Were the Jewish Rulers Part of the Church?

This is a loaded question usually asked by theological opponents who expect the answer to be yes, since the Jewish rulers and people are repeatedly called God’s people. (See for example Christ’s Object Lessons, 293.) They then expect to ask if the leaders in the structure of Adventism are not by the same criteria God’s people today. The next question is, aren’t they part of His church if they are part of His people? As with other loaded questions, multiple hypothetical assumptions are contained within the question. These underlying assumptions must be dealt with first from inspired writings. All emphasis is supplied in the following quotations.

  1. The first assumption is that profession equals the real or the true. Contrary to this assumption, inspired writings draw a sharp distinction between professed and true. Profession can be the same as true or it can be the complete opposite of true. Inspiration sharply distinguishes between those who profess to be the true church and the true church in reality.

Notice the distinction in the following two statements: “I saw that the church of God was then pure. There was no danger of men with corrupt hearts coming into the church of God then; for the true Christian, who dared to declare his faith, was in danger of the rack, the stake, and every torture which Satan and his evil angels could invent, and put into the mind of man.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 118. Who was the true church of God? It was those who were being martyred.

Who was attempting to destroy the true church? Notice who it was in the following quotation: “Through the agency of Romanism, Satan took the world captive. The professed church of God was swept into the ranks of this delusion, and for more than a thousand years the people of God [the true church, see Great Controversy, 64, 65] suffered under the dragon’s ire.” Signs of the Times, November 1, 1899. So who was it that killed members of the true church for over 1,000 years? It was “the professed church of God.”

It should be more than obvious from these two statements that inspired writings draw a sharp distinction between the true church and the professed church. The professed church is part of the true church only when she lives out her profession.

It is not the true church who persecutes those who believe differently than she, but rather it is the professed church which is actually controlled by the devil: “The civil power is called to the aid of the Church in persecuting those who keep holy the seventh day. The Church and the world are united in trampling upon God’s commandments, and those who obey these commandments they threaten with death. John declares, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman.’ ” Review and Herald, July 16, 1901.

“ ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God which makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God’s precepts.” Signs of the Times, April 22, 1889.

  1. The second assumption is that the professed church is recognized by God as being equivalent to the true church. It is true that God recognizes those people who have made a covenant with Him by baptism, on their confession of faith, to serve Jesus as their only Lord and Saviour from sin. But does God equate the professed church with the true church? Again the question is loaded with a false assumption because the truth is that, “God is honored, not so much by the great number, as by the character of those who serve Him. He appreciates moral worth. He draws the dividing line between those who bear His name by profession, and those whose character shows them to be His children.” Signs of the Times, June 30, 1881. “Time proved that his profession was not real.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 278. “It is something more than a profession that distinguishes the children of obedience from the children of disobedience.” Signs of the Times, September 17, 1894. “The sum is proved by one who never makes a mistake. The contradiction between the life and the profession of the Christian who speaks evil of his brethren is self-evident.” Signs of the Times, October 30, 1901. “If sin is practiced in daily life, there is no real value in all their profession.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, February 4, 1893. “John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.” Desire of Ages, 107.

God gives opportunity to everyone who makes a profession to demonstrate and develop a perfect character, but if a person deliberately chooses to live in sin, his profession is obviously worthless. “The Lord will not compel men to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God; He sets before the human agent good and evil, and makes plain what will be the sure result of following one course or the other. Christ invites us, saying, ‘Follow me.’ But we are never forced to walk in His footsteps. If we do walk in His footsteps, it is the result of deliberate choice. As we see the life and character of Christ, strong desire is awakened to be like Him in character; and we follow on to know the Lord, and to know His goings forth are prepared as the morning. We then begin to realize that ‘the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ ” Review and Herald, March 31, 1896 (See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 318; Desire of Ages, 764; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143, 1144; Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 192.)

  1. A third assumption is a false definition of the church. Since it is assumed that the professed church and the true church in reality are the same, it is assumed that the true church contains faithful and unfaithful, the loyal and the traitors, the angelic and the demonic. Statements in the inspired writings, speaking about the professed church, are used in an attempt to prove this. But definition statements of the true church in the inspired writings do not contradict, they cannot contradict without destroying the prophets and the Bible altogether. “All truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is consistent with itself in all its manifestations.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 114.

