The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
October 23, 1879 Sanctification.
Filed under: EG White Articles

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A LETTER WRITTEN BY SISTER WHITE, OCT. 8:–

Our at , Ind., is now ended. We came upon the ground in an condition, took from gathered in the , which caused us to labor with great difficulty through the . But this has been a good meeting, and very profitable for . I felt the burden of urging upon the people the necessity of obtaining an individual experience in the things of , that their prosperity depended upon close and constant connection with him.

Many were so absorbed in the , they were neglecting their . I felt the danger of this people and the Lord gave me a for them. there was deep feeling in the meeting; quite a number came, forward for , several who were making their first move on the Lords side. After was offered for these, they repaired in small companies to several tents, and a minister was chosen for each tent where they were gathered, and the work was carried forward that had begun in the large tent. These meetings were characterized by deep feeling. Several stated that they came to the meeting prejudiced, but they were going home to keep the Sabbath and unite with this people.

The attendance on Sunday was good. The congregation seemed to be of the best class of society, and listened with attention.

Monday at five o’clock, by the call of the bell, we assembled under the tent. During the night I had been so burdened that I could not sleep, and spent these wakeful hours in pleading with God in my own behalf, and in behalf of the ministers of the Indiana Conference. I had the assurance that God would reveal himself to us, and give us help in our time of need. The Lord strengthened me to bear the testimony he had given me, to the ministers in particular.

The false theory of sanctification had threatened not only the unity and harmony of families, but the peace and prosperity of the church. Upon this subject I had a special testimony to bear.

This false sanctification is most dangerous and deceptive in its influence upon all who accept it. A peculiar atmosphere surrounds them, an influence which, when brought in contact with others, if not discerned, is breathed in unconsciously by the receiver. This atmosphere is charged with poison which is death to spirituality. There are no snares of Satan more hard to be discerned and defined, and souls be rescued from, than this delusion.

Those who accept this bogus sanctification do not hesitate to draw away from the body and set themselves up as criteria. They claim that the Lord is leading them, and do not seek counsel of the church, but move out independently, deceived in themselves and deceiving others. The poison of this so-called sanctification is inhaled, and the atmosphere, apparently so balmy, is intoxicating and destructive to those who are charmed with it. Each individual will have an independence of his own, claiming to be taught of God; therefore no one must get in their way or interfere with their course of action. This is as Satan would have it. The voice of the church, God’s delegated power upon earth, is set aside and despised. These professedly sanctified ones are filled with vain conceit, and with presumption move on in their own wisdom, exhorting others to come up to the exalted standard of themselves. They disregard the teachings and prayer of Christ that his disciples may be one as he was one with the Father, “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The unity and oneness of the church was to be the living epistle, known and read of all men. The world was to see in their harmony and love for each other the life of Christ exemplified.

Individuals who will strike out upon some new light and some new truth, independent of the body, are pursuing a course directly contrary to the word of God. If they have any influence over others, it is to disaffect them and lead them away from the watchcare, counsel, and strength of the body. And the very ones who claim sanctification, have in their hearts insubordination, pride, envy, jealousy, and evil surmising of their brethren. They sit as judges upon the life and character of their brethren. These are the fruits generally to be found growing upon the tree of false sanctification. This class have graduated. They suppose they have come to the knowledge of the truth. If they attend camp-meetings, they will think they are so far ahead of the servants of God who labor in the meetings that they cannot learn anything, therefore the word or message of instruction God gives his servants for the people is not for them. They will generally be found drawing one or two away, holding them in conversation, imparting to them the great light they suppose they have; and thus some are deprived of hearing the message of God to the people. These self deceived men are drawing away souls from the body, scattering from Christ, and bringing in dissension and division. Individual experience is set above the authority of the church, and their example leads others whom they deceive to regard lightly the voice of counsel and admonition of the church. This course has worked the ruin of very many souls in every age of the world. As children in the family of God we need the wisdom and experience of matured Christians to direct, to encourage, and to defend us in times of danger, and to lead on to constant growth in grace, and to seek daily attainments in the knowledge of the truth and true holiness.

In the ministry of Christ and his apostles, those who were converted to the truth were brought into church relationship; and every stray, lost sheep that was found, was brought to the fold of the church, that under the direction of the Master, through the undershepherds, they might go in and out and find pasture. God has instituted his church and delegated to it his authority and power. He has given it the inspired oracles, provided it with pastors and teachers to carry forward his work on the earth when he should leave it. At a later date, when the church was weakened by its individual members being led into errors, and spiritual life was chilled and palsied by backslidings, the inspired apostle exclaimed, “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy.” “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Nothing is so demoralizing, so enfeebling to the church, as to have her individual members obtain a burden upon this false sanctification, which leads them away from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ. Satan always leads this class away from the church, and leads them to regard the church far behind them in spirituality and experience. The power and glory of God is revealed in his church. Here God gives the blessings of his grace. Here he reveals the mysteries of his will.

There have been and always will be tares among the wheat, the foolish virgins with the wise, those who have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. There was a covetous Judas in the church Christ formed on earth, and there will be Judases in the church in every stage of her history. But because there are such, it does not do away with the fact that God has a church. There were murmurers, envious and jealous ones in the tribes of Israel, journeying to the promised Canaan; but, notwithstanding, God led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The deceitful hearts of individuals will lead them astray because they see imperfections in the church, but these very ones have defective characters that they do not discern. These very ones are capable of being useful in the church were they connected with the great Head of the church. But if they choose to be presumptuous, and in self-sufficiency draw off on some tangent, the church will move on without them. Every member of the church is bound by the most solemn vow to advance its interests and to labor unselfishly and devotedly for its success.

The prosperity of the church depends upon the faithfulness, purity, and zealous action of its individual members. Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

If all who are ambitious for distinction above their brethren could estimate to what a depth of humiliation Christ submitted for their sakes, and learn from the cross of humiliation to be subject one to another, there would exist in the church a simplicity and power which would have a telling influence on the world. Through the cross we may learn the love we should have for our fellowmen, and the value of souls for whom Christ died, and our works, in self-denial to save the perishing souls around us will correspond with our faith.

Jenny @ 6:25 pm

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