Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 30, 1901

A Teacher Sent From God

Mrs. E. G. White

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit.”

There are some who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and who by falsehood and misrepresentation seduce others. These false teachers are represented by Christ as ravening wolves. Their work is to tear down that which God through His agencies is seeking to build up. “Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets which make my people to err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded; yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.”

False prophets are described by Paul in his second letter to Timothy: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Paul warns his son in the gospel, saying, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.”

Men oppose the truth with falsehood, and those who do not desire a knowledge of the truth listen eagerly to the fables presented to them. Their hearts are imbued with the same spirit of opposition to the truth that fills the hearts of the false teachers. They act toward God's commandment-keeping people in this time as the Jews acted when they refused to accept the truths that Christ unfolded before them. Christ presented to them the prophecies of the Old Testament, showing them that by their rejection of Him they were fulfilling these prophecies. But they continued in their evil course, and followed, to the end, the works that stand registered against them in the books of heaven, which have brought eternal infamy upon them as a nation.

What accusation did the Jews bring against Christ?—“He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” Eagerly they received the testimony of false witnesses. They hired men to report against Christ, that they might have some pretext for condemning Him. They did everything that could be done to make themselves and others believe that He was a criminal. His every word and action was watched, and reported in a distorted light. Spies were constantly upon His track, saying, Show us a sign. Work some miracle.

When Christ said to the sick of the palsy, “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee,” He gave His enemies a sign which they could not set aside. “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Knowing their unspoken thoughts, Jesus said, “What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins (He said unto the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today.”

Did this evidence that Jesus was the Son of God cause the scribes and Pharisees to believe in Him?—No; this demonstration of His power only exasperated them. It was not evidence that He was the teacher sent from God, that they wanted, but evidence that He was a deceiver. Their hearts were not open to conviction. They were filled with intense hatred and bitter prejudice, and they were ever seeking to find some occasion to manifest their wrath.

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Next in Christ's work came a call from a ruler, saying, “My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples.... And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame thereof went abroad into all that land.

“And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.”

Notwithstanding this charge, the restored men, “when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country.” This added fuel to the fire of prejudice. His enemies interpreted His works of mercy and compassion as a wrong done to themselves. The people were leaving them and listening to the teachings of Christ.

“As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” These words, contrasting the works and mercy of Christ with the course pursued by the priests and Pharisees, exasperated the leading men. Every additional proof given them provoked them to increased resistance. When they saw that they could not prevent Him from working miracles, they put forth their skill to misrepresent and falsify Him. They could bear false witness, and this they did. They said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” But Jesus worked on, heeding not censure, prejudice, or opposition. The genuineness of His power and His work was kept before the people, and His enemies could not turn the multitude from following after Him.

In Christ's mighty works there was sufficient evidence to convince any one. But the Jewish rulers did not want the truth. They could not but acknowledge the reality of the works of Christ, but they cast condemnation upon them all. They were forced to acknowledge that supernatural power attended His work, but this power, they declared, was derived from Satan. Did they really believe this?—No; but they were so determined that the truth should not lead to their conversion that they charged the work of the Spirit of God to the devil. Thus they committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, which has no forgiveness in this world or in the world to come.

We read again of Christ: “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.”

All-compassionate Redeemer! what love, what matchless love, is thine! Charged by the great men of Israel with doing His works of mercy by the power of the prince of devils, He was as one who saw and heard not. The work He came from heaven to do must not be left undone. Truth must be unfolded to men. The Light of the world must flash His beams into the darkness of sin and superstition. The truth found no place in the hearts of those who should have been foremost to receive it, because they were barricaded with prejudice and wicked unbelief. Among those who had not such exalted privileges, Christ prepared hearts to receive His message. He made new bottles for the new wine.

Every truth is invested by the God of heaven with an influence proportionate to its character and importance. The plan of redemption, which means everything to a lost and ruined world, was to be proclaimed, and the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus was brought into vital contact with the heart of the world. Light and truth vibrated through the universe. The plan of redemption was made known, which thrills the soul and prepares it for the great power of God. A truth so large, so deep, so full and complete, it could be the center of all truth hitherto revealed.

By Christ the truth was proclaimed. The hearts of those who professed to be the children of God were barricaded against it; but those who had not been so highly privileged, those who were not clothed with the garments of self-righteousness, were drawn to Christ. Their minds were convinced and quickened into activity.

The cross stands as the great center of the world, bearing a certain testimony which will be the condemnation of every transgressor of the law of God. Today Satan endeavors to keep hidden from the world the great atoning sacrifice, which reveals the love of God and the binding claims of His law. He wars against the work of Christ. His evil angels unite with evil men in opposing this work. But while He is carrying on this work, heavenly intelligences are combining with God's human instrumentalities in the work of restoration.

