Every Institution established by Seventh-day Adventists is to be to the world what Joseph was in Egypt and what Daniel and his fellows were in Babylon. As in the providence of God these chosen ones were taken captive, it was to carry to heathen nations the blessings that come to humanity through a knowledge of God. They were to be representatives of Jehovah. They were never to compromise with idolaters; their religious faith and their name as worshipers of the living God they were to bear as a special honor.
And this they did. In prosperity and adversity they honored God, and God honored them.
Called from a dungeon, a servant of captives, a prey of ingratitude and malice, Joseph proved true to his allegiance to the God of heaven. And all Egypt marveled at the wisdom of the man whom God instructed. Pharaoh made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom." Psalm 105:21, 22. Not to the people of Egypt alone, but to all the nations connected with that powerful kingdom, God manifested Himself through Joseph. He desired to make him a light bearer to all peoples, and He placed him next the throne of the world's greatest empire, that the heavenly illumination might extend far and near. By his wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of his daily life, by his devotion to the interests of the people,--and that people a nation of idolaters,--Joseph was a representative of Christ. In their benefactor, to whom all Egypt turned with gratitude and praise, that heathen people, and through them all the nations with which they were connected, were to behold the love of their Creator and Redeemer.
So in Daniel God placed a light beside the throne of the world's greatest kingdom, that all who would might learn of the true and living God. At the court of Babylon were gathered representatives from all lands, men of the choicest talents, men the most richly endowed with natural gifts and possessed of the highest culture this world could bestow; yet amid them all the Hebrew captives were without a peer. In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigor and literary attainments, and in spiritual power and insight they stood unrivaled. "In all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm." Daniel 1:20. While faithful to his duties in the king's court, Daniel so faithfully maintained his loyalty to God that God could honor him as His messenger to the Babylonian monarch. Through him the mysteries of the future were unfolded, and Nebuchadnezzar himself was constrained to acknowledge the God of Daniel" as a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets." Daniel 2:47.
So the institutions established by God's people today are to glorify His name. The only way in which we can fulfill His expectation is by being representatives of the truth for this time. God is to be recognized in the institutions established by Seventh-day Adventists. By them the truth for this time is to be represented before the world with convincing power.
We are called to represent to the world the character of God as it was revealed to Moses. In answer to the prayer of Moses, "Show me Thy glory," the Lord promised, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee." "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6, 7. This is the fruit that God desires from His people. In the purity of their characters, in the holiness of their lives, in their mercy and loving-kindness and compassion, they are to demonstrate that the "law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7.
God's purpose for His institutions today may also be read in the purpose which He sought to accomplish through the Jewish nation. Through Israel it was His design to impart rich blessings to all peoples. Through them the way was to be prepared for the diffusion of His light to the whole world. The nations of the world, through following corrupt practices, had lost a knowledge of God. Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with Him through His church. He designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring in man the moral image of God.
Christ was their instructor. As He was with them in the wilderness, so after their establishment in the Promised Land He was still their Teacher and Guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy Shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience.
God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Him self.
Their obedience to the laws of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.
In the most definite manner, God through Moses set before them His purpose and made plain the terms of their prosperity. "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God," He said; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. . . . Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. . . . It shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which He sware unto thy fathers: and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee. . . . Thou shalt be blessed above all people." Deuteronomy 7:6-14.
"Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in His ways, and to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgments, and to hearken unto His voice: and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be His peculiar people, as He hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all His commandments; and to make thee high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as He hath spoken." Deuteronomy 26:17-19.
In these words are set forth the conditions of all true prosperity, conditions with which, if they fulfill the purpose of their establishment, all our institutions must comply.
The Lord years ago gave me special light in regard to the establishment of a health institution where the sick could be treated on altogether different lines from those followed in any other institution in our world. It was to be founded and conducted upon Bible principles, as the Lord's instrumentality, and it was to be in His hands one of the most effective agencies for giving light to the world. It was God's purpose that it should stand forth with scientific ability, with moral and spiritual power, and as a faithful sentinel of reform in all its bearings. All who should act a part in it were to be reformers, having respect to its principles, and heeding the light of health reform shining upon us as a people.
God designed that the institution which He should establish should stand forth as a beacon of light, of warning and reproof. He would prove to the world that an institution conducted on religious principles, as an asylum for the sick, could be sustained without sacrificing its peculiar, holy character; that it could be kept free from the objectionable features found in other health institutions. It was to be an instrumentality for bringing about great reforms.
