SDA Apostasy Regarding Sabbath
"The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would be the result?--The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it....Their foundation would be built on the sand..." Selected Messages, book 1, p 204-205).
Some of our people believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church could never "lightly regard" the Sabbath. They reason that since the very name of the church contains the words "Seventh-day," the church can never belittle the Sabbath until they would change their name. Others believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church will be true to the Sabbath until the Sunday law is enforced, and then overnight they will choose to disregard it.
Both of these beliefs can only be seen as an excuse to remain in willing ignorance and/or denial of what is occurring in the SDA church in regards to the Sabbath. There is an evident reluctance or fear of having to take a decided position against the church and its growing apostasy.
The SDA church has in many ways already chosen to unite with the other churches who keep Sunday as their Sabbath (see SDA Apostasy in Ecumenism). Obviously, the strongest point of conflict between the SDA church and the other churches, is the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord--or Saturday. God forbid, but is there any evidence that the SDA church is indeed "lightly regarding" the Sabbath, and hence the Lord of the Sabbath also? Is there any evidence that the SDA church and its leadership are losing respect for God's Sabbath, and exalting Sunday?
What about the truth that the seventh-day or Saturday is the Lord's only day of worship as His Sabbath? (See Genesis 2:2-3; Isaiah 58:13; Revelation 1:10; Testimonies, vol 6, p 128). What does the SDA church now state about this?
"God is glad for us to go to church both days [Saturday and Sunday]. He wants us to worship Him both days....Anybody who takes a whole day out of every week to spend with God will have more of God's power in his life, and God can do more through him and in him." Signs of the Times, March, 1990, p 22-23.
"While the Sabbath commandment has a distinct practical value, the specific day, in and of itself, doesn't. Thus...keeping any other day could ‘work’..." A Pause For Peace: What God's Gift of the Sabbath Can Mean for You, p 114, by Clifford Goldstein, published by the Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1992. (catalogued as Seventh-day Adventist Doctrine)
"...other Christians have charged that we Seventh-day Adventists are legalists in our emphasis on the fourth commandment. And, of course, they are right..." We Still Believe, p 66 by then GC president Robert Folkenberg. (catalogued as Seventh-day Adventist Doctrine)
What about the truth that the seventh-day Sabbath is the only sign or seal of the living God? (See Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Testimonies, vol 6, p 350). What does the SDA church now believe about this?
"...the Sabbath is the seal of our love and allegiance to a loving heavenly Father." Adventist Review, May 5, 1994, p 18.
"...salvation by faith versus salvation by works...The book of Revelation describes this conflict in terms of the seal of God versus the mark of the beast: [Revelation 14:9-12 quoted]." We Still Believe, p 65-66.
"...the Sabbath...as a sign of God's completed work in us for salvation." We Still Believe, p 67.
What about the truth that there is no Bible support whatsoever for a claim that the Sabbath has been changed, or that Sunday is the Lord's day? (See Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 4:3-11; Ezekiel 20:12-20; 1 Chronicles 17:27). What does the SDA church believe about this now?
"What Do Seventh-day Adventists Believe? Hear pastor/evangelist Jere Webb present a fresh look at ‘The Truth.’ Subjects include...‘Christ centered reasons for Sunday worship’..." Pacific Union Recorder, June 4, 1990, p 27.
What about the truth that God's people must keep the Sabbath if they want to make it to heaven? (See Revelation 22:14-15; Early Writings, p 37; Desire of Ages, p 206; Testimonies, vol 8, p 196-98; vol 6, p 349; vol 3, p 392; vol 1, p 532; vol 2, p 705; Great Controversy, p 455; Prophet and Kings, p 182; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 949, 970; Evangelism, p 290; Life Sketches, p 117-118). What does the SDA church now believe about this?
"Seventh-day Adventists do not rely upon their Sabbathkeeping as a means of salvation or of winning merit before God. We are saved by grace alone." Questions on Doctrines, p 153.
"If you don't worship on the Sabbath, are you going to hell? No!" SDA Evangelist Kenneth Cox representing the SDA church on "Central Florida Live" TV talk show, hosted by George Crossley, Central Florida TV station WTGL, channel 52, February 8, 1993.
"Of course, saintly Christians have kept Sunday throughout history. Many do today. We worship a God who loves and accepts us despite our mistakes--a God who saves us, not according to our knowledge, but according to His grace.
"God loves those who keep Sunday as much as He does those who keep the Sabbath." A Pause For Peace, p 119.
"If we consider Sabbath keeping a requirement for salvation, we have turned the commandment on its head. We are not entering into God's rest at all. Rather, we are depending on ourselves and our works." We Still Believe, p 64.
What about the truth of the Sabbath being a day of rest from our secular labors, business, worldly affairs, etc. What does the SDA church now believe about this?
"The truth about God's day of rest and the truth about rest from our own efforts to overcome [sin] are closely related....
"But I invite you today to enter into God's rest, to cease from your own works in trying to obey and overcome and be victorious." To Know God, p 100.
"...despite our unfinished characters we stand complete in Christ. His accomplishment at Calvary counts as our atonement. We enter His [Sabbath] rest." When God Made Rest, p 21, by George Vandeman, published by the Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1987.
