Ellen White Topics
More recently your case has again been presented before me. I was shown that for a long time your thoughts and feelings, your spirit and deportment, have not been of a character to give you moral solidity, to make you a man of holy influence. After the death of your wife, the weakness of your character was evinced in your attentions to young girls. Your familiarity was an injury to them, making impressions on their minds unfavourable to their spiritual advancement. The difficulty is in your heart. It was not pure. You have not had Christ abiding in you by faith. You have not kept the way of the Lord. You have not abstained from the very appearance of evil. Your own ways, your own feelings, your appetites and passions, have held sway until you have placed yourself where you are now trammelled and are inclined to please yourself irrespective of the counsel of God. 1888 520

The law of Jehovah is exceedingly broad. Jesus... plainly declared to His disciples that this holy law of God may be violated in even the thoughts and feelings and desires, as well as in the word and deed. The heart that loves God supremely will not in any way be inclined to narrow down His precepts to the very smallest possible claims, but the obedient, loyal soul will cheerfully render full spiritual obedience when the law is seen in its spiritual power. Then will the commandments come home to the soul in their real force. Sin will appear exceedingly sinful. . . . There is no longer self-righteousness, self-esteem, self-honour. self-security is gone. Deep conviction of sin and self-loathing is the result, and the soul in its desperate sense of peril lays hold on the blood of the Lamb of God as his only remedy.--Lt 51, 1888. 1MCP 32

Dear Brother A: My mind is exercised in regard to your case. I have written you some things which have been shown me in regard to your past, present, and future course. I feel anxious for you because I have seen your dangers. Your former experience in spiritualism exposes you to temptations and severe conflicts. When once the mind has been yielded to the direct control of the enemy through evil angels, that person should be very distrustful of impressions and feelings which would lead him on an independent track, away from the church of Christ. The first step that such a one would take independently of the church should be regarded as a device of the enemy to deceive and destroy. God has made His church a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will. He does not give one an experience independent of the church. He does not give one man a knowledge of His will for the entire church, while the church, Christ's body, is left in darkness. 3T 414

If you form too high an opinion of yourself, you will think that your labours are of more real consequence than they are, and you will plead individual independence which borders on arrogance. If you go to the other extreme and form too low an opinion of yourself, you will feel inferior and will leave an impression of inferiority which will greatly limit the influence that you might have for good. You should avoid either extreme. Feeling should not control you; circumstances should not affect you. You may form a correct estimate of yourself, one which will prove a safeguard from both extremes. You may be dignified without vain self-confidence; you may be condescending and yielding without sacrificing self-respect or individual independence, and your life may be of great influence with those in the higher as well as the lower walks of life. 3T 506

Brother F, God is merciful to you. Your life has been a mistake, nothing like what it might and should have been. There has not been in you genuine manliness, true elevation and purity of feeling. You have not had proper self-respect, and therefore have not had proper respect for others. You have not magnified Christ and the power of His grace. You have needed guardians all the way along through life. The same frivolity and fickleness, the same inconsideration and lack of self-control, the same selfishness and impatience, which were seen in your conduct at an early period of your life, are developed in a marked manner now that you are past the meridian. This need not have been, had you put away childish feelings and childish temper, and put on the firmness of the man. You have favoured yourself altogether to your injury. Your pains and infirmities have been magnified. You look at them and talk complainingly of them, but do not look away to Jesus. Think how little you suffer, how little you endure, in comparison with the sufferings of Christ; and He was sinless--the Just suffering for the unjust. 4T 346

In this age of the world, as the scenes of earth's history are soon to close and we are about to enter upon the time of trouble such as never was, the fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all, both men and women. Above all, when Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, let Christians beware of connecting themselves with unbelievers. God has spoken. All who fear Him will submit to His wise injunctions. Our feelings, impulses, and affections must flow heavenward, not earthward, not in the low, base channel of sensual thought and indulgence. It is time now that every soul should stand as in the sight of the heart-searching God. 5T 366

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.

None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather that knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honoured with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ.

So will it be with all who behold Christ. The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. AA 560F

Never should we lose control over ourselves. Let us keep before us the perfect Pattern. It is a sin to speak impatiently and fretfully or to feel angry--even though we do not speak. We are to walk worthy, giving a right representation of Christ. The speaking of an angry word is like flint striking flint; it at once kindles wrathful feelings. Never be like a chestnut bur. . . HP 246

When we are brought into adverse circumstances, when our natural feelings are stirred, and we want to give vent to them, then our faith is tried; then we are to manifest the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Not by one word are we to give expression to the feelings of the natural heart. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2)-the whole man. What we want is to be under the control of Jesus. We do not want our own way. HP 270

Religion consists in doing the words of Christ; not doing to earn God's favour, but because, all undeserving, we have received the gift of His love. Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14. Not those whose hearts are touched by the Spirit, not those who now and then yield to its power, but they that are led by the Spirit, are the sons of God. MB 149

