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Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259] - Contents
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    The Peril of a Confederacy or an Alliance With Those Who Know Not the Truth (Counsel given in 1890)

    No confederacy should be formed with unbelievers, neither should you call together a certain chosen number who think as you do, and who will say Amen to all that you propose, while others are excluded who you think will not be in harmony. I was shown that there was great danger of doing this.4MR 68.1

    “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” The world is not to be our criterion. Let the Lord work, let the Lord's voice be heard.4MR 68.2

    No Alliance With Unbelievers—Those employed in any department of the work whereby the world may be transformed, must not enter into alliance with those who know not the truth. The world know not the Father and the Son, and they have no spiritual discernment as to the character of our work, as to what we shall do or shall not do. We must obey the orders that come from above. We are not to hear the counsel or follow the plans suggested by unbelievers. Suggestions made by those who know not the work that God is doing for this time will be such as to weaken the power of the instrumentalities of God. By accepting such suggestions, the counsel of Christ is set at nought....4MR 68.3

    The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; He sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that He reads it as an open book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records by the great Heart Searcher who said, “I know thy works.”4MR 69.1

    I was shown that the follies of Israel in the days of Samuel will be repeated among the people of God today unless there is greater humility, less confidence in self, and more trust in the Lord God of Israel, the Ruler of the people. It is only as divine power is combined with human effort that the work will abide the test. When men lean no longer on men or on their own judgment, but make God their trust, it will be made manifest in every instance by meekness of spirit, by less talking and much more praying, by the exercise of caution in their plans and movements. Such men will reveal the fact that their dependence is in God, that they have the mind of Christ.4MR 69.2

    Trusting in Men—Again and again I have been shown that the people of God in these last days could not be safe in trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. The mighty cleaver of truth has taken them out of the world as rough stones that are to be hewed and squared and polished for the heavenly building. They must be hewed by the prophets with reproof, warning, admonition, and advice, that they may be fashioned after the divine Pattern; this is the specific work of the comforter, to transform heart and character, that men may keep the way of the Lord....4MR 69.3

    Since 1845 the dangers of the people of God have from time to time been laid open before me, and I have been shown the perils that would thicken about the remnant in the last days. These perils have been revealed to me down to the present time. Great scenes are soon to open before us. The Lord is coming with power and great glory. And Satan knows that his usurped authority will soon be forever at an end. His last opportunity to gain control of the world is now before him, and he will make most decided efforts to accomplish the destruction of the inhabitants of the earth. Those who believe the truth must be as faithful sentinels on the watchtower, or Satan will suggest specious reasonings to them, and they will give utterance to opinions that will betray sacred, holy trusts. The enmity of Satan against good will be manifested more and more as he brings his forces into activity to his last work of rebellion; and every soul that is not fully surrendered to God, and kept by divine power, will form an alliance with Satan against heaven, and join in battle against the Ruler of the universe.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 462-465.4MR 70.1

    No Confederacy With the World—(Counsel published in 1900.) There is to be no change in the general features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in the lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.—Testimonies for the Church 6:17.4MR 70.2

    Day by day I am impressed by the Holy Spirit that the very last messages of warning are now to be given to our people.4MR 71.1

    There is much to be said in regard to establishing what I shall designate as small sanitariums. In no place should a mammoth sanitarium be built up; for a great work is to be done in many places. In planning for new sanitariums, our brethren should reason soundly and solidly, and restrain the desire to surprise the world by building up something large in one or two places.4MR 71.2

    In all our great cities there will be a binding up in bundles by the confederacies and unions formed. Men will rule other men and demand much of them. The lives of those who refuse to unite with these unions will be in peril. Everything is being prepared for the last great work to be done by the One mighty to save and mighty to destroy.4MR 71.3

    Some who have had great light have had an almost uncontrollable desire to bind all our medical institutions under the supervision of one power. I am instructed to say that this desire is prompted by the same spirit that in the world manifests itself in the efforts of the unions to become a controlling power. The work that God has given His people to do is to bind up the testimony, and to seal the law among His disciples.4MR 71.4

    In all our sanitariums there is much, very much, that needs to be reformed. Justice, mercy, and the love of God are to prevail. The work in our sanitariums has been carried on more or less according to circumstances. Let none say, “You must bind yourselves by specified agreements to do thus and so, or else you cannot be endorsed by us.” The signing of such agreements must cease. The day for work of this kind is past. It has already wrought much mischief. The Lord is our guide and our ruler. Let us bind ourselves up with Him. God does not desire men to be under binding agreements; for He is to move in His own way. Every yoke is now to be broken. The truth as it is in Jesus is of sufficient binding force to hold every mind, control every impulse, and direct every movement. Those whom God would control if they would submit to Him, but who do not choose to walk humbly with Him, are not to make terms for others. Let every man look to God, not to men. The Lord God of heaven rules.4MR 71.5

