Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 12, 1890

Garmire, Brother and Sister

Petoskey, Michigan

August 12, 1890

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 56, 73-79, 82-84; Ev 247-248, 256, 368, 682; OHC 214; CTr 332; 10MR 310-312; 12MR 116-119. +Note

Bro. and Sr. Garmire,

I received both of your letters; and if the sentiments therein expressed are the true sentiments of your heart, I know that you will receive the light from God, which will discover to you the darkness and error which has held you so many years in deception. But I am not as confident as I would like to be that this is the case. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 1

My brother, you have been deceived yourself, and have deceived others. You have not searched the Scriptures in the right way. You must search them to learn the mind of God, not to prove your theory. You read the Word of God in the light of your own views. You build up a false structure, and then barricade it with texts which you claim prove it to be true; but you pass over those passages which prove it to be untrue. You say, “The Bible is my foundation of faith.” But is it? I answer, The Bible does not sustain your position. Again you say, “Show me by the Bible that I am wrong, and I will give up my views.” But how can you be convinced by the Bible as long as you wrest and misapply its utterances? By so doing you cut off the only source by which God might reach and convict you. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 2

The only true way to search the Scriptures is to lay down every prejudice, every preconceived opinion, at the very door of investigation, and then enter into the work with an eye single to the glory of God, with an understanding open to conviction, and a heart softened to believe what the Lord says to you. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 3

The opinions of men are many and varied in regard to the interpretation of Scripture; but the Scriptures are not changed to suit men’s ideas. The blessed Book is yea and amen; it remains firm, eternal. The commentaries of men do not all agree, but the great and blessed facts remain the same. God’s word is immutable; “It is written.” 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 4

You have also taken from their connection portions of the testimonies which the Lord has given for the benefit of His people, and have misapplied them to the support of your erroneous theories, borrowing or stealing the light of Heaven to teach that which the testimonies have no harmony with, and have ever condemned. Thus you place both Scripture and testimony in the frame-work of error. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 5

All who are in error do as you have done. It is the great sin of the Roman Catholic church,—this bringing evidence from the Scriptures and from the Fathers to sustain false theories. But does the Bible <give any foundation to> these claims?—No, indeed. It cannot, because the structure they rear is founded in error. Will such ones admit anything in the Scriptures to be true which corrects their wrong theory?—No; for they <do as did the Jewish nation,> pervert the Scriptures <to sustain false theories.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 6

You do not have real faith in the testimonies. If you did, you would have received those which pointed out your delusion. You have <been drinking> at polluted streams. You were wrought up to a high state of fanaticism, and sent your lying messengers broadcast, stating that probation would close in 1884. These predictions <and the visions of your daughter Annie were false, and time has> proved them false. I <bore a message> [to] Bro. Schrock and Frank Allen <at the Jackson camp meeting> that which I knew to be from God, that time could not end when you declared it would, for there is a great work yet to be done <in sending the message of warning to all nations, tongues, and people. The binding claims of the law of God must be proclaimed.> There were events that would transpire before the end could come. But your ideas and the messages of your daughter held these <very few men and women> from accepting the true message. After the time passed, then was your opportunity to put yourself in harmony with your brethren, to make confession to them and to God, and to humble your wayward, guilty heart under the divine influence of the Spirit of God. Had you done this, you would have recovered yourself from the snare of the fowler. Why did you not then yield to your convictions that you were wrong—for you were convinced—accept the light, humble your heart before God, and honestly confess that you had not been led by the Lord? It was because you loved your own way; your opinions were dearer to you that the sure word of prophecy. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 7

Satan has arranged things so that you should be ensnared. <Fanaticism, deception, and strong delusion hold you captive in Satan’s snare.> You have talked your ideas in your family, misinterpreting Scripture, <wresting the Word of God from its true interpretation,> and have thus led them to believe that the views held and advocated by our people are not correct. Your interpretations of Scripture are not in harmony with the positions taken by Seventh-day Adventists. Your false interpretations have also affected those who are ignorant of our faith. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 8

You have been prepared to accept Satan’s suggestions to give to the world something new and strange and startling, something in opposition to the positions that have been so long held as truth by our people. <Your daughter’s false productions have exalted [you] to do a great work.> You have <been flattered> [and] have made yourself an agent of the enemy in bringing about results which it is impossible for you to estimate. You have published heresies and theories which could only excite animosity. The result is lamentable <to your family and all who are in sympathy with the false theories you have advanced.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 9

Bro. Garmire, there is a work for you to do for yourself which no one can do for you, <which is [to] humble your heart before God, confess your sins, and be converted.> The Lord has a people, and He is leading them. Though there certainly are things existing in the church which are not right, Jesus has not placed you at the helm, to guide the church. Unless you change your attitude, you cannot be saved. “Repent, and do the first works,” is the only condition upon which God can restore you to favor. [Revelation 2:5.] Those whom the Lord pardons, He first makes penitent. The genuine work of the Spirit of God in the heart is necessary in your case, if you are ever recovered from the snare of the enemy. I have but little hope in your case, <for your principles are tainted.> You are a man of defective character; yet you claim great things for yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 10

