E.G.White Library | HOME

Manuscript Releases Volume Fifteen : Page 318

42. A Caution Against Heavy Investment in Food Manufacture

(This message was written at Sanitarium, California, September 19, 1906, and was presented verbally at Mountain View, California, according to an interlineation by Ellen White next to the title.)

In the night season a representation was given to me, and some instruction regarding the health food work. A few men were examining some plants having a tangled mass of roots. The roots on some of these plants were very long. Others had shorter roots. Those with the long roots looked healthy and promising, and men were rejoicing in the prospects of much fruit from these plants. Each seemed eager to secure the ones he regarded as the most promising, and there was strife and contention over them.

One of authority appeared in the midst of them, and said, "You do not need these long roots."

"Why do we not need them," some asked.

"Because the Lord is honored only by those plants that are connected with fruit-bearing branches. You are greatly mistaken in supposing that these longer roots will bring forth fruit such as you desire. A large expenditure of means to secure possession of them will result in confusion and will involve you in difficulties that you do not now realize.

"The plants with the short roots are the ones you should select; for their cultivation will not absorb a large amount of means, and within a short time they will bear fruit to the glory of God.


I was shown that the plants with the long, tangled roots represent certain food enterprises, which seem to be very promising, but which would produce but small returns in proclaiming God's redeeming love to man. These enterprises represent a large outlay of means, but they are not in harmony with the Lord's method of carrying forward His work, and they will result in entanglements.

The plants with the short roots represent enterprises which will not require such a large outlay of means, but which will bring speedy returns in the advancement of the gospel, and will result in the salvation of many souls.

To us as a people God has given the work of preaching in all parts of the world, the gospel of the kingdom. Our means and talents are not to be bound up in the production of expensive foods. Our commission is to proclaim the truth, that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I am bidden to say that we are not largely to bind up talents in food enterprises. Our food stores and our restaurants have not been trees that have borne a large crop of fruit. There needs now to be a converting power among our workers. In our food work we should study the simplicity of health reform. Better results will be seen if we devote our energies largely to the work of educating the people how to prepare simple, healthful foods in their own homes, instead of spending our entire time in the manufacture and sale of foods which involve a large investment of means. Many are unable to purchase the manufactured health foods. By teaching these


persons how to utilize the simple food products of the earth in a healthful manner, we shall reveal a spirit of true Christian benevolence.

During the past night, I received this instruction for our brethren: Keep your money, and deal in foods that are much less costly, and which, prepared in a nutritious form, will answer every purpose. I call upon our people: Be not deceived; be not decoyed; neither begrudge to the speculating parties their wonderful advantages. The Lord bids me raise my voice in warning. Beware how you invest the Lord's money in things that you can get along without. Endeavor to produce less expensive preparations of the grains and fruits. All these are freely given us of God to supply our necessities. Health is not insured by the use of expensive preparations. We can have just as good health while using the simple food preparations from the fruits, grains, and the vegetables. And if we will return to God a tenth of all that He gives us by His blessing, this can be used to support the ministers in their work.

Every feature of the third angel's message is to be proclaimed in all parts of the world. This is a much greater work than many realize. Our missionary enterprises are the one great object demanding our undivided attention at this time. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." In this work we are to study simplicity. This message is a testimony message. Received into honest hearts, it will prove an antidote for all the world's sins and sorrows. No conditions of climate, of poverty, of ignorance, or of prejudice can hinder its efficiency or lessen its adaptability to the needs of mankind.

The proclamation of the great gospel message is the work of the disciples of Christ. Some will labor for this in one way, and others will


carry another branch of the work, as the Lord calls and directs them individually. Not all have the same line of work, but all may unite in their efforts.

The word of the living God is to be proclaimed throughout the world. The gospel is to go forth with great power, marked by practical manifestations of the Spirit of God. Our workers are to become a living agency to reveal the purpose of God in calling them to His work. The word of the glorious gospel is to be preached in its divine comprehensiveness. By the living voice, and by kind, compassionate deeds, we are to exemplify the principles of the gospel. The simple, effective methods of teaching truth are represented by the short roots.

The truth may be advanced by works of charity, by helping the ignorant, the sick the hungry, and the helpless. But our work is not to be confined to the outcasts. The highways as well as the byways are to be thoroughly worked. A far greater work might have been accomplished if counterworking influences had not created contention and strife. Let the churches be purged from their selfishness and their pride, and gain an experience of uniting with one another to encourage the hearts of the doubting and to recover those who have entered the mist and fog of unbelief.

