"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
DO NOT FAIL YOUR TEST !
There is an ever widening confusion and misunderstanding among our separated people over the identification of the mark of the Beast as well as the Image of the Beast. First we will examine the issue dealing with the mark.
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
Many, especially in the Evangelical and Protestant ranks, but also a growing number of our Home Church brethren, believe that the mark of the Beast of Revelation 13:16, 14:9, 11, 20:4, which is received in our hand or in our forehead, is to be identified as being a credit card, or lazar mark, or a chip implant, or National Identification Number, or giant computer, or some other literal thing. Connected with the above is the belief that if any of God's people possess or are in any way connected with the above items, then they have received the "mark" of this beast and are lost.
But what exactly is this "mark" of the Beast? The Greek word used for "mark" is "Charagma" (#5480 in Strong's Concordance), and it translates "stamp (as a badge of servitude), mark." So the mark of the Beast is a stamp or sign or seal or badge of servitude to some power or being. But what is the mark of the Beast, and how do we receive it? In order to know this, we must know whom the Beast represents.
The Beast which is connected with this "mark" refers to the Roman Catholic Church. So the "mark" has something to do with the papacy. As worship is the main issue listed in connection with this Beast (see Revelation 13:4, 8, 12, 15, 14:9, 11, 20:4), so the "mark" of this Beast is connected with the issue of worship. Then what could this "mark" of Catholicism be?
"Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.
"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church." Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. "News" of March 18, 1903.
"It was the Catholic Church which...transferred this rest (Saturday as the Sabbath) to the Sunday....Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church." Monsignor Louis Segur, "Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today," p 213.
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (from Saturday to Sunday) was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and religious without her, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." Letter from H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.
So the Catholic Church changed the original day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, which is the mark or seal or sign of the Beast's authority and power! As this is true, then Saturday must be the mark or sign of authority and power to someone else! But to whom? The God of heaven states:
"Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them....And hollow My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
Saturday is the Sabbath day of the Lord God, the seventh-day which He has blessed and made holy (see Genesis 2:2-3), and which is the mark or seal or sign of His authority and power. God has chosen this memorial day of creation above all the rest for all His people to worship Him on, and He even told His people not to forget this fact, but to remember it.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hollowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.
Here we see the difference between the mark or seal or sign of God, and the mark or seal or sign of the Beast. The God of heaven states that "the seventh-day [or Saturday] is the sabbath [or worshiping day] of the Lord thy God" Exodus 20:10. But the Beast states:
"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant...changed the day from Saturday to Sunday." Catholic Mirror, September 23, 1893.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles...From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August, 1900.
"...prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says `Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church." Priest Thomas Enright, Redemptorist Catholic College, Kansas City, Mo., lecture "Sunday in History", p 56, February 18, 1884.
So the mark or seal of the God of heaven is worshiping the Lord on Saturday--His Sabbath--according to God's fourth commandment. In doing this, it is a sign that we show that we love, serve, and worship God. While the mark or seal of the Beast is worshiping on Sunday--the day of the sun or of the Blazing Star or Lucifer, his sabbath--after it is enforced. In doing this, it is a sign that we show that we love, serve, and worship the Beast and Lucifer.
Thus the mark of the Beast is not a literal mark, not a lazar mark, not a credit card, not an implanted chip, not a National ID Number, and not a giant computer, but it is a symbolic mark! Although all of the above items may be used to coerce and force us to bow and worship on Sunday, yet they are not the mark of the Beast. This symbolic mark will be either in the forehead--signifying mental acceptance, or that you believe Sunday is the sabbath. Or in the hand--signifying service, or that you may not necessarily believe Sunday is the sabbath, but you will go along with it anyway.
It is a fact that the papacy claims the power to change God's fourth commandment law from worshiping only on Saturday to worshiping only on Sunday as God's special Sabbath day. Thus anyone who knows this truth, and yet choose to worship on Sunday instead of Saturday as God's true Sabbath day, especially after it is enforced by law, are bowing to and worshiping the papacy instead of the God of heaven. Thus they will receive the mark of the Beast which destines them for the seven last plagues and the lake of fire (see Revelation 14:10-11, 19:20.
