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Holding to the True, Not the Counterfeit PDF Print E-mail

Matt. 7:15-23. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

 

“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

Here our Lord gives us a clear warning, that there will come among God’s people false prophets, who come looking like sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Then He gives a way to tell the true from the false…

 

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

 

Acts 20:28-30. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

 

Today, in our midst are true and false ideas. There are true and false ideas on what is healthy for you. There are true and false ideas about God and what He is like. There are true and false ideas on how we obtain salvation. How shall we tell the true from the false? What should guide us, so that we can hold to the true, and reject the false?

 

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

 

Give me a regular church going Adventist, who is friendly, considerate, well-versed in the Bible teachings, is interested in the things of God, and is willing to speak of spiritual things….is this how we are to tell the true from the false?

 

Not only that. What does our Lord say, False prophets come to you in sheep’s clothing – in other words, these come to you looking, and talking, like followers of the Lamb…but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

6BC 1113. “Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men's minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the Word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ.”

 

So when confronted with a new doctrine, or new idea, how shall we know if it is true….

 

 

If the speaker fulfills the principle we just read in the paragraph above, then we know that the Holy Spirit is leading them.

 

But lets unpack this more. When we want to know the right way, when we want to know truth, to what do we turn to for guidance.

 

Clearly, the word of God.

 

John 3:27. “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from above.”

 

#Any understanding of truth, any concept of God, and what He is like, and what He wants from us, must be given us by God. Only through Him, can we understand truth. Only God is the author of truth.

 

Job 11:7. “Canst thou by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?”

 

#All that we understand and know of the truth, God Himself has revealed to us.

 

1 Cor. 2:9, 10. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

 

John 16:13. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.”

 

# Up till now, however, truth has been a non-descript, undefined abstract, that we all know is right and desirable….what we need is more information. It is good to have, to hold to…’truth’, but what is it?

 

John 14:6. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

# God’s truth, (and we are here defining what is truth) is always in some way connected with Jesus Christ. Christ is the pillar, the theme of truth. If a doctrine, teaching, or idea does not lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ, it is not truth, but error.

 

For example:

 

Does, the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ?  Then we know that it is a teaching from God.

 

Does the doctrine of the state of the dead, lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ? Yes, for it shows that only through Christ will we be raised in the end, and not through an inherent power naturally within us.

 

Does the Sabbath, lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ? Then we know that it is a teaching from God?

 

Do the ideas currently surrounding Adventism, teaching on the nature of the Holy Spirit, lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ? No, it leads you to question and wonder, and seems to lead those who accept this teaching, into more and more obvious confusion.

 

Does the teaching that tomatoes are a fruit, and should not be eaten with vegetables, lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ? No, it causes division, and narrow-mindedness, and is therefore a teaching of men, and not from God.

 

“Ye shall know them by their fruits”.

 

DA 57. “By the life and the death of Christ, the thoughts of men also are brought to view. From the manger to the cross, the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender, and to fellowship in suffering. It unveiled the purposes of men. Jesus came with the truth of heaven, and all who were listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit were drawn to Him. The worshipers of self belonged to Satan's kingdom. In their attitude toward Christ, all would show on which side they stood.”

 

Christ is the great pillar which polarizes humanity. According to your attitude toward Christ, reveals which side you are on.

 

 

RH Nov. 29, 1898. “If our piety is sound and healthy, we shall have nothing to fear from open opposers; but there are deceivers,--those who sow the tares while men sleep. We want to be sure on which side we are working; for the crisis is upon us.”

 

#Story of ladies driving on Highway….

 

The right side…the side toward Jesus

 

Rom. 5:1,9. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

 

# Where does God put the emphasis for us to be saved? Where does He point us, for salvation and freedom from sin? Through our Lord Jesus Christ....we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

 

RH-Extra, Dec. 23, 1890. “As the Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of his love, so the Spirit came to glorify Christ by revealing to the world the riches of his love and grace.  If the Holy Spirit dwells in us, our work will testify to the fact -- we shall lift up Jesus."

