Adventists In Apostasy


Audio: mp3

Can such a thing happen? You might think yes. Of course there are certain Adventists that have gone into apostasy, they’ve left the church and they don’t come to church anymore, therefore they are in apostasy.

We often think when we have this question, Adventists in apostasy, immediately we look around at other people and think, ‘look what they are doing’ and all these bad things that people do proves that they are in apostasy. Today’s message is designed not to look at other people but to consider ourselves whether we are in apostasy or not. I believe that the word of God encourages us to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith. There is often too much examining about this and not enough of examining ourselves. The question is Adventist in apostasy, are you in apostasy?

Revelation 2:2 speaks of the beginning of the seven church periods in revelation. During the seven church periods there is a problem that appears at the beginning and at the end of the church.

Revelation 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

This was in the time of Ephesus, the first hundred years of the Christian church. Moving in to the Smyrna time in Revelation 2:9 we see another problem is still there:

Revelation 2:9 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.

Here in two of these time periods we see Christ is saying that there are people in the church who make a profession that they are Christians and apostles and God’s people and they are clearly not.

As you keep going through the church period you come to the second last one in the time of Philadelphia church period which as students of prophecy we understand that this time period is the time period surrounding 1844. Notice right at the time of the judgment at the end, what is the problem that Christ points out still?

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

For those who have studied the Great Controversy by Ellen White, this event hasn’t taken place yet. Is that correct? It is to take place during the seven last plagues after the great earthquake.

Revelation 3:9 …I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not…

Here in prophecy Jew is none other than God’s people. Here are people saying they are God’s people and Christ clearly says they are not but they are of the synagogue of Satan. You think, Wow! That is an extreme difference. If you are a true Adventist, surely you are not a Satan worshipper. They are totally different. How could you ever been mistaken of being a worshipper of Satan and calling yourself one of God’s people? Could that mistake ever be made?

Revelation 2:9 …they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.

Synagogue of Satan

The word synagogue is just the word for church – so they are of the church of Satan. How is it possible that a person claims to be in the light of the truth and yet Christ says they are of the church of Satan? It is easy to be done because it’s been done from the beginning of the seven church period right to the end, people claiming to be God’s people and they are not.

Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth [it] swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh [to him] seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first.

Here is a person. He’s been devil possessed and has been ruled by Satan himself/evil spirits and then he comes and gets cleansed. What experience do you go through to have that happen – to be cleansed from evil spirits? Who is the only one that has the power of cleaning out evil spirits? It is Jesus Christ. Here is a person who’s been used of Satan under the services of Satan and then comes to Christ and is released. He actually has a genuine Christian experience; then after his genuine Christian experience worse demon control comes and takes him and his second state is worse than the first.

The garnished house represents the self-righteous soul. Satan is driven out by Christ. But he returns, in the hope of finding entrance. He finds the house empty, swept, and garnished. Only self-righteousness is abiding there. “Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Self-righteousness is a curse, a human embellishment, which Satan uses for his glory. Those who garnish the soul with self-praise and flattery, prepare the way for the seven other spirits more wicked than the first. In their very reception of the truth these souls deceive themselves. They are building upon a foundation of self-righteousness. {RH December 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 6}

Here is a person who receives the truth and in receiving the truth becomes proud in the fact that they’ve got the truth. In the very reception of the truth they deceive themselves. In that state it is a human embellishment for Satan. It sounds like the church of Satan and indeed it is.

The prayers of congregations may be offered to God with a round of ceremonies; but if they are offered in self-righteousness, God is not honored by them. The Lord declares, “I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.” In spite of all their display, Satan comes in with a troop of evil angels, and takes possession of the garnished habitation…
{RH December 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 7}

An individual has a genuine experience with the Lord, receives the truth and then gets very proud about having the truth. That pride, the self flattery, the display, the church rounds of ceremonies, the prayers of the congregation still goes on but a troop of evils spirits is inhabiting in that person, seven others worse than themselves, and thus becoming the church of Satan. All this leads to a certain mentality and that mentality is religious pride and patriotism where we become so attached to the vehicle of the truth that we can sacrifice the truth itself. It happened in the Jewish days. Did the Jews have the truth that God gave them? Did God give them truth?

