Pickle Publishing Critique: #181-#239
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A Critique of the Jeremiah Films Video:

Seventh-day Adventism - The Spirit Behind the Church

Points #181-#239

by Bob Pickle

     "On Which Day One Worships"   
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#181 & #182: "So, even today, Seventh-day Adventists have made salvation ultimately dependent on which day of the week one worships." (Mark Martin)

#181: Salvation ultimately dependent on which day. As pointed out in the lengthy quote under #176, Seventh-day Adventists for the last century and a half have taught that there are Sunday keepers who are bound for heaven and Sabbath keepers who are bound for hell. So this statement is incorrect.

As under #66 and #143, it must be pointed out here that "salvation" in this context does not mean justification, conversion, forgiveness, or even sanctification. Mr. Martin's use of the word in this context must mean glorification. The salvation found in justification and conversion cannot be dependent on obedience to the fourth commandment, for until one is justified and converted, one cannot really obey the fourth commandment.

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. . . .

#182: Which day of the week one worships on. Once again Mr. Martin incorrectly uses the present tense for the word "worship" when talking about an event that Seventh-day Adventists have consistently for a century and a half put in the future (see #176).

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. . . .

    "Seal Isn't Keeping the Sabbath"  
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#183 & #184: "Several New Testament Scriptures clearly identify the seal of God as a work of the Holy Spirit, not the keeping of a Sabbath day. For example Ephesians 4:30 plainly says, 'And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.' Mrs. White has no support at all for linking the seal of God with Sabbath keeping." (Ibid.)

#183: Several New Testament Scriptures: seal is work of the Holy Spirit, not the keeping of the Sabbath. It isn't that simple.

First of all, let's look at Revelation 7:2-4:

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

This verse makes the end-time seal out to be an object rather than the Holy Spirit. It is as if the angel were holding it in his hand. Yet Seventh-day Adventists do believe that the Holy Spirit is involved in this work of sealing:

Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads--it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved--just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already. (Last Day Events 219, 220)

The sealing work we believe to be a work of sanctification. This can be seen somewhat from Revelation 14:1:

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

Those sealed are not described as having the Holy Spirit in their foreheads, but rather the Father's name. This would signify that they fully belong to God and reflect His righteous character.

That the Holy Spirit is the active agent in the sanctification process can be seen by these Scriptures:

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:11)

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (2 Thess. 2:13)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Pet. 1:2)

So the Holy Spirit is the active agent in the work of sealing God's people, but He Himself may not be the end-time seal. Also, the last verse said that we are sanctified by the Spirit unto obedience. Obedience to what?

In the book of Revelation, the seal of God is opposed to the mark of the beast. In chapter 13 we have a description both of the beast and of the enforcement of his mark. Next comes Revelation 14:1, already quoted, which mentions those who are sealed with the seal of God. Then comes the warning of the three angels, the last of which warns the world against taking the mark of the beast.

All this is sandwiched between the following two verses:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:17)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev. 14:12)

These two verses indicate that this end-time struggle between the mark and the seal has something to do with the commandments. Consider also Isaiah 8:16:

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

The seal is to go in the forehead. The mark may go in either the forehead or the hand. This is imagery taken from the Old Testament: In Deuteronomy 5, Moses repeats the Ten Commandments. In 6:8 he says:

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Again, this indicates that the end-time seal has something to do with the commandments.

A seal shows ownership or authority. It shows who the ruler is who gave the law in question, and typically contains both his name and his title. Looking through the Ten Commandments, we find that eight or nine of them might be given by just about any god on the planet. Various gods command their adherents to be good moral people, not killing, not stealing, and not committing adultery.

But the fourth commandment is different from the rest. It identifies the God who gave this holy law:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Ex. 20:8-11)

Only the Creator God, the God of heaven, the Living God, could have given the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment contains His seal and identifies who the great Law Giver is.

Interestingly, the emphasized words are quoted in the warning of the first angel of Revelation 14:

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 fact that language found in Revelation's description of the seal-mark issue is taken from the fourth commandment is further evidence that the seal has something to do with the fourth commandment.

Consider Romans 4:11:

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.

Here the words sign and seal are used interchangeably to refer to circumcision, which at that time symbolized righteousness by faith. The Sabbath has likewise been a symbol of righteousness by faith, or 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)

And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. (Ezek. 20:20)

This is true even in New Testament times:

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. . . . There remaineth therefore a rest [Greek: a keeping of a Sabbath] to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (Heb. 4:3-10)

Paul shows that, as in Old Testament times, the Sabbath is a sign that the believer is ceasing from his own works, that he is seeking to be saved and sanctified by faith. The Sabbath is a sign in New Testament times, therefore, of salvation by faith, not salvation by works.

One other line of reasoning might be helpful, sort of the reverse of some of the above. The beast of Revelation 13 who has the mark is described the same as the little horn of Daniel 7. Daniel 7:25 says:

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Protestants, and even some Catholics, used to say that this was the Papacy. The only commandment in the Decalogue having to do with time is the fourth. This is the only commandment of the ten that Rome thinks it has changed. Rome even claims that the change is a mark of her authority (see quotations under #180).

Since the seal and the mark are opposed to each other, one would think that if the mark is a day of worship, the seal must be also.

We have already mentioned above that the idea of the mark being placed in the forehead or the hand is an allusion to Deuteronomy 6:8, where we are told that the commandments are to be placed in our foreheads and our hands. We are to believe and love God's commandments with our minds, and put them into practice with our hands. In contrast, the beast wants us to believe and love, or at least do, his commandments, which are counterfeits of the true.

Besides this allusion to Deuteronomy 6:8, Revelation 13 contains two other helpful allusions:

  1. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (vs. 15)
  2. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (vs. 12)

The first is an allusion to Daniel 3. The second is an allusion to Leviticus 25.

In Daniel 3, we have a law enforcing false worship at a particular time:

That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. (vs. 5)

Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. (vs. 7)

Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image. (vs. 10)

Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? (vs. 15)

The fact that Revelation 13 makes an allusion to this story implies that the seal-mark issue has to do not only with the commandments but also with the time of worship.

We said that "causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast" is an allusion to Leviticus 25. This portion of Revelation 13:12 specifically says that the earth as well as its inhabitants are to worship the beast. In other words, the very dirt, the ground, the soil would worship the beast, not just the people living on the soil. Leviticus 25:2-4 contains the only biblical description of an act of worship on the part of the land:

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

We must conclude that, according to the Bible, the seal-mark issue not only has something to do with the Ten Commandments and the time of worship, but it must also have something to do with the keeping of a Sabbath.

Lastly, consider what Ezekiel says:

And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. . . . And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. (8:16-9:6)

Clearly, the seal of God protecting the believer from destruction is opposed in some way to sun worship. The religion of sun worship infiltrated the Christian church in the early centuries, and it was this infiltration that gave us Sunday as a day of worship. At least, this is what a journal published by the largest church in the world has said, a church that existed at the time the infiltration was taking place:

The church . . . took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday. . . . Hence the church in these countries would seem to have said, "Keep that old, pagan name. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified." And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, dedicated to Jesus. The sun is a fitting emblem of Jesus. The Fathers often compared Jesus to the sun; as they compared Mary to the moon, the beautiful moon, the beautiful Mary, shedding her mild beneficent light in the darkness and night of this world. . . . (Catholic World 3/1894, 809)

When I was in Hungary last fall, I visited some of the old cathedrals and saw emblems of the sun above many of the altars. This is clear evidence that fragments of sun worship did indeed infiltrate the church.

Some might be concerned that some of the verses above spoke about Israel instead of Christians. Thus the question may be raised that maybe these things do not have anything to do with Christians. That such a conclusion is not warranted may be seen from the following verses:

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29)

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Rom. 2:28, 29)

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. . . . And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree. (Rom. 11:13, 17)

Thus Gentiles are brought into the family of Israel without becoming circumcised Jews. So says the New Testament. Thus, when Revelation or elsewhere speaks of Israel today, Gentile Christians may be included, since they have been grafted into Israel.

#184: Mrs. White has no support at all for linking the seal with the Sabbath. That this statement has no support at all can be seen from what appears immediately above.

       "The Lord's Day, Not the Jewish Sabbath"    
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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.

#185, #186, #187, #188, #189, & #190: "Christ's followers met on the Lord's Day resurrection day, for their worship and breaking of bread, not on the Jewish Sabbath." (Ibid.)

#185: The Lord's Day is the resurrection day. Since the video apparently is trying to uplift the Bible as the authority for Christians, it may be assumed that Mr. Martin is using the Bible as his authority for this statement. Yet the Bible does not teach what he has said. The first time historically that an extant document equates the Lord's Day with the day of the resurrection is the last half of the second century, fifty years or more after the apostle John's death, and over a century after the death of our Lord.

According to the Bible, the Lord's Day is the Sabbath:

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (Is. 58:13)

One might ask who the LORD is who is calling the Sabbath His day. Throughout these last chapters of Isaiah it is apparent that Jesus Himself is speaking at times:

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Is. 59:16, 17)

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. (Is. 63:3-5)

That this must be Jesus speaking is clear upon comparison with the following description of Jesus in the book of Revelation:

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Rev. 19:13-15)

So when the LORD calls the Sabbath His day in Isaiah 58, it very well may be Jesus Himself who is calling the Sabbath His day.

There is no solid biblical basis for calling any other day but the Sabbath the Lord's Day. And the fourth commandment specifically says that the seventh day of the week, not the first, is the Sabbath. Therefore we must conclude that the seventh day of the week is the Lord's Day according to the Bible, not the first day.

That Christ arose on the first day of the week, and not the seventh day, can be seen from these Scriptures:

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. (Mk. 16:9)

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. . . . And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. . . . And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. (Lk. 24:1, 13, 20, 21)

Jesus died on the day before the Sabbath (Lk. 23:54), Friday, and rose on the first day of the week, Sunday. For this reason, the two men on the way to Emmaus could say that Sunday, the first day of the week, was the third day since the crucifixion. Friday was the first day, Saturday was the second day, and Sunday was the third day.

Clearly, Jesus must have risen on the first day of the week, not on the Lord's Day, the seventh day of the week.

The Documentation Package describes "Point 89 & 89a" in the index in this way:

Christ's followers met on the "Lord's day" (Sunday--resurrection day) according to the Bible for their fellowship and communion. (On the Jewish Sabbath Christ preached in the synagogue.)

Turning to "Point 89" and "Point 89a," one finds a two-page tract by MacGregor Ministries. Amidst its many assertions, this tract makes no attempt to prove from the Scriptures that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day rather than the seventh day.

#186: Christ's followers met regularly on the resurrection day for their worship. In all the New Testament, out of only eight references to the first day of the week, we have only one explicit instance of the disciples meeting on the first day of the week for worship.

Let's take a look at all eight references. Five of them merely mention the fact that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Mat. 28:1; Mk. 16:2, 9; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1).

In the sixth reference, on the day of the resurrection, the disciples were "assembled for fear of the Jews," not for worship (Jn. 20:19).

In the seventh reference, Paul wrote:

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Cor. 16:2)

This verse mentions nothing about church services. Instead it tells each of the believers at Corinth to "lay by him" the offering he felt he could give when Paul next came through town. Each believer must have had some place in his house where he could "lay by him" the offering he wanted to set aside. If he had put his offering into the offering plate at church, it would no longer be "by him." Thus, instead of being evidence in favor of regular Sunday church services, this text seem to be evidence against such a practice.