We should grow daily in faith in order that we may grow up to the full measure of the spiritual stature of Christ Jesus. We should believe that God will answer our prayers, and not trust to feeling. We should say, My gloomy feelings are no evidence that God has not heard me. I do not want to give up on account of these sad emotions; for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." PH048 33

While many profess to be sons and daughters of God in practise they ignore the example of the works and words of Christ "It is my privilege," they plainly say by their actions, "to act myself, I should be perfectly miserable if I could not act myself." This is the religion current with the world; but it does not bear the heavenly endorsement. It is a deception, a delusion. Persons may under certain influences of the moment, be full of ecstasies; for chords are touched whose vibrations are pleasing to the natural taste. But these persons will have to learn that this is not the religion of Jesus Christ. When the circumstances change which so elated them, the depression and want of stimulus is felt, as the drunkard feels the want of the stimulus of the intoxicating cup. PH048 37

Impressions and feelings are no sure evidence that a person is being led by the Lord. Satan will, if he is unsuspected, give feelings and impressions. These are not correct and safe guides. All should acquaint themselves thoroughly with the evidences of our faith, and the great study should be how they can adorn their profession, and bear fruit to the glory of God. RH AUG.03,1886

The children of God may rejoice in all things and at all times. When troubles and difficulties come, believing in the providence of God, you may rejoice. You need not wait for a happy flight of feeling, but by faith you may lay hold of the promises and lift up a hymn of thanksgiving to God. . . RH FEB.11,1890 (HP 123)

If there is any subject that should be considered with calm reason and unimpassioned judgement, it is the subject of marriage. If ever the Bible is needed as a counsellor, it is before taking a step that binds persons together for life. But the prevailing sentiment is that in this matter the feelings are to be the guide; and in too many cases love-sick sentimentalism takes the helm, and guides to certain ruin. It is here that the youth show less intelligence than on any other subject: it is here that they refuse to be reasoned with. The question of marriage seems to have a bewitching power over them. They do not submit themselves to God. Their senses are enchained, and they move forward in secretiveness, as if fearful that their plans would be interfered with by some one. RH JAN.26,1886

The youth trust altogether too much impulse. They should not give themselves away to easily, nor be captivated too readily by the wining exterior of the lover. Courtship, as carried on in this age, is a scheme of deception and hypocrisy, with which the enemy of souls has far more to do than the Lord. Good common sense is needed here if anywhere; but the fact is, it has little to do in the matter. RH JAN.26,1886

What is the work that we are to do here in the world?--We are to wash our robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. We must sanctify ourselves and our households to God. We must bring Jesus into our hearts and our homes, and we must seek every day to instruct others in regard to the claims of the law of God and the plan of salvation, that they may have a knowledge of Jesus. You can neglect anything of a temporal character more safely than you can the spiritual interests of your household. Our Saviour wants you to keep in close relation to himself, that he may make you happy. When Christ lets his blessing rest upon us, we should offer thanksgiving and praise to his dear name. But, you say, if I could only know that he is my Saviour! Well, what kind of evidence do you want? Do you want a special feeling or emotion to prove that Christ is yours? Is this more reliable than pure faith in God's promises? Would it not be better to take the blessed promises of God and apply them to yourself, bearing your whole weight upon them? This is faith. It is by faith that we are to come into a sacred nearness to Christ, not depending upon feeling; we are to say, "I believe thy promise, Lord, because thou hast said it. Thy word is pledged; we know that we are the children of God because we comply with the conditions, because he has pledged his word." There is not a friend in the world of whom you would require one-half the assurance that our Heavenly Father has given you in his promises. RH JUL.29,1890

Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard. Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults. When assailed by temptation, steadfastly resist the evil promptings; say to your soul, "How can I dishonour my Redeemer? I have given myself to Christ; I cannot do the works of Satan." Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol, and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father's throne, presenting his wounded hands as he pleads for you. Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour. RH MAY 03,1881

At times a deep sense of our unworthiness will send a thrill of terror through the soul; but this is no evidence that God has changed toward us, or we toward God. No effort should be made to rein the mind up to a certain intensity of emotion. We may not feel to-day the peace and joy which we felt yesterday; but we should by faith grasp the hand of Christ, and trust him as fully in the darkness as in the light. RH MAY 03,1881

We should fix our eye upon Jesus our Saviour. We should be continually growing up into Christ our living head. We want more knowledge, more grace. New affections should be planted in our hearts to expel the old affections. Divine power must substitute high and holy motives for those that were selfish and unholy. We must follow on to know the Lord....

If Christ can plead for us in the heavenly sanctuary, if our works are wrought in him, if we have brought his grace and truth into our character-building, we shall be recognised by the Lord as the subjects of his kingdom.....