 

If the Holy Spirit is leading us, we will reverence and uplift Christ in our conversation, in our teaching, and in our interaction with the world.

 

John 15:26. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

 

Ev. 186. “It should be the burden of every messenger to set forth the fullness of Christ. When the free gift of Christ's righteousness is not presented, the discourses are dry and spiritless; the sheep and the lambs are not fed. Said Paul, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." There is marrow and fatness in the gospel. Jesus is the living center of everything. Put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy, and glory of Jesus Christ be dwelt upon until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. . . . “

 

Ev. 187-188. “Many of our ministers have merely sermonized, presenting subjects in an argumentative way, and scarcely mentioning the saving power of the Redeemer. Their testimony was destitute of the saving blood of Christ. Their offering resembled the offering of Cain. He brought to the Lord the fruit of the ground, which in itself was acceptable in God's sight. Very good indeed was the fruit; but the virtue of the offering--the blood of the slain lamb, representing the blood of Christ--was lacking. So it is with Christless sermons. By them men are not pricked to the heart; they are not led to inquire, What must I do to be saved? Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world.”

 

But where are we at? To what are we pointing people, for salvation, for freedom from evil habits? On what are you depending for preparation for entering heaven?

 

Where are we at in our spiritual condition? Listen to this solemn message from the pen of God’s messenger….

 

TM 91-93. “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.

“Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.”

 

 

 

 

“ The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense… the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.”

“The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. … Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner…  This faith is the life of the church….

“ Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.”

 

Where are each of us at? Is Christ to us our special friend, our hope of salvation? Or are we looking to ourselves for improvement, to better our favour with God. Only in Jesus will we find safety. In our attitude toward Christ, shows on which side we stand.

 

# Have you ever wondered what kept the foolish virgins out of the wedding banquet? All the virgins were PROVIDED the oil they needed, but the 5 foolish did not appreciate the blessing of that provision. When they discerned their lack of oil, they went to BUY more oil! It was while they were going to those that SELL, that the bridegroom came, and the wise went in, and the door was shut. If you are relying on yourself to be like God, relying on humanity to improve you, you will miss out. The oil, which represents the Holy Spirit, is PROVIDED, as the Scriptures say, whom I will send unto you from the Father, and shall testify[make clear and open the truth] of Christ.

 

COL 411. The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up.

 

# The 5 foolish were as much virgins as the 5 wise. They all had lamps, and they all were alight. They all went out, and were waiting together for the bridegroom. The one difference was when their lamps were going out, the wise had oil enough to refill their lamps. Do you notice that the wise had a different source of oil to the foolish. The foolish had to go to those that SOLD to replenish their supply. While they were out BUYING their oil, the bridegroom came, and the door was shut. They did not appreciate that the oil was PROVIDED.

 

Matt. 7:21-23. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

RH Dec. 23, 1890. “The end is near! We have not a moment to lose! Light is to shine forth from God's people in clear, distinct rays, bringing Jesus before the churches and before the world. Our work is not to be restricted to those who already know the truth; our field is the world….As Christ's ambassadors, they are to search the Scriptures, to seek for the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,--Christ our righteousness.”

 

 

 

In summing up, to know the true and reject the false, the Holy Spirit will guide you. He will lead you into all truth, centering, if you are willing, your whole Christian experience, around Jesus. If the doctrine, teaching, or idea presented to you, does not lead you to reverence and appreciate Christ, then it is not truth, but error, and should be discarded.

 

I want to challenge each of you, do not accept everything that is told to you as truth without thought of its real origin. Examine it, compare it, weigh it in the scales of God’s word, and see if the Holy Spirit is behind it; for your salvation depends on it. God tells us, (1 Jn 4:1) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” If the teaching is from God, it will lead you to God.  If it is from men, it will lead you to exalt the human above the divine. May our prayer be, “Guide us , Lord Jesus, in every part.”