    These words I have been instructed to write out plainly. The condition of things before the Flood has been presented to me. The same binding up in unions that exists today existed in Noah's day. But never before have such transactions taken place as are now carried on in the selection of officers to govern the people. Those who occupy the highest positions in governments reveal how little confidence God can place in their rulership.4MR 72.1

    This is a wonderful age in which we are living. God is beholding the deplorable state of society. He requires those who believe His gospel to come out from the world. “Be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.”4MR 72.2

    Human, kingly power among God's people in any branch of his cause, as represented by the documents prepared for men to sign, is not ordained of God. Let those who believe the Bible study the principles that are to govern them in dealing with human minds. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. The selfishness that exalts one man to rule the minds of his fellow men, is not inspired of God; for the Lord works in and through those who will be worked by Him, and who in every line of Christian service will act in accordance with divine enlightenment.4MR 72.3

    God is the author of all that is good. He blesses the children of men with prosperity, and gives abundantly to them by causing the earth to yield her treasures. But what does He behold among the few educated and trained men of talent? Not many are working after the divine order. Yielding to temptation, they rule the markets and control the merchandise in accordance with Satan's principles. They have the money which belongs to the people, the money which would give them a fair chance. God's poor are left to suffer and perish, while man's cupidity grasps every advantage.—Manuscript 145, 1902, 1-3. (Diary, September 2, 3, 1902.)4MR 73.1

    During my stay in Southern California, I was enabled to visit places that in the past have been presented to me by the Lord as suitable for the establishment of sanitariums and a school.4MR 73.2

    For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's Word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned.4MR 73.3

    We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction. All our movements are to be made with realization of the importance of the work to be accomplished for God.—Letter 157, 1902. (Last two paragraphs in Testimonies for the Church 7:84.)4MR 74.1

    [Elder and Mrs. Burden in late 1902 were in correspondence with Ellen G. White regarding the new Wahroonga Sanitarium, near Sydney, Australia, under Elder Burden's management; the developing of a health-food and bakery work in the environs of Sydney; and the possible moving of the health-food manufacturing being done at Cooranbong, 75 miles north, to Sydney. Ellen White in several letters cautioned against Burden's taking on too many burdens, warned against debt, and counseled delay in the matter of any proposed move of the food factory. On December 10, 1902, Ellen White penned a letter which for some reason was not copied until January 27, 1903, and hence is in the 1903 file. Copies were sent not only to the Burdens but also to Dr. D. H. Kress, Elders G. B. Starr, E. W. Farnsworth, S. N. Haskell, and J. E. White. Portions of this letter have from time to time been used, but with this background for the study of the question in depth, we give the letter in full.]4MR 74.2

    The Lord desires you to be of good courage. He has a work for you to do in evangelistic lines, a work demanding more distinctly spiritual efforts than the work in which you have been engaged. The greatest and most important work in which we can engage is the preparation of a people to stand in the day of God, upon which we are just entering. May the Lord help you, my brother, to devote your God-given capabilities to winning souls to Christ. Rest in God, and walk humbly with Him. You will need much of the rich grace of the Saviour, and a deep, settled conviction that the work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force.4MR 74.3

    In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed. Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the folds of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men.4MR 75.1

    It is time for us to take our work out of the cities. Our sanitariums should be furnished with facilities for giving the sick the best of care, and they should be properly conducted; but they should be as far as possible from the cities. The whole world is to be tested, and obedience to the law of God is to be the test.4MR 75.2

    Unionism has revealed what it is by the spirit that it has manifested. It is controlled by the cruel power of Satan. Those who refuse to join the unions formed are made to feel this power. The principles governing the forming of these unions seem innocent, but men have to pledge themselves to serve the interests of these unions, or else they may have to pay the penalty of refusal with their lives.4MR 75.3

    These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire decalogue.4MR 75.4

    “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 neighbour as thyself,” (Luke 10:27). These words sum up the whole duty of man. They mean the consecration of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit, to God's service. How can men obey these words, and at the same time pledge themselves to support that which deprives their neighbors of freedom of action? And how can men obey these words, and form combinations that rob the poorer classes of the advantages which justly belong to them, preventing them from buying or selling, except under certain conditions! How plainly the words of God have predicted this condition of things. John writes, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.... And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in the foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”4MR 75.5

