The Procession

By Hal Mayer, Audio: The Procession

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. 

 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 

 2:9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 

 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 

 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 

 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

This is a story found in Testimonies to the Church Volume 1 concerning an experience that Ellen White and her husband had with the leading brethren in Battle Creek. It is worth considering in this juncture of our history. It involves three specific dreams and vision.  It has lessons that are poignant for us especially in light of trials we currently face and in the near future. These four revelations were meant for both Ellen White and for us to explain to her some things about the church she knew in her day and to explain to us how Gods faithful people will be viewed by their fellow churches as we approach and go through the time of trouble. In a sense the dreams are prophetic.  They reveal something about Gods way of preparing us for the time of trouble and they will tell us something about the purposes of God in allowing such difficulties to arise between brethren who should be working unitedly together.  One of these dreams reveals the motivation that drives certain human elements in the last days. The other reveals the divine purpose towards Gods faithful commandment keeping people in the same event.

The brethren in leadership of Battle Creek had become a little unhappy with Ellen because of her reproofs and of their plans and attitudes from time to time.  Because of their great love for souls and the closing work of God, Ellen White and her husband James had left Battle Creek to labour in parts of northern Michigan against the advice of the leaders in Battle Creek.  James had experienced poor health which kept them both confined at home for some time so they were eager to get about the work of saving souls and building up the churches again.  Yet Ellen and James thought it was their responsibility to labour for souls and strengthen the small churches as they were struggling with many issues. Even though James was still sick and even though the brethren in Battle Creek opposed their departure they decided it was time to go out to minister to the churches and people for their witness so this they did among difficulties of travel.  We think travel is difficult today but back then it was in an open buggy and in this case during extremely cold weather, ice and snow and often terrible roads on which to travel.  However they felt comfort and strength of the warm welcome from the people among whom they laboured.  Eventually James began to get better as he laboured by the side of his wife Ellen.

They left Battle Creek without the approval of the leaders.  This was not at all appreciated.  Perhaps they thought James and Ellen were too independent and should yield to their opinions. While they were in northern Michigan a certain wealthy brother from New York visited Battle Creek and then came to where they were. He had heard negative things about the Whites in Battle Creek including that James was mildly insane and that his testimony could not be trusted. This he represented to the very people from whom James and Ellen had been working for in Northern Michigan and set back their work at least 2 weeks according to Ellen. Then he went to Battle Creek and spread negative things about what they were doing up north around the various families that he visited representing them in the most unfavourable light according to Ellen White. That is when Ellen had the first dream.  She was with a heavenly being.  She doesn’t say if it was Christ or an angel but it was one of a commanding manner and a dignified deportment.  As they went from house to house in Battle Creek, before they knocked on the door they would listen to the conversation inside.

In every house the subject was the same.  The people were discussing the Whites and their work especially that of James in a most exaggerated and negative light.  The voice of the brother from New York was heard speaking evil of their work up north while the ones in Battle Creek were relating unkind things that they thought they knew.  All of this potentiated the attitudes of the people in Battle Creek beyond reason.  The divine being insisted that Ellen needed to hear things even though they were painful.  When there is negativity going on around you, you are supposed friends will never tell you about it.  They will not first come to you to determine if what they are hearing or what they believe is actually truth or based in fact.  You will be treated unkindly and you will never know why but everybody else will know and will be prejudiced against you because of it.  Even if you ask some of those who you believe are your friends they will tell you they can’t tell you who told them the negatives things because that would be betraying confidences.  This by the way is a false concept of confidentiality. It is a responsibility of every Christian to be looking after his brother or sister.  It is the responsibility of every Christian to help reconcile brethren and sisters not just potentiate the problem. A true friend will arrange the way in which you can confront the ones who are spreading false rumours.

