4. The First Advent and Succeeding Generations

By John Thiel, Light in a Dark Place Seminar, Study 4, mp3

Isaiah 8:12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all [them to] whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

There was a question that was placed in my mind when I was speaking to some of the leaders of this church, “Why do you people have so many conferences? Once a year is good enough.” Once a year is good enough, I was told, but here we are besides that having a seminar. Some visitors are here, and some are longing to be here. Why should we be here to have these kinds of meetings to sacrifice time and funds to spend time together like this?

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Is the day of Jesus approaching? Is it right upon us? Shouldn’t we gather so much the more? This is not a waste of time. It is incumbent upon us to remain in close attention to cling to every word that proceeds from God’s mouth today, so that we will not lose one pin or one iota of God’s word that is relevant for us at this moment. We are to learn what God expects us to do at this time of peril in God’s church. It is important that we draw conclusions of appreciation from the word of God. It is our only source of conclusions as to the directions we should take. If we take any other source, we don’t know if that will lead us in the right way. I have sought all my life to know exactly where Jesus wants me to be. It is my burden that we will be very attentive in seeking from God’s word.

During this seminar we are exploring prophecies illuminating God’s church since the first advent. The seven churches take us right through to the very imminent coming of Jesus. We will especially be focusing at the end of this seminar on the very details of the closing scenes of God’s church. We are here pursuing the church of Jesus Christ leading to its final transition into the church triumphant. It is present truth that we are interested in understanding.

Present Truth is Always a Problem

It’s easy to understand past truth, and many people think they understand future truth, but present truth is always a problem.

Opposition is the lot of all whom God employs to present truths especially applicable to their time. There was a present truth in the days of Luther,–a truth at that time of special importance; there is a present truth for the church today. He who does all things according to the counsel of His will has been pleased to place men under various circumstances and to enjoin upon them duties peculiar to the times in which they live and the conditions under which they are placed. If they would prize the light given them, broader views of truth would be opened before them. {GC 143.3}

This is our privilege today. Notice that it is never appreciated, and there is opposition for us if we pursue this. “There was a present truth in the days of Luther,” and “there is a present truth for the church today.” That is what we want to understand. This understanding is gained through the unravelling of prophecy

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Prophecy is a sure word. Why? Jesus said, I have told you before, so that when it comes to pass, you may know that it is I (cf. John 13:19). What is the Spirit of Prophecy?

The Testimony of Jesus

He says, I told you before, so that when it comes to pass, you know it’s Me. Jesus said, I am with you until the end of the world. I am with you. And the prophecy is the light, the day star that shines in a dark place. It is the testimony of Jesus. There was a present truth, a prophecy to recognise Jesus, in every generation. When Jesus came at His first advent to this planet, there was prophecy for them to recognise Him. Did they? Very few recognised Him. There were two people, who were they? Simeon and Anna. They recognised it. The wise men, they were following the star, the bright Morning Star – they were non-members of the church. And so it is that Jesus, the true Jesus, is the One that people stumble over all the time.

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary;

He is for a sanctuary, but what?

Isaiah 8:14 …but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

This scripture has bothered me for years, until the Lord shed a light on it. I pray that we will be able to see that light. Jerusalem was the headquarters of God’s church when Jesus was on earth, and there were two houses of Israel. We remember that Israel was originally the twelve tribes, and then the kingdom was split after King Solomon, Jeroboam and Rehoboam became kings over what became the two houses (See 1 Kings 12).

Both the Houses of Israel

The ten tribes were one house of Israel, and Judah and Benjamin were the other house of Israel. The splitting of the house of God was a preemptive situation. And, as we will discern, this has been the case throughout history in God’s church. Jesus became a stumbling block to both the houses of Israel. What I am sharing with you here is vital to our understanding, and that is why I am saying, Let us be very diligent and follow very closely the written word:

Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

The Saviour of the world a stumbling block, to whom? To both the houses of Israel. That prophetic statement was fulfilled exactly at the time of Jesus’ first advent.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

That was present truth at the first advent.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

He came unto His own, and His own received him not – How did the two houses of Israel at that moment become identified as those who found Him as a stumbling block? It is very fascinating to read the discussion that Jesus had with the woman of Samaria, at the well. Here we see the two houses of Israel at the present time of Jesus’ first advent. What did the Samaritan woman believe?

