This is the text of a folder sent out by the author with the first evangelistic sermon requested by new people. It will have some interest for our evangelists.—Editors
May we share with you some thoughts concerning Christ's cure for denominationalism? Our Lord prayed that all His followers might be one, even as He and the Father are one. He must therefore have a plan for bringing this unity among His true followers before He comes at the last day to claim them as His own.
Denominational prejudices are one of the main barriers against people's finding and learning the real truth as it is in Jesus. Every follower of Jesus should keep his mind and heart open for the truth wherever and whenever it is proclaimed from the Holy Scriptures (John 17:17: 8: 31, 32).
No one has any right to attach a denominational tag to any truths that are presented from the Bible. On the contrary, every truth from the Bible is God's doctrine for all Christians. We must never refuse to follow a given Biblical truth because the church to which we belong does not teach it. Scriptural truth should be given precedence above all denominationalism.
When Jesus was on earth teaching the truth, denominational prejudices kept many from accepting His message (John 9:28, 29; 12:42, 43). The Jews and the Samaritans who lived in the same country had no dealings with one another because of denominational prejudice (John 4:7-9). The Jewish scribes and doctors of the law, as the regular recognized teachers of religion, regarded John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles as innovators, intruding themselves among the people with strange, unsound, and heretical teachings.
The first Christians had to battle against much denominational prejudice on the part of those Jews who refused to listen when they preached Christ.
Because of denominational prejudice against the Gentiles, Jewish Christians at first refused to go into a Gentile's house, even to teach Christ, lest they make themselves unclean.
Denominational prejudices are unjust, unreasonable, unscriptural, and unchristian. We therefore ought to divest ourselves of such prejudices. We must never let such prejudice hinder us from hearing the teachings of the Word of God. Let us always give the truth from God's Word the consideration that He expects.
Heaven's approbation rests on those who keep an open mind to find and follow truth. Take note how the Bereans were thus commended: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11.
This is what our attitude should be. Be willing to listen. Then search the Scriptures to make sure that the teaching is according to God's Word. If it is the truth according to the Scriptures, then accept it at once.
The Bible shows that God has appointed a special gospel message for the entire world in these last days. This message is His remedy for denominationalism. It ultimately will bring all God's people together under the banner of "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12). You are requested to read these scripture references in your Bible, that you may see that they do set forth what we state.
Read Revelation 14:14 and take note that it refers to how Christ will make His second advent at the last day. Then notice that the preceding eight verses, or Revelation 14:6-12, under the symbolism of three angels preaching three connected messages to every nation, set forth a special threefold message that will prepare the way for the second advent of our Lord. The Bible shows that these three angels represent a body of people whom the Lord will raise up in the last days to proclaim these truths to the world (Mark 16:15).
Some of these special truths of this Heaven-sent message for our time are: Christ is coming very soon. God's judgment is in session in heaven. People everywhere should prepare to pass the test of the judgment and be ready to meet Jesus at His appearing. This preparation is summarized as the keeping of "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Other special items are the acknowledgment of God as the Creator; the warning against obeying the beast power or the reception of his mark; and the call to come out of the ecclesiastical system of Babylon.
Seventh-day Adventists are engaged in carrying this final gospel message of Revelation 14:6-12 to the people of every nation. They are now working in 196 of the 219 countries and islands of the world, using 896 languages and dialects. There are nearly one and one half million adherents of these truths in these various lands. They are making known this preparatory message for the second coming of Christ by means of public evangelistic campaigns, Bible correspondence courses, Bible studies in homes, radio broadcasts, television telecasts: also by books, periodicals, and tracts in 228 languages, by 42 publishing houses scattered all over the earth. Their teachings, their adherents, and their work represent the fulfillment of this prophecy of Revelation 14:6-12. This Bible prophecy furnishes the real reason why this movement is here throughout the entire world doing this work. This is what this prophecy foreshadowed would be in the world at this yen time.
