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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900) - Contents
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    Lt 88, 1900

    Managers and Teachers in the Avondale School

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    April 13, 1900

    This letter is published in entirety in 8MR 157-163. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    To The Managers and Teachers in the Avondale School

    Dear Brethren:

    I am distressed and burdened that any of you who stand in responsible positions should open the door and, as it were, invite the enemy in, for this you have done in permitting the exhibitions which took place on the school grounds Wednesday afternoon.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 1

    Let those who are educating the youth take themselves in hand, and educate themselves according to the high principles which Christ has given us in His Word. Let us consider that, as far and as fast as possible, we are to recover the lost ground, that we may weave into our school the spirituality that was in the school of the prophets. The sixth chapter of John needs to be studied with much more special diligence, for it reveals Christ as the Bread of life.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 2

    Why has this school been established? Is it to be like all other schools, or is it to be as God has revealed, a sample school? If so, we would better perfect everything after God’s pattern, and discard all worldly makeshifts which are called education. Brethren, your eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve. I spoke to the school, and to those assembled on Wednesday morning, words which the Lord led me to speak, not knowing anything of what was to take place, for no intimation of it had come to me. How could you harmonize your program of proceedings, which was of a character to counterwork and make of none effect the instruction from God to you, with the words spoken?15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 3

    I afterward felt deeply the words which the Lord gave me for you, and for the benefit of the students—words which I would not have spoken had I known what was to follow. If your perceptions had not been greatly beclouded, you would have taken the words which were given of God as a reproof and a rebuke upon all that kind of pleasure which afterwards transpired. This testimony from God presented before the students duties of the highest order, and to efface by the after performance all the impressions made, was virtually saying, “We want not Thy ways, O God; we want our own ways; we want to follow our own wisdom.” I look at it all as an insult to the Lord Jesus.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 4

    In the night season I appeared to be in the performance that was carried on <on the school grounds.> The actions of the human minds in the development of the spirit that was in these amusements was defacing the impression of the moral image of God. Those persons who engaged in this grotesque performance acted out the mind of the enemy, some in a very unbecoming manner.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 5

    Who witnessed all this scene? The universe of heaven. The men and women who united in that afternoon performance received no light, no working of the Holy Spirit. In the night season, when the scene was all laid open before me, I felt so sorry, so sad that this should be; for Christ who gave His life to elevate, ennoble, refine, and sanctify, was grieved at the exhibitions.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 6

    It will take time and a vast amount of labor and sorrows to wipe out the degradation of some things in the performance on that occasion. I thought that this would be a lesson that would enable all to sense the tendency of these plays and games, that they would see how quickly such amusements reveal a sample of the taste and low ideas of some.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 7

    The armies of Satan gained a decided victory, and God was dishonored. The angels of God were on the grounds, not to approve, but to disapprove. The angels, the ministering spirits that minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, were grieved, ashamed of the exhibition of the sons and daughters of God. As it was represented to me, One stood up and in solemn words laid open the aftereffects of all that program. Words were spoken which I cannot write now, but I may have liberty to write hereafter; I am too much burdened to be able to produce the words on paper.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 8

    What an exhibition was this to be reported by students who delight to trace such things on paper to send to their distant friends and acquaintances! They are witnesses to show, not what God has accomplished, but what Satan has accomplished in the Cooranbong school. In all these things there is among Christians a practice of necromancy which will lead away from righteousness and truth. Serious will be the consequences; for impressions are made which will be hard to efface.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 9

    In their efforts to regain that which was lost in such scenes, one such performance will make much work for those teachers who are working to save the souls of those under their instruction. Unless God shall work on human minds, teachers will manifest impatience; for in their efforts to undo the mischief, they will be severely tried. There will be a freedom with students to seek pleasure, and they will have less regard for the instruction of the Word of God. Thus the Word is dishonored, and the indulgence of the human heart in sin and love of pleasure is the education received. Once the barriers are broken down, the advance of the enemy will be marked, unless the Lord shall humble hearts and convert minds.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 10

