The warning has been given

We are NOT to be Shepherded by Adulterous Ministers!

We are nearing the judgment, and those who bear the message of warning to the world must have clean hands and pure hearts. They must have a living connection with God, or He will not accept it.

Recent painful developments of evil are one of the greatest evidences we have that the end is near. Satan, like a roaring lion, is going about, seeking whom he may devour; and if men and women, under the blazing light that now shines in this perilous time, will be found fornicators, I am afraid that God will separate them from the work forever.

The youth, for misdemeanors of a comparatively light character, are treated with much severity; but when men and women of large experience, who have been considered patterns of piety, are revealed in their true character, unsanctified, unholy, impure in thought, debased in conduct, then it is time for such to be dealt with in a decided  manner. The greater forbearance that is exercised toward them has only had, as far as my knowledge extends, the influence to cause them to regard their fornication and adultery as a very light matter, and all their pretense has proved to be like morning dew when the sun shines upon it.

No sooner are they placed in temptation than they reveal their moral defects that they are not partakers of the divine nature, neither have they escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; but that they are earthly, sensual, and devilish. Satan finds in them something that he can work up into marked iniquity, and he improves his opportunity, and the result is, those who claim to be shepherds of the flock are carnally minded, leading the sheep in their care, whose purity, modesty, and virtue they should strictly guard, into licentiousness and lewdness.  Angels of heaven are looking on with shame and grief and disgust.

How can the pure angels of heaven minister unto this class? How can they bring heavenly light into the assemblies where such ministers are advocating the law of God, but breaking that law whenever a favorable  opportunity presents itself; living a lie, pursuing an underhanded course, working in secret, nursing their polluted thoughts and inflaming their passions, and then taking advantage of women or men who are tempted, like themselves, to break down all barriers and debase their bodies and pollute their souls? How can they do this thing? How can they have any fear of God before them? How can they have any love for God in their souls? Of what value is their faith in the truth?

Cleanse the camp of this moral corruption, if it takes the highest men in the highest positions. God will not be trifled with. Fornication is in our ranks; I know it, for it has been shown me to be strengthening and extending its pollutions. There is much we will never know; but that which is revealed makes the church responsible and guilty unless they show a determined effort to eradicate the evil. Cleanse the camp, for there is an accursed thing in it.

The words of God to Joshua are: Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. These things are written for our benefit, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Testimonies to Ministers, 426:2-428:1.

A preacher may be dealing in sacred, holy things, and yet not be holy in heart. He may give himself to Satan to work wickedness and to corrupt the souls and bodies of his flock. Yet if the minds of women and youth professing to love and fear God were fortified with His Spirit, if they had trained their minds to purity of thought and educated themselves to avoid all appearance of evil, they would be safe from any improper advances and be secure from the corruption prevailing around them. 2 Testimonies, 456:4-457:0.

What can I say to arouse our people? I tell you not a few ministers who stand before the people to explain the Scriptures are defiled. Their hearts are corrupt, their hands unclean. Yet many are crying, Peace, peace; and the workers of iniquity are not alarmed. The Lords hand is not shortened that He cannot save, nor His ear heavy that He cannot hear; but it is our sins that have separated us from God. The church is corrupt because of her members who defile their bodies and pollute their souls . .

The prevailing spirit of our time is that of infidelity and apostasy--a spirit of pretended illumination because of a knowledge of the truth, but in reality of the blindest presumption. There is a spirit of opposition to the plain Word of God and to the testimony of His Spirit. There is a spirit of idolatrous exaltation of mere human reason above the revealed wisdom of God.

There are men among us in responsible positions who hold that the opinions of a few conceited philosophers, so called, are more to be trusted than the truth of the Bible, or the testimonies of the Holy Spirit. Such a faith as that of Paul, Peter, or John is considered old-fashioned and insufferable at the present day. It is pronounced absurd, mystical, and unworthy of an intelligent mind.

God has shown me that these men are Hazaels to prove a scourge our people. 5 Testimonies, 78:4-79:3.

The example of those who minister in holy things should be such as to impress the people with reverence for God and with fear to offend Him. When men, standing in Christ's stead (2 Corinthians 5:20) to speak to the people Gods message of mercy and reconciliation, use their sacred calling as a cloak for selfish or sensual gratification, they make themselves the most effective agents of Satan. Like Hophni an Phinehas, they cause men to abhor the offering of the Lord. They may pursue their evil course in secret for a time; but when at last their true character is exposed, the faith of the people receives a shock that often results in destroying their confidence in religion. There is left upon the mind a distrust of all who profess to teach the Word of God. The message of the true servant of God loses its power upon the souls of men.

