Pickle Publishing Critique: #131-#180 Research Papers

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A Critique of the Jeremiah Films Video:

Seventh-day Adventism - The Spirit Behind the Church

Points #131-#180

by Bob Pickle

     "That Hot, Uncomfortable, Long Dress"   
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#131, #132, #133, #134, #135, & #136: "Once the deadly peril of wearing wigs was dealt with, Ellen G. White tried to force a hot, uncomfortable, strange style of dress on her female followers. She claimed it was designed by God. It was in reality a pair of pants with a bulky, long dress over them." (Dan Snyder)

#131: After the wigs came the dress. False. The article cited under #129 for Ellen White's counsel against the heavy hairpieces of the day is dated 1871. The "reform dress" was introduced more than six years earlier in 1865. Thus the dress came before the counsel on heavy hairpieces, not after.

#132: Ellen White tried to force a strange style of dress on her female followers. False. As pointed out under #128, Ellen White was against forcing the reform dress on anyone.

No evidence is given under "Point 68" in the Documentation Package to substantiate that Ellen White tried to force the reform dress on anyone.

#133: The dress was hot. It was not hot. Consider carefully what ladies' dresses were like at the time:

As to the reasons for a need of reform in women's dress at that time, the New York Independent in 1913 painted a vivid picture:

The chief points in the indictment of woman's dress of former times were that the figure was dissected like a wasp's, that the hips were overloaded with heavy skirts, and that the skirts dragged upon the ground and swept up the dirt.

Nowadays the weight of a woman's clothing as a whole is only half or a third of what it used to be. Four dresses can be packed in the space formerly filled by one. In the one-piece dresses now in vogue the weight is borne from the shoulders, and the hips are relieved by reducing the skirts in weight, length, and number. The skirt no longer trails upon the street. . . .

The women who, for conscientious reasons, refused to squeeze their waists, and in consequence suffered the scorn of their sex, now find themselves on the fashionable side. A thirty-two-inch waist is regarded as permissible, where formerly a twenty-inch waist was thought proper. A fashionably gowned woman of the present day can stoop to pick up a pin at her feet.--New York Independent, Oct. 23, 1913. . . . (Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years 177, 178)

In contrast, the reform dress proposed by Ellen White was much lighter. It also kept the limbs better covered in winter, and thus warmer. At the same time, since the trunk had fewer layers on it than in the typical style of dress, the trunk was cooler:

It is not conducive to health to have many coverings over the abdomen and small of the back, while the extremities are left almost destitute of clothing. Reason teaches that the parts of the body which have the most clothing will have the greatest amount of heat. At every pulsation of the heart, the blood should be propelled to the extremities quickly and easily in order to have health. We plead for the warm, lined pants in winter, that the blood may be induced to the extremities, that they may not by scanty clothing be robbed of their due proportion of blood. The current of human life is (Health Reformer 5/1/1872)

No evidence is given under "Point 68" in the Documentation Package to substantiate that the reform dress was hot.

#134: The dress was uncomfortable. It was not uncomfortable. There was not a heavy weight on the hips as in the typical style of dress:

Another serious evil is the wearing of skirts so that their weight must be sustained by the hips. This heavy weight, pressing upon the internal organs, drags them downward and causes weakness of the stomach and a feeling of lassitude, inclining the wearer to stoop, which further cramps the lungs, making correct breathing more difficult. (Ministry of Healing 292)

The female form should not be compressed in the least with corsets and whale bones. The dress should be perfectly easy that the lungs and heart may have healthy action. The dress should reach somewhat below the top of the boot; but should be short enough to clear the filth of the sidewalk and street, without being raised by the hand. A still shorter dress than this would be proper, convenient, and healthful for females, when doing their housework, and especially, for those women who are obliged to perform more or less out-of-door labor. With this style of dress, one light skirt, or, at most two, are all that is necessary, and these should be buttoned on to a waist, or suspended with straps. The hips were not formed to bear heavy weights. The heavy skirts worn by females, their weight dragging down upon the hips, have been the cause of various diseases, which are not easily cured, because the sufferers seem to be ignorant of the cause which has produced them, and they continue to violate the laws of their being by girding the waists and wearing heavy skirts, until they are made life-long invalids. Many will immediately exclaim, "Why such a style of dress would be old-fashioned!" What if it is? I wish we could be old-fashioned in many respects. If we could have the old-fashioned strength that characterized the old-fashioned women of past generations it would be very desirable. I do not speak unadvisedly when I say that the way in which women clothe themselves, together with their indulgence of appetite, is the greatest causes of their present feeble diseased condition. There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should. Whatever may be the length of the dress, females should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as the males. This may be done by wearing lined pants gathered into a band and fastened about the ankle, or made full and tapering at the bottom; and these should come down long enough to meet the shoe. The limbs and ankles thus clothed are protected against a current of air. If the limbs and feet are kept comfortable with warm clothing, the circulation will be equalized, and the blood will remain healthy and pure, because it is not chilled or hindered in its natural passage through the system. (Selected Messages 2:478, 479)

In contrast with the popular dress of the day, the reform dress was quite comfortable.

No evidence is given under "Point 68" in the Documentation Package to substantiate that the reform dress was uncomfortable.

#135: The dress was bulky. It was not bulky. The following was written just before the introduction of the reform dress. The reform dress was designed to avoid such problems as these:

Many females drag down the bowels and hips by hanging heavy skirts upon them. These were not formed to sustain weights. In the first place, heavy quilted skirts should never be worn. They are unnecessary, and a great evil. The female dress should be suspended from the shoulders. (Selected Messages 2: 473)

In contrast with the popular dress of the day, the reform dress was anything but bulky.

No evidence is given under "Point 68" in the Documentation Package to substantiate that the reform dress was bulky.

#136: The dress was long. It was not long, by contemporary standards. In fact, such a dress was called a "short dress":

Sisters who have opposing husbands have asked my advice in regard to their adopting the short dress contrary to the wishes of the husband. I advise them to wait. I do not consider the dress question of so vital importance as the Sabbath. Concerning the latter there can be no hesitation. But the opposition which many might receive should they adopt the dress reform would be more injurious to health than the dress would be beneficial. Several of these sisters have said to me: "My husband likes your dress; he says he has not one word of fault to find with it." (Testimonies for the Church 1:522)

At that time, many spiritualists were adopting a short dress that came to the knee. The public generally were outraged by such a novelty. The fashion at the time was to wear a long dress that swept up the filth of the streets. The reform dress avoided both these extremes, thus being more healthful without outraging the public:

My views were calculated to correct the present fashion, the extreme long dress, trailing upon the ground, and also to correct the extreme short dress, reaching about to the knees, which is worn by a certain class. I was shown that we should shun both extremes. By wearing the dress reaching about to the top of a woman's gaiter boot we shall escape the evils of the extreme long dress, and shall also shun the evils and notoriety of the extreme short dress. (Ibid. 464)

How more balanced could Ellen White have been?

No evidence is given under "Point 68" in the Documentation Package to substantiate that the reform dress was long.

       "Faithful Sisters, No Explanation"   
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This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#137, #138, & #139: "Faithful sisters struggled with the cumbersome dress, until Ellen White quietly stopped wearing hers some years later, with no explanation given." (Ibid.)

#137: Faithful sisters struggled. False. The dress was eventually dropped because:

  1. Many "faithful" sisters wouldn't quit complaining.
  2. Other "faithful" sisters, as noted under #128, wouldn't quit pushing the matter on people.
  3. Other "faithful" sisters wouldn't use good taste in preparing the dress.

That this is true can be seen from the following quotations:

In some places there is great opposition to the short dress. But when I see some dresses worn by the sisters, I do not wonder that people are disgusted and condemn the dress. Where the dress is represented as it should be, all candid persons are constrained to admit that it is modest and convenient. In some of our churches I have seen all kinds of reform dresses, and yet not one answering the description presented before me. Some appear with white muslin pants, white sleeves, dark delaine dress, and a sleeveless sack of the same description as the dress. Some have a calico dress with pants cut after their own fashioning, not after "the pattern," without starch or stiffening to give them form, and clinging close to the limbs. There is certainly nothing in these dresses manifesting taste or order. Such a dress would not recommend itself to the good judgment of sensible-minded persons. In every sense of the word it is a deformed dress. (Testimonies for the Church 1:521, 522)

In a vision given me at Battle Creek, January 3, 1875, I was shown the state of things which I have here represented, and that the wide diversity in dress was an injury to the cause of truth. That which would have proved a blessing, if uniformly adopted and properly worn, had been made a reproach, and, in some cases, even a disgrace.

Some who wore the dress sighed over it as a heavy burden. The language of their hearts was: "Anything but this. If we felt free to lay off this peculiar style, we would willingly adopt a plain, untrimmed dress of ordinary length. The limbs could be as warmly clothed as before, and we could secure all the physical benefits, with less effort. It requires much labor to prepare the reform dress in a proper manner." Murmuring and complaining were fast destroying vital godliness. (Ibid. 4:637)

#138: The dress was cumbersome. No it was not: See #133, #134, #135, and #136.

#139: Ellen White gave no explanation for stopping wearing hers. False. She explained it well:

In preparing my wardrobe, both long and short dresses were made. Of the former, there were one or two for travelling, and to appear in before those who are ignorant of our faith and of dress reform, whose minds are balancing in favor of the truth. We do not wish to bring before such hearers any question that is not vital, to divert their minds from the great and important subject, for Satan takes advantage of everything that can possibly be used to divert and distract minds.

I had explained all this fully. But notwithstanding all this, my sisters were so weak they could not appreciate my motives, and were too glad of a pretext to lay aside the reform dress making my example their excuse. I had felt that, for me, discretion was highly essential while laboring in California, for the salvation of souls. With Paul, I could say I became all things to all if by any means I might save some. I did not do anything secretly. I frankly gave my reasons. But unsanctified hearts which had long galled and chafed under the cross of dress reform, now took occasion to make a bold push and throw off the reform dress. They have taken advantage of my necessity to misinterpret my words, my actions, and motives.

My position upon health and dress reform is unchanged. I have been shown that God gave the dress reform to our sisters as a blessing, but some have turned it into a curse, making the dress question a subject of talk and of thought, while they neglected the internal work, the adorning of their souls by personal piety. Some have thought religion consisted in wearing the reform dress, while their spirits were unsubdued by grace. They were jealous and fault finding, watching and criticizing the dress of others, and in this neglected their own souls and lost their piety.

If the dress reform is thus turned to a curse, God would remove it from us. God bestowed blessings upon ancient Israel and withdrew them again because those blessings were despised and became a cause of murmuring and complaint. (Pamphlet 104 10-12)

Ellen White was very plain. She had explained why she temporarily had stopped wearing the reform dress. But as it is now, so it was then: Many wanted to misconstrue her motives and ignore her explanation.

