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Discerning End-Time Deceptions

Mark Finley
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Pastor Finley will outline three basic biblical principles for understanding last-day delusions. He will illustrate how to apply these biblical principles to some of the most significant issues facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. If you are concerned about the future of the church, biblical faithfulness, creation issues, the emerging church, and Pentecostal influences pervading Adventism, this seminar will provide the tools to discern last-day delusions. Be prepared for a surprise ending to this thought-provoking seminar that will dramatically impact your own spiritual life.


Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference




  • August 7, 2014
    10:45 AM
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Let's start class! Because this is a critical class, we don't want to miss one moment in class. Let's pray! Father in Heaven, thank you for the clarity of Your Word! Thank You that Your Word speaks to our hearts, that it cuts through the confusion, and it cuts through the challenges that we face! I just pray Thee, that as we open Your Word in class, that Your Spirit would speak to us! Give us principles that'll make an eternal difference both in our personal lives and in our churches! Help us to have eyes enlightened by the Holy Spirit and divine discernment about the issues that we’re facing! In Christ's Name, amen!

Seventh-Day Adventist Church today is facing a time, I believe, of its greatest opportunity and its greatest challenges. When you look at what is taking place in many local Adventist churches, I think you can step back and say every wind of doctrine is blowing. You can look at a variety of topics that are taking place, that are challenging local churches. Let me give you some examples: topics that can be what I would consider to be on the ultra-right, and topics that could be on the ultra-left. You can go to some Seventh-Day Adventist churches and there's a real debate over trinitarianism. There is a great movement on anti-trinitarianism, the idea that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church originally did not teach that the Holy Spirit was a person and so forth. So, you have that argument that some people raise. You go to other churches and there’ll be pockets of people in parts of the country that believe that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church ought to go back to teaching the feasts, that we've neglected that teaching and we need to go back and celebrate Passover and Pentecost and so forth. Then you will go to some churches that are kind of on the other end of the spectrum. They begin to question the integrity of Ellen White, was she really a prophet, sure she was a good devotional writer but was she really a prophet of God? Is the Seventh-Day Adventist Church really the remnant Church of Bible prophecy, or are we one of many churches on the landscape of churches? So you have all these questions raised. You’ll have some pockets in different parts of the United States and the world that will emphasize what's called contemplative spirituality. They see the formalism that is taking place in many in Adventist Church. They look to what they would believe as a more contemplative spirituality, trying to empty their mind to be at peace and so forth. So there's a certain element of that, there is some that would accept what they call the emerging church. So what we have today is this panoply of varying issues that the church is facing.

It's not my intent this morning to take each one of these issues and deal with them in depth, because any one of the issues that I mentioned might take a class of three hours, four hours, five hours to deal with them. Here’s what my intent is, so you know right at the beginning. What I’d like to do today is: first, look at some broad strokes. And my objective in the class is this: by the time you leave here today, I want to give you tools and principles that will help you to be able to discern from a biblical standpoint whether something is biblically true or it's not. So, rather than try to deal with each individual issue, I'd rather give you principles. It's like previously. There was a time when the Adventist Church said: “movies are wrong”, rather than giving our young people principles to discern why. And if you say ‘this is wrong’, or ‘that's wrong’ then it's always ‘what about the next one?’. But if you underlined certain basic principles that can be indicted by the Holy Spirit, then you are able to detect clearly. So, what I’m gonna try to do today is share with you some of the different issues the church is facing, but particularly, we’re gonna look at principles.

Now, we’re looking at page one on the document. I’ll go back and forth in the document. False teaching should not surprise us. It should not surprise us at all that the church at times would face false teachings or heresy. There are those people that say: ‘but wait a minute, if the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is the true church, how could we possibly be facing this or that?’ Oh, that argument could have been given in the New Testament to the apostle Paul, because the New Testament church faced false teachings. Take your Bible, please, if you have it! I sure hope you do! You may have your iPad, your iPhone, your… whatever else ‘I’ you have, but I want you to use your ‘eyes’ and look at the text of Scripture, and not be texting! Are you with me, please? Acts, the 20th chapter we’re looking at. Here's our point: false teaching should not surprise us, they did not surprise the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul had left Ephesus, and he had sailed to Miletus, he was on his way back to Jerusalem, and there in Miletus Paul summoned the elders from Ephesus to come. He did not want to leave without giving them some counsel. Acts, chapter 20, we're looking at verses 28 to 30. Notice what the apostle Paul says: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which is purchased with His own blood. For I know this…” Notices what Paul does not say, he doesn’t say ‘I think this’, he doesn't say ‘it's likely this, this should happen’, he doesn't say ‘I'm going to give you some information in case this might happen’. What does Paul say? “I know this, after my departing…” (that is after I go from Jerusalem, leave the church in Ephesus), “savage wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock.” He’s speaking about persecution there, that persecution would come to the church, but then he shifts gears and he goes to… verse 30: “also from among yourselves, men will rise up…” (‘among yourselves’ - he is talking to the church leadership, among the elders of the church, among the pastors of the church, among the laypeople of the church, among yourselves, among the church at Ephesus…), “…men will rise up, speaking perverse things” What's ‘perverse’ mean? What's another word for ‘perverse’? Is ‘perverse’ straight or crooked? Crooked! “…speaking crooked things, to draw away disciples after themselves. Therefore watch and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn you with tears, and now, brethren, I commend you to God, into the Word of His grace that's able to build you up.” So, Paul says to the New Testament church: “do not be surprised when heresy comes, do not be surprised when false teachings come! Because false teachings came in to the church at Ephesus or to the church at Philippi or to the church at Laodicea. Did Paul counsel believers to separate from the body in a smaller group, and look back at the church of Ephesus and write a document at how they were false and they became part of Babylon? Was that Paul’s counsel? “He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!” That may be the most valuable thing you heard today! Paul's counsel to Christians was not to call Christians out from the main body of the church at Ephesus or Philippi, to meet in a small group because certain false teachings came into the church. That was not his counsel! His counsel was to meet those false teachings biblically. Now, Ellen White confirms the counsel that Paul gave, a statement you do not have in your lecture sheet, that I’d  like you to write down. I saw this after I developed the sheet, or else I would have put it in. “First Selected Messages”, page 122. I make no apology in this class at all for using the writings of Ellen White, heavily and extensively. If you believe that Ellen White is a messenger for the Remnant, to clearly reveal to the church errors that will come in, then the use of her writings is perfectly legitimate, for the last day church. Not only is it legitimate, it would be unwise not to use them!

