The Church “Then”. . . . . .and the Church Now
by Terry S. Ross
DA 580: “The triumphal ride of Christ into Jerusalem was the dim foreshadowing of His coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, amid the triumph of angels, and the rejoicing of the saints.”
Our study of prophetic parallels is right on, so far. Here the Lord showed Sister White that this experience two thousand years ago was but a small scene to be reenacted at Christ’s second coming.
DA 580: “THE DISCIPLES SAW THE HATRED OF THE JEWS TO CHRIST, BUT THEY DID NOT YET SEE TO WHAT IT WOULD LEAD.”
Now unless you know the inference of the above statement, it really doesn’t make any sense. Let’s take a closer look. “The disciples saw the hatred of the Jews to Christ…”
Weren’t the disciples Jews? Wasn’t Christ a Jew? Does the above statement indicate that Christ’s own family and friends who were all Jews hated Him? Of course not, so what does the above statement really mean? It means this: the disciples witnessed the hatred of the Jewish leaders (Ancient Adventist Conference leadership) to Christ. This is what it really means, but let’s demonstrate the truth of this by going to God’s Word.
We will be proceeding to the book of John, chapter nine, and I would suggest reading the entire chapter to get the full impact. Most of you will recognize the story of the man born blind whom Christ healed. The conference men enter the scene and we will pick up the story using verses 18- 22. John 9: 18- 22 “But the Jews [conference leadership] did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. THESE WORDS SPAKE HIS PARENTS, BECAUSE THEY FEARED THE JEWS…”
Now let’s stop right here before continuing and analyze what’s being said. The Pharisees, who were in fact part of the conference leadership of their day, came to these parents and tried to disprove that Christ had healed their son. They were obviously feeling intimidated and were fearful to answer these questions from the conference men. The first point is that it’s obvious that the Bible says these parents “feared the Jews” and that means the Jewish leadership. The second point is the answer to why they had this fear. Let’s read on.
“… FOR THE JEWS [ANCIENT ADVENTIST CONFERENCE LEADERS] HAD AGREED ALREADY, THAT IF ANY MAN DID CONFESS THAT HE WAS CHRIST, HE SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE.”
Brothers and sisters, if you don’t grasp this plain and simple truth, you are in real trouble. These parents were fearful of their conference leaders because they already knew that they would be put out of the “church” if they took a stand for Jesus. The parallel is just as obvious! Today many are being “put out of the synagogue” by the conference men for confessing Christ. But let’s make absolutely sure regarding this “fear of the Jews” inference, shall we?
John 7: 1 “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” We will continue in this chapter but first we will want to take a look at this verse. Jesus had already fed the five thousand and had spoken many times with the people who were all Jews. Was it these people who were seeking to kill Jesus? No! Any honest student will readily see the point and realize the correct inference. John seven, verse one, is clearly speaking of the Ancient Conference Leadership who wanted to see Jesus dead in order to kill His influence.
John 7: 8- 13 “Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. HOWBEIT NO MAN SPAKE OPENLY OF HIM FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS.”
For fear of what Jews? Now lest anyone think that we have become unbalanced, let me quickly say that not for a moment do I believe that every single conference man of Christ’s day was an unbeliever. The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy clearly house these statements in general terms and it should be understood as such. But that certainly doesn’t negate the fact that the unbelievers (who, by the way, were in the majority and still are) took over the power of the conference and used their corrupted energy to destroy what Christ had raised up. Let’s continue to demonstrate:
John 12: 42 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers [high officials in the conference] also many believed on him; BUT BECAUSE OF THE PHARISEES THEY DID NOT CONFESS HIM, LEST THEY SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE:”
So you see, according to the Bible, there were “many” of the Ancient Adventist Conference Officials who believed on Jesus. But the Bible also says that they would not confess Him (publicly take a stand for Jesus) because they would be put out of the “church.” Today we would say “disfellowshipped.” Unless you are without eyesalve you know that there is much truth in the parallel atmosphere in which we live.
