A Review of Elder Dennis Priebe's Book "The Church, Is it Babylon?"

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There is a serious concept pervading Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that nearly every SDA is not aware of.  That serious concept is that God had dealt specifically with every generation separately, when it comes to salvation.  It is fact that God had a timetable for Israel as a nation, and that probation for that nation closed at the stoning of Stephen in A.D. 34.  But this document will make it most apparent that God dealt with Israel generationally and that He will do the same with us.

There are serious aspects of God's dealings with apostate Israel that Elder Dennis Priebe overlooks in his book entitled "The Church, Is it Babylon[RB1] ?  The bleeding hearts among SDA's, like Dennis Priebe, who would excuse the prevailing gross apostasy, totally overlook the following facts:

1.    Israel was given a bill of Divorce.  Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.   So here we find that Israel was given a bill of divorce as God’s “chosen” long before her probation closed in A.D. 34.  Why?  Because God does not choose a willful, knowing harlot as His bride.  The 144,000 are not defiled with women, fallen churches.  So never forget that even though Israel's probation as a nation, as a chosen people, did not end until the stoning of Stephen, she was given a bill of divorce generationally.  In other word, every generation was judged by God according to its obedience or otherwise.

2.    Where were the faithful whenever Israel was in apostasy? The faithful were sacrificing at home:  "The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

3.    Israel in Jeremiah's generation went beyond forgiveness and God instructed Jeremiah not to pray for them and the Holy Flesh passed from her.  Jeremiah 11:9-15.  This is of great importance in apprising the state of current day modern Israel.

4.    Ezekiel 9 applied and applies to every generation since those words were written.  Ezekiel 9 does not apply to the final generation ONLY!

5.    Leaders like Dennis Priebe say that we should adopt the attitude of Moses toward apostate Israel.  Okay, let's take a close look at what Moses did.  He asked all who repentant to form at his right hand.  All others, some 3,000 unrepentant apostates were killed.  Then, on the morrow, Moses prayed for all who had repented and formed at his right hand.  Apostasy was killed out of the camp.

6.    Jesus did not kill the apostates in his day.  He separated from them. 

"Christ was a protestant...The Reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 2, 48, col. 2.  Is not Christ our example? 

"The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ's message and was bent upon His death therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations." Desire of Ages, 232.

7.    True Reformers have, in every succeeding generation, left the church of their fathers when the ecclesiastical leaders apostatized: 

8.    Paul left -- "And as they persisted in their rejection of the gospel the apostle (Paul) went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space for three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus." Acts, 19:8, 9.

 

"Fearing that the faith of the believers would be endangered by continued association with these opposers of the truth, Paul separated from them, and gathered the disciples into a distinct body." E.G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 286.

 

Home Churches in Times of Apostasy

 

Act 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called

 

Rom 16:5 Likewise [greet] the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

 

Phm 1:2 And to [our] beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house:

 

1Cr 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

 

Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

 

1 Corinthians 14:26 describes an early church meeting, in which everyone present shared in providing hymns, instruction, revelation, tongues, or interpretation.

 

1Cr 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

 

Act 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

 

Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

 

1Pe 5:13 The [church that is] at Babylon, elected together with [you], saluteth you; and [so doth] Marcus my son.

 

Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

 

Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea.

 

1Cr 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

 

"There is a little hope in one direction: Take the young men and women, and place them where they will come as little in contact with our churches as possible, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian." E.G. White, Manuscript Release #995, p. 5. 

 

9.    Ellen White on Home Churches in the Alpha of Apostasy: When the young men and women were kept away from the Alpha of apostasy in the church, what did they do; where did they meet for worship?  "There is a little hope in one direction: Take the young men and women, and place them where they will come as little in contact with our churches as possible, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian." E.G. White, Manuscript Release #995, p. 5.

10.So we find that even amid the apostasy in Jeremiah's day, faithful Jews worshipped at home.  Jesus did the same.  Paul did the same.  True reformers in every succeeding generation have done the same: 

"The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ's message and was bent upon His death therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, 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 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, 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, 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 many 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." E.G. White, Desire of Ages, 232.

11.Ellen White said that God would continue to work on this plan: 

 "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 tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

12.If we cannot know when a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, why would Ellen White pen the above statement? 

13.Some say that they are going to remain and cleanse the camp of Omega Apostasy.  Ellen White said that "nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the New Movement," Selected Messages, Bk. 1, 205.

14.Ellen White stood in the way of the Alpha, but said that nothing would be able to stand in the way of the Omega.

15.How long was the Omega of Apostasy to continue?  Read the following statement in context, for the context is all about the Omega of Apostasy: 

"One thing it is certain is soon to be realized, the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need to-day all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now." (E.G. White, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 57).

16.Can the Faithful in Home Churches Finish the Work?  We know there will be 144,000 faithful.  Jesus, the 12, and the 70, carried the gospel to the then known world.  The Holy Spirit will do the same with the 144,000.  Laodicea thinks that God is dependent upon her because she is the seventh church.  That is not true.  Ellen White said that all the messages to the seven churches apply to the end of time. 

 "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.

17.How will the work be finished?  Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 

"God is not 'worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing." (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

18.Laodicea think God need her no matter what she does.  She will find out differently

 

Some are saying that it is a waste of time to warn SDA's, and that we should rather be giving the gospel to the world.  Where did Jesus and the disciples go first!  To the Jew, right?  Can we exclude fellow SDA’s from the following admonition of Scripture?:

"So far as his opportunities extend, every one who has received the light of truth is under the same solemn and fearful responsibility as was the prophet of Israel, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying: "Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou has delivered thy soul." Eze 33:7-9 GC  pg 391

Eze 3:11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

 

"'They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as then. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God' people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White, Prophets and kings, p. 660.

 

I pray that you will not go by the "dumb dogs" that will NEVER AGAIN, show the house of Jacob it's sins, even one Dennis Priebe, and begin to believe and follow the instruction of God and Ellen White.

 

Begin at My Sanctuary -- "Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus 'Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together." E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, 211.

 

Isaiah 56


 10 His watchmen are blind: they are
all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

 

In light of such statements if grieves me that you would quote Elder Dennis Priebe in lieu of God and Ellen White.

 

Priebe poses the question:  “The confrontations over those basic theological issues laid a foundation for the more vocal battle of the 1990s concerning the nature of the church. Loud and long has been the dialogue over what constitutes the church. The strongest disagreements have focused on whether the organized Seventh-day Adventist church will go through in triumph. Or has the Adventist church become a part of Babylon? If so, should we separate from it and call others to join us?”

 

Ron responds:  In Priebe’s book, he totally overlooks Ellen White’s statement as to how the church could indeed become a sister to fallen Babylon.  He gives her statements on Babylon, given to two men in 1893, to the effect that the church was not Babylon at that time, and then Priebe applies those statements as thought they applied forever thereafter.  This has been done by SDA leaders since Ellen White’s demise.  This is not honest dealing with God’s people.  On the other side of the issue of Babylon, Ellen White said:

 

"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.

 

"If we turn from the testimony of God's word, and accept false doctrines [Calvinism] because our fathers taught them, we fall under the condemnation pronounced upon Babylon we are drinking of the wine of her abominations." E. G White, The 1884 Great Controversy entitled Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, 347, not to be confused with Testimonies, Vol. 4. The four volume Spirit of Prophecy series, can still be special ordered through any Adventist Book Store.

 

"It is now the duty of God's commandment--keeping people to watch and pray, to search the Scriptures diligently, to hide the Word of God in the heart, lest they sin against Him in idolatrous thoughts and debasing practices, and the church of God become demoralized like the fallen churches whom prophecy represents as being filled with every unclean and hateful bird." E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.

 

"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. . . .I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them of, He laid bare he 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?" E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 8, pp. 247-250.

 

What is the Real Meaning of the Following Statements by Ellen White?

