Tremendous responsibilities are ours; and men are called for who will not misinterpret their responsibilities, but will do their appointed work in a spirit of humility and in the fear of God. We should ever be afraid of a spirit that would lead us to place restrictions on the work of others, lest we hinder the advance of the message of truth. Those who have in the past allowed such a spirit to control them have sadly hurt the work. They need to repent and be converted; for the Holy Spirit cannot work with them while they refuse to acknowledge His counsel and control. He cannot use the men who employ the trust He has imposed upon them as an oppressive power to close the lips that He has opened.—Manuscript 117, 1907.
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To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to bear the responsibilities of leadership in connection with the advancement of the truth, is to reject the means that He has ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of His people. For any worker in the Lords’ cause to pass these by, and to think that his light must come through no other channel than directly from God, is to place himself in a position where he is liable to be deceived by the enemy, and overthrown. The Lord in His wisdom has arranged that by means of the close relationship that should be maintained by all believers, Christian shall be united to Christian, and church to church. Thus the human instrumentality will be enabled to cooperate with the divine. Every agency will be subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all the believers will be united in an organized and well-directed effort to give to the world the glad tidings of the grace of God.—Gospel Workers, 443-444.
Some have advanced the thought that as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such things 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.—(May 30, 1909) Testimonies for the Church 9:257-258.
Unless men study God’s word and practice his teachings, to the letter, rendering willing obedience to him, they will have no more moral wisdom to discern the spiritual impact of the words of Christ than had the disciples who were offended, and left him. Messages may be brought to them from the Lord, but these messages will be just as incomprehensible as the words spoken by our Saviour to his disciples. Like the disciples, they will see some ideas that offend them.
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Spiritual life—what is it? It is the contemplation of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us, that our lives might be sweet and fragrant, that we might have power to perfect an unselfish Christian experience, and that from us others might learn to do good.
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Let every one placed in a position of trust be as much more careful how he speaks and acts, as his position is greater in responsibility than the position of his fellow workers; for those connected with the work of God can please the Master by speaking kindly only. Any word spoken thoughtlessly or unadvisedly should be retracted on the spot. If the speaker forgets to do this, or if he does not regret his thoughtlessness, some one should in the spirit of Christ remind him of his duty to apologize; for we are to remember that as Christians professing to work in unity, we must not act like sinners, whose sinful words and works, unless repented of, will condemn them.
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The design of the gospel is, by means of remedial missionary work, to confront this evil of selfishness… and destroy its destructive power by establishing enterprises of benevolence.
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