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Into the Church ( 350 ) Creeping into the church
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  Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
into  the  Church
Related phrase:   creeping into the church  ( below )
There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ. While one class study the Saviour's life and earnestly seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain, practical truths which expose their errors. Even in her best estate the church was not composed wholly of the true, pure, and sincere. Our Saviour taught that those who willfully indulge in sin are not to be received into the church; yet He connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and correct them. Among the twelve apostles was a traitor. Judas was accepted, not because of his defects of character, but notwithstanding them. He was connected with the disciples, that, through the instruction and example of Christ, he might learn what constitutes Christian character, and thus be led to see his errors, to repent, and, by the aid of divine grace, to purify his soul "in obeying the truth." But Judas did not walk in the light so graciously permitted to shine upon him. By indulgence in sin he invited the temptations of Satan. His evil traits of character became predominant. He yielded his mind to the control of the powers of darkness, he became angry when his faults were reproved, and thus he was led to commit the fearful crime of betraying his Master. So do all who cherish evil under a profession of godliness hate those who disturb their peace by condemning their course of sin. When a favorable opportunity is presented, they will, like Judas, betray those who for their good have sought to reprove them.  Great Controversy, page 43.2   Read entire chapter 2
 
 
The great deceiver has many agents ready to present any and every kind of error to ensnare souls --heresies prepared to suit the varied tastes and capacities of those whom he would ruin. It is his plan to bring into the church insincere, unregenerate elements that will encourage doubt and unbelief, and hinder all who desire to see the work of God advance and to advance with it. Many who have no real faith in God or in His word assent to some principles of truth and pass as Christians, and thus they are enabled to introduce their errors as Scriptural doctrines.  Great Controversy, page 520.1   Read entire chapter 32
 
 
At a meeting of the presbytery of Philadelphia, Mr. Barnes, author of a commentary widely used and pastor of one of the leading churches in that city, “stated that he had been in the ministry for twenty years, and never, till the last Communion, had he administered the ordinance without receiving more or less into the church. But now there are no awakenings, no conversions, not much apparent growth in grace in professors, and none come to his study to converse about the salvation of their souls. With the increase of business, and the brightening prospects of commerce and manufacture, there is an increase of worldly-mindedness. Thus it is with all the denominations.”—Congregational Journal, May 23, 1844.  Great Controversy, page 376.3  Read entire chapter 21
 
Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members....While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.... { OFC 84.6} { FLB 305.2} 
 
When Christ said to the disciples, Go forth in My name to gather into the church all who believe, He plainly set before them the necessity of maintaining simplicity. The less ostentation and show, the greater would be their influence for good. The disciples were to speak with the same simplicity with which Christ had spoken.—The Acts of the Apostles, 28. { ChS 233.3} 
 
Our churches are becoming enfeebled by receiving for doctrines the commandments of men. Many are received into the church who are not converted. Men, women, and children are allowed to take part in the solemn rite of baptism without being fully instructed in regard to the meaning of this ordinance. Participation in this ordinance means much, and our ministers should be careful to give each candidate for baptism plain instruction regarding its meaning and its solemnity.—The Review and Herald, October 6, 1904. { PaM 163.2} 
Men and women have many habits that are antagonistic to the principles of the Bible. The victims of strong drink and tobacco are corrupted, body, soul, and spirit. Such ones should not be received into the church until they give evidence that they are truly converted, that they feel the need of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The truth of God will purify the true believer. He who is thoroughly converted will abandon every defiling habit and appetite. By total abstinence he will overcome his desire for health-destroying indulgences.—Letter 49, 1902. { Ev 264.2} 
 
The truth that God has given for His people in these last days should keep them firm when there come into the church those who present false theories. The truth that has stood firm against the attacks of the enemy for more than half a century must still be the confidence and comfort of God’s people. { PM 336.2} 
 
In the East, men sometimes took revenge upon an enemy by strewing his newly sown fields with the seeds of some noxious weed that, while growing, closely resembled wheat. Springing up with the wheat, it injured the crop and brought trouble and loss to the owner of the field. So it is from enmity to Christ that Satan scatters his evil seed among the good grain of the kingdom. The fruit of his sowing he attributes to the Son of God. By bringing into the church those who bear Christ’s name while they deny His character, the wicked one causes that God shall be dishonored, the work of salvation misrepresented, and souls imperiled. { COL 71.1} 
 