For anyone to then claim that the "mark" of the beast is anything other than Sunday worship, is deceived and is leading souls to destruction.
THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST
In like manner with the mark of the Beast, there is an ever growing confusion and misunderstanding among our separated people over the identification of the Image of the Beast. Those in the Evangelical and Protestant ranks identify this "Image" to be Satan himself or the Anti-christ. While many in our separated ranks identify this "Image" to be the Sunday Law.
In Revelation 13, three powers are listed in symbols. The Leopard-like Beast, the Lamb-like Beast, and the Image of the Beast.
Who represents the Leopard-like Beast? Both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy clearly identifies this Beast to be the Roman Catholic Church or the papacy (see Daniel 7, in connection with Revelation 13:1-8, Signs of the Times, June 18, 1894, vol 3, p 125-26). So Roman Catholicism, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, represents the Leopard-like Beast.
Who represents the Lamb-like Beast with two horns? Both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy clearly identifies this Beast to be the United States, "coming up out of the earth" instead of the sea.
"...the beast with horns like a lamb is seen 'coming up out of the earth;' signifying that instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented arose in territory previously unoccupied, and grew up gradually and peacefully.
"Here is a striking figure of the rise and growth of our own nation. And the lamb-like horns, emblems of innocence and gentleness, well represent the character of our government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, republicanism and protestantism...civil and religious liberty." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 277 (see also SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 975 col 1, 983 col 2).
So the United States with its civil government and powers based upon the principles of Republicanism and Protestantism, represent the Lamb-like Beast. But this Beast does not remain peaceful for ever, because in Revelation 13:11, 15 it states that he will speak with the voice of a dragon, and declare that an image to the papacy should be formed.
Now who could represent this Image of the Beast or this Image to the papacy?
"When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 278.
We can see that the "Image" would be a Protestant religious ecclesiastical power united with the civil power of the United States to force obedience to the rules and commands of the church--just like Catholicism.
"The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By this first beast is represented the Roman church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast REPRESENTS ANOTHER RELIGIOUS BODY clothed with similar power." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 278.
So when the Protestant churches waive their differences in doctrinal beliefs, unite upon the same common points of faith, and shall call upon and influence the civil government to enforce their rules and commands, then will the different churches of Protestantism have formed themselves into an image of the Beast.
Thus, the "Image" of the papacy is not Satan, or the Anti-christ, or the Sunday Law, but it is "another religious body"--the various Protestant churches--following in the footsteps of the Roman Catholic Church.
Now why is this so important for us to know?
"The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided....Rev 13:11-17....This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 976 col 1.
So all the different churches of Protestantism, whose leaders form their church and its organization into a replica of Romanism, will be represented by the Image of the Beast. And the great test for the people of God will be upon these different churches of Protestantism who have formed themselves into the Image of Roman Catholicism.
Now, what if I were a member of one of these Protestant churches whose leadership had chosen to form my church into an image of Romanism; then upon whom would my great test be centered? Would it be centered on another Protestant church that I was not a member in? No, that would not be a very great test, because my affections and emotions would not be tied to that other church or its leadership, and besides I would not listen to them or their commands anyway. Then my great test would be centered on my very own church! My eternal destiny would be decided upon whether I would follow the rules and decrees of my church and its leaders whom I have been taught and led to respect and to obey as the voice of God to me, or whether I would follow the God of Heaven and His rules and decrees.
My great test would be whether I would remain a part of my corrupt church system, obeying their commands and teachings above God, being one with and of them, or whether I would show myself completely distinct from my apostate church system, refusing to obey their commands and false teachings, being at enmity against them. And my eternal destiny would be decided on whom I worshiped more, my church or God!
