What is an Outpost?

Outpost

/ˈaʊtpəʊst/

a small military camp or position at some distance from the main army, used especially as a guard against surprise attack.

That is an interesting perspective on the historical definition of the world. But more specifically, what is the definition of an "Adventist Outpost"? Let's read what the Spirit of Prophecy says:

It is God's design that our people should locate outside the cities, and from these outposts warn the cities, and raise in them memorials for God. There must be a force of influence in the cities, that the message of warning shall be heard.

The Review and Herald, April 14, 1903

Let men of sound judgment be appointed, not to publish abroad their intentions, but to search for such properties in the rural districts, in easy access to the cities... Do not erect buildings in the noisy cities.

Medical Ministry, 308, 309 (1909)

An Outpost is a property outside of the city where there is a community whose focus is the service of God in proclaiming the warning of the 3 Angels Messages and being an influence for good.

We must make wise plans to warn the cities, and at the same time live where we can shield our children and ourselves from the contaminating and demoralizing influences so prevalent in these places.

Life Sketches, p. 410. (1915)

It should be clear that an Outpost is a place of protection from the influences of the world and a place used to influence others with the message given by God.

Protecting

Homestead

Warning

Ministry

Outpost

NOTE: It is important to clarify that just because we leave the city and have a homestead or even an institution, it does not make us an outpost. An outpost must follow the principles set forth which works inline with and fulfills God’s great purpose.

What are some types of Outpost Ministries?

Repeatedly the Lord has instructed us that we are to work the cities from outpost centers... institutions for the publication of our literature, for the healing of the sick, and for the training of workers [colleges], are to be established outside the cities.

Selected Messages 2:358 (1907)

...small training schools for workers, and where facilities may also be provided for treating the sick and weary souls who know not the truth.

Medical Ministry, 308, 309 (1909)

The three most consistently mentioned types of Outpost ministries relate to training, healing and publication. Regarding the publishing houses, in addition to physical print publishing, we must also include the modern method of multimedia production.

Training Centers

Treatment Centers

Media Centers

Great light has been shining upon us, but how little of this light we reflect to the world! Heavenly angels are waiting for human beings to cooperate with them in the practical carrying out of the principles of truth. It is through the agency of our sanitariums and kindred enterprises that much of this work is to be done. These institutions are to be God's memorials, where His healing power can reach all classes, high and low, rich and poor. Every dollar invested in them for Christ's sake will bring blessings both to the giver and to suffering humanity. Testimonies For The Church 7:58, 59. (1902)

Some things have been presented to me that I deem of great importance. Light has been given that our institutions are not to be established in the midst of the cities. So great is the wickedness of these cities that much of what the eyes see and the ears hear has a demoralizing influence. Especially should our schools and sanitariums be located outside of the cities, in places where land can be secured. ...

It would be a mistake for us to purchase or erect large buildings in the cities of southern California for sanitarium work, and those who see advantages in doing this are not moving understandingly. A great work is to be done in preparing these cities to hear the gospel message, but this work is not to be done by fitting up in them large buildings for the carrying forward of some wonderful enterprise Manuscript 114, 1902 (Manuscript Releases 10:209-211)

Institutions for the care of the sick would be far more successful if they could be established away from the cities. And so far as possible, all who are seeking to recover health should place themselves amid country surroundings where they can have the benefit of outdoor life. Nature is God's physician. The pure air, the glad sunshine, the flowers and trees, the orchards and vineyards, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings, are health-giving, life-giving The Ministry of Healing, 263, 264. (1905)

As we draw near to the close of time the cities will become more and more corrupt, and more and more objectionable as places for establishing centers of our work. The dangers of travel will increase; confusion and drunkenness will abound. If there can be found places in retired mountain regions where it would be difficult for the evils of the cities to enter, let our people secure such places for our sanitariums and advanced schools Manuscript 85, 1908 (Manuscript Releases 10:260)

As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them. Nothing that savors of extravagance is to be seen in the outlay of means for building or for furnishing because we have a prospect of receiving donations. Find a location that has a favorable atmosphere and carry on your work, but keep away from the residences of the rulers of the land. Exert your God-given powers for the people who need to be uplifted. Place not your institutions in the midst of the homes of wealthy men. If possible we must secure for the sanitarium a site that will not be crowded, where there is ground that can be cultivated. Nothing is to be done for display. By strict economy we are to show that we realize that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ...

In erecting our buildings we must keep away from the great men of the world, and then let them seek the help they need by moving away from their associates into more retired localities. Let their attention be drawn to a people who love and fear God. If the sanitarium is not near the houses of rich men, they will not have opportunity to comment unfavorably upon it because it is understood to be a place which receives suffering humanity of all classes. ...

