Selected Messages Book 3


Chapter 11—The Reception of the Messages

Messages of Encouragement, Warning, and Reproof—For half a century I have been the Lord's messenger, and as long as my life shall last I shall continue to bear the messages that God gives me for His people. I take no glory to myself; in my youth the Lord made me His messenger, to communicate to His people testimonies of encouragement, warning, and reproof. For sixty years I have been in communication with heavenly messengers, and I have been constantly learning in reference to divine things, and in reference to the way in which God is constantly working to bring souls from the error of their ways to the light in God's light.—Letter 86, 1906. 3SM 78.1

Some Receive, Some Reject—I have a work to do for those who will be helped, even if the light given does not harmonize with their ideas. They will recognize the light from God, because they have the fruits of the work which the Lord has been pleased to do through His humble instrument in the last forty-five years. They acknowledge this work to be of God, and are therefore willing to be corrected in their ideas and to change their course of action. 3SM 78.2

But those who will maintain and retain their own ideas, and because they are corrected, conclude that Sister White is influenced to take a certain course of action which is not in harmony with their ideas ...could not be benefited. I would not consider such friends to be of any value in a hard place, especially in a crisis. Now you have my mind. I do not want to do the work of God in a bungling manner. I want to know what duty is and move in harmony with the Spirit of God.—Letter 3, 1889. 3SM 78.3

Ellen White's Letter a Message From God—You ask if the Lord gave me that letter to give to you. I say He did. That Holy God of Israel will not serve with your sins. That message was given of God. If you have had, since that message was given, a new sense of what constitutes sin, if you have become truly converted, a child of God in place of being a transgressor of His law, then there is no one who will be more pleased than myself.—Letter 95, 1893. 3SM 79.1

Truthfulness of Testimonies Publicly Acknowledged—I spoke to the people [in Bloomfield, California] in the forenoon in regard to the necessity of having the defects in their characters removed, that they may stand before the Son of God blameless when He shall appear. There was deep feeling in the meeting. I addressed several personally, pointing out the wrongs I had been shown in their cases. They all responded and many with weeping confessed their sins and the truthfulness of the testimony.—Letter 7, 1873. 3SM 79.2

Interpreted in Light of Preconceived Positions—There are many who interpret that which I write in the light of their own preconceived opinions. You know what this means. A division in understanding and diverse opinions is the sure result. 3SM 79.3

How to write in a way to be understood by those to whom I address important matter, is a problem I cannot solve. But I will endeavor to write much less. Owing to the influence of mind upon mind, those who misunderstand can lead others to misunderstand, by the interpretation they place upon the subjects from my pen. One understands them as he thinks they should be, in accordance with his ideas. Another puts his construction upon the written matter, and confusion is the sure result.—Letter 96, 1899. 3SM 79.4

Partial Acceptance—For many months, excepting for a few nights, I have not been able to sleep past one o'clock. I find myself sitting in conversation with you, and others, pleading with you as a mother would plead with her son.... 3SM 80.1

You are doubtless surprised, as I expected you would be, that I write to you in so plain and decided a manner. But this I must do, for I am made a steward of the grace of Christ, and I must do this errand for the Lord. You may feel well satisfied with yourself. You may deny the representation given me of your case. Some are doing this today.... 3SM 80.2

This is the reason that men and women do not always see their errors and mistakes, even when these are pointed out to them. They claim to believe the testimonies that come to them, until the message comes that they must change their plans and methods, that their character-building must be altogether different, else the storm and tempest will sweep it from its foundation. Then the enemy tempts them to justify themselves. 3SM 80.3

After reading this message, you will doubtless be tempted to say, “This is not so. I am not as I am represented here. Someone has filled Sister White's mind with a mass of trash about me.” But I tell you in the name of the Lord that the words of this writing are from God. If you choose thus to dispose of the matter, you show the measure of your faith in the work that the Lord has given His servant to do.—Letter 13, 1902. 3SM 80.4

The Portions Condemning Favorite Indulgences—There are some professed believers who accept certain portions of the testimonies as the message of God, while they reject those portions which condemn their favorite indulgences. Such persons are working contrary to their own welfare and the welfare of the church. It is essential that we walk in the light while we have the light.—Manuscript 71, 1908. 3SM 80.5

Trifling With the Messages—Frequently I do not anticipate saying the things I do say when I am speaking before the people. God may give me words of reproof, of warning, or encouragement as he sees fit, for the benefit of souls. I shall speak these words, and they may cut across the track of my brethren, whom I sincerely love and respect in the truth. 3SM 81.1

I expect to have these words distorted, misapprehended by unbelievers, and it is no surprise to me. But to have my brethren, who are acquainted with my mission and my work, trifle with the message that God gives me to bear, grieves His Spirit. 3SM 81.2

It is discouraging to me to have them pick out portions in the testimonies that please them which they construe to justify their own course of action and give the impression that that portion they accept as the voice of God, and then when other testimonies come that bring rebuke upon their course, when words are spoken that do not coincide with their opinions and judgment, they dishonor God's work by saying, “Oh, this we do not accept—it is only Sister White's opinion, and it is no better than my opinion or that of anyone else.”—Letter 3, 1889. 3SM 81.3

Watching for Words on Which Human Interpretation Is Placed—I am sensible of the fact that I am mortal, and that I must guard my physical, mental, and moral powers. The constant changing from place to place necessitated by travel, and the taking hold of public labor wherever I have gone, have been too much for me, in addition to the writings that I have been preparing day and night as the Lord has worked my mind by His Holy Spirit. 3SM 81.4

And when I am meeting with evidences that these communications will be treated by some in accordance with the human judgment of those who shall receive them, when I realize that some are watching keenly for some words which have been traced by my pen and upon which they can place their human interpretations in order to sustain their positions and to justify a wrong course of action—when I think of these things, it is not very encouraging to continue writing. 3SM 81.5

Some of these who are certainly reproved, strive to make every word vindicate their own statements. The twistings and connivings and misrepresentations and misapplications of the Word are marvelous! Persons are linked together in this work. What one does not think of, another mind supplies.—Letter 172, 1906. 3SM 82.1

Wresting the Scriptures and the Testimonies—The lessons of Christ were often misunderstood, not because He did not make them plain, but because the minds of the Jews, like the minds of many who claim to believe in this day, were filled with prejudice. Because Christ did not take sides with the Scribes and Pharisees, they hated Him, opposed Him, sought to counteract His efforts, and to make His words of no effect. 3SM 82.2

Why will not men see and live the truth? Many study the Scriptures for the purpose of proving their own ideas to be correct. They change the meaning of God's Word to suit their own opinions. And thus they do also with the testimonies that he sends. They quote half a sentence, leaving out the other half, which, if quoted, would show their reasoning to be false. God has a controversy with those who wrest the Scriptures, making them conform to their preconceived ideas.—Manuscript 22, 1890. 3SM 82.3

Words Wrested and Misunderstood—It seems impossible for me to be understood by those who have had the light but have not walked in it. What I might say in private conversations would be so repeated as to make it mean exactly opposite to what it would have meant had the hearers been sanctified in mind and spirit. I am afraid to speak even to my friends; for afterwards I hear, Sister White said this, or Sister White said that. 3SM 82.4

My words are so wrested and misinterpreted that I am coming to the conclusion that the Lord desires me to keep out of large assemblies and refuse private interviews. What I say is reported in such a perverted light that it is new and strange to me. It is mixed with words spoken by men to sustain their own theories.—Letter 139, 1900. 3SM 82.5

From the First a Voice in Our Midst—We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord's side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom. Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God's people in the closing days of earth's history. From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct. 3SM 83.1

We have now come to the last days of the work of the third angel's message, when Satan will work with increasing power because he knows that his time is short. At the same time there will come to us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, diversities of operations in the outpouring of the Spirit. This is the time of the latter rain.—Letter 230, 1908. 3SM 83.2

The Protective Barrier Torn Away—The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own 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, as did Elder Canright, and misapply the prophecies and the Scriptures to prove falsehood. And, after men have done their work in weakening the confidence of our churches 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 error. 3SM 83.3

This is just as Satan 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 into life. They will claim Scripture as their evidence, and deceptions of Satan in every form will prevail.—Letter 109, 1890. 3SM 83.4

Secure From Satan's Seductive Delusions—Men may get up scheme after scheme, and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.—Letter 50, 1906. 3SM 83.5

It Is Not I Whom You Betray, but the Lord—I have tried to do my duty to you and to the Lord Jesus, whom I serve and whose cause I love. The testimonies I have borne you have in truth been presented to me by the Lord. I am sorry that you have rejected the light given.... 3SM 84.1

Are you betraying your Lord because in His great mercy He has shown you just where you are standing spiritually? He knows every purpose of the heart. Nothing is hid from Him. It is not I whom you are betraying. It is not I against whom you are so embittered. It is the Lord, who has given me a message to bear to you.—Letter 66, 1897. 3SM 84.2

Giving Up Faith in the Testimonies—One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan's banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God's Spirit. 3SM 84.3

The call to great consecration and holier service is being made, and will continue to be made.—Letter 156, 1903. 3SM 84.4