Country Living – Preparing people for eternity – Compilation from the Pen of inspiration

Key Quote for this note: Do not consider it a privation when you are called to leave the cities and move out into the country places. Here there await rich blessings for those who will grasp them {AH 141.3}

 

Jesus loved the scenes of nature. To Him each quiet retreat was a sacred temple. Desire of Ages P 290

 

It was not God’s purpose that people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body, and mind, and soul. Ministry of Healing P 365

 

There is not one family in a hundred who will be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually, by residing in the city. Manuscript 76, 1905

 

  1. Country Living – Place where Christ wants to take us to teach.

 

The Saviour’s life on earth was a life of communion with nature and with God. In this communion He revealed for us the secret of a life of power. ……

The childhood of Jesus, spent in poverty, had been uncorrupted by the artificial habits of a corrupt age. Working at the carpenter’s bench, bearing the burdens of home life, learning the lessons of obedience and toil, He found recreation amidst the scenes of nature, gathering knowledge as He sought to understand nature’s mysteries. He studied the word of God, and His hours of greatest happiness were found when He could turn aside from the scene of His labors to go into the fields, to meditate in the quiet valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest. The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer. With the voice of singing He welcomed the morning light. With songs of thanksgiving He cheered His hours of labor and brought heaven’s gladness to the toilworn and disheartened.

During His ministry Jesus lived to a great degree an outdoor life. His journeys from place to place were made on foot, and much of His teaching was given in the open air. In training His disciples He often withdrew from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields, as more in harmony with the lessons of simplicity, faith, and self-abnegation He desired to teach them.It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, that the Twelve were called to the apostolate and the Sermon on the Mount was given.

Christ loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn their thoughts from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift their eyes to the hills of God and behold the wonderful works of His hand, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. In future days the lessons of the divine Teacher would thus be repeated to them by the things of nature. The mind would be uplifted and the heart would find rest.

When Jesus said to His disciples that the harvest was great and the laborers were few, He did not urge upon them the necessity of ceaseless toil, but bade them, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38. To His toil-worn workers today as really as to His first disciples He speaks these words of compassion, “Come ye yourselves apart, . . . and rest awhile.”

All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. Min of Healing Chapter With Nature and With God

 

“And He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.”

It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, that the twelve were called to the apostolate, and the Sermon on the Mount was given. The fields and hills were the favorite resorts of Jesus, and much of His teaching was given under the open sky, rather than in the temple or the synagogues. No synagogue could have received the throngs that followed Him; but not for this reason only did He choose to teach in the fields and groves. Jesus loved the scenes of nature. To Him each quiet retreat was a sacred temple.

It was under the trees of Eden that the first dwellers on earth had chosen their sanctuary. There Christ had communed with the father of mankind. When banished from Paradise, our first parents still worshiped in the fields and groves, and there Christ met them with the gospel of His grace. It was Christ who spoke with Abraham under the

oaks at Mamre; with Isaac as he went out to pray in the fields at the eventide; with Jacob on the hillside at Bethel; with Moses among the mountains of Midian; and with the boy David as he watched his flocks. It was at Christ’s direction that for fifteen centuries the Hebrew people had left their homes for one week every year, and had dwelt in booths formed from the green branches “of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook.” Lev. 23:40.

In training His disciples, Jesus chose to withdraw from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields and hills, as more in harmony with the lessons of self-abnegation He desired to teach them. And during His ministry He loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn the thoughts of His hearers from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift up their eyes to the hills of God, and behold the wonderful works of His hands, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. Christ’s teaching would be repeated to them in the things of nature. So it is with all who go into the fields with Christ in their hearts. They will feel themselves surrounded with a holy influence. The things of nature take up the parables of our Lord, and repeat His counsels. By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest. Desire of Ages P 290,291

 

The Great Teacher laid plans for His work. Study these plans. We find Him traveling from place to place, followed by crowds of eager listeners. When He could, He would lead them away from the crowded cities to the quiet of the country. Here He would pray with them, and talk to them of eternal truths Medical Missionary P 299

 

2. Country living – Where Parents should grow their children.

 

Let no temporal advantages tempt parents to neglect the training of their children. Whenever possible, it is the duty of parents to make homes in the country for their children. The children and youth should be carefully guarded. They should be kept away from the hotbeds of iniquity that are to be found in our cities. Let them be surrounded by the influences of a true Christian home–a home where Christ abides.– Letter 268, 1906.