 

There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port.--2SM 390 (1892).  {LDE 52.1}

 

Does the above statement mean that we can sit back and let God make all the corrections and that we have no responsibility in effecting changes?  Is that what the following statement says?

 

"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.

 

Most SDA's seem in a stupor concerning such quotes.  God said through Ellen White that WE AS A PEOPLE MUST AROUSE AND CLEANSE THE CAMP OF ISRAEL AND THAT IF WE DID NOT DO SO IT WOULD BECOME A SISTER TO FALLEN BABYLON.  Notice carefully the following words of the above statement:

 

"We must AS A PEOPLE arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel…. and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?

 

That is how the Lord desired to set things in order.  Since the people did not cooperate with God, the church has never cleansed the camp of unlawful practices and licentiousness.  Here is the full context of the “sister to fallen Babylon” statement that was penned in the year 1886[RB2] .

 

Brothers and sisters, that statement was written 110 years ago as of this writing (2006).  Licentiousness and unlawful intimacy has only worsened to the great degree that it now has the same divorce percentage ration as the world[RB3] , and licentious ministers are merely transferred from one locale to another in all too many cases.

"The church is in a great degree RESPONSIBLE for the sins of her members. She gives countenance to the evil, if she fails to lift her voice against it. The influence from which she has most to fear is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of the God of Israel. (SW 05-10-04 pr:06)

"The church as a whole is in a degree RESPONSIBLE for the wrongs of its individual members because they countenance the evil in not lifting up their voice against it. The favor of God is not enjoyed for several reasons. His Spirit is grieved by the pride, extravagance, dishonesty, and overreaching which are indulged by some professing godliness. All these things bring the frown of God upon His people. (4T:490, 491)  

"Those who have too little courage to reprove wrong, or who through indolence or lack of interest make no earnest effort to purify the family or the church of God, are held accountable for the evil that may result from their neglect of duty. We are just as RESPONSIBLE for evils that we might have checked in others by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if the acts had been our own." (CG:235, 236)

"Aaron failing to stand up boldly for the right, his yielding to the strength of numbers, placed him with the majority. Aaron represents the cases of a large number composing our churches at the present day. They pass over sins existing in the church which grieve the spirit of God. They are lax where order and principle are involved, because it is not pleasant to reprove and correct wrongs. They are themselves carried along with the current, and become RESPONSIBLE for a fearful neglect of faithfulness." (ST 05-27-80 pr:04)

"...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 those sins. (3T:265)  

 

It was such statements as these that taught me how God would adjust things in the church.


     Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members, that there are tares amid the wheat. . . . Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.--TM 45, 49 (1893).

 

Ellen White qualifed exactly what she meant to say in the above statement.  She was speaking of enfeebled, defective members, tares amidst the wheat.  She said elsewhere that tares are insincere members as opposed to being open sinners.  God still reproves, warns and counsels such a church.   But God tells us when to fear and shun[RB4]  a church no matter how high and sacred its mission, if it betrays that mission[RB5] .  God tells us in Jeremiah 11:9-15 when not to even pray for a church.  We may pray for members who do not know the state of apostasy the leaders have led the church into, but not for the church as a denominational body or cooperate body.

 

What was Ellen White’s counsel during the Alpha of Apostasy circa 1900-l905?

 

"There is a little hope in one direction: Take the young men and women, and place them where they will come as little in contact with our churches as possible, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian." E.G. White, Manuscript Release #995, p. 5.

 

This is the exact course faithful Jews took in Jeremiah’s day in Shiloh:

 

 "The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

 

"Brother and sister Haskell have rented a house in one of the best parts of the city, and have gathered round them a family of helpers, who day by day go out giving Bible readings, selling our papers, and doing medical missionary work. During the hour of worship, the workers relate their experiences. Bible studies are regularly conducted in the home, and THE YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN connected with the mission receive a practical, thorough training in holding Bible readings and in selling our publications. The Lord has blessed their labors, a number have embraced the truth, and many others are deeply interested." Review and Herald, September 7, 1905, Evangelism, p. 108.

 

Notice the date of the above statement, 1905, the height of the Alpha of Apostasy! What would she do in the Omega which she prophesied would allow nothing to stand in its way, and would removed God, 1SM 205.  This statement could not refer to the Alpha, because she met the Alpha!  She certainly “stood in the way” of the  Alpha.  No one can deny that!  So her 1SM 204-5 statement must apply to the Omega of Apostasy, because she said it would surely develop and wax stronger until Jesus comes[RB6] .

 

Concerning any Ellen White statement, she said to consider time, place and circumstance and common sense.  We must weigh her counsel with the Counsel God gave concerning Israel’s apostasy.  The two do not disagree if all is considered as it should be.

Priebe says:  "Depending upon men has been the great weakness of the church. Men have dishonored God by failing to appreciate His sufficiency, by coveting the influence of men. Thus Israel became weak. The people wanted to be like the other nations of the world, and they asked for a king." (The Kress Collection, p. 57.)

The church is compared to Israel, which made poor decisions because it coveted the approval of other men or nations. Clearly this statement is referring to the organized nation of Israel in a disobedient state. The "church" here cannot refer to true believers only, but to an organized body which is disobedient to God. Yet it is still "the church." 

 

Ron’s response:  Here (above) Priebe tries to excuse the church’s apostasy implying that no matter what it does it is to be compared with the apostasy of Israel and that probation still lingered for Israel even though it was in a state of apostasy.   But is his conclusion true?  Does Priebe make a major boner in concluding that Israel was not separated from and disowned by God on a generational basis?  Again, I offer conclusive proof that Israel’s apostates were either killed from the camp (Under Moses), or God pronounced them as unpardonable sinners, as in the case of Jeremiah 11:9-15, when they conspired with His enemies and returned to the errors of their forefathers.  Then, He said not to even pray for them (of that generation); He departed, and they celebrated—eg. SDA Celebration when they have done evil.

 

And the course of the faithful when the majority of the host of Israel apostatized?  Ellen White recorded their stance:

 

  "The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

 

Astonishingly Priebe says:  “The organized church of Israel is to teach lessons of obedience to the organized remnant church until the close of time. The church of Israel and the church of Adventism are parallel to each other, and we can learn what the church is today by looking back at the church of the Old Testament.”

 

Does the above statement accord with the following by Ellen White?

 

"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 tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

 

Did the following described Jews follow any plan that they were to be obedient to the organized church of their day until the close of time?

 

Jer 11:15

What hath my beloved [bride] to do in mine house [church sanctuary], [seeing] she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh [God] is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest [Celebrates].

 

Here God is asking what His bride has to do in His Sanctuary when it has wrought lewdness with many and He has departed, and when they do evil and then celebrate.  And again for emphasis:

 

"The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

 

Do the following statements by Ellen White say that we are to be obedient to the organized church till the end of time?

 

 “So often the same old difficulties arise and are presented in regard to disturbing the ‘regular lines.’ But God will work in some way to make His people understand that THE REGULAR LINES HAVE BECOME FULL OF IRREGULAR PRACTICES…God alone can make men understand that working on REGULAR LINES has led to IRREGULAR PRACTICES.  God alone can make men’s minds as they should be.  The time has come when we should hear les in favor of the REGULAR LINES.  If we can GET AWAY FROM THE REGULAR LINES into something which, THOUGH IRREGULAR, IS AFTER GOD’S ORDER, it may cut away something of the IRREGULAR WORKING which has led away from Bible principles.”  E.G. White, Manuscript Release, #1450, p. 3, 4, 1901.

 

“When we see the regular lines are altered and purified and refined, and the God of the heavens mold is upon the regular lines, then it is our business to establish the regular lines.”  E.G. White, Spaulding-Magan Collection, p. 162-168.

 

“The regular lines had need to be broken as a potter’s vessel is broken, and reconstructed.” Ms. 29, 1903. pp. 1, 3 (General Manuscript, The Southern Work, undated.

