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INDEPENDENCE, Part 1 quotes

1)    “God’s work cannot be done without a spirit of independence.” Signs of the Times, December 23, 1889.

     “We are living amid the perils of the last days, and if we have a spirit of self-sufficiency and independence, we shall be exposed to the wiles of Satan and be overcome.” Testimonies, vol 3, p 66.

2)     On the true form of independence:
     “Individual independence and individual power are the qualities now needed.” Testimonies, vol 3, p 496.

     On the false form of independence which God condemns, we are told:
     “Followers of Jesus Christ will not act independently one of another.” Testimonies, vol 5, p 534.

     “Now, please stop walking in this unsanctified independence and self-confidence, for it will prove your ruin unless you see the evil and repent of it...if you choose to make your own plans and go independently you will not have the Lord to go with you.” Manuscript Releases, vol 20, p 119-120.

3)    “The angels of God are in our world, and satanic agencies are here also.  I am permitted to see the inclination of certain ones to follow their own strong traits of character.  If they refuse to yoke up with others who have had a long experience in the work, they will become blinded by self-confidence, not discerning between the false and the true.” Testimonies to Ministers, p 501.

4)    The true form of independence which heaven approves of is briefly stated in the following principles:
     -- That we are an independent agent who is responsible to God for our own actions and spiritual life – no one else can be blamed if we lose heaven.

     -- We are responsible to God to do our own personal study – no one else is to study for us.

     -- We are responsible to think for ourselves – we are not to be the shadow or rubber stamp of any person.

     -- While we are to ask for advice from others of experience, we are responsible to follow our own convictions – no one else is to be conscience for us.

     -- We are responsible to help ourselves – no one else is required to help when we are able.

     -- We are responsible for the performance of the work given us to do – no one else can be blamed if it does not get done.

     -- We are responsible for our own daily maintenance – no one owes us anything.  We are responsible to maintain our integrity, moral righteousness, and obligations in the various affairs of life.

     -- We are responsible to stand for God, His honor, and His truth regardless of the consequences.

(List provided at this link: http://www.LightMinistries.com/SDA/True-Independence.pdf)

5)    “...God's law is given to men as a hedge, a shield.  Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil.  Fidelity to God involves fidelity to man.  Thus the law guards the rights, the individuality, of every human being.  It restrains the superior from oppression, and the subordinate from disobedience.  It ensures man's well-being, both for this world and for the world to come.  To the obedient it is the pledge of eternal life, for it expresses the principles that endure forever.” Education, p 76-77.

6)    “God desires His people to be disciplined and brought into harmony, that they may see eye to eye. This does not mean that they are to yield up their individuality. Individuality should not be sacrificed, but it should be refined and elevated.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 5, 1901.

     “There is at work a wheel within a wheel.  Apparently the complication of machinery is so intricate that man can see only a complete entanglement.  But the divine hand, as seen by the prophet Ezekiel, is placed upon the wheels, and every part moves in complete harmony, each doing its specified work, yet with individual freedom of action.” Bible Commentary, vol 4, p 1161.

7)    “A life consecrated to the service of God will be developed and beautified in its individuality.  No person can sink his individuality in that of another, but we are all, as individuals, to be grafted into the one parent stock, and there is to be unity in diversity.  The great Master Artist has not made two leaves of the same tree precisely alike; so His creative power does not give to all minds the same likeness.  They are created to live through ceaseless ages, and there is to be complete unity, mind blending with mind; but no two are to be of the same mold.” Mind, Character and Personality, vol 2, p 426.

     “Unity in diversity is God's plan.  Among the followers of Christ there is to be the blending of diverse elements, one adapted to the other, and each to do its special work for God.  Every individual has his place in the filling up of one great plan bearing the stamp of Christ's image....One is fitted to do a certain work, another has a different work for which he is adapted, another has a still different line; but each is to be the complement of the others....The Spirit of God, working in and through the diverse elements, will produce harmony of action....There is to be only one master spirit--the Spirit of Him who is infinite in wisdom, and in whom all the diverse elements meet in beautiful, matchless unity.” Our High Calling, p 169.

8)    The false form of independence which heaven condemns is briefly stated in the following principles:
     -- That we are responsible to God alone – no responsibility needs to be shown toward our fellow brethren.

