The Review and Herald

41/1902

1863

January 6, 1863

Testimony for the Church

EGW

At the Conference at Battle Creek, May 27th, 1856, I was shown in vision some things that concern the church generally. The glory and majesty of God was made to pass before me. Said the angel, “He is terrible in his majesty, yet ye realize it not; terrible in his anger, yet ye offend him daily. Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” These roads I saw were distinct, separate, in opposite directions. One leads to eternal life, the other to death, eternal death. I saw the distinction in these roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling these roads. The roads are opposite; one is broad and smooth; the other narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel these roads are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and conversation. RH January 6, 1863, par. 1

Those traveling in the narrow way are talking of the joy and happiness they will have at the end of the journey. Their countenances are often sad, yet often beam with holy, sacred joy. They do not dress like the company in the broad road, or talk like them, or act like them. A Pattern has been given them. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief opened that road for them, and traveled that road himself. His followers see his footsteps and are comforted and cheered. He went through safely, so can they, if they follow his footsteps. RH January 6, 1863, par. 2

In the broad road all are occupied with their persons, their dress, and the pleasures in the way. Hilarity and glee they fully indulge in, and think not of their journey's end, of the certain destruction at the end of the path. Every day they approach nearer their destruction, yet they madly rush on faster and faster. Oh! how dreadful this looked to me. RH January 6, 1863, par. 3

I saw many traveling in this broad road who had written upon them, “Dead to the world, The end of all things is at hand, Be ye also ready.” They looked just like all the vain ones around them, except a shade of sadness which I noticed upon their countenances. Their conversation was just like the gay, thoughtless ones around them; but they would occasionally point to the letters on their garments with great satisfaction, calling for the others to have the same upon theirs. They were in the broad way, yet they professed to be of that number who were traveling the narrow way. Those around them would say, “There is no distinction between us; we are all alike; we dress and talk and act alike.” RH January 6, 1863, par. 4

Then I was pointed back to the years 1843 and 1844. There was a spirit of consecration then, that there is not now. What has come over the professed peculiar people of God? I saw the conformity to the world, the unwillingness to suffer for the truth's sake. I saw a great lack of submission to the will of God. I was pointed back to the children of Israel after they left Egypt. God in mercy called them out from the Egyptians that they might worship him without hindrance or restraint. He wrought for them in the way by miracles, he proved them, he tried them by bringing them into straight places. After the wonderful dealings of God, and their deliverance so many times, when tried or proved by God, they murmured. Their language was, “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt.” They lusted for the leeks and onions there. RH January 6, 1863, par. 5

I saw many who profess to believe the truth for these last days, think it strange that the children of Israel murmured as they journeyed, and after the wonderful dealings of God to them, should be so ungrateful, and forget what God had done for them. Said the angel,“Ye have done worse than they.” I saw that God has given his servants the truth so clear, so plain, that it cannot be resisted. Every where they go they have certain victory. The enemies cannot get round the convincing truth. Light has been shed so clear that the servants of God can stand up anywhere and let truth, clear and connected, bear away the victory. This great blessing has not been prized, has not been realized. If any trial arises, some begin to look back and think, they have a hard time. Some of the professed servants of God do not know what purifying trials are. They make trials sometimes for themselves, imagine trials, and are so easily discouraged, so easily hurt, self-dignity is so quick to feel, that they injure themselves, injure others, and the cause. Satan magnifies and puts things into the mind that if given way to will destroy the usefulness and influence of such. RH January 6, 1863, par. 6

I saw that some had felt tempted to take themselves from the work, to labor with their hands. I saw that if the hand of God should be taken from them, and they left subject to disease and death, then such would know what trouble is. It is a fearful thing to murmur against God. They do not bear in mind that the way they are traveling in is a rugged, self-denying, self-crucifying way, and they must not expect everything to move on as smoothly as though they were traveling in the broad road. RH January 6, 1863, par. 7

I saw that some of the servants of God, even messengers, are so easily discouraged, self is so quickly hurt, that they imagine themselves slighted and injured when it is not so. They think their lot hard. Such realize not how they would feel should the sustaining hand of God be withdrawn, and they pass through anguish of soul. Their lot they then would see would be ten-fold harder than it was before, while they were employed in the labor of God, suffering trials and privations, yet withal having the approbation of God. Some that are laboring in the cause of God know not when they do have an easy time. They have had so few privations, have hardly known anything of want or wearing, labor or burden of soul, that when they have an easy time, their lives almost entirely free from anguish of spirit, are favored of God, they know it not, and think their trials great. I saw that unless such have a spirit of self-sacrifice, and are ready to labor cheerfully, not sparing themselves, God will release them. He will not acknowledge them as his self-sacrificing servants; but will raise up those who will labor, not slothfully, but in earnest, and will know when they have an easy time. God's servants must feel the burden for souls, and weep between the porch and the altar, and cry, “Spare thy people, Lord.” RH January 6, 1863, par. 8

