Recently, we received this by mail:

I hope you will be first to warn our people of the danger involved in being loyal to the apostasy in the SDA Church, thinking that the organization will be cleaned up as is being presented so often today. Eastern States.

Here is our reply:

Our loyalty must be to the God of heaven and His written Word first, last, and always. Our loyalty to men and their organizations can only be to that extent to which they are in agreement with God and His Inspired Writings.

Will the organization be cleaned up? Can we be assured of it? Prior to the immense National Sunday Law crisis, the organization will only be cleaned up, to the extent to which men in control are willing for it to happen. God will work no miracle to change wicked hearts.

After the National Sunday Law crisis begins, that crisis, itself, will do a powerful work of cleaning up, casting down, taking out, and bringing in. The church will be quite different afterward (defining church as Gods professed people): Many will be gone and few will be left. But church is not equivalent to organization. Church is the people; organization is the orderly pattern or arrangement of the people on various levels (individuals, families, local congregations, conferences, unions, hospitals, publishing houses, etc.), and the properties, buildings, equipment and supplies they corporately own.

Organizations are not saved, only people are. Churches are not saved, only individuals are.

Yes, the church will be quite different after the Sunday law begins because the people constituting it will be different; many will have left and many will be added. Those still remaining in it will be the ones who consistently chose a strong dedication to God and obedience to His Word before the crisis begins.

But what about the organization? Will it be cleaned up? Two interesting points here: First, nowhere in the Spirit of Prophecy writings are we told anything about the organization after the Sunday law begins. Second, there will probably be no structured organization after the Sunday lawbecause its very existence will be illegal. (1) Its organizational relationships will probably be immensely disrupted. The relationships which will continue will be believer with believer, and small group with small group. (2) Its property, buildings, equipment, and supplies will frequently be confiscated.

Then what should be our relationship to the organization (the official denomination) just now? Within the denominational structure, we should try to call the attention of the people to the Inspired Writings and the truths contained therein. We should encourage them to study and learn those historic standards and beliefs. We should urge them to practice and teach them to yet others.

Along with this, we should encourage the rapidly growing members of the little flock who are being forced out of the denomination because of their stand for our historic truths.

And, very important, we should be working for the lost out in the world who do not know these final messages before time ends.

Should we remain in the denomination? As long as you are able to work within it and help others, please continue doing so. There are many faithful believers in the organization who need your counsel and encouragement. They need your witness for truth.

If you are forced to leave the organization, then do not become discouraged, but set to work to keep close to the Lord and keep helping others. If there are others in your area, gather together and study and pray together. Where two or more are gathered together . .

But, if you are in the organization, do not think evil of those who have been forced to leave. And if you are out of the organization, do not think evil of those who remain in it. Either way, the devil will tempt you to hate. Do not do it. Pray for the people instead. Before the crisis breaks, none can know who will remain true. Being in the denomination will not guarantee salvation, and giving slavish loyalty to an independent ministry will not do it either. It will be your personal relationship to Christ that will count. Your daily consecration to His service, and your attitudes and work for others will count far more than your position in relation to the organization.

There is grave danger in imagining that connection with an organizationany organizationwill save the soul. It is connection with Christ and obedience by faith to His Inspired Books which is crucial. There is grave danger in thinking that we must remain with the group or a group. That group may later go into satanic deception and lead us there also. Or, when the crisis finally breaks, the group may yield to threats of persecution and imprisonment and try to get all its members to apostatize with it. It is not wrong to worship with a group of like believers in the faith. But we must not make that subtle transfer of first loyalty from Christ and His teachings to the group and its teachings.

Men will not save us, groups will not save us, organizations will not save us. We are saved individually; we can be lost individually or in groups.

Should we then separate from all organizations and all groups? Not unless it is absolutely necessary. Satan likes to separate us, and then try to destroy us individually. Divide and conquer is one of his policies. If at all possible, pray and study with others of like precious faith. Seek to strengthen and encourage one another.

It is not wrong to remain in your local Adventist church, if the members of that church are of like faith. But be alert: The time may come when you can no longer do so, if efforts are being made to separate husbands and wives, and captivate the children with worldliness. Circumstances differ according to location.

Be continually watching, praying, studying, workingand on guardready on an instants notice to do the will of God as He directs.

Remember that His directions will never run counter to His Word. Think not that a traveling preacher, passing through, has new light for you. All the new light is in Gods Word; all the new light comes from Him; man has none. All the new light will be clearly stated in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Degrees, profession, soft words, holy gestures, are nothing compared with the Words of Inspiration. If they speak not according to the Word, believe them not.