When God is Forced to Set Aside His Favored Instrument(s)
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
The removing of the candlestick is a metaphor for the act of God in rejecting those who, entrusted with the task of diffusing the light of truth, have failed to do so. But more significantly, and sadly, it denotes the withdrawal of Jesus Himself from the individual(s), who cannot henceforth be used by Him.
It is noteworthy that the sanctuary had no windows, and the curtains were opaque. The only physical light inside the sanctuary came from the candlestick – an apt portrayal of Jesus as the only true source of light in a dark and evil world. The removal or snuffing out of the candlestick would thus result in total darkness inside the sanctuary.
Inspiration declares, “Without the light of the candlestick [Jesus in her midst], the church cannot advance, and is in a very perilous position.” Manuscript 81, 1900, 43, 44. It is therefore of utmost importance to ascertain the circumstances under which the Lord Jesus is likely to withdraw Himself from His people in order that we might not make the same terrible mistake that would result in such a withdrawal.
Fortunately, we are not left to speculate on this point, because the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy make it perfectly clear for us. Let us begin by understanding a few very significant points from the inspired pen of Mrs. Ellen White: “The sin of ancient Israel was in disregarding the expressed will of God and following their own way according to the leadings of unsanctified hearts. Modern Israel are fast following in their footsteps, and the displeasure of the Lord is as surely resting upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 94.
“The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 406.
These quotes establish two powerful facts:
- Modern Israel – the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) – is treading the same path as ancient Israel, and
- The “displeasure of God is as surely resting upon” her as upon ancient Israel. Notice that God’s displeasure is not something to be expected in the future, but is on us at this very moment.
“Unsanctified hearts” in ancient Israel were responsible for their ultimate rejection and crucifixion of Jesus. It must mean, therefore, that “unsanctified hearts” have just “as surely” steered us into a path of rebellion. And we are on track to reject the Lord Jesus again.
God predicted this eventuality following the death of Mrs. White:
“I am charged to tell our people that do not realize, that the devil has device after device, and he carries them out in ways that they do not expect. Satan’s agencies will invent ways to make sinners out of saints. ‘I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest, great changes will take place. I do not know when I shall be taken; and I desire to warn all against the devices of the devil. … I do not know especially what changes will take place; but they should watch every conceivable sin that Satan will try to immortalize.’ ” 1 Manuscript, 1, 1915.
Is there any objective evidence that the “great changes” Mrs. White feared have indeed come to pass since 1915 when she went to her rest? Regrettably, there is much to be said on this point. But first, it must be recognized that as fallible human beings, we cannot judge such cherished, yet hidden, evils as envy, jealousy, pride, to mention a few – all of which are incompatible with the candlestick of God. But it is incumbent on us to apply the infallible test of Matthew 7:20 and “know them by their fruits.” The external words and acts are an irrefutable gauge to the inner state of the heart. So, it is in this category of evidence that we will confine ourselves to, as we consider the direction the corporate church is headed.
The Spirit of Prophecy
“My brethren, I feel great sorrow of heart. I shall not appear before you again in our general gatherings unless I am impressed by the Spirit of God that I should. The last General Conference that I attended gave you all the evidence that you will ever have in any meeting that shall be convened. If that meeting did not convince you that God is working by His Spirit through His humble servant, it is because the candlestick has been removed out of its place. … God is knocking at the door of the heart; but as yet the door has not opened to let Him enter and take full possession of the soul-temple.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 196.
The rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy, both overtly and covertly, is probably the greatest sin of the SDA church. Many examples can be cited where official publications of the church deny, denigrate or dismiss the writings of Mrs. White. This is none other than the rejection of God Himself who gave her to the remnant church to steer her through the fatal deceptions of the last days. On every hand, in every area of mission and ministry, is evidence piled upon evidence of rank apostasy and deliberate disobedience. If there were just one sin for which God would be justified in removing the candlestick from the SDA church, it would have to be the casting aside of the Spirit of Prophecy in practice, if not in actuality. But there is more.
“Those who are truly on the Lord’s side will be self-denying and self-sacrificing. They will eat and drink to the glory of God, refusing to corrupt soul and body by intemperance. Then the condition of the church will testify that her light has not been removed. But if church members do not act the part God has assigned them, the movement of health reform will go on without them, and it will be seen that God has removed their candlestick out of its place. Those who refuse to receive and practice the light will be left in the background.” A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, 45, 46.
It is common knowledge that many of our ministers who stand behind the pulpit Sabbath after Sabbath, are not health reformers—they are not vegetarians, much less vegan. This deplorable state of affairs is rarely, if ever, addressed by men in responsible positions. The thinking, perhaps, is that because ingesting clean meats is not a test of fellowship to a new-born Adventist, that it is of no consequence for leaders to keep to the same low standard of diet as well. But the Spirit of Prophecy is unequivocal in stating that all God’s people should quit eating flesh foods as we approach the end of time. Especially should ministers and leaders be exponents of health reform in strict veganism.
“The education given in our schools should be of that character which will strengthen the spiritual intelligence and give an increased knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. This kind of education will qualify men to become missionaries …
“Unless our schools rise to a much higher plane of action, their candlestick will be removed out of its place.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 250.
