The devil tries to push people into an extreme and if that does not succeed he will attempt to push them to an opposite extreme. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 644.) Often when we are under attack by the devil we do not know it. We think that we are just studying and learning about something—following is one current example: We have known for over 100 years that the condition of Laodicea described the condition of the professed people of God. We were also told in 1897 that we were on the track of Romanism. (See Testimonies to Ministers, 362.) We were warned in 1886 that we could become a sister of Babylon and we were warned in 1893 (the same time period) not to call the second advent movement Babylon. Whether the professed people of God will become part of Babylon in the future is not the key issue—the key issue is that if we do not recover from our Laodicean condition when the plagues fall it will be just as bad for Laodicea as for Babylon, notice:
“Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they, notwithstanding that the most solemn message of truth—the third angel’s message—is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin? This is the last message of mercy, the last warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments.” Manuscript Release, vol. 19, 176. [All emphasis supplied.]
“It is now the duty of God’s commandment keeping people to watch and pray, to search the Scriptures diligently, to hide the word of God in the heart, lest they sin against him in idolatrous thoughts and debasing practices, and thus the church of God become demoralized like the fallen churches whom prophecy represents as being filled with every unclean and hateful bird.” Review and Herald, May 17, 1887
“When Jerusalem was divorced from God it was because of her sins. She fell from an exalted height that Tyre and Sidon had never reached. And when an angel falls he becomes a fiend. The depth of our ruin is measured by the exalted light to which God has raised us in His great goodness and unspeakable mercy. Oh, what privileges are granted to us as a people! And if God spared not His people that he loved, because they refused to walk in the light, how can He spare the people whom He has blessed with the light of heaven in having opened to them the most exalted truth ever entrusted to mortal man to give to the world?” Manuscript Release, vol. 2, 319, 320
Forgetting the warnings to Laodicea, some people say, if the Seventh-day Adventist church is not Babylon, I will not worry. Returning to a Laodicean condition, they are in a worse condition now than before hearing anything about revival and reformation. Some will never wake up until the plagues begin to fall. (See Early Writings, 71.)
What has happened? The devil pushed individuals hard in an attempt to force them to believe that the Adventist church is Babylon but finally someone convinces them that the church structure is not Babylon. Immediately the devil pushes them to the opposite extreme. They are victimized by “either—or” thinking: If it is not Babylon, all must be well within the borders of God’s professed people. ( It is like saying, everybody that does not have cancer is in perfect health.)
No longer are these in the category of those who “will not hold their peace to obtain the favor of any.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 210. These people will still be holding their peace when the plagues began to fall. One result of this shaking that is going on in many minds is this idea—if the church structure is not Babylon, then there is no need to worry, just wait and the Lord will correct all problems. If you value your soul do not forget the warnings that God has given to Laodicea.