Satan has succeeded in making you think that you are selected by God to act a special part <as a representative man> in connection with the third angel’s message, as it goes forth with power. But you are not right with God, and God cannot administer to error. You make the most of the errors you see in the responsible men of the church, and make capital of the reproofs given them, because these men do not harmonize with you, or regard as correct the religious experience which you hold as superior to the light God has let shine upon the church. Who placed you on the judgment seat to condemn others? Not God, but yourself. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 11

You claim to be entrusted with a great work, but is it so?—No: God has not selected you to do the work, as you imagine. Your work is not to pick flaws in others. Your criticism of ministers who have acted an important part in the work and cause of God, is out of place. This is the kind of work Satan is doing. He is an accuser of the brethren, day and night. Have you considered how long the Lord has borne with you while you have been in darkness and error, drinking at an impure fountain? Do you contemplate how justly He might have visited you in wrath while you have turned from His counsels and stubbornly followed your own mind, your own judgment, calling it the way of the Lord? Your course has been an offense to God. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 12

The mold you have given to your children’s minds savors of the errors that have corrupted your own mind. You have educated them to see spots and stains in others, and to criticize them. By your words and example in thus talking against your brethren and picking up their faults, you have set in motion a train of circumstances that, <through your own power combined with satanic agencies,> have resulted in the visions of your daughter. All this fault finding, this accusing of your brethren, is Satanic. All who do such work are agents of Satan. There is none of the love of God in it. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 13

Your self-righteous feelings, your condemnation of others better than yourself, has opened a way of temptation whereby your own soul has been shrouded in darkness, and your family has been enveloped in darkness with you. They have been under your training and discipline, and that of the great deceiver, not under the influence of the Spirit of God. There must be a change in your relation to God and to your fellowmen, before you can walk in safe paths. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 14

There are two classes of people in our world who profess Godliness, the self-complacent, and the self-abhorrent. The first class do not practice the lessons of Christ. They search the Scriptures, but it is for the purpose of picking out incidental portions, which they misinterpret to strengthen their own peculiar views. They flatter themselves that they find a high morality reflected in their character. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 15

The lesson of Christ in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican is recorded for the benefit of all who believe the words of Christ. It was spoken to some who the Great Teacher saw were self-conceited, full of their own righteousness, and despised others. “Whosoever exalted himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” [Luke 14:11.] Your position is that of exalting self. Your assumption of excellency that does not belong to you will certainly exclude you from the grace which can truly exalt. True righteousness never produces such fruit; false righteousness always does. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 16

If you could only see yourself, and that past experience which you value so highly, as God sees you, you would abhor yourself. While you congratulate yourself that you are not like those in whom you see faults and wrongs, you are not awake to your own state. You will have no credit for your keen eyesight in discerning others errors, for you do not see that you are making far greater blunders than you accuse them of making. Were your eyes anointed with the spiritual eyesalve, you could but have bitter self-upbraidings. You do not know what spirit prompts you to action. You are self-deceived. God alone can change your perverted heart, He alone can transform your character and prepare you for the kingdom of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 17

The words you have spoken in condemnation of your brethren have not been few. It seems to be your meat and drink to condemn. <Your spiritual experience is composed of that which you give it to feed upon.> You also love to present your false ideas before your family, and before any one who will hear you. Can you be surprised, then, that the unholy leaven has worked? You may call this blasphemy, if you will, but it is what the Lord has shown me. Annie’s visions come in to confirm you in your wrong views. <You are deceiving and being deceived.> Satan has so arranged matters that you have barricaded your soul with falsehood. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 18

That which you claim to be great light, which is nothing but darkness, you received from [Frank] Jones, the blind man—<a poor, afflicted man in physical, mental, and moral power. He was moved with a power from beneath to not only ruin his own soul but the souls of others.> At the very time you believed him to be [under] the power of God, he was separated from God because of wicked works. <Iniquity was in him.> His heart was corrupt, his imagination defiled. He had polluted his soul and body before God. Yet with all this iniquity upon him, he could criticize with a bitter spirit those who were in responsible positions. Both he and Frank Allen were wicked men, debased in character. I have received letters of confession from both married and unmarried women, saying that when they first received my warnings in regard to Jones, they could not think they were true. They received the messages that he claimed were from God, and rejected the message God gave me, showing the falsity of the positions taken by him. As the result, these poor women had yielded and fallen into grievous sin. The second warning stated their iniquity, and they were in despair. A fascinating, mesmeric power, they said, was upon them. The devil was present with his hellish suggestions, and they fell. These souls were honest and conscientious, but they were deceived and ruined. Two of them, who were almost gone, were saved by a miracle of mercy. One mourned herself to death. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 19

Such hellish, Satanic delusions, advocated by Jones and seconded by Frank Allen, are the same that prevailed among the inhabitants of the Noatic world. “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” [Luke 17:26.] 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 20

