IN DEPTH
The Seventh Day Remnant Church Organization
(as per Scriptural andSpirit of Prophecy jurisprudence)

Light was given by His Spirit that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church--that organization was essential. System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe.--TM 26 (1902). 

Introduction – Purpose to Organize:

Philippians 2:2, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” 

He [God] designs that we should learn lessons of order and organization from the perfect order instituted in the days of Moses, for the benefit of the children of Israel.—1 Testimonies for the Church 653.

As an important factor in the spiritual growth of the new converts the apostles were careful to surround them with the safeguards of gospel order. Churches were duly organized in all places in Lycaonia and Pisidia where there were believers. Officers were appointed in each church, and proper order and system were established for the conduct of all the affairs pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the believers.  {AA 185.2} 

This was in harmony with the gospel plan of uniting in one body all believers in Christ, and this plan Paul was careful to follow throughout his ministry. Those who in any place were by his labor led to accept Christ as the Saviour were at the proper time organized into a church. Even when the believers were but few in number, this was done. The Christians were thus taught to help one another, remembering the promise, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20.  {AA 185.3}

-First Steps in Church Organization:

Matthew Chapter 10

It was at the ordination of the twelve that the first step was taken in the organization of the church that after Christ’s departure was to carry on His work on the earth.— The Acts of the Apostles, 18.

 Ordained leaders are first to lead:

The organization of the church at Jerusalem was to serve as a model for the organization of churches in every other place where messengers of truth should win converts to the gospel.... Later in the history of the early church, when in various parts of the world many groups of believers had been formed into churches, the organization of the church was further perfected, so that order and harmonious action might be maintained. Every member was exhorted to act well his part. Each was to make a wise use of the talents intrusted to him.—The Acts of the Apostles, 91, 92.

Obedient Church:

Nehemiah 1:8, “Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:”

The church must be organized to carry out and enforce order, or it will scatter into fragments—I was shown that some have been fearing they should become Babylon if they organize; but the churches in Central New York have been perfect Babylon, confusion. And now unless the churches are so organized that they can carry out and enforce order, they have nothing to hope for in the future.—The Review and Herald, August 27, 1861.

 Medical missionary:

Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

Medical missionary work must not stand aloof from church organization—Temptations will come to you to think that in order to carry forward the medical missionary work you must stand aloof from church organization or church discipline. To stand thus would place you on an unsound footing. The work done for those who come to you for instruction is not complete unless they are educated to work in connection with the church.—Testimonies for the Church 8:161.

Qualifications for Spiritual Leaders—Anything in eating or drinking which disqualifies the mental powers for healthful and active exercise is an aggravating sin in the sight of God. Especially is this the case with those who minister in holy things, who should at all times be examples to the people, and be in a condition to properly instruct them.  Temperance, Page 45

Organization is essential:

 Revelation 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Light was given by His Spirit that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church--that organization was essential. System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God's people on the earth.--TM 26 (1902)

“Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people, and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential, and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the Word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time.” Gospel Workers, p. 487.  {ChS 75.5}

Only men can be called to lead:

2 Kings 22:4-7, "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully."

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. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And in order that the Lord’s work may advance, healthfully and solidly, his people must draw together (May 30, 1909).—Testimonies for the Church 9:257, 258.

 Biblical Church officers (ministers, elders, deacons) who are ordained in the service of the Lord.

Duties:

To decide church matters along with  ALL church members

Acts 15:22-23, “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:  And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.” 

Acts 15:25-27, “It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.   We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.”

Acts 15:6, “And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.” 

 Ministers, Deacons and Elders- Matthew chapter 10 Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:1,2

Before ordination, ministers should give evidence that they have dedicated themselves to the work.--There must be evidence on the part of those who take the solemn position of shepherds, that they have without reservation, dedicated themselves to the work. They must take Christ as their personal Saviour. . . . Hands are laid upon men to ordain them for the ministry before they are thoroughly examined as to their qualifications for the sacred work; but how much better would it be to make thorough work before accepting them as ministers, than to have to go through this rigid examination after they have become established in their position, and have put their mould upon the work.--TM 171, 172.