The children of God are not to expect an easy time in this life. There are battles to be fought. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We are not left alone to engage in this conflict. Jesus is the captain of our salvation. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and took the field himself, that He might teach us how to fight the battles of the Lord. He says, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

April 30, 1901

Missionary Work in the Neighborhood

Mrs. E. G. White

The books of heaven will reveal a terrible record of unfulfilled home duties against parents who were regarded as intelligent missionary workers. How much more influence these parents might have had, how much more good they might have done, had they begun the work at the right point, by setting their own house in order, and presenting to their neighbors a well-ordered family as evidence of the power of the truth! When it is seen that the children are not like worldlings, when the beauty of faith and the spirit of genuine Christianity are seen in them, it will be as light pointing heavenward.

It is the acts of faith and love in the so-called little things of life, the spirit of Christ manifested at home, in the field, in the workshop, as well as in the church, that make us living epistles known and read of all. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of holy purpose, of disinterested love, is an argument in favor of the truth which they can not gainsay. Far more can be accomplished by humble, devoted, virtuous lives, than can be gained by preaching when a godly example is lacking.

There is a sad neglect of personal effort, both for the members of the family and for our neighbors. Many seem to rest perfectly easy, as if the heavenly messengers were to come to earth, and in an audible voice proclaim the warning. They stand idle, virtually saying, “Am I my brother's keeper?” Many associate almost wholly with those of the same faith, and feel no duty to become acquainted with their neighbors who are ignorant of the great and testing truths for the last days. Ladies who, in the parlor, can engage in conversation with wonderful tact and earnestness, shrink from pointing the sinner to the Lamb of God. Oh! there is so much work for souls that is left undone because it is a cross, and because each seeks his own amusement, and works for his own selfish interests. Because of our unbelief, worldliness, and indolence, blood-bought souls in the very shadow of our homes are dying in their sins, and dying unwarned.

Until the judgment, it will never be known how much might have been done, how many plans might have been devised, to save souls by bringing them to a knowledge of the truth. But self-indulgence, unwillingness to sacrifice, and a lack of true spiritual discernment, have led many to overlook the open doors which they might have entered to do a good work for the Master. Love of ease has caused them to shun the wearing of Christ's yoke, the lifting of His burden.

Many, many, are approaching the day of God doing nothing, shunning responsibilities, and as a result, they are religious dwarfs. So far as work for God is concerned, the pages of their life history present a mournful blank. They are trees in the garden of God, but only cumberers of the ground, darkening with their unproductive boughs the ground which fruit-bearing trees might have occupied.

April 30, 1901

Notes From General Conference

Mrs. E. G. White: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.”

John tried to describe the love of God, but language failed. He could only call on us to behold it. We must behold this love for ourselves. We must strive to understand as far as possible the love the Father has bestowed upon us.

Let no one feel that he is stepping down in becoming a child of God. It was the only begotten Son of God who stepped down. He gave himself for us. Leaving His splendor, His majesty, His high command, and clothing His divinity, with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold upon divinity. He came to this earth, and in our behalf suffered the death of the cross.

In the words I have read, our possibilities are opened before us. It is possible for every son and daughter of Adam through belief in Christ, to be cleansed from sin. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name,” Our part is to receive and believe on Jesus Christ.

Of Him on whom we are asked to believe, it is written, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.... That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

It is our privilege to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. We need not groan and murmur because the path heavenward is not a smooth one. Our part is to believe, to try to understand the words. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” The assurance is, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” Do we believe on His name?

Christ has made an infinite sacrifice. He gave His own life for us. He took upon His divine soul the result of the transgression of God's law. Laying aside His royal crown, He condescended to step down, step by step, to the level of fallen humanity. He hung upon Calvary's cross, dying in our behalf, that we might have eternal life. Why is it that we are so indifferent to this great sacrifice? Does it seem a small thing that He should endure all this that we might be called the sons of God? Does it seem a small thing to you to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, partakers of an immortal inheritance? Is it a small matter to become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ? What sacrifice have we made in response to this infinite sacrifice?

Would you grasp the things of the world? The world knoweth not God. Give yourselves to the world, and you will not know God; you can not know Him. We need to behold Him. We need to purify our souls by obeying the truth.

No one can serve God by proxy. There are many who seem to think that there is some one in this world stronger than Christ, upon whom they can lean. And instead of coming right to Christ, just as they are, giving themselves unreservedly to Him, they reach out for human help. God wants us to have an individual experience, to form characters after the divine similitude. I can not work out a character for you, and you can not work out a character for me. We are to stand before God in our individuality, and know for ourselves what it means to have the light and comfort and love of God in our hearts. The Lord wants us to take Him at His word. He desires every one of us to reveal His character to the world. If all would accept the righteousness of Christ, we should not see so much sickness in our world. Every one would strive to take care of the house he inhabits. He would purify his soul by obeying the truth.

We read in Zechariah, “He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.”

Joshua represents the people of God. When Satan accused him, the Lord rebuked him, and spoke to those that stood before him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said. Let them set a fair miter upon his head. So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.” Satan tries to bring reproach against those who are trying to serve and honor God. He presents them in a questionable light, as those who are clothed with filthy garments. God says, Take away the filthy garments. You have no right to put them upon my children. Take them away. My people may have imperfections of character. They may fail in their endeavors; but if they repent, I will forgive them.

