The "50 Years" Statements"Lest We Forget ..." — The 1872-1894 Fundamental Principles
The E. G. White “Past 50 Years” Statements
One thing it is certain is soon to be realized—the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit’s power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now. If ever there was a period of time when we needed the Holy Spirit’s power in our discourses, in our prayers, in every action proposed, it is now. We are not to stop at the first experience, but while we bear the same message to the people, this message is to be strengthened and enlarged. We are to see and realize the importance of the message made certain by its divine origin. We are to follow on to know the Lord, that we may know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Our souls need the quickening from the Source of all power. We may be strengthened and confirmed in the past experience that holds us to the essential points of truth which have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists.
The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us in 1844, after the passing of the time. The languishing souls are to be confirmed and quickened according to His Word. And many of the ministers of the gospel and the Lord’s physicians will have their languishing souls quickened according to the Word. Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. Pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus.
As we do this work, we must learn to rely upon what God can do for the saving of souls. Generally too much dependence is placed upon human ability, and too little faith is shown in him whose grace is sufficient to supply all our deficiencies. We are inclined to think that unless an organized company of workers is sent to a field, the efforts put forth will be useless. We feel as if we must belong to some organization if we would accomplish good.
But John the Baptist did not work on this plan. His mission was to prepare the way for the Messiah by his God-given message; and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he did the work appointed him without calling to his aid priest or rabbi.
In the place of relying upon men for guidance, we should humble ourselves before God, confessing our sins, and pleading with him for forgiveness. We should forsake our proud, self-sufficient way, and go to work, seeking God most earnestly for strength to give the bread of life to those who are not converted,—those who are sick and in need of a physician.
When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after-suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained.
Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat, till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed, even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard-bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.
We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.
Elder Ballenger’s proofs are not reliable. If received, they would destroy the faith of God’s people in the truth that has made us what we are. We must be decided on this subject; for the points that he is trying to prove by Scripture are not sound. They do not prove that the past experience of God’s people was a fallacy. We had the truth; we were directed by the angels of God. It was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the presentation of the sanctuary question was given. It is eloquence for every one to keep silent in regard to the features of our faith in which they acted no part.
God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and sill another will arise, and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But we stand by the old landmarks.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” [1 John 1:1-10.]
I am instructed to say that these words we may use as appropriate for this time; for the time has come when sin must be called by its right name. We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present, claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
Let all men beware what is the character of their work. They would better be falling into line; for their own souls’ sake and for the sake of the souls of others. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” [Verse 7.] It is nothing to the credit of any man to start on a new track, using Scripture to substantiate theories of error, leading minds into confusion, away from the truths that are to be indelibly impressed on the minds of God’s people, that they may hold fast to the faith.
Some are acting the part of Aaron, to help on the work of apostasy. They have been weighed in the balances and have been found wanting. Men are spoiling their record and are proving that they are not to be trusted, but that they will betray the interests of the cause of God, making them the sport of sinners. The messages of heavenly origin that God has sent to His people, to prepare them to stand in the last days, they have sneered at and scorned. But the evidence we have had for the past fifty years of the presence of the Spirit of God with us as a people will stand the test of those who are now arraying themselves on the side of the enemy and bracing themselves against the message of God.
The message of (Revelation 3) comes to God’s people at this time: “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I shall come upon thee.” [Verses 1-3.]
My brethren, the value of the evidences of truth that we have received during the past half century is above estimate. These evidences are as treasure hidden in a field. Search for them. Study the Bible truths that for fifty years have been calling us out from the world. Present this evidence in clear, plain lines. Those who have been long in the truth and those who have recently received the truth must now dig for the buried heavenly treasure. Let every man work to the point. Study the Word of God. Revive the evidences given in the past. “Search the Scriptures,” Christ said; “for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me.” [John 5:39.]
This large work and its sure results are plainly presented to me. I am so sorry that sensible men do not discern the trail of the serpent. I call it thus; for thus the Lord pronounces it. Wherein are those who are designated as departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, departing from the faith which they have held sacred for the past fifty years? I leave that for the ones to answer who sustain those who develop such acuteness in their plans for spoiling and hindering the work of God.
