Seventh-Day Adventists/Seal of God & the Sabbath

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Question
From where do the Adventists get the doctrine that God's seal is upon those that keep the 7th Day Sabbath holy. Does not the Bible say that God's seal is the Holy Spirit?

Answer
This question about the SDA’s claiming the 7th day Sabbath to be a “seal” and a “sign” is calculated to prove Adventist theology wrong and Ellen White a fraud.  But such intent is misguided because the SDA’s do have serious truth for the church, which is progressive and counter-intuitive.   While it cannot be denied that they have embraced much myth and error, they have also contributed serious theological truth for all Laodiceans to honestly consider.

Many today fail to understand that the Bible is an ancient and complex story, which has given rise to many theological variations, denominations, and opposing doctrines, none of which are fully correct and without error.   No one is doctrinally perfect, except Christ.  Which is why theological correctness is not required for salvation.  If it were, none could be saved, including the apostles, who were often confused and wrong about doctrine, both before and after the cross.

So the fact that the SDA’s embrace error is not news.   The critics are also full of error, lacking a credible doctrine of the Sabbath as well as eschatology.  The fact of the matter is that error is legion in the church today, and it has been so from the beginning.   There has never a time when Christian doctrine was without error or mistake, even as the last church has been judged by Christ to be the worst, blind to the Gospel.

Rev. 3:17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

The point to understand is that doctrinal error, especially as it relates to eschatology, is normative at every stage of church development, including the 19th century, when the Advent Movement was launched.  Eschatology and prophecy have always been very difficult to understand, and thus the Adventist Pioneers should be praised for their attempts to find more truth in this most difficult area of theology.  It is remarkable that they were able to find so much truth, especially because they stood alone in promoting a literal, pre-millennial 2nd Coming that would destroy the world.

Some in the early church also had difficulty comprehending the 2nd Coming, even though Paul was their personal instructor.  One church thought the 2nd Coming had already taken place and they had missed the event.  But Paul corrected them, reminding them of his previous instruction on this point.

2Th. 2:5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

2Th. 2:1-2  Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

Those that try to understand the Bible, including the difficult prophetic passages of Revelation, are not to be censured for seeking Gospel truth about the end of the world.  The NT teaches that we are to be “alert,” “paying attention” to eschatology, even as there are specific “blessings” promised to those read and hear “the words of prophecy.”

Matt. 24:42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

2Pet. 1:19   So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Rev. 22:7  “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

The Adventists have already contributed a great deal to the modern church’s understanding of theology, specifically when it comes to the 2nd Coming.  In fact, every denomination today now embraces Pre-millennialism, which is the foundation of the Advent Movement.  What every 19th century church and seminary dismissed as error and false doctrine, has now been universally embraced as Gospel truth.  And correctly so.  This pattern of discovering error and finding more Gospel truths will continue until the end of time.  It is a process of theological maturation that represents fulfilled present day prophecy.

Dan. 12:4 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Eph. 4:14  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Eph. 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

Regardless of the error about timing, Miller was essentially correct about pre-millennialism and the doctrine of the 2nd Advent.  The SDA’s were also correct to 1) repudiate the Sunday Sabbath.  They are also correct to 2) make the point that only the 7th day could be the New Covenant Sabbath, and that 3) the final “division” in the last church would be over the doctrine of the Sabbath.   These three points stand, although though there are many additional errors that must be corrected, even as there are also more truths that have been preserved, like Luther’s doctrine of soul sleep, also known as the State of the Dead.  Here is another point where the SDA’s have found Gospel Truth.   

The Sabbath, the Seal of God, & the Sealing

The “Seal of God” and the “sealing” are two distinct points, both referenced in Rev 7.  This passage 1) speaks to a time, just before the great Tribulation, and 2) features the “seal of God” being uplifted for all to see.  It also deals with 3) the sealing of the 144,000 that are loyal to God.

Rev. 7:1  After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.

