Sermons and Talks, vol. 1


Cherishing Faith, Not Doubt

Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White, March, 16, 1890, Battle Creek, Michigan

I want to say a few words in reference to faith. I want to say, brethren and sisters, it is not natural for us to believe, but it is very natural for us to foster unbelief. This is the besetting sin, and has been the besetting sin of God's people. It has not been natural for me to believe for myself, and I have had very severe lessons on this point until I know that it is not safe for me to cherish for one moment any doubt. I never doubted the truth, but to cherish doubt in regard to myself and my work. 1SAT 143.1

Now, I have great sorrow of heart—I have had nearly ever since the Minneapolis meeting—and I will tell you why. Because God has been speaking to me as He has done for the last forty-five years, and I have presented these matters, and the brethren have known and have seen the fruits, and yet unbelief has come right in. But why? They will take the testimony of somebody else, and they will all be credulous in regard to that. Now, when it comes to the manifest movement of the Spirit of God, if the Spirit was in their hearts they would recognize it in a moment. But the trouble is, the Spirit is not in them. And they never will search these things to see if they are so. 1SAT 143.2

The reason why I felt so at Minneapolis was that I have seen that everyone who has taken a position similar to the one they took in Minneapolis would go into the darkest unbelief. Have we not seen it acted over and over again? Then when we see just how Christ was tried, when He came upon earth; when we see the hardness of the hearts; when we see what the enemy can do with human nature, putting unbelief into the heart, I should think it would be such a terror to our souls that we would not dare to open the heart to the miseries of unbelief and dwell in that atmosphere, such as there has been since we were in Minneapolis. 1SAT 143.3

Well, we wonder why Christ prayed with such an agony. It was not for His own sake, but it was because of the hardness of hearts, that notwithstanding He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, yet people were so hardened that they could not see it and accept it. And as you took their steps, here was my trouble. As they took their steps in the path of unbelief that day, others are taking the same steps this day, and my grief is the same as Christ's was. They are placing themselves where there is no reserve power that God has to reach them with. Every arrow in His quiver is exhausted. 1SAT 144.1

Now, I feel this in every meeting where I have been. I have felt that there is a pressure of unbelief. It is just as evident as it ever has been. I can go among the unbelieving (just as Christ spoke to the Samaritan woman, and the Samaritans came out and heard); I can go among those that have never heard of the truth, and their hearts are more susceptible than those that have been in the truth and had the evidences of the work of God. But they excuse it all. “Why, we did not know that some things were so and so.” When we get the Spirit of God in our hearts, He will speak to us. There is the trouble. When they see that God is working in a certain line, they commence with all the power of brain, and all the power of thought, and all the power of talk, as it has been the case here, to stay the work of God. Let me tell you, the testimony will be this: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” [Matthew 11:21]. 1SAT 144.2

Now, I know what I am talking about, and as I do not expect to have many opportunities to speak to you, I will say again: “Fall on the Rock.” I have no hope for you unless you do. I am glad—yes, I am so thankful—that some are beginning to see that there is light for us. If we want to stay in the cellar, we can do it; but the only way for anyone of us is to fight the good fight of faith. It is not anything that is going to come naturally; but we have got to fight the good fight of faith instead of absorbing all the filth of unbelief. If it is a suggestion of unbelief, credence is given to that at once. 1SAT 145.1

You will never have greater light and evidence than you have had here; if you wait till the judgment, what you have had here will condemn you. But God has been speaking and His power has been in our midst, and if you have not evidences enough to show you where and how God is working, you never will have it. You will have to gather up the rays of light that you have had, and not question so. 1SAT 145.2

“But there are some things that are not explained.” Well, what if everything is not explained? Where is the weight of evidence? God will balance the mind if it is susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God; if it is not, then it will decide on the other side. They will come just exactly where Judas came; they will sell their Lord for thirty pieces of silver or something else. They will sacrifice everything to unbelief. 1SAT 145.3

