Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22

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Lt 378, 1907

Leading Men in the Southern California Conference

Loma Linda, California

November 11, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in LLM 322-325. +Note

To the leading men in the Southern California Conference

Dear Brethren:

God’s messengers are to sense their grave responsibility. They are to trust humbly in God. The Lord calls now for conscientious, humble minutemen. He invites them, “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.” [Matthew 11:29.] The Lord Jesus came to our world as its Redeemer. He came as an example to all men. The world was in need of a correct representation of the future inhabitants of the city of God. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 1

Every one who has responsibilities to bear will reveal by his daily life whether or not he is fitted for the office that he holds. Ministers of the gospel will be tempted to strive for worldly and commercial advantages; but worldly interests must be laid aside. The glory of God must be kept in view. The saving of souls is to be their all-important burden. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 2

Men who live in the atmosphere of Christ’s presence will communicate the principles of heaven in conversation, in spirit, in tenderness, because they are learning of Christ. They will set a right example to their associates. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 3

There are many who may be saved, if their prejudiced ideas can be removed, and if they consent to take upon them the yoke of Christ. All should bear in mind the words of Christ: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 4

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:13-16.] 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 5

The special work of the leaders is to let the light so shine as to glorify God. As God’s messengers, they must have a thorough knowledge of Bible truth. Through watchfulness and prayer they must maintain such a connection with God that they may be the light of the world, and that prejudice may be removed from those who behold their consistent walk, and hear their teachings in regard to the Word of God. As a result of their influence and teachings, many will joyfully accept the present truth. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 6

By kindness, by graceful behavior, the messenger of the Lord is to give to the world an evidence of what the truth has done for his soul. The very grace of his words will be a convincing evidence; for the Lord will impress the human mind, and many will submit to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Angels of God will impress the minds with sacred truths. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 7

If believers fall in love with the truth in its purity, if they become free from all worldliness and self-exaltation, if they are all agreed, the influence of their lives will make an impression on unbelievers. Their reward may not always come in this life, but even in this world they will possess a peace and quietude, a rest in God, that passeth all understanding. Many will take knowledge of them, that they have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. In the future will come their exceeding great reward. In the heavenly courts they will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] In their purity, their humility, and their meekness, they have represented Christ, and they are now entering into their eternal riches. They are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. The joy of Christ is their exceeding great reward. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 8

I write these things to you, my brethren, although all of you may not fully comprehend them. If I did not believe that God’s eye is over His people, I could not have the courage to write the same things over and over again. But I am bidden to say to the messengers, that no commercial spirit should be permitted to enter into their messages or into any part of their work. Said the angel, “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” [Isaiah 52:11.] These words were twice repeated during the representation that was given me. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 9

Reformation Needed in the Churches

There is a work to be done in all our churches. The criticizing, the condemning, and the arbitrary forbiddings of men, whatever their position, is displeasing to God. During the past two years, the churches have had in some lines a wrong education. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 10

God has a people whom He is leading and instructing. And the man who exercises the power to permit or to forbid, as his judgment may indicate, has given a representation of an unsanctified disposition. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 11

The churches will be left powerless, if they are educated to obey the dictates of finite men instead of obeying the leadings of God. They must not be made to feel that before they can engage in any enterprise, they must first obtain permission of men. God bids me say, Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted for? Am not I to be consulted? Are finite, impulsive human agencies to have the control of My chosen ones? 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 12

Our minds must be stayed on God, not on men who have lost their bearings and who do not discern that position cannot give a man unerring judgment. Every man is to fear and honor God. All are to reverence Him and to show their interest in His people. There must be a constant seeking for divine instruction. The Lord has not appointed one man to exercise his conscience for another man. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 13

The Conference President

When a man is placed as president of a conference, it is not to be supposed that he is to mold and fashion the minds of the workers in that conference after his own human ideas; and that if men do not follow his ideas, they may be brought to terms by his saying to them, “You cannot receive wages from this conference, unless you do as I tell you.” 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 14

It is the duty of the presidents of our conferences to deal kindly and impartially with all the workers under their charge. They should counsel with their fellow laborers, regarding the wisest course of action to be followed in their labors. In meekness and humility they should set an example of earnest zeal and integrity. But never should they assume the responsibilities that belong to Jesus Christ and endeavor to act as an infallible guide to other workers. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 15

In the minds of many there is a false idea regarding the duties of a conference president. By a faithful example, it is his privilege to be a help spiritually to all the churches. He is to counsel with his ministering brethren, and with all the other workers, encouraging them to come into such relation to God that He can direct them in their appointed work. The first qualification for the president of a conference is that he himself has learned to seek and to receive counsel from God. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [Micah 6:8.] 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 16

I am instructed to say that when a man swells to large, undue proportions, the people should assemble and in the name of the Lord release that man from office, and put some one in who will not suppose that he is sufficient in wisdom to define how every branch of the work shall be conducted, but one who will seek to find out what is his duty. It is the privilege of the conference president to say, “I have this responsibility. If I lost the sweet spirit of Jesus Christ, with its softening, subduing influence that is to constitute me a light amid the moral darkness, then I must no longer hold this sacred office.” 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 17

I now call upon all our churches in Southern California to awake, before it is everlastingly too late. The self-competent men who do not humble their souls before God will, unless they repent, certainly be lost. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 18

In some lines, the work must now be remedied, and the all-sufficiency of men must be outlived by a diligent turning to the Word of God. Oh, I am so sad, because of the example that has been given of a superiority, a dictatorial authority, that has been born of self! 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 19

A real converting, reformatory change should now take place. Every one who fears God should search the Scriptures and carry with him into his day’s work a sense of his privileges under a Ruler who understands the purity of his motives. Minds must not be diverted from God to man. We must not fear the fear of the wicked and allow our consciences to be manipulated by men. Satan has been bearing rule in many minds. He will work through those that can be easily exalted and led to exercise their capabilities to repress or exalt others. The time has come when we must keep firm hold of the strong arm of Jehovah; for every species of delusion is being exercised. The prince of darkness is working through the minds of men who, in their lack of spiritual discernment, suppose that they are to rule the experience of the Lord’s little children, who are to look to God in a living, simple, working faith. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 20

Satan is working to captivate the world. We have entered the last great conflict. But holy angels will guard the people of God, so long as they put their trust in His infinite power. Could our eyes be opened, we should see holy angels guarding the humble followers of Jesus, and evil angels working upon human minds to intercept the rays of light from the Word of God that should come to the people. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 21

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.” [Isaiah 58:1, 2.] 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 22

Read and study carefully the whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. If positions of responsibility are entrusted to men who are distrustful of self and fear the Lord God, they will understand that it is a matter of great importance that they walk very humbly before God, and that they do not become careless or inattentive to His Word. 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 23

I am to say to the people of God, Take heed that ye be not deceived. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] 22LtMs, Lt 378, 1907, par. 24