127. My Vision on Hebrews 6:4 and Ellen White’s Vision: “Word to the Little Flock,”

p. 14, and “The Shut Door”


A.M. March 24, 2017

 

http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisionheb6.htm



Early in the A.M., Friday, the Lord gave me a vision regarding a petition I had made to Him relative to changes made in the publication of Ellen White’s first vision, which was related in a small pamphlet entitled Word to the Little Flock, as compared to Early Writings, p. 14, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, Chapter VI, p. 307, and Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 58. As regards the first change, it involves the words highlighted in the statement below from Word to the Little Flock, p. 14. My petition to the Lord was this: Does the Bible mention what was written in Ellen White’s first vision regarding it being impossible for those who once knew the truth, to reject it, and then get on the pathway to heaven again?

 

The highlighted sentence below, that it is impossible for those who fall off the path to get on again, and the shut-door teaching of Ellen White, are directly related. What I was shown in vision is that Hebrews 6:4-8 is Bible proof of Ellen White’s teachings on both issues, as is the “shut door” mentioned in Revelation 3.

 

While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them—when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.” At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, [Matthew 7:14.] cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. [Matthew 25:6.] This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, [Ezekiel 43:2. Joel 3:16. Revelation 16:17.] which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. [Ezekiel 12:25. Mark 13:32.] The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. [John 12:29.] When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.” [Isaiah 10:27.] {WLF 14.2}

 

Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Heb 6:5   And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Heb 6:6   If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

Heb 6:7  For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 

Heb 6:8   But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

 

Though I have no evidence that Ellen White ever used the support of the above verses in defense of her WTLF statement, in response to my petition, I was shown that the above verses are indeed Bible proof of Ellen White’s words that: “It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected,” and, as well, Ellen White’s teaching on the shut-door, that all who heard and understood the Midnight Cry light given in the spring and summer of 1844, but then rejected that light, received a shut door on salvation. We must understand the seriousness of truth and new light, and not be found ready to discard such without much prayer and study, and proof according to the weight of evidence formula, that such is either true or false. So if you find that you don’t understand something, don’t be too ready to discard or accept it without much study and prayer.

 

The principle I was shown concerning the above verses, is that ONCE ENLIGHTENED and made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if one REJECTS the light of the Holy Ghost, he/she is rejecting Christ, THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, and thus speaking against the Holy Ghost, is the unpardonable sin. I was shown the seriousness of rejecting that which we cannot prove wrong according to the weight of evidence formula. We could be thusly REJECTING the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and that is unpardonable sin.

 

The principle of REGENERATION provides a classic example by way of a good illustration of what I am saying. Any who immediately brands that teaching as satanic reincarnation, without learning all that is available on the issue, and maintains that stance without proving it errant from the weight of all available evidence, commits the unpardonable sin. Ignorance is no excuse in such a case, because ignorance is never an excuse for not following the direct counsel of God’s Word, to search as for hidden treasure in rightly dividing the Word of truth. If you don’t immediately understand something, that is not a sin. If you continue to reject what you don’t understand, without checking it against every factor of the weight of evidence involved, that is committing the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, should the teaching turn out to be true. That is rejecting the Way, the Truth, and the Life of the Holy Spirit of Christ, the only means of being taught His will.

 

Mat 12:31   Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 

Mat 12:32   And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

The Issue of the Shut Door

 

The reason Ellen White did not include her full Word to the Little Flock statement in other works, was because there was much misinformation circulating that Ellen White was teaching that the door of mercy was shut to the world, and that was never the meaning of her Word to the Little Flock statement. The words: “It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected,” are proleptic in meaning and refer to the future, at which time it will be impossible for all who have rejected truth, along with the world, to get on pathway to heaven, and/or return to that pathway if they were once on it.

 

Aslo, as I state elsewhere in this document, Ellen White correctly stated, with Hebrews 6:4-8 proving she was correct, that all who had heard the truth of the Midnight Cry light in the spring and summer of 1844, but then or later rejected that truth, received a shut door on salvation.