Inspired writings cannot have mutually contradictory definition statements unless they are inspired by the devil. “God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and still another will arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But we stand by the old landmarks.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 162.

Here is the way the true church is always defined in the writings of Ellen G. White: “The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church . . . The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931. “Christ is withdrawn only from the eye of sense, but He is as truly present by His Spirit as when He was visibly present on earth. The time that has elapsed since His ascension has brought no interruption in the fulfillment of His parting promise,—‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ God has provided light and truth for the world by having placed it in the keeping of faithful men, who in succession have committed it to others through all generations up to the present time. These men have derived their authority in an unbroken line from the first teachers of the faith. Christ remains the true minister of His church, but He delegates His power to His under-shepherds, to His chosen ministers, who have the treasure of His grace in earthen vessels. God superintends the affairs of His servants, and they are placed in His work by divine appointment.” Signs of the Times, April 7, 1890.

Notice, God is still in charge and people are placed in His work, in His church, by His own divine appointment. It is up to the church to recognize those who give evidence that the Holy Spirit has called and ordained them to a certain work. However, in the dark ages the professed church chose to burn His faithful servants at the stake instead. Persecution of those who are thought to be heretics is a sure sign that the professed church has forsaken her professed Lord, is serving another Master, and is in a state of apostasy. A church that is in a state of apostasy is attracted to other churches in apostasy: “The great I AM has decided what shall constitute the rule of faith and doctrine, and He has designed that the Bible shall be a household book. The church that holds to the word of God is irreconcilably separated from Rome. Protestants were once thus apart from this great church of apostasy, but they have approached more nearly to her, and are still in the path of reconciliation to the Church of Rome. Rome never changes. Her principles have not altered in the least. She has not lessened the breach between herself and Protestants; they have done all the advancing. But what does this argue for the Protestantism of this day? It is the rejection of Bible truth that makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy.” Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894.

“The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. This tabernacle is Christ’s body, and from north, south, east, and west, He gathers those who shall help to compose it.” Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.

“Faithful souls have constituted the church of God on earth, and He has taken them into covenant relation with Himself, uniting His church on earth with His church in heaven. He has sent forth heavenly angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 266.

“The church is God’s fortress. His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world . . . From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth . . . God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11.

Man may fulfill his profession and thereby demonstrate that he is a member of the true church, or he may deny his profession by his speech or actions and thereby cease to be a part of the true church and become part of the synagogue of Satan. “Satan is earnestly striving to lead souls away from right principles. Multitudes who profess to belong to God’s true church are falling under the enemy’s deceptions. They are being led to swerve from their allegiance to the blessed and only Potentate.” Review and Herald, October 15, 1903.

“Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from ‘the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.’ Jude 3.” The Great Controversy, 51. When a person(s) lays down the banner of Christ and departs from the faith, he has separated from the true church. This is universally true and unfortunately shows that large numbers of professed Seventh-day Adventists have separated from the true church. As in the apostasy of the church in Rome during the early centuries, the unfaithful majority still had the church buildings, organization, bank accounts, pastors, and all the outward machinery of a church. Yet, they were still the separationists. The faithful, loyal, and true to God remain the true church even if they are disfellowshipped or burned at the stake.

“I was shown, Oct. 2, 1868, the state of God’s professed people. [Notice this testimony is to and about the professed church which in this case is not really the true church.] Many of them were in great darkness, yet seemed to be insensible of their true condition . . . Especially is this the case in Battle Creek. Men in responsible places at the heart of the work are asleep. They are paralyzed by Satan, that his plans and devices may not be discerned while he is active to ensnare, deceive, and destroy. [Some people believe that you can be paralyzed by Satan and at the same time be a soldier of Christ in His army. Does this not approach blasphemy? Does Christ have any army over which He Himself is not in control? Would anyone say that the Lord is not able to organize and maintain a spiritual army of human beings under His own direction and control?] Those who are occupying the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger, have given up their watch, [They are not actually watchmen anymore.] and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. [They are not the faithful who compose the true church—they are unfaithful.] They have remained inactive and indolent while their wily foe has entered the fort, and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up. [Is it possible for Satan to work side by side with a soldier in the true church and nothing happen?] They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting, yet they take it all quietly, as though they had no special interest, as though these things did not concern them. They apprehend no special danger. They see no cause to raise an alarm. All to them seems to be going well, and they see no necessity of raising the faithful, trumpet tones of warning they hear in the plain testimonies borne showing the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins . . .

“These are the true feelings of a large class in Battle Creek. Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds [Does Satan control the minds of the people of the true church of God?] of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, [Has the devil deceived the people of the true church and planted his hellish banner in their midst with no resistance?] and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he. The people have not erected graven images, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God. They worship mammon. They love worldly gain. Some will make any sacrifice of conscience to obtain their object. God’s professed people are selfish and self-caring. [Repeatedly, Ellen White tells you whom she is talking about, it is the professed people of God. They are not the true church because they are unfaithful, and are controlled, deceived, fraternizing with, and paralyzed by Satan, and have fellowship with the works of darkness.] They love the things of this world, and have fellowship with the works of darkness. They have pleasure in unrighteousness. They have not love toward God, nor love for their neighbors. They are idolaters—worse, far worse, in the sight of God, than the heathen graven-image worshipers who have no knowledge of a better way.” Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, 1–3.

Ellen White clearly states that these members of the professed church were not in reality members of the true church, not really children of God: “Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they shall be sons and daughters of the Lord. If the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise of being children of the Most High God, members of the royal family.” The Southern Work, 13, 14. [For anyone who cares to investigate, the expression “royal family” is one of the definitive descriptions of who the true church is in the Spirit of Prophecy. This is therefore, a most explicit statement that these Seventh-day Adventists in Battle Creek are not part of the true church in reality.]

“A profession of Christianity is nothing in the sight of God; but true, humble, willing obedience to His requirements designates them as the children of His adoption, the recipients of His grace, the partakers of His great salvation. Such will be peculiar, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Their peculiar, holy character will be discernible, and will distinctly separate them from the world, from its affections and lust. I saw that but few answer to this description in Battle Creek. Their love to God is in words, not in deed and in truth. Their course of action, their works testify of them, that they are not children of the light, but of darkness.” Ibid. [Notice they are not the children of God, but they are the children of the devil. To be part of the church by profession is to claim to be a child of God, but to be part of the church in reality is to be a child of God in character by obedience.] “I call upon every church in our land to look well to your own souls. [The context shows that she is using the word “church” here, as in hundreds or thousands of other places, to refer to the professed church. However, the rest of the paragraph shows that not all in the professed church are actually children of God. All of the professed church is not part of the true church.] ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’ God makes no distinction between the North and the South. Whatever may be your prejudices, your wonderful prudence, do not lose sight of this fact, that unless you put on Christ, and His Spirit dwells in you, you are slaves of sin and of Satan. Many who claim to be children of God are children of the wicked one, and have all his passions, his prejudices, his evil spirit, his unlovely traits of character. But the soul that is indeed transformed will not despise any one whom Christ has purchased with His own blood.” The Southern Work, 13, 14.

“In both the Old and the New Testament the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice, to be a holy nation, a peculiar people. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. And this distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time. It is not a profession of faith, or a name registered in the church book [The church book on earth is the professed church. She is not saying not to make the profession—all of the members of the true church will make the profession. The point is that profession is not enough to really be a child of God and to actually be a part of the true church.] that constitutes us children of God. It is a vital connection with Christ. We must be one with Him, imbued with His Spirit, partakers of the divine nature, crucified to the world with its affections and lusts, renewed in knowledge and true holiness.” Review and Herald, November 12, 1914. See also General Conference Bulletin, July 1, 1900, paragraph 16; General Conference Bulletin, February 4, 1893, paragraph 8; 1 John 3:7–10.

“Who are the children of God? They are members of the royal family, a royal nation, and a peculiar people, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They do not worship idols, they love God with all the heart, and their neighbors as themselves.” Review and Herald, August 1, 1893.

