It is my belief that many here have never
had the opportunity to study the condition
of the church from its early beginnings.
So I think it would be a good thing to do
a year-by-year assessment of the condition
of the church since 1855. This assessment
should give us a better perspective as to
where we are now. God bless. sky
YEAR BY YEAR ASSESSMENT
From 1855 to 1862
1855: "I have seen an angel standing with scales in his hands weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God. In one scale were the thoughts and interest tending heavenward; in the other were the thoughts and interest tending to earth. Oh what a solemn thought! The angels of God standing with scales, weighing the thoughts of the professed children of God--those who claim to be dead to the world and alive to God. The scale filled with thoughts of earth, vanity, and pride quickly went down, notwithstanding weight afer weight rolled from the scale. The one with the thoughts and interest tending to Heaven went quickly up as the other went down, and oh, how light it was! Said the angel, 'Can such enter Heaven? No, no, never. Tell them the hope they now possess is vain, and unless they speedily repent, and obtain salvation, they must perish.'" Testimonies, Vol.1, p.124-126, 1855.
1856: "I was shown in vision some things that concern the church. I was pointed back to the years 1843 and 1844. There was a spirit of consecration then that there is not now. What has come over the professed peculiar people of God? I saw conformity to the world, the unwillingness to suffer for the truth's sake...
1856: "I saw the dreadful fact that God's people were conformed to the world, with no distinction, except in name... I saw that Jesus was wounded and put to an open shame. Said the angel, as with sorrow he saw the professed people of God loving the world, partaking of its spirit, and following its fashions; 'Cut loose! Cut loose! lest He appoint you your portion with hypocrites and unbelievers outside the city. Your profession will only cause you greater anguish, and your punishment will be greater because you knew His will, but did not do it...'
"God will have a people separate and distinct from the world. As soon as any have a desire to imitate the world, just so soon God ceases to acknowledge them as His children. They are the children of the world and of darkness." Testimomines, Vol.1, p.127-137. May 27, 1856.
1857: "The Lord has shown me in vision some things concerning the church in its present lukewarm state, which i will relate to you. The church was presented before me in vision. Said the angel to the church: 'Jesus speaks to thee, 'Be zealous and repent.' This work, I saw, should be taken hold of in earnest. There is something to repent of. Worldly-mindedness, selfishness, and coveteousness have been eating out the spirituality and life of God's people." Testimonies, Vol.1, p.141. 1857.
1859: "The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of Christ is not in her midst." Notebook Leaflets, p.99.
"The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that he cannot offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. He cannot endorse your teaching of His word, or your spiritual work in anywise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you." Testimonies, Vol.6, p.408.
1862: "The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ's professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them."
"Those who will be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to the immortal inheritance, will be peculiar. Yes, so peculiar that God places a mark upon them as His, wholly His. Think ye that God will receive, honor, and acknowledge a people so mixed up with the world that they differ from them only in name?" Testimonies, Vol.1, p.274-87.
to be continued
That background is hard on my eyes. Please stop.
1868: "I saw that before the work of God can make any decided progress the ministers must be converted... The church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken by her ministers....
"Many are deceived by the adversary of souls... They are doing the work of Satan, but think that they have a zeal for God... They think that the people of God are not in need of plain dealing and of reproof, but that God is with them. These tempted ones, whose souls have ever been at war with the faithful reproving of sin, would cry: Speak to us smooth things."
At the heart of the problem in these last days is supposed ministers of the gospel who never study the laws of redemption and have no clue what they require. When someone does study those laws and tries to bring their principles to the attention of these pastors they make all kinds of excuses for why these things no longer apply. Yet until they are applied, the work of redeeming the souls of the people will never really begin. We are the Body of Christs which means it is through us (not just in us) that he will do this work, and if we do not take up our crosses in this way as he commanded, we are not worthy of him (Matthew 10:38).
Revelation makes it clear that Babylon is most easily identified by its business practices. The laws of redemption in Moses Law directly address specific business practices. Granted that the Law of Moses is only a type and the specifics no longer apply today, the Law of God which is the antitype is still in force today and is more binding on us than the Law of Moses ever was. The Law of Moses illustrates the same principles in a form that is easier to see and understand and it is to be studied as prophecy of the Plan of Salvation, not simply to show us what Jesus did, but what we, as his body, must do to take up our own crosses and continue the portion of the work of redemption he has assigned to us.
