Addressing the Balance of Truth

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By John Thiel

As God’s servants in positions of trust we are responsible for keeping the balance of truth within the body of Christ. Jesus announced the characteristics of His disciples in reference to truth.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

He’s talking to His followers and He said do you want to be my disciples? Then you must continue in the word. If you will continue in the word then you shall know the truth and then you will be set free. The skill of a minister in the word is most essential otherwise he will present his own thoughts. The skill is simply conveyed in the Bible.

Isaiah 28:9 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.

When we are baptized, we become babes that draw milk from the mother church. Babes do not have the knowledge of doctrine from those who have been weaned. By reason of use as they have their senses exercised to discern. Those who have been weaned from the breasts have learned something.

Isaiah 28:10 For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:

To understand doctrine, you cannot gain doctrines which means teaching, from one text on its own or a few texts on their own. It is an interaction form texts on the same subject that will bring an understanding of the doctrine and knowledge. What is written of those that are servants or ministers of God?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God,

Who are we to be showing ourselves approved to? God, not the people. That is important point. The people who are heaping to themselves teachers that they can approve of but we need to be teachers that God can approve of.

2 Timothy 2:15 … a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

To gain doctrine by reading here a little and there a little you must do it right to be approved of God. When you are reading the Bible you are reading something inspired by the Holy Spirit. We must get the understanding of what the Holy Spirit meant not what I think it means. We must come to the mind of the spirit through searching the Scriptures to get the doctrine right. If you continue in his word, Jesus said you will know the truth.

The Instruction to Timothy

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Scriptures will make you wise unto salvation.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

These are very weighty words that we need to understand these words so that we can be balanced and communicate the word in its balanced form. God is not imbalanced, He is perfectly sane. God has a very capable mind, we are not. We have been deranged by sin. We are insane. As we take hold of this from God, many Scriptures that I read by themselves without the others, will produce false understandings in our minds. I will grab one or two texts and say that is it, it suits my mind. But God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. This has to be continually operative as we study the word.

We need to ask, Lord what are you really saying? There are many observations that people use in the word that are not doctrines. When people say, what about this? I say, yes that’s an observation, not a doctrine, stay balanced. Don’t draw observations and make doctrines out of them. This is the important aspect that we do not use or create doctrines out of the observations we read in the world. Doctrines are plainly identified from God himself and you get them from reading like this. We are in danger of twisting what we read.

2 Peter 3:15 And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Here is a danger that must be addressed. That we can be reading the very word of God to our own destruction. The moment Satan can get you out of balance, he will take you down with destruction. He does it in a subtle way ever so subtly. The enemy of souls uses Scripture to tip unweary people over the edge. In the temptation of Jesus Christ, he used this tactic in Matthew;

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

Can you imagine how he felt? You get tired by sitting here for a long time and you say you can hardly concentrate but imagine not eating for a long time and your system in completely racked but now comes to him a beautiful angel. Oh how nice. Like Jesus did in Gethsemane, he put his head on the bosom of Gabriel but it was the tempter.

Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

There was suggestion here, has this angel come to help me? Jesus immediately recognised that this was not an angel of God. In his hungered state, what did he answer?

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

In that given situation there was a specific word directly written – it is written so the devil thought okay, he relies upon it is written and that is how he comes to us. What was the devil’s next temptation? What did he use?

Matthew 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

What did this angel just do for him? This person who was completely weary and tired, he picked him up and carried him on to the pinnacle. He flew through the air. Place yourself in that emotional and feeling situation. Have you ever been in an airplane and you felt whoosh? But this is a person flying in his arms, through to the pinnacle.

He who dared to face, and tempt, and taunt our Lord, and who had power to take Him in his arms and carry Him to a pinnacle of the temple, and up into an exceeding high mountain, will exercise his power to a wonderful degree upon the present generation, who are far inferior in wisdom to their Lord, and who are almost wholly ignorant of his subtlety and strength. {Mar 206.3}

In a marvelous manner will he affect the bodies of those who are naturally inclined to do his bidding. {Mar 206.4}

The human nature of Christ, the sinful flesh that he suffered under was very weary. In that state, He felt this exhilarating feeling in the arms and being transported up into the pinnacle. Then Satan says, it is written, come on jump, the angels will bare you. It is written! This is the skill of Satan. But Jesus was wide awake because of the question, if you be the Son of God.

