By Wm. C. Irvine and A. McD. Redwood
Indictment #1 - Attitude Towards the Atonement
Seventh-Day Adventism denies the Biblical Doctrine of the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ as the only means of man’s salvation.
The Adventist teaching objected to is the following:
The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, "within the veil" which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the
daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.
Thither the faith of Christ's disciples followed Him as He ascended from their sight. Here their hopes centered, "which hope we have," said Paul, "as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever." "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 6:19, 20; 9:12.
For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ's work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work--to cleanse the sanctuary.
As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by
the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation--a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.
Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to His coming.
Source: The Great Controversy, by Ellen White, pages 420-422.
Now in the indictment the following question is asked:
Can it be unreasonable for us to inquire, What in the name of all that's reasonable does this mean? Sins pardoned and yet still on the books!
Yes, as the sanctuary service demonstrated, sin was indeed confessed and pardoned, yet the record of the sin remained in the form of the sacrificial blood taken into the sanctuary. This bloody record of sins was not cleansed from the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement, as these preceding paragraphs of Great Controversy explain:
Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner's stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.
Such was the service performed "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascension our Saviour began His work as our high priest. Says Paul: "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:24.
Source: The Great Controversy, by Ellen White, page 420.
Next the following objection is raised in the indictment:
(a) Seventh-Day Adventism denies the finality of the work of Christ on the cross, hence it makes Christ's last cry on the cross, "It is finished," to be a lie!
This objection is the result of a lack of understanding of the typical work of the priest in the Hebrew sanctuary. The sinner who brought a lamb for sacrifice to the temple, slew that lamb that represented Christ, and walked away in the knowledge that the price for his sins had been paid in full, and the sins forgiven. Yet a record of that sin remained in the blood that was taken into the sanctuary. The Day of Atonement was only one day a year, the 10th day of the seventh month (Lev:23:27), and on that day the High Priest came into the Holy of Holies and made atonement for the people of God, and on that day the sanctuary (temple) was cleansed of the record of sin.
The objection continues:
She [Ellen White] assumes therefore;
(i) there is a sanctuary in heaven, though the Bible says nothing about it being in heaven; ...
On the contrary, the Bible is quite specific:
Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. (Exo. 25:9)
Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:
Rev 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Rev 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
There indeed is a heavenly sanctuary / temple, and the earthly versions were based on the pattern of the heavenly shown to Moses on Sinai. Clearly the objection to a heavenly temple is based on ignorance of what the Bible clearly teaches. The objection continues:
(ii) there is sin in heaven, though the Bible says nothing about it; ...
There is a distinct difference between a record of sin in heaven, and the presence of sin itself.
Note this scripture:
Jer 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
Rest assured that just as there is a book of life, there is also a book of iniquity in heaven, in which are recorded all the sins of the wicked. The objection continues:
(iii) that in some mysterious way not explainable the sanctuary has to be a kind of "mediator" and bear the sins of the believer for at least a time; ...
No, the sanctuary mediates nothing, yet as already explained, the sanctuary clearly contains a record of the confessed sins of the people of God until the day of Atonement.
(iv) this sanctuary needs cleansing nevertheless; ...
Yes, as Dan 8:14 and the Day of Atonement make quite clear.
(v) this cleansing and investigating began in 1844. We find it difficult to decide whether to be shocked at its rank heresy, or to pity the one who can write such balderdash.
The one to be pitied is the one who professes to understand the plan of salvation, and yet knows nothing about the sanctuary service, the temple in heaven, or the cleansing of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement, and I humbly suggest that this is not the case with the Adventists.
Indictment #2 - Satan the Sin-Bearer
Seventh-Day Adventism declares Satan to be the joint sin-bearer, and the vicarious substitute of the sinner.
The Adventist teaching objected to is the following:
It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of His ministration, He will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final penalty. The scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satan be forever banished from the presence of God and His people, and he will be blotted from existence in the final destruction of sin and sinners.
Source: The Great Controversy, by Ellen White, page 422.
Dr. D. Anderson-Berry gives but a just estimate of this rigamarole in his book when he says:
We have the choicest doctrine of the Gospel, justification by faith, utterly contemned and set at naught. Nay, more, as if that were not enough to damn their doctrine, they dare to substitute for Christ's finished work on the cross, SATAN'S vicarious suffering in bearing away the sins of the people of God into a land of utter annihilation. It does not lessen, the blasphemous grossness of the idea to say that it is wholly imaginary, the figment of the addled brain of a hysterical woman. It merely explains it!
If ever there was a "damnable heresy" (see 2 Peter 2: 1) surely it is here! Mrs. White professes to found all this teaching on Leviticus 23 and the book of Daniel. We confidently hand both books, yea, the whole Bible itself, to any mature, sane-thinking Christian and challenge him to find anywhere in the whole sixty-six books of the Divine Library, one jot or tittle of evidence or proof (set forth according to fundamental and eternal principles of exegesis), for such consummate trash. It seems an insult to offer such stuff for the serious consideration of a reasonable mind.
One again, this objection displays, for all to see, the depth of ignorance the author has of the Bible. I offer the following passage as proof positive that what Ellen White and Adventists teach is indeed found in scripture:
Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
Lev 16:20 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:
Lev 16:21 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:
Lev 16:22 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.
I think nothing more need be addressed on this point, as it is clearly demonstrated that the author of the indictment against Adventist teaching knows nothing about the biblical facts of the issue.
Indictment #3 - Christ’s Humanity
Seventh-Day Adventists teach that the Lord Jesus Christ inherited a sinful, fallen nature.
The Adventist teaching objected to is the following:
In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then He was not "made like unto His brethren,” was not "in all points tempted like as we are," did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved.
The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother,* inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits–a sinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all this was done to place mankind on vantage-ground, and to demonstrate that in the same way everyone who is "born of the Spirit" may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame (Rev. 3:21). Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin, John 3: 3-7.
* This, the writer perfectly well knows, is a doctrine which is held by no body of evangelical Christians–it is Roman to the core.
Source: Bible Readings for the Home Circle, 1915 edition, page 115.
I would respond by asking the Protestant reader if they believe that Mary was a sinner like the rest of us, or was she "immaculate", i.e. without sin her entire life as papal Romanism decrees? Well, if she was indeed a sinner with a fallen nature like the rest of us, then what kind of nature was she able to pass on to her children? Could she have passed on anything to her children at birth but the fallen nature she possessed? That is really the crux of the quote in Bible Readings, it is taking issue with the Roman Catholic teaching of the Immaculate Conception and alleged lifetime sinlessness of Mary.
For an expansion on this topic in rebuttal see Antichrist: Denying Jesus Christ is Come in the Flesh.
Indictment #4 - Soul Sleep
Seventh-Day Adventism believes in Soul-sleep after death and Conditional Immortality.
The Adventist teaching objected to is the following:
Upon the fundamental error of natural immortality rests the doctrine of consciousness in death--a doctrine, like eternal torment, opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures, to the dictates of reason, and to our feelings of humanity.
Source: The Great Controversy, by Ellen White, page 545.
The theory of eternal torment is one of the false doctrines that constitute the wine of the abomination of Babylon, of which she makes all nations drink. Revelation 14:8; 17:2. That ministers of Christ should have accepted this heresy and proclaimed it from the sacred desk is indeed a mystery. They received it from Rome, as they received the false sabbath.
Source: The Great Controversy, by Ellen White, page 536.
In Indictment #4 the following questions are asked:
1. Will the Seventh-Day Adventists explain then why Paul could use such language as, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord"; and, "to be with Christ, which is FAR BETTER”?
Yes, I will happily explain. See What Really Happens When You Die?
2. Will Mrs. White tell us what "natural immortality" means, and who is so foolish to preach it, when we see thousands dying around us every day?
The passage cited from page 545 of Great Controversy is clear, "natural immortality" means "consciousness in death." As a further clarification I offer the following:
The Revelator says, "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen" (Rev. 18:1, 2). This is the same message that was given by the second angel--Babylon is fallen, "because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (chap 14:8). What is that wine? Her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the lie Satan first told to Eve in Eden--the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Source: Selected Messages, by Ellen White, Book 3, page 405.
You see, the majority of Protestant Christianity believes that there is an immortal soul that survives death to take up immediate residence in heaven or hell. Catholicism adds to that a third destination for the immortal soul, that of purgatory. So most Christians wrongly believe that everyone continues to exist in a conscious state even immediately after death, in practical effect denying death altogether, reducing it to the shedding of an unneeded body. So while the authors of the indictment "see thousands dying around us every day", they don't believe that the dead are really and truly dead.
3. Will Mrs. White or any of her disciples dare to set up "the feelings of humanity" against the plain Word of the Living God ...
Let me again present what was said originally:
... a doctrine, like eternal torment, [is] opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures, to the dictates of reason, and to our feelings of humanity.
Ellen White is clearly stating that the teaching of eternal torment in hell is opposed to what is taught in Scripture. Her reference to the "feelings of humanity" is saying that the thought of God perpetually tormenting people in hell forever is inhumane, sadistic in nature, against every rational notion of a loving God. Humans will shoot a horse rather than let it suffer, and put it out of its misery. Are humans more humane than a God who many believe will torture sinners forever and ever? Who would willingly serve a God like that?
