Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


Words of Warning

We are living in a time of special peril to the youth. Satan knows that the end of the world is soon to come, and he is determined to improve every opportunity for pressing young men and young women into his service. He will devise many specious deceptions to lead them astray. We need to consider carefully the words of warning written by the apostle Paul: 8T 223.3

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. 8T 223.4

Special light has been given me in regard to why we may accomplish much more for the Master by the establishment of many small sanitariums than by the building up of a few large medical institutions. In large institutions there would be gathered together many who are not very sick, but who, like tourists, are seeking rest and pleasure. These would have to be waited on by nurses and helpers. Young men and young women, who from their earliest years have been shielded from worldly associations, would thus be brought in contact with worldlings of all classes, and to a greater or less degree would be influenced by what they see and hear. They would become like those with whom they associate, losing the simplicity and modesty that Christian fathers and mothers have guarded and cherished by careful instruction and earnest prayer. 8T 223.5

We are living amidst the perils of the last days. Something decisive must be said to warn our people against the danger of permitting children who need parental care and instruction, to leave their homes to go to places where they will be brought into contact with pleasure-loving, irreligious worldlings. 8T 224.1

In many homes the father and mother have allowed the children to rule. Such children are in far greater danger, when brought into contact with influences opposed to godliness, than are those who have learned to obey. Not having received the necessary disciplinary training, they think that they can do as they please. A knowledge of how to obey would have strengthened them to resist temptation, but this knowledge their parents have not given them. When these undisciplined youth enter an immense institution, where there are many influences opposed to spirituality, they are in grave peril, and often their stay in the institution is an injury to themselves and to the institution. 8T 224.2

I am instructed to warn parents whose children have not firmness of principle or a clear Christian experience not to send them away from home to distant places, to be absent for many months and perhaps for years, and, it may be, to have sown in their minds the seeds of unbelief and infidelity. It is safer, and far better, to send such youth to the schools and sanitariums nearest their homes. Let the youth who are forming character be kept away from places where they would have to mingle with a great company of unbelievers, and where the forces of the enemy are strongly entrenched. 8T 224.3

Let a decided effort be made by the managers of our large sanitariums to employ older persons as helpers in these institutions. In the visions of the night I was in a large assembly, where this matter was up for consideration. To those who were planning to send their undisciplined children to Battle Creek, One of authority said: 8T 225.1

“Dare you make this experiment? The salvation of your children is worth more than the education they will receive in this place, where they are constantly exposed to the influence of unbelievers. Many who come to this institution are unconverted. They are filled with pride and have not through faith a connection with God. Many of the young men and women who wait on these worldlings have had but little Christian experience, and they easily become entangled in the snares that are laid for their feet.” 8T 225.2

“What can be done to remedy this evil?” someone present asked. The Speaker answered: “Since you have placed yourselves into this position of peril, let Christian men and women of mature years and established character be brought into the institution to exert a counterinfluence for the right. The carrying out of such a plan would increase the running expenses of the sanitarium, but it may be an effective means of guarding the fort and of shielding the youth in the institution from the contaminating influences to which they are now exposed. 8T 225.3

“Parents, guardians, place your children in training schools where the influences are similar to those of a rightly conducted home school; schools in which the teachers will carry them forward from point to point and in which the spiritual atmosphere is a savor of life unto life.” 8T 225.4

The words of warning and instruction that I have written in regard to the sending of our youth to Battle Creek to receive a training for service in the Lord's cause are not idle words. Some God-fearing youth will stand the test, but it is not safe for us to leave even the most conscientious ones without our best care and protection. Whether or not our youth who have received wise instruction and training from godly parents will continue to be sanctified through the truth depends largely upon the influence that, after leaving their homes, they meet among those to whom they look for Christian instruction. 8T 226.1

I am instructed to repeat to our brethren and sisters the warning and the exhortation that Paul sent to the church at Thessalonica: 8T 226.2

“The mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming; even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be judged who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, A. R. V. 8T 226.3

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. 8T 226.4


September, 1903

As I consider the state of things in Battle Creek, I tremble for our youth who go there. The light given me by the Lord, that our youth should not collect in Battle Creek to receive their education, has in no particular changed. The fact that the sanitarium has been rebuilt does not change the light. That which in the past has made Battle Creek a place unsuitable for the education of our youth makes it unsuitable today so far as influence is concerned. 8T 227.1

When the call came to move out of Battle Creek, the plea was: “We are here, and all settled. It would be an impossibility to move without enormous expense.” 8T 227.2

The Lord permitted fire to consume the principal buildings of the Review and Herald and the sanitarium, and thus removed the greatest objection urged against moving out of Battle Creek. It was His design that instead of rebuilding the one large sanitarium, our people should make plants in several places. These smaller sanitariums should have been established where land could be secured for agricultural purposes. It is God's plan that agriculture shall be connected with the work of our sanitariums and schools. Our youth need the education to be gained from this line of work. It is well, and more than well,—it is essential,—that efforts be made to carry out the Lord's plan in this respect. 8T 227.3

Shall we encourage our most promising young men and women to go to Battle Creek to obtain their training for service where they will be surrounded with so many influences that tend to lead astray? The Lord has revealed to me some of the dangers that the youth connected with so large a sanitarium will have to meet. Many of the wealthy, worldly men and women who patronize this institution will be a source of temptation to the helpers. Some of these helpers will become the favorites of wealthy patients and will be offered strong inducements to enter their employ. Through the influence of the worldly display of some who have been guests at the sanitarium, tares have already been sown in the hearts of young men and women employed as helpers and nurses. This is the way in which Satan is working. 8T 228.1

Because the sanitarium is where it ought not to be, shall the word of the Lord regarding the education of our youth be of no account? Shall we allow the most intelligent of our youth in the churches throughout our conferences to be placed where some of them will be robbed of their simplicity through contact with men and women who have not the fear of God in their hearts? Will those in charge of our conferences allow our youth, who, in the schools for Christian workers, could be fitted for the Lord's service, to be drawn to a place from which for years the Lord has been calling upon His people to move? 8T 228.2

We desire our youth to be so trained that they will exert a saving influence in our churches, working for greater unity and deeper piety. Men may not see the necessity for the call to families to leave Battle Creek and settle in places where they can do gospel medical missionary work. But the Lord has spoken. Shall we question His word? 8T 228.3