Ellen White Topics
Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and their experience independent of Christ's acknowledged body in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus Christ in His teachings and in the examples of facts given to us for our instruction. Here was Paul directly brought into the presence of Christ,--One whom Christ was to fit for their light and their experience independent of Christ's acknowledged body in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus Christ in His teachings and in the examples of facts given to us for our instruction. Here was Paul directly brought into the presence of Christ--one whom Christ was to fit for a most important work, one who was to be a chosen vessel unto Him--yet He does not teach him the lessons of truth he must learn; He arrests his course, He convicts him. He asks Christ, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" The Saviour does not tell him directly but places him in His direction in connection with His church--They will tell thee what thou must do. 15MR 130

As the state of things existing in the office of publication has been presented before me by the Holy Spirit, I have not withheld the message that God has given me for the men in responsible positions. Again and again I have been moved upon to reprove the selfishness that, as you know, has prevailed in many lines of the work. Men who know little of the working of the Spirit of God upon their own hearts have exalted themselves beyond measure in undertaking to force others to accept their terms and come under their control. There are those who regard no man's judgement as superior, or even equal to their own. They are narrowing the work by disregarding the suggestions of men of experience, because these ideas do not coincide with their own plans. At the same time these very ones are not willing for others to exercise their independent judgement. Plans are set on foot for restricting the liberty of the workers. Through these oppressive plans, men who should stand free in God are trammelled by restrictions from those who are only their fellow-labourers. 1888 1357

The education that consists in the training of the memory, tending to discourage independent thought, has a moral bearing which is too little appreciated. As the student sacrifices the power to reason and judge for himself, he becomes incapable of discriminating between truth and error and falls an easy prey to deception. He is easily led to follow tradition and custom. 2MCP 446 (ED 230 [1903])

Students should be taught that they are not independent atoms but that each one is a thread which is to unite with other threads in composing a fabric. In no department can this instruction be more effectually given than in the school home. Here students are daily surrounded by opportunities which, if improved, will greatly aid in developing the social traits of their characters. It lies in their own power so to improve their time and opportunities as to develop a character that will make them happy and useful. 2MCP 621

God is teaching, leading, and guiding His people, that they may teach, lead and guide others. There will be, among the remnant of these last days, as there were with ancient Israel, those who wish to move independently, who are not willing to submit to the teachings of the Spirit of God, and who will not listen to advice or counsel. Let such ever bear in mind that God has a church upon the earth, to which He has delegated power. Men will want to follow their own independent judgement, despising counsel and reproof, but just as surely as they do this, they will depart from the faith, and disaster and the ruin of souls will follow. Those who rally now to support and build up the truth of God are ranging themselves on one side, standing united in heart, mind, and voice, in defence of the truth. . . .

It is a delusion of the enemy for anyone to feel that he can disconnect from agencies which God has appointed, and work on an independent line of his own, in his own supposed wisdom, and yet be successful. Although he may flatter himself that he is doing God's work, he will not prosper in the end. We are one body, and every member is to be united to the body, each person working in his respective capacity.--Letter 104, 1894. 2MR 158

In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. Every one should live for himself. The minds of all who are renewed by grace will be an open medium, continually receiving light, grace, and truth from above, and transmitting the same to others. Their works are fruitful. Their fruit is unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 2T 488

Jesus declared that he could do nothing of himself "but what he seeth the Father do". His relationship with God forbade him from working independent of him, and he could do nothing against his will. What a rebuke were these words to men, and especially to those who were calling the Son of God to task for the very work that he was sent upon earth to do. They had separated themselves from God by wicked acts, and, in their pride and vanity, were moving independent of him, feeling sufficient in themselves for all things, and realising no need of a higher wisdom than their own, to aid them in the direction of their acts. 3RED 29

God is teaching, leading, and guiding His people, that they may teach, lead and guide others. There will be, among the remnant of these last days, as there were with ancient Israel, those who wish to move independently, who are not willing to submit to the teachings of the spirit of God, and who will not listen to advice or counsel. Let such ever bear in mind that God has a church upon the earth, to which He has delegated power. Men will want to follow their own independent judgement, despising counsel and reproof; but just as surely as they do this, they will depart from the faith, and disaster and the ruin of souls will follow. Those who rally now to support and build up the truth of God, are ranging themselves on one side, standing united in heart, mind, and voice, in defence of the truth; while those who do not labour in harmony of purpose and action, who choose their own unsanctified human judgement as perfection of action, are ranging themselves on the side of Satan, and are defending his cause. 3SM 23 (1894)

