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THE TRUE CHURCH
The Upward Look, p 315
God has a church. It is not the great cathedrals, neither is it the national establishment, neither it is the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" [Matt. 18:20]. Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.
Manuscript Release, #1264, p 3
Speaking to His church Christ said, "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." The professing christian who is not a christian in practice, is not included in this promise. It is only when the voice of the church becomes the voice of Christ that the promise can be received in its fullness.--Manuscript 9, 1908.
The Acts of the Apostles, p 11
From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth.
Manuscript Releases, Volume 4, 293
God had a church when Adam and Eve and Abel accepted and hailed with joy the good news that Jesus was their Redeemer. These realized as fully than as we realize now the promise of the presence of God in their midst. Whenever Enoch found one or two who were willing to hear the message he had for them, Jesus joined with them in their worship of God. In Enoch's day there were some among the wicked inhabitants of earth who believed. The Lord never yet has left His faithful few without His presence nor the world without a witness.--Manuscript 43, 1900.
S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Volume Seven, p 931
The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the "true tabernacle," whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform.
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, August 18, 1896, p 14 (God's Amazing Grace, p 14)
Christ taught that His church is a spiritual kingdom. He Himself, "the Prince of peace," is the Head of His church.
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, December 4, 1900
His church is the court of holy life, filled with varied gifts and endowed with the Holy Spirit.
Sermons and Talks, p 311
He (Christ) wants you to have heaven in view, and heaven is a good deal nearer than you think. God's holy, anointed ones are right by you, and here is His church, the greatest object of His love that it is possible for Him to have. He is watching over every one of us.--Manuscript 93a, 1899.
The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Four, p 237
There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the Word of God, and who are purified by it.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p 16
Consider, my brethren and sisters, that the Lord has a people, a chosen people, His church, to be His own, His own fortress, which He holds in a sin-stricken, revolted world; and He intended that no authority should be known in it, no laws be acknowledged by it, but His own.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p 61
God has a church upon the earth who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people.
S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Volume Seven, p 949
Those who keep God's commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God.
The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Four, p 188
The suppression of the Scriptures under the dominion of Rome, the terrible results of that suppression, and the final exaltation of the word of God, are vividly portrayed by the prophetic pencil. To John the exile on lonely Patmos was given a view of the 1260 years during which the papal power was permitted to trample upon God's word and oppress his people. Said the angel of the Lord: "The holy city [the true church] shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." [REV. 11:2, 3.] The periods here mentioned are the same, alike representing the time in which God's faithful witnesses remained in a state of obscurity.
The Great Controversy, p 64
The faith which for centuries was held and taught by the Waldensian Christians was in marked contrast to the false doctrines put forth from Rome. Their religious belief was founded upon the written word of God, the true system of Christianity. But those humble peasants, in their obscure retreats, shut away from the world, and bound to daily toil among their flocks and their vineyards, had not by themselves arrived at the truth in opposition to the dogmas and heresies of the apostate church. Theirs was not a faith newly received. Their religious belief was their inheritance from their fathers. They contended for the faith of the apostolic church,--"the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3. "The church in the wilderness," and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world's great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God has committed to His people to be given to the world.
The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p 1503-1504
If Harmon Lindsay had been true to the word of God, he would have been true to this family, true to the church, true to his neighbor, and true to his fellow men. He would have made his calling and election sure. But he thought his own wisdom all sufficient. I sent my Holy Spirit to testify unto him the truth, and to move upon his soul; for there was hidden in its depths that which needed to be brought to the Spirit to testify unto him the truth, and to move upon his soul; for there was hidden in its depths that which needed to be brought to the surface. Messenger after messenger was sent to entreat his attention. Many times I called. Often I presented my grace before him. Often he was moved by the story of the self-sacrificing Redeemer. He felt the heart touch of the messenger of peace, and tenderness and love awakened to respond to the call. Often he turned to listen, as the voice was heard. But in the home there was vanity, self-indulgence, a very cheap religious influence; the wife was frivolous, trifling, vain, and superficial. He might have led her to receive an altogether different mould had he strenuously set his own heart above the world, and turned to me for help and strength. But he failed to do this, and the heavenly was eclipsed by the earthly.