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith—the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building for the last fifty years. Men may suppose that they have found a new way and that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid. But this is a great deception. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid.
Nothing is so precious to me as to know that Christ is my Saviour. I appreciate the truth, every jot of it, just as it has been given to me by the Holy Spirit for the last fifty years. I desire everyone to know that I stand on the same platform of truth that we have maintained for more than half a century. That is the testimony I desire to bear on the day that I am seventy-eight years of age.
You feel that Sister White has turned away from you, but it is exactly the opposite. Sister White has no different testimony to bear from the testimony she has borne for the last fifty years. It is you who have changed and changed decidedly. You have refused to accept the light which the Lord has been pleased to give you, that you were to work in harmony with your brethren.
I am now authorized to say that the time has come to take decided action. The development seen in the cause of God is similar to the development seen when Balaam caused Israel to sin just before they entered the promised land. How dangerous it is so to exalt any man that he becomes confused and confuses the minds of others in regard to the truths that for the last fifty years the Lord has been giving His people.
Few can see the meaning of the present apostasy. But the Lord has lifted the curtain and has shown me its meaning and the result that it will have if allowed to continue. We must now lift our voices in warning. Will our people acknowledge God as the supreme Ruler, or will they choose the misleading arguments and views that, when fully developed, make Him, in the minds of those who accept them, as nothingness?
These words were spoken to me in the night season. The sentiments in Living Temple regarding the personality of God have been received even by men who have had a long experience in the truth. When such men consent to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we are no longer to regard the subject as a matter to be treated with the greatest delicacy. That those whom we thought sound in the faith should have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of this science of evil should alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us.
It is something that cannot be treated as a small matter, that men who have had so much light and such clear evidence as to the genuineness of the truth we hold should become unsettled and led to accept spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God. These doctrines, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give John to give to His people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to be given special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science.
During the past night, I have been shown more distinctly than ever before that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform braced by solid timbers—the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? How can they be silent? This foundation was built by the Master Worker and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.”
I was instructed to call upon our physicians and ministers to take a firm stand for the truth. We are not to allow atheistic, spiritualistic sentiments to be brought before our youth. God has led us in the past, giving us truth, eternal truth. By this truth we are to stand. Some of the leaders in the medical work have been deceived, and if they continue to hold fanciful, spiritualistic ideas, they will make many believe that the platform upon which we have been standing for the past fifty years has been torn away. These men need now to see with anointed eyes, with clear spiritual vision, that in spite of all man can do, “the foundation of God standeth sure,” and “the Lord knoweth them that are His.” [2 Timothy 2:19.]
Ms 137, 1903
The Personality of God
November 12, 1903
The word of the Lord to me is that I am to repeat the instruction that God has given me, showing what He has revealed for the benefit of His people and the way in which He has presented His word to them. If God had desired to have Himself represented as being in the things of nature—in flower and leaf and tree—Christ would have spoken of this when He was in the earth. But where in the teaching of Christ is God spoken of as He is in Living Temple? In Patriarchs and Prophets God has presented to His people the way in which they are to view the plan of salvation. The instruction contained in this book is not an idle tale. It is the presentation of truth in accordance with the Word of God.
In the beginning of my work, when the Lord first commissioned me to proclaim the truth, I was called upon to rebuke those holding sophistries similar to those presented in Living Temple. I could not understand the sentiments held, but the Lord gave me a message to bear before the companies that I was to meet. I bore the message, and all controversy was at an end. Evidence was given of the power of God working through His humble instrument, and those who were willing to receive this evidence did not make the least attempt to oppose the message.
Again and again during my experience in the Lord’s work, I have been called upon to meet these erroneous sentiments. In every case, clear, powerful light has been given that God is the eternal, self-existent One. From my girlhood I have been given plain instruction that God is a person, and that Christ is “the express image of His person.” [Hebrews 1:3.] God always has been. That which concerns us is not the how or the wherefore.
