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Wednesday: Beware of Diverse and Strange Teachings — 14 Comments

  1. When I was involved in CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) one of the key messages was that due largely to our dependence on processed food, we were eating far too much salt and that wasn't good for us. One of the participants in the program kept pushing the idea that the reason salt was bad for us was that it contained so many additives and we should really be eating Himalayan Pink Salt (HPS) instead. He argued that the HPS contained all the mineral missing from ordinary salt and non of the additives, therefore it was good for you. I argued with him over the issue because the big message was that we should be eating less salt, period, not eating different coloured salt. (Part of my argument was that Himalayan salt did not in fact come for the Himalayan Mountains but was a marketing name establish in Pakistan to sell their pink salt. I also pointed out that both ordinary salt and HPS were both nearly 100% salt .)

    To a large extent the key message that less salt was important for our health was ambushed by a peripheral argument that one salt was better than another. The former was demonstrably true based on scientific evidence, while the latter issue was clouded by cleaver marketing and subtle colour.

    The author of Hebrews is making a clear call to get the big picture in our understanding of grace and salvation. We should not allow ourselves to be ambushed by enticing media personalities who have lots of followers on YouTube.

    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes as a gift from God, not from ceremonial rules about eating certain foods—a method which, by the way, hasn’t helped those who have tried it! Heb 13: 8,9 TLB

    ... and in a corollary to Seventh-day Adventists. We have some special doctrines that we consider very important, but do we let those teachings ambush our Christianity? I interact a lot with Atheists and have had to do some serious thinking about how I communicate the love of Christ - it has put a focus on what is the big picture message of Christianity, not on what makes our version of Christianity unique.

    Amen!(67)
    • Maurice, Indeed the peripheral arguments often tend to sway us away from the vitals..

      Heb 13:9 brings in an interesting context were Paul criticizes the audience for partaking of certain foods with the hope of somehow obtaining grace or merit rather than abstaining from them.
      Question we ought to ask ourselves is:
      "Have you met somebody like that? Have you been somebody like that?"

      'Less Salt' is what is important and not really another form of Salt.......

      Luke 11:37-40 gives us some message on Legalism among them being:
      The danger of an unconverted heart...

      Remember, it was not the Adulterous, murderers nor the thieves that put Him on the cross but the LEGALISTS DID......

      Amen!(22)
      • Hi Brother Joseph,

        Jill Morikone on the 3ABN Sabbath School panel this week echoes your statement about the dangers of Legalism and lists 7 dangers that she sees.

        #1 Danger of the unconverted heart (Luke 11:37-40)

        #2 Danger of false assurance of salvation - trusting in your own righteousness (Luke 18:9)

        #3 Danger of pride and feeling superior to others (Luke 18:11,12)

        #4 Danger of judging - the men judging in this story sinned too (John 8:3-11)

        #5 Danger of hard-heartedness. In this story, the Legalists saw and passed by the present need (Luke 10:31-34) Although the law can declare God’s will, it may also be used as a shelter in which to hide from God’s will.

        #6 Danger of hindering someone else's salvation - preventing them from experiencing the joy of Jesus (Luke 11:52)

        #7 Danger of inconsistency - "do as I say, not as I do" (Luke 11:46) The finer the net is woven, the more numerous are the holes. And the more precepts and prohibitions are set up ... or man's interpretations of God's precepts and prohibitions prescribed by religious doctrine... the more the decisive issue is concealed.

        Like you, Jill reminds us to not let special beliefs, like positive health practices, ambush our focus and energy on showing Christ's love.

        ******

        How is God in Jesus showing me He loves me right now? Am I envisioning Jesus in this situation right now? How am I lifting up Jesus and showing others God's love for them right now?

        How much more is God's Spirit leading me to do which is not specifically prescribed? What is God's Spirit asking me to omit that is not specifically forbidden?

        Is it possible to be more in love with the sovereignty of God than with God Himself?

        God once had perfection, behaviorally, in Lucifer and in Adam. He is after our constitution... because we don't have perfection to offer Him. Ephesians 3:16-19 tells me He wants to build Himself into the core of my being! God’s way is to start at the center of our being and then to work His way to the circumference. If the tree is good, the fruit will be good also.

        Am I more submitted to being God's tree than to bearing good fruit?

        Amen!(19)
    • Yeah I thought of him sometimes ago but did not voice out. Anyone to help reach out please? We miss him in the Sabbath school classroom.

      Amen!(13)
    • My understanding is that he is taking a bit of a break from commenting. I am sure he will be back when he is refreshed.

      Amen!(3)
    • Thanks Leilani and Sarah for your kind words and thoughts to reach out. Some things arose that needed careful and prayerful consideration.

      Amen!(2)
  2. Lesson Title : Beware of diverse and strange teachings!

    What did Paul mean (besides the food issue)?
    Did he mean the type of teachings in today's illustrations - completely strange compared to the gospel Paul preached?
    Or was he concerned about people twisting the truth?
    What was the core of the gospel that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to preach?
    I believe it is - Justified by Jesus Christ's death, Reconciled by the Father's love, Sanctified by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

    This is what Paul wrote previously.
    I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
    Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.
    Gal 1:6-9

    “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
    “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
    Acts 20:28-32

    Amen!(11)
    • EGW mentions what breaks down the life forces and invites decay and death: specifically negative emotions like; anger, fear, depression, remorse for sin etc. and etc. And in this context she leaves out food items of any kind too clean or unclean. And again in this context she refers to "Mind Sickness" as the culprit of these negative emotions and still leaves out food items of any kind, clean or unclean but just food period.

      Amen!(3)
      • Hi Pete, I agree Ellen White has books full about Mental as well as Physical Health.
        But I am not sure what sparked your comment in my post about people twisting the Truth and Paul's reaction to them.

        Amen!(1)
      • Hi Pete

        Very interesting !

        I'm of the opinion that *food for thought is for the mind* , the temple place in humans, were the Father and/or Jesus, by means of the one Spirit meet with our human spirit, (aka cognitive, consciousness, motivation) John 17:23, Ephesians 4:4, John 14:23, Revelation 3:20

        Whereas food for the Body, maintains the bodily function and can be good or bad for our health but does not make us evil, defiled.
        John 15:15-20

        I would be interested in YOUR THOUGHTs on this !

        Amen!(1)
  3. Jesus said "what goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, BUT what come out of their mouth, that is what defiles them."
    Matthew 15:11

    The lessen is not carnal but spiritual !
    2 Peter 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4, 1 Corinthians 8:13

    Amen!(8)
  4. My dear loving grandmother, (may she rest in grace) used Hebrews 13:9 to explain to teenaged me that when we say grace at mealtime,that God's grace blessed everything on the table.
    I appreciate now the maturity to understand that the "foods" mentioned in Heb.13:9 are those foods mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:2-17. (The sacrificial meats that were meant to be eaten)
    I understand now, because for the Hebrews, eating unclean foods was a non starter.

    Amen!(3)

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