The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 34—Circulating the Spirit of Prophecy Books

Light to Be Given to the World—Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her lifework God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given His servant to be given to the world. From their pages this light is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour. The Lord has declared that these books are to be scattered throughout the world. There is in them truth which to the receiver is a savor of life unto life. They are silent witnesses for God. In the past they have been the means in His hands of convicting and converting many souls. Many have read them with eager expectation, and, by reading them, have been led to see the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and to trust in its power. They have been led to commit the keeping of their souls to their Creator, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Saviour to take His loved ones to their eternal home. In the future, these books are to make the gospel plain to many others, revealing to them the way of salvation.—Colporteur Ministry, 125. PM 354.1

The Great Controversy to Be Given Priority [In 1888, this important volume appeared, but instead of promoting it, certain publishing leaders urged the sale of Bible Readings thus neglecting for several years the promotion of the very book needed by the public.]—The Lord has had great and grand purposes for His people, but they have worked at cross purposes with Him. As soon as The Great Controversy came from the press, it should have been pushed forward above every other book. I have been shown this. Had it been circulated at the time it was lying idle, there would have been a very different order of things among our workers. The impressions made would have wrought decided changes. But instead of this, the book was suppressed, although the promise was made me that it should go forward if I would take the lowest royalty. The book that should have gone did not go, and the men who should have worked to carry it forward discouraged the canvassers from handling it. All that I could say was as water spilt upon a rock. Thus saith the Lord, I will judge for this false, dishonest work.—Letter 39, 1899. PM 354.2

Satan Delayed Publishing Great Controversy—I mourn now that I did not do the very work I ought to have done when E and H were in responsible positions and had not an appreciation of The Great Controversy, volume 4, which the people should have had then as they are having now.... The delay was Satan's own devising. He was working diligently and has brought about a condition of things that the work cannot now go as it would have gone and done its work, which the Lord presented before me needed to be done. Those who hindered the work will have to answer to God for this.—Letter 55, 1894. PM 355.1

Bible Readings Different From The Great Controversy—I do not demerit Bible Readings. It is a book which will do a great amount of good, but it can never take the place that the Lord designed that volume 4 [The Great Controversy] should have in the world and among our people. I have spread before them the light given me of heaven in that book.... PM 355.2

If Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation does not receive the sale it should, if Bible Readings is carried to the neglect of other publications highly essential for the people to have, that neglect will not excuse the matter of why volume 4 should not be pushed and its circulation be tenfold what it has been the present year. It is a duty we owe to our people and to God to send every ray of light given me of God, demanded for this time to every tongue and nation.—Letter 25a, 1889. PM 355.3

Converting Power in Ellen G. White Books—Several precious experiences were related by the canvassers in regard to the way in which they had searched their hearts while canvassing for Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. They said that as they read these books their minds were enlightened, and they felt that angels of God were very near.... The canvassers stated that they had found that where these books had been sold, everyone spoke highly of them, and that from reading them, some had embraced the truth who had never heard a discourse in their lives given by a Seventh-day Adventist minister.—Manuscript 23, 1890. PM 356.1

Four Special BooksDaniel and Revelation, Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Desire of Ages should now go to the world. The grand instruction contained in Daniel and Revelation has been eagerly perused by many in Australia. This book has been the means of bringing many precious souls to a knowledge of the truth. Everything that can be done should be done to circulate Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation. I know of no other book that can take the place of this one. It is God's helping hand.—Manuscript 76, 1901. PM 356.2

Books That Reveal Light on Satan's Apostasy—Instruction has been given me that the important books containing the light that God has given regarding Satan's apostasy in heaven should be given a wide circulation just now; for through them the truth will reach many minds. Patriarchs and Prophets, Daniel and the Revelation, and The Great Controversy are needed now as never before. They should be widely circulated because the truths they emphasize will open many blind eyes.... Many of our people have been blind to the importance of the very books that were most needed. Had tact and skill then been shown in the sale of these books, the Sunday-law movement would not be where it is today.—Colporteur Ministry, 123. PM 356.3

Results of Circulating Great Controversy—The results of the circulation of this book [The Great Controversy] are not to be judged by what now appears. By reading it, some souls will be aroused, and will have courage to unite themselves at once with those who keep the commandments of God. But a much larger number who read it will not take their position until they see the very events taking place that are foretold in it. The fulfillment of some of the predictions will inspire faith that others also will come to pass, and when the earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord, in the closing work, many souls will take their position on the commandments of God as the result of this agency.... PM 356.4

God gave me the light contained in The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets and this light was needed to arouse the people to prepare for the great day of God, which is just before us. These books contain God's direct appeal to the people. Thus He is speaking to the people in stirring words, urging them to make ready for His coming. The light God has given in these books should not be concealed.—Colporteur Ministry, 128, 129. PM 357.1

The Desire of Ages in Every Home—How many have read carefully Patriarchs and Prophets, The Great Controversy, and The Desire of Ages? I wish all to understand that my confidence in the light that God has given stands firm, because I know that the Holy Spirit's power magnified the truth, and made it honorable, saying: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a “Thus saith the Lord.” The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God, upon the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, to be brought forth in that great day when sentence will be pronounced against every evil, seducing science produced by the father of lies.... PM 357.2

God would be pleased to see The Desire of Ages in every home. In this book is contained the light He has given upon His Word. To our canvassers I would say, Go forth with your hearts softened and subdued by reading of the life of Christ. Drink deeply of the water of salvation, that it may be in your heart as a living spring, flowing forth to refresh souls ready to perish.... PM 357.3

The Great Controversy should be very widely circulated. It contains the story of the past, the present, and the future. In its outline of the closing scenes of this earth's history, it bears a powerful testimony in behalf of the truth. I am more anxious to see a wide circulation for this book than for any others I have written; for in The Great Controversy, the last message of warning to the world is given more distinctly than in any of my other books.—Colporteur Ministry, 126, 127. PM 358.1

E.G. White Books and Royalties—I have hoped that my books would sell, not that I might be rich, but that the solemn, sacred truths which the Lord has entrusted to me might be given to the people. I shall be grateful if my books can be circulated as the Lord desires them to be. PM 358.2

I have given and am still giving to the work all the royalties on my translated books sold in foreign countries. This means an annual offering of hundreds of dollars.—Letter 43, 1903. PM 358.3

Low Prices on Special Occasions—I am very desirous that the light contained in my books shall come to every soul possible, for God has sent the message for all. These books contain precious lessons in Christian experience. I would not dare forbid that these books be sold on special occasions at a low price, lest I should hinder the reading of the books, and thus withhold the light from some soul who might be converted to the truth. I have no forbiddings to place on the work of circulating our books. Let the light be placed on the candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house.—Testimonies for the Church 9:74, 75. PM 358.4

E.G. White Books Live On—The question is sometimes raised, “What if Mrs. White should die?” I answer: “The books that she has written will not die. They are a living witness to what saith the Scriptures.”—Letter 55, 1905. PM 358.5

My time is fully employed in the preparation of Ministry of Healing and some matter pertaining to the Southern field that is to be published in the next volume of the Testimonies. I hope that when these books come out, some of the burden I now feel can be laid aside, because of the knowledge that the light that God has given me is placed where the people can receive it. Oh, if the truths that are taught in the Ministry of Healing shall be effective, a genuine religious interest will be manifested in the sick and suffering in our sanitariums. Though my life may be ended, these books will live and teach the truth. [Close beside her chair, on a table, were kept several of the books she had written. These she would often handle and look over, seeming to delight in having them near. Like an affectionate mother with her children, so was she with these books during her last sickness. Several times, when visited, she was found holding two or three of them in her lap. “I appreciate these books as I never did before,” she at one time remarked. “They are truth, and they are righteousness, and they are an everlasting testimony that God is true.” She rejoiced in the thought that when she could no longer speak to the people, her books would speak for her.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 445, 446.]—Letter 85, 1905. PM 358.6

Truth Immortalized in Spirit of Prophecy Books—I am “only waiting till the shadows are a little longer grown.” But my books will testify when my voice shall no longer be heard. The truths committed to me, as the Lord's messenger, stand immortalized, either to convict and to convert souls, or to condemn those who have departed from the faith and have given heed to seducing spirits.—Letter 350, 1906. PM 359.1

Misuse and Abuse of the Spirit of Prophecy—Soon every possible effort will be made to discount and pervert the truth of the testimonies of God's Spirit. We must have in readiness the clear, straight messages that since 1846 have been coming to God's people. There will be those once united with us in the faith who will search for new, strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls. The light that the Lord has given should be in the hands of our people, so that they may see that the reports made are false, that there is in the testimonies nothing of what these men declare to be in them.—Letter 73, 1903. (Selected Messages 1:41.) PM 359.2

Guarding Against Misuse of Ellen White—Many from among our own people are writing to me, asking with earnest determination the privilege of using my writings to give force to certain subjects that they wish to present to the people in such a way as to leave a deep impression upon them. It is true that there is a reason why some of their matters should be presented; but I would not venture to give my approval in using the testimonies in this way, or to sanction the placing of matter which is good in itself in the way which they propose. The persons who make these propositions, for aught I know, may be able to conduct the enterprise of which they write in a wise manner; but nevertheless, I dare not give the least license for using my writings in the manner which they propose. In taking account of such an enterprise, there are many things that must come into consideration, for in using the testimonies to bolster up some subject which may impress the mind of the author, the extracts may give a different impression than that which they would were they read in their original connection.—Letter 49, 1894. PM 359.3

First Step Toward Apostasy—One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan's banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the testimonies of God's Spirit.—Letter 156, 1903. PM 360.1

If you lose confidence in the Testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth.—Testimonies for the Church 5:674. PM 360.2

Some who are not willing to receive the light, but who prefer to walk in ways of their own choosing, will search the testimonies to find something in them to encourage the spirit of unbelief and disobedience. Thus a spirit of disunion will be brought in; for the spirit which leads them to criticize the testimonies will also lead them to watch their brethren to find in them something to condemn.... PM 360.3

Satan is ... constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.... PM 360.4

There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.—Selected Messages 1:48. (See Testimonies for the Church 5:675, 676.) PM 361.1

There are some who think they are able to measure the character and to estimate the importance of the work the Lord has given me to do. Their own mind and judgment is the standard by which they would weigh the testimonies. PM 361.2

My Instructor said to me, Tell these men that God has not committed to them the work of measuring, classifying, and defining the character of the testimonies. Those who attempt this are sure to err in their conclusions. The Lord would have men adhere to their appointed work. If they will keep the way of the Lord, they will be able to discern clearly that the work which He has appointed me to do is not a work of human devising. PM 361.3

Those who carefully read the testimonies as they have appeared from the early days, need not be perplexed as to their origin. The many books, written by the help of the Spirit of God, bear a living witness to the character of the testimonies.—Selected Messages 1:49, 50. PM 361.4