Dr. John J. Grosboll
Inspired Definitions and Descriptions of the true church:
- “Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God. Those who choose to follow Antichrist are subjects of the great apostate. Ranged under the banner of Satan, they break God’s law, and lead others to break it” 1MR 296.
- “The church is the instrumentality by which Christ enlightens those that sit in darkness” RH 3/ 22/ 98.
- “The people of God have a high and holy calling. They are Christ’s representatives. Paul address the church in Corinth as those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. ‘
And he adds: For we are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. ‘ ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. ‘ Again he says to them: What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. ‘ To the saints at Ephesus he writes: ‘Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. ‘ Says Peter, ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” RH 5/ 6/ 1884.
- “To the end of time, the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church” CS 251.
- “Jesus sees His true church on the earth, whose greatest ambition is to cooperate with Him in the grand work of saving souls” HP 284.
- “There is a strife between the forces of good and evil, between the loyal and the disloyal angels. Christ and Satan are not at an agreement, and they never will be. In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided warfare against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other” Testimonies for the church Containing letters to Physicians and Ministers Instruction to Seventh- day Adventists, 5.
- “We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God’s precepts” ST 4/ 22/ 89.
- “In holy vision, John saw the remnant church on the earth, in an age of lawlessness, and he points them out in unmistakable language: ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. ‘ They are in harmony with that law that rests in the ark in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary” ST 2/ 3/ 88.
- “It is Christ’s organized body upon the earth, and respect is required to be paid to His ordinances. In the case of Saul, Ananias represents Christ, and he also represents Christ’s ministers upon the earth who are appointed to act in Christ’s stead” 3T 433.
- “God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. ‘ Where Christ is, even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wideness, in the city, [or] enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles’ of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God’s great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God” 17MR 81, 82.
- “God calls the church His body. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. God is the Father of the family, the shepherd of the flock. But a mere outward connection with any church will not save a man. It is personal faith in a personal Saviour that brings the soul into spiritual union with Christ. This truth Christ plainly teaches in the sixth chapter of John” 16MR 277.
- “The church on earth is God’s temple, and it is to assume divine proportions before the world. This building is to be the light of the world. It is to be composed of living stones laid close together, stone fitting to stone, making a solid building. All these stones are not of the same shape or dimension. Some are large, and some are small, but each one has its own place to fill. In the whole building there is not to be one misshapen stone. Each one is perfect. And each stone is a living stone, a stone that emits light. The value of the stones is determined by the light they reflect to the world” RH 12/ 4/ 00.
- “In the Scriptures the figure of the erection of a temple is frequently used to illustrate the building of the church. . . . Writing of the building of this temple, Peter says, ‘To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood… ‘ (1 Peter 2: 4, 5)” God’s Amazing Grace, 123. 14. “The church is very precious in His sight, It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock, and He longs to see it without spot or blemish or any such thing. He yearns after it with unspeakable love” 6T 261.
Ellen White quotations which distinguish between the true church and the professed church:
- “Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from ‘the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. ‘ Jude 3” GC 51.
- “There is a lack of moral and spiritual power throughout our Conferences. Many churches do not have light in themselves. The members do not give evidence that they are branches of the True Vine, by bearing much fruit to the glory of God, but appear to be withering away. Their Redeemer has withdrawn his light, the inspiration of his Holy Spirit, from their assemblies; [‘ To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church” AA55.] for they have ceased to represent the self- denial, the sympathy and compassionate love of the world’s Redeemer; they have not love for the souls for whom Christ has died. They have ceased to be true and faithful. [“ From the beginning faithful souls have constituted the church on earth” AA 11.] It is a sad picture— the feeble piety, the want of consecration and devotion to God. There has been a separation of the soul from God; many have cut off the communication between him and the soul by refusing his messengers and his message” 1888 Materials, 764.
