A loving message from Jesus to the Laodicean Church

Attitude Toward the Testimonies


Dearest Father, Your precious testimonies, so despised and hated by many, are becoming incredibly dear to my heart. You speak to me through these testimonies, preparing me for the society of angels, to live with You forever! Lord, let my prayer be: Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your testimonies! Amen.

I acknowledge that God has give us a precious gift in the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Holy Ghost is the author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy. These are not to be twisted and turned to mean what man may want them to mean, to carry out man's ideas and sentiments, to carry forward man's schemes at all hazards.--Letter 92, 1900. {3SM 30.3}

As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His Word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has thus been revealed.--The Great Controversy, p. xi. {3SM 48.1}

God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth. {ML 41.2}

I accept all the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy as inspired by God.

Before I stand on my feet, I have no thought of speaking as plainly as I do. But the Spirit of God rests upon me with power, and I cannot but speak the words given me. I dare not withhold one word of the testimony. . . . I speak the words given me by a power higher than human power, and I cannot, if I would, recall one sentence. {1MR 28.3}

From the beginning of my work . . . I have been called upon to bear a plain, pointed testimony, to reprove wrongs, and to spare not.--Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 678. {3SM 48.2}

I choose to read the testimonies, so that God may speak to me through them.

The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ, would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from his word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us. {PH001 1.2}

I give God permission to probe into all the corners of my heart, to reveal my plague spots.

Through affliction God reveals to us the plague-spots in our characters, that by His grace we may overcome our faults. Unknown chapters in regard to ourselves are opened to us, and the test comes, whether we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God. When brought into trial, we are not to fret and worry. We should not rebel, or worry ourselves out of the hand of Christ. We are to humble the soul before God. {ST, February 5, 1902 par. 4}

He gives ear to our inward groanings, and reveals to us the plague spots in our characters, that we may overcome defects, instead of being overcome by them. When unknown chapters in regard to ourselves are opened before us, the test and the trial come; and the question is, whether or not we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God. {RH, July 3, 1888 par. 6}

All the advantages and privileges that may be multiplied for your benefit, that you should be educated and trained, rooted and grounded in the truth, will be no real help to you personally unless the mind and heart are opened so that truth shall find entrance, and you make a conscientious surrender of every habit and practice, and every sin that has closed the door against Jesus. Let the light from Christ search every dark corner of the soul; with earnest determination adopt a right course of action. If you hold onto a wrong course, as many of you are now doing; if the truth does not work in you with transforming power, so that you obey it from the heart because you love its pure principles; be sure that for you the truth will lose its vitalizing power, and sin will strengthen. {TM 159.1}

I ask God to make me willing to obey all the counsel He has given.

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, p. 298. (1904) {Ev 260.3}

God has been speaking to us through His Word, through His testimonies, pointing out our errors and showing us the right way. -- {10MR 289.1}

I pray that God will empower me as I read the testimonies, to obey them.

Perilous times are before us. Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth should awake and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. 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. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer? {CCh 326.6}

The Testimonies should be introduced into every Sabbathkeeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them. It was not the wisest plan to place these books at a low figure and have only one set in a church. They should be in the library of every family and be read again and again. Let them be kept where they can be read by many. 122 {CCh 94.5}

I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies of warning, encouragement, and reproof is shutting away the light from God's people. Unbelief is closing their eyes so that they are ignorant of their true condition. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment, that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge. {CCh 94.6}

Many who have backslidden from the truth assign as a reason for their course that they do not have faith in the Testimonies. The question now is: Will they yield their idol which God condemns, or will they continue in their wrong course of indulgence and reject the light God has given them reproving the very things in which they delight? The question to be settled with them is: Shall I deny myself and receive as of God the Testimonies which reprove my sins, or shall I reject the Testimonies because they reprove my sins? 123 {CCh 95.1}

God has given sufficient evidence, so that all who desire to do so may satisfy themselves as to the character of the Testimonies; and, having acknowledged them to be from God, it is their duty to accept reproof, even though they do not themselves see the sinfulness of their course. If they fully realized their condition, what would be the need of reproof? Because they know it not, God mercifully sets it before them, so that they may repent and reform before it shall be too late. Those who despise the warning will be left in blindness to become self-deceived; but those who heed it, and zealously go about the work of separating their sins from them in order to have the needed graces, will be opening the door of their hearts that the dear Saviour may come in and dwell with them. Those who are most closely connected with God are the ones who know His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors. {CCh 96.3}

Why Do People Reject the Straight Testimony?


