PROPHETIC PARALLELS – The Church “Then”. . . . . .and the Church Now
by Terry S. Ross
How many times have you heard it said or have said yourself: We shouldn’t criticize? I can remember when there used to be such a thing as constructive criticism. So far have we been removed from those days of honest correction that we no longer use such terminology. Why? Because when someone in our ranks today says we shouldn’t criticize, they mean we should keep from speaking anything that’s “negative,” especially if it’s directed at the “leadership” of the “church.”
Almost always on the heels of this comment you will hear someone say that Jesus never condemned anybody. And once again this comment is calculated to place a grim opinion on anyone who would proceed to prove that “they are out of step with what Jesus would have done.” Maybe you have been in Sabbath School and have tried to make a critical point on the lesson or have challenged some leader for his wrong actions and someone has said (on cue), “Jesus never condemned anybody.” You have almost heard the minds of all the Sabbath School members slam shut about this time and you would not be heard for the rest of the session. Your influence has just been killed!
But to make such statements, in reality, shows the prejudice of the comment and exposes the ignorance of the one who makes it. If Jesus never condemned anyone, then why did the “church” crucify Him! It doesn’t take a genius to realize that to say Jesus never condemned anyone is to be very inaccurate and shows that the one making such comments knows not what the Spirit of Prophecy says nor the Bible itself. All one has to do is read through the four Gospels and pay attention to the red lettering. I guarantee that you will find in a big way throughout that Jesus was, in fact, condemning the leadership of the Ancient Conference of His day. To deny this obvious fact is to deny the simplest historical accounts of the New Testament. Jesus called the apostate leaders of His day “sons of the devil” (John 8: 44), “hypocrites” (Matt. 6: 2, 15: 7, 23: 13 and numerous other places), and “white sepulchers” (Matt. 23: 27). He certainly agreed with John the Baptist, His cousin, who called the leaders a “generation of snakes” in Matt. 3: 7. As a matter of fact, Jesus spoke of John as the greatest prophet who ever lived (Matt. 11: 11). We could sight many more situations when Jesus did things that most Seventh- day Adventists would be appalled at today, such as overthrowing the money tables in the courts of the church, but this should demonstrate that most people either don’t know what Jesus was like or they really don’t want to be “just like Jesus.”
It’s also quite simple to prove that Christ condemned the leadership of the “church” by looking at many plain Spirit of Prophecy statements. We will but take a look at one or two. DA 616: “The Saviour continued [that means He had already been doing it] His DENUNCIATIONS of the scribes and Pharisees: ‘Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, … ’”. Another example is found in DA 618: “But when obedience to God requires self- denial and humiliation, these very persons stifle their convictions, and refuse obedience. Thus they manifest the same spirit as did the Pharisees whom CHRIST CONDEMNED.” (All emphasis of the author is supplied in capital letters or contained within brackets unless otherwise stated.)
We will have further comments on some of these passages later in our study but it only takes a little examination by an honest student to discover that the person who makes the comment that Christ never condemned anybody for whatever reason simply doesn’t know what he is talking about. Once we learn the truth about the matter we are obligated by our ostensible love for the truth and God’s people, professed or otherwise, to educate those who remain ignorant. One might ask oneself, “Where did we get the idea that Jesus never condemned anybody or that we should never condemn anybody?” The answer is found in the same place the disciples found it — from the same leaders that Jesus was condemning!
Certainly, if you have been around Adventist churches for any length of time, you have heard this next comment: “We should never speak against the leadership.” Well, we have pretty much answered that above, but once again if you will just think for a moment, you will find that it is not a sin to expose that which leads people away from God. As a matter of fact, I have made a little challenge in times past and will make it here again. Think of any three “heroes” from the Bible or Reformation Period of this earth’s history. Now as you’re choosing your favorite three, reflect upon what makes them your heroes and show me, if you can, that they didn’t experience affliction, in their day for speaking up against apostate leadership. I dare say, with very few exceptions, it doesn’t matter what three you choose; most of them fit the above criteria and this is what actually makes them your heroes! Because they took a stand against their leaders and laid everything on the line, you admire them. The problem we face is, as historic as they are, modern day heroes are rarely appreciated by their own generation or in their own country as the Bible states. But whether accepted or not, the Lord will continue to raise them and they will continue to lay everything on the line.
