Those who reject the apostasy will be severely charged with criticism because they will protest against it. A great effort has been made for a long time to eliminate criticism. It has been terribly condemned far and near, in sermons, articles, conventions, institutes, camp meetings, and conferences. Honest protest has been stifled and suppressed by branding it criticism and then condemning it.

A distinction must be made between protest and criticism,  for if not, no voice can be raised against the wrong! Pernicious criticism is a wicked thing, and ought to be confessed and forsaken. Criticism of men is that bad. But there is another side to this question of criticism.

If men have gone so far in criticism that they criticize the work of the Spirit of God and the messages from the Spirit of God and denounce those who are maintaining those messages as having the spirit of the devil, that would come terribly close to being a sin against the Holy Spirit and would call for alarm and utter humiliation and abasement before such men should dare lift up their heads and ask God for the gift of His Holy Spirit in the latter rain.

This criticism of the work of the Spirit of God is more heinous and disastrous to ourselves and to the work of God than is criticism of men.

If leaders so criticize the Spirit of Prophecy that men are moved by the Spirit of God to protest against such apostasy, there must be a distinction made between such protest and evil criticism. When men are in the wrong and do not see it and God sends them brethren to counsel them and they persist in denouncing such counsel as unjust criticism, they are indeed in a great delusion and it is most difficult for God to reach them.

According to Inspiration, there will be various voices in the church from this time forward till after the shaking is over. There will be false reformations that will sweep in thousands; there will be great worldliness and there will be those who sigh and cry over the condition of the church as God sees it, and these will reprove and warn and will not hold their peace to obtain the favor of any. These are the ones who will be sealed. Notwithstanding their earnest efforts, they will be powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 210), because the majority join in the general apostasy and refuse to heed the reproofs. They will be misjudged and denounced and scourged by men in responsible position (Ibid., p. 79), guardians of the spiritual interests of the people who have betrayed their trust (Ibid., p. 221), destroyers who have for many years been training under the hand of Satan and only wait the departure of a few more standard bearers like Elder _____ to bring the day when holy hands bear the ark no longer and when woe will be upon the people who are led astray by their unfaithful shepherds (Ibid., p. 77). 

These true protestants will pass through a trying time, a tarrying time (Ibid., p. 81)and where there are no faithful ministers, and where the shepherds are not true, God will take charge of the flock Himself (Ibid., p. 80). These protestants will hold to their trying position till there comes a change of leaders, when Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them (Ibid., p. 80). And then it will come to pass that the true ones may be the last to offer the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches (Ibid., p. 77); the true ones do the last work for the churches, for the Lord has faithful servants who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. They are precious ones now hidden (Ibid., pp. 80, 81). It may be they are said to be hidden because the leaders have sought to remove their contact and so their influence from the people. While these faithful ones give the solemn warnings, those who oppose it and rise up against it, the conservative class (Ibid., p. 463), bear a message which God denotes a peace and safety cry in the church. The reader will find a peace and safety message and its opposite in such passages as Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 83, 104, 211; Vol. 2, pp. 252, 254, 257; Vol. 8, p. 250.

The shaking, let it be noticed, is not said to be caused by the voice of the prophet who is dead, but rather by the straight testimony called forth from those who received 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 Gods people (Early Writings, p. 270). These true protestants hold to their stand on the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, absolute obedience to God and to His Voice in the Spirit of Prophecy; this is the issue; this is the true standard; the departure from this standard is the apostasy, and there never was and never will be any apostasy other than such, because there can be no other, as that is what apostasy is.

Those who have been drawn into the apostasy through the process of time, and who rise up against the straight testimony will depart from the folds of the church when the persecution from the world becomes bitter through the enforcement of Sunday laws. In this time, the gold will be separated from the dross in the church (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81). This will purge and cleanse the church from its dross and open the way for the latter rain to come in its fullness (read Early Writings, pp. 269, 271). But now Gods displeasure is upon His people, and He will not manifest His power in the midst of them while sins exist among them and are fostered by those in responsible positions. Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 270.

A whole church may sanction the wrong course of some of its members, but that sanction does not prove the wrong to be right. 5 Testimonies, 103.