Your connection with these men, the false warnings you have given to the people, and the reproach you have brought upon the cause of God, by setting up a false light, have been distinctly shown me. And I have seen that you will not clear yourself until with contrition you confess your error. <Your setting the time for the Lord to come gave occasion for the world to call Seventh-day Adventists a deluded set of time-setters.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 21

When I came from the Ohio camp meeting to Jackson, Michigan, to attend the camp meeting there, as we left the cars to take the hack, Frank Allen stepped up, and handed me your tract. I read it, and in a large assembly made the statement that I knew that this appeal was not of God, for it was not founded on the truth. The Lord would never give a message to His people through an impure channel. Pure truth He gives to men who are the most closely connected with Him. If the Lord has such solemn truth to give to our world, it would not come through one whose whole mind and soul was debased, to whom there was nothing pure. I also had a message of warning for Frank Allen and Bro. Shrock; but they were full of self-conceit, and did not receive the testimony. Again I was compelled to bear my testimony to Frank Allen in the presence of several of our brethren, setting before him his wicked, deceptive course; but his only answer was, “I suppose a man can repent and be forgiven.” I answered, “Yes, oh yes, and this is what I want you to do.” Then he repeated what he claimed Annie had seen in vision. I told him <these visions of Annie were not of God,> that if he would now repent and turn to the Lord, God would have mercy upon him, and would abundantly pardon. But the man did not confess, he did not repent of his sins. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 22

Your expressing so much faith in the testimonies, and making them so prominent, is no help to me or my work because you place the false visions of your daughter on the same level with those the Lord gives to me, and thus lower the sacredness and exalted character of the work God has given me to do. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 23

The Lord has plainly shown me that what you regard as communications from God to you and others through your child Annie, are not from  Him. They do not bear the divine credentials. It is another spirit that controls the child. It is the enemy that works in her. Such manifestations will be more and more common in these last days. They do not lead to unity, into all truth, but away from the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 24

One decided evidence we have that these exercises are not of God is that they concur with your views, which we know to be erroneous. Things she says she sees in vision are not sustained by the Word of God, but are contrary to it. Satan is constantly at work to imbue her with his own spirit, that through her, under a cloak of righteousness, he may bring in <commonness,> heresies, and defilement. As you regard her utterances as from God, your faith in the true testimonies is <valueless>; and thus Satan hopes to disconnect you, and all who have any confidence in your ideas, from the agencies that God has ordained, that you may be left to believe a lie. <The Scriptures speak of those who are deceived and are being deceived. [2 Timothy 3:13.] This is your case. You deceive your daughter; she deceives you—the blind leading the blind.> The enemy seeks to accomplish his purposes by various means, as shall best meet the circumstances and situation of those whom he sees he can allure by temptation. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 25

I tell you plainly, the messages of your daughter Annie are not from God. This the Lord has shown me, and He will not lie. She may say <many> good things, may speak much that is truth, but so does the enemy of souls. <The counterfeit will in many respects resemble the true.> It is the fruit borne that testifies of the character. Annie is in sin, corrupt before God. Some things in regard to her I withhold at the present time; they will appear in the future. She is not a pure, virtuous girl. I know what I am writing about. And by your credulity, and your management of her, you have ruined her experience in religious things. For your own sake, and for the sake of your children, I sincerely hope you will see these things in the light of God. I feel sorry for your wife and children, and especially for your deluded, unfortunate Annie. She has much to say of the wrongs of others, but, poor child! What is her own condition before God? God pities her ignorance and youth. She should set her own heart in order, and not speak bitter words against any in the church. <She is a falsifier. She is not truthful. She is a deceiver and her sin lies at your door.> Neither you nor your daughter can read the heart, hence you should not judge. The <condemnation of God is upon you> in your thus holding the church up to condemnation, as though you were in the light. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 26

Would that you might stand in the light, and be a vessel unto honor; then your works would be wrought in righteousness. Whatever errors may be committed in the church, you cannot correct them; you can only correct your own wrongs. If God’s people err and then see and confess their errors, the Lord will pardon them, for this He has promised to do; but if all the Lord’s people should err, it would not excuse you for your feelings of enmity toward them, or your bitter criticisms. <God has not made you the sin-bearer for His people.> It is for you to confess your own sins, and make all the restitution in your power. Your limited conceptions need to be broadened; your dark ideas need to be enlightened; your beclouded understanding needs to be cleared and brightened by the Sun of Righteousness. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 27

Your whole history being spread out before me, I know that the rebuke of God is upon you for your past <and present> course. Your predictions have proven to be untrue, <and yet you continue to prophesy lies while> you cling to your faith in them. You have a perseverance that is worthy of a better cause. I pity your children, but cannot see what we can do for them under the circumstances, as long as you keep Annie’s utterances before them as from the Lord. We might labor for them to be converted, but what could we say, with you and their mother deluded as you are? I love your children; my heart yearns toward them. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 28