Here’s another statement that in itself is wonderful but sometimes calculated to hold the tongue of the reformer: “I just want to be like Jesus.” This statement sounds so good and so pious. But one must be very careful how he uses this statement. The appropriate question to those who are trying to use it to silence an honest approach to truth, may be — are you sure you are willing to be just like Jesus?
To be just like Jesus is to speak and act just as Jesus did. Without elaborating, at this point it is all too clear that Jesus’ words and actions got Him killed by His own church! Are we really ready to be just like Jesus? If we are, we will pay much more attention to what His Father tells us to do than to men who are in leadership positions or to their opinions. This is what Jesus did and He was rejected by those who claimed they were interested in righteousness while at the same time plotted to kill God! They, the conference leaders of that day, did end up killing God and all who remained loyal with them ended up with the same crime written in the books of heaven, you know, right there beside their names. Think about it.
How about this statement: “The church is going through.” Almost anyone who has been an Adventist any length of time at all has heard this echoed time and time again. But even in the statement itself, the way it’s stated is a subtle deception and we shall discover how more in detail later. But for now this is what is really meant, most of the time, when you hear the above words, “The Conference is going through.” When people don’t want their lives rattled at all, they don’t want to take responsibility for working out their own salvation. In some cases people are just honestly confused. When they say the church is going through, they really mean the conference is going through. This we will discover is a “taught” understanding by those who are trying to protect their own interests. The words “conference” and “church” in the sense of Biblical understanding are not the same thing although leadership would have us believe they are.
Our understanding of the truth in this matter alone is crucial and our study in the Desire of Ages will be a blessed one in helping us to realize God’s definition of the true church.
Maybe you have heard someone make this comment: “If anything is wrong in the church, I’ll read it in the Review.” Well, all I have to say at this point about this statement is that it has some truth. If you wish to read what’s wrong in the “church” just read the Review!
Here’s yet another: “The Conference is the voice of God.” The fact of the matter is that Ellen G. White’s last comment on this subject still stands and was never reversed. It is found in Manuscript Release #37 (my family has verified it with the White Estates) written in 1901 on page 8: “It [the 1901 General Conference] is working upon wrong principles, that has brought the cause of God into its present embarrassment. The people have lost confidence in those who have the management of the work. Yet we hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God. Every time I have heard this, I have thought it was almost blasphemy. The voice of the Conference ought to be the voice of God, but it is not, because some in connection with it are not men of faith and prayer, they are not men of elevated principle. There is not a seeking of God with the whole heart; there is not a realization of the terrible responsibility that rests upon those in this institution to mold and fashion minds after the divine similitude.”
If one is to understand and analyze the principles that Sister White has established as to what makes true leaders for God, then the subject of who and what is the church could be simply decided from the above statement alone. It is either God’s way or no way. Also, notice that she doesn’t say “all” the leaders in connection with the work but “some” leaders. This makes a big difference and has always been true when investigated. When Jesus left the “true church” of His day desolate, not ALL the leaders were apostate but MANY of them were. If people are waiting until the day they can say, “Well, I know now that every leader in the structure is now in apostasy,” before they make their own decision as to what course to follow, they will find themselves beating on the outside of the ark. But the door will already be shut.
Just a couple more comments you have probably heard that have become common within the past few years: “I’m not held responsible for what happens to my money once it’s paid to the Conference.” Oh really!? Please allow me to demonstrate how ridiculous this comment is in our day. Let’s say that you and I are walking down the street of some major city here in America. We are discussing how wonderful the Lord has been to us and relating some blessing the Lord has brought our way. In the midst of our testimonies a man stumbles out of an alley we are passing. We “size him up” in just a couple of seconds.
Standing in front of us we see a man who is quite unkept and unclean. His clothes and general makeup is in much disarray. He says something about having gone without several meals and asks if we might have a couple of dollars to help him out. As we listen to his story we can’t help but notice the repulsive odor that emanates from his person and the slur in his voice. Nonetheless, we are sympathetic to his present lot in life.
When he is finished relating his troubles, we politely offer to escort him back a block or so to the cafe we just passed a few minutes prior to our encounter. We tell him that we will purchase the meal he is seeking, but as we extend our offering he declines and tries to convince us that he can handle the situation on his own if we will only part with the cash.
