Early Writings, The Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White —Continued
At Oswego, New York, September 7, 1850, the Lord showed me that a great work must be done for His people before they could stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. I was pointed to those who claim to be Adventists, but who reject the present truth, and saw that they were crumbling and that the hand of the Lord was in their midst to divide and scatter them now in the gathering time, so that the precious jewels among them, who have formerly been deceived, may have their eyes opened to see their true state. And now when the truth is presented to them by the Lord’s messengers, they are prepared to listen, and see its beauty and harmony, and to leave their former associates and errors, embrace the precious truth and stand where they can define their position.
I saw that those who oppose the Sabbath of the Lord could not take the Bible and show that our position is incorrect; therefore they would slander those who
believe and teach the truth and would attack their characters. Many who were once conscientious and loved God and His Word have become so hardened by rejecting the light of truth that they do not hesitate to wickedly misrepresent and falsely accuse those who love the holy Sabbath, if by so doing they can injure the influence of those who fearlessly declare the truth. But these things will not hinder the work of God. In fact, this course pursued by those who hate the truth will be the very means of opening the eyes of some. Every jewel will be brought out and gathered, for the hand of the Lord is set to recover the remnant of His people, and He will accomplish the work gloriously.
We who believe the truth should be very careful to give no occasion for our good to be evil spoken of. We should know that every step we take is in accordance with the Bible; for those who hate the commandments of God will triumph over our missteps and faults, as the wicked did in 1843.
May 14, 1851, I saw the beauty and loveliness of Jesus. As I beheld His glory, the thought did not occur to me that I should ever be separated from His presence. I saw a light coming from the glory that encircled the Father, and as it approached near to me, my body trembled and shook like a leaf. I thought that if it should come near me I would be struck out of existence, but the light passed me. Then could I have some sense of the great and terrible God with whom we have to do. I saw then what faint views some have of the holiness of God, and how much they take His holy and reverend name in vain, without realizing that it is God, the great and terrible God, of whom they are speaking. While praying, many use careless and irreverent expressions, which grieve the tender Spirit of the Lord and cause their petitions to be shut out of heaven.
I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.
I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of “refreshing” and the “latter rain” to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” I saw that none could share the “refreshing” unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.
I have frequently seen that the children of the Lord neglect prayer, especially secret prayer, altogether too much; that many do not exercise that faith which it is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring. Feeling is not faith; the two are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise, but joyful feeling and the blessing are God’s to give. The grace of God comes to the soul through the channel of living faith, and that faith it is in our power to exercise.
True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the Word it is ours. “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24. Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up. But many suppose they have much faith when sharing largely of the Holy Spirit and that they cannot have faith unless they feel the power of the Spirit. Such confound faith with the blessing that comes through faith. The very time to exercise faith is when we feel destitute of the Spirit. When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds. True faith rests on the promises contained in the Word of God, and those only who obey that Word can claim its glorious
promises. “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. “Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1John 3:22.
We should be much in secret prayer. Christ is the vine, ye are the branches. And if we would grow and flourish, we must continually draw sap and nourishment from the Living Vine; for separated from the Vine we have no strength.
I asked the angel why there was no more faith and power in Israel. He said, “Ye let go of the arm of the Lord too soon. Press your petitions to the throne, and hold on by strong faith. The promises are sure. Believe ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.” I was then pointed to Elijah. He was subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly. His faith endured the trial. Seven times he prayed before the Lord, and at last the cloud was seen. I saw that we had doubted the sure promises, and wounded the Saviour by our lack of faith. Said the angel, “Gird the armor about thee, and above all take the shield of faith; for that will guard the heart, the very life, from the fiery darts of the wicked.” If the enemy can lead the desponding to take their eyes off from Jesus, and look to themselves, and dwell upon their own unworthiness, instead of dwelling upon the worthiness of Jesus, His love, His merits, and His great mercy, he will get away their shield of faith and gain his object; they will be exposed to his fiery temptations. The weak should therefore look to Jesus, and believe in Him; they then exercise faith.
