Where Are The People Of The Book?

For many years now, I find myself wondering what is is going on with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. When I joined the church, I learned I was joining a movement of people who were Bible students. I liked that. Lately I wonder, has that changed?

 As I travel and meet new people, I find that the Laodicean condition is as strong as ever. The part of the message where it says “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” is absolutely correct.

Here in the States, many Adventists feel they don’t need to study. They don’t need to understand the Bible. They don’t need to know what the Bible says. Many say “I’m a generational Adventist” as if that means anything. To be an Adventist in the Laodicean era in the United States means you follow who’s popular or is savvy with the microphone. Or what video seems ok on YouTube or what they see on social media. 

Recently we have seen some popular leaders in the world church engage in date-setting. It caused a lot of controversy in our churches with those who are supposedly true Adventists and not nominal followers. 

The sad thing is not just that these people are misleading others over a false teaching, but that many Adventists who you thought were grounded are now listening to these people. 

 To today’s Adventists—of all ages—it seems that Bible teaching and understanding take a backseat to the preacher.  

Recently a pastor said—from the pulpit—that worship style and the day of worship shouldn’t matter. Huh?He said the only thing that matters is that we love Jesus. This and more is coming from an SDA pulpit. Need I say, nobody batted a eye. It was all taken in as a good sermon—all because a person’s position and letters after his name take precedence over truth. 

 What happened to the people of the book? A people who stood for truth and didn’t allow error in their church. What happened to those people who protected the weak from false doctrine and fought for what was right regardless of consequence?

 Sadly there are but a few left. From within their own have they been persecuted and asked to stay quiet. 

 And while these people moved away, the truth has been kicked to the curb because the church wants good-feeling messages, not truthful ones. And because truth is no longer preached, any wind of doctrine is accepted into fellowship. This type of worship is endorsed by leaders in the U.S. who are supposed to be watching over the flock. 

Recently, I received a message from a fellow believe asking for my help. This person wanted to know if this was real. It was a YouTube video of Pope Francis giving a message to the people and as he was speaking Italian words showed up on the bottom of the screen interpreting what he was saying. Here’s the link.

 Well what was purportedly being said in the caption was the Adventist message about the sabbath and the role of the pope in prophecy. I didn’t even watch the whole thing—I knew in less than a minute it was fake! 

 Why would the Pope come out with a message like that? It’s ridiculous. Also, it was an old message that the Pope gave to Kenneth Copeland’s ministry four years ago with Tony Palmer. Same video but different words on the bottom (if you click on the video info, it says that the words are not a direct interpretation but were made to spread the SDA message). 

So basically the editor of the video is trying to proclaim the truth by lying to people and misleading them. Hmm, does this sound right?

A simple click would tell you it was fake. But it would seem that’s too hard for many  Adventists today. Why don’t we research for ourselves to seek truth rather then believe everything we see on YouTube or social media?

I was thankful for receiving this message from this believer. It is more evidence that people are searching to find out the truth in different ways, because this person asked me for help. However, I was saddened to hear they received the message from an Adventist who uncritically believes the video. 

We hear that in the last days many Adventists will be shaken out of the church. The good news is it doesn’t have to be you. Study, my friends, don’t fall for any message you hear but prove that message. Prove that speaker according to God’s Word first and if you need it—then the Spirit of Prophecy. 

 Summary

We live in a time where deception is everywhere, and even more so in the Church. Let us go back and be known as the people of the Book. If we don’t, we will look more and more like evangelicals who have it wrong. 

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” ( Hosea 4:6).



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Ray Chavez is an AFCOE graduate and elder of his church in Albuquerque, NM.  He is happily married to Jessica and they currently have one awesome daughter.