Ellen G. White Writings

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The General Conference Bulletin

April 3, 1901

Address by E. G. White

I feel a special interest in the movements and decisions that shall be made at this Conference regarding the things that should have been done years ago, and especially ten years ago, when we were assembled in Conference, and the Spirit and power of God came into our meeting, testifying that God was ready to work for this people if they would come into working order. The brethren assented to the light God had given, but there were those connected with our institutions, especially with the Review and Herald Office and the Conference, who brought in elements of unbelief, so that the light that was given was not acted upon. It was assented to, but no special change was made to bring about such a condition of things that the power of God could be revealed among his people.

The light then given me was that this people should stand higher than any other people on the face of the whole earth, that they should be a loyal people, a people who would rightly represent truth. The sanctifying power of the truth, revealed in their lives, was to distinguish them from the world. They were to stand in moral dignity, having such a close connection with heaven that the Lord God of Israel could give them a place in the earth.

Year after year the same acknowledgment was made, but the principles which exalt a people were not woven into the work. God gave them clear light as to what they should do, and what they should not do, but they departed from that light, and it is a marvel to me that we stand in as much prosperity as we do today. It is because of the great mercy of our God, not because of our righteousness, but that his name should not be dishonored in the world.

In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus God says: “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

It is not for men in any part of the world, in any line of his work, to depart from God's principles in any business transaction. God wants the world to see that business can be carried on in accordance with the principles that mark the character of God in Christ. What are God's commandments?—They are the wall which is built round his people. There is to be no departure from his principles, no bringing in of worldly policy principles. No worldly customs or practices are to be brought in for this people who are to be representatives of Christ to follow. When we keep the commandments of God, we are in touch with God, and he is connected with us.

We read in the first chapter of first Peter: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Capadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” To gain this inheritance, you must be incorruptible and undefiled. You are not to be perverted in any way from the straight lines which God has laid down.

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” We are living in the last time. We are standing as it were on the very borders of the final conflict.

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in

heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Think of this, brethren. Consider it. There are thoughtful men here, and they need to think.

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.” This is the standard that God wants us to reach. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of God which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow; unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

Every soul in every Conference, in every part of the Lord's vineyard, has the privilege of knowing the truth. But truth is not truth to those who do not practice it. Truth is only truth to you when you live it in the daily life, showing the world what those people must be who are at last saved.

“Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.”

Why, I ask you, are men who have not brought self into subjection allowed to stand in important positions of truth and handle sacred things? They have grown to the stature of men, but they have brought with them their childish tendencies. God does not want any such thing. He has made provision for all to have in them the grace of Christ. No others will enter heaven. There has been one rebellion there, and there will not be another. We have been given an opportunity to get rid of every kind of rebellion.

“As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” When you leave this meeting and go to your homes, be quick to hear and slow to speak. Keep yourselves under subjection to the Spirit of God. At the last Conference which I attended here, there was gossiping and controversy in every house. If the people had prayed instead of gossiping, if they had talked with God, the condition of things would have been very different.

Many of you have been educating yourselves to talk with human beings instead of talking with God. You have built up barriers against the principles which should have been carried into every part of the Lord's vineyard.

Slow to speak, slow to wrath. It only takes a word to fire up a man who has not made a practice of talking with God. This spirit is as contagious as the leprosy. One and another catch it, and thus dissension and strife and commotion are brought in. God is not in any of this work. Brethren, before we have finished, we shall know whether or not God is handling this Conference.

“As he which hath called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” You may be exalted to heaven as far as position is concerned, but position does not make the man. Do you obey the commandments of God? Are you one with God? Are you sanctified by the Spirit of God? Those who fill positions in the Conference must have the righteousness of Christ. This gives a man a power in his work.

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” Do not exalt self. Christ 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.”

“Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear; forasmuch as ye know that ye are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold.” If you depart from the principles that are to live through the eternal ages, and bring common things into God's service, he will scatter your work to the four winds.

“Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.” There are those here that have traditions, and they stand just as the Pharisees stood. Notwithstanding they may say that unity and love, compassion and tenderness are correct principles, yet in their own line of practice they cling to the old traditions. “You are to stand by the old traditions,” they say. But what we want is God's traditions. We want to have the living principles of heaven brought into our lives.

You are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish and without spot. And what were you redeemed from? Let me read it again. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth”—it means everything whether you are bound up with God by the truth, or whether you are not. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” Think of this.

“Being born again.” You see, if we do these things, we are born of the Spirit. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” We want you to do all these things. Here are men, sober and right-minded men, who are occupying influential positions on committees, and are handling sacred things, things connected with the service of God. These individuals have been called to bear responsibilities, to carry an influence in the work of God, and the work has been increasing, and ought to increase to fourfold of what it is. Some of those engaged in the work have their intelligence sanctified, and others are unsanctified, but everything will be revealed; for “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Now, whatever the work done by men in responsible positions, its character

will be testified to by its fruits. In the office of publication, the light that God has given me for years is that those in positions of responsibility there are to gather in the youth, to talk to them, to train them for the Lord's service. Do not indulge a spirit of combativeness. Keep the unsanctified tongues under control. Do not blame and censure. Act just as you would want the overseers to act toward you were you in the position of these young people. God wants every individual in his service to represent him.

The men who have woven their own human passions into life and character, who have nurtured self all the way along, are not to think that they are qualified to deal with human minds. God wants every person to begin at home, and there live the Christ-life. In the church and in every business transaction a man will be just what he is in his home. If he submits to the Holy Spirit's guidance in the home, if he understands his responsibility to deal with minds there, then when in responsible positions he will pursue the same course. Remembering the tenderness of Christ toward him, he will manifest the same love and tenderness toward others.

All who are educated in the office of publication should see there exemplified the principles of heaven. I would rather lay a child of mine in his grave than have him go there to see these principles mangled and perverted. The principles of heaven are to be carried out in every family, in the discipline of every church, in every establishment, in every institution, in every school, and in everything that shall be managed. You have no right to manage, unless you manage in God's order. Are you under the control of God? Do you see your responsibility to him? If you do realize this responsibility, you will realize that you are to mold and fashion minds after the divine similitude; and then those in the different institutions here, who are being trained and educated to become workers, will work for God, to hold up the standard of righteousness.

O, my very soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God, are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this work as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,—that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle.

The institution under the management of Dr. Kellogg has done a great work for the education of the youth. It has sent forth more workers in the cause in medical missionary gospel lines than any other agency I know of among our people throughout the world. And I ask, How have you treated the matter? Have you felt that you were to honor God by respecting and honoring the work that has been done in his name for the upbuilding of his cause[?]

The principles of health reform have been proclaimed by us as a people for thirty years. And yet there are among us ministers of the gospel and members of the church who have no respect for the light that God has given upon health reform. They eat as they please, and work as they please. God calls for a straight testimony to be given to those who claim to believe that we are living in the last days of this earth's history. A line of distinction must be drawn between those who serve God, and those who serve him not. God calls upon his people to put away self-pleasing. When in body, soul, and spirit they will dedicate themselves to God, his power will be revealed in a remarkable manner. Here are men who are standing at the head of our various institutions, of the educational interests, and of the Conferences in different localities and in different States. All these are to stand as representative men, to have a voice in molding and fashioning the plans that shall be carried out. There are to be more than one or two or three men to consider the whole vast field. The work is great, and there is no one human mind that can plan for the work which needs to be done.

There are those who always take a negative position. This counts nothing toward building up the work. What has been done here in Michigan? What has been done in America, in the fields that have needed laborers and efficient helpers? I ask you what field where the people have never heard the truth, has been searched out and worked? Who has been preparing men to take hold of the field? And yet upon us rests the responsibility of fulfilling Christ's command, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” After Christ's baptism he preached the gospel to the cities that were round about. He was working and healing—the medical missionary work was bound up with the preaching of the gospel. I am so thankful for the medical missionary work, carried in gospel lines. It is to be taught, it is to be carried forward; for it is the very work that Christ did when on this earth. He was the greatest missionary the world ever saw.