     -- We are responsible to God alone for our actions – no one can hold us responsible, or correct, or censure, or discipline us for what we do, even if our actions are wrong and adversely affect our fellow brethren.

     -- We are responsible to spiritually unite with God alone – no one is to visibly unite with one another in church or in working capacity.

     -- We are responsible to believe and teach what we want to – regardless of what our fellow brethren agree is truth.

     -- We are responsible to follow our own way and do not need to seek or follow the counsel of others of experience.

     -- We are responsible to center our interests in our own work – regardless of the work and interests of our brethren.

(List provided at this link: http://www.LightMinistries.com/SDA/False-Independence.pdf)

9)    “Satan has blinded their eyes and perverted their judgment; and unless every soul shall repent of this their sin, this unsanctified independence that is doing insult to the Spirit of God, they will walk in darkness.  I will remove the candlestick out of his place except they repent and be converted, that I should heal them.  They have obscured their spiritual eyesight.  They would not that God should manifest His Spirit and His power...They walk in the sparks of their own kindling, and unless they repent, they shall lie down in sorrow.” Manuscript Releases, vol 3, p 191-192.

10)    “The evils of self-esteem and an unsanctified independence, which most impair our usefulness, and which will prove our ruin if not overcome, spring from selfishness.” Testimonies, vol 5, p 29.

     “...Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will.” Desire of Ages, p 762.

     “The fallen angel whom God had made covering cherub, was ruined by his selfish, independent will....Lucifer abode not in the truth.  He fell from his integrity.  Let everyone learn the lesson which he should learn from this wonderful history.” Sabbath School Worker, March 1, 1893.

11)    Satan's original lie to Eve was based upon these same principles of unsanctified independence (see Youth's Instructor, July 1, 1897).

     Unsanctified independence was also manifested by Cain (Signs of the Times, December 16, 1886); Pharaoh (Youth's Instructor, November 30, 1993); king Saul (Signs of the Times, June 1, 1888); the king of Babylon (Youth's Instructor, March 28, 1905); the prodigal son (see Signs of the Times, January 29, 1894), Judas Iscariot (Signs of the Times, June 5, 1884); and it is manifested by all Laodiceans today (Review and Herald, April 1, 1890).

     “Satan understands that success will only attend unity of action.  He well knows that independence, self-exaltation, and pride caused him to lose paradise, and he is constantly tempting others to rebel against order and discipline that they may share his fate.” Signs of the Times, July 29, 1880.

12)    “Satan well knows that success can only attend order and harmonious action.  He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host.  It is his studied effort to lead professed Christians just as far from heaven's arrangement as he can; therefore he deceives even the professed people of God and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality, that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course, and to remain especially distinct from bodies of Christians who are united and are laboring to establish discipline and harmony of action.  All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.  These deceived souls consider it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently.  They will not take any man's say-so.  They are amenable to no man.  I was shown that it is Satan's special work to lead men to feel that it is in God's order for them to strike out for themselves and choose their own course, independent of their brethren.” Testimonies, vol 1, p 650.

13)    A separated Ministry in the North Western part of America believes and teaches this in their newsletter:
     “At the present time we see God's people being scattered by every conceivable means....Is it possible that we should desist from fighting against the disunity that seems to be everywhere?...all our efforts to gather God's people into one belief system and one company are going against the will of God....What composed truth for the pioneers over 100 years ago is not necessarily present truth for today.”

     But to all of those who may believe this, the God of heaven clearly states the following to you:
     “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....In order that the Lord's work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.” Gospel Workers, p 487.

     “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 Holy Spirit of God, and who will not listen to advise and 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 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.” Selected Messages, book 3, p 23.

14)    “The cause of the trouble it is not difficult to determine.  The workers have been independent threads, when they should have regarded themselves as threads that must be woven together to help form the pattern.  These things grieve the Holy Spirit....Unsanctified independence places us where He (God) cannot work with us.” Testimonies, vol 7, p 197.

15)        A separated minister in the North Eastern part of America believes and teaches this in his newsletter:
     "Those who continue to cry ‘unity’ show they still do not comprehend the words of Christ...Those continuing their search for unity have not eaten of the flesh of Christ spiritually.  Though they profess to be His followers and doers of His word, yet they have not flushed the structural mire of a temporal kingdom from their minds....and unless they are broken on the Rock Christ Jesus, they will continue their quest for unity until Jesus appears in the clouds of heaven.  They look for a tangible unity seen with the visible eye.  But God's few faithful standard-bearers view unity with the spiritual eye...Satan is always warring for the mastery over the mind and keeping the mind dwelling on unity is leading many to frustration and finally perdition.”

