We Are NOT to Join in their work or plans

God and Ellen G. White on Ecumenism--Association, Counsel, Partnership, and Confederacy With Unbelievers

Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work.  E.G. White, FE 482.

The apostle Paul sends down the note of warning along the line to this time. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor. 6:14-18) {LYL 83.4}



 

Dear Reader,

Ellen White said that Israel began her trek downward and into apostasy by making alliances with God’s enemies.  From faithful Abraham on down, the Hebrews were to maintain separation from Association, Council, Girdings and/or Confederacy with unbelievers.  Scripture and Ellen White carry this principle into matters involving spiritual interests, business partnerships, politics, and marriage.  We will deal with all these facets of the issue.

Because of the example of Israel’s disobedience to God’s commands regarding their relationship to unbelievers, and their ultimate destruction for such violation, it behooves us to study their ensample in order to avoid the same pitfall.  It is toward that specific objective that this document is directed.

Corporate Responsibility for Open Sin in the Church

"For evils that we might have checked, we are just as responsible as if we were guilty." Desire of Ages, p. 44.

 

"The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body [corporately], responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them." Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 269.

 

"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity but thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 3:18-19.

Implications of Ecumenical Involvement

A commonly heard refrain by us reformers is:  “Well, so what if the church is ecumenically involved.  We have to come close to others in order to win them to the truth.” 

You know something friends?  That statement is not all untrue.  For it is true that we have to come close to others in order to win them.  Jesus came close to sinners in order to win them.  The question is:  Would Jesus join Satan’s Synagogue in order to win ANYONE?  The answer to that question is an emphatic no! if we believe the admonitions of the Word. There are good reasons God warned us three times that we would be broken in pieces if we Associated, Counsel, Gird and/or Confederate with my enemies and I will break you in pieces, to wit:

9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. 11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. Isaiah 8:9-13.

“No confederacy should be formed with unbelievers, neither should you call together a certain chosen number who think as you do, and who will say Amen to all that you propose, while others are excluded who you think will not be in harmony. I was shown that there was great danger of doing this.” {TM 462.2}

"For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. . . . To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The world is not to be our criterion. Let the Lord work, let the Lord's voice be heard.’ {TM 463.1}

What is wrong with liaisons with Satanic forces?  The instruction is in the question!  Would Christ co-labor with Satan?  Try to imagine Christ joining Satan’s Associations, Councils, Girdings and Confederacies.

Satan always has his own agenda for those who join his confederacies. For example, the World Council of Churches stipulates that its members will not steal sheep and will evangelize only the unchurched.  That is at total cross purposes with the mission and commission of the three angel’s messages which the SDA church is supposed to give to the entire world.

The church has ceded to the stipulations of the World Council of Churches and its various National Councils and Associations on paper, by signing their edicts, but we all know that the church then violates those edicts.  That will eventually infuriate Satan and his Babylonian forces and this will be the reason the Babylonians wield the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9 against the professing SDA church militant in the end of it all. 

Satan has provided reduced rates for radio and television broadcasting but he then controls the content for those watered down programs by SDA’s.  He does the same thing with SDA educational facilities.  He provides government aid if the church will accept the world Accreditation Standards. And what has been the result?  The world has been married to the church, and has thus become the cage of every unclean and hateful bird, just as Ellen White prophesied.

Probation Closed for the SDA Church Militant in 1888 - they closed and bolted the door against the Spirit of Christ and said by their actions "come again another time when it is convenient for us"

They became an OFFSHOOT "new" organization (hierarchical pope system, with one man at the head, learn more here) from the original teachings of the pioneers of Adventism.

In the 1950’s, two SDA ministers by the names of Robert J. Wieland and Donald K. Short, approached the church with a long manuscript as to how and why it was corporately responsible for the rejection of the proper version of righteousness by faith in 1888.  SDA leaders rejected that responsibility outright, and that began the close of probation for the SDA church militant. 

A downward cascading occurred immediately after the decision to reject corporate responsibility.  That rejection was an outright rejection of biblical principle.  Falling fast on the heels of that apostasy, the church began conferences with the Evangelicals Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse.  In those conferences the leaders decided to make serious changes to the book Bible Reading For the Home in order to bend to the criticisms of these men, and to stifle the threat of Walter Martin, that if the church did not alter their doctrines, he would brand them as a cult in his forthcoming bookKingdom of the Cults.

Then, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the church embarked on its ecumenical escapades by joining the Hungarian Council of Free churches, which it admitted being a MEMBER of some thirty years later.  You see, the Evangelicals Martin and Barnhouse wanted the church to prove its sincerity that it was indeed Evangelical and not a cult.  These men wanted the church to prove their position by joining Babylon’s Associations, Councils and Confederacies. 

Thus, the bobsled ride to hell began for the church.  As any thinking person can deduce from Jeremiah 11:9-15, conspiracy and confederacy with God’s enemies is probation’s close for those who violate Isaiah 8:9-13.  God says not to even pray for them in that eventuality, and that means probations close and the removal of God from the church.   God will not marry a bride that is so defiled, Rev. 14:1-4.  He will not smell in the assembly of those who are thus joined to Satan.  The Lord has shown me in no uncertain terms and on more than one occasion that this is the path the church took to close its probation.