 

“The present showing is sufficient to prove to all who have the true missionary spirit that the regular lines [Regular lines organization] may prove to be a failure.”  E.G. White, Spaulding-Magan Collection, p. 175.  Written to Brother Daniels, June 28, 1901.

 

The regular lines have proven to be a failure?  What then?  Ellen White called the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 a prefigure.  What happened then?  What happened from A.D. 27 to A.D. 66, 3 ˝ years before the church was destroyed in A.D. 70?  The good left the apostate church and formed home churches.  That is the course we are now to pursue.

 

The 144,000 faithful who are not defiled with women (fallen churches) will finish the work under the empowerment of the Holy Spirit during the Loud Cry.  God does not need numbers!  Do you believe Him?  His Holy Spirit is now preparing a people the world over who never heard the name Seventh-day Adventist:

 

"A Firmament of Chosen Ones.--Among earth's inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Ball. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these FAITHFUL ONES will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of CHOSEN ONES that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing IN EVERY NATION, AMONG EVERY TONGUE AND PEOPLE and in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made to cause 'all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,' to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, 'blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,' will 'shine as light in the world.'" The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine." E.G. White, Evangelism,707, and Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189.

 

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might [NUMBERS], nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

I review Dennis Priebe’s book from another perspective in the following document:  http://omega77.tripod.com/priebereb1.htm

 

God bless those who are digging and seeking as for hidden treasure, 

 

Ron Beaulieu

 

 

 


 [RB1]This is a copy of Priebe’s Book:

 

Hosea 14:1 

 No one can deny the painful divisions which rack the Seventh-day Adventist church today, but few understand that much of it springs from issues rooted in the 1970s and 1980s. It was during those two decades that the church was assailed with controversy over the sanctuary, the nature of man and sin, the role of Ellen G. White, the humanity of Christ, and the possibility of character perfection before the coming of Christ.

The confrontations over those basic theological issues laid a foundation for the more vocal battle of the 1990s concerning the nature of the church. Loud and long has been the dialogue over what constitutes the church. The strongest disagreements have focused on whether the organized Seventh-day Adventist church will go through in triumph. Or has the Adventist church become a part of Babylon? If so, should we separate from it and call others to join us?

 

Much of the debate revolves around the terms "visible" and "invisible." One group contends that the visible church consists only of faithful, obedient believers and could never refer to an organization which is not wholly following God. On this basis, they feel compelled to urge people not to be associated with the organized church any longer. They also apply some of the identifying marks of Babylon to the present Adventist church structure.

 

These are the claims which need to be scrutinized under the microscope of God's Word. None can ignore the fact that thousands are being influenced to join "home churches" and to look askance at those who give support to the historic conference organization. In order to ascertain whether there is a distinction between the "visible" and "invisible" church, we shall examine the testimony of Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy as well as the evidence of church history. Then we will be in a position to determine our relationship with the organized Seventh-day Adventist church of today.

 

 

Visible and Invisible

Ellen White used the term "visible church" a number of times, but the term "invisible church" is not commonly used in her writings, if at all. Apparently, many who have studied her statements assume that where there is a "visible," there must also be an "invisible." However, to avoid a controversy based solely on semantics, other words can be used in place of "invisible church." Ellen White herself drew a clear distinction between two groups within the church who would be equal in membership but far apart in their standing before God.

 

"We should feel an individual responsibility as members of the visible church and workers in the vineyard of the Lord. The advancement of the church is often retarded by the wrong course of its members. Uniting with the church, although an important and necessary step, does not of itself make one a Christian. If we would secure a title to heaven, our hearts must be in unison with Christ and His people." (Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, Sept. 1, 1888.)

 

Here we find a distinction between being a member of the visible church and being a Christian. If the visible church was composed only of faithful and true believers, then being a church member and being a Christian would be exactly the same thing. But "members of the visible church and workers in the vineyard of the Lord" can take a "wrong course" which retards the advancement of the church. This means that non-Christians (professed, but not true) can be members of the visible church. Although the visible church has both Christians and non-Christians in its membership, uniting with it is still "an important and necessary step." However, a second step is necessary in order to be a Christian and be saved-namely, a heart-unity with Christ. Both steps, becoming a member of the visible church, and having a heart unity with Christ, are necessary for salvation.

 

"Depending upon men has been the great weakness of the church. Men have dishonored God by failing to appreciate His sufficiency, by coveting the influence of men. Thus Israel became weak. The people wanted to be like the other nations of the world, and they asked for a king." (The Kress Collection, p. 57.)

 

The church is compared to Israel, which made poor decisions because it coveted the approval of other men or nations. Clearly this statement is referring to the organized nation of Israel in a disobedient state. The "church" here cannot refer to true believers only, but to an organized body which is disobedient to God. Yet it is still "the church."

 

"We profess to be the depositories of God's law; we claim to have greater light and to aim at a higher standard than any other people upon the earth. ... As members of the visible church, and workers in the vineyard of the Lord, all professed Christians should do their utmost to preserve peace, harmony, and love in the church. ... Satan is constantly working to prevent this union and harmony, that unbelievers, by witnessing backsliding, dissension, and strife among professed Christians, may become disgusted with religion and be confirmed in their impenitence." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 619, 620.)

 

Here the visible church is said to con-tain "professed Christians," which is not the same as true believers or genuine Christians. Those who profess obedience to God are members of the visible church, but some of them are backsliding and fighting with each other.

 

When God led Israel out of Egypt, He gave precise directions regarding each person's work. "This is an important lesson to the church. ... The management of that great church in their journeyings in the wilderness symbolizes the management of the church till the close of earth's history." (That I May Know Him, p. 323.)

 

The organized church of Israel is to teach lessons of obedience to the organized remnant church until the close of time. The church of Israel and the church of Adventism are parallel to each other, and we can learn what the church is today by looking back at the church of the Old Testament.

 

"Notwithstanding our varying types of character, we are brought into church capacity through the profession of our faith. Christ is the head of the church; and if those whose names are on the church record do not belong to Jesus, the invisible Head, they are like the fruitless branch of the vine, and are taken away. If one is really a fruitful branch, he will make it manifest by bearing fruit, giving evidence of his absolute allegiance to Christ. He will have a spiritual connection with God." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 23, 1897.)

 

Note that Christ is the head of the church, which we enter by our profession of faith, and that we can be fruitless branches while on the church record. This church with many unfaithful Christians in it is not a false church, and we are not to leave it to find the true church, because Christ is still its Head. However, we are reminded that being a church member is not enough. We must maintain the spiritual connection with God that is essential to salvation, and we are to take this step within the church of professed believers.

 

"There are two kinds of connections between the branches and the vine stock. One is visible, but superficial. The other is invisible and vital. So there is an apparent union, a membership with the church, and a profession of religion which, though in itself good, is too often unaccompanied by saving faith in Jesus or living obedience to the commandments of God." (Signs of the Times, July 27, 1888.)

 

This visible, superficial, apparent, professed membership in the church is "in itself good." In other words, no one should be denied the privilege of joining the church, even if their motives and sincerity may not be fully apparent. But the important point is that church membership is not the same as saving faith, and the church is not solely a group of faithful believers. The visible church includes within it more than obedient Christians.

 

From the preceding statements, we can see that there are two distinct categories described in the Spirit of Prophecy. One is the visible church, and the other is faithful souls. Since both of these categories can be called "the church," it is only by a careful study of context that we can determine which church is being referred to in a given statement.

 

The visible church, which is specified in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 16, has a special purpose. Though it cannot save individuals, its function is to be the center of God's government on earth. It is to reveal God's character and His laws to a rebellious world. It is to be a center of outreach to those who are deceived by Satan. It includes both saved and unsaved individuals, because it includes all who make a profession of faith in Christ. It is to be a teacher of salvation and a guide to salvation.

