Luther Warren, one of our pioneers, once said, "I would urge every one of our people: Study the Spirit of Prophecy as though your life depended on it."
That is good counsel.
This book will tell you why.
Soon Jesus Christ will return to earth, and we must get ready to meet Him! And we must warn others to get ready!
Read this book on your knees, and then share it with your loved ones. They need it also.
"Satan is . . constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of Gods remnant people in the true testimony." 1 Selected Messages, 48 [see 2 SM 78 for context]
What is the Spirit of Prophecy for?
How were we given our doctrinal positions?
Messages from the Lord"One stood by my side and said: God has raised you up and has given you words to speak to the people and to reach hearts as He has given to no other one. He has shaped your testimonies to meet cases that are in need of help. You must be unmoved by scorn, derision, reproach, and censure. In order to be Gods special instrument you should lean to no one, but hang upon Him alone and, like the clinging vine, let your tendrils entwine about Him. He will make you a means through which to communicate His light to the people. You must daily gather strength from God in order to be fortified, that your surroundings may not dim or eclipse the light that He has permitted to shine upon His people through you. It is Satan's special object to prevent this light from coming to the people of God, who so greatly need it amid the perils of these last days. " 2 Testimonies, 607-608
There are some among us who say the Spirit of Prophecy should be used for encouragement, but not for instruction. They say it should not be used in the pulpit. Sequeira declares it should not even be used privately to help Advent believers.
The truth is We should not refer to the Spirit of Prophecy as a basis for proving doctrine to Bible study interests. But, after they come into the faith, we very definitely are to study and share it with one another, on all levels of communication.
Yet the Spirit of Prophecy writings should be freely given to unbelievers, and they should be encouraged to study them.
"In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue." 4 Testimonies, 147-148.
"The first number of the Testimonies ever published contains a warning against the injudicious use of the light which is thus given to Gods people. I stated that some had taken an unwise course; when they had talked their faith to unbelievers, and the proof had been asked for, they had read from my writings instead of going to the Bible for proof. It was shown me that this course was inconsistent and would prejudice unbelievers against the truth. The Testimonies can have no weight with those who know nothing of their spirit. They should not be referred to in such cases." 5 Testimonies, 669.
"There are matters in the Testimonies that are written, not for the world at large, but for the believing children of God, and it is not appropriate to make instruction, warning, reproof, or counsel of this character public to the world. The worlds Redeemer, the Sent of God, the greatest Teacher the children of men ever knew, presented some matters of instruction, not to the world, but to His disciples alone . . He also had some special light and instruction to impart to His followers which He did not impart to the great congregation, as it would neither be understood nor appreciated by them . . The Lord Jesus thought it necessary to make many things clear to His disciples which He did not open to the multitudes." Testimonies to Ministers, 34-35.
"Some have taken an injudicious course; they have talked their faith to unbelievers, and when the proof has been asked for, they have read a vision, instead of going to the Bible for proof. I saw that this course was inconsistent, and prejudiced unbelievers against the truth. The visions can have no weight with those who have never seen them and know nothing of their spirit. They should not be referred to in such cases." 1 Testimonies, 119-120.
"[In his evangelistic meetings] Elder __ enters into no controversy with opponents. He presents the Bible so clearly that it is evident that anyone who differs must do so in opposition to the Word of God.
"Friday evening and Sabbath forenoon he spoke upon the subject of spiritual gifts, dwelling especially upon the Spirit of Prophecy. Those who were present at these discourses say that he treated the subject in a clear, forceful manner." Evangelism, 257 (1906).
"In his teaching Elder __ showed that the Spirit of Prophecy has an important part to act in the establishment of the truth. When binding off his work, he called for me . . to speak to the people." Evangelism, 257 (1906).
"The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy should be in every family, and should be read aloud in the family circle . . The Testimonies contain instruction which meets the case of all, both parents and children." Sons and Daughters of God, 178.
"Parents, your children are in danger of going contrary to the light given of heaven, and you should both purchase and read the books, for they will be a blessing to you and yours. You should lend Spirit of Prophecy to your neighbors and prevail upon them to buy copies for themselves . . Many are going directly contrary to the light which God has given to His people, because they do not read the books which contain the light and knowledge in cautions, reproofs, and warnings." 4 Testimonies, 391.
"If you really believe that the voice of God has spoken to you, pointing out your dangers, do you heed the counsels given? Do you keep these testimonies of warning fresh in your minds by reading them often with prayerful hearts? . . You will be held accountable for every one of these appeals and warnings. "3 Testimonies, 362-363.
"Do all you can to have my writings placed in the hands of the people in foreign lands." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 549.
"There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded." 1 Selected Messages, 48How were we given our doctrinal positions?
We initially received our Sanctuary positions from William Miller, which were modified and clarified by Samuel Snow and Hiram Edson. Joseph Bates brought us the Sabbath message, and we received the Spirit of Prophecy through Ellen White.
In 1848, the Sabbath conferences occurred, during which time a number of our pioneers reviewed and studied, in detail, into all our doctrinal positions.