You may say: “Why not, then, take hold of the work, and heal the sick as Christ did?”—I answer, You are not ready. Some have believed; some have been healed; but there are many who make themselves sick by intemperate eating or by indulging in other wrong habits. When they get sick, shall we pray for them to be raised up, that they may carry on the very same work again? There must be a reformation throughout our ranks; the people must reach a higher standard before we can expect the power of God to be manifested in a marked manner for the healing of the sick.

We talk of the Holy Ghost; we preach of the Holy Ghost; but we need to understand better what the office of the Holy Ghost is. We need to understand that we must co-operate with God in every sense or God can not co-operate with us. “We are laborers together with God.”

According to the light that has been given me—and just how it is to be accomplished I can not say—greater strength must be brought into the managing force of the Conference. But this will not be done by intrusting responsibilities to men who have had light poured upon them year after year for the last ten or fifteen years, and yet have not heeded the light that God has given them. The word of God is to be our guide. Have you given heed to the Word? The Testimonies are not by any means to take the place of the Word. They are to bring you to that neglected Word, that you may eat the words of Christ, that you may feed upon them, that by living faith you may be built up from that upon which you feed. If you live in obedience to Christ and his word, you are eating the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations.

Here are the very words that we want to bring into our life practice. The men that have long stood in positions of trust while disregarding the light that God

has given, are not to be depended upon. God wants them to be removed. He wants a new life element brought into the publishing institutions. There are those who have stood as managers and yet have not managed after God's order. Some have served on committees here and committees there, and have felt free to dictate just what the committee should say and do, claiming that those who did not carry out these ideas were sinning against Christ. When the power of God is manifest in the church and in the management of the various departments of his work, when it is evident that the managers are themselves controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, then it is time to consider that you are safe in accepting what they may say, under God. But you must know that you are guided by the principles of the Word of the living God. The Great General of armies, the Captain of the Lord's host, is our leader.

The children of Israel thought that if they should have a king and be like the other nations, they would be a wonderful people. God directed his servant Samuel to tell them what would be the result if their desire were granted. He told them what kings would do. Nevertheless, they said, we will have a king to reign over us. They had a king, and to their sorrow they learned of how little avail was an earthly ruler when God went not forth with their armies.

Now I want to say, God has not put any kingly power in our ranks to control this or that branch of the work. The work has been greatly restricted by the efforts to control it in every line. Here is a vineyard presenting its barren places that have received no labor. And if one should start out to till these places in the name of the Lord, unless he should get the permission of the men in a little circle of authority he would receive no help. But God means that his workers shall have help. If a hundred should start out on a mission to these destitute fields, crying unto God, he would open the way before them. Let me tell you, if your heart is in the work, and you have faith in God, you need not depend upon the sanction of any minister or any people; if you go right to work in the name of the Lord, in a humble way doing what you can to teach the truth, God will vindicate you. If the work had not been so restricted by an impediment here, and an impediment there, and on the other side an impediment, it would have gone forward in its majesty. It would have gone in weakness at first, but the God of heaven lives; the great Overseer lives, the One who knew where Cornelius lived, and who appeared to him as an angel, and declared to him, Your prayers and your alms have come up as a memorial before God. And now do you send men for one Simon, whose surname is Peter, who lives with one Simon a tanner. And he told him the very place where Simon the tanner lived. Then the angel of the Lord went to Peter, and prepared his mind for the reception of the men.

