False Shepherds. I HAVEbeen shown the false shepherds, that they were drunk, but not with wine; they stagger but not with strong drink. The truth of God is sealed up to them; they cannot read it. When they are interrogated as to what the seventh-day Sabbath is, whether it is the true Sabbath of the Bible, they lead the mind to fables. I saw that the prophets were like the foxes of the deserts. They have not gone up into the gaps, they have not made up the hedge, that the people of God may stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. When these shepherds see the minds of any stirred up, and they begin to inquire of them about the truth, they take the easiest and best manner for themselves, to quiet their minds and effect their object, even to the changing of their own position.
Light has shone to many of these shepherds; but they would not acknowledge it, but have changed their position a number of times to evade the truth and get away from conclusions that they must come to, if they continued in their former positions; while the power of truth tore up their foundation. And instead of yielding to the force of truth, they would get upon another platform, that they were not satisfied with themselves.
I saw that many of these shepherds had denied the past teachings of God; had denied and rejected the glorious truths which they once zealously advocated, and covered them with mesmerism, and all kinds of delusions. I saw they were drunken, but not with wine, they staggered but not with strong drink. They were drunken with error, and were leading on their flock to death.
Many of the opposers of God's truth, devise mischief in their heads upon their beds, and in the day, they carry out their mischief and wicked devices, to put down the truth, and get something new to interest, and take the minds of their people, and divert them from the precious, all-important truth. I saw that the priests who are leading on their flock to death, are soon to be arrested in their dreadful career. The plagues of God are coming, and after one or two has fallen, and they are tormented with the plagues, it is not enough; for all this, his hand is stretched out still, and will not be brought to himself again, until his purposes are fully accomplished, and they will be led to worship at the saints' feet, and acknowledge that God has loved them, because they held fast the truth, and kept God's commandments. And his hand is stretched out still in wrath and justice, and he will not rest from his anger, until the hireling priests and all the unrighteous are destroyed from the earth.
The different parties of professed Advent believers have a little truth, but God has given all that to his children who are being prepared for the day of God; also truths that neither of these parties know, and will not understand. Things which are sealed up to them, the Lord has opened to those who will see, and are ready to understand them. And if God has any new light to communicate, he will let his chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to hear those who are in error and darkness to have their minds enlightened.
I was shown the necessity of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that young and old should not attend their assemblies; for it is wrong to encourage them by attending their meetings while they teach error that is poisonous, and death to the soul, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. And the influence is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith he has set us free, and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with those who go to listen to error, when they are not obliged to; for unless he sends us to these meetings, where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, he will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him, and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.
I saw that we had not time to throw away in listening to fables. Our minds should not be thus diverted; but should be occupied with the present truth, and seeking wisdom that we may obtain a more thorough knowledge of our position; that with meekness we may give a reason of our hope from the Scriptures. While the mind is occupied in hearing false doctrines, and dangerous error, pressed upon the hearers, it cannot be dwelling upon the truth which is to fit and prepare the house of Israel to stand in the day of the Lord.