- Opposing Forces -
Letter 8, August 4, 1850
Manuscript 7, August 24, 1850
Manuscript 1, February 1, 1890
Manuscript 5, 1890 Letter 12, August 12, 1890
Letter 109, December 6, 1890
Letter 23c, July 20, 1894
Letter 83, May 22, 1896
Manuscript 46, March 31, 1898
Letter 96, July 5, 1900
Letter 131, October 14, 1900
Letter 98, June 19, 1901
Letter 155, September 15, 1901
Manuscript 124, December 9, 1901
Manuscript 169a, July 14, 1902
Manuscript 118, October 6, 1902
Letter 83, May 13, 1903
Manuscript 5, January 20, 1904
Letter 59, January 22, 1904
Manuscript 36, March 24, 1906
Letter 136, April 27, 1906
Manuscript 35, March 7, 1908
I was pointed back to the children of Israel in Egypt. I saw when God worked through Moses before Pharaoh the magicians came up and said they could do the same. I saw the same work was now going on in the world and among the professed churches similar to the work of the magicians anciently. I saw the power of the magicians has increased within a few months tenfold, and it will still be on the increase and spread, and unless Israel is rising and increasing in power and strength and is growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, the powers of darkness will get the victory over them.
I saw Satan would work more powerfully now than ever he has before. He knows that his time is short and that the sealing of the saints will place them beyond his power, he will now work in every way that he can, and will try his every insinuation to get the saints off their guard and get them asleep on present truth, or doubting it, so as to prevent their being sealed with the seal of the living God; and that Satan will ere long come in almost human shape, and that his angels were all around them seeking some way that they might devour them....
I saw that God wanted His people to be separate from the world; for wicked persons were the lawful prey of the enemy, and he would work through them in every way to perplex and destroy the saints, and if we were obliged to be in company with the wicked persons we must pray and watch every moment lest we should partake of their spirit; for they corrupted the atmosphere where they were and their very breath was darkness; and that the wicked would wax worse and worse, and we must cut loose from them and be free and free indeed. God does not want His people to mingle with the wicked more than they are obliged to.
I saw that the rapping was the power of the devil. Some of it was directly from him and some indirectly, but it all proceeded from Satan. It was his work, which he accomplished in different ways; and the nominal churches and the world were so covered up in darkness that they thought and held forth that it was the power of God. Said the angel, "Should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" [Isaiah 8:19].... "The dead know not any thing," [Ecclesiastes 9:5]. For the living God do ye go to the dead? They have departed from the living God to converse with the dead, who know not any thing.
I saw that it would soon be considered blasphemy to speak against the rapping, and it would spread more and more, and Satan's power would increase and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles and bring down fire from heaven; and they would claim to accomplish all the miracles that Jesus did when He was upon earth by the power of Spiritualism and Mesmerism.
I saw that the time would soon come when we should have to keep hold of the strong arm of Jehovah; for I saw all these great signs and mighty wonders of the devil were designed to deceive God's people and to overthrow them; and we must not fear the wicked, but be bold and valiant for the truth.
Could our eyes be opened, we should see forms of wicked angels around us, trying to invent some new and effectual way to annoy and destroy us; for I saw that God's watchful eye was over Israel, and that He would protect and save them, if they would put their trust in Him; and, when the enemy should come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord would lift up a standard against him.
We must work while the day lasts, and when Satan comes up with his power to oppress us we must have faith in God and beat him back. If we could not get the victory we should fast and pray, and we will surely get the victory and triumph over Satan.
We have been pained as we have had brought to our notice papers, advertisers of sorcery and witchcraft, the work of magicians and all this sort of thing, going on in Battle Creek.... There is in these manifestations of a power that is above human power; and where is it? It is the power of Satan; and just as soon as you begin to bring yourselves in connection with these sorcerers, and give them the least license, you dishonor the God of heaven, and imperil your own souls....
How is he [Satan] working here in Battle Creek? Here come up these magicians and there is an itching curiosity to go and see; and when they [Seventh-day Adventist young people] go to see, they bring themselves into contact with them [the sorcerers and magicians]; and when they bring themselves in contact with them, they are in direct communication with the power of darkness.
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word" [Psalms 119:9]. Why, then, do the teachers in our colleges and schools depend upon books for the education of children and youth that are filled with falsehood and cheapness, with fairy tales and stories, and which fill the minds of the young with desires for the unreal? Why should not the lessons which children and youth learn be pure, elevating, and ennobling? Cannot books be written that are free from every species of error? Is there not talent enough among Seventh-day Adventists to write books containing the simple lessons of the Old and New Testaments?