For more on this topic in rebuttal see: THE BIBLICAL TRUTH ABOUT HELL
Indictment #5 - The Sabbath
The fourth indictment is that Seventh-Day Adventism tries to force the believer back under Law and so away from Grace, by their Sabbath teachings.
The indictment begins:
As the Seventh-Day Adventists materialized the sanctuary in heaven, they were forced to materialize everything.
As demonstrated above under indictment #1, the Bible clearly teaches there is indeed a heavenly temple / sanctuary, and for anyone to deny it is shear folly. The indictment continues:
So besides an actual sanctuary in heaven, with candlesticks, curtains, table of showbread and ark, they were forced to add within the ark the two tables of stone, ...
Again, the author of the indictment demonstrates ignorance of scripture on this matter. In Revelation each of the articles of furniture of the temple are described in the heavenly sanctuary:
- The Golden Candlestick - Rev 1:12, 4:5
- The Table of Showbread - Rev 4:2-5
- The Golden Altar of Incense - Rev 8:3-5, 9:13
- The Ark of the Testimony of God - Rev 11:19
So Adventists have not invented anything as claimed by the indictments. The objection continues:
The Adventists have found a handle for their teachings in the erroneous way Christians speak about the first day of the week (the Lord's Day) as if it were the Sabbath.
On this point the writer is correct. It is indeed erroneous to deem Sunday the Christian Sabbath, for neither God or the Apostles ever announce a change to keeping the first day of the week as the Sabbath.
The Adventists claim that Christians being still under the Law of Moses, are bound to keep the "least of its precepts," and therefore must keep the Sabbath.
Here Adventists and the Bible are misrepresented. The Ten Commandments are the Law of God, inscribed on tables of stone by the very finger of God. They are not Moses' law, or Moses' commandments. The following verse seems to apply to this objection:
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
The objection continues:
They also state that Protestants acknowledge that the Roman Catholic Church, away back in the year A.D. 364, at the Council of Laodicea, changed the Sabbath or Seventh day to Sunday or the First day. Neither statements are tenable when judged in the light of Scripture and early Church history.
That the Council of Laodicea enacted such a change in its canons is historical and undeniable.
The Sabbath was given as a "sign" and "perpetual covenant" between Jehovah and Israel, as is most clearly stated in Exodus 31: 12-18. The Ten Commandments, of which the law of the Sabbath is the fourth, were written with the finger of God on tables of stone. These commandments are called "the ministration of death" and "the ministration of condemnation," "written and engraven in stone" (2 Cor. 3: 7, 9), which ministration, the Holy Spirit tells us, is "done away" and "abolished" (vers. 11, 13), and in its place we have "the ministration of the Spirit" and "the ministration of righteousness" (vers. 8, 9).
The objector is so opposed to the Sabbath commandment that the case is being made that the Ten Commandments, the Law of God, has been entirely abolished!
Hence in Colossians 2: 16 we read, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” See also Rom. 14: 5, 6. Again we read in Colossians that the "handwriting of ordinances" was "blotted out" and "nailed" to Christ's cross (as of old, bills were nailed to the doorpost when when paid), for Christ has fulfilled the law on our behalf, met its every claim.
Further, Scripture emphatically teaches our position of freedom from the law, e.g., "Ye are not under the law but under grace" (Rom. 6: 14; see also Rom. 7: 4, 6; Gal. 5: 18); indeed the Epistle to the Galatians was written to establish this very thing. The rebuke given to those who sought to bring the Gentile converts under the yoke of the law as given in Acts 15, still holds good for legalizers, such as the Seventh-Day Adventists: "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (v. 10).
The Adventists say:-
Christ further declares that whosoever breaks even so much as one of the least of the precepts of the law ... shall be called the least . . . in the kingdom of heaven." See Signs of the Times (Extra No. 15, p. 50).
If this still holds good, why do Adventists ignore circumcision?
Well perhaps this answers the question:
1 Cor 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God [that is important!].
Also, show me circumcision in the precepts of God, the Ten Commandments! That is without doubt the law Christ spoke of here:
Mat 5:18 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.
Mat 5:19 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.
I think I prefer to teach the keeping of the Ten Commandments, to include the Sabbath commandment.
Again, if Christians are bound to observe "the least of the precepts of the law," why did the great Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), when writing to the Gentile converts, declare their freedom from the law, and write of those who had sought to make them keep the law, as those who "troubled you with words subverting your souls" (v. 24)?