A couple of years before I became a Seventh- day Adventist, I began working the swing shift for the Campbell Soup Company. Now for those of you who know what the swing shift means, you will also realize the immediate problem I had encountered upon becoming a Seventh- day Adventist. Yes, the Sabbath! — because of the evening hours of Friday. The local church of which I had just become a member, realized this also and we gathered together for prayer. They encouraged me to take my stand on the side of the Lord and His truth. The pastor assured me that if I did the right thing, the Lord would bless the decision. He explained to me that this was a test of faith and that I could claim such promises as “All things work together for good…” if I would just stand firm through this trial. I must admit I had mixed feelings of worry and elation.
Monday afternoon I showed up as usual for work. I knew I could not just walk off the job on Friday so I needed to explain my new found belief to my boss. Now I don’t know how many of you have ever worked in a factory but I have found in my experience, there is really only one important word, and it’s not Sabbath. It’s production in a factory setting!
The Production Managers are not paid to babysit people but rather to produce. I was fully aware of this and I didn’t really want to face the Production Manager but knew I had to. This particular man towered over me and I felt very intimidated. I explained to him that I had now become a Seventh- day Adventist and that I would have to be leaving on Friday several hours before the actual shift was over in order to keep the Sabbath holy. He demonstrated to me (mostly in four letter words) his strong disapproval but did reassure me of one thing. He told me that if I punched the time clock before my shift was over on Friday, I could come back one more time — Monday — to collect my last pay check!
At prayer meeting I found myself rather discouraged. I shared the incident with my church family and they once again rallied around and reassured me of God’s love. The Pastor encouraged me again to take a bold stand for the Lord and told me that God’s watch- care attended my efforts.
On Friday I headed for the time clock in fear but with firm resolve. Guess who met me at the time clock? You guessed it! My Production Manager. He once again threatened me with curse words assuring me that I had just lost my job by punching out. He informed me that I would be seen on Monday for reasons he had already stated.
In church on Sabbath I wasn’t feeling all that great. I had just lost a job that had literally taken two years to obtain in the first place. The church members expressed their concern and compassion and once more I was encouraged. The Pastor told me that because I had stood firm and had done the right thing, he was confident that the Lord would open another door. I left church that day still feeling somewhat low but also thankful to have the support of my church family while standing for Jesus.
On Monday I went to work as usual fully expecting the worst. As I arrived at the time clock, however, there was no Production Manager so I punched in and “quietly” went to work.
After a couple of days, I began to question the possibility of the boss thinking that he had scared me sufficiently to change my mind. I admit, as a new Christian I felt apprehensive, so I decided I had better let him know that on Friday I would be making a repeat of the Friday before.
Now one thing you should realize which will help you to understand the situation and the elements that added to the stress of the boss and my plight is this — Campbell Soup (and probably many other factories) run on a seniority plan. In real terms this meant that there were people there who had worked ten, fifteen years or more, and couldn’t get on the day shift because they didn’t have enough seniority. I had only two years! — so it seemed an impossibility for me to change shifts.
To make a long story shorter, my Friday afternoon struggle went on for six weeks! For six long weeks my Production Manager showed how much he hated me and my “problem,” and for six weeks the Pastor and my church encouraged me to hang tough for God.
Miracle of miracles! Campbell Soup placed me on day shift! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. My faith had indeed been blessed and strengthened, as also the faith of many of the church members.
I’m sure that many of you could share similar stories of not only how the Lord has blessed you during times of trial, but how He has blessed specifically when you have had to stand for the Sabbath truth. Many of you could also share with the rest of us how your Conference Pastor has encouraged you to stand for truth and has given reassurance on more than one occasion that the Lord would not forsake you.
That brings me to this simple, honest, question. Where are all the pastors who used to encourage us to lay our jobs on the line to stand for truth?! Why are not these same pastors making themselves known in the midst of the wide- spread apostasy? Why are they not following their own counsel? Where is their faith and how come they aren’t willing to lay their jobs on the line for truth knowing that the Lord won’t forsake them?
