2. Apostate Protestantism

0806013

By John Thiel, Audio: Apostate Protestantism

Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Who were the people in reference to Babylon who rejected the first angel? Protestants. We will now look at Protestantism regarding the message. What is the kernel of resistance in Protestantism? To give God the glory.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Give diligence.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Protestants are to shine as lights in the world.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

This is the call of the angel in the everlasting gospel to be doers not just hearers. Many people hear the three angel’s messages and a great impact is made upon their mind but who is the one who is benefited from that impact?

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life. 26 These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

The word of God is resplendent with the fact that as I hear and receive, it must abide with me. Not only to hear it but also to abide and let it become part of me and be benefited by it otherwise I’ll lose it again. Many people hear the word and say oh that’s wonderful but they do not let it abide in them. It has to be an active agent in us. This was the case in the early Christian church.

In the early Christian church there were men who were true disciples of Christ. They met often together where prayer was wont to be made. They could only work to advance those principles that bore the signet of heaven. They first talked with God, ascertained what spirit they themselves were of; then they could closely and critically examine every point, every method, every principle in the light reflected from the Sun of Righteousness. They did not accept strange fire. They took their fire from the divine altar. To them, holy and just principles were sacred, and by cherishing these they kept themselves unspotted from the world. {UL 158.3}

This was the mentality of the early Christians. What did they do? They talked with God. This is real down to earth Christianity that the first angel’s message was representing. When we see ourselves as we really are, we are then not to stay there in that state of ascertaining what spirit I’m of, but critically examining everything the word of God is saying as the everlasting gospel is meant to do.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. {SC 71.2}

There are so many things that distract us from the everlasting gospel that the first angel’s message was preaching.

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

The wisdom we want to gain is to focus and ascertain what spirit we are of as the disciples did and critically examine every truth. We have an unction and it abides with us. This occupation of some that do this leaves others not so occupied behind. As we occupy ourselves with the first angel’s message and the everlasting gospel, those that won’t do that, are left behind. This is what the second angel’s message involves – The people who receive the first angel’s message. Those that don’t occupy themselves with it will fall under the second angel’s message.

William Miller preached the first angel’s message. The Protestant churches didn’t occupy themselves with the message. They resisted it. Why did they become Babylon? Why was the second angel’s message expressly to them Babylon has fallen?

Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! It was full of judgement; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Something happened with the church that was Gods church. Give God the glory. Take hold of these messages as the hour of Gods judgement is come. As it came to arouse them, the faithful city became a harlot.

The first angel’s message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God’s judgment and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God has sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from Him. Acts 4:32, 31; 2:47. {GC 379.1}

This was the privilege of those who took hold of the first angel’s message. Unity is a consequence of that. The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ. The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth. {GC 380.1}

The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth. {GC 380.1}

This is what took shape there.

In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world. Here was the cause of that fearful condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844. {GC 380.2}

The first angel’s message was given to them to get ready for Jesus to come. Here was the cause of their condition. Spiritual death which existed in the churches. How has the faithful city become a harlot? That which was to benefit them, only caused them to backslide to a spiritual death. Seeing what the first angel’s message was meant to do, we want to see what apostate Protestantism actually is so we will remove from it. To understand the city that once was pure but is now a harlot, we need to understand pure Protestantism. We had touched on before how the early Christians did what they did.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And 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 th em, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Papal religion mingled together paganism with Christianity and Protestants protested against that. Wherefore, come out from among them and be ye separate says the Lord. That was Protestantism. To qualify this, Jesus made a very clear declaration of the activity of pure Protestantism. Come out, don’t touch the unclean, and be separate.

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jesus made a very clear identification of the pure gospel. As the world had come into the church, Protestants, protested. That was their true nature.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

This is the characteristic of pure Protestantism. What is pure religion? Keeping yourself unspotted from the world. To become a harlot, to become an apostate Protestant would mean what?

