The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 6—High Spiritual Standards for God's Workmen

Greater Spirituality Needed in Adventist Centers—In the centers that are formed in some places, there is constant temptation to carry the work after worldly methods. I have had presented before me the dangers before us in the future. This light I have tried to present with pen and with voice. Let the work be carried forward intelligently by men and women of sound faith and strict religious principle. PM 63.1

There is need of greater faith in our ranks. Our people in Washington and in Mountain View are not in the state spiritually that God requires of them, and they are not doing the work that is demanded for this time. Some realize in a measure the times in which we live, but only a few seem to be fully awake to the situation. There is a work outside of their regular daily business that should be done. The simplicity of true godliness is not maintained. There needs to be an expression of greater humility.—Letter 164, 1909. PM 63.2

Spirit-filled, Farseeing Men Needed—Our great need today is for men who are baptized with the Holy Spirit of God—men who walk with God as did Enoch. We do not want men who are so narrow in their outlook that they will circumscribe the work instead of enlarging it, or who follow the motto: “Religion is religion; business is business.” We need men who are farseeing, who can take in the situation and reason from cause to effect.—Testimonies for the Church 5:555. PM 63.3

Thinking, Praying Men—Those who bear responsibilities must be men trained for the work, men whom God can teach and whom He can honor with wisdom and understanding, as He did Daniel. They must be thinking men, men who bear God's impress and who are steadily progressing in holiness, in moral dignity, and in an understanding of their work. They must be praying men, men who will come up into the mount and view the glory of God and the dignity of the heavenly beings whom He has ordained to have charge of His work. Then, like Moses, they will follow the pattern given them in the mount; and they will be on the alert to secure and bring into connection with the work the very best talent that can be obtained. If they are growing men, possessing sanctified intelligence; if they listen to the voice of God and seek to catch every ray of light from heaven, they will, like the sun, pursue an undeviating course, and they will grow in wisdom and in favor with God. PM 64.1

The publishing department is an important branch of God's work, and all connected with it should feel that it is ordained of God and that all heaven is interested in it. Especially should those who have a voice in the management of the work have breadth of mind and sanctified judgment. They should not waste their Lord's money by thoughtlessness or lack of business tact; neither should they make the mistake of limiting the work by the adoption of narrow plans and trusting the work to men of small ability. PM 64.2

It has been repeatedly represented to me that all our institutions should be managed by men who are spiritually minded and who will not weave their own defective ideas and plans into their management. This work should not be left to men who will mingle the sacred with the common and who will regard the work of God as being upon about the same level as earthly things, to be managed in about the same common way in which they have been in the habit of managing their own temporal affairs. Until those can be connected with our institutions who have breadth of mind and who can lay plans in harmony with the growth of the work and its exalted character, the tendency will be to narrow down everything that is undertaken, and God will be dishonored.—Testimonies for the Church 5:549, 550. PM 64.3

Breadth of Character Essential—Wisdom is needed in the selection of managers in the various departments. It is impossible for one to control others until he learns to control himself. The superintendent should be a man who loves and fears God. He should sacredly guard his reputation, giving no occasion for anyone to reproach the cause of God. He should not be narrow-minded, a man of one idea. One who is changeable, now indulgent, then cold and unapproachable, or critical, exacting, and domineering, is not fitted for this position, nor is he who will cherish suspicion, jealousy, passion, or stubbornness. These traits are not pleasing to God, and will not be manifested by any who take Jesus for their pattern and counselor. The superintendent must manifest the spirit of Christ; yet he should be firm to restrain evil. A neglect of this duty shows him to be unfit for his position. God requires of a steward that he be found faithful. A manager must be a growing man in order to meet the difficulties as well as the opportunities that are constantly arising. He should be quick to discern what needs to be done, and take active measures to accomplish the work at the right time.—Letter 74, 1896. (Special Testimony to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions, 4, 5.) PM 65.1

