Question: How does the work of purification begin in the church?
“Let the churches who claim to believe the truth, who are advocating the law of God, keep that law and depart from all iniquity. Let the individual members of the church resist the temptations to practice evils and indulge in sin. Let the church commence the work of purification before God by repentance, humiliation, deep heart searching, for we are in the antitypical day of atonement—solemn hour fraught with eternal results.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 378.
Question: What is the church to be purified from?
“The Church is in great need of purification. There are sins that are unrepented of and unconfessed. The poison of sin must be cleansed from the Church. Many have been so deceived, their principles so corrupted, that they have no pleasure in the word of God, and it has no power over their lives. God will test character. In the day of final judgment, when every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, nothing will seem to have existence but character and the law of God. Man will be stripped of everything but the character he has formed. All will be seen to be either righteous or unrighteous.” Review and Herald, February 12, 1901.
Question: When is this purification to take place, and what will happen to church members if this work of purification is delayed?
“Many are asleep, and what can be said to arouse them from their carnal slumber? The Lord would have His church purified, before His judgments shall fall more signally upon the world. [Malachi 3 and 4 quoted.]
“I am instructed to urge upon our people most earnestly the necessity of religion in the home. Among the members of the household there is ever to be a kind, thoughtful consideration. Morning and evening let all hearts be united in reverent worship. At the season of evening worship, let every member of the family search well his own heart. Let every wrong that has been committed be made right. If, during the day, one has wronged another, or spoken unkindly, let the transgressor seek pardon of the one he has injured. Often grievances are cherished in the mind, and misunderstandings and heartaches are created that need not be. If the one who is suspected of wrong be given an opportunity, he might be able to make explanations that would bring relief to other members of the family. [Hebrews 12 is quoted, showing that the purification of the church and the shaking are one and the same.
“The Lord will show His loving favor to those who will keep His commandments. The Word, the living Word, received and obeyed, will be a savor of life unto life. The reception of the truth will regenerate and cleanse the sinful soul. This work of individual purification of character can not be safely delayed. Let our brethren and sisters take hold diligently of this work, co-operating with Him. . .
“Put away all deception. Let no one idolize his own opinions. Take your position decidedly to be fully consecrated to truth and righteousness. Christ is ready to receive all who will come to Him. Exercise a firm faith in all the promises of God. With confession and prayer, take your stand to be wholly the Lord’s henceforth and forever.
“To my ministering brethren I would say, Unite in a work of humbling your souls before God. Some have lost their first love, and need a new experience. Be determined that you will not yield to the enemy. Be patient toward all men, remembering that Christ has died for them. Improve every capability for the Lord’s work, and labor faithfully, untiringly, to save souls. Seek to arouse the churches by your own zeal.
“We all have a part to act in the Lord’s great plan for His work in the earth. We shall all have something to do, though it may be in jots and tittles, as opportunities present themselves. If these warnings are not heeded, if diligent work is not made to overcome and put away defects of character, God will soon have finished the work of judgment, and many will be found wanting. Shall we now, at once, cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God? We can not afford to delay this work of confession and humbling of soul, that our offerings may be acceptable unto God.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1906.