The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 57—Testing Truths

Truth for This Time—We are to dwell in our doctrinal discourses upon the truth as it is in Jesus. Present the truth for this time as an important message, from another world. Lift Him up, the Man of Calvary. Come in consecration to holier ground, and still holier. Preach the truth with the power of God sent down from heaven. Let the truth take hold of the spiritual part of our own nature, and then the current of divine power will be communicated to those whom we address. Bear in mind you must have increased faith. Our faith is too small. What can give us the aid the crisis demands is the intelligent knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. We want His nature—all our faculties and powers strengthened and vitalized by the Spirit of Christ.—Letter 230, 1899. VSS 325.1

The Third Angel's Message—The present truth, the special message given to our world, even the third angel's message, comprehends a vast field, containing heavenly treasures. No one can be excusable who says, “I will no longer have anything to do with these special messages; I will preach Christ.” No one can preach Christ, and present the truth as it is in Jesus, unless he presents the truths that are to come before the people at the present time, when such important developments are taking place.—Manuscript 33, 1897. VSS 325.2

Common Truths First—Jesus spoke before the Pharisees and Sadducees in parables, hiding the clearness of truth under symbols and figures because they would make a wrong use of the truths He presented before them; but to His disciples He spoke plainly. We should learn from Christ's method of teaching and be careful not to cut off the ears of the people by presenting truths which, not being fully explained, they are in no way prepared to receive. VSS 326.1

The truths that we hold in common should be dwelt upon first and the confidence of the hearers obtained; then, as the people can be brought along, we can advance slowly with the matter presented. Great wisdom is needed to present unpopular truth before a prejudiced people in the most cautious manner, that access may be gained to their hearts. Discussions place before the people who are unenlightened in regard to our position and who are ignorant of Bible truth, a set of arguments skillfully gotten up and carefully arranged to cover over the clear points of truth. Some men have made it their business to cover up plain statements of facts in the Word of God by their deceptive theories, which they make plausible to those who have not investigated for themselves.—Testimonies for the Church 3:426. VSS 326.2

Sound Arguments—It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments that will not only silence our opponents but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny. With those who have educated themselves as debaters there is great danger that they will not handle the Word of God with fairness. In meeting an opponent it should be our earnest effort to present subjects in such a manner as to awaken conviction in his mind, instead of seeking merely to give confidence to the believer.—Testimonies for the Church 5:708. VSS 327.1

Demonstration of the Spirit—Our work for this time is not to be done by enticing words of man's wisdom, such as were used by heathen orators to gain applause. Speak in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with the power which God alone can impart. The testing truths for this time are to be proclaimed by men whose lips have been touched with a live coal from off God's altar. Such preaching will be a decided contrast to the preaching usually heard.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 6:1084. VSS 327.2

Bread to the Starving—Many souls are hungering for the Bread of life. Their cry is, “Give me bread; do not give me a stone. It is bread that I want.” Feed these perishing, starving souls. Let our ministers bear in mind that the strongest meat is not to be given to babes who know not the first principles of the truth as we believe it. In every age the Lord has had a special message for the people of that time; so we have a message for the people in this age. But while we have many things to say, we may be compelled to withhold some of them for a time, because the people are not prepared to receive them now. VSS 327.3

When a discourse is given, the people may listen with interest, but it is all strange and new to them, and Satan is ready to suggest to their minds many things that are not true. He will seek to pervert and misrepresent the speaker's words. What shall we do? The discourses presenting the reasons of our faith should be published in little leaflets, and circulated as widely as possible. Thus the falsehoods and misrepresentations which the enemy of truth constantly tries to keep in circulation would be revealed in their true character. The people have an opportunity of knowing just what the minister said. Those who introduce the leaven of truth amid the mass of false theories and doctrines may expect opposition. Satan's batteries will be opened upon those who advocate the truth, and the standard-bearers must expect to meet many sneers and much reviling that is hard to bear. VSS 328.1

The message of warning is to be given in all the highways and byways. The cities are to be worked, not merely preached to; there must be house-to-house labor.—Manuscript 95, 1894 VSS 328.2

Moral Beauty of Testing Truth—As you are to begin work in a new mission, be careful that your defects are not exalted as virtues, and thus retard the work of God. It is testing truths that we are bringing before the people, and in every movement these truths should be elevated to stand in moral beauty before those for whom we labor. Do not throw about the truth the peculiarities of your own character, or your own manner of labor.—Letter 12, 1887. VSS 328.3

The Three Angels’ Messages—It is our privilege to expect large things, even the demonstration of the Spirit of God. This is a power which will convict and convert the soul. Our message is a life-and-death message, and we must let this message appear as it is—the great power of God. Then the Lord will make it effectual. We are to present it in all its telling force. The first and second angels’ messages are bound up with the third angel's message. The power of the proclamation of the first and second angels’ messages is to be concentrated in the third.—Letter 209, 1899. VSS 329.1

