Ellen White Topics
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

(Written August 1, 1895, at Granville, N.S.W., Australia.) I am unable to put away the anxious thoughts that fill my mind in regard to the work of God. I feel that to weep would be a relief. I am sure that a work must be done for those in positions of trust in Battle Creek. They will never be safe, trustworthy men until they are labourers together with God. The question often comes to me, "Has God chosen these men to devise and plan and execute in behalf of His work, when they have not a vital connection with Him?" The men God chooses to bear burdens in His work are to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn from Him how to repress their unChristlike desires and inclinations. God has not given men power to interfere between a human being and his conscience. 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

It is the greatest presumption for man to assume the right of dictation and control over his fellow men. God is the owner of man. To his Maker, man stands or falls. To God he is responsible, not to his fellow men. Every man has an individuality of his own, which is not to be submerged in any other human being. The life of each one must be hid with Christ in God. Men are under God's control, not under the control of weak, erring human beings. They are to be left free to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not by the fitful, perverse spirit of unsanctified men. 18MR 225

Dear Brethren: As all the different members of the human system unite to form the entire body, and each performs its office in obedience to the intelligence that governs the whole, so the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole. 4T 16

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

Herein lies a grave danger to the prosperity of our work. We must move discreetly, sensibly, in harmony with the judgement of God-fearing counsellors; for in this course alone lies our safety and strength. Otherwise God cannot work with us and by us and for us. 9T 257

God has made His church on the earth a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will. He does not give to one of His servants an experience independent of and contrary to the experience of the church itself. Neither does He give one man a knowledge of His will for the entire church while the church--Christ's body --is left in darkness. In His providence He places His servants in close connection with His church in order that they may have less confidence in themselves and greater confidence in others whom He is leading out to advance His work. AA 163

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

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

As all the different members of the human system unite to form the body, and each performs its office in obedience to the intelligence that governs the whole, so the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole. The advancement of the church is often retarded by the wrong course of its members. Uniting with the church, although an important and necessary step, does not make one a Christian or insure salvation. We cannot secure a title to heaven by having our names enrolled upon the church book, while our hearts are not in unison with Christ and his people. We should be his faithful representatives on earth, working in harmony with him. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." We should keep in mind this holy relationship, and do nothing to bring dishonour upon our Father's cause. God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth.

Many do not realise the sacredness of the church relation, and are loth 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. RH JAN.25,1887

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

Every believer should be whole-hearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest; and unless he feels under sacred obligations to make his connection with the church a benefit to it rather than to himself, it can do far better without him.... They should also feel it a solemn duty to illustrate in their characters the teachings of Christ, being at peace one with another, and moving in perfect harmony as an undivided whole. They should waive their individual opinion to the judgement of the church. Many live for themselves alone. They look upon their lives with great complacency, flattering themselves that they are blameless, when in fact they are doing nothing for God, and are living in direct opposition to his expressed word. The observance of external forms will never meet the great want of the human soul. A mere profession of Christ is not enough to prepare one to stand the test of the Judgement. There should be a perfect trust in God, a child like dependence upon his promises, and an utter consecration of self to his will. RH JAN.25,1887

If the world sees a perfect harmony existing in the church of God, it will be a powerful evidence to them in favour of the Christian religion. Dissensions, unhappy differences, and petty church-trials dishonour our Redeemer. All these may be avoided, if self is surrendered to God, and the followers of Jesus obey the voice of the church. Unbelief suggests that individual independence increases our importance; that it is weak to yield to the verdict of the church our own ideas of what is right and proper. But to cherish such feelings and views will only bring anarchy into the church and confusion to ourselves. Christ saw that unity and Christian fellowship were necessary to the cause of God; therefore he enjoins it upon his disciples. And the history of Christianity from that time until now proves conclusively that in union only there is strength. Let individual judgement submit to the authority of the church. 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

God will move upon men of humble position in society, men who have not become insensible to the bright rays of light through so long contemplating the light of truth, and refusing to make any improvement or advancement therein. Many such will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from Heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man's machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit's power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord. RH JUL.23,1895

The seven last plagues are about to descend upon the disobedient. Many have let the gospel invitation go unheeded; they have been tested and tried; but mountainous obstacles have seemed to loom up before their faces, blocking their onward march. Through faith, perseverance, and courage, many will surmount these obstructions and walk out into the glorious light. Almost unconsciously barriers have been erected in the strait and narrow way; stones of stumbling have been placed in the path; these will all be rolled away. The safeguards which false shepherds have thrown around their flocks will become as naught; thousands will step out into the light, and work to spread the light. Heavenly intelligences will combine with the human agencies. Thus encouraged, the church will indeed arise and shine, throwing all her sanctified energies into the contest; thus the design of God is accomplished; the lost pearls are recovered. Prophets have discerned this grand work afar off, and have caught the inspiration of the hour, and traced the wonderful descriptions of things yet to be. RH JUL.23,1895