Yes, the Sunday Law will be a big test to God's people, but it is not the Image of the Beast! And multitudes, especially Adventist's, are being led astray into believing that the Image of Catholicism is the Sunday Law instead of what it really is--those Protestant churches who have formed their organizational structure into a replica or an image of the Roman Catholic Church.
But what must occur before any Protestant church can form themselves into an image of Catholicism?
"It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy--the beast....So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast." Great Controversy, p 443-44.
So before any of the Protestant churches can form themselves into an image of the Beast they must first refuse to obey God's light and truths and choose apostasy and Satan's darkness instead. And the greater the light they reject, the greater the apostasy and darkness they will be under (see Testimonies, vol 1, p 345). And the greater the apostasy, the more closely will that church resemble Rome.
What are some Protestant churches? Episcopal; Presbyterian; Lutheran; Nazarene; Methodist; Baptist; etc. What about the Seventh-day Adventist church? Are they a Protestant church? Yes. In fact the SDA church was one of the greatest "protesters" against the Catholic church in the 19th century. So the SDA church is also one of the churches of Protestantism.
Of all these different Protestant churches, have any of them rejected the light of Heaven and God's truth to choose darkness and apostasy instead? Yes. Which ones? All of them--including the SDA church!
I can just imagine that many members of the Seventh-day Adventist church may deny and question whether their beloved church, which has been given the greatest light of any church in the history of this world, has chosen darkness and apostasy instead. Yet, it is true!
"Oh, if I could have the joyful news that the will and minds of those in Battle Creek 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.
"Apostasy has come in to our ranks as it came in to Heaven, and all who unite with Satan in this kind of work will act on the same principles Satan has worked." Manuscript Releases, vol 7, p 178 (Letter 156, 1897).
"Never before have I carried so sad a heart as since I have seen the apostasy of men and women who have had great light...but I have no power to change the seductive working of the enemy." Manuscript Releases, vol 7, p 193 (Letter 266, August 5, 1906).
As God's light and truth have been rejected and darkness and apostasy was chosen instead, did the leaders of the SDA church begin to mold the church and it's organization into being an image of the Roman Catholic church? If so, then the great test for each and every SDA church member will be upon their connection and relationship to their SDA church! Thus the big question is: Has the SDA church and organization been changed by its leadership and formed into an image of Catholicism? Sadly, yes.
In 1888, this molding of the church into another Catholic system began. At the 1888 General Conference session held in Minneapolis, Minn., the majority of the church leadership were "influenced on the side of wrong" and they rejected "a most precious message" from the Lord (see Testimony to Ministers, p 91, 468). They also rejected the latter rain and the loud cry of the third angel's message (see 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p 183; Selected Messages, book 1, p 234-35). And since the latter rain and the loud cry were rejected, then so was the Spirit of God (see 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p 359; Series A#6, p 20)!
Since the Spirit of God with His molding power towards righteousness was rejected, then another spirit with its molding power towards darkness and apostasy was accepted. In 1891 we were clearly told:
"Already has the power of darkness placed its mold and superscription upon the work that should stand forth untainted, unpolluted from Satan's cunning devices." Testimony to Ministries, p 277.
Now if this molding of the work by the "power of darkness" would be allowed to continue by the SDA leadership, what would be the result?
"In 1890 and 1891 there was presented to me a view of dangers that would threaten the work...propositions which to their authors appeared very wise would be introduced, looking to the formation of a confederacy that would make Battle Creek, like Rome, the great head of the work..." Letter 71, April 8, 1894 (Manuscript Release #133, p 27).
Did the leadership continue on in pursuing this course that would form the General Conference, and hence the SDA church, into an image of Romanism? Yes!
"God has given to every man his work....He has never placed upon one man, or upon any board of men...the burden of making rules of action which will bind about and restrict the work, and confine the workers to a certain course of action.
"The fact that a man has been selected to be the president of a conference does not mean that he shall have authority to rule over his fellow workman. This is after the practice of Rome, and it cannot be tolerated, for it restricts religious liberty, and the man (president) is led to place himself where God alone should be....
