Rolling Back the Reproach



“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia,

February 22, 1899.

The time came for the Sanitarium to be placed upon a more sure foundation, and for the school to receive thorough reconstruction. Satan was working through his agents in a masterly manner. His instruments were all ready to fall into line, and to be worked by him. These called evil good and good evil. Had they not been resisted and defeated, there would have been as fearful a state of rebellion as when the spies returned who were sent to view the land of Canaan. When they returned from their work, they brought back an evil report. They acknowledged all the advantages of the promised land. They displayed the fruit they had found there, and then they magnified the difficulties, showing their unbelief in the God who was leading them. They said all they could to discourage, and they discouraged all Israel. They bore false witness. They did not remember how the Lord had helped them under every difficulty. The people broke forth into lamentations, mourning, and faultfinding. PH068 25.1

The men that brought up an evil report of the promised land died by the plague, while Caleb and Joshua lived; but though the Lord thus manifested his power to slay and to keep alive, the leaven of evil that had been introduced worked so effectually that the people would have stoned God's faithful witnesses. They were not transformed in character. They were prepared, as we have seen men prepared in our day, to exalt their judgment, and pervert the judgment of God. PH068 25.2

This history was recorded for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Here is seen a determination to disregard the will of God. In their unbelief the people refused to go up to take the land. When they found that because of unbelief they must wander in the wilderness for another forty years, they said, We will go up now. But Moses told them that they had no permission to go up. If they had gone when the Lord said Go, the armies of the Lord's host would have gone with them; but because of their rebellion and delay, the Lord refused to give them victory. But the people said, We will go up; we will not wander in this wilderness any longer. And Moses said, “Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten among your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword; because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will now be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top; nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.” PH068 26.1

Calebs have been greatly needed in different periods of the history of our work. Today we need men of thorough fidelity, men who follow the Lord fully, men who are not disposed to be silent when they ought to speak, who are as true as steel to principle, men who do not seek to make a pretentious show, but who walk humbly with God, patient, kind, obliging, courteous men, who understand that the science of prayer is to exercise faith and show works that will tell to the glory of God and the good of his people. Our institutions, whatever their character, can prosper only by the manifestation of the self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit which was manifested in their foundation. The principles of entire consecration must be maintained. Christ himself has said, “Ye can not serve God and mammon.” “He that is not with me (voicing my words) is against me.” God will have no men in his work who offer divided service. His servants are to take the position that they will not sanction any evil work. To follow Jesus requires wholehearted conversion at the start, and a repetition of this conversion every day. PH068 26.2

There have been times when a crisis has determined character. This has been again and again. When the time came for our institutions to receive new organization, the elements of character ruling men were revealed. Those who had not been in harmony with truth and righteousness, who did not bear the approval of God, strove to obtain the ascendency. But it was not the Lord's design that their voice, their decisions, should have influence in board or council meetings. The only way in which they can be a strength to the work and cause of God is by keeping quiet until they know whether they are on Satan's side or on Christ's. PH068 27.1

There are men who have put out their spiritual eyesight. They can not distinguish between the sacred and the common. Their voice is the loudest when they are in the enemy's service. It will be greatly to their credit to keep still. This is their strength. Silence is their eloquence. It means very much to every man whether he is on the Lord's side of the question or on Satan's side. PH068 27.2

God's people today have far greater light than had ancient Israel. They have not only the increased light which has been shining upon them, but the instruction given by God to Moses, to be given to the people. God specified the difference between the sacred and the common, and declared that this difference must be strictly observed. This lesson is given also to modern Israel. That which God has set apart as sacred must ever be respected as sacred. Christ was the foundation of the Jewish economy. When type met antitype in his death, the need for sacrificial offerings ceased. But the lessons regarding practical obedience, given by Christ from the mount of blessing, were still binding. PH068 28.1

The Lord has given his people great light and precious instruction. What sorrow, what shame, what agony of soul, has been felt by God's faithful servants who have stood as did Joshua and Caleb, to hear Israel cast off their leader, and choose one of their rebellious number to lead them back to Egypt. In their complaints the Israelites blasphemed God. God had signified that the defense of the land of Canaan had departed, and that now was the opportune time for them to enter it. Caleb declared the truth for that and every time: “The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us: a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land: for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.” The manifestation of the Lord's glory was needed to quell the mad and blasphemous utterances of the people, and to save the lives of his servants from the maddened throng. PH068 28.2

Has there not been seen in modern Israel manifestations similar to this? Has not the loud, boisterous voice of rebellion been heard in your council meetings and in your board meetings? ... PH068 29.1

Men are to be carefully selected. They are to be men of moral perception, men who are acquainted with the work they are handling.... Surely there is need now of bold, fearless Calebs, who, under the influence of the Spirit, will use the talents of hearing and speaking with heroic courage, disregarding all personal dangers and anxieties. PH068 29.2

After the rebellion of the children of Israel because of the evil report of the spies, the Lord purposed to destroy them. Had they not walked and worked at cross purposes with him? When he planned for them to obtain easy access into Canaan, did they not listen to the report of the faithless spies, who under control of Satan did the very work he intended them to do? The spies broke down the courage of all Israel by the lying report, and developed a rebellion that called for the presence of God himself to adjust matters. PH068 29.3


St. Helena, Cal.,

October 16, 1900.

Much has been said on this line [on the line of selling the Battle Creek College and having the school moved out of Battle Creek], but for years nothing has been done. Had this movement been made when the Lord indicated that it was duty, the showing would be very different from what it is at the present time. But circumstances have changed, and the movements that might have been made with advantage in the past will not at this time be advisable. All the reasons I shall not attempt to lay before you. Many things will be revealed in the future that are not discerned now.... PH068 29.4

Let not your desire to get out of Battle Creek lead to a work similar to the defeat of Israel through the testimony of the unfaithful spies. The Lord was holding back the armies that inhabited Canaan, but because of unbelief the children of Israel did not make the right moves at the right time; and their opportunity was lost. Then the people, determined to avert the judgment pronounced by the Lord, decided to follow their human impulses; and the result is plainly outlined.... PH068 30.1

Ellen G. White