Ellen G. White Doctrinal Compilation

Table of Contents

Church Organization and Independent Ministries
  - Objections / Explanations

Church-State Unions and Babylon Fallen
  - Objections / Explanations

Conditional Prophecy

Feast Days & Camp Meeting

General Conference

Godhead / Trinity
  - Objections / Explanations

Health & Diet

Lawsuits and Lawyers

Miscellaneous

The Name "Seventh-day Adventist"

Sanctifying Quotes

Victory / Ceasing from Sin
  - Objections / Explanations

Church Organization and Independent Ministries

Church always organized

"Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together." [9T 258]

"I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized, or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this. There is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message, and try to leaven others will be deceived, and prepared to receive advance delusions, and they will come to naught." [1MR 303]

"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work." [14MR 102]

"Another danger that threatens the church, is individual independence. There is a manifest disregard of the prayer of Christ, that his brethren should be one, as he and the Father were one. Let the church, to a man, feel its responsibility to preserve harmony of thought and action. Let every member seek to be in accord with the truth, and with the brethren. Let our prayers go forth from unfeigned lips that the union for which our Lord prayed, may be found among his people. All who are united in church capacity,may be of one mind, of one heart, of one judgment, that Satan may not take any fresh advantage of the followers of Christ. We have one faith, one Lord, one God and Father, who is above all, and in you all; then let there be a glorifying of God with one mouth, and one spirit. Where there is union there is strength. United we stand, divided we fall. It is the special, declared plan of the enemy of Christ and man, to break up the church into independent factions. He will seek to lead one after another to arise, filled with his own selfish purposes and plans, and each will strive to carry out the suggestions of the adversary, but the hopes of such will certainly be met with disappointment." [RH July 10, 1888]

"God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing this thing, another that. Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust. The third angel is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly. Some run ahead of the angels that are leading this people; but they have to retrace every step, and meekly follow no faster than the angels lead." [1T 207]

Visible Unity

"In union there is strength; in disunion there is weakness. God’s chosen ones are to reveal to the world their union one with another. It is not possible for a few to walk to heaven alone because they can agree with no others. God’s people are to be a unit. If some entertain ideas so peculiar that others cannot accept them, they should compare notes in a teachable spirit, and all should be willing to learn. They should make the most strenuous efforts to be one, to come into the unity of the faith in the bonds of peace." [RH Apr. 27, 1897]

"The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads were the words God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us, who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet." [1T 59]

"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." [15MR 86]

"We profess to be the depositaries of God’s law; we claim to have greater light and to aim at a higher standard than any other people upon the earth; therefore we should show greater perfection of character and more earnest devotion. A most solemn message has been entrusted to those who have received the light of present truth. Our light should shine forth to brighten the pathway of those who are in darkness. As members of the visible church, and workers in the vineyard of the Lord, all professed Christians should do their utmost to preserve peace, harmony, and love in the church. Mark the prayer of Christ: “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.” The unity of the church is the convincing evidence that God has sent Jesus into the world as its Redeemer. This is an argument which worldlings cannot controvert. Therefore Satan is constantly working to prevent this union and harmony, that unbelievers, by witnessing backsliding, dissension, and strife among professed Christians, may become disgusted with religion and be confirmed in their impenitence. God is dishonored by those who profess the truth while they are at variance and enmity with one another. Satan is the great accuser of the brethren, and all who engage in this work are enlisted in his service." [5T 619]

"How earnest, how decided, how determined should be our efforts to answer the prayer of Christ that we may have that harmony one with another for which Christ died to perfect; that we may be one with Christ; for, unless we are constantly laboring for this harmony and this unity, we shall certainly fail of answering the prayer of being one with Christ as He was one with the Father.

In this oneness God is glorified. In division and dissension and differences and pulling apart Satan is glorified, and all heaven looks with astonishment upon those who claim to be children of God." [MS 36, 1891; 1SAT 194]

"“The field,” Christ said, “is the world.” But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world. The parable is a description of that which pertains to the kingdom of God, His work of salvation of men; and this work is accomplished through the church. True, the Holy Spirit has gone out into all the world; everywhere it is moving upon the hearts of men; but it is in the church that we are to grow and ripen for the garner of God." [COL 70]

"God is bringing out a people and preparing them to stand as one, united, to speak the same things, and thus carry out the prayer of Christ for His disciples. “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.”" [1T 417]

"Before leaving Australia, and since coming to this country, I have been instructed that there is a great work to be done in America. Those who were in the work at the beginning are passing away. Only a few of the pioneers of the cause now remain among us. Many of the heavy burdens formerly borne by men of long experience are now falling upon younger men.

This transfer of responsibilities to laborers whose experience is more or less limited is attended with some dangers against which we need to guard. The world is filled with strife for the supremacy. The spirit of pulling away from fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous—as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. These deceived souls regard it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They declare that they will not take any man’s say-so, that they are amenable to no man. I have been instructed that it is Satan’s special effort to lead men to feel that God is pleased to have them choose their own course independent of the counsel of their brethren.

Herein lies a grave danger to the prosperity of our work. We must move discreetly, sensibly, in harmony with the judgment of God-fearing counselors; for in this course alone lies our safety and strength. Otherwise God cannot work with us and by us and for us.

Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time.

Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.

The spasmodic, fitful movements of some who claim to be Christians are well represented by the work of strong but untrained horses. When one pulls forward, another pulls back, and at the voice of their master one plunges ahead and the other stands immovable. If men will not move in concert in the great and grand work for this time, there will be confusion. It is not a good sign when men refuse to unite with their brethren and prefer to act alone. Let laborers take into their confidence the brethren who are free to point out every departure from right principles. If men wear the yoke of Christ, they can not pull apart; they will draw with Christ.

Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves, let them draw in harmony with their fellow laborers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted.

On the other hand, the leaders among God’s people are to guard against the danger of condemning the methods of individual workers who are led by the Lord to do a special work that but few are fitted to do. Let brethren in responsibility be slow to criticize movements that are not in perfect harmony with their methods of labor. Let them never suppose that every plan should reflect their own personality. Let them not fear to trust another’s methods; for by withholding their confidence from a brother laborer who, with humility and consecrated zeal, is doing a special work in God’s appointed way, they are retarding the advancement of the Lord’s cause.

God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men. A doubt of His power to do this is manifest unbelief; it is limiting the omnipotent power of the One with whom nothing is impossible. Oh, for less of this uncalled-for, distrustful caution! It leaves so many forces of the church unused; it closes up the way so that the Holy Spirit cannot use men; it keeps in idleness those who are willing and anxious to labor in Christ’s lines; it discourages from entering the work many who would become efficient laborers together with God if they were given a fair chance.

To the prophet the wheel within a wheel, the appearance of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand of Infinite Wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel, directed by the hand of God, works in perfect harmony with every other wheel. I have been shown that human instrumentalities are liable to seek after too much power and try to control the work themselves. They leave the Lord God, the Mighty Worker, too much out of their methods and plans, and do not trust to Him everything in regard to the advancement of the work. No one should for a moment fancy that he is able to manage those things that belong to the great I AM. God in His providence is preparing a way so that the work may be done by human agents. Then let every man stand at his post of duty, to act his part for this time and know that God is his instructor.

I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man’s judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.

At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work.

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan’s efforts upon such a man’s mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men." [9T 257-259, Manuscript read before the delegates at the General Conference, Washington, D. C., May 30, 1909]

"This independence to do every one as appears right in his own eyes is after satanic order, but not after Christ." [5MR 130]

"God has a church upon the earth who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people." [TM 61]

"God never designed that one man, or four, or twenty, should take an important work into their own hands, and carry it forward independently of other workers in the cause. God wants his people to counsel together, to be a united church, in Christ a perfect whole. The only safety for us is to enter into the counsels of Heaven, ever seeking to do the will of God, to become laborers together with him. No one company is to form a confederacy, and say, “We are going to take this work, and carry it on in our own way; and if it does not go as we want it to, we will not give our influence to have it go at all.” This is Satan’s voice, not God’s. Do not obey such suggestions." [GCDB Apr. 13, 1891]

"The circumstances connected with the separation of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to a definite line of service show clearly that the Lord works through appointed agencies in His organized church. Years before, when the divine purpose concerning Paul was first revealed to him by the Saviour Himself, Paul was immediately afterward brought into contact with members of the newly organized church at Damascus. Furthermore, the church at that place was not long left in darkness as to the personal experience of the converted Pharisee. And now, when the divine commission given at that time was to be more fully carried out, the Holy Spirit, again bearing witness concerning Paul as a chosen vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles, laid upon the church the work of ordaining him and his fellow laborer. As the leaders of the church in Antioch “ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

God has made His church on the earth a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will. He does not give to one of His servants an experience independent of and contrary to the experience of the church itself. Neither does He give one man a knowledge of His will for the entire church while the church—Christ’s body—is left in darkness. In His providence He places His servants in close connection with His church in order that they may have less confidence in themselves and greater confidence in others whom He is leading out to advance His work.

There have ever been in the church those who are constantly inclined toward individual independence. They seem unable to realize that independence of spirit is liable to lead the human agent to have too much confidence in himself and to trust in his own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly esteem the judgment of his brethren, especially of those in the offices that God has appointed for the leadership of His people. God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for he who does this despises the voice of God.

Those who are inclined to regard their individual judgment as supreme are in grave peril. It is Satan’s studied effort to separate such ones from those who are channels of light, through whom God has wrought to build up and extend His work in the earth. To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to bear the responsibilities of leadership in connection with the advancement of the truth, is to reject the means that He has ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of His people. For any worker in the Lord’s cause to pass these by, and to think that his light must come through no other channel than directly from God, is to place himself in a position where he is liable to be deceived by the enemy and overthrown. The Lord in His wisdom has arranged that by means of the close relationship that should be maintained by all believers, Christian shall be united to Christian and church to church. Thus the human instrumentality will be enabled to co-operate with the divine. Every agency will be subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all the believers will be united in an organized and well-directed effort to give to the world the glad tidings of the grace of God." [AA 162-164]

"Those who are truly converted are called to do a work that requires money and consecration. The obligation that binds us to place our names on the church roll holds us responsible to work for God to the utmost of our ability. He calls for undivided service, for the entire devotion of heart, soul, mind, and strength. Christ has brought us into church capacity that He may engage and engross all our capabilities in devoted service for the salvation of souls. Anything short of this is opposition to the work." [6T 447, 448]

"Those who belong to Christ’s army must work with concerted action. They cannot be faithful soldiers unless they obey orders. United action is essential. An army in which every part acts without reference to the other parts has no real strength. In order to add new territory to Christ’s kingdom His soldiers must act in concert. God’s plans and purposes must be carried out in solid, straightforward lines. He calls for a united army which moves steadily forward, not for a company composed of independent atoms. The strength of His army is to be used for one great purpose. Its efforts are to be concentrated upon one great point—the magnifying of the laws of His kingdom before the world, before angels, and before men." [20MR, 28]

"Dear Brethren,
As all the different members of the human system unite to form the entire body, and each performs its office in obedience to the intelligence that governs the whole, so the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole.

The advancement of the church is retarded by the wrong course of its members. Uniting with the church, although an important and necessary act, does not make one a Christian nor ensure salvation. We cannot secure a title to heaven by having our names enrolled upon the church book while our hearts are alienated from Christ. We should be His faithful representatives on earth, working in unison with Him. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” We should keep in mind this holy relationship and do nothing to bring dishonor upon our Father’s cause.

Our profession is an exalted one. As Sabbathkeeping Adventists we profess to obey all God’s commandments and to be looking for the coming of our Redeemer. A most solemn message of warning has been entrusted to God’s faithful few. We should show by our words and works that we recognize the great responsibility laid upon us. Our light should shine so clearly that others can see that we glorify the Father in our daily lives; that we are connected with heaven and are joint heirs with Jesus Christ, that when He shall appear in power and great glory, we shall be like Him.

We should all feel our individual responsibility as members of the visible church and workers in the vineyard of the Lord. We should not wait for our brethren, who are as frail as ourselves, to help us along; for our precious Saviour has invited us to join ourselves to Him and unite our weakness with His strength, our ignorance with His wisdom, our unworthiness with His merit. None of us can occupy a neutral position; our influence will tell for or against. We are active agents for Christ or for the enemy. We either gather with Jesus or scatter abroad. True conversion is a radical change. The very drift of the mind and bent of the heart should be turned and life become new again in Christ.

God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave Himself to the world that He might “purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” This refining process is designed to purge the church from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, that they may build up instead of tear down, and concentrate their energies on the great work before them. God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of the Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.”

How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives. Many do not realize the sacredness of church relationship and are loath to submit to restraint and discipline. Their course of action shows that they exalt their own judgment above that of the united church, and they are not careful to guard themselves lest they encourage a spirit of opposition to its voice. Those who hold responsible positions in the church may have faults in common with other people and may err in their decisions; but notwithstanding this, the church of Christ on earth has given to them an authority that cannot be lightly esteemed. Christ, after His resurrection, delegated power unto His church, saying: “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

Church relationship is not to be lightly canceled; yet when the path of some professed followers of Christ is crossed, or when their voice has not the controlling influence which they think it deserves, they will threaten to leave the church. True, in leaving the church they would themselves be the greatest sufferers; for in withdrawing beyond the pale of its influence, they subject themselves to the full temptations of the world.

Every believer should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest, and unless he feels under sacred obligations to make his connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to himself, it can do far better without him. It is in the power of all to do something for the cause of God. There are those who spend a large amount for needless luxuries; they gratify their appetites, but feel it a great tax to contribute means to sustain the church. They are willing to receive all the benefit of its privileges, but prefer to leave others to pay the bills. Those who really feel a deep interest in the advancement of the cause will not hesitate to invest money in the enterprise whenever and wherever it is needed. They should also feel it a solemn duty to illustrate in their characters the teachings of Christ, being at peace one with another and moving in perfect harmony as an undivided whole. They should defer their individual judgment to the judgment of the body of the church. Many live for themselves alone. They look upon their lives with great complacency, flattering themselves that they are blameless, when in fact they are doing nothing for God and are living in direct opposition to His expressed word. The observance of external forms will never meet the great want of the human soul. A profession of Christ is not enough to enable one to stand the test of the day of judgment. There should be a perfect trust in God, a childlike dependence upon His promises, and an entire consecration to His will.

God has always tried His people in the furnace of affliction in order to prove them firm and true, and purge them from all unrighteousness. After Abraham and his son had borne the severest test that could be imposed upon them, God spoke through His angel unto Abraham: “Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.” This great act of faith causes the character of Abraham to shine forth with remarkable luster. It forcibly illustrates his perfect confidence in the Lord, from whom he withheld nothing, not even his son by promise.

There is nothing too precious for us to give to Jesus. If we return to Him the talents of means which He has entrusted to our keeping, He will give more into our hands. Every effort we make for Christ will be rewarded by Him, and every duty we perform in His name will minister to our own happiness. God surrendered His dearly beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion, that all who believe on Him might become one through the name of Jesus. When Christ made so great a sacrifice to save men and bring them into unity with one another, even as He was united with the Father, what sacrifice is too great for His followers to make in order to preserve that unity?

If the world sees a perfect harmony existing in the church of God, it will be a powerful evidence to them in favor of the Christian religion. Dissensions, unhappy differences, and petty church trials dishonor our Redeemer. All these may be avoided if self is surrendered to God and the followers of Jesus obey the voice of the church. Unbelief suggests that individual independence increases our importance, that it is weak to yield our own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church; but to yield to such feelings and views is unsafe and will bring us into anarchy and confusion. Christ saw that unity and Christian fellowship were necessary to the cause of God, therefore He enjoined it upon His disciples. And the history of Christianity from that time until now proves conclusively that in union only is there strength. Let individual judgment submit to the authority of the church.

The apostles felt the necessity of strict unity, and they labored earnestly to this end. Paul exhorted his brethren in these words: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

He also wrote to his Philippian brethren: “If there be there fore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

To the Romans he wrote: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

Peter wrote to the churches scattered abroad: “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."

And Paul, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, says: “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” [4T 17-20, Chapter 2: "Unity of the Church"]

Separation from a Fallen Body

"Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”" [GC 51]

"I am instructed to say that we must do all we possibly can for these deceived ones. Their minds must be freed from the delusions of the enemy; and if we fail in our efforts to save these erring ones, we must “come out from among them” and be separate." [7MR 190]

"God’s love for His church is infinite. He has made every provision for its growth and enlargement. His care over His people is unceasing. He has given instruction regarding the dangers of false theories and subtle reasonings of the archdeceiver. He has sent warnings, reproofs, and messages to save His people. But some, like many of Christ’s disciples, are offended, because they have misinterpreted the messages sent by God.

When it is essential for the purification of the church, trials are permitted. Under these trials some regard themselves as abused; and instead of humbling their hearts, they rise up in indignation. Satan watches his opportunity to present some pleasing sophistry that will captivate the minds of the tempted ones and will lead them to accept his fables. Those who are thus deceived become channels through which other minds are seduced by delusive sentiments.

I am instructed to say that we must do all we possibly can for these deceived ones. Their minds must be freed from the delusions of the enemy; and if we fail in our efforts to save these erring ones, we must “come out from among them” and be separate." [Manuscript 106, 1905]

"Truth must stand in its own order, linked only with truth. Unbelief disturbs the balance of the system of truth, and tends to destroy the whole. The mind that cherishes sentiments that tend to destroy the foundation of the faith that has made us what we are becomes confused, and cannot discern between truth and error." [7MR 189]

"As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience." [DA 232]

Explanations and Context

1. "God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Where Christ is, even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church." [17MR 81, quoted in UL 315]

October 23, Sabbath. Elder Ings spoke to those assembled, with profit. In the afternoon I talked to the people, and then we had a social meeting, and many good testimonies were borne which were translated to me. There was one converted from Catholicism, some from the Methodist and Baptist [churches], and one from a life of dissipation. The testimonies had the true ring. Here were the few who had separated themselves from the many to obey God and serve Him, refusing to worship the prince of this world, for he is the prince of darkness. To be singular for singularity’s sake is positively detestable, below the dignity of a Christian, but to be singular because it is necessary to be so as the result of worshiping God and Him only, places Heaven’s dignity upon man. We must not be afraid of being singular when duty requires us to be thus to exalt and honor God; and we must bear in mind that the work of Christ is specified. “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people” (Deuteronomy 7:6, 7).

We must not be afraid of being singular. Do not court singularity for the sake of being odd, but for the sake of avoiding sin and dishonor to God. And in this case we are not to mind even the multitude who are against us. “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). Because the law of God is made void in our world, does it make it a virtue to transgress that law? It may appear to the world a very small matter for the Christian to be in harmony with the world by just the act of keeping Sunday for the Sabbath in the place of the seventh day, but God’s Word says the seventh day is “My holy day.” The man of sin says, “I make a sabbath for you and you must keep the first day of the week.”

The God-fearing Christian sees that Satan is tempting, “Worship me” and “all these things will I give thee.” But naked duty must be chosen. Worship God in obeying His commandments, and [do] not bow the knee to the man of sin. Let not Satan’s bribe be accepted, but manfully be true to God. Even if the world calls you singular, that which is right in God’s sight, do. “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely” (Proverbs 10:9).

We thank the Lord that a few have had the moral courage in Nimes to cease to longer transgress the law of God, to accept the light and take their position firmly to keep the Sabbath that God has sanctified and blessed. Let the light shine forth from these few in bright, steady rays, reflecting light upon those who are in darkness. Said Christ to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.”

God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Where Christ is, even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city, [or] enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles’ of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God’s great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God.

All things shall work together for good to those who love God. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” They that will be doers of the word are building securely, and the tempest and storm of persecution will not shake their foundation, because their souls are rooted to the eternal Rock." [MR17 80-82 - MR no. 1250, October 18, 1886, from Nimes, France]

2. I would encourage those who assemble in little companies to worship God. Brethren and sisters, be not disheartened because you are so few in number. The tree that stands alone upon the plain, strikes its roots deeper into the earth, spreads out its branches farther on every side, and grows stronger and more symmetrical while wrestling singly with the tempest or rejoicing in the sunshine. So the Christian, cut off from earthly dependence, may learn to rely wholly upon God, and may gain strength and courage from every conflict. [ST Jan. 12, 1882]

Among the Churches Petaluma

"November 25, I left Oakland for Petaluma, and found a pleasant home with the family of Bro. Chapman, where I have ever been heartily welcomed. On the Sabbath I spoke with freedom to the little company who reverence God’s holy day and assemble for his worship. A social meeting followed, in which sixteen testimonies were borne. We realized that the Lord’s presence is not confined to large assemblies, but that where two or three are gathered in his name, he meets with them. All seemed strengthened and encouraged. I felt the sweet peace of Christ, the consolation of his Spirit. I was in feeble health, but the precious evidence of the favor of God, more than repaid me for the effort made.

Would that our smaller churches could be more often visited. The faithful ones, who stand firmly in defense of the truth, would be cheered and strengthened by the testimony of their brethren. The few standard bearers at Petaluma have had much to contend with; unruly, rebellious spirits have done their utmost to discourage all who would maintain the truth in righteousness. But these discordant elements have separated from the church. They went out from us, because they were not of us. Those who now meet from Sabbath to Sabbath are at peace with one another, and in harmony with the work of God.

Our gracious Redeemer looked down the stream of time, and beheld the perils that would in the last days surround his chosen. For our encouragement he declares, in the words of the prophet Malachi: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

If the members of the church labor faithfully to build up the cause of truth, they will not escape the tongue of gossip, falsehood, and slander. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Their consistent, unwavering course is a constant rebuke of the unbelief, pride, and selfishness of the hypocritical professor.

Their prayers and admonitions disturb his worldly ambition, and he endeavors to cast reproach upon the faithful followers of Jesus. He will garble, distort, and misrepresent facts, in the same spirit that actuated the Pharisees in their opposition to Christ.

Jesus does not lose sight of his people who have so many discouragements to encounter. It requires little effort to float with the popular current, but those who would gain the immortal shores must struggle against wind and tide. There is a form of Christianity—a spurious article—which has no reformative energy. Its possessors delight to oppose and decry the faith of others. Their religion is not seen in the marketplace, in the family, or in the workshop. Their religious experience runs in the corrupt channel of the world.

The true follower of Christ should not be dismayed at receiving reproach from this class. Said the beloved apostle, “Marvel not, my brethren, that the world hate you.” And our Saviour reminds his disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” Those who are faithful to God will not be harmed by reproach or opposition. Nay, rather, virtues will thus be developed that will not flourish in the sunshine of prosperity. Faith, patience, meekness, and love will bud and blossom amid clouds and darkness.

The members of the church should individually keep the light of God’s love brightly burning in their own souls, that it may also shine forth to others. We have too much at stake to allow spiritual lethargy to creep over us. Let us beware of indulging a disrelish for religious services and religious duties. Let us resolutely battle against that sluggishness of soul which is so fatal to the growth and even the life of the Christian.

That church will be healthy and prosperous whose members are putting forth active, personal effort to do good to others, to save souls. This will be a constant incentive to every good work. Such Christians will labor with greater earnestness to secure their own salvation. The dormant energies will be aroused, the whole soul inspired with an unconquerable determination to win the Saviour’s plaudit of “Well done,” and to wear the victor’s crown.

I would encourage those who assemble in little companies to worship God. Brethren and sisters, be not disheartened because you are so few in number. The tree that stands alone upon the plain, strikes its roots deeper into the earth, spreads out its branches farther on every side, and grows stronger and more symmetrical while wrestling singly with the tempest or rejoicing in the sunshine. So the Christian, cut off from earthly dependence, may learn to rely wholly upon God, and may gain strength and courage from every conflict.

May the Lord bless the scattered and lonely ones, and make them efficient workers for him. The Christian should not be content to be merely an active man of business. He should not be so absorbed in worldly affairs as to have scarcely a spare moment or a thought for recreation or friendship, for the good of others, for the culture of the mind, or the welfare of the soul. Energy and diligence in business are commendable, but these should not lead us to neglect that love for God and man which the Bible enjoins.

Would that we all could remember that worldlings feel at liberty to watch and criticise the professed followers of Christ. Our course in temporal matters, our conduct toward one another, is commented upon with keenness and severity. What we say in the church is not of so great consequence as our deportment in the home circle and among our neighbors. The kindly word, the thoughtful act, true politeness and hospitality, will constantly exert an influence in favor of the Christian religion. Let not the testimony be borne concerning any of us, “Religion has made them no better. They are as self-indulgent, as worldly, as sharp in trade, as ever.” All who bear such fruit scatter from Christ, instead of gathering with him. They place obstacles in the way of those whom they might by a consistent course have won to Jesus. It is our duty as Christians to give to the world unmistakable evidence that we are obeying the great commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” which is the same as our Saviour’s golden rule, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

God bless the church at Petaluma. Brethren, do not forget the wants of these small and isolated companies. Christ will be found a guest at their little gatherings.

