Larger font
Smaller font
Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Lt 102, 1901

    Church at Healdsburg

    St. Helena, California

    July 21, 1901

    Portions of this letter are published in OHC 235; TMK 114; 15MR 167. +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 Church at Healdsburg: Dear Brethren and Sisters,—

    The condition of the church at Healdsburg has been presented to me. I have been instructed that a large number of the members have violated their profession of faith. They have not cherished that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. A strange spirit has been manifested in the church. There has been robbery of God, and God has shown me that the church had a work to do in making this matter right.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 1

    Brother Mills was anxious to have the church debt presented at the Oakland camp-meeting. But I was instructed that this would not be the right thing to do; that there was a solemn work to do in the church with the church members; that there was need of conversion, need of repentance and confession of sin. The members of the Healdsburg church need to humble their hearts before God, that there may be a thorough cleansing of the soul from the strange work that has so greatly dishonored God. The course of action followed by some claiming to be Seventh-day Adventists has left a blot upon the Lord’s heritage. Those who expect to enter heaven without counting and accepting the cost will never see within the gates of the New Jerusalem. I do not ask the members of the Healdsburg church, “Do you read your Bibles?” I ask, “Do you search the Scriptures, that you may be enlightened in regard to the Word of God?”16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 2

    Brother Mills told me that he was anxious to present a petition at the camp-meeting for money to be raised to make improvements upon the Healdsburg church building. One night after this, the situation of this church was presented to me. I was shown that for years, and for the last twelve years especially, some whose names are on the church books have been standing under the rebuke of God. I have been asked by letter regarding the real-estate business being an objectionable business to be followed by Seventh-day Adventists, and I must answer this question. I have been instructed that those who follow this business after worldly policy plans cannot be Christians in practice, even though they are in profession. Thoroughly converted men, those who make Christ their example, could not work in the real-estate business in the way in which it has been conducted for more than fifteen years by some claiming to be Seventh-day Adventists. Have those who have been in this business a clean conscience? Will they be pleased to meet their record at the bar of God, when the sealed books shall be unsealed and every transaction of this life shall be revealed? Those who have not followed correct principles in dealing with brethren or with those not of our faith will not be pleased with the revelation that will appear when they will see matters as God sees them. Those who have not a clear perception of the law of God and its binding claims upon all will meet with some sad surprises in the last great day when every case will be brought up in review before God. In their record they will see that which will fill them with shame, but not a figure can be changed. All is beyond recall or remedy.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 3

    In the church militant, there are tares with the wheat. Christ declared, “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” [Matthew 13:24-30.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 4

    “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” [Verses 36-43.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 5

    Read this instruction carefully, doing all in your power to understand the parable. The Holy Spirit will impress the minds of those who desire a clear perception of this parable. The gospel of Jesus Christ calls together in church capacity those who come out from the world. The kingdom of God must be kept free from the sinful practices of the world.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 6

    “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” [Verses 18-22.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 7

    In these words Christ hath given a reason for the condition of the churches. Those who have not root in themselves, who do not constantly follow true Christian principles, whose natural and cultivated tendencies to wrong have not been changed by the grace of God, continually lose the interest which they once felt in the truth. They return to their sinful practices. They may continue to make a profession of Christianity, but they do not honor the truth of God. They do not go on from grace to grace. For a time they are neither cold nor hot, but they finally become hardened to all good impressions. They grow careless, worldly, inattentive. They hear the truth, but do not receive it. Of this class Christ says, “Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7:26, 27.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 8

    Of Chorazin and Bethsaida, cities in which the most of Christ’s mighty works had been done, which were exalted to heaven by being honored with His presence, the Saviour declared, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” [Matthew 11:21-24.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 9

    Those who have been favored with great light and many opportunities, but who have not accepted the light or improved the opportunities, will receive punishment in accordance with their sin. Christ has made very provision for the sanctification of His church. He has made abundant provision for every soul to have such strength and grace that he will be more than a conqueror. He is wounded afresh and put to open shame when those who have been placed in positions of trust in His church pay no heed to the word, “It is written,” so often quoted by the Saviour when tempted by Satan. God sent His only begotten Son to our world that the world through Him might be saved by returning to loyalty and obedience. Those who accept and practice the truth reveal to the world the power that God’s grace has to sanctify the human heart. Those who walk in obedience to the commandments of God are the Lord’s representatives in our world. Church members are to be lightbearers. They are to help one another. If there are those in the church who are walking contrary to the Word of God, who give no evidence that they are seeking to live the life of Christ, faithful shepherds are to labor for them. If they refuse to come out from the world and be separate, if they continue to walk contrary to Bible rules, they should be suspended from church fellowship, that they may not be stumbling blocks to sinners. If after being earnestly labored with they refuse to repent and humble themselves before God, let them be separated from the church.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 10

    God calls upon the members of the Healdsburg church to make thorough work for eternity. He calls for repentance and reformation. Christ has given directions for the guidance of church members, declaring that they are to show Christian interest in one another. If one commits sin, his brethren are not to talk of it among themselves. Go first to the one who has offended, and tell him his faults between him and thee alone. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” [Matthew 5:23, 24.] Do church members obey this word?16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 11

    Directions are also given in Deuteronomy: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee. Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” [Deuteronomy 16:16-20.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 12

    Compare these words with the Scripture just read from Matthew. Study this instruction carefully, for it has an important meaning. Read the sixteenth chapter of Deuteronomy attentively.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 13

    The instruction in Matthew presents the work that must be done to keep the church purified from error and defilement. The brethren in the church are to be faithful to one another, and this is in every sense applicable to the sisters also. When you bring your offerings to God, ask yourself, “Am I indulging wrong feelings toward any of my brethren in the faith? If so, I must, according to the instruction of the divine Teacher, be reconciled to the one with whom I am at variance.”16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 14

    Christ sees that little heed is paid to His instruction. His people come to Him in prayer and ask favors of Him while at the same time they are walking contrary to His will. They cherish hatred in their hearts against their brethren, not only thinking, but speaking evil against them. They refuse to put out of the way the matters which cause discord and variance; therefore they would not appreciate the blessing of God, should He give it to them as they desire.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 15

    Suppose that in every institution established among us, in publishing houses, sanitariums, schools of every grade, God’s people had sought to understand His plan as outlined in the instruction given to the children of Israel. Suppose that the principles given by Christ from the pillar of cloud had been woven into the life practice. Would not we as a people stand today on vantage ground?16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 16

    We are not required to observe the ceremonies observed by Israel in regard to the sacrificial offerings, because type has met antitype in the great, grand offering of the Son of God who was sacrificed for us once for all. We look by faith to a Saviour who has been lifted upon the cross of Calvary, who in all His virtue and all His righteousness gave Himself for us. The Just died for the unjust. Through that death we have been given an eternal life-insurance policy. Christ came to this earth to suffer the death penalty in our behalf. He broke the fetters of the tomb and rose from the dead, proclaiming in the hearing of the heavenly universe, the fallen angels, and the human race, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” [John 11:25.] He has forever answered the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” [Job 14:14.] He declares, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him,”—taking possession of the heart and mind,—“and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:19-21.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 17

    Christ points His followers to the path of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and self-surrender. Those who follow this path not only help themselves, but help their brethren and sisters, clearing away the cloud of misunderstanding which comes because Satan makes a mote out of a mountain, and a mountain out of a mote. O, how much better it would be if church members humbled themselves under the hand of God, seeking to remove everything that hinders pure, loving fellowship.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 18

    It is a sin to entertain anger in the heart against a brother or a sister in the church. Christ treats anger as murder. For one brother to bring a railing accusation against another brother is an offense of the gravest order. “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause”—O, how much of this there is in the church today!—“shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” [Matthew 5:22.] God has a controversy with that man. He thinks he has occasion for feeling angry, for calling his brother “Raca,” “vain fellow,” but these passionate words are a savor of death unto death. He who utters them is not co-operating with God to save his fellow man. In heaven this wicked railing is placed in the same list as common swearing.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 19