 

If you go to the White Estate Complete Writings of Ellen White, and search the words: Word to the Little Flock, and scroll down to click on item 61, you will find the following:

 

Criticism of Deletions from the First Vision

 

As already noted, the record of Ellen White’s first vision appeared in several forms before taking its place in her first book in 1851. As first written out by her on December 20, 1845, in a personal letter to Enoch Jacobs, editor of the Day-Star, she stated that it was not written for publication in his journal but for his personal benefit. However, at the request of friends he published it in the issue of January 24, 1846. James White and H. S. Gurney took it from the Day-Star and had it printed in a broadside on April 6, 1846. On May 30, 1847, James White included it in his little pamphlet A Word to the “Little Flock,” adding Scripture references. From there it was drawn into the Review Extra of July 21, 1851, and then in her first book, Experience and Views, published in August, 1851. It was introduced in the two 1851 printings by her significant statement that “more recent views have been more full. I shall therefore leave out a portion and prevent repetition.—Page 9. {1BIO 267.4}

 

The major deletion is of materials descriptive of what she saw in heaven, especially the temple, a description similar to that of the vision of April 3, 1847, in which the Sabbath was confirmed. The other deletion, one that has attracted attention, relates to those who took their eyes off Jesus and fell from the path to “the wicked world below.” At this point in her letter to Jacobs, editor of the Day-Star, she wrote: {1BIO 267.5}

 

It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another.” (See also A Word to the “Little Flock,” p. 14.) [A facsimile copy of this little pamphlet is currently available at adventist book centers, and the text is reproduced in F. D. Nichol’s Ellen G. White and her critics, pp. 561-584.] {1BIO 268.1}

 

It was not until some thirty years after the publication of Experience and Views in 1851 that question was raised concerning the deletion, in a pamphlet published by a group made up of those who had withdrawn from Seventh-day Adventists because of church organization and the Spirit of Prophecy. These formed the Church of God (Seventh Day), in Marion, Iowa. In this pamphlet Ellen White was accused of suppressing materials she did not wish to come before the public. Not often did she turn aside from her routine work to answer her critics, but on this occasion she did, in a statement on file as Manuscript 4, 1883, now found in Selected Messages 1:59-73. She introduced her explanation of the charges thus: {1BIO 268.2}

 

My attention has recently been called to a sixteen-page pamphlet published by C [A. C. Long], of Marion, Iowa, entitled Comparison of the Early Writings of Mrs. White With Later Publications. The writer states that portions of my earlier visions, as first printed, have been suppressed in the work recently published under the title Early Writings of Mrs. E. G. White, and he conjectures as a reason for such suppression that these passages teach doctrines now repudiated by us as a people.... {1BIO 268.3}

 

The first quotation mentioned by C is from a pamphlet of twenty-four pages published in 1847, entitled A Word to the “Little Flock.” Here are the lines omitted in Experience and Views: {1BIO 268.4}

 

It was just as impossible for them [those that gave up their faith in the ‘44 movement] to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another.” ... It is claimed that these expressions prove the shut-door doctrine, and that this is the reason of their omission in later editions. But in fact they teach only that which has been and is still held by us as a people. {1BIO 268.5}

 

It is in this setting, as noted earlier in this chapter, that she explained that “all who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light were left in darkness” and also those who later “renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejecting the Spirit of God.” These she contrasted with “those who did not see the light” and “had not the guilt of its rejection.” Then she declared: {1BIO 269.1}

 

These two classes are brought to view in the vision—those who declared the light which they had followed a delusion, and the wicked of the world who, having rejected the light, had been rejected of God. No reference is made to those who had not seen the light, and therefore were not guilty of its rejection.—Manuscript 4, 1883 (see also Ibid., 1:59-64). (Italics supplied.) {1BIO 269.2}

 

As attention is focused on phrases in the first written account of the vision, it is proper to point out that in the letter that Jacobs published Ellen would naturally condense the presentation and confine the written statement to just the essential features. At the same time, she would write with much less painstaking than would ordinarily be required in preparing material for publication. This she soon discovered, as is evidenced by her explanations that she added to her first book in 1852. She had discovered that in writing for print great care must be taken to phrase the message in such a way that none might misunderstand the intent. {1BIO 269.3}

 

A point of considerable significance must not be overlooked, and that is, a few months before these words were penned, Ellen Harmon in Paris, Maine, had made it clear that from what God had shown her there was opportunity for the salvation of a person who had not heard and rejected the first angel’s message. This, and the absence of statements declaring the extreme shut-door position, would guard against reading into the phrases in question the interpretation of probation’s close for the world generally in 1844. {1BIO 269.4}

 

Why Were the Lines Omitted in 1851?

