Selected Messages Book 3


Chapter 50—Disparaging the Pioneers

It is possible to relate that which has happened in connection with the past experience of the people of God, and so relate it as to make their experience assume a ludicrous and objectionable appearance. It is not fair to take certain features of the work and set them apart from the great whole. A mixture of truth and error may be presented in so doing, which our enemies would handle greatly to the disadvantage of the truth and to the hindrance of the work and cause of God.... 3SM 342.1

Let none of our brethren imagine that they are doing God's service in presenting the deficiencies of men who have done good, grand, acceptable work in laboring to unfold the message of mercy to fallen men, for the salvation of perishing souls. Suppose that these brethren have weak traits of character which they have inherited from their deficient ancestors, shall these deficiencies be hunted up and made prominent? 3SM 342.2

Shall men whom God has chosen to carry out the reformation against the papacy and idolatry be presented in an objectionable light? The banner of the ruler of the synagogue of Satan was lifted high, and error apparently marched in triumph, and the reformers through the grace given them of God, waged a successful warfare against the host of darkness. Events in the history of the reformers have been presented before me. I know that the Lord Jesus and His angels have with intense interest watched the battle against the power of Satan, who combined his hosts with evil men for the purpose of extinguishing the divine light, the fire of God's kingdom. They suffered for Christ's sake scorn, derision, and the hatred of men who knew not God. They were maligned and persecuted even unto death, because they would not renounce their faith. If anyone presumes to take these men in hand, and to lay before the world their errors and mistakes, let him remember that he is dealing with Christ in the person of His saints.... 3SM 342.3

A Rebuke to an Adventist Author—You have made public the errors and defects of the people of God, and in so doing have dishonored God and Jesus Christ. I would not for my right arm have given to the world that which you have written. You have not been conscious of what would be the influence of your work.... 3SM 343.1

The Lord did not call upon you to present these things to the public as a correct history of our people. Your work will make it necessary for us to put forth labor to show why these brethren took the extreme position that they did, and call up the circumstances that vindicate those upon whom your articles have laid suspicion and reproach. 3SM 343.2

You Have Given a Distorted View—You were not in the early experience of the people of whom you have written, and who have been laid to rest from their labors. You have given but a partial view; for you have not presented the fact that the power of God worked in connection with their labors, even though they made some mistakes. You have made prominent before the world the errors of the brethren, but have not represented the fact that God worked to correct those errors, and to set the objectionable matters right. Opposers will be glad to multiply the matter which has been furnished to their hand by our people. You have arrayed the errors of the early apostles, the errors of those who were precious in the eyes of the Lord in the days of Christ. 3SM 343.3

In presenting the extreme positions that have been taken by the messengers of God, do you think that confidence will be inspired in the work of God for this time? Let God by inspiration trace the errors of His people for their instruction and admonition; but let not finite lips or pens dwell upon those features of the experience of God's people that will have a tendency to confuse and cloud the mind. Let no one call attention to the errors of those whose general work has been accepted of God. The articles you have presented are not of a character to leave a true and fair impression upon the minds of those who read them concerning our work and our workers.... 3SM 344.1

God's children are very precious in His sight, and those who by pen or voice weaken the influence of even the least of those who believe in Jesus Christ, are registered in heaven as injurers of the Lord Himself. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” We need to remember that we should guard carefully our thoughts, our feelings, our words, our actions, lest we wound and bruise the Saviour in the person of His saints; for He has told us plainly that He identifies Himself with suffering humanity. Not one of God's faithful ones will receive the honor of a crown of life in the kingdom of glory, who has not passed through severe conflicts and trials. Every one who wins in running the race for the immortal crown, will have striven lawfully. 3SM 344.2

Turn Not Weapons on Christ's Soldiers—We are to direct the weapons of our warfare against our foes, but never to turn them toward those who are under marching orders from the King of Kings, who are fighting manfully the battles of the Lord of lords. Let no one aim at a soldier whom God recognizes, whom God has sent forth to bear a special message to the world and to do a special work. 3SM 344.3

The soldiers of Christ may not always reveal perfection in their step, but their mistakes should call out from their fellow comrades not words that will weaken, but words that will strengthen, and will help them recover their lost ground. They should not turn the glory of God into dishonor, and give an advantage to the bitterest foes of their King. 3SM 344.4

Let not fellow soldiers be severe, unreasonable judges of their comrades, and make the most of every defect. Let them not manifest satanic attributes in becoming accusers of the brethren. We shall find ourselves misrepresented and falsified by the world, while we are maintaining the truth and vindicating God's downtrodden law; but let no one dishonor the cause of God by making public some mistake that the soldiers of Christ may make, when that mistake is seen and corrected by [the] ones who have taken some false position.... 3SM 345.1

God will charge those who unwisely expose the mistakes of their brethren with sin of far greater magnitude than He will charge the one who makes a misstep. Criticism and condemnation of the brethren are counted as criticism and condemnation of Christ.—Letter 48, 1894. 3SM 345.2