E. G. White. [ST Jan. 12, 1882]

"The reason why there is not more spiritual strength and power with the little companies of believers that compose our churches in different places, is because the business cares of life are made their first and highest object, and absorb their time and their thoughts." [RH July 26, 1887]

"God bless the church at Petaluma. Brethren, do not forget the wants of these small and isolated companies. Christ will be found a guest at their little gatherings." [ST Jan. 12, 1882]

". . .Let these little companies who seldom have preaching cling more firmly to Jesus. . . Let each individual member of the church feel that he is responsible in a large measure for the strength and prosperity of the church. While you do to the very utmost of your ability, God will as surely do his part, giving you divine enlightenment. God will work, and you must work to the same end to accomplish the same purpose, as faithful soldiers of an army work in harmony with the plans and purposes of their officers. Our will must be surrendered to the will of God. These churches that are small may be living, healthy, strong churches. [RH Sept. 27, 1887]

"There are little companies continually rising who believe that God is only with the very few, the very scattered, and their influence is to tear down and scatter that which God’s servants build up. Restless minds who want to be seeing and believing something new continually are constantly rising, some in one place and some in another, all doing a special work for the enemy, yet claiming to have the truth. They stand separate from the people whom God is leading out and prospering, and through whom He is to do His great work. They are continually expressing their fears that the body of Sabbathkeepers are becoming like the world, but there are scarcely two of these whose views are in harmony. They are scattered and confused, and yet deceive themselves so much as to think that God is especially with them. . . The people, who, in accordance with God’s word, are putting forth every effort to be one, who are established in the message of the third angel, are looked upon with suspicion for the reason that they are extending their labor and are gathering souls into the truth. They are considered worldly because they have an influence in the world, and their acts testify that they expect God yet to do a special and great work upon the earth, to bring out a people and fit them for Christ’s appearing." [1T 417]

3. Ellen White's private use of tithe

"My brother, I wish to say to you, Be careful how you move. You are not moving wisely. The least you have to speak about the tithe that has been appropriated to the most needy and the most discouraging field in the world, the more sensible you will be.

It has been presented to me for years that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient properly to support their families. When my attention was called to aged ministers, white or black, it was my special duty to investigate into their necessities and supply their needs. This was to be my special work, and I have done this in a number of cases. No man should give notoriety to the fact that in special cases the tithe is used in that way.

In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers in that field. If there have been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace.

I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this, and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon, for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best.

Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so. I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help to do a work that is being left undone. If this matter is given publicity, it will create a knowledge which would better be left as it is. I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do, and others to do.

I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake. Circumstances alter cases. I would not advise that anyone should make a practice of gathering up tithe money. But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe, who have placed their tithe in my hands, and said that if I did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy ministers they could find. I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated.

I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest many more shall follow their example.—Letter 267, 1905 [2MR 99-100]

Note: This letter, or select portions of it, are often used by independent ministers to justify the diversion of tithe from the church to other channels. It is clear from the full context of the letter, however, that this was a work that God specifically gave to Mrs. White that she did not wish to be made public lest others follow that example. In almost every paragraph she warns against this very course of action.

Further, the tithe she allocated went to recognized Church ministers who were neglected in the distribution of tithe; not independent ministers or publishing houses in response to perceived apostasy.

Church-State Unions and Babylon Fallen

Babylon, Unchurching, and Corporate Accountability

"Virtually Caiaphas was no high priest. He wore the priestly robes, but he had no vital connection with God. He was uncircumcised in heart. With the other priests he instructed the people to choose Barabbas instead of Christ. They cried out for the crucifixion of Christ and, as representatives of the Jewish nation, placed themselves under the Roman jurisdiction, which they despised, by saying, "We have no king but Caesar." When they said this, they unchurched themselves." [12MR 388]

"Thus by choosing a heathen ruler, the Jewish nation had withdrawn from the theocracy. They had rejected God as their king. Henceforth they had no deliverer. They had no king but Caesar. To this the priests and teachers had led the people. For this, with the fearful results that followed, they were responsible. A nation's sin and a nation's ruin were due to the religious leaders." [DA 737]

"What was Christ’s grief to see the Jews fixing their own destiny beyond redemption! He alone could comprehend the significance of their rejection, betrayal, and condemnation of the Son of God. His last hope for the Jewish nation was gone. Nothing could avert her doom. By the representatives of the nation God was denied as their Ruler. By worlds unfallen, by the whole heavenly universe, the blasphemous utterance was heard, “We have no king but Caesar.” The God of heaven heard their choice. He had given them opportunity to repent, and they would not. Forty years afterward Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Roman power ruled over the people. Then they had no deliverer. They had no king but Caesar. Henceforth the Jewish nation, as a nation, was as a branch severed from the vine—a dead, fruitless branch, to be gathered up and burned—from land to land throughout the world, from century to century, dead—dead in trespasses and sins—without a Saviour!" [5BC 1149]

"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action; if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them, and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach." [14MR 102]

"When Christ should hang upon the cross of Calvary, Israel’s day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended." [GC 20]

". . 3. Why did Babylon fall? Ans. Because of rejecting Christ and committing fornication with the kings of the earth.

. . 14. What was the next inevitable step for Babylon to take? Ans. The church turned from the Lord and sought power of the state. She left her lawful spouse and committed fornication with the kings of the earth. Compare 2 Cor. 11:2 with Rev. 14:8; 17:2. This was the last step in her separation from Christ. Out of this came persecution of those who did not subscribe to her creed." [First Quarter Sabbath School, Lesson VI, February 8, 1896]

"When the early church departed from God and imbibed pagan errors, she became Babylon. When she united with the state, she fell, and, as an organization, was the body of Christ no longer. While the Reformation churches held fast to the word, Christ was with them. Then they crystallized their various errors into creeds and endeavored thus to confine God's word, they made themselves daughters of Babylon. When some of them united with the state, they fell, and God had to use other people, called out of Babylon to carry forward His work. Now among these very churches which came out of the second Babylon, confusion reigns; and now great Babylon, including later daughters, is in adulterous union with the kings of earth , and is endeavoring to make that union stronger. God calls no church Babylon which holds to His word, and follows the light that shines from it, even though there are in its membership many who do not know Christ When the controlling influence of a church is downward, it erects some other standard besides God's word." [First Quarter Sabbath School, Lesson IX, February 29, 1896]

"It has ever been true that a backslidden body, one that has turned from God's word to men, from God's power to the state, was never reformed in itself. Invariably God's message has called out those from the fallen church who would do His will and preach His gospel. Israel went down to Egypt for help, and their captivity and loss of power followed. Out of the captives God gathered a faithful band to do His work. The Jewish church failed, and God called out the apostolic church to do His bidding. The Roman Church failed, and out of it God called the churches of the Reformation. Some of these churches failed to advance, and God called out others to bear His gospel to the world such as the Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, Disciple, Adventists. His last 'called-out' people will know no standard but His word, no power but His Spirit." [First Quarter Sabbath School, Lesson X, March 7, 1896]

"We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?" [21MR 380]

"Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to receive and walk in the light that God had given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depository of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were perverted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Every one sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how can I give thee up? How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.

So Christ sorrows and weeps over our churches, over our institutions of learning, that have failed to meet the demand of God. He comes to investigate in Battle Creek, which has been moving in the same track as Jerusalem. The publishing house has been turned into [a] desecrated shrine, into [a] place of unholy merchandise and traffic. . .

When Christ looked down from the crest of Olivet, He saw this state of things existing in every church. The warning comes down to all that are following in the tread of the people of Jerusalem, who had such great light. This people is before us as a warning. By rejecting God’s warnings in this our day men are repeating the sin of Jerusalem." [Letter 31, 1898; PH086 (Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church) p.28]

"The world must not be introduced into the church and married to the church. Through union with the world the church will become corrupt,—“a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”" [RH Feb 26, 1895]

"The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as he did, a life of obedience to God. They would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that was given Him from God. In plotting against Christ, the rabbis were not doing the works of Abraham. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without a spiritual connection with him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not his children.

"This principle bears with equal weight upon a question that has long agitated the Christian world,—the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles’ spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel." [DA 466,467]

"Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, 'But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.'" [RH Aug 1, 1893; quoted in LDE 48]

"Among the professed children of God, how little patience has been manifested, how many bitter words have been spoken, how much denunciation has been uttered against those not of our faith. Many have looked upon those belonging to other churches as great sinners, when the Lord does not thus regard them. Those who look thus upon the members of other churches, have need to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Those whom they condemn may have had but little light, few opportunities and privileges. If they had had the light that many of the members of our churches have had, they might have advanced at a far greater rate, and have better represented their faith to the world. Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, 'But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.' At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent [in their own estimation], and hast revealed them unto babes.'

'And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.'

The Lord has established among us institutions of great importance, and they are to be managed, not as worldly institutions are managed, but after God’s order. They are to be managed with an eye single to his glory, that by all means perishing souls may be saved. To the people of God the testimonies of the Spirit have come, and yet many have not taken heed to reproofs, warnings, and counsels.

'Here now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: fear ye not me saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual degree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? but this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.... They judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be revenged on such a nation as this?'

Shall the Lord be compelled to say, 'Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee'? 'Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain.... Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?'" [RH Aug 1, 1893]

"The Jews had deceived themselves by misinterpreting the words of the Lord through his prophets, of his eternal favor to his people Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the Lord: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35-37

These words the Jews applied to themselves. And because God had shown them so great favor and mercy, they flattered themselves that, notwithstanding their sins and iniquities, he would still retain them as his favored people, and shower especial blessings upon them. They misapplied the words of Jeremiah, and depended for their salvation upon being called the children of Abraham. If they had indeed been worthy of the name of Abraham’s children, they would have followed the righteous example of their father Abraham, and would have done the works of Abraham." [2SP 52]

"The whole Jewish nation seemed to be affected by the mission of John. The threatenings of God on account of their sins, repeated by the prophet, for a time alarmed them. John knew that they cherished the idea that, because they were of the seed of Abraham, they were securely established in the favor of God, while their course of action was abhorred of him. Their conduct was, in many respects, even worse than that of the heathen nations to whom they felt so much superior. The prophet faithfully presented to them the ability of God to raise up those who would take their place, and would become more worthy children of Abraham. He told them plainly that God was not dependent upon them to fulfill his purposes; for he could provide ways and means independent of them to carry forward his great work which was to be accomplished in purity and righteousness. John further adds: “And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” He impresses upon them that the value of the tree is ascertained by the fruit it produces. Though a tree may bear an exalted name, yet if it produces no fruit, or if its fruit is unworthy of the name, the name will avail nothing in saving the tree from destruction. “Of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramblebush gather they grapes.”

The prophet of God was impressed by the holy Spirit that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees who asked baptism had no true convictions of their sins. They had selfish motives. They thought that if they should become friends of the prophet, they would stand a better chance to be personally favored of the coming Prince. In their blindness they believed that he was to set up a temporal kingdom, and bestow honors and riches upon his subjects.

John rebuked their selfish pride and avarice. He warned them of their unbelief, and condemned their hypocrisy. He told them that they had not fulfilled the conditions of the covenant on their part, which would entitle them to the promises God made to a faithful and obedient people. Their proud boasts of being children of Abraham did not make them really such. Their exhibitions of pride, their arrogance, jealousy, selfishness, and cruelty, stamped their characters as a generation of vipers, rather than the children of obedient and just Abraham. Their wicked works had disqualified them to claim the promises God made to the children of Abraham. John assured them that God would raise up children unto Abraham from the very stones, to whom he could fulfill his promise, rather than to depend on the natural children of Abraham who had neglected the light God had given them, and had become hardened by selfish ambition and wicked unbelief. He told them that if they were really the children of Abraham, they would do the works of their father Abraham. They would have Abraham’s faith, love, and obedience. But they did not bear this fruit. They had no claim to Abraham as their father, or the promises God made to the seed of Abraham. “Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” While they were professing to be God’s commandment-keeping people, their works denied their faith, and without true repentance for their sins they would have no part in the kingdom of Christ. Justice, benevolence, mercy, and the love of God would characterize the lives of his commandment-keeping people. Unless these fruits were seen in their daily life, all their profession was of no more value than chaff which would be devoted to the fire of destruction.

The Jews had deceived themselves by misinterpreting the words of the Lord through his prophets, of his eternal favor to his people Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the Lord: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35-37.

These words the Jews applied to themselves. And because God had shown them so great favor and mercy, they flattered themselves that, notwithstanding their sins and iniquities, he would still retain them as his favored people, and shower especial blessings upon them. They misapplied the words of Jeremiah, and depended for their salvation upon being called the children of Abraham. If they had indeed been worthy of the name of Abraham’s children, they would have followed the righteous example of their father Abraham, and would have done the works of Abraham.

This has been the danger of the people of God in all ages; and especially is this the danger of those living near the close of time. We are cited by the apostle to the unbelief, blindness, rebellion, and repeated sins of the Hebrews, as a warning. Paul plainly states that “all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” If, in these last days of peril, for the encouragement of persons in responsible positions, God in mercy gives them a testimony of favor, they frequently become lifted up, and lose sight of their frailties and weaknesses, and rely upon their own judgment, flattering themselves that God cannot accomplish his work without their especial aid." [2SP 50-52]

"In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." [8T 247]

"I then felt my spirit stirred within me, and I bore a very plain testimony to these brethren. I told them a little of how matters had been carried [on] at Minneapolis, and stated the position I had taken, that Pharisaism had been at work leavening the camp here at Battle Creek, and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected; but the Lord had given me a message, and with pen and voice I would work until this leaven was expelled and a new leaven was introduced, which was the grace of Christ.

I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the “unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry." [16MR 216]

"We found when we reached Battle Creek that some of our brethren and sisters had been preceding us with letters from the meeting of the same character that we had met at the meeting, evidencing that those who made these reports had not received at that meeting the benefit that the Lord designed they should have. There were also a number of delegates who returned to Battle Creek before us who were forward to make reports of the meeting at Minneapolis, giving their own incorrect version of the matter, which was unfavorable to Brethren A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner, W. C. White and myself, and the work I had been compelled to do at that meeting. Some who had not seen me since the General Conference in Oakland, California, met me as almost a stranger.

I knew that the same work that had leavened the camp in Minneapolis had not been confined to that place but had reached over to Battle Creek through letters sent from Minneapolis and by word of mouth of those who preceded us to Battle Creek. Reports had come to Elder Butler that were not correct or true. Those reporting were deceived by the enemy and were in their turn deceiving him, putting a wrong interpretation upon many things. In his weak condition of health he accepted everything as verity and truth, and acted accordingly. He solicited no interview with me and did not come to call upon me although several times he passed almost by the door where I was rooming. He did not ask me if the statements brought to him were true, but accepted all that had been unwisely told him. Have those who made these impressions upon his sick mind been as zealous to remove them as they were to make them? Let them answer this to God, for they must be met in the judgment and answered to there.

I met with the brethren in the tabernacle, and there I felt it my duty to give a short history of the meeting and my experience in Minneapolis, the course I had pursued and why, and plainly state the spirit which prevailed at that meeting. I told them the position I was compelled to take at that meeting which was not in harmony with my brethren, and the efforts I there made with select brethren to convince them that they were not moving in the counsel of God, that the Lord would not sanction any such spirit as that which prevailed at that meeting.

I told them of the hard position I was placed in, to stand, as it were, alone and be compelled to reprove the wrong spirit that was a controlling power at that meeting. The suspicion and jealousy, the evil surmisings, the resistance of the Spirit of God that was appealing to them, were more after the order in which the Reformers had been treated. It was the very order in which the church had treated my father’s family and eight of us—the entire family living in Portland, Maine, were excluded from the church because we favored the message proclaimed by William Miller.

I had been writing out Volume 4 of Great Controversy. It was fresh in my mind how those men, upon whom the Lord was moving to bear to the world a message of light and of truth, were treated, and because it did not coincide with their opinions men closed their eyes and ears to the message sent of God. What effect did this resistance and opposition have upon those to whom God had given light to be flashed amid the moral darkness that had been gathering over the church like the pall of death? Did they cease their efforts? No. The Lord had placed the burden upon them: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).

The Lord was working, and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for from this hour that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren, was not as heretofore. I had felt that when a call came to me, “We want you at our meeting, Sister White; your influence is needed,” I should not consult my choice of my feelings but would arise by faith and try to act my part and leave the Lord to do the work that was essential to be done. Now a greater burden falls upon me. From this time I must look alone to God, for I dare not rely upon the wisdom of my brethren. I see they do not always take God for their counsellor, but look in a large degree to the men they have set before them in the place of God.

I tried at the meeting in Battle Creek to make my position plain, but not a word of response came from the men who should have stood with me. [See the chapters “George I. Butler Moves Into the Light,” “Uriah Smith Falls on the ‘Rock,’” and “Still More Confessions,” in Thirteen Crisis Years, by A. V. Olson, pp. 87-119.] I stated that I stood nearly alone at Minneapolis. I stood alone before them in the conference, for the light that God had seen fit to give me was that they were not moving in the counsel of God. Not one ventured to say, “I am with you, Sister White. I will stand by you.”

After the meeting [in Battle Creek] several shook hands with me and stated, “I am glad to be here. I am entirely relieved. So many reports came to us from Minneapolis and were told us by those who arrived here before you came, of positions Sister White took and what she had said at the conference, that we really thought that Sister White must be a changed woman; but I feel happy and grateful that I could be at this meeting and hear from her own lips the truth of the matter, that Sister White is not changed, that her testimony has not changed in its character. We recognize the Spirit of the Lord speaking through Sister White as heretofore.”

But there were quite a number who held fast their evil surmisings and clung to the distorted representations made of me, as though these reports were too precious to be given up, although they had not one real vestige of evidence that I had changed. It seemed to be their preference to believe the false reports. I felt deeply grieved that my brethren who had known me for years and had evidence of the character of my labor should continue to remain in the deception they were in and, rather than confess that they had been mistaken, hold on to the same false impressions as though they were truth.

I was invited to speak the next Sabbath in the tabernacle, but afterwards—because the impressions were so strong that I had changed—I think the brother felt a little sorry he had asked me. Two elders visited me on Sabbath morning, and I was asked by one what I was going to speak upon. I said, “Brethren, you leave that matter with the Lord and Sister White, for neither the Lord nor Sister White will need to be dictated to by the brethren as to what subject she will bring before them. I am at home in Battle Creek, on the ground we have broken through the strength of God, and we ask not permission to take the desk in the tabernacle. I take it as my rightful position accorded me of God. But there is Brother Jones, who cannot feel as I do, and who will wait an invitation from you. You should do your duty in regard to this matter and open the way before him.”

The elders stated they did not feel free to invite him to speak until they had consulted Brother Smith to know whether he would sanction it, for Elder Smith was older than they. I said, “Then do this at once, for time is precious and there is a message to come to this people and the Lord requires you to open the way for the light to come to the people of God.”

I had freedom in speaking to the people the words of life. I was strengthened and blessed of God. But days passed and there came no invitation for Elder Jones to present to the large church in Battle Creek the message given him of God. I sent for the elders of the church and asked again if they designed to give Elder Jones an opportunity to speak to the people. The answer was, “I have consulted Brother Smith and he has decided it would not be best to ask him because he took strong positions, and carried the subject of national reform too far.”

I then felt my spirit stirred within me, and I bore a very plain testimony to these brethren. I told them a little of how matters had been carried [on] at Minneapolis, and stated the position I had taken, that Pharisaism had been at work leavening the camp here at Battle Creek, and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected; but the Lord had given me a message, and with pen and voice I would work until this leaven was expelled and a new leaven was introduced, which was the grace of Christ.

I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the “unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry.

We see a people whom God has blessed with advanced light and knowledge, and will the people thus favored become vain of their intelligence, proud of their knowledge? Will men who ought to be more closely connected with God think it better to trust in their own wisdom than to inquire of God? There are ministers who are inflated, self-sufficient, too wise to seek God prayerfully and humbly with the earnest toil of searching the Scriptures daily for increased light. Many will close their ears to the message God sends them, and open their ears to deception and delusion.

Such a state of feelings as existed was painful to me. I labored with pen and voice, doing all in my power to change this order of things. A meeting was conducted at Potterville by the Michigan ministers. I was urged by Brother Van Horn to attend the meeting. I was glad to do this, hoping that the prejudice would be removed. The Lord gave me of His Holy Spirit at that meeting. The Lord seemed to be close by my side, and I had freedom when bearing my message to the people. On this occasion, when only our brethren were present in the morning meeting, I spoke plainly, stating the light that the Lord had been pleased to give me in warnings and in reproof for His people.

In leaning upon man—placing so many responsibilities upon one man, as though God had not given intelligence of reason and spiritual strength to other men to bear responsibilities—there is not only danger that they themselves will become weak and inefficient, but they do a serious wrong to the one whom they treat in this manner. Human beings cannot endure this dependence placed upon themselves. Their danger is great that human influence will stand where the Lord should be.

Our brethren separate themselves from God, by reason of the homage they give to human beings. They may esteem themselves, they may esteem others, and look to themselves and to others with that confidence which should be given to the Lord of Israel. The remedy for these things is the heartfelt belief of Bible truth, taking the plainest declaration of the Scriptures. There is great need for all who are placed in positions of trust, who have an influence over other minds, to take heed that, in their positions of trust, they do not prove to be agents through whom the enemy can work, to the detriment of souls. If the weak brother perish, the blood of his soul will be required at your hand.

Has God given men places in His vineyard? Then let their talents be employed, and let them increase in efficiency by consecrating soul, body, and spirit to God. The mind must be brought under control, its powers educated, disciplined, and strengthened in the same way that the physical powers are brought under control by right exercise. I warned our ministers to put to exercise every spiritual muscle, improving their talent and making the most of their acquirements in the service of God, for I had been shown that in their special meetings but little good was accomplished because they did not have such a living connection with God that He could impress them by His Holy Spirit. When not under the control of the Spirit of God, another spirit had control of their thoughts, words, and actions, and in place of growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ they were becoming dwarfs in spiritual things.

There was a loose, haphazard way of doing the work of God. There was an atmosphere surrounding their souls that was not heavenly, but earthly, common, and cheap. In this atmosphere spirituality could not strengthen, but would decrease. There was laughing, jesting, joking. There seemed to be very little solemnity, very little appreciation of the sacredness of the work. There was much talk, but very little of the mind of Christ. And as long as they carried with them this atmosphere, the gifts and abilities given them of God were misused, and the enemy often employed them in his service. In their blindness they could not discern spiritual things, and under the influence of the great deceiver would take a position to oppose the most sacred things of God.

There must be no deifying of human beings, for this is highly displeasing to God. There must be no rings of men to unite together in unholy fellowship to strengthen each other in ways and ideas that are opposed to the Spirit of God. All these preferences, these ardent attachments for individuals, are not after God’s order. It is an injury to all parties, for one thinks he is bound to stand by him who is his fast friend.

But let my brethren consider, is this a sanctified union? I know that it is not. The power possessed over minds leads you to look to and trust in each other rather than to trust in the living God. It leads you to consult with each other when you should be on your knees pleading with God, the mighty Counsellor. It leads you to strengthen each other to find things you can question and construe in a way to encourage your unbelief. What one man would not think of by himself, another will supply with his suggestions.

I stated that the course that had been pursued at Minneapolis was cruelty to the Spirit of God; and those who went all through that meeting and left with the same spirit with which they came to the meeting, and were carrying on the same line of work they did at that meeting and since they had come from it, would—unless they were changed in spirit and confessed their mistakes—go into greater deceptions. They would stumble and know not at what they were stumbling. I begged them to stop just where they were. But the position of Elder Butler and Elder Smith influenced them to make no change but stand where they did. No confession was made. The blessed meeting closed. Many were strengthened, but doubt and darkness enveloped some closer than before. The dew and showers of grace from heaven which softened many hearts did not wet their souls.

I went on my way, returning to Battle Creek wearied but blessed of the Lord. I had repeated interviews with my brethren, explaining my position and the work for this time.

I thought it was my duty to go to Des Moines, Iowa. I hoped to meet most of the ministers in that State. I came near fainting in the cars, but the Lord strengthened me to bear my testimony to those assembled. I wished I had all the conference that I could address, for my heart was full of the Spirit of God, just as it was at Minneapolis. The Spirit of the Lord came into our morning meetings, and many humble testimonies were borne with weeping. I will say to the glory of God that He did sustain me and hearts were touched. I did hope to see some who had taken an active part in Minneapolis bend their proud wills and seek the Lord with their whole heart. I believed this would be done, but although the Lord was manifestly at work upon hearts no thorough confessions were made. They did not fall upon the Rock and be broken, so that the Lord could put His mold upon them. Oh, if they had only yielded their pride, the light and love of God would have come into their hearts!

There was Brother Leroy Nicola, whom the Lord has blessed with ability. If his will were subdued to God’s will, then a work would be accomplished for him that would make him an instrument of righteousness; but just as long as he cherishes doubts, as long as he feels at liberty to criticize, he will not grow spiritually. The dark shadows will encompass him, uncertainty and discouragements will take possession of reason, and he who feels too proud to bend his will is found weak as a child in moral strength and often almost helpless. Why will he not be healed? He has not the consoling consciousness that he has the Spirit and favor of God. He is educating his mind to doubt and criticize.

How my soul longed to see these ministers walking in the footprints of Jesus, pursuing the path He trod, rough and thorny though it may be, but with the assurance that Jesus has traveled it before them and commanded them to follow in His steps. When the will consents to do this, when there is a crucifixion of self, then can they cheerfully take hold of every duty. Then how joyfully is everything begun, carried through, and finished in the name of the Lord God of hosts! Then they can run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Perplexed about the ways and works of God, a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them, and often grievously disappointed and almost loosening the hands to let go, they have but little consciousness of the Lord’s presence and are fitful, undecided.

Oh, what a blessed privilege to know that we are entirely submissive to the will of God, that we are walking at all times in the light of His countenance, hearkening to the words that He shall speak concerning us, and not venturing a step without His counsel and His direction. May the Lord move upon the minds of these brethren by His Holy Spirit, and may the thick darkness which has clouded their minds and hung over their souls be rolled back and the Sun of righteousness arise in their hearts with healing in its beams.

