Why Ellen White said do not make dress and diet a test and what she really meant


Should Meat Eating Be a Test of Fellowship?

Many Seventh-day Adventists aren’t aware that Ellen White wrote a letter to A G Daniels urging him to circulate it for all to sign a pledge to dispense with meat eating.  He refused to circulate the letter so Ellen White then had to make the statement, we can’t make meat eating a test because the GC leadership were still eating it so we can’t enforce it on the people.  Isaiah 22:12-14 states clearly that eating clean meat in the day of atonement is a sin that God won’t purge;  https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/08/20/the-bible-reason-for-vegetarianism/

Why She Wrote Meat Eating Should Not To Be Made A Test Of Fellowship – Testimonies Vol. 9

We are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship, but we should consider the influence that professed believers who use flesh foods have over others. {9T 159}

So this statement may seem very clear, we are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship. The statement in Volume 1 was also very clear, it said we make great error in making pork eating a test? What about this statement? Is there a statement that says flesh eating will be made a test? Let us take a look.

The Time Has Not Yet Come To Prescribe The Strictest Diet

Keep in mind that this next statement we are about to read, is in the exact same article, keep it in mind. In that same article, not in a different one, we find this;

While working against gluttony and intemperance, we must recognize the condition to which the human family is subjected. God has made provision for those who live in the different countries of the world. Those who desire to be co-workers with God must consider carefully before they specify just what foods should and should not be eaten. We are to be brought into connection with the masses. Should health reform in its most extreme form be taught to those whose circumstances forbid its adoption, more harm than good would be done. As I preach the gospel to the poor, I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I cannot say to them: You must not eat eggs, or milk, or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food. The gospel must be preached to the poor, but the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet. {9T 163.1}

What does that say? It says the time has not yet come. It does not mean the time will never come, it says that time has not yet come. Why did Sr White write this? Why? A little bit of digging to find the back ground of this statement;

1908 – The letter Sr White penned to AG Daniells GC President

On March 29, 1908, she had penned a letter to Elder A. G. Daniells, president of the General Conference, relating to the experience of church members in Washington, D.C. After expressing her agreement with plans for the erection of a meetinghouse in Takoma Park, she pointed out the responsibility of the believers and workers in Washington to witness to the thousands of residents in that area who had not yet heard the third angel’s message. Workers were to bring to mind the words of Christ, ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ . . . ‘Ye are the salt of the earth.’ {6BIO 199.3}

This is what she wrote at that time. This article became the article in Volume 9 but with some modifications. She modified it herself. Why? I want us to look at the original intent that Sr White had before the statement was given that we are not to make flesh food a test of fellowship.

I am instructed to bear a message to all our people on the subject of health reform, for many have backslidden from their former loyalty to health reform principles. The light God has given is being disregarded. {6BIO 199.5} A true reformation needs to take place among the believers in Washington on the matter of healthful living. If the believers there will give themselves unreservedly to God, He will accept them. If they will adopt in the matter of eating and drinking the principles of temperance that the light of health reform has brought to us, they will be richly blessed. {6BIO 199.6} Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh meats, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetites for foods which they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people. {6BIO 199.7}

Before when? A perfected people. This next paragraph is important. This paragraph was change when she entered into dialogue.

Will We Sign A Pledge To Give Up Meat?

The Lord has given clear light regarding the nature of the food that is to compose our diet; He has instructed us concerning the effect of unhealthful food upon the disposition and character. Shall we respond to the counsels and cautions given? Who among our brethren will sign a pledge to dispense with flesh meats, tea, and coffee, and all injurious foods, and become health reformers in the fullest sense of the term? {6BIO 200.1}

Near the close of the letter of appeal what she wrote;

I am sure if you will begin in Washington to do this work of reform–in the school, in the printing office, and among all our working forces–the Lord will help you to present a pledge that will help the people to return from their backsliding on the question of health reform. And as you seek to carry out the will of the Lord in this particular, He will give you clearer understanding of what health reform will do for you. . . . {6BIO 200.2}

Because of the example set by influential men in the indulgence of appetite, the truth has not made the impression on hearts that it might have done. I appeal to you now to set an example in self-denial. Cut off every needless indulgence, that God may bless you with His approval and acceptance.–Letter 162, 1908. {6BIO 200.3}

What happened? She sent a letter to in 1908 an appeal to the leadership of the church to sign a pledge that they will refuse flesh, tea, coffee and other injurious foods.

