Letters Between Clarence Settle & Elder Lawrence Nelson
The Issue - Part 1
Letters Between Clarence Settle & Elder Lawrence Nelson"When men endanger the work and cause of God by their own wrong course of action, shall they hear no voice of reproof? If the wrongdoer only were concerned, and the work reached no farther than him, he alone should have the words and warning; brat when his course of action is doing positive harm to the cause of truth, and souls are imperiled, God requires that the warning be as broad as the injury done. " 2SM:153
December 19, 1999
Dear Pastor Nelson:
As fellow creationists we are well aware of "the establishment's" attitude of ignoring, twisting and manipulating, and outright rejecting the evidences presented to them regarding the origins of the universe. I, Pastor Nelson, charge you before God Almighty Himself and all the universe of doing the very same thing with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy as evidenced by your recent audio tape sermon entitled "FACING THE CRISES" (Will the Remnant Church Triumph?) regarding the present standing of the Seventh-day Adventist structure.
This is indeed a most serious charge and I know that these words, as I write them and as you read them are being recorded in the books of heaven, and that one day we will both be judged by them.
I further charge Pastor Nelson, that what you are advocating is not true Adventism but rather is outright denominationalism and unless you repent and make restitution, will result in the eternal loss not only of your own soul, but of those hundreds or thousands of souls which are being influenced to accept your reasoning, and their blood God will require at your hand.
The Bible states "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good " I Thess. 5:21, and before I refer back to some of your very own quotes from your sermon I will list a few of the principles given to us for understanding the truth that you have apparently chosen to ignore or reject.
1. "Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered." 1SM: 57.
2. "It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional." ibid.: 67.
3. "The principle of God's dealing with men are ever the same." GC: 343.
4a. "The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence that God is pleased to give. He requires of His people faith that rests upon the weight of evidence, not upon perfect knowledge. Those followers of Christ who accept the light that God sends them must obey the voice of God speaking to them when there are many other voices crying out against it. It requires discernment to distinguish the voice of God." 3T:258.
4b. "Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. - He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence." Ibid: 255.
I will now quote some of your very own statements to see if they adhere to these principles before continuing on with this letter.
You state in reference to 2 Tim. 2:20 "Now Paul did not encourage us to leave the great house. As you read on he addresses and advises us to avoid the foolish and the unlearned, but never does he encourage us to depart from the church." Despite what you may emphatically state, Paul constantly speaks of separation from the apostate structure. I will give you some examples from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
1. "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God." Romans 1:1. Can it be only coincidence that in the very first verse of his very first epistle Paul is not at all bashful about using the "S" word even though "And the same time there arose no small stir about that way." ? Acts 19:23 It seems as though things haven't changed at all Pastor, there is still "no small stir" being made about those who call for separation from apostasy!
2. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid then." Romans 16:17. Here the apostle Paul is referring specifically to those "new theology church members" and telling the faithful to avoid them (1578 ekklino: to shun.) The dictionary definition of shun is "to keep clear of." How can you join in fellowship with an apostate and avoid him at the same time? But to go on:
3. "Now we commend you brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." 2 Thess. 3:6. Here Paul strongly and unmistakably counsels the faithful to separate themselves (4724 steno: abstain from associating with-avoid, withdraw self.) not only from those fellow church members who are morally corrupt but also from those who do not believe and practice the true faith-directly contrary to your counsel Pastor Nelson. But let us continue:
4. "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." 2 Thess. 3:14. Do we really need to comment on this clear and unmistakable verse referring again to those who hold nor love not the truth.
5. "Be not ye therefore partakers with them." Eph. 5:7. (4830 summetochos: a co-participant). Again, not supporting your sentiments at all.
6."And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Eph. 5:11. (4790 sugkoinoneo: to share in company with, i.e. co participate in--communicate [have fellowship] with, be partaker of.) It would be difficult to be find stronger expressions advocating separation than these, don't you agree Pastor Nelson?
7. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away." 2 Tim. 3:5. "Turn away" from them does not mean to mingle with them, as you profess Pastor. The Lord will hold you into account for trying to make the Scriptures say the opposite of what they mean.
8. To illustrate that Paul was referring to the General Conference SDA church of that time let us turn to Galatians 5:1 and 7: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." No different than the yoke of loyalty to the Church Manual and the man-made creed that the SDA church of today demands you to adhere to if you wish to remain a member in good and regular standing. "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that w should not obey the truth?" Margin: "Or who did drive you back?" (Back into what? Back into the apostate SDA structure of his day!)