And not only in the world do we see the result of the church’s neglect to work in Christ’s lines. By this neglect a condition of things has been brought into the church that has eclipsed the high and holy interests of the work of God. A spirit of criticism and bitterness has come into the church, and the spiritual discernment of many has been dimmed. Because of this the cause of Christ has suffered great loss.—Testimonies for the Church 6:297. { ChS 38.3} 
 
Brethren, the Lord will help you, if you seek his help; but do not exalt self, do not call the attention of the people to self. There is a spirit of worldliness coming into the church, and it must be firmly met and rebuked. Unless we humble our hearts before God, unless we seek him earnestly, we shall be overcome by the temptations of Satan; and those whom we neglect to warn, to reprove, to exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine, will he ensnared by his devices, and we shall not be guiltless. { GW92 450.2 } 
 
Christ prayed to his Father in regard to his disciples, saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” If this prayer is answered in us, we must have a daily experience in divine things. Jesus has made an infinite sacrifice, that we may build up our lives in pure, holy, upright deeds, and may grow up into an holy temple for God. We cannot afford to have our minds dwelling upon things of minor importance. We are building for time and for eternity. We must cherish the loveliness of Christ. We are nearing the end of earth’s history, and we are to be laborers together with God to the end of time. We must do our work with fidelity, bringing life and vitality into the church of Christ. Jesus has pledged himself to do for us abundantly, above what we are able to ask or think. Heaven is worth everything. If we gain the eternal reward, we gain everything; and if we lose it, we lose everything. { RH October 30, 1888, par. 13 }
 
Christ and the world are not in partnership. The apostle says, “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.” “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Conformity to the world will never be the means of converting the world to Christ. Christians must be entirely consecrated to God, if the church is to be efficient in its influence for good upon unbelievers. The slightest diversion from Christ is so much influence, power, and efficiency given to the enemy. The church was called into existence to counteract the influence of Satan; but as member after member of the church allows his ability and power to be diverted, one in one line and another in another line, connections are formed with the world, and the enemy of all righteousness triumphs. Almost imperceptibly the world’s standard, the world’s maxims and customs, are introduced into the church; and as these find room, the objectionable maxims and customs more boldly appear, and leaven the influence of the church; and Satan’s devices are successful, just as he has designed they should be. In this way there is brought into the church a mixed company, a divided service. Many profess to love God, yet they are serving mammon, and bowing at worldly shrines. The world is brought into the church, but not through repentance, contrition, and conversion, but because church-members become wedded to the world; and this unholy union is the explanation of the weakness and inefficiency of the church. It is made manifest when church-members follow the maxims of the world, that spiritual discernment is gone. Where this union is preserved, contention, criticism, faultfinding, strife, and decided hatred one of another comes in among those who should be servants of Jesus Christ. { RH August 23, 1892, par. 2 }
 
 
creeping  into  the  Church
Related phrase:   crept into the church  ( below )
The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7.  Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.  Great Controversy, page 49.1  Read entire chapter 3  also  { SR 326.1} 
 
 
John was filled with sadness as he saw these poisonous errors creeping into the church. He saw the dangers to which the church was exposed, and he met the emergency with promptness and decision. The epistles of John breathe the spirit of love. It seems as if he wrote with a pen dipped in love. But when he came in contact with those who were breaking the law of God, yet claiming that they were living without sin, he did not hesitate to warn them of their fearful deception. { AA 554.1}  { CC 358.3} . { RC 66.4} 
John lived to see the gospel of Christ preached far and near, and thousands eagerly accepting its teachings. But he was filled with sadness as he perceived poisonous errors creeping into the church. Some who accepted Christ claimed that His love released them from obedience to the law of God. On the other hand, many taught that the letter of the law should be kept, also all the Jewish customs and ceremonies, and that this was sufficient for salvation, without the blood of Christ. They held that Christ was a good man, like the apostles, but denied His divinity. John saw the dangers to which the church would be exposed, should they receive these ideas, and he met them with promptness and decision. { SL 63.2}  
 