The First Business of Life—Men should be chosen to stand at the head of our institutions who have not only good, sound judgment, but a high moral tone, who will be circumspect in their deportment, pure in speech, remembering their high and holy calling, and that there is a Watcher, a true Witness to every word and act.... PM 65.2

Managers and workers, are your souls united to Christ as the branch is united to the living vine? If you have not been renewed in the spirit of your mind, for your soul's sake make no delay to have your life hid with Christ in God. PM 65.3

This is the first business of your life. When Christ is abiding in the heart, you will not be light, trifling, and immodest, but circumspect and reliable in every place, sending forth pure words like streams from a pure fountain, refreshing all with whom you come in contact. If you decide to continue your idle talk and frivolous conduct, go to some other place, where your influence and example will not be so widely felt in contaminating other souls.... PM 65.4

It is time that we as Christians reach a much higher standard. God forbid that any institution that He has planted shall become a means of decoying souls, a place where iniquity is taught. Let all learn in the school of Christ meekness, purity, and lowliness of heart. Let them hang their helpless souls on Jesus. Live in the light shining from the oracles of God. Educate mind and heart to pure, elevated, holy thoughts. “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”.... PM 66.1

Great decision of character will now be necessary on your part, to change this order of things. No weak efforts will accomplish the work. You cannot do it of yourselves; you must have the grace of Christ, or you can never overcome. All your plans will prove a failure unless you are actuated by higher motives, and upheld by greater strength, than you can have in and of yourselves.—Letter 74, 1896. (Special Testimony to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions, 14-16.) PM 66.2

Faithful in Public Worship—Those standing at the head of the publishing work should remember that they are an example to many; and they should be faithful in the public worship of God, just as they would have every workman in every department of the office faithful. If they are seen in the house of worship only occasionally, others will excuse themselves on account of their neglect. These businessmen can at any time talk fluently and intelligently on business matters, showing that they have not exercised their powers in this direction in vain. They have put tact and skill and knowledge into their work; but how important it is that their hearts, their minds, and all their powers be also trained for faithful service in the cause and worship of God; that they may be able to point out the way of salvation through Christ in language eloquent in its simplicity. They should be men of earnest prayer and firm reliance upon God; men who, like Abraham, will order their households after them and will manifest a special interest in the spiritual welfare of all connected with the office.—Testimonies for the Church 5:408, 409. PM 66.3

I urge upon you the importance of attending our annual meetings, not merely the business meetings, but the meetings that will be for your spiritual enlightenment. You do not realize the necessity of having a close connection with heaven. Without this connection not one of you is safe; not one is qualified to do God's work acceptably.—Testimonies for the Church 7:188. PM 67.1

My soul is burdened; our publishing institutions lie next to my heart. My guide pointed out some things which if not corrected will prove ruinous to our institutions. A strange spirit comes over many who accept positions of trust. Some cease to attend religious meetings that are of the highest importance to them. PM 67.2

Their voices are seldom heard in the congregation of the saints. They act as if they were now so far advanced that they could do without praying fervently to God. They do not feel their need of education in the school of Christ, to learn His meekness and lowliness of heart. They have strong traits of character which must be overcome, else they are not qualified for the place.—Manuscript 16, 1890. PM 67.3

Understand the Ground of True Success—A close connection with heaven will give the right tone to your fidelity and will be the ground of your success. Your feeling of dependence will drive you to prayer, and your sense of duty summon you to effort. Prayer and effort, effort and prayer, will be the business of your life. You must pray as though the efficiency and praise were all due to God, and labor as though duty were all your own. If you want power you may have it; it is waiting your draft upon it. Only believe in God, take Him at His word, act by faith, and blessings will come. PM 67.4

In this matter, genius, logic, and eloquence will not avail. Those who have a humble, trusting, contrite heart, God accepts, and hears their prayer, and when God helps, all obstacles will be overcome. How many men of great natural abilities and high scholarships have failed when placed in positions of responsibility, while those of feebler intellect, with less favorable surroundings, have been wonderfully successful. The secret was: The former trusted to themselves, while the latter united with Him who is wonderful in counsel and mighty in working to accomplish what He will.—Testimonies for the Church 4:538, 539. PM 67.5