Jesus declared to the Samaritan woman as she was asking, ‘who is the true church? Was it the Samaritan or the Jews?’ Christ said the Samaritans don’t know who they are worshipping but salvation is of the Jews showing that the Jews had a more pure delivery of truth than the Samaritans did: But Christ said, but the hour will come and now is that God is looking for people to worship Him in spirit and in truth. He bypasses Jerusalem because within Jerusalem there was a system of religious pride that developed because of having the truth that made them the synagogue of Satan.

They were saying they were Jews and they were Jews. They were circumcised, they were born Jews but they weren’t. They were actually the tools of Satan. Given time, the system develops. The system of truth is housed inside cooperation, an institution and that institution is very proud that it has the truth. Then certain mentalities start setting in and that is that this system will never fall. Did the Jews believe that their religion would ever come to an end that their ceremonies and all they did would ever stop? They studied the Bible and had their texts that showed that Jerusalem was going to be inhabited for eternity. They prided themselves in the fact that they could never fall. Adventism unfortunately has done the same thing.

You need to have the truth to be able to be proud about it. You need to have a certain genuine religious experience to have the breeding ground for the worse deception. This is why Lucifer fell from heaven. He was next to God. Was he beautiful? Yes. Was it a lie to think he was too beautiful? No, it was true, but that truth applied to the benefit of me and making me above others. That was what Satan did. The Jews did it. As the Christian church developed, was Christianity built on truth? What system came out of Christianity? The Papacy did. Are they proud about their heritage? Have they changed? Have they shifted? Has their organisation shifted in their belief? Yes they have; but have the organization structures stayed there? Yes it has. What are people clinging to, the structure or the truth? They are clinging to the structure because they had the pride mentality that ‘we have the truth therefore we are ok.’ So, Adventism has had been delivered to them the pure truth of the three angels’ messages. Over time a structure has been read. Is it possible that we can be loyal to a structure and not the truth just like the Jewish mentality?

If you were a Jew, if you put yourself in this mindset, we look back at history and think, ‘if I was in Christ’s day I would have accepted Christ’ but if we have an institutionalized patriot mentality we wouldn’t have received Christ at all.

John 7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

The division of opinion within the members of the Jewish church, what they are thinking of this young provoking Jewish rabbi, this carpenter’s son and someone is like, ‘yea, I really like His teachings and His miracles. He is a good man’ and others were like ‘He is tricking everyone. He is drawing them away from the church.’

John 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Why were they afraid of the Jews? These are the leaders. The common people of the church were afraid of the leadership. Why? Christ wasn’t acknowledged by the leadership. In fact He was dis-fellowshipped from the church. He was not on the membership roll of the Jewish church. When He preached in Nazareth they kicked Him out. They cast Him out of the synagogue. It didn’t mean that they just removed His body but they actually removed Him. Christ spoke about those who put you out of their company for the truth’s sake.

Fear of the Jews

There is another story where a blind man is healed by Christ and confesses Christ and the Jews challenged him about the source of his healing to see if he was going to honor Christ. In this he honored Christ and declares who healed him but the Jews didn’t want to admit that Christ is someone special. So, they goes to his parents and asks them, ‘is this your son who was born blind and was he really healed by Jesus?’ They were questioning the parents. What did the parents answer these leaders of the church?

John 9:20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These [words] spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

Here is this mentality that the people had to be very loyal to the church. If they were going to do anything that the church didn’t approve of they were afraid to do it for fear of the Jews because they were going to be put out. The discussion was is Christ a good man or is He not? Some people said no, He is drawing them away from the church, some people said He is good but nobody had the courage to stand up and confess Him. Why? They didn’t want to be dis-fellowshipped. They didn’t want to be put on the outcasts of the church or put on the edge like ‘you are not really a Jew if you do that. This is the mentality that happens when the truth is placed in a system. They system develops over time and the leaders and people have the sense of the religious pride or national pride because they have the truth. Then you get bound to the vehicle that carried it.

Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus also didn’t confess Christ openly for a time, they did it eventually. Praise God! But at first here we see in verse 38;

John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots and the Essenes

He was following Jesus secretly because there was fear of this institutionalized mentality. There were divisions within the Jewish church in Jesus’ day. There were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots and the Essenes. If you look at the attitude, the characteristics of the division, the social make-up of the Jewish nation you’ll see a great parallel within Adventism.

The Pharisees were like the conservative ones. They were the conservative Adventists that really stood for the basic principles and the obvious things that they considered themselves the obedient ones and all the liberal ones were the rebel ones. This was a large section of the Jewish church. Then we had the Sadducees which were very liberal. They were very community-based. They snuggled up to the government a lot. They were mingling with the communities of the Roman emperor and making their religion felt in that unity way with compromising, not being too distinct but yet being distinct enough and being liberal. Then you have the zealots which had a military mentality. When they saw Levi and Simeon and how they stood up for the right when their daughter was taken by one of the heathen princes, they went with violence. Elijah made a reformation and caused all the prophets to be killed. There was this room, malicious attitude within the zealots. They were like the activist mentality, like the independent mentality where you just go and tell them straight. You go and bash the Catholics and bash all these people and give them a hard time in a real forceful aggressive way.

Then you have the Essenes who were very holy people who didn’t want to mingle with people that didn’t like their standards. They were very secluded people and didn’t want to rub up with sinners because they had such bad standards and they weren’t holy people and if they spend time with the publicans and harlots … they kept it to themselves. This class is also found in Adventism today.

Jesus and the Disciples

Then you had Jesus and His disciples which were going around and preaching the message – the Kingdom of God is at hand – repent. Their message was repentance and be ready for Jesus to come. That was the heart of their message. Jesus lived it and caused His disciples to also live it. The disciples got this ‘we are right’ thing too. When Jesus and His disciples went to Jerusalem, they went via a village in Samaria. The Samaritans didn’t want Jesus and so the disciples were like; ‘let’s burn the place because they’ve rejected us.’ There was this ‘we are the right people and they are wrong.’ This is human nature. Whenever someone takes hold of the truth there is immediately the deception that creeps in that ‘we are right and everyone else is wrong.’ This creates the synagogue of Satan.

Jesus’ Mentality

Luke 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

Here was this person who was doing this work but he wasn’t part of our group so we told him he should do it. Do you ever see that? What causes this way of thinking? Satan causes this way of thinking. What does Jesus say?

Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid [him] not: for he that is not against us is for us.

Don’t worry about him. Don’t forbid him. If he is doing the right work then he is with us. It is not about being part of our group. It is about doing the right thing. I believe we’ve lost sight of that in our society today to a great degree. It causes us to be in Adventist and yet be in apostasy because we can say that we are Adventists and we are not. An Adventist Christian is someone who wants to be ready for Jesus to come. If you want to be ready for Jesus to come, whose image do we have to display – the Pharisees’ image, the Jewish church image, the Catholic’s church image of hierarchical prowess or Jesus image? We need to reflect Jesus image. That means that what matters is the truth as it is in Jesus. If people follow the truth as it is in Jesus and they are not part of our group don’t worry. Praise God that they have the truth as it is in Jesus. If they don’t have the truth as it is in Jesus, it doesn’t matter what group they belong to, they can claim whatever they like because the Bible says that the truth shall set you free.

There were two sons and Jesus said, ‘go and work in my vineyard.’ One said, yes I will go and he didn’t go. The other one said, ‘no I won’t go’ and then he went. Who did God’s will? The second one did. Within the scope of religion and religious bodies that is not so obvious it seems. It seems like I can say, I’m an Adventist because I’ve been baptized in Adventist and yet have nothing of the attitude of Christ and separation of the world and my own personal experience with Jesus and still call myself an Adventist. My profession means nothing if I don’t live it.

Paul was a very zealous patriotic Jew but Christ had to convert him. When Christ impacted his life look what attitude he had when it came to religious institutions.

