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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 137, 1903

    The Personality of God


    November 12, 1903 [typed]

    Previously unpublished. +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.

    The word of the Lord to me is that I am to repeat the instruction that God has given me, showing what He has revealed for the benefit of His people and the way in which He has presented His word to them. If God had desired to have Himself represented as being in the things of nature—in flower and leaf and tree—Christ would have spoken of this when He was in the earth. But where in the teaching of Christ is God spoken of as He is in Living Temple? In Patriarchs and Prophets God has presented to His people the way in which they are to view the plan of salvation. The instruction contained in this book is not an idle tale. It is the presentation of truth in accordance with the Word of God.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 1

    In the beginning of my work, when the Lord first commissioned me to proclaim the truth, I was called upon to rebuke those holding sophistries similar to those presented in Living Temple. I could not understand the sentiments held, but the Lord gave me a message to bear before the companies that I was to meet. I bore the message, and all controversy was at an end. Evidence was given of the power of God working through His humble instrument, and those who were willing to receive this evidence did not make the least attempt to oppose the message.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 2

    Again and again during my experience in the Lord’s work, I have been called upon to meet these erroneous sentiments. In every case, clear, powerful light has been given that God is the eternal, self-existent One. From my girlhood I have been given plain instruction that God is a person, and that Christ is “the express image of His person.” [Hebrews 1:3.] God always has been. That which concerns us is not the how or the wherefore.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 3

    In the Word God is spoken of as the everlasting God. This name embraces past, present, and future. God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the Eternal One. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel shall dwell in safety alone; the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thine excellency.” [Deuteronomy 33:27-29.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 4

    “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 5

    “Who knoweth the power of Thine anger? Even according to Thy fear, so is Thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O Lord, how long; and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants. O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands, establish Thou it.” [Psalm 90:2-17.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 6

    “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 7

    “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him; and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” [Psalm 91:1-16.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 8

    “The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He girded Himself; the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old; Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord; the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure; holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, forever.” [Psalm 93:1-5.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 9

    In view of these Scriptures, who will dare to interpret God and place in the minds of others the sentiments regarding Him that are contained in Living Temple? These theories are the theories of the great deceiver, and in the lives of those who receive them there will be sad chapters. This is Satan’s device to unsettle the foundation of our faith, to shake our confidence in the Lord’s guidance and in the experience that He has given us. Many things of like character will in the future arise. I entreat our medical missionary workers to be afraid to trust the suppositions and devising of any human being who entertains the thought that the path over which the people of God have been led for the last fifty years is a wrong path. Beware of those who, not having had any decided experience in the leading of the Lord’s Spirit, would suppose that this leading is all a fallacy; that we have not the truth; that we are not the people of the Lord, gathered by Him from all countries and nations. Beware of those who would tear down the foundation, upon which we have been building for the last fifty years, to establish a new doctrine. I know that these new theories are from the enemy.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 10

    Let those who would bring in fanciful ideas of God awake to a sense of their danger. This is too solemn a subject to be trifled with.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 11

    The root of idolatry is an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. It is because men have not faith in the presence and power of God that they have been putting their trust in their own wisdom. They have been devising and planning to exalt themselves and find salvation in their own works. A deceptive influence from satanic agencies is coming in, because leaders whom the Lord has warned and entreated and counseled are choosing their own wisdom in the place of the wisdom of God. To such ones the warning comes, “Talk no more exceedingly proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.” [1 Samuel 2:3.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 12

    God declares, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that ye build unto Me; and where is the place of My rest? For all these things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” [Isaiah 66:1, 2.] Though heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, He, the high and holy One, reveals Himself to the humble and contrite, filling the hearts of His chosen ones with the light of His presence.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 13

    “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” [Job 28:28.] Neither by searching the recesses of the earth nor in vain endeavors to penetrate the mysteries of God’s being is wisdom found. It is found, rather, in humbly receiving the revelations that He has been pleased to make and in conforming the life to His will.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 14

    He who knows the heart of man will render to every one according as his work shall be. In this life He will give to the humble, teachable ones, who look to Him in faith and dependence, wisdom and understanding, and in the life to come He will bestow on them the gift of immortality.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 15

    Let us search the Word of God diligently, that we may obtain the wisdom that we need in order to honor Him, that we may purify our hearts from all defilement and be prepared to enter the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. There we shall gain a true knowledge of God. Throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity we shall delight in His personal presence.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 16

    John the Revelator writes, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I ... saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” [Revelation 21:1-7.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 17


    “O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, and Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. ... Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” [Psalm 139:1-3, 5, 6.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 18

    “Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite.” [Psalm 147:5.] “The ways of man are before the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings.” [Proverbs 5:21.] “He revealeth the deep and secret things. He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.” [Daniel 2:22.] “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” [Acts 15:18.] “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory forever.” [Romans 11:33-36.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 19

    “That which is revealed belongeth unto us and to our children.” [Deuteronomy 29:29.] But let not finite man attempt to interpret God. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion by finite, erring beings. And since God understands our thoughts afar off, since He is acquainted with all our ways, since there is not a word in our tongues that He does not know, might we not better be very careful how we speak of Him? Will he who speculates in regard to God care to meet his words in that day when all things are brought to light, when falsehood and truth are placed in sharp contrast? God is the all-wise, omniscient One, knowing all things. He can speedily bring to naught the foolish devisings of man.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 20

    The enemy is seeking to bring in among the people of God spiritualistic theories, which if accepted, would undermine the foundation of the faith that has made us what we are. He leads men to present fables clothed with Scripture. There are those who assert that Sister White’s writings are in harmony with these teachings. I declare this to be false. Men may misapply Scripture; they may misinterpret my words; but God understands their devising. How thankful I am for this! When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for us against him.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 21

    “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse; because that when they knew God”—by the witness of His Holy Spirit, to testimonies borne to them—“they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” The Lord sent them light, but they did not receive it. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” [Romans 1:18-23.]18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 22

    This Scripture is applicable to all who regard God as He is represented in Living Temple. Those who continue to accept the sophistry in this book will be led on and on in delusion, just as were many to whom I was commissioned to bear a testimony after the passing of the time in 1844.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 23

    I know that the leaders in the medical missionary work do not know whither their steps are tending. I call upon them to stop before they take another step to tear away the strongholds of our faith.18LtMs, Ms 137, 1903, par. 24

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