John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

What question was she asking? “Which is the right house of God?” “Which is the right church?” Is that the question we are asking too, in today’s time? Jesus answers her very capably:

You Worship You Know Not What

John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what:

Who was He speaking to? To the fallen house of Israel. They were already corrupt; they had mingled paganism together with their religious worship. “Ye worship ye know not what.”

John 4:22 …we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

What did He say about the Jewish church? That is where you get salvation; that is God’s church. At the present time Jerusalem was the mountain where salvation came from. At that present. But He says something else, which was present truth, at that time:

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

What is Jesus saying at that present time? Where is God’s church? Jerusalem. That is God’s church. But He said, neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, shall they worship the Father, because the day is coming, and now is, that people who are truly going to worship God correctly are going to worship Him, not in mountains of organisational strongholds, but in spirit and in truth. This delineation is a foundation for our mind as we go on studying during this seminar – the two houses of Israel, the two churches vying for recognition.

Jesus had said to the woman already, Salvation is through Jerusalem, through the Jewish church, but the day is coming, and now is, when things will be different:

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

He is talking about the parable of the vineyard. He had asked them, What will we do to these husbandmen who haven’t been doing their work right? They had said, The householder will throw them out; He said, You said right. This is the time now, this is the present truth, that the kingdom of God is going to be taken away from you church leaders, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. They were vying for positioning as being God’s church, and Jesus said, Sorry, you can vie for position as long as you like, but it is now that the kingdom is going to be taken away from you, and given to another nation. Who were these people, this other nation bringing forth the fruits thereof? Who was this nation that He gave the kingdom to?

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Who did He give the kingdom to? To those who received Jesus Christ. He was a stumbling block to the church; He was a stumbling block to the Samaritans. He was a stumbling block to so many people, but to them that received Him, they were the choice of God. They were born of God, and they received power to be the sons of God. He gave it to a nation. And who received Jesus? It was the apostles, and all those that were under their influence and opened their hearts to Him after He had left. They received Jesus. What sort of a nation were they?

Galatians 3:29 And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If ye be Christ’s – those who received Jesus Christ, who are they? Abraham’s seed. Are they Israel? Was Israel Abraham’s seed? Absolutely. This is again expressed:

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Who are they? They are Israel. Everyone who receives Jesus Christ is a true Israelite. This is why the beginning of the book of James was thus written. Who was the book of James written to? Wasn’t it written to the New Testament church? What did he call them?

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The story of Israel, the twelve tribes, is not only in the Old Testament. According to what we have been reading, it is those who receive Christ Jesus; they are Abraham’s seed. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and said, You are not Abraham’s seed. They said, Yes we are, according to fleshly lineage, we are. But the true Israel are those who are children of promise, like Isaac was. But people keep on missing that point. God’s church, God’s Israel, are the people who are of the faith of Abraham. The statement Jesus made to the Jews about the vineyard connects us with them even today:

The parable of the vineyard applies not alone to the Jewish nation. It has a lesson for us. The church in this generation has been endowed by God with great privileges and blessings, and He expects corresponding returns. {COL 296.2}

Because they didn’t bring forth the fruits thereof Jesus said to them, It is going to be taken from you, and be given to a nation that is going to bear the fruits. Sr. White says, “The parable of the vineyard applies not alone to the Jewish nation. It has a lesson for us.” “The church in this generation” – that is when Sr. White wrote this, we are now four generations after. “The church in this generation has been endowed by God with great privileges and blessings, and He expects corresponding returns.” We see that God’s word is telling us that the church after the advent of Christ was the house of Israel. How many tribes were included in it? Twelve tribes. Thus Jesus launched out His New Testament church, and it is those who worship God in spirit and in truth. That is God’s Israel. That is God’s church – those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. What were they called?

