"God's Last Day Church Identified!"
A Chinese exchange student was registering at an American university. When he came to the question on the entrance form, "What is your religion?" his answer, written in the little English he had learned, was "Confusion."
Thousands who know the English language quite well and who are not followers of Confucius could truthfully write that their religion is "Confusion," too! For they really don't know what they believe, nor do they seem to care enough to investigate if their belief measures up to what the Bible teaches.
Here's a church sign we recently ran across which could be mistaken to say much the same thing:
Many people have inherited their religion from their parents or grandparents and have never taken time to study the Bible and its teachings for themselves. They think that as long as they are sincere, they will eventually reach heaven. Is sincerity enough? Or does it make a difference what we believe?
The Bible tells us, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 16:25). Every teaching comes either from the source of truth or from the originator of error. We cannot safely follow our feelings or our parents. We cannot safely accept what someone else does unless we are certain that person is following what God says in His Holy Word. The Bible says, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
It isn't necessary to search through and ponder over the teachings of all the various denominations in the world today to find God's true church. We can find His church easily and with complete confidence and assurance if we will take (1) the Word of God as our only guide, (2) His law as our only measuring line, and (3) His Son as our only example.
Let's turn to our only safe source of truth, the Bible, and discover what are the characteristics of God's true church.
1. Of the many faiths claiming to be the true church, how many does God recognize? Ephesians 4:5
There is only one true church according to the Word of God!
2. Jesus said He had sheep (followers) in other folds. What did He say would happen to these sheep? John 10:16
Jesus said He had many sheep scattered in the different communions, but He intends that they shall be gathered into one fold. It was not God's plan that His church should be split into many competing denominations. Great damage has come to the cause of Christianity because of the disunity among Christian bodies.
3. What statement in the Bible tells us that God had a church in Old Testament times? Acts 7:38
4. What did Jesus call the place of worship in His day? John 2:14-16
He drove out those who made the church of His day a den of thieves. Read in Matthew 21:12, 13 the account of the second time He drove out the businessmen at the close of His ministry.
5. What did Jesus say that indicated He would establish a church? Matthew 16:13-18
It was upon the great truth that Christ was the Son of the living God, as stated by Peter, that the Christian church was to be built. Jesus is called the "chief corner stone" in Ephesians 2:19, 20 and the "Rock" in 1 Corinthians 10:2-4. Christ is the only foundation on which the true church can be built (1 Corinthians 3:11).
6. What instructions given by Jesus showed that He intended His church to have an organization on this earth? Matthew 18:15-18
7. After the death of Jesus, what was one of the first official acts of the new church? Acts 1:23-26
The apostasy of Judas had left one place vacant in the ranks of the disciples. Now it was necessary to choose someone to take this place. Following a custom familiar to religious leaders of that time, they decided to cast lots. The apostles cast lots and the lot fell on Matthias. The apostles set him aside by ordination to be a witness with them.
8. What happened to the new converts as they accepted Jesus as the Christ? Acts 2:41, 47
9. Who is the head of the church that Christ established? Ephesians 5:23, 24
Whatever the church does or believes must come from its head -- Christ. It cannot allow man - made traditions if it is Christ's church, for it is subject to Him alone.
10. How did Paul describe Christ's church to his friend Timothy? 1 Timothy 3:15
"Thou oughtest to behave thyself in _____________________which is the ____________________, the pillar and ___________________________"
This statement shows that the church of God is the very fortress of the truth. Find the true church of Christ and you will find the truth as it is in Jesus.
11. What remarkable prophecy did God give in the Book of Revelation that outlines the history of the church from the days of Christ to the end? Revelation 12
If you read the whole chapter of Revelation 12, you will find a symbolic prophecy that gives an overview of the history of God's people in the Christian age.
12. Describe the beautiful woman in this prophecy. Revelation 12:1
13. Who is Zion? Isaiah 51:16
14. What does God use to symbolize His people or Zion? Jeremiah 6:2
God used the symbol of a pure woman to represent His church or people. Paul described the church at Corinth as a "chaste virgin" (2 Corinthians 11:2). The woman of Revelation 12:1 is God's way of depicting the history of the Christian church in its battle with Satan.