The amazing thing is that Christians who advocate this line of thinking, that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding on the New Testament Christian, that they have been abolished, are likely the very same people who are now actively engaged in trying to place them prominently in school rooms and government buildings. Can anything be more contradictory? The objection continues:
If the keeping of the Sabbath was to be observed, why was it not enjoined here? Why was it never enjoined to believers in a single passage of the New Testament?
Simple. The keeping of the Sabbath was universally accepted by the Apostles. It was not an issue with them. The biblical evidence is actually quite clear, the Apostles kept the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath, and knew nothing of a change to observing Sunday in honor of the resurrection.
See Did The Apostles Keep Sunday?
The New Testament, however, does enjoin the Christian to keep the Commandments of God as a whole repeatedly, and forcefully, and that includes the Sabbath commandment. (See quotations below)
Before going further it might be well to note how the Sabbath was to be observed. Someone has put it thus:—
It was to be kept from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23: 32). If within twenty-four hours any burden was carried (Jer. 17: 21), any fire kindled (Exod. 35: 3), any cooking done (Exod. 16: 23), the Sabbath would be broken; the penalty for which was death (Num. 15). Were this law observed by Adventists they would all quickly be exterminated, as the above rules they consistently break. How very inconsistent lie is who preaches to others to keep the Sabbath when he does not keep it himself. Surely this man's religion is vain.
The objection is raised that Adventists are hypocrites, that even they do not even keep the sabbath commandment. I fail to see how that, even if true, has any bearing what-so-ever on whether or not the Ten Commandments of God have been abolished.
D. M. Panton has well said: —
An honest, if uninstructed, error is very prevalent among the Churches of Christ, and affords the Seventh-Day Adventist the fulcrum for his lever. It is said that the ceremonial law, and the civil law of Israel, have been abolished but not the moral law, and that the Sabbath as occurring in the Decalogue, is part of the unrevoked moral law of God. But (1) most remarkably no inspired writer ever makes any such distinction between "moral" and "ceremonial" law; the ceremonial law (e.g., Lev. 19) contains laws as purely moral as any in the Decalogue, and had we been delivered from the ceremonial, while remaining under the moral, Paul would most surely have said so—an utterance he never makes.
God Himself made the distinction between the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law. The Ten Commandments were written on stone by God, and carried within the Ark (Exo 25:18). The rest of the law was written in a book by Moses, and carried on the side of the Ark (Deu 31:26). This distinction is not mentioned in the indictment for obvious reasons.
(2) The Sabbath, in-its nature, is itself a ceremonial law: the moral law is all law which appeals to the conscience, and needs no written revelation; but as to which day to observe, or whether to observe any day at all, conscience is silent. If we aye to distinguish between the moral and the ceremonial law, on the ground that one is passed, and the other still in force, then–as the Sabbath is purely ceremonial law–it is passed.
As just shown, the Sabbath commandment was included in the Ark, on the tables of stone written by the finger of God along with the other 9 commandments, and kept apart from the rest of the law. Am I now to accept the sophistry of the indictment over and above what I can see for myself in scripture, the inspired word of God?
But the most important point still remains. (3) I, as a Christian, obey all law that is moral in the Decalogue, not because it is in the Law, but because it is in the Gospel. Worship of God only is enjoined fifty times in the New Testament; idolatry is forbidden twelve times; profanity four times; honor of father and mother is commanded six times; adultery is forbidden twelve; theft six; false witness four; and covetousness, nine times. "The Ten Commandments," as Luther says, "do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews." So therefore, Paul, in all his fourteen epistles, never once names the Sabbath–except in a single passage where, classing it with the entire law, he declares it has been totally abolished. So the early Church held.
The indictment would have us believe that Ten Commandments are abolished for the Christian, and that this was the position of the Apostles. Let's let scripture be heard on the Ten Commandments of God and their importance:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
Rev 12:17 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 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
I conclude the following regarding those that advocate Sunday and the abolishment of the Saturday Sabbath:
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Again, see Did The Apostles Keep Sunday?
Now as to the second claim, viz., that at the Council of Laodicea the Roman Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from the Seventh to the First day. Whatever may have happened at that Council, we submit that the Sabbath was not changed.
The indictment subtly alleges that Adventists claim Sundaykeeping was invented at Laodicea, that it was unknown before that. This is a straw man, a misrepresentation. Adventist scholars are well aware that the history of Sundaykeeping predates both Laodicea and Constantine.
For no decree of man could or can change God's covenant.
On that point, the Seventh-day Adventists, and the testimony of scripture, agree fully.