Enjoying Jesus’ Perpetual Presence—Those who are connected with the Lord's cause should bear their responsibilities in the fear and love of God, looking constantly to Jesus and all the time doing their work with an eye single to His glory, enquiring at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” Then their devotion will steadily increase, and they will constantly grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.... By beholding Christ we become changed.—Manuscript 24, 1891. PM 68.1

Workers to Study the Book of Books—You are greatly in need of a practical experience in the Christian life. You need to train the mind for the work of God. The character of your religious experience is made manifest largely by the character of the books that you choose to read in your leisure moments. The Bible is the Book of books, and if you love the Scriptures, searching them when you have opportunity, that you may come in possession of the rich treasures of the Word of God, and be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, then you may be assured that Jesus is drawing you to Himself. But to read the Scriptures in merely a casual way without seeking to comprehend the lessons of Christ, that you may comply with His requirements, is not enough. There are rich treasures in the Word of God that can be discovered only by sinking the shaft deep into the mine of truth. The Scriptures are given for our benefit that we may have instruction in righteousness. Precious rays of light have been obscured by the clouds of error, but Christ is ready to sweep away the mists of error and superstition, and to reveal to us the brightness of the Father's glory, so that we shall say as did the disciples, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way?”.... PM 68.2

To those who love Christ, the Bible is as the garden of God; whose promises are as grateful to the heart as the fragrance of flowers to the senses. Then take up your Bibles, and with fresh interest, begin to study the sacred records of the Old and New Testaments. Work the field of precious truth, until you have a deeper comprehension of the mercy and love of God, who gave His only-begotten Son to the world, that through Him we might have life.—Letter 31, 1891. (Special Testimonies Concerning the Work and Workers in the Pacific Press, 32-34.) PM 69.1

Using Your Influence on the Side of Truth—There will be seasons of severe trial for those connected with our institutions; but if you know the Source of your strength, you need not be overcome. Whatever influence God has given you, He requires you to throw on the side of truth, of godliness. In making men, women, and children better by pointing them to the cross of Calvary, you are doing the work He has given you to do. True Bible Christians will have an influence that will lead other minds. You, as Christians, have a weight of responsibility which no one can take from you.—Letter 74, 1896. (Special Testimony to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions, 21.) PM 69.2

Walk in the Light of God—The Lord has given great light to those in the office of publication at Oakland, and some who for a time walked in the light afterward failed to do so, by not continually keeping the heart surrendered to God, and the result was that darkness came upon them. They lost their sense of sin, and did those things which the Lord had plainly shown them they ought not to do. God forces no man's will. All are left free to choose whom they will serve. They may listen to the suggestions of Satan, and come to look upon matters as he does, reasoning after the same manner, and the result will be that they will follow the same course of stubborn resistance to the light that Satan pursued in the courts of heaven. Those who reject the light which God sends them will walk in sparks of their own kindling, and will lie down in sorrow at last.... PM 69.3

I have been aroused by the Spirit of the Lord to sound an alarm, that these world-bound souls may be awakened to the peril in which they are placed through their course of backsliding. For Christ's sake, let all those who profess to be Christians depart from all iniquity, all dishonesty. For Christ's sake, for your own soul's sake, I urge you to reform. Let there be a solemn consideration of your privileges and responsibilities. Let there not be found among you a selfish, earthly ambition for place and position or money-getting. This spirit prevails to a large extent, and the religion of Christ is brought down to a low, common level. There is great need that the converting power of God may be felt throughout the office, that all may realize that the words of Christ are to be fulfilled in life and character. Every day Jesus is in that office taking note of every worker in every department and line of work. The voice of God speaks to all who are there employed, warning and reproving them in His Word, and through the testimonies of His Spirit. But these warnings are first neglected, then despised, then stubbornly resisted and assailed.—SpTPW 158, 159. PM 69.4

