The Document: "Decided Action to be Taken Now"
As not all may have the printed testimony, "Decided Action to be Taken Now,"
I think I should insert a complete copy of the original document in this memorandum. There
were several messages sent on by Mrs. White in the first enclosure that was rushed to the
train at St. Helena. (There was no air mail then.) This "Decided Action"
statement was the key message for the hour. Other messages related especially to teachers
and physicians and the need of guarding our people. I have quoted from one of these in the
former chapter, giving a few paragraphs from the Review that came out the week following
the Council. But in reading this "Decided Action" message, consider the
background. For a year we had been in the crisis. For a year the messages of the Spirit of
prophecy had insistently urged carefulness and patient waiting, while all the time
indicating the perils that surrounded.
Then suddenly, in the night, an aged sister was awakened to take pen in hand over in
California., nearly three thousand miles away from the Council in Washington. In the
Council the issue in the background was tying things up again, so that it seemed nothing
could be done to define positions and relationships and plans. Just there, in the
California valley, the pen of the agent of the Spirit of prophecy began to
move"writing as fast as my hand could pass over the paper," Sister White told
us. And consider the unusual complexity of the teaching knocking at our door. Yet as one
reads "Decided Action" it is seen to meet the issue at every turn. It is a
wonderful piece of writing to be started at one o'clock in the morning and hurried out to
reach a time of need. Imagine any of our brethren awakened in the night and asked to
review that book and situation in such haste! Not a man could have done it and all the
circumstances of the situation and the accurate choice of words and turn of phrases, and
the timeliness of it all, and the more than natural force attending
its reading in that
Council gave and clear and overwhelming evidence of a super-natural power before our eyes:
Nov. 4, 1903-8 B. -242
St. Helena, Cal., October,
DECIDED ACTION TO BE TAKEN NOW:
TO OUR PHYSICIANS AND MINISTERS
During the night the Spirit of God has been presenting many things to my mind. The
experience that was given us at the General Conference held in Battle Creek early in 1901,
was of God. Had Dr. Kellogg at that time done thorough work, the terrible experience
through which we are now passing would never have been.
God has permitted the presentation of the combination of good and evil in "Living
Temple" to be made to reveal the danger threatening us. The working that has been so
ingeniously carried on he has permitted in order that certain developments might be made,
and that it might be seen what a man can do with human minds when he has obtained their
confidence as a physician. God has permitted the present crisis to come to open the eyes
of those who desire to know the truth. He would have his people understand to what lengths
the sophistry and devising of the enemy could lead.
Men have given our leading physician allegiance that is due to God alone; and he has
been permitted to show what self-exaltation will lead men to do. Scientific,
Spiritualistic sentiments, representing the Creator as an essence pervading all nature,
have been given to our people, and have been received even by some who have had a long
experience as teachers of the word of God. The results of this insidious devising will
break out again and again. There are many for whom special efforts will have to be put
forth to free them from this specious deception.
I am now authorized to say that the time has come to take decided action. The
development seen in the cause of God is similar to the development seen when Balaam caused
Israel to sin just before they entered the promised land. How dangerous it is so to exalt
any man that he becomes confused, and confuses the minds of others in regard to the truths
that for the last fifty years the Lord has been giving his people.
Few can see the meaning of the present apostasy. But the Lord has lifted the curtain,
and has shown me its meaning, and the result that it will have if allowed to continue. We
must now lift our voices in warning. Will our people acknowledge God as the supreme Ruler,
or will they choose the misleading arguments and views that when fully developed, make
Him, in the minds of those who accept him, as nothingness?
These words were spoken to me in the night season. The sentiments in "Living
Temple" regarding the personality of God have been received even by men who have had
a long experience in the truth. When such men consent to eat of the fruit of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil, we are no longer to regard the subject as a matter to be
treated with the greatest delicacy. That those who we thought sound in the faith should
have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of this science of evil, should
alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us.
It is something that can not be treated as a small matter that men who have had so much
light, and such clear evidence as to the genuineness of the truth we hold, should become
unsettled, and led to accept spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God.