What is it that will keep the majority of the church members from receiving the straight testimony?

I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved--not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate. {2T 445.2}

If we are self-satisfied, and complacent with our current spiritual condition, we will tend to ignore the straight testimony. But to ignore this message will be tragic.

If it be ignored, the Lord will certainly cast away from Him those whose spiritual condition is so objectionable. Christ declares that pretentious piety is nauseating to Him. To the ones so full of self-sufficiency He says, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot." Their works are opposed to the holy principles of God's word. {SpTB02 20.1}

If we have access to inspired counsel, but we don't want to hear it, or obey it, that is the equivalent of resisting the straight testimony. It is a lack of appreciation for the light that brings them under condemnation.

They do not appreciate the light that God has given them. They do not heed the warnings and reproofs from the Spirit of God. They are under condemnation. These will ever be at variance with the straight testimony because it condemns them. {3T 361.2}

As a church, we must admit that we are lukewarm. The straight testimony will either serve to wake us up, or shake us out, because it strikes at the root of our cherished sins. It is designed to increase our fervor and commitment to Christ, to prepare us for His soon coming.

But God has servants to whom he has entrusted a solemn, fearful message, to bring out and fit up a people for the coming of Christ. There is a great a difference in our faith and that of nominal professors, as the heavens are higher than the earth. {2SG 299.2}

By responding to the straight testimony, we receive the all-conquering power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to overcome all sin!

The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past.By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King's highway. As we do this, the power of the Spirit will come to us. We need the Pentecostal energy. This will come, for the Lord has promised to send His Spirit as the all-conquering power. {CCh 326.5}

When the straight testimony is given with power, it will be very disruptive to the status quo of our churches. Some will be aroused as if from sleep, and be on fire for God! They will experience deep revival and reformation in all areas of their lives.

"I have been deeply impressed by the scenes that have recently passed before me in the night season. There seemed to be a great movement--a work of revival --going forward in many places. Our people were moving into line, responding to God's call. God calls upon those who are willing to be controlled by the Holy Spirit to lead out in a work of thorough reformation . I see a crisis before us, and the Lord calls for his laborers to come into line. {PH120 13.2}

Others will resist the moving of the Spirit, and be offended and angry, turning on those who are calling for revival and reformation. A bitter struggle will ensue in the church, resulting in the lukewarm professors leaving the ranks.

When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness. {LDE 177.1}

This will bring great sorrow to God's faithful people. It will be a very painful time, as the separation takes place.

Real conversion is a decided change of feelings and motives; it is a virtual taking leave of worldly connections, a hastening from their spiritual atmosphere, a withdrawing from the controlling power of their thoughts, opinions, and influences. The separation causes pain and bitterness to both parties . It is the variance which Christ declares that he came to bring. But the converted will feel a continual longing desire that their friends shall forsake all for Christ, knowing that unless they do, there will be a final and eternal separation. The true Christian cannot while with unbelieving friends, be light, and trifling. The value of the souls for whom Christ died, is too great. {PH117 65.3}

The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out--the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal , but nevertheless it must take place. {12MR 324.3}

But the coldness of those who are shaken out will only serve to increase the spiritual fervor of the faithful.

When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us , to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few --this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.--5T 136 (1882). {LDE 180.4}

The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy. {12MR 325.1}

The question is, are we the ones who are now pleading and agonizing with God for power to overcome, or are we careless and indifferent, satisfied with our spiritual condition? Will we recognize the straight testimony when we hear it, or we will call it fanaticism?

The men who close their eyes to the divine light are ignorant, deplorably ignorant, both of the Scripture and of the power of God. The Holy Spirits working is not agreeable to them, and they attribute its manifestations to fanaticism. They rebel against the light, and do all they can to shut it out, calling darkness light, and light darkness. {1888 1599.4}

The precious straight testimony is a purifying message. It will wake up God's people. It requires deep repentance, revival and reformation. Those who do receive it are prepared to receive the latter rain power.

It [the straight testimony] is designed to arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and to lead to zealous repentance, that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel. {1T 186.1}

The straight testimony, which is the testimony of Jesus-the Spirit of Prophecy-is what distinguishes God's remnant from the rest of the Protestant churches.

War is coming against the remnant because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. . . . Don't yield your sacred peculiarities which distinguish you from the world, from the nominal church and backslidden Adventists. . . . The nominal churches are in darkness and corrupt. They have shut out the gifts God has placed in the church .{5MR 290.1}

Many aren't aware of the sins and worldliness of which God wants to warn us. There is not generally a clear idea of how high God's standard is. But the straight testimony will result in exalting God's standard.