- “These are the true feelings of a large class in Battle Creek. Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds also many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he. The people have not erected graven images, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God. They worship mammon. They love worldly gain. Some will make any sacrifice of conscience to obtain their object. God’s professed people are selfish and self- caring. They love the things of this world, and have fellowship with the works of darkness. They have pleasure in unrighteousness. They have not love toward God, nor love for their neighbors. They are idolaters— worse, far worse, in the sight of God, than the heathen graven- image worshipers who have no knowledge of a better way” Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, 2,3.
Contrast the above statement about the professed church with the following statement about the true church: “There is a strife between the forces of good and evil, between the loyal and the disloyal angels. Christ and Satan are not at an agreement, and they never will be. In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided wait are against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other” Special Testimonies, Series B, 5.
- “The apostle’s words of warning to the Corinthian church are applicable to all time, and are specially adapted to the wants of our day. By idolatry he did not alone mean the worship of idols, but also selfishness, love of ease, the gratification of appetite and passion. All these come under the head of idolatry. A mere profession of faith iii Christ, and a boastful knowledge of the truth, does not constitute a Christian. A religion which seeks only to gratify the eye, the ear, and the taste, or which permits any hurtful self- indulgence, is not the religion of Christ. It is in harmony with the spirit of the world, and is opposed to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Festivals and scenes of amusement, in which professed members of the Christian church imitate the customs and enjoy the pleasures of the world, constitute a virtual union with the enemies of God” LP 169, 170.
- “For many centuries, first through paganism and then through the Papacy, Satan exerted his powers to blot from the earth God’s faithful witnesses. Both heathen and papists were actuated by the same dragon spirit. They differed only in that the Romish apostate, making a pretense of serving God, was the more dangerous and cruel foe. Through the agency of Romanism, Satan took the world captive. The professed church of God was swept into the ranks of this delusion, and for more than a thousand years the true people of God suffered under the dragon’s ire” ST 2/ 8/ 10.
- “Even the professed church of Christ, with their exalted privileges and high professions, discerned not the image of Christ in this self- denying child of God because they were so far removed from Christ themselves that they reflected not His image. They judged by the external appearance and took no special pains to discern the inward adorning. Here was a woman whose resources of knowledge and genuine experience in the mysteries of godliness exceeded those of anyone residing at ,and whose manner of address to the youth and children was ~5V~ sing, instructive, and salutary. She was not harsh, but correct and sympathetic, and would have proved one of the most useful laborers in the field as an instructor of the youth and an intelligent, useful companion and counselor to mothers. She could reach hearts by her earnest, matter- of- fact presentation of incidents in her religious life, which she had devoted to the service of her Redeemer. Had the church emerged from darkness and deception into the clear light, their hearts would have been drawn out after the lonely stranger. Her prayers, her tears, her distress, at seeing no way of usefulness open to her, have been seen and heard in heaven. The Lord offered to His people talented help; but they were rich and increased with goods, and had need of nothing. They turned from and rejected a most precious blessing of which they will yet feel the need. Had Elder E stood in the clear light of God and been imbued with His Spirit when this servant of Jesus, lonely, homeless, and thirsting for a work to do for her Master, was brought to his notice, spirit would have answered to spirit, as face answereth to face in a mirror; his heart would have been drawn out after this disciple of Christ, and he would have understood her. Thus also with the church. They had been in such spiritual blindness they had lost the sound of the voice of the true Shepherd and were following the voice of a stranger, who was leading them from the fold of Christ” 2T 141, 142. Notice that the fold is the church of Christ (1MR 237) and these were professed church members, members of the Battle Creek SDA church who were being led ‘from the fold of Christ, ‘ that is, from the true church.
- “Pride and lukewarmness have made the professed people of God an offense in his sight” RH 8/ 7/ 94. Now notice the contrast between the professed people and the true people of God: “We are to find the assurance of our acceptance with God in his written promise, not in a happy flight of feeling. Were we to ground our hope upon joyful emotions, there are many of God’s true people who would be without assurance. There are in the fold of Christ not only the sheep, that he leads into green pastures, but the lambs, that the Shepherd gathers in his arms and carries in his bosom. . . . they are precious in the sight of the Lord” ST 4/ 18/ 95.