 

It may be asked, then, why were the three lines omitted from the printing of the vision in 1851 in Mrs. White’s first book? In introducing the vision in the book, she gives a very general reason for all omission—space and repetition of subject matter. This would apply more to the paragraphs descriptive of the new earth than the three lines in question. As to the statement embodied in them, the author herself had the right, even the responsibility, to choose content and wording for her book that would correctly convey what was revealed to her. If there were phrases that were capable of distortion or interpretation to mean that which she did not intend to teach, she had the privilege and even the duty of handling the matter in such a way that the printed account would correctly reflect her intentions. {1BIO 270.1}

 

Again, one must not overlook Ellen White’s reference to the “144,000 living saints” and her later explanation of what she meant by the “shut door.” One must be alert to other evidences that indicate she did not hold the extreme view of no salvation for sinners, either at the time she wrote the letter to Enoch Jacobs on December 20, 1845, or in 1851, when her first book was published. {1BIO 270.2}

 

In the light of developing history, what to some may at first have seemed perplexing becomes clear and evinces God’s gentle but certain leading of His children in difficult times. Fuller documentation and explanation in the form of a sixty-nine-page document titled Ellen G. White and the Shut-Door Question—The Experience of Early Seventh-day Adventist Believers in Its Historical Context, prepared by the author in 1971, is available for more detailed study. [Copies may be secured from the Ellen G. White Estate or the Sda Ellen G. White research centers.] An exhaustive statement also appears in F. D. Nichol’s Ellen G. White and Her Critics, pages 161-252.” {1BIO 270.3}

 

The “Shut Door” Defined

 

It is claimed that these expressions prove the shut-door doctrine, and that this is the reason of their omission in later editions. But in fact they teach only that which has been and is still held by us as a people, as I shall show. {1SM 62.4}

 

For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold, in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position. {1SM 63.1}

 

I am still a believer in the shut-door theory, but not in the sense in which we at first employed the term or in which it is employed by my opponents. {1SM 63.2}

 

There was a shut door in Noah’s day. There was at that time a withdrawal of the Spirit of God from the sinful race that perished in the waters of the Flood. God Himself gave the shut-door message to Noah: {1SM 63.3}

 

My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3). {1SM 63.4}

 

There was a shut door in the days of Abraham. Mercy ceased to plead with the inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot, with his wife and two daughters, were consumed by the fire sent down from heaven. {1SM 63.5}

 

There was a shut door in Christ’s day. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation, “Your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38). {1SM 63.6}

 

Looking down the stream of time to the last days, the same infinite power proclaimed through John: {1SM 63.7}

 

These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7). {1SM 63.8}

 

I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them. {1SM 63.9}

 

Those who did not see the light, had not the guilt of its rejection. It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the Spirit of God could not reach. And this class included, as I have stated, both those who refused to accept the message when it was presented to them, and also those who, having received it, afterward renounced their faith. These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ; but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of Satan. These two classes are brought to view in the vision—those who declared the light which they had followed a delusion, and the wicked of the world who, having rejected the light, had been rejected of God. No reference is made to those who had not seen the light, and therefore were not guilty of its rejection. {1SM 63.10}

 

In order to prove that I believed and taught the shut-door doctrine, Mr. C gives a quotation from the Review of June 11, 1861, signed by nine of our prominent members. The quotation reads as follows: {1SM 64.1}

 

Our views of the work before us were then mostly vague and indefinite, some still retaining the idea adopted by the body of advent believers in 1844, with William Miller at their head, that our work for ‘the world’ was finished, and that the message was confined to those of the original advent faith. So firmly was this believed that one of our number was nearly refused the message, the individual presenting it having doubts of the possibility of his salvation because he was not in ‘the ‘44 move.’” {1SM 64.2}

 

To this I need only to add, that in the same meeting in which it was urged that the message could not be given to this brother, a testimony was given me through vision to encourage him to hope in God and to give his heart fully to Jesus, which he did then and there. {1SM 64.3}

 

An Unreasonable Conjecture

 

In another passage from the book A Word to the Little Flock, I speak of scenes upon the new earth, and state that I there saw holy men of old, “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Daniel and many like them.” Because I speak of having seen these men, our opponents conjecture that I then believed in the immortality of the soul and that having since changed my views upon this point, I found it necessary to suppress that passage. They are as near the truth here as in other conjectures. {1SM 64.4}

 

In the year 1844 I accepted the doctrine we now hold, concerning the nonimmortality of the soul, as may be seen by reference to Life Sketches, pages 170, 171 [1880 edition. See also 1915 edition, 49; Testimonies 1:39, 40], and I have never, by voice or pen, advocated any other. Had we suppressed this passage on account of its teaching the immortality of the soul, we would have found it necessary to suppress other passages. {1SM 65.1}

 

In relating my first vision, page 13 of Early Writings [1882 edition, present edition, page 17], I speak of having seen brethren who had but a short time previous fallen asleep in Jesus, and on page 14 [present edition, pages 18, 19] I state that I was shown a great company who had suffered martyrdom for their faith. {1SM 65.2}

 

The immortality of the soul is no more taught in the “suppressed” passage than in the two last cited. {1SM 65.3}

 

The fact in the case is, that in these visions I was carried forward to the time when the resurrected saints shall be gathered into the kingdom of God. In the same manner the judgment, the second coming of Christ, the establishment of the saints upon the new earth have been presented before me. Does anyone suppose that these scenes have yet transpired? My adversaries show the spirit by which they are actuated in thus accusing me of deception on the strength of a mere “conjecture.” {1SM 65.4}

 

A Misquotation

 

In this quotation are also found the words, “I saw two long golden rods on which hung silver wires, and on the wires were glorious grapes.” {1SM 65.5}

 

My opponents ridicule “that weak and childish expression of glorious grapes growing on silver wires, and these wires attached to golden rods.” {1SM 65.6}

 

What motive impelled the writer of the above to misstate my words? I do not state that grapes were growing on silver wires. That which I beheld is described as it appeared to me. It is not to be supposed that grapes were attached to silver wires or golden rods, but that such was the appearance presented. Similar expressions are daily employed by every person in ordinary conversation. When we speak of golden fruit, we are not understood as declaring that the fruit is composed of that precious metal, but simply that it has the appearance of gold. The same rule applied to my words removes all excuse for misapprehension. {1SM 65.7}

 

The Seal of God

 

Another “suppression” reads as follows: “Well, bless the Lord, brethren and sisters, it is an extra meeting for those that have the seal of the living God.” {1SM 66.1}

 

There is nothing in this that we do not still hold. Reference to our published works will show our belief that the living righteous will receive the seal of God prior to the close of probation; also that these will enjoy special honors in the kingdom of God. {1SM 66.2}

 

Renouncing the Sabbath

 

The following passage is said to be omitted from the vision related on pages 25-28 [pages 32-35, present edition] of Early Writings: {1SM 66.3}

 

And if one believed, and kept the Sabbath, and received the blessing attending it, and then gave it up, and broke the holy commandment, they would shut the gates of the Holy City against themselves, as sure as there was a God that rules in heaven above.” {1SM 66.4}

 

Those who have clearly seen and fully accepted the truth upon the fourth commandment, and have received the blessing attending obedience, but have since renounced their faith, and dared to violate the law of God, will find, if they persist in this path of disobedience, the gates of the city of God closed against them. {1SM 66.5}

 

Time Nearly Finished”

 

A statement published in 1851 in Experience and Views, and found on page 49 [page 58, present edition] of Early Writings is quoted as proving my testimonies false: “I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished, and that time can last but a very little longer.” {1SM 66.6}

 

As the subject was presented before me, the period of Christ’s ministration seemed almost accomplished. Am I accused of falsehood because time has continued longer than my testimony seemed to indicate? How is it with the testimonies of Christ and His disciples? Were they deceived? {1SM 67.1}

 

Paul writes to the Corinthians: {1SM 67.2}

 

But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not” (1 Corinthians 7:29, 30). {1SM 67.3}

 

Again, in his epistle to the Romans, he says: {1SM 67.4}

 

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). {1SM 67.5}

 

And from Patmos, Christ speaks to us by the beloved John: {1SM 67.6}

 

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3). “The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:6, 7). {1SM 67.7}

 

The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional. {1SM 67.8}

 

God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel’s message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming. {1SM 67.9}

 

Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. {1SM 68.1}

 

