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Teachings of Religious Leaders ( 2 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

teachings  of  religious  leaders
 
The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By introducing the belief that God's law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man's consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God's holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.   Great Controversy, page 586.2

 
 

the  teachings  of  men
 
There is much of worldly wisdom among men. "Higher education" is regarded as the fruit of human thought and effort. But this is an absurdity which He who rules in the heavens looks upon with contempt. Measured by finite minds, men are called learned and great; but with all their boasted wisdom, their science and learning, they cannot thus know God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. If they would turn from the teachings of men, and receive their illumination from the Light of the world, they would no longer walk in the sparks of the fire of their own kindling. They would know the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven, the laws that angels adore, and would be able to distinguish between light and darkness, between truth and error. No man who has ever lived, or who ever will live, can claim to be the infallible guide, the supreme revealer of truth. Men may seek to reach the highest standard in learning, but there is One, "a teacher sent from God," who still stands higher than they. No human teacher can equal him.  {YI, September 16, 1897 par. 4}

 
The very same language is used concerning the Sabbath as in the law of the tithe: "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Man has no right nor power to substitute the first day for the seventh. He may pretend to do this; "nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure." The customs and teachings of men will not lessen the claims of the divine law. God has sanctified the seventh day. That specified portion of time, set apart by God Himself for religious worship, continues as sacred today as when first hallowed by our Creator.  {CS 66.2}

 
Men who repudiate the teachings of the Spirit of God are not the proper persons to be placed in offices as leaders in the church. There is danger that the teachings of men who are not soundly converted may lead others into by and forbidden paths. In our efforts to secure consecrated leadership, we may expect to encounter opposition, for the enemy is seeking through unconverted men in positions of trust to mold the work, and he has too much at stake lightly to lose their influence.  {LLM 465.2}   {PC 299.4}
 
Higher education is not gained by the study of a certain class of books that worldly teachers deem essential, but by the study of the word of God. This study will lead to obedience to His requirements and to a constant walking in the footsteps of Christ. There is no education higher than that to be found in the lessons that Christ gave. When these are discarded for the teachings of men, it is time that God's people became converted anew and learned from Christ the simplicity of true godliness.  - {CT 400.1}
 
Christ said, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Light and life are associated together. John says further, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." Again Jesus said , "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?" The idea that the Messiah was to die, did not harmonize with the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees, and the people made it manifest by this question that they had not received the light already given them in the teachings of Christ, that they did not understand the lessons given to Israel from the pillar of cloud and of fire. They had not searched the Old Testament Scriptures, but were clinging to the teachings of men, and this made it difficult for them to accept the words of Christ. Then Jesus said unto them, "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light." If they heeded this admonition, they could settle down, believing themselves rooted and grounded in doctrines which had been taught them by priests and scribes and rulers; they must go forward from truth to a greater comprehension of truth, finding a deeper meaning in the Scriptures, as they advanced in understanding. Christ was among them, and he was a living expositor of the word of God. Should they stand still, failing to advance in knowledge when such privilege was theirs, darkness would come upon them. And "he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth."  {RH, October 14, 1890 par. 6}
 
Again he took up his pen against the enemies of the truth. He showed that Henry had sustained his doctrines only by the decrees and teachings of men. "As to me," said he, "I do not cease my cry of, 'The gospel, the gospel! Christ, Christ!' and my enemies continue to reply, 'Custom, custom! Ordinances, ordinances! Fathers, Fathers!' St. Paul says, 'Let not your faith stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.' And the apostle, by this thunder-clap from Heaven, at once overturns and disperses, as the mind scatters the dust, all the foolish thoughts of such a one as this Henry."  {ST, November 1, 1883 par. 6}
 

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