Progressive Patterns

Extreme approach to extremists

Get the message out

We are to stand in this world as though there were all around us the purchase of the blood of Christ, and as though it depended very much upon our words, deportment, and manner of labor, whether these souls shall be saved or not. . . . It depends very much on the way we take hold to labor whether we shall have souls as the result of our efforts.--Manuscript 14, 1887. {Ev 140.2}

Time, precious time, has been lost. Golden opportunities have passed by unimproved, because of a lack of clear spiritual eyesight and wise generalship to plan and devise ways and means to frustrate the enemy and preoccupy the field. . . . {Ev 144.2}

Slumbering watchmen, what of the night? Do you not know the time of night? Do you feel no burden to lift the danger signal and give the warnings for this time? If you do not, come down from the walls of Zion, for God will not entrust you with the light He has to give. Light is only given to those who will reflect that light upon others.--Manuscript 107, 1898. {Ev 144.3}

We are living in a time when a great work is to be done. There is a famine in the land for the pure gospel, and the bread of life is to be given to hungry souls. There is no better opportunity to do this work than that offered to the consecrated canvasser. Thousands of books containing the precious light of present truth should be placed in the homes of the people in our large cities.--Southern Watchman, Nov. 20, 1902. {ChS 152.1}

Blessed, soul-saving Bible truths are published in our papers. There are many who can help in the work of selling our periodicals. The Lord calls upon all of us to seek to save perishing souls. Satan is at work to deceive the very elect, and now is our time to work with vigilance. Our books and papers are to be brought before the notice of the people; the gospel of present truth is to be given to our cities without delay. Shall we not arouse to our duties?-- Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 63. {ChS 152.2}

The book work should be the means of quickly giving the sacred light of present truth to the world. The publications that come forth from our presses today are to be of such a character as to strengthen every pin and pillar of the faith that was established by the word of God and by the revelations of His Spirit. {CM 3.1}

There are many places in which the voice of the minister cannot be heard, places which can be reached only by our publications,--the books, papers, and tracts filled with the Bible truths that the people need. Our literature is to be distributed everywhere. The truth is to be sown beside all waters; for we know not which will prosper, this, or that. In our erring judgment we may think it unwise to give literature to the very ones who would accept the truth the most readily. We know not what may be the results of giving away a leaflet containing present truth.-- Manuscript 127, 1909. {CM 4.3}

We are fast approaching the end. The printing and circulation of the books and papers that contain the truth for this time are to be our work.--Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 89. (1904) {CM 5.1}

Publications must be multiplied, and scattered like the leaves of autumn. These silent messengers are enlightening and molding the minds of thousands in every country and in every clime.--Review and Herald, Nov. 21, 1878. {CM 5.2}

Don't go too slow

God will move upon men in humble positions to declare the message of present truth. Many such will be seen hastening hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to give the light to those in darkness. The truth 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, will proclaim the word of the Lord. Children will be impelled by the Holy Spirit to go forth to declare the message of heaven. The Spirit will be poured out upon those who yield to His promptings. Casting off man's binding rules and cautious movements, they will join the army of the Lord.--Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 26, 27. {ChS 105.3}

If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.--Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 29. {ChS 86.2}

The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knoweth that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world, to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock, and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken, in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn.--Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 231. {ChS 147.3}

We should improve every such opportunity as that presented by the St. Louis Fair. At all similar gatherings there should be present men whom God can use. Leaflets containing the light of present truth should be scattered among the people like the leaves of autumn. To many who attend these gatherings these leaflets would be as the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations.--Letter 296, 1904. {WM 288.3}

Don't go too fast

Do not make the Sabbath question your first specialty. You must reach the people with practical subjects, upon which all can agree. . . . God's people have a work to do which is not being done. The last message of mercy must be given to a world perishing in their sins. {TM 400.3}