But in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, many of the advent believers yielded their faith. Dissensions and divisions came in. The majority opposed with voice and pen the few who, following in the providence of God, received the Sabbath reform and began to proclaim the third angel’s message. Many who should have devoted their time and talents to the one purpose of sounding warning to the world, were absorbed in opposing the Sabbath truth, and in turn, the labor of its advocates was necessarily spent in answering these opponents and defending the truth. Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness. Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history! {1SM 68.2}

 

It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in “because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them. {1SM 68.3}

 

For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years. {1SM 69.1}

 

There are two other passages said to be found in my first book, but not given in my later writings. Concerning these I shall only say, when I can obtain a book containing them, so that I can be assured of the correctness of the quotations and can see for myself their connection, I shall be prepared to speak understandingly in regard to them. {1SM 69.2}

 

Last-Day Scoffers

 

From the beginning of my work, I have been pursued by hatred, reproach, and falsehood. Base imputations and slanderous reports have been greedily gathered up and widely circulated by the rebellious, the formalist, and the fanatic. There are ministers of the so-called orthodox churches traveling from place to place to war against Seventh-day Adventists, and they make Mrs. White their textbook. The scoffers of the last days are led on by these ministers professing to be God’s watchmen. {1SM 69.3}

 

The unbelieving world, the ministers of the fallen churches, and the first-day Adventists are united in the work of assailing Mrs. White. This warfare has been kept up for nearly forty years, but I have not felt at liberty even to notice their vile speeches, reproaches, and insinuations. And I would not now depart from this custom, were it not that some honest souls may be misled by the enemies of the truth who are so exultantly declaring me a deceiver. In the hope of helping the minds of the honest, I make the statements that I do. {1SM 69.4}

 

I do not expect to reach those who, having seen the light of truth, refuse to heed it, those who have given themselves up to prejudice, and entrenched their souls in unbelief. {1SM 69.5}

 

Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, He who was equal with God, was in the world thirty-three years, and yet there were but few who acknowledged His divine character. And can I, who am so weak, so unworthy, a frail creature of humanity, expect greater success than was enjoyed by the Saviour of the world? {1SM 69.6}

 

When I first gave myself to this work, to go when God should bid me, to speak the words which He should give me for the people, I knew that I should receive opposition, reproach, persecution. I have not been disappointed. Had I depended on human applause, I would long ago have become discouraged. But I looked to Jesus, and saw that He who was without a fault was assailed by slanderous tongues. Those who made high pretensions to godliness followed as spies upon the Saviour’s course, and made every exertion in their power to hedge up His way. But although He was all-powerful, He did not visit His adversaries as their sins deserved. He might have launched forth against them the bolts of His vengeance, but He did not. He administered scathing rebukes for their hypocrisy and corruption, and when His message was rejected and His life threatened, He quietly passed to another place to speak the words of life. I have tried, in my weakness, to follow the example of my Saviour. {1SM 70.1}

 

Enmity Against Advocates of Truth

 

How eagerly the Pharisees sought to prove Christ a deceiver! How they watched His every word, seeking to misrepresent and misinterpret all His sayings! Pride and prejudice and passion closed every avenue of the soul against the testimony of the Son of God. When He plainly rebuked their iniquity and declared that their works proved them to be the children of Satan, they angrily flung back the accusation, saying, “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” {1SM 70.2}

 

All the arguments urged against Christ were founded in falsehood. So was it in the case of Stephen, and of Paul. But the weakest and most unreliable statements made on the wrong side had an influence, because there were so many whose hearts were unsanctified, who desired those statements to be true. Such are ever eager to fasten upon any supposed error or mistake in those who speak to them the unpalatable truth. {1SM 70.3}

 

It should not surprise us when evil conjectures are greedily seized upon as undoubted facts by those who have an appetite for falsehood. The opposers of Christ were again and again confounded and put to silence by the wisdom of His words; yet they still eagerly listened to every rumor, and found some pretext to ply Him again with opposing questions. They were determined not to abandon their purpose. They well knew that if Jesus should continue His work, many would believe on Him, and the scribes and Pharisees would lose their power with the people. Hence they were ready to stoop to any base or contemptible measure to accomplish their malicious intentions against Him. They hated the Herodians, yet they joined these inveterate enemies in order to invent some plan to rid the earth of Christ. {1SM 71.1}

 

