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

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    MR No. 1525—Divinely Led to Buy Elmshaven; Warning Against Fanatical Movements; Search the Word, and Believe its Promises

    (Written October 10, 1900, from St. Helena, California, to Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell. Portions of this manuscript appear in Manuscript Releases 284 and 704; The Faith I Live By; Selected Messages, book 2; and Revival and Beyond.)

    I have received several letters from you, one of which was sent to Australia and returned to me here. I send you a copy of a letter written to Brother and Sister Farnsworth. I could not get all copied that I had written, so I sent that which I had, and just got it copied in time for the Vancouver mail. I am much interested in all that you write me.21MR 126.1

    You may be surprised to learn of our purchasing this place under the hill. In the providence of God this was brought to our attention as soon as we arrived here a week ago last Friday.21MR 126.2

    For several days after reaching Oakland we spent the time in Oakland house hunting, to find a place to locate our families. We found nothing that was suitable, and I said, “I am done. I shall search no more. The Lord knows what our work is and where we should be located; and we shall wait the Lord's time.”21MR 126.3

    When I reached the Retreat I related my experience in looking for a place in Oakland. Sister Ings said, “There is a place under the hill that will suit you. It belonged to Brother Pratt's brother. Brother Burden has bought it, and he will be glad to sell it to you.”21MR 126.4

    As soon as we could, we went down to see the place, and we were well pleased with it. It is just the place I need.21MR 126.5

    When I left Sunnyside, I sold everything, with the exception of Jessie White and my platform wagon. These I presented to Brother James as his own, to use in missionary work. Jaspar and Rowdy went with the place. Jessie Haskell I left with Brother and Sister Hughes. Sara sold them her carriage, and I hear that Sister Hughes drives out every pleasant day.21MR 126.6

    Well, to go back to my story, the Lord planned for me, and I found that I could buy this place here for less than I received for my house in Cooranbong and all its belongings. This includes two horses, one rather old, four carriages and a platform wagon, much better than the one I gave away, and a house furnished throughout. It was like stepping out of my home in Cooranbong into a beautiful, roomy one here. It has surprised me much that we should be thus favored.21MR 126.7

    The Retreat purchased ten acres from me for sewerage purposes, for which they paid one thousand dollars. They also paid one hundred and seventy five dollars for a place on which to build a food factory. This made my place cost me about six thousand dollars. I sold the place in Cooranbong for seven thousand.21MR 127.1

    I am satisfied with the price paid for this place. I have not yet discovered all that is included in the sale, but Brother Burden has the matter in hand, and he will see that things are as they should be.21MR 127.2

    This place was none of my seeking. It has come to me without a thought or purpose of mine. The Lord is so kind and gracious to me. I can trust my interests with Him who is too wise to err and too good to do me harm.21MR 127.3

    Now I have a home where you will delight to be. You are invited to come and remain as long as you are happy here. If only it were fruit season, how glad we would be if you could be with us to enjoy the fruit. There are a variety of fruit trees in the orchard, but no fruit ripe now except grapes, and they will soon be a thing of the past.21MR 127.4

    On Thursday evening I spoke in the sanitarium chapel. The room was well filled, and there were some standing at the entrance. I had much freedom in speaking. I hope the Lord will give me a hold upon the people. Friday night, by request, I spoke again. The blessing of the Lord seemed to rest upon me, and also upon the hearers. Quite a number of the patients came to hear me.21MR 127.5

    Sabbath morning at half past five we went to the station to take the train for Napa, a town sixteen miles away. We ate our breakfast in a tent after reaching there. Sister Gotzian and Sister Ings were with me, and I do not remember when I enjoyed a journey so much or a meal so thoroughly. We all ate with excellent appetites. I wished that both of you were with us.21MR 127.6

    I spoke in the large tent in the morning, bearing as plain and decided a testimony as I have ever borne in my life. It cut its way apparently to the hearts of those present.21MR 127.7

    Brother Irwin took up the meeting where I left it, and a revival effort was made. Many came forward for prayers, among them the nurses from the sanitarium. The people thought it the best meeting they had ever attended.21MR 127.8

    We returned to St. Helena on the evening train. A council was held the next morning, but I became very weary, and left the brethren to go on with the meeting, while I went to visit the place it was proposed I should buy.21MR 127.9