“First Selected Messages” page 122. Notice what she says: “we have more to fear from within than from without!” That's a statement that we need to ponder, isn’t it? “We have more to fear from within than from without!” The apostle Paul would have resonated with that. As Paul talk to the church in Ephesus, and remember the Acts passage that we just read in Acts 20, that Acts passage reflects Paul's counsel to the church at Ephesus. Let's go to the book of Ephesians and pick up a phrase that'll become the theme frieze of our class today. We're looking at Ephesians chapter 4 and we’re starting with verse 11. Ephesians 4 verse 11. “And He Himself gave to be…” (this is when Christ resurrected from the dead), “…gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors (who are teachers)”. See, the word ‘and teachers’ is probably not the best translation, it's the Greek word ‘kai’ which means ‘that is’ or ‘who are’. So teaching pastors. So, what's the function of apostles? Divided ministrators. What's the function of prophets that had been guided with divine vision? What's the function of evangelists or teaching pastors or shepherds? For the equipping of the saints (that's the believers), for the work of the ministry for edifying the body of Christ. Leadership in the church is to equip membership for service. That's Paul's point. Now notice, verse 13: “till  we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by… what? … every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth… how? …in love, may grow up in all things onto Him who is the Head.” Now notice, Paul says that we’re not carried about by every wind of doctrine. In the Seventh Day Adventist Church, before the coming of Jesus, every wind of doctrine will be blowing. See, the problem is this: let's suppose I have numbers and these are the numbers, (get ready to add this up, cause I’ll ask you what the answer is!): seven, six, three and thirteen. Seven, six, three and thirteen. What’s your answer? Seven, six, three, thirteen. What is it? Twenty nine - 29. How many right answers are there? How many wrong answers are there? Give me the number of wrong answers! How many wrong answers are there? You see why the devil has an advantage? Truth takes one form, but the devil doesn't care whether he gets you off on the left or the right. He doesn't care if he gets you off denying Creation, or way off here on the right someplace, (and I won't define how far the right is, cause I’ll get somebody upset with me who believes that). I know my group well! But maybe, maybe I should, maybe God puts a bee in your bonnet, that everybody in the Adventist Church ought to be keeping the feasts. The devil doesn't care whether it gets you off way over there or way over here. See, if a truck is going down a mountain pass, you can hit the mountain on the right or you can go off the cliff on the left, but you’re still off the road, right? So the devil… see Truth takes one clear form, but error takes many! So, every wind of doctrine will be blowing.

Look at the statement at the bottom of page 1. Already the judgments of God are brought in the land. You want to underline this! Already the judgments of God are brought in the land. It’s seen in storms, floods, tempests, earthquakes and perils by land and sea. Do we see some more of that today taking place? Do we see that? Are those things taking place?

Now, skip down to page 2, middle of the page, middle of the page 2. You see the bold print: “to stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority do… what? Do you see the bold print, page 2, first paragraph: “to stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority do… what? You’re not seeing it! Oh, I see what the issue is: page 2 is the back of page 1. Okay, you got it? Page 2 is where we are: “to stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority… what? …forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few, this will be our test!” (Oh, it’s on page one! Oh, that’s oh, I got to get the right issue here. I got another issue. Okay, so you see it there! Does everybody got it?) Let’s read it together: “to stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few, this will be… what? …our test!”

Now, let your eyes go down two more paragraphs, two more paragraphs. “The days are fast approaching…” (it's the next section, that's in bold). This is from an article Ellen White wrote extensively commenting on Ephesians 4. In this article she's talking about Ephesians 4 and that statement that ‘every wind of doctrine will be blowing’. She says: “the days are fast approaching when there'll be great perplexity, confusion. Satan clothed in angel robes will deceive, if possible, the very elect. Who are the very elect? Who are the very elect? God’s church, right? But she says, that if possible, the very elect will be deceived. Why? There’ll be gods many and lords many, ‘every wind of doctrine will be blowing’. So, Ellen White takes Ephesians 4, verse 11, which is talking about ‘every wind of doctrine’ and she applies it to the last days of earth history, she applies it to the church today. So one of the agencies that Satan is gonna use really effectively just before the return of our Lord is  gonna be false teachings. And these false teachings will enter the church and they’ll accomplish at least 4 of the devil's purposes. And I've outlined them here: why would the devil bring heresy into the Adventist Church? What would his strategy be? And secondly, why would God let it come? First: 4 reasons why the devil would bring it in: number 1heresy often minimizes the significance of the three Angels messages and uniqueness of Heaven’s last day message. So, he’d often minimize that. When heresy begins to come into the church it often minimizes the uniqueness of a God Divine, God raised up movement. And if the devil can do that, he can blunt the edge of witness. Because if Seventh-day Adventists are simply one of multiple denominations on the face of the denominational landscape, why have a passion to go to the ends of the earth to prepare the world for the soon coming of Jesus? So that leads us to number 2heresy effectively hinders mission. It hinders it in a variety of ways. It takes the cutting edge of a unique movement to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. It also, when heresy comes into a church… and have you ever been in a local church that’s been debating some theological issue, whatever that theological issue is, whether it's anti-trinitarianism, whether it's some issue of health, whether it is creation, whether you have one group believing in the emerging church, the other group not believing in it, what happens when some heresy comes  into the church or some errant theology? You spend your time arguing, there's no unity you lose your sense of mission and you lose that warm love and that commitment to the Word!
The unity which undergirds mission (I’m reading number 2), suffers in the context of doctrinal heresy. Thirdlyheresy often undermines the authority of church leadership, casts dispersion on leadership. There is some kind of subtle heresies that give the idea that, you know, the Adventist Church is Babylon, and that leaders you have sold out, and that kind of casts away your confidence. Four heresy will shake out of the church many people who are deceived by its falsehoods. That often happens, church gets involved in some kind, whether it is an ultraliberal left, that leads people out to a more ‘quote on quote’ ‘evangelical Adventism’, or whether it is an ultraconservative right that leads them out in another direction. Now, if that happens, why do you think God would allow some heresies to come into the church? Is there a ministry of heresies? Do you think if Adventism becomes Laodicean, apathetic and complacent, God may allow heresies to come in, to lead people back to their knees and back to the Word? So, there can be… see, you can do nothing against the truth but what? For the truth! And all things work together for good!!! So, even heresy introduced by the devil, that is falsehood, can be used of God to lead His people to a deeper experience with Him in prayer and in Bible study. But the devil wants to shake people out through heresy.

