I want to study with you today some very fundamental principles that all Bible-believing Christians should be acquainted with but for some reason there is great confusion among God's professed people today. You know from studying sacred history that God's people have a very poor track record in recognizing when prophecy is fulfilled.
Jesus got into great difficulty with God's professed people in His day because He said to them, "This day is this word fulfilled in your ears." And a little bit after He said that, do you remember what they decided to do? They decided to kill Him. You see, we have a tendency to do one of two things with prophecy. Adventists do. I think all churches do this. The Catholic Church certainly does it and all Protestant Churches I have ever been in touch with do it.
We do this with prophecy. We tend to say, It was fulfilled in the past, back there, or we tend to say, It is going to be fulfilled in the future up here. Well, is there no prophecy being fulfilled today? Is all prophecy either in the past or in the future? Well, very often prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes but we do not recognize what we see. So we are looking way back into the past or we are looking way up into the future and we do not recognize something is happening right in front of us.
I want to study with you today about Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies and Religious Freedom. Have you ever wondered how we got Easter Eggs into the Christian Church? Have you ever wondered about that? Have you read anything about it in your Bible? I never have. Have you ever wondered how we got Easter Bunnies into the Christian Church?
Well, now I am going to ask you a little harder one. Have you ever studied how we got a Virgin Mary Cult into the Christian Church that is going worldwide today? Have you ever studied how that happened? Did you know that the images of the Madonna and her son are over four thousand years old? Oh, somebody says, how can that be: Jesus was not born until two thousand years ago.
Oh, yes, that is right but the images of the Madonna and her son are over four thousand years old. That is documented in many, many places. If you would like to see some pictures of some of those images, if you have a copy of this book, The New Illustrated Great Controversy and you look at the pictures, it will show you some of the pictures of the Madonna.
It goes all the way back to Nimrod, clear back there in Genesis a short time after the flood and His wife Semiramis. Nimrod died a violent death. So then when Semiramis after he died became pregnant with a child. She was the queen and she wanted to retain her power and she said to the people, My dead husband has gone up into the sky and he is the sun god and I became pregnant through him.
She bore this son who was the son of the sun, she said, and his name was Tammuz. You can read in the Old Testament about Tammuz. Those images of the woman and the child, that is Semiramis and Tammuz. Those images were taken right into the Christian Church. But now, if you brought those images into the Christian Church and here you have people that have been trained, they have been taught, these people in the Christian Church when these things were brought in, there were people that had been taught by the followers of the apostles.
They had been taught both the Old and the New Testament and they knew about idolatry. When those things were brought in, the people that brought them in had to figure out a way to get them accepted. So, do you know what they did? They changed their names and they said, We are not going to call this woman Semiramis anymore or the god of the queen of heaven, we are not going to call her the queen of heaven. We are going to call her the Virgin Mary and the son will, of course, be Jesus Christ. It will not be Tammuz anymore; it will be Jesus Christ.
By the way did you know that the symbol for Tammuz was a cross? Did you know that? That was a symbol for Tammuz. And so the pagan people all had crosses and they brought those into the Christian Church. The pagan people also had what they called fertility gods and goddesses. Now I do not want to go into any descriptions of their idols or their practices or anything else in regard to their fertility gods and goddesses because it is too vile.
But these things came into the Christian Church, too, and that is where we get Easter Eggs from because the egg was a symbol of fertility and that is where we get the Easter Bunny from because the rabbit is very prolific. That was a symbol of fertility. So, we had all of these things that were brought into the Christian Church, oftentimes the names were all changed. They did not call it Semiramis, the queen of heaven, anymore. They did not call it Tammuz anymore.
They did not call the cross the sign of Tammuz anymore but they were still brought in. Now I want to ask you this question. Remember we are studying fundamental principles and we want to understand the significance of what happened in relation to today and to help you on this. I want to read you a statement that Ellen White wrote in 1892 in The Review and Herald, November 22. She said, "That which Satan has led men to do in the past he will, if possible, lead them to do again."
What does she say? She says, "That which Satan has led men to do in the past, he will if possible lead them to do again." Now in the past, what did they do? We have just reviewed what they did. Let me review it for you again in one sentence. In the past what happened was they combined paganism and Christianity. That is what they did.
