Editorial – The Need For Scriptural Unity

“Press together, press together, that you may not be destroyed as were the inhabitants of Jerusalem….Persecution is coming, and God calls upon all to stand firm in Christian love, their hearts knit together, of one mind and one judgment. His people are to cleave to Him, and they are to love one another as He has loved them. Christ’s life is to be their example. In love, in meekness, in humility, they are to follow Him.” Signs of the Times, October 31, 1900

This inspired statement shows that we must press together or be destroyed as the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem is a symbol of what will happen to the whole world at the end. In spite of this inspired counsel, we see more division and unsanctified independence in Adventism today than ever before. The devil is determined that this unity will never be accomplished:

“Satan well knows that the combined strength of Satanic agencies with that of evil men is but weakness when opposed to a band of faithful, united servants of the great King, though in number they may be few. In order to overcome the people of God, Satan will work upon the elements in the character which have not been transformed by the grace of Christ, and through these unsanctified characteristics, he will seek to bring about disunion among the people of God. Unless these persons who become agents of Satan are converted, their own souls will be lost, and the souls of those who have looked up to them as men led of God will be destroyed with them, because they are partakers with them of their sins. Satan endeavors to create suspicion, envy, and jealousy, and thus lead men to question those things that it would be for their soul’s interest to believe. The suspicious ones will misconstrue everything….and if this spirit is allowed to prevail, it will demoralize our churches and institutions.” Review and Herald, May 14, 1895

Is not this prophecy fulfilled all around us? To fulfill the longing of Christ as expressed in John 17 that God’s people might not be totally destroyed, we must press together and come into perfect unity. We must unify in the way God has specified or we will never have true Christian unity: “We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, ‘Unify, unify.’ But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth.” Selected Messages, book 3, 412. ”

Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices.” Selected Messages, book 1, 175

“The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unity upon a true, scriptural basis.” Selected Messages, book, 175.

“We are to unify, but not on a platform of error.” Battle Creek Letters, 111.

“Unify, unify is the word from heaven. The work of bringing about perfect harmony cannot be done in a moment. It will take close examination and careful study on the part of those who bear responsibilities. Not a selfish thread is to be drawn into the web.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 149

Because of this inspired counsel, a number of Historic Seventh-day Adventists met together for counsel and prayer on July 12 at Steps to Life. If we are humble and pray and receive the Holy Spirit, we will be drawn into a perfect unity because Christ is not divided. The universal longing of each was to come together in unity of spirit without compromising one principle of truth. The absence of any type of political spirit was refreshing. We make no claim to have perfect unity yet, but we are all praying about it and studying and looking forward to another meeting to pursue this goal. In order to have unity, several necessary items were studied, such as: What does an Historical Seventh-day Adventist believe—What are the historic tests of fellowship? I believe that God is leading us just as He led our spiritual forefathers in the 1840s to a perfect unity of spirit, thought, doctrine and faith.

We want to invite every Historic Seventh-day Adventist person and institution to pray for unity and to press together. This is no time for independence; it is time for the prayer of Jesus in John 17 to be fulfilled. It will never be fulfilled among those professed Adventists who have essentially rejected the Spirit of Prophecy and who do not believe and who do not believe in the investigative judgment and the other truths of the three angel’s messages. It will never happen to those who are willing to compromise with error or who are unwilling to protest the apostasy. It will never happen to those who reject the New Testament concept of the nature of the church. It can only happen among Historic Seventh-day Adventists. Will you be a part of it?