Greetings MOL Family!
Several years ago, after the atom bomb began its work, one man wrote a book called, No Place to Hide. But oh, we thank God, there is a place to hide – in Jesus. He is our Refuge!
Worse Than Covid-19
O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
…Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.
Now this, as is true with many of our beautiful gospel songs, is taken from the Scripture. And our theme text is the basis of it:
Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. – Isaiah 32:1-2
Here’s a hiding place from every wind – Jesus, the Rock of Ages. Aren’t you thankful, friends?
…A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind… – Isaiah 32:2
And Paul, in Ephesians 4, speaks of every wind blowing. We’ve been studying some of these winds. A week ago, we studied about the icy wind of formalism and the burning wind of fanaticism. Before that, we were studying about the terrible whirlwind of lawlessness, and the coming hurricane of persecution. Today, I want to study with you another one of these winds. It is the pestilence-laden wind of heresy and apostasy.
You know, when a wind comes bringing some terrible contagion, it isn’t labeled. We’ve heard of the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918. Twenty million people perished in that awful epidemic. And not only was it passed from one to another in the great cities, but even way up in the mountains, sheep herders came down with that influenza when they hadn’t been in touch with civilization for a long time. And people out on the high seas in ships came down with that influenza.
Now, we are contending with this present-day pandemic, Covid-19. The number of world-wide cases and deaths are still on the rise.
In the statement in Great Controversy, we read:
Satan is exercising his power…He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. – Great Controversy, pg. 590
So, satan has the power of putting into the air that which causes thousands to perish by the pestilence. But the pestilence that I want to study with you today, my friends, is something worse than smallpox or leprosy or bubonic plague. It is the deadly pestilence of heresy and apostasy. All through the Bible God has warned us against anything that leads away from the truth. The truth sanctifies (John 17:17), but error never saves. Error is always soul destroying. And what some deadly pestilence is to the body, heresy and apostasy are to the soul.
Beware, Lest Ye Be Spoiled
Let us turn to Ephesians, the 4th chapter, where we have another text on the winds, and notice how the apostle warns us. He tells us in the 8th verse that when Jesus ascended on high, He gave gifts to men. We know those are the gifts of the Spirit. In the 11th verse, we see them named as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. And then in the 12th verse he tells us what they’re for – to make the saints perfect, and to help them in their work of ministry; to build them up. In the 13th verse he tells us that we will need them:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man… – Ephesians 4:13
Now the 14th verse shows us the blessed results of being under such a ministry:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14
Here, false teachings are likened to winds, winds of doctrine. ‘Doctrine,’ of course, means ‘teaching.’ The truth is true doctrine, but heresy and apostasy bring us false doctrine. And remember this, friends, satan originates nothing. His whole time is spent in perverting. He is not a creator, but he’s something of an editor. He changes things. And so it is written, in Romans 1, concerning the heathen; that they “…changed the truth of God into a lie…” (Romans 1:25).
This is exactly what heresy and apostasy do. They change the truth of God into a lie.
You take these disease germs that invade the human body. They prey upon the various organs and tissues of the body, and satan, through these various bacteria and viruses, seeks to pervert the physiological processes.
In much the same way, heresies and apostasies change the truth of God into a lie, and seek to bring about disordered working of our spiritual natures. But Paul tells us here that if we will enter into the program that he has outlined here, and let these blessed gifts of the Spirit of God work in us, that we will indeed be immune to all these things. We will not be tossed about with every wind of doctrine:
…By the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14
In Volume 5, page 80, speaking of the time into which we are even now entering, the prophet says:
The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, pg. 80
Think of it, friends! We’re going to have to meet every possible approach of satanic error. Now this might sound frightening, but as I shall show you, there’s nothing for us to be frightened about, provided that we hide in Jesus, the Rock of Ages; provided that we let Him build up our spiritual bloodstream with an immunity. We need the antibodies in our bloodstream that can deal with all these invading organisms of error.
Back to our statement:
Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. – Ibid
You notice here the Lord’s messenger calls our attention to the influence of “science falsely so called.” Those who become infected with this virus will not be able to go through the shaking time ahead. They will be blown out by the winds of the adversary. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.
