God’s True Church
Here are they who
keep the commandments of God
and have the faith of Jesus.
NOTE: Be sure to research each statement for yourself and read its surrounding context. Pay attention to circumstances and chronology. We must study for ourselves to know God’s will for our lives. Trust not in man. God’s Holy Spirit is our teacher and comforter. He will lead us into all truth. — Truth Seeker
Scripture Regarding God’s True Church
(CHURCH) – Assembly of “called out” ones.
STRONGS CONCORDANCE: 1577 – ekklesia – ek-klay-see’-ah from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):–assembly, church. (see GREEK for 1537) (see GREEK for 2564)
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:29-32
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29
“For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 4:9-10
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:17-18
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 5:9-10
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
“Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.” Romans 16:5
“The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” 1 Corinthians 16:19
“Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” Colossians 4:15
“And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house…” Philemon 1:2
God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.
Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God’s great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God. . . .
Upward Look, p. 315
“And now also,” said the prophet, “the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.
Desire of Ages, p. 107
Christ is the foundation of every true church. We have His unalterable promise that His presence and protection will be given to His faithful ones who walk in His counsel. To the end of time Christ is to be first. He is the source of life and strength, of righteousness and holiness. And He is all this to those who wear His yoke and learn of Him how to be meek and lowly.
Gospel Workers, p. 485
The faith which for many centuries was held and taught by the Waldensian Christians was in marked contrast to the false doctrines put forth from Rome. Their religious belief was founded upon the written word of God, the true system of Christianity. But those humble peasants, in their obscure retreats, shut away from the world, and bound to daily toil among their flocks and their vineyards, had not themselves arrived at the truth in opposition to the dogmas and heresies of the apostate church. Theirs was not a faith newly received. Their religious belief was their inheritance from their fathers. They contended for the faith of the apostolic church,–“the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” “The church in the wilderness,” and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world’s great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God has committed to his people to be given to the world.
Great Controversy, 1888, p. 64
I was shown that those who are trying to obey God and purify their souls through obedience to the truth are God’s chosen people, His modern Israel.
2 Testimonies, p. 109
Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements, showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be the chosen of God, His representatives.
8 Testimonies, p. 250
Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent.
[FROM MANUSCRIPT READ BEFORE THE DELEGATES AT THE GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSION, WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 30, 1909.] 9 Testimonies, pp. 257, 258 (1909)
From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.
Acts of the Apostles, p. 11
Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God. Those who choose to follow antichrist are subjects of the great apostate. Ranged under the banner of Satan, they break God’s law and lead others to break it. They endeavor so to frame the laws of nations that men shall show their loyalty to earthly governments by trampling upon the laws of God’s kingdom.
7 Bible Commentary, p. 949
As I was considering this matter in the night season, it seemed as if One stood up in the midst of us and pointed us back to the Israelites as an illustration of a distinct people, denominated of God. That which made them denominational was the observance of God’s commandments.
19 Manuscript Release, p. 38
Seventh-day Adventists are now to stand forth separate and distinct, a people denominated by the Lord as His own. Until they do this, He cannot be glorified in them. Truth and error cannot stand in copartnership. Let us now place ourselves where God has said that we should stand…. We are to strive for unity, but not on the low level of conformity to worldly policy and union with the popular churches.
Lt 113, 1903 or 2MCP, p. 559
When you come to the point where you decide to serve God, you are denominational. You should not link up with men who have no faith, men who although acquainted with the truth for many years, refuse to obey its teachings. Such men are not to have a voice in your council-meetings. Even if they were very rich, I would not bind myself to them by a single thread. I would not seek their advice in regard to the business transactions and other matters connected with the management of the institution. The time has come when we must find our bearings. We must come to our senses, and know where we are standing. We are on the very borders of the eternal world. We cannot tell what may happen next.
19 Manuscript Release, p. 52
God has a church, and these churches are organized on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
TSA, p. 7
Serious Statements We Need To Consider
I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the “unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry.