I do know this for certain. If these pastors don’t face these questions very soon, they certainly will face them in the judgment. If they “wait and see” much longer they will “see” that they were “blind” and lost too late! We need to earnestly pray that the men whom the Holy Spirit is trying to get through to will listen and cast their lot with God and His people. Now let’s take one more look at our verse, and this time let’s add a verse to find out why the Ancient Conference Leaders, who even believed on Christ, would not confess Him.
John 12: 42- 43 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: FOR THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD.”
This is a vital point and the same thing is true today. It’s church by popular vote. Salvation by legislation. Getting into God’s palace by political means. Let me tell you something. I believe God hates politics! Politics is killing God’s professed people. What God wants and will save is not politics, but principle. God cannot use men of politics. Why do you think we are told that He will have leaders of His own choosing in the end? And if they are leaders of His own choosing, then who chose the leaders who are presently in place? God can only use men whose policy IS God’s principles.
Jesus paid absolutely no attention to whether truth was popular or politically correct before He took a stand. And He certainly wasn’t moved by situation ethics, making a decision on whether He would be popular or censured.
DA 330 “In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. HE WAS NEVER ELATED BY APPLAUSE, NOR DEJECTED BY CENSURE OR DISAPPOINTMENT. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But MANY WHO PROFESS TO BE HIS FOLLOWERS HAVE AN ANXIOUS, TROUBLED HEART, BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID TO TRUST THEMSELVES WITH GOD. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. UNLESS THEY MAKE THIS SURRENDER, THEY CANNOT FIND PEACE.”
Dear friend, don’t you desire this peace that passes all understanding? If you’re a pastor or a leader, don’t you want to go all the way with the Lord and be all that the Lord has called you to be? Don’t you want to BE the leader that Jesus is giving you the opportunity to be? I say this with much compassion; if you don’t make up your mind quickly, your present leadership or profession to truth will all be for naught. What a horrible reality!
Continuing in the book of John about the fear of the Jews, meaning the fear of the Conference Leaders, we turn to John 19: 38.
“And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, BUT SECRETLY FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: …”
You will remember that Niodemus did the same thing when he had the secret night interview with the Lord. We are also told that on the night of Jesus’ capture by this corrupt priesthood, Joseph and Nicodemus were not called to sit on this council but were purposely left out. Here’s what these men did and what we are pleading with others to do:
DA 177 “After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church [notice this church was not part of the Conference] that the Jews [apostate Conference Leaders] had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, [self- supporting ministers of God’s own choosing] and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.” These are the men whom the Lord will use to lead His people and to educate those who want to know the truth. “They have administered impartial discipline, laying their hand upon all false teaching, upon false brethren whose works have denied the faith. Amid the scorn of men, suffering worldly loss, they have manifested steadfast integrity. While temptations to worldliness and licentiousness cause the love of many to wax cold, they stand true as the needle to the pole, as faithful workers, as standard- bearers for God, in principle firm as a rock.” RH 1/ 21/ 90.
Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 64, and the prophetic parallels… DA 580: “The disciples saw the hatred of the Jews to Christ, but they did not yet see to what it would lead. They did not yet understand the true condition of Israel, nor comprehend the retribution that was to fall upon Jerusalem.”
This describes very well the valley of confusion in which most Seventh-day Adventists find themselves. Most SDA’s don’t understand where this apostasy is leading and they certainly don’t comprehend the retribution that’s about to fall upon Jerusalem (headquarters). The encouraging news is that’s exactly why the Lord went about doing the work He did while He was here, and that’s exactly why Cathy and I are so excited about The Desire of Ages. This study that you are now doing is the very study Jesus taught His own disciples; and after they finally got the message, Christ’s work became very successful. We’ll have more to say on this subject in another chapter.
I am making the claim loud and clear that nothing in principle has changed from two thousand years ago and the Lord knew it wouldn’t change. I believe that Jesus wanted The Desire of Ages written for much deeper reasons than we first believed. Yes, He desired for us to know how much His Father, He, and the Holy Spirit love us. But there’s much more to it than that and the reason we haven’t seen it before is because it wasn’t yet time to see it, although it’s always been laying right in front of our noses. I’m making the claim that Jesus has given us The Desire of Ages so that we would be warned of present day happenings and be able to understand that it’s His will that we move forward in the same way He taught His disciples when He was here on earth.
