Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)



Lt 1, 1897

Church in Adelaide

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 22, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in 9MR 358-364.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

I am drawn out to address you. I am in great travail of soul for our people. We are living amid the perils of the last days. 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. We must each understand the doctrines that have been studied out carefully and prayerfully. 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 book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, and learn the texts thoroughly, that we may know what is written. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 1

The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving need to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. The Lord desires that every soul who claims to believe the truth shall have an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. False prophets will arise, and will deceive many. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. Then does it not become every one to understand the reasons of our faith? In place of having so many sermons, there should be a more close searching of the Word of God, opening the Scriptures text by text, and searching for the strong evidences that sustain the fundamental doctrines that have brought us where we now are, upon the platform of eternal truth. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 2

I can write but little to you now at this time. I have very much writing to do to complete The Life of Christ, and I have been called away so much that I have but little time to write. But 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 charmed with a spurious holiness, like Fannie Bolton, who in the midst of her deceiving, claimed that she was inspired of God. When men turn away from the waymarks the Lord has established, then we may understand our position as marked out in prophecy, they are going, they know not whither. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 3

I could wish that, if possible, another camp meeting might be held in Adelaide, and that this slime and filth, which Satan has poured forth against 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 may see and understand the truth, to be lived and advocated for this time. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 4

I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. Study in Patriarchs and Prophets the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. This rebellion was extended, including more than two men. It was led by two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, men of renown. Call rebellion by its right name, and apostasy by its right name, and then consider that the experience of the ancient people of God with all its objectionable features was faithfully chronicled to pass into history. The Scripture declares, “These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” [1 Corinthians 10:11.] And if men and women who have the knowledge of the truth are so far separated from their great Leader, that they will take the great 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. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 5

Read the cautions so abundantly given in the Word of God in regard to false prophets that will come in with their heresies, and, if possible, will deceive the very elect. With these warnings, why is it that the church do not distinguish the false from the genuine? The church thus misled need to humble themselves before God, and sincerely repent, because they were so easily led astray. They could not distinguish the voice of the true Shepherd from that of a stranger. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 6

Let them review this chapter in their experience. For more than half a century God has been giving His people light through the testimonies of His Spirit. After all this time is it left for two men and their wives to undeceive the whole church of believers, declaring Mrs. White a fraud and a deceiver? “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 7

I do not feel that any evidence presented to these men will have the least effect upon them. In McCullagh’s case, no new evidence can be given as to the truthfulness of the mission and work the Lord has given His servant to do. He has had the light. This apostasy has been permitted, that it may be faithfully written out in the true light, that the church at Adelaide may be helped to plant their feet upon the Rock of Ages and not on shifting sand. And this experience is to be a warning to others. Those who could ignore all the evidences God had given them in the recent camp meeting, and change that blessing into a curse, should tremble for the safety of their own souls. Their candlestick will be removed out of its place unless they repent. The Lord has been insulted. The standard of truth of the first, second, and third angels’ messages has been left to trail in the dust. If the watchmen are left to mislead the people in this fashion, God will hold some souls responsible for a lack of keen discernment to discover what kind of provender was being given to His flock. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 8

The Lord has permitted this matter to develop as it has done, 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 are so. 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. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 9

Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by it unless we by faith 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, professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? “Go not ye after them.” [Luke 21:8.] 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 10

The doctrines must be plainly understood. The men accepted to teach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against storm and tempest, because the anchor holds them firmly. The deceptions will increase, and we are to call rebellion by its right name. We are to stand with the whole armor on. My brethren, you are not meeting men only, but principalities and powers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, (Let Ephesians 6:10-18 be read carefully and impressively before the church). These men are voicing the words of the dragon. We have to meet the satanic agencies who 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.” [Revelation 12:17.] These men who have apostatized leave the true and faithful people of God, and fraternize with those who represent Barabbas. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 11

I write this because many in the church at Adelaide are represented to me as seeing men like trees walking. They must have another and 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 make up the hedge. “And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places, and raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shall 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 call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; 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.” [Isaiah 58:12-14.] 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 12

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 in 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 will be null and void unless we shall so present the truth as to work a decided reformation in the heart. 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, as were the opposers on the campground at Adelaide. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 13

Truth is to be proclaimed in warnings that will make hearts tremble in contrition before God. The sharp, clean-cut testimony must be borne. I hope that all who can possibly do so will 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.” [Matthew 10:16.] Make no compromise with those who have apostatized, but treat them kindly, giving no occasion for your good to be evil spoken of. 12LtMs, Lt 1, 1897, par. 14