The Documentation Package makes no attempt to substantiate this charge.

    "Must Be Vegetarian" 
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#140: "Our prophetess Ellen G. White taught that we should be vegetarians, especially in consideration of the soon return of Jesus Christ, because if we were not vegetarian when Jesus came, we would not go to be with Him when he came to gather his people." (Leslie Martin)

Ellen White said non-vegetarians can't go to heaven. She never made an extreme statement like this. Ellen White is quite balanced in her statements on meat eating. In 1905, the September 1st issue of Life and Health and the November 13th issue of Bible Echo carried this statement:

Yet it might not be best to discard flesh food under all circumstances. In certain cases of illness and exhaustion -- as when persons are dying of tuberculosis, or when incurable tumors are wasting the life forces -- it may be thought best to use flesh food in small quantities. But great care should be taken to secure the flesh of healthy animals. The danger of contracting disease by eating flesh is increasing. It is a very serious question whether there is safety in using animal food at all. It would be better to discard it under all circumstances than to use that which is diseased.

If she taught that those who aren't vegetarians when Jesus comes can't go to heaven, why would she say something like this?

The Documentation Package under "Point 70," "substantiates" this charge with two statements. The first is from page 380 of Counsels on Diet and Foods. This in turn is taken from page 119 of Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene:

Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to his original design,--that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat-eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet.

Clearly, she did not say that people who were not vegetarians would not go to heaven. Instead she said that those who were waiting for Christ's return would eventually cease to eat meat.

That this is ultimately true can be seen from the following Scriptures:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 21:4)

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (Is. 11:7)

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Is. 65:25)

Anyone who isn't a vegetarian the day before Christ's return will be a vegetarian the day after. Even the lions will be vegetarians in the new earth.

The second statement in the Documentation Package is originally from page 352 of Testimonies, volume 2:

Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven.

The meaning of this will be apparent shortly.

What both the video and the Documentation Package omit is the original context of the first statement which shows the biblical basis for such a statement:

When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was his purpose to establish them in the land of Canaan a pure, happy, healthy people. Let us look at the means by which he would accomplish this. He subjected them to a course of discipline, which, had it been cheerfully followed, would have resulted in good, both to themselves and to their posterity. He removed flesh-food from them in a great measure. He had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors, just before reaching Sinai, but it was furnished for only one day. God might have provided flesh as easily as manna, but a restriction was placed upon the people for their good. It was his purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many of them had been accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man, -- the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden.

Had they been willing to deny appetite in obedience to his restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown among them. Their descendants would have possessed physical and mental strength. They would have had clear perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgment. But they were unwilling to submit to God's requirements, and they failed to reach the standard he had set for them, and to receive the blessings that might have been theirs. They murmured at God's restrictions, and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt. God let them have flesh, but it proved a curse to them.

Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to his original design,--that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat-eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet.

Several biblical points are brought out here:

  1. The first vegetarian on the planet was Adam (the eating of meat was not permitted until over 1600 years later, after the Flood).
  2. God largely withheld meat from the diet of the Israelites.
  3. They wanted meat anyway, so God gave it to them.
  4. It proved a curse to them.

The biblical incident about God giving the Israelites flesh to eat at their request is found in Numbers 11. The Israelites were complaining about the manna, a food made by the angels (see Ps. 78:25):

Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. (Num. 11:10)

Rather rude, wouldn't you say? So God said:

Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? (18-20)

Some didn't live long enough to eat the flesh for a whole month:

And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. (33)

Now all this happened on their trip from Mt. Sinai to Kadeshbarnea. How far is it between the two?

There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea. (Deut. 1:2)

At Kadesh they sent twelve spies into the land of Canaan. Ten came back and said, We can't conquer the land. Two, Caleb and Joshua, came back and said, God is able to deliver the land into our hand. The people went with the majority report, rebelled once again, and tried to stone Caleb and Joshua:

But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. (Num. 14:10)

As a result, they had to wander around in the wilderness till all that generation was dead.

Psalm 106 gives us the secret to why the Israelites rebelled at Kadesh:

They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

So they rebelled because they had skinny souls. The effects of eating the flesh for a whole month till it came out their nostrils had not yet completely worn off at Kadesh.

Flesh was not the best article of diet for the Israelites. It affected their dispositions to the point that they could not react properly when the trials and tests came their way. Even so, God never told them, "If you don't stop eating flesh, you can't enter Canaan."

Back to waiting for and preparing for the second coming:

Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat-eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet.

Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven.

1 John is clear:

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (3:2, 3)

1 John has a lot to say about overcoming sin. There is a work of preparation to be done, of giving all our sins to Jesus, and relying on Him for the power to overcome temptation.

Since the eating of flesh does affect the disposition, and since the hormones and chemicals in flesh do affect the body's processes in a negative way, it is ideal for those who are seeking to purify themselves of every moral defilement in these last days to consider giving up the eating of flesh. It will only be a few days earlier than when we all will have to anyway.

Regarding hormones, imagine the adrenaline and other chemicals coursing through the veins of the animal that is cramped in a crowded truck on its way to the slaughterhouse. Undoubtedly it knows something is wrong. Though its intelligence is not like ours, the horrors of the slaughterhouse surely cause a physical reaction in it before its death, sending hormones throughout its body.

Animals are frequently killed that have been driven quite a distance for the slaughter. Their blood has become heated. They are full of flesh, and have been deprived of healthy exercise, and when they have to travel far, they become surfeited, and exhausted, and in that condition are killed for market. Their blood is highly inflamed, and those who eat of their meat, eat poison. (Selected Messages 2:418)

And then there are all the chemicals that have been injected into it. And the feeding to it of things that God never planned for it to eat, like the feeding to cows in Great Britain of both dead sheep and dead cows, which brought on the Mad Cow Disease catastrophe. Disease in animals has been increasing.

A very serious objection to the practice of meat eating is found in the fact that disease is becoming more and more widespread among the animal creation. The curse because of sin causes the earth to groan under the inhabitants thereof, and every living thing is subject to disease and death. Cancers, tumors, diseases of the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, all exist among the animals that are used for food. Until late years we have never heard of anything approaching to the variety of diseases now apparent in the animal creation. It is stated that out of a herd of twenty cattle, the inspectors accepted only two; from another herd of one hundred, only twenty-five were accepted as having no apparent disease. The only way to avoid contracting disease from the use of flesh meats is to discard them altogether. Persons will do this much more readily if they have an intelligent knowledge of the dangers that attend the eating of the flesh of dead animals. (Manuscript Releases 7:421)

Of course, the Bible told us this would be the case:

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Rom. 8:19-22)

The earth shall wax old like a garment. (Is. 51:6)

Some animals are sent off to market when it looks like they might die:

I am instructed to say that if meat eating ever were safe, it is not safe now. Diseased animals are taken to the large cities and to the villages, and sold for food. Many of these poor creatures would have died of disease in a very short time if they had not been slaughtered; yet the carcasses of these diseased animals are prepared for the market, and people eat freely of this poisonous food. Such a diet contaminates the blood and stimulates the lower passions. (Medical Ministry 280)

There's a lot of wisdom in what Ellen White actually did say.

    "How To Get on the Road to Salvation" 
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#141: "Ellen G. White stressed the keeping of the letter of the law along with many added rules to put one on the road to salvation." (Mark Martin)

Before we can start on the road or be put on the road to salvation, we must keep the law. If this is true, which it is not, why did Ellen White say this:

Then come, and seek, and find. The reservoir of power is open, is full and free. Come with humble hearts, not thinking that you must do some good work to merit the favor of God, or that you must make yourself better before you can come to Christ. You are powerless to do good, and cannot better your condition. Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfection make it impossible that we should appear before God unless we are clothed in Christ's spotless righteousness. We are to be found in Him not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is in Christ. Then in the name that is above every name, the only name given among men whereby men can be saved, claim the promise of God, saying, "Lord, forgive my sin; I put my hands into Thy hand for help, and I must have it, or perish. I now believe." The Saviour says to the repenting sinner, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6), "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). "I am thy salvation" (Ps. 35:3). (Selected Messages 1:333, 334)

The question will come up, How is it? Is it by conditions that we receive salvation?--Never by conditions that we come to Christ. And if we come to Christ, then what is the condition? The condition is that by living faith we lay hold wholly and entirely upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. When we do that, then we work the works of righteousness. But when God is calling the sinner in our world, and inviting him, there is no condition there; he draws by the invitation of Christ, and it is not, Now you have got to respond in order to come to God. The sinner comes, and as he comes and views Christ elevated upon that cross of Calvary, which God impresses upon his mind, there is a love beyond anything that is imagined that he has taken hold of. And what then? As he beholds that love, why he says that he is a sinner. Well, then, what is sin? Why at once he has to come here to find out. There is no definition given in our world but that transgression is the transgression of the law; and therefore he finds out what sin is. And there is repentance toward God; and what then?--why, faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that can speak pardon to the transgressor. (Sermons and Talks 1:121)

Ellen White knew that the Bible teaches that we cannot truly obey God until we have come to Christ, that we "are powerless to do good." So if we wait until we are keeping the law before we start on the road to salvation, we will never get on the road, for it is totally impossible to obey without Jesus in the heart.

As pointed out under #144, this point made by Mr. Martin is contradicted by the point he makes just two sentences and a quotation later.

    "No Patience with Those Who Say I Am Saved" 
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#142 & #143: "She had no patience with Christians who dared to say 'I am saved.' 'We are never to rest in a satisfied condition... saying "I am saved"... they pervert the truth... They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ and that faith is all sufficient; that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner's credentials... This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that he has saved them... But are they saved... No...' Signs of the Times February 8, 1897." (Ibid.)

#142: No patience with those who say I am saved. The quotation is both out of context and rearranged, as the Documentation Package clearly shows under "Point 71." Two quotations from two different periodicals have been fused into one. The two quotations were written seven years apart. The second one is not from Signs of the Times, an American Journal, but from Bible Echo, an Australian Journal. The portions omitted reveal clearly what Ellen White was trying to say, which I think most evangelicals can agree with:

We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, "I am saved." When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness,--for of himself he cannot save his soul,--he should never dare to say, "I am saved." It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and the victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved. The Lord says, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God's holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping his way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God's moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, "I am saved." No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth. (Advent Review 6/17/90)

But the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of none effect; that by "believing" we are released from the necessity of being doers of the word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which Christ so unsparingly condemned. To the church of Ephesus He says, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember then from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."

Those who are teaching this doctrine to-day have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient; that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner's credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfils the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that he has saved them. "I am saved," they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah?--No; for the garments of Christ's righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception, and Christ becomes to these persons a stumbling-block as he did to the Jews,--to the Jews because they would not receive him as their personal Saviour; to these professed believers in Christ, because they separate Christ and the Law, and regard faith as a substitute for obedience. They separate the Father and the Son, the Saviour of the world. Virtually they teach, both by precept and example, that Christ, by his death, saves men in their transgressions. (Bible Echo 2/25/1897)

#143: No patience with those who say I am saved. As can be seen from the context, Ellen White was not being impatient with Christians who dare to say, "I am saved."

The quote from Advent Review: As pointed out under #66, the word "salvation" or "saved" can have different meanings:

  1. It might refer only to justification, which is conversion, and pardon.
  2. It might refer to both justification and sanctification. Sanctification is the Christian's daily growth in Christ.
  3. It might refer to justification, sanctification, and glorification. Glorification is the "redemption of our body" that takes place at the second coming. Paul spoke of the "redemption of our body" in Romans 8:23.

Most individuals who talk about when they were "saved" are talking about justification and conversion. This must be the definition Mr. Martin is using here.

Actually, I've never met anyone who meant that they were already glorified when they said they were "saved," though I know that there are people out there who believe that way. The problem is that, when they come to die, they receive a rude awakening that they never really were glorified. Once we are glorified, our body will never die. The "redemption of our body" cannot take place before the second coming.

Ellen White was not talking about folks who said they were "saved" in the sense that they were justified and converted. The quotation therefore does not fit the point being made. Rather, she was talking about those who meant they were "saved" in a total sense, and no longer needed to believe or obey, or do as Paul describes in this verse:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Cor. 9:27)

The quote from Bible Echo: Ellen White was not denouncing the biblical doctrines of justification by faith in Christ and righteousness by faith, as the video seems to imply. Rather, she was denouncing the practice of living like the devil while claiming to be saved. Someone who earns his living as a hit man or a dope dealer can't just say, "I am saved," and expect to make it into heaven. He must repent of his sins and let Jesus take them away. He has to quit his job.

In fact, many evangelicals would say that dope dealers and hit men who continue to live like the devil aren't really Christians and were never really saved. Looking at it in this light, it cannot be said that Ellen White had no patience with "Christians" who dare to say, I am saved, since she wasn't talking about "Christians." Evangelicals of this persuasion would agree with Ellen White that "such pervert the truth."

Other evangelicals may want to call practicing dope dealers and hit men "Christians" or "professed Christians," if they profess to be a Christian. These evangelicals will notice that Ellen White was talking about only a certain class of "Christians": those who are not living a Christ-like life and feel that they are released from obeying God's commandments.

The idea that the Christian is released from obeying God's law goes contrary to the following New Testament Scriptures:

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:19)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn. 2:3, 4)

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat. 1:21)

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 Jn. 3:4)

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Rom. 6:1, 2)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Rom. 6:12, 13)

Clearly, the Christian is not released from the necessity of seeking to obey God's commandments. The false teaching that Ellen White is confronting is totally contrary to the New Testament Scriptures just quoted.

    "Jesus Made the Down Payment" 
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#144 & #145: "The Adventist view of salvation is that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation at the cross, but once you've accepted his offer of salvation you've got to keep making up the monthly installments."
(Ibid.)

#144: Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation. Thus, assuming that Adventists do base their beliefs on Ellen White, which they don't, Mr. Martin is contradicting himself. Two sentences and a quotation back, he said:

Ellen G. White stressed the keeping of the letter of the law along with many added rules to put one on the road to salvation.

Which is it? Did Jesus make the down payment? Or must we keep the law in order to put ourselves on the road to salvation? It can't be both ways. Either one or the other (or both) of Mr. Martin's statements is incorrect.

If Jesus paid it all, which He did, then His payment puts us on the road to salvation. Our obedience to the law does not.

#145: Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation, but we must make the monthly installments. Thus it is suggested that Adventists believe we partially earn our salvation. This is false. First of all, and most importantly, such a position contradicts the Scriptures:

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal. 3:3)

Secondly, and less importantly, such a position contradicts Ellen White:

We hear so many things preached in regard to the conversion of the soul that are not the truth. Men are educated to think that if a man repents he shall be pardoned, supposing that repentance is the way, the door, into heaven; that there is a certain assured value in repentance to buy for him forgiveness. Can man repent of himself? No more than he can pardon himself. Tears, sighs, resolutions--all these are but the proper exercise of the faculties God has given to man, and the turning from sin in the amendment of a life which is God's. Where is the merit in the man to earn his salvation, or to place before God something that is valuable and excellent? Can an offering of money, houses, lands, place yourself on the deserving list? Impossible! . . .

When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their only hope, there will not be so much of self and so little of Jesus. Souls and bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest. They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity. (Faith and Works 25, 26)

The proud heart strives to earn salvation; but both our title to heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousness of Christ. The Lord can do nothing toward the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness, and stripped of all self-sufficiency, he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can receive the gift that God is waiting to bestow. (Desire of Ages 300)

The last statement said that we can earn neither our title nor our fitness. What did this mean?

Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. (Advent Review 6/4/1895)

One might compare justification (pardon, conversion, and the beginning of the Christian life) to the "down payment," and sanctification (the daily growth in Christ) to "monthly installments." Thus it is crystal clear that the Adventist position, assuming that Ellen White is here describing the Adventist position (which she is), is that we can earn neither our title nor our fitness, neither our justification nor our sanctification, neither the down payment nor the monthly installments. Thus no part of salvation can be earned. All of it is through faith in the righteousness of Christ.

    "Not on Grace Alone, Striving to Be Obedient, Legalistic" 
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#146, #147, & #148: "So not really relying upon the grace of God alone to save them, Adventists are striving to be rigidly obedient and this makes for an inflexible, guilt-ridden, legalistic lifestyle." (Ibid.)

#146: Adventists do not rely upon the grace of God alone. This is not what Adventists believe, nor what Ellen White taught:

Only through the blood of the Crucified One is there cleansing from sin. His grace alone can enable us to resist and subdue the tendencies of our fallen nature. (God's Amazing Grace 104)

Like a roaring lion, Satan is seeking for his prey. He tries his wiles upon every unsuspecting youth; there is safety only in Christ. It is through His grace alone that Satan can be successfully repulsed. (God's Amazing Grace 108)

Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness. (God's Amazing Grace 120)

Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (God's Amazing Grace 220)

It was by self-surrender and confiding faith that Jacob gained what he had failed to gain by conflict in his own strength. God thus taught His servant that divine power and grace alone could give him the blessing he craved. (God's Amazing Grace 279)

And the list could go on.

#147: Adventists are striving to be rigidly obedient. Actually, there isn't as much striving to be obedient to God as there ought to be. Over a period of ten years, I pastored ten churches in three states, as well as visited other states and countries, and I think I ought to know. The members I had in my churches would tell you that there is a bit of laxity in the Adventist Church.

#148: Adventists are inflexible, guilt-ridden legalists. Probably every denomination has its legalists. I had one coming to my church once, back in the '80's. She didn't seem guilt-ridden at all, on the outside. I wish she had felt guilty for all the trouble she was causing. Every time I talked to her about it, she would talk about all the good things she had done, as if that could buy her pardon.

Personally, I'm not sure that many legalists feel guilty. Legalism is a way to get rid of guilt, not cause it. As Paul said,

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (Rom. 7:6-13)

The law tells us what God requires. When we realize that we fall short, we feel guilty.

Legalism leads one to think that by obeying the law, he can earn salvation. He thinks that his partial, imperfect, self-centered "obedience" is really obedience, which it isn't. As the individual deceives himself into thinking that he really is obeying, guilt to a large degree goes away.

On the other hand, when an individual realizes what God requires, and seeks to obey, he soon finds out that he has a problem:

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Rom. 7:14-23)

This is a necessary experience to go through for the one who is seeking Christ. Such an experience reveals to us our great weakness apart from Christ. Then we know Whom we must rely upon for strength and power to live the Christian life:

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 7:24, 25; 8:1, 2 )

The gospel is beautiful, isn't it?

    "Transgressors Can't Be Saved" 
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#149: "Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, Ellen White's teachings are unmistakable. 'No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God..." Advent Review and Sabbath Herald June 17, 1890.' (Ibid.)

Ellen White: Transgressors can't be saved. What she meant was that unrepentant transgressors can't be saved (see #142 for the context of this statement). It is the clear teaching of the New Testament that we must repent if we want to be saved.

Mr. Martin could have just as well said:

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, the apostle Paul's teachings are unmistakable. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, the apostle John's teachings are unmistakable. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 Jn. 2:3, 4)

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, the apostle Peter's teachings are unmistakable. "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:32)

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, the apostle Jude's teachings are unmistakable. "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 14, 15)

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, the apostle James's teachings are unmistakable. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:10-12)

Despite modern Adventist attempts to soften law-keeping, Jesus's teachings are unmistakable. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Mat. 5:17-20)

God forbid that any believer or preacher would say such things! Jesus came to save us "from our sins," and we must allow Him to do this grand and glorious work in us.

    "We're Under the New Covenant" 
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#150 & #151: "Yet the Bible teaches that we are under a New Covenant and the Old Covenant is obsolete. Christ is the end of the law."
(Ibid.)

#150: We're under the New Covenant. This is a popular antinomian argument. Yet it doesn't really make sense in the light of the only New Testament passage which describes the New Covenant:

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Heb. 8:7-10)

First of all, the passage clearly says that the problem with the first covenant was the people, not the law. This agrees with Romans 7:12's statement that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."

Secondly, the passage clearly says that the New Covenant is God's writing His laws in our hearts and minds. This totally disproves the assertion that we do not have to obey the law under the New Covenant.

One way to look at it is that the people attempted an impossibility under the Old Covenant. They themselves attempted to write God's laws in their hearts and minds, instead of letting God do it:

And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. (Ex. 19:8)

And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. (Ex. 24:3)

And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (Ex. 24:7)

In contrast, under the New Covenant, we allow God to write His laws in our hearts and minds through the blood of Jesus.

To say that we do not have to keep the law under the New Covenant is to destroy one of the most basic facets of the New Covenant.

#151: Christ is the end of the law. This too is a popular antinomian argument. Yet it contradicts what Christ said:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:17-20)

It would also make Paul contradict himself:

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Rom. 3:31)

So what does "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Rom. 10:4) mean?

Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:11)

Apparently, "end" has more than one meaning, unless we want to say that the "Lord" has ended.

It would make sense to have "end" in Romans 10:4 mean "that which the law leads to." This would make the text parallel the thought of Galatians 3:24, 25, which says,

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

The law tells us what God requires and what sin is. When we realize our helplessness to atone for the past and to live in the present, we are drawn to Christ as our only hope. Through this means, the law leads us to Christ. In this way, Christ is the "end" of the law, but to say that the law has ended is to make the Bible contradict itself.

       "The Law Is Our Tutor"   
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This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#152: "The New Testament teaches that the law was given by God to be our tutor or teacher leading us to Christ. Listen to what Galatians 3:25 says. It says, 'We are no longer under a tutor.'"
(Ibid.)

No longer under a schoolmaster. It seems to be implied here that no longer being under the tutorship of the law means that we don't have to worry about keeping the law, and that trying to obey the law means that we are still under the law. However, interpreting Paul's usage of the phrase "under the law" or "under a tutor" in this way is highly inaccurate.

Certainly, Paul did not mean that we can continue to kill and hate and fornicate and lust and steal and covet and lie and still go to heaven. The same book of Galatians says:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (5:19-21)

We must ask ourselves why people who do such things can't enter heaven. The next verses answer this question:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (5:22, 23)

Clearly, what excludes the unrepentant murderer, fornicator, and thief from heaven in New Testament times is the law of God. Yet the believer is not under the law:

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (5:18)

Why is it that those who are led of the Spirit are not under the law?

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (5:16, 17)

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (5:24, 25)

Let's summarize what these verses in Galatians are saying:

  1. Unrepentant murderers can't go to heaven, because there is a law against that.
  2. There is a war between the flesh and the Spirit, so that we ourselves are powerless to do what is right.
  3. If believers walk in the Spirit, they will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
  4. Such believers who are not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh are not under the law.

Clearly, the believer who is not under the law will also be keeping the law. He is no longer fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and doing the works of the flesh which the law says will cause him to be excluded from heaven.

The next sequence of verses will lead us to the same conclusion through a different line of reasoning:

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (Gal. 3:23)

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23)

Since faith had not yet come for those who were kept under the law, we could accurately say that those who were under the law were not yet under faith. Since whatsoever is not of faith is sin, those who are not under faith must still be under sin. Therefore, those who are under the law are also under sin.

But what does it mean to be under sin? What is sin?

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 Jn. 3:4)

So those who are under sin are actually those who are breaking the law. Therefore, those who are under the law must be those who are breaking the law. It then follows that to be under the law must mean to be condemned by the law.

Consequently, it makes no sense to talk about a transgressor who is not under the law, or a law-keeper who is still under the law. Someone who is truly keeping the law cannot be under the law, and someone who is breaking the law is automatically under the law. This agrees with what Paul wrote:

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Rom. 6:14, 15)

The law's purpose is to shut the mouth of both Jew and Gentile, and to make both Jew and Gentile guilty before God:

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Rom. 3:19)

Is it only Jews who are under the law, or are Gentiles under the law as well, though they do not realize it?

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. (1 Cor. 9:20, 21)

So every transgressor, whether Jew or Gentile, is under the law.

Now for our conclusion:

Some time ago, when we were passing through Oswego, N. Y., we saw two stern officers, and with them two men were coupled, carrying in their hands large leaden balls. We did not come to the conclusion that they had been keeping the law of the State of New York, but that they had been breaking it, and that they could not walk at liberty because they were transgressors of the law. We were trying to live in harmony with all the laws of the State of New York, and with the law of God; and we were walking at liberty,--we were not under the bondage of the law. If we live in harmony with the life of Christ, with the law of God, that law does not condemn us--we are not under the bondage of the law. (Advent Review 1/4/1887)

There is full assurance of hope in believing every word of Christ, believing in Him, being united to Him by living faith. When this is his experience, the human being is no longer under the law, for the law no longer condemns his course of action. (In Heavenly Places 144)

The phrase "under the law," in the epistles of Paul, means to be under the condemnation of the law because of our sins. It does not mean to be obedient to the law.

    "Christians Obey Out of Love" 
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#153: "Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him, not under compulsion." (Ibid.)

Christians will keep God's commandments out of love. This statement is one of the more prominent contradictory statements in the video. It destroys the force of other arguments the video makes.

The logic is indeed self-destructive: We do not need to bother with keeping the law. Christians will keep the law because they love God.

It can't be both ways. It has to be one way or the other. Either Christians should keep the law of God and refrain from murder, adultery, theft, and lies, or they do not need to worry about that at all and can continue all the old perversions they used to do before they came to Christ.

If Mr. Martin's statement that Christians will keep the law because they love God is true, which it is, then whether they are indeed keeping the law or not is an indicator of how much they love God. So refusing to keep a commandment of God in the Bible is evidence that we do not really love God.

Why would Mr. Martin or anyone else contradict himself in this way? Actually, this kind of thing happens pretty often, for a specific reason. It typically is done by someone trying to avoid one of the Ten Commandments. Which one do you think Mr. Martin might be trying to avoid? Is he trying to convince us that it is all right for Christians to dishonor their parents, kill, fornicate, steal, lie, covet, have other gods in place of God, bow down to images, or take God's name in vain? Where is he going with all this strange reasoning?

Mr. Martin's statement that Christians are to keep God's commandments out of love is biblically sound. Here are thirteen verses from the New Testament which support the idea, some stronger than others:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Jn. 14:15)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (Jn. 14:21)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (Jn. 15:10)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat. 22:37-40)

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Rom. 13:8)

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom. 13:10)

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal. 5:14)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 Jn. 5:2, 3)

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (2 Jn. 1:6)

This connection between love to God and commandment keeping is also found in the Old Testament in eleven verses:

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Ex. 20:6; Deut. 5:10)

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. (Deut. 7:9)

Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway. (Deut. 11:1)

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. . . . (Deut. 11:13)

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him. . . . (Deut. 11:22)

If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three. (Deut. 19:9)

In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (Deut. 30:16)

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Josh. 22:5)

And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments. (Neh. 1:5)

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments. (Dan. 9:4)

Mr. Martin is definitely correct when he says that Christians will keep God's commandments out of love.

    "Being Under the Law Leads to Sin" 
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#154: "In fact being under the law leads to sin. 1 Corinthians 15:56 says, 'The strength of sin is the law.'" (Ibid.)

Being under the law leads to sin. The thought apparently being brought is this: Obeying the law leads to sin. However, this thought contradicts Paul:

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Rom. 7:7)

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (Rom. 7:12, 13)

According to the New Testament, the law merely tells us what sin is. It cannot save us:

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom. 3:20)

As we saw under #152, "under the law" means "under the condemnation of the law." Therefore it is more natural to say that sinning leads to being under the law, not being under the law leads to sinning.

Since "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 Jn. 3:4), obeying the law certainly does not lead to sin, for obeying the law does not lead to breaking the law!

The text cited, 1 Cor. 15:56, is an interesting one. What does it mean? Consider the thoughts on this very verse found in these well-known commentaries not written by Seventh-day Adventists:

[N]ot that the law of God is sinful, or encourages sin: it forbids it under the severest penalty; but was there no law there would be no sin, nor imputation of it; sin is a transgression of the law: moreover, the strength of sin, its evil nature, and all the dreadful aggravations of it, and sad consequences upon it, are discovered and made known by the law; and also the strength of it is drawn out by it, through the corruption of human nature; which is irritated and provoked the more to sin, through the law's prohibition of it; and this is not the fault of the law, but is owing to the vitiosity of nature; which the more it is forbidden anything, the more desirous it is of it; to which may be added, that sin is the more exceeding sinful, being committed against a known law, and that of the great lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; whose legislative power and authority are slighted and trampled upon by it, which makes the transgression the more heinous; it is the law which binds sin upon a man's conscience, accuses him of it, pronounces him guilty, curses, condemns, and adjudges him to death for it. (John Gill's An Exposition of the Old and New Testament)

The strength of sin. Its power over the mind; its terrific and dreadful energy; and especially its power to produce alarm in the hour of death.
Is the law.
The pure and holy law of God. This idea Paul has illustrated at length in Rom. 7:9-13, and he probably made the statement here in order to meet the Jews, and to show that the law of God had no power to take away the fear of death; and that, therefore, there was need of the gospel, and that this alone could do it. The Jews maintained that a man might be justified and saved by obedience to the law. Paul here shows that it is the law which gives its chief rigour to sin, and that it does not tend to subdue or destroy it; and that power is seen most strikingly in the pangs and horrors of a guilty conscience on the bed of death. There was need, therefore, of the gospel, which alone could remove the cause of these horrors, by taking away sin, and thus leaving the pardoned man to die in peace. (Barnes' New Testament Notes)

Without the law sin is not perceived or imputed (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; 5:13). The law makes sin the more grievous by making God's will the clearer. (Rom. 7:8-10) (Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown)

The law, broken, is sin, and when this law is consciously broken the conscience is wounded. When a moral law is broken, moral death follows. If there was no law of any kind, there would be no sin, no wounded consciences, no moral death. See Rom. 7:7. (Peoples New Testament Notes)

    "It Leads to Holiness" 
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#155: "In contrast, being under grace leads to holiness. I love what Titus 2 verses 11 and 12 says. 'For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.'" (Ibid.)

Grace leads to holiness and righteousness. This too, similar to #153, is contradictory and self-destructive to Mr. Martin's principal argument. If we do not have to worry about keeping the law under the gospel of grace, why would that grace lead to holiness? It just doesn't make sense.

The Old Testament connects holiness with commandment keeping:

That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Num. 15:40)

The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (Deut. 28:9)

The New Testament connects righteousness with commandment keeping:

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (Lk. 1:6)

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:4)

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Pet. 2:21)

The Old Testament connects righteousness with commandment keeping as well:

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us. (Deut. 6:25)

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. (Is. 48:18, 19)

Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. (Is. 51:7)

The last two texts clearly connect commandment keeping with the fulfillment of both God's covenant with Abraham and the New Covenant. Isaiah 48 refers to God's promise to Abraham that his seed would be as numerous as the sand of the sea. Isaiah 51 refers to the New Covenant promise that God's law will be written in our hearts (cf. Gen. 22:17; Heb. 10:16; Jer. 31:33). Thus, once again, we see that the righteousness of Christ offered through the New Covenant of grace is vitally connected to the commandments of God.

According to Paul, God accounts a Gentile who is not a Jew to be a Jew if he keeps the righteousness of the law:

Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? (Rom. 2:26)

This is not to say that righteousness comes by the law, for this idea the New Testament emphatically denies. Rather, the gospel of grace leads one to keep the law. To quote Ellen White,

[John Wesley] continued his strict and self-denying life, not now as the ground, but the result of faith; not the root, but the fruit of holiness. The grace of God in Christ is the foundation of the Christian's hope, and that grace will be manifested in obedience. Wesley's life was devoted to the preaching of the great truths which he had received--justification through faith in the atoning blood of Christ, and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, bringing forth fruit in a life conformed to the example of Christ. (Great Controversy 256)

The one commandment that so many would like to avoid, and to avoid which many are willing to adopt such illogical reasoning as is found in this video, is the fourth commandment. This is the commandment that tells us to keep the Sabbath holy.