Now, take your Bible please! We’re going over, I'm at the top of page 3, you may be at the bottom of page 2. I have the King James Version, you have the Revised Standard Version of my text. J You missed it, but that's okay! J Okay, you see the heading it says “the Adventist Church impacted by false teachings”. We’re gonna go to the book of Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 12, verse 25-29. Hebrews 12:25-29. We’re looking there at Hebrews, in the book of Hebrews talks about a mighty shaking that is coming to God's people. Ellen White applies these passages for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. We’re looking at Hebrews 12:25-29 and there's a principle here you just don't want to miss! Hebrews 12 verse 25 to 29. Are you with me in it? “See that you do not refuse Him that speaks, for they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from Heaven, whose voice shook the earth.” When did God speak from Heaven and His voice shook the earth? When did that happen? You got it!!! This is a good class!!! I knew that they would give me the most outstanding class! J It was from Sinai, right? Yeah! That's when God spoke from Heaven Ten Commandment Law. So, the context of this passage is the Ten Commandments. Okay? Let your eyes drop down: “whose voice shook the earth but now, He has promised saying: «yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also Heaven». Now this «yet once more»…”, so in the context of God's Law, in the context of the Ten Commandments…, What does Revelation say, Revelation 14? (keep your finger here, I’ll just quote Revelation 14:12): “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that do… what? …keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” What about Revelation 12:17: “the Dragon was… what? In wrath with the woman. Went to make war with those that keep… what? The Commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.” So, Hebrews 12 the “once more shaking” is in the context of a remnant that keeps the Commandments of God!

Okay, so we go! Verse 27: “Now this «yet once more» indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of those things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken remain.” Look at verse 27! Verse 27 is the answer to every offshoot that ever was or ever will be! If you understand clearly verse 27, you will not be taken away by an offshoot! Let's go over it: “Now this «yet once more» indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken.” What happens to the things that are being shaken? Do they stay or do they go? They go! They’re removed! The reason we’re not interested in an offshoot it’s because offshoots shoot off, they do not remain, they do not remain! But notice here: “«yet once more» indicates the removal of those things that are shaken, as of the things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken do… what? What happens to the things that can't be shaken, folk, what are they? They remain! And what's another word for those that remain? The Remnant! You got it! So, the Remnant remain, those that are shaken do… what? They shoot off!

Now follow me closely! God's method of purifying His church at end time is different than any method He’s used down through church history. If you understand this, you will be saved from a million heresies, maybe not a million but a lot of heresies! Let me explain! You help me here now! When God called Abraham, did He call Abraham to remain or was Abraham called out? Oh, Abraham was called out! When Israel left Egypt, did they remain or were they called out? (Called out!) Ok! When Israel apostatized from God, did they remain, or was the New Testament church called out? Does anybody know the Greek word for ‘church’? What's that word? ‘Ekklesia’ ‘Ek’ is ‘out’, ‘klesia’ is ‘called’. So the church are the ‘called out’ ones! Okay! So, God called out the New Testament Christian church from apostate…, when Judaism rejected the Messiah, okay? Or the Jewish leadership did, most of the early church were from the Jewish faith, so, okay! When Protestantism eventually apostatized, and you have that long period of the Dark Ages, and God moves, He says: “Babylon is fallen” and He calls out a… what? Remnant! So, God’s pattern throughout history has been that when the larger body drifts from His purpose, when the larger body disobeys His will, when the larger body becomes amalgamated with the world around them, He does… what? What does God do? Will there have to be some time where the calling out process stops? Because if you have a remnant and you call out a movement from the remnant, will there be some point where that remnant apostatizes, and you have to call out a group from that, and you have to call out a group from that and what… do you get my point, right? Here's the point: God's method of purifying His church at end time is not a calling out, it is a shaking out! That's the fundamental difference! The wheat and tears will grow together until… what? The harvest! So, rather than a calling out of the remnant, (there is no remnant within the remnant in Scripture), rather than calling out, God will allow heresy to come in, as one of the means of shaking out lukewarm complacent. “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall…”, what does Ellen White say? “It remains, while the sinners in Sion are sifted out.” So, you will get people that are ultra-conservative on the right, and they will say: “look at this certain apostasy! God is calling out a new movement!”. But what I’ve studied with you today shows clearly that the method that God will purify is not a calling out but a shaking out. Let’s go back to our document, and you’re looking there… I’m on page 3, you may be on the bottom of page 2. “Testimonies to Ministers”, page 112, “Testimonies to Ministers”, page 112. “When the shaking comes, (and I'm again in the bold print, right under the text) when the shaking comes by the introduction of false  theories, these surface readers anchored nowhere are like shifting sand, they slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness.” So, there is going to be a shaking and what is gonna bring that shaking into the Adventist church?

False theories. So, if… here's a profile of what we should expect, stepping back and saying: let's look at a profile of what we should expect in the world, what we should expect in the church just before the coming of Jesus. In the world we should expect natural disasters, famines, fires, flood. We should expect political uncertainty. We should expect economic uncertainty in the world. We should expect everything around us be uncertain. Where sociologists, philosophers, political leaders look at the world and they say: what are indeed,… what are the answers, what are the solutions?

Then we should expect as well in the church, the devil introducing a variety of false teachings that appeal both to conservatives, moderates and those that are more liberal. We should expect that to happen, that should not surprise us! Heresy should drive us to our knees, to know Christ, to be anchored in Christ. Heresy and false teaching should drive us again to study the Word personally. And we should expect a great shaking.
As that shaking occurs, God uses it to purify His church. He will pour out the latter rain power on His people, and although multitudes will go out, we will see tens of thousands come in. And the earth will be lightened with the glory of God!

Now, there is a statement that I really hesitated putting in, and I thought to myself: “I don't know if I should put this statement in”. And as I thought about it, I felt impressed by the Spirit that I better not leave it out, dare I put it in, but dare I leave it out! The statement is the next statement in the paragraph, and I’m not going to read it all, I’ll leave that to you. Well, maybe I will. “Satan has made his boast of what he can do.” (You can see it here, you can see the statement?) “Satan has made his boast of what he can do. He thinks to dissolve the unity which Christ prayed might exist in His church.” So, one of Satan's greatest goals is to do… what? What is one of Satan's greatest goals? To destroy unity by bringing false teaching in. Okay. “He says: I’ll go forth and be a lying spirit, to deceive those that I can.” I mean what a strategy of the enemy! He says: “I’m gonna be a lying spirit, to criticize and condemn and to falsify.” So, the devil will come into a church, he will criticize leadership, he will falsify, he’ll help to misconstrue statements that are made. “Let the Son of deceit and false witness be entertained by a church that has had great light, great evidence, and that church will discard the message that the Lord has sent, and receive the most unreasonable assertions and false suppositions, and false theories. Satan laughs at their folly for he knows what the truth is.
Next sentence, I will not comment on it, I'll simply read it. It’s something to ponder on and pray over!
“Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled
from the hellish torch of Satan.”

