Although the Father and the Son had absolute power and authority and had a law which governed the entire universe, their rule was very beneficent and mild. It came to the angels almost as a matter of surprise that God had a law when Lucifer brought it up as a point of contention.
We know that the organization or government of God had the following characteristics: (1) Only the service of love was desired— the use of force is contrary to the principles of God's government (DA 22). (2) God willed to give to both the angels and to man freedom of will. This is the highest possible level of freedom. (3) Although each is given freedom of will, each is responsible for the choices made. God's government is moral, that is, it is based on ethical principles which each citizen must at all times be in harmony with to remain a subject of the divine government. (4) To prevent the possibility of making a seriously wrong choice that would bring disaster and suffering on one's self and others, God had (and still does have) a law that explicitly defines morality or right and wrong. This law although very brief is comprehensive enough to maintain peace and order and allow for the fullest development of happiness by all creatures in the universe and is of such pivotal importance it is the foundation of God's government. (See GC 493.) In God's government, the truth is always primary and to communicate anything at all that is not true is to step outside the perimeter of God's government and start your own independent organization or government. (5) There was no hierarchy in God's government— there was only one Lord and only one Father who was all in all. (6) Jesus Christ, being one with the Father from eternity, was exalted over all created intelligences and was the One who participated in the councils of the deity. (7) Another characteristic of God's government is the necessity of work and bearing fruit or producing results. (See John 15: 1- 7.) Heaven is a place of intense activity. The Father and the Son are both constant and earnest workers and so are all the angels. If we are to be members of God's organization we must be laborers together with God. There was one who wanted to reorganize the government of God. He wanted to start a new organization. He did not claim to be doing this. He said that he just wanted to improve on God's government, but the government of God being perfect, any change would not be an improvement and God would not consent to a new organization.
THE ATTEMPT TO START A NEW ORGANIZATION– A NEW GOVERNMENT
God Himself had established the order of heaven. Lucifer decided to dispute the supremacy of Christ. His work to start a new organization involved an attempt, first of all, to change the law of God— specifically to effect a change in the first commandment which says, “You shall have no other Gods before me” Exodus 20: 2. He wanted to be equal with Christ and this would require a change in the first commandment. It is important to recognize that whenever there is an attempt to change God's law that men have entered into a new organization which God has not authorized.
Lucifer began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws of God, intimating that they were not necessary for angels. He claimed to be loyal to the divine government and to be working for its stability when actually he was fomenting discord and rebellion.
Many of God's loyal, faithful and true Seventh- day Adventist people today are being accused of separating from “God's faithful movement” and starting a new organization. The charge has been tossed about far and near in various printed materials and needs to be carefully examined. Before you can rightfully accuse someone of separating and starting a new organization, you must know what it means to stay with the movement and stay loyal to God's organization. Let us begin by looking at three inspired statements:
“But let it ever be remembered that the work must move solidly and in complete harmony with God's plan of organization” iSM 112.
God's work is the same in all time, although there are different degrees of development and different manifestations of His power to meet the wants of men in the different ages. Beginning with he first gospel promise and coming down through he patriarchal and Jewish ages and even to the resent time, there has been a gradual unfolding of the purposes of God in the plan of redemption (PP 373).
Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plan of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth (DA 680).
We have already seen a few of the prominent characteristics of heaven's order and plan of government. We are assured that God's work is the same in all time so we may know when we are remaining true to God's organization and when we have stepped off the foundation of God's organization, even though we may call ourselves by the same name.
The church of God must have the same type of government as in heaven. To attempt to establish a different type of government is to start a new organization. When a new organization like this is started, it almost always retains the name of the original organization to give it legitimacy. But the original organization will always have the same identifying marks.
God's plan of organization for His church today is no different than His plan for organization in heaven at the beginning of the great controversy. Our responsibility is to find out what that plan is and repent and come into harmony with it so that we are not condemned in the judgment for starting a new organization, which is always apostasy from the truth.
It is very serious to leave God's organization and start something independently from Him. Following are a few ways that this is done.
