"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THE PLAGUE AND FIRE OF FANATICISM
Part Two - Exposing Various Fanaticisms
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 Two - Exposing Various Fanaticisms
If you have not read and studied Part One of The Plague and Fire of Fanaticism, please be sure that you do so because it will be much easier to understand this booklet if you know the foundational principles making up fanaticism.
There seems to be many in our ranks who are easily blown about from one fanaticism to another. But why? Why are there separated believers who eagerly run after each fanaticism and erroneous doctrine which blows towards them?
"Our people need to understand the reasons of our faith and our past experiences. How sad it is that so many of them apparently place unlimited confidence in men who present theories tending to uproot our past experiences and to remove the old landmarks! Those who can so easily be led by a false spirit show that they have been following the wrong captain for some time--so long that they do not discern that they are departing from the faith, or that they are not building upon the true foundation. We need to urge all to put on their spiritual eyeglasses, to have their eyes anointed that they may see clearly and discern the true pillars of the faith. Then they will know that 'the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his' (2 Tim. 2:19). We need to revive the old evidences of the faith once delivered to the saints.
"Every conceivable fanciful and deceptive doctrine will be presented by men who think that they have the truth." Selected Messages, book 2, p 25.
Thus the reason why some are so easily led from one fanaticism to another is because they have been following the wrong captain. And how many kind of doctrines will be urged upon our separated people? Every conceivable fanciful and deceptive doctrine will be urged by men who think that they have the truth.
How can we then protect ourselves from being led into fanaticism? Remember Titus 2:1 stated that we must speak only that which becometh sound doctrine. Matthew 7:15-20 states that we are to be fruit inspectors, and not just accept everything at face value! 1 John 4:1 states that we must test and try the spirits, whether they be of God or not. And Isaiah 8:20 states that we must test every doctrine to the Law (Bible) and the Testimony (Spirit of Prophecy), and if it does not abide this test, then there is no light in it!
"Instead of catching up every new and fanciful interpretation of 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." Review and Herald, vol 2, p 216 col 1).
So we are not to catch up every new and fanciful interpretation that is presented as truth, but cling to the third angel's message and not let every influence affect us.
Yet, if we hold to any fanatical theory or false doctrine--even in the smallest part, what are we really doing?
"Through false doctrines, Satan gains a foothold, and captivates the minds of men, causing them to hold theories that have no foundation in truth. Men boldly teach for doctrines the commandments of men...It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the human mind." Evangelism, p 589.
Even if we beleive just a little bit of fanatical doctrine, this is just enough to give Satan a foothold in our minds which will allow him to bring in other theories to try and deceive us. Thus if we continue to hold even the smallest theory of fanaticism or false doctrine, we give Satan a foothold in our minds which he can use to captivate and control us. So if you do not want Satan to control you, then you must give up everything that lends itself to or is fanatical.
We must stand solely and completely upon the foundation of pure unadulterated truth. This is the only way we can keep Satan from gaining a foothold in our mind. That is why in this study we will be exposing some of the fanatical theories and doctrines which are plaguing God's true separated people today.
There are 14 principles (see Part One) which anyone can apply to any doctrine to see if it could be fanatical. It is also important to note that all fanatical doctrines, no matter how big or how small, all claim to have their support based upon the Bible and/or the Spirit of Prophecy--and hence claim that God supports their belief. Yet if a close search is made, most fanatical beliefs are found to be based upon one or two biblical texts or references from the Spirit of Prophecy which have been stretched to its extreme meaning with a lot of human reasoning mixed in. Thus its foundation cannot be firmly established upon God's word or the Spirit of Prophecy, but upon the supposed wisdom of men, which is foolishness in God's eyes. Yet it is claimed that it is God's will that people believe and follow the doctrine.
It is also important to note that not all fanaticisms are full blown. A large portion is just a small, seemingly insignificant theory or belief which is held and advocated once in awhile. Thus a great portion of fanaticism appears small and insignificant, and many have tucked it away in their minds thinking that it is the truth when it is not.
So as we begin to discuss some of the different fanaticisms within our separated ranks today, and you read about a particular theory which you have accepted as truth, please do not stop reading, but read the more closely and pay particular attention to what is being stated. Especially let God's Spirit convict you of the truth, and allow Him to root all false and erroneous doctrines and beliefs out of your mind until every thread is cut away, so that you can be completely free in Jesus and glory in His pure unadulaterated truth.
In looking over the vast field of fanaticism today, four main areas are seen which most of the fanatical doctrines can fit into. The first area is in Health Reform. The second area is in Dress Reform. The third area is in Doctrine. And the fourth area is in Personal Life. These are the four main areas. We will examine each area.
VARIOUS FANATICAL AND DOCTRINAL EXTREMES IN HEALTH REFORM
Health reform is very important to know and practice. It is part of the third angel's message, just as the arm is part of the body (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 74-75). If we break any of the 8 laws of health ("Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power"--Ministry of Healing, p 127), then we are committing sin (see Counsels on Health, p 40). Also, if we reject health reform, then we are rejecting God:
"God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it rejected God." Series B#6, p 31 (Review and Herald, April 14, 1903 (vol 4, p 511, col 1).
But, we are also told:
"Health reform is not the last saving message of mercy today. It is not to take the place of the third angel's message but is designed to prepare people to more readily accept it." Testimonies, vol 1, p 559.
Both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy instruct us to practice the health law of temperance in all things lawful (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6; Adventist Home, p 258, 309; Counsels on Health, p 65). We are also told that our eternal destiny depends upon strictly temperate habits (Testimonies, vol 3, p 489)--especially in regards to health (Testimonies, vol 3, p 486-87). Then what are some of the unlawful things which God has placed clear restrictions upon that His people are not to partake of?
1. No unclean animal flesh--especially pork--is to be part of our diet (see Leviticus 11:4-44, 20:25; Deuteronomy 14:3-19). But also clean fleshed creatures such as beef, fish, foul, etc, are to be avoided because of disease (see Counsels on Diet and Foods p 383, 388, 394, 401; Review and Herald, May 27, 1902 (vol 4, p 415, col 1)).
2. No animal cheese of any kind is to be found in our stomachs (Testimonies, vol 2, p 68).
3. No animal fat or blood of any kind is to be found in our diet (Leviticus 7:23; Testimonies, vol 2, p 61).
4. No tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, or any other type of narcotics are to be found in our diet (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 421, 425; Testimonies, vol 3, p 321).
There are other items of food which we are counseled that it would be better if we avoided them (such as milk and milk products; irritating spices; etc (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 236, 330, 339-40, 356, 359, 365-66, 384-85; Counsels on Health, p 478, 495; Healthy Living, p 93; Ministry of Healing, p 325; Testimonies, vol 2, p 366-67, vol 7, p 134-35). But we have clear counsel from God Himself that the above items are not to be in our diet at all. But some people are not content with the above list. They add their own preferences on to God's list, and declare that if God's people do not also follow these other items added to the list, then they can not be God's health reforming people, they are disobeying God, and can not be saved.
By advocating their extreme position in Health Reform, they have made their own ideas into a test of salvation without a clear thus saith the Lord to back them up. They have gone beyond what God Himself has chosen to list as being necessary for His people to avoid, and have become fanatical.
With this in mind, we protest against the following fanatical extremes in Health Reform being advocated as a salvational issue in our separated Home Church ranks today.
A. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want His people to use any free extracted oil in their diet. Any oils in our diet--especially olive oil--must be obtained by eating the foods they are found in.
A large amount of free oil (not grease which solidifies at room temperature and is counseled against (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 83, 85, 124, 200), but extracted or pressed oil which is liquid at room temperature), is not part of a healthy diet, yet it is fanatical to advocate that God requires all of His people to eliminate all free oils from their diet.
The Bible advocates using extracted olive oil in making bread (see Exodus 29:2, 23; Leviticus 2:2, 5, 7, 7:12; Numbers 6:15). Ezekiel 16:13 states that it is permitted to eat flour, honey, and oil mixed together. In 1 Kings 17:12-16 we find Elijah, who was one of God's messengers, instructing the woman to make him a cake from flour mixed with oil. He then promises that God would continue to supply the flour and the oil. So God's blessing was upon the flour and extracted olive oil for His people to subsist upon during the famine.
Obviously eating oil outside of the olive is not condemned of God, but is blessed of God when used in moderation. In fact sister White even mentions that when extracted olive oil is eaten, it relieves constipation and soothes inflamed, irritated stomachs (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 349; Selected Messages, book 2, p 298).
B. FANATICISM STATES: God requires those who want to be translated to heaven without seeing death, being part of the 144,000, to eat only fruits and grains, but no vegetables and nuts.
This is based upon isolating this one testimony from the majority of other testimonies dealing with God's chosen diet for His people:
"Grains and fruits prepared free from grease and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven." Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 314.
While the majority of other testimonies state:
"Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect..." Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 81 (also see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 310, 329, 363, 443; Child Guidance, p 380, 384; Education, p 204; Ministry of Healing, p 295-96, 316-17; Testimony Studies on Diet and Foods, p 98).
The diet chosen for us by our Creator is fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables, and vegetables were part of man's original diet before the fall (see Confrontation, p 10; Review and Herald, February 24, 1874 (vol 1, p 139 col 1)). But by isolating one testimony and making it contradict the weight of evidence of other testimonies, produces an extreme and fanatical belief. There is only one pathway to heaven, not two! There is only one chosen diet for God's people, not two. There is only one perfect Example for us to imitate, not two. There is not an easier road to tread for those who do not wish to be a part of the 144,000, than for those who do. There is only one pathway, and both the 144,000, as well as all the other saints who make it to heaven, will follow the same path. So there is no different prescribed pathway and diet for the 144,000 to follow versus those who die in the Lord.
C. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want His people to use any extra salt in their diets, other than what salt is naturally found in the foods.
An excess amount of salt is harmful to health, yet it is fanatical to advocate that God does not want His people to use extra salt. Christ stated that extra salt is good not bad (see Mark 9:50). Besides, we are clearly counseled:
"I use some salt, and always have, because from the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The whys and wherefores of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me." Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 344 (see also Sermons and Talks, vol 1, p 11; Counsels on Health, p 120).
D. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want His people to use any refined sugar in their diet.
There are better natural sugars to use in our diets other than refined table sugar, yet it is fanatical to advocate that God requires all table sugar to be eliminated from our diet. This extreme position is based on a misquotation of the following Testimony:
"And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat." Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 328.
So sugar in large amounts is injurious to our bodies. But God through sister White never denounced a moderate amount of table sugar. In fact sister White even used some in her diet! (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 311, 330).
E. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want His people to use honey in their diets. Honey is called "bee vomit" and an "animal product."
The Bible states that honey is good if eaten in moderation (Proverbs 24:13, 25:16, 27). Besides, Christ ate it (Isaiah 7:14-15; Luke 24:41-43). John the Baptist ate it (Matthew 3:4). And God even blessed the production of 7,000 pounds of it to one of the independent schools that Ellen White established in Australia (see Selected Messages, book 1, p 102). So honey can be used in our diet in moderation.
F. FANATICISM STATES: God wants His people to only subsist on raw foods in their diet, but nothing cooked.
This is based upon isolating the following one testimony from all the other testimonies on this subject:
"By precept and example make it plain that the food which God gave Adam in his sinless state is the best for man's use as he seeks to regain that sinless state." Testimonies, vol 7, p 135.
These advocates base their reasoning upon the assumption that Adam and Eve did not cook their food, so they must have eaten it raw. So neither are God's people today to eat any cooked food if they are seeking to regain that sinless state that Adam and Eve had.
Many need to prepare their meals more simply and to eat more raw foods if possible rather than cooked foods. But to advocate the extreme position that all of God's people must eat all their food raw, or even 80% raw, or 60% raw, etc, is fanaticism. Why? Because not all people can subsist on the same diet (see Testimonies, vol 2, p 254; Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 198). Thus, no one prescribed diet can be made the standard by which all God's people must subsist on.
If God required His people to avoid all cooked foods, then why would He state that baked bread is a good staple food in our diet (see Leviticus 26:26; Psalm 105:16; Ezekiel 4:16, 5:16, 14:13; Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 315). We are also counseled to bake or boil beans (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 323) and potatoes (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 323). And to can cooked fruits (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 335). Thus, cooked foods in the diet of God's people are not displeasing to Him.
What is God's chosen diet for His people? Fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. That is God's Word, and we can safely stand on that Word and advocate it far and wide. But as to how many vegetables we must have in our diet; or how many fruits we need; or how much raw foods, or cooked foods we need; etc; all these questions God has left for each individual to work out for themselves based upon their own body system. When others believe that they have a better standard than God has clearly stated, and begin to advocate their personal preferences as being God's will, then we protest against their fanaticism.
G. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want any of His people to have more than two meals in a 24 hour period.
Under NORMAL circumstances, two balanced meals a day is sufficient for most people, as approximately 5 hours are needed between each meal (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 173). But God does not condemn anyone who chooses to have a third meal, especially if engaged in a great amount of physical labor. The following testimonies give some guidelines:
"The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested...zwieback, and fruit, or cereal coffee, are the foods best suited for the evening meal." Ministry of Healing, p 321.
"I dare not say to you or to anyone else, You must eat only two meals a day. But I do say that too much food should not be placed in the stomach at one time, for when this is done, the stomach has no chance to do its work properly. For some, three meals a day are better than two.
"For thirty years, I have taken only two meals a day, and I have not eaten between meals. I know for my own part that two meals can be so arranged as to be perfectly convenient. Yet no one is to make his own case a criterion for others." This Day With God, p 340.
"If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed." Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 158.
H. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want any of His people, at any time or for any reason, to use drug medication. Or God does not want any of His people to use herbs for any reason.
God has provided the simple remedies of nature--herbs, sunlight, air, water, etc., for the treatment of sickness and disease, but it is fanatical and extreme to condemn those who choose to seek medical attention when necessary. It is also fanatical and extreme to refuse to seek medical attention when necessary; to believe that only herbs and other simple treatments are necessary in every case, and if you die, then it was God's will; and to believe that only the medical profession must be sought after and used for treatment, and never are we to use the simple remedies of nature.
We are clearly counseled:
"It was stated that we were the cause of her [sister Prior] not having medical aid. I will briefly state that we knew nothing of Sr. P.'s sickness, were in Rochester, above one hundred miles from Camden, when this matter occurred, and we have had no knowledge of her death until a brother from Camden visited Rochester and brought us the intelligence. There were but two families engaged in this matter. After this we visited Camden, and I was shown in vision that there had been a lack of judgment in regard to the case of Sr. P. in giving their influence against her obtaining medical aid. I saw that they had carried matters to extremes and that the cause of God was wounded and our faith reproached, on account of such things, which were fanatical in the extreme. The reproof given and the plain testimony borne in regard to these things was the cause of E.W.W. turning from me and taking his position with the 'Messenger' party and circulating falsehoods calculated to injure me. We believe in the prayer of faith; but some have carried this matter too far, especially those who have been affected with fanaticism. Some have taken the strong ground that it was wrong to use simple remedies. We have never taken this position, but have opposed it. We believe it to be perfectly right to use the remedies God has placed in our reach, and if these fail, apply to the great Physician, and in some cases the counsel of an earthly physician is very necessary. This position we have always held." Spiritual Gifts, vol 2, p 134-35.