The person with me repeated these words: “If they would only engage as readily and with as much earnestness and zeal in conversation upon their Redeemer, dwelling upon His matchless charms, His disinterested benevolence, and His merciful forgiveness, His pitiful tenderness to the suffering, His forbearance and inexpressible love, how much more precious and valuable would be the fruits.”  {1T 574.1} 

“The conversation where Christ and the characteristics of His life are the themes dwelt upon will refresh the spirit and the fruit will be unto holiness and everlasting life.” {1T 574.3} 

That is what the divine being said to her in her dream. Eventually the Whites moved to another district and laboured there for a while. All was not well in Battle Creek toward them.  Previously during James had protracted an illness and various brethren had offered the Whites money to support their work to the tune of nearly $1000 which was in those days a very large sum of money.  James White had always refused this financial support and he told them that he would let them know if ever he had come into circumstances in which he needed it. When he came into strait places he sold what he could of his personal possessions to make ends meet but eventually this was not enough as tragedy struck.  Perhaps in the providence of God their only and much needed cow died leaving them in the most difficult circumstances.  James White felt the time had come to ask for help.

He wrote to a brother in Battle Creek and said that if the church esteems it a pleasure to make up the pleasure to make up the loss of the cow they might do so.  Nothing was done to relieve their necessity even though the brethren in Battle Creek knew James well enough to know that he would never ask for help unless he was in the most difficult and needy circumstances.  Nevertheless this innocent act created an excuse for suspicion among the brethren in Battle Creek which the Whites at first knew nothing about.  While the Whites were incessantly travelling abroad working for God and dedicating all their energies to building up the church the brethren in Battle Creek accused James of being insane on the subject of money.  They spread rumours around that alienated the leading brethren in Battle Creek from them.

Have you ever experienced anything like that?  Rumours go around about you and no one will tell you what they are and if they do tell you what they are they won’t tell you where they got them from.  Little things potentiate suspicions, little innocent things.  James and Ellen White had suffered much already while on their journeys when letters started coming to Ellen of a very disturbing and discouraging nature.  Those were the terms she uses.  Apparently they were advised of some of the rumours going around in Battle Creek and Ellen White felt a very heavy burden on her heart.  Ellen could not sleep at night and was burdened down with grief.  She hid her feelings from her husband and from the family with whom they were staying.  Ellen White had been aware of the low spiritual condition of Gods people which is always the foundation for unjust criticism and suspicion and disunity.  Eventually they decided to return to Battle Creek.  James went back there fully anticipating a warm reception and looked forward to rejoicing in the success of his work with his brethren in leadership.  On the way back to Battle Creek they stopped at a place called Orange and held a meeting.

They and the local brethren there greatly refreshed by the Spirit of the Lord but that night Ellen had another dream.  She had one dream in which it was made clear to her that things were not the way they should be in Battle Creek.  People were spreading rumours and discussing things about them behind their backs.  This dream was no doubt in the mercy of God meant to warn Ellen once again of the kind of attitude they would meet at Battle Creek but this dream had a different character than the first.  This one was not just about personal grievances that were circulating around it was a revelation of how those personal grievances had matured to the point where the momentum had taken on an agenda. Little grievances can get going and if not resolved they can spread around and eventually they mature to the point where they take on an agenda.  An agenda that was in the spirit of antichrist and the papacy.  The dream she saw clearly identifies this.  This dream was also a revelation of the character and spirit that motivates all those who indulge in suspicion against their fellow brethren.  That’s a warning to us isn’t it?  It has the most solemn implications.

The Adventists Who Turned into Catholics

That night I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: “This house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.” Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently: “If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said or what I have done!”  {1T 577.2}

  I wept and prayed much as I saw our goods confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked the countenances of several whom I thought would speak to me and comfort me if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but seeing that I was watched, I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying: “If they would only tell me what I have done or what I have said!” My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud and awoke me. My pillow was wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits was upon me.  {1T 578.1} 

Ellen White recognised those who had marched up to her house two and two and she knew them well she said. These were no doubt her own brethren with whom she and James had an intimate fellowship with.  More apparently they were church leaders.  After all, ordinary church members aren’t usually in a position to make proscriptions of houses and goods.  In an historical catholic setting it is the church leaders who do this and get the people to cooperate with them.  Apparently the Whites would have had no idea that these visitors were anything other than genuine believers and faithful followers of Christ.

Yet they had come to their house on a hostile mission as evidenced by their stern and determined expression on their faces and by what they said. It is obvious from the two and two procession that this was a deliberate act.  It may even have been related to a formal decision.  In the case of Ellen she had reproved the leaders for certain things they had done and some were smarting from it.  This dream certainly represents that rises when the spirit of Rome infiltrate the church. The Jesuits throughout history are known for sewing discord among brethren and seeding them with the papal spirit but let us remember the principles we are discussing are of carnal human nature.  The Jesuits simply use that to promote and apply their agenda.  When men become suspicious or envious of their fellow labourers they often resort to the spirit of domination. This is a spirit that can be easily managed by Rome or its agents.  If we want to prevent a slide to Roman Catholic principles in Gods church in the last days, we too must understand this spirit and resist it vigorously.

The holy principles that God has given are represented as the sacred fire, but common fire has been used in place of the sacred. Plans contrary to truth and righteousness are introduced in a subtle manner on the plea that this must be done, and that must be done, “because it is for the advancement of the cause of God.” But it is the devising of men that leads to oppression, injustice, and wickedness. The cause of God is free from every taint of injustice. It can gain no advantage by robbing the members of the family of God of their individuality or their rights. All such practices are abhorrent to God. {TM 359.3} 

The high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever and by whomsoever it is exercised. This lording it over God’s heritage will create such a disgust of man’s jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result. {TM 361.1} 

Do you think that has happened today?  Some cases perhaps.

The people are learning that men in high positions of responsibility cannot be trusted to mold and fashion other men’s mind and characters. The result will be a loss of confidence even in the management of faithful men. {TM 361.1} 

There is something else to notice about the dream.  When Ellen looked the second time out the window, she saw what looked like a Catholic procession.  In my experience, those that adopt negative and secret attitudes will not easily change them.  It takes almost superhuman effort to do so. Efforts to correct these things are met with more hostility and greater entrenchment.  James White went to the brethren that had these negative attitudes and apologised for things he believed he had done wrong or things about his nature that might be a stumbling block to them but this only made them despise him.

   At this meeting my husband humbly confessed that he was wrong in several things of this nature, which he never should have done and never would have done but for fear of his brethren and a desire to be just right and in union with the church.  {1T 583.1} 

James White compromised and confessed things in his nature that he thought was a stumbling block to them.

This led those who were injuring him to apparently despise him. We were humbled into the very dust and distressed beyond expression. {1T 583.1} 

Have you ever felt like that?  Have you ever felt like the times when you tried to make reconciliation with someone else it made them more angry and hostile and more bitter?  James knew of nothing specific that he had done wrong and needed to confess. But he nevertheless apologised humbly for things in his nature that he imagined might be wrong or a stumbling block. This led his brethren to despise him and gave them justification to abuse him. In turn Ellen White says he should never have done this. That is a big lesson to all of us who might suffer oppression or persecution from our brethren. Obviously confessing things that aren’t necessary to confess is a wrong strategy and will never help others to see things in a proper light.  The reason why he did this is because he wanted to be in harmony with his brethren. While he had a good motivation, general confession of this type can never be the foundation of reconciliation.  Often those who are suspicious of others have no foundation for their suspicions anyway therefore confessing things unnecessarily often worsens the problem and giving them justification for their suspicions.

There was a castigation of the supposed offenders. The catholic procession proscribed the house and confiscated the goods while people outside the house were watching.  Moreover this made it so that the suspicion was spread to others some of whom Ellen White knew and some she did not. That happens doesn’t it?  In their eyes the Whites were discredited because the leaders who had made statements to bring them under a cloud of suspicion.  The dream reveals the true spirit of such manifestations.  It is directly from the mystery of iniquity.  Suspicion unjust accusations and criticism are directly from the mystery of iniquity.  It is also the spirit that motivates Rome.  It is the rule or ruin principle.  Since these leaders couldn’t rule over James and Ellen White they tried to ruin their reputation and influence. How often does this happen today? Men of sweet fellowship of one another become alienated over unjust suspicions and they suffer under a great cloud of false accusations. In addition the work of God is damaged in a way yet God permits these things for his own purposes.  Some work hard with dedicated heart and soul to do a hard work for the Lord. They build a house that is a monument to his truth, sometimes it is a church or institution. They put their heart into the work and dedicate their heart and soul and sacrificially extend or over extend their souls to build it up but when it is established others come along and cast suspicion upon them.  In effect proscribe the house that they have built.

