The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters


Right Relations in the Work of God

Men, fallible men, are not to think it is their prerogative to control, to mark out, or to prescribe the labors of their fellow men. When God works upon the human instrumentality, let men be very careful how they intermeddle; for it is its process, the work of God is divine. The work of God has often been hindered by men considering that they had power to say, “Go here” or “Go there” “Do this” or “Do that,” without consulting the individual himself, or respecting his convictions as a laborer together with God. God has promised his presence to every believer; and let those who are in positions of authority, presidents of conferences and board councils, and everyone who has to do with the human mind, respect the individuality of mind and conscience. These workers are in copartnership with Jesus Christ, and you may interpose yourself so as to interfere with God's plans; for the human agent is under his special authority and dictation. PC 398.3

When men composing boards and councils, are themselves walking at a distance from God, of what value is their discernment and wisdom to decide in reference to the work of God's delegated servants? The human mind is open to jealousies, evil surmisings, and selfish considerations, and God's plans are often turned aside by the caprice and by the plans of unconsecrated men. If the door is not closed to the enemy, he will enter and will figure largely in human inventions. The Lord requires the men who have a directing influence in his work, to be wholly consecrated to him. He wants them to have hearts of flesh, and not of steel. PC 398.4

Men who do not control their own impulses are not chosen by the Lord to deal with human minds. For this work, there is need of much prayer, much humiliation before God, much deep sensibility of the value of the human soul, for whom Christ has paid so great a price. It was to seek for the pearl of great price that he left the enjoyments of heaven. And when the pearl is found, all heaven rejoices. When this is the case, why do not men tremble when they see the pearl in danger of being lost? Why are they not working conscientiously to secure that pearl for Jesus Christ? God sees that men in official positions are lifted up by self confidence and self importance. He sees that they are speaking and acting wrongly toward those who need wise instruction, and who need to come in contact with men who have hearts of flesh and not of steel. PC 399.1

Christ is our example, and everyone placed in a position of trust, needs the subduing influence of the Spirit of God upon the heart day by day. Christ wept with those that wept. In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and was touched with the feeling of their infirmities. He is a tender and faithful High Priest. He considers the cases of the tried and tempted ones as verily his own, and he ministers unto them. These weak ones of the flock are to be carefully nourished with the manna Christ has supplied. They are to be educated not to look to men and trust in men, whatever may be their calling. PC 399.2

God would have all such confederacies broken to stone and remodeled upon Christlike principles. The foundation stone must be mercy. Human minds are not to be trampled, and bound and driven by human hands. The Lord Jesus must hold the reins in his own hands that were pierced to bring peace and comfort and hope to every soul who will believe on him. He gives to the purchase of his blood the guardianship of his grace; they shall move in his light, clad in the robes of his righteousness. To every man is given his work; and while souls are brought into church capacity, work is assigned them of God. They are to move as winds that are under the controlling influence of God. PC 399.3

Men are educated to look to men, and to depend on men. One man, by virtue of his position, exercises authority over others as if they were to be led by lines, this way and that, as dumb animals. God has not directed in this way. God is our chief, God is our instructor, and to him we must look. We must ask the Holy Spirit's guidance, and expect to be led and controlled by it. The church organization is to be respected, but it is not to be made in any way a galling yoke. Men are not to assume the prerogative of God, and think to rule and coerce and oppress the souls of God's purchased possessions. All heaven is indignant at what men, with complacency, will do to their fellow men, claiming at the same time to be representatives of Jesus Christ. They too often represent the spirit and character of Satan. PC 399.4

Christ has found his pearl of great price in lost, perishing souls. He sold all that he had to come into possession, even engaged to do the work, and run the risk of losing his own life in the conflict. How then should man regard his fellow man? Christ has demonstrated the way. He says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” PC 400.1

When these words are heeded and obeyed in the spirit and in the letter, we will be doers of the word, and not hearers only. When these words are practised by those who claim to have wisdom to guide the sheep of the Lord's pasture, there will be far less selfishness, far less boasting, far less putting forth the finger and speaking vanity. Jesus is to superintend all events in the present and future of his church. John was instructed to write the things which he had seen “and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” PC 400.2

Oh, that men would revere the great Head of the Church, and would manufacture less human methods, bringing down spirituality to the very dust with human inventions. God has been left out, and the church is not prepared to advance to the conflict under the banner of Jesus Christ. It is not doing the work for suffering souls, which Christ owns as if done to himself. But the church, defective as it is, and enfeebled with so much chaff, is the only object on earth upon which He bestows His highest regard. In His estimation, the church in heaven and the church on earth are identical. He has promised to come personally into the midst of his church. He says to everyone holding a position of trust, “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.” PC 400.3

Men in official position must realize that their position gives them no license to be unkind or uncourteous, no license to be oppressive, and to let their tongues, which should be sanctified, speak words which will open a door of temptation, and help the great adversary in his work of discouraging souls. God has given us a work to do in saving souls from the companionship of Satan. PC 400.4

(Signed) Ellen G. White