"God does not heal the sick without the aid of the means of healing which lie within the reach of man; or when men refuse to be benefitted by the simple remedies that God has provided in pure air and water." Selected Messages, book 2, p 286.
If we refuse to become knowledgeable on the simple remedies of nature and refuse to use them to get well, how can we ask God to heal us? We are told that thousands are dying for want of the knowledge of simple remedies (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 287), and that nine cases out of ten would have recovered if they had only lived out what little they knew in the area of simple remedies (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 288). On the other hand, if we have done all that we know how to do in using the simple remedies of nature and have taken our case to God and still are not healed of our sickness or disease, then it is not a denial of our faith to seek help from the medical field.
"It is our privilege to use every God appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God, when we have urged the promise. If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed. After the patient has committed his will to the will of God, let him trust, drawing nigh to the Great Physician, the Mighty Healer, and giving himself up to perfect trust. The Lord will honor his faith in the very manner He sees is for His own name's glory. 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength' (Isaiah 26:3, 4)." Selected Messages, book 2, p 284.
I. FANATICISM STATES: God does not want His people to take any vitamin, mineral, or other food supplements, but must gain all these from the foods they eat. Or God wants His people to take all these supplements because the soil is depleted.
This is a personal issue as each individual's need is different. But it is fanatical for individuals to make this into a "must do" or "must not do" or even a salvational issue by stating or inferring that it is "God's will" that His people must do one or the other.
J. FANATICISM STATES: God requires all of His people to be CONSTANTLY CLEANSING their internal body system by REGULARLY having a colonic or enema, or regularly flushing the system by fruits, or herbal preparations, or sea water cleanses, WHETHER THEY ARE SICK OR NOT.
It is necessary to cleanse our body systems from toxins and other harmful things when necessary, but it is fanatical and extreme to force our bodies to be constantly cleansing itself--especially without there even being one thus saith the Lord as to how much time should be devoted to cleansing!
Our bodies are in one of two modes: either cleansing itself through fasts, fruits or juices, herbs, etc, or building itself up through vegetables, proteins, hardy exercise, etc. By forcing our bodies to be constantly in the cleansing mode, we begin to suffer because the body does not get enough energy from the cleansing foods to build itself up. And after a while, we begin to waste away. Thus, if we do not allow our bodies a rest from cleansing itself, and to begin to build itself back up and repair any damage which the cleansing process reveals, then we are asking for trouble and possible death.
PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH REFORM
We could go on listing many more fanaticisms in the area of Health Reform: such as; God does not want any of His people to eat out in Restaurants; or those who are preaching an unbalanced or different 8 laws of Health; etc. But why are there so many health fanaticisms? Because Satan will bring in any side issue to get God's people away from preaching and living the real Health Reform as found in the third angel's message. He will work in any way he can to get us arguing and debating or fighting over these different side issues, instead of uniting together, and with one voice sounding the last message of mercy to those who are dying in this world for the want of this precious truth.
May God bless His people with sound and common sense reasoning, so that such extremes may be avoided. Because more harm can be done in a short time by one fanatic in Health Reform, than would take a life time to counteract.
"When those who advocate hygienic reform carry the matters to extremes, people are not to blame if they become disgusted. Too often our religious faith is thus brought into disrepute, and in many cases those who witness such exhibitions of inconsistency can never afterward be brought to think that there is anything good in the reform. These extremists do more harm in a few months than they can undo in a lifetime. They are engaged in a work which Satan loves to see go on." Counsels on Health, p 153-54.
Then what should be the guiding rule for God's people to follow in regards to Health Reform so that we can avoid dietary extremes, fanaticisms, and Satan's working among us?
"There is real common sense in health reform. People cannot all eat the same things. Some articles of food that are wholesome and palatable to one person may be hurtful to another. So it is impossible to make an unvarying rule by which to regulate everyone's dietetic habits. Narrow ideas and overstraining of small points have been a great injury to the cause of hygiene. Investigate your habits of diet. Study from cause to effect. But do not bear false witness against health reform by ignorantly pursuing a course which militates against it. Do not neglect and abuse the body and thus unfit it to render to God that service which is His due. Health reform means something to us and we must not belittle it by narrow ideas and practices. We must be true to our convictions of right." Counsels on Health, p 154-56.
"Not all who profess to believe in dietetic reform are really reformers. With many persons the reform consists merely in discarding certain unwholesome foods. They do not understand clearly the principles of health, and their tables, still loaded with harmful dainties, are far from being an example of Christian temperance and moderation.
"Another class, in their desire to set a right example, go to the opposite extreme....
"Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbors. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill-health, and their efforts to force their views upon others, give many a false idea of dietetic reform, and lead them to reject it altogether.
"Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These people have a wide influence for good.
"There is real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own. It is impossible to make an unvarying rule to regulate everyone's habits, and no one should think himself a criterion for all. Not all can eat the same things. Foods that are palatable and wholesome to one person may be distasteful, and even harmful, to another....
"The diet reform should be progressive....
"The narrow ideas of some would-be health reformers have been a great injury to the cause of hygiene. Hygienists should remember that dietetic reform will be judged, to a great degree, by the provision they make for their tables and instead of taking a course that will bring discredit upon it, they should so exemplify its principles as to commend them to candid minds....
"When those who advocate hygienic reform go to extremes it is no wonder that many who regard these persons as representing health principles reject the reform altogether. These extremes frequently do more harm in a short time than could be undone by a lifetime of consistent living.
"Hygienic reform is based upon principles that are broad and far-reaching, and we should not belittle it by narrow views and practices. But no one should permit opposition or ridicule, or a desire to please or influence others, to turn him from true principles, or cause him lightly to regard them. Those who are governed by principle will be firm and decided in standing for the right; yet in all their associations they will manifest a generous, Christlike spirit and true moderation." Ministry of Healing, p 318-24.
With the above testimonies in mind, God wants His people to use common sense in health reform; that it is impossible to make an unvarying rule in regulating the dietary habits of everyone; that we are to shun narrow ideas. We are to shun any over-straining of small points. We are to shun any extremes in indulgence or restriction. We are to investigate our own dietary habits and study from cause to effect. We are not to let the opposition or ridicule or desire to please anyone else keep us from following the principles that we know are true. We are to be true to our convictions of right and be governed by principle. We are not to criticize others who do not do as we do or eat as we eat. And we are not to offensively urge our views upon others, but manifest a genuine Christlike spirit and be moderate and temperate in all things lawful. These are the simple and true rules that God wants all of His people to be governed by in true Health Reform. And might we also add, if you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you, it most assuredly will (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 104).
May we all be duly warned and cautioned by the following counsel:
"And while we would caution you not to overeat, even of the best quality of food, we would also caution those that are extremists not to raise a false standard and then endeavor to bring everybody to it. There are some who are starting out as health reformers who are not fit to engage in any other enterprise, and who have not sense enough to take care of their own families, or keep their proper place in the church. And what do they do? Why, they fall back as health reform physicians, as though they could make that a success. They assume the responsibilities of their practice, and take the lives of men and women into their hands, when they really know nothing about the business. My voice shall be raised against novices undertaking to treat disease professedly according to the principles of health reform. God forbid that we should be the subjects for them to experiment on! We are too few. It is altogether too inglorious a warfare for us to die in. God deliver us from such danger! We do not need such teachers and physicians. Let those try to treat disease who know something about the human system....
"It is time something was done to prevent novices from taking the field and advocating health reform. Their works and words can be spared; for they do more injury than the wisest and most intelligent men, with the best influence they can exert, can counteract. It is impossible for the best qualified advocates of health reform to fully relieve the minds of the public from the prejudice received through the wrong course of these extremists and to place the subject of health reform upon a right basis in the community where these men have figured. The door is also closed in a great measure, so that unbelievers cannot be reached by the present truth upon the Sabbath and the soon coming of our Saviour. The most precious truths are cast aside by the people as unworthy of hearing. These men are referred to as representatives of health reformers and Sabbathkeepers in general. A great responsibility rests upon those who have thus proved a stumbling block to unbelievers." Testimonies, vol 2, p 374-75, 386.
Our fervent prayer is that God and the Holy Spirit will help our separated people to be TRUE Health Reformers, and to avoid being deceived into any Health Reform extreme or fanaticism blowing around in our ranks today.
VARIOUS FANATICAL AND DOCTRINAL EXTREMES IN DRESS REFORM
Why was Dress Reform given to God's people?
"To protect the people of God from the corrupting influence of the world, as well as to promote physical and moral health, the dress reform was introduced among us...Satan is constantly devising some new style of dress that shall prove an injury to physical and moral health; and he exults when he sees professed Christians eagerly accepting the fashions which he has invented. The amount of physical suffering created by unnatural and unhealthful dress cannot be estimated...But dress reform comprised more than shortening the dress and clothing the limbs. It included every article of dress upon the person. It lifted the weights from the hips by suspending the skirts from the shoulders. It removed the tight corsets, which compressed the lungs, the stomach, and other internal organs, and induce curvature of the spine and an almost countless train of diseases. Dress reform proper provided for the protection and development of every part of the body." Testimonies, vol 4, p 634-35.
The light of Dress Reform was given to promote physical and moral health by providing for the protection and development of every part of the body. This includes protecting us from the corrupting fashions of the world. So the main purpose of Dress Reform centers around health--whether physical or moral.
There are many individuals and even Ministries who have devoted themselves to the subject of Dress Reform, and have come up with a whole list of do's and don'ts which are presented as tests to God's people with the underlying issue being: If you do not follow these rules, then you are not following God's will and will lose out of salvation. But is this true in each area of Dress Reform? Is every area of Dress Reform a test of salvation?
"The dress reform was among the minor things that were to make up the great reform in health, and never should have been urged as a testing truth necessary to salvation...I have in speaking upon the great subject of health, mentioned the dress reform as one of the items of least importance which make up the great whole." Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 (vol 1, p 74, col 1).
So Dress Reform is not a test of salvation. Dress Reform is the minor point, or least important area, on the great subject of health. But some will interject that there are testimonies which seem to state that Dress Reform is necessary for salvation (see Testimonies, vol 1, p 286-87, 618-19; vol 4, p 647-48). Is there a contradiction here in the testimonies? Not at all. There is perfect harmony. So how can Dress Reform be and yet not be a test of salvation at the same time? The answer lies in the area of health.
Health Reform is indeed a test of salvation, but not all of what constitutes Dress Reform overlaps into the area of health.
"It is important that instructions should be given by ministers in regard to living temperately. They should show the relation which eating, working, resting, and dressing sustain to health." Testimonies, vol 1, p 618.
When an area of Dress Reform overlaps into the area of health it then becomes a test of salvation necessitating a change in order to restore health whether physical or moral. But when an area of Dress Reform does not overlap into the area of health then it is not a test of salvation. And this area of Dress Reform, that is not involved in health and is not a test of salvation, is exactly where most of the fanaticism in dress resides today.
With this in mind, the following are some of the fanatical extremes in Dress Reform, which have nothing to do with the area of health or of salvation, but are being advocated as a test of fellowship, or even as a salvational issue, in our separated ranks today.
A. FANATICISM STATES: God requires all of His people to have their arms and legs covered with clothing at all times regardless of the temperature--even in hot weather--to make sure the blood circulation is equalized. And for anyone to wear a short sleeve shirt, even in warm weather, cannot be a true Health Reformer.
This extreme is based upon a misunderstanding of the testimonies dealing with covering the limbs.
When one carefully studies through all the testimonies dealing with this issue, they will find that God and the Spirit of Prophecy advocate that if it is cold weather, and there is a chance of chill, then make sure you and your children's limbs and extremities are covered and evenly clad with proper warm clothing to make sure the blood circulation is not stinted in the extremities (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 470-71; Ministry of Healing, p 292-94; Testimonies, vol 2, p 527; Child Guidance, p 426-27). But if there is no chance of chill, and it is not cold but warm weather, then neither does God nor the Spirit of Prophecy advocate that the extremities are to be covered because there would no longer be any danger that the circulation of the blood would be affected and not reach the limbs.
As this is true, then it is not displeasing to God for His people to have their limbs uncovered when there is no chance of chill and the weather is warm! In fact the Spirit of Prophecy warns against wearing too much clothing as to bring us "in a perspiration" which may cause us "to take cold" (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 469), or to "load down those portions of the body with clothing where there is no call for such an amount" (Selected Messages, book 2, p 470). So a short sleeve shirt worn in warm weather is not displeasing to God, and does not lessen the efforts to further true Health Reform practices. In fact Sister White mentions that the only time a person who is wearing short sleeves could safely go outside is when "the weather is mild" and there is no chance of chill (see Ministry of Healing, p 382; Testimonies, vol 2, p 532).
The bottom line is that if God's people would "clothe themselves sensibly, and have moral courage to take their position on the side of right, they would not endanger health by going out summer and winter..." (Testimonies, vol 2, p 532). We are to dress sensibly according to the temperature, whether inside a house or outside, so that our blood circulation flows without restrictions--especially in cold temperatures.
B. FANATICISM STATES: God commands that not one Christian woman should ever put on a pair of pants for any reason--even if these pants are made for a woman and not made for a man.
Advocates of this extreme claim Deuteronomy 22:5 as their Scriptural proof text, declaring that for a woman to wear pants she then becomes an abomination to God because she is putting on that which pertaineth to a man.
Sister White herself wrote that it was proper for girls to wear pants under their dresses. The reason for this was for health--because the pants would protect them more efficiently from the cold than just dresses alone. These pants were not the same pants made for boys, but were pants that were specifically made for girls.
"In cold weather they should wear warm flannel or cotton drawers, which can be placed inside the stockings. Over these should be warm lined pants, which may be full, gathered into a band, and neatly buttoned around the ankle, or taper at the bottom and meet the shoe. Their dress should reach below the knee. With this style of dress, one light skirt, or at the most two, is all that is necessary, and these should be buttoned to a waist." Selected Messages, book 2, p 471.
Knowing that all sincere Christian women are striving towards Godliness and holiness to represent Christ more fully to the world, they would want to follow the principles of modesty, neatness, and good taste. To imitate as nearly as possible the dress of a man was and is an abomination unto the Lord.
"They [or women] will imitate the opposite sex, as nearly as possible. They will wear the cap, pants, vest, coat, and boots, the last of which is the most sensible part of the costume. Those who adopt and advocate this style of dress, are carrying the so-called dress reform to very objectionable lengths. Confusion will be the result. Some who adopt this costume may be correct in their views in general upon the health question, and they could be instrumental in accomplishing vastly more good if they did not carry the matter of dress to such extremes.
"In this style of dress God's order has been reversed, and special directions disregarded. Deut. xxii,5. 'The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.' This style of dress, God would not have His people adopt." Selected Messages, book 2, p 477.
If a woman would put on the hat, the coat, the vest, the pants, and the boots (probably a man's three-piece suit today), then she would be mistaken for a man and not a woman, and confusion would result. So Deuteronomy 22:5 was applied to a woman wearing the entire outfit of a man--dressing "as nearly as possible" to the opposite sex, but not just wearing one item of this outfit. Neither God nor sister White wrote that if a woman chose to wear pants made for a woman that she would be an abomination unto God! What was condemned was for a woman to wear the entire outfit of a man, not just one article of that outfit.
Neither the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy clearly condemns a woman for wearing women's pants. And since no clear plain condemnation is found in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, for anyone to continue to condemn Christian women for wearing pants made for them, or to look down upon them and shun them because they do so, have placed their own opinion and preference into being God's will--which is fanaticism. This issue of pants has been left up to the Christian woman herself, as an individual free agent under God, to decide whether she wants to wear them or not.
As Christian women continue to grow spiritually, they will not want to dress in any way which offends God. The outward appearance will reflect their walk with their Lord.
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array..." 1 Timothy 2:9.
C. FANATICISM STATES: God requires that all married women must publicly wear a bonnet or hat or some kind of covering material in order to cover their head and not dishonor their husband.
Support for this doctrine is taken from a misunderstood Bible text found in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Even though this text deals with married women, yet unmarried women and young girls are made to believe that it is God's will that they wear a head covering believing that they would be dishonoring Christ as their husband if they did not wear one in public.
In reading 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, the Greek word for being "covered" or "covering" (Strong's #2619) translates to cover wholly. So it is referring to having the whole head, including the face, covered with a veil. It is not just talking about having a hat, or beanie to cover the top of the head and hair, but is referring to the whole head and face being covered. Exactly as the Middle-Eastern custom of women covering their whole head with a veil so that only their eyes are seen.
But is God commanding all Christian women around the world to cover their heads completely with a veil today, or was Paul instructing those women living in the Middle-East who had been converted to Christ to continue in that particular custom?
"But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." 1 Corinthians 11:16.
Paul clearly states that the practice of head coverings is a custom that is not a rule or command of any of the churches of God! It has nothing to do with a direct command of God for Christian women to follow today, but was and is a man-made custom adopted for Middle-Eastern women--especially those embracing Islam.
Those Middle-Eastern women who did not publicly wear a head covering were looked upon as being a harlot! Paul was trying to solve some of the differences in the Corinthian churches, and stated that it would be better for the converted Corinthian women to continue with the custom of publicly veiling their heads so as not to offend the unconverted Corinthian women whom they were trying to witness the truth to. He was advocating the principle--to become all things to all people that some might be won to Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:20-23). And if one of our Separated Home Church women went to the Middle East as a missionary today we see little problem for her to follow their head covering custom so that she would not be a gazing stock to the local women, but could more easily be accepted among them and more effectively witness the truth.
But the majority of other Countries do not have this head covering custom, so it is not required by God, or even appropriate for any of our separated women to cover their heads according to 1 Corinthians 11, while living in America, or in Canada, or in any other Country not following this custom. In fact, if they publicly do so, they show themselves a fanatic and make themselves a gazing stock and an outsider to the rest of the women in the community, and effectively nullify any witnessing attempts before they even say one word! They are also disobeying God's will as stated in the following testimony:
"There is a great work for us to do in the world, and God would not have us take a course to lessen or destroy our influence with the world...Christians should not take pains to make themselves a gazingstock by dressing differently from the world. But if, when following out their convictions of duty in respect to dressing modestly and healthfully, they find themselves out of fashion, they should not change their dress in order to be like the world; but they should manifest a noble independence and moral courage to be right, if all the world differ from them. If the world introduce a modest, convenient, and healthful mode of dress, which is in accordance with the Bible, it will not change our relation to God or to the world to adopt such a style of dress. Christians should follow Christ and make their dress conform to God's word. They should shun extremes....The extreme position taken by some dress reformers upon this subject cripples their influence." Testimonies, vol 1, p 458-460.
PRINCIPLES OF DRESS REFORM
Much more time could be used in exposing other Dress Reform extremes and fanaticisms: such as; God does not want any of His people to wear any colorful clothing at appropriate times and places. Or God wants His people to avoid certain colors, or to wear only certain colors. Or God wants all of His people to wear only natural fabrics, but never any synthetic materials. Or God wants all Christian men to always use suspenders and never to wear a belt--even when their pants are not heavy and no restriction is placed around the abdominal organs; etc.
But it all comes down to this bottom line: What is God's will regarding the dress question today? The answer to this question is just as simple: We are to all dress sensibly, healthfully, simply, modestly, without display, and according to the character of the climate around us (see Ministry of Healing, p 293-94; 1 Timothy 2:9-10). We are also to be controlled by our reason and intellect in regards to Dress Reform (see Child Guidance, p 392). And remember, any area of dress which does not affect health, is a minor point of least importance and is not a test of salvation (see Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 (vol 1, p 74, col 1).
May we all take note of this following testimony:
"My Christian sisters, face the mirror, the law of God, and test your course of action by the first four commandments. These explicitly define our duty to God. He claims the undivided affections; and anything which tends to absorb the mind and divert it from God assumes the form of an idol. The true and living God is crowded out of the thoughts of the heart, and the soul-temple is defiled by the worship of other gods before the Lord. 'Thou shalt have no other gods before Me' says the commandment. Let us search the heart, compare the life and character with the statutes and precepts of Jehovah, and then seek diligently to correct our errors." Testimonies, vol 4, p 632.
The mirror that we are all to face is the law of God. Go to God and say: "Lord, is my dress offensive to You? Am I doing something wrong? Show me." If we would but follow these simple yet profound instructions, keeping in mind that outside of the area of health, Dress Reform is not test of salvation, then all extreme views would be shunned and we would be free from fanaticism in dress.
Satan will do anything he can to enter into the ranks of God's separated Home Church people, in order to bring in these extreme side issues, start contention and dissension, and hinder the unity of God's people and the spreading of the third angel's message as fast as possible. And why are not God's people wise enough to spot Satan's tactics and cast him out of our camp? One of the main reasons we are still here on this wicked earth is because these fanaticisms and side issues have taken the place of the third angel's message. And we will continue to be here until these side issues are silenced, and the third angel's message is again given the first place in our lives and preaching as it should have a long time ago!
VARIOUS FANATICAL AND ERRONEOUS EXTREMES IN DOCTRINE
Exactly as it was in the days of Christ, people are running around teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, but claiming that they are commandments of God (see Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7)! Exactly as it was in the early days of the pioneers of the Advent movement, after they separated from the apostate Protestant churches, so it is today. Fanaticism and doctrinal errors are causing confusion and disgust among God's people who have chosen to separate from the apostate SDA church. Every wind of strange doctrine is blowing, and God tells His people not to be blown about with them (see Hebrews 13:9). Even though many advocates of these doctrinal fanaticisms may appear as ministers of righteousness, yet they are agents and ministers of Satan, spreading damnable heresies for religious truth (see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Peter 2:1).
We must all be on guard every moment lest we become spoiled through deceitful doctrines and led astray with the error of fanaticism to fall from our own steadfastness upon God's platform of pure unadulterated truth (see Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 3:17).
We must prove all things, and hold fast only to that doctrine which is 100% truth, by testing all doctrine to the law (Bible) and to the testimony (Spirit of Prophecy) as 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and Isaiah 8:20 tell us to do.
With these admonitions in mind, let us examine some of the fanatical doctrines being advocated as truth among God's separated people today.
A. FANATICISM STATES: There is only one God--the Father, and He existed alone until He gave birth from Himself to the Son of God--Jesus Christ, and together they make up the non-person of the Holy Spirit. So the Godhead is not made up of three persons, but two--the Father and His Son.
What many do not know is that this particular Godhead doctrine is not a modern belief at all, but originated in the satanic mind of Hermes or Cush--who was the father of Nimrod. Nimrod then founded Babylon, and based its religion of spiritualistic mysteries upon the teachings of his father Hermes! Satan himself, through Hermes, originated the above spiritualistic teaching on the Godhead!
Many who are deceived by this spiritualistic Godhead doctrine will strongly argue this fact, ignore it altogether, and refuse to admit it. But those who are honestly deceived will only admit if they can see the proof. So does spiritualism really teach that the Father is the only God, and that He existed alone before Christ's existence? Yes! (we humbly ask forgiveness from those who might take offence by reading the following spiritualistic statements, but we do so for the sake of those who are deceived, not for those who do not hold to this doctrine):
"Holy is God, the Father of all things, the One who is before the First Beginning." Hermes, quoted in The Secret Teachings of All Ages, p XL, by Manly P. Hall--33rd Degree Mason.
"...the One [God] is the term most suitable for defining the Absolute, since the whole precedes the parts..." Hall, p XV.
"...God [The Great Architect of the Universe] as the infinite Parent of all..." Morals and Dogma, p 715, by Albert Pike--33rd Degree Mason, also The Masonic Report, p 20.
Does spiritualism really teach that Jesus Christ was literally birthed or born out of the person of the Father before creation of this earth, signifying that there was a time in which Jesus was not in existence, and His birth was how He became the Son of God?
"Son of God, First-Born...the Second Logos or Higher Self,--the first emanation from the Father, the Absolute, or the First Logos." Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths, by G.A. Gaskell, p 702 (this dictionary uses the philosophic sacredly held writings of all religions such as Zoroaster, Philo, Swedenborg, Buddah, Hermes, the Qabbalah, etc., in order to derive the definitions--hence the definitions given are mystical and spiritualistic).
"The eternal Birth or generation of the Son or Divine Word....
"From our proper Source, that is to say, from the Father and all that which lives in Him, there shines,' says Ruysbroeck, 'an eternal Ray, the which is the Birth of the Son....We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne..." Mysticism, p 146, by E. Underhill, quoted in Dictionary, p 702.
This Godhead teaching has nothing to do with Bible truth; its foundation is the spiritualistic mystery religion of ancient Babylon! This spiritualistic belief, that there is only one God and that He existed alone before all things--including Jesus, would lead you into the pantheistic belief that God just subdivided Himself, His essence or His divine substance, into different parts; such as a Son, or a Holy Spirit. Thus God would be the continuous source and sustainer of all these parts of His, because He would be in all these parts. This is exactly the pantheistic belief of the Trinity--one God divided into three parts; one true God birthing out of Himself others! This belief is nothing more than pure pantheism and spiritualism!
"Holy is God, whose will is performed and accomplished by His own powers which He hath given birth to out of Himself." Hermes quoted by Hall, p XL.
"The terms Father, Son, and Spirit are but symbols which stand for three manifestations of God...God goes forth from Himself in the eternal Son, returning to Himself in the Eternal Spirit." Dictionary, p 770.
"The Father uttered himself and all creatures in the Word, his Son, and the return of the Father into himself includes the like return of all creatures into the same Eternal Source. The logical genesis of the Son furnishes a type of all evolution or creation; the Son is the unity of all the works of God....God is in all things, and God is all things." Dictionary, p 770.
"'...[God] can unfold His essence in a variety of existences, which, while they are His creatures as to their origin, are parts of His essence as to their contents." Dictionary, p 317.
Does spiritualism really teach that the Holy Spirit is not a separate Being or Person other than the Father or the Son, and that He is not the third Being or Person of the Godhead, but is referred to as being something else, such as the breath, or life, or light, or power, of God, or the combination of Father and Son together?
"Put thy trust in the Divine Breath--the Holy Spirit--which is the functioning of the Absolute [God] upon the buddhic plane." Dictionary, p 816.
"The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Godhead--the infinite source of all. It is the Breath of Atman,--the infinite power of God. It is not separate from, but operative through the Christ--the Higher Self." Dictionary, p 366.
"Medieval theology generally distinguished...the Holy Ghost [as] being the copula [or union] between the Father and the Son." Dictionary, p 770.
"The difference between the Father and the Son is this--'The Father' is to express God-hidden, 'The Son' is God-manifest, and the 'Holy Ghost' is the knowledge of the Spirit of truth, proceeding from the experience of both..." Dictionary, p 770.
"In the heart of the Trinity [or One God] the Creator laughs and gives birth to the child. The child laughs back at the Creator and together they give birth to the Spirit." Meister Eckhart quoted in The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, p 218-19, by Matthew Fox.
"I [Father of All Things] order you [Son of Light] to go forth, to become as a guide to those who wander in darkness, that all men within whom dwells the spirit of My Mind (The Universal Mind) may be saved by My Mind in you, which shall call forth My Mind in them....for I am the Mind of the Mysteries...'" Hermes, quoted by Hall, p XL.
The doctrine that there is only one God--the Father, and that He existed alone until He gave birth from Himself to the Son of God--Jesus Christ, and that together they make up the non-person of the Holy Spirit, making the Godhead to be two and not three Persons, is solely a satanic doctrine of spiritualism whose foundation goes all the way back to ancient Babylon! And those who continue to advocate or believe this spiritualistic Godhead doctrine are not followers of the truth of the God of heaven, but are followers of the lies of the false god of this earth--Satan!
What then is the truth about the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit--the members of the Godhead? This subject is larger than what will fit into this booklet. So we have placed the inspired statements dealing with each of the three Beings of the Godhead into one booklet entitled "The Godhead: One, Two, or Three Gods." This important booklet can be obtained by writing to the address given in the front of this booklet.
B. FANATICISM STATES: God only has the attributes of love and mercy, but will never kill the wicked at any time--including during the 7 last plagues, and after the 1000 years in the lake of fire.
While no one will ever be able to exhaust the issue of God's great love for us in sending His Son to save mankind from destruction, yet it is fanatical to state and believe this erroneous doctrine which makes God out to be a liar who will not do what He clearly states He will do to those who choose to spurn His immense love and continue in sin!
The advocates of "God does not kill" state that all the judgments of God--like the flood, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc., was not from God at all but was through the power of Satan. This same error was advocated three times before in history; once during the time of Noah, once during the time of Moses, and the other in Christ's time, and terrible were the results of those who believed it.
In Noah's period of history:
"...they finally declared that the divine law was no longer in force; that it was contrary to the character of God to punish transgression; and they denied that his judgments were to be visited upon the earth....but their minds had become so blinded by rejection of light that they really believed Noah's message to be delusion.
"It was not multitudes or majorities that were on the side of right....'The threatenings of God,' they said, 'are for the purpose of intimidating, and will never be verified. You need not be alarmed. Such an event as the destruction of the world by the God who made it, and the punishment of the beings He has created, will never take place....
"Love, no less than justice, demanded that God's judgments should put a check on sin. The avenging waters swept over the last retreat, and the despisers of God perished in the black depths....
"'By the word of God...the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men' 2 Peter 3:5-7. Another storm is coming. The earth will again be swept by the desolating wrath of God, and sin and sinners will be destroyed....The God of nature, the maker and controller of her laws, can use the works of His hands to serve His own purpose." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 96-103.
