The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 196—To Men in Responsible Positions in the Work


To the Men in responsible positions in the work.—

In 1883 while in Healdsburg, at the hospitable home of Bro. and Sr. Harmon, I was shown that the publishing work was arranged and established under the special supervision of God. Those connected with this work must also be under the supervision of God, else an order of things entirely contrary to the light of his word will be established. Those who trust to their own wisdom will plan to carry out their special ideas. This will bring results unfavorable to the advancement of God's cause. There are those who undertake to mould and fashion things according to their own perverted judgment, when it is plainly revealed that their own hearts need to be softened and broken under the controlling influence of God. How can it be safe to allow such men to control in your decisions. 1888 1679.1

A great work is in danger of being misshaped and deformed by human plans. It is in danger of being marred by men who do not lay their foundation upon the eternal Rock. They may regard some things as all right and other things as all wrong, just as they may be influenced in regard to the work. Their defective spiritual eyesight leads them to adopt a course of action that leaves God almost entirely out of the plans. They catch at ideas advanced by men who have not carried the burden of the work from the formation of the Church called Seventh-day Adventists. This people take the word of God just as it reads and keep the original Sabbath of the fourth commandment. They are distinguished from all others because they have obeyed the light given by the Lord in regard to the day to be observed as the Sabbath. After creating the world in six days, God rested on the Seventh, making that day a memorial of his creation. While the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy he sanctified and blessed the Seventh day. Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. The great Cleaver of truth has cut them out of the quarry of the world, and brought them in connection with himself. He has made them his representatives, and has given them the work of exalting his down-trodden law. 1888 1679.2

The work of God will be greatly marred if left in the hands of men who reason from their own human judgment. Self comes in, and traits of character that are not in accordance with the character of Christ put their impression on the work. A worldly policy is regarded as wise, while the divine policy, singular in the eyes of the world, is thought to be foolishness. A mark will thus be left on the work which will not appear objectionable, but which will receive God's disapproval. 1888 1680.1

New principles and decided movements are to find place in our institutions, for the guidance and instruction of the youth, that they may be aided to apply Bible principles to all that they do. Bible rules are to guide in the daily life, that the light of God may be seen in the welfare of the youth in our institutions. Every worker is to be a laborer together with God. No human being is to be put in a low place to be lorded over by any man, whatever his position. No one is to be kept from expressing his opinion. “All ye are brethren.” “All ye have one Father. All ye are members of one family.” 1888 1680.2

The youth will make mistakes, but these can and must be corrected without harshness or any manifestation of Satan. No one is to lord it over God's heritage. It is not right to try to lead human beings into right lines by manifesting the contemptible attributes of Satan. Those who have an indwelling Christ will not manage in these lines. None of the workers should be neglected, overburdened, or overlooked. If any discrimination made, it should be in favor of the youth. The chief interest should be to set them a correct example. Their future may be determined by their wise or unwise management. 1888 1681.1

At the conference in Battle Creek I had a testimony to bear to all in the conference. In every line of the work, in every institution there should be men who realize that the souls in their charge, if faithful to their trust, will be immortalized in the kingdom of God. Christ died to give them eternal life. By lives of rectitude they may receive a reward greater than their teachers. But if the men in any line of work shall forget the instruction of Him who honored humanity by taking human nature, and shall use roughly one of God's little ones, it were better for him that a mill stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were cast into the depths of the sea. 1888 1681.2

Will those who occupy leading positions in any of our institutions bear this in mind? There is a Watcher who follows closely in the steps of all in places of trust. Their responsibility is just as much greater as their position is higher than that of the ones they are to teach. With pains-taking effort impart to those in your charge the knowledge you have received. Teach them to advance intelligently, that they may acquire adaptability in the lines of work to which they are called. Do not feel that your work is finished until you have made them as efficient as possible. 1888 1681.3

This work has been strangely neglected. The youth have been allowed to plod along in their own way and on a low grade when they might have advanced to higher grades, becoming capable of doing higher work. Those in charge of the work have not labored in a way that can meet God's approval. Many have given those under them a sharp thrust, a severe censure, which did not enlighten the one receiving it, but provoked feelings of retaliation. God asks, who hath required this at your hand? You are only a servant yourself. 1888 1682.1

The Lord would have Bro. _____ connected with the cause, if he will work patiently on these lines. My Bro., you do not know yourself. You need to learn self-control from the great Teacher. You need to learn to take care of the little things, to heed the words “Gather up the fragments.” You cannot estimate the cost incurred by not bringing the principles of the word of God into the every day practice. Thus the religious life is marred. Religion can only bless where it influences. It needs to be brought into every line of work. 1888 1682.2

