Commentary on "The Gospel and the Church"
Day 7: Friday, December 23, 2011 - Further Study
Friday ends with a quote from Ellen G. White as well as list of topical discussion questions.
The discussion questions are designed to create conversation that encourages pontificating about things that should be left to the LORD and the word of God to reveal. This cultural norm among Adventists is one of the subtle ways man keeps his intellect on the throne rather then submitted to the Word of God. Far too often Sabbath school classes are lead with "thought provoking" questions rather than with clear text-by-text teaching that involves studying context and language. These quarterly questions are also designed to lead the reader to consider moving into action regarding the call to "do good." A wonderful intention, but empty without the new birth that can only occur through trust in the true gospel of Jesus Christ—alone.
It is sad for us to see deep and exciting truths of the week's passage so neglected. We do understand that the true context can only be seen in light of the true gospel. This lesson was not a careful expository study of Galatians but a mental exercise through a maze of proof texts and moral lessons extrapolated by the careful and intentional leading of the quarterly writer and Sabbath school leaders. We encourage you who are questioning to consider putting down your man made Sabbath school quarterly for three months and simply read scripture only. Pray that the Holy Spirit would begin to teach you and take away any preconceived ideas about the meaning of the scripture you are reading. Consider seriously, why would such a challenge be damaging to your walk with Jesus? If your only source for truth is the Bible and you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you (putting away your presuppositions created by the GC worldview), then if Ellen. G. White is biblical you would only be lead back into your religion. If she were not though, imagine what God has in store for you!
It is our deep conviction through testing Ellen G. White against scripture that she is a false prophet and that it is impossible to "disown" her and remain Adventist. A simple disavow of her teachings and a deep commitment to the Adventist culture is a weak and dangerous stance. Without careful study of the word and the history of the organization, it is impossible for Adventists to know what among the pile of doctrines they hold onto come from her visions and her great controversy teachings, and what is sola scriptura. Because we view EGW as a false prophet, we will only address her writings with the use of scripture.
"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…" 2 Peter 2:1a "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions," 1 Timothy 6:3-4
"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
" I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9
Copyright 2011 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised December 17, 2011. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.
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