Manuscript Releases, vol. 9 [Nos. 664-770]


MR No. 723—This Material Is Included in Manuscript Release No. 900.21

Mr No. 724—Relation of Faith to Evidence

In your letter wherein you ask a number of questions about the Testimonies, you say, “I must go to the bottom of all these things, and know just where I stand.” 9MR 202.1

In my books and manuscripts I find the following which I think will help you in your present perplexities: 9MR 202.2

“God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His Word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity, while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith. 9MR 202.3

“It is impossible for finite minds fully to comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, the most highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery. ‘Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?’ (Job 11:7, 8). 9MR 202.4

“The apostle Paul exclaims, ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). But though ‘Clouds and darkness are round about Him; righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne’ (Psalm 97:2, R.V.). We can so far comprehend His dealing with us, and the motives by which He is actuated, that we may discern boundless love and mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know; and beyond this we must still trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love. 9MR 202.5

“The Word of God, like the character of its divine Author, presents mysteries that can never be fully comprehended by finite beings. The entrance of sin into the world, the incarnation of Christ, regeneration, the resurrection, and many other subjects presented in the Bible, are mysteries too deep for the human mind to explain, or even fully to comprehend. But we have no reason to doubt God's Word because we cannot understand the mysteries of His providence. In the natural world we are constantly surrounded with mysteries that we cannot fathom. The very humblest forms of life present a problem that the wisest of philosophers is powerless to explain. Everywhere are wonders beyond our ken. Should we then be surprised to find that in the spiritual world also there are mysteries that we cannot fathom? The difficulty lies solely in the weakness and narrowness of the human mind. God has given us in the Scriptures sufficient evidence of their divine character, and we are not to doubt His Word because we cannot understand all the mysteries of His providence.... 9MR 203.1

“There is an evidence that is open to all—the most highly educated, the most illiterate—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His Word, the truth of His promises. He bids us ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Psalm 34:8). Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves. He declares, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’ (John 16:24). His promises will be fulfilled. They have never failed; they never can fail. And as we draw near to Jesus, and rejoice in the fullness of His love, our doubt and darkness will disappear in the light of His presence.”—Steps to Christ, 105-107, 111-112. 9MR 203.2

Those who have passed through a struggle to rise above the realm of doubt and conjecture, realize that “while God has given ample evidence for faith, He will never remove all excuse for unbelief. All who look for hooks to hang their doubts upon, will find them. And those who refuse to accept and obey God's Word until every objection has been removed, and there is no longer an opportunity for doubt, will never come to the light.”—The Great Controversy, 527. (Italics author's.) 9MR 204.1

As with the Bible, so with the Testimonies. “Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit; and all should decide from the weight of evidence.”—Testimonies for the Church 3:255 (Italics author's.) 9MR 204.2

“Satan is at hand to suggest a variety of doubts; but if you will open your eyes in faith, you will find sufficient evidence for belief. But God will never remove from any man all causes for doubts.... 9MR 204.3

“God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding, will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.”—Testimonies for the Church 4:232, 233. (Italics author's.) 9MR 204.4

“What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors, and show you your course as it is? What power to work in the church? If you refuse to believe until every shadow of uncertainty and every possibility of doubt is removed, you will never believe. The doubt that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to faith. Faith rests upon evidence, not demonstration. The Lord requires us to obey the voice of duty, when there are other voices all around us urging us to pursue an opposite course. It requires earnest attention from us to distinguish the voice which speaks for God. We must resist and conquer inclination, and obey the voice of conscience without parleying or compromise, lest its promptings cease and will and impulse control. The word of the Lord comes to us all who have not resisted His Spirit by determining not to hear and obey. This voice is heard in warnings, in counsels, in reproof. It is the Lord's message of light to His people. If we wait for louder calls, or better opportunities, the light may be withdrawn, and we left in darkness.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:68, 69. 9MR 205.1

We are living amid the perils of the last days. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The world is rapidly taking sides in the great conflict between good and evil. The enemy with all his satanic craft is working diligently to secure souls. He has influenced the minds of many who know the truth, so that they have walked contrary to the light God has given them. And even when God has sent them warnings, they have closed their ears and walked on in ways of their own devising. Those who are in a state of uncertainty regarding the messages of warning that God is sending will soon take their stand either for or against the truth. 9MR 205.2

Many souls have been presented before me as being tempted by Satan to deny the faith. Fired by an unsanctified, unholy zeal, they will lead others in strange paths, and under their leadership many will become entangled in the specious snares of the enemy. 9MR 206.1

The Lord calls upon His slumbering people to awake out of their sleep. Many who in their ignorance consider themselves to be wise—like the foolish virgins in the parable—do not realize that their lamps are going out. When they awake to their condition it will be too late for them to obtain a fresh supply of oil, and they will be unready to meet the Bridegroom. 9MR 206.2

To those who have come to a time of decision, let us say, “With humility of heart seek the Lord earnestly.” The longer you tread the path of doubt and perplexity, the less will you feel the influence of the Spirit of God. If you were to wait until every question had been answered to your complete satisfaction, you would never believe. It is often necessary that faith shall precede evidence.—Letter 234, 1906, pp. 1-6. (To Dr. William Sadler, July 9, 1906.) 9MR 206.3

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

April 24, 1979.