A letter was sent in May, 2002, to the temporary Pastor of a California SDA Church, who had declared that he had no time for "heavy theology." He maintained that all that is necessary for salvation is "belief" in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. He was retired after decades as a leader in the youth ministry of the SDA Church. What kind of believers had he shaped during the years of his youth ministry?1 A few years later, the identical sentiments of this former youth leader were expressed by the Pastor of an Oregon SDA Church.

No reply was ever received to the following letter, the text of which is followed by a quotation from a Review and Herald article by Ellen G. White:

May 18, 2002

Elder ____


Dear Elder _____:

First as a reminder, since it has been weeks since your visit, this letter is written because you invited me to make submissions, which you promised to consider. I hope that you will take the time to read all of this letter and the enclosures. At the very least, if not persuasive, you should find it all very interesting.

I believe that I started this letter nearly a month ago. I am revising it as I continue with the draft, with unavoidable breaks between. This section was inserted on Sabbath, May 4, after I woke up in the morning with the persistent refrain in my mind of a youth song from the past. You will recall, "Give of your best to the Master. Give of the strength of your youth. Put on salvation's full armor. Join in the battle for Truth." If this song is doctrinally sound, if it ever had real meaning, it should have inspired the youth to seek out the Truth as the armor of salvation and go forth into battle, never evading the controversy. I wonder, do they still sing this song today, or only the modern "feel-good" ditties. The song has brought to my mind the words of the apostle Paul in Eph. 6:11-17:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

In the use of this language of warfare Paul was revealing the spiritual realities. The battle was joined in his time. It is intense in these present times, whether we realize it or not. War has been waged on the Truth throughout Christendom, and the stage is set for the final "war with the remnant of her seed" (Rev. 12) who hold fast to the Gospel of Truth. The leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have hoisted the white flag. The question confronting Seventh-day Adventists today is whether they are going to follow the Church leaders into ignominious defeat or follow Christ to glorious victory after a time of fiery trial. It is a question that cannot be settled by relying on statements in the Writings outside of the context of time and place and of the issues raised by Present Truth. In the Bible, God declared both the permanence of the calling of Israel and a definite time of termination because of her continuous rebellion. The contradictions of prophecy had nothing to do with the unchanging mind of God, and everything to do with the persistent fickleness and disloyalty of His people. Exactly the same applies to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

To ancient Israel God spoke the following words of assurance:

Jer 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

Jer 31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Jer 31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

However, this was followed by the prophecy of Dan. 9, which gave a definite time limit for God's forbearance towards Israel:

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolation

Before the end of the delimited time God gave clear warning of the impending doom by the voice of John the Baptist:

Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Mat 3:10 And now also the ax 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. (Emphasis added.)

In Luke 13:6-9 Jesus spoke the parable of the unfruitful fig tree. Of this parable Ellen G. White wrote:

Christ's hearers could not misunderstand the application of His words. David had sung of Israel as the vine brought out of Egypt. Isaiah had written, "The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant." Isa. 5:7. The generation to whom the Saviour had come were represented by the fig tree in the Lord's vineyard--within the circle of His special care and blessing. {COL 214.2}

Later, Christ enacted the parable described in Matt. 21:17-20. Of this parable Mrs. White wrote:

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 the certainty of Israel's doom. . . . . {DA 582.4}

The parable of the fig tree, spoken before Christ's visit to Jerusalem, had a direct connection with the lesson He taught in cursing the fruitless tree. For the barren tree of the parable the gardener pleaded, Let it alone this year, until I shall dig about it and dress it; and if it bear fruit, well; but if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. 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. In the parable the result of the gardener's work was not foretold. It depended upon that people to whom Christ's words were spoken. They were represented by the fruitless tree, and it rested with them to decide their own destiny. Every advantage that Heaven could bestow was given them, but they did not profit by their increased blessings. By Christ's act in cursing the barren fig tree, the result was shown. They had determined their own destruction. {DA 584.2}

Mrs. White further stated:

The warning is for all time. Christ's act in cursing the tree which His own power had created stands as a warning to all churches and to all Christians. . . . . {DA 584.1} (Emphasis added.)

