Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Southern Watchman

April 5, 1904

“Zealous of Good Works”

Among the first to catch Nehemiah's spirit of zeal and earnestness were the priests of Israel. From the position of influence which they occupied, these men could do much to hinder or advance the work. Their ready co-operation at the very outset contributed not a little to its success. Thus should it be in every holy enterprise. Those who occupy positions of influence and responsibility in the church, should be foremost in the work of God. If they move reluctantly, others will not move at all. But “their zeal will provoke very many.” When their light burns brightly, a thousand torches will be kindled at the flame.

A majority of the nobles and rulers of Israel also came nobly up to their duty; but there were a few, the Tekoite nobles, who “put not their necks to the work of their Lord.” While the faithful builders have honorable mention in the book of God, the memory of these slothful servants is branded with shame, and handed down as a warning to all future generations.

In every religious movement there are some who, while they can not deny that it is the work of God, will keep themselves aloof, refusing to make any effort to advance it. But in enterprises to promote their selfish interests, these men are often the most active and energetic workers. It were well to remember that record kept on high, the book of God, in which all our motives and our works are written—that book in which there are no omissions, no mistakes, and out of which we are to be judged. There every neglected opportunity to do service for God will be faithfully reported, and every deed of faith and love, however humble, will be held in everlasting remembrance. Against the inspiring influence of Nehemiah's presence, the example of the Tekoite nobles had little weight. The people in general were animated with one heart and one soul of patriotism and cheerful activity. Men of ability and influence organized the various classes of citizens into companies, each leader making himself responsible for the erection of a certain portion of the wall. It was a sight well pleasing to God and angels to see the busy companies, working harmoniously upon the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, and it was a joyous sound to hear, the noise of instruments of labor from the earliest dawn “till the stars appeared.”

Nehemiah's zeal and energy did not abate, now that the work was actually begun. He did not fold his hands, feeling that he might let fall the burden. With tireless vigilance he constantly superintended the work, directing the workmen, noting every hindrance, and providing for every emergency. His influence was constantly felt along the whole extent of those three miles of wall. With timely words he encouraged the fearful, approved the diligent, or aroused the laggard. And again he watched with eagle eye the movements of their enemies, who at times collected at a distance and engaged in earnest conversation, as if plotting mischief, and then drawing near the workmen attempted to divert their attention and hinder the work. While the eye of every worker is often directed to Nehemiah, ready to heed the slightest signal, his eye and heart are uplifted to God, the great Overseer of the whole work, the One who put it into the heart of his servant to build. And as faith and courage strengthen in his own heart, Nehemiah exclaims, and his words, repeated and re-echoed, thrill the hearts of the workers all along the line, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us!”

Mrs. E. G. White

April 5, 1904

Present Truth

Our people need to understand the reasons of our faith and our past experiences. How sad it is that so many of them apparently place unlimited confidence in men who present theories tending to uproot our past experiences and to remove the old landmarks! Those who can so easily be led by a false spirit show that they have been following the wrong captain for some time,—so long that they do not discern that they are departing from the faith, or that they are not building upon the true foundation. We need to urge all to put on their spiritual eye-glasses, to have their eyes anointed that they may see clearly and discern the true pillars of the faith. Then they will know that “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” We need to revive the old evidences of the faith once delivered to the saints.

Every conceivable fanciful and deceptive doctrine will be presented by men who think that they have the truth. Some are now teaching that children will be born in the new earth. Is this present truth? Who has inspired these men to present such a theory? Did the Lord give any one such views?—No; those things which are revealed are for us and our children, but upon subjects not revealed, and having naught to do with our salvation, silence is eloquence. These strange ideas should not even be mentioned, much less taught as essential truths.

We have reached a time when things are to be called by their right name. As we did in the earlier days, we must arise, and, under the Spirit of God, rebuke the work of deception. Some of the sentiments now expressed are the alpha of some of the most fanatical ideas that could be presented. Teachings similar to those we had to meet soon after 1844 are being taught by some who occupy important positions in the work of God.

In New Hampshire, in Vermont, and in other places we had to resist the stealthy, deceptive work of fanaticism. Presumptuous sins were committed, and unholy lusts were freely indulged by some, under the cloak of sanctification. The doctrine of spiritual free-love was advocated. We saw the fulfilment of the scripture “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.”

Men standing in responsible positions have presented in subtle scientific words their human ideas of God. Will those who have been deceived by the art of the great deceiver now make a decided change? O, that they might realize how they have dishonored God!

But I take no pleasure in dwelling upon these matters. The Lord has a care for his sheep, and he will not permit them to be deceived and destroyed. We must all make a determined effort to save the souls of those who have been deceived.

Mrs. E. G. White

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»