Gospel Order


Table of Contents

II - Years of Church Development 1860-1890

A. Beginnings of a Downward Course, 1860-1861

1860 – September 29, Name Seventh-day Adventist Chosen.
-- S.D.A. Church Asleep and Conformed to the World.

Exhorted to Flee From Idolatry

“When I study the Scriptures, I am alarmed for the Israel of God in these last days. They are exhorted to flee from idolatry. I fear that they are asleep and so conformed to the world that it would be difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ's professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them. “ 1T 277.

1861 – Incorporation of the SDA Publishing Association.

“Though the matter was repeatedly urged upon their attention, our brethren took no action in regard to it until 1861. Up to this time my husband had been the legal proprietor of the publishing house, and sole manager of the work. He enjoyed the confidence of the active friends of the cause, who trusted to his care the means which they donated from time to time, as the growing cause demanded, to build up the publishing enterprise. But although the statement was frequently repeated through the Review, that the publishing house was virtually the property of the church, yet as he was the only legal manager, our enemies took advantage of the situation, and under the cry of speculation, did all in their power to injure him, and to retard the progress of the cause. Under these circumstances he introduced the matter of organization, which resulted in the incorporation of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, according to the laws of Michigan, in the spring of 1861.” 1T 101.

Harm to the Cause of God

With the organization and incorporation of the SDA Publishing Association, E.G. White saw the danger that some unconsecrated persons would overstep the bounds and deface the cause of God.

“But while God's people are justified in securing church property in a lawful manner, they should be careful to maintain their peculiar and holy character. I saw that unconsecrated persons would take advantage of the position which the church has recently taken, and would overstep the bounds*, carry matters to extremes, and wound the cause of God.* Some will move without wisdom or judgment, engage in lawsuits that might be avoided, mingle with the world, partake of its spirit, and influence others to follow their example. One professed Christian who moves unadvisedly does much harm to the cause of present truth. Evil takes root much more readily than good, and flourishes when good and right languish unless carefully nourished.” 1T 212.

Peculiar Relationship to God

“Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High-- to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God.” PP 303

No Resort to Secular Power

“One of the principles most firmly maintained by Luther was that there should be no resort to secular power in support of the Reformation, and no appeal to arms for its defense.” GC 209

“When the church begins to seek for the support of secular power, it is evident that she is devoid of the power of Christ—the constraint of divine love.” MB 127.

No Favor of the World

“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.”

“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,..” GC 382-383

“Any movement in favor of religious legislation is really an act of concession to the papacy, which for so many ages has steadily warred against liberty of conscience.” 5T 711-712.

1863 – May, General Conference Organized.
-- June 6, Health Reform Message.

“General Conference Organized, 1863. The next annual meeting of the Michigan Conference (originally scheduled for October) convened at Battle Creek May 20-23, 1863, under the temporary chairmanship of J. N. Aldrich, with Uriah Smith as secretary. Elected delegates were present from the New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota conferences.”

“A committee appointed to draft a constitution for the proposed General Conference Organization brought in its report on Friday, May 21. The following constitution, after being discussed item by item, was adopted in its entirety:..” SDA Encyclopedia, p 1046.

“It was at the house of Brother A. Hilliard, at Otsego, Michigan, June 6, 1863, That the great subject of health Reform was opened before me in vision.” CDF 481.

“The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel's message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body.” The health reform is closely connected with the work of the third message, yet it is not the message.” CDF 74.

Please read more for further study on The Principles of Health Reform.

1865 – Church Departed From the Simplicity of the Gospel. -- Origin of the Great Apostasy.

“Many who profess the truth are not sanctified by it and are not endowed with wisdom; they are not led and taught of God. God's people, as a general thing, are worldly-minded and have departed from the simplicity of the gospel. This is the cause of the great lack of spiritual discernment in the course they have pursued toward ministers.” 1T 474.

“What was the origin of the great apostasy? How did the church first depart from the simplicity of the gospel? By conforming to the practices of paganism, to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the heathen. The apostle Paul declared, even in his day, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." 2 Thessalonians 2:7. During the lives of the apostles the church remained comparatively pure. But "toward the latter end of the second century most of the churches assumed a new form; the first simplicity disappeared, and insensibly, as the old disciples retired to their graves, their children, along with new converts, . . . came forward and new-modeled the cause."-- Robert Robinson, Ecclesiastical Researches, ch. 6, par. 17, p. 51. To secure converts, the exalted standard of the Christian faith was lowered, and as the result "a pagan flood, flowing into the church, carried with it its customs, practices, and idols." --Gavazzi, Lectures, page 278. As the Christian religion secured the favor and support of secular rulers, it was nominally accepted by multitudes; but while in appearance Christians, many "remained in substance pagans, especially worshiping in secret their idols."--Ibid., page 278.” GC 384-385.

1867 – Vision of E.G. White: A Catholic Procession. -- The Eventual Fate of the SDA Church.

“That night I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: "This house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order." Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently: "If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said or what I have done!"

“I wept and prayed much as I saw our goods confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked the countenances of several whom I thought would speak to me and comfort me if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but seeing that I was watched, I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying: "If they would only tell me what I have done or what I have said!" My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud and awoke me. My pillow was wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits was upon me.” 1T 578.

The vision was a chilling statement that the whole Seventh-day Adventist System would become Catholic. This prophecy has just unfolded. Let us retrace the events in the unfolding of this prophecy.

Golden Medallion Given to the Pope

In 1977 the SDA Church gave a golden medallion to the pope—a medallion of St. Benedict with a cross engraved on it.

“The book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action, and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible….” Adventist Review, August 11, 1977.

