Pastor George Fifield's Sermons on the Character of God - 1897
Pastor George Fifield's Series of Sermons at the 1897 General Conference
Introduction and Background to the Sermons Ellen G White did not attend the 1897 General Conference Session in Nebraska, USA, because she was in Australia in 1897. However, she did write several "warning" testimonies for the speakers, given to her from God, to be read at the conference, while she remained in Australia. It is interesting that none of those testimonies warned against Pst Fifield's sermons which dealt specifically with the character of God.
The General Conference Daily Bulletin recorded that the atmosphere at the 3 week long meetings was unusually spiritual. This is not surprising, as the sermon content reveals that elders Jones, Waggoner, Fifield, Prescott and even Dr Kellogg were preaching on the topic of God's character and Ellen White's written testimonies also stressed the necessity of abiding in Christ.
While Ellen White was not in attendance, her son Willy C White did attend the conference along with other notable ministers and doctors e.g. EJ Waggoner, AT Jones, JN Loughborough, Harrison Grant, JH Kellogg, WW Prescott, MC Israel, HE Robinson, CA Washburn, FM Wilcox, NC McClure, Dr GA Hare, Dr D Paulsen, AO Olsen (President).
Some statements from the General Conference Bulletins in reference to that session are: General Conference Daily Bulletins, 1897, p 48, paragraph 6 "The Y. M. C. A. Hall in Lincoln has been engaged for a course of meetings to be held evenings during the time of the Conference. These meetings will be conducted by J. H. Durland and G. E. Fifield. The first of the series was held on Sunday evening, and was addressed by Elder Fifield, whose words were listened to with deep interest, by a congregation that filled the house in every part."
General Conference Daily Bulletins, 1897, p 96 paragraph 8 "It is noticeable to all that there is at the present meeting a marked absence of the spirit of personal criticism, that so often mars similar public gatherings. On the contrary, the feeling of brotherly love and fellowship is expressed and manifested on all sides. The universal kindness on the part of those whose duty it is to help provide for and entertain this large company adds greatly to the comfort of the occasion."
As mentioned above, Ellen White also received and wrote special testimonies that God gave her, to give to the men who were preaching at the 1897 General Conference Session. Some extracts from Ellen White's testimonies follow:
General Conference Daily Bulletins, 1897, p 42 paragraph 2 "I was awakened at half past eleven o'clock. Matters of importance had been presented before me. I was in an assembly consisting of a number of our people who had the burden of the work upon them.... Then there stood among us One with dignity and authority, who proceeded to state principles for our guidance. I have strength to write only a few points, although the things suggested affected me deeply. To several the Speaker said, Your work is not the management of financial matters...... There should be ... more vigilant watching and praying.... The human agent is to reach for perfection, to be an ideal Christian, complete in Jesus Christ..... But the heart must be converted and consecrated. The motives must be right with God. The inner lamp must be supplied with the oil that flows from the true messengers of heaven through the golden tubes into the golden bowl. Then the Lord's communication never comes to man in vain. God will not accept the most splendid services unless self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can be no sound, healthful fruit, which alone is acceptable to God."
It can be seen that while EGW was given special testimonies to speak to the leading brethren in encouragement and correction, she was not instructed that Pastor Fifield was preaching error, nor was she instructed to warn him of any theological error.
It seems logical to conclude that Pst Fifield was not preaching error, but that he was likely presenting a great blessing in truth to the people of God. For this reason, Pastor Fifield's sermons are again presented.
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