The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Peril of Confusing the Work of the Holy Spirit with Fanaticism

Wellington, New Zealand

November 30, 1893.

Elder Uriah Smith:

I am so much pressed with labor at this time, I cannot write as fully as I would. There have been things written to me in regard to the movings of the Spirit of God at the last Conference, and at the College, which clearly indicate that because these blessings were not lived up to, minds have been confused, and that which was light from heaven has been called excitement. I have been made sad to have this matter viewed in this light. We must be very careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in pronouncing the ministration of His Holy Spirit a species of fanaticism. How shall we understand the workings of the Spirit of God, if it was not revealed in clear and unmistakable lines, not only in Battle Creek but in many places. 1888 1210.1

I am not surprised that any one should be confused at the after result. But in my experience of the last forty-nine years I have seen much of these things, and I have known that God has wrought in a marked manner, and let no one venture to say this is not the Spirit of God. It is just that which we are authorized to believe and pray for, for God is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts unto their children. But the Holy Spirit is not for the human agent to work; it is to work and use the human agent. That God did abundantly bless the students in the school and the church, I have not one doubt; but a period of great light and the out pouring of the Spirit is quite generally followed by a time of great darkness. Why? Because the enemy works with all his deceiving energies to make of none effect the deep movings of the Spirit of God on the human subject. 1888 1210.2

When the students at the school went into their match games and football playing, when they became absorbed in the amusement question, Satan saw it a good time to step in and make of none effect the Holy Spirit of God in molding and using the human subject. Had the teachers to a man done their duty, had they realized their accountability, had they stood in moral independence before God, had they used the ability which God had given them according to the sanctification of the spirit through the love of the truth, they would have had spiritual strength and divine enlightenment to press on and on and upward the ladder of progress reaching heavenward. The fact is evident that they did not appreciate or walk in the light or follow the Light of the world. It is an easy matter to idle away, talk and play away the Holy Spirit's influence. Walk in the light is to keep moving onward in the direction of light. If the one blessed becomes negligent and inattentive and does not watch unto prayer, if he does not lift the cross and bear the yoke of Christ, if his love of amusements and strivings for the mastery absorbs his power of ability, then God is not made the first and best and last in everything, and Satan comes in to act his part in playing the game of life for his soul. He can play much more earnestly than they can play, and make deep laid plots for the ruin of the soul. 1888 1211.1

There was every provision made by his satanic majesty to make the most of the opportunities given him to lead all who would be led into temptation, that he could make his suggestions to many minds, that the light sent from heaven was only fanaticism, excitement, because the after influence was not of that character to reveal the best fruits. Satan will instill into minds his specious reasonings because the ones blessed did not cherish and appreciate the divine enlightenment, and their hearts were not filled with awe and love that God had blessed and sanctified them through the truth. Instead of using their God-given powers to devise means that they could accomplish good and communicate that which they had received worshiping God in Spirit and in truth, they ate and drank and rose up to play. They perverted and misapplied the rich grace of God, and bowed their soul's powers to worship an idol just as Satan laid his plans they should do through resuming their amusements in games and plays which led away from watchfulness and prayer. 1888 1211.2

Had these students allowed the Holy Spirit to use them, they would have aroused as living missionaries to work in Christ's lines. They could not have considered their individual responsibility to work in every way possible in harmony with Christ their Pattern to save souls ready to perish. Instead of showing themselves faithful sentinels for Jesus Christ that the enemy should not steal a march upon them, and convert the soul temple into desecrated shrines, they threw wide open the gates and invited the enemy to come in. The Lord demanded the homage of the heart, rendering to Him undivided, whole-hearted service, the cheerful obedience of every power of the mind and soul. Souls are perishing out of Christ. There is work to be done to enlighten, to warn. Holy characters are to be presented to the world to represent the power of sacred truths upon human hearts. God's calls are earnest and emphatic to the sinner. He calls, “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” Who is calling with Christ? My heart is weighed down with burden of distress because God's name is not glorified and exalted in the earth. If He sends His Holy Spirit there are those who do not understand its operations and how to appreciate the glory of God shining upon them, and unless they do discern the movings of the Spirit of God, they will call light darkness, and darkness will be chosen rather than light. I have been afraid, terribly afraid that those who felt the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness—for I have not one doubt but that they did receive the Holy Spirit—will come to the conclusion that God's heaven-sent blessings are a delusion. When God shall let His light shine again, how many will resist it and not respond to it because of the judgment many have passed upon its influence? If the light from heaven is not appreciated, greater evidence, greater light will be resisted. Bear in mind we are on holy ground. 1888 1212.1

The results after the working of the Spirit of God in Battle Creek are not because of fanaticism, but because those who were blessed did not show forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light; and when the earth is lightened with the glory of God, some will not know what it is, and from whence it came, because they misapplied and misinterpreted the Spirit shed upon them. God is a jealous God of His own glory. He will not honor those who dishonor Him. Some persons living in the light ought to have instructed these souls young in experience to walk in the light after they had received the light. I wish I had time to write more fully, but I fear I have not. 1888 1213.1

Ellen G. White