1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious:

Unto them who believe He is not a stumbling block.

1 Peter 2:7 …but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word,

These are very important words. Everything we are reading is very important for us to understand and build our appreciation on. He is a stone of stumbling to them who stumble at the word,

1 Peter 2:8 …being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,

Israel, the nation of Israel, those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. What are they?

1 Peter 2:9 …a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God:

I give it to another nation that will bring forth the fruits thereof. Here are they, those who believe, who don’t stumble at the word, and who love present truth. In times past we were not there, but now we are what? The people of God.

1 Peter 2:10 …which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

The people that are the Israel of God, the holy nation, these people are those who receive Christ; they believe in Him in spirit and in truth. They are a chosen generation, they are a peculiar people; they were in darkness, but were illuminated, called out of darkness into His marvellous light. These are all important points. They are not just words to read over smoothly. They have an important reference to our appreciation as to where God’s church is today. It is exactly the same.

The church is God’s fortress. His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. {AA 11.2}

Any betrayal of the church – This is why there are church organisations that belong under the E. G. White statements, that say, See, this is what you are doing if you betray us as a church. But what is Sr. White talking about? What is the Spirit of God talking about? The church that is built on spirit and truth. This is the church:

From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. {AA 11.2}

Who are the members of God’s church, and what is God’s church? It is not in this mountain, neither in the other, but it is those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is the church, from the beginning, the faithful ones.

In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. {AA 11.2}

Which one is it today?

These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. {AA 11.2}

Through centuries of persecution, conflict, and darkness, God has sustained His church. {AA 11.3}

What was their name? Israel, the twelve tribes.

God Has Foreseen

Not one cloud has fallen upon it that He has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork His work, that He has not foreseen. {AA 11.3}

Isn’t that a comfort? What we are going through today, He has foreseen. God has seen exactly what His people who have accepted Him in spirit and in truth are going through, what they, in every succeeding generation, would experience.

All has taken place as He predicted. He has not left His church forsaken, but has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur, {AA 11.3}

Isn’t that powerful? Prophecy is a more sure word, because in every succeeding generation, whatever will happen, for what happened in the time when Jesus was there, and for the succeeding generations, prophetic detail was laid out so that what the people went through they could identify in the prophecy, “Here, this is what we are going through!” It was chronicled.

…and that which His Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell has been brought about. All His purposes will be fulfilled. {AA 11.3}

When Jesus said, I am going to be with you to the end of the world, do you think that what we are going through today might yet be chronicled in prophecy? This is what this seminar is about. Our purpose is to identify the generations that have brought us to this generation, and to see the constant repetition of the two houses of Israel in every succeeding generation, and to find it today.

God “has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur.” What and where is this prophetic tracing to be discovered, this delineation of the church going through its experiences? Where is it traced? You will find it especially centred in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, and all the other prophetic revelations of Revelation link in together with it.

The Seven Church Prophecy

The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the word. {AA 585.3}

This is one of the most fascinating studies if we want to know the Israel of God through the successive generations. What is delineated in these seven churches? The condition of the church, and her experiences during those seven periods from the beginning, after the first advent, to the very end of the world. With what earnestness, with what interest God’s people should be studying this. Imagine yourself to be in the Dark Ages when the church that claimed to be God’s church was persecuting and burning at the stake those who wanted to live true to God and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Imagine yourself in that scene. We think we are having a hard time today? What a hopeless state of an experience did the church of God have during the Thyatira period. But it was all chronicled. We have in Revelation 12 a beautiful rundown, a summary, of the experience of the church in one swoop, after the seven churches had been delineated. The picture commences with this beautiful description of the woman:

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

This was the first advent, and then the experience of Jesus and His people.

Ephesus and Smyrna

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].

This is the pagan persecution from Ephesus to Smyrna, and especially in Smyrna.