"We can be delivered from the slavery of sin and grow in grace only by resting from our own works [of obeying God's law] and entering His [Sabbath] rest." We Still Believe, p 62-63.
What about the Sabbath being the great test and dividing line between the followers of God and the followers of Lucifer? What does the SDA church now believe?
"If the question [of God's true Sabbath] is merely a matter of choice between two days, it hardly seems significant enough to become the dividing line between the saved and the lost at the end of time...Just to be able to prove from the Bible that we are right doesn't seem a point important enough to die for....
"So in the end time, the real issue will not be Saturday versus Sunday. It will be salvation by faith versus salvation by works." We Still Believe, p 65.
The president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists states that God's seventh-day Sabbath--His 4th commandment--is not important enough to die for! That the real issue in the end time will not be Saturday verses Sunday! And this book is catalogued as teaching SDA church doctrine! Folkenberg shows that he is not an historic SDA, nor does he really believe the Spirit of Prophecy, because God is too plain and clear to be misunderstood.
"The decree will go forth that they [God's commandment-keeping people] must disregard the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and honor the first day, or lose their lives; but they will not yield, and trample under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, and honor an institution of [the] papacy." Testimonies, vol 1, p 353-354.
"In the warfare to be waged in the last days there will be united, in opposition to God's people, all the corrupt powers that have apostatized from allegiance to the law of Jehovah. In this warfare the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will be the great point at issue; for in the Sabbath commandment the great Lawgiver identifies Himself as the Creator of the heavens and the earth." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 983 (see also SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 977, 979; vol 4, p 1163; Testimonies, vol 6, p 352; Evangelism, p 236).
If our professed SDA people choose to follow Folkenberg or the SDA church, and lightly regard God's Sabbath, they will receive the Mark of the Beast and loose eternal life! (See Great Controversy, p 452, 605; Life Sketches, 103, 117-118; Testimonies, vol 6, p 130, 350; vol 5, p 212; Patriarch and Prophets, p 307; Early Writings, p 65-66; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 969-970; Review and Herald, vol 4, p 148).
As if this was not enough, the SDA church also teaches that the Mark of the Beast is not Sunday worship, but refers to Sabbath worship!
"...the Sabbath...[is] God's sign of obedience....But we must beware! Anyone whose focus is on the Sabbath...who looks at His Sabbathkeeping as the ground of his salvation...is a candidate for the mark of the beast." Adventist Review, September 7, 1989, p 26.
It becomes very clear that the SDA church and its apostate leadership have indeed lost their respect for the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord. They are indeed "lightly regarding" it, trying to confuse the different areas of Sabbath truth with falsehoods, and are even placing it on the same level as Sunday worship. In fact, the president of the SDA General Conference even calls the Sabbath a "symbol" (see We Still Believe, p 61, 65).
But why is the SDA church lightly regarding the Sabbath, and even exalting Sunday to an equality with it? Because they rejected the only message which could have kept them from lightly regarding and eventually giving up the Sabbath--they rejected the Lord of the Sabbath and His message of righteousness!
What happened to the Jewish church and its leadership when they rejected Christ and His message of righteousness?
"No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must be partakers of the righteousness of Christ. When the command was given to Israel, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,’ the Lord said also to them, ‘Ye shall be holy men unto Me.’ Ex. 20:8; 22:31. Only thus could the Sabbath distinguish Israel as the worshipers of God.
"As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them." Desire of Ages, p 283.
We have discovered that the SDA church and its General Conference leadership lightly regarding the Sabbath of God, and have also seen that they have rejected the truths upon which the church was founded (see SDA Apostasy in Doctrine). Thus the SDA church's foundation, upon which the whole structure of the church rests upon, can not now be resting upon the firm Rock--Christ Jesus, but upon unstable, shifting sand!
God warned His people over 100 years ago:
"...there is a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith--then a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified." Selected Messages, book 3, p 405-406.
The SDA church and its leadership have already removed the landmarks of our true SDA faith, and they have indeed been working, with all their energies, to tear down the pillars of our true SDA faith. But what was prophesied to take place next? Then "a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath."
This we have already seen the SDA leadership doing. But what does building their church's foundation upon the sand, have to do with Sunday worship?
"Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath, and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 457-458.
To have the foundation of the SDA church built upon the sand means that God's Sabbath has been rejected, and Sunday has been accepted in its place. Will the SDA church and its leadership really accept Sunday and urge its exaltation and worship upon our people?
In Ezekiel, chapters 8 and 9, there is a prophecy that applies directly to the professed people of God--specifically the SDA church. And these prophecies are for our time! Remember God told us:
"The prophets of God spoke less for their own time than for the ages to come, and especially for the generation that would live amid the last scenes of this earth's history." Signs of the Times, vol 3, p 445.
"Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us....All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days." Selected Messages, book 3, p 338-339.
"These men of the Old Testament spoke of things transpiring in their day, and Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel not only spoke of things that concerned them as present truth, but their sights reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days." Selected Messages, book 3, p 419-420.
