Greetings MOL Family!
Is the testimony of Jesus –the Spirit of Prophecy– confirmed in you?
Through Educational Processes
If someone reads you something from one of these inspired books, do you say, not merely with your lips but deep in your heart, “Thank God, that settles it”? Ah, this is what it means to be above and beyond the dust storms of the devil, my friends. This is what it means to be hidden in Jesus, so that all these clouds of doubt, and confusion, and uncertainty, and questioning do not affect us. As we looked at in Lesson 5, from Ephesians 4:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind… – Ephesians 4:14
Not tossed about with the winds. Why? We’re established in Jesus; we’re established in His Word, the Bible; we’re established in His testimony, the Spirit of Prophecy. I thank God for this.
One of the most subtle ways that satan has sought to introduce himself is through educational processes. Volume 8, page 305:
The master mind in the confederacy of evil is ever working to keep out of sight the words of God and to bring into full view the opinions of men…Through educational processes he is doing all in his power to obscure heaven’s light. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, pg. 305
Now, I want to ask you a question, friends. If you’ve ever participated in colporteur work, what kind of books do you present? Do you present books written by infidel authors? Is that what you handle? Do you even take out to these people the books that religious leaders in other denominations have written? In other denominations? Why do you handle Seventh-day Adventist books as you go from home to home?
I can tell you why. See if you agree with me. Because it has been found through long experience that if you can get people to read Seventh-day Adventist literature, some of them will become Seventh-day Adventists. Is that right?
I wonder if it works the other way around. I wonder if the Remnant people of God can get to reading, regardless of where it is, my friends – whether it’s in their studies at home in the parlor, or whether it’s in the classrooms of educational institutions – if they get to reading and studying infidel authors, do you think any of them might become infidels? Has it happened? All too often, my friends.
Suppose that there are placed in their hands books that bring questions regarding the doctrine of creation, that teach this devilish doctrine of evolution. “Ah,” you say, “but our young people have to meet those things sometime anyway.” Oh, my dear friends, have we come to the time when we must mingle the philosophies of the world with Christian education? And is that the best that we can offer our young people? God forgive us!
Read this chapter in Volume 8, from which we just looked at some of the first paragraphs. This warns us against the infidel authors and many other classes of books that are common today. And on page 309, there’s given this summary:
Never should books containing a perversion of truth be placed before children or youth. – Ibid., pg. 309
And as a friend of mine used to say, “Never – that’s not very often, is it?”
Never should books containing a perversion of truth be placed before children or youth. – Ibid
Oh, thank God, friends, we don’t have to lead our children and young people into the dust storms of the devil. Let us make certain in our homes that the books that our children read, from the time they’re old enough to look at pictures and right on through, have truth in them and don’t sow the seeds of doubt. Be sure that that which does not speak according to the law and the testimony does not have light in it.
Now, there is another phase of doubt that I would like to notice. First, however, before I do that, turn to Romans, the 10th chapter. I want to notice how faith, which is the opposite of doubt, comes. And then, of course, we will see clearly how doubt originates because doubting is the opposite of faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10:17
How does faith come? By hearing what? Hearing the TV? Hearing the radio? Hearing the newspaper? The only time when radio and TV can develop faith in you is when the Word of God, pure and unadulterated, is being presented there. We can thank God for our denominational broadcasts preaching the message of the third angel. But most of what is on TV is trash, trivia, and trouble. Very little else that’s left.
And remember this, my dear friends, even when people listen to religious broadcasts or telecasts (I’m speaking of those from the popular churches), even though the Word of God is read, it is interpreted in such a way that doubts are suggested that undermine faith in The Third Angel’s Message.
Instead of religious broadcasts being something to encourage people to listen to, I’d a whole lot rather they would listen to the newscasts of this world than the religious broadcasts. Why? Because listening to the newscasts of this world, they might get some political misinformation, but when they listen to the religious broadcasts, they are sure to get some religious misinformation and that’s far more serious, isn’t it, friends?
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. – Isaiah 8:20
So then, faith cometh by what? Hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. I ask again: how does faith come? By hearing the Word of God. Then if you want faith, you’ll listen to what? The Word of God. Now, suppose instead of that, you listen to the words of men whose hearts have doubt in them? Then what will you get? You’ll get doubts, just as sure as can be.
Doubt Is Contagious
I want to share with you what I think is one of the most interesting passages that the prophet of God ever wrote. I don’t know whether you will agree with my evaluation of this, but this is very interesting to me. It’s in Selected Messages, Book 2, page 166. It is in a letter written to Elder D. M. Canright. Have you ever heard of Canright? He, at one time, was quite a preacher among us in the earlier days, but Canright allowed his mind to become filled with doubt. If there was ever a man that was plagued with doubt, it was Canright. He went in and out of this message several different times.