During Moses's period and history:
"...Korah and his companions rejected light until they became so blinded that the most striking manifestations of His (God's) power were not sufficient to convince them; they attributed them all to human or satanic agency. The same thing was done by the people, who the day after the destruction of Korah and his company came to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'Ye have killed the people of the Lord'....They dared to attribute His (God's) judgments to Satan, declaring that through the power of the evil one, Moses and Aaron had caused the death of good and holy men. It was this act that sealed their doom. They had committed the sin against the Holy Spirit..." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 405.
And during Christ's period and history:
"They attributed to satanic agencies the holy power of God...Thus the Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Stubborn, sullen, iron-hearted, they determined to close their eyes to all evidence, and thus they committed the unpardonable sin." Review and Herald, January 18, 1898 (vol 3, p 535, col 3) (see also Desire of Ages, p 321; Great Controversy, p 543).
One of the major stumbling blocks to those who believe that God does not kill, is that they will not take the word of God just as it reads. When the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy states plainly that God does kill in strict justice, they reason that it doesn't mean that at all. They claim that it means just exactly the opposite, and state that Satan was really the one who killed the people. Thus the Bible is made out to be a bunch of lies, which in turn makes God a liar because He is the author of the Bible. They are truly snared in Satan's trap; yet they think that they are upholding God's true character, and proclaiming the message that will obtain salvation to all who believe and teach it to others--and what a masterful deception they are under.
"Satan is a cunning worker, and he will bring in subtle fallacies to darken and confuse the mind and root out the doctrines of salvation. Those who do not accept the Word of God just as it reads, will be snared in his (Satan's) trap." Selected Messages, book 2, p 52 (see also Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 417; Review and Herald, June 28, 1906 (vol 5, p 251, col 3)).
It will only be those who believe and take the Word of God just as it reads--putting aside their own fallible and erring human reasoning and wisdom and stand firmly upon a plain "thus saith the Lord," who will be saved from being snared in Satan's trap. And what does God--not Satan--plainly state?
"See now that I (God) even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand...I will render vengeance to mine enemies..." Deuteronomy 32:39-41.
This is just one of the many scriptural passages dealing with destruction coming directly through God's power. And yes, there are a few scriptural passages which state that "God killed them," when it was not God at all; but what needs to be understood is that when a situation arose in which there was no clear reason or knowledge as to why the death occurred, it was stated that God did it, because they had no other answer. In these instances, God Himself does not state that He was responsible for the death, yet it was written that He was responsible. But these few passages can in no way be the rule of interpretation for every other Scripture dealing with God killing the wicked--especially when God Himself states that He did or will kill! Can God lie? Then who is there that is foolish enough to say that God did not or will not do what He Himself states?
What does God--not Satan--plainly state through the Testimonies?
"The men (10 spies) that brought up an evil report of the promised land died by the plague, while Caleb and Joshua lived...the Lord thus manifested His power to slay and to keep alive..." Pamphlets, vol 2, p 227.
This is just one of the many testimonies dealing with destruction coming directly through God's power. But some might quote the testimony which states:
"God destroys no man. Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself." Christ's Object Lessons, p 84.
This statement is true, and understood in the same context of what Sister White was writing about, is in perfect harmony with the testimony above about the spies. God arbitrarily destroys no one, nor will He lead or force anyone into the path of unrighteousness. So "everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself" because they themselves willingly chose to follow in the paths that led to destruction. They chose to be destroyed and received the end result of what they had sown, but God did not force them into that downward path of destruction. Hence, "God destroys no man."
This is the context of which Sister White was writing in this testimony, and for anyone to use this Testimony to try and teach that God will not destroy anyone, under any conditions--even when He Himself states that He will--is but wresting and twisting the Scriptures and the Testimonies to their destruction; and not only their destruction, but the destruction of all those who follow this erroneous teaching.
Also the perfect harmony that exists, and is to be held up, between one scripture and testimony with every other scripture and testimony is obliterated by their misinterpretation, because it is made to appear that one text or testimony really contradicts and says something entirely different than others! Thus people are led to believe that the Bible has error in it and cannot be the guide of life, and Sister White is not the messenger of God because she wrote two different things about the same issue. Oh, what a harvest of wickedness and corruption these people will reap if they continue to believe and teach such twisted and false theories originating from Satan himself!
"In the destruction of the old world by a flood of waters, God gave evidence that men had exceeded the bounds prescribed through His long-sufferance. And whenever a people, with a 'thus saith the Lord' to guide them, presume upon His mercy, and go decidedly counter to His will, despising all His warnings, they finally exceed the limits of grace. Then God interferes and vindicates the honor of His law. He represses the increase of unrighteousness, by blotting out the race who became indifferent to His law which had been made known to the inhabitants of the Noatic [world]. Thus the Lord reveals to the whole human family that it is possible to go so far in sin and disgraceful transgression of His law, that it becomes necessary for Him to limit human life, and interpose in His wrath to prevent their spoiling one another in continual disobedience and defiance of His law....
"We have now reached a time when souls must be saved from becoming completely deceived by falsehoods in the lips of Satan's followers. Long has God's law been made void. The necessity of divine interference will soon be manifest. Incorrect conceptions of our God have been formed by many who ought to have known better, and would have known better had they heeded the warnings that God has given....
"May the Lord give me grace to conclude this matter, is my prayer, in order that some souls shall refuse to be spoiled through the various turnings and twistings of falsehood." Manuscript 35, 1906 (Manuscript Release #1511, p 2, 5-6).
Satan has truly snared these people in His trap to the loss of their souls, because to believe that God does not kill and that His wrath will not be poured out upon the wicked, means that they do not believe in the real third angel's message--nor are they preaching or teaching this precious message to others. Why? Because it plainly states:
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Revelation 14:9-11.
This did not say "the wrath of Satan," but "the wrath of God." What is God's wrath that will be poured out without mixture upon the unrepentant sinner? The 7 last plagues!
"Seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God...seven golden vials full of the wrath of God." Revelation 15:1, 7.
Revelation 16 tells of these plagues (see also Early Writings, p 64-65). And can anyone who knowingly refuses to believe in or teach the third angel's message in its fullness be saved? No! They will receive the mark of the beast, and reap eternal death!
These people are not working for the up-building of God's kingdom, but are really the enemies of God, working for its destruction! We plainly write these things in all sincerity--not with a heart to try and tear up our erring brethren, but with a heart of compassion and yearning to see them awaken before it is too late. But God's true character will not be compromised with this lie of the devil and his followers.
"The character of God will not be compromised. Under the wrath of God, universal desolation will soon reach all parts of the known world....Those who in mind and heart are turning away from the Lord's special work for this time, those who do not co-operate with him in establishing souls in the faith by leading them to heed His words of warning, are doing the work of the enemy of Christ." Review and Herald, November 27, 1900 (vol 4, p 241, col 2-3).
The question that now needs to be clarified is--when does God destroy?
"God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner, and if the Spirit's work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God; and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserve power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. 'Let him alone,' is the divine command. Then 'there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 405.
God punishes and kills the wicked only after their probation is past, and there is no possible way that they will ever come back to him. Oh, what a merciful and loving God we serve!
"The love of a holy God is an amazing principle, which can stir the universe in our behalf during the hours of our probation and trial. But after the season of our probation, if we are found transgressors of God's law, the God of love will be found a minister of vengeance. God makes no compromise with sin. The disobedient will be punished. The wrath of God fell upon His beloved Son as Christ hung upon the cross of calvary in the transgressor's place. The love of God now reaches out to embrace the lowest, vilest sinner that will come to Christ with contrition. It reaches out to transform the sinner into an obedient, faithful child of God; but not a soul can be saved if he continues in sin.
"Sin is the transgression of the law, and the arm that is now mighty to save will be strong to punish when the transgressor passes the bounds that limit divine forbearance. He who refuses to seek for life, who will not search the Scriptures to see what is truth, lest he should be condemned in his practices, will be left to blindness of mind and the deceptions of Satan." Selected Messages, book 1, p 313.
These "God does not kill" advocates will only acknowledge that God has the attributes of love and mercy, while they ignore and reason away the other attributes of God, like justice and wrath. They dwell only upon the attribute of the love of God toward the sinner, and His justice against sin is entirely kept out of the picture--the same as those who teach and spread spiritualism! (see Great Controversy, p 558).
They quote Sister White in stating that, "God does not stand against the sinner as an executioner" (see Great Controversy, p 36). So they reason that God will never destroy anyone. God does not stand against the sinner as one who just waits, as is pictured of an medieval executioner, for someone to kill. Yet God will execute and carry out the punishments that have been determined upon those who have spurned His love, and exhausted all the efforts made to save themselves from destruction!
"In no kingdom or government is it left to the lawbreakers to say what punishment is to be executed against those who have broken the law. All we have, all the bounties of His grace which we possess, we owe to God. The aggravating character of sin against such a God cannot be estimated any more than the heavens can be measured with a span. God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver. He makes and executes His laws. Law that has no penalty is of no force." Manuscript 5, 1876 (Manuscript Release #963, p 2).
These advocates also quote the sixth commandment; "Thou shalt not kill," and state that God will not kill anyone, under any conditions, because He will not break His own commandment. The Hebrew word for "kill" translates "to murder" (Strong's Concordance #7523), and "murder" means "to kill unlawfully and with malice" (see Webster's New World Dictionary). God will not murder anyone, but He will in strict justice, lawfully and without the least bit of malice, kill and destroy determined sinners after their period of probation is forever closed!
But to some, no matter how many conclusive statements are given showing that they hold to a false doctrine, they will continue to hide behind this refuge of lies that God does not kill, or will at any point, destroy the wicked. Yet, no matter how strongly these advocates believe this erroneous doctrine, God does have a point in which His mercy will no longer shield the wicked from His justified wrath!
"Men are prone to abuse the long-suffering of God, and to presume on His forbearance. But there is a point in human iniquity when it is time for God to interfere; and terrible are the issues. 'The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked' (Nahum 1:3). The long-suffering of God is wonderful, because He puts constraint on His own attributes; but punishment is nonetheless certain. Every century of profligacy has treasured up wrath against the day of wrath; and when the time comes, and the iniquity full, then God will do His strange work. It will be found a terrible thing to have worn out the divine patience, for the wrath of God will fall so signally and strongly that it is represented as being unmixed with mercy; and the very earth will be desolated." Selected Messages, book 2, p 372-73.
Who will take the word of God just as it reads and escape from the snare of the devil, and refuse to hide behind the refuge of lies that God does not kill? Who will give up this spiritualistic darkness and error and stand in the light of God's revealed word?
"The world is soon to be left by the angel of mercy, and the seven last plagues are to be poured out...God still holds out to the souls of men the precious privilege of exchanging darkness for light, error for truth, sin for righteousness. But God's patience and mercy will not always wait. Let not one soul think that he can hide from God's wrath behind a lie; for God will strip from the soul the refuge of lies. The bolts of God's wrath are soon to fall, and when He shall begin to punish the transgressors, there will be no period of respite until the end. The storm of God's wrath is gathering, and those only will stand who are sanctified through the truth in the love of God." Testimonies to Ministers, p 182.
"As they reasoned in Noah's day they reason today, when the warning message is proclaimed to fear God and keep His commandments. The wrath of God is soon to fall on all the sinful and disobedient, and they will perish in the general conflagration. Professed servants of Christ who are unfaithful, who do not reverence God and with fear prepare for the terrible future event, will lull themselves to carnal security with their fallacious reasoning, as they did in Noah's day. 'God is too good and too merciful [they reason] to save just a few...This, they reason, is not in accordance with God....
"God's love is represented in our day as being of such a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner. Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice. 'Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself' (Ps 50:21). They measure God by themselves. They reason as to how they would act under the circumstances and decide God would do as they imagine they would do.
"God's goodness and long forbearance, His patience and mercy exercised to His subjects, will not hinder Him from punishing the sinner who refused to be obedient to His requirements. It is not for man--a criminal against God's Holy law...to dictate to God. After all this effort on the part of God to preserve the sacred and exalted character of His law, if men, through the sophistry of the devil, turn the mercy and condescension of God into a curse, they must suffer the penalty....
"The plea may be made that a loving father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before His fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.
"Who will say God will not do what He says He will do? Let God be true and every man a liar. The Lord is coming in flaming fire to take vengeance on those sinners who know not God and obey not His gospel." Manuscript #5, 1876 (see Manuscript Release #963, p 1-3).
For those who would like more information on this issue, especially dealing with the true characteristics of our Heavenly Father, please write for the booklet: The Character of Our Father.
We sincerely hope and pray that those who believe this great error of "God does not kill" will awake, give up this delusive teaching (that the power of God manifested in destruction of determined sinners was really the power of Satan) and stand for the truth before it is too late.
"To ignore the Spirit of God, to charge it with being the spirit of the devil, placed them in a position where God had no power to reach their souls. No power in any of God's provisions to correct the erring can reach them." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1092, col 2.
C. FANATICISM STATES: God requires all of His people, regardless of language, to pronounce the "sacred name" for God in Hebrew, or they will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads and be saved.
This fanaticism is based upon a misunderstanding and twisting of the following biblical texts dealing with the seal of God being written in the foreheads of all who are saved (Revelation 3:12, 7:3, 14:1). The advocates of the sacred name have clearly wrested and confused what the meaning of the name of God being written in our foreheads is. It is not by literally saying God's Hebrew name that it becomes written in our foreheads. But it is by revealing God's character in our own life, obeying His will and keeping His commandments, that His name or character is imprinted or sealed in our foreheads or minds.
"The only hope of any man lies through Jesus Christ. The pure and holy garments are not prepared to be put on by any one after he has entered the gate of the city. All who enter will have on the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the name of God will be seen in their foreheads. This name is the symbol which the apostle saw in vision, and signifies the yielding of the mind to intelligent and loyal obedience to all of God's commandments." Sons and Daughters of God, p 370.
So it is not by saying a literal name for God, in Hebrew or in any other language, that His name becomes written or sealed in our foreheads. But it is by obeying God's commandments--especially the Sabbath (see Ezekiel 20:12, 20), exemplifying His character in our own lives, having Him as the center of our thoughts, that we receive His seal or have His name written in our minds.
The high priest anciently had the words "Holiness to the Lord" inscribed in gold and placed upon his miter across the forehead (see Exodus 28:36-38). So today, God's people are not to literally have these words written across their foreheads, but must make Christ the center of all their thoughts. Thus our characters will become holiness to the Lord, and we will also be accepted of Him as His living witnesses in these last days.
"Unless the name of God is written in your forehead,--written there because God is the center of your thoughts,--you will not be meet for the inheritance in life." Counsels on Stewardship, p 46.
There is nothing sacred at all in the literal name for God itself that these fanatics tell us we must use in order to be sealed. In Exodus 6:3, the Hebrew name that is given for God (the Tetragrammaton) is written JHVH, JHWH, YHVH, or YHWH. And in Psalm 68:4 the Hebrew name of God is written JH or YH. As may be noticed, there are no vowels in these words--just consonants. Can any one pronounce these literal names for God without vowels? No. What man did was to add vowels to the consonants so that these names could be pronounced--such as Jehovah, or Yahweh, or Yahsuwah. Now if sinful man has tampered with a sacred name, is it sacred anymore? Not at all. We believe that God purposely left out vowels so that no fanaticism could be centered around the literal pronunciation of His name.