In Ezekiel 8, there are listed various abominations being committed against God. And in Ezekiel 9:4, God states that only those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done" can receive the seal of God.
"Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done’ in the church." Testimonies, vol 3, p 267.
So these abominations are being committed within the SDA church! And these abominations continue to increase in wickedness until God finally declares:
"Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." Ezekiel 8:18.
Hence, the abominations continue until their cup is full, and God declares that probation's door is closed upon the corporate SDA church. Though the SDA leaders and people then cry to God to spare the church and give them one more chance, He will "not hear them," He will "not spare" them, but will deal with the church and those within her "in fury."
The last and the greatest abomination that will be committed, before probation closes upon the SDA church, and the individual sealing begins (in Ezekiel 9), is sun worship!
"...at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about 25 men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, and they worshipped the sun towards the east." Ezekiel 8:16.
In the layout of the Old Testament sanctuary, someone standing between the porch and the altar would be in the court of the sanctuary out in the open air. What were the priests supposed to be doing between the porch and the altar?
"Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord..." Joel 2:17.
But what are these 25 men doing? They refuse to weep and ask forgiveness from God for all of their wickedness. But instead they turn their backs on Him and His true church, and worship the sun!
As this prophecy applies to the SDA church, who are these 25 individuals that turn their backs on God and worship the sun?
"The executive committee of this conference shall be 25 in number..." 1901 General Conference Bulletin, p 379, col 1, paragraph 2, article 4, section 1.
We are not trying to read into this any more than what it states, but what a startling fulfillment by the SDA General Conference leadership and church!
The Executive Committee is the power behind the General Conference, "carrying forward its work between the [General Conference] sessions," (see 1903 General Conference Bulletin, vol 5, #10, col 2, article 4, section 1, April 10, 1903), even advising the General Conference president on how to "labor in the general interests of the Conference" (see The Constitution Bylaws and Working Policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, article 4, section 2, April, 1959, p 8). So the Executive Committee, made up of 25 individuals, is the real power behind the throne of the SDA church!
The 1903 General Conference Session did not change the 1901 plan, but indicated who would make up this Executive Committee (see 1903 Bulletin, vol 5, #10, col 3, paragraph 1, article 4, section 2, April 10, 1903). And from 1903 until after 1959, the members of the Executive Committee was "not to exceed 25 in number" (see The Constitution Bylaws and Working Policy, article 5, section 1b, April, 1959, p 9). But sometime after 1959, the General Conference Executive Committee was enlarged beyond the limit of 25 members; and today the number of members is over 300.
Some people point to the significant increase in the number of members in this General Conference Committee as proof that the group of 25 men listed in the prophecy of Ezekiel 8:16 cannot possibly apply to the SDA church today. But is this Committee still the only power behind the throne of the SDA church? Or, since it was enlarged, was there another Committee formed that controls the General Conference Committee--making this new Committee the real power behind the throne?
Obviously, only the General Conference would know; so I wrote to them requesting information on its inner administrative structure, and praying all the time that God would allow whoever answered my letter to be very informative. Praise God for answering our prayers, and revealing secrets! The following is the very informative response that I received:
"Here at the General Conference, the highest decision-making committee, of course, is the General Conference Committee. There is a committee that we term ‘General Conference Officers’ which is made up of about twenty-five or twenty-six individuals--president, secretaries, and treasurers, with a few other invited individuals. This committee is a screening committee that determines the items that need to go to the General Conference Committee." Letter from the Office of the President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, B.E. Jacobs--Administrative Assistant to the President, November 1, 1990. (This letter contains the watermark "SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS" with 3 wavy lines crossing the "A")
Since this General Conference Officers Committee controls the items which come before the General Conference Committee, they are in fact the real power behind the Conference Committee, and also of the SDA church! And how many members make up this Officers Committee? "About twenty-five or twenty-six individuals." This is exactly the same language which Ezekiel uses--"about 25"!
Hence, there still is a group of "about 25" individuals which controls the entire SDA church. From 1903 through 1959, it was the Executive Committee of "about 25" individuals. But when it became necessary to enlarge this Committee, then the SDA church simply formed another Committee, and kept it limited to "about 25" individuals.
This number is not a coincidence, but is one of the significant identifying marks clearly showing that the prophecy of the abominations of Ezekiel 8 applies to none other than the SDA church, and the 25 church leaders of Ezekiel 8:16, which turn their backs on the Lord and worship the sun, applies to the General Conference leadership!
Our merciful God is plainly revealing to His true people that the SDA General Conference and its leadership will first give up God's Sabbath themselves for Sunday worship! They will then devise a way to urge our SDA people to follow them into worshiping on Sunday!
Remember, when Solomon apostatized, he forgot God, united with the heathen, and worshipped Baal--the sun god; and Baal's day is Sunday! (See Prophets and Kings, p 51-59; Testimonies, vol 7, p 217-219; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 2, p 1032). Solomon, the king of Israel, then led his entire nation into the worship of the sun. And the same will happen today. In fact, God has already warned His people of this possibility!
