Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


A Failure to Honor God

In view of the terrible crisis before us what are those doing who profess to believe the truth? I was called by my Guide, who said, “Follow Me,” and I was shown things among our people that were not in accordance with their faith. There seemed to be a bicycle craze. Money was spent to gratify an enthusiasm in this direction that might better, far better, have been invested in building houses of worship where they are greatly needed. There were presented before me some very strange things in Battle Creek. A bewitching influence seemed to be passing as a wave over our people there, and I saw that this would be followed by other temptations. Satan works with intensity of purpose to induce our people to invest their time and money in gratifying supposed wants. This is a species of idolatry. The example will be followed, and while hundreds are starving for bread, while famine and pestilence are seen and felt, because God cannot, according to His own name's glory, protect those who are working contrary to His will, shall those who profess to love and serve God act as did the people in the days of Noah, following the imagination of their hearts? 8T 50.4

While you have been gratifying your inclination in the appropriation of money—God's money—for which you must give an account, missionary work has been hindered and bound about for want of means and workers to plant the banner of truth in places where the people have never heard the message of warning. Will God say to those who are selfishly pleasing their own imagination and gratifying their own desires: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? Matthew 25:23. 8T 51.1

My brethren and sisters in Battle Creek, what kind of witness are you bearing to an unbelieving world? I have been shown that the Lord does not look upon your course with favor, for your practice contradicts your profession. You are not doers of the words of Christ. 8T 51.2

I was told by my Guide: “Look ye, and behold the idolatry of My people, to whom I have been speaking, rising up early, and presenting to them their dangers. I looked that they should bring forth fruit.” There were some who were striving for the mastery, each trying to excel the other in the swift running of their bicycles. There was a spirit of strife and contention among them as to which should be the greatest. The spirit was similar to that manifested in the baseball games on the college ground. Said my Guide: “These things are an offense to God. Both near and afar off souls are perishing for the bread of life and the water of salvation.” When Satan is defeated in one line, he will be all ready with other schemes and plans which will appear attractive and needful, and which will absorb money and thought, and encourage selfishness, so that he can overcome those who are so easily led into a false and selfish indulgence. 8T 52.1

The question arises: What burden do these persons carry for the advancement of the work of God? Wherein do they realize the importance of the work for this time? Christ said to His disciples: “Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16. Is this investment of means and this spinning of bicycles through the streets of Battle Creek giving evidence of the genuineness of your faith in the last solemn warning to be given to human beings standing on the very verge of the eternal world? 8T 52.2

My brethren and sisters in America, I make my appeal to you. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7. The lives of many are too delicate and dainty. They know nothing of bearing hardship as good soldiers of Christ. They are hindrances to the work of soul saving. They have many wants; everything must be convenient and easy, to suit their taste. They will not do anything themselves, and those who would do something they hinder by their suppositions and imaginary wants, and their love of idols. They think themselves Christians, but they do not know what practical Christian life signifies. What does it mean to be a Christian? It means to be Christlike. 8T 52.3

When the Lord sees His people restricting their imaginary wants and practicing self-denial, not in a mournful, regretful spirit, as Lot's wife left Sodom, but joyfully, for Christ's sake, and because it is the right thing to do, the work will go forward with power. Let nothing, however dear, however loved, absorb your mind and affections, diverting you from the study of God's word or from earnest prayer. Watch unto prayer. Live your own requests. Co-operate with God by working in harmony with Him. Expel from the soul-temple everything that assumes the form of an idol. Now is God's time, and His time is your time. Fight the good fight of faith, refusing to think or to talk unbelief. The world is to hear the last warning message. 8T 53.1