Chapter 15: Church of the Firstborn – The Name of God’s People

Christ the Firstborn of Heaven from Earliest Times

In the time of Christ a “new organization” was built “on sand”. Some “builders” had rejected the “foundation stone” and wentpharisees Son of Godforth to build a “new movement”. This movement had rejected the “Son of God”.

Joh 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

In this exchange, a discussion was taking place regarding the issue of whether or not these children were the children of God and the seed of Abraham. Jesus said they were not at all the children of God. He said if they were the children of God they would believe that Christ “proceeded forth and came from God” or in other words that God was His Father, and He was the Son of God.

The Church of God is built on a rock, we are told this clearly in Matthew 16:16-18, and we are also told that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Today in the very same sense “a new organization” has been established, and this “new movement” denies the foundation of our faith.

The New Movement Denies Christ is the Son of God

“A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” Selected Messages Book 1-Page 204, 205

We’ve seen in earlier chapters of this book that this has been fulfilled word for word. Many people call this “new movement” the “church of God”, but it is clear that it is not. God’s church is built on a rock, and not sand. These builders rejected the foundation stone and went out and built a new organization.

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church’s faith” (DA 413).

The identity of Christ was the foundation of our faith, and the fact that Christ is the “Son of the living God” expresses the truth and love of God in giving to the world his only begotten Son. The following is what has been denied by the builders of this “new organization”:

The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest timesGod had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner.” {Ellen White The Desire of Ages, p. 51}

The truth that Christ is the firstborn of heaven from earliest times has been denied by these builders. This truth is a distinguishing mark between God’s church built on a rock and the nominal adventist churches built on sand. God’s Church is The Seventh Day Adventist “Church of the firstborn, written in heaven”.

Hebrews 12:22-23 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to anseventh day adventist church of the firstborn written in heaveninnumerable company of angels, (23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

The true people of God will be Seventh Day Adventists

Someone may object and say that the name “Seventh Day Adventist” has been “dragged through the mud” by the corporation. They will say that God would not have us use that name anymore. But this is not the truth since it was prophecied that in these last days there would be “nominal Adventists” and “professed Adventists”. In fact it could only be Seventh Day Adventists who could go out from us and build this “new organization” and “movement… on sand”. Thus, in order for there to be “nominal Adventists” or “professed Adventists” and a counterfeit organization built on sand, this would imply that there must also be those who are true Adventists.

“We are Seventh-day Adventists. Are we ashamed of our name? We answer, ‘No, no! We are not. It is the name the Lord has given us. It points out the TRUTH that is to be the TEST of the churches.” 2SM 384

Now think about this. What distinguishes us from the nominal Church? The foundation, the rock, the fact that Christ is firstborn of heaven. So what could truly be a test to nominal Adventists than the biblical point about the identity of Christ. That he is the firstborn of heaven from earliest times. This is what draws us to repentance. The love of God in giving his only begotten Son.

I am far from ashamed to be a Seventh Day Adventist. Imagine how much of a rebuke to the Conference it is to hear the words “Seventh Day Adventist Church of the firstborn”. The leaders will have fits dealing with the issue that Christ is the literal Son of God, but furthermore, the issue of the rock on which the church is built, the builder, and who the church of God really is. This is to be the test.

Regarding the Church it is the same truth as it was in Jesus day. The leaders in the synagogue were not Abraham’s seed in his day because they denied the truth that Christ the firstborn of heaven “proceeded forth and came from God”(John 8:30-42). So Jesus said they weren’t Abraham’s seed, something we need to see more clearly today. They denied the foundation stone of the Church and went on to build a “new organization….new movement…on sand”(1 SM 207, Acts 4:11).

Then after building this “new organization”, they call this Church built on sand “God’s Church” as if God was building this “new organization” himself. The fact is, it is quite the opposite of God’s Church. Note the following quote regarding the name “Seventh Day Adventist”, but also notice the principles regarding this issue:

“The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshipers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God and the requirements of the beast… The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front and will convict the inquiring mind. Like an arrow from the Lord’s quiver, it will wound the transgressors of God’s law, and will lead to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ellen White 1T 223, 24)

How much more is the name “Seventh Day Adventist Church of the Firstborn” a standing rebuke to the world, but also to the nominal Adventists who have left the faith delivered to the saints? How much does it distinguish the true worshipers of God from the nominal adventists? How much more does the name “Seventh Day Adventist Church of the Firstborn” carry the true features of our faith in front and convict the inquiring mind? And I am not advocating building a worldly organization either, nor am I advocating disorder. I’m pointing to the Church of the firstborn that is “written in heaven” and saying that we need to allow God to do his work. To allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in everything that we do.

Shall we Give up the name?

There are so many who want to control the work. But God is going to take the reigns into his own hands. We are not to give up the name Seventh Day Adventist.

Should we give up the name “Jew” because it has been dragged through the mud?

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: (29) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Shall we stop calling ourselves “Abraham’s seed” because some people have misrepresented that name?

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

It is clear that just because some have misrepresented father Abraham, this does not imply that we must give up that title. What about Israelites? Who is Israel? Should we give up the title Israel?

Ephesians 2:12-22 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: …(19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Just because an entire nation has misrepresented the name Israel, Jew, and Abraham’s seed, this does not imply that we are to give up these titles. The principle is that they are only “professed” or “nominal”. Jews who say they are and are not. Unless they believe the truth that Christ is the Son of God , they are not Jew, Israel, or Abraham’s seed, and are not building on the foundation.

The same principle applies to the titles “christian” and “protestant”. Are you going to stop calling yourself by these titles because some people have misrepresented them? I don’t think so. The name points out a principle of faith. The same is true with the name “Seventh Day Adventist”. It is a name that points out peculiarities of our faith, “church of the firstborn” points it out that much more. However, in order to truly distinguish us, there are two characteristics that must be added. The one is the point of Jesus Christ being the literal firstborn of heaven from earliest times, and the second is teaching the truth about what the church is, that it is not an earthly organization.

If a group of people trademarked the name “christian”, and told you “stop preaching in that name”, would you stop preaching in the name of Christ? No, it would only bring to the forefront that as an organization their church had fornicated with the kings of the earth and was not the church at all, but a harlot.

“Our institutions have taken a name which sets forth the character of our faith, and of this name we are NEVER to be ashamed.  I have been shown that this name means much, and in adopting it we have followed the light given us from heaven…This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the CLOSE OF PROBATION.”  (Ellen White MS 15, 1896)

Elijah, Enoch, Paul, Jesus, all are members of this church. Seventh Day Adventists have been around for centuries.

Paul was an Adventist; he presented the important event of the second coming of Christ with such power and reasoning that a deep impression, which never wore away, was made upon the minds of the Thessalonians. {Ellen White LP 83}

But yet some would have us believe that the term “Seventh Day Adventist Church” is limited to a man-made organization and refer’s to only people of a particular age. The church covers a much more vast time period. And if Elijah, Enoch, Paul or Jesus came here today, they would not have to have their names written on a book in a worldly organization in order to become members of the “Seventh Day Adventist church”. Their names are already “written in heaven” and they are members whether any man has written them in their books or not. No man can add or take away their name from the books and the church is not limited in space to an earthly organization. But covers heaven and earth.

Ephesians 1:10,22, 23 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:…And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Regarding order and organization, his people are to be drawn together by the Holy Spirit. They will be in “unity of spirit” and when accepting this spirit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. They will be able to reason with one another and those who accept this spirit to fill them will be illuminated to these issues regarding the truth about who God’s people are and they will all be huddled together not in an earthly house but lively stones, built up a spiritual house. Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone, having unity of faith and true knowledge of the Son of God. Let us notice all of these principles in the following passage. Notice the order, the organization of the Holy Spirit. The organization that was seen in the time of the apostles, and in 1844:

Ephesians 4:1-15 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lordone faithone baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for theedifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (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; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

I could add more to that, but the passage says it all. It points out the order of God. And God has a Church.

What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation” [Last Day Events, page 53]

The foundation of our faith is that Christ is the son of God, and this is what draws us into unity. This love of God is what draws us to repentance. It is up to us to allow the Holy Spirit into our hearts and to recognize it now by accepting what the word teaches in regards to the church. We are not here to judge, cast out, or anything of that nature. Those who continue in sin will want no part with God’s Church but to persecute it. We are not here to condemn, but to save. To point to the savior. Though there will be many who will reject the truth we can remember this promise:

“I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plaguesEllen Whiteshall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.” (Ellen White Early Writings 261).

Coming out from among the fellowship with strange gods and having fellowship with God’s children who are tarrying and waiting for the command of the Holy Spirit, not wasting time going to meetings where error is taught, but gaining a knowledge of our position from the scriptures.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


Book: God’s Church Organization – The House Built on the Rock

1: The Counterfeit Church Organization and the True Building
2: Reformers on the Church
3: Man Appoints a Head to the Organization
4: Foundation and Pillars of our Faith Changed
5: Deadliest Heresy in Seventh Day Adventism
6: God’s church is not confined to an Earthly organization
7: The True Seed of Abraham
8: The Elijah Message
9: Philadelphia – The 144,000
10: A Great Danger Right Before the Plagues are Poured Out
11: The Principles of Separation
12: Not to go and Listen to Error
13: Abomination and 25 Men A Prophecy by Ezekiel
14: Rebuilding That Which is Fallen – Reorganization

15: Church of the Firstborn – The Name of God’s People

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