Apostasy and Spiritualism in the SDA Church
Please note: Unless stated otherwise, the information from websites was collected in 2010. Underlining has been supplied for emphasis.
Please pray for discernment before reading this chapter. Study and research for yourself to learn the seriousness of what we have only begun to show. May the Holy Spirit be your Guide. The information in this chapter will be effective to those who are converted or wish to be converted. These are testing messages and warnings for those who sincerely desire to do the will of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
In the previous eight chapters, the writers of this book followed the instructions God gave in Ernie Knoll’s Boardroom dream. If needed, please see the Introduction for further information. We showed how Ed Reid, Steve Wohlberg, Eugene Prewitt, Ángel Rodríguez, David Gates, Vance Ferrell, Linda Kirk, and Laura Lee Jones have not stated the truth concerning Ernie and have been instrumental in leading many to believe he is a false prophet. The Boardroom dream further instructed us to reveal the sad condition of God’s last day remnant church. Like Israel of old, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church has become corrupt. Many of its leaders are no longer faithful to God and have slowly led God’s people into a condition of apostasy (unfaithfulness, backsliding, and heresy). The Bible calls that condition “Laodicean” (see Revelation 3:14-22). Like the Jews of Christ’s day, they pride themselves in the fact that they are God’s chosen last day people. They believe they have the truth and are confident that because they have accepted Jesus, they are assured of a place in heaven. But what does the Bible say?
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
This is truly a sad picture of God’s last day Church. No wonder God has sent messages through Ernie. God is trying to awaken His people. In 1893, Ellen White wrote:
Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, Vol. 1, p. 99
Those who claim to believe the truth do not possess that power that God would bestow upon them if they really believed, and were striving for conformity to His image. The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst. If Christ were formed within, the hope of glory, conformity to His image would be seen, and the church trials which separate the members from Christ would disappear.
The Laodicean message pictures Jesus knocking on the door. He is on the outside wanting to come in. This applies individually as well as to God’s organized Church. In 1893, Jesus was not in the midst of His Church. As we will see in this chapter, time has not improved the condition. Like the Jews who refused Jesus at His first advent, SDAs are refusing Him entrance today.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 76
I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies has been steadily increasing as the people backslide from God. It is all through our ranks, all over the field. But few know what our churches are to experience. I saw that at present we are under divine forbearance, but no one can say how long this will continue. No one knows how great the mercy that has been exercised toward us. But few are heartily devoted to God. There are only a few who, like the stars in a tempestuous night, shine here and there among the clouds.
Many who complacently listen to the truths from God's word are dead spiritually, while they profess to live. For years they have come and gone in our congregations, but they seem only less and less sensible of the value of revealed truth. They do not hunger and thirst after righteousness. They have no relish for spiritual or divine things. They assent to the truth, but are not sanctified through it. Neither the word of God nor the testimonies of His Spirit make any lasting impression upon them. Just according to the light, the privileges, and opportunities which they have slighted will be their condemnation. Many who preach the truth to others are themselves cherishing iniquity. The entreaties of the Spirit of God, like divine melody, the promises of His word so rich and abundant, its threatenings against idolatry and disobedience—all are powerless to melt the world-hardened heart.
Many of our people are lukewarm. They occupy the position of Meroz, neither for nor against, neither cold nor hot. They hear the words of Christ, but do them not. If they remain in this state, He will reject them with abhorrence. Many of those who have had great light, great opportunities, and every spiritual advantage praise Christ and the world with the same breath. They bow themselves before God and mammon. They make merry with the children of the world, and yet claim to be blessed with the children of God. They wish to have Christ as their Saviour, but will not bear the cross and wear His yoke.
We realize there is good in the SDA Church. However, this chapter focuses on those problems that need fixing. It is not written to be judgmental but to expose error and exalt truth as the Lord has commanded. We are not trying to attack certain individuals but are pointing out the danger they are in and hope that they will repent, be truly converted, and receive eternal life. This is necessary as well, to try to save those who follow these individuals. In the Bible, Paul warned people and judged their teachings. Judging a person’s teaching is not the same as judging that person. We love God’s Church and do not criticize it. However, we must call sin by its right name.
Education, p. 90
Of the rebuke that is love, of the blow that wounds to heal, of the warning that speaks hope....
The Signs of the Times, April 21, 1881
The servant of God should never allow his own spirit to be mingled with the reproof which he is required to give; but he is under the most solemn obligation to present the word of God, without fear or favor. He must call sin by its right name. Those who by their carelessness or indifference permit God's name to be dishonored by his professed people, are numbered with the transgressor,--registered in the record of Heaven as partakers in their evil deeds.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 16, p. 114
When God speaks to men, commanding them to bear His message to the people, it means something. Those who are commanded to bear a message must move out although obstacles of a forbidding character are in the way. Those who claim to know the truth, and yet lay every obstacle in the way so that light shall not come to the people, will have an account to settle with God that they will not be pleased to meet. God manages His own work, and woe to the man who puts his hand to the ark of God.