September 23, the Lord showed me that He had stretched out His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, [See page 86.] and that efforts must be redoubled in this gathering time. In the scattering, Israel was smitten and torn, but now in the gathering time God will heal and bind up His people. In the scattering, efforts made to spread the truth had but little effect, accomplished but little or nothing; but in the gathering, when God has set His hand to gather His people, efforts to spread the truth will have their designed effect. All should be united and zealous in the work. I saw that it was wrong for any to refer to the scattering for examples to govern us now in the gathering; for if God should do no more for us now than He did then, Israel would never be gathered. I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed. [Footnote: THIS APPLIES TO THE CHART USED DURING THE 1843 MOVEMENT, AND HAS SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE CALCULATION OF THE PROPHETIC PERIODS AS IT APPEARED ON THAT CHART. THE NEXT SENTENCE EXPLAINS THAT THERE WAS AN INACCURACY WHICH IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD WAS SUFFERED TO EXIST. BUT THIS DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE PUBLICATION OF A CHART SUBSEQUENTLY WHICH WOULD CORRECT THE MISTAKE, AFTER THE 1843 MOVEMENT WAS PAST, AND THE CALCULATION AS THEN MADE HAD SERVED ITS PURPOSE.]
Then I saw in relation to the “daily” (Dan. 8:12) that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the
judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “daily”; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.
The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, but it must not be hung on time. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time; but the third angels message is stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation and needs not time to strengthen it; and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.
Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, [See Appendix.] and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there. I saw that such a mission would accomplish no real good, that it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent. I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing and that souls all around them in this land could be helped by them and led to keep the commandments of God, but they were leaving them to perish. I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep
them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.
Dear Reader: A sense of duty to my brethren and sisters and a desire that the blood of souls might not be found on my garments have governed me in writing this little work. I am aware of the unbelief that exists in the minds of the multitude relative to visions, also that many who profess to be looking for Christ and teach that we are in the “last days” call them all of Satan. I expect much opposition from such, and had I not felt that the Lord required it of me, I should not have made my views thus public, as they will probably call forth the hatred and derision of some. But I fear God more than man.
When the Lord first gave me messages to deliver to His people, it was hard for me to declare them, and I often softened them down and made them as mild as possible for fear of grieving some. It was a great trial to declare the messages as the Lord gave them to me. I did not realize that I was so unfaithful and did not see the sin and danger of such a course until in vision I was taken into the presence of Jesus. He looked upon me with a frown and turned His face from me. It is not possible to describe the terror and agony I then felt. I fell upon my face before Him, but had no power to utter a word. Oh, how I longed to be covered and hid from that dreadful frown! Then could I realize, in some degree, what the feeling of the lost will be when they cry, “Mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”
Presently an angel bade me rise, and the sight that met my eyes can hardly be described. A company was
presented before me whose hair and garments were torn and whose countenances were the very picture of despair and horror. They came close to me and took their garments and rubbed them on mine. I looked upon my garments and saw that they were stained with blood, and that blood was eating holes in them. Again I fell like one dead at the feet of my accompanying angel. I could not plead one excuse. My tongue refused all utterance, and I longed to be away from such a holy place. Again the angel stood me upon my feet and said, “This is not your case now, but this scene has passed before you to let you know what your situation must be if you neglect to declare to others what the Lord has revealed to you. But if you are faithful to the end, you shall eat of the tree of life and shall drink of the river of the water of life. You will have to suffer much, but the grace of God is sufficient.” I then felt willing to do all that the Lord might require me to do that I might have His approbation and not feel His dreadful frown.
I have frequently been falsely charged with teaching views peculiar to Spiritualism. But before the editor of the Day-Star [See Appendix.] ran into that delusion, the Lord gave me a view of the sad and desolating effects that would be produced upon the flock by him and others in teaching the spiritual views. I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself. Said Jesus, “I am in the express image of My Father’s person.”