In the work in which my husband and I were called by the providence of God to act a part, even from its very beginning in 1843 and 1844, we have had the Lord to devise and plan for us, and He has worked out His plans through His living agents. False paths have been so often pointed out to us, and the true and safe paths so clearly defined in all the enterprises connected with the work given us to do, that I can say of a truth I am not ignorant of Satan’s devices, nor of the ways and works of God. We have had to tax every power of mind, relying upon wisdom from God to guide us in our investigations, as we have to review the different theories brought to our attention, weighing their merits and defects in the light <shining from the Word of God and the things> God has revealed to me through His Word and the testimonies, in order that we might not be deceived nor deceive others. We surrendered our will and way to God, and most earnestly supplicated His aid; and we never sought in vain. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 29

Many years of painful experience in connection with the work of God have made me acquainted with all kinds of false movements. Many times I have been sent to different places with the message, “I have a work for you to do in that place; I will be with you.” When the occasion came, the Lord gave me a message for those who were having false dreams and visions, and in the strength of Christ I bore my testimony at the Lord’s bidding. The most terrible denunciations were hurled against me, which they said were from the Lord, because I was opposing His work. They said that terrible calamities would come upon me, just as your Annie has prophesied; but I passed along perfectly conscious of the guardianship of heavenly angels. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 30

During the past 45 years, I have had to meet persons claiming to have messages from God of reproof to others. This phase of religious fanaticism has sprung up again and again since 1844. Satan has worked in many ways to establish error. Some things spoken in these visions came to pass; but many things—in regard to the time of Christ’s coming, the end of probation, and the events to take place—proved utterly false, <as your prophesying and Annie’s have done.> Yet they would try to excuse the blunders by twisting the statements about, and giving them another meaning, and go on in the same way, deceiving and being deceived. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 31

When I was first wrought upon by the Spirit of the Lord, I was shown that I would be brought in contact with those who claimed to see visions, but that the Lord would not permit me to be deceived. My work was to unveil this falsehood, and to rebuke it in the name of the Lord. As the end drew near, I was to see more of these manifestations. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 32

Letters have come to me from different ones, relating visions that they said God had given them; but the Lord Jesus tells me, “Believe them not; I have not sent them.” Some write to me saying that God has revealed to them that Sr. White is in error, that she is influenced by the leaders to believe some things that are not true, and to reject some things that are true. But the word comes again, “Heed them not; I have not spoken by them, nor given them any word or message. They have spun lying words, from the suggestions of Satan.” 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 33

Some have come to me claiming to be Christ, and have apparently worked miracles. They have said that the Lord led me in many things, but the Sabbath was not a test question; that the law of God was not binding upon men; all we had to do was to accept Christ, and they themselves were Christ. I have had experience with all these pretentious claims, and I have no faith in them. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.] 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 34

In one place, four in one family professed to have communications from the Lord, reproving wrong, and they predicted things that actually did take place. This inspired confidence in them. But the things that did not take place were kept in the dark, or were treated as something mysterious, which would be understood later. <Whence did these receive their inspiration? From satanic agencies, which are many.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 35

The Lord laid it upon me to meet these things, and bear a decided testimony against them. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 36

In several cases the ones who claimed to have visions had a testimony for me, that I must do certain things—a class of humiliating acts which I will not mention, all the outgrowth of fanaticism. The Lord presented the true situation before me, and said, “Give no heed to these things, not for a moment. I have not sent them, yet they ran. They cover their deceptions with the garments of truth: be not deceived.” 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 37

I have seen several fall in vision; but when I rebuked the spirit which controlled them, they immediately came out of vision, and were in great distress of mind. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 38

Such experiences as these came to be very common. Several in one family were under this species of deception. One would see that Sr. White was exalted; another, that Sr. White was not humble because she would not get down upon her hands and knees and creep, another, that Sr. White would be rejected and lost because she did not believe the visions they had were from God. Another would see that he must go to a certain place, and remain there two, three, or four weeks. These visions found credit with some who were lacking in wisdom. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 39

Messages would be given for different members of the church, telling some poor trembling soul, “You are proud;” another, “You are unbelieving; you will be lost.” The Lord gave me light in this instance <to speak words of comfort and encouragement. I bore> my testimony <to these deceived ones> whether they would hear, or reject it. Their visions were Satan’s work. The things revealed were often common, earthly matters, such as, who should get breakfast the next morning, who should prepare the dinner, who should wash the dishes. Mingled with these frivolous things were sacred truths, which they had found in the <Bible and testimonies.> Satan’s hand was in all this, to disgust people and cause them to spurn everything in the nature of visions. Thus the false and the true would be rejected together. And even those who were engaged in the deception, when they should become weary of it, would be inclined to doubt all visions. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 40

After a very solemn meeting with <these deceived ones, confessions were made> that they threw themselves into attitudes resembling Sr. White, as nearly as they could. It was all a farce, a deception. Yet many things they told, came to pass as they predicted. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 41

