Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


Chapter 46—Counsel and Guidance

Cooranbong, Australia,

March 13, 1896

In the night season I was listening to one who spoke with authority. Words of counsel in regard to the responsibilities that are to be borne in the sacred work of God were spoken. The Teacher said, There should be no haphazard work. Much of this has been done. Men have assumed authority, but the people should not depend upon poor, finite, erring men. They should put their entire trust in the wisdom that finds its strength in the wisdom of God. The inconsistency of centering so many responsibilities in Battle Creek has been presented many times, but the counsels have not been acted upon. The reproofs and warnings from the Lord have been evaded and interpreted and made void by the devices of men. There has been counterworking against God, and the judgment of men has been received. TM 319.1

In Battle Creek, and in other places, building has been added to building, for the sake of making an imposing display. Men have supposed that this would give character to the work. Their own characters needed the transforming grace of Christ. This alone is sufficient to give character to the work. Nothing can be done without His grace. TM 319.2

The Lord suffers impediments to arise, that His wisdom and power may be humbly, earnestly, and perseveringly sought, and be distinctly manifest. Nothing will so quickly and decidedly separate the soul from God and bring defeat, as for man to lift up his soul unto vanity, and speak proudly and boastingly, and in a masterly manner to his fellowmen, who are the property of God. “Ye are not your own; ... ye are bought with a price,” even the precious blood of the Son of God. The Lord alone is to be exalted. Let every human agent keep in his place and not seek to get into the place where God should be. There has been altogether too much trusting in men. TM 319.3

In Battle Creek you have evidence that men who have had the most to say are not walking with God. There is abundant activity, but not many are working in partnership with Christ; and those who walk and work apart from Him have been the most active in planning and inaugurating their methods. If they had that wisdom that cometh from the Source of all wisdom, they would move considerately, and would study more earnestly the relation of cause to effect. They would discern that a few minds in Battle Creek are not to be the power to manage everything in connection with our work. TM 320.1

The state conferences must have men at their head who love and fear God—capable men, who will learn in the school of Christ to be laborers with Him, to wear His yoke and lift His burdens. They are to be partners with Christ in the sacred service of soulsaving. All the members of the church are to labor interestedly, zealously, not striving, as many have done, to see who shall be the greatest, and how to secure the highest wages, but striving to win souls for Christ, which means being a part of the firm, in partnership with Christ. Let all try to do their best. TM 320.2

The matter was laid before me, which I was trying to present before the brethren. There is altogether too much responsibility imparted to a few men in Battle Creek, and these men need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, else they will lead God's heritage in false paths. The conferences are watching every move made at the center of the work. The different conferences have been led to look to the leading men at Battle Creek, feeling that no important move can be made without their approval. This tendency has been growing stronger, until it is a serious hindrance to the advancement of the work. This arrangement should never have been. The Lord would have His people under His jurisdiction. They should look to God, inquiring of Him in faith, and follow on to know the working of His providence. TM 320.3

The arrangement that all moneys must go through Battle Creek and under the control of the few men in that place is a wrong way of managing. There are altogether too many weighty responsibilities given to a few men, and some do not make God their counselor. What do these men know of the necessities of the work in foreign countries? How can they know how to decide the questions which come to them asking for information? It would require three months for those in foreign countries to receive a response to their questions, even if there was no delay in writing. TM 321.1

In each country a man should be appointed to work in the general interests of the cause. He need not be a preacher, and he must not be a policy man. He should be unselfish, a man who loves, who honors, and fears his God. His whole time should be devoted to the work. He should plan unselfishly, and in the fear of God. Let him be general agent for that country, and let him be connected with a council composed of the very best men, that they may counsel together, and attend to the work within their borders. There should be businessmen appointed to do the same in the different states in America. TM 321.2