They took Pagan philosophy--by the way, have you heard of the theory that is in many Christian Churches today concerning the soul of mankind and that man has an immortal soul and that when you die, you have an immortal soul that goes on living forever. Of course, if it lives forever, then, of course, it could burn forever.
Do you know where that idea came from? It did not come from the Old Testament or the New Testament. It came from Plato! Plato was a Greek philosopher and Plato thought that man had an immortal soul. Now, of course, Plato got it clear back from the Egyptians. He taught that man had an immortal soul and that when you died, you had some entity that went on living forever.
Now the Bible does not say that. The Bible says that only Who has immortality? What does the Bible say? Only God has immortality. That is what the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:15, 16. But Plato taught that man had an immortal soul and when you died, this immortal soul went on living and that is where that idea came into the Christian Church. It did not come from the Bible; it came from Greek philosophy.
And so, these Pagan ideas were joined to the Christian Church and they made it all one. Now, the question I have for you is, If you had been living back then, what would you have done? What would you have done? Here you are going to church and you come to church one Sabbath morning and there is an image of a woman and a child in the church. And you say, What is that? I am a Christian. Oh, that is just to remind us of the Virgin Mary and the Son Jesus. Oh.
What would you have done? Do you think that there were any people back then that when they saw those images in the church that they said, You know, I cannot go to a church that is worshipping images. I am getting out of here. Do you suppose there was anybody that did that? There were a few. Not very many.
Why were there not very many? Well, the reason there were not very many that did that was because most of the people said this: (Now listen carefully because they are saying the same thing today). They said, Jesus Christ said that the gates of hell will not prevail against my church. So all I have to do is stay here and I will be saved. That is what the majority said.
But there were a few that said, No, I cannot stay in a church that is worshipping idols because that really is not the true church. It could not be. Let us see what the Bible says about the church and who it is. Look here, we will just read a couple of texts.
In 1 Timothy 3:15. Now this is the apostle Paul and he is writing to a young minister. He tells him who the church is. He says in 1 Timothy 3:15, "But if I am delayed, I write so you will know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God." Notice the house of God is the church. The church is the house of God and it is "the pillar and the ground of the truth." Or that could also be translated, the foundation, the ground or the foundation of the truth.
The Foundation on which the church is built, the Rock on which the church is built is the truth. Is that what it says? That is what it says and that is what Jesus said, He said, On this Rock (that is Himself) I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The church is built on the truth and so there were a few people that said, I know from the Scripture that the church is built on the truth and the church cannot go into idolatry and keeping being the true church. That cannot happen.
There was something else that happened along about the same time that all this was going on. Let me read this sentence again from Ellen White. She says, "That which Satan has led men to do in the past, he will if possible lead them to do again. The early church was deceived by the enemy of God and man, and apostasy was brought into the ranks of those who professed to love God; and today, unless the people of God awake out of sleep, they will be taken unawares by the devices of Satan." Ibid.
Unless we wake up we will be taken by the devices of Satan. We will not even know what happened. So at the same time that all of this was going on, they were bringing these images into the church and some of the people said, You know, the Pagans get together to have a wild solar holiday every first day of the week. That is where the name Sunday comes from, it was the day of the sun. Monday was the day of the moon. Wednesday was the day of Wardes. That is a German Pagan god.
In English all of our days of the week are named after the Pagan gods of that day. Saturday is the day of Saturn. So the Pagans had worshipped different heavenly bodies and different Pagan gods every single day of the week. The greatest of all the Pagan holidays was the sun god and the Sunday. So Christians wanted to incorporate this into the Christian religion along with everything else from Paganism that they were incorporating into the Christian religion.
They found it very convenient to remember that Sunday was the day that Jesus came out of the tomb. And they said--this was going on by the latter part of the second century. So much so that by 200 A.D. there were Pagan philosophers who came to the Christians and they said, You are not any different than us! And the Christians said, Oh, yes, we are different than you. It is true that we rise with the sun on Sunday, you see, the Pagans worshipped the sun when the sun came up in the morning on Sunday morning. That is when they worshipped it.
They worshipped toward the east. That had been going on for thousands of years. That is why and we studied this in our prayer meeting one time when we were looking at the sanctuary. When God had the sanctuary erected, which direction did you have to face when you entered God's sanctuary? Which direction was it? The west. And why was that? Because the whole Pagan world faced the east and worshipped the sun.
