"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THE PLAGUE AND FIRE OF FANATICISM
Part One - Principles Making Up Fanaticism
First Printing, 1998
Copyright © 1998 held by
"LET THERE BE LIGHT" MINISTRIES (rs)
PO BOX 328
Rogue River, OR 97537
All rights reserved. Permission is hereby given to reprint this booklet, provided that it is duplicated in its entirety without any change or comment.
For additional booklets, as well as to receive a complete list of other materials available, please write:
PO BOX 328
ROGUE RIVER, OR 97537 U.S.A.
THE PLAGUE AND FIRE OF FANATICISM
Part One - Principles Making Up Fanaticism
Many of God's people are waking up to the solemn reality that all is not peaceful and pleasant either inside or outside the churches--especially outside the apostate SDA church!
Many see and understand the horrible apostasy and corruption within their church, and look outside of it for something better to flee to. But upon looking outside the church they see that there are problems and troubles as well. Thus many decide to take their chances by staying within all the apostasy and corruption of their church to avoid all the troubles they see outside of it. But is this a safe pathway to take?
God clearly saw the time and problems which we are facing today, and He has already warned His people there is only one pathway that all His people must travel in order to save their lives--even though this pathway is difficult and dangerous to travel.
"The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
"But they that escape of them shall escape..." Ezekiel 7:15-16.
So those who decide to stay in the city, or in their corrupt church, and take their chances in the apostasy and corruption, are going to die in the church. They will perish from lack of the living manna--the word of God, or from pestilence--the very contageous leprosy of sin and corruption. To choose to stay within the apostate and corrupt church means that you can not retain your purity, but you would also become unclean and corrupt and would lose heaven!
"Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." Isaiah 52:11.
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4.
"You are exhorted to touch not the unclean thing; for in touching this, you will yourself become unclean. It is impossible for you to unite with those who are corrupt, and still remain pure. 'What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?' God and Christ and the heavenly host would have man know that if he unites with the corrupt, he will become corrupt." Review and Herald, January 2, 1900 (vol 4, p 137) (SDA Bible Commentary, vol 6, p 1102).
"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person...hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:5.
So by choosing to remain connected with the apostate church, you would be a partaker and sharer in all the sins of the church, and thus would perish! But those who decide to separate out of the apostate church are not free from the threat of being destroyed either. The sword is without the church waiting to stab to death any who are not careful to avoid it. Yet, some, and praise God that there will be some, will escape from both the apostate church and from the sword without!
For those who have, or are seriously thinking about, separating from their apostate and corrupt church in order to save your souls from being corrupted, what represents this sword that is waiting outside the church to try and cut you up and possible kill you? This sword represents the various false and erroneous doctrines of fanaticism!
Over 100 years ago, God's people were clearly and powerfully warned to beware of fanaticism.
"Great light has been given to the people of God. Let our people awake, and go forward to perfection. You will be exposed to the fallacies of satanic agencies. Fearful waves of fanaticism will come. But God will deliver the people who will earnestly seek the Lord, and consecrate themselves to his service." Selected Messages, book 2, p 47.
What is going to come to the people of God? Fanaticism. Not just one or two fanatical doctrines, but waves of fanaticism. When you look at the ocean, wave after wave after wave comes in and pounds upon the sand in varying degrees of power--some small and others great. So wave after wave of fanaticism, one after another, is going to confront God's people. And not just small fanaticisms, but fearful and powerful fanaticisms will come.
Just because God may mercifully open our eyes to discern and avoid one fanaticism, does not mean that we can rest secure thinking that there will be no more to come. We can expect that other fanatacism's are sure to try and sweep us off our feet and drown us with their dirty and foamy waters. Hence we need to be constantly on guard, never letting our watch and readiness drop--even for one moment.
But when can we expect fanaticism to manifest itself?
"If Satan sees that the Lord is blessing His people and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his master power to bring in fanaticism on the one hand and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls." Selected Messages, book 2, p 19.
God's people can expect fanaticism to come at the very time when the Lord is working to bless His people--especially with truth. Satan, ever ready to introduce side-issues in order to keep God's people from accepting and advocating present truth, will especially work to keep God's people from advancing in the light.
"We have found in our experience that if Satan cannot keep souls bound in the ice of indifference, he will try to push them into the fires of fanaticism." Testimonies, vol 5, p 644.
This is exactly what Satan is now doing! If Satan cannot keep us bound in the ice of indifference to the present truth, then he will try to push us to the opposite extreme and involve us in the fires of fanaticism.
We have discovered when we can expect fanaticism to confront God's people, but where will fanaticism appear and manifest itself?
"Fanaticism will appear in the very midst of us." Selected Messages, book 2, p 16.
So fanaticism is not going to remain completely outside of our groups and churches, but will hit us from within as well. "FANATICISM WILL APPEAR IN THE VERY MIDST OF US"! And what kind of internal fanaticisms will arise among our separated people and home churches?
"Deceptions will come, and of such a character that if it were possible they would mislead the very elect." Selected Messages, book 2, p 16.
Some of these deceptions and fanaticisms are not going to be so easily spotted and detected. And some will even be of such a nature that if possible they would deceive us. This shows that we must have the Holy Spirit with us at all times to grant us the discernment, wisdom, and eyesalve of heaven--especially when dealing with fanatical doctrines.
We must be students of the word of God and of the Spirit of Prophecy, testing every doctrine which comes to us by these two standards, if we are to avoid being burnt:
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is becasue there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
"There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded." Selected Messages, book 1, p 48.
"Men may get up scheme after scheme, and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister Whtie, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days." Selected Messages, book 3, p 83-84.
"One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan's banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God's Spirit." Selected Messages, book 3, p 84.
If any doctrine contradicts even one area in the Bible or the Testimonies, then do not agree with it or accept it at all, because there is no light in it! Embracing even slightly any fanatical doctrine will singe our garments if not our hands!
Yet the introduction of fanaticism and erroneous doctrines into the ranks of God's true separated people and home churches is nothing new. What has Satan always done to try to discredit the true separation movements of God throughout history?