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Was Lucifer’s statement correct? The angels will protect you, it is right. Absolutely. But was it important for that time to take it and apply it? Jesus said it is written again. There is another statement that qualifies the statement used. That is the principle I want you to pick up. Read the word of God to be approved of God, not to read it to suit the mental twist that is so easily affected by the natural man. If we take our yes of Jesus, the natural man is liable to come into action and Satan will work the natural man and touch the bodies of Christ’s saints. If the natural man is operative, you will say oh yes that it sounds good. That’s a good statement, I’m a Bible student. I know this and that and the rest of it. This is an example of unbalancing a thus saith the Lord.

Unbalancing the Word of God

This is a simplistic one but it shows the principle of how a statement in God’s word can be twisted.

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Of course, God is eternal and time means nothing so when he spoke in the Bible it says on the first day He created and so that equates to 1000 years. See what can happen when you permit your own mind to rationalise? That is exactly what is being taught by some people as they have done exactly that. I’ve gone through agonising people who have tried to teach me in my youth out of the ranks of Adventism who really convinced me for a while. But it is written again. Have you heard the teaching of Jesus’ crucifixion on a Wednesday? It is very powerful and if you’ve never been through it I don’t suggest you do. I have been through it and it nearly convinced me, except for one Scripture;

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Today is the third day since these things happened. Down went the whole stack of cards but so powerful use of the Scriptures. It is very easy to believe.

Is it a Sin to Shave?

Leviticus 21:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:

The Sons of Aaron

Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy unto their God,

What did I read? The priests, we are to be the priests in the last days. Aren’t we the holy priesthood?

Ezekiel 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.

Here we have the priesthood we are to be and all the men should not have long hair. What about beards? Is that a doctrine? Because we use the priesthood example in regard to dress reform, according to this, the beard is part of dress reform we observe. This is a clear one that nails down a principle that is to be considered and clearly expressed.

1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

Here is a plain inspired statement that what we saw in Ezekiel is that yes, the priests are not to have long hair. Here it says nature teaches you that it is a shame for men to have long hair. You can get a plain direction that it says now that it is a shame but if you if you search through the Scriptures for a plain statement that a man must have a beard, you can’t find it. Then you come to a statement from Signs of the Times from the inspiration of the Spirit of God for these last days among Gods people where this concept is addressed in an interesting manner. Sr White is speaking here of Sabbath keeping.

The violation of the fourth commandment is not confined to the preparation of food. Many carelessly put off blacking their boots, and shaving, until after the beginning of the Sabbath. This should not be. If any neglect to do such work on a working day, they should have respect enough for God’s holy time to let their beards remain unshaven, their boots rough and brown, until the Sabbath is past. This might help their memory, and make them more careful to do their own work on the six working days. {ST, May 25, 1882 par. 7}

Under inspiration we see that there is no condemnation under God’s direction that a man cannot shave. It says it would be shame for him to shave on the Sabbath day. Without further Scriptures the Spirit of Prophecy makes no specific directions. We cannot make a doctrine out of something like that. You can wear your beards and there is nothing wrong with it and there is nothing is wrong with being naked on the face. If we are unbalanced on this and begin to fall under this unbalanced concept that everyone should have beards, you will lose a lot of influence over the people.

Danger of Twisting Scripture

Thou shalt not kill. Take that exactly as it means. We don’t go to war as it means killing. We are vegetarians so we don’t hurt animals. I was talking to a man one day and there were many ants running around and I squashed some and I thought oh no, I am going to offend him as he had said we shouldn’t kill insects. I thought Lord, what do I do? There is such a doctrine and Sr White had to meet it.