And Paul did not forget the churches thus established. The care of these churches rested on his mind as an ever-increasing burden. However small a company might be, it was nevertheless the object of his constant solicitude. He watched over the smaller churches tenderly, realizing that they were in need of special care in order that the members might be thoroughly established in the truth and taught to put forth earnest, unselfish efforts for those around them.  {AA 186.1}

 Elders help with overseeing the flock:

1 Timothy 3:1,2; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy 5:1,19; 1 Peter 5:1,5; 3 John 1:1

An elder or elders for every church

Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” 

Titus 1:5, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.” 

Acts 20:17, “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.”

James 5:14, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

And Paul did not forget the churches thus established. The care of these churches rested on his mind as an ever-increasing burden. However small a company might be, it was nevertheless the object of his constant solicitude. He watched over the smaller churches tenderly, realizing that they were in need of special care in order that the members might be thoroughly established in the truth and taught to put forth earnest, unselfish efforts for those around them.  {AA 186.1}

Last Sabbath morning Elder [C. F.] Hawkins was ordained. [See Review and Herald December 29, 1896.] Elder [S. N.] Haskell gave a discourse in the early morning meeting, and certainly it was most impressive and instructive. It is the only discourse I have listened to on the ground. The ordination was very impressive. Elder Haskell seems as efficient as he ever has been. Solid, good talk comes from his lips, revealing that he has been a deep student of the Word. The Lord is with him, and he brings forth from the storehouse things new and old.--Letter 80, 1896, pp. 1, 2. (To O. A. Olsen and wife, October, 1896.)  {9MR 350.1} 

Duties of an Elder

1 Peter  5:1-3, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

1 Timothy 3:5, “(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” 

1 Timothy 5:17, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

Titus 1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” 

Deuteronomy 1:16-17, “And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”

 Qualifications of an elder

1 Timothy  3:1-7, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 

Titus 1:5-9, "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperateHolding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 

"The preaching of John had taken so deep a hold on the nation as to demand the attention of the religious authorities. The danger of insurrection caused every popular gathering to be looked upon with suspicion by the Romans, and whatever pointed toward an uprising of the people excited the fears of the Jewish rulers. John had not recognized the authority of the Sanhedrin by seeking their sanction for his work; and he had reproved rulers and people, Pharisees and Sadducees alike. Yet the people followed him eagerly. The interest in his work seemed to be continually increasing. Though he had not deferred to them, the Sanhedrin accounted that, as a public teacher, he was under their jurisdiction.

     This body was made up of members chosen from the priesthood, and from the chief rulers and teachers of the nation. The high priest was usually the president. All its members were to be men advanced in years, though not aged; men of learning, not only versed in Jewish religion and history, but in general knowledge. They were to be without physical blemish, and must be married men, and fathers, as being more likely than others to be humane and considerate. Their place of meeting was an apartment connected with the temple at Jerusalem. In the days of Jewish independence the Sanhedrin was the supreme court of the nation, possessing secular as well as ecclesiastical authority. Though now subordinated by the Roman governors, it still exercised a strong influence in civil as well as religious matters.  -Desire of Ages pages 132.2 - 133.1

Who selects elders
Later, when choosing seventy elders to share with him the responsibilities of leadership, Moses was careful to select, as his helpers, men possessing dignity, sound judgment, and experience. In his charge to these elders at the time of their ordination, he outlined some of the qualifications that fit a man to be a wise ruler in the church. "Hear the causes between your brethren," said Moses, "and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's." Deuteronomy 1:16, 17.  {AA 94.1}

The same principles of piety and justice that were to guide the rulers among God's people in the time of Moses and of David, were also to be followed by those given the oversight of the newly organized church of God in the gospel dispensation. In the work of setting things in order in all the churches, and ordaining suitable men to act as officers, the apostles held to the high standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament Scriptures. They maintained that he who is called to stand in a position of leading responsibility in the church "must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Titus 1:7-9.  {AA 95.2} 

 Paul exhorting the elders

Acts 20:17-28,"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:  And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.  And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.  Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.  I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.  And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.  And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,  Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship."

Deacons – minister’s helpers/relievers

Acts 6:2-3, "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."

The deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13) were church officers (2 Corinthians 6:4)

Duties of Deacons:

Elders and deacons are chosen to have a care for the prosperity of the church; yet these leaders, especially in young churches, should not feel at liberty, on their own judgment and responsibility, to cut off offending members from the church; they are not invested with such authority. Many indulge a zeal like that of Jehu, and rashly venture to make decisions in matters of grave importance, while they themselves have no connection with God. Manuscript 1, 1878.

This ingathering of souls was due both to the greater freedom secured by the apostles and to the zeal and power shown by the seven deacons. The fact that these brethren had been ordained for the special work of looking after the needs of the poor, did not exclude them from teaching the faith. On the contrary, they were fully qualified to instruct others in the truth, and they engaged in the work with great earnestness and success.  {AA 89.3} 

Summoning a meeting of the believers, the apostles were led by the Holy Spirit to outline a plan for the better organization of all the working forces of the church. The time had come, the apostles stated, when the spiritual leaders having the oversight of the church should be relieved from the task of distributing to the poor and from similar burdens, so that they might be free to carry forward the work of preaching the gospel. "Wherefore, brethren," they said, "look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." This advice was followed, and by prayer and the laying on of hands, seven chosen men were solemnly set apart for their duties as deacons.  AA 89.1

The appointment of the seven to take the oversight of special lines of work, proved a great blessing to the church. These officers gave careful consideration to individual needs as well as to thegeneral financial interests of the church, and by their prudent management and their godly example they were an important aid to their fellow officers in binding together the various interests of the church into a united whole.  {AA 89.2} 

Qualifications of a Deacon

1 Timothy 3:10-13, “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

Acts 6:2-3, "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."

Laity (Church Members apart from church officers):

 Qualifications of the Laity

Be labored with:

Acts 8:31, "And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him."

Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (why is this verse here? Perhaps it needs to be in the section below?)

 Believe:

Acts 8:12, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

Philip was a deacon. See Acts 6.

 Baptized Members:

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Required for Baptism:

 Bible Studies

http://sdrministries.org/biblestudy/index.html

The ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper are two monumental pillars, one without and one within the church. Upon these ordinances Christ has inscribed the name of the true God.

Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God's spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, "The Lord Our Righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6.

Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They have obeyed the command: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing." And to them is fulfilled the promise: "I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.

The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ's death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation. Publicly he has declared that he will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. He is no longer to live a careless, indifferent life. He has made a covenant with God. He has died to the world. He is to live to the Lord, to use for Him all his entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that he bears God's signature, that he is a subject of Christ's kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature. He is to surrender to God all that he is and all that he has, employing all his gifts to His name's glory.- {Councils for the Church pg.295}

Duties:

To work and be taught how to do the work - Just as soon as a church is organized, the members should be set to work, taught to go forth in God-given power to find others and tell them of the story of redeeming love. The power of the gospel is to come upon the companies raised up, fitting them for service. Some of the new converts will be so filled with the power of the Lord that they will at once enter the work, imparting that which they have received.  Manuscript 127, 1901, pp. 9, 10

The newly formed churches will need to be educated. The minister should not devote so much of his time to preaching as to educating. The people are to be taught how to extend the knowledge of the truth. If they do this work successfully, they will labor so diligently that they will have no time or disposition to weaken the hands of their brethren by unkind criticism. Their one desire will be to carry the truth to the regions beyond.--Manuscript 127, 1901, pp. 9, 10.

It was at the very beginning of His ministry that Christ began to gather in His helpers. This is a lesson to all ministers. They should constantly be looking for and training those who they think could help them in their work. They should not stand alone, trying to do by themselves all that needs to be done. Letter 53, 1905, p. 3. 

 Thorough self-examination:

It has pleased the Lord to have select, representative men connected with the work as missionaries--men who have been tested and proved and tried. Often they have been in trying situations, and by earnest, frequent, and laborious examination of their own spirit, habits, temper, appetites, and practice, they have carefully and thoroughly investigated themselves. Just as a carpenter who, in erecting a building, inspects every piece of timber he puts in to see if any are weak or rotten, and as he discards all defective ones, so the human character should be carefully examined to see if it is becoming more and more like Christ Jesus--pure, peaceable, kind, full of goodness, love, and truth. Those who enter through the gates into the city must and will have a right to the tree of life. To them the promise is made, "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."  {19MR 27.2}

Let close, critical examination be made of the tenor of their life and action. Have they the marks that testify that they are children of God, that they apply the Word of God as a test of their own qualification to do service that will properly represent Christ? Have they shown a clear understanding, a right judgment in the things of God? Have they a sweet, pure, clean spirit in the sight of God, in the home and in the church? Do they give evidence that they are undefiled, that they can labor to help others out of Satan's power, or do they show a want of sincere piety and conscientious scruples in willing toil, failing to lift burdens for Christ? Do they give evidence that day by day they are learning the meekness and lowliness of Christ? 

     A great work is to be done. Who will engage in this work? Who will press the work forward and upward to victory? We have all the world against us; all the churches against us; all the synagogue of Satan against us. And if those of our own faith work against the truth by their own unsanctified habits and practices, the work will go very hard. God help us to pray, "O Lord, cleanse the camp of Israel from its defilement."--Letter 10, 1897.

There is need of close self-examination in the light of the word of God,  that we may do the work essential to be done.  {BTS, October 1, 1910 par. 6} 

After Christ's ascension, the disciples were gathered together in one place to make humble supplication to God. And after ten days of heart searching and self-examination, the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples.  {RH, June 10, 1902 par. 12} 

Ensamples to the Flock:

1 Peter 2:21, “Hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

1 Peter 5:3, “Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

"God reproves men because He loves them. He wants them to be strong in His strength, to have well-balanced minds and symmetrical characters; then they will be examples to the flock of God, leading them by precept and example nearer to heaven. Then they will build up a holy temple for God." --MS 1, 1883.

Stable in doctrine:

Philippians 2:2, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ”

“If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it; for it is foolish to become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. Let everything be brought to the Bible; for it is the only rule of faith and doctrine.”  BEcho, October 15, 1892 par. 6 

 Pillars of faith

"The passing of time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, (also) the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, 'The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.' One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressor of God's law. The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark." Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 30. (For further study: Proverbs 9:1; Hebrews 6:2; 1888 Materials, p 518; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 258, 313, 377, 399; Testimonies, vol 6, p 91, 144; Evangelism, p 273; Early Writings, p 63, 87, 258; Great Controversy, p 409; Life Sketches, p 278).

Baptism

Baptism by immersion is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and openly expresses faith in His saving grace and the giving up of sin and the world. It is recognized as a condition of becoming a member of the body of Christ. (Matt .3:13-17; 28:19; Acts 2:38,41-47; 8:35,39; 16:32,33; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 3:27; Col. 3:1-3)

Health Message:
1 Corinthians 3:17, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 

To defile the temple is done in numerous ways, everything from eating unclean foods to the use of alcohol, tobacco or even vinegar. So as to not make this page massive in size, the following passages touch on a few situations, wherein the avid Bible student will agree are just a smattering of the many truths found within the Holy Writ.

Numbers 6:3 "He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried."

Proverbs 10:26 "As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him."

Luke 23:36 "And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,"

Proverbs 20:1, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

"The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies; as a consequence, the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulties appear." Councils on Diet and Food pg. 32 par. 2

“The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel's message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work. Ministers and people must act in concert. God's people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. He has left this work for them to do. It is an individual work; one cannot do it for another. ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’" Councils on Diet and Food pg. 32 par. 2

NOTE:
Many items that are harmful to the health are not listed here. Reason being is, there are so many in today's end time society that it is nearly impossible to list them all here. We would hope the soul seeking to please the Lord would first do a study in the Word of God and Spirit of Prophecy so as to better educate themselves and their families as to the dangers of food items that at one time were considered Scripturally clean but are now so polluted by drugs and disease in today's market that the wise choice would be to avoid them at all costs. There are also "food additives" in today's market that should be avoided when forming a diet for one's family. (-SDRCC compilers)