9. But let us now let the Spirit of Prophecy speak and compare it with your statement that "never does he encourage us to depart from the church"? We read: "Fearing that the faith of the believers would be endangered by continued association with those opposers of the truth, Paul separated from them and gathered the disciples into a distinct (diet: separate, individual) body." AA: 286.
So now, who are we to believe? You Pastor, who claim that Paul never advocated separation, or the many verses of Scripture, and the plain, unmistakable SOP quotation that teaches 180 degrees opposed to what you so strongly state? But let us go on and see what example Jesus Christ Himself left for us.
We read, regarding a time when the ingrained denominational concepts of His followers were challenged, in John 6:66: "From that time many of his disciples went back (back into the apostate SDA church of His day, as is happening today as people return back to the apostate structure they had previously left), and walked no more with Him." Again we read: "So there was a division among the people because of Him. " John 7:43. "Suppose ye that 1 am come to give peace on earth? 1 tell you, Nay; but rather division." Luke 12:51.
And reading from the Spirit of Prophecy these inspired words" "The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ's message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem (the General Conference Headquarters), from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law (sounds like this describes the entire apostate SDA structure of His time), and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who .should carry the gospel to all nations.
"As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every (including our) succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ's withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light (how history repeats itself) , and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God (but are eager to listen to the false voice of man), and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And marry times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience." DA: 232.
Sounds like you have here what's happening in the SDA church today - disfellowshipping and voluntary separation. But let us go on looking at our Divine example before His crucifixion and before the Christian church had come into being:
"Christ had finished the work that was given Him to do. He had glorified God on the earth. He had manifested the Father's name. He had gathered out those who were to continue His work among men. . . Thus in the language of one who has divine authority. Christ gives His elect church in the Father's arms." DA: 680. You cannot deny that Christ advocated separation down to this day! In fact, we are told: "It is Satan's work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good." 4RH: 243.
Again you quote: "Once again permit me to emphasize. It is the tares that leave or separate from the wheat! Never do we find in the Scriptures that the wheat leaves the tares, or serrate from the church." The only place in the Scriptures where tares are mentioned is in that 13 chapter of Matthew, and for you to make such an emphatic statement can only lead one to believe that you have little or no knowledge regarding the harvest process. The inspired statements of E.G. White depict this process accurately, for despite what again you so emphatically (and without substantiation) state, the tares are always gathered and left in the field to burn and the wheat is always gathered up out of the field and taken away to the barn to be winnowed.
We read: "Said my accompanying angel, 'Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat FROM the tares, and seal or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner." EW:118. Again we read: "It is impossible for men to read the human heart, for the tares so closely resemble the wheat. It is not given to human beings to try to separate them. But the angels of God know them, for their fruits declare their character. Have they not been commissioned to counterwork the work of those who fight against the truth of God's word? These angels will never make a mistake in gathering the wheat FROM among the tares." 16MR: 271.
Again you make the same gross error in quoting 5T:81 in an attempt to strengthen your position which states: "In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church." You then state: "This test of faith will remove the tares out of the church. . ." You have totally reversed the meaning of this statement again Pastor Nelson. Let us look at it closely. Both the gold and the dross are in the church, and it is the gold that is separated FROM the dross, and it is the dross that remains in the church! Has your long service in denominational office so affected your spiritual eyesight that you are unable to see so plain a distinction? And then you emphatically state: "God has used the plainest language to encourage us never to separate from the church." Dear Lord, what presumption!
I must also reprove you for doing something that had to be deliberate Pastor Nelson! I refer to your quoting only partially a significant prophecy that is seeing its fulfillment in the SDA church at this very present time. You quoted only the first part of the prophecy in TM:409-410 that states: "Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan." And although you rightly applied that to the present situation in the church, you stopped there, well knowing that to continue with the rest of that prophecy would go directly contrary to your anti-separation position. That part you deliberately omitted states: "If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much."
How about that Pastor Nelson, the unfaithful ministers left in the church and the faithful ministers separated from the apostate structure which you so emphatically state we should never separate from! And I sincerely believe that the false prophecy kindled from the hellish torch of Satan that the false ministers are deceiving the people with is the very same false prophecy that the false teachers in Jerusalem were telling the people back in AD 67 to AD 70, the very same prophecy that is mentioned in 5T: 211 "He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment," the very same false prophecy that men like yourself and others are preaching - "Stay with the ship. The ship is going through-after all we're God's true, remnant church."
