Ellen G. White Writings

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Ms 46, 1904

Ms 46, 1904

Talk/The Foundation of Our Faith

Berrien Springs, Michigan

May 18, 1904

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 340-348.

At this time—the last days of this earth’s history, we are to make the book of Revelation a special study. Why?—Because it depicts the scenes that we are to meet. We need to understand what we are to meet and how we are to meet it. We must know what efforts we are to make so that, in this perilous time, we shall not be taken by the enemy’s devices. We know that the last great conflict will be Satan’s most determined effort to accomplish his purposes. He will come, not only as a roaring lion, but as a seducer, clothing sin with beautiful garments of light, that he may take human beings in his snare.

The Lord desires us to realize that it is of great importance that we stand in these last days upon the platform of eternal truth. Those who think that the church militant is the church triumphant make a great mistake. The church militant will gain great triumphs, but it will also have fierce conflicts with evil, that it may be firmly established upon the platform of eternal truth. And every one of us should be determined to stand with the church upon this platform.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Revelation 1:1-3.]

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” [Verses 9-11.]

“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of man. ... And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” [Verses 12, 13, 17-20.]

Thus Christ instructed John, It is the word of God that you will find in the book of Revelation. There are those today who call the Revelation a sealed book. But it is a mystery unfolded. We need to understand what it tells us in regard to the scenes that are to take place in the last days of this earth’s history. The enemy will bring in everything that he possibly can to carry out his deceptive designs. Are they not lacking in wisdom who have no desire to understand in regard to the things that are to take place on this earth?

I am so sorry that Living Temple came out as it did, and was circulated, and the worst of it—that which struck right to my heart—was the assertion made regarding the book: “It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching.” When I heard this, I felt so heartbroken that it seemed as if I could not say anything. Had I said anything, I would have been obliged to speak the truth as it was.

Representations had been shown me that some danger was approaching and that I must prepare for it. I must write out the things God had given me in order to prepare for it.

I did not read Living Temple, though I had it in my library. At last my son said to me, “Mother, you ought to read at least some parts of the book, that you may see whether they are in harmony with the light hat God has given you.” He sat down beside me, and we read the paragraphs to which he referred. When we had finished, I turned to him, and said, “These are the very sentiments against which I was bidden to speak in warning at the very beginning of my public work.” When I first left the state of Maine, it was to go through Vermont and Massachusetts, to bear a testimony against these sentiments. Living Temple contains the Alpha of these theories. The Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people. These beautiful representations are similar to the temptation that the enemy brought to Adam and Eve in Eden.

When but a girl I went to New Hampshire to bear warning against these same doctrines. There was there a man by the name of Billings and another by the name of Bennet who were preaching a higher spirituality. I was asked to meet these men, and I did so, giving them the light that God had given me. In the meeting a great distress came upon me. I was taken off in vision. The men began to triumph, thinking that things were going their way. When I got up to bear my testimony, they began to shout. I stopped and did not say a word until they had finished. Then I went on and told them plainly where the doctrines they were advocating would lead to.

I met these same doctrines in Dorchester, Mass., where for a time I made my home. In one meeting held there, a man arose, and after making a confession, said, “I have listened today to the testimony of Ellen Harmon, and I feel as if I had been partaking of the richest feast ever set before me.” In the past this man had been a model of piety, but these seductive theories came before him—theories teaching that men and women could live above all sin—and he accepted them. What was the result? He left his wife and children and went to live with another woman.

I was at this time nothing but a girl, and I said, “Why am I left to bear this testimony?” Said the one in whose house I was staying, “God knows why. The men advocating these doctrines have a strong influence as being very pious men, and if we were to say anything against them, they would put us in prison. But you are a minor, and they cannot touch you.”

