Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers—No. 3


Extreme Positions

I am often greatly distressed when I see our leading men taking extreme positions, and burdening themselves over matters that should not be taken up nor worried over, but left in the hands of God for him to adjust. We are yet in the world, and God keeps for us a place in connection with the world, and works by his own right hand to prepare the way before us, in order that his work may progress along its various lines. The truth is to have a standing-place, and the standard of truth is to be uplifted in many places in regions beyond. Be sure that God has not laid upon those who remain away from these foreign fields of labor, the burden of criticising the ones on the ground where the work is being done. Those who are not put on the ground know nothing about the necessities of the situation, and if they cannot say anything to help those who are on the ground, let them not hinder, but show their wisdom by the eloquence of silence, and attend to the work that is close at hand. I protest against the zeal that they manifest that is not according to knowledge, when they ventilate their ideas about foreign fields of labor. Let the Lord work with the men who are on the ground, and let those who are not on the ground walk humbly with God, lest they get out of their place, and lose their bearings. The Lord has not placed the burden of criticising the work, upon those who have taken this burden, and he does not give them the sanction of his Holy Spirit. Many move according to their own human judgment, and zealously seek to adjust things that God has not placed in their hands. Just as long as we are in the world, we shall have to do a special work for the world; the message of warning is to go to all countries, tongues, and peoples. SpTA03 32.2

The Lord does not move upon his workers to make them take a course which will bring on the time of trouble before the time. Let them not build up a wall of separation between themselves and the world, by advancing their own ideas and notions. There is now altogether too much of this throughout our borders. The message of warning has not reached large numbers of the world, in the very cities that are right at hand, and to number Israel is not to work after God's order. Just as long as we are in this world, and the Spirit of God is striving with the world, we are to receive as well as to impart favors. We are to give to the world the light of truth as presented in the sacred Scriptures, and we are to receive from the world that which God moves upon them to do in behalf of his cause. The Lord still moves upon the hearts of kings and rulers in behalf of his people, and it becomes those who are so deeply interested in the religious liberty question not to cut off any favors, or withdraw themselves from the help that God has moved men to give, for the advancement of his cause. We find examples in the word of God concerning this very matter. Cyrus, king of Persia, made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it into writing saying, “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel.” A second commandment was issued by Darius for the building of the house of the Lord, and is recorded in the sixth chapter of Ezra. The Lord God of Israel has placed his goods in the hands of unbelievers, but they are to be used in favor of doing the works that must be done for a fallen world. The agents through whom these gifts come, may open up avenues through which the truth may go, they may have no sympathy with the work, and no faith in Christ, and no practice in his words; but their gifts are not to be refused on that account. SpTA03 33.1

It is very strange that some of our brethren should feel that it is their duty to bring about a condition of things that would bind up the means that God would have set free. God has not laid upon them the responsibility of coming in conflict with the authorities and powers of the world in this matter. The withstraining [restraining] hand of God has not yet been withdrawn from the earth. Let the leaders in the work bide their time, hide in Christ, and move and work with great wisdom. Let them be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves. I have repeatedly been shown that we might receive far more favors than we do in many ways if we would approach men in wisdom, acquaint them with our work, and give them an opportunity of doing those things which it is our privilege to induce them to do for the advancement of the work of God. SpTA03 34.1