Loyalty to the Church of God

Isaiah 49:8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that [are] in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures [shall be] in all high places.  10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. 11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. 12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. 14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.

The Lord has a people on earth and they are accumulatively called Zion. They have been blessed and redeemed by the one spoken of in Isaiah 49:8 who in an acceptable time was heard as he was hanging on the cross. He was preserved and uplifted again and given for a covenant of the people to release the prisoners. As we read above, the prisoners didn’t feel like being released as Zion said the Lord has forsaken me and my Lord has forgotten me. We then see the object lesson of a woman caring for her suckling child. The Lord cares for us through his church, through his woman he cares for his children as has been demonstrated in past years, the faithful children have been forsaken by the woman. She became an harlot. But God is still caring even though the church played the harlot. This reality is written of all through Isaiah.

We have nothing to fear, the Lord is caring for us like a mother caring for her child. As Jesus came to this earth, he dealt with the corrupt church and continued to take care of Zion. He raised up a company of faithful people whom he taught and led along – the disciples. Every person who has been under the nurture of that church, has been raised to a new birth in their lives and when we are so cared for, we have this Zion.

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel. Zion, the mother that will not forsake her children. Who is she? The heavenly Jerusalem.

Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

Here is a comparison between the church that was Gods church in the time of Christ but crucified him.

Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

She is in bondage with her children. There is a church that is not in bondage – Zion the city of the living God.

Misguided

I’d like to consider the question of loyalty to the church because throughout the ages those who were loyal to the earthly church were misguided. Time and time again people are focusing in the wrong direction. They are focusing on a church on earth instead of the church in heaven. If we are going to be loyal to Gods church, we must have our focus on the church that is the mother of us all. Loyalty to that church will unite us to those on earth who are also loyal to that church.

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Jesus illuminated that the church is the product of the rock upon which she stands – Jesus himself. On this rock I will build my church. That church that is built fully upon that rock has been identified throughout history. Throughout history there has been a people who were a organised company but they kept on losing one organisation after the other as they went through because they were not focused on the organisation but on Jesus Christ. As Jesus organised his church on earth and launched it forward as again one had failed (the Jewish church), he launched out another visible company of people.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.

Jesus did not deal with an invisible church. He dealt with a visible church that was active in binding and unbinding and remitting or retaining sins. It was a visible active agency that everybody that is related to Jesus who connect with in a real personal way. Jesus launched this kind of body. He speaks to people who are responsible to the visible church;

Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The church in heaven is connected with a visible company of people on earth. That company of people are responsible for the well being of the individual. If an individual does something wrong and one or two or three can’t succeed to help that person then the church as a body is called upon to help that person. There is no invisible church as there is a visible church that God works through. We come to the church of the first born that is written in heaven (Hebrews 12:23). Loyalty to that church which is the mother of us all is the qualification of loyalty to the church that is visible here on earth.

In John 20:21-23 we read that Jesus breathed upon them his spirit and sent them forth to be a visible church. What qualified them as being Gods visible church on earth? He breathed on them. The breathing of the Holy Spirit on his church back then qualifies his work in these times;

The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church. {AA 54.2}

Many people read that quickly. What is the true church identified by? The presence of the spirit will abide with the true church.

But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down . . . the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23. {AA 55.1}

When did the harvest commence? 1844-48 onwards. The harvest has already begun. Where are we now? Are we there?

But unless the members of God’s church today have a living connection with the Source of all spiritual growth, they will not be ready for the time of reaping. Unless they keep their lamps trimmed and burning, they will fail of receiving added grace in times of special need. Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. AA 55

Can you and I use the power? It tells us here that we will have ability to use that power. There is much to meditate upon in that phrase.

Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home, or in a public field of usefulness. {AA 55.3}

This is the church in the last days that are not just pew warmers. That don’t just come into the church on the Sabbath day and bask in the beautiful fellowship and then go home and don’t engage livingly with Jesus and his cause. It is the people upon whom Jesus breathed who are inseparably connected with the church in heaven. As they are inseparably connected with the church in heaven, what they do on earth is what is done in heaven.

“Whosesoever sins ye remit,” said Christ, “they are remitted; . . . and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. “Reprove, rebuke, exhort,” the Lord says, “with all long-suffering and doctrine.” 2 Tim. 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. “They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God’s word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself. {DA 805.4}

When is it ratified in heaven? When it is done as God has said in heaven. If a church says, he who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ, when you read that, do you get the jitters? But if you read it in its context, what is it saying? If the church conveys the written word as it actually is, every sense of the word, and the people disobey what is written in the word, THEN the church has authority to deal with that.

If they do not do as it is written but use the arm of flesh and say we are Gods church and you have to do as we say, then they are on the wrong foot. She must be in tune with the church in heaven. Then you obey her. If you do not obey and despise the authority of the church, you are in reality despising the authority of Jesus Christ.

Get that very clear in your minds that when we are treated by a church that is not qualified by what it is doing by the word as then you have nothing to fear. Each one of us individually has to be very clear as to what is being dictated from the church. If it is not under the authority of what God has laid down but what man is laying down then we are being dealt with by the arm of flesh. This is when you see people who are faithful to church organisations but are leaning on the arm of flesh and not the arm of God.  You can identify the church you must be loyal to by the faithful church that has been faithful throughout the ages. That is why it’s important to study Revelation and the seven churches. You have a summary of the church in its seven stages coming to the end in which we are living now. Here you can see her – the church that is truly absolutely on the rock foundation.

