Ellen G. White Writings

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Manuscript Releases, vol. 18 [Nos. 1301-1359], Page 363

wrong. Thousands upon thousands clothe themselves in what they suppose to be an impenetrable disguise, and choose the wrong. To make their course plain to others by abrupt disclosures would only cause a larger number to choose the side of wrong. Thus the wrongdoers would be sustained and many souls would be ruined. God does not force anyone. He leaves all free to choose. But He says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The Lord will not write as wise those who cannot distinguish between a tree that bears thorn berries and a tree that bears olives.

I beseech of all who engage in the work of murmuring and pitying themselves because something has been said or done that does not suit them, and that does not, as they think, give them due consideration, to remember that they are carrying on the very work Satan began in heaven. They are following in his track, sowing unbelief, discord, and disloyalty, for no one can entertain feelings of disaffection, and keep it to himself. He must tell others that he is not treated as he should be. Thus others are led to murmur and complain. This is the root of bitterness springing up, whereby many are defiled.

Thus Satan works today through his evil angels. He confederates with men who claim to be in the faith; and those who are trying to carry forward the work of God with fidelity, having no man's person in admiration, working without partiality and hypocrisy, will have just as severe trials brought against them as Satan can bring through those who claim to know the truth. Proportionate to the light and knowledge these opposers have, is Satan's success. The root of bitterness strikes down deep, and is communicated to others. Thus many are defiled. Their statements are confused and untruthful, their principles are unscrupulous, and Satan finds in them the very helpers he wants.

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