“Many, many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.”

The challenge that you and I have is to see something that is not in harmony with what we think ought to be true and say “Aaa!!!” and become usually critical of that individual. The other danger is to be so asleep, that we don't know how to detect what may be coming upon the church, and that's what I want to share with you in the rest of our class.

Remember the theme of our class is “every wind”, every wind of doctrine is gonna be blowing. And what are some of those winds? I’ve identified about five of those winds for you. The first wind I called “the dust storm of doubt”, “the dust storm of doubt”. “Every wind of doctrine.” Okay, I'm gonna read the first paragraph. Have you ever been in a dust storm, incidentally? Anybody here ever been in a dust storm? Who’s been in a dust storm? What's the big problem of a dust storm? He can’t… what? See! So, when you're in a dust storm you're driving out of road, you have difficult vision, vision becomes a difficulty, doesn't it? So, have you ever been in a dust storm with the wind blowing fiercely across the prairies? Dust storms obscure vision. They make staying on the right road nearly impossible. They create confusion, they make proper decision-making difficult. If the devil can persuade us to doubt God's Word or question His revealed will, he knows we’re on a pathway to apostasy. See, doubt is like a dust storm. In a dust storm you can’t see clearly, you become confused. When you begin to doubt, what happens? When you doubt, you become confused. Can you think of two times in the Bible, where the devil used doubt, in an attempt to lead into sin? One time he was successful, one time he wasn’t. Ok! Two times in the Bible, the devil lead into doubt… Adam and Eve! Remember there in Genesis 3, “God said to Eve: has God said?” yeah! Satan said to Eve! Thanks! You corrected the preacher, that was good, that was just a  test to see how awake you are! No, the preacher has to be honest, the preacher misspoke, okay! We’re gonna look here: Genesis chapter 3, verse 1: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made, and he said to the woman: «has God said?»” Now notice, here is the question “has God said?” What is the devil doing, what’s his strategy? Insinuating doubt in what? The Word of God!
Now, the devil is successful there. Can you think of another time in the Bible that the devil trying to insinuate doubt and he wasn't successful? You got it! This is a good class! In the wilderness, right? What did he say to Jesus? “If you are… what? The Son of God! What was he trying to do, what was his strategy? To insinuate doubt! And once he could get Jesus to doubt the divinity, that He has His own inherent divinity, he could get Him to fall, right? So, here is the devil’s strategy to insinuate doubt. Let me give you three specific areas where I think the devil tries to insinuate doubt: first: the first eleven chapters of Genesis. His doubts will come like this: “you know…, the first eleven chapters of Genesis, I mean…, can you really take those literally?, umm… was this… I mean, sure, Moses was guided by God, but was this his kind of… his reflection of what he believed about Creation, but not really the actual fact, because the Bible really isn't a scientific document, it is a book…” You see how the devil’s strategy comes? What does he do? He insinuates what? Doubt! And if the devil can insinuate doubt about Creation, then he insinuates doubt about the entire Bible. If he insinuates doubt about the flood, whether it was a universal flood, then how do you relate to Jesus statements about the flood? How do you relate to Jesus statements about Creation? So if you doubt the eleven chapters, first eleven chapters of Genesis and say “this was just a reflection of what Moses thought, but science today is more enlightened than that.” If that is your position, what that leads you to do is cast doubt: A. on the Bible, whether it is indeed the inspired Word of God, an accurate record of things. B. It leads you to cast doubt on the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath which refer back to Creation. C. It leads you to infer doubt on Jesus.

So one area that you can expect doubt to be inferred on is the first 11 chapters of Genesis, because if they fall, the Word of God falls, if they fall, the teachings of Jesus are brought into incredibility. If they fall, the Sabbath falls, so you can expect that to come.

Here's another area that is very much like that, and that is the concept of “the remnant”. You know, God did raise up the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the argument goes like this: “God raised up the Seventh Day Adventist Church, but it's one of many churches. We have our contribution to make, and so do other churches to make their contribution…” and once you begin questioning “the remnant” than you ask yourself “why did I leave my job to become a Sabbath keeping Adventist?”, you know, what significant is… if a person…
I had to make this decision: I was part of a Catholic youth organization at seventeen years old. We had five hundred young people in our Catholic youth organization. I was a captain in the Catholic basketball team. Our parish had probably five thousand people in it, in Norwich Connecticut, St. Patrick School. And I heard the Adventist message, and I had to make a decision: would I become part of a little group, we had forty people in our church, and almost no youth at all, none, zero. We met in a Masonic Temple, in a rented room. Was I gonna leave five hundred young people in a basketball team that I was a captain of, just to join some other church that had a little bit of truth?!?!?! And I’ll tell you what appealed to me: that God had raised up a movement of destiny around the world, that the Seventh Day Adventist Church was a divine movement of God and when I went and met in that little room of forty people, I had that sense that I had brothers and sisters in countries all over the world and that God had message and He was gonna impact the world.

So, here's what you can expect in this dust storms of doubt. How do you detect heresy?
Here's how you detect it: if I were with a less sophisticated group I would call it “the smell test”. But since this group is little more up market at ASI, I have to think of a different way to phrase that. I’m gonna use “the smell test” anyway. Dust storms of doubt, you give it a “smell test”. If it smells like it's inferring doubt, doubting the first 11 chapters of Genesis, doubting the remnant movement... if it smells like that, go find a place where the smell is better. I mean, you know that is leading to serious questions. Okay?

