“We are not saved as a sect; no denominational name has any virtue”

By John Thiel

Isaiah 65:15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:

Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. DA p.107

We are not saved as a sect; no denominational name has any virtue to bring us into favor with God. We are saved individually as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” We may have our names recorded on the books of the most spiritual of the churches, and yet we may not belong to Christ, and our names may not be written on the Lamb’s book of life. RH, February 10, 1891 par. 5}

Jesus instructed His followers:

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Christ gave this commission to His disciples as His chief ministers, the architects who were to lay the foundation of His church. He laid upon them, and upon all who should succeed them as His ministers, the charge of handing His gospel down from generation to generation, from age to age. {8T 14.3}

If we are going to be His disciples in these last days then we are to have the same gospel and all its power that was initiated back there. It was to be passed on through age after age through succeeding generations as Jesus gave it back there.

The commission that Christ gave to His disciples just before His ascension is the great missionary charter of His kingdom. In giving it to the disciples, the Saviour made them His ambassadors and gave them their credentials. {8T 14.2}

Nowadays credentials are given to people in office by an organisation. Just like in the time of Christ the Pharisees were given credentials by the Jewish church. Who gave the disciples their credentials? The Jewish church? Jesus Christ gave them their credentials.

If, afterward, they should be challenged and asked by what authority they, unlearned fishermen, went forth as teachers and healers, they could reply: “He whom the Jews crucified, but who rose from the dead, appointed us to the ministry of His word, declaring, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.'” {8T 14.2}

Go ye therefore and teach all nations. Jesus gave unlearned fishermen their credentials. As in succeeding generations, the different churches have dismissed faithful ones. Who carries the credentials? The organisation or the faithful ones? It is the faithful ones that carry the credentials that Jesus has given them. The true disciples were decided by that and can be recognised by true disciples. What are the credentials that can be recognised by the world?

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

How is the world to identify the credentials? That they would see a people who demonstrate the true Jesus by the unity of each other in Jesus Christ. Those are the credentials of God’s church.

That the World May See

John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The credential is to be seen not by a piece of paper announcing I am a disciple of Christ.

It is God’s purpose that His people shall be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all around them. It is His purpose that, by exemplifying the truth in their lives, they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God’s people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can He make them a praise in the earth. {8T 14.1}

Exemplifying it where? A piece of paper? You can hold the gospel in profession but you haven’t got the credentials. The only way credentials can be recognised are by living out the gospel.

Only as they use their God-given capabilities in His service will they enjoy the fullness and power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand. If those who profess to believe in Christ as their Saviour reach only the low standard of worldly measurement, the church fails to bear the rich harvest that God expects. “Found wanting” is written upon her record. {8T 14.1}

When you start reading these things applicably you get shivers down your spine, where are these people? We know we can be a people as we have learnt by saying amen to everything God says. No amount of profession from whatever source it comes outside of the above, holds any authority.

But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority–not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support. {GC 595.1}

Did you notice go by a thus saith the Lord not the decisions of ecclesiastical counsels? What are ecclesiastical counsels? Church counsels which are built upon a research of what the bible says and then man drawing their own conclusions.

We Are God’s Church!

Are we not surrounded by churches that all claim we are Gods church? Numerous of them. They are all discordant with one another. In 1951 there was a discordant note in the SDA Reform Movement and all stood up defending themselves. It is no different to others and the credentials are lost when that happens. What is the standard, what is the credential? That there would be love. What love? Humanism? Humanism is a very lovely thing. It makes human beings feel loved. But humanism is not the love we are talking about.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

We know what that love is, God is love. Here is the qualification of the love that is our credentials. It is God because God is love. If you have a wrong concept of God as a dictator, authoritarian or as someone who punishes if you disobey him, as someone who does all sorts of harsh things if we don’t do what he says, that we will suffer his anger as we interpret it, we have a wrong concept of love. Let us examine the credentials if we are going to be Gods people of what we must have and what the true members of Gods church are distinguished by. What a challenge, we have to say amen to God because if we don’t we won’t carry the credentials.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love suffers long. The other characteristics are that it bears and endures all things and is kind. Think about it. Suffering at the hand of abuse. Do you ever become abused? Suffer and be kind, that is God. As we become mistreated, as I am misunderstood for what I’ve just been saying, suffer it and be kind. What does kind mean? You are making a statement and you bring it across so carefully and your statement is opposed, you are accused, now be kind to the person who has done that. If I’ve been sinned against, someone has done me a dirty, whatever it maybe, in the home, my husband has sinned against me. Or my wife has turned a cold shoulder to me. That is very hard to bear in a marriage. Love suffers it and is kind. That’s not natural is it? That’s God. Look at Gods bride. What has his bride done to him? Everything. Adultery, murder, abuse and he was kind. That is the credential.