I left Des Moines hoping and praying that these men in responsible positions would be wholly transformed by the grace of Christ, that their labors would not be in vain in the Lord. I was disappointed that no reference was made to the meeting in Minneapolis, no word of retraction of the course pursued there. At the Des Moines meeting an invitation was made by a standing vote for me to attend their conference. I said if it was in the line of my duty, if I was this side the Rocky Mountains, I would gladly comply with their request. But after many months no line reached me from them, no word came that they desired me.

I wrote them from the Kansas meeting that I had been disappointed that no word had come to me since the good meeting we had had in Iowa. I was much worn from labor. My heart had suffered so keenly since I left California, in passing through the trials of seeing my brethren in the condition they were in spiritually, that I felt every day that I might not be found alive in the morning; and yet I could not cease my labors of reproving, of standing firm for that which I knew was right.

I asked my brethren in Iowa if they deemed it to be their duty to counteract my labors if I attended their meeting, bearing the message the Lord should give me, in case it did not coincide with their ideas. If they felt thus, I could do them no good. Letters were pressing me to go to Williamsport [Pennsylvania, 1889]. I had promised them I would attend their camp meeting but did not know these meetings would be appointed at the same time. I had to choose which meeting to attend.

As not one word came from Iowa I had no chance to know that there had been any change of their feelings, and I decided it could not be my duty to place myself in the atmosphere of resistance and doubt and opposition when there were urgent entreaties for me to attend meetings of those who would receive the testimony given me of God and profit by it because they had not shrouded themselves in an atmosphere of unbelief and proud resistance to the light God had permitted to shine upon them. I cannot believe it to be the will of my heavenly Father for me to tax my strength and lift burdens when those for whom I labor feel no responsibility to lift with me, but feel at liberty to criticize if they think they can do so. We should ever seek to use our ability where we can accomplish the most good, where souls feel their need and are willing to be helped.

Oh, how interestedly is the universe of heaven watching to see how many faithful servants are bearing the sins of the people on their hearts and afflicting their souls; how many are colaborers with Jesus Christ to become repairers of the breach which the ungodly had made, and restorers of the paths which others have sought to obliterate. The path of faith and righteousness must be restored. Our salvation is not built upon works of righteousness which we have done, but upon God’s mercy and love. We may put all the works of our own righteousness together, but they will be found to be as sliding sand. We cannot rest upon them.

It is God’s purpose that we should be educated by providential experience and be habitual learners, building securely on Jesus Christ, the only sure foundation, which will stand fast forever. The blood of Jesus Christ alone can atone for our transgressions. We must claim His righteousness by living faith, and depend on Him and abide in Him alone. We are always to feel our continual dependence upon God. This will scatter our self-sufficiency, our pride and vanity, to the winds.

[E. G. W. Marginal Note: “Letter to Elder Butler to stay after the week of prayer (December 15-22) comes in here.” See E. G. White Letter to G. I. Butler, December 11, 1888 (Letter 18, 1888.)]

This extract from a letter written to Brother Butler expressed the earnest desire of my soul in his behalf, but the answer I received to this letter pained my heart, for I knew he did not understand the work God has given me to do, neither did he understand the spirit which prompted the answer to this letter.

Brother Ballenger became very much distressed in mind. He was almost in despair, and he solicited an interview with me, but I was engaged in other work and could not see him at that time. He tried to obtain an interview with his brethren but he was not favored in this, and then he decided there was no help for him except in God. He began to see that without Him he was in a state of spiritual nakedness and in the dark midnight of despair. He went to the dear Saviour just as He had invited him to come. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He sought the Lord with earnestness of purpose and he found Jesus was close by him. The atoning death, the sufficient propitiation, was presented to him. He laid hold on Christ by living faith, and the cloud was rolled back and he was clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

He came into the meeting full of peace and hope, for the Lord had put a new song in his heart, even praise to our God. He then made confession of his great want of spirituality in his labors, and how he had received a view of Jesus and His love, and that this should be his theme in his future labors.

Such experiences as these characterized all our meetings after the first week. One brother bore testimony that he had been a Sabbathkeeper many years but he had felt the great lack of faith in Jesus Christ. Coldness and the want of the love of God and of spiritual fervor had discouraged him. He went to other denominations to find that for which his soul hungered, but he found greater dearth among them than among Seventh-day Adventists. He said he had heard at this meeting just the truth for which his soul hungered. “This,” he said, “is the truth, present truth. I accept it. And as I have withdrawn from the church of Seventh-day Adventists, I now want to unite heart and soul with you.”

During the week of prayer in Battle Creek [December 15-22] we labored earnestly, speaking at the sanitarium in the early morning, and at the office chapel to the workers in the office, and at the tabernacle. I had reason to give praise to God that strength was given me for this labor. At times the power of God rested upon me in large measure. It seemed at times while I was speaking that the unseen realities of the eternal world were opened to my view, and I know that the Lord was speaking through me to His people. I take no credit to myself. It was all of God, every bit of it, and the Spirit of God rested upon the congregation. I was glad of this for the sake of the people, for I knew that those who had been in doubt had evidence for their faith if their hearts were open to receive the impression of the Spirit of God.

I longed to hear those who had considered it a virtue to brace themselves against light and evidence acknowledge the movings of the Spirit of God, cast away their unbelief, and come to the light. I knew that unless they did this their path would become darker, for light unconfessed and unacknowledged and unimproved becomes darkness to those who refuse to receive it and walk in it. Up to this late date there are souls still in darkness, who know not at what they stumble. And it will be much harder now for them to go back and gather up the rays of light which they have scorned to receive, and to acknowledge the light God graciously gave them to heal them of their spiritual diseases.

The first step taken in the path of unbelief and rejection of light is a dangerous thing, and the only way for those who have taken this step to recover themselves from the snares of Satan is to accept that which the Lord sent them but which they refused to receive. This will be humiliating to the soul but will be for their salvation. God will not be trifled with. He will not remove all reason to doubt, but He will give sufficient evidence upon which to base faith.

If my brethren had sensed their own weakness, their own inability, and had never lost sight of this, they would have humbled their hearts before God, confessed their errors, and come into light and freedom. Are we ready to boast in pride that we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing? This has been done and is being done still. The voice of the True Witness is heard: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:15-17). All this boasting is vain. Christ sees to the very center of the soul and tells us just what we are and what we must be in order to be saved.

The message that was given to the people in these meetings presented in clear lines not alone the commandments of God—a part of the third angel’s message—but the faith of Jesus, which comprehends more than is generally supposed. And it will be well for the third angel’s message to be proclaimed in all its parts, for the people need every jot and tittle of it. If we proclaim the commandments of God and leave the other half scarcely touched, the message is marred in our hands.

There was precious truth and light presented before the people, but hearts that were obdurate received no blessing. They could not rejoice in the light which, if accepted, would have brought freedom and peace and strength and courage and joy to their souls.

The blessings of that week of prayer extended through the church. Confessions were made. Those who had robbed God in tithes and in offerings confessed their wrong and made restitution, and many were blessed of God who had never felt that God had forgiven their sins. All these precious fruits evidenced the work of God, and yet those who had set their feet in the path of doubt and unbelief did not backtrack and confess their wrongs and come to the light. God was at work, but those who had been pursuing a course of their own devising, contrary to God’s word, contrary to His will, in place of yielding their wills and wishes and permitting their hearts to be melted with thankfulness, felt more confirmed and determined to resist. What shall we name this element? It is rebellion, as in the days of Israel, when they stubbornly wanted their own way and would not submit to God’s way and God’s will.

We have the example of the children of Israel to warn us off that ground. The Lord wrought in our midst, but some did not receive the blessing. They had been privileged to hear the most faithful preaching of the gospel, and had listened to the message God had given His servants to give them, with their hearts padlocked. They did not turn unto the Lord with all their heart and with all their soul, but used all their powers to pick some flaws in the messengers and in the message, and they grieved the Spirit of God, while those who did receive the message were charmed with the presentation of the free gifts of Jesus Christ.

The Lord forces His blessing upon no one. There will be those who stand in resistance against light and will say the same words as did the Jews, “Work a miracle and we will believe. If this is the message of God, why do they not heal the sick, and then we will believe.” Others truly may comprehend that miracles have been wrought far greater than to heal bodily infirmities. Has not the divine power of God taken hearts cold as steel and softened them and subdued them so that they became as little children? Their legal religion was seen as it is in its true light—worthless.

The religious feelings of many were more natural than spiritual, and although they tried to be satisfied they felt an unrest—cold, dark, and Christless. They remained in ignorance of how they stand toward God, ignorant as far as experimental knowledge was concerned of the office work of our Mediator and Intercessor. When they by faith laid hold of Christ, their hearts were contrite and broken. Christ was being formed within, the hope of glory. This was everything to them. It was the intelligence of what constituted the mystery of godliness. The miracle is wrought. The Lord and His Spirit break in upon the soul. Life and joy take possession of the heart. How quickly is the soul made sensible of its deficiency. Everything is laid open before Him with whom we have to do.

But those who close their eyes to evidence God is pleased to give—as did the Jews—and ask for miracles, will be passed by. The evidences they refused to receive, others will receive, and others will receive the blessing God tendered to them but which they refused because they were proud, self-sufficient, and self-righteous.

We thank God for every token of His love and of His grace. We will praise God and take courage. We will not sit as criticizers. We will not turn from the heavenly benefits, neither will we sit in judgment to condemn God’s ways and God’s manner of working because others feel like doing it. They have no reason for saying the things that they do, no reason to resist the Spirit of God.

Jesus upbraided His disciples for their unbelief. Unbelief is the occasion of all sin and is the bond of iniquity. Its work is to make crooked, things that are straight. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. When we become as little children, sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning of Him self-denial and what it is to live by faith in every word of God, then the soul finds rest and peace.

A woe is pronounced upon all such unbelief and criticism as was revealed in Minneapolis and as was revealed in Battle Creek. By their fruits ye shall know them. Evidence at every step that God was at work has not changed the manifest attitude of those who in the very beginning pursued a course of unbelief which was an offense to God. With this barrier they themselves had erected, they—like the Jews—were seeking something to strengthen their unbelief and make it appear they were right. Therefore they could not drink in the great salvation that the Lord proffered them. The riches of divine grace they refused. The longsuffering of God, His goodness, and His love and wonderful forbearance have not broken their hearts because they have not looked upon it and appreciated these favors. I lay these things open plainly before all, for I know their danger. I have labored earnestly to one end—the good of souls and the glory of God.

When we see men unconvinced and unchanged, notwithstanding all the marked evidences God has given, we feel sure that they will see no greater evidence. I thought of another thing that I could do—to get out a testimony and set before the questioning, doubting ones general principles, hoping this would bring some to see things in a correct light. I know that it has had an influence upon many minds, but it seems to be no help to others. They stand ready to block the wheels rather than to help pull the car up the steep ascent.

I have not left anything undone that I have had any evidence it was my duty to do. And as far as Battle Creek is concerned I can do no more than I have done. Those who have not united with me and the messengers of God in this work, but whose influence has been to create doubt and unbelief, I do not judge. Every jot of influence that has been cast on the side of the enemy will meet its reward according to its works. God was working with me to present to the people a message in regard to the faith of Jesus and the righteousness of Christ. There have been those who have not worked in harmony but in a way to counteract the work God has given me to do. I must leave them with the Lord.

We attended meetings in South Lancaster [January 11-22, 1889], and the fruits were good. We had the same spirit and power that attended the first and second angels’ messages. I have given you an account of these meetings. The Lord wrought upon all hearts, and many were able to say, “The Lord hath put a new song in my mouth, the matchless love of Jesus.” His excellencies were kept before the mind’s eye, and souls began to see the delights in Jesus. They could speak of His love and tell of His power. The Sun of righteousness was rising in the hearts of nearly all present. Many were zealous and were repenting of their lukewarmness and complying with the invitation of the Merchantman, “Buy of Me gold tried in the fire,” “and white raiment,” “and eyesalve.” Their testimony was, “I have found the Pearl of great price.” Hearts were impressed, confessions were made of wrongs to unbelievers and believers, and restitutions were made.

We inquire, as Christ inquired of the Jews, The preaching of this message, is it of heaven or is it from beneath? Jesus rejoiced in spirit as He saw men who had not had the continuous opportunity and privileges the Jews had had, convicted and converted to the truth. He said, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). The Lord rejoiced that the plan of salvation was so plain that a child in its simplicity could understand it, while those who were not spiritual and humble and willing to learn, who were puffed up in their own self-conceit, could not see the beauty of the gospel, because it is spiritually discerned. But all who are honest, teachable, childlike, who desire to know the truth, will see the power of God when it is revealed, and will acknowledge it.

Earnest discourses have been given in the power and Spirit of God by His servants, in regard to the hope set before us in the gospel. The love of Jesus and the righteousness of Christ have been presented, and they are so plainly seen the mind grasps them by faith. They have come to many who have long been Christians, as a new revelation. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Oh, this is meat in due season from first to last!

The Jews looked upon a veiled Saviour whom they had never seen unveiled, and many even who claim to be God’s commandment-keeping people are looking upon a veiled Saviour. They have thought so little upon the great plan of redemption, the atoning sacrifice, and the truth that through the shedding of a Saviour’s blood alone the angels could proclaim peace on earth and good will to men. Talk it. Pray it. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Then why not dwell upon the necessity of faith in the blood of Jesus Christ?

It is said that Wilberforce once took the great statesman Pitt to hear the celebrated Mr. Scott preach. The preacher’s theme was the way by which a sinner can be saved, and it was presented with great plainness, fervor, and earnestness. At the close of the service Pitt was asked what he thought of the sermon. He replied, “I did not know what he was aiming at.” Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The things of the Spirit, the preaching of the cross, are “to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

We visited Washington, D. C. [January 24-31, 1889], and labored there, and we saw the same fruits attending the message. We felt to thank God for the evidences of His rich grace. We visited Illinois, and there we saw the work of God. His Spirit was poured out in rich measure. I will here insert a letter written while I was at that meeting. (Insert letter to W. C. White.)

I will pursue this history no further, but I will in a very imperfect manner state [that] the law points to Christ and Christ points to the law. Because man has broken the law, the day in which we live is a period when the law of God is almost universally made void. How few realize their personal responsibility to God. The power of free, independent action may fill us with awe. God speaks. What does He say? He says, “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 neighbor as thyself.... This do and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:27, 28).

It is impossible for us to realize the far-reaching nature of God’s law unless we view Christ upon the cross of Calvary—the atoning sacrifice. Through the law is the knowledge of sin. God’s moral law is the sin detector, and how can we have an intelligent knowledge of what constitutes sin unless we acknowledge God’s moral standard of righteousness? He who has the fullest conceptions of the infinite sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world, and by faith seizes and appropriates the righteousness of Christ as his righteousness, can see the holiness, beauty, and glory in the law of God, and exclaim with David, “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).

God’s law reaches to the internal as well as to the external actions of men. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents and purposes of the soul. A man may be guilty of sins which God alone knows. God’s law is indeed a searcher of hearts. There are dark passions of jealousy and revenge and hatred and malignity, lust, and wild ambition that are covered up from human observation, and the great I AM knows it all. Sins have been contemplated and yet not carried out for want of opportunity. God’s law makes a record of all these. These hidden-away, secret sins form character.

The law of God condemns not only what we have done but what we have not done. We will, in the day of final accounts, find a register of the sins of omission as well as the sins of commission. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. It is not enough that by your own measurement of character you prove you have done no positive wrong. The fact that one has done no positive good will be enough to condemn him as a wicked and slothful servant.

By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. There is no power in law to save the transgressor of law. If man, after his transgression, could have been saved by his utmost energy to keep the law, then Jesus need not have died. Man could have stood on his own merits and said, “I am sinless.” God will never bring down the law to man’s standard, and man can never lift himself up to answer to its claims of perfection. But Christ comes to our world and pays the sinner’s debt, suffers the penalty for transgression of the law, and satisfies justice, and now the sinner may claim the righteousness of Christ. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).

But grace does not come in to excuse the sinner in the continuance of sin. God’s grace does not detract from the law, but establishes the law as changeless in its character. Here “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10). God looks upon His Son dying upon the cross and is satisfied, and Jesus is called “the Lord Our Righteousness.” Then let the sinner by faith appropriate the merits of the blood of a crucified Redeemer to his own case—“the Lord my righteousness.”

The Lord is not pleased to have man trusting in his own ability or good deeds or in a legal religion, but in God, the living God. The present message that God has made it the duty of His servants to give to the people is no new or novel thing. It is an old truth that has been lost sight of, just as Satan made his masterly efforts that it should be. The Lord has a work for every one of His loyal people to do to bring the faith of Jesus into the right place where it belongs—in the third angel’s message. The law has its important position but is powerless unless the righteousness of Christ is placed beside the law to give its glory to the whole royal standard of righteousness. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12).

A thorough and complete trust in Jesus will give the right quality to religious experience. Aside from this the experience is nothing. The service is like the offering of Cain—Christless. God is glorified by living faith in a personal, all-sufficient Saviour. Faith views Christ as He is—the sinner’s only hope. Faith takes hold of Christ, trusts Him. It says, “He loves me; He died for me. I accept the sacrifice, and Christ shall not have died for me in vain.”

We have not only lost much to our own souls, but as ministers [we] have neglected the most solemn part of our work in not dwelling upon the blood of Jesus Christ as the sinner’s only hope for eternal life. Tell the story of Christ’s leaving the heaven of bliss and the coming to our world, practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice, calling for all to come and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and promising that they should find rest to their souls if they would wear His yoke and lift His burden. Oh, how many will have to have their false props swept away—their self-congratulation, their self-esteem! Nothing will God accept of you but an indwelling Jesus; Christ alone, Christ all and in all.

The conversion of souls has been made mysterious and complicated. Oh, tell the sinners, “Look and live.” Study and practice Christ. “Thy gentleness,” said David, “hath made me great” (Psalm 18:35). Just open the door and let Jesus come in, and He will abide in the soul temple, and we may abide in Christ and rejoice in His love.

Bible religion is not made up of theological systems, creeds, theories, and tradition, for then it would not remain a mystery. The worldly would understand it through their own natural abilities. But religion, Bible religion, has a practical, saving energy, elements proceeding wholly from God—a personal experience of God’s power transforming the entire man.

Many are ignorant of the deception which palms off falsehood for truth. They entertain ideas that men may be saved by their own merit. A false religion has come in among us, a legal religion. We will not keep silent. The church must be roused. We will secure halls in the cities and put out handbills and the people shall be enlightened. God has sent a message of warning. We must soon wrestle with the powers of the land, and we have every reason to fear that falsehood will gain the mastery. We shall call upon our churches in the name of the Lord to view this struggle in its true light. It is a contest between the Christianity of the Old and New Testaments and the Christianity of human tradition and corrupt fables.

This contest is to decide whether the pure gospel shall have the field in our nation, or whether the popery of past ages shall receive the right hand of fellowship from Protestantism, and this power prevail to restrict religious liberty. The struggle is right upon us. We are years behind, and yet men in responsible positions will in their blindness keep the key of knowledge, refusing to enter themselves and hindering those who would enter. The message must go broadcast, that those who have been imperceptibly tampering with popery, not knowing what they were doing, may hear. They are fraternizing with popery by compromises and by concessions which surprise the adherents of the papacy. But let us hope it is not yet too late to do a work that our people ought to have done years before this.

God has children, many of them, in the Protestant churches, and a large number in the Catholic churches, who are more true to obey the light to the very best of their knowledge than a large number among Sabbathkeeping Adventists who do not walk in the light. The Lord will have the message of truth proclaimed, that Protestants may be warned and awakened to the true state of things and consider the worth of the privileges of religious freedom which they have long enjoyed.

This land has been the home of the oppressed, the witness for liberty of conscience, and the great center of Scriptural light. God has sent messengers who have studied their Bibles to find what is truth, and studied the movements of those who are acting their part in fulfilling prophecy in bringing about the religious amendment which is making void the law of God and thus giving ascendancy to the man of sin. And shall no voice be raised of direct warning to arouse the churches to their danger? Shall we let things drift, and let Satan have the victory without a protest? God forbid.

The Lord Jesus understands the pressure that is brought to bear against those who are loyal and true to Him, for He has felt the same in the highest degree. Those who witnessed a good confession in behalf of truth in the Reformation counted not their lives dear unto themselves, that truth might be vindicated. God and angels are looking on as witnesses from their holy dwelling place, and marking the earnestness and zeal of the defenders of the truth in this age. What do they defend? The faith once delivered to the saints. Then let the message go to all nations, tongues, and people.

Stand out of the way, Brethren. Do not interpose yourselves between God and His work. If you have no burden of the message yourselves, then prepare the way for those who have the burden of the message, for there are many souls to come out of the ranks of the world, out of the churches—even the Catholic church—whose zeal will far exceed that of those who have stood in rank and file to proclaim the truth heretofore. For this reason the eleventh hour laborers will receive their penny. These will see the battle coming and will give the trumpet a certain sound. When the crisis is upon us, when the season of calamity shall come, they will come to the front, gird themselves with the whole armor of God, and exalt His law, adhere to the faith of Jesus, and maintain the cause of religious liberty which Reformers defended with toil and for which they sacrificed their lives.

The watchmen must sound the alarm. If men are at ease in Zion somebody must be awake to give the trumpet a certain sound. Let the blaze of the beacon light be seen everywhere. Let the ease-loving awake, the tranquil be disturbed, and let them labor for religious liberty. And after we have done all we can, then leave our Lord to do His work.

There was at last an opening made for Brother Jones, but it was not pleasant to fight every inch for any privileges and advantages to bring the truth before the people. The message borne had a wonderful effect on those that heard it. There were many not of our faith who were deeply stirred with the importance of doing something and doing it now, in the struggle for religious freedom. Many were awakened to see what this religious amendment meant—turning from a “Thus saith the Lord, the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” A spurious sabbath is presented to be legislated into power, compelling the observance of a sabbath which God has not enjoined upon man.

The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined. The darkest pages of history will be opened in that great day when it will be too late for wrongs to be righted. Registered in the book are crimes that have been committed because of religious differences. We are not ignorant of the history. Europe was shaken as though with an earthquake, when a church, lifted up in pride and vanity, haughty and tyrannical, devoted to condemnation and death all who dared to think for themselves, and who ventured to take the Bible as the foundation of their faith.

Our own land is to become a battlefield on which is to be carried on the struggle for religious liberty to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Then can we not discern the work of the enemy in keeping men asleep who ought to be awake, whose influence shall not be neutral but wholly and entirely on the Lord’s side? Shall men cry peace and safety now, when sudden destruction is coming upon the world, when God’s wrath shall be poured out?

And shall there be with the people of God the cropping out of the very same spirit which they have condemned in the denominations, because there was a difference of understanding on some points—not vital questions? Shall the same spirit in any form be cherished among Seventh-day Adventists—the cooling of friendship, the withdrawal of confidence, the misrepresentation of motives, the endeavor to thwart and turn into ridicule those who honestly differ with them in their views? I have in my last few weeks’ experience learned what little dependence may be placed in man, for these things must be met. Alienation and bitterness give evidence that if possible Satan will deceive even those who claim to believe the truth for this time, showing that they have need to study the character of pure and undefiled religion. God forbid that Satan shall do this.

Godliness, which the gospel enjoins, never bears briars and thorns, never—because all do not see exactly alike—breaks the closest links of association, dividing those who have been one in faith, one in heart, in their relationship. But a difference in the application of some few scriptural passages makes men forget their religious principles. Elements become banded together, exciting one another through the human passions to withstand in a harsh, denunciatory manner everything that does not meet their ideas. This is not Christian, but is of another spirit.

And Satan is doing his utmost to have those who believe present truth deceived on this point, for he has laid his snare to overcome them, that those who have accepted unpopular truth, who have had great light and great privileges, shall have the spirit that will pervade the world. Even if it is in a less degree, yet it is the same principle that when it has a controlling power over minds, leads to certain results. There is pride of opinion, a stubbornness that shuts the soul away from good and from God. Warnings have been scorned, grace resisted, privileges abused, conviction smothered, and the pride of the human heart strengthened. The result is the same as with the Jews—fatal hardness of heart. It is not safe for the soul to rise up against the messages of God. All who are handling sacred truth are only mortal men." —Manuscript 30, 1889 [16MR 212-240]

Modern Statements

"Q: Is it true that the General Conference has federally registered trademarks for the name "Seventh-day Adventist" and various programs of our church?

A: Yes. The General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists, on behalf of the entire denomination, has registered under the United States trademark laws the name "Seventh-day Adventist" and a variety of the church's programs and services such as "Adventist Health System," "Christian Lifestyle Magazine," "Breathe-Free" and "Path finder, " to name just a few. Such registrations reserve to our denomination the exclusive right to use those names to identify our organizations, institutions, churches, programs, services, and publications." [Ministry Magazine, December 1988]

"Q: Why is the General Conference Corporation the only plaintiff in this action?

A: The General Conference Corporation, as the nonprofit property-holding corporation of the General Conference, is the sole registered owner of the trade mark and therefore under trademark law is the only party that needs to be named as a plaintiff in requesting this injunction on behalf of the entire Seventh-day Adventist Church." [Ministry Magazine, December 1988]

Civil Power and the Image of the Beast

"The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and in this work papists and Protestants unite." [GC 607]

“when the State shall enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Papacy” [ST Nov. 8, 1899]

"Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience." [GC 443]

"When men indulge this accusing spirit, they are not satisfied with pointing out what they suppose to be a defect in their brother. If milder means fail of making him do what they think ought to be done, they will resort to compulsion. Just as far as lies in their power they will force men to comply with their ideas of what is right. This is what the Jews did in the days of Christ and what the church has done ever since whenever she has lost the grace of Christ. Finding herself destitute of the power of love, she has reached out for the strong arm of the state to enforce her dogmas and execute her decrees. Here is the secret of all religious laws that have ever been enacted, and the secret of all persecution from the days of Abel to our own time.