    The next Friday afternoon I drove with Edson and Sara to Napa. I spoke in the tent Sabbath forenoon to a large number. In the afternoon Edson spoke in regards to the Southern work, and I understand that the Lord gave him freedom, and enabled him to present his ideas with clearness. He spoke again at five o'clock, and left early the next morning for San Francisco. On Sunday morning I spoke for an hour and a quarter. Then after the horses were fed we started on our return journey. Brother McClure rode with us.21MR 127.10

    The buggy was not my easy, comfortable carriage, and when we had gone half way, I became very weary and uncomfortable. My hip pained me. I could not sit in any position to relieve it. The pain became almost unbearable, and I changed my position again and again, but nothing gave me relief. I then put the cushions in the front part of the carriage and knelt down, and finally walked a short distance. When I reached the sanitarium, I was unable to stand or walk much.21MR 128.1

    This drive, after my labor on Sabbath and Sunday, was too much for me. When I reached the sanitarium, I was taken to the bathroom in a wheel chair, and took thorough treatment. But I could not sleep that night, and have not had a good night's rest since. I am quite lame, and suffer considerably from hip, kidneys, and spine. I am taking good treatments, but the pain and lameness in the hip continue.21MR 128.2

    Before going to Napa I had taken a severe cold, and the doctor thought I ought not to go; but the Lord sustained me wonderfully, and although I suffer I do not regret improving the opportunity to speak to the people.21MR 128.3

    We really feel that the Lord has guided us in indicating where we should locate. If we can cultivate within us a beauty of soul corresponding to the beauty of nature around us, there will be a blending of the divine and human agencies.21MR 128.4

    It is impossible to estimate too largely the work that the Lord will accomplish through His proposed vessels in carrying out His mind and purpose. The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.21MR 128.5

    The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.21MR 128.6

    When the camp meeting is ended, the good which ought to have been done and which might have been done by the presentation of sacred truth, is not accomplished. Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.21MR 129.1

    No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by the power thought to be the power of God. They turned their bodies over and over, like a carriage wheel, claiming that they could not do this except by supernatural power. There was a belief that the dead were raised and had ascended to heaven.21MR 129.2

    The Lord gave me a message for this fanaticism, for the beautiful principles of Bible truth were being eclipsed. Men and women, supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, held meetings in a state of nudity. They talked about holy flesh. They said they were beyond the power of temptation, and they sang, and shouted, and made all manner of noisy demonstrations. These men and women were not bad, but they were deceived and deluded. In the past they had been blessed with a consciousness that they had a knowledge of the truth, and they had accomplished much good; but Satan was molding the work, and sensuality was the result. The cause of God was dishonored. Truth, sacred truth, was leveled in the dust by human agencies.21MR 129.3

    The authorities of the land interfered, and several of the ring leaders were incarcerated within prison walls. By those who were confined in prison this interference was termed persecution for the truth's sake, and thus truth was clothed with garments spotted with the flesh.21MR 129.4

    At this time I visited the eastern part of Maine, and bore a decided testimony for the truth. I presented the reproof of the Lord regarding this kind of work, showing that its influence was making the truth objectionable and disgusting to the community. I went from house to house, for no public meetings were allowed. Sometimes we met companies of twenty and thirty in private homes.21MR 129.5

    I knew those who led the people into these noisy demonstrations, and as I arose to speak, they commenced dancing and jumping up and down, crying and shouting loudly, over and over again, “The dead have been raised and have ascended to heaven.” When they became too hoarse and too much exhausted to make so much noise, I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect. I said that it was not God's will that His pure, holy, sacred truth should be thus misinterpreted and brought into disrepute. The truth remained the truth still. These demonstrations did not change the unerring character of truth, but Satan was working to deceive and delude honest souls. Satan's agents were working vigilantly to make use of human minds in mingling the truth with tares and indecent practices, to bring a stigma upon the truth and make it of none effect.21MR 129.6

    I will not go into all the painful history; it is too much. But last January the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the camp meetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the third angel's message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence.21MR 130.1

    The third angel's message is to be given in straight lines. It is to be kept free from every thread of the cheap, miserable inventions of men's theories, prepared by the father of lies, and disguised as was the brilliant serpent used by Satan as a medium of deceiving our first parents. Thus Satan tries to put his stamp upon the work God would have stand forth in purity.21MR 130.2

