Brent Whinfield is publisher and editor of The Advent Message. He is an elder in his local Seventh-day Adventist church congregation. God has called this man to full time ministry. By the Lord’s grace, Whinfield seeks to prepare all people, particularly Seventh-day Adventists, to be ready for Christ’s soon return.
Why Brent Whinfield is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian I am not an Adventist. No, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. An Adventist is a Christian who is looking for the soon coming of Jesus Christ. I am much more than that. Much, much more.
I made a rational, intelligent decision to become a Seventh-day Adventist. I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist by birth. I am a Seventh-day Adventist by choice. I often admire those of you who were born into a Seventh-day Adventist family.
There are others though, such as the newly baptized individuals who as rational adults, have made a clear thinking, intelligent decision to join the remnant church. By the way, this is not a church…it is a movement. It’s been termed a movement since the year 1844 when our pioneers were called by God to proclaim the Three Angels Message.
But why am I telling you this? I’m saying this to you so that you can have a different perspective on worshipping the God of creation. Sure, you’ve been told the reasons to worship God include the fact that He made the world.
Or you worship God because as He is reliable, a Protector, a Saviour, because He died for our sins, or maybe you worship God because we have been made for worship, and you choose Him. I want to give you another reason for worshipping God that is different from your usual thinking. One of the main reason why we choose to worship Almighty God can be summed up in the fact that you’re here.
The only reason you’re here is by the grace of the living God who created you before you were even born. The reason you’re here is because you won. You won the race. You are a winner and I can prove it to you.
Imagine you’re in a race like the annual New York City marathon, and there are thousands of other well trained athletes participating.The gun goes off and everyone is jockeying for position. But God’s grace you find yourself coming to the finish line side by side with the world champion.
This world champion has previously won gold medals at the recent Olympics. But this is the race where only one can be crowned the champion of all time. There you are neck and neck, and just at the last minute you find an extra burst of energy and you break the finish tape at the final hundredth of a second ahead.
You won! You won! You won!
In human biological terms, during a romantic moment between a husband and wife, the man releases thousands of tiny, microscopic little spermatozoa’s that all race swimming like crazy towards the ovary of the female. All the spermatozoa are all equally healthy littleorganisms, you, you are the only one who has been ordained by God from before the creation of the world to win that race.
Imagine, God has chosen you!
Now are you beginning to see why you need to praise and thank the mighty name of the Lord? Only one sperm can fertilize that egg. Only one beautifully God given spermatoza out of all the thousands that were released is able to be the winner and fertilize that ovary egg thereby making a beautiful baby which is you.
That’s why you’re here and that’s why you need to praise and thank the Holy God who made not only heaven and earth, but also he made YOU!
Yes, I became a Seventh-day Adventist because I was chosen BEFORE I was even born to show forth the praise of the living God. Now don’t get me wrong. In Christendom there are thousands upon thousands of true Christians who worship God to the best of their ability. I sincerely believe that all these individuals have each been blessed by the Lord as they worship with a sincere heart.
God has in children in every church. While I do believe that God has raised up this remnant church to proclaim His urgent Three Angels message for these last days, Adventists are by no means an exclusive club that do not embrace the wider Christian community.
We believe that Christ died for all, and that “for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9 I love the God and have made a conscious, intelligent decision, to make His Son Jesus Christ, Lord of my life. I was not born a Seventh-day Adventist. As a matter of fact I was officially brought up to be an Anglican, but my mother would often send us to any local church Sunday school.
I loved being an Anglican choir boy for I got to wear the cassock and surplice robe which was somewhat similar to robe the priests wore. But at about twelve years old, as I went about my duties bearing the candle snuffer and assisting the priest in administering the sacrament, two things always bothered me.
First, each time I entered that Anglican church as do all worshippers, I was forced to bow and make the sign of the cross to a giant statue of Jesus, which practically filled the entire back area of the altar.
Even as a twelve year old, I recalled reading part of the Ten Commandment which states, “Thou shalt not bow down to any graven image.” This really bothered me. I knew back then that I was breaking God’s commandment by bowing down to this lifeless statue, even though it was purported to be a representation of Jesus Christ.
Secondly, when I became older another aspect of the Ten Commandments bothered me. The Bible clearly stated that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. I reasoned that since everyone acknowledged that the week began on Sunday, then it logically followed that Saturday was God’s true Sabbath, and not Sunday.