"The enemy knows that if the church can be controlled by political enactments, if she can be led to unite with the world, she virtually acknowledges him as her head. Then the authority of man made commandments will work to oppose the rule of the government of heaven. Under the leadership of Satan, men will dispense with the righteous, holy enactments of God concerning the Sabbath..." Signs of the Times, November 22, 1899.
Did the SDA church and leadership, who were entrusted with the sacred work of God (see Testimonies to Ministers, p 81; Publishing Ministry, p 133; 1888 Materials, vol 4, p 1476), begin to unite their interests in politics?
"We have come to a time when God's sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay....The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. Men have almost passed the point of God's forbearance. They have invested their strength in politics, and have united with the papacy." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 4, p 1168-1169.
The SDA church united with politics and the papacy; did they also unite with the world?
"The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. The people are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world." Christ's Object Lessons, p 315-316.
"The central power of the earth is a demon. His throne is in the midst of the world, where should have been seen the throne of God. He has been patronized by the church, for the church has been conformed to the world, and is living in transgression of the holy law of God." This Day With God, p 28.
"The day of God is right upon us, and the world has converted the church. Both are in harmony, and are acting upon a short-sided policy." 1900 General Conference Bulletin, first quarter, p 113.
"The church has taken the world into her fellowship, and has given her affections to the enemies of holiness. The church and the world are standing on the same ground in transgression of the law of God. The church prefers to assimilate to the world rather than separate from its customs and vanities." Last Day Events from the Letters and Manuscripts of E.G. White, p 55.
"It is a solemn and terrible truth that many who have been zealous in proclaiming the third angel's message are now becoming listless and indifferent! The line of demarcation between worldlings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. Many who once were earnest Adventists are conforming to the world--to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God's law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world." Testimonies, vol 8, p 118-119.
As we have seen, the SDA church leadership united with politics, and with the world, and are fulfilling the prophecy for them to "dispense with the righteous, holy enactments of God concerning the Sabbath". They are also fulfilling the prophecy in Ezekiel 8. It is then clear that the SDA General Conference leadership will give up God's Sabbath, they will worship the sun on its day--Sunday, and then they will indeed try to lead our SDA people to do the same!
Our loving God, who knows the end from the beginning, knows that this is a hard saying for our SDA people to accept. So knowing this, He provided further unmistakable proof that such a thing can and will happen! He sent this revealing testimony through Ellen White to His people:
"There is need of a Sabbath reform among us, who profess to observe God's holy rest day....
"The Lord has a controversy with His professed people in these last days. In this controversy men in responsible positions will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week." Review and Herald, March 18, 1884.
Please keep in mind that most of the religious people of this world already worship on Sunday. So it can not be Sunday-keeping ministers who are urging their Sunday-keeping people to keep Sunday. It is the "professed people" of God--the SDA church leadership--who will urge the necessity of keeping Sunday holy to our SDA people from SDA pulpits and camp-meetings!
Remember, God has already warned us that:
"We have far more to fear from within than from without." Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.
"Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan." Testimonies to Ministers, p 409-410.
"Do not forget that the most dangerous snares which Satan has prepared for the church, will come through its own members." Testimonies, vol 5, p 477.
Is the giving up of God's Sabbath, and the exalting of Sunday, already occurring within the SDA church?
The SDA church leadership have already given up their aversion to Roman Catholicism (see SDA Apostasy in Organization). Hence the way is also open for them to begin losing interest in the sacredness of the Sabbath of the Lord, and feel more and more comfortable with Sunday--the day of Roman Catholicism. The SDA church leadership have already been "lightly regarding" the seventh-day Sabbath for some time now. But will they also begin to exalt the false sabbath of the devil as the Lord's day!
Some say; "Impossible! Why, the SDA church would never do such a blasphemous evil. Such a thing has never occurred before; it never will." But is this true?
History reveals that when the Sabbath-keeping leadership of the early Christian church apostatized, they united with the pagans. The church became corrupted and Roman Catholicism was born (see Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 42-46, 195, 396). The apostate church leaders gradually lost their respect for the true Sabbath, decided to give it up themselves, and then implemented two major steps calculated to lead their Sabbath-keeping membership into also losing respect for the Sabbath, and begin worshiping on Sunday. And it is in infinite love and mercy for His people in these last days, that God reveals what these two steps were!
"In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety, Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it...
"Another step must be taken; the false Sabbath must be exalted to an equality with the true....the bishop of Rome conferred on the Sunday the title of Lord's day." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 55.
The two main steps of the apostate Sabbath-keeping Christian church and its leadership were (1) to start holding religious services in honor of the resurrection of Christ--or Easter Sunday sunrise services, and (2) to start calling Sunday the Lord's day.
Is this same history being repeated today? Is the SDA church leadership implementing these same two steps within the church today? And if so, is there any documentation to prove it? Because if these same two steps are occurring within the SDA church, it is proof positive that the church leadership have themselves already decided to worship the sun, and now are trying to lead the membership of the church to do likewise! Are these same two steps being followed by the SDA leadership today? YES!
Easter Sunday services and celebrations are already occurring throughout SDA churches!
In fact, one of these Sunday services was even nationally televised from a SDA church!