 

Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To parents He sends the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practising evil. Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Establish church schools. Give your children the Word of God as the foundation of all their education.–Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 195.

 

I am instructed by the Lord to warn our people not to flock to the cities to find homes for their families. To fathers and to mothers I am instructed to say, Fail not to keep your children within your own premises.– Manuscript 81, 1900.

 

Let children no longer be exposed to the temptations of the cities that are ripe for destruction. The Lord has sent us warning and counsel to get out of the cities. Then let us make no more investments in the cities. Fathers and mothers, how do you regard the souls of your children? Are you preparing the members of your families for translation into the heavenly courts? Are you preparing them to become members of the royal family? children of the heavenly King? “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” How will ease, comfort, convenience, compare with the value of the souls of your children?– Manuscript 76, 1905.

 

There is not one family in a hundred who will be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually, by residing in the city. Faith, hope, love, happiness, can far better be gained in retired places, where there are fields and hills and trees. Take your children away from the sights and sounds of the city, away from the rattle and din of streetcars and teams, and their minds will become more healthy. It will be found easier to bring home to their hearts the truth of the Word of God.– Manuscript 76, 1905.

 

Send the children to schools located in the city, where every phase of temptation is waiting to attract and demoralise them, and the work of character building is tenfold harder for both parents and children.– Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 326. (1894).

 

Let parents understand that the training of their children is an important work in the saving of souls. In country places abundant useful exercise will be found in doing those things that need to be done, and which will give physical health by developing nerve and muscle. Out of the cities is my message for the education of our children. Country living P 14

 

So with the great majority of the best and noblest men of all ages. Read the history of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, of Moses, David, and Elisha. Study the lives of men of later times who have most worthily filled positions of trust and responsibility, the men whose influence has been most effective for the world’s uplifting.

How many of these were reared in country homes. They knew little of luxury. They did not spend their youth in amusement. Many were forced to struggle with poverty and hardship. They early learned to work, and their active life in the open air gave vigour and elasticity to all their faculties. Forced to depend upon their own resources, they learned to combat difficulties and to surmount obstacles, and they gained courage and perseverance. They learned the lessons of self-reliance and self-control. Sheltered in a great degree from evil associations, they were satisfied with natural pleasures and wholesome companionships. They were simple in their tastes and temperate in their habits. They were governed by principle, and they grew up pure and strong and true. When called to their lifework, they brought to it physical and mental power, buoyancy of spirit, ability to plan and execute, and steadfastness in resisting evil, that made them a positive power for good in the world. Country living P 16

 

3. Preparing for the Sunday Law Crisis

 

We are not to locate ourselves where we will be forced into close relations with those who do not honour God. . . . A crisis is soon to come in regard to the observance of Sunday. . . .

The Sunday party is strengthening itself in its false claims, and this will mean oppression to those who determine to keep the Sabbath of the Lord. We are to place ourselves where we can carry out the Sabbath commandment in its fullness. “Six days shalt thou labour,” the Lord declares, “and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” And we are to be careful not to place ourselves where it will be hard for ourselves and our children to keep the Sabbath.

If in the providence of God we can secure places away from the cities, the Lord would have us do this. There are troublous times before us.— Manuscript 99, 1908.