They insinuate evil motives and unjustly criticise their efforts. The result is their goods and good works are confiscated and cut down or made worthless to those that have built it up. Notice the reason for proscribing the house and confiscating the goods was because they spoke against the holy order. These men have created their own religious order that will not tolerate any opposition or reproof. It will seek to ruin or control those supposedly under their jurisdiction. This is the spirit of Rome. Unless we understand it and fight it will become the operative principle in our churches, homes, schools and institutions.  The cross is the universal symbol of Rome’s authority.  The fact that one of them was carrying a cross tells us that anyone who uses religious authority improperly is in league or in cooperation with Rome whether they realise it or not.  After all, if there are infiltrators they often work in such a way that those whom they manipulate have no idea they are under the influence of secretive powers. Another one in the procession was holding a reed.  A reed is a biblical symbol of punishment. The idea presented therefore is that the punishment meted out that those who don’t go along with the existing religious order, is there a religious order today constructed that will not tolerate descent and that there are psychological and administrative punishments meted out against those that oppose them?  It happens today doesn’t it?

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.  {1SM 204.2} 

This has just made a reference to creation which is a very big issue of controversy in our church in this new system of philosophy, intellectual philosophy.

The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.  {1SM 204.2} 

If nothing is allowed to stand in the way of the new movement that means there has to be a way to castigate or defame or otherwise punish those who might try to get in the way of the new movement. Today there is a serious attempt to remove the pillars of our faith. One of these is the long established hostility of those among us in the scientific and academic community is to do with away with the biblical teaching of creation as a literal recent creation – six days, six literal days.  This is also a direct attack on the Sabbath and on Biblical authority.  If you do away with creation you overthrow the whole bible and every detail of the Seventh Day Adventist message. There are consequences.  Many of those who have opposed these falsehoods are often promoted by the leaders themselves have spoken against their holy order and will be treated as described in the dream the procession. Just ask the students at La Sierra University. They were bullied, intimated, threatened and stone walled.  The ones who were concerned about the creation/evolution issue.

The teaching of evolution at La Sierra as the predominate system of philosophy and belief.  In the dream the procession went around the house and marked the territory to be proscribed. Perhaps symbolically this refers to the way in which policies are made so that those who hold to the truth and principals of righteousness are excluded from full participation in the church.  The procession or the one with the reed went around the house and marked out the prescription, the territory to be proscribed.  Symbolically this refers to the way which policies are made so those who uphold principals of righteousness are excluded from full participation in the church or entity. These policies set the parameters so that anyone outside of them is considered to be an offshoot, outcast or not a full participating member of the church.  Notice that in the dream Ellen went outside of the house and the people that were there were also suspicious of her. She could not escape the bad feelings and inquisitive eyes.  It is the eyes that reveal suspicion and sometimes the words.  She felt that if she tried to run away she would be followed and not permitted to have her privacy.  She wept and said if they would only tell me what I said and done. Presumably she would apologise and change her actions but the problems is that if she muted her voice of reproof or diminished the truth of God she would then be a unfaithful servant of the Lord.  If you mute your voice then you are unfaithful to God but if you don’t mute your voice you are being unfaithful to the church so they say.  The normal way in which this goes is that no matter what you do to try and alleviate the personal angst or sanctimonious hostility it does not go away.  Once there has been a determination made to be or not be accepted, you can never overcome the stigma unless you completely abdicate the convictions and truth you uphold. If you compromise on one point they will pressure you to compromise you on another and another until you have given up all.  Even if you have been in a position of responsibility they will bide their time till they can get momentum to remove you from office.

For years a lack of wisdom has been shown in dealing with men who take up and carry forward the Lord’s work in difficult places. Often these men labor far beyond their strength. They have little money to invest for the advancement of the work, and they are obliged to sacrifice in order to carry the work forward. They work for small wages and practice the strictest economy. They make appeals to the people for means, and they themselves set an example of liberality. They give God the praise for what is done, realizing that He is the Author and the Finisher of their faith, and that it is by His power that they are enabled to make progress.  {7T 277.1} 

  Sometimes, after these workers have borne the burden and the heat of the day, and by patient, persevering effort have established a school or a sanitarium, or some other interest for the advancement of the work, the decision is made by their brethren that some other man might do better, and therefore that he is to take charge of the work they have been doing. In some cases the decision is made without giving due consideration and due credit to those who have borne the disagreeable part of the work, who have labored and prayed and striven, putting into their efforts all their strength and energy.  {7T 277.2} 

