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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1

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    Chapter 36—Surety for Unbelievers

    I saw that God was displeased with His people for becoming surety for unbelievers. I was directed to these texts: Proverbs 22:26: “Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.” Proverbs 11:15: “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure.” Unfaithful stewards! They pledge that which belongs to another,—their heavenly Father,—and Satan stands ready to aid his children to wrench it out of their hands. Sabbathkeepers should not be in partnership with unbelievers. God's people trust too much to the words of strangers, and ask their advice and counsel when they should not. The enemy makes them his agents, and works through them to perplex and take from God's people.1T 200.1

    Some have no tact at wise management of worldly matters. They lack the necessary qualifications, and Satan takes advantage of them. When this is the case, such should not remain in ignorance of their task. They should be humble enough to counsel with their brethren, in whose judgment they can have confidence, before they carry out plans. I was directed to this text: “Bear ye one another's burdens.” Some are not humble enough to let those who have judgment calculate for them until they have followed their own plans, and have involved themselves in difficulties. Then they see the necessity of having the counsel and judgment of their brethren; but how much heavier the burden then than at first. Brethren should not go to law if it can be possibly avoided; for they thus give the enemy great advantage to entangle and perplex them. It would be better to make a settlement at some loss.1T 200.2

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