This word of assurance is given to all who have faith in God. Receive this wonderful promise. It is not a human being who is speaking. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.”

“Among these that stand by.” The hosts of the enemy, who are trying to bring God's people into disrepute, and the hosts of heaven, ten thousand times ten thousand angels, who watch over and guard the tempted people of God, uplifting them and strengthening them,—these are they who stand by. And God says to His believing ones, You shall walk among them. You shall not be overcome by the powers of darkness. You shall stand before me in the sight of the holy angels, who are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.

Mrs. E. G. White: The Scriptures teach us to seek for the sanctification to God of body, soul, and spirit. In this work we are to be laborers together with God. Much may be done to restore the moral image of God in man, to improve the physical, mental, and moral capabilities. Great changes can be made in the physical system by obeying the laws of God and bringing into the body nothing that defiles. Our dependence is not in what man can do: it is in what God can do for man through Christ. When we surrender ourselves wholly to God, and fully believe, the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin.

April 30, 1901

A Testimony

Given to the Ministers at General Conference, April 17

I want to say a few words. God has left a few of the old pioneers who know something of the fanaticism which existed in the early days of this message. Here is Brother Prescott; he knows something about it. He is acquainted with phase after phase of the fanaticism that has taken place. Here is Brother Haskell. He knows something about it, and there are various ones of our older brethren who have passed over the ground, and they understand something of what we have had to meet and contend with. Then there is Brother Corliss; I speak of him because he knows something about fanaticism, not only in the early days, but in our later experience.

Let every one of us remember the men of gray hairs. Do not set them back in a corner, and say, We do not need you, because you are too old to be active workers. If on only one occasion these men of experience can stand and tell you what the right way is, it is worth to the cause of God more than you would pay a dozen laborers who have little or no experience in this work. God wants us to come to our senses. I thank God that there are a few who know what we have passed through in the beginning of the history of this work; God wants you to cherish them, and I want you to cherish them. God wants you to feel that it is a sacred duty to look after them, and not to ignore them or put them out of sight.

You may think that they have made mistakes. Have you made any? May God let His melting Spirit come into our hearts. May God come to us with His comforting power. What we want is not hearts of steel, but hearts of flesh. I hope that not a soul will go away from this meeting until he can say for himself, I know that I am Christ's in God.

When persons are in our midst who are moved by the Spirit of God, through whom the great treasures of His word are unfolded to us, increasing in every phase, let us not take the position that we know all that is worth knowing, and what we do not know is not worth knowing, hindering the very ones who are digging for the truth as for hidden treasure. The word of God is opening more and more to us. Just as long as we live on the earth, we shall be able to find a whole treasure-house of beautiful things. Some will see beauty in one truth, some in another, and some will look at it in another way. We are not all constituted alike. But some think that what they have is all there is to acquire. They say of others, Do not let them come into our meetings; we do not want them here. They do not believe as we do. I wish to say. Hands off. Let God work through human instrumentalities according to His will.

Read the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will see that God has given us the privilege of being united in Christian love, brethren with brethren, all being bound together by the golden chain of love which has been let down from heaven to unite the believers. God wants you to be like himself. He wants to keep you unspotted from the world, to forgive your sins, and to draw you to himself, that you may step off the ladder into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I wish to say to you today, The Lord wants you to be converted. At great expense to myself, in sickness and feebleness, I have come a long way to bear this testimony before the congregation which was presented to me before I left Cooranbong. If this had not been presented to me, I should not be here today. But I am here, in obedience to the word of the Lord, and I thank Him that He has given me strength beyond my expectations to speak to the people. I want you all, for Christ's sake, to heed His injunction to love one another. Thus you will bear witness to the world that God sent His Son to save sinners. Let not the enemy come in to break up the unity which should exist between brethren and sisters. Christ wants His people to be one. Why?—That the world may see that God loves His people even as He loves His Son.

Let us at this meeting humble our hearts before God. Night after night since coming here, I have been unable to sleep past one o'clock. I have pleaded with God to enter among us, and work mightily upon hearts and minds. He is willing to do this. He declares, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him.” If he does not enter, it is because the door is closed against Him. Shall we not let Him in, that we may enjoy a heavenly feast with a heavenly Guest? God grant that at this meeting you may so consecrate yourselves to His service that you may go forth as did the disciples, bearing the message with such power from on high that thousands will be converted.

“Get ready,” is the word sounded in my ears. “Get ready, get ready. He that is to come, will come and will not tarry. Tell my people that unless they improve the sacred opportunities given them, unless they do the work I have given them, Satan will come upon them with the stealthy tread of a thief, to deceive and allure them.” God wants us to be wide awake, that when He shall come, we shall be ready to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” He is coming to us by His Holy Spirit today. Let us recognize Him now; then we shall recognize Him when He comes in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. God calls upon you to get ready to meet Him in peace.

I leave this message with you, asking you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to love one another as He has loved you. Thus the world will see and recognize the amazing power of redeeming grace.

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