- “There are many, many, professed Christians who are waiting unconcernedly for the coming of the Lord. They have not on the garment of His righteousness. They may profess to be children of God, but they are not cleansed from sin. They are selfish and self- sufficient. Their experience is Christless. They neither love God supremely nor their neighbor as themselves. They have no true idea of what constitutes holiness. They do not see the defects in themselves. So blinded are they, that they are not able to detect the subtle working of pride and iniquity. They are clad in the rags of self- righteousness, and stricken with spiritual blindness. Satan has cast his shadow between them and Christ, and they have no wish to study the pure, holy character of the Saviour” RH 2/ 26/ 1901.
- “The times are marked by extraordinary depravity. The religion of the churches of today is of a kind that should make every true follower of God afraid of it. The religious character of professed Christians makes them act like demons. ‘We have a law, ‘ they say, and by our law He ought to die. ‘ More than common contempt will be shown to those who make the Word of God their criterion” ST 1/ 31/ 1900.
- “The trouble is, religion is professed but not practiced. The Spirit of God will dwell in the hearts of his followers. The condition of the cause of God will cause the deepest suffering of mind and anguish of soul. Oh that the history of the past would influence the present! Oh that all would feel to the depths of their souls that they have it as a privilege and duty individually to be earnest believers in the truth and co- laborers with their self- denying Saviour who has loved them and given his life for them” Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 17, 18.
- “When Jesus came as a man to our world, Satan had led the Jews into the practice of a religion that pleased the powers of darkness. The professed people of God had departed from God, and were following another leader. Through their own perversity, they were going on to destruction; but Christ came to dispute the authority of Satan. He was met on every hand by the temptation of the enemy, who sought to appear not as a fallen, evil angel, but as an exalted, loyal angel. He sought to veil his true character of the deceiver, the falsifier, the apostate, the accuser of the brethren, and the murderer, and to present himself as one who had the honor of God at heart. But the life of Christ was made one long scene of conflict. Satan stirred up the evil hearts of men, and set envy and prejudice at work against the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. He caused men to question and to doubt the word, works, and mission of Christ” ST 4/ 25/ 95.
- “The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always bean the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty- four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet’s illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen. with a writer’s inkhorn by his side. ‘And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” 3T 266.
- “But the heavenly principles that distinguish those who are one with Christ from those who are one with the world have become almost indistinguishable. The professed people of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. People are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world. Professing Christians are slaves of mammon. Their indulgence of appetite, and extravagant expenditure of money for selfish gratification, greatly dishonors God” Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 9.
- “Christ declares that there will exist similar unbelief concerning His second coming. As the people of Noah’s day ‘knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so, ‘ in the words of our Saviour, ‘shall also the coming of the Son of man be. ‘ Matthew 24: 39. When the professed people of God are uniting with the world, living as they live, and joining with them in forbidden pleasures; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church; when the marriage bells are chiming, and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity— then, suddenly as the lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes” GC 338, 339.
- “Satan was seeking by this means to oppose and destroy the work of God. The people had been greatly stirred by the advent movement, thousands of sinners had been converted, and faithful men were giving themselves to the work of proclaiming the truth, even in the tarrying time. The prince of evil was losing his subjects; and in order to bring reproach upon the cause of God, he sought to deceive some who professed the faith and to drive them to extremes. Then his agents stood ready to seize upon every error, every failure, every unbecoming act, and hold it up before the people in the most exaggerated light, to render Adventists and their faith odious. Thus the greater the number whom he could crowd in to make a profession of faith in the second advent while his power controlled their hearts, the greater advantage would he gain by calling attention to them as representatives of the whole body of believers” GC 395.
