What or Who is an Adventist?

 

Misapplying the name Adventist

The first answer we are likely to hear is one who has a membership with the worldwide General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Organization. The bible and the Spirit of prophecy say something different.

Many names have been given to God’s people throughout history such as “Israel”, “Abraham’s seed”, “Jews”, “Christians”, “Protestants”, and “Adventists” though some may object. The name “Adventist” refers to a person with the expectation of the soon Advent of Christ. This is the definition, and if you are waiting for the soon Advent of Christ, then you can call yourself an Adventist.

The Catholic Church

The title “catholic” means “universal”. In the bible we read of the “universal Assembly” or the catholic church of God. It far outweighs the puny manmade organization. The bible describes the true catholic or universal Church. The word “general assembly” is the greek word “paneguris” which translates also to “universal assembly”.

Heb 12:23 To the general(universal) assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

This is the true catholic church according to scripture, and though many men may profess to be catholic because they are members of a manmade organization, we are told in the bible that “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands”(Acts 7:48), but he dwells inside of his people, which are a “lively stones…built up a spiritual house”(1 Pet 2:5).

Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The world is looking for the body of Christ, they try to find it, but the bible says the world “seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him”(John 14:17). When it comes to God’s Church, most people are looking for a building made with hands. But “the world knoweth us not, because the world knew Him not”(1 John 3:1). The Church is invisible to the world, but we “see Him and know Him, He dwelleth with you and shall be in you”(John 14:17).

This is the true catholic or universal church which spans heaven and earth, and many profess to be truly part of it. But the problem lies in their understanding of what the catholic church is. So in the end, they will only be “professed Catholic” and not truly part of that “Universal Church of the firstborn” because they didn’t know the firstborn.

The Israel of God

The name Israel means “Overcomer with God”. Many today in a far off land callIsrael of God themselves Israel. But the bible says that they only profess to be Israel.

Romans 9:6-8 KJV Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Why was Isaac the seed? Well, because He was the child of promise. When Abraham had Ishmael, he devised this of his own works. Therefore this was not a child of faith, and those who are not of faith are not counted as Israelor the seed of Abraham. When Abraham was faithful, the child of promise was born. Of the faithful gentiles in far off lands it is written:

Ephesians 2:11-12 KJV Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

We were strangers, gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, foreigners. But the Israel of God is not made up of people living in on a piece of property, but they are “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”(James 1:1). And they make up the “lively stones, built up a spiritual house”.

Ephesians 2:19-22 KJV Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

God’s children in the dispensation after Christ, just as in the dispensation before Christ are the faithful. They are Israel. Though there are many who say they are Israeland are not.

Abraham’s Seed

Ishmael, though he came from Abraham, the children of Ishmael also came through Abraham, so did the children of Esau, the brother of Jacob. But we are told these were not the children of Abraham. God said it was the children of promise such as Isaac. It is the same today as it was then, only the children who kept the covenant were truly the seed of Abraham. God’s covenanted people were not those who were not faithful. Though there were many who came through Abraham, they could not truly say they were Abraham’s seed:

Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

John strongly rebuked them for thinking that they were the covenanted people because they had been born into the church of their time. Jesus rebuked them for denying that He was truly the Son of God and told them they were not Abraham’s seed at all.

John 8:33-39 KJV They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? (34) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (35) And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. (36) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (37) I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. (38) I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. (39) They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Jesus here tells them that they may profess to be Abraham’s seed. They may even be children of Abraham in the natural sense. But in the spiritual sense they are not truly the children of Abraham, and this is the only sense that matters. Paul put it simply by stating:

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

The True Jew

Again we have many people today who are called Jews. But the bible tells us that most
who call themselves Jews are not Jews at all.

 

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

In other words, they are not Jews just because they have been circumcised, they are not Israel because they live on a land that is named Israel, they are not Abraham’s seed because they were born children of Abraham after the flesh, but the true Jew is mentioned in the next verse:

Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

He is a Jew which is one inwardly. Who is not a slave to sin and Satan, but has been freed from it. Who does not deny Christ is the Son of God, and whose praise is of God.

The same goes for the name “Christian”. Being a member of a denomination, having a baptismal certificate, or even being born into it does not make you a Jew, Abraham’s seed, the Israel of God, a Christian, or a Seventh-day Adventist. God is able to raise stones to be Adventist. That is the message of Elijah given through John the baptist. Elijah piled 12 stones on top of each other and said “Israel shall be thy name”(1 Kings 18:31). So God is able to raise stones to cry out the good news. He’s done it before.

