With the crisis of the ages, that will involve the entire world, just on the horizon, the people of God should be preparing themselves and others as never before; because when the crisis breaks open, the Mark of the Beast crisis that is, it will not be the time to seek the needful experience, but rather it will be the time to put into practice the experience gained in times of relative peace and safety. Seventh-day Adventists, like no other group, have been privileged to have the true understanding of Bible prophecy given through the lenses of prophetic inspiration, and have been committed the most solemn and important truths to firstly be received and then given to the inhabitants of the world. They are to prepare themselves by painstakingly studying every principle of the message entrusted to them by God and taxing their minds to the uttermost to truly appreciate the import and life and death nature of the three angels’ messages. These messages are to be to them as their daily bread, providing both sustenance and delight. As they thus do this from pure motives, allowing God’s word to work sanctification in their lives, they will feel compelled to herald this message wherever they go and with whomever they come in contact; and they will likewise be equipped both intellectually and spiritually to proclaim these messages, as they were raised up to do.
“In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”1
The unfortunate reality is that habitually Seventh-day Adventist publications as well as sermons, media and other materials have been devoid of the Three Angels’ Messages, the everlasting gospel, and have been saturated with another gospel, a social and ecumenical gospel. This means that no longer are members being fed with the bread of life but are being served with bread from the defiled hands of Babylon. And that bread that originates from Babylon is none other than the Eucharist. Case in point, the adult Sabbath school quarterly put out by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is faithfully studied by many Seventh-day Adventists daily, for some time has been systematically demoting the writings of Ellen White while uplifting the works and theology of non-Seventh-day Adventist pastors, authors, teachers and scholars, promoting errors that are diametrically opposed to sound Biblical teachings. There has been a pattern for decades of questionable doctrines being presented in the lesson guides as well as passages from non-Seventh day Adventists from the fallen churches of Babylon, including Roman Catholicism, quoted and referenced.
The current quarterly is no different; not only does it quote extensively from the NIV and other so-called Bible versions than the KJV, but it also cites passages from infidel authors. Lesson 11 titled, “Jesus bade them ‘follow me’” has an emphasis on evangelism. The lesson dated September 3, the reading for Sabbath afternoon, contains a quote from a man by the name of Rodney Stark.3
A quick research of Mr. Stark indicates that he is a sociologist of religion and a professor who is a best selling-author who has written over 30 books and hundreds of scholarly articles. In one of his books, he describes himself as “personally incapable of religious faith.” “While reluctant to discuss his own religious views, he stated in a 2004 interview that he was not a man of faith, but also not an atheist. In a 2007 interview, after accepting an appointment at Baylor University, Stark indicated that his self-understanding had changed and that he could now be described as an ‘independent Christian.’ In this interview Stark recollects that he has ‘always been a ‘cultural’ Christian’ understood by him as having ‘been strongly committed to Western Civilization.’ Of his previous positions he wrote: ‘I was never an atheist, but I probably could have been best described as an agnostic.’”4
If this is not startling enough, consider the fact that one of his books “Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History,” he attempts to revise and skew the history of Papal atrocities, including the Papal Inquisition. He states, “As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called ‘Hitler’s Pope,’ the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (Harper San Francisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth?”4
In quoting from such a man, the writers and editors of the Sabbath school lesson are not only endorsing the writings and teachings of Mr. Stark but are also dismissing and contradicting the teachings of God through the Spirit of Prophecy which makes it clear that “In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy–the Inquisition.”5
Quoting from men such as Rodney Stark confirms one of the reasons why The Great Hope was printed for Seventh-day Adventists to distribute throughout the world instead of the complete book, The Great Controversy, to hide the bloody, despotic and unscrupulous history of the Roman Catholic Church and to be in harmony with them. In The Great Hope, the chapters concerning the inquisition and the reign of the Papacy for 1260 years (538-1798) have been extracted and thus the controversy has been replaced with a great false hope. Certainly then, the one book that Ellen white said should be widely distributed is not a part of the evangelism plans of these SDA leaders, because to disseminate The Great Controversy would be to expose the man of sin and his various devices.
Again, the quoting of non-Seventh-day Adventists authors in Seventh-day Adventist publications is nothing new; therefore the quoting from Rodney Stark is not an isolated incident even in the current study guide. In the same Sabbath school quarterly another man from the churches of Babylon, Ronald J. Sider was quoted from on the August 24 lesson.6
Like, Rodney Stark, Mr. Sider has also authored many books of which it is said “Among his many books are Good News and Good Works…This is an invigorating and passionately biblical call to the church to embrace the whole gospel through the combination of evangelism, social engagement and spiritual formation.”7
It must not be forgotten that the context of this quarter’s lesson is ministry, evangelism, which means that the principles advocated by the men quoted are being urged upon churches and members to implement in their evangelistic efforts, among them, spiritual formation, which has already entered the schools and churches. Seventh-day Adventists can never wish to be successful in the work of soul-winning while they cast aside the message and methods of working laid out in the Bible and spirit of prophecy while implementing the practices of Babylon, which includes a lowering of the standards, ecumenism and spiritualism.
Even if the authors quoted from in the quarterly only presented true and factual information in their works, it would still be a violation of the counsels presented in the testimonies, because Seventh-day Adventists have no need to go to the men of Babylon because all the truth has been committed to them, and surely they could have found the very truths they were searching for in the Spirit of Prophecy if not the Bible itself. “Many think that in order to obtain an education it is necessary to study the productions of writers who teach infidelity, because their works contain some bright gems of thought. But who was the originator of these gems of thought? It was God, and God alone. He is the source of all light. Why should we wade through the mass of error contained in the works of pagans and infidels, for the sake of a few intellectual truths, when all truth is at our command?”8
“The Secretary’s Office of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) has released a sweeping document on church governance and authority in advance of the 2017 Annual Council of the GC Executive Committee. The 50-page document, ‘A Study of Church Governance and Unity,’ was prepared by the executive officers of the General Conference…The longer document may be summarized by twenty key assertions made within the text…” one of which is “Seventh-day Adventists are united by their… joint weekly study of the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.”9
If Seventh-day Adventists are united by their weekly study of the Sabbath School lesson, and it is laden with authors, errors, and theories from Babylon, then Seventh-day Adventists are united in falsehood and thus are united to oppose Christ.
The principle brought out in the following quotation holds true for reading and quoting from the publications of those from Babylon. “I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error…The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.”10
Since this is what is being served to the adults, I shudder to think what is being taught in the youth and children’s quarterly lessons and from who is this content coming. Because of the systematic muting and changing of the distinctive messages given to Seventh-day Adventists, there exists today a generation of Seventh-day Adventists, which can be traced to the time shortly after Ellen White had died, that know neither their history nor the messages that separate them from the fallen churches of Babylon, much like the times after Joshua died and it was stated, “And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died…And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel” Joshua 2:8 and 10.
O, there is need today of strict adherence to the warnings and entreaties of God through his messenger. “Let not works setting forth the soul-destroying theories of hypnotism, spiritualism, Romanism, or other mysteries of iniquity find a place in our publishing houses.”11
1. White, Ellen. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9 (1909), page 19
5. White, Ellen, The Great Controversy (1911), page 59
8. White, Ellen. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8 (1904), page 306
10. White, Ellen. Early Writings (1882), page 124
11. White, Ellen. Publishing Ministry (1909), page 19