The Testing Message—Let every discourse that does not enlighten the soul, that does not answer the question, What must I do to be saved? be cut off from your program. Preach the testing message of the third angel. It is essential that our ministers preach the truth that has a direct bearing on the message for this time, and that they present the subjects in the most simple language. What must I do to be saved, and the righteousness of Christ, are themes that are of vital importance to the people.—Letter 29, 1895. VSS 329.2

Importance of the Sabbath Truth—The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time, and therefore all connected with this great memorial is to be kept before the people.—Letter 207, 1899. VSS 330.1

Test for This Time—I write this letter to say a few things to my ministering brethren. When you have a congregation before you for only two weeks, do not defer the presentation of the Sabbath question, the real genuine matter, until everything else is presented, supposing that you are paving the way for it. Thus a mistake was made at Ballarat and at Maitland. The Sabbath was touched upon, but was not made the great question, the test for this time. VSS 330.2

Lift up the standard, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Make this everything, and then by your strong arguments wall it in, and make it of still greater force.—Letter 209, 1899. VSS 330.3

Cause of the Shaking—I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people.—Early Writings, 270. VSS 330.4

John's Revelation—To John were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience of the church. He saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records the closing messages which are to ripen the harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner or as fagots for the fires of destruction. Subjects of vast importance were revealed to him, especially for the last church, that those who should turn from error to truth might be instructed concerning the perils and conflicts before them. None need be in darkness in regard to what is coming upon the earth.—The Great Controversy, 341, 342. VSS 330.5

The Testimony of Christ—To John the Lord opened the subjects that He saw would be needed by His people in the last days. The instruction that He gave is found in the book of Revelation. Those who would be co-workers with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will show a deep interest in the truths found in this book. With pen and voice they will strive to make plain the wonderful things that Christ came from heaven to reveal.... VSS 331.1

The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people. Nothing else is to be allowed to engross our attention. VSS 331.2

Precious time is rapidly passing, and there is danger that many will be robbed of the time which should be given to the proclamation of the messages that God has sent to a fallen world. Satan is pleased to see the diversion of minds that should be engaged in a study of the truths which have to do with eternal realities. VSS 331.3

The testimony of Christ, a testimony of the most solemn character, is to be borne to the world. All through the book of Revelation there are the most precious, elevating promises, and there are also warnings of the most fearfully solemn import. Will not those who profess to have a knowledge of the truth read the testimony given to John by Christ? Here is no guesswork, no scientific deception. Here are the truths that concern our present and future welfare.—Testimonies for the Church 8:301, 302. VSS 332.1

Daniel and the Revelation—Those who accept positions as educators should prize more and more the revealed will of God so plainly and strikingly presented in Daniel and the Revelation.—Testimonies for the Church 6:131. VSS 332.2

Purpose of the Book of Revelation—In the book of Revelation we read of a special work that God desires to have His people do in these last days. He has revealed His law and shown us the truth for this time. This truth is constantly unfolding, and God designs that we shall be intelligent in regard to it, that we may be able to distinguish between right and wrong, between righteousness and unrighteousness. VSS 332.3

The third angel's message, the great testing truth for this time, is to be taught in all our institutions. God designs that through them this special warning shall be given, and bright beams of light shall shine to the world. Time is short. The perils of the last days are upon us, and we should watch and pray, and study and heed the lessons that are given us in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. VSS 332.4

When John was banished from those he loved to lonely Patmos, Christ knew where to find His faithful witness. John said: “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” VSS 333.1

The Lord's day is the seventh day, the Sabbath of creation. On the day that God sanctified and blessed, Christ signified “by His angel unto His servant John” things which must come to pass before the close of the world's history, and He means that we should become intelligent with regard to them. It is not in vain that He declares: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:9, 10, 1-3. This is the education that is to be patiently given. Let our lessons be appropriate for the day in which we live, and let our religious instruction be given in accordance with the messages God sends. VSS 333.2

We shall have to stand before magistrates to answer for our allegiance to the law of God, to make known the reasons of our faith. And the youth should understand these things. They should know the things that will come to pass before the closing up of the world's history. These things concern our eternal welfare, and teachers and students should give more attention to them. By pen and voice, knowledge should be imparted which will be meat in due season, not only to the young, but to those of mature years also.—Testimonies for the Church 6:127-129. VSS 333.3

Solemn Scenes of Prophecy—The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. VSS 334.1

Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. VSS 334.2

But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope, “the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.”—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118. VSS 334.3

Perils of the Last Days—Will our brethren bear in mind that we are living amid the perils of the last days? Read Revelation in connection with Daniel. Teach these things.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 115. VSS 334.4