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Leaders of the Church ( 28 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
leaders  of  the  church
Related Phrase:   Leaders in the Church ( 25 )  - -  leaders  of  the  flock  (  )
I saw that many souls will sink in darkness because of their covetousness. The plain, straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins. But to deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged. All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They are not inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproofs. Some are ever needlessly severe, and do not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle: "And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire." {3T 269.2}
 
 
The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven's authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as "the venerable day of the sun." This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.  Great Controversy, page 52.1  Read Chapter 3
 
If we desire to understand the determined cruelty of Satan, manifested for hundreds of years, not among those who never heard of God, but in the very heart and throughout the extent of Christendom, we have only to look at the history of Romanism. Through this mammoth system of deception the prince of evil achieves his purpose of bringing dishonor to God and wretchedness to man. And as we see how he succeeds in disguising himself and accomplishing his work through the leaders of the church, we may better understand why he has so great antipathy to the Bible. If that Book is read, the mercy and love of God will be revealed; it will be seen that He lays upon men none of these heavy burdens. All that He asks is a broken and contrite heart, a humble, obedient spirit.  Great Controversy, page 570.1   Read Chapter 35
 
 
Raising his voice against the errors and sins of the papal church, he earnestly endeavored to break the chain of darkness which was confining thousands and causing them to trust in works for salvation. He longed to be enabled to open to their minds the true riches of the grace of God and the excellence of salvation obtained through Jesus Christ. In the power of the Holy Spirit he cried out against the existing sins of the leaders of the church; and as he met the storm of opposition from the priests, his courage failed not; for he firmly relied upon the strong arm of God, and confidently trusted in Him for victory. As he pushed the battle closer and closer, the rage of the priests was kindled still hotter against him. They did not wish to be reformed. They chose to be left in ease, in wanton pleasure, in wickedness; and they desired the church also to be kept in darkness.  {EW 223.2}  {1SG 119.1}
 
God holds his people, as a body, responsible for sins existing in individuals among them. If there is a neglect with the leaders of the church to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon his people as a body, they become responsible for these sins. But this is the nicest work that men ever engaged in, to deal with minds. All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They will not be inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproof of wrongs. Some will ever be needlessly severe, and will not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle, "And of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire." There are many who do not have the discretion of Joshua, and who have no special duty to search out wrongs, and to deal promptly with the sins existing among them. Let not such hinder those who have the burden of this work upon them. Let them not stand in the way of those who have this duty to do. Some make it a point to question, and doubt, and find fault, because others do the work that God has not laid upon themselves. These stand directly in the way to hinder those upon whom God has laid the burden of reproof, and of correcting the sins that are prevailing, that his frown may be turned away from his people. Should a case like Achan's be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a fault-finding, wicked spirit. God is not to be trifled with, and his warnings disregarded with impunity by a perverse people.  {RH, June 8, 1886 par. 7}
 
"Each is operated by an experienced manager elected by the conference constituency, with appropriate personnel to handle the business of the field in which the center is situated. The influence of the Adventist Book Centers extends to all departments of the church through supplying materials for use in every phase of Christian endeavor. Adventist Book Center managers, as spiritual leaders of the church, encourage church members to build a library of good books in their homes. A large volume of their business is in connection with literature evangelists to whom they supply subscription books and magazines to sell to the public. Adventist Book Centers also aid students through literature evangelist scholarships. Net sales by Adventist Book Centers throughout the world amount to millions of dollars annually."-- SDAEn 12.  {PM 322.3}
 
If we desire to understand the determined cruelty of Satan, manifested for hundreds of years, not among those who never heard of God, but in the very heart and throughout the extent of Christendom, we have only to look at the history of Romanism. And as we see how he succeeds in disguising himself, and accomplishing his work through the leaders of the church, we may better understand why he has so great antipathy to the Bible. If that book is read, the mercy and love of God will be revealed; it will be seen that he lays upon men none of these heavy burdens. All that he asks is a broken and contrite heart, a humble, obedient spirit.  {4SP 386.2}
 
Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment . . . and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Gen. 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as "the venerable day of the sun."  {FLB 81.4}
 
She wrote "testimonies," first to the Rices and then to other husbands and wives, touching on their personal experiences. These were earnest appeals for purity of life, with teachings that went beyond the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Messages were directed to the leaders of the church aimed at giving guidance in administering the work.  {4BIO 126.3}
While this arrangement would clearly reduce the possibility of anyone exercising kingly power, it also greatly undercut responsible leadership. It went too far, for it took out of the hands of the delegates attending the General Conference session the vital responsibility of electing the leaders of the church and instead placed this responsibility in the hands of the General Conference Executive Committee of twenty-five. It was too unwieldy. There was no church leader with a mandate from the church as represented by its delegates.  {5BIO 95.4}
 
 
leaders  of  the  church  in  .  .  .
 
The circumstances connected with the separation of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to a definite line of service, show clearly that the Lord works through appointed agencies in his organized church, as well as through individuals. Years before, when the divine purpose concerning Paul was first revealed to him by the Saviour himself, Paul was immediately afterward brought into contact with members of the newly organized church at Damascus. Furthermore, the church at that place was not long left in darkness as to the personal experience of the converted Pharisee. And now, when the divine commission given at that time was to be more fully carried out, the Holy Spirit, in a special manner, again bore witness concerning Paul as a chosen vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles. As the leaders of the church in Antioch "ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."  {RH, May 11, 1911 par. 7}
 
 
The brethren hoped that Paul, by following the course suggested, might give a decisive contradiction to the false reports concerning him. They assured him that the decision of the former council concerning the Gentile converts and the ceremonial law, still held good. But the advice now given was not consistent with that decision. The Spirit of God did not prompt this instruction; it was the fruit of cowardice. The leaders of the church in Jerusalem knew that by non-conformity to the ceremonial law, Christians would bring upon themselves the hatred of the Jews and expose themselves to persecution. The Sanhedrin was doing its utmost to hinder the progress of the gospel. Men were chosen by this body to follow up the apostles, especially Paul, and in every possible way to oppose their work. Should the believers in Christ be condemned before the Sanhedrin as breakers of the law, they would suffer swift and severe punishment as apostates from the Jewish faith.  {AA 404.1}   See Leaders at Jerusalem
 
 
The circumstances connected with the separation of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to a definite line of service, show clearly that the Lord works through appointed agencies in His organized church. Years before, when the divine purpose concerning Paul was first revealed to him by the Saviour Himself, Paul was immediately afterward brought into contact with members of the newly organized church at Damascus. Furthermore, the church at that place was not long left in darkness as to the personal experience of the converted Pharisee. And now, when the divine commission given at that time was to be more fully carried out, the Holy Spirit, again bearing witness concerning Paul as a chosen vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles, laid upon the church the work of ordaining him and his fellow-laborer. As the leaders of the church in Antioch "ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."  {GW 443.1}
 
 
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