 

The "faithful soul" church is described in Acts of the Apostles, p. 11. It is made up of individuals whose hearts have responded to God in genuine faith and obedience and who are in a saving relationship with Christ. Some of these are in the visible church while others, who are fully surrendered to God but have limited light, are outside the visible church. It is membership in this spiritual body that assures us a place in heaven.

 

To say that the visible church is always equivalent to the "faithful soul" church is to seriously distort the teachings of the Spirit of Prophecy and to misunderstand the distinct purpose of these two groups. One cannot select a preferred definition of the church and then try to force all other usages of the word to conform to this preferred definition. We can wrest the Spirit of Prophecy to our own destruction just as surely as we can wrest the Scriptures.

 

 

Two Visible Churches

As we look back through history, we can see two visible churches in action-one established by God to demonstrate His character and laws and one established by Satan to counterwork God's plans. Immediately after the Flood, Satan set his church into motion through the city and tower of Babel. God soon saw fit to call Abraham out of the society where Satan's principles were being followed. Abraham became the father of God's visible church, and it is important to note that although Jacob's 12 sons were not all faithful believers, they were all part of, and fathers of, God's true visible church on earth.

 

Some might ask why God directed Abraham to move into Canaan, whose inhabi-tants were followers of Satan's church also. Why should the faithful church move from one center of false worship into another just as wicked? The answer appears as God re-vealed His ultimate purpose to drive out the pagan tribes and to establish His own center of worship in the land of Canaan. God gave specific orders for His church to have no close relationship or intermarriage with the heathen nations-a principle that He con-tinued to apply to His church right down to the present.

 

When God called Israel out of Egypt, He put into operation a plan designed to com-pletely replace Satan's church in Canaan with His own visible church. Again it is important to note that God's true church included a mixed multitude of faithful and unfaithful souls, a situation which did not improve dramatically even after they entered Canaan.

 

After a time, God's true visible church took a major step in disobedience by asking for a king so it could be more like Satan's church. God continued to work through Israel's kings as much as possible, but His plans were severely hampered by increasing apostasy in His visible church. Satan's church, on the other hand, developed first in Assyria and then in Babylon. Things got so bad in God's church that He had to allow Assyria to destroy 10 of the 12 tribes He had laboriously brought out of Egypt.

 

It has been suggested that when Israel broke God's covenant they were not the true church. If that had been the case, God would have been without a true, visible church for most of the history of Israel. We marvel at the extreme mercy and long suffering of God in dealing with His backsliding people. It seems to us that God should have cut them off when their apostasy was so deep and pervasive. In order to understand how long and patiently He bore with them, read the command of God to His prophet Hosea.

 

"And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord." Hosea 1:2. The church of Israel was in full apostasy, and God's response was direct. He commanded the prophet to give names to his children that would bear witness to the whole nation concerning their spiritual condition. After the birth of his third child, Hosea was told by God: "Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God." Hosea 1:9.

 

This does sound like God was through with Israel as His visible church, and that He was ready to move on to some other plan for accomplishing His purposes. But in the very next verse God said, "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God." Hosea 1:10.

 

We must always remember the difference between God's chastisements and God's rejection, and be able to tell the difference between the two. Because Israel had broken God's covenant, God had to abandon His people to their own choices-temporarily. But as long as Israel continued to be God's church, He would work to secure their repentance and obedience so that He could once again call them His sons.

 

"O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity." "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." Hosea 14:1, 4. Although Israel was in full apostasy, God had not yet rejected them which is not teaching and living the truth is not God's church at all. But let us look more closely at the church in Corinth to see whether or not this is so.

 

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:2. Everything that follows in this letter is directed to the church of God, composed of all those who are sanctified [set apart], called, and who call on Jesus' name.

 

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. ... For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envy-ing, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" 1 Corinthians 3:1, 3. "For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you." 1 Corinthians 11:18, 19. In God's visible church were carnal professed Christians, as well as divisions and heresies. Although not all of its members were Christians, the Bible says the Corinthian church was part of the visible church of God.

 

The next step in the history of the Christian church is very important, because many people say that the church of the apostles turned into the Papacy-in other words, that the true church turned into Babylon. To find out whether or not this is true, perhaps we need to see exactly where the Papacy originated.

 

"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Revelation 13:2. The Papacy received its power, its place of government, and its authority from Satan, who was working at that time through the Roman empire. From its very beginning, the Papacy was part of Satan's visible church, in a direct line from Babylon through Rome. The Papacy was never God's true church at all. Let us review what happened during the first centuries of the Christian era.

 

In Alexandria, Egypt, a school of philosophy and theology had existed from before the time of Christ. In fact, the school at Alexandria had more than a little to do with the corruption of the Jewish church through the education of its most promising young men. When Christianity came on the scene, the Alexandrian school began to study these new teachings, incorporating them into its philosophical models. The Alexandrian Christian school combined mysticism, pagan philosophy, and a careless handling and interpretation of the Scriptures into an apostate form of Christianity almost from the very start.

 

Alexandria had great influence on the Western branch of the Christian church, especially in Rome, Italy. These two Christian centers were the first to combine Christian teachings with pagan ideas and to discredit the Bible Sabbath. Thus the Papacy was the direct descendant of Babylon through Rome and Alexandria.

 

In the meantime, an entirely different Christian school was developing in Antioch, Syria. Here the teachers and students were much more faithful to the authority of Scripture, refusing to mystify and spiritualize away clear teachings of Scripture. They copied and interpreted Scripture very faithfully and did their best to pass on the teachings of Christ and the apostles accurately. This brand of Christianity spread within the Eastern branch of the church, which remained much more faithful to the truth than did the Western branch. However, this more faithful Eastern church should not be confused with the later Orthodox churches in the East, which were closely patterned in theology and ritual after the Papacy in the West.

 

Thus, the true church did not turn into Babylon, but remained vital and growing for centuries, while the false church continued directly in the line of Babylon. Now it is true that individuals and whole congregations changed sides occasionally during this formative period-both from God's church to Satan's church and, more rarely, from Satan's church to God's church. But this must not obscure the fact that the two churches remained distinct and separate from each other. (See time line on pp. 16, 17.)

 

Unfortunately, the Eastern church was not to be left in prosperity. The Mohammedan invasions took their toll on the Eastern part of the Roman empire, and Eastern Christianity was gradually swallowed up by these invasions. The great centers of the Eastern church were eliminated and could no longer stand in defense of the truth against Western perversions of true Christianity. The only part of the Roman empire to stand intact was in Rome itself. The church in Rome became the professed defender of Christianity and, ultimately, the only form of Christianity recognized during the Dark Ages.

 

As the Roman church forced the true visible church to flee into the wilderness for survival, hundreds of years passed by, with God's true visible church receiving very little recognition from the civilized Christian world. Reports filtered out of England and Ethiopia confirming the activities of many faithful Christians. Only later did the Waldenses in Italy and the Huguenots in France receive notoriety as they suffered intense persecution by Satan's church.

 

Then the Reformation broke upon the Christian scene, and Lutheranism and Presbyterianism carried the torch of God's true visible church. Next, the Anabaptists and Methodists came into the picture. Satan's church, meanwhile, received a deadly wound in 1798, from which some thought it would never recover. During these centuries, there were again individuals and congregations which crossed from one side to the other; but as before, the two churches remained distinct. (See time line on pp. 16, 17.) Babylon did not turn into the true church.

 

Finally we come to the climactic time period of William Miller and the giving of the midnight cry. God was challenging all the Christian bodies who carried the torch of truth to move ahead into the advancing light, including the Sabbath and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. If they would not move with the light, they would be left in darkness and would actually become part of the spiritual system of Babylon. For the first time in history, whole denominations switched from the true church to the false church.

 

Those who were obedient to the gathering call formed the Seventh-day Adventist movement to function as the final remnant, God's visible church, which would ultimately be formed into the 144,000 and give the loud cry to Babylon. Those who refused to heed the gathering call became the daughters of Babylon, soon to be fully absorbed into Babylon.

