Experiences in Australia

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(178) Letter regarding the apostasy of Elder McCullagh: —

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W. April 22, 1897.
To the church in Adelaide.
Dear Brethren and Sisters, —
EA 349.1

(179) I am drawn out to address you. I am in great travail of soul for our people; for we are living amid the perils of the last days. EA 349.2

A superficial faith results in a superficial experience. There is a repentance that needs to be repented of all genuine experience in religious doctrines will bear the impress of Jehovah. All should see the necessity of understanding the truth for themselves individually. It has been revealed to me that there is among our people a great lack of knowledge in regard to the rise and progress of the third angel’s message. There is great need to search the books of Daniel and Revelation, that we may know what is written. EA 349.3

I have been shown that many would go out from us giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Lord desires that those who claim to believe the truth shall have an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. False prophets will arise, and will deceive many. Everything will be shaken that can be shaken. Then does it not behoove every one of us to understand the reasons of our faith? In place of having so many sermons, there should be more close searching of the word of God text by text, and searching for strong evidence that to sustain the fundamental doctrines that have brought us where we now are, upon the platform of eternal truth. EA 349.4

(180) My soul is made very sad to see how quickly those who have had light and truth will accept the deceptions of Satan, and be charged with a spurious holiness. When men turn away from the waymarks the Lord has established that we may understand where we stand in the history of the world, they are going they know not whither. I wish another camp-meeting could be held in Adelaide, that the slime and filth which Satan has poured forth upon the servants of God might be washed away. I would not object to attending such a meeting. The way has been prepared for the message which God has given me, and the church in Adelaide should see and understand the truth to be lived and advocated for this time. EA 349.5

I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. Study in “Patriarchs and Prophets” the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. This rebellion included more than two men. It was led by two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, men of renown. This experience of God’s ancient people, with all its objectionable features, was faithfully chronicled in the Scriptures, — “written” Paul declares, “for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” If men and women who have a knowledge of the truth so far separate from their Leader, that they will take the leader of apostasy, and name him Christ our Righteousness, it is because they have not sunk the shaft deep into the mines of truth. They are not able to distinguish the precious ore from the base material. EA 349.6

Read the cautions so abundantly given in the Word of God regarding the false prophets who were to come in with their heresies, and if possible deceive the very elect. With these warnings before them, why is it that the church does not distinguish the (181) false from the true, <when they have a knowledge that there are false theories to answer and be of so deceiving a character they would, if possible, deceive the very elect>? A church thus misled needs to humble itself before God, and sincerely repent for being so easily led astray. They could not distinguish the voice of true shepherd from that of a stranger. EA 349.7

The Adelaide church needs to review this chapter in its experience. For more than half a century God has been giving his people light through the testimonies of his Spirit. Yet with all this light, two men and their wives, declaring Mrs. White a fraud and a deceiver, deceive a whole church of believers. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” EA 349.8

The Lord has permitted this rebellion to develop in order to show how easily his people will be misled when they depend upon the words of men instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, as did the noble Bereans, to see if these things were so. It has been permitted that the members of the Adelaide church may be helped to plant their feet on the Rock of Ages, instead of on shifting sand. Should the fair words of men, one of whom has had no real experience with us as a people, be so readily accepted? How can our people, with their Bibles in their hands accept that which, if they would only consider, they must know is error and falsehood. The Lord has permitted this thing to be that warning may be given, <that> just such things will take place again. Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe, and we shall be affected by it unless by faith we hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles. Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false Christ’s? The doctrine of our faith must be plainly understood. (182) The men accepted to teach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against the storm and tempest. As we near the end of time deceptions will increase, and we are to call rebellion by its right name. We are to stand with the whole armor on. EA 350.1

My brethren, you are not meeting only, but principalities and powers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Let Ephesians 4:10-13 be read carefully and impressively before the church. We have to meet the same Satanic agencies that went to make war with the saints. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” EA 350.2

I write this because many in the Adelaide church are represented to me as seeing men as trees walking. They must have a deeper experience before they can discern the snares spread to take them in the net of the deceiver. There must be no halfway work done now. The Lord calls for staunch, decided, whole-souled men and women to stand in the gap and build up the hedge. “And they of thee shall build the whole old waste places, and raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called, The repairers of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and shalt honor him, not doing thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. EA 350.3

(183) I do not believe that any evidence presented to these men will have any effect upon them. In Brother McCullagh’s case no further evidence could be given as the sincerity of my mission and the work the Lord has given his servant to do. He has had the light. Those who can thus ignore all the evidence God has given should tremble for the safety of their <own> souls; for unless they repent, their candlestick will be removed out of its place they repent, their candlestick will be removed out of its place. The Lord has been insulted. The standard of truth, of the first, second, and third angel’s messages has been allowed to trail in the dust. These men who have apostatized have left the faithful people of God and fraternized with a class represented by Barabbas. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” EA 350.4

My Brethren Daniells, Colcord, and Starr, there is a decided testimony to be borne by all our ministers in all our churches. God has permitted this apostasy to take place in order to show how little dependence can be placed on man. We are always to look to God. His word is not yea and nay, but Yea and Amen. All our labors to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth in such a way that it works a decided reformation in the heart and life. The work must proceed from inward to outward, transforming the character of all who receive the truth. We are not to throw our arms about the men who are Satan’s masterpieces for working out his will, <Satan’s theories,> as were the opposers on the campground at Adelaide. If the watchmen are left the mislead people in this way, God will hold some souls responsible for a lack of keen discernment. Truth is to be proclaimed in warnings that will make hearts tremble in contrition before God. A sharp, clean-cut testimony must be borne. (184) I hope that efforts will be made to encourage as many as possible to come to this first term of school, where the Bible will be made the most important line of study. God help you all to go forth with the sword of the Spirit, which cuts both ways, is my prayer. “Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Make no compromise with those who have apostatized, but treat them kindly, giving no occasion for your good to be evil spoken of. <Dwell on the sure word, which word is the explainer of the word.> EA 350.5