You can read about that in the book of Ezekiel 7 and 8 and 9. And the Christians said, Oh, no, yes, we do bow toward the sun when it comes up on Sunday morning but we are actually worshipping the Son of righteousness.
Now. Remember it says in this statement that that which Satan did before, if possible, he is going to do again. I want to tell you, he is doing it right now. He is doing it in Adventism and Seventh-day Adventists are looking into the future and they are saying, Well, yes, in the future sometime there is going to be a national Sunday law and then everything is going to shake out.
What they do not realize is the shake out has already begun and that is the end of it and not the beginning of it. What would you have done if you had come to church some Sabbath and there was an image? Pray to God that we will never, ever have any images in our church! That is why, by the way, we do not even have any crosses in our church. Not because the cross itself is wrong, but it is wrong when people start worshipping it.
You cannot find any place in the Bible where we are instructed to worship a cross. Oh, people say, but we are not worshipping the cross. We are worshipping the Son of God Who was on the cross. Watch out! What would you have done. You come to church some day and the majority of the people get together and they say, We think that we need to have more influence.
Now this is the way it happened. They were going to have more influence with the Pagan world and they were going to have more converts. We are going to have more converts this way if we accommodate themselves to the customs of the people. Now, by the way, it is not wrong to accommodate yourself to a culture or to a custom if it does not involve the violation of the Word of God.
But they decided to accommodate themselves to the Pagan world what they were going to do, they were going to worship on Sabbath. You study history and you will find out that it is very insidious the way Sunday keeping came into the Christian Church. It took hundreds of years. Now there were a few places--there were two places where it got going really early. Those two places were Alexandria in Egypt and Rome.
But for most of the Christian world Sunday keeping took hundreds of years. So they said, What we will do, we will meet together and we will worship on Sabbath. We will also get together on Sunday because that is the day the Pagans are used to having a gathering anyway. It will be easier to get them to come. It will be evangelistic.
Do you realize that it was over ten years ago when I myself was in one of the largest Seventh-day Adventist Churches in the mid-west and I listened with astonishment as the pastor got up and announced that , We are going to start having services on Sunday as well on Sabbath because we will be able to get the other people to come. I thought, What in the world.
The reason I was so astonished was that I had read a little bit of history. People do not like history but I am always concerned when a person does not know any history because when you do not know any history, you can make the very same mistake they made fifteen hundred years ago and not even know what you are doing.
That is what they did. Did you know that there were churches in the eastern part of the Roman Empire that kept both Sabbath and Sunday for hundreds of years? Hundreds of years. You could not tell them they were breaking the Sabbath. They kept the Sabbath. But eventually the time came when Sunday was elevated more and the Sabbath was pushed down. It happened over a long, long period of time.
What would you have done if you had been in that situation? It is happening again. And people back there said, Oh, the church, this is God's church and Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. So if you just stay in here, you are going to be all right and you are going to wind up on the heavenly shore. The fact of the matter is the great majority of those people lost their souls. Read about it in Early Writings or in the book The Great Controversy.
Let me read you a few sentences from the book The Great Controversy about this period of time. It says, this is page 45, "There is no union between the Prince of Light and the prince of darkness, and there can be no union between their followers." Let us just stop right there for a minute.
Now who were the followers of the Prince of Light and who were the followers of the prince of darkness? Remember that all of them call themselves Christians. You could not divide them that way. How do you tell the difference between a follower of the Prince of Light and a follower of the prince of darkness? Is it what church they go to? Is it what organization they belong to? Absolutely not! It never has been.
Let us read another sentence. "When Christians consented to unite with those who were but half converted by Paganism, they entered upon a path which led further and further from the truth." So they consented to unite with those who were not totally converted. They would all unite into one church. You see, they would baptize people who were not converted yet.
And so they brought into the church a mass of professors of Christianity that still were worshipping idols and doing various things contrary to the Bible. Has that happened in Adventism? What does that do to the church? She says that leads you on a path that leads you farther and farther from the truth. But you do not realize it because it is only one step at a time.
Well, there were a few people, not very many, but a few people who decided that they were not going to go along with this program. Now there is no question that they tried to persuade their brethren and say, Look what we are doing is not in harmony with the Word of God. There is no question they tried to persuade, but they could not because they were in the minority.
