The Church Triumphant
There are Laodicean teachers of Adventism who believe they see the "broader view of things," when they do not yet know the true identity of the players of the Bible, eg. the bride of Jesus Christ, the remnant, the 144,000, etc. A complete knowledge of the character and identity of the players is fundamental to a correct understanding of the broader view of truth.
We will prove first from Scripture, and then from the Spirit of Prophecy that Philadelphia is the Zion Bride of Jesus Christ, the church triumphant that is translated without seeing death, and that Laodicean converts are ten-virgin Sons and Daughters of Mother Zion.
Zion the bride of Christ, equals the New Jerusalem equals Philadelphia equals the heavenly church triumphant, equals the 144,000 equals the Remnant equals the True Reformers, equals the church triumphant that is translated without seeing death.
First we will identify the player Zion from Scripture. Isaiah 62 gives a vivid description of Zion, that she is the "Bethulah," strictly pure virgin of verse 5, and receives a New Name, verse 2, making her the New Jerusalem, the "Mother" Bride of Jesus Christ. In the family of God schema, the Mother has sons and daughters, the ten-virgins, that are concubines, and not strictly pure virgins, as is Bethula, the Hebrew term for virgin in verse 5. Let us take a look at these verses:
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, [a torchlight COL, 405-6] and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a NEW NAME, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; [she is now] neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate [it is now]; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth....
Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones [the cherished errors and false doctrines]; lift up a standard for the people [the law of God]. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy [chosen] people, the redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." Isaiah 62.
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my NEW NAME." Rev. 3:12.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Rev. 3:10.
It is Zion who gets the NEW NAME, which is THE NEW JERUSALEM, and is identified as Philadelphia. She is "kept" or preserved and protected from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, and this is none other than the Great Time of Jacob's trouble. Only the bride of Christ, the 144,000 go the complete distance through this time to be translated without seeing death.
Zion as The Firstfruits, Firstborn – the 144,000
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's [New] name written in their foreheads....
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women [fallen churches by ecumenical involvement]; for they are [strictly pure Bethulah] virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the FIRSTFRUITS [FIRSTBORN HEB. 12:22, 23] unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guild: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:1, 3-5.
Zion as the Heavenly Church Triumphant—Registered in Heaven as Men Made Perfect
"But ye are come unto mount Sion [Zion], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn [firstfruits], which are written [registered] in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." Hebrews 12:22, 23.
Zion as the True Reformers
"Characteristics of True Reformers.--Here are given the characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the banner of the third angel's message, those who avow themselves God's commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged, in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who is it that calls them. The repairers of the breach, The restorers of paths to dwell in? It is God. Their names are registered [written] in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising the foundations of many generation." E.G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1151, col. 2.
God directly calls [chooses] the True Reformers as the bride for His son. This is according to Eastern custom. Then the voice of God and the voice of the bride awaken the ten-virgins, which we will prove from the Spirit of Prophecy.
Zion as the 144,000 Remnant That is Translated Without Seeing Death
""The woman is a symbol of the church, and the remnant of the church represents the Christians of the last generation of men, living just prior to the second advent. The dragon makes war on these for keeping the commandments of God, Sabbath and all, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which, according to the inspired definition of chap. xix, 10, 'is the spirit of prophecy.' Here, then, are the causes of the dragon's warfare upon the remnant. They teach the observance of the ten commandments, and the revival of the gifts, and acknowledge the gift of prophecy among them. When the Devil got one foot upon the fourth commandment, and the other upon the gifts planted in the Christian church b Jesus Christ, then his satanic majesty was filled with revengeful delight. But when the remnant, whom God designs to fit for translation to Heaven without seeing death, 'ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,' then the dragon is wroth, and makes war on them.
"The true spirit of the dragonic host, which is already being somewhat developed, is vividly described in Isa. xxx, 8-13, as being manifested just prior to the sudden destruction of those who hate the pure testimony, and love smooth and deceitful things." E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. III, 26, 27.
"The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and representative of the kingdom, is called 'the bride, the Lamb's wife.' Said the angel to John: 'Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.' 'He carried me away in the spirit,' says the prophet, 'and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.' Revelation 21:9, 10. Clearly, then, the bride represents [is the ambassador for] the Holy City, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church [militant]. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. Revelation 19:9. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride...He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of His kingdom, 'prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'" E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 426, 427.
Let us analyze the above statement very closely:
1. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the CAPITAL and REPRESENTATIVE of the kingdom, is the bride, the Lamb's wife.
2. The bride REPRESENTS [ambassadors of] the Holy City.
3. The virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church; they are the "people of God;" they are guests at the marriage supper, and if guests, they cannot also be represented as the bride! They cannot be both!
4. Christ receives the NEW JERUSALEM, the CAPITAL and REPRESENTATIVE [ambassadors] of His kingdom, as a bride adorned for her husband."
5. Therefore, the bride, NEW JERSUSALEM," the representatives or earthly ambassadors, the true messengers of the heavenly NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH; the earthly REPRESENTATIVES of the heavenly church called ZION, Hebrews 12: 22, 23, the church triumphant, consisting of men made perfect [verse 23] are the bride of Jesus Christ.
The Laodicean "Converts" as Children [Sons and Daughters] of Zion Who are Awakened by Her Voice and Join Her Procession From Her Father's House to His Own Home
"The people of God symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they 'which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." E.G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 972, col. 2.
The "remnant" that still existed are the 144,000, who survive the time of Jacob's trouble to be translated without seeing death. The " wise virgins" of the ten, join the bridal procession as "guests," but they are martyred during the time of trouble. They are faithful martyrs however.
"For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall THY SONS marry thee..." Isaiah 62:5. Zion has sons.
"Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the DAUGHTER is Zion, Behold, 'thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." Isaiah 62:11. Zion has DAUGHTERS.
In the above verse of Isaiah 62:11, Zion is told to say something to her daughter, and the words she is told to say are a paraphrase of the Midnight Cry of Matthew 25:6:
"And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. "
"The bridegroom goes forth to meet his bride and bring her to his home. By torchlight [advanced light--"a lamp that burneth" Isa. 62:1; the Midnight Cry Lighted Path of Matthew 25]the bridal party proceed from her father's house to his own, where a feast is provided for the invited guests [the ten virgin church militant--The Great Controversy 427]. In the scene upon which Christ looks, a company are awaiting the appearance of the bridal party, intending to join the procession.
Lingering near the bride's house [not at it] are ten young women robed in white. Each carries a lighted lamp and a small flagon for oil. All are anxiously watching for the appearance of the bridegroom. But there is a delay. Hour after hour passes [since 1844] the watchers become weary and fall asleep. At midnight the cry is heard, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' the sleepers [all those virgins slept Matt. 25:5], suddenly awaking, spring to their feet. They see the [bridal] procession moving on, bright with torches and glad with music. They hear the voice o the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. The ten maidens seize their lamps and begin to trim them, in haste to go forth." E.G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, 406.
Philadelphia is made a pillar in the temple of God. Only the 144,000 go into the temple on Mt. Zion. The bride is the leadership of the heavenly New Jerusalem Church, and the wise virgin guests are the constituent membership. The bride is seated around the throne, and the vast throng is further away.
"Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian character in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith [special guest bridesmaids]. And beyond is the 'great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 665, 1911 edition.
James White on Philadelphia as The Church Triumphant 144,000
"The history and description of the 144,000 apply to those who are to be changed at the coming of the Lord, and to no other class. First, 'having His Father's name written in their foreheads.' Said the true Witness to the Philadelphia chrch, 'Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of my God.' Where? 'In their foreheads,' just where John saw the 'Father's name.' Now just as sure as the Philadelphia church is the true church of the last days, just so sure the 144,000 are sealed, just before the coming of the Lord." James White, The Advent Review, vol. 1, No. 4, p. 56.
"And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, 'Only the 144,000 enter this place,' and we shouted, 'Alleluia.' Early Writings, p. 19.
Laodicea has falsely taught that she is the bride of Jesus Christ, or equal to the "Jews" of Revelation 3:9. God says that those who make this false claim are the Synagogue of Satan. Do you believe Him? Do you?! Why did God insert this matter of the Synagogue of Satan, within the Philadelphian message? Because Satan would use Laodicea to impersonate and claim to be what is rightfully only applicable to Philadelphia. And that is what Laodicea does, she claims to be the faithful, remnant bride of Jesus Christ, and for that claim, God makes her the Synagogue of Satan.
The Distinctions Between the 144,000 and the Guests
· The bride, the True Reformers, is called directly by God.
· The voice of God and the bride then awaken the ten-virgins.
· They dwell in separate houses, but the bride calls them out of their church that has become like the world, and has linked herself to lewd women [fallen churches Jer. 11:9-15] to join her procession.
· The bride is the wife of Jesus.
· The wise virgins are the guests in heaven.
· Only The bride, the 144,000, goes into the temple on Mt. Zion.
· The bride is made a pillar in the Temple of God.
· The bride is Philadelphia who is "kept" through the time of trouble.
· The bride is Philadelphia, the Church Triumphant, that co-exists with the church militant guests, to come to their aid if they will swallow their spiritual pride and accept her aid. The pure truth comes through her first.
· The bride, of course, is seated nearest the throne in heaven.
· The bride of all ages could well be resurrected (regenerated into a human body as Jesus was) to be part of the 144,000 at the final generation, just as Jesus raised people out of their graves after His resurrection and went forth to give the gospel. This would be the "rocks crying out," just as Jesus is the rock of ages. Satan's counterfeit of this regeneration of the bride of all ages is reincarnation. In Revelation 3:10-12, original Philadelphia, circa A.D. 1, was promised she would be kept through the time of trouble to come upon all the world.
"The state of the Church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, vol. 2, 420.
Lukewarm and/or Cold Apostate Laodicea no Better Than The Fallen Churches
"If the church becomes lukewarm [let alone apostate], it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth, and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love him and keep his commandments." E.G. White, Letter 35, January 1, 1898. (Manuscripts and Letter, p. 5).
Lukewarm Laodicea, which is no better than the fallen churches, has labeled herself as "Jews" [chosen bride of Christ]. Rev. 3:9 says that all who do this falsely will be of the Synagogue of Satan.
God bless you all, Ron Beaulieu