Rev. 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,

Rev. 7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Rev. 7:4  And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
This complex topic cannot be explained away because the Holy Spirit seals the saints.

Eph. 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

What is this “seal of the living God” that is brought to view from the East in v 7.2?  It is not the Holy Spirit, because angels do not bring the Spirit, which has been in the church since the beginning.  Nor does the Spirit come from any specific direction.

John 15:26  “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Eph. 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

While the SDA’s were not denying the role of the Holy Spirit, they were trying to promote their new view about Sabbath Reform.  The fact that they have not fully succeeded is beside the point.  Understanding eschatology is a very difficult process, and no one should be faulted for trying to comprehend what is so difficult.

Moreover, there is not one singular definition of a “seal” or “sign” in the Bible.  In fact, there are numerous “seals” and “signs” that range from the “mark of Cain” to rainbows in the sky.  Even the baby Jesus was a “sign,” as was Circumcision, the Sabbath, and Baptism.  Paul even refers to the Corinthian church as the “seal of his apostleship.”

Rom. 4:11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

Rom. 4:12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

Rom. 4:13  For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

The SDA’s were not denying that the Spirit “seals” the believer; rather, they were looking to discover more specific details about the Sabbath, which they claimed had eschatological significance.  No doubt, this is why James White wrote in 1850:

“…The Sabbath is the seal, and the Holy Spirit is the sealer.”  Advent Review, 1:57, September 1850

The SDA’s teach that the 7th day Sabbath was a “sign,” and so it was for the Jews.  They are correctly making the point that Sunday was never given such status in the Bible.  Thus they viewed the last day events as if it was going to be a Sunday versus 7th day battle.  They were obsessed with being right about the day, which they were.  But there is more to the Sabbath doctrine than just the day.

Ex. 31:17 “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

The Bible is full of “signs” and “seals” and it would be a mistake to think that the fate of the Sabbath doctrine is determined by such dubious interpretations.   Here are some articles about sealing, note how easy it is to connect this or that doctrine to the sealing:

Sealing In The Bible
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/seal.h

Seal As Spirit
http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/the-holy-spirit-as-seal-and-pledge/

Seal As Baptism
http://reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/40202

Gospel Sealing

Holy Spirit Seals People “In Christ,” as a “Pledge” of Salvation:

Eph. 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Eph. 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Eph. 1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

2Cor. 1:21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,

2Cor. 1:22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Church As Seal- By Paul

1Cor. 9:2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Two Seals About Trust & Behavior – By Paul

2Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

Jesus was sealed

John 6:27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

Jesus Tomb was sealed

Matt. 27:66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Belief As Seal:  John the Baptist

John 3:33 “He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.

Prophetic Sealing-SDA

The Adventists were focused on prophecy and the end of the world.  In such a context, they claimed that the 7th day Sabbath had eschatological significance, specifically in Rev 7; 1-4.  The subject of the sealing foreseen in Revelation 7 caught the attention of Adventists when they discovered that Jesus had begun the final preparation for His return. They saw clearly in the Bible that Christ's sanctuary ministry entails much more than His "cleansing" work in heaven. Simultaneously with His heavenly work He is "cleansing" a people, preparing them to meet Him at the Second Advent.

(See P. Gerard Damsteegt, "The Sanctuary and Adventist Experience," Ministry, October 1994, pp. 34-38).

Intensive study of Christ's ministry in the most holy place shed new light on God's "testimony," His ten commandments (Rev :9; Ex 25:6, 22). This study brought to the fore the role of the decalogue as the unchanging standard of conduct by which people will be judged. In the process, it opened their eyes to the permanent validity of the fourth commandment, with its seventh-day Sabbath.

