James and Ellen White
In his sermon yesterday, the latest president of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, stated the following.
We are to be a peculiar people, God’s remnant people, to lift up Christ, His righteousness, His three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and His soon coming…As God’s remnant people identified in Revelation 12:17as those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” we have a unique message of hope and a mandate to proclaim God’s grace to the world…Now, getting back to Revelation 12:17 and another great distinguishing mark of God’s remnant people. We read that they will “have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”…
As God’s faithful remnant, may we never make of none effect the precious light given us in the writings of Ellen G. White…When we use that term, remnant church or remnant people, we must never use it in a self-centered, exclusive manner…He wants to use His remnant church in a most powerful way…And then, God proclaimed to the Children of Israel through Moses the same command He gives His last- day remnant church today. Verse 15 declares,(NEXT SLIDE) “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to GO FORWARD.” When God says, Go Forward, we must Go Forward.(Wilson TNC. “GO FORWARD” General Conference Sabbath Sermon – July 3, 2010)
This idea of being the remnant church has often been mentioned throughout SDA circles. However, Adventists would be wise to look at the entirety of the scripture that actually mentions that “remnant” term:
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 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 12:14-17, KJV)
The term “remnant” is translated as “rest of” in the NKJV, so I quoted the KJV above as that is where the SDA’s have gotten this concept.
But a careful read of the above passages show that there are two churches being mentioned. One that goes to a place of protection in the wilderness and the other “the remnant” that gets persecuted because they do not get protected. The SDAs apparently believe that they are that remnant. And while according to Living Church of God (LCG) beliefs the SDAs somewhat came out of the Church of God (COG) movement (they got some ideas from it, tried to take over, and drove those true to the COG away), we do not consider that they are part of the COG (though some of their members might possibly be).
If the SDAs really did understand prophecy better, they would realize that the Bible praises the group (which are identified as the the Philadelphians in Revelation 3) that gets protected, but that Jesus condemns the two other Christian groups of Revelation 3 (Sardis and Laodicea) who do not get protected.
Furthermore, the KJV translation of scripture mentions a “remnant” one other time. Notice:
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13)
That remnant also does not seem to be one that they would wish to be. Yet, sadly it may be possible that SDAs that survive and remain followers of Ellen White over scripture could be related to that group. This is because unless they start accepting scripture over Ellen White’s interpretations, they will not understand the truth about God’s true prophets and end time two witnesses.
In June 2010 Dr. Jan Paulsen was replaced by Ted N.C. Wilson by a vote of the SDA General Conference Nominating Committee (the General Conference head office is in Silver Spring, Maryland). Instead of going forward, he seems to be stuck in the mode of hoping to be the “remnant church”.
But I agree that all who profess Christ need to “go forward”. Christians should go forward to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). And this include not being stuck in the wrong paradigm about the remnants mentioned in Revelation.
And although I do not agree with all of Ellen White’s writings, Adventists would do well to heed the following one if they really wish to understand prophecy at this time:
There is a need of a much closer study of the Word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before…TM 112, 113 (1896) (White E. Last Day Events: Facing Earth’s Final Crisis. As printed by Pacific Press Publishing, 2002, p. 36).
A much closer look at the Word of God, especially Revelation and Daniel would reveal that there is something better than striving to be the “remnant”. A verse by verse analysis of much of Daniel 11 is shown in the article (Who is the King of the North?). And to see what happens to the remnant according to Daniel and Revelation, please the article Laodicean Warning for God’s People. Do it this week 🙂
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
SDA/COG Differences The real Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains some prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically a small remnant of that era exists.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.