The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 200—To Officers of the Gen. Conf


St. Helena, California, Oct. 24, 1900.

To the Officers of the General Conference,

Dear Brethren,—

I have received a letter from Dr. Kress, written from Vancouver. He has written plainly, and seems to think it a very great mistake to hold the General Conference in Oakland. Before Brother Irwin left here, I plainly stated my ideas to him regarding this. 1888 1714.1

For the sake of the cause of God it is my duty to say that the reports made to you by -----, that Eld. Daniells was to be President of the General Conference in the place of Elder Irwin, and that W. C. White was to occupy a prominent position on the Foreign Mission Board, are most surprising falsehoods. Such a thought never entered our minds, and we have never said anything to cause such a report to be circulated. All my workers and W. C. White himself understand that in leaving Australia W. C. W. laid off every official duty that he might help me in my book work. I employ him as my general helper in this work. 1888 1714.2

An old cottage on my place is being fitted up as an office. In this there will be four rooms which can be occupied by my workers. We hope soon to get out some books which have been in a state of preparation for some time. 1888 1714.3

I am now located in the Pratt house under the hill on which the Retreat stands. The manifest working of the power of God in this matter is a cause of great thankfulness. Here I am retired from the strife of tongues. I decided that I could not make my home in Battle Creek, Healdsburg, or Oakland; and we made up our minds to wait and watch and pray for guidance as to where we should locate. It was a great surprise to us when this place was brought to our notice, and we saw plainly the hand of God in it. I was softened and subdued in spirit at the thought that God had selected this place for me, and I no longer questioned my duty in the matter of location. We acknowledge the unexpected interposition of Providence in our behalf under the most depressing circumstances. Light has shone amid uncertainty, and we now rejoice in certainty and in the peace of God. We do not doubt that God was the primary mover in the matter of our location, and may it be said of us as of the disciples, “They glorified God.” The Lord has placed us here, and we will praise him. We are thankful to be away from the din and confusion of the battle. We would not place ourselves where we would become the sport of Satan's inventions. 1888 1715.1

I shall not now relate the way in which the Lord will work in the future crisis, because the way is not prepared for me to do this. The Lord will fit men, women, and, yes, and even children, as he did Samuel, for his work, making them the repositories of sacred truth. He who never slumbers or sleeps watches over each one, selecting their spheres of labor in his broad missionary field. The last message of mercy is to be given to the world by the proclamation of gospel truth. All heaven is watching the aggressive warfare which God's servants are carrying forward under apparently discouraging circumstances. New conquests over the opposing elements of the world, over idolatry and heathenism, are being achieved. New honors are being won as the Lord's workers rally round the banner of the Redeemer, and raise the standard of truth. To the faithful ones, who learn of God, precious gifts are being imparted, that they may become laborers together with God, connecting the church here below with the church in heaven. All the angelic messengers are at the service of the humble, believing ones on earth; and as the redeemed army here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in their thanksgiving, ascribing praise to God and to Jesus the Son of God. 1888 1715.2

Let me tell you that I am not to pass again over the ground which I passed over at Minneapolis. I am not to be in the midst of scenes of contention and strife. I would most gladly bear my testimony to many thousands of people, but there are those who would not understand the message God has given me to bear. They have not been drinking deeply at the fountain of life, and they would not understand my words any more clearly than they have understood my writings. They have a work to do in preparing themselves for the messages which may come to them when they are ready. 1888 1716.1

I do not refuse to go to Battle Creek if the Lord indicates that it is my duty to go. But I may not be present at the General Conference if it is held at Battle Creek, or even if it is held in Oakland. I have a great and most solemn work before me in preparing for publication the writings which till now have been merely private testimonies, to be laid away in a drawer, with no heed paid to their instructions. Should I now attend a Conference at Battle Creek or in any other place, and bear the clear cut testimony I would have to bear, there would be cavilling over the instruction given, as there has been over the written testimonies. There would be great blindness of heart, and a disposition to misapply truth. Poor unconsecrated souls would be brought into even greater danger and peril than they are in now. 1888 1717.1

