NEW TESTAMENT ORGANIZATION
There is nothing wrong with belonging to a religious denomination that teaches the truth, that teaches the beliefs of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. When the conviction that these truths and beliefs are no longer held (or never were), nor taught by the denomination, and there is not going to be any change, our responsibility is to leave. We can no longer support that denomination by our presence, our tithes and offerings, nor our membership. Separation is in order.1
It is a temptation to think that this apostasy came about because of the organization of the denomination. And those who have separated have been tempted to do as little organizing as possible. This is the way it was with the early Adventists shortly after the great disappointment.2 This is the way it is now.
After separation takes place and a believer finds himself worshipping alone, he decides what he is going to study, what music he is going to listen to, where he is going to worship, when he is going to have it, and where to send his offering. He does his own organizing. He doesn’t need to write it down. He doesn’t need to consult anyone else. He can change his plans, as the Holy Spirit leads, without contacting anyone.
As soon as one person is added this all changes. First, a plan has to be made that is agreeable to both. Any change to this plan needs to be agreed upon. The addition of this second person now makes a church.3
The members of the church are like minded, in one accord,4 separate from sin and sinners,5 and subject to one another.6
This church was formed because the members followed the Lamb out of apostasy into the truth. The truth comes from the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the Word of God and is the church’s foundation.7 The truth is expressed in the pillars of our faith that support the church.8 The church is built on the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone,9 and God is the one who chooses them.10
As the church increases in membership, more organization is required. Duties need to be delegated.11
Elders need to be selected. The church follows the guidelines God has laid out12 in selecting those whom He has chosen13 to be Elders.
The Elder’s responsibility and accountability is to God and to the church. He is to feed the flock, and not lord it over them,14 teach the difference between the holy and the profane,15 not to exalt himself or to seek power,16 guard from error (grievous wolves),17 be a servant to the people.18
If you don’t remember what is included in the guidelines for the Elder, look them up.12 That’s a pretty tall order! That person is close to perfection, if not already there. I like to think that it represents those who are striving for perfection. Not only the Elders, but every member of the church should be in this category.
In my study preparing for this article I never once found the expression "Head Elder" in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy. In fact, the singular form, "elder," is seldom used. It is almost always discussed in the plural form, "elders." I did find that the Elder is not to lord over the members or seek for power. "All ye are brethren."19 It looks to me like the position of "Head Elder" is a tradition of man and bears no reflection on God’s purposes.
As the church grows and duties increase, the position of Deacon needs to be filled. The church selects the Deacons under the proper guidelines.20 The Deacons are to help out in the regular operations of the church.21
Not only is Christ the foundation of the church, He is also the head of it. "Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."22 "I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."23 God tells us that He will take His people away from the pastors that will not feed His sheep.24 "And believers were the more added to the Lord."25 "Having an high priest over the house of God."26 God has given man his responsibilities in His church, and we are not to go beyond this.
Satan has set up a structure for churches, also. He always counterfeits the true. Satan’s structure is based on the same policy that worldly corporations use. This is not God’s plan. "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him."27
In Elijah’s day "they answered him not a word." They could not answer because of ignorance of God’s plan—ignorance through lack of example (Ahab didn’t do much for the true worship of God) and through lack of study. It was only after God showed them a mighty miracle that they answered, "The Lord he is the God; the Lord, he is the God."28
Brothers and sisters, are we waiting for a mighty miracle to happen before we follow God’s plan? He has given us His word in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy that we might know what His plan is. I urge each and every one of you to study how you can implement God’s plan in your churches. By Gary Cain
1. 2 Tim 3:5; 2 Cor 6:14-18; Isa 52:11; 1 Cor 6:15-16; PP 338; PP 166; 4SP 240; DA 232; AA 286; 2RH 48; 4SP 46; 4RH 42; SDG 164; 2SG 163-164.
2. 1T 270.
3. Matt 18:20.
4. Phil 2:2; John 17:20-23.
5. John 17:14-17.
6. 1 Pet 5:5.
7. Is 28:16; 1 Cor 3:9-11; 1 Pet 2:4-8.
8. CWE 30; 4 SP 399; GC 583.
9. Eph 2:20-22; DA 414.
10. 1 Cor 1:1,2; 2 Tim 2:4; Acts 1:2.
11. 1 Cor 12.
12. 1 Tim 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9.
13. Acts 13:1-4; 1:2.
14. 1 Pet 5:1-3.
15. Ezek 44:23.
16. TM 279.
17. Acts 20:28-31.
18. Matt 23:11; 20:25-28; Luke 9:46-48.
19. Matt 23:8; 9MR 179; AA 199.
20. 1 Tim 3:8-13.
21. Acts 6:1-6.
22. Eph 2:19.
23. Jer 3:15.
24. Ezek 34:10.
25. Acts 5:14.
26. Heb 10:21.
27. 1 Kings 18:21.
28. 1 Kings 18:39.
LETTERS AND SOME ANSWERS
As you can see, we have the first of our letters to the editor section going now. I changed the title of the section because the letters weren’t all addressed to the editor, and some of them have received answers already.
You will have noticed that each article and letter has either "Author wishes to remain unknown," or a name. These are real names. We will not knowingly use a name that is not really the author’s. We understand that some of you may be in a position where your influence will be compromised if your name appears in print, or you do not wish to have it shown. We will honor your request.
Also, for various reasons we have edited the letters. Before the letter is printed, the author is shown what will be printed and given a chance to change it or withdraw it. We do not want to be guilty of changing anyone’s messages.
Please note: our financial condition has changed since that one answer was given to that letter, because of the offerings you have sent in; thank you very much. Receipts will be sent to you. By the way, make your checks payable to the Seventh-day Remnant Publishing Association (or SDRPA). The bank fusses if we try to deposit a check made out to the VOICE.
There seems to be a misunderstanding of what is happening. The SDR Voice is not a church. It is a publication. It has come about because several have seen a need to work together rather than each do his own thing. We need more organization. How do we do that? Where do we start? These are questions we keep asking each other.
We know that the SDA Church came together from many different factions that were united with a publication, the Review and Herald. When it first came out, there was no SDA Church; there was no denomination. The Review published articles that defined doctrines. It published requests for schoolteachers and pastors. It provided sources for material that could be used for self study and outreach. Now the SDA church is in apostasy. It did not go the way the Lord wanted it to. We want to follow the Lord’s plan and avoid what happened there.
A church organization is to serve the individual churches and not lord it over them. It is to do things the individual churches cannot do by themselves. But the organization is to be run by the churches. It is not to run the churches. We are finding more and more things that an organization can do that individual churches cannot do. The organization can provide credentials to the ministers of the churches. It can own property and other assets. It can provide credibility to the small local congregations when they have to deal with local governments. We have encountered this in Africa. The government is so concerned with terrorist threats that they have outlawed any meetings that do not have permits—even home church meetings. If there is a foreign church organization that they belong to, the local authorities can recognize that and issue permits for meetings.
There are donors right now trying to buy property for churches, schools, medical clinics, warehouse space, etc. These donors do not want to own that property. Neither do they want an individual owning it. Can you imagine a poor church pastor in a third world country suddenly becoming the owner of valuable property? Do you have any idea the demands family members and church members will make on him? We need an organization to own these properties, an organization that is controlled by the churches.
We want to make sure that we are completely following the Lord’s counsel as we work on solving these problems. Keep your comments coming as we explore solutions to these issues.
The Lord is coming soon, but He is waiting for us. Let’s all do our part to hasten that return and not to delay it.