I have often seen that the spiritual view took away all the glory of heaven, and that in many minds the throne of David and the lovely person of Jesus have been burned up in the fire of Spiritualism. I have seen that some who have been deceived and led into this error will be brought out into the light of truth, but it will be almost impossible for them to get entirely rid of
the deceptive power of Spiritualism. Such should make thorough work in confessing their errors and leaving them forever.
I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to give visions in the “last days”; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth. Thus God dealt with Peter when He was about to send him to preach to the Gentiles. (Acts 10.)
To those who may circulate this little work, I would say that it is designed for the sincere only and not for those who would ridicule the things of the Spirit of God.
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I dreamed of seeing a temple to which many people were flocking. Only those who took refuge in that temple would be saved when time should close. All who remained outside would be forever lost. The multitudes without, who were going their various ways, were deriding and ridiculing those who were entering the temple, and told them that this plan of safety was a cunning deception, that, in fact, there was no danger whatever to avoid. They even laid hold of some to prevent them from hastening within the walls.
Fearing to be laughed at and ridiculed, I thought best to wait until the multitude were dispersed, or until I could enter unobserved by them. But the numbers increased instead of diminishing, and fearful of being too late, I hastily left my home and pressed through the crowd. In my anxiety to reach the temple
I did not notice or care for the throng that surrounded me. On entering the building, I saw that the vast temple was supported by one immense pillar, and to this was tied a Lamb all mangled and bleeding. We who were present seemed to know that this Lamb had been torn and bruised on our account. All who entered the temple must come before it and confess their sins.
Just before the Lamb were elevated seats upon which sat a company of people looking very happy. The light of heaven seemed to shine upon their faces, and they praised God and sang songs of glad thanksgiving that seemed to be like the music of angels. These were they who had come before the Lamb, confessed their sins, been pardoned, and were now waiting in glad expectation of some joyful event.
Even after having entered the building a fear came over me and a sense of shame that I must humiliate myself before these people. But I seemed compelled to move forward, and was slowly making my way around the pillar in order to face the Lamb, when a trumpet sounded, the temple shook, shouts of triumph arose from the assembled saints, an awful brightness illuminated the building, then all was intense darkness. The happy people had all disappeared with the brightness, and I was left alone in the silent horror of night.
I awoke in agony of mind and could hardly convince myself that I had been dreaming. It seemed to me that my doom was fixed, that the Spirit of the Lord had left me, never to return. My despondency deepened, if that were possible.
Soon after this I had another dream. I seemed to be sitting in abject despair, with my face in my hands, reflecting like this: If Jesus were upon earth, I would go to Him, throw myself at His feet, and tell Him
all my sufferings. He would not turn away from me, He would have mercy upon me, and I should love and serve Him always. Just then the door opened, and a person of beautiful form and countenance entered. He looked upon me pityingly and said: “Do you wish to see Jesus? He is here and you can see Him if you desire to do so. Take everything you possess and follow me.”
I heard this with unspeakable joy, and gladly gathered up all my little possessions, every treasured trinket, and followed my guide. He led me to a steep and apparently frail stairway. As I commenced to ascend the steps, he cautioned me to keep my eyes fixed upward, lest I should grow dizzy and fall. Many others who were climbing up the steep ascent fell before gaining the top.
Finally we reached the last step and stood before the door. Here my guide directed me to leave all the things that I had brought with me. I cheerfully laid them down; he then opened the door and bade me enter. In a moment I stood before Jesus. There was no mistaking that beautiful countenance. Such a radiant expression of benevolence and majesty could belong to no other. As His gaze rested upon me, I knew at once that He was acquainted with every circumstance of my life and all my inner thoughts and feelings.
I tried to shield myself from His gaze, feeling unable to endure His searching eyes, but He drew near with a smile, and, laying His hand upon my head, said: “Fear not.” The sound of His sweet voice thrilled my heart with a happiness it had never before experienced. I was too joyful to utter a word, but, overcome with ineffable happiness, sank prostrate at His feet. While I was lying helpless there, scenes of beauty and glory passed before me, and I seemed to have reached the safety and peace of heaven. At length
my strength returned, and I arose. The loving eyes of Jesus were still upon me, and His smile filled my soul with gladness. His presence filled me with holy reverence and an inexpressible love.