What happened during the time of the true separation movement of the early Christian Apostolic church, whose people withdrew themselves from the apostate Jewish church of Babylon--who was sitting like a queen saying she shall see no sorrow? (see Review and Herald, June 1, 1886; Desire of Ages, p 232; Selected Messages, book 3, p 417; Revelation 18:7; Great Controversy, p 382).
"Satan contests every inch of ground over which God's people advance in their journey toward the heavenly city. In all the history of the church, no reformation has been carried forward without encountering serious obstacles. Thus it was in Paul's day. Wherever the apostle would raise up a church, there were some who professed to receive the faith, but who brought in heresies, that, if received, would eventually crowd out the love of the truth." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 245.
What happened during the time of the true separation movement of the Reformation, whose people were separating themselves from the Roman Catholic church of Babylon?
"Luther suffered great perplexity and distress from the course of fanatical persons...Many who were lacking in faith and experience, but who had considerable self-sufficiency, and who loved to tell some new thing, were beguiled by the pretensions of the new teachers, and they joined the agents of Satan in their work of tearing down what God had moved Luther to build up. The Wesleys also, and others who blessed the world by their influence and their faith, encountered at every step the wiles of Satan in pushing over-zealous, unbalanced, and unsanctified ones into fanaticism of every grade." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 245.
Luther even stated this about the fanatacisms entering the separation movement of his days:
"Luther at the Wartburg, hearing of what had occurred, said with deep concern, 'I always expected that Satan would send us this plague.'...From the professed friends of the Reformation had risen its worst enemies." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 147.
Luther called fanaticism a plague! And what better description could be given to this scurge of satanic genious which arose from separated individuals professing to be part of the true separation movement of God?
We are even told that these fanatics, who were trying to convert the leaders of the Reformation to their fanatacal beliefs, were the worst enemies of the Reformation! Yet, this was not the end of the troubles to the Reformation.
Satan and his agents cast the blame for all the troubles caused by these various fanaticisms and their fanatical advocates upon the Reformation movement itself?
"The agony of soul which Luther had so long ago experienced in his cell at Erfurth, now pressed upon him with redoubled power as he saw the results of fanaticism charged upon the Reformation. The papist princes declared, and many believed, that Luther's doctrine had been the cause of the rebellion. Although this charge was without the slightest foundation, it could not but cause the Reformer great distress. That the work of Heaven should be thus degraded by being classed with the basest fanaticism, seemed more than he could endure." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 150-51.
Where was all the blame of fanaticism charged against? The Reformation movement of separation from Catholicism. This charge was completely groundless. God was the authority for the movement of separation of His people from the apostate and corrupt church. Separation from Babylon was not the reason why the fanaticism arose, yet many were saying that it was. Thus these individuals, in trying to discredit the Reformation by charging it with being the cause of the fanaticism, were really casting the blame upon God Himself because God was the One who required His people to separate!
But many would not study for themselves, and were thus led to believe this unfounded lie that fanatacism was the result of separating yourself from apostate and corrupt churches. Thus many chose to remain connected to Babylon.
What happened during the time of God's true separation movement of the Advent people separating themselves from the apostate Protestant churches of Babylon?
"About this time (1843-44), fanaticism began to appear...Satan was seeking by this means to oppose and destroy the work of God. The people had been greatly stirred by the Advent movement, thousands of sinners had been converted, and faithful men were giving themselves to the work of proclaiming truth even in the tarrying time. The prince of evil was losing his subjects; and in order to bring reproach upon the cause of God, he sought to deceive those who professed the faith, and drive them to extremes. Then his agents stood ready to seize upon every error, every failure, every unbecoming act, and hold it up before the people in the most exaggerated light, to render Adventists and their faith odious. Thus the greater the number whom he could crowd in to make a profession of the Advent faith while his power controlled their hearts, the greater advantage would he gain by calling attention to them as representatives of the whole body of believers." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 243-44.
Why did fanaticism come into the Advent movement? Because Satan was losing subjects, and he had to do something to try and bring blame upon the whole Advent movement and render it odious.
"I carried a sad and heavy heart much of the time. It seemed so cruel that the cause of Christ should be injured by the course of these injudicious men. They were not only ruining their own souls, but placing upon the cause a stigma not easily removed. And Satan loved to have it so. It suited him well to see the truth handled by unsanctified men; to have it mixed with error, and then all together trampled in the dust. He looked with triumph upon the confused, scattered state of God's children. We trembled for the churches that were to be subjected to this spirit of fanaticism. My heart ached for God's people. Must they be deceived and led away by this false enthusiasm?" Life Sketches, p 85.
Sister White's heart ached, and she even trembled, because the churches were to be subjected to fanaticism. And it is no different today in God's true separation movement from all the apostate and corrupt churches in the world, including the Seventh-day Adventist church. All the churches have become a harlot--a cage of every unclean and hateful bird of Babylon (see Testimonies, vol 4, p 13), and today this includes the SDA church (see possibility of in Testimony to Ministers, p 265; Testimonies, vol 8, p 247-250; Selected Messages, book 2, p 68). But all the troubles of fanaticism will be charged upon our Reformation movement of today becasue we have chosen to follow God's will in separating from all apostate churches--including the SDA.
So God has graciously and mercifully warned His people that they can expect fanaticism to arise in our very midst and confront us. But how much fanaticism will be brought in among God's true separated movement and people today?
"Every phase of fanaticism and erroneous theories, claiming to be the truth, will be brought in among the remnant people of God." Selected Messages, book 2, p 14.
God's separated people and home churches can expect to be confronted with every phase of every kind of erroneous and extreme doctrine and theories that Satan can come up with! But why is there going to be so much fanaticism entering our ranks? Because this is the last true separation movement God will ever use in the history of this world, and Satan knows that his time is extremely short. The devil is pulling out all the stops, and is letting every howling wind loose to try and get our eyes off of Jesus and the spreading of His Three Angel's Messages, and onto him and the spreading of his counterfeit messages. The crafty devil is trying to blow and shake us off the platform of eternal truth.
"We know that there has never yet been a religious effort made in which Satan has not tried his best to intrude himself, and in these last days he will do this as never before. He sees that his time is short, and he will work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to mingle errors and incorrect views with the work of God and push men into false positions." Testimonies, vol 5, p 644-45.