The Battle Over the Name "Seventh-day Adventist"
Part 2: The Inscription on the Banner of God
Many of our dear brothers and sisters have been taught that they must continue to cling to the name "Seventh-day Adventist" after they have chosen to completely disconnect themselves from the SDA church denomination. Even though Bible and Spirit of Prophecy evidence has been given in part 1 on this issue showing that we are in a new Movement, that it is God’s will for His people to distinguish themselves in name from past churches of apostasy, and that God will call His servants today by a different name, yet many may still be confused. It is for their sakes that we will now address some of the major objections raised against calling ourselves "Seventh-day Remnant" instead of "Seventh-day Adventist."
The first major objection to calling ourselves by a different name other than "Seventh-day Adventist" is because many have been taught that the name "Seventh-day Adventist" appears on the banner of God which He commands is to be lifted up and borne before the unbelieving world till the end.
The foundation upon which this belief seems to be based is from the following testimony found in Selected Messages, book 2, p 384-385, which we will quote in its entirety, including headings:
"A Distinctive Name and People
"Our Distinctive Sign
"The banner of the third angel has inscribed upon it, ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ 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...The Sabbath is God’s memorial of His creative work, and it is a sign that is to be kept before the world.
"There is to be no compromise with those who are worshiping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors.
"A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Rev. 14:12). This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God’s memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and the disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance...
"When the people accept and exalt a spurious sabbath, and turn souls away from obedience and loyalty to God, they will reach the point that was reached by the people in the days of Christ... Shall anyone then choose to hide his banner, to relax his devotion? Shall the people whom God has honored and blessed and prospered, refuse to bear testimony in behalf of God’s memorial at the very time when such a testimony should be borne? Shall not the commandments of God be more highly esteemed when men pour contempt upon the law of God?--Manuscript 15, 1896."1
Many individuals believe that in this testimony Ellen White was warning us to beware of giving up the name "Seventh-day Adventist," that the name "Seventh-day Adventist" is written on a sign or banner that God commands to be kept before the unbelieving world to the end; that some would seek to hide and lower this banner, haul down their colors, relax their devotion, no longer bear testimony about God’s Sabbath to an unbelieving world—and all because they refused to identify themselves as "Seventh-day Adventist."
Closely examine this testimony. Not a single one of these beliefs are clearly advocated! In fact, not a single one of these beliefs can be found clearly taught anywhere throughout the entire Spirit of Prophecy writings!
In forming a belief, we must gather and examine all the inspired statements of truth on any particular subject BEFORE we make our decision, take our stand upon, and advocate this belief to others. In examining all that God has to say on any subject, we will be able to see the complete picture of truth, make a clear decision, and then take a solid stand upon and advocate this belief to others. But if we try to do this with just one or two unclear or uninspired statements, then we are wide open to taking an extreme position, deviating from solid truth. This we must avoid at all costs, especially because we do not want to bring reproach upon God’s cause, nor lead anyone astray!
So let us follow this safe advice and examine exactly what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say about this banner of God. Is the name "Seventh-day Adventist" really written on this banner which God commands us to bear throughout the entire unbelieving world until the end?
"The banner of the third angel has inscribed upon it, ‘The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’"2
"... The banner on which are written the words: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they which keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12."3
"... A banner on which is inscribed the words ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’"4
"...[a] banner, upon which was written, ‘Purity and holiness unto the Lord.’"5
"Write the name of Christ upon your banner..."6
So this banner of God has the following words inscribed upon it: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they which keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."7 "Which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."8 "Purity and holiness unto the Lord;"9 and the precious name of "Christ." Nowhere are the words "Seventh-day Adventist" to be found written on this banner. But this is not all to this subject.
In searching through the Spirit of Prophecy on this subject, you will also discover the following about this banner of God:
"A large company of heathen idolaters bore a black banner, upon which were figures of the sun, moon, and stars. This company seemed to be very fierce and angry. I was then shown another company bearing a pure white banner..."10
"[You stand]...either under the banner of the Prince of light or under the banner of the prince of darkness."11
"Satan has called this world his territory. Here his seat is, and he holds in allegiance to himself all who refuse to keep God’s commandments, who reject a plain, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ They stand under the enemy’s banner; for there are but two parties in the world. All rank either under the banner of obedience or under the banner of the disobedient."12
"There are only two parties upon the earth—those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion."13
"Everywhere the people are taking sides; all are ranging themselves either under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy. At this time God’s message to the world is to be given with such prominence and power that the people will be brought face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart, with truth."14
This banner of Jesus Christ-the Prince of light, is pure white, is blood-stained, and is a banner of obedience, of truth, and of righteousness. Thus this banner is a symbol representing our stand for God, Jesus Christ, purity, righteousness, our obedience to God’s commandments and His truth—especially in keeping His Sabbath day holy!
So all of God’s true people are commanded to enlist "under the banner of the Prince of Light," and not under the literal name of "Seventh-day Adventist." They are commanded to stand under the "blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel," and not under the literal name of "Seventh-day Adventist." They are commanded to stand under the "banner of obedience," the "banner of truth and righteousness," and not under the literal name of "Seventh-day Adventist."
To further substantiate this fact, God did not give this banner into the hands of the SDA people after they chose the name "Seventh-day Adventist" in the 1860s, but He gave this banner to them many years before they chose this name!
"The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels’ messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God’s law. The non immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks."15
So this banner of God’s truth was already in existence by the year 1844! Thus some 16 years before the literal name of "Seventh-day Adventist" was thought of and then chosen by our people, this banner of God was in existence, and was already afloat before the unbelieving world!
This clearly reveals to all who desire to see that the literal name "Seventh-day Adventist" figures nowhere in the subject of God’s people taking His banner and bearing it before the unbelieving world to the end. And those who continue to believe or advocate such an extreme idea are but misinterpreting and twisting inspiration to teach what it does not.
Dear ones, I hope you can clearly see that this banner represents our message of present truth, and not the literal name of a people or of a church who follow this truth—even if they consider themselves to be the true "Seventh-day Adventist" people of God!
"...Holding aloft the banner on which is inscribed our message: ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’"16
"A banner has been placed in our hands, upon which is inscribed, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they which keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus.’ This is a distinct, separating message, a message that is to give no uncertain sound."17
With this clear definition, that God’s banner has written upon it our distinctive separating message of Revelation 14 and 18—especially the Sabbath of God—let us re-read an important paragraph from the opening testimony and apply this correct understanding to it.
"A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign [our present truth message—especially the Sabbath] which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner [our present truth message—especially the Sabbath] is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ [Rev. 14:12]. This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God’s memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and the disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner [our present truth message—especially the Sabbath], and to obscure its significance."18
It is this banner—the banner bearing God’s message of present truth, especially the Sabbath—which was given into the hands of Seventh-day Adventists to bear to the world, and not that Seventh-day Adventists were to bear their own church name to the world as this banner. Please understand this difference.
"I saw you holding up the banner on which are written the words: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they which keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12. Several men, some of them those with whom you are connected in the Sanitarium, were presenting to you a banner on which was a different inscription. You were letting go the banner of Seventh-day Adventists, and were reaching out to grasp the banner presented to you...
"I was instructed that you and your fellow laborers were in danger of hiding the principles of our faith in order to obtain large patronage. Every jot done in this line, instead of extending the influence of truth, will hinder its advance."19
"Those who act as managers and overseers in our sanitariums are not to make the world’s policy their criterion; for the sign of God, as defined in Exodus 31:12-17, is to be revealed in all its comprehensive meaning. The proper observance of the Sabbath day by all connected with our sanitariums will exert an untold influence for good. Every medical institution established by Seventh-day Adventists is to bear God’s sign before the world prominently, without disguising the facts in any way. We are to voice the message of the third angel flying in the midst of heaven with the everlasting gospel to proclaim to the world. We are to bear aloft the banner on which is inscribed, ‘The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’"20
So the banner given into the hands of Seventh-day Adventists to bear to the world, is not their own church name, but it is the principles of truth contained in God’s inspired word—especially the Sabbath. The individual mentioned was letting go of the banner containing the messages of truth, and not letting go of the name "Seventh-day Adventist." It was also the proper observance of God’s sign—the Sabbath day—by all connected with the sanitariums, that would exert untold influence for good, and not the fact that all the patients were told over and over again that the name of the sanitarium was "Seventh-day Adventist."