That's seven of the eight references in the New Testament to the first day of the week. Now for the eighth and final reference:

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. (Acts 20:7, 8)

This is the only explicit reference to a meeting for worship on the first day of the week. Yet notice that it was the night of the first day of the week. Since the biblical days begin at sunset, as Mr. Martin told us under #164, this would have to be Saturday night rather than Sunday night. Thus Paul met with the disciples on the first day of the week, Saturday night, and he was ready to depart on the morrow, Sunday morning. In other words, he resumed his journey on Sunday morning instead of going to church.

It is really impossible to make a case for the early church keeping Sunday as a regular day of worship using only the New Testament.

The tract under "Point 89a" in the Documentation Package mistakenly uses Acts 20:7 to prove that, for the early Christians,

Their fellowship together was always the "first day" of the week, Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection.

Since the tract was put out by the co-producers of the video, and since Lorri MacGregor was the script writer, let me kindly quote what has been said heretofore on the video (see #74):

In all man-made religions the authority of God's Scripture and unchanging word is challenged. The Seventh-day Adventists are no exception. They have their own version of the Bible, known as The Clear Word Bible, which inserts the words and ideas of Ellen G. White directly into the biblical text.

In all kindness, it should be pointed out that the writer of MacGregor Ministries' tract entitled "Seventh-day Adventism and the Sabbath" has added his or her own ideas and interpretations to the biblical text. Acts 20:7 nowhere says that the early Christians always fellowshipped on the first day of the week. It isn't even talking about Sunday, but rather Saturday night.

Would it be fair to say that "the authority of God's Scripture and unchanging word is" being "challenged" by MacGregor Ministries thus altering and adding to the plain meaning of the text? In other words, would it be fair to suggest that the co-producers of the video are guilty of essentially doing what they have falsely accused an entire denomination of doing?

The Master said,

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Mt. 7:1)

And the apostle Paul said,

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (Rom. 2:1)

#187: Christ's followers did not meet for worship on the Sabbath. The book of Acts tells us differently. While there is only one explicit reference to the disciples meeting for worship on the first day of the week, there are a number of explicit references to their worshipping on the Sabbath:

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. (13:14)

This next one connects the Sabbath with both the grace of God and the Gentiles:

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, 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. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. (13:42-44)

Paul didn't say, "Come back tomorrow. I will be preaching on Sunday." The Gentiles had to wait until the following Sabbath to hear the Word of God being preached.

From what Paul told those following him, it is crystal clear that one can keep the Sabbath and continue in the grace of God at the same time.

Paul even worshipped upon the Sabbath when there was no Jewish synagogue in town:

And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. (16:13)

Therefore it wasn't just to witness to Jews in the synagogue that Paul worshipped on the Sabbath.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus regularly worshipped on the Sabbath:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (4:16)

Acts tells us that Paul did this as well:

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. (17:2)

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. (18:4)

So the statement that Christ's followers did not meet for worship on the Sabbath is simply not true.

#188: The resurrection day was when Christ's followers usually broke bread. This is not true.

The one explicit reference to Christians meeting on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7, which was really Saturday night, does say that they broke bread. However, this was true because:

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. . . . And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. (Acts 2:42, 46)

Since they broke bread daily, they could just as well break bread on Saturday night, the first day of the week, as Thursday, the fifth day of the week, the same night of the week Christ and His disciples ate the last supper.

The biblical record does not specifically tell us what day the believers usually broke bread on. One might imagine that they would usually break bread on the Lord's Day, the seventh day of the week, but the Bible doesn't specifically say.

#189: Christ's followers did not break bread on the Sabbath. As just noted, the disciples broke bread daily. Since the Sabbath is one of the days of the week, the disciples must have broken bread on that day as well.

And as just mentioned, it is not hard to imagine that the early believers would have usually broken bread on the Lord's Day, the seventh day of the week, the holy Sabbath, but the biblical record does not specifically say. All we are specifically told is that they broke bread "daily."

#190: The Sabbath is Jewish. This is probably the most serious error in this section.

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: (Mk. 2:27)

Jesus ought to know what He is talking about, since of Him it is written:

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (Jn. 1:3)

So Jesus was the one who made the Sabbath for man. Now it is an interesting point that the name Adam is also one of the Hebrew words for "man." The idea is that Jesus made the Sabbath for Adam.

More than this, the Greek of Mark 2:27 says that "the Sabbath was made for the man, not the man for the Sabbath." The significance of Jesus's wording is readily seen when one considers that, in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, nearly every occurrence of "Adam," "man," and "men" is translated from the Hebrew phrase "the man," "man" being always in the singular.

The Hebrew word adam occurs 50 times in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Of those 50 times, none are in the plural. Genesis 1:26 and 2:5 use the word adam without the definite article ("the"). From 4:25 through 5:5, a total of 7 occurrences, adam becomes a proper noun, and so the definite article is omitted. The other 41 occurrences consistently use the definite article.

First the Hebrew phrase "the man" means Adam, or both Adam and Eve (23 occurrences: 1:27; 2:7 (2), 8, 15, 16, 18, 19 (2), 20 (2), 21, 22 (2), 23, 25; 3:12, 17, 20-22, 24; 4:1). Beginning with Genesis 6:1-7, the phrase "the man" begins to mean not just Adam, but his descendents as well, or in other words, all mankind (18 occurrences: 6:1-6, 7 (2); 7:21, 23; 8:21 (2); 9:5 (2), 6 (3); 11:5).

Since Jesus said that He made the Sabbath for "the man," He must have meant that He made it both for Adam and all his descendents, since that is precisely what "the man" means.

To say that the Sabbath is Jewish is essentially to say that Christ, the Son of God, didn't know what He was talking about when He said that the Sabbath was made for the man.

Paul uses similar language when talking about the woman:

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Cor. 11:9)

If the Sabbath that was made for the man is really Jewish, then the woman that was made for the man is really Jewish as well. Essentially, that would mean that marriage is only for the Jew, not for the Gentile.

Interestingly, Adam took but two things out of the garden with him: the Sabbath and marriage. Both are under attack today.

If the Lord blessed and sanctified but one woman for each married man, and he must honor and be true to that one woman, then it must follow that Jesus blessed and sanctified but one day for us, and we must honor that specific day.

    "Satan Becomes the Sin Bearer"  
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#191: "Adventists further deviate in their salvation doctrine by teaching that Satan ultimately becomes the sin-bearer. They teach he bears away the sins of the world. 'As the priest in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confess them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin...' Great Controversy p. 485." (Ibid.)

Satan becomes the sin-bearer. Though the term "sin-bearer" appears in Ellen White's published and released writings at least 186 times, she not once said that Satan is our "sin-bearer." She consistently taught that Christ is our sin bearer. She even wrote that Christ is our "only sin-bearer":

In His intercession as our advocate, Christ needs no man's virtue, no man's intercession. He is the only sin-bearer, the only sin-offering. (Signs of the Times 6/28/1899)

How hard poor mortals strive to be sin-bearers for themselves and for others! but the only sin-bearer is Jesus Christ. He alone can be my substitute and sin-bearer. The forerunner of Christ exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (Advent Review 6/9/1896)

Proclaim remission of sins through Christ, the only Sin-bearer, the only Sin-pardoner. Proclaim the remission of sins through repentance toward God and faith in Christ, and God will ratify your testimony. (The Voice in Speech and Song 340)

I have never read where any Seventh-day Adventist has called Satan our sin-bearer. If Jesus is our only sin-bearer, Satan cannot be the sin-bearer too.

The quote from Great Controversy appears in its entirety under "Point 90" in the Documentation Package. Notice carefully what even the part quoted in the video says:

As the priest in removing the sins from the sanctuary. . . .

Truly the high priest, representing Jesus Christ, must be the sin bearer, for it is he who is removing the sins by carrying them in his own person.

Mr. Martin refers to what Seventh-day Adventists believe the closing ceremonies of the services of the Day of Atonement represent. This has nothing to do with who the sin-bearer is. Consider carefully the following verses:

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat [Hebrew reads "for Azazel"]. (Lev. 16:8)

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Lev. 16:20-22)

Notice that the goat for Azazel has the sins put upon him only after the high priest has made an end of reconciling. The word for "reconciling" is the Hebrew word for atonement. So the sins are put upon the goat for Azazel by the high priest after the end of the atonement.

Jesus is our high priest. Whom would Jesus put the sins of God's people upon after He has finished the atonement? Would He place the sins upon Himself after He has finished the atonement? If so, why would He need to have sins placed upon Himself after the atonement is finished?

If the only atonement that ever was or ever shall be occurred at the cross, why would Jesus place sins upon Himself after He had already died for sin?

The Adventist position that Azazel is Satan makes more sense and raises less questions: After the atonement is finished, Jesus our high priest, the great Sin-bearer, will place all our sins upon Azazel, Satan, since he is the cause and instigator of all sin.

That Azazel is a name for Satan is supported by the following discussion by John N. Andrews:

That the ancient people of God understand the scape-goat to represent, not Christ, but Satan, the following testimonies will show. It will be seen, moreover, that there is direct evidence that Satan is intended in the very signification and use of this word.

Charles Beecher, in his work entitled "Redeemer and Redeemed," pp. 66-70, says:-

"Two goats were to be presented before the Lord by the high priest. They must be exactly alike in value, size, age, color - they must be counterparts. Placing these goats before him, the high priest put both hands into an urn containing the golden lots, and drew them out, one in each hand. On the one was engraven, La Yehovah (for Jehovah), on the other La Azazel (for Azazel).

"The goat on which the lot La Yehovah fell was slain. After its blood had been sprinkled in the holy of holies, the high priest laid his hands on the head of the second goat, confessed the sins of the congregation, and gave him to a fit man to lead away and let go in the wilderness; the man thus employed being obliged to wash his clothes and person before returning to the congregation."

Mr. Beecher states two views respecting the meaning of this term Azazel, each of which he shows to be manifestly untrue. He then gives his own view, as follows:-

"The third opinion is, that Azazel is a proper name of Satan. In support of this, the following points are urged: The use of the preposition implies it. The same preposition is used on both lots, La Yehova, La Azazel; and if the one indicates a person, it seems natural the other should, especially considering the act of casting lots. If one is for Jehovah, the other would seem for some other person or being; not one for Jehovah, and the other for the goat itself.

"What goes to confirm this is, that the most ancient paraphrases and translations treat Azazel as a proper name. The Chaldee paraphrase and the targums of Onkelos and Jonathan would certainly have translated it if it was not a proper name, but they do not. The Septuagint, or oldest Greek version, renders it by apopompaios, a word applied by the Greeks to a malign deity, sometimes appeased by sacrifices.

"Another confirmation is found in the Book of Enoch, where the name Azalzel, evidently a corruption of Azazel, is given to one of the fallen angels, thus plainly showing what was the prevalent understanding of the Jews at that day.

"Still another evidence is found in the Arabic, where Azazel is employed as the name of the evil spirit

"In addition to these, we have the evidence of the Jewish work, Zohar, and of the Cabalistic and Rabbinical writers. They tell us that the following proverb was current among the Jews: 'On the day of atonement, a gift to Sammael.' Hence Moses Gerundinenses feels called to say that it is not a sacrifice, but only done because commanded by God.

"Another step in the evidence is when we find this same opinion passing from the Jewish to the early Christian church. Origen was the most learned of the Fathers, and on such a point as this, the meaning of a Hebrew word, his testimony is reliable. Says Origen: 'He who is called in the Septuagint apopompaios and in the Hebrew Azazel, is no other than the devil.'

"Lastly, a circumstance is mentioned of the Emperor Julian, the apostate, that confirms the argument. He brought as an objection against the Bible, that Moses commanded a sacrifice to the evil spirit. An objection he never could have thought of, had not Azazel been generally regarded as a proper name.