    The Forming of These Unions Is One of Satan's Last Efforts. God calls upon people to get out of the cities, isolating themselves from the world. The time will come when they will have to do this. God will care for those who love Him and keep His commandments.4MR 76.1

    Brother and Sister Burden, we must now put on the whole armor of righteousness. We must be as true as steel to principle, standing steadfastly against every species of corruption. It is this steadfast adherence to principle that is to distinguish those who bear the seal of the living God from those who have the mark of the beast.4MR 76.2

    I write you this that in a guarded but decided way you may advise our people to keep out of the cities. But the cities must be worked; yes, and our people have been asleep, while Satan has been sowing his tares.4MR 76.3

    I have said little in regard to moving the food factory from Cooranbong to Sydney or even to Wahroonga, because I do not see what advantage there would be in doing this. The farther away we are from the cities, the better it will be; for they are filled with men who have no sense of honor or true elevation, men who are ambitious for gain, and who to obtain gain will resort to any means. Even some among those who profess to believe the truth will through following wrong principles become greedy for advantage. There are those in our institutions who have for so long worked for selfish ends that they cannot be trusted. They have no sense of honor, or truth, or holiness, or righteousness. Selfishness and greed have expelled from the heart the sanctifying principles of the truth. They have lost all sense of distinction between right and wrong. And because they are in responsible positions—as if position made the man—they say, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we”—holy because we are handling holy things. But the fact that they occupy an exalted position of trust only makes their guilt a hundredfold greater.4MR 76.4

    Those who love God and keep His commandments will not grasp for the highest wages. But there are those who strive to add to their wages without stopping to ask themselves whether in so doing they are not robbing a fellow worker whose lines have not fallen to him in pleasant places. Those who reason from this selfish standpoint will receive punishment with the open sinner, only they will be punished more severely, because they had opportunities and light that the open sinner had not.4MR 77.1

    There are many who will so outrage conscience and the law of God that in their hearts the pure, holy principles of truth will be corrupted. Between righteousness and truth and unrighteousness and fraud they will see no difference. Their judgment is perverted, and the position of trust they occupy is made a means of doing dishonest transactions, when they think that they can do this without detection.—Letter 26, 1903, pp. 1-5. (To Brother and Sister Burden. December 10, 1902.)4MR 77.2

    The same state of things exists today that existed before the Flood, and the nearer we get to the large cities, the worse the evil is. My message is, Do not build up sanitariums in the cities. The laws of the land will become more and more oppressive, as in the days of Noah.4MR 78.1

    How long will the Lord suffer oppression of the poor that rich men may hoard wealth? These men are heaping together treasures for the last days. Their money is placed where it does no one any good. To add to their millions, they rob the poor, and the cries of the starving are no more to them than the barking of a dog. But the Lord marks every act of oppression. No cry of suffering is unheard by Him. Those who today are scheming to obtain more and more money, putting in operation plans that mean to the poor starvation, will in the last great day stand face to face with their deeds of oppression and injustice. Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us? The transgressors of the law of God have taken sides with their leader, the general of rebellion. He understands how to devise his satanic schemes and through whom to work for the carrying out of them. He is striving to lead every soul to take sides with him, and under the influence of his temptations, thousands are binding themselves up in bundles, ready to be consumed by the fires of the last day. Those who yield to his temptation become in their turn tempters, standing among the ablest of his helpers.4MR 78.2

    In the time of the harvest the Lord will say to His reapers, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.” God has a people on the earth who will see the evil of every phase of oppression, and will refuse to unite with the enemy in carrying out his plans.—Letter 201, 1902, pp. 2-4. (To Elder and Mrs. J. A. Burden, December 15, 1902.)4MR 79.1

    [At the General Conference session of 1903 held in Oakland, California, Ellen White spoke on Friday morning, April 3, on “Our Duty to Leave Battle Creek.” The sanitarium had burned on February 18, 1902, and was being rebuilt. The Review and Herald plant had been destroyed by fire on December 30, the same year—just three months before the General Conference session. It was a time when important decisions were being made. In her address she reviewed some of the high points of the history of the two institutions and pointed out some of the places where there had been a departure from following God's will. She then mentioned the difficulties which the labor unions would bring to our institutional work, and urged an away-from-the-city location for such work. An endeavor has been made in the excerpts which follow to catch the significant points of the broad presentation she made to the Conference as a setting for the reference to the labor unions near the close of the address.]4MR 79.2