Those who have not profited by the books, written as God has impressed me by his Spirit to write, would not be any more inclined to profit by the spoken testimony. 1888 1717.2

God has been greatly dishonored by the spirit which has led men to present matters in a false light. They have received evidence piled upon evidence, and have had all the light that will come to them in regard to the work given me of God. Until their understanding is sanctified, God will not be glorified by my placing before them the precious, sacred things he has given me. I therefore feel no call to meet with you at Battle Creek, where the enemy has been permitted to take possession of minds and hearts, leading them to deceive themselves and others. I have felt deep humiliation of soul as I have been led to understand the treatment of the light given me for the people. I will visit the churches, but I am not called upon to place myself where I will be subject to unsanctified speeches. To many souls all that I might do or say would be worse than lost. I will embrace every opportunity to work for those who are in the darkness of error, who have never heard the truth. I will attend meetings where I can talk with those who have never had the light to reject. 1888 1717.3

It seems impossible for me to be understood by those who have had the light but have not walked in it. What I might say in private conversations would be so repeated as to make it mean exactly opposite to what it would have meant had the hearers been sanctified in mind and spirit. I am afraid to speak even to my friends; for afterwards I hear, Sister White said this, or, Sister White said that. My words are so wrested and misinterpreted that I am coming to the conclusion that the Lord desires me to keep out of large assemblies and refuse private interviews. What I say is reported in such a perverted light that it is new and strange to me. It is mixed with words spoken by men to sustain their own theories. I am warned to beware of those who although they have a profession of faith, are not meek and lowly in heart. They do not see themselves as they are. They do not work with Jesus, revealing his meekness and lowliness. 1888 1718.1

I fear that I cannot accomplish anything in the General Conference by speaking words to ears unsanctified and hearts unconverted, to men who know the truth, but do not obey it. I am sustained and greatly blessed when speaking to those who have not heard the truth. When doing missionary work among unbelievers, I am always receiving grace and power from God to give back to him. 1888 1719.1

Christ commissioned his disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” What then? “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues: they shall take up serpents: and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 1888 1719.2

There are a few who have felt the importance of the message, and who have solemnly taken up their appointed work, opening new fields instead of spending so much time in ventilating new theories in the churches. 1888 1719.3

When God's professed followers have an experimental knowledge of the truth, they will seek to fulfil the words of Christ. To his disciples the Saviour said, “These are the words that I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written in the law, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures.” 1888 1719.4

This is the experience the Lord desires every Seventh-day Adventist to gain. He desires them to understand the Scriptures so thoroughly that they will have a whole treasure house of knowledge from which to draw. Then they will be able to feed the flock of God with his Word. They will not think that they must bring forward some original theory in order to make their ministry successful. They will not think that they must hunt up tests new and odd and strange. These are sophistries which taste strongly of the dish, fables which have no power to sanctify, purify, and cleanse the soul from the uncleanness which sin brings in its train. 1888 1720.1

The teachers of the Word need on bended knees to seek for an understanding of the Scriptures. The workers in the Lord's vineyard need to draw continually from the Scriptures, not from the chambers of their imagination, sowing chaff among the wheat and making the chaff of more importance than the wheat, that they may secure glory for themselves. It is time that the men and women who have the Word of God in their hands rested not until the Holy Spirit gives them an understanding of the Word and works a reformation in their hearts. Then the movers in the proclamation of the last message of mercy for a fallen world will show that they are controlled by the Holy Spirit. 1888 1720.2

Truth, Bible truth, this is what the people need. They need none of the inferior tests which have been manufactured by men and attached to the truth as a part of it. These tests weaken those who believe them. We have a work to do of no inferior order. On our knees we are to claim the promises of God's word, asking that we may receive pure, unadulterated truth, and that we may see the necessity of practicing this truth and living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Then men and women will be converted to the truth. The hand of God will be recognized in the raising up of new churches, baptizing with the apostolic spirit many who will go forth to do missionary work in places where the people know not the truth. These will need to be taught to gain an experience free from human sophistry. 1888 1721.1