Yet these advocates state that any other name for God except in Hebrew, is heathen in origin and thus is offensive to God--including the name of Jesus. But what name did the angel of heaven use for Christ when he asked Sister White if she wanted to see Him? He stated, "Do wish to see Jesus?" (Early Writings, p 80). Did he say, "Do you wish to see Yahsuwah or Yahweh? No, he said Jesus. So if the heavenly angels used the name Jesus, then it cannot be offensive to Him for His people to use today.
God reads the hearts of all His people. And since there are over 200 languages which God Himself created long ago, then there are over 200 different pronunciations for God's name which He created, and which He answers to as long as we have a sincere heart!
What many overlook is that it is not God's literal name that is important in this issue (see Psalms 138:2), but it is character that is really the important thing. God's name is a representation of His character, and to declare His name to others is to represent Him in character--declaring Him in your life, not by literally speaking His name. Christ stated:
"I have declared unto them thy (or the Father's) name and will declare it." John 17:26.
How did Christ declare His Father's name? Did Christ go around saying, God's name is Yahweh, etc? No. Jesus declared His Father's name by revealing or manifesting the character of God in His own life (see John 17:6). And was Christ sealed? Yes (see John 6:27).
So Christ was so settled into the truth, so perfectly revealing God's character in His own life and actions, that He could not be moved from it and was sealed. Then so will God's separated Home Church people today be sealed, not by proclaiming the literal name for God, but when we become so settled in the truth, so perfectly reflecting God's character in our own lives that we cannot be moved (see SDA Bible Commentary, vol 4, p 1161, col 2, vol 7, p 970, col 1).
D. FANATICISM STATES: Once you have given your heart to God and are truly converted, that it is impossible for you to fall under temptation, or ever have to say no to temptation again; thus you are sanctified and can never sin again because God would keep you from falling and sinning. Or that once you are converted, then you are sealed, and God will keep you from ever sinning again. Or that once you have chosen to serve God, then you never have to choose again because God will keep you from sinning, and all your thoughts, actions, and impressions will be from God from that time forward.
This deceptive, but pleasingly covered, once-saved-always-saved doctrine is posing as the true righteousness by faith message of the third angel, and is deceiving many of our unwary people!
Advocates of this erroneous doctrine range from ministers to lay-people; from separated to non-separated individuals; from large Ministries to small groups operating under many different names. Yet, the basic message of once converted always converted and saved remains the same, although their ways of teaching and preaching differs. It is nothing more than "holy flesh" returned to try and deceive God's elect! And we were clearly warned of this!
"After the passing of time in 1844, we had fanaticism of every kind to meet. Testimonies of reproof were given me to bear to some holding spiritualistic theories....Among other views they held that those who were once sanctified could not sin. Their false teaching was working great harm to themselves and to others. They were gaining a spiritualistic power over those who could not see the evil of these beautifully clothed theories....The experience of the past will be repeated. In the future, Satan's superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God's people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized." Testimonies, vol 8, p 292-93.
"If those who speak so freely of perfection in the flesh, could see things in the true light, they would recoil with horror from their presumptuous ideas. In showing the fallacy of their assumptions in regard to holy flesh, the Lord is seeking to prevent men and women from putting on His words a construction which leads to pollution of body, soul, and spirit. Let this phase of doctrine be carried a little further, and it will lead to the claim that its advocates cannot sin; that since they have holy flesh, their actions are all holy. What a door of temptation would thus be opened.....
"Some who had engaged in these movements were brought to their right mind, and saw their delusion. Some had been excellent, honest people, but they thought that sanctified flesh could not sin, and thus they had been taken in Satan's trap. They had carried their strong ideas so far that they became a reproach to the precious cause of God....These things bring a reproach upon the cause of truth, and hinder the proclamation of the last message of mercy to the world." Selected Messages, book 2, p 32, 34-35.
Will God's people, while on this wicked earth, ever reach a state of holiness and sanctification in which they cannot choose to sin, never have to say no to temptation, or never have to battle self again?
"Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ....It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sin to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point at which we can reach and say, 'I have fully attained.' Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience...there will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him." Acts of the Apostles, p 560-61.
"There is no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. It is an every-day work. Says Paul, 'I die daily.' (1 Corinthians 15:31). He received a conversion daily to God. As the truth and Spirit of God revealed to him the defects of his character, he put away his wrong, died to self, and cleansed himself 'from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1). Satan is most successful when he can cover up minds in kind of pious sanctified consecration which has no part in the sanctification brought to view in the Word of God." Upward Look, p 231.
Thus no true follower of God can ever claim to be sanctified, or proclaim that they are saved, or rest assured that they have no sin, while on this wicked earth!
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8.
"There is no one, however earnestly he may be striving to do his best, who can say, 'I have no sin.' He who would say this would be under a dangerous deception." Upward Look, p 53.
"To claim to be without sin is in itself, evidence that he who makes this claim is far from holy....The greater the distance between himself and Christ, and the more inadequate his conceptions of the divine character and requirements, the more righteous he appears in his own eyes." Great Controversy, p 473.
"Those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge the thought that they are sinless. Their lives may be irreproachable, they may be living representatives of the truth which they have accepted; but the more they discipline their minds to dwell upon the character of Christ, and the nearer they approach to His divine image, the more clearly will they discern its spotless perfection, and the more deeply will they feel their own defects.
"When persons claim that they are sanctified, they give sufficient evidence that they are far from being holy. They fail to see their own weakness and destitution. They look upon themselves as reflecting the image of Christ, because they have no true knowledge of Him. The greater the distance between them and their Saviour, the more righteous they appear in their own eyes...
"These professedly sanctified persons are not only deluding their own souls by their pretensions, but are exerting an influence to lead astray many who earnestly desire to conform to the will of God. They may be heard to reiterate again and again, 'God leads me! God teaches me! I am living without sin!' Many who come in contact with this spirit encounter a dark, mysterious something which they cannot comprehend. But it is that which is altogether unlike Christ, the only true pattern....
"There is no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. True sanctification is a daily work, continuing as long as life shall last. Those who are battling with daily temptations, overcoming their own sinful tendencies, and seeking for holiness of heart and life, make no boastful claims of holiness. They are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Sin appears to them exceedingly sinful.
"There are those claiming sanctification who make a profession of the truth, like their brethren, and it may be difficult to make a distinction between them; but the difference exists, nevertheless. The testimony of those claiming such an exalted experience will cause the sweet Spirit of Christ to withdraw from a meeting, and will leave a chilling influence upon those present, while if they were truly living without sin, their very presence would bring holy angels into the assembly, and their words would indeed be 'like apples of gold in pictures of silver' (Prov 25:11)." The Sanctified Life, p 7-10.
"We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying 'I am saved.' When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, and for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God." Selected Messages, book 1, p 314.
As it is true that no child of God will be claiming that they are sinless, or that they are sanctified, or that they are saved, yet it is still true that all of God's children must reach this state of holiness on this earth before they can be taken to heaven!
"We are to represent to the world the beauty of holiness, and we shall never enter the gates of the city of God until we perfect a Christlike character. If we with trust in God, strive for sanctification, we shall receive it." Upward Look, p 99.
May we all seek, moment by moment, to be putting away our defects in character by looking to our Pattern, examining our lives by the word and law of God, and overcoming our sins by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and not allow our feelings to be our guide!
"It is not your feelings, your emotions, that make you a child of God, but the doing of God's will." Testimonies, vol 5, p 515.
"Many make a serious mistake in their religious life by keeping the attention fixed upon their feelings and thus judging of their advancement or decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are not to look within for evidence of our acceptance with God." Testimonies, vol 5, p 199.
E. FANATICISM STATES: God requires all His people to resume the keeping of the ancient feast days of the Jewish economy. In refusing to do so, you are identified as a commandment breaker, and will lose eternal life.
This deceiving fanaticism, of keeping the ancient Hebrew feast days literally today, is sweeping many of our separated people away. What these judaizing advocates do not fully understand is that in keeping these Jewish economy feasts, they are actually denying Christ as their Messiah and Redeemer! Why? Because Christ was the Foundation and Antitype of the whole Jewish economy of sacrifices, ceremonies, feasts, etc. To resume keeping any ritual of the old type, then you are denying that the Antitype or Christ has come!
All these types of the Jewish economy pointed, as a shadow, to Christ. When He was crucified in 31 AD or "cut off" in the midst of the last week of 3 1/2 years (see Daniel 9:27) after He had begun His gospel ministry, type met antitype. Thus Christ caused the sacrifice, oblation, feasts, and all the other types in the Jewish economy to cease to be literally kept and performed.
These ceremonies and types were given to point forward to Christ as being the Messiah. But since Christ has already come, and type has met Antitype, these types would only possess spiritual significance, and not the command to be literally kept; they would continue pointing back to Christ, but would not bear the penalty of sin if not literally kept today. And any who advocate that God's people must literally resume keeping any of the Jewish economy's types, are actually denying that Christ has already come as the Messiah, the Antitype of all in the Jewish economy!
"Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy, which was a symbol prescribed in type for the religious faith and obedience of all people." Manuscript Release #499, p 1 (Manuscript 130, November 27, 1901).
"We have yet to learn that the whole Jewish economy is a compacted prophecy of the gospel. It is the gospel in figures..." Manuscript Release #313, p 1 (Manuscript 130, November 23, 1897).
"They (Jews) did not realize that type met antitype in the death of Jesus Christ....they could not see the perfect fulfillment of the Jewish economy, instituted and established by Christ and pointing to Him as the substance" Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 398.
Christ realized He was the antitype of the Jewish feasts, etc., and during His ministry, He did not keep many of the feasts (see Desire of Ages, p 450). Yet Christ was not a commandment breaker, He was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). And since Christ is our Pattern and Example in the ways of righteousness, then neither will any of God's true people today be considered by God as a commandment-breaker if they do not keep the feasts days!
Yet, some feast day advocates try to link the feast day sabbaths with the seventh-day Sabbath, stating that since we are still commanded to keep holy the seventh-day Sabbath, then we are also to keep holy the feast day sabbaths. But in comparing the two, there is little similarity.
The seventh-day Sabbath originated in Eden before sin as part of God's immutable law, and always occurred on the seventh day. While the feast day sabbaths originated after sin as part of the ceremonial law, and could take place on any day of the week. The seventh-day Sabbath was written on stone by God's own finger. While the feast day sabbaths were written on cloth, or paper, or skin, by Moses' finger. The seventh-day Sabbath, along with the 9 other commandments, was placed in the ark directly underneath the mercy seat and God's shekinah glory and presence above (see Exodus 30:5, 40:20), signifying that they were to be enforced permanently and were unchanging. While the feast day sabbaths were placed in the side of the ark (see Deuteronomy 31:26), signifying that they were to be enforced only temporarily until their purpose was accomplished. On the seventh-day Sabbath no cooking was to be done, but all food was to be prepared and cooked on the sixth day or the preparation day (see Exodus 16:33). While on the feast day sabbaths you could prepare and cook your food (see Exodus 12:14-20). And on the seventh-day Sabbath, no work could be done--not even sticks were to be gathered for the preparation of food (see Numbers 15:32-36). While on the feast day sabbaths work could be done in gathering various tree branches (during the feasts of tabernacles) in order to build booths for shelters (see Leviticus 23:39-42).
So there is a clear difference between God's unchanging 4th commandment to keep holy the seventh-day Sabbath, and the temporary types and shadowy feast day sabbaths of the ceremonial law. The seventh-day Sabbath was never a type or shadow (see Patriarchs and Prophets, p 48), and was not nailed to the cross (see Early Writings, p 33). But the feast day sabbaths, as well as all the other types of the Jewish economy were a shadow and were nailed to the cross (see Colossians 2:16).
But some will declare that Paul stated, "Let us keep the feast" (1 Corinthians 5:8). But how did Paul state to keep it? Literally or spiritually? It was not to be kept literally because he continues, "Neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
They then state that Sister White wrote that it would be well for the people of God at the present time to have a feast of tabernacles (see Patriarchs and Prophets, p 540). But was she advocating a literal keeping of this feast day? No. The whole context of the testimony is not that we should resume keeping the ancient feasts literally, but was centered around the great benefit which the children of Israel received by associating together during these feasts. She states:
"We sustain loss when we neglect the privilege of associating together to strengthen and encourage one another in the service of God and we decline in spirituality." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 540-41.
Sister White did not advocate keeping the feast days literally, but advocated that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together on days other than just the Sabbath day so that we would receive the same blessings which God's ancient people received when they associated together. That is why she states that the holy convocations which God's people are to attend today are not the literal convocations or feast days of ancient Israel, but are camp-meetings (see Testimonies, vol 6, p 38-40). So the gathering together of God's separated Home Church people at camp-meetings is the antitype of the gathering of God's ancient separated people at the feast days!
In Paul's day judaizing separated brethren were saying that all of God's people must still keep the ancient types and be circumcised in order to be God's children (see Acts 15:24). These fanatics had plenty of Old Testament proof to back them up, but they were nevertheless wrong and were denying Christ as the Messiah or the Antitype. And today, there are still judaizing separated brethren urging God's people to keep the ancient types, though they are not urging the type of circumcision but the type of feast days in order to be God's children. Even though these fanatics have plenty of Old Testament proof to back them up, yet they are nevertheless wrong, and are denying Christ as the Messiah or the Antitype.
"There were those in Paul's day who were constantly dwelling upon circumcision, and they could bring plenty of proof from the Bible to show it's obligation on the Jews; but this teaching was of no consequence at this time; for Christ had died upon Calvary's cross, and circumcision in the flesh could not be of any further value. The typical service and the ceremonies connected with it were abolished at the cross. The great anti-typical Lamb of God had become an offering for guilty man, and the shadow ceased in the substance. Paul was seeking to bring the minds of men to the great truth for the time; but these who claimed to be followers of Jesus were wholly absorbed in teaching the tradition of the Jews and the obligation of circumcision." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 6, p 1061, col 2.
And we can say to these modern judaizing feast day people the exact same words that Paul told the judaizing circumcision people in his day; that as long as you keep the ancient types and ceremonies, "Christ shall profit you nothing" (Galatians 5:20).
"Judaizing teachers were opposing the work of the Apostle (Paul), and seeking to destroy the fruit of his labors....
"Thus the emissaries of Judaism succeeded in alienating many of the Christian converts from their teacher in the gospel. Having gained this point, they induced them to return to the observance of the ceremonial law as essential to salvation....Christ, the true foundation, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism." Sketches from the Life of Paul, p 188-90.
So if any one today keeps the feasts, Christ shall profit you nothing. Not only this, but your spiritual exercises are an affront and insult to God!
"...Christ discharged His disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue; for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all Jewish ordinances...
"It was Christ's desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed--that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1139-40.
We are in captivity and strangers in this world until Christ comes to free us, take us to heaven, and give us the new earth after the wicked are forever destroyed by the cleansing fire of God. Anciently, the Jews could not keep the feasts while under captivity, but resumed keeping them after they were freed and in their promised land. The same today!