    The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a confusion of noise and multitude of sounds as passed before me last January. Satan works amid the din and confusion of such music, which, properly conducted, would be a praise and glory to God. He makes its effect like the poison sting of the serpent.21MR 130.3

    Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction has been given in order that all may understand. But the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them. [Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:12-14, quoted.]21MR 130.4

    Brother and Sister Haskell, we must put on every piece of the armor, and having done all, stand firm. We are set as a defense for the gospel, and we must compose a part of the Lord's grand army for aggressive warfare. By the Lord's faithful ambassadors the truth must be presented in clear-cut lines. Much of that which today is called testing truth is twaddle which leads to a resistance of the Holy Spirit.21MR 131.1

    I am at times made very sad as I think of the use made of the Testimonies. Men and women report everything that strikes them or that they hear as a testimony from Sister White. I will send you a copy of a letter I received this morning illustrating this.21MR 131.2

    The only safety for any of us is to plant our feet upon the Word of God and study the Scriptures, making God's Word our constant meditation. Tell the people to take no man's word regarding the Testimonies but to read them and study them for themselves, then they will know that they are in harmony with the truth. The Word of God is the truth. Of a good man the psalmist declares, “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” He who puts mind and heart into this work gains a solid, valuable experience. The Holy Spirit is in the Word of God. Here is the living, undying element so distinctly represented in the sixth chapter of John. [John 6:53-57, 63, quoted.]21MR 131.3

    Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and by some this is being so interpreted that it is an injury to the churches. Eternal life is the receiving of the living elements in the Scriptures and doing the will of God. This is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. To those who do this, life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel, for God's Word is verity and truth, spirit and life. It is the privilege of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour to feed on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit's influence renders that Word, the Bible, an immortal truth, which to the prayerful searcher gives spiritual sinew and muscle.21MR 131.4

    “Search the Scriptures,” Christ declared, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. The Holy Spirit is present with the earnest searcher. Its illumination shines upon the Word, stamping the truth upon the mind with a new, fresh importance. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. God Himself has spoken to the mind and heart, making the Word spirit and life.21MR 131.5

    Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carries him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, that God's Spirit and life are in His Word. If they had received in the heart the eternal element contained in the Word of God, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the Word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.21MR 132.1

    Just before His crucifixion one of His disciples asked Him the question, “How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings, and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [John 14:22-27].21MR 132.2

    These words are not half comprehended by individuals, by families, or by church members, to whom and through whom, as His family, God would represent pure, unadulterated truth, which, if received and properly digested, brings eternal life.21MR 132.3

    Let us believe the Word. He who thus eats the bread of heaven is nourished every day, and will know what these words mean, “Need not that any man teach you” [1 John 2:27]. We have lessons pure from the lips of Him who owns us, who has bought us with the price of His own blood.21MR 132.4

    The precious Word of God is a solid foundation upon which to build. When men come to you with their supposed suppositions, tell them that the Great Teacher has left you His Word, which is of incalculable value, that He has sent a Comforter in His own name, even the Holy Ghost. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”21MR 132.5

    Here is presented before us a rich banquet, of which all who believe in Christ as a personal Saviour may eat. He is the tree of life to all who continue to feed on Him.21MR 133.1

    I am instructed to ask those who profess to receive Christ as their personal Saviour, Why do you pass by the words of the Great Teacher, and send your letters to human beings for words of comfort? Why do you rely upon human help when you have the large, full, grand promises, “He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.... This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever”? He may die, yet the life of Christ in him is eternal, and he will be raised up at the last day. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”21MR 133.2

    “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” [2 Corinthians 5:1-4].21MR 133.3

    All who study these precious utterances may have strong consolation. If they will feed upon the banquet of God's Word, they will gain an experience of the highest value. They will see that in comparison with the Word of God, the word of man is as chaff to the wheat.21MR 133.4

    I am instructed by the Word of God that His promises are for me and for every child of God. The banquet is spread before us; we are invited to eat the Word of God, which will strengthen spiritual muscle and sinew.—Letter 132, 1900.21MR 133.5

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    September 13, 1990.

    Entire Letter.

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