If you study religious history, you will find out that there has never been a time since the beginning of the world, since Adam and Eve sinned, I should say, there has never been a time that is recorded in the Bible when the majority were in the right. That just never happens. So these were only a few people.
Here is what happened. Page 45. "It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church." The people that decided to stand firm, what happened to them? It says it required a desperate struggle.
Have you ever been involved in a desperate struggle? Have you ever seen a man or a woman that is involved in a desperate struggle? Have you ever seen anybody that is drowning but they have not drowned yet and they are flailing around trying to get out? Have you ever seen that happen? That is a desperate struggle.
She said "It required a desperate struggle for those who would stand firm against these deceptions." And we are in that kind of a period again today. The deceptions are flooding into all the churches all over the world, including the Adventist Church. What happened? She said, "The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed." Ibid.
Just think that over just a little bit. She said first that the Bible was not the rule of faith. The same thing is happening today with the Spirit of Prophecy. Then she says second they did not believe in the doctrine of religious freedom. Well, where did the religious freedom go? Here is where it went.
As the church combined with Paganism, the Pagans had a custom. This custom of the Pagans was thousands of years old. You can read about it in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. You can read about it in early Christian history. The ruler of the country, the king of the country, dictated what religion you were going to follow and you had to follow the state religion that the king dictated.
Is that what Nebuchadnezzar did? That is exactly what Nebuchadnezzar did. Is that what the Medo-Persians did? That is why Daniel got thrown into the den of lions. Is that what the Greeks did? That is exactly what the Greeks did. That is why forty thousand Jews were killed down there in Egypt during the time of those Greek wars. Just during one war forty thousand Jews were killed. Read the Macabees, the history of God's people during that period.
How about the Roman Caesar? The Roman Caesar was called the personification of the sun god and they used to build an altar in the center of the city. You see, the idea of having a town square like we have in many of the cities and towns in mid-western United States. They had those in Romans times and they had a town square and they had an altar in the Town Square. They would light a fire on the altar and then they would have some incense here and the people of the town were required to walk by, all they had to do was take a pinch of incense and throw it in the fire and say, Caesar es*** corius.*** That means Caesar is lord. Can a Christian say that? No, a Christian cannot say that.
That is why they had to do it to find out who the Christians were. When a Christian would come by, he would not take the incense and throw it in the fire because that would be offering incense to the sun god. All the Christian could say was, Cristos es ****courius****, that means Christ is Lord. We will never know until the Day of Judgment how many martyrs were martyred on that one point alone, by not acknowledging Caesar as lord.
You see, in the Pagan countries you had a state religion and you had to be of the same religious persuasion as the president or the king or you could lose your head. You study religious history, that went on in Europe all during the dark ages--the very same thing. You look at what happened in England in the sixteenth century. When the Protestant ruler died and a Catholic Queen came up, over a three-year period they burned at the stake and they got rid of almost all of the Protestant leaders in the country.
Then when Queen Elizabeth became queen, all of a sudden the Protestants could exercise their religion without getting killed any more. Notice. What was it that they took from Paganism? The idea that the state could dictate in regard to religion. Is that happening today? The very same thing is happening today and that is not finished yet. It is going to get more.
But when you go to a court and you ask the court to make a ruling on something about religion, you have done the very same thing they did back there and we are doing it and we have been doing it for several years. And so, when that was going on, when it gets to bad that you have no religious liberty any more, what should you do? What should you do?
Well, I want to read to you what they did. This is not the majority. The majority went along with it but there were a faithful few that said, We are not going to go along with this, no matter what because it is wrong. By the way, let me ask you this question. Do you believe that there are such things in God's government as a moral absolute? Do you know what a moral absolute is? A moral absolute is a principle that it is always wrong to violate it--no mater what. It is even wrong to violate it to save your life.
The world today does not believe in moral absolutes. The thing that made America a great nation was as late as World War II most of our population still believed in moral absolutes. Now ****turned the tape over**** all of the moral absolutes, but they still believed that there were moral absolutes.
But since World War II, the majority in our country have changed their minds. They do not believe in moral absolutes any more. I remember in 1967 I was listening to a radio program and it was a religious program. This man got up and he said, In front of every one of the Ten Commandments you should put the word "ordinarily." Now if you put the word ordinarily in front of every single one of the Ten Commandments, what does that do to the Ten Commandments?
