- Can man, on his own, determine which group is the “true” church?
- Can any man-made organization, on it's own, arrange itself, to obtain such a classification?
- Are we to be judged (harshly) by God because of the church denomination we belong to? In other words, if we belong to the wrong one, are we doomed?
I say emphatically, NO! – to all these questions! Does the Holy Spirit help man in this endeavor? Of course! But remember, I’m speaking of man creating a man-made organization here.
Where then, should we go to find out the definition of the “true” church?
As always, the Holy Bible!
The Book of Revelation gives us a picture of what the true church looks like.
Quoted from NKJV:
Rev 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
Rev 12:2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
Rev 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
Rev 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
Rev 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
Rev 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
An exposition of a 1,000 pages could be written on these verses alone. We must remember that Revelation repeats history and then leads up to the “end”. A “Woman” is obviously symbolic of the church. She is clothed in the truth (light) of Christ with 12 stars (the Apostles and the 12 Tribes – New and Old Testaments) over her head. The moon under her feet could be the shadows of the Old Testament which the church stands on for foundation, after all, the “moon” reflects the light of the sun (Son)!
(for reference see; Jer 6:2, Matt 5:14, Psalm 84:11, Mal 4:2)
One-third of God’s Angels rebelled with Lucifer and were “thrown down” to earth. Obviously Jesus is the son born of the woman and the 1,260 days (years) is the period of intense persecution of the Saints (true believers) repeated here from Daniel.
(for reference see; Matt 24:21, Rev 12:6, 14, 13:5; Dan 7:25, Ezek 4:6, Num 13:34)
Remember, we are describing the one true remnant church. Let’s go on …
There are two additional, distinct descriptions.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
God’s church will keep the Commandments (all 10) and have the testimony (spirit of prophecy) of Jesus.
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Joh 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
… ain’t it wonderful how the Bible tells us what it means! We don’t have to guess. So much for those folks who believe the Commandments are “nailed to the cross”!
… so let’s compile and review the true remnant church. Notice the additional descriptions …
A. It will appear and do it’s visible work after it emerges from the “wilderness” (from the persecution). This is the year 1798, BTW. (ref: Rev 12:6, 13-17)
B. It will teach the same rules the Apostles taught and all of it’s teachings will agree with biblical teaching. (ref: Rev 12:17)
C. It will keep the 10 Commandments, including number 4, pertaining to the Sabbath. (ref: Rev 12:17)
D. It will have the spirit of prophecy. (ref: Rev 12:17, 19:10)
E. It will proclaim God’s three end-time angelic messages with a loud voice. (ref: Rev 14:6-14)
F. It will be a world-wide movement. (ref: Rev:14:6)
G. It will teach the everlasting gospel, which is salvation through Jesus Christ alone. (ref: Rev 14:6)
Luke 11:9 tells us to “seek and you will find my church”; Ephesians 4:5 tells us there is, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” John 10:16 tells us, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. “ Rev 18:2 says, “And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! And, Rev 18:4 says, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. “
Isaiah 4:1 says, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, "We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; Only let us be called by your name, To take away our reproach." Seven churches (who have their own food – their own concept of truth; and their own apparel – their own righteousness) will take hold of one man (Jesus). They wish to keep their own beliefs but be called by Jesus’ name. These 7 Women represent false churches.
… Whew! …
Now, I won’t lie to you. The Seventh Day Adventist Church (which I attend) claims to be the Remnant church like some other denominations do. The teaching presented here is from the Bible, as laid out by the SDA Church. It is up to you to decide if it’s true. As I’ve stated before, and in my bio, the SDA Church is the best I’ve found, so far, at presenting biblical truth. You must decide, not because of what I say, but because of the Bible and your personal interaction with the Holy Spirit. I make no claim to being all-knowing! I’m just a layman with opinions – that’s all!
My personal belief is that we Christians, from all denominations, are part of the one true Remnant Church. BTW, SDA ministers and members have told me the same thing! It is up to God to judge who "qualifies" for the Remnant and who does not (our free will comes into play, obviously). Col 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Col 1:18 says, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” And that we enter that body through baptism; Cor 12:13.
I believe it is wrong for man to lay claim to being the one true Remnant Church. That claim is for God only! I have not seen a church organization that doesn’t have some faults, although I sincerely pray that all of us believers are members of that Remnant!