Strange Fire Mingled With the Sacred—I presented before those present [at a ministers’ council in the Battle Creek Tabernacle church] the sacred responsibilities connected with the office of publication, telling them that those who accept these responsibilities should be men of faith, men of piety and deep experience. Jesting and joking should not be sanctioned in the office, neither should harshness or sourness be shown to those employed or those seeking counsel. PM 70.1

There are those who do not discern the sacredness of the work, who will surely bring in principles that are not correct. They will work to secure wages, and then think their duty is done. They will bring in a selfish, grasping spirit, which will result in robbery of God. Strange fire will be mingled with the sacred fire. Others will catch this spirit, for the plague spot of selfishness is as contagious as the leprosy.—Manuscript 19, 1891. PM 70.2

Satan Urging False and Unscriptural Principles—I have been shown that Satan and his angels who are doing his bidding, clothed in garments of light, are walking through every room in the office, looking with eager interest upon every branch of the work, urging the workers to present false principles and bring a cheapness into the work, and to destroy, if possible, the sacred, elevating, ennobling principles of the truth. PM 70.3

The hearts of many of the workers are imbued with the same spirit that Satan cherished before his fall and which led to the rebellion in heaven. And he knows just how to bring this about now. For some time his deceiving power has been coming in and taking the lines of control. Selfish motives have been gradually and almost imperceptibly creeping in, until the objectionable methods and unscriptural principles have been interwoven with the work, and a singular blindness has been the result.—Manuscript 28, 1896. PM 71.1

Stifle Wrong Principles—There has been an effort to bring God's servants under the control of men who have not the knowledge and wisdom of God or an experience under the Holy Spirit's guidance. Principles have been born that should never have seen the light of day.... Finite men have been warring against God and the truth and the Lord's chosen messengers, counterworking them by every means they dared to use. Please consider what virtue there can be in the wisdom and plans of those who have slighted God's messages and, like the scribes and Pharisees, have despised the very men whom God has used to present light and truth which His people needed.... A wrong against the weakest or most erring of His flock is even more offensive to God than if it were against the strongest one among you.—Letter 83, 1896. PM 71.2

A Cleansing From Every Selfish Principle—As a people we need to come up on a higher platform. In our printing offices in Washington and Nashville there is a work to be done that will bring in a clear and holy atmosphere. There must be a cleansing from every selfish principle. Narrow, self-conceived ideas must not bear rule. They must be purged away. When the workers hunger for the incoming of pure, uplifting principles, the salvation of God will be revealed, and He will be glorified. PM 71.3

Let the workers in the publishing houses rid themselves of every species of selfishness. When each one is willing to give to his brother the right of way that he desires for himself, then God can be glorified in His institutions. PM 72.1

For years some have been binding themselves about with selfish desires as with hoops of steel. Self and selfishness have figured largely in their work, but such a spirit is dishonoring to God. I am instructed to say that those who retain such a spirit and hold such principles cannot be accepted by Christ as laborers together with Him for the glory of God. PM 72.2

Men may be placed in high positions of trust in the cause of God, but they can claim nothing from Him unless they practice His word and rule in righteousness, seeking to copy the example of the meek and lowly Jesus. The leader in the work, as verily as the humblest lay member, is dependent upon God for power to exercise a pure, uplifting influence. PM 72.3

The Lord says to the workers in Washington and Nashville, “Review your operations.” You must rise above every cheap and selfish principle and be imbued with the Spirit of God. Unless the workers experience the daily converting power of God upon their hearts and lives, they will not be pleased to meet the record of their deeds before the bar of God, when every man will be rewarded according as his works have been.—Letter 372, 1908. PM 72.4

Morality and Purity of Life—Careful attention should be given to the moral standing and influence of everyone employed in our institutions. If the workers are in any way impure in heart or life, it will be revealed in their words and their actions, notwithstanding their efforts to conceal the truth. If they are not strictly moral, there is danger in employing them, for they will be in a position where they can mislead those who desire to reform, and can confirm them in unholy, defiling practices. Such men and women, unless converted, will be not only a curse to themselves, but a curse wherever they go. The converting power of God is alone sufficient to establish pure principles in the heart, so that the wicked one may find nothing to assail.... PM 72.5