Christ does not drive but draws men unto Him. The only compulsion which He employs is the constraint of love. When the church begins to seek for the support of secular power, it is evident that she is devoid of the power of Christ—the constraint of divine love." [MB 126-127]

"Trial and persecution will come to all who, in obedience to the Word of God, refuse to worship this false sabbath. Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The Papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. We need the same spirit that was manifested by God’s servants in the conflict with paganism. Giving an account of the treatment of the Christians by the emperor of Rome, Tertullian says, “We are thrown to the wild beasts to make us recant; we are burned in the flames; we are condemned to prisons and to mines; we are banished to islands,—such as Patmos,—and all have failed.” So it was in the case of the three Hebrew worthies; their eye was single to the glory of God; their souls were steadfast; the power of the truth held them firmly to their allegiance to God. It is in the power of God alone that we shall be enabled to be loyal to him." [7BC 976; ST May 6, 1987]

"The alliances made by the Israelites with their heathen neighbors resulted in the loss of their identity as God’s peculiar people. They became leavened by the evil practises of those with whom they formed forbidden alliances. Affiliation with worldlings caused them to lose their first love, and their zeal for God’s service. The advantages they sold themselves to gain, brought only disappointment, and caused the loss of many souls.

The experience of Israel will be the experience of all who go to the world for strength, turning away from the living God. Those who forsake the mighty One, the source of all strength, and affiliate with worldlings, placing on them their dependence, become weak in moral power, as are those in whom they trust.

God comes with entreaties and assurances to those who are making mistakes. He seeks to show them their error, and lead them to repentance. But if they refuse to humble their hearts before him, if they strive to exalt themselves above him, he must speak to them in judgment. No semblance of nearness to God, no assertion of connection with him, will be accepted from those who persist in dishonoring him by leaning upon the arm of worldly power. [RH August 4, 1904]

"During the course of His trial Jesus said, 'If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.' It is only when Christians mistakenly come to believe that Christ's kingdom is of this world that they resort to force in defending what they take to be its interests." [5BC 527] Note: Quote is from the Bible Commentary on John 18:36 and not from Mrs. White.

"Says the prophet, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." [ST Apr. 22, 1889]

“The beast ‘which had the wound by a sword, and did live,’ is the Papacy. That was a church dominating the civil power, a union of church and state, enforcing its dogmas by the civil power, by confiscation, imprisonment, and death. An image to this beast would be another ecclesiastical organization clothed with civil power—another union of church and state—to enforce religion by law.” [Bible Readings for the Home, 1951, p. 236]

"It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy--the beast. Said Paul: "There" shall "come a falling away, . . . and that man of sin be revealed." 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast." [GC 443-444]

"The "image to the beast" represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas." [GC 445]

"“Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.” R.V. In the Old Testament the word “fool” is used to designate an apostate, or one who has abandoned himself to wickedness. Jesus says that whoever shall condemn his brother as an apostate or a despiser of God shows that he himself is worthy of the same condemnation." [MB 57]

"Notwithstanding Christ's warning, men have sought to uproot the tares. To punish those who were supposed to be evildoers, the church has had recourse to the civil power. Those who differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, at the instigation of men who claimed to be acting under the sanction of Christ. But it is the spirit of Satan, not the Spirit of Christ, that inspires such acts. This is Satan's own method of bringing the world under his dominion. God has been misrepresented through the church by this way of dealing with those supposed to be heretics." [COL 74]

""Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." These words come sounding down along the line to our time. A deception is upon those who oppress their fellow men because they do not believe the same form of doctrine that their oppressors believe. Such can give no stronger evidence to the heavenly universe and to the worlds unfallen that they have chosen to stand on Satan’s side; for Satan is ever an oppressor of those who love God." [RH April 19, 1898]

"One of the marked features in the representation of the 144,000 is that in their mouth was found no guile. The Lord has said, “Blessed is the man ... in whose spirit there is no guile” [Psalm 32:2]. They profess to be children of God, and are represented following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are prefigured before us as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven will first have followed Him on earth, in trustful, loving, willing obedience; followed Him not fretfully and capriciously, but confidently, truthfully, as the flock follows the shepherd.

Are these the ones who are bruising and imprisoning their fellow men, humiliating them to the depraved association of those who compose the chain gang? Is this the sign of those who follow the Lamb? No, no. All who do this work evidence that they have chosen the side of one who was expelled from Eden, who was a falsifier of God, and who by oppression tries to compel God’s chosen ones to worship an idol sabbath which is without one text of Scripture for its authority.

Did Christ give His followers any such lesson or example? No; He came, not to break down the moral power of men, but to restore it. He came to break the power of oppression. His work was to release those who were in bondage to Satan. Those who say, I am a child of God, and yet do work which will grieve and oppress, executing cruel actions against their fellow men, are not following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, but are followers of another leader. They develop the attributes of Satan, and make it manifest that they are participators and co-workers with him to bind, imprison, and condemn, to cause all the suffering possible to body and mind, because they cannot compel men to be untrue to God and dishonor His work and transgress His holy law.

These are the ones who have guile in their mouths. These are the ones that profess to be followers of Christ while they are following a leader who was expelled from the courts of heaven. These men, who are working unrighteousness with such zealous zeal, show before the whole world and universe that if Christ was upon the earth, as at His first advent, they would do as did the unbelieving Jews—follow Him as spies, seeking to get Him to say something which they could use against Him to condemn Him to death. If they had opportunity and power, they would do as did Nebuchadnezzar when he set up his golden image in the plains of Dura." [14MR 93,94]

"But in the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image to the beast; hence the enforcement of Sundaykeeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image." [GC 448]

"An ecclesiastical organization composed of different sects in the land, in coalition with Roman Catholicism, by the promulgation and enforcement of a civil Sunday-sabbath law, would fulfill what the prophecy sets forth in reference to the image and the mark of the beast. These movements, or their exact equivalent, are called for by the prophecy." [Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, p. 617]

"When a church in alliance with the state employs the secular power to enforce its doctrines by punishing heretics, it repudiates the essential idea of Christianity". [W.W. Prescott, Protestant Magazine, Nov 1911]

""Let us reject this decree," said the princes. "In matters of conscience the majority has no power." The deputies declared: "It is to the decree of 1526 that we are indebted for the peace that the empire enjoys: its abolition would fill Germany with troubles and divisions. The Diet is incompetent to do more than preserve religious liberty until the council meets."-- Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5. To protect liberty of conscience is the duty of the state, and this is the limit of its authority in matters of religion. Every secular government that attempts to regulate or enforce religious observances by civil authority is sacrificing the very principle for which the evangelical Christian so nobly struggled." [GC 201]

"Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured." [GC 581]

"One of the principles most firmly maintained by Luther was that there should be no resort to secular power in support of the Reformation, and no appeal to arms for its defense. He rejoiced that the gospel was confessed by princes of the empire; but when they proposed to unite in a defensive league, he declared that "the doctrine of the gospel should be defended by God alone. . . . The less man meddled in the work, the more striking would be God's intervention in its behalf. All the politic precautions suggested were, in his view, attributable to unworthy fear and sinful mistrust."-- D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 10, ch. 14.

When powerful foes were uniting to overthrow the reformed faith, and thousands of swords seemed about to be unsheathed against it, Luther wrote: "Satan is putting forth his fury; ungodly pontiffs are conspiring; and we are threatened with war. Exhort the people to contend valiantly before the throne of the Lord, by faith and prayer, so that our enemies, vanquished by the Spirit of God, may be constrained to peace. Our chief want, our chief labor, is prayer; let the people know that they are now exposed to the edge of the sword and to the rage of Satan, and let them pray."-- D'Aubigne, b. 10, ch. 14.

Again, at a later date, referring to the league contemplated by the reformed princes, Luther declared that the only weapon employed in this warfare should be "the sword of the Spirit." He wrote to the elector of Saxony: "We cannot on our conscience approve the proposed alliance. We would rather die ten times than see our gospel cause one drop of blood to be shed. Our part is to be like lambs of the slaughter. The cross of Christ must be borne. Let your highness be without fear. We shall do more by our prayers than all our enemies by their boastings. Only let not your hands be stained with the blood of your brethren. If the emperor requires us to be given up to his tribunals, we are ready to appear. You cannot defend our faith: each one should believe at his own risk and peril."-- Ibid., b. 14, ch. 1." [GC 209]

"The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is to make that creed a test of fellowship. The third is to try members by that creed. The fourth to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And fifth, to commence persecution against such." [J.N. Loughborough, RH Oct. 6, 1861]

"It makes no difference that in numerous instances the victims were turned over to the civil authorities. It was the church that made the decision upon the question of heresy, and it then passed the offenders over to the secular court. But in those days the secular power was but the tool in the hands of the church. It was under its control and did its bidding. When the church delivered its prisoners to the executioners to be destroyed, with fiendish mockery it made use of the following formula: "And we do leave and deliver thee to the secular arm, and to the power of the secular court; but at the same time do most earnestly beseech that court so to moderate its sentence as not to touch thy blood, or to put thy life in any danger." Then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed.

The testimony of Lepicier is to the point in this connection: "The civil power can only punish the crime of unbelief in the manner and to the extent that the crime is judicially made known to it by ecclesiastical persons, skilled in the doctrine of the faith. But the church taking cognizance by herself of the crime of unbelief, can by herself decree the sentence of death, yet not execute it; but she hands over the execution of it to the secular arm." [Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation p. 133]

"Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ. The character of the persecution changes with the times, but the principle—the spirit that underlies it—is the same that has slain the chosen of the Lord ever since the days of Abel." [MB 29]

"It may be asked how the last generation of the wicked can be said to have shed the blood of saints and prophets, since the last generation of saints are not slain. Reference to Matthew 23: 34, 35; 1 John 3: 15, will explain. These scriptures show that guilt attaches to motive no less than to action.

"No generation ever formed a more determined purpose to devote the saints to indiscriminate slaughter than the present generation will, not far in the future. (See comments on Revelation 12: 17; 13: 15.) In motive and purpose, they do shed the blood of saints and prophets, and are every whit as guilty as if they were able to carry out their wicked intentions." [Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, p.690]

"It is true that the Church of Israel did an enormously wicked thing when she allied herself with the civil power in order to make her will effective; and the story of it is written to show to all the world forever that every church commits the like enormity whenever, under any pretext whatever, she seeks to control the civil power to make her will effective. It is equally true, and equally important to recognize and remember, that the One lone Individual Who was the object of this wicked alliance of the church and State, would die under it rather than to yield to it or to recognize it in the slightest degree. And this is all written, that every other individual to the world's end shall be ready under like circumstances to do as did the Lord Jesus, in order to be true to God, true to the truth, true to himself, and true to the human race." [A.T. Jones, Individuality in Religion]

"Here, as an introductory inquiry, we raise the question, Who or what is it that persecutes the true church? It is a false or apostate church. What is it that is ever warring against true religion? It is a false and counterfeit religion. Who ever heard of the mere civil power of any nation persecuting the people of God on its own initiative? Governments may war against other governments to avenge some wrong, real or imaginary or to acquire territory and extend their power. But governments do not persecute (mark the word--do not persecute) people on account of their religion, unless under the control of some opposite and hostile system of religion." [Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, p.563]

Religious Liberty and Defying Religious Laws

"This principle we in our day are firmly to maintain. The banner of truth and religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the gospel church and by God’s witnesses during the centuries that have passed since then, has, in this last conflict, been committed to our hands. The responsibility for this great gift rests with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His word. We are to receive this word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A “Thus saith the Lord” is not to be set aside for a “Thus saith the church” or a “Thus saith the state.” The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates." [AA 68] (Also quoted in 6T 402)

"God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God’s means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber." [MB 33]

"The plotters [who had induced the king to sign the decree forbidding any requests or prayers to god or man save the king - Daniel chapter 6] expecting nothing but just this on the part of Daniel, "assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God." Then at sight of this open disregard of the imperial law, they hastened to the king and very deferentially inquired. "Hast thou not signed a decree?" etc. The king answered, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Then the plotters reported, "that Daniel which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day."

"Then the king, when he had heard these words, was sore displeased with himself" because he had allowed himself to be so flattered as to be caught in such a trap as that. "And he set his heart on Daniel to deliver him." But the plotters were ready with their plea of the supremacy and integrity of "the law"; and to urge arguments that it was "not a question of religion, but of the law;" that to countenance disregard and violation of the law" was simply to undermine all the government and make an open bid for a reign of anarchy, and for the very dissolution of society itself: that they were exceedingly sorry that such an excellent man as Daniel should be thus involved, yet to allow such open disregard of "the law" by one of such high standing and reputation would be only all the worse; because this very fact of the high standing and wide reputation of the one who so openly disregarded "the law" would be only the more encouragement to all people to do the same, etc., etc.

. . . Daniel answered, "O king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him, innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt." And herein the demonstration is made in perfection forever that the person who disregards any law that touches service to God is innocent before God, and also does "no hurt" to the king, nor to the State, nor to society, nor to any principle of law or government." [A.T. Jones, Individuality in Religion, brackets supplied]

"We have men placed over us for rulers, and laws to govern the people. Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be worse than it is now. Some of these laws are good, others are bad. The bad have been increasing, and we are yet to be brought into strait places. But God will sustain His people in being firm and living up to the principles of His word. When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey the latter, whatever the consequences may be. The law of our land requiring us to deliver a slave to his master, we are not to obey; and we must abide the consequences of violating this law. The slave is not the property of any man. God is his rightful master, and man has no right to take God’s workmanship into his hands, and claim him as his own." [1T 201]

"Not a move has been made in exalting the idol sabbath, in bringing around Sunday observance through legislation, but Satan has been behind it, and has been the chief worker; but the conscience should not be compelled even for the observance of the genuine Sabbath, for God will accept only willing service. The question is asked, Shall we not obey the powers that be? — Yes, when they are in harmony with the higher powers that be." [RH April 15, 1890]

"What astonishing deception and fearful blindness had, like a dark cloud, covered Israel! This blindness and apostasy had not closed about them suddenly; it had come upon them gradually as they had not heeded the word of reproof and warning which the Lord had sent to them because of their pride and their sins. And now, in this fearful crisis, in the presence of the idolatrous priests and the apostate king, they remained neutral. If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God." [3T 280]

"The prophet’s enemies counted on Daniel’s firm adherence to principle for the success of their plan. And they were not mistaken in their estimate of his character. He quickly read their malignant purpose in framing the decree, but he did not change his course in a single particular. Why should he cease to pray now, when he most needed to pray? Rather would he relinquish life itself, than his hope of help in God. With calmness he performed his duties as chief of the princes; and at the hour of prayer he went to his chamber, and with his windows open toward Jerusalem, in accordance with his usual custom, he offered his petition to the God of heaven. He did not try to conceal his act. Although he knew full well the consequences of his fidelity to God, his spirit faltered not. Before those who were plotting his ruin, he would not allow it even to appear that his connection with Heaven was severed. In all cases where the king had a right to command, Daniel would obey; but neither the king nor his decree could make him swerve from allegiance to the King of kings.

Thus the prophet boldly yet quietly and humbly declared that no earthly power has a right to interpose between the soul and God. Surrounded by idolaters, he was a faithful witness to this truth. His dauntless adherence to right was a bright light in the moral darkness of that heathen court. Daniel stands before the world today a worthy example of Christian fearlessness and fidelity." [PK 540]

"It is true that, notwithstanding its principles of supremacy and inflexibility of the law, the Medo-Persian government did wrong when it by its law entered the field of religion; and the story is written to show to all governments and people forever that every government is equally wrong in entering by law the field of religion. It is equally true, and equally important to remember, that the individual — Daniel — did absolutely and uncompromisingly disregard that law; and that the story is written to teach all individuals forever that in all like circumstances they must do as did that individual, if they will honor God and the right and be true to themselves and to their fellowman." [A.T. Jones, Individuality in Religion]

Mark of the Beast

"Or the name. Important textual evidence may be cited for the omission of the “or.” If it is omitted, the phrase “name of the beast” may be considered to be in apposition with the word “mark.” The passage would then read, “the mark, that is, the name of the beast.” This would imply that the mark John saw in vision was the name of the beast." [7BC 883] Note: Quote is from the Bible Commentary on Revelation 13:17 and not from Mrs. White.

Explanations and Context

1. Various 1893 quotes saying "The Church is not Babylon" and denouncing any messenger or message saying otherwise.

"APPENDIX NOTES

PAGE 23. PAMPHLETS DENOUNCING THE S.D.A. CHURCH AS BABYLON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A PAMPHLET ENTITLED, "THE LOUD CRY OF THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE," PUBLISHED BY A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST LAY MEMBER, MR. STANTON, IN THE YEAR 1893. THIS MAN, IN HIS STUDY OF THE BIBLE AND THE TESTIMONIES, FOCUSED HIS ATTENTION PRIMARILY ON THE MESSAGES OF REPROOF AND REBUKE, FORGETTING THAT GOD HAD SAID THAT "AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN." REVELATION 3:19. HE CONCLUDED THAT THE TESTIMONIES OF REPROOF CONSTITUTED A MESSAGE OF REJECTION, AND THAT THOSE WHO WOULD JOIN IN SOUNDING THE LOUD CRY MUST WITHDRAW FROM THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH. THE CHURCH, HE ASSERTED, HAD BECOME BABYLON, AND THOSE WHO WOULD FINISH GOD'S WORK IN THE EARTH AND MEET THEIR LORD IN PEACE MUST SEPARATE FROM THE BODY.

AN ARDENT DISCIPLE, MR. W. F. CALDWELL, WAS DISPATCHED TO AUSTRALIA TO CARRY THE MESSAGE TO THAT LAND AND TO VISIT MRS. WHITE, WHO, IT WAS SUPPOSED, WOULD JOIN THEIR FORCES OF "REFORM." ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA, HE DISCOVERED THAT WHILE HE HAD BEEN CROSSING THE PACIFIC TO AUSTRALIA, A TESTIMONY WAS ON ITS WAY FROM NEW ZEALAND TO AMERICA SPECIFYING THE MESSAGE OF THE "LOUD CRY" TRACT AS "ONE OF THE DELUSIONS DESIGNED TO CREATE CONFUSION AMONG THE CHURCHES," AND STATING IN THE CLEAREST LANGUAGE THAT "IF YOU ARE TEACHING THAT THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IS BABYLON, YOU ARE WRONG." SEE THE FULL LETTER ON PAGES 58-62. MRS. WHITE MET THIS MISLEADING TEACHING IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES IN THE REVIEW AND HERALD ENTITLED "THE REMNANT CHURCH NOT BABYLON," NOW COMPRISING PAGES 32-62 OF THIS VOLUME. THIS OFFSHOOT MOVEMENT HAD BUT A VERY SHORT LIFE." [TM 521]
"Those who have published the “Loud Cry” tract have not consulted me upon the subject. They have quoted largely from my writings and put their own construction upon them. They claim to have a special message from God to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, proclaim her fall, and call the people of God to come out of her, and try to make the testimonies substantiate their theory. These publications are misleading minds, and increasing the prejudice already existing, and tend to make it more difficult to get access to them to present the message God has given in warnings to the world of altogether a different character from the ideas presented in these pamphlets.

I arose at half-past two o’clock; I could not sleep; the burden was upon me. The history of the children of Israel urged itself upon my mind, and many points were so clearly pressed upon me that I dared not keep silent. I wrote twenty-three pages between three o’clock and half past twelve o’clock. My spirit was stirred within me. I felt a burden for the people of God, not only on account of this one production, but because of many such matters which are coming to the people, claiming to be messages from God. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

A number of these pamphlets came to the post office, with instruction to the postmaster to hand them to Seventh-day Adventists. The people of Wellington are full of prejudice. The circulation of D. M. Canright’s falsehoods has created prejudice, making it next to impossible to reach the people, and everything of this character creates the suspicion that we are working under cover. These pamphlets and telegraph dispatches from Brother C are of a character to confirm these suspicions. All these things are closing the doors of the people against us. The way is being hedged up by just such things.

These men who think they are doing God service are working on the enemy’s side, not on God’s side. Yesterday I sent twenty-three pages of manuscript to Melbourne to be prepared for circulation among our people. Prior to this I sent a number of pages treating on the same subject. It will not be prepared to go in this month’s mail.

A little leaven of false doctrine, under the inspiration of Satanic agencies, may work much harm to those who are not rooted and grounded and unmovable in present truth. No one can be safe now unless riveted to the eternal Rock. We have every reason to be grateful and trustful in God. The Lord Jesus knoweth them that are His. He died to save a lost world, and He is gathering out from it an army to serve under His banner. And He will present to Himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

I understood that both these men were at the General Conference [held in Battle Creek, February 17—March 6, 1893], that is, S[tanton] and C[aldwell]. Could they not discern there the revealings of the Spirit of God? Could they not see that God was opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing? Why was this? Testimonies had been given correcting and counseling the church and many had made a practical application of the message to the Laodicean Church, and were confessing their sins and repenting in contrition of soul. They were hearing the voice of Jesus, the heavenly Merchantman, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

These brethren who claimed to have this wonderful light had the very same work of repentance and confession to do, thus clearing the rubbish from the door of their own hearts, and opening the door of their hearts to welcome the heavenly guest. Had they placed themselves in the channel of light, they would have received the most precious blessings from heaven. They would have seen that the Lord was indeed gracious, manifesting Himself to His people, and that the Sun of Righteousness had risen upon them. This was precious merchandizing actively carried on. The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon, and all who were feeling their poverty were buying gold (faith and love), white raiment (the righteousness of Christ), and eye salve (true spiritual discernment).

Why did not these brethren fall into line, and place themselves in the channel of light? They were poverty stricken and knew it not. They were not working in Christ’s lines, were not softened and subdued by His Holy Spirit, and were so blinded that they could not see the strong beams of light that were coming from the throne of God upon His people. They heard not the voice of the true Shepherd. They were listening to the voice of a stranger.

When I consider the infirmities of these misled brethren, I feel deep sorrow of heart that they did not plead with God, “Bless me, O God bless, now I see my error. Thou art communicating to Thy people the richest truths ever committed to mortals. These people are not Babylon; for Thou hast given to them righteousness and peace; and Thy joy, that their joy may be full.” Oh why did they not open the door of their heart to Jesus? Why not have removed right there all that obstructs the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness that they might shine to the world? While God’s blessing was penetrating everywhere, while His presence was consecrating and sanctifying souls unto Himself, why did they not place their souls in the channel of light? It was because Satan had cast his hellish shadow athwart their pathway to obstruct every ray of light.

How could they come from that meeting where the power of God was revealed in so marked a manner, and proclaim that the loud cry was that the commandment-keeping people were Babylon. Satan was saying that same thing to Christ when Joshua stood before the angel. Satan was declaring his sins to be so great that he should not be restrained from destroying him. The words of Christ are applicable to these brethren, and to all who advance similar sentiments. “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel” (Zechariah 2:2, 3). Who clothed him with filthy garments? “And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by” (Zechariah 2:4-7). The work of Satan is to cover the repentant, believing, commandment-keeping people of God with defiling garments; Jesus Christ commands them to be clothed with His righteousness, garments woven in the loom of heaven.

What have our brethren S[tanton] and C[aldwell] been doing? If they had been commissioned of God to do this work they would not need to appropriate the writings of Sister White, without consulting her or saying a word to her. If they have so large confidence in the work the Lord has given her to do, why did not they advise with her, and see if this wonderful message was in accordance with the instruction given her of the Lord? Why did they not have wisdom to go the right way to work?

But theirs is a spurious message, of the same character of similar messages that men have claimed to have of the Lord. It is not as the bright shining of a candle lighted from the divine altar. When the Lord gives His people light it is light. It is not darkness and error, leading directly away from the true light which God has sent to strengthen and bless, and give hope to His people. These men had no right to appropriate the Lord’s goods entrusted to His humble servant to trade upon and improve by trading upon them, and to place them in the framework of their errors, making it appear that it was the voice of God from heaven giving the “Loud Cry” that the church, His chosen people, who are keeping His commandments, are Babylon, and His people are called to come out of her.

I have no such message to give; but one of an entirely different character. My work is to seek to save lost, perishing souls, and to teach them as did Paul, who says, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.... I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:20-21, 26-29.)

Now he brings before them another class: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:30-31.)

In all ages of the world there have been men who think they have a work to do for the Lord, and show no respect for those whom the Lord has been using. They do not make right applications of Scripture, they wrest the Scriptures to sustain their own ideas. Whatever may be the claims of those who draw away from the body to proclaim theories of their own invention, they are in Satan’s service, to get up some new device to divert souls from the truth for this time.

Beware of those who arise with a great burden to denounce the church. The chosen ones who are standing and breasting the storm of opposition from the world, and are uplifting the down-trodden commandments of God to exalt them as honorable and holy, are indeed the light of the world.

How dare mortal man pass his judgment upon them, and call the church a harlot, Babylon, a den of thieves, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, the habitation of devils, making the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, confederating with the kings and great men of the earth, waxing rich through the abundance of her delicacies, and proclaiming that her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities? Is this the message we have to bear to the Seventh-day Adventists? I tell you, No! God has given no man any such message. Let these men humble their hearts before God, and in true contrition repent that they have even for a time stood by the side of the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night....

