Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 17, 1887

Andrews, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

September 6, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 64-66. +Note

Brother and Sister Andrews:

I was disappointed that I did not meet Bro. Andrews at the camp meeting. I supposed that he would be at that meeting surely. The Lord is soon to come, and Satan is rallying his forces and doing just the work we have reason to expect will be done in this hour of this earth’s history. We had an excellent meeting in Springfield, and I thought there would be nothing to keep you away. I was told that you were coming, but the meeting closed and we did not see you. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 1

I left the ground very weary. I have not had a day’s rest since leaving the <steamer that brought us from Europe> and have been obliged to take treatment at the sanitarium; yet I praise God for the strength that He has given me to do so much labor. I have traveled three days and four nights and have spoken twenty-four times in sixteen days. I see so much to be done I know not where to rest or who will take the work if I lay it down. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 2

I inquire in regard to yourself, Bro. Andrews, what doest thou here, Elijah? Has not God given you a commission, and has he not called you to be a watchman on the walls of Zion to receive the words from His mouth and give them to the people? Why then are you not at work? Perhaps the enemy is seeking to lead you into a state of unbelief and darkness. It may be you have been questioning the testimony given you in regard to the entanglements of this life which have had a far greater control over your ministerial work than you have realized. But I feel concerned for you as I do for my ministerial brethren who have not a sense of the importance of the work for this time. Christ’s soldiers must be at their posts of duty as faithful sentinels as long as the warfare shall last. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 3

Some questions were asked me at the camp meeting by several in regard to several statements which Sr. Andrews has made which have caused me pain at heart that she should not come to me or write to me in reference to these things over which she has been doubting and sowing the seeds of doubt in other minds in regard to the testimonies. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 4

Now the Lord would have His people receive the testimonies in warning and reproof which He has given them, but if one, a minister’s wife, has a soul full of questioning doubts all ready to pour into other minds and weaken their confidence by starting a train of doubts and increasing skepticism, how can God reach these souls through the means He has appointed; and the ones who do these, are they not aiding the enemy to cut off or make of none effect the message of God to His people? I am told by one who made a confession to me that doubts and unbelief had been cherished by them against the testimonies because of the words spoken to them by Sr. Andrews. One thing mentioned was that the testimonies to individuals had been told me by others and I gave them purporting to be a message from God. Does my sister know that in this she is making me a hypocrite and a liar? Does she know what she is doing in sowing such seeds in her talk with others? 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 5

One case was mentioned by Sr. Andrews that she had told me all about the case of Bro. Colcord’s family, and the next thing she heard I was relating the very things she had told me as what the Lord had shown me. Let me explain. I am often shown families and individuals, and when I have an opportunity with those who are acquainted with them, I make inquiry how that family is standing for the purpose of ascertaining if ministers or people have any knowledge of the existing evils. This was the fact in the case concerning Bro. Colcord’s family. I wished to see if the testimony was substantiated by facts, but that information given did not originate the testimony, although shortsighted, tempted souls may thus interpret it. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 6

Satan’s work is to make war against the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; and if these temptations were not harbored and expressed, then the seeds of doubt would not be sown. In some cases the truth of God is so applied to the case in question as to rout the enemy completely with the weapons Christ used, “It is written,” and the devil’s lies will not find any lodgement in the soul. These things do not hurt me, they are not against me, but they are against <God> who has appointed my work and given me my message. I know <of a truth> that the time is entered upon when we may not trust a brother, when the lips must be sealed in regard to many things even from husband and wife for the reason they have not discretion to use these things without doing great harm. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 7

“He that offendeth not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body.” “The tongue can no man tame; it is a deadly evil.” [James 3:2, 8.] With these Scripture utterances you are all well acquainted, and therefore should be guarded as to how you speak, and the character of the seed you are sowing, whether the result will be fruit unto eternal life or fruit unto darkness, whether our influence can make men and women more faithful, more devoted, more self-denying, more Christlike, or whether it is to scatter away from Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 8

The Lord is constantly opening before me the dangers and the perils of His people, and my work has been to lift my voice in warning and reproof, and stay evil, to bring light in amid darkness. This will ever be the work God has given me, and I expect it will continue till the close of my work. It is the message I have to bear; and if another steps in between me and the one whom God would warn and draw back from evil, then the one who does this work will bear a weight of guilt that in the judgment he cannot excuse or turn aside from. The question is are our individual efforts of a character to strengthen faith in God and in the truth for this time? Is Satan with his suggestions making our minds and hearts a repository for his seeds of doubt and unbelief and infidelity? Paul says, “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” “And the God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” [Romans 16:19, 20.] Paul exhorts his Corinthian brethren, “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. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” [1 Corinthians 1:10, 11.] And then Paul gives directions accordingly. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 9

Now when a testimony from the Lord is borne to the erring, there is often a question asked: Who told <Sister White>? This must have been the case in the days of Paul, for someone must have the interest of the church at heart to present before the apostle, God’s appointed minister, the dangers of the members of the church which threatened its prosperity. <There is a time to speak and a time to keep silence.> Of course something must be done, and the Lord’s appointed minister must not fail in his work to correct these evils. Now these evils were existing or they were not, but Paul had a work to do to counteract them. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” [1 Corinthians 4:1, 2.] Again the apostle speaks. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, ... For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.” [1 Corinthians 5:1-3.] 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 10

We know that Paul had presented before him the state of the churches. God had given him light and knowledge in regard to the order that should be maintained in the churches, the evils which would arise and which would have to be corrected and firmly dealt with corresponding to their aggravated character. The Lord had revealed to Paul the purity, the devotion and piety that should be maintained in the church, and things arising contrary to this he knew must be reproved according to the light given him of God. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 11

When matters are brought before my mind in regard to a church, sometimes there flashes, as it were, a light from heaven revealing particulars that God had presented before me of that case; and when the burden is bearing upon my mind in reference to special churches, families, or individuals, I frequently inquire the condition of things in the church, and the matter is all written out before I come to that church. But I want facts to substantiate the testimonies, and I am burdened to know in what manner I should bring out the light God has given me. If the errors have been <manifestly> affecting the church, the examples of a character to mislead the church, weaken it in faith and strengthen unbelief, then the work to be done must not be confined to families privately or to individuals alone, but must come before the whole church to stay the evil and flash light into the minds of those who have been deceived by deceptive works and misinterpretations. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 12

Again when before the people there flashes upon me light that God has given me in the past in reference to the faces which were before me, and I have been impelled by the Spirit of the Lord to speak, this is the way I have been used, viewing many cases; and before I bring these cases out, I wish to know whether the case is known by others, whether their influence is calculated to injure the church generally. Questions are sometimes asked, and sometime it determines the manner of treating these cases, whether before many or few, or before the persons themselves. If the case is such that it can be dealt with privately and others need not know, I greatly desire to do all <possible to correct and not give publicity to the matter.> I hope none will open the way for Satan to have a controlling power over their minds, their thoughts, their words, and influence, for we who claim to be engaged in the great work of preparing a people to stand in the day of the Lord will have to meet principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. This will tax their courage, their faith, to the utmost; and should any one try to hedge up their way, God forbid. Should any words be spoken to prevent the aggressive warfare which must be carried on day by day in the great warfare against the enemies of God and the truth, is it not now the time that all our powers should be enlightened on the side of truth, pushing the triumph of the cross of Christ? 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 13

<Says the apostle,> “Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but shall live with Him by the power of God towards you. Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith, prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ be in you, except ye be reprobates. But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” [2 Corinthians 13:3-8.] 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 14

Never did I feel so strong a desire that the ministers should be so related to God and His plans that they will exalt the truth and make a success in their work, that they shall triumph with the truth. You, my Brother Andrews, are responsible for talents committed to your trust. If you frame a course of your own judgment that shall hold you <away from> the work, how can you stand approved in the sight of God? May the Lord help you both that you will not sow one single doubt, for this is the special work of Satan. Suppose either or both of you shall by words or actions show your unbelief in the testimonies because <there are> some things you do not see clearly; suppose you should shake the faith of others in this work? Do you think it would have a tendency to bring them nearer to God, make them stronger in the truth, increase their devotion and piety? Has this been the result of this work the last <forty> years? Will you please to examine carefully the past experience of those who have engaged in this kind of work? Did the ones doing this work become purer, better, holier men and women? Have they brought to the foundation gold, silver, precious stones to stand the fires of the last days? Have they been serving Jehovah or Baal? Our work must stand the test of the judgment. Are we working to elevate the standard, or are we seeking to bring down the standard to a common level? You have talents, you may be a successful minister, going forth weeping, bearing precious seed, returning, bringing your sheaves with you with rejoicing. May the Lord present this matter before you as it is, and may you put on every piece of the armor, working in harmony with your brethren, doing all possible in your power to advance God’s work, but you must work with the Spirit of Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 15

There must be with us individually a thinking, and acting, in earnest, in accordance with the sacred truth which we profess to believe. There is a paralysis of spiritual life which falls upon the soul because there is not a close connection with Jesus Christ. The real missionary work is being done by some, while others who could do heavy strokes for the Master have not the life, and spirit, and devotion to do the very work which needs to be done. God help you is my prayer. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 16

It is no time now to increase our entanglements, no time now to be burying our talents. Put them out to the exchangers, put the vital power of Christ into your labor. We call upon you, Eld. Andrews, to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. There is need of every soldier’s being brought into working order. Let everything in you be roused into action; all that is good and true and noble, bring to the front now. Put away doubts, put away unbelief, else you will have a bitter harvest to reap by and by. Sow in trust, sow in faith, sow in confidence. Love God, love your brethren. All seed sown produces its kind. Sow the seeds of love and faith, and you will reap that which you have sown. If you plant corn you reap corn, like produces like. Love begets love. Distrust and suspicion beget distrust and suspicion. Sow in faith and trust, and you will reap a precious harvest. God forbid that you, my brother and sister, shall reap a bitter harvest, for God expects better things of you. He expects fruit to His glory. Just put your wills on the side of God’s will, and you will then work as laborers together with God. Self will be swallowed up in God. We will have increased love for Jesus and then increased love for Christ’s property. Souls will be more precious to us than gold or silver, ease, self-indulgence, or anything we may name, because they were redeemed by the precious blood of the Son of God. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 17

You must keep alive your sympathy with your brethren. You must cultivate love which works out unity. We are as Christ’s chosen servants engaged in a most wonderful work. Every true, successful worker is a representative of Jesus Christ. The servants of God must lay their hands on truth itself, and appropriate it, and bring it into the life experience. So many who claim to have a knowledge of truth identify themselves with the shell of religion while it keeps truth apart from the soul and it does not sanctify the life. All truth must be recognized as from God, the author of all good; and when brought into the soul by continual practice, it sanctifies the soul. It is the thorough identification of the soul with God. They can say with David, “Do not I hate them that hate thee?” [Psalm 139:21.] 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 18

Let us consider the histories of the ancient saints, how closely they stood by the side of God and bound their own personal honor to His throne. God was their God. His truth was their truth; His honor was their honor. Any attack made upon the truth was as if cutting deep into their souls. It was an attack made upon themselves, and they would fight for God and for His truth. We are now having some little shaking, but the time of shaking will come in earnest ere long. Many who now are hanging back on the outskirts will surely fall into the enemy’s ranks as his prey. We must all throw all there is of us into active service, or some masterly working of Satan’s devices will deceive and ruin us. Bro. Andrews, be not deceived. Be not entrapped by the enemy. God wants your services; will you give them to Him? Will you gird on the armor? God help you to fight manfully the battles of the Lord and come off more than conquerors through Him that hath loved you. 5LtMs, Lt 17, 1887, par. 19