I was asked how this could be if the visions were all false. I told them that it was Satan’s purpose to mingle truth with error, that through these deceptive exercises he might make of none effect the genuine work of God. From that time all their <many> visions ceased. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 42

What has become of those who had the visions, and those who encouraged them? The father and mother received my testimony, and began to undo their work; but four of the children now living are skeptics, have no belief in the gifts of the church, no faith in the truth, no religion at all. Such, I have been shown, is the sure result of spurious visions. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 43

The manifestations of your daughter are a similar deception. And your encouraging these things in her will prove her ruin, and the ruin of others, unless something breaks the deception. You called these false visions and meaningless dreams the wonderful light of God, but it is like the chaff to the wheat. This is a serious matter. It will have a decided influence upon your family. While you regard your daughter’s words as spoken under the influence of the Spirit of God, it will be the same to you as though they were true. <You are under strong delusion of Satan.> You will <claim to> credit them, and thus your confidence in the veritable, genuine messages from God will be uprooted. And so will it be with all who believe as you do. This is why Satan is so constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 44

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” [Proverbs 29:18.] Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead and mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions, as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 45

Likewise, he works through persons who have been reproved for some inconsistency in their religious life, for some course of action which was dangerous to themselves and others; and instead of receiving the testimony as a blessing from God, they refuse the means God uses to set them right. Such may be apparently very zealous for God, but they put their own interpretation upon the Word, and make it contradict what the Lord has revealed in the testimonies. They think they are doing God’s service, but such work God has not given them to do. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 46

You, Bro. Garmire, have a reasoning mind, but in this matter your reason is perverted. You should have clear spiritual eyesight. You ought to know that the great and holy God will not condescend to open to a child, or even to a man or woman, such frivolous matters as your Annie claims that God teaches her. God will not lie, nor deceive His people. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 47

Your past experience has been opened before me. I <was shown> that you have not carried yourself right in your business relations. Have you not given occasion for your good to be evil spoke of? Your zeal carries you too far in advocating that which you claim to be truth. You believe in health reform. That is good, but you are in danger of making your ideas of it too prominent. You take too strong positions, carry your remarks to extremes, and thus prejudice people against our denomination. Here you show lack of tact and wisdom. Minds to whom this subject is new are not prepared to receive strong statements. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 48

Many are doing this same thing. They leave impressions on minds that are hard to efface. Many think that health reformers are fanatics. We are misrepresented on this subject, therefore we need to handle it with great wisdom, lest the false impressions that have prevailed be deepened, and our efforts to convince people only fasten them more strongly in their own ways. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 49

Again: The testimonies of Sr. White should not be carried to the front. <God’s Word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word.> Great care should be exercised <by all believers> to advance these questions carefully, and always stop when you have said enough. <Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures> and substantiate every point you claim as truth <from the revealed Word of God.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 50

The question of the non-immortality of the soul also needs to be treated with great care, lest in introducing the subject there be started a deep and exciting controversy, which will close the door to further investigation of the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 51

Great wisdom is required in dealing with human minds, even in giving a reason of the hope that is within us. “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you, with meekness and fear.” [1 Peter 3:15.] You should fear lest you be imprudent in speech, or make too strong impressions, or advance ideas that your hearer is not prepared to receive, and so leave unfavorable impressions upon the mind, and the inquirer be turned from the truth, instead of won to it. What is the hope of which we are to give a reason?—the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 52

When the love of God is abiding in the soul, you will talk of it. Do not get into an argument, if you can possibly avoid it. You need that faith which works by love, and purifies the soul. You dwell too much upon special ideas and doctrines, and the heart of the unbeliever is not softened. To try to impress him is like striking upon cold iron. The love of Jesus, and a personal, experimental knowledge of His ways, will lead the believer to talk of those things which will not raise prejudice. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 53

Jesus said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” [John 16:12.] Had He told them those things which He left unsaid, they would not have comprehended them for they were surrounded with human prejudices, jealousy, and tradition. They could not have had wisdom to communicate His instruction to others, after the Master’s presence should be withdrawn, so that the same impressions would be made on other minds that had been made on theirs. The disciples would have to meet the bitterest opposition from Pharisees, priests, and rulers, and angry controversies would be the sure result. Christ said to the scribes and Pharisees, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 54

We have to meet men in our day who are giving false interpretations of the Scriptures, who wrest the Word of God from its true meaning, and misapply its utterances, <as you have done and are continuing to do;> and we are in constant need of wisdom to know when to speak and when to keep silent. But there is always perfect safety in talking of the hope of eternal life. And when the heart is all melted and subdued by the love of Jesus, the inquiry will be, “Lord, what must I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30.] It is not our words that have the greatest influence, it is the love of Jesus in the soul. This will melt the heart, and then it is in a condition for the seeds of truth to be planted. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 55