"In following a course of this kind, men are pursuing a similar course to that of the Roman Catholics who center in the pope every power of the church, and ascribe to him authority to act as god...when this manner of action comes in among our people, there is need of a protest." Letter 53, 1894 (Manuscript Release #714, p 41-42).
Did the leadership heed these warnings, or did they continue following in the track of Romanism?
"I do not find rest in spirit. Scene after scene is presented in symbols before me, and I find no rest until I begin to write out the matter. 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 with wrong sentiments and principles. In the working of plans, the same principles are manifest that have controlled matters at Battle Creek for quite a length of time....
"Satan's methods tend to one end--to make men the slaves of men....the high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear....
"The spirit of denomination is extending to the presidents of our conferences....Satan exalts, for he has inspired them with his attributes. They are following in the track of Romanism." Testimony to Ministers, p 359-62 (1895).
God was trying to awaken the church leaders by showing them the end result of the apostasy which they had chosen to follow. It would inevitably lead the SDA church and its organization into becoming an image of Catholicism or an image of the beast. Did the leadership heed the prophecy and warning? Or did they continue in following the same corrupt principles, in centralizing all power and control into the hands of the General Conference, and exalting men in the place of God with the president being the god or pope of this people?
"The same work that has been done in the past will be carried forward under the guise of the General Conference Association....there certainly is nothing now that bears the divine credentials....How long will these things be?...some there do not detect the injurious effects of the plans which for years have been working in an underhanded manner....the enslaving of the souls of men by their fellow men is deepening the darkness which already envelops them.
"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. Many of the people...assent to plans which they do not understand." Letter 81, May 31, 1896 (Spalding and Magan Collection, p 35).
"State conferences may depend upon the General Conference for light and knowledge and wisdom; but is it safe for them to do this?...To place men where God should be placed does not honor or glorify God. Is the president of the General Conference to be the god of this people?...The Lord has a controversy with His people over this matter." Testimony to Ministers, p 375-76.
The SDA leadership were taking a course directly opposite to what God had chosen for them to follow, and they were betraying the cause and work of God into the hands of Satan. The leaders were in essence tearing down the work of God--which they were once building up, and building up the cause of Satan--which they once were tearing down. And our people were warned of such a thing occurring:
"The cause of Christ will be betrayed. Those who have had the light of truth and have enjoyed its blessings, but who have turned away from it, will fight down the Spirit of God. Inspired with a spirit from beneath, they will tear down that which they once built up, and show to all reasonable, God-fearing souls that they cannot be trusted. They may lay claim to truth and righteousness, but their spirit and works will testify that they are betrayers of their Lord. The attributes of Satan they call the movings of the Holy Spirit." Review and Herald, May 24, 1898 (vol 3, p 571 col 3).
This is what was happening before the year 1900, and we can see that the SDA church was being stealthily molded to resemble Rome. But did God allow this evil work to continue on unchecked? No.
At the General Conference of 1901 God sent a voice of decided and unmistakable protest to try and turn things around. This voice clearly and unflinchingly rebuked and called for the removal of the leaders who were following in the track of the papacy and molding the church and its organization into the same image. This voice called for a complete reorganization away from the papal principles that the church had been building upon and to come back to building upon the principles of God. And this person was the very first to speak when the conference was formally opened.
Sister Ellen White came forward and spoke these words:
"I feel a special interest in the movements and decisions that shall be made at this conference regarding the things that should have been done years ago...God gave them (leadership) clear light as to what they should do, and what they should not do, but they departed from that light...Why, I ask you, are men who have not brought self into subjection allowed to stand in important positions of truth and handle sacred things?...We have been given an opportunity to get rid of every kind of rebellion....
"O, my very soul is drawn out in these things!...That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,--that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle....
"The men that have long stood in positions of trust while disregarding the light that God has given, are not to be depended upon. God wants them to be removed....