You quote 2SM: 397: which states: "I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand per perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of host to the end of time." And then you state: "Isn't that encouraging?"
Like the Jews of old you totally ignore the principles of time, place and conditionality in applying this promise to a corrupt, apostate, harlot church that we are plainly told God no longer graces with His presence (but more on that later). It is quite possible that even as Jesus hung dying on the cross, and it is quite possible as Rome was marshaling her armies around that doomed SDA enclave in AD 70, that the church was comforting (and deceiving) itself with these verses that are much stronger than any promise God has ever made to the present SDA church.
We read: "Thus saith the Lord which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.
Thus saith the Lord: If heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, l will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 31:35-37.
According to this verse, no matter how corrupt or apostate the Jewish church would become, the very laws of nature would have to be overturned before God would reject His promised people, His remnant church. Perhaps then in view of this irrefutable promise we should all convert to Judaism?
You, along with many others, quote that prophecy from 2SM: 380 in support of your theory: "The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out-the chaff separated from the precious wheat." Again you have failed to properly follow the sequence of events in the harvest process. First it's the wheat FROM the tares-the tares being gathered into bundles and left in the field to be burned and the wheat taken out of the field and gathered into the barn where the winnowing process takes place. That's when the chaff is separated FROM the wheat That is the 2nd separation! Furthermore, tares are tares, and chaff is chaff. Two totally different things.
Apparently you are not familiar with these SOP quotations on the wheat and the tares because your position is diametrically opposed to what the word of Inspiration tells us. We read: "Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world, will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation." SPTA04: 6.
"I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel. 'Fearful is his work, awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal or bind the wheat for the heavenly garner.' These things should engage the whole mind, the whole attention. Again I was shown the necessity of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily receiving OR imbibing new error. (So here we see that it isn't necessary to actually believe the falsehood, just simply being in a position to hear it is going contrary to God's will.) I saw that neither young nor old should attend the assemblies of those who are in error or darkness. Said the angel, ' Let the mind cease to dwell on things of no profit.'" 5MR: 425.
"The wheat is not to sow itself among the tares . . .in joining them we are registered in heaven as partakers of their evil deeds, responsible for their works of evil, and bound up in bundles with them as tares. . .The tares will be bound into bundles to be burned, the wheat gathered into the heavenly garner." 4RH: 01-10-93.
Pastor Nelson, could your erroneous and false sentiments be due to the fact that you really don't know what God, in His word, means by His church? Let's look at that for we will find that there are two, and only two factors that determine what constitutes God's true church. . . Perhaps you have read these statements, but apparently you have not really grasped their significance. We read:
"God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; It is (1) the people who love God and keep His commandments. `Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' (Matt. 18:20) Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for (2) the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church." UL: 315.
"The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God is the `true tabernacle' whereof the Redeemer is the minister. Gods and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high and elevated platform." SDA BC7: 931.
"There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and are purified by it." SOP4: 237.
"From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth." AA: 11. So here we see that two vital ingredients are required to constitute God's true church, only two!
1. THE PRESENCE OF GOD - No Divine presence, no true church regardless of claims.
2. FAITHFUL SOULS - Those who are faithful to His truth. Not to an organization, a structure, a name, a leader, a denomination-only His truth-those who keep His commandments, whose loyalty is first and foremost to God, and God alone.
On the other hand if you have a denomination where the unfaithful souls have chosen to discard His truth, that cannot be God's true church, and if you have a denomination, an organization where God is no longer present, it is impossible for that to be God's true church. Let's look at that.
You stated Pastor Nelson, "As we see apostasy creeping into the church. . ." MY GOD! To say that what is going on in the denomination is "apostasy creeping into the church" is to truly lack an understanding of denominational history, for there has seldom been a period in the church when apostasy hasn't been "creeping into the church" Just to name a few-the McCullagh apostasy in Australia, the Canright and Oviatts apostasy, the Kellogg apostasy, the Holy Flesh apostasy, the Brimsmead apostasy, etc., etc. The significant difference between apostasies in the church before and what we have today ("The omega will be of a most startling nature." 1 SM: 197), and the reason why I strongly believe that E.G. White never left the denomination, is that during all these apostasies sweeping the church, the leadership still held fast to its trust. They did not betray or compromise the fundamental principles of truth entrusted to them. But that no longer holds true, as I will prove to you from their very own words.
