Most Seventh-day Adventist Church members, being loyal to their hierarchy of church leadership, quote a "famous" article, written by Ellen G. White in 1893, to "prove" that the SDA Church organization has not yet reached (and will never reach) the dreadful condition of spiritual declension called "Babylon." The familiar statement is found in Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 521:
PAGE 23. PAMPHLETS DENOUNCING THE S.D.A. CHURCH AS BABYLON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A PAMPHLET ENTITLED, "THE LOUD CRY OF THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE," PUBLISHED BY A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST LAY MEMBER, MR. STANTON, IN THE YEAR 1893. THIS MAN, IN HIS STUDY OF THE BIBLE AND THE TESTIMONIES, FOCUSED HIS ATTENTION PRIMARILY ON THE MESSAGES OF REPROOF AND REBUKE, FORGETTING THAT GOD HAD SAID THAT "AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN." REVELATION 3:19. HE CONCLUDED THAT THE TESTIMONIES OF REPROOF CONSTITUTED A MESSAGE OF REJECTION, AND THAT THOSE WHO WOULD JOIN IN SOUNDING THE LOUD CRY MUST WITHDRAW FROM THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH. THE CHURCH, HE ASSERTED, HAD BECOME BABYLON, AND THOSE WHO WOULD FINISH GOD'S WORK IN THE EARTH AND MEET THEIR LORD IN PEACE MUST SEPARATE FROM THE BODY.
AN ARDENT DISCIPLE, MR. W. F. CALDWELL, WAS DISPATCHED TO AUSTRALIA TO CARRY THE MESSAGE TO THAT LAND AND TO VISIT MRS. WHITE, WHO, IT WAS SUPPOSED, WOULD JOIN THEIR FORCES OF "REFORM." ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA, HE DISCOVERED THAT WHILE HE HAD BEEN CROSSING THE PACIFIC TO AUSTRALIA, A TESTIMONY WAS ON ITS WAY FROM NEW ZEALAND TO AMERICA SPECIFYING THE MESSAGE OF THE "LOUD CRY" TRACT AS "ONE OF THE DELUSIONS DESIGNED TO CREATE CONFUSION AMONG THE CHURCHES," AND STATING IN THE CLEAREST LANGUAGE THAT "IF YOU ARE TEACHING THAT THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IS BABYLON, YOU ARE WRONG." SEE THE FULL LETTER ON PAGES 58-62. MRS. WHITE MET THIS MISLEADING TEACHING IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES IN THE REVIEW AND HERALD ENTITLED "THE REMNANT CHURCH NOT BABYLON," NOW COMPRISING PAGES 32-62 OF THIS VOLUME. THIS OFFSHOOT MOVEMENT HAD BUT A VERY SHORT LIFE.
God's Rebuke to Laodicea
Ellen G. White
Those who have published the "Loud Cry" tract have not consulted me upon the subject. They have quoted largely from my writings and put their own construction upon them. They claim to have a special message from God to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, proclaim her fall, and call the people of God to come out of her, and try to make the testimonies substantiate their theory. These publications are misleading minds, and increasing the prejudice already existing, and tend to make it more difficult to get access to them to present the message God has given in warnings to the world of altogether a different character from the ideas presented in these pamphlets.
I arose at half-past two o'clock; I could not sleep; the burden was upon me. The history of the children of Israel urged itself upon my mind, and many points were so clearly pressed upon me that I dared not keep silent. I wrote twenty-three pages between three o'clock and half past twelve o'clock. My spirit was stirred within me. I felt a burden for the people of God, not only on account of this one production, but because of many such matters which are coming to the people, claiming to be messages from God. "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20)
A number of these pamphlets came to the post office, with instruction to the postmaster to hand them to Seventh-day Adventists. The people of Wellington are full of prejudice. The circulation of D. M. Canright's falsehoods has created prejudice, making it next to impossible to reach the people, and everything of this character creates the suspicion that we are working under cover. These pamphlets and telegraph dispatches from Brother C[aldwell] are of a character to confirm these suspicions. All these things are closing the doors of the people against us. The way is being hedged up by just such things.
These men who think they are doing God service are working on the enemy's side, not on God's side. . . .
