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The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials - Contents
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    The Message of 1888; An Appeal for Unity; The Need for the Indwelling Christ

    (Written September 19, 1892, from North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, to Elder Uriah Smith.)

    You have written to me in regard to what shall be done with the article addressed to the Battle Creek church. I answer, Do with it as you think best, using it as you judge it will best serve the cause of God. Please follow your own judgment as to the disposal of anything I may write from henceforth, unless I give special directions concerning it. After it serves the special purpose for which it was written, you may drop out the personal matter and make it general, and put it to whatever use you may think best for the interests of the cause of God. As you say, we are far separated, and two or three months must pass before communications can be answered however important may be their character, therefore it is best not to wait [for] my decisions on matters of this kind, especially when your judgment is evidently in harmony with what is best, and something to which I could have no objection.1888 1040.1

    I feel the deepest interest in matters occurring at the great heart of the work. I know that the present is a most important time, for events of vital import to us will rapidly follow, and matters cannot stand still in our world for a long period. There are great things to be done that will require time. Oh, if the people claiming to believe the most solemn truth ever given to man would but act in a manner corresponding to their faith, we would not see the great lack that now exists.1888 1040.2

    Through all ages Christ has come to His people, as He represents Himself in the market place at all hours of the day employing laborers for His vineyard, and He says to them, “Why stand ye here all the day idle? Go labor today in my vineyard.” But how forcible is this parable in these days when we are near the close of earth's history. Well may we pray as never before both in our closets and in the church, that One mightier than the potentates of earth may stand at the helm.1888 1041.1

    Satan will invent every possible device that he may attract the attention of the people from the issue that is just before us. He will seek to make confusion among us, causing the expression of various different opinions so that the people of God shall not be found in their proper position, confessing their sins and afflicting their souls, that they may have a living experience in the things of God, but shall become confused.1888 1041.2

    It is a sad fact that many of our people have leaned upon others, and have not made God their dependence. The humility, the meekness and lowliness of Christ, has not been attractive to them. They have set themselves in stubborn self-will, and unless there is a decided change in their attitude, they will, to the last, cherish traits of character that will unfit [them] for seeing and understanding the working of the Spirit of God, and they will be led by another spirit. They will fail to obtain the experience essential for them, so that they shall be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Having on their citizen's garments, they will venture into the marriage feast, as it is represented in the parable, and will do the greatest dishonor to Him who has invited them and prepared for them the spotless robe.1888 1041.3

    Although I am full of peace and comfort in the Lord, yet I feel the deepest interest and tenderness of heart for all who have shown the least inclination to cast in their lot with that of the people of God. I do not wish that one of them shall become so engaged in business that he will be among those who are represented as “foolish virgins,” who have no oil in their vessels with their lamps, and who are represented also by the man who came to the festal supper not having on the wedding garment.1888 1042.1

    All these parables are of the deepest interest to us in this day, and, dear brother, I feel an intense desire of heart that you shall be among those who from henceforth shall have their eyes anointed with the eyesalve, that you may clearly discern all things. The Lord would have you give the trumpet a certain sound, that not one among them shall fail to understand the voice of warning, or fail to prepare for the conflict before us. I have been shown that the Lord would be pleased to have you do this. But it will require on your part a vital connection with the great Leader of armies, and not follow your way or will, or be led by your own inclination, for this is not safe for you.1888 1042.2

    I do not wish to speak one word to you that will discourage you or bring upon you one pang of anguish. I have a love for your soul, and I desire that you shall bear the banner of truth firmly until the close of this earth's history. But to say that you will do this, I cannot. I am compelled to say to you that you are in danger, and your only safety lies in walking humbly with your God. Be careful what steps you take in expressing your differences with your brethren. You cannot tell how it pains me to see some of our brethren taking a course that I know is not pleasing to God. They are full of jealousy and evil surmising, and are ever ready to show in just what way they differ with Elder Jones or Waggoner. The same spirit that was manifested in the past manifests itself at every opportunity; but this is not from the impulse of the Spirit of God.1888 1042.3

    I have not received a line from either Elder Jones or Waggoner since I left Battle Creek. I did not write a line to them until the last mail, when I wrote to Elder Jones, and a few weeks before sent a letter to Elder Waggoner concerning the work in England. But I can never forget the experience which we had in Minneapolis, or the things that were then revealed to me in regard to the spirit that controlled men, the words spoken, the actions done in obedience to the powers of evil.1888 1043.1