Pergamos and Thyatira

Then comes Pergamos, and Thyatira, under papal persecution. Here is the description in a fleeting glass:

Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The 1260 Days

Revelation 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 

Here we have a description through the American situation right from the beginning. Now we come to the last part:

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.

Can you see the sweeping picture here? Verse 17 is an important, prophetic identification to help us today.

Ephesus

This is the first period of God’s church, just after the advent. It describes her experience about being a people who had their first love but then lost it. This is all dealing with the twelve tribes that James was writing to.

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

They were running along as a church. First, Ephesus, then the next period, Smyrna, which was the period of persecution:

Smyrna

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.

The word synagogue is the place of worship in the Jewish understanding. Here are the Israel of God, and He says, I know some people that say they are Israel, that they are the Jews, but they are blaspheming. They say they are Jews, but they are not at all. They say they are God’s church, but they are not at all. It was in the Smyrna period that the beginning of this rumbling took place.

Pergamos

Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan’s seat [is]:

The headquarters of the church were taken to Rome – Satan’s seat. The pagan Rome had been turned into Christian Rome under Constantine. This is still the twelve tribes, but there is something serious happening here:

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 stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

He is giving them a story of Israel and applying it to them.

Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Repent – He is calling upon the twelve tribes to repent. Now we come to the next period of Thyatira, and notice what happened. What happened in the prophetic picture of the church as it went on?

Thyatira

Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first. 

He is writing to God’s church, and He identifies something here:

Jezebel

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.

What did we read in Pergamos? You have a doctrine among you, the doctrine of Balaam, who seduced the people. It had to do with eating things sacrificed unto idols, and committing fornication, and that followed with the Israelites. They were embracing paganism. Now in the Thyatira period, He says, You have a woman there, Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Who is He talking about? Wasn’t it Pergamos? What did He say to her? “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Did she repent? It says here that He gave her time to repent, but she did not. What have you seen here in Israel? Can you see the rising of one of the houses of Israel, like Samaria? Part of the tribes have become Samaritans, the very same thing that the ten tribes of Israel had done. They intermingled paganism with their religious worship of God, and that became Samaria. That was that house of Israel, and here you can see it arising once again.

Revelation 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have [already] hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Here you have the faithful ones that overcome, and in Thyatira they are bombarded by Jezebel – the papal church. What will He do with this church?

Revelation 2:22 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 are others that will lie down with her. The church that was once God’s faithful church is a city. What is written of the city of God’s church in the past? It is very important that we follow this line-up carefully because the principle of Jesus with the two houses of Israel is developing here, and we need to understand it very well:

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

What was jezebel? An harlot. The faithful city has become an harlot. You can see her in Revelation chapter seventeen:

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. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Babylon, the Mother of harlots. Who was she? Jezebel/Samaria/ the ten tribes that went astray. But there was a remnant that continued – the faithful ones.

What was the origin of the great apostasy? How did the church first depart from the simplicity of the gospel? {GC 384.5}

This was a beautiful church, those who worshipped God in spirit and in truth. What happened?

By conforming to the practices of paganism, to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the heathen. The apostle Paul declared, even in his day, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7. {GC 384.5}

It was happening within the church. Here is the key:

During the lives of the apostles the church remained comparatively pure. But “toward the latter end of the second century most of the churches assumed a new form; the first simplicity disappeared, and insensibly, as the old disciples retired to their graves, their children, along with new converts, . . . came forward and new-modeled the cause.”–Robert Robinson, Ecclesiastical Researches, ch. 6, par. 17, p. 51. {GC 384.5}

This is the way that she became Jezebel.

Don’t Go To Extremes

To secure converts, the exalted standard of the Christian faith was lowered, {GC 384.5}

The exalted standard – “It’s not so important. Don’t be so fussy; it’s going to extremes.” Here is the issue:

…and as the result “a pagan flood, flowing into the church, carried with it its customs, practices, and idols.” –Gavazzi, Lectures, page 278. {GC 384.5}

There was the generation of the development of one of the houses of Israel – Samaria. They claimed themselves to be the church, just like Samaria did. “Our fathers said we should worship in this mountain!” That is exactly what the Catholic Church says, “We are the original church, this is the mountain!” Can you hear them saying it? Just like Samaria did. There was the first separation. The faithful were the Jews and the Benjaminites, and the other tribes were the other house. This is the development of it. There is no new thing under the sun. How did it happen? The children of the apostles, and the new converts, new-modelled the church.

