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1. What is Jesus’ plan and desire for His church? John 17:21 NKJV
“That they all may be , as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You.”
While Jesus desires a united church, we see just the opposite today. It is splintered into thousands of Christian denominations with contradictory doctrines.
2. How did Christianity get so divided? Acts 20:28-30 NKJV
“Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock …. to shepherd the church of God…. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples after themselves.”
It all began, as Paul predicted, with teachers within the church who compromised Bible doctrine. This led to a “falling away” from truth and the development of the papacy (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Protestants made similar mistakes and didn’t turn to the Bible for all their beliefs. Consequently, we have thousands of churches today each emphasizing a particular aspect of truth while also embracing dangerous error.
3. Will Jesus allow His “sheep” to remain scattered? John 10:16 NKJV
“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 flock and one shepherd.”
True seekers for God exist in every church and many don’t even belong to a church. Jesus calls them by His voice—the Word of God. As they learn Bible teachings and where they live on the prophetic timeline, they obey Jesus’ call and flock together. Their united desire to follow Jesus and the Bible alone brings them together in one fold.
4. Will all the truths of God be restored before Jesus returns? Acts 3:20, 21 NKJV
“That He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive [margin: “retain”] until the times of restoration of things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
The “heaven must retain” Jesus “until the times of restoration of all things.” This prophecy predicts a time when God restores the Bible truths that were lost during the Dark Ages. This is a prophecy of hope! God will have a people who follow all His restored truth.
5. How does God describe His church in Revelation? Revelation 12:1, 5 NKJV
“A clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars…. 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.”
A woman in prophecy represents a church (Revelation 19:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Jeremiah 6:2). The pure woman of Revelation 12 symbolizes God’s true church. The sun represents the glory of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:6; Malachi 4:2). The moon suggests the sacrificial system that reflected the light of Jesus’ salvation. The twelve stars signify the apostles. The “man child” of the church is Jesus (Revelation 19:13-16).
6. What other woman is depicted in Revelation? Revelation 17:3-5 NKJV
“I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls… And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
The other woman in prophecy is Babylon the harlot. Since a pure woman represents God’s true church, a harlot represents a church which is not true to its vow to serve Christ. These spiritually adulterous churches compromise the truths of God’s Word to become a “friend of the world” and “an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
7. Who is this “Mother” church of Babylon? Revelation 17:1-6
a. “The woman was arrayed in and and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls.” Revelation 17:4 NKJV
b. “The seven heads are seven on which the woman sits.” Revelation 17:9 NKJV
c. “I saw the woman, drunk with the of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Revelation 17:6 NKJV
d. “The woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the of the earth.” Revelation 17:18 NKJV
e. “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen…. Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her , and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven.” Revelation 18:1-5 NKJV
These five identifying points can only represent the Church of Rome. Its official colors are purple and scarlet; Rome is the city of seven hills; it admits to persecuting Christians during the Dark Ages; it is a political superpower and was “at least in theory and claim … the ruler of the whole world in temporal and spiritual affairs” (Alexander Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church [New York: Burt Franklin, 1959], pp. 575, 576); and it boldly admits to sin (i.e. “transgressing God’s law,” 1 John 3:4) by changing the fourth commandment.
Religious leaders and denominations have taught this for centuries: John Huss, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, William Tyndale, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and many others.
This is not a criticism of Roman Catholics. Please remember the Bible presents an unvarnished record of church history. While the Roman Church has done many good things through the years, the Bible condemns its early corruption and unbiblical system of worship that evolved from ancient Babylonian paganism. The Roman Church is full of many good Catholics who love God and seek to serve Him. They are not the source of the Church’s ills. It is the system the Bible condemns.
8. Who else is part of Babylon? Revelation 17:5 NKJV
“And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE OF HARLOTS.”
The Roman Church often declares it is the “Mother” of all churches. The daughters of the Catholic Church are the Protestant churches that still follow her unbiblical teachings. Consider this telling statement from an official Catholic book: “[Sunday] observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away—like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.” (Rev. John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions, [Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974], pp. 400-401).
