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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    Rule One—Special Instruction

    The prophet Isaiah, in speaking of affairs existing in the last days, says: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.... And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” 5Isaiah 8:16-20.GSAM 300.4

    In this Scripture, attention is called to a people engaged in restoring the seal to God’s law—a people who are waiting upon the Lord, engaged in his service. They are looking for him; that is, they are looking for his coming—this, too, in a time when spirits professing to be spirits of the dead are asking the people to seek to them. Some heed their call, and seek to the dead for knowledge; but the Lord invites his people to seek him. That is virtually saying that if they seek him he will give them special instruction. They need not seek to the dead, who can give them no information; for “neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun;” and “the dead know not anything.” 6Ecclesiastes 9:6, 5.GSAM 301.1

    In the above scripture a rule is given by which all communications are to be tested,—“if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” All communications from the Lord will speak in harmony with his word and his law.GSAM 301.2

    Applying this rule to the writings of Mrs. White, I would say that during the last fifty-two years I have carefully read her testimonies, comparing them with the law of God and the testimonies of the Bible, and I find the most perfect harmony between the two. Her instructions do not come in to give any new revelation to take the place of the Scripture, but rather to show us where and how, in these times, people are liable to be led astray, to be led from the word. The position that the testimonies of Mrs. White occupy can be best told in what she herself has written respecting them:—GSAM 301.3

    “The word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But, notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the word that they have neglected to follow.GSAM 301.4

    “The word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles.... You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain Christian perfection, you would not have needed the testimonies....GSAM 302.1

    “The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimonies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of his word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.... Additional truth is not brought out, but God has, through the testimonies, simplified the great truths already given, and in his own chosen way brought them before the people, to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be without excuse....GSAM 302.2

    “The testimonies are not to belittle the word of God, but to exalt it, and to attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all.... If the people who now profess to be God’s peculiar treasure would obey his requirements, as specified in his word, special testimonies would not be given to awaken them to their duty, and impress upon them their sinfulness and their fearful danger in neglecting to obey the word of God.” 7Testimonies for the Church 5:663-667.GSAM 302.3

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