"In view, then, of the difficulties attending any other meaning, and the accumulated evidence in favor of this, Hengstenberg affirms with great confidence that Azazel cannot be anything else but another name for Satan. . . .

"The meaning of the term, viewed as a proper name, was stated in 1677, by Spencer, Dean of Ely, to be Powerful Apostate, or Mighty Receder."

Mr. Beecher, on the seventy-second page of his work, states that Professor Bush considers Azazel to be a proper name of Satan.

Gesenius, the great Hebrew lexicographer, says:-

"Azazel, a word found only in the law respecting the day of atonement. Lev.16:8,10,26. . . . By this name is probably to be understood originally some idol that was appeased with sacrifices, as Saturn and Mars; but afterwards as the names of idols were often transferred to demons, it seems to denote an evil demon dwelling in the desert and to be placed with victims, in accordance with this very ancient and Gentile rite. This name Azazel is also used by the Arabs for an evil demon."

Milton represents Azazel as one of the fallen angels, and the standard-bearer of Satan:-

"That proud honor claimed
Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled
The imperial ensign."
       - Paradise Lost, book 1.

The "Comprehensive Commentary" has the following important remarks:-

"Scape-goat. See different opinions in Bochart. Spencer, after the oldest opinions of the Hebrews and Christians, thinks Azazel is the name of the devil; and so Rosenmuller, whom see. The Syriac has Azzail, the angel (strong one) who revolted."

"Cassell's Illustrated Bible" speaks thus of the scape-goat:-

"We offer the following exposition as much more likely, and much more satisfactory: That Azazel is a personal denomination for the evil one."

Certainly, these are very important testimonies to show that Satan is typified by the scape-goat. To show the reasonableness of that act which rolls back upon Satan the sins of the people of God, and also to define the nature of the act, let us carefully state the case. Every sin committed by men is instigated by Satan. This part of the transgression is the sin of Satan alone, and belongs solely to him, whether men repent or not. But consenting to the tempter, and obeying him, is the sin of the one tempted. This part of the transgression will, in the case of all who avail themselves of the work of our High Priest, be placed upon the antitypical scape-goat, Satan, and he will have to bear the full punishment of all such sins.

One of the most important events, therefore, in the opening of the great day of judgment, is that of placing the sins of the overcomers upon the head of the great author of sin. The fallen angels will, no doubt, share with their great leader in this fearful burden of guilt. Satan and his angels are reserved to the judgment of the great day. And one of its first events after the righteous are made immortal is that they are exalted to sit in judgment upon the fallen angels. Jude 6; 2Peter 2:4; 1Cor.6:2,3. (The Judgment, Its Events and Their Order 78-82)

While one will be hard pressed to find anywhere in Adventist literature that Satan is our sin-bearer, one can find references, like in the next to last paragraph, where it says that Satan will "bear" the "punishment" of the "sins" of the "people of God."

The difference between the two ideas of sin-bearer and bearing punishment for sins is more than just semantics. Every Bible-believing Christian believes that those who do not place their sins on the great Sin-bearer Jesus Christ will have to bear the full punishment of their own sins. Would that make the unsaved person his own sin-bearer? Of course not. Even though he has to bear the punishment of his sins since He did not accept the offer of salvation through Jesus, he does not become a sin-bearer.

The term "sin-bearer" carries the connotation of "Savior." Jesus is our Sin-bearer because He died in our place, as our substitute, for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins that we rightfully deserved to receive.

A sin-bearer, a substitute, a savior, these things neither the unsaved nor Satan can be, even though they must bear the punishment for the sins that they are carrying upon their guilty souls.

    "Jesus Bore Our Sins"  
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#192: "How different this is from the clear message of Scripture which says of Jesus that He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross. The apostle John exclaimed, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.' Truly salvation must be centered on Christ alone." (Ibid.)

Christ bore our sins on the cross, so Satan can't be our sin-bearer. This is a straw man:

  1. Seventh-day Adventists believe wholeheartedly that Christ bore our sins on the cross.
  2. Seventh-day Adventists believe that salvation is centered in Christ alone.
  3. It is inappropriate to use a verse that says Christ bore our sins on the cross to prove that Satan cannot be the scapegoat after the atonement is finished (see #191).

Clearly, according to the Bible, the sins are placed on the goat for Azazel by the high priest after the atonement is finished. Therefore, Christ our high priest will place the sins on someone after the atonement is finished. If this be not Satan, then whom is it?

    "Strive to Be Included as Mainline Evangelical Christians"  
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#193: Today, Seventh-day Adventists strive to be included as mainline evangelical Protestant Christians, and therefore object very strongly to any hint that they may be teaching cultic doctrine." (Steve Cannon)

Seventh-day Adventists strive to be included as Protestant Christians. I haven't noticed any striving. It doesn't seem like we have to strive, given our strong stance on the final authority of Scripture, what used to be one of the cornerstones of Protestantism.

Representatives of the largest Church in the world, the Roman Catholic, have declared that we definitely are Protestants, since we repudiate tradition in favor of what the Scriptures teach. One such quote is,

By what authority did the Church change the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday?

The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible, authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant, claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh Day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant. ("The Question Box," The Catholic Universe Bulletin, 69 (Aug. 14, 1942), 4.)

Why should "the only consistent Protestant" have to strive? In all kindness, it seems rather that the churches who are following tradition instead of the Scriptures are the churches who ought to be striving to be included as "mainline, evangelical, Protestant Christians."

Other quotations from Catholic writers on the subject follow:

People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy. (Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel 5/21/1995)

Seventh-day Adventists . . . are the most fundamental of all the fundamentalist sects, holding to literal interpretation of the Bible. . . . (Kenneth Ryan, What Else Would You Like to Know About the Church 137)

If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh Day Adventist is right in observing the Saturday with the Jew. (Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box 254)

  Cath.: Is the Bible the rule or guide of Protestants for observing Sunday?
  Prot.: No, I believe the "Seventh Day Adventists" are the only ones who know the Bible in the matter of Sabbath observance. (The Bible, an Authority Only in Catholic Hands 26, 27)

If you follow the Bible alone there can be no question that you are obliged to keep Saturday holy, since that is the day especially prescribed by Almighty God to be kept holy to the Lord. In keeping Sunday, non-Catholics are simply following the practice of the Catholic Church for 1800 years [sic], a tradition, and not a Bible ordinance. What we would like to know is: Since they deny the authority of the Church, on what grounds can they base their faith of keeping Sunday. Those who keep Saturday, like the Seventh Day Adventists, unquestionably have them by the hip in this practice. And they cannot give them any sufficient answer which would satisfy an unprejudiced mind. With the Catholics there is no difficulty about the matter. For, since we deny that the Bible is the sole rule of faith, we can fall back upon the constant practice and tradition of the Church. . . . (F. G. Lentz, The Question Box 98, 99)

This last quote put the change of the Sabbath by the Catholic Church back in the days of the apostles, or thereabouts. This is what tradition says happened, which is good enough for Catholics, but there is no biblical or historical basis for this claim.

At any rate, the major points these Catholic authors make is that:

  1. The Bible only says to keep Saturday.
  2. The Bible doesn't say to keep Sunday.
  3. Protestantism claims to go by the Bible alone.
  4. Protestants who keep Sunday are being inconsistent.
  5. Seventh-day Adventists as Protestants are being consistent by keeping Saturday.

So says the largest church in the world.

    "Four Marks of a Cult"  
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#194: "An Adventist pastor supplied the following five marks of a cult. You be the judge whether or not his denomination fits his own definition of a cult." (Narrator)

An Adventist pastor supplied the following. When one reads what this Adventist pastor wrote, the credibility of the information in the video is very naturally called into question.

What the narrator fails to mention is that these five marks were part of a letter to the editor of the Nelson Daily News written by Pastor Dan Stapleton. Pastor Stapleton's letter, which can be found in the Documentation Package under "Point 92," was in answer to charges which Keith MacGregor, the husband of the video's script writer, had made in a newspaper article.

Pastor Stapleton's letter, as found in the Documentation Package, contained this interesting statement:

As for the accusations made by K. [Keith] MacGregor against the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Ellen White, I'm sorry to see again his misrepresentations, historical inaccuracies, and false assessments in print. It was 14 years ago that I first read such things published by the 'ministry' he represents and they are no more true now than they were then.

The video's credits list Keith and Lorri MacGregor as co-producers. Lorri is listed as having written the script, and her name tops the list of six names who were responsible for the research.

Thus, the Documentation Package sent to me by MacGregor Ministries documents why there are so many mistakes and misrepresentations in this video. The documentation clearly states that the MacGregors have been doing this kind of thing for 14 years

    "Total Reliance on Her Teachings"  
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#195 & #196: "'Point 1: Cults or false religions usually have a single powerful human leader who becomes the cult's 'messiah.'" (Narrator)

"Who can deny the total reliance of the group on the teachings of Ellen G. White. She may not be called their messiah, but is certainly their messenger of God, revered by all." (Steve Cannon)

#195: Total reliance. As presented under #21, #23, #24, #25-#26, and #45, the Seventh-day Adventist Church uses the Scriptures as their ultimate and final authority. It proves its doctrines from the Bible, not Ellen White.

Second to the Bible, Ellen White is officially viewed by the Church as having more authority than the average person. This, however, does not mean that we have "total reliance" on her.

#196: Revered by all. It simply isn't true, as Sydney Cleveland makes clear toward the end of the video under #231.

One of the sources referred to earlier by the video was Walter Rea's White Lie. I wouldn't describe the situation to be as bad as he describes on page 250 of his book, but consider carefully what he has to say:

Perhaps one of the strangest twists of the white lie is that in many respects few in or out of the Adventist Church seem to be greatly affected anyway by the specific details of Ellen and her instruction, counsels, and reproofs. . . . In actuality not a great many pay much attention to the church's "spirit of prophecy," no matter where Ellen's ideas came from. . . .

There is not overwhelming evidence that the members of the Adventist Church follow the solemn nineteenth-century counsel of Ellen. . . . Neither Adventist ministers nor Adventist lay people practice or promote to any serious degree certain legalisms they claim came from God by the inspiration and authority of their prophet. . . .

That Adventists really believe that all the instructions of Ellen's pen came from God has to be doubted - because they have chosen to ignore a great deal of that instruction. . . .

Thus wrote almost two decades ago one of the sources for information for this video.

A minority of Seventh-day Adventists who are theologically liberal openly deny the authority of both the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. Among many of those who do profess to believe in the authority of inspired writings, many things just aren't followed or are explained away. Some seek to put into practice the counsel offered, but it definitely isn't as unanimous as Mr. Cannon thinks. Ellen White is not "revered by all."

The Documentation Package identifies this item as "Point 93," but when one turns to "Point 93," no citation relevant to this item can be seen.

    "Teachings Above the Bible"  
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#197 & #198: "'Point 2: The cult leader's word, or teachings of the cult, become absolute truth, overshadowing the teachings of the Bible.'"

"No Seventh-day Adventist would dare deny that Ellen G. White's comments on a certain portion of Scripture, determine the group's acceptance or rejection of historical views held on those Scriptures. Her interpretations prevail and become Adventist doctrine. Even today her writings are considered to be of equal inspiration with Scripture." (Steve Cannon)

#197: Ellen White's comments overshadow the teachings of the Bible. False, as already brought out under #21, #23, #24, #25-#26, and #45.

The Documentation Package gives the quotation below under both "Point 13" and "Point 94," a quotation of number 17 of the twenty-seven fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists:

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.