"Now I want to say, God has not put any kingly power in our ranks to control...there must be a renovation, a reorganization..." 1901 General Conference Bulletin, p 23-26.
In response to this "protest" the kingly papal supremacy, that was being put into place by the leadership over all the SDA people, did assent to step down and a reorganization seemed to take place. And needless to say, Sister White along with many others were overjoyed and elated. But was the Spirit of God really allowed back into the conference and allowed to be the king over our people once again? Or did the same leaders only pretend to relinquish their kingly power, while they shut out God's Spirit and continued on in their plans to form the SDA church and its organization into an image of the beast--but under the pretense of building up the cause of God? What really was the true actions of the leaders of the church and the real outcome of the 1901 conference?
"What a wonderful work could have been done for the vast company gathered in Battle Creek at the General Conference of 1901, if the leaders of our work had taken themselves in hand. But the work that all heaven was waiting to do as soon as men prepared the way, was not done; for the leaders closed and bolted the door against the Spirits' entrance....They built themselves up in wrong doing, and said to the Spirit of God, `Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.'" Battle Creek Letters, p 55-56.
"The results of the last General Conference (1901) has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made....Men did not receive the testimonies of the Spirit of God....It is a perilous thing to reject the light that God sends....So today upon those who have had light and evidence, but who have refused to heed the Lord's warnings and entreaties, Heaven's woe is pronounced." Letter 17, January 14, 1903 (Manuscript Release #1016, p 3-4).
So the leadership had only pretended to do away with their kingly papal supremacy! They had only pretended to give up their confederacy to consolidate all power in the General Conference with one man in control! They had only pretended to reorganize and renovate the church and its organization upon a different program towards God, but in reality they were continuing with their plans to form the SDA church and its organization into an image of the beast! And in the next General Conference session in 1903, with A.G. Daniels as president, all pretense in following the plans of reorganization laid down at the 1901 General Conference session were scraped, and a new constitution was adopted. The kingly papal power was officially brought back, while the counsel and commands of God and His prophet were rejected. And all these things were done in the eyes of every delegate--meaning in front of the entire SDA church.
But not all were asleep to the serious ramifications and the inevitable end result which these actions would lead to. Before the new constitution of 1903 was adopted, Percy T. Magan obtained the floor and declared:
"The proposed new constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given, and which were adopted as the principles of reorganization...in the constitution of 1901....in that constitution, clumsy though you may call it, defective though you may mark it, there are principles of reformation and reorganization for the head of the work which are right; and those principles are absolutely subverted and swept aside in the proposed new constitution.
"It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read Neander's History of the Christian Church, Mosheim's, or any other of the great church historians...can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the papacy was made." 1903 General Conference Bulletin, p 150.
The constitution of 1903 was still passed, and a new organization was established which was based upon the same principles which gave birth to the papacy.
It was through these same principles that the Jewish church became a harlot as described in Revelation! (see Isaiah 1:21; Great Controversy, p 382; Selected Messages, book 3, p 417; Revelation 18:7). It was also through these same principles that the Roman Catholic church became a harlot as described in Revelation! (see Revelation 17; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 233). So by the SDA church following these same principles, as did the Jewish church and Roman Catholicism before her, she has also become a harlot as described in Revelation!
"The heavenly Teacher inquired: `What stronger delusion can beguile the mind than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things according to worldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah?'...
"I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He (Christ) said to me: `Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? `How is the faithful city become an harlot!' My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!'
"Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself." Manuscript 32, April 21, 1903 (Testimonies, vol 8, p 249-50. Please also read Review and Herald, October 31, 1899, vol 4, p 109, col 3).
Truly, the SDA church and its organization is following in the tracks of Romanism! But what does it mean that the church was "now being leavened with her own backsliding."
"It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the papacy." Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894 (vol 3, p 99).
So the church was now being leavened with the principles of the papacy. And it was not being confined solely within the ranks of the General Conference, but was being spread throughout the entire church!
