"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" (1 Tim. 4:1; 1SM 197).In this presentation, Pastor Bohr draws out very important lessons for today from three places in their writings where Ellen White and Uriah Smith used ship imagery to describe their points, each of which is related to the gift of prophecy given to the remnant church. The first is Ellen's graphic description of a ship meeting a huge iceberg, illustrative of the church needing to face squarely the pantheistic movement which threatened to sink it in the early 1900's. She wrote that any such movement would allow nothing to stand in its way and would attempt to bring in a new reformation that would eventually do away with the foundational doctrines of our faith. It would attempt to build up a new structure influenced by books and sermons based on a new order of "intellectual philosophy" (1 SM 204). Is this happening in any form among some of our people today? Pastor Bohr shows how many Christians today, whether aware of it or not, are in essence adopting pantheism by saying that "all we need is love". They disconnect love from the rules God has laid down which identify what true love is, thus setting themselves up as God by choosing for themselves which of His Ten Commandments and rules for living they wish to follow, while disregarding the rest. Our thus being a law unto ourselves leads eventually to the state of "anything goes", as Pastor Bohr shows by discussing the following thought-provoking statements: "I have seen the results of these fanciful views of God, in apostasy, spiritualism, and free-lovism. The free love tendency of these teachings was so concealed that at first it was difficult to make plain its real character....I was instructed to call it unholy spiritual love....The experience of the past will be repeated. In the future, Satan's superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God's people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized" (8T 292-293). "We are to hold aloft the banner bearing the inscription, 'The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus'. We are to hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end....Let no one attempt to tear down the foundation of our faith, or to spoil the pattern by bringing into the web threads of human devising. Not one thread of pantheism is to be drawn into the web. Sensuality, ruinous to soul and body, is always the result." (MM 97-98). Could this be why worship styles, morals, doctrines and standards in the church are at such a troubling departure from God's instructions in some circles, and why many are proudly calling themselves a new kind of Adventist who has little need of the warnings of the "outdated" pilots God has ordained to lead the ship safely to harbor? The second ship illustration describes some of the sobering history of D. M. Canright, who at one time was one of our most successful and riveting evangelists, but who fell and shipwrecked his faith because of pride and desire for being a popular and great preacher. He then bitterly attacked the truth he once loved and had stood strong for. His sad aftermath is recounted as a warning to those who tire of the truth of our message because it requires a cross and is not as popular and crowd-pleasing as is found in "mega-churches" and huge denominations of our day. The third is a naval illustration given by Uriah Smith to show why we believe God has sent a special message through a "pilot" near the very end of our journey to help keep the good ship of Zion on course during extraordinarily dangerous times. This must-hear sermon deals with indications that we are now facing elements of the "Omega" apostasy that we know "will be of a most startling nature" (1SM 197), but it will also encourage you to never jump ship to attack it because God is guiding His church through rough waters and will lead it safely to its journey home, even though there may be some damage to it on the way. The church is not a leisure cruise ship or pleasure love-boat for those who desire a vacation with ease and little responsibility to God, but it is a ship in which all captains, mates and sea-farers are actively involved in guiding the ship safely to its destination and bringing aboard all the shipwrecked souls they find on their journey.
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