"During the captivity of the Jews, they (feast days) could not be observed; but when the people were restored to their own land, the observance of these memorials was once more begun." Desire of Ages, p 447.
Also, none of the Jewish feasts were concurrent, but occurred in their own time and place. Since we are in the antypical day of atonement, there can be no other feasts held until this time is ended. To keep any other feasts during this antitypical day of atonement is to deny that Christ is in the Most Holy Place atoning for our sins!
We urge each one of our separated people not to be held in bondage to any of the types in the Jews religion, and thus continue to hinder the gospel of Christ from spreading. But to be free in Jesus Christ--the Antitype--and work to spread the true gospel and hasten the coming of our Saviour that we may go home!
"Some in the church were still striving to mold Christianity after the old customs and ceremonies that were to pass away at the death of Christ....They saw that they had been held in bondage by the Jewish customs and traditions, and that the work of the gospel had been greatly hindered..." Sketches from the Life of Paul, p 211.
F. FANATICISM STATES: The time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation have a modern or future application.
Most of these modern time theories involve the reapplication of the fulfilled time prophecies found in Daniel and Revelation--specifically the 1260, the 1290, the 1335, and even the 2300 years. Modern time setting advocates claim that the prophetic time sequence of the above prophecies are no longer to be counted in years, but now in days. And thus a multitude of conflicting, confusing, and ever changing time sequence theories have been developed and urged upon God's separated Home Church people.
Usually connected with these modern reapplication of definite prophetic time are various events which are prophesied to occur before Jesus comes. And there seems to be an unending interest and zeal to come up with some theory or chart that pin points the day, or week, or month, or year, or event for a whole list of things to occur. From earthquakes and disasters; to when the Jubilee occurs; to the closing of probation upon different groups. From when the falling of the latter rain commences; or when the judgment changes from the dead to the living; or when the voice of God delivers the saints; to the day, month, or year for the coming of Jesus; etc.
Neither the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy clearly back up any of these modern time theories that have already been developed or will ever be developed. But God's word clearly condemns all such theories as being false doctrines and fanaticism!
From October 22, 1844 and onward, no one will be able to predict, nor in any way to figure out the time or date (day, month, or year) for (1) when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurs; or (2) when the judgment of the dead changes to the judgment of the living; or (3) when the message of present truth shall finish; or (4) when probation closes upon the church or the world! Nor can anyone say (5) that the coming of Christ cannot take place for 1, 2, 5, or more years into the future. Hence, (6) there is to be no time proclamation--prophetic or literal reapplication--in a message from God since 1844. And anyone who is found preaching time (prophetic or literal) for any of the above mentioned events, is a false prophet (see Testimonies, vol 4, p 307-08); is directly involved in fanaticism (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 84), and is doing the work of Satan to bring confusion and darkness into the camp of God's separated Home Church people (see Early Writings, p 75)! And we duly warn all of God's true people to (7) beware of any such modern time message, for (8) there will not be any message from God which is based on time since 1844, because time will never be a test again!
--1. "Should we advance in spiritual knowledge, we would see the truth developing and expanding in lines of which we have little dreamed, but it will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power. Again and again have I been warned in regard to time setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time...for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit..." Selected Messages, book 1, p 188.
"I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place--when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world..." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 984, col 2.
--2. "The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living." Great Controversy, p 490.
--3. "The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, but it must not be hung on time. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time; but the third angel's message is stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation and needs not time to strengthen it; and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness." Early Writings, p 75.
"God has not revealed to us the time when this message (third angel's) will close...Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty." Review and Herald, October 9, 1894 (vol 3, p 191-92).
--4. "When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly--at a time when we are least expecting it." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 989.
"Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting....
"But there is no command for anyone to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 989-90.
"I plainly stated...to these fanatical parties that they were doing the work of the adversary of souls; they were in darkness. They claimed to have great light that probation would close in October, 1884.
"I there stated in public that the Lord had been pleased to show me that there would be no definite time in the message given of God since 1844; and that I knew that this message, which four or five were engaged in advocating with great zeal, was heresy." Selected Messages, book 2, p 73.
--5. "It is not in the providence of God that any finite man, shall, by any device or reckoning that he may make of figures, or of symbols, or of types, know with any definiteness in regard to the very period of the Lord's coming." Manuscript 8, 1891.
"His (Christ's) followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord; but no one will be able to predict just when that time will come; for 'of that day and hour knoweth no man.' You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years." Evangelism, p 221.
"These persons seemed sure that they were led by God, and they have come with their different theories to ministers who were preaching the truth. I said to these ministers, 'The Lord is not in this; be not deceived, neither take the responsibility of deceiving others.'...With pen and voice I have borne the message, 'Go ye not after them.'...The word of the Lord to me was, 'This is not truth, but will lead into strange paths, and some will become confused over this representation, and will give up the faith.'...
"No one has a true message fixing the time when Christ is to come or not to come. Be assured that God gives no one authority to say that Christ delays His coming five years, ten years, or twenty years. 'Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh' (Matthew 24:44). This is our message, the very message that the three angels flying in the midst of heaven are proclaiming. The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world." Selected Messages, book 2, p 113-14.
(NOTE: if we reapply the timed prophecies of 1260, or 1290, or 1335, or 2300 years and state that it represents days and place it in the future, then we would be putting off Christ's second coming for 3 1/2 years or more into the future! Thus we would be showing that we are not a true follower of God, but a slothful servant and fanatic!)
"We are near the end, but if you or any other man shall be seduced by the enemy, and led on to set the time for Christ's coming, he will be doing the same evil work which has wrought the ruin of the souls of those who have done it in the past....But anyone who shall start up to proclaim a message to announce the hour, day, or year of Christ's appearing has taken up a yoke and is proclaiming a message that the Lord has never given him." Testimonies to Ministers, p 60-61.
--6. "...I was shown that we should not have another definite time to proclaim to the people....
"The time-setters have pronounced the curse of the Lord upon me as an unbeliever who said, my Lord delayeth His coming....Ever since 1844 I have borne my testimony that we were now in a period of time in which we are to take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that the day come upon us unawares. Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord's coming....If I have failed to make this matter plain which you wish to understand, write me again and I will endeavor to make every point as clear." Manuscript Release #816, p 5-7 (Letter 38, August 11, 1888).
"The Scripture is all true, but by misapplying the Scripture men arrive at wrong conclusions...Some will take the truth applicable to their time, and place it in the future. Events in the train of prophecy that had their fulfillment away in the past are made future, and thus by these theories the faith of some is undermined." Manuscript Releases, book 1, p 195 (Manuscript 31, November 8, 1896).
"Prophecies fulfilled have become facts of history, clearly defining our position." Review and Herald, November 29, 1881 (vol 1, p 297, col 3).
"The unfulfilled predictions of the book of Revelation are soon to be fulfilled." Notebook Leaflets, p 96.
--7. "Let all our brethren and sisters beware of anyone who would set time for the Lord to fulfill His word in regard to His coming, or in regard to any other promise He has made of special significance. 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.' False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth." Testimonies to Ministers, p 55.
--8. "The times and seasons God has put in His own power. And why has not God given us this knowledge?--Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told His disciples to 'watch,' but not for definite time." Selected Messages, book 1, p 189.
"The fanaticism which raged in years past has left its desolating effects...I saw that God tested His people upon time in 1844, but that no time which has since been set has borne the special marks of His hand. He has not tested His people upon any particular time since 1844. We have been, and still are, in the patient waiting time." Testimonies, vol 1, p 409.
"Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test." Early Writings, p 75.
"We are not of that class who define the exact period of time that shall elapse before the coming of Jesus the second time with power and great glory." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 335.
There will not be any message from God that is based on time from 1844 until our Lord's coming. Yet there is a time appointed when God will bind off His work. But when is that time?
"To you, as God's servants, has been entrusted the third angel's message, the binding off message, that is to prepare a people for the coming of our king. Time is short." Manuscript 53, June 11, 1909 (Review and Herald, November 25, 1909 (vol 5, p 561, col 1).
"The third angels message is to be sounded by God's people. It is to swell to the loud cry. The Lord has a time appointed when He will bind off the work; but when is that time? When the truth proclaimed for these last days shall go forth as a witness to all nations, then shall the end come. If the power of Satan can come into the very temple of God and manipulate things as he pleases, the time of preparation will be prolonged." Letter 83, 1896 (Publishing Ministry, p 389-90).
As there is no time message to look to, and we are to be ready now with our lamps trimmed and burning, then what is our responsibility and duty before God that we are to perform, and thus help bring this whole great controversy to an end?
"We have the truth, which in its proclamation is to bring the crisis for this world's history." Letter 94, July 3, 1900.
God's people do not have to wait for the Sunday law to pass before we can give the message. But we are to rise up and give the message now, which will bring on the crisis of the Sunday law! Satan wants God's people to sit back and do nothing; he wants us to put off spreading the truth until some future time. But we have the truth right now which in its proclamation is to bring on the crisis for this world's history. And for any one to modernly reapply any of the time prophecies of the 1260, 1290, 1335, 2300 years, or the 150 years or 391 years and 15 days of Revelation 9; or the 3 1/2 years of Revelation 11; or the times of the Gentiles of Luke 21; or the Jubilee; or any other theory having a time sequence connected to it, is deceived of the Devil and involved in fanaticism. And may our people refuse to give any ear or time to such a message, so that it may quickly die out due to lack of interest!
G. FANATICISM STATES: It is God's will that His Christian people involve themselves with political action groups to try and overthrow those working towards a New World Order. Or those who advocate that God's people must carry guns or other carnal weapons to defend themselves or their families against those favoring the New World Order.
A non-christian may feel that it is needful for them to become involved in political action groups, or to carry weapons to defend themselves, But to believe that Christians must become active in anything having to do with politics, or having anything to do with defending themselves or others with guns and other literal weapons, is against God's will and against the very idea of what it means to be a Christian!
All of God's people are likened to being ambassadors for Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors they center their interests in, and are representatives of, a heavenly kingdom of righteousness. Ambassadors from another Country never involve themselves in the political affairs of their host Nation. Then neither should any true Christian become involved in the political affairs of the Nation they reside in because they are an ambassador representing Christ and the kingdom of heaven!
"...[God's people] are not at liberty to unite in making apparent their prejudices for or against political men or measures, because by so doing they stir up the minds of others, leading each to advocate his favorite theory. There are among those professing to believe present truth some who will thus be stirred up to express their sentiments and political preferences, so that division will be brought into the church.
"The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political schemes....
"Those...who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them....Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm.....
"Those who stand as educators, as ministers, as laborers together with God in any line, have no battles to fight in the political world. Their citizenship is in heaven. The Lord calls upon them to stand as a separate and peculiar people....They are to stand as subjects of Christ's kingdom, bearing the banner on which is inscribed, 'The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.' They are to carry the burden of a special work, a special message....Christ is our Prince, and as His subjects we are to do the work appointed us by God....The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from among them and be separate." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 475, 477-79, 482.
Neither are ambassadors allowed to carry weapons for their defense, because their protection is the responsibility of their host Nation and the Nation whom they represent. Did Christ carry weapons to defend Himself? No. In fact, as a lesson to His disciples and especially to His separated followers today, when Peter used the sword to defend and protect those he loved from those who were working for a New Order in their day, Christ told Peter, as well as those following his example today, that it was wrong what he was doing; that his defence and protection was from God, and all that use literal weapons to defend themselves will die (see Matthew 26:51-53).
In being followers of Christ, citizens of heaven, ambassadors of God's kingdom, spreading His messages of peace and truth, our life is in God's hands. How foolish to believe that we can take our life into our own hands and protect ourselves or our loved ones better than our all-powerful God and Saviour!
God's true separated people today have nothing to do with literal weapons for defense, because the weapons we use are not literal, but spiritual.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (literal), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
In fact, God tells us that His people will have nothing to do with literal weapons for defense--even when their enemies are coming to kill them and their loved ones; and if any weapons should fall into their hands, they will destroy them (see Ezekiel 39:1-9). Why? Because God is their Defense (Job 22:25; Psalms 7:10, 59:9, 17, 62:2, 6, 89:18, 94:22)!
If it is God's will that we and our loved ones shall die for the truth and kingdom we stand for, then it is for His glory and the furtherance of His truth that we offer ourselves a martyr for Him. But if it is not God's will that we die, then there will never be a weapon created which can kill us if God stands as our Defense!
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, nd their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:17.
"As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked; who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God's people broke and fell as powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints." Early Writings, p 285.
It is our prayer that our true separated Home Church brothers and sisters will completely avoid identifying themselves with any political issue. And that they will put their entire and complete trust in their wise and Mighty Saviour, and not have any trust in self.
"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." Romans 14:8.
H. FANATICISM STATES: That God wants His people to disregard some, if not all, of the interpretations of various major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation held by the majority of the Adventist pioneer's, and to reinterpret these major prophecies differently--thereby inferring the Adventist pioneers were misled in their interpretations in some, if not all, of these major prophecies.
Any man-made theory which reinterprets the past fulfilled major prophecies of Daniel or Revelation, in which the majority of Adventist pioneers were in agreement upon, whether these prophecies involved time or not, is not sounding a message from God!
Many declare that these fulfilled prophecies are to receive another fulfillment today, whether a primary or secondary application. Others are zealous in advocating that the seals and trumpets of past history are to be applied or reapplied to more modern times. Others are busy reapplying the past fulfilled prophecies of Daniel to more modern times. Thus, confusion spreads far and wide because there are hardly two such advocates of these theories which agree with each other!
The majority of Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White, as well as the majority of the principle men in the Millerite movement, held to the belief that all of the time prophecies of Daniel--including Daniel 12--were all completed by the year 1844, and that none were to be reapplied or to take place after 1844. And the majority of the Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White--held that all the time prophecies of Revelation, except the 1000 year millennium after Christ's second coming, were all completed by the year 1844, and that none were to be reapplied or to take place after 1844. They also held that the first 4 seals, as well as the first 6 trumpets, were completed prior to 1844 and would not be repeated or reapplied after 1844.
As this is true, for anyone or any Ministry to believe and preach that any of the time prophecies of Daniel or Revelation are to take place after 1844, including the fallacy of reapplying the time literally (day for day), or that the first 4 seals or first 6 trumpets are to occur after 1844, they are not "Historic Adventists" but are "Modern Adventists." And if they claim to be "Historic Adventists", they are but deceivers of the Devil trying to unsettle the established faith of God's true believers in the firm unmovable platform of eternal truth.
How naive, or outright ludicrous, to believe that Sister White could embrace the Advent messages of truth which the majority of the principle Millerite leaders held and taught regarding the above prophecies, be a part of the principle Adventist leaders in building and establishing a church upon this God-endorsed foundation of truth, and yet give testimonies in which the above prophecies were to be interpreted entirely differently or reapplied in a primary or secondary sense sometime after 1844! The only way these advocates can find a Testimony to try and support their erroneous theories is to twist and wrest it from its true setting, and thus make it contradict other Testimonies.