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 7, 1907 (Child Guidance, p 550)
Many seem to think that the declension in the church, the growing love of pleasure, is due to want of pastoral work. True, the church is to be provided with faithful guides and pastors. Ministers should labor earnestly for the youth who have not given themselves to Christ, and also for others, who, though their names are on the church-roll, are irreligious and Christless. But ministers may do their work faithfully and well, yet it will amount to very little if parents neglect their work. It is to a lack of Christianity in the home life that the lack of power in the church is due. Until parents take up their work as they should, it will be difficult to arouse the youth to a sense of their duty. If religion reigns in the home, it will be brought into the church. The parents who do their work for God are a power for good. As they restrain and encourage their children, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they bless the neighborhood in which they live. And the church is strengthened by their faithful work.
Signs of the Times, November 23, 1904,
But in every age the Lord Jesus has had His witnesses,--a remnant who trusted in the word of God....It will be seen how small companies, sometimes not more than three or four, have gathered together in secret places to seek the Lord...
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, January 23, 1908 (Prophets and Kings, p 605)
The trying experiences that came to God's people in the days of Esther, were not peculiar to that age alone. The Revelator, looking down the ages to the close of time, declared by inspiration, "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." In the near future we shall see these words fulfilled, as the Protestant churches unite with the world and with the papal power against commandment-keepers. The same spirit that actuated those who persecuted the true church in ages past, will lead Protestants to pursue a similar course toward those who will maintain their loyalty to God. Church and state are now making preparations for the last great conflict.
The Acts of the Apostles, p 54-55 (Counsels on Stewardship, p 250-251)
It is true that in the time of the end, when God's work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor. Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God's church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.
The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Four, p 277-278
But the stern tracings of the prophetic pencil reveal a change in this peaceful scene. The beast with lamb-like horns speaks with the voice of a dragon, and "exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him." The spirit of persecution manifested by paganism and the papacy is again to be revealed. Prophecy declares that this power will say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast." [1 REV. 13:14.] The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By this first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution, as were God's ancient people. Almost every century furnishes examples of what bigotry and malice can do under a plea of serving God by protecting the rights of Church and State. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. In the seventeenth century thousands of non-conformist ministers suffered under the rule of the Church of England. Persecution always follows religious favoritism on the have formed an image of the Papacy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution as were God's people in ancient times. Almost every century furnishes instances of what human hearts, controlled by rage and malice, can do under a plea of serving God by protecting the rights of the church and State. The Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliances with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. How many non-conformist ministers have suffered under the power of the Church of England! Persecution always follows a restriction of religious liberty on the part of secular governments.
Manuscript Releases, Volume Five, p 201
I saw that we are the only people upon earth from whom God is to get glory, and if we should hold our peace the very stones would cry out, for God must receive glory from some of those who dwell upon the earth. The only company who can praise and honor God, I saw, ar those who are keeping the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.--Manuscript 5a, July, 1850.
The Signs of the Times, August 9, 1883
Those who refuse to advance as the providence of God leads the way, seek to arrest the progress of those who endeavor to walk in the light. The churches of this generation profess to be holy, but they permit the love of the world to control them. They have united in spirit and fellowship with the workers of iniquity. They choose to depart from the divine commandment, rather than to separate themselves from the friendship and customs of the world. They are joined to the idols they have chosen; and because temporal prosperity and the favor of a sin-loving world are granted them, they deem themselves rich and in need of nothing. Pride, luxury, riches, and popularity are their treasures, and in their spiritual blindness they count these an evidence of the love and favor of God. Was the Romish church in great deception in Luther's day? The Protestant churches are in equally great deception to-day. They refuse to receive instruction or reproof. Their ministers cry, Peace, peace, and the people love the soothing message. In their willful blindness they believe only that which will not disturb their carnal security. But in every age of the world, God's true people have learned by experience as well as by the word of inspiration that prosperity and learning and worldly honor are no evidence of the favor of God. The life of Christ, the Captain of our salvation, teaches the lesson that on earth the true church cannot enjoy the favor of a wicked world.