We met these theories again in Topsham, Maine. A brother there, who had accepted them, was very sick, and he wanted me to pray for him. I said, “I cannot pray for you so long as you and these sisters are so free with one another.” He sent for Elder James White who, when he came, asked him, “What are you going to do?” “Do!” he said. “Do you ask what I am going to do? I am going to cut loose from all these evils. I am going to take my stand in harmony with what Sister Ellen Harmon has been presenting to me. I accept what she has said as the word of the Lord.” Thus the company with which he was connected was broken up. And many more such companies were broken up by the light that God gave me. Thus I worked and suffered in my girlhood. And all through my life I have had the same errors to meet, though not always in the same form. In Living Temple the assertion is made that God is in the flower, in the leaf, in the sinner. But God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides there.

There are some things upon which we must reason, and there are other things that we must not discuss. In regard to God—what He is and where He is—silence is eloquence. When you are tempted to speak of what God is, keep silence, because as surely as you begin to speak of this, you will disparage Him.

Our ministers must be very careful not to enter into controversy in regard to the personality of God. This is a subject that they are not to touch. It is a mystery, and the enemy will surely lead astray those who enter into it. We know that Christ came in person to reveal God to the world. God is a person, and Christ is a person. Christ is spoken of in the Word as “the brightness of His Father’s glory, and the express image of His person.” [Hebrews 1:3.]

I was forbidden to talk with Dr. Kellogg on this subject, because it is not a subject to be talked about. And I was instructed that certain sentiments in Living Temple were the Alpha of a long list of deceptive theories.

These sentiments have had an effect on our people everywhere. Some think it strange that I write, “Do not send your children to Battle Creek.” I was instructed in regard to the danger of the worldly influence in Battle Creek. I have written hundreds of pages regarding the danger of having so large a sanitarium, and of calling so many young people together in one place. The young people in Battle Creek are in danger. They will come in contact with error. Years ago I did not think that they would meet these errors right in the sanitariums; but when Living Temple came out, and some of our ministers told me that there was in it nothing but what I had been teaching all my life, I saw how great the danger was. I saw that blindness had fallen upon some who had long known the truth. I pray that the Lord will open the eyes of these ministers, that they may see the difference between light and darkness, and between truth and error.

In a representation which passed before me, I saw a certain work being done by medical missionary workers. Our ministering brethren were looking on, watching what was being done, but they did not seem to understand. The foundation of our faith which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon—the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone. I realized that something must be done.

The battle has nearly killed me. I saw what was coming in, and I saw that our brethren were blind. They did not realize the danger. Our young people, especially, were in danger. They delighted in the beautiful representations—God in the flower, God in the leaf, God in the tree. But if God be in these things, why not worship them?

The reason I have published anything in regard to the medical missionary work was that the errors that were coming in must be met. I did not design to meet them, but in the visions of the night I saw a large ship far out at sea. Suddenly the man on the lookout cried, “Iceberg ahead!” Without hesitation the command rang out, “Meet it!” The engines were put on at full force, and the vessel crashed into the iceberg. There was a tremendous shock, and the ship quivered from stem to stern; but she rebounded from the shock unhurt and went safely on her way. After seeing this representation, I knew what work I must do. I knew that I must meet the errors that were coming in among us.

I have been hoping that there would be a thorough reformation, that the principles for which we fought in my girlhood, and which were brought out in the power of the Holy Spirit, would be maintained. Night after night in our early experience our brethren studied out the truths which we now hold. When they came to something that they could not understand, they would get down on their knees and would remain there for hours sometimes. Sometimes the sun would rise before they would give up the struggle. At times, when they said, “We can do nothing more,” the power of God would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and instruction would be given me. Then I could explain what they could not understand. I would read the Scriptures to them, never looking at the printed page. Thus light was given in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood, and the great points of our faith were firmly established.

But during this period of our experience, my mind was locked to an understanding of the Scriptures. It was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. Thus it was every point of our faith was established in harmony with the Word of God.

