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    Chapter 9—The Document: “Decided Action to be Taken Now”

    As not all may have the printed testimony, “Decided Action to be Taken Now,” I think I should insert a complete copy of the original document in this memorandum. There were several messages sent on by Mrs. White in the first enclosure that was rushed to the train at St. Helena. (There was no air mail then.) This “Decided Action” statement was the key message for the hour. Other messages related especially to teachers and physicians and the need of guarding our people. I have quoted from one of these in the former chapter, giving a few paragraphs from the Review that came out the week following the Council.HSPMC 38.1

    But in reading this “Decided Action” message, consider the background. For a year we had been in the crisis. For a year the messages of the Spirit of prophecy had insistently urged carefulness and patient waiting, while all the time indicating the perils that surrounded.HSPMC 38.2

    Then suddenly, in the night, an aged sister was awakened to take pen in hand over in California., nearly three thousand miles away from the Council in Washington. In the Council the issue in the background was tying things up again, so that it seemed nothing could be done to define positions and relationships and plans. Just there, in the California valley, the pen of the agent of the Spirit of prophecy began to move—“writing as fast as my hand could pass over the paper,” Sister White told us. And consider the unusual complexity of the teaching knocking at our door. Yet as one reads “Decided Action” it is seen to meet the issue at every turn. It is a wonderful piece of writing to be started at one o’clock in the morning and hurried out to reach a time of need. Imagine any of our brethren awakened in the night and asked to review that book and situation in such haste! Not a man could have done it and all the circumstances of the situation and the accurate choice of words and turn of phrases, and the timeliness of it all, and the more than natural force attending its reading in that Council gave clear and overwhelming evidence of a supernatural power before our eyes:HSPMC 38.3

    Nov. 4, 1903- 8HSPMC 39.1

    B. -242-
    St. Helena, Cal., October, 1903

    Decided Action To Be Taken Now

    To Our Physicians and Ministers—HSPMC 39.2

    During the night the Spirit of God has been presenting many things to my mind. The experience that was given us at the General Conference held in Battle Creek early in 1901, was of God. Had Dr. Kellogg at that time done thorough work, the terrible experience through which we are now passing would never have been.HSPMC 39.3

    God has permitted the presentation of the combination of good and evil in Living Temple to be made to reveal the danger threatening us. The working that has been so ingeniously carried on he has permitted in order that certain developments might be made, and that it might be seen what a man can do with human minds when he has obtained their confidence as a physician. God has permitted the present crisis to come to open the eyes of those who desire to know the truth. He would have his people understand to what lengths the sophistry and devising of the enemy could lead.HSPMC 39.4

    Men have given our leading physician allegiance that is due to God alone; and he has been permitted to show what self-exaltation will lead men to do. Scientific, Spiritualistic sentiments, representing the Creator as an essence pervading all nature, have been given to our people, and have been received even by some who have had a long experience as teachers of the word of God. The results of this insidious devising will break out again and again. There are many for whom special efforts will have to be put forth to free them from this specious deception.HSPMC 39.5

    I am now authorized to say that the time has come to take decided action. The development seen in the cause of God is similar to the development seen when Balaam caused Israel to sin just before they entered the promised land. How dangerous it is so to exalt any man that he becomes confused, and confuses the minds of others in regard to the truths that for the last fifty years the Lord has been giving his people.HSPMC 40.1

    Few can see the meaning of the present apostasy. But the Lord has lifted the curtain, and has shown me its meaning, and the result that it will have if allowed to continue. We must now lift our voices in warning. Will our people acknowledge God as the supreme Ruler, or will they choose the misleading arguments and views that when fully developed, make Him, in the minds of those who accept [them], as nothingness?HSPMC 40.2

    These words were spoken to me in the night season. The sentiments in Living Temple regarding the personality of God have been received even by men who have had a long experience in the truth. When such men consent to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we are no longer to regard the subject as a matter to be treated with the greatest delicacy. That those who we thought sound in the faith should have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of this science of evil, should alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us.HSPMC 40.3

    It is something that can not be treated as a small matter that men who have had so much light, and such clear evidence as to the genuineness of the truth we hold, should become unsettled, and led to accept spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God. Those doctrines, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give John to give to his people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to be given special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin, and rob the people of God of their past experiences, giving them instead a false science.HSPMC 40.4

    During the past night, I have been shown more distinctly than ever before that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers,—the truths of the word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? How can they be silent? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand the storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.”HSPMC 41.1

