Does God Withdraw His Presence

From the Church?

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The following statements were presented to an internet forum by DD. In an attempt to prove that no matter what the church does, the Lord does not withdraw His presence. DD has adopted the A. Leroy Moore negative/positive pole methodology of using Ellen White statements. He takes a negative and positive statement on any given issue and then chooses the positive one.


Below is a classic example. The first statement used by DD is the negative and the second is the positive. DD then concludes that God does not withdraw Himself from His people under any circumstance. But we find a very different picture when we heed Ellen White’s weight of evidence formula which instructs us to take all available evidence and interpret so that nothing contradicts. I will provide the additional weight of evidence regarding whether or not God departs and/or withdraws from a once chosen people. First, I will cite Ellen White weight of evidence formula:


Weight of Evidence Formula: "1. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible 2. All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study 3. Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, not wavering 4. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error 5. Scripture must be its own expositor, [interpreter] since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom is my rule, and not the Bible." E.G. White, Second Advent Review and Herald, 11-25-84, par. 24.


Here is Googled proof of Dr. A. Leroy Moore’s methodology:


1.     [PDF] Chapter 1

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by L Moore - 2003 - Cited by 2 - Related articles
"Which do you prefer, the positive or the negative pole? Which terminal on your battery .... truth affect our understanding, providence led us to Leroy Moore's district. .... In it I compared Dr. Desmond Ford's views with those of Ellen ...


1.   Omega Countdown Ministries and associates - Cached

28 Apr 2010 – Interestingly and sadly enough, it is DD who applies the positivenegative pole theory set forth in A. Leroy Moore's book The Theology ...


2.   Click to go to our Home Page - Cached

9 Jul 2010 – Ron's comment: How is it that Dr. A. Leroy Moore cannot discern that the ... is asked: Which would you prefer—the positive or negative pole. ...



Now an example of one of Moore’s disciples, DD., applying the negative/positive pole theory of interpreting Ellen White:



1NL 99 (1898).  {LDE 49.1}

"The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst.”-- - - -   What a terrible thing it is to exclude Christ from His own temple! What a loss to the church!"


Ron responds: The statement clearly says that the presence of God is not in the midsts of the Laodicean church. DD even admits this fact by saying: “What a terrible thing it is to exclude Christ from His own temple! What a loss to the church. Then he proceeds to try to prove that God does not withdraw Himself from the church. Either God does withdraw or He does not! It can’t be both ways, and ultimately DD concludes that God does not withdraw. This is CONFUSION at its worst! This is double-speak at its worst! This is deception at its worst!

Then in 1901 she said that the Lord does not withdraw Himself from His people and in 1902 that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which on which Christ bestows His supreme reDDd.


Ron responds: DD, the person who presented the above statements on an internet forum never seems to be able to arrive at the full weight of evidence on any given issue. It should be noted that Ulicia Unruh does the same thing with many E.G. White statements.


The matter as to whether or not God departs/withdraws from a once chosen people, a once church, teaches the folly of the methodology DD learn from one of  A. Leroy Moore’s books on apostasy.


What SDA leaders and some of the laity would have you believe by the above statement quoted by DD, is that no matter what the church does, no matter how apostate it becomes, it is still the supreme object of God’s affection and God never withdraws from the church He has chosen. That is not how it worked with God’s first “chosen” people, the Jews, and that is now how it is going to work with his second “chosen” people!

Qualifying words and phrases are so important. The quote above demonstrates this fact. God does not withdraw from HIS PEOPLE, but He does WITHDRAW from those who depart from Him.


God Withdraws


“It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favored with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure.” {5T 212.2}


God Departs


The command is: ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.’ These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking.” {5T 210.2}


God Withdraws His Spirit


“Men cannot with impunity reject the warnings that God in mercy sends them. From those who persist in turning from these warnings, God withdraws His Spirit, leaving them to the deceptions that they love.”—Acts of the Apostles, 266.


A Bill of Divorce


Jeremiah 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.