However, it was easy for them to become misled. Had not all the religious groups before them developed doctrinal errors?
But Ellen White was present; and, as the group would go as far as they could in study, she would be taken off in vision and receive the correct interpretations.
Our people studied as earnestly as they could in the Bible, but each time they were beginning to veer off into error. Ellen White was given a vision to correct them. It is clear that, without the Spirit of Prophecy, we would not have our present doctrinal truths.
So that none of the group might think that these were merely the opinions of Ellen White, God arranged matters so that she could not grasp any scriptural or doctrinal truths during this entire time. This was quite obvious to all, so they were willing to accept the light she brought them from each vision as from God. In addition, of course, it would have been impossible to counterfeit the visions, themselves (no breathing for half an hour or so, etc.), which would occur in the presence of the entire group.
The best clarification of this is given in 1 Selected Messages, 206:4-208:2. Additional details will be found in 5 Testimonies, 655:4-656:0; Testimonies to Ministers, 24-26; and Gospel Workers, 302:2-3. All of these passages are quoted below:
"Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who are keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1884, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "We can do nothing more," the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus the light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A light of truth, extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.
"During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principle points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. The brethren knew that when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted as light direct from heaven the revelations given.
"For two or three years my mind continued to be locked to an understanding of the Scriptures. In the course of our labors, my husband and I visited Father Andrews [J.N. Andrews father], who was suffering intensely with inflammatory rheumatism. We prayed for him. I laid my hands on his head, and said, "Father Andrews, the Lord Jesus maketh the whole." He was healed instantly. He got up, and walked around the room, praising God, and saying, I never saw it on this wise before. Angels of God are in this room. The glory of the Lord was revealed. Light seemed to shine all through the house, and an angels hand was laid upon my head. From that time to this I have been able to understand the Word of God.
"What influence is it that would lead men at this stage of our history to work in an underhand, powerful way to tear down the foundation of our faiththe foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation? Upon this foundation we have been building for the past fifty years. Do you wonder that when I see the beginning of a work that would remove some of the pillars of our faith, I have something to say? I must obey the command, Meet it? . .
"I must bear the messages of warning that God gives me to bear, and then leave with the Lord the results. I must now present the matter in all its bearings; for the people of God must not be despoiled.
"We are Gods commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Wordespecially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of Heaven for these last days, as given by the angel of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point has been sought out by prayerful study and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority." 1 Selected Messages, 206-208.
"My husband, with Elders Joseph Bates, Stephen Pierce, Hiram Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, was among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure.
"We would come together burdened in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of investigation. The Scriptures were opened with a sense of awe. Often we fasted, that we might be better fitted to understand truth. After earnest prayer, if any point was not understood it was discussed, and each one expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest supplications went up to heaven that God would help us to see eye to eye, that we might be one as Christ and the Father are one. Many tears were shed.
"We spent many hours in this way. Sometimes the entire night was spent in solemn investigation of the Scriptures, that we might understand the truth for our time. On some occasions the Spirit of God would come upon me, and difficult portions were made clear through Gods appointed way, and then there was perfect harmony. We were all of one mind and one spirit.
"We sought most earnestly that the Scriptures should not be wrested to suit any mans opinions. We tried to make our differences as slight as possible by not dwelling on points that were of minor importance, upon which there were varying opinions. But the burden of every soul was to bring about a condition among the brethren which would answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples might be one as He and the Father are one.
"Sometimes one or two of the brethren would stubbornly set themselves against the view presented, and would act out the natural feelings of the heart; but when this disposition appeared, we suspended our investigations and adjourned our meeting, that each one might have an opportunity to go to God in prayer, and, without conversation with others, study the point of difference, asking light from heaven. With expressions of friendliness we parted, to meet again as soon as possible for further investigation. At times the power of God came upon us in a marked manner, and when clear light revealed the points of truth, we would weep and rejoice together. We loved Jesus; we loved one another." Testimonies to Ministers, 24-26.
"At this time there was fanaticism among some of those who had been believers in the first message. Serious errors in doctrine and practice were cherished, and some were ready to condemn all who would not accept their views. God revealed these errors to me in vision and sent me to His erring children to declare them; but in performing this duty I met with bitter opposition and reproach."5 Testimonies, 655-656.
"We are to be established in the faith, in the light of the truth given us in our earlier experience. At that time one error after another pressed in upon us; ministers and doctors brought in new doctrines. We would search the Scriptures with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit would bring the truth to our minds. Sometimes whole nights would be devoted to searching the Scriptures, and earnestly asking God for guidance. Companies of devoted men and women assembled for this purpose. The power of God would come upon me, and I was enabled clearly to define what is truth and what is error.
"As the points of our faith were thus established, our feet were placed upon a solid foundation. We accepted the truth point by point, under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. I would be taken off in vision, and explanations would be given me. I was given illustrations of heavenly things, and of the sanctuary, so that we were placed where light was shining on us in clear, distinct rays.