Satan is already working as never before to bring in our separated ranks fanaticism on the one hand, or cold indifference and formalism on the other. And where will the blame for all this troubling fanaticism be leveled against? Directly against the separation movement and its advocates! Just like it was in history.
There are many deceived people already raising their voices in declaring that if you willingly separate from the apostate and corrupt SDA church and declare it to be Babylon fallen, then you are a fanatic and are responsible for all the troubles ensuing from it.
But just because someone is accused of, or reported to be involved in, fanaticism, does that mean that we are to believe this report as gospel truth without doing some checking ourselves?
Noah was declared to be a fanatic; but was he? No. His message of separation was declared to be fanaticism; but was it? No (see SDA Bible Commentery, vol 1, p 1090; Patriarchs and Prophets, p 96). Noah's message of separation from sin and sinners was a message of righteousness directly from God (see 2 Peter 2:5)! John the Baptist was denounced as a fanatic, but was he? No. And his message was denounced as fanaticism, but was it? No. He was the messenger of God, and was preaching the message that the people needed at that very time. Yet the popular Jewish Ministries and ministers declared John to be a fanatic (see Desire of Ages, p 275). William Miller was denounced as a fanatic, but was he? Not at all (see Great Controversy, p 336). Ellen White was charged with fanaticism, but was she involved in it? Not at all--not even in the slightest way. Her voice was one of the strongest raised against fanaticism during her time (see Early Writings, p 22; Testimonies, vol 1, p 72). A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner were denounced as fanatics, but were they? No (see Testimonies to Ministers, p 97). They were raised up to preach the most glorious truth of the righteousness of Christ. Yet Satan had his agents denouce this wonderful truth as being fanaticism, and its advocates as fanatics (see 1888 Materials, p 1479, 1565; Paulson Collection, p 351; Spalding and Magan Collection, p 34).
So just because you hear a report that some one is involved in, or is advocating, fanaticism does not mean that they really are. It could be one of Satan's ploys to try and get you to refuse to listen to their message. But neither can we be off our guard. We have to test every doctrine and theory claiming to be truth by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. EVERY DOCTRINE MUST BE TESTED BEFORE IT CAN BE ACCEPTED!
As fearful waves of every phase of fanaticism will be seen, and is being seen, in the ranks of God's true separation movement of today, what is our duty before God? Our duty is to make sure that we are not a part of this fanatacism, to lift up our voice in exposing it where ever it may be found, and warning our dear brothers and sisters not to walk in, or partake of, its spell-like deception.
But what exactly is fanaticism, and how can we know for sure?
God plainly answers these questions through His Word and His prophets--the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Especially are these questions clearly answered through the writings of Ellen White, because she was called over and over again to meet and expose fanaticism.
In studying through the testimonies, 14 main principles were discovered that make up fanaticism. With these 14 principles God's people can test any message that comes to them and discover if it is fanaticism or not.
M Principle #1.
"Satan will insinuate himself by little wedges, which widen as they make a place for themselves. The specious devices of Satan will be brought into the special work of God at this time." Selected Messages, book 2, p 21.
The first principle of fanaticism is that it will start as little wedges attaching themselves to the truth until they find a place in the message.
M Principle #2.
"Some had been bringing in false tests, and had made their own ideas and notions a criterion, magnifying matters of little importance into tests of Christian fellowship, and binding heavy burdens upon others." Selected Messages, book 2, p 318.
The second principle of fanaticism is that people will make their own ideas and notions into tests, or will magnify matters of little importance into being tests of Christian fellowship.
M Principle #3.
"He [or Satan] brings in little fables which are not worth a straw. These he brings forward as tests God has given, when Satan has originated them to divert minds from the true tests God has given." Evangelism, p 213.
The third principle of fanaticism is that little fables are made to appear as tests which God has given so minds can be diverted from the true tests.
M Principle #4.
"With some the evil has revealed itself in the form of man made tests for ascertaining a knowledge of the will of God; and I was shown that this was a delusion which became an infatuation, and that it was contrary to the will of the Lord." Selected Messages, book 2, p 28.
The fourth principle of fanaticism is that man made tests are made to appear as God's will when they have nothing to do with God's will.
M Principle #5.
"With much that is truth there is mingled error that is accepted in its extreme meaning, and acted upon by persons of excitable temperament. Thus fanaticism will take the place of well-regulated, well-disciplined, heaven-ordained efforts to carry forward the work to it's completion." Selected Messages, book 2, p 17.
The fifth principle of fanaticism is that truth is mixed with error and then stretched to its extreme meaning which tends to produce excitement, and destroys organized efforts to carry forward God's work.
M Principle #6.
"Their religion (of fanatics) did not consist in righteous acts, true humility of soul, and sincere devotion to God, but in impulse, in noise and confusion, spiced with eccentricities and oddities." Testimonies, vol 2, p 553.
The sixth principle of fanaticism is that actions are performed through impulse and some of these actions are spiced with eccentricities and oddities.
M Principle #7.
"There were some who professed great humility, and advocated creeping on the floor like children, as an evidence of their humility. They claim that the words of Christ in Matthew 18:1-6 must have a literal fulfillment at this period, when they were looking for their Saviour to return. They would creep around their houses, on the street, over bridges, and in the churches itself. I told them plainly that this was not required; that the humility which God looked for in His people was to be shown by a Christ-like life, not by creeping on the floor. All spiritual things are to be treated with sacred dignity." Life Scetches, p 85-86.
The seventh principle of fanaticism is that the Scriptures are interpreted literally and the actions performed, when the Scriptures should have been interpreted spiritually, representing character.
M Principle #8.
"Everything seemed prepared for the work of Satan. He led many on to lay aside reason and judgment, and to be governed by impressions. The Lord requires His people to use their reason, and not lay it aside for impressions. His work will be intelligible to all His children. His teaching will be such as will commend itself to the understanding of intelligent minds. It is calculated to elevate the mind." Testimonies, vol 1, p 230.
The eight principle of fanaticism is that reason is laid aside to be governed by impressions (such as "I believe" or "I think" or "the Lord told me," which includes dreams).
M Principle #9.
