Honest souls will see the straight chain of present truth. They will see its harmonious connections, link after link uniting into a great whole, and will lay hold upon it. The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform. He will not use individuals of different faith, opinions, and views, to scatter and divide. Heaven and holy angels are working to unite, to bring into the unity of the faith, into the one body. Satan opposes this, and is determined to scatter, and divide, and bring in different sentiments, that the prayer of Christ may not be answered: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may
be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." John 17:20, 21. Jesus designed that the faith of His people should be one. If one goes forth preaching one thing, and another differing with him preaches something else, how can those who believe through their word be one? There will be difference of sentiments.
I saw that if God's people in Wisconsin would prosper, they must take a decided position in regard to these things, and thereby cut off the influence of those who are causing distraction and division by teaching sentiments contrary to the body. Such are wandering stars. They seem to emit a little light; they profess and carry along a little truth, and thus deceive the inexperienced. Satan endows them with his spirit, but God is not with them; His Spirit does not dwell in them. Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one, as He is one with the Father, "that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." The oneness and unity of God's truth-believing remnant people carries powerful conviction to the world that they have the truth, and are the peculiar, chosen people of God. This oneness and unity disconcerts the enemy, and he is determined that it shall not exist. The present truth, believed in the heart and exemplified in the life, makes God's people one, and gives them a powerful influence.
Had professed Sabbathkeepers in Wisconsin earnestly sought and laboured to be in union with the prayer of Christ, to be one as He is one with the Father, Satan's work would have been defeated. If all had sought to be in union with the body, the fanaticism which has brought so deep a stain upon the cause of present truth in northern Wisconsin would not have arisen; for it is the result of drawing off from the body, and seeking to have an original, independent faith, regardless of the faith of the body.
In the last vision given at Battle Creek I was shown that
an unwise course was taken at-----in regard to the visions at the time of the organisation of the church there. There were some in-----who were God's children, and yet doubted the visions. Others had no opposition, yet dared not take a decided stand in regard to them. Some were sceptical, and they had sufficient cause to make them so. The false visions and fanatical exercises, and the wretched fruits following, had an influence upon the cause in Wisconsin to make minds jealous of everything bearing the name of visions. All these things should have been taken into consideration, and wisdom exercised. There should be no trial or labour with those who have never seen the individual having visions, and who have had no personal knowledge of the influence of the visions. Such should not be deprived of the benefits and privileges of the church, if their Christian course is otherwise correct, and they have formed a good Christian character.
Some, I was shown, could receive the published visions, judging of the tree by its fruits. Others are like doubting Thomas; they cannot believe the published Testimonies, nor receive evidence through the testimony of others; but must see and have the evidence for themselves. Such must not be set aside, but long patience and brotherly love should be exercised toward them until they find their position and become established for or against. If they fight against the visions, of which they have no knowledge; if they carry their opposition so far as to oppose that in which they have had no experience, and feel annoyed when those who believe that the visions are of God speak of them in meeting, and comfort themselves with the instruction given through vision, the church may know that they are not right. God's people should not cringe and yield, and give up their liberty to such disaffected ones. God has placed the gifts in the church that the church may be benefited by them; and when professed believers in the truth oppose these gifts, and fight against the visions, souls are in danger through their influence, and it is
time then to labour with them, that the weak may not be led astray by their influence.
It has been very hard for the servants of God to labour in -----, for there has been a class of self-righteous, talkative, unruly ones there, who have stood in the way of the work of God. If received into the church, they would tear it to pieces. They would not be subject to the body, and would never be satisfied unless the reins of church government were in their own hands.
Brother G sought to move with great caution. He knew that the class who opposed the visions were wrong, that they were not genuine believers in the truth; and therefore, to shake off these clogs, he proposed to receive none into the church who did not believe the third angel's message and the visions. This kept out some few precious souls who had not fought against the visions. They dared not unite with the church, fearing that they should commit themselves upon that which they did not understand and fully believe. And there were those at hand ready to prejudice these conscientious ones, and to place matters before them in the worst possible light. Some have felt grieved and offended because of the condition of membership, and since the organisation their feelings of dissatisfaction have greatly increased. Strong prejudice has governed them.