Thus if we should not identify ourselves as "Seventh-day Adventist" today, we would not be lowering the banner of God into the dust, because this literal name is nowhere to be found written on this banner. "We are to bear aloft the banner on which is inscribed, ‘The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,’" not the "Seventh-day Adventist" name! But if we should rebel and refuse to stand for God’s commandments, or if we hide, compromise, give up, or reject God’s truths, then, regardless of what literal name we identify ourselves by, we are indeed laying down our arms, hiding our true colors, lowering God’s banner into the dust, and we become the captives of Satan.
"One came and took out of your hand the banner bearing the words, ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,’ and it was trampled in the dust."21
"Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy... If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood-stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven."22
By lowering God’s banner, and becoming the captives of the Devil, we are then standing under Satan’s banner of error, and no longer under God’s banner of truth—even though we may call ourselves "Seventh-day Adventist!" This is because there are only two banners we can stand under.
Remember "there are but two parties in the world. All rank either under the banner of obedience or under the banner of the disobedient,"23 and "all are ranging themselves either under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy."24
So it is by our words, actions, and the character which we reveal to others, that we clearly show which of these two banners we stand under and herald, and not by the church name by which we identify ourselves. This principle is clearly presented in the following testimony:
"It was presented before me in the following manner: A large company of heathen idolaters bore a black banner, upon which were figures of the sun, moon, and stars. This company seemed to be very fierce and angry. I was then shown another company bearing a pure white banner, upon which was written, ‘Purity and holiness unto the Lord.’ Their countenances were marked with firmness and heavenly resignation. I saw the heathen idolaters approach them, and there was a great slaughter. The Christians melted away before them; and yet the Christian company pressed the more closely together, and held the banner more firmly. As many fell, others rallied around the banner and filled their places.
"I saw the company of idolaters consulting together. Failing to make the Christians yield, they agreed to another plan. I saw them lower their banner and then approach that firm Christian company and make propositions to them. At first their propositions were utterly refused. Then I saw the Christian company consulting together. Some said that they would lower the banner, accept the propositions, and save their lives, and at last they could gain strength to raise their banner among the heathen. A few, however, would not yield to this plan, but firmly chose to die holding their banner rather than to lower it. Then I saw many lower the banner and unite with the heathen; but the firm and steadfast would again seize it and bear it on high. I saw that persons were continually leaving the company of those who bore the pure banner, and were uniting with the idolaters under the black banner, to persecute those bearing the white banner. Many were slain, yet the white banner was held high, and believers were raised up to rally around it."25
Brothers and sisters, this above history has been repeated over and over again in the history of God’s church. Each and every time a chosen church of God has decided to lower God’s banner of truth, it was not because they refused to identify themselves by their God-chosen name of Israel, or by the name of Christian, or by any other church name. It was because they compromised God’s truths, lowered His standard of purity, and rebelled against His will. By doing this, they were lowering the banner of Christ, dishonoring and rejecting Him, and leaving His banner of truth to trail in the dust—even though they still clung to their church name. This rebellion led to God calling His people out of their apostate churches, and to identify themselves by a different name. It is the same today.
We leave God’s banner to trail in the dust when we no longer stand for or advocate God’s truths, not because we do not uphold the name "Seventh-day Adventist." Words are cheap, but actions reveal what is really in the heart.
"I am instructed to say to those who endeavor to tear down the foundation that has made us Seventh-day Adventists: we are God’s commandment-keeping people... He calls upon us to hold firmly with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.
"God has placed in our hands a banner on which is inscribed the words ‘the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ He declares, at all times and in all places we are to hold the banner firmly aloft. God’s denominated people are to take a firm stand under the banner of truth... Those who have arisen to question and overthrow the principles of present truth, have been sternly rebuked."26
"There are only two parties upon the earth—those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. Those who stand under Christ’s banner bear the sign of obedience spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18."27
You will clearly notice that nowhere in these testimony was it mentioned or insinuated in the least degree that we were to take a firm stand under the name of "Seventh-day Adventist" as our banner; or that we were to hold the name of "Seventh-day Adventist" firmly aloft with the grip of faith; or that there would arise individuals who would question and seek to overthrow the name of "Seventh-day Adventist" who must be rebuked because we must stand under this literal name as a sign of our obedience. Yet this is the very position that many have taken and advocate in this banner issue.
Each and every person, regardless of what name or lack of name they may use to identify their religious persuasion, will clearly show and reveal to the entire world exactly what banner they stand under and advocate. This is because "by their fruits ye shall know them."28 By understanding this pure principle of heavenly truth, it then does not matter what church name you may use by which to identify yourself, no matter how exalted this name may be, because it is by your fruits that you reveal which of these two banners you are standing under, and whom you are servants of and working for—either Christ or Satan.
Thus if we bear the banner of God and of Christ, we are to raise this banner in the name of God; we must conquer in the name of Jesus; we must magnify the name of Christ, and not to raise in, or conquer in, or magnify, the name of any church—including Seventh-day Adventist!
"In the name of God, lift your banner for truth and righteousness, ‘the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’"29
"We are standing under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. As faithful soldiers of the cross we are not to fight against principles and powers, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. We are to meet Satan and his hosts. In this warfare there is no rest, no release. We must conquer in the name of Jesus, or be conquered."30
"All who truly love Jesus Christ will now stand enlisted under His banner, eager to magnify His name and accomplish His will."31
Therefore, in these last days of earth’s history, it is by showing and proving our loyalty to God by keeping and exalting His commandments—especially His Sabbath day, and refusing to give it up—regardless of the consequences or punishment heaped upon us, that we show to all the world that we stand under the banner of God. And it is not that we stand under God’s banner by showing and proving our loyalty to God by clinging to the name "Seventh-day Adventist," refusing to give it up—regardless of the consequences or punishment heaped upon us. It is the truth of God’s word which we are to fully avow and boldly proclaim to the world, not a literal church name!
"It is at this time that the true Sabbath must be brought before the people both by pen and by voice. As the fourth commandment of the Decalogue and those who observe it are ignored and despised, the faithful few know that it is the time not to hide their face but to exalt the law of Jehovah by unfurling the banner on which is inscribed the message of the third angel, ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’"32
"The truth must not be hid, it must not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed."33
"All who proved their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast."34
"The Sabbath keepers at Seven Hills are intelligent, excellent people, but they are all poor. They have lifted the cross, separating from opposing friends and relatives, and have taken their stand under the blood stained banner of Christ, to be loyal to all the commandments of God."35
I sincerely hope and earnestly pray that all can understand that the foundational support given for the belief that the name "Seventh-day Adventist" is written on the banner of God, is not in agreement with the weight of evidence provided by a "Thus saith the Lord."
This article was written not to cast down, or to needlessly cause any embarrassment or pain to, any who choose to call themselves "Seventh-day Adventist" and thereby be identified with this apostate and corrupt church, but to show all those who have completely disconnected themselves from this Babylonian church that there is no command from God, nor is there any directive from the Spirit of Prophecy, that they must continue to cling to and identify themselves by the name "Seventh-day Adventist." By Robert Sessler
1. 2SM 384-385.
