"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
"LET THERE BE LIGHT"
Bible History of Separation--Part Two
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Bible History of Separation--Part Two
The next age we will examine is during the time of John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples or apostles.
The Jewish church and its whole system of religion had become so corrupted and apostate that God could no longer use it in any way to give His truths to others. He could not use it at all in His cause and work, because they were no longer His representatives and agents for the salvation of the world, but were actually representatives and agents of Satan for the destruction of the world! They were teaching and preaching a counterfeit of the true gospel, which was derived from Satan himself. Hence their whole system of religion and entire corporate structure was just a counterfeit of God's true church. Therefore the whole Jewish system of religion, the entire church structure and organization, must be swept away.
"The message of salvation is communicated to men through human agencies. But the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction.
"The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan. They were doing the work that he desired them to do, taking a course to misrepresent the character of God, and cause the world to look upon Him as a tyrant....The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart. God could do no more for man through these channels. The whole system must be swept away. Desire of Ages, p 36.
It was under these conditions that John began his ministry for God.
JOHN the BAPTIST
When John the Baptist began his public ministry, to prepare the way for, and to herald the coming of the Messiah, was he connected with this corrupt and counterfeit Jewish system of religion? No. Was his God-given ministry in harmony with the ministry of the Jewish church? No. It was completely against and contrary to the church and its leadership.
"The work of John was to expose the character of the works of the Pharisees, to set their traditions and heresies in their true light before the people." Review and Herald, vol 3, p 135 col 3 (April 3, 1894).
Did any of the church membership hear John the Baptist and his message from heaven, within any of the Jewish churches? No. John's God-given message was heard only in the wilderness, being completely distinct and separate from having any connection whatsoever with the corrupt Jewish system of religion.
God's people today are to do a similar work, as is represented by John the Baptist, in order to prepare the way for the second coming of the Messiah. And what was John's message?
"John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to which they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been digged. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose. As He called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service....
"'And now also,' said the prophet, 'the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast down into the fire.' Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God's law, they were not His people." Desire of Ages, p 106-07.
"John knew that they cherished the idea that, because they were of the seed of Abraham, they were securely established in the favor of God, while their course of action was abhorred by Him....The prophet faithfully presented to them the ability of God to raise up those who would take their place, and would become more worthy children of Abraham. He told them plainly that God was not dependent upon them to fulfill His purposes; for He could provide ways and means independent of them to carry forward His great work which was to be accomplished in purity and righteousness....
"Their wicked works had disqualified them to claim the promises God made to the children of Abraham. John assured them that God would raise up children unto Abraham from the very stones, to whom He could fulfill His promise, rather than to depend on the natural children of Abraham who had neglected the light God had given them, and had become hardened by selfish ambition and wicked unbelief. He told them that if they were really the children of Abraham, they would do the works of their father Abraham. They would have Abraham's faith, love, and obedience. But they did not bear this fruit. They had no claim to Abraham as their father, or the promises of God made to the seed of Abraham. 'Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.' While they were professing to be God's commandment-keeping people, their works denied their faith, and without true repentance for their sins they would have no part in the kingdom of Christ. Justice, benevolence, mercy, and the love of God would characterize the lives of His commandment-keeping people. Unless these fruits were seen in their daily life, all their profession was of no more value than chaff which would be devoted to the fire of destruction." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 2, p 50-52.
That was John's message--a very straight and powerfully cutting message. But God's people today are to bear a still more pointed testimony than did John (see Testimonies, vol 1, p 321)!
Was God dependent upon the Jewish church, or any church, to fulfill His purposes in the earth? Not at all. Was God's hands so tied that He could not call others, who were completely distinct and separate from the corrupt Jewish system, to do His will? No. Was God limited to use only those connected with the Jewish church to spread His truth, and could not use others--entrusting them with His gospel, and using them to fulfill His purposes in the earth? No. This was the message of truth which John the Baptist proclaimed, yet he never gave this message within any Jewish church or institution! John made the distinction plain between himself and the apostasy of the corrupt Jewish church.
When Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, began His public ministry in bringing the gospel of salvation and pure truth to others who sat in darkness, was He at all connected with the corrupt and apostate Jewish system of religion? No.
Some believe and teach that Christ was not separate and distinct from the Jewish system of religion. They believe that God worked through that apostate church, even though its religion had degenerated into nothing more than form and ceremony, with no vital godliness connected with it--being destined to be swept away. They also believe that Christ did not separate or show Himself distinct from that corrupt church either. But is this true?
"Christ was a protestant. He protested against the formal worship of the Jewish nation, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves. He told them that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men, and that they were pretenders and hypocrites. Like whited sepulchers they were beautiful without, but within full of impurity and corruption. 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." Review and Herald, vol 2, p 48 col 2 (June 1, 1886).
Christ was not working with, nor within, the corrupt church. He was not in harmony with it. He was not pointing His listeners to become, or to remain, a part of their church, or to work through its apostate system and organization in order to reach others. He was doing all He could to expose that corrupt and counterfeit church, trying to turn the eyes of the people away from man and towards the truth.
"In the parables which Christ had spoken, it was His purpose both to warn the rulers and to instruct the people who were willing to be taught. But there was need to speak yet more plainly. Through their reverence for tradition and their blind faith in a corrupt priesthood, the people were enslaved. These chains Christ must break. The character of the priests, rulers, and Pharisees must be more fully exposed." Desire of Ages, p 611-612.
Christ's work was not in harmony or union with the church. He was working against the church, exposing it as being a counterfeit of God's true church. But was it part of Christ's work to call His people out from their connection with this apostate and corrupt church, in order to carry His gospel to others far and near? Or did He tell them to remain in the church and work through its apostate system in order to reach others? Was Christ trying to gather them out of the apostate church, or trying to keep them within the corruption?
"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, p 232.
Christ was teaching the people pure truth, and calling them out of their connection with falsehood and error. Christ was teaching the truth about obedience and righteousness to God, and calling the people out of their connection with disobedience, unrighteousness, wickedness, and sin in their lives. Christ was also showing the people where God's true church was, and where they could go and join that church--being faithful to Him and becoming followers of Christ. And He was also calling them out from being connected to their impure, corrupt, ungodly, apostate church.
Christ was preaching all three principles upon which God's government is established upon. Christ was not connected with the Jewish church in its religious organization. He continually taught the people that they were to come and follow Him, not stay within the church and follow Him. Christ was working to gather out the people from their disobedient church so that they could understand His truth, and then take it to the world.
In fact it so greatly upset the Jewish leaders that Christ could have so much influence over the people, especially those who were never seen attending the Jewish church! It enraged them to see those, who were separate from the church, following Christ.
"It angered these guardians of society that He [Christ] with whom they were continually in controversy, yet whose purity of life awed and condemned them, should meet, in such apparent sympathy, with social outcasts. They did not approve of His methods. They regarded themselves as educated, refined, and pre-eminently religious; but Christ's example laid bare their selfishness.
"It angered them also that those who showed only contempt for the rabbis and who were never seen in the synagogues should flock about Jesus and listen with rapt attention to His words." Christ's Object Lessons, p 186.
In gathering or separating His people out of the apostate church, was Christ starting another church? No. He was bringing God's honest people back to God's original church which was founded upon the platform of eternal truth. The Jewish church had begun upon this truth, but had later refused to follow the truth of God, and stepped off the platform. Over the centuries, they had gradually formed themselves into a completely different church, based upon a platform of error and tradition, but still posing as God's church. So the Jewish leaders themselves had actually started another church by stepping off the platform of God's truth, and became an offshoot, while Christ was trying to gather out those honest ones from this counterfeit church so that He could establish them back in God's truth and on His platform. This was the only way that they could become part of God's true church once again.
Jesus Christ was the leader of this separated people, just as He has always been the leader of God's separated people in the past. The high priest or president, was no longer the church leader. So there were actually two churches existing at the same time before Christ's death on the cross! One church was Christ with His disciples and followers. The other was the Jewish church with its wicked leaders and followers.
Some will strongly deny that there were two distinct churches before Christ's death. But is this true? Were there really two churches existing at the same time during Christ's ministry?
"In these first few disciples [Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael] the foundation of the Christian church was being laid..." Spirit of Prophecy, book 2, p 66.
When did the Christian church have its beginning or foundation? When the first few disciples were called to Christ's side. Was the Jewish church still in existence? Yes. Then there were two churches existing at the same time! God's true church was where Christ's leadership and presence was found--outside the Jewish church. While Satan's synagogue was where his leadership and presence was found--within the Jewish church.
Thus we can see that the whole satanic system of religion, upon which the whole Jewish church was built upon, had to be swept away in order for Christ to come in and take control. God could not use it in any way to fulfill His work in the earth. And in order for the Jewish people to again become a part of God's church, they had to allow the sweeping away of their entire organization and system of religion, and allow Christ to be their new leader.