It seems almost impossible that anyone who had a genuine experience in the faith should suggest such erroneous applications of Scripture as applicable to God’s commandment-keeping people. Supposing this spurious message is the one everyone must hear for this time, “Come out of her My people,” where shall we go to? Where shall we find the purity, goodness, and holiness where we shall be secure? Where is the fold where no wolves will enter?

I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom He will work. There may be more than a score of Judases among them; there may be a rash Peter who will under circumstances of trial deny his Lord; there may be persons represented by John who Jesus loved, but he may have a zeal that would destroy men’s lives by calling down fire from heaven upon them to revenge an insult to Christ and to the truth. But the great Teacher seeks to give lessons of instruction to correct these existing evils. He is doing the same today with His church. He is pointing out their dangers. He is presenting before them the Laodicean message.

He shows them that all selfishness, all pride, all self-exaltation, all unbelief and prejudice, are dangerous, and unless repented of, those who cherish these things will be left in darkness as was the Jewish nation. Let every soul now seek to answer the prayer of Christ. Let every soul echo that prayer in mind, in petitions, in exhortations, that they all may be one even as Christ is one with the Father, and work to this end. In the place of turning the weapons of warfare within our own ranks, let them be turned against the enemies of God and of the truth. Echo the prayer of Christ with your whole heart: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.... I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:11, 15). Also this prayer which He offers to interpret the process through which His followers are sanctified, “Sanctify them through thy truth” (John 17:17).

The door of the heart must be opened to the Holy Spirit, for this is the sanctifier, and the truth is the medium. There must be an acceptance of the truth as it is in Jesus. This is the only genuine sanctification: “Thy word is truth.” Oh read the prayer of Christ for unity, “Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). The prayer of Christ is not only for those who are now His disciples, but for all those who shall believe on Christ through the words of His disciples, even to the end of the world. Jesus was just about to yield up His life to bring life and immortality to light. Christ, amid His sufferings, and being daily rejected of men, looks down the lines two thousand years to His church which would be in existence in the last days, before the close of this earth’s history.

The Lord has had a church from that day, through all the changing scenes of time to the present period, 1893. The Bible sets before us a model church. They are to be in unity with each other, and with God. When believers are united to Christ the living vine, the result is that they are one with Christ, full of sympathy and tenderness and love. When anyone is drawing apart from the organized body of God’s commandment-keeping people, when he begins to weigh the church in his human scales, and begins to pronounce judgment against them, then you may know that God is not leading him. He is on the wrong track.

Constantly, men and women are arising who become restless and uneasy, who want to set up some new contrivance; to do some wonderful thing. Satan watches his opportunity to give them something to do in his line. God has given to every man his work. There are opportunities and privileges in the church to help those who are ready to die, and to inspire the church with zeal, but not to tear the church to pieces. There are plenty of opportunities in the church to walk in Christ’s lines. If the heart is full of zeal to press on to a deeper sanctification and holiness, then work in that line in all humbleness and devotedness. The church needs freshness and the inspiration of men who breathe in the very atmosphere of heaven, to vitalize the church, notwithstanding the tares among the wheat.

If good men and humble men will take up their duty just where it is, to help those who are ready to die, they will be a great blessing to the church. There are unconverted men in the church, and if those who are so longing to show their zeal for the Lord will seek these poor souls and work with patience and perseverance to win them to Jesus, God would work with them. “We are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9), not to tear down and destroy, but to restore. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way” (Hebrews 12:13). There is an abundance of work that is needed to be done in home missions, and in exercising the talents God has given us, for wise improvement. We may become skillful as a tradesman in His business by practice. We want to become skillful in the trade of working to bless souls, learning to save souls. This requires prayer, and earnest, persevering effort, and a willingness to work in a humble way.

If the money that has been needlessly expended in the doing of works that God has not sent men to do at all, had been employed economically in ways that are simple and safe for the progress and upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom in the world, instead of helping Satan to cast upon the kingdom of Christ reproach, and clothing His church with filthy garments as Satan is doing, and urging them into false positions by using the reproofs and corrections that God has given them to show them their sin; what a great work would have been laid upon the foundation stone.

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12). I would caution all believers to learn to maintain a godly jealousy over yourselves, lest Satan shall steal your heart away from God, and you slip unconsciously into work in Satan’s lines, without perceiving that you have changed leaders, and be found in the treacherous power of a tyrant.

We are as a church to be wide awake, and to work for the erring among us, as laborers together with God. We are furnished with spiritual weapons, mighty to the pulling down of the fortress of the enemy. We are not to hurl the thunderbolts against the church of Christ militant; for Satan is doing all he possibly can on this line, and you who claim to be the remnant of the people of God had better not be found helping him, denouncing, accusing and condemning. Seek to restore, not to tear down, discourage and destroy.—Manuscript 21, 1893, 1-10. (Untitled Manuscript, June 12, 1893.) [1MR 348-357]

"Your letter addressed to me was received at the beginning of the Sabbath.... I should advise you to attend the school, and not to leave this country until you become thoroughly settled in your mind as to what is truth. I sincerely hope that you will attend this term of school and learn all you can in regard to this message of truth that is to go to the world.

The Lord has not given you a message to call the Seventh-day Adventists Babylon, and to call the people of God to come out of her. All the reasons you may present cannot have weight with me on this subject; because the Lord has given me decided light that is opposed to such a message.

I do not doubt your sincerity or honesty. I have written long letters at different times to those who were accusing the church of Seventh-day Adventists of being Babylon, that they were not handling the truth. You think individuals have prejudiced my mind. If I am in this state, I am not fitted to be entrusted with the work of God. But this matter has been brought before my mind in other cases where individuals have claimed to have messages for the Seventh-day Adventist church, of a similar character, and the word has been given me, “Believe them not” (Jeremiah 12:6). “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran” (Jeremiah 23:21).

A few years since, a man named B, of Red Bluff, California, came to me to deliver his message. He said it was the loud cry of the third angel which was to lighten the earth with his glory. He thought God had passed all the leading workers and given him the message. I attempted to show him that he was mistaken. He said Seventh-day Adventists were Babylon, and when we told him our reasons and set the matter before him, that he was in error, he had great power come upon him, and he certainly gave a loud cry.... We had much trouble with him; his mind became unbalanced, and he had to be placed in the insane asylum.

One, C, advocated and published a message in regard to the loud cry of the third angel; he accused the church in a similar manner to what you are now doing. He said the leaders in the church would all fall through self-exaltation, and another class of humble men would come to the front, who would do wonderful things.

This C is an intelligent man, of an acceptable address, and self-denying and full of zeal and earnestness, and carrying an appearance of consecration and devotion. But the word of God came from God to me, “Believe them not, I have not sent them!”

He claimed to believe the testimonies. He claimed them to be true, and used them in the same manner you have used them to give force and appearance of truth to his claims. I told them this message was not of God; but it was deceiving the unwary. He would not be convinced....

If ever a man that I looked upon was inspired, this man certainly was; but I told him plainly his inspiration was of Satan, not of God. His message bore not the divine credentials.

In order for him to give this message broadcast to the world, he made an honest, conscientious, young man believe it to be his duty to steal the Review and Herald list. This is a state prison crime, and the young man ran away from Battle Creek. He did not dare return to Battle Creek for some time. The time was set by this fanatical teacher for probation to close, and as every prediction failed, the young man saw he had been deceived, and he confessed his sin and is now an honorable member of the Battle Creek church.

Only two years since, another man, by the name of D, from Connecticut, came out with a message which he called new light in regard to the message of the third angel. This intelligent family have, through this delusion, separated from the Seventh-day Adventist church. Because I had borne a decided testimony against this new light, so called, in_____, Connecticut, where he lived, he opposed me and my work and testimonies.

The father of the D children attended the Conference and Ministers’ Bible Institute held in Battle Creek; but he held himself aloof and did not harmonize with the spirit of the meeting. He left for his home, and began to leaven the little church in_____. If I had not labored in that place they might have broken up the whole church with their repudiating the truth and position of Seventh-day Adventists, and Mrs. White in particular.

At this same time, one, Mrs. E, came from Washington, D. C., claiming to be wholly sanctified and to have the power of healing. This spirit led many to become bewildered. The same accusing spirit was with them—that is, that the church was all wrong and God was calling out a people who would work miracles. A large class of our people in Battle Creek were being severed. I was moved upon by the Spirit of God, in the night season, to write to our people in Battle Creek.

God is leading out a people. He has a chosen people, a church on the earth, whom He has made the depositaries of His law. He has committed to them sacred trust and eternal truth to be given to the world. He would reprove and correct them. The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to Seventh-day Adventists who have had great light and have not walked in the light. It is those who have made great profession, but have not kept in step with their Leader, that will be spewed out of His mouth unless they repent. The message to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God.

The True Witness says, “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, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:18-21).

Jesus is coming in to give the individual members of the church the richest blessings, if they will open the door to Him. He does not once call them Babylon, nor ask them to come out. But He says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Revelation 3:19), (with messages of reproof and warning). These reproofs I am not ignorant of. I have given warnings because the Spirit of the Lord has constrained me to do so, and have uttered reproofs because the Lord has given me words of reproof. I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God, which has been given me for the church.

I will say in the fear and love of God, I know the Lord has thoughts of love and mercy to restore and heal them of all their backslidings. He has a work for His church to do. They are not to be pronounced Babylon, but to be as the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are to be the living messengers to proclaim a living message in these last days.

[Revelation 18:1-8 is quoted.] The whole chapter shows that Babylon that has fallen is the churches who will not receive the messages of warning the Lord has given in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. They refused the truth and accepted a lie. They refused the messages of truth. See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The message in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is plain and clearly defined. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:3). Anyone who reads this chapter need not be deceived.

How Satan would exult to have a message go broadcast that the only people whom God has made the repositories of His law are the ones to whom this message applies. The wine of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious Sabbath above the Sabbath which the Lord Jehovah hath blessed and sanctified for the use of man, also the immortality of the soul. These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings, merchants, rulers, and religious teachers are all in corrupt harmony.

Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to naught.

There is in some of the members of the church, pride, self-sufficiency, stubborn unbelief, and a refusing to yield their ideas, although evidence may be piled upon evidence which makes the message to the Laodicean church applicable. But that will not blot out the church that it will not exist. Let both tares and wheat grow together until the harvest. Then it is the angels that do the work of separation.

I warn the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be careful how you receive every new notion and those who claim to have great light. The character of their work seems to be to accuse and to tear down.

My brother, I would say to you, Be careful. Go not one step farther in the path you have entered upon. Walk in the light “while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you” (John 12:35).

You complain of being treated coldly in Battle Creek. Did you go with a humble spirit to those who are spiritual and say, “Will you examine the Scriptures with me? Shall we pray over this matter? I have not the light, I want it; for error will never sanctify the soul.” Can you be surprised that they would not give you all that confidence you might think they should, after the experience they have passed through? Should not the words of Christ have any weight? “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). “Lo here and lo there is Christ,” will be multiplied. Let the believers heed the voice of the angel who has said to the church, “Press together.” In unity is your strength. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. God hath a church, and Christ hath declared, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The messengers the Lord sends bear the divine credentials. I have tender feelings toward you, but come to the light, I beseech of you. —Letter 16, 1893, pp. 1-7. (To a brother in Australia, June 11, 1893." [1MR 358-363]

Note: The above context demonstrates several points:

1) In 1893, the Church was not Babylon.
2) In 1893, the Church had not rejected truth, adopted false beliefs, joined to the state, or persecuted fellow believers.
3) She did not say that the Church could never be "converted" into Babylon; she said that it was not, in 1893, Babylon.
4) Stanton and Caldwell were calling repentent, commandmant-keeping people "Babylon." They were not calling Babylonians "Babylon."

Thus, in 1893 it was error to call the church Babylon just as much as it was error to call men out of Israel in the days of King David. This does not mean that the church could never become Babylon regardless of its future actions, any more than it meant that Jerusalem could never fall regardless of its future actions. Nowhere did she say that the Church would never become Babylon; only that it was not in her day.

"Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered." [1SM 57]

2. "The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out." [12MR 324]

"For weeks I have not been able to sleep after half past three o’clock. My mind is deeply exercised in regard to our condition as a people. We ought to be far in advance of any other people on the earth because we have greater light and greater knowledge of the truth, which lays us under increased accountability to advance that light and not only profess to believe the truth but to practice it. When we do practice the truth we are then following Jesus, who is the light of the world; and if we as a people are not constantly elevating, becoming more and more spiritually minded, we are becoming like the Pharisees—self-righteous—while we do not the will of God.

We must have a greater nearness to God. Much less of self and much more of Jesus Christ and His grace must be brought into our everyday life. We are living in an important period of this world’s history. The end of all things is at hand; the sands of time are fast running out; soon in heaven it will be said: “It is done.” “He that is holy, let him be holy still,” “he which is filthy, let him be filthy still” [Revelation 21:6; 22:11].

Let our testimonies be sharpened up; let us have a firmer hold on God. I cannot refrain from prayer at one, two, and three o’clock in the morning for the Lord to work upon the hearts of the people. I think of all heaven being interested in the work that is going on upon the earth. Ministering angels are waiting about the throne to instantly obey the mandate of Jesus Christ to answer every prayer offered in earnest living faith. I think of how many who profess the truth are keeping it apart from their lives. They do not bring its sanctifying, refining, spiritualizing power into their hearts. I think how this grieves Jesus.

I think of His great sorrow as He wept over Jerusalem, exclaiming, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not” [Luke 13:34]! God forbid that these words shall apply to those who have great light and blessings. In the rejecting of Jerusalem it was because great privileges were abused, which brought the denunciation upon all who lightly regarded the great opportunities and precious light that were entrusted to their keeping. Privileges do not commend us to God, but they commend God to us. No people are saved because they have great light and special advantages, for these high and heavenly favors only increase their responsibility.

The more and increased light God has given makes the receiver more responsible. It does not place the receiver in any safer position unless the privileges are wisely improved, prized, and used to advance God’s glory. Christ said, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” [Matthew 11:21].

When Jerusalem was divorced from God it was because of her sins. She fell from an exalted height that Tyre and Sidon had never reached. And when an angel falls he becomes a fiend. The depth of our ruin is measured by the exalted light to which God has raised us in His great goodness and unspeakable mercy. Oh, what privileges are granted to us as a people! And if God spared not His people that He loved, because they refused to walk in the light, how can He spare the people whom He has blessed with the light of heaven in having opened to them the most exalted truth ever entrusted to mortal man to give to the world?

We are far from being the people God would have us to be, because we do not elevate the soul and refine the character in harmony with the wonderful unfolding of God’s truth and His purposes. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. Sin is a disorganizer. Wherever it is cherished—in the individual heart, in the household, in the church—there is disorder, strife, variance, enmity, envy, jealousy, because the enemy of man and of God has the controlling power over the mind. But let the truth be loved and brought into the life, as well as advocated, and that man or woman will hate sin and will be a living representative of Jesus Christ to the world.

The people claiming to believe the truth will not be condemned because they had not the light, but because they had great light and did not bring their hearts to the test of God’s great moral standard of righteousness. The people who claim to believe the truth must be elevated by living it out. Real Bible religion must leaven the life, refine and ennoble the character, making it more and more like the divine model. Then will the home be vocal with prayer, with thanksgiving and praise to God. Angels will minister in the home and accompany the worshiper to the house of prayer.

Let the churches who claim to believe the truth, who are advocating the law of God, keep that law and depart from all iniquity. Let the individual members of the church resist the temptations to practice evils and indulge in sin. Let the church commence the work of purification before God by repentance, humiliation, deep heart searching, for we are in the antitypical day of atonement—solemn hour fraught with eternal results.

Let those who teach the truth present it as it is in Jesus. Under the subduing, sanctifying, refining, influence of the truth of God they are as clean vessels. Let them be leavened with Bible religion, and what an influence would go forth from them to the world! Let the individual members of the church be pure, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the love of Jesus, and they will then be a light to the world. Let the men standing as watchmen and as shepherds of the flock proclaim the solemn truth, sound the notes of warning to all people, nations and tongues. Let them be living representatives of the truth they advocate, and honor God’s law by strict and holy compliance with its requirements, walking before the Lord in purity, in holiness, and a power will attend the proclamation of the truth that will reflect light everywhere.

God never forsakes people or individuals until they forsake Him. Outward opposition will not cause the faith of God’s people, who are keeping His commandments, to become dim. The neglect to bring purity and truth into practice will grieve the Spirit of God and weaken them because God is not in their midst to bless. Internal corruption will bring the denunciations of God upon this people as it did upon Jerusalem. Oh, let pleading voices, let earnest prayer be heard, that those who preach to others shall not themselves be castaways. My brethren, we know not what is before us, and our only safety is in following the Light of the world. God will work with us and for us if the sins which brought His wrath upon the old world, upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon ancient Jerusalem, do not become our crime.

The least transgression of God’s law brings guilt upon the transgressor, and without earnest repentance and forsaking of sin he will surely become an apostate. You inquire in regard to the course which should be pursued to secure the rights of our people to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience. This has been a burden on my soul for some time, whether it would be a denial of our faith and an evidence that our trust was not fully in God. But I call to mind many things God has shown me in the past in regard to things of a similar character, as the draft and other things. I can speak in the fear of God, it is right we should use every power we can to avert the pressure that is being brought to bear upon our people. I know that were our people spiritualized by the truth the greatest love would be maintained.

[We are] not to provoke those who have accepted this spurious sabbath, an institution of the Papacy, in the place of God’s holy Sabbath. Their not having the Bible arguments in their favor makes them all the more angry and determined to supply the place of arguments that are wanting in the Word of God, by the power of their might. The force of persecution follows the steps of the dragon. Therefore great care should be exercised to give no provocation. And again let us as a people, as far as possible, cleanse the camp of moral defilement and aggravating sins. When sin is making its march upon the people who claim to be elevating the moral standard of righteousness, how can we expect God to turn His power in our behalf and save us as a people that did righteousness?

All the policy in the world cannot save us from a terrible sifting, and all the efforts made with high authorities will not lift from us the scourging of God, just because sin is cherished. If as a people we do not keep ourselves in the faith and not only advocate with pen and voice the commandments of God, but keep them every one, not violating a single precept knowingly, then weakness and ruin will come upon us. It is a work that we must attend to in every one of our churches. Each man must be a Christian.

Let the sin of pride be put away, let all superfluities of dress be overcome, and repentance toward God be exercised for the highhanded robbery toward Him, which has withheld money that should flow into the treasury to sustain the work of God in its mission fields. Let the work of reformation, of true conversion, be set before and urged upon the people. Let our works, our deportment, correspond with the work for this time, that we may say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Let us humble our souls before God by humiliation, fasting and prayer, repentance of sin, and putting it away.

The voice of the true watchman needs now to be heard all along the line, “The morning cometh, and also the night” [Isaiah 21:12]. The trumpet must give a certain sound, for we are in the great day of the Lord’s preparation. All the struggles to carry our appeals to the highest authorities in our land, however earnest and strong and eloquent may be the pleas in our favor, will not bring about that which we desire unless the Lord works by His Holy Spirit in the heart of those who claim to believe the truth. We may struggle as a mighty man in swimming against the current of Niagara, but we shall fail unless the Lord pleads in our behalf. God will be honored among His people. They must be pure, they must be divested of self, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. The Lord will elevate the humblest soul that trusts in Him. He will unite His power with human effort if that man will honor Him as did Daniel. But as a people we need the beauty of righteousness, holiness, and truth. The most harmonious theory will not save us. The God that ruled in Babylon is the same God that rules now.

There are many doctrines current in our world. There is many a religion current that numbers its thousands and tens of thousands, but there is but one that bears the superscription and the stamp of God. There is a religion of man and a religion of God. We must have our souls riveted to the eternal Rock. Everything in God’s world, both men and doctrines and nature itself, is fulfilling God’s sure word of prophecy and accomplishing His grand and closing work in this world’s history.

We are to be ready and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawnfrom those who proclaim God’s only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decrees of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.

Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ."

The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy. All these, He says, “I have graven ... upon the palms of my hands” [Isaiah 49:16]. They are held in everlasting, imperishable remembrance. We want faith now, living faith. We want to have a living testimony that shall cut to the heart of the sinner. There is too much sermonizing and too little ministering. We want the holy unction. We need the spirit and fervor of the truth. Many of the ministers are half paralyzed by their own defects of character. They need the converting power of God.

That which God required of Adam before his fall was perfect obedience to His law. God requires now what He required of Adam, perfect obedience, righteousness without a flaw, without shortcoming in His sight. God help us to render to Him all His law requires. We cannot do this without that faith that brings Christ’s righteousness into daily practice.

Dear brethren, the Lord is coming. Lift up your thoughts and heads and rejoice. Oh, we would think that those who hear the joyful news, who claim to love Jesus, would be filled with joy unutterable and full of glory. This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated! Caviling and contention with believers or unbelievers is not the work God has given us to do.

If Christ is my Saviour, my sacrifice, my atonement, then I shall never perish. Believing on Him, I have life forevermore. Oh, that all who believe the truth would believe in Jesus as their own Saviour. I do not mean that cheap faith unsupported by works, but that earnest, living, constant, abiding faith, that eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. I want not only to be pardoned for the transgression of God’s holy law, but I want to be lifted into the sunshine of God’s countenance. Not simply to be admitted to heaven, but to have an abundant entrance.

Are we so insensible as a peculiar people, a holy nation, to the inexpressible love that God has manifested for us? Salvation is not to be baptized, not to have our names upon the church books, not to preach the truth. But it is a living union with Jesus Christ, to be renewed in heart, doing the works of Christ in faith and labor of love, in patience, meekness, and hope. Every soul united to Christ will be a living missionary to all around him. He will labor for those near and those afar off. He will have no sectional feeling, no interest merely to build up one branch of the work over which he presides and there let his zeal end. All will work with interest to make every branch strong. There will be no self-love, no selfish interest. The cause is one, the truth a great whole.

Well may the question be asked with earnest, anxious heart, “Is envy cherished, is jealousy permitted to find a place in my heart?” If so, Christ is not there. “Do I love the law of God, is the love of Jesus Christ in my heart?” If we love one another as Christ has loved us, then we are getting ready for the blessed heaven of peace and rest. There is no struggling there to be first, to have the supremacy; all will love their neighbor as themselves. Oh, that God would open the understanding and speak to the hearts of our churches by arousing the individual members.

The Lord appoints and sends forth ministers not only to preach, for this is a small part of His work, but to minister, to educate the people not to be fighters but to be examples of piety. There are workers in every department appointed to do their work. When Jesus ascended on high He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. Some have entered the work with a human commission rather than the divine. They have educated themselves as debaters, and the churches under their care show the character of their work. They were not ready, they were not fitted for the work. Their hearts are not right with God. In short, they have a theory but not true conversion and sanctification through the truth. The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.

Our prayer should ascend to the throne of grace with fervor for the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His vineyard. My heart aches as I look around upon the mission fields and see so feeble efforts to get the truth before the people. No censure can be attached to our leading men. I believe, brethren, you are one with me in heart, in sentiment, in regard to our great need, and in the earnest desire and earnest efforts to meet the mind of the Spirit of God in these things.

Those who are at ease in Zion need to be aroused. Great is their accountability who bear the truth and yet feel no weight or burden for souls. Oh, for men and women professing the truth to arouse, to take on the yoke of Christ, to lift His burdens. There are wanted those who will not have merely a nominal interest but a Christlike interest, unselfish—an intense ardor that will not flag under difficulties or cool because iniquity abounds.

I want to speak to the ears of our people in America in every church. Awake from the dead, and Christ will give you life. Souls are perishing for the light of truth as it is in Jesus. We are standing upon the very borders of the eternal world. Fair-weather Christians will not be wanted for this work. The sentimental and tasteful religion is not needed for this time. There must be intensity brought into our faith and in the proclamation of truth. I tell you, a new life is proceeding from satanic agencies to work with a power we have not hitherto realized. And shall not a new power from above take possession of God’s people? The truth, sanctifying in its influence, must be urged upon the people. There must be earnest supplications offered to God, agonizing prayer to Him, that our hopes as a people may not be founded on suppositions, but on eternal realities. We must know for ourselves, by the evidence of God’s Word, whether we are in the faith, going to heaven or not. The moral standard of character is God’s law. Do we meet its requirements? Are the Lord’s people bringing their property, their time, their talents, and all their influence into the work for this time? Let us arouse. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” [Colossians 3:1]".—Letter 55, 1886. [12MR 318-327]

3. "If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port." / ". . .said one who appeared to be the captain, 'this vessel sails into the harbor. She will never go down.'"

Note: The above pair of quotes present a unique situation in that the immediate context alone is not sufficient to understand their meaning and intent. Provided are a chronological series of quotes. organized by year, that pertain to whether "the ship" spoken of was the Seventh-day Adventist church organization, and whether it indeed could never fall beyond repair.

Dear Brother [D.M. Canright],
I had an impressive dream last night. I thought that you were on a strong vessel, sailing on very rough waters. Sometimes the waves beat over the top, and you were drenched with water. You said: “I shall get off; this vessel is going down.” “No,” said one who appeared to be the captain, “this vessel sails into the harbor. She will never go down.” But you answered: “I shall be washed overboard. As I am neither captain or mate, who cares? I shall takemy chances on that vessel you see yonder.” Said the captain: “I shall not let you go there, for I know that vessel will strike the rocks before she reaches the harbor.” You straightened yourself up, and said with great positiveness: “This vessel will become a wreck; I can see it just as plain as can be.” The captain looked upon you with piercing eye, and said firmly: “I shall not permit you to lose your life by taking that boat. The timbers of her framework are worm-eaten, and she is a deceptive craft. If you had more knowledge you could discern between the spurious and the genuine, the holy and that appointed to utter ruin.”

