Beware of Doctrine “Just Believe”—We shall meet with false doctrines of every kind, and unless we are acquainted with what Christ has said, and are following His instruction, we shall be led astray. One of the most dangerous of these doctrines is that of false sanctification. There are those who claim to be holy, and yet are breaking God’s commandments. Their assertion that they are sinless is false and should not be received....
Another doctrine that will be presented is that all that we have to do is to believe in Christ—to believe that He has forgiven our sins, and that after we are forgiven, it is impossible for us to sin. This is a snare of Satan. It is true that we must believe in Christ. He is our only hope of salvation. But it is also true that we must work out our individual salvation daily in faith, not boastingly but with fear and trembling. We are to use every power of our being in His service, and after we have done our utmost, we are still to regard ourselves as unprofitable servants. Divine power will unite with our efforts, and as we cling to God with the hand of faith, Christ will impart to us His wisdom and His righteousness. Thus, by His grace, we shall be enabled to build upon the sure foundation.—Manuscript 27, 1886.
A Shallow Profession of Holiness—Those who would follow Christ must be grounded upon the principles of truth. They need to understand what the Bible teaches in regard to faith, and sanctification through the truth. They must be so established in this knowledge that they cannot be moved to take false positions on the doctrine of holiness, but will be able to illustrate in their lives the practical workings of this heaven-given principle. The people of God must be able to distinguish between the genuine and the spurious.
There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while they do not render obedience to His commandments....
It is true that there are many who have never had the light of present truth, who, through the grace given them of Christ, are keeping the law as far as they understand it. Those who are thus living up to the best light they have, are not of the class whom the apostle John condemns. His words apply to those who boast of believing in Jesus, who claim holiness, while they lightly regard the requirements of the law of God. While they talk of the love of Jesus, their love is not deep enough to lead to obedience. The fruit they bear, shows the character of the tree. It proves that their faith is not genuine. Yet this class, though entitled to nothing, though they have no right to the promises of God, boldly claim all His blessings. While they give nothing, they claim everything. They close their ears to the truth, refuse to listen to the plain “Thus saith the Lord,” but by professing holiness they deceive many, leading souls away by their pretentious faith that has no foundation.—Gospel Workers, 226, 227 (1892).
False Doctrine—It Makes No Difference What You Believe—There are many whose religion consists in theory. To them a happy emotion is godliness. They say, “Come to Jesus, and believe in Him. It makes no difference what you believe so long as you are honest in your belief.” They do not seek to make the sinner understand the true character of sin....
Satan is willing that every transgressor of God’s law shall claim to be holy. This is what he himself is doing. He is satisfied when men rest their faith on spurious doctrines and religious enthusiasm; for he can use such persons to good purpose in deceiving souls. There are many professedly sanctified ones who are aiding Satan in his work. They talk much of feeling; they speak of their love for God. But God does not recognize their love; for it is a delusion of the enemy. God has given these persons light, but they have refused to accept it. With the father of lies, they will receive the reward of disobedience.—The Review and Herald, June 26, 1900.
Another Error—Commandments Done Away—Christ warns His followers, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”Matthew 7:15. He exhorts us not to be deceived when false shepherds present their doctrines. These men tell us that the commandments of God were done away at the death of Christ. Shall we believe them, these men who claim to be sanctified, while they refuse to obey God? They say the Lord has told them that they need not keep the Ten Commandments; but has the Lord told them this? No, God does not lie.
Satan, who is the father of lies, deceived Adam in a similar way, telling him that he need not obey God, that he would not die if he transgressed the law. But Adam fell, and by his sin he opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. Again, Satan told Cain that he need not follow expressly the command of God in presenting the slain lamb as an offering. Cain obeyed the voice of the deceiver; and because God did not accept his offering, while He showed His approval of Abel’s offering, Cain rose up in anger and slew his brother.
We need to know for ourselves what voice we are heeding, whether it is the voice of the true and living God or the voice of the great apostate....
When type met antitype in the death of Christ, the sacrificial offering ceased. The ceremonial law was done away. But by the crucifixion the law of Ten Commandments was established. The gospel has not abrogated the law, nor detracted one tittle from its claims. It still demands holiness in every part. It is the echo of God’s own voice, giving to every soul the invitation, Come up higher. Be holy, holier still.—The Review and Herald, June 26, 1900.
A Timely Caution—We as a people have fallen into the opposite error. We acknowledge the claims of God’s law, and teach the people the duty of rendering obedience. We believe in giving everything, but we do not see that we must take as well as give. We fail to have that trust, that faith, which keeps the soul abiding in Christ. We claim little, when we might claim much; for there is no limit to the promises of God.
Through a lack of faith, many who seek to obey the commandments of God have little peace and joy; they do not correctly represent the sanctification that is to come through obedience to the truth. They are not anchored in Christ. Many feel a lack in their experience; they desire something which they have not; and thus some are led to attend holiness meetings, and are charmed with the sentiments of those who break the law of God.
It is our duty to preach faith, to present the love of Christ in connection with the claims of the law; for neither can be rightly understood without the other. In every discourse the love of God, as manifested in Christ, the sinner’s only hope, should be dwelt upon until the people realize something of its power and preciousness. If this is done as it should be, it will not be said of this people that they teach the law but do not believe in repentance, faith, and conversion. We want these subjects to be blended as God has blended them; then will the truth be presented in its completeness, not as a mere theory, but as a power that will transform the character. It will then be preached in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. Then those who have accepted the doctrines of the Bible will not be unfed; they will feel the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit.—Gospel Workers, 227, 228 (1892).