It is a matter of much sad and solemn regret that the vast majority of our institutions of learning are of a worldly character, preparing students, for the most part, for high paying jobs in the world. Schools like Madison College, Tennessee, in the days of Ellen White are extremely few and far between, if present at all. The blueprint in this area has been all but denied and disregarded in total.
Medical Missionary Work
“Great light has been shining in regard to medical missionary work. Had our people accepted this light when first presented, what a change would now be seen in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. If we do not heed this light, our candlestick will certainly be removed out of its place. The Lord has been withdrawing His presence from some who have had great light but who have failed to walk in accordance with this light.” Ibid., vol. 2, 181.
Who can deny that the medical work officially conducted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a far cry from the medical missionary work endorsed by the Spirit of Prophecy?
Litigation of Believers
“When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who do not fear Him. …
“These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things He has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers. They insult His holy name, and He will leave them to the buffetings of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sin.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 299.
The seriousness of the brazen disobedience in this matter cannot be overstated. Even though it is not explicitly stated that the candlestick will be removed for the sin of suing a brother in court, it is obvious that if God will not hear the prayers of the guilty party, it means that the candlestick has been explicitly removed – Jesus has left the apostates to their wicked devices. The guilt of the SDA church in this matter is well documented in the public records.
More exhibits can be provided to demonstrate the total refutation of light by our leaders. The foregoing are the most egregious examples that come to mind. Clearly, if God does not call the church to account now, He will have to apologize to the ancient church for the holocaust of A.D. 70, which He was forced to bring upon their stubborn heads.
The question that begs to be answered now is, How far does modern Israel go in repeating the history of ancient Israel? Will she reverse course, step back from the brink of the precipice, and turn whole heartedly back to God again? Most unfortunately, prophecy reveals that she will careen off the cliff into rejecting Jesus too—this time in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Note the decimation of the church that has rejected the Holy Spirit manifesting in the latter rain:
“There is to be in the [Seventh-day Adventist] churches a wonderful manifestation of the power of God, but it will not move upon those who have not humbled themselves before the Lord, and opened the door of the heart by confession and repentance. In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. ‘Why,’ they say, ‘should we not know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?’ ” Maranatha, 219.
“In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 608, 609.
In view of this sobering fact, how does God expect His faithful people to relate to the emergency? Are we to glue ourselves to the church pew, comforting ourselves with the hope that God will fix matters at the headquarters in His own time and way? Or are we to take a more proactive stance?
What about the quote, so often cited, that the Church will go through to glory? Let us look at it closely:
“Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. … The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy.” Maranatha, 203.
Here are the points established by this quote:
- The Sunday laws of Satan plunge the SDA Church into an existential crisis.
- The storm of persecution causes “the chaff” (“sinners in Zion”) to be blown away.
- The crisis is so severe – so much chaff is blown away – that the church appears to be in a state of imminent collapse.
- Nevertheless, because “the precious wheat” “remains,” the church survives.
- The “wheat” are designated as “the remnant,” a miniscule fraction of the original church.
- They are “without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths.”
- This description confirms them to be none other than the 144,000 sealed saints of Revelation 7.
- God recognizes them as His “church.”
- Therefore, the great majority – the chaff – their profession notwithstanding, were never really a part of God’s church at all! They were plants and agents of Satan!
- The tiny, post-crisis remnant “church,” shorn of all earthly trappings of greatness, bears almost no resemblance to the imposing precrisis entity. Yet, this is the “church” that “does not fall,” giving the lie to the notion that the present-day gargantuan SDA organization will go through unscathed.
Clearly, from the evidence presented here, the “chaff” are in control of the SDA Church. Far outnumbering “the wheat,” they wield immense power, keeping to themselves the name and assets of the church. Thus, it is entirely within reason that in the time of the great crisis, the compromising majority, still sitting in the pews and going through the motions of religion, are thought to be the “wheat,” while the troublesome “remnant,” despised and driven away, will seem to be the “chaff” which is blown away. The external appearance of the church, therefore, will be very misleading.
This inspired scenario proves that we are right now at that point corresponding to the time in ancient Israel when God was leading a movement apart from the control of the Sanhedrin. Deeply ensconced in incorrigible apostasy, the ancient Church was about to step off the cliff in crucifying Jesus. And God was proactively preparing a small band of faithful, independent souls to meet the emergency. And so it was that the Jewish church appeared to “fall” in A.D. 70, but it “remained” in the form of the 120 Jewish disciples in the upper room (and their converts) under the direction and control of the Holy Spirit. Today Jesus is preparing 144,000 saints for a similar crisis in the Adventist Church. Answerable directly to God alone, independent of the apostate organization, they are the faithful “fishermen and peasants,” vilified and unqualified in the eyes of men, who carry the torch of truth (the candlestick) through to the end. It is because of them that the “church” does not fall.
May we “strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” Maranatha, 241.
Dr. Pandit is a retired cardiologist living in Arkansas with his wife Dorothy. He is proud to call himself a historic Seventh-day Adventist. He, with his wife, is involved in backing two self-supporting ministries in India 1) Medical Missionary Training and Lifestyle Center in South India and 2) A printing ministry in Western India. They are also founding members of a “home church” located in Hot Springs, AR. He can be contacted via his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 870-356-4768.