Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 197.
“Christ sees the wickedness on the earth today. He sees that the sins of Noah’s and Lot’s time are being repeated. What terrible revelations of crime are being made. Everything seems to be stirred with an intense activity from beneath. Excitement is continually kept up. Feasting, buying, and selling, are brought into the churches. The watchman cries, ‘The morning cometh, and also the night.’ The night symbolizes prevalence of error, misinterpretation and misapplication of Scripture. Every species of delusion is now being brought in. The plainest truths of God’s word are covered with a mass of man-made theories. Deadly errors are presented as the truth to which all must bow. The simplicity of true godliness is buried beneath tradition.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, February 1, 1897.
“Those temptations are most dangerous which come from the professed servants of God, and from our friends. When persons who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great piety and love, counsel the faithful workers for God to be less zealous and more conservative, our answer must be an appeal to the Word of God. When they plead for union with those who have been our determined opposers, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah.” The Signs of the Times, January 3, 1884.
“Christ had foretold that deceivers would arise, through whose influence ‘iniquity’ should ‘abound,’ and ‘the love of many’ should ‘wax cold’ (Matt. 24:12). He had warned the disciples that the church would be in more danger from this evil than from the persecution of her enemies. Again and again Paul warned the believers against these false teachers. This peril, above all others, they must guard against; for by receiving false teachers, they would open the door to errors by which the enemy would dim the spiritual perceptions and shake the confidence of those newly come to the faith of the gospel.” Reflecting Christ, 344.
The Sure Consequence of Imbibing Error
“We are living in the perils of the last days. It is not safe to be careless and indifferent now. With humble hearts and perfect submission to the will of God, we should pray earnestly to be kept from error and that we may be guided into all truth. Truth sanctifies. Error corrupts. The soul can be kept pure and strengthened only by walking in the light as Christ is in the light.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, December 2, 1875.
“Error is falsehood and deception. Those who partake of it must suffer in consequence, as did Adam and Eve in Eden. It is the privilege of all to search with prayerful, eager interest for the truth. Truth is the tree of life, the leaves of which the human family are to eat and live.” The Upward Look, 125.
“It is a fact widely ignored, though never without danger, that error rarely appears for what it really is. It is by mingling with or attaching itself to truth that it gains acceptance. The eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil caused the ruin of our first parents, and the acceptance of a mingling of good and evil is the ruin of men and women today.” Education, 230, 231.
“Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous. The enemy has great power over minds that are not thoroughly fortified by prayer and established in Bible truth.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 47.
Danger of Not Going to a Church of True Believers
“I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, ‘Fearful is his word, awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal or bind the wheat for the heavenly garner.’ These things should engage the whole mind, the whole attention. Again I was shown the necessity of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily receiving or imbibing new error. I saw that neither young nor old should attend the assemblies of those who are in error and darkness. Said the angel, ‘Let the mind cease to dwell on things of no profit.’ ” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 425.
“In order to live in the light, we must come where the light shines. It is not well for the people of God to lose the privilege of associating with those of like faith with themselves; for the truth loses its importance in their minds, their hearts cease to be enlightened and vivified by its sanctifying influence, and they lose spirituality. They are not strengthened by the words of the living preacher.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 14, 1882.
“I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness. Early Writings, 124, 125.
“Those who do not feel the necessity of seeking the assembly of the saints, with the precious assurance that the Lord will meet with them, show how lightly they value the help that God has provided for them. Satan is constantly at work to wound and poison the soul; in order to withstand his efforts we must breathe the atmosphere of heaven. We must individually get hold and keep hold of Christ.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 934.
“No longer should our people go to Battle Creek as they have been doing. Infidelity has been sown there in words in false statements, in unsanctified influence of mind over mind. God is dishonored, we are to prepare to accept the situations God may prepare for us. Never before did the matter appear as the Lord presents it today. False theories, repeated again and again, appear as falsely inviting today as did the fruit of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The fruit was very beautiful, and apparently desirable for food. Through false doctrines many souls have already been destroyed. Some will never see the light and come to their senses. The Lord God of Israel now declares, ‘If the Lord be God, serve Him; and if Baal, serve him. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.’” Loma Linda Messages, 165.
“We shall be called to meet those who, notwithstanding definite reproof and warning through the Testimonies have gone on in an evil course. We are bidden of God to hold ourselves separate and distinct from these men who have not given heed to His warnings. Some of them will seek to enter our churches, but we are to give no place to them. If they are converted, they will bear a different testimony. But I have a positive warning in reference to men who have departed from the faith. Let not our churches be opened for them; for they will deceive, if possible, the very elect.” (To S. N. Haskell, November 11, 1908.) Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 196.
“Every truly honest soul will come to the light of truth. ‘Light is sown for the righteous.’ (Psalm 97:11) And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure.” The Great Controversy, 522.
“There are men whose character and life testify to the fact that they are false prophets and deceivers. These we are not to hear or tolerate.” Testimonies to Ministers, 294.
“Satan will bring his temptations, and if he is to be resisted we must pray to God for deliverance. If there ever was a time that we needed to pray, it is in these last days. The Word is no more bound than it was when Christ was upon the earth. We shall have Satan and evil men to combat, but we also shall have messengers of light to help us. It is for us to gather upon our pathway all the rays of light, and not listen to error, for if we do we shall be turned away from truth. We have no time to listen to fables. Christ’s prayer was, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth’ (John 17:17). We want the truth and we want to give Him all our powers, that when He comes His benediction will rest upon every one of us and we shall receive the reward.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 98.
Necessity of Opposing False Teachers
“False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met, and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood, and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 12, 1893.
