Are You In A World Loving Church?

Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered. Nothing must be done untimely. {1SM 57.2}

What is a World-Loving Church?

If the professed followers of Christ would accept God’s standard, it would bring them into unity; but so long as human wisdom is exalted above His Holy Word, there will be divisions and dissension. The existing confusion of conflicting creeds and sects is fitly represented by the term “Babylon,” which prophecy (Revelation 14:8; 18:2) applies to the world-loving churches of the last days. {PP 124.1}

We should not be disheartened because those who have no love for truth refuse to be convinced by the clearest evidence. We need not flatter ourselves that the formal and world-loving churches of this age are more ready to receive the teachings of God’s word than were those of ages past. Paul’s worst enemies were among the Jews, who made the highest claims to godliness. It was to this class that Christ said, “Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.” The most bitter opposers of truth today are found among those who profess to be its defenders. {LP 278.3}

As Whitefield and the Wesleys were urged by the Holy Spirit to arouse the formal and world-loving churches of their time, so was Wm. Miller moved to proclaim the coming of Christ and the necessity of a work of preparation. His only offense was that of opening to the world the “sure word of prophecy, whereunto,” says the apostle Peter, “ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” [2 PET. 1:19.] He urged its truths upon the people, not with harshness, but in a more mild and persuasive manner than was employed by other reformers. {4SP 214.2}

The world must not be introduced into the church, and married to the church, forming a bond of unity. Through this means the church will become indeed corrupt, and as stated in Revelation, “a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” {TM 265.1}

If most earnest vigilance is not manifested at the great heart of the work to protect the interests of the cause, the church will become as corrupt as the churches of other denominations. {4T 512.3}

Warnings of Ellen White

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.  {1SM 204.2}

Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?  {1SM 205.1}

Should We Still Listen to the Pioneers?

Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.  {1SM 206.4}

God has… said that the dead are to speak. How?–Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work,  {RH, May 25, 1905 par. 21}

…let the aged men who were  pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also,  This truth will stand the test of time and trial.  {1MR 55.1}

What’s changed?

https://sabbathsermons.com/category/armageddon/

https://sabbathsermons.com/category/daniel/

My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical missionary workers to ignore the truth. Every one is now to stand on his guard. God calls upon men and women to take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of the faith. {1SM 196.4}

Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.  {1SM 197.4}

Things have been revealed to me that make me afraid. The One of authority declared: “Seventh-day Adventists are on losing ground in every place where they have established institutions; and the reason for this is that they have lost their first love. Let them remember from whence they have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else God will come to them quickly, and will remove their candlestick out of his place, except they repent.”  {PH151 47.1}

The foundation of our faith, which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down, pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon–the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone. . . .  {UL 152.5}

Do you wonder that I have something to say, when I see the pillars of our faith beginning to be moved? Seductive theories are being taught in such a way that we shall not recognize them unless we have clear spiritual discernment.–Manuscript 46, May 18, 1904, {UL 152.6}

Similar statements are found in TM 265 + 4T 513

It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner.–ChS 41 (1893).  {LDE 172.1}

Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive of the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God.–19MR 176 (1898).  {LDE 172.2}

We are in the shaking time, the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord will not excuse those who know the truth if they do not in word and deed obey His commands.–6T 332 (1900).  {LDE 173.4}

Separate!

I see perplexities on every side, as character develops man and woman will take their position, for varied circumstances brought to bear upon them will cause them to reveal the spirit which prompts them to action. Everyone will reveal the character of the bundle  with which he is binding himself. The wheat is being bound up for the heavenly garner. The true people of God are now pulling apart, and the tares are being bound in bundles ready to burn. Decided positions will be taken.    188 materials 995.2

We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbours’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?  {TSB 188.3}

The house of God is often desecrated, and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath-believers’ children. In some cases they are even allowed to run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints should worship God in the beauty of holiness. And the place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon, “confusion.” This is enough to bring God’s displeasure and shut His presence from our assemblies.  {CG 540.4}

They may now indulge in false accusations, they may deride those whom God has appointed to do His work, they may consign His believing ones to prison, to the chain gang, to banishment, to death; but for every pang of anguish, every tear shed, they must answer. God will reward them double for their sins. Concerning Babylon, the symbol of the apostate church, He says to His ministers of judgment, “Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” Rev. 18:5, 6.  {COL 178.4}

The churches, represented by Babylon, are represented as having fallen from their spiritual state to become a persecuting power against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To John this persecuting power is represented as having horns like a lamb, but as speaking like a dragon.–Testimonies to Ministers, p. 117. (1896)  {Ev 197.2}

Psalms 119:96 I have seen the end of all perfection and thy commandment is exceeding broad.

https://sabbathsermons.com/category/dress-reform/

Who Comprises Babylon?