I awoke, but it is this dream that leads me to write to you. I was feeling deeply over some of these things when a letter came, saying that you were “under great temptation and trial.” What is it, Brother M? Is Satan tempting you again? Is God permitting you to be brought to the same place where you have failed before? Will you now let unbelief take possession of your soul? Will you fail every time, as did the children of Israel? God help you to resist the devil and to come forth stronger from every trial of your faith!

Be careful how you move. Make straight paths for your feet. Close the door to unbelief and make God your strength. If perplexed, hold still; make no move in the dark. I am deeply concerned for your soul. This may be the last trial that God will grant you. Advance not one step in the downward road to perdition. Wait, and God will help you. Be patient, and the clear light will appear. If you yield to impressions you will lose your soul, and the soul is of great value with God.

I have been writing upon the first volume of Great Controversy, and it makes me feel very solemn as I review these important subjects—creation and the events from the fall of Satan to the fall of Adam. The Lord seems very near me as I write, and I am deeply moved as I contemplate this controversy from the beginning to the present time. The workings of the powers of darkness are laid clearly before my mind. Most trying times are before us; and Satan, clad in angel robes, will come to souls with his temptations as he came to Christ in the wilderness. He will quote Scripture; and unless our life is hid with Christ in God, he will surely bind our souls in unbelief.

Time is very short, and all that is to be done must be done quickly. The angels are holding the four winds, and Satan is taking advantage of everyone who is not fully established in the truth. Every soul is to be tested. Every defect in the character, unless it is overcome by the help of God’s Spirit, will become a sure means of destruction. I feel as never before the necessity for our people to be energized by the spirit of the truth, for Satan’s devices will ensnare every soul who has not made God his strength. The Lord has much work to be done; and if we do what He has appointed for us to do, He will work with our efforts." [5T 571-573]

"I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the “unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry." [16MR 216, also 11MR 229]

"There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and he will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port. When I voyaged from Portland, Me., to Boston, many years ago, a storm came upon us, and the great waves dashed us to and fro. The chandeliers fell, and the trunks were rolled from side to side, like balls. The passengers were frightened, and many were screaming, waiting in expectation of death. After awhile the pilot came on board. The captain stood near the pilot as he took the wheel, and expressed fear about the course in which the ship was directed. “Will you take the wheel? asked the pilot. The captain was not ready to do that, for he knew that he lacked experience. Then some of the passengers grew uneasy, and said they feared the pilot would dash them upon the rocks. “Will you take the wheel?” asked the pilot; but they knew that they could not manage the wheel. When you think that the work is in danger, pray, “Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.” Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?

There are before me many who are old hands in the cause. I have known some of you for the last thirty years. Brethren, have we not seen crisis after crisis come upon the work, and has not the Lord carried us through, and wrought for the glory of his name? Can you not believe in him? Can you not commit the cause to him? You cannot with your finite minds understand the working of all the providences of God. Let God take care of his own work. You are to hang your helpless soul upon Jesus. Commit the keeping of your soul unto God, as unto a faithful Creator. When you do this, you will have something of the love of God; for it will abound in your heart unto his glory. The meetings will be uplifting in character; for the Lord will put a new song into your mouth, even praise unto our God. You will say, “Hear what the Lord has done for my soul.” Your soul will be all light in the Lord." [RH Sept. 20, 1892]

"Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, 'But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.'" [RH Aug. 1, 1893]

"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action; if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them, and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach." [14MR 102]

"Our position in the world is not what it should be. We are far from where we should have been had our Christian experience been in harmony with the light and the opportunities given us, had we from the beginning constantly pressed onward and upward. Had we walked in the light that has been given us, had we followed on to know the Lord, our path would have grown brighter and brighter. But many of those who have had special light are so conformed to the world that they can scarcely be distinguished from worldlings. They do not stand forth as God’s peculiar people, chosen and precious. It is difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.

In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." [8T 247]

Note: The above quotes leave little question that the "ship" which will go through is the Gospel ship; the faith of Jesus embodied in the three angel's messages. It did not signify the organized Seventh-day Adventist church who were at one time called to serve as the crew of that ship. That she would speak of the potential for another coming out after receiving a dream indicating that "the ship will never go down" is proof positive of this. Further, the apostasy of Canright (which was the subject of the dream) was from Adventism as a whole, not simply the organized body. [3BIO 360-361] While she spoke of God being in control of the work and righting the wrongs in that regard, she did not indicate that the leadership could never go astray to the point of no longer being lead of God; rather, several years later she wrote in regards to the principle that any church of any calling would have the work taken from them if they proved unfaithful.

Finally, historical context proves useful regarding what the Adventist church taught on this subject. The following excerpts from "Lessons on the Reformation" by A.T. Jones should bring shame to any professed Adventist advancing the same ideas.

"The men whose preaching made The Reformation could have said all that they ever said, and more, in denunciation of the iniquity in the church, and the enormities of the Popes; and yet could have remained in good standing in that church, all their days: if they had still held that church to be the only and true church, and have held themselves in conformity with her accordingly. . .

Even when they were compelled to admit that the church was inextricably involved in it all, and when they were thus required to reflect even upon the church, this was always done with the reservation and apology that in spite of all this she was the true and only church.

They denounced the men and the activities of the men, even of the Popes and the papal court, but still apologized and pleaded for the machine. They condemned the evil practices, but justified the system by which alone it was possible that those practices could not only be perpetuated, but could even exist. . .

The church was "the ark of God," the "ship of Salvation." The pilot, the captain, and the crew, might all be pirates, and use every motion of the ship only for piratical purposes, and load her to the sinking point with piratical plunder, and keep her ever headed straight toward perdition, yet "the grand old ship" herself was all right and would come safely to the heavenly port. Therefore, "cling to the ark," "stand by the old ship," and you will be safe and will land at last on the heavenly shore.

. . .And in the General Council of Basle, 1432, the Pope's legate exhorted the Bohemians that – "In the time of Noah's flood, as many as were without the ark perished." So long as this delusion was systematically inculcated, blindly received, and fondly hugged, of course reformation was impossible." [A.T. Jones, Lessons from the Reformation, Ch. 5]

Conditional Prophecy

"Confused, humiliated, and unable to understand God's purpose in sparing Nineveh, Jonah nevertheless had fulfilled the commission given him to warn that great city; and though the event predicted did not come to pass, yet the message of warning was nonetheless from God." [PK 272]

"It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional." [1SM 67]

"A statement published in 1851 in Experience and Views, and found on page 49 [page 58, present edition] of Early Writings is quoted as proving my testimonies false: “I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished, and that time can last but a very little longer.”

As the subject was presented before me, the period of Christ’s ministration seemed almost accomplished. Am I accused of falsehood because time has continued longer than my testimony seemed to indicate? How is it with the testimonies of Christ and His disciples? Were they deceived?

Paul writes to the Corinthians:

“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not” (1 Corinthians 7:29, 30).

Again, in his epistle to the Romans, he says:

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12).

And from Patmos, Christ speaks to us by the beloved John:

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3). “The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:6, 7).

The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional.

God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel’s message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming.

Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward.

But in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, many of the advent believers yielded their faith. Dissensions and divisions came in. The majority opposed with voice and pen the few who, following in the providence of God, received the Sabbath reform and began to proclaim the third angel’s message. Many who should have devoted their time and talents to the one purpose of sounding warning to the world, were absorbed in opposing the Sabbath truth, and in turn, the labor of its advocates was necessarily spent in answering these opponents and defending the truth. Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness. Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history!

It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in “because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.

For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.

There are two other passages said to be found in my first book, but not given in my later writings. Concerning these I shall only say, when I can obtain a book containing them, so that I can be assured of the correctness of the quotations and can see for myself their connection, I shall be prepared to speak understandingly in regard to them." [1SM 66-69]

"I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: “Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.” [1T 131]

"Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered." [1SM 57]

"Balaam knew that the prosperity of Israel depended upon their obedience to God, and that there was no way to cause their overthrow but by seducing them into sin." [PP 451]

Feast Days & Camp Meetings

"Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14." [DA 785]

Christians fellowshipped during the Feasts

"At Philippi Paul tarried to keep the Passover. Only Luke remained with him, the other members of the company passing on to Troas to await him there. The Philippians were the most loving and truehearted of the apostle’s converts, and during the eight days of the feast he enjoyed peaceful and happy communion with them." [AA 390]
Note: The above quote is based upon Acts 20:6

"Octavius Augustus (42 B.C.) conferred on it his jus Italicum (Acts 14:12), which made the town a miniature Rome, and granted it the institutions and privileges of the citizens of Rome. That is why we find at Philippi, along with a remnant of the Macedonians, Roman colonists together with some Jews, the latter, however, so few that they had no synagogue, but only a place of prayer (proseuché)." [Vander Heeren, Achille. "Philippi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911]

"A Roman 'colony', i.e., it contained a body of Roman citizens. . . The church there was mainly Gentile, there being no Jewish synagogue." [New American Standard Bible; Cambridge Study Edition; Concise Bible Dictionary, p. 95.]

"(1) We may notice, first, the very small part played by Jews and Judaism at Philippi.

There was no synagogue here, as at Salamis in Cyprus (Ac 13:5), Antioch in Pisidia (Ac 13:14,43), Iconium (Ac 14:1), Ephesus (Ac 18:19,26; 19:8), Thessalonica (Ac 17:1), Berea (Ac 17:10), Athens (Ac 17:17) and Corinth (Ac 18:4). The number of resident Jews was small, their meetings for prayer took place on the river’s bank, the worshippers were mostly or wholly women (Ac 16:13), and among them some, perhaps a majority, were proselytes. Of Jewish converts we hear nothing, nor is there any word of Jews as either inciting or joining the mob which dragged Paul and Silas before the magistrates. Further, the whole tone of the epistle. to this church seems to prove that here at least the apostolic teaching was not in danger of being undermined by Judaizers. True, there is one passage (Php 3:2-7) in which Paul denounces "the concision," those who had "confidence in the flesh"; but it seems "that in this warning he was thinking of Rome more than of Philippi; and that his indignation was aroused rather by the vexatious antagonism which there thwarted him in his daily work, than by any actual errors already undermining the faith of his distant converts" (Lightfoot).

(2) Even more striking is the prominence of the Ro element in the narrative. We are here not in a Greek or Jewish city, but in one of those Ro colonies which Aulus Gellius describes as "miniatures and pictures of the Ro people" (Noctes Atticae, xvi.13).

In the center of the city is the forum (agora, Ac 16:19), and the general term "magistrates" (archontes, English Versions of the Bible, "rulers," Ac 16:19) is exchanged for the specific title of praetors (stratagoi, English Versions of the Bible "magistrates," Ac 16:20,22,35,36,38); these officers are attended by lictors (rhabdouchoi, English Versions "sergeants," Ac 16:35,38) who bear the fasces with which they scourged Paul and Silas (rhabdizo, Ac 16:22). The charge is that of disturbing public order and introducing customs opposed to Roman law (Ac 16:20,21), and Paul’s appeal to his Roman civitas (Ac 16:37) at once inspired the magistrates with fear for the consequences of their action and made them conciliatory and apologetic (Ac 16:38,39). The title of praetor borne by these officials has caused some difficulty. The supreme magistrates of Roman colonies, two in number, were called duoviri or duumviri (iuri dicundo), and that this title was in use at Philippi is proved by three inscriptions (Orelli, Number 3746; Heuzey, Mission archeologique, 15, 127). The most probable explanation of the discrepancy is that these magistrates assumed the title Of praetor, or that it was commonly applied to them, as was certainly the case in some parts of the Roman world (Cicero De lege agraria ii.34; Horace Sat. i.5, 34; Orelli, Number 3785)." [Tod, MarcusN. "Philippi", International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, 1913.]

“We for our part keep the day scrupulously, without addition or subtraction. For in Asia great luminaries sleep who shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s advent, when He is coming with glory from heaven and shall search out all His saints such as Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis with two of his daughters, who remained unmarried to the end of their days, while his other daughter lived in the Holy Spirit and rests in Ephesus. Again there is John, who leant back upon the Lord’s breast, and who became a sacrificing priest wearing the mitre, a martyr, and a teacher; he too sleeps in Ephesus. Then in Smyrna there is Polycarp, bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, the bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who also sleeps in Smyrna. Need I mention Sagaris, bishop and martyr, who sleeps in Laodicea, or blessed Papirius, or Melito the eunuch, who lived entirely in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis waiting for the visitation from heaven when he shall rise from the dead?

All of these kept the fourteenth day of the month as the beginning of the Paschal festival, in accordance with the Gospel, not deviating in the least but following in the rule of faith. Last of all I too, Polycrates, the least of you all, act according to the tradition of my family, some members of which I have actually followed; for seven of them were bishops and I am the eighth, and my family have always kept the day when the people put away the leaven. So I, my friends, after spending sixty-five years in the Lord’s service and conversing with Christians from all parts of the world, and going carefully through all Holy Scripture, am not scared of threats. Better people than I have said: ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” [Polycrates as quoted by Eusebius in The History of The Church, Book V, Ch. 24]
Note: The above is a historical reference (the letter quoted being written in 196 A.D.), and is not from Mrs. White.

Feast Days Associated with Camp Meetings

"Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles—a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God had wrought for their fathers, and His miraculous preservation of them during their journeyings from Egypt, so should we gratefully call to mind the various ways He has devised for bringing us out from the world, and from the darkness of error, into the precious light of His grace and truth." [PP 540]

"The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but, as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner. At that time the wicked will all be destroyed. They will become “as though they had not been.” Obadiah 16. And every voice in the whole universe will unite in joyful praise to God. Says the revelator, “Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13" [PP 541]

"Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided that they may become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to God. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast. He will be present, and He will do for you that which you most need to have done." [2T 575]

"It is important that the members of our churches should attend our camp meetings. The enemies of truth are many; and because our numbers are few, we should present as strong a front as possible. Individually you need the benefits of the meeting, and God calls upon you to number one in the ranks of truth. . .

Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came, bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sin offerings, and their offerings of gratitude. . . In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world.

With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance upon these holy convocations. The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn away from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.

If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!" [6T 38-40]

"The forces of the enemies are strengthening, and as a people we are misrepresented; but shall we not gather our forces together, and come up to the feast of tabernacles? Let us not treat this matter as one of little importance, but let the army of the Lord be on the ground to represent the work and cause of God in Australia. Let no one plead an excuse at such a time. One of the reasons why we have appointed the camp-meeting to be held at Melbourne, is that we desire the people of that vicinity to become acquainted with our doctrines and works. We want them to know what we are, and what we believe. Let every one pray, and make God his trust. Those who are barricaded with prejudice must hear the warning message for this time. We must find our way to the hearts of the people. Therefore come to the camp-meeting, even though you have to make a sacrifice to do so, and the Lord will bless your efforts to honour his cause and advance his work." [BEcho Dec. 8, 1893]

"This excellent meeting, with all its labor of preparation, anxiety, preaching, hearing, exhorting, confession of sins and want of Christ, its tears, deliverances, and joys, is now past. Those parents who brought their children to the meeting and saw them converted, and take the baptismal vow, are now glad that they brought them. Those who did not bring their children regretted their mistake. These annual feasts of tabernacles are gatherings of the greatest importance; and there should be a general turnout of all who may be benefited. [James White, The Signs of the Times, June 8, 1876; quoted in 3BIO38]

General Conference

"It is not in the order of God that a few men shall manage the great interests throughout the field." [13MR 289]

"At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work.

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan’s efforts upon such a man’s mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men." [9T 260]

"Many are deceived today in the same way as were the Jews. Religious teachers read the Bible in the light of their own understanding and traditions; and the people do not search the Scriptures for themselves, and judge for themselves as to what is truth; but they yield up their judgment, and commit their souls to their leaders. The preaching and teaching of His word is one of the means that God has ordained for diffusing light; but we must bring every man’s teaching to the test of Scripture. Whoever will prayerfully study the Bible, desiring to know the truth, that he may obey it, will receive divine enlightenment. He will understand the Scriptures. “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.” John 7:17, R. V." [DA 459]

"Those to whom the message of truth is spoken seldom ask, “Is it true?” but, “By whom is it advocated?” Multitudes estimate it by the numbers who accept it; and the question is still asked, “Have any of the learned men or religious leaders believed?” Men are no more favorable to real godliness now than in the days of Christ. They are just as intently seeking earthly good, to the neglect of eternal riches; and it is not an argument against the truth, that large numbers are not ready to accept it, or that it is not received by the world’s great men, or even by the religious leaders." [DA 459]

"If you indulge stubbornness of heart, and through pride and self-righteousness do not confess your faults, you will be left subject to Satan’s temptations. If when the Lord reveals your errors you do not repent or make confession, his providence will bring you over the ground again and again. You will be left to make mistakes of a similar character, you will continue to lack wisdom, and will call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. The multitude of deceptions that will prevail in these last days will encircle you, and you will change leaders, and not know that you have done so." [RH December 16, 1890]

"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." [6T 17]

Godhead / Trinity

Separate Persons

"'And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.' All through the Scriptures, the Father and the Son are spoken of as two distinct personages. You will hear men endeavoring to make the Son of God a nonentity. He and the Father are one, but they are two personages. Wrong sentiments regarding this are coming in, and we shall all have to meet them." [RH July 13, 1905]

" A blessed unity will be enjoyed by those who are indeed children of God. They will not, by their words and acts, lead anyone to doubt in regard to the distinct personality of God, or in regard to the sanctuary and its ministry." [2MR 186]

"From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character." [YI December 16, 1897]

"Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct personages. Read the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will find this point clearly brought out. How earnestly the Saviour prayed that His disciples might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. But the unity that is to exist between Christ and His followers does not destroy the personality of either. They are to be one with Him as He is one with the Father.

[John 17:20-23 quoted.] What a wonderful statement! The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin." [5BC 1148]

No Third Being

"The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God." [PP 34]

"There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, “son of the morning,” was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him." [PP 35]

"Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, once had an exalted position in Heaven. He was next in honor to Christ." [RH Feb. 24, 1874]

"Satan in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son." [ST Jan. 9, 1879]

"Satan in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; yet Jesus, God’s dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of Christ, and in his ambition assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.

The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence. His word was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was he to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon it. His Son would carry out his will and his purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in him. Satan was jealous and envious of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge his supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, Satan bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been taken into counsel with the Father in regard to his plans, while Satan was unacquainted with them. He did not understand, neither was he permitted to know, the purposes of God. But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of heaven, his power and authority to be the same as that of God himself. Satan thought that he was himself a favorite in heaven among the angels. He had been highly exalted; but this did not call forth from him gratitude and praise to his Creator. He aspired to the height of God himself. He gloried in his loftiness. He knew that he was honored by the angels. He had a special mission to execute. He had been near the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glorious light enshrouding the eternal God, had shone especially upon him. Satan thought how angels had obeyed his command with pleasurable alacrity. Were not his garments light and beautiful? Why should Christ thus be honored before himself?

He left the immediate presence of the Father, dissatisfied, and filled with envy against Jesus Christ. Concealing his real purposes, he assembled the angelic host. He introduced his subject, which was himself. As one aggrieved he related the preference God had given to Jesus to the neglect of himself. He told them that henceforth all the precious liberty the angels had enjoyed was at an end. For had not a ruler been appointed over them, to whom they from henceforth must yield servile honor? He stated to them that he had called them together to assure them that he no longer would submit to this invasion of his rights and theirs; that never would he again bow down to Christ; that he would take the honor upon himself which should have been conferred upon him, and would be the commander of all who would submit to follow him and obey him. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They were discontented and unhappy because they could not look into his unsearchable wisdom and ascertain his purposes in exalting his Son Jesus, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son.

Angels that were loyal and true sought to reconcile this first great rebel to the will of his Creator. They justified the act of God in conferring honor upon Jesus Christ, and with forcible reasons sought to convince Satan that no less honor was his now than before the Father had proclaimed the honor which he had conferred upon his Son. They clearly set forth that Jesus was the Son of God, existing with him before the angels were created; and that he had ever stood at the right hand of God, and his mild, loving authority had not heretofore been questioned; and that he had given no commands but what it was joy for the heavenly host to execute. They had urged that Christ’s receiving special honor from the Father, in the presence of the angels, did not detract from the honor that he had heretofore received. The angels wept, and anxiously sought to move Satan to renounce his wicked design and yield submission to their Creator. All had heretofore been peace and harmony, and what could occasion this dissenting, rebellious voice?" [ST Jan. 9, 1879]

- Note: The Spirit is absent in this narrative. The Father ordained the Son publicly; did the Spirit need a similar ordaining? It seems not, since Satan was next to Christ in honor. Then, the Spirit must be equal with the Father; if so, where was it in the public announcement or chain of command here demonstrated? "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God." (1 Corinthians 11:3)

". . .Of Gabriel the Saviour speaks in the Revelation, saying that “He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared, “I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets.” Revelation 22:9, R. V. Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men." [DA 99]

Identity of the Spirit / Christ the Comforter

"Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent." [14MR 23]

"In the plan of restoring in men the divine image, it was provided that the Holy Spirit should move upon human minds, and be as the presence of Christ, a molding agency upon human character." [RH Feb. 22, 1895]

"Those who believe the truth should remember that they are God’s little children, that they are under His training. Let them be thankful to God for His manifold mercies and be kind to one another. They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—is to bring unity into their ranks." [9T 189]

"The Lord is soon to come. We want that complete and perfect understanding which the Lord alone can give. It is not safe to catch the spirit from another. We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ. If we commune with God, we shall have strength and grace and efficiency." [Lt 66, 1894]

"The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and the Holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul." [RH Nov. 29, 1892]

"I urge our people to cease their criticism and evil speaking, and go to God in earnest prayer, asking him to help them to help the erring. Let them link up with one another and with Christ. Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of Christ. He is the Comforter. He will abide in their hearts, making their joy full. His words will be to them as the bread of life, and in the strength thus gained they will be enabled to develop characters that will be an honor to God. Perfect Christian fellowship will exist among them. There will be seen in their lives the fruit that always appears as the result of obedience to the truth." [RH January 27, 1903]

"Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,--not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal." [DA 388]

"The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him." [14MR 84]

"God help us that we may be sanctified through the truth; and that sanctification shall have its influence to leaven those that are around us. Not the leaven of malice; not the leaven of jealousy; not the leaven of evil surmisings, but it is the leaven of the spirit of Jesus Christ, which is sent down from heaven, called the Holy Ghost, and that Spirit affects the heart and the character." [1SAT 209]

"Christ was the Spirit of truth." [MS 44, 1897]

"But little did they yet suspect who their traveling companion was. They did not think that the subject of their conversation was walking by their side; for Christ referred to Himself as though He were another person." [DA 800]

Kellogg and 'The Living Temple'

"You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself." [Letter 300, 1903]

Kellogg and Butler letters

"As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to this question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no." [J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, Oct 28, 1903]

"I believe this Spirit of God to be a personality you don't. But this is purely a question of definition. I believe the Spirit of God is a personality; you say, No, it is not a personality. Now the only reason why we differ is because we differ in our ideas as to what a personality is. Your idea of personality is perhaps that of semblance to a person or a human being. This is not the scientific conception of personality and that is not the sense in which I use the word.

The scientific test for personality is the exercise of will, volition, purpose, without any reference to form or material being. When a frog with his head cut off is made to hop and jump around by pinching his skin, the physiologist says, Here is proof of personality residing in the spinal cord of the frog." [J.H. Kellogg to G.I. Butler, Feb 21, 1904]

"God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him, we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying, as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are - at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words." [G.I. Butler to J.H. Kellogg, Apr 5, 1904]

Note: For full context on the issue of "Pantheism" and "The Living Temple," please see 5BIO 280-306; Mrs. White's commentary/dream in RH October 22, 1903

Modern Statements

"Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth’. Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. . . the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists." [Adventist Review, Jan. 6, 1994]

"Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the Trinity. For Joseph Bates the Trinity was an unscriptural doctrine, for James White it was that "old Trinitarian absurdity," and for M. E. Cornell it was a fruit of the great apostasy, along with such false doctrines as Sunday-keeping and the immortality of the soul.

In like manner, most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would have trouble with fundamental belief number 4, which holds that Jesus is both eternal and truly God. For J. N. Andrews "the Son of God ... had God for His Father, and did, at some point in the eternity of the past, have beginning of days." And E. J. Waggoner, of Minneapolis 1888 fame, penned in 1890 that "there was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God,... but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning."

Neither could most of the leading Adventists have agreed with fundamental belief number 5, which implies the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Uriah Smith, for example, not only was anti- Trinitarian and semi-Arian, like so many of his colleagues, but also like them pictured the Holy Spirit as "that divine, mysterious emanation through which They [the Father and the Son] carry forward their great and infinite work." On another occasion, Smith pictured the Holy Spirit as a "divine influence" and not a "person like the Father and the Son."" [George R. Knight, Ministry, October 1993]

Explanations and Context

1. "Three Persons" / "The Spirit is a person"

"Dear Brother Carr:

I hold in my hand your letter of January 24. For some month I have so heavily pressed with work connected with manuscripts, which we were preparing for the printer that my correspondence has had to wait.

In your letter you request me to tell you what I understand to be my mother's position in reference to the personality of the Holy Spirit.

This I cannot do because I never clearly understood her teachings on the matter. There always was in my mind some perplexity regarding the meaning on her utterances, which to my superficial manner of thinking seemed to be somewhat confused. I have often regretted that I did not possess that keenness of mind that could solve this and similar perplexities, and then remembering what Sister White wrote in "Acts of the Apostles," pages 51 and 52, "regarding such mysteries which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden," I have thought best to refrain from discussion and have endeavored to direct my mind to matters easy to be understood.