"Not once should feeling be allowed to get the mastery over judgment. There is danger of excess in that which is lawful, and that which is not lawful will surely lead into false paths. If there is not careful, earnest, sensible work, solid as a rock in the advancement of every idea and principle, and in every representation given, souls will be ruined." Selected Messages, book 2, p 18.
The ninth principle of fanaticism is that feelings will be followed instead of sound judgment and God's word.
M Principle #10.
"There are many who claim to believe and teach the truth who have error and fanciful ideas of their own mingled with the truth. But there is an exalted platform for us to stand upon. We must believe and teach the truth as it is in Jesus." Selected Messages, book 2, p 29.
The tenth principle of fanaticism is that error and fanciful ideas are mingled with the truth, and then this whole mixture is made to appear as the full truth.
M Principle #11.
"Some zealous ones who are aiming and straining every energy for originality have made a grave mistake in trying to get something startling, wonderful, entrancing, before the people, something that they think others do not comprehend; but often they do not themselves know what they are talking about. They speculate upon God's Word, advancing ideas that are not a whit of help to themselves or to the churches. For the time being, they may excite the imagination; but there is a reaction, and these very ideas become a hindrance. Faith is confounded with fancy, and their views may bias the mind in the wrong direction. Let the plain simple statements of the Word of God be food for the mind; this speculating upon ideas that are not clearly presented there, is dangerous business." Selected Messages, book 2, p 13-14.
The eleventh principle of fanaticism is that something which is not clearly presented in God's word is speculated upon and made to appear as new truth directly from God.
M Principle #12.
"From the light given me of the Lord, men will arise speaking perverse things. Yea, already they have been working and speaking things which God has never revealed, bringing sacred truth upon a level with common things. Issues have been and will continue to be made of men's conceited fallacies, not of truth. The devisings of men's minds will invent tests that are no tests at all, that when the true test shall be made prominent, it shall be considered on a par with the man made tests that have been of no value. We may expect that everything will be brought in and mingled with sound doctrine, but by clear, spiritual discernment, by the heavenly anointing, we must distinguish the sacred from the common which is being brought in to confuse faith and sound judgment, and demerit the great, grand, testing truth for this time....
"Never, never was there a time when the truth suffered more from being misrepresented, belittled, demerited through the perverse disputings of men than in these last days. Men have brought themselves in with their heterogeneous mass of heresies which they represent as oracles for the people. The people are charmed with some strange new thing, and are not wise in experience to discern the character of ideas that men may frame up as something. But to call something of great consequence and tie it to the oracles of God, does not make it truth. Oh, how this rebukes the low standard of piety in the churches.
"Men who want to present something original will conjure up things new and strange, and without consideration will step forward on these unstable theories, that have been woven together as a precious theory, and presented as a life and death question." Selected Messages, book 2, p 14-15.
The twelfth principle of fanaticism is that things which God has never revealed are made an issue and a test and connected with the sacred truth. And when the truth is presented these false tests are also brought in and made to appear as a life and death question; meaning if you do not follow this new and strange doctrine, but reject it, then your salvation is lost--when no "Thus saith the Lord" can be used to back it up.
M Principle #13.
"The reproach resting upon the cause in regard to Sister A rests heavily upon you. You made much of her exercises and experience. She was weak, yet could in a measure fill her place in her family and keep her children together; but she had been from her home but a short time before her reason was dethroned. The backslidden state of the professed Sabbath-keepers in ____ led you to influence Sister A to leave her family who needed her care and come to ____ that her influence might help the Sabbath-keepers there. An unhealthy excitement marked her course." Testimonies, vol 1, p 315.
The thirteenth principle of fanaticism is that it leads to a broken home. The fanatical believing spouse leaves the non-believing spouse because they will not go along with the new doctrine.
M Principle #14.
"Every phase of fanaticism and erroneous theories, claiming to be the truth, will be brought in among the remnant people of God. These will fill minds with erroneous sentiments which have no part in the truth for this time. Any man who supposes that in the strength of his own devised resolutions, in his intellectual might united with science or supposed knowledge, he can start a work which will conquer the world, will find himself lying among the ruins of his own speculations, and will plainly understand why he is there." Selected Messages, book 2, p 14.
The fourteenth principle of fanaticism is that without a plain "Thus saith the Lord" as proof to back up their theory, fanatics will unite themselves with science and latch on to some scientific article or medical journal to prove that their idea is indeed the truth for this time. (NOTE: you can find both sides to any argument printed in these scientific articles and medical journals).
These are the 14 principles which makes up fanaticism. Thus, when any doctrine comes to you, these principles can be applied to it. If the doctrine matches up with any of the above principles, then it is a possible fanaticism which must not be accepted without careful and prayerful comparison with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. After testing the suspected doctrine to the law and the testimony, if even one contradiction is found, then there is NO LIGHT IN IT and is must be avoided and spoken against.
God clearly warns us:
"There is danger that right sentiments will not be understood, and that Christ's words, 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' (Matt. 28:20), will lose their significance. There is danger that original devisings and superstitious imaginings will take the place of the Scriptures. Tell our people: 'Be not anxious to bring in something not revealed in the Word. Keep close to Christ.'...
"Let us remember that the Word Christ has commanded us to preach to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples is confirmed by the Holy Spirit. This is God's plan of work." Selected Messages, book 2, p 18.
God's Word is the test for today, not man's word. And if anyone holds up their own word as a test coming from God, then they are involved in fanaticism.
"Much of that which today is called testing truth is twaddle which leads to a resistance of the Holy Spirit." Selected Messages, book 2, p 38.
But why is fanaticism brought in? We understand that it will be, and many of us see it already in our midst; but why is it among us?
"He [Satan] is working with all his insinuating, deceiving power, to lead men away from the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with mighty power. If Satan sees that the Lord is blessing his people and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his master power to bring in fanaticism on the one hand and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls. Now is our time to watch unceasingly. Watch, bar the way to the least step of advance that Satan can make among you." Selected Messages, book 2, p 19-20.
So Satan brings in fanaticism to try and lead us away from living and preaching the third angel's message. That is one of the greatest reasons why fanaticism is among us today--to get us involved in some needless side-issue, which then comes to the forefront and becomes the main emphasis. Thus the third angel's message takes a back seat to the fanaticism, when it should be the most important and have the main emphasis!
