Manuscript Releases, vol. 10 [Nos. 771-850]


MR No. 826—Spurious Visions and Extreme Positions

[See Selected Messages 2:73-79, where other passages from this letter are quoted.]

In several cases the ones who claimed to have visions had a testimony for me, that I must do certain things—a class of humiliating acts which I will not mention, all the outgrowth of fanaticism. The Lord presented the true situation before me, and said, “Give no heed to these things, not for a moment. I have not sent them, yet they ran. They cover their deceptions with the garments of truth; be not deceived.” 10MR 310.1

I have seen several fall in vision; but when I rebuked the spirit which controlled them, they immediately came out of vision and were in great distress of mind. 10MR 310.2

Such experiences as these came to be very common. Several in one family were under this species of deception. One would see that Sister White was exalted; another that Sister White was not humble because she would not get down upon her hands and knees and creep; another that Sister White would be rejected and lost because she did not believe the visions they had were from God. Another would see that he must go to a certain place and remain there two, three, or four weeks. These visions found credit with some who were lacking in wisdom.... 10MR 310.3

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them. 10MR 311.1

Likewise, he works through persons who have been reproved for some inconsistency in their religious life, for some course of action which was dangerous to themselves and others. Instead of receiving the testimony as a blessing from God, they refuse the means God uses to set them right. Such apparently may be very zealous for God, but they put their own interpretation upon the Word and make it contradict what the Lord has revealed in the testimonies. They think they are doing God's service, but such work God has not given them to do. 10MR 311.2

You, Brother Garmire, have a reasoning mind, but in this matter your reason is perverted. You should have clear spiritual eyesight. You ought to know that the great and holy God will not condescend to open to a child, or even to a man or woman, such frivolous matters as your Anna claims that God teaches her. God will not lie nor deceive His people. 10MR 311.3

Your past experience has been opened before me. I was shown that you have not carried yourself right in your business relations. Have you not given occasion for your good to be evil spoken of? Your zeal carries you too far in advocating that which you claim to be truth. You believe in health reform. That is good, but you are in danger of making your ideas of it too prominent. You take too strong positions, carry your remarks to extremes, and thus prejudice people against our denomination. Here you show lack of tact and wisdom. Minds to whom this subject is new are not prepared to receive strong statements. 10MR 311.4

Many are doing this same thing. They leave impressions on minds that are hard to efface. Many think that health reformers are fanatics. We are misrepresented on this subject, therefore we need to handle it with great wisdom, lest the false impressions that have prevailed be deepened and our efforts to convince people only fasten them more strongly in their own ways.—Letter 12, 1890, pp. 14, 16, 17. (Written at Petoskey, Michigan, August 12, 1890, to Brother and Sister Garmire.) 10MR 312.1

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

November 4, 1980.