 

God's plan for the visible church is that it will pass through a time of shaking and purging, so that unfaithful professors will be shaken out while the faithful believers go to the world with the final loud cry. Individuals and congregations will again switch sides at this time, but it is not God's plan to raise up a new visible church to replace the corporate Seventh-day Adventist church.

 

The most important thing to note from this brief review of history is that God's visible church and Satan's visible church have remained distinct from the very beginning. Also, God's visible church has always included faithful believers as well as un-faithful professors.

 

 

Adventism and Babylon

In light of this understanding of God's visible church, what conclusions can we draw regarding the present and future of the Seventh-day Adventist church? Let us look carefully at God's counsel through the Spirit of Prophecy.

 

When the school at Battle Creek began to depart from God's plan, especially regarding the amusements being provided, Ellen White quoted the text, "How is the faithful city become an harlot!" (Special Testimonies on Education, p. 181.) In another context, her divine Instructor said to Ellen: "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." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 250.)

 

Serious charges, indeed! The Seventh-day Adventist church is a harlot and God's presence has left it? Surely this was a final judgment against the organized church.

 

But look again. Her very next words are: "Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements, showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be the chosen of God, His representatives."

 

What God was saying to the Seventh-day Adventist church is exactly what He was saying to Israel through Hosea. Rather than a statement of rejection, this was an appeal for repentance and obedience, and it carried a promise of healing. God appealed to His visible church to repent before it might cross a final line.

 

Ellen White wrote to George Butler, the General Conference president, in 1886: "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. ... I tell you the truth, Elder Butler, that unless there is a cleansing of the soul temple on the part of many who claim to believe and to preach the truth, God's judgments, long deferred, will come." (Letter 51, 1886.)

 

"If most earnest vigilance is not manifested at the great heart of the work to protect the interests of the cause, the church will become as corrupt as the churches of other denominations." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 513.) "The world must not be introduced into the church, and married to the church, forming a bond of unity. Through this means the church will become indeed corrupt, and as stated in Revelation, 'a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 265.)

 

These are very, very solemn warnings to God's visible church. We cannot pretend that they do not exist and that if we do not read them they will somehow not apply to us. We dare not make the mistake of the Jews, who believed that because God had called them to be His chosen people it was impossible for them to fail. We live under the principle of conditional prophecy just as surely as God's Old Testament church did. This means that both the beautiful promises of God to this church and His warnings to us are conditional upon our response to Him. Our obedience or disobedience will determine what the future holds for us individually or as a church.

 

Ellen White makes it clear that a church can be converted into Babylon, but the process is not an easy or simple one. Disobedience-even over a long period of time, or in a number of different areas-does not turn the true church into Babylon. God's love for His chosen people is too deep and strong to allow Him to cast them off for even repeated failures. God's love for Israel over many disappointing centuries should instruct us about His attitude toward His remnant church today. Israel crossed the line of divine patience only after it rejected, openly and defiantly, the ultimate gift of God's love by sentencing His Son to death. As we understand from Daniel's prophecy, God's final separation from the Jewish nation did not take place for another three and a half years after the crucifixion. What long suffering and mercy!

 

We are told what steps our church will have to take to cross the line that Israel crossed. If our church were to adopt, openly and officially, the errors of Sunday sacredness, the immortality of the soul, and eternal torment, then we too would become a part of fallen Babylon. (See Selected Messages,Vol. 2, p. 68 and Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 61, 62.) However, we must remember that small deviations from truth lead to larger errors. Our compromises over the last 50 years need to be addressed and reversed, or we could be in real danger of adopting the major errors of Babylon.

 

Now that we have examined the warnings God has delivered to His church, we must also look at what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say to those who claim that the organized, visible church has already crossed the line and that the faithful ones should separate themselves from it.

 

"No advice or sanction is given in the Word of God to those who believe the third angel's message to lead them to suppose that they can draw apart. This you may settle with yourselves forever. It is the devising of unsanctified minds that would encourage a state of disunion. ... There must be no separating in this great testing time." (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 21.) Please notice how long we are to avoid drawing apart. Forever!! Should this not caution those who are saying that things are so much worse today that her 1893 counsels no longer apply?

 

"I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be." (The Remnant Church, p. 53.) "We have never had a message that the Lord would dis-organize the church." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 3, p. 86.)

 

"The Redeemer of the world does not sanction experience and exercise in religious matters independent of His organized and acknowledged church, where He has a church.

 

"Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His acknowledged followers in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus in His teachings and in the examples, the facts, which He has given for our instruction." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 432, 433.)

 

"You will take passages in the Testi-monies that speak of the close of probation, of the shaking among God's people, and you will talk of a coming out from this people of a purer, holier people that will arise. Now all this pleases the enemy ... Should many accept the views you advance, and talk and act upon them, we should see one of the greatest fanatical excitements that has ever been witnessed among Seventh-day Adventists. This is what Satan wants." (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 179.)

 

"The Lord has not given you a message to call the Seventh-day Adventists Babylon, and to call the people of God to come out of her. All the reasons you may present cannot have weight with me on this subject, because the Lord has given me decided light that is opposed to such a message." (Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 63.)

 

"I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom He will work. ... When anyone is drawing apart from the organized body of God's commandment-keeping people, when he begins to weigh the church in his human scales and begins to pronounce judgment against them, then you may know that God is not leading him. He is on the wrong track." (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, pp. 17, 18.)

 

"But we have never had a message that the Lord would disorganize the church. We have never had the prophecy concerning Babylon applied to the Seventh-day Adventist church, or been informed that the 'loud cry' consisted in calling God's people to come out of her; for this is not God's plan concerning Israel. ... Now can we expect that a message would be true that would designate as Babylon the people for whom God has done so much? Hell would triumph should such a message be received, and the world would be strengthened in iniquity. All the reproaches which Satan has cast upon the character of God, would appear as truth, and the conclusion would be made that God has no chosen or organized church in the world. Oh, what a triumph would this be to Satan and his confederacy of evil!" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 3, 1893.)

 

These statements are much too clear to be misunderstood. Although the visible church is in crisis, the solution is not in applying the message for Babylon to it. If we decide that the church is Babylon or has passed the line of its probationary time, then our only message is "Come out of her." If we decide that the church is Laodicea, then our only message is "Repent." Our message will be determined by our view of the church.

 

Although God's visible church is not functioning as He designed that it should, and although there is much disobedience-both individually and corporately-in God's church, this is the time to look back to Moses and rebellious Israel. "In the example of Moses pleading for the children of Israel, is represented the position that we should take in regard to the people of God, however erring, or weak, or defective they may be." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 3, 1893.)

 

In pleading for God's people, we will be following in the hallowed line of Jeremiah, Daniel, Jesus, and Ellen White. May God help us to have the shepherd's heart, seeking to heal and restore while the door of probation for the church is still open.

 

 

 [RB2]MR No. 1580 - Admonitions for a Wayward Minister

     (Written September 6, 1886, from Basel, Switzerland, to G. I. Butler. A large portion of the

letter is phrased as if it were being addressed directly to J. H Waggoner, the subject of the

letter.)

 

 

     I am troubled in regard to Elder [J. H.] Waggoner. He writes me nothing, and I feel deeply

pained on his account. It seems sometimes to me that the Lord is testing us to see whether we

will deal faithfully in regard to sin in one of our honored men. The time is close at hand when

the General Conference will have to decide the point, whether or not to renew his credentials.

{21MR 378.1}

 

     If the Conference does this, they will be saying virtually, "We have confidence in you as a

man whom God recognizes as His messenger; one to whom He has entrusted the sacred

responsibilities of caring for the sheep of the Lord's pasture; one who will be in all things a

faithful shepherd, a representative of Christ." But can we do this? Have we not seen the

workings of an unsanctified heart? {21MR 378.2}

 

     The persistency in Elder Waggoner to accept and claim Mrs. Chittenden as his--what shall I

call it--his affinity? What is this? Who can name it? Is Elder Waggoner one who has hated the

light God has given him, showing that his preferences for Mrs. Chittenden's society and his

intimacy with her, was sinful as in the light of the Word of God? Or did he accept the message

and act upon it? {21MR 378.3}

 

     Notwithstanding, I went to Elder Waggoner with the testimony given me of God, yet he did

not reform. His course has said, "I will do as I please in the matter; there is no sin in it." He

promised before God what he would do, but he broke his promise, made to Brother C. H.