"Erroneous ideas will be brought into the work, and presented as part of the truth to the people; but everything that God has not connected with the truth will only serve to weaken the message and lessen the force of its claims. Satan is constantly seeking to divert the mind from the real work to a spurious work; and those who have but little experience in the dealings of God, are in danger of becoming bound about with overstrained notions, and of holding ideas similar in character to those which bound the Jews in the days of the Saviour's sojourn with men...
"There are those who turn away from this great and all-important work, to follow their own way. They have independent ideas and will not receive counsel. They choose to follow their own course, until the third angel's message becomes a thing of minor importance, and finally it loses all its value. They hold another doctrine, opposed in principal to the doctrine of the Bible. They do not comprehend the nature of the work, and instead of leading the people to the firm platform of truth, they lead them to place their feet on the sandy foundations of error. They induce men to wear a yoke that is not the yoke of the meek and lowly Jesus...
"The truth, pure and unadulterated, must be presented to the people. It is the third angel's message that bears the true test to the people. Satan will lead men to manufacture false tests, and thus seek to obscure the value of, and make of none effect, the message of truth. The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time." Review & Herald, May 29, 1888 (vol 2, p 215).
It is Satan's purpose to completely eclipse the third angel's message from our lives and our preaching, and to replace it with fanatical doctrines and actions. That is the main reason why fanaticism is being brought into the separated ranks of God's people today.
Many fanatics are led to believe that because their particular doctrine is not being given the prominence that it should, that this is the reason why the second coming of Christ has not yet taken place! They claim that their message is the loud cry, and until their message goes forth in power, then God's people will still continue to be in this wicked world. While the real reason why we are still on this dark earth is because the third angel's message has not been given to the world as it should--not because another message has not been discovered and proclaimed.
Brothers and sisters, there is an intense battle going on for the control of your mind. And Satan gains more control over the minds of our separated brethren through false doctrine than through any other means!
"It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the human mind." Evangelism, p 589.
There is a sleepless unceasing battle going on today, more than ever before in the history of this world, for the control of our minds. May God mercifully help His separated people to always be on their guard every moment. Never can we let our guard down, even when among those in our own home church group!
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
"Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." Titus 1:9-11.
Lucre has to do with money. But who are the "circumcision" spoken of here? They were Jews. But these Jews were not connected with the Jewish church, because they had separated from thier corrupt church and had connected themselves with the true believers of God by professing the same faith. So these deceivers were found right in the midst of God's people, not outside of them!
So Paul was stating: "There is going to be people arising from your own midst who are bringing in false and erroneous theories, and taking your money for the promulgation of these false doctrines and for their own benefit." But how are God's people to react when fanatical ideas are brought in to them from their very own brethren?
"Again and again in past years I have been bidden to speak in protest against the fanciful and forbidden schemes that have been presented by one and another. My message has ever been, Preach the Word in simplicity and all humility; present clear, unadulterated truth to the people. Open no door to fanatical movements, for the influence of these is to bring confusion of mind and discouragement and lack of faith to God's people....
"Whenever I have been called to meet fanaticism in it's varied forms, I have received clear, positive, and definite instruction to lift my voice against its influence." Selected Messages, book 2, p 28.
So when fanaticism is spotted in our separated ranks we are to lift up our voices against its influence, and not just sit there quietly watching.
"We have reached a time when things are to be called by their right name. As we did in the earlier days, we must arise, and, in the spirit of God, rebuke the work of deception. Some of the sentiments now expressed are the alpha of some of the most fanatical ideas that could be presented. Teachings similar to those we had to meet soon after 1844 are being taught by some who occupy important positions in the work of God." Selected Messages, book 2, p 26.
We are no longer in the "alpha" of fanaticisms. But we are clearly in the period of the "omega" of fanaticisms. Every wind of fanatical theories, ideas, and doctrines is fiercely blowing around us. Now, in these last days, is definitely not the time to remain silent when we see fanaticism among our people. We must call fanaticism by its right name and rebuke it under the power of the Spirit of God.
"Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
"Not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." Titus 1:13-14.
Any and all fanaticism is to be met decidedly, no matter who advocates it or who brings it in among us!
"I was instructed that fanaticism similar to that which we were called to meet after the passing of the time in 1844 would come in among us again in the closing days of the message, and that we must meet this evil just as decidedly now as we met it in our early experiences." Selected Messages, book 1, p 221.
So fanaticism in our midst is to be met in just as much, or even more, a decided manner as it was in Ellen White's time. We are not to keep our doors open to it, but close them up tightly against it.
"Those who do the work of the Lord in our cities must close and bolt the doors firmly against excitement and fanaticism. The word of God is our sanctification and righteousness, because it is spiritual food. To study it is to eat the leaves of the tree of life. Nothing is more uplifting to God's servants than to teach the Scriptures just as Christ taught them. The Word of God contains divine nourishment, which satisfies the appetite for spiritual food." Evangelism, p 138-39.
So it is only the word of God which can satisfy the appetite for spiritual food, fanaticism never satisfies. That is one reason why fanatics are constantly seeking for something new, for something more exciting, in order to try and satisfy the emptiness. And they are never content to keep the fanatical doctrines to themselves, but seek to compel others to adopt it as well.
"One fanatic, with his strong spirit and radical ideas, who will oppress the conscience of those who want to be right, will do great harm. The church needs to be purified from all such influences." Selected Messages, book 2, p 319.
God's separated church, whether this church be large or small, whether you meet in a building or a home, needs to be purified from all the influence of fanaticism. But many fanatics do not appear as fanatics, so how can we know who may be one and who is not?
One way to spot those who might be fanatics among us is by examining their position on unity. If they oppose the uniting of God's separated people together, if they oppose the establishment of Gospel Order and a working harmony among the separated brethren and home churches of today, then they should be suspect.
"These persons (religious fanatics) had no love for union and harmony of action. They delighted in disorder. Confusion, distraction, and diversity of opinion were their choice. They were ungovernable, unsubdued, unregenerated, and unconsecrated, and this element of confusion suited their undisciplined minds. They were a curse to the cause of God..." Testimonies, vol 2, p 553-54.
