Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Revelation 3:17.
Dear Brother: We are pained to learn the condition of Brother B [A. W Bartlett], and to know that Satan is pushing him on to cause disaffection in the Indiana Conference under the pious guise of Christian holiness. Both you and ourselves fully believe that holiness of life is necessary to fit us for the inheritance of saints in light. We contend that this state must be reached in a Bible way. Christ prayed that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and the apostles preached of purifying our hearts by obeying the truth.
The professed church of Christ is full of the spurious article, and one distinct feature of it is the more the members drink into the spirit of popular sanctification, the less they prize the present truth. Many of those who are the open opponents of God’s Sabbath, the third angel’s message, and the health reform are among the sanctified ones. Some of them have even reached the almost hopeless position that they cannot sin. These, of course, have no further use for the Lord’s Prayer, which teaches us to pray that our sins may be forgiven, and but very little use for the Bible, as they profess to be led by the Spirit….
What a terrible deception! They think they are complete in Christ, and know not that they are wretched, blind, miserable, poor, and naked….
We warn our brethren of the Indiana Conference and elsewhere. Our position has ever been that true sanctification, which will stand the test of the judgment, is that which comes through obedience of the truth and of God….
God is leading out a people, but it has been Satan’s effort all the way to induce certain ones to set up their judgment against that of the body, and thus lead them away from the body to certain ruin. Thus have self-deceived souls fallen all the way along during the history of the third angel’s message. Those who are led by fanaticism will gradually feel in harmony with those who fully reject the truth, and unless they can be arrested in their course will, sooner or later, be in the ranks of our bitterest opponents. (Signed by both James and Ellen White.)—The Review and Herald, June 6, 1878.