Now, Brothers and sisters, at this point anyone who is even just a little bit street wise knows that this fellow is not asking for our money to be spent on any meal unless in liquid form. While making a profession of Christianity at this juncture, we must make a decision concerning our response to his request. Let me ask you this simple question as you are contemplating this scenario. Knowing that this man will take the money which the Lord has entrusted to you down to the nearest liquor store to buy his next “meal,” do you think the Lord would hold you responsible if you parted with your cash?
The answer is all too clear. Of course He would, and that is why you wouldn’t and couldn’t give this man cash, knowing he would get drunk off your money if you just gave it to him. You would conceive that the Lord would not approve. Well, what made the difference in your decision? Yes, you had information that brought you to the realization that the Lord would not approve of you “helping” this man in the way he wanted you to.
Now let me ask you another simple question. If you have knowledge that you are giving to a cause or a church where God’s money is going to be mishandled, are you responsible for what happens to it? The answer is just as simple as the one above. Of course you are! I am not telling you what to do with your money, but if we are not acting from right principles, we will be held accountable. For one to say in this day and age (and I’m addressing this to the present situation in the “church”) that all I have to do is put my money in any offering plate and my responsibility stops there is being willingly naive and is taking a dangerous position. To be a good steward means to educate oneself regarding the issue to the best of one’s ability. After we have done this, our responsibility is then complete if we act according to an honest conscience.
The last comment with which we want to deal has been more recently heard than some of the rest: “If the Conference takes away your membership, you’re lost unless you repent and are accepted back in.” But in many places Spirit of Prophecy plainly teaches that having our names on the roles of the Seventh- day Adventist Membership books does not place us on Heaven’s book.
God’s Amazing Grace, page 249: “The fact that our names are on the church books will not secure for us an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. God asks, Have you used your opportunities for service and for the development of Christian character? Have you traded faithfully with your Lord’s goods? Knowing the will of God concerning you, how have you obeyed that will?”
Of course, the opposite is true as well. Just because someone has taken our names off the “church’s” books does not mean we are taken off the rolls of heaven’s books. Brothers and sisters, if this were true, then Jesus, Himself would be lost. For you cannot be disfellowshipped any harder than to be crucified by your church! So with these initial points in place, let’s dive into our study of Desire of Ages and Prophetic Parallels. Remember, we are concentrating in this study on our research as to what happened in Christ’s day and its parallels to our own day. Chapter 63 —
DA 569: “Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Zechariah thus foretold the coming of the King to Israel.” And at the bottom of the next paragraph: “The hope of the new kingdom was again springing up.”
Now let me explain something right here so we are not blamed for unnecessary things later. Our study, although detailed in many ways, will be nonetheless, an overview of the most important points pertinent to the study. By necessity, we will skip many paragraphs and words to be as efficient as we can. But lest any make the charge we are trying to deceive by doing this “skipping,” please feel free to read every word as I, of course, have several times. You will find that it will not detract from anything parallel that is uncovered and, in fact, many times you may think, “Terry you should have used this one!”
So for five hundred years the Lord had brought to view the reality that the Messiah was on His way. But do you know what happened before He arrived? The educational system of the Ancient Adventists became polluted. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, the Conference leaders “knew” more than He did. Remember when they asked Him by what authority had He to preach? They made the charge that He didn’t have any authority because He hadn’t attended any of their schools and they hadn’t given Him any authority. These same apostate leaders later made the same charges against the disciples.
At the time of Christ’s arrival the “church” had a misconception of the event. And where did they get this misconception? From the Conference leaders, of course. The Desire of Ages explains more in detail on page 457: “Many among Christ’s hearers who were dwellers at Jerusalem, and who were not ignorant of the plots of the rulers against Him, felt themselves drawn to Him by an irresistible power. The conviction pressed upon them that He was the Son of God. But Satan was ready to suggest doubt; and for this the way was prepared by their erroneous ideas of the Messiah and His coming. It was generally believed that Christ would be born at Bethlehem, but that after a time He would disappear, and at His second appearance none would know whence He came. There were not a few who held that the Messiah would have no natural relationship to humanity. And because the popular conception of the glory of the Messiah was not met by Jesus of Nazareth, many gave heed to the suggestion, ‘Howbeit we know this Man when He is; but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is. ’
“While they were thus wavering between doubt and faith, Jesus took up their thoughts and answered them: ‘Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, who ye know not. ’ They claimed a knowledge of what the origin of Christ should be, but they were in utter ignorance of it. If they had lived in accordance with the will of God, they would have known His Son when He was manifested to them.”