As I read the Bible, I find that the risen Savior breathed on the disciples (John 20:22) "and saith to them 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost." The conception received from this Scripture, seems to be in harmony with the statement in "Desire of Ages", page 669, also Gen, 1:2; with Luke 1:4; with Acts 2:4 and 4:12 also 8:15 and 10:44. Many other texts might be referred to which seem to be in harmony with this statement of "Desire of Ages."

The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit was an individual as are God, the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said "We may regard Him, (The Holy Spirit) as the fellow who is down here running things."

My perplexities were lessened a little when I learned from the dictionary that one of meanings of “personality” was “characteristics”. It is stated in such a way that I concluded that there might be personality without bodily form, which is possessed, by the Father and the Son.

There are many Scriptures which speak of the Father and the Son and the absence of Scripture making similar reference to the united work of the Father and the Holy Spirit or Christ and the Holy Spirit, has led me to believe that the spirit without individuality was the representative of the Father and the Son throughout the universe, and it was through the Holy Spirit that they dwell in our hearts and make us one with the Father and with the Son.

My answer to your second question "Does Sister White's writings anywhere teach that prayer should only be addressed to the Father, or that we should not address Christ in prayer, only through the Father," is that I think no. I have not found such teachings in Ellen White's writings.

Your third question "Does she anywhere tell what the power is that "shall plant tabernacle of His palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" I must answer in the same way. I think not. We have not found any statement regarding this in Sister White’s writings nor do we remember any statement made orally in our presence.

Enclosed with this brief and unsatisfactory letter, you will find our News Letter of April 4.

I pray that you may have help from heaven in studying that which is necessary to be known and patience to wait for the revelation of that regarding which we are now in some uncertainly.

With kind regards, I remain,

Sincerely your brother,

W. C. White [To H.W. Carr, April 30, 1935]

- Note: While Willie did not understand clearly what his mother taught regarding the personality of the Spirit, it is quite clear what he understood her not to have taught, as "the statements and arguments of some of our ministers in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit was an individual. . . have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad." If Mrs. White espoused the view that the Spirit's "personality" meant it was an individual being, it went entirely unknown to both her husband and closest son. More reasonable, given her writings on the matter, is that her use of "person" matched that found in dictonaries of her day, as recorded in the above letter.

"We invite all to compare the testimonies of the Holy Spirit through Mrs. W., with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The trinitarian may compare them with his creed, and because they do not agree with it, condemn them. The observer of Sunday, or the man who holds eternal torment an important truth, and the minister that sprinkles infants, may each condemn the testimonies of Mrs. W. because they do not agree with their peculiar views. And a hundred more, each holding different views, may come to the same conclusion. But their genuineness can never be tested in this way." [James White, RH June 13, 1871] full issue

2. Advancing Light / Progressive Revelation

"I felt compelled to confess the truth, that it was not through Methodism that my heart had received its new blessing, but by the stirring truths concerning the personal appearing of Jesus. Through them I had found peace, joy, and perfect love. Thus my testimony closed, the last that I was to bear in class with my Methodist brethren." [CET 37]

"Our family were all deeply interested in the doctrine of the Lord’s soon coming. My father had stood as one of the pillars of the Methodist church. He had acted as exhorter, and as leader of meetings held in homes at a distance from the city. However, the Methodist minister made us a special visit, and took the occasion to inform us that our faith and Methodism could not agree. He did not inquire our reasons for believing as we did, nor make any reference to the Bible in order to convince us of our error; but he stated that we had adopted a new and strange belief that the Methodist Church could not accept." [CET 41]

- Note: Mrs. White was raised a Methodist. Methodists are Trinitarian. To claim she became Trinitarian due to "advancing light" would mean that she was first Trinitarian, abandoned the belief sometime before the authorship of the majority of her writings, then "advanced into the light" of what she believed in the first place, all without mentioning a word of it. The definition of returning to an old belief after it is abandoned is not "progressive revelation", it is "apostasy."

Health & Diet

"I was shown that Satan's power is especially exercised upon the people of God. Many were presented before me in a doubting despairing condition. The infirmities of the body affect the mind. A cunning and powerful enemy attends our steps, and employs his strength and skill in trying to turn us out of the right way. And it is too often the case that the people of God are not on their watch, therefore are ignorant of his devices. He works by means which will best conceal himself from view, and he often gains his object." [1T 304]

"Much tact and discretion should be employed in preparing nourishing food to take the place of that which has formerly constituted the diet of those who are learning to be health reformers. Faith in God, earnestness of purpose, and a willingness to help one another will be required. A diet lacking in the proper elements of nutrition brings reproach upon the cause of health reform. We are mortal and must supply ourselves with food that will give proper nourishment to the body.

Some of our people, while conscientiously abstaining from eating improper foods, neglect to supply themselves with the elements necessary for the sustenance of the body. Those who take an extreme view of health reform are in danger of preparing tasteless dishes, making them so insipid that they are not satisfying. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be appetizing as well as nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs." [9T 161]

"Remember that when you eat flesh meat, you are but eating grains and vegetables secondhand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that makes it grow and prepares it for market. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the animal, and becomes part of its life, and then human beings eat the animal. Why are they so willing to eat their food secondhand?" [Ev 663]

"There should be a reform in our diet, both in the home and in the restaurants. With many health reform means nothing more than to live without the use of flesh-meat. The so-called health reform of many might be better termed health deform. There is too much eating merely to gratify the appetite. Because the foods are called health-foods and are appetizing, some think it proper to eat more than they should. God desires us to restrain our appetites. We should partake of simple food, and eat no more than the stomach can readily take care of." [8MR 175]

Extremism

"I have something to say in reference to extreme views of health reform. Health reform becomes health deform, a health destroyer, when it is carried to extremes." [12MR 172]

"While we do not make the use of flesh meat a test, while we do not want to force anyone to give up its use, yet it is our duty to request that no minister of the conference shall make light of or oppose the message of reform on this point." [Ev 664]

"I advise every Sabbathkeeping canvasser to avoid meat eating, not because it is regarded as sin to eat meat, but because it is not healthful. The animal creation is groaning." [MS 15, 1889]

"I use some salt, and always have, because from the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The whys and wherefores of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me." [12MR 173]

"We appreciate your experience as a physician, and yet I say that milk and eggs should be included in your diet. These things cannot at present be dispensed with, and the doctrine of dispensing with them should not be taught." [CD 204]

"While warnings have been given regarding the dangers of disease through butter, and the evil of the free use of eggs by small children, yet we should not consider it a violation of principle to use eggs from hens that are well cared for and suitably fed. Eggs contain properties that are remedial agencies in counteracting certain poisons." [CC 237]

"God calls upon those for whom Christ died to take proper care of themselves and set a right example to others. My brother, you are not to make a test for the people of God upon the question of diet, for they will lose confidence in teachings that are strained to the farthest point of extension. The Lord desires His people to be sound on every point in health reform, but we must not go to extremes." [12MR 175]

"While working against gluttony and intemperance, we are to remember the means and appliances of gospel truth, which commend themselves to sound judgment. In order to do our work in straight, simple lines, we must recognize the conditions to which the human family are subjected. God has made provisions for those who live in the different countries of the world. Those who desire to be co-workers with God must consider carefully how they teach health reform in God’s great vineyard. They must move carefully in specifying just what food should and should not be eaten. The human messenger must unite with the divine Helper in presenting the message of mercy to the multitudes God would save.

We are to be brought into connection with the masses. Should health reform be taught them in its most extreme form, harm would be done. We ask them to leave off eating meat and drinking tea and coffee. That is well. But some say that milk also should be given up. This is a subject that needs to be carefully handled. There are poor families whose diet consists of bread and milk, and, if they can get it, a little fruit. All flesh food should be discarded, but vegetables should be made palatable with a little milk or cream or something equivalent. The poor say, when health reform is presented to them, “What shall we eat? We cannot afford to buy the nut foods.” As I preach the gospel to the poor, I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I cannot say to them, “You must not eat eggs or milk or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food.” The gospel must be preached to the poor, and the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet.

The time will come when we may have to discard some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs, but my message is that you must not bring yourself to a time of trouble beforehand, and thus afflict yourself with death. Wait till the Lord prepares the way before you.

The reforms that are strained to the highest tension might accommodate a certain class who can obtain all they need to take the place of the things discarded, but this class forms a very small minority of the people, to whom these tests seem unnecessary. There are those who try to abstain from what is declared to be harmful. They fail to supply the system with proper nourishment, and as a consequence become weak and unable to work. Thus health reform is brought into disrepute. The work we have tried to build up solidly is confused with strange things that God has not required. The energies of the church are crippled.

But God will interfere to prevent the results of these too-strenuous ideas. The gospel is to harmonize the sinful race. It is to bring the rich and the poor together at the feet of Jesus." [12MR 176,177]

Lawsuits and Lawyers

Christians not to use Courts

"I have written largely in regard to Christians who believe the truth placing their cases in courts of law to obtain redress. In doing this, they are biting and devouring one another in every sense of the word, "to be consumed one of another." They cast aside the inspired counsel God has given, and in the face of the message He gives they do the very thing He has told them not to do. Such men may as well stop praying to God, for He will not hear their prayers. They insult Jehovah, and He will leave them to become the subjects of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sins." [3SM 302]

""Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more the things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" (1 Cor. 6:1-9). . . . When church members have this knowledge, their practice will be of a character to recommend their faith. By a well-ordered life, and godly conversation, they will reveal Christ. There will be no lawsuits between neighbors or brothers." [3SM 303]

"This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God." [COL 376]

"When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who do not fear Him. He would not have us depend for help on those who do not obey his requirements. Those who trust in such counselors show that they have not faith in God. By their lack of faith the Lord is greatly dishonored, and their course works great injury to themselves. In appealing to unbelievers to settle difficulties in the church they are biting and devouring one another, to be “consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15).

These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things he has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers. They insult his holy name, and he will leave them to the buffetings of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sin.

Matters connected with the church are to be kept within its own borders. If a Christian is abused, he is to take it patiently; if defrauded, he is not to appeal to courts of justice. Rather let him suffer loss and wrong.

God will deal with the unworthy church member who defrauds his brother or the cause of God; the Christian need not contend for his rights. God will deal with the one who violates these rights. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19. An account is kept of all these matters, and for all the Lord declares that he will avenge. He will bring every work into judgment." [3SM 299]

"To lean upon the arm of the law is a disgrace to Christians; yet this evil has been brought in and cherished among the Lord’s chosen people. Worldly principles have been stealthily introduced, until in practice many of our workers are becoming like the Laodiceans—half-hearted, because so much dependence is placed on lawyers and legal documents and agreements. Such a condition of things is abhorrent to God." [3SM 303]

"I call upon you in the name of Christ to withdraw the suit that you have begun and never bring another into court. God forbids you thus to dishonor his name. You have had great light and many opportunities, and you cannot afford to unite with worldlings and follow their methods. Remember that the Lord will treat you according to the stand that you take in this life." [3SM 304]

"Our Lord teaches that matters of difficulty between Christians are to be settled within the church. They should not be opened before those who do not fear God. If a Christian is wronged by his brother, let him not appeal to unbelievers in a court of justice. Let him follow out the instruction Christ has given. Instead of trying to avenge himself, let him seek to save his brother. God will guard the interests of those who love and fear Him, and with confidence we may commit our case to Him who judges righteously." [COL 248]

"If anyone shall seek to hinder me in this work by appealing to the law, I shall not abate one jot of the testimonies given. The work in which I am engaged is not my work. It is the work of God, which He has given me to do. I did not believe that you would do so terrible a thing as to lift your finite hand against the God of heaven. Whoever shall do this work, let it not be you." [3SM 301]

"Something must be done to save the people of God from being deceived and led astray. There may be those whose hearts are accustomed to resistance, who will seek to do harm to the one who has reproved them, and resort to the law for “damages” done to their poor souls. Cain killed his brother because, when Abel reproved him for disregard of God’s expressed requirements, he thought he had done him damage.

If a suit is instituted in earthly tribunals, and God suffers it to come to trial, it is that His own name may be glorified. But a woe will be upon the man who gives himself to do this work. God reads the motives, whatever they may be. I pray that the Lord will teach our brethren to be straightforward, and make no compromise in the matter. The cause of God has been bruised and wounded by any such men connecting with it, and the sooner they are separated from it, the better." [5MR 413]

"This action, of appealing to human courts, never before entered into by Seventh-day Adventists, has now been done. God has permitted this that you who have been deceived may understand what power is controlling those who have had entrusted to them great responsibilities. Where are God's sentinels? Where are the men who will stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, with the truth, present truth for this time, in possession of the heart?" [3SM 303]

"I call upon you in the name of Christ to withdraw the suit that you have begun and never bring another into court. God forbids you thus to dishonor His name. You have had great light and many opportunities, and you cannot afford to unite with worldlings and follow their methods. Remember that the Lord will treat you according to the stand that you take in this life. . . .

I tell you solemnly that if you take the action which you now purpose to take, you will never recover from the result of it. If you open before the world the wrongs that you suppose your brethren have done you, there will be some things that will have to be said on the other side. I have a caution to give you." [3SM 304]

"Take this case out of the lawyers' hands. It seems awful to me to think that you will go directly contrary to the plain word of God, and will open to the world your cruel work against God's commandment-keeping people. If this action of yours were to tell only against those who have done injustice, the harm would not be so far-reaching; but can you not see that it will arouse prejudice against God's people as a body? Thus you will bruise and wound Christ in the person of His saints, and cause Satan to exult because through you he could work against God's people and against His institutions, doing them great harm." [3SM 305]

"Now I want to state a little further upon the principle that no Christian, being a citizen of the kingdom of God, can of right start any procedure in connection with civil government. After it is started by the government itself, that is another question . . . I repeat therefore, that upon the principles which govern kingdoms and governments, the very principle of the law in heaven, or law in earth, a Christian cannot start any procedure in connection with civil government. And of all Christians, Seventh-day Adventists cannot do it. The very keeping of the Sabbath forbids it." [A.T. Jones, 1895 General Conference Bulletin]

Consulting Lawyers

"A dependence upon professional, worldly lawyers, instead of upon God, is a denial of our faith and has a weakening influence upon true believers. I have a message: When the church is walking in the path of righteousness, they will not lean on the arm of the law in their business transactions, for this would be appealing to worldly elements and would dishonor God." [Lt.244, 1906]

"The saints are to judge the world. Then are they to depend upon the world, and upon the world’s lawyers to settle their difficulties? God does not want them to take their troubles to the subjects of the enemy for decision. Let us have confidence in one another." [3SM 303]

"When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us, and are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place." [MB 100]

"When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who do not fear Him. He would not have us depend for help on those who do not obey his requirements. Those who trust in such counselors show that they have not faith in God. By their lack of faith the Lord is greatly dishonored, and their course works great injury to themselves. In appealing to unbelievers to settle difficulties in the church they are biting and devouring one another, to be “consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15).

These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things he has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers. They insult his holy name, and he will leave them to the buffetings of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sin.

Matters connected with the church are to be kept within its own borders. If a Christian is abused, he is to take it patiently; if defrauded, he is not to appeal to courts of justice. Rather let him suffer loss and wrong.

God will deal with the unworthy church member who defrauds his brother or the cause of God; the Christian need not contend for his rights. God will deal with the one who violates these rights. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19. An account is kept of all these matters, and for all the Lord declares that he will avenge. He will bring every work into judgment." [3SM 299]

"The Lord calls upon you to work in holy, upright lines, in every transaction following the pure, elevated principles given in the Word of God. No business that will misrepresent God and harm his people will bring a particle of honor to you or to the cause which you love. The less you have to do with plans and documents drawn up in accordance with the policy of lawyers, the better it will be for you." [SpM 297]

"God Will Not Be the Counselor of Those Who Take SDA Problems to Worldly Lawyers— You who are engaged in opening the things connected with our work to lawyers, will realize that those who trust the things connected with our work to those who know not God, will be left to trust to the law, and will have all the law they want until their souls are satisfied. God will not be their Counselor." [11MR 218]

"God has appointed His workers to stand true to him at their respective posts of duty. They are not to work in accordance with the plans of worldly-wise men, nor are they to take such men into their councils. Those who are true to their trust will not make lawyers the main support of the securities of our institutions." [SpM 336]

"Matters have been presented before me that have filled my soul with keen anguish. I saw men linking up arm in arm with lawyers, but God was not in their company. Having many ideas regarding the work, they go to the lawyers for help to carry out their plans. I am commissioned to say to such that they are not moving under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.

Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the God of Ekron?” 2 Kings 1:3. Men in responsible positions are uniting with those in the church and out of the church, whose counsel is misleading. Is it necessary for the Lord to come to you with a rod to show you that you need a higher experience before you can be fitted for connection with the family above? Will you link up with men who have a faculty for accusing, for thinking and speaking evil of the things that God approves? In the name of the Lord I tell you that you need clearer discernment and clearer spiritual eyesight." [8T 69]

"Through spiritualism many of the sick, the bereaved, the curious, are communicating with evil spirits. All who venture to do this are on dangerous ground. The word of truth declares how God regards them. In ancient times He pronounced a stern judgment on a king who had sent for counsel to a heathen oracle: “Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” 2 Kings 1:3, 4" [AA 290]

- Note: Going to lawyers is "going to the god of Ekron." Going to the god of Ekron was "spiritualism." Therefore, going to lawyers is spiritualism.

"The history of King Ahaziah’s sin and punishment has a lesson of warning which none can disregard with impunity. Though we do not pay homage to heathen gods, yet thousands are worshiping at Satan’s shrine as verily as did the king of Israel. The very spirit of heathen idolatry is rife today, though under the influence of science and education it has assumed a more refined and attractive form. Every day adds sorrowful evidence that faith in the sure word of prophecy is fast decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and satanic witchery are captivating the minds of men. All who do not earnestly search the Scriptures and submit every desire and purpose of life to that unerring test, all who do not seek God in prayer for a knowledge of His will, will surely wander from the right path and fall under the deception of Satan. . .

Ahaziah sent his servants to inquire of Baal-zebub, at Ekron; but instead of a message from the idol, he heard the awful denunciation from the God of Israel: “Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” It was Christ that bade Elijah speak these words to the apostate king. Jehovah Immanuel had cause to be greatly displeased at Ahaziah’s impiety. What had Christ not done to win the hearts of sinners and to inspire them with unwavering confidence in Himself? For ages He had visited His people with manifestations of the most condescending kindness and unexampled love. From the times of the patriarchs He had shown how His “delights were with the sons of men.” He had been a very present help to all who sought Him in sincerity. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them.” Yet Israel had revolted from God and turned for help to the Lord’s worst enemy.

The Hebrews were the only nation favored with a knowledge of the true God. When the king of Israel sent to inquire of a pagan oracle, he proclaimed to the heathen that he had more confidence in their idols than in the God of his people, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In the same manner do those who profess to have a knowledge of God’s word dishonor Him when they turn from the Source of strength and wisdom to ask help or counsel from the powers of darkness. If God’s wrath was kindled by such a course on the part of a wicked, idolatrous king, how can He regard a similar course pursued by those who profess to be His servants?" [5T 192, 195-196]

"How can men to whom have been committed the living oracles of God appeal to lawyers who are disloyal to God, to settle matters relating to the cause of God? Can we be surprised that more souls are not convinced of the truth when pride, self-love, and self-exaltation make those who claim to believe the truth more like men who have lost their first love than like the children of God?" [5MR 418]

"God has chosen a people out of the world, and has instructed them to remain forever separate from the world. While living in the world, they are not to be of the world. Dr. Kellogg has bound up himself with worldlings by inviting them into his councils; and he has been dishonoring the sacredness of the truth by bringing worldly lawyers into connection with the work of God's people. . ." [SpM 335]

"The interests of the cause of God are not to be committed to men who have no connection with heaven. Those who are disloyal to God cannot be safe counselors. They have not that wisdom which comes from above. They are not to be trusted to pass judgment in matters connected with God’s cause, matters upon which such great results depend. If we follow their judgment, we shall surely be brought into very difficult places, and shall retard the work of God.

Those who are not connected with God are connected with the enemy of God, and while they may be honest in the advice they give, they themselves are blinded and deceived. Satan puts suggestions into the mind and words into the mouth that are entirely contrary to the mind and will of God. Thus he works through them to allure us into false paths. He will mislead, entangle, and ruin us if he can.

Anciently it was a great sin for the people of God to give themselves away to the enemy, and open before them either their perplexity or their prosperity. Under the ancient economy it was a sin to offer sacrifice upon the wrong altar. It was a sin to offer incense kindled by the wrong fire.

We are in danger of mingling the sacred and the common. The holy fire from God is to be used in our efforts. The true altar is Christ; the true fire is the Holy Spirit. This is our inspiration. It is only as the Holy Spirit leads and guides a man that he is a safe counselor. If we turn aside from God and from his chosen ones to inquire at strange altars we shall be answered according to our works.

Let us show perfect trust in our Leader. Let us seek wisdom from the Fountain of wisdom. In every perplexing or trying situation, let God’s people agree as touching the thing they desire, and then let them unite in offering prayer to God, and persevere in asking for the help they need. We are to acknowledge God in all our counsel, and when we ask of Him, we are to believe that we receive the very blessings sought." [3SM 300]

Miscellaneous

"No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. Though he should possess great faith and have power even to work miracles, yet without love his faith would be worthless. He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God. In his zeal he might even meet a martyr’s death, yet if not actuated by love, he would be regarded by God as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious hypocrite." [AA 318]

"We profess to be the depositaries of God’s law; we claim to have greater light and to aim at a higher standard than any other people upon the earth; therefore we should show greater perfection of character and more earnest devotion. . . We profess to have more truth than other denominations; yet if this does not lead to greater consecration, to purer, holier lives, of what benefit is it to us? It would be better for us never to have seen the light of truth than to profess to accept it and not be sanctified through it." [5T 619, 620]

"To allow images of straw to be created as something to attack is one of the most unprofitable things that one can engage in. It is possible for one to educate himself to become Satan’s agent in passing along his suggestions. As fast as one is cleared away, another will be proffered." [Lt.244, 1906]

"What constitutes the sin against the Holy Ghost? It is willfully attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit." [5T 634]

"It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words and thoughts receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God." [1SM 21]

"Human minds vary. The minds of different education and thought receive different impressions of the same words, and it is difficult for one mind to give to one of a different temperament, education, and habits of thought by language exactly the same idea as that which is clear and distinct in his own mind. Yet to honest men, right-minded men, he can be so simple and plain as to convey his meaning for all practical purposes. If the man he communicates with is not honest and will not want to see and understand the truth, he will turn his words and language in everything to suit his own purposes. He will misconstrue his words, play upon his imagination, wrest them from their true meaning, and then entrench himself in unbelief, claiming that the sentiments are all wrong.

This is the way my writings are treated by those who wish to misunderstand and pervert them. They turn the truth of God into a lie. In the very same way that they treat the writings in my published articles and in my books, so do skeptics and infidels treat the Bible. They read it according to their desire to pervert, to misapply, to willfully wrest the utterances from their true meaning. They declare that the Bible can prove anything and everything, that every sect proves their doctrines right, and that the most diverse doctrines are proved from the Bible.

The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves. It is not that the difficulty is in the Bible. Opposing politicians argue points of law in the statute book, and take opposite views in their application and in these laws.

The Scriptures were given to men, not in a continuous chain of unbroken utterances, but piece by piece through successive generations, as God in His providence saw a fitting opportunity to impress man at sundry times and divers places. Men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. There is “first the bud, then the blossom, and next the fruit,” “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” This is exactly what the Bible utterances are to us.

There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. The miracles of Christ are not given in exact order, but are given just as the circumstances occurred, which called for this divine revealing of the power of Christ. The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures. But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread. Sharp contentions over the Bible have led to investigation and revealed the precious jewels of truth. Many tears have been shed, many prayers offered, that the Lord would open the understanding to His Word.

The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language. Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took humanity. The Bible must be given in the language of men. Everything that is human is imperfect. Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea. The Bible was given for practical purposes.

The stamps of minds are different. All do not understand expressions and statements alike. Some understand the statements of the Scriptures to suit their own particular minds and cases. Prepossessions, prejudices, and passions have a strong influence to darken the understanding and confuse the mind even in reading the words of Holy Writ.

The disciples traveling to Emmaus needed to be disentangled in their interpretation of the Scriptures. Jesus walked with them disguised, and as a man He talked with them. Beginning at Moses and the prophets He taught them in all things concerning Himself, that His life, His mission, His sufferings, His death were just as the Word of God had foretold. He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. How quickly He straightened out the tangled ends and showed the unity and divine verity of the Scriptures. How much men in these times need their understanding opened.

The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers.

It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words and thoughts receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God." —Manuscript 24, 1886 (written in Europe in 1886). {1SM 19-21]

Flat / Round Earth

"The same creative energy that brought the world into existence is still exerted in upholding the universe and continuing the operations of nature. The hand of God guides the planets in their orderly march through the heavens. It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth continues her motion round the sun and produces her bounties.

