The Church “Then”. . . . . .and the Church Now
by Terry S. Ross
DA 741: “ ‘And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him. ’”
Who are the “they” in this quotation? Christ died for us all because we need a saviour but the Ancient Adventist Church should not have been the ones to murder Him.
DA 742: “The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther. They were puzzled to find any one who would bear the humiliating load. The Jews themselves could not do this, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover. None even of the mob that followed Him would stoop to bear the cross.”
No one who refuses to bear the humiliating load of Christ’s cross will share in the glory of Christ’s crown. Even though the “church” was literally killing the Son of God, they would continue business as usual and looked forward to keeping the Passover which represented the very Person whom they were killing! They had become so blind that they couldn’t recognize the Truth even when it was actually right before them! Do not be fooled into believing that something like this could not happen in the Seventh- day Adventist “Church.” It not only can happen, it has happened, and is happening for the last time right now.
DA 742- 43: “Not a few women are in the crowd that follow the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Their attention is fixed upon Jesus. Some of them have seen Him before. Some have carried to Him their sick and suffering ones. Some have themselves been healed. The story of the scenes that have taken place is related. They wonder at the hatred of the crowd toward Him for whom their own hearts are melting and ready to break. And notwithstanding the action of the maddened throng, and the angry words of the priests and rulers, these women give expression to their sympathy. As Jesus falls fainting beneath the cross, they break forth into mournful wailing.
“This was the only thing that attracted Christ’s attention. Although full of suffering, while bearing the sins of the world, He was not indifferent to the expression of grief. He looked upon these women with tender compassion. They were not believers in Him; He knew that they were not lamenting Him as one sent from God, but were moved by feelings of human pity. He did not despise their sympathy, but it awakened in His heart a deeper sympathy for them. ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, ’ He said, ‘weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. ’ From the scene before Him, Christ looked forward to the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. In that terrible scene, many of those who were now weeping for Him, were to perish with their children.”
Even these non- believing women are amazed at the hatred that the Conference Leadership has toward Christ! But Jesus tells them that they should be weeping for themselves. Why? He was looking forward and He knew that most of the people in the crowd would continue to be influenced by the apostate conference men who would continue to say “The ship is going through.” They, in turn, would continue to believe this and would be destroyed with that particular ship because it, in truth, was not the ship that was going through.
DA 743: “From the fall of Jerusalem the thoughts of Jesus passed to a wider judgment. IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IMPENITENT CITY HE SAW A SYMBOL OF THE FINAL DESTRUCTION TO COME UPON THE WORLD. He said, ‘Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? ’ By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer. God suffered His wrath against transgression to fall on His beloved Son. Jesus was to be crucified for the sins of men. WHAT SUFFERING, THEN, WOULD THE SINNER BEAR WHO CONTINUED IN SIN? ALL THE IMPENITENT AND UNBELIEVING WOULD KNOW A SORROW AND MISERY THAT LANGUAGE WOULD FAIL TO EXPRESS.”
If Jerusalem is a symbol of the bigger destruction of the world, what then can we learn? Who made up the populace of that city? The headquarters of the “church” was also the headquarters of Rome in that part of the country. We will find in the near future that the headquarters of modern Rome will be located not too far from the Adventist structure’s headquarters. As they worked hand in hand for the destruction of Christ, in the future they will work hand in hand for the destruction of God’s last day people. This may be difficult to believe but not any more difficult than two thousand years ago. Only those who took God (Jesus) at His Word escaped the destruction of Jerusalem. We can expect that a similar group of believers that will escape the destruction to come, as it surely will.
Leaders who teach their congregations that they can continue in sin and cannot stop sinning either knowingly or unknowingly are leading these people to eternal damnation. If we truly love others, the exposure of this deadly heresy must take place and be openly challenged. People must be given the opportunity to know the truth to stop listening to the lies of these agents of Satan.
DA 743: “Of the multitude that followed the Saviour to Calvary, many had attended Him with joyful hosannas and the waving of palm branches, as He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. But not a few who had then shouted His praise because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of ‘Crucify Him! crucify Him! ’ When Christ rode into Jerusalem, the hopes of the disciples had been raised to the highest pitch. They had pressed close about their Master, feeling that it was a high honor to be connected with Him. Now in His humiliation they followed Him at a distance. They were filled with grief, and bowed down with disappointed hopes. How were the words of Jesus verified: ‘All ye shall be offended because of Me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. ’ (Matt. 26: 31).”