So you see, God’s “chosen people” had disregarded the manner in which He had said He would come. They could not rightly discern spiritual things because they had not lived “in accordance with the will of God.”
When Christ arrived on the scene, the “church” had been polluted with the leading of diluted teachers. Even the disciples were not immune to these things and as they listened to Christ’s words, “The hope of the new kingdom was again springing up.”
DA 570: “… hope brightened in their hearts with the joyous thought that He [Jesus] was about to enter the capital, proclaim Himself King, and assert His royal power. While on their errand they communicated their glowing expectations to the friends of Jesus, and the excitement spread far and near, raising the expectations of the people to the highest pitch.”
Here we see the disciples of Christ spreading the “gospel” of Christ’s arrival and exciting the people with their news. But their news was based on the popular belief of their day that they had received from their leaders which was wrong. In reality, although the disciples didn’t understand it, while they were getting the people excited, they were really setting themselves and the people up for a great disappointment. We see the parallel to this first in the period of 1843. Because of belief in popular theology there was a misunderstanding not so much as to the event but how the event would take place.
During 1843 the people thought that Christ was coming back. They had been taught by the leaders of their day that the earth was the sanctuary and if Christ was about to cleanse the sanctuary this then meant they were about to experience the second coming of Christ. Many became excited about this “gospel news” and began fervently sharing it with anyone who would listen and people’s expectations raised to the point that they stopped all other activities and even left their farms and places of business. But while they thought they were doing the right thing they were really being set up for the great disappointment of 1843- 44.
The same thing is happening all over again. You ask how? I’ll tell you how. The popular “gospel” today (and remember we’re talking within Adventism) is that you can continue to sin, and because God understands we are human, He will still save us. While the majority of Adventists may be excited about this, they are really being set up one last time for the great disappointment. There is one big difference, however. This time it will be an eternal disappointment and by the time most realize they’ve been deceived, it will be too late.
Because we are studying Prophetic Parallels this might be a good place to set in motion some ground rules. Now I’m going to make the claim that in this study we will discover that essentially nothing has changed in the story as far as what had happened 2,000 years ago and what is happening today. I’m making the claim that Jesus has intentionally inspired the writing of this parallel in Desire of Ages and has graciously brought it to the forefront at this time because it’s time to do so. In keeping with this, let’s pause to discuss the “players” in this drama.
If we had lived 2,000 years ago and had only the knowledge of the Jews, it would have been obvious to us who the church was. Most of us would have recognized that the “church” was the Sanhedrin. We would have said that Jerusalem was “Conference Headquarters” and the priests, scribes, and Pharisees were the Conference leaders of our day. We would have been right based on the same assumptions that are being made today by the majority. This is so obvious as illustrated by verses in Scripture already mentioned, and by statements from the disciples themselves such as, “Don’t you know, Jesus, You just offended the pastors?” (Matt. 15: 12). And you may also want to note Jesus’ corresponding response.
If we would have been guilty of not diligently studying to show ourselves approved and part of the popular thought of that day, 2,000 years ago, we would have definitely believed that the Conference was the church and that the Conference was the hierarchy or the Sanhedrin. To deny this simple truth is either the admission of gross ignorance or the height of prideful piety.
Sister White certainly knew and made public claim of this parallel many, many times when she rightly called the Seventh- day Adventist people “Modern day Israel.” In over forty places of her writings (I’ve looked up every one) she plainly shows, by calling the Seventh- day Adventist people Modern day Israel, that the parallel is true.
Within the last several years many of you may have heard the term “Ancient Adventists” used for Ancient Israel. If you have, you probably know that it was the author of this book who coined that phrase. The above explanation is how I arrived at the name. If we are “Modern day Israel,” then it stands to reason that we are abusing nothing, in the spiritual sense by calling them “Ancient Adventists.” Because this is so simple and nearly all with whom I have spoken have readily recognized the Biblical analogy, I will not spend any more time with it here. But as we continue in the study, if there is any doubt, things should not remain confusing very long. If they do, you may be in a lot more trouble than you think.
I’ll demonstrate the analogy just one more time before we press on with our study. If we are supposed to be the bolt of cloth claiming to be the modern day chosen people, from where did we originate? Who are our “spiritual ancestors,” if not the Jews? Well, I think this point has been agreed upon a long time ago and we have been claiming it for well over 100 years now.
