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Source: PJJ

A705 Confronting Error & False Teachers

God’s Church is Responsible for making Judgments “Within”

1 Cor 5:11-13  “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

1 Tim 1:19-20  “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

RH Dec 4, 1900 “The church is God’s fortress, his city of refuge, which he holds in a revolted world.  Any betrayal of her sacred trust is treachery to him who has bought her with the precious blood of his only begotten Son.  In the past, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth, and God has taken them into covenant relation with himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven.  He has sent forth his holy angels to minister to his church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against it.”

RH Feb 1, 1906 “Those who are placed in charge of the Lord’s institutions are in need of much of the strength and grace and keeping power of God, that they shall not walk contrary to the sacred principles of the truth.  Many, many are very dull of comprehension in regard to their obligation to preserve the truth in its purity, uncontaminated by one vestige of error.  Their danger is in holding the truth in light esteem, thus leaving upon minds the impression that it is of little consequence what we believe, if, by carrying out plans of human devising, we can exalt ourselves before the world as holding a superior position, as occupying the highest seat.”

ST April 22, 1886 “Abraham was called out from an idolatrous family, and was appointed of God to preserve his truth amid the prevailing and increasing corruptions of that idolatrous age.”

Some Will Rise Amongst Us – Who are Not of Us

1 John 2:19  “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

Contention, Strife and Foolish Questions are not to be Entertained

1 Tim 6:3-5  “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

Titus 3:9-10  “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;”

Examples Where God Commended a Firm Opposition to Error & False Teachers

God Slew the Disobedient Prophet

1 Ki 13:24-26  “And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.  And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.  And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.”

Jesus Whipped the Pharisees out of the Temple

John 2:15-16  “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”

Phinehas Slew an Unfaithful Israelite – and was Commended of God

Num 25:7-8  “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;  And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly.  So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”

Num 25:11  “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.”

Psa 106:30  “Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.”

King Saul

ST May 25, 1888 “The greatest trials that have come upon the church have been brought about through the agency of those who were its professed friends, and who had been placed in positions of trust and sacred responsibility.  Our most sanguine expectations have been frequently disappointed.  We have followed our best judgment in selecting men for places of trust, and they have failed time and again, when the test was brought to bear on their characters.  They have exhibited weaknesses of which they gave no previous indication.  They are not what they appeared to be before they were placed in the position.  How often have we finite beings been led to repent that we have used our influence toward promoting men who afterwards have given no evidence of their devotion to God’s word and work.  We have often inquired, What has made this great change in these men?  What was it that led Saul to presume upon his exaltation to dishonor God by unbelief and disobedience?  It was self-sufficiency and an evil heart of unbelief.  It was when Saul was little in his own sight that God chose him to be ruler over Israel, but when he lost his spirit of simplicity and humility, he was not the man for the place, and his authority was taken from him.  Those who turn from their humility and begin to exalt self, are filled with the most unaccountable infatuation and self-deception in regard to their own qualifications.  Like Saul, they begin to assume responsibilities that their position in nowise warrants, and for which God has not ordained them.”

Nehemiah re: Tobiah Cast Out of Temple Chambers

Neh 13:7-9  “And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.  And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.  Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.”

PK 670 “On returning from Persia, Nehemiah learned of the bold profanation and took prompt measures to expel the intruder.  “It grieved me sore,” he declares; “therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.  Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.””

God guided Gideon to Use Only Those who Were fully supportive

Judg 7:7  “And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.”

PP 549-550 “By the simplest means character is often tested.  Those who in time of peril were intent upon supplying their own wants were not the men to be trusted in an emergency.  The Lord has no place in His work for the indolent and self-indulgent.  The men of His choice were the few who would not permit their own wants to delay them in the discharge of duty.  The three hundred chosen men not only possessed courage and self-control, but they were men of faith.  They had not defiled themselves with idolatry.  God could direct them, and through them He could work deliverance for Israel.  Success does not depend upon numbers.  God can deliver by few as well as by many.  He is honored not so much by the great numbers as by the character of those who serve Him.”