Actually, the early beginnings of the apostasy occurred in the early 1930’s when the church accepted the Trinity Doctrine, the central doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and also adopted the Accreditation Standards of the world in its educational facilities.  Some would justly date the emergence of apostasy to 1901, when the church leaders rejected the minority committee’s proposal that no GC President be elected, but rather a committee of 25 men should be elected. Ellen White was on that minority committee, and her instruction was ignored.  Three years later in 1903, the church had another GC President in Arthur Daniels.

Some would date the trek downward to the time the church first became Laodicean, and one would be hard pressed to fault them for their belief, for Ellen White made the following serious warning:

"If the church of God becomes LUKEWARM [LAODICEAN] it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth, and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God." E.G. White, Letter 35, 1898.

 

The sad fact is that Laodicea thinks she is the last church and that God is stuck with her no matter what she does, and that simply is not true.  The Lord has shown this writer that the bride of all generations will be raised to give the final Loud Cry of the gospel, just as the faithful of past generations were raised at Christ’s resurrection to give the gospel to the then known world.

No Alliance with Unbelievers 

Those employed in any department of the work whereby the world may be transformed, must not enter into alliance with those who know not the truth. The world know not the Father or the Son, and they have no spiritual discernment as to the character of our work, as to what we shall do or shall not do. We must obey the orders that come from above. We are not to hear the counsel or follow the plans suggested by unbelievers. Suggestions made by those who know not the work that God is doing for this time will be such as to weaken the power of the instrumentalities of God. By accepting such suggestions, the counsel of Christ is set at nought. . . . {TM 463.2}

The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; He sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness, not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that He reads it as an open 
464
book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records by the great Heart Searcher who said, "I know thy works." {TM 463.3}

I was shown that the follies of Israel in the days of Samuel will be repeated among the people of God today unless there is greater humility, less confidence in self, and more trust in the Lord God of Israel, the Ruler of the people. It is only as divine power is combined with human effort that the work will abide the test. When men lean no longer on men or on their own judgment, but make God their trust, it will be made manifest in every instance by meekness of spirit, by less talking and much more praying, by the exercise of caution in their plans and movements. Such men will reveal the fact that their dependence is in God, that they have the mind of Christ. {TM 464.1}

God’s Line in the Sand Regarding Apostasy

We all know that God bore long with the apostasy of Israeland Judah.  But few of us know that Isaiah 8:9-13 type of apostasy is God’s line in the sand—the point at which apostasy becomes unpardonable.  Notice in the above quoting of Isaiah 8:9-13, that God leaves no room for reconciliation. He states three times that all who commit such apostasy will be broken in pieces.  That is the only option given. 

To further prove that Isaiah 8:9-13 is indeed God’s line in the sand, let’s look at Jeremiah 11:9-15:

9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house ofJudah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. 12Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their [Jacob’s] trouble. 13 For according to the number of thy cities [also churches] were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. 14Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for themfor I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. 15 What hath my beloved [bride] to do in mine house [Sanctuary], seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many [other fallen women—churches], and the holy flesh [Christ and His Holy Spirit] is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest [celebrates].

confederacy

n 1: the southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861 [syn:ConfederacyConfederate StatesConfederate States of AmericaSouth,DixieDixieland] 2: a union of political organizations [syn: confederation,federation] 3: a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose [syn: conspiracy] 4: a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act [syn: conspiracySource:WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

E. G. White on Isaiah Chapter 8  

     12 (see EGW comments on ch. 5:18-23). Satan Seeks to Widen Distance Between Heaven and Earth.--The satanic agencies are constantly at work, sowing and watering the seeds of rebellion against the law of God, and Satan is gathering souls under his black banner of revolt. He forms a confederacy with human beings to contend against purity and holiness. He has worked diligently, perseveringly, increasing the number who will confederate with him. By his representations he seeks to widen the distance between heaven and earth, and he grows into the conviction that he can wear out the patience of God, extinguish His love for man, and bring condemnation upon the whole human family (RH Oct. 21, 1902). {4BC 1141.6} 

 

     No Confederacy With Those Opposing the Truth.--Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism in exalting tradition above Scripture, reason above revelation, and human talent above the divine influence and the vital power of godliness (RH March 24, 1896). {4BC 1141.7} 

 

     The Divine Touch Needed.--The gospel is now resolutely opposed on every hand. Never was the confederacy of evil greater than at the present time. The spirits of darkness are combining with human agencies to set them firmly against the commandments of God. Traditions and falsehoods are exalted above the Scriptures; reason and science above revelation; human talent above the teachings of the Spirit; forms and ceremonies above the vital power of godliness. We need the divine touch (RH March 19, 1895). {4BC 1142.1} 

 