    I was instructed to call upon our physicians and ministers to take a firm stand for the truth. We are not to allow atheistic, spiritualistic sentiments to be brought before our youth. God has led us in the path, giving us truth, eternal truth. By this truth we are to stand. Some of the leaders in the medical work have been deceived, and if they continue to hold fanciful, spiritualistic ideas, they make many believe that the platform upon which we have been standing for the past fifty years has been torn away. These men need now to see with anointed eyes, with clear spiritual vision, that in spite of all men can do, “the foundation of God standeth sure,” and “the Lord knoweth them that are his.”HSPMC 41.2

    The message to the Laodicean church comes to us at this time with special meaning. Read it, and ask God to show you its import. Thank God that he is sending us messages of mercy. Those accepting the theories regarding God that are introduced in the Living Temple are in great danger of being led finally to look upon the whole Bible as a fiction; for these theories make of no effect the plain word of God.HSPMC 42.1

    The tempter is working to gather together at Battle Creek as large a number as possible, hoping that they will receive false ideas of God and his work, and thus make of no effect the impression that God would have made on the minds of those engaged in the medical missionary work and in the gospel ministry. God abhors the great swelling words of vanity that have been spoken by some connected with the Sanitarium. The judgments call for humiliation rather than for proud boasting and self-exaltation.HSPMC 42.2

    The heavenly messenger turned to those professing to be medical missionaries, and said, “How could you allow yourselves to be led blindfold? How could you so misrepresent the name you bear? You have your Bibles. Why have you not reasoned from cause to effect? You have accepted theories that have led you away from the truths that are to stamp their impress upon the characters of all Seventh-day Adventists. Your leader has been moving the foundation timbers one by one, and his reasoning would soon leave us with no certain foundation for our faith. He has not heeded the testimonies that God through his Spirit has given. The books of the Bible containing most important instruction are disregarded because they say so much about a personal God. He has not known whither his feet were tending. But in his recent writings, his tendencies toward pantheism have been revealed.”HSPMC 42.3

    The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result?—The principles of truth that God in his wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and the storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.HSPMC 42.4

    Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with the truth?HSPMC 43.1

    A mind trained only in worldly science fails to discern the deep things of God, but the same mind, converted and sanctified, would see the divine power in the word. Only the mind that is cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things.HSPMC 43.2

    The Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Let us go to the word of God for guidance. Let us seek for a “Thus saith the Lord.” We have had enough of human methods. Brethren, awake to your God-given responsibilities. Your judgment, unless perverted by a wrong practice of false principles, will discern the deep things of God, given the Holy Spirit, and your hearts will be made susceptible to the teaching of the word.HSPMC 43.3

    May God bring his people under the deep movings of his Spirit. The Spirit makes efficient the ordinary means of grace. God teaches that his kingdom is to be established in the earth. “Not by might, nor by power,” but by his Spirit. The Spirit is the efficiency of his people.HSPMC 44.1

    I am instructed to say that those who would tear down the foundation that God has laid are not to be accepted as the teachers and leaders of his people. We are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Words of power have been sent by God and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world point by point, unto the clear light of present truth. With lips touched with holy fire, God’s servants have proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the truth proclaimed.HSPMC 44.2

    The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a revival of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of his people have long been torpid, but there will be a resurrection form apparent death.HSPMC 44.3

    In the future, God will call for the gifts and talents of men not now actively engaged in his service. Let these respond to his call, putting their trust in the great Medical Missionary. The power that is the life of the soul had not been seen as it must be. It had been smothered for want of spiritual ventilation,—the blending of human effort and divine grace.HSPMC 44.4

    God is calling upon his people to work. He comes to them as they idle away the precious, golden moments, and says, “Go work to-day in my vineyard.”HSPMC 44.5

    By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King’s highway. As we do this, the power of the Spirit will come to us. We need the Pentecostal energy. This will come for the Lord has promised to send his Spirit as the all-conquering power.HSPMC 44.6

    Men may still learn the things that belong to their peace. Mercy’s voice may still be calling, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It is only when spiritual life is given that rest is found and lasting good secured. We must be able to say, in storm and tempest, “My anchor holds.” He who builds upon any other foundation than that which has been laid, builds upon shifting sand. God calls for a reformation. But he who seeks to bring about a reformation without the aid of the Holy Spirit’s reviving power will find himself adrift. Those who turn from human foolishness and frailty, from men’s seductive arts, from Satan’s planning, to Christ, the shepherd and bishop of our souls, will stand secure upon the platform of eternal truth.HSPMC 45.1

    Ellen G. White

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