Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135]

19/75

MR No. 1099—An Appeal to Surrender; Resistance to the Holy Spirit at Minneapolis

(Written November 5, 1892, from Adelaide, South Australia, to “Dear Nephew and Niece, Frank and Hattie [Belden].”)

My heart is very tender toward you, but I fear that the enemy has power to misinterpret to your minds anything that I may feel impressed to say to you. Nevertheless I dare not keep silent. I love you both, although, I feel sad to say, I have not that feeling of harmony with you that I would be so much pleased to have. I cannot say to you, Peace, peace, when from time to time the Lord presents before me your peril. You have had light; you have been blessed of the Lord with rare opportunities to receive light and obtain a rich experience in spiritual things. I know that the Lord would be pleased to see you both self-denying, consecrated to His service, with a firm purpose and unfaltering zeal to do your Master's work. I should feel sad to see you separated from the cause and work of God. But I would not have you occupy your present position of large responsibility unless you shall come to understand better your relation to God and His claims upon you and your relation to your fellow men. 14MR 104.1

Dear children, if I could through the grace of God, pen words that would lead you to see your true condition and to seek the Lord with all your heart, I would be most happy. I do not have it in my heart to wound or bruise you, but to restore and heal you. For a few days I have been encouraged. I was in earnest conversation, Frank, with you, and you did not rise up against me; your heart was touched. I said, Do you know that you have been a hindrance to Hattie? You have been self-righteous, and have not come close to her heart in tender interest that she should manifestly connect herself with Christ, confessing Him openly. Oh, things might have been so different for years back! Instead of learning of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart, you have advanced in self-esteem and self-importance. Selfishness has entwined itself in all your efforts. It has tainted your work and will ruin your soul unless you change this order of things decidedly and firmly. 14MR 104.2

No one who has enlisted to serve God will be free from temptation. Satan will say, “Do not be carried away with any whimsical notion. Do not work like a slave unless you are well paid for it.” Every man is tempted as was Christ when the kingdoms of the world were proffered to Him if He would only bow to Satan's terms. Have you not in a large degree sacrificed spiritual and eternal interests for mere worldly, temporal things? How near has the work and cause of God been to your soul? Has not your self-sacrifice for Jesus been very small? 14MR 105.1

You have another life to sustain than that which is nourished by temporal bread. You have a soul to look to carefully lest it shall be lost forever. You are to receive every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, and feed upon that word, which is the bread of life and the water of life. Jesus calls it His flesh and His blood. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” [Psalm 128:1, 2]. 14MR 105.2

Here are the terms the Lord offers you, my dear children. Will you accept the conditions? The character of Christianity is intensely practical. “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” [1 Corinthians 4:20]. It bears the divine credentials. This practical religion does not put aside the truths of the Bible as too sublime for common life. Its principles are to control us in all the little things as well as the large things of life, supplying the motive to a high and holy course of action. The life of Christ is to be our example. 14MR 106.1

Across the waters of the broad Pacific I cry to you, Look and live. Look steadily, constantly, earnestly, to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. The sanctification of the soul is accomplished through steadfastly beholding Him by faith as the only-begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth. The power of truth is to transform heart and character. Its effect is not like a dash of color here and there upon the canvas; the whole character is to be transformed; the image of Christ is to be revealed in words and actions. A new nature is imparted. Man is renewed after the image of Christ in righteousness and true holiness. 14MR 106.2

Oh, if we only acted in accordance with the light that shines upon our pathway, we would be far in advance of what we are today in spiritual understanding and real heart worship. Many are in the condition represented by the foolish virgins, who had lamps but no oil to replenish the lamps and keep them burning and shining, ready to meet the Bridegroom. The grace of Christ is essential every day, every hour. Unless it is with us continually, the inconsistencies of the natural heart will appear and the life will present a divided service. The character is to be full of grace and truth. Wherever the religion of Christ works, it will brighten and sweeten every detail of life with more than an earthly joy and a higher than earthly peace. 14MR 106.3