My guide now opened the door, and we both passed out. He bade me take up again all the things I had left without. This done, he handed me a green cord coiled up closely. This he directed me to place next my heart, and when I wished to see Jesus, take from my bosom and stretch it to the utmost. He cautioned me not to let it remain coiled for any length of time, lest it should become knotted and difficult to straighten. I placed the cord near my heart and joyfully descended the narrow stairs, praising the Lord and joyfully telling all whom I met where they could find Jesus. This dream gave me hope. The green cord represented faith to my mind, and the beauty and simplicity of trusting in God began to dawn upon my benighted soul.
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I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously wrought casket about ten inches long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and thus arranged they reflected a light and glory equaled only to the sun.
I thought it was not my duty to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was overjoyed at
the brilliancy, beauty, and value of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center table in my room and gave out word that all who had a desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life.
The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket, they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased, everyone would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table.
I began to think that the owner would require the casket and the jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor to take them out of the casket; but the more I pleaded, the more they scattered; and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor and on every piece of furniture in the room.
I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved, the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.
I then became vexed in my physical soul and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter and bring in dirt and shavings and sand and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds, and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket
and scattered it among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept.
While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that He would send me help.
Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dirt and rubbish from the room.
I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish.
He told me to “fear not,” for he would “take care of them”.
Then, while he brushed the dirt and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins, lay scattered in profusion all over the room.
He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.
He then called upon me to “come and see.”
I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me.
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Dear Christian Friends: As I have given a brief sketch of my experience and views, published in 1851, it seems to be my duty to notice some points in that little work, also to give more recent views.
1. On page 33 is given the following: “I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.”
This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now the fulfilment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the
third angel. At that time the “latter rain,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.
2. The view of “The Open and Shut Door”, on pages 42-45, was given in 1849. The application of Revelation 3:7,8, to the heavenly sanctuary and Christ’s ministry was entirely new to me. I had never heard the idea advanced by anyone. Now as the subject of the sanctuary is being clearly understood, the application is seen in its force and beauty.
3. The view that the Lord “had stretched out His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people,” on page 74, refers only to the union and strength once existing among those looking for Christ, and to the fact that He had begun to unite and to raise up His people again.
4. Spirit Manifestations. [See Appendix.] On page 43 read as follows: “I saw that the mysterious knocking in New York and other places was the power of Satan, and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb so as to lull the deceived to greater security and to draw the minds of God’s people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teaching and power of the Holy Ghost.” This view was given in 1849, nearly five years since. Then spirit manifestations were mostly confined to the city of Rochester, known as the “Rochester knockings.” Since that time the heresy has spread beyond the expectations of anyone.
Much of the view on page 59, headed “Mysterious Rapping” given August 1850, has since been fulfilled, and is now fulfilling. Here is a portion of it: “I saw that soon it would be considered blasphemy to speak against the rapping, and that it would spread more
and more, that Satan’s power would increase, and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles, and even to bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men. I was shown that by the rapping and mesmerism these modern magicians would yet account for all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, and that many would believe that all the mighty works of the Son of God when on earth were accomplished by this same power.”
I saw the rapping delusion-what progress it was making, and that if it were possible it would deceive the very elect. Satan will have power to bring before us the appearance of forms purporting to be our relatives or friends now sleeping in Jesus. It will be made to appear as if these friends were present; the words that they uttered while here, with which we were familiar, will be spoken, and the same tone of voice that they had while living will fall upon the ear. All this is to deceive the saints and ensnare them into the belief of this delusion.
I saw that the saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures. They must understand the state of the dead; for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them, professing to be beloved friends and relatives, who will declare to them that the Sabbath has been changed, also other unscriptural doctrines. They will do all in their power to excite sympathy and will work miracles before them to confirm what they declare. The people of God must be prepared to withstand these spirits with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything, and that they who appear to them are the spirits of devils. Our minds must not be taken up with things around us, but must be occupied with the present truth and a preparation to give a reason of our hope with meekness and fear. We must seek
wisdom from on high that we may stand in this day of error and delusion.