If the positions of prophetic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation held by the majority of Adventist pioneers were not to be believed or adhered to today, then why did God state that these writings were to be reprinted so that their interpretations could be heard?
"I long daily to be able to do double duty. I have been pleading with the Lord for strength and wisdom to reproduce the writings of the witnesses who were confirmed in the faith and in the early history of the message....
"When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth....And the standard bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.
"We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years....
"We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit." Selected Messages, book 1, p 160-62 (see also Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 52-54).
The truths established by the Adventist pioneers are the truths which God's people are to believe and teach today because they were given under the demonstration of God's power and the Holy Spirit. And anyone who tries to change or contradict even one of these established truths are not truly converted to God, but are seeking to exalt themselves and lead unwary souls into confusion, delusion, and error. God's true people are not to receive any message which contradicts the established truth of the body of Christ--no matter who brings these deceptive interpretations to us. If those who bring these deceptive doctrines are ministers or Ministries, then God's true people should refuse them the pulpit and not send them money until they give up these errors and preach only the established truths which God has already endorsed.
God's people must know for themselves what are these established truths and faith of God's church. They cannot rely upon anyone else to believe for them or to tell them what to believe. If we rely upon a man or Ministry to tell us what to believe, then we are cursed (Jeremiah 17:5) to wander in the innumerable windy and unstable pathways of doctrines from devils. Thus our anchor will not be firmly planted upon the truth or Rock--Christ Jesus, but will be rooted upon the deceptive and ever changing fanaticisms and false doctrines created by the sleight of men.
"Satan is moving with intensity from beneath and is bringing all his forces to bear to unsettle those who have once been established in the truth....Quite a large number will enter this path...Satan goes before them as an angel of light. They will follow on in false paths until they shall discern what is comprehended in the wrath of the Lamb." Manuscript Releases, vol 10, p 172 (Letter 98a, April 9, 1897).
God does not give one man new light which contradicts, or is contrary to, the already established faith of the body (see Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 45-46). This would only produce confusion and disunity--especially among God's ministers and workers. But God is working towards bringing all His people into the unity of the true faith established by the majority of the pioneers and attested to by God Himself so that we all--especially ministers--may speak the same truths (see 1 Corinthians 1:10; Titus 2:1; Ephesians 4:11-13; Manuscript Releases, vol 3, p 193).
But if we imbibe Satan's deceiving mixture we would be kept from being established in the true faith, and will find ourselves engrossed in side-issues which will keep us from believing and preaching the only messages that will bring Christ's second coming and the ending of sin--the 3 angel's messages (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 320; Testimonies to Ministers, p 229; Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 47; Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 123). And the historical pioneer interpretations of the major prophecies found in Daniel and Revelation are inseparable from these 3 angel's messages; the one cannot be separated from the other without compromising our faith.
Ministers especially should be united in preaching and establishing our people only in the 3 angel's messages and the historic doctrines. If these messages were good enough to take us into heaven in the past if they had only been preached like they should have been (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 291; Evangelism, p 695; Testimonies, vol 8, p 115-16, vol 6, p 450; Selected Messages, book 1, p 68), then they are still necessary messages for heaven today! But if Satan can get the ministers devoting their time and energies in side-issues and false doctrines, then the devil has a wide open door to devour the sheep (see Signs of the Times, January 3, 1884 (vol 1, p 401)).
We are definitely in the last scenes of this earth's history, and Satan is working with all his deceptive powers to lead God's true people off the firm platform of truth that he may secure them in his crafty snares of imaginary truth and bring them down to destruction (see Review and Herald, January 22, 1901 (vol 4, p 257, col 3)). The times in which we live are tremendously dangerous to our spirituality, and thus we should be wide awake and guarding all the avenues which Satan may try to trap us. Well do these following words describe our times:
"I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps--the first, second, and third angels' messages. Said my accompanying angel, 'Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.' I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. I saw individuals approach the platform and examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the foundation. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform to examine it and declared it to be laid wrong. But I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform and exhorted those who had stepped off to cease their complaints; for God was the Master Builder, and they were fighting against Him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union raised their eyes to heaven and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained and left the platform, and they with humble look again stepped upon it." Early Writings, p 258-59.
It is with a sincere prayer and entreaty that those who have stepped off this firm established platform of truth, by believing or teaching something different than what the majority of the pioneers held, will realize that they are not just fighting against the pioneers, but are fighting against God Himself! We pray that this reality will burst upon their understanding, and that they will quickly come back upon the firm platform in union and harmony with God's true people. Time is too short to risk eternal life by clinging to our own pet theories. There is only ONE line of truth which extends to the heavenly kingdom--the same line of truth which God and His Holy Spirit already endorsed and which the pioneers, including Ellen White--believed and taught (see Selected Messages, book 1, p 206-07; Testimonies, vol 6, p 17; Prophets and Kings, p 252). Anything out of this line of truth "will lead to confusion." Manuscript Release #760, p 22 (Letter 50, January 30, 1906).
For those who desire to be "Historic Adventists" there are two excellent books written by one of the Adventist pioneers--Stephen Haskell--which clearly and thoroughly explains the "historic" beliefs and teachings which make up the established faith of the body of God's true people. One book is titled The Book of Daniel, and the other is The Book of Revelation.
May God have mercy upon us all, and grant us His Holy Spirit so that we may be able to have that heavenly eye salve and anointing, that discernment and wisdom from above, that noble courage and determination, to hold fast to the established "Historic Adventist" faith so that we may be counted worthy to escape the snares of our enemy and obtain eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ and our merciful Father.
I. FANATICISM STATES: That the Mark of the Beast of Revelation 13:16, 14:9, 11, 20:4, which is received in our hand or forehead, is a credit card, or lazar mark, or a chip implant, or National Identification Number, or some other literal thing. And that it is God's will that His people refuse to have any credit cards, or Social Security number, or any other National ID Number, etc.
What is the "Mark" of the Beast? The Greek word used for "mark" is "Charagma" (#5480 in Strong's Concordance), and it translates "stamp (as a badge of servitude), mark." So the mark of the Beast is not a literal mark, but it is a stamp or sign or seal or badge of servitude to some power or being. But what is the Mark of the Beast, and how do we receive it? In order to know this, we must know whom the Beast represents.
The Beast which is connected with this Mark refers to the Roman Catholic Church. So the Mark has to do with something connected with the papacy. As worship is the main issue listed in connection with this Beast (see Revelation 13:4, 8, 12, 15, 14:9, 11, 20:4), so the Mark of this Beast is connected with the issue of worship. Then what could this mark of Catholicism be?
"Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.
"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church." Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. "News" of March 18, 1903.
"It was the Catholic Church which...transferred this rest (Saturday as the Sabbath) to the Sunday....Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church." Monsignor Louis Segur, "Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today," p 213.
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (from Saturday to Sunday) was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and religious without her, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." Letter from H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.
So the Catholic Church changed the original day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, which is the mark or seal or sign of the Beast's authority and power! As this is true, then Saturday must be the mark or sign of authority and power to someone else! But to whom? The God of heaven states:
"Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them....And hollow My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
Saturday is the Sabbath day of the Lord God, the seventh-day which He has blessed and made holy (see Genesis 2:2-3), and which is the mark or seal or sign of His authority and power. God has chosen this memorial day of creation above all the rest for all His people to worship Him on, and He even told His people not to forget this fact, but to remember it.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hollowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.
Here we see the difference between the mark or seal or sign of God, and the mark or seal or sign of the Beast. The God of heaven states that "the seventh-day [or Saturday] is the sabbath [or worshiping day] of the Lord thy God" Exodus 20:10. But the Beast states:
"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant...changed the day from Saturday to Sunday." Catholic Mirror, September 23, 1893.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles...From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August, 1900.
"...prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says 'Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church." Priest Thomas Enright, Redemptorist Catholic College, Kansas City, Mo., lecture "Sunday in History", p 56, February 18, 1884.
So the mark or seal of the God of heaven is worshipping the Lord on Saturday--His Sabbath--according to God's fourth commandment. In doing this, it is a sign that we show that we love, serve, and worship God. While the mark or seal of the Beast is worshipping the papacy on Sunday--the day of the sun or of the Blazing Star or Lucifer, his sabbath--after it is enforced. In doing this, it is a sign that we show that we love, serve, and worship the Beast and Lucifer.
Thus the mark of the Beast is not a literal mark, not a lazar mark, not a credit card, not an implanted chip, not a National ID Number, and not a giant computer, but it is a symbolic mark! This symbolic mark will be either in the forehead--signifying mental acceptance, or that you believe Sunday is the sabbath. Or in the hand--signifying service, or that you may not necessarily believe Sunday is the sabbath, but you will go along with it anyway.
It is a fact that the papacy claims the power to change God's fourth commandment law from worshipping only on Saturday to worshipping only on Sunday as God's special Sabbath day. Thus any who know the truth, and yet chooses to worship on Sunday instead of Saturday as God's true Sabbath day, especially after it is made a law, are bowing to and worshipping the papacy instead of the God of heaven. Thus they will receive the Mark of the Beast which destines them for the seven last plagues and the lake of fire (see Revelation 14:10-11, 19:20).
For anyone to then claim that the mark of the beast is anything other than Sunday worship, is deceived and is leading souls to destruction.
J. FANATICISM STATES: God wants all His people to pray to Him through the different furniture of the sanctuary--such as the altar of sacrifice, the table of shewbread, the candlestick, etc.
Advocates of this fanaticism, called "Sanctuary Praying", state that this type of praying is to be done and repeated every time the person prays, especially when praying for others. Thus you can pray longer and receive more satisfaction in doing so.
But Christ tells all of His people that they are not to use repetitious prayers thinking that they will be heard--even if these prayers last all night! If we chose to do so then our prayers become vain, and we are no better than the heathen (see Matthew 6:7-8).
Both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy direct all of God's true separate people to send their prayers and petitions directly to Jesus in the most holy place, coming boldly to God's throne of grace to obtain mercy and help (see Hebrews 4:16; Early Writings, p 72-73). Nowhere are we commanded to direct our prayers in the outer court, or even the first apartment or the holy place. In fact, we are warned not to be found symbolically in the holy place, because Satan is the one who is represented as answering all the prayers directed to the holy place (see Early Writings, p 55-56)!
PRINCIPLES OF DOCTRINE
Many more erroneous doctrines could be mentioned. Such as: only the original writings found in the early pamphlets of sister White are to be trusted, and every testimony or published book of hers after the date of 1881 cannot be trusted.
We plainly warn all of our brothers and sisters to sleep no longer, but to be on guard and wide awake with their feet grounded upon the Rock of truth--Christ Jesus. Be sure to test every doctrine which comes to you to the law (Bible) and the testimony (Spirit of Prophecy), and if even one contradiction is discovered then "there is no light in them".
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove you own selves." 2 Corinthians 13:5.
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ...Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor...Let no corrupt communication (including false and fanatical doctrine) proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:14-15, 25.
"Let no man deceive you with vain words..." Ephesians 5:6.
VARIOUS FANATICAL AND ERRONEOUS EXTREMES IN PERSONAL LIFE
There are scores of miscellaneous fanaticisms dealing with the personal life and actions. This is an area where fanaticism may appear almost insignificant as compared with others fanaticisms--such as doctrinal. But whether the fanaticism is large or small it is still a dangerous error which must be warned against so that others may avoid it.
"That which Brother D calls light is apparently harmless; it does not look as though anyone could be injured by it. But, brethren, it is Satan's device, his entering wedge. This has been tried again and again. One accepts some new and original idea which does not seem to conflict with the truth. He talks of it and dwells upon it until it seems to him to be clothed with beauty and importance, for Satan has power to give this false appearance....
"It is opening a door through which Satan will rush in many errors to divert the mind from the importance of the truth for this time. Brethren, as an ambassador of Christ I warn you to beware of these side issues, whose tendency is to divert the mind from the truth. Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous. The enemy has great power over minds that are not thoroughly fortified by prayer and established in Bible truth." Testimonies, vol 5, p 292.
With this in mind, we protest against the following fanaticisms.
A. FANATICISM STATES: That God is sending dreams and visions for one's own personal benefit. Or those who believe and advocate that God will direct their every move through dreams and visions.
With increasing frequency, different individuals among the Separated Home Church movement are having dreams and visions, and some are relating these for possible edification of the body of Christ.
As these dreams and visions are not just isolated incidences among us but are growing in number, it behooves God's people to be on their guard for Satan will try to ruin their faith.
We are told that Satan will work his supernatural wonders to deceive if possible the very elect. So it is no great wonder that he will attempt to enter our ranks through individuals to work these deceptive marvelous wonders--and dreams and visions can be one of his deceptive tools (see Youth Instructor, September 27, 1894; Selected Messages, book 2, p 49, 95)!
But dreams and visions can also be used by God to communicate with His people. So how can we know the difference between dreams and visions from God, versus those from Satan, or just from our own mind?
"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 8:20.
"There will be false dreams and false visions, which have some truth, but lead away from the original faith. The Lord has given men a rule by which to detect them: 'To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' If they belittle the law of God, if they pay no heed to His will as revealed in the testimonies of His Spirit, they are deceivers....But while they think that they are led by the Spirit of God, they are in reality following an imagination wrought upon by Satan." Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884 (vol 1, p 420, col 3).
"Even the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart is to be tested by the Word of God." Selected Messages, book 1, p 43.
Thus all dreams and visions believed to be from God must ALWAYS be tested FIRST by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy BEFORE claiming these to be from God, and especially before leading others to believe that any instructions or directions contained in these are truth from heaven. Also it is a God-given duty that if no contradictions are discovered, that BEFORE believing the dreams or visions to be from God and spreading these around, that other brethren of experience should be allowed to examine the content of the dreams or visions to see if they can detect any contradictions which may have been missed (see Proverbs 24:6; Early Writings, p 61-63). And even if "nothing objectionable" can be found, this alone is an unsound basis for accepting these to be from God (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 93-95)!
Just one error or one contradiction in a dream or vision or prediction, dooms the one having such to be false and deceived--and all the dreams or visions, past and future, are also proved to be false, and all are to be shunned (see Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Testimonies, vol 5, p 98, 671-72, 691). Why? Because "there is NO LIGHT in them."
Time and time again we have had tapes, papers, or individuals relating dreams or visions to us which were reported and believed to be from God. Yet when we examined the content of these dreams or visions with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, contradictions were clearly seen, which proved that God was not involved. This also proved that those having these supernatural experiences, or those relating or believing such to be from God, did not do their first God-given duty to test these by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Thus the door has been left open among us for Satan to enter in through dreams and visions, and he has already taken advantage of this open door!
Some examples of this very fact are offered to clearly prove this point:
--1. In 1991 in Australia, a sister Wendy Johns was having dreams and visions in which her guardian angel was showing her future events--especially regarding major cities throughout the world being destroyed by earth-quakes, tidal waves, fires, and flying giant rocks. After being shown a particular descriptive view of the destruction of Sydney, the angel pointed her to a "graph hanging in the sky pointing to the time of this event, between 1992 and 1993."
Many Australians believed these visions and dreams to be from God, and thus put three of them into a folded one page pamphlet and distributed them throughout the country.