Too many prefer to teach Christianity lite or Salvation lite and refuse to admit Jesus has placed this expectation on us. Because they have no clue as to the process God has set in place for us to follow in redeeming those still in bondage to sin they regularly participate in the same business practices that cause and exacerbate the bondage they are supposed to be helping to end. It is this sin, more than the violation of easily seen Old Covenant types, that are the real causes of our problems today, and the church, regardless of denomination, refuses to examine, much less correct, any of these sins of which we are guilty.
Jesus was constantly telling the people of his day, most especially the religious leaders, that they had no excuse for not seeing these underlying principles of the Old Covenant law. Hate is murder. Anything that diminishes life, is murder. This was one of the big ones that Jesus stressed in the sermon on the mount. Yet the principles apply to all the laws and nearly 1000 years earlier David had stressed this when he sinned and then prayed, "Create in me a clean heart." Later in that same Psalm he defined certain of the symbolisms of the law.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
Only these New Covenant sacrifices really mattered, even in that day when the people were still bound by the Old Covenant. And Jesus believed all of them should be able to see the New Covenant antitypes they represented. We have been living under the New Covenant for nearly 2,000 years; shouldn't we be able to see these things more clearly than they? But we are just as blind as the spiritual leaders of Jesus day, maybe even more so, and with less excuse (and Jesus thought they had no excuse.)
Look at the business practices and organizational structures. If you really want to prove you are coming out of Babylon you need to be leaving Babylon's practices and structures behind, not arguing vehemently for their support as some have been doing recently in response to matter's Sky has called to our attention. You cannot come out of man's ways of doing things if you do not know God's way of doing things. It's time to get back to the scriptures and learn what these ways are rather than constantly arguing that they no longer apply. You are simply making excuses for refusing to come out of Babylon if that is the case, and the clergy and business men both continue practices that enforce the bondage rather than redeem people out of bondage.
Sorry about the background. I just removed it.
Well stated John e
God's church WILL prevail.
The Holy Spirit is being poured out on it and the evidence is very clear with the huge growth in our church worldwide.
IT is best not to look at the past but rather the future as God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
From 1865 to 1873
1865: "In the vision given me in Rochester, New York, Dec.25, 1865, I was shown that a most solemn work is before us. Its importance and magnitude are not realized. As I marked the indifference which was everywhere present, I was alarmed for ministers and people. There seemed to be a paralysis upon the cause of present truth. The work of God seemed stayed. Ministers and people are unprepared for the time in which they live, and nearly all who profess to believe present truth are unprepared to understand the work of preparation for this time... In their present state of worldly ambition, with their lack of consecration to God, their devotion to self, they are wholly unfit to receive the latter rain... They think they are all right when they are all wrong." Testimonies, Vol.1 p.466.
1868: "I was whown the state of God's professed people. Many of them were in great darkness, yet seemed to be insensible of their true condition... Men who stand in very responsible positions at the heart of the work are asleep. Satan has paralyzed them in order that his plans and devices may not be discerned, while he is active to ensnare, deceive, and destroy. Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels... I saw that before the work of God can make any decided progress the ministers must be converted... The church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken by her ministers....They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting; yet they take it all quietly... To them everything seems to be going well, and they see no necessity of raising the faithful, trumpet notes of warning which they hear borne by the plain testimonies, to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. These reproofs and warnings disturb the quiet of these sleepy, ease-loving sentinels, and they are not pleased. They say in heart, if not in words, 'This is all uncalled for. It is too severe, too harsh. These men are unnecessarily disturbed and excited, and seem unwilling to give us any rest or quietude... Why don't they prophesy smooth things, and cry: Peace, peace? Then everything would move on smooothly.' Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completelty deceived that they know not that it is he." Testimonies, Vol.2, p.439-40.
1868: "Like ancient Israel the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and Christ has departed. His spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him." Ibid, 441,442.
1868: "I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would be saved, not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind." Ibid, 445.
1868: "If the light that has been given to these had been given to Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented in sackloth and ashes, and would have escaped the signal wrath of God. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for those who have been privileged with the clear light, and have had a vast amount of labor, but have not profited by it. They were so blinded by the devil that they verily thought themselves rich in the favor of God, when the True Witness declares them to be wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Ibid,488,489.
1873: "I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them. The True Witness condemns the lukewarm condition of the people of God, which gives Satan great power over them in this waiting, watching time... Stupidity in this watching time is sealing the senses of God's people as to the signs of the times." 3 T 255.
"Many are deceived by the adversary of souls... They are doing the work of Satan, but think that they have a zeal for God... They think that the people of God are not in need of plain dealing and of reproof, but that God is with them. These tempted ones, whose souls have ever been at war with the faithful reproving of sin, would cry: Speak to us smooth things." Ibid, 259.
to be continued
We are then too presumptuous to think then that we have the presence of God in our midst when each year (as mentioned), shows how further and further away we have removed ourselves from His presence. This can't be any clearer! Thanks, Sky!