In an earlier chapter of the book Mrs. White had written:

The Jews had misinterpreted God's promise of eternal favor to Israel: "Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord." Jer. 31:35-37. The Jews regarded their natural descent from Abraham as giving them a claim to this promise. But they overlooked the conditions which God had specified. Before giving the promise, He had said, "I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. . . . For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jer. 31:33, 34. {DA 106.1}

To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgments. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men, and entitled to His blessings. {DA 106.2}

These things "are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Cor. 10:11. . . . . . {DA 106.3} (Emphasis added.)

This brings us down to our time, and this Church which once could rightly be called the Remnant Church of God. Note the progression of dates in relation to the quotations which follow.

In 1893 Mrs. White wrote:

God is leading out a people. He has a chosen people, a church on the earth, whom He has made the depositaries of His law. He has committed to them sacred trust and eternal truth to be given to the world. He would reprove and correct them. 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} (Emphasis added.)

Continuing in similar vein she stated:

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. . . . . {2SM 68.3-69} (Emphasis added.)

Here is where the Church leadership want to put a period. "The church is going through!" However, as in the case of Israel there is a caveat. In 1903, less than two weeks after the General Conference session in which the organizational reforms that God had ordained were reversed, Mrs. White wrote the following:

In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. {8T 247.2}

Who can truthfully say: "Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot!' . . . . . {8T 250.2} (Emphasis added.)

Here it is well to consider the definition of harlotry as found in Great Controversy:

Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with "the kings of the earth." It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation.

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 Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. {GC 382.2-383} (Emphasis added.)

In 1904 Mrs. White wrote:

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. . . . {SpTB02 54.3-55} (Emphasis added.)

That last sentence in the quotation is the reason why I have stated in conversation with you that the flourishing present-day evangelistic work of the Church is meaningless. In 1905, the following unequivocal statement was made by the Messenger of the Lord under the chapter title "Standing in the Way of God's Messages," with counsel as follows:

One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,--the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now. {SpTB07 57.1} (Emphasis and italics added.)

In the following year Mrs. White made the following statements in a Review and Herald article:

As has been foretold in the Scriptures, there will be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils in the midst of the church, and these evil influences will increase; but hold fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. {RH, August 9, 1906 par. 6} . . . .

The time is at hand when Satan will work miracles to confirm minds in the belief that he is God. All the people of God are now to stand on the platform of truth as it has been given in the third angel's message. All the pleasant pictures, all the miracles wrought, will be presented in order that, if possible, the very elect shall be deceived. The only hope for any one is to hold fast the evidences that have confirmed the truth in righteousness. Let these be proclaimed over and over again, until the close of this earth's history. {RH, August 9, 1906 par. 8} (Emphasis and italics added.)

So we see that beginning in 1903 there are consistent testimonies in the Writings predictive of a fallen Church. Yet, astonishingly, one of the most powerful predictions of the the Church's ultimate fall from grace because of the repudiation of its unique mission to the world is found in a testimony written prior to the turn of the century. In 1892 the testimony "The Seal of God," unequivocally predicted the following concerning the Church's ultimate fate:

The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." {5T 211.1}

Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. {5T 211.2} . . . .

Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of God's wrath have fallen upon the earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then wash away the stains of sin. {5T 212.4} (Emphasis added.)

The Scripture quoted by Mrs. White is from Eze. 9:5,6. In fact in an even earlier testimony titled "The Laodicean Church," written in 1873, Mrs. White had stated:

Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done" in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. {3T 267.1} (Emphasis added)

There is a prediction, also written in 1892, which provides a landmark for the time when the Church's mission would be terminated:

After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, "Lo, here is Christ, Lo, he is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, he has sent me with great light." Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false Sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God himself by supplanting the day he has blessed and sanctified. This false Sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law. Satan and his angels are wide-awake, and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating from the minds of men the knowledge of God. But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory, will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God's people to forsake her. {RH, December 13, 1892 par. 2}

At the time of the loud cry of the third angel those who have been in any measure blinded by the enemy, who have not fully recovered themselves from the snare of Satan, will be in peril, because it will be difficult for them to discern the light from heaven, and they will be inclined to accept falsehood. . . . . {RH, December 13, 1892 par. 3} (Emphasis and italics added.)