The study of Old Testament history is of great value to both children and youth, and the lessons contained in the New Testament were given by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. Why, then, should we depend upon the productions of men who have not worked to the glory of God, whose minds have not discerned truth from error or light from darkness? Is there not enough in the great plan of redemption to engross every mind? A knowledge of this plan will not only educate and discipline the mind, but will attract and sharpen the intellect. Our lives should be full of Jesus, and we should now be preparing for a better and a clearer knowledge of Him.
Why do our people, in the instruction of their children, depend upon books which contain objectionable errors? When the children ask what these stories mean, which are so contrary to all they have been taught, the parents answer that they are not true, and yet they continue to place the books before their children. Thus error is brought into the education of the young. But no one seems to realize that the ideas presented in these books mislead children, and that the imaginary stories, novels, and fables which are dealt out to feed their minds beget a taste and encourage an appetite for the unreal things of life.
When we have an abundance of that which is real and that which is divine, why do we not feed the minds of children with this kind of food? Books which contain a perversion of truth, and which will mislead growing minds, should never be placed before children or youth; and those with mature minds would be far better, far purer, stronger and more noble if they had nothing to do with them.
I sought to get this matter before our people last Christmas, but other subjects demanded so much of my time and strength that I could not do the work I greatly desired to do. When the resolution was brought up, that nothing should be taught in the college during the coming year but that which had been taught heretofore, without being brought before the Conference . I protested; for there had been many things presented to me which I could not at that time present before the Conference, because they were not prepared for it.
A decided reform is needed in the lessons given to the children and youth in our symbols. In every department we must move upward, taking no low level.
You may say, Our Sabbath schools give instruction in regard to truth. Yes, and then as the children go to day school [during the week], books are placed before them which confuse the mind, and lessons which are false are given them to learn. These things need close criticism, for if you educate the young from books which contain a perversion of truth, how will you be able to counteract the influence of this education? You are sowing seed, and must prepare for the harvest.
I do not urge that the reasons for every phase of our faith shall be brought into our school education; this the students can obtain in the Sabbath school and the church. But the lessons given in the Old and New Testaments should be carefully selected and arranged as to be interesting and attractive to the minds of children. That which Christ has taught is certainly safe and advisable to bring into the education of students. Children are not blind and deaf to the perversion of truth; their minds are easily impressed, and the impressions given should be of a right character.
We are not at liberty to teach that which will reach the world's standard, or the standard of the church, because it is the custom to do so! We are safe only when following the lessons of Jesus Christ. That which was safe for Him to teach, is safe for our children to study. Eternal life is before us, and do we not want our children to win the precious boon? But all who win eternal life, old or young, must put aside their likes and dislikes, and with simplicity of heart and profound humility they must search God's Word. Those who are bold and domineering and full of self-sufficiency, will not search the Scriptures with an eye single to the glory of God; for they will seek to find something with which to vindicate their own ideas and sustain their own theories. There is a great deal of insubordination in the heart that is not fully sanctified.
It is all-important that we each have an eye single to discern and understand from the heart the high things of God; for even that which we have before considered to be light may be found to be sparks of our own kindling. Man cannot possibly interpret the Scriptures correctly by his own light, and measure them by his own narrow comprehension. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise" [1 Corinthians 3:18]. When, through the grace of Christ, man has crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, then, and then only, can he become a partaker of the divine nature. But many act as though they were above the Lord Jesus Christ. He was pure and undefiled, wholly obedient to His Father's commandments, and His true followers must be as He was.
These are the lessons which children should learn in school. If the inward life is perfect, a noble experience will be seen; and we shall see beyond the present narrow compass of time and sense. Is the world becoming more dead to the teachers in our day schools and Sabbath schools? Are they seeking those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God? The religion of Jesus Christ is from above, and can have nothing in common with the show and illusion of the world.
The Lord has plainly shown me that what you regard as communications from God to you and others through your child Anna, are not from him. They do not bear the divine credentials. It is another spirit that controls the child. It is the enemy that works in her. Such manifestations will be more and more common in these last days. They do not lead to unity into all truth, but away from the truth....
In several cases the ones who claimed to have visions had a testimony for me, that I must do certain things--A class of humiliating acts which I will not mention, all the outgrowth of fanaticism....
