If you read the rest of the article you will see that it originally related to the time periods and the return of Jesus, but as has been suggested, the tightening of the cords could also refer to the times in which we are living and the controversy over the God we worship.
If the leaders of the church believe the Trinity is a salvation doctrine, they will most certainly seek to protect their flock. We can see this already taking place, as a warning was recently (July 2016) given on 3ABN advising church members to refuse reading literature or watch DVDs by those who do not believe in the Trinity.
We are suggesting -- the cords are being tightened, and will be drawn tighter in the future.
One thing that must be clearly stated: is that using this article as a current illustration, is not saying that the words, 'Come out from among them, and touch not the unclean', refer to members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The whole article refers to truth.
Some brethren receive the light of heaven (the truth), others do not receive it (the truth). These were left in the darkness of error, yet they say to others, "We have the truth with us." At the same time they tighten the cords around their brethren. This can be taking place in the church, in fact, we believe it is happening right at this moment.
Certainly in the future, it will mean leaving everything that stands for Babylon, but this present time is a time of learning the truth. When the truth is found, it will take a decided effort to leave the darkness of error and move into the light of truth.
Let us take advantage of the little time left to study and learn, so we can walk in the light.
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7.
This page is taken from Early Writings relating to a problem back in the early days of the pioneers, however, it could also be used today relating to presenting and resisting the view of the pioneers relating to God and His Son.
If you are a Trinitarian, you may not agree, but there will come a time when you see that the same things are happening today. Please make certain you are not on the side of those who tighten the cords so that others cannot free themselves to choose what they have seen as truth.
Then I heard a voice saying to those who had been pushed and derided, 'Come out from among them, and touch not the unclean.' In obedience to this voice, a large number broke the cords which bound them, and leaving the companies that were in darkness, joined those who had previously gained their freedom, and joyfully united their voices with them.
I heard the voice of earnest, agonizing prayer from a few who still remained with the companies that were in darkness. The ministers and leading men were passing around in these different companies, fastening the cords more firmly; but still I heard this voice of earnest prayer.
Then I saw those who had been praying reach out their hands for help toward the united company who were free, rejoicing in God. The answer from them, as they earnestly looked to heaven, and pointed upward, was, 'Come out from among them, and be separate.'
I saw individuals struggling for freedom, and at last they broke the cords that bound them. They resisted the efforts which were made to fasten the cords tighter and refused to heed the repeated assertions: 'God is with us.' 'We have the truth with us.'
Persons were continually leaving the companies that were in darkness and joining the free company, who appeared to be in an open field raised above the earth. Their gaze was directed upward, the glory of God rested upon them, and they joyfully shouted His praise. They were closely united and seemed to be wrapped in the light of heaven.
Around this company were some who came under the influence of the light, but who were not particularly united to the company. All who cherished the light shed upon them were gazing upward with intense interest, and Jesus looked upon them with sweet approbation. They expected Him to come and long for His appearing." Early Writings p243.
The Advent Movement Illustrated
"I saw a number of companies that seemed to be bound together by cords. Many in these companies were in total darkness; their eyes were directed downward to the earth, and there seemed to be no connection between them and Jesus.
But scattered through these different companies were persons whose countenances looked light, and whose eyes were raised to heaven. Beams of light from Jesus, like rays from the sun, were imparted to them.
An angel bade me look carefully, and I saw an angel watching over everyone of those who had a ray of light, while evil angels surrounded those who were in darkness.
I heard a voice of an angel cry, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.'
A glorious light then rested down upon these companies, to enlighten all who would receive it. Some of those who were in darkness received the light and rejoiced. Others resisted the light from heaven, saying that it was sent to lead them astray. The light passed away from them, and they were left in darkness.
Those who had received the light from Jesus joyfully cherished the increase of precious light which was shed upon them. Their faces beamed with holy joy, while their gaze was directed upward to Jesus with intense interest, and their voices were heard in harmony with the voice of the angel, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.'
As they raised this cry, I saw those who were in darkness thrusting them with side and with shoulder.
Then many who cherished the sacred light, broke the cords which confined them and stood out separated from those companies. As they were doing this, men belonging to the different companies and revered by them passed through, some with pleasing words, and others with wrathful looks and threatening gestures, and fastened the cords which were weakening.
These men were constantly saying, God is with us. We stand in the light. We have the truth.' I inquired who these men were, and was told that they were ministers and leading men who had rejected the light themselves, and were unwilling that others should receive it." Early Writings p240.241.
Let us stop here for a moment.
There is no question this illustration related to when the first angel's message was given, however, there will be another cry before the latter rain, and it will be the same. The words, "Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come" apply to both ages. These words contain our whole message.
As you read the words of our prophet, think of the subject relating to who we worship. Is there are controversy on this subject? Of course. Are there some who claim to have received light from heaven on it. Yes, there are. Are there other who have rejected this light? Yes, certainly.
Is it possible that those who have rejected the light on the pioneer teaching of God the Father and His Son are our current ministers and leading men? Could they be tightening the cords around those who are yet undecided? Or even those who do not understood the subject?
It certainly seems this way.
After all, there are many church leaders telling their people that those who do not believe the Trinity are totally wrong, and in fact, are giving falsehoods about what they believe. The two main areas are:Christ was created and there is no Holy Spirit. Both of these are false.
The average Adventist has no idea what 'the other side' believes. Some are even afraid to think about the subject because they feel it is committing the unpardonable sin to consider that the Holy Spirit does not exist, as they are told.
So we can see, in effect, that cords have been placed around church member, and they are being tightened. Let us continue.