The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 189—Untitled


January 27, 1897

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N.S.W.

Again and again the Lord has sent testimonies of warning, or reproof, and instruction to his people; but so long as the men who stand in responsible positions continue to resist the Spirit of God, and determinedly follow their own unsanctified way and will, as revealed in Minneapolis and since; so long as they persist in holding power over those with whom they are connected, thus placing a mould upon the work that is detrimental to its healthful growth, and weaving into all the working of the cause of God methods and principles which the Lord has testified should not exist, he will overthrow, overthrow, overthrow, until the holy places are cleansed from their moral defilement. The Lord has declared that he will not serve with their sins. Although professing to have a knowledge of divine things, they reveal that they have no vital connection with the sap vessels of the parent stock. The result is that human wisdom takes the place of the divine. 1888 1636.1

The destiny of such men will be an ultimate separation from Christ, as complete as that of the dead branch that has been severed from the vine. In heart they separated from Jesus years ago, and have become like the unfruitful tree of which the Owner of the vineyard said, “Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit of this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it and if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” 1888 1636.2

“Then after that.” What meaning is there in these words? In them there is a lesson for all who are connected with the work of God. A period of probation was granted to the tree that bore no fruit. And in like manner God bears long with his people. But to those who have had great advantages, and who are standing in positions of high and sacred trust, and yet bear no fruit, Christ says, “Cut it down: why cumbereth it the ground?” There must be work corresponding with the sacredness of the truth they have had placed before them. Old things must pass away; all things must become new. 1888 1637.1

Some of the Jews had brought to Jesus the story of the Galileans whom Pilate had slain at the foot of the altar, thinking that it was because of their wickedness that this had happened unto them, and that they were deservedly suffering for their sins. But the great Teacher had a lesson for his hearers. He said unto them, “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell ye, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” 1888 1637.2

The Lord is gracious, long-suffering, and of tender compassion. But his promised blessings are upon condition of obedience. God had done everything that he could for Sodom; but her inhabitants would not keep the commandments of God. Three angels disguised as men appeared to Abraham as he sat in the door of his tent. They were strangers to Abraham, but he treated them courteously, and supplied all their necessities as human beings, knowing not that one of those whom he entertained was no less than the Son of God. 1888 1637.3

“And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that thing which he hath spoken of him. And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” 1888 1638.1

Through God's word the light has been shining upon his people. Will those thus privileged appreciate their blessings? Will that which is wrong, in action, in spirit, and in thought, be renounced? Those who bear some good fruit must be pruned and purified from all common sensual things, from selfishness, ungodliness and deception in any line of business, and from greed expressed in any transaction in trade with their fellow-men. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” “Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory, not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” 1888 1638.2

But this has not been the fruit borne by those in sacred positions of trust. There are those who have professed godliness have been severe and harsh and unmerciful to those who have had less responsibilities to bear. How harsh their judgment has been. How hard the hearts, how insensible to sympathy of those who have expatiated on the mistakes of their fellow-men. 1888 1639.1

Christ has declared, “All ye are brethren.” But how little of brotherly love has been manifested. The masterful, selfish, overbearing spirit will prove a curse in any line of business, but the injury it does to the work and cause of God is beyond the estimate that finite man can place upon it. At the very heart of the work they have lied against the truth. Deception, fraud, selfishness and covetousness which is idolatry has been brought in and mingled with the sacred offerings. Are there any so far deceived, so blinded, that they cannot distinguish the sacred from the common? 1888 1639.2

Every church, although imperfect, is dear to the heart of Christ. He knows every member by name. Those who are meek and lowly in heart are precious in his sight. He will be sanctified in those that draw near unto him. The man who loves and fears God will cease to think highly of his outward advantages. He will not aspire to be the greatest. 1888 1640.1

The overbearing spirit manifested in the Review and Herald Office in lording it over God's heritage has been looked upon by the God of heaven with indignation. They have brought into the sacred work of God principles that he hates,—principles which if carried out, would bring the sharp axe to the root of the tree. Had they loved God supremely, they would have loved the children of God, they would have loved all mankind with the love that is expressed in the life of Christ. It is the absence of the love of Christ that causes the Lord to pronounce the sentence, “Cut it down: why cumbereth it the ground?” 1888 1640.2

God calls for decided changes in his work proportionate to the elevated character of the truth of these last days. Unless those repent who have been handling sacred things in the spirit manifested by the great apostate, their candlestick will be removed out of his place. The message of God is, “Remember then from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” 1888 1640.3

These things have been opened before me in clear lines. I have seen that a cloud hangs over Battle Creek. The councillors in the offices have done strange things, and have offered strange fire. I tell you in the name of the Lord, Advance no farther in your work of loading down by bearing such institutions as the Health Retreat. Take your hands off from the Pacific Press. You who are so deeply at fault in your principles and practices, and under the reproof of God, cannot manage the interests with which you are connected. In the books of heaven it is written against you, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” 1888 1641.1

Stop where you are. You cannot retrieve your past record by seeking to reconstruct, reorganize, and consolidate other institutions with the institutions so defective in Battle Creek. I cry to you in the name of the Lord, No, No. Leave the Pacific Press under God's theocracy, and humble your hearts before God before it is everlastingly too late. The great day of God is coming when every man shall be known as God knows him. 1888 1641.2

The managers of the Pacific Press need to humble their hearts before God. They need to walk in all humility. The Lord will overturn until there is a reformation in our institutions. The men who ought to be filled with faith in this most sacred truth ever presented to mortals, the men who handle sacred trusts, are not all true watchmen. The Holy Spirit has often been in your midst, but these men, whose hearts should have been open to receive the heavenly messengers, were closed to its entreaties. They have ridiculed, mocked, and derided God's servants who have borne to them the message of mercy from heaven. Some have trifled with the precious things of God which are light and truth and grace. Had these men no fear that the sin of blasphemy might be committed by them. They would certainly fear were they not blinded by the enemy. Poor foolish, deluded souls. They know not the things that make for their peace. God has said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” 1888 1641.3

/M.V.H. (7) Jan. 27, ’97./