Your welcome Shel. God bless! :)
From 1876 to 1882
1876: "There are many false prophets in these days, to whom sin does not appear specially repulsive. They complain that the peace of the people is unnecessarily disturbed by the reproofs and warnings of God's messengers. As for them, they lull the souls of sinners into a fatal ease by their smooth and deceitful teachings. Ancient Israel was thus charmed by the flattering messages of the corrupt priests. Their prediction of prosperity was more pleasing than the message of the true prophet, who counseled repentance and submission...
"Those who seek to cloak sin and make it appear less aggravating to the mind of the offender are doing the work of the false prophets and may expect the retributive judgments of God to follow such a course...
"The destruction of Jerusalem stands as a solemn warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through His chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity." Testimonies, Vol.4, p.166-67. 1876.
1879: "As a people we are backsliding from God. The hearts of His professed children are being estranged from Him. While they have a name to live, the true, vital energies of the soul have become spiritually dead."
"Christ, when weeping over Jerusalem, exclaimed, 'If thou hasdt known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.' Jerusalem's sin was in abusing past privileges, and she was sealing her doom in rejecting present mercies and warnings. The weak faith of our people today shows that past warnings and reproofs have not been heeded, and hardness of heart, and indifference, and unbelief are the result."
1879: "The Saviour's love has been unrequited. Christ looks mournfully upon the individual members of the Church, and exclaims, 'Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.' The hour of probation is fast passing; the cup of God's indignation is fast filling. Will those who profess to be waiting for the appearing of their Lord from Heaven be found wanting... All such professed Christians are represented by the man who built his house upon the sand." Review and Herald, July 10, 1879.
1881: "I saw that the very spirit of perjury that would turn truth into falsehood, good into evil, and innocence into crime, is now active, doing a work which savors of hell rather than of Heaven. Satan exults over the condition of God's professed people." Special Testimony, p.80.4. July, 1881.
1882: "I knew that a crisis must come. God has given this people plain and pointed testimonies to prevent this state of things. Had they obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit in warning, counsel, and entreaty, they would now enjoy unity and peace. But these testimonies have not been heeded by those who profess to believe them, and as a result there has been a wide departure from God, and the withdrawal of His blessing...
"You despise and reject the testimonies because they reprove your darling sins and disturb your self-complancency...
1882: "God has given us, as a people, warnings, reproofs, and cautions, on the right hand and on the left, to lead us away from worldly customs and worldly policy. He requires us to be peculiar in faith and in character, to meet a standard far in advance of worldlings. The Lord is looking into every heart. He weighs our motives. He will try every soul. Who will bear the test." Testimonies, Vol.5, p.46-62. March 28,1882.
1882: "My heart aches day after day and night after night for our churches. Many are progressing, but in the back track... I know what I say. Unless they shall become Christians indeed, they will go from weakness to weakness, divisions will increase, and many souls will be led to perdition...
1882: "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, p.93-94. 1882.
to be continued
1882: "The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting. The light of 1882 calls her to account. If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect before God, if her light becomes darkness, she is indeed found wanting. The knowledge of our state as God sees it seems to be hidden from us. We profess to know God, and to believe the truth, but in works deny Him. Our deeds are directly adverse to the principles of truth and righteousness, by which we profess to be governed." Testimonies, Vol.5, p.62-84.
1883: "Satan is preparing to work through his human agencies in secrecy. We must know the reasons for our faith... Many are holding the truth only with the tips of their fingers. They have had great light and many privileges. Like Capernaum they have been exalted to heaven in this respect. In the time of test and trial that is approaching, they will become apostates--unless they put away their pride and self-confidence, unless they have an entire transformation of character." Letter 5, 1883; Selected Messages, Vol.3, p.414-15.
"The enemy will set everything in operation to uproot the confidence of the believers in the pillars of our faith in the messages of the past, which have placed us upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, and which have established and given character to the work. The Lord God of Israel has led out His people, unfolding to them truth of heavenly origin." "The truth for this time is precious, but those whose hearts have not been broken by falling on the Rock Christ Jesus, will not see and understand what is truth. They will accept that which pleases their ideas, and will begin to manufacture another foundation than that which is laid. They will flatter their own vanity and esteem, thinking that they are capable of removing the pillars of our faith, and replacing them with pillars they have devised. This will continue to be as long as time shall last." Notebook, Leaflets, p.61-62.