"I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years. It is the enemy that leads minds off on side-tracks. He is pleased when those who know the truth become engrossed in collecting scriptures to pile around erroneous theories, which have no foundation in truth. The scriptures thus used are misapplied; they were not given to substantiate error, but to strengthen truth."Gospel Workers, 302-303.
"Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation. It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit. We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are, the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step."Review, May 25, 1905; Counsels to Writers and Editors, 29.
"The searching testimony of the Spirit of God will separate those from Israel who have ever been at war with the means that God has ordained to keep corruptions out of the church. Wrongs must be called wrongs. Grievous sins must be called by their right name. All of Gods people should come nearer to Him . . Then will they see sin in the true light and will realize how offensive it is in the sight of God"5 Testimonies, 676.
"The plain, straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins."3 Testimonies, 269.
"Never was there greater need of faithful warnings and reproofs . . than at this very time. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. He is flooding the world with pleasing fables, and the people of God love to have smooth things spoken to them . . I was shown that Gods people must make more firm, determined efforts to press back the incoming darkness. The close work of the Spirit of God is needed now as never before."3 Testimonies, 327-328.
"We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith." Counsels to Writers and Editors, 32
"The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit." 1 Selected Messages, 202 (1903)
Messages from the Lord
If ever I have pled with you, please consider the following messages. If you will humble your heart before God in prayer, and ask that He might teach you your work for this time,and then, in humility of a learner, read the following gleanings from Gods Word,I assure you the Holy Spirit will move on your heart and set you on a new course of dedication, a deeper study of His holy Word, and an intensified determination to please Him in every way. vf
"In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the Testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue." 4 Testimonies, 147-148.
"God is either teaching His church, reproving their wrongs and strengthening their faith, or He is not. This work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work . . bears the stamp of God or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway work in the matter." 5 Testimonies, 671.
"As the Lord has manifested Himself through the spirit of prophecy, past, present, and future have passed before me. I have been shown faces that I had never seen, and years afterward I knew them when I saw them. I have been aroused from my sleep with a vivid sense of subjects previously presented to my mind; and I have written, at midnight, letters that have gone across the continent and, arriving at a crisis, have saved great disaster to the cause of God. This has been my work for many years. A power has impelled me to reprove and rebuke wrongs that I had not thought of. Is this work of the last thirty-six years from above or from beneath?"5 Testimonies, 671.
"If you lose confidence in the Testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth. I have been fearful that many would take a questioning, doubting position, and in my distress for your souls I would warn you. How many will heed the warning? As you now hold the Testimonies, should one be given crossing your track, correcting your errors, would you feel at perfect liberty to accept or reject any part or the whole? That which you will be least inclined to receive is the very part most needed." 5 Testimonies, 98.
"As the end draws near, and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends, it becomes more important for those who accept present truth to have as clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in His providence has linked with the work of the third angels message from its very rise." 5 Testimonies, 654.
"A wealth of moral influence has been brought to us in the last half century. Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of prophecy. Repeatedly the word has come, Write the things that I have given you to confirm the faith of My people in the position they have taken. Time and trial have not made void the instruction given, but through years of suffering and self-sacrifice have established the truth of the testimony given. The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken. If we study carefully the second chapter of Hebrews, we shall learn how important it is that we hold steadfastly to every principle of truth that has been given." 1 Selected Messages, 41.
"It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of Gods people in the Testimonies. Satan knows how to make his attacks . . The gifts are next questioned; then, of course, they have but little weight, and instruction given through vision is disregarded." 5 Testimonies, 672.
"Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction." 4 Testimonies, 211.
"I was shown that many had so little spirituality that they did not understand the value of the Testimonies or their real object. They talked flippantly of the Testimonies given by God for the benefit of His people, and passed judgment upon them, giving their opinion and criticizing this and that, when they would better have placed their hands upon their lips, and prostrated themselves in the dust; for they could not appreciate the spirit of the Testimonies, because they knew so little of the Spirit of God." 5 Testimonies, 672-673.
"God sets no man to pronounce judgment on His Word, selecting some things as inspired and discrediting others as uninspired. The testimonies have been treated in the same way; but God is not in this." 1 Selected Messages, 23.
"There are some in __ who have never fully submitted to reproof. They have taken a course of their own choosing. They have ever, to a greater or less degree, exerted an influence against those who have stood up to defend the right and reprove the wrong. The influence of these persons upon individuals who come here and who are brought in contact with them . . is very bad. They fill the minds of these newcomers with questionings and doubts in regard to the Testimonies of the Spirit of God. They put false constructions upon the Testimonies." 4 Testimonies, 513-514.
Some are unconscious of the harm they are doing; but, unconsecrated, proud, and rebellious themselves, they lead others in the wrong track. A poisonous atmosphere is inhaled from these unconsecrated ones. The blood of souls is in the garments of such, and Christ will say to them in the day of final settlement: Depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity. Astonished they will be, but their professedly Christian lives were a deception, a fraud.