You quoted the statement: "We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth." MAR: 203. And I will also prove to you unequivocally that the church you are so ardently defending and imploring the people not to separate from is exactly that - a new organization. And you, of all people, Pastor Nelson should be aware of that. But let's not trust to memory or recollection alone. Let us look at the inspired word.
We read: "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. (Individuals don't engage in a process of reorganization-this is denominational process.) Were this reformation to take place, what would result? (Here we're told how you, Pastor Nelson, and I can determine if this treachery takes place. Have you closed your eyes to it?) The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, (The very principles that make it the remnant church!) would be discarded Our religion would be changed (This alone would make it a new organization, something different from that which God established!) The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A NEW ORGANIZATION would be established. (There you have it! You may choose to reject it, ignore it, deny it, but you cannot change it.) Books of a new order would be written. (New books for the NEW ORGANIZATION.) A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced The founder of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course would be lightly regarded (Haven't you preached sermons on these very things happening in your SDA church today?) 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, (back to this later) they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God is worthless. (No wonder they believe that you can't have victory over sin- you can't, without God.) Their foundation would be built on the sand and storm and tempest would sweep away THE structure." 1SM: 204-5.
The dictionary defines apostasy as "the public abandoning of a religious faith or doctrine." We read that 1) Our pillar doctrines would be given up. 2) Our principles of truth would be discarded, and 3) Our religion would be changed. Do you know that the SDA church has, like the papacy, claimed to have the authority to change the word of God? Here it is: ". . .the General Conference of the Church, the only body having authority to ALTER the structure of the CHURCH either in DOCTRINE or organization." EEOC vs. PPPA, Civ.#73-2025 Cap, p.17. (Reply brief for the Church: Pacific Press Publishing Assoc. vs. Equal Employment Opportunity Council-1975).
Again we read: ". . .the General Conference session holds the singular authority for REVISING the Church Manual-including the CHURCH'S FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS. . ." Adventist Review: July 5, 1990.
After this irrefutable proof Pastor Nelson, how can you maintain that it is only "apostasy creeping in," and how can you deny that this is not merely apostasy in the church, but rather, a church in apostasy?
And to further emphasize this deplorable condition of the church, we read: "There is ANOTHER universal and TRULY CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION, the SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH." Neal Wilson. Adventist Review, 3/5/1981.
That he said what he meant and meant what he said is evidenced by the fact that 4 years later at the New Orleans General Conference five times he referred to some of his vice-presidents as CARDINALS! But what did he really mean? Raymond F. Cottrell, Associate Editor of the SDA Bible Commentary, and one of the intelligentsia of the denomination, spelled it out clearly for us. We read:
"Structure. At the local conference level the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a representative form of government. Above that level the polity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is hierarchical: Authority flows downward and members in local congregations have virtually no voice. Above that level, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a closed, self-operating, and self-perpetuating system similar to the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, in which those in authority are not responsible to lower echelons. Above the local conference level, those in authority are not elected by, representative of, or administratively accountable to, local congregations or the membership at large." Spectrum, March 1984, pg. 42.
Also in March 1984 in the Harris Pines Mill court case Judge Hart made this compatible observation regarding the SDA church: "Next to the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major denominations in the country."
You see Pastor Nelson, the church you cherish, and defend, and plead for is NOT the same church that God established in 1844. It is an apostate new organization. All those statements out of the SOP that you use are taken with utter disregard for the principles of time, place, condition and evidence. But it only gets worse for your message forbidding separation.
In reference to the church at this present time as God showed Ezekiel in chapter 9, we read in 5T: 210:
"The earnest prayers of this faithful few (a separated "little company" standing in the light while the rest of the church was in deep darkness see page 209) will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger (against the church first-"Men, maidens and little children all perish together." Pg. 211), He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in ifs purity, and kept themselves unspotted from the world It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect (the criteria has not changed since the days of Christ.) which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them.
The command is, 'Go through the midst of the. city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.' These sighing, crying ones had beet holding forth the wards of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated Some who had been dishonoring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although still continued the forms of religion, His power arid presence were lacking."
So here we have clear evidence that God's presence is not with the Seventh-day Adventist church. Not clear enough evidence for you, you say? Well then, so that there will be absolutely no doubt, let us go to Volume 8 of the Testimonies. We will look at a chapter which was written some 10 days after the General Conference in session voted to accept the hierarchical form of organization that would lead to what Neal Wilson so succinctly described-"another truly Catholic organization."