Romans 2:22 Thou sayest a man shalt not commit adultery, thou that abhors idols, does thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makes boast of the law through breaking the law dishonoreth thy God for the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through you as it is written; for circumcision verily profiteth if thou keep the law. But if thou be a breaker of the law thy circumcision is made un-circumcision.
Therefore if circumcision keeps the righteousness of the law shall not his un-circumcision be counted for circumcision?
And shalt not un-circumcision which is by nature if it fulfills the law judge thee who by the letter and circumcision doeth transgress the law? For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly neither that circumcision which is outward in the flesh but he is a Jew which is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit and not of the letter whose praise is not of men but of God.

This is a people who boast to keep the law. Does Adventism claim to keep the Ten Commandments? Is it used as a boastful thing to identify itself? Yes indeed; but it’s come to a point in Adventism where we believe as long as you go to church on Saturday you are a commandment keeper; as if going to church on Saturday is keeping the Sabbath and assuming that is all you need to do.

Those who make a claim to keep God’s but break God’s law, blasphemes God’s name among the gentiles. If I keep the law it proves my circumcision. If I don’t keep the law, then my circumcision is un-circumcision. In other words, if I don’t practice entirely the three angels’ messages then my claim that I am in the church, my record on church’s roll means nothing towards God. God will say, ‘he says he is a Seventh-day Adventist but he is lying. He is not. He is actually of the church of the devil. That is how it would translate if we’d put it from the Jewish system into the Adventists system which is extremely similar.

If someone claims to be an Adventist and they are not on the roll of the Seventh-day Adventist church are they an Adventist? Most people say they are not. How could you say you are a Seventh-day Adventist if you are not on the church roll? Does being on the church roll make you a Seventh-day Adventist is the question.

What makes you a Seventh-day Adventist?

It is keeping the commandments of God, the faith of Jesus and waiting for Jesus to come, being ready for Jesus to come. That makes you a Seventh-day Adventist. If someone is not in the Seventh-day Adventist church and does not have his name on the roll of the Seventh-day Adventist church and yet practices the three angels’ messages, not just talks about them and names everything he does, but actually lives the three angels’ messages then he is a Seventh-day Adventist. If the church doesn’t want to recognise him that is fine because the church didn’t recognise Jesus in His day either yet if there was ever a Jew that was truly a Jew it wouldn’t have been Jesus.

A Seventh-day Adventist requires an internal reality to be one. To be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian means to be a Jew inwardly. It is the same thing.

The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world. A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people but divisions will come in the church two parties will be developed the wheat and the tares grow up together for the harvest. The work will grow deeper and become more earnest at the very close of time and all who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered at the saints. They will not be turned from the present message which is already right in the earth with his glory. Nothing is worth contending for but for the glory of God the only rock that will stand is the rock of ages, the truth as it is in Jesus, the refuge in these last days of error. {2 SM 114}

Two parties will be developed – the wheat and the tares – become more and more distinct as the separation goes on. It simply means true, internal Seventh-day Adventist Christians and one is just on the name on the books. This will become more and more distinct. Whether the church wants to recognise it or not is not the point. The scripture has declared it.

Patriotism is love of self. ‘I love my country because it is my country.’ If you didn’t live in that country you wouldn’t love it. If you were not born an Australian, if you were born in some other countries why would you be patriotic about Australia? You would be patriotic about your country because it is yours. So, I love my church because it is mine, because I am here. That is why I love it. That is what patriotism is. It is the full manifestation of self whereas we want to contend for the truth, for the faith.

A lot of people have gone through the words of the prophet and picked out the statements that they love that will say things like the church will never fall, it will appear like it will fall but won’t fall and the church is not Babylon and can never be Babylon. All these statements people take to protect or comfort themselves and say, as long as I am a Seventh-day Adventist in the church as a church goer, I will be okay. What a blessed day when Jesus will come because He will come and take every Seventh-day Adventist on the church books. At least that is the underlying mentality that has crept in today. What we need to do is to examine ourselves whether I am internally experiencing the three angels’ messages or not.