Of course, any Church member who has failed to appreciate the vital significance of Truth to the fulfillment of the Church's mission - who has failed to search the Scriptures with diligence to "know the Truth," as Jesus promised - will be either unaware or indifferent that there have been a removal of the landmarks of prophecy and a continuing attempt to "tear down the pillars of our faith" by the scholars and ministerial leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In the 1980 General Conference session the retreat from the Truth that had begun in 1949 with the alteration of the statement on the Incarnation in Bible Readings for the Home, through the 1950s conferences with the Evangelical leaders Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse and the publication of Questions on Doctrine, became official Seventh-day Adventist doctrine when the 27 Statements of Belief were adopted. It is plain for anyone to see that there has been a proliferation of "voices" within the community of Adventists since 1980.

The conclusion is inescapable that the time for the preaching of the gospel as a witness to all nations is past. Furthermore, the Loud Cry of Rev. 18 follows the closing of the gospel witness to the world. When the learning process concerning the enormity of the Church's departure from the true faith first began for me upwards of fifteen years ago, it immediately appeared to me that logically there could no longer be a mission for the corporate body. Continuing study has confirmed that this initial insight was correct. Now, if the Seventh-day Adventist Church has lost its mission to the world, having repudiated the crucial doctrines committed to the Adventist movement in sacred trust, how can the shepherds now be providing good pasture in a safe fold for the sheep? This defies logic. I am aware of clear-cut statements in the Writings which contradict those that are commonly used to prove that the members must remain in the so-called "ark of safety," no matter whether the Church is teaching sound doctrine or no doctrine at all, the Truth as it is in Jesus or "doctrines of devils." I am not going to quote those statements here. I would point out that the contradictory statements in the Writings are logical, contingent in each alternative upon the condition of the Church at the time of the writing, and at the time of the harvest. This brings us right back to the issue of The Truth versus error. That is the determining factor:

1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (Emphasis added.)

There is one true Church from which the remnant of God will never be severed, be they in isolation or in the "little companies" of which Ellen G. White wrote. It is described by the aposle Paul:

Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. (Emphasis added.)

Although I am not going to quote from the Writings on the subject of how the wheat and the tares are separated, I would be remiss if I did not invite you to take a careful look at Matt. 25:1-6. Now the popular belief is that verse 6 was fulfilled in the 1844 movement; but look again at verses 1 & 6 together. There are two goings out. The first was in the 1844 movement. Then follows the period when all of the ten virgins slumbered and slept, and finally the second going out. The book Great Controversy (a great book in general) holds to the mistaken belief that the midnight cry was in the 1844 movement, but in a Review and Herald article dated February 11, 1896 Mrs. White made a statement which proves that belief to be erroneous:

There is a world lying in wickedness, in deception and delusion, in the very shadow of death,--asleep, asleep. Who are feeling travail of soul to awaken them? What voice can reach them? My mind was carried to the future, when the signal will be given. "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." But some will have delayed to obtain the oil for replenishing their lamps, and too late they will find that character, which is represented by the oil, is not transferable. {RH, February 11, 1896 par. 6} (Emphasis added.)

I leave you with these words of the apostle Paul, found in the last chapter of the Book written to the Jewish Christians, for whom separation from the Temple and the Synagogues was undoubtedly a wrenching experience:

Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Yours very truly,


From the Review and Herald, October 31, 1899, comes the following quotation:

The first, second, and third angels' messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

Many who went forth to meet the Bridegroom under the messages of the first and second angels, refused the third, the last testing message to be given to the world, and a similar position will be taken when the last call is made. (Underscored and italicized emphasis added.)

1 Not surprisingly, in 2000 all nine of the Church's Community Services Department members except one voted for George Bush, who had touted his Christianity and was endorsed by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States - the beginning of the formation of the Image to the Beast. They could not see, and indeed were not concerned about, Bush's connection with the prophecies of Rev. 13.