Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 64—Unity of Faith

Professed believers in and about —— do not come up to the work, and practice the truths which they profess. A blighting influence is upon the cause in northern Wisconsin. If all had felt that attachment for the Review which God designed they should, they would have been benefited and instructed by the truths it advocates. They would have had a correct faith, a settled position upon the truth applicable for this time, and would have been guarded and saved from this fanaticism. The sensibilities of many are blunted; false excitement has destroyed their discernment and spiritual eyesight. It is of the highest importance now for them to move understandingly, that Satan's object may not be fully accomplished in overthrowing those whom he has had power to deceive. 1T 323.1

When those who have witnessed and experienced false exercises, are convinced of their mistake, then Satan takes advantage of their error, and holds it constantly before them, to make them afraid of any spiritual exercise, and in this way he seeks to destroy their faith in true godliness. Because they were once deceived, they fear to make any effort by earnest, fervent prayer to God for special aid and victory. Such must not let Satan gain his object, and drive them to cold formality and unbelief. They must remember that the foundation of God standeth sure. Let God be true, and every man a liar. Their only safety is to plant their feet upon a firm platform, to see and understand the third angel's message, to prize, love, and obey the truth. 1T 323.2

Christ is leading out a people, and bringing them into the unity of the faith, that they may be one, as He is one with the Father. Differences of opinion must be yielded, that all may come into union with the body, that they may have one mind and one judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Romans 15:5, 6: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:2: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” 1T 324.1

All the people of God should have an interest in His cause. There has been a lack of this interest among the brethren in Wisconsin. There has also been a lack of energy. Some think it no sin to idle away their time, while others who love the precious cause of truth, economize their time, and in the strength of God exert themselves and labor hard that their families may be made neat and comfortable, and they have something besides to invest in the cause, that they may do their part to keep the work of God moving and lay up a treasure in heaven. One is not to be eased and others burdened. God requires those who have health and strength of body, to do what they can, and use their strength to His glory, for they are not their own. They are accountable to God for the use they make of their time and strength, which are granted them of Heaven. 1T 324.2

The duty to help in the advancement of truth does not rest only upon the wealthy. All have a part to act. The man who has employed his time and strength to accumulate property is accountable for the disposition he makes of that property. If one has health and strength, that is his capital, and he must make a right use of it. If he spends hours in idleness and needless visiting and talking, he is slothful in business, which God's word forbids. Such have a work to do to provide for their own families, and then lay by them in store for charitable purposes as God has prospered them. 1T 324.3

We are not placed in this world merely to care for ourselves, but we are required to aid in the great work of salvation, thus imitating the self-denying, self-sacrificing, useful life of Christ. Those who love their own ease better than they love the truth of God, will not be anxious to use their time and strength wisely and well, that they may act a part in spreading the truth. Many of the young in Wisconsin have not felt the weight of the cause or the necessity of their making any sacrifice to advance it. They can never gain strength until they change their course and make special efforts to advance the truth, that souls may be saved. Some deny themselves and manifest an interest and have double labor, because of their untiring efforts to sustain the cause they love. They make the cause of God a part of them; if it suffers, they suffer with it; when it prospers, they are happy. 1T 325.1

Proverbs 3:9, 10: “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Those who are slothful may quiet themselves with the thought that God requires nothing of them because they have no increase. This will be no excuse for them; for if they had diligently employed their time, if they had not been slothful in business, they would have had increase. Had they resolutely exerted themselves to earn something to cast into the treasury of God, ways would be opened for them, and they would have some increase to devote to the cause of God, and thus to lay up a treasure in heaven. 1T 325.2