When The SDA General Conference In Session is no Longer The Voice of God
There is a time when the voice of the General Conference, even in session, IS NOT to be considered as the voice of God. For decades SDA church officials have only partially quoted a portion of Ellen White's counsel on this important subject. They have always quoted the following part:
"God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority." Testimonies, Vol. 9, 261.
Now let's look at the entire weight of evidence of the matter taking the statement in full context, letting each word have its bearing, and interpreting so that nothing contradicts or is given partiality treatment:
"I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man's judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.
At times when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God's work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work.
When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men E.G. White, Testimonies, vol. 9, 260, 261.
Sadly, the church has always been prone to give to one man or to a small group of men the power that should reside in a democratic vote of the General Conference in Session. A classic example of this one man or "small group of men" power was demonstrated in 1957, when a Korah, Dathan and Abiram type small group of men (All SDA leaders), violated the serious counsel of God in Isaiah 8:9-20, by assembling themselves into association, counsel, girding and finally confederacy with a small group of men representing what Seventh-day Adventists had historically regarded as the fallen churches of Babylon. That small group of men, consisting primarily of W.H. Reid, Roy Allen Anderson, and LeRoy Froom, versus Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse of Evangelical Christian fame, met together for a period of over two-years. Very early in their meeting appointments together, the three SDA representatives commenced to compromise fundamental pillar doctrines of Historic Seventh-day Adventism, such as the Human Nature of Christ, the Atonement, the Sanctuary doctrine, and the Investigative Judgement doctrine. All these doctrines are pivotal to one another and if one is toppled, they all crumble and fall. This occasion, along with the acceptance of worldly accreditation standards in the 1930's, was the beginning of the Omega of Apostasy in the professing Seventh-day Adventist church militant.
This small group of men sold every vestige of Historic Adventism down the drain, because even Sabbath-keeping is impossible after removing God and His sanctuary from the church militant by teaching the SDA church and the world a false gospel that is in utter betrayal to the commission of the Three Angels' Messages. Thus, a very small group of men led the church into the Omega of Apostasy. Did Ellen White warn us that this would be an easy course for church leaders to pursue? Notice:
"They [the leaders in 1888 have but little faith in me or the messages the Lord has given me. It would not take a very strong movement to have a state of things created as in the days of old, and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram would come to the point. I do not want to be left the least dependent upon these men. What care they for my feelings or my prosperity." E.G. White, The 1888 Materials, vol. 3, 989.
"The facts relative to Korah and his company, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and against Jehovah, are recorded for a warning to God's people, especially those who live upon the earth near the close of time. Satan has led persons to imitate the example of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, in raising insurrection among the people of God. Those who permit themselves to rise in opposition to the plain testimony, become self-deceived. Such have really thought that those upon whom God has laid the burden of his work were exalted above the people of God, and that their counsels and reproofs were uncalled for. They have risen in opposition to the plain testimony which God would have his servants bear in rebuking the wrongs among God's people. The testimonies borne against hurtful indulgences, as tea, coffee, snuff and tobacco, [and self-abuse] have irritated a certain class, because it would destroy their idols. Many for awhile were undecided whether to make an entire sacrifice of all these hurtful things, or reject the plain testimonies borne, and yield to the clamors of appetite. They occupied an unsettled position. There was a conflict between their convictions of truth and their self-indulgences. Their state of indecision made them weak, and, with many, appetite prevailed. Their sense of sacred things was perverted by the use of these slow poisons; and they at length fully decided, let the consequence by what it might, that they would not deny self. This fearful decision at once raised a wall of separation between them and those who were cleansing themselves, as God has commanded, from all filthiness of the flesh, and of the spirit, and were perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. The straight testimonies borne were in their way, and caused them great uneasiness; and they found relief in warring against them, and striving to make themselves and others believe that they were untrue. They said that the people were all right, but it was the reproving testimonies which made the trouble. And when the rebellious unfurl their banner, all the disaffected rally around the standard, ad all the spiritually defective, the lame, the halt, and the blind, unite their influence to scatter, and to sow discord.
