Both movements of Protestantism and Adventism are the holy people, as earlier stated. The many denominations of Protestantism equate to the many nations of the northern kingdom of Israel, and Adventism equates to the southern kingdom. Just as the northern kingdom was taken away first and lost from sacred history, so has Protestantism departed from the Law of God and disappeared from the final work of Christ before His return.
The cause of the northern kingdom’s apostasy was their departure from the true religion caused through Jeroboam (see 2 Ki. 12:26-29). They had already stayed on the fringe of consecration and shared their heart’s service between Jehovah and the gods of the Fertile Crescent nations. So, Jehovah gave them the option to leave Him, and they quickly apostatized. One temptation by Jeroboam and they were all for the sexually provocative and philosophical, atheistic form of worship.
The denominations of Protestantism had become alarmingly distant from the spirit of the Reformation by the time they had won their independence from Europe. Living for this world had displaced the need for the God of the reformers. When they rejected the light of the biblical second coming of Christ and of the 4th commandment, and then took hold of the delusion that the Law of God was abrogated at the cross, they accepted the same false worship that the ten tribes had.
This mistake has led to a searing of the conscience. The “weakness and unprofitableness” (Heb. 7:18) of the old covenant was only due to the lesser light of the Old Testament in comparison to the greater light and power of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:10, 11). Yes, the old covenant had flaws (see Hebrews 7:18; 8:7, 8) by its limited ability to reveal the Messiah, who brings a “better” salvation (see Hebrews 7:19; 11:40) to everyone who “seeth the Son, and believeth on him” (John 6:40).
Be that as it may, the first ones to be able to accept that better salvation were those who had lived under God’s Law and the Gentile consequences to disobeying His Law, the Jews. And this is the requirement to receive the benefits of the better covenant with God. As Paul made clear, “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:23, 24). No one else has the right to justification who has not come to the light of the holy, just, and good Law of God, and wrestled with its convicting, sharp and pointed commands. “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father” (Gal. 4:1, 2).
It is not until those tutors and governors and schoolmasters lead us to “have done the will of God” that we “receive the promise” (Heb. 10:36) of the new covenant. That promise is the “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Heb. 6:18, 19), “redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14), “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Heb. 10:16-18). Therefore, “the worshippers once purged … have … no more conscience of sins” (Heb. 10:2).
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). By whose will? The One who just prior to this said, “Lo, I come…to do thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:7). And what was "Thy" [God’s] will? It was His Law. Jesus delighted to obey His Father’s Law. (See Romans 8:3, 7.) We are to follow His example; and obedience to God’s Law is about sacrificing self and suffering for Christ’s sake. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1Pet. 2:21).
It is the Law of God that we are to follow, as depicted in the body and works of Jesus. He was the Law of God incarnate, the very embodiment of His Father’s character (see Matthew 21:42, 44) because He was the Lawgiver, the Word of God from eternity. Once He has humbled His people and scribed His law into their hearts and minds, then they are perfectly happy to obey His word, His Law, His will. When we know Jesus as it is our privilege to know Him, obedience becomes their greatest delight.
All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us Desire of Ages, p. 668.
The special privilege of the new covenant is the cleansing of the conscience, so that it is honest, and then free from the disturbing accusations of Satan “Having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:21, 22, cf 1 Tim. 1:5; 1Pet. 3:16).
This was the vision Zechariah saw to project to all of Israel, and for all time, what the Lord wanted to do for them, especially in the New Testament.
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by….
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree (Zech. 3:1, 5, 8, 10).
But, after justifying Joshua, what the next thing spoken by the Lord?
And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by (Zech. 3:6, 7).
Our obligation of obedience to God because of His grace was no different than what He has always expected.
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly (Ps. 85:8).
That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil (1 Ki. 9:2-9).
In His infinite wisdom, our loving God has always balanced His blessings with reiterating our responsibilities to Him. “Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Therefore, when He blesses us with the removal of an evil conscience, this blessing that brings every other good thing in its wake, automatically calls us to greater service and obedience to God’s Law. To say the opposite, is to accept the greatest delusion ever given to man. And that will be exactly what comes right before Jesus returns.
That is the “strong delusion” (2 Thess. 2:11) that the Lord will send, and is already sending it by the false doctrines that the Law of God is done away with at the cross, that we can come to the throne of grace while giving no heed to the Laws demands, and now, a newer falsehood: that God will not only give “remission of sins that are past [emphasis mine]” (Rom. 3:25) but also future sins! That last clause must be falsely based upon Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14, and 18. But, no better setup can be devised by the arch-deceiver to create a world deluded, without a conscience. A world, freed from the strivings of the Spirit of God, and living as though delivered from all responsibility, like a whole race of lobotomy patients! This is no different from the papal Mass; and it explains why people could be moved to hunt down and kill everyone who told them they couldn’t be forgiven that way. It was simply a mesmerizing of the minds of the receivers of such deception as forgiveness without conviction from the hard words of the voice of God to the soul.
Yet, this is where Spiritual Formation leads. All who imbibe this doctrine will not be able to break from it once the heavy woe of God’s displeasure weighs on a world in rebellion. “His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err” (Isa. 30:28). “And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Rev. 14:18, 20). “And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness” (Isa. 8:21, 22).
But, to those who have fully surrendered to the Law of God and in whom He has put His law, they will know such forgiveness and atonement that Jesus will fill their hearts and minds, and they will not be able to call to mind any sin. They truly will know that experience described in Hebrews, they will have “no more conscience of sins.…” They will be “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:2, 10, 14).
They will have the fullness of the new covenant. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Heb. 10:16). This blessedness comes to Jews and Gentiles, the Adventists, the gathered Protestants and heathen converts, and “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). As it was written, “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call” (Joel 2:32). And again,
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
But, they must first survive the great time of trouble and then the time when Jesus leaves the sanctuary to deliver His people and, without a Mediator, they must bear the sight of a holy and avenging God. Only they will know the fullest experience of the new covenant. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them” (Rev. 7:15).
Their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy Early Writings, p. 270.
While everyone else on earth was celebrating their supposed salvation, these were struggling under the perfect righteousness of God. They alone, who wrestled with the condemnation of God, will be transformed by His Spirit. Therefore, they, better than even the apostles, will have true peace with God, even as the Latter Rain will be more abundant than the Early Rain. They will be “enlightened”; they will taste “of the heavenly gift” and be “made partakers of the Holy Ghost”; they will taste “the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” (Heb. 6:4, 5). The Lord’s disciples have been sealed by the Law of God, and they have bound up the testimony of the great controversy against God.