There are those who say that nothing, not even insects, should be killed. God has not entrusted any such message to His people. It is possible to stretch the command “Thou shalt not kill” to any limit; but it is not according to sound reasoning to do this. Those who do it have not learned in the school of Christ. {3SM 329.1}

This earth has been cursed because of sin, and in these last days vermin of every kind will multiply. These pests must be killed, or they will annoy and torment and even kill us, and destroy the work of our hands and the fruit of our land. In places there are ants [termites] which entirely destroy the woodwork of houses. Should not these be destroyed? Fruit trees must be sprayed, that the insects which would spoil the fruit may be killed. God has given us a part to act, and this part we must act with faithfulness. Then we can leave the rest with the Lord. {3SM 329.2}

What an interesting rational.

God has given no man the message, Kill not ant or flea or moth. Troublesome and harmful insects and reptiles we must guard against and destroy, to preserve ourselves and our possessions from harm. And even if we do our best to exterminate these pests, they will still multiply.–Manuscript 70, 1901. (Review and Herald, Aug. 31, 1961.) {3SM 329.3}

If I see it I will kill it as it will kill my loved ones. Can you see the balance in principle? There is a very important principle in this subject of balance that we must understand. We are not looking at the subject but the principle we are to learn out of the subject.

Speculative Teachings

Letters have come to me, asking in regard to the teaching of some who say that nothing that has life should be killed, not even insects, however annoying or distressing they may be. Is it possible that anyone claims that God has given him this message to give to the people? The Lord has never given any human being such a message. 1SM page 170.

It is an observation and a stretching of the word.

God has told no one that it is a sin to kill the insects which destroy our peace and rest. In all His teaching, Christ gave no message of this character, and His disciples are to teach only what He commanded them. {1SM 170.3}

We need to have direct messages. Anything else is an observation and we should not teach it.

There are those who are always seeking to engage in controversy. This is the sum of their religion. They are filled with a desire to produce something new and strange. They dwell upon matters of the smallest consequence, exercising upon these their sharp, controversial talents. {1SM 170.4}

Idle tales are brought in as important truths, and by some they are actually set up as tests. Thus controversy is created, and minds are diverted from present truth. Satan knows that if he can get men and women absorbed in trifling details, greater questions will be left unheeded. He will furnish plenty of material for the attention of those who are willing to think upon trifling, unimportant subjects. The minds of the Pharisees were absorbed with questions of no moment. They passed by the precious truths of God’s word to discuss the traditionary lore handed down from generation to generation, which in no way concerned their salvation. And so today, while precious moments are passing into eternity, the great questions of salvation are overlooked for some idle tale. {1SM 170.5}

I hate it with a perfect hatred as I know it has destroyed souls.

I would say to my brethren and sisters, Keep close to the instruction found in the word of God. Dwell upon the rich truths of the Scriptures. Thus only can you become one in Christ. You have no time to engage in controversy regarding the killing of insects. Jesus has not placed this burden upon you. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” (Jeremiah 23:28). These side issues which arise are as hay, wood, and stubble compared with the truth for these last days. Those who leave the great truths of God’s word to speak of such matters are not preaching the gospel. They are dealing with the idle sophistry which the enemy brings forward to divert minds from the truths that concern their eternal welfare. They have no word from Christ to vindicate their suppositions. {1SM 171.1}

Do not spend your time in the discussion of such matters. If you have any question as to what you should teach, any question as to the subjects upon which you should dwell, go right to the discourses of the Great Teacher, and follow His instructions. {1SM 171.2}

Do not allow anything to draw your attention from the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25).
{1SM 171.3}

You won’t lose your eternal life if you kill insects or shave your beard or if you spray trees to keep your fruit growing. That is a reality.

The Day Line Theory

Then comes a subject that has captivated Sabbath keepers. Have you heard of the day line theory? If you were living in Tonga or New Zealand, you know what I’m talking about? This is a very serious argument in the minds of certain seventh day Adventists. I got involved with it in New Zealand and the arguments they raised I thought yeah as there is one island that is divided right down the middle and they don’t know if they are keeping Sabbath or Sunday. If you are a missionary there what are you going to do?