My dear children, I love you because Christ loves you. You have been dearly purchased. All you are and all you have—time, talents, strength, thought, everything—has been redeemed by the blood of Christ to do Him highest service. The Lord can accept of nothing less than complete consecration, entire, willing obedience. Frank, my dear nephew, the power of the principles you profess has too often been neutralized by your practice. Your quickness of temper and bitterness of feeling keep you from good. The Lord can bless you only as you come to Him with humble heart, confessing your errors and sins. 14MR 107.1

When you are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, you will see all that wickedness at Minneapolis as it is, as God looks upon it. If I never see you again in this world, be assured that I forgive you the sorrow and distress and burden of soul you have brought upon me without any cause. But for your soul's sake, for the sake of Him who died for you, I want you to see and confess your errors. You did unite with those who resisted the Spirit of God. You had all the evidence that you needed that the Lord was working through Brethren Jones and Waggoner; but you did not receive the light; and after the feelings indulged, the words spoken against the truth, you did not feel ready to confess that you had done wrong, that these men had a message from God, and you had made light of both message and messengers. 14MR 107.2

Never before have I seen among our people such firm self-complacency and unwillingness to accept and acknowledge light as was manifested at Minneapolis. I have been shown that not one of the company who cherished the spirit manifested at that meeting would again have clear light to discern the preciousness of the truth sent them from heaven until they humbled their pride and confessed that they were not actuated by the Spirit of God, but that their minds and hearts were filled with prejudice. The Lord desired to come near to them, to bless them and heal them of their backslidings, but they would not hearken. They were actuated by the same spirit that inspired Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Those men of Israel were determined to resist all evidence that would prove them to be wrong, and they went on and on in their course of disaffection until many were drawn away to unite with them. 14MR 108.1

Who were these? Not the weak, not the ignorant, not the unenlightened. In that rebellion there were two hundred and fifty princes famous in the congregation, men of renown. What was their testimony? “All the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” [Numbers 16:3]. When Korah and his companions perished under the judgment of God, the people whom they had deceived saw not the hand of the Lord in this miracle. The whole congregation the next morning charged Moses and Aaron, “Ye have killed the people of the Lord” [Verse 41], and the plague was upon the congregation, and more than fourteen thousand perished. 14MR 108.2

When I purposed to leave Minneapolis, the angel of the Lord stood by me and said: “Not so; God has a work for you to do in this place. The people are acting over the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. I have placed you in your proper position, which those who are not in the light will not acknowledge; they will not heed your testimony; but I will be with you; My grace and power shall sustain you. It is not you they are despising, but the messengers and the message I send to My people. They have shown contempt for the word of the Lord. Satan has blinded their eyes and perverted their judgment; and unless every soul shall repent of this their sin, this unsanctified independence that is doing insult to the Spirit of God, they will walk in darkness. I will remove the candlestick out of his place except they repent and be converted, that I should heal them. They have obscured their spiritual eyesight. They would not that God would manifest His Spirit and His power; for they have a spirit of mockery and disgust at My word. Lightness, trifling, jesting, and joking are daily practiced. They have not set their hearts to seek Me. They walk in the sparks of their own kindling, and unless they repent they shall lie down in sorrow. Thus saith the Lord: Stand at your post of duty; for I am with thee, and will not leave thee nor forsake thee.” These words from God I have not dared to disregard. 14MR 108.3

Light has been shining in Battle Creek in clear, bright rays; but who of those that acted a part in the meeting at Minneapolis have come to the light and received the rich treasures of truth which the Lord sent them from heaven? Who have kept step and step with the Leader, Jesus Christ? Who have made full confession of their mistaken zeal, their blindness, their jealousies and evil surmisings, their defiance of truth? Not one; [In the light of other Ellen White statements, it would seem that this comment should be considered as hyperbole, for in a document written January 9, 1891, Ellen White wrote that Uriah Smith “made his confession. He had fallen on the Rock and was broken. I cannot describe to you my joy.”--- Manuscript Release #1092. For an account of many others who also changed their attitudes see “George I. Butler moves into the light,” “Uriah Smith falls on the ‘Rock,’” and “still more confessions” in A. V. Olson, Thirteen Crisis Years, 87-119.] and because of their long neglect to acknowledge the light, it has left them far behind; they have not been growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. They have failed to receive the needed grace which they might have had, and which would have made them strong men in religious experience. 14MR 109.1