Prejudice is even stronger now in the hearts of men than it was in Christ's day. Men, prompted by Satan, raise doubts as to the truth of God's Word, and exercise their independent judgement. They choose darkness rather than light at the peril of their souls; for God does not propose to remove every objection against his truth which the carnal heart can offer. The mysteries of the Word of God remain such forever to those who refuse to accept the precious rays of light which would illuminate their darkness. Divine love sheds tears of anguish over men formed in the likeness of their Maker who will not accept his love and receive the impress of his divine image. 3SP 13

In regard to Brother A, I was shown that many of the things mentioned in the testimony to B applied to you. I was pointed back to your past life. I saw that from a child you have been self-confident, headstrong, and self-willed, and have followed your own mind. You have an independent spirit, and it has been very difficult for you to yield to anyone. When it was your duty to yield your way and your wishes to others, you would carry matters out in your own rash way. You have felt that you were fully competent to think and act for yourself independently. The truth of God has been accepted and loved by you and has done much for you, but it has not wrought all that transformation necessary for the perfection of Christian character. When you first started out to labour in the cause of God you felt more humble and were willing to be advised and counselled. But as you began to be successful in a degree, your self-confidence increased, and you were less humble and became more independent. 3T 305

Dear Brother A: My mind is exercised in regard to your case. I have written you some things which have been shown me in regard to your past, present, and future course. I feel anxious for you because I have seen your dangers. Your former experience in spiritualism exposes you to temptations and severe conflicts. When once the mind has been yielded to the direct control of the enemy through evil angels, that person should be very distrustful of impressions and feelings which would lead him on an independent track, away from the church of Christ. The first step that such a one would take independently of the church should be regarded as a device of the enemy to deceive and destroy. God has made His church a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will. He does not give one an experience independent of the church. He does not give one man a knowledge of His will for the entire church, while the church, Christ's body, is left in darkness. 3T 414

The great reason why Brethren B and C are at this time deficient in the experience they should now have is because they have not been self-reliant. They have shunned responsibilities because in assuming them their deficiencies would be brought to the light. They have been too willing to have my husband lead out and bear responsibilities, and have allowed him to be mind and judgement for them. These brethren are weak where they should be strong. They have not dared to follow their own independent judgement, lest they should make mistakes and be blamed for it, while they have stood ready to be tempted and to make my husband responsible if they thought they could see mistakes in his course. They have not lifted the burdens with him. They have referred continually to my husband, making him bear the responsibilities which they should have shared with him, until they are weak in those qualifications wherein they should be strong. They are weak in moral power when they might be giants, qualified to stand as pillars in the cause of God. 3T 493

If you form too high an opinion of yourself, you will think that your labours are of more real consequence than they are, and you will plead individual independence which borders on arrogance. If you go to the other extreme and form too low an opinion of yourself, you will feel inferior and will leave an impression of inferiority which will greatly limit the influence that you might have for good. You should avoid either extreme. Feeling should not control you; circumstances should not affect you. You may form a correct estimate of yourself, one which will prove a safeguard from both extremes. You may be dignified without vain self-confidence; you may be condescending and yielding without sacrificing self-respect or individual independence, and your life may be of great influence with those in the higher as well as the lower walks of life. 3T 506

Dear Brother N: In my last vision your case was presented before me. I was shown that there are defects in your Christian character that must be overcome before you can perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. You love the truth, but you need to be sanctified by it. You are not selfish nor niggardly in hospitality or in sustaining the cause of truth; but there is one kind of selfishness which exists in your heart. You are wedded to your own opinion and extol your own judgement above that of others. You are in danger of exalting yourself above your brethren. You are exacting and are inclined to carry out your own ideas, independent of your brethren, because you consider your intelligence and experience superior to theirs. In this you fail to carry out the apostle's injunction: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." You have your notions, your purposes, and your plans, and you imagine they can never be incorrect. 4T 125

In your household you have always taken too much of the management upon yourself. When your opinions or plans have been crossed, instead of conceding to, or compromising with, those who opposed you, considering that they as well as yourself had a right to their independent judgement, you have felt vexed and hurt. You could not endure that your family should call your plans in question or offer suggestions differing from your opinions. In consequence of this unpleasant state of affairs your family have usually submitted their wishes to yours, and allowed you to have your own way, in order to preserve harmony at home. Therefore there has been in your family much long-suffering, much patient indulgence of your whims. This appears to you only a proper observance of your legitimate authority; you consider it sound and correct management on your part. 4T 126

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

You have been too reserved. You have not come into close relation with men engaged in the different departments of the work; you have not consulted with them as familiarly as you should to move understandingly. Had you done this you might have been a more efficient helper. You have moved too much according to your own judgement and carried out your own ideas and plans. There has been a lack of harmonious connection between the workers. Those who might have helped you have been reluctant to impart their knowledge to you on account of this lack of familiarity on your part, and also because you move so much from impulse and feeling that they have dreaded to approach you. 4T 219

An army would be demoralised if they did not learn to obey orders of the captain. Each soldier must act in concert. Union is strength; without union efforts are meaningless. Whatever excellent qualities a soldier may possess, he cannot be a safe trustworthy soldier if he claims a right to act independently of his fellow comrades. This independent action cannot be maintained in the service of Christ.... 5MR 373

One point will have to be guarded, and that is individual independence. As soldiers in Christ's army, there should be concert of action in the various departments of the work. No one has the right to start out on his own responsibility and advance ideas in our papers on Bible doctrines when it is known that others among us hold different opinions on the subject and that it will create controversy. The first-day Adventists have done this. Each has followed his own independent judgement and sought to present original ideas, until there is no concerted action among them, except, perhaps, in opposing Seventh-day Adventists. We should not follow their example. Each labourer should act with reference to the others. Followers of Jesus Christ will not act independently one of another. Our strength must be in God, and it must be husbanded, to be put forth in noble, concentrated action. It must not be wasted in meaningless movements. 5T 534

Many feel that the line of work they are doing belongs solely to them and that no one else should make any suggestions in regard to it. These very ones may be ignorant as to the best methods of conducting the work; yet, if one ventures to offer them advice, they are offended and become more determined to follow their independent judgement. Again, some of the workers are not willing to help or instruct their fellow workmen. Others who are inexperienced do not wish their ignorance to be known. They make mistakes, at a cost of much time and material, because they are too proud to ask counsel. 7T 197

They were both apparently fully consecrated, ready to do all the good they could, both with their means and by active effort. But Elder C knew not how to deal with them, and he has wounded and bruised and driven away Sister H. Brother H was for eight years an active worker in the Presbyterian church, taking charge of the Sunday school, until he embraced the truth. Then he took charge of the Sabbath school, and in the absence of a preacher conducted the meetings. Through Elder C's mismanagement he was relieved of every office, yet he would not give up the truth or forsake the church. About the time we came, he was in a position of sore temptation, but he is strengthened and established by the things that he has heard. His wife is a woman of great firmness, of decided opinions, and independent judgement. She has much push, and if consecrated, would be an aggressive worker. I have no doubt now that she will come along if she is rightly treated, and the Lord will be glorified if this sheep that has been driven away is restored to the fold. I shall see them once more in their home before I leave. I have perfect liberty in speaking plain things to them in love. 8MR 455 (LET.29A,1892 TO W.C.WHITE)

In connection with the proclamation of the message in large cities, there are many kinds of work to be done by labourers with varied gifts. Some are to labour in one way, some in another. The Lord desires that the cities shall be worked by the united efforts of labourers of different capabilities. All are to look to Jesus for direction, not depending on man for wisdom, lest they be led astray. As labourers together with God they should seek to be in harmony with one another. There should be frequent councils and earnest, wholehearted co-operation. Yet all are to look to Jesus for wisdom, not depending upon men alone for direction. 9T 109

This transfer of responsibilities to labourers whose experience is more or less limited is attended with some dangers against which we need to guard. The world is filled with strife for the supremacy. The spirit of pulling away from fellow labourers, the spirit of disorganisation, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous--as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. These deceived souls regard it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They declare that they will not take any man's say-so, that they are amenable to no man. I have been instructed that it is Satan's special effort to lead men to feel that God is pleased to have them choose their own course independent of the counsel of their brethren. 9T 257

[ 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

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

By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realised no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father's will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God's plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. DA 208

The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfil our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power, is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man. DA 209

It was this that proved the ruin of the Jews, and it will prove the ruin of many souls in our own day. Thousands are making the same mistake as did the Pharisees whom Christ reproved at Matthew's feast. Rather than give up some cherished idea, or discard some idol of opinion, many refuse the truth which comes down from the Father of light. They trust in self, and depend upon their own wisdom, and do not realise their spiritual poverty. They insist on being saved in some way by which they may perform some important work. When they see that there is no way of weaving self into the work, they reject the salvation provided.

A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. DA 280

But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. DA 668

As the medical missionary work becomes more extended, there will be a temptation to make it independent of our conferences. But it has been presented to me that this plan is not right. The different lines of our work are but parts of one great whole. They have one centre. . . . EV 522

The Christian physician cannot maintain a supreme regard for his own individuality, acting in his profession without reference to his fellow-physicians, and indifferent or careless in regard to his accountability to God, or the relation he sustains to the cause of God at large. He should not enter upon important enterprises, such as the establishment of a Sanitarium upon his own independent judgement, pleading his desire to serve the cause of God, but in his works serving himself. GCDB JAN.30,1893 (PH066 4)

As long as God has not laid heavy responsibilities upon you, do not get out of your place, and rely upon your own independent judgement, and assume responsibilities for which you are not fitted. You need to cultivate watchfulness and humility, and to be diligent in prayer. The nearer you live to God, the more clearly will you discern your weaknesses and dangers. A practical view of the law of God, and clear discernment of the atonement of Christ, will give you a knowledge of yourselves, and will show you wherein you fail to perfect Christian character. . . . GW15 319

The labourers should counsel together. No one is to strike out on his independent judgement, and work according to his own mind, regardless of the counsel of those connected with him. If we think ourselves sufficient to manage the work of God, and depend for success on our own wisdom to plan and execute, we may expect defeats and losses; for they will surely come. It has been shown me that the planning of the work must not be trusted to inexperienced men. Those who have not had full breadth of experience are not the ones to take large responsibilities, although they may think themselves qualified to do so. Their brethren may see defects where they see only perfection. Too much is at stake now to allow any great risks to be run in investing means from the Lord's treasury. If any one wishes to try experiments which his brethren do not sanction, let him sustain himself from his own funds, so that if losses occur, he alone will be the loser. The workers are not many; the means are not abundant; and the work must be fashioned accordingly. It is not God's plan that large draughts should be made upon the treasury to support workers who labour in such a way that no special results can be seen. GW92 355

The adherents of truth are now called upon to choose between disregarding a plain requirement of God's word or forfeiting their liberty. If we yield the word of God, and accept human customs and traditions, we may still be permitted to live among men, to buy and sell, and have our rights respected. But if we maintain our loyalty to God, it must be at the sacrifice of our rights among men. For the enemies of God's law have leagued together to crush out independent judgement in matters of religious faith, and to control the consciences of men. They are determined to put an end to the long-continued controversy concerning the Sabbath, to prohibit all further spread of the truth upon this point, and to secure the exaltation of Sunday, in the very face of the injunction of the fourth commandment. HM NOV.1,1893

Some have a natural independence which leads them to think more highly of their own judgement than of that of their brethren. In so doing they place themselves where they fail to obtain much knowledge that God would have them gain. The history of God's work in the past shows that some have an understanding of one thing, others of another. It is his plan that there should be a counselling together. In the multitude of counsellors there is safety. There should be harmony in sentiment and action among the workers. Doctrines and plans should be compared with the law and the testimony. We should never feel too independent to learn of one another. While it is not according to God's plan that one man's mind shall control all other minds, he is not pleased to have individuals strike out on a new track, and present new theories independent of the body. HS 125

The Redeemer of the world does not sanction experience and exercise in religious matters independent of his organised and acknowledged church. Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of his recognised followers on earth. But in the history of the conversion of Saul, important principles are given us, which we should ever bear in mind. He was brought directly into the presence of Christ. He was one whom Christ intended for a most important work, one who was to be "a chosen vessel" unto him; yet he did not personally impart to him the lessons of truth. He arrested his course and convicted him; but when asked by him, "What wilt thou have me to do?" the Saviour placed him in connection with his church, and let them direct him what to do. LP 31

