The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Importance of Accepting and Applying God's Word; Christ's Mission, and His Method of Teaching

Battle Creek, Michigan, January 7, 1890: I arise at half past three to build my fire and make my supplications to God for His blessing. I have comfort and peace and hope through Jesus Christ. 1888 521.1

What a battle I am obliged to fight! My brethren seem to judge me as taking positions that are not necessary. They do not see that God in His own wisdom has made revelations to me which cannot successfully be contradicted or disputed. Nothing can rub out that which has been presented to me and imprinted on the tablets of my soul. All the opposition or gainsaying to make my testimony of none effect only compels from me, by the urgency of the Spirit of God, a more decided repetition, and to stand on the light revealed with all the force of the strength God has given me. All the arguments of men, all their opposing influence, is of no force to me. Whatever may be the position or the doctrines of these men, and however firm may have been my confidence in them heretofore, when they take false positions, all their arguments against what I know the Lord has shown me to be truth, are vain. The words spoken to me of God are as if imbedded in the rock forever. All the experiences and the wide assertions of the best and wisest men, men who have been exalted to positions of influence, cannot change or alter the ideas which God has written on my soul. Let God be true and every man a liar. 1888 521.2

Every word spoken is in harmony with the living Oracles, and it is only by wresting the Scriptures from their true meaning, by misapplying and misinterpreting them and the testimonies which God has given me, that this can be gainsaid. Those who do this are like the impenitent Jews, who had eyes but saw not, ears had they, but they heard not, neither would they understand. Why? Lest they should be converted and have to acknowledge that not all their ideas were correct. This they were too proud to do, and therefore persisted in rejecting God's counsel and the light and evidence which had been given. Thus they deluded their own souls and the souls of others. 1888 522.1

This is the ground over which some of our leading brethren are traveling now, notwithstanding the example of resistance and refusal of the Jewish nation to receive the evidence plainly revealed before them, and to be convinced and yield their ideas. The warnings of the Spirit of God are received in the same spirit by many today. “What,” said Robert Hall, “should we think of a person who, after accepting an invitation to a feast, and taking his place at the table, instead of partaking of the repast amused himself with speculating on the nature of the provisions, or the manner in which they were prepared, and their adaptation to the temperament of the several guests, without partaking of a single article? Such, however, is the conduct of those who hear the Word without applying it to themselves or considering the aspect it bears in their individual characters.” 1888 522.2

January 8, 1890: I must this morning trace the contemplation of my mind and the things which move my heart. Jesus suffered in a world of His own. He had not a place which He could call home. He said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). 1888 522.3

He was seeking to give knowledge to the ignorant and hope to the despairing. He was working to give that wisdom to the world which would make them wise unto salvation. He was seeking to lighten the self-imposed burdens of worldly anxiety and care by inviting the people to come to Him and find rest and peace, to exchange their self-made, cumbrous, galling yoke for His yoke, which was easy; and their worldly burdens, which were heavy, for His burdens, which were light. His voice has been coming down along the line to our time with the gracious words of invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” [Matthew 11:28-30]. We read that the common people heard Him gladly. 1888 523.1

The knowledge which Jesus imparted was richer than the gold of Ophir, yet the value of the truth He presented was not appreciated. He solicited a drink of water from a stranger, and was fully rewarded if his words of life were accepted. The tear of penitence, evidencing contrition of soul, was that which he esteemed. 1888 523.2

Christ's Manner of Instruction. January 9, 1890: Christ's teaching was simplicity itself. He taught as one having authority. The Jews looked for and claimed that the first advent of Christ should be with all the representations of glory which should attend His second advent. The great Teacher proclaimed the truth to humanity, many of whom could not be educated in the schools of the rabbis, neither in Greek philosophy. Jesus uttered truth in a plain, direct manner, giving vital force and impressiveness to all His utterances. Had He raised His voice to an unnatural key, as is customary with many preachers in this day, the pathos and melody of the human voice would have been lost, and much of the force of the truth destroyed. 1888 523.3

