Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 62, 1905

A Warning Against False Theories

Takoma Park, Maryland

May 24, 1905

This manuscript is published in entirety in MR760 7-12. +Note

I am bidden to bear a message to our people. In the name of the Lord I am bidden to warn our ministers not to mingle erroneous theories with the truth of God. Pure Bible truth is to stand forth in its nobility and sanctity. It is not to be classified and adjusted according to man’s wisdom. The ministers of the gospel are to present truth in its simplicity through the blessing of God making the Scriptures profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. “Rightly dividing the word of truth”—this is the word that should be spoken of all our ministers. [2 Timothy 2:15.] But far, far from this, many of the ministers have departed from Christ’s plans. The praise of men is coveted, and they strain every faculty in an effort to hunt out and present wonderful things. The Lord bids me counsel them to walk humbly and prayerfully with Him. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 1

Our message does not need that which Brother Ballenger is trying to draw into the web. He draws out certain passages so fine that they lose their force. Let our ministers be content to take the Word as Christ has given it. Of Him it is written that the common people heard Him gladly. The truth that He presented was to them as the bread of heaven. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 2

In clear, plain language I am to say to those in attendance at this conference that Brother Ballenger has been allowing his mind to receive and believe specious error. He has been misinterpreting and misapplying the Scriptures upon which he has fastened his mind. He is building up theories that are not founded in truth. A warning is now to come to him and to the people; for God has not indited the message that he is bearing. This message, if accepted, would undermine the pillars of our faith. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 3

Brother Ballenger does not discern what he is doing any more than Dr. Kellogg discerned that the book Living Temple contained some of the most dangerous errors that could be presented to the people of God. The most specious errors lie concealed in these theories and suppositions, which, if received, would leave the people of God in a labyrinth of error. Those who cherish these theories are building upon the sand; and when the storm and tempest shall come, the structure will be swept away. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 4

Study the words of Christ in the seventh chapter of Matthew. The whole chapter should be carefully considered. It contains warnings for God’s people in these last days. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 5

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 6

“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 7

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” [Verses 15-27.] 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 8

Our only safety is in walking circumspectly before God. Perilous times are before us. We are to make every effort to stand in the counsel of God, and not in our own wisdom. Let the simple doctrines of the Word shine forth in their true bearings, and let them be urged home according to their relative importance. Let us teach only the truth of heavenly origin. Things new and old are connected through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, when the truth is taught as it is in Jesus, without obscurity, without compromise, without fear, without losing sight of the cross as the great center of all truth. A sanctified presentation of the message for this time, the Holy Spirit will make effective unto the saving of the souls of the hearers. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 9

Take heed how you mystify the gospel. The plain “Thus saith the Lord” rebukes worldliness, dispels difficulties, enlarges the understanding, and answers the question, “What must I do that I may inherit eternal life?” [Mark 10:17.] The Lord calls upon His ministers to reveal a greater intelligence regarding the Holy Spirit’s work of grace. He desires them to show, in their sermons and in their prayers, that they know the work of grace. Jesus Christ, our divine example, is the Lord our righteousness. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 10

A stronger determination to know nothing among men but Christ and Him crucified would have given a different character to the work of Brother Ballenger on this ground. By this he would have been saved from spending his time in presenting as truth that which, if received, would undermine the mighty truths that have been established for ages. He who claims that his teachings are sound, while at the same time he is working away from the Lord’s truth, has come to the place where he needs to be converted. A rich and inexhaustible storehouse of truth is open to all who walk humbly with God. The ideas of those whose hearts are fully in the work of God are clearly and plainly expressed, and they have no lack of variety; for there is every before them a rich cabinet of jewels. Those who are striving for originality will overlook the precious jewels in God’s cabinet in an effort to get something new. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 11

Let not any man enter upon the work of tearing down the foundations of the truth that has made us what we are. God has led His people forward step by step, though there were pitfalls of error on every side. Under the wonderful guidance of a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” a truth has been established that has stood the test of trial. When men arise and attempt to draw away disciples after them, meet them with the truths that have been tried as by fire. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 12

“Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 13

Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary, or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift, without an anchor. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 14