In this area of doubt, there is one other area that the devil is gonna use, and I have listed the statement further in your document, but because I need it now, I won’t worry about the page,  but I’m gonna come over and try to pull it from here. Okay, here it is! First “Selected Messages” page 48, okay? It's on about the second from last page, but don’t worry about finding it, you'll have it in your document. Okay, page 7 or 8, around in there… but again, here it is: “The very last deception of Satan…” Now, when I read a statement from Ellen White that says “the very last deception of Satan” what do I know? “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. «Where there is no vision, the people perish!» Satan will work ingeniously.” Now, Satan is a genius. (Aaa, great! Thank you so much!) “Satan will work ingeniously in different ways and through different agencies to unsettle the confidence of the remnant people in the true testimony!” I don't want you to miss that. If you can't find it, you have it in your document! But what is the last deception of Satan, what is the last deception of Satan? To make of… what? Now, does he say… Does Ellen White say… I want you to notice the words: make of… what? None effect. How do you make something of none effect? You use a sophisticated method to make it of none effect. You know what the sophisticated method is? “Oh, I believe that Ellen White… oh, sure, “Desire of Ages” is a wonderful book, I mean, you know, I really get inspired when I read it.” You see the argument? “Oh, yeah, oh yeah…” See, it's not that Ellen White is a false prophet, but you make it of none effect by denying its teaching of biblical authority, that’s what you do! So the way you make it of none effect is denying its teaching authority. So, one of the last deceptions is… what? To make of none effect the Spirit of God.

So, dust storms of doubt. If the devil can do these three things, he knows that he can accomplish his ultimate goal. Number 1: to get God's people to doubt creation, because if you doubt the first 11 chapters of Genesis, it leads you to doubt the entire Word of God. Number 2: to doubt “remnant theology”. Once you begin doubting that, then it takes the cutting edge off evangelism, of witness. Number 3: to doubt the Spirit of Prophecy, to make it of none effect. Anything that attempts to do that, you know is part of the dust storms of doubt.

Okay, now, some people don't have document. I need a couple of people to help me right now. If you don't have a document, husbands, wives, they gave yours away, we’re giving you back, okay? We’re gonna move through our teaching process. So, we looked at “dust storms of doubt”. We are gonna proceed from “dust storms of doubt” right now. We're going down:
(2.) And notice the devil's first deception. What was the devil’s first deception with Eve? To get her to do what everybody? To doubt! What was the devil's attempt on Jesus? To get Jesus to do what? To doubt! What are the three areas that the devil is gonna work in today? Creation, the flood - to undermine the Word of God; the remnant theology - to undermine the great mission of the church, the Spirit of Prophecy; to keep us from the mission and message that we need. Okay.

Second great wind. What is the theme of our class? Every…what? Every… what is blowing? Every… what is blowing?  Wind of doctrine! Second great heresy that will come: “the pestilent laden breezes of heresy”. “Pestilent laden breezes of heresy”. Okay. There are some diseases… (do you see where I am everybody? Somebody give me the page. What page we are? Page three. Okay!) Pestilent laden breezes of heresy. There is some diseases that are airborne. An airborne disease is any disease that’s caused by pathogens transmitted through the air. The “pestilent laden breezes of heresy” rapidly travel from one person to another, from one church to another, causing spiritual disease and death, leaving conflict and division in their wake. Now, I wanna look at some counsel that Paul gave young Timothy: 2 Timothy chapter 2, 2Timothy chapter 2. Please take your Bible and turn to 2 Timothy chapter 2. This is an interesting one. It’s one that is often overlooked. 2 Timothy chapter 2. And you’re looking there, I'm trying to give you tools that will help you to understand. 2 Timothy chapter 2 2 Timothy 2 verses 14 to 19. 2 Timothy 2: verse 14 – 19. “Remind them…” (now Paul is counseling this young preacher to establish churches that are doctrinally strong, that are Christ centered.) 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 14: “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit to ruin the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved of God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” Have you noticed that each time the Bible talks about heresy it often links that with the Word of Truth? So, what is the answer to heresy? It is saturating your mind with the Word of God! Ok, we continue: “but shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more ungodliness, and their message will spread like a cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort. Now here's what I wanna propose to you right now: Paul names two people. Who were they? Who did he name? Hymenaeus and Philetus. Here's my question: what did Hymenaeus and Philetus teach that was so herretical? And is there any application of that for the church today? Next verse tells you: “who have strayed concerning the Truth.” So, were Hymenaeus and Philetus on target or off target? Off target! What did they do according to the Bible? They strayed. Concerning what? The Truth, “saying that the resurrection is already passed and they overthrow the faith of some.” So, what was the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus? They said something happened. What did they say happened? The resurrection has already done what? Passed. Was there a resurrection? Okay. Notice what… and they were speaking of the resurrection of the dead not Christ's resurrection, okay? So, they said the resurrection has already passed. Would there be a resurrection in the future? So, they got the event right… (follow me now!), they got the event right, but what? The timing was wrong! Is it possible that the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus could ever impact Adventism? There's no eschatological judgment in the future, some will say, that judgment took place on the cross –the  heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus. An event that it is in the future is labeled to the past. See, here's the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus. It is the missunderstanding of timing!
You may have the right event, but you may be off on time. When you introduce into the church speculative issues of timing, it's the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus. That’s all about! So, that, you can look at that at Creation. “Oh, Creation took place thousands of years in the past, you know, millions, millions, millions of years in the past.” Timing’s off! Timing is off! Timing in the Bible is critical! Six days God created the heavens and the earth, the seventh day He rested. If you take the six days of Creation and you bring them in thousands of years of periods, what you gonna do with the seventh day Sabbath, as we said earlier? So, this is a very fascinating passage, for those who failed to understand issues that have to do with timing.

I want you to look at one other aspect of timing and I think I'll come to it later, but essentially “pestilent laden breezes of heresy”. Heresy infects a local church. It could be false biblical teachings, it could be issues of timing, it could be going beyond what God says in His Word.