"The people had been deeply moved by the words of Christ. The divine beauty of the principles of truth attracted them; and Christ's solemn warnings had come to them as the voice of the heart-searching God. His words struck at the very root of their former ideas and opinions; to obey His teaching would require a change in all their habits of thought and action. It would bring them into collision with their religious teachers; for it would involve the overthrow of the whole structure which for generations the rabbis had been rearing." Mount of Blessing, p 147.
If the Jewish leaders would have agreed to this, allowing their whole false system of religion to be undone, they would have remained God's people. But this satanic system, which could not in any way recover itself and be used by God as such, was not allowed to be swept away. The church leadership chose to keep their corrupt church, and instead worked to sweep Christ away! So the church of God at this time was not the Jewish church, but was the church with the leadership and presence of Christ in its midst. This principle is plainly stated:
"God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. 'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matt. 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church." Upward Look, p 315 (see also SDA Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1150, col 2; Desire of Ages, p 834).
In fact Jesus told all the apostate members of the Jewish church that they were not a part of God's church at all!
"Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you." John 10:24-27.
Not only was the Jewish church under the control of the devil and not a part of God's true church at all, but they were actually a part of Babylon. If fact, they were a part of Babylon before they crucified Christ!
"After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus comes back to Jerusalem, the city then sitting in pride and arrogance, and saying, 'I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow' (see Rev. 18:7)." Selected Messages, book 3, p 417.
So the Jewish church was described as being Babylon while Christ was still alive--before He died on the cross! But how did the Jewish church--a Sabbath-keeping church which God Himself established--become the harlot of Babylon?
"Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with 'the kings of the earth.' It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot..." Great Controversy, p 382.
God had true, honest, and innocent people within the satanic Jewish church and babylonian system of religion, and Christ told them all plainly that they were not part of His church. Why? Because He was trying to awaken them out of their ignorance to the fact that they were not going through to heaven, but were going through to hell if they continued to cling to their wicked church. In fact, the Jewish church and its leaders went so far to prove they were not a part of God's church, that they crucified and killed the leader of God's true church--Jesus Christ Himself--along with His followers, and members of His church.
It was not just the Jewish leadership who were responsible for this murder and bloodshed, but so were all the membership of the Jewish church! All those connected to, and in union with, the Jewish church were corporately responsible for the sins and actions of their church leaders.
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36.
"For the rejection of Christ, with the results that followed, they [Jewish church leaders] were responsible. A nation's sin and a nation's ruin were due to the religious leaders." Christ's Object Lessons, p 305.
A whole nation's sin, membership and all, and a whole nation's ruin were due to its religious leaders. Thus the people were brought to this realization, and they chose which church they wanted to be a part of, and who they wanted to work for--Christ or the Devil. They could not be a part of both. They could not have membership in both. And they could not work for both. It was either Christ or Satan.
"He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:30.
Christ was building back this wall of separation between Satan's camp and God's camp. His people could not remain in both places, they had to choose one or the other. No longer was the distinction unclear. No longer could both groups remain mixed up together. To remain connected with the corrupt church, was to condemn Jesus as an imposter, and His followers a counterfeit church. While leaving the Jewish church and joining Jesus and His followers, was to condemn the Jewish leadership as being impostors, and the Jewish church a counterfeit. To uphold the one was to condemn the other. To defend the one was to attack and overthrow the other. Thus the distinction was being made plain, the wall of separation was being re-established, and any breaches were being repaired. The people could not have it both ways. It was either one or the other. And the choice had to be made: to refuse to choose kept you connected with the corporate sin of the corrupt church, and condemnation with the ungodly.
We already read that the disciples and apostles of Christ separated themselves from the Jewish system of religion. But did the apostle Paul, whose writings make up a great portion of the New Testament, follow such a course?
After the apostle Paul was converted, some contend that he never willingly separated himself from the Jewish church. Nor, they say, did he call any of its members to willingly separate themselves out of their apostate church either. But is this correct?
"As they persisted in their rejection of the gospel, the apostle ceased to preach in the synagogue.
"The Spirit of God had wrought with and through Paul in his labors for his countrymen. Sufficient evidence had been presented to convince all who honestly desired to know the truth. But many permitted themselves to be controlled by prejudice and unbelief, and refused to yield to the most conclusive evidence. 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, continuing his public instruction in the school of Tyranus, a teacher of some note." Acts of the Apostles, p 285-86.
This was not the only instance in which Paul showed himself to be completely separate from the Jewish church, and urged others to do the same.
In Acts 18:6-7 we are told that when Paul separated himself from the Jewish church, he began meeting in the home of one named Justus. So after Paul separated himself from the Jewish church, he began holding church in the home. But this home church was quite unique in that it was right next door to the synagogue! Thus all the Jewish membership had a choice of where to have church so that they could worship God; either in the big corrupt and apostate church where a mixture of truth and error was preached, or in the little home church where truth alone was spoken. Nor was this the only home church in existence! The Bible records several places where Christ's church was being held in the home (see Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philemon 2; Colossians 4:15)!
Paul did not just let his own example lead the people to separate from the apostate Jewish church, he also told the church membership of a necessity for them to separate in order to find Christ!
The book of Hebrews was written specifically to the Jewish church membership. In this book, Paul tells all the membership that Christ's presence was no longer to be found anywhere within their Jewish church. So if any wanted to be a follower of Jesus, they must go out of the camp--separating themselves from the corrupt church--in order to be with Jesus outside.
"Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." Hebrews 13:12-13.
Paul also stated this same principle to the Corinthians.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Paul was just following the example of Jesus, and other followers of God throughout history, in continuing to make the distinction plain between the followers of God and Satan. He was repairing the breaches that had been made in the wall of separation between God's church and Satan's church. And all made their choice to leave or stay.
The next period we will examine is towards the end of this same age, dealing with the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of God's professed people.
THE ABOMINATION of DESOLATION
Even though Christ was gathering out His followers from the corrupt and apostate Jewish system of religion, and even though the disciples and apostles were telling the Jews that Christ was not in their church, and in order to be with Him they must leave it, there were still some honest ones within the church who were undecided if they should leave all the corruption and apostasy. Many different voices were sounding telling the membership that God's people would never have to separate from the church, because all the bad would leave and all the good would stay. And many were confused as to which voice was in harmony with the voice of God. Thus many decided to stay in their corrupt church, and only to separate from it at the last possible chance to do so.
Just before Jerusalem was to be destroyed Christ gave these dear honest, but confused souls, their last chance to separate before they shared in its destruction (see Matthew 24:15-16). Probation had already closed corporately upon the church, and even upon some of the membership who had flatly refused to follow the light of Jesus. But judgment was only waiting that these poor honest ones might quickly make up their minds to obey Christ and to make their escape.
When the Roman general Cestius planted the banner or flag of Rome within the holy ground of Jerusalem, the abomination of desolation was planted. This was the last possible chance that any follower of Christ had to completely separate themselves from the Jewish church and not be involved in the judgment of God that was to swiftly fall.
This banner of Rome was not planted within the midst of the church, but was planted in the holy ground which extended some furlongs outside of Jerusalem. So the honest ones were not to wait until this banner or flag of Rome was seen being planted within the church structure, but were to separate when they saw this banner being set up in the outskirts of the ranks of Jerusalem--way before it was ever planted in the midst of the church. And all the church membership saw or knew about the banner of Rome being planted in the holy ground. But it was only the true followers of Christ who separated themselves from their apostate church in obedience to God's merciful command. These finally showed themselves to be Christians, while the rest decided to stay within the church in disobedience to God's will--thus proving themselves to be followers of Satan.
"The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: 'When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.' When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reached the city wall, and be saved 'so as by fire.' Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 26-27.
Because these honest ones had become confused and waited until the last possible moment before they separated, they, just like Lot, lost all of their possessions. They could not even return for their outer garments, but had to make their escape--so as by fire. And possibly, just like Lot, they lost some of their loved ones who decided to follow their example of delay, instead of obeying God without question.
Yet, not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 32). This proves that all the good left the apostate church in obedience to God's will, making the distinction plain between themselves and Satan's followers; while all the bad remained within the apostate church, becoming partakers of her sins and receiving judgment right along with her.
Even though Christ and His followers had plainly told the people to separate from their corrupt and apostate church, the church leaders and supporters were doing all that they could to refute this merciful message, trying to hinder the membership from obeying God. They bribed independent ministers to falsely proclaim and preach that God was still in the midst of the corrupt church, that they still possessed the truth, and that no one needed to separate, but to wait within. They said that God would so overrule events that all the bad would leave, and then He would work mightily for their church's victory and final triumph in the end. They declared that their church would never fall, but would go through safely to the end, because God would interpose and work for the defeat of all their adversaries.