I have seen several fall in vision; but when I rebuked the spirit which controlled them, they immediately came out of vision and were in great distress of mind.
Such experiences as these came to be very common. Several in one family were under this species of deception. One would see that sister which was exalted....Another would see that he must go to a certain place and remain there two, three, or four weeks. These visions found credit with some who were lacking in wisdom....
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 God's remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead and mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them.
Likewise, he works through persons who have been reproved for some inconsistency in their religious life, for some course of action which was dangerous to themselves and others. Instead of receiving the testimony as a blessing from God, they refused the means God uses to set them right. Such apparently may be very zealous for God, but they put their own interpretation upon the word and make it contradict what the Lord has revealed in the testimonies. They think they are doing God's service, but such work has not been given them to do....
The present is a time of great peril to the people of God. God is leading out a people, not an individual here and there. He has a church on earth that abides in the truth....
The evils which have existed in all ages will continue to exist till the close of probation. We need to understand the cause of these evils, and the modes of Satan's attacks, that we may be able to resist them. We have to meet not only men who fall into error, but principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Satan is battling for his empire which the servants of God are determined to wrench from him.
It is a critical time now with many. There are a number in the valley of decision, right upon the point of taking their stand. One...is a man of ability, but as soon as he takes his position then he can no more keep his place, and his wife is a bitter opposer. Oh, may the Lord help these poor souls. I think we must pray more for these persons, convinced by those who see the cross and dare not lift it, for to do so would take away the support, and they have families. They know the truth and feel deeply, but dare not venture....
There are so many influences to draw away from heavenly realities to the earthly that my soul trembles with apprehension for those who see the truth and have not faith that they dare venture to obedience. Oh, that the compassionate Redeemer may be to those dear souls a present help in every time of need and they may have grace to sing, "Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee."...
The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our people in the Testimonies, and when these errors come in, they claim to prove all the positions by the Bible, but they misinterpret the Scriptures. They make bold assertions...and misapply the prophecies of the Scriptures to prove falsehood. And after men have done their work of weakening the confidence of the church in the Testimonies, they have torn away the barrier that unbelief in the truth shall become widespread, and there is no voice to be lifted up to stay the force of evil.
This is just as Satan has designed it should be, and those who have been preparing the way for the people to pay no heed to the warnings and reproofs of the Testimonies of the Spirit of God will see that a tide of errors of all kinds will spring to life. They will claim Scripture as their evidence, and deceptions of Satan in every form will prevail.
I know that Elder [Uriah] Smith and Elder [G.I.] Butler and [J.H.] Morrison and [L.] Nicola have been doing a work in their blindness that they will not wish to meet in the judgment....
I have loved Brother Smith next to my own husband and children....I have highly esteemed Elder Butler. But these men have left me alone--these men, to whom the Lord has spoken several times that they should stand united with my husband and myself in closest union till the close of time. They have caused me such sadness and grief of spirit as I cannot describe. I felt my husband's death, oh, how keenly God alone knows, but I have felt the cruel course of these men toward the work of God He has given me to do, more keenly than the death of my husband....I know their position perfectly. It is kept before me in many ways, until the only relief I can get is to keep away from Battle Creek where the influence of these things is prevailing and active.
In the night season I was in a dream or vision, which revealed some things in Battle Creek. My guide said, "Follow me." I was directly in Battle Creek; the streets were alive with bicycles ridden by our own people. There was a witness from heaven beholding our people indulging their desire for selfish gratification, and using the money in this way that should be invested in foreign missions to unfurl the banner of truth in the cities, and in the by-ways of the land. There was an infatuation, a craze upon the subject. The course of those who invest money in these things when starvation is at the very door of thousands, does not bear a telling testimony to the truth that the end of all things is at hand. These things are counterworking against the messages that God has given his messengers to proclaim in order to arouse the world to the great event which is just before us.
The Witness from heaven said, "I will turn my face from you for your pleasant picture and your selfish practices which are misrepresenting the religion of Jesus Christ, and preparing a people, through denying him in practice, to be ensnared by the deceptions of these last days." Every device that Satan can invent to make our people disloyal to Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, will be ready at hand. The notices given in our papers extolling bicycles might better be cut out and in their place the destitute foreign fields be represented. "My people," saith the Lord, "do err and separate from the Source of their strength. In their works they deny men, and I will turn my face from them, unless they repent and do their first works."