“Their works have been in selfishness, in unrighteousness. Their works have not been wrought in God. Their hearts are strangers to His renewing grace. They have not experienced the transforming power that leads them to walk even as Christ walked. Those who are living branches of the heavenly Vine, will partake of the sap and nourishment of the vine. They will not be withered and fruitless branches. They will show life, and vigor, and will flourish and bear fruit to the glory of God. They will be careful to depart from all iniquity, and perfect holiness in the fear of God.” For those who care to investigate, there is another parameter distinguishing between the true church in reality and those who are the true church by profession only. It is that the true church member has an inner vital connection with the true vine. The person who is a member by profession but not in reality has an outer connection but the inner vital connection is lacking. “The church [In her opening sentence she made it clear that she is talking about the professed church. The professed Seventh-day Adventist church in Battle Creek, which, according to the testimony, was not part of the true church in reality at all.] has departed from the light, neglected her duties, abused her high and exalted privileges of being peculiar and holy in character, and thereby dishonored her God, like ancient Israel. They have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined in with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin, are cherished, and Christ has departed. His Spirit has been quenched in the church.” Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, 4.

Concerning the true church in reality she says, “To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.” Acts of the Apostles, 55. The fruit is the difference between the true church and the church by profession only. “Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spirituality and discernment that they do not detect him. They have not the burden of the work. The solemn truths they profess to believe are not a reality to them. They have not genuine faith. Men and women will act out all the faith they in reality possess. By their fruits ye shall know them. Not their profession, but the fruit they bear, shows the character of the true.” Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, 4. Every member of the true church in reality makes an outward profession but everybody who makes a profession is not a member of the true church in reality.

The true church has sometimes had to flee, (Revelation 12:6) but it is not invisible. Every member makes an outward, public profession of faith and is baptized in a visible service. There is great confusion about this today because of false teaching. There will be many people from Babylon and from heathen countries who will be saved, but these people cannot now be described as belonging to an invisible or any other kind of church of God. (See Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary vol. 5, 1121; Desire of Ages, 239, 638.)

“Many have a form of godliness, their names are upon the church records, but they have a spotted record in Heaven. The recording angel has written deeds. Their acts have been faithfully written. Every selfish act, every wrong word, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling, is faithfully chronicled in the book of records kept by the recording angel. Very many profess to be servants of Jesus Christ who are none of His. (See Romans 8:9.) They are deceiving their own souls to their own destruction. While they profess to be servants of Jesus Christ, they are not living in obedience to His will. Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; Whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Many, while professing to be servants of Jesus Christ, are obeying another master, and working daily against the Master of whom they profess to be servants.” Ibid., 5. (See also Testimonies, vol. 2, 439.)

  1. A fourth assumption is that the past approximately equals the present. Stated in a different way, what was true in the past is true today. This false assumption was one of the great deceptions in Christ’s day. The Jews thought that because God had started their organization, and instituted the temple and all its services, that what had been true in the past was still true then. They did not discern that having the oracles of truth and all the symbols of true religion was not worth anything without a change of heart. That being lineal descendants of Abraham was worthless unless conversion was experienced, “The Jewish people might have repented, if they would, but they were clothed with the garments of their own self-righteousness. They claimed to be the descendants of Abraham, and looked upon every promise made to Israel as theirs. But the Israel of God are those who are converted, not those who are the lineal descendants of Abraham. [It was this conversion experience and not the fact that they were lineal descendants of Abraham that made them the people of God, even in Old Testament times.] ‘What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.’ Romans 3:1, 2. ‘For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.’ Romans 2:28, 29.” Upward Look, 80.

“The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as he did, a life of obedience to God. They would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that was given Him from God. In plotting against Christ, the rabbis were not doing the works of Abraham. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without a spiritual connection with Him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not His children.

This principle bears with equal weight upon a question that has long agitated the Christian world,—the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles’ spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel.” The Desire of Ages, 466, 467.

The same false assumption is evident today. The past experience of the true and faithful in Adventism does not equal anything today unless we are true and faithful as they were. The nation of Israel according to the flesh (according to profession) cannot be equated to the true church of God. (See Romans 9:6–8.) It is the children of the promise, the spiritual children that are accounted for the seed—the true church. The children of the flesh, those who make a profession but do not fulfill their profession by their life and character, are not in reality God’s church (like Ishmael). Only the children of the promise are accounted for the seed.

So, were the Jewish rulers in Christ’s day part of the true church?