Sister T has been speaking of you to me. She says that you are in some confusion in regard to the day line. Now, my dear sister, this talk about the day line is only a something that Satan has devised as a snare. He seeks to bewitch the senses, as he does in saying, “Lo, here is Christ, or there.” There will be every fiction and devising of Satan to lead persons astray, but the word is, “Believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:23-26). {3SM 317.3}

We have the positive word of God in regard to the Sabbath [Exodus 31:12-18 quoted]. {3SM 318.1}

Is it possible that so much importance can be clustered about those who observe the Sabbath, and yet no one can tell when the Sabbath comes? Then where is the people who bear the badge or sign of God? What is the sign? The seventh-day Sabbath, which the Lord blessed and sanctified, and pronounced holy, with great penalties for its violation. {3SM 318.2}

The seventh-day Sabbath is in no uncertainty. It is God’s memorial of His work of creation. {3SM 318.3}

If you were living there and the beginning of the week was Monday, the dateline doesn’t confuse anybody, and they know today is Monday so when the sun sets on Friday night, it is the Sabbath. It is the seventh day, it so simple. Israel is in the midst of the nations. Think about that. As the sunsets Friday night in Jerusalem, it continues to roll around the world and people are equally distant, you have your answer and the day line doesn’t come into consideration. We are not to occupy our minds with it. This mentality Satan sees to shift his subtleties into the very doctrines we preach.

There will always be those who are seeking for something new, and who stretch and strain the word of God to make it support their ideas and theories. Let us, brethren, take the things that God has given us, and which His Spirit has taught us is truth, and believe them, leaving alone those theories which His Spirit has not endorsed.–Manuscript 125, July 4, 1907, “Lessons From the Visions of Ezekiel.” {UL 199.7}

If you haven’t found a plain statement on a matter, then don’t endorse it. It is not a plain instruction. As per the example of men having long hair, it says it is a shame for man to have long hair but nowhere that you can see that it is a shame for a man to shave his beard. That is the balance of God’s word.

Many will honestly search the word for Light as those in the past have searched it; and they see light in the word. But they did not pass over the ground in their experience, when these messages of warning were first proclaimed. {2SM 110.4}

Recall what I shared the other day. Those who are experienced in it, we are to follow them. I’ve not had their experience and although I’m studying for myself, I’m getting conclusions they didn’t have and I have found something new. Dangerous.

Not having had this experience, some do not appreciate the value of the truths that have been to us as waymarks, and that have made us as a peculiar people what we are. They do not make a right application of the Scriptures, {2SM 110.4}

They have a wonderful study program but they frame theories that are not correct.

and thus they frame theories that are not correct. It is true that they quote an abundance of Scripture, and teach much that is true; but truth is so mixed with error as to lead to wrong conclusions. Yet because they can weave Scripture into their theories, they think that they have a straight chain of truth. Many who did not have an experience in the rise of the messages, accept these erroneous theories, and are led into false paths, backward instead of forward. This is the enemy’s design. {2SM 110.4}

You can be fascinated with the way they are putting scriptures together and a lot of it is true. That’s how he does it. Not only in those trivial matters, but also in the doctrines of Adventism.

I beg of you for Christ’s sake, let no hasty, rash expressions fall from your lips, let no extravagant language be used, let nothing be uttered that will savor of railing, for all this is human. Christ has no part in it. Let the ready writers be careful how they use their pens, lest they may seem to cast ridicule upon the positions of believers or unbelievers. We shall find our only safety in preserving the lowly spirit of Christ, in making straight paths for our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. The meekness and lowliness of Christ must take possession of the soul. {TM 219.1}

Satan is putting forth his power in presenting masterly delusions, so that he may bring to pass that which is not in accordance with God’s will. Let not those who believe the truth give occasion to our enemies to vindicate opposition, to give ground for the misrepresentation that men would use to oppose the advance of the truth. For the sake of Christ let every worker put forth efforts that will bring to naught Satan’s assertions, and not engage in anything that God has not required at his hands. Under heavenly generalship we may work in accordance with God’s will, and success will crown our efforts. Give God a chance to work, and leave men to do whatever He wishes them to do to advance His truth. {TM 219.2}

The question of religious liberty is very important, and it should be handled with great wisdom and discretion. Unless this is done there is danger that by our own course of action we shall bring upon ourselves a crisis before we are prepared for it.