"Yet in their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God's own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 30-31.
But where were the people to wait in? Right in the midst of the corrupt church. So God's message was for all His people to separate from their wicked church in order to save their lives and to be with Christ. While Satan's message was that no one was to separate from the church, but were to wait within it, and God would protect and deliver them from all their enemies. Are we hearing the same messages today?
Now there was a man of Jerusalem, who, despite seeing the abomination of desolation planted, would not obey his Lord, but refused to flee Jerusalem (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 31-32). He reasoned that he would stay within the wicked church and try to warn more people of what was going on. So he continued to warn the people about all the abominations and the woes. It is very interesting that the historian, Josephus, reveals that this man's name was Jesus (See Jerusalem and Rome: The Writings of Josephus, p 161).
But all the church members had a choice of following either the example and command of the real Jesus Christ by willingly separating themselves from their apostate church, or by choosing to follow the example of this false Jesus by remaining within the doomed church and all its abominations.
What happened to this false christ, and to those who chose to follow his example? They were destroyed right along with the church. But not one Christian perished in this destruction, because these had already obeyed the real Christ and separated to a place of safety outside (See Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 32).
Did this false-christ ever realize that, because he chose to disobey God and refused to separate himself from the church, he was lost along with all the rest of those who followed His example? This false christ blindly continued to proclaim the abominations and woes of the church, until the very end when he did finally wake up to the fact that he was going to lose his eternal life in its destruction!
Josephus records his last words:
"...for seven years and five months he continued his wail, his voice did not weaken, nor did he grow weary until, during the siege, when he beheld his prophecies come true, his voice was stopped. For then, as he was making his rounds on the wall, crying in a piercing voice, 'Woe, woe once more, to the city, to the people, and to the Temple,' and this time adding, 'Woe, woe to myself also,' he was struck by a stone shot from the ballista and killed on the spot, his dying lips still uttering the same portentous words." Jerusalem and Rome: The Writings of Josephus, p 162 (War VI, 5:3).
This man lost both his temporal and eternal life because he disobeyed Christ's command and refused to separate from the apostate church. And, sadly, not one single person was reported to have been saved by his choice to remain inside the church and to continue to warn the people from within! So by his refusal to separate from the church, and by his example of disobedience (even though he continued to cry about all the abominations), he showed that he was indeed a false christ--bearing a deceptive message. Thus he died in vain along with all who refused to leave the church.
This man should have obeyed the Lord and separated from the doomed church, showing by his example of obedience the way of life. Thus others might have taken notice of his example, and saved their own lives. Nevertheless, all were given ample opportunity to escape, and all made their decisions to leave or stay. And those who lost their lives for eternity can only blame it upon their own choice to disobey Christ's command!
How many people were deceived by the false messages of the church leaders, the church supporters, those bribed independent ministers, and the message and example of this false Christ, and remained within the doomed church instead of separating from her?
"To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries. But Israel had spurned the divine protection, and now she had no defense." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 31.
But all the people had ample opportunity to follow God and to separate, or to disobey God and remain within. Thus the wall of separation was built up. The distinction was made plain between those who served and followed God, and those who served and followed Satan. And after the last Christian left, the next major event which occurred was judgment falling on the church, and all those who remained within.
"Before the destruction of Sodom, God sent a message to Lot, 'Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.' The same voice of warning was heard by the disciples of Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem: 'When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains.' They must not tarry to secure anything from their possessions, but must make the most of the opportunity to escape.
"There was a coming out, a decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 166.
The next age we will examine is the early Christian or Apostolic church.
THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
While persecution raged against the Christians, the church remained true to God. And as the truth continued to spread, more and more converts were leaving Satan's camp to join Christ--thus Satan was losing the battle. So he changed his battle plan. He stopped killing the Christians, and began attacking the barrier of separation between Christ's followers and his followers--trying to make a breach in it so that both groups could unite together.
Satan led his followers to receive a part of the Christian faith, and, along with other concessions, tried to unite them with God's church and people. But in order to make the union complete, God's church had to also make concessions and compromises with the heathen.
Some of God's followers stood firm--declaring they could make no concession with the followers of Satan. These were to trying to strengthen and build up the wall of demarcation. But the majority of the church chose to breach the wall, make the concessions, and a union was formed with Satan's followers.
Satan was allowed into the midst of the church. He planted his banner, and the church became corrupted. But not all of the members of the church fell asleep. As they saw their brothers and sisters becoming corrupted and losing faith in the truth, they clung even closer to the true faith. Satan then used these apostates to begin attacking the true doctrines which the church was built and established upon, and then to attack their own brothers and sisters who chose to cling to these pillars of truth.
The faithful few fought back and tried to reestablish the truth in their church. But after a long fight they clearly saw that their church was growing worse instead of better. They then realized they could not remain connected to, and continue to be a part of, their church and yet still obey God's will to make the distinction plain. They saw that they must separate from their once true and faithful church, which God had originally established, if they would keep themselves from being contaminated and corrupted.
These faithful few did separate themselves from the apostate church; they chose to go out--not knowing where they were going. The breach was once again being made up by God's true people, and the distinction was being made plain between the two camps.
"In vain were Satan's efforts to destroy the church of Christ by violence. The great controversy in which the disciples of Jesus yielded up their lives did not cease when these faithful standard-bearers fell at their post. By defeat they conquered. God's workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward. The gospel continued to spread, and the number of its adherents to increase. It penetrated into regions that were inaccessible, even to the eagles of Rome. Said a Christian, expostulating with the heathen rulers who were urging forward the persecution: 'You may torment, afflict, and vex us. Your wickedness puts our weakness to the test, but your cruelty is of no avail. It is but a stronger invitation to bring others to our persuasion. The more we are mowed down, the more we spring up again. The blood of the Christians is seed.'
"Thousands were imprisoned and slain; but others sprung up to fill their places. And those who were martyred for their faith were secured to Christ, and accounted of Him as conquerors. They had fought the good fight, and they were to receive the crown of glory when Christ should come. The sufferings which they endured brought Christians nearer to one another and to their Redeemer. Their living example and dying testimony were a constant witness for the truth; and, where least expected, the subjects of Satan were leaving his service, and enlisting under the banner of Christ.
"Satan therefore laid his plans to war more successfully against the government of God, by planting his banner in the Christian church. If the followers of Christ could be deceived, and led to displease God, then their strength, fortitude, and firmness would fail, and they would fall an easy prey.
"The great adversary now endeavored to gain by artifice what he had failed to secure by force. Persecution ceased, and in its stead were substituted the dangerous allurements of temporal prosperity and worldly honor. Idolaters were led to receive a part of the Christian faith, while they rejected other essential truths. They professed to accept Jesus as the Son of God, and to believe in His death and resurrection; but they had no conviction of sin, and felt no need of repentance or of a change of heart. With some concessions on their part, they proposed that Christians should make concessions, that all might unite on the platform of belief in Christ.
"Now was the church in fearful peril. Prison, torture, fire, and sword were blessings in comparison with this. Some of the Christians stood firm, declaring that they could make no compromise. Others reasoned that if they should yield or modify some features of their faith, and unite with those who had accepted a part of Christianity, it might be the means of their full conversion. That was a time of deep anguish to the faithful followers of Christ. Under a cloak of pretended Christianity, Satan was insinuating himself into the church, to corrupt their faith, and turn their minds from the word of truth.
"At last the larger portion of the Christian company lowered their standard, and a union was formed between Christianity and paganism....As the followers of Christ united with idolaters, the Christian religion became corrupted, and the church lost her purity and power. There were some, however, who were not misled by these delusions. They still maintained their fidelity to the author of truth and worshipped God alone....
"But there is no union between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness, and there can be no union between their followers. When Christians consented to unite with those who were but half converted from paganism, they entered upon a path which led farther and farther from the truth. Satan exulted that he had succeeded in deceiving so large a number of the followers of Christ. He then brought his power to bear more fully upon them, and inspired them to persecute those who remained true to God. None could so well understand how to oppose the true Christian faith as could those who had once been its defenders; and these apostate Christians, uniting with their half-pagan companions, directed their warfare against the most essential features of the doctrines of Christ.
"It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed.
"After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children's children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war.
"Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God's professed people." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 41-46.
What principles would it be well for God's professed people to be actuated by today? The very same God-given principles which were revealed on the first day of creation--separation from doctrinal errors; separation from unrighteousness and sin in your life; and separation from impure, apostate, and corrupt groups, churches, organizations or corporate bodies.
The next we will examine is the Protestant Reformation.
