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part 5 - What is the Secret to Unity and What Name to Use

1)    "Jesus and holy angels are bringing up and uniting God's people into one faith, that they may all have one mind and one judgment.  And while they are being brought into the unity of the faith, to see eye to eye upon the solemn, important truths for this time, Satan is at work to oppose their advancement.  Jesus is at work through His instruments to gather and unite.  Satan works through his instruments to scatter and divide." Testimonies, vol 1, p 332.

2)    "The secret of unity is union with Christ.  Christ is the great center.  We shall approach one another just in proportion as we approach the center.  United with Christ, we shall surely be united with our brethren in the faith." Paulson Collection, p 153.

     "The secret of unity is found in the equality of believers in Christ.  The reason for all division, discord, and difference is found in separation from Christ.  Christ is the center to which all should be attracted; for the nearer we approach the center, the closer we shall come together in feeling, in sympathy, in love, growing into the character and image of Jesus." Selected Messages, book 1. p 259.

3)    "When the people of God are one with Him, they will be one with each other.  Their unity and love will testify to the genuineness of their union with Christ." Manuscript Releases, vol 15, p 86-87.

4)    "The apostles differed widely in habits and disposition.  There were the publican, Levi-Matthew, and the fiery zealot Simon, the uncompromising hater of the authority of Rome; the generous, impulsive Peter, and the mean-spirited Judas; Thomas, true-hearted, yet timid and fearful, Philip, slow of heart, and inclined to doubt, and the ambitious, outspoken sons of Zebedee, with their brethren.  These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit.  They would have their tests, their grievances, their differences of opinion; but while Christ was abiding in the heart, there could be no dissension.  His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to the harmonizing of all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, till they would be of one mind and one judgment.  Christ is the great center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the center." Desire of Ages, p 296.

5)    "Before the power of the Holy Ghost rested upon the disciples, they spent ten days before God in prayer and fasting and confession of sin.  After they had come into unity, the heavens were opened, the glory of God was revealed, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.  Then they went forth to proclaim the gospel with power, and under the influence of the Spirit five thousand were converted in one day." Sermons and Talks, vol 2, p 203 (Manuscript 77, 1902).

6)    "Unless there was church discipline and church governments, the church would go to fragments.  They could not hold together as a body." Manuscript Releases, vol 15, p 130.

     "...it is necessary to have order and discipline..." Review and Herald, Sept 4, 1888.

7)    "The Lord has shown me that gospel order has been too much neglected and feared.  That formality should be shunned; but in doing so, order should not be neglected.  There is order in heaven.  There was order in the church when Christ was upon the earth; and after His departure, order was strictly observed among His apostles.  And now in these last days, while God is bringing His children into the unity of faith, there is more real need of order than ever before; for, as God unites His children, Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it." Early Writings, p 97.

     "Christ would have His followers brought together in church capacity, observing order, having rules and discipline, and all subject one to another, esteeming others better than themselves.  Union and confidence are essential to the prosperity of the church." Testimonies, vol 3, p 445.

     "...the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole....Many do not realize the sacredness of church relationship and are loath to submit to restraint and discipline.  Their course of action shows that they exalt their own judgment above that of the united church...Every believer should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church." Testimonies, vol 4, p 16-18.

8)   "The order that was maintained in the early Christian church made it possible for them to move forward solidly as a well-disciplined army clad with the armor of God.  The companies of believers, though scattered over a large territory, were all members of one body; all moved in concert and in harmony with one another." Acts of Apostles, p 95-96.

     “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.” Testimonies, vol 9, p 258-259.

     “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.” Review and Herald, February 16, 1911.

     “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.” Signs of the Times, September 7, 1891.

9)    “We are not saved as a sect; no denominational name has any virtue to bring us into favor with God.  We are saved individually as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Review and Herald, February 10, 1891.

10)    “Ye shall know them by their fruits....every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot being forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20.

     “Not by its name, but by its fruit , is the value of a tree determined.  If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction.  John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life.  Profession was worthless.  If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.” Desire of Ages, p 106-107.

11)    “A fearful stain was brought upon the cause of God which would cleave to the name of Adventist like the leprosy.”  Manuscript Releases, vol 8, p 238.

12)    "I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts...And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name." Isaiah 65:2, 15.

13)    "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17.

     "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.

* Here are the links to the quotes used for the other parts in this series:

God's True Church - part 1
God's True Church - part 2
God's True Church - part 3
God's True Church - part 4