SPECIAL EDITION BAPTISMS AT ROANOKE
September 29, 2018
Vol 1, Issue 2
- We Don’t Have to Accept Deception
- An Open Letter
We Don’t Have To Accept Deception
Growing up in Southern California there were a lot of experiences to enjoy. There was plenty of sunshine, beaches nearby, lots of great parks. Some of which are quaint, some in the countryside and some with zoo’s. There was plenty of horseback riding, mountains to hike, camping and skiing in the winter. Truly a lot to keep us busy.
As I grew up, it was in a religious atmosphere through attending church weekly, some church activities and attending church academy. In these ways my peers and I were being prepared for life while learning about God. We were taught how special we were to be among the faithful believers. How precious we are to have a special message to the world and more. We looked and listened to our leaders, teachers, ministers and workers.
We were taught to honor and be polite to our elders, and not to question them. Even if they were wrong, we were to be silent. So though the zeal of presenting truth was given to us but it would the lack of zeal to listen to their children, and others, hence fanaticism.
Yet a weariness grew within many youth because the living example was not generally there. I recall in my youth there were a few popular sayings to quiet the youth such as “Children are to be quiet and not heard” or “Do as I say and not as I do.”
So what does fanaticism mean?
wildly excessive or irrational devotion, dedication, or enthusiasm
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
What does the Spirit of Prophecy tells us about fanaticism?
The experience of some had been obtained among a class of religious fanatics who had no true sense of the exalted character of the work. The religious experience of this class of professed Seventh-day Adventists was not reliable. They had not firm principles underlying all their actions. They were self-confident, and boastful. Their religion did not consist in righteous acts, true humility of soul, and sincere devotion to God, but in impulse, in noise and confusion, spiced with eccentricities and oddities. They had not felt, neither could they feel, the necessity of being clothed with Christ’s righteousness. They had a righteousness of their own, which was as filthy rags, and which God can in no case accept. These persons had no love for union and harmony of action. They delighted in disorder. Confusion, distraction, and diversity of opinion were their choice. They were ungovernable, unsubdued, unregenerated, and unconsecrated, and this element of confusion suited their undisciplined minds. They were a curse to the cause of God and brought the name of Seventh-day Adventists into disrepute.
Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, 553:2.
Religious experience is not reliable
No firm principles underlying personal actions
Self-confident and boastful
Lacks consistency in righteous acts
Lacks true humility of soul
Lacks sincere devotion to God
Impulsive, noisy and confused, spiced with eccentricities and oddities
Do not feel, neither can you feel the necessity of being clothed with Christ’s righteousness.
No love for union and harmony of action
Delights in disorder
Choices are made by confusion, distraction and diversity of opinion
Ungovernable, unsubdued, unregenerated, and unconsecrated
Yet it was easy to figure out that our sincere questions to our leaders and minister where causing to have agitation toward us. Some dismissed our concerns and questions. Then only to be told we are not to judge them as we are all sinners. Hence this was their response rather than understanding the sincerity of our concerns.
I saw the necessity of the messengers, especially, watching and checking all fanaticism wherever they might see it rise. Satan is pressing in on every side, and unless we watch for him, and have our eyes open to his devices and snares, and have on the whole armor of God, the fiery darts of the wicked will hit us. There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now. I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.
Early Writings, 63:1
It is true that Satan will take every possible advantage to injure the cause! In my youth I have witnessed it, have you? Also, as I became older I unfortunately did the same too many times. In fact, I walked away from God for a time. But then because the prayers of a faithful man (Jm 5:16) I was willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and I began to pray again.