Half Believers cause more damage than Non Believers

RH Mar 11, 1902 “If ministers who are called upon to preach the most solemn message ever given to mortals, evade the truth, they are unfaithful in their work, and are false shepherds to the sheep and the lambs.  The assertions of man are of no value.  Let the word of God speak to the people.  Let those who have heard only traditions and maxims of men, hear the voice of God, whose promises are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus.  If the character and deportment of the shepherd is a living epistle to the people of the truth which he advocates, the Lord will set His seal to the work.  True friendships will be formed with the people, and the shepherd and the flock will become one, united by a common hope in Christ Jesus.”

EW 123 “I saw that many of these shepherds had denied the past teachings of God; they had denied and rejected the glorious truths which they once zealously advocated and had covered themselves with mesmerism and all kinds of delusions.  I saw that they were drunken with error and were leading on their flock to death.  Many of the opposers of God’s truth devise mischief in their heads upon their beds, and in the day they carry out their wicked devices to put down the truth and to get something new to interest the people and divert their minds from the precious, all-important truth.”

PH162 p5 “No persons should be placed as directions in the Office, or in any of our institutions, who have not a knowledge of the truth.  Yet this will do far less harm than to put in as managers those who claim to believe the truth, and who do not manage under the influence of the Spirit of God; because these can do tenfold more harm to mislead the workers.”

5T 436 “In your present state you are doing far more harm than good; for you have a form of godliness and profess to believe the truth, while your words and actions say: “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way” that leads to life, “and many there be which go in thereat.””

FE 196 “When unfaithful teachers came among the people, weakness followed, and the faith of God’s people seemed to wane; but God arose and purged His floor, and the tried and true were lifted up.”

1T 326 “Satan has used as agents individuals professing to believe a part of present truth, while they were warring against a part.  Such he can use more successfully than those who are at war with all our faith.  His artful manner of bringing in error through partial believers in the truth, has deceived many, and distracted and scattered their faith…..  Some receive a part of the message, and reject another portion.  Some accept the Sabbath and reject the third angel’s message; yet because they have received the Sabbath they claim the fellowship of those who believe all the present truth.  Then they labor to bring others into the same dark position with themselves.  They are not responsible to anyone.  They have an independent faith of their ownSuch are allowed to have influence, when no place should be given to them, notwithstanding their pretensions to honesty.”

5T 538 “God has selected a people in these last days whom He has made the depositaries of His law, and this people will ever have disagreeable tasks to perform. …. It will require much diligence and a continual struggle to keep evil out of our churches. There must be rigid, impartial discipline exercised; for some who have a semblance of religion will seek to undermine the faith of others and will privily work to exalt themselves.”

To Keep Out Heresies and Protect the Ministry

TM 26 “… for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, … organization was indispensable.”

TM 228 “One fanatical streak exhibited among us will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth.

   “….  Oh, how Satan would rejoice to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God!  We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of regulation and order.  In this way license shall not be given to disorderly elements to control the work at this time.”

Separate Unfaithful Teachers

Mat 12:30  “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”  (Luke 11:23)

MM 165 “Greater injury cannot be done to any institution than by allowing such a man to remain in his position, after proper test and trial.  It is a sin against God to permit unfaithful stewards to remain in positions of trust; for the Lord’s people are liable to be misled by their unfaithfulness.–MS.  154, 1902”

1888, p1034 “I fear it would be a great mistake to reward them by giving them positions of trust as true men to be depended upon.  It would reveal a lack of wisdom in those who ought to reason from cause to effect.  Let him stay where he is, where his position is well known, and where his influence cannot be misunderstood, and where those who confederate with him will not do it ignorantly but understanding just what it means.  It is time that we knew whom to trust.  The Lord says, “Them that honor me I will honor.”

1 Sam 2:30 “…them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

EW 99-101 “God’s servants have to deal plainly, act openly, and not cover up wrongs; for they are standing between the living and the dead and must render an account of their faithfulness, their mission, and the influence they exert over the flock of which the Lord has made them overseers.”

  “…I saw that the church should feel their responsibility and should look carefully and attentively at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers.  If unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the “woe” is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act and let it be known that these persons are not acknowledged as teachers by the church.  This is the only course the church can take in order to be clear in this matter, for the burden lies upon them.”