"Some express their views that the testimony of Sister White cannot be reliable. This is all that many unconsecrated ones want. The testimonies of reproof have checked their vanity and pride; but if they dared, they would go to almost any length in fashion and pride. God will give all such an opportunity to prove themselves and to develop their true characters." 5 Testimonies, 673.
"I am sorry for my brethren who have been walking in the mist of suspicion and skepticism and false reasoning. I know that some of them would be blessed by messages of counsel if the clouds obscuring their spiritual vision could be driven back, and they could see aright. But they do not see clearly. Therefore I dare not communicate with them. When the Spirit of God clears away the mysticism, there will be found just as complete comfort and faith and hope in the messages that I have been instructed to give, as were found in them in years past." 1 Selected Messages, 30.
"I saw that the reason why visions had not been more frequent of late is, they have not been appreciated by the church. The church have nearly lost their spirituality and faith, and the reproofs and warnings have had but little effect upon them. Many of those who have professed faith in them have not heeded them." 1 Testimonies, 119.
"My brethren, beware of the evil heart of unbelief. The word of God is plain and close in its restrictions; it interferes with your selfish indulgence; therefore you do not obey it. The Testimonies of His Spirit call your attention to the Scriptures, point out your defects of character, and rebuke your sins; therefore you do not heed them. And to justify your carnal, ease-loving course you begin to doubt whether the Testimonies are from God. If you would obey their teachings you would be assured of their divine origin. Remember, your unbelief does not affect their truthfulness. If they are from God they will stand." 5 Testimonies, 234.
"I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies of warning, encouragement, and reproof is shutting away the light from Gods people. Unbelief is closing their eyes so that they are ignorant of their true condition." 5 Testimonies, 674.
"They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment, that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge." 3 Testimonies, 253-254.
"Many who have backslidden from the truth assign as a reason for their course that they do not have faith in the Testimonies . . The question now is: Will they yield their idol which God condemns, or will they continue in their wrong course of indulgence and reject the light God has given them reproving the very things in which they delight? The question to be settled with them is: Shall I deny myself and receive as of God the Testimonies which reprove my sins, or shall I reject the Testimonies because they reprove my sins?"4 Testimonies, 31-32.
"Satan has ability to suggest doubts and to devise objections to the pointed testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue, a mark of intelligence in them, to be unbelieving and to question and quibble. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence." 3 Testimonies, 255.
"God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith." 4 Testimonies, 232-233.
"Soon every possible effort will be made to discount and pervert the truth of the testimonies of Gods Spirit. We must have in readiness the clear, straight messages that since 1846 have been coming to Gods people.
"There will be those once united with us in the faith who will search for new, strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls."1 Selected Messages, 41.
"Let none entertain the thought that I regret or take back any plain testimony I have borne to individuals or to the people. If I have erred anywhere, it is in not rebuking sin more decidedly and firmly. Some of the brethren have taken the responsibility of criticizing my work and proposing an easier way to correct wrongs. To these persons I would say: I take Gods way and not yours. What I have said or written in testimony or reproof has not been too plainly expressed . .
"Those who would in any way lessen the force of the sharp reproofs which God has given me to speak must meet their work at the judgment . . To those who have taken the responsibility to reprove me and, in their finite judgment, to propose a way which appears wiser to them I repeat: I do not accept your efforts. Leave me with God, and let Him teach me. I will take the words from the Lord and speak them to the people. I do not expect that all will accept the reproof and reform their lives, but I must discharge my duty all the same. I will walk in humility before God, doing my work for time and for eternity." 5 Testimonies, 19-20.
"These words were spoken to me: Your work is appointed you of God. Many will not hear you, for they refused to hear the Great Teacher; many will not be corrected, for their ways are right in their own eyes. Yet bear to them the reproofs and warnings I shall give you, whether they will hear or forbear. "1 Selected Messages, 29.
"Many now despise the faithful reproof given of God in testimony. I have been shown that some in these days have even gone so far as to burn the written words of rebuke and warning, as did the wicked king of Israel. But opposition to Gods threatenings will not hinder their execution. To defy the words of the Lord, spoken through His chosen instruments, will only provoke His anger and eventually bring certain ruin upon the offender." 4 Testimonies, 180.
"From the beginning of my work, as I have been called to bear a plain, pointed testimony, to reprove wrongs, and to spare not, there have been those who have stood in opposition to my testimony and have followed after to speak smooth things, to daub with untempered mortar, and to destroy the influence of my labors. The Lord would move upon me to bear reproof, and then individuals would step in between me and the people to make my testimony of no effect." 5 Testimonies, 678-679.
"There are some in these last days who will cry: Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. But this is not my work. God has set me as a reprover of His people; and just so surely as He has laid upon me the heavy burden, He will make those to whom this message is given responsible for the manner in which they treat it. God will not be trifled with, and those who despise His work will receive according to their deeds." 4 Testimonies, 231-232.
"If God has given me a message to bear to His people, those who would hinder me in the work and lessen the faith of the people in its truth are not fighting against the instrument, but against God." 5 Testimonies, 680.