2. 13MR 68 (also 2SM 384; 3SM 42; 5T 501; YI 8-3-1887; 9MR 133).
3. 8T 153-154 (also CWE 102).
4. 4MR 246.
5. EW 211.
6. TMKH 341.
7. Rev 14:12.
8. Rev 12:17.
9. 1 Tim 4:12; Ex 28:36; 2 Cor 7:1.
10. EW 211.
11. YI 3-9-1893.
12. 5BC 1119.
13. MR 161.
14. 7T 150-151.
15. CW 30-31.
16. 9MR 133.
17. CW 102.
18. 2SM 384-385.
19. 8T 153-154.
20. MM 164.
21. 3SM 42.
22. AG 333.
23. 5BC 1119.
24. 7T 150-151.
25. EW 211-212.
26. 4MR 246.
27. 14MR 161.
28. Matt 7:20.
29. YI 8-3-1887.
30. ST 5-10-1903.
31. SpTA6, p 22.
32. Rev. 14:12.
33. EV 281.
34. 7BC 976.
35. PC 134.
GOOD FOR EVIL
About a hundred and fifty years ago there was a homestead out west on the very edge of a thick pine forest. The snug little house was built on the top of a little hill. The house looked out over a little stream. There was a sawmill on this stream almost out of sight from the house. The homestead was very nice looking, for William Sullivan, the young owner, took pride in a neat and tidy place.
At the moment William is sitting on the porch of the house sharpening the long, curved, thin blade of his scythe. In those days the hay was cut by hand if you didn’t have a team of horses to cut it. William planned on getting a team and mower, but for this year he would have to use the scythe.
It was a lovely evening in June. The sun was just going down when a tall man emerged from the woods at the back of the farm. His skin was red and he wore feathers on his head, a bow across his shoulders and a quiver of arrows on his back. He moved so quietly that William did not hear him approach. He jumped when a low voice beside him said, "Give food and shelter to red-brother?"
Startled, William looked up into the calm face of the Indian. "You get out of here you heathen Indian dog!" he growled. "You’ll get nothing from me. Get going!"
The Indian turned as if to leave but stopped. "Starving, please give bread, I go home," he said.
"Get out of here!" I said. "You can’t have anything of mine, you dirty dog!" William frowned at the red face.
The Indian still hesitated to leave even though the words stung him. Weary and faint with hunger he tried once more.
"Please, cup of cold water? I faint." His face didn’t show any expression but his eyes pleaded for help. It had no effect on William.
"Are you blind? Can’t you see that river? Drink there if you’re so faint!" he answered sharply, pointing toward the little stream at the bottom of the hill.
The red man turned in that direction and made his way slowly down the hill toward it. Though he carried himself proudly, straight and tall, it was easy to see that he was weak from hunger. He stumbled and seemed half blind in the gathering darkness.
Mary Sullivan was in the house rocking her baby. She heard the Indian’s question and was shocked at the rude response of her husband. "How could he be so unfeeling?" she wondered.
Quickly putting the sleeping baby in his cradle, Mary went to the window just in time to see the Indian stumble and fall a short way from the house. Her heart beat faster when he did not get up.
"Oh, how awful if that poor man should die because we didn’t help," she thought.
Seeing that William was going to the barn with his scythe, she hurried to the kitchen. What should she take to him? She grabbed the milk, and a loaf of bread, a slice of meat, and some parched corn. Going to the side of the red man, she bent over him.
"Here red-brother, drink some milk. It will make you feel stronger," said Mary gently.
He drank the milk, and then sat up as she spread the food before him. He ate without a word. When he had finished he knelt in front of her.
"Carcoochee protect White Dove from Eagle. Because of White Dove the young will be safe in its nest. Her red-brother will not revenge." said the Indian solemnly.
Taking a handful of heron feathers from his pouch he selected the longest one and handed it to her.
"When White Dove’s mate flies over Indian hunting grounds, tell him, wear this on head." With these words he silently disappeared into the woods.
Mary quietly returned to the house and put the feather away. She didn’t say a word about the feather to William.
The summer passed quietly. Fall came and harvest time. The harvest that year was very good and everyone was pleased. After harvest, came the fall hunt, when all the men in the area got together and hunted deer for their winter’s supply of meat.
William was not a good woodsman, but he always enjoyed the fall hunt. But this year he was worried. He couldn’t get the picture of a certain tall Indian out of his mind. The night before the hunt he was agitated, pacing restlessly around the room.
"Whatever is the matter William?" asked his wife.
"I can’t forget the way I treated that Indian last summer," he admitted. "I’m worried about hunting out there in the woods. An Indian never forgets an injustice."
"An Indian never forgets a kindness either."
"But I wasn’t kind to him. You heard how I drove him away. I know you did."
Mary set aside her knitting and opened a drawer in the dresser and pulled out the heron feather.
"I’ll sew this in your hunting cap. As long as you wear it, you’ll be safe."
"How do you know?"
"Carcoochee gave it to me. He said if you wore it you’d be safe."
"Caroochee?" he asked.
"Yes, he’s the Indian that was here last summer. After you went to the barn I took him food and water."
William sat down with a thump. "I’m sure glad someone in this family learned to follow the Golden Rule better than I did," he said with a sigh.
The next day William left on the hunt with the heron feather bouncing in his cap. The men started out together, but soon William found the trail of a fawn. He followed it. He became so intent on it that he didn’t notice that he was alone or that he was going deep into an unfamiliar part of the woods. For hours he trailed the fawn and finally got it.
When he tried to start home, he realized that he didn’t know where home was. He started out in one direction, but soon found himself back where he’d started. It was getting late in the day. The sun would soon go down. What should he do? The wind stirred the branches of a nearby bush and William jumped, thinking he’d seen an Indian. He stood still and listened, suddenly becoming aware that he could hear a river near by. He headed for the sound.
He was almost there when a large buffalo came charging out of the bushes straight toward him. William fired. But he only wounded the animal. The buffalo charged. William leaped aside, but not far enough. One horn caught him in the side, throwing him to the ground. He rolled over, pulling himself quickly to his feet. He was expecting another attack, when a rifle shot rang out. The buffalo, already beginning a second charge, leaped into the air and dropped dead a few feet from where William stood.
William looked where the shot had come from to see a young Indian springing toward him. His heart leaped with fear, but then he calmed himself. Maybe this Indian could direct him home.
"If hunter will rest ’till morning, the Eagle will show the way to the nest of his White Dove," The Indian said quietly. He took William’s arm and led him through the woods to an Indian camp. He gave William food to eat and then made up a bed for him to sleep in. William did not sleep well that night. He was worried. He was sure this Indian was the one he had treated so badly last summer. "What was the Indian planning to do to him?" he wondered.
At dawn the Indian woke him and they started out, the Indian leading the way. After several hours of walking they came out into the clearing of his farm.
"Oh, thank you! How can I ever thank you? You saved my life!" exclaimed William.
"Five moons ago, when I was faint and tired, you called me ‘Indian dog’ and drove me away. Last night I could take revenge, but White Dove, she fed. For her sake I spare you. Carcoochee says, go home. When you meet another red man in need of kindness, treat him the way I treated you. Goodbye." The Indian turned and would have disappeared into the woods, but William stopped him.
"Please, you must come to the house with me."
When William walked into the house followed by the tall Indian, Mary stared in surprise. When she heard the story of how Carcoochee had saved her husband’s life, her heart overflowed with joy.
It was the first of many visits. Every time Carcoochee came through the area he stopped to see the Sullivans. They shared with him the story of Jesus and how He came to do good for those who hated him.
