In approaching the end of the world, God’s people must remember that we need to counsel with one another and with the Lord at each step of advance. On the other hand, we must know that there is a time when the Lord forbids us to counsel with our “brethren.” Inspired counsel and examples are given to us about this subject.
“Do not refuse to unite with your brethren, fearing that if you put yourself on an equality with them you will not be able to do all that your own judgment might suggest. God’s workers are to counsel together. Ministers, physicians, or directors are walking in false paths when they regard themselves as a complete whole; when they feel no need of counsel from men of experience, who have been led by the Lord, who, as they have moved forward in self-denial to advance the work, have given evidence that they were led and controlled by the Holy Spirit and were thus enabled to speak and plan and act wisely and understandingly.” Medical Ministry, 46, 47.
“I [Ellen White] have no confidence in the smartest men that ever lived unless they are under the control of God. They may have natural capabilities and talents, but unless they are guided by the Holy Spirit, they will be controlled by some one else.” Australasian Union Conference Record, July 28, 1899.
“Unless our eyes, our ears, our tongues, are under the control of the Holy Spirit, and guided by divine power, they cannot be trusted.” Review and Herald, August 13, 1895.
“If changes are to be made, we must know what counsel to give and what changes to make, and how to present every line of work intelligently. Decided changes are to be made in every one of our churches in America, but everything cannot be introduced now. The working of the Holy Spirit must be seen, and this Spirit is not to be controlled by any human plans or methods. There are plans to be established in every church. God will work Himself, and men must cooperate.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 51.
“One man’s mind, one man’s judgment, is not to be a controlling power. . . . ‘Counsel together, counsel together,’ has been repeated to me by the heavenly angels for the past forty-five years. At the same time you must constantly feel the need of higher counsel. Do not fail to seek wisdom from God. Unless you do go to God for wisdom, and understand for yourselves the way of the Lord, you will not be able to understand things clearly. You must have the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to give you clear views of Jesus and His love.—Letter 34, 1891.” Manuscript Releases 311, 24.
“If it were possible, the enemy would clog the wheels of progress, and prevent the truths of the gospel from being circulated everywhere. With this object he leads men to feel that it is their privilege to control the consciences of their fellow-men according to their own perverted ideas. They dismiss the Holy Spirit from their counsels, and then, under the power and name of the General Conference, they invent regulations through which they compel men to be ruled by their own ideas and not by the Holy Spirit.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 4, 1527.