"The pope claims authority over the practice of many who do not recognize Christ as our only authority. He places himself in the position of God, and the weak and uninformed are kept from the knowledge that would reveal to them their privilege as children of God. We are to have no kings, no rulers, no popes among us." Letter 212, September 23, 1903 (Manuscript Release #233, p 1).
Yet the leadership refused to listen to these warnings. But while the prophet was still alive, little could be openly done in forming the church into an exact image of Catholicism. But once the prophet was dead, then who could stop them? Yet a prophet can still speak after they are dead--through their writings and prophetic warnings already given! And shortly before Ellen White died, she gave this powerful testimony:
"I am charged to tell our people, that do not realize, that the devil has device after device, and he carries them out in ways that they do not expect. Satan's agencies will invent ways to make sinners out of saints.
"I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest, great changes will take place....I want the people to know that I warned them fully before my death." Manuscript 1, February 24, 1915 (Last Day Events from the Letters and Manuscripts of E.G. White, p 60).
There had definitely been "great changes" in the church and its organizational structure after her death in 1915, and especially in the decades of the 70's and 80's! One such "great change" is that the General Conference legally made itself the SDA church. This means that each member of the church are members of the General Conference organization. The ramifications of such is that as long as your name remains on the SDA church books then you are to be subject and subordinate to the authority of the General Conference and its president. As such, your true spiritual allegiance does not belong to Christ anymore, but it belongs to the General Conference and president. Sound hard to believe? Yet this is exactly what the SDA church declared under oath.
"The General Conference, then is the Seventh-day Adventist church....the embodiment of the remnant church as a Christian denomination, in a unified worldwide organization to which all baptized Seventh-day Adventists owe spiritual allegiance." Equal Employment Opportunity Commission versus the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, 1975.
Can you begin to see the church looking more like Rome? The Vatican and the pope also claim supreme spiritual authority over all their membership. But the General Conference president went even farther than this and ascribed to himself the title of being the "first minister" of the entire church--which is a title belonging to Christ alone.
The General Conference president stated in his own affidavit:
"...the leadership of the church, including myself as its first minister..." EEOC vs SDA, p 17 & 45, Robert Pierson.
Now what type of church structure and organization does the pope of Catholicism rule in? He rules in a hierarchical church structure. So what type of church structure did the SDA leaders form their organization into? Did they also succeed in forming their church structure into being an image of Catholicism? The SDA church leadership plainly declare:
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially a hierarchical system..." Record, June 23, 1990, p 2.
"Others have so identified structure with policy and the official hierarchy of the church that change is often viewed as unfaithfulness." Adventist Review, Special Edition, October, 1994, p 51.
"...the structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially hierarchical...The pyramid of church organization maintains equilibrium and sustains growth as it reflects the people who comprise it." Record, June 23, 1990, p 4-5.
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church...maintains...a hierarchical structure of church authority." US Secretary of Labor vs Pacific Union Conference and General Conference of SDA, Case CV 75-3032-R, February 6, 1976.
The SDA church has indeed been formed into an image of the beast! The structure of the SDA church has been formed into an hierarchy! The president of the SDA church has become the "first minister" or the pope of Adventism! And the spiritual allegiance of all SDA members has been ripped away from Christ and placed on the church and it's leaders! Thus the leadership of the General Conference have supreme authority over and can legally control all of the different parts of the SDA church, from the biggest to the smallest part, which includes its members.
"Church documents that prescribe the church's structure and governance confirm that all parts of the church are parts of a single entity. Next to the Roman Catholic church, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major Christian denominations in this country. The General Conference, as the world wide governing body of the Adventist denomination, is the church's highest legislative, judicial and ecclesiastical authority." Derrick Proctor vs GC of Seventh-day Adventist, case #81 C 4938, Findings of Fact, Section B, Church Objectives and Structures p 22).