This plainly says that Ellen White's comments must be tested by the Bible. Her comments cannot therefore simultaneously overshadow the teachings of Scripture. Thus, once again, the Documentation Package proves the utter falsity of this charge.

#198: Ellen White's comments on certain portions of Scripture determine the acceptance or rejection of historical views on those Scriptures. This is really an incredible statement for Mr. Cannon to make. He didn't say "acceptance or rejection of Scripture." He instead said "acceptance or rejection of historical views." "Historical views" is another way of saying "tradition."

In other words, Seventh-day Adventists are being condemned because they reject tradition.

But we have to reject tradition, because we are Protestants.

What says the Bible, the blessed Bible,
This my only question be.
The teachings of men so often mislead us.
What says the Bible to me.

If an individual who truly does have the biblical gift of prophecy declares some tradition to be an error, is that wrong?

    "Pressure Tactics" 
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#199, #200, #201, #202, & #203: "'Point 3: Each cult uses pressure tactics to coerce members into submission.'"

"Ellen G. White knew how to pressure people into submission. First she would claim to receive a reproof from God for the person, which she would air publicly through her testimonies. Usually the person conformed under the pressure. 'I have uttered reproofs... because the Lord has given me words of reproof... for the church.' The Remnant Church; Its Organization, Authority, Unity, and Triumph p. 6." (Steve Cannon)

#199: Ellen White pressured people into submission. We will refer to what was already quoted under #128 and #132 regarding Ellen White's allegedly forcing the reform dress on "her female followers":

Some who adopted the reform were not content to show by example the advantages of the dress, giving, when asked, their reasons for adopting it, and letting the matter rest there. They sought to control others' conscience by their own. If they wore it, others must put it on. They forgot that none were to be compelled to wear the reform dress.

It was not my duty to urge the subject upon my sisters. After presenting it before them as it had been shown me, I left them to their own conscience. . . .

Some were greatly troubled because I did not make the dress a test question, and still others because I advised those who had unbelieving husbands or children not to adopt the reform dress, as it might lead to unhappiness that would counteract all the good to be derived from its use. (Testimonies for the Church 4:636, 637)

Ellen White sometimes had to rebuke people who were trying to force their convictions on others. She set before her readers God's own example of how to treat people who do not agree or are erring:

The government of God is not, as Satan would make it appear, founded upon a blind submission, an unreasoning control. It appeals to the intellect and the conscience. "Come now, and let us reason together" is the Creator's invitation to the beings He has made. Isaiah 1:18. God does not force the will of His creatures. He cannot accept an homage that is not willingly and intelligently given. A mere forced submission would prevent all real development of mind or character; it would make man a mere automaton. Such is not the purpose of the Creator. He desires that man, the crowning work of His creative power, shall reach the highest possible development. He sets before us the height of blessing to which He desires to bring us through His grace. He invites us to give ourselves to Him, that He may work His will in us. It remains for us to choose whether we will be set free from the bondage of sin, to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God. (Steps to Christ 43, 44)

She advocated the taking of these principles manifested in God's government into the home and the classroom:

To direct the child's development without hindering it by undue control should be the study of both parent and teacher. Too much management is as bad as too little. The effort to "break the will" of a child is a terrible mistake. Minds are constituted differently; while force may secure outward submission, the result with many children is a more determined rebellion of the heart. Even should the parent or teacher succeed in gaining the control he seeks, the outcome may be no less harmful to the child. The discipline of a human being who has reached the years of intelligence should differ from the training of a dumb animal. The beast is taught only submission to its master. For the beast, the master is mind, judgment, and will. This method, sometimes employed in the training of children, makes them little more than automatons. Mind, will, conscience, are under the control of another. It is not God's purpose that any mind should be thus dominated. Those who weaken or destroy individuality assume a responsibility that can result only in evil. While under authority, the children may appear like well-drilled soldiers; but when the control ceases, the character will be found to lack strength and steadfastness. Having never learned to govern himself, the youth recognizes no restraint except the requirement of parents or teacher. This removed, he knows not how to use his liberty, and often gives himself up to indulgence that proves his ruin. (Education 288)

Would not the world be a better place if preachers, parents, teachers, and public officials sought to put into practice these simple principles Ellen White advocated?

#200: Ellen White would publicly air reproofs intended for individuals. Obviously, Mr. Cannon must not be too acquainted with the writings of Ellen White. Most of the time, as the Documentation Package under "Point 95a" indicates, the person's name was never used when a personal testimony was made public.

Under "Point 95a", a selection from volume 3 of Testimonies for the Church talks about Brother B. Who is Brother B? Did his name begin with B? Not at all. Brother A is referred to two pages before and Brother C is referred to four pages after. Letters were assigned to replace the people's names in the order in which they appeared in the book.

The specific city or town where Brother B was from is stated to be ----- on pages 339 and 340, thus protecting the guilty as far as possible. In other words, even where he lived is kept a secret. Only those acquainted with both the man and the problem might be able to guess who Ellen White was talking about.

Why would Ellen White "air publicly" the reproof if she left the name and address out?

I have given some personal communications in several numbers of my testimonies, and in some cases persons have been offended because I did not publish all such communications. On account of their number this would be hardly possible, and it would be improper from the fact that some of them relate to sins which need not, and should not, be made public.

But I have finally decided that many of these personal testimonies should be published, as they all contain more or less reproof and instruction which apply to hundreds or thousands of others in similar condition. These should have the light which God has seen fit to give which meets their cases. It is a wrong to shut it away from them by sending it to one person or to one place, where it is kept as a light under a bushel. (Testimonies for the Church 1:631, 632)

Obviously, as she said, she didn't "air publicly" all the reproofs she sent to individuals, because this would be "improper." But she did air many of them, usually with names and places deleted.

One exception to the anonymity principle does appear in this very chapter:

In this testimony I speak freely of the case of Sister Hannah More, not from a willingness to grieve the Battle Creek church, but from a sense of duty. I love that church notwithstanding their faults. I know of no church that in acts of benevolence and general duty do so well. I present the frightful facts in this case to arouse our people everywhere to a sense of their duty. Not one in twenty of those who have a good standing with Seventh-day Adventists is living out the self-sacrificing principles of the word of God. (Ibid. 632)

Why this exception to anonymity? As an unmarried missionary in Africa, Hannah More accepted the Sabbath truth and was consequently dropped from employment by her missionary society. She came to Battle Creek, Michigan, but no Adventist took an interest in her. Ms. More actively sought employment in Battle Creek, for there were quite a few Adventist ministries there at the time, but no one wanted to hire this intelligent and devoted lady. She therefore lodged with friends in northern Michigan who were not of her faith. Unaccustomed to the winters of northern Michigan, Hannah More died that winter.

Because of neglect, someone died. Do you think this might be reason enough to get more specific about people and places? Would you call this an unwarranted cultic pressure tactic?

As the result of Ellen White confronting this issue, the denomination started an association whose primary responsibility was to aid widows and orphans. Praise the Lord! The possibility of future neglect causing someone's death was therefore lessened.

Here is what she said about public exposure of naughty students.

Great care should be shown in regard to making public the errors of students. To make public exposure of wrong is harmful in every respect to the wrongdoer and has no beneficial influence upon the school. It never helps a student to humiliate him before his fellow students. This heals nothing, cures nothing, but makes a wound that mortifies. (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students 267)

The principles expressed in this quote would be applicable in other settings as well. Didn't she have some good thoughts?

#201: Usually the person conformed. Under "Point 95a" the Documentation Package cites three selections, one of which talks about Brother B, to which we just referred to above. Another is from page 387 of volume 21 of Manuscript Releases. This page is a rebuke to a very prominent Seventh-day Adventist leader named J. H. Waggoner, who, from what I can tell, did "conform." Yes, Ellen White comes down pretty hard on this minister who was guilty of adultery:

Had you, Elder Waggoner, an elder of the church, looked up, you would have seen yourself a spectacle to God and to the pure angels who veil their faces and turn away from your pollution of soul and body. My words seem tame as I pen them when I think of the wonderful truths we profess and the great light that shines upon us from the Word of God. The Judge of all the earth is standing before the door, and every case must pass in solemn review before Him. I inquire, How can anyone with this light shining upon them dare in thought or word to deny the Lord God who hath bought them? Make haste, my brother, to cleanse your hands. Jesus is still pleading as your Intercessor. Commence the work of forsaking your sins without delay. Do not rest till you find pardon, for no soul can enter the paradise of God who has a single spot or stain in his character. Make thorough work for eternity.--Letter 51, 1886.

Now that I read it again, it doesn't sound like she came down all that hard. I mean, this gray-haired man had gone beyond just having an adulterous affair in secret. He had gotten to the point where he would even put his head in the lady's lap in public gatherings! (This information is gleaned from Letter 10, 1885. One modern citation to the letter refers to this incident, while other modern citations state that this letter was sent to J. H. Waggoner.) Waggoner had a severe problem and seemed blind to it.

Ten months had gone be since Ellen White wrote Letter 10 to J. H. Waggoner on November 4, 1885. Still he had not repented of his grievous conduct. So she wrote Letter 51, 1886, to plead with him further.

Yet it was not just a delay of ten months that urged Ellen White to write thus. The public gathering at which Waggoner had had his head on another man's wife's lap appears to have been connected with New Year's Day. Perhaps it was New Year's in 1885, but it could have been in 1884 or 1883. Thus this man, in the sunset of his life, was allowing too much time to go by before he made his peace with God. He should have "conformed" much sooner.

Enough said.

#202: Conformed under the pressure. Actually, Ellen White was present at the gathering where J. H. Waggoner had his head in the lap of the lady he was having an affair with:

The very things that transpired at the Piedmont Sabbath school reunion, I would not have [had] occur for thousands of dollars. You, a gray-haired man, lying at full length with your head in the lap of Georgie S. Had I done my duty, I would have rebuked you there. Many saw this and made remarks about it. (Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce 182)

So Ellen White later felt that she had not rebuked Waggoner as duty required. At the time, at this public religious gathering, she didn't say anything. In other words, looking back, she felt she had been too soft on the man . Pressure tactics?

What should the prophetess have said instead of the previous quotation from Letter 51, 1886? "Now, now, Elder Waggoner, be a good boy. You really shouldn't do that again. If you do, you might not be able to go out and play."

Yes, Waggoner apparently did finally conform under the "pressure" of Ellen White's earnest entreaties, along with the entreaties of his brethren. But to my knowledge, Ellen White never made his case known to the general Adventist public. Most Adventists today still don't know that this man had such a serious problem.

It is apparent from this situation, and others like it, that Ellen White didn't just write about the character of Christ. She ever sought to emulate His lovely character:

Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. (Desire of Ages 353)

#203: The type of pressure Ellen White used is one of the marks of a cult. Rather ludicrous. If such an idea be true, then the prophets of the Bible were just as cultic as Ellen White. Consider what Nathan told David when he had committed adultery and murder:

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. (2 Sam. 12:7-13)

Looks like David "conformed" under the "pressure."

Let's not forget Elijah:

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (2 Kings 17:1)

And that was only the beginning of Elijah's "pressure tactics."

In the New Testament we have more of the same from Peter:

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. (Acts 5:1-12)

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. (Acts 8:20-24)

And we have more of the same from Paul:

Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? (Acts 23:3)

To cite every example in the Bible of prophets and apostles using the same kind of "pressure tactics" as Ellen White used, we would certainly have to reprint a large portion of the Scriptures!

       "Love, Acceptance, and Fellowship Still Withheld"   
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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.

#204 & #205: "The tactics may not be as blatant today, but believers are subject to pressure tactics today as well to conform to the group. Love, acceptance, and fellowship are very often withheld from anyone who questions the official teachings of the church."