All who profess to be children of God should unceasingly bear in mind that they are missionaries, in their labours brought in connection with all classes of minds. There will be men who are untrue in their dealing with their fellow men; there will be the aristocrat, the vain, the proud, the frivolous, the independent, the complaining, the desponding, the discouraged, the fanatical, the egotistical, the timid, and the sensitive ones, the elevated in mind, and the courteous in manner, the dissipated, the uncourteous, and the superficial. . . . These varied minds cannot be treated alike; yet all whether they be rich or poor, high or low, dependent or independent, need kindness, sympathy, truth, and love. By mutual contact our minds should receive polish and refinement. We are dependent upon one another, closely bound together by the ties of human brotherhood. ML 189

In the love and fear of God, let the physicians have meetings for counsel, and talk up the best ways and means of serving the Lord in their branch of His great work. Let them bring together all their intelligence and skill, that they may be a help to one another. I know that there are ways by which they can come into harmony so that no one shall follow his own independent judgement. MM 49 (LET.26,1889)

While many profess to be sons and daughters of God in practise they ignore the example of the works and words of Christ "It is my privilege," they plainly say by their actions, "to act myself, I should be perfectly miserable if I could not act myself." This is the religion current with the world; but it does not bear the heavenly endorsement. It is a deception, a delusion. Persons may under certain influences of the moment, be full of ecstasies; for chords are touched whose vibrations are pleasing to the natural taste. But these persons will have to learn that this is not the religion of Jesus Christ. When the circumstances change which so elated them, the depression and want of stimulus is felt, as the drunkard feels the want of the stimulus of the intoxicating cup. PH048 37

God requires concerted action of his soldiers, and in order to have this in the church self-restraint is essential; self-restraint must be exercised. But some in Healdsburg, as well as in other churches, will have to learn this lesson; they will have to learn to forego their own wishes and preferences for the good of others. We have determined adversaries; we know not their number or their position. Satan works through agencies which we do not always see; through some whom we do not suspect. When we think Satan is routed, he is only preparing to make an attack to discomfit and repulse. When we fancy ourselves secure, we are in the very greatest danger. Watchfulness and prayer combined with persevering effort to keep the rank and file unbroken, is more necessary than ever before. The work of the cause of truth in Healdsburg is a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Satan has brought elements into the Healdsburg church that will ever be a source of trial, unless these unconverted members shall see their defects of character as they have never yet seen them, and will repent of their evil surmisings, their envy, their fault-finding, their accusing of the brethren, their walking after their own independent judgement. These have made independent assertions, and are bold and forward, not knowing their place, and not realising the order that must be observed in the church of God. PH096 5

Some conferences have tried to establish sanitariums on an independent basis, entirely separate from all other branches of the medical work, but this experiment has always been a failure. Those who take up a new work for the Master of the vineyard are to receive help from those who have had an experience in this work both in failure and success. This is to be distinctly understood. The workers in one part of the field are never to think that they can stand as an independent whole. PUR SEP.26,1901

O let us encourage our souls to look to Jesus! Tell every one how dangerous it is to neglect his own soul's eternal healthfulness by looking upon the diseased souls of others, by talking upon the uncomeliness of character found in those who profess the name of Christ. The soul does not become more and more like Christ by beholding evil, but like the evil which it beholds. The same love of self, the same indulgence of self, the same hastiness of spirit, the same petulance of temper, the same sensitiveness and pride of opinion, the same unwillingness to receive counsel, the same unsanctified, independent judgement, will be manifest in those who criticise as in those whom they criticise. They will act as if they had not Christ as their pattern and example. O, how much we need to guard against Satan's devices! RH AUG.15,1893

To be a Christian requires more than a profession of faith. There must be an earnest effort to conquer through the grace freely given of God. All things around us must be made to be helps to growth in grace and the knowledge of Christ. Satan, the great rebel, is ever seeking to entice us to sin against God. He will introduce false imaginings, and sway the understanding against the revealed will of God, the lower passions against purity and self-denial, the independent judgement against God's decisions, the wisdom from beneath against the wisdom from above. But the Holy Spirit has come into the world to subdue all things unto himself, and shall God's will be put in the background, and man's will be held as supreme? Can man's will be the controlling power in God's great contest for the recovery of his own?--No, for those who are labourers together with God must have the mind of Christ, and work with pen and voice in the Spirit of Christ to meet wrong tendencies, to correct errors, that have been coming in among us. The truth must no longer be kept in the outer court, but be brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul. The religion of Christ requires not only the putting away of pride, malice, covetousness, injustice, but the cultivation of the precious graces of humility, unselfishness, kindness, love, generosity, and nobility of soul. The Christian should be constantly aspiring, pressing on from grace to grace, from faith to a greater faith, from glory to a greater glory. RH JAN.24,1893