Along with the truths just pointed out would come the one that as we had clung to Conference thought we would not have accepted Jesus as anyone more than a divisive troublemaker whom we finally voted to put away. Now I realize this is hard to take but not any more difficult to take than it was for those to whom the disciples told it. What one must do with this information is to decide how to react toward it. In Christ’s day there were two groups: those who decided to continue to fight against these truths and those who repented for hanging on to that which had put Christ on the cross.
In His day, how would Christ and His disciples have been identified? They would have been recognized by most of us as Self- supporting ministers. They would not have been recognized as having authority to give their messages and this is plainly pointed out in Scripture. Remember, it is only those who began to look at the truth for themselves who discovered the Conference leaders of their day to be wrong. All those who clung to the self- promoted idea that the “church” (Conference) was going through died in the slaughter of A. D. 70. Not only were they removed that day from off the face of the earth but also from the Lamb’s Book of Life!
Do we realize, Brothers and Sisters, that if it hadn’t been for the Self-supporting Ministers, there wouldn’t have been any 1844? As a matter of fact, there wouldn’t have been an Adventist movement at all! Our own modern- day forefathers were blamed by their own church for the same thing some of us are being blamed for today. They endured the same thing that Jesus endured, and we are grateful they did!
And what was it that originally put in action the downfall of the structure in ancient times? It was the choosing of a King. The Scriptures plainly teaches that this was never God’s plan. Let’s read about it in 1 Samuel 8: 5- 8: “… make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
“Modern day Israel” has followed in the same footsteps and is in the same trouble. The reason God didn’t desire for Israel to have a king is a good one. Having one man at the head is not God’s plan for nearly every time this has been the case, that “king” ends up protecting his own kingdom to the destruction of God’s.
DA 571- 2: “This day, which seemed to the disciples the crowning day of their lives, would have been shadowed with gloomy clouds had they known that this scene of rejoicing [the triumphal entry] was but a prelude to the suffering and death of their Master. Although He had repeatedly told them of His certain sacrifice, yet in the glad triumph of the present they forgot His sorrowful words, and looked forward to His prosperous reign on David’s throne.”
Of course, the Great Controversy speaks of this parallel; during the time the church is looking to years of prosperity, sudden destruction comes. You see, Jesus had tried to warn them but their minds were so full of preconceived ideas placed there by the corrupt priesthood that His words fell on deaf ears. Although Christ has renewed His warnings to His professed people in the volumes of Spirit of Prophecy books, today for the most part, they are falling on deaf ears. In a time when the “church” is crying peace and safety, in a time when the “church” is looking forward to years of prosperity, sudden destruction is about to fall.
DA 572: “Many Pharisees witnessed the scene, and, burning with envy and malice, sought to turn the current of popular feeling. With all their authority they tried to silence the people; but their appeals and threats only increased the enthusiasm. They feared that this multitude, in the strength of their numbers, would make Jesus king. … They declared that such noisy demonstrations were unlawful, and would not be permitted by the authorities.”
Here we have the Conference Pastors witnessing the scene and they are burning with envy and malice. Now do you know what malice is? If you look it up you will find that it is defined as “hatred or intense hatred.” Why did the Ancient Adventist Pastors hate Jesus, the very One Who, they were claiming to worship? We also read that these same Pastors feared that the multitude would make Jesus their king. Why would an Adventist Pastor fear that the laity would make Jesus their king?
I’ll tell you why, for the reason hasn’t changed over the last 2,000 years. The Adventist Pastors feared that if the people had made Jesus their king, they would have found out the truth about who the Pastors really were and what their style of pastoring was really all about. They feared that their own authority would be nullified and they would be without a job! They feared they would lose control of the money and lose all their authority. You want to know something? They were right! I hope you are thinking about parallels in our own day.
DA 576: “In the midst of a scene of rejoicing, where all were paying Him homage, Israel’s King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but tears and groans of insuppressible agony. …
“The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering.” Jesus had some very real and deadly enemies but His was always the spirit of unselfish love. His weeping was for a lost people. It broke His heart to know that the Ancient Adventist Church, the very church which He Himself had raised up, had rejected Him. His tears were shed not for Himself but for these people who claimed to be “the church” but were sadly blinded by their own pride and stubbornness.