The Rising of the Faithful – the Faithful Tribes

What came forth out of Thyatira? Wasn’t it the Reformers? The Waldenses, the Huguenots, Martin Luther, etc.

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: … 28 And I will give him the morning star.  

I will give him the morning star – Through what will the morning star arise in your heart? Through the prophecies. The Protestants, the Reformers, studied prophecy; and what did they declare that woman to be? She was Babylon, and they recognised her to be just that. Jesus gave them the morning star through the prophecies. They recognised where they stood.

Sardis

This is now the church after Thyatira, in 1798:

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,

Go back to the Dark Ages, where the day star arose in your hearts.

Revelation 3:3 …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. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

This is what has happened in the Protestant church. What has happened? You are dying, you are ending up like the churches you’ve just come from. You are also defiling your garments. But again, out of her come others. Here we see that the decline of the apostolic church took a long time. But now the Protestant churches come out of the Dark Ages, and as soon as it comes to the end of the Dark Ages they very quickly deteriorate again. That generation does it a bit faster. And we will see, as we go on, that each generation does it a bit faster.

Has not the same process been repeated in nearly every church calling itself Protestant? As the founders, those who possessed the true spirit of reform, pass away, their descendants come forward and “new-model the cause.” While blindly clinging to the creed of their fathers and refusing to accept any truth in advance of what they saw, the children of the reformers depart widely from their example of humility, self-denial, and renunciation of the world. {GC 385.1}

What happened? Just like Judah and Benjamin, the Protestant faithful were the second house of Israel. Samaria was there (the Catholic Church), and now come the Protestants – the Jews and the Benjaminites. They are both houses of Israel.

1833 to 1844 – Philadelphia

We come to the period of 1833 to 1844, and lo and behold, we see the faithful ones, as we read in Isaiah 8, Seal the law among my disciples. There were the two houses of Israel, and the true disciples. This is the outline of the period of Philadelphia.

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews,

Here it is again, people who say, “We are Jews, we are a church.”

Revelation 3:9 …and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

You know the history of the Philadelphia period. What happened to them? Jezebel and the Protestant churches repelled them. 50,000 were separated from the fellowship of the Protestant churches. Here were the disciples, the faithful ones, and the two houses of Israel that rejected their presentation. The history is repeated as in the Israel of old. There is nothing new.

The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time. {GC 343.1}

Keep this particular statement in your mind. There are striking similarities. What does striking mean? You see it exactly the same, but just with different names, different people, and different generations. But the way that the Jews and the Samaritans interacted with each other is the way that the Protestants and the Catholics interact with one another; and then there are the faithful ones that don’t have anything to do with it, the disciples of Jesus in the time of the first advent. It’s always the same.

There are striking similarities in each succeeding generations, as the Jews rejected Jesus, as the Samaritan leadership did as well, so they also did it in the Philadelphian period. Here it is:

As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. {DA 232.2}

Who are the ecclesiastical authorities? They are the church. Ecclesia means church. The authorities of the church are the ministers and leaders. What did they do? They rejected the light and life of men.

Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience. {DA 232.2}

This is a powerful statement, and it is applicable repetitiously. Will it be repeated in the church history that follows after 1844, in the development we have lined up of papal, Protestant churches, and the faithful? Is this going to be repeated? This is what we will seek to understand.

Amen.

Posted on June 1, 2010, in Light in a Dark Place of the Remnant Church, The Two Houses of Israel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The messages her ear etimely and applicable to our time.May the lord open up our minds so that we can comprehend the truth as it is in Jesus.keep up the good works

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