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Manuscript Releases Volume Two : Page 158

21. Counsels on Independent Action

[Manuscript materials used in 1954 in giving counsel to a group involved in independent ministry.]

Counsels on Independent Action

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 judgment, 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 defense 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, pp. 4-6. (To "Dear Brother Church," no date.)

The Lord would have all who act a part in His work bear testimony in their lives to the holy character of the truth. The end is near, and now is the time when Satan will make special efforts to distract the interest and separate it from the all-important subjects that should arrest every mind to concentrated

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action. An army could do nothing successfully if its different parts did not work in concert. Should each soldier act without reference to the others, the army would soon become disorganized. Instead of gathering strength from concentrated action, it would be wasted in desultory, meaningless efforts. Christ prayed that His disciples might be one with Him, as He was One with the Father. . . .

Whatever good qualities a man may have, he cannot be a good soldier if he acts independently. Good may occasionally be done but often the result is of little value, and often the end shows more mischief done than good. Those who act independently make a show of doing something, attract attention, and flash out brightly and then are gone. All must pull in one direction in order to render efficient service to the cause. . . .

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. --Letter 11a, 1886, pp. 3-5. (To Elder and Mrs. E. P. Daniels, Aug. 6, 1886.)

In every effort in every place where the truth is introduced there is need of different minds, different gifts, different plans and methods of labor being united. All should make it a point to counsel together, to pray together. Christ says that, "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven." No one worker has all the wisdom that is needed. There should be a comparing of plans, a counseling together. No one man should think himself sufficient to manage an interest in any place without helpers.

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One man may have tact in one direction, but may be a decided failure upon some essential points. This makes his work imperfect. He needs the tact of another man's mind and gift to blend with his efforts. All should be perfectly harmonious in the work. If they can work with only those who see just as they do, and follow just their plans, then they will make a failure. The work will be defective because none of these laborers have learned the lessons in the school of Christ that makes them able to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. All should be constantly improving. They should lay hold of every opportunity and make the most of every privilege, until they become better fitted for their great and solemn work.

But God has set in the church different gifts. These are all precious in their place, and all are to act a part in the perfecting of the saints. [Eph. 4: 11-16, quoted.]

This is God's order, and men must labor according to His rules and arrangements if they would meet with success. God will accept only those efforts that are made willingly and with humble hearts, without the trait of personal feelings or selfishness.--Letter 66, 1886, pp. 1, 2. (To "My Brother Laborers at Lausanne," no date.)

It is not a good sign when men will not unite with their brethren, but prefer to act alone; when they will not take in their brethren because they do not just exactly meet their mind. If men will wear the yoke of Christ, they cannot pull apart. They will wear Christ's yoke, they will draw with Christ.-- Ms 56, 1898, p. 6. ("The Need of Harmonious Action," April 27, 1898.) Released 1960.