- “Those among Sabbathkeepers who have yielded to the influence of the world are to be tested. The perils of the last days are upon us, and a trial is before the professed people of God which many have not anticipated. The genuineness of their faith will be proved. Many have united with woridlings in pride, vanity, and pleasure seeking, flattering themselves that they could do this and still be Christians. But it is such indulgences that separate them from God and make them children of the world. Christ has given us no such example. Those only who deny self, and live a life of sobriety, humility, and holiness, are true followers of Jesus; and such cannot enjoy the society of the lovers of the world” 4T 633
Who is an historic Seventh- day Adventist?
An historic Seventh- day Adventist is a person who believes the historic teachings of Seventh- day Adventists. The following article by James White from the Signs of the Times in 1874 outlines the historic doctrines of Seventh- day Adventists. A historic Seventh- day Adventist still believes all of these. It should also be said that an historic Seventh- day Adventist believes that Ellen G. White is a prophet of God and that her writings have divine authority— an historic Seventh- day Adventist will never argue against a theological position based on the weight of evidence in the Ellen G. White writings.
Fundamental Principles By James White
In presenting to the public this synopsis of our faith, we wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed. or discipline aside from the Bible. We do not put forth this as having authority with our people, nor is it designed to secure uniformity among them, as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them. We often find it necessary to meet inquiries on this subject, and sometimes to correct false statements circulated against us, and to remove erroneous impressions which have obtained with those who have not had an opportunity to become acquainted with our faith and practice. Our only object is to meet this necessity.
With these remarks, we ask the attention of the reader to the following propositions which aim to be a concise statement of the more prominent features of our faith.
- That there is one God, a personal, spiritual Being, the Creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by His representative, the Holy Spirit. Psalm 139: 7.
- That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, and Son of the Eternal Father, the One by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist; that He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that He dwelt among men, full of grace and truth, lived our example,’ died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only Mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where, with His own blood, He makes atonement for our sins; which atonement, so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of His work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven. See Leviticus 16; Hebrews 8: 4, 5; 9: 6, 7; etc.
- That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of His will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
- That baptism is an ordinance of the Christian church, to follow faith and repentance, an ordinance by which we commemorate the resurrection of Christ, as by this act we show our faith in His burial and resurrection, and, through that, of the resurrection of all the saints at the last day; and that no other mode fitly represents these facts than that which the Scriptures prescribe, namely, immersion. Romans 6: 3- 5; Colossians 2: 12.
- That the new birth comprises the entire change necessary to fit us for the kingdom of God, and consists of two parts First, a moral change, wrought by conversion and a Christian life; second, a physical change at the second coming of Christ, whereby, if dead, we are raised incorruptible, and, if living, are changed to immortality in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. John 3: 3, 5; Luke 20: 36.
- We believe that prophecy is a part of God’s revelation to man; that it is included in that scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Timothy 3: 16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deuteronomy 29: 29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word of God a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119: 105; 2 Peter 1: 19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Revelation 1: 1- 3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God, sufficiently to show them their position in the world’s history, and the special duties required at their hands,
- That the world’s history from specified dates in the past, the rise and fall of empires, and the chronological succession of events down to the setting up of God’s everlasting kingdom, are outlined in numerous great chains of prophecy; and that these prophecies are now all fulfilled except the closing scenes.
- That the doctrine of the world’s conversion and temporal millennium is a fable of these last days, calculated to lull men into a state of carnal security, and cause them to be overtaken by the great day of the Lord as by a thief in the night; that the second coming of Christ is to precede, not follow the millennium; for until the Lord appears, the papal power, with all its abominations, is to continue, the wheat and tares grow together, and evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, as the word of God declares.
- That the mistake of Adventists in 1844 pertained to the nature of the event then to transpire, not to the time; that no prophetic period is given to reach to the second advent, but that the longest one, the two thousand and three hundred days of Daniel 8: 14, terminated in that year, and brought us to an event called the cleansing of the sanctuary.
- That the sanctuary of the new covenant is the tabernacle of God in heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8, and onward, of which our Lord, as great High Priest, is minister; that this sanctuary is the antitype of the Mosaic tabernacle, and that the priestly work of our Lord, connected therewith, is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation (Hebrews 8: 1- 5, etc.); that this is the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days; what is termed its cleansing being in this case, as in the type, simply the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place, to finish the round of service connected therewith, by blotting out and removing from the sanctuary the sins which had been transferred to it by means of the ministration in the first apartment (Hebrews 9: 22,23); and that this work, in the antitype, commencing in 1844, occupies a brief but indefinite space, at the conclusion of which the work of mercy for the world is finished.
- That God’s moral requirements are the same upon all men in all dispensations; that these are summarily contained in the commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai, engraved on the tables of stone, and deposited in the ark, which was in consequence called the “ark of the covenant,” or testament (Numbers 10: 33; Hebrews 9: 4, etc.); that this law is immutable and perpetual, being a transcript of the tables deposited in the ark of God’s testament; for under the sounding of the seventh trumpet we are told that “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament” (Revelation 11: 19).
- That the fourth commandment of this law requires that we devote the seventh day of each week, commonly called Saturday, to abstinence from our own labor, and to the performance of sacred and religious duties; that this is the only weekly Sabbath known to the Bible, being the day that was set apart before Paradise was lost (Genesis 2: 2, 3), and which will be observed in Paradise restored (Isaiah 66: 22, 23); that the facts upon which the Sabbath institution is based confine it to the seventh day, as they are not true of any other day; and that the terms Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sabbath, as applied to the weekly rest day, are names of human invention, un- Scriptural in fact, and false in meaning.
- That, as the man of sin, the papacy has thought to change times and laws (the laws of God, Daniel 7: 25), and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment; we find a prophecy of a reform in this respect to be wrought among believers just before the coming of Christ (Isaiah 56: 1, 2; 1 Peter 1: 5; Revelation 14: 12, etc.).
- That, as the natural or carnal heart is at enmity with God and His law, this enmity can be subdued only by a radical transformation of the affections, the exchange of unholy for holy principles; that this transformation follows repentance and faith, is the special work of the Holy Spirit, and constitutes regeneration or conversion.
- That, as all have violated the law of God, and cannot of themselves render obedience to His just requirements, we are dependent on Christ, first for justification from our past offenses, and, secondly, for grace whereby to render acceptable obedience to His holy law in time to come.
- That the Spirit of God was promised to manifest itself in the church through certain gifts, enumerated especially in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4; that these gifts are not designed to supersede, or take the place of, the Bible, which is sufficient to make us wise unto salvation, any more than the Bible can take the place of the Holy Spirit; that in specifying the various channels of its operation, that Spirit has simply made provision for its own existence and presence with the people of God to the end of time, to lead to an understanding of that word which it had inspired, to convince of sin, and work a transformation in the heart and life; and that those who deny to the Spirit its place and operation do plainly deny that part of the Bible which assigns to it this work and position.
- That God, in accordance with His uniform dealings with the race, sends forth a proclamation of the approach of the second advent of Christ; that this work is symbolized by the three messages of Revelation 14, the last one bringing to view the work of reform on the law of God, that His people may acquire a complete readiness for that event.
- That the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary (see proposition 10), synchronizing with the time of the proclamation of the third message, is a time of investigative judgment, first, with reference to the dead, and, at the close of probation, with reference to the living, to determine who of the myriads now sleeping in the dust of the earth are worthy of a part in the first resurrection, and who of its living multitudes are worthy of translation— points which must be determined before the Lord appears.
- That the grave, whither we all tend, expressed by the Hebrew Scheol and the Greek hades, is a place of darkness in which there is no work, device, wisdom, or knowledge. Ecclesiastes 9: 10.
