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    Chapter 12—Counsels to Editors

    “I Have Set Thee a Watchman.”—Solemn is the responsibility that rests upon our houses of publication. Those who conduct these institutions, those who edit the periodicals and prepare the books, standing as they do in the light of God's purpose, and called to give warning to the world, are held by God accountable for the souls of their fellow men. To them, as well as to the ministers of the word, applies the message given by God to His prophet of old: “Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 33:7, 8.—Testimonies for the Church 7:140 (1902).CW 89.1

    The Sacred and the Common—The Lord's work needs to be distinguished from the common affairs of life. He says: “I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin; and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning; afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.” Isaiah 1:25-27. These words are full of importance. They have a lesson for all who occupy the editorial chair.CW 89.2

    The words of Moses possess deep meaning. “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Leviticus 10:1-3. This has a lesson for all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our publishing institutions. Sacred things are not to be mingled with the common. The papers that have so wide a circulation should contain more precious instruction than appears in the ordinary publications of the day. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” Jeremiah 23:28. We want pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed.CW 90.1

    “The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.... To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:11-20.CW 90.2

    I call the attention of all our workers to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. Read the experience of God's prophet when he saw the Lord “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.... Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:1-8.CW 91.1

    This is the experience needed by those who labor in all our institutions. There is danger that they will fail of maintaining a vital connection with God, of being sanctified through the truth. It is thus that they lose a sense of the power of the truth, lose the ability to discriminate between the sacred and the common.CW 91.2

    Meat in Due Season—My brethren in responsible positions, may the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your hearts the holy oil that from the two olive branches flows through the golden pipes into the golden bowl which feeds the lamps of the sanctuary. May He “give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling,... and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19.CW 91.3

    As faithful householders, give meat in due season to the household of God. Present truth to the people. Work as if in full view of the whole universe of heaven. We have no time to lose—not a moment. Important issues must soon be met, and we need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus, and be quickened by His Holy Spirit.—Testimonies for the Church 7:152-154 (1902).CW 92.1

    Dangers in Speculative Study—The light of truth which God designs shall come to the people of the world at this time is not that which the world's men of learning are seeking to impart; for these men in their research often arrive at erroneous conclusions, and in their study of many authors become enthused with theories that are of satanic origin. Satan, clothed in the garb of an angel of light, presents for the study of the human mind subjects which seem very interesting, and which are full of scientific mystery. In the investigation of these subjects, men are led to accept erroneous conclusions, and to unite with seducing spirits in the work of propounding new theories which lead away from the truth.CW 92.2

    There is danger that the false sentiments expressed in the books that they have been reading will sometimes be interwoven by our ministers, teachers, and editors with their arguments, discourses, and publications, under the belief that they are the same in principle as the teachings of the Spirit of truth. The book, Living Temple, is an illustration of this work, the writer of which declared in its support that its teachings were the same as those found in the writings of Mrs. White. Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 9:67-68 (1909).CW 92.3

    To Editors of Our Periodicals—I am warned that the less our ministers handle the subject of pantheism, the less they will help Satan to present his theories to the people. Let the truth for this time be kept before them. Never, never repeat the spiritualistic sentiments, the strange, misleading theories, which have for years been coming in.CW 93.1

    The Lord has a message for our ministers to bear, but He does not call them to speak on the subjects upon which the minds of some have been dwelling. Those who do this place in minds seeds that will germinate and spring up to bear fruit. Thus people are educated to catch up the sentiments of Satan, and give them publicity.CW 93.2

    Let the repetition of Satan's falsehoods be kept out of our papers. What we need in our papers is the gospel message that will save souls. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God.”CW 93.3

    Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and by beholding Him you will be changed into His likeness. Talk not of these spiritualistic theories. Let them find no place in your mind. Let our papers be kept free from everything of the kind. Publish the truth; do not publish error. Do not try to explain in regard to the personality of God. You cannot give any further explanation than the Bible has given. Human theories regarding Him are good for nothing. Do not soil your minds by studying the misleading theories of the enemy. Labor to draw minds away from everything of this character. It will be better to keep these subjects out of our papers. Let the doctrines of present truth be put into our papers, but give no room to a repeating of erroneous theories.—Letter 179, 1904.CW 93.4

    No Compromise on Sabbath Doctrine—The people of the world will try to induce us to soften our message, to suppress one of its more distinctive features. They say: “Why do you in your teaching make the seventh-day Sabbath so prominent? This seems to be always thrust before us; we should harmonize with you if you would not say so much on this point; keep the seventh-day Sabbath out of the Sentinel, [reference is here made to The American Sentinel (1886-1901), a weekly devoted to the propagation of the principles of religious liberty. It was followed in 1901-1904 by the monthly Sentinel of Christian Liberty.] and we will give it our influence and support.” And there has been a disposition on the part of some of our workers to adopt this policy.CW 94.1

