“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 openings 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. 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 mold 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 organized. There must be a committee, not composed of half a dozen men, but of representatives from all lines of our work, from our publishing house, from our educational institutions, and from our sanitariums, which have life in them, which are constantly working, constantly broadening.” – {GCB April 10, 1903}
 
 
“If the ministers had given help and encouragement to these men and women, they would have been doing the work appointed them by the Lord. They have seen the spiritual poverty of unworked fields, and have longed to do something to help. But it has taken so long for encouragement to come to them that many have gone into other lines of work.

“Shall the “regular lines,” which say that every mind shall be controlled by two or three minds at Battle Creek, continue to bear sway? The Macedonian cry is coming from every quarter. Shall men go to the “regular lines” to see whether they will be permitted to labor, or shall they go out and work as best they can, depending on their own abilities and on the help of the Lord, beginning in a humble way and creating an interest in the truth in places in which nothing has been done to give the warning message?

“The Lord has encouraged those who have started out on their own responsibility to work for Him, their hearts filled with love for souls ready to perish. A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The Lord lives and reigns. Young men, go forth into the places to which you are directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Work with your hands, that you may be self-supporting, and as you have opportunity proclaim the message of warning.

“The Lord has blessed the work that J. E. White has tried to do in the South. God grant that the voices which have been so quickly raised to say that all the money invested in the work must go through the appointed channel at Battle Creek, shall not be heard. The people to whom God has given His means are amenable to Him alone. It is their privilege to give direct aid and assistance to missions. It is because of the misappropriation of means that the Southern field has no better showing than it has today.

“I do not consider it the duty of the Southern branch of our work, in the publication and handling of books, to be under the dictation of our established publishing houses. And if means can be devised to reduce the expense of publishing and circulating my books, let this be done, for I need money to pay my workers.

“I have to say, my brother, that I have no desire to see the work in the South moving forward in the old, regular lines. When I see how strongly the idea prevails that the methods of handling our books in the past shall be retained, because what has been must be, I have no heart to advise that former customs shall continue. Let those who are laboring in Nashville, do the will of God in all humility. I sincerely hope that the changes will be made that the necessities of the case demand.

“I have more to write, but have no time now.” – {14MR 206.4 – 208.3}
 
 
“When Edson’s letters presented the work that he was doing in the Southern field by his boat, used as a meetinghouse, when he told of the gathering of the children for Sunday school, of the invitations he received to hold meetings, of the souls who were becoming interested in these meetings, of the naked to be clothed and the sick to be helped—and nothing in the way of means to carry forward the work—the work that should be done was presented to me in the night season. Not only was there presented to me the field in which he was at work, but several places where, in the providence of God, he would be called to work. The eager faces, the earnest desire, the hunger of soul expressed, were before me, and I said, “What can we do for this people that are now so interested, when the situation is so discouraging?”

“My Guide said, “This work will be sowing seed for time and for eternity.” And then the instruction was given, “The angels of the Lord will go before him. He will be accounted out of line. But many ought to be out of the lines that have been maintained to be the regular routine, and unless they themselves come into line, they will say, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we.’ Unless that temple is purified, cleansed, sanctified, God will not give them His presence in the temple of which they boast”….” – {3MR 264. 1 – 264.2}
 
 
“The situation was again presented, and the urgency of occupying the fields that were presented to me, then being worked under the supervision of God, using Edson White as His agency to open the field. But there were no others that would think of touching that portion of the field or would engage in working it. Those who should have rejoiced to see something done were determined to give no recognition to Edson White or the work, because he did not work in the regular lines. God has presented before you how He regarded the regular lines. The regular lines had need to be broken as a potter’s vessel is broken, and reconstructed.” —Manuscript 29, 1903, 1, 3.
 
 
“When your letter and Elder Kilgore’s, regarding the work in Nashville, were read to me, a great burden came upon me, and for a time I thought that my reason would give way. I was so weary, having just come from the Portland camp meeting and having labored very hard while there, that I was in no condition to have such matters brought before me. It takes so long for our leading brethren to read beneath the surface that I feared that perhaps I had said something which would have been better deferred in regard to the publishing work in Nashville being conducted as separate and independent from the work in Battle Creek. So often the same old difficulties arise and are presented in regard to disturbing the “regular lines.” But God will work in some way to make His people understand that the regular lines have become full of irregular practices. [The phrase “regular lines” referred to the publishing work at Battle Creek. The “irregular practices” included the exercise of kingly authority (PM 132), the printing of “The Soul-Destroying Theories of Romanism” (Testimonies for the Church 8:92), and a variety of other improprieties. (See The Publishing Ministry, 127-178.) Meanwhile, in 1894, Ellen White’s son, Edson, had begun a privately supported ministry for the blacks in Mississippi and Tennessee. Edson’s sacrificial publishing ventures in the South, while independent of the “regular lines,” received Ellen White’s strong sympathy and support.]