Our God knew about the Ethiopian who was in his chariot studying the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Christ, and he sent Philip to meet that Ethiopian, and the Ethiopian asked him to come and sit in his chariot, and there Philip proclaimed the truth to him more fully. And he said, Here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And he was led down and baptized, because he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord enters into every house, into every office, into every room, where his work is done. Angels of God are passing and repassing through these offices, and there is a record kept of everything that is done in these places. By this record the workers are to be judged. “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned;” every word and action. God is watching, and every one will be rewarded according as his works have been.

The time has come when this people are to be born again. Those that have never been born again, and those that have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins, and can not see afar off, and have practiced their old habits of talking, prejudicing others, hindering the work, and being generally in the way of its advancement, would better be converted. God wants you to be converted, and may he help, that this work may go forward. He is a power for his people when they come into order. There must be a renovation, a reorganization; a power and strength must be brought into the committees that are necessary. Let every one of you go home, not to chat, chat, chat, but to pray. Go home and pray. Talk with God. Go home and plead with God to mold and fashion you after the divine similitude.

Let us right here at this meeting see that the converting power of God is essential. If we will take hold of the Master, take hold of all the power he has given us, the salvation of God will be revealed. Let me tell you that the sick will be healed when you have faith to come to God in the right way. We thank God that we have the medical missionary work. Wherever we carry the gospel, we can teach the people how to take care of themselves. This is our pioneer work. The medical missionary work gives us access to places where otherwise we could not enter, where the people would not give us a hearing. We have been in the field. We have been over the ground. We know what this means.

There are places in the South to be worked. God will help us all to act our part if we will only have the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In the name of the Lord we call for men to build up and strengthen this work; but they themselves need to be built up in the most holy faith, that they may work in the different Conferences, that there may be a healthy, holy influence circulating through each Conference, and that there shall be a supply in any case where God calls for men to enter missionary fields. There is a great work to be done, and my heart is panting and longing for the salvation of souls.

God wants us to love one another. He says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” “as I have loved you; that ye also love one another.” This is the new commandment. It was new because Christ had not, before it was spoken, given the evidence of how much he loves us. “As I have loved you,”—that makes it a new commandment. He wants you to consider his love, manifested in dying for our sinful race; and consider what you can do in order to extend the knowledge of that love. Every believer in the truth has a relation to another soul, and that soul to still another, and through these lines of influence we may extend the blessings of God's grace. Thus we may diffuse heaven's atmosphere in place of the malarious atmosphere which has surrounded so many souls; and by means of which God's work has been hindered and his name dishonored.

Brethren, remember that you are dealing with sacred things. Again I urge you to go home and pray. I have many things as they were written out in my diary ten years ago; I shall have these things copied that I may read them to you. I shall read you what God

expects of his people, who believe the grandest truth ever given to our world. We have a whole treasure house of truth, and if you will become familiar with the truth while here, you can bring from the treasure house things new and old, and you will be able to help the people wherever you may go.

In this city there are many in the school, many in the publishing house, and many training for the medical missionary work. And on every hand there is work to be done. There is work in the regions right around us, and a wide field for work in the regions beyond. God help us to stand prepared for the battle, having on the whole armor, and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. That is what you need. Be at peace among yourselves. When you do that, you are educating character. You are forming characters for the future, immortal life. I want to have a home with the blessed, and I want you to have a home there. I want to work in harmony with you, and I want that every one who has an impetuous temper, that will flare up and lead him to act like a frantic man—I want him, as he begins to speak in this way, to remember Christ, and sit right down and hold his peace. Say not a word.

God help us to restrain our tongues. The voice is a precious talent, and it is to be used to a purpose. It is not lent to you that you may swear; but every one, who gives way to an unholy temper might just as well swear. God help us to submit to Jesus Christ, and to have his power right here and now.

Mrs. E. G. White: I want to speak a word now, as I have spoken before. I want every one to be careful how he throws in a block—“Not now, wait, wait, wait, wait.” We want to know what the right thing is, and move right away. We ask you to pray to God, and we ask you to take your stand, that God can come into this meeting, and that you can come right to the point.

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