   “I saw that this door at which the enemy comes in to perplex and trouble the flock can be shut.  I inquired of the angel how it could be closed.  He said, “The church must flee to God’s Word and become established upon gospel order, which has been overlooked and neglected.” This is indispensably necessary in order to bring the church into the unity of the faith.  I saw that in the apostles’ day the church was in danger of being deceived and imposed upon by false teachers.  Therefore the brethren chose men who had given good evidence that they were capable of ruling well their own house and preserving order in their own families, and who could enlighten those who were in darkness.  Inquiry was made of God concerning these, and then, according to the mind of the church and the Holy Ghost, they were set apart by the laying on of hands.  Having received their commission from God and having the approbation of the church, they went forth baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and administering the ordinances of the Lord’s house, often waiting upon the saints by presenting them the emblems of the broken body and spilt blood of the crucified Saviour, to keep fresh in the memory of God’s beloved children His sufferings and death.

   “I saw that we are no more secure from false teachers now than they were in the apostles’ days; and, if we do no more, we should take as special measures as they did to secure the peace, harmony, and union of the flock.  We have their example, and should follow it.  Brethren of experience and of sound minds should assemble, and following the Word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work.  This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men.”

RH Feb 22, 1881 “By falsehood and misrepresentation the emissaries of Satan had sought to stir up opposition against John, and against the doctrine of Christ.  In consequence, dissensions and heresies were imperiling the church.  John met these errors unflinchingly.  He hedged up the way of the adversaries of truth.  He wrote and exhorted that the leaders in these heresies should not have the least encouragement.  There are at the present day evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church, and the teachings of the apostle upon these points should be carefully heeded.  “You must have charity,” is the cry to be heard everywhere, especially from those who profess sanctification.  But charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin.  John’s teachings are important for those who are living amid the perils of the last days.  He had been intimately associated with Christ, he had listened to his teachings, and had witnessed his mighty miracles.  He bore a convincing testimony, which made the falsehoods of his enemies of none effect.”

UL 199 “For more than half a century [i.e., since 1844] the different points of present truth have been questioned and opposed.  New theories have been advanced as truth, which were not truth, and the Spirit of God revealed their error.  As the great pillars of our faith have been presented, the Holy Spirit has borne witness to them, and especially is this so regarding the truths of the sanctuary question.  Over and over again the Holy Spirit has in a marked manner endorsed the preaching of this doctrine.  But today, as in the past, some will be led to form new theories and to deny the truths upon which the Spirit of God has placed His approval.

            “Any man who seeks to present theories which would lead us from the light that has come to us on the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary should not be accepted as a teacher.  A true understanding of the sanctuary question means much to us as a people.  When we were earnestly seeking the Lord for light on that question, light came.  In vision I was given such a view of the heavenly sanctuary, and the ministration connected with the holy place, that for many days I could not speak of it.  – Manuscript 125, July 4, 1907”

Col 3:25  “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

Conclusion

This instruction is clear on confronting false teachings and false teachers within the church, with caution but with firmness.  The church must act circumspectly, but not judgmentally.  The leaders are responsible to secure the safety of the flock, and the Church’s position as custodians of present truth.  The church must be seen to be both merciful and just.  The one in the wrong must be made fully conscious of their wrong and realise the censure of the church.

3T 446 “….  union of action is important in a religious crisis.  One imprudent step, one careless action, may plunge the church into difficulties and trials from which it may not recover for years.  One member of the church filled with unbelief may give an advantage to the great foe that will affect the prosperity of the entire church, and many souls may be lost as the result.  Jesus would have His followers subject one to another; then God can use them as instruments to save one another; for one may not discern the dangers which another’s eye is quick to perceive; but if the undiscerning will in confidence obey the warning, they may be saved great perplexities and trials.”

PK 675 “In the work of reform to be carried forward today, there is need of men who, like Ezra and Nehemiah, will not palliate or excuse sin, nor shrink from vindicating the honor of God.  Those upon whom rests the burden of this work will not hold their peace when wrong is done, neither will they cover evil with a cloak of false charity.  They will remember that God is no respecter of persons, and that severity to a few may prove mercy to many.  They will remember also that in the one who rebukes evil the spirit of Christ should ever be revealed.”

7T 219 “All who occupy positions in our institutions will be tested.  ….  The light has been given them; if they depart from it, let no man present a bribe to induce them to remain.  They will be a hindrance and a snare.  The time has come when everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

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