The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labour unions will be very oppressive. Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions;
for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. We should now begin to heed the instruction given us over and over again: Get out of the cities into rural districts, where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of enemies.-- Letter 5, 1904.
Avoid Party Strifes
Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy-seat, and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organising into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is no time for the people of God to be weaklings. We cannot afford to be off our guard for a moment.-- Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 42. (1904)
Labour Trouble Ahead
The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.-- Letter 200, 1903.
Conflicts Between Trade Confederacies and Labour Unions
The work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force. In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed. Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the folds of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men.-- Letter 26, 1903.
Preparing for the Issue
The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. . . .
Our restaurants must be in the cities; for otherwise the workers in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living. And for the present we shall have to occupy meeting houses in the cities. But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues. This is the light that is given me.-- General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903.
To Preserve Our Individuality
For years I have been given special light that we are not to centre our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labour unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's Word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned.
We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction. All our movements are to be made with a realisation of the importance of the work to be accomplished for God.-- Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 84. (1902)
In Disregard of the Decalogue
These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." These words sum up the whole duty of man. They mean the consecration of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit, to God's service. How can men obey these words, and at the same time pledge themselves to support that which deprives their neighbours of freedom of action? And how can men obey these words, and form combinations that rob the poorer classes of the advantages
which justly belong to them, preventing them from buying or selling, except under certain conditions?-- Letter 26, 1903.
Unions That Are Formed or Shall Be Formed
Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labour unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us?-- Letter 201, 1902.