1. Could the SDA Church become corrupted?
“If the church pursue a course similar to that of the world, they will share the same fate. Nay, rather, as they have received greater light, their punishment will be greater than that of the impenitent.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 100.
“Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Everyone sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how can I give thee up? How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Matthew 23:37.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.
“If most earnest vigilance is not manifested at the great heart of the work to protect the interests of the cause, the church will become as corrupt as the churches of other denominations.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 513.
2. What is coming in among God’s people?
“But O, sad picture! those who do not submit to the influence of the Holy Spirit soon lose the blessings received when they acknowledged the truth as from Heaven. They fall into a cold, spiritless formality; they lose their interest in perishing souls: they have ‘left their first love.’ And Christ says unto them, ‘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.’ He will take his Holy Spirit from the church, and give it to others who will appreciate it.
“There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies. Thoughts of the inner work, the necessary purity of heart, are not entertained. The absence of harmony with God becomes apparent. The light grows dim, goes out; the candlestick has been removed.” Review and Herald, July 16, 1895.
3. What causes this wickedness?
“I have been shown that the spirit of the world is fast leavening the church. You are following the same path as did ancient Israel. There is the same falling away from your holy calling as God’s peculiar people. You are having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Your concord with unbelievers has provoked the Lord’s displeasure. You know not the things that belong to your peace, and they are fast being hid from your eyes. Your neglect to follow the light will place you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews upon whom Christ pronounced a woe.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 75, 76.
“God gives men the light, but many are filled with a self-sufficient, masterly spirit; and they strive by carrying out their own ideas to reach a height where they will be as God. They place their mind first, as if God must serve with them. Herein lies the danger in this: Unless God shall in some way make these men understand that He is God, and that they are to serve Him, human inventions will be brought in that will lead away from Bible truth, notwithstanding all the cautions that have been given.” The Upward Look, 131.
4. Upon what will we be judged?
“In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: ‘Found wanting.’ By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 247.
“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 has been shining clear and definite upon her pathway, and the light of 1882 calls her to an account. If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect before God, if her light has become darkness, she is indeed found wanting. The knowledge of our state as God views it, seems to be hidden from us. We see, but perceive not; we hear, but do not understand; and we rest as unconcerned as if the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, rested upon our sanctuary. 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, 83, 84.
5. What will happen if we do not repent?
“The patience of God has an object, but you are defeating it. He is allowing a state of things to come that you would fain see counteracted by and by, but it will be too late. God commanded Elijah to anoint the cruel and deceitful Hazael king over Syria, that he might be a scourge to idolatrous Israel. Who knows whether God will not give you up to the deceptions you love? Who knows but that the preachers who are faithful, firm, and true may be the last who shall offer the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches? It may be that the destroyers are already training under the hand of Satan and only wait the departure of a few more standard-bearers to take their places, and with the voice of the false prophet cry, ‘Peace, peace,’ when the Lord hath not spoken peace. I seldom weep, but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write. It may be that ere long all prophesyings among us will be at an end, and the voice which has stirred the people may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 77.
“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 represented as having fallen and become 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 Releases, vol. 19, 176.
“A sin-hating God calls upon those who claim to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. A neglect to repent and to render willing obedience will bring upon men and women today as serious consequences as came upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which the judgments of Jehovah can no longer be delayed. The desolation of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah is a solemn warning to modern Israel, that the counsels and admonitions given them through chosen instrumentalities cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Prophets and Kings, 416, 417.
“A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’” Testimonies, vol. 1, 609.
“These are no idle tales, but truth. Again I ask: On which side are you standing? ‘If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’ 1 Kings 18:21.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 68.
6. Could God pass the SDA Church by?
“The Lord says, ‘Shall I not visit for these things?’ Jeremiah 5:9. Because they failed of fulfilling God’s purpose, the children of Israel were set aside, and God’s call was extended to other peoples. If these too prove unfaithful, will they not in like manner be rejected?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 304.
“The words of God to ancient Israel have a solemn warning to the church and its leaders today. Of Israel the Lord said, ‘I have written to him the great things of My law; but they were counted as a strange thing.’ Hosea 8:12. And to the priests and teachers He declared, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee; . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.’ Hosea 4:6.
“Shall the warnings from God be passed by unheeded? Shall the opportunities for service be unimproved? Shall the world’s scorn, the pride of reason, conformity to human customs and traditions, hold the professed followers of Christ from service to Him? Will they reject God’s word as the Jewish leaders rejected Christ? The result of Israel’s sin is before us. Will the church of today take warning?
“‘If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not. . . . Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee.’ Romans 11:17-21.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 306.
“If the church refuses to hear the voice of the Heavenly Merchant man, refuses to open the door, then Christ will pass on, and it will be left destitute of His presence, destitute of true riches, but saying in self-righteousness, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ Revelation 3:17.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 291.
7. Will God always have a faithful people, who will serve Him?
“The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.” The Upward Look, 131.
8. Who are God’s true denominated people?
“Who are these? God’s denominated people—those who on this earth have witnessed to their loyalty. Who are they? Those who have kept the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; those who have owned the Crucified One as their Saviour.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 981.
9. Who can we trust to take us through to the end?
“The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, ‘All ye are brethren.’ All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ The Lord ‘is the Rock, His work is perfect.’ ‘Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.’ Jeremiah 17:5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 2:12.” Desire of Ages, 414.
“The word of finite man is fallible. Human laws, that are supposed to take the place of the law of God, are not to be respected. Henceforth the nations are to be in a very uncertain state. Kings and rulers will be involved in greater perplexities than they have ever thought possible, and this because they are disobedient to the word of the Lord, and work entirely contrary to his principles. The question now comes home to all who have their Bibles, Are we prepared to follow the word of God? ‘If any man will come after me,’ says Christ, ‘let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ You cannot depend upon priests, rulers, human lawmakers; for, as in Christ’s day, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men. They know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God. Man made theories are placed above a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ But the searching of the soul has come. Are we obedient to the law of God? Will every soul look up in faith, and answer to God, as did Elisha, ‘As the Lord liveth . . . I will not leave thee’? Whatever may come, persecution, reproach, falsehood, or anything that shall arise—will not leave the source of my strength.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 28, 1898.