How do you do that? When you start to teach for doctrines the attacks upon the Catholic Church. The theories that we are familiar with today, that is highlighted as though it is God’s word and God has never given that kind of instruction.

The burden of our message should be “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Our brethren should be cautioned to make moves that will not stir up and provoke the powers that be, so that they will make moves that will limit the work, and cut us off from proclaiming the message in different localities. {TM 219.3}

Satan wants to put in things, these twists of observations in the doctrines we teach to take them and to stretch them. Strain them further than they were given. It says the beast is, it doesn’t say the beast is the Catholic Church. It says the beast is described so that the people in the study of the scriptures and in the handing of the scriptures will come to the conclusion that it is. We have to be careful that we don’t unveil details of the Catholic Church in our own language. Nothing is to be uttered that would savour railing for all this is human. If you are trying to reach Catholics you won’t reach them by that kind of railing. If you do reach them, they will become as activist as is supported by the presentation. In their foolishness and natural man they will become activists.

God is angry with those who pursue a course to make the world hate them. If a Christian is hated because of his good works, and for following Christ, he will have a reward. But if he is hated because he does not take a course to be loved, hated because of his uncultivated manners, and because he makes the truth a matter of quarrel with his neighbors, and because he has taken a course to make the Sabbath as annoying as possible to them, he is a stumbling-block to sinners, a reproach to the sacred truth, {Mar 157.5}

He must repent. God is angry with that kind of message. Let us weed out of our presentations those kinds of observations making the enemy rubbing his hands as he is right behind that, unbalanced messages. Extravagance; stretching the word.

No one-sided extravagance is to be revealed, no indolence of shiftlessness is to be indulged. We are not to ignore any man’s individuality, or in any way to justify cold-hearted criticism or selfish practice. {7BC 953.4}

You’ve seen it in terms of stretching the word. We love the message of 1888 and Sr White is addressing the people in their discussion on that. Even on that beautiful subject, be careful, don’t stretch the word, don’t be extravagant. Here is an example;

The remark was made, “If our views of Galatians are not correct, then we have not the third angel’s message, and our position goes by the board; there is nothing to our faith.” {3SM 174.3}

That was an expression among the discussions of the 1888 interaction. That does that sound plausible? Think about it.

I said, “Brethren, here is the very thing I have been telling you. This statement is not true. It is an extravagant, exaggerated statement. If it is made in the discussion of this question I shall feel if my duty to set this matter before all that are assembled, and whether they hear or forbear tell them the statement is incorrect. The question at issue is not a vital question and should not be treated as such. The wonderful importance and magnitude of this subject has been exaggerated, and for this reason–through misconception and perverted ideas–we see the spirit that prevails at this meeting, which is unchristlike, and which we should never see exhibited among brethren. There has been a spirit of Pharisaism coming in among us which I shall lift my voice against wherever it may be revealed.” {3SM 174.4}

Have you ever been in a meeting where these kind of things exchange and you lose the sweet fellowship of Jesus Christ? Whenever you can feel him departing you know you are doing the wrong thing.

I could see a great want of wise discrimination and of good judgment. . . {3SM 175.1}

We are to have good judgement, we are not to be imbalanced an anything.

Extreme Views We Have Been Familiar With

Sr White is preaching in a sermon.

We don’t make the health reform an iron bedstead, cutting people off or stretching them out to fit it. One person cannot be a standard for everybody else. What we want is a little sprinkling of good common sense. Don’t be extremists. If you err, it would be better to err on the side of the people than on the side where you cannot reach them. Do not be peculiar for the sake of being peculiar. {1SAT 12.2}

We are to be Gods peculiar people but not because I am peculiar, I am much better than everybody else. No, that is what leads us into thinking God wants me to be peculiar therefore I am going to be very fastidious in regards to dress reform in stretching it and health reform. Don’t be extremists, if you err, it would be better to err on the side of the people.