I will tell you why it makes my heart so sad. It is because every such mind that is susceptible to unbelief and the say-so of this one and that one, and that works against the light and the evidences that have been presented since the Minneapolis meeting—I tell you, brethren, I am terribly afraid that they will fall at last. I am terribly afraid that they will never overcome. But the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of the Lamb must be on the right side of the question. When God is working—and they have got no light to know that he is working, and they just place themselves right under the enemy's power and work right in that line—then they make excuses and say, they did not know. “Oh,” said Christ, “if they had known that it was the Prince of light, they would not have crucified Him.” Well, why did they not know? Well, if they had only known that these objections that we have been fighting were no objections, then they would not have done it. Well, is that any excuse? Why did they not know? They had the evidences of the Spirit, and it was only the false reasoning, perversion of words and positions, and the misunderstanding, that has led them to this position of danger. 1SAT 146.1

Now, I tell you, God will not be trifled with. God is a jealous God, and when He manifests His power as He has manifested it, it is very nigh unto the sin of the Holy Ghost to disbelieve it. The revealings of God's power have not had any effect to move and to stir persons from their position of doubting and unbelief. God help us that we may remove ourselves out of the snares of the devil! If ever a people needed to be removed, it is those that took their position in Minneapolis at that time on the wrong side. 1SAT 146.2

It is a true saying that we cannot do anything against the truth, but for it. The precious truth of God will triumph; it has the triumph in it, and it is not going to fall to the ground, but somebody will fall, just as in the days of Christ. They have their boundaries and lines, and God has got to work in their line. God disappoints people a good deal. He works right contrary to what they expect. The Jews expected, of course, they were going to be blessed with a Messiah. You see, there was no place for Christ. He had to make new bottles in order to put His new wine of the kingdom in. Just so He will here. The crown is there in the hands of Christ, but many will lose it, and why? Because they have not run the race. 1SAT 147.1

Now, I have seen how the enemy works. He doesn't want to let go of the people here. But, oh, let no soul go out from here with darkness, for he will be a body of darkness wherever he goes. He scatters the seeds of darkness everywhere. He carries all these seeds and he begins to sow them, and it unsettles the confidence of the people in the very truths that God wants to come to His people. I have told our brethren here again and again that God has shown me that He raised up men here to carry the truth to His people, and that this is the truth. Well, what effect did it have on them? They were just the same; so that it should not be made of any account. What is the matter? Brethren, I say again, Fall on the Rock and be broken! Don't try to begin to make excuses. Well, here Christ says when they should bring their offerings and make confession of their sins, if afterward they found that other things came to their remembrance, notwithstanding but one, they should come and make an offering for that. 1SAT 147.2

Now, brethren, we want to have the simplicity of Christ. I know that He has a blessing for us. He had it at Minneapolis, and He had it for us at the time of the General Conference here. But there was no reception. Some received the light for the people, and rejoiced in it. Then there were others that stood right back, and their position has given confidence to others to talk unbelief, and cherish it. Now, brethren, if you expect that every difficulty is going to be laid out in clear lines before you, and you wait until it is, then you will have to wait until the judgment, and you will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. 1SAT 148.1

Now, brethren, can there not be some means insured by which we can have a season of prayer? My strength is about exhausted. If it is possible, I want to get away before the last atom of strength shall be gone here. Brethren, why not pray to God? Why not get in such a position that you can lay right hold of the hands of God? Why wait for God to humble us? Now God has been waiting for those men that have stood in the way, to humble themselves; but the word has come to me, “If they do not humble themselves, I will humble them.” Now, God will work. He will have the work prepared for His Spirit. There is to be a preparation for the last great day, and we want to come into a position where we can work unitedly with intense earnestness and courage for God. 1SAT 148.2

I want that some of these shall assemble again, and then I want those that have been standing here and questioning, and been just about ready to give up the Testimonies—we want to know why; and if anything can be taken out of the way, God help us to do it! We want to know why the enemy is having such power upon human minds as he has here. It is something beyond anything I ever saw in all my experience since I first started in the work. The people of God who have had light and evidences have stood where God would not let His blessing fall upon them. 1SAT 148.3

In the chapel hall the power of God was all ready to fall upon us. I felt for a little time as though I could look right into glory; but the spirit that was there drove it away. We want to understand how we are working. I speak these plain things because I know that there is nothing else that will do. We have tried to encourage in regard to faith. 1SAT 149.1

One brother thinks that Sister White doesn't understand her own testimonies. Heard that in Minneapolis. Why? Because the brethren did not agree with them. Well, there are some things that I understand. I understand enough to acknowledge the Spirit of God and to follow the voice of the Shepherd. I understand that much. (MR 900.13) 1SAT 149.2