Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

March 18, 1890

The Present Message

[Morning talk at Battle Creek, Mich., February 4, 1890.]

By Mrs. E. G. White

When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the sufferings of the Son of God. A door has been opened, and no man can close it, neither the highest powers nor the lowest; you alone can close the door of your heart, so that the Lord cannot reach you. You have been having light from heaven for the past year and a half, that the Lord would have you bring into your character and weave into your experience.

The watchmen upon the walls of Zion are to cry aloud and spare not, to lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sin. When John came to Jordan, it was to arouse the people, to lay the ax at the root of the tree. Christ had not yet come to reveal himself to the world, and John was to prepare the way of the Lord. He rebuked, reproved, stirred men up to repentance, condemned their sin, and then Christ came to pour the healing balm into the prepared soul. When the disciples of John were jealous because Christ baptized more disciples than did their master, he answered, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” Do you think that John had no human feelings?—Of course he did, but he determined that they should have no control over him. When he had seen Jesus on the banks of the Jordan, he had said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” He directed the attention of the people to Christ, and two of his disciples turned and followed Jesus. “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, “Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day.” Then they began the work of calling others.

God has his workmen to carry on his work, and no man can carry the work beyond a certain point, because man will place his own mold upon it. It is natural for men to put their fashion upon the work; but when there is danger of this, the Lord calls other men whom he has ready, to carry forward the message; for the work must not become circumscribed by the influence of man. Other workmen must be brought in, to carry the work upward and forward as God shall direct, that the mold may not appear, and that the truth may not be crippled and dwarfed by the experience of the workers. The mold of man must be taken off the work. Too often the messenger that God has used comes to be depended upon, and to be placed where God should be, by the people; then God brings in another worker. He does not set the first one aside, for his experience and capabilities are all needed for the perfection of the work; but if the men whom God has used become jealous and envious, and imagine evil, they will not fill the place, but will stand directly in the way of the advancement of the work. Then the work will move without them, and that is a great blessing.

When I held the hand of my dying husband in mine, there came a flood of light upon me as I sat there beside his bed in my feebleness and sorrow, and a voice seemed to say, “I have my workmen, and the work shall go on.” I resolved then to take up my burden as I never before had taken it up. I would stand at my post of duty. I would not diminish my efforts. I trusted in God that he would bring a large measure of his Holy Spirit into the work, that would lift it to its proper place.

If our brethren were all laborers together with God, they would not doubt but that the message he has sent us during these last two years is from heaven. Our young men look to our older brethren, and as they see that they do not accept the message, but treat it as though it were of no consequence, it influences those who are ignorant of the Scriptures to reject the light. These men who refuse to receive truth, interpose themselves between the people and the light. But there is no excuse for any one's refusing the light, for it has been plainly revealed. There is no need of any one's being in ignorance. We must clear the King's highway; for God will remove hindrances out of the way. God calls you to come up to his help against the mighty. Instead of pressing your weight against the chariot of truth that is being pulled up an inclined road, you should work with all the energy you can summon to push it on. Shall we repeat the history of the Jews in our work? The leaders of the people in the time of Christ brought all their power to bear against the work of Christ, that his way might be hedged up. The people must go to God for themselves, and pray that all wrong impressions may be removed from their hearts,—pray that the word of God may not be clouded by men's interpretations.

God has set before you an open door; let not man seek to close it. Open your heart and mind, and let the Sun of Righteousness shine into your soul. How long will it be before the word of truth will have weight with you? How long will it be before you will believe the testimonies of God's Spirit? When is the truth for this time to find access to your hearts? Will you wait till Christ comes? How long will God permit the way to be hedged up? Clear the King's highway, I beseech you, and make his paths straight.

I have traveled from place to place, attending meetings where the message of the righteousness of Christ was preached. I considered it a privilege to stand by the side of my brethren, and give my testimony with the message for the time; and I saw that the power of God attended the message wherever it was spoken. You could not make the people believe in South Lancaster that it was not a message of light that came to them. The people confessed their sins, and appropriated the righteousness of Christ. God has set his hand to do this work. We labored in Chicago; it was a week before there was a break in the meetings. But like a wave of glory, the blessing of God swept over us as we pointed men to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. The Lord revealed his glory, and we felt the deep movings of his Spirit. Everywhere the message led to the confession of sin, and to the putting away of iniquity.

I have tried to present the message to you as I have understood it, but how long will those at the head of the work keep themselves aloof from the message of God?

We must take our hands off the ark of God. I mean to stand faithfully at my post of duty. I mean to do my work for time and for eternity. It is only those who are faithful that are great in the sight of the Lord. Suppose that you blot out the testimony that has been going during these last two years proclaiming the righteousness of Christ, who can you point to as bringing out special light for the people? This message as it has been presented, should go to every church that claims to believe the truth, and bring our people up to a higher stand-point. Where are the builders that are carrying forward the work of restoration? We want to see who have presented to the world the heavenly credentials. God gives every man a chance to take his place in the work. Let the people of God tell what they have seen and heard and handled of the word of life. Every worker has his place; but God does not want any man to think that no other message is to be heard but that which he may have given. We want the past message and the fresh message. Let the Spirit of God come into the heart. O that we may realize the value of the price that has been paid for our salvation! I entreat of you to come nearer to God, that you may take hold of the message for yourselves.

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