The key of knowledge in Christ's day had been taken away by those who should have held it to unlock the treasure house of wisdom in the Old Testament Scriptures. The rabbis and teachers had virtually shut up the kingdom of heaven from the poor and the afflicted, and left them to perish. In His discourses Christ did not bring many things before them at once, lest He might confuse their minds. He made every point clear and distinct. He did not disdain the repetition of old and familiar truths in prophecies if they would serve His purpose to inculcate ideas. 1888 524.1

Christ was the originator of all the ancient gems of truth. Through the work of the enemy these truths had been displaced. They had been disconnected from their true position, and placed in the framework of error. Christ's work was to readjust and establish the precious gems in the framework of truth. The principles of truth which had been given by Himself to bless the world had, through Satan's agency, been buried and had apparently become extinct. Christ rescued them from the rubbish of error, gave them a new, vital force, and commanded them to shine as previous jewels, and stand fast forever. 1888 524.2

Christ Himself could use any of these old truths without borrowing the smallest particle, for He had originated them all. He had cast them into the minds and thoughts of each generation, and when He came to our world He rearranged and vitalized the truths which had become dead, making them more forcible for the benefit of future generations. It was Jesus Christ who had the power of rescuing the truths from the rubbish, and again giving them to the world with more than their original freshness and power. 1888 524.3

As Christ presented these truths to minds, He broke up their accustomed train of thought as little as possible. Nevertheless a new and transforming economy of truth must be woven into their experience. He therefore aroused their minds by presenting truth through the agency of their most familiar associations. He used illustrations in His teaching which called into activity their most hallowed recollections and sympathies, that He might reach the inner temple of the soul. Identifying Himself with their interests, He drew His illustrations from the great book of nature, using objects with which they were familiar. The lily of the field, the seed sown by the sower, the springing up of the seed, and the harvesting of the grain, the birds of the air—all these figures He used from which to present divine truth, for these would remind them of His lessons whenever they should afterward look upon them. 1888 525.1

He inculcated the idea into the minds of His disciples that the amount of divine care given any object in nature is proportionate to the rank which that object occupies in the world of God's creation, and that His higher care for them shows the higher regard He has for man formed after the divine similitude. “If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” [Matthew 6:30]. Man has not been forgotten of God. In the volume of His book the page given to man contains his whole history, even to the numbering of the hairs of his head. 1888 525.2

Many truths necessary to be known are hidden like precious ore in mines which must be diligently and perseveringly worked in order for the precious treasure to be discovered. Truths essential for us to know lie too deeply buried to be discovered by unaided human reason. God speaks to our senses in His created works. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handywork” [Psalm 19:1]. The soul enlightened by inspiration can see the greatness and power of God in His created works. 1888 526.1

The Lord Jesus awakens an interest in man by encouraging him to draw nigh and become acquainted with His character. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” [John 17:3]. We do not contemplate as we should the character of God. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16]. 1888 526.2

Although Satan has misinterpreted God's purposes, falsified His character, and caused man to look upon God in a false light, yet through the ages God's love for man has never ceased. Christ's work was to reveal the Father as merciful, compassionate, full of goodness and truth. The character of Christ represented the character of God. The only begotten Son of God sweeps back the hellish shadow in which Satan has enveloped the Father, and declares, “I and My Father are one; look on Me and behold God.” 1888 526.3

Through every hour, through all ages, God's love stands revealed as without a parallel. When the fulness of time was come, a suitable channel was prepared in Christ Jesus, through whom the streams of heavenly grace could be poured into the world. God so loved that He made a gift to the world which defies all computation. That the abundance of His grace should be revealed, he could not give less than the fulness, nor was it possible for Him to give more.—Manuscript 25, 1890. (Written at Battle Creek, Michigan, January 7-9, 1890.) 1888 527.1

White Estate
Washington, D.C.
December, 1983