The Cherished Error That We are Saved as a Sect, as a Denomination
For forty odd years as a member of the professing Seventh-day Adventist church, I was taught that one had to finally be a member of that church in order to be saved, if he/she heard the message of that church. Modern SDA preachers are still teaching this gross error as the following statement will testify:
"Saved into the church.--The world to which we belong by birth is hostile to God and under condemnation. Therefore, in order to save us, the cross must deliver us from the world and place us in the church, the body of Christ. Every other aspect of salvation is based upon this fact. The gospel delivers us not primarilyfrom hell to heaven, nor from death to life, but from the world to the church. As a subjective experience, this is always the first step of our salvation. Christ will never take us to heaven as individuals, but only as members of His church." Jack Sequeira, SDA Pastor, Beyond Belief, p. 115.
The above teaching is directly contradictory to Ellen White's teaching:
"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." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, vol. 2, p. 464.
"The Lord would teach man the lesson though united in church capacity, he is not saved until the seal of God is placed upon him." E.G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 969.
"Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done' in the church.' Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 266-267.
"In every nation whosoever believes with all his heart in the Lord Jesus is accepted of God. Here, truly, s the church, out[side] of wich no one can be saved." The Great Controversy, p. 181.
A Firmament of Chosen Ones Who Have Never Heard the Name Seventh-day Adventist
"A Firmament of Chosen Ones.--Among earth's inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Ball. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these FAITHFUL ONES will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of CHOSEN ONES that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing IN EVERY NATION, AMONG EVERY TONGUE AND PEOPLE; and in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made to cause 'all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,' to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, 'blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,' will 'shine as light in the world.'" The darker the night, the more brrilliantly will they shine." E.G. White, Evangelism, 707, and Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189.
The above statement was written a long time ago, demonstrating that God has "blameless chosen ones in every nation, among every tongue and people; in every corner of the earth, who have never heard the name Seventh-day Adventist! The church still has not gone to every dark corner of the earth and to every nation, tongue and people! God does not need the professing Seventh-day Adventist church to finish the work! The clear testimony of the above statement is that those described in that statement will finish the work!
"From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In EVERY AGE the Lord has had His warchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived." E.G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 11.
"The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the 'true tabernacle,' whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on the high, elevated platform." E.G. White, Signs of the Times, vol. 4, p. 94, February 14, 1900.
"Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Galatians 4:26."
Mother Zion.--"Ye are come unto mount Sion [Zion] and unto the cit of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven." Hebrews 12:22-24.
"There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and who are purified by it." E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 237.
"It is not a form of godliness, nor a name upon the church records, that constitutes a 'living stone' in the spiritual building. It is being renewed in knowledge and true holiness, being crucified to the world and made alive in Christ, that unites the soul to God." Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 168.
"The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst." E.G. White, Notebook Leaflets, p. 99, 1898.
"To the end of time, the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church." E.G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 55.
"Like ancient Israel, the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and CHRIST HAS DEPARTED. His Spirit has ben quenched in the church. Satan works wide by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment tht they do not detect him." E.G. White, Testimonies,vol. 2, pp. 441-442.
"Organizations, institutions, unless kept by the power of God, will work under Satan's dictation to bring men under the control of men; and fraud and guile will bear the semblance of zeal for truth, and for the advancement of the kingdom of God." E.G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, 494.
"Christ speaks of the church over which Satan presides as the synagogue of Satan. Its members ar ethe children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan's work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil.
Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, whose members will not willingly tolerate wrong-doing, but will expel it form the heart and life." E.G White, Review and Herald Articles, ol. 4, 243, cf. Signs of the Times, March 1, 1910.
"Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satn because the members are the children of sin. The members of Satn's church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law, and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty." E.G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, 16.
"The day of God is right upon us, and the world has converted the church. Both are in harmony, and are acting upon a short-sited policy" E.G. White, General Conference Bulletin, 1st Quarter, 1900.
"God's professed eople are selfish and self-caring....They are idolaters, and are worse, in the sight of God, than the heathen, graven-image worshppers who have had no knowledge of a better way." Testimonies, vol. 2, 441-442.
"I have bene shown that the spirit of the world is fast leavening the church. You are following the same path as did ancient Israel. There is the same falling away from your holy calling as God's eculiar eople. You are having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Your [ecumenical] concord with unbelievers have provoked he Lord's disleasure. you know not the things that belong to your peace, and they are fast being hid from your eyes. Your neglect to follow the light will place you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews upon whom Christ pronounced a woe." Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 75-76.
The Prophesied Fall of The Professing Seventh-day Adventist Church
"Jesus sends HIS PEOPLE a message of warning to prepare them for his coming. To th eprophet John was made known th eclosing work in the great plan of man's redemption. He beheld an angel flying 'in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Jdgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters [Rev. 14:6, 7.].
The angel represented in prophecy as delivering this mesage, symbolizes a class of faithful men, who, obedient to the promptings of God's Spirit and the teachings of his word, proclaim this warning to the inhabitants of earth. This message was not to be committed to the religious leaders of the people. They had failed to preserve their connection with God, and had REFUSED THE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN; therefore they WERE NOT of the number described by the apostle Paul: 'But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the chilldren of the day; we are not of the night nor of darnkess' [1 Thess. 5:4, 5].
The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should be the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for his coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw HIS CHURCH, like the barren fig-tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence and faith--which alone could render the service acceptable to God--was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit, there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A BACKSLIDING CHURCH closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did nor forsake them, or suffer his faithfulness to fail; but they departed from him, and SEPARATED THEMSELVES from his love. As THEY REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS, his promises WERE NOT FULFILLED to them." E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, pp. 199-200 [The 1884 edition of The Great Controversy, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH TESTIMONIES, VOL 4].
SDA Corporate Church Brought Down to Hell! Is Such a Church THE CHURCH That the Gates of Hell Will not Prevail Against?
The following statement is presented just as it appears in its reference. All bracketed portions are just as Ellen White inserted them:
"And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for thee." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, vol. 3, p. 69, col. 3.
Such pronouncements have the ring of a true prophet! Capernaum was a corporate city, and the SDA is Biblicly represented as a corporate city, the corporate city of Jerusalem. It will be brought down to hell as a corporate city [church], except for a small remnant who escape, Ezekiel 5:1-5, as was the case with Israel in the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem.