Editorial – Who Are Loyal?

Years ago I was working with several ministries who were sponsoring revival and reformation camp meetings in all regions of the country. Shortly before one of these camp meetings the pastor of a nearby church preached a sermon against the camp meeting and its sponsors. His subject was concerning loyalty to the message and the church etc… Since, in this magazine, we have explained many times from inspired writings who and what the church is, we will not enter into that subject here. We will merely ask, “what is the bottom line about who is loyal and who is not loyal to the work of God today?

Jesus had this problem when He was on this earth. See Desire of Ages, 111. Following are a few guidelines from the writings of Ellen G. White about who are loyal.

The loyal obey all the commandments of God: “The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God.” Great Controversy, 438.

“How can fathers consent to their children attending school on the Sabbath, or any part of the Sabbath, the same as on any common weekday? Here is a cross to life. Here the line of separation is drawn between the loyal and disloyal. This is the sign that there is a people who will not make void the law of God although it is at a sacrifice to themselves.” Manuscript Release, vol. 5, 79.

The one who is loyal will refuse to obey earthly powers if they require him to violate a command of God. “The laws of earthly kingdoms are to be obeyed only when they do not conflict with the laws of God…when they try to control the minds and consciences of those whom Christ died to make free, God’s children are to show their loyalty to him by refusing to disobey his commandments.” Signs of the Times, May 13, 1897.

The one who is loyal will be at war against sin and evil: “In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided warfare against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 5.

The One who is loyal will rebuke evil. (He generally will be accused of being critical, backbiting, and divisive when he does this duty.) “God would have His servants prove their loyalty by faithfully rebuking transgression, however painful the act may be.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 323, 324.

The loyal will not be found imbibing of worldly pleasure and will be practicing self-denial and humility: “Beware of those who preach to others the word of life, but do not themselves cherish the spirit of humility and self-denial which it inculcates. Such men cannot be depended on in a crisis…many today assert their loyalty to God, but their concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and eager desire for popularity, all testify that they have not obeyed his voice.” Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 71.

“How shall we know that they are disloyal and untrue?—‘By their fruits ye shall know them’…The Lord will not write as wise those who cannot distinguish between a tree that bears thorn-berries and a tree that bears olives.” Review and Herald, September 7, 1897.

The loyal are involved in evangelism: “He has opened a fountain for Judah and Jerusalem, and every member of his church is to show his loyalty by inviting the thirsty to drink of the water of life.” Review and Herald, November 12, 1914.

They will engage in acts in of love and reverence for Jesus: “Acts of love and reverence for Jesus are an evidence of faith in Him as the Son of God.” Desire of Ages, 564.

They will participate in the ordinance of the Lord’s House: “This ordinance of feet washing was made a religious service…It was given as something to test and prove the loyalty of the children of God.” Evangelism, 275.

“The loyal have given the affections of their entire heart to Jesus: It is the whole heart that Jesus prizes. The loyalty of the soul is alone of value in the sight of God.” Testimonies vol. 5, 73.

“They will not fail to declare all the Word of God: “in order to retain their position in the church, some consented to be silent in regard to their hope; but others felt that loyalty to God forbade them thus to hide the truths which He had committed to their trust.” Great Controversy, 372.

The loyal will be separate from the world: “It is impossible for a man to become loyal to God, rendering obedience to all his commandments, without finding himself immediately marked as odd from the rest of the world, and cut off from the society of those who transgress that law…a separation becomes necessary.” Review and Herald, January 13, 1885.