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    “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them”

    The fourth and perhaps the most important test of all is, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If Ellen G. White had been called by the Lord to serve only a few months and then had lost that gift, it would be difficult to use this test. But, having served seventy years, and having met the crises of this denomination throughout its history, and having produced and left with us so many books and so many words, she has left us an abundance of material on which to judge the kind of fruit borne by those messages.DGRGC 61.2

    To me this is, perhaps, the strongest evidence of all. Divine predictions are important, but they do not impress me nearly so much as the kind of fruit borne by the prophet, by the messages of the prophet, the kind of instruction given to the people, and the results of following such instruction. Several years ago F. D. Nichol was writing a book. That work took him over to the college operated by another Adventist group, the First Day Advent people. He came in contact with the president of that college who, for many years, has been the leader of that group.DGRGC 61.3

    During their conversation this good old gentleman made observations regarding the progress of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, and the extent of that movement in the world today, and then added, “Your men were more farsighted than ours and laid better plans.” Elder Nichol commented to the effect that we have been no keener, no wiser, than their leaders, but that we have had something that they did not have, namely, “a frail handmaiden of the Lord among us.” Then he added that we were just simple enough in our faith to follow the divine instruction which came through that messenger, that servant of God. He assured the aged professor that anything that has come to us by way of growth, or progress, or success, has been due largely to our following the instruction which came from God through His messenger.DGRGC 62.1

    I think that is a good testimony, and it certainly had its effect upon that gentleman who has been the leader of one of the other Advent groups, and may I add there are five of them in the world today. The total membership of those five groups is a little less than 50,000 people, about the same number of people who were looking for the coming of the Lord in October, 1844. This is one of the evidences that God has been with us as a people, and has given us instruction. I thank the Lord that Seventh-day Adventists generally have followed those instructions.DGRGC 62.2

    Mrs. White says in one place that the Lord will bless us in our work in proportion to the way we carry out His instruction. I would that all of us might carry out the instruction a hundred per cent in everything, in order that we might have a hundred per cent of heaven’s blessing on everything we do. And be it remembered that the nearer we keep to the blueprint, as we call it, the greater will be the blessing that rests upon our work. I wish to emphasize that fact, for you are now going through an experience which some other parts of the world field have already gone through. In your educational work, brethren, I appeal to you with all my heart to follow the blueprint as closely as possible, and God will see you through.DGRGC 62.3

    Ellen G. White lived in a number of places—New England, Michigan, Switzerland, Australia, California—and she was not there for just a day or two. She spent years in those places, and perhaps the place where she was best known was the city of Battle Creek, Michigan. She spent many years there, and as a result the people became very well acquainted with her in that city. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”DGRGC 63.1

    First of all I want to bring the testimony of the people who knew her best—people who were closest to her for the longest period of time—and see what kind of witness they bear concerning the fruits of her labours. One man who has always appealed to me as a very interesting character, and certainly a great leader in the Advent Movement, was Uriah Smith.DGRGC 63.2

    He was associated with Elder and Mrs. White for many years. He knew what it meant to receive pointed testimonies relating to his own life.DGRGC 63.3

    Uriah Smith, writing of the servant of the Lord, says:DGRGC 63.4

    “Every test which can be brought to bear upon such manifestations proves them genuine. The evidence which supports them, internal and external, is conclusive. They agree with the Word of God and with themselves. They are given, unless those best qualified to judge are invariably deceived, when the Spirit of God is especially present. Calm, dignified, impressive, they commend themselves to every beholder as the very opposite of that which is false or fanatical.”DGRGC 63.5

    You could not ask for a better testimony from anyone. That was given by a man who was closely associated with Ellen G. White for many, many years and to whom message after message came from the Lord through her. Uriah Smith followed those messages, accepted the reproof and the counsel.DGRGC 63.6

    Listen:DGRGC 63.7

    “They tend to the purest morality. They discountenance every vice, and exhort to the practice of every virtue. They point out the perils through which we are to pass to the kingdom. They reveal the devices of Satan. They warn us against his snares. They have nipped in the bud scheme after scheme of fanaticism which the enemy has tried to foist into our midst. They have exposed hidden iniquity, brought to light concealed wrongs, and laid bare the evil motives of the false hearted. They have warded off dangers from the cause of truth upon every hand. They have aroused and re-aroused us to greater consecration to God, more zealous efforts for holiness of heart, and greater diligence in the cause and service of our Master.DGRGC 64.1