My brother, you need an entirely different religious experience. Those who are called by God must be pure in heart and holy in character. Your influence over your daughter Annie has injured her. Did you not know that she was simply a medium for your thoughts, a channel for your accusations? The church will never receive her messages. <They bear not the divine credentials.> God is not yea and nay, but yea and amen. And while you weave your daughter’s experience into every thing, you cannot be in harmony with God’s people. When you drop these things <and purify your soul by obeying the truth,> and try to eradicate <the same> from your poor child, you will be doing the work God would have you do. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 56

It is entirely useless for you to write or repeat to me any expression or message your daughter may have, because I know these things do not bear the heavenly credentials. This is my position and has been from the first. Do not misunderstand me; your daughter stands today as a deceiver. All apologies and excuses for sin are in vain. Who can testify for the sinner when God testifies against him? The verdict from God has gone forth, and no human reasoning can reverse it. Let the opinion of her father and mother fall before the decision of the Lord. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 57

Yet Annie’s case is not hopeless, unless you make it so by encouraging her in these exercises, and giving credence to her messages. I speak as your friend. I want you and your family to be saved from these Satanic delusions, to break this spell that binds your daughter to the powers of darkness and makes her a channel of darkness to others. May the Lord open your eyes to see that He cannot communicate His special, sacred light through any such channel as Annie. Precious truth never steps her pure and delicate feet into the slough of error <and licentiousness.> God can speak by whom He will; and when He speaks, it is not rapid words, but a solemn message, powerful to accomplish that whereunto it is sent. The spirit and power of truth sanctifies the heart, purifies the thoughts, and cleanses the hands of him to whom God would reveal anything. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 58

Your ideas, your theories, have been brought out in Annie’s visions. Some of them have proved to be untrue, yet you sanction and encourage them. Your daughter is a ruined girl. <She has sacrificed her virtue.> God, in His mercy, can tear away the garb of deception, but you, <her father,> bar the way by your spirit and influence. You are encouraging that which should have no existence. You talk about Annie’s book of visions. God forbid that such things should ever see the light of day. Their only inspiration comes from her earthly father, aided by the great deceiver. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 59

How is it with your other children? They can but soon discover the inconsistencies and contradictions in these purported visions. They can but see that the girl <is in moral pollution and> does not bear the heavenly credentials. Every one of your children is now susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God. If they could be removed from the influence of these false theories, they might be converted; but if things continue as they are, there will certainly be a reaction, and they will despise all religion, as did the family I mentioned. Their reasoning powers will be aroused, and they will see that the words and character of Annie are not in accord with the Spirit of God. They will soon begin to think for themselves, and will get entirely beyond the narrowness that now binds them. Then they will be in danger of hating all religion, because the only kind they have known presents to them principles and motives which do not recommend it to their intelligence. If their parents lead them away from the truth as revealed in God’s Word, who is to blame? I see no prospect of success with your children unless you parents first set the example. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 60

Sanctified knowledge is power, life, peace, and joy forever. If you had all your powers under the control of the Spirit of God, you could be a blessing to others; but, as you are, you simply bring in confusion and heresy. Every effort you make to lead souls into the truth is fruitless, because you bring up your daughter’s spurious visions, comparing them with Sr. White’s, and thus lead souls to believe a lie. Satan can speak some truth to those he wishes to deceive, as he did to Christ. We can so interweave truth with falsehood that the truth will be of none effect. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 61

I call upon you, parents, to heed the warning I now give you. Your oldest boys need to be educated to receive a mold of character that will fit them for usefulness. Where is your daughter Annie? God has not told her to leave her father’s family. She needs the home influence of a kind, patient father and mother, who will not in the least degree encourage her vision-mania, but will show her the inconsistency of it. Just as long as you, my brother, foster these visions and furnish subject matter for them, you will be the guilty one. You are the one who will be registered in the books of heaven as a deceiver. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 62

Do not say you are in harmony with the testimonies of Sr. White while you hold the position you do. Until you renounce your belief in the visions of your daughter, you cannot be in harmony with the work God has given me to do. <What communion hath light with darkness or he that believeth with an infidel?> Your daughter is being educated in falsehood and deception which will, unless corrected, leave her <a moral wreck> outside the city of God with all who love and make a lie. Under the management which she has had for years, she is not growing into purity, chastity, and modesty. None but the sanctified, the pure and holy, can enter the holy city. Dare you take the position that your poor deluded child is a fit vessel for the Master’s use? 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 63

Sanctification is a state of holiness, without and within, being holy and without reserve the Lord’s, not in form, but in truth. Every impurity of thought, every lustful passion, separates the soul from God, for Christ can never put His robe of righteousness upon a sinner to hide his deformity. The sin must appear as sin; the guilt must be discerned. The conscience must be aroused, the sin abhorred, and overcome by the grace of Christ. Then, in the place of defilement will be the pure love of Jesus. The man is a new creature in Christ. He is sanctified. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 64

