SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW)

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Chapter 23

1 (Hosea 8:1; 13:9; Matthew 15:6). Shepherds That Scatter—There are professedly pious men who screen the sinner by their own transgression. They disregard the commandments of God, choosing the traditions of men, making void the law of God, and promoting apostasy. The excuses they make are feeble and weak and will bring destruction to their own souls and the souls of others.... 4BC 1157.1

Upon those who have taken upon them the work of shepherds of the flock, will be visited the heaviest judgments, because they have presented to the people fables instead of truth. Children will rise up and curse their parents. Church members, who have seen the light and been convicted, but who have trusted the salvation of their souls to the minister, will learn in the day of God that no other soul can pay the ransom for their transgression. A terrible cry will be raised, “I am lost, eternally lost.” Men will feel as though they could rend in pieces the ministers who have preached falsehoods and condemned the truth. The pure truth for this time requires a reformation in the life, but they separate themselves from the love of the truth, and of them it can be said, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself.” The Lord sends a message to the people, “Set a trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant and trespassed against my law” (Letter 30, 1900). 4BC 1157.2

6. The Coronation Day—On the Saviour's coronation day He will not acknowledge as His any who bear spot or wrinkle. But to His faithful ones He will give crowns of immortal glory. Those who would not that He should reign over them will see Him surrounded by the army of the redeemed, each bearing the sign, The Lord our Righteousness. They will see the head once crowned with thorns crowned with a diadem of glory (The Review and Herald, May 5, 1903). 4BC 1157.3

28 (1 Corinthians 3:13). Preach the Word, Omit the Chaff—In regard to entering into the subject of the divine mystery of the essence of God, Christ ever maintained a wise reserve. He did this that He might close the door where human conjectures should not be encouraged. The most sacred, holy, and eternal mysteries which God has not revealed are but speculations when considered from a human standpoint, mere theories that confuse the mind. There are those who know the truth but do not practice it. These greatly long for some new, strange thing to present. In their great zeal to become original some will bring in fanciful ideas which are but chaff. Even now there is a descending from the sublime and living issues for this time to the ridiculous and fanciful, and sensational minds stand ready to catch up suppositions and guesses and human theories and false science as truth to be accepted and taught. 4BC 1157.4

These put the test of salvation on speculation without one plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” They thus bring in a mass of rubbish, wood, hay, and stubble, as precious material to be laid upon the foundation stone. This will not stand the test of fire, but will be consumed, and if the ones who have made themselves believe these theories are so self-deceived and know not the truth yet are converted, their life is saved as by fire through repentance and humiliation before God. They have been dealing in common things in place of the sacred. Many catch up ideas which are of no consequence and place them before the flock of God as food, when they are only chaff which will never benefit or strengthen the flock of God, but will keep them in the lowlands, because they are feeding upon that which contains not the least virtue or nourishment. What is the chaff to the wheat (Manuscript 45, 1900)? 4BC 1157.5