To follow Christ for political reasons because it’s popular to do so or for any other reason than from conviction based on a love for God and His truth, will prove to be fatal! Every single person whose motivation and actions fall below the standard WILL betray, forsake, and be lost!
DA 744: “The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death- dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness, — ‘for they know not what they do. ’”
Here Jesus wonderfully demonstrates the balance of warfare and welfare. While He had exposed His enemies and denounced them with scathing rebukes, He had no human feelings of vengeance toward them, but only pity. He would have gladly forgiven them if they had repented; He had no pleasure in the thoughts of their future destruction. Today, although we are to do the same work, we can be guilty of murder ourselves if we enjoy the destruction of our enemies. We must do what we do for the purposes of salvation, not for the purpose of destruction. Jesus had the perfect balance of “not blind, nor bitter.”
DA 744- 45: “Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. BUT THEIR IGNORANCE DID NOT REMOVE THEIR GUILT; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet just the same God’s purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father’s presence.
“That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. ‘Whosoever will’ may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.”
Here is yet another description of the modern Adventist “Church.” No one has greater opportunity to learn about Jesus and His truth than those in the Adventist movement. The majority are ignorant of the weightier matters, but willfully so. Their ignorance will not be valid during the judgement period, but it does explain why they do what they do. Some, during this time of ongoing education, will see the truth, repent and be converted. Others (the majority) because of stubbornness, willful blindness, wanting to be popular, and love for cherished idols will refuse to be converted. This group is the reason why God inspired Sister White to write that we have more to fear from within than without.
DA 745: “Pilate then wrote an inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and placed it upon the cross, above the head of Jesus. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. ’ This inscription irritated the Jews. In Pilate’s court they had cried, ‘Crucify Him! ’ ‘We have no king but Caesar. ’ (John 19: 15.) They had declared that whoever should acknowledge any other king was a traitor. Pilate wrote out the sentiment they had expressed. NO OFFENSE WAS MENTIONED, EXCEPT THAT JESUS WAS THE KING OF THE JEWS. THE INSCRIPTION WAS A VIRTUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE ALLEGIANCE OF THE JEWS TO THE ROMAN POWER. IT DECLARED THAT WHOEVER MIGHT CLAIM TO BE THE KING OF ISRAEL, WOULD BE JUDGED BY THEM WORTHY OF DEATH. The priests had overreached themselves. When they were plotting the death of Christ, Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die to save the nation. Now their hypocrisy was revealed. In order to destroy Christ, they had been ready to sacrifice even their national existence.”
You will notice that the only offense charged to Jesus was, in fact, the truth. You will also notice that the Jews’ (Ancient Adventists who were in apostasy) allegiance was with Rome and not God. To declare that the truth of Christ was above the traditions of Rome meant sure death. In the not too distant future, the true and faithful who will stand for God’s Word and declare that the traditions of Rome are not valid will face the death decree. Until it’s forever too late, the other group who declares that the traditions of Rome are above God’s Word will also face the death decree. It is up to you to decide which death decree you want to face.
DA 746- 49: “And Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co- operating with the priests and rulers. The teachers of the people had stimulated the ignorant mob to pronounce judgment against One upon whom many of them had never looked, until urged to bear testimony against Him. Priests, rulers, Pharisees, and the hardened rabble were confederated together in a Satanic frenzy. Religious rulers united with Satan and his angels. They were doing his bidding.”
Just as Jesus was completing the first phase of the plan of salvation, Satan and his angels, in human form, appeared to deceive all who could be deceived. The same deception will take place just as Jesus is bringing the final phase of salvation to a close. We are told in Revelation and the book Great Controversy that Satan will appear as an angel of light to deceive the nations.
Most Adventists I’ve met realize that Satan will personate Christ in order to deceive, but I have met very few Adventists who understand that Satan will not come alone. Did you realize that he will bring the apostles with him? Let’s read it here in Great Controversy page 557: “The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth.” Maybe you can better understand that unless we have the mind of Christ, which can only be obtained by following Him all the way, this deception to come will be overpowering. Only those who are fully connected with Christ will make it through this time. The preparation time which we are now enjoying is quickly disappearing and we had better be paying attention.
DA 749: “In their mockery of the Saviour, the men who professed to be the expounders of prophecy were repeating the very words which inspiration had foretold they would utter upon this occasion. Yet in their blindness they did not see that they were fulfilling the prophecy.”