We read: "In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had IF her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not quaked her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, 'Found wanting.' By the light bestowed, the opportunities given will she be judged." 8T: 247.
"God has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments spotless: But many are crying 'Peace and safety' while sudden destruction is coming upon them . . .Who can truthfully say, 'Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are fitted by the world'? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: 'Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? How is the faithful city become an harlot? My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness and strength is lacking.'" Ibid: 250.
So please answer these questions Pastor Nelson, from the Bible and the SOP, please. Now since we have just read that though many still continue the forms of religion, even though His presence and power are lacking (5T:210); since the divine presence and glory have departed (8T:250); and since God is removed (1SM:205), as are also the faithful ministers (TM:409), and the ministers on the inside are standing in the pulpits with light kindled from the hellish torch of Satan, then WHO are the many worshipping, WHO are they praying to, and WHO is answering their prayers?
Also, since Christ Himself labeled the Seventh-day Adventist church an harlot, is it still an harlot or not? If not, when did it cease to be so? I Cor. 6:16 tells us: "What? Know Ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith He, shall be one flesh." If, however, it is still an harlot, in view of Rev. 14:4 which tells that the 144,000 will not be defiled by women,, and an harlot is certainly a defiled and defiling woman, please tell me Pastor Nelson, how is it possible to be one of the 144,000 and to unite with the corrupt and defiling harlot and yet not become defiled also? And what are we to do with inspired statements such as the following? Who are they addressed to and why, in your many sermons do you and others like yourself advocating unity at any cost, never quote or use them? Please answer me.
"It is impossible for you to unite with those who are corrupt, and still remain pure. . . God and Christ and the heavenly host would have man know that if he unites with the corrupt, he will become corrupt." 4RH: 137.
"Even though you may not feel able to speak a word to those who are working on wrong principles, leave them. Your withdrawal and silence may do more than words. Nehemiah refused to associate with those who were untrue to principle, and he would not permit his workmen to associate with them The love and fear of God were his safeguard . . Dare to be a Daniel. Dare to stand alone. Thus, as did Moses, you will endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. But a cowardly and silent reserve before evil associates, while you listen to their devices makes you one with them. Come out from among them and be separate; with the Lord and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, with the Lord Almighty." 4RH: 42.
"Some who have received warning and instruction from God have deliberately turned from the messages sent them. They have, as it were, walked blindfolded into Satan's prepared snares. Satan is playing the game of life for their souls. And some who might be in a position to help these ensnared souls have themselves become ensnared as captives to the archdeceiver. . . I am instructed to say that we must do all we can for these deceived ones. Their minds must be freed from the delusions of the enemy, and if we fail in our efforts to save these erring ones, we must 'come out from among them' and be separate. . . For years the backward tendencies of many have greatly hindered the work of God. Now, just now, the Lord's people are to show their loyalty. The time has come when the Lord would have all who will honor Him take their stand firmly on the side of truth and righteousness. NO LONGER ARE WE TO BE A MIXED MULTITUDE." MS 106, Nov. 20, 1905.
Let us also look at these statements: "1 was pointed to those who claim to be Adventists, but who reject present truth, and saw that they were crumbling and that the hand of the Lord was in their midst to divide and scatter them (separate them) now in the gathering time, so that the precious jewels among them, who have formerly been deceived, may have their eyes opened to see their true state. And now when the truth is presented to them by the Lord's messengers, they are prepared to listen, and see its beauty and harmony, and to leave their former associates and errors, embrace the precious truth and stand where they can one their position." (What happens if you try to stand and define you position in the SDA church today, Pastor Nelson? If Ellen White or Jesus Christ Himself were to walk into an SDA church today they would not be "authorized" to stand in the pulpit, and you know that I am not exaggerating one whit!) "Every jewel will be brought out and gathered, for the hand of the Lord is set to recover the remnant of His people, and He will accomplish the work gloriously." EW: 69, 70.
"I saw that God has honest children among the nominal (in name only, professed) Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, (Can you deny that we are there now?) ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel (Again, a time indicator.) is given, he raises an excitement in these (the nominal Adventist and other churches) religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth retry think that God is with them (GOD BEING REMOVED!) He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the (nominal Adventist and fallen) churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant." Ibid.: 261. (So Pastor Nelson, in view of just this one statement how dare you claim that the nominal SDA church is God's remnant church.
