Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]


MR No. 1519—Churches to Be Built in Oakland and Mountain View; Structures to Reflect Our Belief in Christ's Soon Coming

(Written January 18, 1907, from Sanitarium, California, to the members of the Oakland church. Portions of this manuscript have been printed in Series B, No. 9, and various Manuscript Releases.)

I must write to you regarding your proposed church building. I am pleased with the site you have selected. It is near to the street railway, and thus very convenient for those who come from a distance. 21MR 93.1

I have been bidden to give you words of warning regarding the meetinghouse that you shall build. This is a time for you to examine yourselves to see if you are standing in the right position regarding this matter. 21MR 93.2

In Oakland we need a church building. Soon a simple and inexpensive place of worship should be erected. In this the brethren and sisters in Oakland are to show that they fear the Lord, by refusing to build a stylish and costly church. We are living in perilous times; judgment is to follow judgment. Let us now reveal in our works that we believe that the time of God's judgments is come, that we are approaching the day when there will be no certainty regarding anything in this world. By our works as well as our testimony we are to tell that the end of all things is at hand. 21MR 93.3

We are to take heed to the warnings given in the calamity that has overtaken San Francisco. The people of Oakland must not give the people of San Francisco cause to think that they feel secure. But that is what they would understand your action to mean if at this time you should erect a large and costly meetinghouse. 21MR 93.4

The great earthquake of San Francisco is to be followed by earthquakes in other places. We need not be surprised if after a time Oakland should become so wicked that calamities will fall on this city also. 21MR 93.5

Those who do not believe that the Lord is coming soon are building without stopping to consider why the Lord wiped out a greater part of the city of San Francisco; but the leading men of San Francisco are no pattern for us to follow. 21MR 93.6

One thing will be plainly developed at this time, one question be clearly settled—whether we are solid Christians or merely professors. We should let it be well understood that we regard this terrible calamity as the stroke of an offended God, because His treasure has been lavishly spent to glorify self. Let our works be such that men can see that we are but sojourners here, that we are seeking a better country, even a heavenly. 21MR 93.7

We may well fear and tremble for the things that shall be in the future. Many of the citizens of Oakland will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. Would you be of that company? You need now to show in life and character the sanctification of the gospel and a belief in Christ's soon coming in power and great glory. Will you show faith by genuine faith in the signs of the Lord's second coming? 21MR 94.1

We are to bring the truth into all our works; we are to be sanctified through the truth, and show to a world dead in trespasses and sin that we are a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation, zealous of good works. 21MR 94.2

The death of Christ was accomplished to make us genuine Christians through faith in Him. We carry a message of sacred truth, and through the righteousness of Christ we are to become one in Him, separate from the world, distinguished from it by the features of our faith that make us heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We are Christ's witnesses. By our baptismal vow we are under solemn pledge to witness for Him. Through the merits of Christ we are to let our light shine forth to the world, that they, by seeing our good works, may glorify our Father which is in heaven. 21MR 94.3

At this time the building of costly meetinghouses in any place is not in accordance with our faith. There are many places where meetinghouses will soon have to be built, therefore we should not put large sums of money in any one place. 21MR 94.4

At Mountain View a meetinghouse is greatly needed, and should soon be built. The Oakland church will need to help the brethren and sisters in Mountain View. If five thousand dollars could be given for the building of a suitable meetinghouse for this sister church, the enterprise could go forward at once, and the two meetinghouses would soon be completed. 21MR 94.5

All who help in this essential work will receive the blessing of God. I hope that none in Oakland will object to appropriating a portion of the means to help in building the meetinghouse in Mountain View. 21MR 94.6

May the Lord help and sanctify and bless in the work of building in Oakland and Mountain View. May all hearts he made willing, is my prayer. The Lord will certainly bless those who will work unitedly to carry forward this work at this time.—Letter 10, 1907. 21MR 94.7

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

September 13, 1990.

Entire Letter.