The Jews had their set of scriptures too – the writings of prophets. They had their little statements that they would use. If one member was thinking of following Christ, the Pharisees would come and say, ‘look here, these statements from Jeremiah and Isaiah that the church will go through to the end.’ They had all that too but the problem was they didn’t take all the statements and balance them all together as Christ and His disciples did. The disciples were hoping as they were on the road to Emmaus, they were sad because they hoped that Christ was the Messiah that was to redeem Israel. What did Christ say to them? ‘Oh, fools who are so hard to believe all that the prophet had spoken.’ No just your favorite little quotes that you like, all of them. When we see all of them we get a picture, ‘it is entirely different to what people thought.

What does it mean to be a Seventh-day Adventist?

…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… {EW 258.3}

Notice in this statement what the prophet had to say. I pray that we can not be foolish that we can believe all that the prophets have spoken. Here the prophet says that there are three steps. Your salvation hangs on understanding the three messages. Do you understand them? Not just to know them and how to recite them off the Bible text, do you actually understand what they are saying? Second, it is not just understanding what they are saying but notice this:

…The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received… {EW 258.3}

In other words, the way you get your knowledge, the manner in which the reception of this truth is gained. How did you receive the three angels’ messages? Do you entirely understand them? Do you understand exactly what lifestyle they are pointing out?

Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels’ messages and gladly received them in their order and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary. {EW 258.3}

What does that mean? That means the way which you receive the three angels’ messages, your salvation depends upon it. How should you receive the three angels’ messages? You receive them in order. You start with one. Does that make sense? You can’t start with three. You have to start with one.

These messages were presented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by many of the delusions of Satan. {EW 258.3}

The three angels’ messages are so important. How are you to receive it? You receive them in order. You have to receive the first, first.

Many who embrace the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this and his evil eyes were upon them to overthrow them but the third angel was pointing them to the most holy place. {EW 256}

Satan was looking at anybody who receives the third angels’ message without experiencing – not just reading them – the first and the second. If you receive the first, without the first and second whose eyes are upon you? Satan’s eyes are and he will overthrow them. When he overthrows them they become synagogues of Satan who will say, ‘I am a Seventh-day Adventist. I believe the third angels’ message’ but haven’t had experience in the first two.

In like manner those who have had no experience in the first and second angels’ message must receive them from others who had an experience and down through the messages. {EW 188}

Question: Were you born in 1940s? You weren’t. So, have you had an experience in the first angels’ message? Were there when the first angels’ message was sounding? Were you there when the second angels’ message began? Are you alive in the third? We need to say, ‘hang on. I was not there when the first and second angels’ message started, so I don’t know what they experienced. I am dependent on understanding what they experienced. I need somebody to tell me the experience so that I can know whether I’ve had the experience or not. Does that make sense? Then if I haven’t had the experience and I am claiming to be an Adventist I must be very afraid because who’s on my tail? The devil’s got you if you think that you got the three angels’ messages and haven’t had an experience in the first and the second. What does this mean?

The First Angels Message

To William Miller and his co-laborers it was given to preach the warning in America. This country became the center of the great advent movement. It was here that the prophecy of the first angel had its most direct fulfillment far and wide spread the message of the everlasting gospel; fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come. The testimony of the prophecies which seamed to point to the coming of Christ in the spring of 1844 to deep hold of the minds of the people {GC 368}

Can you be an Adventist without experiencing the advent movement? You need to experience the advent movement if you want to be an Adventist.

What is the experience of the first angels’ message? It is something that takes hold of your mind that Jesus is coming. Not just ‘yeah, Jesus is coming. My grandparents told me that. My mum and dad told me that. I don’t think He will come in my lifetime but I think He will come one day, so I am an Adventist.’ This is how we can fall into this trap so easily. This message took hold of the minds of the people.

The simple direct testimony of scriptures set home by the power of the Holy Spirit brought a weight of conviction which few were able holy to resist. Where ever the message was given moved the people. Sinners repented, wept and prayed for forgiveness and those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution. Parents felt the deepest solicitude for their children. {EW 232}

Is this an experience? This is the experience of the first angel. You can’t have the first until you’ve got this. You can’t have the second until you have this.