Eventually Carcoochee became a Christian. William Sullivan never forgot the lesson the Indian had taught him. He never tired of telling the story to his children and grandchildren. "Just think," he would end, "if your grandma Mary hadn’t taken that food and water to Carcoochee, I might have been killed, and Carcoochee would never have become a Christian. It always pays to treat others with kindness." Adapted from Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, "The Indian’s Revenge"
Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 04-26-1881
Text: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."1 .
The character of the Christian is shown by his daily life. Said Christ, "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."2 Our Saviour compares himself to a vine, of which his followers are the branches. He plainly declares that all who would be his disciples must bring forth fruit; and then he shows how they may become fruitful branches. "Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me."3
The apostle Paul describes the fruit which the Christian is to bear. He says that it "is in all goodness and righteousness and truth."4 And again, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."5 These precious graces are but the principles of God’s law carried out in the life.
Those who have genuine love for God will manifest an earnest desire to know his will and to do it. Says the apostle John, whose epistles treat so fully upon love, "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments."6 The child who loves his parents will show that love by willing obedience; but the selfish, ungrateful child seeks to do as little as possible for his parents, while he at the same time desires to enjoy all the privileges granted to the obedient and faithful. The same difference is seen among those who profess to be children of God. Many who know that they are the objects of his love and care, and who desire to receive his blessing, take no delight in doing his will. They regard God’s claims upon them as an unpleasant restraint, his commandments as a grievous yoke. But he who is earnestly seeking for holiness of heart and life, delights in the law of God, and mourns only that he falls so far short of meeting its requirements.
We are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us. He has manifested his love by laying down his life to redeem us. The beloved disciple says that we should be willing to lay down our lives for the brethren. For "every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him."7 If we love Christ, we shall love those who resemble him in life and character. And not only so, but we shall love those who "have no hope and are without God in the world."8 It was to save sinners that Christ left his home in Heaven, and came to earth to suffer and to die. For this he toiled and agonized and prayed, until, heartbroken and deserted by those he came to save, he poured out his life on Calvary.
Many shrink from such a life as our Saviour lived. They feel that it requires too great a sacrifice to imitate the Pattern, to bring forth fruit in good works, and then patiently endure the pruning of God that they may bring forth more fruit. But when the Christian regards himself as only a humble instrument in the hands of Christ, and endeavors to faithfully perform every duty, relying upon the help which God has promised, then he will wear the yoke of Christ and find it easy; then he will bear burdens for Christ, and pronounce them light. He can look up with courage and with confidence, and say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him."9 If we meet obstacles in our path and faithfully overcome them, if we encounter opposition and reproach, and in Christ's name gain the victory, if we bear responsibilities and discharge our duties in the spirit of our Master, then, indeed, we gain a precious knowledge of his faithfulness and power. We no longer depend upon the experience of others, for we have the witness in ourselves. Like the Samaritans of old, we can say, "We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."10 The more we contemplate the character of Christ, and the more we experience of his saving power, the more keenly shall we realize our own weakness and imperfection, and the more earnestly shall we look to him as our strength and our Redeemer. We have no power in ourselves to cleanse the soul temple from its defilement; but as we repent of our sins against God, and seek pardon through the merits of Christ, he will impart that faith that works by love and purifies the heart. By faith in Christ, and obedience to the law of God, we may be sanctified, and thus obtain a fitness for the society of holy angels and the white-robed redeemed ones in the kingdom of glory.
It is not only the privilege but the duty of every Christian to maintain a close union with Christ, and to have a rich experience in the things of God. Then his life will be fruitful in good works. Said Christ, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."11 In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul endeavors to set before his brethren the "mystery of the gospel,"12 the "unsearchable riches of Christ,"13 and then assures them of his earnest prayers for their spiritual prosperity:
"I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."14
Again, he writes to his Corinthian brethren, "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,"15 "Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."16 These words are addressed not only to the church at Corinth, but to all the people of God to the close of time. Every Christian may enjoy the blessing of sanctification.
The apostle continues, in these words: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."17 Paul would not have appealed to them to do that which was impossible. Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection.
In the epistle to the Colossians also are set forth the glorious privileges vouchsafed to the children of God. "Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,… we also since the day we heard it do not cease to pray for you; and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."18
The apostle himself was endeavoring to reach the same standard of holiness which he set before his brethren. He writes to the Philippians: "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.... That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."19 There is a striking contrast between the boastful, self-righteous claims of those who profess to be without sin, and the modest language of the apostle. Yet it was the purity and faithfulness of his own life that gave such power to his exhortations to his brethren.
Paul did not hesitate to enforce, upon every suitable occasion, the importance of Bible sanctification. He says: "Ye know what commandment we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification."20 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."21
He bids Titus to instruct the church that while they should trust to the merits of Christ for salvation, divine grace, dwelling in their hearts, will lead to the faithful performance of all the duties of life. "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."22
Paul seeks to impress upon our minds the fact that the foundation of all acceptable service to God, as well as the very crown of the Christian graces, is love; and that only in the soul where love reigns will the peace of God abide. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."23 By Mrs. E. G. White.
1. 1 Thess. 5:23.
2. Matt 7:17.
3. John 15:4.
4. Eph 5:9.
5. Gal 5:22,23.
6. 1 John 5:3.
7. 1 John 5:1.
8. Eph 2:12.
9. 2 Tim 1:12.
10. John 4:42.
11. John 15:8.
12. Eph 6:19.
13. Eph 3:8.
14. Eph 3:14-19.
15. 1 Cor 1:2.
16. 1 Cor 1:3-7.
17. 1 Cor 1:10.
18. Col 1:4-11.
19. Col 3:7-14.
20. 1 Thess 4:2-3.
21. Phil 2:12-15.
22. Titus 3:1-8.
23. Col 3:12-17.
LETTERS AND SOME ANSWERS
Thank you for the first of many editions of Seventh-day Remnant Voice. How are you doing?
I am still in the process of updating and publishing "God’s Plan to Physical Health." I will send you an electronic copy of the book (it is all the teaching that I learned as a medical missionary). Maybe you can use different parts of it in your magazine. It is made up primarily of Ellen G. White’s writing.
May our Lord keep blessing you and keeping you. Brenda & Larry Coates
My heart is so appreciative of God’s last day truths and that He has His people who are discerning and are studying His Word and the Spirit of Prophecy. Thank you for the Seventh-day Remnant VOICE. I also am striving to be among the Remnant of her seed. Please continue this excellent work. Roberta King
Today, I was sent a link to your new site for the remnant of the Revelation 14 and 18.
Please let me first say, the site is very well put together—the content and the color scheme—and presents beautifully, however, more importantly, the material presented is spiritually sound, from what I’ve read thus far.
I would like to place my name on your mailing list to receive the magazine, if you would be so kind.
I will tell other remnant believers of this site as well.
It is my prayer to stay strong in the Lord and to HOLD FAST ’TIL HE COMES!
God’s richest blessings to you, in Christian Love, your sister-in-Christ, Cariolinfa Knight
Just read your organization "New Testament" piece. I can’t agree with you more on your Biblical thoughts and insight. I have been to over 20 different so-called "historic groups" and various web sites that are calling themselves the "called out" ones from the G/C churches. Granted they have for the most part of them, been called -out of the organized work.
Problem is, that I am seeing with most of these groups, as they grow, the leaders become a "dictatorship" by the "pastors" that are "running" them (they actually refuse to see it if the subject is brought forward). Some of these people are colder than a fresh Alaskan flounder. They have all the correct demeanor of what a "historic" is supposed to have, yet their hearts are very far from the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior. Mind you, I am not knocking, just picking a little fruit.