“How many more years will it be before our brethren receive the clear, keen perception which calls evil evil, and good good? When will men cease to depend upon the same routine which has left so much work undone, so many fields unworked? Is not the present presentation enough to make men see that a revival is necessary and a reformation essential? If not, it is useless for me to repeat the same things over and over again.

“I want my brethren to begin to understand some things for themselves. God alone, by the quickening, vivifying influence of His Holy Spirit, can enable men to distinguish between the sacred and the common. God alone can make men understand that working on regular lines has led to irregular practices. God alone can make men’s minds as they should be. The time has come when we should hear less in favor of the regular lines. If we can get away from the regular lines into something which, though irregular, is after God’s order, it may cut away something of the irregular working which has led away from Bible principles.

“God’s principles are the only safe principles for us to follow. Phariseeism was filled with regular lines, but so perverted were the principles of justice that God declared, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:14, 15). How true these words have proved.

“It is as hard today to break away from the regular lines as it was in Christ’s day. We have had great light. Let us not become narrow. Let us break the bonds which bind us. Christ is the source of all true growth, the maintainer of all life. By His Holy Spirit He communicates heavenly principles and furnishes spiritual life.” – {20MR 142.4 – 143.5}
 
 
“The Lord does not set limits about His workers in some lines as men are wont to set. In their work, Brethren Magan and Sutherland have been hindered unnecessarily. Means have been withheld from them because in the organization and management of the Madison school, it was not placed under the control of the conference. But the reasons why this school was not owned and controlled by the conference have not been duly considered.

“The lack of interest in this work, by some who should have valued it highly, is decidedly wrong. Our brethren must guard themselves against the repetition of such experiences.

“The Lord does not require that the educational work at Madison shall be changed all about before it can receive the hearty support of our people. The work that has been done there is approved of God, and He forbids that this line of work shall be broken up. The Lord will continue to bless and sustain the workers so long as they follow His counsel.

“Brethren Sutherland and Magan are as verily set to do the work of the Lord at Madison as other workers are appointed to do their part in the cause of present truth. The light given me is that we should help these brethren and their associates, who have worked beyond their strength, under great disadvantages. Let us seek to understand the situation, and see that justice and mercy are not forgotten in the distribution of funds.

“The leaders in the work of the Madison school are laborers together with God. More must be done in their behalf by their brethren. The Lord’s money is to sustain them in their labors. They have a right to share the means given to the cause. They should be given a proportionate share of the means that comes in for the furtherance of the cause.” – {SpTB11 31.3 – 32.4}
 
 
“The Lord has instructed me that, from the first, the work in Huntsville and Madison should have received adequate help. But instead of this help being rendered promptly there has been long delay. And in the matter of the Madison school, there has been a standing off from them because they were not under the ownership and control of some Conference. This is a question that should sometimes be considered, but it is not the Lord’s plan that means should be withheld from Madison, because they are not bound to the conference. The attitude which some of our brethren have assumed toward this enterprise shows that it is not wise for every working agency to be under the dictation of conference officers. There are some enterprises under certain conditions, that will produce better results if standing alone.

“When my advice was asked in reference to the Madison school, I said, Remain as you are. There is danger in binding every working agency under the dictation of the conference. The Lord did not design that this should be. The circumstances were such that the burden bearers in the Madison school could not bind up their work with the conference. I knew their situation, and when many of the leading men in our conferences ignored them, because they did not place their school under conference dictation, I was shown that they would not be helped by making themselves amenable to the conference. They had better remain as led by God, amenable to Him, to work out His plans. But this matter need not be blazed abroad.

“The world is our field. God’s children who feel a burden for the work of the message are to be allowed to work where the Spirit directs them. Let not a forbidding power be exercised to restrict them in their work. Let God accomplish His work through the agencies that He chooses. A great mistake has been made in the exercise of human authority in God’s work, and I am bidden to proclaim the message: “Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free.” I am bidden to say to church members, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1.)” – {8MR 202.3 – 204.1}

 

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