Seal of God
http://www.andrews.edu/~damsteeg/seal.html

Sabbath as Seal- By Bates

In 1847, Joseph Bates first proposed that Sabbath-keeping was the Seal of God and Sunday-keeping the Mark of the Beast in his book, Seventh Day Sabbath.  Adventist historian George Knight writes in the Adventist Review:

"Bates set forth what would become the Sabbatarian understanding of the mark of the beast. Building upon Revelation 12:17 with its idea that God would have a last-day remnant that would 'keep the commandments of God,' he noted that 'there will yet be a mighty struggle about the restoring and keeping [of] the seventh day Sabbath, that will test every living soul that enters the gates of the city' (SDS [1847], 60).”

“God’s people would be 'persecuted for keeping the commandments' by those who had the mark of the beast.  'Is it not clear,' Bates asked in examining Revelation 14:9-12, 'that the first day of the week for the Sabbath or holy day is a mark of the beast[?]' Thus at the end of time only two groups would live on earth—those having the mark of the beast and those keeping God’s commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath (ibid. 59)."1

In 1849, Bates published a book entitled, A Seal of the Living God, in which he writes:

"Now all advent believers that have, and do, participate in the advent messages as given in Rev. 14:6-13, will love and keep this covenant with God, and especially His Holy Sabbath, in this covenant; this is a part of the 144,000 now to be sealed.

"The other part are those who do not yet so well understand the advent doctrine; but are endeavoring to serve God with their whole hearts, and are willing, and will receive this covenant and Sabbath as soon as they hear it explained. These will constitute the 144,000 now to be sealed with 'a seal of the living God,' which sealing will bear them through this time of trouble."2

Joseph Bates wrote:

Sealing, signifies to close, settle, confirm, ratify, make sure between two parties for ever. In this case the parties are God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, with 144,000 men and women on the earth, witnessed by all the holy angels in heaven. When the 144,000 on the earth, individually, keep God's Holy Sabbath according to the commandment, see the example in Luke 23:56, and decalogue, Exo. 20:8-10, then the sign of that Sabbath is manifest, and this sign will be a seal of their righteous act and faith, as circumcision was to faithful Abraham, Rom. 4:11, and the act ratified, by their being "sealed by the holy spirit of promise unto the day of redemption".

FOREHEADS, meaning public profession, or character, Exo. 28:36-38; Rev. 9:4; 13:16. This last text is still in the future, and has a direct bearing on this very sealing message. This ungodly power from which God's people have been called out, Rev. 18:4) will yet, as it now appears, enact a law for the express purpose of making all bow down and keep the Pope's Sabbath, (Sunday,) and all who do not, will have to cease their intercourse, for this law will not allow them to buy or sell, 17th verse. This will test the power there is in the true Sabbath, "the seal of the living God" I say amen, and amen.

Also in 14:9-11. Here we got the mark out of our foreheads and hands, by leaving her (Babylon) and embracing the true Sabbath. So when it is fully settled in our hearts, and we are sanctified through keeping it, it will be as fully known what our profession is, and that we are marked with it in our foreheads, as it was when we got our sectarian mark out of our foreheads, &c., by leaving the churches. The 12th verse shows that we were called out from them to keep the true Sabbath, for this is even now, the only commandment in dispute.

http://temcat.com/L-1-adv-pioneer-lib/JBATES/Seal-The%20Living-God-Joseph-Bates.

See:  The Seal of God and The Mark of the Beast
http://biblelight.net/seal.htm

Ellen White Supports 7th Day

The Whites soon adopted Bates' teaching and Mrs. White began having "visions" supporting Bates' idea. It is apparent that Bates, Mrs. White and other early Adventists believed the sealing process to have already commenced because Mrs. White wrote an article in January of 1849 entitled, "To Those who are receiving the seal of the living God". In that article she writes:

"Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds (foreheads), and written in our hearts. ... Time has continued on a few years longer than they expected, therefore they think it may continue a few years more, and in this way their minds are being led from present truth, out after the world. In these things I saw great danger; for if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God. This seal is the Sabbath."3

To Ellen White, the Sabbath marked the difference between those loyal to God and those disloyal:
"The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarkation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. ... It is the seal of the living God."4

