The Review and Herald

1305/1902

January 21, 1904

Beware of Fanciful Doctrines

EGW

I have been instructed to say that it is not new and fanciful doctrines which the people of God need. They do not need suppositions, which can not be sustained by the Word of God. They need the testimony of men who know the truth, men who understand and obey the charge given to Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5. RH January 21, 1904, par. 1

In some instances men have been turned away from the truth to listen to fables. Efforts were made to set right those thus deceived, but some had drunk so deeply from the polluted fountain, and had become so impregnated with false impressions, that it was impossible to undeceive them. They had come to believe that it was more profitable to eat of the food offered in the strange doctrines presented, than to eat of the food contained in the Word of God. RH January 21, 1904, par. 2

Brethren, look well to the character of your religion. Do not forget that Christ is to be your pattern in all things. You may be sure that his religion is not a sensational religion. A religion of this kind I learned to dread in my very earliest experience in the cause of present truth. I was at that time, before I was seventeen years old, bidden to warn those who were cherishing fanciful ideas, and who declared that their strange movements were inspired of God. RH January 21, 1904, par. 3

In New Hampshire there were those who were active in disseminating false ideas in regard to God. Light was given me that these men were making the truth of no effect by their ideas, some of which led to free-lovism. I was shown that these men were seducing souls by presenting speculative theories regarding God. RH January 21, 1904, par. 4

I went to the place where they were working, and opened before them what they were doing. The Lord gave me strength to lay plainly before them the danger of their course. Among other views, they held that those once sanctified could not sin, and this they were presenting as gospel food. Their false theories, with their burden of deceptive influence, were 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. Great evils had already resulted. The doctrine that all were holy had led to the belief that the affections of the sanctified were never in danger of leading astray. The result of this belief was the fulfilment of the evil desires of hearts which, though professedly sanctified, were far from purity of thought and practise. RH January 21, 1904, par. 5

This is only one of the instances in which I was called upon to rebuke those who were presenting the doctrine of an impersonal god diffused through nature, and the doctrine of holy flesh. RH January 21, 1904, par. 6

In the future, truth will be counterfeited by the precepts of men. Deceptive theories will be presented as safe doctrines. False science is one of the agencies that Satan used in the heavenly courts, and it is used by him today. The false assertions that he made to the angels, his subtle scientific theories, led many of them from loyalty. And, having lost their place in heaven, they prepared temptations for our first parents. Adam and Eve yielded to the enemy, and by their disobedience, humanity was estranged from God, and the earth was separated from heaven. RH January 21, 1904, par. 7

Christ pledged himself to bridge the gulf that sin had made. Thus he became the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He shows us the path that leads to heaven, and promises to impart his efficiency to every one who believes on him. He came to our world to reveal, not a mixture of truth and error, but the pure truth of God. All error is misleading, even though clothed with garments of heavenly beauty. RH January 21, 1904, par. 8

The character and power of God are revealed by the work of his hands. In the natural world are to be seen evidences of the love and goodness of God. These tokens are given to call attention from nature to nature's God, that his “eternal power and Godhead” may be understood. RH January 21, 1904, par. 9

Pantheistic theories are not sustained by the Word of God. The light of his truth shows that these theories are soul-destroying agencies. Darkness is their element, sensuality their sphere. They gratify the natural heart, and give leeway to inclination. Separation from God is the result of accepting them. RH January 21, 1904, par. 10

Christ calls upon his people to believe and practise his Word. Those who receive and assimilate this Word, making it a part of every action, of every attribute of character, will grow strong in the strength of God. It will be seen that their faith is of heavenly origin. Before angels and before men, they will stand as those who have strong, consistent Christian characters. They will not wander into strange paths. Their minds will not turn to a religion of sentimentalism and excitement. RH January 21, 1904, par. 11

I beseech those who are laboring for God not to accept the spurious for the genuine. We have a whole Bible full of the most precious truth. We have no need for supposition or false excitement. In the golden censer of truth, as presented in Christ's teachings, we have that which will convict and convert souls. Present in the simplicity of Christ the truths that he came to this world to proclaim, and the power of your message will make itself felt. Do not present theories or tests that have no foundation in the Bible. We have grand solemn tests to present. “It is written” is the test that must be brought home to every one. RH January 21, 1904, par. 12

Walk firmly, decidedly, your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. God has not laid upon any one the burden of encouraging an appetite for strange, odd doctrines and theories. My brethren, keep these things out of your teaching. Do not allow them to enter into your experience. Do not let your life-work be marred by them. RH January 21, 1904, par. 13

The minds of the Jewish teachers were filled with maxims and suppositions. They interpreted the Word to mean that which God never designed it to mean, enforcing their oddities on the common people. RH January 21, 1904, par. 14

A warning against such teaching is found in Paul's letter to the Colossians. The apostle declares that the hearts of the believers were to be “knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say,” he continues, “least any man should beguile you with enticing words.... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:2-10. RH January 21, 1904, par. 15

I am instructed to say to our people, Let us follow Christ. We may safely discard all ideas that are not included in his teaching. I appeal to our ministers to be sure that their feet are placed on the platform of eternal truth. Beware how you follow impulse, calling it the Holy Spirit. Some are in danger in this respect. I call upon them to be sound in the faith, able to give every one who asks a reason of the hope that is in them. RH January 21, 1904, par. 16

Into the hearts of many who have been long in the truth there has entered a hard, judicial spirit. They are sharp, critical, fault-finding. They have climbed into the judgment seat to pronounce sentence on those who do not meet their ideas. God calls upon them to come down, and bow before him in repentance, confessing their sins. He says to them, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:4, 5. They are striving for the first place, and by their words and acts they make many hearts sore. RH January 21, 1904, par. 17

Against this spirit, and against the false religion of sentimentalism, which is equally dangerous, I bear my warning. Take heed, brethren and sisters. Who is your leader—Christ, or the angel who fell from heaven? Are you sound in the faith? My prayer for you all is that God would grant you “according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19. RH January 21, 1904, par. 18