Leaders and layman alike in the Seventh-day Adventist church are routinely trying to mislead the church membership when the church will be purified, as described in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel, in an effort to divert minds away from its solemn seriousness and the necessary preparation needed to escape its fearful results. Some will say that this event (Ezekiel 9) was fulfilled when the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was brought into Babylon captivity, whereas others will say that it takes place just moments before Christ’s visible second advent. Neither view is Biblically correct. Below is quoted an excerpt form The Shepherd’s Rod Tract No. 8 that clearly places the dramatic event in its proper setting as a necessary preparation to deliver the church from sin and sinners so that it can go forth and proclaim the Loud Cry with power and force. This has a most serious implication for all Seventh-day Adventists since this marking (sealing) report was the same that was shown to the prophet John in vision (Rev. 7:1-4, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475).
“O let no one be misled into thinking that after the close of probation, or after the second coming of Christ (after the sinners in the world have been destroyed), God’s church shall attain to the exalted standard of character, and to the high office, appointed of heaven, and be purified from sin and sinners! On the contrary, “in that day” (before the sinners in the world have been destroyed), says the Lord, “will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 12:3, 8, 9; 14:20, 21.
These verses expressly declare that the church will be “as God, as the angel of the Lord before them,” during the time of trouble, when the nations shall gather against her, and the Lord in vengeance shall then smite them. Probation still lingering while this sequence of events takes place, “all they that sacrifice” (an act which is performed before the close of probation) shall therefore be holy, and “there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord.”
Every true Bible student knows that the church must reach this purity of heart and character and position, not after, but before, Christ’s mediatorial work is finished and before the “sacrifice” has ceased. All such students know also that God can neither manifest His great power to defend them in the time in which “all the people of the earth gather together against” them, nor bestow His Spirit upon them as He did upon the early Christians on the day of Pentecost, if there are sinners among His people, and if the entire church be not “with one accord” (Acts 2:1), “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness . . . ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners”—as was the apostolic church, upon which the Spirit descended as a “rushing mighty wind.” Acts 2:2.
“Only those,” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “who have withstood and overcome temptation through the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming this message when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.”—Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908.
And that the Loud Cry fail not to sound on time or at all, those who do not overcome, those who “had betrayed their trust,”—“the ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people,”—must be removed. “This is forcibly set forth by the prophet’s illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand.”—Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266. “Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” Id., Vol. 5, p. 211.”
excerpt from: Tract No. 8, “Mt. Zion at the 11th Hour”, pp. 30-33