Seventh Day Adventist state:
"The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, for service to humanity, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word revealed in the Scriptures. The church is God’s family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant."
There are three issues here which we would address, 1) Church membership, 2) the (supposed) incarnation of Christ, and 3) the idea that the New Covenant applies to the Church.
Beginning with the first, although we are in agreement with respects to the Church consisting of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior there’s much more to it than a mere confession of faith in order to be joined to the body of Christ, the true Church. The requirements for membership have unfortunately been so dumbed down by the professing church that not only everyone who professes faith in Christ is saved, but likewise they are all spirit begotten and assured a heavenly reward, however the Lord states the matter altogether differently saying:
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord (i.e., not everyone who is a believer, who professes my name), shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (that is the heavenly phase of the kingdom); but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21)
Unfortunately, all this has actually accomplished is to produce more tares, as most of these professed Christians (nominal Christians i.e., in name only) will never go on to “do the will of the Father”, to take the necessary steps to true membership in the body. This of course is not entirely their own fault, but that responsibility lies primarily with the blind guides who lead them (or we should say, “mislead them”). Of such it is written:
“Woe to you lawyers! (The Doctors of the Law then, Doctors of Divinity today, both of course designated by our Lord as the blind guides of the blind) For you have taken away the key of knowledge (the bible; the standard of truth, substituting your own traditions and beliefs, thus not only deluding yourself, but also those who trusted in you as the Lord’s representatives to show them the way) you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were (attempting) to enter in, you hindered.” (Luke 11:52)
In other words, those who guide these people are blind to the way themselves they are ignorant of the true way, because they themselves have chosen to followed the traditions and teachings of men (as taught in their synods and seminaries), rather than considering the true way as outlined in the scriptures (particularly as it is illustrated in the Tabernacle types), and because the vast majority of professed Christian’s place far too much faith in their ministers (in their supposed learning) they too are misled, and fail to enter. Thus, it is that the blind continue to follow the blind.
Note: a distinction here is to be made between entering into the Spiritual or Heavenly Phase of the kingdom by way of the Great Salvation (Heb 2:3; 1 Pet 1:10), and entering into the Earthly Phase of the kingdom, by way of the common salvation (Jude 3). The vast majority of professed Christians (those who fail to go onto the next step of a full consecration) along with the rest of the world will have their share in the earthly phase of the kingdom, despite what they have been erroneously taught by the blind guides.
We will examine our second issue in our next post.
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