1. “God has a church, and these churches are organized on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 7. If we cease to teach and preach and operate according to the principles of the New Testament and the Old Testament, we have stepped off the foundation and started a new organization. This is what happened to the Roman church in the second century: “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 which was once delivered unto the saints' Jude 3” GC 51. If you lay down the banner of Christ and depart from the faith once delivered unto the saints, you have started a new organization and the only saving way out of that situation is to repent, confess, make restitution and commit to stand again on the truth of God's word. If that is not done, all is lost for that organization. If anyone is accused of starting a new organization, it must first be proved that they have left God's organization. Paul went all over the world establishing new churches, but none of these were new organizations— they were just an enlargement of God's organization, His church. Every home church or other church established on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets is likewise an enlargement of God's organization on earth, His church.
“We now need skillful generals to organize into working companies the Lord's believing children. Nothing must be looked upon as too great for us to undertake, if the Captain of the Lord's host plans the work and arranges the battle and leads us forth, ‘terrible as an army with banners. ' Every movement will be a victory. We need Jesus as our constant Leader” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 44.
2. “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” John 18: 37. God has given to Seventh- day Adventists the present truth (II Peter 1: 12). If we leave this present truth, we have left the movement, God's organization, and are in a new organization, even if we have the same name. “The burden of the warning now to come to the people of God, nigh and afar off, is the third angel's message. And those who are seeking to understand this message will not be led by the Lord to make an application of the Word that will undermine the foundation and remove the pillars of the faith that has made Seventh- day Adventists what they are today” 2SM 103. “I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps— the first, second, and third angels' messages. Said my accompanying angel, ‘Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance” ' EW 258.
What is this platform? It is the messages in Revelation 14: 6- 12, and we are forbidden to step off of this platform. The first angel's message in verses 6 and 7 proclaims that the hour of God's judgment has come. This message cannot be proclaimed without an understanding of the sanctuary and the 2300 days prophecy, and the investigative judgment. Those who have left this historic Adventist teaching have stepped off the platform and are no longer a part of the organization founded on the prophets and the apostles. The same is true concerning those who no longer know who Babylon is (the second angel's message), those who no longer know who antichrist is (the third angel's message), etc., and also those who believe that the law cannot be kept perfectly, that a person cannot perfectly overcome. They no longer believe Revelation 14: 12, which is part of the third angel's message. All of these people have stepped off the platform of present truth and have become part of a new organization. God has sent historic Adventist preachers to these people for years to urge them to get back on the platform that the church militant stands on. Very soon opportunity for repentance and reform and getting back on the platform with the church militant will be over for professed- only Seventh- day Adventists. “In every age there is given to men their day of light and privilege, a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But there is a limit to this grace. Mercy may plead for years and be slighted and rejected; but there comes a time when mercy makes her last plea. The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the Spirit of God. Then the sweet, winning voice entreats the sinner no longer, and reproofs and warnings cease.” DA 587.
The awful possibility of the Seventh-day Adventist church organization starting a new organization independent from God is a matter of prophecy. Ellen White prophesied that what we are seeing today could happen. We will look at the 12 main points of the prophecy having to do with the new organization in Adventism. It was a conditional prophecy in her day. It is coming to pass in our day.
Following are the 12 main points of the prophecy. Ellen White wrote that the enemy of souls would seek to bring in among us the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Adventists. This reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith and engaging in a process of reorganization. Ellen White then said that the result of this would be:
- 1. Principles of truth that God...has given to the remnant church would be discarded—our religion would be changed.
- 2. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work in the 19th century would be accounted as error.
- 3. A new organization would be established.
- 4. Books of a new order would be written.
- 5. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.
- 6. The founders of this system would go into the cities to do a wonderful work.
- 7. The Sabbath would be lightly regarded (as the God who created it).
- 8. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.
- 9. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed,
- 10. They would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless.
- 11. Their foundation would be built on the sand.
- 12. Storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Let us look at each of these 12 points briefly.
Has our religion been changed? Have our teachings been changed? The book Apostasy is the Issue by Dr. Larson shows conclusively that this has occurred. Many authors have substantiated this fact. See also the booklet Issues: The Real Issue, the Side Issues, and the Pseudo-Issues by Dr. Larson, which also substantiates this fact.