#204: Love, acceptance, and fellowship very often withheld. Love is a word that can mean different things to different people, so let's leave it out of this discussion. For instance, love might be giving a lollipop to your kid, or it might mean giving him some necessary discipline.

Essentially, Mr. Cannon is talking about church discipline here. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses or the Amish, we do not practice shunning, but we do believe in church discipline, for it is biblical. And discipline can be the most loving thing to do.

For Seventh-day Adventists, church discipline does not mean that family members cannot associate with erring family members. It does not mean that erring ones cannot attend church services. There are two forms of church discipline within the Seventh-day Adventist Church: 1) Censure. 2) Disfellowship.

Censuring is for a stated period of time. The erring one loses the church offices that he or she holds, and, during the period of censure, cannot have a voice or vote in the affairs of the church, cannot have a public part in the services of the church, and cannot transfer his or her membership to another church. Disfellowshipping is when the person's name is actually removed from the membership roles of the church. He or she is then no longer a Seventh-day Adventist.

Chapter 13 of the Church Manual, which outlines these procedures, gets very specific about what a member can and cannot be disciplined for. After the erring one is disciplined, notice the attitude of kindness that must be displayed:

Notification to Disfellowshipped Members-It is incumbent upon the church that disfellowships a member to notify the individual in writing of the action that was reluctantly taken with the assurance of enduring spiritual interest and personal concern. This communication should, where possible, be delivered in person by the church pastor or by a church board designee. The erring member should be assured that the church will always hope that reaffiliation will take place and that one day there will be eternal fellowship together in the kingdom of God.

Thus churches are to be as kind as possible in their dealing with members who murder, commit adultery, steal, habitually lie, embezzle, commit fraud, take to alcohol or tobacco or narcotics, commence a warfare against the church, or deny the basic teachings of the Bible.

Let's talk about the withholding of acceptance and fellowship. Mr. Cannon says this is very often done to those who question the official teachings of the church. Perhaps he doesn't really understand what is going on, for if he did he would think it actually isn't done often enough. I mean, he would think it isn't often enough if he is a Bible-believing Christian.

We have already cited Walter Rea's views, under #100, regarding how the Bible cannot be trusted as the final authority. He was one who experienced a lessening of acceptance and fellowship. His views on inspiration apparently led to his rejection of the authority of Scripture, which doctrine is the first of Adventism's twenty-seven fundamental beliefs.

Receiving the Word, by Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, documents what has been going on for a number of decades among an influential minority of Adventists. Some of these want to say that God will not punish sinners. Others want to say that God is so kind, He will forgive us even if we don't confess or repent. Others want to say that Jesus's death on the cross was not in our place, that He is not our substitute, that His blood did not have to be shed. Others want to say that justification by faith is a farce. Others want to say that we don't need a mediator. Others want to say that evolution is acceptable. Others want to say that premarital sex may not always be wrong. Others want to say that abortion is all right. Others want to say that homosexual practices are not an abomination to the Lord.

What do you think? Should people holding these views be just as accepted and enjoy just as much fellowship as those who still believe the Bible?

The truth is that a good number of these Adventist folk with unbiblical ideas, comprising a rather outspoken minority, occupy important positions within the denomination, still enjoying fellowship and acceptance. My thought for some time has been that the appropriate thing for these folk to do is to go start their own church. Why try and change mine which has stood so strongly for so long for the authority and inspiration of Scripture?

That what I have said is true can be seen from Mr. Koranteng-Pipim's book. Implied in Sydney Cleveland's comment under #229-#231, it can also be seen from the fact that a magazine like Spectrum exists. The Documentation Package cites this journal under "Point 6" and "Point 14." The Time article under "Point 54" calls Spectrum an "independent journal for church liberals." Grab a copy and look through it, and you will likely see that a number of influential Adventists are openly propagating skepticism while still enjoying acceptance and fellowship.

If we are so hard on people who question the teachings of the church, why does Spectrum still exist?

#205: Withholding of acceptance and fellowship for questioning doctrine is a characteristic of a cult. Actually, we need to point out that "questioning" does not mean simply questioning. Adventist members are not disfellowshipped for merely asking questions about doctrines. But questioning in the sense of attacking and going to war against, that is a different matter.

Is Mr. Cannon calling into question what the Bible teaches about church discipline? Would he call the apostle Paul a cult leader?

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven. . . . I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. . . . Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Cor. 5)

Is Paul advocating a type of treatment toward those in apostasy that is cultic in nature? Or does the church have a biblical duty to fulfill in such cases?

And what about the apostle John? Was he a cult leader?

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 Jn. 9-11)

Obviously, there are certain cases that the church must deal with, cases involving doctrine as well as conduct.

    "Originally Denied Christ's Deity, Michael" 
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#206, #207, #208, #209, & #210: "'Point 4: Each cult denies the central truth of the gospel that Jesus is the divine Son of God without beginning or ending. They deny that His death has provided salvation... for the entire human race. As a result, salvation is earned by adherence to the teachings of the cult rather than accepting Christ and following Him.'" (Narrator)

"We would point out that the group originally denied the deity of Jesus Christ. Today they believe Jesus Christ is eternal, but they are stuck with the old doctrine that Jesus is the Archangel Michael. They need to firmly establish one doctrine and discontinue the other. However they cannot give up this doctrine which contradicts Hebrews 1:13 without having to acknowledge that Mrs. White made a mistake. Instead they try to accommodate both conflicting doctrines. This is an impossible situation." (Steve Cannon)

#206: Originally denied the deity of Christ. This is not true, as pointed out under #94. James White and Uriah Smith, as well as others, strongly affirmed the deity of Christ.

James White was editor of the Advent Review, and Joseph Bates and J. N. Andrews were on the publishing committee, when a work by an English author was printed in the Advent Review of October 18, 1853. This English work contained the following statement:

Christians, keep not silence while your Lord is dishonored, and souls are perishing. Warn those who deny the divinity of the only Saviour, that they must perish everlastingly if they go on rejecting him, for it is fearful and blasphemous to reject him. (116)

You may have noticed that Mr. Cannon is combining two issues as if they are one. He equates the deity of Christ with Christ being eternal, as if the one meant the other, when actually they are two separate issues. The reader may find this strange, but please bear with me.

Consider well-known Adventist preacher Elliot J. Waggoner (1855-1916) in his 1890 Christ and His Righteousness. Chapter two is entitled "Christ is God," and chapter four is entitled "Christ not a Created Being." From chapter four:

Before passing to some of the practical lessons that are to be learned from these truths, we must dwell for a few moments upon an opinion that is honestly held by many who would not for any consideration willingly dishonor Christ, but who, through that opinion, do actually deny His Divinity.

It is the idea that Christ is a created being, who, through the good pleasure of God, was elevated to His present lofty position. No one who holds this view can possibly have any just conception of the exalted position which Christ really occupies.

The view in question is built upon a misconception of a single text, Rev. 3:14: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God." This is wrongly interpreted to mean that Christ is the first being that God created--that God's work of creation began with Him. But this view antagonizes the scripture which declares that Christ Himself created all things. To say that God began His work of creation by creating Christ is to leave Christ entirely out of the work of creation.

The word rendered "beginning" is arche, meaning, as well, "head" or "chief." It occurs in the name of the Greek ruler, Archon, in archbishop and the word archangel. Take this last word. Christ is the archangel. See Jude 9; 1 Thess. 4:16; John 5:28, 29; Dan. 10:21. This does not mean that He is the first of the angels, for He is not an angel but is above them. Heb. 1:4. It means that He is the chief or prince of the angels, just as an archbishop is the head of the bishops. Christ is the commander of the angels. See Rev. 19:19-14. He created the angels. Col. 1:16. And so the statement that He is the beginning or head of the creation of God means that in Him creation had its beginning; that, as He Himself says, He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Rev. 21:6; 22:13. He is the source whence all things have their origin.

Neither should we imagine that Christ is a creature, because Paul calls Him (Col. 1:15) "The First-born of every creature" for the very next verses show Him to be Creator and not a creature. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Now if He created everything that was ever created and existed before all created things, it is evident that He Himself is not among created things. He is above all creation and not a part of it.

The Scriptures declare that Christ is "the only begotten son of God." He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning.

But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son and not a created subject. He has by inheritance a more excellent name than the angels; He is "a Son over His own house." Heb. 1:4; 3:6. And since He is the only-begotten son of God, He is of the very substance and nature of God and possesses by birth all the attributes of God, for the Father was pleased that His Son should be the express image of His Person, the brightness of His glory, and filled with all the fullness of the Godhead. So He has "life in Himself." He possesses immortality in His own right and can confer immortality upon others. Life inheres in Him, so that it cannot be taken from Him, but having voluntarily laid it down, He can take it again. His words are these: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." John 10:17, 18. (19-22)

Here is a man who says that Christ is God, is divine, and is not a created being. Yet at the same time he says that Christ is "practically without beginning." Was he contradicting himself? No, he wasn't. He also believed in the "processions," part of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Christ "proceeded forth" from the Father. Waggoner identified the procession as being when Christ was begotten, an orthodox-enough idea.

The one aspect of today's orthodox version of the Trinity Waggoner doesn't seem to have endorsed is that God is outside time, and that therefore the processions happened outside of time. Waggoner does not seem to have accepted the idea that even though the Son was begotten, His being begotten never happened at a point of time.

Should we crucify Waggoner or James White or Uriah Smith because they didn't wholeheartedly endorse the idea that, while Jesus was begotten, He still is without any beginning? I think not. To crucify someone for believing what Waggoner describes would be cult-like behavior. How could we withhold acceptance and fellowship from such a man who held views that were so nearly orthodox?

In actuality, acceptance and fellowship were withheld through the centuries by the Catholic Church for just such beliefs. I don't think they crucified anyone, but they did dispatch quite a few in other ways for not believing about the Trinity just exactly as they taught it.

#207: Must discontinue the doctrine that Jesus is the archangel Michael. I'm sorry. We must be true to Scripture. (If you wish to read what the Bible says on this particular subject, check out #93 and my papers: "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh" and "The Divine Christ in the Old Testament.")

Besides, this is an "historical view" held upon the Scriptures that talk about Michael, as pointed out under #87. Should we reject this historical view because someone doesn't like it?

#208: This doctrine contradicts Hebrews 1:13. This is false. If it were true, the Bible would be contradicting itself (see #93 and my papers: "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh" and "The Divine Christ in the Old Testament."). After all, if the Angel who claims to be God in the Old Testament is not Christ, than we have more than one God. We would have the Father, Son, and Spirit as one God, and we would have the divine Angel who appeared to various ones be another God. The Bible, however, tells us that there is only one God.

Also, the context of Hebrews 1:13 makes it pretty plain that Paul is not talking about either men or Christ by the term "angel." His use of the term must refer only to the angelic beings that God created to populate heaven. So even though the term "angel" is used by Bible writers to refer to both Christ and people as well as the angelic host (see #93 and "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh"), the author of Hebrews is restricting his meaning to just the angelic beings.

We cannot use Hebrews 1:13 to prove that the word "angel" never applies to people or Christ, because that would make the Bible blatantly contradict itself (again, see #93 and "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh").

Why the script writer thought that the Adventist understanding of Michael contradicts Hebrews 1:13 can be seen from the index to the Documentation Package. Under "Point 96" in the index is this revealing sentence:

Jesus cannot be eternally God and a created angel at the same time!

Seventh-day Adventism has never taught that Michael is a created angel and the Documentation Package presents no evidence that it ever has. If Michael is not a created angel, which He isn't, the whole objection to Michael and Christ being the same divine person collapses.

#209: Can't discontinue it without acknowledging that Mrs. White made a mistake. Our last oversimplification in the critique.

Actually, we can't discontinue this doctrine without acknowledging that Charles Spurgeon, John Gill, Matthew Henry, the writer of the footnotes in the 1599 Geneva Bible, and a host of others made a mistake as well (see #87).

#210: It is impossible to accommodate both doctrines. This is false, as can be seen by my discussion of the subject here, as well as under #93, in "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh", and in "The Divine Christ in the Old Testament."

    "Added Things to Salvation" 
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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."

#211: Adventists have added the investigative judgment to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. This is not true, as any Bible-believing Christian would acknowledge:

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. . . .) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Rom. 2:12-16)

If God will judge all by the gospel, it cannot be said that the judgment is added to the gospel. It is part of the gospel, as Revelation 14:6, 7 clearly shows:

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.

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:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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. 22:18, 19)

#212: Adventists have added Sabbath keeping to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. This too is not true.

As already quoted under #187, Sabbath keeping is in harmony with grace according to the Scriptures:

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, 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. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. (Acts 13:42-44)

It is also in harmony with the gospel, for the angel of Revelation 14 who preaches the everlasting gospel also quotes from the fourth commandment when he says:

And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (7)

Sabbath keeping is also in harmony with 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 confirmed or 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)

The Greek word for "testament" is the same as the Greek word for "covenant."

Sunday came three days too late. The will, the New Testament, the New Covenant was ratified on Friday when Christ died. That evening, what did a number of Christ's followers do?

And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. (Lk. 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 this law that is to be written in our hearts, it would have had to have been deleted before Christ died. Since it was not (at least, no Bible passage can be found saying that it was), the fourth commandment must still be in force.

Would the contributors to this video please consider that they will likely be charged with the crime of altering a Man's will after His death? To delete portions of a Man's will after He has died is highly illegal.

Contact the heavenly court for full details.

#213: Adventists have added obedience to the Ten Commandments as requirements for salvation. Again, this is woefully inaccurate. We never added it at all. We do not believe that obedience is a requirement for justification or conversion. We never added obedience as a requirement for glorification.

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. (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.

Again, Paul cannot be clearer:

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)

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, as we just saw. 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 us that we must abstain from blood:

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. (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 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 said not to touch 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)

I sure want God to be my Father, don't you?

A good while 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 would 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. (3:8-11)

Many Bible-believing Christians 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.

I am one of these. My house was in the midst of a 5800-acre forest fire. The hard-plastic weather stripping around two of the windows melted. 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. Yet the house was totally untouched, except for the weather stripping around the two windows. Sadly, my neighbor's house went down in ten minutes.

Paul indicates that as the preachers of the Old Testament were supported, 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 (blood, unclean animals, and tithing), is that they are all precepts that existed before the Jews came to be:

  1. Noah and all his descendents were forbidden to eat blood in Genesis 9:4.
  2. The clean-unclean animal distinctions were something that Noah well understood (Gen. 7:2, 3).
  3. Abraham paid tithes, and Jacob promised to (Gen. 14:20; 28:22).

Many Bible-believing Christians would agree with Adventists that at least two of these three things are still binding upon Christians.

Adventists haven't added anything.

    "Sins on Satan and No Mediator" 
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#215, #216, & #217: "In addition they believe the world's sins have been placed upon Satan rather than Christ, and that Christians must stand before God without Christ as their mediator. 'Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator.' Great Controversy p. 425."

#215: Sins have been placed upon Satan. No Adventist believes that sins have been placed upon Satan. This charge is a total fabrication.

As shown under #191 and #192, Adventists believe that sins will be placed upon Satan after salvation is completely done. Since Christ has not returned, and since the "redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23) has not yet taken place, no sins have been placed upon Satan as of yet.

#216: Sins have been placed upon Satan rather than Christ. Utterly false. Adventists have never taught that our sins are laid upon Satan instead of upon Christ. Christ is our only Sin-bearer (see #191 and #192).

#217: Must stand without a mediator. This is a pretty poor straw man. Every Bible-believing Christian who has studied the matter knows that the mediatorial work of Christ must cease at some point. Will we need a mediator throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity? Of course not.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Rev. 22:11, 12)

According to Jesus's own words, His mediation will cease just before He comes. There will be no more switching sides. Sinners will be forever lost, and saints will be forever saved.

This is also indicated in Revelation 8:3-5:

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake are associated with the second coming of Christ in the book of Revelation. The censer with the incense is a symbol of the intercession going on in heaven for us. The casting down of the censer must represent the cessation of that intercessory work just before the return of Christ.

Adventists do not believe that that time has come. However, the narrator gives no hint that Adventists believe this is something that becomes reality only in the last moments of time.

    "Always Lives to Intercede, Sins on Satan" 
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#218, #219, & #220: "Contrast this with the plain statement from the Bible in Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25 concerning Jesus Christ. 'Hence also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.' Truly the salvation for the Seventh-day Adventists, placing sin upon Satan, is not the salvation taught in the Bible. (Steve Cannon)

#218: Hebrews 7:25. As should be readily apparent from #217, the use of this text is irrelevant to the point. Will this verse be still true 10 million years after Christ returns? Of course not. There will be no need of salvation or intercession then since sin will be no more. The saved of earth will enjoy total bliss throughout eternity without a mediator.

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

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Rev. 22:3, 4)

And [God] said [to Moses], Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. (Ex. 33:20)

What makes the difference? Why was Moses unable to see God's face in Old Testament times, but the redeemed throughout eternity will be able to?

We cannot today approach a holy God except through our divine Mediator, because of our sinfulness. However, once sin is fully dealt with, this impediment will be removed, and we will be able to see the face of God. The clear implication is that when Revelation 22:3 and 4 are fulfilled, there will no longer be a need of a mediator.

Hebrews 7:25 is talking about the present. It has no bearing whatsoever upon eternity.

#219: Salvation for Seventh-day Adventists placing sin upon Satan. Maybe Mr. Cannon is talking about the Church of Satan, but he cannot be talking about Seventh-day Adventists. We believe that the sins are laid upon Satan only after salvation is over (see #191 and #192).

#220: Not the salvation taught in the Bible. Since Seventh-day Adventists do not believe, and never have, that our salvation comes from placing sins upon Satan, this argument is clearly a straw man.

    "Four of the Five Points Apply to Adventists" 
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#221 & #222: "'Point 5: Cults often urge their converts to leave their families.'"

"At last we can find a point on which we can agree. Adventists do not urge their converts to leave their families. That means that out of the five points marking a group as a cult, four of them apply to Seventh-day Adventists. Many feel this is too cult-like for them." (Steve Cannon)

#221: Four of the five points apply to Seventh-day Adventists. As we have just seen, not one of the five points applies to Seventh-day Adventists:

  1. Single, powerful human leader who becomes the cult's "Messiah." Adventists do not make Mrs. White out to be their "Messiah." She is not "revered by all." Adventists do not have "total reliance" upon her. The Bible is the final authority.

  2. The cult leader's word, or teachings of the cult, become absolute truth, overshadowing the teachings of the Bible. Consistently, the Seventh-day Adventist Church exalts the Bible above all.

  3. Each cult uses pressure tactics to coerce members into submission. Neither Ellen White nor the Seventh-day Adventist Church uses pressure tactics, any more than the biblical prophets and apostles did.

  4. Each cult denies the central truth of the gospel that Jesus is the divine Son of God without beginning or ending. They deny that His death has provided salvation... for the entire human race. As a result, salvation is earned by adherence to the teachings of the cult rather than accepting Christ and following Him. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has consistently advocated the doctrines of the deity of Christ and of salvation provided through His death. We do not believe that anyone, whether in Old Testament or New Testament times, can be saved by works.

    In actuality, about 110 years ago, many Adventists had strayed away from a solid emphasis on salvation by faith in Christ. The Lord used Ellen White and others to bring us back. At least some of the contributors to the video should know about Ellen White's assistance in returning Seventh-day Adventists to a stronger emphasis in this area. Too bad the video didn't mention it.

  5. Cults often urge their converts to leave their families. As Mr. Cannon admits, Seventh-day Adventists do not fit this one.

#222: The makers of this video really think that these five marks of a cult are important. That this is highly unlikely can be seen from the following:

Would Mr. Cannon, MacGregor Ministries, and Jeremiah Films be so bold as to put together a video attacking the Roman Catholic Church for these very points? My purpose in asking this is not to offend any Roman Catholics out there, but rather to show the gross inconsistency of the contributors to the video.

  1. Single, powerful human leader who becomes the cult's "Messiah." The official dogma of the Catholic Church makes the pope a single, very powerful human leader. The teaching is that the pope has the power to forgive sins, can lock and unlock heaven, and is the representative of Jesus Christ on earth. Thus he does take on attributes that the Bible ascribes to Jesus the Messiah.

  2. The cult leader's word, or teachings of the cult, become absolute truth, overshadowing the teachings of the Bible. This second mark is standard Catholic dogma: Tradition is authoritative as well as Scripture. Tradition can even define absolute truth. When tradition and the Scriptures disagree, tradition usually wins. For instance. the Bible says that we only have one mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). What about priests, saints, and Mary? On this point, tradition wins.

  3. Each cult uses pressure tactics to coerce members into submission. While Ellen White entreated and Bible prophets rebuked, the Catholic Church has often resorted to force. Somewhere between 50 and 150 million people were put to death during the Middle Ages at the behest of the Catholic Church. Pretty serious pressure, wouldn't you say?

  4. Each cult denies the central truth of the gospel that Jesus is the divine Son of God without beginning or ending. They deny that His death has provided salvation... for the entire human race. As a result, salvation is earned by adherence to the teachings of the cult rather than accepting Christ and following Him. While it is true that the Roman Catholic Church upholds the deity of Christ, sometimes questions have been raised regarding whether it also upholds the biblical teaching that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. (1 Jn. 4:2, 3; 2 Jn. 1:7). Was He a real man with a humanity like ours, except without sin? Many feel that the doctrine of the immaculate conception insulates Christ from being "made like unto His brethren" "in all things, " and therefore being able to be "tempted in all points like as we are" (Heb. 2:17; 4:15).

    Regarding Christ's death providing salvation for us, consider the following insightful quotation from Conway's The Question Box:

    "'In the economy of salvation the sinner is bound to give personal satisfaction; if he does not, his lot is damnation. Christ was not punished instead of the sinner, nor against His own will as sinners are punished; by the holiest of free acts He bore the penalties of sin in order to merit for the sinner a means of satisfying which lay beyond human power. His vicarious satisfaction is not the transfer of punishment from the unjust to the just, but the transfer of the merits of the just to the unjust.' (Wilhelm-Scannell, 'A Manual of Catholic Theology,' vol. ii. p. 188)" (63)

    Thus official Catholic dogma states that rather than Christ dying in our place or purchasing our pardon, He instead provided a way for us to pay our own debt of sin which we would not have had otherwise.

    And then there is the teaching of indulgences, whereby an individual spends less time in purgatory because of merit he has received from the Catholic Church in exchange for certain works.

  5. Cults often urge their converts to leave their families. Many have left family and friends to pursue a life of celibacy and exclusion. More than this, sometimes the Roman Church has kidnapped young children from their parents.

    You might think that I am now descending to depths of slander and innuendo to join the contributors to this video, but let me share with you one particular incident that hit the newspapers in 1855. Seven-year-old Edgar Mortara, son of Girolamo Mortara Levi of Bologna, when but eleven months old, was "baptized" by a servant girl. When the authorities found out about this Jewish boy's "baptism," he was taken from his home, with only a 24-hour delay given for the family's sake.