America, and especially Battle Creek, where the greatest light from heaven has been shining upon the people, can become the place of greatest peril and darkness because the people do not continue to practice the truth and walk in the light. What was the meaning of the movement last winter (1893-94) in giving up jewelry and ornaments? Was it to teach our people a lesson? Were they prompted by the Holy Spirit to do those things, and to use the avail in the advancement of the work of God in foreign countries? And has Satan been counteracting the movement of the Holy Spirit upon human hearts, that reaction shall be allowed to take place, and another evil exit? The present manifestation is strikingly inconsistent with that movement of stripping off the ornaments and giving up selfish indulgences which absorb the means, the mind, and the affections, diverting them into false channels.
The light given me of God is that there is a work to be wrought in the heart which will not permit the mind and means to be thus perverted from the great subject that should absorb every mind,--the kingdom of god and his righteousness. Prepare, prepare for the great day of God. How can the people of Battle Creek interpret such movements, so difficult to harmonize one with the other? May the Lord help his representative men to turn their influence into channels which he can approve.
It is the work of the Holy spirit to act as reprover. This I am bidden to say to you, is the work that has been and must continue to be carried on in every church in our land. The more nearly we approach the closing scenes of this earth's history, the more pronounced will be the work of Satan; every species of deception will take the lead to divert the mind from God through Satan's devices. The imagination will be intensely awakened in human minds to absorb money in buildings for convenience or to expend it unnecessarily through some excuse or invention of Satan; so that there will be less money to support laborers in the field, and less money for the opening of new fields, and money will be unwisely appropriated to do things that are really good works, but by doing which the larger and more essential work is cramped, and many things cannot be undertaken at all, in the lifting of the banner of truth in new fields, with the proper dignity that should characterize the proclamation of warning that should be given to our world. If at the great heart of the work the pulse beats are violent and erratic, the peril to spiritual life affect the whole body.
Brethren and sisters in Battle Creek, I inquire, Who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, not only by profession, but by practice? Shall the idols be expelled from the heart, and Jesus be enthroned there? He is standing knocking at the door of every heart; do you hear his voice saying, Open unto me, I have heavenly treasures, goods of imperishable value; buy of me gold tried in the fire that you may be rich; buy white raiment and eye-salve? These are the goods you need, which, if you possess, will open to you the pearly gates of the city of God. He has been calling, calling in the rich gospel feast he has presented to you, that you may be fed with the Bread of Life, and Christ is still knocking at the door of your hearts.
Many go to Battle Creek expecting to find an influence similar to that of heaven, but they soon find practices not at all in accordance with their ideas of truth, and the separate, peculiar people who are to represent the most pure, holy principles of religion that were ever given to the world. Many have been led to walk in false paths through being brought in connection with those who are not consecrated, self-denying followers of Jesus Christ. These false professors have served as decoys to divert souls from the principles of truth and righteousness.
Where are the faithful sentinels in Battle Creek to keep the fort? Where are the minute men to be on guard and not relax their vigilance for one moment,--men who watch, men who pray, men who walk humbly in meekness and lowliness, after the example of the greatest Missionary that ever visited our world, who is our Pattern?
My soul is weighed down continually as a cart beneath sheaves. O why do men become so spiritually blind? Poor triflers prefer their idols to Jesus Christ, admitting them into the heart, while Jesus is left standing without. Will you compel God to work, and dash one after another of your idols to the ground, that those who claim to be Christians may be driven from the perishable to the eternal?
You have been made the depositaries of sacred, solemn messages of warning to an idolatrous and impenitent world, and the Lord is not pleased with your ways; he cannot prosper you in thus misrepresenting the truth, denying the message by your own course of action. Will our people awake? Will they continue to strain every nerve to purchase things they do not positively need, which are making them a by-word before the world? The Lord has money in the hands of his stewards, which they are misappropriating, binding it up in idols of some description.
We have set before you our wants in this foreign field, but you have not had ears to hear and hearts to feel, and instead of considering our position in this new region beyond, instead of denying yourselves that we may have facilities, you bind up the things of God in the things which he names idols. It is time that there was a different order of things in Battle Creek, else the judgments of God will surely fall upon the people. His blessing has rested upon you in large measure; has it made you laborers together with him? Are not our people in Battle Creek demonstrating to unbelievers that they do not believe the truth which they claim to advocate? God has been calling them away from every species of self-indulgence, and all manner of extravagance. When the church has had great light, then is her peril if she does not walk in the light, and put on her beautiful garments, and arise and shine; darkness will becloud the vision, so that light will be regarded as darkness, and darkness as light. When the believers in Battle Creek shall not only be penitent occasionally, but shall walk in humility, doers of the word, the world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. O how can the Spirit speak to impress hearts so that they will obey his voice.