That takes away their moral absolute character. That just makes it, You can do it most of the time but you do not have to do it in certain situations. That is what is called today situation ethics. People are living in fornication and adultery. A Christian pastor goes to plead with them and they say something like, Well, God does not expect me to be unhappy all my life and live in this loneliness. What?
Do you see, once you put the word ordinarily in front of any one of the Ten Commandments you have no idea where you are going to end up. Do you realize today that there are people who are professional killers? But they claim to be Christians. That is actually a fact. They go to confession and confess their sins and they would tell you that they expect to go to heaven.
But I want to tell you that according to the Bible, they are not. Read Revelation 22:15. What do these people do that decide to resist this? I want to read again The Great Controversy, 45. It says, "After a long and severe conflict . . ." Has that been going on in Adventism? You had better believe it has. I meet people all the time that have been going through a long and severe conflict in their churches for years and years.
And the church is going more and more into apostasy and worldliness and they cannot stop it. Notice what they did back here. "After a long and sever conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and adultery." The apostate church decided to unite with the state. When any church decides to unite with the state--listen carefully.
What I am going to tell you now is advised. I am not speaking unadvisedly, off the top of my head. I am telling you something that I have thought through for many years and I do not expect to back down on this because I know from history and God's word, it is so. Listen carefully. When any church decides to unite with the state, that church has become a harlot church. That church is in apostasy. It is not something in the future, it is now.
Let me explain that for somebody that maybe has not thought that through before. Do you believe in marriage? Does the Bible teach that marriage is holy? It is so explicit in the Bible, it even says in Hebrews 13, it says, "Marriage is holy in all things and the marriage bed is not defiled." That is what it says in the Bible. But in regard to marriage and Paul said, What I am really talking about is not marriage, I am talking about Christ and the church.
He says in talking about the marriage relationship it says in Ephesians 5, it says, "The two (quoting from Genesis 2:24 where God instituted the marriage relationship) shall be one flesh." So if they two are one flesh it is holy. But what if it is three? Is it holy then? No, it is not holy any more. It is wicked. That is what the Bible says. Now let us just think this through. Paul says, What I am really talking about here when I am talking about they two shall be one flesh, what I am really talking about is Christ and the church.
The church is to be the bride of Christ. Is that what the Bible says? And Paul says, I have espoused you to how many husbands? One. God only gave Adam one wife and He only gave Eve one husband. Now the church is to be espoused to Christ and Christ says, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. What if the church that is to be espoused to Christ then instead of having her relationship totally with the Lord develops a relationship with a civil government in this world? What then?
The church has two husbands. But can you have two husbands and it be holy? No. Would you agree that a woman that has two husbands is a harlot? So anytime any church develops a union with the state, that church has become a harlot because the church is to be united with the Lord and not with the state.
I want to read you a text that I was reading the other day in my devotions and thinking about this. Turn to Matthew 22. Notice how clear Jesus is about this. Matthew 22:21. "They said to him, 'Caesar's.' And He said to them, 'Render therefore to Caesar . . ." Who is Caesar? Caesar is the state government. In those days it was the government of the whole world.
Caesar had a world empire and Jesus said, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." In other words it is lawful for you as a Christian to pay your taxes and to abide by the laws of Caesar. However, did Jesus make it clear in this text that there are some things that do not belong to Caesar? Look at what the end of the text says, "And to God the things that are God's."
Are there some things that belong to God that do not belong to Caesar? Now God does not forbid you, Not only does He not forbid you, He tells you to render to Caesar those things that belong to Him. In the New Testament if you want to study up on this, the New Testament spells out exactly what is due to the state government. Read Romans 13. Read 1 Peter 2. The New Testament spells out exactly what we owe to state government.
As Christians we attempt to follow the Word of God and so we are loyal citizens--as long as the state government does not interfere with what belongs to God. Well, you see when a church unites and starts working through the government to get her way, she has become a harlot church. If you are in such a church and you cannot get that church to stop doing that, you are going to have to get free or otherwise, you are going to be a member of a harlot church, too.