Imitate your Redeemer in these things. Do not get excited when things go wrong. Do not let self arise, and lose your self-control because you fancy things are not as they should be. Because others are wrong is no excuse for you to do wrong. Two wrongs will not make one right. You have victories to gain in order to overcome as Christ overcame. {TDG 263.3}

Christ is our example in patience, in forbearance, in meekness and lowliness of mind. He was at variance and at war with the whole ungodly world, yet He did not give way to passion and violence manifested in words and actions, although receiving shameful abuse in return for good works. He was afflicted, He was rejected and despitefully treated, yet He retaliated not. He possessed self-control, dignity, and majesty. He suffered with calmness and for abuse gave only compassion, pity, and love. . . . {TDG 263.2}

Don’t you feel that after you have done someone a kind deed and you become abused after you have done a kind deed, don’t feel justified to be upset. Jesus carried the credentials and his body will carry the credentials.

Christ never murmured, never uttered discontent, displeasure, or resentment. {TDG 263.4}

What do we do when we are crossed? Murmur and feel discontent? That is not the credentials.

He was never disheartened, discouraged, ruffled, or fretted. He was patient, calm, and self-possessed under the most exciting and trying circumstances. All His works were performed with a quiet dignity and ease, whatever commotion was around Him. Applause did not elate Him. He feared not the threats of His enemies. He moved amid the world of excitement, of violence and crime, as the sun moves above the clouds. {TDG 263.4}

This is our credential if we are the body of Christ. What a different set of credentials that we usually think are the credentials. He was kind in these situations and we’ve just seen what that means.

Love Seeketh Not Her Own

In all these things your own self will seek its rights, is that not right? No, love does not seek its own rights. If I fight for my rights, I do not carry the credentials. Rights of any nature that I think I have a right to have this and the other. No, I don’t fight for that. Whatever it is, if you think within yourself, this is not fair, if you want the credentials, never ask for fairness, never. Remember it’s all surrender. I know the truth, and because I believe I have the truth I’ve got to make it public. That’s not the way you contend for the faith delivered to the saints. If others demand something of you in regards to accepting what they believe, you are silent, I know what I believe. I don’t have to hit them over the head with what I believe is true because I do not seek my own. Because of my love that God has installed therein, I will never envy. Love envies not. What is envy? When someone is praised in how he preached his sermon and another did his best and one is praised and the other is not. Love envieth not. Not fair is it?

Love is completely selfless. It’s happy when others are praised and it’s not and you are not fighting for your position. Position in the church matters not. If I don’t get any position in the church, I’m happy. And if you do, accept it as something that God has laid upon your shoulders. But that’s all. There is no envy. Because there is no envy and there is no seeking for self, then when I am in a position of leadership, love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. It does not practise show. There is no showmanship. We simply concentrate on focusing on Jesus and doing what he wants me to do. That is love, that is the credential. Then love does not behave itself unseemly. What does that mean? Have you ever had someone talking to you and what they are saying doesn’t make any sense? Sometimes the wife is talking to the husband and she has her monthly and the man says come on, love does not behave itself unseemly. Are you picking up?

Stupid things are happening around you, does that give you the right to say crazy, come on? Is that seemly behaviour? You see some strange things sometimes. Move on in love, let it sort itself out. You don’t need to get funny about it. There is no retort. No unseemly behaviour. If you take into other areas, you are so full of love that you are courteous about your communication of others. No rough gruff behaviour. Love is not easily provoked. If someone really needles and provokes you, just let it go and don’t grumble.

Love Thinketh No Evil

The worse thing in the church is when we start looking at each other critically. There is the moment that there is some suggestion of a wrong action or word and I immediately think oh trouble and evil here. Love puts the best construction on somebody’s questionable words and actions and thinketh no evil. It refuses to conclude negatively in its thoughts. That’s love.