 
John lived to see the gospel of Christ preached far and near, and thousands eagerly accepting its teachings. But he was filled with sadness as he perceived poisonous errors creeping into the church. Some who accepted Christ claimed that his love released them from obedience to the law of God. On the other hand, many taught that the letter of the law should be kept, also all the Jewish customs and ceremonies, and that this was sufficient for salvation, without the blood of Christ. They held that Christ was a good man, like the apostles, but denied his divinity. John saw the dangers to which the church would be exposed, should they receive these ideas, and he met them with promptness and decision. He wrote to a most honorable helper in the gospel, a lady of good repute and extensive influence: { RH February 22, 1881, par. 7 }
 
For years there has been creeping into the church an element that is educating many professed believers to resist the teachings of the Holy Spirit. In their efforts to make of no effect the Word of God, many array their strength on the side of the deceiver. I am instructed that we are to cherish as very precious the work which the Lord has been carrying forward through his commandment-keeping people, and which, through the power of his grace, will grow stronger and more efficient as time advances. The enemy is seeking to becloud the discernment of God’s people, and to weaken their efficiency; but if they will labor as the Spirit of God shall direct, he will open doors of opportunity before them for the work of building the old waste places. Their experience will be one of constant growth in assurance and power until the Lord shall descend from heaven with power and great glory to set his seal of final triumph on his faithful ones. { RH January 11, 1912, Art. A, par. 19 }
 
But after a time the zeal of the believers began to wane, and their love for God and for one another grew less. Coldness crept into the church. Some forgot the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth. One by one the old standard-bearers fell at their post. Some of the younger workers, who might have shared the burdens of these pioneers, and thus have been prepared for wise leadership, had become weary of oft-repeated truths. In their desire for something novel and startling they attempted to introduce new phases of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds, but not in harmony with the fundamental principles of the gospel. In their self-confidence and spiritual blindness they failed to discern that these sophistries would cause many to question the experiences of the past, and would thus lead to confusion and unbelief. { AA 580.1} 
 
But after a time the zeal of the believers, their love for God and for one another, began to wane. Coldness crept into the church. Differences sprang up, and the eyes of many were turned from beholding Jesus as the Author and Finisher of their faith. The masses that might have been convicted and converted by a faithful practice of the truth, were left unwarned. Then it was that the message was addressed to the Ephesian church by the True Witness. Their lack of interest in the salvation of souls showed that they had lost their first love; for none can love God with the whole heart, mind, soul, and strength without loving those for whom Christ died. God called upon them to repent and do the first works, else the candlestick would be removed out of its place. { 6T 422.2 } 
 
My dear sister, I beseech you to put away all feelings of suspicion and jealousy. God’s eye is over both of you. I am pained because I fear that this letter may possibly be misunderstood; but I am instructed to say to you, Know who your friends are, and appreciate them. When it is necessary for a work to be done in order to reform abuses that have crept into the church, thank the Lord that He has spoken. And when the Lord speaks to you, thank Him for saving you from future sorrow. { RY 77.3 } 
 
It is to be feared that the people of God are not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Is there not a lack of energy in the church? Are we not upon the enchanted ground, and falling asleep in this important time? We desire to walk too much by sight. We must walk more by faith. We must have more energy, more unwavering faith and confidence in God. Has not pride crept into the church? Is there that close watchfulness of self that there should be? Let us each examine our own hearts and look carefully to our own lives and see how they will compare with the true Pattern who wore a plain seamless coat, whose life was a life of sacrifice, who went about doing others good, and making others happy. Let us search closely and see if we have the fruits of the Spirit. { RH June 12, 1855, par. 1 }
 
After a time coldness crept into the church. Differences unworthy of notice sprang up, and the eyes of the believers were taken from beholding Jesus as the author and finisher of their faith. Their love for one another began to wane. The multitudes that might have been convicted and converted by a faithful practice of the truth were left unwarned. { RH May 26, 1903, par. 10 }
 
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