It is false loyalty to the SDA Church that leads members to keep silent in a spiritual crisis.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 280
If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.
In this chapter, we again intend to follow the instruction given to Ernie in the Boardroom dream. This includes showing the following:
- Many leaders are not teaching the truth.
- There are conference leaders and pastors who are not what people think they are.
- God’s faithful are not to support the spiritualism that is in the SDA Church.
- The Church is in apostasy but God will cleanse it.
- Evidence of the apostasy and the truth as written in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
We were told in the Boardroom dream, “As you all prepare this document, do not hold back.” In the past, people have pointed out the apostasy within the SDA Church. Some become critical of the Church and declare it to be “Babylon.” We do not believe that is the case. However, the majority are in apostasy. We believe the Church will not fall, but will be purified, and the unfaithful will leave the Church. The end of this chapter will include more on this topic.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 1, p. 348
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.
At the first advent of Christ, He had to openly rebuke the leadership, because they had lulled the people into a false sense of security. He called them hypocrites, serpents, fools, and blind guides (see Matthew 23). The leaders were offended, and many may have wondered if Jesus was being critical of the leadership and the church. However, truth is truth, and those corrupt leaders knew that what Jesus said was true, but they hardened their hearts. Is it any different today? Will this book be rejected and its writers accused of being critical and showing no respect for the leadership? In the same chapter that Jesus laid open the sins of the proud leadership, He predicted the following, which still applies today:
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.
If God had not instructed us to write this chapter, we would not have done so. Like Elijah who was called at a time of great apostasy, we believe God has called Ernie to wake up His people, because Jesus is about to return. That is the purpose of this chapter. We fully believe that God will awaken His people through what Ellen White predicted as the shaking.
Early Writings, p. 270
I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people.
This phase of the shaking that is caused by the proclamation of the Laodicean message will stir up opposition. Truth has always caused opposition. From the time of faithful Abel to the last great conflict when the whole world will oppose God’s faithful people, the truth has been hated. All must decide whether they will stand on the side of truth that is unpopular or follow error that is popular.
The Desire of Ages, p. 242
Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation. Do we not today meet theories and doctrines that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions.
It is with tears that we write this chapter, yet it is a necessary one. What we have included is only a small part of what is transpiring in the SDA Church. Our warning to you is that the Church is involved in a spiritual flood of apostasy and spiritualism and most are not even aware of this tragedy or refuse to sound a warning. It is to the eternal loss of the majority. Only a remnant from the SDA Church today would be saved. We believe God is now taking the reins into His own hands, that He is drawing a line in the sand and like the days of Elijah and Joshua, He is asking us to make a decision. We pray that God’s people will no longer “bind about His work” of the “angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world.”
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 300
Unless those who can help in _____ are aroused to a sense of their duty, they will not recognize the work of God when the loud cry of the third angel shall be heard. When light goes forth to lighten the earth, instead of coming up to the help of the Lord, they will want to bind about His work to meet their narrow ideas. Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.
Christian Service, pp. 41-42
A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.
The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer, and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife.
A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.
The Great Controversy (1888), p. 609
Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ's ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty and leave results with God.
Please notice that SDA worship services, books, periodicals, the media, and so on include truth and error mixed, which is very deceiving. In this chapter you will find many examples of apostasy and spiritualism in the SDA Church throughout the world. Many believe this is just a problem in only a few places. Perhaps this was true many decades ago, but not today. Because it was not stopped at the onset, it has escalated to what is now worldwide open and rampant rebellion against God and His truth. The SDA Church leadership is trying to protect the Church name, so it has been trademarked. However, that very name is gradually being destroyed by apostasy. God is looking for a people who will put the name back.
As you read through this chapter, please take note of how the Church leaders seem to be more concerned with why there are not more “worldly” people (the unchurched) coming into the organization rather than why the faithful members are concerned or why those faithful are leaving the churches because present truth is hardly being taught. Instead of the mindset that the SDA churches need to become more like the world to reach the world, they should realize that many leave the Church because they are not truly converted to begin with. The churches should have continued on the upward path to “primitive godliness” not the downward path of “postmodern worldliness.” The pastors are not to be pleasing people but giving them what they need rather than what they want. Beware of what you are taught by others. Always test it with God’s Word.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
We want to make it very clear that we fully believe God will cleanse His organized Church. God does not lead offshoots. Just as He brought Israel out of Egypt and led them to the Promised Land, so He has taken for Himself a church out of Babylon and will lead it into the heavenly Canaan. That SDA Church began just prior to 1844 when people were called out of the fallen churches. It was later organized under God’s direction in 1863 as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is this Church that Satan is now waging war against, as predicted in Revelation 12:17. It is this Church that God will cleanse, so that it can proclaim the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the TRUTH.