Ellen White Topics
Over and over again men have said, "The voice of the conference is the voice of God; therefore everything must be referred to the conference. The conference must permit or restrict in the various lines of work." As the matter has been presented to me, there is a narrow compass, and within this narrow compass, all the entrances to which are locked, are those who would like to exercise kingly power. But the work carried on all over the field demands an entirely different course of action. There is need of the laying of a foundation different from the foundation which has been laid in the past. 1888 1727

We have heard much about everything moving in the regular lines. When we see that the "regular lines" are purified and refined, that they bear the mould of the God of heaven, then it will be time to endorse these lines. But when we see that message after message given by God has been received and accepted, yet no change has been made, we know that new power must be brought into the regular lines. The management of the regular lines must be entirely changed, newly organised. There must be a committee, not composed of half a dozen men, but of representatives from all lines of our work, from our publishing houses, from our educational institutions, and from our sanitariums, which have life in them, which are constantly working, constantly broadening. 1888 1728

God desires that His work shall be a rising, broadening, enlarging power. But the management of the work is becoming confused in itself. Not that anyone wishes to be wrong or to do wrong, but the principles are wrong. These principles are so foreign to God's principles that God cannot bless those who work upon them. What must be done is to bring in other minds. Those who have been at work in the same channels for years have been discouraged and confused. We cannot entrust to such as these the tremendous responsibilities which are now to be handled. 1888 1728

The question of religious liberty needs to be clearly comprehended by our people in more ways than one. With outstretched arms men are seeking to steady the ark, and the anger of the Lord is kindled against them because they think that their position entitles them to say what the Lord's servants shall do and what they shall not do. They think themselves competent to decide what shall be brought before God's people, and what shall be repressed. The Lord inquires of them, "Who has required this at your hand? Who has given you the burden of being conscience for My people? By what spirit are you guided and controlled when you seek to restrict their liberty? I have not chosen you as I chose Moses--as men through whom I can communicate divine instruction to My people. I have not placed the lines of control in your hands. The responsibility that rested on Moses--of voicing the words of God to the people--has never been delegated to you." 18MR 223

There is an evil, a great evil, that is to be rooted out of all council meetings and board meetings. We are living in perilous times. Men are striving for the control over their fellow men. God is displeased and dishonoured. Man is led to fear man rather than God. My brethren, has not the word of God been dismissed from your councils? Have not the words of men had too much power? Has not religious freedom been excluded from your assemblies? Have you not censured your fellow men, when you yourselves were standing under the censure of God? Take your hands off your brethren. They are not to be under the control of any man or set of men. Men are not to league together to bind their fellow men by rules and restrictions. God knows the characters of men. He sees their weakness, and He has not put into their hands the power that belongs alone to Him. He has not given them the right to say what their fellow men shall do and what they shall not do. 18MR 224

How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives. Many do not realise the sacredness of church relationship and are loath to submit to restraint and discipline. Their course of action shows that they exalt their own judgement above that of the united church, and they are not careful to guard themselves lest they encourage a spirit of opposition to its voice. Those who hold responsible positions in the church may have faults in common with other people and may err in their decisions; but notwithstanding this, the church of Christ on earth has given to them an authority that cannot be lightly esteemed. Christ, after His resurrection, delegated power unto His church, saying: "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." 4T 17

If you are led by truth rather than error you will be willing to obey your parents and sacredly regard the voice of the church. Your prayers have been made with a determination to carry out what you regarded as right, irrespective of the wishes of your parents or of the church. 5T 108

God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men. 8T 236

Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people and disorganise the work at a time when thorough organisation is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organisation and order that has been built up by wise, careful labour. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time. 9T 257

Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people and disorganise the work at a time when thorough organisation is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organisation and order that has been built up by wise, careful labour. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time. 9T 257

Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organisation. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man's being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord's work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together. 9T 258

The spasmodic, fitful movements of some who claim to be Christians are well represented by the work of strong but untrained horses. When one pulls forward, another pulls back, and at the voice of their master one plunges ahead and the other stands immovable. If men will not move in concert in the great and grand work for this time, there will be confusion. It is not a good sign when men refuse to unite with their brethren and prefer to act alone. Let labourers take into their confidence the brethren who are free to point out every departure from right principles. If men wear the yoke of Christ, they can not pull apart; they will draw with Christ.

Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves, let them draw in harmony with their fellow labourers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted. 9T 258

At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God's work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgement of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgement and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work. 9T 260

[ The General Conference ] I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man's judgement should be surrendered to the judgement of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgement of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgement must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a labourer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body. 9T 260

When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgement for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organised authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men. 9T 261

There have ever been in the church those who are constantly inclined toward individual independence. They seem unable to realise that independence of spirit is liable to lead the human agent to have too much confidence in himself and to trust in his own judgement rather than to respect the counsel and highly esteem the judgement of his brethren, especially of those in the offices that God has appointed for the leadership of His people. God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for he who does this despises the voice of God. AA 163

O, my very soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God, are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this work as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,--that is past. What we want now is a reorganisation. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle. GCB APR.03,1901

Here are the very words that we want to bring into our life practice. The men that have long stood in positions of trust while disregarding the light that God has given, are not to be depended upon. God wants them to be removed. He wants a new life element brought into the publishing institutions. There are those who have stood as managers and yet have not managed after God's order. Some have served on committees here and committees there, and have felt free to dictate just what the committee should say and do, claiming that those who did not carry out these ideas were sinning against Christ. GCB APR.03,1901

When the power of God is manifest in the church and in the management of the various departments of his work, when it is evident that the managers are themselves controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, then it is time to consider that you are safe in accepting what they may say, under God. But you must know that you are guided by the principles of the Word of the living God. The Great General of armies, the Captain of the Lord's host, is our leader. GCB APR.03,1901

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 labourers. 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

Those who hold responsible positions in the church may have their faults in common with other people, and may err in their decisions; but, notwithstanding this, the church of Christ on earth has given them an authority that cannot be lightly esteemed. Christ, after his resurrection, delegated power to his church, saying, "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." A relation to the church is not to be easily cancelled; yet some professed followers of Christ will threaten to leave the church when their path is crossed, or their voice has not the controlling influence which they think it deserves. But in doing this they would themselves be the greatest sufferers; for in withdrawing beyond the pale of the church's influence, they subject themselves to the full temptations of the world. RH JAN.25,1887

Laws and rules are being made at the centres of the work that will soon be broken into atoms. Men are not to dictate. It is not for those in places of authority to employ all their powers to sustain some, while others are cast down, ignored, forsaken, and left to perish. But it is the duty of the leaders to lend a helping hand to all who are in need. Let each work in the line which God may indicate to him by his Holy Spirit. The soul is accountable to God alone. Who can say how many avenues of light have been closed by arrangements which the Lord has not advised nor instituted? The Lord does not ask permission of those in responsible positions when he wishes to use certain ones as his agents for the promulgation of truth. But he will use whom he will use. He will pass by men who have not followed his counsel, men who feel capable and sufficient to work in their own wisdom; and he will use others who are thought by these supposedly wise ones to be wholly incompetent. Many who have some talent think that they are necessary to the cause of God. Let them beware lest they stretch themselves beyond their measure, and the Lord shall leave them to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings. None are to exercise their human authority to bind minds and souls of their fellow-men. They are not to devise and put in practice methods and plans to bring every individual under their jurisdiction. RH JUL.23,1895