How will the shaking ultimately affect the church? Amos 9: 9-11.
The church is not destroyed by the shaking; those members who remain do so because of their relationship with Christ. Thus the way is paved for the church militant to become the church triumphant. (See lesson 13.)
Appearances do not mean much. "The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out-the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ." - Selected Messages, book 2, p. 380.
Understanding that the sifting is necessary shields us from a false concept of the shaking, a concept that Satan very much wants us to believe: "You will take passages in the Testimonies that speak of the close of probation, of the shaking among God's people, and you will talk of a coming out from this people of a purer, holier people that will arise. Now all this pleases the enemy." - Selected Messages, book 1, p. 179.
What strength will God's people have during even the most advanced stages of the shaking? Ps. 46:1-5; Heb. 12:26-28.
"When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front. In view of the common peril, strife for supremacy will cease; there will be no disputing as to who shall be accounted greatest.... When will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord." - Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 401.
"Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord's side." - The Great Controversy, p. 612.