We are not to think that the chosen ones of God who are trying to walk in the light, compose Babylon. The fallen denominational churches are Babylon. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God’s holy, sanctified day. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches. . . .  {Ev 365.1}

There needs to be a waking up among God’s people, that His work may be carried forward with power. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that God will add to the ranks of His people men of ability and influence, who are to act their part in warning the world. All in the world are not lawless and sinful. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men in the fallen churches. If this were not so, we should not be given the message to bear, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. . . . Come out of her, My people.”  {Ev 558.4}

As the time comes for it [the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of Spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power,–all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these.–The Great Controversy, p. 606. (1888)  {Ev 699.5}

The Fall is Not Yet Complete!

The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844, and it then had a more direct application to the churches of the United States, where the warning of the judgment had been most widely proclaimed and most generally rejected, and where the declension in the churches had been most rapid. But the message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfillment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the Advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time, they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however, can it be said that “Babylon is fallen, . . . because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” She has not yet made all nations do this. . . . The work of apostasy has not yet reached its  culmination.  {FLB 285.2}

The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord, Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness;” and they that “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” will be left to receive “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thess. 2:9-11. Not until this condition shall be reached, and the union of the church with the world shall be fully accomplished throughout Christendom, will the fall of Babylon be complete. The change is a progressive one, and the perfect fulfillment of Revelation 14:8 is yet future.  {FLB 285.3}

The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. . . . The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. . . .  {FLB 330.3}

Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14 announcing the fall of Babylon, must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the Judgment, it must be given in the last days, therefore it cannot refer to the Romish Church, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation, in a message which is yet future, the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God’s people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. At the time of their rise, these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and his blessing was with them. Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel….. {GC88 382.3}

Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome’s example of iniquitous connection with “the kings of the earth;” the State churches, by their relation to secular governments, and other denominations by seeking the favor of the world. And the term Babylon–confusion–may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories.  {GC88 383.1}

Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness, and alienation from God, that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great body of Christ’s true followers are still to be  found in their communion. There are many of these who have never seen the special truths for this time. Not a few are dissatisfied with their present condition, and are longing for clearer light. They look in vain for the image of Christ in the churches with which they are connected. As these bodies depart farther and farther from the truth, and ally themselves more closely with the world, the difference between the two classes will widen, and it will finally result in separation. The time will come when those who love God supremely can no longer remain in connection with such as are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a  form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”  {GC88 390.1}

Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Rev. 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God, still in Babylon, will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness,” [2 THESS. 2:12.] shall be left to receive strong delusion, and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord, that remain in Babylon, will heed the call, “Come out of her, my people.” [REV. 18:4.]  {GC88 390.2}

The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel’s message. As the Captain of the Lord’s host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord’s commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated.–TM 410 (1898).  {LDE 52.3}

If we do our very best to present the truth in its stirring character, crossing the opinions and ideas of others, it will be misinterpreted, misapplied, and misstated, to those who are entertaining error, in order to make it appear in an objectionable light. There are few to whom you bring the truth, who have not been drinking of the wine of Babylon. It is hard for them to comprehend the truth, therefore the necessity of teaching it as it is in Jesus.  {1SM 405.1}

When Sr White Wrote This It Was Applicable In Her Time

Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to nought.  {2SM 68.3}

The term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied in Scripture to the various forms of false or apostate religion. But the message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to some religious body that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be the Romish Church which is here meant; for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the Protestant churches, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects. The unity for which Christ prayed does not exist. Instead of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, there are numberless conflicting creeds and theories. Religious faith appears so confused and discordant that the world know not what to believe as truth. God is not in all this; it is the work of man,–the work of Satan.  {4SP 232.2}

The Babylon thus described represents Rome, that apostate church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ. But Babylon the harlot is the mother of daughters who follow her example of corruption. Thus are represented those churches that cling to the doctrines and traditions of Rome and follow her worldly practices, and whose fall is announced in the second angel’s message.  {4SP 233.1}

We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, Unify, unify. But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth.  {RH, April 19, 1906 par. 23}

Further reading;

https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/09/06/a-sister-to-fallen-babylon/

Posted on September 23, 2009, in A Sister to Fallen Babylon and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love how it’s quote after quote after quote Ari! Praise God for your articles 🙂 They are bolstering my faith and our decision to stay away from all apostate churches, including the SDA church.

  1. Pingback: What About a Sister? « Sabbath Sermons

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