Testimony for the Church — No. 16



Dear Brethren and Sisters: The Lord has again manifested himself to me. June 12, 1868, while speaking to the brethren in the house of worship at Battle Creek, Mich., the Spirit of God came upon me, and in an instant I was in vision. The view was extensive. I have commenced to write the fifth volume of Spiritual Gifts; but as I had testimonies of a practical nature which you should have immediately, I left that work to prepare this little pamphlet. T16 1.1

In this last vision, I was shown that which fully justifies my course in publishing personal testimonies. When the Lord singles out individual cases, and specifies their wrongs, others, who have not been shown in vision, frequently take it for granted that they are right, or nearly right. If one is reproved for a special wrong, brethren and sisters should carefully examine themselves to see wherein they have failed, and wherein they were guilty of the same things. They should possess the spirit of humble confession. If others think them right, it does not make them so. God looks at the heart. He is proving and testing souls in this manner. In rebuking the wrongs of one, he designs to correct many. But if they fail to take the reproof to themselves, and flatter themselves that God passes over their errors, because he does not especially single them out, they deceive their own souls, and will be shut up in darkness, and be left to their own ways, to follow the imagination of their own hearts. T16 1.2

Many are dealing falsely with their own souls, and are in a great deception in regard to their true condition before God. He employs ways and means to best serve his purpose, and to prove what is in the hearts of his professed followers. He will make plain the wrongs of some, and then it is his design that others may be warned, and fear, and shun the errors they see are rebuked in another. By self-examination, they may find that they are doing the same things which God condemns in another. If these are really desirous to serve God from the heart, and fear to offend him, they will not wait for their sins to be specified before they make confession and with humble repentance return unto the Lord. They will forsake these things which have displeased God, according to the light given to others. If, on the contrary, those who are not right see that they are guilty of the very things that have been reproved in others, yet continue in the same unconsecrated course, because they have not be especially named, they endanger their own souls, and will be led captive by Satan at his will. T16 2.1

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