Those doctrines, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian
economy. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give John to
give to his people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient
importance to be given special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly
origin, and rob the people of God of their past experiences, giving them instead a false
During the past night, I have been shown more distinctly than ever before that these
sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and
made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers,the
truths of the word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was
directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I
heard a voice saying, "Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls
of Zion? Are they asleep? How can they be silent? This foundation was built by the Master
Worker, and will stand the storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present
doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take
I was instructed to call upon our physicians and ministers to take a firm stand for the
truth. We are not to allow atheistic, spiritualistic sentiments to be brought before our
youth. God has led us in the path, giving us truth, eternal truth. By this truth we are to
stand. Some of the leaders tin the medical work have been deceived, and if they continue
to hold fanciful, spiritualistic ideas, they make many believe that the platform upon
which we have been standing for the past fifty years has been torn away. These men need
now to see with anointed eyes, with clear spiritual vision, that in spite of all men can
do, "the foundation of God standeth sure ,"and the Lord knoweth them that are
The message to the Laodicean church comes to us at this time with special meaning. Read
it, and ask God to show you its import. Thank God that he is sending us messages of mercy.
Those accepting the theories regarding God that are introduced in the "Living
Temple" are in great danger of being led finally to look upon the whole Bible as a
fiction; for these theories make of no effect the plain word of God.
The tempter is working to gather together at Battle Creek as large a number as
possible, hoping that they will receive false ideas of God and his work, and thus make of
no effect the impression that God would have made on the minds of
those engaged in the
medical missionary work and in the gospel ministry. God abhors the great swelling words of
vanity that have been spoken by some connected with the Sanitarium. The judgments call for
humiliation rather than for proud boasting and self-exaltation.
The heavenly messenger turned to those professing to be medical missionaries, and said,
"How could you allow yourselves to be led blindfold? How could you so misrepresent
the name you bear? You have your Bibles. Why have you not reasoned from cause to effect?
You have accepted theories that have led you away from the truths that are to stamp their
impress upon the characters of all Seventh-day Adventists. Your leader has been moving the
foundation timbers one by one, and his reasoning would soon leave us with no certain
foundation for our faith. He has not heeded the testimonies that God through his Spirit
has given. The books of the Bible containing most important instruction are disregarded
because they say so much about a personal God. He has not known whither his feet were
tending. But in his recent writings, his tendencies toward pantheism have been
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. 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 the storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience,
attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of
no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with the truth?
A mind trained only in worldly science fails to discern the deep things of God, but the
same mind, converted and sanctified, would see the divine power in the word. Only the mind
that is cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things.
The Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are "profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Let us go to the word of God for
guidance. Let us seek for a "Thus saith the Lord." We have had enough of human
methods. Brethren, awake to your God-given responsibilities. Your judgment, unless
perverted by a wrong practice of false principles, will discern the deep things of God,
given the Holy Spirit, and your hearts will be made susceptible to the teaching of the
May God bring his people under the deep movings of his Spirit. The Spirit makes
efficient the ordinary means of grace. God teaches that his kingdom is to be established
in the earth. "Not by might, nor by power," but by his Spirit. The Spirit is the
efficiency of his people.
I am instructed to say that those who would tear down the foundation that God has laid
are not to be accepted as the teachers and leaders of his people. We are to hold the
beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Words of power have been sent by God
and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world point by point, unto the
clear light of present truth. With lips touched with holy fire, God's servants have
proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the
The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls
for a revival of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of his people have long been
torpid, but there will be a resurrection form apparent death.
In the future, God will call for the gifts and talents of men not now actively engaged
in his service. Let these respond to his call, putting their trust in the great Medical
Missionary. The power that is the life of the soul had not been seen as it must be. It had
been smothered for want of spiritual ventilation, the blending of human effort and
God is calling upon his people to work. He come to them as they idle away the precious,
golden moments, and says, "G[o] work to-day in my vineyard."
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.
Men may still learn the things that belong to their peace. Mercy's voice may still be
calling, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye
shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." It is
only when spiritual life is given that rest is found and lasting good secured. We must be
able to say, in storm and tempest, "My anchor holds." He who builds upon any
other foundation than that which has been laid, builds upon shifting sand. God calls for a
reformation. But he who seeks to bring about a reformation without the aid of the Holy
Spirit's reviving power will find himself adrift. Those who turn from human foolishness
and frailty, from men's seductive arts, from Satan's planning, to Christ, the shepherd and
bishop of our souls, will stand secure upon the platform of eternal truth.
Ellen G. White
M. H. R.-10 B.10 Z.-21