The position taken at Minneapolis was apparently an insurmountable barrier which in a great degree shut them in with doubters, questioners, with the rejecters of truth and the power of God. When another crisis comes, those who have so long resisted evidence piled upon evidence will again be tested upon the points where they failed so manifestly, and it will be hard for them to receive that which is from God and refuse that which is from the powers of darkness. Therefore their only safe course is to walk in humility, making straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. It makes every difference whom we company with, whether it is with men who walk with God and who believe and trust Him, or with men who follow their own supposed wisdom, walking in the sparks of their own kindling. 14MR 110.1

The time and care and labor required to counteract the influence of those who have worked against the truth has been a terrible loss; for we might have been years ahead in spiritual knowledge; and many, many souls might have been added to the church if those who ought to have walked in the light had followed on to know the Lord, that they might know His going forth is prepared as the morning. But when so much labor has to be expended right in the church to counteract the influence of workers who have stood as a granite wall against the truth God sends to His people, the world is left in comparative darkness. 14MR 110.2

God meant that the watchmen should arise and with united voices send forth a decided message, giving the trumpet a certain sound, that the people might all spring to their post of duty and act their part in the great work. Then the strong, clear light of that other angel who comes down from heaven having great power, would have filled the earth with his glory. We are years behind; and those who stood in blindness and hindered the advancement of the very message that God meant should go forth from the Minneapolis meeting as a lamp that burneth, have need to humble their hearts before God and see and understand how the work has been hindered by their blindness of mind and hardness of heart. 14MR 111.1

Hours have been spent in quibbling over little things; golden opportunities have been wasted while heavenly messengers have grieved, impatient at the delay. The Holy Spirit—there has been so little appreciation of its value or the necessity for every soul to receive it. Those who do receive the heavenly endowment will go forth clad with the armor of righteousness to do battle for God. They will respect the leadings of the Lord and will be filled with gratitude to Him for His mercy. But in many, many places, and on many, many occasions it could truthfully be said as in Christ's day of those who profess to be God's people, that not many mighty works could be done, because of their unbelief. Many who have been bound in fetters of darkness have been respected because God has used them, and their unbelief has aroused doubt and prejudice against the message of truth which angels of heaven were seeking to communicate through human agencies—justification by faith, the righteousness of Christ. 14MR 111.2

Now, my dear children, I have sketched but a tithe of what I know to be true in regard to these matters. I present them to you. I would that you would now surrender to God. I love you both too well to flatter you. Frank, you could have helped Hattie in many ways if you yourself had stood in the clear light; but you have been walking in darkness. When pride shall die, when self shall be crucified, then Jesus will come in and take possession of heart and soul. I want you to make sure work for eternity. You have no time to lose. Years have passed, and you are not ready to die, and without a decided change are not ready to live and glorify God. No longer seek to have your way, to follow your mind and judgment, but put your hand in the hand of Christ and say, Lead me, guide me. 14MR 112.1

Captain Eldridge's influence over you has not been right in some things. Your influence with him might have been much more to his good and the glory of God than it has been. But the past, with its burden of record, has gone into eternity; now in repentance and confession and conversion to God, in childlike submission and obedience to His will, is your only hope of salvation. I am deeply in earnest; I could not abate one jot or tittle of truth to please you or to make you my best friend. No; it is life or death with you. There is not time for us to trifle with eternal realities. We must be saved in God's way, just as He has presented it in His Word, else we can never be saved at all. We must be pure and single-hearted, in principle firm as a rock. Jesus said, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me; so shall he be My disciple.” Thank God, Oh, thank Him with heart and voice, that He is still our compassionate Redeemer, ready to forgive sin and by His own blood to cleanse us from every stain that sin has made. 14MR 112.2

I write in love.

(Signed) Aunt Ellen.—Letter 2a, 1892.

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

November 1984.

Entire Letter.