"Good Adventist news for Easter--For the first time in denominational history a television network--CBS--will broadcast an Easter Sunday service from a SDA church. The program, ‘Festival of Hope,’ will originate from the Camarillo Adventist Church in California. The speaker will be Elder Roger Bothwell, pastor of the College Church at Pacific Union College. WCBS, New York City, will carry the service this Sunday [April 22] at 11 a.m (8 a.m. Camarillo time) as will CBS affiliates in Roanoke, Boston, Tampa, Bismark, Minot, Madison, Williston, Cincinnati, Champaign, San Antonio, Columbus, Huntsville, St. Louis, La Crosse and Tuscaloosa. Some 20 other affiliated stations will carry the program on a delayed basis. Unfortunately, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., WDVM, will not carry the program." General Conference Weekly Press Relations Newsletter, Spring, 1984 (see also Adventist Review, March 29, 1984, p 31).
Another locally televised Easter Sunday Sunrise service took place atop Georgia's Stone Mountain.
"Bob Hunter, pastor of the Stone Mountain, Georgia, [SDA] church, delivered the Easter message at the sunrise service atop Georgia's Stone Mountain. The Service was attended by some 4,000 people and was covered by three of the local Atlanta television stations. The service was videotaped and aired on Stone Mountain church's television program, ‘Discovery.’" Southern Tidings, August, 1985, p 19.
But these were not the only televised Easter Sunday Sunrise service which SDA's were involved in. More recently in 1992, several Southern California SDA churches joined together, and provided musical entertainment at the "72nd annual Easter Sunrise Service at the Hollywood Bowl." This Sunday Sunrise Service was "televised internationally by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and was carried by the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network." (Pacific Union Recorder, July 20, 1992, p 16).
Other SDA churches that have been holding Easter Sunday services are:
California's Burbank SDA church (see Pacific Union Recorder, March 6, 1989, p 26).
California's Elmshaven SDA church (see Recorder, June 16, 1986, p 21).
California's La Sierra Collegiate church (see Recorder, July 18, 1988, p 22).
California's Riverside SDA church (see Recorder, June 16, 1986, p 16).
California's Santa Ana Spanish SDA church (see Recorder, June 1, 1987, p 8).
California's Sunnyvale SDA church (see Church Bulletin, April 11, 1987).
California's Thousand Oaks SDA church (see Recorder, June 3, 1991, p 21.
California's White Memorial SDA church (see Church Bulletin, April 11, 1987).
Hawaii's Aiea SDA church (see Recorder, June 20, 1988, p 17).
Montana's Jordan SDA church (see Gleaner, June 16, 1986, p 18).
Ohio's Toledo First SDA Church (see Church Bulletin, April 3, 1993).
Oregon's (Portland) University Park SDA church (see Gleaner, May 5, 1986, p 17).
Oregon's Mount Tabor SDA church (see Gleaner, July 7, 1986, p 24).
Washington's Pasco Riverview SDA church (see Gleaner, May 19, 1986, p 13).
Washington, D.C.'s Review and Herald (see Adventist Review, April 27, 1989, p 7).
And each year more SDA churches follow suit! Clearly the SDA leadership and ministers are implementing and following the first step in exalting Sunday, and leading the SDA membership into open Sunday worship. But what about the second step? Are the SDA leadership and ministers involved in teaching our SDA people that Sunday is the Lord's day, when clearly the seventh-day Sabbath is the Lord's Day? (See Isaiah 58:13; Testimonies, vol 6, p 128). Would the SDA leadership really allow the false sabbath of the devil and the man of sin, to be called the Lord's day? YES!
Samuele Bacchiocchi, who was until recently a Professor of Church History and Theology at Andrews University, is a professed SDA, and is the only Protestant to have graduated from the highest Catholic Jesuit training school--The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He graduated with the highest honors in his class, and it is there that he wrote a book titled: From Sabbath To Sunday. This book is highly praised by SDA leadership and ministers, and is sold in SDA Book and Bible Centers.
This book is published by the Pontifical Gregorian University Press in 1977. But if From Sabbath to Sunday contains only the truth of God and no Catholic error, then why does the pope give his approval for its publishing, and why does it contain the "IMPRIMATUR"--which is given only to those books teaching Catholic doctrine, being a "sign of safety" for all Catholics to read? (See From Sabbath To Sunday, p 4). Pope Paul VI even gave Bacchiocchi a gold medal! (See Recorder, March 17, 1986). When have you ever heard of the pope blessing a heretic?
This alone should warn our people to beware, but this is not all. The SDA church leadership exalts this book and allows Bacchiocchi to hold "Lord's day seminars" throughout SDA churches to promote and sell his book. Since this book is so popular with the SDA church leadership, let us examine some of what it teaches.
In From Sabbath To Sunday, the "Lord's day" is referred to as being Sunday and not Saturday. This great error of the Lord's day being Sunday, occurs over 51 times in just the first 160 pages of this 369 page book!
