homes. It will do all those things, but the real objective is something way beyond all that. And it is because so many people miss the objective that they say it doesn't work for them. Most recipes have at least one ingredient which, if you leave that ingredient out, the rest doesn't work very well. "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you" John 20:21. Jesus invites us to come to Him, but He also says, Go. His purpose in calling us to Him is that we may come and be filled, and then go and share. Has He sent you? Well, if you have come to Him and listened and accepted the commission, then you are sent. Let's see how Jesus was sent. Why did He come here? His Father sent Him. What did He send Him for? We want to find out, because He says He has sent us on the same mission He sent Jesus on. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many" Matthew 20:28. Fellow workers - page 1
  • 2. The Father sent Him for two purposes - to minister and to give His life. He wants you to do the same. What does minister mean? To serve. To help other people. To live for others. To spend your time, your life, doing things to make other people healthy and happy and holy. That's what Jesus did. He did it in Nazareth when He was a boy. He did it as a young man in the carpenter shop and in the community. He did it down at Jordan as he drew those disciples to share with Him in His early ministry. He did it at the wedding feast at Capernaum, at the temple at Jerusalem. He did it everywhere the providence of God sent Him during those three and a half years. But He did more than minister. He gave His life. We think, of the cross where His soul was poured out unto death. And there may be men and women, boys and girls here tonight that will yet be martyrs for Jesus. In some lands to accept Jesus means to run the risk of being a martyr. It will be here soon. As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. To minister, not to be ministered unto. And to give your life. The United States' government has a peace corp plan in which they invite people to put in a year or two in some foreign land in the service of the federal government, spreading good will. It is a wonderful plan. Jesus wants you for His peace corp, but not just for a year or two. He wants you to enlist for the duration of the war. That means until Jesus comes. That is what it means to be a Christian. Many think that in the church there are two classes of people. They think there are a few who do what I am reading about, and the rest fill the pews and give some offerings to help pay the expenses. When we look at the early church, we see that the whole group was carrying out this commission. They took literally the words of Jesus. And from the apostles right down to the youngest member of the church they were all witnessing, serving others, giving their lives. That is why within one generation every creature Fellow workers - page 2
  • 3. under heaven had heard the gospel. It is also why there were a great many martyrs. The devil gets angry when the church gets on fire, when the church accepts the commission of Jesus, each member giving his life in service and sacrifice. When once this commission is accepted, the question of whether we die a martyr's death or live a servant's life is for Jesus to decide. We don't elect that. We enlist. Jesus assigns the particular place we are to fill, the particular work we are to do. When Jesus left this world, the last thing He told His disciples was, I am going to the Father, and I am going to pray, and He will give you the Spirit. And then I want you to go everywhere. Read the commission in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read it in Acts. Every one of the gospel writers echoes and re-echoes the commission of Jesus, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations." "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." He sent them to teach and to preach and to heal and to publish glad tidings to the ends of the earth. And they did it, friends. Thank God, they did it. In this last generation all that was done back there is to be repeated on a wider stage, on a grander scale. Oh, I hope every one of you will get in on it. It is your privilege. Yes, it is your duty. God has arranged it so you could be born at this particular time to fill your place. I would like to study some very practical things about filling your place. In the Lord's plan, He doesn't arrange that we should all do the same work in the same way. He has many different ways of working. One reason for that is because He has many different people to reach. You are different because the people God has planned for you to reach are different. I can reach some people and help some people that you can never reach. Equally true, you can reach some people and help some people that are not for me. It is a wonderful thing to arrive at the conclusion, and accept as a fact, that there is a special work for you to do. One of the saddest things I know is to go through life looking around, Fellow workers - page 3
  • 4. seeing what other people are doing, and thinking, Oh I wish I could do this thing or that or the other thing. I say honestly friends, I do not feel that way. I rejoice in what other people are doing. So many are doing things far more wonderful than I can do. But God made me to do a certain work. And when He puts me at a certain place and a certain time to meet the need of a certain soul, that thrills my heart. And when that happens, I would rather be there than up in heaven with the angels. I know I am here tonight at God's appointment to share these things with you, and there is somebody here in this audience tonight whose life will never be the same from now on. Oh, I hope that you, if you are the one God brought here, will get something settled in your soul tonight. There is a place in the ranks for you. And using the language of the army, what difference does it make whether you are in the infantry, the artillery, the quarter-master corp, or the signal corp, just so you are helping to win the war? It isn't just a matter of saying, It doesn't make any difference where. No. You had better report to the commanding officer and get your assignment, because God has planned for you a certain place, a certain work, and for that work you were born. There are three great lines of service. As far as I know, all the different details fit into one of these three plans. Into one of these three phases of activity your life is to be cast. I can't decide which one of the three it is, but Jesus has it already decided for you, and He will lead you by His Spirit and by His providence, provided you are willing to do anything, go anywhere, and at whatever cost to yourself. Before I give you these three, I suggest you see how different this is from the idea of a church being an organization where you come and listen to a sermon and put some money in the offering plate and say, Well, we had a good sermon (or a bad one). I suggest you see how different it is from the idea of just coming to a building and going through a certain ritual or worship of some kind. says. A church is organized for service. That is what inspiration And that is why the book that tells about the early church Fellow workers - page 4