What significance does this have to members of the SDA church? Your name on the roll books signifies that you have agreed to abide as a loyal member of the General Conference which is the SDA church, and so the church and its leaders have supreme control over you as long as you remain a part of that church with your name on the books! (There are more changes which the SDA church has undergone in becoming just like Catholicism--especially in doctrine. Since we do not have time to go over them all in this sermon, you can write for the rest of the similarities. We have documented over 35 more major similarities between Roman Catholicism and the SDA church.)
It is clear that the SDA leadership have completely formed the SDA church into an image of Catholicism! But did you know that Sister White has already warned us that the SDA church, which we know so well, would become another Catholic organization?
"That night I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek (GC headquarters) looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: `this house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.' Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed." Testimonies, vol 1, p 578.
Yet, many may refuse to believe this reality because it is too hard for them to accept. For those who refuse to believe that the SDA church has become another Catholic organization, then please read carefully what Neal C. Wilson, then president of the General Conference, states about his Seventh-day Adventist church:
"...there is another universal and truly Catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist church." Adventist Review, March 5, 1981, p 3.
Oh friends, the SDA church has become an image of the beast! Sister White has told us that the great test for the people of God, upon which their eternal destiny will be decided, will be on their relationship to this image. And so many Adventists are already failing their great test! So many Adventists have idolized this church above God Himself and have determined in their hearts to obey what the church tells them to do, rather than what God tells them to do. But it is not the same church as it was during the time of our pioneers. The SDA church of today is refusing to teach, and has rejected, the doctrines and pillars which made true SDA's what they were and which distinguished them from the rest of Christianity (write for the proof of this). The SDA church of today has stepped off the platform of eternal truth, becoming an offshoot of the truths established over 150 years ago. Not only has the church given up the truth, but has also united herself with the State and with the World Council of Churches.
About the only thing that is similar between the SDA church of today and the SDA church of our pioneers, is that they share the same name. The SDA church of today is not the same church that we thought we were joining. From what it once was, the church of today is only a mere brittle shell with the name SDA on it. But oh, how many of our people will continue to cling to this empty brittle shell, still believing that it is the true church of God because it uses the name Seventh-day Adventist! Oh how many will be willing to go "down to hell" (see Review and Herald, August 1, 1893, vol 3, p 69, col 3) with this "worm eaten...deceptive craft" (see Testimonies, vol 5, p 571-72) just to uphold the name Seventh-day Adventist!
The SDA church of today is in no way the church of God. This image of the Roman Catholicism is not the true church at all in any feature or in any sense! And as such, then the third angel's message comes home to every SDA member:
"If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the best and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Revelation 14:9-11.
What is the wrath of God? The seven last plagues! So how do SDA's escape from the seven last plagues which are going to fall upon their church? They must obey the rest of the third angel's message, which states:
"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev 18:4.
While anyone knowingly chooses to remain in or connected with the SDA church--an image of the beast, then they are sharers in and "partakers of her sins". This means that they are corporately responsible for the sins of their church because they choose to remain connected with her! (please write for the study on Corporate Responsibility).
As this is true, that every SDA church member is corporately responsible and is considered a sharer and partaker in all the evil and wickedness of their church, then the seal of God can never be placed upon them while they are in this state (see Testimonies, vol 5, p 505 & 207-216). The only way that a member of the SDA church, or any other church which makes up the image of the beast, could ever obtain the seal of God and eternal salvation is to obey the command of God to "come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Oh friends, this message of separation is a message of love and mercy from God, and it is not a message from the devil as the church and it's hirelings are constantly saying (please read Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 424-25). God along with his true followers are urging you to separate completely from the SDA--and every other church which images Rome--for your soul's salvation, looking alone to Jesus, so that you may save your soul from eternal destruction (see Jeremiah 51:6).
"The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided....This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 976, col 1.
The Seventh-day Adventist church has been formed into an image of the beast and this great test will face every single church member, and each will decide for themselves their own eternal destiny.
What is your decision going to be? Please, I plead with you all, in the Great and Holy name of God,
DO NOT FAIL YOUR TEST !