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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)

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    The Message Read to the Ministers

    Instruction has been given me in regard to the late experience of brethren in Indiana and the teaching they have given to the churches. Through this experience and teaching the enemy has been working to lead souls astray.5BIO 104.5

    The teaching given in regard to what is termed “holy flesh” is an error. All may now obtain holy hearts, but it is not correct to claim in this life to have holy flesh. The apostle Paul declares, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). To those who have tried so hard to obtain by faith so-called holy flesh, I would say, You cannot obtain it. Not a soul of you has holy flesh now. No human being on the earth has holy flesh. It is an impossibility. If those who speak so freely of perfection in the flesh could see things in the true light, they would recoil with horror from their presumptuous ideas....5BIO 104.6

    Let this phase of doctrine be carried a little further, and it will lead to the claim that its advocates cannot sin, that since they have holy flesh, their actions are all holy. What a door of temptation would thus be opened! ...5BIO 105.1

    I have been instructed to say to those in Indiana who are advocating strange doctrines, You are giving a wrong mold to the precious and important work of God. Keep within the bounds of the Bible. Take Christ's lessons, and repeat them over and over again....5BIO 105.2

    Those who meet Christ in peace at His coming must in this life walk before Him in humility, meekness, and lowliness of mind. It becomes every human being to walk modestly and circumspectly before God, in harmony with the great testing truths He has given to the world.5BIO 105.3

    But the late experience of brethren in Indiana has not been in accordance with the Lord's instruction. I have not during this conference held conversation with anyone in regard to this matter, but the Lord has given me a definite testimony that a strange work is being done in Indiana, the results of which are not after His order. This phase of religious enthusiasm is a dangerous delusion. The sentiments and exercises are not prompted by the Holy Spirit. They have led to very sad results.5BIO 105.4

    Again and again in the progress of our work, fanatical movements have arisen, and when the matter was presented before me, I have had to bear a message similar to the message I am bearing to my brethren from Indiana. I have been instructed by the Lord that this movement in Indiana is of the same character as have been the movements in years past....5BIO 105.5

    The manner in which the meetings in Indiana have been carried on, with noise and confusion, does not commend them to thoughtful, intelligent minds. There is nothing in these demonstrations which will convince the world that we have the truth. Mere noise and shouting are no evidence of sanctification, or of the descent of the Holy Spirit. Your wild demonstrations create only disgust in the minds of unbelievers. The fewer of such demonstrations there are, the better it will be for the actors and for the people in general.5BIO 105.6

    Fanaticism, once started and left unchecked, is as hard to quench as a fire which has obtained hold of a building. Those who have entered into and sustained this fanaticism might far better be engaged in secular labor, for by their inconsistent course of action they are dishonoring the Lord and imperiling His people. Many such movements will arise at this time, when the Lord's work should stand elevated, pure, unadulterated with superstition and fables. We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices.5BIO 106.1

    The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion.—The General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 419-421; Selected Messages 2:31-35).5BIO 106.2

    Mrs. White stood before the congregation for an hour, first reading from the manuscript she had prepared for the occasion, then bearing impromptu testimony, which was also reported in the Bulletin.5BIO 106.3

    She spoke of the fact that they still had in their midst “a few of the old pioneers who know something of the fanaticism which existed in the early days of this message. Here is Brother [J.L.] Prescott; he knows something about it. He is acquainted with phase after phase of the fanaticism which has taken place. Here is Brother Haskell. He knows something about it, and there are various ones of our older brethren who have passed over the ground, and they understand something of what we have had to meet and contend with. Then there is Brother Corliss; I speak of him because he knows something about fanaticism, not only in the early days, but in our later experience.”—The General Conference Bulletin, 426. And she continued:5BIO 106.4

    At great expense to myself, in sickness and feebleness, I have come a long way to bear this testimony before the congregation which was presented to me before I left Cooranbong. If this had not been presented to me, I should not have been here today. But I am here, in obedience to the word of the Lord.— Ibid.5BIO 106.5

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