You are going to be part of the harlotry, the spiritual adultery. That is the problem in the last days. Read the book of Revelation. It says the whole world is gone after this thing and the kings of the earth have committed fornication. It is not talking about physical fornication, even though there is plenty of that going on. It is talking about spiritual fornication. Spiritual fornication is when you claim that you are united with the Lord but instead you are united with something down here--a state government.
It is union of church and state. So notice what happened. It says, "After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and adultery. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the Word of God." Ibid.
Oh, no, somebody says, you are teaching separationism! I just read it from The Great Controversy. I never cease to be amazed at how scared people are of what they call separationism. Do you know the people that are so scared of separationism, if they had stayed back there, they would have stayed in the organization and they would have wound up being part of Babylon.
When a church becomes a harlot church, you cannot stay in there and participate and support and fund it and not be contaminated. It is like living in a commune where there is a whole bunch of men and women living together in sin and you say, Well, I will just live there. I will not participate. See what happens after a while.
She says, "They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the Word of God." Are you and your family obedient to the Word of God? If you want to stay that way you have to separate from apostasy and not participate in it if you want to be ready for Jesus to come, friend.
Then it says, "They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children's children." Praise the Lord there were some people like this. Who were these people? Oh, they were from all nations. Rome became the center and in Italy these people said, We cannot tolerate this. They went up into the northern part of Italy, up into Milan and later on to Deuteron and later up into what we call the Waldensian Valley. They became the Waldenses.
The Waldenses were people actually that came from many different nations, part of the true church. They were not the only group. There were the Albagenses. There were the Paulicians. We do not know how many Paulicians there were. Now we do know from the historical records that in the middle ages the Paulicians were farther up in the eastern Roman Empire. We know that during the reign of just one queen that she killed one hundred thousand.
Well, you could not kill a hundred thousand if there were not a hundred thousand. So we know there were a lot of them. But they were not very many in proportion to what the whole church was because the whole church was in the many, many millions. Then it says, "To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle." Ibid.
Oh, friend, do you have some moral principles based on the Word of God that you are not going to sacrifice, no matter what happens? I hope you do. Because if you do not, if you are willing to purchase peace by compromising something, you are on a downhill run and you are going to wind up in Babylon and not even know what happened.
You say, Oh, no, I will never do that. I am part of Zion. That is what these people said. You know, all of these people call themselves Christians. But the great majority lost out. What we are talking about has caused the loss of billions, not millions, billions of souls. This idea of trying to keep peace and so you compromise your principles a little bit to keep the peace and then as time goes on, you have to compromise a little bit more. And as time goes on you have to compromise a little bit more and there is no end to that.
And people say to me, Oh, Pastor John, when the National Sunday Law comes, then the Lord is going to sort it all out. The Lord is going to sort it all out, all right, but let me ask you this question. For the people that right now are compromising a little bit here and they are compromising there, and they are compromising here, when the National Sunday Law comes, do you suppose the people that have been going this way all of a sudden are going to turn around and go the other way when the heat is on?
Think! If we cannot stand up and not compromise the truth in a relative time of peace right now, what do you think we are going to do when the pressure is put on if we cannot do it now? And then Ellen White writes their feelings, in this small, she calls them, the faithful few. She says, "If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war." Ibid.
What? Do you mean a Christian would say, Let there be war? Exactly what it said. If the only way we can have peace is to compromise truth and righteousness, well, then let there be difference and even war. Oh, somebody says, Pastor John, that was back there. I want to read to you what Ellen White says after she has written this, I want to read to you how she applies it to today.
The very next sentence, now it is the next page, but it is the very next sentence on page 46. She says, "Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God's professed people." Oh, the prophet says, Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated them were revived in the hearts of God professed people today.
Well, what were the principles that actuated them then? Well, they decided that they were going to absolve all union with an apostate church that would not listen or was united with the world. They said, We will not be part of it. By the way, do you know what the apostate church called them? They have been calling them that for over fifteen hundred years. They called them separationists. Have you ever heard of a separationist?
It is time we need to close. Let us close on this. There is a lot more in here. Let us close on this. The Pope calls them separated brethren in Vatican II. They are still calling them that. The Papacy is not going to be content till they get them all back. They still call them separated brethren.
Did you know that you were a separationist? The Pope said so. When people call me a separationist and say I am preaching a separated message, I say, Well, according to who? All Protestants are separationists according to the Pope. Who is calling whom a separationist and who really is a separationist?
