The Omega of Apostasy, Separation, and an Eighth Church
Sardis had Many Churches From Which Members Came out of to Form the Philadelphian Church
Consider the myriad number of churches comprising the Sardis era of the church circa 1844! Which one was Sardis? The truth of the matter was that all of them were Sardis. Did Ellen White say as much? Indeed:
"The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages [plural] extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church [collectively and generally] at different periods in the history of the world." E.G. White, The Acts of the Apostles,585.
Ellen White Said we Are Not Saved as a Sect or a Denomination
"We are not saved as a sect; no denominational name has any virtue to bring us into favor with God. We are saved individually as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. "And 'by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.' We may have our names recorded on th4e books of the most spiritual of the churches, and yet we may not belong to Christ, and our names may not be written on the Lamb's book of life." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 2, 464.
If we are not saved as a sect and/or denominaiton, but as individuals, what significance would there be to any of the organized churches except to facilitate the gospel of truth to the world?
Ellen White Says That God Will Continue to Work on the Principle of Taking His Kingdom, His Church Away From Any People if they are Unfaithful to the Work of the Lord
"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Chist, 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.
It is evident from the above statement that the professing SDA church could cease to be used of God, and be superceded by another group of separated faithful folk, without constituting an eighth church! God would not and could not "continue to work on the principle," if any potentiality along that line would constitute a church that should not exist according to Scripture! The same connotation is elicited by the following statements:
"We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree...We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird, and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? E. G. White, Manuscript Releases No. 449, pp. 17, 18.