In reference to Revelation 1:10--"I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord's day"--Bacchiocchi argues that the "Lord's day" is one of three things: either it refers to a weekly Sunday, or an Easter Sunday, or it refers to the time of Christ's second coming--the parousia, but not to the seventh-day Sabbath (see From Sabbath To Sunday, p 122-123).
But regardless of what Bacchiocchi thinks it refers to, what does God declare the "Lord's day" to be?
"‘I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord's day...’ The Lord's day is the seventh-day, the Sabbath of creation. On the day that God sanctified and blessed, Christ signified ‘By His angel unto His servant John’ things that must come to pass before the close of the world's history..." Testimonies, vol 6, p 128.
"The Lord's day mentioned by John was the Sabbath, the day on which Jehovah rested after the great work of creation, and which he blessed and sanctified because He had rested upon it." The Sanctified Life, p 74.
In reference to Colossians 2:16-17, Bacchiocchi states that Paul was warning against those believers who promoted the observance of holy days "including the Sabbath" of the fourth commandment (From Sabbath To Sunday, p 360).
Bacchiocchi also calls the keeping of the moral Sabbath "Jewish tradition" (Ibid., p 13), a "Jewish religious institution" (Ibid., p 163), and states that "the eighth day" of creation, or Sunday (being the day after the Sabbath), "far surpassed the seventh day" (Ibid., p 283). He also states that Paul was warning against those who would promote Seventh-day Sabbath keeping "as indispensable aids to Christian perfection" (Ibid., p 356).
This is not all, Bacchiocchi also states this about the Sabbath of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the very last sentence of this book:
"...Paul rejected the Sabbath as a means of salvation but accepted it as a shadow pointing to the substance which belongs to Christ." From Sabbath To Sunday, p 369.
But "Thus saith the Lord:"
"The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man's creation, and will endure as long as God's throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of His law in order to save man; for the law is the foundation of His government." Selected Messages, book 1, p 239-240.
In the first edition of From Sabbath To Sunday, Bacchiocchi states on page 6 that his view points "differ radically from the traditional position of my [SDA] Church." But in the 1979 edition on page 6, he states that his viewpoints "differ somewhat from the traditional position of my Church." Bacchiocchi's arguments did not change one bit in the text of the second edition, so it must have been the traditional position of the SDA church that changed.
Did the SDA church change her historic position on the Sabbath as being the only Lord's day? What is her position on Revelation 1:10 since 1979?
"...the phrase ‘the Lord's day’ in Revelation 1:10....More attention should be given to the possibility that the phrase refers to an annual resurrection celebration." The Sabbath in Scripture and History, p 127, published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1982.
Truly, the SDA church and its leadership have changed their position on the Lord's day mentioned in Revelation 1:10. To them the Lord's day no longer means, unquestionably and only, the Seventh-day Sabbath, but now it could mean Easter! Undeniably, the SDA church and its leadership have lost their respect for the Sabbath of the Lord, are indeed working to exalt Sunday as the Lord's day, and are leading our SDA people to do the same!
Why is the SDA leadership allowing Bacchiocchi the freedom to promote this book in SDA churches? Why did they allow him to remain a professor at Andrews University, teaching future SDA ministers these errors for so many years--until he decided to retire? Why are they continuing to invite him to give "Lord's Day Seminars" and deceive our SDA people? Because the SDA leadership have apostatized from God and His truth, have lost their respect for the Sabbath, are now giving it up and exalting Sunday. Thus Bacchiocchi is teaching exactly what they believe!
But are these the only two areas in which the SDA leadership are exalting Sunday, showing their acceptance of it, and leading our SDA people to do the same? I wish I could say yes, but the answer is NO!
The vice-president of the British Union Conference of SDA's, has given "Adventist support" to the Sunday law in England! W. John Arthur wrote two letters, one to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (dated March 27, 1986), and the other to the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, Clive R. Calver (dated February 27, 1986).
Arthur stated that:
"...Adventist support [was being given] to those in opposition to the proposed repeal of the British Sunday trading laws....
"Elder Arthur was asked whether any of the [SDA] field leaders he had consulted had been opposed to sending the letters. His answer was no, there had been no opposition, all reaction received was positive." Prism, May, 1986, p 6, 12. (Prism is the paper of Newbold SDA College in England)
After Elder Arthur did this, he was not fired or even reprimanded by the British Union or the General Conference, but was promoted to the Presidency of the British Union Conference of SDA's about 6 months later!
In New Zealand, the SDA church held a Sunday worship church service, and it was not being held in honor of Easter! Neither was it kept in secret, but was televised nationwide! Who do you suppose was the speaker at this Sunday service, which allowed the SDA church to hold a Sunday worship church service and have it televised nationwide? The highest leader of the SDA church--the General Conference president in 1985--Neal C. Wilson!
"ON SUNDAY, MAY 19, our oldest church in New Zealand, Ponsonby, has been chosen as the venue for a nationwide televised church service--one of only six such services in NZ in 1985. This will be the occasion of Pastor Neal Wilson's visit, and plans for the music and youth scripture reading are under way--not to mention working bees on the church!" Record, April 13, 1985, p 16.
