The Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church believes in victory over sin, and purity of doctrine, as two of its fundamental pillars. The third is revealed through the final message of the Gospel-bearing angels of Revelation 14.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.’” (Rev 14:9-11)
As dire as this warning sounds, what is it that angels are so often recorded as saying to us? “Fear not.” Revelation’s third angel’s message is a call to action, a call to understanding, that we may escape the destruction that is coming against the ungodly of the earth. We must understand who the beast is, who its image is, and what the mark is that they seek to impose upon the saints.
For the most part, the CSDA Church is in agreement with mainstream SDA teachings. The “beast” is a secular power, either a king or kingdom. The “image” of the beast is a New World manifestation of Satan’s principles working through human agencies. The Image of The Beast is a counterpart to the Seal of the Living God (Revelation 7) that identifies one as a worshipper of Satan rather than a worshipper of Christ. But where we differ from the mainstream Church is in exactly how these things, particularly the image and mark of the beast, will appear in the last days.
The mainstream Seventh-day Adventist Church is anticipating that, at some point in the future, the United States government will enact a National Sunday Law that will not only enforce the holiness of Sunday as the Lord’s Day, but will also penalize Sabbath-keepers with increasingly draconic penalties, up to and including imprisonment and death. This law, they believe, will “catch on,” resulting in an international degree of persecution for Sabbath-keepers, so that nowhere in the world will be safe for those who follow the Lord. At this point, when it seems the saints will be entirely wiped out, Christ will return and save His
The principles of this prophetic understanding are perfectly correct – there is only one problem. The persecution that Seventh-day Adventists expect “at some point in the future” is going on NOW. The only difference is, the “Sabbath issue” at stake here is not about the day of the week, but about the spirit of “rest” that Christ has for His people.
Why are the beast and its image “wrong” for the actions described above? From a Sabbath-keeper’s perspective, an obvious answer might be, “They are trying to force the people of God to be disobedient regarding the fourth commandment.” This is true… but consider the principle behind it. What if the Mark of The Beast was such that one needed to “steal” to be safe? The mark would be no less evil. It would not be any less evil if it attempted to force people to commit adultery, to force people to bow to an image, to force people to dishonor their parents. The common thread is easy to see: FORCE.
The focus of the traditional SDA interpretation is force applied to a Sunday Law. However, imagine another organization seeking to force the saints to break some other instruction that they held as divinely-inspired, and sacred? Some years ago, in the news there was a story about some youths who broke into a school and tried to force at least one student who proclaimed herself a Christian to forsake the name “Jesus.” She would not do it, although she was shot and killed for her commitment to that name.
In this generation, this movement believes that the name “Creation Seventh Day Adventist” is the name given, not to Christ, but to the Bride of Christ with whom He is “one flesh,” or in this case “one spirit.” (Mat 19:6, 1Cor 6:17) While the name that is written on one’s place of worship may not directly be a “salvation issue,” obedience to our Father’s words are. The world, and its powers, are seeking even this day to force the saints of God to surrender a name that they believe has been given to them through divine inspiration. The mainstream Seventh-day Adventist Church, having trademarked the name, and falsely claimed it as their “intellectual property” has been, for the past couple of decades, hauling Christians before the world’s courts in flagrant violation of verses such as 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 and many of their own writings. This hypocrisy has made them the very “image” of any previous power that has applied secular force in an attempt to control the religious observances of others, and anyone who believes that he or she is a “Protestant” out to resist this attack on religious liberty anywhere, and at any time, that it appears.
But what does this have to do with the third pillar of the CSDA faith? To quote the verse referenced above in full, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1Cor 6:17)
The avoidance of the Mark of The Beast, which is resisting any secular power (the Beast) that seeks to force the saints of God into disobedience to even the least of His instructions, does nothing but point out to the saints their need for unity. As has been mentioned, we believe that the name “Creation Seventh Day Adventist” has been divinely inspired, and further, it is the gathering-place for the faithful of the earth, those who keep the commandments of God, who – through His power – have accepted the Gospel and “doth not commit sin,” and who await the return of the Son. And any who have joined to the Lord in this way, by this distinctive (and “peculiar”) set of beliefs are to be “one spirit.”
It takes spiritual discernment to understand the principles of Revelation. We cannot claim to understand it based upon our own intellect or wisdom; rather, our Father has promised that whatsoever He will do, He will first reveal to His people. (Amos 3:7) He has shown us the course of religious history, that whenever a church and a state power unite, faithful Christians are always persecuted. He has shown us that His people have always had a distinctive “name” that He has given them for a very important reason – from “Sons of God” to “Israel” to “Christian” to “Protestant” etc. He has shown us that only those who are faithful in what the world may consider the “least things” will be prepared to be entrusted with the “great things.” Thus, every one of His instructions is worth keeping, regardless of the consequences of that allegiance.
Our Father has given us His love, His Gospel, our spiritual identity, the path we must walk, and a name that properly reflects these gifts. He has also given us His Spirit, and said to us through His Son that we are all ONE (John 17:21), not only with the Father and Son, but with one another as well. The Third Angel’s message, which is a warning to reject and avoid the Mark of The Beast, also highlights the importance of unity, that the saints must be united with one another in order to a) avoid that Mark, b) perfectly follow the Lamb of God, and c) receive the Seal of God that identifies them as recipients of everlasting life.
This CANNOT be done, none of these three things, without the saints being “one,” for the Scriptures say that if we have the Holy Spirit we will be united. Thus, the third pillar of the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church is unity of faith. We are united in holy covenant, as solemn as any marriage, with the Creator and with our brethren. This is the only way that we CAN withstand the Mark of The Beast, for “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8) Those who know how lions, and most large predators, hunt understand that this means he will most easily overcome the weak, the errant, and those isolated from the group.
But in our Father’s care, we are none of these things. Through Christ we are strong, and obedient. Through His Bride we are never alone, but standing in unity with the saints. Because of this – and only because of this – we will never worship the Beast and His Image. We will never permit the power of fallen churches, even combined with all the strength of this world, to cause us to swerve off the path of strict obedience to our Father, and His instructions to us regarding our obligations to him and to the world. Our faith is not held for ourselves alone, but as an example to the onlooking universe. Our Father has a people, today, who will stand fast upon principle, who will be true to their convictions, and who will teach His message of hope and love despite the opposition from even the highest institutions of limited, humanistic intelligence. Our God is greater than these.
It is our hope that all who love the Lord, and His Gospel, and His commandments, will follow the leadings of that One Spirit, and unite with us under the name of Christ, will receive – as their very own – the name of His Bride, and will resist Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet with a loud and united cry of glory.
The Pillars of the CSDA Faith (4/4): Unity of Sprit
Questions and conversation about religious beliefs, Scripture, the Spirit of Prophecy, and Creation 7th Day Adventism
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Re: The Pillars of the CSDA Faith (4/4): Unity of Sprit
Please direct your questions and comments to the discussion thread for this post: Discussion thread for "The Pillars" series.
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