Christ says, “Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] There must be a progressive work of triumph over evil, of sympathy with good, a reflection of the character of Jesus. We must walk in the light, which will increase and grow brighter unto the perfect day. This is real, substantial growth, which will finally attain to the full stature of <men and women in> Jesus Christ. What a blessing it is that we are not left to follow the blind, inconsistent utterances of a child, who is impure, unholy, unsanctified! 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 65

My brother, I have a word from the Lord for you. You have many things to unlearn before you can learn the lessons in the school of Christ, before you can be an accepted son of God. You are to use every means within your reach that will help you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord. Heaven is a happy place because it is a holy place. Conformity to the likeness of Christ’s character, overcoming all sin and temptation, walking in the fear of God, setting the Lord continually before us, will bring peace and joy on earth and insure us pure happiness in heaven. “Sanctify them through thy truth.” [John 17:17.] “Born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.” [1 Peter 1:23.] The seed here referred to is the truth planted in the heart—the Word of God that abideth forever. We cannot be sanctified by a mixture of truth and error. We are chosen of God through the sanctification of the Spirit. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 66

Jesus Christ is the source, the Author, of truth. “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” [Hebrews 11:6.] Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I may be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wished to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 67

The truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] Our minds should be continually brought in contact, not with men’s ideas and opinions, but with the truth; and “thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] That word, the law and the testimony, is to define the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 68

There are so many foolish things, so many condemnations, so many things of divers character, spoken by your daughter, that they cannot even be tested <or compared> by the law and the testimony. It would be an insult to the Spirit of God to credit, for a moment, the High and Holy One with such things. It would be making God altogether such an one as ourselves, filling the mind with foolishness, and removing all that is sacred from the work and dealings of God. No person, unless his mind is darkened in regard to religious things, can accept the saying of your daughter as communications from Heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 69

There is no time for you to lose in unlearning what you have been learning. Begin in earnest. Cease trying to interpret the visions of Annie to find truth. They are not truth, they are falsehood. Truth bears the stamp of God’s approval. The evidence of its inspiration is its sanctifying power. The truth is ever elevating, ennobling, purifying. The exercises of your daughter bring reproach on all that is pure and elevating; they make common all that is sacred and divine. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 70

O, how deceptive is the human heart! How easy it is to harmonize with that which is evil! There is nothing more detrimental to the soul’s interest, its purity, its true and holy conceptions of God, and of sacred and eternal things, than constantly giving heed to and exalting that which is not from God. It poisons the heart, and degrades the understanding. Pure truth can be traced to its divine Source, by its elevating, refining, sanctifying influence upon the character of the receiver. The Author of all truth prayed to His Father, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [Verses 20, 21.] 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 71

Things will be constantly arising to cause disunion, to draw away from the truth. This questioning, criticizing, denouncing, passing judgment on others, is not an evidence of the grace of Christ in the heart. It does not produce unity. Such work has been carried on in the past by persons claiming to have wonderful light, when they were deep in sin. Heresy, dishonesty, and falsehood were all blended in them. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 72

The present is a time of great peril to the people of God. God is leading out a people, not an individual here and there. He has a church on the earth that abides in the truth; and when we see, not only men, but young girls, crying out against the church, we are afraid of them. We know God has not sent them, yet they ran, and all who do not accept their erratic ideas, are denounced as warring against the Spirit of the Lord. All such things <are in Satan’s line, but the work of God will go forward while there are now and ever will be those who work> directly against the prayer of Christ. <The work will advance, leaving them with their satanic inventions far behind.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 73

Jesus has made an infinite sacrifice for the redemption of His people, those who believe in the efficacy of His precious blood. He died, the just for the unjust, that He might lead us, and work through us, and sanctify us. If there is in our hearts a love for Him who first loved us, and gave Himself for us, we will be eager and earnest to overcome everything that destroys that unity. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 74

“Take heed, therefore, how ye hear,” is an admonition of Christ. [Luke 8:18.] We are to hear for the sake of learning the truth, that we may walk in it. And again: “Take heed what ye hear.” [Mark 4:24.] Examine closely, “prove all things,” “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” [1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1.] This is the counsel of God; shall we heed it? A man may hear and acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing of personal piety and true experimental religion. He may explain the way of salvation to others, and yet himself be a castaway. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 75

The truth is holy and powerful, and searches the intents and purposes of the heart. The importance and authority of the truth in the great plan of salvation originated in the divine Author, and are not rendered void or worthless because the instruments employed in their administration are unholy or unfaithful. “Why,” asked a man who had been and still was practicing wickedness, “are souls converted to the truth through my influence?” I answered, “Christ is constantly drawing souls to Himself, and flashing His own light in their path. The seeker after salvation is not permitted to read the character of him who teaches him. If he himself is sincere, if he draws nigh to God, believing in Him, confessing his sins, he will be accepted.” 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 76

The Word of God is sure and steadfast; it abideth forever. Christianity has ever been a cause of discord and strife, not because men believed the Scriptures, but because it strove against superstition and heresy and false interpretations of the Word, which, through the spurious devices of the enemy, held power over human minds. Satan’s work began in a lie to our first parents, and he has continued in the same deceiving line ever since, striving to efface the truth, and bring in the false. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 77

