Ellen White Applies Babylon Terminology to Ancient and Modern Israel

Click to go to our Home Page

In God's schema of things there are two masters in the Great Controversy--Christ and Satan. Each has a kingdom. Christ's Kingdom is Zion, and Zion is represented by the city called New Jerusalem. Satan's kingdom is the Synagogue of Satan, and this is represented by the city called Babylon or confusion. Please especially mind the below emboldened and underlined portions of Revelation 18 as it describes Babylon:

Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

The above verse implies corporate responsibility for all who remain members of any part of Babylon.

Rev 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Rev 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Rev 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Now notice that Ellen White applies the same words that are underlined and emboldened above, to ancient and modern (spiritual) Israel:

"If the church of God becomes LUKEWARM [LAODICEAN] it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth, and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God." E.G. White, Letter 35, 1898.

Did the professing SDA Church become LUKEWARM LAODICEAN? Is it still LUKEWARM LAODICEAN? Why does Ellen White apply Scriptural language applicable to and descriptive of Babylon, to the SDA "church of God?" How can some on this forum admit and charge that the church is Laodicean lukewarm, and then say that the church is never to be referred to as Babylon or a sister to fallen Babylon?

"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.

Is it not a peace and safety message to teach that the church will never become a sister to fallen Babylon, based on the misinterpretation of one qualifying statement of Ellen White, when the qualifying statement refers to the SDA church that keeps the commandments of God and heeds the Laodicean message?

"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.

"The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she ONCE was. Her faith and her position in the world as they NOW ARE must be COMPARED (JUDGED) with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, SHE WILL BE FOUND WANTING." Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 83, 84.

"When this church is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, it is found wanting, having left its first love....What is the fatal deficiency?--'Thou has left thy first love...' The light that gladdened your heart when you first understood the message for this time is an essential element in your experience and labors, and this has been lost out of your heart and life. Christ beholds your lack of zeal, and declares that you have FALLEN, and are in a perilous position." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 2, pp. 462-3. The above statement applies individually and corporately to the church entity.

"Worldly policy is taking the place of true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the ark of the covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us of God, which have made us what we are, be ignored?.... This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us." E. G. White, Manuscript 29, 1890.

"Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church..." E. G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, 71.

"The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is THE END OF PROBATIONARY TIME." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 72.

What Ellen White used as a defense that the church was not Babylon, makes the church Babylon if it violates the terms of her defense. For example, she specifically stated that the church was not Babylon because it was keeping the commandments of God and heeding the Laodicean message. Conversely, should the church violate the commandments of God and the Laodicean message, and it certainly does, it becomes classed with Babylon. Apply this principle of fact to the following two statements:

"The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon, and all who were feeling their poverty were buying gold (faith and love, white raiment (the righteousness of Christ), and eyesalve (true spiritual discernment)." E. G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 6, 513, col. 3, SAID OF THE CHURCH IN 1893, when Stanton and Caldwell called the church Babylon.

Notice the qualifying words: "The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon...."

"How could they (Stanton and Caldwell) come from that meeting where the power of God was revealed in so marked a manner, and proclaim that the loud cry was that the commandment-keeping people were Babylon?" E. G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 6, p. 514, cols. 1 and 2.

Notice the qualifying words: "...the commandment-keeping people..."

Ellen White Applied the Terminology of Babylon, Revelation 18:7, to Ancient Jerusalem

The Great Controversy

Chapter 1

The Destruction of Jerusalem

"If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44.

From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looked upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful was the scene spread out before Him. It was the season of the Passover, and from all lands the children of Jacob had gathered there to celebrate the great national festival. In the midst of gardens and vineyards, and green slopes studded with pilgrims' tents, rose the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seemed in her pride to say, I sit a queen and shall see no sorrow; as lovely then, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sang: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, . . . the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2. In full view were the magnificent buildings of the temple. The rays of the setting sun lighted up the snowy whiteness of its marble walls and gleamed from golden gate and tower and pinnacle." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, Chapter 1, p. 17, 1911 edition.

The above underlined words are the very words used by John in Revelation 18:7, to describe Babylon. Ellen White thus applies these very words to ancient Israel, the Jews and Jerusalem, in the first chapter, the first page of The Great Controversy. Notice the words: "The daughter of Zion." Any valid church militant is not Zion, but the daughter of Zion. Zion is defined in Hebrews 12:22, 23, as the general assembly and church of the firstborn and men made perfect. Therefore, Zion refers only to the church triumphant.

Rev 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

"Characteristics of True Reformers.--Here [Isa. 8:11-14] are given the characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the banner of the third angel's message, those who avow themselves God's commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged, in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who is it that calls them, The repairer of the breach, The restorers of paths to dwell in? It is God. Their names are registered [written--Heb. 12:22, 23] in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising the foundations of many generations." E. G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1151.

Ron Beaulieu