The Lord revealed that the prosperity of the Sanitarium was not to be dependent alone upon the knowledge and skill of its physicians, but upon the favor of God. It was to be known as an institution where God was acknowledged as the Monarch of the universe, an institution that was under His special supervision. Its managers were to make God first and last and best in everything. And in this was to be its strength. If conducted in a manner that God could approve, it would be highly successful, and would stand in advance of all other institutions of the kind in the world. Great light, great knowledge, and superior privileges were given. And in accordance with the light received would be the responsibility of those to whom the carrying forward of the institution was entrusted.
As our work has extended and institutions have multiplied, God's purpose in their establishment remains the same. The conditions of prosperity are unchanged.
The human family is suffering because of transgression of the laws of God. The Lord desires that men shall be led to understand the cause of their suffering and the only way to find relief. He desires them to see that their well-being--physical, mental, and moral--depends upon their obedience to His law. It is His purpose that our institutions shall be as object lessons showing the results of obedience to right principles.
In the preparation of a people for the Lord's second coming a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God. They should be taught the truth in physical as well as in spiritual lines that "the fear of the Lord tendeth to life." Proverbs 19:23. "If thou wilt enter into life," Christ says, "keep the commandments." Matthew 19:17. Live out My law as the apple of thine eye." Proverbs 7:2. God's commandments, obeyed, are "life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh." Proverbs 4:22.
Our sanitariums are an educating power to teach the people in these lines. Those who are taught can in turn impart to others a knowledge of health-restoring and health-preserving principles. Thus our sanitariums are to be an instrumentality for reaching the people, an agency for showing them the evil of disregarding the laws of life and health, and for teaching them how to preserve the body in the best condition. Sanitariums are to be established in different countries that are entered by our missionaries and are to be centers from which a work of healing, restoring, and educating shall be carried on.
We are to labor both for the health of the body and for the saving of the soul. Our mission is the same as that of our Master, of whom it is written that He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by Satan. Acts 10:38. Of His own work He says: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek." "He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18. As we follow Christ's example of labor for the good of others we shall awaken their interest in the God whom we love and serve.
Our sanitariums in all their departments should be memorials for God, His instrumentalities for sowing the seeds of truth in human hearts. This they will be if rightly conducted.
The living truth of God is to be made known in our medical institutions. Many persons who come to them are hungering and thirsting for truth, and when it is rightly presented they will receive it with gladness. Our sanitariums have been the means of elevating the truth for this time and bringing it before thousands. The religious influence that pervades these institutions inspires the guests with confidence. The assurance that the Lord presides there, and the many prayers offered for the sick, make an impression upon their hearts. Many who have never before thought of the value of the soul are convicted by the Spirit of God, and not a few are led to change their whole course of life. Impressions that will never be effaced are made upon many who have been self-satisfied, who have thought their own standard of character to be sufficient, and who have felt no need of the righteousness of Christ. When the future test comes, when enlightenment comes to them, not a few of these will take their stand with God's remnant people.
God is honored by institutions conducted in this way. In His mercy He has made the sanitariums such a power in the relief of physical suffering that thousands have been drawn to them to be cured of their maladies. And with many, physical healing is accompanied by the healing of the soul. From the Saviour they receive the forgiveness of their sins. They receive the grace of Christ and identify themselves with Him, with His interests, His honor. Many go away from our sanitariums with new hearts. The change is decided. These, returning to their homes, are as lights in the world. The Lord makes them His witnesses. Their testimony is: "I have seen His greatness, I have tasted His goodness. 'Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.'" Psalm 66:16.
Thus through the prospering hand of our God upon them our sanitariums have been the means of accomplishing great good. And they are to rise still higher. God will work with the people who will honor Him.
Wonderful is the work which God designs to accomplish through His servants, that His name may be glorified. God made Joseph a fountain of life to the Egyptian nation. Through Joseph the life of that whole people was preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon. And these deliverances were as object lessons; they illustrated to the people the spiritual blessings offered them through connection with the God whom Joseph and Daniel worshiped. So through His people today God desires to bring blessings to the world. Every worker in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life. Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the wounds that sin has made in the human family; and His Spirit, working through His servants, imparts to sin-sick, suffering human beings a mighty healing power that is efficacious for the body and the soul. "In that day," says the Scriptures, "there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Zechariah 13:1. The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties that will heal both physical and spiritual infirmities.
From this fountain flows the mighty river seen in Ezekiel's vision. "These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live. . . . And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." Ezekiel 47:8-12.
Such a river of life and healing God designs that, by His power working through them, our sanitariums shall be.
Our sanitariums are to show forth to the world the benevolence of heaven; and though Christ's visible presence is not discerned in the building, yet the workers may claim the promise: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
The promises of God to Israel are also for the institutions established today for the glory of His name: "Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is His name; Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning . . . this city. Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. . . . And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity. . . . And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them." "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name where with she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness." Jeremiah 33:2-9, 16.