DA 576: “The thought of His own agony did not intimidate that noble, self- sacrificing soul. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus — Jerusalem [Ancient Adventist Headquarters] that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound.”
DA 576: “The record of more than a thousand years of Christ’s guardian care and tender love, such as a father bears his only child, was there. In that temple the prophets had uttered their solemn warnings. There had the burning censers waved, while incense, mingled with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended to God. There the blood of beasts had flowed, typical of the blood of Christ. There Jehovah had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. There the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages. BUT ALL THIS MUST HAVE AN END.”
Christ does not easily give up on people nor does He quickly cast them aside. For centuries He labored and cared for this church He had started but it all had to come to an end. You might say “Well yes, Terry, the sacrifices of lambs and other animals did have to come to an end,” and you would be right; but go back and read all of the above quotation. It says that the “church” in Christ’s day had to come to an end. Why? Because they had rejected Him and become corrupt. Although they had been raised by Christ they no longer represented the work and purpose for their original existence and it had to stop. Christ no longer accepted their apostasy as His church. Are there any parallels today? If the circumstances of our day are the same, will not the results be the same as they were in the days of our spiritual forefathers? To the honest, truth seeking Christian, the answer is clear.
DA 576- 577: “Here the Saviour paused, and left unsaid what might have been the condition of Jerusalem had she accepted the help that God desired to give her, … The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. …
“But the bright picture of what Jerusalem might have been fades from the Saviour’s sight. HE REALIZES WHAT SHE NOW IS UNDER THE ROMAN YOKE, BEARING THE FROWN OF GOD, DOOMED TO HIS RETRIBUTIVE JUDGMENT.”
Did you read that friend? Are you thinking of prophetic parallels? Can you see that the Seventh- day Adventist organization is moving toward Rome? Do you know that it will be apostate Seventh- day Adventists who will fall under the Roman yoke fully and will betray the true Seventh- day Adventists who will be hunted down, imprisoned, and/ or killed?
You’ve heard or read this quotation before — 1SM 122: “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.”
Did you notice that she is speaking about fearing those who are unbelievers but profess to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus? Is there any doubt in your mind that she is speaking about fearing those who claim to be Seventh- day Adventists but who don’t live up to the name? Notice that she never says we need to fear those who are true Adventists, but those who make a profession of Adventism without corresponding works based on the inspiration of true Adventism which is the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
DA 577: “Christ came to save Jerusalem with her children; but PHARISAICAL PRIDE, HYPOCRISY, JEALOUSY, AND MALICE had prevented Him from accomplishing His purpose.”
Jesus came to save Jerusalem. Does this mean that Jesus didn’t come to save anyone else, including the Jews who didn’t live in Jerusalem? Remember that His own mother didn’t live in Jerusalem. The reason Jerusalem is mentioned here is because Jerusalem was indeed the headquarters and, therefore, represented all of Israel or Ancient Adventism.
But Jesus couldn’t save the headquarters of Ancient Adventism. Why? Because of Pharisaical (Pastoral) pride, hypocrisy (teaching the laity one thing and doing another themselves), jealousy (the love of self over the love of other men and God), and malice (or hatred). Because of these things Jesus could not accomplish what He otherwise could have. Do you realize the gravity of what’s being said here? Jesus came to give the people the very message that would have placed them into His kingdom, but the leadership of the Ancient Adventist Church actively blocked Him from doing this vital work. If we were to rewrite this in the modern day vernacular, this is how it might read:
Christ came to save Silver Spring and her children; but pastoral pride, professing one thing but doing another, protecting their jobs but not protecting others and the truth, and hatred for sacred things prevented many from knowing the truth who otherwise might have been saved.
DA 577- 578: “Jerusalem had been the child of His care, and as a tender father mourns over a wayward son, so Jesus wept over the beloved city. How can I give thee up? How can I see thee devoted to destruction? … When the fast westering sun should pass from sight in the heavens, Jerusalem’s day of grace would be ended.”
Jerusalem indeed represented headquarters of the system of religion that Christ Himself had raised up. Israel, Ancient Adventists, were indeed the “chosen” people who Christ had entrusted to do a special work. He had also promised them that they would go through. But as with every other promise, these chosen people had either forgotten or ignored the detail that all was based on obedience to God’s instructions. Our own books tell us in many places that history repeats itself and “we are worse than they.” If God has not changed, then this “chosen” generation of professors without belief, with its headquarters, will suffer the same end as did their unbelieving forefathers. If God has changed, no one can trust Him nor can we look forward to the hope of salvation.
