Counsels for the Church -- Study Guide


Counsels for the Church — Study Guide


Counsels for the Church, a compilation drawn largely from the three volumes of Testimony Treasures, the world edition of the nine volumes of Testimonies for the Church, was first published in 1971 for use in India and the islands of the South Pacific. It appeared initially in the form of two 200-page paperbacks. These paperbacks have now been combined into one 400-page volume, which, since 1989, has been published by the Pacific Press. CCh-SG 3.1

The special value of Counsels for the Church is that in this one book may be found Ellen White’s principal comments on Christian beliefs, Christian living, and the Seventh-day Adventist lifestyle. Ellen White was eager for these counsels to be brought to the attention of Seventh-day Adventists everywhere. In 1880 she wrote: CCh-SG 3.2

“The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies should be introduced into every Sabbath keeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them.”— Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 390. CCh-SG 3.3

Two years later she wrote further: CCh-SG 3.4

“The Testimonies contain instruction which meets the case of all, both parents and children. Should these be read aloud to the entire family, the children as well as the parents would be benefited by their counsels, warnings, and reproofs. While these are placed out of sight and neglected for the reading of fictitious, sensational literature, both yourselves and your children will be retrograding mentally and spiritually.”— The Review and Herald, December 26, 1882. CCh-SG 3.5

After Testimonies volumes 6 and 7 were published in 1900 and 1902, respectively, Ellen White implored Adventists to study these books. She wrote: CCh-SG 3.6

“I have been impressed to call upon the members of our churches to study the last two volumes of Testimonies for the Church. When I was writing these books, I felt the deep moving of the Spirit of God. ... They are full of precious matter. In the visions of the night the Lord told me that the truth contained in these books must be brought before the members of our churches, because there are many who are indifferent in regard to the salvation of their souls.”— Life Sketches, p. 433. CCh-SG 3.7

In 1907, after the publication of another Testimony volume, Ellen White again strongly encouraged Adventists to read these books. She declared: CCh-SG 3.8

“I am instructed to say to our churches, ‘Study the Testimonies.’ They are written for our admonition and encouragement upon whom the ends of the world are come. If God’s people will not study these messages that are sent to them from time to time, they are guilty of rejecting light. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, God is sending instruction to His people. Heed the instruction; follow the light.”— Letter 292, 1907. CCh-SG 4.1

Concerning one passage in particular, she counseled, “I advise that these directions and warnings and cautions be read to our people at some time when they are gathered together.” — Ibid. CCh-SG 4.2

This Study Guide to Counsels for the Church is intended to help carry out Ellen White’s appeals quoted above. May God bless all who earnestly examine and prayerfully contemplate the counsels that the Lord has graciously given His people. CCh-SG 4.3