Some are very quick to overlook the details in this story. But Paul noted carefully who Israel was even in Elijah’s day.

Romans 11:1-5 KJV I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (2) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, (3) Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. (4) But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. (5) Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

God has a remnant.

Seventh-day Adventist

Now, I say then “Hath God cast away His people? God forbid.” For I also am a Seventh-day Adventist, an Israelite, the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah. Have you not read of Elijah, or John the Baptist, or Jesus Christ, or Paul, how in the scriptures we read that God has raised up a spiritual house, lively stones, built on a rock.

Some may not recognize the significance of what I’ve just said here, however, I will try to make it more clear by sharing some prophecy from the pen of an inspired messenger that was sent to Seventh-day Adventists. Her name is Ellen G. White. She wrote about another structure being built, a house built on sand:

“A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A
system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” Selected Messages Book 1-Page 204, 205

Here we have a “new organization…movement…built on sand”. What do you think they would call themselves? Abraham’s seed? Jews? How about Israel? Christians? Protestants? Seventh-day Adventists? Do you think maybe it would look close to the original? Maybe it would call itself the “Universal(Catholic) Church”?

Satan is always trying to counterfeit God’s true organization built on the rock. But if we only look at the foundation we will see that this is not “God’s Church”. In order to understand the truth on this matter, we need to understand the history of Satan, and the counterfeit buildings Satan has setup in the past using the good names God has given to His people.

The Church of the Firstborn Built on a Rock

God’s church is built on a rock, and not sand. In the past builders rejected the foundation stone and went out and built a new organization.

Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

These counterfeit builders in the past rejected the chief cornerstone, the masterbuilder(Zech 6:13, Matt 16:18), and went to build a new organization on sand. Many would look at it and call it “THE Jewish Church”, however as we’ve read already, Paul and the apostles understood that it was not.

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

This statement reflected an important doctrine regarding the identity of Christ. It was so important that Ellen White said it was the foundation of the true Church to understand that Christ was “the Son of the living God.”

Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church’s faith” (Ellen White Desire of Ages 413).

Jesus said also that “upon this rock will I build my Church”(Matthew 16:18). And anything else is a counterfeit building, with counterfeit builders, on a counterfeit foundation. There is one builder, Christ, not man, and one Church, and one foundation.

Christ the “First-born of Heaven”

The distinguishing mark between God’s Church and the counterfeit is the rejection of the identity of Christ as the Son of God. Most Adventists today will confess they believe Christ is the Son of God. HOWEVER, the early Adventists were truly the “Church of the FIRSTBORN”. Ellen White wrote:

The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” {Ellen White The Desire of Ages, p. 51}

Most Adventists today have rejected the notion that Christ is “the First-born of heaven”. This is considered heresy to them. In the 28 fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists they teach that Christ is part of a “unity of three co-eternal beings”. Here is the great conflict that those who professed to be Abraham’s seed had in their minds.

Jesus said to these professed children of God that if they were the children of God they would believe that Christ came out of God as a child. In the exchange we read about these children being Abrahams seed, Jesus further illustrates why they are not.

John 8:41-42 KJV Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. (42) Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Jesus just said he came out of his Father. Some will try to interpret this verse as referring to Him coming down from heaven. But Ellen White says it referred to his birth. And it doesn’t say “He proceeded forth and came from Mary”.

“Jesus denied that the Jews were children of Abraham. He said, “Ye do the deeds of your father.” In mockery they answered, “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” These words, in allusion to the circumstances of His birth, were intended as a thrust against Christ in the presence of those who were beginning to believe on Him. Jesus gave no heed to the base insinuation, but said, “If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God.” {Ellen White Desire of Ages page 467}

Ellen says this verse in John 8:42 refers to Christ’s birth. Further we have another who Ellen described as a “messenger of the Lord” that was sent to Seventh-day Adventists saying the same thing about this verse:

“As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning” (E. J. Waggoner—Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 21, 22).

Regarding Christ being co-eternal, this was considered an “extreme” view and “obviously out of harmony with the language of scripture”.

