To a Physician and His Wife—
Dear Brother and Sister: Our homeward journey was a prosperous one. I attended meetings in many places. At Indianapolis I was surprised to meet so large a number of believers. I spoke twice there. The Lord gave me a message for the people similar to the one given in Battle Creek in regard to the errors which have crept in among us. The people were ready to hear and receive the word.
When errors come into our ranks, we are not to enter into controversy over them. We are faithfully to give the message of reproof, and then we are to lead the minds of the people away from fanciful, erroneous ideas, presenting the truth in contrast with error. The presentation of heavenly themes will open up to the mind principles that rest upon a foundation as enduring as eternity.
Those believers whose Christian convictions are consistent and firm, whose characters are of solid worth, are of great service to the Master. Nothing can move them from the faith. Truth is to them a precious treasure.
The truth of God is found in His word. Those who feel that they must seek elsewhere for present truth need to be converted anew. They have wrong habits to mend, evil ways to be abandoned. They need to seek anew the truth as it is in Jesus, that their character building may be in harmony with the lessons of Christ. As they abandon their human ideas and take up their God-given duties, beholding Christ and becoming conformed to His likeness, they say: “Nearer, my God, to Thee; nearer to Thee.”
With the word of God in hand we may draw nearer, step by step, in consecrated love to Jesus. As the Spirit of God becomes better known, the Bible will be accepted as the only foundation of faith. God’s people will receive the word as the leaves of the tree of life, more precious than fine gold purified in the fire, and more powerful to sanctify than any other agency.
The Reward of a Faithful Study of the Word
Christ and His word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed, they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. If the people of God would appreciate His word, we should have a heaven in the church here below. Christians would be eager, hungry, to search the word. They would be anxious for time to compare scripture with scripture and to meditate upon the word. They would be more eager for the light of the word than for the morning paper, magazines, or novels. Their greatest desire would be to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. And as a result their lives would be conformed to the principles and promises of the word. Its instruction would be to them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all toil and weariness. They would be strengthened and encouraged by the words of inspiration.
Ministers would be inspired with divine faith. Their prayers would be characterized by earnestness, filled with the divine assurance of truth. Weariness would be forgotten in the sunlight of heaven. Truth would be interwoven with their lives, and its heavenly principles would be as a fresh, running stream, constantly satisfying the soul.
The Lord’s philosophy is the rule of the Christian’s life. The entire being is imbued with the life-giving principles of heaven. The busy nothings which consume the time of so many shrink into their proper position before a healthy, sanctifying Bible piety.
The Bible, and the Bible alone, can produce this good result. It is the wisdom of God and the power of God, and it works with all power in the receptive heart. Oh, what heights we might reach if we would conform our wills to the will of God! It is the power of God that we need, wherever we are. The frivolity that cumbers the church makes it weak and indifferent. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are seeking and longing for channels through which to communicate to the world the divine principles of truth.
Artificial lights may appear, claiming to come from heaven, but they cannot shine forth as the star of holiness, the star of heavenly brightness, to guide the feet of the pilgrim and stranger into the city of God. False lights will take the place of the true, and many souls will be for a time deceived. God forbid that it should be so with us. The true light now shineth, and will light up the souls in which the windows are opened heavenward.
— E.G. White, 8 Testimonies, pp. 192-194