I’m also claiming and know that most of you who study this with an honest approach will agree with me in the end — The Desire of Ages is the greatest book of prophecy (outside the Bible, of course) for instruction of what is happening inside the “church” that has ever been written. Oh that we were uplifting the gift the Lord has given us in the Spirit of Prophecy books rather than burning them and dumping their counsel in the pulpits of Conference Churches!
DA 580: “The last appeal to Jerusalem had been in vain.” It was over four years ago when Cathy and I brought forth our research that exposed the “Celebration” style of worship. Not long after, we went public with our findings about Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP). Many other Self- supporting Ministries have also been faithful in doing this work. For over four years we have joined together much as the disciples did and have been warning the Conference of what would be the result if they did not repent of these and many other evils.
Overwhelming evidence has been brought forth and I can say that I have only showed in part what I have seen. Time, money, and health will not permit one to bring to the attention every abominable thing that’s going on today. To their amazing discredit and true to the parallel, these appeals to headquarters (Silver Spring) for reformation, repentance, and restitution have been in vain. We have shown literally mounds of evidence which totally prove the claims made to those who are not comatose; but show me ONE ARTICLE FROM THE OFFICIAL PAPERS OF HEADQUARTERS WHERE THEY ADMIT TO THESE APOSTASIES AND WHERE THEY HAVE REPENTED.
Please show me even one! DA 581: “The entire night Jesus spent in prayer, and in the morning He came again to the temple. On the way He passed a fig orchard. He was hungry, ‘and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves;…”
In 7A of the SDA Bible Commentaries, page 16, we are told that “the fig- leaves represent the arguments used to cover disobedience.” Then it goes on to say: “When the Lord calls the attention of men and women to the truth, the making of fig- leaves into aprons will be begun, to hide the nakedness of the soul. But the nakedness of the sinner is not covered. ALL THE ARGUMENTS PIECED TOGETHER BY ALL WHO HAVE INTERESTED THEMSELVES IN THIS FLIMSY WORK WILL COME TO NAUGHT.”
Because Jesus rightly expected the tree to have fruit on it but it didn’t, He decided to teach His disciples an important lesson. As a matter of fact, the lesson He was trying to teach them is the exact same lesson He is trying to teach us right now and it’s only those who learn it who have the privilege of going to heaven! In order to teach this lesson so the disciples wouldn’t forget (it must have been extremely important!), He invested the fig tree with moral qualities, and later when they passed that way again, the fig tree was dead! The disciples were astonished! They could hardly believe what they were seeing. They knew He had said that He came not into the world to condemn it but to save it so they did not understand this act. (Please read DA 582 the whole page.) “But it is in mercy and love that He lifts the veil from the future, and reveals to men the results of a course of sin.” DA 582.
Let’s read more about this from The Signs of the Times, 10/ 5/ 1876: “Christ invests the fig- tree with moral qualities, and makes it the expositor of divine truth that he many teach a lesson to his disciples, and NOT ONLY TO THEM BUT TO ALL WHO SHOULD BELIEVE ON THE WORD. Many, like the portentous fig- tree, make high profession of godliness, but bear no fruit to the glory of God. They have not responded to the sacred influences which God has given them. Opportunities have been unimproved, blessings have been unappreciated, warnings and reproofs have been rejected. The fostering love and care of the Redeemer has been unrequited, and like the barren fig- tree they stand forth fruitless, having nothing but leaves.”
DA 582: “The cursing of the fig tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation. THE SAVIOUR DESIRED TO MAKE PLAIN TO HIS DISCIPLES THE CAUSE AND CERTAINTY OF ISRAEL’S DOOM.”
Are you thinking of prophetic parallels? Did you read that last sentence?! Terry Ross didn’t write that! Jesus inspired the prophetess, Ellen G. White, to write it. Remember, it was Christ’s work that we’re talking about. He was trying to somehow make the disciples believe that the Ancient Adventist Church (Conference) was not going through! Was Jesus right or was the Conference? If the disciples hadn’t finally listened to Him, would they now be your heroes of the New Testament? I don’t think so. You may want to think about what’s really going on and the gravity of what the Lord is trying to once again teach us. We’ll speak more on this later.
