The Church is Fallen, The Beautiful Church!

Over 80 years ago, a little known poet penned these lines in a chant of the world Split on Women Ordination.pngromancing the church, “The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;  And her shame is her boast and her pride.” [1]  I have long read this poem and committed large parts of it to memory, and have shared it in several sermons and printed material.  Today though, although Mrs. Edwards did not have to contend with church-sponsored same gender marriage decisions, or women ordination issues, she had already seen in the trend of music and culture how the church was in lock-step with the world, and that in a generation or two, the boundaries of holiness would be opened to the floodgates of sin, corruption, and decadence—total apostasy.  I write this brief essay not to gloat about the unfortunate development of affairs with the world church of Seventh-day Adventists, but to be obedient to the Voice of Love which declares:  “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” (Joel 2: 1).

When we look around us, especially in North America, we see the political elections and the discussions that are in vogue, and they are cheap “locker room conversations,” that are swaying the opinions of the masses, for one candidate or the other.  It is a question of human sexuality that has gone awry.  On the Democratic side, we see the immoral drive of same-gender marriages, and on the Republican ticket we see a lascivious financial mogul, blazing his trail to the White House.  Neither of these two aspiring leaders is of any moral standing, for the immorality of legalized homosexuality is no less immoral than a playboy star womanizer.  But the decisions confronting America are tantamount to those confronting the world church of Seventh-day Adventists on this one aspect—the act of ordaining women to the pastorate, which when taken to its logical conclusions will unavoidably open the door to the solemnizing of same-gender marriages within our church.

It is my hope that every serious-minded Seventh-day Adventist awakens to the crisis of the moment that now confronts us.  Our God has commissioned us as watchmen on the walls of Zion to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isa. 58: 1).

Today, the opening day for the Feast of Tabernacles 2016, few Seventh-day Adventists are aware that the denomination is in the throes of a titanic struggle over the question of women ordination and solemnizing same-gender marriages!  I have written on this matter on not a few occasions, calling attention of the local membership to the reality that over this matter the once united church of Seventh-day Adventists will divide.  The North American Church is also fractured on matters relating to opening for services on Sunday mornings.  The strategy of some is to use this method as a means of winning Sunday-keepers to the Sabbath truth, but through the eyes prophecy, we can see that this strategy is a covert maneuver of the enemy’s, in his forceful attempts to converting the once Sabbath-keeping church into a Sunday-keeping body.

Long ago Jesus taught to us to pay attention to the book of Daniel.  Specifically He said, “15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” (Matt. 24: 15-17).

Our traditional interpretation of verse fifteen is to look back at the introduction of abominable worship practices in ancient Jerusalem, prior to 70 A.D. as well as to the rise of paganism in the early Christian church, and relegate its fulfillment there.  I wish, however, to bring you into our present world, and show that there is a dual application to this Matthew 24 passage, for in verse 14 we are told that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Since the everlasting gospel is not yet preached in “all the world,” we can rest assured that the consummate fulfillment of verse fifteen is yet future.  But what is this “abomination of desolation” for the church today?  Well, it must be consistent with that of the past.  In the early church apostasy crept in by compromising with the Law of God—the Torah—and a false system of worship systematically ran parallel with the true until finally the false became more popular than the true.  In time, because of popularity, there were more people in leadership positions who were willing to countenance the new and trendy maxims of the world over the simple teachings of the Bible, and there became a rapid falling away. (Read 2 Thess. 2: 1-3).  At that time the church lost her understanding of the Statutes, judgments, and commandments of our God, and turned instead to worldly fables, adopting Catholic rites and ceremonies to replace those she had given up.

Today a similar course is being followed: The leading “Protestant” churches of America have adopted a new radicalism en masse—women ordination, solemnizing same-gender marriages, gay-lesbian clergy, Carnival-like Calypso music for divine worship and “Praise and Worship,” Fall Festival—Halloween celebration,  and Sunday sacredness—making Sunday special again.  For a long while Adventists were averse to these notions, but as more of our pastors received training from Evangelical-Protestant seminaries, they have developed a new and varied approach to church growth and spiritual development, to the extent that we are now receiving Eastern Mysticism in place of biblical meditation and contemplative approaches to spiritual homeostasisToday, almost every vice that is sugar-coated with Christian nomenclature is being accepted into the faith at face value, and we are all watching the apostasy growing upon us.  Things once prohibited in the holy place are now common-place, and it won’t be long before even in the Seventh-day Adventist Church we will see raw demonism served up on Sabbath mornings, masquerading itself as “divine worship.”

