• Home
  • /
  • A733b Unity in Doctrine
Source: PJJ

A733b Unity in Doctrine

1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

DOCTRINE:  Used in the old meaning of “teaching” or instruction.  Derived from ‘Doctor’, meaning teacher, or learned man.  Latin: doctor from docere, to teach.  Generally the word is translated today as ‘teaching’.

Dictionary explains as “What is taught, body of instruction, belief, dogma, a principle of belief.”

Indoctrinate: Instruct in teaching.

2 John 1:9,10 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:”

This harmonizes with the Spirit of Prophecy …

GW 249 “The Bible is our rule of faith and doctrine.  There is nothing more calculated to energize the mind and strengthen the intellect than the study of the word of God.  No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts or give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible.  If God’s word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that are rarely seen in these times.”

In regard to the truths we are taught and the cunning devices of Satan, Sr White warns:-

Heb 6:1-6 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Care to Maintain Our Faith, or satan will Destroy it

4T 211 “Men of experience have seen stealthy hands slipping the bolts that Satan might enter; yet they have held their peace with apparent indifference as to the results.”

More importantly the reason for this is our carelessness in handling the things of God.  A sacred trust, committed into our hands:-

4T 211 “It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies.  Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition.”

How to Establish Sound Doctrine

Isa 28:9-10 “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

Heb 6:1-3 (see also v 4-6) “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this will we do, if God permit.”

A principle  of proving, establishing each point – and hold to it, not relinquishing any proven point.

At What Cost have our Doctrines Been Established?

2 Pet 1:12 “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”

1 SM 206-207 “Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid.  My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure.  I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly.  Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word.  Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power.  When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively.  Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood.  A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.”

1SM 207, 208 “What influence is it would lead men at this stage of our history to work in an underhand, powerful way to tear down the foundation of our faith–the foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation? Upon this foundation we have been building for the past fifty years.  Do you wonder that when I see the beginning of a work that would remove some of the pillars of our faith, I have something to say? I must obey the command, “Meet it!” …”

     “We are God’s commandment-keeping people.  For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Word–especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of Heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation.  Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord.  But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit.  He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.”

2SM 390 “The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work.  Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world.  Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened.  We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established.  We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.” (refer also GW 302)

COR 154 “A Revival and Reformation must take place …” (R & H 1902, Feb 25)

Purpose of Doctrine

Heb 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Gives direction and purpose of life in Christ:

MH 460 “Let the cross of Christ be made the science of all education, the center of all teaching and all study.”

Associated with Unity:

Only one God, one truth, one people, on one foundation – Jesus Christ.

TM 503 “Though we have an individual work and an individual responsibility before God, we are not to follow our own judgment, regardless of the opinions and feelings of our brethren; for this course would lead to disorder in the church.  It is the duty of ministers to respect the judgment of their brethren; but their relations to one another, as well as the doctrines they teach, should be brought to the test of the law and the testimony; then, if hearts are teachable, there will be no divisions among us.  Some are inclined to be disorderly, and are drifting away from the great landmarks of the faith; but God is moving upon His ministers to be one in doctrine and in spirit.”

(See also Ev 632; CW 54; TM 153-154)

Anchors God’s people in troublous times:

1BC 1114 “The doctrines must be plainly understood.  The men accepted to teach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against storm and tempest, because the anchor holds them firmly.”

1T 300 “The only safety now is to search for the truth as revealed in the word of God, as for hid treasure.  The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times.”

6T 132 “The study of God’s word should take the place of the study of those books that have led minds into mysticism and away from the truth.  Its living principles, woven into our lives, will be our safeguard in trials and temptations;”

We Must Understand Our Foundation Doctrines

1)  Self Analysis

1 Tim 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

2)  Motivated by God’s Word & God’s Spirit

2 Tim 4:2-5 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering 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.”

3)  Life Saturated in Truth

Job said “For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.” Job 11:4

GW 311 “”Sound doctrine” is Bible truth—truth that will promote piety and devotion, confirming God’s people in the faith.  Sound doctrine means much to the receiver; and it means much, too, to the teacher, the minister of righteousness; for wherever the gospel is preached, every laborer, whatever his line of service, is either true or untrue to his responsibility as the Lord’s messenger.”

4T 394-395 “Theoretical discourses are essential, that all may know the form of doctrine and see the chain of truth, link after link, uniting in a perfect whole.  But no discourse should ever be delivered without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospel, making a practical application of the truths set forth, and impressing upon the people the fact that the doctrine of Christ is not Yea and Nay, but Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. 