 

Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions;for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. We should now begin to heed the instruction given us over and over again: Get out of the cities into rural districts, where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of enemies.–Letter 5, 1904

 

4. Should we wait until Sunday Law to move to country living

 

The time has come, when, as God opens the way, families should move out of the cities. The children should be taken into the country. The parents should get as suitable a place as their means will allow. Though the dwelling may be small, yet there should be land in connection with it, that may be cultivated.–Manuscript 50, 1903.

 

Out of the cities, is my message at this time. Be assured that the call is for our people to locate miles away from the large cities. One look at San Francisco as it is today would speak to your intelligent minds, showing you the necessity of getting out of the cities. . . . {LDE 95.2}

 

Get out of the cities as soon as possible and purchase a little piece of land where you can have a garden, where your children can watch the flowers growing and learn from them lessons of simplicity and purity.–2SM 356 (1903).

 

Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. We should now begin to heed the instruction given us over and over again: Get out of the cities into rural districts, where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of enemies.–Letter 5, 1904.

 

The Lord has sent us warning and counsel to get out of the cities. Then let us make no more investments in the cities. Manuscript 76, 1905

 

Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Test for churches v6 p 195

 

I could not sleep past two o’clock this morning. During the night season I was in council. I was pleading with some families to avail themselves of God’s appointed means, and get away from the cities to save their children. Some were loitering, making no determined efforts.  The angels of mercy hurried Lot and his wife and daughters by taking hold of their hands. Had Lot hastened as the Lord desired him to, his wife would not have become a pillar of salt. Lot had too much of a lingering spirit. Let us not be like him. The same voice that warned Lot to leave Sodom bids us, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean.” Those who obey this warning will find a refuge. Let every man be wide awake for himself, and try to save his family. Review and Herald, Dec. 11, 1900.

When iniquity abounds in a nation, there is always to be heard some voice giving warning and instruction, as the voice of Lot was heard in Sodom. Yet Lot could have preserved his family from many evils had he not made his home in this wicked, polluted city. All that Lot and his family did in Sodom could have been done by them, even if they had lived in a place some distance away from the city. Enoch walked with God, and yet he did not live in the midst of any city polluted with every kind of violence and wickedness, as did Lot in Sodom.

If righteous people like Enoch left larger cities then how did they evangelize cities.

 

5. Ministry in Cities.

 

“As God’s commandment-keeping people, we must leave the cities. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them.–Manuscript 85, 1899. ”

 

“Enoch walked with God, and yet he did not live in the midst of any city ” Manuscript 94, 1903

 

“Leave the cities, and like Enoch come from your retirement to warn the people of the cities.” MR vol 1 p 250

 

“The cities are to be worked from outposts. Said the messenger of God, “Shall not the cities be warned? Yes, not by God’s people living in them, but by their visiting them, to warn them of what is coming upon the earth.”–Letter 182, 1902.”

 

What is the result of Lot who tried to evangelize by living in city.

 

When iniquity abounds in a nation, there is always to be heard some voice giving warning and instruction, as the voice of Lot was heard in Sodom. Yet Lot could have preserved his family from many evils had he not made his home in this wicked, polluted city. All that Lot and his family did in Sodom could have been done by them, even if they had lived in a place some distance away from the city. Enoch walked with God, and yet he did not live in the midst of any city polluted with every kind of violence and wickedness, as did Lot in Sodom.–Manuscript 94, 1903.

 

Conclusion

 

Carefully Consider Every Move

 

Let everyone take time to consider carefully; and not be like the man in the parable who began to build, and was not able to finish. Not a move should be made but that movement and all that it portends are carefully considered–everything weighed. . . . To every man was given his work according to his several ability. Then let him not move hesitatingly, but firmly, and yet humbly trusting in God. Country Living P26

 

 

 

Further Reading:

 

http://www.crcbermuda.com/reference/ellen-white-books-a-f/country-living

 

http://backtoenoch.org/

 

http://www.empoweredlivingministries.org/Articles.html

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