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 17, 1893 (In Heavenly Places, p 284; Testimonies to Ministers, p 19-20)
Jesus sees his true church on the earth, whose greatest ambition is to co-operate with him in the grand work of saving souls. He hears their prayers, presented in contrition and power, and Omnipotence cannot resist their plea for the salvation of any tried, tempted member of Christ body. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. Through our Redeemer what blessings may not the true believer receive? The church, soon to enter upon her most severe conflict, will be the object most dear to God upon earth. The confederacy of evil will be stirred with power from beneath, and Satan will cast all the reproach possible upon the chosen ones whom he cannot deceive and delude with his Satanic inventions and falsehoods. But exalted "to be a prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins," will Christ our representative and head, close his heart, or withdraw his hand, or falsify his promise?--No; never, never.
The Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 69-70 (Great Controversy, p 65)
Among the leading causes that had led to the separation of the true church from Rome, was the inveterate hatred of the latter toward the Bible Sabbath. As foretold by prophecy, the papal power cast down the truth to the ground. The law of God was trampled in the dust, while the traditions and customs of men were exalted. The churches that were under the rule of the papacy were early compelled to honor the Sunday as a holy day. Amid the prevailing error and superstition, many even of the true people of God, became so bewildered that while they observed the Sabbath, they refrained from labor also on the Sunday. But this did not satisfy the papal leaders. They demanded not only that Sunday be hallowed, but that the Sabbath be profaned; and they denounced in the strongest language those who dared to show it honor. It was only by fleeing from the power of Rome that any could obey God's law in peace.
The Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 406 (Great Controversy, p 588-589)
The line of distinction between professing Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church-members love what the world loves, and are ready to join with them; and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of Spiritualism. Papists who boast of miracles as a certain mark of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world, and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.
Early Writings, p 211 (Spiritual Gifts, book 1, p 105)
Satan exulted over the fall of so many; and then he stirred up the fallen church to force those who would preserve the purity of their religion either to yield to their ceremonies and image worship or be put to death. The fires of persecution were again kindled against the true church of Christ, and millions were slain without mercy.
Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers Instruction to Seventh-day Adventists, p 5
There is a strife between the forces of good and evil, between the loyal and the disloyal angels. Christ and Satan are not at an agreement, and they never will be. In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided warfare against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other.
Prophets and Kings, p 74
Solemn are the lessons of Israel's failure during the years when ruler and people turned from the high purpose they had been called to fulfill. Wherein they were weak, even to the point of failure, the Israel of God today, the representatives of heaven that make up the true church of Christ, must be strong; for upon them devolves the task of finishing the work that has been committed to man, and of ushering in the day of final awards. Yet the same influences that prevailed against Israel in the time when Solomon reigned are to be met with still. The forces of the enemy of all righteousness are strongly entrenched; only by the power of God can the victory be gained. The conflict before us calls for the exercise of a spirit of self-denial, for distrust of self and for dependence on God alone, for the wise use of every opportunity for the saving of souls. The Lord's blessing will attend His church as they advance unitedly, revealing to a world lying in the darkness of error the beauty of holiness as manifested in a Christlike spirit of self-sacrifice, in an exaltation of the divine rather than the human, and in loving and untiring service for those so much in need of the blessings of the gospel.
Signs of the Times, November 01, 1899
To The apostle John on the isle of Patmos were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience of the church. Subjects of intense interest and vast importance were presented to him in figures and symbols, that the people of God might become intelligent concerning the perils and conflicts before them. The history of the Christian world to the very close of time was revealed to John. With great clearness he saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records the closing message which is to ripen the harvest of earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner, or as fagots for the fires of the last day.
Acts of the Apostles, p 507 (Counsels on Stewardship, p 244)
What the church needs in these days of peril, is an army of workers who, like Paul, have educated themselves for usefulness, who have a deep experience in the things of God, and who are filled with earnestness and zeal. Sanctified, self-sacrificing men are needed; men who will not shun trial and responsibility; men who are brave and true; men in whose hearts Christ is formed "the hope of glory," and who, with lips touched with holy fire, will "preach the word." For want of such workers the cause of God languishes, and fatal errors, like a deadly poison, taint the morals and blight the hopes of a large part of the human race.