     But to all of those who may believe this, the God of heaven clearly states the following to you:
     “God wants unity to be seen...” General Conference Bulletin, April 10, 1901.

     “Many who profess to love God and keep His commandments are making void His law.  God is greatly dishonored by the failure of professed Christians to reveal the unity that should be seen among His children.” Review and Herald, February 11, 1902.

     “We are not to strengthen any evil work.  Let those who have used their talents of influence in doing this, do so no longer.  Let them not by pen or voice act on Satan's side of the question.  In obedience to a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ let unity of action be seen.” Review and Herald, August 6, 1901.

16)    “Well, when is this unity to take place? Are we to wait until we get home to heaven? No, it should take place right here before we leave this house. The melting power of God may be felt right here and the rough edges of our hearts are to be melted right down. From our hearts is to flow forth love, peace, and harmony.” Sermons and Talks, vol 2, p 15-16.

17)    “God does not design that His workmen shall stand apart as independent atoms....I pray that you may now, as never before, both ministers and church members, come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness.  Study prayerfully the 17th chapter of John.  This chapter is not only to be read again and again, but its truths are to be eaten and digested.
     “Are these words, of such import to us, to be always neglected?  God calls upon those who claim to be His children to study these words, to eat them, to live them.  Seek for unity and love, else the candlestick will be removed out of its place.” Pamphlets, #156, p 12-14.

18)    Another separated minister from the Eastern part of America, but farther South from the one above, believes and teaches this in one of his newsletters:
     “I believe, at this very moment, the gospel order that is being pushed by some in the Separation Movement is uncalled for because of the very few scattered sheep....Do you realize how much time and money would be wasted if we had to follow Matthew 18 to the letter...”

     But to all of those who may believe this, the God of heaven clearly states the following to you:
     “The Lord has shown me that gospel order has been too much neglected and feared.  That formality should be shunned; but in doing so, order should not be neglected.  There is order in heaven.  There was order in the church when Christ was upon the earth; and after His departure, order was strictly observed among His apostles.  And now in these last days, while God is bringing His children into the unity of faith, there is more real need of order than even before; for, as God unites His children, Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it.” Early Writings, p 97.

19)    Another separated minister in the Western part of America, but farther South from the one previously quoted from, believes and teaches this in his tapes:
     “So the church has no business in forcing, basically its view or its will upon the members.  Because liberty of conscience must be respected....We know that when it comes to doctrine, that God has given us as individuals the freedom to choose what we shall and shall not believe....and it is in this manner that they (God's people) will be united as a body...”

     But to those who may agree with this, the God of heaven clearly states the following to you:
     “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10.
     “Jesus and holy angels are bringing up and uniting God's people into one faith, that they may all have one mind and one judgment.  And while they are being brought into the unity of the faith, to see eye to eye upon the solemn, important truths for this time, Satan is at work to oppose their advancement.  Jesus is at work through His instruments to gather and unite.  Satan works through his instruments to scatter and divide.” Testimonies, vol 1, p 332.

     “You must restrain the disposition within you of being original.  You must lean upon the faith of the body or you will mar the work of God, and injure the truth....Unless there is order in these things there would soon be great confusion in our ranks.  It is not in the order of God for one to feel at liberty to express his views independently of the body, another express his, and so on.  If such a course should be taken we should not all speak the same things and with one mind glorify God.  All of us have a part to act, but it is in union with the body.” Manuscript Releases, vol 3, p 262.

     “‘But,’ you say, ‘should I follow the judgment of the brethren independent of my own feelings?’  I answer: The church is God's delegated authority upon earth....There is altogether too little respect paid to the opinion of members of the same church.  It is the want of deference for the opinions of the church that causes so much trouble among brethren....A few persons may be as blind as the one in error, but the majority of the church is a power which should control its individual members....Unless the advice and counsel of the church can be respected, it is indeed powerless.  God has placed a voice in the church which must control its members.

     “If you are led by truth rather than error you will be willing to...sacredly regard the voice of the church.” Testimonies, vol 5, p 107-108.

     “Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11.