Much that has been revealed to me crowds upon my mind, which I hardly know how to express. Yet I cannot hold my peace. The Lord is indignant at men who set themselves up to rule their fellowmen, and to carry out plans which the Holy Spirit has condemned....
The natural heart is not to bring its own tainted, corrupting principles into the work of God. There must be no concealing of the principles of our faith. The third angel's message is to be sounded by God's people. It is to swell to the loud cry. The Lord has a time appointed when He will bind off the work; but when is that time? When the truth to be proclaimed for these last days shall go forth as a witness to all nations, then shall the end come. If the power of Satan can come into the very temple of God, and manipulate things as he pleases, the time of preparation will be prolonged....
Men in responsible positions have manifested the very attributes that Satan has revealed....There has been an effort to bring God's servants under the control of men....Principles have been born that should never have seen the light of day....Finite men have been warring against God and the truth and the Lord's chosen messengers, counterworking them by every means they dared to use....
It is an offense to God that His work should be restricted by human beings....Nothing that man can manufacture can take the place of God's Holy Spirit! Nothing that man's wisdom can invent will justify the violation of truth, or a disregard of the rights of humanity....The enemy would clog the wheels of progress, and prevent the truths of the gospel from being circulated everywhere. With this object he leads men to feel that it is their privilege to control the consciences of their fellow-men according to their own perverted ideas. Then dismiss the Holy Spirit from their counsels, and then, under the power and name of the General Conference, they invent regulations through which they compel men to be ruled by their own ideas and not by the Holy Spirit.
The plans to obtain control of human minds and abilities are as strange fire, which is an offense to God....There is need of an education in regard to the rights and duties of men in authority....Until the day of trial comes, how little men know of their own weaknesses. They think themselves wise, and make themselves fools. There is nothing that men may pride themselves in. Even those in most responsible positions do fall into sin, while apparently surrounded by the best religious privileges....
God reads the motives that underline the work of which I have spoken. These motives have been revealed to me, and I feel a depth of sorrow that is beyond expression. I cannot vindicate motives or methods, because they are an offense to God. I must take my stand fully. But what need for me to say more? I have written over and over again, but what has been the effect of the testimonies? What reformations have they wrought?...
Justification by faith will be manifest in transformation of character. This is the sign to the world of the truth of the doctrines we profess. The daily evidence that we are a living church is seen in the fact that we are practicing the Word. A living testimony goes forth to the world in consistent Christian action. It declares to a world apostatized that there is a people who believe that our safety is in clinging to the Bible. This testimony is in unmistakable distinction from that of the great apostate church, which adopts human wisdom and authority in place of the wisdom and authority of God....
The Lord Jesus is needed to cleanse the institution at Battle Creek as verily as He was needed to cleans the temple when he was on earth. O that our institutions might be purified from the buyers and the sellers, and the merchandise....
Men have come to Battle Creek who have been accompanied by the Holy Spirit; but unless they fought every inch of ground over and over again, in seeking to maintain correct methods, they were at last overborne. Right at the point where our work centers, they have seen corruption....God would have His temple no longer a den of thieves and moneychangers....The Lord will not be trifled with. He will test and try his people; He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather His wheat into His garner.
We should be careful to avoid leaving an impression on human minds that will cut off our influence with them and hedge up our way. We may tie our hands and hinder our work because by some unadvised word or action of ours, we may have awakened prejudice. "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God" [1 Peter 2:15, 16].
There must be no sharp retaliation between brother and brother, or against those who know not God, or Jesus Christ whom He has sent. These men are in darkness and error, and what we as a people restrain from doing that we may leave a correct impression upon their minds will do more to give a correct knowledge of the work in which we are engaged than all efforts to maintain the liberty given us by God. But when any requirement is made that shows disrespect to the seventh-day Sabbath, we are to refuse compliance. Here eternal interests are involved, and we are to know the ground we should occupy.
Those who compose our churches have traits of character that will lead them, if they are not very careful, to feel indignant because, on account of misrepresentation, their liberty in regard to working on Sunday is taken away. Do not fly into a passion over this matter, but take everything in prayer to God. He alone can restrain the power of rulers. Walk not rashly. Let none boast unwisely of their liberty, using it for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" [Verse 17].