Jones, W. C. White, and myself, and his feelings did not decidedly change; but he seemed to act

like a man bewitched, under the spell of the devil, who had no power over his own inclinations.

Notwithstanding all the light given, he has evidenced no real conviction or sense of sin, no

repentance, no reformation. Hearts have ached sorely over this state of things, but they had no

power to change his heart or his purposes. {21MR 378.4}

 

     Now, we should be very grateful for the help of Elder Waggoner in England and in

Switzerland, but what can we decide upon? We must have evidence that he is clear before God.

We do not want to make a light matter of sin, and say to the sinner, "It shall be well with thee."

We do not want to connect Elder Waggoner

 

 

                                     -379-

 

with the work here unless he has a connection with God. We do not want to have the drawback

that would come by connecting a man with the work who has a blot on his garments. We

cannot pass lightly over this matter. {21MR 378.5}

 

     The plague of sin is upon Elder Waggoner, and pain and sorrow are upon the souls of all

who are aware of this chapter in his experience. Christ is dishonored. A man blessed with

superior light and knowledge, endowed with great capacity for good, that he may by a life of

obedience and fidelity to God become equal with angels, [and] his life measure with the life of

God, has perverted his God-given power to administer to lust, coveting the wife of another.

God finds Elder Waggoner setting at naught the most costly lessons of experience, violating the

most solemn admonitions of God, that he may continue in sin. {21MR 379.1}

 

     I have hoped and prayed that he would restore reason to its right throne and break the fetters

that for years Satan has been weaving about him, soul and body, and that the clouds that have

shadowed his pathway be removed and Christ come to his soul to revive and bless it. Christ will

lift the heavy burden from weary shoulders, and give rest and peace to those who will wear His

yoke and lift His burdens. {21MR 379.2}

 

     I will say, Elder Waggoner, What can be the character of your experience when in the face

of many warnings and reproofs you continue to pursue a course condemned of God? Can you

think well of yourself? Just think of Jesus, crowned with thorns and nailed to the cross for our

sins, and let it humble--yes, let it break--your heart. Look at the meekness of Christ, His

loveliness, and then bow in the dust with shame and humiliation. {21MR 379.3}

 

     Will you please think what you would do in case one of our leading men be found in the

position you are in? Could you, without any greater evidence on his part of the sense of his sin

than you have given, advise that he have credentials as one of pure and holy purposes before

God? Cannot you see you are placing your fellow laborers in a very unpleasant and unenviable

position? Will they venture to become responsible for your character and your influence in the

future in the work and cause of God? {21MR 379.4}

 

     Your case has been shown me to be worse than that of Elder Cornell, because you had

greater light, capacity, and influence; and his course is a beacon to warn you off from following

in his steps. Elder Cornell's credentials were taken away from him; he is a deeply repenting

man, humbled in the dust. {21MR 379.5}

 

     Supposing David should, after being reproved by Nathan, have repeated the same offense,

would the Lord then have had compassion

 

 

                                     -380-

 

upon him? But he repented bitterly; he declared his transgression was ever before him. Hear his

humiliating confession, and listen to his despairing cries. {21MR 379.6}

 

     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; and ministers who

are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors'

wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. 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? {21MR 380.1}

 

     Will you have others follow your example? Will you wish them to pass over the ground you

have traveled, and feel that they have done no great wrong? Without repentance and

conversion, you are a ruined man. {21MR 380.2}

 

     I hear you [Elder Waggoner] are taking treatment at the sanitarium, acting as chaplain,

speaking in the Tabernacle. Now, this does not look right for you to take such positions, until

you have done all in your power to correct past evils. {21MR 380.3}

 

     I have felt, for your sake, restrained from opening the matter of Mrs. Chittenden's infidelity

to her husband, but I fear I have neglected my duty. If we had dealt with this matter as if it had

been the case of a lay member of the church, I believe God would have then sent you

repentance that needed not to be repented of. {21MR 380.4}

 

     Our pity, our love, to save you from reproach, has hurt you. My heart is so sad and agonized

at times for you, I can only weep. I say, Must he be lost? Must he after suffering for the truth's

sake, after standing in its defense until he is old and gray-headed, become an idolater, as did

Solomon? Will he, for the love of a woman, trample down the law of God and look about him

as much as to say, I do no sin; I am all right? {21MR 380.5}

 

     Will we be clear to let such things be concealed and sins hidden, with no real evidence of

repentance or reform? Your leaving California does not give you a new heart. You are out of

sight of the infatuating influence of your "adorable charmer," but this does not change the

affections or impulses of the heart. Elder Himes might have finished his course with joy had it

not been for sensual practices, but he was led away of his own lusts and enticed. The days and

years which might have been his very best were his worst. {21MR 380.6}

 

     We see in the character of Solomon intellectual greatness combined with moral degradation.

He might have gone forward from strength to strength, but instead of this he went backward

from weakness

 

 

                                     -381-

 

to weakness. After a life of promise, his history was one of deterioration. {21MR 380.7}

 

     My Brother, my heart yearns toward you for Christ's sake. You have been attempting what

other ministers have attempted--to harmonize light with darkness, Christ with Belial, purity

with impurity, good with evil. The result will be moral ruin unless you can be aroused to see

that you are standing upon the very brink of the precipice. There are many such cases that I

have to write about. {21MR 381.1}

 

     It alarms me to see how the sin of licentiousness is coming in upon us. I felt this when I

wrote to Elder Butler upon this point at the last General Conference, begging him to do all that

he could to fence against what was coming in upon us. We must elevate the standard and build

up barriers about the soul so that nothing shall mar its simplicity and purity, and thus defile the

religious character. God has given men intellect, and let every soul beware how this great gift is

prostituted to the soul's eternal ruin. {21MR 381.2}

 

     There is no more hope of you than of any common sinner, nor as much, unless you greatly

humble your soul before God, repent, and are converted. Take the first steps in the way to

life--repentance, faith, and baptism. You have tampered with the divine safeguards of your

peace. If you refuse to listen to the voice of reproof, if you choose your own course, if you will

not allow the grace of Christ to transform you, your guilt will be as much greater than that of

the common sinner as your advantages of light and influence have been greater. {21MR

381.3}

 

     Great care should be exercised in companionship and friendship lest the soul be imperiled,

lest there be even an appearance of evil which in the eyes of others would lower the standard of

religious principle and sap the foundation of religious belief. {21MR 381.4}

 

     How many, even in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, are forming unsanctified connections. Men

who have wives and women who have husbands are showing affection and giving undue

attention to each other [persons of the opposite sex]. How many men of promise there are in our

ranks who no longer have pure faith and holy trust in God because they have betrayed sacred

trusts. Noble aspirations are quenched. Their steps are retrograding because they covet another

man's wife or are unduly familiar with unmarried women. Their frivolous conduct leads them

to break the seventh commandment. {21MR 381.5}

 

     Of Solomon the inspired record says, "His wives turned away his heart after other gods: and

his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God" [1 Kings 11:4]. {21MR 381.6}

 

     This is no theme to be treated with a smile. The heart that loves Jesus will not desire the

unlawful affections

 

 

                                     -382-

 

of another. Every want is supplied in Christ. This superficial affection is of the same character

as that exalted and enjoyment which Satan promised Eve. It is coveting that which God has

forbidden. {21MR 381.7}

 