In the Word God is spoken of as the everlasting God. This name embraces past, present, and future. God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the Eternal One. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel shall dwell in safety alone; the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thine excellency.” [Deuteronomy 33:27-29.]
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
“Who knoweth the power of Thine anger? Even according to Thy fear, so is Thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O Lord, how long; and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants. O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands, establish Thou it.” [Psalm 90:2-17.]
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
“Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him; and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” [Psalm 91:1-16.]
“The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He girded Himself; the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old; Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord; the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure; holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, forever.” [Psalm 93:1-5.]
In view of these Scriptures, who will dare to interpret God and place in the minds of others the sentiments regarding Him that are contained in Living Temple? These theories are the theories of the great deceiver, and in the lives of those who receive them there will be sad chapters. This is Satan’s device to unsettle the foundation of our faith, to shake our confidence in the Lord’s guidance and in the experience that He has given us. Many things of like character will in the future arise. I entreat our medical missionary workers to be afraid to trust the suppositions and devising of any human being who entertains the thought that the path over which the people of God have been led for the last fifty years is a wrong path. Beware of those who, not having had any decided experience in the leading of the Lord’s Spirit, would suppose that this leading is all a fallacy; that we have not the truth; that we are not the people of the Lord, gathered by Him from all countries and nations. Beware of those who would tear down the foundation, upon which we have been building for the last fifty years, to establish a new doctrine. I know that these new theories are from the enemy.
Let those who would bring in fanciful ideas of God awake to a sense of their danger. This is too solemn a subject to be trifled with.
The root of idolatry is an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. It is because men have not faith in the presence and power of God that they have been putting their trust in their own wisdom. They have been devising and planning to exalt themselves and find salvation in their own works. A deceptive influence from satanic agencies is coming in, because leaders whom the Lord has warned and entreated and counseled are choosing their own wisdom in the place of the wisdom of God. To such ones the warning comes, “Talk no more exceedingly proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.” [1 Samuel 2:3.]
God declares, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that ye build unto Me; and where is the place of My rest? For all these things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” [Isaiah 66:1, 2.] Though heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, He, the high and holy One, reveals Himself to the humble and contrite, filling the hearts of His chosen ones with the light of His presence.
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” [Job 28:28.] Neither by searching the recesses of the earth nor in vain endeavors to penetrate the mysteries of God’s being is wisdom found. It is found, rather, in humbly receiving the revelations that He has been pleased to make and in conforming the life to His will.
He who knows the heart of man will render to every one according as his work shall be. In this life He will give to the humble, teachable ones, who look to Him in faith and dependence, wisdom and understanding, and in the life to come He will bestow on them the gift of immortality.
Let us search the Word of God diligently, that we may obtain the wisdom that we need in order to honor Him, that we may purify our hearts from all defilement and be prepared to enter the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. There we shall gain a true knowledge of God. Throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity we shall delight in His personal presence.
John the Revelator writes, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I … saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” [Revelation 21:1-7.]
“O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, and Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. … Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” [Psalm 139:1-3, 5, 6.]
“Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite.” [Psalm 147:5.] “The ways of man are before the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings.” [Proverbs 5:21.] “He revealeth the deep and secret things. He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.” [Daniel 2:22.] “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” [Acts 15:18.] “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory forever.” [Romans 11:33-36.]
“That which is revealed belongeth unto us and to our children.” [Deuteronomy 29:29.] But let not finite man attempt to interpret God. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion by finite, erring beings. And since God understands our thoughts afar off, since He is acquainted with all our ways, since there is not a word in our tongues that He does not know, might we not better be very careful how we speak of Him? Will he who speculates in regard to God care to meet his words in that day when all things are brought to light, when falsehood and truth are placed in sharp contrast? God is the all-wise, omniscient One, knowing all things. He can speedily bring to naught the foolish devisings of man.
