Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 196, 1898

Appealing to Lawyers


1898 [typed]

Formerly Undated Ms 112. From manuscripts written in 1894, 1895, and 1898. This manuscript is published in entirety in 3SM 299-301.

When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who do not fear Him. He would not have us depend for help on those who do not obey His requirements. Those who trust in such counsellors show that they have not faith in God. By their lack of faith the Lord is greatly dishonored, and their course works great injury to themselves. In appealing to unbelievers to settle difficulties in the church they are biting and devouring one another, “to be consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:15. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 1

These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things he has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers. They insult His holy name, and He will leave them to the buffetings of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sin. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 2


Matters connected with the church are to be kept within its own borders. If a Christian is abused, he is to take it patiently; if defrauded, he is not to appeal to courts of justice. Rather let him suffer loss and wrong. God will deal with the unworthy church member who defrauds his brother or the cause of God; the Christian need not contend for his rights. God will deal with the one who violates these rights. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19. An account is kept of all these matters, and for all the Lord declares that He will avenge. He will bring every work into judgment. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 3


The interests of the cause of God are not to be committed to men who have no connection with heaven. Those who are disloyal to God cannot be safe counsellors. They have not that wisdom which comes from above. They are not to be trusted to pass judgment in matters connected with God’s cause, matters upon which such great results depend. If we follow their judgment, we shall surely be brought into very difficult places, and shall retard the work of God. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 4

Those who are not connected with God are connected with the enemy of God, and while they may be honest in the advice they give, they themselves are blinded and deceived. Satan puts suggestions into the mind and words into the mouth that are entirely contrary to the mind and will of God. Thus he works through them to allure us into false paths. He will mislead, entangle, and ruin us if he can. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 5


Anciently it was a great sin for the people of God to give themselves away to the enemy, and open before them either their perplexity or their prosperity. Under the ancient economy it was a sin to offer sacrifice upon the wrong altar. It was a sin to offer incense kindled by the wrong fire. We are in danger of mingling the sacred and the common. The holy fire from God is to be used in our efforts. The true altar is Christ; the true fire is the Holy Spirit. This is our inspiration. It is only as the Holy Spirit leads and guides a man that he is a safe counsellor. If we turn aside from God and from His chosen ones to inquire at strange altars, we shall be answered according to our works. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 6

Let us show perfect trust in our Leader. Let us seek wisdom from the Fountain of wisdom. In every perplexing or trying situation, let God’s people agree as touching the thing they desire, and then let them unite in offering prayer to God, and persevere in asking for the help they need. We are to acknowledge God in all our counsel, and when we ask of Him, we are to believe that we receive the very blessings sought. 13LtMs, Ms 196, 1898, par. 7