Through this series on “Unity and Dissonance,” we have looked at how God’s faithful people at the end will be opposed—first by the professed church and later by the world. We have seen that one of the initial attacks against God’s people by their professed brethren will be the charge that they are not accountable to the church organization, as it is claimed they should be. This is the same attack that was made against John the Baptist at the first coming of Christ. It was made repeatedly against Jesus, and it was also made against the apostle Paul.
God’s people must remember as well that we need to counsel with one another and with the Lord at each step of advancement. On the other hand, we must know that there is a time when the Lord forbids us to counsel with our “brethren.” Inspired counsel has been given to us about this subject.
“A man can not safely be intrusted [sic] with the control of others, unless he himself is under the satisfaction of the Holy Spirit.” Bible Training School, January 1, 1908.
“Honor is to be given to the human powers by putting them to the very highest use in the service of God. Under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit, all may be co-laborers with God. All whom God has blessed with reasoning powers are to become intellectual Christians. They are not requested to believe without evidence; therefore Jesus has enjoined upon all to search the Scriptures. Let the ingenious inquirer, and the one who would know for himself what is truth, exert his mental powers to search out the truth as it is in Jesus. Any neglect here is at the peril of the soul. We must know individually the prescribed conditions of entering into eternal life. We must know what is the voice of God, that we may live by every word that proceeds out of his mouth. We cannot allow these questions to be settled for us by another’s mind, or another’s judgment.” Review and Herald, March 8, 1887.
“John had not recognized the authority of the Sanhedrin by seeking their sanction for his work; and he had reproved rulers and people, Pharisees and Sadducees alike. Yet the people followed him eagerly. The interest in his work seemed to be continually increasing. Though he had not deferred to them, the Sanhedrin accounted that, as a public teacher, he was under their jurisdiction.” The Desire of Ages, 132, 133.
“From childhood He [Christ] acted independently of the rabbinical laws.” Ibid., 84.
“In His instruction to Moses the Lord very plainly set forth the character of those who were to fill important positions as counselors. They are to be ‘able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.’ [Exodus 18:21.] The Lord’s counsel has been strangely neglected. There are men in places of holy trust who, when reproved, have cared nought for it. Some who for years have stood as counselors have boldly stated that they would not receive the testimonies given. In triumph they have declared that many of our most responsible men have lost faith in the message coming from Sister White. Thus the rejecters of light have been strengthened in their unbelief, feeling that they had quite a strong confederacy. Men who have had the light have walked contrary to the light. These words are appropriate: ‘Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.’ The malaria of unbelief has been diffusing its deathly atmosphere throughout the ranks, nigh and afar off. All this has been stated plainly, yet for years matters have been left unchanged. Can the Lord’s favor be expected under such circumstances? . . .” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 341, 342.