Sabbath, September 10, 2005
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.
• To make believers realize that the church we are in is the true church of God.
• To be motivated and inspired to become faithful to the church that the Lord has purchased with His blood.
CONDITIONS REVEALED IN THE LAST CHURCH
1. Throughout the centuries, what has often been the experience of those who like to believe and live according to the word of God?
Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
John 15:20, 21 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
“… the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth…Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 232.
2. Does the rejection of the message preached in the year 1888 by E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones, and the spirit manifested in that time, have some parallel in the past history of the church?
Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
“The message given us by A.T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner is the message of God to the Laodicean church.” –Manuscipt 24, 1892.
“I have no smooth message to bear to those who have been so long as false guideposts, pointing the wrong way. If you reject Christ’s delegated messengers, you reject Christ.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 97.
“The same spirit that actuated the rejectors of Christ, rankles in their hearts, and had they lived in the days of Christ, they would have acted toward Him in a manner similar to that of the godless and unbelieving Jews.” –Testimonies to RH Office, p. 17.
“Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation may be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe present truth.” –Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 111.
“I can never forget the experience which we had in Minneapolis, or the things which were then revealed to me in regard to the spirit that controlled men, the words spoken, the actions done in obedience to the powers of evil… They were moved at the meeting by another spirit.” –Letter 24, 1892.
THE REMNANT FOLLOWS GOD’S WAY
3. What can we understand from the experience of the Laodicean church, in the year 1888 and in 1914, and the progress of the work of the remnant?
Revelation 3:18, 20, 21 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
“I was shown that God’s people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war, for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience…Those who love God’s commandments will conform to every good law of the land. But if the requirements of the rulers are such as conflict with the laws of God, the only question to be settled is: Shall we obey God, or man?” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 361, 362.
“In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 89.
4. Due to the fall of the Laodicean church, which solemn mission has been entrusted to us?
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
Psalms 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.
“It is true that we are commanded to ‘cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’ Isaiah 58:1. This message must be given; but while it must be given, we should be careful not to thrust and crowd and condemn those who have not the light that we have. We should not go out of our way to make hard thrusts at the Catholics. Among the Catholics there are many who are most conscientious Christians and who walk in all the light that shines upon them, and God will work in their behalf. Those who have had great privileges and opportunities, and who have failed to improve their physical, mental, and moral powers, but who have lived to please themselves and have refused to bear their responsibility, are in greater danger and in greater condemnation before God than those who are in error upon doctrinal points, yet who seek to live to do good to others. Do not censure others; do not condemn them.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 243.
GOD’S PEOPLE UNITED LIKE A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS
5. Are the remnant people of the Laodicean time represented by scattered independent individuals or groups?
Romans 12:4, 5 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
1 Corinthians 12:12, 13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
“Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers.” –Early Writings, p. 271.
“Some have advanced the thought that as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.” –Gospel Workers, p. 487.
6. In some cases, what are the true reasons of separations and divisions?
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
Romans 8:17-19 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
“In union there is strength. In discord and disunion there is only weakness. God never designed that one man, or four, or twenty, should take an important work into their own hands, and carry it forward independently of other workers in the cause. God wants His people to counsel together, to be a united church, in Christ a perfect whole. The only safety for us is to enter into the counsels of heaven, ever seeking to do the will of God, to become laborers together with Him. No one company is to form a confederacy, and say, ‘We are going to take this work, and carry it on in our own way; and if it does not go as we want it to, we will not give our influence to have it go at all.’ This is Satan’s voice, not God’s. Do not obey such suggestions.
“… in our separation from one another we are separated from Christ. We want to press together. Oh, how many times, when I have seemed to be in the presence of God and holy angels, I have heard the angel voice saying, ‘Press together, press together, press together. Do not let Satan cast his hellish shadow between brethren. Press together; in unity there is strength.’ ” –Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 374.
“Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 11.
7. What is the foundation of the remnant church and of every faithful believer?
1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
“Honest souls will see the straight chain of present truth. They will see its harmonious connections, link after link uniting into a great whole, and will lay hold upon it. The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform. He will not use individuals of different faith, opinions, and views, to scatter and divide. Heaven and holy angels are working to unite, to bring into the unity of the faith, into the one body.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 326.
“I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps –the first, second, and third angels’ messages… I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform.” –Early Writings, pp. 258, 259.
8. Are you living in such a way that the church, in which you are, may have and faithfully hold the evidences of the remnant?
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth, in bundles, or companies.” –Early Writings, pp. 88, 89.
“This principle bears with equal weight upon a question that has long agitated the Christian world,–the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles’ spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 467.
FOR OUR THOUGHTS
• Why is the candlestick removed from the church and privileges are lost? For which reasons did separation take place in the Laodicean church?
• Discuss the relationship between the event in 1888 and that of 1914-18, and describe the history by which the remnant work continued.
• Do you think that whatever reason is enough to justify a separation from the visible church, that the Lord Himself has called into existence?
• Are you following the call of the Adventist pioneers and the footsteps of faithfulness of the International Missionary Society of the Seventh-day Adventists, Reform Movement?