Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7


Chapter 35—The Church and the Publishing House

Duty of the Church to the Publishing House

The members of a church within whose borders one of our publishing houses is situated are honored in having among them one of the Lord's special instrumentalities. They should appreciate this honor and should realize that it involves a most sacred responsibility. Their influence and example will go far in helping or hindering the institution in the accomplishment of its mission. 7T 182.1

As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment that harmony and unity exist among the Lord's instrumentalities. The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head—the papal power—the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses. This union is cemented by the great apostate. While he seeks to unite his agents in warring against the truth he will work to divide and scatter its advocates. Jealousy, evil surmising, evilspeaking, are instigated by him to produce discord and dissension. The members of Christ's church have the power to thwart the purpose of the adversary of souls. At such a time as this let them not be found at variance with one another or with any of the Lord's workers. Amidst the general discord let there be one place where harmony and unity exist because the Bible is made the guide of life. Let the people of God feel that a responsibility rests upon them to build up His instrumentalities. 7T 182.2

Brethren and sisters, the Lord will be pleased if you will take hold heartily to sustain the publishing institution with your prayers and your means. Pray every morning and evening that it may receive God's richest blessing. Do not encourage criticism and complaining. Let no murmurs or complaints come from your lips; remember that angels hear these words. All must be led to see that these institutions are of God's appointment. Those who disparage them in order to serve their own interests must render an account to God. He designs that everything connected with His work shall be treated as sacred. 7T 182.3

God wants us to do much more praying and much less talking. The threshold of heaven is flooded with the light of His glory, and He will let this light shine into the heart of everyone who will stand in right relation to Him. 7T 183.1

Every institution will have to battle with difficulty. Trials are permitted in order to test the hearts of God's people. When adversity befalls one of the Lord's instrumentalities, it will be shown how much real faith we have in God and in His work. At such a time let none view matters in the worst light and give expression to doubt and unbelief. Do not criticize those who carry the burdens of responsibility. Let not the conversation in your homes be poisoned with criticism of the Lord's workers. Parents who indulge this criticizing spirit are not bringing before their children that which will make them wise unto salvation. Their words tend to unsettle the faith and confidence not only of the children, but of those older in years. All have little enough of respect and reverence for sacred things. Satan will unite most zealously with the criticizer in fostering unbelief, envy, jealousy, and disrespect. Satan is always at work to imbue men with his spirit, to quench the love which should be sacredly cherished between brethren, to discourage confidence, to excite envy, evil surmisings, and the strife of tongues. Let us not be found acting as his co-workers. One heart open to his suggestions may sow many seeds of disaffection. Thus may be wrought a work whose results in the ruin of souls will never be fully manifest until the great day of final judgment. 7T 183.2

Christ declares: “Whoso shall cause one of these little ones which believe on Me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh!” Matthew 18:6, 7, R.V. A great responsibility is here placed upon the members of the church. Let them beware lest through inattention to the souls of those young in the faith, lest through sowing seeds of doubt and unbelief under the instigation of Satan, they be found guilty of the ruin of a soul. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:13-15. 7T 184.1

The power of Satanic agencies is great, and the Lord calls upon His people strengthen one another, “building up yourselves on your most holy faith.” 7T 184.2

Instead of co-operating with Satan, let everyone learn what it means to co-operate with God. In these depressing times He has a work to be done that demands the firm courage and faith which will enable us to sustain one another. All need to stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart as laborers together with God. What might not be accomplished in and through the grace of God if the members of the church would stand together, to sustain His workers, to help with their prayers and their influence when discouragement presses in on every side! Then is the time to work as faithful stewards. 7T 184.3

Instead of criticism and censure, let our brethren and sisters have words of encouragement and confidence to speak in regard to the Lord's instrumentality. God calls upon them to encourage the hearts of those who carry the heavy burdens, for He is working with them. He calls upon His people to recognize the sustaining power in His instrumentality. Honor the Lord by endeavoring to the utmost of your ability to give it the influence that it should have. 7T 185.1

As you have opportunity, speak to the workers; speak words that will be a strength and an inspiration. We are altogether too indifferent in regard to one another. Too often we forget that our fellow laborers are in need of strength and cheer. In times of special perplexity and burden, take care to assure them of your interest and sympathy. While you try to help them by your prayers, let them know that you do it. Send along the line God's message to His workers: “Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:6. 7T 185.2

The managers of our institutions have a most difficult task to maintain order and to discipline wisely the youth under their care. The members of the church can do much to stay up their hands. When the youth are unwilling to submit to the discipline of the institution, or in any matter of difference with their superiors are determined to have their own way, let not parents blindly sustain and sympathize with their children. 7T 185.3

Better, far better might your children suffer, better lie in their graves, than be taught to treat lightly the principles that lie at the very foundation of loyalty to truth, to their fellow beings, and to God. 7T 185.4

In cases of difficulty with the ones who have them in charge, go directly to those in authority and learn the truth. Bear in mind that the managers of the various departments understand much better than others can what regulations are essential. Manifest confidence in their judgment and respect for their authority. Teach your children to respect and honor the ones to whom God has shown respect and honor by placing them in positions of trust. 7T 186.1

In no way can the members of the church more effectively second the efforts of the managers in our institutions than by giving in their own homes an example of right order and discipline. Let parents in their words and deportment give to their children an example of what they desire them to be. Let purity in speech and true Christian courtesy be constantly maintained. Let there be no encouragement to sin, no evil speaking or evil surmising. Teach the children and youth to respect themselves, to be true to principle, true to God. Teach them to respect and obey the law of God and the rules of the home. Then they will practice these principles in their lives and will carry them out in all their associations with others. They will love their neighbor as themselves; they will create a pure atmosphere and will exert an influence to encourage weak souls in the path that leads to holiness and heaven. 7T 186.2

Children who receive such instruction will not be a burden, a cause of anxiety, in our institutions; they will be a support to those who bear responsibility. Under right instruction they will be prepared to fill places of trust, and by precept and example will constantly aid others to do right. They will put a just estimate upon their own endowments and will make the best use of their physical, mental, and spiritual powers. Such souls are fortified against temptation; they are not easily overcome. With the blessing of God such characters are light bearers; their influence tends to educate others for a business life which is a practical Christian life. 7T 186.3

The members of the church, filled with Christ's love for souls, and awake to their privileges and opportunities, may exert upon the youth in our institutions an influence for good that is beyond estimate. Their example of faithfulness in the home, in business, and in the church, their manifestation of social kindness and Christian courtesy, combined with a genuine interest for the youth's spiritual well-being, will go far toward shaping the characters of these youths for the service of God and their fellow men, both in this life and in the life to come. 7T 187.1