“Unsanctified ministers are arraying themselves against God. They are praising Christ and the god of this world in the same breath. While professedly they receive Christ, they embrace Barabbas, and by their actions say, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Let all who read these lines, take heed. Satan has made his boast of what he can do. He thinks to dissolve the unity which Christ prayed might exist in His church. He says, “I will go forth and be a lying spirit to deceive those that I can, to criticize, and condemn, and falsify.” Let the son of deceit and false witness be entertained by a church that has had great light, great evidence, and that church will discard the message the Lord has sent, and receive the most unreasonable assertions and false suppositions and false theories. Satan laughs at their folly, for he knows what truth is.  {TM 409.2}

“Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. “If thou hadst known,” said Christ, “even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” {TM 410.1}.

These words were penned over 100 years ago, and they are on record to witness against us today, that as a denomination, many in the ministry have literally removed the old land marks, and have established new ones after the order of Damascus.  Those professing to be teachers of righteousness are walking with “the hellish torch of” Satan’s, all the while turning the people from following Christ our Leader to following the world and its pleasures.  Please prayerfully read the story of how idolatry was imported from Damascus into the ancient church.  At that time the abomination of desolations stood in the holy place:

10And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.11And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against [before] king Ahaz came from Damascus. 12And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. 13And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. 14And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.

15And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to inquire by16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. 17And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones. 18 And the covert for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.”  (2 Kings. 16: 10-19).

We see how the head of the church-state nation of Judah wandered after the abominations of the heathens around them, and how they imported their utterly false and repugnant worship before the Holy One of Israel, even removing the “covert for the Sabbath,” to give place to Baal worship!  Is this not happening to many of our SDA churches in North America today?.  It was not long before divine wrath was served up against the people of the book, and I say, it won’t be long before the judgments of our God are meted out upon his wayward church today as well.  Please read Ezekiel 9.

Even as I pen these lines, there is a swelling tide of organizational upheaval currently afoot within the rank and file of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination at the highest levels, and some Division Conferences and Unions are actively spear-heading an undercurrent, which if not checked, will eventuate into the literal splitting of the world church into warring factions against the General Conference. Regarding the current emotional attachment to women ordination, the Adventist review, on the Day of Atonement this year, made the following observation:

“Others, seeing Tuesday’s action as a follow-up to the San Antonio General Session action, said the matter for them was of one of conscience, not of salvation. Several said they feared the document would split the church rather than unify it. Daniel Jackson, president of the North American Division, said he has spoken and prayed with entities within his territory, as the document says, and did not see how the document would contribute to church unity. He said the question that delegates ultimately would have to ask themselves if they approved the document was simple: ‘Has this decision contributed to the unity of the church?’”[2]

We can already see the proverbial writing on the wall, and although the Church, as a corporate body may fall, and she will, yet the true Church as an international fellowship of truth worshipers will not.  The many calls for unity today on the part of our church leaders are on account of the strong headwinds of disunity they see on the immediate horizon.

“If passed, the action will address the non-compliance issue in a two-step process that begins with multiple consultations at various levels of church structures, followed by pastoral letters urging compliance with voted church actions, and much prayer. If the matter is not resolved and relates to the Fundamental Beliefs or voted actions and policies of the world church, then phase two, which will be developed by the General Conference to be brought to the 2017 Annual Council, will then be implemented subject to its vote.”[3]

If not rightly handled, it could be that within one year’s time we find that there are two different churches vying for the official Copyrights and Trademarked name—Seventh-day Adventist!  Already the NAD (North American Division) is moving out from the General Conference, and turning their own keys to a new house.  All of this is filled with glib and fanfare in Adventist media, but the real truth of the matter is that, behind the scenes, they are preparing to walk their separate ways.   By June of 2017, after the NAD offices are completely relocated and fully functional, we may hear a stronger voice coming from that quarter, when  they are no longer sleeping in the same bed with the General Conference!