EJ Waggoner - Is Christ a created being

EJ Waggoner

“In arguing the perfect equality of the Father and the Son, and the fact that Christ is in very nature God, we do not design to be understood as teaching that the Father was not before the Son. It should not be necessary to guard this point, lest some should think that the Son existed as soon as the Father; yet some go to that extreme, which adds nothing to the dignity of Christ, but rather detracts from the honor due him, since many throw the whole thing away rather than accept a theory so obviously out of harmony with the language of Scripture, that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He was begotten, not created. He is of the substance of the Father, so that in his very nature he is God; and since this is so “it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” Col. 1:19 … While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in point of time. He is also greater in that he had no beginning, while Christ’s personality had a beginning” (E. J. Waggoner, The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1889).

This is the rock on which the true church of the firstborn is built. God has a Church:

God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church” (Ellen White The Upward Look, p. 315).

Until we are ready to admit that a “new organization” has been formed on a different foundation and we step out of that organization back onto the original foundation, then the walls shall be rebuilt, even in troublous times.

Professed or Nominal Adventists – The Synagogue of Satan(Rev 3:9)

In Revelation 3 we read of the “synagogue of Satan” and they are also called “Jews who say they are and are not”(Revelation 3:9). This is Satan’s Church. But they profess the name of God’s people. They call themselves “Adventists”. Ellen White gave her insights as to who this Church of Satan is, and what they would call themselves. In reference to Revelation 3:9 she says they call themselves “Adventists” and they “Crucify Christ afresh” and are forever lost

“You think, that those who worship before the saint’s feet, (Rev 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shewed me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and “crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” And in the “hour of temptation,” which is yet to come, to show out every one’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint’s feet.” (EGW A Word to the Little Flock, page 12)

The principle of taking the name and applying it to people who are not God’s people has been a principle Satan has used since the beginning of time. Because we are not part of the organization or have left does not mean we have left the faith, nor are we to give up the name or are no longer called by that name, but instead that we are the true seed of Abraham, Jews, Israel, Christians, Protestants and Adventists.

“Our institutions have taken a name which sets forth the character of our faith, and of this name we are NEVER to be ashamed. I have been shown that this name means much, and in adopting it we have followed the light given us from heaven…This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the CLOSE OF PROBATION.” (Ellen White MS 15, 1896)

We will see far more of God’s love when we truly acknowledge Christ as the literal Son of God, the one who proceeded forth and came from God, the firstborn of heaven from earliest times. When we step back on that rock, we see things we didn’t see before about God’s amazing love. But when accepting this truth there is a price:

“Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.” {Ellen White Great Controversy Page 51}

They will accuse us of stepping off the rock, of accepting heresy, of leaving the true church. But the accusation applies to sadly to themselves. We are not to just leave them as if they don’t matter. That was not the Spirit that actuated Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus or Paul.

We are told also of a coming danger that many who accept the truth about God and His Son would not see right before the plagues are poured out. The word “nominal” in the following passage means “professed”. They are Adventist in name only. However there are a faithful few among them who will come out.

“I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.” (Ellen White Early Writings 261).

The true Adventist like Abraham’s seed will no be a slave to sin and they will come out of the fallen churches including the nominal churches which are built on sand, the synagogue of Satan, the organizations that have crucified Christ afresh and rejected him as the Son of God.

“All who claim to be Sabbath-keeping Adventists, and yet continue in sin, are liars in God’s sight. Their sinful course is counterworking the work of God. They are leading others into sin. The word comes from God to every member of our churches, “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” [Heb. 12:13-17]. [MR vol. 19, pages 176-177] [Quoted from Letter 35]

We see three angels. The first who tells us to fear God and worship Him. Have we been worshiping the true God or a counterfeit? The second tells us to come out of these churches and not to go into them, that they are fallen. Have we been worshipping in a counterfeit church? The third tells us about the mark of the beast and the seal of God, only the class who have the faith of Jesus and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God can receive the seal of God. Have we had a counterfeit faith?

“I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. 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. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. I saw individuals approach the platform and examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the foundation. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform to examine it and declared it to be laid wrong. But I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform and exhorted those who had stepped off to cease their complaints; for God was the Master Builder, and they were fighting against Him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union raised their eyes to heaven and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained and left the platform, and they with humble look again stepped upon it.” {Ellen White Early Writings Pages 258-259}

Will we see the true Adventist?

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