- Religion and Philosophy
Does God Have a Specific Church?
What is your view about joining a specific church? Please justify your answer in the comment box below.
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. - Isaiah 4:1
The Scripture above from Isaiah is symbolically applicable to Christianity today. Christianity today is made up of many churches, with different beliefs, who all think they got it right. Let me break down the symbolism of the scripture above to show you what I mean.
A woman is a prophetic symbol of a church. Notice how Ephesians 5:23 compares the church to a woman: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
Seven is a number of completion, as in the seven days of creation that completed creation week. So that means that the opening scripture applies to all of Christianity today.
The man that these women (churches) take hold of is Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5 calls Jesus, "the man Christ Jesus."
All of these women (churches) eat their own bread. Bread is a symbol of the Word of God, according to Matthew 4:4: "... Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." In other words, these churches have their own interpretations of the Bible, which are not according to the Word of God.
They also wear their own apparel. Clothing is a symbol of character in the Bible. For instance, Isaiah 61:10 speaks about being clothed with salvation and righteousness. In other words, these churches are not really displaying the character of Christ. This makes sense if you just reason from cause to effect, because correct Bible doctrine leads to living according to God's will and displaying the character of Christ, while incorrect Bible doctrine has the opposite effect. This is also an issue of salvation, because living out of God's will causes people to end up lost.
These women (churches) are called by the man's name. That is, the name of Christ. They claim to be Christian churches. There's a lesson for us, here. Don't believe every church that claims to be Christian. Their doctrines need to be tested to see whether or not they are in line with the Bible.
Notice, also, how the opening scriptures says that they take the name of the man to take away their reproach. This means that the churches being symbolized here try to hide their shame of not really following the Bible by calling themselves Christian.
Who has it Right?
Although there are many false churches in the world, the Bible does indicate that there is one that has it right. For example, Ephesians 4:5 speaks of "one faith"; and in John 10:16, Jesus talked about gathering all of His sheep (followers) into one fold (church).
God has always had a church that he has guided. He was with the early New Testament church. He was with the Waldensians, who fled into the wilderness caves and shelters of the Italian Alps to escape the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages. He led the Lutheran Church and other churches after that to advance the Protestant Reformation; and He is leading a church today in order to finish His Work of proclaiming the gospel to the entire world, to prepare people for Jesus' return. I am going to reveal what that church is and why.
Before I do, though, I want to say something. Remember that God judges the heart; and He has sincere followers of Him in every faith. Sometimes, people get upset when their church is identified as being out of line with the Bible, because they take that as a personal insult. Please don't get insulted if that is going to be the case, here. If you are serving God honestly, with your whole heart, you have nothing to worry about. And if what I am writing will convict you, you will joyfully accept it as the truth and apply it to your life.
Now on to identifying God's church of today: it is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Below I will expand on three compelling biblical guidelines for God's end time church that the Adventist Church fulfills.
1. It Keeps all of the Commandments of God
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 12:17
As discussed above, a woman symbolizes a church. Revelation 12:17 talks about the remnant church. A remnant is the last remaining part of something. In other words, it is God's end time church. One of the characteristics of this church is that it keeps the commandments of God. That criteria alone is enough to disqualify the Roman Catholic Church, and most Protestant churches. The reason being is because they don't keep all of the Ten Commandments. They claim that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been changed from Saturday to Sunday, or that it is not necessary to keep the Sabbath or the Ten Commandment Law of God, anymore.
The Bible Sabbath is Saturday (to be more specific, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). Exodus 20:8-11 makes this plain, identifying it as the seventh day of the week. However, the Roman Catholic Church changed it to Sunday a few hundreds years after the crucifixion of Jesus. Notice this statement from the Catechism of the Council of Trent: "The Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday!" –p 402, second revised edition (English), 1937 (first published in 1566). However, the SDA Church endoeses keeping the true Bible Sabbath, on Saturday.
2. It has the Testimony of Jesus
Revelation 19:10 says, "... the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." In other words, it is the gift of prophecy by the Holy Spirit. The Seventh-day Adventist Church fulfills this criteria. It was not only blessed with the gift of prophecy through the seventy year prophetic ministry of one of its founders, Ellen G. White; but it has also been given the ability to understand Bible prophecy through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Many people mock the Adventist Church for the fact that Ellen G. White was a prophet; but I'm not ashamed of that fact. I think churches that claim no prophetic leading should be the ones ashamed of themselves. The gift of prophecy is a New Testament Church gift (1 Corinthians 12:10). In 1 Corinthians 12, it mentions that we are given different gifts to help fulfill functions in the body of Christ. It says that we are the hands, feet, eyes, ect. of the body of Christ. In the Old Testament, prophets were called seers (1 Samuel 9:9). So what part of the body of Christ does the gift of prophecy apply to? It is the eyes of the body; and if we have no eyes we are walking in blindness. That is the condition of a church without the gift of prophecy
Granted, the Bible warns us to look out for false prophets (Matthew 24:11); and we have had our fair share, like Joseph Smith of the Mormon Church and Charles Taze Russell of the Jehovah's Witnesses. However, we don't need to go into detail about them and their churches because they deny our obligation to keep the Bible Sabbath holy, so they have already been disqualified from being God's end time church, according to the Bible. Nonetheless, I believe that false prophets like them is one of the reasons that people are hesitant to accept Ellen G. White as a true prophet of God. But enough about that, on to the next criteria.
3. It Preaches the Three Angels' Messages
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. - Revelation 14:6-14
The Three Angels' Messages are the last messages of the gospel to be proclaimed to this dying world before the return of Jesus. Verse 14 culminates with the second coming of Jesus, in symbolic terms, describing Him as returning on a "white cloud". Prior to that, starting in verse 6, there is made mention of the everlasting gospel, worshiping God as Creator (Sabbath worship), Babylon and the wine of Babylon; the beast, his image, and his mark; hell fire, commandment keeping, the faith of Jesus, and the state of the dead.
There is only one church that preaches all of these things and has the Three Angels' Messages as the core of its evangelistic outreach; and that is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The fact that the Adventist Church is the only church that preaches the Three Angels' Messages was actually the most compelling evidence to me that this is God's church for today; and that is why I became an Adventist Christian.
This is Jesus' Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is really Jesus' Church. I'm not saying this out of arrogance or trying to rub it in anyone's face. This also doesn't mean that anyone who does not go to the Adventist Church is not saved. Salvation comes through Jesus, not a church. And there are many people who have never even heard of this church or the Three Angels' Messages. God will judge their hearts in order to determine whether or not they were true to the truth that they knew. However, if it has been made scripturally clear to you that the SDA Church is really God's end time Church and He wants you there, do not hesitate. Now you have been made aware of this truth and are responsible for it.
If you would like to know more about the Adventist Church's doctrines, I will provide a link below to some free online Bible study guides where you could learn more. If you have any genuine questions about the Adventist Church and its beliefs, please leave them in the comment box below and I will do my best to answer them in a helpful manner. Insults, rude objections, and pointless rants will be deleted; so don't waste your time or mine with such comments. Thank you for taking the time to read this hub, and God bless you.
All Scripture references are from the KJV Bible.
Click here for free online Bible study guides to learn more about the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Who are the Seventh-day Adventists?
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