Such was the spirit with which the Son of God was met by those whom He came to save. Can any who are seeking to obey God, and to bear to the world the message of His truth, expect a more favorable reception than was granted Christ? {1SM 71.2}

 

I have no ill will toward those who are seeking to make of none effect the message which God has given to reprove, warn, and encourage His people. But as the ambassador of Christ, I must stand in defense of the truth. Who are those that so zealously array themselves against me? Are they the pure and holy children of faith? Have they been born again? Are they partakers of the divine nature? Do they love Jesus, and manifest His spirit of meekness and humility? “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). Do they resemble the early disciples, or those cunning scribes and Pharisees who were constantly watching to entrap Christ in His words? Notice the sharp practice of those ancient opposers of the faith—how lawyers, priests, scribes, and rulers combined to find something against Him who was the light of the world. {1SM 71.3}

 

And why were they so intent upon condemning Christ? They did not love His doctrines and precepts, and they were displeased as they saw the attention of the people turned to Him and away from their former leaders. {1SM 71.4}

 

Human nature is human nature still. Let not those who seek to hedge up my way and destroy the influence of my words, deceive themselves with the belief that they are doing God service. They are serving another master, and they will be rewarded according to their work. {1SM 72.1}

 

Rebellion will exist as long as Satan exists. Those who are actuated by his spirit will not discern the spirit of God or listen to its voice until the mandate shall go forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11). I expect to encounter the malice of those who despise the light which God has been pleased to give me. {1SM 72.2}

 

Sufficient Evidence for the Honest in Heart

 

It is God’s plan to give sufficient evidence of the divine character of His work to convince all who honestly desire to know the truth. But He never removes all opportunity for doubt. All who desire to question and cavil will find occasion. {1SM 72.3}

 

I pity those who have set their feet in the path of doubt and unbelief. I would gladly help them if I could, but the experience of the past gives me little hope that they will ever come to the light. No amount of evidence will convince men of the truth so long as they are unwilling to yield their pride, subdue their carnal nature, and become learners in the school of Christ. {1SM 72.4}

 

Self-will and pride of opinion lead many to reject the light from heaven They cling to pet ideas, fanciful interpretations of Scripture, and dangerous heresies; and if a testimony is borne to correct these errors, they will, like many in Christ’s day, go away displeased. {1SM 72.5}

 

It matters not how blameless the character and life of those who speak to the people the words of God; this procures for them no credit. And why? Because they tell the people the truth. This, brethren, is my offense. But if a false report is circulated, if by some inference or conjecture an imputation is cast upon the character of Christ’s ambassador, with what absurd credulity is it received! How many are ready to magnify and spread the slander! Such are revealing their real character. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:47). {1SM 72.6}

 

Calumny and reproach will be the recompense of those who stand for the truth as it is in Jesus. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Those who bear a plain testimony against sin will as surely be hated as was the Master who gave them this work to do in His name. Like Christ, they will be called the enemies of the church and of religion, and the more earnest and true their efforts to honor God, the more bitter will be the enmity of the ungodly and hypocritical. But we should not be discouraged when thus treated. {1SM 73.1}

 

I Shall Go Forward With My Work

 

We may be called “weak and foolish,” enthusiastic, even insane. It may be said of us as it was of Christ, “He hath a devil” (John 10:20). But the work which the Master has given us to do is our work still. We must direct minds to Jesus, not seeking praise or honor of men, but committing ourselves to Him who judgeth righteously. He knows how to help those who while following in His steps suffer in a limited degree the reproach He bore. He was tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to succor those who should be tempted. {1SM 73.2}

 

Whatever wrong construction may be placed upon my testimony by those who profess righteousness, yet know not God, I shall in humility go forward with my work. I will speak the words which God gives me to speak in encouragement, reproof, and warning. There remains but a little remnant of my life on earth. The work that my Father hath given me, I will, by His grace, perform with fidelity, knowing that all my deeds must pass the scrutiny of Jehovah.—Manuscript 4, 1883. {1SM 73.3}

 

Ellen G. White Experience on Shut-Door Question Recounted

 

[See The Great Controversy, 426-432, for a fuller presentation of the “Shut Door.”]

