Two things come to mind—literally, in determining who the true church is as compared to who is not the true church. God gave us specific, VERY specific identifiers in being able to make the determination without their necessitating question or confusion. Take the story of Cain and Abel. I call it a “story” but it is an actual fact of who they were and what they did. We know by the evidence, this was given in Genesis, our beginning, to illustrate those who ARE God’s people as opposed to those who ARE NOT God’s people, although they are both performing the same action. However, we know one was accepted and the other was not and the one who was NOT ACCEPTED went further in their sin by killing the one who WAS ACCEPTED! This will repeat itself very soon.
Notice the story recorded in Genesis chapter 4. What takes place in the following two chapters? First, we see those who were NOT God’s people, in Chapter 5. Then we see who ARE God’s people, in Chapter 6. This same kind of reckoning is found in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Revelation 12 speaks about WHO IS God’s people and Revelation 13 speaks about WHO IS NOT God’s people. Let’s examine Revelation 12.
I find it interesting those who claim to be God’s people never use Revelation 12! They always go back into the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, when it is the Book of Revelation which gives the true account of endtime, present truth for these days. The Gospel sets the stage, just as Genesis 4, but the eventual determining takes place later, such as Genesis 5 & 6, just as it does for the Gospels, in Revelation 12 & 13.
In Revelation 12, we see particular characteristics given to God’s people and help in identifying who they are:
- They would “appear” later,
- They would be sought after and persecuted by the devil,
- They would have a difficult time for and during 1,260 years and appear after 1798,
- Their testimony would save them against false information/teaching,
- They would come out of the main church, a small group, or remnant,
- They would keep the Ten Commandments of God,
- They would profit by having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the “Spirit of Prophecy”.
This is sound proof of who the “true church” is during these last day events.
Let’s identify who is the false church in Revelation 13:
- They would come from the earth and from established bodies of people/countries.
- They would exhibit certain characteristics found in the animal kingdom (leopard = swift), (bear = powerful), (lion = roar, speak without fear).
- The world would be mystified by him and wonder after him because nothing seem to rid him from the earth.
- It would say great things, enact laws and cause God’s people to suffer for 42 months = 1,260 years.
- Would appear to directly attack God and His Law, the Ten Commandments
- The whole world will worship him.
- Not many will be able to detect error and will be deceived.
Now, somewhere within these two groups is where you are located and you cannot be in one AND the other, but one OR the other. In short, the second group is speaking directly about the Papacy. The Papacy has fought against God from the beginning of their being. They have fought against God’s Commandments and worship. They have sought to destroy God’s people during the Dark Ages/Middle Ages, which lasted for 1,260 years, from 538 AD until 1798. From the Roman Catholic Church came the protest, Protestant Churches, which never fully separated from her and continued practicing her dogmas and beliefs, even the continuation of honoring her false sabbath, Sunday worship. Tradition along with customs keep most of the people blind with understanding why they do what they do and they’re unable to detect error and to know they are deceived.
While on the other hand, God has a true church. This must be understood. He does not have true “churches”, but a true church. While this church is composed of humans, who error in many things and ways, it does not take away from a loving God who continues to show compassion and acceptance because they do two things: (1) Keep the Commandments of God, and follow the (2) Teachings of the Spirit of Prophecy.
Now, you may wish to blend these two together or “think” you can have some characteristics of both in order to feel secure in your belief, but you will be one of those Christ will look directly in the eye and say, “I never knew you”!
Which are you?
July 29, 2017