Predicts that fundamental principles would be changed. What are the fundamental principles? The fundamental principles are as follows:
- 1. Those doctrines that have made Seventh-day Adventists what they are: “Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority” Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 2, p. 59 (1904).
- 2. The fundamental principles will not lead a man to transgress God’s law. (See RH 7/05/92)
- 3. When the fundamental principles are given up, usually opposition to the visions of Ellen White are an early manifestation. (See The Progressive Years, vol. 2, 149.)
- 4. An article by James White in the Signs of the Times in 1874 briefly explains the fundamental principles of the Seventh-day Adventist faith.
Part of these fundamental principles included the doctrines included the doctrines of the investigative judgment beginning in 1844 (the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary), and not only a profession but a demonstration of living according to the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy. The same books mentioned above document the fulfillment of point 2 of the prophecy.
A new organization would be established. When do you establish a new organization? When did the Roman church separate from the true church and establish a new organization? When they laid down the banner of Christ and departed from the faith once delivered unto the saints (GC 51). When the above two points have been fulfilled and the organization supports these changes, then you no longer have the same organization—you have a new organization established.
When the angels in heaven chose to follow Lucifer instead of Jesus Christ, they had decided to start a new organization. They claimed that they were only trying to improve or work for the good of the original organization, but actually they were starting a new organization. Jesus Christ is still the head of the church today (Ephesians 1:22, 23) as he has been the Commander and Captain of the Lord’s host from the days of eternity. If any organization or group of human leaders changes leaders so that Jesus is not the Head of their organization, then that is a new organization. Has this ever happened in Adventism and is there any possibility of it happening today? Inspiration gives the answer in the following statements:
- 1. “There are some who in the past have had a correct experience, but who have changed leaders. Not all, but many have been beguiled. There are leaders who, before God can own and accept them, must first be converted, and led back to God. The beauty of His holiness is eclipsed by their unsanctified words and acts. They are strangers to God. They have no union with Him.” Special Testimonies, Series B, p. 19.
- 2. “Let none suppose that because they have been used as the Lord’s instrumentalities, they are all-sufficient. The Lord uses men and honors them by giving them His wisdom, as long as they are true to Him, and do not gather glory to themselves. Those who make themselves capable of managing the work, are not led by His Spirit, but by ‘another spirit.’ Satan steps in, and they change leaders. Then comes the crookedness and subtlety of the serpent’s guile. Manuscript 37, May 1, 1903, ‘Directions for Work’” UL 135.
- 3. “If you indulge stubborness of heart, and through pride and self-righteousness do not confess your faults, you will be left subject to Satan’s temptations. If when the Lord reveals your errors you do not repent or make confession, his providence will bring you over the ground again and again. You will be left to make mistakes of a similar character, you will continue to lack wisdom, and will call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. The multitude of deceptions that will prevail in these last days will encircle you, and you will change leaders, and not know that you have done so.” RH 12/6/90.
- 4. “I would caution all believers to learn to maintain a godly jealously over yourselves, lest Satan shall steal your heart away from God, and you slip unconsciously into work in Satan’s lines, without perceiving that you have changed leaders, and be found in the treacherous power of a tyrant.” RH 11/8/56.
- 5. “This is a time when Satan’s deceptive power is exercised, not only upon the mind of those who are young and inexperienced, but upon the minds of men and women of mature years and of broad experience. Men in positions of responsibility are in danger of changing leaders. This I know; for it has been plainly revealed to me. I have been instructed that the enemy seeks to link up with men bearing large responsibilities in the Lord’s work, in order that he may fill their minds with evil devisings. Under his influence men will suggest many things that are contrary to the mind of God.” Special Testimonies, Series B, p. 48.
- 6. “Men have broken God’s laws, and despised and trampled on His Sabbath. Thus they have broken their contract with God, and He cannot work in their behalf. The Lord tells us in words too plain to be misapprehended that that metal of the faith of His once chosen people is corrupted. They have a spurious faith. They have changed leaders, and no longer bear the King’s sign. They cannot be trusted in time of test or trial, for they will act the traitor’s part. They do not draw from the Lord’s foundry.” 15 MR 36.
