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    THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH

    In the third chapter of Revelation is found this testimony to the Philadelphia church: “Behold, I come quickly.” It will be remembered that the Philadelphia church followed the Sardis church, which, as we have already seen, had heard the doctrine of the Lord’s coming, and was admonished to hold fast what they had “heard” and “received;” otherwise His coming would overtake them “as a thief.” 4Revelation 3:3. The Philadelphia church was composed of those who came out under the second angel’s message as a distinct Adventist body, waiting and watching for the coming of the Master.LDT 185.2

    The first angel’s message, as first proclaimed, went to the churches; and the leaders in the movement, down to April, 1844, had no thought of forming a new organization, supposing the churches would continue to cooperate with them in heralding the near advent of Christ. In this, however, they were disappointed; but it was in the order of the Lord, for the “gospel of the kingdom” should first go to the churches. It was also His purpose to have a people separated from the churches, that they might have liberty to search for further light and truth; and so the second angel’s message and the midnight cry developed a company who searched out and presented to the world the great themes of man’s nature, future rewards and punishments, the Sabbath, and other important truths comprehended in the third angel’s message. The Lord’s purpose was to have a people free to search for, accept, and obey the developing truths of His word, untrammeled by man-made creeds.LDT 185.3

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