There are extremely important qualifying words in Ellen White’s statement that God does not withdraw Himself from HIS PEOPLE when they are merely defective and enfeebled. When all the weight of evidence is considered, defective and enfeebled cannot include gross apostasy, for we find that such apostates are to be removed from the church and that God is removed from such a God. (1SM 204-205). Ellen White does not contradict herself, but DD is making her statements contradict. How?


·       DD very obviously assumes that tares include open sinners.

·       The church can retain open sinners. One must merely mingle with the wheat and avoid the open sinners.

·       Leaders can teach open sin apostate doctrines which sweep away the entire Christian economy via displacement of the Sanctuary/Atonement, but the members are not responsible per the personal opinion theories of Ulicia Unruh, DD, and any member of the new movement, new organization who concludes as these two do.

·       In Jeremiah 11:9-15, Israel conspired with God’s enemies to return to the iniquities of their forefathers. What happened to God’s presence? Did it WITHDRAW from His People, the Jews of that generation? Notice:


Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

15What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. Jeremiah 11:14, 15.




·       Was that generation of Jews His Church, His people, when they conspired with His enemies to return to the iniquities of their forefathers? The answer should be clear to any Christian with the least degree of spiritual discernment.

·       Did Christ bestow His supreme reDDd on that generation of Jews when He told Jeremiah not to even pray for them and they thus had committed unpardonable sin?


The only sane resolution to the “apparently” contradictory statements is arrived at by carefully deciphering qualifying words and phrases. God does not depart from HIS CHURCH, HIS PEOPLE, because of mere faults, defects and enfeeblements. But He does depart from and divorce those who go beyond such faults to backslide to the point of refusing to comply with His CONDITIONS, departing from Him, and separating themselves from His love. Thus, they reject the Laodicean message which is to buy gold tried in the fire—faith that works by the indwelling self-sacrificing love of Christ.


Now we come to the real serious consequence of DD’s methodology as taught by A. Leroy’s Moore’s book. Moore’s methodology would expunge the following serious prophesy of Ellen White on the final fate of the SDA church. This fate of the church could never accrue if God never withdraws from the SDA church that departs from Him.


"Jesus sends HIS PEOPLE a message of warning to prepare them for his coming. To the prophet John was made known the closing work in the great plan of man's redemption. He beheld an angel flying 'in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his Judgment is come and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters [Rev. 14:6, 7.].

The angel represented in prophecy as delivering this message,  symbolizes a class of faithful men, who, obedient to the promptings of God's Spirit and the teachings of his word, proclaim this warning to the inhabitants of earth. This message was not to be committed to the religious leaders of the people. They had failed to preserve their connection with God, and had REFUSED THE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN therefore they WERE NOT of the number described by the apostle Paul: 'But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day we are not of the night nor of darkness' [1 Thess. 5:4, 5]. 

The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should be the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for his coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw HIS CHURCH, like the barren fig-tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence and faith--which alone could render the service acceptable to God--was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit, there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A BACKSLIDING CHURCH closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did nor forsake them, or suffer his faithfulness to fail but they departed from him, and SEPARATED THEMSELVES from his love. As they REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS, his promises were NOT FULFILLED to them."  E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy,  Vol. 4, pp. 199-200 [The 1884 edition of The Great Controversy, 199, 200].


So you can see why Ellen White would say that there is no greater deception than those who think they are all right, when they are all wrong:


“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong? The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true situation of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake; for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.” {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 5}


1862: "The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ's professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them."


"Those who will be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to the immortal inheritance, will be peculiar. Yes, so peculiar that God places a mark upon them as His, wholly His. Think ye that God will receive, honor, and acknowledge a people so mixed up with the world that they differ from them only in name?" Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 274-87.


1865: "In their present state of worldly ambition, with their lack of consecration to God, their devotion to self, they are wholly unfit to receive the latter rain... They think they are all right when they are all wrong." Testimonies, Vol. 1 pp. 466-69, 478-79.