 Flesh eating – “Let not any of our ministers set an evil example in the eating of flesh meat. Let them and their families live up to the light of health reform. Let not our ministers animalize their own nature and the nature of their children. Children whose desires have not been restrained, are tempted not only to indulge in the common habits of intemperance, but to give loose rein to their lower passions, and to disregard purity and virtue. These are led on by Satan not only to corrupt their own bodies, but to whisper their evil communications to others. If parents are blinded by sin, they will often fail of discerning these things.”  Councils on Diet and Food pg. 399 par. 3

Gluttony – Proverbs 23:20, 21, 23: Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh; for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. . . . Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Pamphlets 48 pg. 20 par.1

 Caffeine (Coffee/Tea/Soda) – “The habit of drinking tea and coffee is a greater evil than is often suspected. Many who have accustomed themselves to the use of stimulating drinks, suffer from headache and nervous prostration, and lose much time on account of sickness. They imagine they cannot live without the stimulus, and are ignorant of its effect upon health. What makes it the more dangerous is, that its evil effects are so often attributed to other causes.”  Councils on Diet and Food pg. 422 par. 2

 Smoking – “They profess to be serving God while they are committing idolatry, by making a god of their appetite. Tobacco is their cherished idol. To it every high and sacred consideration must bow. They profess to be worshiping God, while at the same time they are violating the first commandment. They have other gods before the Lord. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.’” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, pp. 127, 128.

 Faithful in tithes and offerings:
Malachi 3:8-10, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” 

Neglect is Robbery—“Let all who fear God come up to the help of the Lord, and show themselves faithful stewards.  The truth must go to all parts of the world.  I have been shown that many in our churches are robbing God in tithes and offerings.  God will execute upon them just that which He has declared.  To the obedient, He will give rich blessings; to the transgressor, a curse.  Every man who bears the message of truth to our churches, must do his duty by warning, educating, rebuking.  Any neglect of duty which is a robbery toward God, means a curse upon the delinquent.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 307.

 Faithful in Paying Tithes—“This is not a request of man; it is one of God's ordinances, whereby His work may be sustained and carried on in the world.  God help us to repent.  "Return unto Me," He says, "and I will return unto You." Men who have a desire to do their duty, have it all laid down in clear lines in this chapter.  No one can excuse himself from paying his tithes and offerings to the Lord.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 307.

 Church Members Duty to Confess-- "If you have sinned by withholding from God His own in tithes and offerings, confess your guilt to God and to the church, and heed the injunction that He has given you: 'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.'" -Malachi 3:10. 467 {CCh 259.1}

 Character:
Timothy 3:1-16,  “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 

 Governing Household:
“Parents must govern their children, correct their passions, and subdue them, or God will surely destroy the children in the day of His fierce anger, and the parents who have not controlled their children will not be blameless. Especially should the servants of God govern their own families and have them in good subjection. I saw that they are not prepared to judge or decide in matters of the church, unless they can rule well their own house. They must first have order at home, and then their judgment and influence will tell in the church.”
 Councils for the Church pg.190 par.3

One well-ordered, well-disciplined family tells more in behalf of Christianity than all the sermons that can be preached. Such a family gives evidence that the parents have been successful in following God's directions, and that their children will serve Him in the church. Their influence grows; for as they impart, they receive to impart again. The father and mother find helpers in their children, who give to others the instruction received in the home. The neighborhood in which they live is helped, for in it they have become enriched for time and for eternity. The whole family is engaged in the service of the Master; and by their godly example, others are inspired to be faithful and true to God in dealing with His flock, His beautiful flock. {AH 32.1}

 Worldliness:

 Jewelry– “Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith.” Councils for the Church pg. 181 par.7

 Cosmetics– “Many are ignorantly injuring their health and endangering their life by using cosmetics. They are robbing the cheeks of the glow of health, and then to supply the deficiency use cosmetics. When they become heated in the dance the poison is absorbed by the pores of the skin, and is thrown into the blood. Many lives have been sacrificed by this means alone.”  {HR, October 1, 1871 par. 20}

 Dress reform – "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel." 1 Timothy 2:9.

"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God." Deuteronomy 22:5.