Some of the servants of God have given up their lives, to spend and be spent, for the cause of God, until their constitutions are gone, and they are almost worn out with mental labor, incessant care, toil and privations, while others have not had, and would not take, the burden upon them. Yet just such ones think they have a hard time, because they never have experienced hardships. They never have been baptized into the suffering part, and never will be, as long as they manifest so much weakness, and so little fortitude, and love their ease so well. From what God has shown me, there needs to be a scourging among the messengers, and the slothful, and dilatory, and self-caring ones, scourged out, and have a pure, faithful, and self-sacrificing company that will not study their ease, but minister faithfully in word and doctrine, that are willing to suffer and endure all things for Christ's sake, and to save those for whom he died. Let these servants feel the woe upon them if they preach not the gospel, and it will be enough; but all do not feel this. RH January 6, 1863, par. 9

I was shown the conformity of some professed Sabbath-keepers to the world. Oh, I saw it was a disgrace to their profession, a disgrace to the cause of God. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and actions, that there is no distinction. I saw them decorating their poor mortal bodies, which are liable any moment to be touched by the finger of God, and laid upon a bed of anguish. Oh, then, as they approach their last change, mortal anguish racks their frames, and the great inquiry then is,“Am I prepared to die? prepared to appear before God in judgment, and stand the grand review?” Ask them then how they feel about decorating their bodies, and if they have any sense of what it is to be prepared to appear before God, they will tell you that if they could take back and live over the past, they would correct their lives, shun the follies of the world, its vanity, its pride, and would adorn the body with modest apparel, and set an example to others around them. They would live to the glory of God. Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead. But there is a hankering after the leeks and onions of Egypt. They have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible, and yet go to heaven. Such climb up some other way. They do not enter through the narrow way and straight gate. RH January 6, 1863, par. 10

Such will have no excuse. Many, I saw, dressed like the world to have an influence. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make the distinction great between the Christian and the world. I saw that the words, the dress, and actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus, and unbelievers will see that the truth we profess has a holy influence, and that faith in Christ's coming affects the character of the man or woman. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of truth, let them live it out, and imitate the humble Pattern. RH January 6, 1863, par. 11

I saw that God hates pride, and that all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up. I saw that the third angel's message must yet work like leaven upon many minds that profess to believe it, and purge away their pride, selfishness, covetousness, and love of the world. RH January 6, 1863, par. 12

Jesus is coming, and will He find a people conformed to the world? and will He acknowledge them as His people that He has purified unto Himself? Oh, no. None but the pure and holy will He acknowledge as His. Those that have been purified and made bright through suffering, and have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world, He will own as His. RH January 6, 1863, par. 13

As I saw the dreadful fact that God's people were conformed to the world, with no distinction, only in name, between many of the professed disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus, and unbelievers, my soul felt deep anguish. I saw that Jesus was wounded and put to an open shame. Said the angel, as with sorrow he saw the professed people of God loving the world, partaking of the spirit of the world, and following its fashions, “Cut loose! Cut loose!” lest He appoint thee thy portion with hypocrites and unbelievers outside the city. Thy profession will only cause thee greater anguish, and thy punishment will be greater, because ye knew His will, but did it not.” RH January 6, 1863, par. 14

I saw that those who profess to believe the third angel's message, often wound the cause of God by lightness, joking, and trifling. This evil, I was shown, was all through our ranks. I saw that there should be an humbling before God, and that the Israel of God should rend the heart and not the garment. Childlike simplicity is rarely seen; the approbation of man is more thought of than to fear to displease God. Said the angel, “Set thine heart in order, lest He visit thee in judgment, and the brittle thread of life be cut, and ye lie down in the grave unsheltered, unprepared for the judgment. Or if ye do not make your bed in the grave, unless ye soon make your peace with God, tear yourselves from the world, your hearts will grow harder, and ye will lean upon a false prop, a supposed preparation, and find out your mistake too late to secure a well-grounded hope.” RH January 6, 1863, par. 15

I saw that some professed Sabbath-keepers spend hours that were worse than thrown away, studying this or that fashion, to decorate the poor mortal body. While, you make yourselves appear like the world, and as beautiful as you can, remember that the same body may, in a few days, be food for the worms. And while you fix it up to your taste to please the eye, you are dying spiritually. God hates your vain, wicked pride, and He looks upon you as a whited sepulchre; but within full of corruption and uncleanness. Mothers set the example of pride to their children, and while so doing, sow seed that will spring up and bear fruit. The harvest will be plenteous and sure. That which they sow, they shall reap. There will be no failure in the crop. RH January 6, 1863, par. 16

I saw, parents, that it is easier for you to learn your children a lesson of pride, than a lesson of humility. And that Satan and his angels stand right by your side to make the act of yours, or the word that you may speak to them, effectual to encourage them to dress, and in their pride to mingle with society that is not holy. Oh, parents, you plant a thorn in your own bosoms that you will often feel in anguish. And when you would counteract the sad lesson you have learned your children, you will find it a hard thing. It is impossible for you to do it. You may deny them things that will gratify their pride, yet that pride lives in the heart, yet longing to be satisfied, and nothing can kill this pride but to have the quick and powerful Spirit of God find way to the heart, and work like leaven there and root it out. RH January 6, 1863, par. 17

E. G. White.