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Testimonies to Ministers, page 359 - 362 - Abuse of Power
High handed power of church leaders
"Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me" [SPECIAL TESTIMONIES TO MINISTERS AND WORKERS (SERIES A, NO. 9, 1897), PAGES 16-21.] Written at Granville, Australia in 1895
have been shown that the Jewish nation were not brought suddenly into their condition of thought and practice. From generation to generation they were working on false theories, carrying out principles opposed to the truth, and combining with their religion thoughts and plans that were the product of human minds. Human inventions were made supreme.  {TM 359.2}
The holy principles that God has given are represented as the sacred fire, but common fire has been used in place of the sacred. Plans contrary to truth and righteousness are introduced in a subtle manner on the plea that this must be done, and that must be done, "because it is for the advancement of the cause of God." But it is the devising of men that leads to oppression, injustice, and wickedness. The cause of God is free from every taint of injustice. It can gain no advantage by robbing the members of the family of God of their individuality or their rights. All such practices are abhorrent to God. He inspires no such practices as have been entered into by your councils in regard to the publication of books.  {TM 359.3}
The Lord accepts no such transactions; prosperity will not attend these moves. Men connected with His work have been dealing unjustly, and is time to call a halt. Let men deal with men upon the principles of the Ten Commandments, and not ignore these principles in business transactions. False propositions are assumed as truth and righteousness, and then everything is worked in such a way as to carry out these propositions, which are not in accordance with the will of God, but are a misrepresentation of His character.  {TM 360.1}
The great and holy and merciful God will never be in league with dishonest practices; not a single touch of injustice will He vindicate. Men have taken unfair advantage of those whom they supposed to be under their jurisdiction. They were determined to bring the individuals to their terms; they would rule or ruin. There will be no material change until a decided movement is made to bring in a different order of things.  {TM 360.2} also {LDE 49.3}
The High-Handed Power 
 The high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever and by whomsoever it is exercised. This lording it over God's heritage will create such a disgust of man's jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result. The people are learning that men in high positions of responsibility cannot be trusted to mold and fashion other men's mind and characters. The result will be a loss of confidence even in the management of faithful men. But the Lord will raise up laborers who realize their own nothingness without special help from God. Age after age Jesus has been delivering His goods to His church. At the time of the first advent of Christ to our world, the men who composed the Sanhedrin exercised their authority in controlling men according to their will. Thus the souls whom Christ had given His life to free from the bondage of Satan were brought under bondage to him in another form.  {TM 361.1} also {LDE 49.4}
Do we individually realize our true position, that as God's hired servants we are not to bargain away our stewardship? We have an individual accountability before the heavenly universe, to administer the trust committed us of God. Our own hearts are to be stirred. Our hands are to have something to impart of the income that God entrusts to us. The humblest of us may be agents for God, using our gifts for His name's glory. He who improves his talents to the best of his ability may present to God his offering as a consecrated gift that shall be as fragrant incense before Him. It is the duty of everyone to see that his talents are turned to advantage as a gift that he must return, having done his best to improve it.  {TM 361.2}
The spirit of domination is extending to the presidents of our conferences. If a man is sanguine of his own powers and seeks to exercise dominion over his brethren, feeling that he is invested with authority to make his will the ruling power, the best and only safe course is to remove him, lest great harm be done and he lose his own soul and imperil the souls of others. "All ye are brethren." This disposition to lord it over God's heritage will cause a reaction unless these men change their course. Those in authority should manifest the spirit of Christ. They should deal as He would deal with every case that requires attention. They should go weighted with the Holy Spirit. A man's position does not make him one jot or tittle greater in the sight of God; it is character alone that God values.  {TM 362.1}
The goodness, mercy, and love of God were proclaimed by Christ to Moses. This was God's character. When men who profess to serve God ignore His parental character and depart from honor and righteousness in dealing with their fellowmen, Satan exults, for he has inspired them with his attributes. They are following in the track of Romanism.  {TM 362.2}
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