- That the state to which we are reduced by death is one of silence, inactivity and entire unconsciousness. Psalm 146: 4; Ecclesiastes 9: 5, 6; Daniel 12: 2; etc.
- That out of this prison house of the grave, mankind are to be brought by a bodily resurrection; the righteous having part in the first resurrection, which takes place at the second advent of Christ; the wicked, in the second resurrection, which takes place a thousand years thereafter. Revelation 20: 4- 6.
- That at the last trump, the living righteous are to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and with the resurrected righteous are to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, so forever to be with the Lord.
- That these immortalized ones are then taken to heaven, to the New Jerusalem, the Father’s house in which there are many mansions (John 14: 1- 3), where they reign with Christ a thousand years, judging the world and fallen angels, that is, apportioning the punishment to be executed upon them at the close of the one thousand years (Revelation 20: 4; 1 Corinthians 6: 2,3); that during this time the earth lies in a desolate and chaotic condition (Jeremiah 4: 20- 27), described, as in the beginning, by the Greek term abussos, bottomless pit (Septuagint of Genesis 1: 2); and that here Satan is confined during the thousand years (Revelation 20: 1, 2), and here finally destroyed (Revelation 20: 10; Malachi 4: 1); the theater of the ruin he has wrought in the universe, being appropriately made for a time his gloomy prison house, and then the place of his final execution.
- That at the end of the thousand years, the Lord descends with His people and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21: 2), the wicked dead are raised and come up upon the surface of the yet unrenewed earth, and gather about the city, the camp of the saints (Revelation 20: 9), and fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them. They are then consumed root and branch (Malachi 4: 1), becoming as though they had not been (Obadiah 15, 16). In this everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1: 9), the wicked meet the everlasting punishment threatened against them (Matthew 25: 46). This is the perdition of ungodly men, the fire which consumes them being the fire for which “the heavens and the earth, which are now,” are kept in store, which shall melt even the elements with its intensity, and purge the earth from the deepest stains of the curse of sin. 2 Peter 3: 7- 12.
- That a new heavens and earth shall spring by the power of God from the ashes of the old, to be, with the New Jerusalem for its metropolis and capital, the eternal inheritance of the saints, the place where the righteous shall evermore dwell. 2 Peter 3: 13; Psalm 37: 11, 29; Matthew 5: 5.
‘As stated in the first paragraph of this article, the “Fundamental Principles” was not regarded as a creed but rather as a synopsis of current beliefs generally held by Seventh- day Adventists, beliefs which were and are subject to deeper understanding and restatement from time to time. An example of the restatement of an essential doctrine— that of the atoning work of Christ, of which Ellen G. White said, “The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster” (Gospel Workers, page 315)— is seen in a revised statement of principles by the congregation at Battle Creek in 1894. Many of the leaders of the church were residing at Battle Creek at the time, so that the revision, presented under the title, “Some Things Seventh- day Adventists Believe,” may be considered representative.
The portion of the revision which concerns the atonement is as follows: “lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only Mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where, through the atoning merits of His blood, He secures the pardon and forgiveness of all who penitently come to God through Him; and as the closing portion of His work as priest before He comes again as King of kings, He will make the final atonement for the sins of all believers, and blot them out, as foreshadowed and prefigured by the Levitical priesthood.”
Who is the church that appears to fall but does not?
By Ellen White
My mind is deeply exercised in regard to our condition as a people. . . . when we do practice the truth we are then following Jesus, who is the light of the world; and if we as a people are not constantly elevating, becoming more and more spiritually minded, we are becoming like the Pharisees— self righteous— while we do not the will of God.
I think of how many who profess the truth are keeping it apart from their lives. They do not bring its sanctifying, refining, spiritualizing power into their hearts. I think how this grieves Jesus.