The pages of history are blackened with the register of crimes that have been perpetrated because of religious differences. Satan now works with two-fold power. He deceives souls, and then makes them zealous in the advocacy of error. They urge their erroneous views, seeking to sustain them by misplaced and misinterpreted texts of Scripture. God has given His church a charge, to discern that which comes from above, and to separate the precious from the spurious. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 78

In the time of the Reformers, some were afraid of the influence on the church of those in error, and hence special pain was taken to make iron rules that the common people should not read and interpret the Scriptures for themselves. Thus the church came to exercise tyranny over dissenters. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 79

In your case, and those connected with you, the church has been zealously seeking to keep out those heresies. They have openly protested against them, and this has caused those in error to raise the cry, “Persecution!” The ones who dealt with these persistently inconsistent elements, became excited and harsh, moved unwisely, and thus gave Satan great advantage. This is not the way to deal with the erring. The standard of truth should always be held up in the Spirit of the Master. God alone is able to decide how far circumstances and personal infirmities were responsible for their accepting heresies, whether it was a sin of ignorance, or a lack of wisdom. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 80

Some are so bold and defiant, so self-sufficient, and believe such inconsistent and superstitious things, that it is necessary to take decided action in their case. But after the reproof is given, it is not necessary to neglect them, or meet them with coldness, with an unsympathetic, denunciatory spirit. <If you see them working their deceptions on other minds, do all that you can to save the souls who are being led astray by the error of the wicked seducers. God will reward them according to their works.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 81

The evils which have existed in all ages will continue to exist till the close of probation. We need to understand the cause of these evils, and the modes of Satan’s attacks, that we may be able to resist them. We have to meet not only men who fall into error, but principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places. Satan is battling for his empire, which the servants of God are determined to wrench from him; and in this sharp warfare, for fear that errors will come into their ranks, they have sometimes turned their weapons against the true messengers of God. What can keep the church from making these sad blunders, from putting light for darkness?—Only the spirit of the blessed Jesus. They cannot avoid meeting these errors, and will have to deal with them, but they should never do it in a harsh manner, with a fierce, haughty, tyrannical spirit. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 82

Those who are sent by God to do a special work, will be called to rebuke heresies and errors. They should exercise Bible charity toward all men, presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. Some will be most earnest and zealous in their resistance to the truth; but while their faults must be exposed unflinchingly, and their evil practices condemned, long-suffering, patience, and forbearance must be exercised toward them. <[“And of] some have compassion, making a difference: [and] others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted [by] the flesh.” [Jude 22, 23.]> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 83

The church may be called upon to dismiss from their fellowship those who will not be corrected. <It is a painful duty that has to be done.> Sad indeed is such a step, and it should not be taken until every other means of correcting and saving the one in error has failed. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 84

Christ never made peace by anything like compromise. The hearts of God’s servants will overflow with love and sympathy for the erring, as represented by the parable of the lost sheep; but they will have no soft words for sin. They show the truest friendship who reprove error and sin without partiality and without hypocrisy. Jesus lived in the midst of a sinful and perverse generation. He could not be at peace with the world unless He left them unwarned, unreproved, and this would not be in accordance with the plan of salvation. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 85

Those who err from the truth will differ in opinion among themselves, but they will be united in their opposition to God’s work. Their life and character may be inconsistent with their own faith. They may introduce ideas of their own, as you, Bro. Garmire, have done, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Unsound theories may be entertained by them, or some portions of the truth may be made of so much greater importance than others that fanaticism may be brought in. Here is where the church needs spiritual eyesight, the heavenly anointing, that they may know how to deal with these cases. While they may be compelled by the Spirit of God to exhort and rebuke, it must be done with all long-suffering and doctrine. <The resistence to truth, the stubbornness of men, may demand sharp rebuke.> 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 86

We should never let the impression prevail that only a privileged few have a knowledge of the Scriptures and that others must refer to these—one or another of their favorite ministers—as authority for their doctrines. Men should be educated to search the Scriptures for themselves, to dare to think for themselves, taking the Bible as their guide book, their standard of faith. Although heresy may lift its head boldly, and insult the truth by perverted ideas and false interpretations and misapplication of Scripture, there should be no suppression of religious freedom by reformers. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 87

The church should ever bear in mind that they are never to ascribe to fallible man the unerring wisdom of the one living God. We must keep our hearts full of love, full of the milk of human kindness, not only for a few in lofty positions, but for every soul for whom Christ has died. We want every soul to have a pure gospel and to feel the necessity of searching the Scriptures for himself, to know what saith the voice of the Eternal, and bind himself to the great heart of Infinite Love. Let the watchmen stand as faithful sentinels, and have spiritual eyesight to see the perils of the church, and then let the bold-hearted Calebs sound the note of warning. 6LtMs, Lt 12, 1890, par. 88