I was shown the case of Sister H. She was presented before me in connection with a professed sister who was strongly prejudiced against my husband and myself, and opposed to the visions. This spirit had led her to love and cherish every lying report in regard to us and the visions, and she has communicated this to Sister H. She has had a bitter spirit of war against me, when she had no personal knowledge of me. She was unacquainted with my labours, yet has nourished the most wicked feelings of prejudice against me, and has influenced Sister H, and they have united together in their bitter remarks and speeches. The person shown me
in connection with Sister H was a strong-minded woman, sanguine, and exalted in her own estimation. She has thought that her views were correct, and that others must rely upon her word, when she only darkened counsel by words, and manifested the spirit of the dragon host to war against those who would be united on the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Since Sister H has been at-----, she has despised the visions, and has related hearsay reports, as though she knew that they were true. She has resisted no influence calculated to injure me. She did not know but that the visions were of God; she had no personal acquaintance with the humble instrument; and yet she has united with unconsecrated ones in-----to exert a strong influence against me. They have strengthened one another by loving and reporting false stories coming from different sources, and in this way have nourished their prejudice. There can be no union between their spirit and the spirit of the messages which the Lord sees fit to give for the benefit of His humble people. The spirit which dwells in their hearts cannot harmonise with the light given of God.
Many poor souls do not know what they are doing. They unite their influence with Satan's forces, and aid him in his work. They manifest great zeal and earnestness in their blind opposition, as though they were verily doing God's service by fighting against the visions. All who desire to do so can acquaint themselves with the fruits of these visions. For seventeen years God has seen fit to let them survive and strengthen against the opposition of Satan's forces, and the influence of human agencies that have aided Satan in his work.
Other women were shown me in-----who were at war with the truth. One was presented before me who embraced a few points of truth, and then went no further with God's remnant people. She was exalted in her own eyes, and
thought she understood it all. She was wise in her own opinion, and was shown me as constantly looking back and referring to an old experience; because she had received a degree of light in the past, she had become lifted up, and thought she had sufficient light and knowledge to instruct the whole body. Her faith is scattered and disconnected. Many of her ideas of truth are erroneous; yet she is egotistical, and righteous in her own estimation. She is forward to instruct, but will not be taught. She has despised instruction, and cast behind her the teachings of God through His servants. I saw her pointing to her righteousness, her devotion, her prayerful life. Like the Pharisee, she enumerates her good deeds. "God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." The Pharisee's prayer was not regarded; but the poor publican, who could only say, "God be merciful to me a sinner," moved the pity of the Lord. His prayer was accepted, while the prayer of the boasting Pharisee was rejected. "For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Revelation 3:17, 18: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
This person, whose countenance I recognised when I saw her, I was told was Mrs. I. I saw that her life was not marked with that humility which should ever characterize the followers of Christ. When poor mortals, however high their profession, become just in their own eyes, then Jesus leaves them to be deceived in regard to themselves. I was
shown that this woman has influenced others, and some have united with her to hold up the visions in a ridiculous light. To God they must answer for all this; for every word of derision against the light which God has seen fit to communicate in His own chosen way, is recorded.
I was shown still another woman who is not in union with the people whom God is leading out. The spirit of truth dwells not in her heart, and she has been busy doing the work which well pleases the enemy of all good, to distract and confuse minds. (I recognised this woman the last day of the meeting; she left before it closed.) She is a great talker, and is ever ready to hear and tell some new thing, dwelling upon what she calls others' wrongs; and she terms her evil surmisings discernment. She puts light for darkness, and darkness for light, and for a pretence makes long prayers. She loves to be approved and thought righteous, and has deceived some. She wishes to teach others, and thinks that God teaches her above others. But the truth has no place in her heart.
A few others were shown me as joining their influence with those I have mentioned, and together they do what they can to draw off from the body and cause confusion; and their influence brings the truth of God into disrepute. Jesus and holy angels are bringing up and uniting God's people into one faith, that they may all have one mind and one judgement. And while they are being brought into the unity of the faith, to see eye to eye upon the solemn, important truths for this time, Satan is at work to oppose their advancement. Jesus is at work through His instruments to gather and unite. Satan works through his instruments to scatter and divide. "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth."
God is now testing and proving His people. Character is being developed. Angels are weighing moral worth, and
keeping a faithful record of all the acts of the children of men. Among God's professed people are corrupt hearts; but they will be tested and proved. That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgments.
The Captain of our salvation leads His people on step by step, purifying and fitting them for translation, and leaving in the rear those who are disposed to draw off from the body, who are not willing to be led, and are satisfied with their own righteousness. "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" No greater delusion can deceive the human mind than that which leads men to indulge a self-confident spirit, to believe that they are right and in the light, when they are drawing away from God's people, and their cherished light is darkness.