There's another way that the devil focuses as well, and that's the “fiery winds of fanaticism”. What is fanaticism? How is it defined? You have it in your document. Fanaticism is often based on an emotional type of religion. It emphasizes feelings above God's Word. Signs and wonders become the essence of faith. Miracles become the sum of religious experience and a sign of God's favor. But the devil is gonna use miracles, signs and wonders in a powerful way in the last days. You know that to be true from Matthew and Revelation. Let’s just look at one passage in Revelation that I think is quite an amazing passage. It’s Revelation chapter 19.
We could have looked at Revelation 13, the devil makes fire come down from heaven, works miracles inside of man… but I'm interested in this passage in the Revelation 19 verse 20 – talks  about the coming of Jesus, the final destruction of Satan. And Revelation 19 verse 20 says this: “then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who works signs or miracles in his presence by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those that worshiped his image.” What was the agency that the devil used in the last days to deceive those who received the mark of the beast? What agency did he use? Signs, wonders or miracles! Well,  Seventh-day Adventists will be too wise ever to be taken by the miracles of Satan, won’t they? Look at the next reference in your under “fiery winds of fanaticism”: Second “Selected Messages” page 53: “Wonderful scenes… (are you with me? Do you see this? This should be on page 5, around. Page 4, okay! I’m two pages ahead now in my notes. Uhh! You see, that's why when you get older, you’ve got to make the print bigger so you can see it without your glasses. Okay. None of you understand that. J)
“Wonderful scenes with which Satan will be closely connected will soon take place. God's Word declares that Satan will work miracles. He will make people sick and then will suddenly remove from them his satanic power.” Isn’t that just like the devil? Isn’t that just like the devil, to make people sick??? “They will be regarded as healed.” Next sentence in the bold, please read it with me! “These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventist to the test.” What is one of the things that the devil is gonna use to bring Adventists to the test? False what? Miracles! Does God work miracles? Can God work miracles? Will we see miracles of healing in the last days? But will God work miracles for every one that is sick? Here's a key critical component! You know, some time ago I…  about a year ago now in fact, I was… I had a few health problems and went to my physician.  And there was at the University of Maryland, my physician, internist, teaches at the University of Maryland, brilliant fellow, typically doesn't take private patients, but because of a friend who is the dean of the medical school in University of Maryland, took me as a patient. Checked every vital things, and said: “Mark, you know, there's something going on, I’m not sure what and I want you  to see a top oncologist, a friend of mine here”. So I left his office and was walking to another… walking down the street at the University of Maryland and I was thinking: “oncologist, I mean… that's not gynecologist… on… oncologist…”, I’m thinking in my brain “oncologist, what’s that?” I said “Wait a minute! this guy’s suggesting that I may have cancer, you know… I mean I can’t, I’m a vegan vegetarian, I’m… you know, this is amazing… I mean I exercise… “Lord, this couldn’t be to me, you know, and even if it is, Lord, you’re gonna heal me, I know that!” And all of a sudden it came over me and I thought: “the issue with God is not your healing, the issue with God is you’re giving Him glory.” And I made a decision on a street in Baltimore Maryland, that if I die, I die, that's okay with me, not okay with my wife. She said: “Mark, I’m praying for your healing!” I said “Look!...”, and she prayed for it. I said: “Look, God, in all this experience, every doctor I meet, I’m gonna give glory to You! Every doctor I meet!” Because none of us know that we have the next 24 hours to live. I mean who in here can say: “Hey I’m gonna be alive two weeks from now, three weeks!”? You don't know that! So I said: “Lord, if you wanna heal me, that’s fine! But I know this: I got ateist physicians that I pray with. I come out of some treatment that I’m in in some hospital and I said to the nurses: “Hey, look!... (I’m half asleep), hey, look! Can I pray with you?”, you know. Giving out books, I said: “God, if you want me to be a witness at that hospital, to give glory to Your name, to people that I'd never met before… Sure, I wanna be healed, naturally, but the most important thing is for me to give glory to You!” And thank God!, my health is stable today! Thank God! I praise God I still preach occasionally, like 30 times the last 60 days. But here's the thing: the issue is not demanding God to work a miracle, so I can live however I want. When I get sick I make 3 decisions:

No. 1: I want my life to glorify God, and I would seek Him for whatever He wants to do with my body.

No. 2: That I would look at every medical treatment that was in harmony with what I believe, my own philosophy of health is, because I believe God uses modern medicine. And

No. 3:  I would do everything naturally I knew what to do. That I would follow 3 strains: spiritual approach, a medical scientific research-based approach, and a natural approach. I do everything we could to do that! But what’s gonna happen in the last days? And I wanna come back to that. These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-Day Adventists to… what? The test!

I'm gonna share with you a conviction. Here's what my conviction is: the Seventh-Day Adventist Church today is poised in many places, to be on the verge of a false revival. Now, let me tell you why I say that. If you have a church that is complacent and laodicean, where people come Sabbath after Sabbath and there is little spiritual life, the yearning for the heart is spirituality. So what will the devil do? He will bring in a form of either Eastern mysticism, one possibility. The other thing the devil can do is, as a reaction against cold formalism, he can bring in fiery fanaticism. So the devil doesn't care if he gets you in cold formalism, where we don't have a heart burdened for Christ, or he gets you in fiery fanaticism. How does he get you fiery fanaticism? Your heart longs for something more spiritual, so he introduces, at times through music, an emotional form of religion that is not Word centered, but it’s person centered. And so, when you're focused on a ‘me’ form of religion, that's person centered. And that person centered religion drifts away from a biblically foundational centered religion.
It opens you to substitute the experience for substance. It opens you to substitute the solid foundation of the Word.

See, Seventh-day Adventists believe not in preaching a 12 minute homily on Sabbath morning, that make people feel good. But Seventh-Day Adventists believe that there's power, life transforming power in the Word of God. And then, when you open the Word people come to study the Word. One of my greatest concerns about what's going on in many an Adventist church today is that very few people at times bring their Bible, and there's a short homily.
But to get up and spend time studying the Word, and people in the Word, underlining a text, and taking notes on the text… I mean, I was in a church in China. 2000 members in that church. And that was the smallest church in the city. The other church had 6000 members. But it was in this church, in Shenyang, the first church we went to there. 2000 members. They had no heat in the church. The church sat about 600 and there were probably 1500,  1800, 2000 people there. They were in hall upstairs, hall downstairs, sitting on the stairs. There was no heat, it was 27 degrees below zero outside. I mean they are sitting in the church, coats up at their ears, hats pulled down, but they got their Bibles out, notebooks out, the preacher is preaching and they are studying the Word of God! See, there's something about the Bible that is life transformational!

How does the devil get us off track? Laodicean complacency, cold formalism prepares the mind for sensational type of religion, based on experience that is not life transformational from the Word, often accompanied by music that creates the atmosphere for this experience. So, I want you to study your notes on fanaticism, here. “Fiery winds of fanaticism”. Then you'll notice “the cold winds of formalism”. We’re gonna skip that because I’ve got 15 minutes left. You can read that!

Next section: “gentle zephyrs of laodiceanism”. You’re gonna be interested in that! Now, I'm gonna go to the section, I make four points or five points here. I’ll give you the hallmarks of false teachings. I’m on page 8, you’re probably on page 6, right? Oh, man, we’ve got it!