Babylon and her daughters represent the Catholic and Protestant Churches that continue to keep Sunday and break God’s law. The two women of Revelation represent two churches and two groups of people claiming to worship God. One follows the Bible and the other doesn’t.
9. Can we identity the pure woman of Revelation? Revelation 12:13, 14 NKJV
“Now when the dragon … persecuted the woman… the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a and and a time, from the presence of the serpent.”
Just as there are five points to identify Babylon, there also are five points to find God’s true church. During the 1,260 years (A.D. 538 to 1798) God’s church was alive, but it didn’t exist as an identifiable organization because it fled to the wilderness to find religious freedom from intolerant churches and nations. The first identifier for God’s church is it comes out of “the wilderness” after A.D. 1798.
10. What are the second and third ways to identify God’s people? Revelation 12:17 NKJV
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest [or remnant] of her offspring, who keep the of God and have the of Jesus Christ.”
The second point to identify the remnant, or end-time church, is that it keeps all the commandments of God like Jesus and the apostles did—including the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The third characteristic is it will have the testimony of Jesus, which “is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10), and will understand and teach prophecy.
11. What is the fourth characteristic of God’s end-time church? Revelation 14:6 NKJV
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to nation, tribe, tongue, and people.”
The fourth way to find God’s church is to look for a worldwide movement.
12. What gospel message does the church present? Revelation 14:6-15 NKJV
This fifth identifying point is found in the three angels messages of Revelation 14. This passages shows us that there are seven parts of the gospel that God’s church restores before Jesus returns. God’s church teaches:
1) “Fear God and give to Him, for the hour of His has come.” Verse 7
We should glorify God in all we do because He died for our sins (1 Corinthians 6:20 and 10:31), and His judgment has come since 1844.
2) “ Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Verse 7
Worship Jesus as the Creator by keeping His seventh-day Sabbath holy.
3) “Babylon is , is fallen.” Revelation 14:8
The unbiblical system of worship that comes from Babylon is exposed.
4) “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand.” Revelation 14:9
The true identity of the beast, the image to the beast, and the mark.
5) “Here is the patience of saints; here are those who keep the of God and the of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
The true balance between faith and works. We are not saved by our works; but if we have the faith and love of Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).
6) “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on … ‘that they may from their labors.’” Revelation 14:13
Death is a peaceful rest from our works until we come forth in the resurrection.
7) “Behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of , having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.” Revelation 14:14, 15
Jesus’ return is visible, audible, and the final harvest (Matthew 13:39).
13. Who fulfills these five identifying marks of God’s remnant church?
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the only church that fulfills all five of the identifiers of the true church in Revelation 12 and 14. It is also the only church that teaches all seven parts of the Gospel pointed out in Revelation 14. This does NOT mean that only Seventh-day Adventists are saved. God has true followers in every church. What the Bible does reveal is that God is drawing His people together into one-fold because they want to follow Jesus.
1. It came into existence after 1798-in 1860.
2. It keeps the seventh-day Sabbath that Jesus and the disciples kept.
3. It is based on and understands prophecy.
4. It is worldwide and is in more countries than any other Protestant church.
5. It is the only church preaching the entire gospel as outlined in the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14.
What are your thoughts?
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14. How does Jesus unite His faithful followers? John 10:16 NKJV
“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
We live when Jesus calls His people to unite on the teachings of the Bible. God’s people from different religious backgrounds are responding to the Spirit’s call. One person every minute finds Bible truth and joins the remnant church with over 21 million members.
15. Is it your desire to obey Jesus’ call to come out of Babylon?
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, out of her, people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’ ” Revelation 18:4 NKJV
We live in the last days when God calls us to come out of Babylon and into His fold. Prophecy makes the issues clear—we either worship Jesus as the Creator and Savior by obeying His Word or we follow the traditions of man. God has given us the choice.
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Jesus is preparing His church for His soon return.