This advice is to be of real value to all who are to be brought into straight places. Nothing that shows defiance, or that could be interpreted as maliciousness, must be shown. "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully, For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" [Verses 18-24].
This instruction is given to us all. Ministers are to take heed, and with pen and voice echo the words of God. When we are called upon to violate the law of God, we shall be given wisdom from above to answer as did Christ, "It is written." Speak as few words of your own arrangement as possible, but have your heart supplied with the sharp arrows of God's furnishing. If God, the Great Master-Workman, is with us, we shall pass through the perplexing ordeals before us, as firm as a rock to principle, obeying God rather than man. This attitude will bring victories which our lack of faith has led us to regard as hopeless and impossible. These definite instructions were for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Our greatest necessity is a pure, clean heart, and an understanding mind. All kinds of malicious falsehoods were circulated against Christ, and they will be circulated against God's commandment-keeping people. How shall we prove these to be false? Shall it be by building up a wall between us and the world? Christ's prayer answers this point. "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil" [John 17:15]. While our work is aggressive, it must be conducted on Bible principles. All our enterprises are to be carried forward with Christ-like simplicity, patience, forbearance, and love for God and for Christ. Our work is to convince, not to condemn. The human beings around us possess like infirmities with ourselves. They have been educated by the clergy that Sunday is the Sabbath, and, so long has this error been cherished, that it has become hoary with age. But this does not make it truth.
We must stand on the platform of eternal truth, as laborers together with God. We are not to hurl thunderbolts at those in error, but uplift Christ before them, and bid them behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. We are not to storm their ears with prejudice, because this is not the way to break down prejudice. Paul, the faithful witness for Christ, gave this dying charge to Timothy: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing" [2 Timothy 4:1-8]. Read also 1 Timothy 2:1-12 and 3:10-17.
In dealing with unreasonable and wicked men, those who believe the truth are to be careful not to bring themselves down to the same level, where they will use the same satanic weapons that their enemies use, by giving loose rein to strong personal feelings, and arousing against themselves and against the work the Lord has given them to do, passion and bitter enmity. Keep Jesus uplifted. We are laborers together with God. We are provided with spiritual weapons, mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy. We must in no case misrepresent our faith by weaving unChrist-like attributes into the work. We must exalt the law of God, as binding us up with Jesus Christ and all who love Him and keep His commandments. We are also to reveal a love for the souls for whom Christ died. Our faith is to be demonstrated as a power of which Jesus is the author. And the Bible, His word, is to make us wise unto salvation.
From this time on to the end, men will spring up, men who are remarkably sharp, with whom those who have not an intelligent knowledge of the truth or who do not have special help from God, can in no way contend. Some human agents will be imbued with the spirit of the great fallen angel, who will be present in every meeting to help the human agent to voice his words and to speak in such a manner that many will be deceived, if possible, the very elect....
The brother who many suppose that he can meet the adversaries of the truth is to know that he is directed of the Lord. What can be done, may be asked?--unless we know that we have a commission from on high, we are to refuse to enter into controversy with anyone, because this is not our work. We are none of us to seek to cast out devils, lest we ourselves be cast out.
Let all remember how adroitly and cunningly did Satan command Christ to cast himself from the temple, quoting scripture to show Him that was the very thing to do, for in this way He could give evidence to all the people that He was what He claimed to be.
[Matthew 4:6 quoted].
In quoting this scripture, Satan left out a very important point, which reads in Psalms 91:11, "He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they will bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." In consenting to do Satan's bidding, Christ would be venturing into Satan's ways, not in ways that God had devised for His son. That was a dare and Satan's agents are full of presumptuous dares to get a chance to work his will with those who will accept his dare. But Christ would not accept the dare of Satan. Christ would not enter into controversy with the arch deceiver and tempter....
Angels, as ministering spirits, are in the path where duty calls the heirs of salvation to travel, and God will protect them from all evil....We are to remember what Christ, our head, did and never to step out of the path of God's providence, and place ourselves in a position where we might be weakened by the enemy and overcome to our own hurt, and to the injury to the cause of God.
Those who exalt self place themselves in Satan's power, preparing to receive his deceptions as truth. There are ministers and workers who will present a tissue of nonsensical falsehood as testing truths, even as the Jewish rabbis presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. Sayings of no value are given to the flock of God, as their portion of meat in due season, while the poor sheep are starving for the bread of life.