     When it is too late, hundreds can warn others not to venture upon the precipice. Intellect,

position, wealth can never, never take the place of moral qualities. The Lord esteems clean

hands, a pure heart, and noble, earnest devotion to God and the truth above the golden wedge

of Ophir. An evil influence has a perpetuating power. I wish I could set this matter before God's

commandment-keeping people just as it has been shown me. Let the sad memory of Solomon's

apostasy warn every soul to shun the same precipice. His weakness and sin are handed down

from generation to generation. {21MR 382.1}

 

     The greatest king that ever wielded a scepter, of whom it had been said that he was the

beloved of God, through misplaced affection became contaminated and was miserably forsaken

of his God. The mightiest ruler of the earth had failed to rule his own passions. Solomon may

have been saved "as by fire," yet his repentance could not efface those high places, nor

demolish those stones, which remained as evidence of his crimes. He dishonored God, choosing

rather to be controlled by lust than to be a partaker of the divine nature. {21MR 382.2}

 

     What a legacy Solomon's life has committed to those who would use his example to cover

their own base actions! We must either transmit a heritage of good or evil. Shall our lives and

our example be a blessing or a curse? Shall people look at our graves and say, He ruined me,

or, He saved me? {21MR 382.3}

 

     To the youth we need to give definite, oft-repeated warnings to bring their gifts early to God

as consecrated offerings. Had Solomon retained the heavenly gift of wisdom--God's special

endowment--had he with his ardent temperament been guided aright, his life would have been

illustrious to its very close. But after a life of greatness and power, he fell because of

uncontrolled passion. Had he continued to add virtue to his faith and his rich endowments, he

would have stood forth a grand, noble cedar of Lebanon. But he surrendered to passion; "And

when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"

[James 1:15]. {21MR 382.4}

 

     The lesson to be learned from the life of Solomon has a special moral bearing upon the life

of the aged, of those who are no longer climbing the mountain but are descending and facing

the western sun. We expect to see defects in the character of youth who are not controlled by

love and faith in Jesus Christ. We see youth wavering between right and wrong,

 

 

                                     -383-

 

vacillating between fixed principle and the almost overpowering current of evil that is bearing

them off their feet to ruin. But of those of mature age, we expect better things. We look for the

character to be established, for principles to be rooted, and they to be beyond the danger of

pollution. But the case of Solomon is before us as a beacon of warning. When thou, aged

pilgrim, who hast fought the battles of life, thinkest that thou standest, take heed lest thou fall.

{21MR 382.5}

 

     How, in Solomon's case, was weak, vacillating character--naturally bold, firm, and

determined--shaken like a reed in the wind under the tempter's power! How has an old, gnarled

cedar of Lebanon, a sturdy oak of Bashan, bent before the blast of temptation! What a lesson

for all who desire to save their souls to watch unto prayer continually. What a warning to keep

the grace of Christ ever in their heart, to battle with inward corruptions and outward

temptations. {21MR 383.1}

 

     Brethren, we must have genuine faith which is the gold tried in the fire. We must cherish

that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Unless our faith has a purifying influence,

it is worthless. Such a faith leads the soul to God and expands the intellect while it purifies,

ennobles, and sanctifies. Let those in youth, those in mature age, and the aged, consider that

their cases are soon to pass in review before God. What will be the record that they shall meet?

{21MR 383.2}

 

     At one time in Battle Creek, the scenes of the judgment were presented before me. The

books were opened, and all, both old and young who claimed to be keeping the commandments

of God were gathered about the throne. In the books were written the thoughts, the words, the

actions of those who had received much light and enjoyed many opportunities, and yet their

names were not clear, their life record was blotted and blurred. Great numbers were weighed in

the balances and found wanting who knew for just what sins they were condemned. It was

because of the lack of a virtuous character. {21MR 383.3}

 

     Base animal passions had controlled them. Licentiousness and lust had been carefully

cloaked from human eyes, but the Lord saw it, and their names were blotted out of the Book of

Life. Many of these men claimed to be teachers of the truth, but their labor was not marked

with holy endeavor. They had not confidence and boldness toward God. They could not lift up

holy hands without wrath and doubting. And the words were pronounced to these sin-polluted

souls, "Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity." Now is the time to obtain the white robe of

character. Now is the time to confess and forsake sin and come to God

 

 

                                     -384-

 

with contrition of soul, that your sins may be blotted out and your names retained in the Lamb's

Book of Life. {21MR 383.4}

 

     We must do something to stop this terrible tide of moral impurity. Self-abuse stands as the

most degrading sin, polluting the whole character of the man. Unless those who are practicing

this vice break off their sin and repent before God, they will find no place in the city of God.

There entereth into that city nothing that defileth or maketh a lie. Such characters are living a

lie continually. We are living in an age when iniquity abounds, and the special work of God's

delegated servants must be to suppress this iniquity and to bring in righteousness. But those

who claim to be the Lord's delegated ministers, and yet corrupt their own ways before Him, are

guilty of great crime. {21MR 384.1}

 

     "And He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan

standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee O

Satan; even the Lord that hast chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a branch plucked out of

the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel" [Zech.

3:1-3]. Joshua here represents the people of God; and Satan pointing to their filthy garments

claims them as his property over which he has a right to exercise his cruel power. But these

very ones have improved the hours of probation to confess their sins with contrition of soul and

put them away, and Jesus has written pardon against their names. {21MR 384.2}

 

     Those who have not ceased to sin and who have not repented and sought pardon for their

transgressions are not represented in this company; for this company vex their souls over the

corruptions and iniquity abounding around them, and God will recognize those who are sighing

and crying because of the abominations done in the land. They were not mixed up in these

abominations. They had not corrupted their ways before God, but had washed their robes of

character and had made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Satan pointed to their sins which

had not yet been blotted out, and which he had tempted them to commit, and then reviled them

as being sinners clad with filthy garments. But Jesus changes their appearance. {21MR 384.3}

 

     He says, "Take away the filthy garments from him. Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to

pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair

mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments.

And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua saying,

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge,

then thou shalt also judge My house, and

 

 

                                     -385-

 

shall also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" [Zech.

3:4-7]. {21MR 384.4}

 

     After the filthy garments have been removed, the subject changes, showing that this has its

application in the future. If the people of God will walk in the ways of the Lord and keep His

charge, which is the ten commandments, then the promise is that they shall judge His house and

have places to walk among the angels. {21MR 385.1}

 

     Now the question is, Will those who profess the truth comply with the conditions? Will the

characters of those who profess to believe the truth correspond with its sacredness? Satan's

special efforts are now directed toward the people who have great light. He would lead them to

become earthly and sensual. There are men who minister in sacred things whose hearts are

defiled with impure thoughts and unholy desires. Married men who have children are not

satisfied. They place themselves where they invite temptation. They take liberties which should

only be taken with their lawful wives. Thus they fall under the rebuke of God, and in the books

of heaven "Adultery" is written opposite their names. {21MR 385.2}

 

     There should be no approach to danger. If the thoughts were where they should be, if they

were stayed upon God, and the meditations of the soul were upon the truth and the precious

promises of God and the heavenly reward that awaits the faithful, they would be guarded

against Satan's temptations. But, by many, vile thoughts are entertained almost constantly.

