Fanaticism and Extremism

Counterfeiting Spiritual Gifts—Many errors arose, and though I was then little more than a child, I was sent by the Lord from place to place to rebuke those who were holding these false doctrines. There were those who were in danger of going into fanaticism, and I was bidden in the name of the Lord to give them a warning from heaven. Ev 610.1

We shall have to meet these same false doctrines again. There will be those who will claim to have visions. When God gives you clear evidence that the vision is from Him, you may accept it, but do not accept it on any other evidence; for people are going to be led more and more astray in foreign countries and in America. The Lord wants His people to act like men and women of sense. Ev 610.2

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established.... Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?—The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905. Ev 610.3

As the Serpent Beguiled Eve—False theories, repeated again and again, appear as falsely inviting today as did the fruit of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The fruit was very beautiful, and apparently desirable for food. Through false doctrines many souls have already been destroyed.—Manuscript 37, 1906. Ev 610.4

Diseased With Fanaticism and Extremism—As the natural eyesight of persons becomes so impaired as to be almost useless, so in the case of religious fanaticism and extremists, the eye of the soul through which good and evil may be discerned, becomes so perverted that nothing is distinguished clearly. A healthful discernment is ruined, so the spirit of truth and righteousness cannot be distinguished from the spirit of error and fanaticism. Ev 610.5

There is a disease of the spiritual faculties when a man or woman fancies that he sees things which do not exist. He is intoxicated with an illusion as verily as the liquor drinker becomes intoxicated by using strong drink. There is an inspiration, but not of God. The mental faculties are perverted. Let every soul make God his trust and obtain an experience that is wholesome and healthy.—Manuscript 41, 1900. Ev 611.1

In the Fire or in the Water—There is a class of people who are always ready to go off on some tangent, who want to catch up something strange and wonderful and new; but God desires us all to move calmly, considerately, choosing our words in harmony with the solid truth for this time. The truth should be presented to the mind as free as possible from that which is emotional, while still bearing the intensity and solemnity befitting its character. We must guard against encouraging extremists, those who would be either in the fire or in the water. Ev 611.2

I beseech you to weed out of your teachings every extravagant expression, everything that unbalanced minds and those who are inexperienced will catch up and which will lead them to make wild, immature movements. It is necessary for you to cultivate caution in every statement, lest you start some on a wrong track, and make confusion that will require much sorrowful labor to set in order, thus diverting the strength of the laborers into lines which God does not design shall be entered. One manifestation of fanaticism among us will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth.—Manuscript 82, 1894. Ev 611.3

Sacred Truth Dishonored by Excitement—We need to be thoughtful and still, and to contemplate the truths of revelation. Excitement is not favorable to growth in grace, to true purity and sanctification of the Spirit. Ev 612.1

God wants us to deal with sacred truth. This alone will convince the gainsayer. Calm, sensible labor must be put forth.... Ev 612.2

God calls upon His people to walk with sobriety and holy consistency. They should be very careful not to misrepresent and dishonor the holy doctrines of truth by strange performances, by confusion and tumult. By this unbelievers are led to think that Seventh-day Adventists are a set of fanatics. Thus prejudice is created that prevents souls from receiving the message for this time. When believers speak the truth as it is in Jesus, they reveal a holy, sensible calm, not a storm of confusion.—Manuscript 76a, 1901. Ev 612.3

False Teachers Misplace Prophecy—In our day as in Christ's day, there may be a misreading and misinterpreting of the Scriptures. If the Jews had studied the Scriptures with earnest, prayerful hearts, their searching would have been rewarded with a true knowledge of the time, and not only the time, but also the manner of Christ's appearing. They would not have ascribed the glorious second appearing of Christ to His first advent. They had the testimony of Daniel; they had the testimony of Isaiah and the other prophets; they had the teachings of Moses; and here was Christ in their very midst, and still they were searching the Scriptures for evidence in regard to His coming. And they were doing unto Christ the very things that had been prophesied they would do. They were so blinded they knew not what they were doing. Ev 612.4

And many are doing the same thing today, in 1897, because they have not had experience in the testing messages comprehended in the first, second, and third angel's messages. There are those who are searching the Scriptures for proof that these messages are still in the future. They gather together the truthfulness of the messages, but they fail to give them their proper place in prophetic history. Therefore such are in danger of misleading the people in regard to locating the messages. They do not see and understand the time of the end, or when to locate the messages. The day of God is coming with stealthy tread, but the supposed wise and great men are prating about “higher education.” They know not the signs of Christ's coming, or of the end of the world.—Manuscript 136, 1897. Ev 613.1