DA 582- 3: “The Jews stood forth distinct from all other nations, professing allegiance to God. They had been specially favored by Him and they laid claim to righteousness above every other people. [Are you thinking of our claims as Seventh- day Adventists or Modern Israel?] But they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain. [Read Rev. 3 and the counsel to Laodicea.] They boasted of their knowledge, but they were ignorant of the requirements of God, and were full of hypocrisy. … The Jewish religion, with its magnificent temple, its sacred altars, its mitered priests and impressive ceremonies, was indeed fair in outward appearance, but HUMILITY [a child- like trust and eagerness to learn], love [faith and emotions that work according to God’s principles], and benevolence [putting God first and foremost in everything] were lacking.”
DA 584: “Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object. Not for others but for themselves do they minister.”
I have a concern that seems to go along with the above statement. What does it mean to be a minister or to have a ministry? To me, the above statement is full of wisdom and helps me to consider my own motive for what I do. Unfortunately, the Lord is accurate regarding some “ministers” who are “serving” their flocks. It seems to me that in order to minister properly at least two ingredients must be present.
A minister should have time or take the time (within reason) to pay attention to those whom the Lord has given him the privilege to minister unto. If a minister is too busy for his flock, then he may be paying too much attention to the wrong business.
Also, it seems to me that a minister must be willing to place his own reputation on the line for the truth. I cannot see how it could be otherwise if the minister is going to live up to his calling. The minister says he loves the Lord and the precious flock and this is good. The only way, however, that we know that the Lord’s and the flock’s best interests are being placed first are from the works of the minister. How can a minister claim to love the flock and the Lord and not pay particular attention to truth and principle?
A minister who is not willing to live and work for truth’s sake and by the principles of God’s government will prove to be a lover of self more than a lover of his precious flock or the God of truth. It would be better for these self- ministering pastors to do something which would have no influence on anybody else. Certainly ministers of this nature who are, in fact, in the majority in all churches including the Seventh- day Adventist “Church” are:
DA 584: “Those who thus live for self are like the fig tree, which made every pretension but was fruitless. They observe the forms of worship, but without repentance or faith. In profession they honor the law of God, but obedience is lacking. They say, but do not. In the sentence pronounced on the fig tree Christ demonstrates how hateful in His eyes is this vain pretense. He declares that the OPEN SINNER IS LESS GUILTY THAN THOSE WHO PROFESS TO SERVE GOD, BUT WHO BEARS NO FRUIT TO HIS GLORY.”
The fruit here spoken of, if you will notice, is not baptisms like so many Adventists are lead to believe, but character or the fruits of the spirit. Bringing people to Christ is very important and the Lord would certainly have us to show others the way to the cross and crown. But men who have maintained that we can’t overcome or that we will continue to sin until the second coming of Christ have taught their flocks that “fruits” signifies baptisms and this is incorrect. Primarily “fruits” are the fruits of the Spirit — character development from heaven, turning carnal man into the image of God. When the people of God make this their personal, primary objective, they will find the peace and the unity that will come in no other way. It is a sad fact that most Adventists (modern day Jews) will be lost because they chose to listen to the corrupt priesthood rather than to the Lord.
Our precious Jesus knows us so well and, bless His holy name, He doesn’t give up on us easily. He personally came to give His people every advantage that could be given, and mercy in human flesh was poured out of heaven into Jerusalem. But we MUST understand that justice is the heavenly balance of mercy and the two are inseparable.
DA 584: “Increased care was to be given the unfruitful tree. It was to have every advantage. But if it remained fruitless, NOTHING COULD SAVE IT FROM DESTRUCTION.” Let’s take a closer look at the above statement and its modern day parallel. Jesus has given the Adventist movement increased care and every advantage, even to a greater extent than was given to the Ancient Adventists. The Spirit of Prophecy graciously given to this movement IS our modern day John the Baptist. I like to say that the Lord has FINGER PAINTED THE PATHWAY TO HEAVEN by giving us the Spirit of Prophecy. But comparatively few Adventists respect this “John the Baptist” any more than the Ancient Adventists did and they are actively beheading him once again.