What is needed to give success? A large, expensive building? If so, we cannot have success. But this does not give success. It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, which makes him a savor of life unto life and enables God to bless his work. God would bind His family of workers together by common sympathy, pure affection. Love and respect for one another has a telling influence and is a representation of practical godliness. Unbelief is cold and repulsive, dark and forbidding, and can only deny and destroy, while the work of faith under all circumstances can lift the head in conscious dignity and firm trust in God. Even youthful hearts may reveal surpassing beauty and glory in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice by following where Christ leads the way, lifting His cross and bearing it after Him to His Father's home in heaven, walking in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. ...

Let all our buildings be prepared for health and happiness, being so arranged that every unnecessary step shall be saved. Let the sanitarium be so located that the patients will have the benefits of sunlight. There should be a fireplace in every sleeping room where patients live. These inside arrangements must be made even though the building is not in an exact line with roads or other buildings. The rooms should be furnished with comfortable chairs not all made after the same pattern. The results will be far more satisfactory if the precision of the furniture is broken up. God has given us a plan for this in the variety of form and color seen in the things of nature. Means must be expended to obtain comfortable, restful articles of furniture. Patients will be much better pleased with them than if the furniture were all precisely the same Manuscript 85, 1899 (Manuscript Releases 10:241-247)

In some important places there will be offered for sale properties that are especially suitable for sanitarium work. The advantages of these should be carefully considered.

In order that some of these places may be secured for our work, it will be necessary carefully to husband the resources, no extravagant outlay being made in any one place. The very simplicity of the buildings that we use will be a lesson in harmony with the truths we have to present. For our sanitarium work we must secure buildings whose appearance and arrangement will be a demonstration of health principles Letter 168, 1909 (Medical Ministry, 309)

With the light that I have had in regard to sanitariums where the sick are to be treated, I cannot give one word of counsel about huddling in the city. I cannot do it myself, and yet it may look very different to others. But with the light that I have, I could not advise placing a building in the city. You [F. B. Moran] are out of the city, I know. You are out at one side. That changes the proposition somewhat, but further than that, I could not say. I could not give you any advice. You will have to arrange that among yourselves because I could not give advice to build a sanitarium in any city. I could not do it, because it has been so distinctly laid before me that when a sanitarium is built it must be located where it can accomplish the end in view—the object for which it is established Manuscript 173, 1902 (Manuscript Releases 10:250)


Are we called to run anything in the cities?

In these cities we are to have houses of worship, as memorials for God...

Selected Messages 2:358 (1907)

Much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot get away from the cities. This is a matter worthy of our best efforts. Church schools are to be established for the children in the cities, and in connection with these schools provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies, where these are called for.

Child Guidance, 306 (1903)

Our restaurants must be in the cities, for otherwise the workers in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living.

Selected Messages 2:142 (1903)

We get guidance here that inside of the cities we are to have Churches, Church Schools for students whose parents are unable to leave the city yet and also Restaurants.

In every city where the truth is proclaimed, churches are to be raised up. In some large cities there must be churches in various parts of the city. In some places, meetinghouses will be offered for sale at reasonable rates, which can be purchased advantageously. Letter 168, 1909 (Medical Ministry, 309)

Although a few places have been entered, many centers should be established where there would be employed hundreds of workers. In every city there should be a city mission that would be a training school for workers. Many of our brethren must stand condemned in the sight of God because they have not done the very work that God would have them do. Letter 56, 1910 (portion in Medical Ministry, 303)

Nothing will or ever can give character to the work in the presentation of truth as that of helping the people just where they are, as this Samaritan work. A work properly conducted to save poor sinners that have been passed by the churches will be the entering wedge where the truth will find standing room. A different order of things needs to be established among us as a people, and in doing this class of work there would be created an entirely different atmosphere surrounding the soul of the workers, for the Holy Spirit communicates to all those who are doing God's service, and those who are worked by the Holy Spirit will be a power for good in lifting up, strengthening, and saving the souls that are ready to perish. Manuscript 14a, 1897 (Evangelism, 567, 568)

We have a large territory to work in our cities. When a mission is established in a city, calls for laborers will come from the surrounding country. According to the light given me, during the last thirty years not a thousandth part has been done of what ought to have been done. Plans for aggressive work should have been set in operation. Letter 176, 1901

Much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot get away from the cities. This is a matter worthy of our best efforts. Church schools are to be established for the children in the cities, and in connection with these schools provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies where these are called for. These schools can be managed in such a way, part joining to part, that they will be a complete whole. Manuscript 129, 1903 (Manuscript Releases 10:258)

The church has a special work to do in educating and training its children that they may not, in attending school or in any other association, be influenced by those of corrupt habits. The world is full of iniquity and disregard of the requirements of God. The cities have become as Sodom, and our children are daily exposed to many evils. Those who attend the public schools often associate with others more neglected than they, those who, aside from the time spent in the schoolroom, are left to obtain a street education. The hearts of the young are easily impressed; and unless their surroundings are of the right character, Satan will use these neglected children to influence those who are more carefully trained. Thus, before Sabbathkeeping parents know what is being done, the lessons of depravity are learned, and the souls of their little ones are corrupted. Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 173. (1913)

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. Manuscript 85, 1908 (Selected Messages 2:355)

God would have restaurants established in the cities. If properly managed, these will become missionary centers. In these restaurants publications should be kept at hand, ready to present to those who patronize the restaurant.

