Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

August 11, 1903

An Open Letter

Sanitarium, Cal.,

July 5, 1903.

My Dear Brethren,

Our people far and near need to ask themselves how the Lord regards their neglect of important centers in America. There are many places in this country in which the truth has never been proclaimed. Many years ago there should have been a sanitarium in Washington,. D. C. But men have chosen their way in many things, and the places to which the truth should have found entrance, by the establishment of medical missionary work, have been neglected.

The Lord has opened this matter to me decidedly. The publishing work that has been carried on in Battle Creek should for the present be carried on near Washington. If after a time the Lord says, Move away from Washington, we are to move. We are pilgrims and strangers in this earth, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. When the Lord tells us to move, we are to obey, however inconvenient and inconsistent such a command may seem to us to be.

How shall we answer to God, I ask, for failing to proclaim the truth for this time in the capital of our nation? A representation should have been made there of our truth that would favorably have impressed those who have so much to do with framing the nation's laws.

Why have not those who have taken a leading part in medical missionary work been burdened to carry to Washington the message of temperance in eating, drinking, and dressing? There would have been less difficulty in giving the message in this place than in some other places.

There are many places that need gospel medical missionary work. Plants should be made in these places. God designs that our sanitariums shall be a means of reaching high and low, rich and poor. They are to be so conducted that by their work attention will be called to the message that God has sent to the world. Many will not heed the call of mercy; nevertheless it is to be given to all, that whosoever will may come to the water of life and drink.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

The truth for this time is to be proclaimed in all parts of the world. If men and women fail to act their part, God will give voices to the stones, and they will proclaim the warning.

May God help us to give the stirring message for this time. We have no time now to amuse ourselves with the enemy's sophistry, or to apologize for his work. My brethren, keep off Satan's ground. Do not tamper with what you ought to denounce firmly and boldly in words the meaning of which can not be mistaken. If you tempt Satan to tempt you, you will most assuredly be deceived by his reasoning. If you tamper with that which you ought to denounce, you will fall victims to your own ignorance and folly.

God's Word portrays the fate of those who receive not his warnings. They receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Retribution for past sins comes upon them. Their feet are so entangled in inconsistencies that they can not discern at what they stumble.

The gospel of Christ Jesus is of heavenly force. The message for this time is a most decided one. I call upon those to whom God has entrusted his work not to link their arms in the arm of Satan. Do not allow him to make a confidant of you. Keep away from his specious devices. We have great and solemn truths to give to the world, and they are to be proclaimed in no hesitating, limping style. The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Some will come to hear the strange message out of curiosity; others, with a longing to receive true knowledge, asking the question, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Thus men came to Christ. And mingling with his hearers were angels in the form of men, making their suggestions, criticizing, misapplying, and misinterpreting the Saviour's words. Christ presented the truth in the form of parables. This was the only way in which he could rebuke sin without causing personal offense.

In this time evil angels in the form of men will talk with those who know the truth. They will misinterpret and misconstrue the statements of the messengers of God.

The question is asked, Why is it that hearts are not moved by the proclamation of the gospel of Christ?—It is because Satan is linked up with the religionists of today. Good seed is sown in the hearts of the hearers, but the soil was not prepared, and the seed does not spring up to bear fruit. The enemy comes with his suggestions and insinuations, and the words of life that were spoken lose their force.

Many will hear the message, but will refuse to heed; nevertheless the warning is to be given to all in clear, plain tones. Not only is the truth to be presented in public assemblies; house-to-house work is to be done. Let this work go forward in the name of the Lord. Those who engage in it have the heavenly angels as their companions. They will resist the attacks made by the enemy on those who are co-operating with God.

Christ has a message to give to the world through his messengers, which, if received, would change the character of society entirely. The wilderness of thorns and thistles would be changed into a garden of beautiful flowers and fruit-bearing trees.

Christ has laid down the conditions of acceptable service. “He that loveth his life shall lose it,” he says; “and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”

It is Christ's method of serving that is of value in God's sight. The service of those who serve in the world's way is worthless; for it is all for self. The selfishness of human nature takes control. They do not serve as Christ has given them example.

Let us study the life and death of Christ. Let us do all in our power to work out the plan of God. What tongue can tell, what pen unfold, the mighty results of looking to Jesus and living his life! How few of those claiming to be Christians have any real right to that sacred name!

Satan watches eagerly to find Christians off their guard. O that the followers of Christ would remember that eternal vigilance is the price of eternal life! Many have a slumbering faith. Unless they are invigorated, revived, quickened into action, their souls will be lost.

Self must die, and Christ must be enthroned in the heart as all and in all. The thoughts must be stayed on him. Then the life will be an honor to his name. The soul will receive power from on high to resist Satan's specious devisings.

Have Seventh-day Adventists forgotten the warning given in the sixth chapter of Ephesians? We are engaged in a warfare against the hosts of darkness. Unless we follow our Leader closely, Satan will obtain the victory over us.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ellen G. White.

August 11, 1903

Words of Counsel

Healdsburg, Cal.,

July 6, 1903.

My Dear Brethren and Sisters,

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

“But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

Will not the brethren and sisters of the Battle Creek church, and of the churches in every other place, remember that they are working as for eternity? Will not they obey the injunctions of God's Word, the teachings of which are to be brought into the life-practice as spiritual food?

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Ellen G. White.

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