Revival of Primitive Godliness--The True Context
Primitive Revival Versus Every Uncouth Thing Being Brought Into Our Camp Meetings Just Before Probation Closes
"The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music, than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working." E. G. White, Selected Messages, Vol. 2, 36.
The Primitive Revival In Its True Context
Many professing Seventh-day Adventists believe that no matter how apostate the SDA church becomes, that there will be a revival of primitive godliness to cleanse and purify the church. This is a half truth! There will be a primitive revival, but will it purge and purify the church? We prove in the full statement below, that the context of Ellen White's statement about a primitive revival is in application to all the popular churches. Do you think all the popular churches will be purged and purified? Of course not! Then why do most Adventists misinterpret Ellen White's statement to mean that the SDA church will be purged and purified by a revival of primitive godliness? Let's look at Ellen White's entire statement in its proper context:
"But many of the revivals of modern times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God's servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled, many profes conversion, and there are large accesions to the churches; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light which flames up for a time soon dies out, leaving the darkness more dense than before.
Popular revivals [such as the Celebration Revivals of today] are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's word, relating directly to their eternal interests, are unheeded. With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. [Context] But where, in the popular churches of today, is the spirit of consecration to God? The converts do not renounce their pride, and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from many of the churches. Picnics, church theatricals, church fairs, fine houses, personal display, have banished thoughts of God. Lands and goods and worldly occupations engross the mind, and things of eternal interest receive hardly a passing notice.
[Now the part that is always quoted out of context]"Notwithstanding the widespread declension of faith and piety, there are true followers of Christ in these [Popular Churches--in context] churches. Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children [and Ellen White says that most of God's children are in the other churches]. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord's second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God's special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.
In many of the revivals which have occurred during the last half century, the same influences have been at work, to a greater or less degree, that will be manifest in the more extensive movements of the future. There is an emotional excitement, a mingling of the true with the false, that is well adapted to mislead. Yet none need be deceived. In the light of God's word it is not difficult to determine the nature of these movements. Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God's blessing is not bestowed. And by the rule which Christ Himself has given, 'Ye shall know them by their fruits' (Matthew 7:16), it is evident that these movements are not the work of the Spirit of God.
In the truths of His word, God has given to men a revelation of Himself; and to all who accept them they are a shield against the deceptions of Satan. It is a neglect of these truths that has opened the door to the evils which are now becoming so widespread in the religious world. The nature and the importance of the law of God have been, to a great extent, lost sight of. A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity and the obligation of the divine law has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church. Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time.
There are, [Notice Context] in the various denominations, men eminent for their piety, by whom this fact is acknowledged and deplored. Professor Edwards A. Park, in setting forth the current religious perils, ably says: 'One source of danger is the neglect of the pulpit to enforce the divine law. In former days the pulpit was an echo of the voice of conscience.... Our most illustrious preachers gave a wonderful majesty to their discourses by following the example of the Master, and giving prominence to the law, its precepts, and its threatenings. They repeated the two great maxims, that the law is a transcript of the divine perfections and that a man who does not love the law does not love the gospel; for the law, as well as the gospel, is a mirror reflecting the true character of God. This peril leads to another, that of underrating the evil of sin, the extent of it, the demerit of it. In proportion to the rightfulness of the commandment is the wrongfulness of disobeying it....
'Affiliated to the dangers already named is the danger of underestimating the justice of God. The tendency of the modern pulpit is to strain out the divine justice from the divine benevolence, to sink benevolence into a sentiment rather than exalt it into a principle. The new theological prism puts asunder what God has joined together. Is the divine law a good or an evil? It is a good. Then justice is good; for it is a disposition to execute the law. From the habit of underrating the divine law and justice, the extent and demerit of human disobedience, men easily slide into the habit of underestimating the grace which has provided an atonement for sin. Thus the gospel loses its value and importance in the minds of men, and soon they are ready practically to cast aside the Bible itself.
Many religious teachers assert that Christ by His death abolished the law, and men are henceforth free from its requirements. There are some who represent it as a grievous yoke, and in contrast to the bondage of the law they present the liberty to be enjoyed under the gospel.
But not so did prophets and apostles regard the holy law of God. Said David: 'I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.' Psalm 119:45. The apostle James, who wrote after the death of Christ, refers to the Decalogue as 'the royal law' and 'the perfect law of liberty.' James 2:8; 1:25. And the revelator, half a century after the crucifixion, pronounce a blessing upon them 'that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.' Revelation 22:14." The Great Controversy, 1911 edition, pp. 463-466.
The context of the above "Revival of Primitive godliness" statement is clearly in reference to all fallen churches. There will be a revival of primitive godliness in all churches at the end-time. That revival will not purge and purify those churches. It will purify some of the members of those churches, and they will separate from those churches to join the bridal procession. It is the voice of God and the voice of the bride of Christ's church triumphant that awakens the ten-virgin people of the various churches, including the professing, New Movement, SDA Church, Selected Messages, vol. 1, 204, 205, and Christ's Object Lessons, 405, 406.
Revivals From Bad to Worse
"I saw that Satan was working through agents, in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers, who have rejected the truth, and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching, or praying some would fall prostrate and helpless; not by the power of the Holy Ghost, no, no; but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents and through them to the people. Some professed Adventists who had rejected the present truth, while preaching, praying or in conversation used Mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost [A tactic of Celebrationis now]. And even some that used it, were so far in the darkness and deception of the Devil, that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such an one as themselves; and had valued his power as a thing of naught.
Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints; those that they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a satanic influence. Oh! that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan, and be on their guard. I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God's people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet were sliding; because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling.
Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, and the covering drawn over God's people, and they left out, without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues.
God has begun to draw this covering over his people, and it will very soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for his people; and Satan will be permitted to work also.
I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders, and false reformations would increase, and spread. The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God's people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever.
My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 1, p. 9, cols. 2 and 3.
Parts of the above statement are a past-perfect, plu-perfect tense view of God's people, looking back on their experience after the fact.
Every Formally Organized Church Doing its Own Thing at the End-time
Every commentary on the Bible views Isaiah, Chapters 2-4 to be end-time in context. In Isaiah 4:1-4, we find seven women [ten-virgins--all formally organized churches] doing their own thing at the end time. They are wearing their own apparel, their own robes of self-righteousness, due to the fact that they will not accept the grace power of Christ to overcome, and they are eating their own bread; their own doctrines based on personal opinion and the intellectual philosophies of men. Seven is God's perfect number, denoting perfection or complete, so this verse includes every formally organized church on the earth at the end-time. The repeat of the Midnight Cry will be to all formally organized churches, New Movement Seventh-day Adventism included. A faithful remnant of True Seventh-day Adventists will go forth out of Jerusalem to be saved:
"And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward: For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." Isaiah 37:31, 32.
Does Isaiah 37:31, 32, Contradict Isaiah 4:1-4? Where we are Told to Remain in Jerusalem?
Absolutely not! Isaiah 4:1-4, is speaking of True Zion, True Seventh-day Adventism, the bride of Jesus Christ. That bride is the remnant who, according to Isaiah 37:31, 32, escapes for her life. Just as in the prefigure, Jesus and the disciples escaped "Jerusalem," the apostate "chosen" church, so the faithful Adventists will escape the imposter New Movement "Jerusalem," that has "removed God," according to Selected Messages, vol. 1, 204, 205, via the Omega of Apostasy. Any True Reformer Seventh-day Adventists, can prove irrefutably that every specification of Selected Messages, vol. 1, 204, 205, has been fulfilled.
See our WebSite study on Zion as the Bride of Christ, to discover the correct definition of Zion, the church that appears as about to fall, but does not.