To say that the grace of God leads to holiness while seeking to avoid obedience to the fourth commandment is itself contradictory, for the Sabbath is connected to holiness and is a sign of sanctification:

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (Ex. 31:13)

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. (Ezek. 20:12)

Since "sanctification" and "holiness" are from the same root words in both Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek, the Sabbath can properly be said to be a sign of holiness as well as a sign of sanctification. So if the grace of God does in fact lead to holiness, which it does, surely it will lead to obedience to the fourth commandment as well as to obedience to the other nine!

    "Pre-Advent Judgment, Soul Sleep" 
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#156, #157, & #158: "Salvation by grace through faith alone is the heart of the gospel. But the Adventist doctrine of the 1844 investigative judgment colors all their major doctrines. It was because of this false teaching also known as the pre-advent judgment, which amounts to nothing more than a judgment of works which determines salvation, that the unbiblical doctrine of soul sleep was introduced. Obviously, you couldn't have believers going to heaven when they died before their lives were supposedly judged. What if they hadn't been good enough? They'd have to leave heaven, right?" (Ibid.)

#156: Pre-advent judgment of works is incompatible with gospel of grace. It would appear that this statement makes the Bible contradict itself:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Rev. 14:6, 7)

The Greek is even more emphatic. "Is come" is in the perfect tense, and should properly be translated "has come." Thus the angel is declaring, "The hour of His judgment has already begun."

The next event portrayed is the second coming:

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Rev. 14:14-16)

Thus before the second coming we have the gospel being preached in all the world, and that gospel includes the message that the judgment has already commenced. If the gospel of grace cannot include a judgment which commences before Christ returns, then the gospel of grace that Paul taught is a different gospel than the one brought to view in Revelation 14:6, 7. Yet Paul himself taught that there is no other true gospel:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8, 9)

It therefore follows that the true gospel of grace must be compatible with the biblical teaching that the judgment commences before Christ returns.

But what about our works being judged? Even though #62 already quoted these verses, we will quote them again here to show that the Bible teaches that our works will be judged in the judgment:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Eccl. 12:13, 14)

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Mat. 12:36, 37)

So according to Jesus Himself in the last verse, even our words will be considered in the judgment.

But does this "judgment of works" "determine salvation"?

The word "salvation" means different things to different people. Some equate it with conversion, forgiveness, or justification, while others equate it with arriving in heaven, as already mentioned under #66 and #143.

Adventists have taught for over a century that conversion and justification must take place before an individual is judged in the judgment announced in Revelation 14:

In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. "Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel?" 1 Peter 4:17. (Great Controversy 480)

Therefore Adventists do not believe that the judgment determines conversion or justification. However, we do believe that the judgment determines who will arrive in heaven. This idea Jesus clearly taught in Matthew 12:36, 37.

Why does Jesus say that our words will "determine our salvation"? Mr. Martin's own statements under #153 and #155 reveal the answer: Our words and our actions show whether or not we love Jesus, and whether or not we have allowed the gospel of grace to take root in our lives. If the gospel has not taken root, there will be no fruit.

Our words and actions also show whether or not we have accepted the terms of the New Covenant, whether we have allowed Jesus to write His law in our hearts and minds or not, as promised in Hebrews 8:10. Simply put, if we refuse to allow Jesus to write His laws in our hearts and minds, we are not New Covenant, New Testament Christians, regardless of what we call ourselves. (The Greek word for "covenant" is the same as the Greek word for "testament.")

The Documentation Package lists in its index as "Point 72" the charge that Adventists believe that "Believers must keep the Law to be saved, and will be judged by their works." It seems to be a bit bizarre that when one turns to "Point 72," one finds only paragraph 9 from an article in the August 28, 1894, issue of the Advent Review. What makes it seem bizarre is that this long paragraph consists of 39 lines. Of those 39 lines, 30 lines are direct quotes of Bible verses in quotation marks. That leaves only 9 lines actually written by Ellen White. The 9 lines by Ellen White are to some degree allusions to and paraphrases of both the Scriptures quoted and other Scriptures not quoted. Every Scripture quoted or alluded to is found in the New Testament; none are found in the Old Testament.

Actually, the charge against Adventists found under "Point 72" must be really a charge against the teachings of the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures. The evidence is in the Documentation Package for all to see.

#157: Soul sleep introduced because of investigative judgment. This is simply untrue, as brought out under #59. The teaching that only God is immortal (1 Tim. 6:15, 16), and that the dead will be resurrected to receive their reward at the second coming of Jesus, not before, was introduced among the Millerites before 1844. Ellen White's family accepted it then, as the context for the statement under "Point 33" in the Documentation Package clearly shows.

The doctrine of the investigative judgment was not crystallized until 1857, though aspects of it had surfaced previously. The video makes a big point of the investigative judgment doctrine being developed after 1844, thus making it come after soul sleep was introduced, not before.

#158: The doctrine of soul sleep is unbiblical. During the Reformation, many individuals went back to the Scriptures as the only authority for faith and practice. Men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and a host of others, including many Anglicans and Anabaptists, while studying the Bible, became convicted that the dead are asleep. If the doctrine of soul sleep, also known as "conditional immortality, is so unbiblical, pray tell where did all these men of God come up with the idea from?

Actually, Mr. Martin is inadvertently making a powerful argument, drawn from the Holy Scriptures, for the doctrine of soul sleep. The Bible says:

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Rev. 22:12)

The judgment must take place before the rewards are given out in order to determine what those rewards should be. Additionally, this verse tells us that "every man" receives his reward at the second coming, not at death.

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Rev. 11:18)

This verse plainly lists the judgment first, and then the rewards. Since the rewards are not given out until the second coming, which must be after the judgment, what are the dead doing until then?

If it is true that we cannot die and are already immortal, then we need not believe on Jesus in order to have eternal life:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Jn. 3:16)

According to the Bible, we must accept Jesus as our Savior in order to have eternal life. We therefore are not naturally, innately immortal.

Which is it? Must we accept Christ in order to have eternal life, or are our souls already immortal?

The New Testament points the bereaved to the hope of the resurrection. We will see our loved ones again who have died in Christ. But if our loved ones are already in heaven, why would we need a resurrection?

Under "Point 78" in the Documentation Package is a tract from MacGregor Ministries dealing with hell. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16:19-31) is cited, which is a common enough reference for those to make who believe that our souls are innately immortal.

Yet this parable, if it really does bolster the idea that our souls are immortal, would also teach us that our souls have eyes, tongues, chests, and fingers. Again, if our soul is immortal, and if our soul has all the parts that our body does, why would we need a resurrection?

Jesus said:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (Jn. 14:1-3)

If our souls are already immortal, and if the dead are already with Jesus, why would Jesus need to return to get us?

In actuality, the doctrine of innate immortality undermines the biblical doctrines of the gospel, the resurrection, and the second coming.

    "Flies in the Face of Two Scriptures" 
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#159: "So the Adventists teach that when a person dies, he or she goes into the grave, into non-existence. But this teaching flies in the face of the Scriptures which clearly state that 'to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord.' 2 Corinthians 5:8. And when a believer dies he departs and is with Christ. Philippians 1:23." (Ibid.)

Conditional immortality flies in the face of two Scriptures. Actually, it doesn't, unless we want to say that the Bible contradicts itself.

While conditional immortality seems to fly in the face of two Scriptures, innate immortality (the idea that something in us will not and cannot die, and is something that not even God has the power to kill) flies in the face of 265 verses found in 158 chapters taken from 35 books of the Bible. A paper containing all 265 verses is available for you to read by clicking here.

To illustrate the problem we are faced with, let us look at one concept that Mr. Martin is trying to drive home: that we are saved by faith and not by works. Yet this, it would seem, flies in the face of a passage from James:

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (2:17-26)

Yet Paul clearly says in Galatians 2:16 that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law.

Does the Bible contradict itself, or is there a way to harmonize the two thoughts? I would expect every Bible-believing Christian to agree with me that there must be a way to harmonize James with Paul, and of course there is.

Mr. Martin has referred to two texts: 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Philippians 1:23. These must be harmonized with the 265 verses that seem to say something different. Since it is easier to harmonize two verses with 265 rather than 265 with two, let us look at the two first.

The context of 2 Corinthians 5:8 gives us an idea of what Paul is talking about:

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (vss. 1-4)

Paul in these verses is wishing for the day when he will receive a glorified body. I have never heard a Christian put this event at any other place than the future resurrection.

Clearly, Paul does not want to be a disembodied spirit. He says he does not want to be "naked." Rather, he wants to be clothed upon with his new body.

Now for the next verses in 2 Corinthians 5:

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. (vss. 5-9)

When the time comes when we will both be absent from this body and receive our new body, we will literally be present with the Lord. There is nothing necessarily incompatible here with the idea that the dead await the resurrection in their graves.

Let us look now at the context of Philippians 1:23.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (vss. 21-24)

Unlike the previous passage, this one seems to put the believer with Christ at death. But two points should be noted about both of these passages: 1) Neither passage says that those who have died are not really dead. 2) Neither passage says that the dead are conscious. Thus neither passage really contradicts the following crystal clear verses:

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. (Ps. 115:17)

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (Ps. 146:3, 4)

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10)

These verses say that the dead do not praise God, cannot think, and do not know anything. The fact is that neither 2 Corinthians 5:8 nor Philippians 1:23 contradicts these simple, plain, Bible facts.

Another basic problem with innate immortality is the way the Bible uses the Greek and Hebrew words for "soul" and "spirit." To read a paper outlining 157 verses which use these Hebrew and Greek words in ways that are incompatible with the doctrine of innate immortality, click here.

The Documentation Package under "Point 77" merely gives photocopies of the two verses Mr. Martin cited. It makes no attempt at all to explain the 265 Bible verses that indicate that man does not have innate immortality.

       "They Don't Teach the Biblical Doctrine of Hell"   
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This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#160: "Another thing that people might not be aware of is that Seventh-day Adventists do not teach the biblical doctrine of hell." (Ibid.)

Adventists do not teach the biblical doctrine of hell. Actually, we do teach the biblical doctrine of hell, and always have.

Adventists, unlike Jehovah’s Witnesses, do believe that the Bible should be taken literally when it says that hell will have fire. For instance Adventists believe what Mal. 4:1, 3 says:

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. . . . And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Thus Adventists really do believe that the fire of hell will burn up the wicked as the Bible says. We also believe what Ps. 37:9-11, 20 says:

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. . . . But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

We also believe what John 3:16 says:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Thus we believe that only believers in Christ will have eternal life. All those who refuse to believe in Christ will perish in hell's fire.

Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezek. 28:18)

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. (Heb. 2:14)

The context of the first verse shows that it is talking about Satan. Adventists do indeed believe these simple Bible verses. We believe that one thing Jesus accomplished by dying on the cross was the gaining of the right to destroy Satan in the lake of fire.

When it's all over:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 20:4)

If the wicked did have eternal life in hell fire, though they never accepted Christ, and if they were never burned up, though the Bible says they will be, then Revelation 20:4 is a lie. Sorrow, crying, and pain would continue forever instead of being never more like this verse plainly states.

Of the 265 verses in the paper dealing with conditional mortality referred to under #159, 148 verses from 88 chapters from 27 biblical books deal with this very question. If you would like to read the paper in its entirety, click here.

This allegation is dealt with under "Point 78" and "Point 78a" in the Documentation Package. A tract by MacGregor Ministries is reproduced which indicates in its first paragraphs that Adventists do not think hell is hot. This of course is not true. Adventists believe that hell will be so hot, it will burn up the entire earth, just like the Bible says:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Pet. 3:10)

The tract does not deal with the 148 verses of Scripture that support the idea that "the wages of sin is death." It does however make this statement:

When we really believe the word of God as it is written, and don't try to "figuratize" or "spiritualize" it away as the cults do. . . .

The inadvertent clear implication of these words is that Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult. Adventists do not spiritualize the Word of God away when it says that Satan and the wicked will be "consumed," "destroyed," :"turned into ashes," "perish," and "never be any more." It would almost appear that MacGregor Ministries is calling itself a cult since it does not take the Bible literally when it uses such language.

The basic point is that we do believe in hell, and always have, and we believe it is hot, very hot.

This subject raises an interesting point.

Three times in Rev. 21 and 22, the Lord says who will be inside the city, and who will be outside the city when the fire falls:

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev. 21:7, 8)

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. . . . And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Rev. 21:24, 27)

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev. 22:14, 15)

Each of the three passages mentions sins that will exclude people from heaven. The only sin mentioned in all three passages is not sabbath breaking. It isn't even murder or stealing or adultery. It's lying. Lying is the only sin mentioned in all three lists.

Thus it appears that the contributors to this video may be on dangerous ground. The video contains many errors and inaccuracies. Apparently, in order to make the Adventist Church out to be a cult, facts are repeatedly misconstrued.

To play it safe, since lying can exclude people from the blessings of eternal life, the best course would be for the contributors to the video to repent, confess, and seek to make things right as far as possible. The Lord is merciful, and He will pardon, for Jesus died and shed His blood that every sin repented of might be forgiven.

    "A Mark of True Loyalty"  
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#161: "One of the primary distinctives of Seventh-day Adventism is the keeping of the Saturday Sabbath. To keep the seventh day is seen as a mark of true loyalty to God." (Ibid.)

Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God. The narrator goes so far as to call the Adventist view on this subject "severe" under #179. Is it really severe?

Adventists do believe that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God. But to declare such a belief severe cannot be correct, according to Mr. Martin's own testimony. In fact, according to him, to declare such a belief severe is to essentially deny the gospel.

How so? Mr. Martin inadvertently admitted that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God when he said under #153 that:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

Also under #155 he said:

In contrast, being under grace leads to holiness.

As pointed out under #155, the Bible connects holiness with both commandment keeping and the Sabbath.

By Mr. Martin's own reasoning, if a Christian absolutely refuses to keep one of God's commandments, a commandment which he knows about, he doesn't really love God, and is therefore not being loyal to God. Also, he is rejecting the holiness that is the result of being under grace.

The fourth commandment of the Ten Commandments is different from the other nine, except perhaps for the second, in one very important particular:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. (Rom. 2:14, 15)

Whether it is obeyed or not, every Christian and non-Christian has a conscience that tells him what is right and what is wrong. Jews and Gentiles, Christians and heathen, all have a sense that murder, theft, and adultery is wrong. The awareness that such things are wrong seems built into man's very nature.

In theology, such awareness is called "natural law." This isn't Adventist theology. The average Adventist will think you are talking about health principles by the term "natural law," not moral principles built into the conscience.

Commandments that are not built into the conscience, commandments that you have to be told, are called "positive law." This is why the Sabbath commandment is called by the Catholic church a "most positive command." While an awareness of the need for periodic rest is built into us, an awareness of which day to rest upon is not. Thus it is something we have to be told, not something we naturally know.

The second commandment is also considered to be positive law. There is nothing built into man's being saying that we can't make an image of God and bow down to it.

The Catholic Church's official position is that they have no authority to change natural law, but that they do have authority to change positive law. Thus they teach that we may bow down to images and may keep the first day of the week instead of the seventh. Yet these teachings are directly contrary to the Ten Commandments as found in Scripture.

The point of this discussion is this: It may be a test of loyalty to God not to murder someone, but that is something we already know in ourselves that we must not do. Sabbath keeping, in comparison, is a bigger test, for it is not something we know about in and of ourselves. We have to be told. The one who chooses to obey the fourth commandment does so not because he naturally knows it is right, but because he believes what the Bible says.

The subject of the Sabbath is a strange one. You can talk about the other nine commandments, and people will not argue with you. They will heartily agree, and rant and rave about the decay of morals in today's society. But once you mention the fourth commandment, they will start talking about how the law was nailed to the cross, how we are now under grace, and how we must not be legalists.

A bit inconsistent, isn't it?

    "Ellen White's Convenient Sabbath Vision"  
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#162 & #163: "The idea of the seventh-day Sabbath was not original to Ellen White though. It was in fact initiated by a Seventh Day Baptist contact and Joseph Bates who subsequently talked James and Ellen White into the idea in 1846. Ellen obliged by conveniently having a vision and this introduced the teaching to her followers. 'I saw that the Holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers.' Early Writings p. 85." (Ibid.)

#162: Ellen White obliged by conveniently having a vision. The viewer is left with the impression that somehow Ellen White pretended to have a vision. However, as indicated under #44 and #112, Ellen White's visions had a definitely supernatural element. They could not be faked.

To put it simply, there was no way that Ellen White could just decide that she was not going to breathe for an extended period (see #44 and #112).

#163: Ellen White's vision introduced the Sabbath to her followers. Which followers did her vision introduce the Sabbath to? The vision being referred to here did not occur until April 3, 1847 (Life Sketches 100, 101). The Sabbath was already well introduced before this vision.

When did Ellen White begin to keep the Sabbath?

In the autumn of 1846 we began to observe the Bible Sabbath, and to teach and defend it. (Testimonies for the Church 1:75)

Perhaps six months before her vision of April 1847, she and her husband began to keep the Sabbath. At that time there were about fifty Sabbath-keeping Adventists in New England and New York:

When we received the light upon the fourth commandment, there were about twenty-five Adventists in Maine who observed the Sabbath; but these were so diverse in sentiment upon other points of doctrine, and so scattered in location, that their influence was very small. There was about the same number, in similar condition, in other parts of New England. (Testimonies to the Church 1:77)

Among this fifty or so were Frederick Wheeler's congregation in Washington, New Hampshire. The Seventh Day Baptist contact referred to was Rachel Oakes, who shared the Sabbath truth with Methodist minister Frederick Wheeler, who then began to keep the Sabbath with some of his congregation in the spring of 1844.

Wheeler apparently introduced the subject to T. M. Preble, who wrote an essay dated February 13, 1845. This essay introduced the subject among Millerites in general, and convinced Joseph Bates. Bates then wrote a tract in August 1846 which, after careful Bible study, convinced James and Ellen White.

Probably in the fall of 1846, Joseph Bates visited a conference in Port Gibson, New York, where Hiram Edson was. Bates' reading of his tract on the Sabbath convinced Edson of the truth of the Sabbath.

Mr. Martin indicates that after Ellen White's vision of April 3, 1847, the Sabbath was significantly more accepted among the Millerites who "followed" Ellen White than it was before her vision. Yet this does not seem to be the case. The fact is that after Ellen White accepted the Sabbath, she was more rejected by the Millerites than before:

We remember when the Adventists keeping the Sabbath could be readily counted, and epistles were addressed to all in a day. We acted a part in the first conference that was ever held among Seventh-day Adventists, which was convened in Connecticut [April 20, 1847]. . . .

The light upon the fourth commandment, which was new and unpopular and generally rejected by our Adventist brethren and sisters, we had accepted. If we had trials and difficulties before this, in accepting the message that the Lord would soon come the second time to our world with power and great glory, we found that accepting new and advanced truth brought us into positions of still greater difficulty. It brought down upon us not only the opposition of the Christian world who refused to believe in the Lord's soon coming, but opposition unexpectedly came upon us from those with whom we had been united in the faith and glorious hope of the second advent of our Saviour. In the place of closely investigating the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans to see if these things were so, there were those with whom we had taken sweet counsel together who denounced the third angel's message as heresy. (Manuscript Releases 4:402)

So the vision of April 3, 1847, did not introduce the subject of the Sabbath to her "followers."

The Documentation Package does not substantiate these points. A portion of Ellen White's vision is reproduced under "Point 81," but no attempt is made to show that this vision introduced the Sabbath to her "followers."

"Point 80" and "Point 80a," according to the index, are supposed to substantiate that "Joseph Bates" and a "7th day Baptist" contact "originated" "the Saturday Sabbath teaching" "in 1846." However, "Seventh Day Baptist," "Rachel Oakes," and "1846" are found nowhere in the selections under "Point 80" and "Point 80a." As already noted, Rachel Oakes introduced the Sabbath to Frederick Wheeler in 1844, not 1846.

    "Bible Says from Sunset to Sunset"  
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#164: "In the early years when the Sabbath observance was kept, it always began at 6pm Fridays. It was before sunset in the summer and after sunset in the winter. This went on for over nine years. Since the Bible says that the Sabbath was to be kept from sunset to sunset, a division arose. The matter was studied and presented to the Adventist conference in 1855. Finally they voted to keep the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday." (Ibid.)

Bible says Sabbath to be kept from sunset to sunset. It seems that it is being suggested that the early Seventh-day Adventists were not following what is plainly stated in the Bible. However, the reason why the believers kept the Sabbath from six to six instead of from sunset to sunset is partly because the Bible doesn't say to keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset. It isn't as simple as it is being made to sound.

The Bible does say to keep the Sabbath from evening to evening:

From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Lev. 23:32)

The question was, When is evening?

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? (Jn. 11:9)

Based on this text, and his experience in astronomy and as a sea captain, Joseph Bates was certain that evening began at 6pm. It was only after careful Bible study, initially done by John N. Andrews at the request of James White, that it was seen that evening really begins at sunset. One verse supporting this idea is:

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. (Mk. 1:32)

On this occasion it had been a Sabbath. The people, because of the mistaken views on Sabbath keeping of the Jewish leaders of that time, felt that it was wrong to be healed on the Sabbath. Either that or they simply did not want to anger their leaders who felt this way. They therefore waited until after the Sabbath before bringing their sick to Jesus for healing. They waited until evening, "when the sun did set."

Thus the Bible teaches that the Sabbath begins and ends at evening. And the Bible also teaches that the part of the evening which marks the transition from one day to the next is sunset. No one verse says this, but by putting a few verses together, we can see what is the truth of the matter.

    "Another Vision to Quell the Dissent" 
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#165, #166, & #167: "There was still dissent however among Adventist followers. Mrs. White decided to have another vision to settle the matter. A delegate to the conference reported that 'After the conference, November 20th, the vision was given, establishing those undecided on the sunset time.'" (Narrator)

#165: Ellen White decided to have another vision. As shown under #44 and #112, and referred to under #162, for Mrs. White to decide to have another vision was an absolute impossibility.

#166: There still being dissent, the vision she decided to have was intended to settle the matter. Actually, according to one account, the dissent came from only two people, Joseph Bates and Ellen White:

Now with the position of sunset time so amply supported by Scripture evidence, all the congregation, which included the church's leaders, readily accepted the light and were prepared to shift their practice. All, that is, but two--Joseph Bates and Ellen White. (Ellen G. White: The Early Years 323)

Perhaps there were a few others, but the implication of the accusation is clear: Ellen White "decided" to have a vision to "settle the matter" among the undecided: herself! Does not this seem a bit preposterous?

Besides, as the pamphlet quoted from under #167 clearly shows, the vision of November 20, 1855, never mentioned "sunset" at all. It only said that the Sabbath begins at even, and that if you search the Scriptures, you will discover what evening means. So if she "decided" to have a vision to convince someone that the Sabbath should begin at sunset, why didn't the vision she "decided" to have say to begin the Sabbath at sunset?

#167: The report from a delegate. This quotation is from a tract entitled The Visions of Mrs. E. G. White which Uriah Smith wrote and then published in 1868. It would appear that the contributors to the video must have had access to this tract, since they quoted from it.

The context of this quotation from Smith's tract makes it plain that the accusations in this part of the video are totally without foundation: Ellen White never had a vision saying that the Sabbath should begin either at 6pm or at sunset. The contributors to the video should have read the very material they were quoting from.

That the reader may see that these accusations truly have no foundation, the entire context is reproduced below, with the excerpted quotation being highlighted.

OBJECTION 32. - TIME TO COMMENCE THE SABBATH.

Here the objector finds another contradiction in the visions, by asserting that they once taught that the Sabbath should commence at six o'clock p.m.; and that the time was subsequently changed by vision to sunset. This we meet with an unqualified denial. The visions never taught that the Sabbath should commence at six o'clock; and the article setting forth the reasons for sunset time, published in the Review, Vol 7, No.10, antedates the vision which the objector claims was given to change the time. The following statement from one who has been connected with this cause from the very commencement, and who is therefore qualified to speak, sets forth the truth on this point. We give it for the benefit of those who may be interested to know the facts in the case, copying from Review, Vol.41 [actually Vol. 31.], No.11:

"It is generally known to most of the readers of the REVIEW, that for several years in the early history of Seventh-day Adventists, believers adopted six o'clock p.m. as the time for the Sabbath to commence and close. It is also known that in the autumn of 1855, the Review taught that sunset was the Bible time to commence the Sabbath, and that our people generally changed from six o'clock to sunset. Some of the circumstances connected with this change I wish here to state:

"1. The six o'clock time was called in question by a portion of the believers as early as 1847, some maintaining that the Sabbath commenced as sunrise, while others claimed Bible evidence in favor of sunset.

"2. Elder J.B., who was the first to teach the Sabbath in its importance, and faithfully labor to bring out a people from among the Adventists to observe it, was very decided upon the question, and respect for his years, and his godly life, might have been among the reasons why this point was not sooner investigated as thoroughly as some other points.

"3. In the autumn of 1855, Elder J.N.A. called on me at Battle Creek, on his way to Iowa, and set before me the scriptural reasons for commencing the Sabbath at sunset. He had written a clear article upon the subject, which he left with me, and which appeared in the Review for December 4, 1855. This article, however, before it appeared in the Review was read at the Conference at Battle Creek about that time, and the subject was discussed, resulting in settling the minds of the brethren on the sunset-time, with the exception of Bro. B. and a few others. Since that time there has been general agreement among us upon the subject.

"But there are persons who seek to injure us as a people - and this class we hope to help by this article - who report and publish to the world that Mrs. White did profess to be shown that the time to commence the Sabbath was six o'clock, and that at a later period she was shown that sunset was the true time. It is also stated that in vision she saw the dial-plate of a clock with one hand pointing to the 6, and other to 12, showing that six o'clock was the commencement and close of the Sabbath.

"A simple statement of the facts in the case are sufficient to show these reports false. Hence we give the following statements, which we are ready to prove by most competent witnesses:

"1. Mrs. White has in two visions been shown something in regard to the time of the commencement of the Sabbath. The first was as early as 1847, at Topsham, Me. In the vision she was shown that to commence the Sabbath at sunrise was wrong. She then heard an angel repeat these words, "From even unto even shall ye celebrate your Sabbaths." Bro B. was present and succeeded in satisfying all present that "even" was six o'clock. Mark this: The vision at Topsham did not teach the six o'clock time. It only corrected sunrise time. I never received the idea that the six o'clock time was sustained by the visions, hence the following which I copy from a statement I made in the Review upon the subject, December 4, 1855, as follows:

"We have never been fully satisfied with the testimony presented in favor of six o'clock, while the various communications received for a few years past advocating both sunrise and sunset time, have been almost destitute of argument, and the spirit of humility and candor. The subject has troubled us, yet we have never found time to thoroughly investigate it.

"In June, 1854, we urged Elder D.P.H. to prepare an article on the subject for the Review. When with him in Pennsylvania, last winter, we repeated the request. When in Maine, last summer, we stated our feelings on this subject to Bro. A., and our fears of division unless the question could be settled by good testimony. He decided to devote his time to the subject till he ascertained what the Bible taught in regard to it, and his article in this number is the result of his investigation. Some have the impression that six o'clock time has been taught among us by the direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is a mistake; 'From even unto even' was the teaching from which six o'clock time has been inferred.' "

"2. In regard to the clock-face, twenty competent witnesses are ready to testify that neither Mrs. W. nor her visions had anything to do with it whatever."

"3. We were present at the Conference referred to above, and also when the vision was given after the close of that Conference, and heard Sr. W. soon after coming out of vision, relate what she had seen. We are therefore prepared to testify that sunset-time was not once mentioned in the vision; but the words given to her in the previous vision were repeated, namely, "From even to even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath;" and these words were now added: "Take the word of God, read it, understand, and ye cannot err. Read carefully, and ye shall there find what even is and when it is." In the first vision we were directed to the word of God by the words "From even to even;" but on astronomical grounds, it was then decided that even was six o'clock. In the second, exactly the same words were used, and we were more especially directed to the word of God, which when examined conclusively establishes sunset time. This settled the matter with Bro. B. and a few others, and general harmony has since prevailed on the question.

"But the question naturally arises, If the visions are given to correct the erring, why did she not sooner see the error of the six o'clock time? It does not appear to be the design of the Lord to teach his people by the gifts of the Spirit on Bible questions until his servants have diligently searched his word. When this was done upon the subject of time to commence the Sabbath, and most were established, and some were in danger of being out of harmony with the body on this subject, then, yes, then, was the very time for God to magnify his goodness in the manifestation of the gift of his Spirit in the accomplishment of its proper work. The sacred Scriptures are given us as the rule of faith and duty, and we are commanded to search them. If we fail to understand and fully obey the truths in consequences of not searching the Scriptures as we should, or a want of consecration and spiritual discernment, and God in mercy in his own time corrects us by some manifestation of the gifts of his Holy Spirit, instead of murmuring that he did not do it before, let us humbly acknowledge his mercy, and praise him for his infinite goodness in condescending to correct us at all. Let the gifts have their proper place in the church. God has never set them in the very front, and commanded us to look to them to lead us in the path of truth, and the way to Heaven. His word he has magnified. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are man's lamp to light up his path to the kingdom. Follow that. But if you err from Bible truth, and are in danger of being lost, it may be that God will in time of his choice correct you, and bring you back to the Bible and save you. And would it become you in such a case to murmur and say, 'Lord, why didst thou not do this before?' Take care! 'Be still, and know that I am God.' Our necessity is his opportunity to teach us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit."

We stated that the article setting forth the reasons for sunset time, which is the one referred to in the foregoing extract from the Review, antedates the vision which the objector claims was given to change the time. To this the objector replies: "When was the vision given to change the time for commencing the Sabbath? Answer, November 20, 1885. Test. No. 1, page 7. When was the 'article setting forth the reasons for sunset time' published? Answer, December 4, 1855. U. Smith says 'the article antedates the vision;' but we find that the article was not published till about two weeks after the vision was given." Let a few facts answer: It was in the autumn of 1855 that the Office was moved from Rochester, N. Y., to Battle Creek, Mich. The last paper published in Rochester was dated October 30, 1855. The first one published in Battle Creek was dated December 4, 1855. It was during this interval that the question of sunset time was discussed by S. D. Adventists as a body. The writer of the above-mentioned article commenced his work upon it in August preceding. His concluding note, as may be seen in REVIEW of December 4, 1855, was dated Battle Creek, November 12, 1855. The Conference was held November 16, 1855. At this Conference the article was discussed and endorsed, with a few exceptions, as setting forth the correct view. After the Conference, November 20, the vision was given, establishing those undecided, on the sunset time. The next paper published was December 4, 1855; hence the article could not appear before that time. The trouble with the objector here is, that he can see no difference between the date when an article is written, and the date when it is published; or else he endeavors willfully to deceive and mislead the reader. (pp. 88-93)

    "Adventist Kept Asking Questions"  
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#168 & #169: "Far from the convenient vision establishing the matter, the Adventists continued to ask questions. Why could they not believe Mrs. White's original visions concerning the 6pm Sabbath?" (Mark Martin)

#168: Adventists continued to ask questions. What Mr. Martin neglects to say is that if these questioners really were Adventists, they were not Seventh-day Adventists per se. Two citations from the lengthy quotation under #167 show that those asking such questions were enemies of Seventh-day Adventism, not friends:

Here the objector finds another contradiction in the visions, by asserting that they once taught that the Sabbath should commence at six o'clock p.m.; and that the time was subsequently changed by vision to sunset. This we meet with an unqualified denial. The visions never taught that the Sabbath should commence at six o'clock. . . .

