〉 Chapter 24—The Alpha and the Omega
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Chapter 24—The Alpha and the Omega
[During the summer of 1904, at a critical point in the crisis over the promulgation by Dr. J. H. Kellogg of pantheistic theories, and at a time when he was advocating unsound policies relating to the management of our medical work, Ellen G. White sounded a number of warnings, which were assembled and “Published for the Author” in a sixty-page pamphlet, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, entitled “Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers Giving Messages of Warning and Words of Counsel and Admonition Regarding our Present Situation.” In two of these communications she refers to “The Alpha and the Omega.” Following are the two statements in their entirety as taken from the pamphlet. Further counsels making reference to pantheism may be found in Testimonies for the Church 8:255-318 and The Ministry of Healing, 427-438. For the background of the experience with pantheism, see A. G. Daniells’ The Abiding Gift of Prophecy, pages 330-342, and L. H. Christian’s .—Compilers.] (1SM 193)
Teach the Word
Washington, D.C.
July 24, 1904
(1SM 193)
To Our Leading Physicians: (1SM 193)
Dear Fellow Worker (1SM 193)
I am awakened at eleven o’clock. The representations passing before me are so vivid that I cannot sleep. The word of the Lord has come to me that there is a decided work to be done in warning our medical missionaries against the dangers and perils that surround them. (1SM 193.1)
The Lord calls upon those connected with our sanitariums to reach a higher standard. No lie is of the truth. If we follow cunningly devised fables, we unite with the enemy’s forces against God and Christ. God calls upon those who have been wearing a yoke of human manufacture to break this yoke, and no longer be the bond servants of men. (1SM 194.1)
The battle is on. Satan and his angels are working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. They are untiring in their efforts to draw souls away from the truth, away from righteousness, to spread ruin throughout the universe. They work with marvelous industry to furnish a multitude of deceptions to take souls captive. Their efforts are unceasing. The enemy is ever seeking to lead souls into infidelity and skepticism. He would do away with God, and with Christ, who was made flesh and dwelt among us to teach us that in obedience to God’s will we may be victorious over sin. (1SM 194.2)
Assailed by Every Form of Evil
Every form of evil is waiting for an opportunity to assail us. Flattery, bribes, inducements, promises of wonderful exaltation, will be most assiduously employed. (1SM 194.3)
What are God’s servants doing to raise the barrier of a “Thus saith the Lord” against this evil? The enemy’s agents are working unceasingly to prevail against the truth. Where are the faithful guardians of the Lord’s flocks? Where are His watchmen? Are they standing on the high tower, giving the danger signal, or are they allowing the peril to pass unheeded? Where are the medical missionaries? Are they co-workers with Christ, wearing His yoke, or are they wearing a yoke of human manufacture? (1SM 194.4)
Satan and his angels are making every effort to obtain control of minds, that men may be swayed by falsehood and pleasing fables. Are our physicians lifting the danger signal? Are the men who have been placed in prominent positions in our sanitariums lifting the danger signal? Or are many of the watchmen asleep, while mischievous tongues and acute minds, sharpened by long practice in evading the truth, are continually at work to bring in confusion, and to carry out plans instigated by the enemy? (1SM 194.5)
Please read Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians. He speaks of his earnest desire that the hearts of the believers might be “knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2, 3). “And this I say,” he declares, “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:4-9). (1SM 195.1)
Will the men in our institutions keep silent, allowing insidious fallacies to be promulgated to the ruin of souls? The sentiments of the enemy are being scattered everywhere. Seeds of discord, of unbelief, of infidelity, are being sown broadcast. Shall our medical missionaries raise no barrier against this evil? Is it not time that we asked ourselves, “Shall we allow the adversary to lead us to give up the work of proclaiming the truth?” Shall we allow him to keep us from being channels through which the blessings of the gospel, as a current of life, shall flow to the world? Let every man now arouse, and work as he has opportunity. Let him speak words in season and out of season, and look to Christ for encouragement and strength in welldoing. (1SM 195.2)
Dangers Continually Increasing
The dangers coming upon us are continually increasing. It is high time that we put on the whole armor of God, and work earnestly to keep Satan from gaining any further advantage. Angels of God, that excel in strength, are waiting for us to call them to our aid, that our faith may not be eclipsed by the fierceness of the conflict. Renewed energy is now needed. Vigilant action is called for. Indifference and sloth will result in the loss of personal religion and of heaven. (1SM 195.3) 1 I
At this time the Laodicean message is to be given, to arouse a slumbering church. Let the thought of the shortness of time stimulate you to earnest, untiring effort. Remember that Satan has come down with great power, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. (1SM 196.1) 2 I
For years our physicians have been trained to think that they must not give expression to sentiments that differ from those of their chief. [Reference is here made to Dr. J. H. Kellogg, for many years the medical superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium.—Compilers.] O that they had broken the yoke! O that they had called sin by its right name! Then they would not be regarded in the heavenly courts as men who, though bearing weighty responsibilities, have failed of speaking the truth in reproof of that which has been in disobedience to God’s Word. (1SM 196.2)