     Fallen Men and Fallen Angels in Same Confederacy.--Through apostasy, fallen men and fallen angels are in the same confederacy, leagued to work against good. They are united in a desperate companionship. Through his evil angels, Satan contrives to form an alliance with professedly pious men, and thus he leavens the church of God. He knows that if he can induce men, as he induced the angels, to join in rebellion, under the guise of servants of God, he will have in them his most successful allies in his enterprise against heaven. Under the name of godliness, he can inspire them with his own accusing spirit, and lead them to charge God's servants with evil and guile. They are his trained detectives; their work is to create feuds, to make charges which create discord and bitterness among brethren, to set tongues in active service for Satan, to sow seeds of dissension by watching for evil, and by speaking of that which will create discord. {4BC 1142.2} 

 

     I beseech all who engage in the work of murmuring and complaining because something has been said or done that does not suit them, and that does not, as they think, give them due consideration, to remember that they are carrying on the very work begun in heaven by Satan. They are following in his track, sowing unbelief, discord, and disloyalty; for no one can entertain feelings of disaffection, and keep them to himself. He must tell others that he is not treated as he should be. Thus they are led to murmur and complain. This is the root of bitterness springing up, whereby many are defiled. {4BC 1142.3} 

 

     Thus Satan works today through his evil angels. He confederates with men who claim to be in the faith; and those who are trying to carry forward the work of God with fidelity, having no man's person in admiration, working without hypocrisy and partiality, will have just as severe trials brought against them as Satan can bring through those who claim to love God. Proportionate to the light and knowledge these opposers have is Satan's success. The root of bitterness strikes deep, and is communicated to others. Thus many are defiled. Their statements are confused and untruthful, their principles are unscrupulous, and Satan finds in them the very helpers he needs (RH Sept. 14, 1897). {4BC 1142.4} 

 

     What Is a Confederacy?--The question has been asked, What do you mean by a confederacy? Who have formed confederacies? You know what a confederacy is,--a union of men in a work that does not bear the stamp of pure, straightforward, unswerving integrity (MS 29, 1911). {4BC 1142.5} 

 

     (2 Cor. 6:17.) The wicked are being bound up in bundles, bound up in trusts, in unions, in confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organizations. God is our Ruler, our Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing." If we refuse to do this, if we continue to link up with the world, and to look at every matter from a worldly standpoint, we shall become like the world. When worldly policy and worldly ideas govern our transactions, we cannot stand on the high and holy platform of eternal truth (MS 71, 1903). {4BC 1142.6} 

 

     Good and Evil Angels in Human Form on Field of Action.--Satanic agencies in human form will take part in this last great conflict to oppose the building up of the kingdom of God. And heavenly angels in human guise will be on the field of action. Men and women have confederated to oppose the Lord God of heaven, and the church is only half awake to the situation. There needs to be much more of prayer, much more of earnest effort among professed believers. {4BC 1142.7} 

 

     The two opposing parties will continue to exist till the closing up of the last great chapter in this world's history. Satanic agencies are in every city. We cannot afford to be off our guard for one moment (Letter 42, 1909). {4BC 1142.8}

 

     God calls to His people, saying, Come out from among them, and be ye separate. He asks that the love which He has shown for them may be reciprocated and revealed by willing obedience to His commandments. His children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. "Give proof of your allegiance to Me" He says, "by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works." Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention or disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. The Christian life is not to be a haphazard, emotional life. True Christian influence, exerted for the accomplishment of the work God has appointed, is a precious agency, and it must not be united with politics, or bound up in a confederacy with unbelievers. God is to be the center of attraction. Every mind that is worked by the Holy Spirit will be satisfied with Him. {FE 483.2, 484}

 

     God calls to His people, saying, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate." He asks that the love which He has shown for them may be reciprocated and revealed by willing obedience to His commandments. His children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. "Give proof of your allegiance to Me" He says, "by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works." Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention or disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. The Christian life is not to be a haphazard, emotional life. True Christian influence, exerted for the accomplishment of the work God has appointed, is a precious agency, and it must not be united with politics, or bound up in a confederacy with unbelievers. God is to be the center of attraction. Every mind that is worked by the Holy Spirit will be satisfied with Him. {FE 483.2, 484}

 

Does Ellen White class the fallen churches with believers?; with the world?  Notice:

 

"The Sins of Babylon--I saw that since the second angel proclaimed the fall of the churches, they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ's followers;YET IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH THEM FROM THE WORLD.  Ministers take their texts from the Word of God, but preach smooth things.  To this the natural heart feels no objection.  It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart.  There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come.  Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.

 

Said the angel, 'Nothing less than the whole armor of righteousness can enable man to overcome the powers of darkness and retain the victory over them.  Satan has taken full possession of the churches AS A BODY.  The sayings and doings of men are dwelt upon instead of the plain, cutting truths of the Word of God. The spirit and friendship of the world are at enmity with God.When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it at once awakens the spirit of persecution.  Very many who profess to be Christians have not known God.  The natural heart has not been changed, and the carnal mind remains at enmity with God.  They are Satan's faithful servants, notwithstanding they have assumed another name.'