    “They lead us to Christ.... They lead us to the Bible.... They have brought comfort and consolation to many hearts. They have strengthened the weak, encouraged the feeble, raised up the despondent. They have brought order out of confusion, made crooked places straight, and thrown light on what was dark and obscure. And no person with an unprejudiced mind can read their stirring appeals for a pure and lofty morality, their exaltation of God and the Saviour, their denunciations of every evil, and their exhortations to everything that is holy and of good report, without being compelled to say, ‘These are not the words of him that hath a devil.’” 6Taken from “Life and Teachings of Ellen G. White,” pp. 120, 121.DGRGC 64.2

    I think, dear friends, when we look at such a testimony as that from a man who lived so close to her, we shall have to agree, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”DGRGC 64.3

    I like to read such paragraphs as this when it comes to the question as to whether Mrs. White really did exalt and uplift the Saviour. I take this one from Gospel Workers, 160:DGRGC 64.4

    “Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to the ‘Lamb of God.’ Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, Come to Him who ‘hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us.’ Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing into your preaching to supplement Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Hold forth the Word of life, presenting Jesus as the hope of the penitent and the stronghold of every believer. Reveal the way of peace to the troubled and the despondent, and show forth the grace and completeness of the Saviour.”DGRGC 64.5

    Just a paragraph, but there are hundreds just like it. I say unto you, my brethren and sisters, read the books for yourselves. Fill your minds and your hearts with the messages, and decide whether or not they lead you to a nobler life, or whether they will lead you to that which is base and ignoble. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”DGRGC 65.1

    There is another aspect of this question relative to the influence of the work of Ellen G. White on which we may base our judgment. I like to call it “the external evidence.” Looking at our denominational work we find four thousand one hundred and fifty-five church schools, two hundred and eighty-three intermediate schools, academies, and colleges. Over two hundred thousand students in them, and there are forty million dollars worth of property held by Seventh-day Adventists for their school work. I ask you, Where does it all come from?DGRGC 65.2

    It was from the inspiration given to us in the books Education, Fundamentals, and Counsels to Teachers. Take away those books, and what business would we have in the field of education at all?DGRGC 65.3

    Take as an example the medical work with one hundred and six sanitariums, fifty-seven treatment rooms, three hundred and seventy-one institutional doctors, the College of Medical Evangelists—twenty-five million dollars worth of medical institutions—all bear witness to the fact that Ellen G. White was the one who gave us our message, our counsel, our direction in regard to our medical work.DGRGC 65.4

    During the past few months I became very much interested in finding out exactly the kind of medical work God wants Seventh-day Adventists to conduct. I have brought together many pages of material. I have never read anything so inspiring. I cannot see how Seventh-day Adventist doctors can read those messages without feeling that they have been set in the world to fulfil prophecy. I thank God for our Seventh-day Adventist doctors—men who have a sense of their responsibility not alone for the healing of the body, but for the healing of the soul.DGRGC 65.5

    And so, as we follow through all of the instruction given us relative to our medical work, we find there the very inspiration that is behind our whole medical programme. If we had not those words, we would have no need to operate a medical college of our own, no need to operate Seventh-day Adventist medical institutions, for the world can do a good job in operating just an ordinary hospital, but they cannot and never will be able to operate a Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium. And the interesting part of it is the people of the world know it.DGRGC 66.1

    Not very long ago, a committee representing a city located in Florida came to our leaders in the Florida Conference and said, “We want to build a city hospital. We will supply all the money. We will erect the buildings. We shall equip those buildings. Then we would like Seventh-day Adventists to operate it because we want the same kind of an institution as you have in Orlando, Florida. We have all been there. We like the spirit of that institution. We like the doctors, the nurses, the workers. We want that group of people to come in and operate a hospital for this city. Yes, you may call it a Seventh-day Adventist hospital, for that is what we want and nothing else.” And our men said to them, “But you know, it costs money to operate an institution like that.”DGRGC 66.2