"There is still another style of dress which will be adopted by a class of so-called dress reformers. They will imitate the opposite sex, as nearly as possible. They will wear the cap, pants, vest, coat, and boots, the last of which is the most sensible part of the costume. Those who adopt and advocate this style of dress, are carrying the so-called dress reform to very objectionable lengths. Confusion will be the result. Some  who adopt this costume may be correct in their views in general upon the health question, and they could be instrumental in accomplishing vastly more good if they did not carry the matter of dress to such extremes.

 In this style of dress God's order has been reversed, and his special directions disregarded. Deuteronomy 22:5. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God." This style of dress, God would not have his people adopt. It is not modest apparel, and is not at all fitting for modest, humble females who profess to be Christ's followers. God's prohibitions are lightly regarded by all who would advocate the doing away of the distinction of dress between males and females. The extreme positions taken by some dress-reformers upon this subject cripple their influence.

 God designed there should be a plain distinction between male and female dress, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion, and great increase of crime. St. Paul would utter a rebuke, were he alive, and should behold females professing Godliness with this style of dress. "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works." The mass of professed Christians utterly disregard the teachings of the Apostles, and wear gold, pearls and costly array.  -Selected messages vol. 2 pages 477.7 - 478.1

"Some who believe the truth may think that it would be more healthful for the sisters to adopt the American costume, yet if that mode of dress would cripple our influence among unbelievers so that we could not so readily gain access to them, we should by no means adopt it, though we suffered much in consequence. But some are deceived in thinking there is so much benefit to be received from this costume. While it may prove a benefit to some, it is an injury to others.

I saw that God's order has been reversed, and His special directions disregarded, by those who adopt the American costume. I was referred to Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God." God would not have His people adopt the so-called reform dress. It is immodest apparel, wholly unfitted for the modest, humble followers of Christ.

There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety." 1 Timothy 2:9.

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman's rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel's message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women. Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them.

With the so-called dress reform there goes a spirit of levity and boldness just in keeping with the dress. Modesty and reserve seem to depart from many as they adopt that style of dress. I was shown that God would have us take a course consistent and explainable. Let the sisters adopt the American costume and they would destroy their own influence and that of their husbands. They would become a byword and a derision. Our Saviour says: "Ye are the light of the world." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." There is a great work for us to do in the world, and God would not have us take a course to lessen or destroy our influence with the world.  {1T 422.1}  -Testimonies vol.1 pages 421.1 - 422.1

Also see: 2 Kings 9:30; Jer. 4:30; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:3,7; 5:23; 1 Peter 2:21; 3:3-5,15; Isa. 3:16-24; 1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Tim. 2:9,10

 Music– “Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted. How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God? A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world-lovers in pleasure-gatherings where God has forbidden his children to go. Thus that which is a great blessing when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things. Music forms a part of God's worship in the courts above, and we should endeavor, in our songs of praise, to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education, and should not be neglected. Singing, as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer.” Christian Education, pp. 62, 63.

 Movies– “The Theater the Hotbed of Immorality.--Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school for morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement.”  The Adventist Home pg.  516 par.2 

 Sports– "The Problem of Many Athletic Sports.--Vigorous exercise the pupils must have. Few evils are more to be dreaded than indolence and aimlessness. Yet the tendency of most athletic sports is a subject of anxious thought to those who have at heart the well-being of the youth. Teachers are troubled as they consider the influence of these sports both on the student's progress in school and on his success in afterlife. The games that occupy so much of his time are diverting the mind from study. They are not helping to prepare the youth for practical, earnest work in life. Their influence does not tend toward refinement, generosity, or real manliness.
Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling.
Other athletic games, though not so brutalizing, are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried. They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life's sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness with their terrible results."
{The Adventist Home pg.500 par.4}

 Appearance of evil- "Abstain from all appearance of evil." -1 Thessalonians 5:22

This entails the following general issues. In today’s world a bevy of reasons can be added as each day brings new evils as we are all aware. As obedient Christians we must never be seen entering:

 Politics:
Matthew 22:21, “They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” 

“God's children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention and disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish.” Councils for the Church pg. 316 par.6

A working church is a living church. We are built up as living stones, and every stone is to emit light. Every Christian is compared to a precious stone that catches the glory of God and reflects it.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 435.

Revelation 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” 


  The Presents of God ministry