Such missionary work will furnish the churches with a sure, solid foundation, a foundation having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. God will be glorified in his people. Christian missions will be built upon Jesus Christ. Under the supervision of God the work will go forward, and innumerable evidences will be given of the genuineness of the work. The workers will not seek to glorify themselves or any human being, but will praise God as the Designer and Organizer of every holy, ennobling work. They not only profess to be believers, but are believers. They are sanctified by the truth; for truth acted as well as preached has a purifying influence upon the character. 1888 1721.2

In the home and in the church the true missionary for God is a living exposition of truth. He eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, and his life is moulded according to the divine similitude. He understands and assimilates the Word, saying, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” True missionary work leads those connected with it to bow before God in self-humiliation and in unfeigned gratitude to God for the past and present manifestation of his power. They hide self in Christ, praising and glorifying him as the One altogether lovely. 1888 1722.1

Christian missionary work is of great value to the home churches. By it the members, who know and believe the truth, are inspired with holy, sanctified zeal to deny self, to lift the cross of Christ, and labor with self-sacrificing zeal to send the truth to places nigh and afar off. Christian missionary work has a reflex influence upon the churches, an influence uplifting and sanctifying, demonstrating the importance of Christ's teaching in the sixth chapter of John. Christian missionary work has a salutary influence upon unbelievers; for as the workers labor under divine superintendence, worldlings are led to see the greatness of the resources God has provided for those who serve him. God's truth, demonstrated by the working of grace in the heart, multiplies the agencies of Christian usefulness and makes a decided impression upon the world. 1888 1722.2

God desires his servants to be living examples of the purifying influence of the truth. He desires them in life and character to show its ennobling, elevating tendencies. They are to illustrate the excellence of the truth, raising the standard of Christian courtesy, Christian tenderness and love. With an intensity of effort they are to seek and save those who are perishing in sin. Let the heart yearn even to breaking over those who know not the truth. The minds of believers must not be centered upon themselves, investigating every different feeling and writing to others for an explanation. Let them go to work and forget self in the loving desire to help perishing souls. Let them think and plan and act for those who know not God. It is not only the learned, the talented, who are to work for others. All who claim to believe in Jesus should work for others. This is Christian usefulness. We all need to show a holy dependence on our heavenly Father. Devout dependence upon God, sanctification of spirit, earnestness in service, this distinguishes between those who serve God and those who serve him not. We who believe are to illustrate in our lives the excellence of the life of Christ. Church members are to arise and shine amid the moral darkness of the world. If we are united to the Light of the world, we shall reflect light to others. If we partake of the Saviour's rich grace, we shall be a universal blessing. 1888 1722.3

We are called upon to show a hallowed patriotism, to reveal the attributes of Christ in the home and in the church. Let all seek to manifest the benevolence of Christ. He gave his life to save a fallen world, and shall Christians, those who claim to be his representatives on earth, ever remain weak and inefficient? God help us to arise and take a most decided stand in the center of a large circle of benevolent work. Thus we may glorify and magnify the name of Him who is truth. We are laid under the most solemn obligations, to furnish in Christians missions a grand illustration of the principles of the kingdom of God. The church is to be active in its working as an organized body to diffuse the influence of the cross of Christ, working for those nigh and afar off. Under God all who will eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will be registered in the courts above, “Laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry: ye are God's building.” Controlled by the great Designer, they reveal what human beings can be when they wear the yoke of Christ, learning his meekness and lowliness. 1888 1723.1

It is because so many of God's professed followers seek to be first that they cannot be trusted. Were they humble men, willing to be instructed and taught by God, they would be a power in showing the world the influence of truth upon the human character. Those who work in Christ's lines, never seeking to exalt self, will reveal steady progress and constant activity in missionary enterprises. They will not be satisfied unless church is added to church. Church members are not to center themselves in certain localities, forgetting that the Lord's vineyard is to be worked. They are to make aggressive warfare, planting the standard of truth in new places. God expects those in his service to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. 1888 1724.1