We must examine well the foundation of our hope, for we shall have to give a reason for it from the Scriptures. This delusion will spread, and we shall have to contend with it face to face; and unless we are prepared for it, we shall be ensnared and overcome. But if we do what we can on our part to be ready for the conflict that is just before us, God will do His part, and His all-powerful arm will protect us. He would sooner send every angel out of glory to the relief of faithful souls, to make a hedge about them, than have them deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan.
I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, “They are binding in bundles ready to burn.” Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, “It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.”
I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth, in
bundles, or companies. Said the angel, “The third angel is binding, or sealing, them in bundles for the heavenly garner.” This little company looked careworn, as if they had passed through severe trials and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just risen from behind a cloud and shone upon their countenances, causing them to look triumphant, as if their victories were nearly won.
I saw that the Lord has given the world opportunity to discover the snare. This one thing is evidence enough for the Christian, if there were no other; namely, that there is no difference made between the precious and the vile. Thomas Paine, whose body has now moldered to dust and who is to be called forth at the end of the one thousand years, at the second resurrection, to receive his reward and suffer the second death, is represented by Satan as being in heaven, and highly exalted there. Satan used him on earth as long as he could, and now he is carrying on the same work through pretensions of having Thomas Paine so much exalted and honored in heaven; as he taught here, Satan would make it appear that he is teaching in heaven. There are some who have looked with horror at his life and death, and his corrupt teachings while living, but who now submit to be taught by him, one of the vilest and most corrupt of men, one who despised God and His law. [Footnote: TO APPRECIATE THE FORCE OF THESE REMARKS THE READER NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT A WORK WAS PUBLISHED THROUGH THE MEDIUMSHIP OF “REV. C. HAMMOND,” ENTITLED PILGRIMAGE OF THOMAS PAINE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, IN WHICH PAINE IS REPRESENTED AS AN EXALTED SPIRIT IN THE SEVENTH SPHERE. AND IN THE “INVESTIGATING CLASS IN NEW YORK,” IT WAS SAID THAT CHRIST HIMSELF HAD CONVERSED WITH A MEDIUM AND REVEALED THAT HE WAS IN THE SIXTH SPHERE. THE DISPARITY WILL BE UNDERSTOOD WHEN IT IS REMEMBERED THAT THEY REPRESENT THE SPIRITS AS PROGRESSING IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, AND THAT CHRIST, AFTER MORE THAN 1800 YEARS OF PROGRESS, HAS REACHED THE SIXTH SPHERE, WHILE PAINE, IN ABOUT 100 YEARS, HAS REACHED THE SEVENTH! A FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THIS MAY BE FOUND IN THE STATEMENT OF DOCTOR HARE, THAT HIS SPIRIT SISTER SAID HER PROGRESS HAD BEEN RETARDED BY HER BELIEF IN THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST. THUS DOES SPIRITUALISM EXALT INFIDELS AND INFIDELITY. See also Appendix.]
He who is the father of lies, blinds and deceives the world by sending forth his angels to speak for the apostles, and to make it appear that they contradict what they wrote by the dictation of the Holy Ghost when on earth. These lying angels make the apostles to corrupt their own teachings and to declare them to be adulterated. By so doing Satan delights to throw professed Christians and all the world into uncertainty about the Word of God. That holy Book cuts directly across his track and thwarts his plans; therefore he leads them to doubt its divine origin. Then he sets up the infidel, Thomas Paine, as if he were ushered into heaven when he died, and now, united with the holy apostles whom he hated on earth, were engaged in teaching the world.
Satan assigns to each of his angels a part to act. He enjoins upon them all to be sly, artful, cunning. He instructs some of them to act the part of the apostles and to speak for them, while others are to act the part of infidels and wicked men who died cursing God, but now appear to be very religious. There is no difference made between the most holy apostles and the vilest infidel. They are both made to teach the same thing. It matters not whom Satan makes to speak, if his object is only accomplished. He was so intimately connected with Paine upon the earth, aiding him in his work, that it is an easy thing for him to know the very words Paine used and the very handwriting of one who served him so faithfully and accomplished his purposes so well. Satan dictated much of his writings, and it is an easy thing for him to dictate sentiments through his angels now and make it appear
that they come through Thomas Paine, who, while living, was a devoted servant of the evil one. This is the masterpiece of Satan. All this teaching, purporting to be from apostles and saints and wicked men who have died, comes directly from his satanic majesty.
The fact that Satan claims that one whom he loved so well, and who hated God so perfectly, is now with the holy apostles and angels in glory, should be enough to remove the veil from all minds and discover to them the dark, mysterious works of Satan. He virtually says to the world and to infidels, No matter how wicked you are, no matter whether you believe or disbelieve in God or the Bible, live as you please, heaven is your home; for all know that if Thomas Paine is in heaven, and so exalted, they will surely get there. This error is so glaring that all may see if they will. Satan is now doing through persons like Thomas Paine what he has been trying to do since his fall. He is, through his power and lying wonders, tearing away the foundation of the Christian’s hope and putting out the sun that is to light them in the narrow way to heaven. He is making the world believe that the Bible is uninspired, no better than a storybook, while he holds out something to take its place; namely, spiritual manifestations!
Here is a channel wholly devoted to himself and under his control, and he can make the world believe what he will. The Book that is to judge him and his followers he puts back in the shade, just where he wants it. The Saviour of the world he makes to be no more than a common man; and as the Roman guard that watched the tomb of Jesus spread the lying report that the chief priests and elders put into their mouths, so will the poor, deluded followers of these pretended spiritual manifestations repeat and try to make it
appear that there is nothing miraculous about our Saviour’s birth, death, and resurrection. After putting Jesus in the background, they attract the attention of the world to themselves and to their miracles and lying wonders, which, they declare, far exceed the works of Christ. Thus the world is taken in the snare and lulled into a feeling of security, not to find out their awful deception until the seven last plagues are poured out. Satan laughs as he sees his plan succeed so well and the whole world taken in the snare.
5. On page 55, I stated that a cloud of glorious light covered the Father and that His person could not be seen. I also stated that I saw the Father rise from the throne. The Father was enshrouded with a body of light and glory, so that His person could not be seen; yet I knew that it was the Father and that from His person emanated this light and glory. When I saw this body of light and glory rise from the throne, I knew it was because the Father moved, therefore said, I saw the Father rise. The glory, or excellency, of His form I never saw; no one could behold it and live; yet the body of light and glory that enshrouded His person could be seen.
I also stated that “Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God.” I will give another sentence from the same page: “I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne.” Now this praying company was in this mortal state, on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne. I never had the idea that these individuals were actually in the New Jerusalem. Neither did I ever think that any mortal could suppose that I believed that Satan was actually in the New Jerusalem. But did not John see the great red dragon in heaven? Certainly. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red
dragon, having seven heads and ten horns.” Rev. 12:3. What a monster to be in heaven! Here seems to be as good a chance for ridicule as in the interpretation which some have placed upon my statements.
6. On pages 48-52 is a view given January, 1850. That portion of this view which relates to means being withheld from the messengers, applied more particularly to that time. Since then, friends of the cause of present truth have been raised up, who have watched for opportunity to do good with their means. Some have handed out too freely, to the injury of the receivers. For about two years I have been shown more relative to a careless and too free use of the Lord’s money, than a lack of it.
The following is from a view given at Jackson, Michigan, June 2, 1853. It related mostly to the brethren at that place: “I saw that the brethren commenced to sacrifice their property and handed it out without having the true object set before them-the suffering cause-and they handed out too freely, too much, and too often. I saw that the teachers should have stood in a place to correct this error and exert a good influence in the church. Money has been made of little or no consequence, the sooner disposed of the better. A bad example has been set by some in accepting large donations and not giving the least caution to those who had means not to use it too freely and carelessly. By accepting so large an amount of means, without questioning whether God had made it the duty of the brethren to bestow so largely, too bountiful giving has been sanctioned.