I saw that since Jesus left the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and entered within the second veil, the churches have been filling up with every unclean and hateful bird.  I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches; yet their members profess to be Christians.  Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God.  Said the angel, 'God will not smell in their assemblies.  Selfishness, fraud, and deceit are practiced by them without the reprovings of conscience.  And over all these evil traits they throw the cloak of religion.'  I was shown the pride of the nominal churches.  God is not in their thoughts; their carnal minds dwell upon themselves; they decorate their poor mortal bodies, and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure.  Jesus and the angels look upon them in anger.  Said the angel, 'Their sins and pride have reached unto heaven.  Their portion is prepared.  Justice and judgment have slumbered long, but will soon awake.  Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.' The fearful threatenings of the third angel are to be realized, and all the wicked are to drink of the wrath of God.  An innumerable host of evil angels are spreading over the whole land and crowding the churches.  These agents of Satan look upon the religious bodies with exultation, for the cloak of religion covers the greatest crime and iniquity."  E.G. White, Early Writings, pp. 273-275.

 

The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soulThe Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike. {FE 482.1}

 

     The question may be asked, Are we to have no union whatever with the world? The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work. But we are not to live reclusive lives. We are to do worldlings all the good we possibly can. Christ has given us an example of this. When invited to eat with publicans and sinners, He did not refuse; for in no other way than by mingling with themcould He reach this class. But on every occasion He gave them talents of words and influence. He opened up themes of conversation which brought things of eternal interest to their minds. And this Teacher enjoins us, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." On the temperance question take your position without wavering. Be as firm as a rock. Be not partakers of other men's sins. Acts of dishonesty in business deal, with believers or unbelievers, should be reproved; and if they give no evidence of reformation, come out from among them and be separate. {FE 482.2, 483}

 

Ron’s Commentary:  Clearly, mingling with Babylon to witness to them is very different from linking with them in Association, Council, Girding and Confederacy.

 

There is a large vineyard to be cultivated; but while Christians are to work among unbelievers, they are not to appear like worldlings. They are not to spend their time talking politics or acting as politicians; for by so doing, they give the enemy opportunity to come in and cause variance and discord. Those in the ministry who desire to stand as politicians should have their credentials taken from them; for this work God has not given to high or low among His people. God calls upon all who minister in doctrine to give the trumpet a certain sound. All who have received Christ, ministers and lay members, are to arise and shine; for great peril is right upon us. Satan is stirring the powers of earth. Everything in the world is in confusion. God calls upon His people to hold aloft the banner bearing the message of the third angel. We are not to go to Christ through any human being, but through Christ we are to understand the work He has given us to do for others. {FE 483.1}

 

God calls to His people, saying, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate." He asks that the love which He has shown for them may be reciprocated and revealed by willing obedience to His commandments. His children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. "Give proof of your allegiance to Me" He says, "by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works." Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention or disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. The Christian life is not to be a haphazard, emotional life. True Christian influence, exerted for the accomplishment of the work God has appointed, is a precious agency, and it must not be united with politics, or bound up in a confederacy with unbelievers. God is to be the center of attraction. Every mind that is worked by the Holy Spirit will be satisfied with Him. {FE 483.2, 484}

 

God calls upon the teachers in our schools not to become interested in the study of political questions. Take the knowledge of God into our schools. Your attention may be called to worldly wise men, who are not wise enough to understand what the Scriptures say in regard to the laws of God's kingdom; but turn from these to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make this first and last. Seek most earnestly to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. Christ and His righteousness is the salvation of the soul. Teach the little children what obedience and submission means. In our schools science, literature, painting, and music, and all that the world's learning can teach are not to be made first. Let the knowledge of Him in whom our eternal life is centered come first. Plant in the hearts of the students that which will adorn the character and fit the soul, through sanctification of the Spirit, to learn lessons from the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. Thus students will be fitted to be heirs of thekingdom of God.--June 16, 1899. {FE 484.1}

 

Business Partnership and Surety for Unbelievers

 

     I saw that God was displeased with His people for becoming surety for unbelievers. I was directed to these texts: Proverbs 22:26: "Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts." Proverbs 11:15: "He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure." Unfaithful stewards! They pledge that which belongs to another,--their heavenly Father,--and Satan stands ready to aid his children to wrench it out of their hands. Sabbathkeepers should not be in partnership with unbelievers. God's people trust too much to the words of strangers, and ask their advice and counsel when they should not. The enemy makes them his agents, and works through them to perplex and take from God's people. {1T 200.1}

 

     Some have no tact at wise management of worldly matters. They lack the necessary qualifications, and Satan takes advantage of them. When this is the case, such should not remain in ignorance of their task. They should be humble enough to counsel with their brethren, in whose judgment they can have confidence, before they carry out plans. I was directed to this text: "Bear ye one another's burdens." Some are not humble enough to let those who have judgment calculate for them until they have followed their own plans, and have involved themselves in difficulties. Then they see the necessity of having the counsel and judgment of their brethren; but how much heavier the burden then than at first. Brethren should not go to law if it can be possibly avoided; for they thus give the enemy great advantage to entangle and perplex them. It would be better to make a settlement at some loss. {1T 200.2}

 

Linking Up With Unbelievers

 

     The Lord has repeatedly instructed me to say to His people that they are not to bind up with the world in business partnerships of any kind, and especially in so important a matter as the establishment of a sanitarium. Believers and unbelievers, serving two masters, cannot properly be linked together in the Lord's work. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" God forbids His people to unite with unbelievers in the building up of His institutions. {6BIO 42.1}