“For most, this was their first visit to the building in Columbia, Maryland, located several miles up the road from their current workplace in the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist world church in Silver Spring, Maryland.” [4]

Is this GCExit, similar to the BRExit in Europe?  Time alone will tell.

Just as the LGBTQ community in North America wields a strong economic punch, and they use the influence of economics to manipulate the government and large businesses, to include even bullying States, such as the US State of North Carolina, a similar power move can and will be made by the NAD as it exits the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists.  The writing is on the wall, and if the GC does not buckle to the NAD’s terms and conditions for same-gender pastorate, then the economic escape hatch will be squeezed.  On which side will you be?  Here are the financial facts as reported by the Church Treasury:

“NAD provides nearly half of the denomination’s overseas missionaries. It also provides nearly half of the General Conference World Budget, a significant portion of which is appropriated to the 12 other divisions… While NAD currently provides nearly half of the World Budget, that percentage is down from 90 percent in 1990, said Gary Patterson, who served as assistant to the NAD president from 1987 to 1994.”[5]

For years we have heard it trumpeted to us from the pulpits of our Adventist churches across the world: “beware of The Shepherd’s Rod for they are bent on destroying the church!”  What we are seeing developing around us demonstrates that it is not the feared Shepherd’s Rod[6] that is destroying the beloved Church of God, but the unconverted leaders in her midst who are causing her to implode, over matters on which the Bible is clear and settled.  I am also published on this topic as well, and invite your reading to become informed: https://sdaprophecies.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/hkm-nl-2015-3-1-1.pdf  (Scroll to page-4 for the Feature Article on the SDA’s rapidly acceptance of homosexuality.)

The European Conferences being the biological offspring of the early Reformers are as strident in their march to women ordination and splitting the church, if necessary, as are the Gays and Lesbians of our times in asserting their rights to a church-sponsored and church-respected wedding and marriage.

“Seventh-day Adventist church officials in Denmark voted this week to halt the ordination of all new ministers until the General Conference Session in July 2015.  Going forward, the church’s Danish Union “will not distinguish between genders when appointing pastors, and wishes to see equality between genders in all areas of responsibility,” a statement voted at the union’s May 12 session said.”[7]

They will use their money, education and political clout to have it their own way, and truly will the corporate body of Seventh-day Adventists look like one of Babylon’s daughters—a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  And even then, she is not called by her Lover Babylon, but Laodicea—wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.  In need of everything, but refusing His offer of the eyesalve of The Spirit of Truth, that she may see, His tested gold of Present Truth that she may be rich, and His white raiment of Righteousness that she may be covered in His purity, love and grace, but she will not!  Let us not be like this class, but of those who “make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

“11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering  and wantonness [sexual immorality and debauchery], not in strife and envying. 14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13: 11-14).–Ω — By Garrick Augustus, October 15, 2016

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References and Notes

[1]The Church Walking with the World, 1936,  by Matilda C. Edwards, http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/poems/church.htm

[2] Adventist Review, October 11, 2016,  Annual Council Approves Measure to Encourage Adherence to Church Policies, http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4458-annual-council-approves-measure-to-encourage-adherence-to-church-policies

[3] Adventist Review, October 6, 2016, Recommendation on Non-Compliance to Go to Annual Council,

http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4433-recommendation-on-non-compliance-to-go-to-annual-council

[4] Adventist Review, June 6, 2016, NAD Starts Renovation of New Headquarters, The North American Division is to move in April 2017.  http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4070-nad-starts-renovation-of-new-headquarters

[5] Adventist News Network, June 19, 2014; https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2014-06-19/a-division-territorys-self-evaluation-comes-amid-other-changes/

[6] As with all institutions one will find a mixed bag, the same is true for Shepherd’s Rod adherents.  Some are over-zealous with a zeal not according to knowledge of the message nor the teachings of Christ, and have done much to soil the reputation of this most precious message.  On their account I sincerely apologize to all readers and pray that you will not allow their bad behavior and poor representation of the message to debar you from investigating its truths.  An excellent place to start is right here:  https://wordpress.com/posts/sdaprophecies.wordpress.com

[7] Adventist News Network, May 14, 2013;  Danish Union suspends all ministerial ordination until 2015; Pending expected decision on theology of ordination at next General Conference session: https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2013-05-14/danish-union-suspends-all-ministerial-ordination-until-2015/

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