TESTIMONY FOR CHURCH
THE Lord has again visited me in mercy, in a time of bereavement and great affliction. December 23, 1860, I was taken off in vision, and was shown the wrongs of individuals which have affected the cause, and I dare not withhold the testimony from the church to spare the feelings of individuals.
I was shown the low state of God's people; that God had not departed from them; but that they had departed from God, and become lukewarm. They possess the theory of the truth, but lack its saving power. As we near the close of time, Satan comes down with great power knowing his time is short. Especially upon the remnant will his power be exercised. He will war against them, he will seek to divide and scatter them, that they may grow weak and be overthrown. The people of God should move understandingly; their efforts should be united. They should be of the same mind, of the same judgment; then their efforts will not be scattered, but will be of force, and tell in the upbuilding of the cause of present truth. Order must be observed, and there must be union in regard to order, or Satan will take advantage of them.
I was shown that the enemy would come in every way possible to dishearten the people of God, and perplex and trouble them, and that they should move understandingly and prepare themselves for the attacks of Satan. The matters of the church should not be left in an unsettled condition. Steps should be taken to secure church property for the cause of God, that the work may not be retarded in its progress, and that the means which persons wish to dedicate to God's cause, may not slip into the enemy's ranks. I saw that God's people should act wisely, and leave nothing undone on their part to place matters of the church in a secure state. Then after all is done that they can do, they should trust the Lord to overrule these things for them, that Satan take no advantage of God's remnant people. It is Satan's time to work, and a stormy future is before us, and the church should be awake to make an advance move that they may stand securely against Satan's plans. It is time that something was done. God is not pleased to have his people leave the matters of the church at loose ends, and suffer the enemy to have the whole advantage, and control affairs as best pleases him.
And while God's people are justified in a lawful manner to secure church property, they should be careful to maintain their peculiar and holy character. I saw that unconsecrated persons would take advantage of the position the church have recently taken, and will overstep the bounds, carry matters to extremes, and wound the cause of God. Some will move without wisdom or judgment, and engage in lawsuits that might be avoided, mingle with the world, partake of their spirit, and influence others to follow their example. One professed Christian who moves unadvisedly, does much harm to the cause of present truth. Evil takes root much more readily than good, and flourishes when good and right languish, unless they are carefully nourished.
I was pointed back and saw that in every important move, every decision made, or point gained, by God's people, there have been those who have arisen to carry matters to extremes, and to move in an extravagant manner, which has disgusted unbelievers and distressed God's people, and brought the cause of God into disrepute. The people whom God is leading out in these last days, will be troubled with just such things. But much evil will be avoided if the ministers of Christ will be of one mind, unite in effort, unite in their plans of action, sustain each other, stand together, and be faithful to reprove and rebuke wrong, which will soon cause it to wither. But Satan has controlled these matters very much. Private members, and even preachers, have sympathized with disaffected ones who have been reproved for their wrongs, and division of feeling has been the result. The one who has ventured out and faithfully met error and wrong, and discharged his disagreeable duty, is grieved and wounded that he receives not the fullest sympathy of his preaching brethren. He becomes discouraged in discharging such painful duties, lays down the cross and withholds the pointed testimony. His soul is shut up in darkness, and the church suffer for the lack of the very testimony God designed should live in the church. Satan's object is gained when the faithful testimony is suppressed. Those who so readily sympathize with the wrong, consider it a virtue, but they realize not that they are exerting a scattering influence, and that they themselves help to carry out Satan's plans.
I saw that many souls have been destroyed by their brethren unwisely sympathizing with them, when their only hope was to be left to see and realize the full extent of their wrongs. But as they eagerly receive the sympathy of unwise brethren, they receive the idea that they are abused; and if they attempt to retrace their steps, they make half-hearted work. They divide the matter to suit their natural feelings, lay blame upon the reprover, and so patch up the matter. It is not healed, it is not probed to the bottom, and they fall into the same wrong again, because they were not left to feel the extent of their wrong and humble themselves before God, and let him build them up. False sympathizers have worked in direct opposition to the mind of Christ and ministering angels.
Ministers of Christ should arise and engage in the work of God with all their energies. God's servants are not excused if they shun pointed testimony. They should reprove and rebuke wrong, and not suffer sin upon a brother.
From the pen of Mrs Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church