The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, , at sacred-texts.com
I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, and would give no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps -- one, two and three -- the first, second and third angels' messages. Said the angel, Woe to him who shall move a block, or stir a pin in these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received. I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. Step by step had God brought them along, until he had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. Then I saw individuals as they approached the platform, before stepping upon it examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the laying of the foundation of the platform. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform and examined it, then found fault with it, declaring it to be laid wrong. I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform, and exhorted others who had stepped off to cease their complaints, for God was the master builder, and they were fighting against him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union nearly all raised their eyes to heaven, and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained, and left the platform, and again they with humble look stepped upon it.
I was pointed back to the proclamation of the first advent of Christ. John was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way for Jesus’ coming. Those who rejected the testimony of John were not benefited by the teachings of Jesus. Their opposition to the proclamation of his first advent placed them where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence of his being the Messiah. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still further, to reject Jesus and crucify him. In doing this, they placed themselves where they could not receive the blessing on the day of Pentecost, which would have taught them the way into the heavenly Sanctuary. The rending of the vail of the temple showed that the Jewish sacrifices and ordinances would no longer be received. The great Sacrifice had been offered, and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly Sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by his own blood, and shed upon his disciples the benefits of his atonement. The Jews were left in complete deception and total darkness. They lost all the light they might have had upon the plan of salvation, and still trusted in their useless sacrifices and offerings. They could not be benefited by the mediation of Christ in the Holy place. The heavenly Sanctuary had taken the place of the earthly, yet they had no knowledge of the way to the heavenly.
Many look with horror at the course the Jews pursued toward Jesus in rejecting and crucifying him. And as they read the history of his shameful abuse, they think they love Christ, and would not have denied him like Peter, or crucified him like the Jews. But God who has witnessed their professed sympathy for his Son, has proved them, and has brought to the test that love which they professed for Jesus.
All heaven watched with the deepest interest the reception of the message. But many who profess to love Jesus, and who shed tears as they read the story of the cross, instead of receiving the message with gladness, are stirred with anger, and deride the good news of Jesus' coming, and declare it to be delusion. They would not fellowship those who loved his appearing, but hated them, and shut them out of the churches. Those who rejected the first message could not be benefited by the second, and were not benefited by the midnight cry, which was to prepare them to enter with Jesus by faith into the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary. And by rejecting the two former messages, they can see no light in the third angel's message, which shows the way into the Most Holy place. I saw that the nominal churches, as the Jews crucified Jesus, had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the move made in heaven, or of the way into the Most Holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left, and Satan, pleased with the deception of the professed followers of Christ, fastens them in his snare, and assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, and works with his power, his signs and lying wonders. Some he deceives in one way and some in another. He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds. Some look with horror upon one deception, while they readily receive another. Satan deceives some with Spiritualism. He also comes as an angel of light, and spreads his influence over the land. I saw false reformations everywhere. The churches were elated, and considered that God was marvelously working for them, when it was another spirit. It will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.
I saw that God had honest children among the nominal Adventists, and the fallen churches, and ministers and people will yet be called out from these churches, before the plagues shall be poured out, and they will gladly embrace the truth. Satan knows this, and before the loud cry of the third angel, raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest, and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and every one of the honest ones will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.
See Matthew chap. 3; Acts chap. 2; 2 Corinthians 11:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 14:6-12