"They (fanatics) all want full religious liberty, and each acts independent of the others, and yet they claim that God is especially at work among them....there are, and will continue to be, those who profess the Sabbath, who will move independent of the body, and believe and act as they choose. Their views are confused. Their scattered state is a standing testimony that God is not with them." Testimonies, vol 1, p 418, 420.
So one distinguishing mark of fanatics among us is that they refuse the efforts made to unite together and work harmoniously with their separated brethren in the same faith. They choose instead to remain independent, and resist any movement to eliminate disorder and disharmony in our ranks through the establishment of New Testament Gospel Order. Thus Satan can continue to hold them in their extreme unbiblical positions and in his grip of fanaticism.
"I was shown that this divice of Satan (fanatical belief) would not have taken so readily...if the minds and hearts of God's people had been united and in union with the work....It will be easy for them (fanatics) to think that they can go, an independent company, alone to heaven, and easy for them to fall into Satan's snare. He is very unwilling to let go his hold...He has other deceptions prepared for those who are not united with the body." Testimonies, vol 1, p 229.
But once fanaticism has been detected in our midst, are we to take a position of waiting to see how the fanaticism will develop, hoping that it may die out? What position are we to take? We must meet it head on!
"Brother G wished to wait until the fanaticism should develop, and it went on just as Satan would have it, until it did develop with terrible results." Testimonies, vol 1, p 314.
So if we take a position of waiting and watching to see what is going to happen, then we are doing just what Satan would have us do. Instead of the fanaticism being decidedly opposed and stopped dead in its tracks while it is young and weak, Satan would have God's people do little or nothing against it, and thus it is allowed to go on unhindered until it gaines a strong foothold among us. Then it cannot be so easily overthrown without a great amount of struggle and strength being exerted to try and stop it--if it can be.
Why do we have to act so severe against fanatical heresies?
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Galatians 5:9.
A little fanaticism will affect the whole church, not just part. But there is another reason why we have to act so severely against fanaticism.
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
"Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
"Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in the time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21.
Those who are teaching or holding to heresies will not be able to inherit the kingdom of God if they continue in them! So by lifting up our voices in protesting decidedly against all fanaticism amongst us, we are not only trying to keep our fellow brothers and sisters from being leavened with it, but are also trying to awaken those who are involved in it so that they will not lose heaven. But by remaining silent, we are declaring in loud tones that we wish our brothers and sisters, along with the fanatics themselves, to lose heaven!
Now how many of God's people are to rise up against the fanaticism? Just one or two? If your home church group is made up of ten members, should only the elder speak out against the fanaticism? Should only three of four believers take their decided stand against the error?
"The rigorous exactions of the Pharisees, the heavy yokes of the traditions of men, made of none effect the commandment of God, and the work of Christ was to free the truth from the rubbish of human error and superstition, that men might behold the true character of God, and serve Him in spirit and truth. Those who proclaim the truth for today have a similar work to do. The truth must be lifted from the obscurity of men's traditions and errors that the world may behold the marvelous light of the gospel of the Son of God." Review and Herald, May 29, 1888 (vol 2 p 215 col 2).
How many are to rise against the influence of error and present the truth? All those who are involved in the work of God. Is this just one or two? Does that mean just the ministers? No, it means all who have accepted the truth! But especially is it the duty of the ministers and elders to try and awaken the people to what is going on in their midst. Yet, so very few ministers and elders are awake to their duty!
"After the passing of time in 1844, fanaticism came into the ranks of Adventists. God gave messages of warning to stay the incoming evil....
"We are not out of danger even now. Every soul who engages to give to the world the message of warning will be sorely tempted to pursue such a course in life as to deny his faith. We must as workers be united in frowning down and condemning anything that bears the least approach to evil, in our associations with one another. Our faith is holy..." Selected Messages, book 2, p 29.
Each and every one of us must be united in frowning down and condemning anything that leads to, or is, fanatical. Some will rebel against the thought that God's people are to condemn. But we can safely condemn anything which God has already condemned (see Testimonies, vol 4, p 615). If God has already condemned something, then His people are perfectly safe in voicing the same condemning words of God; and all fanaticism is to be condemned.
In fact, we are told that church discipline is to be given those involved in fanaticism until they give it up (see Spiritual Gifts, vol 2, p 159).
Now, what if we do not stand up against and condemn the fanaticism, but decide to remain quiet or take a neutral course towards it? What are we really doing?
"The position which you occupied after the fanaticism at ____, standing back upon your dignity, splitting hairs, dividing the matter with the fanatical and with those whom God had sent with a special message, stood directly in the way of others' seeing and correcting their wrongs. Your course at that time, in failing to take hold and work on the right side to correct blasting fanaticism, gave shape to the discouraging state of things which has grown out of that dark reign of fanaticism. Brethren C and D, and the entire church at ____, and the people at ____, were not brought out upon correct positions, as they might have been had you been humble and teachable, working in union with the servants of God." Testimonies, vol 2, p 547.
So if we lack firmness of decision in rebuking fanaticism, then we actually lend our influence to further it, and thus become responsible for it spreading to others. Also we stand directly in the way of other brethren seeing and correcting their wrongs. The work of condemning fanaticism is not resting only upon the shoulders of ministers or other leaders, but upon the shoulders of all who know the truth. It is extremely important for all in the church to unite together, and with one united and strong voice rebuke the fanaticism and close all the separated home church doors against it.
But what happens if we do not stand unitedly against it?
"By her fanatical course she had forfeited all claims to Christian fellowship. And that the course of H.A. and Mrs. C should be shunned, and protested against. And if the church did not cut loose from those who pursued such a course, and lift their voice against it they would incur God's frown, and be partakers with them in their evil deeds." Spiritual Gifts, vol 2, p 159.
So not only do we have an individual responsibility to stand against and expose fanaticism, but there is also a corporate responsibility as well. If we do not unitedly stand as a group against fanaticism, then we as a group share in the evil deeds of those involved in the fanaticism! May we all realize our responsibility as believers in the Present Truth and unite together under Christ and with one harmonious voice combat fanaticism and fulfull God's will and work in this earth.
Why does fanaticism seem to spread faster than the truth?
"Error and false prophets are chosen before the gospel of Christ." Review and Herald, August 31, 1897 (vol 3, p 496 col 1).