There seem to be a burning desire to get up something fictitious and bring it in as new light. Thus men try to weave into the web as important truths a tissue of lies. This fanciful mixture of food that is being prepared for the flock will cause spiritual consumption, decline and death.
Those in the synagogue of Satan will profess to be converted and, unless God's servants have keen eyesight, they will not discern the working of the power of darkness.
There are false teachers, bearing false doctrines, coming under the guise of godliness, but bearing Satan's science, which once received, pollutes the whole being, body, soul, and spirit. These teachers are wells without water. They put on an appearance of righteousness, but they lead minds into heresy and darkness. They speak great swelling words of vanity about their own power. Thus did Satan, when he promised Eve, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). They turn men and women from obedience to disobedience, from the pure doctrines of righteousness, which drag them down to ruin.
False teachers have always abounded, and in the future they will increase in number and power to deceive, apparently working miracles. All should beware of placing themselves in association with such teachers. Their doctrines are attractive, and their deceptions so carefully hidden under a garb of righteousness that, if it were possible, they will deceive the very elect.
Satan is watching all the outposts to see where he can steal an entrance. For years he has been working with all his deceivableness of unrighteousness to find standing room in the Review and Herald Publishing House. And he has found it. He has been allowed to come into the very place that should ever have been regarded as a sacred, holy place, the temple of God, from which the Lord would send forth clear, bright rays of light to all parts of the world. Satan has succeeded in placing in the hands of the employees of our publishing houses a class of literature that is prepared to deceive, if possible, the very elect....The employees have worked on books containing spiritualistic, demoralizing theories....
Books containing false theories have been permitted to come from an office controlled by Seventh-day Adventists, while the very books that the managers should have been active and zealous in circulating everywhere have been left to lie unused on the shelves. When the pure truth is mingled with the slime of satanic deceptions, how can God work for the advancement of His cause?
The very fact that satanic literature has come from the presses of the Review and Herald Office, is a victory for the forces of Satan....The very class of literature that God has especially condemned has been allowed to come in.
Some in responsible positions are not controlled by the Holy Spirit....Why has this blindness been upon those to whom have been entrusted grave responsibilities in connection with our publishing houses? Why have they walked like blind men? Because they have disregarded the light that God has given them; because they have heeded neither the Scriptures nor the testimonies of warning sent them....By many the Lord has been dismissed from the Office as unnecessary....
"It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126]. The law has been made void by those who have followed the wrong principles that have characterized the work for the past twelve years....The backsliding of those who have been placed at the head of the work--the very men who through communications have been informed that they were out of place and in error in representing the voice of the General Conference as being the voice of God. For many years it has not been thus, and it is not thus now; nor will it ever be thus again, unless there is a thorough reformation.
Brethren, let us come to our senses. In more ways than one are we departing from God. Oh, how ashamed I was of a recent number of the Signs of the Times! On the first page is an article on Shakespeare, a man who died a few days after a drunken carousal, losing his life through indulgence of perverted appetite. In this article it is stated that he did many good works. Man is extolled. The good and the evil are placed on the same level and published in a paper that our people use to give the third angel's message to many of those who cannot be reached by the preached word.
The publication of this article robbed me of my rest last night. I was thrown into an agony of distress. If our brethren have not discernment enough to see the evil of these things, when will they have? Why can they not understand the tenor of such things? We are to stand on the elevated platform of eternal truth. The edge of the sword of truth is not to be dulled. We must take a straightforward course, using the truth as a mighty cleaver to separate from the world men and women who will stand as God's peculiar people.
When we give the message in its purity, we shall have no time for pictures illustrating the birthplace of Shakespeare, or for pictures similar to the page of a recent number of the Review and Herald. We are not to educate others along these lines. God pronounces against such articles and illustrations.
I have a straightforward testimony to bear in regard to them. We are to extol neither idolatry nor men who did not choose to serve God. Years ago reproof was given our editors in regard to advocating the reading of even such books as Uncle Tom's Cabin, Aesop's Fables, and Robinson Crusoe. Those who begin to read such works usually desire to continue to read novels. Through the reading of enticing stories they rapidly lose their spirituality. This is one of the principal causes of the weak, uncertain spirituality of many of our youth.
Men's plans will be overthrown, and the Lord God of heaven will reveal His glory. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will work out heaven's law. These three great Powers have pledged themselves to bring to naught the inventions of idolatrous minds. They have put the infinite treasures of heaven at the command of God's struggling people. [God says,] "As the wheel is turned by a divine hand, the philosophy of the wisest men who are working contrary to My purposes will become intricate and confused."...