1885: "The same disobedience and failure which were seen in the Jewish church have characterized in a greater degree the people who have had this great light from heaven in the last messages of warning... There is a terrible amount of guilt for which the church is responsible." Testimonies, Vol.5, p.456-57.
From 1886 to 1890
1886: "Many of our people are backsliding from God... They are in danger of becoming like the Jewish nation, who knew not the Scriptures nor the power of God... When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, His tears were for all who abuse present privileges... The eye of Jesus, looking down the ages, was fixed upon our time when He said, 'If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace!' It is still thy day, O church of God, whom He has made the depositary of His law. But this day of trust and probation is fast drawing to a close. The sun is fast westering. Can it be that it will be set, and thou do not know the things that belong unto thy peace? Must the irrevocable sentence be pronounced, 'But now they are hid from thine eyes'? I tell you there is need to be alarmed. It is time to seek God earnestly, saying with Jacob, 'I will not let Thee go unless Thou bless me.' It will be of no avail to make a spasmodic effort, only to fall back into spiritual lethargy and lukewarmness." Review and Herald, November 2, 1886.
1887: "We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church than from the world." Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.
1888: "Oh, be so full of the message that it is like fire shut up in your bones, that you cannot hold your peace. It is true, men will say, 'You are too excited; you are making too much of this matter, and you do not think enough of the law; now, you are to think more of the law; don't be all the time reaching for this righteousness of Christ, but build up the law! Let the law take care of itself. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. Let us trust in the merits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. May God help us that our eyes may be anointed with eyesalve that we may see." 1888 Materials, Vol.2, p.557.
1889: "The rebuke of God is upon us because of our neglect of solemn responsibilities. His blessings have been withdrawn because the testimonies He has given have not been heeded by those who profess to believe them. Oh, for a religious awakening!" 5 Testimonies, 719-20.
1890: "We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. 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--how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God's servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth." 1 S.M.406.
1890: "As Christ sought to place truth before the people in its proper relation to their salvation, Satan worked through the Jewish leaders, and inspired them with enmity against the Redeemer of the world. They determined to do all in their power to prevent Him from making an impression upon the people." Selected Messages, Vol.1, p.406-408.
1890: "The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis (1888) are not dead by any means; the seeds sown there in some hearts are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest. The tops have been cut down, but the roots have never been eradicated, and they still bear their unholy fruit to poison the judgment, pervert the perceptions, and blind the understanding." T.M.467.
1890: "Infidelity has been making its inroads in our ranks; for it is the fashion to depart from Christ, and give place to skepticism. With many the cry of the heart has been, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' Baal, Baal, is the choice. The religion of many among us will be the religion of apostate Israel, because they love their own way, and forsake the way of the Lord." T.M.467,468.
1890: "Will the church see where she has fallen?" "A severity, an overbearing spirit, such as existed among the Pharisees, exists in our churches, and especially in those entrusted with sacred responsibilities."
1890: "The church is like the unproductive tree which, receiving the dew and rain and sunshine, should have produced an aboundance of fruit, but on which the divine search discovers nothing but leaves. Solemn thought for our churches! Solemn indeed for every individual! Marvelous is the patience of God." The Review and Herald, Dec.23, 1890.
to be continued
What a train-wreck of a church! It's a good thing you fastidiously avoid any positive statements about the church. That way we might have thought this was an even-handed and truthful history rather than a collection of all the negative quotes about the church disguised as a complete and accurate history. This appears to be very one-sided and biased attack against the church. I personally hate it. It exemplifies cherry picking of quotes to support ones own bias against the church. You appear to be attempting to keep people away from this rather horrible place. What good does that do? Why not also include all the quotes about the SDA church continuing to be God's remnant church? The church is not perfect and can be improved. But why not include SOME positivity towards the church?
""Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts." -AA 12
Also, please keep posts to a manageable length. These very large cut-and-paste monologues don't really lead to much discussion. Please in the future, if you have a large document to share, make one post and attach your long document as a .pdf or Word file. We'll read it and then discuss it here. Thank you!
I have to disagree with you Clark.
I would encourage him to continue with his monologue as no one will read them at this length.
I really don't think a dialogue with Sky is possible. All we get are these horribly long posts
of quotes tearing down the church that he doesn't even belong to.
Clark, are you implying that all these statements I have
quoted do not really mean anything because there are
other statements for each of those years showing the
opposite or that would make the ones quoted above
of none effect?
And, by the way, for the record, Mrs. White in these statements
I have quoted, is not attacking the church. She herself stated
that God's warnings are but the breathing of unutterable love!
"All His promises, His warnings, are but the breathing of
unutterable love." Steps to Christ, p.55, bottom line.