Every advance of God's servants at the head of the work has been watched with suspicion by those who have had a spirit of insurrection, and all their actions have been misrepresented by the fault-finding, until honest souls have been drawn into the snare for want of correct knowledge. Those who lead them astray are so affected themselves by blind prejudice, and by rejecting the testimonies God has sent them, that they cannot see or hear aright. It is as difficult to undeceive some of these who have permitted themselves to be led into rebellion, as it was to convince the rebellious Israelites that they were wrong, and that Moses and Aaron were right. Even after God, in a miraculous manner, caused the earth to swallow up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the leaders in the rebellion, the people still would have it that Moses and Aaron were wrong, and that they had killed the people of the Lord. The Hebrews were not cured of their rebellion until fourteen thousand and seven hundred of the people who then, after all this, God in mercy condescended to perform a remarkable miracle upon the rod o Aaron, to settle their minds forever in regard to the priesthood." E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 306-308, not to be confused with Testimonies, vol. 1, the Spirit of Prophecy series of four books is still available from Adventist Book Stores by special order.
Korah, Dathan and Abiram were official leaders in the camp of Israel. Korah was a Levite, and a cousin of Moses. Uninformed and spiritually undiscerning professing Seventh-day Adventists, often try to parallel true independent ministry leaders with Korah, Dathan and Abiram, but it was three leaders of the church who caused the insurrection that still plagues the professing SDA church today, and will plague that church henceforth until the day of judgment! It is the leaders of the church who secretly joined the church in association, council, girding and confederacy with fallen Babylon. It was the leaders of the church who compromised and substituted all the fundamental pillar doctrines of Historic Adventism, for the intellectual philosophies and traditions of men. Ellen White prophesied this act as part and parcel of The Omega of Apostasy:
"The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A NEW ORGANIZATION would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the NEW MOVEMENT. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
WHO HAS AUTHORITY TO BEGIN SUCH A [NEW] MOVEMENT? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?" E.G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, 204-205.
It is child's play to prove that every specification in the above statement has been abundantly fulfilled by the professing SDA church leadership. Ecumenical fraternity, and the 1957 selling out of pillar doctrines, alone, fulfill every specification of the statement!
The NEW MOVEMENT, NEW ORGANIZATION mentioned above, as being the Omega of Apostasy [in context with the chapter it appears as part of], is indeed so powerful that "Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the NEW MOVEMENT." There is no independent ministry that is so powerful that the SDA church could not stand in its way! But the NEW MOVEMENT SDA CHURCH is so powerful that no independent ministry will ever stand in the way of its apostasy, until it is destroyed by another literal manifestation of Ezekiel 9, according to Ellen White.
We were never to join ANY NEW MOVEMENT, and so Satan formed one within in a Trojan horse manner, and the sleeping virgins are non-the-wiser! The fact is, of course, that we cannot join ANY NEW MOVEMENT, even one that now comprises the professing Seventh-day Adventist Church. God can no longer use such a church.
"He will take his Holy Spirit from the church and Give it to OTHERS who will appreciate it." E. G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 3, 272.
"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.
God is not 'worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything (Acts 17:25)." E.G. White, The Upward Look, 131.
It is clear from the above statement that the church could be discarded and given to others without the "others" constituting an eighth church! The seven churchs of Revelation 2 and 3, were eras of the church not literally only seven churches. For example, there were many churches comprising the Sardis era of the church, and folk came out of all those churches to form Philadelphia in 1844.
Any church can forfeit its high calling, no matter how high and sacred it once stood.
When a church forms a new movement that removes God, that church can no longer be used of God. God then chooses others. At that point neither the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the voice of God, as neither are the various modern Sanhedrin Synagogues who were once the chosen of God!