 

     She laid out clearly the involvements:

 

        One of the dangers to be met if we should link up with unbelievers is that we cannot depend upon the opinions and judgment, regarding the sacred interests of the Lord's work, of men who, with the Bible open before them, are living in open transgression of the law of God. We cannot depend upon them, because the enemy of Christ influences their minds. {6BIO 42.2}

 

        They may be ever so favorable to our work now, but in the future there will come times of crisis, and then our people will be brought into a position of extreme trial, if they are bound up in any way with the worldlings. Our people may think that they can guard against these difficulties that would naturally arise in their union with worldlings, but in this they will be disappointed. {6BIO 42.3}

 

        In connection with any combination with outside parties, there will be disappointment. It behooves us to move very guardedly, for thereby we shall save ourselves much burden and trouble, for the light given me is that to link up with them and to lean upon them is folly and disappointment. {6BIO 42.4}

     "Wait," she counseled. "Wait until the Lord shall manifest Himself in a more distinct and striking manner than He has done." {6BIO 42.5}

 

     She reminded the two physicians:

 

        Our health institutions are of value in the Lord's estimation only when He is allowed to preside in their management. If His plans and devisings are regarded as inferior to plans of men, He looks upon these institutions as of no more value than the institutions established and conducted by worldlings.--Letter 283, 1905. {6BIO 42.6}

     The Canon City enterprise was reluctantly abandoned. Boulder Sanitarium survived. {6BIO 43.1}

 

     To place in permanent form before church members throughout Colorado the history and the testimonies concerning the Sanitarium matters, a pamphlet of eighty pages was published at Pacific Press in the late fall of 1905. It carried the title "Record of Progress and an Earnest Appeal in Behalf of the Boulder, Colorado, Sanitarium." The pamphlet was designated as Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 5. This made it a part of a growing series of special testimonies, issued to meet special or local situations. The next year, after some developments in the situation in Colorado, a second printing was made with added material bringing the presentation up-to-date. {6BIO 43.2}

God does not at one time send a message of warning, and later another message, encouraging a movement against which He had previously given warning. His messages do not contradict one another.—E.G. White, Letter 287, 1905.

 

Special Testimony Relating To Politics

 

To the Teachers and Managers of our Schools:--

 

     Those who have charge of our institutions and our schools should guard themselves diligently, lest by their words and sentiments they lead the students into false paths. Those who teach the Bible in our churches and in our schools are not at liberty to unite in making apparent their prejudices for or against political men or measures, because by so doing they stir up the minds of others, leading each to advocate his favorite theory. There are among those professing to believe present truth some who will thus be stirred up to express their sentiments and political preferences, so that division will be brought into the church. {FE 475.1}

 

     The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political schemes. We cannot labor to please men who will use their influence to repress religious liberty, and to set in operation oppressive measures to lead or compel their fellow men to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. The first day of the week is not a day to be reverenced. It is a spurious sabbath, and the members of the Lord's family cannot participate with the men who exalt this day, and violate the law of God by trampling upon His Sabbath. The people of God are not to vote to place such men in office; for when they do this, they are partakers with them of the sins which they commit while in office. {FE 475.2}

 

     We are not compromise principle by yielding to the opinions and prejudices which we may have encouraged before we united with God's commandment-keeping people. We have enlisted in the army of the Lord, and we are not to fight on the enemy's side, but on the side of Christ, where we can be a united whole, in sentiment, in action, in spirit, in fellowship. Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ. {FE 475.3}

 

     What are we to do, then? -- Let political questions alone. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" What can there be in common between these parties? There can be no fellowship, no communion. The word fellowship means participation, partnership. God employs the strongest figures to show that there should be no union between worldly parties and those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ. What communion can there be between light and darkness, truth and unrighteousness? -- None whatever. Light represents righteousness; darkness, error, sin, unrighteousness. Christians have come out of darkness into the light. They have put on Christ, and they wear the badge of truth and obedience. They are governed by the elevated and holy principles which Christ expressed in His life. But the world is governed by principles of dishonesty and injustice. {FE 476.1}

 

     "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 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. 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 upon them.

 

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Two parties are here brought to view, and it is shown that there can be no union between them. {FE 476.2}

 

     Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. The tithe should not be used to pay any one for speechifying on political questions. Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm. {FE 477.1}

 

     In the name of the Lord I would say to the teachers in our schools, Attend to your appointed work. You are not called upon by God to engage in politics. "All ye are brethren," Christ declares, "and as one you are to stand under the banner of Prince Emmanuel." "What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? . . . For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name. He is thy praise, and He is thy God." {FE 477.2}

 

     The Lord has given great light and privileges to His people. "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments," He says; "keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I have set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons." {FE 478.1}

 

     As a people we are to stand under the banner of Jesus Christ. We are to consecrate ourselves to God as a distinct, separate, and peculiar people. He speaks to us, saying, "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." "In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. . . . No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord." {FE 478.2}

 

