Selected Messages Book 1

20/98

A Review of the Work

Sanitarium, California

July 8, 1906

Dear Brother,

There are some who think they are able to measure the character and to estimate the importance of the work the Lord has given me to do. Their own mind and judgment is the standard by which they would weigh the testimonies. 1SM 49.1

My Instructor said to me, Tell these men that God has not committed to them the work of measuring, classifying, and defining the character of the testimonies. Those who attempt this are sure to err in their conclusions. The Lord would have men adhere to their appointed work. If they will keep the way of the Lord, they will be able to discern clearly that the work which He has appointed me to do is not a work of human devising. 1SM 49.2

Those who carefully read the testimonies as they have appeared from the early days, need not be perplexed as to their origin. The many books, written by the help of the Spirit of God, bear a living witness to the character of the testimonies. 1SM 49.3

In the early days of our experience in the message, the Spirit of God often came upon a few of us as we were assembled, and I was taken away in vision. The Lord gave such light and evidence, such comfort and hope and joy, that His praises were upon our lips. 1SM 50.1

Assisted by Literary Helpers

While my husband lived, he acted as a helper and counselor in the sending out of the messages that were given to me. We traveled extensively. Sometimes light would be given to me in the night season, sometimes in the daytime before large congregations. The instruction I received in vision was faithfully written out by me, as I had time and strength for the work. Afterward we examined the matter together, my husband correcting grammatical errors and eliminating needless repetition. Then it was carefully copied for the persons addressed, or for the printer. 1SM 50.2

As the work grew, others assisted me in the preparation of matter for publication. After my husband's death, faithful helpers joined me, who labored untiringly in the work of copying the testimonies and preparing articles for publication. 1SM 50.3

But the reports that are circulated, that any of my helpers are permitted to add matter or change the meaning of the messages I write out, are not true. 1SM 50.4

While we were in Australia the Lord instructed me that W. C. White should be relieved from the many burdens his brethren would lay upon him, that he might be more free to assist me in the work the Lord has laid upon me. The promise had been given, “I will put My Spirit upon him, and give him wisdom.” 1SM 50.5

Since my return to America I have several times received instruction that the Lord has given me W. C. White to be my helper, and that in this work the Lord will give him of His Spirit. 1SM 50.6

Proper Time and Manner of Presentation

It requires much wisdom and sound judgment, quickened by the Spirit of God, to know the proper time and manner to present the instruction that has been given. When the minds of persons reproved are under a strong deception, they naturally resist the testimony; and having taken an attitude of resistance, it is difficult for them afterward to acknowledge that they have been wrong. 1SM 51.1

In the early days of this cause, if some of the leading brethren were present when messages from the Lord were given, we would consult with them as to the best manner of bringing the instruction before the people. Sometimes it was decided that certain portions would better not be read before a congregation. Sometimes those whose course was reproved would request that the matters pointing out their wrongs and dangers should be read before others, that they, too, might be benefited. 1SM 51.2

Often after testimonies of reproof were read, hearty confessions were made. Then we would unite in a season of prayer, and the Lord would manifest His pardoning grace to those who had confessed their sins. The acceptance of the testimonies brought the rich blessing of God into our assemblies. 1SM 51.3

Faithfully I endeavor to write out that which is given me from time to time by the divine Counselor. Some portions of that which I write are sent out immediately to meet the present necessities of the work. Other portions are held until the development of circumstances makes it evident to me that the time has come for their use. Sometimes in ministers and physicians bearing responsibilities there has developed a disposition to discard the testimonies, and I have been instructed not to place testimonies in their hands; for having yielded to the spirit that tempted and overcame Adam and Eve, they have opened mind and heart to the control of the enemy. Being on a false track, and laboring under deceptive imaginings, they will read into the testimonies things that are not there, but which are in agreement with the false statements that they have listened to. By reading the testimonies in the light of their own kindling, they are deceived, and will deceive others. 1SM 51.4

Sometimes, after very clear-cut, decided reproofs have been written out, they are held for a time until by personal correspondence I have endeavored to change the spirit of those to whom they are addressed. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the messages, with all their strength of rebuke or reproof, are sent to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will deny the truthfulness of the message. 1SM 52.1

If those whose errors are pointed out make confession of their wrongdoing, the spell of the enemy may be broken. If they will repent and forsake their sins, God is faithful and just to forgive their sins, and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer, will remove the filthy garments from them, give them change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon their head. But so long as they refuse to turn from iniquity they cannot develop a character that will stand in the great day of judgment. 1SM 52.2

Often concealed wrongs in the life of individuals are opened before me, and I am bidden to bear a message of reproof and warning. 1SM 52.3

I have been told that many who give heed to the false science of the enemy would denounce my work as that of a false prophet, and would place upon the testimony such interpretations as tend to change the truth of God into a lie. Satan is on the alert; and some who in the past have been used by the Lord in doing His work, but who have permitted themselves to be deceived, will be stirred up to make an improper use of the messages given. Because they do not wish to listen to the words of reproof, because they will not hear counsel, and improve their course of action, and do their appointed work, they will misconstrue the messages to the church, and confuse many minds. 1SM 52.4

Nevertheless, I am to bear the message that is given me to bear, so long as the Lord shall choose. He has not given me the work of settling all the misunderstandings that are cherished in hearts of unbelief. Just as long as a door is open to receive the tempter's suggestions, difficulties will multiply. The hearts of those who will not come to the light are open to unbelief. If my time and strength are consumed upon such matters, this serves Satan's purposes. The Lord has said to me: “Bear the testimonies. Your work is not to settle difficulties; your work is to reprove, and to present the righteousness of Christ.” 1SM 52.5

An Incident

At one time in the early days of the message, Father Butler and Elder Hart became confused in regard to the testimonies. In great distress they groaned and wept, but for some time they would not give the reasons for their perplexity. However, being pressed to give a reason for their faithless speech and manner, Elder Hart referred to a small pamphlet that had been published as the visions of Sister White, and said that to his certain knowledge, some visions were not included. Before a large audience, these brethren both talked strongly about their losing confidence in the work. 1SM 53.1

My husband handed the little pamphlet to Elder Hart, and requested him to read what was printed on the title page. “A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Mrs. E. G. White“, he read. 1SM 53.2

For a moment there was silence, and then my husband explained that we had been very short of means, and were able to print at first only a small pamphlet, and he promised the brethren that when sufficient means was raised, the visions should be published more fully in book form. 1SM 53.3

Elder Butler was deeply moved, and after the explanation had been made, he said, “Let us bow before God.” Prayers, weeping, and confessions followed, such as we have seldom heard. 1SM 53.4

Father Butler said: “Brother White, forgive me; I was afraid you were concealing from us some of the light we ought to have. Forgive me, Sister White.” Then the power of God came into the meeting in a wonderful manner.—The Writing and Sending Out of the Testimonies to the Church, 3-9. 1SM 53.5