"In this degenerate age, error and darkness are preferred rather than light and truth." Testimonies, vol 2, p 689.
But why is error and false doctrines chosen before the truth of God? Why is it that no matter how foolish or unreasonable a fanatical teaching proves to be, people seem to flock under its dark banner, and it gains a huge following instead of being treated like a plague and left alone?
One reason why is that the Holy Spirit is not an abiding guest in the life. Thus there is no spiritual discernment to spot and avoid error (see Christ's Object Lessons, p 408-411). Under these conditions, one would naturally follow Satan's suggestions (see Testimonies, vol 1, p 341) and go from one extreme to the other (see Testimonies, vol 5, p 305).
If one is unwilling to accept a "Thus saith the Lord," and instead rejects the truth, then they will be lead into fanaticism (see Great Controversy, p 523).
"Those who have turned away from a plain, 'Thus saith the Lord,' will be blinded in a superstitious faith in every kind of apostasy..." Review and Herald, August 31, 1897 (vol 3, p 495, col 3).
If our heart is unsanctified, or we have an appetite for falsehood, then we will be led to embrace fanatical doctrines (see Selected Messages, book 1, p 70-71).
Also, if we will not decide what is truth from the weight of evidence, then we will become involved in fanaticism.
"Brother G had sufficient light to take his stand against that fanatical work; but he would not decide from the weight of the evidence. His heart is not right with God. He has not possessed the spirit of the third angel's message. He shut himself away from union and sympathy with God's people before this delusion arose, and this is one reason why he was left in such darkness." Testimonies, vol 1, p 231-32.
So if we do not decide from the weight of evidence, if our hearts are not right with God, if we do not have the spirit of the third angel's message, and we shut ourselves away from union and sympathy with God's true people, then we will be led directly into the hands of Satan and are ready and willing candidates for false doctrines.
Not only are people led into fanaticism because of their own neglect to follow God, but also because there is another kind of power at work.
"Many are the forms of human influence through which Satan works to bind his captives. He secures multitudes to himself by attaching them by the silken cords of affection to those who are enemies of the cross of Christ. Whatever this attachment may be, parental, filial, conjugal, or social, the affect is the same; the opposers of truth rule with despotic power, and the souls held under their sway have not sufficient courage or independence to obey their own convictions of duty." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 416.
So Satan can use attachments to our parents, to our brothers and sisters, to our spouse, or to our friends and peers, in order to keep us from following or obeying the truth. Thus through bondage to the power of human influence, Satan can gain an advantage over us and keep us from following God. And he is very active in enslaving the consciences of God's people in this regard.
"There is a constant supplanting of God's truth by the theories and false doctrines of human origin. Movements are being set on foot to enslave the consciences of those who would be loyal to God." Testimonies, vol 5, p 546.
Not only is Satan working through our emotional attachments to people close to us, but he is also working through a more hellish power to enslave us in his grimy grasp.
"I saw evil angels working with their wicked sophistries on men's minds, so that they might work on other minds, to deceive if possible the very elect." Series B#2 p 38.
"The theory of mind controlling mind was originated by Satan, to introduce himself as the chief worker, to put human philosophy where divine philosophy should be. Of all the errors that are finding acceptance among professedly Christian people, none is a more dangerous deception, none more certain to separate man from God than as this. Innocent though it may appear, if exercised upon patients it will tend to destruction, not to their restoration. It opens a door through which Satan will enter to take possession both of the mind that is given up to be controlled by another, and of the mind that controls. Fearful is the power thus given to evil minded men and women. What opportunities it affords to those who live by taking advantage of other's weaknesses or follies!" Ministry of Healing, p 243.
The manipulation of one mind over another mind in order to control is describing hypnotism (see also Life Sketches, p 134-35; Spiritual Gifts, vol 2, p 131). Mind control is taught and acheived through many different methods and practices, and is called by many different names; such as NLP--Neuro-Linguistic Programming; Calling and Caring; Caring and Sharing; EST; Silva; etc.
Thus in exposing and condemning fanaticism, we could be battling directly against those who are united with the devil and practicing hypnotism! Thus we could be cambatting evil angels and maybe even Satan himself in the form of men (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 37, 353; Acts of Apostles, p 169). So in rising up and combatting falsehood and fanaticism we can never be safe in doing this in our own power, but we must make sure that we have on the whole armor of God, and do so in the power of God. Because in combatting any error, we are combatting the forces of darkness, where the fanaticism originated in the first place!
In rebuking, condemning, and exposing fanaticism, false theories and man-made tests or commandments, what position is usually taken by those who advocate and believe in it?
"They are bold and insolent, and do not regard good manners. They have no care to discriminate and render honor to whom honor is due. They manifest a proud, rebellious, defiant spirit against those who differ from their opinions. Their boisterous manners and wrong course lead the true servant of God to feel that they have resisted the efforts made for them, and he becomes disheartened in reference to laboring any further in their behalf. They engage in a contemptible triumph of exactly the same nature as that which Satan and evil angels engage in over the souls whom they secure. They have Satan and evil angels on their side to exult with them. The cases of the persons in whom this cast of character is peculiarly and strikingly developed are hopeless." Testimonies, vol 2, p 555.
With some, it is hopeless that they will ever see clearly. Some become bold, defiant, proud, and have a rebellious nature against all those who oppose their ideas. Some will also claim to have suffered persecution, or will become jealous of those who expose and condemn their fanaticism (see Life Sketches, p 85). And, as we have seen over and over again, some fanatics will take a course of attack and will try to assassinate the character of the person or of the Ministry which has exposed and rebuked them. In these above actions, it is always the case that naive and unwise sympathizers will be gained by the fanatics, which just embolden them to continue in their erroneous beliefs and remain impenetant (see Spiritual Gifts, vol 2, p 158).