Now, this letter was written October 15, 1880 from Battle Creek. This is a long letter that Sister White wrote to Elder Canright, appealing to him to reconsider and to not go all the way in separating himself from God and God’s message for this hour. But on page 166 is this statement:
I do not ask an explanation of your course. Brother [C. W.] Stone wished to read your letter to me. I refused to hear it. The breath of doubt, of complaint and unbelief, is contagious; if I make my mind a channel for the filthy stream, the turbid, defiling water proceeding from Satan’s fountain, some suggestion may linger in my mind, polluting it. If his suggestions have had such power on you as to lead you to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage – the friendship of the Lord’s enemies – I want not to hear anything of your doubts, and I hope you will be guarded, lest you contaminate other minds… – Selected Messages, Book 2, pg. 166
Here was a letter that the prophet of God refused to read. It was the letter that explained why Canright was doing what he was doing. Well, shouldn’t she read it so she could answer it? Shouldn’t she examine it so she could point out all that was wrong with it?
Do you know, my friends, there is an idea afloat today that you ought to be willing to investigate anything. Have you ever heard it? That you ought to be willing to read anything and if you can’t show what’s wrong with it, you ought to accept it, and stand by the man who’s presenting it.
Jesus says “…by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). And when I see that a certain program, a certain message, a certain movement has fruit which is evident – leads people out of the movement instead of into it, leads people to doubt and question concerning the leadership of the movement rather than confirm faith in it – is it my duty to investigate every nook and corner of that program? Is it my duty to listen to every doubt that is suggested and every report concerning the mistakes of the brethren? Oh, no, friends. If I listen to doubt, what does the prophet say?
…Some suggestion may linger in my mind, polluting it. – Selected Messages, Book 2, pg. 166
Oh, brethren, this is safety for us.
And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind… – Isaiah 32:2
As you see the dust clouds gathering, these clouds of criticism, and question, and insinuation concerning the leadership of the movement, the authenticity, the authority of this organization, remember these words of the prophet. She kept her mind clean. I’m thankful that she did, aren’t you?
I wonder, friends: if she couldn’t afford to have her mind befogged, and clouded, and polluted with these doubts, I wonder if I can afford to? If the prophet of God had to guard her mind from these doubts, I wonder if I don’t need to also. What would you say? The Lord grant us wisdom.
Express No Words of Doubt
Now, another kind of doubt that I want to call attention to: doubts in our own personal experience; doubts concerning our acceptance with the Lord; doubts concerning the Lord’s forgiveness of our sins and the presence of His Spirit in our hearts.
Let’s turn to James, the 1st chapter, beginning with the 5th verse:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. – James 1:5-7
Doubts, you see, limit the blessing which we receive from God. “…What things soever [we] desire, when [we pray], believe that [we] receive them, and [we] shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
In the last message that Sister White ever wrote, we find some of the most beautiful, encouraging words on this point. You will find them now in Testimonies to Ministers, pages 516-517. This was a personal testimony, written to someone who was having a battle with doubts and fears. Writing to this individual, the prophet says:
[Christ] is waiting to take you into a harbor of gracious experience.
…Put away your distrust of our heavenly Father. Instead of talking of your doubts, break away from them in the strength of Jesus, and let light shine into your soul by letting your voice express confidence and trust in God…Be helped, be strengthened, be lifted out of and away from the dark dungeon of unbelief. Doubts will rush into your mind, because Satan is trying to hold you in captivity to his cruel power; but face him in the strength that Jesus is willing to give you, and conquer the inclination to express unbelief in your Saviour.
Do not talk of your inefficiency and your defects. – Testimonies to Ministers, pg. 516
Do you know how to have more faith, friends? Talk what faith you have. Do you know how to have more doubts? Why, just talk out what doubts you already have. That’s all. It’s that simple.
The book Evangelism, page 633:
Let us take heed to our words. Let us talk faith, and we shall have faith. Never give place to a thought of discouragement in the work of God. Never utter a word of doubt. – Evangelism, pg. 633
There is that word, “never”, again. How often is that? It’s never:
Never utter a word of doubt. – Ibid
But suppose you feel doubt and discouragement. Go to God, alone, and pour out your soul to God in prayer and start reading the promises. For what was it we learned came by hearing the Word of God? Faith. But doubt comes by hearing the doubts of others, and our own doubts multiply, as we express them.
Oh, I wish I could help somebody to determine, by God’s grace, never again to utter a word of doubt or discouragement. This is the way, dear friends, to work with Jesus, to settle your soul in faith. Talk faith, and you’ll have faith. Talk doubt, and you’ll have doubt. Which do you want? Thank God, we can get it, then, by going to Jesus, listening to His Word, and then expressing faith in Him on every possible occasion.
If there’s even a little bit of faith in your heart, talk it out – express it. Expression deepens impression. Again: Expression deepens impression. And if there’s any doubt, let it die because you never expressed it. Let it die of neglect. Yes! Let it die of neglect. But take that plant of faith and water it, and feed it, and encourage it.
Expression does what? Deepens impression.
What word of courage, cheer, confidence, thanksgiving is in your heart today? Please feel free to share with us, in the comment box, below!
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.