According to these statements, it is possible for leaders in Adventism to change leaders and not even know it! When this happens, a new organization has been established because Jesus is the Head of the church and if His leadership is changed for the leadership of Lucifer, a new organization has been formed (although as at the beginning, it will be claimed that only efforts for the good of the original organization are promoted).
Books of a new order would be written. Again, this has been documented by many others in books such as Questions on Doctrine.
A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. If you would like to see if a system of intellectual philosophy has been introduced, study such books as The Word Made Flesh by Dr. Larson or, for confirmation, read the book Issues Part II.
The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The great apostasy in the second century began as a tremendous campaign to be more successful in evangelism. Here is predicted large scale evangelistic campaigns, but the result would not be people who were taught that they could keep all of God’s law—Sabbath-keeping would be lax among these new converts. Point #6 pinpoints a problem we have had in Adventism for many years now.
The Sabbath would be lightly regarded. Notice that the prophecy does not say that the Sabbath would be given up but that it would not be strictly kept. Is this happening where you live? If the church organization were to condone sending your children to school on Sabbath, would that fulfill this prophecy? That has been happening for many years in some parts of the world with the knowing silence of the Seventh-day Adventist world structure. (See The Kulakov File.)
Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. This is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Anyone who protests the apostasy and will not bow to the new theological ideas today being promoted all over the world is stripped of church office, ostracized from all church functions (often not allowed to even pray or announce a song in public service) and then censured and finally disfellowshipped. We have found this happening in every part of the world where we have traveled, which includes most of the continents of the world. If the majority of the church stand for historic Adventism, the church is disbanded and then reorganized without the true and faithful Seventh-day Adventists.
The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice—they would give lip service to much theological truth but the truth would not be lived out—professed but not practiced.
They would put their dependence on human rather than divine power. When a church who is supposed to be the bride of Christ puts her trust in the arm of the state-either legislative, judicial or executive powers of the state-have they fulfilled this prophecy? If a church begins to sue members who do not agree with the leaders who are changing the historic doctrines of the church, is that church fulfilling this prophecy?
Their foundation would be built on the sand. What does it mean to have your foundation built on the sand? It means that your life-practice is not in harmony with the teachings of Christ (Matthew 7:24-27). When we step off the foundation of the three angel’s messages and will no longer preach them but rather want to preach a peace and safety message, a love and unity message, when we have been called to do a work similar to Elijah and John the Baptist, we are stepping off the true foundation and building a foundation on the sand. Have you noticed that little preaching of the actual three angels’ messages taking place where you live? Have you noticed that many so-called Adventist preachers are afraid to preach the three angel’s messages today? What will be the result of this?
Storm and tempest sweep away the structure! As of this writing, this last point in the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. The only way to prevent it from being fulfilled is by a thorough repentance followed by confession and restitution and a stepping back on the true foundation, the true platform—retracing all the steps of apostasy that we have taken and following the Lord in simple, humble obedience to all inspired counsel.
It is thought by many that we do not need to concern ourselves about unsanctified ministers because God will take care of this, and the Sunday law crisis coming will shake them out—God will correct anything and everything that is wrong at the head of the work.
The shaking will indeed culminate in the Sunday law crisis, but that is not the beginning of the shaking and sifting which will separate the wheat and the tares. The shaking begins as a result of the introduction of false doctrines among God’s people (TM 112), which already happened decades ago. The second phase of the shaking is the presentation of the straight testimony (EW 270), which has been in progress in Adventism now for several years. These two developments separate the church into two distinct camps. “Divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed” 2SM 114. Then, in the third phase of the shaking, the church will be sifted by the fiery trials of the Sunday law crisis, which will not start but finish the shaking and sifting process. The reaction of people to the shaking process which is now well under-way will, in almost every case, determine the decision they will make in the great test soon to come: “The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death.” 5T 81. Whether or not we are yielding to worldly demands and conforming to worldly customs now makes all the difference in our eternal destiny. The purpose of the shaking is to purify the church (2SG 284) and this process began a long time ago. It is not something that begins and ends in the Sunday law crisis—that is simply the final end of a process that we have been in for a long time already. The church is becoming progressively more and more purified by this shaking process.