Brethren, you who go forth to labor for those who are bound in chains of prejudice and ignorance, need to exercise the same divine wisdom that Paul manifested. When you are laboring in a place where souls are just beginning to get the scales from their eyes, and to see men as trees walking, be very careful not to present the truth in such a way as to arouse prejudice, and to close the door of the heart to the truth. Agree with the people on every point where you can consistently do so. Let them see that you love their souls, and want to be in harmony with them so far as possible. If the love of Christ is revealed in all your efforts, you will be able to sow the seed of truth in some hearts; God will water the seed sown, and the truth will spring up and bear fruit to His glory. {Ev 140.3}

Our ministers need more of the wisdom that Paul had. When he went to labor for the Jews, he did not first make prominent the birth, betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, notwithstanding these were the special truths for that time. He first brought them down step by step over the promises that had been made of a Saviour, and over the prophecies that pointed Him out. After dwelling upon these until the specifications were distinct in the minds of all, and they knew that they were to have a Saviour, he then presented the fact that this Saviour had already come. Christ Jesus fulfilled every specification. This was the "guile" with which Paul caught souls. He presented the truth in such a manner that their former prejudice did not arise to blind their eyes and pervert their judgment.--Historical Sketches, pp. 121, 122. (1886) {Ev 141.1}

The greatest care is needed in dealing with these souls. Be always on guard. Do not at the outset press before the people the most objectionable features of our faith, lest you close the ears of those to whom these things come as a new revelation. {Ev 141.2}

Let such portions of truth be dealt out to them as they may be able to grasp and appreciate; though it should appear strange and startling, many will recognize with joy that new light is shed on the Word of God. Whereas if truth were presented in so large a measure that they could not receive it, some would go away and never come again. More than this, they would misrepresent the truth, and in their explanation of what was said they would so wrest the Scriptures as to confuse other minds. We must take advantage of circumstances now. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. There must be no combative or controversial spirit in the advocacy of truth.--Manuscript 44, 1894. {Ev 142.1}

Learn to meet the people where they are. Do not present subjects that will arouse controversy. Let not your instruction be of a character to perplex the mind.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 58. (1900) {Ev 142.4}

Become acquainted with the people in their homes. Test the spiritual pulse and carry war into the camp. Create an interest. Pray and believe, and you will gain an experience which will be of value to you. Do not take up subjects which are so deep that they require mind struggles to comprehend. Pray and believe as you work. Awaken the people to do something. In the name of the Lord work with persevering intensity.--Letter 189, 1899. {Ev 142.2}

Remember that great care is to be exercised in regard to the presentation of truth. Carry the minds along guardedly. Dwell upon practical godliness, weaving the same into doctrinal discourses. The teachings and love of Christ will soften and subdue the soil of the heart for the good seed of truth.--Letter 14, 1887. {Ev 142.3}

Do not arouse opposition before the people have had opportunity to hear the truth and know what they are opposing.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 36. (1900) {Ev 143.1}

Upon us there rests the solemn responsibility of presenting the truth to unbelievers in the most forcible manner. How careful we should be not to present the truth in a way that will drive men and women from it. Religious teachers stand where they can do great good or great evil. . . . {Ev 143.2}

It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. Review and Herald, June 13, 1912. {Ev 143.4}

Keep back that disposition to crowd out a brother, even if you think him unworthy, even if he has hindered your work by manifesting a spirit of independence and willfulness. Remember that he is God's property. Err always on the side of mercy and tenderness. Treat with respect and deference even your most bitter enemies, who would injure you if they could. Let not a word escape your lips that would give them opportunity to justify their course in the least degree. Give no occasion to any man to blaspheme the name of God or speak disrespectfully of our faith for anything you have done. We need to be wise as the serpent, and harmless as the dove. {RH, December 16, 1884 par. 10}

Let everyone bear in mind that we are in no case to invite persecution. We are not to use harsh and cutting words. Keep them out of every article written, drop them out of every address given. Let the word of God do the cutting, the rebuking: let finite men hide and abide in Jesus Christ. Let the spirit of Christ appear. Let all be guarded in their words, lest they place those not of our faith in deadly opposition against us, and give Satan an opportunity to use the unadvised words to hedge up our way. {CW 64.1}