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

A church as a Protestant community had come to this. The harlot. Adultery. That is Babylon. How has the faithful city become a harlot. Babylon was already the mother of harlots. She existed already. The world had already been mingled with Christianity. She was identified here.

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

That is Babylon, the mother of harlots and the daughters that do the same. When the first angel’s message was being proclaimed, Sardis heard the message.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

That was the period of Pergamos where the church was warned. Now a message to Thyatira.

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

He’s making in the period of Thyatira a direct reference to Pergamos

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

There is the mother of harlots and the other daughters are going to be thrown into one bed.  This apostate Protestantism that took place when the first angel was there to prevent them to going into this terrible condition.

How did the church first depart from the simplicity of the gospel? By conforming to the practices of paganism, to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the heathen. {GC 384.5}

The Christian church felt that if we compromise we’re going to help many others. As we go on into the second angel’s messages, we’ll look at these practises and customs in detail. As the Protestants protested against that, what happened to the Protestants in later years? Has not the same process been repeated in every church calling itself Protestant? Their descendants come forward and new model the cause. True Protestantism was to come out and not touch the unclean thing. A worldly flood comes into the church. Under the reformation, Martin Luther and John Wesley were called Protestants as they made protest. Here they are standing.

The Lord forbids the teaching of any other doctrine. . . . The Holy Scriptures ought to be explained by other and clearer texts; . . . this Holy Book is, in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of understanding, and calculated to scatter the darkness. We are resolved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pure and exclusive preaching of His only word, such as it is contained in the biblical books of the Old and New Testaments, without adding anything thereto that may be contrary to it. This word is the only truth; it is the sure rule of all doctrine and of all life, and can never fail or deceive us. He who builds on this foundation shall stand against all the powers of hell, while all the human vanities that are set up against it shall fall before the face of God. {GC 203.1}

For this reason we reject the yoke that is imposed on us. At the same time we are in expectation that his imperial majesty will behave toward us like a Christian prince who loves God above all things; and we declare ourselves ready to pay unto him, as well as unto you, gracious Lords, all the affection and obedience that are our just and legitimate duty.–Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6. {GC 203.2}

That’s the very protesting against what was being proclaimed as Gods church. The declaration had been made. They made a declaration. The declaration was very annoying, but this was Protestantism. There will be no arbitrary control by the church. This is Protestantism. Apostate Protestantism is the reverse of this. Here was the time in which he was giving the message of Sardis to the church that was called Protestants. But what was their problem?

Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

He’s speaking to the Protestants at that time as the first angel’s message was soon to be given. Here is the very point that Protestantism had become apostate. God is reaching out for her. You have a name that you live, but you are dead. The name that you have, you claim to be Christians that are born again but are dead.

Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

Here you see the scriptural identification of what Jesus meant. You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. You are not a Protestant. The final apostasy of Protestantism is written here. We now see what it means in principle.

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

This is the final apostasy that applies to any apostasy at different times. When the second angel begins to sound, it sounds because the people had rejected the revival call.

The first angel’s message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God’s judgment and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. GC 379

The second angel’s message was there to save them from apostasy. Listen to the message and you don’t have to be twice dead. He didn’t want them to end up in total apostasy. That’s why we went into the detail of the first angel’s message.

At the time of their rise, these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and his blessing was with them. Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel. In the words of the prophet to Israel, Thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty; for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God. But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel,–the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly. Thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playest the harlot because of thy renown. {GC88 382.3}

Very relevant Scriptures. The purpose of the second angel’s message in the time of 1844 was to the Protestants at that time.

The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844, and it then had a more direct application to the churches of the United States, where the warning of the judgment had been most widely proclaimed and most generally rejected, and where the declension in the churches had been most rapid. But the message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfilment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however, can it be said that Babylon is fallen,… because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. She has not yet made all nations do this. The spirit of world conforming and indifference to the testing truths for our time exists and has been gaining ground in churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and terrible denunciation of the second angel. But the work of apostasy has not yet reached its culmination. {GC 389.2}

The churches experienced a moral fall. That fall was not complete. When William Miller gave this message in 1833. The message of the second angel applied there but it continues ever since to identify those who have fallen from their Protestantism condition into apostasy. They fall into a condition that Babylon has fallen. It continues right down the line.

Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great body of Christ’s true followers are still to be found in their communion. There are many of these who have never seen the special truths for this time. Not a few are dissatisfied with their present condition and are longing for clearer light. They look in vain for the image of Christ in the churches with which they are connected. As these bodies depart further and further from the truth, and ally themselves more closely with the world, the difference between the two classes will widen, and it will finally result in separation. The time will come when those who love God supremely can no longer remain in connection with such as are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. {GC 390.1}

There we have the appreciation of the application of the second angel’s message at that time in 1844 and ever since that time.

It’s the message that comes in lieu of the first angel’s messages that is not retained by those who hear it. All down since that time as they don’t’ retain it and the distinction between the class that retains it and those that don’t until we see the following. Notice how it is identified here. We want to spend some time to see the apostasy we can see today.

Alas, to what a fearful extent is that friendship of the world which is enmity with God, now cherished among the professed followers of Christ! How widely have the popular churches throughout Christendom departed from the Bible standard of humility, self-denial, simplicity, and godliness! Said John Wesley, in speaking of the right use of money: Do not waste any part of so precious a talent, merely in gratifying the desire of the eye, by superfluous or expensive apparel, or by needless ornaments. Waste no part of it in curiously adorning your houses; in superfluous or expensive furniture; in costly pictures, painting, gilding. . . . Lay out nothing to gratify the pride of life, to gain the admiration or praise of men. . . . ‘So long as thou doest well unto thyself, men will speak good of thee.’ So long as thou art ‘clothed in purple and fine linen,’ and farest ‘sumptuously every day,’ no doubt many will applaud thy elegance of taste, thy generosity and hospitality. But do not buy their applause so dear. Rather be content with the honor that cometh from God.–Wesley, Works, Sermon 50, The Use of Money. But in many churches of our time such teaching is disregarded. {GC 385.2}

This was the mentality of the Protestants. You can see how this has been lost.

The line of separation between the godly and the irreligious fades out into a kind of penumbra, and zealous men on both sides are toiling to obliterate all difference between their modes of action and enjoyment. The popularity of religion tends vastly to increase the number of those who would secure its benefits without squarely meeting its duties. {GC88 386.2}

In this tide of worldliness and pleasure-seeking, self-denial and self-sacrifice for Christ’s sake are almost wholly lost. Some of the men and women now in active life in our churches were educated, when children, to make sacrifices in order to be able to give or to do something for Christ. But if funds are wanted now, . . . nobody must be called on to give. Oh, no! have a fair, tableaux, a mock trial, an antiquarian supper, or something to eat, anything to amuse the people. {GC 387.1}

They are called to suffer with Christ, but they shrink from even reproach…. Apostasy, apostasy, apostasy, is engraven on the very front of every church; and did they know it, and did they feel it, there might be hope; but, alas! they cry, ‘We are rich, and increased in goods, and stand in need of nothing.’ –Second Advent Library, tract No. 39. {GC 388.1}

There is Babylon. As that is what we can see in the churches ever since that time through to now, we can see where ever followed, to those who do not make the changes. The first angel’s message was given to arouse the people to make the changes. If they don’t, the second angel’s message was given. The final fall, was written in Jude.

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: Come out of her, My people (Revelation 18:4). {GC 390.2}

God has got lovely people still in these churches but it has got to such a point in the end where the Revelation 18 stands to call them. These three angel’s messages are very important for us to study as they apply today. Here we have a description of apostate Protestantism so as we go through these messages we can learn identify what is around us. To come out of Babylon means to come out of those practises. Identify clearly what these apostasies are.

Amen

Posted on August 30, 2009, in 2nd Angels Message and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: