The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters


MS. 178-'09

December 24, 1909

Sanitarium, California -178-'09

December 6, 1909

To The Leading Ministers In California

Dear Brethren,

In the night watches of November 22, I seemed to be bearing my testimony in a meeting where believers and unbelievers were assembled. I spoke to them in regard to the short work to be done in the earth, and our need of keeping before the world the evidences that the Lord is in our midst. This evidence may be given in words of praise and thanksgiving. “Whosoever offereth praise glorifieth God.” The Lord calls for faithful witnesses. With our lips and in our works we should praise Him. As a people we have received special advantages from the Lord, but we do not render to Him sincere thanksgiving. Daily His praise should be spoken by every one of us. PC 296.1

My attention was called to these words, which are profitable for our study: PC 296.2

“I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord to all these things. Drop down, ye heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” PC 296.3

“Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee and in a way of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show thyselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the spring of water shall He guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from far: and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. PC 296.4

“Sing, O ye heaven, and be joyful; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforteth His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she may not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” PC 297.1

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me, hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and a commander to the people. Behold thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and nations that know not thee shall run after thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. PC 297.2

(Isaiah 55:6-13) Let the instruction given in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah be studied in connection with these scriptures. Wonderful would be the results if ministers and church members would be converted, and adopt Christ's manner of witnessing to the power of the Lord. PC 297.3

In many places, and especially in Southern California, plans and methods of labor have been followed that have hindered the Lord's work, so that those upon whom the Lord has laid special burdens could not do the work to which they were appointed. In some cases watchers were sent to restrict the work and to hedge up the way of some who were laboring most earnestly for advancement. Unsanctified plans were laid that worked counter to the plans of God. All this was displeasing to the Lord, and it was work which He repudiated. There were cities that might have been entered and a good work begun, but through lack of faith there developed a counter working influence. With unbelief, jealousies arose, and with sacred missionary enterprises were linked up men who themselves needed to experience the converting power of God, and to learn to walk humbly with Him. PC 297.4

To those who had kept the way hedged up, I wrote out the instruction given me, and trusted the result with the Lord. The burden was heavy, and I feared I should not live to see the results of my efforts to break the yokes which men were placing upon their fellow workers. The Lord presented before me in decided representations that it would take years to root out the evil resulting from placing in the hands of finite men the power to hinder and delay the work of God. Repeated messages of reproof and counsel were necessary, that capable men whom the Lord had specified as the ones to do a special work might be set free to follow the light that God was giving. PC 297.5

There were strong men in Southern California who stood decidedly against the light the Lord was giving His messenger regarding the work to be done. They were following their own counsel and judgment, and were imperiling the cause of God. I was instructed that the only way to counterwork this evil was to have placed in positions of trust men who would be guided by the counsel of the Lord, and who would not be turned aside by those who were deficient in faith. PC 298.1

The Lord has wrought in a remarkable manner to uphold the messages sent to correct the strange work that was being done. The evil has been checked, but it has not yet been fully rooted out, and if there were not a continuation of the messages from the Lord to His people, the will and ways of men would yet prevail to bring in strife and contention, and a deformed work would be the result. I was shown that human power is constantly working to weave itself into the work of God. This brings in disjointed and inharmonious action. The messages of pure and unadulterated truth are in danger of being trampled under feet by self-willed, unconverted men who work to destroy confidence in the warnings that God would speak to the hearts of His people to correct error, and to encourage righteousness. PC 298.2

A great many of the difficulties that have come into our work in California and elsewhere have come in through a misunderstanding on the part of men in official positions concerning their individual responsibility in the matter of controlling and ruling their fellow laborers. Men entrusted with responsibilities have supposed that their official position embraced very much more than was ever thought of by those who placed them in office, and serious difficulties arose as the result. PC 298.3

Simple organization and church order are set forth in the New Testament Scriptures, and the Lord has ordained these for the unity and perfection of the church. The man who holds office in the church should stand as a leader, as an advisor and a counselor and helper in carrying the burdens of the work. He should be a leader in offering thanksgiving to God. But he is not appointed to order and command the Lord's laborers. The Lord is over His heritage. He will lead His people if they will be led of the Lord in the place of assuming a power God has not given them. Let us study the twelfth and thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the fifteenth chapter of Acts. PC 298.4