Certain individuals are almost shunned, I have seen it with these poor eyes. Why? Because they don’t seem to measure up to what the leadership requires of them as individuals in Christ. Therefore, you only see or hear from them on Sabbath; the rest of the week they are all but forgotten, left out there, hanging somewhere for the want of fellowship of the leaders & laity. Am I being clear here? I hope I am not sounding "critical." You generally are accused of that as soon as you speak up about what you’re seeing taking place. This is what split the church in the first place. They (the organized SDA G/C churches) lost the love of Christ. The spirit of who is the greatest sets in. Guess who wins in this kind of situation? NO ONE! Now we have the Remnant outside wondering what happened to all the "Organization" we once had inside. But how are we going to unify now? I see some groups going back to the same old, "I’m in charge, you’re not" attitude. This ought not be, "for all we are brethren."
Hope I am making sense without "rocking the boat" as it were. As this poor wretched sinner sees it, we need men who will service and visit the brethren in their homes. and want to help get these forgotten ones into the "Book of Life" before our probation closes—and it is very, very, close.
In Christ’s love, God’s peace, Br. Frank Stewart
We want to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for this publication. It was such an encouragement to us when we received this magazine this past week. May the Lord bless you and your staff in a mighty way. We have been so blessed in reading all the articles. We especially were thankful to the Lord that He is bringing people out of all the churches. What a privilege to be living in these last days of earth’s history and to be a part of the Seventh-day Remnant Movement.
We live up here in NH and to see how the Lord is working all over the world is wonderful and gives us such great courage to know that our God is leading us all into an army for Him. Pray that we will be faithful to Him as we serve Him in these last days. My roommates, Pat and June, and I want to continue to receive this publication each month. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Rom. 8:37. My God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil.4:19
Always in Christ, Linda (Webb), Pat, and June
The type of vision that you have as the stated purpose for your magazine could very well be a significant move for the remnant.
Presently, from what I’ve read on your site, it appears that the main focus is on the pillars of our faith, which is exactly where our focus should be. The pillars of our faith never change. They are only enhanced by our study and comprehension of historic present truth.
We, who believe in and fully accept the Spirit of Prophecy writings as inspired, must not pick and choose statements from these writings to fit our preconceived ideas of what is PRESENT TRUTH.
For example, the present truth for Noah was to build the ark; later, those who understood and comprehended that PRESENT TRUTH were better prepared to accept the PRESENT TRUTH message when God gave the call to enter the ark.
This deduction can be seen to be true hundreds and hundreds of times throughout Biblical history. Matter of fact, that is the only deduction that can be reached in reviewing all history.
We must not only study the old, but comprehend all the principles of the old to be in position where we can identify the new—the PRESENT TRUTH for our day. Most people will not recognize the new, and the few who do are very, very unpopular. I truly believe that most of us, even among the remnant, do not have any idea of what constitutes PRESENT TRUTH today.
Many of us are bewildered, divided, held by tradition and formalism, looking to others—pastors, group leaders—who think we are standing by the old landmarks, when we don’t know what the old landmarks really are. If many leaders even in the 1800s did not understand what the landmarks really were, how much less prepared are we today to make the judgment of what constitutes the "old landmarks."
It is only by a thorough understanding of the pillars of our faith, that the Holy Spirit can unfold to us the present truth for our day. The present truth will be the old truth in a new setting, or we could say, it will be a movement similar to that of 1844, only further developed, as is illustrated by William Miller’s dream of the two caskets, (quoted in EW 81). The pillars of our faith are the jewels in the caskets. Only in the second casket are they seen in their true splendor shining TEN times more gloriously than in the first casket. The second LARGER casket represents the PRESENT TRUTH movement we are hoping to recognize and desiring to be a part of.
I would be interested to know more of the circumstances that led you to initiate this outreach, and the financial strength of this endeavor.
May God bless you, Kay Wolfe
Dear Sister Kay,
What has happened is that several interested believers who have found it impossible to continue to be a part of an organization that embraces apostasy felt the need to organize all these home churches. My wife and I became involved with this project in February, 2001. The project had really been started three years before that.
We printed a book entitled "United Brethren Under John 17." It had studies in it showing the need and requirements of God to have His people organized and united. It defined some of the fanaticisms we see all around us. It encouraged readers to unite with us.
We refrained from using the word "join" because we are not a denomination. We believe that you "join" the local church. Right now I have run out of copies and need to print some more. I don’t have an exact count, but only about 500 were printed. The response was very small. The amazing thing is that more people in Africa understood what we were trying to do and responded than from anywhere else.
As we continued to study the results of our endeavor and the counsels of the Lord in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the need to create a denomination became obvious. One of our group on the East Coast had begun organizing the home churches in his area and began using the name Seventh-day Remnant.
As we looked at the history of the Seventh-day Adventist church, we saw that it was a magazine that brought unity to the believers, and they organized as a result of that unity. We decided to publish that kind of magazine. First we created the Seventh-day Remnant Publishing Association. It has a board of 11 members. We have a bank account so that we can make deposits in the name of the organization and pay bills. We have not taken out any government directed non-profit status.
So far most of our funding has been through donations from board members. The publishing association owns no buildings. It has purchased a computer that hosts the web site. That computer is in Indiana at an Internet Service Provider’s facility. It costs us $100 a month to keep it there with its high-speed connection. We are paying one of the board members $250 a month to maintain the site. He has done all the programming. I built the computer at a cost of less than $300, which included shipping from California to Indiana. That, along with the URL registration of all the similar names that could be used by the Seventh-day Remnant church and publishing association on the internet, are the association’s total assets. We also have about $800 in the bank.
I personally purchased a Riso high-speed duplicator and back stapler. It belongs to me. This is what was used to print the magazine and staple it together. Paper costs for the first issue were less than $200. Postage permit, $300. Bulk mailing to US addresses was $200. Foreign address postage was $425. Then I found I needed to send the foreign ones in envelopes, so I purchased 1000 of them for $130. The total distribution of the first issue was 842 copies. We have enough money to send out the second issue. Please note:, all these figures are approximates. You see, I have full time secular employment and I do the editing and printing of the Voice in my spare time.
I certainly hope this brief description answers your questions. If it does not, please feel free to ask more.
With Christian love, Jim
Dear Brother Jim,
Thank you very much for taking time to answer my questions in so much detail. I would be very interested to read the booklet you mentioned, if you could let me know when or where I could get a copy. I wish you God’s direction and leading in your endeavor.
There can only be unity in truth, never in compromise. During the early years of the Advent movement there were times that Sister White referred to as "gathering times" and "scattering times." And all attempts to gather in the scattering time proved futile, she said. It is wonderful when God gathers His people, they hear His voice, they recognize His footsteps, they follow Him, but a stranger they will not follow. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me."
He has promised that those who seek will find, those who knock will have the door opened to them. I’m an old lady, and the Lord has been so good to me, leading me in the truth. (The truth shall set you free.) Since the 1970s, I’ve been in the free company as described in Early Writings.
I pray that all of us will seek and search so that the promise can be fulfilled to us—that we will find.
May God bless and lead you, Kay Wolfe
Hello and blessings to you! I have just found you and I thank the Lord for leading me to you. I am an Adventist of 5 years, but had only attended one SDA church until I recently moved away. Now I am in an area where there is no SDA church and the nearest one has only 3—8 in attendance each Sabbath and there is NO activity. So, since I have been here I have sought out on-line "fellowship." Since doing this, I have discovered how LITTLE I learned from the church I was in and how much error was taught, so it has "sorta" been a blessing that I have been on my own. I KNOW without the slightest doubt that THIS is where God wants me to be. He provided this 30-acre farm in the mountains for FREE for my husband and me. Our only responsibilities are to keep up the utilities and "fix up" (on our own schedule) the old farmhouse on the property. I KNOW it was from GOD.
