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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

Wrapping Up the Case

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#211, #212, #213, & #214: "As to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, Adventists have added the investigative judgment, the keeping of the Sabbath, and obedience to the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament laws as requirements for salvation."—Narrator.

#211: Adventists have added the investigative judgment to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. Really? Then why did Paul say, "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Rom. 2:16)? If God will judge all by the gospel, it cannot be true that the judgment is added to the gospel. And as Revelation 14:6, 7 clearly shows, even a pre-advent judgment is part of the gospel.

In actuality, someone who denies the truth of these Scriptures is deleting the judgment from the gospel. Who authorized the contributors to this video to delete the judgment from salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone? The penalty for deleting anything is severe:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev. 22:19)

#212: Adventists have added Sabbath keeping to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. Who gets quoted so much on these issues? Why it's the apostle Paul. And what did he teach?

The Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. (Acts 13:42, 43)

So Sabbath keeping is not at odds with salvation by grace. Besides, Paul made it pretty clear that he was not a Sabbath breaker:

Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. (Acts 25:8)

Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. (Acts 28:17)

The worst rumor that the Judaizers could bring against Paul was that he had told Jews not to circumcise their children (Acts 21:21), a charge that was totally baseless. If he really had been teaching that the weekly Sabbath was incompatible with the gospel, then the Judaizers would have had some facts to relate rather than just baseless rumors. The absence of a record of a controversy over the Sabbath in the book of Acts tells us plainly that Paul always sought to keep holy the Lord's Day Sabbath.

Now if these considerations aren't enough, we also have that first angel of Revelation 14 quoting from the fourth commandment while preaching the everlasting gospel: "And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Rev. 14:7).

Sabbath keeping is also a component of the New Covenant, for the New Covenant promise is:

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. 8:10)

Speaking of covenants: "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto" (Gal. 3:15). When was the New Covenant ratified?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Heb. 9:15-17) [p. 139]

Since the Greek word for "testament" (a will) is the same as the word for "covenant," it is quite apparent from this passage that the New Covenant could not be altered after Christ died. Therefore, the New Testament, the New Covenant, was ratified on Friday, the day of Christ's death.

That evening, what did Christ's followers do? "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56).

Christ's will states that the law is to be written in the hearts and minds of believers. If the Sabbath were to be deleted from that law, it would have to be deleted before Christ died. Since it was not, the fourth commandment must still be in force. Resurrection Sunday came three days too late.

Would the contributors to this video please consider that they are at risk of being charged with the crime of deleting from and altering a Man's will after His death? Such activities are highly illegal. Contact the heavenly court for full details.

#213: Adventists have added obedience to the Ten Commandments as requirements for salvation. If by "salvation" the narrator means justification or conversion, then it need only be pointed out that Adventists believe that obedience is impossible before salvation occurs. If the narrator means "glorification," then it is a simple fact that Adventists haven't added anything.

The gospel of Luke says:

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (Luke 18:18-20)

Jesus wasn't saying that we can work our way to heaven, but He was pointing out that sin must be put away.

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. (Mat. 5:18, 19)

It is only through salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone that our lives can be brought back into harmony with God's holy law. But the point of these verses is that our lives must be brought back.

Paul cannot be clearer:

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Gal. 6:15)

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Gal. 5:6)

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. (1 Cor. 7:19)

If we want to be in God's kingdom at last, we must become a new creature, we must have that faith that works by love, we must keep God's commandments.

The idea that people can continue to break the commandments of God and still go to heaven must be another gospel. It certainly wasn't the gospel Paul taught in the book of Galatians (Gal. 5:19-21). That book also says:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6, 7)

Why did the contributors to the video delete commandment keeping from the gospel, thus producing a different gospel than the one that Jesus and Paul preached? Did they have a vision or dream, or did an angel come to tell them to do so? "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" (Gal. 1:8).

#214: Adventists have added obedience to other Old Testament laws as requirements for salvation. Again, this is untrue. Adventists haven't added anything.

What Old Testament laws is the narrator talking about? Is he talking about abstaining from eating blood? Yet Acts 15 tells Christians that they must still abide by this Old Testament regulation:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:28, 29)

Or is the narrator talking about abstaining from eating unclean animals? Yet Isaiah said that those living in the end of time just before Christ returns must abstain from eating such:

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by [p. 140] fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. (Is. 66:15-17)

And the apostle Paul indicates that we should abstain from them as well:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6:17, 18)

That's what we all want, isn't it? Don't you want God to be your Father? And let's not forget that, years after the cross, Peter testified: "I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean" (Acts 10:14).

Or is the narrator talking about tithing? In the context of events that occur in New Testament times, Malachi says:

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. (Mal. 3:8-11)

Many Bible-believing Christians of many denominations have been greatly blessed by simply taking God at His word. They have claimed this promise and have had their crops, their homes, and their lives preserved.

This writer is one of these. His house in Dobbins, California, was in the midst of a 5800-acre forest fire in 1997. The hard-plastic weather stripping around two of his windows melted from the intense heat of the fire as it raced to the top of the ridge where his house stood. A forty-foot or taller pine tree twenty feet from the house was torched all the way up. A cedar with foliage four feet from the roof was badly burned on its side away from the house. Though there was no defensible space between the house and the trees on the downhill side, the house stood totally untouched, other than the weather stripping. Eighty-three other houses did not fair so well. One nearby went down in ten minutes.

Paul indicates that as the preachers of the Old Testament were supported, even so were the preachers of the New Testament to be supported:

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:13, 14)

Another hint regarding the perpetuity of the three things mentioned above (abstaining from blood and unclean animals, and tithing), is that they are all precepts that existed before the Jews came to be:

  1. Noah and all his descendants were forbidden to eat blood (Gen. 9:4).
  2. Noah knew all about the clean-unclean animal distinctions (Gen. 7:2, 3).
  3. Abraham paid tithes, and Jacob promised to (Gen. 14:20; 28:22).

A careful study of Acts 15 reveals some vital points. First, the issue that prompted the church council of Acts 15 was whether the Gentiles had to be circumcised before they could be saved (vss. 1, 5). Such a position in effect was saying that Gentiles had to become Jews, and thus that only Jews could be saved. Nowhere in the Old Testament are Gentiles ever told to be circumcised if they want to be saved. These Judaizers were thus trying to add to the Word of God.

Second, the council decided to ask the Gentiles to obey laws that had been binding upon them in Old Testament times (vss. 20, 29; cf. Lev. 17:13; 18:24, 25). So while they didn't have to obey laws that applied only to Jews in Old Testament times, they were still expected to heed the laws that had always applied to everyone.

Now since the Sabbath dates back to Adam, since both abstaining from blood and the clean-unclean animal distinctions date back at least to Noah, and since tithing dates back at least to Abraham, these must be precepts that applied to Gentiles back then. That being so, Acts 15 indicates that they still apply today.

Much more could be said on the subject, but suffice it to say that Adventists haven't added anything here either.

A Response to the Video

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