"But there are persons who seek to injure us as a people - and this class we hope to help by this article - who report and publish to the world that Mrs. White did profess to be shown that the time to commence the Sabbath was six o'clock, and that at a later period she was shown that sunset was the true time.

#169: Ellen White had a number of visions saying that the Sabbath should be kept from 6pm to 6pm. As just noted, Ellen White never had a vision endorsing the 6pm to 6pm time for keeping the Sabbath. The Documentation Package gives no evidence to support the claim that Ellen White ever had such a vision.

It does, however, under "Point 82" make reference to an incident involving speaking in tongues that made many, including James White, believe that the Sabbath should be kept from 6pm to 6pm.

But it was not Ellen White who spoke in tongues. It was a man named Chamberlain.

    "A Second Visionand a Promised Explanation"  
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#170, #171, #172, #173, & #174: "Why the change now nine years later? Had they not been in fact Sabbath breakers and not Sabbath keepers for the first nine years of the practice? It required another vision by Ellen White in which she promised to question the angel and get an explanation to cause the controversy to die down. 'I inquired why it had been thus, that at this late day we must change the time of commencing the Sabbath. Said the angel, "Ye shall understand, but not yet, not yet...' Spiritual Gifts vol. 4[b] p. 3-4. Mrs. White died without ever giving the promised explanation from God." (Ibid.)

#170: It required another vision. The vision being quoted from here is the vision of November 20, 1855, not another vision, as can plainly be seen from the immediately preceding page, page 2:

November 20, 1855, while in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly and powerfully came upon me, and I was taken off in vision.

This is the identical vision referred to under #165-#167. That being the case, there was no other vision.

#171: Ellen White promised in her vision to question the angel and get an explanation. She said no such thing. Rather, after her vision she recounted how she had asked the angel for an explanation, and the angel had promised that an explanation would come later.

So the angel promised, not Ellen White. Ellen White never promised to get an explanation. She never promised in her vision to ask the angel; rather, she did in fact ask the angel.

Maybe Mr. Martin never read what he is quoting from. Maybe he is just reading a prepared script.

#172: The quotation from Spiritual Gifts. This quote is woefully out of context. The second sentence after this quotation from Spiritual Gifts states emphatically that Ellen White never had a vision endorsing the 6pm time to begin the Sabbath:

I saw that it was in the minds of some that the Lord had shown that the Sabbath commenced at six o'clock, when I had only seen that it commenced at "even," and it was inferred that even was at six. I saw the servants of God must draw together, press together.

Mr. Martin should have kept reading a couple more sentences, and his question would have been totally answered.

Mr. Martin's quotation from Spiritual Gifts appears under "Point 85" in the Documentation Package. Strangely, the last five lines of the paragraph are cut off and do not appear in the Documentation Package. The last words before the cut-off lines are "I saw that it was in the", the first seven words from the sentence I just quoted.

What it appears is that the individual putting together the Documentation Package knew that the paragraph being quoted actually nullified the point being made. It appears that he or she purposely cut off the last five lines so that the reader would not know what Ellen White really said about the matter, and that she never had a vision endorsing the 6pm time.

#173: Ellen White died without ever giving the promised explanation. The careful reader will note that Ellen White was not told by the angel that she would be the one to give the promised explanation. The angel never said who would give the explanation.

#174: The promised explanation was never given. Actually, the promised explanation appears in the lengthy quotation under #167:

"2. Elder J.B., who was the first to teach the Sabbath in its importance, and faithfully labor to bring out a people from among the Adventists to observe it, was very decided upon the question, and respect for his years, and his godly life, might have been among the reasons why this point was not sooner investigated as thoroughly as some other points.

Seventh-day Adventists had relied on someone's opinion instead of searching out what the Bible actually taught on the matter. For this reason, they had to make a change after not quite keeping the Sabbath correctly for nine years.

So the explanation was given publicly in the Advent Review by 1868 (vol. 31 no. 11). This was a total of 47 years before Ellen White's death.

    "Seal of God and Who Would Be Saved"  
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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." (Ibid.)

#175: After the change from 6pm to sunset, the Sabbath "came to be" understood as the seal. This again is not true.

The change of the time to commence the Sabbath, as already noted, took place in 1855.

The July 1849 issue of the Advent Review contained this statement:

The Sabbath then is a sign, or seal between GOD and his people forever. (p. 3)

Thus the view that the Sabbath is the seal of God antedates the change in the time to commence the Sabbath by at least six years.

#176: Who would be saved and who wouldn't. It should again be pointed out, as under #66 and #143, that "saved" can mean one of three things. "Saved" in this instance does not mean justification, pardon, and conversion. Mr. Martin is using the term to mean glorification and entry into heaven.

The average viewer of the video may think that, since 1855, Seventh-day Adventists have felt that the question of the Sabbath determines everyone's entry into heaven. This is not true.

The next quotation used on the video, from Great Controversy (see #177), sets the record straight, though the average viewer will not know enough about Seventh-day Adventist beliefs to rightly understand what the quote is talking about. The quote says, "When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men." This is talking about the very end of time when the mark of the beast will be enforced, and not before. It is not talking about today.

Seventh-day Adventists then and now taught that many Sunday keepers were children of God and would go to heaven, while many apparent Sabbath keepers would not go to heaven. Sabbath keeping, therefore, is not the determining factor at present.

Such a view was held at least by 1852. On page 100 of the March 2, 1852, issue of the Advent Review appeared this question and answer:

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.

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 2that 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.

On the other hand, let us not forget what Mr. Martin himself said under #153:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

    "Resulted in Receiving the Mark"  
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#177 & #178: "'The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty... When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve him not... the keeping of the true Sabbath... is an evidence of loyalty... one class... receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.' The Great Controversy p. 605. So, failing to keep the Sabbath resulted in one receiving the mark of the beast and losing one's eternal life." (Ibid.)

#177: The quotation. This is the last bad quotation pointed out in this critique.

By choosing the past tense verb "resulted" instead of the future tense "will result," Mr. Martin gives the false impression that Seventh-day Adventists believe Sunday keepers now have the mark of the beast. Nothing could be further from the truth, nor is any issue more clearly stated. The ellipses in his quotation of Great Controversy represent missing context that would help prevent such a mistaken view of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.

The entire paragraph reads thus:

The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.

It is only when Sunday observance is enforced by state law in the future that the choice to keep Sunday will constitute receiving the mark of the beast. Sunday observance and Sabbath breaking definitely are not enforced by state law now.

Let us not forget what Mr. Martin himself said under #153:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

#178: Failing to keep the Sabbath resulted in the mark of the beast. As just pointed out, the use of the past tense for the word "result" is an error. To be correct, Mr. Martin should have used the future tense and pointed out that Seventh-day Adventists believe this will be so when religious freedom disappears in America, and Sunday observance is enforced nationally by law.

That this was also the belief of Seventh-day Adventists in the 1850's, please see the lengthy quote under #176.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in Mr. Martin's words thus far to indicate that Adventists believe that Sunday keeping leading to the reception of the mark of the beast is something in the future, not in the present.

Let us not forget what Mr. Martin himself said under #153:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

    "Mark-of-Rebellion View is Severe"  
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Oversimplif.



#179 & #180: "Today the view is equally severe. On page 167 of the Adventist publication Twenty-Seven 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 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.'"
(Narrator)

#179: This view is severe. A rather strange conclusion, even though enough context was quoted in this quotation to allow the viewer to know what the meaning was. How can it be severe to believe that Christians ought to obey the commandments of God?

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 back as well?

Let us not forget what Mr. Martin himself said under #153:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

And Jesus said,

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Jn. 14:15)

So according to both Mr. Martin and Jesus, those who do not keep God's commandments do not really love Jesus.

Would you call Mr. Martin's views and Jesus's teachings on this subject severe?

#180: Mark of rebellion. While there was enough context quoted to catch the thought of the statement, enough was left out so that the average viewer will not understand why it is said that Sunday will be the mark of the beast, which is a mark of rebellion. The whole topic, to be truthful, has been oversimplified.

In fact, the final period should actually be an ellipsis, for the remaining 71% of the sentence was omitted. This 71% of the sentence makes clear what the Seventh-day Adventist position really is. Also omitted is any explanation why it is said that Sunday will be the mark of the beast. Who is the beast anyway?

The context of the quotation, as found in the Documentation Package, 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.

Regarding the identity of the beast and little horn, the view just described was the standard Protestant view for centuries. Since the 1830's, the view that the beast and little horn are future has slowly gained ground, until today the standard view taught by our spiritual forefathers is largely unknown.

Continuing with the quotation:

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.

Please understand that the standard Protestant interpretation of the beast and the little horn 150 years ago was that these symbols represented the Papacy. Daniel 7:25 says that the little horn would think to change times and laws. The Papacy thinks that it has changed the day of worship, the only commandment in the law having to do with time. So it was only natural for Adventists to think that Sunday keeping had something to do with the mark, especially when Catholic writers used the change of the Sabbath as proof of their authority. Repeatedly they have claimed that the day of worship was essentially the seal of their authority as a church. Some quotes even use the word "mark," or say that Protestants are worshipping the authority of the Catholic Church by keeping Sunday.

So it is only natural to connect Sunday keeping with the beast's mark, if one still holds to the standard Protestant view of prophecy taught for centuries from Protestant pulpits, and some Catholic pulpits as well.

Regardless of how one views these things, we must not forget what Mr. Martin himself said under #153:

Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him. . . .

In the light of Mr. Martin's statement, advocating a "gospel of human devisings," rejecting "God's memorial of creatorship," "choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not God's appointed day of worship" would not be "love" toward God. It would indeed be rebellion if done "in the full knowledge that it is not God's appointed day of worship."

Is the Seventh-day Adventist view really severe after all? I would think most Bible-believing Sunday keepers would agree that an individual breaking one of the commandments "in full knowledge" that he or she was doing so would constitute rebellion. At the very least, it cannot be said to be more severe than what Paul himself 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. 10:26, 27)

Oh, about those statements by Catholic writers. Perhaps you would like to read a few. These quotes have been floating around for decades, and in some cases for centuries:

  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 50)

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. (Plain Talk about the Protestants of Today 225)

  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 58)

  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 apostolic tradition.
  Q. Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?
  A. The Scripture commands us to hear the church (Matt.18:17; Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2Thess.2:15. But the Scriptures do not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath. (Richard Challoner, Catholic Christian Instructed 211)

  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 174)

Sunday is our mark of authority. The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact. (Catholic Record 8/1/1923)

Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act . . . And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority. (Reply to a letter dated October 28, 1894 and addressed from Cardinal Gibbons by Chancellor H.F. Thomas)

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. (A Treatise of Thirty Controversies)

And there are others.


The above page was found at http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/video-4.htm on October 20, 2017.

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