In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great Powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass.
Satan will use every opportunity to seduce men from their allegiance to God. He and the angels who fell with him will appear on the earth as men, seeking to deceive. God's angels also will appear as men, and will use every means in their power to defeat the purposes of the enemy. We have a part to act. We shall surely be overcome unless we fight manfully the battles of the Lord.
After seducing Adam and Eve, Satan was sentenced to confinement to this globe. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" [Genesis 3:15]. This curse has reference chiefly to the originator of sin, the Devil, and not to the serpent, the medium. Satan and his associates fell under the curse.
Unless man is given the converting grace of heaven, he will have no disposition to oppose Satan's counsels, and will become the enemy's willing dupe. It is God alone who puts enmity to sin in the human heart. The Lord gives man a new mind. He causes the conflict that will not submit to Satan's deceptive reasoning. It is God who makes a conflict where heretofore there has been unity of action. It is the Lord's purpose that depraved human nature should, through his divine power, be provided with a renovating energy.
Be very careful not to entertain speculative ideas, or to teach that which does not properly represent the truth for this time. We are not to speculate regarding what will be in heaven. To pry into these mysteries and present fanciful theories regarding them is to do great harm. The people of God need not be aroused on this point. Suppositions regarding these mysteries are not to be received as truth. No one should dare pry into subjects that God has not revealed.
I am instructed to bear a message of warning against the theory that in the new earth children will be born. There is a strain of spiritualism coming in among our people, and it will undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
I have seen the arch-deceiver tempting several of our ministers, teachers, and medical workers, presenting to them in the most subtle and charming manner, fanciful theories to wean their affection from those whom they should love and cherish. He shows them charming pictures of women whom they have found congenial, suggesting that in the future life they will be united to the one who is so congenial.
The enemy of souls has gained much when he can lead the imagination of Jehovah's watchmen to dwell upon the possibilities of association with women in the world to come whom they love, and of them raising up families. We need no such pleasing picture. All such views originate in the mind of the tempter. We have the plain assurance of Christ that in the world to come the redeemed "neither marry, nor are given in marriage" (Matthew 22:30).
Men who are under the sway of a spirit, not pure, not true, must not be allowed to deceive to their ruin, if possible, the very chosen of God. I testify in the name of the Lord that step by step erring, unsanctified, unholy influences will be exerted to deceive those who suppose that these men are true and loyal, when they are working to deceive, if possible, the very elect. And through the deceptive influences, through the way they present the testimonies given, they seek to destroy those souls who will listen to their satanic sophistries.
I am instructed that the Lord, by His infinite power has preserved the right hand of His messenger for more than half a century, in order that the truth may be written out as He bids me write it for publication, in periodicals and books. Why?--Because if it were not thus written out, when the pioneers in the faith shall die, there would be many, new in the faith, who would sometimes accept as messages of truth teachings that contain erroneous sentiments and dangerous fallacies. Sometimes that which men teach as 'special light' is in reality specious error...and errors of this sort will be entertained by some until the close of this earth's history....
The seductive fallacies of Satan undermined confidence in the true pillars of the faith, which are grounded on bible evidence. Truth is sustained by a plain 'thus saith the Lord' but there has been a weaving of error, and the use of scriptures out of their natural connection, in order to substantiate fallacies, which would deceive, if possible the very elect....
Throughout the world satanic science will become stronger and more fully developed, from this time henceforth until Christ rises from His throne and puts on the garments of vengeance....
If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles, which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.
A battle is continually going on between the forces of good and the forces of evil, between the angels of God and the fallen angels. We are beset before and behind, on the right hand and on the left. The conflict that we are passing through is the last that we shall have in this world. We are now in the midst of it. Two parties are striving for the supremacy. In this conflict we cannot be neutral. We must stand either on one side or on the other. If we take our position on the side of Christ, if we acknowledge Him before the world in word and work, we are bearing a living testimony as to whom we have chosen to serve and honor. In this important period of earth's history, we cannot afford to leave anyone in uncertainty as to whose side we are on....
"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" [Revelation 3:10]. We are now in this great hour of temptation that is to try all the world. In order to gain the victory over every besetment of the enemy, we must lay hold on a power out of and beyond ourselves....
There are severe trials before every one of us, yet we need not fail. In the hour of temptation Christ will not leave His children, but will send His angels to minister unto them. He will answer their prayers for deliverance.