The question often arises, Should these restaurants be kept open on the Sabbath? The answer is, No, no. The Sabbath is our mark and sign, and should not become obliterated. I have recently had special light upon this subject. Efforts will be made to keep the restaurants open on Sabbath, but this should not be done. Manuscript 30, 1903 / Testimonies For The Church 7:121

Our restaurants must be in the cities; for otherwise the workers in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living. And for the present we shall have to occupy meetinghouses in the cities. But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues. The General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903, p. 88; The Review and Herald, April 14, 1903 (Selected Messages 2:142)

The workers in our restaurants are to prepare for the future immortal life. Let them acquire the power and tact to prepare spiritual food for the souls of men and women in these large cities. Watch for souls as they that must give an account. The cities are to be warned, and these young men and young women should remember that time is precious. The world is increasing in wickedness as in the days of Noah. Letter 279, 1905 (A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, 22)

Every hygienic restaurant should be a school. The workers connected with it should be constantly studying and experimenting, that they may make improvement in the preparation of healthful foods. In the cities this work of instruction may be carried forward on a much larger scale than in smaller places. But in every place where there is a church, instruction should be given in regard to the preparation of simple, healthful foods for the use of those who wish to live in accordance with the principles of health reform. And the church members should impart to the people of their neighborhood the light they receive on this subject. Testimonies For The Church 7:112, 113. (1902)

I have been instructed that one of the principal reasons why hygienic restaurants and treatment rooms should be established in the centers of large cities is that by this means the attention of leading men will be called to the third angel's message. Noticing that these restaurants are conducted in a way altogether different from the way in which ordinary restaurants are conducted, men of intelligence will begin to inquire into the reasons for the difference in business methods, and will investigate the principles that lead us to serve superior food. Thus they will be led to a knowledge of the message for this time. Testimonies For The Church 7:122, 123. (1902)

Those who come to our restaurants should be supplied with reading matter. Their attention should be called to our literature on temperance and dietetic reform, and leaflets treating on the lessons of Christ should also be given them. The burden of supplying this reading matter should be shared by all our people. All who come should be given something to read. It may be that many will leave the tract unread, but some among those in whose hands you place it may be searching for light. They will read and study what you give them, and then pass it on to others. Testimonies For The Church 7:116. (1902)

At our camp meetings there should be a restaurant where the poor can obtain wholesome, well-prepared food as cheaply as possible. There should also be another restaurant in which food is especially prepared for the education of outsiders, where they may see a representation of health-reform diet. Pacific Union Recorder, October 23, 1902

I have been given light that in many cities it is advisable for a restaurant to be connected with treatment rooms. The two can cooperate in upholding right principles. In connection with these it is sometimes advisable to have rooms that will serve as lodgings for the sick. These establishments will serve as feeders to the sanitariums located in the country. Testimonies For The Church 7:60 (1902)

By the practical demonstration of how to prepare wholesome, palatable food without the use of meat, many would learn valuable lessons. They would become acquainted with health principles. Manuscript 1, 1901 (Manuscript Releases 17:42, 43)

Where are these to be worked from?

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 about those who are unable to leave the city?

Christians who are living in the great centers of commerce and travel have special opportunities. Believers in these cities can work for God in the neighborhood of their homes.

9T 122.1

At such a time as this, the people who are seeking to keep the commandments of God should look for retired places away from the cities. Some must remain in the cities to give the last note of warning, but this will become more and more dangerous to do.

10MR 261.4

But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able..

The General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903

Lot and family warned by Angels ot leave Sodom
Severe Warning

For those who are lingering in the cities, there are severe warnings given:

In harmony with the light given me, I am urging people to come out from the great centers of population. Our cities are increasing in wickedness, and it is becoming more and more evident that those who remain in them unnecessarily do so at the peril of their soul's salvation.

Manuscript 115, 1907

Many now will plead to remain in the cities...

Letter 26, 1907

Lot and family warned by Angels ot leave Sodom

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.

Country Living (CL 6.7)

Lessons from Lot & Enoch

...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

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] did not make his abode with the wicked... He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God- given message... After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning.

Manuscript 42, 1900

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

2 Corinthians 6:17