It is the counterpart relative to the second advent of our Lord of what was foreshadowed in the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 relative to the appearing of our Lord at His first advent. Seven hundred years before Christ appeared as the Messiah this prophecy foretold that a forerunner would be sent to proclaim a special preparatory message. This prophecy was fulfilled in the work of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1-3).
When the accepted teachers of religion among the Jews asked John the Baptist who he was, and what authority he had for preaching a different message from that which they were teaching, he referred them to the prophecy found in Isaiah 40:3. "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias" (John 1:23).
The teachings and the work of John owed their existence to this prophecy. This was the only true explanation of his message, his mission, his place in religion. It was his fulfillment of this prophecy that made his teachings the way of the Lord for the people of his day.
Mark this well. As it was with this God-appointed message of Isaiah 40:3, preceding the first advent of Christ the Redeemer, so it is now with this divinely appointed message of Revelation 14:6-12 for our day, preceding Christ's second coming. This prophecy shows what is the way of the Lord for our day. It takes Revelation 14:6-14 to show what this Advent Movement really is. The fulfillment of this prophecy in this movement reveals its divine authority for teaching the truth. It shows why it must be here as a separate religious movement.
There were various denominations or sects in Palestine during the days of John the Baptist. The New Testament refers to some of them as the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. But notice. The teachings of John the Baptist and his converts (called in Scripture John's disciples) were not another sect among these others. No. They represented the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3— 'the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
Even so the Advent Movement is not another sect or denomination among the numerous ones in our day. No. The movement represents the fulfillment of Revelation 14:6-I2--the three angels' messages to prepare God's people for the second coming of our Lord. They owe their existence to this prophecy. It is wise, therefore, that we take the scriptural viewpoint, and look beyond their name to this God-appointed message of Revelation 14:6-12 which they are proclaiming. That message is what God wants you to know and heed above all else.
These three messages are called "the everlasting gospel" (Rev. 14:6). This means that this threefold message includes the general truths of the gospel as preached by Christ and His apostles, in addition to the special truths specifically mentioned in the wording of these messages in Revelation 14. This shows that the Adventist people of this threefold message are not innovators, or a heretical sect with strange, unsound doctrines, but teachers of the general truths of the gospel in addition to these special truths for our day. They are a "back-to-the-Bible movement," carrying forward the reformatory work of Luther, Wesley, Knox, and others for a full separation from all the errors that crept in during the Dark Ages.
They preach justification only by faith, sanctification only by the indwelling Christ in the regenerated heart, salvation only by grace, the deity of Jesus Christ, the absolute necessity of the new birth, et cetera. They teach that no one can be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, but that after one is born again he will be obedient to God's commandments by letting Christ live His life of obedience in him.
This threefold message is for "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6). Hence it is above all denominations—supra-denominational. It is God's universal message for every soul regardless of what church or religion he may follow. Wise is he who recognizes that since it is God's special message for our day, it takes precedence above all else in religious matters.
This movement, proclaiming this threefold message, is not an "ism" or a "schism" or a sect or a man-devised religion. It is destined by Heaven to bring all Christ's followers together on the platform of "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12). It will bring the consummation of the gospel.
In this time of perplexity and uncertainty there is a most urgent need of a sure message from God to show us the way out. God has provided such a message in this prophecy of Revelation 14:6-14.
As you follow on in the understanding and counsel of God's message for today, it will lead you into a new and better experience in Christ. It will bring to your heart a new and brighter hope; in fact, the best that God Himself can offer. Thousands and thousands of people everywhere have found in the truths of God's message that for which they have been longing, waiting, hoping, and praying. A most enjoyable and profitable experience awaits you in the discovery of these divine truths for our day.
There was nothing in the world more important for people in Noah's day to hear and accept than the special message he proclaimed. There was nothing more important in religion for the people in John the Baptist's day to hear and heed than his message. Even so, there is nothing in religion more important for every soul today to learn and accept than God's special message of Revelation 14:6-12. Let us, then, not fail to move forward in the God-ap- God improve the opportunity we now pointed path of learning and heeding His have of hearing this message explained in special message for our day. Let us under these Bible lectures.