When the Christian or Apostolic church decided to apostatize from God, and united with the pagans, it became corrupted, and degenerated into the Roman Catholic church--becoming a part of Babylon (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 51-52, 195). Thus a Sabbath-keeping church, that had been chosen, established, and used by God, had become a part of Babylon! This once pure Christian church and its membership went from keeping God's Sabbath, into keeping Sabbath and Sunday together, and then went to keeping Sunday alone (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 55-56, 396).
Catholicism continued to gain more and more power, and began stamping out all groups and churches that refused to unite with her in apostasy. This was accomplished by one of two ways: one was by enticement and threats, the other was by outright warfare and destruction.
Again and again Rome succeeded in getting the larger majority of these groups and churches to unite with her in corruption, and thus the breach was growing ever wider in God's wall of separation. Truth became mixed with error, righteousness with unrighteousness, and Satan's followers with God's followers. Thus the necessity of a physical separation of all of God's followers from their once faithful, but now corrupt, churches was again and again and again repeated in the various countries every time Rome succeeded in her strategy.
Even the faithful Waldensians had to leave their once faithful, but corrupted, Waldensian churches because the majority chose to unite with Rome instead of following God's will.
"After ineffectual struggles against her [Rome's] tyranny, the leaders of these churches [Waldensian] reluctantly acknowledged the supremacy of the power to which the whole world seemed bowing down. A considerable number, however, refused to yield to the authority of pope or prelate. They were determined to maintain their allegiance to God, and to preserve the purity and simplicity of their faith. A separation took place. Some of the protesters crossed the Alps, and raised the standard of truth in foreign lands. Others retired into the more secluded valleys among the mountains, and there maintained their freedom to worship God." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 68-69.
This same scenario occurred with all the other churches in the various countries that were once keeping the Sabbath and the truth of God, but then falling under Roman authority.
But which group have always been persecuted throughout history? Has it been the majority who make concessions and unite with the corrupt? Or has it been the minority that refuses to make concessions, refuses to compromise in the least degree, but chooses to separate from the corrupt and apostate churches in obedience to God's will? It has always been those who make the distinction plain between God's church and Satan's church. They are always the group who receive persecution!
Luther was raised up to awaken God's people with the truth. When he was finally threatened with excommunication and disfellowshipment, or make concessions to Rome--thus denying his faith--what did Luther do? He willing chose to separate himself from the corrupt church by publicly burning the papal bull, the canon laws, and other writings sustaining and upholding the corrupt church! Luther did not wait for the corrupt church, or for man, to tell him that they now gave him permission to leave. He made God his strong arm and not flesh (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 117-118). So Luther willingly separated himself from his apostate and corrupt church before the church told him to leave. After he publicly declared his resignation, then the church disfellowshiped him. They could not stand for anyone to decide to obey God without their permission to do so.
What were the foundational principles that the Protestant Reformation stood for? There were three main principles: the first principle was the necessity of reforming or separating your beliefs from error in order to be in complete harmony with Bible truth, protesting against the error, and then calling others out of it. Second was the necessity to reform or separate your soul from sin to righteousness, protesting against living in sin, and then inviting others to also separate sin out of their lives. And the third principle was to reform or separate your presence from the corrupt and apostate church, protesting against it's corruption and apostasy, and calling others to also come out of her. These three main principles are what made up the Reformation. And these are the exact same three principles that God established on the first day of creation, and which have made up all the other separation movements of God in history! If any one of these three principles were not performed, then you were not a true Reformer, nor could the Reformation have continued on.
Now I can just hear a lot of the so-called reformers of today balk at this third principle--that you are not a true Reformer unless you physically and willingly separate from your corrupt and apostate churches. They think that you can follow the first two principles, ignore the last one, and still be a true Reformer today. But is this true? Was a willful, physical separation from having any connection with the apostate church, a part of the Reformation? Yes.
A.T. Jones clearly brings out this principle.
"The men whose preaching made The Reformation could have said all that they said, and more, in denunciation of iniquity in the church, and the enormities of the Popes; and yet could have remained in good standing in that church, all their days: if they had still held that church to be the only true church, and had held themselves in conformity with her accordingly....
"But as soon as there arose men with the courage of conviction and the confidence of truth and spoke out plainly and flatly that the Roman system is not The Church at all in any feature, or in any sense, then The Reformation had begun.
"This is how The Reformation came. And without that, The Reformation never could have come." Lessons to the Reformation, by A.T. Jones, p 66-68.
God states the same thing:
"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." Desire of Ages, p 232.
"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." Review and Herald, vol 2, p 48, col 2 (June 1, 1886).
Hence, the Reformers were just following the same principles of God that His true people--throughout history--have followed. In fact, willful separation from the apostate church is exactly what the corrupt church has feared; because it makes the distinction plain, instead of confused and mixed up. Willful separation from the corrupt church was what Rome hated most.
"Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy, and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ, and departed from the faith once delivered to the saints." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 53.
Even though these three heavenly principles were God ordained since the beginning, and were revived again in the Reformation, were all who separated themselves from the apostate church true to God? No.
This true separation movement of the Reformation was constantly being plagued by fanatical groups and individuals. And these fanatics were actually the worst enemies the Reformation had to contend with (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 147).
Of course all this fanaticism, and the resulting confusion it brought, was blamed upon the leaders of the Reformation, as well as upon all those who followed these three heavenly principles--but none of it was true (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 148).
There were actually two groups foremost in casting the blame upon God's church and the advocates of the Reformation. One was the corrupt and apostate church, in order to try and gain back those church members that had left it, and also hinder any more from leaving. The second group were those fanatical parties and individuals who became enraged when their theories were proved to be specious falsehoods by the advocates of the Reformation. These fanatics were actually working right in corrupt harmony with the apostate church--even though they were not connected with it (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 150-152)!
Did God let the Reformation die out? No. It continued to grow because of honest souls clinging to Jesus, ridding themselves from connection with error, ridding themselves from connection with personal sins, and ridding themselves from connection with apostate and corrupt churches and groups. It continued to grow because they followed the same three principles that God gave to His people in the beginning. Thus the breaches in the wall of separation were being repaired. The distinction was being made plain to all those who would see. And all were forced to choose which side they would stand on, under which general they would serve under, and which enemy they would fight against.
The next age we will examine is the Advent Movement.
THE ADVENT MOVEMENT
As time passed, the Protestant churches gave up the heavenly principles that had actuated them in the Reformation. Satan again resorted to attacking the wall of separation, putting into action the same plan that he has been so successful with throughout history.
The Protestant churches chose to follow Satan's plan, and the warfare ceased. Truth and error mixed together once again, righteousness with unrighteousness, and God's people with the devil's followers.
"Those who received the great blessings of the Reformation did not go forward in the path so nobly entered upon by them. A few faithful men arose from time to time, to proclaim new truth, and expose long-cherished error; but the majority, like the Jews in Christ's day, or the papists in the time of Luther, were content to believe as their fathers believed, and to live as they lived. Therefore religion again degenerated into formalism; and errors and superstitions which would have been cast aside had the church continued to walk in the light of God's word, were retained and cherished. Thus the spirit inspired by the Reformation gradually died out, until there was almost as great need of reform in the Protestant churches as in the Roman Church in the time of Luther....The churches became corrupted by allying themselves with the world. Thus were degraded the great principles for which Luther and his fellow-laborers had done and suffered so much.
"As Satan saw that he had failed to crush out the truth by persecution, he again resorted to the same plan of compromise which had led to the great apostasy and the formation of the church of Rome. He induced Christians to ally themselves, not now with pagans, but with those who, by their worship of the god of this world, as truly proved themselves idolaters....
"The Lord raised up men to investigate His work, to examine the foundation upon which the Christian world were building, and to raise the solemn inquiry, What is truth? Are we building upon the rock, or upon shifting sand?
"God saw that many of His professed people were not building for eternity; and in his care and love He was about to send a message of warning to arouse them from their stupor, and prepare them for the coming of their Lord. The warning was not to be intrusted to learned doctors of divinity or popular ministers of the gospel. Had these been faithful watchmen, diligently and prayerfully searching the Scriptures, they would have known the time of night; the prophecies of Daniel and John would have revealed to them the great events about to take place. If they had faithfully followed the light already given, some star of heavenly radiance would have been sent to guide them into all truth....
"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 not 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.
"Love for Christ and faith in His coming waxed cold. Such is the sure result of neglect to appreciate and improve the light and privileges which God bestows. Unless the church will follow on in His opening providence, accepting every ray of light, performing every duty which may be revealed, religion will inevitably degenerate into the observance of forms, and the spirit of vital godliness will disappear. This truth has been repeatedly illustrated in the history of the church. God requires of His people works of faith and obedience corresponding to the blessings and privileges bestowed. Obedience requires a sacrifice and involves a cross; and this is why so many of the professed followers of Christ refused to receive the light from Heaven, and, like the Jews of old, knew not the time of their visitation." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 194-96, 199-201.