Away with cake. Persons may kill themselves with sweets. More harm is done to children by sweets than by anything else. The best food that I have obtained is the rolls. {1SAT 12.2}

Isn’t that an extremist statement? We can use Sr Whites writings and fall into the trap of stretching it. Are we going to stop eating cake because we just read that? If you made a cake that is healthy, won’t you eat it? What cakes is she talking about? Imbalance can come in just like that even with her own writings. Don’t make an iron bedstead, rigid iron regulations and make health reform a test to such a degree. These are important principles that we must embrace so that we do not bring in unbalanced concepts into our practises so that we would not err on the side of pushing people out. We must err on the side of the people if we do err.

If you err, let it not be in getting as far from the people as possible, for then you cut the thread of your influence and can do them no good. {CD 211.3}

Why should we lose certain people on extremisms when we just want them to find the beautiful truths of original Adventism? They won’t even be able to hear those beautiful truths as they will listen to us and say too much extremism here. I realise I have to be faithful but they walk away.

Better err on the side of the people than altogether away from them, for there is hope in that case that you can carry the people with you, but there is no need of error on either side. {CD 211.3}

Get the perfect balance. But if you do get unbalanced, balance in the wrong direction. Not in the right direction stretched.

You need not go into the water, or into the fire, but take the middle path, avoiding all extremes. Do not let it appear that you are one-sided, ill-balanced managers. Do not have a meager, poor diet. Do not let any one influence you to have the diet poverty-stricken. Have your food prepared in a healthful, tasteful manner; have your food prepared with a nicety that will correctly represent health reform. {CD 211.4}

The great backsliding upon health reform is because unwise minds have handled it and carried it to such extremes that it has disgusted in place of converting people to it. I have been where these radical ideas have been carried out. Vegetables prepared with only water, and everything else in like manner. This kind of cookery is health deform, and there are some minds so constituted that they will accept anything that bears the features of rigorous diet or reform of any kind. {CD 212.1}

They are the only people you will attract, the greenies. They will say oh these people are like us. All of a sudden they discover they spray, oh no.

The third angel’s message is infallible. Upon the grand, ennobling truths connected with that message you can dwell with perfect safety. Labor intelligently to encourage union of faith and union of judgment, that all may be united in the bonds of Christian fellowship and love; but do not belittle the work of God with ideas and notions of your own. Let not your ears listen to gossip from any one. If all would refuse to hear evil of their neighbor, the tale-bearer would soon seek other employment. {HS 122.3}

Do not encourage a class who center their religion in dress. Let each one study the plain teachings of the Scriptures as to simplicity and plainness of dress and by faithful obedience to those teachings strive to set a worthy example to the world and to those new in the faith. God does not want any one person to be conscience for another. Talk of the love and humility of Jesus; but do not encourage the brethren and sisters to engage in picking flaws in the dress or appearance of one another. {HS 122.4}

It is most offensive for me to hear people say, oh, I don’t like what you are dressing in today. What an uncourteous expression or even to say oh you have such a beautiful dress on but it is just a little bit short. This is what this is talking about. Or oh you no, we should really be wearing socks and not stockings. All that kind of thing is out of the question.

Some take delight in this work; and when their minds are turned in this direction, they begin to feel that they must become church tinkers. They climb upon the judgment seat, and as soon as they see one of their brethren or sisters, they look to find something to criticise. This is one of the most effectual means of becoming narrow-minded, and of dwarfing spiritual growth. God would have them step down from the judgment seat, for he has never placed them there. I speak thus plainly because I know your danger in this country. Already souls have become discouraged and given up the truth because of this spirit manifested toward them. {HS 122.4}