Why then is everyone worshipping on the wrong day? Remember, I was not yet a Seventh-day Adventist when these thoughts entered my head. Little did I know it at the time, but God was preparing me to honour His commandments…all ten of them.
Because of the observation of these two of God’s commandments that are almost universally broken, I decided to join a church that kept God’s true Sabbath day holy. My baptism was the beginning of a marvellous journey of discovery of Bible truth. Isn’t it wonderful how the Lord can place our feet onto His pathway of righteousness, with just one or two discovery of present truth?
Today, I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist because of the seventh day Sabbath, as much as I love, embrace, and practice true Sabbath keeping. There are approximately 495 different organizations worldwide that now keep the true Seventh day Sabbath. But the Seventh-day Adventist church is much more that Sabbath keeping…much, much more.
I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist because of the fact we operate thousands of hospitals and schools all around the world. We operate the largest church school system in the world, after the Catholics. Seventh-day Adentists are well known globally for the marvellous work that they do in health and education. ADRA is a worldwide Adventist organization that is highly respected in providing emergency relief where ever needed.
We are known to operate the finest hospitals in the world, other than the Catholics. No, I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist because of our marvellous schools, hospitals, and ADRA. I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist because we are the fastest growing denomination the world. In just a few years we have grown by millions.
Today there are more than 17 million Adventsts in most countries of the world. The main reasons I’m a Seventh-day Adventist today can be broken down into the seven main pillars of the church. These seven pillars were first established by our church pioneers back in the mid-eighteen hundreds.
These seven pillars are the firm foundations of our denomination. You do know what a pillar is, don’t you? A pillar is a main upright block of solid concrete that upholds the building. Pillars are extremely important because if you do away with any one of them, you’ll be in danger of the building crashing down on you.
I urge you dear Saint of God to keep these seven pillars of your beloved Seventh-day Adventist church upright. Don’t ever make anyone tell you that they are not needed. These pillars are all strongly based upon the Word of god and were carefully crafted by our pioneers with much prayer and study. So with that understanding of the vital importance of the pillars, let’s take a look at each of them.
Pillar Number 1 – The Law of God
A controversy began in heaven between God and satan concerning God’s Law. The devil accused the Lord that His laws are impossible to be perfectly kept. That controversy rages today despite the fact that the life of Jesus vindicated the Father.
We humans are caught right in the middle of the great controversy, and it’s all about whether or not the law can be kept by us. The Three Angels Messages beautifully highlight the importance of God’s Holy Law.
Those messages found inside Revelation 14:6-12 reflect how serious God is regarding ALL ten of His laws, not just the seventh day Sabbath. Papal Rome which is represented by the beast of Revelation 13 and 14, urges the world to disregard God’s Laws, and adopt man made laws. Seventh-day Adventists are called to expose the beast’s false teachings of disobedience and idol worship. The Law of God is eternal.
The Law of God is a transcript of His character. The Law of God is love in action. I believe that when any denomination teaches that the law has been done away with, its a gross misrepresentationof Bible doctrine.
Pillar Number 2 – The Sanctuary Message
The Seventh-day Adventist church is the only denomination in Christianity that truly embraces and teaches the doctrine of the sanctuary. This is strange to me because Christ is clearly depicted throughout the imagery of the wilderness and heavenly sanctuary messages.
Any cursory examination of the sanctuary illustrates the seriousness of how God views sin, explains in graphic detail His abhorrence of the sin, His enduring love for the sinner, and His solution for the permanent eradication of sin.
A study of the Sanctuary of both the Old and New Testaments would rekindle a love for Christ like nothing else can. Why do other Christians ignore the wonderful truths found inside God’s sanctuary? We should read, and re-read, and study the wonderful sanctuary truths that are embedded inside the Books Leviticus and Hebrews.
Pillar Number 3 – Victory Over Sin
Once again, here is a doctrine that is widely misunderstood by the global Christian community. Most are taught that we will be sinning until Jesus returns, or until we are raptured. This is simply not true! Seventh-day Adventists believe that it is possible to gain the victory over sin and live a sinless life, through the indwelling power of Jesus Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit.