There is to be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Our work is to study to weed out of all our discourses everything that savors of retaliation and defiance and making a drive against churches and individuals, because this is not Christ's way and method.--Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 239-244. (1909.) {CW 64.2}

There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy, but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy, and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ, and the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted.--Letter 57, 1896. {CW 65.1}

Personal effort

He who seeks to transform humanity must himself understand humanity. Only through sympathy, faith, and love can men be reached and uplifted. Here Christ stands revealed as the master teacher; of all that ever dwelt on the earth, He alone has perfect understanding of the human soul. (Education 78)

The great motive powers of the soul are faith, hope, and love; and it is to these that Bible study, rightly pursued, appeals. The outward beauty of the Bible, the beauty of imagery and expression, is but the setting, as it were, for its real treasure--the beauty of holiness. In its record of the men who walked with God, we may catch glimpses of His glory. In the One "altogether lovely" we behold Him, of whom all beauty of earth and heaven is but a dim reflection. "I, if I be lifted up," He said, "will draw all men unto Me." John 12:32. As the student of the Bible beholds the Redeemer, there is awakened in the soul the mysterious power of faith, adoration, and love. Upon the vision of Christ the gaze is fixed, and the beholder grows into the likeness of that which he adores. The words of the apostle Paul become the language of the soul: "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: . . . that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings." Philippians 3:8-10. (Education 192)

The faculty of reason, trained and cultivated as a precious entrusted gift, will be taken to heaven with all its improvements and sanctified abilities, to be perfected more and more in the heavenly school above. Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures. Jesus reasoned with his hearers out of the Scriptures. "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." "As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." This is the faith, that although we do not see, we believe his word, and sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of him. He speaks as one having authority,--"It is written." He himself was the author. The motive power of the gospel is the science of patience, love, faith, prayer, obedience, hope, and the joy of Christ in the human soul. {SW, April 24, 1902 par. 4}

Our publications should be printed in other languages, that foreign nations may be reached. Much can be done through the medium of the press, but still more can be accomplished if the influence of the labors of the living preachers goes with our publications. Missionaries are needed to go to other nations to preach the truth in a guarded, careful manner. The cause of present truth can be greatly extended by personal effort. {CET 211.2}

The Lord has instituted a plan whereby many of the students in our schools can learn practical lessons needful to success in afterlife. He has given us the privilege of handling precious books that have been dedicated to the advancement of our educational and sanitarium work. In the very handling of these books, the youth will meet with many experiences that will teach them how to cope with problems that await them in the regions beyond. During their school life, as they handle these books, many learn how to approach people courteously, and how to exercise tact in conversing with them on different points of present truth. As they meet with a degree of success financially, some will learn lessons of thrift and economy, which will be of great advantage to them when they are sent out as missionaries.--Review and Herald, June 4, 1908. {CM 30.1}

Canvassers are needed to take up the work of carrying these silent messengers of truth to the people,--canvassers who feel a burden for souls, and who can speak words in season to those who are seeking for light. Some may say, "I am not a minister; I cannot preach to the people," You may not be able to preach, but you can be an evangelist, ministering to the needs of those with whom you come in contact; you can be God's helping hand, working as the disciples worked; you can ask those you meet if they love the Lord Jesus.--Southern Watchman, Nov. 20, 1902. {ChS 147.4}

I have been shown that we are not doing our duty in the gratuitous circulation of small publications. There are many honest souls who might be brought to embrace the truth by this means alone. Should there be on each copy of these small tracts an advertisement of our publications and the place where they can be obtained, it would extend the circulation of the larger publications and the Review, Instructor, and Reformer. {1T 551.1}

These small tracts of four, eight, or sixteen pages can be furnished for a trifle from a fund raised by the donations of those who have the cause at heart. When you write to a friend you can enclose one or more without increasing postage. When you meet persons in the cars, on the boat, or in the stage who seem to have an ear to hear, you can hand them a tract. These tracts should not at present be scattered promiscuously like the autumn leaves, but should be judiciously and freely handed to those who would be likely to prize them. Thus our publications and the Publishing Association will be advertised in a manner that will result in much good.