In Elis reproof to his sons are words of solemn and fearful import--words that all who minister in sacred things would do well to ponder: If one man sin against another, the judge shall  judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? Had their crimes injured only their fellow men, the judge might have made reconciliation by appointing a penalty and requiring restitution; and thus the offenders might have been pardoned. Or had they not been guilty of a presumptuous sin, a sin offering might have been presented for them. But their sins were so interwoven with their ministration as priests of the Most High, in offering sacrifice for sin, the work of God was so profaned and dishonored before the people, that no expiation could be accepted for them. Their own father, though himself high priest, dared not make intercession in their behalf; he could not shield them from the wrath of God. Of all sinners, those are most guilty who cast contempt upon the means that Heaven has provided for mans redemption--who crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame. Patriarchs and Prophets, 580:1-2.

 The Lord would have His people divested of everything unscriptural in regard to the ministry. The men called to the ministry should not be made idols of; they should not be looked upon with superstitious reverence; and because of the power vested in them through their office, sin in them should not lose its offensiveness. Their very office makes sin in them more exceedingly sinful; for in committing sin they make themselves the ministers of sin, the agents of Satan, through whom he can work with success to perpetuate sin.

All should bear in mind that Satan's special efforts are directed against the ministry. He knows that it is but a human instrumentality, possessing no grace or holiness of its own. He knows that it is an agent that God has ordained to be a powerful means for the salvation of souls, and is efficacious only as God, the eternal Spirit, makes it so. He knows that the treasure of the gospel is in earthen vessels, that it is Gods power alone that can make them vessels of honor. They may cultivate the vineyard, a Paul may plant and an Apollos water, but God alone can give the increase. Testimonies to Ministers, 404:1-2.

From the picture that has been presented before me of the corruption of men and women professing godliness, I have feared that I should altogether lose confidence in humanity. I have seen that a fearful stupor is upon nearly all. It is almost impossible to arouse the very ones who should be awakened, so as to have any just sense of the power which Satan holds over minds. They are not aware of the corruption teeming all around them. Satan has blinded their minds and lulled them to carnal security. The failures in our efforts to bring others up to understand the great dangers that beset souls have sometimes led me to fear that my ideas of the depravity of the human heart were exaggerated. But when facts are brought to us showing the sad deformity of one who has dared to minister in sacred things while corrupt at heart, one whose sin-stained hands have profaned the vessels of the Lord, I am sure that I have not drawn the picture any too strong.

I have been bearing a very strong testimony, both in writing and in speaking, hoping to awaken Gods people to understand that they have fallen upon perilous times. 2 Testimonies, 478:1-2.

Let the attractions of pleasure or selfish gratification be presented, and conscience will be sacrificed to gain the coveted indulgence. Can such a person be trusted? Never! In the absence of temptation he may carry himself with such seeming propriety that your doubts and suspicions appear unjust; but let opportunity be presented, and he will betray your confidence. He is unsound at heart. Just at the time when firmness and principle are most required, you will find him giving way; and if he does not become an Arnold or a Judas, it is because he lacks a fitting opportunity. 5 Testimonies 43:3-44:0.

Belshazzar, while engaged in his sacrilegious feast, was not aware that he had guests he had not invited. The God of heaven heard the praises bestowed upon vessels of gold and silver. He saw the desecration of that which had been dedicated to Him by holy consecration applied to profane and licentious purposes. It is a truth which should make every one of us weep, that those living in these last days, upon whom the ends of the world are come, are far more guilty than was Belshazzar. This is possible in many ways.

When men have taken upon  themselves the vows of consecration, to devote all their powers to the sacred service of God; when they occupy the position of expositors of Bible truth, and have received the solemn charge; when God and angels are summoned as witnesses to the solemn dedication of soul, body, and spirit to Gods service--then shall these men who minister in a most holy office desecrate their God-given powers to unholy purposes? Shall the sacred vessel, whom God is to use for a high and holy work, be dragged from its lofty, controlling sphere to administer to debasing lust? Is not this idol worship of the most degrading kind?--the lips uttering praises and adoring a sinful human being, pouring forth expressions of ravishing tenderness and adulation which belong alone to God--the powers given to God in solemn consecration administering to a harlot; for any woman who will allow the addresses of another man than her husband, who will listen to his advances, and whose ears will be pleased with the outpouring of lavish words of affection, of adoration, of endearment, is an adulterous and a harlot. Testimonies to Ministers, 434:1-435:0.

Two quotations to remember:

Corrupt men think it easier to misinterpret the Scriptures to sustain them in their iniquity than to yield up their corruption and sin and be pure in heart and life. Adventist Home, 329:3.

Men who are doing Gods work, and who have Christ abiding in their hearts, will not lower the standard of morality, but will ever seek to elevate it. Adventist Home 335:2.

The above two statements (both dealing with the context of this entire report) clearly identify the godly ones and the corrupt ones in our church. It is only the corrupt who, in heart, try to lower the standards of Gods people.

What sin can be greater than that?

May God help His children to flee from evil, and study and obey His Word in these final days on earth.                              

                       Vance Ferrell