"It is not the instrument whom you slight and insult, but God, who has spoken to you in these warnings and reproofs. It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities that He has appointed to lead them." 5 Testimonies, 680.
"Some of you in words acknowledge reproof, but you do not in heart accept it. You go on the same as before, only being less susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God, becoming more and more blinded, having less wisdom, less self-control, less moral power, and less zeal and relish for religious exercises; and, unless converted, you will finally yield your hold upon God entirely. You have not made decided changes in your life when reproof has come, because you have not seen and realized your defects of character and the great contrast between your life and the life of Christ. What do your prayers amount to while you regard iniquity in your hearts? Unless you make a thorough change, you will, not far hence, become weary of reproof, as did the children of Israel; and, like them, you will apostatize from God." 5 Testimonies, 680.
"Many are going directly contrary to the light which God has given to His people, because they do not read the books which contain the light and knowledge in cautions, reproofs, and warnings. The cares of the world, the love of fashion, and the lack of religion have turned the attention from the light God has so graciously given, while books and periodicals containing error are traveling all over the country. Skepticism and infidelity are increasing everywhere. Light so precious, coming from the throne of God, is hid under a bushel. God will make His people responsible for this neglect. An account must be rendered to Him for every ray of light He has let shine upon our pathway, whether it has been improved to our advancement in divine things or rejected because it was more agreeable to follow inclination." 4 Testimonies, 391.
"Those who have most to say against the testimonies are generally those who have not read them, just as those who boast of their disbelief of the Bible are those who have little knowledge of its teachings. They know that it condemns them, and their rejection of it gives them a feeling of security in their sinful course." 1 Selected Messages, 45-46.
"Let ministers and people remember that gospel truth ruins if it does not save. The soul that refuses to listen to the invitations of mercy from day to day can soon listen to the most urgent appeals without an emotion stirring his soul. As laborers with God we need more fervent piety and less self-exaltation. The more self is exalted, the more will faith in the Testimonies of the Spirit of God be lessened . . Those who trust wholly in themselves will see less and less of God in the Testimonies of His Spirit. "5 Testimonies, 134.
"Those who have treated the light that the Lord has given as a common thing will not be benefited by the instruction presented.
"There are those who will misinterpret the messages that God has given, in accordance with their spiritual blindness.
"Some will yield their faith, and will deny the truth of the messages, pointing to them as falsehoods.
"Some will hold them up to ridicule, working against the light that God has been giving for years, and some who are weak in the faith will thus be led astray.
"But others will be greatly helped by the messages. Though not personally addressed, they will be corrected, and will be led to shun the evils specified . . The Spirit of the Lord will be in the instruction, and doubts existing in many minds will be swept away. The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture. Many will read with eagerness the messages reproving wrong, that they may learn what they may do to be saved . . Light will dawn upon the understanding, and the Spirit will make an impression on minds, as Bible truth is clearly and simply presented in the messages that since 1846 God has been sending His people. These messages are to find their place in hearts, and transformations will take place." 1 Selected Messages, 41-42.
"God has given sufficient evidence, so that all who desire to do so may satisfy themselves as to the character of the Testimonies; and, having acknowledged them to be from God, it is their duty to accept reproof, even though they do not themselves see the sinfulness of their course. If they fully realized their condition, what would be the need of reproof? Because they know it not, God mercifully sets it before them, so that they may repent and reform before it shall be too late. Those who despise the warning will be left in blindness to become self-deceived; but those who heed it, and zealously go about the work of separating their sins from them in order to have the needed graces, will be opening the door of their hearts that the dear Saviour may come in and dwell with them. Those who are most closely connected with God are the ones who know His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors." 5 Testimonies, 682-583.
"When the minds of persons reproved are under a strong deception, they naturally resist the testimony; and having taken an attitude of resistance, it is difficult for them afterward to acknowledge that they have been wrong." 1 Selected Messages, 51.
"I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the Church, given for the people of God. Here, said I, the cases of nearly all are met. The sins they are to shun are pointed out. The counsel that they desire can be found here, given for other cases situated similarly to themselves. God has been pleased to give you line upon line and precept upon precept. But there are not many of you that really know what is contained in the Testimonies. You are not familiar with the Scriptures." 2 Testimonies, 605.
"One stood by my side and said: God has raised you up and has given you words to speak to the people and to reach hearts as He has given to no other one. He has shaped your testimonies to meet cases that are in need of help. You must be unmoved by scorn, derision, reproach, and censure. In order to be Gods special instrument, you should lean to no one, but hang upon Him alone; and, like the clinging vine, let your tendrils entwine about Him. He will make you a means through which to communicate His light to the people. You must daily gather strength from God in order to be fortified, that your surroundings may not dim or eclipse the light that He has permitted to shine upon His people through you. It is Satan's special object to prevent this light from coming to the people of God, who so greatly need it amid the perils of these last days." 2 Testimonies, 607-608.
"There are some who think they are able to measure the character and to estimate the importance of the work the Lord has given me to do. Their own mind and judgment is the standard by which they would weigh the testimonies.