Brothers and sisters, I believe that all, everyone, who continue to show disrespect for this glorious gift will be lost. What is the last deception to be brought upon God’s people?
Last Day Events 177 — under the title “The Shaking.” “The VERY LAST deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Proverbs 29: 18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to UNSETTLE THE CONFIDENCE of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.” 1SM 48 (1890)
We are in the shaking time! We will not be dealing with all the particulars of that topic here but the very last deception is in full swing among God’s people right now! There are many who are shaking the confidence of God’s people in this precious and vital gift. Satan has been successful to the point that the majority of professed Adventist Preachers are now also making of none effect the testimonies of God.
The sure result of this hellish work is seen in the lowering of the standards and sermons that effectively consign the people in slavery to sin. Adventist people may or may not realize, but the bulk of the Adventist Pastors are actively keeping them from an experiential knowledge of Jesus, and His character and His power to overcome sin.
This is so vital I cannot express the proper words that will describe the horror of what’s really going on. Those who do not understand what is happening will be lost unless they wake up before it is too late!
Very few, in comparison, are desperately trying to warn God’s people of this deception. Few are doing everything they can to show God’s remnant that Satan’s attack is being waged directly at their own souls and the souls of their families. These men and women raised up by the Lord are laying everything on the line in an all or nothing attempt to educate God’s professed people of their attacker and his tactics. In contrast to those who are not, these people, in the example of Christ, are willing to stake their own reputations and everything else on the line for the cause of truth. In heaven it will be seen that we owe our very presence to such ones who were actuated by the Spirit of Jesus, who gave His all that we might be saved. Men who are hated now, I assure you, won’t be hated then.
And then the last part of the statement on page 584 of Desire of Ages. “But if it remained fruitless, NOTHING could save it from destruction.”
We may shout until we are blue in the face or until blood runs thick from the temple (as it did in A. D. 70) that “the church is going through” but God has never been obligated to save anyone or any structure that has betrayed a sacred trust. As a matter of fact, God is obligated not to save him or it!
Right up until the Roman Army slaughtered the last apostate Conference Leader they were yelling, “The church is going through!” Every single layman who believed them died not only that day but for eternity. As stated before, the Conference wants you to believe that “the church is going through” and “the Conference is going through” is the same statement and is what God meant. This simply is not true and is demonstrated graphically and with eternal consequences in the beseige of Jerusalem. Those who chose to believe apostate Conference Leaders were lost, but how many true Christians were lost? RH 11/ 05/ 89: “When Jerusalem was to be destroyed, the followers of Christ [true Christians] were warned of its impending doom. Christ had told his disciples what they were to do when certain things should come to pass. He said, ‘When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. ’ ALL WHO BELIEVED IN THE WARNING OF CHRIST, ESCAPED FROM THE CITY, AND NOT ONE PERISHED WHEN JERUSALEM WAS OVERTHROWN. By the destruction of Jerusalem is symbolized the last great judgment of God that is to come upon the world.” (Please also read the very first chapter of The Great Controversy).
So you see, not even one Christian was lost in the siege of Jerusalem, because they listened to their God rather than to apostate Conference Leaders. We are told in the last sentence of the above statement that this is what happens in the last great judgment of God to come upon the world. Can you see the Roman Army once again surrounding the city? If you can, then pay real close attention to what the Lord is trying to show His people. Ezekiel, chapter 9, plainly states that this judgment first starts with the Conference Leaders and the Seventh- day Adventist Church, professed and true. If we are to be saved in the siege now upon modern day Jerusalem, we had better listen to this same Jesus who saved every true follower in the prior siege.
DA 584: “By Christ’s act in cursing the barren fig tree, the result was shown. They had determined their own destruction. … they had rejected His warnings and slain His prophets.”
DA 587: “In every age there is given to men their day of light and privilege, a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But there is a limit to this grace. Mercy may plead for years and be slighted and rejected; but there comes a time when mercy makes her last plea. The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the Spirit of God. Then the sweet, winning voice entreats the sinner no longer, and reproofs and warnings cease.