A brother visiting Australia in 1991, received one of these pamphlets, and none of those whom he remembers talking to about this had done their God-given duty to test these dreams and visions by the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. He told them that he did not believe these dreams to be from God because of two Bible and Spirit of Prophecy principles which were violated:
--A. There will not be any messages from God through any person that will set definite time for anything to occur from 1844 until Christ comes the second time (see Selected Messages, book 1, p 188-89; Great Controversy, p 490; Early Writings, p 75; Review and Herald, October 9, 1894 (vol 3, p 191-92); Selected Messages, book 2, p 73, 113-14; Testimonies to Ministers, p 55, 60-61; Manuscript Releases, vol 10, p 269-71; Testimonies, vol 1, p 409): yet the Wendy John's dreams gave a definite time being set for 1992-1993 for certain things to occur.
--B. No one will be able to say that Christ cannot come 1 year from now (see Evangelism, p 221): yet in 1991 the dreams put Christ's coming after the years 1992-93.
--2. For many years, the dreams and visions of Jeanine Sautron of France have been having an increasing influence among some of our people. Yet she has already proved herself to be a false prophet, and her dreams and visions are not from God.
In one of her predictions, she declared that Dukakis would be elected Head of State in the U.S.A., and "It is he who will trample upon liberty of conscience, voting the Sunday law, putting into force the mark of the beast and his number 666" (Dreams and Visions, tape 13, p 14). But Dukakis was defeated by George Bush in the Presidential elections in November, 1988, and Bush, not Dukakis, was elected as the head of the U.S.A.!
Yet, as clear a false prediction as this is, her supporters claim that since Dukakis is still alive, then there is the possibility that he, or another individual named Dukakis, can still be elected to the head of the U.S.A., bring in the Sunday law, and thus fulfill her prophecy. So they claim that Sautron's vision is not faulty, she is not proved to be a false prophet, but one who is true! But in situations like this, what does the Bible state we are to do with one whose prophecies have not yet come to pass?
"...the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak...even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:20-22.
God's word states that the prophecy of any "so-called" prophet, must first come to pass BEFORE we are to believe them to be from God! So Jeanine Sautron can only be safely termed a prophet AFTER her prophecy about Dukakis should come to pass--not before, but after! Yet naive individuals unwisely believe her to be a true prophet sent from God before her prophecy has even been proved true! But the above is only one of the areas clearly showing that there are great problems believing the unproven claim that Jeanine Sautron is a prophet sent from God!
There are other predictions and contradictions which Jeanine Sautron's dreams and visions bare out to be false when compared with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Such as; Jeanine declares that the mark of the beast is not Sunday worship after it is made a law, which the Spirit of Prophecy clearly contradicts (see Evangelism, p 234; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 980; Testimonies, vol 8, p 177). But Sautron claims the mark of the beast is the number 666 (Dreams and Visions, p 105) which is an international code to be tattooed on our forehead (Dreams and Visions, tape 10, p 8). She also claims that the Beast of Revelation 13 is not the Roman Catholic church, but a "gigantic computer" (Dreams and Visions, p 104). Afterwards she had another vision and then declared that "the beast is the pope" "the beast represents the Pope of Rome" (Dreams and Visions, tape 15, p 1-2). Thus there are direct discrepancies and contradictions within her visions themselves, as well as with the Spirit of Prophecy, clearly proving to any who have eyes to see and ears to hear that Jeanine Sautron's dreams and visions cannot be from God.
Several other errors could be shown, yet only one is necessary to prove her a false prophet from the devil; and more than one has been proven.
--3. Around the year 1994, there was a tape circulated far and wide which gloriously mentioned the dreams and visions of two individuals from Papua New Guinea--one named Peter, and the other named Tassa. These dreams and visions were upheld by many to be from God. Yet when simply tested by the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, contradictions were clearly seen.
Peter stated that the angel Gabriel visited him many times--both in dreams and visions and in person, showing him many things, and giving instructions and directions for him and others to follow. The first time Gabriel was dressed all in white, but the next he was dressed in blue. Peter asked him why the change, and Gabriel told him that all the angels were getting ready to escort Christ back to earth for the second coming, and were changing into the blue garments for this great event; thus time was very short!
This is directly against the true account in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy which depicts the angels accompanying Christ's second coming as being dressed all in white (see Revelation 19:11-14; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 982)! Thus this boy named Peter is not receiving dreams and visions and visitations from God's angel Gabriel, but from one of the Devil's evil angels impersonating Gabriel; and the messages he is bringing this boy have no light in them! This boy is deceived, and is deceiving others.
The woman Tassa also related that an angel had visited her in dreams and visions, and told her that the Sunday law would be in place by the year 1995, and that persecution would soon begin.
This is also against the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, because a definite time was set for certain things to occur, and Christ's second coming was put off until or after the year 1995--which was more than 1 year. So she is also a false prophet, is deceived and is deceiving others.
There were other areas in which Peter's dreams and visions were contrary to Bible and Spirit of Prophecy principles. But only one such error or contradiction shows that all his, and also Tassa's, dreams and visions were not from God!
--4. There are also many other individuals in America who are having dreams and visions which they believe, and others believe, to be from God. Yet every case in which we have questioned the individuals involved, we have found that not a single one has tested their dreams and visions first to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. These dreams were just accepted to be from God if they made any sense.
One case involved a little girl, who had a vision that Jesus was on one end of a type of a gold teeter-totter, and people had to try and hit the other end of this device to send Jesus to heaven. Some succeeded, and others didn't.
This vision was taken to be from God because "gold" was a symbol for faith, and thus it was reasoned by the adults that it was our faith which got Jesus to heaven, and those who did not make Jesus go to heaven did not have enough faith. The little girl was led to believe that she was special because the adults told her that her dreams and visions were from God.
This vision was not from God because it contradicted the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy in several areas:
--A. Christ is not connected to a device on the earth, but is in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary since 1844.
--B. Our faith is not to get Jesus to heaven, but is to be in Jesus.
--C. Our faith is not to go through any device, or human being, in order to reach God's ear, but we are commanded to go directly to the throne of grace in order to find help in the time of need.
Thus this girl was deceived and was deceiving others. Especially are the adults around her responsible for this because they did not do their God-given duty to test her dreams and visions first by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy before even considering the possibility that these could be from God! Not only have these adults injured this little girl--possibly for life, but they will also be held responsible for this (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 78, 89).
But this girl is not the only one having dreams and visions among us, and Satan is having success in leading our people into deception and error.
It is very easy for the Devil to make the first few dreams or visions completely in harmony with God's truth. Then when the individual becomes comfortable with the proud fact that God has selected them to receive these supernatural evidences of His favor, Satan introduces little errors and contradictions into future dreams and visions, and these are accepted as truth because those in the beginning were true. Soon greater errors are introduced, definite times or dates for different things to occur, etc. Soon the dreams and visions are so trusted that any instruction or impressions are followed instead of following the instructions found in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Thus the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are eventually set aside, and the dreams and visions take their place of importance. But it is only to be from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy that we are to derive all our instruction, guidance, and authority in these last days (see Selected messages, book 2, p 93-95; book 3, p 404-05).
For instance: the so-called guardian angel of Wendy Johns told her: "I was told to study the Bible, Ellen White's writings and to pray, then I would be given directions to follow. I would be held accountable to follow these directions, I was not to be afraid, especially of men and I should keep my faith in Jesus."
So Wendy was to be held accountable to follow these directions from the angel in order to keep her faith in Jesus. Thus her salvation was not just limited to the instructions found in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, but was also dependent upon the directions from this angel! Thus these dreams and visions given her have led her away from the original foundation of the faith of the saints, which is exactly the plan of Satan who is the enemy of God and of His elect (see Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884 (vol 1, p 420-21); Selected Messages, book 2, p 78, 86-87).
Clearly Satan has entered into our ranks through dreams and visions. It then definitely behooves all of us to take heed to ourselves that we do not lose the faith delivered to the saints by way of dreams and visions. But is there a way to shut this door? Yes--"become established upon gospel order" (Early Writings, p 100).
A clear clarion note of alarm is being sounded to every one of our separated Home Church brethren, that Satan is now working through dreams and visions! Please test any dreams or visions first by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, and even if only one contradiction or error is found, then there is no light from God in it--including past and future dreams and visions from that source.
For those who would like more information about this area of dreams and visions, please write to the address given in the front of this booklet for a 40 page study: "Guiding Principles Regarding Dreams and Visions." This study goes through the Spirit of Prophecy on God's principles for knowing which dreams and visions are from God, and which are not.
B. FANATICISM STATES: That because disease is growing among the animal kingdom, then it is God's will that all of His people must get rid of all their pets, especially those who are inside the house.
Advocates of this fanaticism state that pets are carriers of disease, and should be gotten rid of because they can transmit this disease to their owners. They vainly try to gain support from God by misquoting the following testimony:
"There are but few animals that are free from disease." Selected Messages, book 2, p 418.
But the context of this testimony is about the disease in animals that are being raised for eating purposes, not about animals as pets.
These advocates, to supply the lack of inspired testimony, call upon medical journals, scientific articles, and personal testimonies showing disease increasing among the animal creation, and then state or infer that God wants His people to avoid having pets. And if you do not get rid of your pets, it is inferred that you are not really wanting to follow God in being healthy and being free from disease. Or if you do get sick and you have pets, then it is inferred that the sickness was surely because one of your pets gave it to you.
This issue of having or not having pets is personal and has nothing to do whatsoever with God's will. Cats, dogs, birds, etc, are not free from disease and can transmit disease to humans. But it is fanatical to state that because of the possibility of these animals transmitting disease, God does not want His people to have pets.
If one continues on with this same premise, then because Sister White stated that disease has been steadily increasing among humanity (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p 145), and that since humans can transmit disease to other humans more readily than animals, then God does not want His people to have other brothers and sisters visiting in their homes because of the possibility of contracting disease from them.
May God deliver His people from all erroneous fanaticisms--especially these little, seemingly insignificant ones.
C. FANATICISM STATES: God requires all of His married people to cease having any sexual relations with their spouse in order to prepare for heaven.
Temperate sexual relations between husband and wife in a marriage approved by God is not condemned by God in this late hour as we strive for perfection of character! The godly example of Enoch can furnish a good illustration.
Sister White states that the holy character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be redeemed from the earth at the time of Christ's second advent (see Revelation 14:3; Patriarchs and Prophets, p 88-89). After Enoch had Methuselah at age 65, he walked with God for three hundred years, being drawn into a closer relationship with Him and being honored by special revelations and in constant communion with heaven (see Patriarchs and Prophets, p 84-85). As Enoch's character represents the same state of holiness that God's people today must reach, and while Enoch was drawing closer to God in constant communion with heaven, did he have any relations with his wife, or was Methuselah his last child?
"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters." Genesis 5:22.
So this doctrine of total sexual abstinence in the marriage relationship is a grand delusion, and is destroying marriage after marriage among those who adopt it.
But some advocates will try to back up their theory by quoting the following text:
"But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none." 1 Corinthians 7:29.
Was Paul stating that no marital relations were to exist at all, or was he referring to something else? He plainly tells us what he meant a few verses later:
"But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belongeth to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely [or proper], and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
Paul was not stating that no sexual relations should exist, but that our affections should be upon the Lord first, and then upon how we may please our partners. And this is especially true as we see the time growing closer and closer to Christ's coming. To infer or plainly state that Paul was advocating total abstinence in a marriage relationship is without any foundation in God's Word or in the writings of Paul! Paul himself states:
"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."1 Corinthians 7:2-5.
So are God's married people defiled by having temperate and moderate physical relations with their spouse in these last days? Not at all.
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled." Hebrews 13:4.
D. FANATICISM STATES: That God wants all Christian men to grow only full beards.
Advocates of this fanaticism state that since Christ had a beard, then all Christian men must also grow a full one or they will not fully reflect Christ's image, and will lose salvation. Bible proof is drawn from the Old Testament Scriptures of Leviticus 19, 21 and Ezekiel 44, which refer to not cutting off the beard but only polling or trimming it.
If any Christian man prefers to grow a full beard, or partial beard, or mustache, or no beard at all, they are free to do so. But we protest against anyone declaring that it is God's will that Christian men must or must not grow a full or partial beard. This has nothing to do with our Christian walk with God, or our salvation!
But just as circumcision was made an issue after Christ's death, so again Satan's agents are trying to Judaize separated Adventist men into believing that facial appearance is a test of salvation. It is not our facial appearance that matters with God so much, but what is in our heart? What is our character like? Are we Christlike in thought, action, and words?
Our appearance will not get us into heaven, but our character will! It is character that matters with God, not whether men have a beard or not; whether we are circumcised or not; whether we wash our hands before each meal or not.
There will only be one question asked each individual in the judgment. And this question has nothing to do with how we look, but has everything to do with our character:
"The only question asked in the judgement will be, 'Have they been obedient to My commandments?'" Gospel Workers, p 315.
We could spend many more pages exposing other fanaticisms both big and small that are infiltrating the ranks of God's people today. Such as; the Celebration style of worship; or caring more for endangered animals and the environment than for humanity created in the image of God; etc. But enough has been exposed for our people to take warning.
Please do not think that the only fanaticisms existing today are the ones mentioned in this booklet, because the list of the different fanaticisms which are plaguing God's people will continue to grow and will come pounding upon His people wave after wave.
The only effective way that fanaticism and erroneous doctrines can be eliminated from our separated ranks and Home Churches centers on each individual member! You need to be able to spot fanaticism yourself! This way you can remain unaffected by this plague, and can also raise the trumpet note of alarm exposing the fanaticism and more quickly and effectively alert your brothers and sisters to avoid it. Coming together in unity, establishing Gospel Order among us--thus fulfilling Christ's prayer of John 17, will close the door to fanaticism and erroneous doctrines (see Early Writings, p 61-63). But it still hinges upon our individual Home Church members knowing the truth for themselves.
We sincerely pray that all of those deceived and led to advocate any of these various fanaticisms will leave the clutches of Satan and break free from his power over their minds, and give up these erroneous and excitement producing doctrines, so that they and others can save their lives "so as by fire" and be completely free in Jesus. And we also sincerely pray that all of our true separated Home Church brethren may avoid and protest against these devilish snares!
"Fanaticism, once started and left unchecked, is as hard to quench as a fire which has obtained hold of a building. Those who have entered into and sustained this fanaticism, might far better be engaged in secular labor; for by their inconsistent course of action they are dishonoring the Lord and imperiling His people. Many such movements will arise at this time, when the Lord's work should stand elevated, pure, unadulterated with superstition and fables. We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices." Selected Messages, book 2, p 35.
May we all work against this plague and fire of fanaticism to nullify and eradicate its erroneous and deceptive influence among us. May we work in unity with our true separated brothers and sisters to close the doors to this enemy of truth, and thus shut out all erroneous and fanatical beliefs and practices in our ranks. This work will not be easy, and cannot be taken lightly.
"We cannot be too watchful against every form of error, for Satan is constantly seeking to draw men from the truth." Testimonies, vol 5, p 296.