[306a.7] Let us come into the presence of Christ. He is cleansing the heavenly sanctuary. Let us enter there by faith. Provision has been made for our cleansing. A fountain has been opened for sin and uncleanness [Zech. 13:1]. Ask in faith for the grace of God, and you will not ask in vain. Shall we wait till we feel that we are cleansed before we believe it?-No; Christ has promised that `if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' [1Jn. 1:9]. RH MAY 28,1889

A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course. He will not want to choose for himself, but will feel that God must choose for him. We are not to please ourselves, for Christ pleased not himself. I would not be understood to mean that any one is to marry one whom he does not love. This would be sin. But fancy and the emotional nature must not be allowed to lead on to ruin. God requires the whole heart, the supreme affections. RH SEP.25,1888

The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realise that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward. They do not feel or know they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God's providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come. SC 83

The word of God is the foundation of our faith, and therefore it is by the word of God that we may obtain evidence of our standing before God. We are not to make our feelings a test by which to discern whether we are in or out of favour with God, whether they be what we consider encouraging or not. As soon as one begins to contemplate his feelings, he is on dangerous ground. If he feels joyous, he is confident that he is in a favourable condition; but when a change comes, as it will, for circumstances will be so arranged that feelings of depression will make the heart sad, then he will naturally be led to doubt that God has accepted him. It is not wisdom to look at the emotions, and try to test your spirituality by your feelings. Do not study yourself; look away from self to Jesus. While you acknowledge yourself as a sinner, yet you may appropriate Christ as your sin-pardoning Redeemer. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Satan will not be slow in presenting to the repentant soul suggestions and difficulties to weaken faith and destroy courage. He has manifold temptations that he can send trooping into the mind, one after another; but the Christian must not study his emotions, and give way to his feelings, or he will soon entertain the evil guest,-- doubt,--and become entangled in the perplexities of despair. Expel the suggestions of the enemy by contemplating the matchless depth of your Saviour's love. ST DEC.03,1894

Do not exalt your feelings or be swayed by them, whether they be good, bad, sad, or joyful. . . . We cannot be lifted up in thought, or know what it is to be the sons and daughters of God, unless we trust implicitly in the word of God; for Satan will ever be on the ground to dispute our claims. We must educate the soul to trust in God's word with unwavering confidence. Let gratitude and thankfulness flow out of the heart, and cease to hurt the heart of Christ by doubting his love, which has been assured to us by most astounding evidences; for he so loved us as to give his own life for us, that we should not perish, but have everlasting life. ST DEC.03,1894

The rainbow of promise encircles the throne of God. I come to the throne pointing to the sign of God's faithfulness, and cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We are not to believe because we feel or see that God hears us. We are to trust to the promise of God. We are to go about our business, believing that God will do just what he has said he would do, and that the blessings we have prayed for will come to us when we most need them. Every petition enters into the heart of God when we come believing. We have not faith enough. We should look upon our Heavenly Father as more willing to help us than an earthly parent is to help his child. ST MAY 07,1896

When we go to Him for wisdom or grace, we are not to look to ourselves to see if he has given us a special feeling as an assurance that he has fulfilled his word. Feeling is no criterion. Great evils have resulted when Christians have followed feeling. Satan can give feelings and impressions, and those who take these as their guide will surely be led astray. How do I know that Jesus hears my prayer?--I know it by his promise. He says he will hear the needy when they cry unto him, and I believe his word. He has never said to the seed of Jacob, "Seek ye me in vain." ST MAY 15,1884

Many know so little of faith that when they have asked God for his help and blessing, they look to themselves to see if their prayer is answered; and if they have a happy flight of feeling, they are satisfied. This is not faith, but unbelief. We should trust God, whether we experience any change of feeling or not. We cannot expect to be very joyful and hopeful while we look to ourselves; for we must think of self as sinful. A large class of the professed Christian world are watching their feelings; but feeling is an unsafe guide, and those who depend upon it are in danger of imbibing heresy. ST MAY 22,1884

Suppose that at times we are destitute of the joy we should like to experience, can we not feel assured that the promises of God are still yea and amen in Christ Jesus? The promises of God do not rest upon feeling. They have a foundation as distinct from feeling as light is from darkness. We must learn to move from principle; and when we learn to do this, we shall move understandingly, and not be controlled by varying emotions. ST NOV.11,1889

Pray in faith. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Prevailing prayer is the prayer of living faith; it takes God at his word, and claims his promises. Feeling has nothing to do with faith. When faith brings the blessing to your heart, and you rejoice in the blessing, then it is no more faith, but feeling. How strange it is that men will put confidence in the word of their fellow men, and yet find it so hard to exercise living faith in God! The promises are ample; why not accept them just as they read? "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" ST NOV.18,1886

If your sin is between you and God, you need not give publicity to it, but confess it to God. Often poor, weak mortals act very unadvisedly in the matter of confessing their sins to human beings. . . .

I advise you to take your case to the Lord Jesus in prayer. Believe that He hears you, and that when you confess your sins and repent, and walk humbly with God, you will find pardon. Act like one whom the Lord has corrected in order to purify and save you. . . .

Never give up your faith and hope in God. Cling to the promises. Do not trust in your feelings, but in the naked Word of God. Believe the assurances of the Lord. Take your stand upon the plain "Thus saith the Lord," and rest there, feeling or no feeling. Faith is not always followed by feelings of ecstasy, but "hope thou in God." Trust fully in Him. . . . UL 176