What did take place, so far as we can learn, was "to in a manner quite abolish" the observation of the Sabbath for Christians. That is, that they made it illegal for Christians acknowledging the sway of Rome, to observe the Sabbath as their day of worship. But let it be well noted, large numbers of Christians were at that time, and long before, observing the first day of the week as their day of worship.
Adventists are well aware that the Roman Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea did not invent Sundaykeeping. Neither did Constantine invent Sundaykeeping with his imperial decrees. But as even the indictment agrees, no one has the authority to change the Ten Commandment law of God.
The assertion of the Seventh-Day Adventists is entirely misleading as is proved from the following extracts:-
What then follows in the indictment is a list of quotations of early church fathers on Sunday, quotations that Adventists are well aware of. But unlike the author of the indictment, Adventists actually adhere to the Protestant maxim of Sola Scriptura, the Bible only for doctrine. Consequently no amount of testimony by early church fathers, regarding the keeping of Sunday, carries any doctrinal weight or authority to the true believer in Sola Scriptura. That Sunday was being kept early in the church is undeniable, but it has absolutely no scriptural mandate from Christ or His Apostles.
As a matter of fact, the first day of the week–the Lord's Day–was selected not in place of the Sabbath, but as a day in which to celebrate our Lord's death and resurrection.
Sundaykeeping to honor the resurrection simply cannot be established from scripture as being commanded by God, or taught by or observed by the Apostles.
As a writer has well said: "It is a day of thanksgiving and liberty to the Christians, and a day which they delight in regarding as unto the Lord (Rom. 16: 6).
Indeed, if one wants to esteem a day (Rom 14:6) like Sunday to honor the resurrection, he may desire a good thing. But by what authority does one abandon the keeping of the seventh-day sabbath as commanded in God's Law? The objector has already acknowledged that no one can change the Law of God.
It is the Lord's Day, as John called it in Rev. 1: 10.
Scripture nowhere designates Sunday as the Lord's Day.
On that day Jesus rose the Head of a new creation.
On the Lord's Day He appeared to His disciples.
On the Lord's Day the Holy Ghost was given.
On the Lord's Day the door of the kingdom was unlocked and 3,000 souls entered in.
On the Lord's Day the disciples came together to break bread in remembrance of Him (Acts 20: 7)."
Missing from this recital is any declaration by the Christ or Apostles that they were keeping Sunday in place of the Sabbath to honor the resurrection. This is a notable omission considering the books of the New Testament were all written several decades after the crucifixion of Christ.
Again, see Did The Apostles Keep Sunday?
The indictment continues:
In answer to the following question, The Witness (Scotland) gives the accompanying lucid reply from the able pen of the late David Baron, one of the most eminent and learned of Jewish believers:
How can a Hebrew Christian be shown that he must not keep the Seventh-day Sabbath seeing it is written: "The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant" (Exod. 31: 16)?
There is no necessity to "show" or teach the Jewish believers that they "must" not "keep the Sabbath" as if the Gospel made the non-observance of the Seventh-day rest compulsory or a condition of true discipleship. . . . When more fully instructed, and as he grows in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, he will be brought to see for himself that the Jewish Sabbath has no significance in this dispensation and in relation to those whose calling is a heavenly one, and whose destinies are bound up –not with time but with eternity....
The Sabbath is thus essentially connected with the old marred creation, with the imperfect Mosaic dispensation, and with the typical redemption from Egypt. But Christians are children of the new creation, and are in the dispensation not of the Law but of the Spirit. "With Christ's resurrection," says an old writer, "the Seventh-day Sabbath expired, transmitting its sanctity and its privileges to the new Sabbath–the first day of a new week, which became our day of -rest (and of worship) in the power of a new creation."
Scripture does not anywhere teach that the Sabbath has lost its significance for the Christian Church. Those who teach men so are teaching for doctrine the traditions of men.
The Editor of The Witness well says: "Sticklers for keeping the exact 'Seventh Day,' or Sunday, or 'Lord's Day,' have a difficulty in the way days have been calculated and thrown about. In 1582 Gregory XIII found a miscalculation and decreed to drop October 5-14 and to drop 3 leap years in every century. In England 11 days (September 3-13) were dropped in 1752, in addition to other changes."
1 A.J. Pollock, Seventh-Day Adventism
The Gregorian calendar reform did nothing to alter the weekly cycle of days, and this is easily proved.
See Sunday is NOT the Sabbath for details about the Gregorian calendar reform.
I think it has been adequately demonstrated that the author(s) of the indictments did not know scripture on many points, and have been rather easily refuted on each indictment. But I will let the reader decide that for themselves based on the evidence presented. You be the judge.