Loma Linda Messages
Loma Linda Messages PG- 220
August 15, 1907 (Organization) MS-75-'07. Sanitarium, July 29, 1907.
God's Wisdom to be Sought
The Lord has given me a message for the laborers in the S. Calif. Conferences. The Lord Jesus wants us to believe that He is our Wisdom, and Sanctification, and Redemption. Influences are appearing among us that are decidedly opposed to the healthy development of the work which the Lord would have carried in straight lines.
God has instructed me to say to conference presidents and to ministers. Teach every church in the Conference to look to God for an understanding of present truth and duty. The Lord has not placed upon presidents or ministers the responsibilities of the position that He alone, as head of His church, can occupy. Church and conference organization do not give man any such responsibility.
Listen to the words of the Saviour, "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." "My sheep hear My voice; and I know them; and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."
The exercise of authority has been carried to such extremes that it is now time to call a halt; for church members are receiving a false education. A mistake has been made that should be corrected before it is too late. Those who dare to accept responsibilities that are contrary to the Gospel plan are in a dangerous place. They need to see its course of action in its true light. Their permissions and their forbiddings have fostered wrong ideas regarding the responsibility that individuals should carry, and have led believers to look to man instead of looking to God.
Brethren, the Lord will bless you in an effort to break up this wrong influence. Ministers will become weak and unChristlike if they continue to encourage this kind of work. God is to be the strength and wisdom of His people. Man power is not to rule the church of Christ.
A Change of Heart Needed
The men who have accepted kingly authority need to be converted; for the self-exaltation they have manifested is dishonoring to God. The word of God is to be exalted as the rule of faith and practice, for this word reveals the standard of character we are to reach and teaches us our duty to love as brethren. Its requirements are to be strictly obeyed. At this time, when God is calling every man to put away his natural and cultivated tendencies to wrong, and to rid himself of his preconceived opinions; at this time, when Satan's influences are coming into our ranks with such power, God's servants must understand the way of the Lord. The word of man is fallible, imperfect, unreliable; but the word of the Lord standeth sure, and is done in truth and uprightness.
The men bearing chief responsibility on our conference must not seek to embrace too much authority. I have been shown that men receive ideas from men, and follow their own judgment and the judgment of their fellows, and that the Lord is not always their counsellor. The work of setting up erring man to judge and dictate to their fellows is folly. When men suppose that they must watch God's laborers, and exercise over them their human judgment the sure result must be confusion and dishonor to God.
"The sweet Psalmist of Israel said, the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain."
The work of judgment has not been given to any minister or conference president. "Judge not," the Saviour says, "that ye be not judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in they brother's eye, and considereth not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye."
The God of power and glory, the Strength of Israel, is being put out of sight by man's glorification of human capabilities. A change must be brought about. There is no need of so much of man's devising. We are nearing the close of this earth's history. God says I will overturn, overturn, until man stands in his appointed place. I am the true Shepherd of My flock. The voice and judgment of man is not to be the voice (390) and judgment of My people. Church members are to be educated, line upon line, and precept upon precept, to look to God for wisdom and counsel.
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another," the apostle Paul exhorts, "as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ." When the principles of the word of God are brought into the life practice of the workers, we shall have men of God's appointment.
There are those who, had they placed themselves in a position where the Spirit of God could lead them, would have been a great help and blessing to God's people; but they have hindered the work that God purposed to do through them by taking upon themselves responsibilities which God never required them to carry. To all who have thus exalted themselves, I am bidden to say, Let the principles of the word of God find a place in your work. Let the strong traits of character, that would
eclipse the attributes of mercy and love and compassion, be put away. Every principle of the word of God is to stand magnified in the life of the servant of God.
Ellen G. White. -
Sanitarium, Calif., Aug. 6, 1907. August 7, 1907.
Loma Linda Messages -PG- 461
Sanitarium, Calif., Dec. 6, 1909.
To the Leading Ministers in California
In the night watches of Nov. 22, I seemed to be bearing my testimony in a meeting where believers and unbelievers were assembled. I spoke to them in regard to the short work to be done in the earth, and our need of keeping before the world the evidences that the Lord is in our midst. This evidence may be given in words of praise and thanksgiving. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God." The Lord calls for faithful witnesses. With our lips and in our works, we should praise Him. As a people we have received special advantages from the Lord, but we do not render to Him sincere thanksgiving. Daily His praise should be spoken by every one of us.... -PG- 463
In may places, and especially in Southern California plans and methods of labor have been followed that have hindered the Lord's work, so that those upon whom the Lord has laid special burdens could not do the work to which they were appointed. In some cases watchers were set to restrict the work and to hedge up the way of some who were laboring most earnestly for advancement (of the work. erp, 1960).
Unsanctified plans were laid that worked counter to the plans of God. All this was greatly displeasing to the Lord, and it was work which He repudiated. There were cities that might have been entered and a good work begun, but through lack of faith there developed a counter-working influence. With unbelief, jealousies arose, and with sacred missionary enterprises were linked up men who themselves needed to experience the converting power of God, and to learn to walk humbly before Him.
To those who had kept the way hedged up, I wrote out the instruction given me, and trusted the result with the Lord. The burden was heavy, and I feared I should not live to see the results of my efforts to break the yokes which men were placing upon their fellow-workers. The Lord presented before me in decided representations that it would take years to root out the evil resulting from placing in the hands of finite men the power to (815) hinder and delay the work of God. Repeated messages of reproof and counsel were necessary, that capable men whom the Lord had specified as the ones to do a special work might be set free to follow the light that God was giving.
There were strong men in Southern California who stood decidedly against the light the Lord was giving His messenger regarding the work to be done. They were following their own counsel and judgment, and were imperiling the cause of God. I was instructed that the only way to counterwork this evil was to have placed in positions of trust men who would be guided by counsel of the Lord, and who would not be turned aside by those who were deficient in faith.
The Lord has wrought in a remarkable manner to uphold the messages sent to correct the strange work that was being done.
The evil has been checked, but it has not yet been fully rooted out, and if there were not a continuation of the messages from the Lord to His people, the will and ways of men would yet prevail to bring in strife and contention, and a deformed work would be the result. I was shown that human power is constantly working to weave itself into the work of God. This brings in disjointed and inharmonious action. The messages of pure and unadulterated truth are in danger of being trampled under feet by self-willed unconverted men who work to destroy confidence in the warnings that God would speak to the hearts of His people to correct error, and to encourage righteousness.
A great many of the difficulties that have come into our work in California and elsewhere have come in through a misunderstanding on the part of men in official positions concerning their individual responsibility in the matter of controlling and ruling their fellow-laborers. Men entrusted with responsibilities have supposed that their official position embraced very much more than was ever thought of by those who placed them in office, and serious difficulties arose as the result.
Simple organization and church order are set forth in the New Testament Scriptures, and the Lord has ordained these for the unity and perfection of the church. The man who holds in the church should stand as a leader, as an adviser and a counselor and helper in carrying the burdens of the work. He should be a leader in offering thanksgiving to God. But he is not appointed to order and command the Lord's laborers. The Lord is over His heritage. He will lead His people if they will be led of the Lord in the place of assuming a power God has not given them. Let us study the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of First Corinthians, and the fifteenth chapter of Acts.
Let the men carrying responsibilities treat those who labor with them with the same consideration that they would wish to receive, were they the helpers, and others the leaders. "All ye are brethren," the Saviour declares. Position does not give a man kingly authority. The meekness of Christ is a wonderful lesson given to the fallen world. Learning this meekness from the great Teacher, the worker will become Christlike.
For several years there have been leading men in the Northern California Conference who exercised an authority which they supposed was theirs by virtue of their office, to control the work according to their own disposition and judgment. The work was becoming confused, and the Lord gave me a message regarding the movements that should be made. Because of the strange conditions in the conference, Elder Haskell was to be called to take the presidency.
Elder Haskell and his wife have been engaged in the work for years, and their faith in the truth and in the Testimonies given by the Holy Spirit is strong. They have unitedly served according to the Lord's appointment, and we have sought to sustain them in their work. Conditions in the churches have changed decidedly, but the Lord has shown me that some in responsible positions are not yet converted, and without thorough conversion, they cannot conduct the work in right lines. Some who have been reproved and warned are not established and settled, and fully yielded to the guiding power of the Holy Spirit. Satan is not yet fully cast out of the minds of some, and it would take very little to produce again the conditions that existed ten years ago.
The cause of God in Oakland, San Francisco, and the surrounding places needs men of solid Christian character, who fear God and take counsel of God, or believers will be misled by those who attach themselves to the work, and who desire to guide and control according to human judgment and plans. The Lord desires to work through men of clean purposes and decided experiences, men who will learn from the Testimonies of His Spirit where they have not been in harmony with the Lord's will, and who will be converted. Then decided changes will be made. The perils threatening the work will be seen, conversions will be experienced, and our people will be preparing to stand firmly and unitedly with God to build up His kingdom in the earth.
Men who repudiate the teachings of the Spirit of God are not the proper persons to be placed in offices as leaders in the church. There is danger that the teachings of men who are not soundly converted may lead others into by and forbidden paths. In our efforts to secure consecrated leadership, we may expect to (818) encounter opposition, for the enemy is seeking through unconverted men in positions of trust to mold the work, and he has too much at stake lightly to lose their influence.
Many have refused to see and adopt the light, because they would not humble themselves before God, and be daily converted to Christ. Yet this must be the experience of all who overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. When men humble their hearts, and are daily converted, following the example of the meek and lowly Jesus, then there is hope that they will become wise in their religious experiences. . . .
I see a crisis before us, and the Lord calls for His workmen to come into line. Every soul should now stand in a position of deeper, truer consecration to God, than during the years that are past.
God corrects His people when they are in danger of being corrupted by those who obey not the truth. I have been charged to stand faithfully in the position in which the Lord has placed me among His people, that they might be instructed and counseled.
I have been shown that there are men helping to form committees, and men filling important positions in the churches, who are self-righteous, men walking after the counsel of their own hearts. Neither these self-righteous men nor those who have been influenced to hurt the work of God, should now be put in places of large responsibility; for the work of God will be marred by such steps. There are some who will always be deceived. We are living amid the perils of the last days. Let the Word of God teach righteousness. Let the chaff be separated from the wheat.
The work of Elder Haskell and others who have labored in Oakland and the nearby places might have been a much greater (819) blessing, had they not been obliged to meet wrong influences in opposition to the counsels that God has given to build up and prepare a people for the final conflict that is before us.
It is not in harmony with the plan of God that men who are working counter to the spirit of the messages that the Lord gives to bless and strengthen His people, should be given places of large influence in our churches. Such men are not a help, but a hindrance. Their work is to unsettle minds, and they sow the seed which will spring up and bear its fruit to make of none effect the counsels that the Lord has so graciously given to His people.
The Excellency of the Soul
We believe fully in church organization, but in nothing that is to prescribe the precise way in which we must work; for all minds are not reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the working servant of God from his fellow man. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his own lamp to keep burning; and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes, if they empty the golden oil out of themselves, and if it is received into the vessels which have been emptied of self, and so prepared to receive the holy oil, that lamp, well supplied with the holy oil, can to some purpose throw its light on the sinner's path. Very much more light shines from one such lamp onto the path of the wanderer, than would be given by a whole torchlight procession got up for parade and show. O, what a work may be done if we will not stretch ourselves beyond our measure! Advent Review and Sabbath Herald -DT- 05-09-99