They are carried into the house of God and even into the sacred desk. {21MR 385.3}

 

     I tell you the truth, Elder Butler, that unless there is a cleansing of the soul temple on the

part of many who claim to believe and to preach the truth, God's judgments, long deferred, will

come. These debasing sins have not been handled with firmness and decision. There is

corruption in the soul, and, unless it is cleansed by the blood of Christ, there will be apostasies

among us that will startle you. {21MR 385.4}

 

     I ask myself the question, "How is it possible for men who are opening the Scriptures to

others--men who have abundance of light, men who have good ability, men who are living as in

the face of the judgment, upon the very borders of the eternal world--to give their thoughts and

bodies to unholy practices?" Well may the words of the apostle be repeated with emphasis:

"Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and

mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble

yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" [James 4:8-10]. "Blessed is the man

that endureth temptation: for when he is

 

 

                                     -386-

 

tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: [Some have argued thus, and

thought that for certain reasons they have of their own, God would have them take the course

they did.] for God cannot be tempted of evil, neither tempteth He any man: but every man is

tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it

bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" [James 1:12-15]. {21MR

385.5}

 

     The work of overcoming must be done here in this life. By sincere repentance and forsaking

of every sin, pardon will be written against your names. The thoughts will be pure if the heart is

pure. If the fountain is corrupt, the stream will be corrupt. Shall men who are conversant with

the Scriptures and who are standing in vindication of the fourth commandment be charged in

the books of heaven with transgressing the seventh? Shall Satan be given occasion to taunt the

angels of God with the filthy characters of those who claim to be Christians? Will they make

Jesus ashamed to call them brethren? {21MR 386.1}

 

     I address you who shall have this epistle brought before you, who are leaders, who may be

termed princes among the people, "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord" [Isa. 52:11].

Humble your souls before God. Jesus is in the sanctuary. We are in the great day of atonement,

and if the investigative judgment has not already commenced for the living, it will soon begin,

and to how many are the words of the true witness applicable: "I know thy works, that thou

hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain

that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore

how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I

will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I shall come upon thee" [Rev.

3:1-3.] {21MR 386.2}

 

     The cases of all will be brought up in the judgment, and if their sins are not confessed their

names will then be blotted from the book of life, and their lot will be with the adulterers and the

fornicators, and deceivers, and those who love and make a lie. "Thou hast a few names even in

Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they

are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot

out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before

His angels" [Rev. 3:4, 5]. {21MR 386.3}

 

     I am alarmed for our ministers who are hardening their consciences

 

                                     -387-

 

by continuing a course of sin. I fear that they will continue to fall under temptation until the

word shall go forth: "He that is holy let him be holy still, and he that is filthy let him be filthy

still." I tell you that there must be a thorough revival among us. There must be a converted

ministry. There must be confessions, repentance, and conversions. {21MR 386.4}

 

     Many who are preaching the Word need the transforming grace of Christ in their hearts.

They should let nothing stand in the way of their making thorough work before it shall be

forever too late. Christ is coming. His judgments are abroad in the earth. And that God who is

ever present, who was a silent witness to the godless, sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar, whose

hand traced the characters upon the wall, is present where you think no eye seeth. {21MR

387.1}

 

     Had you, Elder Waggoner, an elder of the church, looked up, you would have seen yourself

a spectacle to God and to the pure angels who veil their faces and turn away from your

pollution of soul and body. My words seem tame as I pen them when I think of the wonderful

truths we profess and the great light that shines upon us from the Word of God. The Judge of

all the earth is standing before the door, and every case must pass in solemn review before Him.

I inquire, How can anyone with this light shining upon them dare in thought or word to deny

the Lord God who hath bought them? Make haste, my brother, to cleanse your hands. Jesus is

still pleading as your Intercessor. Commence the work of forsaking your sins without delay. Do

not rest till you find pardon, for no soul can enter the paradise of God who has a single spot or

stain in his character. Make thorough work for eternity.--Letter 51, 1886.

 

 

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland

April 18, 1991. Entire Letter. {21MR 387.2}

 

 

 

 [RB3]http://adventistreview.org/2003-1543/story4.html

 

Due to pre-marital classes and strict regard for marriage being a sacrament, Catholics have

America's lowest divorce rate:

 

http://www.adventistreview.org/2000-1547/story1-1.html

 

So Mother Babylon has a lower divorce percentage rate among its members than its daughters.

Do we now know why Ellen White said that SDA's are worse than Babylon?

 

"God's professed people are selfish and self-caring....They are idolaters, and are worse, in the

sight of God, than the heathen, graven-image worshipers who have had no knowledge of a

better way." Testimonies, vol. 2, 441-442.

 

The following quote is taken from Adventist Review:

 

http://www.adventistreview.org/2000-1547/story1.html

 

 

 

 [RB4] "They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are

uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever

been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did

Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers,

and should be resisted as resolutely today as them. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle

the faith of God's people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White,

Prophets and Kings, p. 661.

 

 

 

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to give the pope a gold medallion.  The

church leaders did that. 

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to hire a graduate of the Jesuit Gregorian

University in Rome and employ him to teach theology at Andrews University. 

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than for the pope to give that graduate of a

Jesuit University a gold medallion and give his imprimatur to his book, when that Jesuit

graduate professes to be a Seventh-day Adventist.

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to invite high placed Catholic leaders to

speak at the General Conference Sessions, which are supposed to be the voice of God to the

church.

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked, fallen Babylon, than to join their Associations,

Councils and Confederacies in violation of God's strictly forbidden command in Isaiah 8:9-13.

I don't know of any greater act in praising the wicked, fallen Churches, which Ellen White said

cannot be distinguished from the world (EW 173), than to violate the first and second angel's

messages by joining Babylon and giving it large sums of money annually.

I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to finance Babylon's errant doctrines.

The reason I do not pray for individuals who have knowingly, willfully violated the midnight

Cry and the first and second angel's messages is as follows.

 

 

 

 "While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher

and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but

could not find them--when a voice said to me, 'Look again, and look a little higher.' At this I

raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path cast up high above the world. On this path

the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had

a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the

Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not

stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to

the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way of,

and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his

glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band,

and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was

not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in

perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and

fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to

get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They

fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many

waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming....

 

By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written,

God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus' new name." E.G. White, Word to

the Little Flock, p. 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 [RB5] "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 tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G.

White, The Upward Look, 131.

 

 

 

 [RB6]"One thing it is certain is soon to be realized, the great apostasy, which is developing

and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend

from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and

go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been

substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the

present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the

leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to

confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need to-day all the evidence in

the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to

seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now." (E.G.

White, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 57).

 [RB3]http://adventistreview.org/2003-1543/story4.html

Due to pre-marital classes and strict regard for marriage being a sacrament, Catholics have America's lowest divorce rate:

http://www.adventistreview.org/2000-1547/story1-1.html

So Mother Babylon has a lower divorce percentage rate among its members than its daughters. Do we now know why Ellen White said that SDA's are worse than Babylon?

"God's professed people are selfish and self-caring....They are idolaters, and are worse, in the sight of God, than the heathen, graven-image worshipers who have had no knowledge of a better way." Testimonies, vol. 2, 441-442.

The following quote is taken from Adventist Review:

http://www.adventistreview.org/2000-1547/story1.html

 

 [RB4] "They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as them. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God's people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 661.

  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to give the pope a gold medallion.  The church leaders did that. 
  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to hire a graduate of the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome and employ him to teach theology at Andrews University. 
  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than for the pope to give that graduate of a Jesuit University a gold medallion and give his imprimatur to his book, when that Jesuit graduate professes to be a Seventh-day Adventist.
  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to invite high placed Catholic leaders to speak at the General Conference Sessions, which are supposed to be the voice of God to the church.
  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked, fallen Babylon, than to join their Associations, Councils and Confederacies in violation of God's strictly forbidden command in Isaiah 8:9-13.
  • I don't know of any greater act in praising the wicked, fallen Churches, which Ellen White said cannot be distinguished from the world (EW 173), than to violate the first and second angel's messages by joining Babylon and giving it large sums of money annually.
  • I don't know of any greater praise of the wicked than to finance Babylon's errant doctrines.

The reason I do not pray for individuals who have knowingly, willfully violated the midnight Cry and the first and second angel's messages is as follows.

 

 "While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them--when a voice said to me, 'Look again, and look a little higher.' At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way of, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming....

By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus' new name." E.G. White, Word to the Little Flock, p. 14.

 

 

 

 [RB5] "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 tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

 

 [RB6]"One thing it is certain is soon to be realized, the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need to-day all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now." (E.G. White, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 57).