    The Jews of Bologna, a city in the Papal States, and therefore a city directly ruled by the pope, raised a considerable amount of money for the ransom of the boy, all to no avail.

    When he arrived in Rome, he was baptized a second time, implying that the first baptism wasn't any good anyway! He was catechized and eventually became a priest.

    Piedmont, France, England, and America were outraged. Emperor Napoleon III insisted that the pope return the boy to his parents, but nothing was ever done. (R. De Cesare, The Last Days of Papal Rome 176-179)

Undoubtedly, many American Catholics would not go along with the above five marks, even though their church either does or has. Many Catholics disagree with the positions taken by their church.

To my knowledge, Jeremiah Films has never made a video attacking the Catholic Church as being a cult, even though that church appears to better fit the five marks claimed to be so important. It would therefore seem that there must be some other motives at work behind the making of the video attacking Seventh-day Adventists.

Why go after the little guy and leave the big guy all alone?

    "Deceptive Espousal of Salvation by Grace Alone" 
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#223, #224, & #225:"During the 1950's, certain well-known evangelical Christian ministries approached the Seventh-day Adventist hierarchy in an effort to find out the true nature of their doctrinal beliefs. In a gesture similar to the Mormons, the Adventist leaders desiring the approval of the Christian community at large deceptively espoused the evangelical view of salvation by grace alone. While this temporarily pacified many Christian denominations, it wreaked havoc within Seventh-day Adventism. Many followers felt betrayed and began searching the teachings of Ellen White for themselves in an effort to discover the truth. Those who did were shocked at what they found. What began for many as a quest to validate Adventism turned instead into a lurid discovery of the plagiarism, false prophecies, and heretical teachings of Ellen G. White."

#223: Adventist leaders deceptively espoused the view of salvation by grace alone. We espoused this view long before the 1950's. If we had not, why did Ellen White, who died in 1915, write:

The mother is God's agent to Christianize her family. She is to exemplify Biblical religion, showing how its influence is to control us in its everyday duties and pleasures, teaching her children that by grace alone can they be saved, through faith, which is the gift of God. This constant teaching as to what Christ is to us and to them, His love, His goodness, His mercy, revealed in the great plan of redemption, will make a hallowed, sacred impress on the heart. (Adventist Home 235)

He who grudges the reward to another forgets that he himself is saved by grace alone. (Christ's Object Lessons 402)

Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (Testimonies to Ministers 508)

The Jewish leaders discerned the truth that Christ presented, but they also realized that it meant the greatest humiliation to them to accept of the rich salvation brought to them through this humble teacher. To be saved through grace alone, to confess that in and of themselves they deserved no favors, was to acknowledge that which was contrary to their cherished ideas, and to lay in the dust their pride, vanity, and ambition. To receive the benediction that Christ pronounced, they saw that an entire change must take place in their lives, but this fact they did not relish. (Sabbath-School Worker 8/1/1895)

But our own efforts are of no avail to atone for sin or to renew the heart. Only the blood of Christ can atone for us; his grace alone can create in us a clean heart, and enable us to obey God's law. In him is our only hope. (Signs of the Times 2/9/1891)

But let no one think that it is possible for human beings in their own power to reach the ideal that God presents before them. Our hearts are evil, and we can not change them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?--Not one." "The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere; but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they can not change the heart; they can not purify the soul. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before man can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness. (Signs of the Times 5/28/1902)

"These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." The joy that comes from any other source than Christ is valueless. It is a pretense, an emotion that brings no abiding satisfaction. Christ has redeemed us with His own life, and we are to appreciate the sacrifice made for us. We are to claim His promises, resting by faith in the knowledge of the atonement made for us. We are to surrender ourselves unreservedly to Him; for His grace alone has sufficient power to save the soul of the repenting, believing sinner. (Signs of the Times 9/7/1904)

There is need to cultivate every grace that Jesus, through his sufferings and death, has brought within our reach; for that grace alone can remedy our defects; Christ alone can transform the character. (Youth's Instructor 1/28/1897)

So we weren't being deceptive.

In the Documentation Package, this is supposedly dealt with under "Point 100," "Point 100a," and "Point 100b," the last of the points it covers. However, there is no substantiation given for this charge at all. The photocopies shown concerning Walter Martin, who was the one supposedly deceived by Adventist leaders, concern the role of Ellen White within the Adventist Church, not salvation by grace alone. And that's the end of the Documentation Package.

#224: Many followers felt betrayed by such an espousal. No, they felt betrayed because M. L. Andreason, a prominent theologian, said that the book Questions on Doctrine, produced as a result of this dialogue, contained capitulations on some finer points of Adventist theology. Andreason was correct in some of his assessments, and incorrect in others.

#225: The ones who felt betrayed began searching for themselves. Those who did were shocked to find plagiarism, false prophecies, and heretical teachings. The conservative element in the church did feel betrayed, but it was not they who did the searching referred to. The liberal element who did not feel betrayed were the ones who did the "studying" and "discovering." (Possibly there were a few exceptions.)

I consulted Leroy Moore, a man a bit older than I who lived through that time. He has been writing a book about the whole thing. According to him, the "quest," on the part of the liberal element, was

. . . to retain cultural Adventism while casting off all inspired theological and life style constraints. . . .

Regarding those shocked he wrote:

Yes, there was shock aplenty, but primarily on the part of those ignorant of the depth of the spirit of prophecy who were unprepared for the infidel attack upon that gift.

The conservative element who were well read and felt betrayed were not affected that much.

To my query:

If you can think of some who felt betrayed and "made such" discoveries after searching for themselves, I would be interested in getting your opinion of how many or what percentage fall in this category.

Leroy Moore responded:

I know of none. But it is true that there were "conservatives" along the way who fell into the liberal camp because they had not an adequate gospel and were too spiritually emaciated to stem the infidel flood that spoke with such authority as to paralyze those who had not learned to search for themselves.

The ones who did not feel betrayed, the ones "shocked" who made the "discoveries," now compose the vocal, influential minority already referred to under #204 and #196. This is the camp that does not take the Bible as an authority, the camp that now cries out (not too loudly on this one, lest they get into trouble) for evolution, for doing away with the substitutionary death of Christ, for doing away with the blood atonement, for doing away with justification, etc.

    "The Adventist Church Deceived Me" 
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#226: "I was born and raised a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist, tracing our family roots back to the Kellogg family. I was educated in the SDA elementary system, was baptized at a young age and truly committed to what I believed was the only true church. The turning point was when um I got invited by several different people to come to a church that had a pastor that was a former SDA pastor. Um. And I agreed to meet with him, and didn't think he'd have anything to show me, but he did, and I realized that the Adventist church had deceived me."
(Kim Marshall)

"The Adventist Church had deceived me." If the one who talked with you was on this video, it is highly likely that it was he who deceived you, not the Adventist Church. At least, it's highly likely that he didn't know what he was talking about.

    "Didn't Hear That in the School System" 
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#227 & #228: "When I found, found out what the church actually knows about what Ellen G. has written, how she obtained her material. Um. I was never presented with that in the school system. I never, never heard anything about, um, all these writings that she had copied, plagiarized, and when I saw that, that just about, that hurt me a lot. I felt like I had had been lied to."

#227: Never presented with that in the school system. Under the previous number, Ms. Marshall said that she attended our elementary schools, but she does not say she attended our high schools or colleges. So when she says she was never presented with this in the school system, she must mean that she wasn't presented with this in elementary school.

These are obviously not the kind of issues for 1st graders or 5th graders to grapple with. Is elementary school the place to discuss how either Peter or Jude copied from the other, and how some out there feel that that makes one or the other of these Bible writers not inspired? Let the children wait until high school or college before grappling with such issues.

But it wouldn't surprise me a bit if in some schools 7th or 8th grade touches on the issue of Ellen White's literary borrowing.

#228: Ellen White plagiarized; I felt lied to. Does Ms. Marshall feel lied to because 14 of the 25 verses of Jude are similar to verses in 2 Peter, indicating that one of these authors copied from the other (see #101)? Does the fact that the Bible writers borrowed from other writers, as when the gospel writers copied from each other, make them less than inspired and authoritative? Should we adopt Walter Rea's stance, that we cannot take the Bible literally (see #100)?

When John put together the book of Revelation, borrowing language and concepts from the entire Bible, was he plagiarizing?

Can Ms. Marshall prove that Ellen White, Jude or Peter, Matthew or Mark or Luke, ever plagiarized? Is that the correct term? Would it not be disrespectful to use such a term of a Bible writer?

When Ellen White predicted the civil war (see #37), predicted two world wars separated by a little time of peace (see #39), said that cancer was caused by an infectious agent (see #121), said that "cancerous humors" could lie "dormant" in the body (see #118), and said that there was a substance in the brain that nourished the system (see #118), from whom was she plagiarizing?

    "The Church Was Inconsistent" 
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#229, #230, & #231: "I began to see the church was inconsistent theologically and politically. When expedient they contradicted the Bible, contradicted Ellen G. White, and contradicted their own church manual."
(Sydney Cleveland)

#229: Adventist Church is inconsistent. I can't disagree here. Such things really bother me. But the argument is a straw man. From the beginning of the Christian church, contradictions and heresies have arisen. And Jesus said that this is the way it would be. The wheat and the tares, the true and the false, the sincere and the insincere, would be together until the end.

Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Mat. 13:30)

Since Jesus said it would be this way, the argument means nothing.

#230: Adventist Church is inconsistent. This is our critique of the last point which, in our opinion, undermines the Bible or its teachings.

Bible-believing Christians out there, have you ever had someone tell you that the reason they are not a Christian is because of all the hypocrites in the church? Is not this argument of Mr. Cleveland's used by unbelievers to justify their not coming to Christ?

Actually, one can use this argument to attack the Bible as well, since God's followers in the Bible were inconsistent too. From the Old Testament:

  1. Noah got drunk.
  2. Abraham lied about his wife and was a bigamist.
  3. Isaac and Rebekah played favorites with their kids, and Rebekah told Jacob to lie to Isaac.
  4. Jacob did lie to Isaac, and played favorites with his son Joseph.
  5. His twelve sons committed murder, deception, incest, and fornication, and sold one of their number into slavery.
  6. Moses murdered.
  7. The Israelites worshipped a golden calf and committed all kinds of iniquity and rebellion.
  8. Once they got into Canaan, they disobeyed and didn't wipe out the Canaanites as God told them to.
  9. Gideon started a different priesthood.
  10. Jepthah apparently offered his daughter up as a human sacrifice.
  11. Samson had a liking for wine and women.
  12. Eli didn't discipline his sons.
  13. Saul attempted to murder his own son, as well as David.
  14. David murdered Uriah.
  15. Solomon built temples to false gods on the Mount of Olives.
  16. etc., etc.

Let's look at the disciples of Christ:

  1. Peter denied Jesus three times.
  2. Judas, the embezzling treasurer, betrayed Jesus.
  3. Peter and John, sons of thunder, wanted to burn a town because they wouldn't let Jesus come home for dinner.
  4. Thomas was a doubter.
  5. Philip was a bit dense.

That's half the disciples. Were the other six disciples any better? This was the church Jesus was starting. Would you want to join a church like that?

And after Christ's ascension:

  1. Ananias and Sapphira were slain by God for their dishonesty.
  2. Simon Magas tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  3. John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas.
  4. Paul and Barnabas split up because of an argument.
  5. The Galatians were apostatizing.
  6. The Corinthians had a host of problems.
  7. James believed unfounded rumors about Paul.
  8. Paul caused an uproar in court.
  9. Diotrephes was kicking people out of the church for no reason.