  God is not pleased with this way of dealing with His workers. He calls upon His people to hold up the hands of those who build up the work in new, difficult places, speaking to them words of cheer and encouragement.  {7T 277.3} 

  While the workers were straining every nerve to raise means to help them over an emergency, some of their brethren were standing by, criticizing, and surmising evil, putting a prejudicial construction on the motives of the heavily burdened laborers, and making their work more difficult. Blinded by selfishness, these faultfinders did not discern that their brethren were sufficiently afflicted without the censure of men who had not borne heavy burdens and responsibilities. Disappointment is a great trial, but Christian love can turn the defeat into victory. Reverses will teach caution. We learn by the things we suffer. Thus we gain experience.  {7T 278.2} 

    There are those who are premature in their desire to reform things that to them appear faulty. They think that they should be chosen to take the place of those who have made mistakes. They undervalue what these workers have done while others were looking on and criticizing. By their actions they say: “I can do great things. I can carry the work forward successfully.” To those who think they know so well how to avoid mistakes, I am instructed to say: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1. You might avoid mistakes on some points, but on other things you are liable to make grave blunders, which would be very difficult to remedy and which would bring confusion into the work. These mistakes might do more harm than those your brethren have made.  {7T 279.1} 

Have you ever been in a church situation where you were criticised by your fellow church members where you tried to do something and they criticised which discouraged you and lead you to perhaps stop the work?  I know many, many people who have been in that situation. Unjust criticism stifles the church and its mission.

  The instruction given me is that the men who lay the foundation of a work, and who, in the face of prejudice, fight their way forward, are not to be placed in an unfavorable light in order that others may take their places.  {7T 279.2}

If you stand in defense of the truth you get criticised and get placed in an unfavourable light.

There are earnest workers who, in spite of the criticisms of some of their brethren, have moved forward in the work that God said should be done. Should they now be removed from their position of responsibility, an impression would be made that would be unjust to them and unfavorable to the work, because the changes made would be looked upon as a justification of the unjust criticisms made and the prejudice existing. The Lord desires that no move shall be made which would do injustice to those who have labored long and earnestly to build up the work given them.  {7T 279.2}

If God gives you a work to do, you’ve got to cease your dependence on man for your inspiration and motivation.  While this statement includes some specific references to certain types of circumstances there is obviously a general application of the principals it contains.  If you are going to start a work expect to be criticised and for others to make accusations. It is so easy to become angry, bitter or upset when someone makes accusations.  This is the way Satan works, we should expect it.  When it happened to me, I was shocked by those I thought were my friends would say behind my back and no one would tell me who said it.  I can’t make it right with that person. I know how it feels when those who stand in unjust criticism of the work you do.  Expect it if you will be a worker of the Lord.   This is a great a trial for those who love the truth for Christs who have worked to build it up with their own sweat and blood. It causes them anguish to be removed by those who think they know better on how they do the work. Unless you’ve been through it you can’t understand it but if you live long enough you will go through it. Ellen White looked for sympathy from some of the faces she saw in the crowd.

She saw in some a willingness to comfort and encourage her but they were not willing to say anything for fear of being observed and proscribed as Ellen and James White were. There were several that she thought might console her. The fact is that most would not.  Probably because they were in harmony with eth general condemnation and stigma. Today there are many that are sympathetic to the truth and to those who uphold and support it but they are afraid to be labelled with stigma that they would suffer to bear.  Like in the time of Elijah there were 7000 that had not bowed the kneel to Baal. They were silent and did not openly support the work of God.  Godly Obadiah was doing what he could to help the prophets of God but he had to do it secretly. The same was true in Jesus day. When he healed the blind man his parents were unwillingly to openly support what Jesus had done for fear of the Jews. It is a common thing for good people to be silent in the midst of condemnation as they feared to be labelled with the negative statement. While god does not always condemn this, it creates problem for those who are under the pressure of the spirit of Rome.

Ellen White’s pillow was wet with tears when she was awakened by her husband. This represents great anguish and I suspect Gods people will have similar anguish as we near the end of time. it is those who weep between the church and the altar that will be saved in the end.  Note that to weep between the porch and the altar is to suggest it is a public distress, it is a public weeping involved.  Those that love the truth more than anything else will have this experience that Ellen White had in her dream that is why I say it is prophetic. If you haven’t already experienced it you will as we get close to the close of probation and the time of trouble.

