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Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve : Page 217

41. True Worship Vs. False Worship

Multiplying Machinery While Losing Love --I am afraid for you in Battle Creek. The Spirit of Christ is the missionary spirit that seeks to save that which was lost. This Spirit makes everyone who possesses it a worker together with God. The church is multiplying form and machinery, but more and more losing her first love. The church is responsible for the work of Christ, but the work as a whole which the church is doing will not bear the approval of God. It must bear the image of Christ; and unless the workers are invested with His divine attributes for the performance of that work, it is an offense to God.--Ms. 33, 1894, p. 1. ("Testimony to Battle Creek," August 3, 1894.)

Our Churches Are Too Formal --We want to live a life that will please God, one that will bear witness that we are children of God and not children of the wicked one.

This is the nature of the instruction that we are giving in the morning meetings, and we hope some good is being effected. I tell you in the fear of God, our churches are altogether too formal. The love, the tenderness of Christ is not practiced in their intercourse with one another. We must not demerit ourselves, and lightly esteem the ability given us of God, neither should we overestimate our own importance and trust to our human ability. Those who have far less ability may be doing far more for the Master because they put out to the exchangers every talent they possess. They keep up an


unfaltering purpose, a brave heart, and a calm, peaceful, trusting confidence in God because they believe His Word. Heaven recognizes the loyalty of the soul that is struggling to do the will of God, and to grow into the likeness of Christ.--Letter 7a, 1886. (To Brother and Sister Ings, August 11, 1886.)

True Love and Sympathy Needed, With Less Form and Ceremony --I am sure if there were fewer forms and ceremonies in our churches, and a greater manifestation of that genuine simplicity, that true love and sympathy that reaches out for souls, and bears others' burdens, much more would be accomplished. All who have the work of Christ to do must have the mind of Christ. The great burden is to educate these souls by the Word of God, and adapt its teachings to all classes. It alone can purify the soul from all moral and spiritual impurity.--Letter 123, 1896, p. 2. (To Edson and Emma White, August 30, 1896.)

Union of Church and State Produces Spiritual Poverty --Earnest movements have been made here in the Parliaments to have God acknowledged in the government of this nation.[* AUSTRALIA] Earnest efforts have been made to prevent this, knowing that it meant nothing less than religious bigotry and oppression. When religion is mixed with civil government, it means much to Seventh-day Adventists. A union of church and state means a recognition of a spurious sabbath, and a failure to respect the conscientious observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.

This movement, demanding that all observe as sacred an idol sabbath, resembles the act of Nebuchadnezzar in making a golden image, and setting


it up for all to worship. In the interpretation of the king's dream, Daniel had told him, "Thou art this head of gold."

The dream was given the king to show him that earthly kingdoms were not enduring, but would pass away and be followed by the kingdom of the Prince of heaven, which should fill the whole earth. But Nebuchadnezzar determined to make an image like that which he had seen, only it was to be made all of gold. This idol of gold was to be a most imposing spectacle, and was to take the place of God and be worshiped as God.

The Sunday idol is set up as was this image. Human laws demand that it be worshiped as sacred and holy, thus putting it where God's holy Sabbath should be. Men speak great swelling words, and exalt their power, placing themselves where God should be. Sitting in the temple of God, they strive to make themselves as God, showing themselves to be God. When Pilate said of Christ, "I find no fault in Him," the priests and elders declared, "We have a law, and by our law He ought to die."

As the advisers of Nebuchadnezzar hit upon the scheme of ensnaring the Hebrew captives and causing them to bow to the idol by leading the king to proclaim that every knee should bow to the image, so men will strive today to turn God's people from their allegiance. But the men who sought to destroy Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego, were themselves destroyed. Those who make cruel enactments, seeking to destroy, are destroyed by the recoil of their actions.

When the power invested in kings is allied to goodness, it is because the one in responsibility is under the divine dictation. When power is allied with wickedness, it is allied to satanic agencies, and it will work to destroy those who are the Lord's property. The Protestant world has set


up an idol sabbath in the place where God's Sabbath should be, and they are treading in the footsteps of the Papacy. For this reason, I see the necessity of the people of God moving out of the cities into retired country [places] where they may cultivate the land and raise their own produce. Thus they may bring their children up with simple, healthful habits. I see the necessity of making haste to get all things ready for the crisis.

Petitions signed by thousands have been sent in asking that the civil and religious interests not be blended. Those present in some of the large assemblies state that they witnessed the most disgraceful uproar and disorder. Clergymen professing to be in the service of God utter blasphemies. They care no more for the Bible and its holy teachings than do infidels. When men will lay aside a plain "Thus saith the Lord," and accept human enactments, you may be sure that they are revealing the attributes of the of the great apostate.

All false religions run counter to the commandments of God. Those who accept these religions have no inward purity and beauty. They depend on their position of authority to compel those who acknowledge God as their Creator and their Sovereign, to bow to human enactments without a question. They depend upon outward display, upon outward beauty, trusting to its subtle influence upon the senses.

When a church depends on parade, ceremonies, and display, be sure that inward holiness is wanting. To make up for the absence of the Spirit of God, to conceal spiritual poverty and apostasy, the outside is made attractive. Thus the Protestant churches are following in the footsteps of Rome, depending not on Christ, the divine Teacher, but upon their ornaments and shrines. Embroidered altars and magnificent architecture attract and hold


the senses. Thus men become entrapped by the enemy. So the great golden image, impressive and attractive, with beautiful music to charm the senses, did honor to the prince of darkness.--Letter 90, 1897, pp. 5-8. (To Brother and Sister Lindsay, August 18, 1897).

Satan's Sophistry Turns Men Into Hard-spirited Religious Zealots --Every soul that believes is to connect with Christ and angels in saying, Come, whosoever will may partake of the water of life freely. But we look around us, and what do we see? Many churches erected, and worship going on in them formal and insincere. The heart is going after its idols. In the place of heart devotion, the Lord beholds apparent solemnity and formality. The attitudes and signs of devotion are performed. He hears men confessing their sins, but not repenting or forsaking them. He discerns an array of spiritual idols which engage the attention and in which men trust, supplanting God. He sees a system of maxims, customs, and false theories, which they tenaciously cherish, robbing Him of the honor due His name.

The idols of the heathen stood between them and their God, obscuring God from their vision. Thus it is today. By the cunning deception of Satan false theories are made a power to rob God. Man's spiritual understanding is darkened by Satan's sophistry. Instead of religion's making men meek and lowly in heart, it works to make them religious zealots, exacting and hard-spirited because their ideas are not met. Their religious ideas do not lead the soul to humble, fervent trust in God. False theories, wholly human, stand between them and their God. Their souls are wrapped up in their own preconceived opinions, separating them from all who differ with them, engrossing the soul in self.


Shall not Seventh-day Adventists have a record differing entirely from this? The Lord declares that He will have the whole heart; for God is a Spirit, and all who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. My brother, you need so much to have enlarged views. Then your light will shine. You will not try to shine; you cannot help shining.--Letter 29, 1898, pp. 4-5. (To Brother Sisley, January 11, 1898.) White Estate Washington, D. C. January 6, 1983