"My Instructor said to me, Tell these men that God has not committed to them the work of measuring, classifying, and defining the character of the testimonies. Those who attempt this are sure to err in their conclusions. The Lord would have men adhere to their appointed work. If they will keep the way of the Lord, they will be able to discern clearly that the work which He has appointed me to do is not a work of human devising." 1 Selected Messages, 49.
" Your success is in your simplicity. As soon as you depart from this and fashion your testimony to meet the minds of any, your power is gone. Almost everything in this age is glossed and unreal. The world abounds in testimonies given to please and charm for the moment and to exalt self. Your testimony is of a different character . . God has given you your testimony, to set before the backslider and the sinner his true condition and the immense loss he is sustaining by continuing a life of sin. God has impressed this upon you by opening it before your vision as He has to no other now living. "2 Testimonies, 608.
"Those who carefully read the testimonies as they have appeared from the early days, need not be perplexed as to their origin. The many books, written by the help of the Spirit of God, bear a living witness to the character of the testimonies." 1 Selected Messages, 49-50.
"I was shown that in the wisdom of God the sins and errors of all would not be revealed . . All who are guilty are addressed in these individual testimonies, although their names may not be attached to the special testimony borne; and if individuals pass over and cover up their own sins because their names are not especially called, they will not be prospered of God. They cannot advance in the divine life, but will become darker and darker, until the light of heaven will be entirely withdrawn." 2 Testimonies, 447.
"Sometimes in ministers and physicians bearing responsibilities there has developed a disposition to discard the testimonies, and I have been instructed not to place testimonies in their hands; for having yielded to the spirit that tempted and overcame Adam and Eve, they have opened mind and heart to the control of the enemy. Being on a false track, and laboring under deceptive imaginings, they will read into the testimonies things that are not there, but which are in agreement with the false statements that they have listened to. By reading the testimonies in the light of their own kindling, they are deceived, and will deceive others." 1 Selected Messages, 51-52.
"The Lord has seen fit to give me a view of the needs and errors of His people. Painful though it has been to me, I have faithfully set before the offenders their faults and the means of remedying them . . Thus has the Spirit of God pronounced warnings and judgments, withholding not, however, the sweet promise of mercy . .
"Repentant sinners have no cause to despair because they are reminded of their transgressions and warned of their danger. These very efforts in their behalf show how much God loves them and desires to save them. They have only to follow His counsel and do His will, to inherit eternal life. God sets the sins of His erring people before them, that they may behold them in all their enormity under the light of divine truth. It is then their duty to renounce them forever." 4 Testimonies, 15.
"Some who are not willing to receive the light, but who prefer to walk in ways of their own choosing, will search the testimonies to find something in them to encourage the spirit of unbelief and disobedience. Thus a spirit of disunion will be brought in." 1 Selected Messages, 48.
"Warnings and reproofs are not given to the erring among Seventh-day Adventists because their lives are more blameworthy than are the lives of professed Christians of the nominal churches, nor because the example of their acts are worse than those of the Adventists who will not yield obedience to the claims of Gods law, but because they have great light, and have by their profession taken their position as Gods special, chosen people, having the law of God written in their hearts. They signify their loyalty to the God of heaven by yielding obedience to the laws of His government. They are Gods representatives upon the earth. Any sin in them separates them from God and, in a special manner, dishonors His name by giving the enemies of His holy law occasion to reproach His cause and His people, whom He has called a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light." 2 Testimonies, 452.
"If those whose errors are pointed out make confession of their wrongdoing, the spell of the enemy may be broken. If they will repent and forsake their sins, God is faithful and just to forgive their sins, and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer, will remove the filthy garments from them, give them change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon their head. But so long as they refuse to turn from iniquity they cannot develop a character that will stand in the great day of judgment." 1 Selected Messages, 52.
"The Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear . . God rebukes, reproves, and corrects them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to His own throne." 2 Testimonies, 453.
"Testimonies of warning have been repeated. I inquire: Who have heeded them? Who have been zealous in repenting of their sins and idolatry, and have been earnestly pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? . . I have waited anxiously, hoping that God would put His Spirit upon some and use them as instruments of righteousness to awaken and set in order His church. I have almost despaired as I have seen, year after year, a greater departure from that simplicity which God has shown me should characterize the life of His followers. There has been less and less interest in, and devotion to, the cause of God. I ask: Wherein have those who profess confidence in the Testimonies sought to live according to the light given in them? Wherein have they regarded the warnings given? Wherein have they heeded the instructions they have received?" 2 Testimonies, 483-484.
"The Testimonies are not to belittle the Word of God, but to exalt it and attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all." 5 Testimonies, 665.
"As the word of God is walled in with these books and pamphlets, so has God walled you in with reproofs, counsel, warnings, and encouragements. Here you are crying before God, in the anguish of your souls, for more light. I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway until you make a practical use of the light already given. The Lord has walled you about with light; but you have not appreciated the light; you have trampled upon it. While some have despised the light, others have neglected it or followed it but indifferently. A few have set their hearts to obey the light which God has been pleased give them." 5 Testimonies, 666.