The word of God controls the elements. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth. He makes the valleys fruitful and “grass to grow upon the mountains.” (Psalm 147:8.) It is through His power that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom." [MB 77; partial quote in PP 115]

"It is not by an original power inherent in nature that year by year the earth produces its bounties, and the world keeps up its continual march around the sun. The hand of infinite power is perpetually at work guiding this planet. It is God’s power momentarily exercised that keeps it in position in its rotations." [GCDB, Feb. 18, 1897]

"Let those who are presenting theories as to whether the earth is round or flat, leave this question, for God has not given it to them to solve, and earnestly inquire, “What shall I do that I may have everlasting life?” Let them heed the answer, “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 neighbor as thyself.”" [21MR 419]

"There is to be an avoidance of controversy. We are to speak the truth in love. False doctrines of every kind will be brought in to divert the mind from a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Wherever we go, we shall find men ready with some side issue. While I was at Melrose, a man came with a message that the world is flat. I was instructed to present the commission that Christ gave His disciples just before His ascension, as recorded in Matthew 28:16-20. [Matthew 28:16-20, quoted.]

We are not to allow our minds to be occupied by subjects such as that presented by this man. In regard to such subjects, God says to every soul, “What is that to thee? Follow thou Me. I have given you your commission. Dwell upon the great testing truths for this time, not upon matters that have no bearing upon our work.”" [17MR 303,304]

Voting, Non-combatency / SDARM

"Dear Sister Steward, I commenced a letter to you some time since, but was called away. It was mislaid and I never finished it.

I received yours in due time and should have answered immediately but for the piece my husband wrote in the Review, which expresses my mind, although I am not fully settled in regard to taking up arms; but this looks consistent to me. I think it would please the enemy for us to obstinately refuse to obey the law of our country (when this law is not against our religious faith) and sacrifice our lives. It looks to me that Satan would exult to see us shot down so cheaply, for our influence could not have a salutary influence upon beholders, as the death of the martyrs. No, all would think we were served just right because we would not come to the help of our imperiled country. Were our religious faith at stake, we should cheerfully lay down our lives and suffer with Christ." [Letter 7, August 19, 1862; quoted in 2BIO 43-44]

"For the past ten years the Review has taught that the United States of America were a subject of prophecy, and that slavery is pointed out in the prophetic word as the darkest and most damning sin upon this nation. It has taught that Heaven has wrath in store for the nation which it would drink to the very dregs, as due punishment for the sin of slavery. And the anti-slavery teachings of several of our publications based upon certain prophecies have been such that their circulation has been positively forbidden in the slave States. Those of our people who voted at all at the last Presidential election, to a man voted for Abraham Lincoln. We know of not one man among Seventh-day Adventists who has the least sympathy for secession.

But for reasons which we will here state, our people have not taken that part in the present struggle that others have. . .

"2. The position which our people have taken relative to the perpetuity and sacredness of the law of God contained in the ten commandments, is not in harmony with all the requirements of war. The fourth precept of that law says, " Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy ;" the sixth says, "Thou "The shalt not kill." But in the Case of drafting, the government assumes the responsibility of the violation of the law of God, and it would be madness to resist. He who would resist until, in the administration of military law, he was shot down, goes too far, we think, in taking the responsibility of suicide.

We are at present enjoying the protection of our civil and religious rights, by the best government under heaven. With the exception of those enactments pressed upon it by the slave power, its laws are good. We may call in question the policy of the present administration... But whatever we may say of our amiable president, his cabinet, or of military officers, it is Christ-like to honor every good law of our land. Said Jesus, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Matt. xxii, 21. Those who despise civil law, should at once pack up and be off for some spot on God's foot-stool where there is no civil law.

When it shall come to this, that civil enactments shall be passed and enforced to drive us from obedience to the law of God, to join those who are living in rebellion against the government of Heaven, see Rev. xiii, 15-17, then it will be time to stand our chances of martyrdom. But for us to attempt to resist the laws of the best government under heaven, which is now struggling to put down the most hellish rebellion since that of Satan and his angels, we repeat it, would be madness." [James White, RH August 12, 1862]

“Are our people affected by the war?” she asked. “Yes,” I said, “hundreds have been pressed into the Army. Some have been killed and others are in perilous places.... Some of our people in America and in Europe feel that those of our brethren who have been forced into the Army would have done wrong to submit to military service. They think it would have been better for them to have refused to bear arms, even if they knew that as a result of this refusal they would be made to stand up in line to be shot.”

“I do not think they ought to do that,” she replied. “I think they ought to stand to their duty as long as time lasts.” [Willie C. White to Guy Dail, May 26, 1915; quoted in 6BIO 427]

'Thou shalt not kill' and pests/insects

"There are those who say that nothing, not even insects, should be killed. God has not entrusted any such message to His people. It is possible to stretch the command “Thou shalt not kill” to any limit; but it is not according to sound reasoning to do this. Those who do it have not learned in the school of Christ.

This earth has been cursed because of sin, and in these last days vermin of every kind will multiply. These pests must be killed, or they will annoy and torment and even kill us, and destroy the work of our hands and the fruit of our land. In places there are ants [termites] which entirely destroy the woodwork of houses. Should not these be destroyed? Fruit trees must be sprayed, that the insects which would spoil the fruit may be killed. God has given us a part to act, and this part we must act with faithfulness. Then we can leave the rest with the Lord.

God has given no man the message, Kill not ant or flea or moth. Troublesome and harmful insects and reptiles we must guard against and destroy, to preserve ourselves and our possessions from harm. And even if we do our best to exterminate these pests, they will still multiply." [3SM 329]

Photos and Idolatry

"It is a difficult matter for men and women to draw the line in the matter of picture-making. Some have made a raid against pictures, daguerreo-types, and pictures of every kind. Everything must be burned up, they say, urging that the making of all pictures is prohibited by the second commandment; that they are an idol.

An idol is anything that human beings love and trust in instead of loving and trusting in the Lord their Maker. Whatever earthly thing men desire and trust in as having power to help them and do them good, leads them away from God, and is to them an idol. Whatever divides the affections, or takes away from the soul the supreme love of God, or interposes to prevent unlimited confidence and entire trust in God, assumes the character and takes the form of an idol in the soul temple.

The first great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Here is allowed no separation of the affections from God. In 1 John 2:15-17 we read, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Now if the pictures made have a tendency to separate the affections from God, and are worshiped in the place of God, they are idols. Have those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ exalted these things above God, and given their affections to them? Has their love for treasures filled a place in their hearts that Jesus should occupy?

Have those who have burned up all their pictures of friends and any kind of pictures they happened to have, come up to a higher state of consecration for this act, and do they seem in words, in deportment, and in soul, to be ennobled, elevated, more heavenly-minded? Is their experience richer than before? Do they pray more, and believe with a more perfect faith after this consuming sacrifice which they have made? Have they come up into the mount? Has the holy fire been kindled in their hearts, giving new zeal and greater devotion to God and His work than before? Has a live coal from off the altar of sacrifice touched their hearts and their lips? By their fruits you can tell the character of the work." [3SM 330,331]

Prophecy

"God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the first, second, and third angels, He has separated them from the churches and from the world to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He has made them the depositaries of His law and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. The three angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God’s messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth." [5T 455]

"The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth's history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order." [2SM 387]

"The time of test is just upon us, for the Loud Cry of the Third Angel has already begun in the revelation of righteousness of Christ, the sin pardoning redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the Angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." [RH November 2, 1892]

"The three angels of Revelation 14 are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, symbolizing the work of those who proclaim the first, second, and third angels’ messages. All are linked together. The evidences of the abiding, everliving truth of these grand messages, that mean so much to the church, that have awakened such intense opposition from the religious world, are not extinct. Satan is constantly seeking to cast a shadow about these messages, so that the people of God shall not clearly discern their import, their time and place; but they live and are to exert their power upon our religious experience while time shall last." [6T 17]

"You think, that those who worship before the saint’s feet, (Revelation 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and “crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” And in the “hour of temptation,” which is yet to come, to show out every one’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint’s feet." [WLF 12]

"The Jews had been first called into the Lord’s vineyard, and because of this they were proud and self-righteous. Their long years of service they regarded as entitling them to receive a larger reward than others. Nothing was more exasperating to them than an intimation that the Gentiles were to be admitted to equal privileges with themselves in the things of God." [COL 400]

The Name "Seventh-day Adventist"

"We are Seventh-day Adventists. Are we ashamed of our name? We answer, 'No, no! We are not. It is the name the Lord has given us. It points out the truth that is to be the test of the churches.'" [2SM 384]

"We are Seventh-day Adventists, and of this name we are never to be ashamed." [2SM 384]

"In the name of the Lord we are to identify ourselves as Seventh-day Adventists. If any one among us is ashamed of our colors, and wishes to stand under another banner, let him do so as a private individual, not as a representative of Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary work.

Let us take our position as Seventh-day Adventists. The name is a true expression of our faith. I am instructed to call upon God’s people to bring their actions into harmony with their name, of which they have no need to be ashamed. The Seventh-day Adventist faith will bless whenever it is brought into the character-building." [KC 74]

"Christ was a Seventh-day Adventist, to all intents and purposes." [MM 49]

"He declared that Christ would come a second time in power and great glory, and establish his kingdom upon the earth, subduing all authority, and ruling over all nations. Paul was an Adventist; he presented the important event of the second coming of Christ with such power and reasoning that a deep impression, which never wore away, was made upon the minds of the Thessalonians." [3SP 389]

"Enoch was an Adventist. He directed the minds of men forward to the great day of God, when Christ will come the second time, to judge every man’s work." [ST Oct 12, 1904]

"We may claim to be Seventh-day Adventists, and yet fail of realizing how exalted is the standard to which we must attain in order to deserve this name. Some have felt ashamed of being known as Seventh-day Adventists. Those who are ashamed of this name should never connect with those who feel it an honor to bear this name. And those who are Christ’s witnesses, standing where the truths of the Bible have placed them, are worthy of the name they bear. Our Redeemer declares, 'Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven." And He further declares: 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven'" [Letter 6, 1903; partially quoted in 5MR 455]

"No name which we can take will be appropriate but that which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshipers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God and the requirements of the beast. It is because the saints are keeping all ten of the commandments that the dragon makes war upon them. If they will lower the standard and yield the peculiarities of their faith, the dragon will be at peace; but they excite his ire because they have dared to raise the standard and unfurl their banner in opposition to the Protestant world, who are worshiping the institution of papacy.

The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind. Like an arrow from the Lord's quiver, it will wound the transgressors of God's law, and will lead to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

I was shown that almost every fanatic who has arisen, who wishes to hide his sentiments that he may lead away others, claims to belong to the church of God. Such a name would at once excite suspicion; for it is employed to conceal the most absurd errors. This name is too indefinite for the remnant people of God. It would lead to the supposition that we had a faith which we wished to cover up.” [1T 223-224]

"Men will employ every means to make less prominent the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and observers of the first day of the week. A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner, or sign, which makes us a distinct people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed that this was not the best policy in order to secure success to our institutions. But this is not a time to haul down our colors, to be ashamed of our faith. This distinctive banner, described in the words, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus," is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. While efforts should be increased to advance in different localities, there must be no cloaking of our faith to secure patronage. Truth must come to souls ready to perish; and if it is in any way hidden, God is dishonored, and the blood of souls will be upon our garments." [6T 144]

"The banner of the third angel has inscribed upon it, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Our institutions have taken a name which sets forth the character of our faith, and of this name we are never to be ashamed. I have been shown that this name means much, and in adopting it we have followed the light given us from heaven.... The Sabbath is God’s memorial of His creative work, and it is a sign that is to be kept before the world.

There is to be no compromise with those who are worshiping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors.

A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12). This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God's memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and the disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance. . . ." [2SM 384-385]

Sanctifying Quotes

"The Father's presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord's permission, and “all things” that are permitted “work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28." [MB 71]

"The first half of the prayer Jesus has taught us is in regard to the name and kingdom and will of God—that His name may be honored, His kingdom established, His will performed. When you have thus made God’s service your first interest, you may ask with confidence that your own needs may be supplied. If you have renounced self and given yourself to Christ you are a member of the family of God, and everything in the Father’s house is for you. All the treasures of God are opened to you, both the world that now is and that which is to come. The ministry of angels, the gift of His Spirit, the labors of His servants—all are for you. The world, with everything in it, is yours so far as it can do you good. Even the enmity of the wicked will prove a blessing by disciplining you for heaven. If “ye are Christ’s,” “all things are yours.” 1 Corinthians 3:23, 21" [MB 110]

"God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ." [MB 117]

"A close connection with Heaven will give the right tone to your fidelity and will be the ground of your success. Your feeling of dependence will drive you to prayer and your sense of duty summon you to effort. Prayer and effort, effort and prayer, will be the business of your life. You must pray as though the efficiency and praise were all due to God, and labor as though duty were all your own. If you want power you may have it, as it is awaiting your draft upon it. Only believe in God, take Him at His word, act by faith, and blessings will come." [CH 367]

"Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven." [MYP 35]

"There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence." [2MCP 432]

"You may look up and say, Oh I am discouraged; I am in despair; I feel so terrible, and all this! What have your feelings to do with the matter? Do tell me. What have your feelings to do with these matters? Are they stronger than the Word, the immutable Word of Jehovah? Which is strongest? Is not the Word of God a solid basis? Is it not the Rock of ages? Well now, what will you do? Hide in that Rock. Let your heart go out to Jesus who has bought you as His own property with the price of His sacred life-blood." [MS 36, 1891; 1SAT 202]

"Take the word of Christ as your assurance. Has He not invited you to come unto Him? Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do you will lose much. By looking at appearances and complaining when difficulties and pressure come, you give evidence of a sickly, enfeebled faith. Talk and act as if your faith was invincible. The Lord is rich in resources; He owns the world. Look heavenward in faith. Look to Him who has light and power and efficiency." [COL 146]

"Whatever spiritual blessing we need, it is our privilege to claim through Jesus." [MB 133]

"To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling. Our Lord Himself has given the command, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and this command is also a promise of its fulfillment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should “all the fullness dwell,” and “in Him ye are made full.” Colossians 1:19" [MB 20]

Victory / Ceasing from Sin

"The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God." [14MR 128]

"“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own." [COL 69]

"Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest “in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7, margin. Through love “the righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4" [MB 77]

"While slander may blacken the reputation, it cannot stain the character. That is in God’s keeping. So long as we do not consent to sin, there is no power, whether human or satanic, that can bring a stain upon the soul." [MB 32]

"When we return with the Shepherd, and cease to sin, Christ says to the angels in Heaven: "Rejoice with Me; for I have found My sheep which was lost." [SJ 77]

"Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined." [1SM 363]

"None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ’s character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through co-operation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God’s assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory." [AA 531]

"Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour." [5T 216]

"The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If men keep the fourth commandment, they will keep all the rest." [Letter 31, 1898]

"The truth of a heavenly origin converts the soul. The truth from heaven has an influence upon the human life and upon the human character that is elevating, ennobling, sanctifying, refining—making us more and more like Jesus—and thus we are changed through the sanctification of the truth from glory to glory. What is the glory? It is the character—“From character to character.”" [MS 36, 1891]

"But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that works by love and purifies the soul." [FW 100]

"If you have become estranged and have failed to be Bible Christians, be converted; for the character you bear in probationary time will be the character you will have at the coming of Christ. If you would be a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth. The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny." [AH 16]

"Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God. When benevolence, kindness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, are manifest in our lives; when the joy of right doing is in our hearts; when we exalt Christ, and not self, we may know that our faith is of the right order. “Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” 1 John 2:3" [MB 146]

"The transgression of the law is sin, and the true believer in Christ will cease to sin. He will abhor sin, which caused so great sufferings to his Redeemer. He will not continue in sin that grace may abound, but he will cast away his sin--will war against the inclinations of the natural heart. This faith is not abstract, but attaches itself to actions. He shows the result of faith, which is obedience. He is learning to walk by faith, not by sight. He lives, yet not he, but Christ lives in him by faith. He eats, drinks, and does all things to the glory of God. Christ is to him first and last and best in everything." [17MR 330]

"The principles of righteousness must be implanted in the soul. The faith must grasp the power of Jesus Christ, else there is no safety. Licentious practices are getting to be as common as in the days before the flood. Not one should be buried with Christ by baptism unless they are critically examined whether they have ceased to sin, whether they have fixed moral principles, whether they know what sin is, whether they have moral defilement which God abhors. Find out by close questioning if these persons are really ceasing to sin, if with David they can say, I hate sin with a perfect hatred." --Letter 26d, 1887, p. 6. (To "Brother Covert and those who hold responsible positions in the Indiana Conference," September 27, 1887.) [6MR 165]

"True sanctification means perfect love, perfect obedience, perfect conformity to the will of God. We are to be sanctified to God through obedience to the truth. Our conscience must be purged from dead works to serve the living God. We are not yet perfect; but it is our privilege to cut away from the entanglements of self and sin, and advance to perfection. Great possibilities, high and holy attainments, are placed within the reach of all." [AA 565]

"The conditions of eternal life, under grace, are just what they were in Eden—perfect righteousness, harmony with God, perfect conformity to the principles of His law. The standard of character presented in the Old Testament is the same that is presented in the New Testament. This standard is not one to which we cannot attain. In every command or injunction that God gives there is a promise, the most positive, underlying the command. God has made provision that we may become like unto Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will and thus frustrate His grace." [MB 76]

"Holiness is within the reach of all who reach for it by faith, not because of their good works, but because of Christ's merits. Divine power is provided for every soul struggling for the victory over sin and Satan." [PUR Feb 23, 1905]

“All who claim to be Sabbath-keeping Adventists, and yet continue in sin, are liars in God’s sight. Their sinful course is counterworking the work of God. They are leading others into sin.” [19MR 177]

"This name is hallowed by the angels of heaven, by the inhabitants of unfallen worlds. When you pray, “Hallowed be Thy name,” you ask that it may be hallowed in this world, hallowed in you. God has acknowledged you before men and angels as His child; pray that you may do no dishonor to the “worthy name by which ye are called.” James 2:7. God sends you into the world as His representative. In every act of life you are to make manifest the name of God. This petition calls upon you to possess His character. You cannot hallow His name, you cannot represent Him to the world, unless in life and character you represent the very life and character of God. This you can do only through the acceptance of the grace and righteousness of Christ." [MB 107]

"As you arose from the watery grave at the time of your baptism, you professed to be dead, and declared that your life was changed—hid with Christ in God. You claimed to be dead to sin and cleansed from your hereditary and cultivated traits of evil. In going forward in the rite of baptism, you pledged yourselves before God to remain dead to sin. Your mouth was to remain a sanctified mouth, your tongue a converted tongue. You were to speak of God’s goodness, and to praise His holy name. Thus you were to be a great help and blessing to the church." [1SAT 366]

"Only those will enter heaven who in probationary time have formed a character that breathes a heavenly influence. The saint in heaven must first be a saint upon earth. The habits of speech, the character of our actions, put a mould upon us; and that which we cultivate in our association with others in this life, goes down into the grave with us, and will be unchanged when we come up from the grave. Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ; but there will be no conversion of heart at his appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above." [ST November 14, 1892]

"Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest “in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7 , margin. Through love “the righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4" [MB 77]

"The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion." [DA 763]

"Now, while we point the sinner to Jesus Christ as the one who can take away sin, we must explain to him what sin is, and show him the necessity of being saved from his sins, not in them. He must be made to feel that he must cease to transgress the law of God, which is to cease to sin. Paul makes the inquiry many years after the death of Christ, "Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Thus saying, Paul exalts the moral law. When this law is practically carried out in every-day life, it is found indeed to be the wisdom of God. It serves to detect sin. It discovers the defects in the moral character, and in the light of the law sin becomes exceeding sinful, revealing its true character in all its hideousness." [RH Sep 17 1881]

"Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to cry earnestly to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained.

Philippians 3:12: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”

The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them, they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation. A great work is required of the Christian. We are exhorted to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Here we see where the great labor rests. There is a constant work for the Christian. Every branch in the parent vine must derive life and strength from that vine, in order to yield fruit." [1T 340]

"The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a beautiful figure of Christian growth. As in nature, so in grace; there can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the development of the Christian life. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God’s purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be continual advancement. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. As our opportunities multiply, our experience will enlarge, and our knowledge increase. We shall become strong to bear responsibility, and our maturity will be in proportion to our privileges." [COL 65]

"Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall on us . . . " [5T 214].

"There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit." [DA 172].

"Infidels and lovers of sin excuse their crimes by citing the wickedness of men to whom God gave authority in olden times. They argue that if these holy men yielded to temptation and committed sins, it is not to be wondered at that they, too, should be guilty of wrongdoing; and intimate that they are not so bad after all, since they have such illustrious examples of iniquity before them." [4T 11]

"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.

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." [15MR 84]

"No one can fully enter into or understand the suffering of Christ, the Son of the infinite God. Proportionate to His majesty, His purity, His innocence, His exalted character, was the depth of His suffering as a substitute and surety for the human race. When the sinner realizes the aggravated character of sin, the transgression of the law, he will cease to sin. . . ." [10MR 290]

"The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper." [DA 490]

"Your only safety is in coming to Christ, and ceasing from sin this very moment. The sweet voice of mercy is sounding in your ears today, but who can tell if it will sound tomorrow." [ST August 29, 1892]

"We are to surrender our hearts to God, that He may renew and sanctify us, and fit us for His heavenly courts. We are not to wait for some special time, but today we are to give ourselves to Him, refusing to be the servants of sin. Do you imagine you can leave off sin a little at a time? O, leave the accursed thing at once! Hate the thing that Christ hates, love the thing that Christ loves. Has He not by His death and suffering made provision for your cleansing from sin?" [ST April 1, 1893].

"To-day the question is to come home to every heart, Do you believe in the Son of God? The question is not, Do you admit that Jesus is the Redeemer of the world? and that you should repeat to your soul and to others, "Believe, believe, all you have to do is to believe;" but, Do you have practical faith in the Son of God, so that you bring him into your life and character until you are one with him? Many accept of the theory of Christ, but they make it manifest by their works that they do not know him as the Saviour who died for the sins of men, who bore the penalty of their transgression, in order that they might be brought back to their loyalty to God, and through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, might find acceptance with God in their obedience to his law. Christ died to make it possible for you to cease to sin, and sin is the transgression of the law." [RH August 28 1894]

"The enemy will suggest that the Lord will not keep us from sinning, and make us obedient to all his requirements. He will direct our mind to our past imperfections, to our sins, failures, and mistakes, and tell us we need not expect to come off conquerors at last. We are not to listen to the suggestions of the enemy, or think that our unaided efforts can save us, but we are to believe that Jesus does the work for us. At times when we have exercised a little faith, we have experienced a little help, and we have hoped to be victorious overcomers. But have we had faith that through Christ we should be able to overcome every temptation as he overcame? We have not generally exercised this quality of faith. " [ST Sept 12, 1892]

"In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized." [Christ's Object Lessons, page 38]

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he can not sin, because he is born of God.” The standard which is to test every doctrine, every theory, every profession, is the law of God. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin,”—break the law of Jehovah. If a man is born of God, he will respect the principles of the divine government, and will not wilfully transgress the law of God in thought, or word, or action. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.” Jesus prayed that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and added, “Thy word is truth.”

...“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” This statement must be so read as to harmonize with the statement that if we are born of God, we shall not commit sin; for “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.” John says, “I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.”

“Whoso abideth in him sinneth not,” that is, does not wilfully transgress the law of God; for “sin is the transgression of the law.” But what conclusion are we to draw from the profession of those who claim to be sanctified, to be living without sin, and yet who openly cast contempt upon the law of God? They claim to possess advanced piety, and at the same time, by thought, and word, and deed, they transgress the law, and teach others by precept and example that they may sin with impunity. John tests their pretentious claims, and says, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” Those who claim to be sanctified, and who at the same time openly defame the law of God, are in terrible deception, and are blasphemers of the God of heaven. John says, “Let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness [keeps the commandments of God] is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin [transgresses the law] is of the devil.” God has placed the transgressor of the law in the ranks of the powers of darkness, in the company of the first great apostate.

...They do not avoid confession and repentance when the neglected law of God is brought to their attention, by exclaiming, as do the self-righteous pretenders to holiness, “I am sanctified, I am holy, and I can not sin.” This is the class whom the apostle rebukes; for he says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” It is evident that where a claim to sinlessness is made, there the law of God has not been written in the heart; for the commandments of God are exceeding broad, and are discerners of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The apostle speaks words of encouragement to those who realize that they are sinners, and says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “If we say we have no sin,” when our thoughts, words, and actions, reflected from the law of God, the great moral mirror, reveal us as transgressors, we make God a liar, and prove that his word is not in us." [ST April 30, 1896]

“The epistles of John breathe a spirit of love. But when he comes in contact with that class who break the law of God and yet claim that they are living without sin, he does not hesitate to warn them of their fearful deception. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if wewalk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from allsin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Ifwe say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”” [RH Feb 22, 1881]

Explanations and Context

1. "None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ." [AA 561]

"Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.

"None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ."

So will it be with all who behold Christ. The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone and shall make the apostle’s confession our own: “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Romans 7:18; Galatians 6:14.

Let the recording angels write the history of the holy struggles and conflicts of the people of God; let them record their prayers and tears; but let not God be dishonored by the declaration from human lips, “I am sinless; I am holy.” Sanctified lips will never give utterance to such presumptuous words.

...Let those who feel inclined to make a high profession of holiness look into the mirror of God’s law. As they see its far-reaching claims, and understand its work as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, they will not boast of sinlessness. “If we,” says John, not separating himself from his brethren, “say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8, 10, 9.

There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while refusing to render obedience to His commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth, to make a profession of faith in Christ, to believe that Jesus is no impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments,” John wrote, “is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.” “He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him.” 1 John 2:4, 5; 3:24

John did not teach that salvation was to be earned by obedience; but that obedience was the fruit of faith and love. “Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins,” he said, “and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” 1 John 3:5, 6. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in the heart, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God’s law." [AA 561-563]