15. What power is represented by the great red dragon? Revelation 12:3, 7-9
16. How is Christ pictured in this prophecy? Verse 5
18. Because the devil knows that his days are numbered, what does he do to the woman who represents the church? Revelation 12:13
19. Where did the woman (church) flee to escape the persecution which lasted 1,260 years? Verses 6, 14
The prophetic time period here mentioned represents 1,260 literal years. Ezekiel 4:6 provides the prophetic rule that one day of prophetic time equals one literal year. Prophetic interpretation accepts this principle that a symbolic day in Bible prophecy represents a literal year.
20. Against what part of the true church does the devil especially direct his wrath and final warfare? Verse 17
The "remnant" is the last part. Just as a remnant of a bolt of cloth is the last part of that roll, so the remnant of God's church is the last portion of His church on earth.
21. What are the two special characteristics of the remnant, God's last day church? Verse 17
Revelation 19:10 says that the "testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Many churches claim to be the true church, but it is not what a church claims that counts. It is what God says about a church that matters. He says that His true church is the one that keeps the commandments and has the testimony of Jesus.
22. Which one of God's commandments does nearly the whole Christian world ignore? Exodus 20:8-11
In general, Christian churches are agreed upon nine of the ten commandments. The difference of opinion and practice is over the fourth commandment, the Sabbath command. God said His church will keep the commandments. A church which keeps only nine of the ten cannot be spoken of as a commandment - keeping church. It is rather a commandment - breaking church, "for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
God's true church must keep all the commandments. If a church does not keep all ten commandments, it cannot be God's last day church and doesn't have the characteristics that God lists in this prophecy.
23. God's church is to be a worldwide movement and message for He gave His followers a special work. What are they to do? Matthew 28:19
In other words, Christ's true church today will be engaged in taking to all the world "this gospel of the kingdom." In our search for the true church we must look for a body of believers that are proclaiming truth in all the world. They will have a worldwide program of giving the gospel.
24. What great threefold message will be proclaimed in all the world by God's last day church? Revelation 14:6-12
a. (Verse 7): "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the_____________________________
________________,and worship him that _______________________________________"
b. (Verse 8): "And there followed another angel, saying, ___________________________________________________________________________"
c. (Verse 9): "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ___________________________________________________________________________"
This is the last warning message to be preached to all the world. This message will be preached by God's true church. The message is called "the everlasting gospel." It is a warning to the world that the hour of God's judgment has come. It calls men back to the worship of the Creator. God said to remember the Sabbath day, as a memorial of His creative work. God's last day church will be a church which keeps the seventh - day Sabbath.
The second phase of this message calls men to come out of Babylon. Babylon represents the religious confusion of the world, and God is calling His people to come out of Babylon. Jesus reminded us, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold" (John 10:16). This true church will be calling a people out of the religious confusion and back to the worship of God as the Creator.
The third phase of this message is a warning against the beast and his mark. The true church will be proclaiming a warning against worshipping the beast and receiving his mark.
25. What call does God make to His people who are in the false or confused religious bodies of the world today? Revelation 18:1-4
Here we see that as the threefold message is nearing its close, the Lord is going to send a special angel from heaven that will lighten the earth with His glory and give special power to the closing proclamation. The special message of this angel is : "Come our of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Verse 4).
26. How does the Bible describe those who are called out by this final warning message? Revelation 14:12
According to the Bible we must find a church which (1) keeps all of God's commandments, including the Sabbath; (2) a church which is a Christian church, for it accepts the "faith of Jesus" (3) has the gift of prophecy, and (4) is working in all the world giving the threefold gospel message of Revelation 14.
How many of the 500+ denominations fit the distinguishing characteristics given in God's Word? Only one. God identifies His last day church with unmistakable characteristics. Only one church measures up to God's identification. As we take His Word we can easily tell which church is God's last day church; The Historic Seventh-Day Adventist Movement is the only people who fulfill all of these identifying signs.