“… In rejecting the warnings of God’s Spirit, Israel had rejected the only means of help. There was no other power by which they could be delivered.”
The Lord has instructed Sister White to directly compare the destruction of Jerusalem with the situation at the end of the world. It is only the height of blind pride that cannot see that if God gave up the Jewish Conference Office who chose not to follow His plan, He certainly will give up the Seventh- day Adventist Conference Office who make the same choice. Was it not the same God Who raised up Jerusalem and let it go to destruction who raised up Silver Spring? Have the rules changed? Is God not the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? These questions, no matter how painful, must be answered for surely our eternal destiny hangs in the balance.
It is not necessarily vindictive warriors who ask such questions anymore than it was those who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem, but rather caring, concerned folk, who are studying to know the will of the Father, people who have not only their own salvation in mind but the salvation of those they claim to love.
Would it not have been easier for Jesus just to have lived a quiet life and to have stayed clear of the battle for truth? Wouldn’t He have had a much easier time of it if He would have stayed away from exposing the apostate Conference Leaders of His day? Wouldn’t it be true for those who do the same work today? Don’t you think that most of these people would find it much easier to leave the battle alone and don’t you think that they would rather live without being in the war? Here’s the answer.
RH 5/ 8/ 88: “Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood- stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ’ If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood- stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth’s history, RATHER THAN PEACE THROUGH APOSTASY AND SIN.”
DA 587 “The Jewish nation was a symbol of the people of all ages who scorn the pleading of Infinite Love. The tears of Christ when He wept over Jerusalem were for the sins of all time. In the judgment pronounced upon Israel, those who reject the reproofs and warnings of God’s Holy Spirit many read their own condemnation.
“In this generation there are many who are treading on the same ground as were the unbelieving Jews. They have witnessed the manifestation of the power of God; the Holy Spirit has spoken to their hearts; but they cling to their unbelief and resistance. God sends them warnings and reproof, but they are not willing to confess their errors, and they reject His message and His messenger. The very means He uses for their recovery becomes to them a stone of stumbling.”
For the last four years there have been those of us who have clearly shown the apostasy that is firmly embedded in the Conference. Literally, with mounds of hard evidence and proof, we have set forth the truth of the situation and pleaded with the Conference Leaders to repent and make restitution to God and His people, “but they cling to their unbelief and resistance.”
Men, myself included, have brought forth stacks of proof to verify their claims and concerns. Can someone please bring forth one official article from the professed leadership of the Seventh- day Adventist structure that confesses these evils, repents of them, and is making up the time to the Lord? Please show us just one! For the past year (at the time of this writing) I have asked this question of nearly every congregation I’ve spoken to concerning this topic and I am still searching for one article.
In general, I am making the claim that the Conference Offices have no intention of repenting and for those who are waiting for revival to come within the Conference, your wait will be in vain. The Conference Leaders (once again, remember these statements are always housed in general terms) will continue their programs of apostasy and will continue to move closer to Rome. The war will intensify and people will see things happen “from within” that they would have never dreamed possible. Even now many are seeing that the Conference is acting in such a way as to surprise those who have for many years given allegiance to it but have also remained true to principle.
Also, many have wondered, at least initially, if the work of exposure had anything to do with the work of Christ. But they are quickly relearning that Jesus’ work includes even that which proves to be most unpleasant in order that some might be saved.
DA 587: “The prophets of God were hated by apostate Israel because THROUGH THEM THEIR HIDDEN SINS WERE BROUGHT TO LIGHT.”
Any Adventist who has been in the message any length of time realizes that the Elijah message is supposed to be for the professed people of God within the “church.” We would expect, therefore, that these messages of reproof would be directed at all of us who claim to be Seventh- day Adventists. Most, however, also believe that it is wrong to include the sins of the Conference Leadership in this reform and straight talk. But where did we get this idea? Was it not from the leaders who don’t wish to be exposed? In the life of Elijah you certainly don’t see him excluding the apostate leaders of his day!