    I am bidden to warn you that deceptive sentiments are entertained, a false modesty and caution, a disposition to withhold the profession of our faith. In the night season, matters have been presented before me that have greatly troubled my mind. I have seemed to be in meetings for counsel where these subjects were discussed, and written documents were presented, advocating concessions. Brethren, shall we permit the world to shape the message that God has given us to bear to them? So then as well might the patient prescribe the remedies that are to be used for his cure.CW 94.2

    Shall we for the sake of policy, betray a sacred trust? If the world is in error and delusion, breaking the law of God, is it not our duty to show them their sin and danger? We must proclaim the third angel's message.CW 95.1

    What is the Sentinel for, but to be the voice of the watchmen on the walls of Zion, to sound the danger signal. We are not to cringe and beg pardon of the world for telling them the truth: we should scorn concealment. Unfurl your colors to meet the case of men and angels. Let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists can make no compromise. In your opinions and faith there must not be the least appearance of wavering; the world has a right to know what to expect of us, and will look upon us as dishonest, as hiding our real sentiments and principles out of policy, if we carry even the semblance of being uncommitted till the popular voice has pointed out the safe way. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which Christ said He would send into the world, was to bear an unwavering testimony.—Manuscript 16, 1890.CW 95.2

    Hold Distinctive Features Prominent—The religion of Jesus is endangered. It is being mingled with worldliness. Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the ark of the covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us by God, which have made us what we are, be ignored? Shall God's instrumentality, the publishing house, become a mere political, worldly institution? This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us.CW 95.3

    These things have gone as far as they should without someone protesting against them in plain words. The Lord's time to set things in order has fully come. There are men in positions of trust who have not had an experience in the leading out of this work, and these men should walk with humility and caution. In the night season I was present in several councils, and there I heard words repeated by influential men to the effect that if the American Sentinel would drop the words “Seventh-day Adventist” from its columns, and would say nothing about the Sabbath, the great men of the world would patronize it; it would become popular, and do a larger work. This looked very pleasing. These men could not see why we could not affiliate with unbelievers and non-professors to make the American Sentinel a great success. I saw their countenances brighten, and they began to work on a policy plan to make the Sentinel a popular success.CW 96.1

    This policy is the first step in a succession of wrong steps. The principles which have been advocated in the American Sentinel are the very sum and substance of the advocacy of the Sabbath, and when men begin to talk of changing these principles, they are doing a work which it does not belong to them to do. Like Uzzah, they are attempting to steady the ark which belongs to God, and is under His special supervision. Said my Guide to those in these councils, “Who of the men among you have felt the burden of the cause from the first, and have accepted responsibilities under trying circumstances? Who has carried the burden of the work during the years of its existence? Who has practiced self-denial and self-sacrifice? The Lord made a place for His stanch servants, whose voices have been heard in warning. He carried forward His work before any of you put your hands to it, and He can and will find a place for the truth you would suppress. In the American Sentinel has been published the truth for this time. Take heed what you do. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”—Manuscript 29, 1890.CW 96.2

    To Meet the Sunday-Law Movement—I do hope that the trumpet will give a certain sound in regard to this Sunday-law movement. I think that it would be best if in our papers the subject of the perpetuity of the law of God were made a specialty. Should there not be a paper or a pamphlet issued to take the place of the Sentinel? I have not been able to think that it was the wise thing to do to let that paper drop. It was a voice that was constantly speaking in defense of religious liberty. The truth should be presented in short articles, in clear, distinct lines, giving special points in regard to the Lord's Sabbath, and showing that those who frame laws to compel the observance of the first day of the week, are disloyal to the Lord of heaven, who placed His sanctity upon the seventh day. Are we doing all we can to exalt the law of Jehovah?CW 97.1

    We should now be doing our very best to defeat this Sunday law. The best way to do this will be to lift up the law of God and make it stand forth in all its sacredness. This must be done if the truth triumphs.—Letter 58, 1906.CW 98.1

    Exalt Not Human Beings—In the night I was earnestly addressing those who are bearing responsibilities of editors and contributors of our periodicals.... If those in charge of our periodicals have no more judgment than to fill the publications with the exaltations of human beings, then let them seek wisdom from God. Your spiritual eyesight needs the heavenly anointing.... In pouring forth an overflow of praise of one whom they do not know, who has not accepted a “Thus saith the Lord” in keeping His commandments, they place themselves where, in the crisis coming upon us, they will have defective discernment as they shall see the good things done by those who will seek to deceive, who will claim to be Christ and prophets sent of God.CW 98.2

    Christ says of that time, “If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” And again the question is asked, “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Those who use their pen and voice to give such praise to human beings need to have clearer discernment. How much better would it be if this confidence and faith would be exercised toward those who are striving with pen and voice to do the will of God as obedient children, keeping His commandments, not to praise or glorify the individual, but to obey the word of God, to love as brethren, to uproot every fiber of the root of bitterness that they are allowing to spring up....CW 98.3