I think of His great sorrow as He wept over Jerusalem, exclaiming, “0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not” [Luke 13: 34]! God forbid that these words shall apply to those who have great light and blessings. In the rejecting of Jerusalem it was because great privileges were abused, which brought the denunciation upon all who lightly regarded the great opportunities and precious light that were entrusted to their keeping. Privileges do not commend us to God, but they commend God to us. No people are saved because they have great light and special advantages, for these high and heavenly favors only increase their responsibility. The more and increased light God has given makes the receiver more responsible. It does not place the receiver in any safer position unless the privileges are wisely improved, prized, and used to advance God’s glory. Christ said, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee. Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” (Matt. 11: 21].
When Jerusalem was divorced from God it was because of her sins. She fell from an exalted height that Tyre and Sidon had never reached. And when an angel falls he becomes a fiend. The depth of our ruin is measured by the exalted light to which God has raised us in His great goodness and unspeakable mercy. Oh, what privileges are granted to us as a people! And if God spared not His people that He loved, because they refused to walk in the light, how can He spare the people whom he has blessed with the light of heaven in having opened to them the most exalted truth ever entrusted to mortal man to give to the world?
We are far from being the people God would have us to be. because we do not elevate the soul and refine the character in harmony with the wonderful unfolding of God’s truth and His purposes. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” [Prov. 14: 34]. Sin is a disorganizer. Wherever it is cherished— in the individual heart, in the household, in the church— there is disorder, strife, variance, enmity, envy, jealousy, because the enemy of man of God has the controlling power over the mind. But let the truth be loved and brought into the life, as well as advocated, and that man or woman will hate sin and will be a living representative of Jesus Christ to the world.
The people claiming to believe the truth will not be condemned because they had not the light, but because they had great light and did not bring their hearts to the test of God’s great moral standard of righteousness. The people who claim to believe the truth must be elevated by living it out. Real Bible religion must leaven the life, refine and ennoble the character, making it more and more like the divine model. Then will the home be vocal with prayer, with thanksgiving and praise to God. Angels will minister in the home and accompany the worshiper to the house of prayer.
Let the churches who claim to believe the truth, who are advocating the law of God, keep that law and depart from all iniquity. Let the Individual members of the church resist the temptations to practice evils and indulge in sin. Let the church commence the work of purification before God by repentance, humiliation, deep heart searching, for we are in the antitypical day of atonement— solemn hour fraught with eternal results. . . .
God never forsakes people or individuals until they forsake Him. Outward opposition will not cause the faith of God’s people, who are keeping His commandments, to become dim. The neglect to bring purity and truth into practice will grieve the Spirit of God and weaken them because God is not in their midst to bless. Internal corruption will bring the denunciations of God upon this people as it did upon Jerusalem. Oh, let pleading voices, let earnest prayer be heard, that those who preach to others shall not themselves be castaways. My brethren, we know not what is before us, and our only safety is in following the Light of the world. God will work with us and for us if the sins which brought His wrath upon the old world, upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon ancient Jerusalem, do not become our crime.
The least transgression of God’s law brings guilt upon the transgressor, and without earnest repentance and forsaking of sin he will surely become an apostate.
All the policy in the world cannot save us from a terrible sifting, and all the efforts made with high authorities will not lift from us the scourging of God, just because sin is cherished. If as a people we do not keep ourselves in the faith and not only advocate with pen and voice the commandments of God, but keep them every one, not violating a single precept knowingly, then weakness and ruin will come upon us. It is a work that we must attend to in every one of our churches. Each man must be a Christian. . . .
We are to be ready and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawn from those who proclaim God’s only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decrees of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.
Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. 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.
The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy. All these, He says, I have graven…upon the palms of my hands” [Isa. 49:16]. They are held in everlasting, imperishable remembrance. We want faith now, living faith. We want to have a living testimony that shall cut to the heart of the sinner. There is too much sermonizing and too little ministering. We want the holy unction. We need the spirit and fervor of the truth. Many of the ministers are half paralyzed by their own defects of character. They need the converting power of God. Manuscript Releases, Volume Twelve, Pages 318-325
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