"Thus the distinction is drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. Those who desire to have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Thus they are distinguished from the disloyal, who have accepted a manmade institution in place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God's rest day is a mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not."5
http://www.nonegw.org/nsl/egw23.htm

Doctrinal Development of the 7th day Sabbath

Many think the SDA’s arrived at their view of the Sabbath all at once.  This is incorrect because it took a number of revisions, which are not yet complete, even today.  The SDA Pioneers made a number of changes to the Sabbath doctrine.  The most dramatic was their initial change from Sunday to the 7th day version, which was also accompanied by placing this doctrine in the center of last day events.  Then, almost a decade later, they changed the start and stop time from 6 o’clock to Sundown, thanks to JN Andrews correction of this error.

Then in 1888, the Sabbath doctrine was challenged from within by EJ Waggoner, AT Jones, and Ellen White.   However, this remarkable attempt to shift the Denomination forward to a New Covenant view of the Sabbath not only failed, it divided the Denomination and destroyed the Battle Creek Empire, sending the SDA’s in full retreat to Takoma Park.

While Uriah Smith defended the 4th Commandment to his death, Ellen White surprisingly supported Waggoner’s new view of the Two Covenants.  She became the theological enemy of Uriah Smith because she pushed for major doctrinal reforms that would have demanded yet another revision of the 7th day Sabbath, one that was as unthinkable as it was undefined and unspoken.  But this post 1888 New Covenant revision never took take place, nor did the Advent Movement fully embrace the Gospel or move forward to the next Advent Message, the 4th, as Ellen White hoped.

Once in Takoma Park, the leaders hid, then falsified the 1888 debate, preventing the modern Adventist Community from knowing what happened, or that Sabbath Reform is still unfinished and ongoing.

Listen to Ellen White:

“Let the law take care of itself. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa. . . . Let us trust in the merits of Jesus" (1888 Materials 557).

She went on to amplify this response: "Some of our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there would not now be a necessity of calling especial attention to it. . . .”

Today, very few SDA’s understand why the 1888 debate was so heated, divisive, and destructive.  It was because the doctrine of the Sabbath was at issue, the greatest of all SDA doctrines.  And the leaders could not imagine there could be any more “new light” that could ever change their views about the 4th Commandment.

But Ellen White did not agree:

“We must not for a moment think that there is no more light, no more truth to be given us. We are in danger of becoming careless, by our indifference losing the sanctifying power of truth, and composing ourselves with the thought, “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” [Revelation 3:17.] While we must hold fast to the truths which we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send.”  Gospel Workers 1892, p. 390.1

Ellen White knew that Waggoner’s new light about the Law in Galatians would impact the Sabbath doctrine, and so too did Uriah Smith.  Which is why he made sure that the Denomination would never allow any such change to the official SDA doctrine.  However, Ellen White made it clear to Smith that the SDA’s did not have all the truth about the Sabbath, as they claimed:

“There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation…”
“We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.”

Counsels to Writers and Editors, pages 33-42

Today, we know that Bates and the SDA Pioneers, including Ellen White, embraced many hermeneutical and doctrinal errors.   For example, this popular assumption that the Moral Law will judge us is false.   The NT teaches that Christ and his teachings will judge us.  Those that “reject” Jesus theology will be judged by that faithless omission, not by the 10 Commandments.

John 5:22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

So here is a fundamental correction of error that must take place within Adventist theology before they can comprehend the 7th day Gospel Sabbath correctly. There was never a time when the church was without doctrinal error or debate.  So error is nothing new in the church, especially when it comes to eschatology and how the world will end.   The SDA’s have made a great error to promote the 4th Commandment as if it represents the Gospel Sabbath of Christ.  It does not.  And they have better wake up and repent before it is too late.

1Cor. 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;

However, theological error is not the same as fraud.  The SDA Pioneers were as sincere as they were uneducated, even as they lived in a very different world from ours.  But yet, they managed to make some remarkable contributions to modern theology, including their insistence that only the 7th day can be the New Covenant Sabbath for the church.

