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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast

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#175 & #176: "However the keeping of the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday came to be of prime importance in determining who would receive the seal of God and be saved and who wouldn't."—Mark Martin.

#175: After the change to sunset, the Sabbath "came to be" understood as the seal. In actuality, the idea that the Sabbath is the seal of God was in print over six years prior to the change of the time to keep the Sabbath: "The Sabbath then is a sign, or seal between GOD and his people forever."—Present Truth, July 1849, p. 3. Thus Mr. Martin has the timing reversed.

#176: They think it's of prime importance in determining who would be saved and who wouldn't. It should be pointed out that Mr. Martin is using the term "saved" differently than he did under #143. There he definitely meant justification, pardon, and conversion, while here he means glorification and entry into heaven (see also #66).

So is the impression the viewer is left with true? Have Seventh-day Adventists since 1855 felt that the question of the Sabbath determines everyone's entry into heaven? Not according to the very next quotation used on the video (see #177): "When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men . . . ." Unfortunately, the average viewer will not know enough about Adventist beliefs to rightly understand what this means. To put it simply, Adventists believe that this only becomes true at the very last moments of time when the mark of the beast is enforced. It isn't true today.

At least by 1852, Seventh-day Adventists were teaching far and wide that many Sunday keepers were children of God and would go to heaven, while many apparent Sabbath keepers would not. Sabbath keeping, therefore, was not considered the determining factor, and still is not. Consider the following which appeared in an issue of the Review in that year. Because the video makes such a major point of this subject, we quote it at length:

REMARKS IN KINDNESS.

We have received a letter from Bro. T——- of Broadalbin, N. Y., which we wish to notice, not only for the benefit of the writer, but others in a similar position.

T - I have no disposition to say anything disrespectful of the paper, or any of the writers. . . . If I rightly understand the Review, it teaches or judges thus: They that keep the seventh-day Sabbath have the Seal of the Living God. They that keep the first day as the Sabbath, and they that believe that the Sabbath is abolished, have the mark of the beast. I do not find that the Lord in his word judges thus. . . .

Reply - We are far from believing that all Sabbath-keepers have the seal of the living God. The Jew that in his blindness rejects Jesus cannot have that seal, though he outwardly observes the fourth commandment. That there is to be a sign, distinguishing mark, or seal of God, that is to distinguish God's people in the time of trouble when the mark of the beast shall be enforced, is evident. And we are of the humble opinion that the despised Sabbath of the living God will be that very distinguishing sign. But let no one suppose that the "Review and Herald" teaches that those who embrace the Sabbath are now sealed and sure of heaven, for it teaches no such thing.

In that hour of conflict, the time of trouble such as never was, when the mark of the beast shall be enforced, none will be able to stand, and bear the distinguishing sign or seal of God, only those who are sanctified through the whole truth, and washed from all sin, by the blood of Christ. May the Lord prepare Sabbath-keepers to stand in that time, and bear the seal of the living God. After they keep all the commandments, and repent before God of past transgression of his holy law, their only hope of salvation is through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. [p. 116]

A man may outwardly observe all ten of the commandments of God, yet if he is not benefited by the atonement of Jesus it will profit him nothing. But the doctrine that one may live in constant violation of the law of the Father, and still be saved through faith in his Son, is a heresy that we fear, will sink souls in perdition. The Jew may be tenacious for the law of the Father, and reject the Son; the professed Christian may boast of his faith in the Son and reject the commandments of the Father, but will not both sink in perdition together if they remain in unbelief. O Lord, help thy people to see that "here are they that keep the commandments of God AND** have the faith of Jesus." God forbid that we should make void thy law through faith.

We do not teach that those "that keep the first day as a Sabbath, and they that believe the Sabbath is abolished, have the mark of the beast." We have shown that there is no divine authority for observing the first day of the week, as the Sabbath. We have also shown that it is an institution of Papacy. And we have given some of our reasons for believing that the observance of the first day of the week is to constitute the mark of the beast, when the line shall be drawn between the worshipers of the beast and image, and the worshipers, or servants of God.

Says the third angel, "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark," &c. This is a warning to those to whom the message is to be given not to receive the mark, consequently, they have not the mark now, in the sense it is yet to be received by the worshipers of the beast. Christians who have conscientiously observed the first day of the week, in time past, whose minds were never called to investigate the Sabbath question, certainly did not receive the mark of the beast. But after the true light on this subject shall be given, and that period of anguish when the mark of the beast shall be enforced shall have come, and the division made between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast, then will be the danger of receiving the mark of the beast. In view of that decisive hour, the third angel gives his warning message, that we may be prepared to stand, and not receive the mark of the beast, instead of the seal of the living God. The burden, the loud cry of this message, is evidently future.

Our object is to give our views in the spirit of the gospel, and we know not why we should be charged with judging others, more than those who differ from us, and give their views of Bible truth. Some seem to forget that they differ from us as far as we do from them.

It is not our work to judge and pass sentence upon any one. Some rash spirits have greatly erred here. We wish to speak the truth in the spirit of Jesus, with all boldness, and let that do its work, on the heart. But when we do this, we are at once "judged" as having a lack of charity and of judging others. But we cannot stop here. Let others plead charity, and we will preach the truth. Charity ever "rejoiceth in the truth." See 1Cor.xiii,6.—[James White], Review and Herald, March 2, 1852, p. 100, italics added except for single words.

A Response to the Video

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