God then raised up William Miller and others to again bring His truth before His people, and awake them out of their sleep. But the churches refused to give up their apostasy and corruption, and rejected all of God's overtures to come back to His side as a faithful bride once again. God was again forced to reject them as His church, and to have His true followers raise the cry that the church had become Babylon fallen!
Thus the very same three principles that actuated the Reformation movement, and the early Christian movement, and all the separation movements before that, were the same being preached in the Advent Movement. To reform or separate your beliefs from error to Bible truth, then to protest against the error, calling others out of it--was the first principle. Next was to reform or separate your soul from sin to righteousness, then protest against sin, calling others out of it. And third was to reform or separate your presence from the corrupt and apostate groups, churches, or corporate bodies, then to protest against these, calling others out of them. So it was not just personal sin that God's people had to separate from, but also corporate sin!
Many will agree that the first two principles were followed during the Advent Movement, but they question whether the third principle was ever followed and preached. So did the leaders of the Advent Movement preach the message of separation from the apostate Protestant churches? Was the Advent Movement also a Separation Movement? Yes.
One of the leaders of the Advent Movement was Charles Fitch. He stated in a sermon, which was also printed up into a booklet:
"I do say, if you are a Christian, come out of Babylon [the Protestant Churches]. If you intend to be found a Christian when Christ appears, come out of Babylon; and come out now!" Charles Fitch Sermon, "Come Out of Her, My People," July, 1843.
Many others will grudgingly admit that the Advent leaders did preach separation from the churches, but they state that this separation was only a physical leaving, or being disfellowshiped, but that no one had to resign their membership. No one, they say, was to ask for their names to be removed from the church books, or to escape from corporate sin. But is this true?
"September 28, 1843
"To The Union Evangelical Church, Haverhill, Massachusetts
"After much prayer, I have come to the conclusion that it is my duty, as an individual who expects soon to see the Saviour come in the clouds of heaven, to request my name to be dropped from your book, and not to be considered as a member of this church after this day....
"Yours in the blessed hope...
"Ezekiel Hale, Jr."
Now was this Advent Movement plagued with fanatical groups and individuals? Yes, and some of the fanatical doctrines were almost the same beliefs which plagued the Reformation (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 243-47).
When the midnight cry of the ten virgin parable joined the second angel's message, giving power to that separation message, how many Protestant Adventists obeyed the truth and left their corrupt and apostate churches of Babylon? About 50,000 people willingly obeyed and separated from all the churches (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 232).
Now were all these 50,000 people who separated, true to God? No. When their faith was tested in these principles that they had followed, believed in, and experienced, how many remained true to God after the great disappointment? About 50! Over 99 & 9/10% gave up their faith in these messages--especially the message to separate corporately from the churches--as being from God, and declared these to be from the devil! This only left only a very small remnant out of all who separated who remained true to God (see Early Writings, p xvii; Testimonies, vol 1, p 77).
So there were two main separations which occurred, and please note the order of their occurrence. The first separation involved God's people leaving their corrupted churches. The second separation was the false brethren, who gave up their faith after the great disappointment, leaving the small company of those who continued to believe. So the first separation was not all the bad leaving the church and all the good staying within, but it was all the good leaving the church and all the bad staying within. And the second separation occurred with the false brethren leaving the company of the true brethren outside of the churches.
But what have Satan's agents been teaching our people? That it is all the bad eggs who leave the corrupt and apostate church, and all the good eggs who stay within. That has never occurred in history! History proves over and over again that God's people have always been the ones who willingly separated from their once pure, but corrupted and apostate churches. It has been all the good which leave all the bad--within the church! Thus the same history that has been repeated over and over again, was now being repeated during the Advent Movement, and is also being repeated today!
We need to be history students so that we can avoid the devil's snares, standing and fighting on Satan's side of the battle, and instead stand firmly and decidedly upon God's side. And if we do not understand history, we may be found standing on Satan's side, yet thinking we are standing on God's side! But if we can see and know what events occurred in history, then we will be better able to recognize these as they re-occur today. We will also be better able to see and understand Satan's battle plan, and also God's battle plan, and then choose intelligently on whose side we will stand on, and fight for.
God is so merciful and loving to His people! Satan has spent six thousand years perfecting his plan of attack and deception, and he is bursting it with force upon God's people right now. That is why God has given His people the Bible--which is full of history showing us God's will and Satan's battle plan. God has also given His people the Spirit of Prophecy to more fully reveal God's will to us, and Satan's plan of attack so that we can know how to overcome the enemy and where to stand, knowing that we stand upon God's side. The depths of love that God has showered upon us is immeasurable!
There are so many more insights of this age of the Protestant church and the early Advent Movement, which are important for us to understand--because they are repeating themselves right before our very eyes! But we do not have the space to reveal them all. Besides there is already a study done which provides an in-depth review of this Protestant history and shows how it's being repeated today. The booklet is called Protestant History 1840-44 and Beyond. Please write to the address given in the front of this booklet).
Now we come down to the present age, dealing with the Seventh-day Adventist church.
THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
After 1844, God began His Adventist people and church in purity. But as time progressed, the greater majority of Seventh-day Adventists gradually fell away from doing God's work, became inactive, fell asleep, and allowed Satan to snare them.
Now a very important question needs to be asked before we continue. Will God keep the Seventh-day Adventist church from repeating history? Will He keep the Seventh-day Adventist church from so fully apostatizing from Him that it will necessitate another coming out of God's people from their once pure, but now corrupt, church? The majority of the church, and almost all the self-supporting independent ministries and individuals today, seem to believe the answer to this question is: Yes. These Ministries and individuals believe that the SDA church is prophetically destined to go through to heaven. Even Willie White, Ellen White's son, makes this statement:
"I told her [Miss Lyda Scott] how mother regarded the experience of the remnant church, and of her positive teaching that God would not permit this denomination to so fully apostatize that there would be the coming out of another church." White Estate, Willie C. White Correspondence file, May 23, 1915.
So the SDA church and most independent church-supporting Ministries believe that God will preserve the church from repeating history; even if the church chose to follow in the footsteps of the corrupt churches of the past, that God would prevent the church from taking that last step in apostasy so that there would not be the necessity for another coming out.
Has God, at any time in history, ever kept His chosen people or church from fully apostatizing if they chose to do so? No! And Sister White aligns herself fully with what history reveals:
"In these days He [God] has instituted no new plan to preserve the purity of His people." Testimonies, vol 4, p 165.
This means that how God dealt with His professed people in the past, is exactly how He is going to deal with them today! If God did not keep His once chosen people and church of past ages from apostatizing and being cast away, then He is not going to keep them from doing so today! So if the SDA church chooses to apostatize from God, then He will send them warning after warning; but He will not force them to come back to His side. Neither will He prevent them from going beyond probations door, necessitating another coming out.
Many Adventists will refuse to believe that there could ever be the necessity of another coming out of God's true people from their SDA church. But history proves their belief to be wrong, and so does Sister White!
"The Lord was working [at Minneapolis] and I must be faithful to speak the words given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as heretofore....
"I told them a little of how matters had been carried at Minneapolis and stated the position I had taken, that pharisaism had been at work leavening the camp here at Battle Creek [General Conference Headquarters], and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected...
"I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out." Manuscript Releases, vol 11, p 228-29 (Manuscript 30, June, 1889).
So Sister White saw that if the church continued in the same wrong pathway, that there would be the necessity for another coming out--a complete separation from the SDA church! In fact, Sister White went so far as to tell all SDA parents to keep their children and youth away from attending SDA churches!
"Sins of a grave character are cherished in our borders, and unless there is an awakening such as we have not seen for some time, which will convict and convert professed Sabbathkeepers, they will die in their sins. The punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah will be light in comparison with that of those who have had great light and precious opportunities...
"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." Manuscript Releases, vol 12, p 332-33 (Letter 16f, May 9, 1892).
Then is this statement from Willie White--that God would not allow the SDA church to apostatize which would necessitate Him separating His true followers from the church--really what Sister White believed and taught? NO! Then someone is lying to our people? Is it God and Sister White who is lying? Or is it the SDA church and the self-supporting institutions and individuals who uphold the church?
If the Seventh-day Adventist church chooses to rebel and apostatize fully from God, becoming corrupted, will God stop them from doing so? No. Is God's hands so tied that He must only use the SDA church to spread His precious light--even if it takes forever? Some believe and teach that since God chose the Seventh-day Adventist church as His own, He is forced to send light only through this agency, even though it is corrupt. But will God send His pure light through a corrupt, impure channel? No!
"Will the Lord give light through an impure, corrupt channel? No." Manuscript Releases, vol 15, p 12 (Letter 11 August 6, 1890).
