Why I Remain Part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Posted Aug 04, 2011 by Adrian Ebens in Adventist Church Hits: 3,345

I have very fond memories of reading through the sermons from A.T Jones from the General Conference Bulletin of 1895. When reading these lecturers, it was brought to my mind that Christ is very close to us and has fully identified Himself with me as a man. One of the best memories I have was reading sermon no. 15 where Elder Jones outlines how the Psalms speak to us all about Christ.

In all points it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, and He is our brother in the nearest blood relationship. We are now to study another phase of this great subject: First in the Psalms--Christ in the Psalms--that we may see how entirely the Psalms mean Christ and that the one whose experience is recorded there is Christ. It is impossible to touch the whole 150 Psalms in detail in one lesson or in a dozen lessons; yet in a sense we can touch the whole 150 by so touching a few as to show the one great secret of the whole number and that secret is Christ. We shall take some of the Psalms of which God Himself has made the application to Christ so that there can be no possible doubt that that Psalm refers to Christ. {February 22, 1895 ATJ, GCB 299.2}

The first example that Elder Jones gives is from Psalm 40. I remember my firm agreement that Psalms 40:8-10 referred to Jesus.

Psa 40:8-10  I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.  (9)  I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.  (10)  I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

We know this refers to Christ because Paul speaks of Ps 40:8 as referring to Jesus.

Heb 10:7-10  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.  (8)  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;  (9)  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.  (10)  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

But I distinctly remembering my alarm when Elder Jones kept reading Psalms 40.

Psa 40:12-13  For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.  (13)  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

Notice what Elder Jones said:

Who? Christ. Where did He get iniquity? Oh, "the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." Were they not more than the hairs of His head? And when He would look at Himself and consider Himself, where would He appear in His own sight? Oh, "my heart faileth me," because of the enormity of the guilt and the condemnation of the sin--our sins that were laid upon Him. {February 22, 1895 ATJ, GCB 300.2}

I distinctly remembering a thrill of joy strike me as I realized that Jesus was speaking in this Psalm and because the Lord had laid on Him the iniquity of us all, he could fully identify with me, and pray as me, the prayers that I need to pray. In His divinity Christ alone is aware that human sinfulness is more than the hairs of our heads. Until this time I thought I could count the sins I wrestled with. Only a divine character could discern the hundreds of sins embodied in humanity. Yet I saw the wonder that having this awareness only becomes  meaningful to me as I see that Christ is fully identified with me and therefore can speak on my behalf and pray the prayer that I need to pray on my behalf. Even now as I write I feel the tears of joy at the thought of it. Christ my Saviour cried out the prayers I need to pray – “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up” The only reason I have ever prayed this prayer is because God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into my heart to utter these words.

I never ever would have had the confidence to accept that Jesus could lift me out of my sinful state unless I could comprehend that Christ fully represents man at the mercy seat in heaven. He can represent us because He fully identified Himself with us. He was not ashamed to call us His brethren. The central power I see in the meditorial work of Christ is that He is fully identified with me and knows my condition and situation.

So how does this apply to me remaining a Seventh-day Adventist? The Seventh-day Adventist Church has rejected the God of heaven and written into law a god that our forefathers did not know nor would accept. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has embraced much of the worship and doctrine of the daughters of Babylon. On every hand we see men holding the positions of ministers denying the Sanctuary teaching, victory over sin, the nature of Christ, Character perfection and many other teachings. Knowing that the Adventist Church is in such a terrible state, what does it need to do? Repent! But alas we are in Laodicea and Laodicea does not know that it is wretched poor blind and naked. What shall be done? How shall the Adventist Church repent of its sin of rejecting the Father and Son? Let us consider what our Lord did when we were lost and beyond all hope. What did He do? Did He cast us off and declare us apostate? Did He stand afar of and condemn us, pronouncing the judgments that rightly should fall upon us? No, Christ fully identified Himself with us, became one of us and prayed the prayers we needed to pray in order that we might drink of that Spirit and in like manner learn how to pray. This is exactly what Daniel did.

Dan 9:8-11  O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.  (9)  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;  (10)  Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.  (11)  Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

Daniel was a righteous man, but as a Jew and part of Israel, he fully identified himself with Israel and prayed the prayers that the leaders in Israel needed to pray. If Daniel identified himself with Israel and confessed the sins of his people as an Israelite, how much more should we identify ourselves with our beloved church and confess the sins that need confessing and ask for forgiveness? For have not most of us been partakers of this sin regarding the Trinity? Rather than acting in self-righteous horror, should we not be like Jesus and fully identify ourselves with God’s remnant church and pray the prayers that the church needs to pray?

As a confessed Seventh-day Adventist I can pray as a Seventh-day Adventist and confess my sins and the sins of my people. If I leave the Adventist Church or stand to the side and condemn the Adventist church, then I forfeit my ability to represent that body and engage the work of confession that the church so urgently needs to begin. When God’s people humble themselves and confess their sins then our Father will set things right at the head of the work. Those who leave from hurt, anger and disappointment give up their ability to pray on behalf of the church because they are no longer identified with it.

What if I have already left? You can come back in your heart and confess to God that you are indeed a Seventh-day Adventist. We have the hope of Peter who was ashamed of His Lord and forsook Him and fled, being accepted back as an apostle. You can start praying for the pastors and leaders of the Adventist Church. You can start to pray the prayers that they need to pray and I know our God will hear those prayers.

Jesus was not ashamed to call us brethren. Should I be ashamed to call myself a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? My Lord is not ashamed and therefore neither am I.