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BABYLON: Part 1 - History quotes

1)    “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities" Revelation 18:1-5.

2)    “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard o more at all in thee (or Babylon); and no craftsman, or whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee...” Revelation 18:22-23.

3)    "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Ecclesiastes 3:15.

4)    "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.  There was the same spiritual stupor, the same respect for the opinions of men, the same spirit of worldliness, the same substitution of human theories for the teachings of God's word.  Pride and extravagance were fostered under the guise of religion.  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.  Satan could no longer keep the Bible from the people; it had been placed within the reach of all.  But he led thousands to accept false interpretations and unsound theories, without searching the Scriptures to learn the truth for themselves.  He had corrupted the doctrines of the Bible, and traditions which were to ruin millions were taking deep root.  The church was upholding and defending these traditions, instead of contending for the faith once delivered to the saints....
     "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." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 194-196.

5)    "Jesus sends his people a message of warning to prepare them for his coming.  To the prophet John was made known the closing work in the great plan of man's redemption.  He beheld an angel flying 'in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.'...
     "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." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 199-201.

6)    "At the proclamation of the first angel's message, the people of God were in Babylon..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 239.

7)    "The churches became corrupted by allying themselves with the world." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 194.

8)    "The close relation of the church to Christ is represented under the figure of marriage.  The Lord had joined his people to Himself by a solemn covenant, He promising to be their God, and they pledging themselves to be His, and His alone.  Said Paul, addressing the church, 'I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste  virgin to Christ.'  But when her confidence and affection  were turned away from Him, and she sought after vanity, and allowed the love of worldly things to separate her from God, she forfeited the privileges included in this peculiar and sacred relation.  By the apostle James those who assimilate to the world are addressed as 'adulterers and adulteresses.'" Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 233-234.

9)    "A virtuous woman represents a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.  Babylon is said to be a harlot." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 233.

10)    "Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with 'the kings of the earth.'  It was a departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation." Great Controversy, p 382.

11)   "It was to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world that the first angel's message was given." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 231.

12)    "The angel represented in prophecy as delivering this message, symbolizes a class of faithful men, who, obedient to the promptings of God's Spirit and the teachings of His word, proclaim this warning to the inhabitants of earth.  This message was not to be committed to the religious leaders of the people." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 199.

     "There were but few ministers, however, who would accept this message; therefore it was largely committed to humble laymen.  Farmers left their fields, mechanics their tools, traders their merchandise, professional men their positions; and yet the number of workers was small in comparison with the work to be accomplished.  The condition of an ungodly church and a world lying in wickedness burdened the souls of the true watchmen, and they willingly endured toil, privation, and suffering that they might call men to repentance unto salvation.  Though opposed by Satan, the work went steadily forward..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 223.

13)    “Because of their pride and unbelief, the Lord passed them by, and revealed His truth to men in humble life, who had given heed to all the light they had received." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 200-201.

14)    "In every age, God has called his servants to lift up their voices against the prevailing errors and sins of the multitude....The majority are usually to be found on the side of error and falsehood.  The fact that doctors of divinity have the word on their side does not prove them to be on the side of truth and of God.  The wide gate and the narrow way are sought only the few.
     "If ministers and people had really desired to know the truth, and had given to the Advent doctrine the earnest, prayerful attention which its importance demands, they would have seen that it was in harmony with the Scriptures.  Had they united with its advocates in their labors, there would have resulted such a revival of the work of God as the world had never witnessed....
     "While they refuse to search the Scriptures to learn if these things are so, they grasp every fable..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 214-217.

     "Those who are unwilling to accept the plain, cutting truths of the Bible, are continually seeking for pleasing fables that will quiet their consciences." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 346.

15)    "...men belonging to the different companies [of Protestants] and revered by them passed through, some with pleasing words, and others with wrathful looks and threatening gestures, and fastened the cords which were weakening.  These men were constantly saying, 'God is with us.  We stand in the light.  We have the truth.'  I inquired who these men were, and was told that they were ministers and leading men who had rejected the light themselves, and were unwilling that others should receive it." Early Writings, p 241.

     "Ministers occupied themselves in gathering up damaging reports, absurd and malicious fabrications, and dealing them out from the pulpit.  Earnest were the efforts put forth to draw away the minds of the people..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 218-219.

     "Unfaithful watchmen hindered the progress of the work of God.  As the people were roused, and began to inquire the way of salvation, these leaders stepped in between them and the truth, seeking to quiet their fears by falsely interpreting the word of God.  In this work, satan and unconsecrated ministers united, crying, Peace, peace, when God had not spoken peace.  Like the Pharisees in Christ's day, many refused to enter the kingdom of Heaven themselves, and those who were entering in, they hindered.  The blood of these souls will be required at their hand.
     "Whenever the message of truth was proclaimed, the most humble and devoted in the churches were the first to receive it.  Those who studied the Bible for themselves could not but see the unscriptural character of the popular views of prophecy, and wherever the people were not deceived by the efforts of the clergy to misstate and pervert the faith, wherever they would search the word of God for themselves, the Advent doctrine needed only to be compared with the Scriptures to establish its divine authority.
     "Many were persecuted by their unbelieving brethren.  In order to retain their position in the church, some consented to be silent in regard to their hope; but others felt that loyalty to God forbade them thus to hide the truths which He had committed to their trust.  Not a few were cut off from the fellowship of the church..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 226-227.