"When you gather up the rays of light which God has given in the past, then will He give an increase of light." 5 Testimonies, 666.
"Perilous times are before us. Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth should awake and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of Prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer?" 8 Testimonies, 298.
"Some sit in judgment on the Scriptures, declaring that this or that passage is not inspired, because it does not strike their minds favorably. They cannot harmonize it with their ideas of philosophy and science, falsely so called (1 Tim. 6:20). Others for different reasons question portions of the Word of God. Thus many walk blindly where the enemy prepares the way. Now, it is not the province of any man to pronounce sentence upon the Scriptures, to judge or condemn any portion of Gods Word. When one presumes to do this, Satan will create an atmosphere for him to breathe which will dwarf spiritual growth. When a man feels so very wise that he dares to dissect Gods Word, his wisdom is, with God, counted foolishness. When he knows more, he will feel that he has everything to learn. And his very first lesson is to become teachable. Learn of me, says the Great Teacher; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matt. 11:29).
"You who have been educating yourselves and others in a spirit of criticism and accusing, remember that you are imitating the example of Satan. When it suits your purpose, you treat the Testimonies as if you believed them, quoting from them to strengthen any statement you wish to have prevail. But how is it when light is given to correct your errors? Do you then accept the light? When the Testimonies speak contrary to your ideas, you treat them very lightly.
"It does not become anyone to drop a word of doubt here and there that shall work like poison in other minds, shaking their confidence in the messages which God has given, which have aided in laying the foundation of this work, and have attended it to the present day, in reproofs, warnings, corrections, and encouragements. To all who have stood in the way of the Testimonies, I would say, God has given a message to His people, and His voice will be heard, whether you hear or forbear. Your opposition has not injured me; but you must give an account to the God of heaven, who has sent these warnings and instructions to keep His people in the right way. You will have to answer to Him for your blindness, for being a stumbling block in the way of sinners.
" To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). Even the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart is to be tested by the Word of God. The Spirit which inspired the Scriptures always leads to the Scriptures." 1 Selected Messages, 42-43.
"It is not alone those who openly reject the Testimonies, or who cherish doubt concerning them, that are on dangerous ground. To disregard light is to reject it." 5 Testimonies, 680.
"When you find men questioning the testimonies, finding fault with them, and seeking to draw away the people from their influence, be assured that God is not at work through them. It is another spirit. Doubt and unbelief are cherished by those who do not walk circumspectly. They have a painful consciousness that their life will not abide the test of the Spirit of God, whether speaking through His Word or through the testimonies of His Spirit that would bring them to His Word. Instead of beginning with their own hearts, and coming into harmony with the pure principles of the gospel, they find fault, and condemn the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord." 1 Selected Messages, 45.
"In many cases the Testimonies are fully received, the sin and indulgence broken off, and reformation at once commences in harmony with the light God has given. In other instances sinful indulgences are cherished, the Testimonies are rejected, and many excuses which are untrue are offered to others as the reason for refusing to receive them. The true reason is not given. It is a lack of moral courage, a will, strengthened and controlled by the Spirit of God, to renounce hurtful habits." 4 Testimonies, 32.
"Let some skeptical one come along, who is not willing to square his life by the Bible rule, who is seeking to gain the favor of all, and how soon the class that are not in harmony with the work of God are called out. Those who are converted, and grounded in the truth, will find nothing pleasing or profitable in the influence or teaching of such a one. But those who are defective in character, whose hands are not pure, whose hearts are not holy, whose habits of life are loose, who are unkind at home, or untrustworthy in deal, all these will be sure to enjoy the new sentiments presented. All may see, if they will, the true measure of the man, the nature of his teaching, from the character of his followers . .
"There is in error and unbelief that which bewilders and bewitches the mind. To question and doubt and cherish unbelief in order to excuse ourselves in stepping aside from the straight path is a far easier matter than to purify the soul through a belief of the truth, and obedience thereto. But when better influences lead one to desire to return, he finds himself entangled in such a network of Satan, like a fly in a spiders web, that it seems a hopeless task to him, and he seldom recovers himself from the snare laid for him by the wily foe.
"When once men have admitted doubt and unbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, they are strongly tempted to adhere to the opinions which they have avowed before others. Their theories and notions fix themselves like a gloomy cloud over the mind, shutting out every ray of evidence in favor of the truth. The doubts indulged through ignorance, pride, or love of sinful practices, rivet upon the soul fetters that are seldom broken. Christ, and He alone, can give the needed power to break them.
"The testimonies of the Spirit of God are given to direct men to His Word, which has been neglected. Now if their messages are not heeded, the Holy Spirit is shut away from the soul. What further means has God in reserve to reach the erring ones, and show them their true condition?
"The churches that have cherished influences which lessen faith in the testimonies, are weak and tottering. Some ministers are working to attract the people to themselves. When an effort is made to correct any wrong in these ministers, they stand back in independence and say, My church accepts my labors.
"Jesus said, Every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. There are many today pursuing a similar course." 1 Selected Messages, 45-46.