Those who labor in our institutions are there for the purpose of promoting the intellectual and spiritual welfare of those under their care. They must make their work a matter of earnest prayer and study, that they may know how to deal with human minds and accomplish the object before them. Their first work is carefully to scrutinize their own habits, for there are those who have not put away childish things. They are in need of transforming grace, or they will not meet the Bible standard of Christianity. Then when they are compelled to deal with those who are meeting a low standard, they will know what words to speak to them, and will not be harsh, domineering, or arbitrary toward them. They must be chaste, and so free from the taint of defilement, that they can correct these evils, and bring these poor souls up to the Bible standard of purity.—Letter 47, 1896. (Special Testimony to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions, 10, 11.) PM 73.1

Influence of Youthful Infatuations—Young men and young women associating together, having weak principles, and but little faith and devotion, become easily infatuated with each other and fancy they are in love. Their constant attention to one another soon has its influence, and spiritual things are not appreciated. As in the days before the Flood, there is an influence to continually draw the mind from God, and to fasten the affections upon the human instead of the divine. The girls in the office, some of them, are entirely unprepared to serve God; their thoughts are vain and unconsecrated; they are superficial; they have not the fruits of a Christian life. They must have a deep and thorough conversion, or they will never see the kingdom of God. Now, these young persons associating together in the office, forming attachments with view to marriage, and giving themselves up to these attachments, are unfitting themselves for the work. They cannot do their work with singleness of purpose, fidelity, and integrity. They are unfitted by this infatuation, and a demoralizing influence is felt all through the office.... PM 73.2

God will accept the services of young men and young women, if they will consecrate themselves to Him without reserve. But when they begin to form these incautious, immature attachments, devotion, consecration, and religion are made of but little account. It is death to religious fervor, death to growth in grace. It is a time when the most solemn and serious thoughts should occupy the mind, and the most thorough consecration should be cherished. We are forming characters; brick is laid upon brick, one upon another, and the structure is going up, a beautiful temple to God. These young men may rise to almost any height in intellectual advancement and spiritual power. I warn these young men not to marry, and the young ladies not to be given in marriage, until they have gained knowledge, experience, and success in their efforts to reach the high standard for which they have thought to aim.—SpTWWPP 13-16. PM 74.1

To Seek for Perfection of Character—There should be a thorough reformation on the part of the men who are now connected with our important institutions. They possess some valuable traits of character, while they are sadly lacking in others. Their character needs to have a different mold, one after the likeness of Christ. They must all remember that they have not yet attained unto perfection, that the work of character building is not yet finished. If they will walk in every ray of light that God has given; if they will compare themselves with Christ's life and character, they will discern where they have failed to meet the requirements of God's holy law and will seek to make themselves perfect in their sphere, even as God in heaven is perfect in His sphere. If these men had realized the importance of these things, they would today be far in advance of their present condition, far better qualified to fill places of trust. During these hours of probation they are to seek for perfection of character. They must learn daily of Christ.... PM 74.2

The men whom God has connected with His institutions are not to feel that there is no improvement for them to make because they stand in responsible positions. If they are to be representative men, guardians of the most sacred work ever committed to mortals, they must take the position of learners. They must not feel self-sufficient or self-important. They should ever realize that they are treading on holy ground. Angels of God are ready to minister to them, and they must be continually in reception of light and heavenly influences, or they are no more fitted for the work than unbelievers.—Testimonies for the Church 5:556-558. PM 74.3

World Watching Adventist Institutions—Let those connected with the Lord's special instrumentalities remember that He will call for fruit from His vineyard. Proportionate to the blessings bestowed will be the returns required. Heavenly angels have visited and ministered in every place where God's institutions are established. Unfaithfulness in these institutions is a greater sin than it would be elsewhere, for it has a greater influence than it would elsewhere have. Unfaithfulness, injustice, dishonesty, conniving at wrong, obstruct the light which God designs shall shine forth from His instrumentalities. PM 75.1