False teachings often come about… So, here are your hallmarks of false teachings. Here they are: false teachings often come about in the form of so-called “new truth”, okay? Often, some will say: “we want to introduce new truth”, and they will come in that area. “Christ’s Object Lessons” page 127 is really helpful in this. “In every age, there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential, new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began at Moses and all the prophets.” You start with the foundation of truth that God has unfolded to His people. Anything that detracts from that, you know is not in harmony with God's Word. So, false teachings often come in the form of new truth.

Secondly false teachings often involve a reapplication of time prophecies. You'll find this in Adventism today. People will look at Daniel 11 and they'll say: “what about the twelve hundred… ta-da-da…? What about the thirteen hundred and thirty five days? And you get this reapplication of time prophecy. He’ll say: “look! From the time of the national Sunday law to the time of the end, it’s gonna be this! They will look at Revelation and they will say… in Revelation 17, and they'll say: “well, wait a minute, here at the ten things, and here that the ten horns, here the seven powers, and these are the seven Popes from hear to hear, and we've got this thing calculated, and well, we won’t say the day of Christ coming, but this time, and I’ve got this time period calculated…” I’m gonna read you a statement that’s gonna help you with every heresy that has to do with time. Ellen White is commenting on Revelation 10 verse 7. Now, let's look at Revelation 10:7. What I wanna do is give you principles to see, principles to see. Revelation 10:7. This is an amazing principle that will help somebody here today. Revelation 10:7: “but in the days…” (verse 6, verse 6, verse 5. I was gonna read verse 7, but verse 6 led into it, and verse 5 leads into it) Revelation 10:5 :  “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his hand to heaven.” Now, let me ask you a question: when an angel lifts up his hand to Heaven, what is that all about? It's a… what? Solemn oath! Are you gonna debate with the angel that lifted up his hand to Heaven in solemn oath? How many want to debate with him? If the angel lifts up his hand to Heaven in solemn oath, I don’t wanna debate with him, do you? Okay! But some of you are debating with him. No, I hope you're not. I hope they didn’t come to my class. “And swore by Him who lives forever and ever…” Now, the angel lifts up his hand to… where? Heaven. And what does he do? He swears. If an angel swears, does he lie in that… (swearing, in the sense of oath), does he lie in that? Who does he swear by? Him who lives forever and ever and created Heaven and earth that are in it, and the earth and the things that are in it, that there should be… (King James Version), tell me what the word is? “…time no…” what? “…longer”.

So, an angel lifts his hand to Heaven and he swears: “it will be time no longer!”. What does he mean? Prophetic time ran out in 1844. There’ll never be a test for the people of God again on time. Time is no longer relevant. Now, let me read that to you. That's gonna save you from some heresies that will come into the church. Here it is: Seventh vol. of “Bible Commentary” page 971: “This time which the angel declares with a solemn oath is not the end of this world's history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time.” When did prophetic time run out, everybody? 1844, which should precede the advent of the Lord. That is: “the people will not have another message upon definite… what? Time! After this period of time reaching from 1842 to 1844 there can be no definite tracing of prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.” After 1844 there is never again a message that is tied to specific dates. What is the issue since 1844? The coming of Jesus, the preparation of the people that reflect the character of God to a waiting world and a watching universe! What is the issue? It is the spread of the gospel to the entire world.

So, we are not dependent on a time chart that figures out how many popes there are! We are not dependent on a reapplication of Daniel 13:35. Today the call of God is a call to our knees, it’s a call to repentance, it’s a call to know Christ, it’s a call to reflect His righteousness, it is a call to spread His Gospel! God is not waiting on further fulfillment of time prophecies because, if He was, if He was, then Ellen White statements that the Lord could’ve come year this, would have been inaccurate! But if the issue is an experience with God, in the part of God's people, if the issue is the proclamation of the Gospel, you see how that makes all the difference! Okay!

False teachings:

No. 1. They come in the form of… what? Often new truth. Any new truth must be based on… what? Old truth!

No. 2. False teachings involve a reapplication, often, of time prophecies. Okay.

No. 3. False teachings often cast away confidence in established truths. I thank God for the gift of closemindedness. You know, we live in an age when people say: “everybody ought to be… what? Open-minded!” Oh yeah! Tell that to your wife, sir! “I’ve got to be open-minded, you know, I’ve got to…” I'm not gonna go there. Don't you settle some things in your mind? When you got married, you settled it, right? Do you have to wake up every Sabbath morning and say: “well, now is the seventh day of the week, the Bible Sabbath…”? You’ve got to wake up and say that? Did you settle that thing? Praise God, you settled that, right? When you're eating with your business colleague, and the bacon is passed by you, do you say: “well, now let's see… I better go back and restudy that issue, to be sure I’m right!” Do you do that? Why not? Because you… what? Settled it! You settled it, right? False teachings often question established biblical truths. Notice what Ellen White says, I love it! “You know, Hebrews says «cast not away your confidence». There is no change in the features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by doing so we can accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in these lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of our faith that has made us what we are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience and duty that we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles in view of the world.”

So, the idea is settled in our mind. You don't have to question that which you’ve studied that is indegradable truth, it’s part of the foundation. Sure, we’re gonna keep growing; sure our minds are open to expanding our understanding of things like the Sanctuary, and the Sabbath, and the health. Sure, there's no place we don't stop growing, but there are some foundational truths that become fundamental. When you see those truths being questioned, when you see the confidence being cast away in those truths, when you see those truths being minimized and weakened, what does that tell you? It tells you that's not the way you wanna go!

Notice those next two statements: “the enemy will bring in the false theories such as the doctrine that there is no… what? Sanctuary! This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.” So, you know what's gonna happen. When you hear: “well, do you really believe there's a Sanctuary up in Heaven, up there? I mean, come on now, Heaven is vast…” If there is no real Sanctuary, is there a real God up there? You know, if there's no real Sanctuary… see, the Bible is so clear: “Of the things spoken, this is the sum: we have a High Priest in the true tabernacle.” You know what that word ‘true’ is in Greek? It's ‘alithés’. And you know what that means? The original, the genuine, the authentic. Sure, the Sanctuary in Heaven is not exactly the same as the Sanctuary on earth. The Sanctuary on earth is a pattern. If you see my shadow, I hope you don’t think that's me. I mean, I may look like my shadow a little bit, so the earthly Sanctuary is a shadow. We don't believe that that is exactly, precisely the heavenly Sanctuary, but I’ll tell you something: there is a real Sanctuary up in Heaven. There is a real Sanctuary up there, and one of the departings of faith. Okay!

No. 4. False teachings come in the context of a new spiritual experience based on subjective feelings. Beware of any so-called religious experience that is based on feeling and not the Word of God. Is dangerous!

