Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)
Lt 344, 1907
Daniells, A. G.; Irwin, G. A.; Prescott, W. W.
St. Helena, California
October 1, 1907
Portions of this letter are published in ChL 28. +Note
Elders Daniells, Irwin, and Prescott
Takoma Park Station, Washington D.C.
For the past two years a strange experience has been coming into our ranks. Some have thought that ministers and teachers in different lines should have one placed over them who would teach them how to serve and when and where they should labor. I am instructed to say to our people that this is not the plan of Christ; it is a false movement from beginning to end. If a laborer makes a mistake in any feature of his work, it is the privilege of his fellow worker to go to him and in the Spirit of Christ to show him his mistake; but it is never the privilege of any man to restrict the liberty of one of God’s servants. 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 1
It is not the Lord who has placed in the human mind the plan to place any man where God should be. It is no design of His by which man is permitted to put yokes on his fellow laborers. I have pledged myself to the Lord to break the yokes that some have sought to place upon the necks of their fellow workers and to give liberty to those who fear God and keep His commandments. I am bidden to say to believers, You are not to permit any human yoke to be placed upon you. Christ says to you, “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.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:5-8.] 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 2
“Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Let us say to our brethren and sisters, Walk worthy of your high trust. Having surrendered yourselves to God as ministers of His grace, depend upon Him and not upon man for your wisdom. You may be gifted and influential, but you must ever be dependent on God as a little child. 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 3
The device to place man under the ruling of his fellow man is a snare of Satan to divorce men from God; and it has resulted in a sad departure from the Lord and the working out of a cheap experience. The men who have made such plans have revealed that they are defective in Christian experience; their short-sighted judgment has resulted in leading souls away from the path to holiness and perfection. Unless they are truly converted, unless lips and mind and heart are sanctified to God, they will hear in the day of final reckoning the words, Depart; you cannot have the overcomer’s reward. 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 4
So long as self-sufficiency and self-exaltation have a place in the heart, there will be a low standard of character and an inability to reach the high standard that God sets before His people. The man-ruling power that has been coming into our ranks has no sanction in the Word. Satan has stolen in to lead men to depend on men and to make flesh their arm. I am instructed to say, Break every yoke that human invention has framed, and heed the voice of Christ, “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.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 5
The man who, because he is president of a conference, dares to take the responsibility of telling his fellow workers what their duty is is working out a wrong experience. The influence will be to destroy the God-given personality of men and place them under human jurisdiction. Such management is laying a foundation for unbelief. The men who instruct their fellow men to look to men for guidance are really teaching them that when they go to the Lord for counsel and the direction of His Spirit, regarding their duty, they must not follow that counsel without first going to certain men to know if this is what they must do. Thus a species of slavery is developed that will bring weakness and inefficiency to the church of God. 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 6
Those who bring in this unhappy chapter into the experiences of our work, and willingly accept the idea that the rulership of other men’s conscience has been given to them, need to understand that they have made a grave mistake. Their office was never intended to give to them the responsibility which they have been led to think it bestowed. The danger signal is now lifted against this evil. Never, never let men consent to stand in a position which God alone should occupy. I am instructed to say to my brethren who have indulged their propensity to rule: You need to be converted, you need to have your soul knit to the soul of Christ. “Why,” says one, “I have been a church member for years.” You may have been, but you have not become one with Christ; you are not following the meek and lowly Jesus. Your heart is not cleansed from selfishness. You have not received the wisdom that would lead you to choose the way of holiness. Unless you are genuinely converted, unless you unite in repentance and faith with the Friend of sinners, you can never be numbered with the redeemed. 22LtMs, Lt 344, 1907, par. 7