“Who Are We and Why Are We Here”?  Part 1

“Who Are We and Why Are We Here”?  Part 1
 
Today, I share with you an article written in 2014 by Gerhard Pfandl, a former Associate Director (part-time) of the Biblical Research Institute, focusing on our identity and mission, as a church. Because of its length, I have divided it into two parts. Next week, you will receive part 2. I implore you to use the information to help nurture yourself and to ground our new believers.
Twenty Years ago, on March 29, 1994, thirty-nine leading evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics - men like Pat Robertson and John Cardinal O’Connor - signed a document entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.”
 
Headlines across America proclaimed: “Christians Herald New Era” and “Catholics Embrace Evangelicals - Conservatives of Both Faiths Agreed to Accept Each Other As Christians.” The world was surprised; Seventh-day Adventists were confirmed in their understanding of prophecy. They remembered Revelation 13:3 which says, “his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.” They also remembered the statement in The Great Controversy:
The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this three-fold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling of the rights of conscience (GC 588).
 
Earlier this year, Pope Francis I spoke by video to a conference of charismatic and Pentecostal ministers, hosted by television evangelist Kenneth Copeland. The pope told these ministers he longed for the separation between the churches to come to an end. “The miracle of unity,” he said, “has begun. And God will finish this miracle.” The response of Copeland and the Pentecostal and charismatic ministers was a resounding Amen. They prayed for the pope and blessed him. Many Christians around the world were happy about this development. Seventh-day Adventists were again confirmed in their faith, because for more than 100 years they have been expecting this move towards Christian unity.
 
As Seventh-day Adventists we are privileged to see the fulfillment of prophecy taking place before our very eyes. Why are Seventh-day Adventists privileged to see these fulfillments? Because God Himself has called this church into existence and has given it special insights into end-time events.
           
Brethren and sisters, please remember, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not an accident of history. Our church did not come about by happenstance. We are not just one church among many Christian churches. This church has been prophetically foreseen in Revelation 12:17. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev 12:17 NKJ)
           
This description fits only the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We keep God’s commandments, including the Sabbath commandment; and we have the “testimony of Jesus” which according to Revelation 19:10 is the Spirit of Prophecy or the prophetic gift. And this gift was manifested in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White. Don’t ever forget this brethren and sisters.
 To be continued . . .
 
Gerhard Pfandl, Ph.D.
Associate Director (part-time)
Biblical Research Institute