    Some have made confession, yourself among the number. Others have made no confession, for they were too proud to do this, and they have not come to the light. They were moved at the meeting by another spirit, and they knew not that God had sent these young men, Elders Jones and Waggoner, to bear a special message to them, which they treated with ridicule and contempt, not realizing that the heavenly intelligences were looking upon them and registering their words in the books of heaven.1888 1043.2

    The words and actions of every one who took part in this work will stand registered against them until they make confession of their wrong. Those who do not repent of their sin will, if circumstances permit, repeat the same actions. I know that at that time the Spirit of God was insulted, and now when I see anything approaching to the same course of action, I am exceedingly pained. The people of God have had an opportunity to see what is the work these agents are doing, and yet those who are opposed to the points of truth which they brought out will, if occasion affords them a chance, make it appear that they are not in harmony with them, as much as to say, Beware of what they teach, for they carry matters to the extreme; they are not safe men.1888 1043.3

    There is but one Scriptural way in which to deal with men when they introduce unsafe doctrines, and it has been enjoined upon the church by the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to strive by every power of our being to come into harmony with our brethren, because Christ has prayed that His disciples might be one as He and the Father are one. When we follow the injunction of Christ, cooperating with Him so as to bring about a condition among us that will answer the prayer of Christ, then we are doing the will of God; but when we disregard those rules that when followed will prevent discord and alienation, we scatter from Christ.1888 1044.1

    Matters of disunion have been managed in a reckless way, and as a result the church has become weak, and that love that should exist between brethren has died out of the heart. There has been so much pride of heart and stubbornness of will among those who professed to be the followers of Christ, that He has been dishonored. Shall not self be crucified? Shall not Christ abide in the heart by living faith? Oh, that God would imbue His church with His Holy Spirit; but He cannot do this without the cooperation of the church. He who would have the Lord work for him, must yield his will wholly to the will of God. He must become as a little child. It is impossible to do this unless the heart is yielded to God.1888 1044.2

    It is quite possible that Elder Jones or Waggoner may be overthrown by the temptations of the enemy; but if they should be, this would not prove that they had had no message from God, or that the work that they had done was all a mistake. But should this happen, how many would take this position, and enter into a fatal delusion because they are not under the control of the Spirit of God. They walk in the sparks of their own kindling, and cannot distinguish between the fire they have kindled and the light which God has given, and they walk in blindness as did the Jews.1888 1044.3

    I know that this is the very position many would take if either of these men were to fall, and I pray that these men upon whom God has laid the burden of a solemn work may be able to give the trumpet a certain sound, and honor God at every step, and that their path at every step may grow brighter and brighter, until the close of time.1888 1045.1

    I have the same desire for you to stand in the light up to the close of this earth's history, as for them. I have been shown that God would be glorified by your standing in the forefront of the battle. This He would have had you do during all the years of the past; but you have failed of doing it again and again. You have grieved the Spirit of God, and have given occasion to unbelievers and to those who wanted an excuse for such a course, to resist the testimonies, to turn from them, and to war against them; and yet you professed to believe in them. This you did during the time I stood alone after the Minneapolis meeting, until you made your confession.1888 1045.2

    But in Salamanca, N.Y., I was shown again that a great and good God would pardon your transgressions and forgive your sins, if you would humble your heart before God and come to Him in the meekness of a little child. He would then let His Holy Spirit rest upon you, and your testimony would be full of marrow and fatness. If you would walk in the light as He is in the light, your discernment would be clear and unobscured. May the Lord help you to understand my words.1888 1045.3

    Through the grace and power of Christ, you may march on to victory, not in the rear, but in the forward ranks. But the holding of this position will depend wholly upon your own course of action. It depends on whether or not you will be ever in covenant relation with God and with His adopted children, knowing your oneness with Jesus, our exalted Head, who hath delivered us from the powers of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.1888 1046.1

    The time of trouble is before us. The angels are, as it were, just loosening the four winds, but they cannot loose them yet. The church is too far behind her privileges. The people of God are too indolent. Many are unfaithful; many are unclean and polluted. We are not prepared for the crisis. The question is, How long will God wait for our tardy movements? Instead of lying before God in humility, man has exalted himself and has indulged in high ideas of his own importance and loftiness, and his eyes have been closed to the glory of Christ. When Christ beams forth upon the soul, all glory is rendered unto Him who is seen to be the only One full of grace and truth. His glory alone should fill the soul.1888 1046.2