Have you experienced this before? The sense of the nearness of Christ coming that takes hold of your mind. You can’t view your life in any other way than Jesus is coming so soon. This leads to repentance, weeping and praying for forgiveness of your sin; true repentance, that you are really sorry for the sin itself, not just the consequences of sin. Then being anxious to make things right that you have wronged as in, ‘how can I do it? How can I go and correct the things that I have done wrong? Then having a deep solitude for your children if you have them.

Sinners inquired with weeping, “What must I do to be saved?” Those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution. All who found peace in Christ longed to see others share the blessing… {4SP 224.1}

What was the motivation of the missionary work? Was it to gain more church members or for people to experience peace that Jesus gives? When you’ve tasted of the peace of God you’ll want someone else to experience someone else to that relationship with Jesus. Your missionary work will be entirely different than trying to fuel fuss compared to getting people to have an experience with Jesus, completely different way of approach and completely different outcome.

…The hearts of parents were turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. The barriers of pride and reserve were swept away…{4SP 224.1}

It is not like, ‘what member of group do you belong to?’ That barrier is gone. It is, ‘do you have the truth?’ this is what you are sharing – truth. If it is truth, I want it. If it is not truth then I don’t want it. It is the truth but not the barriers of human pride that says barriers of pride and reserve was swept away. That thing that John had where he was once casting demons at Jesus’ name and John said ‘he wasn’t part of our group so I told him to stop doing it’ was gone. The attitude of Jesus is ‘if they are for me, if they are sharing the message leave them alone. They are with us.’

…Heartfelt confessions were made, and the members of the household labored for the salvation of those who were nearest and dearest. Often was heard the sound of earnest intercession. Everywhere were souls in deep anguish, pleading with God…{4SP 224.1}

Can you see the experience of the first angel’s message? Your salvation depends not just saying, ‘I ascend to the truth that the first angel declares but actually saying, ‘I want the experience of the first angel.’ Because we weren’t there we need to learn from other people what they went through so that I can use that to see if I go through. If I go through it, praise God because that is the first step to be an Adventist. Seventh-day Adventist is the first angel’s message – repentance, confession, weeping, searching for souls to give them the blessing of God.

…Many wrestled all night in prayer for the assurance that their own sins were pardoned, or for the conversion of their relatives or neighbors…{4SP 224.1}

Do you see this today? Are we engaging in this today individually? The question is we in apostasy? Have I made an experience with Christ and now turned away from Him? Or am I following on in these steps – the first angel’s message?

With unspeakable desire those who had received the message watched for the coming of their Saviour. The time when they expected to meet Him was at hand. They approached this hour with a calm solemnity. They rested in sweet communion with God, and earnest of the peace that was to be theirs in the bright hereafter. None who experienced this hope and trust can forget those precious hours of waiting. For some weeks preceding the time, worldly business was for the most part laid aside. The sincere believers carefully examined every thought and emotion of their hearts as if upon their deathbeds and in a few hours to close their eyes upon earthly scenes… {GC 373.1}

You can’t forget it. It is something that carries you through. They believed Jesus was coming. Now you think, ‘why did they go through this experience and then Jesus never came? What a waste of time?’ let me ask you a question. Is it ever a waste of time to repent and prepare for Jesus to come whether He comes or not? The mentality seems to be that ‘I don’t want to engage in this before I have to because I will miss out on life.’ These people thought Jesus was coming and then He didn’t and it was like they wasted their lives. That is the attitude that is expressed when they see this great disappointment. This great disappointment is so merciful because God showed us what we should be doing now.

God gave us a view of the company of people who were ready and in a position in the first step at least that you and I need to have if we’re ever going to accept this third angel’s message. You need to have this experience. Whether Jesus comes in your lifetime or not is not actually the point because when Jesus comes in the clouds, when we’ll see Him in the clouds it will be too late. Probation closes before and you’ll never know when you’ll die. Be it known that it is never, ever a waste of time to have this experience that they had in the great disappointment. Never think that, ‘If I start repenting I will miss out on living my life. I won’t be able to do this and that and [0:52:56] doing it.’ If that is the mentality, it just proves how much repentance we do need.

The Second Angel’s Message

I just want to make a note here.

Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel…

You can never receive the second angel’s message properly if you haven’t had this experience because the second angel’s message is a declaration of the fall of Babylon. What does that mean? It identifies worldliness – what worldliness is.

Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God’s people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. {GC 382.3}

What made the protestant churches fall? It was the rejection of the preparation for Jesus to come and the engagement in the worldly practices. Do you know all protestant churches believe Jesus will come one day? It is not a fact of denying His coming it is denying the preparation of His coming.

There was an alliance with the world. Can we as Seventh-day Adventists engage in the sports of this world and not be engaged in an unlawful alliance with the world? Harlotry is simply when you are trying to serve God and the world at the same time. Babylon is the mother of harlots. It is showing of churches who were once pure, who joined the world. Don’t forget that church is a whole bunch of individuals. That is all it is. If you as an individual want to be part of the world you are part of Babylon. That is the bottom line.

If we want to come out of the world and be separate we have to have the first angel’s experience. When we’ve had the first angel’s experience of repentance and desiring God’s peace and making things right that automatically leads to coming out of the worldly practices. That is the next step that follows. If you want to be ready for Jesus to come and repent from all your sins and make restitution for your wrong doings, then what will follow is coming out of Babylon which is the second angel’s message. Then, when you’ve come out of the worldly practices then and only then can you receive the third angel’s message and then you can be a Seventh-day Adventist. It is not until the third angel’s message that the commandments of God are shown. The Seventh-day message is brought out in the third angel’s message.

Many who embraced the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this and his evil eyes were upon them to overthrow them. {EW 256}

Can you see a little bit of what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist in heart, in truth and not pretending and saying that we are Seventh-day Adventist Christian and Christ will say they are not they are lying they are of the church of Satan? It is a pretty bold statement but it comes straight from the Bible.

The time has come when things must be called by their right names. The truth is triumph gloriously and those who have long been halting between two opinions must take their stand decidedly for or against the law of God. Some will take up with theories that misinterpret the word of God and undermine the foundation of truth that has been firmly established point by point and sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The old truths are to be revived in order that the false theories that have been brought in by the enemy may be intelligently met. There can be no unity between truth and error. We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted. {UL 88}

The old Seventh-day Adventist message is under attack. It has changed so much today that they are two different messages. Either the Seventh-day Adventist church in the past in the days of Ellen White did not preach the three angels’ messages and they do now or they did back then and they don’t now. I know for certain that they did then because there was an experience that God’s hand was over with the Millerite movement; not just the Millerite movement. That is only the first step. There are Seventh-day Adventists that go back to the Millerite movement and make that everything. You’ve got to remember that was just the first step. Don’t stop at the first step. Go into the second step of coming out of the world and pulling away from protestant churches. That is what happens in the second angel’s message; but don’t stop there either because the third angel’s message was developed over the time until 1905 with the third angel’s message in verity in 1888 – all that was the development. That is the platform we need to be on.

In the future deception of every kind is to arise and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. No one pillar is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truth that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years.

This development of the third angel’s message up until 1905 Ellen White says in the future, from 1905 onwards things will be changing. If you do history on the advent church, what doctrines were being promoted by apostate Adventist in 1905 and there after is there are many.

A great reformation is needed among the people of God. Many surplices and unfruitful branches are to be removed from parent vine. Everything will be shaken that can be shaken. That which cannot be shaken may remain. The enemy has worked upon the minds of some and has led them to do violence to our past experience by mingling with the truth erroneous and false theories. He’s led ministers and teachers to weave into their doctrines and pleasing figures of their own invention. Every deviation from the truth as we have advocated it; in the past is a departure from the truth. It has been witnessed by the Holy Ghost and upon which God has placed His seal. Truth must stand in its own order linked only with truth. Unbelief disturbs the balance of the system of truth and tends to destroy the whole.

The platform of truth is what we need to be standing on. This platform of truth is often debated what is actually the platform of truth. People believe that the Arian view that the Holy Spirit is not a person was part of the platform of truth whereas Ellen White clearly declared that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead; she makes this statement really clear – a few of them. These teachings un-disturb the balance. You may think, ‘why did some people have the errand sentiments early in the advent movement? They hadn’t finished all the steps yet. The divinity of Christ that was equal with the Father was brought out clearly in the Desire of Ages. The personage of the Holy Spirit was also brought out in the Desire of Ages. These were all made just before the turn of the century – 1900.

