Bible Study Guides – The Influence of the World

January 30, 2011 – February 5, 2011

The Church Militant

Key Text

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 331–342; Gospel Workers, 391–396.


“Where the message of divine truth is spurned or slighted, there the church will be enshrouded in darkness.” The Great Controversy, 378.

1 What led to past apostasy in the church, and how did it reveal her condition? Revelation 18:3; James 4:4.

Note: “When the church begins to seek for the support of secular power, it is evident that she is devoid of the power of Christ—the constraint of divine love.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 127.

“As the Christian religion secured the favor and support of secular rulers, it was nominally accepted by multitudes.” The Great Controversy, 385.

2 What are the consequences of seeking forbidden support? II Chronicles 15:2, last part; Hosea 4:17.

Note: “The union of the church with the state, be the degree never so slight, while it may appear to bring the world nearer to the church, does in reality but bring the church nearer to the world.” The Great Controversy, 297.

“This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. Men have almost passed the point of God’s forbearance. They have invested their strength in politics, and have united with the papacy.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 51.

3 What should be our role with regard to the politics of the land in which we live? II Corinthians 6:17; I Timothy 5:22; Acts 5:29.

Note: “His [God’s] children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. They are not to link their interests with the interests of the world. ‘Give proof of your allegiance to Me’ He says, ‘by standing as My chosen heritage, as a people zealous of good works’ [Titus 2:14]. Do not take part in political strife.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 483.

4 What will be the end of those who ignore the call to separate from worldly politics? II Thessalonians 1:7–9.

Note: “The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 482.

“What are we to do, then?—Let political questions alone. [II Corinthians 6:14 quoted.] ‘And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel’ [II Corinthians 6:15]? What can there be in common between these parties? There can be no fellowship, no communion. The word fellowship means participation, partnership. God employs the strongest figures to show that there should be no union between worldly parties and those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ. What communion can there be between light and darkness, truth and unrighteousness?—None whatever. Light represents righteousness; darkness, error, sin, unrighteousness. Christians have come out of darkness into the light. They have put on Christ, and they wear the badge of truth and obedience. They are governed by the elevated and holy principles which Christ expressed in His life. But the world is governed by principles of dishonesty and injustice.” Ibid., 476.

5 What warning comes to the church with regard to the adopting of worldly policies? Proverbs 4:14, 15.

Note: “The religion of Jesus is endangered. It is being mingled with worldliness. Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the ark of the covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us by God, which have made us what we are, be ignored? Shall God’s instrumentality, the publishing house, become a mere political, worldly institution? This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 95, 96.

6 What does the Lord expect of His faithful servants? Ezekiel 3:17.

7 How does a lowering of God’s standards by men affect their qualifications to perform His work today? I Corinthians 14:8.

Note: “Men will employ every means to make less prominent the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and observers of the first day of the week. A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner, or sign, which makes us a distinct people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed that this was not the best policy in order to secure success to our institutions. But this is not a time to haul down our colors, to be ashamed of our faith. This distinctive banner, described in the words, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ [Revelation 14:12], is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. While efforts should be increased to advance in different localities, there must be no cloaking of our faith to secure patronage. Truth must come to souls ready to perish; and if it is in any way hidden, God is dishonored, and the blood of souls will be upon our garments.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 144.

8 What effect will modern worldly philosophies have if heeded? Colossians 2:8.

Note: “There are men among us in responsible positions who hold that the opinions of a few conceited philosophers, so called, are more to be trusted than the truth of the Bible, or the testimonies of the Holy Spirit. Such a faith as that of Paul, Peter, or John is considered old-fashioned and insufferable at the present day. It is pronounced absurd, mystical, and unworthy of an intelligent mind.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 79.

9 What role does the ministry have in protecting the church from ungodly philosophies? I Timothy 6:20; Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2, 3.

Note: “There is a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God and to the testimony of His Spirit. There is a spirit of idolatrous exaltation of mere human reason above the revealed wisdom of God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 79.

“There are those who know the truth but do not practice it. These greatly long for some new, strange thing to present. In their great zeal to become original some will bring in fanciful ideas which are but chaff. Even now there is a descending from the sublime and living issues for this time to the ridiculous and fanciful, and sensational minds stand ready to catch up suppositions and guesses and human theories and false science as truth to be accepted and taught.

“These put the test of salvation on speculation without one plain, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ They thus bring in a mass of rubbish, wood, hay, and stubble, as precious material to be laid upon the foundation stone. This will not stand the test of fire, but will be consumed, and if the ones who have made themselves believe these theories are so self-deceived and know not the truth yet are converted, their life is saved as by fire through repentance and humiliation before God. They have been dealing in common things in place of the sacred. Many catch up ideas which are of no consequence and place them before the flock of God as food, when they are only chaff which will never benefit or strengthen the flock of God, but will keep them in the lowlands, because they are feeding upon that which contains not the least virtue or nourishment.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1157.

10 How does Satan boast of his ability to deceive people concerning the message of reformation? I Kings 22:21, 22.

Note: “ ‘I [Satan] will also have unbelieving ones present who will express doubts in regard to the Lord’s messages of warning to His church. Should the people read and believe these admonitions, we could have little hope of overcoming them. But if we can divert their attention from these warnings, they will remain ignorant of our power and cunning, and we shall secure them in our ranks at last.’ ” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 475.

“Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God.” Ibid., 411.

11 What will happen to a church that rejects the Lord’s message? Matthew 6:23.

Note: “Let all who read these lines, take heed. Satan has made his boast of what he can do. He thinks to dissolve the unity which Christ prayed might exist in His church. He says, ‘I will go forth and be a lying spirit to deceive those that I can, to criticize, and condemn, and falsify.’ Let the son of deceit and false witness be entertained by a church that has had great light, great evidence, and that church will discard the message the Lord has sent, and receive the most unreasonable assertions and false suppositions and false theories.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 409.

“Where the message of divine truth is spurned or slighted, there the church will be enshrouded in darkness.” The Great Controversy, 378.

Review and Thought Questions:

1 What results from a union between church and state?

2 What must the Christian realize about politics?

3 What is the result of lowered standards?

4 While Satan is working to prevent the spreading of the truth, what should the little remnant be doing?

5 What is Satan’s plan to lead the church into apostasy?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.