The church is a hospital for sinners, not a haven for saints. God's church since Eden has been filled with people that God wasn't finished with yet.

The Bible spends more time talking about the faults of God's followers than about their good points. This actually is evidence for its divine origin. A mere human book would glorify the people rather than tell us of their struggles.

Because the Bible characters struggled and overcame, we are given encouragement that, by God's grace, we may overcome as well.

Let not Mr. Cleveland's argument lead you to look down on the Bible because of its stories of inconsistent believers and church members.

#231: When expedient they contradicted Ellen White. Thank you so much, Mr. Cleveland, for this acknowledgement.

A bit of the video appears to try to show that Adventists honor, obey, revere, and believe Ellen White. By trying to show this, and by trying to show that Ellen White was a false prophet, the entire Adventist denomination is discredited.

However, as you have just pointed out, and as the quote from Walter Rea under #196 indicates by way of exaggeration, Adventism as a whole often fails to follow the counsel of Ellen White. She is not revered, and her counsel is frequently ignored and sometimes opposed.

I wish her sensible, Bible-based counsel was followed. But since it isn't, the allegations the video makes are all the more easily proven false. Ellen White is not the "absolute authority figure" (#21), and does not have the "last word on doctrine" (#24). The Adventist Church does not have a "total reliance" on Ellen White (#195).

Though Ellen White must never be the "absolute authority figure" or "last word," the fact that her counsel isn't followed, as Mr. Cleveland has admitted, is evidence that the charges made in the video are totally without foundation.

    "My 31 Years as a Christian" 
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#232: "The last three years have been the most spiritually rewarding of my thirty-one years as a Christian."
(Dan Snyder)

Mr. Snyder spent 28 years as an Adventist Christian. This is the last contradictory point in the video, and it's a good one.

Thank you, Mr. Snyder, for your honesty. Did you get in any trouble for making this statement? After all, this video seems to be making a case that Adventism is either a cult or cult-like, and/or is less than Christian. With all the time, effort, and money that went into making this video, for you to admit in its closing minutes that Adventists are definitely Christians must have raised some controversy. I mean, you just demolished the whole case that the video appeared to be making.

But I commend you for your honesty, and will always be grateful to you for this statement of yours, your next-to-last sentence on the video.

    "Sole Authority of Faith and Practice" 
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#233: "I am part of the family of God that truly upholds the Bible as the sole authority of both faith and practice."

Upholds the Bible as sole authority of faith and practice. The implication is that Adventism does not accept the Bible as their ultimate authority, which is not true.

In fact, the Adventist denomination requires all those who wish to become members to vow that they "believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that it constitutes the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian."

Mr. Snyder was paraphrasing the very oath he took when he became a Seventh-day Adventist. When I became a Seventh-day Adventist, I had to take the same vow.

I, too, am part of the family of God that truly upholds the Bible as the only authority of both faith and practice.

    "Not by Our Deeds" 
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#234: "Jesus saves us not by our deeds even if they may appear to be a really good deed. We're not saved by what we do. Not by lifestyle, not by diet, but by what Jesus has done for us."
(Leslie Martin)

Not saved by our good deeds. This one has the privilege of being the last straw-man argument of the video. The reason it's a straw man is because this is what Seventh-day Adventists firmly believe.

Of course, you might find some members who will seem uncomfortable with statements similar to what Mrs. Martin said. The reason for this is simple: Where is the speaker going with such statements? Does the speaker mean that we can murder and fornicate and steal and lie and covet and still go to heaven? Does the speaker mean that Jesus saves us "in" our sins instead of "from" our sins (Mat. 1:21)?

There is a world of difference between alleged good deeds and the "obedience of faith":

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. (Rom. 16:25, 26)

Good deeds will not buy us an entrance into heaven, but the absence of the obedience of faith will exclude us from entering those pearly gates.

Mrs. Martin should not forget what her husband himself said under #153:

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

A lack of obedience reveals a lack of love for Jesus. As the apostle John put it:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 Jn. 3:4-10)

So those who are born again will not be continually, moment after moment, day after day, breaking the commandments of God. One who is "of the devil" will live a life of disobedience, but the true believer will live a life of obedience to God's commandments. Yet the believer's obedience, which is the result of justification by faith, will in no way buy his or her salvation.

All these mental gymnastics that people do in order to avoid obeying the fourth commandment, what kind of effect does it have on our society? "The law is nailed to the cross." "Jesus abolished the law." "The law was part of the Old Covenant, but we are under the New." "The Christian is not under the law." With the people in the pews getting bombarded with all these arguments supposedly proving that the believer can disobey and still go to heaven, no wonder we have such an horrendous amount of homicides, rapes, burglaries, sodomy, adultery, pornography, divorce for non-biblical grounds, fraud, embezzlement, and disobedience to parents. The fact that we have so much of this corruption in our society is evidence that too many are believing the sermons that say, "You can keep on sinning and still go to heaven. You don't have to repent after all. God is more loving than that."

Surely the Lord will hold accountable for our moral decay those preachers who preach such sermons.

    "Not Going to Get This Information from Your Church" 
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#235: "Talk to people that have come out of the church and ask them why. See if they have anything to share with you. Because you're not going to be able to get this information from your church."
(Kim Marshall)

You're not going to be able to get this information from your church. Of course not. It would be hard to imagine finding a single Adventist church that could produce this much misinformation, unless, of course, that particular church was filled with a lot of gullible people who all saw and believed this video.

Ms. Marshall should have used the word "misinformation" instead of "information."

    "The Documentation Package Substantiates" 
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#236: "A Documentation Package substantiating the information contained in this program is also available."
(Text appearing on the screen)

Documentation Package substantiates the information found on the video. If you've read much of this critique, you know that the Documentation Package substantiates hardly anything found on the video. In many cases it fails to substantiate the 100 points which it claims in its index that it is substantiating (see #5, #6, #7, #13, #27, #31, #32, #33, #41, #42, #43, #50, #60, #70, #86, #88, #91, #96, #98, #103, #117, #125, #129, #132-#136, #140, #163, #169, #185, #196, #208, and #223). In a number of instances, it or the immediate context of the quotation it provides proves that the information found on the video is incorrect (see #10, #24, #26, #40, #45, #52, #59, #75, #76, #77, #94, #95, #97, #118, #122, #123, #124, #127, #142, #197, #200, and #204). In at least one instance it provides information that destroys the credibility of the entire video (see #194). Twice it appears to be attacking Scripture (see #71 and #156). Twice it gives evidence of dishonesty (see #78 and #172).

    "High-Ranking Leaders" 
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Errors even appear on the video jacket. This quotation is from the jacket.

#237: "You will meet a number of former high-ranking Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders. . . ." (Text on back of video jacket.)

High-ranking leaders. Not one high-ranking leader is presented on the video, based on the information given in the video itself. See for yourself:

  1. David Snyder: "David Snyder spent twenty-two years as an Adventist pastor."
  2. Sydney Cleveland: "Sydney Cleveland was an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister who pastored thirteen churches between 1979 and 1990."
  3. Dale Ratzlaff: "Dale Ratzlaff was a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist who served as a pastor and Bible teacher. He was educated in their school system from first grade through seminary."
  4. Leslie Martin: "Leslie Martin was a devoted third-generation follower of Seventh-day Adventism. . . ."
  5. Wallace Slattery: "FORMER SDA MEMBER"
  6. Walter Rea: "In 1982 an Adventist pastor, Walter T. Rea. . . ."
  7. Dan Snyder: "Dan Snyder followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Seventh-day Adventist pastor."
  8. Mark Martin: "Mark Martin . . . is a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor. . . ."
  9. Steve Cannon: "Steve Cannon, Southwest director of Personal Freedom Outreach, a highly respected cult research ministry. . . ."
  10. Kim Marshall: "I was born and raised a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist, tracing our family roots back to the Kellogg family. I was educated in the SDA elementary system."
  11. Don and Vesta Muth: "Don and I are both third-generation Seventh-day Adventists. We were educated in the Adventist high schools and colleges. Later we were both faculty members at Pacific Union College."

Which one is a "former high-ranking Seventh-day Adventist Church leader," based on the information given in the video? Not one!

I served as an Adventist pastor for ten years, pastoring ten churches in three states. I was a faculty member at Weimar College, and was the Education Director at Eden Valley Institute. To call myself a "high-ranking leader" would be absolutely ludicrous.

The local churches of Adventism are banded together into local conferences and local missions. The local conference here consists of Colorado and Wyoming, and is called the Rocky Mountain Conference. Several conferences and missions are banded together into unions. This is the Mid-America Union, which covers, in addition to Colorado and Wyoming, the Dakotas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska. A number of unions are banded together into the North American Division, which is part of the General Conference, our global organization.

To be a high-ranking leader, a local pastor just wouldn't qualify. A local conference officer, which none of the above are identified as once being, might or might not qualify, depending on whom you ask. A union officer would be a high-ranking leader, but a mere faculty member from one of the colleges or universities that the unions operate would definitely not be. A Theology Department head might be, but we are not told whether the Muths were English teachers, Math teachers, book keepers, or professors of Theology. Whether Dale Ratzlaff was a Bible teacher at one of our colleges or at one of our many high schools, we are not told. Yet it seems unlikely that even a college Bible teacher would be considered a high-ranking leader.

Who is the former high-ranking leader on the video?

    "Best Scholarship and Firm Adherence to Truths of God's Word" 
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Errors even appear on the video jacket. This quotation is from the jacket.

#238 & #239: "Recommended for Christians who seek answers based on the best scholarship and firm adherence to the truths of God's Word." (D. James Kennedy)

#238: Best scholarship. This last factual error needs little comment after the entire critique. The number of errors clearly reveals that this video is based on anything but "the best scholarship."

#239: Firm adherence to the truths of God's Word. This is the last inaccuracy we critique. The video in actuality undermines faith in the final authority of Scripture (see #32, #35, #49, #89, #101, #198, and #228). It appears to be attempting to change the gospel and the New Covenant (#73 and #150). The video even appears to call into question some of the basic teachings of the Bible (#62, #69, #71, #149, #151, #156, #179, #203, #205, and #230).

How was a man of Dr. Kennedy's stature ever persuaded to endorse this video?

    An Invitation 

An Invitation from the Author

Presumably, this video should contain the best arguments in existence today against Seventh-day Adventism. Jeremiah Films has been highly respected in the Christian community for its products. If a case can be made, surely they would have made it on this video.

The fact that the case made by this video is so poor suggests a question: What is being covered up? What lies behind the dense smoke screen conjured up by all these alleged authorities? Is it possible that Adventism has a relevant message for today, a message of truth from the Bible, a message you should prayerfully consider?

Check us out. See if what we really believe is biblical or not. If Adventist beliefs are biblical after all, then do the right thing and make them a part of your life.

Jesus gave His all for us. In comparison, He asks so little in return. Won't you give your all to Him today?

God bless you in your search for truth, and in your walk with Jesus.


Credits for the Jeremiah Films Video:

Seventh-day Adventism - The Spirit Behind the Church


J. Mark Martin

Lorri MacGregor

Lorri MacGregor
Keith MacGregor

Randi Ide

Steve Petty
Dan Smith

John Bennet
Carol Goodhart

Lorri MacGregor
Greg Johannes
J. Mark Martin
Don Muth
Vesta Muth
Wallace Slattery

Mike Landis
Dan Micko

Kevin Cox

Judith Hatch
Barbara Newlin

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