In most churches, the majority reject the straight testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs (EW 270) and finally cast out the true and faithful, which we see happening around the world at the present time. When this occurs, that church has gone through the second phase of the shaking and the true and faithful who are meeting in someone’s home are the true church; the rest, who have the building, the pastor, the “organization,” the money, etc. are professed-only church—they still have the name, the profession, but they have been shaken out of the true church. Though they maintain all the forms of religion (see GC 378, 614, 615; 5T 210, 682), these forms will be powerless to give them the spiritual strength to remain true in the Sunday law test. They will then manifest whose synagogue they are really members of.
If we support unsanctified ministers, we will meet the same fate that they meet: “As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill.” 2T 552.
“If the truth has not sanctified, made pure and clean, the hands and heart of him who ministers in holy things, he is liable to speak according to his own imperfect experience; and when he speaks of himself, according to the decisions of his own unsanctified judgment, his counsel is not then of God, but of Himself. As he that is called of God is called to be holy, so he that is approved and set apart of men must give evidence of his holy calling and show forth in his heavenly conversation and conduct that he is faithful to Him who hath called him” 1T 261.
“Just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already;...(MS 173, 1902)” 4BC 1161.
“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren.” GC 608. We see this happening already. Those who join the ranks of the opposition are presently still calling themselves Seventh-day Adventists, but they are opposing with all their might the true and faithful Adventists and trying with all their power to keep control of the minds of God’s professed people.
Around the world there is a giant tidal wave taking place that many professed Adventist ministers are trying to stop. People are searching and finding historical Adventism—the same doctrines of the Bible that electrified our pioneers and made the Seventh-day Adventist church what it has been. These people are finding out that the present Seventh-day Adventist churches in their localities no longer believe and practice historic Adventism so they are assembling in home churches which are not recognized by “the conference.” It is then claimed that they are not united with the church. But the question needs again to be asked, Who and what is the church? Since the remnant of the woman’s seed consists of those who love God and keep His commandments and have the spirit of prophecy, if you are united with an organized body of historic Seventh-day Adventist believers, you are united with the church. (To have a church, you need to have two historic Seventh-day Adventists who are agreed and unified—see Matthew 18.)
Actually, to be truly united with the church, you must have a mutual spiritual experience. If this spiritual experience is lacking, we are not united to the church no matter where our physical membership may be located: “Union is strength, and the Lord desires that this truth should be ever revealed in all the members of the body of Christ. All are to be united in love, in meekness, in lowliness of mind. Organized into a society of believers, for the purpose of combining and diffusing their influence, they are to work as Christ worked. They are ever to show courtesy and respect for one another. Every talent has its place, and is to be kept under the control of the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 89.
WHEN DOES GOD FORBID US TO GO TO THE “BRETHREN” FOR COUNSEL?
“You who are finite, erring, and unsanctified, have supposed that God’s children were put under your jurisdiction, for you to plan for them, and bring them to your terms. The policy you have labored so hard to establish in your connection with the work is an offense to God. He has never justified an arrangement, through organization, discipline, or laws, whereby men who have evidenced that they are not susceptible to the Holy Spirit’s moving shall use their power to sustain others in a like disregard of the Spirit’s work. But such has been the arrangement that has prevailed.” 1888 Materials, 1367.
THE HOME CHURCH MOVEMENT BELIEVES IN CHURCH ORGANIZATION.
One of the most exciting aspects of the worldwide home church movement among historic Seventh-day Adventists is the fact that these people are not loners who prefer to act alone and they are not erratic people who want to pull apart or be disorganized into independent atoms. These are people who fully believe in church organization and want the unity for which Christ prayed; but they understand that you can never have the unity for which Jesus prayed unless you unite on the truth, and the conference churches they have gone to have made it abundantly clear to them that they will not stand simply on a plain “thus saith the Lord” in the writings of Ellen White, and sometimes not even in the Bible.
Around the world there are historic Seventh-day Adventists who want to press together in faith and love (RH 12/6/06) and God is drawing them together with other historic Adventist believers at the same time that they are being cast out of conference churches. These true and faithful believers are coming into line as God ordained that the church should always be. They are coming into perfect unity with other historic Adventist believers. At the very time when there is more pluralism and less harmony in many conference churches than ever before, God is drawing His true and faithful believers into a harmony and unity with other believers (who are having victory over sins in their lives) where you worship, you had better go to your closet and pray—soon your opportunity to be united with God’s true and faithful believers will be over. “We are to unify, but on a platform of error.” Battle Creek Letters, 111.