    I know how the Lord regards all such productions from those who suppose they are working righteousness, who seem to be neither on one side nor on the other. The message that is given to me for them is: You are in darkness, you know not what you praise. God cannot vindicate a work that has not His stamp upon it, for it is leading others in a way that does not bear the signature of heaven.CW 99.1

    Every Sentence to Count—This is a time when every sentence written should mean something definite, should be true, sincere. Not a scratch of the pen should be made in order to become popular or to vindicate that which God condemns. Those who follow such a course have a zeal, a burning desire, to distinguish themselves, but they have not learned their lessons at the feet of Jesus. Self is interwoven with all they do and say. They aim their weapons against their brethren who are doing the work God has appointed them, and they think in their blindness that they are doing God service.CW 99.2

    I am commissioned now to say to our brethren, Humble yourselves, and confess your sins, else God will humble you. The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves. They are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm. Saith the Lord, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”CW 99.3

    Shall any one of us let the shame of our nakedness appear in the use of our God-given faculties of speech, and in the use of our pen? Shall we not consider that Christ's righteousness in His perfect obedience to His Father's commandments was the cause of His crucifixion. By perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah we are to magnify the law and make it honorable. What mean these words placed before the people of God, who, against great obstacles, are trying to fight the good fight of faith, saying, “We will not bow the knee to Baal, or give glory or honor to any who do this”?CW 100.1

    Divine blessedness is pronounced upon those who keep the commandments, and a curse He declares against those who transgress His law. And shall the pen or voice stoop to bestow laurels upon those who have been leaders in carrying the banner of Satan, declaring that the institution of the papacy shall receive the honor? The faculties God has given us for His name's glory, have been misappropriated, and been used to bring in rebel sentiments. That human beings should exalt and worship the human agency who has been engaged in a work in direct opposition to the work God has given His people to do in these last days is altogether contrary to His purpose. Why do we see such blindness? The least anyone could do is to show their eloquence before the universe of heaven, before worlds unfallen and a fallen world in keeping silent....CW 100.2

    Present Vital Matters—Suppose our teachers and students should have more to teach and write in regard to those things which are now to be fulfilled, and which concern the eternal welfare of souls. Suppose that pen and voice should give meat in due season to the old and the young, to saints and to sinners. Let the many things that might be said to awaken the church from its slumbers be spoken without losing any more time in dwelling on those things which are not essential, and that have no bearing upon the present necessities of our people or upon the ignorant who know not the truth. Read the first three verses of Revelation, and see what work is especially enjoined upon those who claim to believe the word of God....CW 101.1

    A Separating Message—My brethren, the recent productions in the papers reveal a blindness of spiritual discernment. When the eyes have been enlightened with the spiritual eyesight, then we shall see altogether clearly. The things of time and sense that now attract attention will lose their value, for there will be disclosed to men eternal interests. As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a “Thus saith the Lord.” To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works,—to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God's power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme. The wisdom of human agents who had misappropriated their God-given talents, God showed to be foolishness.CW 101.2

    “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised.”CW 102.1

    All who shall unite to praise and honor and glorify those who have lifted the banner of Satan are fighting against God. Our work now is to enlighten the world, in the place of bearing a peace-and-safety message. A banner has been placed in our hands, upon which is inscribed, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” This is a distinct, separating message,—a message that is to give no uncertain sound. It is to lead the people away from the broken cisterns that contain no water, to the fountain of living waters.—Letter 60, 1898.CW 102.2

    The Editor's Health Habits—Strict temperance in eating and drinking is highly essential for the healthy preservation and vigorous exercise of all the functions of the body. Strictly temperate habits, combined with exercise of the muscles as well as of the mind, will preserve both mental and physical vigor, and give power of endurance to those engaged in the ministry, to editors, and to all others whose habits are sedentary. As a people, with all our profession of health reform, we eat too much. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies at the foundation of the feebleness which is apparent everywhere.—Testimonies for the Church 3:487 (1875).CW 103.1

    Importance of Exercise—There are men and women of excellent natural ability who do not accomplish half what they might if they would exercise self-control in the denial of appetite. Many writers and speakers fail here. After eating heartily, they give themselves to sedentary occupations, reading, study, or writing, allowing no time for physical exercise. As a consequence, the free flow of thought and words is checked. They cannot write or speak with the force and intensity necessary in order to reach the heart; their efforts are tame and fruitless.CW 103.2

    Those upon whom rest important responsibilities, those, above all, who are guardians of spiritual interests, should be men of keen feeling and quick perception. More than others, they need to be temperate in eating. Rich and luxurious food should have no place upon their tables.—The Ministry of Healing, 308-309 (1905).CW 103.3

    Simple Meals and Exercise—Here is a suggestion for all whose work is sedentary or chiefly mental; let those who have sufficient moral courage and self-control try it: At each meal take only two or three kinds of simple food, and eat no more than is required to satisfy hunger. Take active exercise every day, and see if you do not receive benefit.—The Ministry of Healing, 308-310 (1905).CW 104.1

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