Those who claim to be identified with the message that God has given us should have keen, clear spiritual perceptions, that they may distinguish truth from error. The word spoken by the messenger of God is “Wake up the watchmen.” If men will discern the spirit of the messages given, and strive to find out from what source they come, the Lord God of Israel will guard them from being led astray. But God is not to be trifled with. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 15

The messages that we have received from heaven are true and faithful. When one man strives to bring in new theories, which are not the truth, the ministers of God should bear clear warning against these theories, pointing out where, if received, they would lead the people of God. Those who have received the light of present truth should not be easily deceived and readily led from the true path into strange paths. The watchmen are to be wide-awake to discern the outcome of all specious reasoning; for serious errors will be brought in to lead the people of God astray. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 16

If the theories that Brother Ballenger presents were received, they would lead many to depart from the faith. They would counterwork the truths upon which the people of God have stood for the past fifty years. I am bidden to say in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is following a false light. The Lord has not given him the message that he is bearing regarding the sanctuary service. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 17

Our Instructor spoke words to Brother Ballenger: “You are bringing in confusion and perplexity by your interpretation of the Scriptures. You think that you have been given new light, but your light will become darkness to those who receive it. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 18

“Walk in Christ’s footsteps, and hold fast that which you have received and heard, and put away any exposition of Scripture which means, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ [Matthew 24:48.] In such a day as ye think not the Son of man cometh, and then how will it be with you and those whose minds you have confused? Stop right where you are; for God has not given you this message to bear to the people. Those who receive your interpretation of Scripture regarding the sanctuary service are receiving error and following in false paths. The enemy will work the minds of those who are eager for something new, preparing them to receive false theories and false expositions of the Scripture.” 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 19

When men come in who would move one pin or pillar from the foundation which God has established by His Holy Spirit, let the aged men who were pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also by reprinting of their articles in our periodicals. Gather up the rays of divine light that God has given as He has led His people on step by step in the way of truth. This truth will stand the test of time and trial. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 20

Christ is called the minister of the true tabernacle. He is the head of His church on earth. He declares, “All power is given unto Me, in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, low, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] He is the minister of the true tabernacle, and He is constantly sending messages to His people. The rich nutriment of sound doctrine will be given to all true laborers. Christ’s faithful ambassadors will be taught of God in every sermon that speaks truth to the heart. Christ is indeed the minister of holy things in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 21

There is a great work to be done in the proclamation of the gospel. God will call men from the plow and from the vineyard, and will send them forth into His service, even as Christ called fishermen from their daily occupation. As the first disciples, in obedience to the call of Christ, left their nets and followed Him, so will men in humble walks of life go forth today with the message for this time. These devoted servants of Christ will not seek the highest seat, but will follow Christ in the path of self-denial and sacrifice, and they will win souls to the Saviour. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 22

There are thousands of souls willing to work for the Master who have not had the privilege of hearing the truth as some have heard it, but they have been faithful readers of the Word of God, and they will be blessed in their humble efforts to impart light to others. Let such ones keep a diary, and when the Lord gives them an interesting experience, let them write it down, as Samuel did when the armies of Israel won a victory over the Philistines. He set up a monument of thankfulness, saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” [1 Samuel 7:12.] Brethren, where are the monuments by which you keep in view the love and goodness of God? Strive to keep fresh in your minds the help that the Lord has given you in your efforts to help others. Let not your actions show one trace of selfishness. Every tear that the Lord has helped you to wipe from sorrowful eyes, every fear that has been expelled, every mercy shown—trace a record of it in your diary. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” [Deuteronomy 33:25.] Be willing to be little men handling great subjects. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 23

I have a warning for those who suppose that they have been given the work of revealing Scripture in a new light. This work means substituting human interpretation for the interpretation that God has given. Thus did the heavenly messengers pronounce upon the effort into which Brother Ballenger has entered. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 24

My brother, you are in the presence of Him who has never failed to accomplish His work or to fulfil His Word. Bear not this message that you think means so much. In one way, it does mean much. It means the uprooting of faith in God and the making of infidels. Cease from all such work; for it will open the door for many to depart from the faith once delivered to the saints and to give heed to seducing spirits. 20LtMs, Ms 62, 1905, par. 25