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

On the other hand, the youth should not be left to think and act independent of the judgement of their parents and teachers. Children should be taught to respect experienced judgement, and be guided by their parents and teachers. They should be so educated that their minds will be united with the minds of their parents and teachers, and they be so instructed that they can see the propriety of heeding their counsel. And when they go forth from the guiding hand of their parents and teachers, their characters will not be like the reed trembling in the wind. RH JUL.14,1885

Our work is aggressive. We are to be awake and discerning as to the devices of Satan, and to press the triumphs of the cross of Christ. While Satan is planting his dark banner among us, perhaps even in our families, we should not be indifferent and inactive. But though we have an individual work and an individual responsibility before God, we are not to follow our own independent judgement, regardless of the opinions and feelings of our brethren; for this course would lead to disorder in the church. It is the duty of ministers to respect the judgement of their brethren; but their relations to one another, as well as the doctrines they teach, should be brought to the test of the law and the testimony; then, if hearts are teachable, there will be no divisions among us. Some are inclined to be disorderly, and are drifting away from the great landmarks of the faith; but God is moving upon his ministers to be one in doctrine and in spirit. RH JUN.3,1884

God has a special work for the men of experience to do. They are to guard the cause of God. They are to see that the work of God is not committed to men who feel it their privilege to move out on their own independent judgement, to preach whatever they please, and to be responsible to no one for their instructions or work. Let this spirit of self-sufficiency once rule in our midst, and there will be no harmony of action, no unity of spirit, no safety for the work, and no healthful growth in the cause. There will be false teachers, evil workers who will, by insinuating error, draw away souls from the truth. Christ prayed that His followers might be one as He and the Father were one. Those who desire to see this prayer answered, should seek to discourage the slightest tendency to division, and try to keep the spirit of unity and love among brethren. RH MAY 29,1888 (EV 212)

Those who have proclaimed the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon, have made use of the Testimonies in giving their position a seeming support; but why is it that they did not present that which for years has been the burden of my message--the unity of the church? Why did they not quote the words of the angel, "Press together, press together, press together"? Why did they not repeat the admonition and state the principle, that "in union there is strength, in division there is weakness"? It is such messages as these men have borne that divide the church, and put us to shame before the enemies of truth; and in such messages is plainly revealed the specious working of the great deceiver, who would hinder the church from attaining unto perfection in unity. These teachers follow the sparks of their own kindling, move according to their own independent judgement, and cumber the truth with false notions and theories. They refuse the counsel of their brethren, and press on in their own way until they become just what Satan would desire to have them--unbalanced in mind. RH SEP.12,1893 (TM 56)

Persons who feel at liberty to act from selfish impulse, and to establish independent sanitariums for personal profit have not properly considered the influence that such a course of action has on the world. In many cases those who patronise these independent institutions do so because they think that they are conducted upon unselfish, Christian principles, in harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, whereas, in reality, they are not religious institutions in any serious sense. SPTB05 20

While our salvation is wholly dependent upon Jesus, yet we have a work to do in order that we shall be saved. The apostle says, `work out your own salvation with fear and trembling'. The work that we are to do is not independent of what God is to do, but a work of co-operation with God. The power and the grace of God is to be wrought into the heart by the divine Worker, but some go astray here, claiming that man has a work to do that is wholly independent of any work of God. Another class take the other extreme, and say that man is free from all obligation, because God does the whole work-both the willing and doing. But the true ground to take is that the human will must be in subjection to the divine will. The will of man is not to be forced into co-operation with divine agencies, but must be voluntarily submitted. Man has no power of himself to work out his own salvation. Salvation must be the result of co-operation with divine power, and God will not do that for man which he can do for himself. Man is wholly dependent on the grace of Christ. He has no power to move one step in the direction of Christ unless the Spirit of God draws him. The Holy Spirit is continually drawing the soul, and will continue to draw until by persistent refusal the sinner grieves away the tender messenger of God.

In the heavenly councils it has been decided by what means and methods the grace of Christ shall prove effectual in saving the soul. And it is clear that unless the sinner consents to be drawn, unless he will co-operate with divine agencies, the end will not be attained....