“I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time.—Letter 54, 1908. (Jan. 21, 1908.)” 2SM 397. Notice that the church is to be perfectly united in the spirit of the Lord and in the counsel of the Lord. We can never have unity until we are all under the control of the same Spirit. You cannot go to a church where music is played that comes from a different spirit and ever become united in unity with the Holy Spirit (see I Corinthians 10:20, 21). You cannot go to a church where there is a spirit of unbelief and ever be a united body with the Holy Spirit. Either the spirit of unbelief and the music with the wrong spirit will be overcome and cast aside or God will separate the true and faithful from those who refuse to repent and reform.
Neither can we be in unity until we are united in the counsel of the Lord—until we are willing to submit and obey the Spirit of Prophecy just as it reads. In spite of the fact that the true and faithful Seventh-day Adventists all over the world are being harassed and cast out of conference churches recognized by the general conference, these people are being led by the same Spirit and are submitting to the entire counsel of inspired writings—they are willing to follow all the divine directions to be ready for the soon coming of Christ, and the unity that is becoming more and more evident at their meetings is awesome to behold and experience.
NO NEW ORGANIZATION
Because the true and faithful Adventists have often been cast out of their churches and in other instances they can no longer with clear conscience go to their conference churches because of the apostasy that is being both taught and practiced, they have been forced to raise up home churches; but this is not a new organization of any kind—rather, it is the people who are determined to maintain all the old historic beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists—the people who are part of the original organization not only in name but in doctrine and spirit. This movement is not independent of the church—it is an integral part of the church (the true church, not just the church by profession only), God’s last remnant faithful people, those who keep the commandments of God and the spirit of prophecy as manifested in the writings of Ellen G. White. The same situation that was faced by Sutherland and Magan in educational work at the beginning of the 20th century is now faced by the home church movement. Just as it was necessary to begin educational institutions which were independent from the structure now (but never independent from the Lord). The counsel given then is just as much or more applicable to the home church movement today: “The Lord does not set limits about His workers in some lines as men are wont to set. In their work, Brethren Magan and Sutherland have been hindered unnecessarily. Means have been withheld from them because in the organization and management of the Madison school, it was not placed under the control of the conference. But the reasons why this school was not owned and controlled by the conference have not been duly considered” The Madison School, 31, 32.
Recent developments among professed Adventist ministers, such as the video on a lost mine, the denial of basic Adventist doctrines on television by prominent Adventist ministers and the heart-sickening immorality by others, have left some Adventists reeling—Where is the prophesied pure, true sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain (3SM 385) going to come from? It is not going to come from Adventist ministers who just stand by and do nothing and say nothing in such a crisis of apostasy as we are in today. “Many have tried neutrality in a crisis, but they have failed in their purpose. No one can maintain a neutral position” RH 4/ 19/ 98. “Preachers and people are in danger of being found upon the side of the powers of darkness. There is no such thing now as a neutral position. We are all decidedly for the right or decidedly for the wrong” 3T 328. “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crises is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” 3T 281.
Where is the pure, true sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain going to come from—it is going to come from the faithful few who are standing in the gap and crying aloud and sparing not, calling on God’s people to come into line—come into full harmony with inspired counsels, be the cost what it may, and stand up for the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, maintaining the testimony of Jesus. “There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed” 5T 81.
We are in the exciting time when these hidden ones are beginning to come to view! It is only as we take a bold decided stand for the truth now that we will be enabled to stand in the soon-coming Sunday law crisis.
The devil is trying by every manner of fanaticism and attack from professed Adventists to divide and destroy the grass-roots revival and reformation that is taking place in Adventism. Unfortunately, the so-called structure is acting the part of one of the most skillful of the devil’s agents to bring this about. Every manner of smear tactic is being used. Independent ministers are being accused of being the same as David Koresh in Waco. This is indeed sad when one realizes that all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).
