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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|#179 & #180: "Today the view is equally severe. On page 167 of the Adventist
Fundamental Doctrines it says, 'When this issue is clearly brought before the
world, those who reject God's
memorial of creatorship, the Bible Sabbath... choosing to worship and honor Sunday, in the
that it is not God's appointed day of worship, will receive the mark of the beast. This mark
is a mark of
#179: This view is severe.
A rather strange conclusion. How can it be severe to believe that Christians
ought to obey the commandments?
After all, the devil and his angels were kicked out of heaven for breaking the
commandments of God. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the
garden of Eden for breaking the commandments of God. How can God take us to heaven
when we are knowingly living in unrepentance and
disobedience to one of His commandments, and at the same time not take the devil to heaven
Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him
. . . . (Mark Martin under #153)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Jesus in John 14:15)
So according to both Mr. Martin and Jesus, those who do not keep God's
commandments reveal a lack of love toward God. Are these views
of Mr. Martin and Jesus severe?
#180: This quote says it's a mark of rebellion. The whole
topic has been grossly oversimplified.
While enough context was quoted to catch the thought of the statement, enough was
left out so that the average viewer will not comprehend
what is really being said. First of all, the final period in the quote should actually be an
ellipsis, for the remaining 71% of the sentence was
omitted. The portion omitted makes clear what the Seventh-day Adventist position really
Also omitted is any explanation regarding the identity of the beast. Who is the beast
anyway? Once this question is answered, it is pretty easy
to see that Sunday just might have something to do with the mark.
The context of the quotation, as found in the documentation package
under "Point 87," follows:
The beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 is the church-state union that dominated the
Christian world for many centuries and was described
by Paul as the "man of sin" (2 Thess. 2:2-4) and by Daniel as the "little horn" (Dan. 7:8,
20-25; 8:9-12 KJV). The image of the beast represents that
form of apostate religion that will be developed when churches, having lost the true spirit of
the Reformation, shall unite with the state to enforce
their teachings on others. In uniting church and state they will have become a perfect image
to the beast—the apostate church that persecuted for
1260 years. Hence the name image of the beast.—Seventh-day
Adventists Believe, p. 167.
Let's pause for a moment. The first one that we know of to identify the little horn in
this way was a Catholic Archbishop, Eberhard II of
Salzburg, around 1240 AD (Froom, Prophetic Faith, vol. 1, pp. 796-806).
Why would he want to identify the little horn as being the papal
power, you ask? It isn't hard to understand if we remember some of the controversies of
One such controversy was whether the final authority in the church should be a single
man accountable to no one, or a council of
representatives from churches around the world. Another one was whether the pope should
be just a spiritual leader, or a political ruler too.
What added fuel to the fire of these debates was the papal see's all-too-frequent
political corruption, intrigue, and immorality. It's embarrassing to say it, but not a few popes
had children, as even papal writers admit. Then there was simony, the selling of church
offices, like that of
cardinal, to whomever could pay. [p. 118]
The New Catholic Encyclopedia
spends more time pointing out the abuses the pontiffs suppressed than the abuses they
obvious reasons. Still, it says that Innocent VIII was elected to be pope through "shameless
bribery." After becoming pope, "to raise money,
Innocent created numerous new posts, which he sold to the highest bidders."—"Innocent VIII,
Pope." Regarding Pope Alexander VI, New
Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say:
Critical value is lacking in the pseudo-apologetic efforts made to deny Alexander's
paternity of a number of children. The mothers of the first
three children are unknown. . . . The other four children
. . . were born of Vannozza Cattanei. . . . It has not been
proved that Alexander VI was the
father of Orsino Orsini or Laura Orsini (b. 1492), daughter of Giulia Farnese, who was the
mistress of [Alexander] at the end of his cardinalate. . . .
However, it is certain that Alexander VI was the father of Joan de Borja
. . . . Also sufficiently proved was Alexander's paternity of Rodrigo de
. . . .—"Borgia."
Looks like we can't know for sure how many kids he had, but he had at least
At any rate, Eberhard's views on the antichrist of Scripture struck a chord in many a
Catholic's heart. Similar views were later adopted by
Wycliffe, Luther, nearly all of the Protestant reformers, and the churches they founded.
Even Abravanel, a Jewish expositor from Spain,
identified the little horn this way in 1496 (Froom, vol. 2, pp. 55-57, 228, 229, 268).
Since the 1830's, the view that the beast and little horn are future instead of present
has slowly gained ground, until today the standard views
of old are largely forgotten.
Continuing with the quotation from Seventh-day Adventists
The third angel's message proclaims the most solemn and fearful warning in the Bible.