Thus if any church--including the SDA church--chooses to rebel against God, becomes corrupt and apostate, then God will no longer use them to send or spread His light. And if this occurs, history clearly reveals that God will be forced to set this church aside, and choose others through whom to spread His light. So God's hands are not tied by any church--no matter how high or sacred their original calling! God can bypass the SDA church, choose others to entrust His light with, and then spread this precious light through them to others!
In history, when God's chosen and pure people chose darkness and apostasy instead, refusing to let their light shine, then God removed their candlestick, chose others to whom He gave His Holy Spirit to, and then entrusted these with His precious light to give to others. And the same today--especially with the SDA church!
"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 from them their place and make them a reproach." Upward Look, p 131.
God can bypass the SDA church, who has had the highest sacred calling and been given the greatest light in history, and choose others who are separate and distinct from the apostasy and corruption of the church--entrusting His precious light of truth to these!
Has not history revealed this very thing? But God, in His infinite mercy and love for His erring people of today, realizes how little of them are history students. So God has made it so plain that even an SDA child can understand:
"If at this time we fail to make a determined effort to enlarge and uplift the work...the Lord will surely pass us by, and choose other agencies who will take hold of His work in His way, and follow the leadings of His Spirit." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 206.
"But, O, sad picture! those who do not submit to the influence of the Holy Spirit soon lose the blessings received when they acknowledged the truth as from Heaven. They fall into a cold, spiritless formality: they lose their interest in perishing souls: they have 'left their first love.' And Christ says to them, 'Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.' He will take His Holy Spirit from the church, and give it to others who will appreciate it.
"There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies. Thoughts of the inner work, the necessary purity of heart, are not entertained. The absence of harmony with God becomes apparent. The light grows dim, goes out; the candlestick has been removed....
"If the cords are drawn much tighter, if the rules are made much finer, if men continue to bind their fellow-laborers closer and closer to the commandments of men, many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus....The safeguards which false shepherds have thrown around their flocks will become as naught; thousands will step out into the light, and work to spread the light." Review and Herald, vol 3, p 273-275 (July 16 & 23, 1895).
Most SDA people will freely admit that a follower of God is to separate themselves from doctrinal errors and accept the truth. They will also admit they are to separate themselves from unrighteousness in their life, and become obedient and righteous through Christ. Most will freely admit that these first two heavenly principles, upon which the government of God is founded upon and which God established on the first day of creation, must be followed today. But the majority refuse to admit, let alone follow, the last heavenly principle; that a follower of God is also to willingly and physically separate themselves from all groups, churches, organizations or corporate bodies which have chosen darkness, apostasy, and corruption instead of following God. They refuse to admit any possibility of corporate responsibility. Even though a mass of historical evidence is given them proving that this last principle of physical separation is an absolute necessity for God's people to follow, yet it is the principle that is least obeyed and greatly hated.
So does God command His people today to willing separate themselves completely from any church which has chosen to apostatize and rebel against God--including the Seventh-day Adventist church? We are not referring to the SDA church of fifty or a hundred years ago, but the SDA church as it is today: does God command a willing and physical separation from the SDA church if it chooses rebellion and apostasy? History does not lie! So what God has required His people to do in the past, regarding their connection and membership in apostate and corrupt churches, is exactly what He requires His SDA people to do today.
Let us then look at the present standing and position of the SDA church, compare it with history, and see how God has led His people in the past, and what He requires His people to do today in the same situations.
Satan's banner was planted in the midst of God's once chosen churches of the past, and this led to God setting those churches aside, choosing others, and calling for His people to separate completely from them. Has this history been repeated by the SDA church? Yes!
"These are the true feelings of many of our people. And Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he." Testimonies, vol 2, p 440.
God's once chosen churches of the past chose to rebel and apostatize from God. This led to God setting those churches aside, choosing others, and separating His people completely from them. Has this history been repeated by the SDA church? Yes!
"I am in great travail of soul for our people....
"I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. Study in Patriarchs and Prophets the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. This rebellion was extended...led by two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, men of renown. Call rebellion by its right name and apostasy by its right name, and then consider the experience of the ancient people of God with all its objectionable features was faithfully chronicled to pass into history. The Scripture declares, 'These things...are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come' (1 Cor. 10:11). And if men and women who have the knowledge of the truth are so far separated from their great Leader that they will take the great leader of apostasy and name him Christ our Righteousness, it is because they have not sunk deep into the mines of the truth....why is it that the church does not distinguish the false from the genuine?...
"Apostasies have occurred and the Lord has permitted matters of this nature to develop in the past in order to show how easily His people will be misled when they depend upon the words of men instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves...
"Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by them unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled now, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles?" Selected Messages, book 2, p 392-94.
"Apostasy has come into our ranks as it came into heaven, and all who unite with Satan in this kind of work will act on the same principles Satan worked. Not open, not frank, but in secrecy. Satan must deceive in order to succeed....Is not Satan the life and soul of every species of rebellion which he has instigated?" Letter 156, April 8, 1897 (see Manuscript Releases, vol 7, p 178; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7a, p 47).
God's once chosen churches of the past chose to unite themselves with the heathen, making compromises and concessions of their pure faith in order to do so. This led to God setting those churches aside, choosing others, and calling for His people to separate completely from them. Has this history been repeated by the SDA church? Yes!
The SDA church and its leadership have made compromises and concessions of our historical SDA faith with other babylonian groups and churches! In 1955-56 the SDA church and leadership gave up several historical Adventist doctrines with the Evangelicals. This is known as the (Walter) Martin and (Donald) Barnhouse affair.
The true historical doctrines which the SDA church and leadership gave up were: that one had to keep the fourth commandment before they could make it to heaven; that the sanctuary in heaven had two literal compartments; that Christ's atoning work continues on today and was not completed on the cross; that the same Holy Spirit which inspired the Bible also inspired the writings of Ellen White; and that Christ overcame sin with man's fallen sinful nature upon Him. All these true doctrines, and more, were given up in concessions with the Evangelicals. (For the documentation of this, please write for the book The Abomination of Desolation and Church History--second edition, at the address given in the front of this booklet).
This compromising of our true historical doctrines with the Evangelicals was revealed by the SDA church, when they admitted the following:
"The Adventist church today is better prepared to make common cause with these other evangelicals than at any previous time in its history....The denomination is more definitely oriented than ever to the historic evangelical concepts....
"The heavy, sometimes bellicose, emphasis on the law and the Sabbath in times past undoubtedly struck some raw nerves...in contrast today, with a clear assert of the denomination's evangelical heritage...a new era of evangelistic emphasis and membership growth..." Ministry Magazine, June, 1966, p 18-21.
So the SDA church and its leadership have made concessions and compromises, or they would not be so much like the Evangelicals in concepts and beliefs. Other proof that the church has changed their beliefs in order to be just like the others nations (denominations) around them: are the books Questions on Doctrine, What Seventh-day Adventists Believe, and So Much In Common. In fact, this last book was written by the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist church together! But if any one would just compare what doctrines the SDA church was originally founded upon, and what the SDA church of today believes, they would clearly see that the SDA church of today is nothing like the SDA church which God founded!
The SDA church of today has not only made compromises of our historical faith, but they have also united themselves with the other churches of Babylon! The SDA church is united with the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches! (Write for the documented proof of this at the address given in the front of this booklet). But the book What I Like About...The Lutherans, The Baptists, the Methodists, The Charismatics, The Catholics, Our Jewish Friends... should awaken our people to this fact.
All the denominations mentioned in the above book are already part of Babylon, but this book uplifts them all by stating they all have contributed to the gospel truth about Jesus Christ. The reason why the SDA church likes all of these other denominations so much is twofold: first they state; "We want to build bridges," because "whether Christians of Jewish, we are all God's family together." (What I Like About, p 51, 81). And secondly, the SDA church is teaching the very same Babylonian doctrines as these other churches! In fact, this book invites all its readers to phone or write any of the churches listed, and then the SDA church gives them the phone numbers and addresses of these Babylon churches for the people to contact! So the Adventist church has so united with the other churches of Babylon, that they are actually proselytizing for them!
But before any of this occurred, what did they have to do in order to have union with unbelievers? They had to break through the wall of separation; they had to make a breach in that God-ordained wall of demarcation before they could unite with the other churches of Babylon. Thus the SDA church is not in the camp of Christ any more, but is clearly in the camp of Satan. And the church is not working for Christ, but is working for their real general--the devil.
Is the SDA church really under the leadership of Satan? Have they really chose darkness rather than God's light of truth? God's once chosen churches of the past chose darkness instead of light, and this led to God setting those churches aside, choosing others, and separating His people completely from them. Has this history been repeated by the SDA church? Yes!
