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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Remnant Church Not Babylon





Let all be careful not to make an outcry against the only people who are fulfilling the description given of the remnant people, who keep the commandments of God and have faith in Jesus.... God has a distinct people, a church on earth, second to none, but superior to all in their facilities to teach the truth, to vindicate the law of God.... My brother, if you are teaching that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is Babylon, you are wrong. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 50, 58, 59 (1893).

                Those proclaiming the church is Babylon divert money from a channel of usefulness into a channel of evil—Those who advocate error, will say, “The Lord saith, when the Lord hath not spoken.” They testify to falsehood, and not to truth. If those who have been proclaiming the message that the church is Babylon, had used the money expended in publishing and circulating this error, in building up, instead of tearing down, they would have made it evident that they were with the people whom God is leading.... If those who have done this kind of work, had felt the necessity of answering the prayer of Christ that He offered to His Father just previous to His crucifixion,—that the disciples of Christ might be one as He was one with the Father,—they would not be wasting the means entrusted to them, and so greatly needed to advance the truth. They would not be wasting precious time and ability in disseminating error, and thus necessitate the devoting of the laborer’s time to counteracting and quenching its influence. A work of this character is inspired not from above, but from beneath.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 43, 44.

 Dear Brother M,
                [Letter to one who had come to the conclusion that the Seventh-day Adventist Church had fallen into the low spiritual state described as Babylon.—Compilers.]
                Your letter addressed to me was received at the beginning of the Sabbath I should advise you to attend the school, and not to leave this country until you become thoroughly settled in your mind as to what is truth. I sincerely hope that you will attend this term of school and learn all you can in regard to this message of truth that is to go to the world.{2SM 63.1}

                The Lord has not given you a message to call the Seventh-day Adventists Babylon, and to call the people of God to come out of her. All the reasons you may present cannot have weight with me on this subject, because the Lord has given me decided light that is opposed to such a message.{2SM 63.2}

                I do not doubt your sincerity or honesty. I have written long letters at different times to those who were accusing the church of Seventh-day Adventists of being Babylon, that they were not handling the truth. You think individuals have prejudiced my mind. If I am in this state, I am not fitted to be entrusted with the work of God. But this matter has been brought before my mind in other cases where individuals have claimed to have messages for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, of a similar character, and the word has been given me, “Believe them not.” “I have not sent them, and yet they ran.” 2SM 63.3

                The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to Seventh-day Adventists who have had great light and have not walked in the light. It is those who have made great profession, but have not kept in step with their Leader, that will be spewed out of His mouth unless they repent. The message to pronounce the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God.2SM 66.2

                Jesus is coming in to give the individual members of the church the richest blessings, if they will open the door to Him. He does not once call them Babylon, nor ask them to come out. But He says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” 2SM 67.1

                I will say in the fear and love of God, I know the Lord has thoughts of love and mercy to restore and heal them of all their backslidings. He has a work for His church to do. They are not to be pronounced Babylon, but to be as the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are to be the living messengers to proclaim a living message in these last days.{2SM 67.2}

The Church Not to Be Broken Up

                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 naught. {2SM 68.3}

                In 1893 in meeting the charge that the church had become Babylon, Ellen G. White wrote: “the church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.”—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 49.

                God has a church, a chosen people; and could all see as I have seen how closely Christ identifies Himself with His people, no such message would be heard as the one that denounces the church as Babylon.   TM 20.1


False Teachers to be Shunned

                When men arise, claiming to have a message from God, but instead of warring against principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, they form a hollow square, and turn the weapons of warfare against the church militant, be afraid of them. They do not bear the divine credentials. God has not given them any such burden of labor. They would tear down that which God would restore by the Laodicean message. He wounds only that He may heal, not cause to perish. The Lord lays upon no man a message that will discourage and dishearten the church. He reproves, He rebukes, He chastens; but it is only that He may restore and approve at last. How glad my heart was made by the report from the General Conference that many hearts were softened and subdued, that many made humble confessions, and cleared away from the door of the heart the rubbish that was keeping the Saviour out. How glad I was to know that many welcomed Jesus in as an abiding guest. How is it that these pamphlets denouncing the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon [See Appendix.] were scattered abroad everywhere, at the very time when that church was receiving the outpouring of the Spirit of God? How is it that men can be so deceived as to imagine that the loud cry consists in calling the people of God out from the fellowship of a church that is enjoying a season of refreshing? Oh, may these deceived souls come into the current, and receive the blessing, and be endued with power from on high. {TM 22.2}
[The Review and Herald, August 22 to September 12, 1893.]