All the religion many have is to pick flaws. I once knew a lady whose religion was of just this character, and in her family she was so overbearing that they could hardly live with her. A tent-meeting was held near the place where she lived, but instead of taking hold to help those who were laboring very hard in the meetings, or to receive help herself, this woman stood back to criticise. On returning to the house one day, I found her searching my trunk to see if there was not some article of clothing in it that she could condemn. We shall ever have just such people to deal with in this world. But if we do not enter too much into particulars, they will have no excuse for indulging their natural disposition. It is a marvel to me what patience the Lord has with such crooked material. But he has ordained that by the clear presentation of truth all can be brought into love and harmony. {HS 123.2}

There are few of my brethren and sisters who maintain plainness of dress as I do. My writings are pointed on this subject; but I do not carry it in the front. It is not to be made of greater importance than the solemn, testing truths for this time. There is in the very composition of some a criticising spirit, and this they cultivate as a precious acquisition. {HS 123.3}

We must present the principles of truth, and let them work upon the hearts of the people. We may pick the leaves from a tree as often as we please, but this will not cause the tree to die; the next season the leaves will come out again as thick as before. But strike the ax at the root of the tree, and not only will the leaves fall off of themselves, but the tree will die. Those who accept the truth, in the love of it, will die to the world, and will become meek and lowly in heart like their divine Lord. Just as soon as the heart is right, the dress, the conversation, the life, will be in harmony with the word of God. {HS 123.4}

This is what I’ve been trying to point out so no one can say oh have you come to our standard of reform yet? This is supposed to be done.

The Conclusion from Words of Inspiration

As the natural eyesight of persons becomes so impaired as to be almost useless, so in the case of religious fanaticism and extremists, the eye of the soul through which good and evil may be discerned, becomes so perverted that nothing is distinguished clearly. A healthful discernment is ruined, so the spirit of truth and righteousness cannot be distinguished from the spirit of error and fanaticism. {Ev 610.5}

If you eat in such a way that your stomach becomes small, then you don’t know any more when you are full. Because you have constricted your stomach very much that although you are not eating sufficient food, you are full already. That is what happens to bulimics and anorexics. They don’t know any more as they eat and feel nauseous or they feel full and they are not eating enough. There are many extreme health reformers who are bulimics and anorexics as they are confused. Sr White pointed this out in regards to the eye sight. When a person is in that state it is the most difficult job to get them out. I know what it feels like.

There is a disease of the spiritual faculties when a man or woman fancies that he sees things which do not exist. He is intoxicated with an illusion as verily as the liquor drinker becomes intoxicated by using strong drink. There is an inspiration, but not of God. The mental faculties are perverted. Let every soul make God his trust and obtain an experience that is wholesome and healthy.–Manuscript 41, 1900. {Ev 611.1}

This is of extreme importance. Some have criticised me when I was dealing with a certain person of this nature who become devil possessed because of health reform. Satan does it. If you fall into his clutches on extremism on dress reform, he’s got you and to come out of it you senses have been so affected that you cannot discern normality anymore.

There is a class of people who are always ready to go off on some tangent, who want to catch up something strange and wonderful and new; but God desires us all to move calmly, considerately, choosing our words in harmony with the solid truth for this time. The truth should be presented to the mind as free as possible from that which is emotional, while still bearing the intensity and solemnity befitting its character. We must guard against encouraging extremists, those who would be either in the fire or in the water. {Ev 611.2}

We must guard against that.

I beseech you to weed out of your teachings every extravagant expression, everything that unbalanced minds and those who are inexperienced will catch up and which will lead them to make wild, immature movements. It is necessary for you to cultivate caution in every statement, lest you start some on a wrong track, and make confusion that will require much sorrowful labor to set in order, thus diverting the strength of the laborers into lines which God does not design shall be entered. One manifestation of fanaticism among us will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth.–Undated Manuscript 111. {Ev 611.3}

This is what we need to understand and may God help us to rally to these beautiful counsels of God’s word and be missionaries of the highest order. Balanced in all we stand for and present. In our personal witnessing to others, take this in and when somebody who has a responsibility in Gods church feels it is necessary to do what Sr White has done to weed it out, don’t be hurt, it is to shut out the evil one, that’s all.

Amen.

Posted on September 30, 2011, in Fanaticism, Missionary Studies, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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