God is looking for a pure and holy church without one spot, or stain, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The Bible is replete with scripture texts that teach this vital doctrine.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matt. 5:48
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 God is saying that what He is asking of us is reasonable.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 15:19.
Can sin live in a temple where God dwells? Of course not! Only through the power of Christ, we can live sin-free. I believe “I can do all things (not somethings), through Christ who strengthens me.” Christ in me enables me to live without sinning.
Pillar Number 4 – The Spirit of Prophecy
Revelation 12:17 immediately separates the Seventh-day Adventist church from the rest of the world by stating, “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.”
How many churches keep all of God’s commandments. Most churches churches teach that the ten Commandments have been nailed to the cross. Not so. Then the scriptural passage goes on to say, “and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
To gain an insight into what the “testimony of Jesus Christ” means we turn to Revelation 19:10 which tells us to, “Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” A clear identifying mark of God’s remnant church is having the Spirit of Prophecy.
We believe that God poured out His Spirit into the writings and teachings of Ellen G. White. We feel that the Bible which is our rule of faith, makes it plain that God has provided His church with agenuine prophet.
The Bible is the “greater light” and the writings of Ellen White is the “lesser light” that guides this church. A cursory study of her hundreds of manuscripts will leave no doubt in the mind of the reader that this was a woman who was specifically raised up to counsel God’s remnant church in the final conflict.
Pillar Number 5 – The Health Message
This quotation from the Pen of Inspiration captures the essence of the Adventist health message: The Review and Herald, November 12, 1901 “The physical life is to be carefully educated, cultivated, and developed, that through men and women the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. Both the physical and the mental powers, with the affections, are to be so trained that they can reach the highest efficiency.
Perfection of character cannot be attained when the laws of nature are disregarded; for this is transgression of the law of God. His law is written by His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every fibre of our being, upon every faculty which has been entrusted to man.
These gifts are bestowed, not to be abused and corrupted, but to be used to His honor and glory in the uplifting of humanity.” And let the church say…Amen!
Pillar Number 6 – The State of the Dead
A major Seventh-day Adventist church doctrine espouses that the dead are merely asleep. When someone dies they are asleep in the grave. Biblically there is no such thing as the dead immediately ascending to heaven, hell, or purgatory. When you’re dead, you’re dead…period.
The Bible teaches that there will come a time when “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” The wicked dead will be judged at a later date. Whether someone dies in Christ or outside of Christ, they are asleep in the grave, and not floating around somewhere in ghost-like bodies.
Almost the whole world, both Christian and non-Christian, have accepted the Devil’s lie found in Genesis 3:4 regarding the fact that death is not really death. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has paved the way for spirits of devils to impersonate the dead and deceive many.
This same doctrine is a basic teaching of the “New Age Movement” as it brings Eastern Mysticism to the West. Only as we understand the Bible teaching on this subject are we able to effectively warn men and women concerning the deceptions of spirits of devils working miracles and impersonating the dead.
Pillar Number 7 – Righteousness by Faith
True righteousness by faith involves a word that is rarely used in the wider Christian community. That word is, obedience. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15.
Having faith in Jesus Christ means nothing without obeying the commands of Jesus Christ. We embrace the Christian teaching of righteousness by faith, but with the added Biblical teaching of obedience to God’s laws.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt.7:21 This has nothing to do with legalism, but it has everything to do with love. Indescribable love that cannot be bought or repaid still needs to have a display of appreciation. The highest form of showing appreciation for such an incredible demonstrated of love, is to implicitly obey the Giver of that love.
This is why Adventists believe that God’s ten commandment law is an expression of His character. As the Psalmist says, “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
So in conclusion, I made a conscious decision to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church first and foremost because I love Christ, and have made Him Lord of my life. But I am also a Seventh-day Adventist who is part of a movement that declares the Three Angels messages.
This movement is calling honest hearted people everywhere to “come out of Babylon” and to get ready for the greatest event known to man, the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Those of you here who are not yet a baptized Seventh-day Adventist, I invite you to investigate the doctines and standards of this Biblically sound church.
Then I invite you to become a part of this great movement which declares to a dying world the love of God, and the soon return of His son Jesus, to take His faithful children home. This now brings us back to why we worship God.
We worship him because we love Him. We love him because he has called us out of darkness into His marvellous Light. We worship him because after reading to His Words today, you now have the Truth.