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

by Bob Pickle

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

Discern Fact from Fiction

The Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment

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#164: "In the early years when the Sabbath observance was kept, it always began at 6 pm 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."—Mark Martin.

#164: The Bible says the Sabbath is to be kept from sunset to sunset. Mr. Martin thus suggests that the early Seventh-day Adventists were ignoring what is plainly stated in the Bible. It isn't that simple, for the Bible doesn't say to keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset.

So what does the Bible say? "From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath" (Lev. 23:32). Okay, so when is evening? "Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:9).

Based on this last text, and his experience in astronomy and as a sea captain, Joseph Bates was certain that evening began at 6 pm. 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.

Jesus on a particular Sabbath was preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. He cast a devil out of a man in the congregation, and then went home to Peter's house and healed Peter's mother-in-law. There were a lot of sick folk in town, but no one came by to be healed until after sunset: "And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils" (Mark 1:32).

The Jewish leaders of that time felt that it was wrong to be healed on the Sabbath. The people therefore waited until after the Sabbath was over before bringing their sick to Jesus. They waited until evening, "when the sun did set."

Thus while no single Bible verse teaches that the Sabbath begins and ends at sunset, by putting a few verses together we can see what is the truth of the matter. We can also see that there really is no reason to criticize anyone over the issue. [p. 112]

A Response to the Video

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