GOSPEL ORDER AND ACKNOWLEDGED TEACHERS
It is a necessity for home churches to not allow any person into the pulpit, even a conference employee, unless they meet the criteria in Early Writings on page 100: “I saw that the church should feel their responsibility at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers. If unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the ‘woe’ is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act and let it be known that these persons are not acknowledged as teachers by the church. This is the only course the church can take in order to be clear in this matter, for the burden lies upon them.” Those who are guilty of telling lies, and have not repented and are in apostasy from the truth, who no longer believe the three angels’ messages and try to prevent others from fulfilling their God-given duty of proclaiming them to the world, and who seek to rule with authority that God has not given them, must not be allowed to speak to God’s people.
WHEN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY DOES NOT ENDORSE THE CONFERENCE STRUCTURE
There is a time when the regular lines (the conference structure) is not to be endorsed or cooperated with: “We have heard much about everything moving in the regular lines. When we see that the ‘regular lines’ are purified and refined, that they bear the mold of the God of heaven, then it will be time to endorse these lines. But when we see that message after message given by God has been received and accepted, yet no change has been made, we know that new power must be brought into the regular lines. The management of the regular lines must be entirely changed, newly organized. There must be a committee, not composed of half a dozen men, but of representatives from all lines of our work, from our publishing houses, from our educational institutions, and from our sanitariums, which have life in them, which are constantly working, constantly broadening” 13MR 193. “The Lord in His wisdom has arranged that by means of the close relationship that should be maintained by all believers, Christian shall be united to Christian, and church to church. Thus the human instrumentality will be enabled to cooperate with the divine. Every agency will be subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all the believers will be united in an organized and well-directed effort to give to the world the glad tidings of the grace of God” GW 444. Notice that it is not enough to have representatives from all over to meet in council if these representatives do not “have life in them”—only those who give evidence of being under the control of the Holy Spirit can meet in council and have authority over the church. If the representatives are not under the control of the Holy Spirit, the conference or council does not have Divine authority. The result of a council or conference in which the representatives are under the control of the Holy Spirit is that every agency will be under the control of the Holy Spirit.
There can be no unity between truth and error. We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted.
What are the pillars of the faith that were established by the word of God and by the revelations of His Spirit?
- 1. “We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are,—the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step.” RH 5/25/05.
- 2. “For more than half a century the different points of present truth have been questioned and opposed. New theories have been advanced as truth, which were not truth, and the Spirit of God revealed their error. As the great pillars of our faith have been presented, the Holy Spirit has borne witness to them, and especially is this so regarding the truths of the sanctuary question. Over and over again the Holy Spirit has in a marked manner endorsed the preaching of this doctrine. But today, as in the past, some will be led to form new theories and to deny the truths upon which the Spirit of God has placed His approval.” Ev 224.
- 3. “Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world only, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of Creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, the perpetuity of the law—these all are practically rejected by a large share of the professedly Christian world.” LHU 157.
- 4. “There are the main pillars of our faith, subjects which are of vital interest, the Sabbath, the keeping of the commandments of God.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 77.
- 5. “[The] pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus.” UL 352.
- 6. “Our people need to understand the reasons of our faith and our past experiences. How sad it is that so many of them apparently place unlimited confidence in men who present theories tending to uproot our past experiences and to remove the old landmarks! Those who can so easily be led by a false spirit show that they have been following the wrong captain for some time,—so long that they do not discern that they are departing from the faith or that they are not building upon the true foundation . We need to urge all to put on their spiritual eyeglasses, to have their eyes anointed that they may see clearly and discern the true pillars of faith. Then they will know that ‘the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.’ We need to revive the old evidences of the faith once delivered to the saints” The Southern Watchman 4/5/04.
- 7. “Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great waymarks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so.” Maranatha, 247.
- 8. “The truths that have been substantiated by the manifest working of God are to stand fast. Let no one presume to move a pin or foundation-stone from the structure. Those who attempt to undermine the pillars of our faith are among those of whom the Bible says that ‘in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.’” Bible Training School 3/1/15. [This statement defines what entering into a new organization really is.]
ISSUES: NO NEW ORGANIZATION
SECTION ONE, by JOHN J. GROSBOLL
SECTION TWO, by MARSHALL J. GROSBOLL