Let the men carrying responsibilities treat those who labor with them with the same consideration that they would wish to receive, were they the helpers, and others the leaders. “All ye are brethren,” the Saviour declares. Position does not give a man kingly authority. The meekness of Christ is a wonderful lesson given to the fallen world. Learning this meekness from the great Teacher, the worker will become Christlike. PC 298.5

For several years there have been leading men in the Northern California Conference who exercised an authority which they supposed was theirs by virtue of their office, to control the work according to their own disposition and judgment. The work was becoming confused, and the Lord gave me a message regarding the movements that should be made. Because of the strange conditions in the conference, Elder Haskell was to be called to take the presidency. PC 299.1

Elder Haskell and his wife have been engaged in the work for years, and their faith in the truth and in the Testimonies given by the Holy Spirit is strong. They have unitedly served according to the Lord's appointment, and we have sought to sustain them in their work. Conditions in the churches have changed decidedly, but the Lord has shown me that some in responsible positions are not yet converted, and without thorough conversion, they cannot conduct the work in right lines. Some who have been reproved and warned are not established and settled, and fully yielded to the guiding power of the Holy Spirit. Satan is not yet fully cast out of the minds of some, and it would take very little to produce again the conditions that existed ten years ago. PC 299.2

The cause of God in Oakland, San Francisco, and the surrounding places needs men of solid Christian character, who fear God and take counsel of God, or believers will be misled by those who attach themselves to the work, and who desire to guide and control according to human judgment and plans. The Lord desires to work through men of clean purposes and decided experiences, men who will learn from the Testimonies of His Spirit where they have not been in harmony with the Lord's will, and who will be converted. Then decided changes will be made. The perils threatening the work will be seen conversions will be experienced, and our people will be preparing to stand firmly and unitedly with God to build up His kingdom in the earth. PC 299.3

Men who repudiate the teachings of the Spirit of God are not the proper persons to be placed in office as leaders in the church. There is danger that the teachings of men who are not soundly converted may lead others into bye and forbidden paths. In our efforts to secure consecrated leadership, we may expect to encounter opposition, for the enemy is seeking through unconverted men in positions of trust to mold the work, and he has too much at stake lightly to lose their influence. PC 299.4

Many have refused to see and adopt the light, because they would not humble themselves before God, and be daily converted to Christ. Yet this must be the experience of all who overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. When men humble their hearts, and are daily converted, following the example of the meek and lowly Jesus, then there is hope that they will become wise in their religious experience.... PC 299.5

I see a crisis before us, and the Lord calls for His workmen to come into line. Every soul should now stand in a position of deeper, truer consecration to God, than during the years that are past. PC 300.1

God corrects His people when they are in danger of being corrupted by those who obey not the truth. I have been charged to stand faithfully in the position in which the Lord has placed me among His people, that they might be instructed and counseled. PC 300.2

I have been shown that there are men helping to form committees, and men filling important positions in the churches, who are self-righteous, men walking after the counsel of their own hearts. Neither these self-righteous men nor those who have been influenced to hurt the work of God, should now be out in places of large responsibility; for the work of God will be marred by such steps. There are some who will always be deceived. We are living amid the perils of the last days. Let the word of God teach righteousness. Let the chaff be separated from the wheat. PC 300.3

The work of Elder Haskell and others who have labored in Oakland and the near-by places might have been a much greater blessing, had they not been obliged to meet wrong influences in opposition to the counsels that God has given to build up and prepare a people for the final conflict that is before us. PC 300.4

It is not in harmony with the plan of God that men who are working counter to the spirit of the messages that the Lord gives to bless and strengthen His people, should be given places of large influence in our churches. Such men are not a help, but a hindrance. Their work is to unsettle minds, and they sow the seed which will spring up and bear its fruit to make of none effect the counsels that the Lord has so graciously given to His people. - PC 300.5