  • 5. is called The Acts. What does acts mean? Actions. Doing things. And every one of those twenty-eight chapters of the book of Acts team with experiences of action, action, action. The first group includes all church members who are laboring day by day in their vocations as carpenters or brick-layers or bookkeepers or cooks or whatever, but doing something more than the workmen out in the world do. The church member who has the vision as he labors with his hands is watching for opportunities to witness on the job. He is also dedicating time apart from his job to witness in his home, in his community. And with part of the money he is earning he is supporting the missionary program of the church at home and in fields afar with his tithes and offerings. This is the type of service to which thousands and hundreds of thousands of the church are called. Many have responded to that. This is the minimum of service that God expects from everyone. He doesn't expect anyone to just warm a chair or warm a pew. No. He wants our witness on the job. He wants our witness in the home and in the community apart from our job. He wants our tithes and offerings. The second group includes certain workers God has called to devote their time and their lives entirely to the service of the gospel, the ordained ministry particularly, and those associated with them as Bible instructors and helpers in various lines. These are called by God and by the church. They are supported by the church, and directed by the church. These are the servants of the church leading the entire membership of the church in its program of witnessing and ministry to those about us. This ministry finds expression in four great lines of activity Preaching, teaching, healing, and publishing. This is the fourfold job God has given His church. There are a lot of things that He hasn't given the church either as a body or the church members as individuals. May I warn you that there are a great many activities today that are looked upon as perfectly legitimate. You won't be caught up by the police or the FBI if you engage in them, but God never called a member of the remnant church to engage in them. Fellow workers - page 5
  • 6. If you will look through some of the volume's of the Review and Herald reprints you will find more than one place where the Lord's messenger was moved to write down a warning against Seventh-day-Adventists engaging in lines of business that are speculation. God never intended one of His children to make their living by scheming. Did God intend Adam and Eve to have to work hard enough to sweat in order to eat bread? Literally millions of people today have learned how to do without it. Jesus came to do the work of a servant. He spent a little over thirty-three years in this world. The last three and a half years He spent in full time gospel medical evangelism, but most of the preceding thirty years He spent in giving the lay members of the church an example of how to spend their time in service for Jesus. He worked with His hands. He was specifically a carpenter. Beside that He did home chores. And beside that He went out into the community and did Christian help work. He was working with His hands all that time. He got into that habit so much that all through His public ministry He was using His hands to help people. Watch as He takes the little children in His hands, as He puts His hands on the blind man, the leaper. Watch as He takes the towel there in the upper room just before He goes to Gethsemane. He washed the feet of those disciples with His hands. Jesus' hands were busy all the time He was in this world. Oh friends, I pray that God may anoint our eyes that we may see, and that every one of us may be led away from this scheming twentieth-century idea of making money and making a living by our wits at the expense of other people. And remember, if you can keep out of jail in doing it, be afraid of it. Rather let him "Labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." The man that is in productive work, whatever it may be, is to have as his goal to earn enough not only to feed himself and his family, but to help the poor and needy, and support the church. This is where the money comes from in tithes and offerings to Fellow workers - page 6
  • 7. carry the work of the ministry of Christ as the ministers devote their full time to the preaching of the Word. Turn to Matthew and see the parable: "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive" Matthew 20:1-7. Read the rest of the parable and you will see how it turned out. But what I want you to notice is that those that were hired at one point in that day knew they were going to get a certain wage at the end of the day. Did they know how much it would be? Yes. It was all agreed on at the beginning of their service. They were hired for a definite time at a definite wage. Later in the day he went out and found some others idle, and what arrangement did he have with them? "Go into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you." There was a difference there. God has, down through the ages, sometimes called men and women to devote their lives to the work of the gospel as fully as though they were hired, and yet without any agreed support and without any guaranteed income. This is the third group I am presenting to you tonight. And interestingly enough, Jesus and His first disciples are some of the best examples of this. When Jesus found Peter and John up there at the Sea of Galilee what were they doing? Fishing. They were working with their hands. He said, Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men. He called them from the program of making a living to devoting their lives to the work of the gospel. Fellow workers - page 7
  • 8. Did He guarantee them a certain wage? No, He didn't. They went with Him. They shared with Him. Sometimes they were hungry. Sometimes the only place they had to sleep was under the trees. All of them, except Judas, stayed with Him to the end. All but John were martyrs for Him after He went back to heaven. They got hold of something, and something got hold of them that sent them to the ends of the earth. They began on a program in which they had no promise of support except, "Whatsoever is right I will give you." Later when the church was better organized, shall we say, more established, money flowed in. And the New Testament teaches that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Take in the early days of the Advent movement. What kind of workers were Joseph Bates and James and Ellen White? Was there a treasury that paid them? Now this type of worker is called selfsupporting workers. The term self-supporting worker as used in the Spirit of Prophecy does not mean the great rank and file of our membership who earn a good living, pay their tithe and offerings, and give some Bible studies on the side. In that sense, everybody should be a self-supporting missionary unless he is paid by the church. Shouldn't he? As there are thousands that God calls to earn their living through the ordinary vocations of life, and support the church with their witness and offerings, and as there are those that God calls to be employed by the church fully and supported by the church, so He calls some to devote their lives as fully as though they were paid, and yet looking to Jesus for the fulfillment, "Go into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you." Copyright 1994, by Pioneers Memorial P.O. Box 102, Wildwood, GA 30757-0102 Fellow workers - page 8