     “After the theory of truth has been presented, then comes the laborious part of the work.  The people should not be left with out instruction in the practical truths which relate to their everyday life.”

            (refer also Ev 363; CSW 22; 1BC 1114; GW 311-315; 3T 34; EV 656)

5T 526 “…never, for one moment, let the impression be left upon anyone that it would be for his profit to hide his faith and doctrines from the unbelieving people of the world, fearing that he might not be so highly honored if his principles were known. 

     “It is no time to be ashamed of our faith.”

(Examine Doctrines Critically – ref: 5T 708; Ev 69; FE 375; CD 187; GW 302; 1SM 206-207; TM 24-26, 107; CW 44)

Our Need to Maintain Pure Doctrine

1 Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:”

2SM 87 “The enemy is at work, to divide, to scatter.  Now as never before he will make determined efforts to scatter our forces.  Above every other period it is unsafe now for us to move out in lines of our own.  The truth for this time is broad in its outlines, far reaching, embracing many doctrines; but these doctrines are not detached items, which mean little; they are united by golden threads, forming a complete whole, with Christ as the living center.  The truths we present from the Bible are as firm and immovable as the throne of God.”

CW 29 “Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people.  Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.  They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation.  It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit.  We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are, — the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step. —  Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.”

CW 33 “We must not think, “Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.” The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.”

            EW 258-259 (Some stepped off the platform)

What Are the Old Landmarks

Prov 23:10 “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:”

1T 300 “The only safety now is to search for the truth as revealed in the word of God, as for hid treasure.  The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times.”

Redemption:

Eph 1:3,7 “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:”  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Ed 125-126 “The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God.  …

     He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study.  He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word. 

     The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite … This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage.  As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.”

Sabbath – Seal of the Law of God:

Isa 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.”

CS 77 “There are the main pillars of our faith, subjects which are of vital interest, the Sabbath, the keeping of the commandments of God.”

6T 38 “We hold no doctrine that we wish to hide.  To those who have been educated to keep the first day of the week as a sacred day, the most objectionable feature of our faith is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.  But does not God’s word declare that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God?  True, it is not an easy matter to make the required change from the first to the seventh day.  It involves a cross.  It clashes with the precepts and practices of men.  Learned men have taught the people tradition till they are full of unbelief and prejudice.  Yet we must say to these people: “Come and see.” God requires us to proclaim the truth and let it discover error.”

Prophecy:

2 Pet 1:19-21 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

5T 708 “God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting.”  “As a people we are called individually to be students of prophecy.”

Testimonies:

Rev 19:10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Rev 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

5T 672 “It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies.” … “Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, …”

2nd Advent:

1 Cor 1:7,8 “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thes 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2T 355 “We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming.  This is not a fable to us; it is a reality.  We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment.”

Judgment: (ref above)

Dan 7:22 “Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Sanctification

1 Peter 1:2-5 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

GC 469 “True sanctification is a Bible doctrine.”

2T 355 “When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions.  If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time.  …

     “… We are now in God’s workshop.  Many of us are rough stones from the quarry.  But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us.  It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of what ever nature.  Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory.  It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality.”  (see also COR 106, 72)

Sanctuary:

Ezek 45:18 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first [month], in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:”

Dan 8:14 “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

GW 302-303 “As the points of our faith were thus established, our feet were placed upon a solid foundation. … I was given illustrations of heavenly things, and of the sanctuary, so that we were placed where light was shining on us in clear, distinct rays.

     “I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years.”

Three Angel’s Messages:

Rev 14:9; 18:1 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,”  “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”

EW 258 “I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body.  God looked upon them with approbation.  I was shown three steps– the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages.  The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance.”

9T 19 “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers.  …  They have been given a work of the most solemn import–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  There is no other work of so great importance.  They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”

Baptism & Lord’s Supper:

Matt 28:19-20 “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, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

6T 91 “The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are two monumental pillars, one without and one within the church.  Upon these ordinances Christ has inscribed the name of the true God.”

Sealing Work:

Rev 7:3 “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

EW 118 “I then saw the third angel.  Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work.  Awful is his mission.  He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner.  These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.””

Warning

5T 707 “The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine.  There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error.  When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what. 

     “… And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness.  When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth.  …

     “God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat.  The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep.  Precious light has come, appropriate for this time.  It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us.”

Steadfast Adherence

4T 335 “The Bible is clear upon all points which relate to Christian duty.  All who do the will of God shall know of the doctrine.”

John 7:17 “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

2 Tim 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

Share this.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest