In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investigative judgment. The cases of the righteous dead have been passing in review before God. When that work shall be completed, judgment is to be pronounced upon the living.
— 1 Selected Messages, p. 125
As we near the judgment, all will manifest their true character, and it will be made plain to what company they belong. The sieve is moving.
— 1 Testimonies, p. 100
Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
— 5 Testimonies, p. 214
The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided…
(Revelation 13:11-17 quoted.)
This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed. All who prove their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God.
— Letter 11, 1890
The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided…And I saw the time of trouble, such as never was,–Jesus told me it was the time of Jacob’s trouble, and that we should be delivered out of it by the voice of God. Just before we entered it, we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four Angels cease to hold the four winds.
— Day Star, March 14, 1846
When the mission of the gospel is completed, the judgment will accomplish the work of separation.
— Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 122
The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest and the harvest is the end of probationary time.
— Ibid, p. 72
The looker-on may discern no difference but there is One who said that the tares were not to be plucked up by human hands, lest the wheat be rooted up also. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends His reapers to gather out the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. The time of the Judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous.
— Testimonies to Ministers, p. 234
The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions his messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.”
Here we see that the church–the Lord’s sanctuary–was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust.
— Review and Herald, January 11, 1887
Please note: Sister White connects the slaying with the final plagues (immediately after the sealing has been completed by a decree) also in 5 Testimonies, Chapter 24. Please read all of it, if you haven’t already- a very solemn chapter. This is your reading assignment.