    The chairman of the committee thought a minute, and said, “I will tell you what we shall do. We expect you to care for the poor of our city. No one shall ever be turned away from that hospital, and we shall give you $25,000 a year just to help in the operating of that institution in return for the charity work that you will do for the poor of our community.”DGRGC 66.3

    So they have done about everything they can to induce us to come and help them. A few months ago, the General Conference Committee gave approval to accept the responsibility of operating that institution. The building will be erected by the city. The building will belong to the city. All the equipment will belong to the city. We shall simply send in a group of doctors and nurses, Seventh-day Adventists through and through, to operate that institution because they want the same kind of an institution as we have in Orlando, Florida!DGRGC 66.4

    Well, it can be multiplied around the world. I ask you, brethren and sisters, where did that come from? The fruits of the labours of a dear old lady who somehow caught the vision of what God wanted in the way of medical care. The world cannot give it.DGRGC 67.1

    I was in the city of Washington, D. C., not so long ago, talking to a specialist in a certain field. He is the internal medicine man at the Medical College of George Washington University, and he said to me, “Mr. Rebok, we send our people out to your sanitarium not because your doctors are very clever, they are just like us—ordinary men—but your nursing service is superb. There is nothing equal to it.” I agree with him.DGRGC 67.2

    My own brother-in-law is a Catholic, but a very good Catholic. He was taken sick not so long ago and of course I thought he would want to go to a Catholic hospital. But, to my great surprise, he said, “I want to go to the Sanitarium,” and he went to our Sanitarium. The first evening, after the little nurse had finished her P. M. care, she stepped quietly to his bedside and said, “Mr. A., we are so sorry that you are sick, and now it is our custom to offer a word of prayer for our patients before they go to sleep. Would you mind if I prayed for you?” He said, “She said it in such a nice voice, and she was such a sweet-looking little girl, that I said to her, ‘If you are willing to pray for a Catholic, then pray, for I need all the prayers I can get from everybody.’”DGRGC 67.3

    So the next day when my wife and I went in to see him, the very first thing he said was, “I have never heard such a sweet prayer in all my life as the prayer of that little nurse by the side of my bed last night.” Night after night he had that same experience, and now he has sent no small number of his friends to the Washington Sanitarium.DGRGC 67.4

    He was treated so gently and kindly that he wants others to enjoy the same kind of Christian care that he appreciated so much.DGRGC 67.5

    Oh, I tell you, brethren, when we follow the instruction given to us regarding our medical work and how we should carry it on, there is something which has a power to draw people to God, and it comes through the service rendered by our doctors and our nurses. Take away all of that instruction, fail to follow all of that good counsel regarding our medical missionary work, and what will you have left? Just another hospital where they push the patients through as fast as possible, get them out of the way with the least possible inconvenience to the doctors and nurses. Such sick people become just case number so and so, to be pushed out, because they need the room for somebody else. Not so in Seventh-day Adventist sanitariums and hospitals. I thank God for the instruction given through Ellen G. White relative to our medical work.DGRGC 68.1

    Forty-three publishing houses, thirteen or fourteen million dollars worth of Seventh-day Adventist literature sold last year from those publishing houses, by four thousand five hundred faithful colporteurs going from door to door in every land. Where did that all come from? The answer is, through the inspiration given to this people by the servant of the Lord. Take away all that instruction relative to our colporteur work and the production of our literature, and what have you left? Not much!DGRGC 68.2

    Seventeen thousand Sabbath schools, with a million, one hundred and twenty-five thousand Sabbath school members around the world today, bringing in to our church over five million dollars a year for mission work. Where did it all come from? The fruit of the labour of the servant of God. Our world-wide work with the General Conference as an organization, some eighty union conferences, a hundred and forty-three local conferences, two hundred and twenty-seven mission organizations, over ten thousand churches, over eighteen thousand evangelistic workers, and now more than nine hundred thousand baptized members. All of this the fruit of the gift of prophecy.DGRGC 68.3

    I say again, take away all of the instruction on our medical work. Take away all the instruction on Christian education, take away all the instruction on our colporteur work, on our Sabbath school work, on our work in general—take it all away, and what would be left for Seventh-day Adventists? Oh, maybe about the same as the other Adventist groups. They have lacked divine guidance. If we, too, had lacked divine guidance we would be just like them. I tell you, my brethren and sisters, we have much for which to be thankful today.DGRGC 68.4

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