Ellen White held the letter for a few weeks, then sent it in late May, 1908. Copies were sent at that time also to several members of the General Conference Committee. Dr. W. A. Ruble, secretary of the General Conference Medical Missionary Council and a member of the General Conference Committee, who was promoting health reform interests in the denomination, sought permission almost immediately from Mrs. White’s office to duplicate and circulate the letter. In response W. C. White replied: {6BIO 200.4}

The Letter Not Circulated

What did he want to do? Immediately circulate the letter. Ohn but you read on, A. G. Daniels got a hold of that, Wait a minute, you don’t understand the situation of all the people around the world and you need to be more understanding. The letter was not circulated. It was in this environment, when the leadership of the church refused to even sign the pledge among themselves, that she came to write this statement, We are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship. Why not? It is impossible to make something a test of fellowship when the General Conference leadership is not prepared to sign the pledge. But she did write in that article;

The gospel must be preached to the poor, but the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet. 9t page 163.

Between that time and the second coming of Jesus is there going to be a time to make flesh food no longer a part of God’s remnant people?
From what we have studied of the children of Israel, they never made it as they refused that diet.   What about God’s remnant people in these last days? Is Jesus going to come or not going to come?

Continued: https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/08/19/vegetarianism-a-test-of-fellowship/

Dress Reform

Is dress reform meant to be a test today? There was a style of dress that God gave to Ellen White that the sisters at the time didn’t like. It showed the pants under the dresses. It was called the ‘Reform Dress’. See the picture here http://www.remnantraiment.com/images/EGW-RD.jpg

Ellen White then said:

“As our sisters would not generally accept the ‘reform dress’ as it should be worn, another, less objectionable style is now presented.” 4T 640.1

This is why Ellen White has said don’t make the ‘Reform Dress’ a test. She was speaking about the style above but dress reform still stood and still does today.  It is a test of salvation?

I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God. {4T 647.2}
The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side to come out from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. When they give evidence that they fully understand their position, they are to be accepted. But when they show that they are following the customs and fashions and sentiments of the world, they are to be faithfully dealt with. If they feel no burden to change their course of action, they should not be retained as members of the church. The Lord wants those who compose His church to be true, faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. {TM 128.1}

If they continue in those practices, they should not continue in the church.

There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized. {4T 648.1}

What will be the result? Our churches will be demoralised.

There is no need to make the dress question the main point of your religion. There is something richer to talk of. Talk of Christ; and when the heart is converted, everything that is out of harmony with the Word of God will drop off. {CG 428.3}

Any type of dress reform which is not accompanied with the plan of redemption is nothing more than fig leaves. True dress reform comes only as a result of accepting Christ as our personal Saviour.

Much unhappy feeling was created by those who were constantly urging the “reform dress” upon their sisters. With extremists, this reform seemed to constitute the sum and substance of their religion. It was the theme of conversation and the burden of their hearts; and their minds were thus diverted from God and the truth. They failed to cherish the spirit of Christ and manifested a great lack of true courtesy. Instead of prizing the dress for its real advantages, they seemed to be proud of its singularity. Perhaps no question has ever come up among us which has caused such development of character as has the dress reform. {4T 636.3}

This is the first promise of the coming Messiah. Our first parents with fig leaves and all were pointed forward to the future redemption. They accepted Jesus as they personal saviour. All they had on was their fig leaves. That was their only hope. Once they accepted Christ as their personal saviour. Look at what happened;

  • The plan of redemption was revealed
  • They accepted Christ while they were wearing the fig leaves

It was while they had their fig leaves on that they gave their heart to Jesus. What happened as soon as they did this?

Genesis 3:21. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

What did God do? He gave them a coat of skins. How do you end up with coats of skins. You don’t shave the animal, you have to kill to obtain this. A death had taken place. When they accepted Christ, they had to see there was a death. An animal had to die. This animal was a representation of the plan of redemption.

Revelation 13:8. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

This coat of skins was a lamb. As this lamb was killed, as they put faith in Jesus Christ, they received something very important. They received a change of clothing.  Sin came and there was a change directly in their dress. In the very beginning God gave them a certain type of clothing. As soon as they accepted the plan of redemption, there was a change. People say it doesn’t matter what you wear, it matters what is in the heart. We look at the creation, what was on the inside showed on the outside.   What type of change is going to happen to you? Do you want to have this type of experience? It is time we experienced the plan of redemption.

Continued; https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/08/31/ribbon-of-blue/

About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 18/05/2011, in Diet, Short Studies, Vegetarianism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Very interesting


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