The enemy is seeking to bring in among the people of God spiritualistic theories, which if accepted, would undermine the foundation of the faith that has made us what we are. He leads men to present fables clothed with Scripture. There are those who assert that Sister White’s writings are in harmony with these teachings. I declare this to be false. Men may misapply Scripture; they may misinterpret my words; but God understands their devising. How thankful I am for this! When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for us against him.
“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse; because that when they knew God”—by the witness of His Holy Spirit, to testimonies borne to them—“they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” The Lord sent them light, but they did not receive it. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” [Romans 1:18-23.]
This Scripture is applicable to all who regard God as He is represented in Living Temple. Those who continue to accept the sophistry in this book will be led on an on in delusion, just as were many to whom I was commissioned to bear a testimony after the passing of the time in 1844.
I know that the leaders in the medical missionary work do not know whither their steps are tending. I call upon them to stop before they take another step to tear away the strongholds of our faith.
We are full of gratitude to our God, and we are trying to do all we possibly can to be light-bearers to the world. We thank the Lord that the light God has given me in regard to present truth is just as clear and firm as the Word of God. The rich experience given us during the last fifty years has never been denied, but year after year evidence has been multiplied to confirm, and not to entangle and confuse. The Lord God never contradicts Himself.
Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, [Older brethren among the pioneers are here thus reminiscently referred to. “Father Pierce” was Stephen Pierce, who served in ministerial and administrative work in the early days. “Father Andrews” was Edward Andrews, the father of J. N. Andrews.—Compilers.] Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.
I said, “If any of the citizens of Battle Creek wish to know what Mrs. White believes and teaches, let them read her published books. My labors would be naught should I preach another gospel. That which I have written is what the Lord has bidden me write. I have not been instructed to change that which I have sent out. I stand firm in the Adventist faith; for I have been warned in regard to the seducing sophistries that will seek for entrance among us as a people. The Scripture says, ‘Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.’ I present before our people the danger of being led astray as were the angels in the heavenly courts. The straight line of truth presented to me when I was but a girl is just as clearly presented to me now.”
The warnings and the messages that the Lord has graciously given me to correct the errors that would come in, and to set things in order, the people should have, for the enemy will continue to work to bring in false theories and to mingle with the truth strange suppositions. These appear as light to those who receive them, but they are deceptive theories that will be brought in as tares sown among the wheat. The Lord has for the last fifty years been instructing me that when the seducing theories would arise, they were not to be received, and I must do as did Moses and Joshua: Repeat the errors of the past and the gracious working out of the Lord’s will. I praise His holy name.
But just as surely as we fail to heed the messages that for the last fifty years the Lord has been giving, just as surely as we turn from these messages to human impulses and human science, framing laws that are directly opposed to God’s Word, so surely will we reap the consequence.
I am instructed to say that those who would tear down the foundation that God has laid are not to be accepted as the teachers and leaders of His people. We are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Words of power have been sent by God and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world, point by point, into the clear light of present truth. With lips touched with holy fire, God’s servants have proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the truth proclaimed.
We see and feel keenly the unbelief of some who have blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, refusing to acknowledge the light, because it has not coincided with their own ideas. My heart is pained as I see that many, and some even amongst our own people, are fulfilling the words written by Paul:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” [1 Timothy 4:1.] The time of this apostasy is here. Every conceivable effort will be made to throw doubt upon the positions that we have occupied for over half a century.
The enemy has worked upon the minds of some and has led them to do violence to our past experience by mingling with the truth erroneous and false theories. He has led ministers and teachers to weave into their doctrines some pleasing figures of his own invention. Every deviation from the truth as we have advocated it in the past is a departure from truth that has been witnessed by the Holy Spirit and upon which God has placed His seal.
I am filled with sorrow because statements made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and designed by God to be a great blessing to His people, to guard them against the seducing sentiments of Satan, are woven in with spiritualistic views and are thus made to testify to falsehoods of Satan’s own creating. How can I say to our people, Harmonize with peace, and say, Unify. God gives me the message, Beware of the leaven of those who have been destroying the faith of Seventh-day Adventists.
I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.
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