New Believers to Have Clear Understanding.―As the end draws near, and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends, it becomes more important for those who accept present truth to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in His providence has linked with the work of the third angel’s message from its very rise.―Testimonies, vol. 5, 654. (1889)
God’s Present-Day Instruction.―In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will, and the course that He would have them pursue.―Testimonies, vol. 5, 661. (1889)
Frequently Neglected.―Ministers frequently neglect these important branches of the work―health reform, spiritual gifts, systematic benevolence, and the great branches of the missionary work. Under their labors large numbers may embrace the theory of the truth, but in time it is found that there are many who will not bear the proving of God. The minister laid upon the foundation, hay, wood, and stubble, which would be consumed by the fire of temptation.―Review and Herald, December 12, 1878.
Not to Take Place of the Bible.―The testimonies of Sister White should not be carried to the front. God’s Word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word. Great care should be exercised by all believers to advance these questions carefully, and always stop when you have said enough. Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures and substantiate every point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God.―Letter 12, 1890.
Testimonies Not Ahead of Bible.―The more we look at the promises of the Word of God, the brighter they grow. The more we practice them, the deeper will be our understanding of them. Our position and faith is in the Bible. And never do we want any soul to bring in the Testimonies ahead of the Bible.―Manuscript 7, 1894.
Purpose of the Testimonies.―The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study, are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow. The Word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the Testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles.―Testimonies, vol. 5, 663, 664. (1889)
The Greater and Lesser Lights.―Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.― Colporteur Evangelist, 37. (1902)
Illustration: Presenting the Spirit of Prophecy.―Elder _____ enters into no controversy with opponents. He presents the Bible so clearly that it is evident that anyone who differs must do so in opposition to the Word of God.
Friday evening and Sabbath forenoon he spoke upon the subject of spiritual gifts, dwelling especially upon the Spirit of prophecy. Those who were present at these discourses say that he treated the subject in a clear, forceful manner.―Letter 388, 1906.
In his teaching Elder showed that the Spirit of prophecy has an important part to act in the establishment of the truth. When binding off his work, he called for me . . . to speak to the people.―Letter 400, 1906.
Give Time to Weigh Evidence.―In the last vision given at Battle Creek I was shown that an unwise course was taken at in regard to the visions at the time of the organization of the church there. There were some in who were God’s children, and yet doubted the visions. Others had no opposition, yet dared not take a decided stand in regard to them. Some were skeptical, and they had sufficient cause to make them so. The false visions and fanatical exercises, and the wretched fruits following, had an influence upon the cause in _____, to make minds jealous of everything bearing the name of visions. All these things should have been taken into consideration, and wisdom exercised. There should be no trial or labor with those who have never seen the individual having visions, and who have had no personal knowledge of the influence of the visions. Such should not be deprived of the benefits and privileges of the church, if their Christian course is otherwise correct, and they have formed a good Christian character.
Some, I was shown, could receive the published visions, judging of the tree by its fruits. Others are like doubting Thomas; they cannot believe the published Testimonies, nor receive evidence through the testimony of others, but must see and have the evidence for themselves. Such must not be set aside, but long patience and brotherly love should be exercised toward them until they find their position and become established for or against. If they fight against the visions, of which they have no knowledge; if they carry their opposition so far as to oppose that in which they have had no experience, and feel annoyed when those who believe that the visions are of God speak of them in meeting, and comfort themselves with the instruction given through vision, the church may know that they are not right.―Testimonies, vol. 1, 327-329. (1862)
Driven to a Premature Position.―I have been shown that some, especially in _____, make the visions a rule by which to measure all; and have taken a course which my husband and myself have never pursued. Some are unacquainted with me and my labors, and they are very skeptical of anything bearing the name of visions. This is all natural, and can be overcome only by experience. If persons are not settled in regard to the visions, they should not be crowded off. The course to pursue with such may be found in Testimony No. 8 [volume 1, pages 328, 329], which I hope will be read by all. Ministers should have compassion of some, making a difference; others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire. God’s ministers should have wisdom to give to everyone his portion of meat, and to make that difference with different persons which their cases require. The course pursued with some in who are unacquainted with me, has not been careful and consistent. Those who were, comparatively, strangers to the visions, have been dealt with in the same manner as those who have had much light and experience in the visions. Some have been required to endorse the visions when they could not conscientiously do so, and in this way some honest souls have been driven to take positions against the visions and against the body, which they never would have taken had their cases been managed with discretion and mercy.―Testimonies, vol. 1, 382, 383. (1863)
Overcoming the Opposition.―The ministers (non-S.D.A.) are opening up their tirade, and against Mrs. White in particular. But this is only hurting themselves. . . . I am placing Desire of Ages, Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Christ Our Saviour in families; so while the ministers are working against me, I will speak in my writings to the people. I believe souls will be converted to the truth. We are now turning them to the law and to the testimonies. If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.―Letter 217, 1899.
Judged by Their Fruits.―Let the Testimonies be judged by their fruits. What is the spirit of their teaching? What has been the result of their influence? All who desire to do so can acquaint themselves with the fruits of these visions. . . .
God is either teaching His church, reproving their wrongs, and strengthening their faith, or He is not. This work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work . . . bears the stamp of God, or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil.―Testimonies, vol. 5, 671. (1889)
God Speaks Through Testimonies.―We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the Testimonies to the church, and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy.―Testimonies, vol. 8, 298. (1904)