    When the people of God are one with Him, they will be one with each other. Their unity and love will testify to the genuineness of their union with Christ. When their eyes are all fixed upon Christ, their hearts will be united in love. They will then stand shoulder to shoulder to resist the confederacy of evil, and they will have strength for a battle that cannot be seen by the natural eye. They will stay their hearts upon the Lord, saying, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” [Isaiah 9:6].1888 1046.3

    Christ is to be our Captain. We need not tremble or be afraid. Oh, what love the Father has unfolded to us. We are not to be left a helpless prey to the devices of the enemy; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and He loves man with a love that is infinite. No language can express the depths of divine love.1888 1047.1

    Since God has so loved us, we ought also to love one another. How much? Jesus said, “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another” [John 15:12-15]. Here we have a decided, positive command. We would ask, Who are doers of these words? Oh, that God may impart to His poor, needy children His Holy Spirit of love, that the prayer of Christ may be fulfilled in His people, and we all may be one as He is in the Father and the Father in Him.1888 1047.2

    What attainments are there presented for the Christian's endeavor, but how far short are our practices. Were our practices in harmony with the command of our Lord, the result would be glorious. He says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved Me” [John 17:20-23].1888 1048.1

    Jesus did not pray for that which was not attainable by us, and if this unity is possible, why do not those who are professed followers of Christ strive more earnestly for this condition of grace? When we are one with Christ, we shall be one with His followers. The great want of the soul is Jesus, the hope of glory. Through the Holy Spirit this unity may be attained, and love for the brethren will abound, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Our life will be a reflection of His holy character. As believers in Him we shall represent His meekness of spirit, His gentleness of demeanor. Individually the church of God must answer the prayer of Christ till we all come into the unity of the Spirit.1888 1048.2

    What is it that causes dissension and discord? It is the result of walking apart from Christ. At a distance from Him, we lose our love for Him, and grow cold toward His followers. The farther the beams of light recede from their center, the wider separated they become. Each believer is as a beam of light from Christ the Sun of righteousness. The more closely we walk with Christ, the center of all love and light, the greater will be our affection for His light-bearers. When the saints are drawn close to Christ, they must of necessity be drawn close to each other, for the sanctifying grace of Christ will bind their hearts together. You cannot love God and yet fail to love your brethren.1888 1048.3

    Dear brother, I have written thus to you that you may stand in the confidence and love of the people of God, and that no one may be uncertain as to where you do stand. The mystic chain of love must bind the followers of Christ heart to heart. When Jesus was about to be crucified, Herod and Pilate, enemies before, became friends, and were united in a corrupt harmony over the condemnation of our Lord; and shall not those who claim to love our Lord Jesus Christ be constrained by the divine principle of love? Shall not all heart-burnings, alienations, and estrangements be forever expelled from the soul, and antipathies be overcome, through the grace of Christ?1888 1049.1

    Does not Christ see enough in us of perversity and crookedness to warrant His withdrawing of His love from us? But as He does not separate His love from us, shall we not draw more closely to our divine Center, and through His gracious mercy draw closer together? Let us form a holy alliance to exalt the Son of God before the world. If the enemies became united through their hatred of Jesus, shall not we who profess His name unite in Him? Standing under the cross of Calvary, looking upon Him who has manifested unparalleled love to man, should not all jealousies, all bitterness, wrath, and malice cease? Should not all evil-speaking and evil thinking be done away?1888 1049.2

    From the attitude which some assume toward others we should imagine that they thought it a desirable thing to have little confidence and love for others. But when confidence is lacking, it is manifested by suspicion, by criticism, by catching up things that are unworthy of notice, and making capital of whatever seems to them objectionable. In this way Satan is glorified and Christ is put to shame, dishonored in the person of His saints. I have had this matter presented to me in a variety of forms, until I can realize how cruel it is. All who love Jesus in sincerity and truth should be heartily recognized and welcomed as those who are “laborers together with God,” “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”1888 1050.1

    Oh, that self may be subdued in each one of us who profess to believe in Jesus! Oh, that pride may be laid in the dust! Oh, that we may more fully reflect the image of Jesus! As never before we should pray not only that laborers may be sent forth into the great harvest field, but that we may have a clear conception of truth, so that when the messengers of truth shall come we may accept the message and respect the messenger. Oh, that darkness may not settle upon any soul, but that the illuminating Spirit of Christ shall fall upon His people. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the glory of our Redeemer is His character; this we must behold with spiritual vision. I would pray as did the apostle, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” [Ephesians 1:17, 18].1888 1050.2