Work together

Here we are brought together--of different minds, different education, and different training--and we do not expect that every mind will run right in the same channel; but the question is, Are we, the several branches, grafted into the parent Vine? That is what we want to inquire, and we want to ask teachers as well as students. We want to understand whether we are really grafted into the parent Vine. If we are, we may have different manners, different tones, and different voices. You may view things from one standpoint, and we have ideas different from one another in regard to the Scriptures, not in opposition to the Scriptures, but our ideas may vary. My mind may run in the lines most familiar to it, and another may be thinking and taking a view according to his traits of character, and see a very deep interest in one side of it that others do not see.--MS 14, 1894. {1MCP 53.4}

While at Healdsburg I dreamed [of] seeing several span of horses harnessed to machinery which they were to draw. My husband stood looking on to see if the harness was of sufficient strength to hold in making the required effort. The horses started drawing the load. {1SAT 1.1}

Two horses from the number rushed out of their places and began to tug at the load, but could not start it one inch because they did not work in unison with the other horses. These looked back and seemed to think that the moving of the load depended upon them. They went first [to] one side and then [to] another, and became nervous and broke loose from the other horses and jumped in ahead of them all. In the act they were, they thought, taking the load when they were not stirring it. If these horses had kept their places they might have drawn their part of the load and been of important service, but when they rushed in ahead of the leading horses they were not drawing the load and were in the way, hindering the other horses from working. {1SAT 1.2}

I thought my husband struck these horses sharply with the whip. One turned to him, and said, "Don't strike so hard; you cut deep. We had zeal to start this load and we thought no one could start it but us. We see we have not moved it, but hindered its moving, but a check was all we needed, not to be cut on like balky horses. We will fall back on our traces and draw with the rest." {1SAT 1.3}

I awoke, and fell asleep the same night, and dreamed that my husband was trying to right matters in the church at Battle Creek. There was difficulty. There were two or three that thought they had wisdom to bring the church into good working order. They wished to rearrange the church, and then they said it would be free. These men and women had a machine of their own to work, but the machine of each was united with a larger machine. Every one must keep his or her hand employed on his or her own machine, and then the larger machinery worked beautifully and every revolution of the great wheel was exact and harmonious. If any neglected this machine which was connected with the great machinery, every revolution of the large wheel made a disagreeable noise which disturbed not only the building it was in, but the building across the road jarred and shook. {1SAT 1.4}

I saw two in particular leave their machines and [they] were watching the large wheel in the great machinery and were seeking to correct the great wheel, to have it more harmoniously and regularly. Instead of helping the difficulty, the machinery made a more disagreeable noise. I thought if all would stand by their own machines and diligently and faithfully do their own work correctly, there would be no trouble with the large machinery. But the noise of the large machine called the attention of several from their work. This difficulty was now to be settled. All wanted to know why the large machine ran so heavily, the wheel groaning at every revolution. {1SAT 2.1}

My husband spoke very decidedly and sharply. Said he, "You who left your own machine to correct the large wheel were out of your place. Had you kept by your own machines and worked them correctly, the large machine would have been all right." I thought my husband spoke very earnestly and reproved those who left their own work to attend to that which was not their work. Those that had been the most to blame said, "Do not be so severe. We thought we were carrying out your express directions in doing as we have done. But all we needed was a word and we would see our error. We thought everything was going to pieces, therefore left the very work we should have done, to save such a calamity, and sought to correct the large machinery, and so we made things very much worse."--Ms. 1, 1873. (MR 900.14). {1SAT 2.2}

