Loma Linda Messages

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To the Workers in Southern California

B-340-'07 Oct. 3, 1907

This morning I cannot rest. My mind is troubled over the situation in Southern California. God has given to every man his work; but there are some who are not prayerfully considering their individual responsibility. LLM 278.6

When a worker is selected for an office, that office of itself does not bring him any power of capability that he did not have before. A high position does not give to the character Christian virtues. The man who supposes that his individual mind is capable of planning and devising for all branches of the work, reveals a great lack of wisdom. No one human mind is capable of carrying the many and varied responsibilities of a conference embracing thousands of people and many branches of work. LLM 278.7

But a greater danger than this has been revealed to me in the feeling that has been growing among our workers that ministers and other laborers in the cause should depend upon the mind of certain leading workers to define their duties. One man's mind and judgment is not to be considered capable of controlling and molding a conference. The individual and the church have responsibilities of their own. God has given to every man some talent or talents to use and improve. In using these talents he increases his capability to serve. God has given to each individual judgment, and this gift He wants His workers to use and improve. The president of a conference must not consider that his individual judgment is to control the judgment of all. LLM 279.1

In no conference should propositions be rushed through without time being taken by the brethren to carefully weigh all sides of the question. Because the president of a conference suggested certain plans, it has sometimes been considered unnecessary to consult the Lord about them. Thus propositions have been accepted that were not for the spiritual benefit of believers, and which involved far more than was apparent at the first casual consideration. Such movements are not in the order of God. Many, very many matters have been taken up and carried by vote, that have involved far more than was anticipated and far more than those who voted would have been willing to assent to, had they taken time to consider the question from all sides. LLM 279.2

We cannot at this time afford to be careless or negligent in the work of God. We must seek the Lord earnestly every day, if we would be prepared for the experiences that come to us. Our hearts are to be cleansed from every feeling of superiority, and the living principles of the truth are to be planted in the soul. Young and aged and middle-aged should now be practising the virtues of Christ's character. They should daily be making spiritual development, that they may become vessels unto honor in the Master's service. LLM 279.3

“And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” The prayer that Christ gave to His disciples in answer to this request is not made in high-flown language, but expresses in simple words the necessities of the soul. It is short, and deals directly with the daily needs. LLM 279.4

Every soul has the privilege of stating to the Lord his own special necessities, and to offer his individual thanksgiving for the blessings that he daily receives. But the many long and spiritless, faithless prayers that are offered to God, instead of being a joy to Him, are a burden. We need, O so much! clean, converted hearts. We need to have our faith strengthened. “Ask, and ye shall receive,” the Saviour promised; “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” We need to educate ourselves to trust in this Word, and to bring the light and grace of Christ unto all our works. We need to take hold of Christ, and to retain our hold of Him until we know that the power of His transforming grace is manifested in us. We must have faith in Christ if we would reflect the divine character. LLM 279.5

Christ clothes His divinity with humanity, and lived a life of prayer and self-denial, and of daily battle with temptation. He is our efficiency and power, He desires that through the appropriation of His grace humanity shall become partakers of the divine nature, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. The word of God in the Old and New Testaments, if faithfully studied and received into the life, will give spiritual wisdom and life. This word is to be sacredly cherished. Faith in the word of God and in the power of Christ to transform the life will enable the believer to work His works, and to live a life of rejoicing in the Lord. LLM 280.1

Again and again I have been instructed to say to our people, Let your faith and trust be in God. Do not depend on any erring man to define your duty. It is your privilege to say, “I will declare Thy Name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee. Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him. All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and fear Him, all ye the seed of Israel. For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from him; but when he cried unto Him He heard. My praise shall be of thee ... I will pay my vows before them that fear Him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek Him; your heart shall live forever. LLM 280.2

These scriptures are right to the point. Every church member should understand that God is the One to whom to look for an understanding of individual duty. It is right that brethren counsel together; but when men arrange just what their brethren shall do, let them answer that they have chosen the Lord as their counselor. Those who will humbly seek Him will find His grace sufficient. But when one man allows another to step in between him and the duty that God has pointed out to him, giving to man his confidence and accepting him as guide, then he steps from the true platform to a false and dangerous one. Such a man, instead of growing and developing, will lose his spirituality. LLM 280.3

There is no power in any man to remedy the defective character. Individually our hope and trust must be in One who is more than human. We need ever to remember that help has been laid on One who is mighty. The Lord has provided the needed help for every soul who will accept it. LLM 280.4

Ellen G. White

*****

R-324-'07 Oct. 3, 1907. 257

Sanitarium Calif.,

Elder Reaser S. Hill St., Los Angeles, Calif.:

My Brother,

I have read your letters, but cannot possibly answer them fully now. You would misunderstand me if I should write. If I attend the Los Angeles meeting, I can then communicate to you and to others. I have much to say. Until then make no decided move. LLM 281.1