I know Pastor Nelson, that some like yourself, try to justify their position by stating that they support home churches "where churches within the organization refuse to preach truth and righteousness and/or promote blasphemous worship services" as if this makes everything alright, but we read:
"The great heart of the work is at Battle Creek (Silver Springs, MD), and as the human heart throws its living current of blood into all parts of the body, so does the management of this place, the headquarters of our church, affect the whole body of believers. If the physical heart is healthy, the blood that is .sent from it through the system is also healthy; but if this fountain is impure, the whole organism becomes diseased by the poison of the vital fluid .So it is with us. If the heart of the work becomes corrupt, the whole thatch. in its various branches and interests, scattered abroad the face of the earth, suffers in consequence." 4T: 10. So to assure the people that to attend the "little churches" and the home meetings that still maintain a connection with "the gear heart of the work" is safe, is another falsehood that is contrary to Inspiration.
Another essential principle that you are unaware of or have ignored Pastor Nelson, is that of corporate accountability. This principle is illustrated for us in the story of Achan. Only Achan had violated God's command, but all Israel was guilty as you can read in Joshua chapter 7. The same principle is demonstrated again in the 2nd chapter of Acts where all the Jews (even the devout ones) were accused of crucifying Jesus because they all belonged to the same tithe paying, Sabbath-keeping, Seventh-day Adventist church that all the other Jews belonged to, and the only remedy was to repent and be baptized, which would automatically sever them from that hierarchy. Inspiration also counsels us:
"He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for these sins. In his dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purling the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will occlude the light of God from the entire congregation. If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, mid are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty." 3T: 265-266.
Pastor Nelson, in the case of Achan the rest of the camp never even knew that the sin had been committed, so a tribe by tribe had to be conducted to search out the guilty party. So when you are part of a corrupt, apostate structure, and you continue to defend and support the structure, well knowing that it is corrupt, do you believe the Lord is going to excuse you and not hold you accountable? How can you, with a clear conscience, continue to be part of, and implore others to be a part of an ecumenical, NLP using, papacy embracing new organization that claims to have the authority to change God's truth, that has given up the fundamental principals of the Advent movement (Sanctuary, atonement, nature of Christ, etc.) and believe that God holds you in His favor?
And in closing Pastor Nelson, please tell me how you can claim to be preaching the 3 Angel's messages when all 3 of them call for separation! Listen:
"It was to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world that the first angel's message was given." 4SP: 231.
(Second angel) "Babylon is fallen. . .Come out of her My people." Rev. 14:8; 18:2, 4.
"The third angel's message must do its work of separating from the churches (Please do not insert "except the SDA church" in here. Ye shall not add. . .) a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth." 6T: 61.
Pastor Nelson, you are preaching directly contrary to these messages. You are telling the people to unite with apostasy when God has never sanctioned or approved of that. You are telling the people to stand on the platform of a counterfeit, new organization structure guided by consensus and majority vote, when God calls for a people who will take their stand on the immovable platform of eternal truth. That movement is going through to the kingdom, but that movement is not the Seventh-day Adventist church of today, and your failure to recognize and acknowledge this God will require at your hand if you do not repent of the great harm you're doing to the cause of truth.
AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH AND LOT, THERE MUST BE A MARKED SEPARATION FROM SIN AND SINNERS: THERE WAS A COMING OUT, A DECIDED SEPARATION FROM THE WICKED, AN ESCAPE FOR LIFE. SO IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, SO WITH LOT; SO WITH THE DISCIPLES PRIOR TO THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND SO IT WILL BE IN THE LAST DAYS." PP; 1671.
Pastor Nelson, WHY AREN'T YOU GIVING THIS MESSAGE?
"A LONG CONTINUAL RESISTANCE OF TRUTH WILL HARDEN THE MOST IMPRESSIONABLE HEART. THOSE WHO REJECT THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH PLACE THEMSELVES UNDER THE CONTROL OF A SPIRIT THAT IS OPPOSED TO THE WORD AND WORK OF GOD. FOR A TIME THEY MAY CONTINUE TO TEACH PHASES OF THE TRUTH, BUT THEIR REFUSAL TO ACCEPT ALL THE LIGHT THAT GOD SENDS, WILL, AFTER A TIME, PLACE THEM WHERE THEY WILL DO THE WORK OF A FALSE WATCHMAN." MR 125: JULY 4.1906.
In deepest concern for your soul, and those whom you affect,
Clarence A. Settle