The class in-----who have been drawing off from the body have possessed a hard, bitter spirit against those whom God is using as His instruments to bring His people up united upon the only true platform. Their spirit is opposed to the work of God, and their influence has brought reproach upon the cause of God, and has made our faith disgusting to unbelievers, and caused Satan to exult. Those who are walking in church capacity and trying to serve God, may for a time be annoyed with those among them who are not right, and who have been shown me as self-righteous and pharisaical; but if they are patient, and walk humbly before God, earnestly praying for His power and Spirit, they will advance, and those who are unsound in the faith will be left behind.
Brother J was presented before me, and I was shown that his course has not been pleasing to God. He was unstable. He has been befogged with the Age-to-Come, and as there is
not the least harmony between the Age-to-Come theory and the third angel's message, he lost his love for and faith in the message, and felt irritated because so much had been said in regard to it. The third angel is proclaiming a most solemn message to the inhabitants of the earth; and shall God's chosen people be indifferent to it, and not unite their voice to sound this solemn warning? Brother J is deceived, and is deceiving others. His theme has been consecration, when his heart was not right. His mind has been divided. He has had no anchor to hold him, and has been floating about without a settled faith. Much of his time has been occupied in relating to one and another reports and stories calculated to distract and unsettle minds. He has had much to say in regard to my husband and myself, and against the visions. He has stood in a position, "Report, . . . and we will report it." God sent him not on such a mission. He has not known whom he has been serving. Satan has been using him to throw minds into confusion. What little influence he had he has used to prejudice minds against the third angel's message. He has by false reports presented the visions in a wrong light, and weak souls who were not established in all the present truth have fed upon these things instead of clean provender thoroughly winnowed. He has been deceived in regard to sanctification. Unless he now changes his course, and is willing to be instructed, and cherishes the light given, he will be left of God to pursue his own course and follow his own imperfect judgement until he will make shipwreck of faith, and by his unwise course become a signal warning to those who choose to go independent of the body. God will open the eyes of honest souls to understand the cruel work of those who scatter and divide. He will mark those who cause divisions, that every honest one may escape from Satan's snare.
Brother J received from Elder K a false theory of sanctification, which is outside of the third angel's message, and
wherever received destroys the love for the message. I was shown that Elder K was upon dangerous ground. He is not in union with the third angel. He once enjoyed the blessing of God, but does not now, for he has not prized and cherished the light of truth which has shone upon his pathway. He has brought along with him a theory of Methodist sanctification, and presents that in front, making it of the highest importance. And the sacred truths applicable to this time are by him made of little consequence. He has followed his own light, and been growing darker and darker, and going further and further from the truth, until it has but little influence upon him. Satan has controlled his mind, and he has done great injury to the cause of truth in northern Wisconsin.
It was this theory of sanctification which Sister G received of Elder K, and which she tried to follow out, that carried her into that dreadful fanaticism. Elder K has bewildered and confused many minds with this theory of sanctification. All who embrace it lose to a great extent their interest in and love for the third angel's message. This view of sanctification is a very pretty-looking theory. It whitewashes over poor souls who are in darkness, error, and pride. It gives them an appearance of being good Christians, and of possessing holiness, when their hearts are corrupt. It is a peace-and-safety theory, which does not bring to light evil and reprove and rebuke wrong. It heals the hurt of the daughter of God's people slightly, crying: Peace, peace, when there is no peace. Men and women of corrupt hearts throw around them the garb of sanctification, and are looked upon as examples to the flock, when they are Satan's agents, used by him to allure and deceive honest souls into a bypath, that they may not feel the force and importance of the solemn truths proclaimed by the third angel.
Elder K has been looked up to as an example, while he has been an injury to the cause of God. His life has not been blameless. His ways have not been in accordance with the
holy law of God, or with the spotless life of Christ. His corrupt nature is not subdued; and yet he dwells much upon sanctification, and thereby deceives many. I was directed to his past labours. He has failed to bring out souls into the truth, and to establish them upon the third angel's message. He presents a theory of sanctification as a matter of the utmost importance, while he makes of but little importance the channel through which God's blessing comes. "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." The present truth, which is the channel, is not regarded, but is trampled underfoot. Men may cry, Holiness! holiness! sanctification! sanctification! consecration! consecration! and yet know no more by experience of what they talk than the sinner with his corrupt propensities. God will soon tear off this whitewashed garb of professed sanctification which some who are carnally minded have thrown around them to hide the deformity of the soul.