God bless your work. Author wishes to remain unknown
Thank you for the SDR Voice. I think it is very well written, and we pray that it will bring some of God’s people into unity with us. This morning in my worship I read the first 3 chapters of Ezekiel, and I think that the third chapter applies here. They may not respond, but we need to do our duty. May the Lord bless in this effort to his glory.
With Christian Love, Sabah Doss
Greetings in Christ. 1 John 3:1.
I thank God for placing the SDRC Voice magazine in my hands. It was really a pleasant moment to see the magazine along with the name of Brother Jim Snipes. It is nice to see all the development in our ministry. As Brother Bob said, it may be my wish to have such an organized church. But I never thought of like the SDA church. The brethrenship love and serving to the President of our God the Father is our duty always.
God is gathering the people, those who are in similar Spirit, to work for Him in this last hour movement. We hope and pray that this work should be carried forward by our President of the living God.
Our brethren from India are conveying their Christian greetings to all the brethren of the USA and abroad.
May God bless every one of you. Brother David Sampathkumar
There are a few things that I am requesting. (1). The free Bible study lessons. (2). I am trying to locate a worship center in my area. _______, SC (3). If there is no worship center within reason of driving, what are the requirements of starting up a worship center in this area? I have been sharing the truth with first day worshippers, of course you know, many are mind boggled with no where to go!!! (4). My last request, I would like to subscribe to the newsletter.
Thank You, Reggie D. Dixon
I have received SDR Voice Magazine with gratitude. It is such a thing I had always desired. You remember my e-mail that you need to keep us updated on what is happening in this whole movement. It is worthy to remember how the Advent movement was united. God blessed their efforts of unity and organization through the PRESENT TRUTH & REVIEW and HERALD magazine. Let us emulate our fathers.
About the name—I have something. We need a separate name. We should stand on our God-given position and show the world where we stand on the prophetic history. But it should also bear all the qualities of our Present Light. In addition to the 3 angels’ message, we have the 4th. The nominal SDA conference has thrown out the clause of their name, seventh day, in abbreviation taking only Adventist. They are no longer SDA! This will alarm many of the laity, and help them to see the need of this new movement. But should we leave out the idea of Adventism from our name, we might come short of a very important portion of our faith! Though I wait for the other articles, I feel that we should have more expression on the nearness of the advent of our Lord in our name! I would propose the name to be Seventh Day Remnant Advent Church.
About registration and directing the work, I know that Christ is leading out a people—His body. This movement needs to be a registered worldwide church visibly. "Do we realize how large a number in the world are watching our movements? From quarters where we least expect will come voices urging us forward in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy… Let the gospel message ring through our churches summoning them to universal action." 7T 14:1, 2.
I have always felt unsafe for our dear people to work on their own responsibility. The human body works as a single organ under one command from the head (brain). The hands will never work without the support of other parts of the body! Although without hierarchical order we should nevertheless have a universal direction or action for success in the call God has entrusted us with. We should move in concert as one body worldwide, each member subject and united to the other, one church working with the others.
We should copy the way the human works. The body with all its ten systems and many organs busily fulfilling their various duties, yet the man does one act at a time! God has a church already in this present movement. This church body must own all the different ministries as the human body owns all the organs and its members.
Independence and working on personal responsibility are disorganization, which I feel God’s blessing can not attend to. Jesus is ready to bless and nourish His body, not stray independent offshoots. Let us all learn to be humble and subject one to the other, looking to Christ’s direction through His various ways of communication. In this way we can have a universal action, by which the loud cry message will swell louder to its climax.
May blessing abound, In the service of faith, Patrick M. Manyara.
I appreciate what you are doing for the Lord, I say Well done!
Please enroll me and let me sharpen my knowledge of the ‘Present Truth.’ Romans 1:9 Afolabi Samuel.
Greetings in Jesus’ name. We are an independent fellowship not affiliated with any church or ministry. Therefore we hereby apply for church membership in your church.
We are looking for brethren who will come to teach, train and ordain us here in Kenya.
God bless you and we hope to hear from you
Yours in Christ, Pastor Philip N. Omare
It would be an honour and glory to Jesus Christ our Lord to add my voice to the remnant of the Lamb.
May our combined voices be heard throughout the world and in the power of the Holy Spirit. May we finish the great work that is laid upon us. "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" 1 Corinthians 9:16. (kjv)
I must follow the Lamb wherever He leads, even unto death. I offer my God-given gifts and resources to further His cause; I can do nothing else. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights..." James 1:17 (kjv). What a blessing this is for those that have left the fallen churches, knowing they are not alone and others hear the voice of Christ to leave and unite. Great power in unity. I offer my prayers, my support, and my voice to preach the last warning to the earth. My prayer is that this combined effort will bring on the great day of the Lord and the gospel will reach every last ear.
Your sister in Christ, Bonnie Muncey
3 John 2."Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"
Hi! Greetings from your brother and sister in the Lord!
We received a copy of the Voice and we want to thank you for sending this to us. We thank the Lord that He guided you and all of our dear brethren there in coming up with great results. We are impressed with all of the contents of this first issue. All are really great and we praise the Lord for this. We are really blessed with the studies there, especially about the name. >From the time that we separated from the SDA organization, we don’t know what we would call ourselves if somebody asked us. Sometimes, we still claim that we are SDAs though we separated from them but not now anymore. We also appreciate the poem on laws of health and we are teaching it to our two little kids and help them memorize it. Please continue to send us a copy of the monthly issue, and this will be greatly appreciated. We are praying that the Lord will continue to guide and bless all of you in doing His will and His work.
In Christ, Fred & Belle Inciong
I am very grateful for the pamphlet the Remnant Voice, I have learned a lot, and I need more soon I will write my contribution.
God bless you for this wonderful work. George Ombati
We received the Seventh-Day Remnant (SDR) Voice of August 2004; I even studied it and was impressed by the new message of another movement. Indeed we must strive to be among the remnant of her seed. So, include us in your mailing list for the quarterly SDR Voice. We will be glad to share the present truth message with souls honestly mistaken, but having heard the truth, we wish to remain honest to the truth and be established on the solid platform of truth. Keep us posted on your progress as well as the happenings there. Pass our regards to the brethren there and God bless and keep you all is our prayer as always. Talk to you later.
Sincerely, Bro. George Ochieng, Sis. Everlyne, Bro. George O. Onyango.
In fact yes, I want to know what is this organization about, what is your purpose and what is your goal, what do you believe or in short, how can I learn more about your organization? Rowie Carpena
I can’t answer your questions in a few lines. The www.sdrvoice.org website has some of the information. If you will read the first magazine we published and the articles scheduled for later publication, you will have some idea. There is another website that is under the links that has many more articles on it. I even have some there. It is www.lightministries.com
Most of us have been at one time members of the Seventh-day Adventist church. I am a graduate of Pacific Union College. I personally found that I could not remain a member and continue to grow spiritually. Our family left in 1994, all of us having been life-long members. We have not attended church services there since. We have conducted church in our home.
With Christian love, Jim
This answer gives me an idea of what you believe. I was once a member of the SDA church and like you said, I can’t remain there and expect to be saved. We got out of the business building since 2001 and we’ve been worshipping at home. God showed me a lot more truth by separating from the business building or organization. Thank you for responding and now, I will be very comfortable visiting your website. Rowie
I believe that the angel of Revelation 18 is making the call now. I pray that each one will recognize the voice of that angel. We have been given examples in the Bible and history of the importance of following to the letter the calls that God makes for our salvation.
