Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people, free from all worldly policy, unembarrassed by confederating with those who have not wisdom to discern God’s claims so plainly set forth in His law. . . .
We are to show that we are seeking to work in harmony with heaven. We are to bear witness to all nations, kindreds, and tongues that we are a people who love and fear God, a people who keep holy His memorial of creation, the sign between Him and His obedient children that He sanctifies them. And we are plainly to show our faith in the soon coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven.
As a people we have been greatly humiliated by the course that some of our brethren in responsible positions have taken in departing from the old landmarks. There are those who, in order to carry out their plans, have by their words denied their faith. This shows how little dependence can be placed on human wisdom and human judgment.
Now, as never before, we need to see the danger of being led unguardedly away from loyalty to God’s commandments. We need to realize that God has given us a decided message of warning for the world, even as He gave Noah a message of warning for the antediluvians.
It is our great privilege to hang our helpless souls upon Jesus Christ, and to rest for our salvation upon His merits.
Let our people beware of belittling the importance of the Sabbath, in order to link up with unbelievers. Let them beware of departing from the principles of our faith, making it appear that it is not wrong to conform to the world. Let them be afraid of heeding the counsel of any man, whatever his position may be, who works counter to that which God has wrought in order to keep His people separate from the world.
The Lord is testing His people to see who will be loyal to the principles of His truth. Our work is to proclaim to the world the first, second, and third angels’ messages. In the discharge of our duties we are neither to despise nor to fear our enemies.
To bind ourselves up by contracts with those not of our faith is not in the order of God. We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them in counsel regarding the vital interests of His work. Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing to His providence ourselves and all that concerns our present and future, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that we receive the blessings of heaven, not because of our worthiness, but because of Christ’s worthiness and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God’s abounding grace.
I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel’s message means much to us, and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. Let those who have become sleepy and indifferent awake.
We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past.
The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honor God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings—the blessings so essential for the people who are to be so severely tried. To give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonor God. . . .
Let us not discourage one another. Let us take hold unitedly to make every line of the Lord’s work a success. If someone comes to you and talks discouragingly about the work in one or another of our institutions, telling you that they are extravagant beyond measure, say to them, “I am sorry if that is so, but let us help them out if they are in difficulty.”
If you will speak thus you may avoid much of the evil that might result were you to withdraw your sympathy, and should you refuse to help those who, possibly, may have been misrepresented.
Let us never discourage even those who have done wrong, by treating them as if they had committed against us an unpardonable sin. Let us rather encourage them in every way possible, and if we see that they are lifting hard in a worthy enterprise, let us lift with them. . . .
We need to be instant in prayer. It is our great privilege to hang our helpless souls upon Jesus Christ, and to rest for our salvation upon His merits. Let us speak words that will elevate and ennoble, and that will make pleasant impressions on the minds of those with whom we converse. The Lord wants us to be sanctified and to walk in humility of mind before Him.
If we are obedient to His commandments, not a reproach can fall on us justly. Others may talk about us, they may spread evil reports concerning us, but these reports need not be true.
In our institutions, where many persons of varied temperaments are brought together, it is necessary that each should cultivate a spirit of unselfishness. Let no one feel that it is his place to mold others to his individual mind or opinions. While each will manifest an individuality, yet it should be an individuality that is under the control of the Holy Spirit. If we are kind and Christlike, there will be a blending of hearts and of interests that will be beneficial to all alike. . . .
Everyone is responsible to God for the use he makes of his abilities. He is responsible for making a daily growth in grace. Let no one feel, even though he may theoretically be established in the present truth, that he makes no mistakes.
But if mistakes are made, let there be a readiness to correct them. And let us avoid everything that is likely to create dissension and strife, for there is a heaven before us, and among its inhabitants there will be no strife.
We are to live, not to elevate ourselves, but that we may, as God’s little children, do to the very best of our ability the work that He has committed to us. It is our business to give a right impression to others.
Seventh day Adventist believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This excerpt was taken from Counsels on Health (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923), pp. 237-244.