“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Here is truth that will unfold the subject to your mind if you do not close it to the rays of light. Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. As a gift it must be received by faith, and gratitude and praise be offered to God. Solid faith will not lead anyone away into fanaticism or into acting the slothful servant. It is the bewitching power of Satan that leads men to look to themselves in the place of looking to Jesus. The righteousness of Christ must go before us if the glory of the Lord becomes our rereward. If we do God’s will, we may accept large blessings as God’s free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Faith and Works, 27:2
I knew the man that prayed for me. At one time he was a leader but he too was fanatical
What an amazing quote, so much could have been learned and understood if I had known God was real. As I look back in my own history, how delightful it would have been if I actually had faith beyond my own zeal that was apparently locked in fanaticism. If I had taken the time to look at Christ and whether or not I was reflecting Him, there is no doubt His light would have diminished the darkness within me. Then along my life’s path in His steps more light would have touched souls.
So what is the lessen learned? It is when others have failed, this does not give us permission to do our own will, or cherish our own opinions.
Please be encouraged, when you are stretched to the limit by cause or circumstances remember to be an instant in prayer. Neglect listening to the enemy of God as we have been given wonderful real promises that begins today.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 11:29 (KJV)
Your Sister in Christ Jesus,
An Open Letter
When I was asked to write an article on the issue of the
temptation of having/entertaining fanatical thoughts, opinions or actions
towards others, and how that affects us and those around us, I was surprised
because just in the past week I had been thinking about that myself. I just had
a flood of questions floating around in my mind that I was looking answers for.
Temptation comes to us in many forms. It may come in the
form of a person, a situation, and also in thoughts. The devil is such an
expert in designing temptations so suit every one, and he sure know which one
we will fall into. Now, today I want to focus on the temptations that come in
the form of fanatical thoughts towards others.
Yes, I won’t lie, I’ve had these thoughts before. And I know
for a fact that you have too. Many times we compare ourselves with others, and
condemn their wrongs while we see ourselves in a much holier state, and those
who do like us we love, and condemn and bad-mouth the rest. But if we do that,
we are no less better than those outside. Where is that difference that we so
much talk about? Do you remember what Luke says?
“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”
why do we have those thoughts? Could it be that there something lacking in our
spiritual life and we quiet our conscience by making ourselves believe that we
are fine and holy?
“Pray, yes, pray as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan’s devices, that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, vain spirit, and attend to religious duties to quiet your own conscience.”
Testimonies for the Church, Volume 2, 144:1.
Yes, that is right; many times we
follow all the rules in order to quiet our conscience, because deeply inside us
we know that something is wrong. We desperately try to fill that void by
criticizing others, condemning them in order to see ourselves in holy light: we
dress properly while that other sister sure is wearing that short skirt and
high heels, we eat a strictly vegan diet, while those brethren over there still
eat dairy, that brother there sure has an ego, but look at me, I sure am the
true picture of humbleness—and the list goes on and on.
True, all those people may seem like
wicked evildoers, and we are with our little halo on our heads, yet I have news
for you. You and I are worse than them. Yes, much much worse. Those
brethren are being honest. They are living and doing what their conscience
tells them, while you and I are being hypocrites!
Furthermore, entertaining those
thoughts will affect us and those around us. One only gains bitterness from
having such thoughts, while at the same time draining the happiness from our
lives. It affects the others as well by transmitting to them our air of
And how can we avoid such thoughts?
Well, we can’t have such love for people as Jesus had, if we do not have Him in
our hearts in the first place. Invite Him into your heart, and surrender
yourself to Him, and you will see what boundless joy sweeps over your life!
Instead of having such thoughts for brethren, you will pray for them and be
their friend and brother/sister.
Ah my friend, the Christian life is
not about who can get there sooner, or who will win first place and sit at the
right hand of Jesus as Peter and John once were fighting about. It is about
helping each other get there. I wish to see you there in heaven soon. Let us
continue forward in our walk, holding each other’s hand and helping others
along as well.
In Christian Love,
Heaven, what will it be like? Words are inadequate to describe it, but the Holy Scriptures give us glimpses of the glorious future. There all will be harmony, peace, love, and unity. All will be purity, holiness, and blessedness. Gone will be sorrow, crying, and pain. Best of all, death will be no more.