Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 21, 1901

Diary/“I am awakened this morning ...”


March 3, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1SM 43-45. +Note

I am awakened this morning at one o’clock with a message to bear to my brethren in America. I seemed to be in a meeting where there were a large number of ministers. The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I said, I have a message from the Lord to you. “I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” [2 Timothy 4:1-5.] 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 1

Men who are not established and settled in the present truth, who, having a superficial understanding of God’s Word, are ready to feed on fables, will work among the churches. They will present to the people a mass of rubbish, which would never proceed from the minds of those possessing a knowledge of Jesus Christ. I have received letters expressing great anxiety. Someone has been teaching those in our churches that men and women with grey hair cannot be saved—[along] with other foolish theories. It seems singular that those who have their Bibles do not have a decided message for those who teach these fables. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 2

Such teachers are described in Paul’s words, “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” The apostle says, “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; ... All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:13, 14, 16, 17.] If our minds are open to receive the truth, we shall not be misled by the false messages which come to us. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 3

One man, Nelson by name, came all the way from Michigan with a special message for Sister White. He said that Sister White had been appointed by God to occupy the position occupied by Moses, and that he, Nelson, was to occupy the position of Joshua. Thus the work was to be carried forward. Sister White’s work was to be united with his work, and we were to proclaim the truth with power. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 4

This man took the liberty, as many others have done, to mingle a great deal of Scripture with his message, quoting passages which he applied to Seventh-day Adventists. During my connection with the work, many such men have arisen. They have selected and arranged Scriptures which they made applicable to the people of God. Mr. Nelson read with a loud, strong voice the passages he had selected, declaring them to be applicable to us as a people. He said that I must see that he was right, for was it not the Bible he was reading? 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 5

“Yes,” I said, “you have selected and put these Scriptures together, but like many who have arisen as you have, you are wresting the Scriptures, interpreting them to mean thus and so, when I know they do not apply as you have applied them. You, or any other deluded person, could <and have> arranged certain Scriptures of great force, and apply them according to your own ideas. Any man could misinterpret and misapply God’s Word, denouncing people and things, and then take the position that those who refused to receive his message had rejected the message of God and decided their destiny for eternity.” 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 6

Again, this man <stated that he had a special message> to give Sister White a message from _____ that she was hard upon her workers. God had sent him, he said, in behalf of this poor soul, to tell me that I had done wrong to my workers. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 7

Had I been in the least inclined to receive the man’s message, this charge would have decided against it. I told him that if I had been in any doubt before as to the character of his message, the charge that I was hard upon my workers would have been sufficient to convince me that his message was not true. I would leave my workers to testify at a proper time against his charge. When a man claims to have a message to set Sister White in order, and then speaks words which he has received from one whom I sincerely pity, but whose representations are entirely false, all his burden is of human invention. God has not sent him. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 8

I would not make reference to this man and his message did I not know that it is now time to do so, that the minds which he has deceived may be disabused. I know that God has not sent Brother Nelson with the message he claims to have received. Any man can take words of Scripture, and say, This belongs to a certain class. But it is only human judgment that makes this application. God has not given any such message. We know that the time has now come to say, Wherever Brother Nelson may attempt to bring in his message, receive him not; for God has not sent him. I feel very sorry for this poor brother, for he is certainly not in his right mind. God has not given him a message for the churches. He is deceived. We know that there is much chaff among the wheat, and that there are those claiming to believe the truth who do not practice the truth. These do injury to the cause of God. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 9

I hope the Lord will give understanding to His people in every place where this man may go, so that they may understand that he misinterprets the Scriptures, applying them where they do not apply at all. He denounces persons and things, thinking in his deluded mind that he has been sent by the Lord to bring about a great reformation. I have received letters from those who sustain him in his delusion. To all honest, deceived souls I would say, Believe not that God has given Brother Nelson his message, for I know that he is not in his right mind. His message is not from God. Believe him not. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 10

From the various letters which have come to me, I see that when such men as Nelson, claiming to be sent by God, go to those who are more or less isolated from our people, these souls are ready to grasp anything that purports to be of heavenly origin. Letters come to me entreating an answer; for <I know that many> men take the testimonies the Lord has given, and apply them as they suppose they should be applied, picking out a sentence here and there, taking it from its proper connection, and applying it according to their idea. Thus poor souls become bewildered when, could they read in order all that has been given, they would see the true application and would not become confused. Much that purports to be a message from Sister White serves the purpose of misrepresenting Sister White, making her testify in favor of things that are not in accordance with her mind or judgment. This makes her work very trying. Reports fly from one to another regarding what Sister White has said. Each time the report is repeated, it grows larger. If Sister White has anything to say, leave her to say it. No one is called upon to be a mouthpiece for Sister White. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 11

I scarcely dare hold a conversation with my ministerial friends; for my words are reported in a way that does harm, leaving a false impression on minds. Then letters come to me, asking me if I have said so and so, and I have to take the burden of stating the matter correctly. Will my brethren be more zealous to keep their tongues as with a bridle? Will they think of the great mischief that is done by unadvised words? 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 12

My friends must not be surprised if I refuse to engage in private conversation with them, for I know not what interpretation will be put upon my words. It is not safe for me or for the cause which I am striving with all my powers to advance. The cause of God is sacred to me. When my ministering brethren or the lay members of the church, in order to carry a point, select a few sentences from words I have spoken or from a letter I have written, and use these sentences out of their connection, they are doing me injustice. Please let Sister White bear her own message. It will come with a better grace from her than from the one who reports her. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 13

I am obliged to say that I do not think I am safe even in writing to my brethren and must cut off this source of danger, so that my words shall not be misapplied. I do not wish one jot of my influence to be used to the injury of souls. For my brethren to catch a word or expression that I may make, and translate it to mean something I never meant, hurts my soul most cruelly. How do they suppose I can fulfil the mission given me by God when they interpose between the work God has given me and the souls I desire to help. Silence is eloquence. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 14

I now wish to say to my brethren, I shall not feel at liberty to express either in council meetings or in private conversations that which I would be glad to say. I must not give the least chance for my words to be misinterpreted and used as a whip to hurt some of my brethren. I think, my brethren, that a live coal from off the altar should touch your lips. Then pure, sanctified, unselfish words would be spoken, words bearing the approval of God. Let us all seek the Lord, and He will help us and strengthen in us right principles and purposes. Let us pray more and talk less. 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 15

“The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil; who are taken captive by him at his will.” [2 Timothy 2:24-26.] 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 16

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:11-14.] 16LtMs, Ms 21, 1901, par. 17