     I call upon my brethren who are appointed to educate, to change their course of action. It is a mistake for you to link your interests with any political party, to cast your vote with them or for them. Those who stand as educators, as ministers, as laborers together with God in any line, have no battles to fight in the political world. Their citizenship is in heaven. The Lord calls upon them to stand as separate and peculiar people. He would have no schisms in the body of believers. His people are to possess the elements of reconciliation. Is it their work to make enemies in the political world?--No, no. They are to stand as subjects of Christ's kingdom, bearing the banner on which is inscribed, "The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." They are to carry the burden of a special work, a special message. We have a personal responsibility, and this is to be revealed before the heavenly universe, before angels, and before men. God does not call upon us to enlarge our influence by mingling with society, by linking up with men on political questions, but by standing as individual parts of His great whole, with Christ as our head. Christ is our Prince, and as His subjects we are to do the work appointed us by God. {FE 478.3}

 

     It is of the highest importance that the youth understand that Christ's people are to be united in one; for this unity binds men to God by the golden cords of love, and lays each one under obligation to work for his fellow men. The Captain of our salvation died for the human race that men might be made one with Him and with each other. As members of the human family we are individual parts of one mighty whole. No soul can be made independent of the rest. There is to be no party strife in the family of God; for the well-being of each is the happiness of the whole. No partition walls are to be built up between man and man. Christ as the great center must unite all in one. {FE 479.1}

 

     Christ is our teacher, our ruler, our strength, our righteousness; and in Him we are pledged to shun any course of action that will cause schism. The questions at issue in the world are not to be the theme of our conversation. We are to call upon the world to behold an uplifted Saviour, through whom we are made necessary to one another and to God. Christ trains His subjects to imitate His virtues, His meekness and lowliness, His goodness, patience, and love. Thus He consecrates heart and hand to His service, making man a channel through which the love of God can flow in rich currents to bless others. Then let there be no shade of strife among Seventh-day Adventists. The Saviour invites every soul, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." He who approaches nearest to the perfection of Christ's divine benevolence causes joy among the heavenly angels. The Father rejoices over him with singing; for is he not working in the spirit of the Master, one with Christ as He is one with the Father? {FE 479.2}

 

     In our periodicals we are not to exalt the work and characters of men in positions of influence, constantly keeping human beings before the people. But as much as you please you may uplift Christ our Saviour. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory [from character to character], even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Those who love and serve God are to be the light of the world, shining amid moral darkness. But in the places which have been given the greatest light, where the gospel has been preached the most, the people -- fathers, mothers, and children -- have been moved by a power from beneath to unite their interests with worldly projects and enterprises. {FE 480.1}

 

     Great blindness is upon the churches, and the Lord says to His people, "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."{FE 480.2 481}

 

     The condition of being received into the Lord's family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences. The people of God are to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. They are to reach a higher standard. We are to be distinguished from the world, and then God says, "I will receive you as members of My royal family, children of the heavenly King." As believers in the truth we are to be distinct in practice from sin and sinners. Our citizenship is in heaven. {FE 481.1}

 

     We should realize more clearly the value of the promises God has made to us, and appreciate more deeply the honor He has given us. God can bestow no higher honor upon mortals than to adopt them into His family, giving them the privilege of calling Him Father. There is no degradation in becoming children of God. "My people shall know My name," the Lord declares; "therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak: behold, it is I." The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion." {FE 481.2}

 

     Why is so much attention given to human agencies, while there is so little reaching up of the mind to the eternal God? Why are those who claim to be children of the heavenly King so absorbed in the things of this world? Let the Lord be exalted. Let the word of the Lord be magnified. Let human beings be placed low, and let the Lord be exalted. Remember that earthly kingdoms, nations, monarchs, statesmen, counselors, great armies, and all worldly magnificence and glory are as the dust of the balance. God has a reckoning to make with all nations. Every kingdom is to be brought low. Human authority is to be made as naught. Christ is the King of the world, and His Kingdom is to be exalted. {FE 481.3, 482}

 

     The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike. {FE 482.1}

 

     The question may be asked, Are we to have no union whatever with the world? The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work. But we are not to live reclusive lives. We are to do worldlings all the good we possibly can. Christ has given us an example of this. When invited to eat with publicans and sinners, He did not refuse; for in no other way than by mingling with them could He reach this class. But on every occasion He gave them talents of words and influence. He opened up themes of conversation which brought things of eternal interest to their minds. And this Teacher enjoins us, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." On the temperance question take your position without wavering. Be as firm as a rock. Be not partakers of other men's sins. Acts of dishonesty in business deal, with believers or unbelievers, should be reproved; and if they give no evidence of reformation, come out from among them and be separate. {FE 482.2, 483}

 

     There is a large vineyard to be cultivated; but while Christians are to work among unbelievers, they are not to appear like worldlings. They are not to spend their time talking politics or acting as politicians; for by so doing, they give the enemy opportunity to come in and cause variance and discord. Those in the ministry who desire to stand as politicians should have their credentials taken from them; for this work God has not given to high or low among His people. God calls upon all who minister in doctrine to give the trumpet a certain sound. All who have received Christ, ministers and lay members, are to arise and shine; for great peril is right upon us. Satan is stirring the powers of earth. Everything in the world is in confusion. God calls upon His people to hold aloft the banner bearing the message of the third angel. We are not to go to Christ through any human being, but through Christ we are to understand the work He has given us to do for others. {FE 483.1}