    “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” [1 Thessalonians 2:13]. The word of God cannot work effectually in the heart when it is barred out by unbelief. The message which the messengers have been proclaiming is the message to the Laodicean church. [Revelation 3:14-20, quoted.]1888 1051.1

    This message has not had the influence that it should have had upon the mind and heart of the believers. The true state of the church is to be presented before men, and they are to receive the word of God not as something originating with men, but as the word of God. Many have treated the message to the Laodiceans as it has come to them, as the word of man. Both message and messenger have been held in doubt by those who should have been the first to discern and act upon it as the word of God. Had they received the word of God sent to them, they would not now be in darkness. “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and the Father, and of Christ” [Colossians 2:1, 2].1888 1051.2

    “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power” [verses 6-10].1888 1051.3

    Those who name the name of Christ should adopt Christian maxims. They should fear to ridicule the message or the messenger. Let no man say that this conversation is in heaven, while he is manifestly groveling in the dust, and his thoughts and feelings are as far separated from God as the east from the west. The true Christian will fear to make light of God's message, lest he may lay a stumbling block in the way of a soul who may see and imitate his example.1888 1052.1

    The church of God is to shine as a light to the world, but Jesus is the illuminator, and He is represented as moving among His people. No one shines by his own light. The Lord God almighty and the Lamb are the lights thereof. The message given us by A. T. Jones, and E. J. Waggoner is the message of God to the Laodicean church, and woe be unto anyone who professes to believe the truth and yet does not reflect to others the God-given rays. Elder Smith, had you been unprejudiced, had not reports affected you and led you to bar your heart against the entrance of what these men presented; had you, like the noble Bereans, searched the Scriptures to see if their testimony agreed with its instruction, you would have stood upon vantage ground, and been far advanced in Christian experience. If you had received the truth into a good and honest heart, you would have become a living channel of light, with clear perception and sanctified imagination. Your conceptions of truth would have been exalted, and your heart made joyful in God. God would have given you a testimony clear, powerful, and convincing. But the first position you took in regard to the message and the messenger, has been a continual snare to you and a stumbling block.1888 1052.2

    As one long experienced in the truth, it was your place to be among those who should first catch the message from the God of heaven, and voice it to the people; but the enemy presented in a magnified light every matter that seemed objectionable to you, and your imagination has not pictured facts to you. The enemy had prepared a long chain of circumstances, like links in a chain, that you might be prevented from standing where you should have stood. You have lost a rich and powerful experience, and that loss, resulting from refusing the precious treasures of truth presented to you, is still your loss. You are not where God would have had you, and you have missed the providential links one after another in the chain, so that now it is hard for you to see the mysterious connections in the endless chain of providence in His special work.1888 1053.1

    I write these words, not to afflict your soul, but to warn you that you may guard against repeating the same experience, thinking it was one ordered of the Lord. God was seeking to lead you in the past, and it is necessary you understand this, that you may not place stumbling blocks before your own feet, over which you will stumble. I know not whether or not you will receive this as from God; but I beseech you for your own soul's sake, take these words written to you in love, and divest yourself of unbelieving, hard thoughts. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Lay aside fleshly reasonings. Let every soul now stand before God in his own nothingness, and draw nigh to God.1888 1053.2

    The many and confused ideas in regard to Christ's righteousness and justification by faith are the result of the position you have taken toward the man and the message sent of God. But oh, Jesus longs to bestow upon you the richest blessings, and [to] make you a mouthpiece for Himself, that you may declare concerning the grace that dwelleth in you. Jesus has looked upon you with sorrow, because you have not answered His expectations. “Watchman, what of the night?” This is the question that has been asked and will continue to be asked and answered. What will you answer, my brother?1888 1053.3

    The Laodicean message has been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the people wherever Providence opens the way. Justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing world. Oh, that you may open the door of your heart to Jesus! The voice of Jesus, the great vendor of heavenly treasures, is calling to you, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” But I will write no more. My heart is drawn out in love toward you, and my desire is that you shall triumph with the third angel's message.—Letter 24, 1892.1888 1054.1

    Ellen G. White Estate
    Washington, D.C.
    September 5, 1985. Entire letter.

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