“The Word of God contains the truth, but when this Word is misapplied and made to strengthen error, we must meet this danger without hesitation. We must call upon our people to turn from such theories, to receive them not, to remember how they have received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent. We call upon them to keep their spiritual eyesight clear and to receive not the elaborate, uncalled-for explanations of the Scriptures offered by some, because these explanations would undermine the pillars of our faith. Reverence the Word, but not its misapplication to substantiate error.” Manuscript Release, vol. 760, 16.
Fatal Consequence of Improper Education
“The education that consists in the training of the memory, tending to discourage independent thought, has a moral bearing which is too little appreciated. As the student sacrifices the power to reason and judge for himself, he becomes incapable of discriminating between truth and error, and falls an easy prey to deception. He is easily led to follow tradition and custom.” Education, 230.
“Physicians, have you been doing the Master’s business in listening to fanciful and spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, interpretations which undermine the foundations of our faith, and holding your peace? God says, ‘Neither will I be with you any more, unless you awake, and vindicate your Redeemer.’” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 196.
Whose Authority Will You Obey?
“The word of God is to be our counselor. It is only those who render perfect and thorough obedience to God that he will choose. Those who follow the Lord are to be firm and straightforward in obeying his directions. Any deviation to follow human devising or planning disqualifies them for being trustworthy. Even if they have to walk as did Enoch,—with God alone,—his children must separate from those who do not obey him, who show that they are not in vital connection with him. The Lord God is a host; and all who are in his service will realize the meaning of his words to Zerubbabel, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ ” The Youth’s Instructor, April 28, 1898.
“But ‘every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.’ In place of the authority of the so-called fathers of the church, God bids us accept the word of the eternal Father, the Lord of heaven and earth. Here alone is truth unmixed with error. David said, ‘I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.’ (Ps. 119:99, 100) Let all who accept human authority, the customs of the church, or the traditions of the fathers, take heed to the warning conveyed in the words of Christ, ‘In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 398.
“But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.
“Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will.” The Great Controversy, 595.
Error’s Bewitching Power
“There is in error and unbelief that which bewilders and bewitches the mind. To question and doubt and cherish unbelief in order to excuse ourselves in stepping aside from the straight path is a far easier matter than to purify the soul through a belief of the truth, and obedience thereto. But when better influences lead one to desire to return, he finds himself entangled in such a network of Satan, like a fly in a spider’s web, that it seems a hopeless task to him, and he seldom recovers himself from the snare laid for him by the wily foe.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 46.
“My mind is sad beyond expression because the enemy has obtained victories over the minds and hearts and wills of those whom the Lord has been admonishing, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ God has been warning them for years, but they would not receive His words and take heed to them; they would not make their works perfect before Him. Some of those who claim to have been teaching the truth present before God a very ragged practice, which He does not accept. They determined to follow their own will and way, and they have been led by the enemy of all righteousness. Satan has been playing the game of life for their souls, and has been stealing away from them the Lord’s entrusted gifts, putting in their place his evil sentiments, to be worked out in scientific problems. He has blinded the spiritual eyesight, and deceptive, delusive imaginings are taking the place of the word of life and truth. Some in exalted positions of responsibility are sustaining error in the place of truth. Satan makes his delusions most attractive, clothing error in the garments of truth, so that it seems the most desirable thing to possess. The minds of many whom we would naturally suppose would see things clearly, are blinded as with a bewitching sophistry of error. If the terribly bewitching, fascinating story is not interrupted, those who are listening to it will become infidels in their belief. There is no safety in their present experience. They need to be convicted and converted by eating the word of God, believing it just as it reads, interpreting it correctly, not weaving the messages sent by God to save His people, into their own sophistries, making them speak in favor of fables that undermine the foundation established by the Lord for His commandment-keeping people.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7.
“Everywhere error will be presented for truth; and unless we have a living connection with God, and are diligent in searching the Scriptures, there is danger of being misled. Voices will be heard on every side, saying, ‘Come with us; we have the truth.’ Jesus is the true Shepherd. His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him; but a ‘stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ But unless we are ever on our guard, there is constant danger of listening to strange voices.” The Signs of the Times, October 29, 1885.
“There is no nook or corner of the world, however secluded, where error and sin have not found their way. Error is often presented in a specious garb, so that it requires more than human wisdom to detect the falsehood under the pretension of truth. If error was never mingled with truth, it would not be so subtle in its influence upon the mind. If error stood forth alone in its true, hideous form, souls would not be deceived. But there are many who see attractions in error, and will eagerly feast upon it, although it poisons the mind. Error always injures the soul and deforms the character. Error may, at first sight, appear plausible, but its tendency is to corrupt the heart, and to ensnare its victims. We often hear it stated that it matters not what one believes if his life is only right. But the life is molded by the faith. If light and truth, are within our reach, and we neglect to improve the privilege of hearing and seeing the truth, we virtually reject it, and choose darkness rather than light. Said Christ to the Jews, Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, December 2, 1875.
Occupy the Mind With Truth, Contend for Truth
“And now opposition has to be encountered. In the world they were gliding along peaceably, but now they have to stem the current of popular opinion. As they turn from the maxims and customs of popular professors of religion, the conflict begins in earnest. They must contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, or be carried away from light, away from truth, into error and darkness, to final ruin.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893.
“None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.
“We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, ‘Unify, unify.’ But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth.” Manuscript 31, 1906; Selected Messages, book 3, 412.
“Our church members see that there are differences of opinion among the leading men, and they themselves enter into controversy regarding the subjects under dispute. Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, scriptural basis.” Manuscript 10, 1905; Selected Messages, vol. 1, 175.
“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth, and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth, and was pure in heart, was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty. Satan knew this, and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled on the truth . . . I saw that Satan was at work . . . to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding because they were not firmly planted on the truth . . .
“Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God’s people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues.” Sons and Daughters of God, 342.