Truth is progressive and painfully slow and it is past time for the Advent Movement to grow up and repent for their many errors and move forward to find more truth.  The work of Sabbath Reform is not complete, and neither is the work of clearly defining Gospel eschatology.  It is time for the Adventists to meet their 21st century destiny and move forward to the next level, which the Pioneers called the 4th Angels Message.

1Cor. 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

Admit Error & Seek Truth

Let all admit that the 19th century SDA’s were full of theological error, as were all others.  No denomination back then was free from false doctrine, or any now.   But regardless, during this time period, many were searching for relevant Bible truth in a land where they had freedom to believe whatever they wanted.   The SDA founders were honestly searching for more Gospel Truth about how the world would end.  The doctrine of the Sabbath became part of the last day events, even as the 7th day Baptists encouraged all to repudiate the popular Sunday Sabbath, which was standard doctrine for Miller and all Adventists.

Consequently, the SDA’s developed a very unique, eschatological view of the 7th day Sabbath, one that was scripted to play a dramatic role in last day events.  The 7th Day became the seal of God and a sign of loyalty to the creator, while Sunday was the false Sabbath, even the Mark or seal, of the beast power that persecutes Christians.  This is why the SDA’s launched into a Sunday versus 7th day battle.   It was not as if they were champions of religious liberty.  But rather, those pushing for Sunday laws had the wrong day.  More than that, they feared Sunday keepers would persecute to death those that had the truth about the Sabbath.

However, the SDA claim that the 4th commandment is binding on the church is great myth, legalism, and error.  But they were not wrong to declare Sunday false doctrine, for so it is.

So who else has the truth about the Sabbath?  No one.  There is no true or correct doctrine of the Sabbath as yet in the church.   But the SDA’s were honestly trying.  And they were making progress.  At least until the infamous 1888 debates, which put to rest any possibility of further Sabbath Reform or improved eschatology.

Many during this 19th century time period, including Bates, were very legalistic.  Not only did Bates think the Moral law was still binding on the church, including the 4th Commandment, he also associated the sealing process of Rev 7 “with the development of character.”   Thus, from the very beginning of SDA eschatology, there were legalistic errors embedded deep in their eschatology, before Uriah Smith became the champion of such awful theology.  Had Bates participated in the 1888 debates, he would have been on the wrong side of the debate.  Which also explains why his view of the Sabbath, and that of all SDA’s, is wrong.

Today, as we look back at the history of the church, and of Adventism, the object is not to focus on error, which is legion, but to find truth, which is often hidden, covered up with generations of myth, prejudice, and tradition.  It was the search for Gospel truth that drove the Early Church, the Reformers, and the Adventists forward.  It must be the same for us today.

The Adventists were a Protestant group, and as such they promoted a number of very correct points.  While we know that they had many errors and mistakes in their theology, few seem to care about the truths that have been discovered, and are yet to be discovered, because of their work.  This is wrong.

Critics Wrong

Here is a typical response from a critic that assumes everything SDA is false.  But guess what?  The SDA’s are correct on this point about the Sabbath being a doctrine of division, and on a number of other points.  The NT shows that the Sabbath doctrine of Christ was a very divisive issue, separating those that followed him from those that did not.  So the critics are the ones looking foolish on this point, not the SDA’s or Ellen White.  (See below)

The critics mock the SDA’s by saying:

Sabbath a Dividing Issue? - Is the Sabbath the great separating truth that will decide who the true believers are? According to the prophet Ellen White, the Sabbath is what separates real believers from false believers:

"I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God's dear, waiting saints."17

Critics conclusion:  Such a teaching is contrary to the New Testament. Never is the Sabbath described as a dividing issue by Jesus or the Apostles.


See:  http://www.nonsda.org/study7.shtml

Critics Wrong! The NT shows that Jesus’ Gospel Sabbath caused great division, even as his Sabbath miracles became “signs” of the NC Gospel for all to see.