Let’s turn to Colossians, the 2nd chapter, and we’ll notice Paul’s warning on this point:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8
What does ‘beware’ mean? If you were trying to get somebody on the highway to beware as they approached a crossing, what color of light would you put up? There, in the very beginning of the Christian church, dangers were pointed out by the Spirit of God, the dangers that come through listening to philosophy.
Now with that, let’s turn over to 1 Timothy, the 6th chapter, and notice another warning of the apostle. 1 Timothy 6:20-21:
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee… – 1 Timothy 6:20- 21
Oh, that the grace of God may keep us from science, falsely so called. Now why does the apostle say ‘science falsely so called?’ The word ‘science’ comes from a word meaning ‘I know.’ Science is supposed to be knowledge. But why does he say ‘science falsely so called?’ Because, they don’t know.
You know, people can believe a lie, but nobody can know a lie. You can only know the truth. And when people think they know something and it isn’t so, that’s science falsely so called.
When people go and dig up some dinosaur out of the mountains, and tell us how many hundreds of millions of years old it is, that’s what? Science falsely so called. Sometimes I wish that were the only exhibition of science falsely so called. There’s a lot of it that’s far more insidious, more subtle than that.
It Did Not End…
At the turn of the 20th century in this denomination, the greatest scientific mind among us was that of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. He was the leader in the medical missionary work, the superintendent of the great Battle Creek Sanitarium, which at this time, around 1900, was the leading medical institution in North America. And I’m not speaking just of Seventh-day Adventists; I’m speaking of the influence that Dr. Kellogg and his work exerted in the world at large. Members of royal families of Europe came clear across the Atlantic to be under the care of Dr. Kellogg. Some of the leading families, the wealthy families of America, came regularly to Battle Creek; such people as the Vanderbilts, the Asters, and others.
Yes, Battle Creek was a great, shining light. And much of it was due to the fact that Dr. Kellogg, for many years, for decades, gave earnest attention to the instruction of the Spirit of Prophecy. In fact, at one of our General Conference sessions, he explained to the people who were in attendance at that General Conference, why it was that the Battle Creek Sanitarium was so well known and favorably known. He said, “Through the Spirit of Prophecy, God has given us much instruction on health, on physiology, on disease and its causes, and prevention and cure.” And he said, “I have tried to study these things, and as the result, many times when things come out in the medical journals from scientific research, we, here at Battle Creek, are already way ahead of that, and the scientific people come here amazed at what is happening.” He gave the glory to God. That’s what he should have done.
But as time went on, dear friends, in the 1890s and the early 1900s, there came a change. Delving deep into the mysteries of the workings of the human mind, and combining with his study of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy some other things that were not inspired, he, at last, came forth with a philosophy which was represented in a book he published called The Living Temple.
The prophet of God said it had pantheism in it. He denied it. The prophet of God said that it would sweep away our belief in the personality of God. He denied this. He said he believed in the personality of God.
But through the gift of prophecy, we were warned that his philosophy (a mixture of worldly science, so called, and inspired information), that this mixture was like the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And so there came a real crisis in the denomination.
I want to read a statement or two here from the Spirit of Prophecy concerning this. Page 197 of the book, Selected Messages, Book 1:
Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature. – Selected Messages, Book 1, pg. 197
Now, she is speaking of the book Living Temple, and the theories of Dr. Kellogg. This is made plain on page 200:
In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow. – Ibid, pg. 200
You remember that alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. That’s where we get the word alphabet – alpha, beta…A, B… — from the Greek. Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. And so, she is saying here that in the book Living Temple, we have the A of this alphabet of heresies, but the omega will follow:
We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature. – Ibid, pg. 197
So it didn’t all end then, my dear friends. It did not end with the separation of the Battle Creek Sanitarium from this denomination. It did not end with the death of Dr. Kellogg, years later. No. The truth of the matter is that this mixture of science and religion is one of the most effective ways that the enemy has found to work…
Oh, that we may seek refuge in Christ: the only Antibody to protect us from the perils of this world.
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.