The first example of a call to the world was that of Noah. The message given to him was one of warning with a solution of "come into the ark." There was faith, acceptance that this was going to happen, before they could have accepted the idea of the coming destruction, to enter the ark. How sad that only 8 accepted that message of warning.
I think of Lot and his family. It was at Abraham’s request that he be removed from the city that was to soon be destroyed. Lot and his family, that did leave, were pulled out by the angels. Lot even then was not truly aware of the danger, demonstrated by his request to go to another city close by. He felt that he could and had done a positive work in the city, not realizing the destructive influence and pull of the city on his own family. Just a little more time, just a little more time, maybe someone could change. But the destroying angels were about to do their work at God’s appointed time. Whoever was left in that city was doomed for destruction, because of where they were, and not obeying the Word of God. This was also true with the children of Israel at the time of the last plague.
This is a quote that I found from Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, chapter entitled, Notes of Travel, Page 217, paragraph 1:
"When the destroying angel was about to pass through the land of Egypt, and smite the firstborn of both man and beast, the Israelites were directed to bring their children into the house with them, and to strike the doorpost with blood, and none were to go out of the house; for all that were found among the Egyptians would be destroyed with them. Suppose an Israelite had neglected to place the sign of blood upon his door, saying that the angel of God would be able to distinguish between the Hebrews and the Egyptians; would the heavenly sentinels have stood to guard that dwelling? We should take this lesson to ourselves. Again the destroying angel is to pass through the land. There is to be a mark placed upon God’s people, and that mark is the keeping of his holy Sabbath. We are not to follow our own will and judgment, and flatter ourselves that God will come to our terms. God tests our faith by giving us some part to act in connection with his interposition in our behalf. To those who comply with the conditions, his promises will be fulfilled; but all that venture to depart from his instructions, to follow a way of their own choosing, will perish with the wicked when his judgments are visited upon the earth."
The work of the destroying angel that is to pass through the land I believe is in reference to Ezekiel chapter 9. He comes right after the mark is placed by the man with the inkhorn.
"To strike the doorpost with blood… representing Christ as the only one who can shield and save". RH 02-19-95
"…The sign of blood—the sign of a Saviour’s protection—was on their doors, and the destroyer entered not." PP 279.
Another example is the apostles and Christ’s followers when they were told of the signs of when to leave Jerusalem because of the destruction that was to come upon that city.
Those that received the 3 angels’ messages were called to come out, but they didn’t preach that message, but a message of the soon coming of Christ. They had no plans to start a new church or organization nor leave the churches they attended, but they came out because of the message that they received and preached. It was a separating message.
I want to close with the statement from YI 12-06-94: "But there are many who claim to be children of God who are resting their hopes upon other dependencies, rather than on the blood of Christ alone. When urged to rest their faith wholly upon Christ as a complete Saviour, many reveal the fact that they have faith in something that they think they can do. They say, ‘I have a great deal to do before I can be fit to come to Christ.’ Another says, ‘When I have done to the uttermost all that I can do, then the Lord Jesus will come to my help.’ They imagine that they have a great deal to do themselves to save their own souls, and that Jesus will come in and piece out that part which is lacking, and give the finishing stroke to their salvation. These poor souls will not be strong in God until they accept Christ as a complete Saviour. They can add nothing to their salvation. The Israelites were required to sprinkle the doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb, in order that when the angel of death passed through the land, they might escape destruction. But if instead of doing this simple act of faith and obedience, they had barricaded the door, and taken every precaution to keep the destroying angel out, their pains would have been in vain, and would have testified to their unbelief. When the blood was seen upon the doorpost, it was enough. The salvation of the house was assured. So it is in the work of salvation; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin."
It is my prayer that Jesus Christ’s blood is on our doorposts, and that the message of warning will be accepted in each one’s life.
Process all ingredients in blender until very smooth. If not using the olives, add about 1/4 cup of water to aid blending. Serve over salad or pasta or as dip for fresh vegetables. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
YOU CANNOT FORM ANOTHER ORGANIZATION!
SDAs have been taught that if they separated from the SDA church they could not form another church organization, and if they did, they would be in apostasy against God. And for many years, those who have chosen to separate from the church, because of its corruption and apostasy, have been content to remain mostly independent atoms without any form of organization or unity whatsoever. Even though there are Scriptures and Testimonies declaring that God desires His faithful people to unite together under a simple form of Gospel organization, yet God’s separated people pass by these inspired words, believing that they were written for the SDA church, and not for these last days just before the second coming.
But this particular belief that outside of the SDA church no organization can be formed without displeasing God and losing salvation through apostasy, is not found to be clearly taught in either the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy. Some will quickly protest and declare: "But Ellen White herself plainly stated so!" Well, then, let us closely examine her statement:
"The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work. Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth."1
Who was Ellen White warning in 1905 not to step off the foundation of the truth already established and form a new church organization? Was she warning those SDAs who might choose to separate from the church? Or was she warning the leadership of the SDA church? Ellen White plainly states who she was warning!
"The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. 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.
"Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?
"I am instructed to say that those who would tear away the foundation that God has laid are not to be accepted as the teachers and leaders of His people. We are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end."2
Ellen White was not warning those who would be forced to separate from the SDA church because of its apostasy that they could never form another church organization after God’s order. But she was plainly warning the leadership of the SDA church that if they formed a new organization, "this would mean apostasy from the truth."
Sadly, the SDA church leadership rejected this warning, brought in this satanic reformation, and over the decades has successfully reorganized the entire SDA church and established it upon a new organization.3 The SDA church has stepped off the foundation that God has established. They have entered into a new organization. And they have apostatized from the truth! And God is continually working to awaken His faithful people to this sad fact.
There is an ever-growing awareness among the membership in regard to this great apostasy of their SDA church. Multitudes are choosing to separate themselves from this corrupt church, are choosing to worship God in the beauty of truth and holiness in their very homes; and there are hundreds and thousands of these independent home churches around the world!
Is it God’s will that His separated people in these last days should avoid organizing together under the simple principles of truth and order which He has already endorsed? Is it God’s will that His separated people continue to remain disconnected from one another like independent atoms?
"Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.
"Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves let them draw in harmony with their fellow laborers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted."4. "'God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.’ There was order in the church when Christ was on the earth, and after his departure, order was strictly observed among the disciples. And now, in these last days, when God is bringing his children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before; for as God seeks to unite his people, Satan and his angels strive to destroy this unity.
"As all the different members of the human system unite to form the entire body, and each performs its office in obedience to the intelligence that governs the whole, so the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole."5
"In spite of all the good qualities a man may have, he cannot be a good soldier if he acts independently of those connected with him. Occasional and uncertain movements, however earnest and energetic, will in the end bring defeat. Take a strong team of horses. If, instead of both pulling together, one should suddenly jerk forward and the other pull back, they would not move the load, notwithstanding their great strength. So the soldiers of Christ must work in concert, else there will be a mere concourse of independent atoms. Strength, instead of being carefully treasured to meet one great end, will be wasted in disconcerted, meaningless efforts. In union is strength. A few men and women who unite together, having the glory of God in view, will be growing in strength and wisdom, and gaining new victories. There is much hard work to be done for the Master, and much wisdom must be brought into the work."6
May our separated people understand this truth, cast away the error that they have been taught, and come together as one in order to fulfill the purpose of God, and fill this earth with His glory in uplifting Christ before all the peoples of the world! By Robert Sessler
1. 2SM 390.
2. BCL 79, 81-82 (see also 1SM 204-206 & SpTB7 39-42).
3. For proof of this, please write for the book "The Abomination of Desolation and Church History", or visit the web site www.LightMinistries.com/SDA/Books/id94.htm
4. 9T 258-259.
5. RH 2-16-1911.
6. ST 9-7-1891.