Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 59, 1905

Diary/The Sabbath Truth in the Sentinel

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 20, 1905

This manuscript, with EGW interlineations, is published in entirety in MR760 2-5. +Note

The Sabbath Truth in the Sentinel and Elder Ballenger’s Views

I am not able to sleep past one o’clock. I was aroused to write out some things that have been impressed on my mind. Not long ago I met Elder Ballenger in the hall of the building in which we have rooms. As I spoke to him, it came vividly to my mind that this was the man whom I had seen in an assembly bringing before those present certain subjects, and placing upon passages in the Word of God a construction that could not be maintained as truth. He was gathering together a mass of scriptures such as would confuse minds because of his assertions and his misapplication of these scriptures, for the application was misleading and had not the bearing upon the subject at all which he claimed justified his position. Anyone can do this, and will follow his example to testify to a false position, but it was his own. I said to him, You are the one whom the Lord presented before me in Salamanca as standing with a party who were urging that if the Sabbath truth were left out of the Sentinel, the circulation of that paper would be largely increased. You were the one that wept and confessed your mistakes, and we had the power of the Holy Spirit in that early morning meeting. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 1

I had been very sick, and yet had tried to speak to the people, and the Lord had strengthened me greatly. I had not knowledge of my words. The Lord spoke indeed through me. After I had given my last talk, my sufferings were so severe as to become almost unendurable. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 2

A list of appointments had been sent out for me to fill on my way from Salamanca to Battle Creek. It seemed impossible for me to fill these appointments. I went to my room and bowed in prayer. I had not been able to utter a word of prayer before the room was lighted up with the glory of God and scenes passed before me. I saw an assembly in a room in Battle Creek, and one standing up held up the Sentinel and said, “The Sabbath question must be cut out of this paper; then the circulation will be largely increased and the truth will come before thousands.” 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 3

One of authority came forward and said solemnly, “Bind up the testimony and seal the law among my disciples.” [Isaiah 8:16.] Then came the reproof, decided, firm, and cutting: “The Sabbath truth is to be proclaimed. It is the truth for these last days.” The words found in (Exodus 31:12-18) were repeated with great solemnity. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 4

I cannot now repeat all the things connected with the meeting, but I know that the steps which had been anticipated were not taken. The working of the Spirit of God was in that meeting. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 5

That night was a most solemn one for me. There came to my mind the truth that we have been proclaiming since the passing of the time in 1844, when the message came to us regarding the mistake we were making in keeping the first day of the week. We had Bible evidence and the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord that we were keeping a day that bore no sanctity, and that in so doing we were transgressing the law of God. This message we have borne ever since; and I solemnly asked, Are our people now to cut out the Sabbath message from the Sentinel and heed the advice and counsel of worldly men, keeping the Sentinel from carrying this most important truth to the world? 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 6

I could not sleep much that night. The next morning we started for Washington. I was taken very ill, and it was thought best for Sara and me to return to Battle Creek and not attend the meetings that were laid out for me on my journey. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 7

When I arrived at Battle Creek, I learned that our leading brethren had asked the Lord in prayer to send me direct to Battle Creek. Meetings were being held in the various rooms of the Tabernacle. One morning I was awakened before daylight. It was as if a voice spoke to me, Attend the morning meeting. I arose and dressed, and walked across the road to the meeting. As I went into the room, the brethren were in prayer. I united my prayer with those of the rest, praying with great earnestness. The Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting and my soul was deeply stirred. After the season of prayer, I arose to speak and bore a decided testimony with the Spirit and power of God, relating my experience in Salamanca and telling them what the Lord had revealed to me in the vision of the night. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 8

After I had borne a decided testimony, Brother Ballenger arose, all brokenhearted and weeping, and said, “I receive this testimony as from the Lord. I was in that meeting last night, and I was on the wrong side. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 9

What was my surprise to learn that the light I had in Salamanca was given me some time before this meeting was held. The Lord had prepared the way for me to return to Battle Creek and bear my message in the early morning meeting, directly after the evening meeting. I had been shown that steps would be taken to have the Sentinel no longer speak boldly upon the question of the true Sabbath of the Lord. The circumstances were such that on this occasion the excuse could not possibly be used, “Somebody has told her.” No one had an opportunity to see me or speak with me between the evening meeting and the morning meeting that I attended. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 10

I bore the message that the Lord gave me, and some made confessions with broken hearts and contrite spirits. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 11

And now again our Brother Ballenger is presenting theories that cannot be substantiated by the Word of God. It will be one of the great evils that will come to our people to have the Scriptures taken out of their true place and so interpreted as to substantiate error that contradicts the light and the testimonies that God has been given us for the past half century. I declare in the name of the Lord that the most dangerous heresies are seeking to find entrance among us as a people, and Elder Ballenger is making spoil of his own soul. The Lord has strengthened me to come the long journey to Washington to this meeting to bear my testimony in vindication of the truth of God’s Word and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in confirmation of Bible truth. The Word is sure and steadfast, and will stand the test. Human investigations will be brought in, but the Lord lives and He will bring to naught these inventions. We are to proclaim the full truth of the Word of God with decision and unalterable firmness. There is not truth in the explanations of Scripture that Elder Ballenger and those associated with him are presenting. The words are right but misapplied to vindicate error. We must not give countenance to his reasoning. He is not led of God. Our work is to bind up the Testimonies God has given and seal the law among His disciples. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 12

The time is worse than lost in spinning out theories that are not sustained in the Bible to vindicate such errors. I am instructed to say to Elder Ballenger, Your theories, which have multitudes of fine threads and need so many explanations, are not truth, and are not to be brought to the flock of God. The good that you and your associates might have received at this meeting, you have not received. God forbids your course of action—making the blessed Scriptures, by grouping them in your way, to testify to build up a falsehood. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 13

Let us all cling to the established truth of the sanctuary. Those who are so shortsighted that they will begin to do the work that some others have been doing, in advocating the sentiments contained in Living Temple, are departing from the living God in spiritualistic, satanic experiences that will not do the souls who receive them any good. They are departing from the faith, seeking to tear down the foundation of truth. The men who have lost their hold on the truths of the sanctuary question, as they have been presented by men who have been under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, had better pray more and talk less. I testify in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is led by satanic agencies and spiritualistic, invisible leaders. Those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will turn away from these seducing spirits. 20LtMs, Ms 59, 1905, par. 14