EGW, 1888, pp. 356, 357 (1889) or Last Day Events, p. 48
Of those who boast of their light and yet fail to walk in it Christ says, “But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
Review & Herald, Aug. 1, 1893 [THE BRACKETED COMMENTS ARE BY ELLEN WHITE] or Last Day Events, p. 48
The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst.
1NL, p. 99 (1898) or Last Day Events, p. 49
God has a church on earth who are lifting up the downtrodden law, and presenting to the world the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. . . .
There is but one church in the world who are at the present time standing in the breach and making up the hedge, building up the old waste places. . . .
Last Day Events, p. 43
Let all be careful not to make an outcry against the only people who are fulfilling the description given of the remnant people, who keep the commandments of God and have faith in Jesus. . . . God has a distinct people, a church on earth, second to none, but superior to all in their facilities to teach the truth, to vindicate the law of God. . . . My brother, if you are teaching that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is Babylon, you are wrong.
Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 50, 58, 59 (1893)
God has a church upon the earth, who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people.
There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port.
Faith I Live By, p. 282
The church is God’s agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to Him, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine grace. If she will be true to her allegiance, if she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her… If the church will put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance with the world, there is before her the dawn of a bright and glorious day. God’s promise to her will stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
Acts of the Apostles, pp. 600-601
Is the General Conference “The Voice of God”?
In the General Conference the counsels of God have been set aside, and the counsels and wisdom of men have been relied upon. God has seen this, and He is displeased. The General Conference–what is it? What does it comprehend? Is it a General Conference, or is it something wrapped up and called by that name? With the exception of a limited number, the people who ought to know are not intelligent in regard to its workings. A few have managed matters according to their own judgment, and the people at large know scarcely anything of what is being done at the heart of the work, only as it is represented by the men who have not set the Lord ever before them.
As I was made to understand something of the management of the work in this great center, it was all that I could bear. My spirit was pained within me, for I had lost confidence in that which I had ever presented before the people as the voice of God to His children. It has not been the voice of God. There has been a lording power exercised over God’s heritage in decisions which were not dictated by the Spirit of God. Unconsecrated men who were brought in connection with the work have exercised their own wisdom, and have woven into the work their own unconverted peculiarities. Their own principles have been counterworking the principles of truth and righteousness. We cannot therefore present before the people that the voice of the General Conference in its decisions must move and control them; for its propositions and decisions cannot be accepted. They are not in the right line of progress. God is cropped out of their counsels.
17 Manuscript Release, p. 221
— 1896 —
— 1898 —
It has been some years since I have considered the General Conference as the voice of God. [17 Manuscript Release, p. 216 (1898)]
— 1901 —
That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be–that is past. [GCB April 3, 1901, p. 25] [Last Day Events, p. 50]
Is There a Work for Us to Do?
We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? [TSB, p. 188]
Just as long as God has a church, he will have those who will cry aloud and spare not, who will be his instruments to reprove selfishness and sins, and will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear. I saw that individuals would rise up against the plain testimonies. It does not suit their natural feelings. They would choose to have smooth things spoken unto them, and have peace cried in their ears. I view the church in a more dangerous condition than they ever have been. Experimental religion is known but by a few. The shaking must soon take place to purify the church. Preachers should have no scruples to preach the truth as it is found in God’s word. Let the truth cut. I have been shown that why ministers have not more success is, they are afraid of hurting feelings, fearful of not being courteous, and they lower the standard of truth, and conceal if possible the peculiarity of our faith. I saw that God could not make such successful. The truth must be made pointed, and the necessity of a decision urged. And as false shepherds are crying, Peace, and are preaching smooth things, the servants of God must cry aloud, and spare not, and leave the result with God. [2 Spiritual Gifts, p. 284]
I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis. [17 Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, p. 306]
“Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis.” [Notebook Leaflets, vol. 2, p. 164]
“We are all to unify on the proper basis of unity.” [Testimonies for the Church Containing Messages and Warning and Instruction to Seventh-day Adventists, p. 55]
“…harmony and co-operation must be maintained without compromising one principle of truth.” [Counsels to Writers and Editors, 79]