Adoption of the Cross

“What are you waiting for… A sign? You’ve waited more than 150 years* for the church to adopt an official, worldwide corporate identity. Fortunately, there is no need to wait any longer for your sign… Positive ID is the officially licensed supplier of the Seventh-day Adventist logo accessories so we can guarantee that your signage complies with the strict global identity standards required by the General Conference.” (Back cover)

“The years 1996 and 1997 will go down in Seventh-day Adventist Church history as the era during which our church adopted and implemented a unified corporate image.” Ministry Magazine, July 1997 edition.

From 1846 when E.G. White first observed the Sabbath as a sign between God and His people (Eze. 20:12, 20), to 1996 when the SDA Church adopted and implemented the new logo for its corporate sign spanned 150 years.

How ironic then that the SDA leaders irreverently replaced the Holy Sabbath, being the sign of God’s people, with that of a corporate logo with a cross on it!

In addition, another warning was given to the SDA church being the modern Israel that they are in danger of falling like the ancient Israel.

“I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them. A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God--a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." Testimonies for the Church, vol 1, p 609.

1868 – “Sleeping Preachers Preaching to a Sleeping People.”
-- Hellish Banner Planted in the Church.

“Men who stand in very responsible positions at the heart of the work are asleep. Satan has paralyzed them in order that his plans and devices may not be discerned, while he is active to ensnare, deceive, and destroy.

“Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, while their wily foe enters the fort and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up….

“And Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he. The people have not erected graven images, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God... They are idolaters, and are worse, far worse, in the sight of God than the heathen, graven-image worshipers who have no knowledge of a better way.” 1T 439-441.

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!” 2T 337.

God’s Appointed Way

E.G. White had tried to set before God’s people their danger and their sins; endeavored to arouse and remind them that men could be saved only in God’s appointed way.

“I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved--not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate.” 2T 445-446.

B. Church Steadily Retreating to the World. 1882-1890

1882 – Continual Backsliding.
-- Disbelief in the Testimonies of the Spirit of God.

The succeeding years found God’s people in a much worse condition. In 1882, the church had turned back and was steadily retreating toward Egypt or the world, instead of following Christ, her Leader.

“I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.”

“The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. “ 5T 217.

“It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition.” 4T 211

“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.” 1SM 48

God’s Urgent Plea

Again, the SDA church was urged to return to God’s appointed way; to return to the old landmarks from which she had wandered away.

“No matter who you are or what your life has been, you can be saved only in God's appointed way. You must repent; you must fall helpless on the Rock, Christ Jesus.” 5T 218.

“Now is the time when we should closely connect with God, that we may be hid when the fierceness of His wrath is poured upon the sons of men. We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve Him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?” 5T 137.

The Church Found Wanting

“The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting. The light has been shining clear and definite upon her pathway, and the light of 1882 calls her to an account. If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect before God, if her light has become darkness, she is indeed found wanting. The knowledge of our state as God views it, seems to be hidden from us. We see, but perceive not; we hear, but do not understand; and we rest as unconcerned as if the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, rested upon our sanctuary. We profess to know God, and to believe the truth, but in works deny Him. Our deeds are directly adverse to the principles of truth and righteousness, by which we profess to be governed.” 5T 83-84.

1886 – The Church in Danger of Becoming Babylon Fallen.

“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 of every unclean and hateful bird…” 21MR 380

1887 – Appeals to the SDA Church

Be Sober, be Vigilant”

“We must no longer remain upon the enchanted ground. We are fast approaching the close of our probation. Let every soul inquire, How do I stand before God?...” “The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned... O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause it to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for His presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you? Let us awake out of sleep. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8) – The Review and Herald, March 22, 1887. – 1SM 125, 126, 127

1888 – Righteousness by Faith Message

In 1888, the precious light on Righteousness by Faith was given to the SDA Church. The message, which was in its entirety the third angel’s message, was to teach the world to believe in Jesus Christ and His love.

“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.“ TM 91

The Gospel of His Grace

“The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ…” “For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.” TM 92-93

The Message Rejected

Sadly, the SDA Church rejected the message of Justification by Faith.

“The religion of many among us will be the religion of apostate Israel, because they love their own way, and forsake the way of the Lord. The true religion, the only religion of the Bible, that teaches forgiveness only through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, that advocates righteousness by the faith of the Son of God, has been slighted, spoken against, ridiculed, and rejected.” TM 467-468

“An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren {E.J.} Waggoner and {A.T.} Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” 1SM 234.

Had the SDA Church accepted the message in 1888 in Minneapolis, a reformation and reorganization of the church in accordance to God’s plan would have taken place. Jesus Christ would have been the Head of the Church. Contrarily, the church adhered to its having a visible head, the General Conference president among others….

The Church continued in rejecting the 1888 message.

“In 1888 the direction of the Adventist church took an upward turn at the Minneapolis Ministerial Pre-Session… and the church has not been the same since...The 1985 World Ministers Council follows in the tradition of 1888.” Ministry magazine, November , 1984, p 22 (Back cover).

1890 – Proposal for Consolidation and Centralization.

“During the year 1890, much thought had been given by leading men connected with the management of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, to a proposal for the consolidation of the work of the publishing houses under one board of control. The proposed union of the publishing interests was advocated as a means of securing unity, economy, and efficiency.” LS 311.

Consolidation and centralization is not God’s plan. If adopted, it would mar the work.

“At times it has been urged that the interests of the cause would be furthered by a consolidation of our publishing houses, bringing them virtually under one management. But this, the Lord has shown, should not be. It is not His plan to centralize power in the hands of a few persons or to bring one institution under the control of another.” 7T 171.

“This is not God's wisdom, but human wisdom. Those matters have been coming up again and again in different aspects, but this policy of consolidation would, if adopted, result in marring the work..” PM 144

“The policy of consolidation, wherever pursued, tends to the exaltation of the human in place of the divine..” 7T 172.

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