16)    "Angels of God were watching with the deepest interest the result of the warning.  When the churches as a body rejected the message, angels turned away from them in sadness.    Yet there were in the churches many who had not yet been tested in regard to the Advent truth.  Many  were deceived by husbands, wives, parents, or children, and were made to believe it a sin even to listen to such heresies as were taught by the Adventists.  Angels were bidden to keep faithful watch over these souls; for another light was yet to shine upon them from the throne of God." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 227.

17)    "God sent his professed people a message that would have corrected the evils which separated them from his favor....But Babylon scornfully rejected the last means which Heaven had in reserve for her restoration, and then, with greater eagerness, she turned to seek the friendship of the world." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 236.

18)    "When the churches spurned the counsel of God by rejecting the Advent message, the Lord rejected them.  The first angel was followed by a second, proclaiming, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.'" Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 232.

19)    "...very many were weighed in the balance and found wanting.  They loudly claimed to be Christians, yet in almost every particular failed to follow Christ.  Satan exulted at the state of the professed followers of Jesus.  He had them in his snare.  He had led the majority to leave the straight path, and they were attempting to climb up to heaven some other way.  Angels saw the pure and holy mixed up with sinners in Zion, and with world-loving hypocrites.  They had watched over the true disciples of Jesus; but the corrupt were affecting the holy... Angels viewed the scene and sympathized with the remnant who loved the appearing of their Lord." Early Writings, p 246-247.

20)    "I saw Jesus turn His face from those who rejected and despised His coming, and then He bade angels lead His people out from among the unclean, lest they should be defiled.  Those who were obedient to the message stood out free and united.  A holy light shone upon them.  They renounced the world, sacrificed their earthly interests, gave up their earthly treasures, and directed their anxious gaze to heaven, expecting to see their loved Deliverer.  A holy light beamed upon their countenances, telling of the peace and joy which reigned within.  Jesus bade His angels go and strengthen them, for the hour of their trial drew on.  I saw that these waiting ones were not yet tried as they must be." Early Writings, p 249-250.

21)    "The work did not stand in the wisdom and learning of men, but in the power of God.  It was not the most talented, but the most humble and devoted, who were the first to hear and obey the call.  Farmers left their crops standing in the fields, mechanics laid down their tools, and with tears and rejoicing went out to give the warning.  Those who had formerly led in the cause were among the last to join in this movement.  The churches in general closed their doors against it, and a large company who had the living testimony withdrew from their connection." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 250.

     "Those who preached the first message had no purpose or expectation of causing divisions in the churches...In the days of the Reformation, the gentle and pious Melancthon declared, 'There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and who are purified by it.'  Adventists, seeing that the churches rejected the testimony of God's word, could no longer regard them as constituting the church of Christ, 'the pillar and ground of the truth;' and as the message, 'Babylon is fallen,' began to be proclaimed, they felt themselves justified in separating from their former connection." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 236-237.

22)    "In many churches the message was not permitted to be given, and a large company who had the living testimony left these fallen churches....The message was heart-searching, leading the believers to seek a living experience for themselves.  They knew that they could not lean upon one another....but the great mass manifested the spirit of satan in their opposition to the message....Many who professed to be looking for Christ had no part in the work of the message....Angels were watching with the deepest interest the effect of the message, and were elevating those who received it, and drawing them from earthly things to obtain large supplies from salvation's fountain." Early Writings, p 238-239.

     "Like showers of rain upon the thirsty earth, the Spirit of grace descended upon the earnest seekers." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 251.

23)    "The proclamation, 'Babylon is fallen,' was given in the summer of 1844, and as the result, about fifty thousand withdrew from these churches." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 232.

24)    "A large class who had professed to believe in the Lord's soon coming, renounced their faith.  Some who had been very confident were so deeply wounded in their pride that they felt like fleeing from the world.  Like Jonah, they complained of God, and chose death rather than life.  Those who had based their faith upon the opinions of others, and not upon the word of God, were now as ready to again exchange their views.  The scoffers won the weak and cowardly to their ranks..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 252.

     "But while many, under strong temptation, yielded their faith, there were some who stood firm.  They could detect no error in their reckoning...The ablest of their opponents had not succeeded in overthrowing their position....God did not forsake His people; His Spirit still abode with those who did not rashly deny the light which they had received...To renounce their faith now, and deny the power of the Holy Spirit which had attended the message, would be drawing back toward perdition....Their only safe course was to cherish the light which they had already received of God..." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 254, 256-257.

     "By the year 1846 they reckoned their numbers as about fifty." Early Writings, p XVII.

25)    "Others rashly denied the light (Midnight cry) behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far.  The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below.  It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the city, as all the wicked world which God had rejected." Word To The Little Flock, p 14 (Edited in Early Writings, p 15).

     "I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844.  All who saw the light of the first and second angels' messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness.  And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them.
     "Those who did not see the light, had not the guilt of its rejection.  It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the Spirit of God could not reach.  And this class included, as I have stated, both those who refused to accept the message when it was presented to them, and also those who, having received it, afterward renounced their faith.  These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ; but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of satan." Selected Messages, book 1, p 63-64.