This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. {EW 270.2}

God calls for straight and thorough work . He is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. {15MR 333.3}

The Lord is reviving the living, pointed testimony which will help develop character and purify the church . {5MR 292.4}

This work of purification will arouse God's people to action.

This testimony, if received, will arouse to action, and lead to self-abasement, and confessions of sins. {3T 259.1}

In order for repentance and confession to take place, there must be a knowledge of specific sins, not just a general sinful condition.

There must be a searching out of the peculiar sins which have been offensive to God, which have dishonored his name, and quenched the light of his Spirit, and killed the first love from the soul. Whether it has been pride, sensuality, or turning the grace of Christ into lasciviousness, it must be thoroughly repented of, and forsaken. {RH, July 24, 1888 par. 8}

The testimonies that God gave to Ellen White, for His church, provide detailed instructions for His last day people. An angel, in a dream, told Ellen White:

Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life , keeping the feeble faith from dying, and pressing home upon believers the necessity of shining as lights in the world. {2T 608.1}

The abundant light given to us from God is applicable to our lives until Jesus comes.

Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last . {1SM 55.5}

Because God desires for us to reflect the character of Christ fully, we need inspired counsel to guide us, even in the finer points. There are many church members who rebel against this counsel, and pick fault with the testimonies.

My brethren have trifled and caviled and criticised and commented and demerited, and picked and chosen a little and refused much until the testimonies mean nothing to them. They put whatever interpretation upon them that they choose in their own finite judgment and are satisfied. {1888 800.1}

Some think they can pick and choose what part of the testimonies they want to accept, and what part they can reject.

There are some professed believers who accept certain portions of the testimonies as the message of God, while they reject those portions which condemn their favorite indulgences. Such persons are working contrary to their own welfare and the welfare of the church. It is essential that we walk in the light while we have the light.{3SM 80.5}

Regarding the straight testimony, it's all or nothing. Either God is speaking to us or He is not. There is to be no part-way acceptance and part-way rejection.

Would God give visions to correct his people of their errors, and then trust to the erring one's judgment to receive or reject what portion of them he pleased? What would be the use of visions in the church if held in this light, or if erring individuals in their darkness were left to make what application of them they pleased? This is not the way God works. ..The visions are either of God or the Devil. There is no half way position to be taken in the matter . God does not work in partnership with Satan. {PH016 22.1}

What is Satan's plan?

It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the Testimonies. {5T 672}

Soon every possible effort will be made to discount and pervert the truth of the testimonies of God's Spirit. {1SM 41.2}

While many are rejecting the Spirit of Prophecy, there will be many who will accept it, and respond to it.

The words given me of God may find no place in the hearts of those who have heard them so many times, but there are fields all white ready to harvest, just such cases as this Samaritan woman, apparently the most unlikely will become the heralds of truth while those who have had great light will be passed by, wise and prudent they see not the workings of God, but the truth will be revealed to babes, and they will respond to it . {1888 800.1}

Some will yield their faith, and will deny the truth of the messages, pointing to them as falsehoods. Some will hold them up to ridicule, working against the light that God has been giving for years, and some who are weak in the faith will thus be led astray. But others will be greatly helped by the messages.. Many will read with eagerness the messages reproving wrong, that they may learn what they may do to be saved. . . . These messages are to find their place in hearts, and transformations will take place . {1SM 41, 42}

It is because of a lack of spirituality, a lack of surrender to God, a lack of the Holy Spirit that leads people to belittle the testimonies.

I was shown that many had so little spirituality that they did not understand the value of the Testimonies or their real object. They talked flippantly of the Testimonies given by God for the benefit of His people, and passed judgment upon them, giving their opinion and criticizing this and that, when they would better have placed their hands upon their lips, and prostrated themselves in the dust; for they could not appreciate the spirit of the Testimonies, because they knew so little of the Spirit of God . [VOL. 4, P. 443.] {5T 672.3}

When the Testimonies speak contrary to your ideas, you treat them very lightly. {1SM 42.4}

Satan is able to have power over those who despise the warnings and reproofs given to them.

I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will not receive correction . Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them. The True Witness condemns the lukewarm condition of the people of God, which gives Satan great power over them in this waiting, watching time. {3T 255.1}

If, even while she was living, many in the church were not conforming their lives to God's counsels, what must be the condition of the church today?

I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies has been steadily increasing as the people backslide from God. It is all through our ranks, all over the field. {PH117 58.3}



To to Misuse of the Testimonies

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Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 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 eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.