"Oh, if I could have the joyful news that the will and minds of those in Battle Creek [General Conference headquarters] who have stood professedly as leaders, were emancipated from the teachings and slavery of Satan, whose captives they have been for so long, I would be willing to cross the broad Pacific to see your faces once more. But I am not anxious to see you with enfeebled perceptions and clouded minds because you have chosen darkness rather than light." Testimonies to Ministers, p 396.
In fact, if you were to compare what the SDA church of today teaches, with what the SDA church of the past taught, you would find that the present SDA church has given up most every doctrine contained in the three angel's messages! (For proof of this, please write for the booklet; Transmutation of the Three Angels, or for the book; The Abomination of Desolation and Church History--second edition, at the address given in the front of this booklet).
God's once chosen churches of the past lost their purity, became corrupt, and a part of Babylon. This led to God setting those churches aside, choosing others, and separating His people completely from them. Has this history been repeated by the SDA church? Yes!
"What can I say to arouse our people? I tell you not a few ministers who stand before the people to explain the Scriptures are defiled. Their hearts are corrupt, their hands unclean. Yet many are crying, 'Peace, peace;' and the workers of iniquity are not alarmed....The church is corrupt..." Testimonies, vol 5, p 78-79.
"At the center of the work matters are being shaped so that every other institution is following in the same course. And the General Conference is itself becoming corrupted..." Testimonies to Ministers, p 359.
"The same work that has been done in the past will be carried forward under the guise of the General Conference Association. The sacred character of this Association is fast disappearing. What will then be respected as pure, holy, and undefiled? Will there be any voice that God's people can regard as a voice they can respect? There certainly is nothing now that bears the divine credentials....
"Who can now feel sure that they are safe in respecting the voice of the General Conference Association? If the people in our churches understood the management of the men who walk in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, would they respect their decisions? I answer, No, not for a moment. I have been shown that the people at large do not know that the heart of the work is being diseased and corrupted at Battle Creek [General Conference headquarters]....I am called upon by the Spirit of God to present these things before you, and they are correct to the life, according to the practice of the past few years." Spalding and Magan Collection, p 35.
So the SDA church, and its General Conference leadership, have indeed lost their purity and have become corrupt. But can this church also become part of Babylon--as history so clearly reveals? Is there the possibility that the SDA church can become Babylon? YES! And God in mercy warns all His Adventist people of this possibility:
"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." Manuscript Releases, vol 21, p 380.
"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 kindred heresies (exalting Sunday as God's Sabbath and the immortality of the soul), and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon." Selected Messages, book 2, p 68.
The above Testimonies, as well as history, show every SDA church member that there is indeed the possibility that the SDA church can become part of Babylon! This proves that there is no unconditional promises of God's eternal favor towards the SDA church--or any church. If the SDA church chooses to remain faithful to God, and upholds her part of the covenant, then she will never become Babylon. But if the SDA church refuses to remain faithful to God, unites herself with the world, and does not fulfill her part of the covenant, then God will not keep her from becoming part of Babylon. This is because God's promises are always made upon condition of obedience!
"God's promises are all made upon conditions." Faith and Works, p 47.
"If they [God's people] did not keep His commandments, He would not--He could not--fulfill the rich promises which were given them on condition of obedience." Signs of the Times, vol 2, p 37 col 2 (May 13, 1886).
"God would in no wise excuse sin in a people who had been enlightened, even if He had, in their days of faithfulness and purity, loved them, and given them especial promises. These promises and blessings were always upon condition of obedience upon their part." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 2, p 54.
"God had given them [the Jews] His gracious promise that they should become a peculiar treasure unto Him, on condition of obedience; but if they were disobedient He would reject them, and choose another people." Signs of the Times, vol 1, p 152 col 3 (April 22, 1880).
So the SDA church has the possibility of becoming Babylon and being cast aside, with others chosen to take her place, if she becomes an unfaithful wife to God by uniting herself with the world, exalting Sunday above God's Sabbath, teaching immortality of the soul, and rejecting other truths. So has the SDA church of today--not the church during Sister White's time in 1893, when she said not to call it Babylon then--but the SDA church of today; has she committed all of the above, and been converted into Babylon? YES!
The SDA church has indeed united herself with the world in adultry, as well as all of the other churches of Babylon, which has already been shown (please also read Christ's Object Lessons, p 315-16; Testimonies, vol 8, p 118-19; and This Day With God, p 28). But the greatest proof should be that there is no warfare going on between the SDA church, the world, and the other churches! Why? Because the SDA church has broken down the wall of separation, and is in full union with them.
The SDA church is already exalting Sunday above God's Sabbath! She does this by holding Easter Sunday Sunrise Services, and calling Sunday the Lord's Day (for proof of this please write for the booklet, The Abomination of Desolation Stands, at the address given in the front of this booklet).
The SDA church is teaching the immortality of the soul! The Bible teaches that the soul that sins, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). But the SDA church teaches that no one today can keep God's law perfectly without sinning, yet God will not destroy them, but will give them a righteous character at the second coming of Christ, and grant them eternal life. Thus the SDA church is teaching that the soul that sins, it shall live and not die!
"He [Christ] gives us rest...from our own attempt to overcome sin and the devil, and from fighting the battles that Jesus has promised to fight for us." Adventist Review, December 24, 1981, p 5.
"To have the Spirit of Jesus is one of God's conditions for salvation. Moral perfection is not....Christians still keep on sinning after they find salvation in Jesus." Signs of the Times, November, 1986, p 19.
"Can we ever...receive power [God's grace] to overcome our present sinning? The answer is no." Ministry Magazine, January, 1982, p 6.
"We shall never reach sinless perfection in this life." Review, May 19, 1966, p 4.
"We should remember that only when Jesus comes can we be made perfect." Ministry Magazine, December, 1965, p 9.
So the Bible teaches that if you sin you will suffer the second death. But the SDA church teaches that if you sin, you will not die but will have eternal life. This is the original lie the devil told to Eve! Thus the SDA church is indeed teaching the immortality of the soul, and this evil doctrine is the foundation of all spiritualism!
The SDA church has also rejected many other historic truths founded in God's word: especially those truths found in the three angel's messages. (For further proof of this please write for the booklet; Transmutation of the Three Angels, at the address given in the front of this booklet).
So the SDA church has fulfilled all the conditions necessary to be converted into Babylon! The church was not Babylon fallen in Ellen White's day. But the SDA church of today is no where near the same as it was then. It is so much worse, and has indeed been converted into Babylon--just like the other churches in history!
God, throughout all history, has called His true people to willingly separate themselves from those groups, churches, organizations or corporate bodies which have followed and repeated the same actions which the SDA church has done. And is God's will for His SDA people today, regarding the corruption and apostasy of the SDA church, any different than it was in history? No!
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8.
"...the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17.
Our God changes not, neither does He vary His will, nor is there even a shadow of turning. So how God has dealt with His disobedient, rebellious, apostate and corrupt churches in the past, is exactly how He will deal with them today!
God has consistently required His true and honest people to willingly separate themselves, dropping all connection and union with corrupt churches, so that they can escape from the devil's territory and synagogue, and flee into the waiting and loving arms of Jesus outside. And this history is now being repeated with the SDA church.
The SDA church is not exempt from repeating history, and neither is she exempt from the necessity of all God's people separating from her when she repeats history. And the SDA church has and is repeating the same history of the apostate churches in the past.
Hence it is a reality that God is requiring all His true people to study for themselves, recognizing what fruits the SDA church is exhibiting today, compare these wicked fruits with past history, and then realize that it is indeed God's will for them to break all union with this corrupt church. This is the only pathway given by God for any SDA to make it to heaven! If any members of any corrupt church decide to stay within their church, especially the SDA church, then they will be destroyed along with the corrupt church. But if they separate and break off their union and membership with, they will have a chance to make it to heaven--if they remain faithful to Christ and His principles of truth to the end.
"The principles of God's government--the only principles that will endure from everlasting to everlasting--are to be followed by those who are seeking for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The line of demarcation between those who serve God and those who serve Him not is to be kept clear and distinct." Manuscript Releases, vol 20, p 154.
So what is the message of truth and motto which God's true messengers and people are supposed to be teaching and preaching today?
"Our holy faith cries out, Separation." Testimonies, vol 1, p 240.
Separation from what? Separation from all false and fanatical doctrines to the truth, and then to expose the errors, calling others out of them. Separation from personal sins to righteousness, and call others out from their personal sins to righteousness. And separation from all corrupt and apostate churches, groups, organizations or corporate bodies, to come onto God's side of the line of demarcation, being loyal and true to God, and a faithful follower of Christ. This is the only pathway given us to make it to heaven. And it is indeed a straight and narrow pathway! Many will seek to enter in to heaven, but refuse to follow the "separation" pathway of the Lord. Thus they will receive an unexpected denial, and the lake of fire will be their destiny.