  1. They were part of the true church by profession but in character or reality “they were not His people.” The Desire of Ages, 107. They were given many opportunities to repent, return and become His people in reality, but they “cut themselves away from Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 293.

In the chapter on the Lord’s vineyard in Christ’s Object Lessons, Ellen White is talking about the “professed church” or the “professed people of God” and often refers to this group simply as the church, but the context shows clearly what she is talking about—“the professed followers of Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 303. She declares that the professed followers of Christ were “unfaithful” Ibid. She says that they bear Christ’s name, but they “are not under Christ’s rule.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 304. She says that “they are under the control of the enemy.” Ibid. Can anybody believe that the true and faithful children of God (His true church) are under the control of the devil? Obviously these people, part of the professed church are not in reality part of the true church. They do not have the true identifying marks even if they go to church every Sabbath. The reasons that these who profess to be members of the true church, who bear Christ’s name are actually under the control of the enemy is given in the same page: “They are not heeding His instruction [they will not listen to the counsel of the Holy Spirit given in the Spirit of Prophecy] and they are not doing His work.” Ibid. Anytime you see this you may know that those in whom these criteria develops, are under the control of Satan and are members of the true church by profession only and not in reality.

  1. The true church is defined as follows: “In holy vision, John saw the remnant church on the earth, in an age of lawlessness, and he points them out in unmistakable language: ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ ” Signs of the Times, February 3, 1888. To keep the commandments of God has always been an identifying mark of the true church. But the meaning of keeping the commandments is to love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. (See Review and Herald, November 17, 1896.) Since the Jewish rulers “did not love God” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 293), they could not possibly be described as being part of the true church.
  2. The true church from the beginning has been composed of faithful souls (Acts of the Apostles, 11). But these Jewish rulers were “unfaithful.” (Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 34.)
  3. The true church is made up of the people of God but the Jewish rulers were the children of the devil. (John 8:44.) They were the children of God by profession but the children of the devil in reality or in character.

God bears long with His professed people. He gives them ample opportunities to become vitally connected with the true vine, if they choose. He gives everyone opportunity for all the tares (evil traits of character) to be uprooted from his heart so that only the wheat (the divine character traits) will be left. He gives all opportunity to develop and manifest their true character and be a member of the true church, not just by profession, but in character. But this opportunity does not go on forever. When tares go to seed, when members of the professed church of God openly demonstrate a life of sin, they are to be disfellowshipped. (See Christ’s Object Lessons, 71.)

If the tares get in control of the church (the professed church), Jesus said to “let them alone.” Failure to heed this counsel resulted in the eternal destruction of millions of Jews and (would to God that He would forbid such to happen again) could indeed happen in Adventism. The destruction of Jerusalem is a faint picture of what will indeed happen in Adventism if those who make such a high profession deny such profession by their works, and fail to be sanctified by the truth and perfect holiness in the fear of God.

As we approach the final judgment (which approach has been in process since 1844—over 150 years) the tares go to seed and are removed from the field by the angels. Another name for the separation of the wheat and the tares is the shaking. We believe that this removal and separation is taking place with alarming rapidity during these closing years. When people lay down the banner of Christ and depart from the faith once delivered to the saints, they are by that very act separated from the true church, they are bound up in bundles to be burned, all the while assuming that they are part of the true church headed for glory. The deception is the very same as was upon the Jews in Christ’s day. The National Sunday Law will make it evident to the whole universe which bundle each person is part of. “Not one who is abiding in Christ will fail or fall.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 368.

Day by day each Adventist is preparing to be in one group or the other for the final roll call which will be the last phase of the shaking (the separation of the wheat from the tares). The fact that the Jewish rulers were not part of the true church and will end up in the blackness of eternal night, assumes ominous proportions when one considers the following prophecies:

“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.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 406.

“In His Word the Lord declared what He would do for Israel if they would obey His voice. But the leaders of the people yielded to the temptations of Satan, and God could not give them the blessings He designed them to have, because they did not obey His voice but listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer. This experience will be repeated in the last years of the history of the people of God, who have been established by His grace and power. Men whom He has greatly honored will in the closing scenes of this earth’s history pattern after ancient Israel.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 379.

“The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 234.