A great work is to be done in a short time. There is power in the present truth; but Satan is working in every conceivable way to keep the light away from the people. The controversy between Christ and Satan is not yet ended. The latter is constantly seeking to establish his own power and authority. If he can entangle minds, he will do it. If he can lead them to depend on human beings instead of upon the living God, he is well pleased. The deceptions of Satan are manifold, but the Lord will be our helper if we seek him earnestly.
The perils of the last days are upon us. We have been asleep, and our lamps are going out. We now need a thorough consecration, a deeper devotion, to the work. The Lord has shown me the corruption existing even among Seventh day Adventists. Satan, the originator of every evil, is Christ’s personal enemy. If our eyes could be opened, we should see him working with his specious devices upon the minds of men whom we think are secure from his temptations, and who feel themselves secure. Are we prepared for the trials that await us? When the lying wonders of Satan shall be manifested, will not many souls be ensnared? Let us arouse and do our duty. We must individually draw near to God, repent of our sins, our lukewarmness, our selfishness, and give back into the Lord’s treasury the goods he has lent us in trust. Faith in God and in the teachings of Christ our Saviour will be revealed, if it is in the heart.
The Laodicean message is applicable to the people of God at this time. They are saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” and they know not that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Christ, the True Witness declares, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” How is it, brethren? Have you not been giving up to self-indulgence, rather than growing into greater self denial? Have you not backslidden upon health reform? Has the light which God has been pleased to give his people been cherished? Have not life and health been sacrificed through the indulgence of appetite and carnal lusts? Will my brethren consider this matter carefully, and see if they have closely followed the self-denying Saviour…?
Eternity demands of you individually a solid experience, such as will stand the test; and it is in this probationary period that you must obtain thorough transformation of character. Pure and undefiled religion is to be brought into the sanctuary of the soul. Each has a work to do, and no friend or minister can do it for him; each must repent for himself, and confess his sins to God. Make thorough work of it. Believe for yourself; have the grace of God in your heart for yourself. God will have his true, faithful witnesses in every walk of life, testifying to the power of his grace. They may be humble, but they will be living in the sunshine of God’s countenance, with the Bible as their guide.
See, O see, where your duties have been neglected, and where you have given an example to both believers and unbelievers which would lead them away from God, away from righteousness and the spirit of the truth. Jesus would have men come to him, trust in him, rely upon him, and have their experience founded upon him alone. Light and counsel have been sought of human beings who were as much in the dark and as far from living in the favor of God as were those who looked to them for aid, and therefore could not give the help sought. The result has been just what might have been expected,–counsel tainted with human weakness and defects. God has been dishonored, and souls have been robbed of that grace and light which Jesus is ever ready to impart to all who would seek his face. We have been interweaving with our experiences more and more of human appliances and human aids, and have sought less and less divine counsel, until our work is marked with grave defects, and is destitute of divine power…
Now, is it not high time to change this order of things, and seek true repentance. This unsanctified element has weakened the church, and given a large place to the Devil. Is not this something to repent of, something to bring us to the foot of the cross in deepest humiliation, until Jesus shall be found of us, and be chosen as our guide, our counselor, our Alpha and Omega? He is the Rock that is higher than we. He is our sun and our shield. He is our life, our wisdom. It is through his righteousness that we are saved, and his truth, as an abiding principle in the soul, sanctifies the man. But there is hope for the erring; it is not too late for wrongs to be righted…
May the Lord impress upon each heart the importance of work we are engaged in. Let us return to the Lord. Let us heed the advice of the true Merchant-man, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
– The Review and Herald; December 18, 1888