Do you remember what Satan's battle plan is? To break down this wall of separation between God's camp and his camp, so that the two groups become mixed together and he wins the warfare. The devil has been very successful at making breaches in this wall, and keeping as many people as he can from separating from false and fanatical doctrine, from personal sins, and from apostate and corrupt churches and organizations so that the distinction is not made plain, the warfare dies out, and he wins.
The devil's plan of attack today is no different that it was in the past. He is still attacking this God-ordained doctrine of separation--especially in the area of separation from churches and organizations which he controls. He tries to prevent God's SDA people from separating completely, membership and all, from their church, or any church. He accomplishes this by having his agents and ministers preach and teach today that no one is to separate themselves from any apostate church for any reason. Some reason that you are to stay in the wicked church until you are kicked out. Others reason that no one is to separate from the wicked church until some future event--such as the Sunday law. And the other reasons and excuses these agents give, which pose as ministers of righteousness, is as varied as the colors of a chameleon.
But are all those who are telling people not to separate from their impure churches really agents of the devil--whether they know it or not? For this we need to know what the message and motto of the devil and his agents is?
Benjamin Creme is the spokesman for the Maitreya--who is the false christ of the New Age Movement. These men are definitely agents of Lucifer, and they speak the words of the devil to others--especially the Maitreya. And what is the message of the devil through the Maitreya? Benjamin Creme states:
"What he [the Maitreya] is saying is that if we would save this world, and thus save ourselves, we have to accept that we are one, that humanity is one....
"He says, 'This crime of separation...This crime moves me to grief,' he says. 'The crime of separation must be driven from the world. I affirm that as my purpose.'" Tape from the Sally Jesse Raphael talk show, entitled "The Christ: Is Now Here?" December 8, 1987, 10 a.m.
Direct from Satan's mouth we have his message! Is this a new strategy? No. It is the same message and battle plan revealed all throughout history--that no one is to separate! And if we were history students, we would already know that it is indeed the message and motto of all of the devil's agents.
So by knowing what the real message of God is, and what the real message of the devil is, then anyone, even a child, can know who is really working for the Lord, and who is really working for Satan. Just by examining the messages preached and positions taken of all those claiming to be God's ministers and Ministries today, we can know--without a doubt--who they are really working for!
Anyone telling God's professed people to separate from false and fanatical doctrine, from personal sin, and especially from impure and apostate churches are indeed from God! These are voicing His gospel message of life. While anyone telling God's professed people not to separate from false and fanatical doctrine, from personal sins, or especially from impure and corrupt churches--including the SDA church--are not from God, but are agents of the devil! These are voicing Lucifer's counterfeit gospel message of death.
Many are being misled by several of the self-supporting or independent Ministries and ministers because these tell them to separate from false and fanatical doctrine, and to separate from all known personal sin, but no one is to separate from the impure SDA church. But praise God that we do not have to be deceived any longer by these so-called ministers of righteousness.
God has mercifully revealed to His people, throughout all history, a way to tell His workers and ministers from the devil's agents: by examining their messages, positions, and fruits. If they do not preach and live the present truth message of separation from all three principle areas--especially from corrupt churches--then they are not workers for God! But are preaching and standing on the traditions and theories of men which originated in the mind of Lucifer!
Do you want to sound and spread only the true present truth message of God to all of your friends and loved-ones who are members of any church? Then what message will you be giving as present truth?
"The principles of present truth are to be studied and practiced by our people, that the line of demarcation between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not may be kept unmistakably distinct." Battle Creek Letters, p 91.
"We cannot be half the Lord's and half the world's. We are not God's people unless we are such entirely. Every weight, every besetting sin, must be laid aside. God's watchmen will not cry, 'Peace, peace,' when God has not spoken peace. The voice of the faithful watchmen will be heard: 'Go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.'" Testimonies, vol 5, p 83.
"Boldly will men of God's appointment denounce the union of the church with the world....
"Today, as in the days of Elijah, the line of demarcation between God's commandment-keeping people and the worshipers of false gods is clearly drawn. 'How long halt ye between two opinions?' Elijah cried; 'if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.' 1 Kings 18:21. And the message for today is: 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen....Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.' Revelation 18:2, 4, 5." Prophets and Kings, p 187-88.
So what is your decision going to be? Will you separate to Christ and be completely free and hid in Him? Or will you remain within the devils camp, under his control and bondage? Will you follow God's chosen pathway to heaven--revealed throughout all history--and come completely out, membership and all, from the camp of the Devil, so that you can be a repairer of the breach in God's wall of separation--making the distinction plain between yourself and Satan's followers? Or will you refuse to separate completely from the devil's camp and control, continuing to attack this God-ordained wall of separation, making the breaches wider and wider, and mislead souls to their and your utter destruction, along with the rest of Satan's camp?
"You must be either loyal or disloyal to Him [God]....Make no compromise with evil. The line of demarcation between the obedient and the disobedient must be plain and distinct. Firmly determine to do the Lord's will at all times and in all places." Youth's Instructor, p 573 col 3 (May 21, 1903).
"There must be no obliteration of the line of demarcation given us by Jesus Christ...There must be no betrayal of holy trust on the part of any who profess to be children of God." Review and Herald, vol 3, p 379 col 2 (July 28, 1896).
Every single person will reveal exactly what their decision is, and whom they have chosen to follow, by two ways: the word of their testimony, and where they are standing and who they are united with in membership!
Will you, dear friend, chose now to be completely on the side of Christ--having nothing in the devil, and he having nothing in you? Christ is waiting with open and loving arms to wrap around and shield you from the storm and tempest soon to come. But He cannot protect you if you are in any way connected with the devil and his camp of Babylon. How much do you love your Saviour? How long will you keep Him waiting with open, but empty arms because you choose not to come to Him? Do not make Him wait any longer. He has already suffered more than any can ever know, and He does not want to lose you to the devil because you did not separate into His strong arms soon enough. Today is the day of our salvation--not tomorrow: tomorrow may be too late! Come to Christ now, who is outside of all the corrupt churches, before it is forever to late.
Those who reject God's will and refuse to separate in obedience to God's principles of truth, may make a determined and mighty effort to obliterate this wall of separation in order to keep others united with them and the apostate church, yet all their efforts will be in vain. As we near the close of this world's history, this wall of separation will become more and more distinct until each and every person has made their decision to stand with, or against, God.
"The servants of mammon make every effort to break down the barriers, and destroy the line of demarkation between the holy and the profane. Many of the professed followers of Christ are determined to break it down, and to maintain concord between Christ and Belial. But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice, to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness.
"This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time." Review and Herald, vol 1, p 389 col 2 (January 8, 1884).
Yes, to be completely separate from everything which the devil controls, including the church which you are a member in and love, making God's line of demarcation unmistakably plain and distinct, is indeed a heavy cross to bear. But how much do we love our General and God? How heavy was that cross which our Saviour bore out of love for you? This line of separation is testing all of God's professed people as to which destiny they really desire--heaven or hell. It is testing all on how much they really love Jesus and want to be with Him for eternity! Separation is salvation, not death!
"Christ has declared that the cross which makes the line of demarcation between His people and the world so distinct is not a cross of discouragement, but a cross of salvation. Love for the Saviour will lead us to acknowledge this." Review and Herald, vol 4, p 240 col 1 (November 20, 1900).
May we all become the history students that God wants us to be. May we be the followers of God, giving up our own desires and will in order to follow His will for our lives. May we be the peculiar separate people of God, voicing forth His merciful and loving message of present truth--standing firmly upon a "Thus saith the Lord," and not upon a "thus saith man." May we be found solely and completely on Christ's side of the line of demarcation, without touching anything in the devil's camp. And may we be found proclaiming and standing under God's motto: "Our holy faith cries out, Separation."
"Thus in every age from the midst of apostasy and rebellion God gathers out a people that are true to Him, a people in whose heart is His law." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 338.
"Before the destruction of Sodom, God sent a message to Lot, 'Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.' The same voice of warning was heard by the disciples of Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem: 'When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains.' They must not tarry to secure anything from their possessions, but must make the most of the opportunity to escape.
"There was a coming out, a decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days. Again the voice of God is heard in a message of warning, bidding His people separate themselves from the prevailing iniquity." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 166.
"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." Desire of Ages, p 232.
"Here and there an individual member of a family is true to the convictions of his conscience, and is compelled to stand alone in his family or in the church to which he belongs, and is finally compelled, because of the course of those with whom he associates, to separate himself from their companionship. The line of demarcation is made distinct. One stands upon the word of God, the other upon the tradition and sayings of men." Review and Herald, vol 3, p 169, col 2 (July 24, 1894).