No. 5.  False teachings often question church authority and church organization. I love the last part of that statement. Let’s read the whole thing! “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 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 step off. We cannot now enter into any new organization, for this would mean apostasy from the truth.” This statement is gonna help somebody! Thank God He’s given us a foundation we can’t step off. Okay!

How can you… (next page), how can you keep from being deceived? I told you I’ll give you 3 things, but this is a good class, so I’ll give you 4. 3 ways, here it is!
1st: the understanding of truth is a matter of the heart, as well as the mind. The Scribes and Pharisees were  brilliant, but they were brilliantly deceived. There will be intellectuals among us,… I thank God for every intellectual who knows the Word, who’s solid in the Word. God does not put a premium on ignorance! God does not put a premium on ignorance! But the brilliance of your mind is not gonna keep you from being deceived, it's not, is not! You know, one of the classic examples of this is Doctor Clyde Ochsner. Ochsner did the primary research on cigarette smoking, back 40 years ago. And Ochsner was with the New Orleans clinic. And he developed a smoking machine in which they extracted tar from cigarettes and painted on the back of rats and he found it was carcinogenic. But all the time he did the research, he continued smoking, a couple packs a day. And he saw the direction of the research, and he wrote to one of his friends and he said: “I'm sorry to tell you, but although I've discovered that tobacco is a malignant poison, carcinogenic, I continued to smoke and I have lung cancer.” And he died of lung cancer. The brilliance of his mind did not keep him from being deceived. Look! “Understanding truth is a matter of the heart, as well as the mind.” Jesus says it this way: “if any man will know His will, he’ll know of the doctrine… if any man will do His will, he’ll know of the doctrine.” How can I be sure not to be deceived? To be on my knees, saying: “Jesus, whatever you want me to do, I will do it!” My mind is no match for Satan's mind, but as I come in contact with the living Christ, as He lives in my heart, as my life reflects Jesus and His grace… Okay!

2. Understanding truth is a matter of knowing God's will as revealed in His Word. I will never keep from being deceived unless my mind is saturated with the Word of God.

3. Understanding truth involves a willingness to stand for God when He reveals it,  even if it's not the popular thing to do. If you and I get out of this world alive, there will be some time when we are gonna have to stand for truth even if it's not popular.

4. Understanding truth involves a willingness to accept as far as possible the authority of God's church. But God's church does not have authority in every area of your life. You have to make personal decisions. God’s church doesn't tell you: “get up in the morning at this time, worship at this time, eat this, eat that…” No! But God does have a church with authority and I will tell you, there gonna be some decisions that are made in the near future, by the corporate church, that some people are not gonna like at all. (n.tr.: this was preached on 7th of August 2014) And they are gonna be faced with a decision, an incredibly important decision, because what if the corporate body of the church makes a decision that in your view is not in harmony with Scripture, whatever side of particular questions you’re on…? The decision that everyone of us we’re gonna have to make is: “is this issue one worth my splitting the church over, with my personal influence?” And that's a tough question!

Now, remember I told you there will be a surprise at the end of class. I’ve got one minute and here's my surprise to you. Something I came across, that I verified with the White Estate just the other day. The year is 1858. You do not have this in your material, I did not give it to you consciously. Okay! The year is 1858. S.N. Haskell is studying the Bible. And as he’s studying the Bible, he comes across the reality in Scripture that swine’s flesh is not in harmony with God's will. That's a logical conclusion. Isn’t it? Okay, he comes across that. At that time the health vision that God gave to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church was not until… what? Tell me! 1863. So, this would be five years before… what? The health vision! Okay? Five years before! Haskell comes across this and he writes to Ellen White. Not only does he write to Ellen White, but he begins teaching that pork is not in harmony with God's will. Now, that's pretty innocent, isn’t it? That’s pretty logical.  Here's the surprise, what Ellen White writes back to him. Here's the surprise! I’m gonna read it to you: “I saw that your views concerning swine's flesh in which…” (let me a minute to pick this up… right here) “I saw that your views concerning swine’s flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves. But in your judgment and opinion, you have made this question a test. And your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires his people to abstain from swine’s flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show us on His children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine’s flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He’ll teach His church their duty. God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing this thing and another that. Some run ahead of where the angels are leading His people. I saw that the angels of God would lead His people no faster than they could receive and act upon the important truths communicated to them.”

Can you be ever so right and ever so wrong? What was Haskell's problem? Did Haskell discovered truth in the Bible? Did he? (Yes!) But was it God's time for that truth to be introduced in the way he introduced it? What was happening because he did that? He was dividing churches. And what was Ellen White counseling? She says: “my dear brother, God is leading a body of believers alone. And you may see something in Scripture that may be ever so right, but it is not worth dividing the church over. Pray, seek God, let God bring His church together! Did God do that? Five years later, didn't He? When was it? 1863, the brethren studied that question. God gave to Ellen White the health vision and the pork issue was settled!

We leave this class with these thoughts: knowing Christ, knowing His Word, knowing His last day message will protect us from heresies. In filling our minds with His truth, in harmony with His church, will lead us together. But there are times in a local congregation where to press our ways, when that congregation is not ready for it, simply divides the congregation.

I praise God He leads His people! I have the entire paper are called… 4 pages, on “Discerning new light” and it’s simply a compilation that we worked with the White Estate on this week, that will help churches who are facing all kind of issues of how to discern that. I can get this copied and if you want it, the best thing to do is… I’ll see if I can get it copied and leave it out at the desk, out there later, and just come by and say “I attended pastor Finley class”.

I’ll give it to Audioverse and you’ll post it on Audioverse? Okay! And Audioverse and we worked together for many years, so that's a simple way to do it: posted on Audioverse, go to Audioverse, I’ll drive people to your website and you solve a problem for me. Okay! Let's pray! We’re gonna pray folks! Let’s stand to pray!

Oh, Father in Heaven, thank You that there is no leader like Jesus; thank You that this church is in Your hands, that this church is gonna triumph! There will be some falsehoods, there will be deceptions, there’ll be every wind of doctrine blowing, there’ll be issues on the right and issues on the left, and Lord I pray thee, that You’ll keep us in the middle of God's road, that You keep us centered on Christ, centered on Your Word, centered on Your will!!! Send us from this place with the confidence that You are gonna lead Your people in triumph! And Lord, help us to cherish the unity of Your church like You cherish it!!! I pray thee in Christ name, amen!

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