The world is watching, ready to criticize with keenness and severity your words, your deportment, and your business transactions. Everyone who acts a part in connection with the work of God is watched, and is weighed by the scales of human discernment. Impressions, favorable or unfavorable to Bible religion, are constantly made on the minds of all with whom you have to do. PM 75.2

The world watches to see what fruit is borne by professed Christians. It has a right to look for self-denial and self-sacrifice from those who claim to believe advanced truth.—Testimonies for the Church 7:200, 201. PM 75.3

Worldliness Disqualifies for Position of Trust—Brother P has been blessed with abilities which, if consecrated to God, would enable him to do great good. He has a quick mind. He understands the theory of truth and the claims of God's law; but he has not learned in the school of Christ the meekness and lowliness that would make him a safe man to stand in a position of trust. He has been weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. He has had great light in warnings and reproofs; but he has not given heed to them; he has not even seen the necessity of changing his course of action.... PM 75.4

The cross of Christ has been presented to Brother P; but he has turned away from it, for it involves shame and reproach rather than the honor and praise of the world. Again and again Jesus has called: Take up the cross and follow Me, so shall ye be My disciple. But other voices have been calling in the direction of worldly pride and ambition; and he has listened to these voices because their spirit is more pleasing to the natural heart. He has turned from Jesus, divorced himself from God, and embraced the world.... PM 76.1

Brother P's union with the world has proved a snare to himself and to others. Oh, how many stumble over such lives as his. They get the impression that when they take the first steps in conversion—repentance, faith, and baptism—this is all that is required of them. But this is a fatal error. The arduous struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. There is no release in this war; the effort must be continuous and persevering. Christian integrity must be sought with resistless energy and maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose. PM 76.2

A genuine religious experience unfolds and intensifies. Continual advancement, increasing knowledge and power in the word of God, is the natural result of a vital connection with God. The light of holy love will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. It was Brother P's privilege to have such an experience as this; but he has not had the oil of grace in his vessel with his lamp, and his light has been growing dim. If he does not make a decided change soon, he will be where no warnings or entreaties will ever reach him. His light will go out in darkness, and he will be left in despair.—Testimonies for the Church 5:411-413. PM 76.3

Unconsecrated Should Be Separated From the Work—No one should be retained in any one of the Lord's institutions who in a crisis fails of realizing that His instrumentalities are sacred. If workers have no relish for the truth; if their connection with the institution makes them no better, brings to them no love for the truth, then, after sufficient trial, separate them from the work; for their irreligion and unbelief influence others. Through them evil angels work to mislead those who are brought in as apprentices. You should obtain for apprentices those who are promising youth, those who love God. But if you place them in connection with others who have no love for God, they are in constant danger from the irreligious influence. The halfhearted and worldly, those who are given to gossip, who dwell on the faults of others, while neglecting their own, should be separated from the work.—Testimonies for the Church 7:202. PM 76.4

Should Unbelievers Be Permanently Employed?—All who connect with the institutions established by the Lord should be consecrated to God, soul, body, and spirit. No one who is an unbeliever should be permanently employed. All must have their trial and test. No one whose mind is not under the control of the Holy Spirit should be allowed to handle the sacred work of God; for the enemy lays plans to lead such men to do things which will hurt the work, and which may result in great loss and hindrance. If such, because of necessity, are brought into connection with the work for a time, and, after having had opportunity to know the truth, are no nearer conversion than before, quietly dismiss them.... PM 77.1

But when such are dismissed, be very careful that they do not go with a spirit of irritation, for you may hurt them, and it is possible for them to hurt you and do you much harm. If they leave in a revengeful spirit, they can communicate falsehoods, and misrepresent the work. You will feel that something is hurting the work, you know not what. It is the secret, underhand work that is being done. Hence the peril of connecting with one of this class, who feels under no obligation to surrender himself to God. All these things are to be considered.—Letter 27, 1896. PM 77.2