                I have been made very sad in reading the pamphlet that has been issued by Brother S. [See appendix.] and by those associated with him in the work he has been doing. Without my consent, they have made selections from the Testimonies, and have inserted them in the pamphlet they have published, to make it appear that my writings sustain and approve the position they advocate. In doing this they have done that which is not justice or righteousness. Through taking unwarrantable liberties they have presented to the people a theory that is of character to deceive and destroy. In times past many others have done this same thing, and have made it appear that the Testimonies sustained positions that were untenable and false. {TM 32.3}  In the pamphlet published by Brother S. and his associates, he accuses the church of God of being Babylon, and would urge a separation from the church. This is a work that is neither honorable nor righteous. In compiling this work, they have used my name and writings for the support of that which I disapprove and denounce as error. {TM 36.1}

                To claim that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is Babylon, is to make the same claim as does Satan, who is an accuser of the brethren, who accuses them before God night and day. By this misusing of the Testimonies, souls are placed in perplexity, because they cannot understand the relation of the Testimonies to such a position as is taken by those in error; for God intended that the Testimonies should always have a setting in the framework of truth. {TM 42.1}

                Those who advocate error will say, “The Lord saith,” “when the Lord hath not spoken.” They testify to falsehood, and not to truth. If those who have been proclaiming the message that the church is Babylon had used the money expended in publishing and circulating this error, in building up, instead of tearing down, they would have made it evident that they were the people whom God is leading.{TM 43.1}

                “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” The message that has been borne by those who have proclaimed the church to be Babylon has made the impression that God has no church upon earth. {TM 44.3}

Satan Permitted to Tempt
                Instead of the unity which should exist among believers, there is disunion; for Satan is permitted to come in, and through his specious deceptions and delusions he leads those who are not learning of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart, to take a different line from the church, and break up, if possible, the unity of the church. Men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves. They claim that God has given them great light; but how do they act under its influence? Do they pursue the course that the two disciples pursued on their journey to Emmaus? When they received light, they returned and found those whom God had led and was still leading, and told them how they had seen Jesus and had talked with Him.{TM 48.1}

                Have the men who have claimed to have light concerning the church pursued this course? Have they gone to those who are chosen of God to bear a living testimony, and given them evidence that this light would better qualify them to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God? Have they sought counsel of those who have been and are still bearing the truth, and giving to the world the last message of warning? Have they counseled with those who have had a deep experience in the things of God? Why were these men, so full of zeal for the cause, not present at the General Conference held at Battle Creek, as were the devout men at Jerusalem at the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? At the great heart of the work, men opened their treasures of light; and while the Lord was pouring out His Spirit upon the people, did these men receive of the heavenly anointing? While the deep movings of the Spirit of God were made manifest among the people, and souls were being converted, and hard hearts broken, there were those who were listening to the suggestions of Satan, and they were inspired with zeal from beneath to go forth and proclaim that the very people receiving of the Holy Spirit, who are to receive the latter rain and the glory that is to lighten the whole earth, were Babylon. Did the Lord give these messengers their message? No, for it was not a message of truth. {TM 48.2}

                 There is but one church in the world who are at the present time standing in the breach, and making up the hedge, building up the old waste places; and for any man to call the attention of the world and other churches to this church, denouncing her as Babylon, is to do a work in harmony with him who is the accuser of the brethren. Is it possible that men will arise from among us, who speak perverse things, and give voice to the very sentiments that Satan would have disseminated in the world in regard to those who keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus? Is there not work enough to satisfy your zeal in presenting the truth to those who are in the darkness of error? As those who have been made stewards of means and ability, you have been misapplying your Lord’s goods in disseminating error. The whole world is filled with hatred of those who proclaim the binding claims of the law of God, and the church who are loyal to Jehovah must engage in no ordinary conflict. “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.” Those who have any realization of what this warfare means will not turn their weapons against the church militant, but with all their powers will wrestle with the people of God against the confederacy of evil. {TM 50.2}

                Those who are carrying this message of error, denouncing the church as Babylon, are neglecting their God-appointed work, are in opposition to organization, in opposition to the plain command of God spoken by Malachi in regard to bringing all the tithes into the treasury of God’s house, and imagine that they have a work to do in warning those whom God has chosen to forward His message of truth. These workers are not bringing greater efficiency to the cause and kingdom of God, but are engaged in a work similar to that in which the enemy of all righteousness is engaged. Let these men who are rising up against the ways and means ordained of God to forward His work in these days of peril divest themselves of all unscriptural views concerning the nature, office, and power of God’s appointed agencies.{TM 53.1}

                Those who have proclaimed the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon, have made use of the Testimonies in giving their position a seeming support; but why is it that they did not present that which for years has been the burden of my message—the unity of the church? Why did they not quote the words of the angel, “Press together, press together, press together”? Why did they not repeat the admonition and state the principle, that “in union there is strength, in division there is weakness”? It is such messages as these men have borne that divide the church, and put us to shame before the enemies of truth; and in such messages is plainly revealed the specious working of the great deceiver, who would hinder the church from attaining unto perfection in unity. These teachers follow the sparks of their own kindling, move according to their own independent judgment, and cumber the truth with false notions and theories. They refuse the counsel of their brethren, and press on in their own way until they become just what Satan would desire to have them—unbalanced in mind.{TM 56.1}
              
            For years I have borne my testimony to the effect that when any arise claiming to have great light, and yet advocating the tearing down of that which the Lord through His human agents has been building up, they are greatly deceived, and are not working along the lines where Christ is working. Those who assert that the Seventh-day Adventist churches constitute Babylon, or any part of Babylon, might better stay at home. Let them stop and consider what is the message to be proclaimed at this time. In place of working with divine agencies to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord, they have taken their stand with him who is an accuser of the brethren, who accuses them before God day and night.{2TT 355.1}