    Teachers need an intimate acquaintance with the Word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, is man’s counsellor. It is as the leaves of the tree of life. In it every want is met for souls who love its teachings and bring into their practical lives. Though many students in the school have been baptized, yet they are unconverted. As they are not spiritually minded, they know not what it means to be sanctified by a belief of the truth. The Bible is to be searched, and understood. It is our spiritual food which is to be digested and assimilated. It is to be received into the heart, and worked out in the life. If the Word is unconsulted and unappropriated, no man need expect the Spirit of God.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 11

    In answer to the lawyer’s question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ said, “What saith the law? How readest thou?” The lawyer felt that he could not evade this direct question of Christ, and answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” And Christ answered, “This do and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:25-29.] Just such questions will be asked now, when the truth is brought home to the naked soul. There are those who will evade it if they can.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 12

    The Lord would have His stewards discharge their duties faithfully in His name; and in His strength, by believing and acting upon the Word, they may go on conquering and to conquer. But when men depart from the principles of righteousness, they can conceive a high opinion of their own goodness and aptitude, and unconsciously they exalt themselves. The Lord will allow them to walk alone, and to do their own way. He will give them opportunity to see themselves, and to manifest to others their own weakness. The Lord’s way is always to be closely followed, His Word is to be taken as it reads, and men are not to devise and plan according to their own weak judgment.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 13

    Whenever true repentance exists, it will be revealed in doing justice, in loving mercy, and in walking humbly with God. Wherein the least wrong has been done to others, it will lead to a full restitution, that the soul may be cleared from guilt. What a work is before us! This school is to be as the school of the prophets. The truths of the Bible are to be earnestly studied. If rightly brought before the minds, if earnestly studied and dwelt upon, they will not cultivate an appetite or relish for amusements. We are living very near the closing scenes of this earth’s history. God’s judgments have been and are permitted to come upon the world, and will be more and more pronounced until the end.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 14

    The question is asked, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? What shall we do to gain heaven? This important question is answered to all who desire to know, “This is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent.” [John 6:29.] The price for which you may have heaven is the Messiah; the way to heaven is faith in Jesus Christ. He asks you, first to believe, next to work.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 15

    “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” “For the Bread of God is he who cometh down from heaven, and giveth light unto the world.” “I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” [Verses 29, 33, 35.] Christ gives them to understand that a man needs to be taught of God in order to comprehend these things. This is the cause of so much cheap knowledge of the Scriptures in the churches of today. Ministers preach only portions of the Word, and refuse to practice even as much as they teach. This leads to misconceptions of the Word and doctrine; it creates error and misinterpretations of the Scripture.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 16

    All, from the oldest to the youngest, need to be taught of God. We may be taught by man to see the truth clearly, but God alone can teach the heart to receive the truth savingly, which is to receive the words of eternal life into good and honest hearts. The Lord is waiting patiently to instruct every willing soul who will be taught. The fault is not with the willing Instructor, the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, but it is with the learner who holds to his own impressions and ideas, and will not give up his human theories and come in humility to be taught. He will not allow his conscience and his heart to be educated, disciplined, and trained—worked as the husbandman works the earth, and as the architect constructs the building. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Everyone needs to be worked, molded and fashioned after the divine similitude.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 17

    Christ tells you, my dear friends, young and old, the everlasting truth, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (If you do not take Christ’s word as the man of your counsel, you will not reveal His wisdom or His spiritual life.) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; ... for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” [John 6:53-56.] Said Christ, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.]15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 18

    Those who search the Scriptures, and most earnestly seek to understand them, will reveal the sanctification of the spirit through the belief of the truth; for they take into their very heart the truth, and have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. All their spiritual sinew and muscle are nourished by the Bread of Life which they eat.15LtMs, Lt 88, 1900, par. 19

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