In the last few days I have written many letters to Australia, to Washington, and to other places. Not all that I have written has been sent. I am not able to sleep for the burdens I carry for the many places where souls are in peril. The cases of some have been especially urged upon me. Satan is playing the game of life for their souls. I cannot let them make decisions that will place them in the power of Satanic agencies. By giving them a plain and decided message, God may use my words to save them. LLM 281.2

For a long time I have seen the danger that was coming into our ranks in the tendency to look to human wisdom and to depend on human guidance. This will always prove a snare to souls, and I am bidden to lift the danger signal, warning my fellow-workers against it, and pointing them to the Lord Jesus. The man or woman who leans upon the wisdom of the human mind, leans on a broken reed. LLM 281.3

I am instructed to point those who are in need of wisdom to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him; and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” “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... Blessed is the man that endureth temptations, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” LLM 281.4

“Ask and it shall be given you,” the Saviour declared; “seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask Him? Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. LLM 281.5

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” LLM 282.1

Never should a worker encourage one who is in need of instruction and help to go first to human agencies for an understanding of his duty. It is our privilege as laborers to pray together and to counsel together; but we are individually to seek God to know what He would have us do. When the Lord impresses the mind of one of His servants that he is to go to a certain place to labor, that man is not under obligation to go to a human being to know if it is right for him to do this. LLM 282.2

It is a wrong education to teach our people to lean on human aids, instead of going to the Lord in prayer. The enemy of souls has been the instigator of this, that minds might become obscured. The people are now to be instructed differently. God's people are to meet together in counsel, but no leader or worker is to take the position that God's children are to make no move until he is first consulted. Those who bear responsibilities in the work are to cooperate with heavenly angels in teaching men and women to look to God as the source of their strength. LLM 282.3

Wherefore “as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; while it is said, Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke; howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? and with whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to whom they believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” LLM 282.4

“God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things; by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they... But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation?” LLM 282.5

The ministration of Christ is ever to be kept before the minds of the people; His efficiency is that to which they should ever be directed. Ministers in word and doctrine are not to seek in human wisdom to supply the necessities of these souls; they are not to direct and guide. By doing this they educate the flock of God to depend on human beings who are liable to err. “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.” Here is marked out a straight path to the world's Redeemer, which every soul may take. Christ tasted death that every man might be partaker of the blessings of the gospel. Then let all, experienced and inexperienced, be directed to the source of all efficiency and power. Christ has promised to be our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification and redemption. LLM 283.1

Elder Reaser, my message to you is, Consecrate yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek the One who understands your every weakness, and who never makes a mistake. He is able to impart to you His rich grace. Looking unto Jesus, studying His word, learn to humble your soul before God and to wrestle in prayer with Him. LLM 283.2

It is not the position you may hold in the work that determines your efficiency. A high position will not change the character or increase the moral worth. It is written, “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of Thine hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all things in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him... But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.” LLM 283.3

The all-sufficiency of the Saviour is brought to view in this Scripture. He experienced in His human nature all that we can possibly experience. Taking our nature, and in the strength that his humanity received from God, He coped successfully with the powers of Satan and fallen angels. He bids His servants learn of Him. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden,” He invites, “and I will give you rest. 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.” Learn of Christ. As you study His personal life, and practise His works, you will find rest to your soul. LLM 283.4

I am bidden to say to every professing child of God, Go not to human agencies to learn your duty. Take your case to the one who has tasted death for every man. “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a faithful and merciful high priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” LLM 284.1

The worker who considers himself in a position of such high responsibility that he allows the members of the churches to look to him to voice their decisions and control their actions, is educating men and women to wear a human yoke. They are not learning of the divine teacher. To the one who is being led to have such an experience I would say, “Go to Christ; ask Him to give you an experience; learn to emulate His faultless character, and do not look for experience of guidance to any human being, who is as liable to err as yourself. LLM 284.2

There are reasons why we should not put our trust in men who are placed in positions of large responsibility. It is often difficult for them to maintain a humble and teachable spirit. They suppose that their position gives them the power to control their fellows, and they flatter themselves, as did Peter, that they will not fall under temptation. When in the hour of His trial Christ declared to His disciples that they would all forsake Him, Peter answered, “Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down they life for My sake? Verily, verily I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice.” Throughout His trial Christ preserved His humility. Peter's self-confident assertion was tested, and he failed to endure the test. He denied his Lord in the hour of temptation. LLM 284.3

I am instructed to present these words before the workers in Los Angeles and at Paradise Valley. Man is not to be depended on as a model in speech or in plans. LLM 284.4

If it is possible, there should be chosen to fill the responsible positions in a conference, men who will not lead others to depend upon them, but who will lead all to make the life of Christ their study, and their pattern. Christ ever manifested a heavenly courtesy in dealing with human souls. His life was a life of constant self-denial and self-sacrifice. Those who are numbered with the overcomers will be those who have practised the virtues of Christ. My heart has been made sick and sore when I have seen the example set by those who have loved to dictate and control; and I have said, If this wrong continues in spite of the warnings that have been given, I shall have no courage regarding their meeting successfully the great conflict that is before us. LLM 284.5

Ellen G. White

*****