Seventh Day Adventism
and the LAW
Each person baptized as a SDA receives a "Certificate of Profession of Faith". Each person being baptized must sign a thirteen-point statement entitled "My Commitment". As we read the first five points, the document appears perfectly, fundamentally Christian.
However, by point six, we find the deviations beginning. Point six reads, "I accept the Ten Commandments as still binding upon Christians, and it is my purpose by the power of the indwelling Christ, to keep this law, including the fourth commandment, which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord." Point eight has the convert believing, "that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church". Point thirteen identifies the Seventh-Day Adventist Church as the "remnant church of Bible Prophecy."
These doctrines are the teachings of Ellen G. White. As the convert peruses his baptismal booklet under the heading "Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-Day Adventists", the peculiarities of Adventism become apparent. Under heading 17, "The Gift of Prophecy", we find this statement "This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church, comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction."
Under heading 19, "The Sabbath" we are told that (God)..."instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation". The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day sabbath...It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's Kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people."
THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH
Seventh-Day Adventists strive to keep "THE LAW" of the Old Testament. They place emphasis on the ten commandments as "the Law", when in fact the ten commandments form only a small part of the entire Law. Saturday Sabbath-keeping is greatly stressed as a requirement for salvation in this extremely legalistic group.
SDA's have a habit of thinking "Ten Commandments" or "Sabbath" every time the Bible mentions "The Law". This is not correct. The word "Law" occurs over 400 times in Scripture, and refers to the entire Law, comprising ceremonial feasts, special days, sacrifices, dietary restrictions, cleansings etc. The term never applies solely to either the ten commandments or the Sabbath alone.
Realistically speaking, no Seventh-Day Adventist REALLY keeps "The Law". Where are their blood sacrifices? Do they heat their houses on Saturday? They are all Law-breakers if they carefully and honestly examine their lives in light of the entire Law. The Bible makes no distinction regarding the Law, that some parts are "ceremonial" as the SDA's claim, a claim designed to avoid truly keeping the Law in its entirety.
THE LAW WAS FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL ONLY
Regarding the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:2 states,"I am the the Lord your God, who BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, out of the house of slavery".
The ten commandments were obviously given to those who had been brought out of the land of Egypt. This would limit the ten commandments to God's chosen people, the Israelites, the Jews.
Deuteronomy 5:3 shows that the Law was binding on those Israelites or Jews alive in MOSES' day. "The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today." Therefore, no covenant was made to Adam, Noah Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc. as claimed by SDA's.
Seventh-Day Adventists make the Saturday Sabbath of extreme importance in their plan of salvation. Yet it is not binding on Christians, because Deuteronomy 5:15 applies it only to the Jews "And you shall remember that YOU WERE A SLAVE IN THE LAND OF EGYPT and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; THEREFORE the LORD your God commanded you to OBSERVE THE SABBATH DAY."
Notice that the Sabbath was a special covenant for those people delivered from bondage in Egypt. (see also Ezekiel 20:10-12; Exodus 31:12-18; Exodus 16:29; Nehemia 9:13, 14.)
IS THE SABBATH A MEMORIAL OF CREATION ?
It is true that Genesis 23 says God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, but there was no command to memorialize it in remembrance of creation. The command to keep the sabbath day went only to those who were slaves in Egypt. There is no biblical record of the sabbath being kept in the interim between creation and the days of Moses. Why? Obviously because it was not commanded to be kept.
I have carefully looked up every scripture reference given by the SDA's regarding sabbath-keeping. (Gen. 2:1-2; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5,6; 58:13,14; Matt. 121:-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 4:16 Eze. 20:12,20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32). All commands to keep the Sabbath are Old Testament ones to the sons of Israel. The scripture from Isaiah 56:5,6, refers to a "memorial NAME", not a DAY. The New Testament references are not commands to keep the sabbath.
IS THE SABBATH "CEREMONIAL" ?
Seventh-Day Adventists in particular get out of keeping all the points of the Law by claiming some are "ceremonial" and don't require strict observance, but in their understanding the Sabbath does require strict observance. Leviticus, chapter 23 lists several "Holy Convocations". The first-mentioned one is the seventh-day sabbath The chapter goes on to list other "holy convocations", namely the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened bread, the Wave offering, the Feast of Booths, etc. All are identified as "holy convocations". Why then claim that the first one mentioned, namely the seventh-day sabbath, is NOT "ceremonial", but ALL OTHERS listed are! Let's interpret the Bible honestly, and in context!
ARE CHRISTIANS UNDER THE SABBATH LAW ?
Seventh-Day Adventists judge Christians very harshly for not keeping "Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday." Christians, on the other hand, don't condemn others for worshiping on Saturday if that is their preference. Christians recognize that we are under grace, and not under the Law.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, "Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or A SABBATH DAY--things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (Col. 2:6,17).
No one calling himself a Christian should judge another respecting the Sabbath, and yet the SDA church would have Christians receive the "mark of the beast" for not keeping the Saturday sabbath. They have therefore made salvation dependent on which day of the week one keeps!
Hebrews, chapter four, shows that the fulfillment of the Jewish Sabbath was not the keeping of the same day by Christians, but the entering of Christians into God's rest. The early Christians preached on the Jewish Sabbath because the Jews were gathered in the synagogue on that day. (See Acts 17:2-4). Their fellowship together was always the "first day" of the week, Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection. (See Acts 20:7)
CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE SABBATH
There is NO scripture commanding Christians to keep the Saturday sabbath. Surely there would be a command if it was of such importance as to affect our salvation! Christians have always met for fellowship and the breaking of bread on the first day of the week, Sunday, and continue to do so until this day. They do not claim Sunday is the "sabbath" but rather , the "Lord's Day". Sunday worship was not introduced by the Roman Catholic Church, although they like to take credit for it. Catholics merely carried on where the Apostles left off. The claim by SDA's that Christians are worshiping the sun by meeting on Sunday, is just as ridiculous as us accusing the SDA's of worshiping Saturn, because they meet on Saturday!
WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW!
The Law was our tutor, or teacher leading us to Christ. Galations 3:25 concludes "we are no longer under a tutor". The Law divided Jews from Gentiles, so Christ abolished it. (Ephesians 21:4-16).
Even the Jews knew the old Law Covenant would pass away Jeremiah 31:31 says, "Behold the days are coming", declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah".
God would write His new law on people's hearts (vs. 33). Jesus Christ Himself instituted the new covenant. (See 1 Corinthians 11:25), fulfilling and abolishing the old Law covenant. Yes, the old Law Covenant, including the seventh-day sabbath observance is now over. The letter of the Law is finished. Christ Himself is described as the end (Greek, "telos" or "terminator") of the Law. (Romans 10:4).
We will close this subject by quoting Romans 8:2-4,
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."