Not too dependent

God will not vindicate any device whereby man shall in the slightest degree rule or oppress his fellowman. As soon as a man begins to make an iron rule for other men, he dishonors God and imperils his own soul and the souls of his brethren.--7T 181 (1902). {1MCP 53.3}

It is a fact widely ignored, though never without danger, that error rarely appears for what it really is. It is by mingling with or attaching itself to truth that it gains acceptance. The eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil caused the ruin of our first parents, and the acceptance of a mingling of good and evil is the ruin of men and women today. The mind that depends upon the judgment of others is certain, sooner or later, to be misled. {Ed 230.4}

The power to discriminate between right and wrong we can possess only through individual dependence upon God. Each for himself is to learn from Him through His word. Our reasoning powers were given us for use, and God desires them to be exercised. "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18), He invites us. In reliance upon Him we may have wisdom to "refuse the evil, and choose the good." Isaiah 7:15; James 1:5. {Ed 231.1}

Leading men should place responsibilities upon others, and allow time to plan and devise and execute, so that they may obtain an experience. Give them a word of counsel when necessary, but do not take away the work because you think the brethren are making mistakes. May God pity the cause when one man's mind and one man's plan are followed without question. God would not be honored should such a state of things exist. {ChL 37.4}

All our workers must have room to exercise their own judgment and discretion. God has given men talents which He means that they should use. He has given them minds and He means that they should become thinkers, and do their own thinking and planning rather than depend upon others to think and plan for them.--Letter 12, 1885, (Oct. 28, 1885, To Brn. Butler and Haskell). {ChL 38.1}

It is necessary to carefully consider many things that have been left without due thought. It is necessary to drop out other things that have occupied much time, when but little time should be devoted to them. God has not laid upon any living man the burden of jealously guarding the movements of his fellow men, for this would restrict their intelligent freedom. {9MR 179.2}

In following a course of this kind, men are pursuing a similar course to that of the Roman Catholics who center in the pope every power of the church, and ascribe to him authority to act as God, so that those below him in station lay every plan at his feet that he may prescribe the rules for men and women in every minutiae of life. In following a course of this kind, there is danger that no chance will be left for God to answer the prayers of His delegated servants according to His promise in giving them wisdom in pursuing their work. {9MR 179.3}

God does not purpose to have one man prescribe how his fellow workmen shall perform His work. When this manner of action comes in among our people, there is need of a protest. -180- {9MR 179.4}

Not too independent

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 thing 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. {GW 487.2}

The spasmodic, fitful movements of some who claim to be Christians are well represented by the work of strong but untrained horses. When one pulls forward, another pulls back; at the voice of their master one plunges ahead, and the other stands immovable. If men will not move in concert in the great and grand work for this time, there will be confusion. It is not a good sign when men refuse to unite with their brethren, and prefer to act alone. Let laborers take into their confidence the brethren who are free to point out every departure from right principles. If men wear the yoke of Christ, they cannot pull apart; they will draw with Christ. {GW 487.3}

Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves, let them draw in harmony with their fellow-laborers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted. {GW 488.1}

God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing this thing, another that. Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust. The third angel is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly. Some run ahead of the angels that are leading this people; but they have to retrace every step, and meekly follow no faster than the angels lead. I saw that the angels of God would lead His people no faster than they could receive and act upon the important truths that are communicated to them. But some restless spirits do not more than half do up their work. As the angel leads them, they get in haste for something new, and rush on without divine guidance, and thus bring confusion and discord into the ranks. They do not speak or act in harmony with the body.{1T 207.1}

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 163.1}

There have ever been in the church those who are constantly inclined toward individual independence. They seem unable to realize that independence of spirit is liable to lead the human agent to have too much confidence in himself and to trust in his own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly esteem the judgment 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 163.2}

Those who are inclined to regard their individual judgment as supreme are in grave peril. It is Satan's studied effort to separate such ones from those who are channels of light, through whom God has wrought to build up and extend His work in the earth. 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 Lord's 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 co-operate 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. {AA 164.1}

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 414.1}