Bro. Henry Kellogg, the Lord has wrought upon your life and character, and you have a love for the truth. Jesus loves you, and he has placed you in a position of trust, connecting you with his sacred work. You might have revealed that the Lord had wrought much, but you have failed to consecrate yourself, soul body and spirit, to God both in home and business life. Especially have you lost much by not taking your place in religious assemblies, placing yourself under the most healthful influences, in the channel of light. The precious opportunities for witnessing for Christ ought never to seem unessential. Do you know that when the people of God assemble to worship him, as earnest active witnesses, they receive a rich blessing. They are Christ's representatives and he is in their midst to bless. 1888 1682.3

My dear brother, you have turned your back to Jesus. Satan has stolen a march on you. He came in such a subtle manner, so deceiving and beguiling you, that his working did not appear to you to be the working of the enemy. You have failed to see the importance of maintaining righteous principles in all branches of the work. 1888 1683.1

Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God means studying God's word. But you have cast aside the word of God for a class of reading that has separated you from God, and the result of this course of action has been seen in your words and actions, in your attitude toward those with whom you associate in the office. If you leave the cool snow waters of Lebanon for the turbid streams of the valley, your spiritual life will be of a malarious character. Put away all reading of a cheap character. It is exerting a baleful influence upon your soul. It is corroding your thoughts filling your mind with hay, wood, and stubble. You cannot possibly do the work of God with clear-sighted perception while you give your mind this food. Your choice of reading is dwarfing and crippling your spiritual experience. 1888 1683.2

If your soul is tainted, your lips utter perverseness. But your position gives you no right to utter cutting words. It is not your right to disturb the peace of any soul or to utter words that aggravate the temptations of one who is struggling to overcome. Thus you drive your fellow creatures to Satan's battle ground. When one needs to be corrected, it is humiliating for them to have their wrongs pointed out. Do this kindly. “Considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” The Lord sees far more faults in you than in those upon whom you have borne so heavily. 1888 1684.1

While at Minneapolis many things were opened before me in regard to the propositions made by A. R. Henry and others. These plans were not inspired by the Spirit of God. If you had then stood in the love of God, you would have been able to distinguish between righteousness and unrighteousness. Plans were formed regarding the management of the work which could not bear the light of day; for the signature of heaven was not upon them. Those who made these propositions had no idea of where their plans and imaginations would carry them. They did not realize that they would be led to subvert right principles, to obtain control of facilities that they might manage matters according to their own ideas, to build up what they pleased and to bind about what they pleased. This planning and devising was not carried on in a frank open way, but in a way which caused God to write opposite their names, they have dissembled. They have falsified. They have worked according to the deceptive practices of Satan, in order to establish a confederacy which would enable them to obtain advantages when dealing with authors. These men went to Eld. Smith and induced him to accept the lowest royalty. 1888 1684.2

Your committee selected to judge books is a fraud. Scarcely one of the members know how to estimate books. They have contrived to place in the market books like Bible Readings, which would cost very little for publication, and yet bring in a large revenue. But books that the world needed have received but little attention. By wrong management they have been kept away from the people. 1888 1685.1

Take your Bible; read it; search it as for hidden treasures. Cling to the word. Pray and watch, that you may be able with clear, sanctified perception to consider the propositions made in council meetings. In no case neglect the work you must do for your individual self. You are not your own. You belong to God. You have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1888 1685.2

Every soul must be regulated by the law of God. Compare everything you propose to do with the law of God. Ask, is this the way of the Lord? As a man looketh into a looking-glass to see the defects in his face, so he must view his character in the great moral looking glass, comparing his character with the law of God. If men would do this they would see more clearly the result of their course of action upon their own souls and upon the cause of God, and they would fear to take one step in the wrong path. 1888 1685.3

A neglect to live by the law of God cuts off a large portion of a man's life from God. He does not keep the way of the Lord, and therefore he robs his Maker of the service due to him. This reacts upon himself; for he fails to gain that grace, that power, that force of character that it is the privilege of each one to receive who surrenders all to God. Living apart from Jesus places him under Satan's temptations. He makes mistakes and errors in his work for the Master. His heart and mind is not conformed to the will of God. He does not obey God in the great matters which he regards as his special work, because right principles do not guide him in the doing of little things. He thinks the minor things of life unworthy of much attention, but the defects which he bears there pass into the larger things; he acts on the principles to which he has accustomed himself. The sure result is that Christian consistency becomes a hard lesson to practice. He has to work constantly against natural inclination and cultivated habits. 1888 1685.4

God calls upon us individually to conform our lives to the instruction given in the Old and New Testament. There can be no safe departure from the voice of God which speaks to us in his word. His rules are clearly specified; The standard which we must all meet is clearly defined. 1888 1686.1

The way of holiness is yet to be learned by those who have swerved from the will of God. In every act of life we are to be controlled by God's word. Every neglect in this line is a neglect of duty. 1888 1686.2