At this time I was living in the house of Father Andrews. He was helpless with rheumatism and was constantly in great suffering. I knelt by his side and laying my hands on his head asked Jesus to make him whole. The power of God came upon him, and he walked back and forth across the room, praising the Lord.

Soon after this I was instructed by the Lord that I should no longer mourn in regard to my inability to understand the Scriptures. God unlocked my mind, and ever since, whenever I read His Word, a flood of light comes into my mind.

Thus the work went on, and we were shown where we must stand. Do you wonder that I have something to say, when I see the pillars of our faith beginning to be moved? Seductive theories are being taught in such a way that we shall not recognize them unless we have clear spiritual discernment.

I will stand firmly with every one who will stand for the truth. But I do not want our young people to flock into Battle Creek. They would better not go there. Any one who can be so utterly deceived as to place the misleading sentiments contained in Living Temple before our people cannot be trusted as a teacher of the youth until he is converted.

I have the tenderest sympathy for the physicians associated with Dr. Kellogg. But I have no sympathy for their failure to pass over the mistakes that they see made by Dr. Kellogg, saying nothing about them. God will hold them accountable for letting matters go without saying, “Doctor, you did not do right that time.” The poor man has loaded himself down until the enemy finds him a very easy prey. Unless he changes his course and takes an entirely different course, he will be lost to the cause of God. And his associate physicians will be guilty before God unless they take their position and stand free from every error.

I have lain awake night after night, studying how I could help Dr. Kellogg. His father and mother, before they died, begged me not to give him up, but to stand by him till the last. I said, “I will try if he will listen to me.” I have spent nearly whole nights in prayer for him. Week after week I have not slept till twelve o’clock, and then for weeks I have not been able to sleep past twelve o’clock. I wrote constantly until my left eye gave out. And at last my brain became so weary that I could not use it. My son would come up to my room and ask if he might read some letters that had come. “No, Willie,” I would say, “not a word.” I was in this condition for several weeks. Just before Willie left home last winter for Washington, I saw that his eyes were troubling him, and I offered to read some manuscripts to him. This brought on the old trouble. After Willie had gone, I had to give up entirely for a time. I felt that I was worn out. My brain had ceased to work. My mental suffering was intense. I had a great deal of pain at the base of the brain. I knew that for a time my mind was at a standstill.

Willie expected me to go to Washington in the spring, but it seemed to me that I could not go. I got up one morning, and it seemed to me as if I had come to the place where I could not go another step. I said, “Lord, if it is Thy will for me to go into the grave, take away my life, but do not take away my life and allow me still to live.” Over and over again I offered this prayer, and all at once I seemed to be shut in by a canopy of light. Every particle of pain had left my head, and the next day I wrote twenty pages before dinner.

I feared that when I started for Washington, the difficulty would come on again, but it did not. I wrote something every day during my stay in Washington and spoke three times. Every time I entered the pulpit, it was in fear and trembling, but the Lord sustained me and helped me.

My brethren, the Lord calls for unity, for oneness. We are to be one in the faith. I want to tell you that when the gospel ministers and the medical missionary workers are not united, there is placed on our churches the worst evil that can be placed there. Our medical missionaries ought to be interested in the work of our conferences, and our conference workers ought to be as much interested in the work of our medical missionaries.

It is time that we stood upon a united platform. But we cannot unite with Dr. Kellogg until he stands where he can be a safe leader of the flock of God. Until he stands in this position, we have no right to sustain him.

I have taken my position, brethren. I am not going to enter into controversy over anything that may be presented. Last night I woke at ten o’clock and remained awake for several hours. During that time the whole matter was laid open before me, and I was instructed that I must bear the testimony given me and then leave matters with the Lord. It is not my work to try to make people believe the message given me. When the assertion is made, “Some one has told her,” I am to make no response. On that point, the conflict is over for me. I shall tell you the truth as it is in Jesus. And when any one comes to me to know about this thing or that thing, I shall point them to the One who has said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.]

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