We’ve done a series called rebuilding Adventism. If you want to understand more of the platform of the truth look at that series. We’ve also put some books together, compiled them from pioneers as a collection called the platform of truth. If you are interested in them you can contact Ben or Stuart and get hold of these books – the Platform of Truth that identifies what the three angels’ messages are. How can I make sure I am getting the experience and standing on the truth and not be swept away with every wind of doctrine? We are not here to bring anything new because the three angels’ messages were already shared. There is no other prophetic message. The fourth angel’s message was the Revelation 18 angels’ messages only a repeat of the three. It is not a new message. Our work is not to create anything new but uphold that which was held collectively as the ‘we’ – that which we have advocated as in published. It was the forefront of Adventism. That is what we’ll stand on.

My brethren take your position where God bids you. Leave alone those who off the light have been repeatedly given them, have taken their stand on the opposite side. Take up the work which has been given us with the word of God as your message. Stand on the platform of truth and proclaim the soon coming of Christ, truth, eternal truth will prevail. {UL 199}

I pray that you can examine your own heart to see if really you are a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Don’t worry about what is on the church’s roll. That means little. Worry if you are converted in your heart, if you have the circumcision of heart because that which is a Jew is one inwardly. May the Lord help us not to be part of synagogue of Satan and not to say we are God’s people and are not aligned. Let us be faithful to Him who has called us into this experience of the three angels’ messages.

Amen.

Posted on April 6, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am interesting to know if you consider the other SDA Reform Group (not sure if you are affiliated with IMS or the ‘American’ SDA Reform Movement) to be ‘in apostasy’? And if you believe the other SDA Reform Movement is in apostasy, why?

    “There were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots and the Essenes. If you look at the attitude, the characteristics of the division, the social make-up of the Jewish nation you’ll see a great parallel within Adventism.”

    Very true – good observation. For example, there are Adventists who are so liberal it is any wonder they can even call themselves Seventh-day Adventists, because they call into doubt the Seventh-day Sabbath and the Second Advent – the two components of our name. They are much like the Sadducees, who didn’t believe in the resurrection.

    “Then you have the Essenes who were very holy people who didn’t want to mingle with people that didn’t like their standards.”

    True, does it perhaps remind you of anyone? Any group that always like to say ‘be ye separate?’
    “Luke 9:49 ‘And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.’ Here was this person who was doing this work but he wasn’t part of our group so we told him he should do it.”
    Good text. So what then is the SDA Reform Movement’s take on those who are not in the same camp as them then?
    “If someone claims to be an Adventist and they are not on the roll of the Seventh-day Adventist church are they an Adventist? Does being on the church roll make you a Seventh-day Adventist is the question… A Seventh-day Adventist requires an internal reality to be one.”

    Agreed. And surely that we could equally say someone who was on the roll of the SDA Reform Movement (and there are two – IMS and ‘American’) it can equally mean squat all?

    “The old Seventh-day Adventist message is under attack.”

    What exactly do you mean by the ‘old’ SDA message? Do you mean:

    • The Shut Door theory, which Ellen White later renounced?
    • The idea that Sabbath begins at midnight?
    • That Jesus is a lesser created deity (Arianism)?
    • That pork is ok to eat?

    Reformation is a continual process, requiring the ever acquisition of present truth through progressive revelation. Sister White said as much:

    “we shall never reach a period when there is no increased light for us ”

    “In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation.”

    http://www.andrews.edu/~damsteeg/Prog%20rev.html

    There is no true ‘old’ Adventist message – that is a historical myth. Looking back at Church history, it is when Churches refuse to grow and accept new light that they stagnate and apostatise.

    “People believe that the Arian view that the Holy Spirit is not a person was part of the platform of truth whereas Ellen White clearly declared that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead”

    True. Why then does the SDA Reform movement stop there, staying with the paganism of Tritheism (worship of three gods, like the Hindu Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), and not embrace monotheism of the Trinity?

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