"For years you have had many evidences that the Lord has given me a work to do. These evidences could scarcely have been greater than they are. Will you brush away all these evidences as a cobweb, at the suggestion of a mans unbelief? That which makes my heart ache is the fact that many who are now perplexed and tempted are those who have had abundance of evidence and opportunity to consider and pray and understand; and yet they do not discern the nature of the sophistries that are presented to influence them to reject the warnings God has given to save them from the delusions of these last days." 1 Selected Messages, 31.
"Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last. My writings are kept on file in the office, and even though I should not live, these words that have been given to me by the Lord will still have life and will speak to the people." 1 Selected Messages, 55.
"I thank God for the assurance of His love, and that I have daily His leading and guidance. I am very busy with my writing. Early and late, I am writing out the matters that the Lord opens before me. The burden of my work is to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. The promise of Christ is sure. The time is not long. We must work and watch and wait for the Lord Jesus. We are called upon to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. All our hopes have their foundation in Christ." 1 Selected Messages, 56.
"It takes those who have trained their minds to war against the truth to manufacture quibbles." 3 Testimonies, 37.
"We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith." Counsels to Writers and Editors, 32.
"The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit." 1 Selected Messages, 202 (1903).
"False theories will be mingled with every phase of experience, and advocated with satanic earnestness in order to captivate the mind of every soul who is not rooted and grounded in a full knowledge of the sacred principles of the Word." Review, January 7, 1904 (Our First Page Message, a comment on the book of Jude).
"Very adroitly some have been working to make of no effect the Testimonies of warning and reproof that have stood the test for half a century. At the same time, they deny doing any such thing." Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 31.
"Before the development of recent events, the course that would be pursued by Dr. Kellogg and his associates was plainly outlined before me. He with others planned how they might gain the sympathies of the people. They would seek to give the impression that they believed all points of our faith and had confidence in the Testimonies. Thus many would be deceived, and would take their stand with those who had departed from the faith." Ellen G. White, Letter 238, (1906).
"Brilliant, sparkling ideas often flash from a mind that is influenced by the great deceiver. Those who listen and acquiesce will become charmed, as Eve was charmed by the serpents words. They cannot listen to charming philosophical speculations, and at the same time keep the Word of the living God clearly in mind." 1 Selected Messages, 197.
"After looking upon the pleased, interested countenances of those who were listening, One by my side told me that the evil angels had taken captive the mind of the speaker . . I was astonished to see with what enthusiasm the sophistries and deceptive theories were received." Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 6, 41.
"My soul is so greatly distressed as I see the working out of the plans of the tempter that I cannot express the agony of my mind. Is the church of God always to be confused by the devices of the accuser, when Christ's warnings are so definite, so plain?" Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 23.
"In the very midst of us will arise false teachers, giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves. Creeping in unawares, they will use flattering words and make skillful misrepresentations with seductive tact." Review, January 7, 1904 (Our First Page Message, a comment on the book of Jude).
"I am afraid of the men who have entered into the study of the science that Satan carried into the warfare in heaven . . When they once accept the bait, it seems impossible to break the spell that Satan casts over them." Manuscript Releases, Vol. 11, 212-213.
"When engaged in discussion over these theories, their advocates will take words spoken to oppose them, and will make them appear to mean the very opposite of that which the speaker intended them to mean." Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 6, 42.
"The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization." 1 Selected Messages, 204.
"The contest will wax more and more fierce . . Mind will be arrayed against mind, plans against plans, principles of heavenly origin against principles of Satan . . There are men who teach the truth, but who are not perfecting their ways before God, who are trying to conceal their defections, and encourage an estrangement from God." Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 11, 5-6.
"I wish to sound a note of warning to our people nigh and afar off. An effort is being made by those at the head of the medical work in Battle Creek to get control of the property over which, in the sight of the heavenly courts, they have no rightful control . . There is a deceptive working going on to obtain property in an underhand way. This is condemned by the law of God. I will mention no names. But there are doctors and ministers who have been influenced by the hypnotism exercised by the father of lies. Notwithstanding the warnings given, Satan's sophistries are being accepted now just as they were accepted in the heavenly courts." Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 30.
"The long night interviews which Dr. Kellogg holds are one of his most effective means of gaining his point. His constant stream of talk confuses the minds of those he is seeking to influence. He misstates and misquotes words, and places those who argue with him in so false a light that their powers and discernment are benumbed. He takes their words, and gives them an impress which makes them seem to mean exactly the opposite of what they said." Ellen G. White, Letter 259, 1904.
"God is dishonored when we do not receive the communications that He sends us. Thus we refuse the golden oil which He would pour into our souls to be communicated to those in darkness." Review, February 3, 1903 (4 Bible Commentary, 1180).
"Early and late, I am writing out the matters that the Lord opens before me. The burden of my work is to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. The promise of Christ is sure The time is not long. We must work and watch and wait for the Lord Jesus. We are called upon to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." 1 Selected Messages, 56
"Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last . . These words that have been given to me by the Lord will still have life and will speak to the people." 1 Selected Messages, 55