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Conscience Bound

“I am astonished…” said Dr John Eck to Martin Luther. 

…that the reverend doctor undertakes single-handed to combat so many distinguished Fathers, and to know better than sovereign pontiffs, councils, doctors, universities…   


It would, certainly, be astonishing that God should have concealed the truth from so many saints and martyrs… and not revealed it until the advent of the reverend father!”    DÁubigne’s History of the Reformation Vol. 2. p36. 

Could it be possible that God had given truth to a monk and not to His ‘divinely-appointed’ councils?  Does God in fact pass by the learned, the theologians and those in authority to give His truth? 

The question is not new.  

When the wise men enquired where the King of the Jews would be born, the learned teachers of the day were furious.   “It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles.”  Desire of Ages p62. 

When the temple officers returned without arresting Jesus, the Pharisees asked, “Are ye also deceived?  Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?”  John 7:47.48. 

It appeared to the ‘wise’ that God would never give His sacred truths to those who had not studied in their higher schools of learning.

But Martin Luther, though a monk, was well-educated.  God does use educated men, for John Huss, Jerome, Calvin, Wycliffe, Knox, the Wesley brothers and Whitefield were all educated.

However, God often chooses those who have had little education to make their stand for the truth, as the millions of martyrs who died for their faith in God’s Word testify. 

What about our own history? 

God chose William Miller, a farmer, who did not have any theological training.   He later worked with Joshua Himes, Josiah Litch and Charles Fitch, who were trained ministers of the gospel. 

It matters not to God.   

The first light of the Advent Movement was given to a humble man who feared to go before the people, then others were called to assist.  

And the prophet?  Ellen Harmon, a frail seventeen-year-old girl. 

After the first disappointment, when Samuel S. Snow brought further light, it was the humble who received the midnight cry. “Angels were sent from heaven to arouse the discouraged saints and prepare them for the great work before them. 

The most talented men were not the first to receive this message. Angels were sent to the humble, devoted ones, and constrained them to raise the cry, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh…” Early Writings p238. 

Thus it will always be.  

Secular governments will soon place God’s people on the witness stand to testify against the most learned religious leaders in the land.   

Our only hope is in the promise that our words will be given, “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:19.20.  

The authorities will be surprised at the clarity of our answers, but ridicule and condemnation will be on their lips.   Our arguments, even our texts of Scripture, will be said to be totally irrelevant, out of context, or twisted to suit our purpose.   

Whether we are standing for the Sabbath, the true state of the dead, or any other Bible teaching that differs from our accusers, there will always be opposition, and many will have arguments that appear far and many will have arguments that appear far superior to our own.   It is indeed daunting to face those who have the ability to make our beliefs seem utterly ridiculous.

We are to hold to the truth no matter what men may say contrary to our words.     

Luther said at Worms, “If I am not convicted by the very passages which I have quoted, and so bound in conscience to submit to the Word of God, I neither can nor will retract anything, for it is not safe for a Christian to speak against his conscience.”   DÁubigne’s History of the Reformation Vol 2. p182. 

Today, Seventh-day Adventists are facing a challenge that is causing church boards to ask brethren to answer for their faith.  As in all church councils, the majority follow the church teaching, rather than sit down with the Word of God and study the subject. 

Martin Luther, John Huss and other reformers anticipated that the papal council would study their writings, and hopefully see the truth of their words.   

They were bitterly disappointed. 

During those early centuries, the subjects of debate were many, but today the Adventist debate is predominantly one -- the Trinity.  

Certainly there are other issues, such as prophetic interpretations and women’s ordination, but the major concern is the identity of God.   


Who is He?     Is He one?      Or is He three in one? 

Should we have nothing to do with it?   Does it really matter? 

Imagine you belonged to a denomination that kept Sunday, and a few of your brethren began advocating the seventh day of the week as the day of worship.    

Would it matter? 

Should the church board disfellowship these brethren for teaching heresy? 

Conscience Bound


And what about you – Should you study the subject with them? 

Of course you know the answer. 

Today there are brethren in our church who are teaching that the Trinity is false.   In the main, they are not church leaders, but men and women in the pews.  However, some have been in leadership and others currently pastors. 

 Perhaps they should not be members?   Should the church simply disfellowship them?   After all, they have moved away from the 28 Fundamental Beliefs.  

The decision is yours, but keep in mind that history has a tendency to repeat itself, and it may be that the few are right!   


In the future, all Seventh-day Adventists who remain true to Jesus will be brought before the courts to answer for their faith.     It will not be easy to be harassed for the truth, with every word challenged and ridiculed. 

How we will wish our accusers would sit with us and study the subject.   Then they would understand. 

It is the same today. 

Listen to what these brethren say and study the Word of God diligently.  Ask God to reveal His truth about the Trinity doctrine.   Do not be lukewarm to the challenge.   You need to know for yourself what you believe.     

Listen to what these brethren say and study the Word of God diligently.  Ask God to reveal His truth about the Trinity doctrine.   Do not be lukewarm to the challenge.   You need to know for yourself what you believe.   


When your studies are complete, you will be able to repeat the words of Luther, “Here I stand… my conscience is captive to the Word of God.”    Luther at Worms.