|Revelation of Jesus Christ?
Or from Jesus Christ?
by Wayne Willey
Edited by Rolaant McKenzie
I received a handbill for some evangelistic meetings in the mail this week.
Although this Prophecy Seminar is being conducted in one of the local Seventh-day Adventist churches, the name "Seventh-day Adventist" does not appear on the handbill. The name It Is Written is used seven times throughout the handbill. On the front page, "it is written television invites you to attend the Prophecy Seminar". The seminar is called the "It Is Written Prophecy Seminar".
I consider this handbill to be deceptive advertising.
The title of the handbill is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ". The handbill shows a picture of the title page of the book of Revelation and says this is "an amazing free seminar making Revelation simple".
The theme of the seminar is "Christ Reveals ..."
The theme of the book of Revelation is "the revelation OF Jesus Christ". The seminar says the book of Revelation is "the revelation FROM Jesus Christ".
What difference does it make whether we look for "a revelation OF Jesus Christ" or "a revelation FROM Jesus Christ"?
When we look for "the revelation OF Jesus Christ" we will see Jesus revealed in every section of the book of Revelation - Jesus is revealed as taking an active, personal interest in the churches (Revelation 1-3); Jesus is revealed as opening the seven seals on a testamentary document which grants eternal life to all who accept the gospel (Revelation 4-8); Jesus is revealed as the protector of His people (Revelation 8-11) by bringing judgments upon those who seek to destroy them; Jesus is revealed as the great champion who gains victory over Satan and his agents (Revelation 12-14); Jesus is revealed as Judge issuing and executing judgment (Revelation 15-18); Jesus is revealed as commander of the armies of heaven who comes to seize and punish the leaders of evil (Revelation 19,20); Jesus is revealed as the Creator who restores a perfect universe where He will rule forever.
When we look for a revelation FROM Jesus Christ, we may find only a bunch of dead, dull doctrines lacking the life-giving power of the everlasting gospel (the good news of forgiveness, cleansing and righteousness through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Without the good news of the gospel, the scenes from the book of Revelation can only produce fear. When people are afraid, they can be manipulated more easily. This may explain why so many who join the Seventh-day Adventist denomination through this type of evangelism leave so soon after the close of the meetings. When the fear passes so does their commitment which was based upon fear.
It is the good news of the gospel which brings us to repentance from sin (Romans 2:4). It is the good news of the gospel which brings the presence of the Holy Spirit into our lives. Because the gospel directs our attention to Christ, we develop a personal relationship with Him rather than just an acceptance of certain doctrines.
On the back of the handbill we find the following statement:
"We make you these 4 sincere promises:
1. The Bible alone will be our textbook!
Each person attending the seminar will be given a King James Version of the Bible when they arrive at each meeting. Some of the key "proof texts" for unique Seventh-day Adventist doctrines are based upon the wording of the King James Version and cannot be found in other Bible translations or other Bible versions!
2. We will not preach denominationalism, only simple Bible prophecy and truth.
Anyone who attends the complete series will be told in no uncertain terms that the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is the "one true church of Christ" on earth today. All other denominations will be labelled "Babylon" or the "harlot daughters of Babylon" and called false churches. Those who attend these meetings will be called to "come out of Babylon" into the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
3. We will not beg you for your money!
The "fine print" at the bottom of the page says, "Those who wish may give a freewill offering to help on expenses". There will be a "collection" at every meeting.
4. Jesus Christ will be uplifted -- our hope in these last days!
Here is a list of the topics for the first two weeks of this seminar:
* Friday, March 20, Christ Reveals Our Day in the Light of Prophecy.
Over 20 prophetic signs are already fulfilled! History's hourglass is almost empty! We are living on the eve of Armageddon, but there's also a bright future!
* Saturday, March 21, Christ Reveals the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture.
* Sunday, March 22, Christ Reveals the Antichrist - Part 1.
A crystal clear revelation of who and what the Antichrist is. The Bible gives 10 identifying points.
What happened to the promise "we will not preach denominationalism"! Anyone who is the least bit familiar with Adventist evangelism knows the evangelist will identify the Roman Catholic denomination as "Antichrist".
* Tuesday, March 24, Christ Reveals the Antichrist - Part 2.
666 revealed. When is the Antichrist to appear? Could you "wonder after it" without knowing?
Here we will see the Pope called the Antichrist on the basis of a Latin title VICARIUS FILII DEI.
* Friday, March 27, Christ Reveals Himself, Your Best Friend in the World!
Three steps to a new life! The power of God to give you victory, power, and personal peace.
This will probably be about as close as the "evangelist" will ever come to preaching the gospel (evangelion). Just one presentation of the gospel in the whole series.
* Saturday, March 28, Christ Reveals Himself as Your Attorney in the Judgment.
All must someday appear before the judgment seat. We are living in judgment hour. You need a good Attorney!
* Sunday, March 29, Christ Reveals the Date That Marks the Time of the End.
A dynamic revelation of the longest prophecy in the Bible, including the great tribulation, and much more!
I found it hard to believe that the evangelist will preach about the 2,300 day prophecy and the investigative judgment on the seventh night of the series.
* Tuesday, March 31, Christ Reveals What's Behind All Crime, Sin & Suffering.
An unbelievable revelation of how many people including some Christians today follow the beast. Are you?
Here we will see how those Christians who attend church on Sunday are really paying homage to the beast, which is in this context, the Roman Catholic Church. This is based on taking Scriptural texts out of context and a distortion of history regarding the origin of Sunday observance.
* Friday, April 3, Christ Reveals the Cure for All Crime, Sin & Suffering.
And the solution, according to Seventh-day Adventism, is to come to Christ and join the "remnant church", the Seventh-day Adventist Church.