    It will be impossible for me to do justice to the question before us unless I take some time. The question is one that should be clearly and distinctly understood by us all. Few of our people have any idea of how many times light has been given that it was not in the order of God for so much to be centered in Battle Creek. Much was gathered there; many meetings were called there. A school, and a sanitarium, and a publishing house were there. These institutions had an influence upon one another. If this influence had always been good, more of a missionary spirit would have been developed. There would have been a clearer understanding of what must be done in the various cities of America. It would have been seen that in every city the standard must be planted and a memorial for God established.4MR 79.3

    It is God's design that our people should locate outside the cities, and from these outposts warn the cities, and raise in them memorials for God. There must be a force of influence in the cities, that the message of warning shall be heard....4MR 80.1

    The Publishing House—Again and again testimonies were given in regard to the principles that were coming in to leaven the publishing house. And yet, though the messages kept coming that men were working on principles which God could not accept, no decided change was made....4MR 80.2

    God desired that every movement should be in accordance with Bible principles. There was to be no sharp dealing. But there has been sharp dealing, and God has been displeased. For the last twenty years God has been sending reproofs and warnings regarding this. The very worst thing that could now be done would be for the Review and Herald Office to be once more built up in Battle Creek. The way has been opened for it to break up its association there—association with worldly men, which ought to be broken....4MR 80.3

    When the printing office was first established, in a little wooden building, the Lord showed me that its presses were to be used to send forth to the world the bright rays of truth. They were consecrated to the Lord. Light was to shine all through the office, which was to be a school of training for workers. But as the result of association with the world, many in the office grew worldly, and worked more and more on plans of worldly policy, and neither the discipline nor training of the youth employed in the office were as they should be.4MR 80.4

    I must say to our people that the Lord would have that institution established in an entirely new place. He would have the present influences of association broken up. Will those who have collected in Battle Creek hear the voice speaking to them, and understand that they are to scatter out into different places, where they can spread abroad a knowledge of the truth, and where they can gain an experience different from the experience that they have been gaining?4MR 81.1

    In reply to the question that has been asked in regard to settling somewhere else, I answer, Yes. Let the General Conference offices and the publishing work be moved from Battle Creek....4MR 81.2

    There has been an anxiety to adopt a worldly policy. Warnings and reproofs and entreaties—you would be astonished to know how many—have been sent in regard to this. But they have not been heeded. Many have come to the place where they do not care to follow the directions that the Lord sends. They have walked in their own counsel, until the Lord has come near in judgment, and swept away the printing plant. Will you build up again in the same place that you were before? ...4MR 81.3

    The Sanitarium—I need not speak any more on this point. I wish to speak now in reference to the sanitarium in Battle Creek. Our brethren say: “Sister White has confused us. She said that we must not let this sanitarium go into the hands of worldlings. And she said also that we must try to place the sanitarium upon a right foundation.” Yes, this I did say. Now I repeat it. For years light has been coming to me that we should not center so much in one place. I have stated distinctly that an effort should not be made to make Battle Creek the sign and symbol of so much. The Lord is not very well pleased with Battle Creek. Not all that has been done in Battle Creek is well pleasing to Him. And when the sanitarium there was burned, our people should have studied the messages of reproof and warning sent them in former years, and taken heed....4MR 81.4

    It has been stated that, when the sanitarium was first established in Battle Creek, my husband and I endorsed it. Certainly we did. I can speak for my husband as well as for myself. We prayed about the matter a great deal. So it was with the printing office, which was first established in a little wooden building. As the work grew, we had to add to it, and later, when ambitious men came in to take part in the management, more additions were made than should have been made, because these men thought that the buildings would give character to their work. That was a mistake. It is not buildings that give character to the work of God, but the faithfulness and integrity of the workers....4MR 82.1

    Our leading brethren, the men in official positions, are to examine the standing of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, to see whether the God of heaven can take control of it. When, by faithful guardians, it is placed in a position where He can control it, let me tell you that God will see that it is sustained....4MR 82.2

    Keep Out of Them and Away from Them—The crisis is coming soon in Battle Creek. The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. When the question arose in regard to the establishment of a sanitarium in the city of Los Angeles, I felt that I must oppose this move. I carried a very heavy burden in regard to the matter, and I could not keep silent. It is time, brethren, that we heeded the testimonies sent us in mercy and love from the Lord of heaven.4MR 82.3

    Our restaurants must be in the cities; for otherwise the works in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living. And for the present we shall have to occupy meetinghouses in the cities. But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues. This is the light that is given me.4MR 83.1

    May God help you to receive the words that I have spoken. Let those who stand as God's watchmen on the walls of Zion be men who can see the dangers before the people—men who can distinguish between truth and error, righteousness and unrighteousness.—The General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903, Art. A, par. 34. (E. G. White talk, “Our Duty to Leave Battle Creek.” April 3, 1903.)4MR 83.2