For anyone who has been in the “church” for any length of time, you have heard the statement, “The church is going through.” In reality the statement means “The conference is going through.” Most Adventists believe just as their counterparts did that no matter what the conference does, the church and the conference are going through. Well, let me ask you this simple question. Do you believe in once saved, always saved? You may say, no, but are you sure? If you believe that the conference is going through and that it cannot do otherwise no matter how corrupt it becomes, then you indeed do believe in once saved, always saved. Let’s take a familiar story out of the Bible to graphically illustrate the point:
1 Samuel 8: 4- 7 “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
Did you know that one of the major steps the leaders of Israel took which put them on the road to apostasy was to choose a king to rule over them? The Spirit of Prophecy has many things to say regarding this subject and kingly power.
Praise the Lord, however, for He does not easily cast us aside! Right from the start the Lord has always had a plan “A” to follow. If we would follow this plan we would have far less concerns than we do presently. Also, right from the start the Lord has usually had a plan “B” to implement if plan “A” was not followed by the people. I am so thankful that the Lord loves us with this kind of love, aren’t you?
So Israel’s leaders had insisted on having a King rule over them. God had told Samuel that they had rejected Him by making this request. But, nonetheless, He implemented plan “B” rather than casting them aside at this time. 1 Samuel 9: 15- 17 “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me, And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.”
So the Lord went to plan “B” and told Samuel what it was. Now, did the Lord hand pick Saul? Yes! And was there to be an ordination for this man who was handpicked? Yes! Let’s continue.
1 Samuel 10: 1 “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?”
So indeed the Lord handpicked Saul and the Lord had Saul ordained to the mission of ruling over His people.
1 Samuel 10: 6 “And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.”
Brothers and sisters, this has to be one of the most exciting stories in all of the Bible! Here we have a man who is handpicked by God. He is ordained to his mission by the prophet Samuel and now he is given the promise that the Holy Spirit will fill him and he will be changed into another man! How would you like a prophet to promise you a quick, total conversion? Not maybe, but for sure! Let’s see what happened.
1 Samuel 10: 9- 11 “And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him before time saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
What an exciting story! I dare say, that with few exceptions, you won’t find too many more stories like this one anywhere. So to recap — Saul had been handpicked, he was anointed to the position, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied, and was given a new heart. If this isn’t a total conversion experience direct from God, I don’t know what is! But sadly this is not the end of the story.
1 Samuel 15: 16- 23 “Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee King over Israel? And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of the Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
Now I would like to ask another one of those simple questions. Was the Seventh- day Adventist “Church” handpicked with a different set of rules than was Saul? Did everyone in the Administration have the same conversion experience as Saul or do you think for the most part Saul has the edge in this part of the story?
One last time. Saul was handpicked. He was appointed and anointed. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He prophesied among the other prophets before witnesses who knew him. He was in fact given a new heart. Brother and sister, you just can’t get anymore saved than this! Now here’s the question and the point. Will Saul be in heaven?
Many of you have thought that you have never believed in once saved, always saved but in the light of the story we just read I think many Seventh- day Adventists do believe, so far as the conference is concerned, that they cannot be lost because God has chosen them. If you believe that, then you don’t believe the story of Saul to be true or inspired. If this is the case, I implore you to please get on your knees and beg God to give you the eyesalve of Revelation 3.
Saul will not be in heaven for a simple and plain stated reason. He broke his contract of salvation with God. When he rejected the Word of the Lord, the Lord rejected him. His course took him into spiritualism. And strangely enough we are told in the book Great Controversy that a three- fold union will rise up to exterminate God’s people. Also, strangely enough, we have exposed the fact that there are many professed Seventh- day Adventist leaders who have or are being educated in NLP techniques and are using other spiritualist techniques such as imagery right in the “church.” Things have not changed over the centuries, for if you choose not to go to the Lord for wisdom, then where is there left to go?
Just as surely as Samuel told king Saul that God rejected Him as the ruler of the laity in his day, so now Jesus had rejected the Ancient Conference whose kingly and corrupted power were in the service of another master in His day.
Copyright © 1999 Servants of the Saviour
Terry & Cathy Ross