In Watsonville, California, the SDA church held a Sunday church service on January 12, 1986, in which nine other Sunday-keeping churches participated in an ecumenical worship service. The other Sunday-keeping churches were: the First Christian, United Presbyterian, Freedom United Methodist, Episcopal, All Saints Episcopal, Westview Presbyterian, La Salva Beach Community, Watsonville Parish, and the Catholic Social Services (see Register-Pajoronian Newspaper, January 11, 1986, p 6; also the Watsonville SDA Church Bulletin on Sunday, January 12, 1986).
This could never have occurred in early Adventism. But given the current mind-set of many of the SDA ministers today it should not surprise us. I have a copy of a two-page open letter from the pastor of the Diamond Lake SDA church in Washington state, in which he was going to invite all the "residents in the Diamond Lake area" to come to his SDA church for Sunday morning worship services throughout the entire year!
"Another service I would be happy to provide [as one of your local Community pastors] is a Sunday morning worship service....I am hereby formally inviting you to come to our Sunday morning services at 11:00 o'clock....Easter Sunday would be our first service. March 30th....as Christians we have so much in common...
"I have no intention of embarrass[ing] anyone of you in these services, regardless of which church you belong to. I will always respect your personal preference.
"If possible, I shall invite pastors from other churches in the area from time to time, and who knows but that you may find your own pastor there one day." Community Letter, from SDA pastor Fritz Martinsen, February 25, 1986.
But as amazing as this is, it is not all! In the SDA church magazine of the Pacific Union Recorder, for February, 2000, on page 34-35, there is an article titled "Adventist Sunday Church". This article proudly proclaims that the Las Vegas Mountain View SDA church in Nevada is holding Sunday morning church services all year long!
They started holding these Sunday morning church services "on Easter weekend" for the supposed purpose of reaching out to the community, and will continue to worship every Sunday for the next "52-week(s)"!
Does this worshiping of God in church on both Saturday and Sunday sound like a truly "SEVENTH-DAY" Adventist church to you? But what kind of message would you think is being preached to those who attend this Adventist church on every Sunday?
"Each Sunday (pastor Tim) Dunfield presents a clearly Adventist message..." Recorder, February, 2000, p 35.
Now how can you present a "clearly Adventist message", which upholds God's true seventh-day Sabbath as being Saturday and clearly presents Sunday worship to be the day of Satan in every church of Babylon, be preached in a church which chooses to worship God on every Sunday? How can a "clearly Adventist message", which plainly shows Sunday worship to be the Mark of the Beast when it becomes a law, be preached in a church which chooses to worship God on every Sunday? How hypocritical! And how blind can SDA people be if they believe that there is nothing wrong with this? Yet this is exactly what the SDA ministers believe!
A brother and sister from Oregon wrote to me regarding their recent meeting with their SDA minister. They expressed their concerns to him over the SDA church keeping Sunday, and to their surprise, he said "What's wrong with that?"
Many other services are being held on Sunday by SDA churches, and the excuses used to justify such abominable and blasphemous practices are as varied as the color of a chameleon. Sunday exaltation and worship is becoming more and more common place, and less and less of an abomination in the eyes of our people.
In fact, all of the SDA churches on the Islands of Tonga are worshiping on Sunday--the same day of rest which the other churches of Babylonian churches keep!
"Tongans are scrupulous observers of the Wesleyan Sabbath, and it is possible to be arrested for fishing on Sunday. Even the Seventh-day Adventists, who elsewhere take Saturday as their Sabbath, here observe the Sabbath on Sunday." National Geographic, March, 1968, p 358 (Article: "The Friendly Isles of Tonga", by Luis Marden).
And the SDA church even admits this fact! In an article from an SDA church paper, titled "Why Tongan SDAs Worship on Sunday" and subtitled "Tonga's Common Day of Worship" the church states:
"In the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, Sabbath and Sunday keepers observe the same day of rest [on Sunday]." Record, January 30, 1988, p 6.
Truly the leadership of the SDA church have turned their backs on the Lord (which they began to do in the 1890's--see Testimonies to Ministers, p 89). They have chosen to give up God's Sabbath themselves and to worship the sun in the east, and are far into the process of exalting Sunday worship and leading our SDA people to do the same. In fact, the SDA church leadership are not afraid to tell the entire SDA membership that they have decided to worship the sun in the east!
In the new official Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal you will find a song that was not found in any other Adventist church hymnals. It was placed in this hymnal, and purposely kept there even over strong protest. And what does the message of this song state to our SDA people?
"Let us praise God together - on our knees.
"Let us praise God together - on our knees.
"When I fall on my knees - with my face to the rising sun,
"O Lord, have mercy on me." Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, "Let Us Break Bread Together," p 403-404, and published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1985.
This blasphemous song makes it very clear that the SDA church leadership have indeed turned their backs on the Lord and His Sabbath as Ezekiel 8:16 states.
But God had already warned His people that such a unbelievable thing would happen:
"There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls...Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 22:25-26.
The SDA church and its leadership are indeed facing the sun and worshiping it! By repeating the same two main steps of the apostate early Christian Church, thereby leading the SDA membership into Sunday exaltation and worship, they flaunt their true colors.