When John the Baptist came, he did so in the power and spirit of Elijah. This is a basic truth that almost everyone would readily admit. But who did John the Baptist have trouble with most? Who did he immediately expose when the opportunity arose in his day? Did Jesus reprimand him for this work? Who was he speaking to when he said, “O generation of vipers?” It will do well in this study of prophetic parallels to look at the text:
Matthew 3: 7- 10: “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees [Ancient Conference Leaders] come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: [the “church or conference is going through”] for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
So here we have it from God’s own Word. This exposure of the apostate Conference Leaders was the work of Elijah the prophet, and we read in the very next lines of Desire of Ages why Elijah and all who do the work of Elijah are hated by the apostate Conference Leaders.
DA 587: “Ahab regarded Elijah as his enemy because the prophet was FAITHFUL TO REBUKE THE KING’S SECRET INIQUITIES. So today the servant of Christ, the reprover of sin, meets with scorn and rebuffs. Bible truth, the religion of Christ, struggles against a strong current of moral impurity. Prejudice is even stronger in the hearts of men now than in Christ’s day.”
People, we must get a handle on the truth and balance of what’s being said here. If you take men’s words above those which God has plainly stated, then you are doomed to the same fate as were those who took their apostate Conference Leaders word over that of Jesus’. The majority of professed Seventh- day Adventists and their “leaders” are repeating ancient history to the tee. Only those who repeat the history of those who were saved from the apostasy of Jerusalem will share in the glorious fate of their ancient counterparts. This is a hard work for — “Prejudice is even stronger in the hearts of men now than in Christ’s day.” Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy!
DA 588: “God does not propose to remove every objection which the carnal heart may bring against His truth. To those who refuse the precious rays of light which would illuminate the darkness, the mysteries of God’s word remain such forever. From them the truth is hidden. They walk blindly, and know not the ruin before them.”
This is the horrible description of the lukewarm condition of Laodicea that progresses into coldness and darkness. Those who continue to shun the truth for the popular apostasy will too soon be unable to discern what the truth is. They, like the dependent drug user, become addicted to apostate Conference Leaders for their fix. They love these men who supply them with the drug of justifying their sins. This dependency will one day in the near future carry them to places never dreamed of such as killing their brothers and sisters who stand for truth. Any reformed drug addict would understand this concept. (The needed “fix” becomes the idol, and the “pusher” the god.) Professed Seventh-day Adventists who refuse to take God at His word and are more interested in the popular ministry are making themselves guilty of serving man rather than God.
God will not remove every obstacle for us. We are to study to show ourselves approved and we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. I have a real fear that most SDA’s are waiting for the “leadership” to tell them what to do. If my fears are correct, then these people are literally placing their eternal destinations in the hands of others. I wonder how many of these same people would give their weekly pay checks to these men and trust that all their bills would be paid and their families would be taken care of? I might even be surprised at how many would, but I hope you get the point.
DA 588: “Christ overlooked the world and all ages from the height of Olivet; and His words are applicable to every soul who slights the pleadings of divine mercy. Scorner of His love, He addresses you today. It is ‘thou, even thou, ’ who shouldest know the things that belong to thy peace. Christ is shedding bitter tears for you, who have no tears to shed for yourself. Already that fatal hardness of heart which destroyed the Pharisees is manifest in you. And every evidence of the grace of God, every ray of divine light, is either melting and subduing the soul, or confirming it in hopeless impenitence.
“Christ foresaw that Jerusalem would remain obdurate and impenitent; yet all the guilt, all the consequences of rejected mercy, lay at her own door.”
Our prayer is that these parallels will continue to become more and more plain. We hope that you are beginning to see that this study is vital to your eternal destiny. This is the very work that Christ set out to do and it was mostly thwarted by the apostate Conference Leaders of His day because they had successfully taught the people that the “church” was the conference. But as we shall see in the very next chapter and succeeding ones, this in NOT the truth!
Those who persist in having their own way eventually become blind and truly no longer realize they are lost — but they are lost just the same! What a solemn thought.
Copyright © 1999 Servants of the Saviour
Terry & Cathy Ross