A faithful record is kept of the acts of the children of men. Nothing can be concealed from the eye of the high and holy One. Some take a course directly opposed to the law of God, and then, to cover up their sinful course, they profess to be consecrated to God. This profession of holiness does not make itself manifest in their daily lives. It does not have a tendency to elevate their minds, and lead them to "abstain from all appearance of evil." We are made a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Our faith is blasphemed in consequence of the crooked course of the carnally minded. They profess a part of the truth, which gives them influence, while they have no union with those who believe and are united upon the whole truth. What has been Elder K's influence? What have been the fruits of his labours? How many have been brought out and established upon present truth? How many has he brought into the unity of the faith? He has not gathered with Christ. His influence has been to
scatter. There is a lack in his preaching, and his converts lack that which would prove their rock and defence in the day of God's anger. His preaching lacks the salt, the savour. He does not bring out souls thoroughly converted to the truth, separating them from the world, and uniting them with God's peculiar people. His converts have no anchor to hold them, and they drift here and there, until many of them are bewildered and lost in the world.
Elder K knows not of what spirit he is. He is uniting his influence with the dragon host to oppose those who keep the commandments of God, and who have the testimony of Jesus. He has a hard warfare before him. As far as the Sabbath is concerned, he occupies the same position as the Seventh Day Baptists. Separate the Sabbath from the messages, and it loses its power; but when connected with the message of the third angel, a power attends it which convicts unbelievers and infidels, and brings them out with strength to stand, to live, grow, and flourish in the Lord. It is time for God's people in Wisconsin to find their position. "Who will be on the Lord's side?" should be sounded by the faithful, experienced ones in every place. God requires them to come out and cut loose from the various influences which would separate them from one another and from the great platform of truth upon which God is bringing His people.
I was shown the case of Mr. L. He has much to say upon sanctification, but he is deceived in himself, and others are deceived in him. His sanctification may last him while he is in meeting, but it cannot bear the test. Bible holiness purifies the life; but L's heart is not cleansed. Evil exists in the heart, and is carried out in the life, and the enemies of our faith have had occasion to reproach Sabbathkeepers. They judge of the tree by its fruits.
2 Corinthians 4:2: "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the
word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
Many go directly contrary to the above scripture. They do walk in craftiness, and handle the word of God deceitfully. They do not exemplify the truth in their lives. They have special exercises upon sanctification, yet cast the word of God behind them. They pray sanctification, sing sanctification, and shout sanctification. Men with corrupt hearts put on the air of innocence, and profess to be consecrated; but this is no evidence that they are right. Their deeds testify of them. Their consciences are seared, but the day of God's visitation is coming, and every man's work shall be manifest, of what sort it is. And every man shall receive according to his deeds.
Said the angel, as he pointed to L: "What hast thou to do to declare My statutes, or that thou shouldest take My covenant in thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest My words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit." God will scatter and shake off these dividing influences, and will free His people, if those professing the whole truth will come up to the help of the Lord.
There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast a part of the truth behind them. There is light enough given in the word of God, so that none need err. The truth is so elevated as to be admired by the greatest minds, and yet it is so simple that the humblest, feeblest child of God can comprehend it, and be instructed by it. Those who see not the beauty that there is in the truth, who attach no importance to the third angel's message, will be without excuse; for the truth is plain.
2 Corinthians 4:3, 4: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light
of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
John 17:17, 19: "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."
1 Peter 1:22: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."
2 Corinthians 7:1: "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Philippians 2:12-15: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
John 15:3: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
Ephesians 5:25-27: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
Here is Bible sanctification. It is not merely a show or outside work. It is sanctification received through the channel of truth. It is truth received in the heart, and practically carried out in the life.
Jesus, considered as a man, was perfect, yet He grew in grace. Luke 2:52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and
stature, and in favour with God and man." Even the most perfect Christian may increase continually in the knowledge and love of God.
2 Peter 3:14, 18: "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen."
Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to cry earnestly to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained.
Philippians 3:12: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."
The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them, they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation. A great work is required of the Christian. We are exhorted to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Here we see where the great labour rests. There is a constant work for the Christian. Every branch in the parent vine must derive life and strength from that vine, in order to yield fruit.