Rise of the Remnant

TimeWatch Editorial
March 16, 2017

As we draw closer to the closing events of earth’s history, it has become even more important that we are aware of the events that are to occur. Without the knowledge of where we stand, and an understanding of the things that will be, our level of preparedness will always be insufficient. In the year 1961, Author Whitefield Spalding published a work entitled {Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1. Here is how he describes the challenge of God’s Church.

This blessed hope of Christ's coming has been a chief target of Satan's attacks, both subtle and savage. For these he has employed men in the church and outside the church. Confused on the dim trails of Jewish eschatology and Greek mythology, and hewing out doctrinal paths of their own, heretical theologians and schismatics have twisted the plain statements of Christ and of His prophets to fit their concepts of secret comings, spiritual raptures, and the glory burst of death. But the Lord Jesus declares, "If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1, page 12

Spalding’s description of the linkage of truth is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit in a way that maintains a solid foundational path for those who seek to follow. The absolute connection to the apostolic message sent forth by instruction of Christ is emphasized and repeated in the message of the true church. Note the following.

“The doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ, with its attendant events of the resurrection both of the just and the unjust, of the final judgment and destruction of the wicked, of the dissolution of the old world and the creation of a new world, with sin forever gone and innocence and purity regnant, is inseparable from Christianity. Not only is it essential to the completion of salvation's story, but it is documented by the testimony of Jesus and His apostles, and it is witnessed to by the faith and constancy and ministry of the church's martyrs and evangelists. Without it the gospel is a stream that sinks into sullen sands; with it the river of life goes forth to make the desert blossom as the rose and to create the Paradise of God.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1, page 13

Spalding’s careful narrative regarding the rise of the Remnant church fills us with the reassurance of the covenant upon which we can rely. The Word of God is indeed sure beyond all doubt, and transformative in every detail. HHHhh  is description of the apostasy of the early church is also a powerful warning to us of the present and the future.

“That the future reign of Christ was replaced in men's minds by the present rule of the church was due to the great apostasy resulting in the engagement of men's thoughts with the vanities of the world. The initial fervor of the first centuries was submerged through the Dark Ages under the flood of papal errors. Proud churchmen, wrapped up in the material wealth and pomp of their offices, had no interest in the cataclysmic end of the world; except to hold the laity in fear of the last judgment at some far future day when a stern Christ would come "to judge the quick and the dead." The Augustinian doctrine that the millennial kingdom was the present reign of the church formed a logical basis for the ecclesiastical empire of the Middle Ages that ruled the souls of men and rose eventually to dominance over kings.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1, page 15

What I have found amazing, is the number of individuals of all faiths and in many cases, no faith at all, who recognized to apostate structure of the Papal Church and who were not afraid to describe it thus in detail. Today, fear seems to hold prisoner, many who should know better and who should be the first to speak out concerning the dangerous and destructive error that has invaded almost every belief system. Fortunately, the God of Heaven and Earth has always retained a remnant of the humble, who are willing, even at the cost of their lives, to stand, live and speak the truth. Listen to how Spalding puts it.

“But there was also a "church in the wilderness," not Roman but Christian. Through centuries of persecution, massacre, and exile, submerged groups kept alive the gospel of Christ, including the promise of His return. The Waldenses, typical and most renowned of these Christian bodies, zealously, though secretly, carried the Word throughout Europe, and maintained in their mountain fastnesses their cherished faith.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1, page 15

Spalding then blends the Reformation with the fundamental truths of the Apostolic Church and the beginnings of Colonial America. Their desire to live in a nation without a king and belong to a church without a pope drove them to engage in the study of God’s word. The result was that the Holy Spirit led in powerful ways in the paths of truth.

“The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century called forth a new prophetic emphasis. Nearly all the Reformers— Luther, Zwingli, Tyndale, Knox—were students and expositors of the prophecies. In the period following the Reformation the millennium was again seen to be in the future, beginning at the Second Advent. Many books on the Continent and in Britain dealt with the return of Christ. The men who first settled in New England came with the injunction of their Leyden pastor, John Robinson, ringing in their ears, to expect and to search for greater light from the Word of God, which should free them more fully from "antichristian darkness." Scarcely had the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock or the larger colonies of Puritans landed at Massachusetts Bay, when their pioneer leaders began to speak and write, among other subjects, on Biblical prophecy.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists, Volume 1, page 15

The Word of God will bring a revival. The Holy Spirit will continue the Restoration, and the Loud Cry will surely sound. May we all be a part of that which is to come.

Cameron A. Bowen

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