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.

Which woman? The faithful church of the seven churches – the one that is always the overcomer and has the testimony of Jesus Christ. We have the testimony of Jesus Christ in these last days – the Spirit of Prophecy. If things are being done which are not in harmony with the Spirit of Prophecy, is that church that is treating us so, do they have the testimony of Jesus if it’s not acting on it?

The remnant of her seed are a small number of people who will remain firmly on the rock Christ Jesus. Firmly in all respects in harmony with what is written. Even the minute detail. I was talking to someone today who said why do you make such a big thing out of a little thing? You have made a mountain out of a mole hill. If someone rejects a small part of God’s word and oppresses people on that small part, who is making a mountain out of a mole hill? The one who rejects the point of truth. The one who is not standing on truth, they make a big nose.

We left the SDARM Nicolici 51 Movement church on a little part of the nature of Christ. https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/08/25/the-true-witness-testifies/ We were asked why are you making such a big fuss about a tiny little thing? If one link of the chain isn’t secure, what does the chain become? It falls apart. We live by every word that proceeds out of Gods mouth. If a particular item is not submitted to by leaders in the church, then we don’t have to tremble that we are doing something wrong by remaining faithful to that point. We are loyal to Gods church even though it appears we are not to the naked eye. We are to concentrate on the company. The remnant of her seed. Here they are;

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. Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.” 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. I saw individuals approach the platform and examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the foundation. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform to examine it and declared it to be laid wrong. But I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform and exhorted those who had stepped off to cease their complaints; for God was the Master Builder, and they were fighting against Him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union raised their eyes to heaven and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained and left the platform, and they with humble look again stepped upon it. {EW 258.3}

We are not to countenance a block that is moved. If we are going to be loyal to the church we are going to be loyal to not even one pin being unsettled. Don’t let anyone confuse you that you will be disfellowshipped when you are standing on the pure word of God. Don’t let the threat of thief on the cross waylay you. They were scared in those days of being put out of the synagogue to follow Jesus. The thief on the cross saw and heard of Jesus before he ended up committing a lot of crime. He was too scared to follow him for fear of being put out and ended up on the cross being put to death. Are you afraid to be put out of the synagogue because of exactly what is written?

Oh, I wish that we had far greater wisdom in all things than we now have! One thing every worker in the vineyard of the Lord must learn, that is, to practice the prayer of Christ, to move as one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one, as He is one with the Father. The enemy is at work, to divide, to scatter. Now as never before he will make determined efforts to scatter our forces. Above every other period it is unsafe now for us to move out in lines of our own. The truth for this time is broad in its outlines, far reaching, embracing many doctrines; but these doctrines are not detached items, which mean little; they are united by golden threads, forming a complete whole, with Christ as the living center. The Holy Spirit we present from the Bible are as firm and immovable as the throne of God. {2SM 87.1}

How powerful has the force of God’s word been? What unity we had? Was it powerful? Were we moving forward with power? Was Satan happy? What will he do? He will come and create dissension on the pure word of God. When it has been what we have been preaching has been quite in order, then what is wrong? Satan is at work. He is creating dissension. Satan has managed to twist things up. We are not going to let him go on with it. Some will say to us, you are moving out on your own but aren’t we on a platform of the three angel’s messages? How broad? How many doctrines are included?

If we will correctly read the statements and apply them to the foundation of truth, we will not be misguided. But if we detach organisation from the foundation Holy Spirit and put it on a slightly different setting, we wonder where we stand. This is something the Lord has firmly cemented in my experience. Organisation must be firmly capped in with the Holy Spirit. The nature of Christ must be firmly seen in the organisation. If it’s not, then it’s not Jesus Christ but some other hireling. If we carefully identify the loyalty that is required, it is loyalty of the first born in heaven. That is where our loyalty is. On earth, only to those who are so loyal to the one in heaven.

May this be our clear appreciation.

Amen.

Posted on August 23, 2009, in The Church of God and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. {SpM 4.3}{EW 258.3} etc. Are these references to SDA writings? I am wary of theor usage, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide. I’m not a “reformed theologian” but I believe the Holy Bible to be sufficient revelation from God. It remains a great mercy and grace to be born in our time when freedom to read the scriptures is not condemned or forbidden. Pray Lord, for the Chinese and other peoples who still have a great scarcity of Bibles, meet their need. Amen

  2. “I’d like to consider the question of loyalty to the church because throughout the ages those who were loyal to the earthly church were misguided.”

    Just to be loyal to Jesus ought to suffice. We need to have more thorough intimacy to the One we adore, than we will stray less.

    “But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man.”

    I think we should expect that all the born again have experienced this in every age, perhaps many as their earthly lives close in sickness or in old age. It is all God’s faithfulness to those He has set His saving love and Grace upon. We can expect it, no matter when He return to us on earth, yes?

    • Sabbath Sermons

      Since 1844 we can expect it more powerful than prior as the book of Daniel and Revelation were opened to human understanding. More light shone upon God’s people. The latter rain, the loud cry will have ten times the power of Pentecost.

      I saw the latter rain was coming as [suddenly as] the midnight cry, and with ten times the power. {SpM 4.3}

      It is definately true that near the close of the earth, a special bestowal of grace is given. More powerful than before to warn the world of the impending planet destruction.

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