 

     God calls to His people, saying, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate." He asks that the love which He has shown for them may be reciprocated and revealed by willing obedience to His commandments. His children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. "Give proof of your allegiance to Me" He says, "by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works." Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention or disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish. God wants His servants to have clear perceptions, true and noble dignity, that their influence may demonstrate the power of truth. The Christian life is not to be a haphazard, emotional life. True Christian influence, exerted for the accomplishment of the work God has appointed, is a precious agency, and it must not be united with politics, or bound up in a confederacy with unbelievers. God is to be the center of attraction. Every mind that is worked by the Holy Spirit will be satisfied with Him. {FE 483.2, 484}

 

God calls upon the teachers in our schools not to become interested in the study of political questions. Take the knowledge of God into our schools. Your attention may be called to worldly wise men, who are not wise enough to understand what the Scriptures say in regard to the laws of God's kingdom; but turn from these to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make this first and last. Seek most earnestly to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. Christ and His righteousness is the salvation of the soul. Teach the little children what obedience and submission means. In our schools science, literature, painting, and music, and all that the world's learning can teach are not to be made first. Let the knowledge of Him in whom our eternal life is centered come first. Plant in the hearts of the students that which will adorn the character and fit the soul, through sanctification of the Spirit, to learn lessons from the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. Thus students will be fitted to be heirs of thekingdom of God.--June 16, 1899. {FE 484.1}

 

Marriage with Unbelievers

 

     Dear Sister L: I have learned of your contemplated marriage with one who is not united with you in religious faith, and I fear that you have not carefully weighed this important matter. Before taking a step which is to exert an influence upon all your future life, I urge you to give the subject careful and prayerful deliberation. Will this new relationship prove a source of true happiness? Will it be a help to you in the Christian life? Will it be pleasing to God? Will your example be a safe one for others to follow? {5T 361.3}

 

     Before giving her hand in marriage, every woman should inquire whether he with whom she is about to unite her destiny is worthy. What has been his past record? Is his life pure? Is the love which he expresses of a noble, elevated character, or is it a mere emotional fondness? Has he the traits of character that will make her happy? Can she find true peace and joy in his affection? Will she be allowed to preserve her individuality, or must her judgment and conscience be surrendered to the control of her husband? As a disciple of Christ, she is not her own; she has been bought with a price. Can she honor the Saviour's claims as supreme? Will body and soul, thoughts and purposes, be preserved pure and holy? These questions have a vital bearing upon the well-being of every woman who enters the marriage relation. {5T 362.1}

 

     Religion is needed in the home. Only this can prevent the grievous wrongs which so often embitter married life. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the home, and their holy vigils will hallow the marriage chamber. Debasing sensuality will be banished. Upward to God will the thoughts be directed; to Him will the heart's devotion ascend. {5T 362.2}

 

     The heart yearns for human love, but this love is not strong enough, or pure enough, or precious enough, to supply the place of the love of Jesus. Only in her Saviour can the wife find wisdom, strength, and grace to meet the cares, responsibilities, and sorrows of life. She should make Him her strength and her guide. Let woman give herself to Christ before giving herself to any earthly friend, and enter into no relation which shall conflict with this. Those who would find true happiness must have the blessing of heaven upon all that they possess and all that they do. It is disobedience to God that fills so many hearts and homes with misery. My sister, unless you would have a home where the shadows are never lifted, do not unite yourself with one who is an enemy of God. {5T 362.3}

 

     As one who expects to meet these words in the judgment, I entreat you to ponder the step you contemplate taking. Ask yourself: "Will not an unbelieving husband lead my thoughts away from Jesus? He is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God; will he not lead me to enjoy the things that he enjoys?" The path to eternal life is steep and rugged. Take no additional weights to retard your progress. You have too little spiritual strength, and you need help instead of hindrance. {5T 363.1}

 

     The Lord commanded ancient Israel not to intermarry with the idolatrous nations around them: "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." The reason is given. Infinite Wisdom, foreseeing the result of such unions, declares: "For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly." "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face." {5T 363.2}

 

     In the New Testament are similar prohibitions concerning the marriage of Christians with the ungodly. The apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, declares: "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." Again, in his second epistle, he writes: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." {5T 363.3}

 

     My sister, dare you disregard these plain and positive directions? As a child of God, a subject of Christ's kingdom, the purchase of His blood, how can you connect yourself with one who does not acknowledge His claims, who is not controlled by His Spirit? The commands I have quoted are not the word of man, but of God. Though the companion of your choice were in all other respects worthy (which he is not), yet he has not accepted the truth for this time; he is an unbeliever, and you are forbidden of heaven to unite yourself with him. You cannot, without peril to your soul, disregard this divine injunction. {5T 364.1}

 