The apostate SDA church is leading our people into Sunday worship, and those who follow the church in this will receive the Mark of the Beast! Some church supporters will blindly argue that the apostate SDA church and its leadership could never lead their SDA brethren directly into receiving the Mark of the Beast. But God has already warned His people that such an amazing thing will occur!
"An apostate church will unite with the powers of earth and hell to place upon the forehead or in the hand, the mark of the beast, and prevail upon the children of God to worship the beast and his image. They will seek to compel them to renounce their allegiance to God's law, and yield homage to the papacy." Review and Herald, November 8, 1892.
The last great abomination in Ezekiel 8, before God states that He has had enough and corporate probation closes upon the church, occurs when the 25 men worship the sun. And the SDA leadership have turned their backs and have committed this last great abomination!
All these things plainly show us that the abomination of Sunday worship has indeed been planted within the SDA church, indicating that corporate probation has closed upon the SDA church! This closing of probation is NOT upon the SDA membership, but only upon the corporate church. The SDA church can never again be used by God in spreading His pure truths! What truths are left that the SDA church has not yet given up?
Yet many are waiting for the Sunday law to come, or waiting for the whole SDA church to give up the Sabbath, before they will admit that probation is closed for the SDA church. But what these dear people have overlooked, is the fact that Ezekiel 8:16 reveals that probation closes when the 25 men decide to worship the sun, not when the whole SDA church worships it! And it is clear that these 25 leaders of the SDA church have already decided to worship the sun, because the same two main steps have been implemented and established within the church.
The SDA church leadership have given up God's Sabbath, and have committed the last great abomination of Sunday worship which has closed the door of probation upon the corporate SDA church--not upon its members, but upon the church itself.
The SDA church and its leadership have also continued on in their plans of rebellion and rejection of God and His precious message of righteousness, they have renounced the truths from heaven as being error, accepted doctrines of spiritualism, and have united with other churches who are in league with the devil. These facts plainly reveal that the SDA church has made a covenant with death and an agreement with hell, and her cup of iniquity is full. Her separation from God is final, and probation is closed upon the corporate church! The church and her leadership were fully warned of this possibility, yet she has "a whore's forehead, and refusedst to be ashamed" (Jeremiah 3:3).
With corporate probation closed, the SDA church is now Babylon fallen! God's judgments long deferred are about to fall upon the SDA church, along with all those who refuse to separate from her!
Again, some will doubt that the SDA church has become Babylon. But the church has given up everything that could have kept her from becoming Babylon fallen! The SDA leadership have united the SDA church with the world, with the State, brought in spiritualism and allowed it to make its soul-destructive inroads among our people, and formed the church's organizational structure into another papal power hierarchical system by stealthy but rapid progress. They have also united with the NCC, the WCC, the Ecumenical Movement, and have definitely given up God's truths and embraced the doctrines of devils--even giving up the one truth which kept them separate from all the other fallen churches--the seventh-day Sabbath! WHAT ELSE COULD SHE BE BUT BABYLON FALLEN!
Yet God, more loving and merciful than we could ever deserve, will not leave His true SDA people to remain in ignorance regarding this issue of the church being Babylon fallen--especially in these last days when the loud cry is going forth.
"As the time comes for the loud cry to be given, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of a union of Church and State, the inroads of Spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power,--all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands have never listened to words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from Heaven." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 424.
The SDA church has fulfilled all the above conditions to become Babylon, and not all her wickedness has even been exposed!
"The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed." Testimonies, vol 5, p 211.
This terribly sad ending to a church that had the most blessed and highest calling of any church and people since the world was created, all began at the focal turning point in 1888--with the rejection of Christ and His message of Righteousness! But what does the SDA church state?
"1888 therefore came to mark the beginning of a new note and new day, the significance of which was not fully sensed at the time....It was the beginning of decades of clarification and advance--despite struggles and setbacks. It eventuated at last in a unified platform of ‘Fundamental Beliefs,’ preparatory to the grand climax of the Movement, assuredly destined to come." Movement of Destiny, p 187.
1888 was the beginning of more than ten decades--not "of clarification and advance"--but of giving up the established truths of God and retrograding into apostasy. And the "‘Fundamental Beliefs,’ preparatory to the grand climax of the Movement" are not the historic fundamental beliefs, but they are the doctrines of devils which will lead to complete destruction of the SDA church--truly the "grand climax of the [apostate] Movement."
Thus will SDAs continue to cling to a corrupt and apostate Babylonian church whose probation has closed and thereby destined for destruction? Or will they recognize the voice of God calling all of His obedient people to escape, lest they be consumed in all her iniquity?
"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense....We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies....My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord." Jeremiah 50:6, 9, 45.
"Before the destruction of Sodom, God sent a message to Lot, ‘Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed’ [Genesis 19:17]. The same voice of warning was heard by the disciples of Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem: ‘...Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains.’ They must not tarry to secure anything from their possessions, but must make the most of the opportunity to escape.
"There was a coming out, a decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days. Again the voice of God is heard in a message of warning, bidding His people separate themselves from the prevailing iniquity." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 166.