This same blindness is even now being repeated. This prophecy is having its fulfillment in our day. In their blindness, the leaders are preaching toward their own doom and fulfilling the prophecy of their own destruction.
DA 753: “Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.
“SATAN WITH HIS FIERCE TEMPTATIONS WRUNG THE HEART OF JESUS. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God, that their separation was to be eternal. CHRIST FELT THE ANGUISH WHICH THE SINNER WILL FEEL WHEN MERCY SHALL NO LONGER PLEAD FOR THE GUILTY RACE. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.”
Every soul who takes a stand for Jesus in these last days will have to go through a similar experience in their own sphere which He had to go through. But especially will the 144,000 understand by experience what price Jesus paid for our salvation. During the time of trouble after probation closes, this group will feel a similar anguish of soul that wrung the heart of their Saviour. This will be a terrible ordeal but in the end it will separate this group from any other in the entire universe. Theirs will be an elevated experience known only to them and their Lord.
On the other side of the coin, those who choose apostasy instead of Christ will feel a deepened terror that was only felt by those who killed Christ. There will not be another group of human beings who share in this same terror. To make a profession of Adventism and turn from what it really means (especially for the leadership) is serious business. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, we do not want to be a part of this “church!” To one day face the reality of this truth and know that eternity was in the palms of our hands, yet be forever lost! The terror will be indescribable. Let us choose rather to place our feeble selves in the hands of a caring Father for He will see us through the trouble ahead. I have always said that no one will escape persecution in the end anyway. A small group will be persecuted by man and Satan. The larger group will be persecuted by God. Let us choose the right group in which to be persecuted.
DA 756: “In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city, and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God’s wrath were directed against the fated city.”
Jesus Christ Who had raised up Jerusalem with His own power had the power to reject it. According to this history, the fierce lightnings of God’s wrath will be directed against the apostate people of Jerusalem — Apostate Adventists.
DA 756: “Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. BY FAITH, CHRIST WAS VICTOR.”
All immediate evidence suggested that the Heavenly Father had forsaken His Son, but Christ’s personal life experience with God had developed the faith that was victorious over all the assaults of Satan. This faith, the faith OF Jesus Christ, identifies His true people who ARE HIS TRUE CHURCH.
DA 756- 57: “Never before had the earth witnessed such a scene. The multitude stood paralyzed, and with bated breath gazed upon the Saviour. Again darkness settled upon the earth, and a hoarse rumbling, like heavy thunder, was heard. There was a violent earthquake. The people were shaken together in heaps. The wildest confusion and consternation ensued. In the surrounding mountains, rocks were rent asunder, and went crashing down into the plains. Sepulchers were broken open, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. Creation seemed to be shivering to atoms. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, and people, mute with terror, lay prostrate upon the ground.
“When the loud cry, ‘It is finished, ’ came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy- seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred.
“All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God’s Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living was is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, ‘Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God. ’ ‘By His own blood’ He entereth ‘in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. ’ (Heb. 10: 17; 9: 12).”
This terror and confusion spoken of in Desire of Ages is the same that will be on the earth and in the hearts of apostate pastors, leaders, and all who reject God’s warnings and mercies. The scenes that you have studied in this book are now being repeated and will continue to follow the same course viewed two thousand years ago.
When the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom at the command of God, it was a signal and an invitation to all to understand that no pastor or priest would stand between man and God save Jesus Christ alone. In this study, inspiration has clearly demonstrated that God is not bound to any pastor, Conference Worker, Conference Leader, General Conference, or a people once chosen.
This book has been written in the honest hope that all who read it will come to a better understanding of not only what has been, but what is and what will be. The author of this book is convinced that our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, is warning us about events just now happening and those about to happen so we are not deceived. We also understand that many statements in this book are “hard sayings,” but it is just as imperative that we take them into our lives as it was for the disciples.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” says God’s Word, for we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that the majority will be lost because they refused to take God at His Word.
Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, no matter where your present loyalties lie, we would plead with you to take this study most seriously. If our understanding of the past is correct, we believe that your very life depends on how you choose to react to what you have read.
It’s decision time, dear Brothers and Sisters. What will it be? Will you go to man for your salvation or to God? Your destiny hangs upon your answer. Choose ye this day….
Copyright © 1999 Servants of the Saviour
Terry & Cathy Ross