     I would warn you of your danger before it shall be too late. You listen to smooth, pleasant words and are led to believe that all will be well; but you do not read the motives that prompt these fair speeches. You cannot see the depths of wickedness hidden in the heart. You cannot look behind the scenes and discern the snares that Satan is laying for your soul. He would lead you to pursue such a course that he can obtain easy access to aim his shafts of temptation against you. Do not give him the least advantage. While God moves upon the minds of His servants, Satan works through the children of disobedience. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. The two cannot harmonize. To connect with an unbeliever is to place yourself on Satan's ground. You grieve the Spirit of God and forfeit His protection. Can you afford to have such terrible odds against you in fighting the battle for everlasting life? {5T 364.2}

 

     You may say: "But I have given my promise, and shall I now retract it?" I answer: If you have made a promise contrary to the Scriptures, by all means retract it without delay, and in humility before God repent of the infatuation that led you to make so rash a pledge. Far better take back such a promise, in the fear of God, than keep it and thereby dishonor your Maker. {5T 365.1}

 

     Remember, you have a heaven to gain, an open path to perdition to shun. God means what He says. When He prohibited our first parents from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, their disobedience opened the floodgates of woe to the whole world. If we walk contrary to God, He will walk contrary to us. Our only safe course is to render obedience to all His requirements, at whatever cost. All are founded in infinite love and wisdom. {5T 365.2}

 

     The spirit of intense worldliness that now exists, the disposition to acknowledge no higher claim than that of self-gratification, constitutes one of the signs of the last days. "As it was in the days of Noah," said Christ, "so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the Flood came, and destroyed them all." The people of this generation are marrying and giving in marriage with the same reckless disregard of God's requirements as was manifested in the days of Noah. There is in the Christian world an astonishing, alarming indifference to the teaching of God's word in regard to the marriage of Christians with unbelievers. Many who profess to love and fear God choose to follow the bent of their own minds rather than take counsel of Infinite Wisdom. In a matter which vitally concerns the happiness and well-being of both parties for this world and the next, reason, judgment, and the fear of God are set aside, and blind impulse, stubborn determination, is allowed to control. Men and women who are otherwise sensible and conscientious close their ears to counsel; they are deaf to the appeals and entreaties of friends and kindred and of the servants of God. The expression of a caution or warning is regarded as impertinent meddling, and the friend who is faithful enough to utter a remonstrance is treated as an enemy. All this is as Satan would have it. He weaves his spell about the soul, and it becomes bewitched, infatuated. Reason lets fall the reins of self-control upon the neck of lust, unsanctified passion bears sway, until, too late, the victim awakens to a life of misery and bondage. This is not a picture drawn by the imagination, but a recital of facts. God's sanction is not given to unions which He has expressly forbidden. For years I have been receiving letters from different persons who have formed unhappy marriages, and the revolting histories opened before me are enough to make the heart ache. It is no easy thing to decide what advice can be given to these unfortunate ones, or how their hard lot can be lightened; but their sad experience should be a warning to others. {5T 365.3}

 

     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 366.1}

 

     My dear sister, as a disciple of Jesus you should inquire what will be the influence of the step you are about to take, not only upon yourself, but upon others. The followers of Christ are to be co-workers with their Master; they must be "blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom," says Paul, "ye shine as lights in the world." We are to receive the bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and by our good works let them shine forth to others in clear, steady rays, never fitful, never growing dim. We cannot be sure that we are doing no harm to those about us unless we are exerting a positive influence to lead them heavenward. {5T 366.2}

 

     "Ye are My witnesses," said Jesus, and in each act of our lives we should inquire: How will our course affect the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom? If you are indeed Christ's disciple, you will choose to walk in His footsteps, however painful this may be to your natural feelings. Said Paul: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." You, Sister L, need to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him, as did Mary of old. God requires of you an entire surrender of your will, your plans and purposes. Jesus is your leader; to Him you must look, in Him you must trust, and you must permit nothing to deter you from the life of consecration which you owe to God. Your conversation must be in heaven, from whence you look for your Saviour. Your piety must be of a character to make itself felt by all within the sphere of your influence. God requires you in every act of life to shun the very appearance of evil. Are you doing this? You are under the most sacred obligation not to belittle or compromise your holy faith by uniting with the Lord's enemies. If you are tempted to disregard the injunctions of His word because others have done so, remember that your example also will exert an influence. Others will do as you do, and thus the evil will be extended. While you profess to be a child of God, a departure on your part from His requirements will result in infinite harm to those who look to you for guidance. {5T 367.1}

 

     The salvation of souls will be the constant aim of those who are abiding in Christ. But what have you done to show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness? "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Shake off this fatal infatuation that benumbs your senses and palsies the energies of the soul. {5T 367.2}

 

     The very strongest incentives to faithfulness are set before us, the highest motives, the most glorious rewards. Christians are to be Christ's representatives, sons and daughters of God. They are His jewels, His peculiar treasures. Of all who will maintain their steadfastness He declares: "They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy." Those who reach the portals of eternal bliss will not count that any sacrifice which they have made was too great. {5T 368.1}

 

     May God help you to stand the test and preserve your integrity. Cling by faith to Jesus. Disappoint not your Redeemer.  E.G. White, St. Helena, California, Feb. 13, 1885. {5T 368.2}                                               

 

 

 


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