    While hatred is cherished in the soul, there is not an iota of the love of God there; therefore, when any man has an offering to present to God, he is to clear the way, that his path may not be blocked with his perversities. Then, if he will humble his heart before God, confessing his mistakes and errors in giving way to the passion which opened the door for Satan to come in and take control of the whole man, God will accept his offering and forgive his sin.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 20

    My brothers and sisters, prepare the way that you may come to God with humble hearts and be forgiven. Act your part in the work of confession. It is not your brother’s sin that you are to confess, but your own. In doing this you are making straight paths for his feet, and softened and subdued, he will fall upon the Rock and be broken. And the Lord will look with pleasure upon the offerings brought to Him.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 21

    Study the words of the Saviour which come sounding down along the line to our time, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case,”—whatever your position or responsibility,—“enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 20.] The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was of a selfish character, consisting of external forms. The righteousness which God requires is internal as well as external. The heart must be purified, else Christ cannot be enthroned therein. The life must be conformed to the will of God.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 22

    There is no need to marvel why the church is not more vivified by the Holy Spirit’s power. Men and women are setting aside the instruction Christ has given. Anger and covetousness are obtaining the victory. The soul-temple is full of wickedness. There is no room for Christ. Men follow their own perverse ways. They will not heed the words of the Saviour or the testimonies of reproof sent by His Spirit.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 23

    They take themselves into their own hands, rejecting reproofs and warnings, until the candlestick is removed out of his place and spiritual discernment is confused by human ideas, human maxims, and worldly policy. Though deficient in religious service, they justify themselves, saying, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we.” [Jeremiah 7:4.] They set the law of God aside to follow the light of their own imagination.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 24

    “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” [Isaiah 50:10, 11.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 25

    God is true to His covenant with His people. His Word is infallible. His people bring suffering upon themselves by forsaking His counsel for their own human wisdom. It is impossible for their prayers to reach the throne of God, because the rebellion of disobedience is the substance of their petitions. Christ came from heaven to teach the Word which His Father committed to Him for the fallen members of His family. Those who hear and obey, walk in safe paths under the protection of the Lord of heaven. Through the power of Christ they are victorious over every foe. Those who do faithful, unselfish service for God will be blessed in their unity as they work in obedience to every word of Jehovah.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 26

    When the church allows within her borders those who are constantly working on lines of worldly ambition, when church members cherish difference and animosity, God is greatly dishonored. He cannot bless them with grace and power while they continue in sin, and therefore, unwatered by His grace and power, they become dry and spiritless. God has given all power in heaven and earth to His Son, to give to His people as largely as they prepare themselves to receive it. This power is in every way adapted to the necessities of perishing sinners, and God will use the members of His church as His helping hand, if they will be usable. But He does not communicate through impure channels, for this would dishonor His holy name.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 27

    All who love Jesus will search the Scriptures, that they may know and obey His will in everything. Christ will be to them a very present help in time of need, for God’s power is pledged to faithfulness. He will fulfil His Word to all who are true and faithful, receiving and imparting His great and precious gifts. Christ triumphs in the triumph of His people; therefore prepare His way that He may bestow His richest gifts upon His church. If His people refuse to be humble and obedient, to walk in His way and do His will, they will walk and work in the counsel of another leader, even with the disloyal and unsanctified, the selfish and covetous. Can God manifest His power to such?—No, for they would reveal only defeat and failure.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 28

    Tell in every church what the individual members must do and be if they would work successfully. In God alone is our strength. In quietness and patient forbearance we shall conquer. Those who reveal the long-suffering and patience of Christ will obtain deliverance from darkness. But those who forsake the way of the Lord, marking out new methods, and following human surmisings, will surely lie down in sorrow. Perversity, carried into the religious experience, will place them outside the city of God. Only those who know the way of the Lord know His assurance and peace.16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 29

    “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. ... He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. ... I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:12, 11, 13, 14.]16LtMs, Lt 102, 1901, par. 30

    Larger font
    Smaller font