 

Battle Creek, Michigan

 

August 24, 1874 {1SM 74.1}

 

Dear Brother Loughborough,

 

I hereby testify in the fear of God that the charges of Miles Grant, of Mrs. Burdick, and others published in the Crisis are not true. The statements in reference to my course in forty-four are false. {1SM 74.2}

 

With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed in forty-four I did believe no more sinners would be converted. But I never had a vision that no more sinners would be converted. And am clear and free to state no one has ever heard me say or has read from my pen statements which will justify them in the charges they have made against me upon this point. {1SM 74.3}

 

It was on my first journey east to relate my visions that the precious light in regard to the heavenly sanctuary was opened before me and I was shown the open and shut door. We believed that the Lord was soon to come in the clouds of heaven. I was shown that there was a great work to be done in the world for those who had not had the light and rejected it. Our brethren could not understand this with our faith in the immediate appearing of Christ. Some accused me of saying that my Lord delayeth His coming, especially the fanatical ones. I saw that in ‘44 God had opened a door and no man could shut it, and shut a door and no man could open it. Those who rejected the light which was brought to the world by the message of the second angel went into darkness, and how great was that darkness. {1SM 74.4}

 

I never have stated or written that the world was doomed or damned. I never have under any circumstances used this language to any one, however sinful. I have ever had messages of reproof for those who used these harsh expressions.—Letter 2, 1874. {1SM 74.5}

 

Statement on the Day and Hour of Christ’s Coming

 

Dear Sister,

 

You state that “some claim among other things that there is dishonesty in suppressing your former writings.” Will those who say these things please give proof of their statements? I know that this has been often repeated but not proved. “Claiming that in your original testimonies, volume 1, which they have preserved, you distinctly declare that you were shown the day and hour of Christ’s second coming. Their argument is that this statement of yours will not stand the Bible test; as Christ Himself declares that no man knoweth the day or the hour, no not even the angels of God.” {1SM 75.1}

 

In my first book you will find the only statement in regard to the day and hour of Christ’s coming that I have made since the passing of the time in 1844. It is found in Early Writings, 11, 27, 145, 146 [15, 34, and 285, present edition]. All refer to the announcement that will be made just before the second coming of Christ. {1SM 75.2}

 

By turning to page 145 [page 285, present edition] and reading from the commencement of the chapter you will see that the statements made refer to the deliverance of the saints from the time of trouble by the voice of God. Please obtain this book if you do not have it, and read the statements therein. They are just as printed from the first article published. “The sky opened and shut, and was in commotion.” “The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot, and cast out stones upon the ground. And as God spoke the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence and then paused while the words were rolling through the earth.” {1SM 75.3}

 

This is a portion of the paragraph. The statements in pages 11 and 27 [pages 15 and 34, present edition] refer to the same time. They contain all that I have ever been shown in regard to the definite time of the Lord’s coming. I have not the slightest knowledge as to the time spoken by the voice of God. I heard the hour proclaimed, but had no remembrance of that hour after I came out of vision. Scenes of such thrilling, solemn interest passed before me as no language is adequate to describe. It was all a living reality to me, for close upon this scene appeared the great white cloud, upon which was seated the Son of man.—Letter 38, 1888. {1SM 75.4}

 

An Early View of Jets of Light

 

In my very girlhood the Lord saw fit to open before me the glories of heaven. I was in vision taken to heaven, and the angel said to me, “Look!” I looked to the world as it was in dense darkness. The agony that came over me was indescribable as I saw this darkness. {1SM 76.1}

 

Again the word came, “Look ye.” And again I looked intensely over the world, and I began to see jets of light like stars dotted all through this darkness; and then I saw another and another added light, and so all through this moral darkness the star-like lights were increasing. And the angel said, “These are they that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and are obeying the words of Christ. These are the light of the world; and if it were not for these lights, the judgments of God would immediately fall upon the transgressors of God’s law.” I saw then these little jets of light growing brighter, shining forth from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and lighting the whole world. {1SM 76.2}

 

Occasionally one of these lights would begin to grow dim, and others would go out, and every time this occurred there was sadness and weeping in heaven. And some of the lights would grow brighter and brighter, and their brightness was far-reaching, and many more lights were added to it. Then there was rejoicing in heaven. I saw that the rays of light came directly from Jesus, to form these precious jets of light in the world.—Gospel Workers, 378-379 (1892 edition). {1SM 76.3}

 

In the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

 

Ronald William Beaulieu

 


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