The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. These apostates will then manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren and to excite indignation against them. This day is just before us.  {5T 463.2} 

I used to think that this experience as in the future when the time of trouble comes upon Gods people and that is certainly true in the broadest sense but many have already abandoned the faith and taken the stand with the enemies and now they are already manifesting the most bitter enmity and are doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren who they now consider to be offshoots or unfaithful or whatever.  Many have already joined the spirit of Rome and are now involved in the Catholic procession against those they wish to proscribe.  The Whites moved onto the next town and in a few days they were to arrive in Battle creek. Instead of rejoicing in their work they met icy reception. They were looking for encouraging words but there was none.  The first night Ellen White had another dream where sisters who had been helping her fix her hair and adjusting her dress a symbol of her reputation but when she fell asleep they took off her clothes and replaced them with old rags.  Pieces of bed quilt knotted and sewed together. The implications are simple. Those who are sometimes your friends pretending to help you with your rep are actually working against you. In fact Ellen White said she saw the fulfillment of this dream in Battle Creek. They had to meet the ugly rumours.

There had been letters all over Michigan disparaging their work raising questions and giving insinuations against the Whites. There was considerable angst about the same things Ellen White had spoken about at battle creek as if she had spoken against them.  They felt she was against the church.  The third dream showed that there were supposed friends who were actually enemies.  All of this was in Gods providence.  It is for a very important reason when you are dealt with unjustly and criticised behind your back for the things you do or don’t do when other fellow church members are doing them all the time when you are trying to do a work and others are trying to tear it down, God is allowing this in providence for a very important reason.  In the midst of all this anguish and struggle Ellen White remembered a portion of another vision that she had been given more than a year earlier.  Here is the vision in her own words;

As I was thus thinking, a portion of the vision given me at Rochester, December 25, 1865, came like a flash of lightning to my mind, and I immediately related it to my husband:  {1T 583.1} 

     I was shown a cluster of trees standing near together, forming a circle. Running up over these trees was a vine which covered them at the top and rested upon them, forming an arbor. Soon I saw the trees swaying to and fro, as though moved by a powerful wind. One branch after another of the vine was shaken from its support until the vine was shaken loose from the trees except a few tendrils which were left clinging to the lower branches. A person then came up and severed the remaining clinging tendrils of the vine, and it lay prostrated upon the earth.  {1T 583.2} 

The distress and anguish of my mind as I saw the vine lying upon the ground was beyond description. Many passed and looked pityingly upon it, and I waited anxiously for a friendly hand to raise it; but no help was offered. I inquired why no hand raised the vine. Presently I saw an angel come to the apparently deserted vine. He spread out his arms and placed them beneath the vine and raised it so that it stood upright, saying: “Stand toward heaven, and let thy tendrils entwine about God. Thou art shaken from human support. Thou canst stand, in the strength of God, and flourish without it. Lean upon God alone, and thou shalt never lean in vain, or be shaken therefrom.” I felt inexpressible relief, amounting to joy, as I saw the neglected vine cared for. I turned to the angel and inquired what these things meant. Said he: “Thou art this vine. All this thou wilt experience, and then, when these things occur, thou shalt fully understand the figure of the vine. God will be to thee a present help in time of trouble.”  {1T 583.3}

Can you relate to these three dreams and a vision? I can. You must also have the same experience of James and Ellen White that they had in the days of their ministry.  If you uphold the truth you will be forced to cling to God and be released from human support.  This is hard for some people to take if not all of us.  It is emotionally difficult as we expect so much from our fellow man including our friends but these are unreasonable expectations and they are feeble and God will make sure that you are shaken from them as the arm of flesh will certainly fail you. Trials and difficulties are for your own good to separate you from human power and support and place your hand in the hand of God.  May God bless you and keep you faithful.  Trust in God.  You have a responsibility that responsibility is to witness your faith to others regardless of what other church members think about and say about you. No matter how they might criticise or suspicion you, your job is to carry on God’s work. If you are a in a position of responsibility in the church, you have especially been given a responsibility to uphold the truth but they may bring you into a position to despise you and will find things to criticise you or cast you out or reject or in some way make your life miserable.  These things are as God would have them. They are for our own good so we may learn to trust in God instead of our human friends, family and church members.

Amen.

 

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Posted on 28/01/2012, in Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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