. . . No one can be safe now unless riveted to the eternal Rock. We have every reason to be grateful and trustful in God. The Lord Jesus knoweth them that are His. He died to save a lost world, and He is gathering out from it an army to serve under His banner. And He will present to Himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
I understood that both these men were at the General Conference [held in Battle Creek, February 17 - March 6, 1893], that is, S[tanton] and C[aldwell]. Could they not discern there the revealings of the Spirit of God? Could they not see that God was opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing? Why was this? Testimonies had been given correcting and counseling the church and many had made a practical application of the message to the Laodicean Church, and were confessing their sins and repenting in contrition of soul. They were hearing the voice of Jesus, the heavenly Merchantman, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).
These brethren who claimed to have this wonderful light had the very same work of repentance and confession to do, thus clearing the rubbish from the door of their own hearts, and opening the door of their hearts to welcome the heavenly guest. Had they placed themselves in the channel of light, they would have received the most precious blessings from heaven. They would have seen that the Lord was indeed gracious, manifesting Himself to His people, and that the Sun of Righteousness had risen upon them. This was precious merchandizing actively carried on. The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon, and all who were feeling their poverty were buying gold (faith and love), white raiment (the righteousness of Christ), and eye salve (true spiritual discernment).
Why did not these brethren fall into line, and place themselves in the channel of light? They were poverty stricken and knew it not. They were not working in Christ's lines, were not softened and subdued by His Holy Spirit, and were so blinded that they could not see the strong beams of light that were coming from the throne of God upon His people. They heard not the voice of the true Shepherd. They were listening to the voice of a stranger.
When I consider the infirmities of these misled brethren, I feel deep sorrow of heart that they did not plead with God, "Bless me, O God bless, now I see my error. Thou art communicating to Thy people the richest truths ever committed to mortals. These people are not Babylon; for Thou hast given to them righteousness and peace; and Thy joy, that their joy may be full." Oh why did they not open the door of their heart to Jesus? Why not have removed right there all that obstructs the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness that they might shine to the world? While God's blessing was penetrating everywhere, while His presence was consecrating and sanctifying souls unto Himself, why did they not place their souls in the channel of light? It was because Satan had cast his hellish shadow athwart their pathway to obstruct every ray of light.
How could they come from that meeting where the power of God was revealed in so marked a manner, and proclaim that the loud cry was that the commandment-keeping people were Babylon. Satan was saying that same thing to Christ when Joshua stood before the angel. Satan was declaring his sins to be so great that he should not be restrained from destroying him. The words of Christ are applicable to these brethren, and to all who advance similar sentiments. "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel" (Zechariah 2:2,3). Who clothed him with filthy garments? "And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways,and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (Zechariah 2:4-7). The work of Satan is to cover the repentant, believing, commandment-keeping people of God with defiling garments; Jesus Christ commands them to be clothed with His righteousness, garments woven in the loom of heaven.
. . .
Beware of those who arise with a great burden to denounce the church. The chosen ones who are standing and breasting the storm of opposition from the world, and are uplifting the down-trodden commandments of God to exalt them as honorable and holy, are indeed the light of the world.
How dare mortal man pass his judgment upon them, and call the church a harlot, Babylon, a den of thieves, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, the habitation of devils, making the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, confederating with the kings and great men of the earth, waxing rich through the abundance of her delicacies, and proclaiming that her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities? Is this the message we have to bear to the Seventh-day Adventists [in 1893]? I tell you, No! God has given no man any such message. Let these men humble their hearts before God, and in true contrition repent that they have even for a time stood by the side of the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night. . . .
It seems almost impossible that anyone who had a genuine experience in the faith should suggest such erroneous applications of Scripture as applicable to God's commandment-keeping people. Supposing this spurious message is the one everyone must hear for this time, "Come out of her My people," where shall we go to? Where shall we find the purity, goodness, and holiness where we shall be secure? Where is the fold where no wolves will enter?
. . .
The Lord has had a church from that day [Christ's lifetime], through all the changing scenes of time to the present period, 1893. The Bible sets before us a model church. They are to be in unity with each other, and with God. When believers are united to Christ the living vine, the result is that they are one with Christ, full of sympathy and tenderness and love. When anyone is drawing apart from the organized body of God's commandment-keeping people, when he begins to weigh the church in his human scales, and begins to pronounce judgment against them, then you may know that God is not leading him. He is on the wrong track.
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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. (GC 382, 383)
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NOTE: 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. Ellen G. White: 19MR 176 (1898)
Vennita Marcussen's Testimony Regarding "No New Organization"
Examination of the Christian Churches
The World's Mark of Approval for the SDA Church
The 1896 International Sabbath School Lesson
The Wine of Babylon
Can the Lamp Go Out?
Babylon is Fallen
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