Manuscript Releases, vol. 15 [Nos. 1136-1185]


MR No. 1182—A Caution Against Heavy Investment in Food Manufacture

(This message was written at Sanitarium, California, September 19, 1906, and was presented verbally at Mountain View, California, according to an interlineation by Ellen White next to the title.)

In the night season a representation was given to me, and some instruction regarding the health food work. A few men were examining some plants having a tangled mass of roots. The roots on some of these plants were very long. Others had shorter roots. Those with the long roots looked healthy and promising, and men were rejoicing in the prospects of much fruit from these plants. Each seemed eager to secure the ones he regarded as the most promising, and there was strife and contention over them. 15MR 318.1

One of authority appeared in the midst of them, and said, “You do not need these long roots.” 15MR 318.2

“Why do we not need them,” some asked. 15MR 318.3

“Because the Lord is honored only by those plants that are connected with fruit-bearing branches. You are greatly mistaken in supposing that these longer roots will bring forth fruit such as you desire. A large expenditure of means to secure possession of them will result in confusion and will involve you in difficulties that you do not now realize. 15MR 318.4

“The plants with the short roots are the ones you should select; for their cultivation will not absorb a large amount of means, and within a short time they will bear fruit to the glory of God. 15MR 318.5

I was shown that the plants with the long, tangled roots represent certain food enterprises, which seem to be very promising, but which would produce but small returns in proclaiming God's redeeming love to man. These enterprises represent a large outlay of means, but they are not in harmony with the Lord's method of carrying forward His work, and they will result in entanglements. 15MR 319.1

The plants with the short roots represent enterprises which will not require such a large outlay of means, but which will bring speedy returns in the advancement of the gospel, and will result in the salvation of many souls. 15MR 319.2

To us as a people God has given the work of preaching in all parts of the world, the gospel of the kingdom. Our means and talents are not to be bound up in the production of expensive foods. Our commission is to proclaim the truth, that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 15MR 319.3

I am bidden to say that we are not largely to bind up talents in food enterprises. Our food stores and our restaurants have not been trees that have borne a large crop of fruit. There needs now to be a converting power among our workers. In our food work we should study the simplicity of health reform. Better results will be seen if we devote our energies largely to the work of educating the people how to prepare simple, healthful foods in their own homes, instead of spending our entire time in the manufacture and sale of foods which involve a large investment of means. Many are unable to purchase the manufactured health foods. By teaching these persons how to utilize the simple food products of the earth in a healthful manner, we shall reveal a spirit of true Christian benevolence. 15MR 319.4

During the past night, I received this instruction for our brethren: Keep your money, and deal in foods that are much less costly, and which, prepared in a nutritious form, will answer every purpose. I call upon our people: Be not deceived; be not decoyed; neither begrudge to the speculating parties their wonderful advantages. The Lord bids me raise my voice in warning. Beware how you invest the Lord's money in things that you can get along without. Endeavor to produce less expensive preparations of the grains and fruits. All these are freely given us of God to supply our necessities. Health is not insured by the use of expensive preparations. We can have just as good health while using the simple food preparations from the fruits, grains, and the vegetables. And if we will return to God a tenth of all that He gives us by His blessing, this can be used to support the ministers in their work. 15MR 320.1

Every feature of the third angel's message is to be proclaimed in all parts of the world. This is a much greater work than many realize. Our missionary enterprises are the one great object demanding our undivided attention at this time. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In this work we are to study simplicity. This message is a testimony message. Received into honest hearts, it will prove an antidote for all the world's sins and sorrows. No conditions of climate, of poverty, of ignorance, or of prejudice can hinder its efficiency or lessen its adaptability to the needs of mankind. 15MR 320.2

The proclamation of the great gospel message is the work of the disciples of Christ. Some will labor for this in one way, and others will carry another branch of the work, as the Lord calls and directs them individually. Not all have the same line of work, but all may unite in their efforts. 15MR 320.3

The word of the living God is to be proclaimed throughout the world. The gospel is to go forth with great power, marked by practical manifestations of the Spirit of God. Our workers are to become a living agency to reveal the purpose of God in calling them to His work. The word of the glorious gospel is to be preached in its divine comprehensiveness. By the living voice, and by kind, compassionate deeds, we are to exemplify the principles of the gospel. The simple, effective methods of teaching truth are represented by the short roots. 15MR 321.1

The truth may be advanced by works of charity, by helping the ignorant, the sick, the hungry, and the helpless. But our work is not to be confined to the outcasts. The highways as well as the byways are to be thoroughly worked. A far greater work might have been accomplished if counterworking influences had not created contention and strife. Let the churches be purged from their selfishness and their pride, and gain an experience of uniting with one another to encourage the hearts of the doubting and to recover those who have entered the mist and fog of unbelief. 15MR 321.2

All are to hear the last message of warning. The prophecies in the book of Revelation, chapters 12 to 18, are being fulfilled. In the eighteenth chapter is recorded the very last call to the churches. This call is now to be given. In the nineteenth chapter, the time is pictured when the beast and the false prophet are taken and cast into the lake of fire. The dragon, who was the instigator of the great rebellion against heaven, is bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then follows the resurrection of the wicked and the final destruction of Satan and all the wicked, and the final triumph and reign of Christ in this earth. 15MR 321.3