As soon as we incline our will to harmonise with God's will, the grace of Christ is supplied to co-operate with our resolve. But it is not to be a substitute to do our work,-to work in spite of our resolutions and actions....

Here is where the conflict is to be sternest, hardest, and most fierce-in yielding the will and way to God's will and way, relying upon the gracious influences which God has exerted upon the human soul throughout all the life. The man must do the work of inclining. `For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do.' ST FEB.12,1894

Let no one rob God of the service he requires. Half-hearted service is of no value. Have we not tried our own way again and again, and found it was but foolishness? In following our independent judgement, have we not virtually said, "Lord, I want not thy way, for it does not please me; I want my own way; and if I cannot do as I please, I will not serve three?" How many have let go of Christ, to follow their own plans? Did Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have his way? Behold him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to his Father. What forced those blood drops of agony from his holy brow? Oh, the sins of the whole world are upon him! It was separation from the Father's love that forced from his pale, quivering lips the cry, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Three times was the prayer offered, but was followed by, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, O God, be done." This must be our attitude: "Not my will, but thine, O God, be done." This is true conversion. ST NOV.21,1892

Though we have an individual work and an individual responsibility before God, we are not to follow our own independent judgement, regardless of the opinions and feelings of our brethren; for this course would lead to disorder in the church. It is the duty of ministers to respect the judgement of their brethren; but their relations to one another, as well as the doctrines they teach, should be brought to the test of the law and the testimony; then, if hearts are teachable, there will be no divisions among us. Some are inclined to be disorderly, and are drifting away from the great landmarks of the faith; but God is moving upon His ministers to be one in doctrine and in spirit. TM 30

Those who neglect to search the Scriptures, choosing rather to read books of sceptical writers, or of writers who are frivolous or worldly, will be tempted to neglect prayer, to withdraw from religious meetings, to invest money in cheap literature, and will so educate themselves that all taste for the sacred oracles will be erased from the mind. Thus will they be led to refuse to hear, to refuse to incline the heart to seek God while he may be found, to call upon him while he is near, while he is still sending messages of reproof, warning, and entreaty. They say to all the tender entreaties of God's Spirit, "Not now; I will go into another city, and buy and sell and get gain; and after that I will begin a new life." O do not be deceived by this suggestion of the enemy to wait, and that after a time you will repent. The longer you put it off, the less will be your inclination to turn to God, and obey the invitations of mercy. The most discouraging development in your case is the very fact that you say, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." This is an evidence that conscience has become aroused, and then put to sleep again with an opiate. But think of this;--conscience may never wake again! While God grants you life, while you are sure of probation, embrace your day of opportunity and privilege. YI DEC.07,1893

"Your eyes," said Satan, pointing to the tree, "shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,"--independent. This had been the aim of Satan; this was why he fell from his high and holy estate. Now he sought to instil the same principle into the mind of Eve. He told her that God had forbidden her to eat of the fruit, in order to show his arbitrary authority, and to keep the holy pair in a state of dependence and subjection. He told her that in the violation of this commandment, advanced light would be hers; that she would be independent, untrammelled by the will of a superior. But Satan knew, as Eve did not, the result of disobedience, for he had tried it. Whatever of misery there is in the world, whatever of physical suffering, of ingratitude, rebellion, robbery of God, and contempt and defiance of him, is the result of attempting to be independent, to secure that exaltation and homage which belong alone to God. YI JUL.1,1897

The hearts of your parents have been drawn out in tender sympathy toward you, and can you return their love with cold ingratitude? They love your souls, they want you to be saved; but have you not often despised their counsel and done your own will, your own way? Have you not followed your own independent judgement, when you knew that such a stubborn course would not meet the approval of God? Many fathers and mothers have gone down broken-hearted to the grave because of the ingratitude, the lack of respect, shown them by their children. YI JUN.22,1892 (MYP 332)

"How much owest thou unto my Lord?" The Lord has given to the youth capabilities and talents with which they are to do the work of God. I ask you, dear youth, are you going to give yourselves to the Lord? Are you ready to engage in the work he has left you to do? Jesus said to his disciples, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." In the face of this command, will you appropriate your time and your energies as inclination may dictate, instead of following the counsel of God? Will you choose your own independent judgement, and walk in the sparks of your own kindling, instead of following the Light of the world? Years are rapidly passing away, and at any time disease may lay its relentless grasp upon you, and all too late you may see that you have made a terrible mistake. YI NOV.17,1892