All are to hear the last message of warning. The prophecies in the book of Revelation, chapters 12 to 18, are being fulfilled. In the eighteenth chapter is recorded the very last call to the churches. This call is now to be given. In the nineteenth chapter, the time is pictured when the beast and the false prophet are taken and cast into the lake of fire. The dragon, who was the instigator of the great rebellion against heaven, is


bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then follows the resurrection of the wicked and the final destruction of Satan and all the wicked, and the final triumph and reign of Christ in this earth.

Work for the Colored People

There is now to be a decided work done for the neglected colored people in this country, where they were so long kept in slavery. Here we are surrounded by Christian churches, benevolent institutions, and educational institutions for the benefit of our own race, and these have proved a great blessing in shedding abroad the light of the regenerating power of Christianity. We need now more schools and colleges where the colored people can obtain a Christian education.

The old, the middle-aged, and the children are to be educated, all as little children. Gather them in schools. Secure donations of land, and on this land build neat cottages. Give the students lessons in building these cottages. Teach them how to till the soil successfully. Show them how the land is to be cultivated in order to produce a bountiful harvest.

Let not this work be longer delayed. Do not neglect this work and allow means to be tied up in plants with long roots. Cultivate the trees with the short roots, that can more quickly be brought into fruit-bearing.

In our work in the South we must exercise the utmost care not to provoke or annoy the white people, who are unprepared to meet the issues. Do not create prejudice, if it can possibly be avoided. Make no drive on anyone, but let aggressive work be carried forward.

There are tens of thousands of colored people in America, and their needs are to be considered. The reformatory work, the educational work among this people has not been done as it might have been done, if those


professing to believe the truth had not taken a course of action which has created conditions that have blocked the way. The work of the third angel might have been advanced one-hundred-fold in its various branches, had all done faithfully the work as God appointed them. The work for the colored people has been bound about. Only a small portion of that which God desired to do for them has been done. This people are ignorant, and those who have had more light have done but little to enlighten their fellow men.

In view of the needs of the work in all parts of the field, we cannot, as the light comes to me, gather up the trees with long, tangled roots, and invest tens of thousands of dollars in setting them out. May the Lord give wisdom to break the spell that rests upon those who think that this is necessary. So far as possible we are to bind about in the expenditure of means.

Let the work in the South be carried forward decidedly. Sanitariums must be provided for the sick. There is talent among the colored people, but where is the missionary spirit to seek for and to cultivate this talent? How much is being done by Seventh-day Adventists in caring for the sick and the ignorant? In many places civilization is almost unknown. Sin and degradation abound. Millions are perishing in ignorance. Some of our faithful missionaries have become discouraged because so little encouragement has been given them. But the divine message must come to the colored race. Preach to them the precious words of the Lord Jesus.

Sanctified talent is needed in the Southern field. Our workers there must lay hold upon the work in all its various branches, working in the highways and the byways. Let dormant energies be aroused and stimulated, and men and women set to work in an effort to reach every soul possible.


Aggressive missionary work is to be done by men who will not, by unwise speech, stir up an open warfare. So far as possible, let them secure the cooperation of the white people. Home missionary work, entered into understandingly, will bear an abundant harvest. To the colored people, who have so long been left in ignorance, teach the gospel both by the living voice and by the expression of thoughtful, loving deeds.

The gospel is the glad tidings of the love of Christ. That love has been expressed in giving His life for the salvation of the world. As that love is revealed in His followers, in loving deeds and words of sympathy, many will respond.

Parents, teach your children self-denial. Teach them not to spend their money for bows and ribbons and things that are unnecessary, but to spend all they can spare for the relief of the needy. Children, for Christ's sake, learn to deny yourselves. Put your savings into a self-- denial box for the colored work. In the great day of judgment, every soul will be rewarded according as His works have been. The Lord will pronounce His blessing upon those who have denied themselves for His sake.

My sisters, when you purchase a dress, get a good material, something that is durable and that will not fade. But if you are tempted to expend money in unnecessary trimmings, think of the many who have no suitable clothing, and then put that means into the self-denial box. Let all do what they can in denying themselves of unnecessary things, and means will thus be saved that can be used to provide garments for those who have not sufficient clothing to make them comfortable.


Our message is to go to all the world. Then let no one think it wise to expend tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of manufacturing certain articles of food, in the hope of conducting a profitable mercantile business.

Let us deny ourselves, that we may have gifts and offerings, with which to sustain the work of God that must be done in the Southern field, and in the opening of new fields. Let churches, schools, and sanitariums be built and conducted in a simple way. As we move forward in the counsel of God, His power will attend our efforts.--Ms 75, 1906. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. March 12, 1986. Entire Manuscript.