It reveals that those who submit to human authority in
earth's final crisis will worship the beast and his image rather than God. During this final
conflict, two distinct classes will develop. One class will
advocate a gospel of human devisings and will worship the beast and his image, bringing
upon themselves the most grievous judgments. The other
class, in marked contrast, will live by the true gospel and "keep the commandments of God
and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:9, 12). The final issue
involves true and false worship, the true and the false gospel. When this issue is clearly
brought before the world, those who reject God's memorial
of creatorship—the Bible Sabbath—choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full
knowledge that it is not God's appointed day of worship, will
receive the "mark of the beast." This mark is a mark of rebellion; the beast claims its change
of the day of worship shows its authority even over
God's law.—Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 167.
Arriving at such conclusions is quite understandable, given the standard interpretation
150 years ago of the beast and the little horn being
the papal power. Daniel 7:25 says that the little horn would "think to change
times and laws." The only one of the Ten
has to do with time is the one about the Sabbath, and this is the only one that the papacy
thinks it has changed.
Catholic writers have repeatedly used the change of the Sabbath as proof of Rome's
absolute authority in spiritual matters. Some have even
been so bold as to declare that Protestants are worshipping the authority of Rome by keeping
Sunday. So it is only natural to connect worshipping
the beast and receiving his mark with Sunday keeping, if one still holds to the standard view
of prophecy taught for centuries from Protestant
pulpits, and some Catholic pulpits as well.
Now let's utilize some of the phrases from the above quotation: Advocating a "gospel
of human devisings," rejecting "God's memorial of
creatorship," and "choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not
God's appointed day of worship," would not this
constitute "rebellion"? All Bible-believing Christians should agree that the breaking of a
command of God "in full knowledge" does indeed
qualify as rebellion.
If this is severe, it isn't more so than what the apostle Paul wrote:
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful
looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Heb.
Oh, about those statements by Catholic writers. Perhaps you would like to read a few.
The first ones below claim that the Church has changed
one of the Ten Commandments, and that no basis for that change can be found in the
Q. Which day is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the
solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.—Peter Geiermann,
The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50.
Q. What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferable to the ancient Sabbath,
which was the Saturday?
A. We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolical tradition. [p. 119]
Q. Does the Scripture anywhere command the
Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?
A. The Scripture commands us to hear the Church, St. Matt. xviii. 17. St. Luke x. 16,
and to hold fast the traditions of the Apostles. 2 Thess.
ii. 15. But the scripture does not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath.—Richard
Challoner, Catholic Christian Instructed, p. 209.
The next ones use this change of the Sabbath as a proof, mark, or sign of Rome's
Ques.—How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
Ans.—By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which the Protestants
allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves
by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.
Ques.—How prove you that?
Ans.—Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the Church's power to ordain
feasts, and to command them under sin; and by not keeping
the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power.—Henry Tuberville,
Abridgment of Christian Doctrine, p. 58.
Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute
festivals of precept?
A. Had she not such power, she could not have
done that in which all modern religionists agree with her;—she could not have substituted the
observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh
day, a change for which there is no scriptural
authority.—Stephen Keenan, Doctrinal Catechism, p. 174.
The Church is above the Bible; and this transference of Sabbath observance from
Saturday to Sunday is proof positive of that fact.—London,
Ontario, Catholic Record, Sept. 1, 1923, p. 4.
The next one claims that Sunday observance is an act of worship to the authority of
It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this
rest to the Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection
of our Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in
spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church.—Louis
Gaston de Ségur, Plain Talk about the Protestants of Today, p.
The next one criticizes the use of certain Bible verses in support of Sunday observance
by some Protestants:
The word of God commandeth the seventh day to be the Sabbath of our Lord, and to
be kept holy: you [Protestants] without any precept of
scripture, change it to the first day of the week, only authorized by our traditions. Divers
English Puritans oppose against this point, that the
observation of the first day is proved out of scripture, where it is said the first day of the
week. Acts xx,7; 1Cor.xvi,2; Rev.i,10. Have they not spun
a fair thread in quoting these places? If we should produce no better for purgatory and
prayers for the dead, invocation of the saints, and the like,
they might have good cause indeed to laugh us to scorn; for where is it written that these
were Sabbath days in which those meetings were kept?
Or where is it ordained they should be always observed? Or, which is the sum of all, where
is it decreed that the observation of the first day should
abrogate or abolish the sanctifying of the seventh day, which God commanded everlastingly
to be kept holy? Not one of those is expressed in the
written word of God.—An Antidote, or Treatise of Thirty
This is but a sampling. Many similar statements could be cited.
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