"I was pointed back, and saw that in every important move, every decision made or point gained by God's people, some have arisen to carry matters to extremes, and to move in an extravagant manner, which has disgusted unbelievers, distressed God's people, and brought the cause of God into disrepute. The people whom God is leading out in these last days, will be troubled with just such things. But much evil will be avoided if the ministers of Christ will be of one mind, united in their plans of action, and united in effort. If they will stand together, sustain one another, and faithfully reprove and rebuke wrong, they will soon cause it to wither. But Satan has controlled these matters very much. Private members and even preachers have sympathized with disaffected ones who have been reproved for their wrongs, and division of feeling has been the result. The one who has ventured out and discharged his disagreeable duty by faithfully meeting error and wrong, is grieved and wounded that he receives not the fullest sympathy of his preaching brethren. He becomes discouraged in discharging these painful duties, lays down the cross, and withholds the pointed testimony. His soul is shut up in darkness, and the church suffer for lack of the very testimony which God designed should live among His people. Satan's object is gained when the faithful testimony is suppressed. Those who so readily sympathize with the wrong consider it a virtue; but they realize not that they are exerting a scattering influence, that they themselves help to carry out Satan's plans.
"I saw that many souls have been destroyed by their brethren unwisely sympathizing with them, when their only hope was to be left to see and realize the full extent of their wrongs. But as they eagerly accept the sympathy of unwise brethren, they receive the idea that they are abused; and if they attempt to retrace their steps, they make halfhearted work. They divide the matter to suit their natural feelings, lay blame upon the reprover, and so patch up the matter. It is not probed to the bottom, and is not healed, and they again fall into the same wrong, because they were not left to feel the extent of their wrong, and humble themselves before God, and let Him build them up. False sympathizers have worked in direct opposition to the mind of Christ and ministering angels." Testimonies, vol 1, p 212-13.
When someone has committed a wrong or believes in some error and is reproved for it, we better make sure that we do not lend unwise sympathy to them and thus lead them to think that they were unjustly treated. If we do, then we become a sharer in their evil, and also will be held responsible for their impentence!
Yet some will defend their false doctrine to the end, no matter how much evidence or truth is given to the contrary (see Testimonies, vol 2, p 232). As such, how can they be awakened before it is too late to be saved?
"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble;
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive the reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.
Some may be awakened right at the very last point in time that it was possible for them to be saved. And they will escape, "so as by fire." Their false doctrines, as well as all the time and money expended in promulgating them, will be burned by the truth exposing it to be only wood, hay, and stubble.
"Paul speaks of those who bring to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble. This represents those who bring in as truth that which is not truth, even their own suppositions and fabrications. If these souls are saved, it will be as by fire, because they conscientiously thought they were working in harmony with the Word. They will only be as brands snatched out of the burning." Evangelism, p 213-14.
But how are God's people to try and bring fanitical people out of their fanaticism?
"And of some have compassion, making a difference:
"And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 22-23.
Can anyone become fully free from every trace of fanaticism once they have become involved in it? YES! But when would they become fully free from the fanaticism?
"The mind can only be freed from error when every thread is cut that binds it to the fallacy of the enemy." Manuscript Release, vol 7, p 189 (Letter 87, February 25, 1905).
Every thread of the fanaticism has to be cut away before any would be fully free from its baleful influence. There can not be one single link left that binds us to the particular fanatical theory--it all has to be given up and removed from us before we could be fully free from its bondage. This is only possible through the power of Jesus, and the grace and enlightenment of His Holy Spirit. BUT PRAISE GOD THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE COMPLETELY FREE FROM FANATICISM!
What about those who are successfully plucked out of the plague and fire of fanaticism? What are they to do? God states that once you are completely freed from the fanaticism, you are to work to counteract your past influence while in it (see Testimonies, vol 1, p 312-13). Also, those who have been involved in fanaticism, and have become free from it, are to work in reaching out to others who are involved in the same fanaticism--especially those whom you led into it. You are not to leave them captive hoping that they will get out like you did without trying to help them get free. In fact, your testimony of awaking to the truth and breaking free from the fanaticism will have a more powerful effect in freeing others from the fanatical spell than will the testimony of anyone else who was not once involved. By God mercifully freeing you from the fire, places a responsibility upon your shoulders to work to snatch away others before they get burned up.
There is indeed an intense and sleepless unceasing battle going on for the control of our minds. And any who neglect to study and fortify their minds with the word of God--the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy--will be easily led astray. We must have on the whole armor of God every moment of the day and a sanctified heart and tongue that is in harmony with God's will.
But is there any further way that we can protect ourselves from being led into fantaicism? Yes!
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine." Titus 2:1.
We are to speak only things which become sound doctrine, not unsound doctrine. We are also not to accept every doctrine which comes to our notice without first testing it.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1.
Christ tells His people to be fruit inspectors--to examine fruit (see Matthew 7:15-20). And in regards to false doctrine, we are to examine the fruits of the message coming to us to see what kind of fruit is born by its followers--whether good or bad. In other words, we are to try and test the spirits to see if they are of God or His enemy.
"Instead of catching up every new and fanciful interpretation of the Bible, cling to the message. Let not every influence affect you; but seek to develop a character that is consistent, meek, teachable, and yet firm and cheerful; and with all this, be sober and watch unto prayer. Walk in a perfect way. Let the high, sacred truth you profess be constantly elevating your character, ennobling and refining you, and fitting you for the heavenly courts. The learners in Christ's school must show that they are not unappreciative scholars. Let the sanctifying grace of God strengthen, soften, and subdue your entire nature. You must yourself be what you wish others to be. Christ prayed concerning his disciples, 'I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified.' Bring into your life the piety, the Christian courtesy, the respect for one another that you wish to see reflected in those who embrace the truth through your instrumentality." Review and Herald, May 29, 1888 (vol 2, p 216 col 1).
Instead of catching up every new and fanciful interpretation, we are to be wary and not allow every influence to affect us. We are not to run fast with any message. We are to sit down and by careful cautious study and prayer find out whether its a true message or not--especially decideing from the weight of evidence supporting it. If the message is true, it will lead those who follow it to develop righteous characters which represent Christ and His Father--thus bearing good fruits. If these graces are not seen, then it is a false and fanatical message which is to be shunned.
May God help all of His true separated people to be wide awake to discern the fanaticisms among us. May He grant us the wisdom and power to unitedly rise up as one body and shut our hearts and home church doors against the devil and all his specious doctrines.
This bring us to the end of Part One. In Part Two we will be examining and exposing some of the different fanatical teachings and movements being seen within our separated movement and home churches today.