Conflict and Courage, p 245 (Faith I Live By, p 311)
The trying experiences that came to God's people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone....The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church, will in the future lead to the pursuance of a similar course toward those who maintain their loyalty to God....The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God's people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.
Testimonies, vol 9, p 147 (Gospel Workers, p 485; Upward Look, p 85)
Christ is the foundation of every true church. We have His unalterable promise that His presence and protection will be given to His faithful ones who walk in His counsel. To the end of time Christ is to be first. He is the source of life and strength, of righteousness and holiness. And He is all this to those who wear His yoke and learn of Him how to be meek and lowly.
My Life Today, p 60
To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p 494
Satan is trying to lead men and women away from right principles. The enemy of all good, he desires to see human beings so trained that they will exert their influence on the side of error, instead of using their talents to bless their fellow men. And multitudes who profess to belong to God's true church are falling under his deceptions. They are being led to turn away from their allegiance to the King of heaven.
Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 53 (Great Controversy, p 51)
Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy, and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ, and departed from the faith once delivered to the saints.
Prophets and Kings, p 389-390 (Review and Herald, July 15, 1915)
Habakkuk was not the only one through whom was given a message of bright hope and of future triumph as well as of present judgment. During the reign of Josiah the word of the Lord came to Zephaniah, specifying plainly the results of continued apostasy, and calling the attention of the true church to the glorious prospect beyond. His prophecies of impending judgment upon Judah apply with equal force to the judgments that are to fall upon an impenitent world at the time of the second advent of Christ: "The great day of the Lord is near, It is near, and hasteth greatly, Even the voice of the day of the Lord: The mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of wasteness and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm Against the fenced cities, And against the high towers." Zephaniah 1:14-16.
Great Controversy, p 266
Said the angel of the Lord: "The holy city [the true church] shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth....And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified....And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."[1 REV. 11:2-11.]
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 15, 1903 (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 489)
Satan is earnestly striving to lead souls away from right principles. Multitudes who profess to belong to God's true church are falling under the enemy's deceptions. They are being led to swerve from their allegiance to the blessed and only Potentate.
Prophets and Kings, p 605 (Faith I Live By, p 311)
The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God's people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.
Signs of the Times, April 22, 1889
Although the law of God will be almost universally made void in the world, there will be a remnant of the righteous that will be obedient to God's requirements. The wrath of the dragon will be directed against the loyal servants of Heaven. Says the prophet, "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." We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God's precepts.
Manuscript Releases, vol 12, p 346
Cardinal Moran told her that all Protestants should keep the seventh day, that they had no reason for keeping Sunday as a holy day. The Roman Catholics, he said, had a right to keep Sunday; but Protestants had nothing to base their faith upon in their observance of that day. She told him that she had been considering this matter very thoroughly, and had come to the true church.
Acts of the Apostles, p 266
Terrible were the trials that were to beset the true church. Even at the time when the apostle was writing, the "mystery of iniquity" had already begun to work. The developments that were to take place in the future were to be "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish."
Paulson Collection, p 120
To the forerunner of Christ was given the message, "Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The work of the herald of Christ was a continuous effort to destroy the popular delusion concerning the coming Messiah, and to show that repentance and forsaking of sin are necessary preparations for the coming kingdom. This work constituted the preparation for the establishment of the true church.
Spalding-Magan Collection, p 436
If our leaders realized the time of night, they could not leave our cities unwarned and be willing to do so little to change the present condition of things in the world. God requires that every soul who believes in Christ shall go forth and bear much fruit. He requires that they be in earnest in doing missionary work, faithful in their home life, in their student life, true to their church duties. Those who have pledged themselves by baptism to follow Christ, who have professed to put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, are to consider the words of the apostle Paul, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 14, 1852
Perhaps there is no place where more prejudice has existed than in Portland. This is giving way. There we were again united in Christian fellowship with some that we once took sweet counsel with, but during the time of scattering, that union was entirely broken, and we feared that they would not again be united with the true church. There we could weep tears of joy with those that wept, and freely confessed past errors. Several have, since the meeting, confessed the Sabbath.