“Those who gave also erred, not being particular to inquire into the necessities of the case, whether there was actual need or not. Those who had means were thrown into great perplexity. One brother was much hurt by too much means being put into his hands.
He did not study economy, but lived extravagantly, and in his travels laid out money here and there to no profit. He spread a wrong influence by making such free use of the Lord’s money, and would say in his own heart, and to others, ‘There is means enough in J—, more than can be used before the Lord comes.’ Some were very much injured by such a course and came into the truth with wrong views, not realizing that it was the Lord’s money they were using and not feeling the worth of it. Those poor souls who have just embraced the third angel’s message and have had such an example set before them will have much to learn to deny self and suffer for Christ’s sake. They will have to learn to give up ease, cease studying their convenience and comfort, and bear in mind the worth of souls. Those who feel the ‘woe’ upon them will not be for making great preparations to travel in ease and comfort. Some who have no calling have been encouraged into the field. Others have been affected by these things and have not felt the need of economy, of denying themselves, and putting into the treasury of the Lord. They would feel and say, ‘There are others who have means enough; they will give for the paper. I need not do anything. The paper will be supported without my help.’”
It has been no small trial to me to see that some have taken that portion of my views which related to sacrificing property to sustain the cause and made a wrong use of it; they use means extravagantly, while neglecting to carry out the principles of other portions. On page 50, read the following: “I saw that the cause of God had been hindered and dishonored by some traveling who had no message from God. Such will have to give an account to God for every dollar they have used in traveling where it was not their duty to go, because that money might have helped on the cause
of God.” Also, page 50: “I saw that those who have strength to labor with their hands, and help sustain the cause, were as accountable for their strength as others were for their property.”
I would here call special attention to the view of this subject given on page 57. Here is a short extract: “The object of the words of our Saviour [in Luke 12:33] has not been clearly presented.” I saw that “the object of selling is not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves, but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge in idleness those who are able to labor. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings, not to glorify God, but for the ‘loaves and fishes.’ Such would much better have been at home laboring with their hands, ‘the thing that is good,’ to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause.” It has been Satan’s design in times past to push out some with a hurried spirit to make a too free use of means, and influence the brethren to rashly dispose of their property, that through an abundance of means thrown out carelessly and hastily, souls might be injured and lost, and that now, when the truth is to be spread more extensively, the lack might be felt. His design has, in some degree, been accomplished.
The Lord has shown the error of many in looking to those only who have property to support the publication of the paper and tracts. All should act their part. Those who have strength to labor with their hands, and earn means to help sustain the cause, are as accountable for it as others are for their property. Every child of God who professes to believe the present truth, should be zealous to act his part in this cause.
July, 1853, I saw that it was not as it should be that the paper, owned and approved by God, should come out so seldom. The cause, in the time in which
we are living, demands the paper weekly, [Footnote: THE REVIEW AND HERALD PREVIOUS TO THIS TIME HAD BEEN PUBLISHED QUITE IRREGULARLY AND WAS NOW ISSUED SEMIMONTHLY.] and the publication of many more tracts to expose the increasing errors of this time; but the work is hindered for want of means. I saw that the truth must go and that we must not be too fearful, that tracts and papers might better go to three where they were not needed than to have one deprived of them who prizes them and can be benefited by them. I saw that the last-day signs should be brought out clearly, for the manifestations of Satan are on the increase. The publications of Satan and his agents are increasing, their power is growing, and what we do to get the truth before others must be done quickly.
I was shown that the truth once published now, will stand, for it is the truth for the last days; it will live, and less need be said upon it in future. Numberless words need not be put upon paper to justify what speaks for itself and shines in its clearness. Truth is straight, plain, clear, and stands out boldly in its own defense; but it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form. I saw that all the light they had received in some places had come from the paper; that souls had received the truth in this way, and then talked it to others; and that now in places where there are several, they had been raised up by this silent messenger. It was their only preacher. The cause of truth should not be hindered in its onward progress for want of means.