Would you like to know who the real separationists are? You know, it is not really enough to just start name calling. Do you believe that? Do you believe that as Christians we should just start name-calling and say, Well, you are a separationists, your are orthodox, you are unorthodox. Do you think that is enough or do you think we ought to have some evidence from Inspired Writings what we think?
Do you think we ought to have some evidence from Inspired Writings as to whether we are separationists or not and who the separationists are? Would you like for me to read to you in closing from the book The Great Controversy, who the separationists are? She tells us who they are.
I am going to read it to you from the book, The Great Controversy, 51. Here is who the separationists are. If you remember this, this might be handy for you sometime, because this word separationist is being bandied about all over the world, I found today. I find out about it in letters, in phone calls where people are calling other people separationists. They are calling me separationist. If you go to this church, they are going to call you separationist. So you need to know who a separationist is.
So here is who it is. Page 51. "Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church." In other words they accuse Protestants of being separationists because of willful separation from the true church. Now look at the next sentence. "But these accusations apply rather to themselves."
Oh, who were the separationists? It was the great majority. The minority were not the separationists. It was the majority. Now the majority kept the church building, they kept the pastor, they kept the organization, they kept the finances, they kept the name, they kept the collusion with the government, they kept everything. They had worldly peace and prosperity. But they were still the separationists. That is what Inspiration says.
How do you know that they were the separationists? O.K. now if you listen to the next sentence, you are going to find out a definition. Two things that make a person a separationist. If these apply to you or if they apply to me, then we are separationists. But whoever they apply to, those are who the separationists are.
Here they are. "They (that is the Romanists) are the ones. . . ." She says, "These accusations (of being separationists) apply rather to themselves." This is the reason. "They are the ones who lay down the banner of Christ and departed from the 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints.' Jude 3."
They did two things. What did they do? They laid down the banner of Christ. How did they do that? By accepting all these Pagan customs and teachings. They laid down the truth and picked up all of these Pagan ideas, brought them into the church, they laid down the banner of Christ and it says, "They departed from the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3."
That is why I personally like the term Historic Seventh-day Adventist because I want the historic Seventh-day Adventist faith that the saints of all ages knew most of it. The pioneers of Adventism that understood the judgment hour message accepted . . . . Do you know what our pioneers said? They said, We do not have any creed. They said, This is our creed.
When I was a young boy, I was taught this in the Adventist Church and as a young preacher, I used to tell people when I was studying the Bible with them in their homes. I would say, This is the only creed that I have and I am very sincere and I can say it in public today. I am still sincere when I say it. If you could show me anything in this Book that is contrary to the way I am living, I am willing to change starting today.
I want to live according to this Book. Is that what Jesus taught? The faith once delivered to the saints is in this Book. The separationists are the people that lay that down and start following some other teachings or customs or traditions of philosophy. Those are who the separationists are. The separationists are the great majority. The faithful few that keep the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, they are not the separationists. They are the true church.
We must go. The same thing that happened back there is happening right now. Do not let somebody fool you and tell you it is going to happen some time in the future. It is in process right now. The future will not bring the beginning of the shaking. It is going to bring the end of the shaking. Are you ready?
There was a faithful few back then. We know in prophecy, according to Revelation 12, there is going to be a faithful few at the end again. It says so. We read it in our Scripture in Revelation 12:17. There was a faithful few back then. It says in verse 6, "The woman fled into the wilderness." That was the faithful few that we have just been reading about. They were the faithful few that fled into the wilderness.
At the end there is going to be a faithful few again. Just going to be a small group in proportion to the world's population. Now it will be a large group in terms of total numbers, but it is going to just be a small group in comparison with the world's population. If you took one hundred forty-four thousand people and scattered them all over the world, in proportion to the population there would be less than twenty in Wichita.
But I want to be part of that remnant that is talked about in Revelation 12:17 that still keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus. Do You? If that is what you want and you want to dedicate your life to the Lord today, and say, Lord whatever it takes. I am willing to go through the desperate struggle. I am willing to be called a separationist. I am willing, whatever people want to call me, I want to be part of the remnant that keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus.
If that is your decision and that is what you want, I want you to pray with me. Let us kneel and ask the Lord to help us be part of that group.