Physicians, have you been doing the Master’s business in listening to fanciful and spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, interpretations which undermine the foundations of our faith, and holding your peace? God says, “Neither will I be with you any more, unless you awake, and vindicate your Redeemer.” (1SM 196.3)
Sophistries That Undermine the Pillars
My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical missionary workers to ignore the truth. Every one is now to stand on his guard. God calls upon men and women to take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of the faith. (1SM 196.4)
Sometimes our physicians talk for hours, when they are weary and perplexed, and in no fit condition to talk. Medical missionaries should refuse to hold long night sessions of conversation. These night talks have been times when Satan with his seductive influence has stolen away from one and then another the faith once delivered to the saints. Brilliant, sparkling ideas often flash from a mind that is influenced by the great deceiver. Those who listen and acquiesce will become charmed, as Eve was charmed by the serpent’s words. They cannot listen to charming philosophical speculations, and at the same time keep the word of the living God clearly in mind. (1SM 197.1)
Our physicians have lost a great deal out of their lives because they have seen wrong transactions and heard wrong words spoken, and seen wrong principles followed, and have not spoken in reproof, for fear that they would be repulsed. (1SM 197.2)
I call upon those who have been connected with these binding influences to break the yoke to which they have long submitted, and stand as free men in Christ. Nothing but a determined effort will break the spell that is upon them. (1SM 197.3)
The Alpha Now Seen
Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature. (1SM 197.4)
We need to study the words that Christ uttered in the prayer that He offered just before His trial and crucifixion. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word” (John 17:1-6). (1SM 197.5)
Christians to Manifest Godliness
The righteousness of God is absolute. This righteousness characterizes all His works, all His laws. As God is, so must His people be. The life of Christ is to be revealed in the lives of His followers. In all His public and private acts, in every word and deed, practical godliness was seen, and this godliness is to be seen in the lives of His disciples. (1SM 198.1)
Those who heed the light given them will bring the virtues of the character of Christ into the daily life. Christ did no sin, because there was no sin in Him. God has shown me that the lives of believers are to reveal practical righteousness. (1SM 198.2)
Has not God spoken in His Word concerning the solemn events which must shortly take place? As you read these things, do you believe what He says? Or have you, through listening to specious philosophy, given up your faith in God? Can any power avert the punishment that must come upon you unless you humble your hearts before God and confess your sins? How is it, my brethren in the medical missionary work? Does not the living God speak to you from His Word concerning the events that are taking place in fulfillment of that Word? Soon the last great reckoning with man will take place. Have your lives been such that you can then be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and not be found wanting? Or has your faith been molded and restricted until it has become unbelief? Has your obedience to men become rebellion against God? “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 12-17. (1SM 198.3)
Beware
Washington, D. C.
August 7, 1904
(1SM 199)
My Dear Brother: (1SM 199)
I am given a message to bear to you and the rest of our physicians who are connected with the Medical Missionary Association. Separate from the influence exerted by the book Living Temple; [A 568-page book issued in 1903 by Dr. J. H. Kellogg in which pantheistic philosophies were promulgated.—Compilers.] for it contains specious sentiments. There are in it sentiments that are entirely true, but these are mingled with error. Scriptures are taken out of their connection, and are used to uphold erroneous theories. (1SM 199.1)
The thought of the errors contained in this book has given me great distress, and the experience that I have passed through in connection with the matter has nearly cost me my life. (1SM 199.2)
It will be said that Living Temple has been revised. But the Lord has shown me that the writer has not changed, and that there can be no unity between him and the ministers of the gospel while he continues to cherish his present sentiments. I am bidden to lift my voice in warning to our people, saying, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7). (1SM 199.3)
You have had access to Testimonies for the Church, volumes 7 and 8. In these Testimonies the danger signal is raised. But the light so clear and plain to minds that have not been influenced by deceptive theories, has not been discerned by some. While the misleading theories of this book are entertained by our physicians, there cannot be union between them and the ministers who are bearing the gospel message. There should be no union until there is a change. (1SM 199.4)
When medical missionaries make their practice and example harmonize with the name they bear, when they feel their need of uniting firmly with the ministers of the gospel, then there can be harmonious action. But we must firmly refuse to be drawn away from the platform of eternal truth, which since 1844 has stood the test. (1SM 199.5)
Alpha Presented in “Living Temple”
I am instructed to speak plainly. “Meet it,” is the word spoken to me. “Meet it firmly, and without delay.” But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. (1SM 200.1)
Our physicians, upon whom important responsibilities rest, should have clear spiritual discernment. They are to stand constantly on guard. Dangers that we do not now discern will soon break upon us, and I greatly desire that they shall not be deceived. I have an intense longing to see them standing free in the Lord. I pray that they may have courage to stand firm for the truth as it is in Jesus, holding fast the beginning of their confidence unto the end.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 49, 50. (1SM 200.2)