The other part about it is that it believeth all things. How can I believe when someone lies to me? Yes you believe them if they lie to you. That is love. I’ve done it with my daughter. I knew she was lying but I believed her. Can you get your head around that? I acted as though what she said was true. Who got her, me or her? She got her. I was ready to take her in my arms and say I know what you meant.

It Rejoiceth Not In Iniquity

When someone that you know in your suspicious mind suddenly does something wrong, don’t say good now I’ve got them, serves them right. Rejoice in it, no. When someone is caught out with evil I do not rejoice in it. I do not rejoice in the evil that he has been caught out in. King David was caught out in evil. Did God stop loving him? No, God loved him still. When God does his strange work in destruction, remember what that is. That is man destroying himself and God doesn’t say good on them, now I’ve got rid of them.

He is grieved. God’s wrath is his grief. It’s different to us. If we take hold of these credentials and live them out, we are Gods church. Because we don’t vaunt ourselves, because we are not puffed up, because love doesn’t do that, we won’t say we are Gods church. That doesn’t come into the equation. We simply function as God’s church. These are the credentials. As we have contemplated, how do you feel? Do you love this? Do you want to embrace these credentials?


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 27/07/2012, in The Church of God. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sorry that should have been the True Jesus Church in China has grown since the 1990s, in less than 20 years, from a mere handful of followers to over 2 million Sabbath keepers!

    Now I am not being exclusivist and saying the mainstream SDA Church is the only vessel, although I believe it is still God’s organised instrument on earth for this time. However, the point is to illustrate how amazing the Holy Spirit can work in a few individual’s lives, including in other Sabbath-keeping churches?

    How does the SDA Reform Movement(s) compare? The fact that there are in fact two SDA Reform Churches (the American and IMS groups), should be an important point in itself.

  2. “Are we not surrounded by churches that all claim we are Gods church? Numerous of them. They are all discordant with one another. In 1951 there was a discordant note in the SDA Reform Movement and all stood up defending themselves.”

    What was the cause of this discord within the SDA Reform Movement? What are the doctrinal differences?

    My understanding is that the dispute was entirely about power, where one person wanted to rely on Eastern European proxies, and another man wanted to be President, and sought to deny those proxy votes. I once discussed this with an older man who was at that session, and he seemed to suggest it was indeed about power, not doctrine.

    Why have the SDA Reform Movements not healed their schism? What doctrinal gulf separates them?

    I agree pieces of paper and other credentials don’t mean much to God. Instead, the true test is found in Jesus’ words in Matt 7:15-20:

    “15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

    The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church is not perfect, but its fruits are self-evident:
    • World’s biggest private Protestant school system;
    • World’s biggest private Protestant health system;
    • Founder of the International Religious Liberty Organisation;
    • Operator one of the best-rated international disaster and relief agency (ADRA);
    • Dramatic growth, now over 20 million.

    What are the fruits of the spirit of the SDA Reform Movement? How is it helping to offer a practical gospel to the poor, sick and imprisoned of the world? How are its number’s growing?

    It would respectfully appear that it is more focused on internal in-fighting with its name-sake schism. Since the SDA Reform Movement has been around since 1918 (or 1951 depending upon your point of view), its numbers I believe are still under c.50,000. By contrast, Sabbath-keeping groups in China like the True Jesus Church have grown from one house church to over 2 million new Sabbath-keepers?

    Dispensing with all the theology, what does this judgment of fruits, as Christ commands us to do, tell us?


    The true gospel that is to bring true revival and reformation is this message you are proclaming. There are so many denominational names and religious ministries of which if carefully weighed on the balances will be found wanting. Much CONFUSION is experienced all over the world and not only is this in the Sunday Keeping denominations, but Satan has secretly entered into our ranks and the very ELECT OF GOD are being taken by storm. NAMES or TITLES will not be recognized in heaven. The Bible says that- JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO ONE COMETH UNTO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY HIM.THE Central message of the EVERLASTING GOSPEL should be CHRIST CENTERED. God bless you guys for your efforts to bring prominently this message to the world.

  1. Pingback: song recording: “perfect” (miracle of God) « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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