The fact of the matter is this:  When the Gospel was preached by Christ, there was great debate and division about his active and very different doctrine of the Sabbath. The SDA’s are very correct on this point.  Where they are wrong is their claim that the New Covenant Sabbath is the 4th Commandment.  Jesus was not promoting the 4th Commandment, or Sunday.   Rather, his new Sabbath doctrine started a war between the Old Covenant Sabbath doctrine versus the NC version, where the Law of Christ clashed with the Law of Moses and the 4th Commandment.  Jesus teaches an active, 7th day Sabbath for the church, for which he was sent to the cross.  He does not teach the resting, “schoolmaster” or “Tutor” Sabbath, which is the 4th Commandment, referenced in Galatians.

So not only did Jesus' NC doctrine of the Sabbath cause great debate and division all during Christ’s ministry, it also sent him to the cross. The Sabbath doctrine is a litmus test to see who is really following Christ and who is clueless.  The Jews refused, and clung to the 4th Commandment, and so too have the SDA’s made this same mistake, which has caused them great debate and division that is still ongoing today.

The critics need to criticize less and study more.   Finding error is not difficult, even as they too are guilty of embracing their own brand of false doctrine and myth.  The SDA’s are correct: the record shows that Jesus was furious with the Jews for rejecting his New Covenant doctrine of the 7th day.  From the very beginning, the Jews were so enraged about Christ’s new view of Sabbath that they plotted to kill him.  There was great division over the Sabbath all during Christ’s ministry.

Too bad the SDA’s embraced the WRONG 7th day Sabbath.  This is their great error.  They have embraced Moses and the 4th Commandment instead of Christ and his active, guilt-free, 7th day Sabbath.  The SDA’s have played the role of the unbelieving Jews, for which they must repent or suffer even more consequences.

John 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them.

Luke 12:51 “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;

Mark 3:4 And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent.

Mark 3:5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

Mark 3:6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

Gal. 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Gal. 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

See also:

http://www.truthorfables.com/Seal_Of_God.htm
http://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/957.2#
http://www.nonsda.org/study7.shtml

The critics should remember what Jesus teaches about correcting others.  In this application, unless one has a fully functional Sabbath doctrine, they should not criticize others that don’t.   The fact of the matter is that no critic, church, or denomination has a correct doctrine of the New Covenant Sabbath, which explains why Jesus judges the last church as the worst church, demanding repentance of all.  No exceptions for the SDA’s or their many critics, much less the confused Sunday keepers.

Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Luke 6:42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Conclusion:

Without the SDA’s paradigm shifting work, which included many errors, few would know the truth that the Sunday Sabbath is false.  More than that, their emphasis on the correctness of the 7th day has positioned the church to find the genuine Gospel, including the New Covenant Sabbath of Christ and thus complete Sabbath Reform and prepare the church for the Eschaton.  (2nd Coming)

Jesus’ active, guilt free, doctrine of the 7th day will surprise, condemn, and divide the last church, showing that all in Laodicea are “blind” to the genuine Gospel of Christ, unprepared for the 2nd Coming and the Judgment of the world, which is near.

All will be stunned at the discovery of such long-standing error.  After all, the Gospels are full of Jesus’ Sabbath instruction.  How could the SDA’s be so blind as to get this wrong?  How could the Sunday keepers?

There is only one Christ and one New Covenant doctrine of the Sabbath for the church.  When the New Covenant Sabbath teachings of Christ are fully understood, so too will the Gospel of Christ be comprehended, as well as credible, contemporary, eschatology.

It is time for the SDA’s to go forward and repent of their many errors, including their false view that Jesus teaches the 4th Commandment.  Christ teaches an active, guilt-free, 7th Day Sabbath for the church, which is the completion of Sabbath Reform.  Here is genuine, Gospel truth for the last church.

Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Tom Norris for All Experts.Com & Adventist Reform

http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/viewtopic.php?pid=12236#p12236

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Tom Norris

Expertise

I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.

Experience

Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform. http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/

Education/Credentials
Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

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